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Democrats Tell President War Is Lost
April 19, 2007 3:55 PM   Subscribe

"This is the message I took to the President" US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today in response to reporters questions about his meeting with President Bush. "I believe myself that this war is lost and that the surge is not accomplishing anything, as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday."
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments (94 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
So this war in Iraq, it's bad?
posted by Slap Factory at 4:01 PM on April 19, 2007


This is the message that HyperBlue sends telepathically to the President every day.

FUCK OFF YOU MOTHERFUCKING ASSHOLE. YOU'RE KILLING AMERICA.

ps Please die in ur sleep kthxbye.
posted by HyperBlue at 4:02 PM on April 19, 2007


third account for avoiding congressional hearings
posted by phaedon at 4:03 PM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:04 PM on April 19, 2007


The dems are stepping into a trap.

Red state voters must be allowed to arrive at their own conclusion for it is deeply ingrained in them to reject any point a "librul" in any way they must, regardless of the merits.
posted by Fupped Duck at 4:06 PM on April 19, 2007


Nice timing. Cos, y'know, it's been a slow couple of news day.
posted by Artw at 4:07 PM on April 19, 2007


fourth account for political posturing
posted by pyramid termite at 4:07 PM on April 19, 2007


Reid: NO WAI!!!

Bush: YAH WAI!!!
posted by Alex404 at 4:07 PM on April 19, 2007


"Evidence at the time was persuasive"
Bullshit. These people knew damn good and well that the Bush crew were lying and lacked the balls to call them on it.
Standing up then would have been leadership.
Now it's just another position to take while the wind is right.
posted by 2sheets at 4:08 PM on April 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


The dems are stepping into a trap.

The Dems are coming to realize that 60% of the country agrees with Harry Reid.

Not that most of them aren't opportunistic politicians, but it's kind of amazing that they're being dragged towards the majority view of the American people -- get the fuck out of Iraq. Not necessarily overnight, but over the next few months. Declare victory and leave.
posted by bardic at 4:11 PM on April 19, 2007


What a fucking pathetic situation where acknowledging the nudity of the emperor is construed as a fucking courageous act.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:13 PM on April 19, 2007 [3 favorites]



I myself have been against the Iraq venture ever since the Democrats were pretending the evidence existed to go in there in 2002. I also favor withdrawl. But I see why Bush is so adamant: if we leave, who goes in? Iran. Then the global oil markets are at the mercy of our "enemies," and then the American economy and the American way of life are held hostage by people who are bent on destroying both. We all have to think about this from every side, even those of us for whom ending the war in Iraq is a given. I don't have any answers, I don't think anybody does, really.
posted by bukharin at 4:14 PM on April 19, 2007


ryanshepard: Christ, what an asshole

Could you elaborate?


2sheets: These people knew damn good and well that the Bush crew were lying

How do we know this?
posted by batou_ at 4:14 PM on April 19, 2007


How do we know this?

Their lips were moving.
posted by trondant at 4:21 PM on April 19, 2007 [7 favorites]


Could you elaborate?

Sure - every intelligent, ethical person saw this for the insanity it was in 2003. Reid et al's unwillingness to display the slightest shred of morality or leadership until there was absolutely no political risk to be taken in doing so is at best revolting, and to my mind very close to treason.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:24 PM on April 19, 2007


Because they're about smart enough to tie their shoes, and didn;t have an emotiuonal investment in having the wool pulled over their eyes? Those are the basic too requirements for seeing through the pre-war pantomime.
posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on April 19, 2007


if we leave, who goes in? Iran.

Goes in? They're already there. The overwhelming majority of Iraqi nationals are Shia, and generally sympathetic to Iran.

All this boogie-monster talk about how Iran is going to "take over"? If by "take over" you mean "be greeted as the truer liberators of the Iraqi people," then you have a point.

Bush's dad knew this back in 91. That's why there was no push to Baghdad.

Bush II drank the neocon kool-aid and convinced himself that the newly liberated Iraqi Shia would somehow forget that Iran was a better friend to them than the US, who left them high and dry when they actually made a go at killing Saddam themselves. They're magical thinkers. They might as well have told us that they had a bag of magic beans that could make this all work. Funny thing is, it did.

