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Tilting at Windmills

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December 11, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

NATION BUILDING....Women who don't dress modestly enough are being gunned down in Basra:

Religious vigilantes have killed at least 40 women this year in the southern Iraqi city of Basra because of how they dressed, their mutilated bodies found with notes warning against "violating Islamic teachings," the police chief said Sunday.

Maj. Gen. Jalil Khalaf blamed sectarian groups that he said were trying to impose a strict interpretation of Islam. They dispatch patrols of motorbikes or unlicensed cars with tinted windows to accost women not wearing traditional dress and head scarves, he added.

Maybe the Interior Ministry should do something about this? Or maybe not:

The Iraqi government has ordered all policewomen to hand in their guns for redistribution to men or face having their pay withheld, thwarting a U.S. initiative to bring women into the nation's police force.

....Critics say the move is the latest sign of the religious and cultural conservatism that has taken hold in Iraq since Saddam Hussein's ouster ushered in a government dominated by Shiite Muslims. Now, that tendency is hampering efforts to bring stability to Iraq by driving women from the force, said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. David Phillips, who has led the effort to recruit female officers.

Elsewhere, the Washington Post reports that the national police force, which the Jones Commission said was so thoroughly corrupted by sectarian rancor that it should be scrapped, will instead have its mission "adjusted" by "gradually withdrawing its forces from neighborhoods and moving them to regional garrisons across the country, where they will serve as an emergency response force." Which sounds to me suspiciously like scrapping them as an actual police force while still keeping them around as a none-too-subtle reminder to the Sunni minority about who's in charge these days.

Good stuff. Certainly well worth a trillion dollars of U.S. taxpayer money, no?

Kevin Drum 1:55 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (59)

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Comments

We will pay any price and bear any burden to bring them Freedom to go back to the Stone Age where the women wear the Burka and the men have their rightful place.

Posted by: gregor on December 11, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Critics say the move is the latest sign of the religious and cultural conservatism that has taken hold in Iraq since Saddam Hussein's ouster ushered in a government dominated by Shiite Muslims.

How can anyone say the GOP is hostile to Muslims, when they support a war that replaced Saddam's brutal repression of Islamic fundamentalism with an environment in which Islamic fundamentalism is allowed to flourish?

Because as every warblogger will tell you, the best way to keep the good old USA safe is to foster the growth of Islamic fundamentalism in the middle east.

Heckuva job, Bushie!

Posted by: bob on December 11, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Just remember: there can be no freedom without religion.

Posted by: Stefan on December 11, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

Hang Bush

Posted by: steve duncan on December 11, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, stuff happens, all right? You oppress the woman because of the vagina she has, not because of the vagina you wish she had.

Posted by: Donald Rumsfeld on December 11, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom!

Damn, gregor beat me to it.

As long as we are able to kill Scary Brown People (TM), it doesn't matter how much money is spent or how many Americans die!

Freedom! USA! USA!

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on December 11, 2007 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Well, in less than five years we've managed to turn what was arguably the most secular state in the middle east into just another regional theocracy with a tad more communal strife than other states.

Geez, I feel safer already.

Posted by: majun on December 11, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

that tendency is hampering efforts to bring stability to Iraq

Not true at all Kevin. The American military has just reported there's been a sixty percent decline in violence in the last six months.

www.thonline.com/store/view.cfm?id=JiZNUz7AxXXldPCgz3Dz3D

"U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday he came away from his visit to Iraq feeling "very good about the direction of things in the security arena." His top U.S. commander in the country described a 60 percent decline in violence there in the past six months."

Posted by: Al on December 11, 2007 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Ahh, Al, you double-talker, you know that these 40 killings, like much of the violence in Iraq, didn't get counted, because the bullet holes were from the wrong direction or whatever.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on December 11, 2007 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom without religion is just freedom.

Posted by: AJ on December 11, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Al... Al?

There will be a 100% decline in violence the day after the last Sunni and the last woman without a burqa are killed. But that wasn't supposed to be the mission we wanted to accomplish, was it?

Posted by: tomeck on December 11, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Secular westernized regime in Iraq - Destroyed by USA (CIA Coup 1953)

Secular westernized regime in Afghanistan - Destroyed by USA.

Secular westernized regime in Iraq - Destroyed by USA

Secular westernized regime in Syria - Scheduled for Destruction.

Good going.

Posted by: Buford on December 11, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, Al, all sorts of progress in Iraq. I'm sure in six months everything will be fine.... Oh, wait: bigger Iraq cheerleaders than you conclude that a twenty year military commitment by the US might(!) produce a semblance of stability.

