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How to Get Out of Iraq
April 26, 2004 7:35 PM   Subscribe

How to Get Out of Iraq by Peter Galbraith

Much of what went wrong was avoidable. Focused on winning the political battle to start a war, the Bush administration failed to anticipate the postwar chaos in Iraq. Administration strategy seems to have been based on a hope that Iraq's bureaucrats and police would simply transfer their loyalty to the new authorities, and the country's administration would continue to function. All experience in Iraq suggested that the collapse of civil authority was the most likely outcome, but there was no credible planning for this contingency. In fact, the US effort to remake Iraq never recovered from its confused start when it failed to prevent the looting of Baghdad in the early days of the occupation.
posted by y2karl (108 comments total)

 
Note the timeline of Saddam's genocides:

Iraq is free from Saddam Hussein and the Baath Party. Along with Cambodia's Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein's regime was one of the two most cruel and inhumane regimes in the second half of the twentieth century. Using the definition of genocide specified in the 1948 Genocide Convention, Iraq's Baath regime can be charged with planning and executing two genocides —one against the Kurdish population in the late 1980s and another against the Marsh Arabs in the 1990s. In the 1980s, the Iraqi armed forces and security services systematically destroyed more than four thousand Kurdish villages and several small cities, attacked over two hundred Kurdish villages and towns with chemical weapons in 1987 and 1988, and organized the deportation and execution of up to 182,000 Kurdish civilians.

In the 1990s the Saddam Hussein regime drained the marshes of southern Iraq, displacing 500,000 people, half of whom fled to Iran, and killing some 40,000. In addition to destroying the five-thousand-year-old Marsh Arab civilization, draining the marshes did vast ecological damage to one of the most important wetlands systems on the planet. Genocide is only part of Saddam Hussein's murderous legacy. Tens of thousands perished in purges from 1979 on, and as many as 300,000 Shiites were killed in the six months following the collapse of the March 1991 Shiite uprising. One mass grave near Hilla may contain as many as 30,000 bodies.

In a more lawful world, the United Nations, or a coalition of willing states, would have removed this regime from power long before 2003. However, at precisely the time that some of the most horrendous crimes were being committed, in the late 1980s, the Reagan and Bush administrations strongly opposed any action to punish Iraq for its genocidal campaign against the Kurds or to deter Iraq from using chemical weapons against the Kurdish civilians.

On August 20, 1988, the Iran–Iraq War ended. Five days later, the Iraqi military initiated a series of chemical weapons attacks on at least forty-nine Kurdish villages in the Dihok Governorate (or province) near the Syrian and Turkish borders. As a staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I (along with Chris Van Hollen, now a Maryland congressman) interviewed hundreds of survivors in the high mountains on the Turkish border. Our report, which established conclusively that Iraq had used nerve and mustard agents on tens of thousands of civilians, coincided with the Senate's passage of the Prevention of Genocide Act of 1988, which imposed comprehensive economic sanctions on Iraq for crimes against the Kurds. The Reagan administration opposed the legislation, in a position orchestrated by the then national security adviser, Colin Powell, calling such sanctions "premature."


Say what you want but the fact remains that the Butcher of Baghdad did his butcherin' pretty much on the Reagan-Bush and Bush-Quayle dimes. That should count for something in the final analysis, should it not?
posted by y2karl at 7:45 PM on April 26, 2004


And then Clinton rushed right in and saved the day.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:08 PM on April 26, 2004


Say what you want but the fact remains that the Butcher of Baghdad did his butcherin' pretty much on the Reagan-Bush and Bush-Quayle dimes. That should count for something in the final analysis, should it not?

Why? Do crimes against humanity have an expiry date? Or perhaps 3,000 deaths since 1997 are a matter of lesser relevance?

ARBITRARY EXECUTION

The regime executes alleged political opponents — civilians and military, religious and tribal — without trial.
Arbitrary executions also occur as part of "prison cleansing" campaigns. An estimated 3,000 prisoners have been executed in such campaigns since 1997
.

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Saddam Hussein's government may have executed 61,000 Baghdad residents, a number significantly higher than previously believed, according to a survey obtained by The Associated Press.

1979-2003: Various political prisoners of populations distrusted by Saddam disappeared, including Turkomans, religious Muslims and communists. Tens of thousands believed killed. Many buried in mass graves, some near prisons.

Anyway, y2karl I`m so relieved Peter Galbraith has a solution for the Iraqi problem. Now we can sleep soundly, knowing that one issue has been dealt with once and for all. Thank you so much, Mr.Galbraith!
posted by 111 at 8:08 PM on April 26, 2004


This sentence, from the article, creeped me out. By contrast, the first Gulf War earned a small profit for the US government, owing to the contributions of other nations.
posted by philfromhavelock at 8:25 PM on April 26, 2004


And then Clinton rushed right in and saved the day.

No attack on Clinton corresponds to any kind of effective defense of another President, no matter how satisfying the ideological stomping on the other side of the scale might feel.
posted by weston at 8:37 PM on April 26, 2004


Anyway, y2karl I`m so relieved Peter Galbraith has a solution for the Iraqi problem. Now we can sleep soundly, knowing that one issue has been dealt with once and for all. Thank you so much, Mr.Galbraith!

And 111, did you read the article? There's plenty of room to criticize Galbraith's actual strategy, but he does in fact suggest one, in addition to whatever sleights you may have taken from the article, and his seems far more lucid than any kind of roadmap I've seen emanate from a white house press conference.
posted by weston at 8:52 PM on April 26, 2004


It isn't supposed to be a defense. It de-legitimizes the partisanship of the attack. You can't say it's all the Republicans' fault when the Democrat didn't do anything new or different.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:53 PM on April 26, 2004


Show us Bush's plan, and we'll compare.
posted by amberglow at 8:55 PM on April 26, 2004


Show us Bush's plan, and we'll compare.

Pollyanna Chickenhawk Improv Night at The White House, you mean--that would be plans, not plan:

The United States' political strategies in Iraq have been no less incoherent. General Garner arrived announcing that he would quickly turn power over to a provisional Iraqi government. Within three weeks Ambassador Bremer and a new structure, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), replaced him. US officials indicated that Iraqi participation would be limited to an advisory council and that the United States expected to stay in Iraq for up to three years. The US would write a democratic constitution for the country and then turn power over to an elected government. After a few weeks, Bremer changed course and announced he was sharing power with a representative Iraqi governing council. In November, as Bush's poll numbers plummeted, Bremer was summoned back to Washington to discuss a new strategy. The United States, it was decided, would turn power over on June 30, 2004, to a sovereign Iraqi government that would be chosen in a complicated system of caucuses held in each of Iraq's "governorates (or provinces)." By January this plan was put aside (it was widely described as "election by people selected by people selected by Bremer").

The latest strategy—based on the interim constitution and a takeover of sovereignty on June 30 by an as yet undetermined body—the fifth in a year by my count, is now falling apart in the face of Shiite opposition and mounting violence.

The Bush administration's strategies in Iraq are failing for many reasons. First, they are being made up as the administration goes along, without benefit of planning, adequate knowledge of the country, or the experience of comparable situations. Second, the administration has been unwilling to sustain a commitment to a particular strategy. But third, the strategies are all based on an idea of an Iraq that does not exist.

posted by y2karl at 9:12 PM on April 26, 2004


there you go.
posted by amberglow at 9:14 PM on April 26, 2004


But we're not failing in Iraq.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:18 PM on April 26, 2004


are you joking? We have no plan (or have a plan that will be dropped when the next one comes along), have cities under siege, are attacked daily, and are not wanted there.
posted by amberglow at 9:22 PM on April 26, 2004


I get sick and tired of the short newspaper bits. This one was long enough to get me thinking and Galbraith has experience that few commentators on Iraq have.

[this is good.]
posted by gen at 9:25 PM on April 26, 2004


Which is what makes it linkworthy
posted by y2karl at 9:27 PM on April 26, 2004


It isn't supposed to be a defense. It de-legitimizes the partisanship of the attack. You can't say it's all the Republicans' fault when the Democrat didn't do anything new or different.

Fair enough.

But we're not failing in Iraq.

What's success? Not meant as a rhetorical remark, a real question.
posted by weston at 9:30 PM on April 26, 2004


amberglow, still not reading the required material, but trying like hell to pass the tests. "A" for effort.

The United States of Iraq? It could work. Or it could fail miserably. My vote is to scrap Iraq altogether and form Chenistan.
posted by David Dark at 9:41 PM on April 26, 2004


We're building schools, hospitals, homes and various infrastructure, we're successfully hunting terrorists and militants. Fallujah and Najaf are tense, dangerous situations but its not like were on the verge of disaster. Support for these thugs and criminals was slim to start with. Various religioius leaders are fed up with Sadr and want him out of Najaf. Most Iraqis think the war was right, think they're better off than before the war, and want to cooperate with the coalition. The Human Rights Centre estimates that 70,000 Iraqis would've been killed by Hussein by now had the war not overthrown him - far more than coalition and Iraqi casualties combined.

There's lots and lots of good stuff going on in Iraq.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:46 PM on April 26, 2004


It's not all roses and daisies, and we're not done by a long shot, but we're not wasting our time, and we're making tons of progress.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:47 PM on April 26, 2004


technoloogic, assuming all that's true, it's not enough. What I mean is: what constitutes an overall success in Iraq? Are these the real reasons that we went -- worthy as the infrastructure and humanitarian projects are?
posted by weston at 9:52 PM on April 26, 2004


I'm reading Plan of Attack right now and it seems clear that the US never anticipated any opposition which wasn't directly linked with Baathists in Iraq, and that seems to me to be the clearest failing in the Iraq campaign.

Nowhere was it predicted that al-Qaeda terrorists, having been largely displaced from Afghanistan and into places like Jordan, Syria and Iran, would jump at the chance to strike at US forces from friendly civilians in the Sunni Triangle, nor was the very danger inherent in letting the Shiite south go largely neglected taken very seriously.

Obviously a book which only runs 400 or so pages cannot completely tell the story of a war plan crafted over 13-14 months, but the apparent lack of these concerns is a little disturbing, especially in a so-called "post-911" context where the US really had to anticipate that al-Qaeda terrorists were just chomping at the bit to get back at American forces.
posted by clevershark at 9:59 PM on April 26, 2004


"Predictions that any elections in Iraq would be won either by Islamist radicals or the pan-Arabists addicted to despotism have not been borne out by facts. In every one of the municipal elections that have been held in 17 Iraqi cities so far, victory has gone to democratic and secularist parties and personalities. This has also been the case in elections held by professional associations representing medical, legal, and commercial constituencies. A string of opinion polls, including some financed by those opposed to the liberation, show clear majorities in favor of democratization."

Amir Tahiri on Iraq
posted by techgnollogic at 10:05 PM on April 26, 2004


That's right, municipal elections held in 17 iraq cities in recent weeks, electing democratic and secularist parties and personalities. How many times have you heard that on tv or read it in the paper?
posted by techgnollogic at 10:08 PM on April 26, 2004


Why? Do crimes against humanity have an expiry date?

111, do you really want to open this can of worms, can you say reparations for slavery? The genocide of Native Americans. The Aussies would have to deal with their past. The Brits would have to pay for their massive atrocities from the imperialism. It can go on and on, but I guess you'd say that once the bad guy dies their crimes die with them?
posted by jbou at 10:11 PM on April 26, 2004


Methinks that if the US had gone after the baddest dictator out there back in March 2003 then US troops would have been heading to Pyonyang instead of Baghdad.

Also chances of finding WMDs in that area might have been slightly better.
posted by clevershark at 10:15 PM on April 26, 2004


Success is in continuing to destroy the thugs and murderers stirring up trouble in Iraq. Success is in doing everything we can to provide for a secure and successful Iraqi democracy. The people of Iraq are willing. Success is in winning over the people of Iraq not just through military and political avenues, but cultural ones as well. If there has been a substantial weak link in this process, its in the western media in general's failure to stop carping on the details of the process and start encouraging it.
posted by techgnollogic at 10:18 PM on April 26, 2004


We didn't go to Iraq because we wanted to go after the baddest dictator in the world. We went to Iraq as part of the war on terrorism because the terrorists are rooted in the middle east and Saddam was the baddest dictator in the region and the most obvious place to start.
posted by techgnollogic at 10:21 PM on April 26, 2004


A string of opinion polls, including some financed by those opposed to the liberation, show clear majorities in favor of democratization.

This wouldn't seem to fly counter to or change Galbraith's overarching point which is: within this majority favoring democratization, there are several other majorities that differ widely on what to do with that democratization.

This doesn't guarantee failure, and Galbraith is no mere naysayer. He is a policy critic who suggests that without a certain kind of very balanced compromise, Iraq will collapse into civil war.
posted by weston at 10:25 PM on April 26, 2004


The 1991 war was much more destructive to the Iraqi infra-structure than this one, electricity plants were destroyed, bridges and main roads, and many other important sectors, but the Iraqi national reconstruction campaign was really successful in rebuilding the entire country in no time (some months), in spite of the embargo and economical challenges. That reconstruction campaign gave the Iraqi governmental sector establishments a great experience, and enhanced the Iraqi engineers and technicians capabilities in discovering appropriate methodologies in the reconstruction work.

Iraq doesn’t need any foreigner companies to come and take a part of this post-war reconstruction. American companies must be pulled out of Iraq as soon as possible and the Iraqi people must take back their right in rebuilding their country by themselves depending on their ministries and national government, that will create hundreds of thousands of vacancies for unemployed Iraqis (maybe fighting against the occupation now), and will reduce the costs of the reconstruction to less that 25% of the current expenses; the Iraqi labor market is very cheap comparing to any foreign one, and the Iraqi reconstruction methodologies are based on local materials and practice.