If it wasn't so sad, you could almost laugh your ass off at what a gang of pseudo-intellectual thugs has wreaked on our country.
posted by bardic at 4:27 PM on April 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


2sheets: Now it's just another position to take while the wind is right.

Eponysterical?
posted by Brak at 4:29 PM on April 19, 2007


Saddam was the cork in the bottle. Now the genie's been released, but we didn't rub it. So if Shrub is expecting his three wishes, he really needs to see "The Return of Jafar." It's not all that great as sequels go, but it's right up his alley.
posted by ZachsMind at 4:35 PM on April 19, 2007


Who lost Iraq?

He did.
posted by william_boot at 4:43 PM on April 19, 2007


tinyurl is terrorism
posted by roll truck roll at 5:04 PM on April 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


How do we know this?

Dude, my cat knew.
And he's not even particularly interested in foreign affairs, usually.
posted by signal at 5:10 PM on April 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


william_boot writes "He did."

"These violence on our TV screens affects our frame of mind"

-George W. Bush
posted by mr_roboto at 5:10 PM on April 19, 2007


McCain sings!
posted by fandango_matt at 5:11 PM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


bukharin: if we leave, who goes in? Iran.

What bardic said. There's not much the US can do about it at this point.

Peter Galbraith, writing in 2005:
--should the President want to understand why the Shiites have shown so little receptivity to his version of democracy, he need only go back to his father's presidency. On February 15, 1991, the first President Bush called on the Iraqi people and military to overthrow Saddam Hussein. The Shiites made the mistake of believing he meant it. Three days after the first Gulf War ended, on March 2, 1991, a Shiite rebellion began in Basra and quickly spread to the southern reaches of Baghdad. Then Saddam counterattacked with great ferocity. Three hundred thousand Shiites ultimately died. Not only did the elder President Bush not help, his administration refused even to hear the pleas of the more and more desperate Shiites. While the elder Bush's behavior may have many explanations, no Shiite I know of sees it as anything other than a calculated plan to have them slaughtered. By contrast, Iran, which backed SCIRI and Dawa and equipped the Badr Brigade, has long been seen as a reliable friend.
It boggles my mind that more than five years after 9/11, only about 30% of Americans can identify the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam.
posted by russilwvong at 5:12 PM on April 19, 2007


tinyurl is terrorism

Sorry.
posted by william_boot at 5:15 PM on April 19, 2007


Red state voters must be allowed to arrive at their own conclusion...

2006 showed we can finally ignore red state voters now.
posted by DU at 5:19 PM on April 19, 2007


2sheets: It wasn't blatantly obvious at the time that the Administration was lying. Surely you know as well as I that politicians can't be counted on to see anything that's not blatantly obvious, if even then.

Personally, I thought it was a bad idea before the invasion, but I didn't think it would turn into the complete clusterfuck it ended up being, nor did I believe that they were being so blatantly dishonest about their reasons for invading. In short, I wouldn't have voted for it, had I had the chance to vote, but I certainly wouldn't have called the people who did support it fucking morons until much later.
posted by wierdo at 5:24 PM on April 19, 2007


2sheets: Now it's just another position to take while the wind is right. Eponysterical?

Actually, s/he's one sheet away!
posted by ericb at 5:32 PM on April 19, 2007


Iran can easily be delt with: partition Iraq into three nations Shia, Sunni, and Kurdish. Shia Iraq won't want too much Iranian influence if they have their own nation. Shia Iraq will also maintain good relations with the Kurds, who hate Iran.

Iran will help Shia Iraq with the natrual war of ethnic cleansing, but infact this can be minimized too by helping to relocate people ourselves, both reducing deaths and meaning Shia Iraq needs less Iranian millitary aid in killing Sunnis.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:36 PM on April 19, 2007


I'm conflicted. In the post, Harry Reid is telling my that Iraq is lost, but then McCain is urging me to sign a petition that we'll "never surrender" immediately below the same post. Decisions.
posted by billyliberty at 5:40 PM on April 19, 2007


... but I certainly wouldn't have called the people who did support it fucking morons until much later.

Honestly? My feeling is that you pretty much had to be intellectually or morally defective not to see this as a disastrous move that served no other purpose than lining neocon pockets from the get-go.

