Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Piercing the Fog of War

By Wah in Media
Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 11:45:00 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

As the Fog of War descends on Iraq once again, let's take a quick look at the right and the left's reporting on the latest happenings, or what I like to call WTF 2004.  Just open those links new windows and read ahead while they are loading.

We'll do a little back and forth between the right, the left, and a couple of guest stars.  Pay attention, things change quickly when chaos abounds.

Then you can watch the movies.


ADVERTISEMENT
Sponsor: rusty
This space intentionally left blank
...because it's waiting for your ad. So why are you still reading this? Come on, get going. Read the story, and then get an ad. Alright stop it. I'm not going to say anything else. Now you're just being silly. STOP LOOKING AT ME! I'm done!
comments (24)
active | buy ad
ADVERTISEMENT
The War
Right: "This week, Chicken Littles like Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd were ranting that Iraq is another Vietnam. Pundits and sages were spinning a whole series of mutually exclusive disaster scenarios: Civil war! A nationwide rebellion!

Maybe we should calm down a bit. I've spent the last few days talking with people who've spent much of their careers studying and working in this region. We're at a perilous moment in Iraqi history, but the situation is not collapsing. We're in the middle of a battle. It's a battle against people who vehemently oppose a democratic Iraq. The task is to crush those enemies without making life impossible for those who fundamentally want what we want.

The Shiite violence is being fomented by Moktada al-Sadr, a lowlife hoodlum from an august family. The ruthless and hyperpoliticized Sadr has spent the past year trying to marginalize established religious figures, like Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who come from a more quietist tradition and who believe in the separation of government and clergy. Sadr and his fellow putschists have been spectacularly unsuccessful in winning popular support.

Over the long run, though, the task is unavoidable. Sadr is an enemy of civilization. The terrorists are enemies of civilization. They must be defeated."

Left: "I refer to this entire mess as the second Intifada of Iraq. The first Intifida was last August in Fallujah when US soldiers killed 15-17 Iraqis and Fallujah fell into revolt. Vehicles are being hit where they are easiest to find and the security firms who are here to protect the Westerners are taking casualties because the US Army and Marines are literally stretched thin throughout the country and quite over their own capacity to stop the violence. The resistance's combat operational center of mass is and will continue moving from known mass resistance organizations (such as uniformed Badr Brigade) to small leaderless or autonomous teams or supporters who are now deciding to do what they please to the first target available. Those targets are easy ... Westerners. Any and all. This burst of energy won't last long though ..

I suspect we will have a cool down period in the next few days or within a week but it will be simply to "re-arm and re-fuel for re-strike and re-venge." A true sustained explosion of violence has yet to be coordinated by the myriad of resistance teams but as the independent or semi-centralized resistance groups form, choose leadership and communicate at the internet cafes, you can be pretty sure the second wave of violence is going to come and it will be equally, if not more, dramatic. This time it won't be men in black uniforms, they have learned that lesson in Najaf ... They will shift to urban terrorism and un-uniformed attacks. God forbid if Sadr is killed or captured ... then we have an entire second front that won't give up until we leave."

Iraqi: "A whole year has passed now and I can't help but feel that we are back at the starting point again. The sense of an impending disaster, the ominous silence, the breakdown of most governmental facilities, the absence of any police or security forces, contradicting news reports, rumours everywhere, and a complete disruption in the flow of everyday life chores.

All signs indicate that it's all spiralling out of control, and any statements by CPA and US officials suggesting otherwise are blatantly absurd.

The chaos and unrest have rapidly spread to several other cities in Iraq such as Mosul, Ba'quba, and Kirkuk. The situation in Fallujah looks terrible and bleak enough from what Al-Jazeera is showing every hour. Ahmad Mansour reported that they keep changing their location for fear of being targetted by Americans. The town stadium has turned into one large graveyard, and the death toll is 500 Iraqis until now with over a thousand injured, a huge price to pay for 'pacification'. The insurgents in Fallujah who are using mosques and house roofs to wage their war against the Marines are equally to blame for the blood of the civilians who have been caught in the crossfire. A ceasefire has been announced by the Americans and is supposed to be in effect but Al-Jazeera reports that fighting continues. What kills me is the absence of any serious effort by Iraqi parties, organisations, tribal leaders, or clerics to intermediate or try to put an end to the cycle of violence. All we hear is denunciation and fiery speeches as if those were going to achieve anything on the ground. "

Right: "Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching tonight. A short "Talking Points" memo because we want to get right to the Condoleezza Rice (search) testimony. Once again, the elite media have misled you. On the front pages of The New York Times, The L.A. Times and The Washington Post, the words "uprising in Iraq" are featured.

One problem, it's not an uprising. The Berlin Wall (search) deal was an uprising. The regular folks rebelling against an entrenched authority is an uprising. Militant attacks in Iraq are an insurgency, not an uprising. This kind of stuff makes me angry. The elite media often spins information to make editorial points. And that's really wrong.

Today in Iraq, there was less fighting and no uprising. "Talking Points" is confident the American military will crush the al-Sadr militia and subdue the town of Fallujah. Again, somebody alert the elite media. There is no uprising in Iraq. "

Left: NEW YORK, April 7, 2004 -- It's the oldest story in the world: what goes up, comes down. All the bluster, PR, "positive" press, bullying, distortion, deception, and military tough-guyism cannot keep a flawed policy afloat. The invasion of Iraq, sold as the "liberation of the Iraqi people," was always a movie with a bad script, flawed characters, and no third act.

Despite all the Bremer ballast served up about how only a handful of Saddam-worshipping, al-Sadr-loving, Al-Qaeda-following fanatics stand in the way of a US-imposed democratic paradise, the reality on the ground suggests otherwise. A Sunni-Shia opposition movement is emerging, and gathering steam."

Iraqi: "We've taken to sleeping in the living room again. We put up the heavy drapes the day before yesterday and E. and I re-taped the windows looking out into the garden. This time, I made them use the clear tape so that the view wouldn't be marred with long, brown strips of tape. We sleep in the living room because it is the safest room in the house and the only room that will hold the whole family comfortably.

The preparations for sleep begin at around 10 p.m. on days when we have electricity and somewhat earlier on dark nights. E. and I have to drag out the mats, blankets and pillows and arrange them creatively on the floor so that everyone is as far away from the windows as possible, without actually being crowded.

Baghdad is calm and relatively quiet if you don't count the frequent explosions. Actually, when we don't hear explosions, it gets a bit worrying. I know that sounds strange but it's like this- you know how you see someone holding a rifle or gun and aiming at something, ready to fire? You cringe and tense up while waiting for the gunshot and keep thinking, "It's coming, it's coming...". That's how it feels on a morning without explosions. Somehow, you just know there are going to be explosions... it's only a matter of time. Hearing them is a relief and you can loosen up after they occur and hope that they'll be the last of the day."

The Memo
On the Right: "If Democrats on the 9/11 commission are still looking for a smoking gun to hold to the head of President Bush, they're going to have to look somewhere other than that Aug. 6, 2001, presidential briefing memo released Saturday night.

     Oh, the title is shocking enough: ``Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US.'' But it was entirely as national security adviser Condoleezza Rice described it, an historical document, recounting a series of vague threats bin Laden had been making since 1997 - including in television interviews - that he wanted to ``bring the fighting to America.''

 The now declassified memo also said, ``After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington.''

     Another possible target referred to in the memo was the foiled millennium plot to attack Los Angeles International Airport.

     In short, much of this ``shocker'' could have been put together by any semi-literate Web surfer who Googled bin Laden - which sadly says much about this government's intelligence operations prior to Sept. 11."

To the Left: AN EASTER BUSHISM....President Bush this morning: the August 6 PDB said "nothing about an attack on America."

Huh? How about the title, "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US"?

How about "After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington"?

How about "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York"?

How about "The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related"?

Look, I know there's a perfectly good case to be made that the PDB merely states generalities and doesn't warn of a specific, impending attack. That's fine as far as it goes, and it's the spin I'd expect the White House to put on it.

But "nothing about an attack on America"? The whole document was about al-Qaeda's desire to attack America. How does he get away with saying stuff like this?

The Stats.
Number of Muslims in the world: 1.3 billion


Percentage of them that are Shiite: 10


Number of Shiites in the world: 130,000,000


Population of Russia: 144,000,000


Distribution of Shiites: Majority in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Azerbaijan; Plurality Lebanon; about 15% in Afghanistan, Pakistan; 5% of Indian Muslims;


Percentage who would be enraged by a US Marines assault on the Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf: 100

The Promise.
"The US military has said it will capture or kill Iraqi Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr.

"The mission of US forces is to kill or capture Muqtada al-Sadr," Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez, commander of US ground forces in Iraq, told reporters in the United States in a video link from Baghdad on Monday. "

The Advice:
Those original flash movies should have loaded by now.  Might as well have a laugh at this point, right?

