Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 9, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

IRAQ THROUGH ROSE-COLORED GLASSES....I didn't bother posting earlier this week about Ralph Peters' latest column the one in which he spent a few days in Baghdad, personally saw no civil war, and thus pronounced everything peachy because, well, why bother? Sometimes things are so plainly idiotic that there's no point. Peters probably could have written the same story in Richmond in 1863.

Christopher Allbritton, on the other hand, who is actually in Baghdad full time, has reason to be a little more exercised about Peters' fantasies:

[Peters] says, If reporters really care, its easy to get out on the streets of Baghdad. The 506th Infantry Regiment and other great military units will take journalists on their patrols virtually anywhere. Well, no, they wont. Some reporters I know are having trouble getting embeds because theyre not the right reporters. They dont write the right kind of stories meaning they dont follow the militarys playbook.

Its more than a little churlish to say, Well take you anywhere, as long as youre not too liberal/French/whatever and then turn around and criticize those you refuse to take with you as cowards.

....To be blunt: We are as close to full-scale civil war as weve ever been. We are one more bombing, massacre or atrocity from a national bloodletting. But even if that happens, there will be ebbs and flows. Just because people arent curled up in the fetal position under their beds all the time doesnt mean theres not a war on of some kind.

....Peters little yarns sure sounds nice, but he sounds either desperately clueless or willfully blind. Officials in the American embassy, at least, are very worried that civil war is upon us, and its surely no coincidence that [General George] Casey has a reputation for not wanting to hear bad news. And so Peters continues to think because he rolls around in an armored convoy and no one takes a shot at him, theres no civil war. As someone Im sure he admires once said, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Conservatives are fond of claiming that the media exaggerates the problems in Iraq, but as near as I can tell exactly the opposite is true. Every time I've come across a candid report from a journalist usually after they've come home, or perhaps in a private email or a report of an overheard conversation they say that things are actually worse than what they officially report. Lots of people with a feel-good agenda go to Iraq for a few days of McNamara-like "fact finding" and then come back with glowing reports, but virtually no one who's there full time doing comprehensive reporting has anything very optimistic to say.

Of course, being right will gain them nothing. If and when full-scale civil war breaks out, the Ralph Peters of the world are going to do their level best to lay all the blame at their defeatist feet anyway. Who lost Iraq?

Via Jim Henley.

Kevin Drum 1:57 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (255)

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Comments

Great post...

Incidentally, it's a damned shame you don't do David Brooks anymore, because he has one of the most unutterably stupid columns today on the success of middle-class children vs. that of working-class and poor children I've ever read.

Posted by: brucds on March 9, 2006 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you will be one of the first up against the wall for losing Iraq! That is the only way freedom can spread around the world -- shutting up you defeatists!

Posted by: Freedom Phucker on March 9, 2006 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Peace is the opposite of war, right? Well, you report the peace you want not the war you got. Easy. You think I'm happy with that formulation? Can't say.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 9, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

I have this unpleasant feeling that, since the aftermath of our pullout from Iraq is going to be a very nasty time indeed, we're gonna have to stoop to Cheney-esque behavior to keep from getting gut-punched again.

"Defeatism" is a useful line for the Rovians only if we pursue a reasonable middle course, i.e., keep pointing out the problems with our policy and making constructive suggestions for change. It's simply too nuanced for the Manichean situation that's looming.

I'm thinking we need to go hard for the jugular, and start doing it now. As the Rumsfeld and Bush position slowly crumples, and things start looking more and more like Vietnam, we need to be yelling "traitor, coward, loser" at every chance and in every forum.

It's the Big Megaphone technique, it's worked countless times for the Republicans already, and it's the only kind of "dialogue" that's going to be conducted for a while.

Nuance is our enemy.

Rumsfeld and Bush are losers and traitors. They should be thrown in prison and left to rot.

Posted by: bleh on March 9, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

It shouldn't even be an argument. The Administration lost Iraq because they were never prepared to fight for it - they refused to take the country's ethnic divisions seriously, they made no provisions for an insurgency which Saddam had been planning for over a year and which many prognosticators had said was Saddam's only real shot at bloodying America's nose, they refuse to this day to put any real pressure on the main source of funding for the insurgents in Iraq - Saudi Arabia. The US has managed to alienate almost every political faction in Iraq except the Kurds. Sometimes you wonder if Bush is trying to lose this thing. Saddam was an evil man, who needed to be stopped. There were and are a number of well meaning people who seriously believed that the US was willing to fight the good fight and really build something worthwhile in the Middle East. Bush has completely betrayed those people.

Posted by: Vanya on March 9, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives are fond of claiming that the media exaggerates the problems in Iraq, but as near as I can tell exactly the opposite is true.

LIAR. The media is exaggerating the threat of Civil War in Iraq. We are winning in Iraq, but the media won't report our victories. The problem is not mistakes made by Bush in Iraq because there are very few. The only reason we won't win is our lack of resolve to maintain the course we have set out in Iraq. The media knows this and that's why they're to sow doubt in the minds of Americans in pursuing our noble enterprise of freedom and democracy in Iraq and the Arab states.

Posted by: Al on March 9, 2006 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

It is clearly treason to exaggerate bad news or even to report it evenhandedly.

It is patriotic to exaggerate the good news or make it up entirely.

And btw, Bush's Asian initiatives are the real story, while you spend your time on the insignificant events in Iraq.

The Middle East is dead to me and it should be to you also.

China's the ticket.

Posted by: 'rdw' on March 9, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Just read the first few lines of Allbritton's post.

It's something to the effect of "Peter King is full of sh**."

Call me unimpressed with Allbritton.

Sorry, but Peter King actually went to Iraq, he travelled with troops, he saw what he saw. Maybe it differs from what Allbritton has seen. But Allbritton's childish response might tell you soemthing about Allbritton's angle.

Is it possible that Allbritton is angry somebody isn't repeating the standard lefty line: "Everything is awful! Iraq is on the verge of civil war! Rumsfeld is incompetent! Bushhitler is evil! Lions and tigers and bears oh my!"

Posted by: Monkey See on March 9, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

*Snicker*
*Snicker*
*Snicker*

That is all.

Posted by: Al on March 9, 2006 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

In Gone With the Wind, there wasn't a civil war in the first act. The civil war must have started during the intermission, because they didn't burn down the city until act 2. Everything was fine up until then.

Posted by: SP on March 9, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

We are winning in Iraq, but the media won't report our victories.

That is so true. The list of victories is a mile long. Let's recap:
1. Captured Saddam
2. um...
3. well,
4. gave out some candy
5. gee
6. killed some goddamn eye-rack-ees, that's for damn doodly
7. help me out here
8. hey, where are you all going?
9. I know there's a number 9 - where's my list?
10. hello?

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

So:

Should we extend our success to Iran or not?

Posted by: sam on March 9, 2006 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Whoops, never mind, they actually did burn the city before the intermission. Ah, well, there's no proof there was a war until Atlanta was demolished, because no one in Atlanta personally saw it.

Posted by: SP on March 9, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Allbritton is entitled to his opinion.

But so are other observers.

Posted by: BigRiver on March 9, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Tell S Dakota Governor Rounds that you will not make the rounds in SD
Call 605 773 3212 and tell Governor Rounds that you will not buy South Dakota products nor will you see Mount Rushmore nor travel there until they repeal the abortion ban.
Spread the word.

You can also browse http://www.travelsd.com for telling the South Dakota Travel and Tourism department that you have cancelled plans to travel there until the legislature repeals the abortion ban.


If anyone wishes to reach me by email you can send email to dbaer@hoflink.com and place the word PRIVATE in the subject line. It will not reach me if you do not put the word PRIVATE in the subject line.

George W Bush: A CHIMP that will live in INFAMY.

Join the revolution for progressive legislation
http://www.boycott-republicans.com

Posted by: buckfush on March 9, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Want to know how things are in Iraq?

Riverbend (Shrill, but often has her pulse on the CW over there.)
http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/

Healing Iraq (He's posting again. He's a middl-of-the-road intellectual).
http://healingiraq.blogspot.com/

Iraq the Model (This guy's opinion of the war has gone from "Democracy Whiskey Sexy", to something close to guarded optimism. Lose this guy and you've lost Iraq.)
http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/

Posted by: enozinho on March 9, 2006 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

But, but, b-but what about the "last throes"?

Posted by: hollywood on March 9, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

[Peters] says, If reporters really care, its easy to get out on the streets of Baghdad. The 506th Infantry Regiment and other great military units will take journalists on their patrols virtually anywhere.

There's something almost mentally unbalanced about someone who, to cite the fact that things are going well, says that you can verify this claim as long as you go out with a heavily armed American infantry unit. If things were really that peaceful you wouldn't need the 506th to escort you around; you'd be able to go by yourself. The fact that "reporters" like Peters need need military protection a full three years after the fall of Baghdad is a sign that things are gettting worse, not better.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

It shouldn't even be an argument. The Administration lost Iraq because they were never prepared to fight for it - they refused to take the country's ethnic divisions seriously, they made no provisions for an insurgency which Saddam had been planning for over a year and which many prognosticators had said was Saddam's only real shot at bloodying America's nose, they refuse to this day to put any real pressure on the main source of funding for the insurgents in Iraq - Saudi Arabia.

As Dwight Eisenhower was fond of saying "The plan is nothing, planning is everything."

The Bush regime had a "plan," which was to invade Iraq. Beyond that, though, they never bothered to do any actual planning for how that plan was going to be carried out, never did the hard work of taking care of the details. They preferred to live in cloud-cuckoo land, building their fantastical castles in the sky. "We'll invade Iraq...and then a miracle will occur!"

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK
We are winning in Iraq, but the media won't report our victories.

Actually, they do. In fact, I'm pretty sure that some for some of the insurgent strongholds, the media has reported our victory of retaking them and pushing the insurgents out completely more than once.

Its not that we aren't winning, on a tactical level, in Iraq. Its just that what we win doesn't stay won.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

Al,

How long will we continue to "win" in Iraq? Til "the job is done"? Or until the true definition of your use of the term "win" becomes more apparent to the parents of dead soldiers?

Posted by: parrot on March 9, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but Peter King actually went to Iraq, he travelled with troops, he saw what he saw. Maybe it differs from what Allbritton has seen. But Allbritton's childish response might tell you soemthing about Allbritton's angle. Posted by: Monkey See

Yes. King did go to Iraq for something like a week and tripped around with some troops in a 30 mile loop around Baghdad. Yep. That sure covers all of Iraq.

Allbitron, on the other hand, has been there for how many months?

And, BTW, he said King is full of shit. If you're going to use the word, spell it out like a mature adult. Kind of stupid to be calling someone a liar while pretending to be polite.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Just read the first few lines of Albritton's post....Sorry, but Peter King actually went to Iraq, he travelled with troops, he saw what he saw. Maybe it differs from what Allbritton has seen. But Allbritton's childish response might tell you soemthing about Allbritton's angle.

If you'd actually read more than the first few lines of Albritton's post you'd know (i) that he's talking about Ralph Peters, not Peter King, and (ii) that Albritton is also in Iraq, though not swaddled in the protective comfy blanket of the US Army the way that Peters is. Further down in his article Albritton writes:

"He [Peters] also says we western reporters dont get out on the streets, which is patently untrue. I dont get out as often as Id like, but I do get out. My colleagues at TIME, who look much less western than I do, get out much more. And, unlike Peters, we dont travel with a big-ass armed convoy under the protection of the U.S. military.

"He then further slanders Ellen Knickmeyer, of the Washington Post, when he says, 'Did any Western reporter go to that morgue and count the bodies a rough count would have done it before telling the world the news? I doubt it.'

"Well, actually, Ralph, I know Ellen. And yes, she did go down to the morgue. While there are many issues with her story, what is undeniable is that she risked a hell of a lot more than you did when she put her life in jeopardy to go down there.

"....If they situation is so rosy, Mr. Peters, why on earth do I need to embed in the first place? Believe me, Id much rather travel around without a military entourage. You tend to get more truthful answers from Iraqis when theyre not surrounded by soldiers with big guns, after all."

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Monkey See: Is it possible that Allbritton is angry somebody isn't repeating the standard lefty line: "Everything is awful! Iraq is on the verge of civil war! Rumsfeld is incompetent! Bushhitler is evil! Lions and tigers and bears oh my!"

Is it possible that Allbritton is angry that the US military hand selects journalists known to lie on behalf of or be favorable to the administration and takes them on guided tours of only the safest areas with a wink-wink and a nudge-nudge so the "reporting" will be favorable?

It's not like they've done such things before.

But wait, they have censored soldiers' e-mails and access to the press, ordered soldiers to never give negative statements to the media, but told them its okay to exaggerate the positive (and you will be punished if you don't), lied about Tillman and Lynch, lied about the availability of vehicle and body armor, lied about Abu Ghraib and other US concentration camps, etc, etc, etc.

Nevermind.

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

I say we make Iraq the 51st state. Then everything will be fine, and they can get on with the really important work of banning abortion and getting Intelligent Islamic Design into school curricula.

They'll be one of the family! Only with more beards.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I say we make Iraq the 51st state. Then everything will be fine, and they can get on with the really important work of banning abortion and getting Intelligent Islamic Design into school curricula. They'll be one of the family! Only with more beards.

And the sad thing is, they'll still be more advanced and modern and secular than Mississippi and Alabama....

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

tell Governor Rounds that you will not buy South Dakota products

South Dakota has products? Who knew?

Posted by: ckelly on March 9, 2006 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

I read the Peters thing. I guess the fact that he was in an armored vehicle with guys with automatic weapons, wearing a bullet proof vest, didn't cause him to think that there might be some shooting going on.

When he rides around Baghdad in a toyota unarmored and unarmed with a translator (as was possible to do in the early days of the occupation), staying at a business hotel outside the Green Zone for a week, then he can write this story.

Posted by: JayAckroyd on March 9, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder what ol' Ralph would say if he got his legs blown off by an IED while on one his little jaunts around town? Would he say they were still there?

Posted by: Farinata X on March 9, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Beautiful Craigie (2:40). Genius really.

Posted by: ckelly on March 9, 2006 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Bush continues to hover 10-15 points below Clinton's second term worst polling.

He's losing to the Dems on national security, of all things.