Raed Jarrar

60% of Documentation for Modern Iraqi History Lost

The buck stops here

For many Iraqis, the increase in this kind of violence has fed their frustration with the U.S. occupation. It's not just the growing death toll. Their discouragement also stems from the slow pace at which fundamental change is taking place in Iraq. Central to that change was supposed to be the squelching of corruption. During a three month investigation, though, Marketplace found that the corruption plaguing Iraq today has its roots not only in the parched soil of that beleaguered country, but also in Washington.

From Spoils of War
posted by y2karl at 10:53 PM on April 26, 2004


we're making tons of progress

Great! Glad you think so techgnollogic. Now, have you opened your wallet and paid for this progress?

Well?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:55 PM on April 26, 2004


Max Hastings is an old-style Tory, famous as a journalist for strolling into Port Stanley ahead of the British troops during the Falklands War, and later editor of The Daily Telegraph and the London Evening Standard. Max likes the military and understands it :

So much bad news turned up at Chequers over the weekend that the prime minister might be forgiven if he failed to spot the latest barrage of suicide bombings in Iraq. But Britain's 8,000 troops on the ground noticed, and are not happy. They are prisoners of an American command whose incompetence is manifest, whose soldiers are unsuited to their task, whose failures of policy have been laid bare.

Yet I suggested two years ago that it is wrong to perceive Iraq as the real focus of this crisis, even if it is the proximate cause. What we really need to debate is the issue of how the world manages the United States, the world's only superpower. The matter of Iraq will some day be resolved, however unsatisfactorily. It will fade from the headlines. But the matter of America will not go away. Somehow, the world, in general, and the British, in particular, have to consider anew our relationship with the power of the US, granted the less-than-godlike nature of most of the presidents elected to exercise it.


We can't walk away from Bush's follies without a credible military alternative
posted by y2karl at 11:09 PM on April 26, 2004


Do crimes against humanity have an expiry date?

Yeah, where's that war crimes trial for Suharto ? And that's not even counting East Timor. When do we retroactively invade Indonesia ?
posted by y2karl at 11:21 PM on April 26, 2004


I am tempted to be on the same side as techgnollogic on this debate, but you really lose me when you say that the only failing has been the media not encouraging the process. Not being able to admit the many, many mistakes that have been made is as bad as not recognizing the great progress that is happening.
posted by cell divide at 12:14 AM on April 27, 2004


Municipal elections in Iraq, interesting. I hadn't heard about it, but then I don't read the WP every day. So here are the relevant stories: the elections happened a year after the Americans killed municipal elections to install their own puppets. A year later, one guy from the CPA organized a few elections in the south. It seems the CPA choose those areas for the elections because the religious parties aren't well organized there.
posted by raaka at 12:44 AM on April 27, 2004


I am on the same side as techgnollogic in this debate. Everything he has said so far is true, including If there has been a substantial weak link in this process, its in the western media in general's failure to stop carping on the details of the process and start encouraging it.

That is not the same thing as not being able to admit that mistakes have been made. Was anyone expecting a mistake free war or a mistake free rebuilding process? If so, don't worry, unrealistic expectations are a generally common mistake in any undertaking of such proportions. Of course mistakes have been made, but no mistake has been as impeding to the process as the media's refusal to cover the good along with the bad. It's easy for the general public to hear about everything that's wrong with Iraq; you really have to dig to find out how well things are going.
posted by David Dark at 2:14 AM on April 27, 2004


Former ambassadors unite to condemn Blair's foreign policy.
posted by johnnyboy at 2:26 AM on April 27, 2004


Success is in continuing to destroy the thugs and murderers stirring up trouble in Iraq.

Does this mean you're advocating the murder of Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, etc?
They are the thugs and murderers stirring up trouble in Iraq aren't they?
And for what reason is it today that we're in Iraq?
posted by nofundy at 4:38 AM on April 27, 2004


> What's success? Not meant as a rhetorical remark, a real question.

At the moment there's no Sunni/Shiite/Kurd civil war cum genocide going on, as there will be fifteen minutes after the armed babysitters leave.
posted by jfuller at 4:44 AM on April 27, 2004


If there has been a substantial weak link in this process, its in the western media in general's failure to stop carping on the details of the process and start encouraging it.
...
That is not the same thing as not being able to admit that mistakes have been made.

Blaming the media for the state of reality. Once again. Unjustly so.
posted by magullo at 5:41 AM on April 27, 2004


...its in the western media in general's failure to stop carping on the details of the process and start encouraging it.

BLAME THE MEDIA IS A MANTRA FOR BUMBLERS:
President Bush and company are blaming the media for distorting the situation in Iraq. The daily deaths, routine assassinations, suicide bombings, chaos, riots, lack of medical care, lack of electricity and sewage facilities, failure to get the oil flowing, general civil unrest and the $4 billion-a-month bill for the American taxpayers -- those things just don't tell the true story of the great "progress" being made in Iraq.
The supreme irony in all of this whining is the Bush crowd blaming the media that helped make the war possible in the first place. They charge the media with undermining public support for the bloody occupation and enormous task of attempting to govern a conquered people and rebuild a war-ravaged nation, which has become a magnet for Islamist terrorists.
The president and his pals are so used to having a compliant, cheerleading media that, when the administration's work finally undergoes the scrutiny it always should have, they squeal like stuck pigs.

posted by amberglow at 5:58 AM on April 27, 2004


Unjustly so

(Google's cache)
posted by magullo at 6:19 AM on April 27, 2004


There is a quality to the statements - of those on this discussion thread who claim that things in Iraq are going wonderfully and basically according to plan - which borders on the surreal.

And for two reasons - 1) it is quite irrelevant to facts on the ground in Iraq and, 2) blaming the western media for somehow botching the Iraq venture is itself symptomatic of why Iraq is fast becoming a debacle for the Bush Administration :

It is not what the Americans - and especially the American public - say, think, or perceive about Iraq which is most significant. What is critical is what Iraqis think, feel, and perceive about Americans and the occupation.

The "few bad apples" theory just doesn't cut it anymore, and those who espouse this are either propagandists or delusional.

Iraq is turning against the US occupation, and the time in which the US can prevent an all out catastrophe is growing short.

It's time to cut out the ideological B.S. This is real, and more and more real American troops will pay with their Goddamn real lives until Washington pulls it's head out of it's incestuous ass and gets a grip.

I was listening to a talk show last night in which a man, an Iraqi, who said he had fought the rise to power of Saddam Hussein (and then fled to the US) and that he had many friends - who also had opposed Saddam - in Iraq.

He said that there was a new word out among this group - the very people who should form the backbone of support for the US occupation.

The new word out among this group was this :

The student has left. Now, the master is here.

I'll give a hint as to what this means : the student was Saddam.

____________________________________________

This is where things are heading in Iraq - rapidly - and so it is no time for Americans to indulge in ideological and PR games.

Americans have blown their "grace period" in Iraq and are coming to be seen as occupiers. All the more so for the fact that the Coalition Provisional Authority has made every single major decision in Iraq since day one.

Iraqis know this full well, and they also know the Bush Administration's intention to establish permanent US military bases in Iraq - and the US intention to retain control of Iraq's oil production. They will not accept this, nor will they accept "Democracy Lite".

Americans writing on Metafilter - and in general - may be confused by the ideological cloud of distortion sprayed out by the Bush Administration, and they may not have the history of Iraq at the top of their minds.

But - I can guarantee you - many Iraqis do. Napoleon invaded Iraq amidst the same rhetoric - "we are here to help you", and the British, a little later, invaded under cover of Kipling's Burden - civilizational uplift. Now, it is the Americans who issue those words - "we come only to help".

Many in the Bush Administration may be high as a kite on their ideologies but, meanwhile, facts on the ground in Iraq are moving fast.

There may yet be time to salvage this, but without swift action events in Iraq will probably cascade into a disaster which will have ramifications for the US, the region, and the world for decades.

There is a difference between ideology and propaganda, and knowledge. Knowledge is dependant on context and ever shifting - through reference to local facts and conditions. Knowledge stems from observation and is informed and updated - lest it grow stale and inaccurate - by feedback.

But Ideology is a lens through which we view the world, one which can sometimes clarify but - more often - tends to distort and obscure. Ideologies resist feedback, and so they become stale, inappropriate, and sometimes wildly out of touch with reality. And propaganda?....Propaganda simply obscures, misleads, and dulls the mind.

The time has come for Americans to learn this crucial distinction - before events force this awareness upon us.

The simple story of American decision-making in the Vietnam War was that it paid little attention to local conditions - to Vietnam itself, it's wishes, or it's history. They perceived it, instead, through a haze of wishful and distorting ideology.

Now, the same pattern of dysfunctional, wishful, ideologically distorted decision making is repeating itself in the Iraq conflict, only now the ramifications will be far more severe and could convulse the entire Mideast region and shake the world. Oil.

The Bush Administration is very, very proud - and so this will be a very difficult thing for it to do or even to imagine, but it is now necessary :

Bush must now start by admitting that the US made a mistake. He must ask the Iraqis to forgive him, and ask for their help in making the swift and successful transition to democracy. He must ask the world for help in this, for the presence of other nations and the UN, so that the Iraqis themselves might be willing to trust that the occupiers do intend to leave soon. Then, they just may be persuaded to lay down their weapons and work to bring democracy in Iraq to fruition. The US must renounce control and it's dream of permanent bases. It's not America's country - it belongs to the Iraqi people.

We're on their turf and - although they did welcome the removal of Saddam - they did not invite the Americans into Iraq and now even are coming to see the US as an unwanted occupier except.......now there is no more Saddam for them to fear. Now, they have the courage and the means to fight - does the US truly want such a fight ? What will we gain from it ? How could such a conflict possible turn out well - the scenarios start at awful and merely get worse from there.

Apologize, and move on. That would demonstrate true courage and true leadership.

Please.
posted by troutfishing at 6:27 AM on April 27, 2004


the western media in general's failure to stop carping on the details of the process and start encouraging it.

WORKING THE REF

To make sure the political right maintains the upper hand, it ritually blasts the media with charges that even some leading conservatives, in unguarded moments, pooh-pooh.
Alterman quotes James Baker, Pat Buchanan and William Kristol dismissing the notion of a liberal media bias.
And from Rich Bond, former Republican Party chairman, he hears the strategy behind conservatives' campaign of "left"-baiting.
"If you watch any great coach," Bond is quoted as saying, "what they try to do is `work the refs.' Maybe the ref will cut you a little slack on the next one."


damn journalists -- after all, they're the ones killing, kidnapping, placing landmines all over Iraq. damn them.
anyway, enjoy the uplifting story of how Pfc Lynch fought to the death and was stabbed and shot by the Iraqis.
heh.
Jessica Lynch: Media Myth-Making in the Iraq War

keep your head in the sand, my hawkish friends. everything's going OK. go back to sleep now.
after all, somebody else is doing the dying for you, in your war.
posted by matteo at 7:12 AM on April 27, 2004


At the moment there's no Sunni/Shiite/Kurd civil war cum genocide going on, as there will be fifteen minutes after the armed babysitters leave.

Yeah, this is why all the talk of building schools and electing city councils and plinking off insurgents is so unpersuasive. It's like buying flowers for a family whose bathroom is flooding.
posted by furiousthought at 7:24 AM on April 27, 2004


mistakes have been made

Wasn't that Reagan's the-buck-went-that-a-way line for Iran-Contra?
posted by y2karl at 7:30 AM on April 27, 2004


we're making tons of progress

My President assures me "Its just been a rough couple of weeks"
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:38 AM on April 27, 2004


Wow, I knew the mainstream media's ridiculously distorted presentation of the situation in Iraq had probably suckered some people, but I never guessed there would be so many of you.
posted by techgnollogic at 7:45 AM on April 27, 2004


jbou, there are three important differences:
-we live in the post-WWII era, where murderous regimes are considered potentially dangerous to the whole world and unacceptable from the point fo view of universal human rights;
-to this very day, countries like the USA, Britain and Australia grapple with the issue of "reparations". While perhaps on the level requested by the affected populations, many things have been done mitigate injustice against aboriginals, "native americans" and so forth; and
-the point of keeping costly international institutions like the appallingly incompetent United Nations should be, the way I see it, preventing or curbing such crimes against humanity, but after Srebrenica and Rwanda (not to mention the mess re the late, ineffective resolutions against Iraq itself), I believe that some issues ask for action as opposed to masturbatory, never-ending dilettante discussions that usually go nowhere.
posted by 111 at 8:10 AM on April 27, 2004


The United States does not now have the military or diplomatic resources to deal with far more serious threats to our national security. President Bush rightly identified the peril posed by the nexus between weapons of mass destruction and rogue states. The greatest danger comes from rogue states that acquire and disseminate nuclear weapons technology. At the beginning of 2003 Iraq posed no such danger. As a result of the Iraq war the United States has neither the resources nor the international support to cope effectively with the very serious nuclear threats that come from North Korea, Iran, and, most dangerous of all, our newly designated "major non-NATO ally," Pakistan.

With fewer than one hundred days to the handover of power to a sovereign Iraq on June 30, there is no clear plan—and no decision—about how Iraq will be run on July 1, 2004. Earlier this month, the Bush administration praised itself generously for the signing of an interim constitution for Iraq—a constitution with human rights provisions it described as unprecedented for the Middle East. Three weeks later, as I write, the interim constitution is already falling apart.


Wow, I knew the mainstream media's ridiculously distorted presentation of the situation in Iraq had probably suckered some people, but I never guessed there would be so many of you.

