Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 6, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THAT WORD DOES NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS....From the "Concluding Observations" section of the Jones commission report released today:

Perceptions and reality are frequently at odds with each other when trying to understand Iraq's problems and progress. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the impressions drawn from seeing our massive logistics "footprint," our many installations, and the number of personnel (military and civilian), especially in and around the Baghdad region. The unintended message conveyed is one of "permanence," an occupying force, as it were.

Unintended? Huh?

Kevin Drum 3:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (64)

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Comments

The Jones Commission is just demonstrating the gulf between perception and reality. They're firmly based in the former at expense of the latter.

Posted by: anonymous on September 6, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, unintended, dammit. The Iraqis weren't supposed to figure it out!

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on September 6, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Unintended? Huh?

That's true. However *correct* the impression is, it is not the *intended* one.

Posted by: Disputo on September 6, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush is telling other world leaders that "We are kicking ass."

That's all you really need to know. Try not to think of how this kind of language affects egghead and Al.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on September 6, 2007 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Oh nooz! We have met the occupiers and they are uz!

Posted by: David W. on September 6, 2007 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

We declared that the occupation was finished. Why don't the Iraqis take our word for it?

Posted by: freelunch on September 6, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

I noted even Mitt "double Gitmo!" Romney made sure to include a line assuring the Iraqis we were not going to stay permanently in his prepped answers last night. I guess the focus groups say it works well with the Repuplicans too. I'm not surprised, I have never met one of the dredded neocons or Republicans that would not be willing to make such a pledge if it would help our cause over there. Just because Bush is tone deaf does not mean your contempt for our efforts in that country are justified.

Posted by: minion on September 6, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

My hope is that we are forced to abandon Iraq in the ignominy we so richly deserve, and the new U.S. Supermax, aka embassy, comes to be used by some idiotic Islamic council the way the U.S.-built Haiphong Harbor served the Soviet SE Asian fleet for a couple decades.

Posted by: JeffII on September 6, 2007 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

Well said, JeffII, you've channelled Dick Durban and Harry Reid very well.

Posted by: minion on September 6, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Why did you ignore the rest of the Jones commission report? Contrary to what Steve Benen says, the Jones commission reports there is great success in Iraq and the Surge is working well. It points out how well the training of the Iraqi Security Forces is going and why we need to stay the course in Iraq by training them. This is eloquently explained by Iraq expert Frederick Kagan.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/063jtsuu.asp?pg=2

"the Jones Report offers no suggestion that the Iraqi Security Forces should be judged a failure at all. On the contrary, they have made great progress and the report sees every reason for them to continue to make better progress."

"The Jones Report makes it clear that they are already carrying a significant part of that burden, and that their ability to do so will increase steadily and rapidly in the coming months - as long as we maintain our presence and our current strategy, which the report clearly judges to be working."

Posted by: Al on September 6, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

This is eloquently explained by Iraq expert Frederick Kagan.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/063jtsuu.asp?pg=2

Okay, no way this guy actually believes anything he writes. Total troll. Move along.

Posted by: Joshua on September 6, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

Oh Al! You make my stomach churn. Quick bring me a tums.

Posted by: optical weenie on September 6, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Al is the pseudonym of a Maoist immigrant who learnt his trade in Bejing in the sixties.

The Great Surge Upward is a grand success. All due to the strategic vision of our dear leader.

Posted by: gregor on September 6, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

The irony of Al complaining about Kevin ignoring the report then going on to quoting Kagan about it is rich. Why, it's as if Al can't open a .PDF document himself for some strange reason. Or not.

You're lucky to have such fine comedy relief, Kevin!

Posted by: David W. on September 6, 2007 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

Just because Bush is tone deaf does not mean your contempt for our efforts in that country are justified.

Syntax, dude. Syntax.

Posted by: Stranger on September 6, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Because, after all, it would be incorrect to say that the occupation of Iraq IS ACTUALLY INTENDED to be permanent.

It is only looks that way.

So, clearly, all we have is a public relations problem. No substance at all.

Posted by: Bokonon on September 6, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Unintended? Huh?

These are Very Serious Thinkers, Kevin.

