Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 9, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

IRAN'S WEAPONS....Tina Susman of the LA Times reports that Iranian involvement in Iraq's civil war may not be everything it's been cracked up to be:

There was something interesting missing from Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner's introductory remarks to journalists at his regular news briefing in Baghdad on Wednesday: the word "Iran," or any form of it. It was especially striking as Bergner, the U.S. military spokesman here, announced the extraordinary list of weapons and munitions that have been uncovered in recent weeks since fighting erupted between Iraqi and U.S. security forces and Shiite militiamen.

....A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was canceled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran. A U.S. military spokesman attributed the confusion to a misunderstanding that emerged after an Iraqi Army general in Karbala erroneously reported the items were of Iranian origin.

When U.S. explosives experts went to investigate, they discovered they were not Iranian after all.

This item only showed up on the LAT's Iraq blog, not in a regular news piece. If it weren't for the blog, I wonder if we ever would have heard of this?

Kevin Drum 11:22 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (59)

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Comments

If not from Iran, where were they from? why only report it if it's Iran?

Posted by: jhm on May 9, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

"This item only showed up on the LAT's Iraq blog, not in a regular news piece. If it weren't for the blog, I wonder if we ever would have heard of this?"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kinda qualifies as a silly question with an obvious answer, no? Do you think the Obama campaign could trumpet this as an example of the type of gratuitous fearmongering that got us into this mess to begin with? Nah, that would be TOO MUCH change, even for him.

Posted by: steve duncan on May 9, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

If not from Iran, where were they from? why only report it if it's Iran?

They are probably from that huge cache of C2 that we failed to secure soon after our occupation.

That has been the gift that keeps on giving. Doh.

Posted by: Tripp on May 9, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

News: I DO NOT THINK THAT WORD MEANS WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS

Posted by: thersites on May 9, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

The problem the military has is that all the electronics for detonation control come from toy shops or cell phone kiosks across Europe and America.

The actual explosives generally come from surplus munitions, which are everyplace the the US military has been over the last 50 years.

The only thing they might find that leads to Iran would be unmarked post office boxes.

Posted by: Matt on May 9, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

We weren't supposed to hear about until after we invaded Iran and George W Bush pardoned everyone who was involved.

Posted by: sdh on May 9, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was canceled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran.

I guess we can count this as progress. If the same thing had happened in 2003 it would have only resulted in Colin Powell's phrasing being changed from "we have irrefutable evidence" to "we have significantly incontrovertable evidence"

Posted by: on May 9, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

What Matt is trying to say is that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. That's good enough for me.

Posted by: thersites on May 9, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Matt,

The only thing they might find that leads to Iran would be unmarked post office boxes.

There was that badly hand-written note which said "Death to America frum Eyeran Eyeatola, in the East, Bwa haha haha ha ha" but even our "Intelligence" was a little skeptical of it.

Posted by: Tripp on May 9, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

If it weren't for the blog, I wonder if we ever would have heard of this?

No.

Posted by: Simple Answers to Simple Questions on May 9, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

perhaps they should have asked the Iraqi Defense Minister for some Iranian weapons. On Monday, he claimed that Iraqi troops north of Basra have found some 200mm Falaq-1 missiles, together with their specialized launching platforms.

The Falaq-1 is only manufactured in Iran, which is where Hezbollah acquired them for the 2006 battle against Israel.

But then, some think it's in everybody's interest to ignore anything Iran does in support of our enemies. The working premise seems to be if we talk nice to them and don't make such a big deal about things, they'll eventually stop arming our enemies.

Posted by: trashhauler on May 9, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Teh gay translators. They could have figured it out. Snap.

Posted by: bobbywally on May 9, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

I see trashy has abandoned his pretense as an honest commentator.

Just as well, he wasn't fooling anyone. Shame on you, Trashy.

Posted by: Gregory on May 9, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

"If not from Iran, where were they from? why only report it if it's Iran?"

Because if they're not from Iran, there's a good chance they're from the US. We spread weapons all over the world and they tend to get transferred a lot. My closest experience with terrorism was a bomb in Kusadasi, Turkey (went off a few blocks from where I was). It was made from US military issue C-4 explosive. It turns out that our Kurdish allies are also allies of the PKK.

Posted by: fostert on May 9, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

have found some 200mm Falaq-1 missiles

First of all: cite? This story seems to be nowhere.

some think it's in everybody's interest to ignore anything Iran does in support of our enemies.

