Zarqawi Is Out, But Will It Make a Difference?

I should point out that I heard the report about Bush addressing gay marriage on BBC World News, generally immune from the hype. It's about the only place (other than NPR) where you can get decent reporting on Timor.

They also do brilliant Iraq reporting, most recently on the skyrocketing sectarian violence. Did you know the number of bodies going through the Baghdad morgue has increased each month since January? Debaters, do you think Zarqawi's death will tame the insurgency?

By Emily Messner |  June 9, 2006; 11:50 AM ET  | Category:  Middle East
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al-Zarqawi wasn't much of an issue, if folks look at how the Bush Administration considered the insurgents were just "dead enders".

He's but the head of a many head snake, one that is aware of the tactics of the US military, and one that quickly adopts newer tactics to do damage (all conventionally too). It's the same way they did it in Afghanistan getting the Russians out. Becoming the enemy won't stop them, since that just turns us into the Russians and will face that aftermath, as well.

Folks would think that the Bush Administration would reread the Russian occupation of Afghanistan for a better clue, but they appear to write off history that's not to their liking, rather than learn from the mistakes of yesteryear.

They're more interested in a religious war, which the Iraqis aren't going to bite into (it's why they're so passive in the efforts to ratchet up the sectarian violence, they know there's two irons [Coalition Forces and foreigners, including al-Qaeta] in the fire, and want each out).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 9, 2006 01:31 PM

I don't know if his death will turn the tide in Iraq. I certainly hope so.

But today's message urging taking the fight to Palestine is what I feared would happen. I fear the folly of the Iraq war has set in motion a chain of events racing toward critical mass.

We pulled our troops of Afghanistan, and that fight is very much still in the balance and not going the right way, we failed to crush al Qaeda and kill OBL, Mullah Omar, Zawahiri and the other top people, satisfying ourselves with underlings who were easily replacable, we lost the moral high ground, and as a result of our policy and military failures we face even bigger nuclear threats from Iran and N Korea (and possibly Pakistan if al Qaede and the Taliban get strong enough to take out Musharraf), and the foreign fighters in Iraq may now move over to Palestine, probably the worst thing that could happen from all this.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | June 9, 2006 02:01 PM

Will Zarqawi's death alleviate the situation in Iraq? Maybe a little for the Iraqis, but not for the Americans. It may even spark a little recruiting drive for those Arabs sitting on the fence about joining his (or any other) resistance movement. It would have been much better to allow the Iraqi security forces to capture or kill Zarqawi, b/c it would have given them some ligitimacy and a sense that they can control their own country (which, from what I understand, is the new objective in Iraq). The way this will play out to the Iraqi public is that the Americans are the only force capable of providing security, and no one really wants that to be the truth, because no one (including ourselves) wants the Americans to be in Iraq much longer.

If the foreign fighters leave will there be peace in Iraq? Probably not. Zarqawi did what he set out to do, sow the seeds of civil war. Now the central government will have to assert power over the remaining factions to guarantee the peace at the expense of certain sectors of society. With Zarqawi out of the picture, Iraqi society can then galvanize their ire towards the only group of foreign fighters left - the U.S.

Maybe that's a positive in the long run, because now we can pack up shop and head on home - except that they built a massive multi-million dollar embassy that is the largest U.S. embassy in the world. I understand that the U.S. is now tranferring its military bases in the region from Saudi Arabia to Iraq (appeasement anyone?). Hopefully our embassy is put to good use processing all of the refugees that will invariably want to immigrate to the U.S. (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia anyone? As I've heard in Wisconsin "Welcome to America, you're Hmong friends).

I know that all my good friends here at the Debate will love having lots of new Iraqi refugee neighbors who they can now scapegoat for our economic and social problems.

Posted by: El Naco | June 9, 2006 02:43 PM

It would have been much better to allow the Iraqi security forces to capture or kill Zarqawi

Yes, but that's how we lost OBL. ONce burned twice shy.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 9, 2006 02:54 PM

All the same. I'm glad he's dead. Now if they could only get OBL.

Nice to see that only the U.S. can "Git 'er done" so to speak, in Iraq. Can't expect too much from the old Iraqi security forces at this stage, they've got problems of their own.

Posted by: El Naco | June 9, 2006 03:04 PM

Getting Zarqawi or the great bogeyman OBL - doesn't really matter that much now that we recognize we are fighting a broad-based ideology and a diffused network of Jihadists operating not under central leadership, but autonomously against infidels and moderate Muslims.

Killing this "Mr. Big" or that one, won't win a war of ideology.

But knowing how many Americans, Jordanians, Afghans, and Iraqis Zarqawi butchered - seeing his dead, battered body made me and a lot of other people happy.

Posted by: Chris Ford | June 9, 2006 04:02 PM

No matter how you view the war in Iraq, this is a huge triumph for our cause. Zarqawi was an evil murderer who managed to turn his own people against him with his brutal tactics. Certainly his position has already been filled, but at least it's not held by an individual of his magnitude. This coupled with the establishment of an Iraqi Democratic Government shines optimism and hope on to the young nation. The isurgency will continue simply because the plans for coming attacks were already made, but I believe we will witness a decline in the level of violence. This will give our Soldiers more time to do what they're intended to do - train the Iraqis and come home.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | June 9, 2006 04:03 PM

I fear that as with any criminal venture, many of the supposed faithful were just waiting for their leader to get taken out so THEY could take over. I bet some of the people wiping away tears of grief and vowing to avenge his death are laughing up their sleeves.
There MAY be a brief period of quiet from Al Z's followers as they squabble over who gets to be the next Big Brute.
Best case scenario: The in-fighting leads to various wanna bes turning each other in to the authorities (more direct forms of revenge are also possible). Next best case: The would be leaders split into so many small groups they are no longer effective. Worst case scenario: Lots of "niche market" groups of baddies that have more recruiting appeal to more people. Or something as bad or worse steps in and takes over completely.
I don't think anything beyond a brief period of quiet is likely. I may be attributing a higher (or lower) level of organization to Al Quaida, Iraq style but I don't know how much they rely on a central control, pyramid organization type method to carry out the day's dirty deeds so it is hard to say.
I will be accused of being a party-pooping libby but: Bin Laden has been living in a cave for years and Al Quaida still thrives like mold on an old orange. Unless Al Z was more than another violence spewing wing nut, I don't think (I'm afraid to think?) his death will be more than another burst of static.
I also am not foolish enough to imagine his lot was responsible for all of the chaos that is daily life in Iraq. Wasn't all that supposed to end soon after Saddam ran? Or we caught him? Or Iraq had an election?

We'll see.

Posted by: One down... | June 9, 2006 04:45 PM

This was taken from Todays Washington Post and I concur. think about it. maybe O. bin Laden figured this guy had gotten "too big for his britches"and wanted to get rid of him. So he set him up by leaking his whereabouts. I'd also question who is getting the reward money for providing the information. Could they be Al Qaeda supporters? Stay tuned.

"Zarqawi himself is considered to have fallen out of favor with al-Qaeda as a whole during that time, allegedly because of his slowness to declare fealty to bin Laden and because al-Qaeda leaders saw that the beheadings and wholesale slaughter of civilians by Zarqawi's group revolted supporters instead of rallying them.

"The man was a burden on al-Qaeda," said Abdel Bari Atwan, editor of the London-based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper and a noted Palestinian observer of international militant groups.

"I believe personally that President Bush unintentionally gave al-Qaeda a huge reward in getting rid of Zarqawi," Atwan said by telephone from London. "He was an unmanageable bully who forced himself as a leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq."

Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's founding leaders, are likely to try to put in place a leader "they have more operational control of" and who will take fewer personal risks, according to a longtime participant in the U.S. military hunt for Zarqawi.

"To them, this day serves two purposes," the participant said. "They've got their martyr, and they can put one of their guys in who they've been grooming, who is not running around playing master and commander on the battlefield but is going with the party line, and that is the danger."

Posted by: cassini | June 9, 2006 04:45 PM

Guess I'll clear up the ambiguity in my name.

My take is that this won't matter. I'm thrilled they got him, but the biggest enemy of a successful Iraqi war is the United States. We operate under "forced protection" which means the lives of soldiers are the mission whereas 200 years of American war tradition has operated under the assumption that the mission was the objective and soldiers were the means. No more.

It's impossible to win a war this way, and America doesn't have the stomach for real war anymore.

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 9, 2006 04:50 PM

"This coupled with the establishment of an Iraqi Democratic Government shines optimism and hope on to the young nation. The isurgency will continue simply because the plans for coming attacks were already made, but I believe we will witness a decline in the level of violence."

This of course assumes that all the "insurgents" had the same purpose, which they don't. Some are Saddam leftovers, some were foreign Al-Qaeda, some local Al-Qaeda, others were Shia hitmen, others Kurdish hitmen. You take Zarqawi out of the mix and it makes for one less faction, but it is unclear just how much influence his faction had on the rest. Might have as much effect as Saddam's capture, that is, slim to none.

I wouldn't put to much faith in the inertia argument. I'm sure these factions will find a reason to plan more attacks on the U.S. until we are sent packing.

Then Iraq will just degenerate into an internecene civil war a la Afghanistan until some strong man asserts power over all factions and presto! chango! it's Saddam part II.

The real question is how can we deal with these types of situations in the future without producing these types of results? If nation (re)building is an international priority in order to prevent authoritarian regimes and failed states from producing international security risks, what is the best way to go about doing that? Should the hegemonic powers form coalitions of the willing to invade and install new governments? Is this be handled through international institutions? Regional security coalitions? Better left alone?

I'd like to see a debate about that.

Posted by: El Naco | June 9, 2006 05:01 PM

Now that Zarqawi is dead, all America's got to do to finish the job is to make the rest of the insurgents die as well.

Posted by: Emilio | June 9, 2006 05:13 PM

To state the obvious, the war in Iraq was started by us. So if we left, the war we started would be over. There may be other wars. History tell me it's a given. But the "war in Iraq", would be over.
Let's get on to the next war then.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 9, 2006 08:25 PM

The Iraqi war isn't over and won't be over even once we leave. There's Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds in that Arab Balkan state. Do you think they'll be so lovey-dovey with each other, especially wreastling for power?

Nope. The greatest danger if we pull out too quickly is a civil war. One that can spill over into other countries, and ones that do have nuclear weapons.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 9, 2006 08:54 PM

Sully:

Yes, we agree, those might be the other wars.

I do not think it is a certainity.

Political pressure could be applies to the provocators that would profit from such an enterprise. For example W could tell Cheney: Cut it out!

War is very profitable you know. Milo Minderbinder and all that or read "Trading with the Enemy" or ""The Good War"" by Terkel to get the fix.

Also war is unnecessary. So the parties of interest (the Middle East) might not want to blow-up all the nice things those petro dollars buy by having a blood civil war. However, if that is what they want, how do we stop war?

We could end the war we started by leaving. Technically I am correct.

Or as the White House might say:

Texanically I am not wrong.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 9, 2006 10:19 PM

The liberal intelligentsia, including you I think Emily, were casting stones from their glasshouses against the Bush administration, for its inability to capture or kill either bin Laden or Zarqawi. Now that the latter is dead, as a result of US intelligence, the liberals are asking, whether it will "make a difference." It seems that nothing can satisfy them, except the defeat of the Administration and its war plans against global terror and its state sponsors.

But it will make a difference! It will boost the morale of those who are fighting terrorism and deflate the morale of the latter.

Posted by: Kotzabasis | June 9, 2006 11:36 PM

Killing him was good, and it is good that he suffered for a while before dying, but he is but a drop in the bucket. As Chris pointed out above, this is an idealogical war. Such wars are not winnable unless absolute total war is conducted. It would take two or more massive attacks on the US before the population would accept such a proposition. So, endless war until we decide to quit.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | June 9, 2006 11:38 PM

El Naco is back, the New Mexican for olde mexicans...

and Sandy has replaced Chrissy fird...


well since el Zaquistor was actually a fabtication of the current government...an "evil doer," of epic proportions


well who cares?


I listen to NPR and BBC...when I want the news...

not CNN or the newsfeeds...how did the Toviets keep the russian people down? Pravda...the Soviet NEWS agency...pure propaganda..


I listen, but I also have first hand knowledge of how things work,


I worked in Washington DC for 20 years, and some of that was with the military, and a lot of my friends were "in the business,"


it's not too hard to see the media manipulation for what it is...

like the engineer that supposedly gave his girlfriend the plans for the "classified," Blackhawke....that was the best we had....shure...

or the spyplane that was shot down, and studied by China....for like 6 weeks, and all of a sudden they take a big step forward in the semiconductor field....


yeah, the media, they know what's going on...


media people, are not insiders, they are ordinary

people that don't know the difference, and good people that can't believe that Americans would knowingly create situations that hurt other people...


Because they were never taught that.


I ask you to remember one thing:

What kind of people seperate married couples (families) and children as a way of preventing an uprising of a class of people, or keep people who speak the same language from being sold together, or keep people from learning to read and write....


I'm talking slave owners, but I'm also talking class of people, and caste system...


is it soooo hard to imagine these people manipulating the government and media to control a country or countries for the benefit of a few?

nicaragua/sandistas/Iran/shah of iran/noriega/panama/saddam/iraq

UAE/Saudi's piloted the 9/11 scam...


these people, slave owners, an elite upper class, actually existed less than 200 years ago, and had families and taught them to manipulate....some of them might even be in the military or have access to controlling it...

most of these people's families are _still_ in power.


that kind of inhumanity is inherited from Royalty, and families that are inherited wealthy....

