Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

July 17, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

SO HOW ARE WE DOING?....Via Cato, here is Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker on how we're doing in Iraq:

The question was, do I think we're winning in Iraq?....

[Long silence, sound of papers shuffling.]

I, yknow....

[Another silence.]

I think I would answer that by telling you I dont think were losing.

I think a long silence is the only appropriate response.

Kevin Drum 5:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (240)

Bookmark and Share
 
Comments

"I'll take the Bush administration for 1000 Alex."

Clue: Long silence

"What is Bush's response to the question: 'Could you please explain your administration's foreign policy?"

Posted by: zAmboni on July 17, 2006 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

My response would have been: "It's a clusterfuck. Let's face it: the most powerful military in the world is getting its ass kicked by a bunch of goat herders."

Posted by: Reprobate on July 17, 2006 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

It would be nice if the press corps would work up the courage to ask that sort of pointed question to the political leaders who ordered the military into this mess...

Posted by: bleh on July 17, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

I think I would answer that by telling you I dont think were losing.

*sigh* Why does Army Chief of Staff Peter Schoomaker hate America?

Posted by: Stefan on July 17, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

Schoomaker must be a Clinton appointee. Off with his treacherous head.

Posted by: nut on July 17, 2006 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

I think I would answer that by telling you I dont think were losing.

YEAH! WOOO-HOOOO! We don't think we're losing! Take that, suckers! America's #1! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Posted by: Stefan on July 17, 2006 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

A general cannot very well be caught on tape saying 'well, we're at least covering the point spread', can he?

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on July 17, 2006 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

again, what is the definition of winning. Its was toppling Saddam, then rebuilding Iraq, then making them stand so we could stand down, now hardly know why we are fighting anymore. Is there anybody with a plan anymore? Train the Iraqi army? So they can form malitias and kill Sunnis. No wonder the general is confused.

Posted by: the fake Fake Al on July 17, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Who is "we"?

Posted by: craigie on July 17, 2006 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

craigie >"Who is "we"?"

Those that have been labeled in the past as The Establishment

He sure as heck ain`t talkin about "We the people..."

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact....Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth." - newshog@gmail.com

Posted by: daCascadian on July 17, 2006 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

"My response would have been: "It's a clusterfuck. Let's face it: the most powerful military in the world is getting its ass kicked by a bunch of goat herders.""

I'm going to temporarily break my moratorium on posting on Iraq-related matters (its a little personal for me)...and say this:
a. it is a "clusterfuck"
b. at no tactical military level are we "losing"...unlike Vietnam we are not losing small unit engagements (none actually), losing thousands of aircraft, etc., except for IEDs, virtually all "insurgent" attacks today are against soft-targets, not us. the problem is that barring an occupation of 300,000 troops (or more), the only solution to Sunni/Shiite conflict is political. there is no military solution.

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan:

I think I can go along with that.

What we need to "win" is just not winnable by military means alone.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 17, 2006 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Quickly! We must gather our talking-points!
The Army Cheif of Staff is:
1. A Democrat.
2. Gave money to Democrats.
3. A RINO (Republican, but wishy-washy support for Bush)
4. Selling a book.
5. Gay.
6. Not really under-cover.
7. 3rd Cousin is half-Arab.
8. An outspoken supporter of the 4th Amendment.
9. Once let an American Flag touch the ground as he was putting it up for 4th of July.

Posted by: American Fuck on July 17, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, what you said.

On a personal level, two of my daughters young friends, brother and sister, are getting ready to shove off to Iraq. The girl, my daughter's best friend, is just 18. I sure as hell don't want either of them (or anybody else) to be harmed because nobody in the civilian chain of command has the balls to tell Dick Cheney we need to bring the boys and girls home. There is just no remaining military reason any of them should be in harms way.

Today I read where 50 Sunnis were killed in a market. Tomorrow I will probably read that 60 Shiites were killed in a different market. For what purpose. So some group of politicians can gain an advantage over some other bunch of politicans. Sounds a lot like a civil war to me.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 17, 2006 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

b. at no tactical military level are we "losing"...unlike Vietnam we are not losing small unit engagements (none actually), losing thousands of aircraft, etc., except for IEDs, virtually all "insurgent" attacks today are against soft-targets, not us. the problem is that barring an occupation of 300,000 troops (or more), the only solution to Sunni/Shiite conflict is political. there is no military solution.

First let me untangle one mistruth -- in Vietnam US forces lost very very few tactical engagements -- any losses were generally at squad or platoon level only. Nor did we lose "thousands" of aircraft -- that's flatly untrue.

Second, so what? It doesn't matter how many small engagements we win if we lose the war. In Vietnam we won thousands of fights, killed the enemy at a 40:1 ratio, and yet we were the ones who were chased out hanging off the helicopter skids. We may not be losing at the tactical level, but we're losing at the strategic one, and that's all that counts. You don't get credits for points earned -- it's winner take all.

Posted by: Stefan on July 17, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

WE'RE not winning anything. However, President Cheney and his pet monkey are winning plenty.

Posted by: Pechorin on July 17, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

"What we need to "win" is just not winnable by military means alone."

if by "win" we mean a stable functioning democratic country of Iraq...then that's absolutely (and was always true)....
if by "win" we mean the prevention of ethnic strife in Iraq...that's also true (barring 300,000-400,000 troops)...
if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...(of course, its possible that the consequences of this victory could be worse than if we had not acted at all)...

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

the only solution to Sunni/Shiite conflict is political. there is no military solution.

That's true enough, which makes it all the crazier that Cheney and Bush have been treating this, essentially, as purely a military problem.

Posted by: Stefan on July 17, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

Oh please people, we're just a Friedman (six months) away from winning this thing.

...By the way, I was being sarcastic.

Posted by: gq on July 17, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

So, just how many different ways can the media say ''brink of civil war?'' They'll let us know when the civil war actually begins, I hope. I'm just dying to see what that's going to look like.

Well, maybe not me, but someone will be dying.

Posted by: Joshua Norton on July 17, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Someone should have asked him who will be the last soldier to die for aWol's bogus war and eternal mistake.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on July 17, 2006 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...

We "won" that in the 1990s thanks to the sanctions, when Saddam destroyed any stockpiles and halted work on further programs after the Gulf War. That had nothing to do with our invasion in 2003, since Saddam didn't have any nuclear weapons to give.

Posted by: Stefan on July 17, 2006 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Today I read where 50 Sunnis were killed in a market. Tomorrow I will probably read that 60 Shiites were killed in a different market. For what purpose. So some group of politicians can gain an advantage over some other bunch of politicans. Sounds a lot like a civil war to me."

getting close to it. the remaining thread of hope I have is that this violence is pretty much being controlled by local politicians for political advantage and can be turned off and on at a moment's notice. so long as that is the case a political solution is conceivable.

"First let me untangle one mistruth -- in Vietnam US forces lost very very few tactical engagements -- any losses were generally at squad or platoon level only."

that's correct. but we haven't really had even squad or platoon-level defeats in Iraq. convoys and rapid-reaction forces operate in Iraq in smaller numbers than they did in Vietnam...in Vietnam we didn't control every inch of territory...there isn't a square inch of Iraq that we couldn't send 20 guys into...its just that the guys we'd be looking for would be gone.

I didn't say that we lost "thousands of fixed-wing aircraft" in Vietnam. check the helicopter loss numbers...it was in the thousands....
as for the rest of your post...see the rest of my answer above...we're not in any danger of being chased out...what we can't do is stop them from killing each other.

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

That's true enough, which makes it all the crazier that Cheney and Bush have been treating this, essentially, as purely a military problem.

Seeing as how neither Cheney or Bush (or Rumsfeld) have any real military experience, perhaps they get their ideas from the movies.

Posted by: gq on July 17, 2006 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

"We "won" that in the 1990s thanks to the sanctions, when Saddam destroyed any stockpiles and halted work on further programs after the Gulf War."

incorrect. only a portion of the stockpiles and active programs were destroyed in 1991.
the rest were covered up and not found until 1996 (giving credence to the idea that we hadn't gotten them all)

"That had nothing to do with our invasion in 2003, since Saddam didn't have any nuclear weapons to give."

Agreed that it turns out we underestimated the efficacy of sanctions...

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

. . .in Vietnam we didn't control every inch of territory...there isn't a square inch of Iraq that we couldn't send 20 guys into...its just that the guys we'd be looking for would be gone.

I think someone's using a very flexible definition of "control".

If "guys" can get in and out of somewhere when you're not looking, then you need to stop "not looking" there. And gee, maybe had we sent enough troops, we'd be an awful lot closer to ACTUAL control of Iraq, rather than your theoretical "war-college" definition of control - which obviously does not match reality.

Posted by: American Fuck on July 17, 2006 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

I should say that in 2003 I didn't believe that Hussein had much of a nuclear weapons program (though to avoid the historicist fallacy I should point out that people fail to consider that pre-2003 we were dealing with our very recent failure to completely miss the Pakistani nuke program (and the Indian before that or Hussein's in 1991)...our track record was with underestimating nuke programs, not overestimating...

I assumed that he most likely had some extant chemical programs....I was more concerned with Iran though...

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

AF: agreed that "control" was the wrong word...what I meant was that we couldn't march into North Vietnam with a platoon and not expect them to not be annihilated...

In Iraq we are rarely engaged even on the small unit level anymore...

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan:

In a way, your comparative metrics (which I don't have the data to dispute) make the situation even worse than Vietnam -- because it will never reach quite the hopeless crisis point that nearly everyone (save right-wing stab-in-the-back freaks) reached about Vietnam.

We can just keep muddling along and muddling along ... the country meantime isn't getting any more stable, we can't rebuild the oil infrastructure, no foreign investment is flocking in, reconstruction crawls at less than a snail's pace because of the cost of security, foreign jihadis keep filtering through an enormously porous set of borders with two Islamist countries, politicians can never set foot out of the Green Zone without immense security details to press the flesh with the voters, the constitution never does get amended to solve the federalism issues they tabled to have the election, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. ...

And next thing you know it's 2010.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 17, 2006 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

from NYTimes:


The Sunni leaders have dropped demands for a quick withdrawal of American troops. Many now ask for little more than a timetable. A few Sunni leaders even say they want more American soldiers on the ground to help contain the widening chaos.
...
The new stance is one of the most significant shifts in attitude since the war began. It could influence White House plans for a reduction of the 134,000 troops here and help the Americans expand dialogue with elements of the insurgency...
...
...a remarkable message rang out from the loudspeakers of the Abu Hanifa Mosque, where Saddam Hussein made his last public appearance before the fall of Baghdad in 2003.
...
"The American Army is coming with the Iraqi Army do not shoot," the voice said, echoing through streets still filled with supporters of Mr. Hussein. "They are here to help you."

Note, by the way, that Sunni leaders were in favor of "widening chaos" when they thought it was helping them.

Posted by: republicrat on July 17, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers wrote: ... two of my daughters young friends, brother and sister, are getting ready to shove off to Iraq. The girl, my daughter's best friend, is just 18. I sure as hell don't want either of them (or anybody else) to be harmed ...

The sad truth is that women serving in the military in Iraq are in danger of being raped by their male commanding officers. Your daughter's best friend should familiarize herself with the story of Army Specialist Suzanne Swift so she's prepared for the sort of treatment she is likely to encounter in Iraq.

Posted by: The Sad Truth on July 17, 2006 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

"In a way, your comparative metrics (which I don't have the data to dispute) make the situation even worse than Vietnam -- because it will never reach quite the hopeless crisis point that nearly everyone (save right-wing stab-in-the-back freaks) reached about Vietnam."

that's true...in fact we're at the weird point where our attrition rate is low enough that we can essentially continue as things are indefinitely (I don't mean that callously). its life for Iraqis that is the real problem....

in contrast, our growing casualty rate in Afghanistan is actually a good sign (from my perspective)...over the last few years we'd pretty much sat back and let the Taliban control southern Afghanistan (although we have accomplished a lot in civil affairs in the north)...we're taking casualties now because we have essentially let NATO take the lead in the stable north while we directly confront the Taliban in the south...this is good.

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan says, "the only solution to Sunni/Shiite conflict is political." Yes, if by "political" you mean "the Sunnis and the Shiites kill each other off."

