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Tilting at Windmills

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November 25, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

PROGRESS....Yet more on the "political progress" front:

Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, in the Democratic weekly radio address, acknowledged that [George] Bush's escalation strategy this year had improved security in Iraq. But he said Iraqi political leaders had failed to make "hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country."

"There is no evidence that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability to force that result," said Sanchez, an increasingly vocal critic of what he called Bush administration policy failures in Iraq.

Sanchez is — how to say this delicately? — a wee bit compromised as a spokesman for military strategy in Iraq, but at least he's smart enough to know that political progress is the whole point of our presence there.

You know, what's really remarkable about the whole political reconciliation thing is that no one is even pretending that we're making progress on this score. Hell, even Ryan Crocker isn't very optimistic, and he's paid to be optimistic. Normally, I'd expect that the usual suspects would be arguing that there's really more progress than the Defeatocrats are acknowleding, but I can't think of anyone who's seriously trying to make that case. Apparently no one thinks that political compromise is anywhere in the near offing.

Kevin Drum 3:06 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (87)

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[Handle Hijack by TOH deleted.]

Posted by: DemocratsForChange on November 25, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

I was reading some wingnut war bloggers page the other day, reading an article about how we're "winning in Iraq." One sympathetic commenter lamented that the prezinit and the gop candidates aren't rubbing this fact in the faces of the Democrats.

But of course they aren't. The claim that we are "winning in Iraq," as trumpeted by the likes of Instawanker, doesn't even get past the most casual inspection. Repo candidates don't want to call attention to the fact that goals related to political progress have not come close to being met, and hardly anyone is optimistic about that happening any time soon.

And even the military victories are tainted by the fact that in order to gain those victories they had to negotiate with terrorists (to use the wingnut term for "insurgents"), give arms and training to those terrorists, and trust those terrorists when they gave their word that they would stop killing our troops and would not turn around later and start using the weapons we gave them to kill our troops again or to attack Shiites. It was a way of gaining a short-term PR victory over AQ in Iraq, which has contributed a relatively small fraction of the violence in Iraq, at the expense of fueling longer-term destabilization.

But it shows just how deep the wingnuts are willing to sink in order to avoid admitting just how bad an idea their favorite war has been from the beginning, that they're willing to overlook not just negotiating with terrorists but giving them weapons and training and trusting them when they say they'll stop killing us, as long as it provides some positive PR in the short term.

Posted by: bob on November 25, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

Shiite MPs have derailled the de-Ba'athification bill and sent it back to committee on it's first hearing. One said "this means it will take a long time".

GOP Congressional leaders are reported to have said, with a tear of pride, "They grow up and learn so fast!"

Regards, C

Posted by: Cernig on November 25, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

How bad is the political scenario?

There have been signs that American influence over Iraqi politics is dwindling after the recent improvements in security -- which remain incomplete, as shown by a deadly bombing Friday in Baghdad. While Bush officials once said they aimed to secure "reconciliation" among Iraq’s deeply divided religious, ethnic and sectarian groups, some officials now refer to their goal as "accommodation."

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Posted by: junebug on November 25, 2007 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sanchez should STFU. When he had a chance to make a difference with his opinion, he passed a la Powell.

Posted by: Chris on November 25, 2007 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Repo candidates don't want to call attention to the fact that goals related to political progress have not come close to being met, and hardly anyone is optimistic about that happening any time soon.

Yeah, the intractable political problem for Republican candidates is that if they say a word in praise of the progress of the Iraq war, it is perceived by the general public as "stay the course" -- and that entails, inevitably, remaining in Iraq in very substantial numbers for the better part of a decade at least.

That is the possibility Republican candidates absolutely don't want the American public to be thinking about when they go to vote November 2008. The "progress" does nothing to alter the fundamental cost/benefit reckoning the public has already performed on the war. Who really believes that true democracy, and a democracy that will serve American security interests, will reign in Iraq any time soon? There exists no pot of benefit at the end of the rainbow here; that is the deep problem voters have with this war at this stage. When there's no benefit, any cost is too high.

Posted by: frankly0 on November 25, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

Remember the key elements of "the surge" -- or the Administration's Orwellian term for it, The New Way Forward in Iraq?

Evidently, the press corpse touting the "success of the surge" has conveniently and unsurprisingly forgotten the key elements.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 25, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

The claim that we are "winning in Iraq," as trumpeted by the likes of Instawanker, doesn't even get past the most casual inspection.

Perhaps not now. But in the general, expect it to be a major theme of the republican nominee, totally neutralizing anything the dem nominee has to say aboout Iraq.

Posted by: Econobuzz on November 25, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

but at least he's smart enough to know that political progress is the whole point of our presence there.

In Kevin Drum fantasy land, in reality too much political progress means they'll have to bring troops home. Or am I wrong in believing that no Iraqi government could unite the country and welcome America at the same time?

Posted by: Boronx on November 25, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Update on Iraq from the military POV

I had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with General Petraeus. Very interesting series of helicopter flights to several bases. Bottom line is that progress is clear and real, but there are tough days ahead and al Qaeda, for instance, is far from dead. The mood is of cautious optimism, with a concern that some of the very positive media lately might set expectations too high. (That’s right: many military leaders are concerned that the media lately might be too positive.)

Bottom line is that I am more optimistic than ever before, but I share that caution. It’s obvious, too, that the tough fighting is not over.

But I came across something today that might make veterans of the fighting in Baqubah proud. Back in May, just before operation Arrowhead Ripper, there were about 60 violent acts per day. Now there are about 6. The markets are opening and the streets are again filled with people. I thought the veterans of Baqubah might like to know that their efforts have made a tremendous difference for the people here. You fought hard. This writer saw it. Your sacrifices truly meant something.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/happy-thanksgiving-baqubah-update.htm

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 25, 2007 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Michael Yon is a writer, not a soldier, in Iraq.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 25, 2007 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

What are some historical examples (from anywhere) where violent factions reconciled or reached accomodation absent the effective defeat of one side? I ask this as an honest request for examples, not to imply that such a thing hasn't happened.

