Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 19, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

LIFE OUTSIDE THE GREEN ZONE....President Bush says things are improving in Iraq. His ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, seems not to agree. Two weeks ago Khalilzad sent a long cable to the State Department that laid out how things are really going according to Iraqi staff members at the embassy:

  • Women are being increasingly harrassed: made to wear a veil, told not to use cell phones or drive a car, and being forced to wear the hijab at work. Men who wear shorts or jeans have come under attack from "what staff members describe as Wahabis and Sadrists."

  • Different neighborhoods are controlled by different militias, and staff members have to be careful to dress and speak differently in each one. "People no longer trust most neighbors." Even the upscale Mansur district is now an "unrecognizable ghost town." A newspaper editor reports that ethnic cleansing is taking place in virtually every Iraqi province.

  • Electricity is available for only a few hours a day and fuel lines can require waits as long as 12 hours.

  • Being known as an embassy employee "is a death sentence if overheard by the wrong people."

  • "Objectivity, civility, and logic" from staff members are becoming harder to come by as pressure outside the Green Zone increases. The embassy can't get good information if people become too scared to speak honestly.

I tried to find some good news in the cable to balance out the bad, but the best I could come up with is the observation that if you live in the same building as an important government minister, you'll be able to get electricity 24 hours a day. No word on whether staff members' children are attending freshly painted schools.

Kevin Drum 12:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (110)

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Comments

La La La La La We can't hear you!

Posted by: TROLLS on June 19, 2006 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

well if you are going to resort to facts....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 19, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

The most likely explanation is the letter was a forgery made by terrorists like Zarqawi or his successor because they knew their liberal allies in the media would jump on it in their desire to see America lose in the War on Terror.

Posted by: Al on June 19, 2006 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

WOW. The actual document reads much more ominously than any paraphrasing I've read. Thanks for including it.

Posted by: ChetBob on June 19, 2006 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously, Kevin, the MSM can't be bothered to report all the good news in Ira-- what's that you say? It was the US ambassador that reported this? Must be a RiNO who's selling out for a book deal. Plus, what do you expect from someone named Zalmay Khalilzad, he's obviously on the other side.

Posted by: Ugh on June 19, 2006 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

One point, this may not have actually been written by Khalilizad as often these cables contain the ambassador's name at the bottom (as the head of mission). But was obviously written by someone at the Embassy.

Posted by: Tim on June 19, 2006 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Was this document found in Zarqawi's pants?

Posted by: craigie on June 19, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, I see Al is already on the case. You just can't parody the insane.

Posted by: craigie on June 19, 2006 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Why does the State Department hate America?

Posted by: cyntax on June 19, 2006 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

All the Wahabbists and Sadrists need to do is enact a ban to "keep the women in the kitchen" and they'll be embraced by Republicans wholesale.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 19, 2006 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

One ambassador has a negative opinion on how things are going. Most eyewitness accounts are much more positive. Ambassadors are used to high class luxury living, not the real world; I would be inclined to listen to the words of senators and soldiers.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 19, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

It's better that the Republicans' agenda to bring a resource rich country to a third world status be fulfilled in Iraq. If they don't do it there, they will try to do it here.

Posted by: nut on June 19, 2006 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

I would be inclined to listen to the words of senators and soldiers.

Good, start with John Murtha.

Posted by: Ugh on June 19, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Good, start with John Murtha.

Who is neither a soldier nor a senator.

Posted by: tbrosz on June 19, 2006 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

So whats your point, that Iraq is in bad shape, despite what Bush says. No sh*t sherlock. All I know is the dems took another drubbing last week in congress by not supporting iraq and it seems although most of the country thinks iraq was a mistake, must amer don't support leaving immediately. If the dems continue to pursue this line, forget Nov and forget 08.

I support a planned, gradual withdrawl because I think Iraq is as good as its gonna get, with us over there. I also support a long time presence.

I personally think the withdrawal card will be the GOP october surprise, once again leaving the dems stepping and fetching. Bush will announce that things are good enough for the Iraqies to take over and bamo, the GOP win again on this issue.

As long as Iraq is an issue, the GOP will be on top. Get it?

I hate to say it, but as long as the only thing dems can offer is hammering on Bush, or hamming on Iraq, the GOP is a cinch to continue their winning ways.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on June 19, 2006 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Who was the genius that got us into this mess?

Posted by: American Eagle on June 19, 2006 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, don't tease me, fake tbrosz.

Posted by: craigie on June 19, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

The trolls continue to grasp for excuses and explanations as they wait with their fuehrer in the bunker for Army Group Steiner to rescue them.

Posted by: Red on June 19, 2006 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Who was the genius that got us into this mess?

President Cheney, of course.

Posted by: craigie on June 19, 2006 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

That memo looks like a forgery to me. That typeface wasn't used in June 2006. You could reproduce that in Microsoft Word.

Posted by: croatoan on June 19, 2006 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

We can't really trust the Ambassador - we'd much rather get our "facts" from Iraq the model blogger but thanks anyway.

Love,
The Trolls

Posted by: ckelly on June 19, 2006 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

*sigh* Why does Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad hate America?

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Most eyewitness accounts are much more positive."

That's some pretty solid empirical data there, champ.

Posted by: fat smelly birkel on June 19, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq merely has a government in exile. They're located on a fantasy island called the "Green Zone".
.

Posted by: VJ on June 19, 2006 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Particularly ominous is the bit at the end about how "Employees are apprehensive enough that we fear they may exaggerate developments or steer us towards news that comports with their own worldview." So it seems we won't be able to trust most news coming out of the American embassy in Baghdad from here on out....