Posted by: Bob on July 17, 2006 at 6:56 PM | PERMALINK

What we need to "win" is just not winnable by military means alone.

The political process that might lead to victory depends on the U.S., its allies, and the elected Iraqi government to continue "not losing" for a long while yet.

A hopeful analogy is Israel, which has been "not losing" for 58 some years now, without a single full year of peace -- indeed, not even a full month of peace in most years.

Posted by: republicrat on July 17, 2006 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan says: "in Vietnam US forces lost very very few tactical engagements -- any losses were generally at squad or platoon level only."

Uh ... isn't that what a tactical engagement IS?

Posted by: Bob on July 17, 2006 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Can we get an audio of the paper shuffling?

Posted by: BroD on July 17, 2006 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes, if by "political" you mean "the Sunnis and the Shiites kill each other off.""

I'll repeat what I said above:

the remaining thread of hope I have is that this violence is pretty much being controlled by local politicians for political advantage and can be turned off and on at a moment's notice. so long as that is the case a political solution is conceivable.

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:08 PM | PERMALINK

>if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd

Please drop this, it makes you sound like a Compleat Idiot. A guy who didn't have the WMD's he wouldn't have dared give to his mortal enemies in any case.

If you can't let go of this then there is no hope for you. And the "low casualties in Iraq (not true) == good, high casualties in Afghanistan == good", what the hell are you smoking?

Posted by: doesn't matter on July 17, 2006 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

The represenative from the United States has the floor "....Uhhh...Yo, we gotta stop this shit"

Posted by: American Idiot on July 17, 2006 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

here are the numbers for U.S. fixed wing losses over North Vietnam (this does not include crashes or combat losses over South Vietnam or Cambodia):

USAF
F-105--282
F-4--192
F-100--16
F-102--1
F-104--4
F-111--6
RF=101--27
RF-4--37
B-52--17
C-130--2
EB-66--4
B-57--5
RC-47--1
A=1--18
T-28--1
O-1/2--5

USN
A-4--173
A-6--52
F-4--73
A-7--38
RF-4--1
F/RF-8--18
A-3--1
RA-5--21
A-1--43

as for rotary aircraft:

3,305 of 7,013 Huey's were lost (all types), other helicopters:

1 205was destroyed,
2 70AH-1G were destroyed, 1 AH-1J was destroyed, 1 BELL was destroyed, 14 CH-21C were destroyed, 2 CH-34 were destroyed, 1 CH-37B was destroyed, 1 CH-37C was destroyed, 7 CH-3C were destroyed, 7 CH-3E were destroyed, 94 CH-46A were destroyed, 58 CH-46D were destroyed, 83 CH-47A were destroyed, 20 CH-47B were destroyed, 29 CH-47C were destroyed, 12 CH-53A were destroyed, 2 CH-53C were destroyed, 9 CH-53D were destroyed, 9 CH-54A were destroyed, 2 H-37A were destroyed, 21 HH-3E were destroyed, 7 HH-43B were destroyed, 6 HH-43F were destroyed, 2 HH-53B were destroyed, 7 HH-53C were destroyed, 147 OH-13S were destroyed, 93 OH-23Gwere destroyed, 45 OH-58A were destroyed, 842 OH-6A were destroyed, 3 SH-34G were destroyed, 8 SH-3A were destroyed, 3 SIOUX were destroyed.

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

doesn't matter:

its obvious that you are both devoid of reading comprehension and any sense of historical context (when it comes to military matters)

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK


STEFAN: We "won" that [Saddam's inability to give wmd to terrorists] in the 1990s thanks to the sanctions, when Saddam destroyed any stockpiles and halted work on further programs after the Gulf War.
NATHAN: incorrect. only a portion of the stockpiles and active programs were destroyed in 1991. the rest were covered up and not found until 1996
Did someone remove 1996 from the 1990s when I wasn't paying attention?


Posted by: jayarbee on July 17, 2006 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

doesn't matter:

hint: you can't post that "win condition" separately from the rest of the post you clipped it from.

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Schoomaker was being pretty coy in his answer.

When he said "I don't think we're losing" people should remember what Kissinger and several others said about guerrilla war and insurgency...

The superior force loses by not winning and the inferior, guerrilla force wins by not losing.

So, Gen. Schoomaker just told everyone who knows anything about guerrilla warfare that we are losing...

Posted by: RedDan on July 17, 2006 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK

jayarbee:

1996 was not "after the Gulf War"

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

The Sad Truth

Of course we worry about her being raped by superior officers. Who wouldn't. I would like to think that all American male soldiers are men of honor, but I know while most are, many are not. She has her orders. She can't not go, can she?

I am also worried about her being blown up by a road side bomb as she goes about her daily duties. I'll be worried until she comes home.

We should all worry until they all come home.

So should you.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 17, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

"1996 was not "after the Gulf War""

WTF?

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

doesn't matter:

another hint -- I never said that our indefinitely sustainable casualty rate in Iraq (which is low by any historical metric, or as a percentage of our total force) was "good"....

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK


NATHAN: 1996 was not "after the Gulf War"

No? When did the Gulf War start? 1997?

He didn't say immediately after; he said "in the 1990s." Get a calendar and check it out.


Posted by: jayarbee on July 17, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK
1996 was not "after the Gulf War"

It was after both the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq "Gulf War" and the (most common use of the term since, oh, about 1991 in the US) 1991 US, et al., v. Iraq "Gulf War".

Posted by: cmdicely on July 17, 2006 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

joel:

I was making a clear division between what UN inspectors successfully found in 1991 and what they failed to find (until a defector divulged them in 1996)...its a nuance that Stefan failed to make and which certainly played a role in why virtually everyone (including Clinton and his entire national security apparatus) believed that Hussein was still hiding some residual capability.

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, what you wrote was stupid. Just stupid. Period.

Why can't you just admit it?

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

you know full well that there were two separate revelations of Hussein's WMD programs -- one in 1991 and one in 1996. you also know that was my point. Stefan clearly was referring to the 1991 inspections.

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

joel:

this is why it's worthless to post on here when the juveniles are about...it turns into mindless gotcha...

fine: my wording was inexact, as was Stefan's. satisfied?

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

1996 was not "after the Gulf War"

yes it was. Learn your dates.

Posted by: haha on July 17, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

"The Sunni leaders have dropped demands for a quick withdrawal of American troops. Many now ask for little more than a timetable. A few Sunni leaders even say they want more American soldiers on the ground to help contain the widening chaos."

This would require us to take the Sunni side against the Shia. There are no concievable circumstances under which this is a good idea.

Posted by: CN on July 17, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

"1996 was not "after the Gulf War""

There's something about the sound of a clock striking thirteen that calls into question everything that came before.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 7:45 PM | PERMALINK

"this is why it's worthless to post on here when the juveniles are about.."

So you were just leaving then?

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Joel, haha:

have anything substantive to say relevant to this thread? thought not.

yes, 1996 is "after the Gulf War" in the same way that 1996 is also "after the Norman Conquest"...satisfied?

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

Next question for Shoomaker....Are you concerned that the Iraqi's may get some of those missiles from Iran?

Posted by: jerri on July 17, 2006 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

...which makes it all the crazier that Cheney and Bush have been treating this, essentially, as purely a military problem.

Posted by: Stefan on July 17, 2006 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

When hasn't it been either by military force, threar of military force or economic retaliation or just sheer bullying. Diplomacy has fallen from the US international lexicon in any meaningful way these last 5 years.

You think General Schoomaker's ears are burning now? Rumsfeld carpeting him for not being willing to lie, to maintain the myth of GWB's la-la land.

Like bleh, I have been so disappointed by the press' failure to ask the hard questions of the proven idiots at the very top guiding this war. For the last 5 years!

Posted by: notthere on July 17, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

jerri:

the accuracy of the Iranian missiles (from what we've seen so far) is such that they are of almost no military value...however, their usefulness for terrorizing civilian populations...

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

"have anything substantive to say relevant to this thread? "

Up until you started posting, I was reading stuff that was relevant. Then you showed up. Poseur.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan,

You're being a fool. You got caught in a pretty blatant and stupid mistake, and rather than say "Duh, brainfart! Here's what I meant, and why" you are writhing in the most agonizing contortions to try and justify and defend your initial erroneous statement.

Which makes me re-read over your recent comments and say...ahhh, yes, THAT's what was bothering me! This guy is an idiot!

Posted by: RedDan on July 17, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, man.

A pissing match between Joel and Nathan.

I must've died and gone to blogger heaven :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 17, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Joel, RedDan:

whatever. you guys can have the last word.

my posts in this thread stand by themselves. if you wish to add something substantive I will engage with that. I think any halfway-objective observer can discern who is merely trolling...

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

sorry, one last comment:

"rather than say "Duh, brainfart! Here's what I meant, and why""

uh, I did exactly that. did you want a bit more self-abasement?

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan,

"yes, 1996 is "after the Gulf War" in the same way that 1996 is also "after the Norman Conquest"...satisfied?" is yet more stupidity on a pretty amazing level.

Sanctions? Ongoing military operations? Hellooooo???

Posted by: RedDan on July 17, 2006 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK
NATHAN: uh, I did exactly that. did you want a bit more self-abasement?
How about not abasing others?
NATHAN: this is why it's worthless to post on here when the juveniles are about...it turns into mindless gotcha... fine: my wording was inexact, as was Stefan's. satisfied?
Well, sure! Why wouldn't anyone be satisfied when they are declared juvenile and mindless?
NATHAN: yes, 1996 is "after the Gulf War" in the same way that 1996 is also "after the Norman Conquest"...satisfied?
Again, who wouldn't be satisfied with this perfectly juvenile and mindless logic? One thing, though: Stefan correctly referred to the 1990s as the period of sanctions following the Gulf War, and as the period during which Iraq's WMD were destroyed--hence, also his ability to give them to terrorists. But you were incorrect about EverythinG! You began by saying we won when we went to war and made Sadam incapable of giving WMD to terrorists. You followed that up by telling Stefan he was incorrect when he said that we'd "won" that back in the 1990s. And then you completed the trifecta by saying that 1996 wasn't after the Gulf War.

I understand that you're a lawyer? Um, you've never won a case, have you?

Posted by: jayarbee on July 17, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

I must've died and gone to blogger heaven :)

Sorry Bob, your agnosticism and Pagan ethic have relegated you to "Blogger Elysian Fields."

You are deprived forever from contemplating the face of G-D -- but on the plus side you can have all the ripe fruit and hot Greek chicks your heart desires.

Posted by: Windhorse on July 17, 2006 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

How would that answer work in a more familiar situation?

Wife: do you love me?
Husband: [long silence]
I, yknow....
[Another silence.]
I don't hate you.

Posted by: sc on July 17, 2006 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Given the difficulties the United States has experienced in Iraq, I cannot figure out what objective Israel has in mind in Lebanon.

Unless it actually invades and occupies Lebanon ( or part of it ) Hezbellah can simply hunker down and wait it out. Meanwhile, Israel expends amunition and incurs wear-and-tear on its airforce.

If it invades Lebanon, then it will find itself in the same situation the United States is facing in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the United States is bogged down in Iraq, where its only chance for exit is to bolster Shi'ite forces which will be very friendly toward Hezbollah. Also, the US military is being degraded. Which means that at a certain point - which is by no means hypotetical - the situation will arise where they United States will not be able to assist Israel even if it would want to do so.

Posted by: Thinker on July 17, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

Good stuff, sc!

How about:

Husband: Was it good for you?
Wife: [long silence]
I, y'know....
[Another silence.]
It didn't hurt.

Posted by: jayarbee on July 17, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

yeah Nathan you sure showed me--showed me that you are indeed an ignorant jackass.

no one here is impressed with you, give it up.

Posted by: haha on July 17, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Clint Eastwood said it best:

"Dyin' ain't much of a livin', boy."

Posted by: The Fool on July 17, 2006 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

AF: agreed that "control" was the wrong word...what I meant was that we couldn't march into North Vietnam with a platoon and not expect them to not be annihilated...

Well, yeah, because North Vietnam was another country. We couldn't send a platoon into Syria or Iran now and not expect them to be annihilated either.

