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Tilting at Windmills

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April 3, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

WHAT'S THE PLAN?....Glenn Reynolds suggests today that George Bush's difficulties are not so much with the people who were fair weather supporters of the war from the start, but rather with the people who were its most fervent fans:

Bush's problem on the war is that he's losing the Jacksonian base, which is no longer confident that he's willing to do whatever it takes to win, regardless of foreign or public opinion.

Like most slogan-driven hawks, however, he doesn't follow this up with a definition of what he means by "whatever it takes." It's just left hanging. Greg Djerejian, a hawk who's grounded enough to have been getting steadily more pessimistic about our chances in Iraq over the past year, takes a crack at it:

Fire Donald Rumsfeld, and replace him with John Warner or Richard Armitage or someone else qualified soonest. Bulk up our troop presence in Baghdad asap, even if it means rotating some troops out of places like Anbar (especially in locations where we are still more in whack-a-mole posture than clear, build, hold). Let's have a major show of strength, including large amounts of U.S. troops, in the most problematic neighborhoods (US troops are critical, as confidence in the integrity of Iraqi Army units as impartial arbitrers or plausible peacekeepers simply doesn't exist yet among much of the Iraqi public. This is why under-informed blather about the Iraqi Army being "solid", or the militias being simply "pesky", is just crap, and it's quite sad prominent right wing bloggers link to such hokum as offering soi disant serious perspective).

Unfortunately, this isn't much better than saying nothing. A new Secretary of Defense? Fine, but it's a little late for that. And more troops at the very beginning might indeed have created a precarious order that we could then have preserved, but that chance is long gone. Even under the rosiest assumptions, there just aren't enough troops available to bring even a makeshift peace to the Sunni Triangle today.

So: what's the plan, hawks? "Whatever it takes" is just cheap talk. Are you suggesting higher taxes to fund a dramatic increase in military end strength? A draft? A ground invasion of Iran? A permanent military occupation of the entire Middle East?

Because that's probably what it would take. Right now, nearly a thousand Iraqis are dying every month, the per capita equivalent of about 100,000 deaths per year if this were taking place in the United States. And keep in mind that this is the result of a mere low level civil war, not the real thing. What happens when full scale civil war breaks out and the U.S. military is stuck in the middle?

What's the plan then?

Kevin Drum 12:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (155)

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Comments

What's the plan then?

Clap harder.

Posted by: Otto Man on April 3, 2006 at 12:27 AM | PERMALINK

reynolds represents the polite face of the worst of the redneck racist neocons ... what he likely means is "bomb the shit out of the ragheads."

Posted by: Nads on April 3, 2006 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

"the Jacksonian base" "the Jacksonian base" "the Jacksonian base"

Jackass.

Posted by: Tilli (Mojave Desert) on April 3, 2006 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

I think they mean the Joe Schmoe plan - drop nukes on everybody and come home.

I'm not kidding.

Posted by: craigie on April 3, 2006 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

They have no idea what they mean. None.

Posted by: shortstop on April 3, 2006 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

There is no plan. I know the Bush administration and the guys in the Pentagon don't have one, nor does anyone in a leadership position in Congress (or perhaps at any other level). I have no idea what to do.

It's a massive fuckup. I'd say we should pull out, but it's our fault and I don't want my nation going around, stupidly using it's military power with no fucking plan at all, and then leaving the disaster for everyone else to deal with. But what is there to do? Many Iraqis don't want the extra couple hundred thousand troops it'd take to possibly fix the problem, and anyway, a draft to produce them isn't going to happen because nobody's got the political balls to do that

So, either we pull out (apparently not happening under Bush's watch) or we just let things simmer till we have to have pictures of the last chopper out of Baghdad on the evening news, and then a couple decades of people with short memories blaming the people who were against the war for the poor planning and unrealistic goals.

Posted by: phleabo on April 3, 2006 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

Not only doesn't he define "whatever it takes." He doesn't define what "success" is.

Posted by: Mike on April 3, 2006 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

By the way, if 1,000 deaths every month isn't already a civil war, then I really hope we don't have to see a real one.

Posted by: craigie on April 3, 2006 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, and "slogan-driven hawks" is brilliant. Just as good, if not better, than "Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Christianity."

It's been a good weekend for turns of phrase chez Kevin, I'd say.

Posted by: craigie on April 3, 2006 at 12:40 AM | PERMALINK

We need massive troops to build a backbone for the new government (we need a real coalition). And a Come to Jesus (er, Allah) Meeting of all interested parties to hash out a political settlement. Preferably mediated by the UN, which still has some political credibility. Threaten the central authority--iIf you don't get your act together, Iraq will be partitioned into three parts. Oil resources will be placed in a trust administered by the UN to make sure proceeds are equitably distributed among the three states. The Iraqis will not make tough political choices unless they are forced to.

Posted by: Bassfish on April 3, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

I agree. "Bleating Around the Bush" is Kev's best headline in some time. Very nice.

Posted by: shortstop on April 3, 2006 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

Bassfish's solution seems like a good one, notwithstanding the very paternalistic air it'd have about it.

But where are those troops coming from?

Posted by: phleabo on April 3, 2006 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

The fuzzy rhetoric is crucial to letting them blame others when these pipe dreams do not occur. For the rest of our lives, we'll be hearing how the press or the democrats or the independents didn't do "whatever it takes to win", in the same way that we hear that the U.S. press somehow caused us to lose the war in Vietnam -- and not a guerilla force that took 1 million deaths, even when it was backed by a superpower (USSR).

Posted by: travis on April 3, 2006 at 12:47 AM | PERMALINK

Not only doesn't he define "whatever it takes." He doesn't define what "success" is.

Success is when victory is acheived. As Bush said last Wednesday, "And when victory is achieved, our troops will come home." Now you just have to figure out what victory is so we know when we have acheived it.

Posted by: Alf on April 3, 2006 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

Presuming that Reynolds is sincere, does anyone here think that Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld would not have already upped the military ante if that was an option that was likely to work?

Posted by: David W. on April 3, 2006 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

I see Reynolds hasn't moved on from his prescription of March 17 in Reason magazine
-------


Glenn Reynolds

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?

Yes.

2. Have you changed your position?

No. Sanctions were failing and Saddam was a threat, making any other action in the region impossible.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?

Win.

Glenn Reynolds
--------

Now that's some strategic and tactical mastery that doesn't require tweaking -- much like Bush himself.

Posted by: fareawe on April 3, 2006 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

does anyone here think that Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld would not have already upped the military ante if that was an option that was likely to work?

Me.

You make the mistake of thinking that the purpose of this war was anything other than a stick to beat domestic political opponents with. Actually fighting it - what with things like increasing taxes, preparing the public for sacrifice, explaining what is happening and why - in other words, actually dealing with the reality of this thing - was never on the cards.

Prancing around on the deck of an aircraft carrier with a sign saying "Mission Accomplished" - that was the mission. Unfortunately, after that real life got in the way.

Posted by: craigie on April 3, 2006 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

phleabo is right. We were screwed from the get-go. The combo platter of Wolfowitz dreamweaving, Cheney greed and Bush "whatever, can I have my pretzels and near-beer now?" conspired to send us into this tailspin that is way harder to pull out of than it ever was to fall into.

More troops would be used if they were available, and they might in fact help defuse some situations, as our guys and gals are less likely to do stupid, amoral things if they are less frightened. But even more masses of boots on the ground are not likely to be reassuring to Iraqis -- you know, the "ragheads" that just happen to be in our occupation zone. ("They live here, sarge," as Firesign Theater said, back in the day.)

Also, their presence would just underline the absurdity of Iraqi-army "battalions", increase the target size for Al Qaeda types, and reinforce the notion that we're never, ever leaving our permanent bases.

Screwed, screwed, screwed, screwed.

Oh, but it's not too late to ship over the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. They've never let us down yet!
C'mon guys: form an orderly line to the right.

Posted by: Kenji on April 3, 2006 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

phleabo: "But where are those troops coming from?"

Er, that's not Glenn Reynolds' job. He comes up with the fancy ideas and the fancy slogans but it's up to the Bushie administration to implement them. So, Reynolds doesn't want any blame when the Bushies raise the white flag in Iraq - he told them what to do to win but they just didn't listen to him.

Posted by: Taobhan on April 3, 2006 at 1:07 AM | PERMALINK

NYT article - "...the killing accelerated after the bombing on Feb. 22 of a revered Shiite shrine, which unleashed a wave of sectarian bloodletting.

About 900 Iraqi civilians died violently in March, up from about 700 the month before..."

Kevin Drum's spin - "Right now, nearly a thousand Iraqis are dying every month..."

Craigie's comment - "...By the way, if 1,000 deaths every month isn't already a civil war.."

See why you guys can't be trusted as a news source. Just keep spinning it out of control.