.

not saying _all_ people are like that, but if it's not in your family history, you're not going to recognize it for what it is, and you'll believe the (tinfoil helmets, koolaide, conspiracy theory) comments that say


"don't look here," "I'm busy raping your sister,"


when I first started posting here some time back I compared the administration and people working with them to child molestors...


that still holds true,


you want to stop them, point at them, identify them....


it's not an event based activity it's a way of life

you need to see the way of life and indentify the perpatrators for what they are...


forget about the single events,

"I was just sitting down,"

"I didn't mean any harm,"

and so on...

patterns of actions...consistent lying, persistent giving of the countries assests to certain individuals....


you could take the Republican investment in the California election to replace dicklyss cunning ham....


recoreded phone messages from the President and Vice President, to certain households and an unprecedented amount of cash spent to make sure that a Republican got elected to cunning ham's seat....

what was that about?


people feeling like they were on a roll, wanting to take the steam off of people feeling like they could get the country back....


did they advertise about how they did it?

no, it was on NPR....not as an exposure, just as an aside...

2 + 2 ='s 4


front page the next day, "Republicans Win in California, Democrats Can't Deliver,"


I'm not partisan, but the Republicans, president and vice president were deeeeeeeply invested in that single election....

because it damped spirits...

deception is a well used tool, and WHO OWNS the media?

corporations do....

evil is not a single thing, it's the intent behind the movement...


the only way to stalk a predator is to be one...

.

Posted by: oh, that's cute... | June 9, 2006 11:52 PM

"As Chris pointed out above, this is an idealogical war. Such wars are not winnable unless absolute total war is conducted."

Which war are we talking about, the Iraq War or the "war on terrorism". They seem to be two distinct conflicts, because they are not really related, and their goals are not the same. The goal of the war against Al Qaeda should be to destroy that organization and deter the spread of their ideology of fundamentalist islam that is spread by violence.

The goal in Iraq should be to create a stable democratic nation in the place of a authoritarian regime in the heart of the middle east. It's secondary goals strategically were to allow us move our military forces out of Saudi Arabia and to continue to pressure Iran. If Zarqawi is out of Iraq, then the insurgency takes on a whole different character - it becomes more of a sectarian conflict and a war of national liberation. In other words, the kind of insurgency reminiscent of cold war proxy conflicts in the developing world.

I guess this comes down to goals: what is our goal with Iraq, and what is our goal with respect to Al Qaeda. How does Iran fit into all of this?

Posted by: El Naco | June 10, 2006 12:01 AM

"Debaters, do you think Zarqawi's death will tame the insurgency?"

No. I think it will neither shorten or extend the term of hostilities one day from what it would otherwise be.

Still, it gives me great pleasure that he apparently knew into whose hands he had fallen before he passed on into martyrdom.

Unless they are untrue, I can't say I'm pleased to see so many details of the operation released to the public. If they are true then we should not pat ourselves on the back too excessively; it seems likely the Jordanians provided us with an intelligence gift.

Far more important are the last 3 ministers to complete the Cabinet. Its time for the Iraqi's to stand up. Its time for us to stand down.

Posted by: Cayambe | June 10, 2006 12:07 AM

besides sitting there writing prose on an online forum...

spouting "wisdom" from a perspective that only you can enjoy...

what a convenient way to win an argument..you must have learned from your predator friends

you are no friend of the common man

your only purpose is to obfuscate

blah blah blah not even on point

rambling spinning trying to confuse and hide the truth which is cleverly hidden in your words

i aint forgot about you - get at me dog

let me stop you drop you roll you up shut up the bs shop you operate you phony fake post up son and your will i'll break

your paranoid prose offering comments on our nation are serve to show that you are off your medication.
give me your best shot I bust you in the spleen. I make you my b**tch Mr. Ghost in the machine.

Posted by: Do something about it... | June 10, 2006 12:13 AM

there's a simple thing going on it's called mass media manipulation..

Posted by: hello punk, come here...ha ha ha.. | June 10, 2006 12:38 AM

not opinion...

what is the wavelength of the color orange...


is a light beam a wave or a photon?


comeon slowmo..

.

Posted by: perception is based upon clarity... | June 10, 2006 12:40 AM

Oi see you got some zippity bob,

but can you folderol?

Posted by: are you talking to me trailer park? | June 10, 2006 12:45 AM

kinda thought it was as I listened again.

Posted by: zat you dave? | June 10, 2006 12:47 AM

_illegal_ immigration?

becaseu of the reconquista...

is that right el natcho? conqueesi

perdo in arooudo, que bone.

Posted by: so why was it that we needed to support | June 10, 2006 12:54 AM

El Naco, call it the war on terror if you want. I don't let myself get bogged with the reasons for invading Iraq. It involves most of the ME, and yes, now Iraq too. For example, Zarqawi is Jordanian, but had been operating in Iraq for some time. The terrorists would have been drawn to the US like flies on poop no matter where we are over there.

A look at the bigger picture offers up opportunity for total war, if our country wanted it. We will not pursue this course because, at this time, there is not enough justification for it.

Our unwillingness to partake in total war goes back to the Korean conflict. At that time, the older war hawks proposed total war to bring the North to their knees, but noooooooo, the "too many people will die. What will the world think of us" mentality that set in after WW2 prevented total warfare. The result was stalemate; a problem we are still dealing with. (Take Afghanistan, if we had used nukes at Tora Bora, it would have sent the perfect message to terrorists, not only to those present (if any survived, ha ha), but also to others worldwide.)

If we truly want absolute victory against terrorist states, we would need at least 5 times as many men on the ground than we now have. This would require a draft, which will not occur without further massive strikes on the US. Fortunately, this has not yet occurred. However, I am worried about the near future, with increasingly simple ways that a would-be terrorist could evade detection and cause havoc in metropolitan areas. For example, UAV's using GPS and rudimentary guidance systems could easily and inexpensively be constructed to fly directly into a city center, stadium, the White House etc. and release biological elements or a dirty bomb.

The Iranians, Pakistanis, Syrians etc. definitely would be shaking in their sandals if we had 500,000 practicing war games near their border. This would be total war - the very real threat of annihilation. Only then will they reconsider their ideological stance and learn to live with us, or perish. Won't happen now, but I would not rule it out.

We could take another approach: education. Massive efforts to educate the ignorant peasants. I would rather see this approach succeed before any of the above scenarios.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | June 10, 2006 12:59 AM

Massive efforts to educate the ignorant peasants. I would rather see this approach succeed

Posted by: there you go, simple effing solution... | June 10, 2006 01:07 AM

personally...


the only good peasant is one that can outthink the hefe's

look hefe, is that you el soape on the ground?

go pick it up hefe, I wait for you...

.

Posted by: that's what I'm working on here | June 10, 2006 01:11 AM

you mean the war to promote terror don't you....

"we're at war!," said at five minute intervals over the period of several years doesn't mean


that we're in a war, it means we're in an occupation and _they_


don't want you to get it, 'cause it's all about the money...

patriotism is just the sell, the big chested girl leaning on the car...


and you're the adolescent that makes the buy, because you want to look important...

shurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre I'm for gawd patriotism and big hoo ters... sign me up...

yowsah.
.

Posted by: the war on terror... | June 10, 2006 01:18 AM

Can't deny I am for big hooters and the war in Iraq has promoted terrorism. It is how war should be conducted that is the problem. That is, if you make a decision to conduct war, there should be no half-assed approach like we have seen. Otherwise, endless and expensive war.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | June 10, 2006 01:36 AM

"and it is good that he suffered for a while before dying..."

Why?

Posted by: NIW | June 10, 2006 06:39 AM

Without having state sponsorship, misfits and patsies cannot effectively fight a modern professional military force. Schizoid sociopaths with elementary educations beyond memorizing scripture do not often have exceptional organizational abilities to build secret and extensive criminal networks, and coordinate their supplies and information. Throughout modern history, insurgencies have been state-sponsored enterprises. The question is whose conspiracy is it?

If it's Iran, then it's Russia and China as well. If it's Syria, its Russia as well. If it's Egypt, then it's Palestine and Syria (which means Russia) and perhaps Pakistan as well. If it's Saudis then it's us. If it's deposed and dispersed Sunnis, then take another look at EU nations as well as Saudi.

Insurgents are not cooking up their high explosives in washtubs. Identification of the enemy outside the borders of Iraq is not very clear at all in the minds of the American public. Until we know the enemy, we don't know the story of this war.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 10, 2006 08:12 AM

"and it is good that he suffered for a while before dying..."

Why?


Posted by: NIW

because there is no punishment too great for him? duhhh

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | June 10, 2006 09:09 AM

Mr. Plantation makes a good point.

What is the war we are fighting? Who is the enemy? How do we combat this enemy? How much do our own actions contribute to the problem?

McCain says he supports the war. My question is what war does he support? What is the war that he wants to fight? What is the plan? etc.

Since these questions have never been clearly addressed or answered by the current war supporters in Congress and elsewhere (no WDM's, it is not our responsibility to force democracy on others) it tells me we started the war in Iraq without any idea what we were getting into, or what the end game is. Totally irresponsible actions by the War Lovers.
jmo

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 10, 2006 09:20 AM

I really have to sneer at these people who bark and boast about "total victory". These are the same witless buffoons who insisted this was all going to be one big cakewalk, that the stockpiles of WMD would be found in short order and that our troops would be welcomed, embraced and hosted to confetti parades and flowers strewn about their paths.

The problem with the fantasists--many of them posing on this very blog--is that they are wedded to the notion of war as war was defined and executed in the past. They dream massive of D-Day like invasions, of total humiliation of the enemy, of a transformative aftermath in which the offending state is turned into a little mini-America, replete with an American style Constitution, little, steepled Baptist-like churches on every corner, a mainstreet that looks like something out of Disneyland with thriving western style businesses dotting every city.

The Bush supporters are in that fantasy bubble of his every bit as much as he is. For a few days they will have this sense of euphoria, this numbing delusion that Bush has always been 1005 right about everything his smirky little mouth has uttered, and we can get back to the business of worshipping him and Jesus as we establish his born again Christian Nirvana right here on earth.

A month from now, Zarqawi will fade back into the obscurity from which he was raised--not by any feat of his own, but rather by dint that he was a convenient idiot who could be counted on to serve as a foil for this throughly corrupt and silly man the people have so foolishly put in the White House.

Posted by: Jaxas | June 10, 2006 09:51 AM

An interesting take on the a-Z "take down." (Take down is NOT my phrase):
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003052247_bushzarq10.html

This expresses better than I ever could ONE of my reasons for being unhappy (or Frickin' Furious) with the way the US has conducted itself in Iraq. This desperate need to focus on ONE person as the root of all evil. It started with Hussein of course. We'd take him out, everyone would cheer and throw flowers, the troops come home in a few months or so.
Yeah. Didn't QUITE work out that way. Who could have told them the different ethnic groups would turn on one another? Except possibly anyone who had studied or even BEEN to the country for five seconds or even remembered what happened in Bosnia. (Or even asked themselves, "How would I feel if suddenly my lights and water didn't work and there are strange people with guns rushing up and down my street? How would I react?")
The Admin did the same thing with al-Z. They built him up to be THE problem in Iraq and it would be great if he were THE problem in Iraq, but he ain't.
It's a very Hollywood thriller view of warfare. Go in, take out the cackling mad man, kiss the girl, go home.
Now of course the Admin. is backing a way a bit saying it likely won't reduce the violence in Iraq. I doubt any one is surprised by this news.

Posted by: NII | June 10, 2006 10:26 AM

Bush I dealt with Saddam used the big game.

Strong political support coupled with strong military action with a clear military and political objective in mind.

Bush II et al. have cluelessly gone it alone.

Bolton is in the process of destroying the UN which is really our best hope.

Total foreign policy failure on Bush II's part.

I do not believe we should handle Iraq alone.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 10, 2006 11:16 AM

What is your concept of war Jaxas? Ha. If we choose to fight, it should always be the goal to totally humiliate the enemy. If not, what the heck are we doing fighting? Jesus Christ.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | June 10, 2006 11:52 AM

"If we choose to fight, it should always be the goal to totally humiliate the enemy."

Interesting. I thought the goal of any war was to get the enemy to surrender.
Yikes. If we have to wait until people say they feel embarrassed this could take even longer than I thought.

Posted by: NII | June 10, 2006 02:21 PM

Surrender is humiliating. What do you understand about the fundamental meaning of war. It is the last chosen solution, when all the things that seem to be running through your mind, now, fail to pan out. I am not a war hawk. I just know from history that only total war will bring an ideological foe about. He must surrender his beliefs that have caused war. This is the ultimate humiliation.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | June 10, 2006 03:31 PM

But a religious war can't be won on the battlefield (the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a good example, let alone the protestant and catholic infighting in Northern Ireland).

This war is about religion, not government, not land, not resources. It'll go on for 2000 years unless folks realize peace doesn't come from a gun, it comes from undoing the hate.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 10, 2006 04:35 PM

Killing Zarqawi will make no difference. One man? Are you freekin' joking? The BA has chosen to spin this as another milestone. It is not. It's just another dead Arab in some godforsaken hidey-out.

The press should stop referring to "the insurgency" in Iraq. There is no insurgency in Iraq, because there is no legitimate government in Iraq. There's plenty of tribalism, sectarian conflict, and mercenary behavior for material gain (all of it hiding behind the mask of Islam - just as we hide behind the mask of Christianity). Iraq is embroiled in low-grade civil war (bound to be pernicious). We're just another faction.

The press should also stop referring to our continued military actions as "the war" in Iraq. What we are doing isn't waging war. It's a failed attempt at nation building. If we were at war in the true sense, we'd be carpet bombing. Not to mention we'd also be at risk of loosing something (other than the apparently cheap lives of our soldiers), and that just ain't going to happen.

Whomever is sitting on the oil in Iraq when this is over, will trade it on the world market, and we'll get as much of it as we're willing to buy.

It won't be Zarqawi.

Posted by: smafdy | June 10, 2006 04:38 PM

This is a good issue to raise.

What is the point of war?

In the old days, two armies would meet, there would be general rules of engagement. They would slaughter each other and then the winning army would rape, pillage and otherwise humiliate the loser's civilian population, property and leaders.

Today, modern armies have the ability to slaughter the civilians first (e.g. bombing of Dresden) pillage, otherwise destroy and humiliate the other side's civilian population. The goal of modern warfare then is to do this without destroying your will to fight before the other side.

I know it sounds twisted, but there is a ring of truth to it.