Moreover, in Vietnam American personnel, both civilian and military, could freely walk in the streets of Saigon, live outside of protected compounds, go out to dinner, etc. In Baghdad, on the other hand, a Westerner can't show his face without it getting shot off.

In Iraq we are rarely engaged even on the small unit level anymore...

That's not because we're winning, it's because we've withdrawn. We don't small unit engagements because we're busy hiding out in our bunkers.

Posted by: Stefan on July 17, 2006 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Another serious thread hijacked by the children.

Posted by: Ron Byers on July 17, 2006 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan says: "in Vietnam US forces lost very very few tactical engagements -- any losses were generally at squad or platoon level only."

Bob: Uh ... isn't that what a tactical engagement IS?

No, not necessarily. A tactical engagement is generally considered a small-unit engagement, but what is considered small unit can vary depending on the scale of fighting. A tactical engagement (that is to say, as opposed to a strategic or larger-scale engagement which can be something like a battle, a campaign, an offensive, an invasion, etc.) can also take place at company, regimental, or even battalion level.

Posted by: Stefan on July 17, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Every time I'm tempted to dig in my heels when I'm wrong, I think of the world-class jackass Nathan makes of himself on these threads at least thrice a week. On what planet does that stuff actually work?

Posted by: shortstop on July 17, 2006 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Self-important sanctimonious prick.

Anyone?

Nathan? Anyone?

Posted by: Commonly Understood English Language Words on July 17, 2006 at 8:45 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan,

Regarding your mention of the 1996 "revelations" of WMD programs. Are you referring to the testimony of Hussein Kamal, Saddam's son-in-law?

If so, yes, he gave us lots of info on weapons programs that Saddam was/or was interested in pursuing. The part that always gets left out of that story is that he said that all such programs were dismantled immediately following the first Gulf War. So there weren't any weapons in '96.

Unless I've missed something...

Posted by: Wonderin on July 17, 2006 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

"You began by saying we won when we went to war and made Sadam incapable of giving WMD to terrorists."

I never said that.

"If so, yes, he gave us lots of info on weapons programs that Saddam was/or was interested in pursuing. The part that always gets left out of that story is that he said that all such programs were dismantled immediately following the first Gulf War. So there weren't any weapons in '96."

Nope, that's not what happened. see Desert Fox and prior.

"We don't small unit engagements because we're busy hiding out in our bunkers."

Nope. many units still engage in heavy patrolling. we're simply not even attacked on the small unit level except for IEDs and small arms - hit and runs...

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

We'd be doing fine if they'd just knock off the shit.

...

Anyone wanna go fishing for perch?

I really like fishing.

Posted by: George W. Bush on July 17, 2006 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin once told me he only read the first 20-30 comments. Anyone wanna guess why?

Posted by: ecoboz on July 17, 2006 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Windhorse >"...on the plus side you can have all the ripe fruit and hot Greek chicks your heart desires."

Sign me up !!!

"...Churches have given us great treasures. Whether that pays for the harm they have done is another matter." - Daniel C. Dennett

Posted by: daCascadian on July 17, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone wanna guess why?

Why?

Posted by: George W. Bush on July 17, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Wonder if the chief of staff is descended from the sportswriter who when asked to predict the 1945 World Series between the Tigers and Cubs (this was still when most big-leaguers were in the services, and the quality of MLB thus was very low), replied, "I don't think either team can win."

Posted by: Vincent on July 17, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

What I like about catch & release?

Being greeted as a liberator. Something to be said for it.

Posted by: George W. Bush on July 17, 2006 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Thinker >"...I cannot figure out what objective Israel has in mind in Lebanon..."

Warm up for the Really Big Shew a little bit northeast of there & then directly east

Workin the bugs out etc

"As long as people believe in absurdities they will continue to commit atrocities." - Voltaire

Posted by: daCascadian on July 17, 2006 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan,

There was a big debate about the utility of Desert Fox; it's pretty clear that there were military objectives other than destroying possible weapons capability. Residential "palaces" were targeted, for example, without hard evidence of any kind of storage or production of big, bad weapons.

You leave the impression that Desert Fox destroyed actual weapons production facilities - that has not been proven to be the case.

Posted by: Wonderin on July 17, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Nope. many units still engage in heavy patrolling. we're simply not even attacked on the small unit level except for IEDs and small arms - hit and runs..."

That sounds so cozy--"hit and runs."

Nathan, my young friend, here's what pisses us off.

"Hit and runs" means dead Americans, Nathan. That is not ok with me. Your mileage may vary.

I understand that you are confused about the chronological relationship between 1991 and 1996, and think that pissing on others who call you on it represents an apology, When you get a little bit older, you will understand that trivializing the loss of human life in the service of a political agenda is no virtue.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

I used to wonder why the 'elites' didn't understand that what I typed into blogs such as this one.
After a while I grew accustomed to the many colorful euphemisms spun by these political wordsmiths and politico hacks.

The further I crawled into the dank sphere of elite new-speak the more intentionally misleading it seem to become. The more 'isms and 'esques and books or films that could be interjected into the subject/sentence/article at hand equated to, in elite world speak, knowledge and wisdom.

Hell Fire. The opposite, it turns out, was in fact true for these so called 'elites' dealt in opinion and then presented it as a type of 'truth' or fact. Often they begin a sentence with "The Fact is."

That is, the more opinion one could insert into the language of the message, in elite world, made one more 'truthful' and/or more 'insightful'

The moral of this little ditty?
Elites, Politicians and Pundits Are Fucking Idiots.

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

"Elites, Politicians and Pundits Are Fucking Idiots."

Hmmm. So your point is . . . what, exactly? Solipsism rules?

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

Nice one, Bob Satan. Thanks for the other-worldly insights. I, for one, will sleep better this evening knowing that I don't have to read, or even see films!, to achieve wisdom...

Posted by: Wonderin on July 17, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

Joel -- perhaps you missed where Nathan already ADMITTED that Iraq was a "clusterfuck"? I have never seen him trivialize the deaths of American troops -- unlike Rep. Murtha.

Posted by: Doug M. on July 17, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

Doug M.,

Evidence, please, that Rep. Murtha trivializes the death of American troops.

Posted by: Wonderin on July 17, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a resource showing the full testimony of Hussein Kamel

Key quote: "I ordered destruction of all chemical weapons. All weaponsbiological, chemical, missile, nuclearwere destroyed."

Here's the Source for that statement, from the official transcripts of his testimony

God DAMMIT, this argument keeps on re-animating. This was all PUBLIC INFORMATION BEFORE THE INVASION.

Those who supported this invasion based on the lies, distortions, fabrications and propaganda spewing out of this administration got PLAYED FOR FOOLS.

Some, like Kevin Drum and several others, have recognized that they got played, and how that happened, and have started down the long path toward figuring out how to deal with that burden.

Some have not learned.

Some revel in the fact that this happened, and continue to try and play the same games with both old and new political scenarios and events.

Nathan, that last category fits you to a "T" - fucking idiot propagandists who need to be in chains or in uniform fighting the war they helped create.

Posted by: RedDan on July 17, 2006 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

"I have never seen him trivialize the deaths of American troops -- unlike Rep. Murtha."

Doug, you are a fucking liar.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Murtha seeks to trivialize the sacrifice that they and their family make every day, and his cowardice is well-chronicled here: http://themadtech.wordpress.com/2006/01/

Posted by: Doug M. on July 17, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Nathan, that last category fits you to a "T" - fucking idiot propagandists who need to be in chains or in uniform fighting the war they helped create."

Word!

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

Enlightening, simply emlightening- no wonder we have republicans controlling Congress and the WH...

Posted by: Out on Bond on July 17, 2006 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

"his cowardice is well-chronicled here"

Doug, you lickspittle, you are not qualified to kiss Murtha's boots. You are the coward, lurking behind the anonomity of the internet to attack a Marine who served his country more in five minutes than you will in a lifetime.

Moron.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

Joel and RedDan:

there's no point in even commenting..your complete inability to read and comprehend...
for fuck's sake, read from the fucking beginning of the thread. I haven't even said anything close to what you appear to attribute to me.

if you have an actual response to something I've actually said, then say it.

Posted by: Nathan on July 17, 2006 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

"if you have an actual response to something I've actually said, then say it."

Well, Nathan, my lad, this is what you actually said:

""1996 was not "after the Gulf War""

And, little boy, this is what I said:

"WTF"

What part of WTF don't you understand?

And if you respond again with "after the Norman Conquest," you simply multiply the stupidity of your own actual statements.

Please be quiet now, Nathan. Adults are talking.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Doug M.: Murtha seeks to trivialize the sacrifice that they and their family make every day, and his cowardice is well-chronicled here: http://themadtech.wordpress.com/2006/01/

War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
...
Oh, fuck it. You've beat me at my own game.

Posted by: Big Brother on July 17, 2006 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Big Brother, Joel and Wonderin:

I served in combat, during Desert Storm, you? Sorry if you don't think what EVERY single service member that I have spoken to over the last 6 months tells me is not "evidence" -- if Jack Murtha wishes to express his self shame about a life of government service that includes an honorable stint in the United States Marine Corp, then he is free to do so -- he illustrates the freedoms that the military strives to protect and ensure for all Americans. But, if he no longer has the moral courage to suggest military service to others, then we need to know that since he serves at the pleasure of the folks from the great state of Pennsylvania. I wish I lived in his District, but I guess I will have to just do my part tomorrow for Ralph Reed.

Posted by: Doug M. on July 17, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

This thread began with insightful and legitimate discussions by Bob, Nathan, Stefan and others.
To see some supposed liberals engage in red-state-style mocking in order to end the thread makes me sick.

Posted by: lurker on July 17, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

"I served in combat, during Desert Storm, you? "

And that makes you qualified to call Jack Murtha a coward.

You are scum, Doug. Just scum. I would normally honor your service to this country, but when you use your relatively modest service to piss on a venerable soldier, you lose all respect from me. You are scum.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

How do you "win" an occupation???

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on July 17, 2006 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan,

Try saying what you want to say, and say it directly and simply, rather than playing cute games with cute phrases:

if by "win" we mean a stable functioning democratic country of Iraq...then that's absolutely (and was always)true ....

Then what? SO what? That was defined as a win... and it would certainly seem to be a win, but who cares what the GOALS are, if the means, method, mode, and implementation of a plan to attain those goals are stupid, contradictory, fantastical, and counter-productive to ANY of the goals in the short and long term...

if by "win" we mean the prevention of ethnic strife in Iraq...that's also true (barring 300,000-400,000 troops)...

Those 300 to 400 K troops were proposed, and shot down in sarcastic and demeaning terms by the PNAC leadership, which drivel was echoed and by hordes of idiot right-wing bloggers, media tools, and so on...

WHAT. IS. YOUR. POINT!?

if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...(of course, its possible that the consequences of this victory could be worse than if we had not acted at all)...

Propaganda alert! Bullshit alert! Complete assinine nonsense alert! Latest attempt at spinning the lies that got us into this mess in the first place alert!

in contrast, our growing casualty rate in Afghanistan is actually a good sign (from my perspective)...over the last few years we'd pretty much sat back and let the Taliban control southern Afghanistan (although we have accomplished a lot in civil affairs in the north)...we're taking casualties now because we have essentially let NATO take the lead in the stable north while we directly confront the Taliban in the south...this is good.

Repetition of Pentagon and conserva-critter talking points ALERT!

See, the increase in the number, intensity, and effectiveness of the attacks on our soldiers, on the Iraqi troops, on civilian targets, and etc was, for about 2 years, claimed as evidence of progress!!! Because, see, the more success we show the more desperately terroristic those desperate dead-ender terrorists get!

Come on Nathan, if you really expect people to engage you with attention, respect, and judicious argument, you are going to have to 1) stop repeating nonsensical bullshit talking points that are transparently recouched and rejuvenated talking points from last year, and 2) stop make a blithering fool of yourself by making statements about how 1996 was not after the end of the first gulf war, and how even if it was, it is as historically distant from the end of the first gulf war as ... the Battle of Hastings! ??

???

And then, when people call you on your bullshit, you get all huffy and claim martyrdom on the basis of "childish namecalling" and "being misunderstood"??

Look, either state your case clearly and plainly in order to prevent misunderstanding, or accept the barbs and arrows of folks who pretty clearly understand the history and the current situation much better than you do.