Anyone for a good old-fashioned game of telephone? We'll create at least 10000 more Iraqi deaths out of thin air before were done.

Posted by: John Hansen on April 3, 2006 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

Excellent misdirection, John!

Posted by: craigie on April 3, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

craigie, I concluded that the Iraq War was more about domestic politics than anything else back in the fall of 2002, when Dubya insisted on getting a blank check for the war before Election Day, unlike his father who waited until after the 1990 elections to get an o.k. for the Gulf War. I also have read of Dubya's remarks about how fascinated he was about how the Falkland's War boosted Maggie Thatcher's domestic popularity, and how a war in Iraq could do the same thing for him.

I'm just saying that if there was an actual, feasible military solution to gaining control over the situation in Iraq, that Dubya would pursue it. Contrary to Reynolds implicit claim though, putting 500,000 troops there now won't do any more good than it did putting 500,000 in Vietnam after 1965, which is why I suspect we'll do nothing more than hole up in Iraq while playing kingmaker behind the scenes. Which won't do much good either. But it is the best Bush can do, which isn't saying much.

Lebanon suffered though a similar civil war where the Maronite Christians, the Sunni Arabs, and the Druze all struggled for power, with both Syria and Israel intervening in efforts to fix things their way. In the end, it was the Lebanese themselves who settled that war, not those who sought to impose their will on that country. Iraq is no different.

Posted by: David W. on April 3, 2006 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

John Hansen:

Ha, ha, ha. That's so funny! If you stack 'em up like cordwood, your point will be even more hilarious.
Stupid liberals and their crybaby concerns for dead foreigners.

Posted by: Kenji on April 3, 2006 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

It's all about U.S. domestic politics now. All those with working brain cells on either side of the aisle know this thing is lost. They also know that the extremely toxic blame for the failure will come down on the head of whoever orders the withdrawal. If Kerry had got in in 2004 and then withdrawn the troops, the R's would be drawing up articles of impeachment for it and would be using it as their main midterm issue for congressional races.

Bush too thick to realize what needs to be done and Cheney et al are too crazy, and in any case the rest of the R's know a humiliating defeat would give the Dems a hammerlock on the executive and the legislative branches for a good long time to come. So they are hoping they can get the Dems to do the right thing so they can attack them for having done it (pretty standard GOP MO these days.)

The Dems for their part won't stick their heads into a guillotine for the R's (which is what a large-scale Dem call for withdrawal would amount to.) So they are just watching Bush and his party slowly have their credibility be chewed up as things in Iraq go from worse to much worse.

The Dems are betting there will either be a catastrophic end to the occupation before 2008 (not inconceivable) or that the R's will have sustained so much damage by then that President Hillary (or whover it ends up being) will be able to do the withdrawal despite the screaming and blaming this will give rise to from the wingnut amen corner. (Good luck.)

Bush's plan is to hope things can kind of hold together for the next couple of years so he can dump this whole thing on his successor. The rest of the R's don't really have a plan other than not seeing their bacon fried in the next 20 minutes, and since Dems don't seem to be rising to the bait and calling for withdrawal, they'll just keep pretending it's not as bad a fiasco as it is and that President Steely Resolve has matters in hand.

Part of the reason Murtha came forward is that this idiotic political gridlock is killing soldiers, basically for nothing. Still, nothing seems able to break the dynamic. Interesting times we live in indeed.

Posted by: jimBOB on April 3, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know about you guys, but 700 deaths per month is a palatable number for me.

Posted by: Sean on April 3, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

Bush's problem on the war is that he's losing the Jacksonian base, which is no longer confident that he's willing to do whatever it takes to win, regardless of foreign or public opinion.

What does it take? Glenn: Bush's "problem on the war" is that it is rapidly shaping up as the greatest foreign policy catastrophe in American history.

Posted by: SqueakyRat on April 3, 2006 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

In making his case, Reynolds conveniently ignores a central thesis in the piece by Steyn (here). Steyn points out that "Millions of ordinary citizens are not going to stick with a "long war" (as the administration now calls it) if they feel they're being dissembled to about its nature."

The problem is not that the "Jacksonian base" is "no longer confident that he's willing to do whatever it takes". The problem is that the administration's credibility is near zero among traditional supporters of the war. Even if Bush was willing, he is no longer able; as Buckley might say, he has insufficient political and military deployable resources.

As for Djerejian's suggestion... If he really thinks "faster, harder" is the answer, then getting rid of Rumsfeld is the last thing he should reccommend. Anyone in their right mind replacing Rumsfeld at this point is going to come in with an agenda that includes disengagement and withdrawal--suitably clothed of course. Moreover, a SecDef confirmation hearing just before the mid-terms would likely be a disaster for the Republicans.

Posted by: has407 on April 3, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

I'm just saying that if there was an actual, feasible military solution to gaining control over the situation in Iraq, that Dubya would pursue it.

Fair enough. But actually, I still disagree. I just don't see it in him to actually do anything about anything. Consider Katrina as the model. He went down there, and spent all his time doing photo ops to convince people he was doing something, rather than actually doing anything.

I think Iraq is the same. If there were a plan, and it had actual costs (not a clap your hands and win plan, but a real one), then he wouldn't do it. Because it would probably contain things that he (or Rove) wouldn't like politically, ie, raise taxes, grovel in front of the UN, go on TV and say "I fucked up, but here's what I've learned," whatever. My examples are stupid because I can't actually think of any options that Bush has, but my point is, if there were any, and they had political costs (which they must by definition have) he wouldn't do them.

He's not a "doing" president, he's a "proclaiming victory" president.

One wrinkle: if barnstorming around the US giving the same speech on Iraq would "win" this "war", then he would do that. But nothing substantial. Katrina. Social Security phase-out. You name it - as soon as it gets expensive, he bugs out.

Posted by: craigie on April 3, 2006 at 1:25 AM | PERMALINK

The Dems are betting there will either be a catastrophic end to the occupation before 2008 (not inconceivable) or that the R's will have sustained so much damage by then that President Hillary (or whover it ends up being) will be able to do the withdrawal despite the screaming and blaming this will give rise to from the wingnut amen corner.

I believe the term here is "Peace With Honor". Hell, if it worked for Tricky Dick, why not Hilary or Warner or whoever.

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on April 3, 2006 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Can we please not use "per capita" death comparisons? A death is a death. Iraqi lives are no more or less valuable than Americans (or any others)

Posted by: stress on April 3, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

It is not more concern about foreign deaths to greatly inflate a number by bad reporting. If Kevin wants to be an accurate commentator, he can not take a recent spike of civilian deaths which is directly attributable to a single event (the mosque being blown up) and then say the "...Right now, nearly a thousand Iraqis are dying every month.."

Why don't we just continue to report all news like this. On the day after Duke Cunningham admitted his crime Kevin could have said,
"...Right now, nearly two Republican Congressman a day are admitting to taking bribes..."

or the day after Andy Card resigned "..Right now nearly two Bush inner circle staffers are resigning a day..."

My comment was not about the content, it was about the bad reporting. Kevin, how about a comment. You must know that as a conservative who bothers to read and comment on your site, I respect your usual accuracy. Mistakes are most glaring when they are found from those who are not usually fast and loose with the facts.

How about a little retraction Kevin?

Posted by: John Hansen on April 3, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

See why you guys can't be trusted as a news source. Just keep spinning it out of control.

The military said 1,313 Iraqi civilians perished in sectarian murders in March, compared with 173 killed in suicide bombings. The victims, an average of 36 per day, included Sunni men found with holes drilled through their heads and Shi'ite men with the words ''traitor" written or carved across their bodies.
But morgue officials say 30-40 corpses, many shot in the head and showing signs are torture, are being brought in from the streets of the capital alone every day.
Iraq Body Count: 12,617 civilian deaths reported over a 346 day period starting March 1, 2004 (not including all deaths for January and February of this year).

That is an average of at least 1000 Iraqi deaths per month.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 3, 2006 at 1:34 AM | PERMALINK

"...Right now, nearly two Republican Congressman a day are admitting to taking bribes..."

Maybe not yet, but give it time...

Posted by: craigie on April 3, 2006 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

Windhorse -

Why can't you guys admit a simple point. The numbers that Kevin quoted were not supported by what he linked to. The fact that you can link to different sources and different times does not change the fact that here was an example of bad journalistic practice.

BTW - Does anybody know how this compares to deaths under the regime of Saddam?

Posted by: John Hansen on April 3, 2006 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

BTW - Does anybody know how this compares to deaths under the regime of Saddam?

"Yeah, sure things are bad under Lenin, but how does his bodycount compare to the deaths under the Tsar?"

"Yeah, sure things are bad under Castro, but how does his bodycount compare to the deaths under Batista?"

