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Tilting at Windmills

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June 13, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

LEAVING IRAQ....I mentioned last week my dismay over the growing conventional wisdom among both Democrats and Republicans that we need to leave a "residual force" in Iraq for a good long time. Today, Spencer Ackerman expands a bit on why this is such a bad idea:

As the 2004 handover demonstrated, Iraqis are unlikely to be fooled into thinking 40,000-plus US forces stationed indefinitely in the country represents an end to the US presence. Worse, if the idea is to either protect Iraqis from a slide into chaos or safeguard enduring US interests — be it preventing genocide or fighting al-Qaida or keeping the oil flowing — then keeping only 40,000 troops in Iraq is senseless. As Major General Joseph Fil commented to [Thomas] Ricks: "My nightmare — the thing that keeps me up at night — is a failure of Iraqi security forces, somehow, catastrophically, mixed with a major Samarra mosque-type catastrophe." Leaving the Iraqi security forces aside, another huge sectarian provocation is guaranteed. In 2009, US commanders of a post-occupation force will find themselves powerless to deal with it. At that point, US troops will be little more than a constabulary force to keep the Iraqi politicians who failed to avert the crisis — and probably contributed to it — alive.

Exactly right. The Sunni insurgents want us out, and a drawdown to 40,000 troops won't mollify them. At the same time, it's nowhere near enough to deal with any kind of serious violence. It's the worst kind of limbo.

On a related note, something Spencer doesn't mention is the geo-psychological aspect of all this. If there's a U.S. residual force stationed in Iraq, we'll eventually find ourselves under irresistible pressure to engage in large-scale fighting of one sort or another. Something — some crisis of some kind — will erupt and we'll feel like we have to respond. We're right there, after all. At that point, our choice will be to give in and fight, but with too few troops to do the job right, or to stay hunkered down on our bases, which implicitly makes us responsible for the carnage. The almost certain global reaction will be: The Americans were only ten miles away and they didn't do anything to stop it!

There is, at this point, simply nothing more we can do in Iraq. The only sensible course of action is to leave. Completely.

Kevin Drum 1:24 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (148)

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Comments

I think that you are mistaking the mood of the country here.

Iraq is certainly a mess and there is certainly nothing good that can be achieved there under Bush. Nobody trusts him, not the Democrats, not the Republicans and certainly not the Iraqis. Bush cannot do anything but make matters worse.

That is not necessarily true of a new President, in particular if the President starts with the admission that almost everything that the US has done for the past six years in the country has made things worse.

In particular it is entirely possible that a new President may be able to call on allies who were rejected and dismissed by Bush to participate in a UN led force. This is not something that candidates should foreclose lightly.

Posted by: PHB on June 13, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

The retention of large US forces in Japan, S. Korea and Europe for a long period of time, while certainly in the interests of the US, was primarily in the form of a defensive military alliance against a larger threat -- certainly once Japan and W. Germany became stable and self-governing -- and, in the case of the Phillippines a forward West Pacific base for same.

Much as Bush & co. have been trying to create an external threat, this force would be there primarily for internal stability, i.e. policing and supression. That's a big difference.

Posted by: notthere on June 13, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

I appreciate Mr. Drum's conclusion.

Posted by: Brojo on June 13, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

A permanent trops presence amongst Iraqi people, mnnn..61% of the entire apopulation who approve of attacks on American forces.Do we really want to part of a permanent shooting gallery?

Posted by: Steve Crickmore on June 13, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

I am with Atrios on this, and more.

No one is gonna leave Iraq. Neither the current President, nor the new one after 2008.

The elites in Washington don't want to leave. That's enough to keep our forces there for a generation.

Imperialist dreams die hard. And slow. Very slow.

Posted by: gregor on June 13, 2007 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

PHB, you might want to remember that the UN does not go into countries to change governments, will go into a zone as keeper of an already agreed peace but rarely goes into a fighting situation (Korea was an aberation), and even has a hard time intervening to prevent genocide.

There aren't many countries who will supply any meaningful force. Italy and Spain are tired out, Germany and France were never in, the UK is set on withdrawing and I don't think their next government would survive not doing so.

See how hard it's been in Afghanistan where most coutries think we should be.

No. We made this distinctly uncomfortable yoke and we must wear it until we decide to lay it down. The sooner the better. We are wasting lives.

Any President who doesn't set a goal of complete withdrawal -- besides a fairly normal embassy -- within 2 years max, has the wrong goal.

That's where the preznit should have been a long time ago.

Posted by: notthere on June 13, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

That is not necessarily true of a new President, in particular if the President starts with the admission that almost everything that the US has done for the past six years in the country has made things worse.

I don't think Iraqis, especially the street fighters and the base, if you'll pardon the expression, that makes up the insurgency are going to draw distinctions between Bush and his successor, whoever that is. I hope that allied and other governments will, but by the time Bush is gone, even if he were impeached and removed in the next few weeks, the situation will have deteriorated, I fear, beyond the point where any real difference can be made.

The WHAT of post-American Iraq is going to happen, it's a question of WHEN, and how many more US troops die between now and then. I don't mean to sound as if I'm unconcerned for the loss of Iraqi life that Bush has made inevitable, but --to borrow Digby's crude but dead-on image-- we can't unshit the bed.

Posted by: Jim on June 13, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

another Samarra mosque-type catastrophe ?

ok. done.

Posted by: cleek on June 13, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

I say we keep 30,000 troops in Kurdistan only, purely to run refugee camps for the hundreds of thousands of people who will be applying for political refugee status. Those people should be reviewed for security concerns and processed through to come to the US over a period of 5 years or more, as with refugee camps in SE Asia after the fall of Indochina.

The supply lines for these troops, unfortunately, should really run through Turkey. Shame that isn't likely to work.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on June 13, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

A new president might be able to bring about a cease fire with the promise of American withdrawal. But we're going to need to get out of there with that or not.

Posted by: tomeck on June 13, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

I couldn't agree more.
The country, even my deep red part of it, couldn't agree more.

Our leaders, however, seem stuck in the 19th century...or maybe the British Raj.

Posted by: clio on June 13, 2007 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

To: notthere
I don't believe the U.S. presence is to provide internal stability. The stealth policy is to create and maintain a permanent military presence near the middle east oil fields to ensure the continued flow of oil until it runs out. The policy must remain "secret" because there would be little political support for this from any side except the most war oriented neocons. Until we begin discussing the real reason we are there, all discussions about Iraq will have an Alice in Wonderland quality.

Posted by: Thomas Tobiason on June 13, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Bah! As usual, Kevin Dumbo™ gets it wrong! Wrong! Wrong!

Having a residual presence in Iraq is no different than leaving troops in Japan, Korea or Germany--places where the local populace were either desperate for our protection or resentful of the humiliating defeat we had rained down upon them. The beaten always resent the people who beat them, even when they were beaten with napalm and white phosphorous. You have to show a whipped dog the back of your hand and the comfort of an open hand where applicable. Sorry to break some eggs and offend the delicate sensibilities of the more sensitive out there, but a cur is a cur and you get nowhere with doggie biscuits. The rolled up newspaper and the stern voice command must accompany any effort to bring the cur to heel. And always be frugal with rewards, lest you spoil the animal.

Are we ever going to see the end of Iraqis who tie a rag around their nose and run around with an AK-47 and leave a broken mortar round tied to a dead dog's ass? Of course not. We will always have what are called "haters" who resent the success we have had in the region. The Middle East was doomed before we invaded Iraq--doomed to being under the influence of petty dictators. Well, we knocked off one and the rest have fallen in line. Players are hated, but real players don't keep hate up in their hearts. Remember that when you're pooh-poohing the efforts of people better than yourself.

US troops were being attacked relentlessly when they entered Germany in early 1945; when the war ended, the Germans resented them but figured out that it was better to have Yankees in their midst rather than Bolsheviks. In fact, US troops were being attacked with tanks, planes and buzz bombs--nothing like THAT is going on right now! When the Iraqis see what it might be like to have Iranian agents controlling their government, they'll figure out how to accept US troops AND they'll start turning over the miscreants who sow chaos.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 13, 2007 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think this is even counting the worst case scenario: with a greatly diminished force, that force would be a constant target for attacks. So insurgents or al-Sadr's army or even the Iraqi army finally get big enough to pull off an assault on the remaining troops, killing say, 250-500 of them at once -- public outcry might once again force a greater troop deployment in Iraq, this time battling for revenge and "security" and doing the job we didn't do in the second Iraq war. We'd inevitably hear pressure for a third Iraq war and have to do this all over again, meeting the textbook definition of insanity.

Posted by: Adam on June 13, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I think I agree with mattsteinglass.

It's obvious the current administration is hell bent on keeping an American presence in Iraq for years to come, what with the massive infrastructure in place and the shifting rhetoric of late. And, no doubt, they have the capability to tie the next President's hands in the matter.

I agree that we should keep a small force (size is debatable, 20,000? 30,000?) in areas in Iraq that would tolerate a genuinely well-intentioned American force. Kurdistan comes to mind, also the southern regions of Iraq which have fewer incidences of violence towards American forces.

We should keep in mind, also, that a smaller American force would have a more narrow focus and would be even more capable of defending itself, since it would not be spread thin through hostile areas. Maybe this could contribute to getting some positive things done.

Posted by: Josh on June 13, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Adam, if we get to that point and 250 US troops get killed at once, the public pressure will be for an immediate pullout. We're in Mogadishu/Saigon territory here. The public is done with this war.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on June 13, 2007 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK

That's some kind of revisionist history you have there Norman...

Posted by: elmo on June 13, 2007 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

Josh, I don't think there is much point in "trying to get some positive things done," and I think that only in Kurdistan is there sufficient pro-American feeling across political and tribal divisions to make a long-term US presence workable. In the Shiite South a US presence will be destabilizing -- an excuse for some groups to attack US troops and those who support them.