Posted by: RedDan on July 17, 2006 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hey lurker?

Yeah, um, except that the "insightful discussion" you talk about was essentially predicated on (as became clear very quickly) pretty idiotic and transparently ahistorical premises on the part of at least one of the participants.

That means that the discussion may have seemed or sounded insightful...but pretty phrases and high-sounding rhetoric do NOT automatically make something insightful.

Curse-laden and grammatically incorrect discussion based on clear insight and solid historical understanding is far superior.

Posted by: RedDan on July 17, 2006 at 10:19 PM | PERMALINK

Elites, Politicians and Pundits Are Fucking Idiots."

Hmmm. So your point is . . . what, exactly? Solipsism rules? -Joel


This above, Joel, is a 'paste eater'

He see's what was written but cannot comprehend the simple vernacular.
In true assberger form Joel answers a statement with not one but two pointless questions followed by a word that any fool knows.

Joel is smart because he can spell and parrot solipsism. He takes what was nothing and further amplifies it into Solipsism rules.

All of this mental masterbation, deficient claptrap, borne from a simple statement.

"Elites, Politicians and Pundits Are Fucking Idiots."

It means what it means Joel, nothing more.
But I'm sure some fool will find hidden meanings in it.

Oh wait -- some assclown already has....

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

DEFINITION OF WINNING:

OUTPERFORMING BY FAR ANY OTHER VIABLE ALTERNATIVE.

WE ARE WINNING BIG.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on July 17, 2006 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Bob, I used the word "solipsism" because . . . wait for it . . . I assumed *everyone* would know what it meant. Sounds to me like you had to look it up.

l'm sorry you were so threatened by a mere word that you had to make it the whole point of your post.

Simpleton.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

We cannot afford to lose the war in Iraq.

We must stay the course, and make Iraq a model of democracy in the Middle East.

The future of our children depends on it.

Posted by: Senator John McCain on July 17, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Curse-laden and grammatically incorrect discussion based on clear insight and solid historical understanding is far superior.

Ya know this guy redDan is talks my lingo=)

If its a POS don't try to paint a rose on it -- it is still just a POS no matter how hard one trys to disguise it.

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Bob, I used the word "solipsism" because . . . wait for it . . . I assumed *everyone* would know what it meant. Sounds to me like you had to look it up.

You wish perhaps that I fit into your projection but I do not.

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

"You wish perhaps that I fit into your projection but I do not."

Nah. I just wish you'd grow up.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Bob, I used the word "solipsism" because . . . wait for it . . . I assumed *everyone* would know what it meant. Sounds to me like you had to look it up.


Yo boy blunder, if *everyone* knew what it was then their would be no use in *YOU* telling us what *everyone* knows and would not have to go the trouble of typing that stupid shit you post.

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

Nah. I just wish you'd grow up

Projecting again?

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Yo boy blunder . . . "

Did you think that up yourself? Boy wonder--boy blunder. Whoa. Clever, Bob.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Projecting again?"

"Projecting" must be your word-of-the-day, Bob. Increase Your Word Power.

Nice.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Let's get back on topic.

General Peter Schoomaker has essentially declared that we are losing or have lost in Iraq.

Posted by: RedDan on July 17, 2006 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Let's get back on topic.

General Peter Schoomaker has essentially declared that we are losing or have lost in Iraq."

Indeed.

But is that news?

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

I just love how sending 2500+ soldiers to their deaths based on an ever-shifting series of ad hoc bullshit rationales is no problem for folks like Doug M.--whereas anybody pointing out the fact and suggesting that we ought to stop doing it is "trivializing their deaths."

I'm not surprised that most who serve say they're just doing their jobs. They are. Soldiers aren't paid to make strategic decisions, or to question their orders. That's why it's so critical that we and the leaders we elect not send them into situations like the Iraq clusterfuck in the first place.

It's the failed leadership and Nintendo diplomacy of the Bush administration, not the dedication of our troops, that Rep. Murtha and a majority of Americans are now questioning. There's never been shame in serving one's country, but there is much shame in seeing that ultimate expression of trust and sacrifice wantonly abused by incompetents and liars.

Posted by: Lionel Hutz, attorney-at-law on July 17, 2006 at 10:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Nintendo diplomacy"

Perfect description. Sad, but dead on.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

you know full well that there were two separate revelations of Hussein's WMD programs -- one in 1991 and one in 1996. you also know that was my point. Stefan clearly was referring to the 1991 inspections.

Just back from dinner, so this'll be quick, but:

No, I wasn't.

Posted by: Stefan on July 17, 2006 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

Joel:

When smiting Mr. Satan, do you think you could refer to him as Bob Satan or even just Satan instead of Bob?

I don't even want to be casually and mistakenly associated with exchanges like that.

Thanks,

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 17, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

Bob (rmck1), I have only the utmost admiration for you.

Mea culpa.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

We cannot afford to lose the war in Iraq.
We must stay the course, and make Iraq a model of democracy in the Middle East.
The future of our children depends on it. -Sen Mcain.

Ya know senator it's easy to say these things.
Maybe if you could tell us what the 'course' truly is?

Where did this course start Mr Mcain?

Make a Democracy in the middle east?

You don't 'make' democracies you grow and nurture them, at least thats what the leaders tell us.....

The future of our children, I cannot agree with that because of the amount of children who were killed and those robbed of a father figure.

Who's children are you speaking of Mr Mcain?
Those in the Senate?
Surely my children will never be safe from you assholes while you coddle your own.

No Mr Mcain No.
You have had enough of my families blood.

Screw YOU and your Bush empire.

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

When smiting Mr. Satan, do you think you could refer to him as Bob Satan or even just Satan instead of Bob?

Joel smite satan?

Funny.

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

The Word of the Day is:

FERNULARDEXTROMITHSTULATGLUEMIANISM

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 17, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Joel smite satan?

Funny."

Yeah, I thought so too, when I was doing it. Later, I began to realize that it was too much like shooting fish in a barrel. Not much sport in that. *yawn*

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

"No Mr Mcain No.
You have had enough of my families blood.

Screw YOU and your Bush empire."

D'accord.

Posted by: Joel on July 17, 2006 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

TOH's definition of "winning". . .

Two drunk rednecks pissing on an electric fence trying to see who gets zapped first.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on July 17, 2006 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

FERNULARDEXTROMITHSTULATGLUEMIANISM

This is why geeks, I won't mention any names, don't have sex..

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

D'accord.

And heres another loner who thinks his honda is a D'accord.

Dude you are gonna die unmarried and alone if you dont quit this crap and get out more.

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Im gonna go to eschaton and chat with the cool people now..

Take care Joel, or you may be seeing me soon =)

Posted by: Bob Satan on July 17, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

设计 - 设计, 设计 - 设计, 设计 - 设计, 设计 - 设计, 机械 - 机械, 机械 - 机械, 机械 - 机械, 机械 - 机械, 泵阀 - 泵阀, 泵阀 - 泵阀, 泵阀 - 泵阀, 泵阀 - 泵阀, 彩票 - 彩票, 彩票 - 彩票, 彩票 - 彩票, 彩票 - 彩票, 旅游 - 旅游, 旅游 - 旅游, 旅游 - 旅游, 旅游 - 旅游, 仪器 - 仪器, 仪器 - 仪器, 仪器 - 仪器, 仪器 - 仪器, 医疗 - 医疗, 医疗 - 医疗, 医疗 - 医疗, 医疗 - 医疗, 数码 - 数码, 数码 - 数码, 数码 - 数码, 数码 - 数码, 培训 - 培训, 培训 - 培训, 培训 - 培训, 培训 - 培训, 租车 - 租车, 租车 - 租车, 租车 - 租车, 租车 - 租车, 注册 - 注册, 注册 - 注册, 注册 - 注册, 注册 - 注册, 名录 - 名录, 名录 - 名录, 名录 - 名录, 名录 - 名录, 民品 - 民品, 民品 - 民品, 民品 - 民品, 民品 - 民品, 机票 - 机票, 机票 - 机票, 机票 - 机票, 机票 - 机票, 化工 - 化工, 化工 - 化工, 化工 - 化工, 化工 - 化工, 工业 - 工业, 工业 - 工业, 工业 - 工业, 工业 - 工业, 服务 - 服务, 服务 - 服务, 服务 - 服务, 服务 - 服务, ENGLISH - ENGLISH, ENGLISH - ENGLISH, ENGLISH - ENGLISH, ENGLISH - ENGLISH, 安防 - 安防, 安防 - 安防, 安防 - 安防, 安防 - 安防

Posted by: dd on July 17, 2006 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

mental masterbation

That's some interesting parapraxia,you got there, Mr
Satan.

For somebody who would lecture others on their solipsism, I'm inclined to believe it's not just an innocent mistake...

Posted by: Sigmund on July 17, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

WE ARE WINNING BIG.

I AM NOT THE PERSON WHO KEEPS STEALING EVERYONE ELSE'S FOOD FROM THE BREAK ROOM REFRIGERATOR.

THE WHIFF OF COOL-RANCH DORITOS ARISING FROM THE FOLDS OF MY SKIN IS CATNIP TO THE LADIES.

AS LONG AS I TYPE IT IN ALL-CAPS, IT MUST BE TRUE.

Posted by: The Obese Histerian on July 17, 2006 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

The Obese Histerian:

Oh my goodness, that was *quite* a chuckle you gave me there ...

"CATNIP TO THE LADIES" ... oh shit, I nearly died :)

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 17, 2006 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

"You began by saying we won when we went to war and made Sadam incapable of giving WMD to terrorists."

Nathan: I never said that.

And yet Nathan at 6:27 PM: if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...(of course, its possible that the consequences of this victory could be worse than if we had not acted at all)...

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

Doug M: I served in combat, during Desert Storm, you?

Since "Doug M." is, of course, Charlie/Cheney etc., this is of course a filthy and contemptible lie. It's been well-established that the closest Charlie ever got to a uniform is playing dress-up with his GI Joe dolls. Few things are lower than trying to steal the service of brave men and women who fought and died for their country by someone who's too cowardly to fight himself. Fucking scumbag.

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Steven Kriz: How do you "win" an occupation???

It isn't that hard to figure out. You collaborate with the army of the elected government to destroy or incapacitate its enemies, and then withdraw all but a few of your forces. It may not happen, but it might happen. Right now more Sunni cities are collaborating with the Iraqi army to rejoin Iraq (so to speak) while the U.S. forces and the Iraqi army are conducting operations against the Mahdi army, one of the militias. If the militias can be defeated piecemeal (no one of them has much support, and they all hate each other at least as much as they hate the elected government), then as the Iraqi army "stands up" the American army can "stand down".

Posted by: republicrat on July 18, 2006 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

You collaborate with the army of the elected government to destroy or incapacitate its enemies, and then withdraw all but a few of your forces.

See, for example, Nazi Germany and Vichy France. Nice to know we're following such a fine model.

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

Or how about:

Worker: So, did I get the promotion and the raise you promised me?

Boss: [long silence, sound of papers shuffling]

I, y'know....

[Another silence.]

You're not fired.


Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

Nope. many units still engage in heavy patrolling. we're simply not even attacked on the small unit level except for IEDs and small arms - hit and runs...

I realize I missed another prime piece of Nathan foolishness while I was out, his claim above that we're (what do you mean "we," kemo sabe?) not attacked on the small unit level except for IEDs and small arms -- that is, he's trying to claim as a success the fact that we're only being attacked by the deadliest and most effective weapon the resistance has.

"Only" IEDs -- you mean "only" the weapons that routinely blow up our armored vehicles and kill or maim US forces every day? Since the IEDs are doing a good job of killing US soldiers and tying down our troops, why on Earth would the Iraqi rebels need or want to expose themselves to our counter-attack? These are not stupid people.

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan,

You continue to impress.

Focused, clear, incisive and devastating.

Thanks!

You should consider starting up a blog of your own. I would read it.

Cheers.

Posted by: RedDan on July 18, 2006 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

"These are not stupid people."

All the stupid insurgents have already been eliminated.

Fast-track evolution and survival of the fittest at work.