??? The Sadr Brigade is not our enemy. They are a nationalist group in Iraq that does not have as strong ties to Iran as does SCIRI and its Badr militia do - you know, the other militia we've arbitrarily decided to support in this sectarian struggle.

And if Sadr were to become Prime Minister one day, like he very well could -- then what???

The working premise seems to be if we talk nice to them

In fact, it would be much better to talk with the Iranians. They're not evil, they're not beyond reason, and they reached out to us for normal diplomatic relations after the 9/11 attack.

The Bush adminstration response was to call them "evil," invade their next door neighbor for no justifiable reason, and threaten attacks against them ever since.

How's that working out for ya?

In conclusion, there is NO evidence that Iran is arming Iraq in any significant way, there is ample testimony from the Iraqi government that Iran is a good neighbor with whom they have good relations, and there is an overabundance of evidence that this is yet another propaganda campaign to suit the desires of neoconservaties.

And, as Stefan often points out: no country has provided the staggering number of arms to warring groups in Iraq as the U.S. has, both intentionally and inadvertently.

Run along now.

Posted by: trex on May 9, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, let's be sure to continue to ignore all of this:

www.asecondlookatthesaudis.com

We've got Saudi fanatics (and not just Saudi supported fanatics) blowing up our soldiers left and right, and all the administration can think to do is obsess over imaginary Iranian munitions. Pathetic.

Posted by: Bill in Chicago on May 9, 2008 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

If it weren't for the blog, I wonder if we ever would have heard of this?

No, and the blogger was probably executed. Which you won't hear about either.

It is beyond obvious that the editors are in on the scam.

Posted by: SnarkyShark on May 9, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

It's still never been made clear to me why Iran would be giving any weapons to Sadr's militias, given how the current government is already friendly to Iraq and Sadr isn't all that friendly to Iranian influence.

So I think such news is more of the usual sort of psy-ops intended to provide an excuse to go after Sadr's forces. Why? Because Sadr is against U.S. forces remaining in Iraq, while Maliki is more pliable.

It's as much about the internal Shia struggle for power and influence in Iraq than about Iranian influence.

Posted by: David W. on May 9, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, the first sentence should read:

It's still never been made clear to me why Iran would be giving any weapons to Sadr's militias, given how the current government is already friendly to Iran and Sadr isn't all that friendly to Iranian influence.

Posted by: David W. on May 9, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and lest it be forgotten, the U.S. arms and funds the anti-government Sunnis in Iraqi who are largely responsible for American casualties since the invasion! Hello!

Posted by: trex on May 9, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't Ollie North sell the Iranians weapons back in the day?

Posted by: Joe Average on May 9, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, if you keep repeatedly putting out the statement, maybe eventually it will turn out to be true.

Posted by: ThatGuy on May 9, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone needs to chill out! Just because we're not finding actual Iranian weapons in Iraq does not justify abandoning Dear Leader's Marvelous Plan to Obliterate Iran! A lot of hard work went into producing the propaganda and lies to put that plan together! Have you no idea what it feels like to WORK REALLY HARD only to have a project snatched away from you at the last minute over some little technicality? D'oh, I can't believe I just asked a question which left open the possibility of a liberal working hard! What's next, a suggestion that some liberals actually like America? As if!

Posted by: Truthyness Rocks on May 9, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

The problem the military has is that all the electronics for detonation control come from toy shops or cell phone kiosks across Europe and America.

If there is a 1% chance this is true, the Cheney Doctrine says we should bomb them all. Otherwise they might give them to the Islamic Pirates.

Right Matt?

Posted by: Ex - Republican Communist on May 9, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

The story Trashhauler is referring to was at pajamas media.

What he neglects to mention is that the Iraqi Defense Minister also confused 200mm artillery rockets with city-destroying strategic missiles.

It had to be the funniest/saddest warmongering post of the month.

Regards, C

Posted by: Cernig on May 9, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Indeed, this isn't even the first time there has been a hullabaloo about weapons found in Iraq that were supposedly from Iran, which then turned out to be a bogus report.

The people creating these reports are completely unconcerned as to whether they are true. Isn't that obvious by now? The truly sad part is that we pay these people to lie to us.

Posted by: Whispers on May 9, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

perhaps they should have asked the Iraqi Defense Minister for some Iranian weapons. On Monday, he claimed that Iraqi troops north of Basra have found some 200mm Falaq-1 missiles, together with their specialized launching platforms.