"Yeah, sure things are bad under the Ayatollah, but how does his bodycount compare to the deaths under the Shah?"

Posted by: Dustbin Of History on April 3, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

Glenn Reynolds is an armchair shit head.

Posted by: Balzac on April 3, 2006 at 1:47 AM | PERMALINK

John Hansen is giving an excellent example of the troll technique of fixating on some minor point (700 is or is not "nearly 1000") as a distraction from a larger issue (bucketloads of Iraqis are being killed three years into this war W started and his side has cheerled for, and they have no clue what to do about it).

Posted by: jimBOB on April 3, 2006 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Posting news reports from hotel rooms isn't good journalistic practice, either : just practical necessity. Go to Al Jazeera and pick apart their Jan 25 special reports - Iraq 3 Years On - if you want something to really sink your teeth into.

Posted by: opit on April 3, 2006 at 1:56 AM | PERMALINK

Why don't we just continue to report all news like this. On the day after Duke Cunningham admitted his crime Kevin could have said,
"...Right now, nearly two Republican Congressman a day are admitting to taking bribes..."

or the day after Andy Card resigned "..Right now nearly two Bush inner circle staffers are resigning a day..."

That's like the stupidest -- and most dishonest -- set of analogies I've ever read.

Posted by: Pennypacker on April 3, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

As near as I can tell.
The Shia are leading a revolution against the American counter revolutionary alliance with the Sunni, which is fighting a counter revolution against the elected SCIRI which was a revolution against the American backed secular regime which was a revolution against the occupiers which was a revolution against Saddam.

Easy to sort out.


Posted by: Matt on April 3, 2006 at 1:58 AM | PERMALINK

BTW - Does anybody know how this compares to deaths under the regime of Saddam?

Would that be during the period where we were supporting Saddam (and Iraq was at war with Iran?) or during the period where we were bombing them or during the period where we were transforming what was once the most robust industrial economy in the region into a 3rd-world country?

There are probably different numbers there depending, but I don't think there are reliable figures for any of these periods.

Posted by: Outlandish Josh on April 3, 2006 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

John Hansen: Does anybody know how this compares to deaths under the regime of Saddam?

See The Iraq Index, pg 12:

Bodies processed at the Baghdad morgue follow the trend above: prior to the invasion, the number of bodies processed monthly was significantly less than 100, early in 2005 it stood at 500 and in July 2005 it peaked at 1,100.
Of course, that doesn't include potential secret killings. However, a little research will show that the day-to-day victims of Saddam's thugs generally ended up in the morgue just like everyone else. Obviously that doesn't include mass-killings/genocide, of which there hadn't been any for some time before the war. NB: One reason why Bush and Blair had to think of other reasons for legitimizing an invasion.

Why can't you guys admit a simple point. The numbers that Kevin quoted were not supported by what he linked to.

(1) Kevin stated clearly "Right now, nearly a thousand Iraqis are dying every month...". (2) It's a well-established long-term statistic available from numerous sources (e.g., see above and cites from Windhorse). There is significant month-to-month variation, but the average since the "cessation of major combat" is clearly over 1,000/month.

Posted by: has407 on April 3, 2006 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

this john hansen dipshit seems willing to give bush a complete pass on the lies which actually conned him and his fellow dipshts into supporting this war, but will instead fixate on how 700 dead iraqis is somehow more palateable than 1000?

and he feels somehow qualified to lecture drum on accuracy? dishonest dipshit ... offensive, even for a conservative ...

Posted by: Nads on April 3, 2006 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

"Do whatever it takes to win, regardless of foreign or public opinion" is simply code for "use nukes, or their equivalent, and kill lots more of them."

I'm pretty sure that folks like Glen Reynolds have come to the conclusion that the reason we were successful in WW II Germany and Japan was because millions died and the infrastructure was totally destroyed, and leading to the populations eventually losing the will to fight. They seem to believe that the same formula would apply to Iraq, and that a few Dresden-style firestorms would take the fight right out of any resistance.

And in a sense, it's true. Destroying Carthage totally was an effective way for Rome to eliminate any future problems they might have with that city-state. Needless to say, there are significant ethical and strategic reasons why this would not be a good example for Americans to take in Iraq.

Posted by: moonbiter on April 3, 2006 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

The Right doesn't even know what the fuck "winning" in Iraq means. They didn't have a clue what the war was about when it started, and they have no vision for a satisfactory ending, especially in light of the fact that we have NO allies willing to go the distance any longer.

Now we know who Michael Moore was referring to when he used the phrase Stupid White Men.

Posted by: gator on April 3, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

has407 -

A sincere question as I would like to make my decisions based on solid news not hype -

How does your insistence that the rate is "...clearly over 1,000/month.."

jibe with the NYT senence

"...the killing accelerated after the bombing on Feb. 22 of a revered Shiite shrine..."

The NYT did not say "...after a low statistical fluctuation of 700 a month..." Maybe I interpreted the story wrong, but the NYT story lead me to believe that the months of 700 and 900 were both aberations which happened only after the bombing.

Who am I to believe? Your web site links or the NYT.

Posted by: John Hansen on April 3, 2006 at 2:16 AM | PERMALINK

When the smoke clears, we will probably end up with a nutcase rightwing Shia militant as Supreme Ruler of Iraq. And what happens when he cuts off the oil? How are those dingbat Republicans going to fuel their Hummers then?

Posted by: smoky on April 3, 2006 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

In the world I live in (hard right of center Houston), "whatever it takes" means as long as there is anyone in Iraq who disagrees with us, we haven't killed enough Iraqis.

Posted by: Charles M on April 3, 2006 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, JH is sooo sincere. Touching, really.

Posted by: Kenji on April 3, 2006 at 2:32 AM | PERMALINK

John Hansen -- It depends on how far back you want to go.

As a long-term statistic, most data sets start around Apr-May 2003 (after "cessation of major combat"), which puts the average death rate, from all causes, at over 1000/month.

The NYT obviously chose a more recent demark, in order to highlight recent cause-and-effect. Specifically: effect is a short-term climb in death rates; cause is sectarian violence, which is news--as opposed to terrorist or coalition military activity.

Neither is "wrong".

Posted by: has407 on April 3, 2006 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

Good post, Mr. Drum. However, the question "OK, so what's your/their plan?" is now merely a rhetorical exercise. There's simply no good option in Iraq. Many of us who opposed the war could see that it would inevitably suck us into a position where we'd have no good options. Well, here we are. Sun Tsu is NOT proud of us....

I hate to say it, but I think there's only one thing we can hope for from this sorry disaster. An earlier comment hints at it:

It's all about U.S. domestic politics now. All those with working brain cells on either side of the aisle know this thing is lost. They also know that the extremely toxic blame for the failure will come down on the head of whoever orders the withdrawal. If Kerry had got in in 2004 and then withdrawn the troops, the R's would be drawing up articles of impeachment for it and would be using it as their main midterm issue for congressional races.

Much as I loathe the GOP, I really think that we need to hope for a Republican win in '08. Their dogma needs to be discredited for a generation. That means that a Republican needs to be in the White House (doesn't matter which, they're all hapless pipsqueaks, even "Maverick John") when the shitstorm begins.

Posted by: sglover on April 3, 2006 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK
What's the plan then?

Clap harder.

No.

Blame the people who didn't clap hard enough.

Posted by: eyelessgame on April 3, 2006 at 2:42 AM | PERMALINK

Correction to previous post; should read "from violent causes", not "from all causes".

Posted by: has407 on April 3, 2006 at 2:43 AM | PERMALINK

Now I'm really confused ( please no comments about how I by being conservative show a continual state of confusion )

If 700 and 900 are a "...a short-term climb in death rates.." how could it be that 1000/month is a good value to quote right now.

Posted by: John Hansen on April 3, 2006 at 2:45 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.safestreetsdc.com/subpages/murdercap.html

DC, by comparison, with nearly 600,000 residents, had 262 murders last year.

Or you could argue that they are in three times more danger than Washington DC.

Not bad for the third world!

Posted by: McA on April 3, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

I reworked my numbers for an Iraq population of 26 million. Apparently 1000 deaths a month is only slightly worse than DC murders per capita.


Posted by: McA on April 3, 2006 at 2:57 AM | PERMALINK

KD: What's the plan then?

Avoid indictment.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 3, 2006 at 3:00 AM | PERMALINK

The average number of civilian deaths from the beginning of 2005 is about 567 a month. If you subtract the Aimma Bridge stampede, which is thrown in by the bodycounters for August of 2005, it's about 495 a month.

This corresponds to an annual death rate of about 24 per 100,000. The U.S. annual murder rate floats between 6 and 10. Feel free to check my math. It's late.