That is why there should be no war. It is very bad and there are no winners.

Differences should be settled by fashioning win-win solutions, by dialogue and diplomacy. Acts of war should be illegal. WDM's should be outlawed and so should the War Lovers.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 10, 2006 04:46 PM


But the war being waged against us (9/11 Cole, Bali) will not be won on a battlefield.

It will be won with cultural exchanges, understanding and mutual respect.

Let me also suggest a lot less whoring and pimping which seems so popular with Hollywood and Madison Ave these days.

Most importantly it can be won with jobs with good benefits that take people out of poverty and provide basic healthcare. Those are the real enemies that generate terrorists. Poverty and sickness.

As for the war mongers on the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, you boys are just making cash, ain't got anything to do with patriotism: admit it.

Now, we cannot leave Iraq to become a rogue state and a safe haven for criminality, i.e., terrorist, but we should get some help. Not only to share the burden, but to help offset our horrible image of trigger happy, torturing, mad men.

UN, NATO, something, but the Bush Foreign Policy Team just seems to alienate and antagonize

It's nice outside. Time to go.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 10, 2006 05:28 PM

Thank you Richard. Those were thoughtful responses. You see, it is the middle, between total war, and deciding not to wage war at all (except in a defensive mode) that is the crust of the biscuit. It is not winnable being in the middle, in the old fashion victorious sense because "old fashion wars" were total, winner take all. In contrast, the present situation will continue on, and slowly escalate, until the last drop of oil is pumped from the ME. In other words, it will seem endless in our lifetimes.
The ideologues of the past were crushed, both physically and mentally, and had to decide to give in, accept their fate and submit to the new master. We can still do this if we decide it is worth it. We have the means to do it with a foe that does not have MAD capability. We decided not to follow this path, obviously, since we have been dwelling in the middle space since WW2. All major wars the US has been involved in since have had mixed and not particularly appealing results. Either a new way should be pursued in connection with our business dealings with the Arabs, or the old way taken to end it decisively.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | June 10, 2006 06:41 PM

Richard Katz wrote:

"What is the point of war?"
__________________

A simple victory might be the point of a short war. However, as we are deep into a long war, the effects seems to be transformative.

Inside five years, I know I (and likely you as well, upon reflection) have encountered various, multiple, and distinct signs of a shift in our domestic society, towards hardening and arbitrary demands to submit to petty bureaucratic powers. The majority of it has nothing to do with national defense. This is a direct result of executive leadership acting as example. It is now acceptable to act like a jerk in public authority just to stay in practice. The heel of the boot presses down especially on the unwashed and usually unarticulate masses, not yet quite rolling down on their betters who might have a voice.

There has been a change in the American spirit, negatively so, that now harmonizes with the vibes from the white house, reinforcing the idea that arbitrary authority is perfectly alright at all levels of government and corporate authority.

A protracted war is really recklessly playing with the most elemental aspects of American society. Putting aside what happens overseas, what is happening here to cause deterioration of our basic values is the greater and more radical concern.

As it goes on endlessly, this war is primarily a war against ourselves. Do not doubt it; the search will evolve to isolating and punishing the perceived enemies within. The law be damned. A good and really qualified mass psychologist is needed just now explaining our situation on the pages of our public media.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 10, 2006 07:29 PM

Smafdy wrote:
===========================================
"The press should also stop referring to our continued military actions as "the war" in Iraq. What we are doing isn't waging war. It's a failed attempt at nation building."
===========================================

Ahhhhhhhh, you nailed it on the head. :)

It failed the minute the looting began, because it showed how unprepared the Bush Administration is of the world and governing it.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 10, 2006 08:17 PM

Another stumbling block to winning the war:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060611/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/guantanamo_suicides

Crikey. Not only do we have to change people's mental states, we also have to stop them from commiting suicide.

Now that I know the enemy can attack us by hanging themselves inside a prison cell, I say we should just give up.

Posted by: NII | June 10, 2006 08:48 PM

El Nacho - "Which war are we talking about, the Iraq War or the "war on terrorism". They seem to be two distinct conflicts, because they are not really related, and their goals are not the same. The goal of the war against Al Qaeda should be to destroy that organization and deter the spread of their ideology of fundamentalist islam that is spread by violence."

Sorry, that is incoherent. The overriding struggle is an ideological conflict between radical Islam and the rest of the world - including India and Asia. The war in Iraq is a subset of that. Cleaning out nests of Islamoids in the West is a subset of that. The adroit use by Islamists of Al Jazeera and syncophants in the Western Media to attack America is a subset of that.

And...

Going after Al Qaeda is a minor subset as well.

Because there are about 80 different radical Islamist groups that have killed millions of infidels and moderate Muslims in the last 60 years. Al Qaeda's activities are a very minor part of that butchery. The radical Islamist ideology goes back to deeds and thoughts of the Prophet, built on over the years by tactics and thoughts of other ISlamoids on Jihad and codified into the Hadiths and Sharia Law. The current cancer of radical Islam, what informs Al Qaeda and other murderous Muslims - was theorized and formulated by Sayyid Qtub of the Egyptian Brotherhood in the 50s and by the Theocrats of Iran in the early 80s.(Unfortunately for the more simple-minded that see the conflict ending as soon as we "get" Binnie and hand him over to TV interviewers and his ACLU Defense Team)
*************************************
Richard Katz -

"That is why there should be no war. It is very bad and there are no winners.

Differences should be settled by fashioning win-win solutions, by dialogue and diplomacy. Acts of war should be illegal. WDM's should be outlawed and so should the War Lovers."

Pie in the Sky.

Some observations:

1. Diplomacy and treaties rose in consequence to war, not to replace it, but
to seek alternatives.
2. Diplomacy or treaties without the underlying menace of war or other enforceable sanctions become meaningless. If consequences are limited to a stern speech from Kofi or "double diplomatic deplorations with vigorous hang-wringing" without a real downside, then 14 Security Council Resolutions or "the world's conscience" squawking about 400,000 butchered in Rwanda, 2 million in the Sudan, 200,000 in East Timor become just so many empty words.
3. The idea that there are no winners in war is just pabulum choked up by pacifists. Nonsense. The motto "War never Soved Anything" conveniently omit indpendence, extermination of the Aztec and Thuggee Death Cults, National Socialism. ending slavery in the New World, preventing the Muslim Hordes from submitting all of Europe to Islam - among other things.
4. Define how "acts of war should be illegal". Bet you can't, Katz.. Especially in ideological conflicts. Define who started the Cold War - when, who, where, and why...
5. WDMs should be outlawed? OK, so say they are..then someone nukes another nation IN DEFIANCE OF THE PRECIOUS LAW...then what? Indictments?

More Katz Pacifist Drivel - "But the war being waged against us (9/11 Cole, Bali) will not be won on a battlefield. It will be won with cultural exchanges, understanding and mutual respect."

Certainly, just as such conversations between society - and murderers and child molesters can benefit from dialogue, understanding, and mutual respect.


Posted by: Chris Ford | June 10, 2006 09:57 PM

you mean the war to promote terror don't you....

"we're at war!," said at five minute intervals over the period of several years doesn't mean

a thing....except that it's a media blitz to make sure that people don't lose their perception that they're being used by


their government to take advantage of a poor innocent country that is being held captive by CRAZEEEEEEEE insurgents that are sitting on top of the Second Largest Oil Reserves in the WORLD!!!!!


that's right, we're shopping...

and all of the soldiers are rent a cops....


they're being used by the international monied to maintain control of precious resource....to the monied...

realistically speaking we could have found an alternative easier than spending howmany Billions of Dollareros'


that we're in a war, it means we're in an occupation and _they_


don't want you to get it, 'cause it's all about

the money...

patriotism is just the sell, the big chested girl leaning on the car...


and you're the adolescent that makes the buy, because you want to look important...


because frankly, you're not

.

Posted by: the truth about this occupation... | June 11, 2006 12:41 AM

we're stealing land from the Indians


as we claim to be civilizing them....

same old same old....

but, we don't even need it, we need to destroy the story forever...


and address the reality that we're being led by pillaging, short sighted useless

bigoted, thoughtless, and completely innocent of any sensibility, crude aholes....


that need about fourteen feet of pipe driven up their buts...

.

.

Posted by: we're not at war, | June 11, 2006 12:46 AM

the truth is that most diseases can be cured....


look how much you've changed since you've been called on your transparancey....


are you posting from a prison in Oklahoma?


you've never answered that one.

.

Posted by: actually, | June 11, 2006 01:28 AM

SandyK wrote:
"This war is about religion, not government, not land, not resources. It'll go on for 2000 years unless folks realize peace doesn't come from a gun, it comes from undoing the hate."

I think religion is near the bottom of the concerns for Iraqis. Remember that the first concerns when Bush tried to get Iraqis to form a government was the issue of federalism, which would not distribute oil and other resource profits uniformly in Iraq. Sure religion is there, but Zarqawi worked to forment religious friction, with some success, but not the success you would have seen had religion been a major concern. I think as time goes on, we will see the reasons for the insurgency being simply of power, power to profit from the oil resources, power to make law, power to distribute tax revenues to friends (they could learn a lot from Bush on this), and the power to run the military and police. Iraqis, being a tribal society, do not trust these powers in the hands of other tribes, thus the defacto distrust and the need for power sharing. There are many examples of power sharing in the world, much of it brokered by the UN. Why is the UN not involved in building/advising the Iraqi government? Maybe its an issue of trust with Bush, who I believe is himself a tribal thinker with his neo-con republican tribe not trusting any outsider, not generals, not the CIA, not any professional outside the tribe.

Posted by: Sully | June 11, 2006 11:35 AM

Sully,

Your 11:35AM post is 99% solid intelligent insight, with the 1% on which I waver being the reference to "power sharing" involving the UN.

In a way, it all metaphysically goes down to the origins of bad luck. Ambassador Bremer quickly replaced a guy who probably would have worked much better, and at least knew the language; without that blunder, perhaps we would be now where we would wish. Like the theme in the great book by Tom Wolfe, _The Right Stuff_, catastrophic failure of highly engineered redundant systems happens because of multiple failures of subsystems and human components.

2-1/2 more years on the same vector. Can we possibly endure this? Our best hope for some correction is to split the congress this November and somewhat assure nothing more destrustive of the domestic social fabric gets done until there is a presidential referendum in 2008.

Time ought to working as a positive evolving force for our military strategies rather than for our violent foes. The failure to manage this basic resource, time, is indicative of the leadership problem. But bad calculations, poisoned politics and miserable management have inverted the presumed advantages of a well financed and sophisticated world power.

Two more years plus is just the unfortunate window sufficient to steal away more civil liberties without legislation, and to leave American and British citizens discouraged and vulnerable to a future where their rights are never gotten back.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 11, 2006 12:34 PM

Sully wrote:
===========================================
"I think religion is near the bottom of the concerns for Iraqis."
===========================================

What I stated wasn't about the Iraqis.

Do a little reading about the Fifth Monarchists and go from there.

===========================================
"Why is the UN not involved in building/advising the Iraqi government?"
===========================================

It's a corrupt organization that isn't interested in world peace, anymore than Britain was about the rights of colonists in it's Empire.

Remember it was chartered to prevent the atrocities that occured during WWII. It didn't do much to thwart the Cold War (that was more a direct contact between the USSR and the US), and it sure doesn't stop the genocides under it's watch. How many have been recorded in just 50 years now??

That much blood on their hands I wouldn't trust them setting up an ice cream shop for the Inuit (which ironically likes ice cream).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | June 11, 2006 12:54 PM

the UN is a corrupt organization,


that's like saying that the United States was created so that the Bush family and friends could get rich...


no, that's what it is currently being used for...


if you're going to say something, be in the ball park.

.

Posted by: that's kind of an ignorant statement... | June 11, 2006 07:06 PM

Did you know the number of bodies going through the Baghdad morgue has increased each month since January?


Yes, and very few of the deaths were at the hands of Zarqawi. Zarqawi liked publicity, he wanted to rival OBL. His video exploits made him bigger than life, the sectarian violence as Iraq falls into civil war is now the largest taker of lives, not
Al Quaida. And there are leaders much more troublesome than Zarqawi behind the sectarian violence. They're just not as stupid as Zarqawi was about video P.R. His video exploits against Americans on American TV also made him a high profile target for the administration. I am very happy to see him removed from the world, but here are many more like him in Iraq.


Strange how when the Iraqi army was first defeated and a most wanted deck of cards was released to the public, not one of those people on the deck of cards has been a problem in post war Iraq. New and worse people cropped up and took their places. Now since Zarqawi is gone, will it end or just another even worse person take his place.

Debaters, do you think Zarqawi's death will tame the insurgency?


No, he and the insurgency have become more of a minor player as sectarian violence takes hold of Iraq. Ask any Iraqi what they fear more, the insurgency or rival sect of Islam? The insurgency is just a side show now to the sectarian violence that has existed in Iraq for hundreds of years.

Perhaps Zarqawi is not the major problem of terrorism, perhaps all along it was our two allies Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is the largest financer of terrorist networks, much based on revenue from oil sold to our country. Saudi Arabia still teacher's in its schools hatred toward other religions, jihad, and supplies text books of the same orientation to other Islamic countries. Pakistan has been and still is a sanctuary to Islamic terrorist groups. The Bush administration has not and still is not doing enough with the causes of Jihad. As long as Islamic children are taught in school to be jihadists, then this is not going to end, for every Zarqawi that is killed there are many more to take his place. Afghanistan terrorist training camps were the second step in training to be a jihadist, the Islamic based schools for children were the first step.

Posted by: Jamal | June 12, 2006 12:09 AM

"Remember it was chartered to prevent the atrocities that occured during WWII. It didn't do much to thwart the Cold War (that was more a direct contact between the USSR and the US), and it sure doesn't stop the genocides under it's watch. How many have been recorded in just 50 years now?"

How much of the UN's ineffectiveness can be chalked up to the intentional impotence of its design, particularly the inordinate power weilded by the Security Council?