Unless, of course, we're talking about the same weapons, which would mean that the US examined them and determined that they were not Falaq-1 missiles.

The US has been trying for months to prove that the Iraqi insurgents are getting material support from Iran and not one of the leads has panned out. That means either (a) we have no good intelligence, which is a bad way to fight an insurgency or (b) Iran is not providing material support because they don't want to be caught meddling in Iraq.

I suppose we could theorize super-power levels of sneakiness on the part of Iran, but most people leave that kind of magical thinking behind by about age 12.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on May 9, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK
I suppose we could theorize super-power levels of sneakiness on the part of Iran, but most people leave that kind of magical thinking behind by about age 12.

If it were only so. The idea that our enemies are both incredibly wily and immeasurably stupid seems to be a common opinion among adults, too. It's all part of the paranoid style that afflicts conservative strategic thinking.

Posted by: idlemind on May 9, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Quick: Can anyone name the massive ammo dump south of Bagdad that was bypassed by U.S. forces and found stripped to the bone upon their return weeks later? It was a prominent story for a few, brief news cycles in 2004.

Posted by: JL on May 9, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

"??? The Sadr Brigade is not our enemy. They are a nationalist group in Iraq that does not have as strong ties to Iran as does SCIRI and its Badr militia do - you know, the other militia we've arbitrarily decided to support in this sectarian struggle."
_____________________

okay, granting that the Sadr militia is not our enemy, then our enemies are those engaged in combat with us and the Iraqi security forces. Under that theory, I suppose any members of the Sadr militia who do take up arms against us do so as individuals and not as a Sadr militia member. They'll still get dead, just as fast as we can arrange it.

Our actions are in support of the legitimate Iraqi government. It might be convenient for your narrative to pretend that we are merely supporting another warlord, with no greater standing than al Sadr, but that isn't the case.

You really ought to get used to it, because we'll continue to support the same Iraqi government under the next President, as well.

Posted by: trashhauler on May 9, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK

There's a similar question: the administration keeps reporting that Iraqis are being sent to Iran for training including sniping and using mortars. It's hard to believe that after five years of war, any interested Iraqi would need to go anywhere out of country to learn pretty basic infantry skills.

Posted by: john sherman on May 9, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

JL - are you referring to Al QaaQaa?
380 tons of high-tech high explosives, among other armaments? Or are we talking about a different arms dump that had been sealed by UN inspectors?

Trashhauler, here's a conundrum for you.
If Iran is ostensibly a US enemy, what is a person who heads a political party whose armed wing has been recruited, indoctrinated, sheltered, trained, and armed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard?
And to stretch it a bit, what do you call a person in the US government who insists on supporting the head of a political party whose armed wing has been recruited, indoctrinated, sheltered, trained, and armed by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard?

Depending on the time of day and my mood, my answers for the second question range from:
a) a traitor who should be dragged out into the streets and shot along with his associates and fellow travelers
to
b) a fool whose family and friends should immediately be removed from any and all positions of responsibility and authority, and henceforth be allowed responsibility for nothing more serious than choosing between Jujubes and M&Ms at a matinee.

I'd be curious how you would view such a person.

Oh, Happy Mother's Day to any and all moms out there including you and/or yours.
Screw Hallmark - make a card!

Posted by: kenga on May 9, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

If not from Iran, where were they from?

Didn't Dick Cheney make a trip to that region recently? Did anyone check his luggage?

Posted by: PopeRatzo on May 9, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK
Didn't Ollie North sell the Iranians weapons back in the day?
No. That was Ghorbanifar. North's involvement in that was predominantly in Latin America, helping cocaine traffickers murder nuns and American college students. Ledeen was more involved with the Middle East aspect of the affair. Abrams and Poindexter as well. Posted by: kenga on May 9, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

"It's hard to believe that after five years of war, any interested Iraqi would need to go anywhere out of country to learn pretty basic infantry skills."
________________________

The difference is one of having the luxury of making a mistake. Practicing those skills whilst in Iraq quickly turns into an on-the-job training situation where your first mistake made in combat against Americans is your last. We do see plenty of those. On the other hand, training in Iran means that you can learn how to use a military crest without your first attempt being immediately deadly.