U.S. casualties have been dropping steadily since last November, so naturally this number is no longer important.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 3, 2006 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

What's funnier is 12,000 deaths per annum over 26 million people is actually less murders than South Africa and Columbia in 2003. Both countries in Peacetime!

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_mur_percap

Posted by: McA on April 3, 2006 at 3:03 AM | PERMALINK

http://www.geekroar.com/leopoldo/2005/10/21/colombia-1-in-murders-per-capita

Try this and try the link their for the table if the other doesn't work.

Russia in 2003 is at 20 per hundred thousand.

So if they get it down to 500, its only 20% worse than Russia.

Posted by: McA on April 3, 2006 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

John Hansen -- The NYT says "About 900 Iraqi civilians died violently in March, up from about 700 the month before..." (emphasis added). The total number of Iraqis killed in March (same source used by NYT), is about 1100 (see here). Kevin might have added that for clarification, but it's a well-established and oft-repeated source.

Posted by: has407 on April 3, 2006 at 3:13 AM | PERMALINK

Well, the stats I linked are just murder. So unless the rest of the deaths was also murder....my observations are still valid.

Posted by: McA on April 3, 2006 at 3:28 AM | PERMALINK

South Africa would be 15,600 if it were 26 million people. What's evident is that where one ethnic group dominates another, the new democracy will be a violent one.

Whether its sanctions or war that makes it happen.

Posted by: McA on April 3, 2006 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

Craigie nailed it way upstream. Bush can't do it. He's not able to actually close the deal. Leaving aside the question of whether or not it should have been done (I never thought so), this gang that led us into this adventure doesn't have a clue as to what to do now. Somewhere in an alternate universe, some very competent people moved in immediately and began reconstructing Iraq, supported by a properly sized and competent military that knew how to deal with a counterinsurgency. In that universe, flowers were strewn in the path of the troops and differing factions kissed and made up, led by the gracious liberating power. But not in this universe. The gang that couldn't shoot straight is in charge of this universe.

And Glenn Reynolds ranks up with Painkiller Queen Rush as a total horses ass.

Posted by: Nixon Did It on April 3, 2006 at 3:32 AM | PERMALINK

"What's funnier is 12,000 deaths per annum over 26 million people is actually less murders than South Africa and Columbia in 2003."

Yeah, it's a regular laugh riot in here.

Posted by: Kenji on April 3, 2006 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, the usual stack of moron Drumtrolls (plus one more) arguing how many Iraqis can bleed to death on the head of a pin. I shake my head and note GoArmy.com.

'Whatever it takes' for Instacracker means 'whatever it takes, as long as I don't have to sacrifice a penny and can still take pictures of coeds in summer dresses on the Knoxville campus.' What a profound sacrifice.

Posted by: ahem on April 3, 2006 at 6:41 AM | PERMALINK

"Are you suggesting higher taxes to fund a dramatic increase in military end strength? A draft? A ground invasion of Iran? A permanent military occupation of the entire Middle East?

Because that's probably what it would take."

Kevin, the hawk to the bitter end. You just don't get it, do you. Let's make this as simple as possible for you and the rest of the slaughter monkey's:

There is NO US Military solution to the problems in the middle east.

All you slaughter-monkeys should print that, cut it out, and sew it to your slope-browed foreheads so you don't lose it.
.

Posted by: pluege on April 3, 2006 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

Let another Batthist party evolve and a stongman emerge to contain the violence with state violence. Or give every man an AK47 and let anarchy prevail. Which end of that spectrum is democracy most likely to take root? Seems like Iraq is destined to be the non-state that it was never destined to be. Who will let the oil out?

Posted by: lou on April 3, 2006 at 6:59 AM | PERMALINK

I think Bush's mission has already been accomplished, and no change is needed. We all know the mission was not "democracy in Iraq" (whatever that means). WMD had nothing to do with it.

I think Bush did want to get back at Saddam, and possibly also prevent him from switching to the Euro from the US dollar. I also think it's probably true that the oilmen (Bush's primary constituency) wanted to tie Iraq to OPEC so they could keep oil prices high. I don't think the instability in Iraq is a problem for Bush and his pals.

But I think being a two-term president was a BIG priority for Bush. His father's loss of a second term was a serious deal for him, and it was very, very important to him to win "re-election", one way or the other.

And I don't think he much cares about anything else other than making it to 20 January 2008 without being impeached.

Posted by: Avedon on April 3, 2006 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

There is NO US Military solution to the problems in the middle east.

Posted by: pluege on April 3, 2006 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

There is NO US Pacifist solution to the problems in the middle east.

But really, if South Africa is the greater civilian loss of life. And Iraq is only running at x2 Russian levels of murder and no longer starving how does that threaten the society any way?

So what if Iraq looks like inner city Washington DC with more burka's and less drugs. Not as if your government can't function.

Posted by: McA on April 3, 2006 at 7:35 AM | PERMALINK

What jimBOB said.

Posted by: grytpype on April 3, 2006 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

Iraq is a cash-cow. Just follow who is making the money.

as the comments show, many don't care, or want to cheerlead that "they don't care" how many are killed....afterall, it isn't anyone they know.

As Bushco moves more toward "permanent basing" in a hostile place with an untenable, unsupported puppet regime trying to run a very diverse and very well armed place, the folly of the stategic objective becomes clear to anyone with eyes.....then again, as the more wingy commentors point out in so many words, "what'cha going to believe, our hot jingo rhetoric, or your lyin' eyes?"

Posted by: boilerman10 on April 3, 2006 at 7:53 AM | PERMALINK

McA here is a good example of 'Whatever it Takes'.

Public Humiliation
Groveling and Whining
Lieing and Misrepresentation
Prevarication and Conflagration

Posted by: owlbear1 on April 3, 2006 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

Well, sad to say, we appear to be in the 'tarbaby' stage of the occupation.

And the only real question seems to be whether we can get out without going through the tar-and-feathers stage of the occupation.

Posted by: serial catowner on April 3, 2006 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

permanent basing" in a hostile place with an untenable, unsupported puppet regime trying to run a very diverse and very well armed place

Posted by: boilerman10 on April 3, 2006 at 7:53 AM | PERMALINK

They've got Marine Bases in California. No conflict there. And its hostile, diverse an armed. Plus the Head of State has low popularity ratings and a funny accent.

Posted by: McA on April 3, 2006 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

"I don't know about you guys, but 700 deaths per month is a palatable number for me."

But that's a lot less than when Saddam was in power. Let's be honest here, liberals don't care about Iraqi deaths. Liberal only care when Iraqi deaths suit their political agenda.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 3, 2006 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

"What's the plan then?"

I guess we could always try the left's plan of lay down and die.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on April 3, 2006 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Bush too thick to realize what needs to be done and Cheney et al are too crazy, and in any case the rest of the R's know a humiliating defeat would give the Dems a hammerlock on the executive and the legislative branches for a good long time to come. So they are hoping they can get the Dems to do the right thing so they can attack them for having done it (pretty standard GOP MO these days.)

Spot on. The same might be said, I might add, for the Republicans' reckless fiscal policy. The Republicans depend on the Democrats' good-governance instincts.

Posted by: Gregory on April 3, 2006 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

soi diant


???

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 3, 2006 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

"What's the plan then?"

Find someone, anyone, to blame? My best guess is ....YOU Kevin, You and all your defeatist buddies caught up in Bush derangement syndrome who WANTED us to fail and should stand trial, for TREASON! yes TREASON YOU TRAITOR!!!!!

Just getting you warmed up for it (you know it's coming).

Posted by: michael farris on April 3, 2006 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

However, statistics will show that there are far more penquins lost per cappenquita in Tierra del Fuego every month than in Baghdad.

Posted by: Vapid from Malaysia on April 3, 2006 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

But, but, but, Michael L Cook says that there is a "lull" in Iraq - he must be working on his "It's morning in Baghdad" ad for the Discovery Institute - No, Michael, the ad should read "Mourning is growing in Baghdad" - Have you read Thomas Friedman's latest "Five minutes to midnight"? - Rather chilling scenario.

Drinking a lot of John Carlson's Kool-Aid up there in the Emerald City?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 3, 2006 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

It was never about Iraq, it was only ever about Saddam. Because it was about Saddam and not about Iraq no plan was needed. No plan is needed. He really doesn't care Iraq, never did and never will.

Posted by: ET on April 3, 2006 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Let's be honest here, conservatards don't care about Iraqi deaths. Conservatards only care when Iraqi deaths suit their political agenda. And they clearly don't suit the agenda now.

Posted by: haha on April 3, 2006 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=quibbling

quibbling

To evade the truth or importance of an issue by raising trivial distinctions and objections.

Wow, you trolls can be educational.

Posted by: Tripp on April 3, 2006 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

the trolls have resorted to comparing the clusterfuck to Columbia and South Africa.

mmmm, ahhhh, love the smell of troll desperation in the morning...