Ri-i-ight.
posted by y2karl at 8:22 AM on April 27, 2004


Tremendous post, troutfishing, and absolutely right on the mark.

America seems to be operating on a woefully inadequate understanding of Iraq - it's history, it's culture. How many times have I heard the comment, "Of course Iraqis want democracy," without any consideration of what Iraqis might use democracy for - to install, say, a profoundly un-democratic governement.

Our biggest folly in all of this has been our most basic folly, in that we have expected Iraqis to behave as Americans would behave, to think as Americans would think. To cherish the things Americans cherish, because after all, all people aspire to Americanism.

And because this basic assumption is false, all that we have built on top of this assumption is therefore built upon an unstable foundation. We can build a million schools; every person in Iraq can have a cell phone and a free vote and if we have not addressed the Kurds' desire for autonomy, civil war is still a risk; if we have not found a manner in which to deal with the Shiite desire for a religious state, a la Iran, what ends up in Iraq may well be worse than what we replaced.
posted by kgasmart at 8:41 AM on April 27, 2004


All advocates for war in Iraq line up right here ... | |

All apologists for aWol Bush line up with them ... | |

Ready to go die for the causes you so rabidly profess to believe in?

I'll be happy to help buy your tickets.

(mumble ... mumble) What's that?

Not enough ass to back up the big mouth there boys?

Private contractors are still hiring and paying big bucks for mercernaries there peepee and 111.
What's stopping you?
Typical Likudniks.
posted by nofundy at 8:55 AM on April 27, 2004


"All you people who don't agree with me, go to another country and die."

Clever.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:03 AM on April 27, 2004


go to another country and die."

Clever.


die?
DIE?
no, you won't die, everything in Iraq is OK, don't listen to the liberal terrorist media.
you see, it's not about being clever. it's about hawks having the decency to put their asses where their rhetoric is. they just don't. they let poorer, lesser-educated or even non-citizen kids do the dying. (chicken)hawks just like to spew jingo rhetoric, safely at home.


Jon Stewart knows comedians are not supposed to get angry. Angry is not funny. But when he starts talking about the Bush administration's fondness for demonizing its critics or its refusal to concede an error in judgment, well, he just starts to boil over. "This administration's inability to admit even the tiniest mistakes for fear of seeming weak is stunning sometimes," Stewart says, holed up in his office here at "The Daily Show," feet kicked up on a desk littered with mounds of newspapers, scripts and current political books. "Their unbelievable insistence of their own righteousness — it's really wearing on me."
The handsome 41-year-old "Daily Show" host tries to stop himself, but the pent-up anger keeps seeping out. "Everybody understands, when you're running a country and you're in a war, [stuff] happens. But when you're standing in a pile of [stuff], saying there's no [stuff] there — that behavior is remarkably unreasonable."

posted by matteo at 9:14 AM on April 27, 2004


"Ready to go die for the causes you so rabidly profess to believe in?"

I like it. So when everyone in International A.N.S.W.E.R. goes and joins the Iraqi "resistance" you let me know.

Oh, and when all the peace protestors wailing and gnashing their teeth go do that human shield thing, you feel free to let me know.

In fact, let's screw the whole concept of discourse. All the pro-war people, just line up and shoot all the anti-war peopel while they look peaceful at you.
posted by soulhuntre at 10:30 AM on April 27, 2004


I'll be happy to help buy your tickets.

really? I will take you up on that. I'm willing to die for my beliefs and my money.

but i doubt you are sincere.

Not sure why Peter Galbraith brought Cambodia into this. Cambodia, The KR to be specific, is guilty of auto-genocide which was not in the 48' accord since it happened in the 70's. but that seems willy-nilly to nit-pick the meaning of genocide. Also, most of the killing in Cambodia happened under the Carter administration, which is also silly to say, it is like a ratings game and this is no game despite the Bush doctorine of 'let us wait and see what happens before we cohere any plan" unless the plan is secret.... I mean announce your plans and those who want to oppose them have the script in which to counter-attack.
Also, some of those gulity in Cambodia remain free today despite the tribunals. Pol Pot lived a long, long life as opposed to Saddam. (lets face, he is a deadman not talking at this point) Even the invasion by the vietnamese of cambodia was denouced de-facto by the U.S. Then we and others accused Vietnam of putting in a puppet in the form of the former KR Sen. But there could be some hope here. cambodia is doing alright today, I believe because we did not stick our noses into the process. That country was decimated, probably more so then any other country in modern history.

I watched Feisal on Charlie Rose last night and I agree with him and have said it long ago here on the filter that scraping the Iraqi army was a bad idea.

and this semantic democracy spin is confusing. when the KR took over, they changed the name of Cambodia to Democratic Kampuchea.



(I'm glad i used my cut and paste knowledge to save this elsewhere because of the mefi 404 moments ago...and again)

good post karl.
posted by clavdivs at 11:27 AM on April 27, 2004


Disaster facing power network as contractors pull out : Attacks halt rebuilding of Iraq

"The best figure we've got is that about 25% of contractors had currently pulled out of country, albeit temporarily," a coalition source said. "However, that is putting a brave face on it because the other 75% have pulled back to base. They will argue that they are doing essential activities in the base like getting the paperwork straight. Yeah, well give me a break, how many times can you rewrite the scope of works and re-do your personnel accounts?"

The Other War

A year and a half later, the Taliban are still a force in many parts of Afghanistan, and the country continues to provide safe haven for members of Al Qaeda. American troops, more than ten thousand of whom remain, are heavily deployed in the mountainous areas near Pakistan, still hunting for Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader. Hamid Karzai, the U.S.-backed President, exercises little political control outside Kabul and is struggling to undercut the authority of local warlords, who effectively control the provinces. Heroin production is soaring, and, outside of Kabul and a few other cities, people are terrorized by violence and crime. A new report by the United Nations Development Program, made public on the eve of last week’s international conference, in Berlin, on aid to Afghanistan, stated that the nation is in danger of once again becoming a "terrorist breeding ground" unless there is a significant increase in development aid.
posted by y2karl at 11:27 AM on April 27, 2004


Sadr influence grows

Sadr the agitator: like father, like son
posted by matteo at 11:33 AM on April 27, 2004


anybody have an account for calendarlive.com?
posted by mrgrimm at 12:20 PM on April 27, 2004


1) it is quite irrelevant to facts on the ground in Iraq

No, it isn't. Falluja is not Iraq. Najaf is not Iraq. Iraq is Iraq. There are pockets of resistance inside a mostly stable country. The facts on the ground contradict you, not me.

It is not what the Americans - and especially the American public - say, think, or perceive about Iraq which is most significant. What is critical is what Iraqis think, feel, and perceive about Americans and the occupation.

It's both. The Iraqis are the most important, and you ignore the majority because they're quiet and do not fire weapons at Americans. But what the American public thinks is important to, because the five elements in waging a successful military compaign are objectives, logistics, strategy, tactics, and morale. America is strong on all five at this point, not because of the media but in spite of the media. So there's no reason to worry, yet, but public support is essential to maintaining troop morale, and anyone who thinks otherwise certainly isn't a scholar in human nature.

Iraq is turning against the US occupation, and the time in which the US can prevent an all out catastrophe is growing short.

When should I expect the sky to fall, chicken little? You little boys have been crying wolf since the fall of 2002. You feel you're being ignored, so you yell louder and more often. I almost feel sorry for you, but I don't.

But Ideology is a lens through which we view the world, one which can sometimes clarify but - more often - tends to distort and obscure. Ideologies resist feedback, and so they become stale, inappropriate, and sometimes wildly out of touch with reality. And propaganda?....Propaganda simply obscures, misleads, and dulls the mind.

Hey, lookee here, a golden nugget in a stream of sewage. Note that this applies more to your position than your enemies', and we'll truly have witnessed a revelation here today.

Bush must now start by admitting that the US made a mistake. He must ask the Iraqis to forgive him, and ask for their help in making the swift and successful transition to democracy. He must ask the world for help in this, for the presence of other nations and the UN, so that the Iraqis themselves might be willing to trust that the occupiers do intend to leave soon. Then, they just may be persuaded to lay down their weapons and work to bring democracy in Iraq to fruition. The US must renounce control and it's dream of permanent bases. It's not America's country - it belongs to the Iraqi people.

Ridiculous. When you say Iraqi, you mean "thug". Stop doing that. You and Michael Moore have the same problem. The insurgents are not freedom fighters, they are bullies who want to wrestle control away before the people get their chance to speak at the voting booth. These radicals with guns will never allow a true democracy to form while they are allowed to roam free, so they must be dealt with first. And they will be, sooner or later. Then the Iraqis, not the thugs, will take control of their country and establish their government. This is what America wants, and this is what the Iraqis want, as well. The majority is on the same team, in both countries.
posted by David Dark at 2:56 PM on April 27, 2004


Iraq is turning against the US occupation, and the time in which the US can prevent an all out catastrophe is growing short.

David Dark - When should I expect the sky to fall, chicken little? You little boys have been crying wolf since the fall of 2002. You feel you're being ignored, so you yell louder and more often. I almost feel sorry for you, but I don't


Just kinda wondering there, David, since the war didn't start until March, '03, how exactly were people screaming the same message before that they, to your view, are now? And, more to the topic, if things aren't in a neat little package (hence the continued screaming) how low does the sky have to get before you wake up and admit that all is not well in the "mission accomplished" zone??

Ridiculous. When you say Iraqi, you mean "thug". Stop doing that.

Oh I see. They're not Iraqis. Where ever do they hail from, oh seer into others meanings? And thug? Is that a club they have to join? Or is it your definition based solely on what propoganda you wish to promote? Enquiring minds want to know.

You do see, David, that Iraqis who don't approve of the agenda you support are still Iraqis, don't you? Or did we bring them freedom only if they agree with their task master's great plan for them? Wouldn't that be another term and/or example of slavery and oppression? What did we do again? Liberate them (the Iraqis) or liberate those who agree with our agenda for them, and damn, or kill, the rest? And by thugs, whatever do you mean? You claim to speak for them, what with your interpretation of their desires and all. How does that make them "thugs"? They are Iraqis, until you show otherwise, who want what they want for their country, with violent disregard for our wishes, but can you speak plainly that they have wish to stop Iraqi control of Iraq? You just did say that, so surely you have the evidence. By all means, present it. Educate us all about the difference between an Iraqi and a Thug. (Without refering to the desires of the occupying nation if you please. That would be cheating, and though you prefer that method of argument/propoganda, I think it's time you actually supported your bullshit. Don't you?)
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:42 PM on April 27, 2004


The chicken littles were out in force long before March. We had "guarantees" of hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties and a humanitarian disaster the likes of which the world has never seen. People shouted with absolute ciertainty that the oil fields would be set ablaze and constant, deadly street-to-street urban warfare would claim the lives of thousands of US soldiers. The same people who claimed utter disaster, and were proven completely wrong, are now calling the present situation a disaster, despite the discrepancies with what we were told to expect.

The Iraqi thugs we're currently destroying on a daily basis are not fighting for Iraq. They are not representing the needs and desires of the vast majority of Iraqis. Most Iraqis do not stand with these thugs - otherwise why wouldn't you see, in a country full of weapons, more armed conflict than we are now? If even 1% of the able-bodied male population of Iraq were participating in armed resistance - and the weapons are there to support such a force - do you think we'd be seeing the historically tiny casualty figures we are?
posted by techgnollogic at 6:01 PM on April 27, 2004


How many Predator drones, AC-130 gunships and F-16s, do these 'thugs have , again?
posted by y2karl at 6:54 PM on April 27, 2004


The Iraqis we're currently destroying are fighting for Iraq. It's their country. Not ours. They can and will do as they see fit. More and more of them are joining what you call the "thugs" as they see our heavyhandedness, devastation, and unmet promises for what they are. The people fighting us in Iraq are in fact far more legitimate than Chalabi and the other puppets we installed.

And we're too understaffed or unable to do that street-to-street urban warfare or we would be doing just that right now in Fallujah and Najaf, instead of bombing from the sky, and causing more unnecessary destruction and death, creating new recruits to join the "thugs."
posted by amberglow at 7:01 PM on April 27, 2004


Letter From Ground Zero

The Iraqi struggle for independence from American rule has begun in earnest. US forces there now face a double insurrection--one part Sunni Muslim, the other Shiite Muslim--that threatens at the same time to turn into a civil war. Only the Kurdish north is quiet. With these events, US policy on Iraq has taken leave of reality as thoroughly as America's claims regarding weapons of mass destruction did before the war. The policy was declared on November 21, when Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, announced that on June 30 of this year the "occupation of Iraq will end," and Iraq will then enjoy "sovereignty." Since then, news commentators and officials have habitually told the public that on that date the United States "will hand over...sovereignty to the Iraqi people" (in the words of Dan Senor, a senior adviser to the CPA), who will then enjoy what is commonly called an "interim Constitution." Every word of these short phrases is based on assumptions radically at odds with the facts...

Keeping all these things in mind, we should revise the commonly used phrases. Instead of saying, "On June 30, the Coalition will hand over sovereignty to the Iraqi people," we should say, "On June 30, the re-election campaign of George W. Bush will hand over the appearance of responsibility for the rapidly deteriorating situation in Iraq to certain of its local appointees."

posted by y2karl at 7:02 PM on April 27, 2004


from Juan Cole today: It is precisely the kind of unethical and illegal action taken by the US military in Fallujah today against which the British diplomats were protesting (see below), and which they fear will drag the UK down along with the Americans. Nor is there any reason whatsoever to believe that the US can win by bombing Fallujah into ashes. That is attrition, which is poor counter-insurgency.

posted by amberglow at 7:14 PM on April 27, 2004


You do see, David, that Iraqis who don't approve of the agenda you support are still Iraqis, don't you?