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Note that they speak in Arabic as a signal that English is unsafe. I suspect that raising this as an issues means that most of the US staff cannot speak or understand Arabic.

Posted by: MRM on June 19, 2006 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

One ambassador has a negative opinion on how things are going. Most eyewitness accounts are much more positive. Ambassadors are used to high class luxury living, not the real world; I would be inclined to listen to the words of senators and soldiers.
Posted by: American Hawk on June 19, 2006 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

If I were as confident as you, I would put my money where my mouth is, and start investing in Iraqi real-estate.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 19, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

At best an invading country's overriding responsibility after gaining military control is to provide for the well-being of the citizens there. US citizens recognize with every soldier's death that Iraq is one long train wreck and that the conservatives continuing level of lies that everything is getting better just cements the break from reality shown by many instances of contradicting information discovered daily. The continuing stream of BS that things are getting better fails to be associated with proof that it is. If it were true then after all these years troops would be coming home. Iraq would be a vast peace land.

Posted by: Where's osama on June 19, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK


AMERICAN HAWK: I would be inclined to listen to the words of senators and soldiers.

Since your inclinations also include listening to the pathological liar, compulsive thief and mass murderer who is our president, forgive me if I don't put too much faith in them.


Posted by: jayarbee on June 19, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

"what staff members describe as Wahabis and Sadrists."

wahabbists, yes from, um iran and syria, that's right, beware the persian/syrian wahabbists.

Posted by: the saudi agenda on June 19, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

"Ambassadors are used to high class luxury living, not the real world; I would be inclined to listen to the words of senators and soldiers."

If you'd taken the trouble to read the linked document before commenting on it, you'd have seen that it's all about the Iraqis who staff the embassy and lead the rest of their lives outside the Green Zone. Maybe you should come up with an inclination to listen to them as well. But then you'd risk hearing things you don't want to hear.

Posted by: nandrews3 on June 19, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Major General John Batiste
General Anthony Zinni
Major General Paul Eaton
Lieutenant General Greg Newbold
General Merrill McPeak
Major General John Riggs
Major General Charles Swannack
Lieutenant General William Odom
General Colin Powell

That enough soldiers to start with?

And I just love the 'one ambassador' comment: of course, the ambassador to Luxembourg has a different opinion! And so soes the ambassador to Costa Rica! Why, out of hundreds of ambassadors, only one seems to have spoken up!

Posted by: pbg on June 19, 2006 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

They're located on a fantasy island called the "Green Zone

Does that mean that Iraq had a short little fella that chanted "The plane, the plane" when Bush flew into Iraq last week?

Posted by: ckelly on June 19, 2006 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

This is all nonsense. We killed al Zarqawi, therefore there is no more insurgency. The two missing soldiers, like the 9/11 widows, are obviously traitors.

Posted by: Jim J on June 19, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

I think #15 says it all.

Posted by: klyde on June 19, 2006 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Can someone explain why Tbrosz isn't around much? Did something happen that I missed?

Posted by: dilbert on June 19, 2006 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK
I think #15 says it all.

Its a very odd that the two bits of information put together there: it seems to suggest the shredding was a reaction to staff members wanting to know what would be done for them in an evacuation. But...why? Is it "they won't be evacuated, but we'll do what we can to prevent their identity from being revealed if embassy documents are captured"? Or is it "many of them won't be evacuated, but we plan to claim that we evacuated them all, and don't want any paper around contradicting our story"? Or is it something else?

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Life outside the Green Zone
Surely make you lose your mind
Life outside the Green Zone
Life outside the Green Zone
Everything all the time
Life outside the Green Zone"

"Eager for basing, hot for the game
The main distraction, the outing of the Plame
They fooled all the right people
Used all the right shills
They made outrageous claims
Now Iraq pays hellish bills
There were lies in the mirror, lies on his face
We pretended not to notice we were caught up in the race
Now there's violence every evening and even when it's light
And it's too late to fix it, only time to fight about it"

"Life outside the Green Zone
Surely make you lose your life..."

Posted by: Eagles on June 19, 2006 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

One ambassador has a negative opinion on how things are going. Most eyewitness accounts are much more positive. Ambassadors are used to high class luxury living, not the real world; I would be inclined to listen to the words of senators and soldiers.
Posted by: American Hawk

My stepson's father has been over to Iraq at least half a dozen times. He says the situation is much worse than depicted in the US press (by the way, Chickenshit, he voted for Bush - twice).

So why don't you go over, Chickenshit, and not within the Green Zone? Just tour Baghdad and report back to us on how good it is.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 19, 2006 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

So why don't you go over, Chickenshit, and not within the Green Zone? Just tour Baghdad and report back to us on how good it is.

I offered to pay Birkel's airfare to Iraq and back if he wanted to spend a week or two of vacation there, with the only condition that he come back with some pictures (not from Istanbul) proving that he'd actually gone. Needless to say he never took me up on it....

Posted by: Stefan on June 19, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

They're located on a fantasy island called the "Green Zone

Does that mean that Iraq had a short little fella that chanted "The plane, the plane" when Bush flew into Iraq last week?Posted by: ckelly

More accurately, that would be "The chopper. The chopper."

Posted by: JeffII on June 19, 2006 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin- None of the quotes you list from the Prime Minister say things are getting worse. Nor do they say things are staying the same.

Once again, you are cherry-picking info to bash Bush.

Is this the best you can do?

Posted by: Frequency Kenneth on June 19, 2006 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

I offered to pay Birkel's airfare to Iraq and back if he wanted to spend a week or two of vacation there, with the only condition that he come back with some pictures (not from Istanbul) proving that he'd actually gone. Needless to say he never took me up on it....

