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US Military Negotiating with Sunni Nationalist Insurgents
February 22, 2005 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Is a political solution on the horizon in Iraq? Time Magazine reports that US military commanders are negotiating with Sunni nationalist insurgents or the first time.

"There are some hints of compromise: insurgent negotiators have told their U.S. counterparts they would accept a U.N. peacekeeping force as the U.S. troop presence recedes. Insurgent representative Abu Mohammed says the nationalists would even tolerate U.S. bases on Iraqi soil. 'We don't mind if the invader becomes a guest,' he says, suggesting a situation akin to the U.S. military presence in Germany and Japan."
posted by trinarian (165 comments total)

 
Great news.
posted by dios at 1:20 PM on February 22, 2005


I find this so hard to believe. Not that brigade level commanders are negotiating - of course they HAVE to since US political leadership is so retarded - but that there are any central authorities in the insurgent groups to negotiate with. Ones that can actualize anything on the ground.

Hello? Anybody ever hear of that guy Yasser Arafat? Looked like Ringo? Talking with him for thirty fucking years - and supposedly he WAS a bonefide "leader" - didn't do shit.
posted by tkchrist at 1:23 PM on February 22, 2005


Can't be...it would mean the Bush Administration is competent, and the French are wrong....can't be, can't be, can't be...
posted by ParisParamus at 1:24 PM on February 22, 2005


Yes, but had Arafat and his entourage been subject to US Marines and/or the IDF in 1975, the outcome might have been different.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:25 PM on February 22, 2005


"Beyond the Euphrates began for us the land of mirage and danger, the sands where one helplessly sank, and the roads which ended in nothing. The slightest reversal would have resulted in a jolt to our prestige giving rise to all kinds of catastrophe; the problem was not only to conquer but to conquer again and again, perpetually; our forces would be drained off in the attempt."

Emperor Hadrian AD 117-138
posted by halekon at 1:27 PM on February 22, 2005


in related news,
War-crimes trials gear up in Iraq
Hussein and others may be tried in next few weeks in cases that will ripple around the world.
posted by matteo at 1:30 PM on February 22, 2005


Can't be...it would mean the insurgents aren't all foreign fighters and dead-enders....can't be, can't be, can't be...
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:31 PM on February 22, 2005


Their model is Sinn Fein, the political wing of the Irish Republican Army, which ultimately earned the I.R.A. a role in the Northern Ireland peace process.
posted by raysmj at 1:32 PM on February 22, 2005


I don't know, seems like a good idea to me. Get your enemy to stand still long enough to start building a base and its alot easier to blow them all up.

As with much of this new world order, I'll believe it when I see it and its corroborated by non-US news agencies.
posted by fenriq at 1:36 PM on February 22, 2005


Oh. I get it. Now you can negotiate with terrorists! Thanks for clearing that up for me, Paris.

I wonder where they hold their biweekly meetings? Who is the undersecretary for RPG production and distribution? You know, in my experience with centrally organized, hierarchical bureaucracies such as insurgents and terrorists that once the leaders decided something, everybody else just goes right along with it.
posted by Freen at 1:38 PM on February 22, 2005


It's a hopeful sign, but where the rubber meets the road, who can legitimately speak with a unifying or representative voice for all the insurgents? It's not as if the insurgents are comprised of aunified, homogenous force with a strict chain of command and control, and objectives.
posted by psmealey at 1:40 PM on February 22, 2005


" Can't be...it would mean the insurgents aren't all foreign fighters and dead-enders....can't be, can't be, can't be..."

No one has ever claimed such: the "insurgency" is Baathist(sp?)-controlled Old Guardsmen (strings attached to people in Syria) + Al Qaeda types. I suspect the latter are well on their way to being significantly dead. As for the former, they are more and more demoralized and seek a way out.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:40 PM on February 22, 2005


On the other hand, If this does work out, and American soldiers stopped coming home in body bags, I'll be absolutely ecstatic.


Paris: Do you or do you not remember the term "Dead-enders? Who coined that phrase? Could it be the ineffable Donny Rumsfeld?
posted by Freen at 1:44 PM on February 22, 2005


This bodes well. Let's hope the transition to stability continues and more countries commit to addressing the peace process there.

Emperor Hadrian AD 117-138

Halekon, that's the fifth time (1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ) you've pasted that excerpt. You trying to tell us something? ;)
posted by jenleigh at 1:47 PM on February 22, 2005


Freen, that's something I think everyone would be happy to see. Empty body bags being sent home along with very much alive troops.
posted by fenriq at 1:47 PM on February 22, 2005


Freen, could it be I neither expect perfect pre-cognition from either the leaders support, or those I oppose?
posted by ParisParamus at 1:49 PM on February 22, 2005


Can't be...it would mean the Bush Administration is competent, and the French are wrong....can't be, can't be, can't be...

Um, wouldn't this be negotiating with terrorists? Ah, isn't that, like, totally against the mantra we've heard over the past 4 years - "You can't negotiate with terrorists!"

What am I missing here?
posted by lirio at 1:50 PM on February 22, 2005


LOL. Paris, maybe. But I sincerely doubt it. And this "negotiation" track is certainly no validation of Bush policy anyway.

A. Bush SWORE there would be no "negotiat'n" with the "terrorists".

B. Bush SWORE the insurgency was mostly foreign fighters.

BTW: The PLO had it's ass kicked so many times by IDF it's not funny. The fact was they still had to share the territory with the Palestinians - and there was simply no central authority to govern what the Palestinians did after every battle. Hell. Palestine never even really existed as a state. Who were they talking to?

Negotiations with a guerilla movement as fractured as what is occurring in Iraq is nearly impossible given the climate Bush policy has created. There are hundreds of factions and criminal groups all with divergent interests but one: They HATE us.

The reason the nationalist groups want to talk at all is that they are losing local battles badly and need time to re-group and re-supply - or they will have to dip into their own personal wealth and prestige risking losing status in the post US Iraq. Yeah our Marines are getting that part down. But that is not gonna win this thing Iraq. Just stall the inevitable Civil war or allow another inhuman strongman we DO like to rise.

The only way those guys are signing a deal is if we essentially allow a backdoor "Re-Baathifiaction" in Iraq.

Now we just might do that. Though Bush would NEVER admit to it in a million years. Like he has never admitted the WMD thing was bullshit. And we KNOW it was now.

And the irony of that is so fucking delicious I can't stand it.
posted by tkchrist at 1:52 PM on February 22, 2005


Negotiating to surrender is not the "negotiating" the president has spoken of.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:53 PM on February 22, 2005


Alright, so the Sunnis are negotiating. Given that they have a central leadership and fair control over their own, that takes care of one potential rebel group.

Foreign nationals trying to stir up trouble on behalf of Al-Qaeda make up the more threatening group. They may not be able to do a lot, but if they can disrupt Iraq in formative stages, there's still bound to be lots of trouble.

We need to make a firm, solid impression on the Iraqi people as a benevolent force that fully respects Iraqi culture and Islam as a whole. If this is managed, the Iraqi people will be far more willing to focus on their own advancement, stopping outside forces who would impede them, and resulting in good relations with the US.

Of course, if we can't manage to make a positive impression on the Iraqi people, and scenes such as Abu Ghraib stick in their minds, Iraq will become a gigantic drain on money, resources, morale, and what remains of our international dignity.

We're already trying to repair the damage done by the means. Even if it lets Bush look good, let's hope the ends turn out for the better.
posted by Saydur at 1:53 PM on February 22, 2005


The negotiator isn't claiming to represent all Iraqi insurgents, just the rational ones that worked with the former regime that are fighting for nationalistic reasons and not some warped concept of jihad. Being that they all worked together before the war, I'd expect they would have leadership capable of negotiating for the whole. It wouldn't surprise me if many of the insurgents who are fighting for what they consider honorable reasons are tired of being lumped together with the ICRC/UN/mosque bombers and Decapitations Inc. by the international media. We could also use as many people who are in the know and on the ground allied with us against the jihadist.
posted by trinarian at 1:56 PM on February 22, 2005


So we should hang Bush for not negotiating with terroists.
Then we should hang him for not being flexible in his approaches.
Then we should hang him for negotiating with the insurgents because he had said he wouldn't.

Couldn't we just be happy that some progress might be in Iraq made and ignore the reflexive need to make every piece of news partisan? Why must all good news be lamented or conditioned while all bad news must be heralded?
posted by dios at 1:56 PM on February 22, 2005


How the fuck can you read this: they would accept a U.N. peacekeeping force as the U.S. troop presence recedes.

and conclude this: it would mean the Bush Administration is competent, and the French are wrong ?
posted by c13 at 1:56 PM on February 22, 2005


Why the change in Iraq?. Think this may have been caused from the election results. Because many Iraqis didn’t vote and now they wished they had. There was an article yesterday floating around the net about the tribe that did not participate in the vote.