Posted by: trashhauler on May 9, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Under that theory, I suppose any members of the Sadr militia who do take up arms against us do so as individuals and not as a Sadr militia member

Even members of the Sadr militia who haven't taken up arms against "us" were attacked by U.S. and Iraqi forces in Basra and in Sadr city over the past few months. WE launched attacks against THEM and not vice versa. You'll perhaps remember they were in a cease-fire stance with the U.S. when we did this.

Conversely it's also true that members of the "legitimate" Iraqi forces have taken up arms against U.S. forces walked them into ambushes, and abandoned them in firefights - your attempts at an alternate narrative notwithstanding.

You can try and dance around the real issues all you want, but the reality is that SCIRI is the same party that is in power in our "enemy" state of Iran - duh. The "legitimate" government of Iraq is a schizophrenic collection of warring parties who have participated in running gun battles with one another, engaged in massive corruption against their own people and political process through embezzling of oil and reconstruction money, and abandoned due process by throwing people in prison without charges and torturing them - or simply attacking them in their slums.

Come think of it, I can see why you would so stalwartly support such a group. I wonder, WWJD?

If we truly supported the government of Iraq in a dispassionate way we wouldn't fund Sunni insurgents who are sworn against it over its protests. If we truly supported the government of Iraq we wouldn't allow Turkey to bomb Kurdistan unabated - again, over the protests of the "sovereign" Iraqi government.

The truth is that we support whatever and whomever we think fits our strategic interests in the region - law, legitimacy, and decency be damned.

It's funny watching you try and reconcile all the contradictory justifications for this war and all the side-switching the Bush administration has engaged in to try and mitigate the disaster its created. But the problem is that morality is not on your side, nobility is not on your side, and reality is certainly not on your side.

I would love to see the Sadr party gain majority control in the government and watch you do backflips trying to explain who's legitimate and who's not then.

Posted by: trex on May 9, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Trashhauler, here's a conundrum for you.
If Iran is ostensibly a US enemy...."
____________________

Iran is not an official enemy. In military terms, the word "enemy" has specific connotations, usually related to permission to target and either eliminate or neutralize them. Iran is not in that category. Since Iran is not an official enemy, not everyone receiving aid from Iran is an enemy.

They do, however, sometimes assist our enemies. When individual Irans are caught in the act of aiding an enemy, they make themselves vulnerable to being treated as an enemy.

No conundrum at all.

Posted by: trashhauler on May 9, 2008 at 4:34 PM | PERMALINK

It's a gaffe, and it's typical that a gaffe like that would show up sooner or later when these knuckleheads try to pull one of their charm-offensives. They're built for mindlessly eating BBQ, not launching campaigns to persuade people of something.

But does it mean there is no Iranian involvement? No, I doubt it. It's just a very small detail in the bigger picture. They thought they had some Iranian-made weapons- whoops, they didn't (they could have been paid for by Iranians, though).

I'm not apologizing for people who want a war with Iran, though. If we ever fight Iran it should be at the right time for us, for a good reason, and should include a real plan sincerely composed to liberate the people and maintain a secular democracy. It shouldn't be a shoddily born and staged war meant just to be a Republican propaganda centerpiece and a naked Republican industrialist oil-grab.

Posted by: Swan on May 9, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

They'll still get dead, just as fast as we can arrange it.

Yeah, just as fast as we got Osama bin Lad....oh...um...never mind.

Posted by: Stefan on May 9, 2008 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

If we ever fight Iran it should be at the right time for us, for a good reason, and should include a real plan sincerely composed to liberate the people and maintain a secular democracy.

In other words, it should happen in the realm of fantasy and never in the real world that we actually live in. Oh, and the plan should also ensure that every liberated Iranian gets a pony!

Posted by: Stefan on May 9, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

perhaps they should have asked the Iraqi Defense Minister for some Iranian weapons. On Monday, he claimed that Iraqi troops north of Basra have found some 200mm Falaq-1 missiles, together with their specialized launching platforms.

Well, if the Iraqi Defense Minister claimed it, it must be true! I can't imagine someone like that ever lying and/or being mistaken.....

Posted by: Stefan on May 9, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

at times like these, it would be good to remember that as of last August, about 30% of the weapons we'd sent to Iraq are missing...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/05/AR2007080501299.html

Posted by: NB on May 9, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

MAY 6th
"Of course, Iran probably is supplying arms to the Mahdi Army. But they've been doing that for a long time, and they also provide support to the Badr Organization,..."

—Kevin Drum 11:53 AM

Posted by: Majarosh on May 9, 2008 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

If we ever fight Iran it should be at the right time for us, for a good reason,

I'd say the same if we ever fight Sweden. It should be for a good reason. Otherwise, not so much.