Posted by: haha on April 3, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

michael farris,

I predicted before this even started how it would end. Those responsible will blame the Iraqis.

"We brought peace and democracy to Iraq and they blew it."

It is simple really. Blame the guy not in the room.

Posted by: Tripp on April 3, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

The guy's analysis is crud. It ignores the fact that Bush's chief support has always been among self-identified conservatives and that conservatives still cling to him despite everything that they (conervatives) claim to dislike about his (Bush's) policies. Conservative support for Bush is still in the 70% range. He isn't losing the base. The base and Bush are still puppy-and-milkbone close.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 3, 2006 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

"Do whatever it takes to win, regardless of foreign or public opinion" is simply code for "use nukes, or their equivalent, and kill lots more of them." - moonbiter

We are already using nukes, and those depleted Uranium rounds that Republican pro-war hawks kept telling me were harmless in the early days of 'Shock and Awe'? Not so much...

03/29/06 - This week the American Free Press dropped a dirty bomb on the Pentagon by reporting that eight out of 20 men who served in one unit in the 2003 U.S. military offensive in Iraq now have malignancies. That means that 40 percent of the soldiers in that unit have developed malignancies in just 16 months.

Since these soldiers were exposed to vaccines and depleted uranium (DU) only, this is strong evidence for researchers and scientists working on this issue, that DU is the definitive cause of Gulf War Syndrome. Vaccines are not known to cause cancer. - SF Bay View

How much more long term death and destruction are we willing to sow here? The Iraqis will be feeling OUR brand of democracy for the next 100 years, at least.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on April 3, 2006 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Eric,

Well, even assuming there is some risk from deleted Uranium, even as a heavy metal, it's not like it will get spread around much after it has been discharged.

If Iraq was prone to, I don't know, something like sandstorms that would tend to blow crap around and scour the landscape, sand-blasting everything that was there, then maybe there would be a risk.

But otherwise the risk is no greater than any naturally occuring uranium deposits, like if you lived in a uranium mine.

Posted by: Tripp on April 3, 2006 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

See why you guys can't be trusted as a news source. Just keep spinning it out of control.

I'd say Iraq is spinning out of control just fine without our help.

Posted by: ckelly on April 3, 2006 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

sglover writes: Much as I loathe the GOP, I really think that we need to hope for a Republican win in '08. Their dogma needs to be discredited for a generation. That means that a Republican needs to be in the White House (doesn't matter which, they're all hapless pipsqueaks, even "Maverick John") when the shitstorm begins.

Another 6-8 years of GOP control and the US will no longer be a democracy. It will be a one party authoritarian regime indistinguishable from China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain under Franco, etc.

Posted by: Daryl McCullough on April 3, 2006 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

You're right of course Tripp. I think I'll calm my nerves with another few hours of deep breathing exercises in my radon filled basement.

Posted by: Eric Paulsen on April 3, 2006 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

"...Right now, nearly two Republican Congressman a day are admitting to taking bribes..."

You're right John that is silly. Republican Congressman would never ADMIT to their bribes.

Posted by: ckelly on April 3, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Another 6-8 years of GOP control and the US will no longer be a democracy. It will be a one party authoritarian regime indistinguishable from China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain under Franco, etc.

Sure. But with cheap gas.

Posted by: craigie on April 3, 2006 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Let's be honest here...
Posted by: Freedom Fighter

Wow I guess there really is a first time for everything.

...liberals don't care about Iraqi deaths.

Nope, I was wrong.

Posted by: ckelly on April 3, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

The Republican "plan" has always reminded me of that cartoon of a physicist at a blackboard which he's just filled with a complex mathematical equation. Just before the last step in the equation he's written in "and then, a miracle happens!" to produce the final result.

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, let's see how the Bush regime's "plan" to rebuild Iraq is coming along....

U.S. Plan to Build Iraq Clinics Falters
Contractor Will Try to Finish 20 of 142 Sites

By Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Foreign Service
Monday, April 3, 2006; Page A01

BAGHDAD -- A reconstruction contract for the building of 142 primary health centers across Iraq is running out of money, after two years and roughly $200 million, with no more than 20 clinics now expected to be completed, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.

The contract, awarded to U.S. construction giant Parsons Inc. in the flush, early days of reconstruction in Iraq, was expected to lay the foundation of a modern health care system for the country, putting quality medical care within reach of all Iraqis.

Parsons, according to the Corps, will walk away from more than 120 clinics that on average are two-thirds finished. Auditors say the project serves as a warning for other U.S. reconstruction efforts due to be completed this year.....

By the end of 2006, the $18.4 billion that Washington has allocated for Iraq's reconstruction runs out. All remaining projects in the U.S. reconstruction program, including electricity, water, sewer, health care and the justice system, are due for completion. As a result, the next nine months are crunchtime for the easy-term contracts that were awarded to American contractors early on, before surging violence drove up security costs and idled workers.

Stuart Bowen, the top U.S. auditor for reconstruction, warned in a telephone interview from Washington that other reconstruction efforts may fall short like that of Parsons. "I've been consumed for a year with the fear we would run out of money to finish projects," said Bowen, the inspector general for reconstruction in Iraq.....

Violence for which the United States failed to plan has consumed up to half the $18.4 billion through higher costs to guard project sites and workers and through direct shifts of billions of dollars to build Iraq's police and military.

In January, Bowen's office calculated the American reconstruction effort would be able to finish only 300 of 425 promised electricity projects and 49 of 136 water and sanitation projects.....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/02/AR2006040201209.html

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

Another 6-8 years of GOP control and the US will no longer be a democracy. It will be a one party authoritarian regime indistinguishable from China, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain under Franco, etc.

Quite possible, unfortunately. But I'm very sceptical that any national political figure is up to the challenges we've got (our political structure is very broken). In that sorry reality, the best I can hope for is that the toxic dogmas of contemporary Dixie Republicanism become objects of universal scorn -- which they always should have been.

Posted by: sglover on April 3, 2006 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

I keep wondering. If it would have taken at least a half million troops to maintain order early on in Iraq, is the plan to train that many Iraqi troops? Would it take a half million Iraqi troops to maintain order? Especially if you assume that they are not likely to be as well equipped or trained as US troops.

Then I wonder how the rest of the region would view a re militarized Iraq with a large, possibly well eqipped army.

Posted by: Hobson on April 3, 2006 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Ned Flanders: U.S. casualties have been dropping steadily since last November, so naturally this number is no longer important.

Actually US casualties as a total number are constantly rising. What Ned Flander is talking about is rather the rate per month of US casualties, which is decreasing against their historical high (but not against their rate in 2003), but only because the Shiites and Sunnis aren't fighting us as much any longer as they are fighting each other, thereby turning the conflict from a war of resistance against a foreign invader to sectarian and ethnic civil war.

I'll leave it to Flanders to explain how this is low-scale genocide is actually a good thing for the Bush "goal" of turning Iraq into a stable and united multi-party democracy that will serve as a shining beacon of freedom for the Middle East....

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

I keep wondering. If it would have taken at least a half million troops to maintain order early on in Iraq, is the plan to train that many Iraqi troops? Would it take a half million Iraqi troops to maintain order? Especially if you assume that they are not likely to be as well equipped or trained as US troops.

That's always been something they'd prefer not to discuss. After all, if 150,000 highly-trained, well-led, technologically superior American soldiers armed with the latest in electronic surveillance, air support, tanks, logistics, etc. weren't able to contain the resistance, then how exactly did they expect the same or lesser number of poorly-trained Iraqis armed only with AK-47s to do the job? (Not even counting the fact that many of them are more loyal to their particular sect or group than they are to Iraq itself). It never made any sense, of course, but sense is something in short supply in the right wing these days.

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Keep hitting the hawks on the issue of incompetence and the UN. Here's what I asked Greg (he hasn't responded):

But, I really have this nagging problem with one small issue. As far as I know (and I read your blog religiously) you've never said much about the U.N. I see now that you're starting to talk about the need for international cooperation in long-term strategies for Democratization. Does that mean that you, like Fukuyama, have come to a realization that organizations "like" the U.N. serve a useful purpose? I realize making such an admission would be a huge no-no for a self-admitted conservative, but you've already pissed off most of your conservative readers so I don't think you'll lose any more. And you might gain a whole lot of moderate, perhaps non-American readers who love America but who just can't understand why the hell the country that set up the U.N. is now hell-bent on its destruction.

I did not like Saddam and I would have supported any effort to overthrow him. But, my gut told me back in 2002/2003 that a war without international backing would be a huge mistake. Do you have any words at all for me on this? I'm not a very regular commenter, and I write very poorly. But on the Iraq war, even though I didn't know exactly how it was going to be a bad idea, my gut feeling was essentially right. And there are millions like me (one articulate one was Timothy Garton Ash).