Basically, the voting outcome put specific parties/tribes into office which may not be representative of ALL Iraq. So some Iraqis see (which confuses me) a future US military presence as help backing them when the Iraqi government unfairly represents them.
posted by thomcatspike at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2005


let's assume that the talks are for real -- ie, that the guys the Americans are talking to are actually the guys who can deliver (ie they'll be able to reduce the widespread violence and the current horrible situation on the ground re security).

well, if that is the case, Saddam's trial becomes even more a key element.

let's hear it from the hawks here -- since you now think it's OK to negotiate with the terrorists (I was under the impression that only straw-men Democrat appeasers were in favor of that, but I'm digressing), where does that lead the US? future release of Baathist officials / terrorist prisoners in exchange for peace? no execution for Rumsfeld's old buddy?
where?

this is a very interesting discussion.

not to mention that
To head off this threat of a Shi'ite clergy-driven religious movement, the US has, according to Asia Times Online investigations, resolved to arm small militias backed by US troops and entrenched in the population to "nip the evil in the bud".

Asia Times Online has learned that in a highly clandestine operation, the US has procured Pakistan-manufactured weapons, including rifles, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, ammunition, rockets and other light weaponry. Consignments have been loaded in bulk onto US military cargo aircraft at Chaklala airbase in the past few weeks. The aircraft arrived from and departed for Iraq.

The US-armed and supported militias in the south will comprise former members of the Ba'ath Party, which has already split into three factions, only one of which is pro-Saddam Hussein. They would be expected to receive assistance from pro-US interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's Iraqi National Accord.
posted by matteo at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2005


The US policy on "negotiating with terrorists" refers to airplane hijacking and similar - it's a way to deter people from committing the same or similar acts in the future by having a firm stance that they'll never get their demands. It did help to reduce the number of airline hijackings in the 70's/80's by removing any incentive other than flying to Cuba.

Therefore it is NOT inconsistent to negotiate with an armed resistance on the ground in Iraq.

To try to equate the two senses of "negotiating with terrorists" is to manipulate the words to fit your ends.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 1:58 PM on February 22, 2005


Why? Because Metafilter is significantly populated with people who are patholigically hateful of "W" for taking a stand against the dictators, their minions and econowhores; and and Islamofasts.

But you probably knew that, and asked the question rhetorically, right?
posted by ParisParamus at 2:00 PM on February 22, 2005


Also, this isn't about pre-cognition. This is about basic cognition. The comment was made in by Rumsfeld in June 2003. Well into the actual insurgency itself. This is about calling a spade a spade and coming to terms with the fact the the people we wanted to save from the wmd save from torture liberate, aren't too happy with us.

Paris, you see, you are looking at this in the wrong light: The Us is negotiating with the terrorists. Negotiating about how and when the U.S. should LEAVE Iraq so that the terrorists stop killing people....
posted by Freen at 2:01 PM on February 22, 2005


Who cares what was said about negotiating with terrorists in the past? Let's just hope that these negotiations bear fruit and slow down the carnage.
posted by caddis at 2:04 PM on February 22, 2005


Well Freen, I think you are completely wrong. When the Japanese surrendered unconditionally on that ship, and signed a document to that effect, that was not a "negotiation," even though arrangements had to be made for the ceremony to take place.

The Hate "W" crowd will go to any length to deny the reality of an improved word due to American foreign policy and the American military.

Well, whatver: you're the one who has to live with yourself ("you" plural), and deal with your hatred and distorted view of justice and progress.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:06 PM on February 22, 2005


The Us is negotiating with the terrorists. Negotiating about how and when the U.S. should LEAVE Iraq so that the terrorists stop killing people....
posted by Freen at 2:01 PM PST on February 22


Freen, so all Iraqis are terrorists now? The article said the guy was a leader of "insurgents." Are there not differences between the insurgency and the foreign-born terrorists? Could we negotiate with insurgents while also refusing to negotiate with the terrorists?
posted by dios at 2:07 PM on February 22, 2005


Islamofasts? you mean the Ramadan, Paris?

with an armed resistance on the ground in Iraq.

"armed resistance"?
it became "armed resistance" after November 2, my friend. check out Google. this isn't even funny.

Kerry's Ideal: Appeasement
What is the one thing that animates the tree-like Senator from Massachusetts? The answer, in a word, is appeasement. Of course, that is not the word used by Kerry or by Matt Bai, author of a revelatory profile of the senator in the New York Times Magazine. The word they both use is diplomacy, which, Bai tells us, is Kerry's panacea for all problems. "The only time I saw Kerry truly animated during two hours of conversation," Bai writes [emphasis added], was when Kerry talked about his ability to build releationships with foreign leaders, particularly Muslim leaders:

We need to engage more directly and more respectfully with Islam, with the state of Islam, with religious leaders, mullahs, imams, clerics, in a way that proves this is not a clash with the British and the Americans and the old forces they remember from the colonial days.


Kerry The Appeaser - In His Own Words


re the UN in Iraq and Kerry:

EDITORIAL: Praise from an appeaser
Sen. Kerry's foreign supporters start to come out of the woodwork


Kerry - The Appeaser

John Kerry: Appeaser
posted by matteo at 2:09 PM on February 22, 2005


actually, it's not the stand the bothered me so much, more the completely incompetant and dishonest way it was carried out. But you knew that. Here's your strawman back.

run along.......
posted by slapshot57 at 2:10 PM on February 22, 2005


Are there not differences between the insurgency and the foreign-born terrorists? Could we negotiate with insurgents while also refusing to negotiate with the terrorists?

This confuses me. I thought the insurgents were all terrorists. Now, we're saying that there are distinctions betweeen them? God damn it, which edition of the Newspeak Dictionary are we on now?
posted by psmealey at 2:10 PM on February 22, 2005


Is he John Kerry Chamberlain, the dyed-in-the-wool, principled pacifist appeaser? If so, there seems little reason to expect better results than the 1930s experiment.

Appeaser
Kerry will allow terrorists to get stronger

"armed resistance". heh. so much for moral clarity.
posted by matteo at 2:12 PM on February 22, 2005


To try to equate the two senses of "negotiating with terrorists" is to manipulate the words to fit your ends.

Which is exactly the point, TDL. The Bush administration has made sure we equate all Iraqi rebels as "terrorists." So they were either lying to us to manipulate the American public when they called the people we are fighting in Iraq terrorists, or they are now negotiating with terrorists. You can't dehumanize the enemy until it is convenient, and then try and re-humanize them, and still maintain credibility.

But, this is just yet another in a long string of "aha, it's going to get better in Iraq NOW" moments. It'd be nice if it happens, but I won't hold my breath. So far, none of these moments have panned out.
posted by teece at 2:13 PM on February 22, 2005


matteo, do you have a point? Or are you just dumping links out of frustration to divert attention away from what ought to be good news to anyone who has screamed for us to get out of Iraq like you have?
posted by dios at 2:14 PM on February 22, 2005


since you now think it's OK to negotiate with the terrorists
Boy matteo, you really threw a wrench into this discussion. Good point as who are we negotiating with in Iraq.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:14 PM on February 22, 2005


Wow! And just in time for our attack on Iran, too!
posted by kgasmart at 2:16 PM on February 22, 2005


Look, if much of the world is a corruption sewer, and that sewer has begun threatening the US in the form of terrorism, and US policy offends those who live in the sewer, why should I care? I rejoice in their offense!
posted by ParisParamus at 2:17 PM on February 22, 2005


News: Discussions are proceeding in a hope to end fighting in Iraq so that the nascent democracy can move to peace and security.

Metafilter reaction: Screw this. Someone said something in the past, so they shouldn't be trying to move to peace now. We were the ones for peace. So these pricks should have to keep fighting until so many soilders die that everyone knows we were right in the beginning. The Point must not be lost.
posted by dios at 2:18 PM on February 22, 2005


Dios: Nice hair splitting. Ok, we are negotiating with insurgents who blow shit up and kill innocent people (as well as American soldiers) about how and when the US is going to leave. Interestingly enough, they are mostly iraqi's. Notice how they aren't the people that were recently Elected. We haven't discussed a time frame with them yet. Only the peiple weilding the RPGs, whatever you want to call them. People who were suppossed to greet us with flowers. Odd how that works out. Reminds me of that onion article, Point and counterpoint.

Point: This War Will Destabilize Iraq And Set Off A Global Shockwave Of Anti-Americanism

Counterpoint: No It Won't


The Japanese did, But then again, we kept on running into guys in foxholes who tended to shoot at us for months and years after the fact. But they were loyal to the emperor. It was a country we were fighting in WWII, not the population of the country, nor a set of ideas held by a significant portion of the population.

Once more, with feeling, We are not fighting another country. We are fighting an idea. Ideas don't follow military structures. They don't have leaders, they do not live in states, nor are sponsored by states. They do not follow treaties, nor agreements.
posted by Freen at 2:21 PM on February 22, 2005


(that last comment should be limited: it is only some people who sound like that is there point. I didn't mean to aggregate the few in this thread into the Metafilter label as a whole)
posted by dios at 2:21 PM on February 22, 2005


It's imporant to remember that the main actors on the ground are and always have been Iraqis. They are the ones who care about their country, and they are the ones who will rebuild it, and hopefully make it into a nice place to live.

Those who supported the invasion need to make sure to support Iraqi solutions, because they are the only people who can make a lasting peace.