Posted by: Stefan on May 9, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Trashy wrote: Our actions are in support of the legitimate Iraqi government.

The Iraqi government can not maintain order or provide basic services, including security to its citizenry, as witnessed by the continuing insurgency, and therefore is not legitimate. QED.

Posted by: Gregory on May 9, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

I think it was someone on the Instpundit site who pointed out that you folks illustrate the inverse of how the Japanese followed the progress of the war in WWII. Back then, the Japanese civilians could tell how badly things were going by how increasingly close each "glorious victory" was fought. With you folks, every real success, every step of progress we make is nothing but a harbinger of a looming, greater disaster, waiting forever, just around the corner.

By now it would be amusing, if it weren't so frickin' predictable.

Posted by: trashhauler on May 9, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

By now it would be amusing, if it weren't so frickin' predictable.

From Wikipedia:

In psychology, psychological projection (or projection bias) is a defense mechanism in which one attributes one’s own unacceptable or unwanted thoughts or/and emotions to others. Projection reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the unwanted subconscious impulses/desires without letting the conscious mind recognize them.

According to Sigmund Freud, projection is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one "projects" one's own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else.

....projection is related to denial, arguably the only defense mechanism that is more primitive than projection. Those who project deny a part of themselves that may otherwise come to the surface...they cannot face their own feelings...and therefore project them onto the other person.

....Peter Gay describes it as "the operation of expelling feelings or wishes the individual finds wholly unacceptable—too shameful, too obscene, too dangerous—by attributing them to another."

Posted by: Stefan on May 9, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

"The Iraqi government can not maintain order or provide basic services, including security to its citizenry, as witnessed by the continuing insurgency, and therefore is not legitimate. QED."
__________________

During our Revolution, our government couldn't adequately feed its soldiers. Or clothe them. Or defend its own capital city.

Posted by: trashhauler on May 9, 2008 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Gee, weapons and explosives in Iraq that didn't come from Iran? Now, where oh where could these weapons and explosives possibly have come from?

Could they possibly be weapons and explosives that the Bush administration didn't secure following Bush's invasion of Iraq in 2003?

You know, all those weapons depots of the deposed Saddam Hussein that were left unquarded by U.S. and "coalition of the willing" forces? Iraqi weapons depots that became like open-air weapons markets with Iraqis, both Sunni and Shiite (and probably Kurds in northern Iraq), pulling up in trucks and loading up as much as they could carry, as reported at the time?

Unsecured weapons and explosives that have since been used by Iraqis that are upset with the U.S. occupying their country, used to kill U.S. and "coalition of the willing" soldiers, to say nothing about the countless Iraqi citizens that have been killed because these weapons and explosives weren't secured immediately by U.S. and "coalition of the willing" forces?

Of course, we all know that the Bush administration didn't send enough troops into Iraq to secure the country, and the soldiers who were there were ordered to seize control of the Iraqi oil infrastructure, including the Oil Ministry building in Baghdad, while letting the rest of the country go to hell...as well as letting Saddam Hussein's large number of weapons depots scattered around Iraq remain unsecured for months on end.

More criminal negligence on the part of the Bush administration in my book.

Posted by: The Oracle on May 9, 2008 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Quick: Can anyone name the massive ammo dump south of Bagdad that was bypassed by U.S. forces and found stripped to the bone upon their return weeks later?"

There were so many ammo dumps ignored by our military that it would be impossible to name the one you're talking about. Even if we limit our discussion to just those near and south of Baghdad, there still too many of them. Can you be a little more specific? Not that it really matters, anymore. We can be confident that all of them have been picked clean and that those weapons are killing someone. Or will kill somebody soon, at least.

Posted by: fostert on May 9, 2008 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Trashy wrote: During our Revolution, our government couldn't adequately feed its soldiers. Or clothe them. Or defend its own capital city.

Right, Trashy, which is why it didn't become the legitimate American government until it could do all those things. Thanks for proving my point.

And into the bargain make the British decided it wasn't worth the blood and treasure to permanently occupy a hostile population. No analogy to that situation in Iraq at all.

As for your reference to Instapundit, one of the foremost sites of disingenuous false optimism, you've already proved you aren't an honest commentator so now you're just being redundantly mendacious.

Jackass.