Posted by: Old Hat on September 6, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

I guess it all depends on the definition of "permanent." For instance, the Chinese occupation of Vietnam wasn't "permanent" because it only lasted 960 years. My guess is that we will leave Iraq in about 100 years, so it won't really be "permanent" will it? "Longer than your lifetime" might be a better phrase to use.

Posted by: fostert on September 6, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Of course they would think it is permanent - we stayed in Japan and Germany permanently, forcing our will upon those governments and oppressing their population.

No, actually we haven't oppressed the Germans or Japanese. If you're going to attack current American foreign policy (and rightly so), get your history straight.

Posted by: Old Hat on September 6, 2007 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Since almost all the many consequences of our actions after the fall of Baghdad have been "unintended," this latest report merely provides yet another reflection of what can occur when a remarkably myopic and disingenuous policy is resolutely applied to a purposely misidentified problem.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 6, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

That is to say I think the continued occupation of Japan and German has been a net benefit to both them and us (although that's changing). But I think the track record for the United States establishing bases and never really leaving is a terrible harbinger for our Iraq policy, especially with Bush in power.

Posted by: Old Hat on September 6, 2007 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Since almost all the many consequences of our actions after the fall of Baghdad have been "unintended," this latest report merely provides yet another reflection of what can occur when a remarkably myopic and disingenuous policy is resolutely applied to a purposely misidentified problem. Posted by: Donald from Hawaii

What he said.

Go Huskies! (I've got tickets to watch them get slaughter by Kevin's beloved Toejams.)

Posted by: JeffII on September 6, 2007 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

What this really means is that there will be _NO EXIT_ from Iraq.

Posted by: Jean Paul Satre on September 6, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK
Unintended? Huh?

While it is not at all unintended (by the administration) that the US presence be permanent and be an occupying force, it certainly is unintended that it be perceived as such, and thus the report is entirely accurate in describing this as an unintended message.

There error is in the report's implication that this demonstrates perception and reality at odds with another: the perception, unintended as it may be, is entirely accurate; the problem (for the administration) is that perception is in line with reality instead of being divorced from it in the manner that the administration would prefer.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 6, 2007 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Al: "Why did you ignore the rest of the Jones commission report?"

Why did you ignore everything your boneheaded hero has done in the past 7 years? Answer that first. Oh, right. You don't "do" questions.

Posted by: Kenji on September 6, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

I thought this sort of defined our involvement in Iraq:
Corruption is a serious problem....eliminating corruption will most likely be a generational undertaking in Iraq.

So, 25 years or so....sounds about right.

Posted by: TJM on September 6, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting point in the concluding remarks that the decision to occupy Saddam's palace complex with our military headquarters..."has given the wrong impression."

What an understatement, and indeed --the "impression" of the occupying, oppressive,
dominating footprint is the massive versus the weak, full blooded American imperialism.

Intended.

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 6, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

What is meant by one extreme religion against another.Christians aganst Muslims ?

Posted by: john john on September 6, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

I had read something very compelling about how Bush set the stage for a sense of revenge
tied into Christianity by having a national day of prayer right after nine eleven.
Plus he has used the word "crusade" which had enormous implications.

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 6, 2007 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK
....Just because Bush is tone deaf does not mean your contempt for our efforts in that country are justified. minion at 4:14 PM
The efforts that have destroyed the Iraqi infrastructure, education system, the electrical system gasoline supplies, fresh water supplies, sewage systems, and created hundreds of thousands of corpses and millions of refugees, those efforts?
Seems our track record shows us actually LEAVING places - no other worldly power in history has ever done that; once they conquer they usually claim it....G.W.orwell at 5:09 PM
You are a bit confused between those who conquer countries for empire or oil and those who declared war on us or attacked us and then invited us to stay for reasons of peace like Germany, Japan and Korea. All those who conquered for empire eventually lost them. Posted by: Mike on September 6, 2007 at 7:27 PM | PERMALINK

Did I detect some war-mongering related to Iran in the Jones report?