I'm sorry to be so harsh, but I couldn't see any good behind the planning or potential outcome of this in '03, and I have a very difficult time seeing how any decent person could. Barring a miserable education, that is.
posted by ryanshepard at 5:42 PM on April 19, 2007


How Many Dead Equal Failed Government?
posted by homunculus at 5:48 PM on April 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


russilwvong: "...only about 30% of Americans can identify the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam."

It's like shirts versus skins. OR catholics versus protestants.

DU: "2006 showed we can finally ignore red state voters now."

Actually you do so at your own peril. The democrats are already showing signs of premature ejaculation. They shot their wad a year too soon. If the best liberals and moderates got available is Clinton & Obama? We're fucked.

So the religious right ran Bush Jr horse in for win place & show and though he took high honors the tickets just didn't make a return on their investment. They're lookin' for a new wolf in sheep's clothing that they can rally behind. They got a lot to choose from. All one of them has to do is claim to be born again and they'll go all starry eyed again.

Hell. If they could buy Shrub's testimony, they'll take anything warm that carries their cross. They'd even take Newt if he cried on camera and gave a couple "I've sinned against you"s here and there. Maybe put his heart in the microwave for thirty seconds at half power just to defrost it a bit.

We are so not out of these woods. The red state voters are just looking for another anti-christ is all. Shrub fell short of armaggeddon, but maybe that Thompson guy will play the part for them. It's a looooooong way to November, brother.

Don't count your chickens, cuz they ain't got feathers and they crossed the road before the light went green. Someone tell hen Clinton she's laid a bad egg, and someone tell Obama he'll deny his roots three times before the cock crows. God'll still love him, but ultimately he won't get the black vote.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:00 PM on April 19, 2007


Surely you know as well as I that politicians can't be counted on to see anything that's not blatantly obvious

The vote to authorize a sterner line toward Iraq was a bit more subtle than this.

The vote itself was rigged to fall before the midterm elections, to give the Republicans something to run on.

They had sufficient votes to pass the thing, given the number of warlike Dems in the Senate, so a "no authorization" would have been a protest vote. The Dem Senate leadership was able to put some interesting time-bomb caveats into the resolution that I won't go into here.

The downside of not signing on to Bush's campaign, should the post-Saddam Iraq turn out reasonably not-bad, was (rightly IMO) perceived as much greater than the downside of voting "yes" and having things turn out as they are.

Profiles in Courage? No. Pragmatic? Yes.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:02 PM on April 19, 2007


oh yeah, I forgot, should we have found anything resembling the claimed WMD or WMD programs, or even something resembling WMD program related activites of a seriously threatening nature, then the vote "no" would have been very very bad come 2004.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:05 PM on April 19, 2007


Would you have been willing to bet your political career in post 9/11 America that Saddam didn't have anything up his sleeve?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 6:06 PM on April 19, 2007


Reid et al's unwillingness to display the slightest shred of morality or leadership until there was absolutely no political risk to be taken in doing so is at best revolting, and to my mind very close to treason.

But still not nearly as treasonous as Bush and Cheney baldly lying to the country and the world about Iraq and Al Qaeda.

Let's keep some perspective, and the outrage directed where it really should be. Cowards like Reid will shoot themselves in the feet soon enough.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:48 PM on April 19, 2007


Heywood Mogroot: "Would you have been willing to bet your political career in post 9/11 America that Saddam didn't have anything up his sleeve?"

I would hope that I would have done the right thing regardless of the consequences to my politcal career. Shocking how few did that though.
posted by octothorpe at 6:48 PM on April 19, 2007


"Would you have been willing to bet your political career in post 9/11 America that Saddam didn't have anything up his sleeve?"
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:06 PM on April 20

If I had considered my political career more important than the lives of thousands upon thousands of people, not least of which were the lives of my own country's soldiers, especially when faced with the overwhelming evidence that Saddam didn't have anything up his sleeve, then I don't deserve to have a political career.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:49 PM on April 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


more important than the lives of thousands upon thousands of people

Thing is, your "no authorization for use of force" vote wouldn't have prevented us going in; the bill was going to pass regardless of your vote. Even if the Dems had managed to block this administration prior to November, by eg. filibuster, chances are very good you would have been thrown out of office for obstructionism and Bush would have had his war in 2003 anyway.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:14 PM on April 19, 2007


So it's a kind of prisoner's dilemma scenario where the winning strategy is to cooperate, only with way more than the prisoner's wellbeing at stake. Sick.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:23 PM on April 19, 2007


yes, that's my take on it.