Posted by: on May 9, 2008 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

"then our enemies are those engaged in combat with us and the Iraqi security forces"

that really does not make any sense. if we weren't there they would not be in combat with us. We are there aiding a rival miltia in its attempt to take over the country and they are fighting back. how is that hard to understand?

We need to pull out now. THen they wouldn't BE our enemies. and piss on the corrupt quisling maliki government.

Posted by: Kaven on May 9, 2008 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Gah! Stupid comment system. 10:23 last night is by me.

Posted by: Gregory on May 10, 2008 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

"During our Revolution, our government couldn't adequately feed its soldiers. Or clothe them. Or defend its own capital city."

What Gregory said. In any case, the analogy is clumsy and inapt, devoid of any actual relevant content.

"I think it was someone on the Instpundit site"

ROFL... That's sufficient information to completely disregard whatever you're going to say next, since it will inevitably be stupid and unrealistic.

"who pointed out that you folks illustrate the inverse of how the Japanese followed the progress of the war in WWII."

Q.E.D.

"Back then, the Japanese civilians could tell how badly things were going by how increasingly close each 'glorious victory' was fought. With you folks, every real success, every step of progress we make is nothing but a harbinger of a looming, greater disaster, waiting forever, just around the corner."

Dear heart, how many "corners" have we turned in Iraq since the war began? How many times have the pessimists been right as compared to how many times the optimists have been right? In any case, we don't have disasters "just around the corner;" we have a failed occupation right now. It's only morons like those on Insty's site and, apparently, you, who still cling to their fading dreams and pretend that "victory is at hand" if we just "stay the course." The analogy you cite is far more relevant to you and to those you support. More deaths in Iraq? It's a sign we're winning. Fewer deaths in Iraq? It's a sign we're winning.

"By now it would be amusing, if it weren't so frickin' predictable."

Yup, and it's been predictable since the very beginning of the war. And you've been wrong over and over and over and over again and not once have you ever stopped to wonder just why you've been wrong over and over and over and over again and to wonder even the teensiest bit whether this time you might be wrong, as well. The self-delusion you suffer from is breathtaking.

Posted by: PaulB on May 10, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

"okay, granting that the Sadr militia is not our enemy, then our enemies are those engaged in combat with us and the Iraqi security forces."

Only if you're a simplistic moron incapable of actually thinking. Has it, perchance, escaped your notice that we're occupying their country and are killing its people?

"Under that theory, I suppose any members of the Sadr militia who do take up arms against us do so as individuals and not as a Sadr militia member. They'll still get dead, just as fast as we can arrange it."

Uh-huh ... and how's that working out for us, so far? The country's peaceful, is it?

"Our actions are in support of the legitimate Iraqi government. It might be convenient for your narrative to pretend that we are merely supporting another warlord, with no greater standing than al Sadr, but that isn't the case."

It might be convenient for your narrative to pretend that the warlords nominally in charge in Baghdad constitute a legitimate Iraqi government, but that isn't the case. Gee, isn't argument by assertion fun?

"You really ought to get used to it, because we'll continue to support the same Iraqi government under the next President, as well."

And after we pull out and the government falls because it doesn't have a legitimate power base, your response will be, what, exactly?

Posted by: PaulB on May 10, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

"Iran is not an official enemy."

Neither was Iraq.

"In military terms, the word 'enemy' has specific connotations"

Completely irrelevant, since it will be politicians that ultimately make the call as to whether to attack and/or invade. And the Bush administration has already stated that Iran is our "enemy". Do try to keep up, won't you?

Posted by: PaulB on May 10, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Man, Trashy was on a roll, wasn't he? Completely oblivious to the irony in his remarks, not to mention totally clueless about the actual topic of this thread. I do so love the guy. The combination of ignorance and arrogance is positively irresistible.

Posted by: PaulB on May 10, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

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Generic Prozac FLUOXETINE drug is a Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) that helps patients with depression by increasing the availability of serotonin in the brain. Scientists believe serotonin affects many types of activity in the brain, including the regulation of mood.

Posted by: xanax on May 11, 2008 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Heh. Probably American materiel all the way. No need to assume we're not making this mess the same way we did Vietnam. We don't know who the enemy is, so we arm our "friends" and spread around billions of unaccounted dollars, and it all comes back at us in bullets and bombs. That's how the US designs war now, so as to guarantee we can't win it, thus keeping the major corporations and the bankers happy, while making it look to the drones back home like it's really a war.

Posted by: Sam on May 18, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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