Best, most cunning, most effective president ever!

Really!

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

Who lost Iraq?

That was me... I'm sorry, I left it in my other pants.

I've been losing Arab states all week. I haven't seen Jordan in days. Think that one might have gone through the dryer.

Posted by: frinklin on March 9, 2006 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

"LIAR. The media is exaggerating the threat of Civil War in Iraq. We are winning in Iraq, but the media won't report our victories.
Posted by: Al"

I assume this is the fake Al, but I'd like to debate this point anyway.

I'm sure the media would like to report victories in Iraq - after all, a purple finger did make the cover of Time magazine. But the purple finger didn't stop the violence, nor the constitution, nor the choosing of a government. So the media has nothing left to report in terms of our victories. Even our best victory in Iraq (Saddam's capture) is turning ugly as his trial goes all to hell.

So, if the trolls want the media to report victory, I ask: what is the victory going to look like? If the purple finger wasn't a victory symbol, then what will be? If democracy is on the march, then why is it being enforced with the execution-style killing, as reported in the Washington Post today? And a bumper-sticker slogan like "As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down" is no longer going to be a good response, as Bush found out during the Vargas interview.

Posted by: mmy on March 9, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

I see no signs that the Sunni side wants a civil war. Wait to see who shows up in parliament.

Posted by: Matt on March 9, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Enozinho,

Good job reminding people that Iraqis actually have their own opinions on how things are going in their country and that maybe we should listen. If you believe Ralph Peters knows better than the people who actually live in Iraq than God help you.

Here's another one -
http://talisman-gate.blogspot.com/
(written by an Iraqi friendly with the Chalabi's -so a voice neocons might want to listen to.)

Posted by: Vanya on March 9, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

They'll be one of the family! Only with more beards. Posted by: craigie

You mean like beard beards or Katie Holmes for Tom Cruise as a beard?

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

IRAQ THROUGH ROSE-COLORED GLASSES

You meant, through blood-colored glasses, right?

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

What will the liberals say when America is successful in Iraq? They won't be honest, that's for sure. So Kevin et al, tell us your spin now, or shock us by admitting you were wrong, and we were right. Won't happen, will it? :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

And a bumper-sticker slogan like "As Iraqis stand up, we will stand down" is no longer going to be a good response, as Bush found out during the Vargas interview.

Especially if "stand up" merely to fake us out and then quicly sit back down.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK


This reminds me of 2002 and 2004 all over again.

Foolish lefties so excited to believe the worst, and
then...whoosh....all their electoral dreams turned to dust as voters don't agree with their view of the world. The view that all evil in the world is the fault of GWB and that the US is the bad guy in any situation, etc., just doesn't wash with the electorate becuase the view is plain WRONG.

But....you foolish lefties can try again. Maybe you can get Dan Rather to offer some insight on how to prove that GWB is a loser. Who still has his job? Bush or Rather? Hmmmm....

Lefties = foolish = losers = pathetic.

Posted by: Portugal on March 9, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

frinklin - fucking funny!

Tymbrimi - I can't speak for "the liberals", but if I see something that looks like success in Iraq, I'll say so.

Don't hold your breath.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

What will the liberals say when America is successful in Iraq?

And when will that be, exactly?

They won't be honest, that's for sure. So Kevin et al, tell us your spin now, or shock us by admitting you were wrong, and we were right. Won't happen, will it? :)

Yes, we were certainly wrong in our predictions that no WMD would be found, that Iraq would splinter along sectarian ethnic and religious lines, that the Shiite theocrats would take control and ally the country with Iran, that Al Qaeda would take advantage of the chaos and gain a foothold in the country, that it would cost the US hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars and tens of thousands of casualties...there, we were wrong, and you were right when you said the Iraqis would welcome us as liberators and throw flowers at our feet. I admit it, OK?

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Especially if "stand up" merely to fake us out and then quicly sit back down.

Great post Stefan.

Yes, I heard at DOD they are toying with changing the name of the war from OIF to OIFD (Operation Iraqi Fire Drill) or OMC (Operation Musical Chairs).

Posted by: enozinho on March 9, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

It is too bad the Iragi insurgents are not fighting against their true enemy, instead becoming caught up in sectarian disputes. The Iraqi patriots should join forces and fight the enemy of the Iraqi people.

Posted by: Hostile on March 9, 2006 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Would have been a better post if I hadn't bollixed it up with typos.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Then define realistically what you would describe as success, and then admit it was a worthwhile goal. Many countries suffer from terrorism, so, of course, that will continue to exist in Iraq. We have democracy, so in a sense, we already have success. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

I see no signs that the Sunni side wants a civil war. Wait to see who shows up in parliament.

It does matter what one side or the other "wants"; it matters most what they're afraid the other side will do. Even if the Sunnis, for example, don't want a civil war, they have to arm for their own protection as if the Shiites do, and vice versa. In most civil wars the majority of the population doesn't "want" to fight, but most importantly they don't want to lose. But by guarding against losing they make the fight itself more likely.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

But by guarding against losing they make the fight itself more likely.

That's right. I don't want California to leave the Union, but every day it seems more likely...

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

Then define realistically what you would describe as success, and then admit it was a worthwhile goal.

Well, since I, unlike Bush, don't have control of the American government, I think I'll wait to hear what Bush defines realistically as what he would describe as success. It's been three years, and I'm still waiting for him to clearly articulate when exactly we will "win." What exactly was the point of this war, and when can we leave?

Many countries suffer from terrorism, so, of course, that will continue to exist in Iraq.

Oh, well, too bad for the Iraqis, then. So sorry! The present level of terrorism did not exist in Iraq before our invasion. We brought it with us.

We have democracy, so in a sense, we already have success. :)

No, since the aim of the US invasion was not to set up a democracy in Iraq, but to disarm Saddam Hussein of his imaginary WMD. "Democracy" is merely an ex post facto rationalization the Bush regime came up with after their first embarrassing failure to find any weapons.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:14 PM | PERMALINK

Then define realistically what you would describe as success, and then admit it was a worthwhile goal.

Ok, if Iraq is stable enough for the Bush family to relocate their "ranch" there, and then they do, I'll call that success.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

The Iraqi patriots should join forces and fight the enemy of the Iraqi people. Posted by: Hostile

They are. The U.S. is in fire fights every day or blown up by IEDs. Hostile, we invaded them, remember?

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Let's put this in terms the right-wingers can understand: Imagine if at the end of the American Civil War, Lincoln had brought in Frederick Douglas and propped him up as the leader of the New South. Harriet Tubman is his Defense Secretary and Kunta Kinte is the Attorney General.

If you can picture how that would have turned out, you can see where Iraq is headed.

Posted by: enozinho on March 9, 2006 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

No, now you are lying. Regime change and the bringing of democracy to Iraq was always an initial goal. We are succeeding in Iraq, and as a liberal anti-American, you can't stand it LOL! THat's why Murtha is getting so wild. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, if Iraq is stable enough for the Bush family to relocate their "ranch" there, and then they do, I'll call that success.

Hey, they don't have to relocate permanently. I'd settle for George taking Laura and the girls to Baghdad for a restful two week vacation. If they can do that without getting their legs blown off I'll be convinced it's a success.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

The three Iraqi bloggers enozinho recommends will give you a good cross-section of opinion over there. IraqTheModel is very good for keeping an eye on the politics over there, which make quantum physics look simple.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, Tymbrini, I'm amazed that you have such a good Internet connection from Iraq. I assume you're typing your posts on break from your combat patrol throught the streets of Fallujah, correct? Because as a conservative pro-American the first thing you did when we invaded was run to enlist, right?

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Regime change and the bringing of democracy to Iraq was always an initial goal

Parody trolls should at least try to be funny.

Posted by: Time Stand Still on March 9, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Especially if they "stand up" merely to fake us out and then quickly sit back down.

Whack-a-Arab!

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

The whole tenor of liberal commentary is that civil war is imminent in Iraq, and that would be a good thing to shut Bush up.

Where's the discussion about how to avoid civil war? Are Democrats really serious about trying to make things better in Iraq? Or are we just rooting for it to collapse so Bush is humiliated?

We need a plan of our own.

Posted by: polthereal on March 9, 2006 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

If they can do that without getting their legs blown off I'll be convinced it's a success.

What if it's their arms? We'll call that "the last throes" and label it successful too, ok?

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

No, now you are lying. Regime change and the bringing of democracy to Iraq was always an initial goal.

No, now you are deluded. The October 2002 Congressional resolution on the use of force against Iraq made no mention of "democratization" -- the stated rationale for the war was to strip Saddam of his weapons. Bush and Cheney's sub rosa goal after that was to install Chalabi as an American puppet. Bush was forced to accede to national elections only after the Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani demanded them.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Now craigie, don't let these other dishonest liberals pressure you into not having an honest conversation. The Bushes are not going to relocate to Iraq, or France. :) Define a realist of success. Democracy, check. Economic growth, check. What other realistic goal(s) Do you need?

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

We need a plan of our own.

I have a plan. And once I get this time machine finished, I'm going to execute it.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Whack-a-Arab!

Or Whack-a-Mullah....

Ladies and gentlemen, the comedy stylings of Craigie and Stefan! Thank you! We'll be here all week!

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Again you lie, Stefan. The design of the democracy was in dispute, not the goal itself.

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

enozinho:

The South after the Civil War was no picnic either. A good case can be made that that part of the country didn't become a real democracy until the Civil Rights laws in the 60s.

Posted by: tbrosz on March 9, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

We need a plan of our own.

Why the fuck? We're not in charge, so why do we need a "plan" that will have no hope of being implemented or being taken seriously, a plan that will serve only as a target for Republicans to mischaracterize and misstate?

On the other hand, we did have plenty of plans in the past: don't invade Iraq. Don't invade Iraq without allies and UN support. If you do invade Iraq, don't disband the Iraqi Army. If you do invade Iraq and do disband the Iraqi Army, at least don't fail at reconstruction. If you do invade Iraq and do disband the Iraqi Army and do fail at reconstruction, at least make sure to have enough troops to provide security...ad nauseum (sometimes quite literally so). We've had a hundred plans, and they've all been ignored.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Now craigie, don't let these other dishonest liberals pressure you into not having an honest conversation.

It's true, I'm so ashamed. If only that fucking Stefan wouldn't come in here with his "facts" and his "logic", I could think for myself. Oh, the ignominy...

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

This discussion is, of course, futile. We will succeed in Iraq, unless the Democrats take over. The 2006 elections will be decided on whether the American people want victory, or defeat. :) They will probably not embrace Democrats and defeat. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Allbritton is getting worked up into a frenzy because another journalist saw things differently.

That's all we have here, folks.

Albritton wants to be the only voice reporting from Iraq, and he is throwing a tantrum because Ralph Peters didn't see it the way Allbritton did.

Another lefty throwing a hissy fit! HA!

Posted by: BigRiver on March 9, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Define a realist [sic] of success. Democracy, check. Economic growth, check. What other realistic goal(s) Do [sic] you need?

Well then, if we've been so successful then why are we still there? Shouldn't we withdraw our troops now? What more do we need to achieve?

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Define a realist of success. Democracy, check. Economic growth, check. What other realistic goal(s) Do you need? Posted by: Tymbrimi

Democracy? We already had democracy in the U.S. before Bush was elected. Economic growth? Hell, Iraq's 2.5% current annual growth is about the same as ours. However, they get the nod as they were starting from zero.

Bush, however, helped turn what should have been a mild recession into a double dip that in five years still hasn't produced the economic activity and emploment numbers we had up to 9/10/2001.

Oh. You meant Iraq. Never mind. Democracy will never exist there as Arabic-Islamic culture is completely hostile to it. And as long as the country remains "united," you'll never have any meaningful economic growth until the country is partitioned.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

Now we need to stay to make sure our successes are not undone. We can probably start a slow withdrawal shortly. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

Economic growth, check.

From the UN News Center:

12 May 2005 Daily living conditions in Iraq are dismal, with families suffering from intermittent water and electricity supply, chronic malnutrition among children and more illiterate young than ever before, a new report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Iraqi Government shows.

While many aspects of living conditions in Iraq in 2004 are dismal, most reflect the courage, endurance and determination of the Iraqi people to overcome the hurdles they are facing, Staffan de Mistura, the UN Deputy Special Representative for Humanitarian, Reconstruction and Development Affairs, said at the ceremony to launch the three-volume survey.

Despite the conflict, the society was functioning, though under considerable stress, he quoted survey results as showing.

Iraqi questioners, trained by a Norwegian research non-governmental organization (NGO), asked 22,000 households in 18 governorates about their housing, infrastructure, population, health, education, work, income and the status of women, and the analysis followed international standards for statistical reporting.

Although a large percentage of the population in Iraq is connected to water, electricity and sewage networks, the supply has been too unstable to make a difference to peoples lives, the survey results show.

Almost a quarter of the children between 6 months and 5 years suffer from chronic malnutrition. In a country where 39 per cent of the people are younger than 15, the young today are more illiterate than preceding generations. Young men with a high school education or better are suffering from 37 per cent unemployment.

http://72.14.207.104/search?q=cache:uJm7e4qo9DYJ:www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp%3FNewsID%3D14255%26Cr%3DIraq%26Cr1%3D+iraq+living+standards+un+survey&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=3

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

The reactions to "We need a plan of our own" are instructive. They focus on the past and on hiding from Republicans.

Do we really care about the Iraqi people? Do we really care about helping them avoid a bloody civil war?

Or do we care more about our own political prospects? Do we care more about avoiding becoming a "target" for Republicans?

I have an idea. Let's be the ones doing the shooting, not the ones hiding.

Posted by: polthereal on March 9, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Now we need to stay to make sure our successes are not undone. We can probably start a slow withdrawal shortly. :)

A rather frightening glimpse into Tymbrini's sex life...

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

The 2006 elections will be decided on whether the American people want victory, or defeat.

It would be great if those were the choices. Instead, they're just meaningless words.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Your spin is futile, We are succeeding so far, period. Please, ask the American people to embrace defeat in 2006, please. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Where's the discussion about how to avoid civil war? Are Democrats really serious about trying to make things better in Iraq? Or are we just rooting for it to collapse so Bush is humiliated?