A most profound statement: The Commission assesses that despite all that remain to be done (sic), the single most important event that would immediately and favorably affect Iraq's direction...is political reconciliation, focused on ending violence and hatred. Sustained progress within the Iraqi Security Forces depends on such an agreement."

Diplomacy and reconciliation were ignored by the administration, no plan for after the invasion, years later, no remedies. How terribly ineffective the secretary of state has been as well.

And the senseless death and destruction, for a war with its ever-changing reasons
and rationales from the liars in chief and their political minions

Posted by: consider wisely always on September 6, 2007 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

The site below has an interesting account/assessment of the history of Iraq and the current situation:

http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/iraq/articles/20070905.aspx

It is not sourced or authored identified, but it makes some very good and interesting observations.

As to Kevin's post, the strategy page column indicates Iraq has been occupied for most of the past 1,000 years, so perhaps the people are extra sensitive/paranoid about the issue. However, anyone who objectively looks at the situation should realize that as a matter of US intent and both US and Iraqi political realities we do not intend to be and cannot be long term "occupiers" of Iraq. We did not go into Iraq with the intent to occupy or stay long term. When the Iraqi government asks us to leave, we will and internal US politics would not allow us to be long term occupiers under any circumstances. So the only problem is if we look like occupiers to the Iraqis, which seems to me to be a hard issue to get a handle on -- but I doubt it.

Posted by: brian on September 6, 2007 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq has been occupied for most of the past 1,000 years, so perhaps the people are extra sensitive/paranoid about the issue.

"Extra sensitive" about being occupied? Like it's no big deal??? Are you out of your friggin' mind?

We'll remember your casual outlook on occupation when armed Chinese are roaming our country and engaging in combat with Americans at will.

However, anyone who objectively looks at the situation should realize that as a matter of US intent and both US and Iraqi political realities we do not intend to be and cannot be long term "occupiers" of Iraq.

Well that's plainly false, as we are sinking billions of dollars into permanent bases there.

Don't you read the news?

We did not go into Iraq with the intent to occupy or stay long term.

In fact Larry Wilkerson said that a permanent international occupation force of all ME oilfields was seriously discussed as an option this administration. And again -- why the gazillion dollar bases with restaurants and neighborhoods and swimming pools if we're not staying long term?

I do believe you're engaging in a bit of voluntary gullibility over this issue.

When the Iraqi government asks us to leave, we will and internal US politics would not allow us to be long term occupiers under any circumstances.

More than half of the Iraqi parliament signed an a statement asking for our removal many months back. Why are we still there? And Maliki said his security forces would be able to take over the country last December. So why are we still there?

Further, Bush has said explicitly over the past few months that he's trying to set it up so that his successor will stay longer in Iraq.

You should really follow the news.

So the only problem is if we look like occupiers to the Iraqis, which seems to me to be a hard issue to get a handle on -- but I doubt it.

And for your denouement you prove beyond a doubt that you are without any connection to reality. Being seen as an occupier is an insurmountable problem (see "War, The Vietman" et al), and it's only one in a series of such issues in Iraq.

(btw, the article you linked to was a ridiculous bit of propaganda poorly masked as analysis. I'm sure that's the reason no one attached their name to it. And the author failed to realize that we have hitched our wagons to the very Sunnis s/he claims are the problem group.)

Posted by: trex on September 6, 2007 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Cheers to trex for having the energy...

Posted by: shortstop on September 6, 2007 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

Trex,

Nice argument in response, but mostly argument.

On the Iraqi sensitivity about occupation, I was referring to the perception that they were being occupied, not whether it was in fact an occupation.

On the latter issue, I guess you think we intend to be occupiers. I disagree. I don't know how we resolve that disagreement. The facts you cite such as investment in bases does not establish intent. And I guess our public statement of no intent to occupy is not sufficient to convince you. Although I wonder where you think the internal US political support would come from to allow a long term occupation.

The political game of parliament members signing a statement is not a request by the Iraqi government for us to leave. The Iraqi politicians know how to make that request and they also have to know that any such request would be honored as a matter of American politics. You think Bush would win the political argument that we should stay when the Iraqi government asks us to leave? No way. I always thought it was an interesting idea to condition our continued presence on a favorable vote by the Iraqi people. I have no idea how that vote would come out, and it would be high risk to those who think it is in our national interest to stay, but at least if the vote was against our staying it would be a principled way to leave.