Since the potential pool of fighters was very large to begin with, and the impetus to propel them into active participation in hostilities was and remains quite strong, one can (and should) assume that there are a LOT of well-trained, well-armed, savvy professional (or professionalized by necessity and events) fighters out there watching and learning from every single engagement, whether that engagement is political or military.

Posted by: RedDan on July 18, 2006 at 1:57 AM | PERMALINK

RedDan,

Thanks so much. That's a very nice compliment, and extremely kind of you to say.

I'd love to start a blog, actually, but fear I'd never be able to give it the attention it deserves while I had other work and personal commitments. If I did it, I'd want to do it properly.

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 2:15 AM | PERMALINK

Since the potential pool of fighters was very large to begin with, and the impetus to propel them into active participation in hostilities was and remains quite strong, one can (and should) assume that there are a LOT of well-trained, well-armed, savvy professional (or professionalized by necessity and events) fighters out there watching and learning from every single engagement, whether that engagement is political or military.

Oh, I wouldn't worry. What possible harm can there be in our having essentially created a large pool of radicalized and fiercely anti-American veteran fighters with a familiarity with constructing explosive devices and setting ambushes? I'd say the chance of any blowback is extremely low. After all, look at how all the Afghan war jihadists from the 1980s just faded quietly away....

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan:

If by "win," we mean significantly reducing the possibility of WMDs falling into the hands of terrorists, then we haven't won.

If by "win," we mean making headway in paving the way for democratizing Mideast governments (Egypt, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iran), then no, we haven't won. How is Iraq significantly different from Lebanon today? Substitute Hezbollah for one of the half-dozen militias in Iraq, then Israel might as well be launching strikes against Iraq.

The way Bush sold it to the American people was that peace in the Middle East and security for America goes through Bagdad. Given that American diplomatic and security forces *still* live in the fortress that is the Green Zone, how can you say the situation in Iraq is "stable?" Is it stable only because of the presences of the American military, or is it a fallacy, that if you remove American forces now, Iraq will fall into chaos, and actually be worse that Lebanon is now? Given all the resources in terms of money and lives, how can anyone say this administration has been doing its job responsibly, competently, and in the interest of the American people?

Posted by: Andy on July 18, 2006 at 3:51 AM | PERMALINK

. . .in Vietnam we didn't control every inch of territory...there isn't a square inch of Iraq that we couldn't send 20 guys into...its just that the guys we'd be looking for would be gone.

I'll tell you one thing. Saigon had an operational airport, and you could take a taxi from the airport to your hotel.

Iraq . . . uh, not so much.

Posted by: chuck on July 18, 2006 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

Nathan, again:

that's true...in fact we're at the weird point where our attrition rate is low enough that we can essentially continue as things are indefinitely (I don't mean that callously). its life for Iraqis that is the real problem....

No, we can't essentially continue it indefinitely. Our treasury is bankrupt, we are half a trillion dollars in debt, and the Iraq occupation alone is costing in excess of 6 billion a month.

So no, we can't continue this indefinitely. The money being spent on Iraq is all borrowed. Unless you're a Republican of course. In which case, you can borrow to your heart's content.

Posted by: chuck on July 18, 2006 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

Andy on July 18, 2006 at 3:51 AM |

Substitute Hezbollah for one of the half-dozen militias in Iraq, then Israel might as well be launching strikes against Iraq.

Iraq doesn't border Israel, apparently doesn't harbor Palestinian refugees, and as far as can be determined isn't particularly interested in Israel. As long as the Iraqis remain set on forming whatever government(s) they can, instead of scapegoating the Israelis (c.f., Iran), it's doubtful that the Iraqis will be interested in the Israeli situation one way or another.

On the subject matter of the post, it's doubtful that Army Chief of Staff Schuhmacher could have given an honest answer without demoralizing the troops in Iraq. He gave a politick answer--as far as American troops are concerned--not necessarily an honest one. And apparently--unlike more than a few members of the Bush malAdministration--he was sufficiently imbued with the commandment against lying that it took him a while to figure out how to frame an answer that was politick without necessarily being a lie.

Posted by: raj on July 18, 2006 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

I thought it was an honest answer. In fact, Gen. Schoomaker did something extraordinary within the realm of Beltway politics he told the truth about our Armys readiness. Have any of you actually read his testimony, other than Kevin's two sentence quote, via none other than George Stephanopoulos?

Five years after 9-11 and the U.S. Army, the service that bears the largest burden in this conflict, is still struggling to build a force capable of conducting a long-term global war within established budget constraints. I still think Rumsfeld made a bold move of recalling Gen. Schoomaker out of retirement to lead the Army in a momentous time in our history. As evidenced by his candor and courage in his Congressional testimony, the General did not disappoint.

He realizes that our country is in a war of national survival, and as the Armys top leader, he is willing to drop all political niceties in order to field a fully capable Army. His sobering assessment comes at a critical time. We are in the third year of a massive reconstruction effort in Iraq that is too slowly coming to fruition. Diplomatic options are going nowhere concerning Iran and North Koreas nuclear programs; perhaps we are not yet capable of conducting any meaningful military action. I sincerely hope this is not the case. And now, both the western and eastern anchors of our strategic maneuver in the Central Region have come under attack.

Under the Presidents watch, the so-called pro-defense Republican executive branch and the Republican controlled Congress have lost a lot of credibility by not confronting Clinton holdovers in the defense establishment and the intelligence community. The Army is now paying the price for not dealing with our internal enemies and for continuing to kowtow to both defense and non-defense special interests. Hopefully, this tide has turned.

Posted by: Thomas on July 18, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

What I am surprised about is no thread yet on the stem-cell bills. The Senate is expected to vote this afternoon, and I don't think Bush is making an empty promise to veto. I guess we'll see if it passes with 67 votes or less. Two related bills are also scheduled for votes today in both the House and Senate. One, sponsored by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., would encourage study on stem cells derived from sources other than embryos. The other, sponsored by Santorum and Brownback, would ban so-called "fetal farming," the possibility of developing fetuses, then aborting them for scientific research. Bush would undoubtedly sign both of those.

Posted by: Thomas on July 18, 2006 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

> there isn't a square inch of Iraq that we
> couldn't send 20 guys into...its just that
> the guys we'd be looking for would be gone.

Is there a single square inch of Iraq south of Kurdistan where a US soldier on his off-duty hours can walk off base and buy dinner in a local resturant? In fact, is there a single resturant in Iraq (again, outside of Kurdistan) that dares deliver takeout dinners to a US military base anymore? Is there a single resturant owner who _did_ deliver takeout meals to US bases in the 2003-2004 timeframe who is still alive?

By the way, we aren't supposed to be "winning" in Iraq. We are supposed to be "liberating". The "winning" phase ended with Mission Accomplished. By this point the US troops are supposed to be heaed home, some with their new brides/families, except for those who will be manning the shiny new joint military bases that the grateful Iraqi government and people have agreed we should maintain to assure stability in the region, just as we did with Japan in 1950.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on July 18, 2006 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

> He realizes that our country is in a
> war of national survival

Examples please? Who exactly can take a drink of water from the Ohio uninvited? What entity can cause devestation anywhere in the 50 states greater than that we allowed to happen with Katrina (which surely must be our acceptable level of pain measurement from this point forward)? Where exactly do we face the choices that Pickett's men or Colonel Chamberlain did at Gettysburg? What are our tax levels compared to WWII? What percentage of our children have we agreed to draft?

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on July 18, 2006 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

No, we can't essentially continue it indefinitely. Our treasury is bankrupt, we are half a trillion dollars in debt, and the Iraq occupation alone is costing in excess of 6 billion a month.

Nor will we have enough soldiers to continue on in a few years, at least not without severely damaging all our other operational commitments around the globe. The Army is already scraping the bottom of the barrel as it is by allowing in skinheads, neo-Nazis, and fortysomethings.

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

He realizes that our country is in a war of national survival,

That's nonsense. Who are we in this "war of national survival" with? A few thousand Iraqi rebels? Can you honestly name me the force that you believe threatens the continued existence of the United States?

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Islamic terrorists pulling off a dozen more 9-11 attacks would just about do it. While I don't think we need more taxes or the draft (yet), perhaps you all have forgetten the lessons of 9-11? I do agree the military needs MORE resources though. As Gen. Schoomaker pointed out:

"Historically, the Army has been under resourced and it is a fact that the decade preceding the attacks of September 11, 2001 was no exception. Army investment accounts were underfunded by approximately $100 billion and 500,000 Soldiers were reduced from total Army endstrength. There were about $56 billion in equipment shortages at the opening of the ground campaign in Iraq in the spring of 2003. In contrast, at the height of the Second World War, Defense expenditures exceeded 38 percent of our Gross Domestic Product. Today, they amount to about 3.8 percent and are projected to shrink. In this extraordinarily dangerous time for the Nation, we can and must reverse this trend."

http://armedservices.house.gov/schedules/6-27-06ArmyStatement.pdf

Posted by: Thomas on July 18, 2006 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

What we need to "win" is just not winnable by military means alone.

And Bob nails the whole problem with Bush's approach to his War on Terror. I'd say that military action should be a minor player in fighting terrorists.


Posted by: ckelly on July 18, 2006 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

I don't doubt the non-military aspects of this war are more important than the military aspects, but so was the Marshall Plan in the long run. But you tell me, ckelly, at what point were we "winning" in WWII?

Posted by: Thomas on July 18, 2006 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

That tears it. "Thomas" == Charlie.

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Bob or Stefan, at what point do YOU think we were "winning" in WWII?

Posted by: Thomas on July 18, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Gregory, since when has "Charlie" ever trashed this Administration and Republican controlled Congress over Iraq?

Posted by: Thomas on July 18, 2006 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

> But you tell me, ckelly, at what point
> were we "winning" in WWII?

Churchill's formulation was fairly straightforward: prior to Midway we experienced only defeat; after Midway we experienced only success. Obviously not true everywhere at the tactical level, but essentially correct.

The professionals looked at it a bit differently. After the US/British forces kicked the Germans out of North Africa, the real managers (Marshall and Alanbrooke, essentially) met to plan the end of the war in Western Europe and how they would handle the Soviet Union thereafter (which isn't to say those discussions went optimally, or even well). I don't think either of those two, nor Churchill, had any real fear of a total reverse after that (barring German construction of a workable atomic weapon, and perhaps not even then).

Public opinion was still fearful until mid-1944, probably in large part because the Big Dudes wanted it kept that way.

Why? What stage are we in Iraq? There were what, 60 deaths yesterday? Nice friendly occupation.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on July 18, 2006 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Gotta love this paragraph from Thomas:

"Under the Presidents watch, the so-called pro-defense Republican executive branch and the Republican controlled Congress have lost a lot of credibility by not confronting Clinton holdovers in the defense establishment and the intelligence community. The Army is now paying the price for not dealing with our internal enemies and for continuing to kowtow to both defense and non-defense special interests. Hopefully, this tide has turned."

Yup, it's all Clinton's fault, and the traitorous "Clinton holdovers." They are the "internal enemies" that the Bush administration has not "dealt with." And they are the ones responsible for the clusterfuck in Iraq.

Posted by: PaulB on July 18, 2006 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

""You began by saying we won when we went to war and made Sadam incapable of giving WMD to terrorists."

Nathan: I never said that.

And yet Nathan at 6:27 PM: if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...(of course, its possible that the consequences of this victory could be worse than if we had not acted at all)..."

Stefan, that was unfair and wrong. I'm going to ask you to retract that misleading use of ellipses and cutting a statement out of context.

You're better than that. Don't fall to the level of some others here.

and since you're going to nitpick, will you concede you were wrong on aircraft attrition in Vietnam?

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

I see my exposing "Doug M.'s" contemptible lie that he served in combat during the Gulf War has spoiled that nom de non-guerre for him and so he's quickly had to adopt another alias.

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Stefan, that was unfair and wrong. I'm going to ask you to retract that misleading use of ellipses and cutting a statement out of context.

I'm happy to apologize if I've been unfair, but what misleading use of ellipses do you mean? I cut and pasted that sentence in its entirety -- any ellipses there(after "sometime ago" and "after all") are the ones you put there yourself. If anyone has any doubt, just go up to the quote at 6:27 PM to confirm.

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

and since you're going to nitpick, will you concede you were wrong on aircraft attrition in Vietnam?