I am always a bit wary of criticism of the UN. Smacks of Norquistesque "drown it in the bathtub" philosophy. The U.N. hasn't been allowed to handle the big problems, because its most powerful members won't let it. The problem was most aptly described by Dave Chappelle in his sketch Black Bush:

"U.N. you have a problem with that? You know what you should do, you should sanction me. Sanction me with your army.

OH! WAIT A MINUTE! YOU DON'T HAVE AN ARMY! I guess that means you need to shut the f**k up, that's what I'd do if I didn't have an army.

I would shut the f**k up. [Speaking each word into a different microphone] SHUT. THE. F**K. UP."

Any nation powerful enough to defy a UN declaration has no fear of any real sanction if they have enough sway with the Security Council. The UN's impotence is by design.

Posted by: El Naco | June 12, 2006 09:07 AM

We never learn from mistakes! Our arrogance is unbelievable! 200 years of Democracy hasnt taught us much in freedom. We are now diminishing our own. But more importantly attempting to force democracy on a society that is over 3000 years old is futile.
Tribals have had an eye for an eye mentality for all that time. Our youthful outlook of 200 years has a diversity of opinions that even now are starting to backfire on Democracy! George Bushe's desire to be a savior of the world is misguided!
We need to work on our own backyard first as do most other nations in the world. The middle east will ALWAYS be the middle east! Accept that and act as a mediator ONCE we have re-earned that place in the eyes of the world. Most veterans of the many conflicts and overseas duty will back this one up when it comes to knowing how the real world thinks about us egotistical younguns!
Nuff said!

Posted by: olerb | June 12, 2006 09:56 AM

We never learn from mistakes! Our arrogance is unbelievable! 200 years of Democracy hasnt taught us much in freedom. We are now diminishing our own. But more importantly attempting to force democracy on a society that is over 3000 years old is futile.
Tribals have had an eye for an eye mentality for all that time. Our youthful outlook of 200 years has a diversity of opinions that even now are starting to backfire on Democracy! George Bushe's desire to be a savior of the world is misguided!
We need to work on our own backyard first as do most other nations in the world. The middle east will ALWAYS be the middle east! Accept that and act as a mediator ONCE we have re-earned that place in the eyes of the world. Most veterans of the many conflicts and overseas duty will back this one up when it comes to knowing how the real world thinks about us egotistical younguns!
Nuff said!

Posted by: olerb | June 12, 2006 09:59 AM

El Naco,

The UN is now a moral midget compared to what it was in early years.

A personal tale might interest some younger folks. I remember the standard punishment for a small disciplinary infraction in 6th-grade class (at the time when we had flip-up desks bolted to the floor) was to hand copy the last chapter of the geography book. It was maybe 3,000 words long, and described in detail the organization and duties of all the officials and divisions of the United Nations. One boy probably copied this thing at least twenty times in the school year. I bet he still knows all the answers.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 12, 2006 10:05 AM

olerb -
We aren't "forcing" Democracy on anyone. Let's remember that the insurgency in Iraq is the minority, and some of them aren't even Iraqi. The majority of Iraqi citizens welcome Democracy, and have been longing for it ever since their first taste of it before Saddam took control.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | June 12, 2006 10:19 AM

Johnnyg, America spends hundreds of times more than any other nation on warmaking. We build unimaginably destructive weapons designed to fight an enemy with a similar armoury.

On Septemeber 11, this country was attacked--not by another country, not by any other military force, but rather by a ragtag bunch of angry, hateful young men who perceived rightly or wrongly that America was on a Crusade to establish Israel as the dominant force in the Middle and Near East. They had no army, no navy. They possessed no missiles or aircraft. They have no military, no chain of command.

Since that event and George W. Bush's utterly stupid and fatal reaction to it by invading two countries who had no role in the attack, we have been trying to frame this as a traditional "war" against a Nazi like enemy. In fact, the angry, young fanatics who attacked us on 9-11 are nothing like the Nazis but are very much like the sort of home grown fanatics we have right here in our own country--like Tim McVey--who are blinded by political or religious ideologies rahter than some dream of world dominance.

People like you johhnyg, are prisoners of some past romantic notion of America as some righteous, civilizing force on this planet, executing some imagined Divine Providence's will to establish a world based on Christian values. Rome imagined the same thing about itself.

This "war" on terror is as contrived, phony and corrupt as the President who--in a fit of excessive, unconstitutional power grabbing--conceived it. At every opportuninity, Bush has used rhetoric designed to convey the notion that we are in a WWII-like enterprise while at the same time pretending that it was a war unlike any other.

We are not in a war. Repeat. We are not in a war except the one we made up in Iraq and even that one doesn't involve an enemy that fits the definition in any sense of a WWII-like enemy. Only a tiny portion of the American population is involved. There are no sacrifices on the vast majority of citizens. There are no threats that we are going to be attacked by some enemy air force or navy.

The other nations of the earth who have been attacked by terrorists have acted appropriately--Spain, Britain, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have all been attacked and have used good, old fashioned, law enforcement techniques to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice in their court of laws. It is only here in America that we have acted like some street gang toughs swafggering about with our military weapons threatening othe nations who are just as concerned about the terrorists as we are.

This war was fabricated, packaged with a nice big star spangled bow and presented to the American people as a great noble effort to be compared to WWII. Now that people have come out of the narcosis of that heady romantic delusion, they are beiginning to feel the sting of the awful cost such senseless, thoughtless actions as this President has wrought.

What we have in Iraq is flypaper from which we cannot extricate ourselves. It is the price we pay for being so "patrotic" so gung ho and so much wedded to reliving past glories from which we should have long ago moved on.

Posted by: Jaxas | June 12, 2006 10:21 AM

Jaxas -
It has nothing to do with "reliving past glories." Spain, Britain, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt didn't have a 9/11. I suppose we should have just sat back and taken no action at all. I can only imagine what all the Bush Haters would be saying had that been the case. We attacked where the enemy was located. Saddam was attacked because we believed he had WMDs, and it is now confirmed he was training terrorists.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | June 12, 2006 10:36 AM

I am certain that johnnyg or someone else will try to tell me that the reason we have not been attacked is because we are fighting them over there. That is not why we have not been attacked. We have not been attacked again for the same reasons that America is always spared such attacks: it is incredibly difficult, paticularly when a nation is on high alert and their intelligence services are focused.

Significantly, recent arrests in Canada ought to tell you something about the nature of terrorism. Canadians are finding out how difficult it is to tie this particular group of young, angry men to any other organized terror group.

Just as it is with the war on drugs, the war on terror will ultimately morph into the drugery routine of traditional law enforcement and preventative intellegence operations. Ultimately, after Bush leaves office, the war on terror will recede more and more into the background just as all contrived wars do.

Think about it for a minute. If a North Korean missile were suddnly to hit Japan, or If China suddenly decided to militarily force the Taiwan issue, you would suddenly see just how unimportant the war on terror really is. For now, it is the only game in town for all of those high stepping jingoists for who war is nothing more or less than an expression ot their "manliness".

Posted by: Jaxas | June 12, 2006 10:46 AM

I did not say alexham that we should take no action at all. That is the problem with you pro-war people. You react before your brain has any chance at all to engage. That is precisely what we did after 9-11. And what did it get us?

We invaded two poor, third world countries who had no real military capability. And what happened? The real 9-11 masterminds simply moved into the nether regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan. We removed the Taliban, but they didn't have anything to do with 9-11. And now, they are in a growing insurgency there that threatens to bog us down in that country.

And what pray tell did we get from invading Iraq? We removed and aging, addled dictator that was pretty much on his way out and who kept wquestions about his WMD capability alive because he knew that he was eventually going to be challenged by factions within his own country. We killed Zarqawi who was a nobody until Bush made him a somebody by invading Iraq and drawing thousands of young angry Muslims into his cause.

I ask you? What has military action gotten us? Terrorism has steadliy increased year by year. It is as they say a "growth industry". There simply has been no pragmatism, no common sense, no reasonable approach to terrorism under this incompetent President. His incompetence does not simply extend to protecting us from natural disasters and protecting our economy from debt and trade imbalances--he is just as incompetent in the most important aspect of the job: reducing threats to us from abroad. We are now more than ever at risk from Iran, from North Korea and yes, from China.

Posted by: Jaxas | June 12, 2006 11:01 AM

One other point alexham: This has nothing to do with Bush hatred. I do not know the man on a personal level.

But, I have never held him in high esteem as President. He was not the choice of the people in 2000 and there are serious questions about wheter he really won Ohio in 2004. But, that isn't the point. The point is that from day one Bush was in over his head and it showed. Prior to 9-11, the people perceived that. His poll numbers never got above the 49% he won in the election.

Cartoonists were always lampooning him as a small man in a very big chair. His temperament was always in question. Even before taking office, Bush was often depicted as being brittle and thinskinned. His motives for invading Iraq probably had more to do with Sadaam Hussin's attempt on his father's life than any other factor.

His method of governing by dividing the country in half and pandering to his base while using the office and the Cabinet in the most overtly, transparently political way imaginable was enough to convince me that this man did not have the fiver, the character one would expect of a President of the United States. His deceptive rhetoric bordering on outright lying indicates that it was he--and not Al Gore--who was more appropriate for the term "serial exaggerator".

It is not just Iraq and Katrina that have Bush in the cellar. And it isn't because he is losing support from his base. A great many people have simply come to reconize the same thing I have always known: This guy is simply not up to the job.

Posted by: Jaxas | June 12, 2006 11:14 AM

Jaxas -
Who are you calling pro-war? War is horrible and should be avoided at all costs. We have gained plenty from invading Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no longer a tyrant in power. You say he was on his way out, but where's the evidence of that? We created Zarqawi? Um, he is a terrorist isn't he? Well I should say "wasn't" he. Despite what you might see on CNN the Taliban is not as powerful as it was before we went in to Afghanistan.
Is it Bush's or a state's number one priority to protect it's citizens from natural disasters? I don't know about you, but I think the economy is in great shape. Maybe you're one of those people who actually worries about something as moot as the national deficit. As for China, Iran, and North Korea - I don't deny they could pose problems for us one day, but the immediate threat is terrorism. I'm glad we're taking a pro-active approach to it rather than just "waiting on the next attack."

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | June 12, 2006 11:18 AM

Alex Ham wrote:
"...but the immediate threat is terrorism. I'm glad we're taking a pro-active approach to it rather than just "waiting on the next attack."

Then why did we go into Iraq? Eere the terrorists in Iraq before the invasion? Where were the WMD? Why did Bush, with UN weapons inspectors on the ground in Iraq, decide to not give those inspectors the "slam dunk" information he says he had and instead invaded, then slowly telling you and me the information was all smoke/mirrors?

We should have focused on Afganistan, rebuilding and stabilizing it into a country that would support the US. Instead Bush took his eye off of Afganistan because he had support for attacking his and the neo-cons old foe, Saddam. The country was in a war mood and he took advantage of it. Afganistan was ignored, troops and material moved to Iraq. Now we have terrorists in Iraq and Afganistan increasing their numbers. That's the kind of result you get from Bush not being a manager, not planning and not thinking outside his own best wishes.

Posted by: Sully | June 12, 2006 12:15 PM


So Sully,

what was the solution to sadam ? is it "we cant save the world so dont do anything" or
"use sadam like we always did and play him against Iran ?(so much for moral high ground)" or "wait till Iraq gets the bomb like NK or wait it out a couple of years and let them become an Iran ?". Nuke technology is here to stay and its just a matter of time before it continues to spread(yes UN and global efforts are
useless). With Iran headed for a bomb , do you think their arch enemy Iraq woudnt ramp up. Are two nuke armed crazy regimes better then one?. The world changes and the idea that things would have been much better if we left Iraq alone is a guess at best. We were not going to rebuild Afghan, it was a holding action at best, no one in there right mind would attempt country building in a place like afghan.
The logic seems to be that if you be nice stay low terrorists wont bother you. That never solves the problem , it delays it. The middle east is and always will be a resource for large amounts of terrorists. The only way to change this is to change the governments. Representitative gov is the long term solution to decreasing terrorists.You'll never get rid of all terrorists but saying that strong arm dictatoships who kill and oppress there own people are better for "us" and cheaper then trying to make a change sounds pretty
selfish.

Posted by: Drew | June 12, 2006 12:31 PM

Sully -
Yes there were terrorists in Iraq before 9/11. Saddam had vowed to destroy us and he was preparing for it. Evidence of terrorist training activities were uncovered after he was toppled. Just because we didn't find WMDs doesn't mean he didn't have them. He could have easily moved them, and many think that's exactly what he did. Lebanon was one of the possible locations. Expecting Bush to provide ALL the info is also a longshot. We've seen what happens when our intelligence gets in to the wrong hands.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | June 12, 2006 12:49 PM

Drew wrote:
"So Sully, what was the solution to sadam ? is it "we cant save the world so dont do anything" or "use sadam like we always did and play him against Iran ?(so much for moral high ground)" or "wait till Iraq gets the bomb like NK or wait it out a couple of years and let them become an Iran ?".

Iraq get the bomb? Before the invasion Saddam was under UN sanctions, had no-fly zones in the north and south, was constantly under surveillance and there were UN WMD inspectors on the ground. How he would build a bomb in these conditions requires the wishful thinking of a neocon.

Posted by: Sully | June 12, 2006 12:56 PM

Alex Ham wrote:
"Yes there were terrorists in Iraq before 9/11. Saddam had vowed to destroy us and he was preparing for it. Evidence of terrorist training activities were uncovered after he was toppled."

Can you back up these claims? Any references?

Posted by: Sully | June 12, 2006 01:04 PM

Sully -
Here you go buddy:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/550kmbzd.asp

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,199052,00.html

I'm not very computer savy so I'm not sure if these will hyperlink, but you can copy and paste them.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | June 12, 2006 01:15 PM

oh, Will in Texas - I was born in Texas, at Lackland AFB, and used to be a member of long standing in the Texas Folklore Society ... welcome!