Posted by: q on November 25, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Michael Yon is a writer, not a soldier, in Iraq.

Michael Yon is a writer who, for whatever reasons, thinks it's helpful to pretend that there are no political goals, to pretend that tactical military victories are all that matters, to pretend that Al Qaeda in Iraq is the real enemy there (even though they account for a relatively small percentage of the violence), to pretend that arming and training "former terrorists" is a good idea and the long-term consequence of such an action are irrelevant, etc., etc.

Maybe his motives aren't as bad as those of some political bloggers who are willing to promote these misleading ideas in the hope of propping up the GOP, disregarding the real costs in terms of the lives of American troops. Michael Yon may simply be straining for a way to believe that, as he puts it, their "sacrifices truly meant something." It would be too painful to acknowledge that their sacrifices seem to have contributed little or nothing to the original goal that Yon and Instawanker and all the rest try so very hard to ignore, the goal of long-term political stability.

Posted by: bob on November 25, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Ahhh...but if you were watching the Sunday shows today, you would have heard the new talking point: political reconciliation is happening at the local level. That's how they are going to make the argument that the surge is working and we are winning - because reconciliation has to work at the local level if it is going to succeed on a national level. That may be true - that that will be a necessary component, but no one actually discussed exactly how - or where - this is working locally. No one pointed to any city or town or region where diverse groups of Sunni, Shi'a and Kurd were working in partnership. I think they want people to believe that there is less violence because there is local reconciliation, but the consensus seems to be that it is the sectarian cleansing and internal displacement that are responsible for the reduction.

Expect to hear more of this in the coming days...

Posted by: Anne on November 25, 2007 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

By surge you mean buying loyalty right?

Posted by: Ya Know... on November 25, 2007 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

Update on Iraq from the military POV

I had the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving with General Petraeus. Very interesting series of helicopter flights to several bases. -ex-lib

Why didnt they get in a armored humvee if its secure?

Posted by: Ya Know... on November 25, 2007 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Once again the Democrats, and the liberal bloggers, have allowed the Republicans to frame the debate.

We are now arguing about whether there is "progress" in Iraq, or whether we are "winning". In discussing the details, the big picture -- the fact that this pointless and criminal war was initiated by the current Administration -- is being lost.

So what if next month there are no casualties and the Iraqi factions come to terms with each other and sign some protocol of cooperation? Are we prepared then to say that the war was a success and Bush is a hero? That, of course, is how the Republicans, and the media, will present it. And they will portray all the Democrats as idiots who predicted eternal hell for Iraq.

But what happens now in Iraq is not the point. What happened in 2003 is. Democrats should not have let that get out of the public eye, nor the $1.6 trillion that the war has cost -- and what that would have done if spent here.

Arguing about a troops surge or even about political progress should not be allowed to become the main Iraq issue. These are efforts that are being made to extricate us from a huge and criminal mistake. The Democrats should not allow the details of these secondary efforts become the main debate of this election year.

Posted by: JS on November 25, 2007 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

Apollo 13, I said that quote was a military POV, because Yon was reporting the opinions of soldiers including General Petraeus in the first paragraph. Also, as an ex-marine, he tends to see things from a soldier's POV.

Anne, if the drop in violence were simply due to sectarian cleansing and internal displacement, then increasing numbers of Iraqis would not be returning. E.g., see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7105216.stm or http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hIyXbO1VsNULVobX73S8RazwI3LA

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 25, 2007 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

Anne, if the drop in violence were simply due to sectarian cleansing and internal displacement, then increasing numbers of Iraqis would not be returning. -ex-lib

Thats a freedom operation? To bomb people into leaving their own homes because of WMD that didnt exist? How many people innocent people died because of this pre-emptive war policy? How is Afghanistan going? Why was the bar lowered?

Posted by: Ya Know... on November 25, 2007 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

Also, as an ex-marine, he tends to see things from a soldier's POV.

And right there - you just showed us what a fucking tool you are. Soldiers and marines are not the same thing.

You are a fool, a tool, an apologist, a shill and a chickenhawk. You disrespect those who serve when you don't even know the difference between them, and rub salt in the wound when you accept extra-constitutional activity on behalf of a war criminal president. The troops you purport to support so feebly and flaccidly take their oath to the Constitution you seem to think is optional so long as you can keep from having to accept the reality that your boy has fucked up royal.

You sicken me. You truly are the banality of evil. You woulda been a terrific German, circa 1938. And I wish I could send you there.

Posted by: Airman Rowland's Aunt on November 25, 2007 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

As long as you guys are allowed to move the goalposts defining what victory is, I agree we will never get there... The "political process" means haggling, party building, coalition building and knitting together a civil society. It goes on whether benchmarks are goal posted or not. I asked Kevin several times to commit, six months ago, to agree to a wager; if the atmosphere was palpably different by this time would he support another 18-24 months of involvement, I in turn offerred to support withdrawal if there was no such demonstrable improvement. Kevin was smart enough not to respond because he knew the hollowness of the defeat-mongers he associates with.
If we stay through the next Iraqi election cycle, our new President lays out specific requirements for our staying, and the Iraqi people have an election based on whether they want American assistance or not, I will consider that proof of victory in this war. And I think we are going to win it.

Posted by: mr insensitive [formerly minion] on November 25, 2007 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

So what if next month there are no casualties and the Iraqi factions come to terms with each other and sign some protocol of cooperation? Are we prepared then to say that the war was a success and Bush is a hero?