"The American military has just reported there's been a sixty percent decline in violence in the last six months."

Perhaps (what with the creative the Bush Admin tallies deaths). But if so, attribute it to the brutal regional ethnic cleansing campaigns (1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Syria alone) with US troops merely 'stabilizing' the newly constructed, highly unstable, community lines.

Posted by: scudbucket on December 11, 2007 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on December 11, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

There will be a 100% decline in violence the day after the last Sunni and the last woman without a burqa are killed. But that wasn't supposed to be the mission we wanted to accomplish, was it?

First of all, you have it backwards here. He's praising the decision to arm the Sunni former-terrorists, so the decline in violence he's hoping for isn't the eradication of the Sunni. It's the strengthening of the Sunni so they can fight off the Shiite oppressors, and then later, the American occupiers.

And why do you assume he objects to the enforcement of strict Islamic law?

He calls himself "Al". As in "Al Qaeda."

And once you realize that, don't his posts make so much more sense? English isn't his first language. He advocates the sort of politicians and viewpoints that, left unchecked, would tear this country apart and throw the middle east into deeper and deeper turmoil. Why?

Because that's his job. He's Al. Al Qaeda.

Posted by: bob on December 11, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Freedom’s untidy. Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things, and that's what's going to happen here." -- Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense (April 17, 2003)

Oh, well. Who knew?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on December 11, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, the muslims have taught us so much. Now the American military locks up a woman is a shipping container if she is gang-raped by her coworkers.

Conservatives are right. If we stay in Iraq for a few more years, we will be able to stone the women who are victims of rape over here just like they do it over there.

Progress! Freedom! Victory in the CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS!

Posted by: gregor on December 11, 2007 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see.

In Iran, there was a secular ruler, the Shah, despised by most of the people, who was deposed, and then even crazier Shiite fundamentalists imposed an oppressive rule.

In Iraq, there was a secular ruler, Saddam Hussein, despised by most of the people, who was deposed, and then even crazier Shiite fundamentalists imposed an oppressive rule.

The difference? We paid over 3,000 American lives and a trillion dollars to achieve the second effect.

Heckuva job indeed.

Posted by: frankly0 on December 11, 2007 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps Al's female relatives should be required to wear burkas, and face the same dismal prospect for punishment with their failure to comply.

Oh, Hell's bells, maybe Al himself should be all dolled up in one, since he's such a chickenhawk pussy anyway.

(I hereby offer my apologies to all female posters and readers here for my misogynist references. It just somehow perfectly fit both fit the moment and the man in question.)

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on December 11, 2007 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

$1,000,000,000,000.00 and counting.

No matter how you slice it, that's a lot of dough.

It seems our forays into the Mid East have increased the general de-evolution of humanity.

Women are getting killed because immature guys can't handle their own repressed sexuality. There can't be any other explanation for such behavior (not wearing a burka? You got raped? Pow!)

Operation Iraqi Freedom = loss of womens' rights

Go figure.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on December 11, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I read Haliburton's employees are doing their part to contribute to W. Bush's mission in Iraq, too.

Posted by: Brojo on December 11, 2007 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

One of the reasons the surge has worked is that we've coopted Sunni sheiks by convincing them we're leaving soon. Any guesses as to what will happen now that Maliki and Bush have agreed to eternal US bases?

I am thankful not to be living in Iraq, particularly since I'm a woman.

Posted by: Lucy Beloungy on December 11, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Woman should graciously submit to their husband's sacrificial leadership."

Posted by: Mike Huckabee on December 11, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

There can't be any other explanation for such behavior

The only other explanation for the reported behavior is AP and LA Times.

Posted by: Brojo on December 11, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Millions of babies are being killed in the US because men and women can't control their sexuality - seems like the progressive ideas have their own version of Sharia law.

Did someone say women's rights in Iraq today are worse than they were before Iraqi freedom? You are truly insane.

Posted by: Orwell on December 11, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

In the meantime, Syria sinking in flood of refugees from Iraq

By LARRY JOHNSON
P-I FOREIGN DESK EDITOR

DAMASCUS, Syria -- It's the biggest outpouring of refugees in the Middle East in more than 50 years. Not since the creation of Israel in 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were uprooted, has the region seen such a flood of human beings.
Some 2.6 million Iraqis have fled their homeland since the start of the war in 2003. The overwhelming majority -- 1.5 million -- are in Syria. And most of them are in Damascus, where a group of us from Seattle went last month.
….Until Syria began requiring Iraqi refugees to get a visa before coming to Syria, there were thousands of people crossing the Iraq-Syria border each day....