I believe that part of the reason that Dems are neutered (aside from their normal brain and spine deficit) is that they're actually trying, through factional sparring, to tussle out some kind of workable plan for Iraq. The problem is, there is no good option. There never was a good option. The single greatest folly of this idiotic strategic disaster was opting for a course that would predictably lead to an impasse that offered no good options. You don't have to be Sun-Tzu to see the stupidity of this war.

So yeah, Democratic statements about the war are confused and underwhelming. They couldn't be otherwise. On the other hand, Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld can't even factor their war into the budgets that they make. Three years after they started it, they still fund it with "emergency" appropriations?!?! So please, you tell me who's unserious, here....

Posted by: sglover on March 9, 2006 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Unlike you, craigie, the American people know what the words victory and defeat mean. They probably will not embrace the Democrats and defeat. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it will be interesting to see if Bush can hang on in Iraq until 2008. My bet -- by 2008, there will be about as large an American force in Iraq as there was in Vietnam in, oh, say, 1972 or '73. To wit: somewhere between 50 and 25,000. The Democrats won't have to leave when they take over.

Posted by: David in NY on March 9, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

polthereal, it doesn't matter what we want or not. You seem to be operating in some magical fantasy-land where, if Democrats present a good idea, the Republicans will actually listen to it and implement it. I don't know where you've been the last few years, but recent experience should tell you that that's not how things work anymore. We can come up with as many plans as we want and that's all they're ever going to be, mere words on paper, with no hope of ever being implemented. Bush ignored his own military and CIA and State Department when invading Iraq, so what makes anyone think that now he'll listen to the Democrats?

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

The reactions to "We need a plan of our own" are instructive. They focus on the past and on hiding from Republicans.

I guess you're trying to be helpful. That's nice.

But here's the thing. Way back when, a better politician, a better leader - hell, a better man - than GW Shrub could conceivably have united this country around the idea of rushing off and doing our Wilsonian duty.

Instead, he chose to use it as he uses every issue - as a partisan club to beat up on Democrats. Whatever else we are in Iraq for, we are also there to keep Democrats on their back foot politcally, and so ensure a permanent GOP majority. If you don't believe that, you just haven't been paying attention.

So pardon me for not rushing to help the man out now.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Tymbrin, you aren't clapping LOUD enough. We need you to clap very very loudly for the Dear Leader to drown out all of those negative nellies. Of course everything in Iraq is going just fine, exactly as planned. All is well, you just have to believe!

Posted by: Time Stand Still on March 9, 2006 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Monkey See and Big River- here's a little real world test to determine whether your view of Iraq is accurate:

1. First tell us where you want the flowers sent (it is important that you follow these steps in order).

2. Go to Iraq.

3. Stand on a street corner in Baghdad, discussing with any willing passerby the flowering of democracy and the peachy-keenness of the current situation in their country.

It's that simple. The US Embassy will be helpful in providing information about dealing with your remains.

Posted by: solar on March 9, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Now craigie, don't let these other dishonest liberals pressure you into not having an honest conversation. The Bushes are not going to relocate to Iraq, or France. :) Define a realist of success. Democracy, check. Economic growth, check. What other realistic goal(s) Do you need?

Ummmm.... Mind rephrasing that so it's vaguely coherent? I can't even tell if you know what you're trying to say.

This isn't meant as a question for you, because I don't think you're capable of providing an informed answer:

A few posts here mention Iraqi economic growth rates of such-and-such percent. My question is, what confidence can we place in any statistics coming out of that country? If memory serves, even their census figures are pretty rough. I can't see how anyone could keep an accurate tally of economic activity in that battered country, other than some gross indicators.

Posted by: sglover on March 9, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

We are succeeding so far, period.

"We"? So you actually are in Iraq, Tymbrini? Where are you stationed? Army or Marines? I bet a fire-breather like you is probably manning the machine gun on a Humvee, aware that every second you could be blown up, but willing to risk it for America's sake, or you're walking point on foot patrol through the slums of Sadr City, right?

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

The Bush administration botched this operation from day one when they though Shock and Awe(tm) would validate all of George's post-Gulf War daddy issues and post-9/11 inadequacy issues. Unfortunately, for our dead soldiers and our ruined moral reputation, Americans are faced with the awful choice of doubling the size of our Army in the middle of combat, or succumbing to Defeatism(tm).

In all likelihood, however, the current leaders of America will scurry away from Iraq as quickly and quietly as they can, and lay everything on the Iraqi's for not doing more to "work together". Meanwhile the rational among us who are left, will complete the legacy of George W. Bush by spending the next generation cleaning up his mess.

Posted by: Jon Karak on March 9, 2006 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Yes craigie, we will keep using Iraq to beat the Democrats with. But only because they ask for it. To paraphrase, you voted for it before you voted against it. If Democrats were more constructive and bi-partisan, we would not be able to use this issue against you. But you morons literally come up to us, hand us a stick, and practically ask to hit you, and then whine when we do so. You deserve it for being so stupid. Be constructive, and bi-partisan, and that probably wouldn't happen.

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it will be interesting to see if Bush can hang on in Iraq until 2008. My bet -- by 2008, there will be about as large an American force in Iraq as there was in Vietnam in, oh, say, 1972 or '73. To wit: somewhere between 50 and 25,000. The Democrats won't have to leave when they take over.

I think it's more likely that there'll be a succession of events that will "require" us to stay just a little longer, until this or that cohort of Iraqi mercenaries gives a semi-plausible impersonation of being an "army". I'd be astonished if we got out before 2010.

And as far as the Dems taking over: The "Patriot" Act renewal was the last straw for me. The Democratic Party needs to do some serious soul-searching, or it just needs to die. In the meantime, I think a GOP win in '08 is probably the best option for the mangy carcass of American democracy. The GOP needs to have the consequences of eight years of felony government dumped squarely in their laps. Their "philosophy" of government is genuinely poisonous to American public life. They need to be discredited -- and Bush has left a real shitstorm for his successor.

Posted by: sglover on March 9, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Now I get it. Democrats want to remain a minority party. You are succeeding. Congratulations. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

If a civil war does happen to break out in Iraq, that will be a tragedy for the people of Iraq. The Shiites are sure to respond to the last three years of Sunni terror attacks with ethnic cleansing and forced deportations and undoubtedly hundreds of thousands of innocent people will be killed and maimed. It's not at all clear that a civil war would be a tragedy for the US, though.

(1) An Iraqi civil war would result in three small, weaker states, none of which would be big enough to pose a military threat to its neighbors. The two with oil (Kurdistan in the north and Shiistan in the south) would desparately need to sell their oil on world markets, which would only be beneficial.

(2) It would free American hands to attack the Iranian nuclear facilities. The only - the only - reason we haven't done so to date is fear that Iran will stir up even more trouble in Iraq. If Iraq disintegrates into civil war, there would be no reason to hold back from attacking Iran.

Posted by: DBL on March 9, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Be constructive, and bi-partisan, and that probably wouldn't happen.

This so much reminds me of a joke I posted here a few weeks ago.

What you are saying is: be "bi-partisan" by agreeing with us, and everything will be fine.

Thanks! That's good advice. In fact, I see most of the national Dems are already following it. Another reason why everything is so fubar.

Real men would appreciate real opposition. And real democrats would provide it.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Bush is stuck. He could resolve things very quickly - the US could unleash the Shiites, beat back the Sunnis and create a federal state with most of the Sunnis living in their own enclave around Fallujah. This would be fairly quick, very bloody but within a year most of Iraq would be fairly peaceful, oil money would pour in and the outside world would quickly forget the horror that had taken place. But Bush can't do this because the Saudis, Jordanians and Egyptian (all theoretically US allies), will never stand for a Shiite controlled Baghdad. Oh yeah, and the resulting Shiite state would be very friendly to Iran. Not so good. So what are the other options? Just hang on and hope, apparently.

Posted by: Vanya on March 9, 2006 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

whoops, the joke was that marriage is difficult, and sometimes the partners don't agree. So in those cases, they have to discuss the issue, and then compromise by doing what she wants.

The parallel here is striking.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

I am with you sglover except the dems lost me with the WTO and all the free trade bullshit. I hope the gop get's it, just to see them worm their way out of all this debt and tax cuts. I'm tired of seeing someone else clean up their mess.

Posted by: Neo on March 9, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Opposition to America's success is not appreciated by real men. It is despised, and properly so. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

We are winning in Iraq, but the media won't report our victories.

I wonder what media you follow. An NPR reporter was "interviewing" an Iraqi doctor this morning. Her questions were simply lead-ins for the Bush talking points. The doctor, unsure of his English, tried to get his point across -- terror and fear -- but the interviewer kept pushing his answers into the Cautious Peace column.

If NPR follows the Bush line so nakedly, who is it who is supposed to be talking defeat? Do most readers know how many thousands of dead there have been in the last month? Don't think so.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on March 9, 2006 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Stringers make up stuff all the time, though:

http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/09/1765674.php

The Reuters, AP, and France-2 outtakes that I viewed show two totally different and easily identifiable types of activity at Netzarim junction: real, intifada-style attacks, and crudely falsified battle scenes. Both the real and the fake scenes are played out against a background of normal civilian activity at a busy crossroads. In the reality zone, excited children and angry young men hurl rocks and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli outpost while shababs (youths) standing on the roof of the Twins throw burning tires down onto the caged lookout; this goes on seemingly for hours, without provoking the slightest military reaction from Israeli soldiers.

At the same time, in the theatrical zone, Palestinian stringers sporting prestigious logos on their vests and cameras are seen filming battle scenes staged behind the abandoned factory, well out of range of Israeli gunfire. The wounded sail through the air like modern dancers and then suddenly collapse. Cameramen jockey with hysterical youths who pounce on the casualties, pushing and shoving, howling Allahu akhbar!, clumsily grabbing the injured, pushing away the rare ambulance attendant in a pale green polyester jacket in order to shove, twist, haul, and dump the victims into UN and Red Crescent ambulances that pull up on a seconds notice and career back down the road again, sirens screaming. In one shot we recognize Talal Abu Rahmeh in his France-2 vest, filming a staged casualty scene.*

Split seconds of these ludicrous vignettes would later appear in newscasts and special reports; the husk, the raw footage that would reveal the fakery, had been removed, leaving the kernel rich in anti-Israel nutrients. Such staged scenes showed up, for example, in a dramatic CBS 60 Minutes special report on Netzarim crossinga place now known, intoned Bob Simon, echoing Palestinian sources, as Martyrs Junction.

______________


This is how lies get started, by relying on "journalists" that represent some organization or agenda and is willing to manipulate western media to spread whatever lies they want.

Today, "Mohammed al-Dura" (god knows what his real name was, if he ever existed) is remembered as a martyr, brutally murdered by the Israelis. He is used to justify terror against Israeli civilians.

And it was all a lie.

Posted by: sacco on March 9, 2006 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes craigie, we will keep using Iraq to beat the Democrats with."

Why are all freeper trolls illiterate fuckwits? Just a sample of the hearts and minds the Republicans are winning on Iraq:

"Which comes closer to your view about the war in Iraq? You think the U.S. will definitely win the war in Iraq. You think the U.S. will probably win the war in Iraq. You think the U.S. can win the war in Iraq, but you don't think it will win. OR, You do not think the U.S. can win the war in Iraq."

Definitely Win Probably Win Can Win,But Won't Cannot Win Unsure
2/28 - 3/1/06 24 20 18 34 5

How likely do you think it is that conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq will lead to a civil war there? Is that very likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely or very unlikely?"

Likely Definitely
Will (vol.) Civil War
Already (vol.) Unlikely Unsure
% % % % %
3/2-5/06 78 1 1 17 4

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"


Approve Disapprove Unsure
% % %
3/2-5/06 40 59 -
1/23-26/06
39 60 1
12/15-18/05
46 53 1
10/30 - 11/2/05
36 64 1
9/8-11/05
38 62 1
8/25-28/05
42 57 1
6/23-26/05
43 56 1
6/2-5/05
41 58 1
4/21-24/05
42 56 2
3/10-13/05
39 57 4
1/12-16/05
40 58 2
12/16-19/04
42 57 1
9/23-26/04 RV
47 50 3
8/26-29/04 RV
47 51 2
7/22-25/04
45 53 2
6/17-20/04 44 55 2
5/20-23/04 40 58 2
4/15-18/04 45 54 1
3/4-7/04 46 53 1
2/10-11/04 47 52 1
1/15-18/04 55 42 2
12/18-21/03 60 39 2
12/14/03 58 38 4
11/12-16/03 48 48 4
10/26-29/03 47 51 2
10/9-13/03 51 47 2
9/26-29/03 50 47 3
9/10-13/03 52 46 2
9/4-7/03 49 47 4
8/20-24/03 56 37 7
7/9-10/03 58 41 2
6/18-22/03 67 30 2
4/27-30/03 75 22 2

"All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war with Iraq was worth fighting, or not?"

Worth
Fighting Not Worth
Fighting Unsure
% % %
3/2-5/06 42 57 1
1/23-26/06
44 55 1
1/5-8/06
43 55 2
12/15-18/05
46 52 1
10/30 - 11/2/05
39 60 1
8/25-28/05
46 53 1
6/23-26/05
46 53 1
6/2-5/05
41 58 1
4/21-24/05
44 54 2
3/10-13/05
45 53 2
1/12-16/05
44 55 1
12/16-19/04
42 56 2
9/23-26/04 RV
46 51 3
9/6-8/04 RV
51 45 4
8/26-29/04 RV
48 50 2
7/22-25/04
49 48 3
6/17-20/04 47 52 2
5/20-23/04 48 50 1
5/5-6/04 49 47 5
4/15-18/04 51 47 2
3/4-7/04 52 44 3
2/10-11/04 48 50 2
1/15-18/04 56 41 3
12/18-21/03 59 39 2
12/14/03 53 42 5
11/12-16/03 52 44 4
10/26-29/03 54 44 2
10/9-13/03 54 44 2
9/10-13/03 61 37 2
9/4-7/03 54 42 4
8/20-24/03 57 37 5
7/9-10/03 57 40 3
6/18-22/03 64 33 3
4/27-30/03 70 27 4

"Do you think the Bush Administration does or does not have a clear plan for handling the situation in Iraq?" Asked of half the sample

Does Does Not Unsure
% % %
3/2-5/06 34 65 -
12/15-18/05
40 59 1
3/10-13/05
42 57 2
5/20-23/04 39 59 2
5/5-6/04 38 57 5
4/15-18/04 45 53 2
3/4-7/04 43 53 3
12/18-21/03 48 47 5
10/9-13/03 42 53 5

"Do you think the United States is or is not making significant progress toward restoring civil order in Iraq?" Asked of half the sample


Is Is Not Unsure
% % %
3/2-5/06 43 56 2
12/15-18/05
60 37 2
10/30 - 11/2/05
44 55 2
8/25-28/05
48 50 2
6/23-26/05
48 51 1
12/16-19/04
44 49 7
.