---

And finally, last, and most certainly least, some real advice, if I may be so bold.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Poll
After June 30
o Civil War 17%
o UnCivil War 11%
o Guerilla War 21%
o Insurgency War 7%
o Peace with Honor 5%
o WTF? 35%

Votes: 78
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Google
o Fog of War
o WTF 2004
o Right
o Left:
o Iraqi:
o Right:
o Left: [2]
o Iraqi: [2]
o Memo
o On the Right:
o To the Left:
o Stats
o Promise
o some real advice
o Also by Wah


Display: Sort:
Piercing the Fog of War | 210 comments (204 topical, 6 editorial, 5 hidden)
Looks good. (1.14 / 7) (#3)
by bakuretsu on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 07:02:39 PM EST

+1 FP, I made it to the end.
Also, the End of the World flash is something everyone should see, it's like the new All Your Base or something.

-- Airborne
    aka Bakuretsu
    The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
Shit (1.40 / 10) (#5)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 07:55:10 PM EST

You don't need all this stuff.

A good "black sheep wall" or "iseedeadpeople" ought to be good enough. "On screen" or "Sally shears" if you're oldschool...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

Reply: (1.05 / 20) (#6)
by Hide The Hamster on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 09:18:50 PM EST

The Vote:

-1, politics


Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

Fallujah delenda est. (1.20 / 5) (#7)
by acceleriter on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 10:45:06 PM EST

NT

Nice to hear keitht and Odinx disagree. (none / 0) (#27)
by acceleriter on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 07:47:35 AM EST

Since from comparing your rating histories, I can see you're both sock puppets of the same person, why not fess up?

[ Parent ]
I don't like the tone of this article (1.00 / 26) (#8)
by qpt on Mon Apr 12, 2004 at 11:48:51 PM EST

So I'm going to vote it down. Rewrite in a more humble tone, and eat a pile of broken wine bottles, liberal.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.

hmm, tasty glass (none / 0) (#31)
by Wah on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 10:15:08 AM EST

Curious...  All your fake accounts, and all the fake trolling accounts couldn't vote down this article.

Take a note.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

I actually only have this account (none / 1) (#100)
by qpt on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 10:09:23 PM EST

And it's quite real. You'll note I didn't even vote.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

of course you do... (none / 2) (#128)
by Wah on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:00:53 PM EST

...and I have so many reasons to take your word for it.

HAND.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Do you have any reasons (none / 1) (#165)
by qpt on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 10:50:19 PM EST

To disbelieve me? If so, I'd love to hear them.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Yes (none / 0) (#173)
by Wah on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 11:07:07 AM EST

a killer intuition.

You got any evidence?
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

interesting (none / 0) (#53)
by phred on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 01:16:29 PM EST

I found this comment thoughtful and well written, yet I found it in the zero'd comments section. Probably another scoop bug.

[ Parent ]
+1 FP (1.75 / 4) (#12)
by nidhogge242 on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 09:24:26 AM EST

Cool way of structuring your text, it really brought me through right to the end. I've even been passing the article out to the infidel friends of mine that don't read K5.

if you don't mind (none / 1) (#14)
by Wah on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 12:50:30 PM EST

could you point them to the original article also.

This is a slightly modified (for a larger audience) 're-print' of the original work, 'Piercing the Fog in Iraq' (i have a 'war' subject on my site, so the same title would be percieved as unnecessarily repetitive).  That version is licensed under the creative commons, if further propagation is desired.

And thanks, BTW.
--
K5 troll comment rating guidelines....
The Best Troll Comment Evar, really great stuff, trips up a bunch of people, and wastes a day. == 1
Any
[ Parent ]

Good way to sum it up (2.25 / 4) (#13)
by faddat on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 12:39:30 PM EST

Actually, hell if it weren't for the fact that I imagine this took you at least a good two hours to cook up, not to mention time formatting/posting it, I'd ask you to do a daily one-- we could have "left, right, and Iraqi"  Hell, I'd throw a daily fix of the "Italian left and right" as a collaborative measure, or something.

(Currently I live in Rome and speak Italian)

Anyways, the real point is-- bravo!

You did something that's getting old as hell but still fully necessary, in a new and entertaining way... now, hopefully this flash will be funny with no speakers...

uh, sorry about that (none / 1) (#15)
by Wah on Tue Apr 13, 2004 at 12:59:33 PM EST

now, hopefully this flash will be funny with no speakers...

Actually, the real funny in that flash is the voices.  It is le tired without them.

thanks.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

My Philosophy (2.54 / 11) (#17)
by virtualjay222 on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 01:06:12 AM EST

I had a rather cynical American History prof. last year who once said:

"You have to look at the extreme left and the extreme right. Whatever they agree on is the truth."

Since then, an equally cynical German professor has added that "whatever they agree on doesn't matter." Personally, I don't feel I have all the information, so I try not to formulate opinions. That being said, I think we need to support our troops, but at the same time step back and reŽvaluate our role in international politics. We can't just abandon our boys overseas, but I'm not so sure our current foreign policies are based in fact, but instead driven by ideals and opinions.

Finally, if you feel it necessary to vote my comments a 0 or a 1, could you be so kind as to tell me why. It doesn't help me post anything better in the future if I don't know what is so stupid about what I'm doing now.

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


Why... (none / 3) (#19)
by IriseLenoir on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 03:59:18 AM EST

Now left and right, while I find can be useful concepts, do not mean anything in discussions with strangers as there is no widely accepted definition. But the most common definition of extreme left would be authoritarian 'socialism' and extreme right would be american 'libertarianism' i.e. the military is the State, the State is the military (and everything else is private property) I suppose. So, given that context, the only those could agree on is, of course, the importance of repression. Yes, that must be the truth. I hope your prof defined his concepts of extreme left, extreme right and truth a bit because those kinds of generalities a) do not mean anything b) are interpreted as cleaver by, and place dangerous ideas in the heads of simple-minded people.

The kind of people that think the only alternative to supplying occupation troops with the latest weaponry and unlimited ammos is to 'just abandon our boys overseas' actually (or even that such a possibility was ever considered by anyone.) The kind of people who think it is possible to have all the information and who wait until then (the end of time) to have an opinions of their own. Yet can say things like 'I try not to formulate opinions. That being said, my opinion is...' without even bothering to put something in-between to confuse other simple-minded people and seem humble. The kind of people who's posts on K5 deserve a 1 when I think about it. Like my explanation?

I think the second prof. is a bit more on track if you interpret what he says that way. "That which doesn't mean anything doesn't matter." Now that is profound, no? Feel free to quote me in your future posts. You can even say I'm a Spanish prof. if you think it gives the right twist to your story.

"liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
[ Parent ]

excuse me? (none / 1) (#24)
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:34:25 AM EST

American Libertarianism is nothing like what you describe.

[ Parent ]
Listen to him (none / 0) (#30)
by nlscb on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 10:14:43 AM EST

American Libertarianism is not the neo-facism that you say it is. Check here for more

Most people on both the left and right hate it because it steps on the toes of their special interests. Example: it attacks corporate welfare recipients (the right), or it attacks social welfare recipiients (the left).

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

umm (none / 0) (#48)
by Wah on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 12:42:39 PM EST

if you take both of those away, doesn't that kinda leave the military as the only service provided by government?
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]
No. (none / 0) (#54)
by nlscb on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 01:34:08 PM EST

There is enforcement of property rights, contract law, and criminal law. As well there is patent enforcement, creation of standards and measurement, and creation of currency, among other things. In conclusion, there is plenty for the government to keep itself busy.

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

Sorry, my bad. (none / 0) (#67)
by IriseLenoir on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:04:58 PM EST

Replace millitary with "various organs of repression" then. Fixed.
"liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
[ Parent ]
Sorry, I left out (none / 0) (#71)
by nlscb on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:38:38 PM EST

enforce civil rights - freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from unfair ceasure, enforcing due process, right to privacy (done through the need for a warrant).

Comment Search has returned - Like a beaten wife, I am pathetically grateful. - mr strange
[ Parent ]

American Libertarians don't WANT a standing army (none / 1) (#57)
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 02:56:20 PM EST

my god, how hard is it for you people across the pond to see?

what you are describing is not libertarianism, it is military dictatorship.

American Libertarianism wants a system that Thomas Jefferson wanted. Pick up a book about it an learn.


[ Parent ]

I'm an American, and a libertarian (none / 0) (#127)
by mns on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 11:57:29 AM EST

And you're wrong. Please quit being wrong. It's embarrassing for everyong involved. Kthx. HTH. HAND.



[ Parent ]
umm...if you had not noticed (none / 1) (#132)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:18:35 PM EST

political parties are seldom the same thing as political ideologies.

I can point you to a Former Senator, Zel Miller who was a Democrat, yet did not believe in many of his parties core beliefs.