If I climb into my car hammered after a night in the bars, and drive all the way home without killing anybody, or wrapping up my car, that doesn’t mean it was a good idea to get behind the wheel in the first place, or to do it again next Friday night, or that I’m ready to drive Formula One for Ferrari.

It means I’m a criminal who didn’t get caught….

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on November 25, 2007 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib,

The BBC article explains that refugees in Syria are returning because they're running out of money and can't find jobs and because Syria is paying them $800 to return to Iraq. The lull in violence has made it at least 'possible' for these refugees in Syria to return (out of despair) but a similar exodus from Jordan, where wealthier Iraqis have taken refuge, is not occuring. Thanks for the link.

Posted by: nepeta on November 25, 2007 at 8:03 PM | PERMALINK

formerly minion said: If ... [various litmus tests]... I will consider that proof of victory in this war.

Focus now, minion. It's not about victory or defeat. It's about having committed a crime -- a huge one, costly in lives and treasure -- and trying to finally come out of the mess it created. But even if we do that, the crime remains.

Posted by: JS on November 25, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

I asked Kevin several times to commit, six months ago, to agree to a wager; if the atmosphere was palpably different by this time would he support another 18-24 months of involvement...

Let me see if I understand this right...You wanted to make a wager that would commit someone to supporting 18-24 more months of war crimes?

Let me guess, you have no one in this clusterfuck either, do you? (No need to answer. It's obvious from your comments.)

Posted by: Airman Rowland's Aunt on November 25, 2007 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Also, minion, you said: As long as you guys are allowed to move the goalposts defining what victory is, I agree we will never get there...

Who moved the goal posts from the original definition of victory (finding and destroying Iraq's WMD)?

Posted by: JS on November 25, 2007 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

If you guys sincerely think it was a "war-crime" to take out a despot who's crimes make Darfur look like a sandbox - I don't think you are sincere BTW - I and most Americans can live with your insults. Twenty million Iraqi's voting, and proudly displaying thier purple fingers so far, have changed the mideast forever. If we last through the elections of 2009 when Malaki hands power over to another elected leader those changes will be irreversable. If this war was wrong every war we've ever fought has been wrong.

Posted by: mr insensitive on November 25, 2007 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

Sanchez was the guy in charge when it all went to hell in the first place. Midnight raids, knocking down doors and roughing up Iranians, mass arrests, enhanced interrogations, etc. I’m not particularly a fan of the surge, but to give Patraeus his due he stopped the use of Blackwater style tactics by the military, and the result has been at least some reduction in the violence. It makes one wonder what might have happened if we had originally gone in with troops and officers (not to mention State Department officials) who were trained and knowledgeable in how to fight a counter insurgency. Then again if they had understood the nature of insurgencies, they probably would have been more forceful in telling Bush not to start this war.

Posted by: fafner1 on November 25, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

If you guys sincerely think it was a "war-crime" to take out a despot who's crimes make Darfur look like a sandbox - I don't think you are sincere BTW - I and most Americans can live with your insults.

First, most Americans agree with us, not you dead-enders.

And yes. It is a war crime. It was predicated on lies. Several countries have worse despots at the helm than Saddam Hussein. Besides that, "taking him out:" was not the reason that the president peddled. The reason given was WMD - which we now know the Resident knew all along didn't exist.

Posted by: Airman Rowland's Aunt on November 25, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

Remember, "It took several years after winning the Revolution for the American democracy to begin to function with even slight success."

"Even the ratification of our Constitution did not solve all the problems as the Civil War exemplified."

Anne, the above is also part of the bate and switch spin that we will be hearing a lot more of as Nov. '08 approaches.

I am building up my stores of Maalox and single malt scotch in anticipation.

Posted by: Keith G on November 25, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Imbecile, how many people were senselessly slaughtered to achieve those purple fingers? How many Iraqis will live with broken bodies and without family members in order to achieve that result?

And really, you think that Iraq circa 2003 before Bush's massive terrorist attack on the innocent citizens of Baghdad was worse than Darfur? No wonder you go by Mr. Imbecile. It is quite likely that most of the citizens of Baghdad are worse off under the iron heel of Bush's occupation than they were under Hussein's dictatorship. The question of Iraqi citizens at large is debatable - but the millions of displaced argue against your idiotic sentiment.

Bush has slaughtered, or caused to be slaughtered, as nearly as many people as Saddam Hussein, but Bush hasn't had nearly as much time. Why should the Iraqis be grateful to this monster?

Posted by: heavy on November 25, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

If this war was wrong every war we've ever fought has been wrong.

minion,

your assertions don't usually reach to quite these heights of bullshit. you've shown in the past you've got a head. use it.

(I can't help you if you don't see the difference between an existential war joined as a result of direct attack and a war of choice driven by propaganda and predicated on lies)

Posted by: snicker-snack on November 25, 2007 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

Airman's Aunt -

Most Americans don't agree with you. They're not happy with the war but they don't want to cut and run.

It was not a war crime.

It was predicated on the Authorization to Use Military Force, here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Authorization_for_Use_of_Military_Force_Against_Iraq_Resolution_of_2002

No country I know of let one son torture Olympic athletes while the other treated the women of the country's most prestigious neighborhoods as game in his private game reserve - available for raping and beating whenever he got the urge.

The reason for taking him out is that we could no longer allow a rogue state with WMD capablility have the ability to hand off WMDs to terrorist cut-outs - read the AUMF above.

The president, along with every other rational observer that looked at the mountain of evidence, came to the only responsible conclution - that no reasonable person could conclude he didn't have WMDs.

Except for those particulars your analysis is an acceptable example of leftist agit-prop.