Draw up a 2x2 decision matrix, with "yes vote" & "no vote" on one side and "war goes well" & "war goes bad" on the other. Put the expected results in the boxes.

How much turning out being "right" worth to you? It might have hobbled Kerry a bit in 2004 not being "right", but I don't think not being "right" in 2002 is going to hobble Clinton or Edwards.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:41 PM on April 19, 2007


Fuck Harry Reid and the horse he rode in on, and (excepting the real human beings who find themselves there) his home state of Nevada, for relying on gambling and whores to make a living. He’s closer to the problem than the solution.

Not that I’m opposed to gambling and whores. I just don’t think that gambling whores should be running things.
posted by Huplescat at 7:44 PM on April 19, 2007


Being lost means you knew where you were in the first place.

“should we have found anything resembling the claimed WMD or WMD programs, or even something resembling WMD program related activities of a seriously threatening nature, then the vote "no" would have been very very bad come 2004.” -posted by Heywood Mogroot

I’m not going to jump on the vote thing here. I think the idea is that there could have been a credible threat, particularly in the fairly paranoid environment just after 9/11, and if there was even the vaguest hint of a threat, then ‘no’ voters would look pretty bad.
As it is some fairly credible people bought into and reiterated the message.
I know people who said that there were fishy reports and such prior to 9/11 and said there could be a terrorist attack involving planes, etc.
First thing I thought was there was no way that could happen. Too many things would have to go wrong for that to happen.
So the Iraq WMD thing comes up and I’m thinking ‘won’t I be a schmuck if he nukes Israel or one of our allies or - too many things go wrong - and he slides one into the U.S.’
Of course, I was still making the same mistake as I did prior to 9/11 in thinking that too many things would have to go wrong and too many people would blow the whistle if we went to war under false pretenses and there was no credible threat to the country.
So either way I’m a schmuck.

But the consolation is there are bigger idiots than me, it’s great the democrats are all over this now, but not only the ‘where the hell were they then?,’ but - no impeachment?


“Then the global oil markets are at the mercy of our "enemies," and then the American economy and the American way of life are held hostage by people who are bent on destroying both... I don't have any answers, I don't think anybody does, really.”- posted by bukharin

I think that’s a fair assessment of the strategic thinking of some of the folks who buy into this. And I’ve defended that as a reasonable course of action given the premises. But while I agree with the strategy as workable, it’s got problems on both end (as I suspect leads to your fundamental disagreement with it). First - it’s been executed terribly. Even if we go hawk, the way in which the strategy has been pursued has been seriously flawed. Not to even get into the domestic stuff - I like tax cuts, but who the hell goes to war and cuts taxes? So that, to me, is a big red flag indication of the second thing: we’re being sold a bill of goods and a small group of people are profiting from this war.
The axioms underlying the strategic thinking are flawed in that it is not worth maintaining “our way of life” in the first place.
The need to change our energy supply aside - we’re really, right now, resting on the sacrifices of the minority. Beyond basic exploitive practices worldwide, the amount of effort required to maintain our position as the sole superpower just isn’t worth it. It’s not worth the lives (on all sides) and it’s not worth the treasure. Indeed, we’re paying way way more because we’ve put this war on credit.
And that’s the crux of the thing.
Even given the premise that, yeah, we want to keep on using oil, and yeah, we want to keep on being the sole superpower, etc. etc. etc. - and gaining control on the oilfields is the best way to do that - it’s still, long term, a major mistake. Because, domestically, we’re beholden to our debtors. And it’s the same problem as if someone controlled our energy supply.

We really need to cut loose from the way we’re doing things and step back from the hyperpower thing and stop inflicting our will on the rest of the world. It’s manifestly unethical, but for all practical purposes it’s really going to eventually badly hurt the country. The longer we prolong it, and not prepare for sharing world decision making with, y’know, the world, the worse the collapse is going to be.
And that’d be true whether we were strategically kicking ass all over the place or not.
And what bothers me is I know some people have the answers, but they’re being suppressed whether they’re military or alternative fuel, or politicians or whatever.
And I don’t know what bothers me more - that either the people running the country them know too... or they don’t.

But then I’ve met people who say they really don’t give a damn what happens after they die, just want to get their kicks before the whole outhouse goes up in flames.