You are a member of the libertarian party, but you do not hold a pure libertarian belief system.

[ Parent ]

No, you're wrong again. (none / 0) (#134)
by mns on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:23:46 PM EST

If you hadn't noticed, I used the "l" as opposed to the "L". You know what that means, right? I could point you to a link to describe the difference, but I'm busy doing other shit at the moment.

Didn't I tell you not to be wrong? Please, knock it off. Thanks.



[ Parent ]
are you saying the truth doesn't matter? =p (1.75 / 4) (#21)
by Anjin on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:31:49 AM EST



"The problem of whether invisible men exist is a thorny one. We simply don't know, because they are invisible." - Morkney
[ Parent ]
I support the troops (2.42 / 7) (#22)
by dennis on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:07:22 AM EST

I want them brought home, out of harm's way. Anyone who thinks "support the troops" means "support the war" is someone who doesn't have a family member in Iraq.

[ Parent ]
I have a Brother in Bagdad (2.85 / 7) (#23)
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:32:39 AM EST

and I told him that I think the troops should not be out there fighting.

he asked me why.

I responded by saying that if they fight, they could die.

do you know what he said?

"Why the fuck do you think I don't know that and did not know that when I joined? Christ I hope that the military never gets filled up with people who think that dying in the course of your job is a bad thing and should be avoided at all costs."

he was shipped over there before the war... was part of the invasion, then he volunteered to be sent back because his buddy who missed the original deployment for what ever reason just had a baby and my brother thought he should spend some time with his new family.

We think that these men over there are victims... but you know what, they made a conscious decision to join, and were told repeatedly that they will most likely in their career be called upon at least once to put their life on the line and perhaps die.

[ Parent ]

Not the point (none / 1) (#95)
by dennis on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 08:31:54 PM EST

My brother is also in a combat branch, and has a similar attitude. (He was infantry before the war, now he flies.) But note that I did *not* say "Anyone who thinks 'support the troops' means 'support the war' is not a soldier."

Just like you, I respect the hell out of my brother, your brother, and all of their fellow soldiers. Every one of those guys impresses me to no end. But as a family member, I don't want to see a flag-draped coffin up close. My brother is no victim, he's up to the job, but I would be happier if he had a nice cozy job at some base in the U.S. Call me selfish if you want. I think most military families have similar feelings.

That said, it's might also be worth mentioning that some of the guys over there just had their tours of duty extended, some are National Guardsmen who might not have expected to be used like active-duty troops, and some are reservists who already did their active duty before they got pulled into this. I have an old college buddy who was just about to start a great new job, when he found out he was getting pulled back into active duty and sent to Iraq. He was none too happy about it.

If we're going to do all this, fine, but we'd better have a damn good reason...personally, I'm not convinced we do, but that's a whole 'nother discussion.

[ Parent ]

I agree that National guard should not be used (none / 0) (#177)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 02:45:55 PM EST

because they joined to guard the homeland, not to be deployed over seas. the only time Nat. Guard should be called up should be if we need security in airports, on the boarders or if we are invaded.

as for reservists, I would be pissed as well if I were them, but you agree to be in the reserves for X number of years depending on how long you enlist for.

I don't want to see my brother die, but I get pissed when people misrepresent him, or use him for political gain.

[ Parent ]

What's commendable about killing people? (none / 1) (#181)
by cicho5 on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 09:51:52 PM EST

How about the fact that part of your brother's job is to kill people who didn't necessarily do anything to deserve being killed? People who, whatever you or I think about them - are doing what they think they should be doing to defend their country, their culture, their religion and their freedom? Doesn't that bother you at all?

I respect how one's first concern would be the survival of a family member. But I don't see where all the generic respect for soldiering comes from. You have a person who's very well trained and has all kinds of skills - and they're signed up as cannon fodder. They're supposed to take orders, including orders to kill people, and they accept the high risk of dying in the process. What's to be proud of?

Soldier's pride and respect can only come from one thing: defending the homeland against an actual attack. It does not come from willing to die - because willing to die is not respectable by itself if you take it out of context. Nor is blind obedience to authority, nor killing people. Only the context gives them high moral ground. The current context of war in Iraq gives those soldiers very little to be proud of, apart from the few schools and hospitals they have so far rebuilt. My country has troops in Iraq too and I will support them only insofar as I am convinced they're helping, not harming the Iraqi people.

[ Parent ]

Alternatives (none / 2) (#191)
by dennis on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 06:59:51 PM EST

We need some kind of national defense. If we rely on a standing army for national defense, we risk its misuse by ambitious or ignorant politicians.

The alternative to a standard army is a citizen militia. That's not the National Guard, which is just another standing army, currently serving in Iraq. A real militia is you and me with rifles in our hands. A militia can't be misused, but if we're invaded, it puts the responsibility for defense in our hands. It means that it has to be legal for ordinary citizens to own machine guns, RPGs, and mortars, the same weapons the Iraqis are using to give us so much trouble.

If you're not willing to do that, a standing army is your only option, and you ought to be grateful to the guys in it. They signed up to defend you. And if a politician starts a bad war, we should be angry with the politician for betraying the troops whose lives they waste.

Personally, I prefer the militia route.

I read an essay by Eric Raymond a while back, in which he argued that the great majority of individual humans are not evil, and therefore the really huge evil events happen only when humans get together in big groups and make a virtue of obedience. Best argument for anarchism I've ever seen.

[ Parent ]

Switzerland (none / 1) (#198)
by dennis on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 11:07:10 AM EST

Lest you think I'm nuts, here is a good description of the militia system in use, in Switzerland.

[ Parent ]
Of course they think that (none / 2) (#170)
by Milo Minderbender on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 05:22:12 AM EST

While I agree that soldiers are very honorable and should be respected, we have to remember that they were selectively chosen and painstakingly trained not to be independent thinkers. It's called discipline. For a military to work well, there can be no questions about decisions going up the chain of command. It specifically needs to be this way. The only decision the soldiers have made is to risk their lives for the good of the nation. While a very noble decision, they have entrusted their lives to whatever their commanding officers say is "the good of the nation". It's not their place to question it.

It's OUR place to question it, the citizens safely going about our daily non-life-threatening, civilian lives. We're the ones that should be questioning the decisions of the military leadership, the direct result of which is putting our loved ones in danger.

Saying that it's all okay because the troops want to be there and supporting their actions because they think it's right shows ignorance in the system and is avoiding your civic duty to question the actions of your elected leaders. If you remember nothing else from what I've said, remember this: Supporting the troops is not the same thing as supporting the war.

--------------------
This comment is for the good of the syndicate.
[ Parent ]
you missed the point of his comment (none / 1) (#176)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 02:39:46 PM EST

the point was that he was pissed that he was considered a victim or a person who was forced into joining because of economic reasons or that he is stupid for joining or that he is brainwashed.

he accepts that he made the decision to join and knew that he might be deployed (he joined before 9/11) to a war zone and might die.

given that, he is pissed off that people cannot accept that fact and use him and his comrades as political fodder.

[ Parent ]

Totally Wrong (none / 0) (#35)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:00:08 AM EST

Many of the troops in Iraq understand that their work is underway, and would resent having it cut short by soft-hearted, potato-chip munching back-seat drivers.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

AKA Citizens (none / 1) (#73)
by teece on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:48:04 PM EST

...by soft-hearted, potato-chip munching back-seat drivers.

Also known as citizens.  Since you keep talking about the troops knowing what it is they got into, think about this: It doesn't matter what the hell they want.  This is a democratic republic.  Should the citizens decided to elect someone that chooses to 'cut-and-run' to use inflammatory Vietnam rhetoric, guess what?  Tough shit GIs.

The point is, WE ALL get to decide what our policy WRT Iraq is, not just the military.  The military is an instrument of our democracy.  Nothing more.

Quit trying to stifle debate from 'soft-hearted, potato chip munchers.'  Everyone gets a say.

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

Are you qualified? (none / 0) (#119)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 08:58:19 AM EST

Do you think you are qualified to make strategic military decisions? That's rather arrogant, isn't it? Your opinion is valuable, but we're at war, and the strategy and tactics of war should be left to experts. Otherwise, your claim of respecting soldiers rings hollow.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Again, Citizienship (none / 0) (#122)
by teece on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 11:13:28 AM EST

Do you think you are qualified to make strategic military decisions?

I claim the right to make informed decisions about the effectiveness of the military programs my government embarks upon.  I am not talking about directing troop movements.  I am talking about the big picture -- are our expectations realistic?  Are our expected costs worth the risk?  Are my leaders making frank and honest assessments about their success, and failure, in achieving their ends?  More importantly, what are their ends?  How shall they achieve them?

That is not only my (and your!) right, it is my responsibility.  If you are willing to abdicate all responsibility in decisions about our country waging war, you don't deserve the democracy that you have.