It's amusing how many neocon sheep seem to think Texas and Florida are right-wing states and don't understand they're actually swing states that have a heck of a lot of Dems (especially after Katrina).

To the thread - no, offing Zarqawi (who I recall warning against when Bush made him so powerful) is not good for the US long-term, or even medium-term, heck didn't even make it thru the weekend. Our problem is that the local-based resistance there is 95 percent not Zarqawi groups, and we just radicalized even more people in Iraq. Bush just doesn't grok what counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency is, sadly.

Again, the sooner we pullout (and Bush won't let us), the better for our goals as America.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | June 12, 2006 01:33 PM

With "Bring it on" attitudes in charge of our government there is a never ending supply of feet to fill the shoes of Zarqawi. We have stirred the hornets nest and our failure of diplomacy keeps adding hornets.

Posted by: Robert Cox | June 12, 2006 01:33 PM

Drew wrote:

" . . . what was the solution to sadam ? is it "we cant save the world so dont do anything"
___________

Reimagining history as it ought to have been is not something I encourage myself to do so much. But maybe enough time has passed to do some of that to reply to your question.

My spin is, if Turkey had cooperated as initially anticipated, then it would have gone more efficiently, plus there would have been the implicit role model of a large secular Muslim state sharing a border with Iraq. That would have helped immensely in clearing the tyranny out of Iraq.

Trying to do it ourselves, particularly with our language gaps, was just a tremendous task; especially so with inadequate manpower. I do not doubt the legal and moral justification for upsetting Saddam's hold on Iraq, nor do I blame the intentions of America, but there ought to have been greater courage and support demonstrated by direct benefactors in the region, the allies who owe us and whom we should have had.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 12, 2006 01:36 PM

Thanks for the links Alex.

The first link is a story written by Stephen F. Hayes who first brought up a terrorist/Saddam link basing it on a memo from Douglas Feith to Congress containing leaked Pentagon information. The Pentagon described the information as innacurate but Hayes continued to run with it. It seems he still is. In the story you linked he described thousands of documents proving a pre-invasion link between Saddam and terrorists, yet the WHITE HOUSE is not releasing these documents. He describes the information as coming from 11 white house sources, yet names none. I would not consider him an unbaised source of information in this area. You have other unbaised sources of this terrorist/Saddam link?

The second link is a Fox News (surprise) story that provides:

"evidence that in 1999 the Taliban welcomed 'Islamic relations with Iraq' to mediate among the Taliban, the Northern Alliance and Russia, and that the Taliban invited Iraqi officials to Afghanistan."

Considering that in 1999 the Taliban was the defacto government of Afganistan, this appears nothing more than governments working with each other, in this case to have Iraq negotiate between Russia and Afganistan. If this is the level of proof you need to believe cooperation existed between Iraq and terrorists determined to destroy the US, then you should also fear Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which recognized the Taliban as Afganistan's government. But Bush says these are our allies in the war on terror!

Posted by: Sully | June 12, 2006 01:54 PM

Sully -
No big surprise that when provided with evidence you still find a way to argue. What is so hard to believe about Saddam cooperating with terrorists? Is it that you think Saddam was changing his ways, or do you just want the Bush Administration to look bad no matter what? What would it take to please you Sully? Would you like immediate withdraw of Troops so Iraq can become a haven for terrorism? Would you like to just sit back and see what al-Qaeda's next move may be?

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | June 12, 2006 02:01 PM

Alex wrote:
"Sully - No big surprise that when provided with evidence you still find a way to argue."

Your "evidence" is thin at best.

Alex continues:
"What is so hard to believe about Saddam cooperating with terrorists?"

Belief is not the issue. A belief is not proof.

Alex continues:
"Is it that you think Saddam was changing his ways, or do you just want the Bush Administration to look bad no matter what? What would it take to please you Sully?"

I hope you are giving me more than those two choices ... How about evidence corroborated by multiple sources? Like evidence from Abu Graib for example. Or maybe some real documentation that many journalists are allowed to see and analyze. You must be wondering why the Bush administration would keep evidence of a terrorist connection to Iraq a secret? How are you handling that?

Alex continues:
"Would you like immediate withdraw of Troops so Iraq can become a haven for terrorism?"

Ah you are a Fox News watcher. I also watch Fox News. I enjoy the simplistic ways news is presented, the simplistic conclusions and the presentation of arguments as either/or. Alex, Iraq IS a haven for terrorists and there is NO evidence that it was so before the invasion. Here's a Fox Style News Alert Alex: Bush invades Iraq and Iraq is now a haven for terrorists! Funny how I never hear that on Fox News...

Alex continues:
"Would you like to just sit back and see what al-Qaeda's next move may be?"

Well, Bush is doing just that. Why did he withdraw troops from Afganistan and send them to Iraq in 2003? Why is he not sending in troops to find OBL? If Hitler had hidden in the Bavarian Alps after Berlin fell as some feared he would do, you could be d@mn sure Truman would not ignore his escape and say he is irrelevent as Bush has done with OBL. How many more speeches by OBL threatening the US are you willing to hear Alex? I want OBL dead and I want our troops to make it happen. Bush does not agree. How are you handling that Alex?

Posted by: Sully | June 12, 2006 02:39 PM

Sully -
I'm handling things just fine. Sounds as though maybe you aren't. The Administration has made the right moves in my opinion. Thank God nothing will change for a couple more years.

Posted by: Alex Ham - America's Hero | June 12, 2006 02:48 PM

Alex wrote:
"The Administration has made the right moves in my opinion. Thank God nothing will change for a couple more years."

Unfortunately that is what the terrorists are counting on...

Posted by: Sully | June 12, 2006 02:52 PM

administration and the terrorists are the same...

of course the administration would like things to remain the same...


sorry, won't be happening...

it's called taking out the trash....


bye bye deadwood, elitist shanking aholes...


stankee boyz, I'll be removing your toyz with expressions of candor.

.

Posted by: the | June 12, 2006 03:27 PM


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Posted by: che | June 12, 2006 03:27 PM

about the creation of terrorists from sleepy tribesmen that have nothing more to do than fight with each other...

what bush and co have done, intentionally I might add, is create an enemy after the collapse of the Soviet Union that would justify the continuing military expenditures


and coincidentally net them some big oil profits while destorying


the middle class.....


thanks so much for your kind attention,

next .

.

Posted by: I was posting months ago.. | June 12, 2006 03:36 PM

testing

Posted by: Cassini | June 12, 2006 04:06 PM

Sully writes:

Iraq get the bomb? Before the invasion Saddam was under UN sanctions, had no-fly zones in the north and south, was constantly under surveillance and there were UN WMD inspectors on the ground. How he would build a bomb in these conditions requires the wishful thinking of a neocon.

the UN and the IAEA are watching Iraq and this would stop Iraq from getting the bomb.
This is real wishful thinking. IEEA inspectors can get expelled faster then
one can spit(ck out NK), and then ? another 36 resolutions another 52 resolutions ..? If I was working on getting the bomb , my best ally would be the UN and the IAEA.
And with a border like Iraq's , what the heck would a no -fly zone do ?

Posted by: drew | June 12, 2006 04:52 PM

on the plantation

agree, it was difficult at best

Sully, sadam hates bush, hates americans and has said as much. Its like a lunatic who has killed members of his own family, then threatens you and makes plans to buy a gun and you say "oh, just leave him alone, he wont bother us . It "defies logic" that we would allow this man (who is swimming in cash and resources)to exist. Again sadam has made no secret of his hate for americans.He's attacked and pillaged another country in total disregard for any world order, he has used chemical weapons
on his own people and has made attempts at getting wmd's, yet your still defending this guy as if he woudnt harm a soul.You dont think he would help those who would harm us ?, that is an incredible thought considering sadams track record.

Posted by: drew | June 12, 2006 05:10 PM

"We removed the Taliban, but they didn't have anything to do with 9-11."

No Jaxas, we did not remove the Taliban. And Alex Ham, better pull your head out of the sand. If nothing else, here are the words of General McCaffrey from yesterday's Meet the Press: "The Taliban two years ago were in 10-man units. A year ago in 100-man units. This year they're in battalion-size units, 300, 400 people. There's a huge offensive going on."

McCaffrey, however, seems to believe that it won't be so hard to take them down "again". I sure hope he's right, but I don't believe he is.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | June 12, 2006 05:23 PM

how about responding to this question:

what would happen if it could be proven that there was a

hidden agenda

of
uniting and turning a bunch of sleepy tribesmen into a terrorist insurrgency takes time....


which bush and co have done, intentionally I might add,


is create an enemy after the collapse of the Soviet Union that would justify the continuing military expenditures


read this: http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm


it was the Republican, complicit congress, and DOD's agendae in 1997....to go to "war,"


when bush was elected, did he mention this agendae?


are there any legal repurcussions? ramifications? would we currently be in "a coup," if it were proved to be true and would those responsible be executed for treason?


who signed it want to know?


.


how about responding to this?


time for honest tea?


or maybe some executions for treason?


how about some congress people or executive branch people helping us out here....


we're real curious.


thanks.

Posted by: how about some congress people or executive branch people | June 12, 2006 06:03 PM

these sharp minds to respond to


the Project For a New American Century, in fact having been the unspoken

Republican reason for derailing the democratic process...


voter fraud anyone?


intervention, billed as a war?


false flag attack?


?war? powers


anti christs masquerading as prophets?

?

.

$380 MILLION dollars in greed for retirement? Secret Oil Exec meetings with CHEYNEY? what went on at those meetings, Slumber parties capitol hill style....


why are the Americans referred to by the world as "mushroom people,"


because their leaders "keep them in the dark and cover them in bullsh-it!"


ha ha ha...

.


.

Posted by: I'm still waiting for | June 12, 2006 06:10 PM

The death of Zarqawi brings a sense that justice has been served and a great boost to morale. Will it hamper the Iraqi insurgency? Not much. From news reports I've read and listened to, my impression is that many of the insurgent groups in Iraq didn't like Zarqawi anyway. He served their purposes to some degree, but he was a viscious wild card that they feared couldn't be controlled and could at some point hurt their movement.

For us the death of Zarqawi is more of a victory in the War on Terror, specifically against Al Qada, than in the war against the Iraqi insurgents. That victory, as in many of the "battles" fought in this war, is very much psychological in nature. So much of this War on Terror is a matter of perception. With Zarqawi's death we start to create a perception of weakness in Al Qada and we improve how the US is perceived in terms of competence in our prosecution of the war. Unfortunately, it still doesn't help with the other important perception factor which is our credibility and integrity which has taken a hit under the Bush administration.

This victory will only gain traction if we can capitalize on the intelligence gathered at the site so we can start rounding up other terrorist - maybe even OBL himself. If we can't show concrete progress within a few months, all the momentum we have gained through Zarqawi's death will be lost.

Posted by: DK | June 12, 2006 06:21 PM

blog that the al Zaquistator personality was a fabrication of military intelligence to create the spook that they needed to incite support....


isn't that true?

.

Posted by: I thought according to the EarlyWarning | June 12, 2006 06:24 PM

Osama,


he's the guy that turns up with a tape


every time Howdy Doody thinks that they're catching on and his "side," needs some distraction...


yeah we really need to feed into the fear that the president has generated...


I think it's important in these troubled times to get down on your knees and bark like a dawg....to support the president in his game of herding the sheep right DK?

.

Posted by: yeah, | June 12, 2006 06:28 PM

you simply tell them that you


were mislead by this president and complicit congress that, you the American people have been defrauded and denied a democratic process...


that after you execute a few domestic terrorists, the Executive Branch, you'll get back to them with new terms...


that would certainly calm things down, don't you think?

.

Posted by: you want to stop the Iraq debacle? | June 12, 2006 06:31 PM

Even terrorists have a mother. There doesn't seem to be much in the English language media that explains the general or assumed roles of women in support of radical Islamist terrorism, or not in support of same. Learning something about this certainly would help to get the cultural picture.

For example, what exactly is the dynamic that takes an essentially puritanical society, with vast numbers of males preoccupied with war or religion, and enables that society to breed at rates which overcome easy death encountered or embraced in a variety of forms early in life starting early in life? Parents undoubtedly love their children, but then is it true that fathers and mothers gain status and are so often actually proud to see their children kill or die? Or are these not the right questions to ask to find cultural keys to obvious sustained violent anger?

Just mystified and really wanting to learn what half the adult population is all about.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 12, 2006 06:42 PM

Alex Ham,

So, you think Sadam was training terrorists to attack the United States and that justified bush's private war? I guess you believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy too?

Posted by: Jamal | June 12, 2006 07:46 PM

other than moving bases from Saudi soil

in order to appease the royal family and

bandar bush...


whose wahabbi buddies told them it was quid

pro quo for keeping Osama in a cave


we need a new place to park our airplanes

and to keep from having to contain a tinpot dictator


sanctions take tooo looong

move over Saddam we've got something meatier

it's just like Bush the Elder and Noriega


play the game or get put in check

"i made you boy and i'll break you"


especially with billions at stake for my

buddies in houston

record profits and no bid contracts


keep the local economy afloat after Kenny

Lay took off with all of his employee's cash

it makes Delay nervous to see his benefactor indicted - both of them


how can you talk out of both sides of your
mouth

friedman and norquist on the right while

spending like John Maynard on defense and nation building out of the left


this is the start of the slow decline of the pax americana


make way for your new mandarins

it was good while it lasted

Posted by: what did all this accomplish | June 12, 2006 09:00 PM

Gee Jaxas, please read my posts again. I was conceptually discussing war in our time and why half-assed wars should not be fought based on events in modern US history. Little is gained from these wars, historically, when compared to the cost in lives and money spent.

My point was that war, if chosen, should always be total. History shows that such ways of waging war can and did indeed defeat an ideological foe. They also would not last as long as, say, the current one.

Your thoughts about this fading away in our lifetimes are wishful thinking. It will not until the last drop of ME oil is pumped to the surface.

War should always be the last desperate act to resolve something. As I said above, I would prefer to educate these people than to destroy them. How can we do this? Read some Saudi textbooks for a primer.