Many of the refugees have had to turn to prostitution to feed their children.
…They have no choice, explains May Barazi of the United Nations, because they've lost their husbands or fathers in the war.
Many women "are the only income providers to the family," Barazi says. "They had to become prostitutes."…
The younger the flesh, the higher the price. Some of the Iraqi refugee prostitutes are still in their early teens. …

Shout Hizzah for the reform Bush has brought to Iraq.
Every day, in every way, our Bushistas have made the world a worse place.

Posted by: Mike on December 11, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

"Millions" of babies? Hmmm.

And how do we know that Iraqi's are free? 'Cause they are coming home from their vacations abroad? [In Syria and Jordan, where those governments have said, "Time to go back to your own country".

Yes sireee! We've done a heckofajob over there. Evil doers everywhere: BEWARE!

Orwell indeed.

Posted by: bobbywally on December 11, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

The invasion and occupation of Iraq by the forces of the United States is just another episode in the long history of Western imperialism in the region. Interesting thing about the Iraq War is that the imperialists (we now call them neocons, or Texas supporters of the Bush family, or scholars at the AEI) wanted to have an old style imperialist transformation of the country. They wanted to gain access to markets and resources with the advantage given to American players. In the eyes of the neocons the Middle East would be folded seamlessly into global trade and investment empire maintained by Pax Americana. But these American neocons forgot why imperialism went out of style- because the nationalist imperialism of foreigners inflames homegrown nationalism. This makes it impossible to manage the natives, who had other goals including the same demands of liberty and self-determination held by the foreign invaders. The solution is to build castle fortresses in Iraq that are far removed from the general population and try to manage the rest remotely by schemes and inside deals.

One of the features of the old Victorian imperialism was the belief in the beneficence of empire. Invasion and domination of the conquered peoples was aimed at improvement of the ancient but backward civilizations. In the place of oriental tyrannies and primitive cultures would come democracy, enlightenment, true religion, and progress. It was as if the high ideals of the United States, hardly realized within the Republic itself, were universal and could externalized to an alien and foreign people. Liberal imperialists were genuinely surprised to find resistance to their noble goals since they were unable to see their own nationalist purposes- something the natives could see in a rather unclouded form.

Posted by: bellumregio on December 11, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

What makes anyone think that these results are not precisely what the wingnut US admin intended? Everything reported here is perfectly in line with the wingnut social agenda.

The upside of crazy ass religious types killing on each other is that they have less time and resources to go after we secular types who actually move civilization forward. I have long feared disparate wingnut religious groups realizing that they share common goals of wingnuttery and joining forces. Wingnut Xians and wingnut Jews have pretty much have achieved a working detente (at least until Armageddon comes calling), but so far have been employing it primarily to kill wingnut (and non wingnut) Muslims.

What if someone in the admin is smarter than we think, and is actually working to bring the wingnut Muslims onto their side, with the turning of Iraq over to them as a gesture of... "peace"?

This is the war we progressives should be fighting -- the modern v. the pre-modern.

Posted by: Disputo on December 11, 2007 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Bob

My post referred to the facts in Kevin's post that Shiite fundamentalists are taking over the country and killing those who don't agree with them. And that the violence will stop (or at least reduce somewhat more) when these crazies have either killed everyone else or driven them from the country. Yet Gates says we're making progress.

And, sorry, I can't buy the Al Qaeda theory for Al. That guy is 100% bat shit insane American.

Posted by: tomeck on December 11, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

If you had your way women would still be considered fair game in Uday's national game preserve, available for raping and beating whenever the urge struck...then America would not be imperialist warmongers.

Posted by: mr insensitive on December 11, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

The surge has clearly worked! Iraqi women are safe in teh streets! Glory to Bush!

Posted by: zak822 on December 11, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Bush and his cronies have managed to turn a relatively clean, well-educated, secular and modern Middle Eastern country into a backward, polluted, fundamentalist Islamic sh*thole with medieval barbarism ruling the day. Incredible.

In some ways, I really do feel sorry for George W. Bush - he may be the most truly incompetent and meat-headed bungler in the history of the universe. Has he ever done anything successfully in his life, besides wear the codpiece?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on December 11, 2007 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

Minion, you have made some craven false equivalencies in your day, but that one takes the fucking cake. Good Galileo, you lot are willing to stretch credulity to the breaking point.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on December 11, 2007 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

Minion, you asshole, Bush's invasion made things worse.