Historically, being seen as an occupier is not an insurmontable problem, e.g., Japan, Germany.

I thought the strategy page column was pretty good and did not really come down on which position on how to proceed was correct and on whether continuing to fight would ultimately produce success.

Posted by: brian on September 6, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Build a billion dollar base and of course we're not leaving. At least NOT as long as we have the need to protect "our interest in the region".

Just ask Hillary Clinton about that.

Posted by: Me_again on September 6, 2007 at 9:34 PM | PERMALINK

I have never met one of the dredded neocons or Republicans that would not be willing to make such a pledge if it would help our cause over there.

uh, minion, maybe you can help me out here... what exactly is your guys' cause again? That you invaded to stop the civil war(s) that would be precipitated by your invasion? (and were warned would be precipitated by your invasion)

I always thought it was an interesting idea to condition our continued presence on a favorable vote by the Iraqi people. I have no idea how that vote would come out

The polls I recall showed that majorities of both Sunnis and Shiites wanted you to leave You could of course look these things before you comment on them. It might make you look a tad less unserious. And a question, given the U.S. military presence, do you think the Maliki government might just feel constrained in the kinds of answers it can give re. your continued ahem... benevolent presence?

And what's with the 65-acre U.S. embassy? By far the biggest embassy you'll have anywhere in the world. It's being built for a staff of thousands.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 6, 2007 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing about Iraq has changed.

The Republicans want to continue an endless war.

The Democrats want to end it and bring the troops home.

The people have spoken on the matter; they want the troops home, not 10 years from now, but now.

So much for change.

Posted by: nochange on September 6, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, among the many aspects of the report showing this 4 years to have been full of problems, the US talked the Iraqi MOD into using our Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. Our quest was to reduce or eliminate the corruption rampant in the Iraqi government, but as the report says:
performance of the FMS is a national embarrassment ....yet the US is not delivering on the commitments it made. This failure is hurting the US as sorely as the Iraqis. The Coalition depends on the improved capabilities of Iraqi forces to replace Coalition troops. US failure to make the foreign military system function is directly hindering plans to transfer warfighting responsibilities to the Iraqis

When the focus of the "transformation" of US forces was contractors and outsourcing, I guess the DoD forgot about the Iraqis.

Posted by: TJM on September 6, 2007 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Bush knew Saddam had no WMDS and invaded Iraq anyway! Impeach that bastard now! Goddamn it, Nancy Pelosi, do your goddamn Constitutional duty and impeach this murderous, lying sack of shit!!!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on September 6, 2007 at 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

Permanent? Why no, we plan to leave when the oil runs out...

Posted by: parrot on September 6, 2007 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

I had a college prof who said that "perception is the only reality." I think he works in the White House now.

Posted by: Mazurka on September 6, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

I had a college prof who said that "perception is the only reality." I think he works in the White House now.
Posted by: Mazurka on September 6, 2007

Thats what the neo-cons professor, Leo Strauss, said as well.

Posted by: Ya Know.... on September 6, 2007 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII: "What he said. Go Huskies!"

U-Dub alumnus that I am, I concur. But I gotta tell ya, after Syracuse they've now got a very tough schedule, starting with Boise State at home this weekend, all the way through the Pac-10 to the season finale out here in Honolulu against a powerful UH squad that averaged 46 points a game last year. Last weekend, Heisman Trophy candidate Colt Brennan went 34-40 for 416 yds. and 6 TDs -- and he only played in the first half.

I'd be very happy if the Huskies manage to win six games.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on September 7, 2007 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK

Wow. I didn't realize how much more radical I had become after I left this little fun house for a while. Many comments seem naive : though cmdicely can be trusted to point out any deviation from sense to a fare-thee-well.
Not it - they - are permanent bases built without budgetary authorization by Saudi conscripted labour. It never was a "War" and I'm sick to death of that term for the Bush corporate gluttony trough which requires relatively few American lives to destroy Iraq.