About Iraq, at the beginning I thought this was to be a stepping-stone leading to wider conflict. Obviously, it is not what the administration had in mind. Not enough men. Period.

I share your fears about China and North Korea. If NK decides to nuke Japan, I believe we will annihilate them. However, I also fear terrorism, which is a real, hideous threat.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | June 12, 2006 09:01 PM

So, you think Sadam was training terrorists to attack the United States and that justified bush's private war?

I'm not Alex, but I will answer your liberal drivel. Saddam was paying suicide bomber families 40K as a reward for killing Jews. He trained terrorists at Salman Pak and other facilities for War in Chechnya, Kashmir, and fighters from the Sudan. How does a war authorized by Congress become "Bush's private war" other than being an insipid phrase your brain has sucked up as an activist mantra?

"I guess you believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy too?"

No, that is the liberals thing. Santa Claus is the government giving out free stuff and money, nurturing their parasitic illegitimate kids, and helping people too lazy to clean up after themselves, or after a storm. The Tooth Fairy is a person very popular in the Democratic Party based out of San Francisco and working various sex clubs.


Posted by: Chris Ford | June 12, 2006 09:03 PM

hey, che,

thanks for posting the link.

Posted by: smafdy | June 12, 2006 09:06 PM

Alex Ham, hero in his own mind...

You're wrong. You've been wrong all along. The neocons are wrong. The war is a failure (as a war, that is - for all we really know, the end game is destabilization of the ME, at the relatively cheap cost of our soldier's lives). Who profits? Who knows - it's all a matter of "National Security".

The entire Saddam thing is a Straw Man, just like homosexual marriage, flag burning, and the estate tax.

I don't like apple pie. Apple pie is under attack by that flaming lefty, Smafdy. He wants to abolish apple pie, because he hates America!

Easy, ain't it?

Even with our help, Saddam couldn't whup a bunch of Iranian teenagers with bare feet, headbands, and armed only with sticks.

Terrorism is real. Hatred of America is real (I wonder why). Attacking Iraq as a "preemptive strike" against terrorism is unsupportable by the facts and/or logic. Only a lie (and plenty of people too full of malice or too stupid to know better willing to ostensibly support the lie) could ger 'er done. (God, I hate that phrase).

Go into your barhroom, look into your own eyes in the mirror, and tell yourself the freekin' truth. Then get you knuckles off of the ground and start thinking (and acting) like a real man.

God bless America.

Posted by: smafdy | June 12, 2006 09:31 PM

I should add, Jaxas, that if we had listened to Curtis LeMay and others like him during the Korean Conflict, the "North" would have been destroyed, and not only physically. Today, all of Korea would have been like the present South and our current presence minimalized.

The "ancient" wars you believe are not relevant did not occur so long ago. You have to wonder why most of Europe is the way it is and Japan is the way it is. It is because they remember the horror. Similar things could be done over in the ME. I'm not saying that we should do so at this time, but if war actually becomes necessary, we should make it total or not wage war at all.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | June 12, 2006 09:31 PM


Curtis LeMay used to get on the aircraft with two parachutes. Everyone else just got one. See "A Wind and A Prayer" by Harry Crosby.

Posted by: Richard Katz | June 12, 2006 10:52 PM

pat 1957

400 man battalion sized units, it would be better if they get larger. Taliban/low intensity guerilla fighters dont have training/command control nor the fire power nor the supply ability to sustain movements of large groups. They dont fight open pitch battles. Mcaf is right , he will take em out.It would be even better if the Taliban had 1,000 man units.

Posted by: Drew | June 12, 2006 10:55 PM

Posted by: Chris Ford

"I'm not Alex, but I will answer your liberal drivel. Saddam was paying suicide bomber families 40K as a reward for killing Jews. He trained terrorists at Salman Pak and other facilities for War in Chechnya, Kashmir, and fighters from the Sudan. How does a war authorized by Congress become "Bush's private war" other than being an insipid phrase your brain has sucked up as an activist mantra?"

No, you're not Alex Ham; you're a bigger neon-con-vict idiot than he is. You have no proof of your terrorist training sponsored by Sadam, just something you dreamed up in that large empty space between your ears. Chris, you pathetic neo-con weenie, hard to believe your still stupid enough to believe that crap about WMD's and 911 connection to Sadam. Even Bush stopped peddling that snake oil when it was proven untrue.

"No, that is the liberals thing. Santa Claus is the government giving out free stuff and money, nurturing their parasitic illegitimate kids, and helping people too lazy to clean up after themselves, or after a storm. The Tooth Fairy is a person very popular in the Democratic Party based out of San Francisco and working various sex clubs."

I wouldn't know about sex clubs, seems to be your area of expertise. Perhaps if you spent less time in your sex clubs, you would have heard the news that there were no WMD's or 911 connections in Iraq.


Posted by: Jamal | June 12, 2006 10:59 PM

Yeah wrote:

"I think it's important in these troubled times to get down on your knees and bark like a dawg....to support the president in his game of herding the sheep right DK?"

Believe me, I'm no fan of the Bush Administration as many of my posts over the time I've been posting will attest. Still, I believe the military and intelligence units involved in the operation that killed Zarqawi deserve credit and I do think it is a boost to morale.

As far as Bush's game of herding the sheep - Do I believe that Bush shamelessly uses the War on Terror as a political tool? Yes I do.

Do I believe that Bush shamelessly conflated the Iraq war with the War on Terror - Yes I do, and in so doing he brought them together, much to the detriment of the Iraqi people.

Do I believe that the War on Terror is really some sort of large deception and that the "truth" about 9-11 is being kept from us - No, not in any significant way. I believe we really were attacked by Al Qaeda and that Bush and the Carlyle group were not involved and that they are not covering anything up related to that attack.

Do I believe that Bush allows politics and big business interests to influence and even dictate actions taken in the War on Terror and in Iraq, and that Bush used 9-11 as an excuse to justify an attack on Iraq? - Yes I do

Do I believe that our military and intelligence units are in these places striving to succeed in the difficult circumstances the Bush Administration has put them in and that their successes should be credited to them in spite of my disagreement with our and their leadership - Absolutely

In short, I may disagree with the Bush Administration on most things and despise their style of leadership (or bullying), but I do believe that we were legitimately attacked on 9-11, that our embassies were attacked in Keyna and Tanzania, that the USS Cole was legitimately attacked, Khobar Towers, the attacks in Madrid and London, Bali, Jordan, Egypt, and others were legitimate attacks as well. As a result we are faced with a foe that has to be dealt with. For those hard core attackers and the ones that directly support them there is little to no hope for negotiations or peace. As a result we need to effectively hunt them down and take them out. While we do that we have to convince others not to join them. The only way to do the first is to develop a top notch network of human intelligence - a long endeavor. The way to do the second is to 1) help improve economies in the middle east, 2) promote education, 3) provide opportunities for moderate Muslim views to get greater exposure, and 4) efficiently eliminate and undermine those that turn to terrorist ideals.

Finally, invasions and occupations of countries will not work to deter terrorism. If anything it will have the opposite effect.

For those that say "Total War" may be the ultimate solution, I'm not sure how that can be prosecuted against a movement that is often indistiguishable from citizenry and that melts away from one country and turns up in another. To follow that logic through to its conclusion I see us wiping out entire civilizations to get at the relatively few terrorists that take advantage of those ignorant people that they are using for cover. We could go through country after country of doing that and still not stop the threat since they use such low tech means of attacking.

In a sense I see the effective approach to this War on Terror being much like the approach during the Cold War. Try to identify vulnerable places where extremist Islam could take root and produce jihadists then find ways to circumvent that from happening - It doesn't have to be the US directly. It could be moderate Muslim groups sponsored or backed by the U.S. setting up schools, building community infrastructure and finding ways to improve the economy. Heck, set up and operate soccer leagues for the teenage boys in some of these places. I acknowledge all these things take time to develop, and any one of these ideas alone seems like pie in the sky as our friend Chris Ford would put it, but the overall point is to be proactive and anticipate the early moves of the enemy, then take action to counteract those moves. If we are willing to fund these types of efforts in any way close to the level that we fund our military (even half as much) I think we could have some effect.

If that makes me a sheep or a pie in the sky fool, then so be it.

Posted by: DK | June 12, 2006 11:51 PM

DK, terrorists are state sponsored. With total war, you go after these states. We know who they are, and there is a lot of them. Pick the worst and proceed with total war. I believe the rest would back down.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | June 13, 2006 12:12 AM

when George H. W. Bush was director of the CIA why did the President of Chile die in Washington DC from a hit...that he had been warned about?


did Geo H.W. Bush let the president of Chile get killed on his watch, as a way of returning a personal faovor?


is Geo H.W. Bush investing in destroying a glacial water supply to an indigeneous population in CHILE in order to get some minerals underneath the glacier...


is that another return for a favor?


is that because he cares so much about Indians? those little brown guys whose water may be sittin on top of some gold or something...

Posted by: tell me this... | June 13, 2006 12:18 AM

ear marks, bridges to nowhere, kissing falwell, delay breaking his oath of office twice on television, abramoff, Hastert, intervention on an arrest because it put others at risk for discovery...blah blah blah...

how about responding to this question:

what would happen if it could be proven that there was a

hidden agenda

of
uniting and turning a bunch of sleepy tribesmen into a terrorist insurrgency takes time....


which bush and co have done, intentionally I might add,


is create an enemy after the collapse of the Soviet Union that would justify the continuing military expenditures


read this: http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm


it was the Republican, complicit congress, and DOD's agendae in 1997....to go to "war,"


when bush was elected, did he mention this agendae?


are there any legal repurcussions? ramifications? would we currently be in "a coup," if it were proved to be true and would those responsible be executed for treason?


who signed it want to know?


.


how about responding to this?

bottom line:

the Project For a New American Century, in fact having been the unspoken

Republican reason for derailing the democratic process...


voter fraud anyone?


intervention, billed as a war?


false flag attack?


?war? powers


take a bite out of crime , arrest your president and company...

.


Posted by: and your complicit congress, comity and all | June 13, 2006 12:23 AM

like

_they_ started this?


how did the American Indians feel about having their land stolen...

did they just sit around wrapped in their serapes and say, "we can't do nothing about these friggin gringo...let's siesta,"


or did they get moody?


drew chris take your love affair off line please...you're making me ill with the level of your insipidness...

.

Oh, I'm a man, I talk tough, I'm willing to pretend to be tough but when my posts don't get attention


my feelings get hurt....yeahhhhhhhh

.

Posted by: are you that unintelligent... | June 13, 2006 12:28 AM

out of the 17 pilots flying the planes,


the majority were Saudis, most of the rest UAE's with one Lebanese and one Egyptian...


all were trained in the United States


ports deals?


please, give me a break....


Negroponte: "if you rat after you retire I'll yank your pension"

the above, is
a special clause slipped into a law in congress a few weeks ago...that gives Negroponte the ability to yank your pension if you turn states after you retire...


_NOW_ why all of a sudden do we need that law?

who did Negroponte serve under? Bush Sr.

where did Bush Sr. first work, Cuba/CIA/FBI/MAFIA/castro/bay of pigs

who were the watergate break in team? bay of pigs team...cia

is it sooooooo hard....


daddy's a perp, he hurts people, we're going to have to take him away...

.

get over it.

Posted by: dear DK | June 13, 2006 12:40 AM

that one that didn't make it through...


send it back to me, I liked it...or just email it to some editors...

Posted by: hey emily, | June 13, 2006 12:43 AM

Jonneyg wrote:

"DK, terrorists are state sponsored. With total war, you go after these states. We know who they are, and there is a lot of them. Pick the worst and proceed with total war. I believe the rest would back down."

Many terrorists are state sponsored. Does Pakistan support Al Qaeda? Certain groups in Pakistan do, but does Musharrif and his government? Are they helping us, or only seeming to help us. I don't think we really know. That's where we need our network of human intelligence.
What about Somalia, Sudan, and other fractured states. We could conduct total war on these states that have essentially no military whatsoever. We could go in and bomb and shoot anything that moves to create our own form of terror and the Islamic terrorists would just melt away, smuggling themselves across borders or just posing as refugees in the crowds. Meanwhile the people that would be most hurt would be the ones without resources to get away or pay for protection or whatever. There's simply no distiguishing between the good and the bad without inside knowledge of the situations we walk into.

What I'm saying is that there are too many countries that don't have enough command and control to enforce their will on the people inhabiting all their soil for "Total War" to be effective. Even if those in charge wanted to capitulate and turn in the bad guys on their soil I don't believe they would be able to do it.

As for Dear DK - I do think Bush and his cronys are bad for the country for a lot of reasons, but I don't think they engineered 9-11 and the continuing War on Terror. I believe people like them take advantage of events that occur, but humanity is just too unpredictable for any group, no matter how rich or powerful, to manipulate events to that degree. Bush and Carlyle may be well connected with Saudi Arabia and some of the bin Ladens, but OBL is a renegade that is an enemy to the Saudi royals as well as Bush and the rest of America.

Posted by: DK | June 13, 2006 01:20 AM

I'm just not feeling very pollyannaish today...


I've been watching it unfold for over 30 years...and having worked on the inside, I do know that there's a lot of good people that aren't used to thinking in the same way as people

that routinely control other countries up to and including ordering the murder of innocent civilians...


I believe it was Negroponte who was ambassadour to Honduras and George Bush Sr. who was director of the CIA when complaints emerged from some christian groups in Honduras that the CIA backed guerillas were trying to teach NUNS TO FLY BY THROWING THEM OUT OF HELICOPTORS....


they even made a movie of it...


and April Glaspie invited Saddam to attack Kuwiatt...

read the Project For a New American Century statement of principles and look who signed it and the date it was posted...


and tell me that's not spooky or just remain ignorant...whatever...

.

Posted by: well, everyone is entitled to an opinion.... | June 13, 2006 01:44 AM

don't just say, I can't believe it...be a man.