But you're right about one thing -- the difference is that now the criminal regime in the US, as opposed to the criminal regime in Baghdad, is responsible.

You're obviously pissed that yet another bogus GOP talking point is no longer operative, but you can take your false equivalences -- and your support for this shameful regime -- and shove it.

Posted by: Gregory on December 11, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

ugh. The military has a word for when all this kind of stuff happens and lots of different people have their own ways of doing things:

To avoid offending people, I'll note that it starts with "Clusterf" and ends with "uck".

Posted by: do on December 11, 2007 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Traditionalism, as opposed to rational secularism, is a response, a kind of social strategy, to economic insecurity. The wealthier and more secure a society the less traditional it will be. We can expect Islamic fundamentalism, and other forms of paternalism, to spread in Iraq as the insecurity deepens.

The Iraqis are not being oppressed by a nasty foreign ideology that hates women. It is an indigenous response, no matter how crude to Western liberals, to the Balkanization of the country after decades of war and economic collapse. It is all quite predictable.

The place of women in society is not merely a matter of adopting the right ideology. This is a mistake of a rather religious form of liberalism. There are endless possibilities for a rational Islamic culture, but it will not take root in the midst of violence and foreign occupation.

You can't help but think these people would have been far better off without the oil.

Posted by: bellumregio on December 11, 2007 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

I'd like to see some reporter ask the First Librarian what she thinks about this. I seem to recollect her helping out her hubbie by, er, hawking the war as a feminist cause.

Posted by: Disputo on December 11, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Bellumregio: do you find that people actually buy your bullshit?

"Traditionalism, as opposed to rational secularism, is a response, a kind of social strategy, to economic insecurity."

Riiiight -- and this explains Saudi Arabia?

Posted by: theAmericanist on December 11, 2007 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

As usual, tA thinks that "if A then B" is equivalent to "if B then A". No real use discoursing with such a fool.

Posted by: Disputo on December 11, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

And, sorry, I can't buy the Al Qaeda theory for Al. That guy is 100% bat shit insane American.

Sadly, you're right.

Posted by: bob on December 11, 2007 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

It is curious how the Left treats Islamic fundies as some force of nature or as farmyard animals: something which just is the way it is and which is not a moral actor and which it is pointless to criticize because it knows no better and this is just its nature and it cannot change.

So instead the critisism is moved to (amazingly!) the US. Because..... why? Because the Left expects better things from white people.

Posted by: a on December 11, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

I am a buyer. Saudi Arabia may distribute enough of its oil wealth to prevent people form storming the countless palaces and beheading all of the princes and their families, but not enough oil wealth is distributed to extinguish economic insecurity. Nor is that wealth used to foster an independent economy, which would also create more economic security. Like W. Bush and his masters, the Saudi's prefer to keep their serfs on edge. The result is the oppression of traditionalism. When the oil is gone, the Saudi royals will be leaving this world soon thereafter. Then the Saudis can move foreward.

bellumregio's thesis about Iraq is pretty convincing. Before the Western barbarians invaded, Iraqi women were doing very well. After the Western barbarians invaded and sowed chaos, Iraqi women are in extreme danger for exhibiting any secular or Western influence.

The only thing that one might question about life in Iraq, is that all of the reporting of it is done by lying corporate propagandists. If women are being killed, it is most likely being done by the Western barbarian invaders.

Posted by: Brojo on December 11, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

So instead the critisism is moved to (amazingly!) the US. Because..... why? Because the Left expects better things from white people.

Or could it be that the Left-with-a-capital-L expects better things from the United States of America than lying its way into an illegal invasion that kills hundreds of thousands, wounds and makes homeless millions, and turns Iraq into an irreparable clusterfuck?

Nah, that's not it. We just hate Muslims. Can't fool you.

Posted by: shortstop on December 11, 2007 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't think posters here would give credit to Bush for correctly deciding that the surge would reduce violence. The kind of carping on this thread is what I expected.

No freaking kidding. You hyperventilating DFHs get so bent out of shape about a bunch of dead Iraqi women. It's not like they're Americans or Israelis or men.

Posted by: shortstop on December 11, 2007 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal:

I didn't praise Saddam's Iraq. I simply made reference to facts (which I know conservatives don't like to hear), such as:
- Iraq had the highest rate of literacy of countries in the Middle East before our invasion.
- Iraq was among the more secular countries in the region before we attacked.
- Iraq had some of the best water treatment and other infrastructure in the Middle East, prior to Gulf War I.