The only reason I'm uncomfortable with a complete and immediate withdrawal is the issue of abandonment of political refugees created by US intervention, and that's the only legitimate mission I see for US troops there. I don't think the US can let large numbers of Iraqi refugees in rapidly, both practically and because of terrorism concerns. I think it will a process that requires applicants for political refugee status to spend years in refugee camps in the region. One way to handle that might be to come to an agreement on refugee processing with Jordan and Syria, and expect refugees to make their way there. But there's something morally repugnant about the vision of the US simply abandoning Iraq entirely to rot in the stew we've made of it.

On second thought, though, I'm starting to think that working out arrangements with Jordan and Syria would make more sense, for various reasons. A full pullout from Iraq would then be possible.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on June 13, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas Tobiason, I agree with you on that but, as long as they refuse to tell the truth or uncover their conversations, I'll take them at their dishonest word as that gives zero justification for staying.

Norman, my old, confused, demented non-friend, I think you are wandering from the party line. I thought we came as liberators rather than conquerors and humiliators.

Anyway, NOTHING like that happened at all in Germany. You are making stuff up.

Oh, right! Nothing new there.

Posted by: notthere on June 13, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

There is another dimension to this issue which has scarcely been addressed, and which will be particularly important if Iraq is divided into 3 essentially separate states: defense against other countries and outside forces.

Iran and Iraq have already had a fighting war. Turkey is no friend to the Kurds, etc. etc. What will be the effective deterrent to outside pressure and/or military action? I would be scared to death to live in the post-withdrawal Iragi world.

sorry not more time now to flesh this out.

Ron

Posted by: Ron Feinman on June 13, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

There is another dimension to this issue which has scarcely been addressed, and which will be particularly important if Iraq is divided into 3 essentially separate states: defense against other countries and outside forces.

Iran and Iraq have already had a fighting war. Turkey is no friend to the Kurds, etc. etc. What will be the effective deterrent to outside pressure and/or military action? I would be scared to death to live in the post-withdrawal Iragi world.

sorry not more time now to flesh this out.

Ron

Posted by: Ron Feinman on June 13, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

There is another dimension to this issue which has scarcely been addressed, and which will be particularly important if Iraq is divided into 3 essentially separate states: defense against other countries and outside forces.

Iran and Iraq have already had a fighting war. Turkey is no friend to the Kurds, etc. etc. What will be the effective deterrent to outside pressure and/or military action? I would be scared to death to live in the post-withdrawal Iragi world.

sorry not more time now to flesh this out.

Ron

Posted by: Ron Feinman on June 13, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that we should keep a small force (size is debatable, 20,000? 30,000?) in areas in Iraq that would tolerate a genuinely well-intentioned American force.

Should?

Excuse me, but the United States of America puts however many troops wherever it likes and that's the end of that.

That's some kind of revisionist history you have there Norman...

Well, quit sucking on your bong and tell me where I'm factually inaccurate. Factually. You may have your deluded liberal take on things, and that's well within your rights. I, however, hold fast to the notion that we are liberators, not conquerors.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 13, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Who are you, Norman Rogers, to tell me to quit sucking on my bong? I will suck on my bong as long and as hard as I like -- in the nude, and in public, too. That is my right as the citizen of a free country, not an Islamofascist slave.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on June 13, 2007 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I said:

US troops were being attacked relentlessly when they entered Germany in early 1945; when the war ended, the Germans resented them but figured out that it was better to have Yankees in their midst rather than Bolsheviks. In fact, US troops were being attacked with tanks, planes and buzz bombs--nothing like THAT is going on right now!

And this is FACTUALLY correct; German resistance along its Western borders against the combined US and British/Canadian forces was relentless. At the end of hostilities in May 1945, the entire German populace welcomed the US and the Allies as a buttress against Bolshevism.

But you said:

Anyway, NOTHING like that happened at all in Germany. You are making stuff up.

Bwah hah hah hah! The spider catches another fly! Eat crow, moron.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 13, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Players are hated, but real players don't keep hate up in their hearts. Remember that when you're pooh-poohing the efforts of people better than yourself.

Intended or not, this is a beautiful paraphrase of part of Richard Nixon's farewell meltdown in the East Room on the day he handed over the presidency.

Posted by: shortstop on June 13, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

I will suck on my bong as long and as hard as I like -- in the nude, and in public, too. That is my right as the citizen of a free country, not an Islamofascist slave.

Guess again, Dope fiend. If you sit naked in a public place and attempt to use drugs, there isn't a single jurisdiction in this country where the authorities won't arrest you and put you in jail.

Is that what liberals want to foist upon good citizens in this country? A deluded, violent, confrontational dope fiend who insists on exposing himself in public and flaunting the laws? I suppose now you'll say that it is your right to shoot people who want to take away your munchies. Sorry, pal. Your munchies will have to be confiscated along with your personal effects. Fortunately, we live under the rule of law and you do not have to worry about legal representation--if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. And you are innocent until proven guilty in what we call a court of law.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 13, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Could someone please get these bloody U.S. troops out of my bathtub?

Posted by: AnotherBruce on June 13, 2007 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, you contradicted yourself.

"The beaten always resent the people who beat them"

"I, however, hold fast to the notion that we are liberators, not conquerors."

which is it? it can't be both.

Posted by: jvf on June 13, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

In particular it is entirely possible that a new President may be able to call on allies who were rejected and dismissed by Bush to participate in a UN led force. This is not something that candidates should foreclose lightly.

I'm sorry, but I don't think anyone is in a mood to play "catch the hand grenade!" with the US in Iraq these days, even with a new president in place.

Posted by: Stefan on June 13, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Norman, you contradicted yourself.

"The beaten always resent the people who beat them"

"I, however, hold fast to the notion that we are liberators, not conquerors."

which is it? it can't be both.

Posted by: jvf on June 13, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Complete withdrawal is the only way we can extract ourselves from this horrible policy. Any form of occupation, no matter how small, will be opposed by the Iraqi people. We haven't kept order in Iraq with 150k troops now, so I don't see how 20-50k soldiers in Kurdistan would stabilize Iraq. The country is in the midst of civil war; our soldiers are now training ISF who turn around and attack them. There's no order there to keep.

Posted by: D. on June 13, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers:

I lived in Germany in 1945 and most of the time since then, and I can only tell you that you don't undertsand the situation on the ground as it was at the time. Most Germans were happy to get rid of the Nazis and actually greeted the GIs as liberators. Not one shot was fired at them after Mai 8th 1945.
And your psycologistic reasoning is a bit simplistic.

Posted by: Jörgen in Germany on June 13, 2007 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, it's not just "the Sunni insurgents" who want the occupation to end, it's most of the general population.

Why play footsie with meaningless rhetoric like that? "Thugs and dead-enders," anyone?

Posted by: Outlandish Josh on June 13, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

I stand corrected. You're right: I am a naked dope fiend who wants to kill people.

Posted by: mattsteinglass on June 13, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin--

What part of this don't you understand? This is not "growing conventional wisdom." This has been the plan from the outset. Dodd, Obama, Clinton, Kucinich and Biden all voted on appropriations bills that included funding "enduring bases" going back at least 3 years. Cheney said, shortly after the statue fell, that they planned to draw down to 50,000 troops.

The reason that the top tier candidates have been so mealy-mouthed on the war, with their "redeployment" talk and their identification of mission assignments going forward is that they all plan to leave those 40-50,000 troops in place.

This means, of course, no sovereign government in Iraq, because no independent government in Iraq would permit the basing of American soldiers in support of Israel's national security, which is what the continued occupation would exist to do.

The reason nobody has talked about the plan for permanent occupation is not because it had to "grow" into conventional wisdom. It's because they knew how unpopular it would be.

The presidential candidates need to be pressed, over and over again, on this.

Posted by: jayackroyd on June 13, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

A deluded, violent, confrontational dope fiend who insists on exposing himself in public and flaunting the laws?

Of course, on this board we have a deluded, violent, confrontational troll who insists on exposing his ignorance and ignoring the fact that his arguments have been eviscerated before he makes them. Can we call in the constabulary?

Posted by: jimBOB on June 13, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

I lived in Germany in 1945 and most of the time since then, and I can only tell you that you don't undertsand the situation on the ground as it was at the time. Most Germans were happy to get rid of the Nazis and actually greeted the GIs as liberators. Not one shot was fired at them after Mai 8th 1945.

That's bullcrap. When you people were winning, every single one of you was drinking beer and hollering the Horst Wessel at the top of your goose-stepping lungs. A hint to you sir--your people forgot to burn the Leni Refenstahl films that showed you ecstatically cheering at every word the Bavarian Corporal screeched at you.

When the B-25s started blowing up every single serviceable building within ten miles of a munitions factory, you cowards crapped yourselves and hung white sheets from every window still left. And you ran westward to get away from the Red Army with your hun tails between your pasty white legs.

The complicity of the German people in Nazism isn't up for debate sir; and I've yet to be refuted.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 13, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Norman, the guy was joking about the bong.

now you can go back to spewing incoherent right wing talking points about the war.

Posted by: jvf on June 13, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

How embarassing for Princeton...

NRogers_Princeton65@hotmail.com

I hope he didn't go to Lawrenceville.

Posted by: nunya on June 13, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Excuse me, but the United States of America puts however many troops wherever it likes and that's the end of that.. . .
Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 13, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Given that 76% oppose the war, then I'd have to agree with you that the United States of America can put however many troops wherever it likes, and apparently, it likes them at home, here, in the US.

Not in Iraq, where it's bleeding our economy dry.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 13, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

The Sunni insurgents want us out, and a drawdown to 40,000 troops won't mollify them. At the same time, it's nowhere near enough to deal with any kind of serious violence.

With aircraft standing by in Turkey and Kuwait (and possibly Iraqi Kurdistan), and with help from Kurdish and Shi'ite allies, it is probably sufficient to prevent the Sunnis from conquest of the Kurdish and Shi'ite areas. Given the energy displayed by the Iraqi army to date, it's sufficient to prevent them from conquest of the Sunni areas should the U.S. decide to support a federal or partitioned Iraq.

The only sensible course of action is to leave. Completely.