Which is absolutely fine. Let them wait and voice their opinions at the polls. But unfortuneately for them, they have chosen instead to pick up a gun and attempt to kill the security forces in their neighborhood. This behavior is not tolerated in America or any democratic nation, and Iraq is now no exception. Therefore, any civilian in the streets of Iraq who attempts to undermine the political process by enforcing their will through brute force is a thug.

Try this yourself, Wulfgar! and amberglow, in your own neighborhoods tonight. Take your guns outside and start shooting them into the air. When security forces arrive, shoot at them, too.

And god speed, friends.

They may call you many things on the news tonight, possibly even thugs, but they won't be calling you patriots or a freedom fighters, you can believe that.
posted by David Dark at 7:39 PM on April 27, 2004


The Siege of Falluja, a Test in a Tinderbox

The siege in Falluja is a case study in mistaken assumptions, dashed hopes, rivalry between the Army and the Marine Corps, and a tragedy that became a trigger, Pentagon officials, senior officers and independent military analysts said Tuesday.

The chain of decisions leading to the standoff that has made the city of nearly 300,000 people in the Sunni heartland a symbol of the insurgency also illustrates conflicting military strategies and shifting political aims. The fate of Falluja has become a possible harbinger for all of Iraq.

posted by y2karl at 7:39 PM on April 27, 2004


Therefore, any civilian in the streets of Iraq who attempts to undermine the political process by enforcing their will through brute force is a thug.
Try this yourself, Wulfgar! and amberglow, in your own neighborhoods tonight. Take your guns outside and start shooting them into the air. When security forces arrive, shoot at them, too.


Therefore, any invading and occupying force in the streets (or air) of Iraq who attempts to undermine the political process by enforcing their will through brute force is a thug, too. Bombing a city of a quarter-million people--most of them innocent bystanders (although not for long) is not enabling any political process, by any means.

David, my country was not invaded and is not being occupied. I'm not under siege. When and if i am, you can be sure I'd be doing everything in my power to get the invaders to leave. I bet you would too.
posted by amberglow at 7:50 PM on April 27, 2004


Military Doctrine and Counterinsurgency: A British Perspective

A straightforward attritional approach is one option. Such strategies have been adopted and some have worked. Absolute repression was used by the Germans in response to guerrilla attacks during the Second World War. Saddam Hussein's use of chemical weapons against the Kurds and his campaign against the Marsh Arabs in Southern Iraq are contemporary examples of the use of attrition. In Uruguay the Tupamaros' campaign was crushed by a vicious right-wing backlash, which not only destroyed the insurgency but in the process led to the replacement of a vibrant civil democratic government by a military dictatorship. None of the attritional "solutions" is appropriate in a liberal democracy; furthermore it is considered that a "gloves off" approach to any insurgency has a strictly limited role to play in any modern counterinsurgency campaign.

It should also be noted that the record of success for the attrition theory in counterinsurgency operations is generally a poor one. Undue emphasis on military action clouds the key political realities, which can result in a military-dominated campaign plan that misses the real focus of an insurgency. An inability to match the insurgent's concept with an appropriate government one--likened by Thompson to trying to play chess while the enemy is actually playing poker--is conceptually flawed and will not achieve success. Having deployed conventionally-trained troops and large amounts of firepower, the attritionalist commander generally feels compelled to use them. The head of the US Mission to South Vietnam, General Harkins, claimed in September 1962 that what was required to defeat the Viet Cong within three years were "Three Ms"--men, money, and materiel. The result of this approach, normally to the delight of an insurgent, is an escalating and indiscriminate use of military firepower. The wider consequences of this approach, seen both in South Vietnam and elsewhere, will often be an upward spiral of civilian alienation.

posted by y2karl at 8:00 PM on April 27, 2004


david, it's probably a lost cause, but your analogy just is no good. If some foreign force came an occupied America, and then Amberglow went out and fired a gun in the air and then fired at them, there would be many (not the majority, if we lived previously under a Hussein type, but sizeable numbers) who would call her a hero.

This is not so easily dismissed as random, anti-authority violence. I'm not saying your overall point is wrong, but your analysis is so simplistic that you do yourself in.
posted by cell divide at 8:16 PM on April 27, 2004


Since little Davy seems interested in dodging his own attempts at suppressing freedom in favor of propaganda, I will repeat the questions and challenge:

They are Iraqis, until you show otherwise, who want what they want for their country, with violent disregard for our wishes, but can you speak plainly that they have wish to stop Iraqi control of Iraq? You just did say that, so surely you have the evidence. By all means, present it. Educate us all about the difference between an Iraqi and a Thug. (Without refering to the desires of the occupying nation if you please. That would be cheating, and though you prefer that method of argument/propoganda, I think it's time you actually supported your bullshit. Don't you?)

And for what its worth, Mr. Dark, your very poor analogy doesn't take into account certain facts concerning American freedoms. I can fire my weapons into the air in my backyard at night, and no APCs or HumVs will show up to offer suppressing fire. The neighbors will yell at me to keep it down, though. Such is Montana, and such is my freedom, you liberty hating fascist, you.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:53 PM on April 27, 2004


Wulfgar you cannot possibly believe that Sadr and the people in Fallujah who burned and dismembered those contractors have Iraq and the Iraqi people's best interests in mind.
posted by techgnollogic at 9:15 PM on April 27, 2004


Be Unprepared

For at least the next three to five years, U.S. strategic options abroad will be limited by the depletion of the pre-po stocks. It will be much harder for our troops to deploy with the stuff they need to fight (or build nations) on a moment’s notice. Without these stocks, U.S. units will have to fly or sail with their equipment from their home bases, something that is very difficult given the limited availability of cargo airplanes and transport ships.

Similarly, our closest ally will also be out of the fight for at least the next three to five years. The loss of British military support is very problematic, as it’s the next most advanced force in the world after our own. Most other NATO allies are vastly inferior (in technological terms) to the U.S. military, and that makes it quite difficult to work and fight with them.

Ultimately, these issues factor into the basic question about Iraq: Was it worth it? The hidden costs of the war go far beyond the daily headlines about U.S. casualties or dollars spent on Iraqi reconstruction. The decision to tap into America’s pre-po stocks and stretch our allies’ militaries to their breaking point has cost us a great deal in terms of our future security -- and our nation’s ability to respond to threats that we may not even know about today.

posted by y2karl at 10:38 PM on April 27, 2004


American Mistakes in Iraq

Subtitles:

Unrealistic Expectations...
Threatening Iran and Syria
The Immediate Post War Period
The Coalition Provisional Authority
De-Baathification
Chalabi: To weak to rule, too corrupt to serve
Disbanding the Army and the Secret Police
Failing to control weapons and munitions stockpiles
Failure to Choose Effective Proxies
Failure to Rebuild
Securing the Borders
The Rhetoric and the Reality of Democracy
The Failure of Justice
Militias: The State Monopoly on Force
Israeli Occupation Tactics
The Sparks: Mishandling al-Sadr and the Fallujah Atrocity
Looking Back and Moving Forward

posted by y2karl at 10:53 PM on April 27, 2004


Meanwhile...

N. Korea Nuclear Estimate To Rise

The United States is preparing to significantly raise its estimate of the number of nuclear weapons held by North Korea, from "possibly two" to at least eight, according to U.S. officials involved in the preparation of the report.

The report, expected to be completed within a month, would reflect a new intelligence consensus on North Korea's nuclear capabilities after that country's decision last year to restart a nuclear reactor and plutonium-reprocessing facility that had been frozen under a 1994 agreement. Among the evidence used in making the assessment is a detailed analysis of plutonium byproducts found on clothing worn by members of an unofficial U.S. delegation that was allowed to visit North Korean nuclear facilities several months ago.

The increase in the estimate would underscore the strides North Korea has made in the past year as the Bush administration struggled to respond diplomatically while waging a war against Iraq in an unsuccessful effort to search for such weapons there.

posted by y2karl at 11:05 PM on April 27, 2004


Therefore, any invading and occupying force in the streets (or air) of Iraq who attempts to undermine the political process by enforcing their will through brute force is a thug, too.

The invading and occupying force in this case is not attempting to undermine the political process. They are attempting to give the political process the chance that power-hungry bullies with automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades wish to avoid.

Bombing a city of a quarter-million people--most of them innocent bystanders (although not for long) is not enabling any political process, by any means.

After weeks of conflict and chance after chance for the insurgents to give themselves up, turn in their weapons, stop firing at security forces, or come to the negotiating table, time has run out. It became clear that the insurgents were never going to negotiate or surrender, so the longer the situation was allowed to drag on, the worse it becomes for everyone. True, the city of Fallujah has a population of a quarter-million, but two-thirds of them have evacuated and the rest were warned by dropped leaflets that the attack was coming. Still, the city wasn't bombed indiscriminately as you'd like to imply, but several insurgent strongholds were demolished by the Air Force. Needless to say, I disagree with your analysis, because this bombing in fact will enable the political process to continue as the insurgents trying to strongarm power away for themselves have been squelched.

My country was not invaded and is not being occupied. I'm not under siege. When and if i am, you can be sure I'd be doing everything in my power to get the invaders to leave. I bet you would too.

If our country had been under the thumb of an evil dictator for thirty years, and we were liberated by a democratic nation who wrote and instilled a human rights guaranteeing constitution and promised us free elections in the coming years while occupying the country to keep those of us safe who don't want to rule with guns or be ruled by gun slinging thugs, and you did everything in your power to get the "invaders" to leave, I'd shoot you myself the first chance I got.

david, it's probably a lost cause, but your analogy just is no good. If some foreign force came an occupied America, and then Amberglow went out and fired a gun in the air and then fired at them, there would be many (not the majority, if we lived previously under a Hussein type, but sizeable numbers) who would call her a hero.

Exactly. You understand it perfectly. Many of the minority insurgents wishing to stop elections and take over where the dictator left off might call him a hero, but that wouldn't make it true, nor would it make him right. Likewise, anyone who felt the way he did and was willing to wage war on the security forces to bully their way to power, may consider themselves a hero, when in fact they are simply criminals. amberglow would be actively struggling against liberation because either 1) he is loyal to the former dictator or 2) he is trying to seize power militarily like the dictator before him. Neither would be acceptable.

This is not so easily dismissed as random, anti-authority violence. I'm not saying your overall point is wrong, but your analysis is so simplistic that you do yourself in.

I never said it was random. It's anything but. There lies a nest of Baathist-party loyalist warriors in Fallujah who want to oust the American forces so they can seize power for themselves. If, for the sake of argument, they achieved their goals, it is extremely likely that they would begin committing organized atrocities on the Shia and Kurdish populations to the north and south. They will not be allowed to succeed, period. Elections will take place, and then we will know the will of the Iraqi people. Until then, we can rest assured that the majority of Iraqis do not wish to see another brutal faction forcefully seize power to continue the atrocities of the former regime.

Wulfgar!, I'm not sure what you're asking of me. A letter or note from an insurgent inside Fallujah? If so, I must admit, I'm afraid I don't have one. May I see yours, sir? We'll put this discussion on hold until it is presented.

Meanwhile, you may be able to fire off a gun without recourse in Montana, where no city has even a third the population of Fallujah, and your nearest neighbor is likely more than a stone's throw away, but inside the city limits of most large cities nationwide, firing a weapon will earn you a visit from the authorities. If you then fired on them, well, I think we both know how that would turn out, don't we?

But your very poor analogy fails to address that Montana is not America, just as Fallujah is not Iraq. And though I've never been to Montana, I don't believe that a group of Montanans would be allowed to roam freely with shotguns to take potshots at police officers while claiming they intended to liberate Montana from the occupying authority. I believe the likely outcome of that scenario, after unsuccessful negotiations, is that you can bet your little Montanan ass that APCs and HumVs would show up to offer suppressing fire.
posted by David Dark at 12:34 AM on April 28, 2004


Huge US attack to crush Iraq rebels

It was easy to spot the site that bore the brunt of American firepower. The scattered bricks, the gaping hole in the wall, the observation tower perforated by bullets - fired by the American tank that rolled insouciantly down the avenue of date palms and eucalyptus trees. And the fighters sweeping up the debris, untroubled by their battle with the world's most powerful army, were even claiming victory despite heavy losses. This was the scene yesterday at the checkpoint leading into Kufa, the town next to the Shia holy city of Najaf, after an intense battle on Monday night that signalled renewed US resolve to take on its foes in Iraq.

Sadr the agitator: like father, like son

Fighting and dying for near hopeless causes inspires almost mystical reverence within the Shiite community, going back to the beginnings of the Sunni- Shiite split in the 7th century. When Imam Ali was assassinated after leaving the mosque in Kufa where he had set up a rival caliphate, his son Hussein later led 72 men into battle against an army of 4,000 opponents. Hussein's defeat at Karbala cemented the schism.

Moqtada refers to the US as "Yazid," the name of the Ummayid Caliph whose men killed Imam Hussein, and talks about the martyrdom of both his own father and his uncle, the prominent Ayatollah and philosopher Mohammed Bakr al-Sadr, killed by the Hussein regime in 1980. His framing of the conflict in these terms has made it difficult for the US to deal with Sadr, a man US officials have charged with murder.

"The idea of martyrdom and persecution does resonate throughout the Shiite world,'' says David Patel, a PhD candidate at Stanford University in California who's studying Shiite political movements in modern Iraq. "The average Shiite is unlikely to empathize with Moqtada's plight, probably thinking he brought it on himself." But Patel says that if US forces move on Najaf, Sadr's support could blossom.