No praise - just facts. You might also want to study up on depleted uranium, since we have made it our habit to shoot our nuclear waste at people we don't like. DU is going to be a pollution problem in Iraq for the next billion years or so.

As far as Saddam being a terrible dictator - sure he was. That isn't why we invaded. It was all about WMDs - remember??? There are lots of really bad dictators in the world, including in Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan. That doesn't mean we make up reasons to invade their countries.

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on December 11, 2007 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Hey! McAristotle, freshly released from a Kuala Lumpur prison, weighs in! Awesome!

Posted by: shortstop on December 11, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

This conclusion is the result of research by Ronald Inglehart and colleagues. Our friends over at the Heritage Foundation and Cato, his work is particularly popular with the libertarians, base their anti-risk-sharing = conservatism policy proposals on Inglehart’s World Values Survey. If you want to make a society more conservative make it more insecure, or, if you like, have the individual assume risk as opposed to the corporation or the government. Individual security for the whole of society breeds atheistic Scandinavians.

But culture matters too. Places like Saudi Arabia, or Texas, skipped the industrialization phase of cultural development and were transformed by resource extraction into wealthy societies in a few decades. Both places preserved their provincial traditionalism and used their money to import the trappings of industrial society. But even these places are become less conservative.

Posted by: bellumregio on December 11, 2007 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist said:

Bellumregio: do you find that people actually buy your bullshit?

"TraditionIalism, as opposed to rational secularism, is a response, a kind of social strategy, to economic insecurity."

Riiiight -- and this explains Saudi Arabia?

--

The Saudi Royals, who brutally govern over a destitute population, are in danger of losing control to .... Islamic fundamentalists.

I'm buying the bullshit too.

Posted by: scudbucket on December 11, 2007 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

bellumregio,
COuld you provide a link to that study?

Posted by: scudbuckets on December 11, 2007 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK

check out The World Values Survey

Posted by: bellumregio on December 11, 2007 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK
Religious vigilantes have killed at least 40 women this year in the southern Iraqi city of Basra because of how they dressed, their mutilated bodies found with notes warning against "violating Islamic teachings...

I’ve never forgotten my niece’s husband explaining to me why he had no problem with GWB’s invasion of Iraq. He wanted to put a stop to Saddam’s rape rooms.

You see, as a Republican-leaning fellow, he has always been quite concerned with the treatment of women around the world. That’s why he has spent so much time educating himself on Iraqi culture, etc. Impressive...most impressive (as Darth Vader would say).

Posted by: little ole jim on December 11, 2007 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

That's so horrible that so many women were killed this year in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. I have never been to Iraq, I just got some information with the help of some books and news. There are so many books about Iraq coming out almost daily now that it is difficult to cull the best efforts from the pack. I am happy that I got this one--Allawi's book , because not only does it re-affirm much of what we already knew but there are many more things we might not be too familiar with. And it provides first of all a clear and concise summary about war. Here is it: http://dealstudio.com/searchdeals.php?deal_id=71894 , I think it is a book that is worth reading.

Posted by: John on December 12, 2007 at 3:43 AM | PERMALINK

How is my point a false equivalency - you guys focus on the costs of this war as if, but for the diabolical neocons, Saddam would have been an avuncular grandpa bouncing kiddies on his knee. I agree it's been a clusterf**k - I agree one trillion dollars is a lot of money. But Osama bragged he had cost us a trillion dollars in one day, and Saddam would have cost us more than that many times over, even in the best case scenario, if we hadn't taken him out.

Posted by: mr insensitive on December 12, 2007 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

But Osama bragged he had cost us a trillion dollars in one day, and Saddam would have cost us more than that many times over, even in the best case scenario, if we hadn't taken him out.

I'm perplexed that you put bin Laden and Hussein in the same sentence there. You should be careful about that; you could be mistaken for one of the backwash dumbasses who still believe (or know better but want to imply) that the two guys were connected and that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11--the "one day" you're referring to. I know you wouldn't want to be misread as that kind of bumbling liar.

And would you mind spinning out your "best-case scenario" in which Saddam would cost us "many trillions of dollars even if we hadn't taken him out"? Be specific. Thanking you in advance.

Posted by: shortstop on December 12, 2007 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, that's rich, Minion. You ask, disingenuously, How is my point a false equivalency and then follow up with yet another straw man! ("you guys focus on the costs of this war as if, but for the diabolical neocons, Saddam would have been an avuncular grandpa bouncing kiddies on his knee.)