Maybe he's just really embarrassed about being a terrible photographer....

/wingnut style shameless rationalizing

Posted by: trex on June 19, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin- None of the quotes you list from the Prime Minister say things are getting worse. Nor do they say things are staying the same.Posted by: Frequency Kenneth

You can't even read, can you? The quotes are from our own ambassador, dumbshit.

Posted by: JeffII on June 19, 2006 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or has the troll quality really dropped off lately?

Posted by: David P on June 19, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin- None of the quotes you list from the Prime Minister say things are getting worse. Nor do they say things are staying the same.

Lie. The quotes (which come from the Bush-appointed American ambassador, not from the Prime Minister, you stupid moron) explicitly say things are getting worse:

"Beginning in March, and picking up in mid-May...Iraqi staff...have complained that...militia groups have been negatively affecting their daily routine....even upscale neighborhoods such as Mansur have visibly deteriorated."

"...some groups are pushing women to cover even their face, a step not taken in Iran even at its most conservative."

"some ministries...have been forcing women to wear the hijab at work."

"Staff members have reported that it is now dangerous for men to wear shorts in public...."

"In April, employees began reporting a change of demeanor of guards at the green zone checkpoints. They seemed to be more militia-like, in some cases seemingly taunting..."

Read the whole thing. It's getting worse, and rapidly so. If this is what things are like for the relatively well-educated and well-connected who work in the Green Zone, what must it be like for the common citizens?

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

Reading the entire embassy memo, I get the chilly feeling that Iran is thoroughly integrated into the Iraqi insurgency. The references to unknown outsiders, the consistency of the pressures being brought on the many and widespread Iraqis referred to in the memo, and the seeming ability of the diverse insurgents to act in concert suggests the capabilities of a unified government projecting its interests through force - not just a rag tag bunch of unhappy ex-Saddhamists along with some unemployed angry youths and religious neurotics.

Posted by: KazooGuy on June 19, 2006 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

You have to work with the dysfunctional, anarchical Islamic state you create - not the one you wish you could create.

Posted by: ckelly on June 19, 2006 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin- None of the quotes you list from the Prime Minister say things are getting worse. Nor do they say things are staying the same.
Posted by: Frequency Kenneth

Aaaannnd the trolls are just mailing it in folks.

Posted by: ckelly on June 19, 2006 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me or has the troll quality really dropped off lately?

Like most conservatives, they believe in quantity, not quality.

Posted by: craigie on June 19, 2006 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

KazooGuy, it's clear that the Iraqi insurgency is driven to a large extent by ex-Baathist Iraqis, probably military/intelligence guys who were turfed out by Bremer when he disbanded the Iraqi Army. To suggest that Iran is behind everything is silly at best, plainly ignorant at worst. Or perhaps you're gunning for a showdown with Iran?

Posted by: Wonderin on June 19, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'd say its pretty clear that the problems aren't coming from one source (whether "ex-Baathists" or "Iran"), but rather from the polarization of several factions. The reciprocal ethnic cleansing is one of the single clearest illustrations of this.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

One of the most original and perhaps insightful commentaries on the war in Iraq is Why Iraq Will End as Vietnam Did by the Israeli historian Martin Van Creveld. His characterization of Moshe Dayans take on the war in Vietnam rings quite familiar- the Americans had fantastically superior forces, they were very well organized and highly motivated but they did not know what they were fighting for- besides the abstraction of winning. They did not know who the enemy was and what was motivating him and they did not care. Instead they chose to be cloistered in so many Green Zones throughout southern Vietnam and speculated about communism and accounted for success with body counts and "turning points". Because of this the Americans could not see that no matter how great their dedication, how well prepared or how superior the American forces that they could not win a war against a nationalist enemy that wants nothing more than to be left alone.

The only people who are surprised by the outcome in Iraq, by the utter debacle and escalating violence, the mounting deaths and expense with no end in sight, at a time when the US is economically weaker than it was in the 1960's, are those that think America is such a superior nation that history does not apply, that the rules of asymmetrical warfare are not important and that everyone wants to be an American. As Dayan put it, the Americans were not fighting against infiltration to South [Vietnam], or against guerrillas, or against North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, but against the entire world. Their real aim was to show everybody including Britain, France, and the USSR their power and determination so as to pass this message: wherever Americans go, they are irresistible.

Iraq, and now Afghanistan, is coming apart exactly as many who are not American cheerleaders, apologists or sentimentalists had predicted. It will only grow harder and more brutal.

Posted by: bellumregio on June 19, 2006 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

After reading the cable from Iraq, thinking about the green-zone and the megacamps abuilding, I couldn't help thinking of the Roman legions of the Eastern frontier.

The most poignant parragraph was the one where Iraqi employees are asking what arrangements the US are making for them if the US pull out. There's a confirmation of the lack of confidence the Iraqis have in ultimate US victory. These should be the most confident. Also shades of Saigon. Spooky.

I thought the whole cable was a warning shot of reality across the bows of this administration, saying "Things Are VERY BAD and Getting WORSE."

Posted by: notthere on June 18, 2006 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

Basically agree with what BellumRegio says. We have not devoted the resources or directed the correct policies to stabilize either Afghanistan of Iraq. It's all unravelling but Rumsfeld, Cheney (today, at Pres. Ford Press Award) and Bush keep humming the same old song.

Anybody told them about pissing into the wind?

Posted by: notthere on June 19, 2006 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

My understanding is that Iran's role in fighting the Occupation is felt more in the south - in the British zone - and less so in the Baghdad area.

This one is obviously a very bad one for the Trolls. Usually they come out swinging at the slightest hint of bad news.