Though it may appear as if Sadr came out of nowhere, he's employed a philosophy of total opposition, and the means to carry out, inherited from his father.


AC-130H Spectre
AC-130U Spooky


The AC-130U is the most complex aircraft weapon system in the world today. It has more than 609,000 lines of software code in its mission computers and avionics systems. The newest addition to the command fleet, this heavily armed aircraft incorporates side-firing weapons integrated with sophisticated sensor, navigation and fire control systems to provide surgical firepower or area saturation during extended loiter periods, at night and in adverse weather. The sensor suite consists of an All Light Level Television system and an infrared detection set. A multi-mode strike radar provides extreme long-range target detection and identification. It is able to track 40mm and 105mm projectiles and return pinpoint impact locations to the crew for subsequent adjustment to the target. The fire control system offers a Dual Target Attack capability, whereby two targets up to one kilometer apart can be simultaneously engaged by two different sensors, using two different guns. No other air-ground attack platform in the world offers this capability. Navigational devices include the inertial navigation system (INS) and global positioning system (GPS). The aircraft is pressurized, enabling it to fly at higher altitudes, saving fuel and time, and allowing for greater range than the AC-130H. Defensive systems include a countermeasures dispensing system that releases chaff and flares to counter radar infrared-guided anti-aircraft missiles. Also infrared heat shields mounted underneath the engines disperse and hide engine heat sources from infrared-guided anti-aircraft missiles.
posted by y2karl at 8:26 AM on April 28, 2004


bobble. . .
posted by David Dark at 10:50 AM on April 28, 2004


If our country had been under the thumb of an evil dictator for thirty years, and we were liberated by a democratic nation who wrote and instilled a human rights guaranteeing constitution and promised us free elections in the coming years while occupying the country to keep those of us safe who don't want to rule with guns or be ruled by gun slinging thugs, and you did everything in your power to get the "invaders" to leave, I'd shoot you myself the first chance I got.
If that same nation "liberating us" was known for its broken promises, and its very support of that evil dictator in the past, i wouldn't trust them at all, and nor would anyone else. Get real.

amberglow would be actively struggling against liberation because either 1) he is loyal to the former dictator or 2) he is trying to seize power militarily like the dictator before him. Neither would be acceptable.
Bullshit. There's also 3) because foreign invaders, whoever they are, are not the ones who should be deciding the future of my country.
posted by amberglow at 11:21 AM on April 28, 2004


Somebody should tell these guys they're supposed to hate us.
posted by techgnollogic at 1:53 PM on April 28, 2004


Friday's Nightline simply Koppel reading names of soldiers killed in Iraq (with their photos)

From Nightline’s 4-27 daily email (tonight’s show is on the Cheney Supreme Court case):

Now I want to tell you about this Friday’s broadcast. We’re going to do something different, something that we think is important. Friday night, we will show you the pictures, and Ted will read the names, of the men and women from the armed forces who have been killed in combat in Iraq. That’s it. That will be the whole broadcast. Nightline has been reporting on the casualties under the heading of “Line of Duty.”

But we realized that we seemed to just be giving numbers. So many killed in this incident, so many more in that attack. Whether you agree with the war or not, these men and women are serving, are putting their lives on the line, in our names. We think it is important to remember that those who have paid the ultimate price all have faces, and names, and loved ones. We thought about doing this on Memorial Day, but that’s a time when most media outlets do stories about the military, and they are generally lost in the holiday crush of picnics and all. We didn’t want this broadcast to get lost. Honestly, I don’t know if people will watch this for thirty seconds, or ten minutes, or at all. That’s not the point. We think this is important. These men and women have earned nothing less.

One point, we are not going to include those killed in non-hostile incidents. There’s no disrespect meant here, we just don’t have enough time in this one broadcast. But they are no less deserving of our thoughts. I hope that you will join us for at least part of “The Fallen” on Friday.


Friday, faces will be put to what have been called the historically tiny casualty figures we are seeing.
posted by y2karl at 2:17 PM on April 28, 2004


Wulfgar!, I'm not sure what you're asking of me. A letter or note from an insurgent inside Fallujah? If so, I must admit, I'm afraid I don't have one. May I see yours, sir? We'll put this discussion on hold until it is presented.

David, you are confused by the simplest of things aren't you? You made the assertion that you could speak for the desires of those Iraqis fighting against coalition forces, so much so, that you could define them between "Iraqis" and "thugs", the one quality negating the other. Prove it. Its a simple request. Prove it. And no, asking me to prove you wrong is not an argument, its childish weakness of reason, which is what I suspect many have come to expect from you here.

But your very poor analogy fails to address that Montana is not America, just as Fallujah is not Iraq.

My very poor analogy? David, this is why I find you gutless and simple. It was your analogy, not mine. You meant to convince me that if fired a weapon in my backyard, all authoritarian hell would break loose, and I would deserve it. I quite cheerfully offer the contrary, and you whine that it's my poor analogy? Come on, now. Your analogy doesn't work because us grown ups were talking about Iraq, and not Montana.

But even then, you show your fascist stripes by claiming that Montana isn't America, and Falluja isn't Iraq. You are speciously correct, in the same way that your miniscule brain is not you. If you pick up a map, you will find that Montana is in America, and subject to the same conditions of Freedom that are guarenteed by Montanan's acceptance of the Constitution. Montanans are not subject to your opinion of who we are, to what we belong, and certainly not what we value. That's freedom, fascist boy. You get that, right?

Similarly, you continue to argue that your idea of what is right and wrong for the Iraqi's in Falluja defines whether one is an Iraqi, or a thug. No, my arrogant little fascist friend. They have the right to choose what path they follow ... it's their fucking country not yours. If their will doesn't agree with your vision of American dictated Democratic rule, than I guess they'll just pick up weapons and fight for that which they DO believe in.

Are they "right" to do so? I don't think so. But I know that you behave the tiny little tyrant every time you profess that they have to agree with what you have dictated, all the way down to defining who and what they are, what they believe in, and what they support.

Oh, and little Davy fascist? You are right that this is just Montana, but I wouldn't advise a hostile force coming to this state and dictating our beliefs. It might get ... a little messy. Now, do you have the balls to drive one of those APCs into my town and tell me that my leaders are wanted dead or alive, and that you will dictate how Montanans will govern themselves? I didn't think so.
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:57 PM on April 28, 2004


Thank God we've lost so few in Iraq that our entire nation can see the face and mourn the loss and try to appreciate the sacrifice of each individual who has given his or her life for their country. During World War II, it would've taken one of these tribute shows every three days, just for the past three days' casualties, for 4 straight years.
posted by techgnollogic at 3:01 PM on April 28, 2004


Iraq turns into an intolerable boiling pot

The reckless and aggressive US policy in war-ravaged Iraq may lead the country into an unbridled civil war involving all sectarian and ethnic factions. Simultaneously the US-led occupation is waging an internecine warfare across a battered, disrupted land.
From Baghdad writes Sarmad S. Ali


An editorial from Iraq Today - The Independent Voice of Iraq .
posted by y2karl at 3:17 PM on April 28, 2004


techgnollogic, would you please try and understand the human elemnet of the argument you just made? You just wrote, rather sarcastically, that it's OKAY that young men and women are dying in Iraq because many more died in World War II.

A) Tell that to the parents of the fallen. I'm sure they'll agree that it's okay they lost a son or daughter because many more died in the Big War. Don't let their grief get you down when you do. I'm sure they'll feel much better when they realize you're correct.

B) Quit equating IraqAtaq with WWII. Different wars, different motivations, different moralities. Unless, of course, you wish to trot out the old straw man of Saddam=Hitler, in which case you're an idiot, and we're done here.

C) Utilizing the relatively low casualty count of IraqAtaq as a measure of its success is the poorest of logic possible. Success will be measured by the result when its done, not by how many died getting there. That's the value of your WWII example, and, since we're not even close to being done in the Middle East, your example rather speaks against you than for you. (You do remember that oh so short bloodless little spat we had in southeast Asia, don't you?)

Yes, it is good that so few (by your reckoning) have died that we can mourne their sacrifice. Using that as a justification as you have done, however, is morbid, and a gross appeal to emotional agreement. I don't agree. Many of these people shouldn't have died. And right now, I'm a touch more concerned about their comrades who may join them in those caskets.
posted by Wulfgar! at 3:25 PM on April 28, 2004


There is a sort of muggy, heavy heat lately. It's not the usual dry Iraqi heat that we're accustomed to. It's more of a moist, clammy heat that feels almost solid. The electrical situation is still quite bad in many areas. We're on a schedule of 3 hours of electricity and then three hours of darkness. While it was tolerable during the cool winter months, the hellish summer months promise to be torture.

Baghdad Burning

The War in Iraq Cost the United States 112 billion and 6 million and some dollars so far.
posted by y2karl at 3:27 PM on April 28, 2004


Waco in Iraq

The al-Najaf problem is a microcosm of the larger problem of the Bush administration's misbegotten approach to dealing with terrorism. Rather than recognize the assymetrical, often corpuscular nature of terrorism and come to terms with its origins in unaddressed grievances with an intelligent strategy that undermines those sources and does not inflame and worsen them, Bush has taken a course precisely 180 degrees removed: Use the brute force and bludgeoning power of the military, largely in the vain hope of asserting American dominance as a way of discouraging anyone from challenging it.

In that sense, the entire misadventure in Iraq resembles the fiasco at Waco: Too impatient to let inspections and diplomacy work their course, Bush ordered a military invasion of another nation without reckoning all of the consequences of doing so. Most significant among those consequences is the high likelihood of actually undermining any serious effort at actually attacking terrorism at the source.

Similarly, of course, it is not Bush or his minions who will pay the price for this foolishness, but the American people, as well as the soldiers we keep shipping to Iraq and whose bodies keep being shipped back here in coffins.

posted by y2karl at 3:33 PM on April 28, 2004


Not the Enemy: The Arab Media and American Reform Efforts

The independent Arab media presents itself as the only authentic voice of the Arab people against both American hegemony and Arab repression. This suggests that a serious approach to democratic reform in the region should begin with these media—as a tacit partner, not as an enemy. Rather than mimic Arab governments' moves to repress or counter independent media, as it seems wont to do, the U.S. should demonstrate its genuine commitment to public freedoms by advocating these media even when they are highly critical of U.S. policy. Responding constructively to criticism of American policies and engaging directly with the Arab media would send a far better signal to Arab regimes and publics about the media's vital role in pushing for reform.

Managing the Message

In Iraq these days, Bush Administration media manipulators appear to be spread about as thin as U.S. troops are. Made up of former Bush campaign workers and PR hotshots, Team Bush's spinmeisters in country are still trying to shine a positive light on the administration's bountiful blunders. With the number of U.S. soldiers killed ticking ever upwards and reports of a U.S. military massacre of women and children in Fallujah, even the most sycophantic reporter is no longer interested in doing a piece about a newly painted school or a renovated soccer field.

According to columnist Molly Ivins, the Bush media team's press releases -- with headlines such as "Beautification Plan for Baghdad Ready to Begin," and "The Reality Is Nothing Like What You See on Television" -- reflects just how out of touch the occupation press people are.

At several recent press briefings, Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, the deputy chief of military operations in Iraq, and Dan Senor, the main US spokesman in Iraq, have been the unlikely front men for "Operation We Can't Figure Out What's Going On from One Day to the Next."


Al-Jazeera has a track record of accurate reporting - which is why its journalists have been criminalised and its offices bombed

The targeting of al-Jazeera is all the more remarkable, given that it is the only Arab TV network to routinely offer Israeli, US and British officials a platform to argue their case. The Israeli cabinet minister Gideon Ezra famously told the Jerusalem Post: "I wish all Arab media were like al-Jazeera". Kenton Keith, the former US ambassador to Qatar, commented: "You have to be a supporter of al-Jazeera, even if you have to hold your nose sometimes."

Al-Jazeera has a track record of honest and accurate reporting, and has maintained a principled pluralism in the face of brutal and authoritarian regimes within the region, and increasingly from those without. This is why it has been vilified, criminalised and bombed. It is also why it should be defended by those who genuinely believe that successful societies depend upon an independent media.

· Arthur Neslen was until last week London correspondent for aljazeera.net. He is writing a book about Israeli identity for Pluto Press

posted by y2karl at 3:50 PM on April 28, 2004


Ridiculous. When you say Iraqi, you mean "thug". Stop doing that.

Oh I see. They're not Iraqis. Where ever do they hail from...?


Yes, I see your error, wulfgar! You made an illogical jump here, little pup. I never claimed that the thugs weren't Iraqis. That is a strawman. In response to troutfishing's ridiculous painting of the entire Iraqi population as an angry group of people supportive of the resistance who violently want to expel the coalition forces, I responded that he is actually referring to the "thug" population currently battling security forces. You assume that one can not be an "Iraqi" while also being a "thug", when in fact the two aren't mutually exclusive. Choosing to become a criminal doesn't revoke one's status as a citizen. Though some of these thugs actually aren't Iraqis, most of them probably are.

However, what I did assert is that "Iraqi" is an inadequate term to describe the minority group currently fighting against the Coalition. "Iraqi" is a term that includes 25 million people. I simply wanted a more specific category, and use of the term "thug" instead whittles it down to the correct number. It is a simple thing, though apparently not the simplest of things.

Similarly, you continue to argue that your idea of what is right and wrong for the Iraqi's in Falluja defines whether one is an Iraqi, or a thug.