The almost certain global reaction will be: The Americans were only ten miles away and they didn't do anything to stop it!
There is probably no course of action now that will remove the risk of international condemnation of the U.S. for permitting gross violence to occur. So if that is your criterion, staying in force is the only sensible alternative. Put another way, if you want a really rapid complete departure, then you just have to decide to accept the subsequent violence (it's Bush's fault anyway!), and live with the international opprobrium.

with Sunni insurgents attacking the Shi'ite mosques, it's unlikely that the mostly Shi'ite parliament will agree to pass an oil law that is generous to the Sunnis -- don't you think? Or, put another way, the best way for the Sunnis to prevent the achievement of the administration's goals, and to facilitate the Congressional resolution pulling out all American forces, is for the Sunni insurgents to blow up as many Shi'ite mosques as possible.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 13, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Josh: I agree that we should keep a small force (size is debatable, 20,000? 30,000?) in areas in Iraq that would tolerate a genuinely well-intentioned American force. Kurdistan comes to mind, also the southern regions of Iraq which have fewer incidences of violence towards American forces.

Various possibilities like that are possible. One way or another they work out to a federal/canton-style Iraq, or actual partition, not a truly national government.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 13, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

with Sunni insurgents attacking the Shi'ite mosques,

Actually, there's a pretty good chance that those are al qaeda attacks by foreigners. This is the kind of thing they do--foment conflict between the Sunni and the Shiite.

Posted by: jayackroyd on June 13, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't this what Black Hawk Down was all about?

Can't we at least use Republican stupidity to good effect? Tell them this was Bill Clinton's (lousy) strategy in Somalia, so why would they want to do the same thing in Iraq?

Posted by: Maynard Handley on June 13, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

With aircraft standing by in Turkey and Kuwait (and possibly Iraqi Kurdistan), and with help from Kurdish and Shi'ite allies, it is probably sufficient to prevent the Sunnis from conquest of the Kurdish and Shi'ite areas.

Please. conquest of the Shi'ites by the Sunnis is not possible. Iran backs the Shia, and the Sunnis are only 20% of the pop. Even with support from Saudia Arabia, they can't regain control of Iraq.

Posted by: D. on June 13, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

No one is gonna leave Iraq. Neither the current President, nor the new one after 2008.

Nor after 2016.

Posted by: Brojo on June 13, 2007 at 3:32 PM | PERMALINK

I love the cranky Norman Rogers. He says whatever he wants in his post, claims it's correct and then challenges anyone to refute it.

Sorry, Mitty, but you really can't post vague, sweeping generalizations about World War II and pronounce them as fact.

Please, show us hard data stating that Germans were US troops were being attacked relentlessly when they entered Germany in early 1945

Were they being attacked by German troops? If so, that different than the situation in Iraq.

What exactly does "relentlessly" mean?

What date range does "early 1945" entail?

Norm, you're a great parody troll. Just stick to what works: flamboyant claims about past conquests (Paula Zahn in particular); eloquent stories of Octagon death-matches, Ivy-League keg parties, making and losing millions; and of course, belittling Kevin and his posters.

Posting revisionist history just doesn't work.

Posted by: NSA Mole on June 13, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

The troops will be there to prop up whatever puppet government finally approves the PSA, because said puppet government will be extremely unpopular with Iraqis of all kinds.

Of course it's neccesary. How can we steal resources without a strong military presense?

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

and Norman Rogers is really stupid funny.


Posted by: Joey Giraud on June 13, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Were they being attacked by German troops? If so, that different than the situation in Iraq.

How so? Attacks are attacks. The Ba'ath party is behind a number of attacks, so in effect, the former regime of Iraq is still fighting us.

What exactly does "relentlessly" mean?

Ask your girlfriend--I gave her a pretty good definition of it last night.

What date range does "early 1945" entail?

Between January 1945 and May 1945, the Germans fought us like vicious wolves, trying to deny us entry to their homeland. Once hostilities ceased--that is, once they figured out that WE were the lesser of two evils--they capitulated. All the Iraqis need to do is see the US as being the lesser of two evils and reject the Iranians.

Posting revisionist history just doesn't work.

So says another ignorant liberal who doesn't live in the real world. I really enjoy these discussions--I put out what I think and you ass clowns get hysterical and fall all over yourselves trying to think of a new way to insult me. And yet, here I am--smiling and happy, and on the right side of history. How sweet it is!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 13, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and you idiots who think you know something--at the end of the war, the Germans still controlled Denmark, Norway and large swaths of Italy, Germany, what eventually became the Czech Republic and Austria. They could have dug caves and conducted guerilla war against the invaders. They were brought to heel by a benevolent conqueror and a dictatorial one--and guess which side prevailed? Or do Russian tank divisions still roll through the capitals of Europe.

Some of you need to quit reading Wikipedia...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 13, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Never should have allowed Bush to invade in the first place.

Posted by: jame on June 13, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

We are winning this thing Kevin. The reason why we could lose are the democrats. They are losers, with a loser mentality. They are losers on life.

I'm not messing around anymore. This country needs to knock out the nitnoids, roll up its sleeves and get down to business. We've got to be of the mindset that we can win. Do what ever it takes to win. I'm a winner. This country is a winner. Let's not lose because of losers. But losers love to encourage others to lose, to bring them down to there level.

Posted by: egbert on June 13, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

MRM: There is probably no course of action now that will remove the risk of international condemnation of the U.S. for permitting gross violence to occur.

So far, so good. You started off just fine.

So if that is your criterion, staying in force is the only sensible alternative. Put another way, if you want a really rapid complete departure, then you just have to decide to accept the subsequent violence (it's Bush's fault anyway!), and live with the international opprobrium.

Even when I know you're going to do it again, it's always disappointing, Matt.

Anyone else want to spell Matthew "Just Around this Baghdad Corner, There's a Rainbow in the Sky" Marler on the extent of violence and international opprobrium associated with our "staying in force"? He won't hear you, because it's just too darned negative, but you can try if you like.

Posted by: shortstop on June 13, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Norman says:We will always have what are called "haters" who resent the success we have had in the region. The Middle East was doomed before we invaded Iraq--doomed to being under the influence of petty dictators. Well, we knocked off one and the rest have fallen in line."

Success in the region? Where? The rest have fallen into what line?

The WW2 analogy used by Norman is pretty pitiful, were 3500 US troops killed after the mission was accomplished in Berlin? Were 25,000 wounded? Did hundreds of thousnads of Germans die in terrorist incidents and battles? Same questions apply to Japan and Korea. I sure haven't read about those incidents.

Leaving troops in Iraq means that they remain a target for local and international militant groups.

Leaving troops in Iraq de-legitimizes any government in power in Iraq. The government will be seen as a puppet of the US, no matter how much they try to distance them from the US.

Posted by: Neal on June 13, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hats off to shortstop @ 4:13 PM.

Posted by: Gregory on June 13, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

If the majority of Americans want the US to GTFO, then we had better have a series of huge, strictly non-partisan demonsrations through the next year or the candidates, from either side, will not have the guts to do it. Answering polls and waiting to vote in the primaries and general election will not get it done.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O in 08! on June 13, 2007 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

What Stormin Norman doesn't point out is that American Reich Wingers basically took over the Nazi Apparatus and made a deal which has haunted our country ever since. Gehlen became an American Gestapo, what politicos we could whitewash were whitewashed, and our immediate concerns with keeping the Russians from raping their way into France made it far easier to make deals with some, and send the unclean others to the US and South America to new lives at our expense. Who told Israel where to find Eichmann when he was no longer useful? How many Nazis actually supported Reagan and Bush 1? Who supported the Nazis before and during the war financially and materially? Our industrial barons and financiers, including Prescott Bush and all those clunks whose foundations now support PBS programming.
So stormin Norman is really misinterpreting V-E day as the end of a war when it was really just the victory of the losing side's ideology.

Posted by: Biff Spaceman on June 13, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

Hi Norm!

Glad to see you smiling and happy. An interesting side effect of oxygen deprivation. Don't forget to breath, though, or your heart may catch up to your brain and stop.

Funny thing about right wingers in the US these days: all they've got left is raw assertion. And while Normy's mega-dosing on viagra (to support his boy-love habit no doubt, along with such patriots as Haggard and Foley)he still can't keep it up. Basically, the right is so hypocritical they're trying to get by on bluster alone. Conservatives own the biggest debt, the most profligate and counterproductive war, the most tragic loss of liberty, the stupidest president and the biggest heap of lies in American history. Good job guys. Playing chicken in a mack truck while jacked on meth is all you got left, Norm. And you wear it jolly well, as yer speeding through flatlining on yer way to hell. That last heartbeat's gonna be a doozy.

Happy Trails!

In the meantime, speaking of facts, the majority of the Iraqi population are sectarian allies of Iranian Shiites, and are more natural allies of Iran than they are with the US, despite ethnic difference. That's one of the many reasons why non-Troglodytes who weren't killing Jesus one child assault at a time (guess that leaves you, in case categorical thinking is too tough for you!)knew that Bush's bonehead maneuver was a recipe to empower Iran in the first place. Sheese, Bush not only named the axis of evil, he handed nukes to North Korea and made Iran the biggest player in the neighborhood by taking out Saddam and Taliban.

And you think we won! That we beat the Iraqis like we beat the Germans. That we've won the right to treat them like dogs. Tell that to our soldiers over there who are fighting every day, you deluded coward. No wonder you're so fixated on the Nazis. They kinda tickle yer sphincter, just the way you like it, with all that vein triumphalism. Well, that's all you've got left too, bub. Your hero Bush, just sold our children to the Chinese and the Saudis while he was strengthening Iran and Korea and dragging the sacrifices of generations of Americans through the mud. Good Show!

Do watch that autoasphyxiation while pretending to be something other than a dingleberry on blogs. Like I said, your heart may catch up with your brain.

Posted by: Trypticon on June 13, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

You know you have a troll beat when they resort to girlfriend or momma jokes.

Put down the comic book and pick up a history book. You'll find that the situation in World War II has almost no similarities to the situation in Iraq right now.