Posted by: Pierre Asciutto on June 19, 2006 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

It is hard to believe that those stupid Iraqi's have yet to form the model democratic society. After centuries of oppression and tyranny, you'd think that they would be able to lift themselves up from that within a few years. Why can't they embrace abortion on demand, same sex marriage, freedom from any mention of religion and complete compliance to international law and the doctrine of the UN like we do? I know, let's subject them to those mental powerhouse ambassadors like Cindy Sheehan, Howard Dean, and Michael Moore. That'll scare them straight.

Posted by: the left on June 19, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

"The most poignant paragraph.....if the US pulls out" notthere

Geez, I wonder where they're getting that idea?

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yesterday, the ex-Secretary of State and Kissinger toady Eagleburger had a very interesting formulation on a talk show that essentially asserted that if GWB fails in Iraq, the blame for the fiasco shall lie wholly with the Iraqis' inability to form a stable and secure country.

Amazing deflection even before the acceptance of failure from a Bushlicker.

Posted by: nut on June 19, 2006 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

I think I see things clearly now, the left. Our problems in Iraq are due to abortion on demand, gays, the UN and Cindy Sheehan.

Golly, ya think if we just converted all the Iraqis to evangelical Christianity, we'd solve all our problems?

Posted by: Wonderin on June 19, 2006 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Obviously Kevin, you have forgotten to give us our marching orders to simply clap louder and all will be well on the Iraqi front.

Tsk..tsk..

Posted by: justmy2 on June 19, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Well let's see, christians built this current society that allows you free speech and the pursuit of happiness, so..............

Posted by: the left on June 19, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

No no justmy2, it's complain harder. COMPLAIN HARDER. That way, despite three free successful elections, a permanently formed representative government, a 250,000+ military/security forces and Zarqawi dead, we can still call it a quagmire.

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK
Amazing deflection even before the acceptance of failure from a Bushlicker.

Well, of course, if the failure is perceived by the Bush defenders, they will act to deflect blame as furiously as possible before the failure is a well-accepted fact.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well let's see, christians built this current society that allows you free speech and the pursuit of happiness, so..............
Posted by: the left

They weren't christians Jay but have a nice day anyway.

Posted by: ckelly on June 19, 2006 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Jay --
It's clear they get most of their ideas the US is not going to get this right from their daily experiences.

An ambassador and his staff doesn't whip a report together like this lightly. It contains a lot of illustratrive points of concern and deterioration and it's short and concise. Even GWB should be able to read it and understand his constant optimism might be misplaced.

How many turning points make for success. We're not standing anyone down yet even though there are 265,000 "trained" security forces and they are taking the lead more. That's significant. Right now we are ramping up military action in an offensive to regain control that we will never have. Hear any historical echoes, trolls?

The founding fathers had the sense to leave religion out of building this society. We've already seen in Afghanistan the problems of sharia law being part of the constitution. We'll see the same in Iraq some time as the constitution has the same compromises.

Interesting that, after 225 years, our own home-grown fundamentalists want to put religion into our laws.

A group of so-called Christians are bringing a wave of bigotry and restraint of personal freedom, responsibility and choice into this country.

Just the latest 21st-century manifestation of the KKK.

Posted by: notthere on June 19, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

One ambassador has a negative opinion on how things are going. Most eyewitness accounts are much more positive. Ambassadors are used to high class luxury living, not the real world; I would be inclined to listen to the words of senators and soldiers.
Posted by: American Hawk on June 19, 2006 at 1:11 PM

Woah...we have more than one ambassador now...Khalizad must be on the way to his heckuva job memo...

Who knew?

Posted by: justmy2 on June 19, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

"the founding fathers had the sense to leave religion out of building this society...." notthere

Have you ever heard of:
In God We Trust
One Nation Under God
The Ten Commandments; as they relate to the Bill of Rights

And why are witness's asked to swear on the Bible to tell the trught, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

Good Lord, notthere, you are a lot thicker than I gave you credit for. Judeo-christian values are the cornerstones of this society.

ckelly, were they Buddhists?

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

No no justmy2, it's complain harder. COMPLAIN HARDER. That way, despite three free successful elections, a permanently formed representative government, a 250,000+ military/security forces and Zarqawi dead, we can still call it a quagmire. Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

uh...I rest my case your honor....

Posted by: justmy2 on June 19, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK
In God We Trust
One Nation Under God

Funny, neither of those phrases was involved in the creation of our society.

Posted by: Edo on June 19, 2006 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Have you ever heard of:
In God We Trust
:
"The most common place where the motto is observed in daily life is on the money of the United States. The first United States coin to bear this national motto was the 1864 two-cent piece. It first appeared on U.S. currency on the back of Florida National Bank Notes in 1863. It wasn't until 1957 that the motto was permanently adopted for use on United States currency."

One Nation Under God:
The pledge of allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (a Baptist minister and Christian Socialist); "under God" was added by Congress in 1954.

The Ten Commandments; as they relate to the Bill of Rights:
Have you ever heard of John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, baron de Montesquieu? Granted the Bill of Rights is the first ten ammendments to the Constitution and there are (as you point out) Ten Commandments, but aside from the numerological similarity, could you provide a little more detail?

So Jay, what do any of these examples have to do with the Founding Fathers again?

Just wonderining.

Posted by: cyntax on June 19, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

Good, start with John Murtha.

Who is neither a soldier nor a senator.

No, tbozo, he's not a senator, he's a congressman.

And he's not a soldier, he's a fucking Marine. Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Can we trade these tired old trolls in for a fresh batch? I'm sick to death of stupid lying bastards like tbozo, Anti-American Chickenhawk and Fake Fake Al.