Posted by: check it out... | June 13, 2006 01:46 AM

if the president and his men are sssoooooooo afraid of terrorists

how did 12 to 20 million mexicans sneak across the border...


any one of whom could have been terrorists?


and why did the 9/11 Commisions report on the presidents post-9/11 response to their suggestions...

no action taken by the president,

why was their comment on his lack of action: "his lack of action borders on the criminal."

that's a direct quote....what did he know that they didn't that made him feel that he didn't need to address terrorism in the United States as a threat...


his immediate recommedations following 9/11 were to "purchase some plastic sheeting and ductape, in case of explosions..."


deep level of concern, what is that about a red or is that orange level...


what level is it today? or did funds run out for continuing that ruse?

give me an effing break..
.

Posted by: and try explaining this... | June 13, 2006 02:00 AM

Previous poster wrote:

" no action taken . . ."
__________

This list includes the promised divestiture by Dubai Ports of its interests in U.S. ports operations. No action taken here.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 13, 2006 08:29 AM

Ignorance and Arrogance, has in the past and will in the future, frame our current policies and actions in the Muslim World. Ignorance of the history, culture, and religion, contributes to the majority of our problems in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and Palestine. Arrogance as Americans... that somehow we have all the solutions for the worlds problems further adds fuel to the firestorm of the anti-American sentiment we are witnessing. Ignorance and Arrogance didn't just happen under the current Bush Administration.

As a nation, we have been slowly building and fostering hatred of our culture and beliefs for decades through our ignorance and arrogance. As a Vietnam Vet, I watched firsthand as we referred to the Vietnamese in less than complimentary terms...I watched firsthand as our diplomats in the Sudan referred to Sudanese Counterparts as something less than intelligent...I watch firsthand, now, as we refer to our foes in the Middle East as ignorant and terrorists. No matter how brutal Zarqawi's actions were in Jordan and Iraq, his death will probably spawn more violence and hatred towards Americans.

For decades, we have educated our Foreign Service Officers and Diplomats that somehow only Americans have the right solutions to world problems. Assignment of Foreign Service Officers and Diplomats to Muslim Countries and other Third World Nations has been a dismal failure, due mostly to individual ignorance and arrogance of said officers. We continue to send European and Latin American Specialists to countries they have no business serving in. We have failed miserably to develop and educate a Foreign Service attuned to the religion, culture, and history of Arabic and African Countries. We need to do more listening and less talking!

We need to pull our heads out of the sand and realize that the world doesn't revolve around American culture and beliefs. Our current ignorance and arrogance took decades to develop and it will probably take decades to correct. If we fail to realize and correct our political/military mistakes of the past and present, we are doomed to create even more Zarqawi's and Bin Laden's, which will ultimately place the world, as we know it, at the brink of extinction! Answers reside somewhere between the postings of Sandy K and Sully, both of whom need to be listened to.

Posted by: M. Stewart | June 13, 2006 09:18 AM

drew wrote:
"Taliban/low intensity guerilla fighters dont have training/command control nor the fire power nor the supply ability to sustain movements of large groups. They dont fight open pitch battles. Mcaf is right , he will take em out. It would be even better if the Taliban had 1,000 man units."

You are ignoring the obvious problem here. "We" can take them out, but why can't the Afgan army? We destroyed Afganistan, and rightly so, then promised to rebuild it and make its government functional so that Afganistan would never become a safe haven for terrorists in the future. Well, the future is here and terrorists are hiding in its mountains and the Taliban are getting more numerous, more organized and bolder. Sure we can take them out. That should be no comfort to anyone. I'd be a lot more comfortable if the Afgan government could take them out.

I wonder if Bush in Camp David is talking about his failure to put in place an Afgan government that can rule and defend the country. Bush needs to get into a proactive mode instead of a reactive mode. He needs to consider the worst and prepare for it instead of hoping for the best and ignoring any possibilities of problems, but I am not hopeful. That has been this administration's method of planning from day one. I'm totally amazed that the MSM is now touting how Bush is meeting with "outsiders" during his retreat to come up with a plan. Is this some kind of NEW idea? I guess when your expectations are low anything that seems like a good idea is heavily praised...

Posted by: Sully | June 13, 2006 09:32 AM

M. Stewart,

I somewhat agree with your 9:18AM post, but you need to understand that most governments you hear US diplomats snearing at deserve to be sneared at. Many of the world's governments are openly corrupt. They have in place laws and cultural norms that so favor the wealthy over the poor, one ethnic group over another, or entrench dictatorial powers, that if we Americans were to live there would quickly high-tail it out. Yet, our diplomats MUST deal with these governments and their open corruption every day. Diplomats are trained to deal with corrupt leaders. Diplomats are trained to use carrots and sticks to pressure these governments to benefit American interests. But sometimes they cannot hold back what they see that sickens them. We Americans truely are the most free and open society that ever existed. Its hard for us to deal on an equal level with governments and societies that embrace ethnic cleansing, corruption and bigoted tribalism. Yet our diplomats try to do it every day. The trick for them to do their jobs is to hold their noses and smile.

Posted by: Sully | June 13, 2006 09:57 AM

There is that beautiful Hawaiian word "aloha" used as a greeting or farewell. I wonder how you can say that in Iraqi dialect?

Posted by: On the plantation | June 13, 2006 11:08 AM

Look. All of you. This country has the most sophisticated, most technically advanced, most lethal military on this planet. When we moved into these two, essentially third world countries whose miltary capabilities were minimal compared to ours, there was little doubt who was going to win the military component of the battle. And, I personally see no glory, no honor, no nobility in either event because our stated reasons for going there and changing their regimes was not grounded in any such noble reasons.

We invaded Afghanistan presumably to punish the Taliban for not giving up Bin Laden. We have been over there nearly 5 years and we have not gotten him. And, the Taliban--like cockroaches--are returning and regrouping, mounting an insurgency of their own which will likely tie us down there for years to come.

We invaded Iraq ostensibly because we were told that Sadaam had amassed an arsenal of WMD that he was planning to unleash upon us. We now know that Sadaam was an addled, weakening dictator who kept such myths alive because he knew that before long, he was likely going to be challeged by forces within his own ranks.

Posted by: Jaxas | June 13, 2006 11:11 AM

Sully,

I'd like to think that what you said about Foreign Service Officers and Diplomats is true. Unfortunately, my experience is the opposite of your statements. During the Iran Hostage Crisis I served in the U.S. Embassy as a Military Attache for two years. My experience while stationed in Khartoum directly reflects my earlier comments. While stationed in Khartoum we had three groups of "Diplomats"...those new to the system...those who chose the assignment for additional pay, and lastly, those who were nearing retirement and had no choice in there posting. Guess which group contributed to the development of good Diplomatic relation with the Sudanese. The U.S. Aid Office had over 100 "professionals" stationed in Khartoum and two people (Contract Employees) stationed in the field. The Ambassador was an Arab Specialist, but he was in ill health and most days unable to come to the Embassy. The remaining Embassy Officers were either Latin American Specialists or European Specialists. Guess how much we impressed the Sudanese Government and people. I don't believe much has changed at our Diplomatic Missions Abroad. As long as we continue to award Ambassadorships for political contributions and favors, we're not likely to make much progress.

Contrary to what you believe, the United States Government has in the past and will continue into the future supporting Governments that support ethnic cleansing, corruption and bigoted tribalism. A good example is our recent diplomatic efforts relating to Somalia. Thanks to our meddling, we have just helped install a Radical Islamic Government Council, which may or may not come back to haunt us?

Lastly, we currently have a Congress and Executive Branch that has shown more corruption and greed than at any time in our Nation's short history. Our politicians need to spend a great deal more time solving our own problems of hunger, poverty, medical care, etc. and less time debating Nation Building? One can truly debate our current political climate of favoring the wealthy over the poor.

Posted by: M. Stewart | June 13, 2006 11:22 AM

Zarqawi had become a liability for Al-Qaeda. His indiscrimate killing Muslims in Iraq and Jordan was not not helping their propaganda efforts. Al-Qaeda operatives set Zarqawi up. We can't find the guy for three years then all of a sudden we have intel that allows us to take him out so cleanly?

His elimination signals a change in Al-Qaeda strategy to more clearly focus their attacks on infidels. It also increases the likelihood that we will see an increase in terrorist activity outside of Iraq.

Posted by: jclark | June 13, 2006 11:41 AM

If you listen to Bush supporters the killing of Zarqawi has "turned the tide"
in the U.S. favor and signals and end to
the insurgency. They will also tell you
that Iraqs new govenment is gaining it's feet and the training of its security forces will soon allow the U.S. to start
gradually pulling out its troops as soon as Iraq can take over. Finally, they will tell you that the Mainstream Media is minimizing the killing of Zarqawi and maximizing the story of the Marine massacre in Haditha, questioning the loyalty/patriotism of the reporters and blaming them and the press for President
Bush's abysmal job approval ratings and support for his war on terrorism.

One has to wonder if these people live in an alternate universe where reality is what THEY make it.

Posted by: Cassini | June 13, 2006 01:01 PM

Sheesh, is no one pleased anymore with a win, whether they consider it able to "turn the tide" or not? I mean, the guy was responsible for so many deaths.... so what if it doesn't "turn the tide" in Iraq... if his death means more innocent people will be saved, it's a victory.

we all of a sudden got the "intel" because Zarqawi put a reward out for the family of the Jordanian ruler, who then took great measures, and played an influential role, in helping the US find him.

Posted by: sam | June 13, 2006 01:29 PM

I am personally annoyed and offended by the tenor of some of the comments of the president before troops in Baghdad.

He speaks of those who "forget" since 9/11. On the contrary, the trouble is with those who remember.

There is a long tradition that domestic politics stops at the water's edge. Now we have a CEO stereotyping and disrespecting his own loyal American citizens from a pedestal overseas. It's really unforgivable behavior.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 13, 2006 01:33 PM

on the plantation wrote: Insurgents are not cooking up their high explosives in washtubs. Identification of the enemy outside the borders of Iraq is not very clear at all in the minds of the American public. Until we know the enemy, we don't know the story of this war. (June 10 post on this thread)

I think otp's post is required reading - all of it.

It was stupid to start a first strike war in an area of the world where we appear to have no frigging idea how things really work.

But its worse than that. Because I think johnnyg and others are right - it is stupid to fight a half assed war. It is disrespectful to the soldiers and families we ask to give their lives for....what? A conflict that will never be resolved?

But its even worse than that, because we CAN'T fully prosecute this war without forcing the hand of the state sponsors of the ME terror - Russia in particular, probably soon China to protect their oil interests, etc. China and Russia aren't going to let us interfere with their ME oil sources. PERIOD. Truly prosecuting this war will set off the law of unintended consequences and could well torch off WWIII. So we better find a way to minimize the damage and declare victory in Iraq, cause Iran and Afghanistan need all our attention right now.

And Alex et al, why would you (and the BA) think that when the Taliban came back, that this time they didn't have some state sponsored help? You think they're only armed with their turbans this time? Let me sell you this bridge that's been in my family for years but that I just don't have time to collect the tolls on... I'm betting its not YOU or YOUR kid who's going to die fighting them for the SECOND time. MCaffrey is still thinking his batallion faces theirs and shells each other ala WWII. I kinda think the supporters of the Taliban have learned a thing or two about guerilla warfare since then. If they didn't know it before, they certainl learned it in Iraq. If we really supported our troops, we would have made sure they only had to conduct this fight once.

We are f'cked. We started a war in Afghanistan (that I still believe was just), and now we're going to fight it again against an enemy that most certainly has found a backing to replace their washtub explosives. We can't afford to lose, because a Taliban victory could well spread into Pakistan over control of their nukes.

I am encouraged that there are glimpes of wisdom emerging in our Iran policy. But like (I think) johnnyg said, you have to have a stick to hold over their head about the threat of total war in order to affect policy favorably. And they certainly called our bluff in Iraq. Unless the US is willing to level the country, which Russia and China won't let us to to Iran, shock and awe aren't much help, are they?

First strike wars have been the downfall of every empire. This is why.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 13, 2006 01:38 PM

There's an additional problem with our Iraq strategy that has to do with how our military operates in the 21st century. Missions are now "forced protection" whose primary objective is not... the objective, but rather minimizing casualties. This is great if you aren't interested in "winning" so much as you are interested in "minimizing casualties", but a terrible way to successfully achieve objectives.

Rather than having 2 soldiers on every block we put hundreds of them in green zones where they can only be reactive.

All our offensive operations require overwhelming force and flawless intel in order to reduce casualties which means multiple quick strikes are untenable. The result is that we are a reactive military force waiting to operate until something blows up.

Again, if your "mission" is to "fail but accept fewer than 3,000 casualties every 4 years" this strategy is full proof. If your "mission" is to "defeat insurgency" then the strategy of forced protection speaks for itself.

At the risk of making the same repeated tired analogy, this is precisely what ruined us towards the end of Vietnam. The chain of command became more about bringing people home alive then it did about military objectives.

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 13, 2006 02:25 PM

Rather the chain of command broke down because "orders" became more about bringing people home then they did about achieving military objectives.

Posted by: Will in Texas | June 13, 2006 02:29 PM

patriot 1957 wrote:

". . . we CAN'T fully prosecute this war without forcing the hand of the state sponsors of the ME terror - Russia in particular, probably soon China to protect their oil interests . . ."
______________________

That is the only explanation I can cogitate to explain the executive branch's debauchery with Mexico.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 13, 2006 02:31 PM

Sully
You are living in a dream world. The country you describe-corruption, only for the rich etc. etc. is YOUR country-the USA. American diplomats snear routinely: it is part of the American culture. Everything good America has it learned from Europe: the bad you are doing yourself. Wake up my friend.

Posted by: Eric Yendall | June 13, 2006 03:10 PM

Eric Yendall wrote:
"You are living in a dream world. The country you describe-corruption, only for the rich etc. etc. is YOUR country-the USA. American diplomats snear routinely: it is part of the American culture. Everything good America has it learned from Europe: the bad you are doing yourself. Wake up my friend."