I doubt you'll have time since you'll be relentlessly shagging my girlfriend.

I can only imagine a troll coming out of mom's basement to give a woman (other than his mother) a vigorous tapping.

Normy, my wife would laugh at the sight of your flabby, pasty white body trying to mount her.

Then she'd kick your ass, Octagon-style.

Posted by: NSA Mole on June 13, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Due to terrorism and oil, Iraq and Iran are key locations with respect to world peace and world prosperity. We may not like it, but the world needs a polliceman, and the US has been playing the role of policeman for the world. If we simply leave, as Kevin recommends, there will be a power vacuum in that area, which is apt to lead to very bad consequences.

Israel saved the world's tuchis once when they bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981. For that good deed, Israel was roundly criticized. But, if Saddam had had nuclear weapons when he took over Kuwait, we likely would not have stopped him.

We can hope that Israel again saves the world's derrière in Iraq and Iran. But what if they don't? A nuclear Iran next to a terrorist-dominated Iraq could produce unthinkable damage to the world as we know it.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 13, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I think you're right that the insurgents will not be satisfied with only a reduction in troops. I also think our best (least bad) option is to leave Iraq, but if we do remain for some time (which seems likely to me whoever wins the next Presidential election), with whatever size force, it is essential that we convince the local population we will eventually leave. Something the current administration won't do, probably because it doesn't intend for the U.S. to leave, but hopefully the next administration will.

To that end, I've been playing with an idea for a treaty with the Iraqi government to allow handover of bases to the Iraqi nation at some future time, similar to the Panama Canal. Something like every X number of years, the Iraqi president can request up to Y number of bases are handed over. Depending on how things are going in Iraq, they can eventually kick us out or keep us around as long as we like. Emphasize the bases are really valuable additions to their future infrastructure and they might be less likely to attack them or more likely turn in their neighbors that are. Heck, throw in some Hummers and other transports, but every one destroyed by insurgents is one less their country eventually gets, and they'll have an incentive to abandon the IEDs responsible for so many soldiers' deaths.

The big selling points would be emphasizing the American investment in Iraq through the bases and giving the Iraqis some measure of control over our stay in Iraq with a definite sunset possibility, but of course giving up that control will also be the biggest problem to a U.S. administration. One can dream, though.

Posted by: Chris on June 13, 2007 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Normy, my wife would laugh at the sight of your flabby, pasty white body trying to mount her.

I believe she kept screaming, "don't stop, I've never had it this good" and then I had to leave when she passed out. I normally don't do charity work, but I had to work my way out of a slump.

I'm sitting in a multi-million dollar home that I own, I can see trees and grass and the lake outside and I'm having a wonderful time. When your shift is over at Arby's, don't forget to clock out and leave your hairnet where your buddy can find it for his morning shift.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on June 13, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ha ha ha!

I figured it out. Norm is really Terminator X from PE! He's not really a flacid facist white ass wimp hiding in his mom's closet pretending to be a big shot, he's a bad ass DJ messin' with a bunch of liberal geeks!

Man, I saw you with Primus and Anthrax, and with Humpty Hump and Digital Underground, but talk about kickin' it! You own the Washington Monthly blog, yo, with this pudless fascist poser rap.

Bring that Beat Back!

Time for me to exit, Terminator X it!

Turn it up!

Posted by: Trypticon on June 13, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin's best post ever. Absolutely correct. This will be and should be the test for candidates for the White House. No evasions and vague responses allowed.

Posted by: JJF on June 13, 2007 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

For Norman Rogers' analogy to be apt, the post-war occupation would have had to entail a constantly escalating and bloodier-by-the-year insurgency, and violence which lasted at least until 1949 (and probably longer). Oh, and the Germans would have had to have a culture and religion markedly different from that of the Americans.

As all of us except for Norman know, this was not the case.

A more apt analogy for the current situation in Iraq would be that of the Suez Canal crisis of 1956, rather than the post-war occupation of Germany beginning in May 1945.

Fun fact #1: The Anglo-French-Israeli plot to take back the Suez Canal was predicated on a cooked-up excuse to invade Egypt under false pretenses. Sound familiar?

Fun fact #2: UK Prime Minister Lloyd was utterly convinced that the Egyptians would greet the invading Anglo-French forces as liberators, and rise up against Nasser. This turned out to be the exact opposite of what actually happened. Sound familiar?

I leave it to the rest of you to read up on the Suez crisis and see if you can find other parallels to the current situation in Iraq.

Posted by: rnato on June 13, 2007 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

(oops, I made a mistake... Lloyd was the UK foreign minister, Sir Anthony Eden was the PM at the time of the Suez crisis...)

Posted by: r€nato on June 13, 2007 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Between January 1945 and May 1945, the Germans fought us like vicious wolves, trying to deny us entry to their homeland."

No shit, Tacitus - their army was still intact and the Nazi government had not yet surrendered. How in f**k is that analogous to Iraq, whose national army was beaten and whose existing government collapsed four years ago? The proper analogy is to the way the German people treated U.S. soldiers after WWII compared to the way we are now being received in Iraq. There was virtually no violence against Allied occupation troops in Europe, while we're currently losing 20-25 soldiers a week in Iraq.

Of course, there is the distinct possibility that you're posts are simply parody; they seem a little too aggressively stupid to be serious.

Posted by: jjcomet on June 13, 2007 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

This bit is really quite funny:

"You may have your deluded liberal take on things, and that's well within your rights. I, however, hold fast to the notion that we are liberators, not conquerors."

Posted by: Whispers on June 13, 2007 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

It's the bases.

We are going to hold at least one of those giant isolated interior air bases forever, They will serve as forward airbases with strategic implications reaching beyond the Gulf all the way to Russia, China and all South Asia.

In addition they will be supply warehouses for all sorts of equipment and thus be staging areas if we ever want to reintroduce large ground forces in the region.

There will quite probably never be another chance to establish such bases. Never another chance to marshal such stores of equipment in the region. No chance because of international politics but domestic as well.

They are the only possible thing left of the Iraqi adventure which could be construed as a victory, if not politically then certainly militarily.

Nobody who opposes abandoning these bases will ever be president. Hillary's rumblings on a remaining force don't mention the bases but that's what she's talking about.

What if the Iraqi goverment opposes them. What a quaint idea. What government? There isn't going to be any Iraqi government deserving the name. If by design or accident I have my ideas but you can reach your own conclusion.

Posted by: rapier on June 13, 2007 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

Edit

Obviously I should have said proposes abandoning the bases.

Posted by: rapier on June 13, 2007 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Kevin, for stressing this issue.
And General Odom makes a lot of sense here:

"Two facts, however painful, must be recognized, or we will remain perilously confused in Iraq. First, invading Iraq was not in the interests of the United States. It was in the interests of Iran and al Qaeda. For Iran, it avenged a grudge against Saddam for his invasion of the country in 1980. For al Qaeda, it made it easier to kill Americans. Second, the war has paralyzed the United States in the world diplomatically and strategically. Although relations with Europe show signs of marginal improvement, the trans-Atlantic alliance still may not survive the war. Only with a rapid withdrawal from Iraq will Washington regain diplomatic and military mobility. Tied down like Gulliver in the sands of Mesopotamia, we simply cannot attract the diplomatic and military cooperation necessary to win the real battle against terror. Getting out of Iraq is the precondition for any improvement.

In fact, getting out now may be our only chance to set things right in Iraq. For starters, if we withdraw, European politicians would be more likely to cooperate with us in a strategy for stabilizing the greater Middle East. Following a withdrawal, all the countries bordering Iraq would likely respond favorably to an offer to help stabilize the situation. The most important of these would be Iran. It dislikes al Qaeda as much as we do. It wants regional stability as much as we do. It wants to produce more oil and gas and sell it. If its leaders really want nuclear weapons, we cannot stop them. But we can engage them.

None of these prospects is possible unless we stop moving deeper into the “big sandy” of Iraq. America must withdraw now.

Lt. Gen. William E. Odom (Ret.) is senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and professor at Yale University. He was director of the National Security Agency from 1985 to 1988.


Posted by: consider wisely always on June 13, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

amen General Odom.

Seriously though, check wiki for Norman Rogers.

Posted by: Trypticon on June 13, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas Tobiason wrote:

"I don't believe the U.S. presence is to provide internal stability. The stealth policy is to create and maintain a permanent military presence near the middle east oil fields to ensure the continued flow of oil until it runs out. The policy must remain 'secret' because there would be little political support for this from any side except the most war oriented neocons."
_________________________

There hasn't been anything remotely stealthy about our maintaining a permanent military presence in the Gulf region since President Carter was in office.

Posted by: trashhauler on June 13, 2007 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

I want a short term only hit of whatever Norman Rogers is drinking, dropping or smoking . . .

Jo

Posted by: Jo on June 13, 2007 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

jayackroyd: Actually, there's a pretty good chance that those are al qaeda attacks by foreigners. This is the kind of thing they do--foment conflict between the Sunni and the Shiite.

If that's true, and I'm neither agreeing nor disagreeing with you, then it is an example of why Americans should stay. That is, it supports the idea that most of the violence may be neither "sectarian" in a narrow sense nor "civil war" in the sense of warring parties. It's an "invasion" parallel to the U.S. invasion with a commensurable but opposite aim, namely to promote violence and instability that enhances the power of Islamists.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 13, 2007 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

I think the question is is 50,000 troops going to lead to Dien Bien Iraq. Theoretically in terms of preventing a wider conflict 50,000 troops is of assistance assuming the President is sane. The idea that the US can win the hearts and minds of Iraq by withdrawing is a no go. Regardless of what the US does the US is going to be detested for at least a generation in Iraq. Can 40,000 troops protect themselves? That is the question. The new President should ask the generals rather than pitch the generals. Fredick Kagan need not be polled.

Posted by: Apollo on June 13, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

"the best way for the Sunnis to prevent the achievement of the administration's goals, and to facilitate the Congressional resolution pulling out all American forces, is for the Sunni insurgents to blow up as many Shi'ite mosques as possible."
_______________________

The problem is the Sunnis still think they can reconquer the country if only the US military was gone. They are wrong, but try convincing them of that.