"How likely do you think it is that conflict between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq will lead to a civil war there? Is that very likely, somewhat likely, somewhat unlikely or very unlikely?"


Likely Definitely
Will (vol.) Civil War
Already (vol.) Unlikely Unsure
% % % % %
3/2-5/06 78 1 1 17 4


"Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"


Approve Disapprove Unsure
% % %
2/28 - 3/1/06 35 64 2
2/6-9/06
38 59 3
1/20-22/06 39 58 3
12/16-18/05
37 61 2
12/9-11/05
39 59 2
11/11-13/05
35 63 2
9/16-18/05
32 67 1
9/8-11/05
40 58 2
8/28-30/05
40 59 1
6/24-26/05
40 58 2
5/20-22/05
40 56 4
4/29 - 5/1/05 42 55 3
4/1-2/05
43 54 3
2/25-27/05
45 53 2
2/4-6/05
50 48 2
1/7-9/05
42 56 2
11/7-10/04
47 51 2
10/14-16/04
46 52 2
9/24-26/04
48 49 3
8/9-11/04
45 52 3
6/21-23/04
42 56 2
6/3-6/04
41 57 2
5/7-9/04
41 58 1
5/2-4/04
42 55 3
4/16-18/04
48 49 3
3/26-28/04 51 47 2
1/29 - 2/1/04 46 53 1
1/2-5/04 61 36 3
12/5-7/03 50 47 3
11/3-5/03 45 54 1
10/6-8/03 47 50 3
9/8-10/03 51 47 2
8/25-26/03 57 41 2
7/25-27/03 60 38 2
7/18-20/03 57 39 4
7/7-9/03 58 39 3
6/12-15/03 63 34 3
4/14-16/03 76 21 3
3/29-30/03 71 27 2
3/24-25/03 71 26 3
3/14-15/03 56 41 3
1/31 - 2/2/03 54 42 4
1/3-5/03 55 40 5
12/02 55 39 6
10/02 52 40 8
.

"Next, we'd like to ask you some questions about Iraq. First: In view of the developments since we first sent our troops to Iraq, do you think the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq, or not?"

.

Made a
Mistake Did Not Make
a Mistake Unsure
% % %
2/28 - 3/1/06 55 43 2
2/9-12/06 55 42 3
1/20-22/06 51 46 3
1/6-8/06 50 47 3
12/16-18/05
52 46 2
12/9-11/05
48 50 2
11/11-13/05
54 45 1
10/28-30/05
54 45 1
10/21-23/05
49 49 2
9/16-18/05
59 39 2
9/8-11/05
53 46 1
8/28-30/05
53 46 1
8/5-7/05 54 44 2
7/22-24/05
46 53 1
6/24-26/05
53 46 1
4/29 - 5/1/05
49 48 3
3/18-20/05
46 51 3
2/25-27/05
47 51 2
2/4-6/05
45 55 -
1/14-16/05
52 47 1
1/7-9/05
50 48 2
11/19-21/04
47 51 2
10/29-31/04
44 52 4
10/22-24/04
47 51 2
10/14-16/04
47 52 1
10/9-10/04
46 53 1
10/1-3/04
48 51 1
9/24-26/04
42 55 3
9/3-5/04
38 57 5
8/23-25/04
48 50 2
7/30 - 8/1/04
47 51 2
7/19-21/04 50 47 3
7/8-11/04
54 45 1
6/21-23/04
54 44 2
6/3-6/04
41 58 1
5/7-9/04
44 54 2
4/16-18/04
42 57 1
1/12-15/04 42 56 2
11/3-5/03 39 60 1
10/6-8/03 40 59 1
7/7-9/03 27 72 1
3/24-25/03 23 75 2
.

"Which comes closest to your view about what the U.S. should now do about the number of U.S. troops in Iraq? The U.S. should send more troops to Iraq. The U.S. should keep the number of troops as it is now. The U.S. should withdraw some troops from Iraq. OR, The U.S. should withdraw all of its troops from Iraq." Options rotated

.

Send More Same as Now Withdraw
Some Withdraw All Unsure
% % % % %
2/28 - 3/1/06 9 23 38 27 3
12/9-11/05
9 25 38 26 2
9/16-18/05
8 26 33 30 3
8/28-30/05
19 26 27 26 2
8/5-7/05 13 28 23 33 3
6/6-8/05
10 26 31 28 5
2/4-6/05
10 38 32 17 3
1/14-16/05
24 26 21 25 4
9/24-26/04
21 35 21 18 5
6/3-6/04
18 30 23 27 2
5/7-9/04
25 24 18 29 4
4/16-18/04
33 25 16 21 5
4/5-8/04 20 29 18 28 5
1/2-5/04 11 40 29 16 4
12/15-16/03 14 40 27 15 4
12/5-7/03 22 33 25 17 3
.

"Which comes closer to your view about the war in Iraq? You think the U.S. will definitely win the war in Iraq. You think the U.S. will probably win the war in Iraq. You think the U.S. can win the war in Iraq, but you don't think it will win. OR, You do not think the U.S. can win the war in Iraq." Options rotated

.

Definitely Win Probably Win Can Win,
But Won't Cannot Win Unsure
% % % % %
2/28 - 3/1/06 24 20 18 34 5
12/16-18/05
24 25 20 27 4
12/9-11/05
25 21 19 30 5
11/11-13/05
23 23 17 33 4
9/16-18/05
21 22 20 34 3
.

"Just your best guess: Do you think it is likely or unlikely that there will be a major civil war involving ethnic or religious groups in Iraq in the next year?"

.

Likely Unlikely Already
Occurring
(vol.) Unsure
% % % %
2/28 - 3/1/06 73 20 2 5

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CBS News Poll. Feb. 22-26, 2006. N=1,018 adults nationwide. MoE 3 (for all adults).
RV = registered voters

.

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq?"


Approve Disapprove Unsure
% % %
ALL adults 30 65 5


Posted by: solar on March 9, 2006 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Considering the constant unhappiness the liberals express about the Democrat party, I keep wonderig how long it will be before they split into their own "Left party", as has happened in Europe?

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Well, actually, Ralph, I know Ellen. And yes, she did go down to the morgue. While there are many issues with her story, what is undeniable is that she risked a hell of a lot more than you did when she put her life in jeopardy to go down there."

Wonder what the issues are with her story and why CA didn't think to tell his readers about them?

Posted by: clock on March 9, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder what media you follow. An NPR reporter was "interviewing" an Iraqi doctor this morning. Her questions were simply lead-ins for the Bush talking points. The doctor, unsure of his English, tried to get his point across -- terror and fear -- but the interviewer kept pushing his answers into the Cautious Peace column.

I heard that interview. Even worse was the second interview with an American Lt. Colonel who proceeded to give the Party line on how well things were going and how spectacularly the Iraqi Army was performing -- "they don't see themselves as Sunnis or Shiites or Christians, but as Iraqis." When the interviewer ever so gently suggested that maybe, just maybe, there'd been some problems with Iraqi Army units not performing or being infiltrated by insurgents, he simply claimed that he himself had never seen any of that -- therefore, it must not exist. It was pure propaganda, beginning to end.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I'd be astonished if we got out before 2010
sglover

I'm sure that's how Bush would like it (if he can't have a nice Western-style democracy in Iraq, which he can't), but I'm skeptical. Most Americans are really fed up with this now. If the killing keeps up with our troops there, they'll be more and more fed up. And it won't take four years to reach a breaking point. That's why my bet is -- between 50 and 25,000 troops in Iraq by 2008.

I think the next election cycle is likely to resemble 1966. People didn't like the war, so they voted for Republicans, of all things. Counter-intuitive, but there you are -- when voters get annoyed, they lash out at incumbents.

Posted by: DAvid in NY on March 9, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Wonder what the issues are with her story and why CA didn't think to tell his readers about them?

Yes, I too wonder. If only there was some way to find out! Sadly, however, there's no way to look things up on the Internet. Oh well, I supose we'll never know, and will have to be content with vague insinuations....

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Why don't you look them up and tell us, oh wise one?

Posted by: clock on March 9, 2006 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Where's the discussion about how to avoid civil war?

The civil war started in March 2003. There is a possible solution to ending the civil war in Iraq, however, and that is to invite Iran in to help with the pacification of sectarian violence and help with the creation of a limited democracy. It is not going to happen because Americans, including liberals, consider it impossible to treat Iran as an ally.

The Bush regime wants Iraq to be a terror society because the chaos allows them to potentially keep the oil flowing to their constituents. Conservatives just want to nuke Iran for the comeuppance delivered by the embassy hostage takers and consider Iran a mortal enemy. Liberals pretty much feel the same way as the conservatives, but without the nukes (I hope). So, the poor poor people of Iraq will just have to suffer many years of civil violence because of the Chauvinistic nature of Americans' view of the world and their exceptional place in it.

Posted by: Hostile on March 9, 2006 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

The point that Peters makes is actually a good one: that stringers make up stuff all the time. They're not journalists, have not been vetted, have no personal reputations to protect against charges of inaccuracy or agenda-following, and can be more wedded to whatever causes or creeds or organizations they subscribe to or are employed by.

As evidenced by the lies still being spread about the al-Doura affair.

http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/09/1765674.php

Posted by: sacco on March 9, 2006 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Good points, Hostile. But what do you have against bombing Iran?

Posted by: peanut on March 9, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

Approve Disapprove Unsure
% % %
ALL adults 30 65 5

Posted by: solar

Dude! Don't ever do that again. It's like reading hieroglyphics. Next time, give us a live link with a witty lead in that compels us to click!

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, Solar, please stop posting altogether.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff, I'm unconvinced that self-abusers like Kevin's cut-and-paste monkey trolls can click links. They can barely read, as is- no need to tax their tiny proto-simian brains ("me love Bush, ughhh").

Posted by: solar on March 9, 2006 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's comments came as Tehran struck an increasingly threatening tone, with the top Iranian delegate to the U.N. atomic watchdog agency warning a day earlier that the United States will face "harm and pain" if the Security Council becomes involved.

"They know that they are not capable of causing the least harm to Iranian people," Ahmadinejad said during a visit to Iran's western province of Lorestan, according to the ISNA news agency. "They will suffer more."

Ahmadinejad did not elaborate.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060309/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_nuclear;_ylt=AkVTzZNgZI0132RcR8NnR4ILewgF;_ylu=X3oDMTBjMHVqMTQ4BHNlYwN5bnN1YmNhdA--

Shouldn't we at least offer to test his theory for him?

Posted by: peanut on March 9, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, fake Stefan, go fuck yourself.

Posted by: solar on March 9, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Form is bad, Solar, but content instructive. As I noted above, the American people are becoming more and more fed up with the war. All the clapping and cheering of our trolls, and the government's puppets, seems not to impress the people. Watch the Republican retreat start soon.
Just like Vietnam -- the war-mongers will pull us out.

Posted by: David in NY on March 9, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

I keep wonderig how long it will be before they split into their own "Left party"Do you really wonder
Wonder away. I mean it - away. You're incapable of rational discussion.

Posted by: ExBrit on March 9, 2006 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Hey guys, maybe this will help:

The Cabinet announcement listed the name of only one of those hanged, Shukair Farid, a former policeman in the northern city of Mosul, who allegedly confessed that he had worked with Syrian foreign fighters to enlist fellow Iraqis to kill police and civilians.

"The competent authorities have today carried out the death sentences of 13 terrorists," according to the statement.

It said Farid had "confessed that foreigners recruited him to spread the fear through killings and abductions."

A judicial official said the death sentences were handed down in separate trials and were carried out in Baghdad.

"The 13 terrorists were tried in different courts and their trials began in 2005 and ended earlier this year," an official of the Supreme Judiciary Council said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to fears of reprisal from insurgents.

In September, Iraq hanged three convicted murderers, the first executions since Saddam's ouster in April 2003. They were convicted of killing three police officers, kidnapping and rape.

Capital punishment was suspended during the formal U.S. occupation, which ended in June 2004, and the Iraqis reinstated the penalty two months later for those found guilty of murder, endangering national security and distributing drugs, saying it was necessary to help put down the persistent insurgency.

The authorities also wanted to have the option of executing Saddam if he is convicted of crimes committed by his regime. Under the former dictator, 114 offenses were punishable by death.

Posted by: Afschlag II on March 9, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

There is a possible solution to ending the civil war in Iraq, however, and that is to invite Iran in to help with the pacification of sectarian violence and help with the creation of a limited democracy.

You have got to be one of the most simple-minded, uninformed people who posts here. You're worse than a troll.

The Bush regime wants Iraq to be a terror society because the chaos allows them to potentially keep the oil flowing to their constituents.Posted by: Hostile

Whose oil are you talking about? Iraq's? They haven't come close to their pre-Invasion production levels. Otherwise, the war in Iraq hasn't interrupted oil flow anywhere in the ME. Furthermore, we get most of our oil from Venezuela and Canada.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Solar, after posting that much spam on the board, polluting it with foul language too?

Posted by: nok on March 9, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

I'm of the opinion it doesn't matter what happens there won't be a good outcome.

1. We stay, the situation spirals out of control and our soldiers get the blame.

2. We leave and the Shi'ites massacre the Sunnis; pipelines are destroyed and sabatoged; and refugees flee the contry which causes the war to spill over into Saudia Arabia, Syria and Iran.

3. The Kurds declare independence and Turkey invades them in order to keep them from uniting the kurdish area in southern Turkey.