Those who didn't support it need to remember that Iraq does not equal Bush. Remember that Bush didn't want to have direct elections, and remember that Bush's terrible, horrendous, criminal lack of post-war planning is the #1 reason why things have not gone better. But the incompetency of the Americans cannot suppress the Iraqis, who are to be commended for doing their best under the circumstances.

If Iraq turns out OK, the Iraqis will owe Bush a debt of grattitude for destroying Saddam Hussein's regime, something they were unable to do on their own. The question of that matter will be, how well was it done, not why was it done.

But the rebuilding is something that happened in spite of American policy/effectiveness, not because of it. That is something they are proving every day that they can do, largely, on their own when it really comes down to it.
posted by chaz at 2:21 PM on February 22, 2005


matteo, do you have a point?

The point is: When Kerry says diplomacy, or negotiate, he's an appeaser. When Bush does the same, its resolute leadership.

Paris derailed the thread right from the start. This isn't going to be pretty.

knows that "W" hate is the only reason anyone would oppose the war.

(Just because the Right loathed Klinton for inexplicable reasons doesn't mean any and all opposition to Bush is similarly deluded.)

posted by kableh at 2:21 PM on February 22, 2005


Freen, is your point that we should go in and kill more and more until they are all dead? If not, then wtf is your point? Because you obviously are against the idea of trying to reach an agreement.
posted by dios at 2:22 PM on February 22, 2005


It's not OK to negotiate with groups who decapitate contractors and assassinate UN delegations en masse, but I have no qualms negotiating with groups that attack legitimate military targets and work within some rubric of morality and rationality that we can identify with.
posted by trinarian at 2:23 PM on February 22, 2005


Paris:Look, if much of the world is a corruption sewer, and that sewer has begun threatening the US in the form of terrorism, and US policy offends those who live in the sewer, why should I care? I rejoice in their offense!

ShorterParis: Rest of world = Not Human.

Way to Go! Apparently in Bizarro world you loose a chromosome if you were born outside of North America (Mexicans and Soviet Canuckistanians as well.)

Dios: Actually, if You'll notice, Most people as saying, well damn, this would be nice if it happens, It's kinda weird, I don't like that we are negotiating with the terrorists/insurgents/ armed resistance but if less americans die, I'm all for it. But then again, I've been lied to in the past about stuff like this. I'm going to look at it critically and see if it holds water.

Which, I personally don't think it does hold water. You can negotiate with the Crypts and the Bloods. But then the Gangsta Disciples will show up and they don't give a damn what you said to everybody else.
posted by Freen at 2:26 PM on February 22, 2005


The point is: When Kerry says diplomacy, or negotiate, he's an appeaser. When Bush does the same, its resolute leadership.

And therein the rub: you are blind to notions of morality, context, and strength. Bush has credibility. Kerry is a rich, vapid SOB with no core set of beliefs (actually he has two: all military spending and military actions are evil; and I will say anything to advance my political aspirations), and he's transparently so. Which is why he lost, and the Democratic party is headed for fringe status.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:27 PM on February 22, 2005


Look, if much of the world is a corruption sewer, and that sewer has begun threatening the US in the form of terrorism, and US policy offends those who live in the sewer, why should I care? I rejoice in their offense!

US policy "offends" in the sense that women and children are maimed and murdered by the thousands. You should care. You won't, because you cannot face the reality of the situation and will continue to depersonalize the real people US policies are killing, rather than make an adjustment to your worldview.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:28 PM on February 22, 2005


Bush has credibility.

With who?

I hate to break this to you, my friend, but a majority of the globe now thinks we are a power-crazed, hubris-laden threat to world peace. Bush has credibility with the 51 percent who voted for him, and few others.

Your assumption that this development somehow validates the entire Bush approach to Iraq would be amusing if this deluded mindset wasn't responsible for so many people losing their lives in the first place.
posted by kgasmart at 2:30 PM on February 22, 2005


No. My point is that Bush et all. have effectively failed at quelling the insurgency if this is the solution : Let's leave and get the UN to help us out so that the insurgents stop killing people.

Thats what the Left have been saying for a goddamned age and a half.

Paris: "How do you ask the last man to die for a mistake"
John Kerry, at the age of 28, In front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

What Was Bush doing at that time? I wonder.....
posted by Freen at 2:33 PM on February 22, 2005


Bush has credibility
Oh yes. Especially after the whole WMD thing.
Tons and tons of credibility.
posted by c13 at 2:33 PM on February 22, 2005


Paris,

just for future reference in my voting, what's the cutoff in millions between credibility and vapid? Is 102.5 million? I think I read that in a magazine somewhere.

And yes, I love Bush's core set of beliefs. What are they this week?
posted by slapshot57 at 2:33 PM on February 22, 2005


So we should hang Bush for not negotiating with terroists.
Then we should hang him for not being flexible in his approaches.
Then we should hang him for negotiating with the insurgents because he had said he wouldn't


I don't know, dios, but that would make him a "flip flopper" not to mention an appeaser as matteo brought up. Hypocrites.
posted by Eekacat at 2:34 PM on February 22, 2005


Kerry is a rich, vapid SOB with no core set of beliefs (actually he has two: all military spending and military actions are evil; and I will say anything to advance my political aspirations), and he's transparently so. Which is why he lost, and the Democratic party is headed for fringe status.

I fear there may be some truth to this.

As for the negotiations, of course they're a good thing (as Winnie used to say, "To jaw-jaw is better than to war-war"), but let's wait and see if anything substantial comes of them before we get all excited.
posted by languagehat at 2:35 PM on February 22, 2005


Halekon, it may be a multiple post, but it's the first time I've read it. Right on. Brilliantly apt. If only the leaders of the US bothered to read some history, we'd be a lot better off.
posted by the_savage_mind at 2:36 PM on February 22, 2005


he has two: all military spending and military actions are evil; and I will say anything to advance my political aspirations)

Ok, maybe there's some truth to the second part, but the first part is just patent nonsense. But, If you think Bush has anything resembling credibility (Iraq is an imminent threat is building weapons of mass destruction is pursuing weapons of mass destruction program related activities), you have either the memory of day fly or the attention span of a 5 year old.
posted by psmealey at 2:36 PM on February 22, 2005


ParisParamus writes, "Negotiating to surrender is not the 'negotiating' the president has spoken of."

You negotiate to the surrender you have, not the surrender you want.
posted by orthogonality at 2:37 PM on February 22, 2005


See, It's their huberis, their foolhardiness, rampant Idealism and disdain for the facts on the ground. They're doing what we said they should have done long ago. And because of that, Hundreds of American soldiers have been Killed, thousands wounded, and an untold of Iraqis killed and wounded.

Paris: Oh yeah, we scared Libiya straight. Didn't we? Oh wait. No, we didn't.
posted by Freen at 2:38 PM on February 22, 2005


I hate to break this to you, my friend, but a majority of the globe now thinks we are a power-crazed, hubris-laden threat to world peace.

I DON'T CARE. That view largely coincides with the reality that the US is the biggest guy on the block, and yet it still needs to defend itself. I DON"T CARE
posted by ParisParamus at 2:40 PM on February 22, 2005


...you're the one who has to live with yourself ("you" plural), and deal with your hatred and distorted view of justice and progress

Oh Jeebus. Stop whining. 90% of the Blogosphere are raging right-wingnut State Department spinheads.

WE ALL - you included - are going to have to live and DIE with this scar... this malignant stain... of a whining policy for thirty years or more. Talk to me about justice and progress when Saddam Light runs Iraq in ten years.

Damn. Enough dissonance and apologia already. Admit there have been massive mistakes and lets fix it before it's too late.
posted by tkchrist at 2:43 PM on February 22, 2005


Jesus Paramus, get a clue. Bush takes a stand against dictators who stand in his way? Except for the dictators whom he loves, like Musharref, the Saud family, Mubarek (yeah, he IS a dictator... that democracy is a total sham), and Uzbekistan's lovely, lovely Karimov who spends his time boiling dissidents, renaming days and months after himself and his mother, and building 50 foot tall solid-gold statues that follow the sun's trajectory. And that's for starters.

Please, at leat TRY to put up a decent fight here. Make it interesting.
posted by the_savage_mind at 2:44 PM on February 22, 2005


I DON'T CARE.

Y'know, Paris, this country's time at the top of the slag heap may be briefer than any of us are willing to acknowledge. You spend your time at the top telling the rest of the world to fuck off because you're running the show, the moment you aren't running the show, you have much to fear.
posted by kgasmart at 2:45 PM on February 22, 2005


Good news is when something good comes out of negotiations, the good news isn't the negotiations. Remember Camp David in 2000? Did nothing. When a deal is finished and fighting stops or even curtails dramatically, I'll consider this good news.
posted by Arch Stanton at 2:46 PM on February 22, 2005


Beyond the Euphrates began for us the land of mirage and danger

Halekon: Do you have a source for that quote? I do not think it is genuine. It is all over the internet in reference to Iraq, but does not show up in any other context. It appears here but is attributed to a novel about Hadrian. Does anyone know if it is genuine?
posted by LarryC at 2:46 PM on February 22, 2005


US has largest national debt. It depends on others for more than half of it's oil. And now it negotiates with guys in sneakers armed with 50 year old rusted Kalashnikovs.
Yes, its truly the biggest guy on the block.
posted by c13 at 2:47 PM on February 22, 2005


All those foreigners, Not Human.