/end rant (sorry)
posted by Smedleyman at 7:59 PM on April 19, 2007


Next the democrats will tell the president the sheriff is near.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:00 PM on April 19, 2007


"How much [is] turning out being "right" worth to you?"
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:41 PM on April 20

For me it is not so much an issue of being right about Saddam, it is an issue of what was the right thing to do.

You're right when you say I'd likely have been thrown out of office for obstructionism and Bush would still have had his war, but at least I'd be able to sleep at night knowing that for better or worse, I tried.

"It might have hobbled Kerry a bit in 2004 not being "right", but I don't think not being "right" in 2002 is going to hobble Clinton or Edwards."
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:41 PM on April 20

Bullshit. You don't think that any line of attack Edwards or Clinton would use on Bush re: the war won't be easily refuted with the line "Well, you voted for it."
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:05 PM on April 19, 2007


I expected that there were no WMDs, but in 2002/2003, anybody who wouldn't say they were for getting rid of Saddam regardless would have been voted out in an instant, at least by the voters in most states.

The same would have gone for anyone not wanting to invade Afghanistan, North Korea, or Iran. The evidence didn't matter, just like the evidence of Bush's malfeasance didn't matter in '04.
posted by wierdo at 8:14 PM on April 19, 2007


MetaFilter: How do we know this?

Their lips were moving.
posted by taosbat at 8:16 PM on April 19, 2007


Oh, and one one thing to remember is the crafty wording of the AUMF. It said that the Administration was to seek a peaceful inspection regime prior to invasion. They did no such thing. There were no good faith negotiations prior to invasion. The Administration would likely have invaded even had the resolution been defeated.

IIRC, the Iraqis agreed, at the last minute, to allow inspections, but Bush ignored the offer and pressed on.

Unfortunately, pointing that out when they rightfully say "but you voted for it," is probably too nuanced for the electorate.
posted by wierdo at 8:19 PM on April 19, 2007


the Iraqis agreed, at the last minute, to allow inspections

how quickly memory fades. Hans Blix mean anything to you?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 8:54 PM on April 19, 2007


Even if there had been WMDs, there would still have been no threat to america. Even with what was being discussed as possibility at the time, at most they were suspected of having a delivery method that might be able to hit israel. The only risk would have been Iraq supplying their WMDs to terrorist groups who would smuggle them into the country.

Now, Sadam was a tyrant, but he was a stable one, and a secular one. Orchestrating terrorist actions on american soil would serve him no benefit, and resulted in his downfall. He may have hated america, but he wasn't interested in religous warfare.

There was never any credible threat to american citizens from iraq. There was only fearmongering.
posted by Arturus at 9:06 PM on April 19, 2007


but at least I'd be able to sleep at night knowing that for better or worse, I tried.

Indeed. I voted against Feinstein in 2000, and was very happy to repeat that vote in 2006.

But hindsight is 20/20. While I expected the occupation to meet with increasing difficulties from islamic and "dead ender" extremists, had a stable secular-ish Islamic state (a la Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia) been able to form itself in the wake of the liberation, I would not have been overly surprised, either. The occupation could have gone either way, and so could have the hunt for justifying WMDs (nuke or bio programs).
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:10 PM on April 19, 2007


The only risk would have been Iraq supplying their WMDs to terrorist groups who would smuggle them into the country

You apparently underestimate the threat posed by institutional, state-sponsored terrorism.

You know superbugs, like antibiotic resistant bacteria? These are trivial for state-level agencies to create.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:12 PM on April 19, 2007


Would you have been willing to bet your political career in post 9/11 America that Saddam didn't have anything up his sleeve?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 9:06 PM on April 19


That is the cowardice that got us into this war.
posted by caddis at 9:57 PM on April 19, 2007


as indicated by the extreme violence in Iraq yesterday"

Come on. (1) Of course the [still beginning] surge is going to lead to greater pressure, greater violence on all sides. (2) Mightn't a better indicator be longer-term patterns? Had there not been terrible violence yesterday, might Reid have concluded differently? Sigh.

and...

Russilwvong: Galbraith's dad would have had something similar to say, based on his experience managing the U.S. economy during WWII and as ambassador to India:

"Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable"
posted by honest knave at 10:16 PM on April 19, 2007


honest knave: Of course the [still beginning] surge is going to lead to greater pressure, greater violence on all sides.