Posted by: Ken on June 19, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

The founding fathers were deists.

And they were very specific about separating church and state -- because they knew how religious wars had devastated Europe ... and were determined to avoid a state-sanctioned religion.

Christianity certainly influenced the founders ... but in no way did they intend for a Christian theocracy in this nation. If Jefferson saw what was going on today, he'd throw up.

Posted by: Harpo on June 19, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

"When in the course of human events......equal station to which the laws of nature and of natures God entitles them...."

"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all emn are CREATED equal"

"...that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights"

"..and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of the Divine Providence..."

Just saying.

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

And back to the topic:

I read the memo. If you read the memo, there is no way you can dismiss it -- the situation is grim.

Anybody who reads this and posts the kind of bull that American Hawk is posting -- is beyond help. You would believe the sky was orange and sea was boiling lemonade if Bush told you it was.

Here's what I'm afraid of: Bush attacks Iran, and the Iranians push into Iraq in retaliation -- and you're going to end up with a scene at the Green Zone straight out of the Fall of Saigon.
You say it can't happen?

When Bush blithely declares "stay the course!" TWO WEEKS after getting this memo from his ambassador in Iraq? It could very easily happen. He isn't going to one damn thing to make the situation better. Stay the course means wait for the slaughter.

And no, for those of you brain-dead trolls on site, just because I say this doesn't mean I WANT it to happen -- it means I fear it, as a worst-case scenario.


Posted by: Harpo on June 19, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax, so those phrases have no roots in our society at all then do they???????????????

Thanks for further elaborating my point.

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

Our nation was not founded by Christians.

Our nation was founded by FREEMASONS.

http://watch.pair.com/mason.html

Posted by: pbg on June 19, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

You are a fearful little boy, girl, transvestite, whatever, aren't you Harpo. btw, is that you Oprah?

Had we pulled out immediately after one man's negative opinion is expressed, Zarqawi would still be car-bombing innocent people.

So what life are you concerned with again?

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Christianity pre-dates Freemasons and Deists. Where do you suppose those doctrines are rooted?

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK
The Ten Commandments; as they relate to the Bill of Rights

They don't relate at all. Its just that simple. I mean, a few children confuse them because the words "Commandment" and "Amendment" sound similar, but that's about the extent of the connection.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK
Christianity pre-dates Freemasons and Deists.

And paganism predates Christianity. So? Aside from raising the non-sequitur to an artform, what is your point?

Posted by: cmdicely on June 19, 2006 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Do I actually have to tell you cm....

Nothing is derived from a void. All doctrines have roots and components from other historical doctrines and/or events.

Whether Deists, Freemasons or Christians; Judeo-Christian values are stamped all over the founding of this country.

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 7:05 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax, so those phrases have no roots in our society at all then do they???????????????

Thanks for further elaborating my point.

Did I say "no roots?" No I didn't, I was responding to your assertion that there was some connection to these phrases and the founding fathers:

    notthere:"the founding fathers had the sense to leave religion out of building this society...."

      Jay:Have you ever heard of:
      In God We Trust
      One Nation Under God
      The Ten Commandments; as they relate to the Bill of Rights

As one can plainly see, the examples you cited came in the late 19th and mid 20th century so not at all connected to the founding fathers. Posted by: cyntax on June 19, 2006 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Also, because our founding fathers had a firm belief in God, our societal laws echo those of the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights is a natural extension of their belief that "all men are created equal...and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights".

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 7:09 PM | PERMALINK

Christianity pre-dates Freemasons and Deists.

Not if you listen to the Freemasons. Freemasons date their foundation from the building of Solomon's Temple.

That would make it a considerably older Jewish heresy than the one called Christianity.

Posted by: pbg on June 19, 2006 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, not all connected with our founding fathers belief systems and vision of this country.

Next time I will try to put the dots closer together.

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

Jay; Nothing is derived from a void. All doctrines have roots and components from other historical doctrines and/or events.

Whether Deists, Freemasons or Christians; Judeo-Christian values are stamped all over the founding of this country.

Jay, when you say nothing is derived from a void I couldn't agree with you more. But to omit Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquieu from your litany of influences on the founding of this country (i.e. the Bill of Rights), is to betray either your ignorance or complete unwilliingness to accept reality: "Deists, Freemasons or Christians; Judeo-Christian values" existed long before our country came into being. These values alone cannot account for the body of thought that was influential in founding this country, but the concept of individual rights, and the rejection of Divine Right, these are embedded in the fabric of our Constitution.

Posted by: cyntax on June 19, 2006 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Freemasonry came into being in Scotland sometime between the death of Robert Cochrane in 1482 and the enactment of the Shaw Statutes in 1598."

www.freemason.org

do try and stay up pbg

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

I never said those values were alone in their influence on our society.

"...the rejection of the Divine Right....are embedded in the fabric of our constitution".

I could not disagree with you more. We agree to disagree on the Divine Right. If I was a muslim, I would have to kill you.

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

Also, because our founding fathers had a firm belief in God, our societal laws echo those of the Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights is a natural extension of their belief that "all men are created equal...and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights".

I really don't see any of the indivdual rights we value in this country as being intrinsic to the Ten Commandments. The argument that these rights devolved from the creator is a rhetorical attempt by the founding fathers to co-opt the Divine Right that kings claimed and to restructure the chain of being to leave out the kings. That isn't to say that religion had no influence but their argument owed more to Martin Luther than I think it did to the Ten Commandments.

I could not disagree with you more. We agree to disagree on the Divine Right. If I was a muslim, I would have to kill you.