Paris doesn't live on the same planet as all those weird brown people. Didn't have a friend die in the WTC, Didn't have to worry about inhaling the burnt flesh of one of his friends, nor try to figure out how he would get out of manhattan in case someone released smallpox in grand central station, or on the subway. He doesn't share a city with 13 million people from all over the world, Buy vegetables from Pakistani's straight out of pakistan, Drink with Koreans right of the boat, nor buy meat from the greek butcher.

Paris doesn't care. Because he doesn't have to face the world. He didn't have to feel their wrath. The heat from the flames died out hundreds of miles before he felt it on his face, before he smelled the burnt jet fuel, drywall and flesh. His eyes weren't sharp enough to see the bodies fall, nor his ears quite acute enough to hear the screams. Nor was he quite empathetic enough, to feel the loss of children brothers friends.

Paris Doesn't care what the world thinks because he has never actually had to face what the world can do.

I pity you. And you know what, as much as you disgust me, I hope you never have to face the consequences of the world you wish for.
posted by Freen at 2:50 PM on February 22, 2005


And therein the rub: you are blind to notions of morality, context, and strength. Bush has credibility. Kerry is a rich, vapid SOB with no core set of beliefs (actually he has two: all military spending and military actions are evil; and I will say anything to advance my political aspirations), and he's transparently so. Which is why he lost, and the Democratic party is headed for fringe status.

The reality distortion field is strong in this one. He has a future as a great Jedipublican master.
posted by teece at 2:51 PM on February 22, 2005


Abu Mohammed....what an original name.
posted by Ron at 2:52 PM on February 22, 2005


You know what, I almost started to reply to yet another of Paris' thread derailments and I noticed that little bracketed exclamation point.

Arch Stanton, yep, having the map and finding the treasure are two very, very different things.
posted by fenriq at 2:53 PM on February 22, 2005


OK; we're not the biggest guy on the block. So ignore US. PLEASE.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:53 PM on February 22, 2005


Paris: I didn't know where you lived. I now know that you're from Brooklyn. I still hope that you didn't live through what I lived through that day, but I'd like to apologize for implying that you were hundreds of miles away, and insulated from the effects.
posted by Freen at 2:58 PM on February 22, 2005


Freen, since I live in Brooklyn, I don't get you AT ALL.

The US has been disliked for at least a century by the foreign power elites. It's just that now they have a (US-created) megaphone in the form of the Internet to let me and you know.

So, again, I don't care what Chirac and Shroeder(sp?) and the Mullahs and the UN crimiinals think. I don't want to joint those entities' race to the bottom. I am proud to be disliked by such bastions of immorality and corruption!!

Iraq, and now Lebanon and Israel are going the right way. And when the Mullahs are gone from Iran, and Assad is beheaded (or something nearly as appropriate), you still won't be able to credit the US. AND I DON'T CARE BECAUSE YOU ARE HOPELESSLY HOPELESS.
posted by ParisParamus at 3:00 PM on February 22, 2005


So its ok if those UN criminals take over the mess in Iraq, now that we've fucked it up as much as possible?
posted by c13 at 3:07 PM on February 22, 2005


Ok. Well. I hope by then we've figured out how to secure the population from individuals who wish to do us harm while simultaneously preserving our basic human freedoms. That's a tough nut to crack.

It's a bit like the market system, you know, Self Correcting an all. When someone behaves in a way the market won't bear, even though they maybe the largest player in the market, they still get squashed. You piss off enough people, they will piss on you. Either by actively hurting us, or by enticing the easily terrorized into giving up their freedoms.

Paris:What is your plan for keeping nerve gass off the subway?
posted by Freen at 3:09 PM on February 22, 2005


So ignore US. PLEASE.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:53 AM AEST on February 23


On behalf of the rest of the world PP, we'd love to ignore you.

Now, if you'll just pay off all of your debts, remove your military from foreign soil and restrict the movement of your citizens from our lands we'll call it square.

Once you've done that the USA can be as offensive as it wants, at least then the 5.7 Billion other people on this planet can try to move forward with some sanity.

Oh, BTW, you can forget about taking any more of our natural resources. Have fun arguing with the Hummer driver over who gets the last gallon of petrol.

On Preview: Apologies to any sane US residents, we know you're sick of the noise too.
posted by bangalla at 3:11 PM on February 22, 2005


Let's leave and get the UN to help us out so that the insurgents stop killing people.

That's what the Left have been saying for a goddamned age and a half.


So why all the glum faces over this? We may be getting what we asked for. It should be good news, not bad. I don't think Kerry would have gotten us here any more quickly. It does not excuse all of Bushco's mistakes up to this point but let's hope this works. Was dios right? Do some here think the war should just stay awful so that Bush never gets the satisfaction of claiming he was right (whether that claim is true or not)?
posted by caddis at 3:22 PM on February 22, 2005


Why is it so hard for this group to have a rational discussion of something without trying to provoke, personally attack, and sidetrack each other?

All I ask is that someone says "If true, this will be a good thing because" followed by someone saying "If true, this will be a bad thing because" followed by someone saying "Here's why this probably isn't true" and perhaps a good "This is true, but will change nothing, and here's why."

Instead it's a lot of noise, followed by people (like me) complaining about the noise, followed by...well, by whatever follows this comment, I suppose.

Bluh. Incidentally, I think that calling someone a "bush-basher" or "W hater" is a fanboy copout, and needs its' own Godwin-type rule.

posted by davejay at 3:23 PM on February 22, 2005


US has been disliked for at least a century by the foreign power elites... the UN crimiinals... proud to be disliked by such bastions of immorality and corruption!!

Well, now, that's just channelling Ann Coulter. You forgot about the part where we all hate teh Jesus.

The US has and will continue to tons of nasty shit over the years, just like the Dutch and Belgians did in Africa, just like the French did in North Africa, just like the Brits did in South Asia, just like the Spanish did in.... it goes on and on. Why do we assume moral superiority just because we happen to be the biggest boys on the block at the moment? When we try to do good, innocent people die and lives are ruined, when we act selfishly (as all nations do, believe it or not) the same thing happens.

I was against this war from before it started mainly because (1) I did not think it was part of our overall objective of reducing the threat of global terror and (2) the risk of making the situation worse by sparking an all out Iraqi civil war was not worth the risk.

But we're there now, and I do wish for a speedy and reasonable conclusion, as I think everyone does. Whether we leave Iraq in better shape than we found it, there will always be people that will remember the way casus belli was so hastily put together and in the end the US went in unilaterally. Even in the most positive end game scenarios in Iraq, there will inevitably be losers, and those folks are not likely to look kindly upon the US for their plight.

But this constant prattling on about the moral superiority of America, and the infallibility of Bush is just INANE. It's straight out of fourth grade history textbook.

Whatever the USA has has done over the decades in South and Central America, the Middle East and the Philippines, whatever we think of it, Americans have all benefitted from it in one way or another. Whether we protested those actions or not, we all bear some responsibility for it. Some of us feel guilty about it and do nothing, others of us protest it to keep it from happening again, and a few others beat are chests and say "God Bless the USA!!" But let's not insult each other's intelligence and pretend that any of it was done with the view of the greater good of mankind in mind.
posted by psmealey at 3:23 PM on February 22, 2005


We're making it exceedingly difficult to ignore us... invading a country under a false pretext isn't exactly the most low-profile operation one could imagine.

We're on top, but we are incredibly fragile. We aren't even a paper tiger... confetti tiger is more like it. All the world has to do is stop buying dollars and we fall apart. That's all it would take. We're THAT fragile.

We are totally dependent on the kindness of strangers... Paris doesn't seem to realize that his entire way of life is supported by those subhumans he so despises.

If the world decides that the US is a threat, it's game over. It is unwise to anger one's creditors....
posted by Malor at 3:24 PM on February 22, 2005


not worth the risk not worth the best possible reward.
posted by psmealey at 3:27 PM on February 22, 2005


As expected America is winning and the traitors are whining.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 3:27 PM on February 22, 2005


By the way, re: my earlier comment, it's nice to see some people TRYING to have a good discussion, but we got derailed on this by comment #3:

1. [opinion: this is good]

2. [opinion: this will make no difference because...]

3. [provoke: snark]

4. [opinion: this might make a difference because...]

5. [provoke: snark implied via quotation without context]

6. [tangent: useful information about related activity]

7. [provoke: snarky response to first snark]


On Preview:

As expected America is winning and the traitors are whining.

Thank you for your bumper sticker slogan. I cannot think of anything more useful, insightful and conducive to intelligent discussion than the comment you have just made.
posted by davejay at 3:33 PM on February 22, 2005


scrooge swoops in to lay another troll.
posted by caddis at 3:40 PM on February 22, 2005


DaveJay: My snark was an attempt to illustrate a very specific point through the use of sarcasm: Insurgent leaders may in fact lack the ability to negotiate for those under their "Command" due to the decentralized and ideological nature of the insurgency. And annoy ParisParamus.
posted by Freen at 4:04 PM on February 22, 2005


LarryC: Thanks very much for your comment.. I was wondering where the quote was from, and it appears it's from Marguerite Yourcenar's novel, Memoirs of Hadrian.