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

So... (none / 0) (#138)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:42:41 PM EST

...would you pull our troops from their posts in the Balkans, too? Doesn't their safety count also? Aren't you also concerned about their lives, too? Or do you only support putting our troops in harm's way for humanitarian endeavors (i.e., things that don't relate to national security).
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Mmmmkay (none / 0) (#139)
by teece on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:58:02 PM EST

I didn't say anything about pulling our troops out.  The Balkans don't have anything to do with this.

You like knocking down straw men?

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

Sorry... (none / 0) (#141)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 01:25:15 PM EST

...I had you confused with Dennis, who started this thread. I have no idea why you interjected yourself into this discussion if you are not advocating the "support our troops, bring them home" premise. If you're not aware that that is the starting point for this discussion, you have taken my comments out of context. I never advocated blindly following the military's lead in all matters. What I said was that once troops are committed to a mission, it's wrong for the know-nothing civilian population to pre-empt that mission politically without adequate deference to the people who are: (a) on the ground in theater, and (b) skilled at desiging and implementing combat missions. More importantly, it is wrong to assume that "dennis" is supporting the troops by getting them out of harm's way, since many of the troops understand the risks of their job, and are willing to die for them. Dennis' opinion of the worthiness of that cause is relevant, maybe interesting to some, but is not de facto the "right" thing to do just because it takes some young men and women out of the line of fire today. The military, moreso than dennis, is aware of the mortal risks associated with letting a problem grow unchecked for fear of short term safety. I could argue that half-step measures and weak stomachs like dennis' are what gave bin Laden the gall to execute his campaign against US citizens. Dennis' position is also an affront to the self-determination and maturity of the individuals in uniform. If there are soldiers that enlisted solely to obtain college tuition, then they will have to take responsibility for that decision. Nothing in life is free, except free will. We all make our own decisions and mistakes, and we all live with them. For the rest of my platitudes, see my sig.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Exactly (none / 0) (#195)
by dennis on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 10:44:05 PM EST

not de facto the "right" thing to do just because it takes some young men and women out of the line of fire today.

Read some of my other comments in this thread and you might figure out that I agree with this. In my initial comment, I simply said that supporting the troops is not the same thing as supporting the war. I support the troops unequivocally. I support wars depending on their merits. I do not abandon my objections just because we've already put soldiers in the line of fire. Quite the opposite. Sacrifice I can take, but I don't like waste.

I supported the action in Afghanistan. I even think we didn't move strongly or quickly enough. Iraq is another matter. There was no growing threat there. Now, instead of a secular regime that bin Ladin viewed as apostate, we've got a radicalized Shiite population which is far more sympathetic to Al Qaida, and which will control Iraq if we allow them to get democratic elections, given that they're sixty percent of the population. How does that make us safer from terrorism?

[ Parent ]

Also... (none / 0) (#145)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 01:44:04 PM EST

...don't take my word for it.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Totally Wrong (none / 0) (#101)
by jameth on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 10:55:35 PM EST

Many of the troops in Iraq understand that their work is completely inappropriate, and would resent having to continue it a moment longer due to thick-skulled, propoganda-selling presidential idiots.

[ Parent ]
And ANOTHER thing (none / 0) (#36)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:03:29 AM EST

The notion that we shouldn't send troops in to fight because they might die is what separates you from the warriors. I know who I respect more between you and an eighteen year old kid who is building his life on a set of values that are tested daily by bullets. Why would I respect your opinion more than his? (God, the farce of having you speak on their behalf is beyond reproach!)
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

you know what? (none / 3) (#43)
by kjb on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 12:10:59 PM EST

The notion that we shouldn't send troops in to fight because they might die is what separates you from the warriors

You're absolutely right.  We should blindly support sending the troops out to fight and maybe die under every circumstance the president could possibly present to us, beacuse, well, just because, he's the president, and we should just believe him.

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

no (none / 0) (#45)
by Wah on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 12:19:47 PM EST

just realize that the people who do the fighting usually know exactly who's ass in on the line.

it says nothing about thier blind faith in leadership, only that they share the common quality of believing in something enough to die fighting for it.  
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 3) (#56)
by Znork on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 02:31:05 PM EST

...that, and that they face desertion charges (well, unless you're 'politically connected', in which case you can become president instead) if they dont want to go when their orders to ship out arrive. It's not exactly as if you get to pick and choose what wars you consider worth believing in.

And, of course, there's also a whole bunch of them that shares the quality of believing it's the only way they'll have a chance to go to college.

Values are all well and nice, but dont underestimate the power of peer pressure, judicial threat and social censure when it comes to getting people to actually face bullets.

Not that I dont believe there are things worth fighting and dying for, nor that there are a lot of people willing to do that.

But dont trivialize the complexities of getting an army to put itself in harms way. A whole lot of them would rather be elsewhere, and trying to tell yourself otherwise is just looking at it with rose colored glasses and falling for the pretty romantic picture one would like to believe in.

[ Parent ]

Sorry, but... (none / 1) (#70)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:17:39 PM EST

...you have to draw the line where free will starts somewhere. Otherwise, you are an apologist for everyone, everywhere. Is every enlisted soldier under 20 a victim of his circumstances? Are half? What about under 19? What about over 26? From poor homes? Blacks and hispanics only?

Sorry, but you just have to hold people accountable. The risks are clearly posted to volunteer soldiers. You might think it's a deal with the devil, so it's not for you, but don't patronize the people who are brave enough to take the risks on your behalf.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Your Point? (none / 2) (#72)
by teece on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:42:48 PM EST

What the hell is your point in all this, SPYvSPY?

Yeah, the troops are volunteers, they chose to join the army.  So what?

Does that mean I am no longer allowed to value their lives?  Does that mean I should feel no sorrow when they are killed in Iraq?

I have a cousin who just joined the Army a few months ago.  He was barely 18.  Sure, it was his choice.  But he is also a fucking kid.  I have talked to him.  He still thinks war is all fun and games.  He has no concept of his mortality.  The Army seems to like this.

A whole bunch of the armed forces are just like him.

Sure, he has ultimate responsibility for his actions.  But that sure as hell does not absolve me from trying to look out for him.  One of the ways I want to look out for him is bringing to the forefront a debate about Iraq.  Maybe now, a year too late, we can have an honest discussion about what the fuck our goals are in Iraq, and how the hell we hope to achieve them

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

The point (none / 0) (#80)
by Znork on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:26:26 PM EST

The point is that there's a difference between the reasons why someone signs up, wether it be to defend freedom and democracy or to get college tuition, and the reasons someone is facing enemy fire for obscure reasons in a country half across the globe.

The implicit trust that you'll get to face fire serving the ideals you signed up for is easily broken as there are limited options for dissent.

I agree about the accountability, and frankly dont think any armed force could survive being run any other way.

However, that does not mean that all soldiers by necessity are in Iraq facing fire and taking risks for the same reasons they signed up. Claiming everyone is there to fight for what they believe is right is as flawed as saying nobody should ever send soldiers into conflict because they may get hurt. They're in Iraq because they were ordered to go to Iraq. For some that will coincide with fighting for what they believe is right and for others it wont.

[ Parent ]

Uh huh (none / 0) (#151)
by kjb on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 02:35:41 PM EST

ust realize that the people who do the fighting usually know exactly who's ass in on the line.

I know that.

it says nothing about thier blind faith in leadership, only that they share the common quality of believing in something enough to die fighting for it.  

No shit.  Are you sure you read my post before replying?

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

not particularly (none / 0) (#174)
by Wah on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 11:13:16 AM EST

Are you sure you read my post before replying?

no.  I was speaking to the tangent, my bad.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

You're putting words in my mouth... (none / 1) (#47)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 12:32:53 PM EST

My point is that the troops, who are, by definition, willing to die as part of thier dangerous jobs, do not rely on you to keep them alive. Sure, there may be cases where the troops would be glad to have the populace reign in a rogue leader, but what you fail to see is that there are *more likely* scenarios in which your patronizing desire to protect our troops from the President is entirely at odds with what those troops want and/or think is the right thing to do. My point is that people like you don't understand how to make difficult decisions because you reflexively assume that any path involving death is wrong.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

mmm, lunch (none / 2) (#64)
by keelerbeez on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 03:39:06 PM EST

well, you're an idiot for more reasons than this, but


My point is that people like you don't understand how to make difficult decisions because you reflexively assume that any path involving death is wrong.


was the only thing you said that was even worth responding too (and barely at that). OK, notebooks ready? Good!

Right off the bat, you should have said "involving killing" rather than "involving death." I know you think it makes it sound like all these people died of old age, but it's just childish. Now, once you've got that right, we get to the tricky part. Ahem. ANY PATH INVOLVING KILLING PEOPLE IS WRONG! Just about every major world religion agrees on this, and I'm an atheist and I agree. Are you with me so far? Good! Now, I don't know about you, but I don't want anyone making difficult decisions while under the impression that it is OK to kill people; It's not.