4. Al Qaeda becomes more prominent in the area as Baghdad becomes more lawless and barren like Afganistan.

None of these events are good for the U.S. foreign policy.

Posted by: D. on March 9, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, Solar, that wasn't me at 4:36. Some Republican troll hijacked my name.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

The only people I've ever told to stop posting, Solar, are the right-wing trolls whose only goal is to disrupt. I think you and I are probably in agreement on most points about Iraq, and I wish you would keep posting.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

WASHINGTON - Dealing with a civil war in Iraq would fall to Iraq's own security forces, not U.S. troops, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told Congress on Thursday.

Testifying alongside senior military leaders and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Rumsfeld said he did not believe Iraq would descend into all-out civil war, though he acknowledged that sectarian strife had worsened.

Posted by: doc on March 9, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, solar's post, though nearly unreadable, was the best answer to our resident trolls to date -- People simply aren't believing Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld's spin anymore.

Posted by: David in NY on March 9, 2006 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Yup, doc, I've heard that before. The ARVN, I mean the Iraqis, will be ready to handle the guerrilas any moment now. Just you see.

Posted by: David in NY on March 9, 2006 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

3. The Kurds declare independence and Turkey invades them in order to keep them from uniting the kurdish area in southern Turkey. Posted by: D.

Looks like you and Hostile need to take the same "current events" course down at Podunk Community College.

The Turks desperately want membership in the E.U., and the Kurds are closer to the U.S. than any of the groups in Iraq. Therefore, do you think invading Kurdistan is a wise idea for the Turks?

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, if Iraq is stable enough for the Bush family to relocate their "ranch" there, and then they do, I'll call that success.
Posted by: craigie

And a Needless Mark-up's for Babs and Laura. Not to worry about the name any more, they were bought out years ago by Federated, Consolidated, or Pan-World-Global-We-Own-It-All-Anyway, Inc.

Posted by: CFShep on March 9, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

Damn it, is this the best we can do? Since when is this the hawk position? A "statement of condemnation"? Fuck that! When did Bolton go soft?

Seriously, how about some bomb-talk?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060309/ap_on_re_mi_ea/un_iran_1;_ylt=AvuFUtODelUfuPs4byuZB1JSw60A;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

The toughest talk so far has come from Washington, where Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said the United States wants the statement to include some condemnation of Iran. He said the U.S. may eventually seek a so-called Chapter 7 resolution, which can be enforced with military action.

Burns suggested Wednesday that Washington would also urge its allies to move beyond the Security Council and impose targeted sanctions against Iran if it doesn't clear up the doubts surrounding its nuclear program.

"Now, we'll begin a diplomatic phase there of conversations, discussions, presidential statements and resolutions," Burns told a congressional committee. "But should they not work, then we're going to have to have a harder edge, and I mean harder diplomatic edge to the policy. And that would be the consideration of targeted sanctions."

Posted by: peanut on March 9, 2006 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Dealing with a civil war in Iraq would fall to Iraq's own security forces, not U.S. troops,

Gee, I thought one of the reasons for invading Iraq was to create a "stable democracy"..

Isn't one of Osama's goals to create Islamic governments in the middle east ?

If this "sectarian violence" results in an unstable islamic government, does that mean the
terrorists win ?

I guess we can always move the goal posts.

Posted by: Stephen on March 9, 2006 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Testifying alongside senior military leaders and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Rumsfeld said he did not believe Iraq would descend into all-out civil war, though he acknowledged that sectarian strife had worsened.

I'm guessing this was quoted for ironic effect, right? These days, when Rumsfeld says something, literate people assume the opposite. And that includes war advocates and many conservatives, too.

Posted by: sglover on March 9, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Real men would appreciate real opposition. And real democrats would provide it.
Posted by: craigie

Could we amend that to 'real persons', please.

Just sayinng....

Posted by: CFShep on March 9, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Civil whatever. As long as US troops are not being killed in great numbers anymore and it's mostly the crazies killing each other, why should we care all that much?

Posted by: clock on March 9, 2006 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK
The Turks desperately want membership in the E.U., and the Kurds are closer to the U.S. than any of the groups in Iraq. Therefore, do you think invading Kurdistan is a wise idea for the Turks?

Turkey wants into the EU less than it wants Turkish Kurds to have a friendly neighboring foreign base to operate from; its already done minor invasions of Iraqi Kurdistan while US forces were there during this current war, and sent agents to conduct assassinations, IIRC. And, anywho, last I looked, the US wasn't a member of EU.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Recommended reading:

Iraq Through the Prism of Vietnam
by William E. Odom
Nieman Watchdog
March 9, 2006

Excerpt:

The Vietnam War experience cant tell us anything about the war in Iraq or so it is said. If you believe that, trying looking through this lens, and you may change your mind.

The Vietnam War had three phases. The War in Iraq has already completed an analogous first phase, is approaching the end of the second phase, and shows signs of entering the third.

Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.), is a Senior Fellow with Hudson Institute (a right-wing think tank) and a professor at Yale University. He served in the Reagan administration as Director of the National Security Agency and as Assistant Chief of Staff for Intelligence, the Army's senior intelligence officer. He served in the Carter administration as Military Assistant to the President's Assistant for National Security Affairs, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 9, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

er, "Turkish Kurds not to...", obviously.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff, If the Kurds do claim independence; there is a contigent out there that does,(http://www.lastsuperpower.net/newsitems/kurd-independence)
Turkey could claim that as a threat to their security and a widening of the war. If you have a major regional conflagation, it wouldn't be that unreasonable for NATO to recognize that a regional war would be a bigger threat then Turkey's invasion of Kurdistan.

Posted by: D. on March 9, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Considering the constant unhappiness the liberals express about the Democrat party, I keep wonderig how long it will be before they split into their own "Left party", as has happened in Europe?

Probably about the same time that the US gets an electoral system that would make such a split rational, assuming the liberals don't take over the Democratic Party first.

Of course, since most of the people working for such a change in the electoral system are a subset of the liberals, it seems unlikely that such a change would be enacted without the liberals having the power to take over a major party (presumably, the Democrats) outright.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Incidentally, it's a damned shame you don't do David Brooks anymore, because he has one of the most unutterably stupid columns today on the success of middle-class children vs. that of working-class and poor children I've ever read.
Posted by: brucds

Anyone point me to this Brooks column? I really curious to see if he's truly outdone himself in the way of obtuseness, belaboring the obvious, whipping dead horses, and wild mischaracterization.

Technorati was no help.

Posted by: CFShep on March 9, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

*sigh* Why does Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.), a Senior Fellow with Hudson Institute (a right-wing think tank) and a professor at Yale University, hate America?

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

There is no winning or losing like WWII, nitwits. We are holding ground, training Iraqies, fighting Al Quida there and hoping like hell the Sunni and Shites can get it together through the political process without killing each other. Its gonna take a lot of time. To me, Iraq is bi-partisan in Amer right now. Its pretty obvious we gotta stay, and obvious that Bush fucked things up. Its the sunnis and shites who need to decide.

Its time to start thinking about whether the next president will escalate a la Johnson in Iraq or go with the status quo.

And any reporter/blogger saying everything is rosey in Iraq is an idiot, no questions asked.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on March 9, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Civil whatever. As long as US troops are not being killed in great numbers anymore and it's mostly the crazies killing each other, why should we care all that much? Posted by: clock

Okay, you need to sign-up with Hostile and D for that same "Current Events" course.

U.S. troops were never being killed in "great numbers." However, it isn't mostly "crazies killing each other." In fact, the people dying in the greatest numbers, as they were prior to the U.S. invasion, are civilians, non-combatants, the innocent.

The reason we should care, moron, is that the U.S. invasion destablized Iraq. We created the conditions that now exist there. Given that living conditions are now worse in Iraq, three years after the invasion than they were prior to the invasion, it's even hard to argue that by removing Saddam that we've helped the Iraqis all that much.

Now, if we had never intervened and the country devolved into civil war, which is most likely where it was heading, then we'd have no blood on our hands, would not have incurred the deserved enmity of the most of the civilized and not so civilized world, and wouldn't have wasted nearly 300 billion dollars we don't have.

If you don't understand this, stay away from the polls next Fall.


Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.michaeltotten.com/

If you want info on Kurdistan, Totten's blog is unbeatable. The Kurds will have an independent nation before long. What possible reason could anyone have to say no to that? What nation has ever had a better claim to statehood than the Kurds?

Posted by: doc on March 9, 2006 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK
What possible reason could anyone have to say no to that?

That question is most properly directed to the foreign ministries of Iran, Turkey, and Syria.

Who have, in fact, held joint discussions on common responses if that outcome seems imminent.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

BTW - overheard bureau chiefs confirming what a lot of people say above:

1) It's worse in Iraq than is being reported by the US media. (read the foreign papers to get the scoop.)

2) US papers are intimidated from reporting how awful it really is by the administration and the right wing echo chamber.

3) All other countries are looking to get out.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on March 9, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

With a bit of US support in bases in Kurdistan, Johnnie Turk would never even dream of intervening. Iran of course might want to, but wouldn't risk it. They could easily lose their own Kurdistan any day now...

Posted by: doc on March 9, 2006 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

The Kurds practically did have their own nation before we invaded Iraq. According to Juan Cole, they stopped teaching Arabic in their schools and now most of their children under 12 don't know Arabic.

Posted by: D. on March 9, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, D., check out MT's story about the girl he meets in Kurdistan that has never known Iraqi rule. There is no way these people will ever go back to being ruled from Baghdad.

The chance of Iran doing anything about Iraqi Kurdistan are a heck of a lot lower than the people of Iranian Kurdistan leaving their Persian rulers behind.

Posted by: doc on March 9, 2006 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

And, yes, they pretty much had their own state before 2003. But it's a lot more secure now, isn't it?

Posted by: doc on March 9, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Bush, however, helped turn what should have been a mild recession into a double dip that in five years still hasn't produced the economic activity and emploment numbers we had up to 9/10/2001."

have you paid attention to the news lately?
4.7 percent unemployment for january of '06;
exceptional economic growth for what, 10-12 quarters at this point? that even counts the slowed growth in q4 of '05.
those 2003 tax cuts have been good for our economy. it's too bad that president bush can't resist spending every penny (and plenty more) that come into the federal coffers.

Posted by: Brian on March 9, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

And, anywho, last I looked, the US wasn't a member of EU. Posted by: cmdicely

Yeah? So what? What's the fuck does that have to do with anything? You want a pat on the back for stating a well-know fact?

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

those 2003 tax cuts have been good for our economy. it's too bad that president bush can't resist spending every penny (and plenty more) that come into the federal coffers.
Posted by: Brian

Trade deficit hit a new record, too. Debt limit's been raised three times in the last 9 months. $9 Trillion. Personal debt rose, too.

"Did anyone ever doubt that you could engineer a temporary expansion of the U.S. economy by increasing the size of government by more than thirty percent and turning a massive surplus into a deficit that will curse our the lives of our grandchildren?" - Alterman

Posted by: CFShep on March 9, 2006 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

for what it is worth, i am personally acquainted with ralph peters. he's a very decent guy and quite the populist. not my kind of politics, that. except that pres. bush realizes that we are actually in a war with islamists and is willing to fight (a near quote), ralph does not much agree with him. if you've read his columns, you also know how much he despises rumsfeld and the secdef's attempt to emphasize tech over people in the military. he's no bush shill. that said, he is exceptionally deferential and loyal to those with whom he served and to those who serve now. he may not be giving us the most impartial view of iraq, but he's not flacking the bush administration, either.

Posted by: Brian on March 9, 2006 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

cfshep,

thanks for emphasizing my point.

Posted by: Brian on March 9, 2006 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

"Did anyone ever doubt that you could engineer a temporary expansion of the U.S. economy by increasing the size of government by more than thirty percent and turning a massive surplus into a deficit that will curse our the lives of our grandchildren?" - Alterman Posted by: CFShep

Shrub has just been cribbing from the Reagan adminstration's economic playbook. Only Shrub, as hard as it is to believe, is even dumber than the Gimper was, and so has gone balls to the wall in his profligacy.

What you'll never hear any Rethugs admit, however, is that Bush the Elder's painful decision to raise taxes is the only thing that kept his administration from hemoraging worse than Reagan's.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

"What you'll never hear any Rethugs admit, however, is that Bush the Elder's painful decision to raise taxes is the only thing that kept his administration from hemoraging worse than Reagan's."

you won't hear it simply because it isn't true.

Posted by: Brian on March 9, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

From Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:59 "...But you morons..."

Ok, lost me right there. What in the hell makes ANYONE think that calling someone a "moron" is a persuasive argument.

Even if Tymbrimi hadn't made so many out-and-out ridiculous assertions today, by calling all of "us" morons, s/he just made it incredibly easy to ignore anything s/he has to say.

Posted by: Cal Gal on March 9, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

"If a civil war does happen to break out in Iraq, that will be a tragedy for the people of Iraq. ...It's not at all clear that a civil war would be a tragedy for the US, though. "

I think Faux News made just this point a week or so ago.

Posted by: Cal Gal on March 9, 2006 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Brain:

I am not in favor of those tax cuts at all. Quite diamtrically opposed to their renewal as well.

They are a driving force behind these vast deficits. A huge misallocation of resources to the very top of the income/wealth scale.

The Thief Executive isn't merely run-of-the-mill profligate, he's gone straight off a cliff ala Wily Coyote.

Posted by: CFShep on March 9, 2006 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Brian wrote: exceptional economic growth for what, 10-12 quarters at this point? that even counts the slowed growth in q4 of '05.

All of which has gone to corporate profits and enriched the already ultra-rich. Ordinary people (ie. the "middle class") are losing ground economically, with real inflation-adjusted wages stagnant or dropping and going deeper and deeper into debt.

But that's exactly the sort of economy that Bush and his supporters want: a tiny (one percent) hereditary ultra-rich corporate-feudalist ruling class that owns everything, with a huge pool of cheap-labor peasants kept insecure and desperate to take any job, no matter how low-paying, lacking in benefits, insecure and servile, just to survive.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 9, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

Well, it's great we have intimidated the papers. I wonder why we keep them parroting the liberal line? :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

"But that's exactly the sort of economy that Bush and his supporters want: a tiny (one percent) hereditary ultra-rich corporate-feudalist ruling class that owns everything, with a huge pool of cheap-labor peasants kept insecure and desperate to take any job, no matter how low-paying, lacking in benefits, insecure and servile, just to survive."