I'll give a qualified "yes and no." The numbers for combined Navy and Air Force fixed-wing aircraft losses appear to be somewhere around 1050 total, i.e. not "thousands." When you add in helicopters, it rises to thousands. I don't know that most people would assume helicopters, rather than simply planes, when they see the word "aircraft," but I'll concede it.

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

oops on the ellipses.

but I reiterate that cutting only that section out of my statement was misleading and unfair.

the juveniles above had somehow concluded from my statement above that whether we are "winning" or "losing" depends upon how we define the win conditions (and then I even noted that the long-term consequences from the one win condition which we could be characterized as "winning" were probably more adverse than if we had done nothing...hardly a strategic win)...actually, I don't know what they concluded....they just seemed to cherrypick out phrases they wanted to attack (with ad hominems of course)....
for you to engage in this as well was unseemly (albeit without the ad hominems I'll grant).

my statements have been measured, nuanced and objective, and should have been treated as such (I'll grant briefly stooping down to the level of ha ha, Joel and Red Dan was a mistake)

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas:

What Cranky said. Also, signing terms of surrender by the German General Staff and the Japanese Emperor didn't hurt, either.

Here, the overarching goal is to delegitimate medieval and bloody-minded interpretations of Islam -- to encourage an Islamic Reformation, if you will. That should be our overarching goal in the so-called GWoT.

Our short-term objectives seem to be having the opposite effect, though. Radical Islamism is on the march, and terrorisim incidents have skyrocketed since the Iraqi invasion.

You can't bomb a religious ideology into submission. The more militarily outgunned it is, the nobler it looks to the people.

If our main gut reaction to Islamist terrorism is to bomb its practitioners into the Stone Age -- don't be surprised when Stone Age ideologies both survive and thrive.

You delegitimate Islamism with the fruits of modernity.

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on July 18, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

Bob:

partial agreement...but sometimes you have to fight a battle of Tours, Vienna or Kosovo as well (before I get jumped on, I'm not talking about modern day Kosovo....look it up)

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

"my statements have been measured, nuanced and objective, and should have been treated as such (I'll grant briefly stooping down to the level of ha ha, Joel and Red Dan was a mistake)"

By in large, I'd agree that your statements have been measured. When you post howlers like 1996 doesn't come after 1991 *and then resist acknowledging the mistake* you are no longer objective, just obstinate. Sorry I hurt your feelings by correcting your mistake. If I make a mistake, please feel free to "stoop" to my level of accuracy.

Posted by: Joel on July 18, 2006 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Chuck, Stefan:

$72 billion a year for Iraq within the context of the federal budget, although significant, is not a large portion of it (military spending overall is well below cold war levels -- in terms of percentage of both the budget and the GNP). yes, that spending is sustainable. (whether we should or not is a separate matter altogether)

btw, our debt is far in excess of "half a trillion" dollars.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

$72 billion a year for Iraq within the context of the federal budget, although significant, is not a large portion of it (military spending overall is well below cold war levels -- in terms of percentage of both the budget and the GNP). yes, that spending is sustainable. (whether we should or not is a separate matter altogether)

Projected Iraq War Costs Soar
Total Spending Is Likely to More Than Double, Analysis Finds

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, April 27, 2006; Page A16

The cost of the war in Iraq will reach $320 billion after the expected passage next month of an emergency spending bill currently before the Senate, and that total is likely to more than double before the war ends, the Congressional Research Service estimated this week.

The analysis, distributed to some members of Congress on Tuesday night, provides the most official cost estimate yet of a war whose price tag will rise by nearly 17 percent this year. Just last week, independent defense analysts looking only at Defense Department costs put the total at least $7 billion below the CRS figure.

Once the war spending bill is passed, military and diplomatic costs will have reached $101.8 billion this fiscal year, up from $87.3 billion in 2005, $77.3 billion in 2004 and $51 billion in 2003, the year of the invasion, congressional analysts said. Even if a gradual troop withdrawal begins this year, war costs in Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to rise by an additional $371 billion during the phaseout, the report said, citing a Congressional Budget Office study. When factoring in costs of the war in Afghanistan, the $811 billion total for both wars would have far exceeded the inflation-adjusted $549 billion cost of the Vietnam War.

"The costs are exceeding even the worst-case scenarios," said Rep. John M. Spratt Jr. (S.C.), the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

Such cost estimates may be producing sticker shock on Capitol Hill. This year, the wars will consume nearly as much money as the departments of Education, Justice and Homeland Security combined, a total that is more than a quarter of this year's projected budget deficit. Yesterday, as the Senate debated a $106.5 billion bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and ongoing hurricane relief, 59 senators voted to divert $1.9 billion from President Bush's war-funding request to pay for new border patrol agents, aircraft and some fencing at border crossings widely used by illegal immigrants.....

Defense specialist Amy Belasco, the CRS study's author, stressed that the price tag is only an estimate because the Defense Department has declined to break out the cost of Iraqi operations from the larger $435 billion cost of what the administration has labeled the global war on terrorism. That larger cost applies to military, diplomatic and foreign aid operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, enhanced security efforts begun after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and related medical costs of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Although DOD has a financial system that tracks funds for each operation once they are obligated -- as pay or contractual costs -- DOD has not sent Congress the semiannual reports with cumulative and current obligations for [Iraq] and [Afghanistan], or estimates for the next year, or for the next five years that are required by statute," the CRS noted.....

The report details how operations, maintenance and procurement costs have surged from $50 billion in 2004 to $88 billion this year, citing rising expenditures for body armor, oil and gasoline; equipment maintenance; and training and equipping Afghan and Iraqi security forces.

"These factors, however, are not enough to explain a 50-percent increase of over $20 billion in operating costs," the report states.

War-related investment costs have more than tripled since 2003, from $7 billion to $24 billion, as money has been spent on armored vehicles, radios, sensors and night-vision goggles, as well as on equipment for reorganized Army and Marine Corps units.

"These reasons are not sufficient, however, to explain the level of increases," the report states again.

Other analysts are also scratching their heads. Michael E. O'Hanlon, a defense budget expert at the Brookings Institution, suggested that the military may be slightly padding its request for fear that Congress will be less giving on future emergency spending bills.

"I don't think these guys would make things up, but there is an assumption in the military that these supplementals might dry up, and if there are things that might be considered even Iraq-related, they should get them funded right now," he said.

Of the total war spending, the CRS analysis found $4 billion that could not be tracked. It did identify $2.5 billion diverted from other spending authorizations in 2001 and 2002 to prepare for the invasion.


Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

yes, that spending is sustainable

Not if Bush insists on paying for it with a tax cut, which he does.

I also can't resist pointing out that Nathan's resistance to admit what I'll charitably describe as an error is of a pieice with his performance last week in which he ascribed to Cranky Observer, cmdicely and myself a posityion he utterly failed, when challenged, to demonstrate that any of us hold, instead making a lame attempt to pass it off as a joke of some sort.

If you've tendered the unqualified apology your misrepresentation demands, Nathan, I missed it.

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

lay off. when Stefan explained his intent I immediately retracted that criticism. see the thread above.

Stefan: you still haven't retracted taking me out of context.

as for Iraq spending, whether 72 billion (Chuck's figure, not mine) or 100 billion (which sounds right), it still makes up a small portion of the federal budget...nothing in your article refutes that (in fact, it acknowledges as much by pointing out that its a large portion of the deficit, not the budget as a whole)...I don't know why you felt to take up such a large portion of space with your cut and paste to make such an obvious point.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

federal spending for 2006 is projected at 2,568 billion (two trillion, five hundred sixty-eight billion).

thus, using Stefan's figures, Iraq takes up about 2.57% of the federal budget (rounding up)....that's not peanuts, but its not bankrupting us either (I am concerned about our national debt and deficit, but Iraq is not the reason)...

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

my apologies, brain fart.

Iraq takes up closer to 3.8% of the federal budget. haven't had my third expresso yet...

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: you still haven't retracted taking me out of context.

If you explain what's out of context about it, I'll consider it. At the moment I fail to see the difference between "You began by saying we won when we went to war and made Sadam incapable of giving WMD to terrorists" and your claim that you never said that because you'd said "if by 'win' we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...(of course, its possible that the consequences of this victory could be worse than if we had not acted at all)..."

What context am I missing here?

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

lay off.

If you've tendered the unqualified apology your misrepresentation demands, Nathan, I missed it.

Short of that, "lay off" as a response to being reminded of your behavior -- behavior, I might add, that you're repeating in this very thread -- simply won't do.

One is left with no alternative but to draw the inevitable conclusions regarding your credibility.

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

I never said "we won when we went to war and made Sadam incapable of giving WMD to terrorists"

rather, I said:

"I'm going to temporarily break my moratorium on posting on Iraq-related matters (its a little personal for me)...and say this:
a. it is a "clusterfuck"
b. at no tactical military level are we "losing"...unlike Vietnam we are not losing small unit engagements (none actually), losing thousands of aircraft, etc., except for IEDs, virtually all "insurgent" attacks today are against soft-targets, not us. the problem is that barring an occupation of 300,000 troops (or more), the only solution to Sunni/Shiite conflict is political. there is no military solution.

"What we need to "win" is just not winnable by military means alone."

if by "win" we mean a stable functioning democratic country of Iraq...then that's absolutely (and was always true)....
if by "win" we mean the prevention of ethnic strife in Iraq...that's also true (barring 300,000-400,000 troops)...
if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...(of course, its possible that the consequences of this victory could be worse than if we had not acted at all)..."

I made no claim on any of the above three "win conditions" as mine own. notice the "if by win we mean"?

and considering my following pessimistic statements in the rest of the thread you can hardly consider me as contesting the latter.

yes, I expect a retraction, you've put words in my mouth. it looks like I'm as likely to get honest discussion here as at free republic. (with apologies to Bob and a couple others who were sincere and straightforward)

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

"If you've tendered the unqualified apology your misrepresentation demands, Nathan, I missed it."

whatever are you talking about? I said as much to Stefan above....

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

whatever are you talking about?

Your apology to cmdicely, Cranky Observer, and myself for your misrepresentations. Last I looked, you'd withdrawn your qualified, walked-back apology. If you've tendered the unqualified apology your misrepresentation demands, Nathan, I missed it.

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory, I'm not interested in hijacking a thread by discussing something which pertained to a different thread on this one. You're acting like a petulant child.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

I see Nathan requires that others parse his words exactly as he meant them but is allowed to parse anyone else's words in any way he pleases. Dishonest, sure. Common? All too.

Posted by: on July 18, 2006 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

by discussing something which pertained to a different thread on this one

Au contraire, Nathan -- my noting that your stubbornly and mendaciously refusing to concede an obvious error is a pattern of behavior you've exhibited both in the past and pertains to this very thread.

You're acting like a petulant child

Here we can see your lack of honor and honesty on full display, Nathan. So how would you suggest characterizing someone who misrepresents people's views and then refuses to admit error or apologize?

You misrepresented the views of myself, cmdicely and cranky. You were challenged, you refused to admit your error -- embarking, instead, on an embarrassing campaign of misdirection -- and you refuse to apologize. The one exhibiting objectionable behavior is you, Nathan, and until you apologize I intend to remind the readers of this forums of your manifest lack of credibility (besides, of course, your own credibility hara-kiri in the form of your laughably wrongheaded statements).

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: yes, I expect a retraction, you've put words in my mouth.

I never put any words in your mouth. The post of mine you object to, at 12:41 AM on July 18 above, was:

And yet Nathan at 6:27 PM: if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...(of course, its possible that the consequences of this victory could be worse than if we had not acted at all)..."

I've bolded the portions in the extract above which were my original language. Everything else was merely reproducing the sentence you wrote in its entirety. How, then, did I put words in your mouth? By quoting you exactly?

it looks like I'm as likely to get honest discussion here as at free republic.

Oh, lay off the drama queen histrionics.

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan: I never said "we won when we went to war and made Sadam incapable of giving WMD to terrorists"

No, and I never said you did say those exact words. If you go back to the original July 18, 12:41 AM post above you'll see that the very alliterative "we won when we went..." line was a direct quote of jayarbee's July 17, 8:04 PM post.

I do say, though, that there is very little daylight between jayarbee's summation of your position and what you now claim that position to be.