My point is that sometimes killing is necessary and sometimes it is unavoidable, but those sometimes did not apply here, and even if they did, it still wouldn't make it right, it would just make it less wrong.



-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
GAT d? s++:+ a- C++++$ UBS*++++$ P--- L+>++ E--- W- !N !o !K w+++(---)$ M+ PS+++ PE(--) Y+ PGP t++@ 5++ X+ R* tv(+) b+++ DI++ !G !e h* r*% y++++**
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
[ Parent ]
Death vs. Killing (none / 0) (#68)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:09:46 PM EST

The reason that I (deliberately) chose the word "death" is that many of these soldiers are prepared to die or be severely injured in the pursuit of this endeavor. It does not necessarily follow that they were killed by someone. Accidents are common in combat.

This discussion began with you purporting to speak on behalf of the troops. You were the one who claimed to have their best interests in mind. My point (again!) is that your notion of their best interests is a projection of your feebleness on them.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

BS (none / 1) (#147)
by keelerbeez on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 02:08:59 PM EST

OK, hypothetical scenario for you: I pull out an AK-47 and start shooting at you...and you jump over a wall to hide...and break your neck when you land...did I kill you?

I wasn't even here for the beginning of this discussion, though I do purport to speak on behalf of the troops, just like you do, and more than likely there are many soldiers who would agree with either one of us; That's not the point. Your point was that we (liberals? pacifists? sentient beings?) "don't understand how to make difficult decisions because you reflexively assume that any path involving death is wrong." My point was that any path "involving death" that is caused by another person is, by definition, wrong, and I don't want anyone who thinks otherwise making any kind of important decisions.

Ah, and then the bashing starts:

My point (again!) is that your notion of their best interests is a projection of your feebleness on them.


So, because I feel it is wrong to kill people, I am feeble? Dude, go back to the cave, we'll send shipments of raw meat regularly.



-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
GAT d? s++:+ a- C++++$ UBS*++++$ P--- L+>++ E--- W- !N !o !K w+++(---)$ M+ PS+++ PE(--) Y+ PGP t++@ 5++ X+ R* tv(+) b+++ DI++ !G !e h* r*% y++++**
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------
[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 1) (#85)
by kurioszyn on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:40:54 PM EST

" killing is necessary and sometimes it is unavoidable, but those sometimes did not apply here"

Ah ... the Oracle is back.

He knows ...

[ Parent ]

Uh (none / 0) (#150)
by kjb on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 02:31:34 PM EST

My point is that people like you don't understand how to make difficult decisions because you reflexively assume that any path involving death is wrong.

And you complain about me putting words into YOUR mouth?

You are a complete, 100%, unadulterated, fucking idiot.

--
Now watch this drive.
[ Parent ]

Spoken like a true armchair warrior (none / 1) (#96)
by dennis on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 08:44:39 PM EST

Read more carefully, and you'll see that I didn't speak on behalf of the troops, but on behalf of their families. I'm in the latter category myself, and I'd be willing to bet that your personal contact with all this amounts to a lot of quality time with talk radio and FOX.

[ Parent ]
Support the troops means just that. (none / 1) (#52)
by ckaminski on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 01:13:17 PM EST

If you can, WIN.  If you can, bring them home alive.  As long as you can, even if it means scrapping the family car and your favorite china, give them bullets and bombs and tanks.

That's supporting the troops.

I don't have to like what they're doing, I don't have to agree with it, but I sure as hell am going to do my level best to make sure they get all the above.  These are my neighbors, my coworkers, my family and friends, and yours.

[ Parent ]

sure but (none / 0) (#63)
by Altus on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 03:36:25 PM EST

what they realy need is more troops.  they have plenty of guns and bombs, what they dont have is enough man power to occupy a country that size.

oh, but bush realy wants to DECREASE the number of troups in Iraq.  Im sure the ones that are left will feel that they are being supported by the current administration.

I dont have a source handy but didnt Rummy say before all of this started that it was a logical falacy to belive that it would take more troops to occupy a country than it takes to invade.

please.
"In America, first you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women..." -H. Simpson
[ Parent ]

Compare and contrast (1.69 / 13) (#18)
by xmedar on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 01:11:13 AM EST

We're not an imperial power - GWB

I'm not a crook - Nixon

why is the president (none / 1) (#20)
by RaveWar on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:29:18 AM EST

choosing to frame the issue of withdrawal, or even any form of climbdown including the situation being handed to UN control, as such a terminal thing. Hyping up a possible US failure in Iraq as having "unthinkable cosequences" (his words) is surely politically risky, I woulld have thought that a better thing to do would be to begin trying to frame the Iraq issue as not such a big deal, as something that was just another humanitarian issue.

He should IMHO start using metaphors and rhetoric to suggest to the public that the occupiers are just another international wishy washy peacekeeping force along the lines of "well, our humanitarian mission is going to pot and we may have to retreat, but it is no longer a high priority in the terror war because their president whats-his-name is gone and it is time to look at the domestic agenda and stuff".

Once the importance of Iraq has been talked down enough the armies can retreat without GWB or Blair losing face.
We don't need freedom. We don't need love.
We want Superpower, Ultraviolence.

It's an election year (2.25 / 4) (#28)
by Eccles on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 10:02:12 AM EST

First and foremost, Bush isn't a thinker, he's an ideologue. Once he gets an idea in his head (Iraq has WMDs!), there's almost no shifting it. So we're in Iraq because he believes we need to do what we're doing and to finish it, and withdrawal would be a failure regardless of how it might be spun.

Secondly, this being an election year, I don't think he can really downplay Iraq without destroying his hope sfor re-election.

[ Parent ]
He spelled it out very clearly... (none / 0) (#37)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:09:53 AM EST

...but selective hearing is a powerful force in the world.

The reason the deadline is firm is because it's what Iraqis say they want. If we don't effectuate the handover, many Iraqis (including "conspiracy theorists" as Bush called them, and rightly so) would accuse the USA of imposing imperial rule. He also said that the USA is not an imperial nation, and gave references (e.g., Japan and Germany).

It's all in the transcript. If you actually listen to the words, and forget who is speaking them, and remember that he's not the same person who writes them, then you will get your answers (although you might not like them).
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

My question is (none / 2) (#25)
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:37:05 AM EST

how the hell do you know what an Iraqi thinks?

you might be able to tell what a lefty and righty think since you are exposed to their assholes.... I mean opinions every day, but the only Iraqi opinions we have been exposed to have been the 5000 Iraqis that are fighting right now for Al-Sadir.

I know what the Iraqi think: (none / 1) (#26)
by hummassa on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 07:04:43 AM EST

We were far better before the fucking USofAns started bombing us. Even with Saddam and stuff. Would you please go home?

[ Parent ]
yeah... (none / 1) (#29)
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 10:04:38 AM EST

sure

[ Parent ]
One way... (none / 0) (#39)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:13:19 AM EST

...is to actually speak to them, which is something that Bremer and co. do on a regular basis. You can also poll them, as the news agencies do, but I find that method dubious at best. Obviously, there is no Iraqi point of view--it's a big, diverse nation. But there are prevailing opinions that are being articulated through the local media, through local blogs, through religious leaders and through political leaders (including the ICDC and CPA).
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

So basicly (none / 0) (#58)
by modmans2ndcoming on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 02:58:27 PM EST

since the scientific methods of discovering what the Iraqi people think do not give you a result that you like, you focus on a small portion of the society that just happens to confirm your beliefs.

[ Parent ]
What scientific method?! (none / 0) (#69)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:13:59 PM EST

Polling? Get a clue. If you think newspaper polls are perfomed in strict accordance with the scientific method, you need to get out more. Anyway, is any poll that measures people's opinions ever subject to meaningful scientific inquiry?
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

a poll is better that your meathod (none / 0) (#133)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:22:30 PM EST

which is looking at the people who display an opinion that agree with your assessment of the situation and say "A HA!!!! I knew I was right"

personally, if a poll contradicts what the TV stations are putting on their screens, I tend to believe the poll since I know how much the News blows things out of proportion.

here are just a few items :

SARS
West Nile Virus in the US
School Shootings
Murders
Kidnappings
Rapes

[ Parent ]

Polls are just as often self-serving... (none / 1) (#142)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 01:29:23 PM EST

...anecdotal evidence is often the most true, in my experience.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

it is almost never true. (none / 0) (#163)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 10:36:18 PM EST

anecdotal evidence is the most unreliable evidence of all. that is why no scientific, statistical, mathematical, or any other type or research uses anecdotal evidence.

you are so blinded by  "What I see that agrees with me is what is true" that you cannot see that.