Oh go cry in your beer, SecularAnimist.

Instead of whining, why don't you do as I did and do what it takes to become part of that 1%?


Posted by: clock on March 9, 2006 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

"...exceptional economic growth" with no increase in wages (in inflation adjusted dollars) since 2001.

Unemployment is down because people without jobs stopped looking, and thus are no longer "unemployed" within the Orswellian meaning of the term as defined by the US guvmint.

Posted by: Cal Gal on March 9, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

The real mystery, though, SA, is how a peasant like you figured out how to operate a computer.

Posted by: clock on March 9, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

you won't hear it simply because it isn't true.
Posted by: Brian

That he didn't raise taxes because the government was running massive deficits? Which isn't true? Were you even alive when Bush the Elder was president?

09/30/1991 $3,665,303,351,697.03
09/28/1990 $3,233,313,451,777.25
09/29/1989 $2,857,430,960,187.32
09/30/1988 $2,602,337,712,041.16

http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdpenny.htm

The tail end of the late 1980s recession, that had dogged most of Bush's term in office, was a contributing factor to his defeat in the 1992 Presidential election. Several other factors were key in his defeat, including siding with Congressional Democrats in 1990 to raise taxes despite his famous "Read my lips: No new taxes" pledge not to institute any new taxes. In doing so, Bush alienated many members of his conservative base, losing their support for his re-election.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush

Don't bother posting if you don't have your facts in order.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Saddam was an evil man, who needed to be stopped.

Please. There are ruthless dictators all over the fucking world (who nevertheless present no threat to the US). Are you willing to lose your son to "stop" even one of them?

I didn't think so.

Posted by: chuck on March 9, 2006 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Unemployment is down because people without jobs stopped looking, and thus are no longer "unemployed" within the Orswellian meaning of the term as defined by the US guvmint.
Posted by: Cal Gal

Quite. But when you mention labor force participation, a real unemployment rate at somewhere around 9.5%, and the missing 3 million jobs the trolls' heads start exploding.

It's jolly to watch.

Posted by: CFShep on March 9, 2006 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Brain:

I am not in favor of those tax cuts at all. Quite diamtrically opposed to their renewal as well.

They are a driving force behind these vast deficits. A huge misallocation of resources to the very top of the income/wealth scale.

The Thief Executive isn't merely run-of-the-mill profligate, he's gone straight off a cliff ala Wily Coyote.
Posted by: CFShep"

fair enough. the vast deficits that we are now running up are not the fault of the tax cuts that helped our economy take off. we are simply the victims of massive increases in federal spending. you are right when you compare this admin/congress to wile e coyote as far spending goes.

however, (didn't you just know that was coming?) your attempt to claim that the cuts were a "misallocation of resources" is simply nonsense. allowing people to keep a greater share of the income that they have earned can hardly be called a "misallocation of resources." well, if you think that income is not earned so much as distributed, i suppose you might disagree.

why shouldn't excessive taxation and the government spending that follows be thought of as a "misallocation of resources?"

Posted by: Brian on March 9, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

I apologize to all those whose feelings were hurt by my use of the term "morons". I was merely trying to convey the fact that politically, Democrats are their own worst enemies, as many of you do know. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

exceptional economic growth for what, 10-12 quarters at this point? that even counts the slowed growth in q4 of '05.

2.5-3% annual economic growth is not exceptional by any stretch of the imagination, even for a mature economy coming out of a recession. In fact, we yet to even get back to employment and productivity levels we were at in 2001 prior to 9/11, when the economy was already heading into a recession.

those 2003 tax cuts have been good for our economy. it's too bad that president bush can't resist spending every penny (and plenty more) that come into the federal coffers. Posted by: Brian

You are either one of the stupidest people who posts here or just making sport. The federal govenment hasn't been taking in any money since 2000. We have had record or near record federal deficits since Bush took office.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. I'd say he pretty much slaughters Peters. Which, considering Peters is a fucking moron, isn't that hard.

Posted by: Alexander Wolfe on March 9, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Tymbrini, you never seem to have gotten around to answering my question about where in Iraq you're stationed? I'm sure a warrior like you must be even handier with an M-16 than you are with a keyboard....

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

"That he didn't raise taxes because the government was running massive deficits? Which isn't true? Were you even alive when Bush the Elder was president?

09/30/1991 $3,665,303,351,697.03
09/28/1990 $3,233,313,451,777.25
09/29/1989 $2,857,430,960,187.32
09/30/1988 $2,602,337,712,041.16

http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdpenny.htm

The tail end of the late 1980s recession, that had dogged most of Bush's term in office, was a contributing factor to his defeat in the 1992 Presidential election. Several other factors were key in his defeat, including siding with Congressional Democrats in 1990 to raise taxes despite his famous "Read my lips: No new taxes" pledge not to institute any new taxes. In doing so, Bush alienated many members of his conservative base, losing their support for his re-election.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._W._Bush

Don't bother posting if you don't have your facts in order.
Posted by: Jeff II"

actually, i voted for him in 1988. my point was that he did not have to acquiesce to sen. mitchell and accept those tax increases.

those of us who hoped that he would be a fiscal but not social conservative were sorely put off.

Posted by: Brian on March 9, 2006 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

With help wanted signs everywhere I look, and labor shortages starting to develope, the only people who have stopped looking are those who don't want to work. You are only really enemployed if you are looking for work. Those who can afford to retire early, are not "unemployed". :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

What does it matter where I am stationed? Are you so defeated you are left to resorting to ad hominem attacks? :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

Well, just to start there's that 'income they earned' meme ya'll all parrot. You're mostly talking a lot of passive/inherited wealth at the top of the scale in any case.

"I saw it first and therefore it's all, every penny, mine, mine, mine."

Not.

There's no evidence at all that the tax cuts have produced any of the 'economic stimulous' that was advertised. What 'growth' there has been consists of enormously bloated corporate profits and huge increases in government spending which are not supported by corresponding revenues.

These vast budgetary shortfalls are not, pretty much by definition, by any stretch of the imagination, the result of 'excessive' taxation but the reverse. That is precisely where these misdirected and improvident tax cuts come in.

Posted by: CFShep on March 9, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

No honest economist doubts that the tax cuts stiulated the economy, CFSHEP. The economy is so far doing well. Strong corporate profits are a sign of a strong economy. You aren't against strong coporate profits, are you? :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

actually, i voted for him in 1988.

Of course you did because you're a fucking moron.

my point was that he did not have to acquiesce to sen. mitchell and accept those tax increases.
Posted by: Brian

No it wasn't. You refuted my straightforward statement that Bush was facing mounting deficits (most of them courtesy of Reagan's military spending), and that Bush was forced to raise taxes.

"What you'll never hear any Rethugs admit, however, is that Bush the Elder's painful decision to raise taxes is the only thing that kept his administration from hemoraging worse than Reagan's."

you won't hear it simply because it isn't true.
Posted by: Brian

Not only are you stupid troll, but, predictably, you're a liar as well.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

No honest economist

Ah. The "No true scotsman" argument.

Posted by: cmdicely on March 9, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Tymbrni isn't a real soldier, he just plays one online where anyone can reinvent themselves into whatever fantasy tough guy they want to be.

Posted by: Tim Burnie on March 9, 2006 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Can you poor overmatched liberals cut back on personal attacks. It merely diminishes you further. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Tymbrimi wrote: Can you poor overmatched liberals cut back on personal attacks.

Could you please cut back on the self-flattery? It makes you look that much more clownish.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 9, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

"2.5-3% annual economic growth is not exceptional by any stretch of the imagination, even for a mature economy coming out of a recession. In fact, we yet to even get back to employment and productivity levels we were at in 2001 prior to 9/11, when the economy was already heading into a recession.
Posted by: Jeff II"

jeff, you are incredibly wrong.

growth is at least a point higher that you claim. a simple google search will show that fact. unemloyment has is under five percent and has been there for the better part of year, even after katrins. if a democrat were in the oval office, we'd be hearing about close we are to full emplyment.

Posted by: Brian on March 9, 2006 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

Really, tymnbebirni, I thought US soldiers are supposed to be proud of their service and their mission, right? So you wouldn't have any problem informing us which branch you are in , where you are stationed, with whom, and all that, right?

I mean, it's not like you are just making shit up or anything..........

(crickets chirp)

Posted by: Strutter on March 9, 2006 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

Like I said, SA:

Can you poor overmatched liberals cut back on personal attacks. It merely diminishes you further. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

by the way, jeff,

just to even us out, you're an idiotic ass sucker.

Posted by: Brian on March 9, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

Silly liberals, I never claimed to be a soldier stationed in Iraq. Stefan merely assumed so, for some reason. Perhaps because I supported the Iraq war? But, what I did want to know was, what did it have to do with the matters discussed? Could only soldiers in Iraq discuss the issues, and decide the course of action? It's ok with me, if it's ok woth you liberals? :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

BULLETIN:
Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with 9-11!

There are no WMDs in Iraq. NONE.

Where is Osama bin Laden???

George W. Bush is an utter and complete failure.

That is all.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on March 9, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Come on Brian, don't sink down to the kiberal's immature level. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Quite. But when you mention labor force participation, a real unemployment rate at somewhere around 9.5%, and the missing 3 million jobs the trolls' heads start exploding.

No they don't. No one knows your your so-called real unmployment rate. They are quite familiar with the one the government uses the 1st Friday of every month however which tomorrow will probably be 4.7% again. JP Morgan is also predicting a very healthy 200,000 jobadds.

Americans also know what they see. One cannot walk into a Home Depot or Supermarket and miss the help wanted ads all over the place. You will have a real problem this summer when the unemployment rate drops below 4.5%

Posted by: rdw on March 9, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

" Come on Brian, don't sink down to the kiberal's immature level. :)
Posted by: Tymbrimi"

good point, t. sometimes, though, i just can't help myself.

Posted by: Brian on March 9, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

George W. Bush is an utter and complete failure.

Not even close. He's been terrific in elections. He keeps on winning and increasing his party's position. He did an outstanding job with Supreme Court appointments. We had a great story of John Roberts going full circle at the Reagan library today.

John started with a policy of no speeches but he had to break that for Nancy Reagan. John got his start in the Reagan justice dept and was brought along by the GOP until GWB named him as Chief Justice. Quite a story. Quite a success.

Posted by: rdw on March 9, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

With personal wealth growing in this strong economy, and the aging workforce, mamy people are retiring early. Many couples are opting for one partner to stay home, to take care of their children, grandchildren, and/or aging parents. So. workforce participation is less relevant than the unemployment rate, which I think is at 4.7%. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

He's been terrific in elections

And completely incompetant at governing.

Posted by: Strutter on March 9, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

WEll at least half right about President Bush:

He's been terrific in elections


Posted by: Strutter on March 9, 2006 at 7:21 PM

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

He keeps on winning and increasing his party's position

And Jack Abramoff will help even further with his party positions, especially on Mar 29th when he is sentenced. He ain't goin' down without taking everyone with him, and the back peddling and memory loss that is currently affecting the GOP is hysterical to say the least. Who? Never heard of him, don't know him.

But it's a bi-partisan scandal, right, I keep forgetting that what Powerline says is the absolute truth.

Posted by: Strutter on March 9, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

The Kurds will have an independent nation before long. What possible reason could anyone have to say no to that?

The Kurds aren't looking for an independent nation but rather a federal system with a very weak central govt such that they have control of their territory. An independent nation at this point would be provacative to Turkey and other neighbors and istn't necessary.

They are looking at the possibility of a very extended period of prosperity and freedom unlike anything they've experienced. They can use the next decade to rebuild their society and absorb as many Kurdish immigrants as they wish. They have oil and water and secure borders with a very competent militia. They could be every bit as successful as Israel within Iraq.

Posted by: rdw on March 9, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 3:19 PM:

Regime change and the bringing of democracy to Iraq was always an initial goal.

Christ...Once a RNC talking point is debunked, can't it stay debunked? It's like the end of a slasher flick where the psycho keeps popping up after he supposedly was killed...Tymbrimi, that lie of that talking point was debunked, like, a year ago...

We are succeeding in Iraq, and as a liberal anti-American, you can't stand it LOL!

Welcome Tymbrimi, freshman College Republican...

THat's why Murtha is getting so wild.

Heh. You couldn't hold that Marine's jockstrap, Tymbrimi...

Do try to come up with some slef-flattering falsehood that we haven't all heard before...You rightie trolls show zero originality and an awful sense of humor.

Posted by: grape_crush on March 9, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

And Jack Abramoff will help even further

You mean like Judy Plame and Joe Wilson? Or Richard Clarke? Or Michael Moore? How about Howard Dean? John Kerry? Al Gore? Tom Daschle? Max Cleland?

Posted by: rdw on March 9, 2006 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

jeff, you are incredibly wrong.

growth is at least a point higher that you claim. a simple google search will show that fact.Posted by: Brian

Like I said, asshole, get your facts straight or don't post.

http://www.bea.gov/bea/newsrel/gdp_glance.htm

http://www.dol.gov/_sec/econreport2005/slide7.htm

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/48/4/33727936.pdf

http://money.cnn.com/2001/10/31/economy/economy/

http://www.americaneconomicalert.org/charting_economy.asp

http://www.epinet.org/policy/20060216/bush_growth.pdf

Posted by: Jeff II on March 9, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

And completely incompetant at governing.

I like tax cuts, conservative judges and the Partiot act. I have all three.

Posted by: rdw on March 9, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Merely restating lies accomplishes nothing, GC. It certainly won't win the 2006 election. You have to tell America your plan. Cut and run? :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

As long as US troops are not being killed in great numbers anymore and it's mostly the crazies killing each other, why should we care all that much?

Umm....there is that thorny little issue about the bill.*

I mean, sure, if the Iraqis want to have a civil war, that's one thing, but why are we paying hundreds of billions of dollars to help it along?

* Oh, and the purpose for the death and disfigurement of tens of thousands of US soldiers. But really, who cares about that.

Posted by: Irony Man on March 9, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Judy Plame and Joe Wilson

Actually it's Valerie, not Judy, and I guess lifelong public servants are a bad thing. What did you ever do for you country, rdw?