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

see your post of 12:41 a.m....which clearly has only one intent -- to assert that I:

""You began by saying we won when we went to war and made Sadam incapable of giving WMD to terrorists.""

I, of course, never said that "we won" or "began" that way...as evinced above.

you are fully aware that I was misquoted by those turkeys above and attempted to support them at 12:41 a.m. (by quoting me devoid of context)...

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

"No, and I never said you did say those exact words. If you go back to the original July 18, 12:41 AM post above you'll see that the very alliterative "we won when we went..." line was a direct quote of jayarbee's July 17, 8:04 PM post."

except that your post of 12:41 is an attempt to verify jayarbee's misstatement.

"I do say, though, that there is very little daylight between jayarbee's summation of your position and what you now claim that position to be."

WTF!!!!!!! For fuck's sake: you mean the position that I have articulated with the statements above?????:

"a. it is a "clusterfuck""

"getting close to it. the remaining thread of hope I have is that this violence is pretty much being controlled by local politicians for political advantage and can be turned off and on at a moment's notice. so long as that is the case a political solution is conceivable."

"we're not in any danger of being chased out...what we can't do is stop them from killing each other."

"that's true...in fact we're at the weird point where our attrition rate is low enough that we can essentially continue as things are indefinitely (I don't mean that callously). its life for Iraqis that is the real problem...."

how does any of the pessimistic foregoing jibe with jayarbee's misrepresentation?

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Are you fucking insane? Or are you always this stupid and/or dishonest? (Frankly, the longer you go on the harder it is to decide which of the two applies). Since you seem to have some trouble with reading comprehension, I'll reproduce my post as I wrote it (with my comments in brackets):

"You began by saying we won when we went to war and made Sadam incapable of giving WMD to terrorists." [this was a direct quote from jayarbee.]

Nathan: I never said that. [again, a direct quote of your response to jayarbee]

And yet Nathan at 6:27 PM: if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...(of course, its possible that the consequences of this victory could be worse than if we had not acted at all)... [[and again, a direct quote of your original statement].

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 12:41 AM | PERMALINK

In short, I reproduced what they said you said, your denial of same, and your original statement. I let all three stand and speak for themselves, with the only original words I wrote being "And yet Nathan at 6:27 PM:"

Posted by: Stefan on July 18, 2006 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

you're coming awfully close to lying:

a. you said "And yet", indicating that jayarbee was correct;

b. you deliberately failed to quote:

""What we need to "win" is just not winnable by military means alone."

if by "win" we mean a stable functioning democratic country of Iraq...then that's absolutely (and was always true)....
if by "win" we mean the prevention of ethnic strife in Iraq...that's also true (barring 300,000-400,000 troops)..."

you cherrypicked and you know it.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

"...(of course, its possible that the consequences of this victory could be worse than if we had not acted at all).."

btw...this jibes with jayarbee's assertion how?

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

btw Stefan,
I just realized your misunderstanding:

look again at my post of 3:17...there are double quotation marks around jayarbee's words, acknowledging that you were quoting someone else. I suppose you didn't notice that.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, you wrote: if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...

Jayarbee summarized this argument as: You began by saying we won when we went to war and made Sadam incapable of giving WMD to terrorists.

You replied: I never said that.

Well, yeah, you kinda did. Now, you can argue that Jayarbee's restatement was unfair, that it was incomplete, that it neglected other things you said, and so forth, but you cannot simply say "I never said that" and expect us to take you seriously. What, specifically, did you find offensive about Jayarbee's restatement?

Posted by: PaulB on July 18, 2006 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan wrote: "I made no claim on any of the above three 'win conditions' as mine own. notice the 'if by win we mean'?"

Oh lord... and this is the argument you're going with? That we were supposed to guess that you were referring to some nebulous, hypothetical, completely unreferenced, others? You took three possible definitions of the word "win," conceded that in two of those cases we could not, in fact, "win" through military means but that in the third case, we could have and, in fact, already had.

I assume that Jayarbee's comments were in response to this third assertion and what it implied about the state of affairs in Iraq. Your statement was definitely arguable and instead of defending it or clarifying it, you've been stubbornly insisting that you didn't even say it which means that no productive discussion could take place.

Posted by: PaulB on July 18, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

So how are we doing in Iraq?

Over 3000 Iraqis were killed in June , the bloodiest month since the invasion.

"Insanely bad." "Worse." That's how we're doing.

And they're doing worse.

Posted by: Windhorse on July 18, 2006 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB:

I listed three win conditions in Iraq and noted that we have failed on two of them (and noticed that the outcome of "winning" the third was probably worse than the positive)...how the hell does that translate into:

"You began by saying we won when we went to war"

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, I actually began by stating that Iraq was a "clusterfuck"....

I can't help it that I took "the fake fake Al"'s question of 6:02 PM seriously...

I guess the trolls can't handle substantive discussion...they would rather just read snark.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, good Ford, Nathan!

I listed three win conditions in Iraq and noted that we have failed on two of them (and noticed that the outcome of "winning" the third was probably worse than the positive)

What you fail to mention here -- and I can only conclude, at this point, that your omission is a deliberate, if incompetent, attempt at deception -- is that you assert that by the third condition we have already won:

if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago

Again, you don't say "when we went to war" in so many words, but once again, PaulB's paraphrase is utterly reasonable. And when he paraphrases you later as saying "You took three possible definitions of the word "win," conceded that in two of those cases we could not, in fact, "win" through military means but that in the third case, we could have and, in fact, already had," he is essentially correct. And you persist in pedantry rather than confront the foolishness of your argument that PaulB, Stefan et al are trying to point out to you.

Really, Nathan, one is left with little alternative but to conclude by your behavior over the last few days that you're a particularly embarrassing combination of ignorant and dishonest.

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB:

"That we were supposed to guess that you were referring to some nebulous, hypothetical, completely unreferenced, others?"

you mean the two other explicit win conditions that I expressly stated in my original post?
I understand why you're confused:

Stefan and others dishonestly refused to quote those statements...

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory:

what part of "if by "win"" can you not see?

do you refuse to read that word "if"....? Bob and others managed to see it.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

In fact, I actually began by stating that Iraq was a "clusterfuck"....

You also imply that the invasion was successful in neutralizing Saddam as a threat.

That you're resisting the attibution of this utterly discredited and foolish opinion to you certainly implies that you realize that this so-called "success" -- eliminating a threat that did not in fact exist -- is hardly worth the resulting "clusterfuck." That would be a laudable admission, if you weren't wasting everyone's time with your dishonest hair-splitting.

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

"foolishness of your argument that PaulB, Stefan et al are trying to point out to you."

you mean the argument that I never made and which is deliberately and dishonestly being purported as mine.

once again, what part of the conditional word "if" do you not understand?

what part of the word "clusterfuck" (an conditional word) do you not understand?

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

"You also imply that the invasion was successful in neutralizing Saddam as a threat."

well, that's absolutely true. the problem is that virtually every other outcome of the invasion has been adverse. WHICH HAS BEEN MY ENTIRE FUCKING POINT THIS ENTIRE FUCKING THREAD AND WHICH I HAVE STATED REPEATEDLY IN EXPLICIT TERMS.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

do you refuse to read that word "if"....?

Did you refuse to read PaulB's apt dimissal of your lame disavowal?

What I refuse, Nathan, is to accept your bogus argument that your use of the subjunctive case shields you from criticims of the ridiculous hypothetical we advanced. There's nothing at all dishonest about holding you to the implications of your statment. To the contrary -- the dishonesty is in your pathetic attempts to distance yourself without acknowledging you made a ridiculous, self-evidently bogus statement.

Which, I might add, seems to be an emerging pattern with you, Nathan. Where's that apology to cmdicely, Cranky Observer and myself?

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

well, that's absolutely true.

No, Nathan. Saddam was not a threat at all, so invading was not successful in neutralizing him as a threat. No threat existed.

But since you assert that Saddam was a threat, and that the invasion was successful in neutralizing it, it's beyond clear that attributing that point of view to you is not, in fact, dishonest. QED.

Good Ford, man -- I truly weep for your clients.

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

Gregory,

I'm going to start doing to you what you're doing to me...if you ever actually post something substantive, I'm going to quote the one exact phrase out of your entire paragraph that subverts the rest of your point when taken out of context.

I explicitly stated that Iraq was a "clusterfuck"...without any conditional attached. your continuing failure to address that statement shows you as wilfully and mendaciously dishonest.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

"No, Nathan. Saddam was not a threat at all, so invading was not successful in neutralizing him as a threat. No threat existed."

I never said he was. But if he ever was a threat then he is certainly neutralized by being behind bars. This isn't disputable.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

the problem is that virtually every other outcome of the invasion has been adverse.

No, Nathan, the problem is that the so-called "success" you cite -- even in the subjunctive case -- does not in fact exist.

The argument is not about your citations of the invasion's failures, or your characterization of Iraq as a "clusterfuck."

It's in your citation of an arguable success of the invasion, when the success you claim was in eliminating a threat that did not in fact exist. While it's understandable that you would try to distance yourself from such a ridiculous assertion, it is not in fact dishonest in criticizing you for making it, and as we've seen, you do in fact claim it. So I think we're done here, hm?

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

I'm going to start doing to you what you're doing to me

Well, given that you're cklaiming that you're being unfairly represented -- even though you aren't -- your assertion that you're going to "start doing to you what you're doing to me" is rich, considering that you've already unfairly represented my opinions. An act for which you refuse to apologize.

...if you ever actually post something substantive

Gee, Nathan, I consider pointing out your abundant errors of fact and logic to be plenty substantive.

I'm going to quote the one exact phrase out of your entire paragraph that subverts the rest of your point when taken out of context.

Why bother, when you've shown yourself as being perfectly comfortable with making things up out of whole cloth?

I explicitly stated that Iraq was a "clusterfuck"...without any conditional attached.

Irrelevant. That Iraq is a clusterfuck is not a point of contention. At issue is your implication -- which you later reaffirm! -- that the invasion can be perceived as a success. Your acknowledgment of the sorry state of Iraq does you no credit in the context of your other ridiculous assertion.

your continuing failure to address that statement shows you as wilfully and mendaciously dishonest.

Au contraire, Nathan. Your depiction of the current condition in Iraq is irrelevant. At issue is your other assertion, and your continuing insistence that you did not in fact say that -- especially in light of the fact that you asserted you believe it is in fact true -- shows you as the one who is wilfully and mendaciously dishonest.

But then, you've already shown yourself as such, so it's no surprise.

Posted by: Gregory on July 18, 2006 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

"The argument is not about your citations of the invasion's failures, or your characterization of Iraq as a "clusterfuck."

bullshit. the failure to acknowledge those statements while simultaneously asserting that I said "we won" (which I never did) because I noted that the invasion accomplished exactly one thing -- removing Hussein from power...is utter and complete dishonesty.

quite frankly, if Scotian, Stefan, cmdicely, etc. had said what I said, you would have immediately understood what they were saying. the lot of you are insisting on misreading me precisely because I disagree with you on occasion. pretty darn fascist.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

"considering that you've already unfairly represented my opinions. An act for which you refuse to apologize."

I openly admitted on that thread that I mistook you for Jose Padilla and, in fact, apologized.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

" At issue is your implication -- which you later reaffirm! -- that the invasion can be perceived as a success."

I never said that or implied it.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK
Gregory,

I'm going to start doing to you what you're doing to me...if you ever actually post something substantive, I'm going to quote the one exact phrase out of your entire paragraph that subverts the rest of your point when taken out of context.

What do you think threatening to engage in intellectual dishonesty gains you? It certainly doesn't validate your claims against Gregory, nor does it reflect well on you in any other way. (Nor is it really much of a threat, as it wouldn't represent much of a change of behavior, even if the particular mode of dishonesty you accuse Gregory of and threaten to use yourself isn't one you engage in commonly now.)

Posted by: cmdicely on July 18, 2006 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

I'm not going to do it. but seriously, you've read the thread (hopefully), I think the cherrypicking they're engaging in is pretty darn obvious.

(btw, considering Hussein's support for some terrorist groups and his control of some oil, its clear that he presented some threat to the U.S....just not a threat sufficient to justify the invasion)

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan, would you please get off your high horse for just a moment? My reading of this is that people are challenging your assertion that:

if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...