There you go again. You are imagining a mutual exclusivity that simply is not there. One category does not negate the other.

They have the right to choose what path they follow ... it's their fucking country not yours. If their will doesn't agree with your vision of American dictated Democratic rule, than I guess they'll just pick up weapons and fight for that which they DO believe in.

Absolutely. I never said they didn't have the right to try. I said it wouldn't be tolerated by the authorities. What this means is that this group, who is exercising their newfound freedom of choice, better have the popular support of their fellow countrymen or their rebellion is going to meet the much greater force of the authorities and will be crushed, just as it would in any nation, including America, and including Montana. Small groups of men with guns do not make a majority.

I only asserted that the way the thugs feel isn't the overwhelming feeling of the 25,000,000 Iraqis living in the country, or you would see more support for their cause. Wouldn't they? Everyone on this thread seems to be saying if there was an occupying force in our nation, they'd be out in the streets with weapons, doing everything they could to get the invaders to leave. So why aren't the Iraqis? Why aren't 25,000,000 people making mincemeat out of a measly 120,000 soldiers? If that were the case, I wouldn't be able to say we are battling a small group of thugs, I'd be forced to say we are battling the entire nation of Iraqis, and then I'd have to say America is an unwanted occupying force. However, the support for these minority groups isn't there, because the feelings of the majority of the Iraqis aren't there.

But I know that you behave the tiny little tyrant every time you profess that they have to agree with what you have dictated, all the way down to defining who and what they are, what they believe in, and what they support.

Come on. Give me a break. It's not like I made this stuff up. If you don't know the history of Iraq or Fallujah, turn on the news, read a newspaper, educate yourself on the Baathist party and where the majority of their loyalists reside (hint: Fallujah). I assume that people who are interested in discussing these things have at least done the minimal reading requirements.

How can I speak for Iraqis? I can't. But I can surmise that many of them despise the resistance and wish the people like them would go away so the rebuilding can begin.

Here's a little taste:
This riot should be and will be crushed sooner or later, because of the ignorance of the leadership and the lack of support of the majority of Iraqis including Shea’at which made those fanatics resort to terrorizing the people to show that they have the support of the Iraqis like their demand for a general strike which was associated with clear threats.

all the Iraqis came to the same conclusion which is the coalition is going to give the authority to an Iraqi government by the end of June and there was no need for the losses people had either in Faluja or in any other place, and now we have more Iraqi convinced that terrorists from outside Iraq are playing a very bade role to delay democracy and prosperity to be our life fact.

The situation in Al-Falluja still with war and no news from any one in Al-Falluja it is under USA Army circle.
I know we will win with (USA and UK) help and we will build the New Iraq.
Long live USA….. Long live New Iraq…Long live UK.

Thugs are seeking power or money or pushed by terrorist of Wahabi origin to commit their crimes. Those who clap and shout slogans to Sadr on last Friday are the same people who did the same and more slogans for Saddam! Those who kill in Falluja are the same people who did the crimes of mass graves and tortures and Halbja chemical attacks by Saddam. Those who negotiate for them the Sunni Group and mediate for the release of hostages are the one who cried and regret the fall of the most tyrant regime on earth. Yes we have been liberated from that regime with the help of the coalition troops and the USA admitted that it is an occupying force. GWB and his aides and Ministers etc, always said that they like to help to build a free, democratic Iraq with open and strong economy. This sound very good for us and we would like to see it started as soon as possible. We know that it is delayed for a little while but the reasons are very well know?

Thank God, Saddam has gone forever, I hope someday we Iraqis, Americans, British and all the brave people who liberated us make parties and celebrate, cooperate and live in peace and build a prosperous world for our children and for us...
So you see, the Iraqis themselves must be tyrannical fascists, eh little doggy, because they too are for the liberators and against the thugs.

There are many many Iraqi blogs out there, with many many perspectives. If you care, get reading. If you don't, and you prefer instead to label everyone who disagrees with you as a tyrannical fascist who doesn't understand how things work in Montana, that is indeed your choice.

Speaking of which.

You meant to convince me that if fired a weapon in my backyard, all authoritarian hell would break loose, and I would deserve it. I quite cheerfully offer the contrary, and you whine that it's my poor analogy?

My analogy doesn't actually begin until the arrival of the authorities. The act of shooting into the air was simply a precursor to let the authorities know that you had weapons, ammunition, and were looking for a fight. In most cities across the United States, this would be sufficient, but not in all areas, just as I'm sure there are areas of Iraq where a person can fire a weapon into the air and get no response. However, that is not what we are discussing, and therefore not a part of the analogy. The Fallujans aren't firing their weapons into the air as a symbol of their Montanan freedom, they are actively attacking the security forces in the area. The analogy states that an area in America analogous to the area of Fallujah would not be treated any differently under similar circumstances. By ignoring the true analogy in favor of a false analogy, you made an analogy that is yours and yours alone. It is very poor and faulty because it does not relate in any way to the situation being discussed. Regardless, rebellions are not necessarily freedom, and authority is not necessarily fascism, just like a brain is not necessarily intelligent. Get it! Wulfgar! As your horizons expand, so too will your understanding of the subtle differences among complex ideas.
posted by David Dark at 4:58 PM on April 28, 2004


There are many many Iraqi blogs out there, with many many perspectives. If you care, get reading.

Funny, you only quote those blogs that are pro-occupation forces. Maybe you're the one that should be reading more and expanding your horizons.
posted by amberglow at 5:09 PM on April 28, 2004


Please, amberglow. Metafilter isn't exactly pro-occupation, and I get plenty of exposure to riverbend et al through this community. I'm not the one content to limit my intellectual exposures to my warm little cocoon of groupthinkers. That's you, sweetie.
posted by David Dark at 6:16 PM on April 28, 2004


Oh, I see, little David the fascist, you never penned the phrase:

Then the Iraqis, not the thugs, will take control of their country and establish their government. This is what America wants, and this is what the Iraqis want, as well.

Oh wait, yes you did. So you know what the Iraqis want, and that is what America wants. The logic of your authoritarian dictate is clear, so don't try to weasel out of answering the question: What is the difference between an Iraqi and a "Thug", save those who agree with what America wants? Your words, pal, not mine.

It's not like I made this stuff up. If you don't know the history of Iraq or Fallujah, turn on the news, read a newspaper, educate yourself on the Baathist party and where the majority of their loyalists reside (hint: Fallujah). I assume that people who are interested in discussing these things have at least done the minimal reading requirements.

That's a fucking laugh, considering that 6 months ago, the seat of Ba'athist power was Tikrit. Get your story straight, little fascist. Or at least quit listening to the talking heads at FOX ... they make you appear the fool.

I said it wouldn't be tolerated by the authorities. What this means is that this group, who is exercising their newfound freedom of choice, better have the popular support of their fellow countrymen or their rebellion is going to meet the much greater force of the authorities and will be crushed, just as it would in any nation, including America, and including Montana.

Once again you waffle, little fascist. You claim that Iraqis resisting the occupation will be met by authoritarian power, but you paint the picture as if they are being met head on by Iraqi authority. We all know that isn't true. They are being met by Bremmer's death squads (to the eyes of Iraqis who must face them), out of country control thugs who want to force agreement ... agreement or death. You are such a little fascist, and prove yourself moreso with each claim you make.

If you don't, and you prefer instead to label everyone who disagrees with you as a tyrannical fascist who doesn't understand how things work in Montana, that is indeed your choice.

Look once again at your lying authoritarian fascist nature, little fascist. You claim I'm labelling everybody who disagrees with me a fascist, and yet all you can do is throw up specious arguments, as if they have weight, against that which I've only leveled at you. I haven't haven't just shown that ou don't understand Montana, I've shown that you don't understand liberty and/or freedom. You are a fascist, you've proven it. Show me, even once, where I've labeled anyone else a fascist. Of course you can't because the only fascist I've clearly identified as such ... is you.

Come on, little fascist. If you have such belief in your stance, define "Thug". That's all you have to do. Define it. You claim that those who don't agree with their countrymen are thugs, you claim that those who don't agree with the occupying forces are thugs You've even claimed that you know why and how they think as they do. Come on fascist. Define it. Prove what you know. Speak for them, as you already have, but offer proof this time. Support your bullshit. I keep challenging you to do so, but you keep waffling. Come on, tiny little fascist, get with the program.

My analogy doesn't actually begin until the arrival of the authorities.

You fucking candyass pansy. That was your analogy, that amberglow and myself fire weapons in our neighborhoods and see what the authoritarian response would be. But no, now its something different. Now its if we were to take potshots at people we have no reason to take potshots at. You wimp. You're fleeing your own analogy, and trying to blame me for it, you chickenshit.

It's been pointed out to you multiple times that your analogy failed because America is not an occupied country. You seem to think that you can sucker someone else into believeing that our circumstance mirrors their own, which is the whole point of analogy, you ignoramous. And yet you dredge this out of your little fascist blood fantasies:

The Fallujans aren't firing their weapons into the air as a symbol of their Montanan freedom, they are actively attacking the security forces in the area. The analogy states that an area in America analogous to the area of Fallujah would not be treated any differently under similar circumstances.

No shit, Sherlock, so why did YOU bring it up in the first place, moron? Yes, your fascist bloodlust would be as fulfilled, were I in the same situation as one in Falluja ... but I'm not. You do understand that, yes? What you call "security forces", I call, with all proof on my side, the American Army in the role of an occupation force. Rebellions are not freedom, and never have been. Rebellions are an attempt at self control ... not that I think you'd ever understand such a thing, quoting the neocon "thug" line and all. That's precisely why your analogy was a point of derision, because it proved your fascist ideals more than our lack of understanding, pinhead. Get It?
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:19 PM on April 28, 2004


David, darling, you made a point about many perspectives. Follow your own point before you lecture others.

And by the way, we don't need lectures from you anyway. This "As your horizons expand..." bs does nothing but alienate more people from even listening to you. If that's your aim, then congrats--you're succeeding. There have been many valid questions and points raised in this thread that you've ignored and denigrated. Many perspectives--remember?
posted by amberglow at 6:24 PM on April 28, 2004


Picture emerges of Falluja siege

Ambulance accusations:

The head of mission of a European humanitarian agency with staff in Falluja told BBC News Online that, according to his staff, two of their ambulances had been shot at.

"By who? The probability is by US snipers," he said.
Asked whether these were warning or attacking shots, he said: "One was shot two or three times - a sniper does not shoot an ambulance three times by mistake."

British aid worker Jo Wilding said an ambulance she was in, with flashing lights, siren blaring and "ambulance" written on it in English, was hit as it drove to collect a woman in premature labour.

Ms Wilding is sure the shots came from American troops.

"You can tell the shape of US marine from a mujahideen - even if you can only see a silhouette, the helmet and flak jacket are quite distinctive. Also, we were in a US-controlled part of town," she told BBC News Online.


Iraqi Spirit

How sad

Raed In The Middle

Just Stop… Confess the previous mistakes… and Restart.

The current pattern of failures and policy changing will not lead to any real solutions, the American administration must admit that the last year was a total mess, that nothing positive will come out if the currant policy is going to continue, and that standing in a brave way and confessing this failure can give everyone a good restarting point. This apology must admit the exaggeration in the whole issue of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and other reasons that justified the war, the Bush administration must apologize to the American and Iraqi people and compensate the thousands who were killed and injured in this unjustified war. The admission of guilt must also remember people from other countries that sent their children to be a part of the fake coalition, they must be sent back home and the U.S. government must be responsible, accountable and fix the mess it caused.

posted by y2karl at 6:45 PM on April 28, 2004


Why We Get It Wrong

One of the few consistencies of the war in Iraq is America’s ability to make the wrong choices. From starting the war in the first place through outlawing the Ba’ath and sending the Iraqi army home to assaulting Fallujah and declaring war on Shi’ite militia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, we repeatedly get it wrong.

Such consistency raises a question: Can we identify a single factor that consistently leads us in the wrong direction?

I think we can. That is not to say other factors are not also in play. But one wrong notion does appear to underlie many of our blunders. That is the belief that in this war, the U.S. military is the strongest player.

We hear this at every level from the rifle squad to the White House. In Fallujah, Marine privates and sergeants want to finish the job of taking the city, with no doubt whatsoever that they can. In Baghdad, spokesmen for the CPA regularly trumpet the line that no Iraqi fighters can hope to stand up to the U.S. military. Washington casts a broader net, boasting that the American military can defeat any enemy, anywhere. The bragging and self-congratulation reach the point where, as Oscar Wilde might have said, it is worse than untrue; it is in bad taste.

In fact, in Iraq and in Fourth Generation war elsewhere, we are the weaker party. The most important reason this is so is time.

For every other party, the distinguishing characteristic of the American intervention force is that it, and it alone, will go away. At some point, sooner or later, we will go home. Everyone else stays, because they live there.

This has many implications, none of them good from our perspective. Local allies know they will at some time face their local enemies without us there to support them. French collaborators with the Germans, and there were many, can tell us what happens then. Local enemies know they can outlast us. Neutrals make their calculations on the same basis; as my neighbor back in Cleveland said, one of Arabs’ few military virtues is that they are always on the winning side.

posted by y2karl at 7:05 PM on April 28, 2004


Poor security 'threatens to reduce power supply targets'

When coalition forces took over they found an infrastructure wrecked not just by 12 years of sanctions but also by looting. For example, the entire 350km length of a distribution cable linking Basra in the south with Wassit province in central Iraq was stripped of its copper, engineers say.

The intention remains that Iraq should have 6,000MW of capacity by the time a new Iraqi government assumes power on July 1. That date coincides with the onset of three months of the searing Iraqi summer, when demand is at its peak. Iraq's total theoretical installed capacity is 9,000MW.