Ohh! Argh! The pain of it. You have punned me off the field of battle. We can argue how unDivine the right is another time.

: )

Posted by: cyntax on June 19, 2006 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

Harpo: I read the memo. If you read the memo, there is no way you can dismiss it -- the situation is grim.
...
Anybody who reads this and posts the kind of bull that American Hawk is posting -- is beyond help.

The situation is grim, and it has been grim for at least 15 years. but the news, while grim, is not uniformly bad. Automobile driving is up over pre-invasion levels by about a factor of 5, hence the long lines at the gas stations. electricity production now exceeds pre-war levels by about 25%, when the independent producers are included (and by about 16% when they are not included), but the comparisons are a little different depending on whether you focus on kilowatts or kilowatt-hours. Official oil production is below pre-invasion levels, but lot of unaccounted oil is available on the black market. The national government, the governments of many cities, and the government of the Kurdish region are all elected. It is probably the case that more people have potable water than pre-invasion, but pre-invasion statistics are unreliable so a direct comparison is not possible. The Tigris-Euphrates delta is being restored, and a third of it is almost back to normal.

The situation will be grim for a long time, but there is also plenty of real progress, and there is no need for alarmism or pessimism.

Posted by: republicrat on June 19, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

had to go shop some food. I should have know n better. Sorry!

Thanks cyntax. Exactly my point.

Jay, the founding fathers weren't all members of the same church, inconvenient as that might be for your mind to get around. They held varying positions on religion and god. The fact that "God" is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence and specifically set to one side in the Constitution reinforces the deliberative process.

Seems you don't care if the USA becomes "Christian" on a legal basis. Wonder what all the Muslims, Buddhists and Hindi and Hassids think of that. No complications there, I guess. Which form of Christianity? I really don't know any Christians that actually follow Jesus' teachings, so I'm thinking it'll be pretty distorted.

But to get back on point, it's our president's line to god that seems to maintain his inflexibility and lack of imagination. And it's the sheer hypocrisy of his Christianity that allows him not to blink in US driven man's inhumanity to man.

I've asked before. Does anyone actually know what "the plan" is now. "Stand-up, stand-down" and "stay the course" is not a plan. We're now over threee years in and on our third round of training security forces. It's always been understaffed and underfunded and misdirected. Think we got it right this time? Not likely.

Posted by: notthere on June 19, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't been as avid a comment reader as usual over the past two months, but this "Jay" seems to be lowering the quality of the trolls around here...

It almost makes one yearn for the days of good ol' Chuckles and Alice...

Ok, maybe not...but from this one thread...Jay certainly is not living up to normal troll standards...

where have all of the trolls gone?

oh well...

Posted by: justmy2 on June 19, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

That's a lot of double speak there notthere.

Wasn't it you who said the "founding fathers had the sense to leave religion out of the building of this society..". But they made references to the Deity in the Declaration while forming the union?

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

The situation will be grim for a long time, but there is also plenty of real progress, and there is no need for alarmism or pessimism.

Yes, if you play with the numbers there's a an hour or two more of electricity in some areas than there used to be, so it's clear we should not be pessimistic about the increasing number of brutal casualties over the past three years.

/shameless wingnut rationalizations

Posted by: trex on June 19, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

Apparently your representatives are comfortable with the current plan considering their recent vote. However, continue to persuade them otherwise. It should help your cause this fall and in '08.

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Pulling out of Iraq means the return of tyranny in the form of Islamic Jihadists governance. Again, what lives are you concerned with trex?

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK


. electricity production now exceeds pre-war levels by about 25%, when the independent producers are included (and by about 16% when they are not included)

The Brookings report shows that electricity is about or below pre-war levels. The small generator producers are absolutely no substitute for a national power grid for several reasons -- high cost, dangerous wiring, low capacity, no ability to run industrial machines or even ACs, high pollution. Even this ignores power theft, which is rampant.

THe fact is that the US goal was to reach 50% more power 2 years back. The power situation must be considered a failure.

As far as pessimism, we have a case were the 2 major cities are barely under the control of the government, where armed militias and criminal gansgs control Basra, where Baghdad gets hit by car bombs practically daily, where thousands of educated Iraqis have fled the country, where ther eis internal ethnic cleansing taking place.

Posted by: erg on June 19, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, let me just say this: in all honesty, you're the only troll here I've ever felt pity for, and that's the truth. I think both your zeal and amount of free time far outstrip your mental agility or good judgment.

For some reason you feel compelled to post daily on a liberal blog where you know your opinions are out of place, where they're refuted handily time and time again -- and to make it worse, you post virtually nothing but desperate, spittle-flecked rants that predictably end with "and this is why you will lose in '06/'08.

I don't believe for even a moment that in your heart of hearts you put the lives of Iraqis above your partisan political considerations. I think maybe you'd like to be that kind of person, but you're just not there yet. You make a career of justifying every atrocity that comes down the pike from this debacle, punctuated by false equivalencies, revisionist history, and attempts to put some kind of noble veneer on this misguided venture that ring hollow, much less have any grounding in reality.

Even further, your own opinions on Iraq aren't even consistent over time. Just a few months ago you were arguing that we'd be able to pull out of Iraq by this year, which earned you the title of "Cut 'n Run Jay" -- and now all of a sudden you've switched positions and are saying we can't/shouldn't pull out? To me that kind of flip/flopping along with all the rest suggests someone who's kind of unbalanced.

So you see, I can't seriously engage you on this issue because you are not serious.

However, if you'd like to enlist and be a part of the amazing success that is Iraq today, I would respect that (don't worry, I checked and your age is not an issue, they'll still take you in some capacity).