[ Parent ]

Whatever (none / 0) (#171)
by SPYvSPY on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 08:32:41 AM EST

Your devotion to the pseudo-science of polling belies your naivete. The stupidest kind of person of all is the kind of person who buys into the credibility of poor science. What the fuck do you think polling is anyways, if not a compilation of anecdotal responses? God, you're a moron.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

I will take a random slice of antecdotal evidence (none / 0) (#172)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 10:32:12 AM EST

over the selected ones that you use.

it would seem I am not the only moron. If you take both options, which are bad,  each of us confers more confidence on one than the other. so welcome to the moron club moron.

we have meetings every Saturday.

the conclusion of this would be that it is pointless to try to figure out what a population thinks and we should just not give a shit.

If that is the case, why the hell are we even discussing what the Iraqi people think about the US being there?

[ Parent ]

Good question... (none / 0) (#190)
by SPYvSPY on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 04:43:49 PM EST

...since might eventually makes right 100% of the time.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

FYI (none / 2) (#60)
by nutate on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 03:00:15 PM EST

I think the author was quoting an Iraqi blog.

[ Parent ]

He is indeed... (none / 0) (#97)
by tap dancing lenin puppet on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 09:42:58 PM EST

The quotes from the article are from:
http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com

The blog of a Muslim girl in/near Baghdad, if I remember correctly.  It's been a while since I've had time to read it..

[ Parent ]

Ah yes (none / 0) (#135)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:24:25 PM EST

quoting one girl to represent an entire population..... yeah, that is really appropriate.

can anyone say Generalizing and Stereotyping?

[ Parent ]

No more representative than the others. (none / 1) (#143)
by nutate on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 01:32:34 PM EST

how the hell do you know what an Iraqi thinks?

Right, it's just what one Iraqi thinks. Just like you and I represent different opinions of U.S. citizens. Generalizations or stereotypes can be useful if they're true. This one, from your original reply:

...the only Iraqi opinions we have been exposed to have been the 5000 Iraqis that are fighting right now for Al-Sadir.
sounds like you wrote it completely off the cuff with little regard for the truth. As there are clearly many other opinions available to you and I from government officials to teenaged bloggers in and from Iraq.

[ Parent ]
yes it was off the cuff (none / 0) (#164)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 10:39:18 PM EST

so let me fix it.

the governing council, some anonymous street interviews picked by editors, the actions of insurgents, and this girls blog.

still far far far less than the total population, and the governing council is a positive reflection on the US for the most part.

[ Parent ]

far less than total population (none / 0) (#206)
by Viliam Bur on Thu Apr 22, 2004 at 04:25:42 AM EST

So unless more than half or Iraqi population subscribe to Kuro5hin and write diaries here, nothing can convice you, right?

[ Parent ]
What a Lame Blog (none / 1) (#136)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:27:35 PM EST

you can't even respond to the person.

[ Parent ]
A short note to the iraqis. (2.13 / 22) (#32)
by dxh on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 10:26:18 AM EST

You want freedom, democracy and prosperity?

Then you might want to do what your Kurdish countrymen in the north did long ago - come out of hiding, pick up the family AK-47 and help the Americans plug a few of the small number of assholes trying to enslave you.

Freedom never comes for free. Democracies are never formed perfectly. They tend to evolve from sloppy, bloody affairs. And the pain continues. The most powerful woman in the world said yesterday - "When the founding fathers of this country said 'We the People,' they didn't mean me." We Americans realize that we are still learning how to run a democracy. That learning is always painful.

Yet today we have IGC members bitching about the imperfect way that Americans are dying as they try to keep your country from falling into the hands of some of the most depraved and stupid elements of your society. We also have learned that Iraqi Civil Defense personnel suckered the 4 Americans into their ambush and mutilation at Fallujah. We also remember stupid, whining voices like those of Salam Pax talking about Bush "spilling tomato juice" on the Iraqi carpet and having to clean it up.

To those of you who lack the spine to fight for your future;
To those of you who prefer foreigners to do the dirty work while you complain about it;
To those of you who express concern that Americans may "abandon you" while you show no willingness to stick your neck out and help the Americans - I say this:

Fuck You.

The "rebels" among you aren't rebels at all. Be it the Fallujans or the Shiite radicals, they all oppose any discussion whatsoever of a prosperous, peaceful and egalitarian future. Their future stretches back to the infinite past of a strong minority enslaving a weak majority.

Saddam represented a strong minority. You obeyed, yet longed for his removal.

Al Sadr represents a strong minority - few Shiites followed him prior to his little rebellion.

Bitch all you want about Americans - after all, it is all the fashion in Europes capitals. Just remember that the fashion in almost all of the Middle Eastern capitals is tyranny. You, my dear friends in Iraq, are not Europeans - you are Middle Easterners. Democracy is quite the threat to your neighbors.

As for Americans, we won't leave without kicking a hell of a lot of asses first, but we may just leave the same. It would actually work out well for us if someone like an al Sadr (not him of course, he has only a few days left to live) took over. Allied with Tehran, the temptation to take the holy cities from the Saud family would be overwhelming. It isn't like Islamic history isn't filled with different factions laying siege on Mecca and Medina and then trying to dominate Islam from there.

For the US, it would be like the Iran-Iraq war. Remember that episode in your history? Iran's radicals threw themselves into your machine guns and gas clouds, dying by the ton. The result is that Iran's population is now dominated by youth bent on a change - they don't want the Mullahs ordering them around. Your Shiite youth seem to want the Mullahs to order them around and fight on their behalf. Your south is an inviting source of fighters for your neighbor to the east.

Such people could be used to kill Americans - or they could turn on softer targets. First target would be you - the average Iraqi citizen. You will pray at gunpoint. You will send your sons to fight their wars. It will not end for a generation. Why? Because if democracy can't take hold in Iraq, the US's next option is to set Iran's mullahs against the Saudis. We love neither of them. We know who bombed us in Beirut. We know who runs Al Qaeda. And if you fuck us now, we won't love you either - after all, we tried to save your asses.

An Iraq allied with Iran will host the battlefield of the next Middle Eastern war. Not a war with precision weapons - a war of siege and of suffering like you have yet to witness. A holy war - a final showdown between the two rival factions of Islam over its greatest treasure. The theocrats will sell cheap oil to pay for this war, and will do any deal with the west to buy western weapons.

Do you see your future? Which one is it? Your future, like it or not, is in your hands. Complex, difficult democracy or simple, bloody tyranny.

You folks have a choice to make. Make it.

I have never supported this war (none / 0) (#33)
by faddat on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 10:44:01 AM EST

BUT DXH is right.  Unfortunately, we went to war in Iraq.  We blew shit up, and indeed, we did remove a tyrant from government.  

Now, if Iraqis want democracy, they will have to take it.  We have given them this chance.

It is correct to point to Iran.  The fact of the matter is that popular sentiment in Iran is pro-democratic.

I know the war can look like much more of a curse to the Iraqis than a blessing, but if there is ONE good that can come from this, it is the possiblity of a lasting middle-eastern democracy.

[ Parent ]

They are trying to take it (none / 3) (#106)
by dachshund on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:58:25 AM EST

Now, if Iraqis want democracy, they will have to take it.

Maybe the Iraqis think they are taking it? After all, these fighters are a lot more homegrown than the Ahmed Chalabis and unelected exiles who are supposed to take over the country in a few weeks.

[ Parent ]

"why won't you help us kill?" (3.00 / 7) (#38)
by JyZude on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:10:14 AM EST

Let me just preface this with the usual disclaimer: I'm not trying to support Saddam here, but...

Saddam was a horrible terrible man who killed many of his own people, gassed the kurds etc etc, but at the very least the country was stable under him. Not happy, not just, not free, but stable.

Then we go in and bomb the place to hell. We oust Saddam and his family and leave a giant power vacuum open to Shia muslim extremists, warring tribes, Saddam's old chums, and every other person who wants to make a name for him/herself. Now our forces are stuck in the middle of this power vacuum, surrounded by all these forces, and so we scream to our recently liberated friends through the chaos and smoke: "Why the fuck won't you help us?"

Well, maybe because we just destabilized their whole fucking country?!

Each little tribe fighting for power - the Americans, the Muslims, whoever else, is selling stability. They say "once we are in power, things will be stable. Things will be safe again. All we need is to be in power first." Why should any Iraqi assume that the Americans are the right ones to bring stability? Sure, they've got the biggest military, but they've pulled out before (Gulf War anyone?) and they're the ones who started the whole mess. Why should they be trusted?

Whenever I hear this argument, I think of that soldier in Full Metal Jacket commenting about the war in Vietnam (paraphrasing): "It's like they took away our freedom and gave it to the gooks. Only they don't seem to want it. Poor bastards. They'd rather be alive than free."

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


[ Parent ]
Stable Tyrrany (none / 1) (#44)
by kurioszyn on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 12:11:22 PM EST

Stability at all cost ?