But since the twin uprisings in Falluja and Najaf broke out at the beginning of this month, Baghdad and the rest of Iraq have been hit by longer power cuts.


Terrorist attack escalates energy prices

Energy futures prices escalated Monday, following a weekend attack by suicide bombers on Iraq's export terminal at Basra (OGJ Online, Apr. 26, 2004).

Although Iraq's exports through Basra resumed the day after the attack, the incident sparked market fears that international terrorists may strike at additional international crude targets.

Meanwhile, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, confirmed Tuesday earlier speculation that members of the cartel are discussing raising the current $22-28/bbl target price for their crude. Rafael Ramirez, Venezuela's oil minister, proposed Monday that target prices be raised by $2 to $24-30/bbl. Nigeria has suggested a higher price band of $25-32/bbl.


Aand David, you hsould note the first paragraph of the following Christian Science Monitor article:

Insurgents in Iraq show signs of acting as a network

Far from limited to a small group of "dead-enders" and Saddam "thugs" as Pentagon officials claim, the armed opposition to the US occupation in Iraq has reached the point where some experts say it threatens to become a full-fledged nationalist insurgency.

Bolstered by former Iraqi military and security personnel, today's insurgents are at the least conducting increasingly sophisticated coordinated attacks. In addition, they have built networks to recruit fighters, make weapons, and funnel funds from Iraqi businesses and charitable groups, military experts say.

Perhaps most important, insurgents are now motivated primarily by nationalism and Islam, rather than by loyalty to Saddam Hussein, they say.

US commanders are weighing moving tens of thousands more US troops into Iraq - as well as additional tanks and other armor - in an effort to curb unrest expected to surround the planned June 30 transfer of power to Iraqi authorities.

"The insurgency has worsened immeasurably," says Ahmed Hashim, an Iraq expert and professor of strategic studies at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I. For example, "the new insurgents showed a dramatic improvement in small-unit fighting skills" during recent violence in Sunni towns such as Fallujah, he said, testifying before Congress as a private citizen.


Bobble that, Pollyanna.
posted by y2karl at 8:05 PM on April 28, 2004


A) Tell that to the parents of the fallen. I'm sure they'll agree that it's okay they lost a son or daughter because many more died in the Big War. Don't let their grief get you down when you do. I'm sure they'll feel much better when they realize you're correct.

Talk about a straw man. Jesus. No discussion of casualty rates refers to the loss suffered by a particular soldier's family. That's absurd, because that argument would apply whether we had lost 1 man or 1 million. In every case, there's a family somewhere who has lost a son or husband or father. I've done nothing but refer to the casualty rate as historically low, which it factually is. Not negligible, or unimportant, or of no concern - but historically low.


B) Quit equating IraqAtaq with WWII. Different wars, different motivations, different moralities. Unless, of course, you wish to trot out the old straw man of Saddam=Hitler, in which case you're an idiot, and we're done here.

I'm not equating, I'm comparing. You can't equate because we aren't losing 100,000 men per year in Iraq.

C) Utilizing the relatively low casualty count of IraqAtaq as a measure of its success is the poorest of logic possible.

You've got to be kidding. I'm not "utilizing the relatively low casualty count as a measure of success." I'm arguing against using the casualty count as a measure of failure. We could leave Iraq tomorrow, suffer no more casualties, and fail in Iraq completely.

Success will be measured by the result when its done, not by how many died getting there.

Failure is not an option, but surely you would prefer to succeed with fewer casualties rather than many?

That's the value of your WWII example, and, since we're not even close to being done in the Middle East, your example rather speaks against you than for you. (You do remember that oh so short bloodless little spat we had in southeast Asia, don't you?)

Casualty rates do not determine success or failure - exactly. We've toppled the brutal dictator and freed 25 million people from his grasp. Now we have the task of stabilizing and rebuilding the nation and eradicating the few remaining unpopular elements of resistance. We're making good progress, on the whole, so far. Until we can look back, years from now, and see the whole picture and how it all turns out it will be impossible to know for sure. The best we can do right now is look at how things are going and how we can strengthen our weaknesses and adapt to the situation on the ground, and we're making good progress.
posted by techgnollogic at 8:28 PM on April 28, 2004


Siege of Fallujah provokes second mutiny

A second unit of the Iraqi armed forces has mutinied at Fallujah after being involved in heavy fighting with insurgents Ali Allawi, the Iraqi Defence Minister, said yesterday. Part of the 36th battalion of the paramilitary Iraqi Civil Defence Corps revolted last week after the unit had been fighting in the besieged city for 11 days, the minister told The Independent yesterday. Mr Allawi blamed the mutiny on "a failure of command. The commanding officer was absent, his deputy ... was seriously wounded and the number three faltered". At the start of the siege of Fallujah three weeks ago, one of the five battalions of the newly formed Iraqi army refused to go to the city because many of its soldiers were not prepared to fight fellow Iraqis. But news of the mutiny of a second Iraqi unit had not been released. Mr Allawi said US Marines "had to separate those who did want to fight from those who would not". The battalion may have split along ethnic lines. Its soldiers were recruited from the militiamen of the Iraqi political parties which belong to the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, and about half were Kurdish soldiers, known as peshmerga. The Kurds were prepared to fight but Iraqi Arab soldiers said they had had enough. Those who refused to fight were withdrawn from the battlefield for retraining.

As technognollic noted above, the Kurds are still with us.

Horror and humiliation in Fallujah

As the American military weighs the reduction of Fallujah, there come into focus the grand vulnerabilities both of the Americans and the Sunni resistance. The West cannot endure without faith that a loving Father dwells beyond the clouds that obscure His throne. Horror - the perception that cruelty has no purpose and no end - is lethal to the West. Europe is dying slowly from the horror of the 20th century's world wars, ending the way T S Eliot foresaw in the poem cited above, "not with a bang but a whimper". Despite its intrinsic optimism, America is vulnerable as well.

The Islamic world cannot endure without confidence in victory, that to "come to prayer" is the same thing as to "come to success". Humiliation - the perception that the Ummah cannot reward those who submit to it - is beyond its capacity to endure...

"The Islamists seems to be carrying a victory. This victory seems to be to prove that radicals are right in the perception of America. Simple fact: they are losing to win (also called the rope-a-dope strategy by [world champion boxer] Muhammed Ali). Each time the United States starts to kill and maim large numbers of civilians, and gory images are blasted to living rooms all around the world, the Islamists are appealing to the conscience of every person on the planet. Once the US does the killing, rape, pillage, murder, and looting, they [Islamists] will have won the hearts and minds of the people. Guess what, Spengler: it looks like it is working and working very well." (Dr Amar Manzoor)...

On the other hand, surgical strikes against resistance leaders, such as Israel's targeted killings of Hamas leaders Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Rantisi, enervate rather than energize the Islamist side. When the long arm of Israeli vengeance can reach into the heart of the enemy camp, the Islamists are humiliated and thus weakened. Intelligence is the decisive variable in the equation, and the poor state of America's spy agencies, acknowledged by the CIA's George Tenet, has been the Achilles Heel of the coalition, as I argued in Why America is losing the intelligence war (Nov 11, 2003). But I also predicted that America's deficient capacity for human intelligence would make Washington depend more upon Israel. Precisely that appears to be happening.

Nations have interests, not friends, observed Otto von Bismarck, and it is commonality of interest that brings Washington and Jerusalem together...

posted by y2karl at 8:47 PM on April 28, 2004


Not negligible, or unimportant, or of no concern - but historically low.

That all depends upon where you draw the line.

Within the last 30 years, say, Bosnia would probably be historically lowest. Have we lost anyone there yet? Rising in order from there are Grenada, Panama, Somalia, Lebanon and the Gulf War, or so I guess, so the present invasion would have the highest body count of all already. If you want to be generous and push back to the last 50 years, then it's a far second after Vietnam.

World War II is within memory of less than a quarter of the population, Vietnam no more than half, I would hazard. So, we're dealing with either the highest or second highest body count for most folks present.

Unless you are just objectively and dispassionate dispassionate comparing the count between now and an earlier American war--then why not the the Civil War, too?--for almost half the American people, the biggest war in memory is the Gulf War. We are well past that. And it's not ending as fast or as happy seeming as that did.

Happy for us, anyway. The death count in that war for the Iraqis, by the way, is roughly equal to our losses in Vietnam. Consider the difference in population. But that's a side bar, back to the point.

Most folks aren't military history buffs. What matters is what these casualties mean right now to the American public, and what in recent memory they measure them against, and more to the point of your remark, whether those names read and faces shown on Friday's Nightline may change this equation. That remains to be seen.
posted by y2karl at 9:37 PM on April 28, 2004


How can you of all people define history as "within memory"?
posted by techgnollogic at 10:07 PM on April 28, 2004


Support for War Is Down Sharply, Poll Concludes

The poll suggested that American attitudes about the war were shifting in response to a daily barrage of disturbing images and news reports. Mr. Bush's advisers have asserted that Americans long ago made up their minds that the war was justified, and that violent flare-ups in Iraq would not hurt the president politically as long as the United States remained committed to creating a stable democracy there.

But the Times/CBS poll appeared to bolster the view of many Democrats that the intensified violence in Iraq would inevitably lead to questions about the wisdom of the war and Mr. Bush's leadership.


Poll: Iraqis Split Over Whether Iraq Is Better Off

Forty-two percent of Iraqis said they believe their country is better off since the invasion launched more than a year ago, while 46 percent said the war has done "more harm than good," the poll found...

When asked how they now view coalition forces, 71 percent of all Iraqis said "mostly as occupiers" while 19 percent said "mostly as liberators," the poll said.

By contrast, sentiment was evenly divided when they were asked their view of the foreign troops at the beginning of the invasion. Forty-three percent said they initially viewed them as liberators, while the same percentage viewed them as occupiers.

The new poll found that a third of all Iraqis said attacks on U.S. forces were justifiable; an additional 22 percent said such attacks are "sometimes justified, sometimes not." Only a quarter of all Iraqis said attacks on U.S. forces are "completely" unjustified.

Sixty-four percent of Baghdad residents surveyed last summer said they thought attacks on U.S. forces were either somewhat or completely "morally unjustified."


Happy talk that, O mind reader of all Iraqis.
posted by y2karl at 11:21 PM on April 28, 2004


Poll: U.S. loses support of most Iraqis

Baghdad, Iraq — Only a third of the Iraqi people now believe that the American-led occupation of their country is doing more good than harm, and a solid majority support an immediate military pullout even though they fear that as a result they could be in greater danger, according to a new USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll.

The nationwide survey, the most comprehensive look at Iraqi attitudes toward the occupation to date, was conducted in late March and early April. It reached nearly 3,500 Iraqis of every religious and ethnic group. The poll shows that most continue to say the hardships suffered to depose Saddam Hussein were worth it. Half say they and their families are better off than they were under Saddam. A strong majority say they are more free to worship and to speak.

But while they acknowledge benefits from dumping Saddam a year ago, Iraqis no longer see the presence of the American-led military as a plus. Asked whether they view the coalition as "liberators" or "occupiers," 71 percent of all respondents say "occupiers."

That figure reaches 81 percent if the separatist, pro-U.S. Kurdish minority in northern Iraq is not included. The negative characterization is just as high among the Shiite Muslims who were oppressed by Saddam as it is among the Sunnis who embraced him.

A powerful indicator of the growing negative attitude toward the Americans is found in two related survey questions: 53 percent say they would feel less secure without the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, but 57 percent say the foreign troops should leave anyway. Those answers were given before the current faceoffs in Fallujah and Najaf between U.S. troops and Iraqi fighters.

posted by y2karl at 11:29 PM on April 28, 2004


First of all, I'd like to say that was fucking awesome! I've seen some idiots on parade around here, but Wulfgar! Your! Explosion! Takes! The! Cake! You are so intense, so frightening, so badass, you must be completely fucking wasted! Guys like you look so funny when their knees buckle, it's enough to make a little fascist smile.

Come on, little fascist. If you have such belief in your stance, define "Thug". That's all you have to do. Define it.

I already answered your question precisely at 7:39 pm the day before yesterday, in my very first comment after you posed the question. Do I need to answer it again? Should I rephrase it using monosyllabic words? Do I need to put it in gigantic bold letters so a fucking knucklehead with a fifth grade education can find it on a god damn static web page that you can read and re-read as many times as it takes to sink in? I'll put it down here, since you're probably too drunk to scroll:

Therefore, any civilian in the streets of Iraq who attempts to undermine the political process by enforcing their will through brute force is a thug.

Put that bottle of moonshine aside for a moment, and read it again, dickhead. Now read it again, dickhead. Now read it once more for content and actually think about it, you ignorant backwoods incestuous hillbilly. For fuck's sake, amberglow even quoted it and responded to it. How the fuck did you miss that? Obviously Montana is big on freedom but slow on reading comprehension skills. Possibly you'd like to show that you can understand information and make a coherent critical analysis of opinions before you Go! Off! Like! A! Fucking! Nutjob!

So you know what the Iraqis want, and that is what America wants. The logic of your authoritarian dictate is clear, so don't try to weasel out of answering the question: What is the difference between an Iraqi and a "Thug", save those who agree with what America wants?

I already answered that.

Let me clear this up for you quickly, too:

Then the Iraqis, not the thugs, will take control of their country and establish their government.

For clarification, I don't mean to imply mutual exclusivity (and I apologize for any confusion I may have caused to some), but by the time the elections come, all the thugs will be dead or in prison. So the Iraqis will actually include all of the Iraqis, at that time, just not the thugs, who are Iraqis (mostly), but won't get to participate in electing the Iraqi government because a dead man gets no vote. Unless it's for the mayor of Chicago. That's different.