Posted by: mr insensitive on November 25, 2007 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

It was predicated on the Authorization to Use Military Force

And the AUMF was predicated on spun intelligence and flat-out lies, and authorized right before the first Congressional election held after the terrorist strike against the WTC & Pentagon.

The reason for taking him out is that we could no longer allow a rogue state with WMD capablility have the ability to hand off WMDs to terrorist cut-outs

No WMD or capability existed, and he did not have the ability to hand off WMD's to terrorists, nor did he have ties to the terrorists that attacked this country.

Except for those particulars your analysis is an acceptable example of leftist agit-prop.

Except for being an unrepentant apologist for a war criminal, your post would be an acceptable example of human sentience.

Posted by: Airman Rowland's Aunt on November 25, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

The president, along with every other rational observer that looked at the mountain of evidence, came to the only responsible conclution - that no reasonable person could conclude he didn't have WMDs.

IOW, those of us who came to the correct conclusion (I came to this conclusion in August 2002) are not reasonable and those who were wrong are reasonable. Strange (and remarkedly self-serving) sense of definition you have there. Especially seeing as this little play repeats itself over and over and over again on issue after issue. (I think we're all agreed that the world is better off without tyrants. Perhaps though the best road there is one that doesn't create new ones. In the aggregate more evil has been done and will be done because of the invasion. You might see this if you were honest and not dismissive of things that run contrary to your fantasies as agitpop. And for anyone to talk about freedom who isn't livid about the changes taking place in your own 'homeland'... - the very term which makes my anti-authoritarian heart rage. Get out of your own narrow box a bit more).

Posted by: snicker-snack on November 25, 2007 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Mr Ins:

...we could no longer allow a rogue state with WMD capablility....

Have you no shame, not to mention sense? By invasion date (and well before according to some) it was clear that Iraq had no infrasture so that it could be "WMD capable"

...no reasonable person could conclude he didn't have WMDs.

Are you a liar, a fool, or both? Many resonable did conclude that there simple was not sufficient infrastructure to support WMDs.

I sure hope you are a parody, because if you exist in reality that would be wrong, just so wrong.

Posted by: Keith G on November 25, 2007 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

The AUMF made the use of force conditional on the President's determination that all other diplomatic and peaceful means for enforcing the UN resolutions had been exhausted. But Bush invaded just as the inspectors announced that they were weeks away from getting all they wanted. We claim that his determination under the AUMF was fraudulent and, taking into consideration all other prevarication originating at the White House (Niger / "we know where the WMD are" / etc.), he lied his way to war. The senators were voting on the basis of a lot of misinformation -- which we now know was manufactured at the White House.

Anyway, make up your mind mr insensitive. Was it about the WMD or about the purple fingers? Important question, as it defines the original goal posts.

Posted by: JS on November 25, 2007 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and let me just say that there are certain characters on your side who should be tried for war crimes, and since I'm in favor of capital punishment if they are indeed found guilty should be hanged 'til dead. These are the sorts of coldy calculated crimes where deterrence does work.

Posted by: snicker-snack on November 25, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Except for those particulars your analysis is an acceptable example of leftist agit-prop.

Leftist agit-prop' from paragraph 2309 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The strict conditions for legitimate defense by military force require rigorous consideration. The gravity of such a decision makes it subject to rigorous conditions of moral legitimacy. At one and the same time:

  • the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
  • all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
  • there must be serious prospects of success;
  • the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.
These are the traditional elements enumerated in what is called the "just war" doctrine.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on November 25, 2007 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Most Americans don't agree with you. They're not happy with the war but they don't want to cut and run.

Bullshit, mr. imbecilic apologist.

As the surge got underway, 63% wanted all troops out by the end of 2008. This trend has not reversed. (That poll is in my bookmarks, I'll google for one that's more recent.)

Posted by: Airman Rowland's Aunt on November 25, 2007 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I agree with your thinking here, but kindly avoid using their lying rhetorical terms such as Defeatocr*ts. There are no such things.

Posted by: Joel Rubinstein on November 25, 2007 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

mr. insensitive (minion): "Most Americans don't agree with [Airman Rowland's Aunt]. They're not happy with the war but they don't want to cut and run. It was not a war crime."

Let's see -- we've been blogging on this site about this particular war and "rational" president for how many years now, and yet I can't recall one thing you've ever predicted that has since come to fruition. In fact, all you've ever offered are cheap GOP platitudes and recycled political cliches.

Most people aren't happy with the war because they belatedly realize that it was commenced under patently false pretenses.

And if deliberately attacking a country that had not attacked us first isn't considered a war crime, well, then just pardon me all to fuckin' Hell, because then this country stands for nothing save for the horrific notion of "might makes right."

Most people who're caught peddling bullshit show some sense of shame of remorse, but I learned long ago that chickenhawks like you and ex-liberal don't embarrass easily, because the truth just falls away from you like water off a duck's ass. Therefore, suffice for me to say that you're just simply pathetic.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 25, 2007 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

For those of you who may be new to this never-ending debate [I am not familiar with Airman Aunt, for example] let me bring you up to speed. I have never argued that Bush was a good President, or that the way we entered this war could not/should not have been better handled. I argue that the AUMF was passed 77-23 in the US Senate and that those like Kerry or Edwards that voted for it and then ran for the tall grass are despicable. I agree some people like Sen. Bob Graham or Gen Zinni were honest opponents of the war, but most who opposed it did so for what I consider the wrong reasons.

As for Mr. SnickerSnack, I think you were being complementary, so let me thank you and ask a question in return - would the Civil War have been wrong if Lincoln were as ham-fisted as Bush and started before the firing on Fort Sumter? Was our war against Hitler wrong despite the fact he had no operational ties to Pearl Harbor? Also, I'm surprised you support capital punishment [very unlike you] - my reading of the New Testement has made me a very grudging, reluctant opponent of the procedure.