So, please, comment today, in 2006, on my naive assumption that a broadly supported war like the one in Afghanistan was going to fare much better than a dubious one like the one in Iraq. Yes, I belive in the "good" of the U.N. In part because lots of competent and well-meaning people (some of them, I am proud to say, Norwegians like myself) devote their entire lives to it. So when the U.N. could not agree on Iraq I was worried. And my worst fears came true.

http://www.belgraviadispatch.com/2006/04/post_12.html#020115

Posted by: Mads Kvalsvik on April 3, 2006 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

The plan is to let Iraqis kill Iraqis until elected Iraqis agree on some Iraqi security force which will use violence, sometimes extreme, against Iraqis to stop the terrorism.
The plan is for the Iraqis to solve the Iraqi violence problem.
With the US Army to make sure no civil war pitched battles occur; and maybe to put some pressure on the majority Shiite death squads doing some payback against the Sunnis who supported Saddam and terrorism.

How many months under Saddam were LESS than a thousand Iraqis murdered/ disappeared?

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad on April 3, 2006 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

After all, if 150,000 highly-trained, well-led, technologically superior American soldiers armed with the latest in electronic surveillance, air support, tanks, logistics, etc. weren't able to contain the resistance, then how exactly did they expect the same or lesser number of poorly-trained Iraqis armed only with AK-47s to do the job?

Paramilitary death squads, of course! Never more than a stone's throw from a Republican administration.

Posted by: skewter on April 3, 2006 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

You have to invent the term "low-scale genocide" to make your point, and then you have a problem with my interpretations?

Ask the Kurds, Marsh Arabs, Shiites, and others what genocide really looks like, when it's organized and done by the numbers.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 3, 2006 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

How many months under Saddam were LESS than a thousand Iraqis murdered/ disappeared?

Who cares? Hussein's not in charge now -- we are. It's our responsibility as the occupying power to put a stop to this. If we can't it's completely our fault.

Once again we see the Republicans fall back to their baseline of "hey, at least we're better than Saddam!" High praise, indeed....

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

"What he means by 'whatever it takes'..."

Kevin Kevin Kevin! It means epsilon. Infinitely approaching a limit of zero. It means nothing because bullshit is carefully crafted verbiage that serves to reinforce an unspoken assertion without regard to whether it's true.

The unspoken assertion in this case is that the U.S. can "win" in Iraq. Glenn doesn't care whether that assertion is really true, but he cares deeply and powerfully about whether you believe it.

Posted by: s9 on April 3, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

"How many months under Saddam were LESS than a thousand Iraqis murdered/ disappeared?"

Who cares?

And there, you pretty much have it.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 3, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Eric Paulsen on April 3, 2006 at 11:17 AM:

Since these soldiers were exposed to vaccines and depleted uranium (DU) only...

Are we sure about that? What other substances have troops and civilians been exposed to or injected with: Pesticides, steriods, untested vaccines, nerve gas, et cetera...

More from a Brit report by one Lord Lloyd, snipped from Wikipedia:

In November, 2004, the anonymously-funded British inquiry headed by Lord Lloyd concluded, for the first time, that thousands of UK and US Gulf War veterans were made ill by their service. The report claimed that Gulf veterans were twice as likely to suffer from ill health than if they had been deployed elsewhere, and that the illnesses suffered were the result of a combination of causes. These included multiple injections of vaccines, the use of organophosphate pesticides to spray tents, low level exposure to nerve gas, and the inhalation of depleted uranium dust.

Yet another price to pay for Dubya's Folly.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 3, 2006 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

This is the funny part. This Sistini guy and Bush are playing this game. Sistini wants the American ambassader out, because he perceives a pro-Sunni bias.

So he will not read Bush's letter to him, this is some big public tango.

Talabani is with Bush and the Sunni, they want Jafaari out as prime mnister. Jaafari hangs on even without the support of SCIRI, the majority government Shia party. Jaafari is with the Dawa Party, more puritan than the others. Jaafari only hangs in because of support from Sadr and his militia. Sadr wants the police ministry portfolio for his group.

Sistini is making a trade. Dump the ambassader and he can have Jaafari dumped. This paves the way for a compromise candidate.

The Americans are just playing the balance of power game, and so is everyone else, it seems.


Posted by: Matt on April 3, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

I've long suspected that the Bush Administration's plan for Iraq went something like this:

1. Invade Iraq.
2. ???
3. Profit!

Posted by: Gregory on April 3, 2006 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

You have to invent the term "low-scale genocide" to make your point, and then you have a problem with my interpretations?

Yes, since his "interpretation" (or, as I prefer to call it, bold-faced lie) was dishonest. Flanders had said "U.S. casualties have been dropping steadily since last November" while, of course, U.S. casualties as a total number have been rising since that time. What has been dropping is the rate per month of casualties as measured against their historical high.

But the rate is not, of course, at its lowest. In the immediate postwar months we experienced about 30 to 48 deaths (as distinct from casualties) a month, while in the last few months the rate has been about 55 to 96, i.e. still higher than when we started.

Ask the Kurds, Marsh Arabs, Shiites, and others what genocide really looks like, when it's organized and done by the numbers.

Ah, so the tactic is now to claim that since there have been other, greater genocides that this one does not count? That because this is more of an ad hoc effort and not "organized and done by the numbers" that it's somehow not ethnic and sectarian cleansing?

We could also ask the Muslim Kosovars what a real genocide looks like, but then again the Republicans, who by their own logic were objectively pro-Milosevic, were all for letting that genocide go forward. We can also ask the people in Darfur what a genocide looks like and why Bush, who claims to be such a vaunted defender of the oppressed, is doing nothing to stop it.

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

And there, you pretty much have it.

Bullshit, tbrosz. The point is that your wingnut fantasies about doing good by "liberating" Iraq means diddly-squat when Bush incompetently "liberated" Iraq into a cauldron of sectarian violence. A failure, I might add, that is bound to result in blowback to the US one of these days. And yet you continue to clap harder and carry the Bush Administration's water. After all, Bush doesn't ask you to pay for the war -- in fact, he insists on paying for it with a tax cut, so it's hunky dory to you. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on April 3, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Flanders: And there, you pretty much have it.

And there, you pretty much have Flanders' dishonesty in nutshell. He excerpted my "who cares?" to paint me as not caring about Saddam's victims, while leaving out the rest of my paragraph, which reads:

Who cares? Hussein's not in charge now -- we are. It's our responsibility as the occupying power to put a stop to this. If we can't it's completely our fault.

The meaning, of course, is quite clear -- it doesn't matter how many people Saddam killed since we weren't responsible for him. We are, however, responsible for Iraq now, and, as the occupying power, we have both a legal (under the Geneva Conventions) and a moral and ethical responsiblity to provide security. If we don't do that it's America's failure, not Saddam's. Remember the concept of taking responsibility?

But of course Flanders and the rest of the Right prefer to evade responsibility, arguing that they're not to blame as long as someone somewhere sometime did something worse.

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ask the Kurds, Marsh Arabs, Shiites, and others what genocide really looks like, when it's organized and done by the numbers.

Since the Kurds, Marsh Arabs, Shiites, and others are all still around to ask, I'd say that Saddam's so-called "genocide" wasn't exactly as "organized and done by the numbers" as tbrosz would like to think it was.

Yes, tbrosz, Saddam was a bad actor. But we've delivered Iraq into a state of anarchy -- what order exists is due largely to local militias, which don't necessarily equate to good guys in their own right. No amount of purple finger waving or draft constitutions can make up for the fact that a government that can't keep order is not legitimate. Thomas Hobbes had that one figured out in the 17th freakin' century, tbrosz. Why is it beyond you?

Oh, right -- because incorporating Hobbes into your loony libertarian worldview would force you to acknowledge the social contract. Can't have that. Shame on you, tbrosz.

Posted by: Gregory on April 3, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

U.S. casualties have been dropping steadily since last November, so naturally this number is no longer important

Troops casualties have not been dropping, you insincere mealy-mouthed ass:

Over the past month, the average rate at which U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq has significantly fallen, the but the rates at which they are being wounded have dramatically increased.

If one is wounded one is a casualty. Casualties have been increasing.

The bad news, however, is that in the 39 days from Feb. 11 through March 21, 616 U.S. soldiers were injured in Iraq, an average of 15.8 per day. This was more than twice as bad as the Feb. 4-10 period when 47 U.S. soldiers were injured at an average rate of just under seven per day. And it was also more than 36 percent worse than the rate of the five-day period from Jan. 30 through Feb. 3 when 58 U.S. soldiers were injured, according to the DOD figures, at an average rate of 11.6 per day.