You fucking candyass pansy. That was your analogy, that amberglow and myself fire weapons in our neighborhoods and see what the authoritarian response would be. But no, now its something different. Now its if we were to take potshots at people we have no reason to take potshots at. You wimp. You're fleeing your own analogy, and trying to blame me for it, you chickenshit.

All right, that was my favorite, I have to admit. Let me bring down what I said:

Try this yourself, Wulfgar! and amberglow, in your own neighborhoods tonight. Take your guns outside and start shooting them into the air. When security forces arrive, shoot at them, too.

A little hint, for the "needs work on improving the reading skills" crowd: Sometimes a thought can't be expressed in only one complete sentence. Therefore, a period doesn't mean "stop reading". A period means "pause", like a comma, only longer. Sentences may be strung together to form paragraphs. Typically, the author's idea continues until you reach the end of the paragraph.

So you see, I'm not changing it to something else. It just doesn't work if you don't follow through to the end. Many, many things in life are like this. Off the top of my head, Iraq comes to mind as an example.

I think you actually did scroll up to double check that one, and *whistles* boy, did seeing that set you off. What I would've given to have been one of the flies on the wall in your place, Wolfie. But reading your little Montana boy tirade is pretty good, too.

I'm going to speed through the rest of this. Wulfgar! Pay! Attention! This! Time!

That's a fucking laugh, considering that 6 months ago, the seat of Ba'athist power was Tikrit.

Rock solid argument. 6 month old information for a ground situation that can change in less than 6 hours? You should try reading the news more often than you cut your fingernails. Or maybe it just takes a really really long time for the pony express to find all you Montanans out there in the hills. FYI, it's Fallujah.

but you paint the picture as if they are being met head on by Iraqi authority.

Now this is just 100% bullshit. Nice try, a quick little straw man to help you out of your sinking hole, but you are really blowing it out your ass with that crap. Let me say it loud and proud. The American forces are the authority in Iraq at the moment and they are supported by the Iraqi people. (check out karl's figures, not the shit he cut and pasted, but the truth behind his lies. . . 53% want the troops there, 51% say they would feel less safe without them there, 71% call them occupiers? Big deal. Even the pro-coalition bloggers call them occupiers, but still want them there). Never have I once come close to insinuating that it's Iraqi authority, you fucking crybaby.

It's been pointed out to you multiple times that your analogy failed because America is not an occupied country. You seem to think that you can sucker someone else into believeing that our circumstance mirrors their own, which is the whole point of analogy, you ignoramous.

a·nal·o·gy (?-nal'?-je)
n., pl. -gies.

1. Similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar.
2. A comparison based on such similarity. See synonyms at likeness.

Are we clear? If it makes you feel any better, don't call it an analogy, call it a hypothetical mental exercise.

Yes, your fascist bloodlust would be as fulfilled, were I in the same situation as one in Falluja ... but I'm not.

I'll call that a victory. Thank you for the admission.

Look, I'd draw you a picture if I had an etch-a-sketch handy. But sadly, I can't carry on a conversation with a retard, it's just not in my programming. I've answered all of your questions adequately and absorbed enough of your insults. The shame of it is I actually remembered you fondly from Iraqfilter long ago. But now you seem to have the same problem I've noticed in many alcoholics; you love to argue until you realize you're beaten, then you go on a rampage and tear the place apart. A shame, really. I won't be responding again, it takes too much time to repeat information for people who don't take the time to read it carefully the first time.
posted by David Dark at 1:31 AM on April 29, 2004


Actually, I've had a change of heart. I've decided I'm going to join y2karl in getting the suppressed truth out there. So here we go, my first attempt at bobbling:

Iraqi Resistance crushes US attack as battle resumes in al-Fallujah.

The Iraqi Resistance crushed a powerful American attack mounted against al-Jawlan neighborhood, according to Mafkarat al-Islam’s correspondent in the besieged city. The American assault began after sunrise on Monday and finally met its end as evening set in, the correspondent and eyewitness wrote in a report posted at 00:02 on the morning of Tuesday, 27 April 2004.

The Iraqi Resistance drove the US Marine invaders into a pincer, as it is called, within al-Jawlan. Then the Resistance violently attacked the rear lines of the American forces cutting the advanced forces off from the rest of the attacking force. As a result more than two-thirds of the entire force of Americans were cut off, and many of them were wiped out on the battlefield. The remainder were able to flee into neighboring houses, but the people informed the Resistance fighters about their presence and they were able to hit them there. As a result, the total number of Americans killed exceeded 30.


bobble. . .
posted by David Dark at 1:41 AM on April 29, 2004


Withdrawing Americans Fly White Flags In Retreat From Al-Fallujah

A report posted at 1:20am 14 April 2004 Mecca time from special correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam in al-Fallujah reports witnessing more than 50 American tanks and armored vehicles flying white flags in an effort to be allowed out of al-Fallujah unharmed. The correspondent personally witnessed one US soldier get out of a tank unarmed to prove that his white flag meant what it normally means in military practice. US forces pulled out of al-Jawlan, as-Sakani, al-Jurayfi, and as-Saqlawiyah neighborhoods and districts.

30 US Marines Captured

Mafkarat al-Islam’s correspondent in al-Fallujah also reports that Iraqi Resistance forces captured 30 US Marine on the night of Monday-Tuesday. The Marine invaders were attempting to break into al-‘Askari neighborhood during the night and were clad in black for camouflage. The Resistance observed their attempt and allowed them to get into the city whereupon they were all captured. The correspondent reports that the Resistance fighters were surprised at how easily and quickly the Americans surrendered, putting up no resistance whatsoever. After a series of defeats they have suffered in and around al-Fallujah, it is possible that the troops are demoralized. They no doubt feared that they would otherwise share the fate of those who had already died and therefore preferred to surrender. All the American prisoners were taken to a secure location and continue to be held at the time of this filing.


bobble. . .
posted by David Dark at 1:44 AM on April 29, 2004


Acting as a network? Wonder why that is. . .

Hussein's Agents Are Behind Attacks in Iraq, Pentagon Finds

bobble. . .
posted by David Dark at 1:46 AM on April 29, 2004


But while they acknowledge benefits from dumping Saddam a year ago, Iraqis no longer see the presence of the American-led military as a plus. Asked whether they view the coalition as "liberators" or "occupiers," 71 percent of all respondents say "occupiers."

That figure reaches 81 percent if the separatist, pro-U.S. Kurdish minority in northern Iraq is not included. The negative characterization is just as high among the Shiite Muslims who were oppressed by Saddam as it is among the Sunnis who embraced him.


Hearts and minds, bobble boy--and I doubt the following will do naught but raise those numbers even higher:

Abuse Of Iraqi POWs By GIs Probed

Last month, the U.S. Army announced 17 soldiers in Iraq, including a brigadier general, had been removed from duty after charges of mistreating Iraqi prisoners. But the details of what happened have been kept secret, until now. It turns out photographs surfaced showing American soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqis being held at a prison near Baghdad. The Army investigated, and issued a scathing report. Now, an Army general and her command staff may face the end of long military careers. And six soldiers are facing court martial in Iraq -- and possible prison time.

Liberators, with sexual abuse, torture for good measure - G.I.'s accused of abusing Iraqi captives, just like Saddam Hussein

American soldiers, taking a page or two from the alleged history of Saddam Hussein, also stand accused of torturing Iraqi prisoners, at a prison outside Baghdad, including acts of sexual humiliation and other abuses in order to make them talk, according to officials and others familiar with the charges.

Oh, well. But how about that oil production ?

BP ready to quit in blow to rebuilding hopes

BP's chief executive delivered a serious setback to hopes of rebuilding Iraq when he said that the oil company has no future there.

John Browne, one of Tony Blair's favourite industrialists, indicated he had given up on Iraq because the political and security situation in the country had deteriorated so much.

Yet only 18 months ago he was extremely enthusiastic about prospects, lobbying in Washington and London to ensure American rivals did not cut him out of the action.


Oh, and...

Deal to End Falluja Standoff Is Announced; 10 Americans Killed

American military officials said today that a new Iraqi security force made up of former Iraqi soldiers and commanders will replace the American troops now in Falluja and assume responsibility for the city's security.

The new force, known as the Falluja Protection Army, will include as many as 1,000 Iraqi soldiers led by a former general from the army of Saddam Hussein, American military officials said. A Marine commander, Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne, said the force will be a subordinate command of the American military, according to news services.

The plan was drafted Wednesday night during several days of talks between American officials and several former generals of the defunct Iraqi army, officials said. It follows three days of intense fighting in Falluja, where American troops have maintained a monthlong cordon around the city in an effort to force a Sunni Muslim insurgency into submission.

It was unclear how much influence the new Iraqi force would have over the insurgents in Falluja and whether they would be able to coerce the rebels, either by diplomacy or force, to relent.

Authorities in Iraq and Washington fear uprisings could explode across Iraq if the military were to invade Falluja or Najaf.< /small>

bobble back at ya, Pollyanna...

posted by y2karl at 12:45 PM on April 29, 2004


But while they acknowledge benefits from dumping Saddam a year ago, Iraqis no longer see the presence of the American-led military as a plus. Asked whether they view the coalition as "liberators" or "occupiers," 71 percent of all respondents say "occupiers."

Stellar repitition. Here's mine:

71% call them occupiers? Big deal. Even the pro-coalition bloggers call them occupiers, but they still want them there.

I hope we can repeat this conversation again in the future.

Abuse Of Iraqi POWs By GIs Probed

Last month, the U.S. Army announced 17 soldiers in Iraq, including a brigadier general, had been removed from duty after charges of mistreating Iraqi prisoners. . . The Army investigated, and issued a scathing report. Now, an Army general and her command staff may face the end of long military careers. And six soldiers are facing court martial in Iraq -- and possible prison time.


You have some suggestion on how to handle this situation differently, I presume? Oh, I forgot. We're just bobbling.

BP ready to quit in blow to rebuilding hopes

And this affects things how? Oh, forgot again. bobble. . .

American military officials said today that a new Iraqi security force made up of former Iraqi soldiers and commanders will replace the American troops now in Falluja and assume responsibility for the city's security.

The new force, known as the Falluja Protection Army, will include as many as 1,000 Iraqi soldiers led by a former general from the army of Saddam Hussein, American military officials said. A Marine commander, Lt. Col. Brennan Byrne, said the force will be a subordinate command of the American military, according to news services.


[this is good news]

By all means, bobble away, Chicken Little.
posted by David Dark at 1:45 PM on April 29, 2004


David, I invite you to take another look at my very first comment in this thread. What I took issue with was, rather calmly, I might add, was your protest that we don't mean what you think we should when we say Iraqi's, meaning those in Falluja. Since then, its pretty much just trading insults.

So here we are. And I invite you to review one final thing: my insults towards have been based on your words and your actions; yours towards me have been based on your assumptions of who and what I am, and your own little fantasies about how things are or ought to be. And that's been the whole point all along. You have defined thug and thuggery such that the definition is based on your own whim and will.

A few definitions that don't fit your profiles:

1) America has legal authorities, not security forces. Your analogy was doomed before it ever began.

2) The US army is the "authority" in Iraq only because they have conquered and toppled the Iraqi government. Whether they are supported by a whole 53% of Iraqis is inconsequential. Lost in your fantasies of circular reasoning, I don't expect you to understand what that means, but I assure you that many of us do. There is no legal recourse in Falluja right now save what the US Army says it is, and those that don't accept that will rebel. They're not thugs, they're people who don't accept our control and occupation.

3) And this is the biggie you seem to have such a problem with. You can't control the situation any more than you can control me or anyone on this website. And what's worse, you're heroes in talk radio and the White House, who provide you with the "thug" buzzword, can't control it either. You can demonize these people all you wish. But look at where this began: You still have not and cannot prove that you know why the people in Falluja are fighting the occupation. You still have not and cannot prove that they are Ba'athists or even supporters of Ba'athism. You still cannot support your bullshit.

And here's a little note for the thinking impaired. If a "thought experiment" requires one thing to follow another, and that second thing never happens, then the thought experiment fails. It just so happens that in this case, your experiment was ridiculous, and even worse, you tried to blame me for its ridiculous nature. That was very cowardly, David, and yes I definitely enjoyed calling you names for it.

Your authoritarian stance has lead me to believe that you are honestly anti-liberty. You have attempted time and again to argue that right is what you say it is, and those who don't agree are "thugs". That does indeed lead me to believe that you are a fascist. You claim that you don't imply mutual exclusivity, but yet the very comment you made that started this doesn't imply it, it flat out states it as fact.

David Dark - Ridiculous. When you say Iraqi, you mean "thug". Stop doing that.

I'm sorry if this pains you David (okay, I'm not), but that proves you a liar, if absolutely nothing else. And thinking (or lack of it) such as yours will definately NOT get us out of Iraq, save until every person who won't submit to subjugation is dead, and a whole lot of American GIs as well.

One final note, though:

Guys like you look so funny when their knees buckle, it's enough to make a little fascist smile.

Leave me out of your gay fantasies.

on preview: David, once again your fantasies are getting in the way. You claim that 71% of Iraqis want the occupiers in Iraq, and then offer (very little) anecdotal evidence that those 71% want the occupiers there. I'd ask you to get over your own self and look beyond your own will, but you've proven that to be pretty impossible at this point. And by the way, I thought you were done with this ...
posted by Wulfgar! at 2:26 PM on April 29, 2004


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