Or Richard Clarke

The guy who knows more about Osama Bin Laden than anyone, another tireless public servant who works for America, you asshole, not the other side.

Michael Moore

I was waiting to see how long you could hold back without mentioning his name, considering he is the uber boogeyman to every talentless suburban cracker who ever lived.

Howard Dean? John Kerry? Al Gore? Tom Daschle? Max Cleland?

Decorated vets and public servants are really bad for America! Hooray for chickenhawks, cokehead draft dodgers, and tax cuts! ready to go on that shopping spree at Walmart, rd? Love your fashion sense.

Oh, and NONE of the above mentioned boogey people were ever convicted on multiple felonies, rdw, in case you didn't know...

Posted by: Strutter on March 9, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

So that is the liberal consensus here? Cut abd run? :) Sounds like a great 2006 election platform. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Elections do not make good policy. The GOP could win more seats in 2006 and it still won't change the fact that the policies enacted by GWB have done nothing to improve our security or boost our economy.

Posted by: D. on March 9, 2006 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Silly liberals, I never claimed to be a soldier stationed in Iraq. Stefan merely assumed so, for some reason. Perhaps because I supported the Iraq war? But, what I did want to know was, what did it have to do with the matters discussed? Could only soldiers in Iraq discuss the issues, and decide the course of action? It's ok with me, if it's ok woth you liberals? :)

No, I didn't assume -- I was actually damn sure you weren't a soldier or Marine stationed in Iraq because you wouldn't have the guts to actually go fight the war you claim to support, but would let someone else do your fighting for you, like most of your Bushlicking breed.

You are, of course, free to debate all you want. We are, meanwhile, free to assume you're a physical coward. ;)

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 7:37 PM :)

Merely restating lies accomplishes nothing, GC

So you admit that you are accomplishing nothing by restating lies on this blog. :)

It certainly won't win the 2006 election.

Lying seems to have worked well enough for the Bush administration, at least up until the point they get caught. :)

You have to tell America your plan.

Heh. Why should I be any different than Dubya?...He'll eventually adopt an idea that looks like Murtha's and call it his own...If he's not totally incompetent. :)

Cut and run?

Dubya kinda painted himself into a corner with that, didn't he? Damned if the US stays in Iraq, damned if the US doesn't. :)

Posted by: grape_crush on March 9, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

Hiring Expectations Improve

The Hudson Employment IndexSM climbed to 108.2 in February, up 5.6 points from Januarys 102.6 reading. The rise is attributed to a significant increase in the percentage of workers and managers who expect their employers to hire, as well as improved expectations regarding personal finances. The latest Index is among the strongest readings on record, and considerably higher than the 102 recorded in February 2005.

Posted by: rdw on March 9, 2006 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

No, I didn't assume -- I was actually damn sure you weren't a soldier or Marine stationed in Iraq

I thought he was - and I was amused by the idea of him putting a little smiley emoticon on everybody he shot.

"Take that, motherfucker! :)"
kapow! :)
"Eat lead, dirtbag! :)"

etc

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

strutter,

They all have one fatal flaw which they share with you. They're losers. They all took on George W. Bush and were beaten by a better man.

Posted by: rdw on March 9, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

No, GC. As of now, the plan has never been to permanently occupy Iraq. Of course we will withdraw as our successes become more stabilized, and the Iraqis no longer require our troops help.

As for the 2006 elections, the American people will yet again choose clarity over confusion. You will have to offer some plan for Iraq, or ask the voters to vote for someone who doesn't know what to do. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Brian: pres. bush realizes that we are actually in a war with islamists and is willing to fight . . .

So dishonest on so many levels . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

I am rather heartened by how disheartened you liberals seem about your electoral prospects. If your opponent is hopeless, his chamces of success are greatly diminished. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: They all took on George W. Bush and were beaten by a better man.

Just like McCain.

I guess that makes McCain a loser.

Thusly, you are backing a loser.

How stupid is that!

The irrationality and intellectual inconsistency of the conservative "mind" has no equal.

I like tax cuts, conservative judges and the Partiot act. I have all three.

And it only cost America its soul, its economy, its fiscal health, its moral health, its beloved constitutional rights, 2000+ American men and women in Iraq, 2000+ American men and women in the 9/11 attacks . . .

What a deal!

rdw: You mean like Judy Plame and Joe Wilson? Or Richard Clarke? Or Michael Moore? How about Howard Dean? John Kerry? Al Gore? Tom Daschle? Max Cleland?

Yep.

Bush 43% approval and polling behind the Dems on national security.

Bush mired 11-15 points behind Clinton's worst second-term polling and looking more inept every day: Iraq, Katrina, Miers, Dubai, Social Security, Prescription Drug Bill, National Debt . . .

The good times (for liberals) and Bush's miscues just keep rolling along.

They are looking at the possibility of a very extended period of prosperity and freedom unlike anything they've experienced.

No thanks to conservatives who helped Saddam mass murder many of them in the 1980s . . .

You will have a real problem this summer when the unemployment rate drops below 4.5%

Just like we were going to have real problems when they found massive stockpiles of WMDs in Iraq . . .

Oops!

. . . and when the Iraqis welcomed us with open arms . . .

Oops!

. . . and the war in Iraq paid for itself . . .

Oops!

Yes, stupidity, ineptness, hypocrisy and disloyalty to America run deep in the heart of conservatives!

Tymbrimi: Can you poor overmatched liberals cut back on personal attacks. It merely diminishes you further.

Ahhhh. More conservative self-congratulation. Just like the Bush administration keeps congratulating itself with crowing about "Mission Accomplished". And your crowing has every bit as much credibility as Bush's claim.

Hardee har har!

What hypocrisy from the kings of personal attacks, conservatives!

Too, too funny!

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

it's a damned shame you don't do David Brooks anymore, because he has one of the most unutterably stupid columns today on the success of middle-class children vs. that of working-class and poor children I've ever read.

responding to brucds at the top of the post, I take up my duty as Brooks Foe to note that he is correct. Brooks's column today is unbelievably stupid. He runs through this whole column on a longrunning study of how working-class parenting styles differ from upper-middle-class ones, and how this leaves working class kids unprepared for a world of organizational skills, educational competition and high-priority analysis and communication skills. Then he concludes in an inexplicable two-sentence wrapup that the main point isn't that upper class people have an inherited advantage over working class people; "they just outcompete them."

Why is this "the main point"? "The main point" for who? The main point for those who want to blame poor people for being poor, rather than doing anything to help them improve themselves? Isn't the main point of this study precisely that working class kids may be just as innately smart and skilled as upper class kids, but lose out because of their socioeconomic background? Isn't this an incredibly strong argument for fully funding programs like Head Start, which have been proven to raise poor kids' school performance? And for pouring money and national effort and investment into primary schools? How can anyone, in the face of studies like this, still claim with a straight face that in America, anyone can succeed?

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 9, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter tymbrimi: :)

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 9, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

My response to Tymbrimi: :0-:

Posted by: brooksfoe on March 9, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

Tymbrimi: I am rather heartened by how disheartened you liberals seem about your electoral prospects.

I am heartened at the obvious stupidity of conservative commentors.

It continues to reflect badly on conservative politicians.

:-)

As for the 2006 elections, the American people will yet again choose clarity over confusion.

Hmmmm. More lies from the Right, pretending that Americans chose clarity over confusion in 2004!

Let's see:

Bush - confused about Katrina.

Bush - confused about WMDs.

Bush - confused about Dubai ports deal.

Bush - confused about whether Condi would testify or not.

Bush - confused about whether there would be homeland security agency or not.

Bush - confused about whether there would be a 9/11 commission.

Bush - confused over whether there would be Social Security reform.

Bush - confused about the costs of the Prescription Drug Bill.

Bush - confused about whether the war in Iraq would pay for itself.

Bush - confused about North Korea.

Bush - confused about Abu Ghraib.

Bush - confused about Abramoff.

Bush - confused about Chalabi.

Bush - dazed and confused, utterly confounded by reality.

It's what comes from living in a faith-based world of fantasy like Tymbrimi!

;-)

I LOVE IT!

You will have to offer some plan for Iraq, or ask the voters to vote for someone who doesn't know what to do.

They already voted for someone who doesn't know what to do.

That's why we are in this mess, $200 billion plus later and 2000+ dead soldiers later, with nothing to show for it: no WMDs secured & no WMD programs interdicted & no bin Laden.

So, I guess the Dems, not knowing what to do, are all set for victory in 2006, since that got Bush elected!

;-)


Posted by: Advocate for God on March 9, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

We are, meanwhile, free to assume you're a physical coward.

I think it's important to include moral cowardice and quite probably hypocrisy in a taxonomic description of an individual like this.

Also, the passive-aggressive and Stalinesque compulsion to collapse all moral and ethical discussions into win/lose scenarios indicates an inferiority complex. Add to that the utter inability to empathize with the suffering of others (the Iraqis) while spouting cutesy quips instead, and you clearly have someone who lacks a properly formed conscience.

Not atypical of the trolls here, unfortunately for our nation.

Posted by: trex on March 9, 2006 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

The liberal regulars on here do such a pathetic job of disputing the trolls on here, i hardly even bother to comment myself anymore.

Al, rdw, and the rest are intellectually dishonest to the core, but they're more effective debaters. They pound home repeated messages armed with facts, they shift the debate away from the usually perceptive points kevin makes onto trvialities and irrelevant comparisons, and they resolutely ignore anything they can't answer, and it goes away.

With a few exceptions such as cmdicely, the liberals here don't bother to do anything in response but curse and take non-factual cheap shots.

I'm going to stay on glenn greenwald's blog, where the audience is capable of going one-to-one with these pricks.

Posted by: glasnost on March 9, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

glasnost - Good observation.

I noticed you posted without any profanity or sexual references. Your offerings are welcome - and that compliment comes from a pro-Bush "troll."

Posted by: MountainDan on March 9, 2006 at 10:28 PM | PERMALINK

Glasnot, you're absolutely right. It's frustrating to see how many times people make the mistake of engaging the trolls directly and getting into a back and forth with them, without any substance to back it up. The best methods to use are (i) mockery and derision -- people find laughter directed at them much harder to deal with than anger; (ii) facts -- come prepared. Back up what you say with facts, figures, cites, quotations. Know your stuff and, if you don't know, at least know how to look it up; and (iii) focus -- don't get distracted, don't get angry, don't let them lead you down their little byways and dead-ends.

And finally, most important, remember to always kick them in the teeth and shove their filthy lies back down their throats.

Posted by: Stefan on March 9, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Tymbrimi on March 9, 2006 at 9:31 PM:

As of now, the plan has never been to permanently occupy Iraq.

Three thoughts:

1) Saying 'As of now' and 'the plan has never been' looks like a weak attempt at revisionist history...It's like saying, "Today this plan means this, and in the past this plan was defined in a different manner. Tomorrow the plan will be redefined to align with administration goals if necessary."

2) True; a 'generational committment' doesn't always mean forever.

3) So there actually is a plan? Would you care to let anyone else know the details of it?:

- What, exactly, are the conditions for victory?
- By what criteria will we know those conditions have been met?
- If 'the plan' you mention is not to permanently occupy Iraq, then what timeframe did the plan establish for ending occupation?

Of course we will withdraw as our successes become more stabilized

Without some definition of what constitutes 'success', that phrase is next to meaningless...What events/benchmarks constitute 'stabilized successes'...Heh...If it is an 'unstabilized success', can it actually be called a success?

and the Iraqis no longer require our troops help.

Okay, that's a criteria for one area of 'success'...A criteria that has not been met, therefore, no success as of now.

As for the 2006 elections, the American people will yet again choose clarity over confusion.

That would be a first. Most elections that I can remember caring about are exercises in confusing and scaring people.

You will have to offer some plan for Iraq

Me personally? Sorry, I don't pull that much weight...People who carry more weight have offered plans, but they either get smeared or ignored.

Really, this whole 'I dare you to come up with something' schtick is getting old...The dishonest mouthbreathers on the Right will only twist it and use it for an attack instead of honestly debating whether or not it is a good idea.

or ask the voters to vote for someone who doesn't know what to do.

Someone like our incompetent, guitar-picking, My Pet Goat-reading current president?

Posted by: grape_crush on March 9, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

facts -- come prepared. Back up what you say with facts, figures, cites, quotations.

Oh yeah, like that works...

I started reading these things because I was genuinely interested in opposing points of view. But what I get - with rare exception - is boilerplate gibberish.

Every once in a while, someone I disagree with puts something up that makes me go "hmmm.... good point. Never thought of that. " But far, far too rarely.

Sadly, I don't really learn much from the "I know you are, but what am I?" school of debate. I'm sure that's my fault, what with being a liberal elitist and all.

Posted by: craigie on March 9, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Tymbrimi:
You are hilariously delusional. I'm studying for a mid-term and I really needed a few laughs. Thanks for providing same.

Posted by: ellie on March 9, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

Swollen-head glasnost on March 9, 2006 at 10:20 PM:

The liberal regulars on here do such a pathetic job of disputing the trolls on here

Then how did cld make Cheney's head explode earlier in the day by just asking him a straightforward question?

i hardly even bother to comment myself anymore.

And miss out on posts like this? Our loss. No really, we suffer without your presence...You are taking yourself way too seriously, glasnost...

Al, rdw, and the rest are intellectually dishonest to the core

So you do read regularly...

but they're more effective debaters.

Hardly. True debate is, for the most part, nothing like you've described in these next few quotes.

They pound home repeated messages armed with facts

Okay, I take that back; you don't read this blog regularly. Al's a parody most of the time, and rdw wouldn't know a fact if it bit him in his tushie. (See, I didn't write 'ass' like I usually do...Crap, I just wrote 'ass'. Crap! I did it again!)

they shift the debate away from the usually perceptive points kevin makes onto trvialities and irrelevant comparisons

Yep. We call them on it, and much hilarity ensues.

and they resolutely ignore anything they can't answer

Yep. We call them on it, and much hilarity ensues.

the liberals here don't bother to do anything in response but curse and take non-factual cheap shots.

Once it becomes apparent that someone is intellectually dishonest, can you actually have an honest debate with them?