Posted by: trashhauler on June 13, 2007 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Actually, there's a pretty good chance that those are al qaeda attacks by foreigners."

The fact that we don't have any idea who did it tells you a lot about the current state of affairs in Iraq.

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 8:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course, there is the distinct possibility that your posts are simply parody"

Sigh... Of course they are. Normy is a performance artist/troll who doesn't believe a word he writes. He's posting here solely to rile people up and to get indignant responses.

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 8:41 PM | PERMALINK

"The problem is the Sunnis still think they can reconquer the country if only the US military was gone."

And your evidence for this is what, exactly?

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

"That is, it supports the idea that most of the violence may be neither 'sectarian' in a narrow sense nor 'civil war' in the sense of warring parties"

Oh, garbage. And stop this bullshit of playing it safe and refusing to take a stand. Either you agree with this idea or you don't. If you agree with it, say so.

In any case, it's manifestly stupid, since claiming that "most" of the violence isn't sectarian and isn't a part of a slow-burning civil war is contrary to all known facts about the current situation.

That some of the violence may, in fact, be caused by third parties with motives of their own is certainly possible, even plausible. That "most" of it is? Give me a fricking break....

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB wrote:

"The problem is the Sunnis still think they can reconquer the country if only the US military was gone."

And your evidence for this is what, exactly?
_______________________

Evidence for what, Paul? That they still think they can take over again or that they can't do it? Well, nevermind, the answer is the same.

We've got loads of evidence. The insurgent cells in the most violent parts of the country are run by ex-military officers (meaning Sunnis) and Baathists. Their acceptance of Al Qaeda in their midst (until recently) showed their willingness to do anything to keep the government from stabilizing. Their continued hostility towards Iraqi security forces, even in the absence of Americans. Most importantly, we've got hundreds of officers out there in the field who get told that regularly, both by Sunni leadership and Shiite allies.

Posted by: trashhauler on June 13, 2007 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: The Sunni insurgents want us out, and a drawdown to 40,000 troops won't mollify them.

At some point we may have no choice but to mollify the Sunni insurgents, but the very idea sticks in my craw. These are the people who are intentionally killing and maiming whoever they can get at: American troops, Iraqi troops and police, and lots of innocent civilians.

We didn't choose to mollify the Ku Klux Klan when they were killing innocent people. We didn't mollify Hitler when he was killing innocent people. It will be a sad day if and when the US decides it must mollify a group of people who are behaving so monstrously.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 13, 2007 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

"We've got loads of evidence."

No, actually, you don't. I don't even know where to start with that litany of rhetoric you posted under the mistaken impression that it was "evidence," since none of it holds up to close scrutiny. Come back when you know the difference between wishful thinking and solid evidence.

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

" It will be a sad day if and when the US decides it must mollify a group of people who are behaving so monstrously"

Out here in the real world, that day happened a long time ago and not just with the Sunnis. Feel free to join us here any time you want to.

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

And hauler, the reason I get irritated at idiotic statements like yours is that that statements like that ridiculously oversimplify a very complex situation. There are any number of factions fighting in Iraq, each with their own techniques, their own purposes, and their own goals. And the minute you try to take that conflict and present it as black and white, good vs. evil, Sunni insurgents trying to reconquer the country vs. Shiites protecting themselves, al Qaeda operatives providing most of the violence, evil Sunni insurgents "intentionally killing and maiming whoever they can get at," and all the other nauseatingly oversimplified, not to mention stupid, ways to view this conflict, you have established yourself as someone not worth taking seriously and someone who should, above all, be prevented from having any say in how matters should proceed in Iraq.

The fact that the Bush administration has, time and time again, adopted rhetoric like this, tells you all you need to know about how we reached this point in Iraq.

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB: The fact that we don't have any idea who did it tells you a lot about the current state of affairs in Iraq.

Oh, garbage. And stop this bullshit of playing it safe and refusing to take a stand. Either you agree with this idea or you don't. If you agree with it, say so.

The fact is, as you say, that we don't know the balance: how much is sectarian, how much is conquest vs. reconquest, how much is al Qaeda. There are factions within factions, fighting for leadership of the factions.

In any case, it's manifestly stupid, since claiming that "most" of the violence isn't sectarian and isn't a part of a slow-burning civil war is contrary to all known facts about the current situation.

All known facts about the current situation do not add up to or spell out any simple description. When al Sadr temporarily instructed his militias to cooperate with the central government (or at least to quit resisting), factions within his militia ignored him. Since American/IA forces always receive substantial local assistance within Shi'ite areas when engaging Sadrist forces, we do not even know the degree to which he commands his own militia.

I mentioned that a small force of Americans would be sufficient to prevent a Sunni reconquest of the Shi'ite and Kurdish areas. We do not know that such a reconquest would be attempted, or if the Kurds or Shi'ites could resist on their own. But if such a reconquest, a la 1991, were attempted, our forces could prevent it from succeeding. Some say that we ought to have done so the first time around (and some disagree still), and that we ought not repeat the mistake of passively letting the Sunni/Baathist/whoevers win.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 13, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

consider wisely always: Only with a rapid withdrawal from Iraq will Washington regain diplomatic and military mobility. Tied down like Gulliver in the sands of Mesopotamia, we simply cannot attract the diplomatic and military cooperation necessary to win the real battle against terror. Getting out of Iraq is the precondition for any improvement.

It's not just that the U.S. is tied down in the sands of Mesopotamia, but that the U.S. is tied down in the Persian Gulf region. General Odom has a great point, but I think he is too narrow.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 13, 2007 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Thomas Tobiason wrote:

"I don't believe the U.S. presence is to provide internal stability. The stealth policy is to create and maintain a permanent military presence near the middle east oil fields to ensure the continued flow of oil until it runs out. The policy must remain 'secret' because there would be little political support for this from any side except the most war oriented neocons."

I agree entirely. Certainly the 'real' reason for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was to insure American access to ME oil, particularly the largely undeveloped Iraqi oil reserves. I would also argue that the invasion of Afghanistan had pipeline considerations as an unspoken but ultimate aim. The US could have more successfully gone after al Qaeda with an invasion designed to target bin Laden and associates directly instead of futzing around invading the whole country for months before finally copping out in the actual attempt to seize bin Laden. The following quote is worthy of consideration by all:

"U.S. global political, economic, and financial power thus require the periodic exercise of military power. The other advanced capitalist countries tied into this system have also become reliant on the United States as the main enforcer of the rules of the game. The positioning of U.S. military bases should therefore be judged not as a purely military phenomenon, but as a mapping out of the U.S.-dominated imperial sphere and of its spearheads within the periphery. What is clear at present and bears repeating is that such bases are now being acquired in areas where the United States had previously lost much of its “forward presence,” such as in South Asia, the Middle East/Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean, or in regions where U.S. bases have not existed previously, such as the Balkans and Central Asia. There can be no doubt, therefore, that the last remaining superpower is presently on a course of imperial expansion, as a means of promoting its political and economic interests, and that the present war on terrorism, which is in many ways an indirect product of the projection of U.S. power, is now being used to justify the further projection of that power."

http://www.monthlyreview.org/0302editr.htm



Posted by: nepeta on June 13, 2007 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, you say we should be realistic and so mollify Sunni terrorists. That is, we should not defend their Shia and Kurdish victims.

Who else should we mollify? Should we mollify Palestinian groups and allow them to send suicide bombers and rockets to kil and maim Israeli civilians?

Should we mollify Iran, and not object when they send shaped charges used to kill our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Should we mollify Syria and pay no attention when just today they bombed an Anti-Syrian leader in Lebanon?

Maybe you think we should mollify al Qaeda and let them attack us however they want to?

The "mollify" approach reminds me of the famous poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 13, 2007 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

Bush, Reagan, and conservatives mollified Noriega, Bautista, Saddam, Pinochet, the Saudi monarchy, apartheid South Africa, Rios Montt, Afghani warlords, etc, etc, etc.

Conservatives did mollify Hitler, and defended him, publicly prior to the US entry into the war, as well as the KKK, and even worse, despite your lies to the contrary.

Posted by: anonymous on June 13, 2007 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous: Bush, Reagan, and conservatives mollified Noriega, Bautista, Saddam, Pinochet, the Saudi monarchy, apartheid South Africa, Rios Montt, Afghani warlords, etc, etc, etc.

Conservatives did mollify Hitler, and defended him, publicly prior to the US entry into the war, as well as the KKK, and even worse,

The question is, do you approve of these actions? Do you share PaulB's apparent belief that such an approach is appropriate in the real world?

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 13, 2007 at 10:53 PM | PERMALINK

"PaulB, you say we should be realistic and so mollify Sunni terrorists."

ROFLMAO... Reading comprehension continues to be a problem with you, I see. What's hilarious about this is that nothing I said even remotely resembles what you claim I said. Like I said, you should rejoin us out here in the real world some time.

"That is, we should not defend their Shia and Kurdish victims."

Dear heart, even if I had said what you claimed I said, this statement doesn't even remotely follow from that. Adding logical fallacies to your reading incomprehension, I see.

"Who else should we mollify? Should we mollify Palestinian groups and allow them to send suicide bombers and rockets to kil and maim Israeli civilians?"

ROFL... And now false appeals to emotion. You really don't have an argument, do you, dear?

"Should we mollify Iran, and not object when they send shaped charges used to kill our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan?"

Dear heart, not only does this statement not follow from anything I've said, it also doesn't follow from what you claim I said, and it's not even true since the evidence that Iran is doing anything like this is pretty much non-existent. You really should get out more.

The rest of this was just more of the same complete nonsense, hilariously pathetic in its ignorance of reality and remarkable for its logical fallacies.

What I find even more interesting is that you completely ignored the substance of my remarks, ignored that you got thrashed for making really idiotic statements, and instead chose to try to attack me with a really, really stupid attack that bears no resemblance to reality. Even for you, this was pathetic.