*goes to bookshelf*

...Ah yes, here it is, on page 79 of my Noonday paperback edition. So halekon, if you're going to keep quoting that, I hope you'll give proper attribution and make clear that it's from a 20th-century novel and not a second-century Roman emperor.
posted by languagehat at 4:12 PM on February 22, 2005


But, Freen, they might have gotten together. It could be they're tired of fighting. It could be they're tired of being lumped in with the folks from Iran and Syria who are attacking other Iraqis. It could be they've gotten together with the help of the internet cafes that have sprung up, and have decided collectively that a working Iraq where they play a tiny part, is better than a screwed up Iraq where they're constantly hunted while they try to grab the whole ball of wax and they're pissing off even more of their countrymen.

Let's take it at face value for a while, and see where it goes.

JB
posted by JB71 at 4:13 PM on February 22, 2005


Here's the Amazon page view, if the URL works; if not, just go to the Amazon page for the book and "search inside" for Euphrates -- the first hit is the quote.
posted by languagehat at 4:16 PM on February 22, 2005


Negotiating to surrender is not the "negotiating" the president has spoken of.

Again you make me laugh.
Don't you get it yet?

The nationalists aren't going to surrender, dude. They are going to be in-fucking-charge! They are the only ones who understand and have the experience of how to run Iraq as a united state!

You think the exiles Bush tried to rig the election with are going know how to run a country they haven't lived in for over thirty years? You think they can handle the Shia?

Fer christ sake man, Chalabi had to step down from his "elected" post.

Alawi will be out next.

If we have any hope of heading off a Shiite (read IRAN) take over of Iraq (and all that yummy oil) we ar going to give Iraq BACK via "power share" to Sunni Baathists.

De-baathification was THE defining moment of us LOSING this engagement. The irony I'm alluding to is that we are are not so discretely bringing the Baathists back into the political fold. A tacit admission of the earlier failure and an admission of the falsity of "rescuing" this country from "dictatorship".

Because, mark my words buck-o, this country WILL be a "friendly" dictatorship again or it will balkanize.
posted by tkchrist at 4:19 PM on February 22, 2005


guys, don't reply to ParisParamus.
posted by mcsweetie at 4:24 PM on February 22, 2005


Yes, and as said above, If this does work out, and American soldiers stopped coming home in body bags, I'll be absolutely ecstatic.

But, as it stands, I've had enough mights and maybes. I had enough of accurately predicting the future. I'd have loved it if there was a giant stinking pile of plutonium there. I'd have lost $500 bucks, but i'd have loved it. It would have meant that the US wasn't a fucking joke of a bully. I can't wait for Iraq to be a peaceful, democratic place. But If anyone thinks that the bozos in charge are gonna get it done any way but the worst way imaginable, coming to their senses as the only option left is the option the rest of us had been screaming for ages, you are blind. Alot of people took Bush at face value, said" if they say it, it must be true!" Heck Paris himself offered to renounce the administration is we didn't find WMD in Iraq. and the nothing. Nada. Zilch. I don't trust this administration for a second.

And frankly, take yourself, The russians have invaded, are turing your country into the dictatorship of the proletariat, are you gonna stop fighting because the generals are tired? I wouldn't. We are the russians for them, and this is their red dawn. The sooner we can leave the better. The sooner Iraq is an independent nation, the better. But ends don't justify means. It's about how we get there that matters most.
posted by Freen at 4:28 PM on February 22, 2005


The US has been disliked for at least a century by the foreign power elites.

The Bavarian Illuminati? The Rosicrucians perhaps? The National Front?

This "elite" shite is just that: Republican psychobabble intended to inflame the rubes against the educated. Just who the fuck were the "foreign power elites" in 1905--the Elders of Zion? And just who were the "foreign power regular joes "who presumably loved the US? Then or now? Vacuity, thy name is Paris Paramouche.

The maximum "leverage moment" for Iraq settlement was in April 2003--if not in March 2003. I am dee-lighted, as Teddy Roosevelt used to say, that our Dear Leader's feckless expenditure of uncounted human lives and a few hundred billion dollars that he doesn't have will empower Shiite fundamentalists aligned with Iran to rule Iraq.

That's what we're fighting for, Mr. SmartyPants Communist, Mr. Wheelchair General. . . .
posted by rdone at 4:29 PM on February 22, 2005


This article is good news.
posted by angry modem at 5:06 PM on February 22, 2005


"Paris:What is your plan for keeping nerve gass off the subway?"

Kill as many Islamofascists as possible in Iraq, Afghanistan, and perhaps, Iran. And the West Bank and Gaza. Depose or assasinate Assad. Foment democratic revolution in Iran, or, if that fails, kill the Mullahs in Tehran. Now that might not be guaranteed to work, but it's as good as it gets.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:26 PM on February 22, 2005


Well, there you go then..

This might be good news, or it might fall apart.

If it falls apart, then no progress has been made, and war continues.

If it's good news, then it means that those who were (not necessarily against the war but were) against the policies and procedures in this war were right all along. You need a real live world dispute resolution patrol to come in and settle things. Unfortunately, all we have to choose from is the UN. It comes down to the fact that do it alone. If you ever could, those days are past us.

But ends don't justify means. It's about how we get there that matters most.

Exzactafuckinglutely!!

If you are going to try and be benefactors of someone elses land, you can't do it the way we did. Everything that possibly could have been done wrong, has. Thank you current administration.

Oh, and Paris, you are a sucky suckbeast whose sucky suckers suck suckingly against the succulents, and you suck.
posted by Balisong at 5:27 PM on February 22, 2005


the fact that do it alone.
posted by Balisong at 5:28 PM on February 22, 2005


damn.. you ~cannot ~ do it alone.
posted by Balisong at 5:29 PM on February 22, 2005


The Left will be the Left will be the Left; one can't persuade the blind to have vision. Thankfully, you're spiraling down, down down in sway and numbers. Now it's up to those sane folk in the Center and the near-Right to be the socially conscious force you still pretend to be.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:31 PM on February 22, 2005


~but we still love you...~
posted by Balisong at 5:36 PM on February 22, 2005


you plan to do a lot of killing -- when are you enlisting, Paris?
posted by matteo at 5:51 PM on February 22, 2005


All the world has to do is stop buying dollars and we fall apart. That's all it would take. We're THAT fragile.

We are totally dependent on the kindness of strangers...


Nobody ever bought dollars out of kindness.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:56 PM on February 22, 2005


I invite everyone who hates USA to stop buying dollars. Go ahead--MAKE MY DAY.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:01 PM on February 22, 2005


Metafilter: AND I DON'T CARE BECAUSE YOU ARE HOPELESSLY HOPELESS.

Ah, capitals. The resort of the damned.

Paris, that's a very FoxNews-like attempt to paint anyone who disagrees with the administration as 'Left' whilst pretending 'all normal people' (the Center) is sitting back laughing at them.

Kill as many Islamofascists as possible in Iraq, Afghanistan, and perhaps, Iran. And the West Bank and Gaza. Depose or assasinate Assad. Foment democratic revolution in Iran, or, if that fails, kill the Mullahs in Tehran.

As someone who doesn't care for the right or the left, I am saying: your plan is guaranteed to kill more American civilians & military personnel than any other course of action, including (*not that I'm conding this*) doing absolutely nothing.

I just hope you know it. I think you do, since when you're not trolling you seem somewhat insightful. Either that, or I hope you're in no position to influence policy.
posted by cosmonik at 6:08 PM on February 22, 2005


The Left will be the Left will be the Left; one can't persuade the blind to have vision

Metafilter: they come for the snark, but they stay for the dogma.
posted by psmealey at 6:15 PM on February 22, 2005


Holy mackerel Paris. You sure are bloodthirsty. Aren't you Jewish? Moses' laws apply to you too, you know... or are you now YHWH's Appointed Angel of Death?

I try to give you benefit of the doubt, but when you flat out call for, advocate, even glorify wholesale slaughter of human beings (misguided and violent though some of your proposed targets may be), I can only condemn your statements.

I don't see anywhere in the Constitution where it says the US is allowed to visit politically-motivated genocide on anyone.
posted by zoogleplex at 6:20 PM on February 22, 2005


Americans of a certain age will recall Douglas MacArthur's pithy aphorism: "There is no substitute for victory." The remark captures an essential element of our military tradition. When the United States goes to war, it fights to win, to force the enemy to do our will. To sacrifice our soldiers' lives for anything less — as MacArthur charged was the case in Korea and later unambiguously became the case in Vietnam — smacks of being somehow un-American.

But among the various official statements being issued to explain events in Iraq, any mention of military victory has become notable by its absence. Tacitly — unnoticed even by the war's critics — the Bush administration has all but given up any expectation of defeating the enemy with whom we are engaged.

In the early days of the insurgency, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez vowed to use "whatever combat power is necessary to win," displaying all the pugnacity of a George Patton or Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf. "That's what America expects of me," declared Sanchez in December 2003, "and that's what I'm going to accomplish." Senior commanders no longer make such bold promises. Nor do senior civilian officials in Washington.