In other words, that statement, in and of itself, is being challenged. I don't think that anyone has claimed that you are saying that we "won" any kind of complete victory in Iraq, certainly not as Bush semi-defined victory, but you definitely implied that in one respect, the invasion was a success and that we did, in fact, achieve at least one goal. This is an arguable statement and people are trying to argue it.

So might I suggest that you settle down for just a minute and re-examine that statement? Decide if that really is what you meant to say and then defend it, clarify it, or retract it?

We get the point that this is not the totality of your views of Iraq. Nonetheless, you did make that statement; you are now being asked to defend it. That is an entirely reasonable request, in my view.

Posted by: PaulB on July 18, 2006 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

crap, I wrote a long response to this but apparently it was lost when the WM site went down.

Here's a brief response:

a. I noted that this win condition had been accomplished "some time ago"...which doesn't necessitate it having been the invasion.

b. if one assumes, like Gregory, that Hussein posed no threat whatsoever, then it still doesn't change the fact that Hussein is now incapable of posing a threat.

c. if one takes the more realistic approach that Hussein posed some threat but that there were much more significant and pressing ones, then it would still be true by definition that the specific thread presented by Hussein has been eliminated, however, the fact that there were more significant and pressing ones makes this win condition ring hollow.

if people had wanted to discuss this rather than engage in ad hominems (see RedDan) or mischacterize my posts (jayarbee, Stefan)...we might be somewhere.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

"I don't think that anyone has claimed that you are saying that we "won" any kind of complete victory in Iraq, certainly not as Bush semi-defined victory,"

well, thankfully you and cmdicely understand this. alas, Joel, RedDan, jayarbee and Stefan have explicitly or implicitly claimed exactly that.

Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK
I noted that this win condition had been accomplished "some time ago"...which doesn't necessitate it having been the invasion.

If you mean to include the world "before" between "been" and "the", well, its extraodinarily misleading and poor communication, at best, to define something as a victory condition for a specific war and say it was acheived "some time ago" and not specify that it was, in fact, before the war at issue began if that is what you meant. If you present something as a possible victory condition for a war and say it happened "some time ago" without further specification, any reasonable reader is going to read that as meaning some time in the past, after the war started.

if people had wanted to discuss this rather than engage in ad hominems (see RedDan) or mischacterize my posts (jayarbee, Stefan)...we might be somewhere.

You are hardly the victim; even granting, arguendo, your apparent argument that you really meant what everyone arguing against you clearly raised as their argument, had you been interested in honest debate rather than deliberately and grossly mischaracterizing their arguments, that would have been settled immediately.

Posted by: cmdicely on July 18, 2006 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

I think it was in 1965, when I was about 9, that I asked my dad, a prominent California democrat, about progress in Vietnam. "Are the good guys winning," I asked.

I got the long silence. And then the sad admission: "I really don't know how to answer that question."

Posted by: Marcus Sitz on July 18, 2006 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

To Recap:

Nathan claims that we have removed the mastodons from Iraq. When it is pointed out that this was accomplished by an ice age he argues that it didn't happen when the ice age started. It is then pointed out to him that no one had made such a claim. He then proceeds to berate those who point out his reading comprehension problem. The rest is merely a repetition of dishonesty from Nathan about what he said until finally PaulB makes clear to Nathan what everyone else already knew: Nathan didn't say we had won in Iraq because we removed the mastodons.

Unfortunately, Nathan still refuses to see that no one had claimed he had proclaimed victory in Iraq because of the lack of mastodons, but everyone thought he was a moron for both his claim of removing non-existent mastodons as a marker for anything at all and his idiotic defense of the ice age not including the parts after the start.

Posted by: just the facts on July 18, 2006 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

Nathan wrote: "a. I noted that this win condition had been accomplished "some time ago"...which doesn't necessitate it having been the invasion."

Nathan, the whole subject of this thread is Iraq and how we are doing in the current conflict. The post you were responding to was talking about the current conflict. Your post specifically talked about winning and losing, which means that you were talking about the current conflict. This excuse is disingenuous at best.

If you weren't talking about the current conflict, then what the hell were you talking about? And how were we supposed to have known that? If you were talking about some other phase of the conflict and isolating that from the current state of affairs, how were we supposed to have known that? This just doesn't wash.

"b. if one assumes, like Gregory, that Hussein posed no threat whatsoever, then it still doesn't change the fact that Hussein is now incapable of posing a threat."

That simply evades the question: was Hussein, in fact, a threat to his neighbors? Would or could he have been a threat in, say, 10 years if we had not gone to war? Would he have and could he have given WMDs to terrorists in, say, 10 years if we had not gone to war? What would the nature of those WMDs be and would they have posed a significant threat to the U.S.? If not, then we didn't "win" anything because there was no prize there to win. These are just a few of the reasons for challenging your statement.

"c. if one takes the more realistic approach that Hussein posed some threat but that there were much more significant and pressing ones, then it would still be true by definition that the specific thread presented by Hussein has been eliminated, however, the fact that there were more significant and pressing ones makes this win condition ring hollow."

I'm not even sure I'm prepared to concede that Hussein posed some threat. But yes, you are correct that the "win" in that case, assuming that the war hampered us from dealing more effectively with those other threats, would indeed be something of a hollow victory.

My point still stands: this was an arguable statement and one that certainly could be challenged. It was challenged and I think you are as guilty of misreading those challenges as you claim everyone here was of misreading your statement.

Posted by: PaulB on July 18, 2006 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK


CMDICELY: If you present something as a possible victory condition for a war and say it happened "some time ago" without further specification, any reasonable reader is going to read that as meaning some time in the past, after the war started.

Yes; especially since Nathan's "some time ago" is in direct response to someone's assertion that What we need to "win" is just not winnable by military means alone, which parametrically refers to the current armed conflict, rather than the sanctions of the '90s.

Then there's the matter of Nathan's claim on another thread that he "took no such issue" with Stefan's assertion that Sadam's WMD had been eliminated long before the current war started. One doesn't begin a response to something one is not taking issue with by saying, "Incorrect."

Nathan, if you're reading this (and I'm sure you are), please don't accuse me again of misrepresenting what you have said. Which means it won't be necessary to restate your claim that you didn't mean Stefan was wrong about the pre-2003 elimination of Sadam's WMD, but only about it having been completed in 1991 (which he didn't say), rather than 1996. People who are sincerely putting forth a viewpoint just don't make arguments like yours. But liars covering their tracks do.


Posted by: jayarbee on July 18, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Whew! That was a long day, and then I come back to an even longer thread. See what happens when you stop reading here for even a little bit? I was gone all day getting the vote out, door to door. Cynthia McKinney may be in trouble this evening. Too bad that it was such a low turnout, but it looks like Cagle's going to beat Reed in the GOP primary too. Oh well, at least the Braves are winning in a blow out!

Maybe next time will be better for the Golden Boy -- assuming he does not get convicted in the meantime along with Abramoff. It was fun rattling your cages a bit -- I did serve in Desert Storm though. But, I think I will go back to lurker status for now.

Lastly, Nathan, good luck with these crazies. I hope you were never in the military (or at least don't admit it) given the reception I got here. I guess it's like a tar baby on these threads.

Posted by: Doug M. on July 18, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

LOL... Poor Dougie. Looks like the "crazies" were right about Reed. What about those confident projections of yours?

The rest of your post was just the usual trolling. Don't you get tired of it?

Posted by: PaulB on July 18, 2006 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Whew! Just got back from a stirring performance of Beethoven's Fifth by the New York Philharmonic in Central Park, and see that in my absence poor Nathan got the severest intellectual spanking I've seen in some time. If he was determined to rip any remaining shred of credibility and integrity he had to shreds, well, he certainly accomplished that. It was a simply spectacular self-immolation.

I love this pose of wounded faux-reasonableness, by the way: mif people had wanted to discuss this rather than engage in ad hominems (see RedDan) or mischacterize my posts (jayarbee, Stefan)...we might be somewhere.

Given that my supposed mischaracterization of his posts involved accurately quoting a sentence of his in its entirety, (and which sentence he hilariously accused me of inserting misleading ellipses in, only to discover to his embarrassment that they were the ellipses he himself wrote in the original sentence) I'm not sure what his cause of action is. Definition of character, perhaps....?

Posted by: Stefan on July 19, 2006 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Definition of character, perhaps....?

Clever. See also: breach of concoction.

Posted by: shortstop on July 19, 2006 at 12:31 AM | PERMALINK

ok...you guys are obtuse.

(btw, for those of you in CA (most of you apparently)...eh, we have different time zones)...

I specifically said in response to Stefan's WMD post:

"the rest were covered up and not found until 1996"

how that translates into 2003 I have no clue.

It's nice that Joel and Jayarbee are now pretending that they were only objecting to one win condition as a hypothetical. They are also liars. So is Stefan apparently.

You've hijacked the entire substantive discussion of this thread in order to purportedly score cheap partisan points...its infantile and illustrates why PA threads (as with Kos) are universally mocked (in serious liberal circles) as the refuge of children.

Posted by: Nathan on July 19, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

O.K., now that we got that all out in the open, can we get back to General Schoomaker and the state of our militarys readiness (or lack thereof)? Whomever you want to blame for that state, what do we do now?

Posted by: Thomas on July 19, 2006 at 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

I was gone all day getting the vote out, door to door. ... Too bad that it was such a low turnout

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?

Nahhh.....

Posted by: Irony Man on July 19, 2006 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

Did y'all notice Nathan's attempted sleight-of-hand with the words "possible" and "probable"?

I listed three win conditions in Iraq and noted that we have failed on two of them (and noticed that the outcome of "winning" the third was probably worse than the positive) ...Posted by: Nathan on July 18, 2006 at 5:00 PM

Compared to the original:

if by "win" we mean eliminating any possibility of Hussein giving wmd to terrorists in the future (or posing a danger to his neighbors), then we won sometime ago...(of course, its possible that the consequences of this victory could be worse than if we had not acted at all)..."

And talk about torturing logic:

I made no claim on any of the above three "win conditions" as mine own. notice the "if by win we mean"?

Right. All you did was say that if the proposition is X, then it is true.

Narcissistic personality disorder.

Posted by: obscure on July 19, 2006 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK


NATHAN: its infantile and illustrates why PA threads (as with Kos) are universally mocked (in serious liberal circles) as the refuge of children.

Of course, as with all of your assertions, you will be unable to provide even one such example of this universal mocking PA threads receive in so-called serious liberal circles. Does Zell Miller have a blog now?

What is mocked in every circle of every universe is an ill-informed, disingenuous, tolling buffoon, whose sole supporter among a legion of right-wing propagandists is another buffoon, now self-exiled due to his own empty mocking on behalf of still a third buffoon, the recently defeated Ralph Reed.

Buffoons are persistent, though. So Reed will be back to shovel more shit, as will Doug M, albeit, with a new handle and a new resume--perhaps he'll be a former Green Beret next time! Maybe you should do the same thing, Nathan. Take a break. Try to pass the bar for the fourth time. When you're ready to get slapped around some more, c'mon back with a fresh username. How about Hamilton Burger?


Posted by: jayarbee on July 19, 2006 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Ticketwood, a Real Time Price Comparison Ticket Site, Finds You the Lowest Ticket Prices on the Web for Concerts, Sports, Theater, NBA, MLB, NFL and More.

Concert tickets Concert tickets
tickets tickets
baseball tickets BASEBALL tickets
MLB tickets MLB tickets
NBA tickets NBA tickets
basketball tickets BASKEBALL tickets
NFL tickets NFL tickets
football tickets NFL tickets
NHL tickets NHL tickets
hockey tickets NHL tickets
concert tickets concerts
sports tickets sports
theater tickets theatre
nascar tickets NASCAR
rodeo tickets RODEO
ncaa tickets NCAA
tennis tickets tennis
wwe tickets WWE
ticketwood tickets
ticketwood.com ticketwood.com tickets
ticketwood tickets ticketwood tickets


Posted by: Ticketwood on July 19, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

Read Jonathan Rowe remembrance and articles
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Free News & Updates

Advertise in WM



buy from Amazon and
support the Monthly