Posted by: mr insensitive on November 25, 2007 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

The US entry in the war against Germany is, if anything, analogous to the first Iraq war -- where we fought Saddam because he invaded another country.

The same conditions did not apply in 2003, so let's drop this WWII analogy. Too facile, too far from the facts.

Posted by: JS on November 25, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

I would also add that if the US Senate, and, to some extent, the UN authorized force (subject to conditions that were not met) -- they did so because Bush and Rumsfeld, with all their satellite cameras and other technology, assured everyone that "we know where the WMD are".

This was a lie, obviously. To now try to pin the blame on those who believed this lie -- that takes the cake.

Posted by: JS on November 25, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans have so thoroughly won the battle over the framing of the whole thing that results, in the sense of achieving lasting progress, are no longer required for us to stay there. Petraeus is unassailable, and so is the war (I'm not sure, by the way, which is cause and which, effect). Westmoreland sat in a similar position during Vietnam, and it took four years, an endless cycle of escalations, and Tet for his credibility to crumble. I don't see a similar thing happening here. I'll say what I've said from the start: we're going to be there for a long, long time.

Posted by: Martin Gale on November 25, 2007 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

JS - could you cite some reference for your quote that Bush and/or Rumsfeld 'assured everyone that "we know where the WMD are".' I am unaware of any such assertion. As for comparing and contrasting one war with another, I agree it's a parlor game with very little persuasive power to people committed to one viewpoint or another.

Posted by: mr insensitive on November 25, 2007 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK

For mr unable-to-google:

http://thinkprogress.org/2006/05/26/rumsfelds-revisionist-history/


Posted by: bob on November 25, 2007 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'd also like to point out to Mr. Insensitive that Nazi Germany declared war on us, not the other way around after Pearl Harbor because Germany, Italy, Japan had all signed a mutual support treaty called the, "Pact of Steel".

So when the Empire of Japan attacked the US, Germany was 'obligated' by this treaty to declare war on the US too.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on November 25, 2007 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

mr insensitive -- See, e.g., here:

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, weapons of mass destruction. Key goal of the military campaign is finding those weapons of mass destruction. None have been found yet. There was a raid on the Answar Al-Islam Camp up in the north last night. A lot of people expected to find ricin there. None was found. How big of a problem is that? And is it curious to you that given how much control U.S. and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven't found any weapons of mass destruction?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think -- let me take that, both pieces -- the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

(emphasis added)

Posted by: has407 on November 25, 2007 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

Actually Rumsfeld's use of those words came after the resolutions were voted (and shortly after the invasion began). But the administration had made it clear that it knew Saddam had WMD, and, using a certain amount of good faith that the US had built over the years convinced everyone that they knew what they were talking about. (See, for example, Colin Powell's UN presentation full of bogus smoking guns).

Posted by: JS on November 25, 2007 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the information to all three. We knew Saddam had WMD at one point because UN inspectors had touched and sampled it. See Jeffrey Goldberg's article on aflatoxinv for example, the same poison that killed thousands of pets recently due to contaminated Chinese pet food: http://www.slate.com/id/2071670/entry/2071900/

Still if Rumsfeld said we knew where they were I concede that was a lie I was not aware of. As to the distinction that Hitler declared war on us, Saddam was the only world leader to publicly applaud the destruction of 911 and declare his solidarity with those that accomplished it, and promised sanctuary to anyone chased out of Afghanistan that made it to Iraq... these acts are considered cassus belli under international law as equivalent to a formal declaration of war or alliance.

Posted by: mr insensitive on November 25, 2007 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

We knew Saddam had WMD at one point because UN inspectors had touched and sampled it.

m.i., surely you are not suggesting that the WMD we invaded to destroy is the old chemicals that the inspectors had already tagged and sealed?

I'm glad you mentioned "international law" and "casus belli" though. That's not a bad place to start. Now if you can provide the relevant references for this casus belli we can discuss it further.

But seriously, you don't think addam's applauding 9/11, or offering sanctuary to Afghanis, was worth the lost lives (and limbs), or the $1.6 trillion, of the Iraq war?

Posted by: JS on November 26, 2007 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

JS

If you are asking me would I have supported the obstinance and incompetence of Bush/Rumsfeld to get where we are today I agree I would have trouble answering: I don't think any [reluctant] supporter of the war, as I was, could have predicted we would have had the most incompetent war administration since Tsar Nicholas... but if this war ends up with power being transferred from Maliki to a hopefully more competent leader in the fall of 2009, and the democratic process demonstrated to the Arab world, then I would say yes, even with our massive screw-ups it was worth it. I do not think Iraq would have been sweetness and light had we not intervened, in fact I think there would have been more death and desolation under any conceivable alternative to our invasion...

I think your question would be like asking someone on the eve of the Civil War, is freeing the slaves and keeping the union worth billions of dollars and 600,000 lives? I don't think any honest union supporter could have claimed to be sure, but I know that we think it was an acceptable cost 140 years later.

Posted by: mr insensitive on November 26, 2007 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, back to Kevin's original post . . .

Crocker is not the only pessimistic one of the bunch. His higherups at the State Dept have also stated that the intransigence of Maliki's government is now the primary obstacle to national reconciliation. The only reconciliation happening is at the local level, thanks to the work of the troops on the ground.

Imagine that. Our military is doing better work at diplomacy than the diplomats.

Posted by: bob in fla on November 26, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

I think your question would be like asking someone on the eve of the Civil War, is freeing the slaves and keeping the union worth billions of dollars and 600,000 lives?

re. your analogy, one situation involves a question within a country, the other involves differences between countries. This has generally been seen as a rather different propostion.