Indeed, today the Bush administration's aim is not to win but to relieve itself of responsibility for waging a war that it began but cannot finish. Debate in national security circles focuses not on deploying war-winning technologies or fielding innovative tactics that might turn the tide, but on how we can extricate ourselves before our overstretched forces suffer irreparable damage.

Optimists are placing their hopes on a crash program to create a new Iraqi security force that just might permit us in a year or so to begin reducing the size of our garrison. Pessimists have their doubts. But virtually no one is predicting we will be even remotely close to crushing the insurgency. The decisive victory promised by the war's advocates back in March 2003 — remember all the talk of "shock and awe"? — has now slipped beyond our grasp.


We Aren't Fighting to Win Anymore - U.S. troops in Iraq are only trying to buy time.

The active-duty Army is in danger of failing to meet its recruiting goals and is beginning to suffer from manpower strains like those that have dropped the National Guard and Reserves below full strength, according to Army figures and interviews with senior officers.

For the first time since 2001, the Army began the fiscal year last October with only 18.4 percent of the year's target of 80,000 active-duty recruits already in the pipeline. That amounts to half of the previous year's figure and falls well below the Army's goal of 25 percent.

The Army is rushing incoming recruits into training as quickly as it can. Compared with last year, it has cut by 50 percent the average number of days between the time a recruit signs up and enters boot camp. It is adding more than 800 active-duty recruiters to the total of 5,201 who were on the job last year, as attracting each enlistee requires more effort and monetary incentives.

Driving the manpower crunch is the Army's goal of boosting the number of combat brigades needed to rotate into Iraq and handle other global contingencies. Yet Army officials see worrisome signs that young American men and women — and their parents — are growing wary of military service, largely because of the Iraq conflict.


Army recruiting goals in jeopardy
posted by y2karl at 6:28 PM on February 22, 2005


Paris is so obvious, genius in fact. Right down to the short form PP. I envy his skill in making broad, assumptive statements and ignoring any counterpoint, even it it was his own, when convenient.

My little darling nieces can understand that the end doesn't justify the means, that an individual group is seldom all good, or all evil, that someone can do three things right, and five wrong, that not only is the world not black and white (or minor shades of gray) but rather one of a burst and collage of millions of colour.

Success in Iraq, if judged so, shouldn't be a simple reason to ignore how that success was achieved nor the results or ramifications of said methods for years to come. It's sort of like saying we needn't study the racism and slavery in America's past or present because slavery is now illegal and racism greatly reduced. Indeed such things helped us get to where we are ultimately by realizing the error of our ways. Paris doesn't care about what they think and they don't care what the U.S. thinks. He sounds just like they or them. That's a great model for cohabitation and sharing good times and culture. Sign me up.

Most people see this as a rather different approach, one advocated by many for quite some time, and it may (or may not work.) What has that got to do with validating the competency or incompetency of Bush in a general sense or the French in a specific sense?

When one can't be held at all accountable for one's own statements you realize that the accountability of those in power, if favoured, isn't an issue. Ditto for competency.
posted by juiceCake at 6:42 PM on February 22, 2005


Army recruiting goals in jeopardy

So I guess the economy really is picking up.

Army, hell. The marines- the marines , for God's sake - are having trouble reaching their recruiting goals.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:42 PM on February 22, 2005


Oh dear. To our resident hawks, Iraq could become a perfect, happy democracy tommorow, and the blood would STILL be on your hands. It's not that people don't want this to end, it's just that your NEVER going to be able to justify it.
posted by iamck at 6:45 PM on February 22, 2005


Holy smokes, Batman! The reality is that one vows to kill you, and, to boot, seems to have no issue with killing themself in the process, drastic measures are required. At least historically, the people you were at war with didn't want to die, themselves. But when your enemy doesn't seem to mind death, well, that's why President Bush's policies are called for. I wish it wasn't so, but it is.

PS: since when is it immoral to kill those who vow to kill you? Moses would approve, particularly after a decade or two of letting the Islamo-wackos show their colors.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:46 PM on February 22, 2005


Oh dear....pacifist coward.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:47 PM on February 22, 2005


it would mean the Bush Administration is competent,

Oh no worries about that. Given the inability of them to figure out terrorists were gonna attack, the inability to fire the SS agents who didn't pull the President away from goat stories when the nation was under attack, an inability to plan a war, the inability to plan a budget, actually fire anyone who made mistakes, and the issuing of press passes to people who are not actually journalists - what would make a sane and rational person think that suddenly the present adminstration was compentent?
posted by rough ashlar at 6:52 PM on February 22, 2005


Does anyone have any links/predictions about what the future Iraq is going to be like? Any expert guesses as to where it's going? I'm having a hard time finding useful articles on the new administration in Iraq. I'd be very curious to know who they are, where they're from. (Maybe I'll research that for a future FPP or something? I'm no good at that kind of thing.) Actually, it's pretty difficult to find anything on Iraq that's not chest-thumping braggadacio or bitter and tongue-in-cheek, which IMHO speaks to what a political red herring this issue has become.

Like a lot of you have said, the fact that negotiations are happening at all is a good thing. But we're negotiating with just the "former Baathist elements"? I could totally see Palestinization. You can't nail them all down with one negotiator. Maybe this sounds imperialistic, but it's not meant to be. My question is how do we subtly nudge and mold Iraqi society into something that can laughably discredit Musli-nutter propaganda? It worked with communism and the West, and some are better for it, some are worse, but they're not threatening to lob nukes at us anymore. This Islamic solidarity thing is killing us, you know?
posted by saysthis at 6:52 PM on February 22, 2005


Oh, and what mcsweetie said. Please don't answer Paris. He's the only person on this site I can think of who routinely calls other members names (pacifist coward, for example). And I know I said "Musli-nutter" but that's just 'cause it sounds fun. Constantly referring to a group of people with a perjorative label is just rude, and it smacks of someone itching for a fight. Don't support people who live to polarize debates. Balance and meanness are two different things. It makes the whole conversation stupid.
posted by saysthis at 7:07 PM on February 22, 2005


So we should hang Bush for not negotiating with terrorists.

error, exactly WHO are these 'terrorists'?

Saudi Arabians? The Taliaban? Who?

Then we should hang him for not being flexible in his approaches.

Clue: He's being hung up because even his daddy knew enough not to go play in Iraq.

Bush the Lesser punched the tar baby. Yet its the citizens who have to pay for it.

Then we should hang him for negotiating with the insurgents because he had said he wouldn't.

Geee. Bush is a politician. If noise escapes his lips why should he be held to a higher position of honesty than the last liar at 1600? Or the one before him. Or before him. Or .....

Couldn't we just be happy that some progress might be in Iraq made

Gee, how is thousands of dead, billions of dollars gone, less reliable water and power "progress"? Progress would have to place Iraq where it was before the invasion. You'll let us all know when the US taxpayer is where they were b4 the invasion, and the Iraqis are back to where they were b4 the invasion, m'kay? Because once both of thoes happen, then "progress can be made".
posted by rough ashlar at 7:11 PM on February 22, 2005


pejorative.

*Note to self: don't misspell shit in posts nagging other people.
posted by saysthis at 7:14 PM on February 22, 2005


"The reality is that one vows to kill you, and, to boot, seems to have no issue with killing themself in the process, drastic measures are required."

As soon as he who vows to kill me is actually in my face trying to kill me, then I would resort to deadly force to defend myself from him. And with zero hesitation, I might add.

That's as opposed to hearing that someone has vowed to kill me, and then going over to his place of abode and killing him first. Or, say, saturation-firebombing his block to try to get him and his whole family so they can't gang up on me or take retribution if I do happen to get him first.

The first is killing in self-defense, against a direct threat. The second is premeditated murder, possibly including many innocents, based on hearsay. Moses would have no trouble with the former, but the latter is prohibited by the Commandments - in every language they're written in.

Of course, I'd take measures to defend myself if I heard someone had vowed to kill me, and would be on my guard for them - probably would do a bit of intel work to find out if the vow was real, and where and when said potential assassin might try to strike.

And, since the world and our present situation is a bit grayer than my hypothetical situation above, what with indiscriminate methods and weapons being employed, I can somewhat see your point of view.

Now, if you can come up with a foolproof way for you yourself to travel over there and, without error in targeting and without spilling innocent blood, personally kill all these folks you so vehemently believe should be dead, then you get right on over there.

Otherwise you're just advocating bloody death for many, many people who you can't identify with more than a few adjectives. Which IMO is monstrous. Slaughter only begets slaughter. You should know this very well from both secular and religious history. Humans can do better; but we keep taking the easy, bloody path which continues turning the circle.

If we slaughter them, surely we will be the next on the chopping block. History makes that bloody clear.

saysthis: PP and I have actually had pleasant exchanges in other threads. I find it hard to reconcile that "other PP" sometimes with his opinions in threads such as these, and feel I must call him on it, especially in an instance like this.
posted by zoogleplex at 7:17 PM on February 22, 2005


Inability to plan a war? This war has been very successful. We have another democracy in the Middle East. One where no-one thought it was possible. Bush is the greatest leader America has had since the gipper.