I guess you are comparing the US corruption currently in the news to the endemic corruption that is a way of life in many other countries. That is a stretch. America and only a few other countries have embedded systems to prevent corruption. That does not mean it does not happen, just that it can be caught and delt with by some branch of the government. Ask Jack Abramoff if corruption is never punished in America. Ask any American whether what Abramoff is accused of doing is ok because its the way we get things done in the US. Now ask that of people in some other countries where bribes are needed to get a drivers license. The US is not perfect, and lately thanks to Bush and the republicans it seems as though it is going out of its way to be imperfect, but to compare the US with countries where a bribe is a normal way of doing business, from the government to the corporate to the small business, well, you've lost me. To compare the US rich/poor ratio with countries where only the rich are allowed to own land or participate in government, well, I think you must not live hear and see the quality of American life.

Posted by: Sully | June 13, 2006 04:17 PM

Sully, I have to agree with Eric on this one. That is exactly what this country is on the way to becoming.

I also was struck by two comments Alex Ham made yesterday, but I didn't have time to post on them.
"The majority of Iraqi citizens welcome Democracy, and have been longing for it"

I thought we learned our lesson on this from the fall of the Soviet Union. The reaction there definitely burst the bubble of my American propagandized mind, that the world longed for democracy. Many of them gave up guaranteed housing, heat, food and stability for a "democracy" that quickly descended into organized crime and economic chaos. Some flourished, but a good many of them thought it was a Faustian bargain, and as Putin steps backward we haven't exactly seen riots in the streets there, have we? Right now I think Iraqis want a stable government that makes the power go on, the water clean enough to drink, puts food on the table, and a government that they don't have to cower in fear of.

"something as moot as the national deficit"

Please explain how this is moot? Selling our national security to China doesn't seem like such a good idea to me. Once upon a time, the Roaman Empire ruled Europe (ever see Hadrian's wall?) - no one dared challenge them. Once upon a time the Spanish Armada ruled the seas - no one dared to challenge them. Once upon a time, the US so dominated the world economy - China wouldn't dare call in our loans because if the US sneezed the world economy cought a cold. But the times, they are a changing. Once YOU help them break the government's back with monumental debt placed on the back of the middle class, the crippled government will fall to the whims of the haves (of which you likely WON'T be one), and we will become Mexico, a third world nation with the wealth of the country in the hands of a few, and easy pickings for China. Alex, this government you defend will use you to do its dirty work and toss you aside like a dirty kleenex when they get what they want.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 13, 2006 04:51 PM

Sully, I have to agree with Eric on this one. That is exactly what this country is on the way to becoming.

Let me elaborate on this - unless you and the other good people are able to stop it. And by God you're trying, and so am I.

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 13, 2006 04:52 PM

Zarqawi running loose and killing? We losing the war! We can't win! Zarqawi found and killed? We creating more insurgents! It can only lead to our defeat! Oh praise Gaia, what will we do!

Sheesh, catch bin Laden tomorrow and you'll all be yelping the same tune.

Grow a set of stones for gods sake.

Posted by: tamerlane | June 13, 2006 05:20 PM

"Sheesh, catch bin Laden tomorrow and you'll all be yelping the same tune."

That is sadly true. In the wake of 9-11 the enormity of the attack horrified many of OBL's supporters. Had we taken him and his highest henchmen out decisively then, stabilized Afghanistan and gotten the hell out, we might have nipped al Qaeda in the bud and received thanks from many who feared the spread of the Taliban. Of course as long as the inequity in the ME continued and it was convenient to displace the blame onto America instead of their own repressive governments, there still would have been Zarquawis and OBL wanna-be's. But without the organization and deep pockets and sympathy of the wealthiest Saudis/UAE etc that OBL had, the wannabes would be hampered - getting OBL then would have taken a big bite out of terrorism.

Instead we let OBL and the highest in his organization go, and conducted a first strike attack on a country that didn't attack us, in the process killing twice as many innocent civilians in the first two weeks than died on 9-11. It was a poor way to win the hearts and minds of the people - blood is thicker than water. OBL became an underdog cult hero who would save his people from the imperial Americans, and sympathies (and checkbooks) took a decided turn against us.

Taking out OBL would be a symbolic victory, good to feed our blood lust for revenge. I'd feel better. But it would really not make us any safer. Its way too late for that. For that we need the people of the ME to want the terror to stop. Unless we're willing to flatten the entire ME and part of SE Asia and Africa to bomb them into submission, killing innocent civilians who never attacked us isn't going to make them like us more or believe we have their best interest at heart (compared to OBL).

So, how else can we make them want to stop the terror?

We do have another weapon - we can stop buying their oil. We protect SA because it has the biggest oil reserves in the world, but we don't actually buy all that much oil from the ME - SA is only our third largest importer, after Canada and Venezuela. With existing hybrid technology we could achieve an average of 40 mph in passenger vehicles without having to force supersized American bodies into unsafe little matchbox cars. (2007 Sienna minivan rated for 40 mpg). Imagine if the tax rebates went to hybrid buyers to defray the extra cost, instead of the wealthiest Americans. The National Resources Defense Council says that by the time we turned over most of the cars in America we could cut Saudi Oil imports by 80%

Of course now Chris Ford will chime in and say the brown people are reproducing so fast that there will be more cars on the road that will make up difference in gas savings. And if we don't invest in decent public transportation and incentive programs to use it, he'll be right. Imagine if instead of telling us it was unpatriotic to cry about losing our civil rights, imagine instead our President told us it was unpatriotic to be a gas hog. In the two years after 9-11 people were like lemmings, running off cliffs to engage in first strike war, turning over their civil rights as if the hundreds of thousands of soliers who died for those rights never existed. If he'd said - the way we can be safest is to not need those SOB's any more, people would be fighting over who got to ride the bus to show their patriotism.

Now someone else will chime in and say it won't matter because China and India will take up any slack we give up. I say, so what? Let the buildings start falling in Moscow and Beijing. Having figured out how to use less oil, we'll be in a much better position of strength in the world, won't we?

Posted by: patriot1957 | June 13, 2006 06:21 PM

sorry, that's New Dehli and Beijing

Posted by: | June 13, 2006 06:22 PM

mstewart wrote "For decades, we have educated our Foreign Service Officers and Diplomats that somehow only Americans have the right solutions to world problems."

and a mighty fine job we've done. It was the US that led two world wars, the US that took the lead in holding the line against communism . We kept South Korea from being overun by the North (imagine Kim il with twice as many people to kill), the list goes on. What is the alternative to the US ? the US is far from perfect but it is the best of the lot.

Posted by: drew | June 13, 2006 08:52 PM

jaxas wrote "And what pray tell did we get from invading Iraq? We removed and aging, addled dictator that was pretty much on his way out and who kept wquestions about his WMD capability alive because he knew that he was eventually going to be challenged by factions within his own country."

- how in the world did you reach this conclusion ? sadam had two very young brutal sons who did a mighty fine job killing on there own. Sadam was going to be challenged by factions in his own country ?, how do dead people challenge anybody

Posted by: drew | June 13, 2006 08:57 PM

Drew wrote "a mighty fine job we've done. It was the US that led two world wars, the US that took the lead in holding the line against communism . We kept South Korea from being overun by the North (imagine Kim il with twice as many people to kill), the list goes on. What is the alternative to the US ? the US is far from perfect but it is the best of the lot".

We live in a vastly changed and more dangerous world since the Korean Police Action. I don't believe it was ever declared a war and to this day a North Korean invasion of the South is still a very real possibility. I noticed your history lesson stopped at Korea which was over five decades ago?

My point concerning Foreign Service Officers and Diplomats revolved around changing the status-quo. We need to do a much better job of educating our Foreign Service Officers...especially those posting to important Arabic/Muslim, African, and Asian countries. They need to be completely immersed in the culture and language of the countries they are assigned to.

Pakistan, India, and North Korea now currently possess a nuclear weapons capability, and soon perhaps Iran will follow. As a nation, we can ill afford to continue carrying a "Big Stick". I think most sane individuals would agree that we should use Military Force only as a last resort. I believe we were correct in going into Afghanistan and I also believe that at some point in time we may have needed to go into Iraq, but not on faulty premisis and not when we did. We should have stabilized Afghanistan, first, and then weighed our options vis-a-vis our continuing war against terrorism...Which brings me back to my original point that Diplomacy in this dangerous world is our most important weapon and at this juncture may be our only choice. We have stretched our Armed Forces to a breaking point. Without some drastic changes, to the way we approach and solve world problems, I fear we are heading down a path of self destruction.

Posted by: M. Stewart | June 13, 2006 10:40 PM

ms

well, the latest US success wasnt 5 decades ago, but extends to the late 80's after the fall of the soviet union. The US lost over 30,000 in the Korean war, it was a real american led war.

re Iraq, was diplomacy given a fair shot ?
I think so. How many resolutions against sadam were there ?, how many times did sadam defy those resolutions. This took place over a number of years. sadam was given many opportunities to cmply but never did. Sadam even corrupted the "watch dog" with the oil for food scandal. What additional diplomacy was left ? France and the soviet Union were clearly never going to do anything to push sadam. What diplomacy was left ?

I do think if Bush did this right , he would have planned better. Six more months to a year of planning would have done wonders to get our military ready for such an endeavor. That was bush's critical failure

Posted by: drew | June 14, 2006 12:34 AM

you know for a youngster, it's interesting how

you repeat the same old same old, it's almost like you were getting it from your friends in congress...


Colin Powell was very angry about the way Saddam was treated...


why do you think that was?


do you know what the word "embargo" means?


.

Posted by: dear drew... | June 14, 2006 12:30 PM

Drew, you need a little perspective, which this administration will never provide.

Why do you think OBL wants to take the US out as a superpower? Do you really believe the "he hates freedom" drivel? Most people don't pick fights with a superpower - note the carefully controlled way even the superpowers fought each other in the cold war. So what was his motive for picking a fight with us, and is it working?

If he wants to build an Islamic caliphate that stretches from Spain to Indonesia, he has to do two things: 1) he has to break the back of those who would stop him (mostly the US and the other powers who need the ME oil), and 2) he also has to get people to choose to live under his Taliban style government. In other words, he has to divide and conquer the enemy, and get the people to choose blood over infidel. How does he go about this?

Even many of his own supporters were horrified by 9-11 and backed away from him. 3,000 people innocent people in such a brazen attack! Then, much to his delight, the US retaliated by dropping bombs on Baghdad and killing almost 6,000 innocent people. Such a PR boon - after our reaction to 3,000 deaths, think a minute about their reaction to 6,000 of their blood. Now do you understand why they marched with signs callling Bush a bigger terrorist than OBL?

The deaths of the 6,000 were followed by a botched invasion and a botched occupation. We gave OBL his common enemy to unite the people behind - the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Is it working? I wouldn't exactly call the new Iraqi constitution secular. The number of terrorists attacks in the world is higher than ever. The Taliban are back in Afghanistan at more than their former strength. Do you think they're only armed with their turbans this time? Sure, we can fight them again....should we use the soldiers currently posted to Iraq, or the ones we need to be ready if things go to pot in Iran, or the ones we need to be ready given North Korea's apparent testing of a missile capable of hitting the US? Or should we draft them? What does your draft card say, Drew?

The pieces of OBL's plan continue to fall in place. Russia and China and India will never allow their oil supplies to be in jeopardy. It will all come to a head in Iran. If OBL is really lucky, the US will extend its blind to the consequences bullheaded blustering approach into Iran, and force a confrontation that will involve pitting the US against Russia, China and India. Divide and conquer, right on schedule. Did you read On the plantation's prior post?

So, who's winning? The people of the middle east are having to choose between their own OBL, the killer of 3,000, or George W Bush, the infidel killer of initially 6000 and now as much as 100,000, and the master of Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, and more. Tell me, if you were a middle easterner whose world view came from al Jazeera, which would you choose?

And the world powers who would stop OBL are now head to head in Iran over oil. Divide and conquer.

So now who do you think is winning? The question is, why is he still even in the game?

Hiring Karen Hughes to win the hearts and minds of middle easterners was merely a sign of the total and complete ignorance of this administration over what's going on over there. But mercifully, we have recently seen a few glimmers that this administration may be starting to grasp the divide and conquer part over Iran and maybe will act more on wisdom than bluster. We can only hope.

Posted by: patriot 1957 | June 14, 2006 12:32 PM

Did you notice how the whole dissemination of information about el Zaquari the distinctly EVIL personality looked like a CSI episode....with the "stiff" lying on the table...


they wouldn't fabricate a whole story just for publicity would they?

naw, they've not done that before...


whatever happened to operation "whatever, it was called," that put more troops in the air....blah blah blah...and was never heard of again?


what is this:

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_723.shtml

Who is behind "Al Qaeda in Iraq"? Pentagon acknowledges fabricating a "Zarqawi Legend"
By Michel Chossudovsky

and can you explain this?


why are the current president and his staffers not wearing orange jumpsuits with manacles around their waists?

how many people do they have to kill before you stop them?

.

can you explain this?

Posted by: the truth shall set you free... | June 14, 2006 12:50 PM

Just remember, they aren't people, they are islamoidterrocommiekillers....

http://www.peacetakescourage.com/whatwillyoudo.html

Posted by: AfghanVet | June 14, 2006 01:22 PM

Remember...it's called "collateral damage"

http://movies.crooksandliars.com/Aegis-PSD.wmv

Posted by: | June 14, 2006 02:56 PM

There are innocents on all sides; indeed, the majority are. Our GIs in the field know this better than any of us bystanders. These people are the decent, over-stressed, and highly aware sons and daughters of our decent American middle class. The purity of their purpose is not a question in the mind of any kindred veteran or any close family member. We praise and honor them.

The tragic issues are issues of policy and strategic insight, or failure thereof. A simple GI does not regard any life as cheap, American or Iraqi. They are wiser than that. I want to see them return home strong, assert themselve in careers and politics, and get the appreciation they have earned. If fiasco is to be averted in the future, it will be by positioning these good people in high politial office.

Posted by: On the plantation | June 14, 2006 05:53 PM

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