Yeah, Galbraith has a more recent article ("The Surge") pointing out that the surge carries some awful risks. No matter how bad the situation is, it can still get worse:

(a) The US is bringing Kurdish troops into Baghdad. They don't speak Arabic either, and they risk extending the civil war to the Kurdish north, which has been largely quiet up to now.

(b) So far the US has been fighting the Sunni insurgency. The plan now is to take on the Shiite militias as well.
posted by russilwvong at 10:26 PM on April 19, 2007


Y'know, the problem really is not that the USA went to war. The problem is that the USA did it without strong global support.

And do not forget that there are two wars. Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Afghani war was globally supported. They were harbouring a terrorist group that was clearly a real threat to the USA. And clearly the Taliban was making many people's lives a living hell, a problem so onerous the Afghan people were supportive of military action.

There is still support to complete the Afghani war. But things are getting really grim over there again, and support is beginning to wane.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:50 PM on April 19, 2007


Heywood Mogroot wrote:

how quickly memory fades. Hans Blix mean anything to you?


Sure does. Care to elaborate further?

I seem to recall that the Iraqis kicked the inspectors out, then let them in again, then Bush decided to invade anyway. Am I wrong?
posted by wierdo at 10:53 PM on April 19, 2007


You apparently underestimate the threat posed by institutional, state-sponsored terrorism.

No, I just see it as a political implausibility that, even if he had any, Saddam would have handed them off to al Qaeda. As, respectively, the leader of a secular nation and a group dedicated to the spread of theocratic power, they had very little in common.

Of course, al Qaeda is in iraq now, and if there were any WMDs, their odds of getting their hands on them have gone up massively.
posted by Arturus at 11:12 PM on April 19, 2007


wierdo: UNSCOM inspectors were pulled when the Clinton Administration launched the Operation Desert Fox strikes on Iraq.

UNMOVIC, which the UN put together to restart the disarmament kabuki show, went back in in late 2002.

Saddam would have handed them off to al Qaeda

I can kinda understand the administration desire to just "solve" this dysfunctionality "so oder so", to remove these wildcards (Saddam & Sons) from the Middle East scene.

Which reminds me of the economic angles to the decision to go into Iraq: strategic control over the oil via Chalabi's INC, improved market access for American petroleum industry, improved integration of their economy into the USD bloc, etc.

The US had been spending more on military crap than the rest of the world combined. I can easily understand how the proposition that we would be incapable of establishing an orderly client state in Iraq would be inconceivable to the adventurers that decided to go in. . . an overarching casus belli better than the Gulf of Tonkin incident, the Congress in friendly hands, 80% of the target country that hated Saddam's guts . . . what could go wrong?
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:13 AM on April 20, 2007


You know superbugs, like antibiotic resistant bacteria?

Not a threat I'm worried about. We've seen that attack. It killed a few people. More people in the US die from gunshots -- or car wrecks -- or lighting bolts. If DHS did nothing but install lightning rods, they'd save more lives than they do now. Initial attack is hard, spread is harder, and it is very hard indeed to make a "12 Monkeys" style agent that is both lethal and easy to spread. If it was easy, we'd be remember the Spanish Flu as one of the lighter pandemics -- if we were around to remember anything at all.

I'm not worried about chemical attacks. We've seen that -- Tokyo, subway, Sarin. Some dead, some injured. Nothing compared to a good truck bomb. Gas scares people a little more, but that's about it.

There is one, count them, one, weapon of mass destruction that I worry about. Fission weapons have the ability to wipe out large parts of cities. Fusion weapons up that to entire cities. Crank off a 10kt Uranium Gun weapon in the middle of the Loop, and Chicago will take decades to recover. Fire off a 1MT multistage weapon in the same place, and Chicago will die.

The problem with Bush is that he's pushed at least one more, probably two, possibly more, into the "let's see how fast we can make nukes" game. Meanwhile, the Afghanistan Debacle has left a nuclear nation still fighting a insurgency -- a Taliban insurgency, and you can bet they're very unhappy with the US after the Afghanistan invasion.

If Pakistan falls to them, then we have a real problem -- a harsh theocratic government, with a very clear reason to hate the US, with a very solid reason for going to war against the US, and with nuclear weapons.