He's the only person on this site I can think of who routinely calls other members names (pacifist coward, for example)

And others have been implying that PPs opinions are worthless because he is not taking an active role in Iraq. Funny how a belief in the division of labor suddenly invalidates all your opinions.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 7:17 PM on February 22, 2005


Because Metafilter is significantly populated with people who are patholigically hateful of "W" for taking a stand against the dictators, their minions and econowhores;

You WILL be so kind as to point out when the various parts of governments stop catering to the econowhores, thus noting the date when Eisenhower warning about the Military-Industrial Complex was heeded, M'kay?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:21 PM on February 22, 2005


This war has been very successful. We have another democracy in the Middle East.

Plan a family vacation there and blog about your experience in the New Democracy, whydonchanow?

If we slaughter them, surely we will be the next on the chopping block. History makes that bloody clear.

Don't you get what Paris is saying? If we kill all the terrorists in the world today, tomorrow the world will be Terrorist Free!! That's LOGIC!
posted by odinsdream at 7:23 PM on February 22, 2005


The reality is that most of the world appreciates and/or loves us. I don't care about Old Europe.
posted by ParisParamus at 7:25 PM on February 22, 2005


Please Paris, take a long tour of these nations who love us, and you.. Be sure to bring and spread your fruitful opinions with you, and then report back on how that goes...
posted by Balisong at 7:28 PM on February 22, 2005


Plan a family vacation there and blog about your experience in the New Democracy, whydonchanow?
Not looking for a vacation. But if someone can hook me up with a sweet Iraq job I might be interested.

Don't you get what Paris is saying? If we kill all the terrorists in the world today, tomorrow the world will be Terrorist Free!! That's LOGIC!

It's better than sitting and waiting for them to strike again. Since it is impossible to protect against all homeland attacks the best defense is offense.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 7:31 PM on February 22, 2005


The reality is that most of the world appreciates and/or loves us.



Um, no, they don't...
posted by y2karl at 7:36 PM on February 22, 2005


Not looking for a vacation. But if someone can hook me up with a sweet Iraq job I might be interested.

Oh, MAN!! You are just the guy the Army-Marine recruiters have been looking for!!

They'll even come to your house to finalize the deal!!

It's more than a job, it's an ADVENTURE!
posted by Balisong at 7:37 PM on February 22, 2005


Or are Mexico, Canada, Great Britain and Australia, among others, part of Old Europe now ?
posted by y2karl at 7:38 PM on February 22, 2005


I invite everyone who hates USA to stop buying dollars. Go ahead--MAKE MY DAY.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:01 PM PST on February 22


Guess PP hasn't been paying attention. Iraq re-priced its product in Euros, Oil suppliers are taking Euros for payments, and when Korea and Taiwan says they are dumping their dollars.

As your day gets made PP, what ya gonna do? Cry?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:43 PM on February 22, 2005


We have another democracy in the Middle East.

The former Marine (SCOTT RITTER) also said that the Jan. 30 elections, which George W. Bush has called "a turning point in the history of Iraq, a milestone in the advance of freedom," were not so free after all. Ritter said that U.S. authorities in Iraq had manipulated the results in order to reduce the percentage of the vote received by the United Iraqi Alliance from 56% to 48%.

democracy
a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority

A 'majority'? When a 'majority' didn't actually vote, how can that be a 'democracy'?

Let me guess, you think the US of A is a democracy....
posted by rough ashlar at 7:50 PM on February 22, 2005


But if someone can hook me up with a sweet Iraq job I might be interested.

Here you go. Have fun, but don't forget - this isn't your average democracy. This is Adventure Democracy! So, be sure you have an armed escort, and don't eat outside at the little chinese restaurant, lest you want to be spending your lunch picking up lobbed grenades and tossing them back over the walls.
posted by odinsdream at 7:54 PM on February 22, 2005


It's better than sitting and waiting for them to strike again. Since it is impossible to protect against all homeland attacks the best defense is offense.

So, are these "terrorists" wearing a big red 'T' on their chest? The reality is that they are kind of hard to find. The "offense" you speak of is nothing of the sort. It translates as "make war on some Islamic people that happen to live in the same area as the terrorists. We'll maybe get lucky and take out a few bad guys, along with the thousands of innocents we kill."

That is a) wholly repugnant thinking that you should be deeply ashamed of, and b) guaranteed to make us live in a more dangerous world, not a less dangerous one. It's also illegal.
posted by teece at 8:04 PM on February 22, 2005


80k GBP per year for a GSM Product Manager position in Iraq? Where's all that US Gov't cheese going to anyway? A buddy of mine did similar work in Saudi about 8 years ago (when it was still relatively safe for Americans to live/work there), and he made nearly twice that for a nine month gig. /OT
posted by psmealey at 8:05 PM on February 22, 2005


It's also illegal.

Illegal? Whose laws?

No-one cares what some UN or EU bureaucrats think.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 8:09 PM on February 22, 2005


It's better than sitting and waiting for them to strike again. Since it is impossible to protect against all homeland attacks the best defense is offense.

The 'them' were Saudi citizens. America is in Iraq because the US education can't find Saudi Arabia on a map and mistook Iraq for Saudia Arbia?

Oh, and all this 'protection', who's paying for it? Have you opened your wallet, or are you one of these big talkers who doesn't actually step up and pay?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:09 PM on February 22, 2005


Since it is impossible to protect against all homeland attacks the best defense is offense.

Since it's impossible, or at least very, very hard for us up with a long term comprehensive strategy to identify, isolate and discourage terrorist training and recruitment, we're going to instead pursue a plan based on the involuntary spewing of football clichés and macho one-liners.
posted by psmealey at 8:09 PM on February 22, 2005


Illegal? Whose laws?

God's laws? Every civilized nation's laws? I know you've heard of those Don't Kill People laws...
posted by odinsdream at 8:24 PM on February 22, 2005


If you are physically able, I find it highly immoral to support a war you are unwilling to fight in.

Paris: A war on an idea. When was the last time that worked out? Poverty, Drugs? Terrorists are not a finite group of individuals. There is not a limited set of individuals willing to kill you and as many americans as is humanly possible. There is a motivation. That motivation is an idea. You must combat the idea, not those susceptible to it. We do this about halfway decently with drug cartels. We get the cartel. The individuals responsible, and we attempt to dissuade others from becoming drug lords. We do not go after columbians in general, or those who might become drug lords. Only the drug lords. Oddly enough, though, the drug trade continues. Why? Because the demand, the basic motivation remains. In order to stop the drug cartels, we need to address the motivation: the fact that people want drugs to a degree that they are both willing to break the law, as well as spend an insane amount of money on drugs, so much that it is highly profitable to break the law and risk life and limb and be willing to kill or be killed in order to provide drugs.

On preview: Scrooge, it's illegal based on our laws. When we ratify treaties, they gain the force of law.
posted by Freen at 8:28 PM on February 22, 2005


Comedy or tragedy?
I Support The Occupation Of Iraq,
But I Don't Support Our Troops


Sounds about right...;)
posted by Balisong at 8:46 PM on February 22, 2005


See Paris.

See Paris Troll.

Troll, Paris! Troll!
posted by papakwanz at 8:53 PM on February 22, 2005


ParisParamus, a troll? Perhaps one day he was. Now he has moved on to the glorious realm of Caps Lock Crackpot.
posted by Freen at 9:12 PM on February 22, 2005


Let me rephrase that: I don't care about the governments of Old Europe. Jacques, bé bé! Va vendre vos armes aux chinois---quelle bonne moralité!
posted by ParisParamus at 9:19 PM on February 22, 2005


I rest my case.
posted by Freen at 9:25 PM on February 22, 2005


Scrooge finally comes in for multiple troll droppings in one thread. If he only had a brain.....

The reality is that one vows to kill you, and, to boot, seems to have no issue with killing themself in the process, drastic measures are required.

The problem with this, is how do you know who the person is who has vowed to kill you. That is the beauty of an insurgency. They make the vow, but not in public, sneak out of the shadows to perform their dirty deeds and then disappear back into the crowd. We can hardly complain about the tactic, it worked well in the late 1700's for the US.

What the negotiations promise, perhaps, is turning some of those in the insurgency back into citizens. When an insurgency has no, or absurd, demands then no solution can really work and the insurgency just makes everybody miserable. If on the other hand they have a goal and we can negotiate to help them reach their goal, despite their awful deeds, hope arises. This FPP points to some possible hope. Some view this with skepticism, I might be among them. If it bears fruit and helps stabilize Iraq then of course GW and his supporters will crow. This does not make the news bad. As citizens of the US, or really any western country, we should welcome a more stable Iraq, even if it comes at the price of some right wing crowing. So what? It doesn't justify the wrong headed decision to invade, the massive loss of lives and property on both sides, or the loss of American prestige around the globe. It does, however, limit the ability of terrorist groups to use Iraq as the new Afghanistan. GW's war gave them this prize, and hopefully the Iraqi spirit can wrest it away from them.

By the way Matt, did you delete one of my comments from the very beginning of this thread (it was pretty benign - along the lines of "good news") or did it just not get through due to technical (or more likely human) error?
posted by caddis at 9:25 PM on February 22, 2005


God damn, watching drscrooge and paris squirm and make bleating sounds, avoid any logic like it was anthrax and fall back on congenitally retarded slogans and fascisto-speak is HIGH entertainment.