Posted by: opit on September 7, 2007 at 1:45 AM | PERMALINK

Snicker,

You got to be kidding that you think current "polling" of Iraqis produces an accurate measure of how a vote would go on whether US should leave now. What poll? What methodology? And before there is any planned election or campaign about the issue. Give me a break.

I also don't see how heavy investment in bases means that we will inevitably stay. There are many other future variables. We had bases in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and other places that did not result in us staying long term. The Iraqis obviously could buy the bases or appropriate them if our relations go sour.

Posted by: brian on September 7, 2007 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

brian: Whatever the practical and methodological weaknesses of polling a war-torn country, the data obtained thusly is guaranteed to be closer to accurate than one of your ubiquitous gut feelings. And these polls are certainly a smackdown of your insistence that we have zero info on what the Iraqi people want.

Does anyone here have any doubt that had these polls suggested the Iraqis want us to stay, you'd be holding them up as "interesting information that we really should be taking a look at"? Or that, were an actual vote taken that matches the poll results, you'd be scrabbling about looking for some way to paint a flat-out request to leave as a secret Iraqi wish that we stay?

Posted by: shortstop on September 7, 2007 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

I also don't see how heavy investment in bases means that we will inevitably stay.

You obviously don't see a lot of things, which is your problem. Your thinking is riddled with false analogies (e.g. we weren't fighting insurgencies in Germany on Japan). you have an apparent inability to digest the obvious, like the fact that both the perception of us as occupiers as well as the de facto and de jure reality of us as occupiers are all true, and all of which foment further violence on the part of Iraqis. No one disputes this, not the Sunni factions who've said they will fight us until we leave, not the soldiers interviewed on NPR yesterday who said that Shia army members smile at them during the day then ambush them with American weapons at night - no one.

As for the matter of our intentions there, here are a few quotes to help break through the dense shell around your head:

Biddle also said (again, expressing his personal view) that the strategy in Iraq would require the presence of roughly 100,000 American troops for 20 years — and that, even so, it would be a "long-shot gamble."
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday the United States is looking to a long-term military presence in Iraq under a mutually agreed arrangement similar to that it has long had with South Korea.


President George W. Bush has long talked about the need to maintain a U.S. military presence in the region, without saying exactly where. Several visitors to the White House say that in private, he has sounded intrigued by what he calls the "Korea model," a reference to the large U.S. presence in South Korea for the 54 years since the armistice that ended open hostilities between North and South Korea.

But it was not until Wednesday that Bush's spokesman, Tony Snow, publicly reached for the Korea example in talking about Iraq - setting off an analogy war between the White House and critics who charged that the administration was again disconnected from the realities of Iraq.

Posted by: trex on September 7, 2007 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK
Seems our track record shows us actually LEAVING places - no other worldly power in history has ever done that; once they conquer they usually claim it as their own.

Anybody help me with this one?

Iraq? Seems we have been trying to get out of there.

Guess again.

I'll take permanent military presence for $800, please.

What is "Clark Air Force Base"?

Same topic for $1000.

What is "Okinawa"?

Same topic for $600.

What is "Guantanamo Bay"?

Same topic for $400.

What is "Ramstein Air Base"?

Same topic for $200.

What is "Marshall Islands"?

Same topic for one meeeeelllllion dollars.
*bwoot bwoot bwoot ding ding ding*
It's Double Jeopardy!

What are "permanent US military bases in Iraq"?
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/224055_iraqbases.html
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article355178.ece
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1490063,00.html
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/GH06Ak02.html

Posted by: kenga on September 7, 2007 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

Good points, kenga, but, what about that hardened base called Texas?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on September 7, 2007 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

You got to be kidding that you think current "polling" of Iraqis produces an accurate measure of how a vote would go on whether US should leave now... And before there is any planned election or campaign about the issue. Give me a break.

...because the Iraqis are unable to form meaningful opinions about the U.S. occupation until there's a campaign? Are you for real? Abtruse issues may need campaigns but people usually are pretty certain about the stuff that's in their face every day. They are not you, brian. Their situation is not yours, brian. The occupation is an extremely salient part of their existence. If you can understand this one singular point and understand it well, I will feel I have accomplished something with you.