I would respect it even more if you just went to Iraq to do humanitarian work for the Iraqis whose well-being you care so much about, and lived and work among them outside of the Green Zone. Now and then when you managed to shag a little electricity you could post here and provide a first hand account of how things are going in Iraq. Then people here would take your views about what's happening there a lot more seriously.

Posted by: trex on June 19, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

I merely come here to mock and ridcule most of you for your left leaning viewpoints. I seldom post anything of much substance, I leave that to GOP, rdw, ex-lib, Cheney and others. I am here mainly for the laughs of pointing to your failed positions and hypocrisy. The fact that you "feel sorry" for me is even more entertaining.

I don't think that we should "cut n run" but I also feel that we could begin a gradual withdrawal this year. I have never claimed to harbor great concern for the Iraqi people. I believe that there are a great many decent people in that country that deserve a chance at freedom, and I hope that they achieve it. Your the one that grandstands on the "concern for life" soapbox. I ask you, whose lives are you more concerned with, the terrorists or the civilians?

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

Jay: I ask you, whose lives are you more concerned with, the terrorists or the civilians?

The terrarists. I like those folks, I really do. Heck, without 'em I never woulda been re-elected.

Posted by: W on June 19, 2006 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

"In March, a few staff members approached us to ask what provisions would we make for them if we evacuate"

Posted by: snuh on June 19, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Wonderin,
I think you commented on my post without reading the memo in the Washington Post. Go back and read it. Set aside your first reactions and give the whole thing some thought.

The Baathists did not possess the Talibanisitic fundamentalist obsessive suppression of the female that underly the actions and cultural attitudes that are described in the memo. They didn't think a helluva lot of Al Queda's twisted view of Islam vis a vis Wahabism. Iraqi middle class women are now fearing for their lives. The pressure activity described in the memo sounds very deliberate and widespread.

I wouldn't write off concerns about Iranian involvement in destablilzing Iraq as just liberal reactionary talk - not without more information than any of us have right now, or are likely to get.

Posted by: KazooGuy on June 19, 2006 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

Jay, Jay, Jay ... *sigh*. Even though this thread seems pretty dead (at only 50 posts) and I doubt very much you're reading atm (as you pefer the rush of real-time bickering), lemme clue you into a little Western intellectual history as it relates to the founding of this country. This "founded as a Christian nation" biz is nothing more than revisionist history by a bunch of, well, dogmatic Christians.

Not too many *Jewish scholars* seem to be involved in this alleged defense of the "Judeo-Christian tradition" -- why do you think that is? Maybe because America was as culturally anti-semitic as many parts of Europe until the postwar period ...

Now, while there's no question a connection between the natural rights doctrine of 16th century English republican theory and the moral traditions of Christianity -- the connection is subtle. It's also a little like saying that American culture is indebted to the ancient Sumerians because they invented the wheel ...

You freely admit that a few of the most important Founders were Deists and Freemasons? Well, Jay -- are you aware that to a garden-variety Colonial country preacher, a Deist was tantamount to an atheist and many legends surrounding the secretive Freemasons equated them to a literal Satanic cult? You mention "In God We Trust" -- but have you ever contemplated that creepy eye on top of the pyramid that also appears on our currency? Real, uhh, "Judeo-Christian" symbology there, huh.

(It's actually not so sinister; merely a Masonic metaphor for personal enlightenment and social organization.)

You mention the Declaration's citation of "Divine Providence." Well, that's a pretty Deistic, content-free term for God, don't you think? Certainly less a Jehovah who piddles directly in human affairs than merely another name for Fate.

Or consider the Declaration's most important line: the inalienable right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Does that sound like a particularly ... Biblical concept to you, Jay? Did Abraham or Moses or any of the Prophets tell their people "go forth in liberty and follow your natural inclinations?"

Umm ... *no*? That it was more like the ancient Hebrews got zapped by Jehovah every time they began doing *just that* -- as their natural inclinations were also naturally inclined away from God?

We can dispense with "One nation under God," since it was clearly a McCarthy-era response to "Godless Communism" and had nothing to do with the Founders at all ... but let's turn to your alleged connection between two famous sets of ten rules:

Did it ever occur to you that the intent of the Ten Commandments and the intent of the Bill of Rights are *diametrically opposed*?

The Ten Commandments apply to individuals for the purpose of reining in their natural inclinations, to "pursue happiness" if you will, in the ways that they and not God see fit: the inclination to steal, to lie, to blaspheme, to murder, to walk away from family, etc. The Bill of Rights, conversely, has *nothing whatsoever to do with personal ethics*, as it doesn't address the behavior of individuals, but rather limits the government's perogatives to control individual behavior. It was written with things like the Massachussetts Bay Colony in mind -- a theocracy that attempted to legislate the Ten Commandments -- and in so doing limited the natural rights and liberties of the people.

So the Bill of Rights -- certainly according to how Alexander Hamilton saw it -- was, among other things, an insurance policy against the USA setting up a theocratic government -- because limiting the natural rights of the people, even for the noblest of ends, had already been tried (Calvin's Geneva, Cromwell's England, Winthrop's Plymouth, etc.) and didn't, umm, work out too well.

It's all well and good to say that the ethical principles that most of us take as givens, and which found their way into the broad framework of our founding documents, we owe to the mainstream religious tradition of our culture. Certainly the idea of the individual as sacred and equal before law is a more-or-less direct result of the Gospels. But our founding generation also owes as much to Plato, Aristotle and Machiavelli -- not to mention Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Montesquieu. America was the first country found by a generation raised in the Enlightenment -- and the Enlightenment is, most of all, the enthronement of reason -- inherent in every person -- over the attempts of clerics and theocrats -- and their apologists for monarchy and aristocracy -- to directly legislate the inclinations of the human heart.