[ Parent ]
stability vs. freedom (none / 3) (#50)
by JyZude on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 01:07:45 PM EST

I'm not saying at all cost. But I am saying that the value of stability or freedom needs to be weighed. We decided upon going to war that the ideal of democracy and freedom, and the supposed security of a Saddam-free Iraq were worth more than the existing stability of Iraq, the relative safety of its citizens, the safety of our troops, and the time and money required to bring about this democracy.

Not everyone agreed. Especially a large number of Iraqis, who would much rather see a return to stability at any cost, even if it means a restrictive religious government. Plus, they value their own lives over their own freedom. How unamerican! Well, we're not in America, are we? Yet we just expect them to take arms and fight for their freedom? Please.

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 1) (#81)
by kurioszyn on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:26:55 PM EST

"Plus, they value their own lives over their own freedom."

So I guess you are not bothered by laws like Patriot Act?


[ Parent ]

"bothered by" != "die for" (none / 1) (#155)
by JyZude on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 03:34:46 PM EST

I resent how you make it a binary decision.

I don't like the Patriot Act, but I'm not yet willing to die to stop it. If Dubya walked up to me and said "let me read your e-mail, or else you can't use the computer" I would say "no", and disobey the law.

If, on the other hand, Dubya came to me and said "let me read your e-mail or I blow a whole in your fucking head" while brandishing a semi-automatic, then I would probably comply.

How about you?

You know, you value your own life over your freedom too. You are not free to shoot your neighbor, because you value not being shot by the cops or other people over the freedom to kill. You are unamerican!!!!! ARrrr!!!!

Yes, I am twisting your words. As you twisted mine.

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


[ Parent ]
Finally.... (none / 0) (#40)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:21:50 AM EST

...someone with some sense. I feel slightly less alone.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Of course. (none / 2) (#61)
by Znork on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 03:14:09 PM EST

"To those of you who express concern that Americans may "abandon you" while you show no willingness to stick your neck out and help the Americans - I say this:

Fuck You."

Apparently the problem is that while foreigners get kidnapped, evaluated and then released, held for ransom and/or blackmail or executed, Iraqi's who 'collaborate' just get executed, no questions asked.

They know who you are, they know where you live, they know who your family is, they know where your family lives, and there's no getting shifted out when your time is up. And you arent behind a fence with your fellow armed soldiers, you cant call in air support and your family isnt across the sea.

They've got knives, guns and explosives and have no compunctions about killing whoever they feel is collaborating. And they and their relatives will be around for a long time.

Go ahead. Say 'Fuck you' to the Iraqi's who wont stick their necks out. Your "fuck you" aint what they're afraid of.

[ Parent ]

Your note is NOT short (2.81 / 11) (#62)
by teece on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 03:27:17 PM EST

And I see someone has bought the propaganda.

To all the Americans that sit in the comfort of their living room and condemn Iraqis, a people who have lived through suffering you could never imagine, I say.

Fuck you.

'Freedom is never free.'  And if you'll note, the French were not over here giving us 'freedom' at the other end of a gun barrel, either, during the American revolution.

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

you know the ones (3.00 / 4) (#65)
by Wah on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:00:51 PM EST

Then you might want to do what your Kurdish countrymen in the north did long ago - come out of hiding, pick up the family AK-47 and help the Americans plug a few of the small number of assholes trying to enslave you.

Come, kill them, kill your brothers and your cousins and uncle's friend's barber.  Your cabdriver and your deliveryman and your janitor have taken to the streets. Those gangs of 'those people' you were always afraid of have organized into armed militias. They have their own AK-47s and RPGs and you must kill them to win your Freedom. Your Freedom from armed oppressors hoping to impose rules on you you don't agree with.

Or, well, you can hang back and hope to survive this whole mess.

It's up to you, you know, Freedom and all.

---

This is not an easy thing you ask.  That's all I'm saying in this reply.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Maybe here's why (none / 0) (#88)
by MicroBerto on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:43:58 PM EST

I'm with you. But for two reasons, this whole thing is in trouble. First off, Hussein put so much fear and ignorance into the Iraqi people that they don't even know what a true revolution is. I don't think they know how to handle themselves without having a dictator bossing them around... just the way Saddam wanted it. They need to open some history books and learn how to get their freedom, and why freedom is even good.

Second, you still can't blame them for not trusting the US. Thank Bush Sr. for that one. I wouldn't trust the US if I were them either.

Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip
[ Parent ]

America is hurting, not helping (2.60 / 5) (#93)
by driptray on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 07:43:00 PM EST

You seem to assume that the Americans are genuinely attempting to implement democracy in Iraq, and that if only the Iraqis would help them instead of fight them, everything would be A-OK.

That Koolaid you've got over there in the US must be pretty strong. The Americans aren't in the slightest bit interested in genuine Iraqi democracy. They're trying to set up a "democracy in a box" that will lack the power to oust American military bases and undo the "facts on the ground" that the Americans are desperately trying to set up - the entrenchment of American business interests in Iraqi "reconstruction".

The Iraqis have finally twigged that the US is not there to help. Consequently they're trying to kill Americans. Good on them.

As for blaming Iraqis for not implementing democracy themselves, you're half right. But you underestimate the very real risks for Iraqis who are willing to cross one of the militias. And you ignore the fact that fighting the Americans is the necessary first step for Iraqis to achieve any form of democracy.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

Lol (none / 3) (#126)
by kurioszyn on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 11:55:10 AM EST

Yeah, Al-Sadr and the Bathists were interested in a genuine democracy and since Bremen is dragging his feet, they have decided to speed up the process a bit.

You are so full of it.


[ Parent ]

Lots of problems (none / 1) (#160)
by driptray on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 06:13:09 PM EST

You misread me if you think I'm saying that Al-Sadr and/or the Baathists are interested in democracy. I think they're part of the problem just as much as the Americans are.

It's a difficult choice for Iraqis - you've got a bunch of crazy people running around with guns trying to control the country - which one is best? Al-Sadr is probably a bad guy, but at least he's an Iraqi bad guy.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

They're not completely dull. (none / 0) (#210)
by APL on Tue Jan 25, 2005 at 04:23:00 PM EST

Let's not forget that there's LOTS of countries that could genuinely use our help. Many are in worse shape than Saddam-Controlled Iraq was. Some closer to us than Iraq.

The folks in Iraq are sure to have noticed that we only ever 'help' countries with rich petroleum deposits.



[ Parent ]
feminist delusions (none / 1) (#98)
by Mizuno Ami on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 09:50:58 PM EST

Who, exactly, would this most powerful woman in the world be?

We, the people, eh? Well, for one thing, females are exempt from the draft, so I guess in that sense, they're not citizens on par with a male. Look at it this way, though: I can't think of any time that a female is disadvantaged under the law. They've got equal rights to and more priveledges than men; why won't they quit their bitching?

As far as employment goes, one female told me that she was interested in a computer science degree until a *female* teacher of hers turned her off to it by making a big deal out of her being a female in IT. Just an anecdote, no more, no less. I've seen females sign up for CS courses. It's not like the admissions staff gives them a special test and charges them a female-only fee or something. The barriers to employment are all in these females' minds.

Now, if you want intimidating, try being one of three males in a female dominated sociology class studying male agression, rape, and machismo. I ended up dropping the class because the professor was so full of misandrist bullshit I couldn't understand how he could call himself a man without going on a guilt trip over all these alleged crimes all males are responsible for.

I overheard today what the secretary at my office makes. She's making more than me, and I'm a developer. I thought it was supposed to be the other way around: I do the easy job and get paid more than a female doing the hard job. Just another anecdote. There was also one place who refused me employment because I was overskilled; if I were female, I could have sued them for sexism and pulled a good case out of my ass. Just a hypothetical situation.

Most of these feminists just seem to have issues with self-acceptance and being secure enough in themselves to see themselves as equal. They can hardly even begin to make any objective points these days, especially in the papers I was forced to read in college that were written after about 1994 or so. Now, isn't that ironic. I thought that males were supposed to be insecure, but it seems that females are even more insecure.



[ Parent ]
Welcome to reality (2.83 / 6) (#107)
by dachshund on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 01:15:16 AM EST

Then you might want to do what your Kurdish countrymen in the north did long ago - come out of hiding, pick up the family AK-47 and help the Americans plug a few of the small number of assholes trying to enslave you.

Many of these people did rise up a decade ago. We abandoned them when it mattered, and thousands died. Now, unsurprisingly, they don't trust the US to do the right thing for them. And now, seeing their country occupied and distrusting the motives of the occupier, they're picking up their AK-47s and doing exactly what you suggest-- only they're shooting at us. Is this really something you want to encourage?

Quite frankly, we're not giving them reason to trust. When Iraqis have called for direct elections, we've ignored them. We've created a governing structure in which the majority have little control over the destiny of their country. And we're installing a set of "leaders" chosen more for their pliability than for their experience and popular support.