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

"Do you share PaulB's apparent belief that such an approach is appropriate in the real world?"

LOL... Dear heart, do tell me where on earth I said that "such an approach was appropriate?"

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

Man, faux, you really are just phoning it in these days, aren't you? What's the matter? Life turning against you?

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

"The question is, do you approve of these actions?"

No, actually, dear heart, the real question is the Bush administration's pursuit of these activities that you find so oh-so-abhorrent. But since you cannot face an argument on that subject, you are vainly and pathetically trying to turn the question around, hoping we won't notice that oh-so-transparent tactic. Alas, we will and we do. So much for that tactic. Got anything else?

Posted by: PaulB on June 13, 2007 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: The question is, do you approve of these actions? Do you share PaulB's apparent belief that such an approach is appropriate in the real world?

No, the question is why do you care since the proponents of your political philosophy have done as much and worse and you've argued that they had to because to not mollify such monsters would have resulted in a worse outcome.

Thus, even assuming you aren't lying about what PaulB posted, it is incumbent on you to demonstrate why the outcome of mollifying these groups would be worse than not mollifying them, since you are perfectly fine with mollifying such when it suits conservative goals, no matter how immoral those goals are.

Posted by: anonymous on June 13, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous, I don't approve of everything Republicans have done, just as I'm sure you don't approve of the Democrts' support of slavery and their support for Jim Crow. It was a Democrat who interned the Japanese Americans. It was the Democrats who escalated the war in Vietnam based on a possibly phony report of an attack.

In short, neither party has been perfect.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 13, 2007 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives did mollify Hitler

First they trained the Mujihideen
and I did not speak out
because I was not CIA .
Then they fought the Nicaraguans
and I did not speak out
because I was not Native American.
Then they came for habeaus corpus
and I did not speak out
because I was not a suspect.
Then they came for me
and there was no one Left
to speak out for me.

Posted by: Brojo on June 14, 2007 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

shortstop: Anyone else want to spell Matthew "Just Around this Baghdad Corner, There's a Rainbow in the Sky" Marler on the extent of violence and international opprobrium associated with our "staying in force"? He won't hear you, because it's just too darned negative, but you can try if you like.

Stay, leave immediately, or withdraw slowly, the U.S. will be criticised. So acting in order to reduce criticism (as in KD's post) is probably a losing strategy.

Have I ever written anything like "there's a rainbow around the corner"? I think I have written more modest things, like the autonomy of the Kurds and Shi'ites can be preserved, the elections of jan 2009 can be held, the American/IA forces get citizens' help when attacking the Sadrists, and other less colorful stuff. I have even gone so far as to write that average electricity generation in Iraq exceeds the per-war maximum. But "rainbow"? Like most people here, you can't tolerate the "no man's land" in between pure defeat and sweet victory.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

There is, at this point, simply nothing more we can do in Iraq.

Why would anyone actively claim to write "simply" about Iraq?

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

"Thomas Tobiason wrote:

I don't believe the U.S. presence is to provide internal stability. The stealth policy is to create and maintain a permanent military presence near the middle east oil fields to ensure the continued flow of oil until it runs out. The policy must remain 'secret' because there would be little political support for this from any side except the most war oriented neocons.
-----------

I agree entirely. Certainly the 'real' reason for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was to insure American access to ME oil, particularly the largely undeveloped Iraqi oil reserves. I would also argue that the invasion of Afghanistan had pipeline considerations as an unspoken but ultimate aim. The US could have more successfully gone after al Qaeda with an invasion designed to target bin Laden and associates directly instead of futzing around invading the whole country for months before finally copping out in the actual attempt to seize bin Laden. The following quote is worthy of consideration by all:

"U.S. global political, economic, and financial power thus require the periodic exercise of military power. The other advanced capitalist countries tied into this system have also become reliant on the United States as the main enforcer of the rules of the game. The positioning of U.S. military bases should therefore be judged not as a purely military phenomenon, but as a mapping out of the U.S.-dominated imperial sphere and of its spearheads within the periphery. What is clear at present and bears repeating is that such bases are now being acquired in areas where the United States had previously lost much of its “forward presence,” such as in South Asia, the Middle East/Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean, or in regions where U.S. bases have not existed previously, such as the Balkans and Central Asia. There can be no doubt, therefore, that the last remaining superpower is presently on a course of imperial expansion, as a means of promoting its political and economic interests, and that the present war on terrorism, which is in many ways an indirect product of the projection of U.S. power, is now being used to justify the further projection of that power."

http://www.monthlyreview.org/0302editr.htm

Posted by: nepeta on June 13, 2007 at 9:54 PM
----------------------

Yes. Oil=power. When production starts to tank-political influence will decline. Iraq and Iran have a lot of undeveloped fields due to extended sanctions. Russia is just now getting in high gear with their output. Saudi and many other exporters are in decline. The problem is that we have blown our welcome with the Iraqis and will likely botch an Iranian "grand bargain", while pissing off Russia with missile "shields", etc. If this foreign policy incompetence continues, we won't have a pot to piss in later on. Better get to work on the alternatives 'cause we can kiss goodbye the special treatment from the oil merchants that we carefully wooed for decades. The "new merchants" are going to make the sweetheart deals with China and India. Ooops, can't piss off China and India-we got too many investments there and they are bankrolling us... Thanks, Repubs, GWB, and the "globalist" appeasers (Dems too) who first sold us out, then botched our foreign/defense policy. What a travesty.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on June 14, 2007 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

The most plausible explanation for 9/11 is that they wanted us out of the Muslim holy lands in Saudi Arabia (we withdrew). Now we want to create a similar provocation in a country of great cultural, religious, historical significance to all Muslims?

Posted by: bob h on June 14, 2007 at 6:05 AM | PERMALINK

PaulB wrote:

"No, actually, you don't. I don't even know where to start with that litany of rhetoric you posted under the mistaken impression that it was "evidence," since none of it holds up to close scrutiny. Come back when you know the difference between wishful thinking and solid evidence."
_______________________

You realize, Paul, that your mere denial and usual dismissive insult doesn't change the truth of what I wrote. If you were to actually undertake close scrutiny of the Iraq situation, you wouldn't rely on your few favorite sources of information, nor would you act as if there are no other sources out there where you might learn something.

Posted by: trashhauler on June 14, 2007 at 7:51 AM | PERMALINK

Really, Kevin. As one of the original cheerleaders supporting the invasion of Iraq, you really should just stop posting on this subject altogether. To say that you have no credibility on this issue is to put it mildly. This might explain why reader posts on your blog are down so sharply! Stick to the type of thing like the Paris Hilton thread above and domestic policy. That's your level.

Posted by: Pat on June 14, 2007 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: I don't approve of everything Republicans have done . . .

But you have approved of their support of dictators, rationalizing it away as "necessary."

. . . the Democrts' support of slavery and their support for Jim Crow . . .

More intellectual dishonesty from you.

The Democratic Party has undergone a transformation since those long-past days; the transgressions of Republicans has been both recent, continuous, and ongoing.

To boot, most of the Democrats who favored slavery and Jim Crow laws and who were against the civil rights laws moved to the Republican Party - clearly they thought that the Republican Party was more favorable to their viewpoints.

As I have to write repeatedly to you, quit lying.

It was the Democrats who escalated the war in Vietnam based on a possibly phony report of an attack.

It was the Republicans who got us there. It was a handful, at most, of Democrats who "escalated" the war in Vietnam, something most Democrats disagreed with, which is why LBJ didn't run for re-election.

On the other hand, only a very small minority of Republicans have been outraged at Bush's falsification of information to get us into and keep us in Iraq; in other words, Bush's "escalation" of the war in Iraq based on phoney intelligence, phoney reasoning, and phoney politics.

And it was a Republican who "surrendered" to the North Vietnamese, using the same interpretation of that word that current Republicans, including you, are using with regard to Democrats.

Republicans are hypocrites and liars first and foremost and you offer plenty of proof of this.

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

trashhauler: . . . as if there are no other sources out there where you might learn something.

Since the "sources" you cite to are proven liars and dissemblers, there is no reason for anyone listen to your sources or give your regurgitation of those sources any credibility.

The Bush administration is not a valid source.

The WSJ is not a valid source.

The Pentagon's ass-kissing, Bush-licking sycophants are not valid sources.

Soldiers who are punished severely for speaking out against the war and telling the truth and rewarded for speaking in support of the war and lying are not valid sources.

Iraqi government officials who benefit from continued US presence and who own their positions to that presence and who have repeatedly lied in the past are not valid sources.

And craven generals who act and talk in contradiction to their own military theories and writings and who cover up a deteriorating situation in Iraq by pointing to narrow localized positive effects while ignoring more ubiquitous and wide-ranging failures oeverall, because to do so results in promotion of their careers, are not valid sources.

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

First they trained the Mujihideen
and I did not speak out
because I was not CIA .
Then they fought the Nicaraguans
and I did not speak out
because I was not Native American.
Then they paid Saddam to attack Iran
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Persian.
Then they invaded Panama
and I did not speak out
because I was not a former spy.
Then they massacred the people of Bosnia
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Moslem.
Then they attacked Iraq after 9/11
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Sumerian.
Then they tortured innocent people
and I did not speak out
because I was not innocent.
Then they came for habeas corpus
and I did not speak out
because I was not a suspect.
Then they came for me
and there was no one Left
to speak out for me.

Posted by: Brojo on June 14, 2007 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

The U.S had spent millions of dollars training security forces that were supposedly disciplined and loyal to Abbas, but as Hamas militia advanced across Gaza on a third day of fierce fighting, many of these simply cut and ran; at least 40 officers of Abbas's elite presidential guard blew a hole in the Israeli security wall corralling Gaza and fled into Egypt.

Bush-trained security forces in both Iraq and in Palestinian-controlled areas are cutting and running, a testament to the utter failure of Bush's Middle East policies.

Arrogance, greed, and the thirst for vengence has a price - the price is dismal failure and the lives of over 3000 American troops and countless innocent civilians.

All on the heads of Bush and his supporters.