Let me put a question back to you. Recently, a 19 year-old-girl was sitting in a car with a male friend when both were gang-raped by a group of men. She will in addition receive 200 lashes courtesy of the Saudi government for the crime of being in a car with a male who was not a relative. All part and parcel of an system in which women are third class citizens (at least for the female half of the population life in Saudi Arabia is generally even worse than was life under Saddam and his sons)... Do you feel you guys should invade Saudi Arabia under the pretense that it's got an active WMD program?

Posted by: snicker-snack on November 26, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

I think your question would be like asking someone on the eve of the Civil War, is freeing the slaves and keeping the union worth billions of dollars and 600,000 lives?

In what remote corner of the universe is invading Iraq in any way the same thing as freeing the slaves and holding the union together? Really, stop sucking down the Kool-Aid and use your brain.

Posted by: craigie on November 26, 2007 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: Apollo 13, I said that quote was a military POV...

See bob's comment at 5:59 PM and Airman Rowland's Aunt comment at 7:56 PM.

Furthermore, for a military POV that's statistically reliable, not anecdotal as in Michael Yon's case, the Military Times released its fourth annual poll comprised of a random sample of 6,000 active duty soldiers conducted November-December 2006:

The American military — once a staunch supporter of President Bush and the Iraq war — has grown increasingly pessimistic about chances for victory.
For the first time, more troops disapprove of the president’s handling of the war than approve of it. Barely one-third of service members approve of the way the president is handling the war, according to the 2006 Military Times Poll.
When the military was feeling most optimistic about the war — in 2004 — 83 percent of poll respondents thought success in Iraq was likely. This year, that number has shrunk [33 points] to 50 percent.
Only 35 percent of the military members polled this year said they approve of the way President Bush is handling the war, while 42 percent said they disapproved. The president’s approval rating among the military is only slightly higher than for the population as a whole. In 2004, when his popularity peaked, 63 percent of the military approved of Bush’s handling of the war. While approval of the president’s war leadership has slumped, his overall approval remains high among the military.
Just as telling, in this year’s poll only 41 percent of the military said the U.S. should have gone to war in Iraq in the first place, down [24 points] from 65 percent in 2003. That closely reflects the beliefs of the general population today — 45 percent agreed in a recent USA Today/Gallup poll.
Greg Sargent offered more details as well as the "sheer coincidence" of soldiers who agreed with the "surge" during a Robert Gates photo op (yeah, like that group wasn't hand-picked to eliminate dissent) that's at odds with the poll results.

We'll have to wait for the Military Times fifth annual poll to see how the numbers have changed for a more reliable military POV than Michael Yon's writing.

Anne, if the drop in violence were simply due to sectarian cleansing and internal displacement, then increasing numbers of Iraqis would not be returning. E.g., see http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7105216.stm or http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hIyXbO1VsNULVobX73S8RazwI3LA

What a load of propaganda that Nepeta at 8:03 Pm exposed.

Ex-lib and Everett from Kevin's Nov. 21 "Bottom's Up" post seem to be playing tag team on using British press sources on the happy talk about the return of Iraqi refugees. Interesting, eh?

Ex-lib's second AFP source (Agence France-Prese) was positively glowing, well, except for the UNHCR spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis who said, "Presently, there is no sign of any large-scale return to Iraq."

The number of Iraqis returning home is a trickle because "most are still too fearful to return." For a more complete picture, click here to read three different sources cited on the thread of Kevin's aforementioned post. Note the conflicting data among the Iraqi-sourced reports as well as from the U.N. refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Posted by: Apollo 13 on November 26, 2007 at 1:12 AM | PERMALINK

oh and as craigie points out, within and between difference aside, in all other aspects it's a daft analogy.

Posted by: snicker-snack on November 26, 2007 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

How many of you guys valiantly protested Clinton's unprovoked attack on Serbia in the '90's? A blatant violation of international law and affront to the UN.
Now suppose this war had been fought with more common sense, we had waited for Saddam to beat a UN inspector or try to prove to his own restive population he wasn't groveling before the UNSCOM inspectors...suppose we had been smart enough to turn the thing over to the UN after "mission accomplished" and had had a coherent exit strategy. Suppose further that a frog had wings... I'm not a jingo, I agree we've made many stupid mistakes. But I think Saddam was more of a bad guy than George Bush, and I think all avenues short of war had been exhausted by 2002. I wish you would read the Goldberg article I linked to above:

http://www.slate.com/id/2071670/entry/2071900/

Do I wish we had waited through the summer of 2003 for Saddam to make the first blunder? Yes. Do I wish we had made an independent Kurdistan one of our war aims? Yes. But we are where we are so I want to make the right decision based on where we are now. I said six months ago if the surge did not show palpable progress by this point I would agree to throw in the towel, but I think we still have a chance to make our sacrifices mean something, and so do most of the American people.

Posted by: mr insensitive on November 26, 2007 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

I think all avenues short of war had been exhausted

Yeah I suppose Saddam offering to step down and leave the country wasn't enough (to ensure you secured your control over the oil tap).

(at a cost of 1 billion as opposed to 1.5 trillion. Not a happy thing lining the wallet of a tyrant but a good deal in retrospect).

minion, there is nothing you can do to get something worth your (except that they're not) sacrifices. The effort was poisoned from the beginning by being predicated on a lie. In any case, it's Iraqi wishes and interests that should come first. And a majority of all groups want you to go. Fortunately Iraq is not really a democracy and Iraqis are not really able to decide the important stuff so you needn't really pay attention to their wishes only to the extent that they become too difficult to coerce.

Posted by: snicker-snack on November 26, 2007 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

mr. insensitive: "For those of you who may be new to this never-ending debate [I am not familiar with Airman Aunt, for example] let me bring you up to speed."