It gets worse: the number of wounded in action NOT returned to duty skyrocketed over the past two months. That means that even though the troops have been patrolling far less frequently and shifting responsibility to Iraq forces -- which is why the number of deaths has declined, by the way -- when they have been wounded they've been wounded much more seriously.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 3, 2006 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

MAYBE THEY BEHIDIN IN ALABAMA , SO GO THERE AND BEAT THE BUSHES TO FLUSH THEM OUT AND CHANEY GET OFF A FEW ROUNDS BEFORE THEY ESCAPE.

Posted by: EXPLORING on April 3, 2006 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Now that Windhorse has posted a solid refutation of Flanders' latest GOP generated talking point, I expect to see a follow-up post from him acknowledging his mistake and apologizing for attempting to mislead us....

*sound of crickets chirping*

*a lone tumbleweed blows across the stage*

Um, is he still out there, or as he scampered off as his habit when another of his lies has been blown apart...?

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

"What's the plan then?"

I love the smell of napalm in the morning -- it smells like . . . victory!

Posted by: Col. Kilgore on April 3, 2006 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

And, of course, Flanders never even attempted to answer my question upthread:

I'll leave it to Flanders to explain how this is [sic] low-scale genocide is actually a good thing for the Bush "goal" of turning Iraq into a stable and united multi-party democracy that will serve as a shining beacon of freedom for the Middle East....

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

And there, you pretty much have it.

Hey! We're not as bad as Hitler, Stalin, and Saddam!

We're the few, the proud, the obscene!

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 3, 2006 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

As a note on US death rates in Iraq and the large drop off this past month. For some reason, I don't know what it is, but there has been a large drop off in the number of US dead each February/March since the war started.

Posted by: MSR on April 3, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

So: what's the plan, hawks? "Whatever it takes" is just cheap talk.

Well, cheap talk is what they're good at. In fact, it's about the only thing they're any good at -- the cheaper the better.

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

We need massive troops to build a backbone for the new government (we need a real coalition). And a Come to Jesus (er, Allah) Meeting of all interested parties to hash out a political settlement. Preferably mediated by the UN, which still has some political credibility. Threaten the central authority--iIf you don't get your act together, Iraq will be partitioned into three parts. Oil resources will be placed in a trust administered by the UN to make sure proceeds are equitably distributed among the three states. The Iraqis will not make tough political choices unless they are forced to.

We also need a pony. And chocolate for everyone!

But I don't expect my plan, or the one above, will ever be put into practice. We've passed the point where a solution as proposed above would be remotely feasible. We have neither the authority nor the force to compel them to do any of it.

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Fraidy Fucker, since you aren't one of those "lay down and die libruls", could you please share with us what Army unit you are serving with in Iraq?

Tbores, dishonest to the last, posits that the number of Iraqis killed each month by Saddam has something to do with what the United States' policy regarding Iraq should be today. He doesn't know what the two have to do with one another, because Tbores is as dumb as he is dishonest. Someone told him to spew "Saddam killed more" if the subject ever came up.

As a measure of what kind of trolls we have here, they are pleased with a situation where hundreds of civilians are killed each month; where hundreds of attacks against our forces and what passes for the authorities occur each week; where ordinary Iraqis have no security; and where 2,000 Americans have laid down their lives and many times more have come home wounded.

BTW, for you disingenuous trolls, Human Rights Watch (a strident opponent of Iraq's old regime)said that there was no reason for a "humanitarian" invasion of Iraq in March 2003, as there was no ongoing slaughter of Iraqi civilians by the government (spare us all babbling about 1988). In short, no one invaded to lower the death rate, and no one has succeeded in doing so.

Posted by: solar on April 3, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

Yes, since his "interpretation" (or, as I prefer to call it, bold-faced lie) was dishonest. Flanders had said "U.S. casualties have been dropping steadily since last November" while, of course, U.S. casualties as a total number have been rising since that time. What has been dropping is the rate per month of casualties as measured against their historical high.

You have a lot of trouble with this kind of thing, don't you? The context of my post was the monthly Iraqi losses, and anyone who wasn't seriously limited in brainpower would have assumed that's what I was talking about, as opposed to creating the impression that our soldiers were rising from the dead.

***

Windhorse:

Look up how "not returned to duty" is actually defined. We might also want to settle on a definition of "skyrocketed" and "dramatically increased," too. You also know damn well what I was talking about in the context of the earlier posts when I used the term "casualties." Let's not pretend to be any denser here than we have to be.

The weekly figures are here.

WNRD is at 182 for March. It was 122 in February, 101 in January, 169 last December, 165 in November, and 220 in October. The number has increased since November, and I'll concede that. It has also radically decreased since last fall. As with a lot of these things, a lot depends on which part of the chart you pull out.

For such a chart, see page 7 of the very valuable Brookings Iraq Index. This chart doesn't separate the "not returned to duty" out. At least the article linked mentioned the difference between wounded, and wounded not returned to duty within 72 hours. Most don't. It's not hard to find misleading articles on "15,000 troops returning home mutilated."

I think the trend in reduction of monthly U.S. deaths is more significant. Of course, it won't be a real trend unless it's maintained.

And yes, it's not that surprising to see Iraqi military and civilian losses rising as the war moves into Baghdad, the Iraqis take up more of the fighting, and the militias in Baghdad start pushing for power again.

Posted by: tbrosz on April 3, 2006 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

As a measure of what kind of trolls we have here, they are pleased with a situation where hundreds of civilians are killed each month; where hundreds of attacks against our forces and what passes for the authorities occur each week; where ordinary Iraqis have no security; and where 2,000 Americans have laid down their lives and many times more have come home wounded.

Of course they're pleased with it, solar. The whole mess doesn't cost them anything, after all. At least not in any way they'd acknowledge, since they seem to insist Bush's Folly is making American more secure, not less.

This thread is a classic example of tbrosz' dishonesty. I truly wonder if he expects anyone to be impressed with his bullshit, or if he just can't stand to see his tax-cutting hero Bush criticized to such an extent that he has to put up some sort of defense, even one as blatantly feeble and dishonest as this one.

Posted by: Gregory on April 3, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

tbrosz at 2:11 pm

You should seek some help. You need it immediately.

Your brain appears to be fried much more than it always seemed to be.

Posted by: lib on April 3, 2006 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter tbrosz: Vietnamization -- er, Iraqification -- is going just swimmingly! Clap harder!

I think the trend in reduction of monthly U.S. deaths is more significant.

So do I, but not for the reasons you do, probably. It means that our troops are ceding ground to the insurgents, staying in their bases rather than going out on patrol, or at best staging phony ops like that Potemkin dog-and-pony show last month. And the rate of total casualties has already been pointed out to you.

But it sounds like a nice talkng poing, so I'm not surprised you cling to it like it was the GOP's last tax cut.

And yes, it's not that surprising to see Iraqi military and civilian losses rising as the war moves into Baghdad, the Iraqis take up more of the fighting, and the militias in Baghdad start pushing for power again.

As if the war ever moved out of Baghdad. And the Iraqis that are taking up more of the fighting by and large are the militias. Sheesh, tbrosz, this is pathetic! Bush and Rumsfeld have once again subordinated national security to short-term domestic political concerns, and worse yet done so incompetently, and yet you still carry water for them. Shame on you.

Posted by: Gregory on April 3, 2006 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Ned Flanders:

I am so smart and patriotic. You guys are dumb. Why are you guys so worried about the accelerating rate of Iraqi deaths? Our focus should be on the reduction in American casualty rates, and there is plenty of evidence to show that that's happening.

Posted by: nut on April 3, 2006 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

And yes, it's not that surprising to see Iraqi military and civilian losses rising as the war moves into Baghdad, the Iraqis take up more of the fighting, and the militias in Baghdad start pushing for power again.

And I ask again, this is a good thing for the Bush regime's stated goal of turning Iraq into a peacful, united mulit-party and multi-ethnic democracy that will be a shining beacon of freedom for the Middle East how, exactly?

I love Flanders' thought process (if I may call it that). We say "deaths are going up because of the civil war" and he responds, in essence "of course they're going up, there's more fighting, what do you expect?" As if this faux-sagacity restating of the obvious is actually any kind of answer to the original point, which is that the deaths and civil war are a sign we've failed. He'd much rather pretend to have said something profound than actually be honest and admit his position is fucked.

If Iraq descends into chaos, it may well be a blow the Republican Party won't recover from for another generation.

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Let me remind folks here that President Bush defined success in the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq document he circulated a few months back. He said so himself.

Trot out the book folks! Let's see what's up!

Posted by: zak822 on April 3, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

The context of my post was the monthly Iraqi losses, and anyone who wasn't seriously limited in brainpower would have assumed that's what I was talking about, as opposed to creating the impression that our soldiers were rising from the dead.