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

"You realize, Paul, that your mere denial and usual dismissive insult doesn't change the truth of what I wrote."

Dear heart, you do realize that mere assertion does not, in any sense of the word, equal "truth"? What you wrote was manifestly untrue, which is why I didn't bother to do anything more to refute it.

"If you were to actually undertake close scrutiny of the Iraq situation, you wouldn't rely on your few favorite sources of information, nor would you act as if there are no other sources out there where you might learn something."

ROFL... Oh, the irony...

Thanks for admitting, by the way, that you cannot support your assertions.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo! That's the nonsensical melodrama we have come to expect from you! Good job! Hey. Long time no hear from. How's Dad?

Posted by: Pat on June 14, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

"But 'rainbow'?"

Yup. With each new initiative, you adopt a "it really could work, let's give it a chance, let's wait and see," despite the fact that all such previous initiatives have been dismal failures. I'd say that qualifies as a "rainbow around the corner" mentality.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

"anonymous, I don't approve of everything Republicans have done"

And yet, despite the fact that Bush has done precisely what you claim to abhor, you have not yet criticized him. Why is that, dear? Oh, and I'm still waiting for the acknowledgement that your attack on me was wildly inaccurate. Care to address that, dear heart?

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

"The fact is, as you say, that we don't know the balance: how much is sectarian, how much is conquest vs. reconquest, how much is al Qaeda. There are factions within factions, fighting for leadership of the factions."

We do know that claiming that "most" of the violence is not sectarian is wildly inaccurate, Matthew.

"All known facts about the current situation do not add up to or spell out any simple description."

No shit, Sherlock. Since that's precisely what I said above, forgive me if I remain unimpressed by this statement. That doesn't change the stupidity of your earlier statement.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo, you can't have it both ways. If you blame the US for overthrowing the elected Mossadegh and installing a dictator, you should praise the US for helping the Nicaraguans overthrow a dicatator and install a democracy.

Actually, you can have it both ways if your starting pointis that the US is always wrong.

anonymous, two groups of heartless savages are fighting a brutal civil was in Palestine, and you fouind a way to blame it on the US. As mentioned above, that makes sense if your starting point is that the US is always wrong.

anonymous, it was JFK's decision to overthrow Diem that made us totally committed there. It was LBJ who made the biggest escalations. These two Presidents were Dems. (I share the blame. I was a supporter of JFK and voted for LBJ.)

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

"The WSJ is not a valid source."

Actually, it is. The news organization is pretty solid and is one of the better sources available. The editorial page, on the other hand, is well known for being wholly divorced from reality.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Brojo, you can't have it both ways."

Actually, you can, if you look at through a non-black-and-white world view.

"Actually, you can have it both ways if your starting pointis that the US is always wrong."

Or, if you're reasonably intelligent and well-informed.

"anonymous, two groups of heartless savages are fighting a brutal civil was in Palestine, and you fouind a way to blame it on the US."

ROFL... Love the implicit racism and the complete inability to recognize the anonymous poster's point. Also loved the wholly inaccurate ad hominem attack. Almost as good as the one you used on me. Tell me, what color is the sky in your world?

"As mentioned above, that makes sense if your starting point is that the US is always wrong."

No dear, it just means that, as usual, you missed the point and that you prefer to engage in ad hominem attacks rather than engage in serious discussions. I'll also point out that you still have not even tried to support your wildly inaccurate assertions or criticized the Bush administration for policies you claim to abhor. Why is that, dear?

"I share the blame. I was a supporter of JFK and voted for LBJ.)"

Whatever you say, dear; we take this statement about as seriously as all of your other statements.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB -- implicit racism??? Give me a break. Look at what is being done. E.g., the AP reported:

Hamas fighters overran one of the rival Fatah movement's most important security installations in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, and witnesses said the victors dragged vanquished gunmen from the building and executed them in the street....

Fatah officials said seven of their fighters were shot to death in the street outside Preventive Security. A witness, Jihad Abu Ayad, said the men were being killed before their wives and children.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

"implicit racism??? Give me a break"

LOL... You can dish it out, dear, but you can't take it, can you?

To quote you: "two groups of heartless savages"

Yes, dear, that's implicit racism. Deal with it.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, dear we're still waiting for you to criticize the Bush administration for pursuing policies you claim to abhor, to admit that you cannot support your silly assertions about the situation in Iraq, and that you screwed up in reading what anonymous wrote and what I wrote. We won't be holding our breaths, though.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, what you would be writing if Israeli or American troops dragged Palestinians out to the street and shot their heads off in front of their wives and children? You would be using every pejorative in the book.

You don't criticize Palestinians for conduct that you would find abhorrent if committed by Americans or Israelis. Apparently you have lower moral standards for Palestinians.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, just to pile on...

...you can't have it both ways ex-lax at 12:30 PM

It was democrats (RFK, Gene McCarthy) who forced LBJ not to run. It was a Republican Nixon who continued the war for years.

It is the US and Israel who is supporting Fatah and thereby de-legitimizing them. The Contras were not a democratic movement. They were terrorists who only survived by the extra-Constitution and illegal support of Reagan and his minions. They also supported the murderous regime in Guatemala as well in addition to the coup in Chile and the military killers in Argentina.

To remain contemporaneous, Bush overthrew the democratically elected government of Haiti and tried to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuela. It is Bush who supports the tyrant of Uzbekistan, the military dictator of Pakistan, the monarchy of Kuwait, the repressive regime in Saudi Arabia, the dictator of Egypt.

Posted by: Mike on June 14, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

"PaulB, what you would be writing if Israeli or American troops dragged Palestinians out to the street and shot their heads off in front of their wives and children? You would be using every pejorative in the book."

No, dear, I wouldn't. You are, as usual, 100% wrong. And I quite specifically would not make the claim that American troops in Iraq are "heartless savages." Nor would you, if American troops engaged in such behavior.

"You don't criticize Palestinians for conduct that you would find abhorrent if committed by Americans or Israelis."

ROFL... Dear heart, I have not said one word about the current state of affairs in Palestine, mostly because it's irrelevant to this thread. Were Kevin to have such a thread, I would comment. You, on the other hand, are still trying vainly to take attention away from your own silliness. It's rather amusing, but really pathetic.

"Apparently you have lower moral standards for Palestinians."

ROFLMAO... Love the ad hominem attack and logical fallacy, dear, not to mention that the statement is 100% divorced from reality.

By the way, dear we're still waiting for you to criticize the Bush administration for pursuing policies you claim to abhor, to admit that you cannot support your silly assertions about the situation in Iraq, and that you screwed up in reading what anonymous wrote and what I wrote. We won't be holding our breaths, though.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

"PaulB, just to pile on..."

Nice, but don't expect our dear friend faux to acknowledge any of this, much less to engage in serious debate or actually criticize the Bush administration for engaging in those policies he claims to abhor. Reality has never been his friend.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, here's some more descriptions of heartless savagery in Palestine.

Over the weekend, Hamas gangbangers-for-Allah grabbed a Fatah functionary and dropped him from the roof of a high-rise to check out the law of gravity (the only law that still obtains in Gaza). Tit-for-tat, Fatah gunmen grabbed a Hamas capo and gave him the same treatment.

Thereafter, ...both sides returned to their everyday routines of kidnapping, torturing and assassinating each other's leaders, gunning down teachers and doctors and...murdering women, children and stray pedestrians. http://www.nypost.com/seven/06142007/postopinion/opedcolumnists/in_gazas_shadow_opedcolumnists_ralph_peters.htm

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Brojo:

More like...

First they trained the Mujihideen
and I DID speak out
and they ignored me
Then they fought the Nicaraguans
and I DID speak out
and they ignored me
Then they came for habeaus corpus
and I DID speak out
and they ignored me
Then they came for me
and...god I am so fucked

Posted by: E Henry Thripshaw on June 14, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

"PaulB, here's some more descriptions of heartless savagery in Palestine."

ROFL... Nice try, dear heart. Alas that it doesn't contradict my point.

By the way, dear we're still waiting for you to criticize the Bush administration for pursuing policies you claim to abhor, to admit that you cannot support your silly assertions about the situation in Iraq, and that you screwed up in reading what anonymous wrote and what I wrote. We won't be holding our breaths, though.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, you say your rolling on the floor laughing while Palestinians are throwing people off roofs, kidnapping, torturing and assassinating each other's leaders, gunning down teachers and doctors and murdering women, children and pedestrians.

I find it sobering, myself.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

the Pentagon's latest quarterly report on Iraq shows no decrease in violence, despite the arrival of Petraeus as commander and a 30,000-troop reinforcement. Suggesting that the "vibrancy" of certain parts of Iraq is as significant as this larger picture risks diminishing Petraeus's hard-won credibility for the first time in his career.

Petraeus proving my point from above, as a general who has become a sniveling liar on behalf of a befuddled and irresponsible CIC.

ex-liberal: I find it sobering, myself.

Since your heroes, Bush and Condi, are responsible, you should find it sobering.

As mentioned above, that makes sense if your starting point is that the US is always wrong.

No, it makes sense if your starting point is based on the fact that the US has been almost always wrong in its Middle East policy, particularly Republican foreign policy, proven by failure after failure in that region and overwhelming proof that the US, again especially under Republicans, has been involved in the overthrow of democratic regimes and the support of non-democratic regimes and terrorists in the region.

. . . it was JFK's decision to overthrow Diem that made us totally committed there . . .

Eisenhower totally committed us there, nitwit. He was a Republican in case you haven't forgotten. Once a president sends in troops, the conservatives come out in swarms to insist that abandoning the project is surrender and that we must force ever more resources into the project no matter how black a hole it is, just like you've done with the Iraq war. So, Eisenhower committed us to Vietnam by sending US troops to the country. Once that was done, everything else was gravy for conservatives.

PaulB, what you would be writing if Israeli or American troops dragged Palestinians out to the street and shot their heads off in front of their wives and children? You would be using every pejorative in the book.

You don't criticize Palestinians for conduct that you would find abhorrent if committed by Americans or Israelis. Apparently you have lower moral standards for Palestinians.