Oh, please. You know the issues surrounding this "never-ending debate" like the 2007 Miami Dolphins know how to play winning football.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on November 26, 2007 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

We knew Saddam had WMD at one point because UN inspectors had touched and sampled it.

We know he has chemical weapons at one point because we had the bills of sale.

"For those of you who may be new to this never-ending debate [I am not familiar with Airman Aunt, for example] let me bring you up to speed."

You may not be familiar with me, but I am all too familiar with the likes of you. It's called "lurking" and you should maybe shut the hell up and try it some time. Being a fatassed former SP (SP!) does not make you an expert on military matters.

What you are is an apologist for an unforgivable war crime, and you should be ashamed. Or would be if you had the capacity to feel that human emotion.

Your flop-sweat is apparent when you reach for strained analogies to WWII (when we were attacked and Germany was bound by treaty to declare war as well) and the Civil War, which was an intra-nation conflict. Neither has the slightest relation to the situation today. That you strain to shoehorn an analogy underscores both your desperation and your organic stupidity.

Posted by: Airman Rowland's Aunt on November 26, 2007 at 6:55 AM | PERMALINK

A few words for mr. insensitive. Are you familiar with the first sentence of the AUMF? Here it is-

To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.

Notice the phrase, "those responsible for the recent attacks against the US?" Rather nifty isn't it?

You probably don't remember the tone of Bush's appeal to congress. I'll remind you. Bush: "I need this resolution for leverage in negotiations. We're not going to rush into war, that isn't what this is about."

Only problem with that was Bush and his gang were planning to invade Iraq BEFORE 9/11 ever happened. Bush is a liar through-and-through. Leadership based on lies leads to ruin and we have the proof before us. Unless, alas, we're blind.

Sir, Iraq under Saddam was far short of a just society, but there WAS a civil society. There is no civil society now except for pockets of relative tribal tranquility. Iraq today is a failed state.

Posted by: obscure on November 26, 2007 at 7:23 AM | PERMALINK

Iraq was not a threat to the national security of the United States. George W. Bush trumped up claims of WMDs and his only "evidence" was for chemical and biological weapons (is it really evidence when you are citing information from a decade ago and all the intervening data indicates just the opposite?). Even with the trumped up evidence there was no mechanism by which the state of Iraq could deliver these "WMDs."

In other words, George W. Bush had no provocation for assaulting the people of Iraq. The hundreds of thousands of dead do not thank you Mr. Imbecile. The relatives of those hundreds of thousands of dead do not thank you Mr. Imbecile. The millions who live in the failed state of Iraq under George W. Bush's puppet government do not thank you for the killing fields unleashed by George W. Bush.

Even if Iraq becomes a model democracy today with freedom for all, with fries, the price will not have been worth it. Not for America whose sons and daughters have been murdered for Bush's electoral advantage, not for the world which has seen an increase in terrorist activity owing to the brutal occupation of Iraq, and certainly not for Iraq whose loss of lives isn't even important enough for brainless fucks like you to tally.

Posted by: heavy on November 26, 2007 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK

"Apparently no one thinks that political compromise is anywhere in the near offing".

If you say so you didn't read the last noecon article:
"On Iraq, a State of Denial"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/22/AR2007112201089.html
Unless Krauthammer is synonym to "no one"....

Posted by: Yoni on November 26, 2007 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

At last we learn, it was all the fault of the Democratic Senators who "pushed" Shrub into war. As Karl Rove whined recently, the President needed more time for the inspectors and the building of a needed coalition, but the Senate vote pushed him into a "rush to judgment".

Kee-Rhist, and I thought the Soviets were the best in historical revisionism.

Posted by: bert on November 26, 2007 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Apollo 13: the Military Times released its fourth annual poll comprised of a random sample of 6,000 active duty soldiers conducted November-December 2006

Pre-surge results. It will be interesting to see what the Nov-Dec 2007 poll shows.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 26, 2007 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

George Bush said we needed the surge to provide breathing space for political reconciliation among Iraqi factions. What he didn't tell us is that the political reconciliation he was seeking was within the Republican Party itself. In Iraq the surge has provided some undeniable tactical successes, and we should all cheer that violence is down. But it is not clear to me that the surge has changed the fundamental strategic dynamic at all. What it has accomplished, and perhaps this was the whole point, was to change the narrative on Iraq from being a failure to a "success" so as to unify Bush's GOP base and improve its political standing. All of us have reason to be skeptical about the long-term value of the surge, even at the risk of the right wing portraying such justifiable skepticism as "rooting for America to fail" for "petty partisan purposes."

Posted by: Ted Frier on November 26, 2007 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

mr. sensitive: How many of you guys valiantly protested Clinton's unprovoked attack on Serbia in the '90's? A blatant violation of international law and affront to the UN.

try judging this way..

usa combat deaths in bosnia/kosovo: 2

usa combat deaths in iraq/afghanistan: 3800+


then compare the cost...for more perspective..

oh...and..

where's osama?

Posted by: mr. irony on November 26, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Not only that, Mr. Irony. Kosovo was undertaken to stop sectarian killings and genocide. Iraq, on the other hand, set off a chain reaction that facilitated sectarian killings (stopping just short of genocide, but still).

When you resort to "But Cinton..." you lose.

Posted by: Airman Rowland's Aunt on November 26, 2007 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Was our war against Hitler wrong despite the fact he had no operational ties to Pearl Harbor?

What the fuck are you talking about, you ignorant boob? Hitler declared war on us first, and we only declared war on him after that.