Of course I understand that it's anathema to the diabolical neocons to focus on the costs of the war -- which is strange, really, since they aren't paying any -- but your rendering of your opponent's position is bullshit. And here's a hint, Minion -- when you set up a straw man like "Saddam would have been an avuncular grandpa bouncing kiddies on his knee," it's a pretty good indication hat you know addressing your opponent's actual point -- that Saddam was thoroughly contained and deterred and didn't pose much of a threat to his regional neighbors, let alone the US (and the weapons inspections were proving him less of a threat than claimed into the bargain) is a real loser.

More specifically, minion, your post is a false equivalency in petending that conditions for women in Iraq, in general, as bad as they might have been under Saddam's rape regime, aren't much, much worse now thanks to your bloody neocon folly. But of course you know that; hence the handwaving and straw men. I can't tell you how encouraging, if tiresome, it is to have craven neocon apologists like you make such bullshit arguments in defense of Bush and his gang of corninals -- it demonstrates that you have no actual defense, and makes me look forward to war crimes trials.

Speaking of losers, I second shortstop's call for you to back up your claim that "Saddam would have cost us more than that many times over, even in the best case scenario, if we hadn't taken him out."

Posted by: Gregory on December 12, 2007 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

you guys focus on the costs of this war as if, but for the diabolical neocons, Saddam would have been an avuncular grandpa bouncing kiddies on his knee.

Bullshit. No one has ever made any comment here even remotely resembling that scenario. We have, however, repeatedly pointed out that he was no threat to the region, let alone the US and was thoroughly contained.

I agree it's been a clusterf**k - I agree one trillion dollars is a lot of money. But Osama bragged he had cost us a trillion dollars in one day, and Saddam would have cost us more than that many times over, even in the best case scenario, if we hadn't taken him out.

I call bullshit.

You need to back up this statement or withdraw it.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on December 12, 2007 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

But Osama bragged he had cost us a trillion dollars in one day,

What does Osama bin Laden have to do with our attack on Iraq?

and Saddam would have cost us more than that many times over, even in the best case scenario, if we hadn't taken him out.

How? How exactly would it have cost us multiple times more trillions if we did not invade, not waste hundreds of billions of dollars in men and materiel, not incur tens of thousands of casualties, not alienate our allies and business partners, not rack up an insane amount of debt to fund the war, and not divert precious resources while India and China are spending this time getting rich?

Be specific. Show your work.

Posted by: Stefan on December 12, 2007 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

If you had your way women would still be considered fair game in Uday's national game preserve, available for raping and beating whenever the urge struck...then America would not be imperialist warmongers.

If you had your way (and you have with our attack on Iraq) women would be raped, beaten and murdered throughout Iraq at rates far worse than under Saddam....

Hidden victims of a brutal conflict: Iraq's women: Abduction, rape and murder are the punishments for any woman who dares to hold a professional job. A month-long investigation by The Observer reveals the terrible reality of life after Saddam

Peter Beaumont in Baghdad
Sunday October 8, 2006
The Observer

....Iraqis do not like to talk about it much, but there is an understanding of what is going on these days. If a young woman is abducted and murdered without a ransom demand, she has been kidnapped to be raped. Even those raped and released are not necessarily safe: the response of some families to finding that a woman has been raped has been to kill her.

....Strong anecdotal evidence gathered by organisations such as that of Yanar Mohammed and by the Iraqi Women's Network, run by Hanna Edwar, suggests rape is also being used as a weapon in the sectarian war to humiliate families from rival communities. 'So far what we have been seeing is what you might call "collateral rape",' says Besmia Khatib of the Iraqi Women's Network. 'Rape is being used in the settling of scores in the sectarian war.' Yanar Mohammed describes how a Shia girl was kidnapped, raped and dumped in the Husseiniya area of Baghdad. The retaliation, she says, was the kidnapping and rape of several Sunni girls in the Rashadiya area. Tit for tat.

Similar stories are emerging across Iraq. 'Of course rape is going on,' says Aida Ussayaran, former deputy Human Rights Minister and now one of the women on the Council of Representatives. 'We blame the militias. But when we talk about the militias, many are members of the police. Any family now that has a good-looking young woman in it does not want to send her out to school or university, and does not send her out without a veil. This is the worst time ever in Iraqi women's lives. In the name of religion and sectarian conflict they are being kidnapped and killed and raped. And no one is mentioning it.'....

observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1890260,00.html


Posted by: Stefan on December 12, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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