When that city dies, it will be the ultimate blowback from Bush's war.
posted by eriko at 5:10 AM on April 20, 2007


Is this the point where tadellin comes in with some talking points?
posted by NationalKato at 6:50 AM on April 20, 2007


&docidThe Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 was presented as a way to get leverage on Iraq to make them disarm, not an immediate green light to invade, and President Bush claimed that using force was a last resort right up until the invasion.

After UN Security Council Resolution 1441 passed on November 8, 2002, US Ambassador to the UN John Negroponte said "the matter will return to the Council for discussions." On February 24, 2003, the US, Britain, and Spain introduced a second UN resolution that warned of "serious consequences" if Iraq didn't comply with UN Resolution 1441. On March 6, 2003, President Bush claimed that "no matter what the whip count is, we're calling for the vote" on the proposed resolution. Then he chickened out because he didn't have the votes. He also ignored a proposed resolution by France, Russia and Germany that called for beefed-up UN inspections with a timetable, which was a violation of his obligation under the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq to pursue a peaceful solution.

Mightn't a better indicator be longer-term patterns?

"Over the past six months, American troops have died in Iraq at the highest rate since the war began." Long-term enough?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:12 AM on April 20, 2007


bardic is on the money here:

If it wasn't so sad, you could almost laugh your ass off at what a gang of pseudo-intellectual thugs has wreaked on our country.

The thing is, most Americans (even cynical, bitter ones) have no real idea of how much this cabal of fuckwits and their little charade has really hurt the US.

After living overseas for nearly two years, I can see America much more objectively... it's quite shocking.
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:23 AM on April 20, 2007


Heywood Mogroot wrote: You know superbugs, like antibiotic resistant bacteria? These are trivial for state-level agencies to create.


Steve Silberman wrote a brilliant article for Wired recently about soldiers who have been infected with just what you're describing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acinetobacter_baumannii
posted by chuckdarwin at 7:29 AM on April 20, 2007


Training Iraqi troops no longer driving force in U.S. policy:
Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:40 AM on April 20, 2007


Metafilter: We're the good Germans.
posted by Avenger at 3:17 PM on April 20, 2007


Soldier: I Was Deployed To Iraq With Traumatic Brain Injury
posted by homunculus at 7:57 PM on April 20, 2007


Hell, even Kissinger thinks the war is lost. Why is this even being debated. GW just can't admit he is wrong, his biggest personality deficit.
posted by caddis at 8:36 PM on April 20, 2007


George W. Bush's "biggest personality deficit" is killing folks, lots of people, folks he never met, by proxy, so he can go down in history as a fucking somebody.
posted by taosbat at 10:08 PM on April 20, 2007


Report On Haditha Condemns Marines: Signs of Misconduct Were Ignored, U.S. General Says
posted by homunculus at 11:25 PM on April 20, 2007


on the wall: But let's not infer the worst here. After all, history teaches us that sealing off ghettos does reduce violence. That's simply an indisputable fact. For example, attacks against Sunni Jews declined markedly and rapidly under the Nazis. Had they not built walls around the ghettos, which enabled an entire Jewish population of a given city to be quickly rounded up and sent off to the camps, attacks on Jews would have gone on for much, much longer.

In short, behaving like Nazis is an eminently sensible, and, in fact, a deeply compassionate, idea. Bush and the military high command should all be commended for having the courage to approve of such bold initiatives in order to make us safe from the terrorists who perpetrated 9/11.

posted by amberglow at 8:00 AM on April 21, 2007


We're there forever--Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.

Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's Iraq policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said.
...

posted by amberglow at 11:44 AM on April 21, 2007


Al-Maliki: No Wall in Baghdad Community (except he has no real power at all to declare anything)
posted by amberglow at 4:42 PM on April 22, 2007


Media outlets reported that Reid said Iraq war "is lost," but failed to note his further comments
posted by amberglow at 5:14 PM on April 22, 2007


More on the wall thing: Maliki "asked" us to stop building the wall
posted by amberglow at 6:36 PM on April 22, 2007


...you can see it for what it really is: a hostage situation, in which a beleaguered President Bush, barricaded in the White House, is threatening dire consequences for innocent bystanders — the troops — if his demands aren’t met. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:07 PM on April 23, 2007