Germany and Italy declare war on US:
Germany and Italy have announced they are at war with the United States. America immediately responded by declaring war on the two Axis powers.

news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/11/newsid_3532000/3532401.stm - 34k -

Posted by: Stefan on November 26, 2007 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

"Debating" with the likes of minion is a lost cause, kinda like political reconciliation and nation-building in Iraq.

Posted by: ckelly on November 26, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

JS - could you cite some reference for your quote that Bush and/or Rumsfeld 'assured everyone that "we know where the WMD are".' I am unaware of any such assertion.

U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)
News Transcript
March 30, 2003 11:30 AM EDT

Secretary Rumsfeld Remarks on ABC "This Week with George Stephanopoulos"

SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think -- let me take that, both pieces -- the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=2185 - 84k -

Posted by: Stefan on November 26, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

And so slowly, inevitably, we are getting to the finish I predicted before the war even began. The official line will be "We brought freedom to Iraq and they blew it."

It is simple human nature really. We had no chance of succeeding, and once failure becomes obvious to even the deniers then the blame game begins, and the easiest one to blame is the one 'not in the room.'

I've seen this happen countless times in the business world and here it is in the political world. Even the Democrats are offering this out to the Republicans. "Our troops did a great job, the problem is the damn Iraqi politicians!"

Whatever. Whatever stops out bleeding of troops and treasure.

Posted by: Tripp on November 26, 2007 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

As to the distinction that Hitler declared war on us, Saddam was the only world leader to publicly applaud the destruction of 911 and declare his solidarity with those that accomplished it, and promised sanctuary to anyone chased out of Afghanistan that made it to Iraq... these acts are considered cassus belli under international law as equivalent to a formal declaration of war or alliance.

It's been a while since I took my international law classes at Harvard Law...but no, they are not.

By the way, when we supported the mujahideen fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, was that equivalent to a formal declaration of war by us against the Soviet Union? Remember, we were actually funding and arming, not merely "declaring solidarity" with them.

Posted by: Stefan on November 26, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

I do not think Iraq would have been sweetness and light had we not intervened, in fact I think there would have been more death and desolation under any conceivable alternative to our invasion...

On what is this based? Since our attack and invasion there have been approximately close to a million Iraqi deaths, with many millions more maimed, wounded and traumatized. Under what conceivable scenario would there have been more than 1,000,000 dead Iraqis in the last four and a half years had we not invaded?

Posted by: Stefan on November 26, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Pre-surge results. It will be interesting to see what the Nov-Dec 2007 poll shows.

Clutch at straws much?

The military knows what you refuse to acknowledge. The "surge" was a ploy to buy aWol a year of the two left on his calendar.

You really think any Soldiers who were extended are gonna have good things to say about it? You think that 15 month rotations for the Army is going to do wonders for morale?

Are you organically stupid, or are you cravenly indifferent? Whichever it is, I hope you get a karmic asskicking the likes of that received by Lee Atwater. It's fitting for the epitome of the banality of evil.

Posted by: Airman Rowland's Aunt on November 26, 2007 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Under what conceivable scenario would there have been more than 1,000,000 dead Iraqis in the last four and a half years had we not invaded?

Good question. Hmmm. Well, in the imagination of an ignoramus I suppose Saddam could have nuked 250K of his citizens each year for four years. If he had nukes. Which he didn't. And a reason to do it.

Maybe that bad son of his - what was his name - oh yeah - maybe 'eBay' could have upped his schedule of rape and murder. It would take, what, 1,000 deaths a day for 1,000 days to get that million number?

Damn.

You know when you actually use, like, real numbers and real math some statements pretty much shrivel up. Thank God half the people are below average, or Bush would really be in trouble.

Posted by: Tripp on November 26, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

The reason for taking him out is that we could no longer allow a rogue state with WMD capablility [sic] have the ability to hand off WMDs to terrorist cut-outs - read the AUMF above.

If that's the case, then why haven't we invaded Pakistan and North Korea yet? Both represssive dictatorships with a history of invading their neighbors, both active supporters of international terrorist networks, both in possession of WMD which they could hand off -- so why aren't we invading if we can no longer allow it?

Posted by: Stefan on November 26, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp wrote:
Thank God half the people are below average...

For the last time, it's below the MEDIAN, dammit.

Posted by: SJRSM on November 26, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

For the last time, it's below the MEDIAN, dammit.

Actually "average" is a broad term that can be used to describe any measure of central tendency. It does not necessarily stand only for the mean. Check out Wikipedia on this. Excerpt:

The most common method is the arithmetic mean, but there are many other types of averages... Another average worth discussing is the median..."

Posted by: JS on November 26, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

SJRSM,

In the case of human intelligence I think half the people are below the mean, the median, and the mode.

Is there some other definition of 'average' you want me to know about?

Posted by: Tripp on November 26, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

mr. sensitive: We knew Saddam had WMD at one point because UN inspectors had touched and sampled it.

"After 3-months of intrusive inspections, we have to date found no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapon program in Iraq." - IAEA's ElBaradei before the UN 3/7/03

Posted by: mr. irony on November 26, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

As to the distinction that Hitler declared war on us, Saddam was the only world leader to publicly applaud the destruction of 911 and declare his solidarity with those that accomplished it, and promised sanctuary to anyone chased out of Afghanistan that made it to Iraq... these acts are considered cassus belli under international law as equivalent to a formal declaration of war or alliance.

I love how the wingnuts denounce the very concept of international law and a community of nations and yet cite it when they suddenly (and falsely) believe it in their interest to do so...no, wait, I don't love it. It's mealy-mouthed, hypocritical and dishonest.

Posted by: Stefan on November 26, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, you forgot to add "and par for the course."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on November 26, 2007 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Is there some other definition of 'average' you want me to know about?
Posted by: Tripp

Nope, just snarking

Posted by: SJRSM on November 27, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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