It's like watching a train wreck in fast motion, looped over and over and over again ad infinitum. Please, keep it coming guys. I can't find any place that takes francs (I mean euros) that provides this much pure joy. Your moronic Europenis envy is the best part. It validates every bit of loathing so many non Americans around the world have of you.

Actually, it's more like shame. Like that painful acknowledgment to your peers when you're a teen that, yes, your younger brother is profoundly mentally handicapped and prone to setting houses on fire. Really, we wish we could just stick a bag over his head and lock him in the cupboard, but child services gets tetchy at that. So we trot him out in public and everyone oooohs and aaaaahs when he can take two steps without tripping over his feet. Kinda like Bush getting mad props for not making a total jackass out of himself in front of a mic. Even if he has to be fed his lines from an earphone. George Bush is the living embodiment of elementary school's 'Most Improved' award.
posted by the_savage_mind at 1:50 AM on February 23, 2005


the_savage_mind:

And you are the living embodiment of the uber Lefty conspiracist. There is no conclusive evidence that Bush was being fed lines, only internet rumours.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 1:59 AM on February 23, 2005


man why can't metafilter fucking nest comments, like any other half-ass forum software, so i don't have to wade through so much shit....

oh and re: this topic - keep dreaming. never fucking happen. iraq is now america's palestine. have a nice future.
posted by jimjam at 2:47 AM on February 23, 2005


There is no conclusive evidence that Bush was being fed lines, only internet rumours.

Well he's fed those, too.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:01 AM on February 23, 2005


I like the President more and more.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:10 AM on February 23, 2005


Reading the article, I was struck by the idea that if this is good news, why did Time have to hear about it from the insurgent negotiator? Anything that would end the killing of American soldiers should be a big boost for the military and administration.

Oh, and I'll give you a dollar if you stop arguing. Please?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:02 AM on February 23, 2005


I like the President more and more.

1 step, 2 step, 3 step... GOOSE STEP!!
posted by psmealey at 7:55 AM on February 23, 2005


I apologize for that. That was a troll. It is just frustrating that Mr. PeePee spouts off over and over again about the extinction or at least self-exile of the Left, and repeats ad nauseum his unequivocal support for our great leader. It's scary to know such people, that "used to consider themselves liberal" (which I find questionable in its authenticity) are out there lending hamfisted credence to some highly morally questionable military and foreign policy actions. Their unquestioning support of this President's policies, puts us all at risk. This is no spectator sport, and the callousness of some of these replies, or the indifference with which some people can suggest attacking x, y and z country like we were playing some game of Risk, is reprehensible to put it mildly.

As someone once put it, I am very afraid that if things get too far out of hand, this Iraq War, in hindsight, is going to look like a very minor conflagration that precipitated a much more significant cataclysm. If the PeePees of the world get their way, we are already halfway down that road.
posted by psmealey at 8:05 AM on February 23, 2005


I'll take the dollar, robocop. I'm done now.
posted by psmealey at 8:11 AM on February 23, 2005


That's a pretty interesting graphic y2karl. What is the source and when was the polling done? Pretty amazing that the Japanese are as undecided as they are.
posted by Mitheral at 8:28 AM on February 23, 2005


I am very afraid that if things get too far out of hand, this Iraq War, in hindsight, is going to look like a very minor conflagration that precipitated a much more significant cataclysm. If the PeePees of the world get their way, we are already halfway down that road.

Scott Ritter: If America Keeps Marching, It Could Very Well Be in the Direction of a Nuclear Apocalypse
posted by mr.marx at 9:07 AM on February 23, 2005


Man, it's obvious someone is off his meds.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:56 AM on February 23, 2005


ooo ooo, last one:
PP is a lawyer. I'll take his word on that. Reading this thread, it's clear that he's not interested in an open debate ("I also pray that people become more open-minded"). It's not about discussion - it's about arguing your case til you're blue in the face, and then hopefully, ultimately winning. That's what lawyers do. Problem is, it doesn't work like that in this forum...
PP - you are your own straw man, and you love every minute of it. I'm honestly not trying to troll you, I'm just trying to call it as I see it.

oh yeah, and what caddis said.
Sorry robo...
posted by hellbient at 10:04 AM on February 23, 2005


savage_mind claims Paris suffers from Europenis envy.

I too had been thinking Paris must have a really small one.

what a (little) prick

he says :
I don't care what Chirac and Shroeder(sp?) and the Mullahs and the UN crimiinals think. I don't want to joint those entities' race to the bottom. I am proud to be disliked by such bastions of immorality and corruption!!

Germany and France bastions of immorality? Isn't this "Old Europe" the cradle of many moral notions the West nurtures? Kant, Descartes, Bergson, -- nationalists cannot consistently resist the demands of cosmopolitan morality, for the nation-state already draws upon it for its legitimation. Might be worth looking into, Paris.
And Hegel has had a particular influence on American politics I believe.

Where is the UN international headquarters again? -- not to far from our severely frustrated friend I think.

Lastly, who was it again who preserved and eventually transmited Aristotle and Plato? Dirty Arabs, non Paris? Averros, al-Farabi ... what horrible heathens

Paris is an attorney. He might not have been 100's of miles away -- by the way, impressive display of emotion Freen -- but I would have thought he would be more versed in political theory and moral philosophy before saying I don't care about Old Europe..
posted by pwedza at 11:29 AM on February 23, 2005


Old Europe
posted by odinsdream at 1:20 PM on February 23, 2005


Yeah, sure. How do thee sensationalize the superiority of your arguments? Let me count the ways. Actually, better not.

There are a few dozen people saying Bush is Dr. Strangelove; there is me and a few others saying otherwise. It's only natural that the forces of non-Left should aim to tweak you a bit to get heard. You are the mob; the conformists; the smugly superior. I state positions and offer some humor in the process.

Get a grip.
posted by ParisParamus at 2:45 PM on February 23, 2005


There are a few dozen people saying Bush is Dr. Strangelove

Oh look a straw man!

I state positions and offer some humor in the process.

Ahhh, so what you post is humor. That explains so much.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:47 PM on February 23, 2005


Not to defend PP's rather childish behavior in these threads, but he obviously does find it humorous that all he has to do is pop in and say "Bush is right and you are all fools!" or something like that, and presto, everyone starts frothing and sputtering and hurling insults. I must admit I find it pretty funny as well. Really, don't people have anything better to do than jump every time Paris says "froggie"? If you just ignored him, he'd find some other way to entertain himself.
posted by languagehat at 4:59 PM on February 23, 2005


I state positions and offer some humor in the process.

Yeah. But you don't state any facts to BACK your positions. Nor do you counter other peoples facts. It's simply the endless Ad Hominem and pathetic whine of "LIBERAL CONSPIRACY!" over and over.

Dude. I understand that some of these Hippy Pinkos can be tiresome. My brother was in Iraq. I am a former Service person myself. I supported "regime change" initially. And even from the Real Politik issue of keeping the worlds most precious resource out of the hands of crazy Ay-rab Fascist motherfuckers... ok I can understand that, too. I understand where your soming from.

But your script is getting shrill, boorish and predictable.

You have to admit that Bush made some massive errors taking us into this war. He acted against the advice of the most experienced and intelligent people in the military and counter terrorism.

These facts are incontrovertible. Bush fucked up bigtime.

Yeah. It may all work out some how. I'd like to believe it will.
I WANT it too.

But history and ALL the evidence is pointing to us running like little bitches the first chance we get and terrorism and Islamic Fascism GROWING.

And there is worse shit on the horizon if the US doesn't get it's ass in gear.

Fer godssake Bush OWN CIA assessment has essentially stated all this.

Wake up before it's too late.
posted by tkchrist at 5:08 PM on February 23, 2005


That's a pretty interesting graphic y2karl. What is the source and when was the polling done?

The BBC: Global poll slams Bush leadership

More than half of people surveyed in a BBC World Service poll say the re-election of US President George W Bush has made the world more dangerous.
Only three countries - India, Poland and the Philippines - out of 21 polled believed the world was now safer.

The survey found that 47% of the 21,953 people questioned now see US influence in the world as largely negative, and view Americans negatively as well.

None of the countries polled supported contributing their troops to Iraq.

"This is quite a grim picture for the US," said Steven Kull, director of the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA), which carried out the poll with GlobeScan.

"There may be some underlying openness to repairing relations with the US"

"Negative feelings about Bush are high and are generalising to the American people who re-elected him."

On average across all countries, 58% of people - and 16 out of 21 countries polled - said they believed Mr Bush's re-election to the White House made the world more dangerous.


Right click on any graphic and then click on properties to read the URL. It will often give you the source--although, not in this case, it must be pointed out.
posted by y2karl at 8:11 PM on February 23, 2005


You have to admit that Bush made some massive errors taking us into this war.

There was a post by PP where he had said that if it turned out that no WMD were found he'd work to remove the president.

So even the GOP Rangers of Metafilter know a screw up when they see it. Its just that they won't DO anything about it.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:46 AM on February 24, 2005


Shows you that Paris's word and credibility are worthless, dont it?
posted by Balisong at 11:37 AM on February 24, 2005


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