Ah, so when he pretends not to have said what he said it's no longer about the plain meaning but all about the "context" of his post. But then later, when he pretends that my paragraph

Who cares? Hussein's not in charge now -- we are. It's our responsibility as the occupying power to put a stop to this. If we can't it's completely our fault.

could accurately be boiled down to "who cares?" then context suddenly wasn't so important to him.

He seems to have a lot of trouble with this kind of thing, doesn't he?

Posted by: Stefan on April 3, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

You also know damn well what I was talking about in the context of the earlier posts when I used the term "casualties."

I do know damn well what you were talking about. You were trying to pretend that the guys who get their legs blown off or get shrapnel in their heads didn't matter, because the fact of their existence wrecks your effort at misdirection on how bad things have gotten in Iraq when you can (misleadingly) point to one statistic that seemingly has improved.

At the same time, as solar pointed out above, you're trying to diminish the reality of suffering and death in Iraq by pointing to anything that happened in the past and arbitrarily asserting that it was worse, while at the same time quibbling about our use of terms that you believe are arbitrary -- while vacantly musing about the maintenaceof these trends in a further attempt to misdirect.

You know what? You don't get to muse about future trends when not once on this blog have you ever acknowledged a) how bad things are in Iraq, and b) that they've gotten worse from what they were at some point in the past. Whenever the statistics have shown worse violence, more crimes, more deaths, less power, higher unemployment, more sectarian fighting, rampant inflation, et al -- you've just ignore the facts and pointed to something else -- did we all know the price of falafals has dropped in the Anbar region? That "Veteran of Operation Lightning" patches have been selling out on right-wing blogs?

And yes, it's not that surprising to see Iraqi military and civilian losses rising as the war moves into Baghdad, the Iraqis take up more of the fighting, and the militias in Baghdad start pushing for power again.

Then by corollary it's not surprising to see deaths of U.S. forces decline. What is shows is that there has been no improvement of the overall situation, just a shift of deaths from one demographic group to another -- and that your droll remark upthread accusing us of ignoring the troop death statistic was clearly an attempt to distract from the issue we were talking about.

Thank you for confirming that you were, in fact, just trolling.

And not surprising that militias are vying for power? Sure as hell a surprise given your previous predictions about purple fingers solving everything and this being a guerilla war against terrorists, not a war having anything to do with militias. You're like the whorish sychophants I used to work with in the corporate world; just pick up on the boss's buzzword of the day and run with it as if you've always known about the issue and been a strong supporter since day one.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 3, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

The obfuscations, evasions, blusters of the right on this are pitiable to watch. They range from the bozos like those above who don't care how many Iraqis are killed every months, a bit like the jews in 1940's Poland, not our problem, through the ''scientific'' neo cons who claim amongst other things that Hussein would be killing people at a far faster rate and it would have cost nearly as much to contain Hussein as pay for this monumental fiasco, to the super optimists for whom there is always jam tomorrow. Let's face it you're never going to stop the bitter enders because they have so much emotional capital invested in this it's impossible to admit their complicity overt or unspoken in one of the biggest blunders in American history. No doubt in a few years time they will be telling people they were always against this war, a bit like most of the French claimed they were in the resistance.

Posted by: John on April 3, 2006 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

As if this faux-sagacity restating of the obvious is actually any kind of answer to the original point, which is that the deaths and civil war are a sign we've failed. He'd much rather pretend to have said something profound than actually be honest and admit his position is fucked.

What I was trying to say but stated much more succinctly by Stefan.

Posted by: Windhorse on April 3, 2006 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

Do not try and unfold the plan. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth. (...) There is no plan. Then you'll see that it is not the plan that unfolds, it is only yourself.

Posted by: Neo on April 3, 2006 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

"Once again we see the Republicans fall back to their baseline of "hey, at least we're better than Saddam!" High praise, indeed...."

Well that's all they can really claim as an accomplishment, a country falling apart at the seams that's at least a little better than when the worst dictator in that region was running things.

Just think, a few years ago Iraq was going to be a shiny new model for the rest of the middle east and now it makes other middle eastern governments (which are pretty awful by any rational standards) look good by comparison...

I really don't think W is stupid, it takes somebody with some level of (badly misapplied) intelligence to create this level or royal fuck up.

Posted by: michael farris on April 3, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed listen to neo he is the one

Posted by: freedom fighter on April 3, 2006 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

The neocons have made their plans very clear. They wish to ensure U.S. dominance through the control of ME oil reserves. Control of the ME oil reserves is the strategic lynch pin in the quest for total world domination. It gaurantees that no foreign power can hope to challenge the US militarily, for they will not have access to the strategic resources necessary to fuel their war machines. Victory, seen from this perspective, is establishing permanent military bases throughout the region.

Posted by: bblog on April 3, 2006 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Plan? Plan! The plan is to grab their oil! Like duh! What better way then to start a region wide civil war and have them kill themselves off for a few years, while maintaining a few secure bases and then go in and provide security for what's left.

Posted by: brodix on April 3, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Yes. There is no need to speculate about the neocons' plans. They have been completely forthright about them. The perhaps not so strange thing is that no one believes them. Why? Because it is totally insane.

Posted by: bblog on April 3, 2006 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone care what "conservatives" think any more? They've been proven disastrously wrong by reality.

Tbrosz and the other cheerleaders have zero credibility now; their current words deserve nothing but derisive laughter.

Posted by: melior (in Austin) on April 3, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

Bush has given his exit stratagy. The next administration will clean it up. For God's sake don't let him near the button in the mean time.

Posted by: darby1936 on April 3, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Human Rights Watch (a strident opponent of Iraq's old regime)said that there was no reason for a "humanitarian" invasion of Iraq in March 2003,

Posted by: solar on April 3, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

the Iraqi's would disagree. Ask a Shiite.

Posted by: Mca on April 3, 2006 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/mena/iraq1217bg.htm

Actually HRW took no position on the use of force in Iraq. Can't call for intervention all the time and be squeamish.

Posted by: Mca on April 3, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

MCA....ask a Shiite and they'll ask you where we were in 1991.

Posted by: nota bene on April 4, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

How many months under Saddam were LESS than a thousand Iraqis murdered/ disappeared?

Discounting the months when he was best buddy with the US, and the months when the US was at war with Iraq? Trying to stretch out the deaths of the Iran-Iraq war into a factitious 'average' is such a common tactic among the trolltards. But, y'know, 'who cares'?

Posted by: ahem on April 4, 2006 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

John Hansen: Does anybody know how this compares to deaths under the regime of Saddam?

Hint: American conservatives were responsible for many of those deaths, especially the Kurds brutally murdered with chemical weapons, through financial and political support for Saddam.

So, where were you when Reagan and Bush 41 were underwriting Saddam?

Cheering them on most likely.

And once again, American conservatives are responsible for numerous Iraqi deaths.

Posted by: Advocate for God on April 4, 2006 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

General Zinni is saying to late, to little too.

I wish someone would ask General Zinni what exactly James Baker the III was doing in France, Germany and Russian after Bush started the war in Iraq - settling oil contracts with them.

This lost war in Iraq just keeps coming back to the oil as only reason we're still there.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 4, 2006 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

I'm glad I stumbled onto this site.
I am simply shocked at the level of cynicism (and worse) on this board. A feeding frenzy of hate, ignorance, negativity, and cynicism.

Do ANY of you ever think about how much better this all would have gone had you lent your support to it - or at least restrained your hatred and cynicism? Once the decision to go into Iraq was made, that should have been the time you supported it in one way or another. No, but that was too much for you ideological zealots (funny - the exact same thing you accuse the Bushies of).

The verdict is still out on Iraq. But most of you have done your best, in one form or another, to sabotage it. Bravo. You should be very proud.

Posted by: slick on April 5, 2006 at 5:36 AM | PERMALINK

I'm glad I stumbled onto this site.
I am simply shocked at the level of cynicism (and worse) on this board. A feeding frenzy of hate, ignorance, negativity, and cynicism.

Do ANY of you ever think about how much better this all would have gone had you lent your support to it - or at least restrained your hatred and cynicism? Once the decision to go into Iraq was made, that should have been the time you supported it in one way or another. No, but that was too much for you ideological zealots (funny - the exact same thing you accuse the Bushies of).

The verdict is still out on Iraq. But most of you have done your best, in one form or another, to sabotage it. Bravo. You should be very proud.

Posted by: slick on April 5, 2006 at 5:37 AM | PERMALINK

slick: Do ANY of you ever think about how much better this all would have gone had you lent your support to it


so between "like being lied to" or "not being lied to"


slick will put you as a yes in the "like being lied to" crowd..

slick: simply shocked at the level of cynicism


where were you from 1993....to 2000?

dead enders dont do facts or irony...

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on April 5, 2006 at 5:47 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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