It's what's been called building on low but solid ground.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 19, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

...But they made references to the Deity in the Declaration while forming the union?

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

We've already been there.
The Declaration of Independence isn't the Constitution -- you know, Article I and all that, must have seemed pretty important to them. The Declaration is very much using the appeal for legitimacy from a superior power than King George. If they had wanted to make religion part of the Constitution they would have done so. Clearly, they deliberately excluded religion. And heaven help the USA if the Christian right make it much worse than it already is.
==========================

Pulling out of Iraq means the return of tyranny in the form of Islamic Jihadists governance. Again, what lives are you concerned with trex?

Posted by: Jay on June 19, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

Which Islamic Jihadists is that?
The Kurds would draw their defensible borders and make their own country, as they clearly want to do. The Sunnis and Shias would duke it out. It would be horribly bloody and messy but we've been involved in and sat by and watched worse.

And who knows what repurcussions throughout the Gulf. It's a pity that W and ther PNACnuts didn't think about US lives and all the possible outcomes before they started on this illadvised misadventure.

I-raq, n. [Ar.] combinative meaning of conundrum and quagmire, a situation with no perceivable good outcome usually arrived at by a concurrence of crass stupidity and wilfull optimism, ignoring all experienced advice.

Posted by: notthere on June 19, 2006 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

rmck1 --

Wow! What a nice, concise, tight summary.

Posted by: notthere on June 19, 2006 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

erg on June 19, 2006 at 8:23 PM |

Not a bad post but consider more.

Most of the ethnic cleansing that is happening now is internal relocation, though there are also the daily murders. Thousands of educated Iraqis have left after hundreds of thousands of Iraqis returned. The large scale systematic torture and murder by the govenment have been eliminated, but the criminal gangs (who used to make payments to the government) are more prominent. There is more potable water than before OIF, but prewar information is not reliable, so the improvement can't be quantitated. Medical supplies are more abundantly available than before, but an alarming number of doctors have been killed. Along with the rise in total electricity production has been a rise in the sale and use of electricity-consuming appliances; large areas that used to get 4 or fewer hours of electricity per day now get more than 8 hours per day. Overall GDP per person is 20% higher than prewar, but the Sunni areas are suffering what might kindly be called a severe depression. The governments that I mentioned are elected, but the ministries have an intolerable amount of nepotism. Iraqis have freer political speech and press than their neighbors in Syria and Iran, and they have 300 political parties, but they have more overt Islamicisation than under the Baathists (but Saddam Hussein had a Qu'ran written in an ink made of his blood in order to claim his Islamist bona fides.) The first all-Sunni class of about 800 just graduated from the police academy. Many murders occur weekly, but the citizens cooperate with the military and police to make about 5,000 actionable reports per month (like the actionable report that led to the death of Zarqawi.) As Shiites and Kurds who lacked power for decades are learning how to govern, thousands of Sunnis who grew up expecting to be part of the thuggish Baathist regime are violently resisting the acceptance of their diminished "great expectations". A whole lot is happening all together.

"And so it goes". "Point Counterpoint".

This is a situation like chaos, where all efforts for good or ill have maximum impact, a sort of politico-military butterfly effect.

Posted by: republicrat on June 20, 2006 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

shorter version of republicrat:
Except for the fact that there is an elected government sitting in the green zone whose ministers can't go to their corrupt ministries, Iraqis are a little better of than 3 1/2 years ago by GDP measure (distribution would be nice to know and is it inflation adjusted?) but there's a lot more lead flying and blood flowing.

Of course, some people now get 24-hour electricity, if a some official with pull lives on your block.

Oh, and they just turned out the first Sunni battalion to help in the civil war. And I wonder how many of the actionable reports are people trying to get the security forces to do their retaliation for them?

Posted by: notthere on June 20, 2006 at 1:28 AM | PERMALINK

notthere:

Thanks :)

Jay:

Two final points on what the "Judeo-Christian tradition" means to the founding of America:

First, the most explicit religious phrase is in the Declaration of Independence, that these natural rights are "endowed by our Creator." This is to be expected, and is akin to saying that our five senses and ability to reason are likewise endowed by our Creator -- otherwise, they'd be granted by a king or determined by one's birth rank -- which is decidedly what the Founders were opposing. Natural rights theory is very difficult to disentangle from religion; even that scandalous agnostic Immanuel Kant, who put ethics on a secular foundation, assented that a moral law made no sense without a belief in God, and that even though God's existence could never be rationally proven (an argument of Kant's which devastated many clerics in his day), one had to behave *as if* God existed for the moral law to make sense at all. It took until the mid-20th century existentialists (in the wake of two devastating world wars) to finally divorce universal human rights from any kind of religious framework.

Conversely however, the Constitution, unlike any previous founding charter of government (and unlike nearly all constitutions which followed it), makes absolutely no reference to God at all, no matter how glancing. Furthermore, Article Six, clause 3 explicitly prohibits a religious test for any "office or public Trust."

The Framers most assiduously did not intend that Bible-thumpers attain public office by virtue of out-thumping the less religious.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on June 20, 2006 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

and there is no need for alarmism or pessimism.

If you were to move to Iraq for, say, the next 12 months not only would you be able to speak from experience about the situation there, but better yet, you'd probably have enough sense by then just to keep your mouth shut.

Posted by: obscure on June 20, 2006 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK
Pulling out of Iraq means the return of tyranny in the form of Islamic Jihadists governance.

No, it doesn't. It may or may not precede such a tyranny, but so could our attempting to stay.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 20, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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