Laura Bush wants you to know that when it comes to Iraq, no one is suffering more than the First Couple. No one.
posted by taosbat at 9:10 AM on April 25, 2007


Reid: "I'm Not Going To Get Into A Name-Calling Match With Somebody Who Has A 9 Percent Approval Rating"
posted by ericb at 9:21 AM on April 25, 2007


Laura Bush is taking way too many pills, obviously. She's learned from her evil mother-in-law about not bothering her "beautiful mind" about anything.
posted by amberglow at 2:00 PM on April 25, 2007


I honestly have no idea how the Bush administration thinks Iraqi democracy is supposed to work. Here's the thing: Democracy means, in general, government by majority. Iraq's majority is religious Shia. Ergo, under the political system we set up in Iraq, religious Shia are going to control the government. If administration officials don't want Iraq's majority to actually run the country, maybe they should stop talking about democracy. If they do *actually* believe in democracy, as opposed to "rule by people we like," they need to come to terms with what that looks like. ...
posted by amberglow at 2:41 PM on April 25, 2007


they should rot in hell for all of this--everyone who lied us into war, who peddled the lies and didn't question them in the media, etc--...The UN mission for Iraq said Iraqi authorities had failed to guarantee the basic rights of about 3,000 people they had detained in the operations.

The report said four million Iraqis were at risk because of lack of food. ...

posted by amberglow at 3:54 PM on April 25, 2007


Sen. James Inhofe (R) demands Senator Reid leave office, calls him un-American for saying that Iraq is toast.
posted by ericb at 3:56 PM on April 25, 2007


In related news:
"As the Democrat-controlled Congress and the White House clash over an Iraq spending bill, with President Bush vowing to veto it because it contains withdrawal deadlines, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll [PDF] finds that a solid majority of Americans side with the Democrats."
posted by ericb at 4:03 PM on April 25, 2007


President Bush hopes someone is held responsible for the U.S. military's mishandling of information about the death of former football star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan...
posted by taosbat at 4:45 PM on April 25, 2007


someone? hmmm....there's this nasty neighbor i have downstairs--how about her?

just appalling.

from that WSJ poll: ...Three months after Mr. Bush announced a new policy to stabilize violence by sending more troops, just 12% see evidence of improvement. Some 49% say conditions in Iraq have gotten worse, while another 37% say they've stayed the same.

A 55% majority says that victory in Iraq is no longer possible; 36% say victory remains within reach. ...

posted by amberglow at 5:12 PM on April 25, 2007


How can there be any sort of "victory" for Iraq when all the successful businessmen and intellectuals have flown the country? How can there be "victory" when there are several million refugees?

And for that matter, how can there be "victory" over someone who didn't want to play in the first place? Iraqis didn't want to go to war. Most of the world didn't want you to go to war. It's known that there was no need to go to war. So where the fuck do you derive "victory" from that?

Man, the electorate has a lot to answer for.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:29 PM on April 25, 2007


Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said this week..."Iraq is going to have to learn as did, say, Northern Ireland, to live with some degree of sensational attacks."

Yeah, it's appalling, amberglow. Someone(s) should be dangled from the light poles around the National Mall.
posted by taosbat at 5:35 PM on April 25, 2007



From an Angry Soldier
(at Craigslist-- I don't know if it's real or not)
posted by amberglow at 6:49 PM on April 25, 2007


U.S. officials exclude car bombs in touting drop in Iraq violence--U.S. officials who say there has been a dramatic drop in sectarian violence in Iraq since President Bush began sending more American troops into Baghdad aren't counting one of the main killers of Iraqi civilians.

Car bombs and other explosive devices have killed thousands of Iraqis in the past three years, but the administration doesn't include them in the casualty counts ...

posted by amberglow at 6:58 PM on April 25, 2007


Um Noor
posted by amberglow at 7:05 PM on April 25, 2007


rudepundit: ...Democrats are slowly learning what real power is, like the parent who says, "No," firmly, who walks into his teenager's room and tosses the TV and Wii out of the window and says, "Now do your fuckin' homework." They're learning that to be leaders means they have to lead, and Reid is giving a goddamn master class on how to do it. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:00 PM on April 25, 2007


Republicans have never put loyalty to the country or the Constitution first (and they admit it)
posted by amberglow at 9:18 PM on April 25, 2007


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