Posted by: snicker-snack on September 7, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Seems our track record shows us actually LEAVING places - no other worldly power in history has ever done that; once they conquer they usually claim it as their own.

No other worldly power in history has ever left a country it has conquered? Yes, I suppose that's why the British still rule over India, the French over Indochina, the Dutch over Indonesia, and the Soviets over Eastern Europe.....

Also, you might want to ask the American Indians, the Hawaians, and anyone living in the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas that all used to be part of Mexico, whether we actually have such a strong track record of LEAVING places.

We had bases in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia and other places that did not result in us staying long term.

Uh, we didn't exactly leave our bases in Vietnam voluntarily. We left because we lost, not because of our inherent reluctance to impose.

Posted by: Stefan on September 7, 2007 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, we didn't exactly leave our bases in Vietnam voluntarily. We left because we lost, not because of our inherent reluctance to impose. Posted by: Stefan

What do you mean "we" Kemosabe? (Chemosabi? Kimosabe? Keemosabee?)

Posted by: JeffII on September 7, 2007 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

snicker-snack -

The occupation is an extremely salient part of their existence. If you can understand this one singular point and understand it well, I will feel I have accomplished something with you..

I'm not sure that's possible. Your best chance would be to move into his home in the dead of night, with the help of a few Hell's Angels. Take over the living room, kitchen and all the bathrooms. Allow access to one of the bathrooms(half-bath only, of course) and the kitchen, but only after passing through a checkpoint requiring body cavity searches.
Oh, and you'll have to kill either his mom or a child - your choice.
The one you don't kill can just be maimed.
That should at least maximize the likelihood of his understanding.

Frankly, I don't think you or any other decent human being has the stomach for it.

Posted by: kenga on September 7, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

We Americans have a history of taking over countries and making them our own - Just like when we took over the country of Vietnam - um I mean Korea - uh no, France - oops not them -..... mmm I can't think of one right now.

Ahem ahem.

Posted by: Hawaii on September 7, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

We Americans have a history of taking over countries and making them our own - Just like when we took over the country of Vietnam - um I mean Korea - uh no, France - oops not them -..... mmm I can't think of one right now.

*throat clearing cough*

Posted by: Puerto Rico on September 7, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

We Americans have a history of taking over countries and making them our own - Just like when we took over the country of Vietnam - um I mean Korea - uh no, France - oops not them -..... mmm I can't think of one right now.

If that's the case, can we get the American Southwest, the Rocky Mountain States, and California back?

Posted by: Mexico on September 7, 2007 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

A big combination of certainty and personal attacks in this thread. Not very productive.

Posted by: brian on September 7, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Oh dear me! The impression that we will be gone any time now, while Halliburton builds hardened military installations and the US builds an embassy the size of Rhode Island, must be a difficult thing, indeed.

Posted by: Scorpio on September 7, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

brian, everyone's favorite faux-reasonable concern troll, whines: A big combination of certainty and personal attacks in this thread. Not very productive.

Shorter ()well, not shorter, but more accurate) brian: I have no defense against the refutation of thinly-disguised pimping of the discredited meme of Republican competence at national security, so I'll whine about my posts receiving the contempt they deserve.

Poor baby, brian.

Posted by: Gregory on September 7, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

If that's the case, can we get the American Southwest, the Rocky Mountain States, and California back? Posted by: Mexico

You can have Arizona, Texas (except for the People's Republic of Austin) and Southern California. We're definitely keeping Colorado and New Mexico.

Posted by: JeffII on September 7, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

We're definitely keeping Colorado and New Mexico.

Well, work a little harder to get the red out, then.

Posted by: shortstop on September 7, 2007 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

We're definitely keeping Colorado and New Mexico.
Well, work a little harder to get the red out, then.
Posted by: shortstop

I'm only concerned with the skiing, sweetie. Regardless of the politics (which are trending left at least in Colorado), the snow remains white and dry.

Posted by: JeffII on September 7, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

As do the residents.

(I'm sorry, Colorado! I had to take it! I'll make it up to you later.)

Posted by: shortstop on September 7, 2007 at 7:33 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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