I'm going to stay on glenn greenwald's blog, where the audience is capable of going one-to-one with these pricks.

Heh. If 'these pricks' ever bother to register, that is...I read through a few of the comment threads, and really didn't see much difference in quality of non-troll-related commenting. Didn't see any obvious trolls, either. Maybe greenwald could enable anonymous commenting...Level playing field, you know...

Hey rdw! I found a great new blog that you can pester until you get kicked off!

Have fun, glasnost!

Posted by: grape_crush on March 9, 2006 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think grapefruit there has a crush on you, glasnost...

Posted by: peanut on March 10, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

Accuse the trolls of dining on Iraqi juvenile liver.

Posted by: Hostile on March 10, 2006 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

Accuse Hostile of dinining on juvenile ass is probably more relatable...

Posted by: peanut on March 10, 2006 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Sacco - just noticed that you posted a link to the article I linked to on CA's blog.

The problem with most of the "media" coming out of Iraq especially is that in places like Iraq where safety (for journalists more than others) is an issue, they rely on stringers.

And stringers, well, lie:

Stringers make up stuff all the time, though:

http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/09/1765674.php

The Reuters, AP, and France-2 outtakes that I viewed show two totally different and easily identifiable types of activity at Netzarim junction: real, intifada-style attacks, and crudely falsified battle scenes. Both the real and the fake scenes are played out against a background of normal civilian activity at a busy crossroads. In the reality zone, excited children and angry young men hurl rocks and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli outpost while shababs (youths) standing on the roof of the Twins throw burning tires down onto the caged lookout; this goes on seemingly for hours, without provoking the slightest military reaction from Israeli soldiers.

At the same time, in the theatrical zone, Palestinian stringers sporting prestigious logos on their vests and cameras are seen filming battle scenes staged behind the abandoned factory, well out of range of Israeli gunfire. The wounded sail through the air like modern dancers and then suddenly collapse. Cameramen jockey with hysterical youths who pounce on the casualties, pushing and shoving, howling Allahu akhbar!, clumsily grabbing the injured, pushing away the rare ambulance attendant in a pale green polyester jacket in order to shove, twist, haul, and dump the victims into UN and Red Crescent ambulances that pull up on a seconds notice and career back down the road again, sirens screaming. In one shot we recognize Talal Abu Rahmeh in his France-2 vest, filming a staged casualty scene.*

Split seconds of these ludicrous vignettes would later appear in newscasts and special reports; the husk, the raw footage that would reveal the fakery, had been removed, leaving the kernel rich in anti-Israel nutrients. Such staged scenes showed up, for example, in a dramatic CBS 60 Minutes special report on Netzarim crossinga place now known, intoned Bob Simon, echoing Palestinian sources, as Martyrs Junction.

______________


This is how lies get started, by relying on "journalists" that represent some organization or agenda and is willing to manipulate western media to spread whatever lies they want.

Today, "Mohammed al-Dura" (god knows what his real name was, if he ever existed) is remembered as a martyr, brutally murdered by the Israelis. He is used to justify terror against Israeli civilians.

And it was all a lie.

Posted by: peanut on March 10, 2006 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

If a piece from "Baghdad" says reported by Blowhahrd von Angerichten at the WaPo, "with additional reporting by Iraqi employees of the WaPo"...

... that almost always means that Blowhahrd "reported" from his hotel and that all of the actual reporting was done by Iraqi stringers. I.e., you can't rely on ANY of it.

Basically you have people who are not professional journalists, with agendas god knows what they are, with no reputations for trustworthiness to protect, from cultures where the concept of "truth" may be somewhat "alternatively" based, and who may even be affiliated with or paid by someone else altogether.

Basically, with a byline like that you have no friggin clue who did the "reporting" and thus no idea whether what they say happened really happened.

Looks like that was what Peters wanted to convey. Too bad Albritton was too insulted and hung over from the cheap bourbon he drank the night before to think before pressed the "Post" button on his blog.

Posted by: peanut on March 10, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Civil war in Iraq is a good thing for this country. It will kill all terrorists.

The media is so fixated on the damage that would have been caused by civil war, than the benefits that it would bring to this country? And you guys call that objective reporting? Where's the fair and balanced reporting?

Posted by: Mini Al on March 10, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

Basically you have people who are not professional journalists, with agendas god knows what they are, with no reputations for trustworthiness to protect, from cultures where the concept of "truth" may be somewhat "alternatively" based, and who may even be affiliated with or paid by someone else altogether.

Hey, that's kind of an out of left field shot at Fox News there, peanut. I mean yeah, that's all true about them, and that is the way Fox operates, and right-wingers do indeed in a relativistic concept of "truth" that can bend and twist according to the situation, and they are paid off by the Republican Party, but still....

Posted by: Stefan on March 10, 2006 at 1:37 AM | PERMALINK

Sure Stefan that was definitely what got Albritton's panties in a twist - he felt that he had to defend Fox.

Or maybe he was trying to defend the MSM practice of using Iraqi stringers with little or no control over what they do. Ya know, I think that was actually it.

Too bad he got all emotional about it and forgot to think...

Posted by: peanut on March 10, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

To sum up the 2006 liberal plan for Iraq: "We got nothing.". That's an electoral winner for sure. :)

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 10, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

Tymbrimi on March 10, 2006 at 2:57 AM:

To sum up the 2006 liberal plan for Iraq: "We got nothing."

Keep telling yourself that, Tymbrimi. I could just as easily say that the conservative plan for Iraq could be summed up as: "We never had one, but went into Iraq anyway"...A statement that fits well with the Bush administration's handling of post-Saddam Iraq. :)

Back in the real world: Plenty of plans for Iraq have been offered, from all across the political spectrum. They get smeared, mocked, or ignored. Right now, anyone proposing any form of troop withdrawal under any conditions is characterized as wanting to 'cut and run'...Of course, when Dubya announces troop 'reductions' around election time, it will be characterized as something completely different. :)

That's an electoral winner for sure.

Falsely blaming your opponent for not offering ideas on how to fix your mistakes is not an electoral winner, for sure. :)

Posted by: grape_crush on March 10, 2006 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

nonfarm payrolls up 243,000

Posted by: rdw on March 10, 2006 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

Bush's Approval Rating Falls to New Low:

The survey, conducted Monday through Wednesday of 1,000 people, found that just 37 percent approve of his overall performance. That is the lowest of his presidency.
Bush's job approval among Republicans plummeted from 82 percent in February to 74 percent, a dangerous sign in a midterm election year when parties rely on enthusiasm from their most loyal voters. The biggest losses were among white males.
On issues, Bush's approval rating declined from 39 percent to 36 percent for his handling of domestic affairs and from 47 percent to 43 percent on foreign policy and terrorism. His approval ratings for dealing with the economy and Iraq held steady, but still hovered around 40 percent.
Personally, far fewer Americans consider Bush likable, honest, strong and dependable than they did just after his re-election campaign.
Posted by: grape_crush on March 10, 2006 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Might I point out that 4 of the past 5 posts on this message board have absolutely NOTHING to do with the topic? In fact, skimming through, it seems like the relevancy pretty much NEVER exceeds the 10-20% range. Is this par for the course here or is this just a particularly stupid thread?

Posted by: doc on March 10, 2006 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

"..the Partiot act.."

I think Rightwing DickWad confused this with the "Idiot Act"- you know, the one that made it illegal to euthanize people like him.

"nonfarm payrolls up 243,000"

Which, of course, includes none of the unemployed trolls who post here all day long about their (thus far) unrequited love for that "better man" Dubya.

Posted by: solar on March 10, 2006 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

Might I point out that 4 of the past 5 posts on this message board have absolutely NOTHING to do with the topic? In fact, skimming through, it seems like the relevancy pretty much NEVER exceeds the 10-20% range. Is this par for the course here or is this just a particularly stupid thread?
Posted by: doc

Not true. If you think this place goes off topic or pays extended visits to tangents, I suggest you go over to Eschaton if you want to see a group of presumedly intelligent adults completely incapable of sustaining a "dialog" about a post Atrios has made. In any case, a well-rounded discussion is sure to bring in a lot of related topics.

Actually, Atrios is a pretty crappy poster rarely doing more than linking to a news item or someone else's detailed posting on another blog, but he rarely bothers to add anything of his own (though frequently pointing out that Instacrap Glenn Reynolds does the same thing).

For some reason Duncan Black is thought to be a sharp cookie and a real shaker and mover in liberal circles. I hope he has a day job.

Posted by: Jeff II on March 10, 2006 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

The survey, conducted Monday through Wednesday of 1,000 people, found that just 37 percent approve of his overall performance. That is the lowest of his presidency.

Gosh, does that means he isn't still President? Or that John Roberts isn't chief Justice? Or that Samuel Alito isn't associate Justice. Or that the tax extensions are reversed? Or that the Patriot act signed yesterday doesn't count?

Exactly why does this 37% matter?

Posted by: rdw on March 10, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Tymbrimi: To sum up the 2006 liberal plan for Iraq . . .

To sum up the 2006 conservative plan for Iraq . . .

"Let's continue to throw good money, good men, and good women away for absolutely nothing gained for American national security, because we have to cover our butts for lying about why we were invading Iraq and the data that justified our false claims about why we were invading Iraq, while we divert these vital resources from actions that would actually enhance American security by improving control of our borders and ports, by improving intelligence operations, and by improving disaster response capabilities."

Yep, it's a winner!

I guess that's why Americans now view Democrats as better on national security issues than Bush.

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 10, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

glasnost: They pound home repeated messages armed with facts . . .

No, armed with false facts, lies, illogic, and hypocrisy.

Thanks for your input.

Now, go back to sleep at greenwald's blog, perchance to dream . . .

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 10, 2006 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

10 days into March and the Civil War and we have less than 1/2 the casualties of the prior 6 months. Is that rose-colored glasses?

Posted by: rdw on March 10, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

The argument that the media is not telling the good news in Iraq is exposed by the lack of such stories on Fox, in the Washington Times or the Washington Examiner.

The few times such stories have run, they have looked so forced and so lame that they vanish quickly.

As for Peters, why didn't he go out without an Army escort, if things are going so well?

Posted by: zak822 on March 10, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

The survey, conducted Monday through Wednesday of 1,000 people, found that just 37 percent approve of his overall performance. That is the lowest of his presidency.

Gosh, does that means he isn't still President? Or that John Roberts isn't chief Justice? Or that Samuel Alito isn't associate Justice. Or that the tax extensions are reversed? Or that the Patriot act signed yesterday doesn't count?

Exactly why does this 37% matter? Posted by rdw


Heheheheh.


You're missing the point, rdw. The libbies here think the meaning of Bush's low approval rating is that he can't be reelected. This makes them feel better...

And don't you spoil the fun by reminding them about term limits. Please don't.

Posted by: sacco on March 10, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Good points, rdw and Sacco. When the liberals throw job approval ratings at me, I always answer "Damn, there goes President Bush's re-election chances!". :)

Seriously though. As yet, these JA ratings are pretty meaningless, though I saw Jim Lehrer trying to establish that they were important, (and failing). However, I soppose they may have some meaning in the 2006 elections. However, except for the usual MSM cheerleading, in the rest of the opinion magazines, I detect a certain pessimism in the liberal spirit.

Posted by: Tymbrimi on March 10, 2006 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

10 days into March and the Civil War and we have less than 1/2 the casualties

You're a dipshit. There are fewer American casualties, way more Iraqi casualties -- in fact, the highest ever. They're fighting each other, not us.

That's what happens in a civil war.

Also, the Pentagon has made it clear that they're steering clear of sectarian battles, which should mean even fewer American casualties going forward.

Seriously, you're really total fucking dipshit.

Posted by: trex on March 10, 2006 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

rdw: 10 days into March and the Civil War and we have less than 1/2 the casualties of the prior 6 months. Is that rose-colored glasses?

No one on the left is calling it civil war, so why are you?

Oh, that's right: you slander your opponents by claiming that they've said things they haven't.

Ditto for you, Tymbrimi.

Tymbrimi: As yet, these JA ratings are pretty meaningless . . .

I guess that's why Bush stuck to his guns on Dubai and the GOP failed to exert any pressure on him to change his mind . . .

What a hoot!

I swear, Bush's lemmings get dumber and dumber every day.

I LOVE IT!

:)

in the rest of the opinion magazines, I detect a certain pessimism in the liberal spirit.

That's what happens when you live in a faith-based world of fantasy - you start seeing things that aren't there.

Don't worry, though.

We know the job you've been tasked with by your GOP handlers is to sow confusion and despair in the liberal ranks through the repetition of falsehoods, slanders, and illogic.

We have fun easily refuting these mendacities, slanders, and illogic, but don't pretend we take them seriously.

Trying to convince liberals that they are feeling despair and pessimism is neither noble nor working.

We know your game and we're not impressed.

LOL, though!

:)


Posted by: Advocate for God on March 10, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

The powers of the presidency have been eroded and usurped to the breaking point. We are engaged in a new kind of war that cannot be fought by old methods. It can only be directed by a strong executive who alone is not subject to the conflicting pressures that legislators or judges face. The public understands and supports that unpleasant reality, whatever the media and intellectuals say.

-- A White House aide to Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post.

Fascism is alive and well.

Heil, Bush!

Der fuhrer lives!

Bush is God!

God is Great!

Bush is Great!

Anyone who insults Bush is an anti-American, anti-Christian, evildoer who should be killed!

Hmmmmm . . . why do conservatives sound like Muslim fanatics . . .

:)

I LOVE IT!

Posted by: Advocate for God on March 10, 2006 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

I have two words for Ralph Peters' and his certainty that Baghdad is as safe as Topeka: Bob Woodruff.

Or is the media making up his horrfying injuries to make Bush look bad too?

Posted by: brewmn on March 10, 2006 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

One million dollars in small, unmarked bills to whomever goes to Tymbrimi's house and pulls the fucking right parentheses & colon keys off his keyboard.

Posted by: johnny badvibe on March 10, 2006 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

No one on the left is calling it civil war, so why are you?

Everyone on the left is calling it a civil war.

Posted by: rdw on March 10, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

There are fewer American casualties, way more Iraqi casualties

At least we agree the plan to have the Iraqi take over their defense is working.

Posted by: rdw on March 10, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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