You're lying again, but even if you were not, have American soldiers or any non-native American ever had their lands stolen by the Palestinians?

Have the Palestinians ever installed, armed, supported, and defended vicious dictators in America or neighboring countries?

Have the Palestinians ever supported a country that discriminates, tortures, murders, and oppresses Americans?

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Judge orders Libby jailed during appeal

Whooo hooooo!

Libby gets the Paris treatment.

I'm sure he'll also get the Paris defense from the whiner wingnuts.

"In the interest of full disclosure, I have received a number of harassing, angry and mean-spirited phone calls and messages. Some wishing bad things on me and my family," the judge said. "Those types of things will have no impact."

"I initially threw them away, but then there were more, some that were more hateful," Walton said. "They are being kept."

It will be interesting to see from whom the letter came.

If from liberals, shame on you.

If from conservatives, well, what did you expect from mean hateful people?

The amicus brief supports the position taken by Libby's defense team that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, a U.S. attorney based in Chicago, Illinois, was not properly installed as special counsel to investigate what became known as the CIA leak case.

What a hoot!

Conservatives continually whine and rant about criminals getting off on technicalities (damn those civil rights in the Constitution they say!), but the first opportunity they get, they claim a techniciality that didn't even remotely affect the fairness of the trial, its outcome, or the fact of Libby's guilt!

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK
....I find it sobering, myself. ex-lax at 2:17 PM
As was pointed out, this thread is not about the struggle for power in the Gaza and the Occupied territories, but as I recall, you have no problem with Israelis using American cluster bombs on women and children in Lebanon.

Hamas was duly elected to represent people. Since then, rather than deal with the elected government, it has been US and Israeli policy to punish people for their vote. Collective punishment was condemned during the Nuremberg Trials, in case you didn't know it.

When you throw out red herrings, try not to be so hypocritical ... if possible.

Posted by: Mike on June 14, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous: Since your heroes, Bush and Condi, are responsible, you should find it sobering.

First of all, I don't at all agree that Bush and Condi are responsible for Palestinians killing each other.

Second, if you were actually concerned about Palestinians as human beings, then your sympathy for them would not depend on whom you could blame.

Posted by: ex-liberal on June 14, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: . . . I don't at all agree that Bush and Condi are responsible for Palestinians killing each other.

Your agreement is not necessary for reality to exist.

. . . then your sympathy for them would not depend on whom you could blame.

S.T.R.A.W.M.A.N. A.L.E.R.T.

CODE: RED

BTW, is your false statement about my dependancies anything like the true faux sympathy that conservatives now feel for the Iraqis that they willingly, even gladly, previously subjected to Saddam's tyranny for years and years?

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

you should praise the US for helping the Nicaraguans overthrow a dicatator and install a democracy.

Fuck you ex-liberal. Ortega was just as democratically elected as Mossadegh. All of those innocent Nicaraguans murdered by Reagan haunt you and will consume your spirit when your time is up.

Thanks, E Henry Thripshaw. My version was from the point of view of a moderate. I kept that final part written by Pastor Martin Niemöller intact, because when the oppression reaches the moderates, there won't be anyone on the Left to help those who quietly observed it happen. I have a feeling that is what he meant.

Posted by: Brojo on June 14, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous wrote:

"Since the "sources" you cite to are proven liars and dissemblers, there is no reason for anyone listen to your sources or give your regurgitation of those sources any credibility."
_____________________

This is a classic statement of preemptive denial of the other side's reasoning. It shows, not a willingness to learn or even debate, but rather, a desire to merely be considered right.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 14, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous wrote (apparently quoting):

"The U.S had spent millions of dollars training security forces that were supposedly disciplined and loyal to Abbas...."
_______________________

This particular anonymous seems a bit confused here. We didn't train Fatah, though we provided them money for security and other needs. Much against, it must be said, the wishes of our Israeli allies.

Further, wasn't Abbas elected to his position? Weren't we supposed to be supportive of the Palestinian's desire for their own government? Where's the outrage against this actual civil war, one in which our presumptive enemy is winning?

How this translates into greed and arrogance is something only anonymous can explain.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 14, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK
.... Much against, it must be said, the wishes of our Israeli allies..... Trashhauler at 5:36 PM
Israel allows arms transfer to Palestinian Authority

...Egypt transfered a large quantity of arms and ammunition to PA security organizations in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, with Israel's approval.
The Palestinian security forces are largely allied with Abbas, and draw their numbers from his Fatah movement....

Posted by: Mike on June 14, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

"It shows, not a willingness to learn or even debate, but rather, a desire to merely be considered right."

Since you have not yet provided any sources to back up your assertions, but simply insisted that you were right, forgive us if we assume that this statement applies to you rather than to us.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

"PaulB, you say your rolling on the floor laughing while Palestinians are throwing people off roofs, kidnapping, torturing and assassinating each other's leaders, gunning down teachers and doctors and murdering women, children and pedestrians."

ROFLMAO.... I am indeed laughing, dear, but not at them and not at the situation, but at you. Your debating tactics are so pathetic and your posts so hilariously stupid, that I find it extremely difficult to not laugh. You see, dear, unlike you, apparently, I can actually think about multiple topics and react appropriately to each topic.

In this case, dear heart, the topic was your pathetic attempt to avoid having to admit just how stupid your arguments are, how you lied about what I wrote, how many logical fallacies you've committed in each post, and so on. Given that you've continued the practice of half a dozen fallacies per post in this post that I'm responding to, I must confess that I am, once again, laughing my ass off. I can't wait to see what you come up with next.

"I find it sobering, myself."

ROFL... No comment necessary to this bit of classic drama queen behavior.

By the way, dear we're still waiting for you to criticize the Bush administration for pursuing policies you claim to abhor, to admit that you cannot support your silly assertions about the situation in Iraq, and that you screwed up in reading what anonymous wrote and what I wrote. We won't be holding our breaths, though.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

"if you were actually concerned about Palestinians as human beings"

Dear heart, if you were actually concerned about Palestinians as human beings, you wouldn't have talked about "two groups of heartless savages." But, alas, you did, which means that you are not. Not that that is a surprise, really.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

By the way, dear faux, I must confess that I'm enormously amused by the way you keep digging that hole deeper and deeper, issuing attack after attack, desperately trying to find one that will stick, and completely avoiding actually discussing the topic of this thread, the behavior of the Bush administration or, well, anything relevant. It's rare to find such singleminded witlessness. My hat's off to you.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB wrote:

"Since you have not yet provided any sources to back up your assertions, but simply insisted that you were right."
____________________

Paul, I don't insist I'm right. You asked what evidence I had and I provided my reasoning, using commonly known information. Some of which, by the way, you have used yourself in other arguments, so don't get all huffy and righteous.

Feel free to disagree. If you think I'm wrong, go ahead and say so. But you didn't do that, even remotely. Instead, you dismissed it all as claptrap, simply because you disapprove of the writer.

And back to the point: Anyone who claims that they get to determine what are legitimate sources of information does not want debate and, very likely, isn't even interested in solutions.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 14, 2007 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

trashhauler: This is a classic statement of preemptive denial of the other side's reasoning. It shows, not a willingness to learn or even debate, but rather, a desire to merely be considered right.

No, its a classic statement opinion based on fact.

But then, I'm sure you would be perfectly willing to debate the accuracy of al Qaida, Hamas, Hitler, Stalin, Noriega, or Saddam statements rather than dismissing them out-of-hand, right?

Oh, that's right, you dismissed Saddam's statements about disarming out-of-hand.

Too bad, so sad, you lose.

You are right, however, that I am not going to debate the merits of the statements of known liars, particularly when the subject is one they have lied about repeatedly.

We didn't train Fatah, though we provided them money for security . . .

We spent money on training for their forces.

That is "training them" whether we do it by proxy (hired teachers) or the use of US personnel.

We paid for the training.

You are as dimwitted as ever.

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Paul, I don't insist I'm right."

LOL... No comment necessary. I'll just let people read your own words, including these: " doesn't change the truth of what I wrote."

"You asked what evidence I had and I provided my reasoning, using commonly known information."

No, actually, you didn't. You simply provided more unsupported assertions. Do you want me to cite them for you? There was no "reasoning" or information involved.

"Some of which, by the way, you have used yourself in other arguments, so don't get all huffy and righteous."

No, actually, I haven't, nor will you able to support this further assertion. Look, you said something stupid and you got called on it. Just deal with it instead of trying to dig that hole deeper and deeper. You're making the same mistake that dear little faux is making and that is not someone you want to be in company with.

"Feel free to disagree. If you think I'm wrong, go ahead and say so. But you didn't do that, even remotely."

Dear heart, telling you that your statement is "manifestly untrue" strikes me as telling you that you're wrong. Your mileage may vary.

"Instead, you dismissed it all as claptrap, simply because you disapprove of the writer."

Oh, garbage. I dismissed it as claptrap since a) it contradicts the evidence I've seen, and b) you didn't even try to support it. Nor have you been able to do so, despite being repeatedly called on it. Hence, it's claptrap until you can demonstrate otherwise.

"And back to the point: Anyone who claims that they get to determine what are legitimate sources of information does not want debate and, very likely, isn't even interested in solutions."

Anyone who makes unsupported claims, claims that they are right, and then refuses to back up the claims but instead attacks the questioner, does not want debate and, very likely, isn't even interested in solutions.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

you should praise the US for helping the Nicaraguans overthrow a dicatator and install a democracy.

It is possible I misunderstood ex-liberal, who might hve been asking me to praise President Jimmy Carter for helping Nicaragua overthrow the dictator Somoza.

Thanks, Jimmy.

Posted by: Brojo on June 14, 2007 at 6:40 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous wrote:

"You are as dimwitted as ever."
_________________

And you've lost none of your cleverness.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 14, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

Approaching the end of the life of this thread and not one bit of evidence supporting either faux-liberal's or Trashhauler's many assertions. Gee, what a surprise.

Posted by: PaulB on June 15, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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