Some people on this board think that these uprisings are the work of a small band of foreigners and "terrorists". This sort of thinking gets US soldiers killed. We saw what a small minority could do over the past year, and it was nothing compared to the current violence. What we're seeing right now is the beginnings of the mobilization of the Iraqi people, and they're mobilizing against us. We need to put this genie back in the bottle peacefully, or everything we hoped to accomplish will become meaningless.

As for Saddam... Well, as you point out, Saddam is gone and he's going to stay gone. What Iraqis are fighting over now is whether Ahmed Chalabi and a foreign-sponsored regime will take his place, or whether the majority will have their way. Mind you, neither option appears terribly appealing to us, but clearly the latter approach has a great appeal to a population that's suffered decades of repression.

[ Parent ]

I printed this comment out (2.00 / 4) (#114)
by Torka on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 06:57:10 AM EST

So I could burn it and piss on the ashes.

[ Parent ]
Not a bad article, but kinda light. . . (1.75 / 4) (#34)
by Fantastic Lad on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 10:50:05 AM EST

But it didn't really go far enough.

The most surprising thing about this war is how revealing it is!

As some of you may know, I see the current American actions in the world to be the, "New and Improved," version of WWII which I think was merely a dry-run for the current age.

The thing I am most surprised by, (and in retrospect, should not have been), is just how incompetent the U.S. military forces are. Before 9-11 manifested, I was expecting the following. . .

1. Manufacture some BS excuse to invade the Middle East.

2. Walk into Semitic country and lock everything down with speed and unquestionable military precision.

3. Set up camps and kill everybody of Semitic Blood.

4. Repeat as necessary.

The thing I was not expecting was for the American forces to make such an incredible mess of things. Well, on the day of the invasion, that Iraq was going to be another Viet Nam was becoming very clear, but a couple of years earlier, I was really expecting the U.S. to be an effective army rather than the bumbling maroon-squad it has proven to be. --Though, it now makes a lot of sense as to why things are not working smoothly. . .

Part of the problem I had previously was that it seemed really unlikely that the average American could ever be brought to a place where he was willing to rape a country and kill people simply because of genetic and cultural differences. I didn't see enough insanity and hate.

Well! That has certainly changed quickly enough. Genocide is no longer the unthinkable. The average shell-shocked American troop is scared to death and fed up. "If it has brown skin, kill it." Rational thought is a luxry when the brain is running on adrenaline, fear, frustration and zero sleep.

Meanwhile, all the chaos and confusion drive the perceived need back home for greater controls implemented on 'Homeland' soil. In the Middle East, Chaos serves best; the Fog Of War is a great place to do whatever you damned well please, kill whoever you want, and feed, feed, feed! Whereas a lock-down is what is 'needed' on American soil to prevent anybody from putting a spanner in the works. And the machine runs along nicely.

And the Journalists and the Left and Right argue and debate as though any of their words mean a damned thing, which they do not. --The Great Killing Machine planned for that as well; gotta keep the public occupied while it gets the job done. Processing a few billion people into the sausage machine isn't the sort of thing you can do without soothing radio music, bill-board advertising and games for the kids in the back seat.

The thing which now surprises me is that we have not seen more 'terrorist' attacks on American soil. I was expecting more of those to keep things stirred up. But then, I suppose, the American public are already under tight enough control. It's not like there are any protests going on in the streets, are there? People are so bloody asleep, it's creepy. The youth and student populations are practically drooling zombies with very little awareness of the greater world. Must be all that pizza, beer and cell phone technology making them dull. And the anti-depressants one fifth of people seem to be on these days. Not a single damned anti-war protest to be seen on any campus, anywhere! (There must be different ways of getting laid nowadays.)

Ooooh. That's cynical. Sorry.

Ah well. I guess all one can really do is sit back and watch how it all unfolds.

-FL

IHBT. (none / 1) (#41)
by SPYvSPY on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:23:53 AM EST

Wait, no I haven't. Nice try.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

People are so bloody asleep, it's creepy. (none / 1) (#46)
by jes5199 on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 12:23:42 PM EST

People are so bloody asleep, it's creepy.
amen. preach it, brotha.

[ Parent ]
you heard about this one, right? (none / 1) (#49)
by Wah on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 12:51:02 PM EST

I mean, this was all over the TV.
A new study suggests too much TV for young children might over-stimulate their developing brains and it says that could lead to a higher risk of attention problems.

The study found ten percent of TV watching one and three year olds later developed attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders and every extra hour of TV each day boosted their chances by ten percent of developing ADHD later in life.

so this would explain about a third of the populace.

Curious place we got here.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

You Could Do Something (none / 3) (#103)
by jameth on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:17:51 PM EST

First off, you're completely wrong and appear to be an idiot.  However, if you truly believe that, "Genocide is no longer the unthinkable," you should do something. "Ah well.  I guess all one can really do is sit back and watch how it all unfolds," merely proves that you are a totally incompetent and lazy idiot, not just an idiot.

[ Parent ]
Exactly (none / 2) (#169)
by phlux on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 02:31:07 AM EST

"Part of the problem I had previously was that it seemed really unlikely that the average American could ever be brought to a place where he was willing to rape a country and kill people simply because of genetic and cultural differences. I didn't see enough insanity and hate.

Well! That has certainly changed quickly enough. Genocide is no longer the unthinkable. The average shell-shocked American troop is scared to death and fed up. "If it has brown skin, kill it." Rational thought is a luxry when the brain is running on adrenaline, fear, frustration and zero sleep."

Its called Psychological conditioning exercise.

First, have a terroist attack that ruffles up the emotions in order to getthe military on its feet and moving - put them into a position where they are willing to go into a war based on Righteous intel - WMD evil dictator etc...

Bog them down with an almost infinite supply of Insurgents in order to quash those pesky emotions and morals thatmay have at once existed... get them into the "problem, reaction solution" mode on an individual scale.

Follow up with another catalytic event on the home front just when things are looking pointless - this will catapult the troops into mindless rage and perfect obedience.

Point them in the direction you want...

We needed small wars every decade to ensure that our military personell and requisite equipment wouldnt rust and atrophy...

now that the time-gate is here - its time to re-activate the Altars of Mars, and ensure the lock-down of control.

04.19.04?

[ Parent ]

US picked this fight (3.00 / 12) (#42)
by bento on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:31:40 AM EST

First of all, it is important to remember that al-Sadr's "little rebellion" is a response to US provocation. The statement in the Right position above that Sadr had little popular support was completely true until the US decided to attack him. The US chose to shut down his newspaper and, shortly thereafter, to arrest some of his key people. As I predicted right here on K5, this gave him the credibility he needed (actually, I was writing before the arrests, the newspaper incident was enough). What kind of response did we expect? I am stunned that in the K5 thread on the newspaper closure, almost the entire debate circled around whether the censorship was consistent with the democracy we supposedly wish to promote. Almost no one (but me) said that the act could have serious violent consequences or would garner power for al_Sadr. BTW, the CPA didn't even allege that Sadr was advocating violence, only that he was telling lies that might have such an effect.

Secondly, if we attack Najaf we will find out how "small" this group of militants is. I can't believe people are still clinging to that. How did a small group of militants take control of multiple cities and a sizable portion of Bagdad? Small groups can accomplish a lot of terrorism, but taking territory is a different matter. We are flirting with going to war with the entire Shiite world, and probably the bulk of the rest of Islam as well. That's what happens if we bomb the mosque in Najaf. We are also making the position of the Islamic moderates like Sistani impossible to sustain.

Although I liked this post, I would point out that the summary of the Right position concerns mostly ideas while that of the Left is mostly analysis of the political/military situation. A better balance would be achieved by showing how this situation can be taken to justify various claims the Left has made: that invading Iraq was a mistake, that al-Sadr should not have been attacked, that Sistani should have been given his elections, etc. Or by presenting the Left viewpoint on the actual reasons for the conflict: oil, imperialism, etc.

yes, it could be better. (none / 2) (#51)
by Wah on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 01:07:49 PM EST

Although I liked this post, I would point out that the summary of the Right position concerns mostly ideas while that of the Left is mostly analysis of the political/military situation. [True] A better balance would be achieved by showing how this situation can be taken to justify various claims the Left has made ...

I've got one for you, and it's not those.  It's about using violence to solve a problem that violence can't solve.  This particular brew-ha-ha, can be traced back to one action.  The root of our problems in the middle east.  Israel and Palestine.

Al-Sadr started going nuts (really nuts), when Israel assassinated Yassin.

Although that isn't my analysis, necessarily.  It was that, and the closing down of the paper (covered here), and not dealing correctly with Sadr a while back ( <--SSP from last October) that led to this mess.

They have fucked up.  Bad.  That's "the left's" position.

Now admit to a goddamn mistake, Mr. President.

Sorry, but the press conference last night was very difficult to watch.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Yassin (none / 2) (#83)
by kurioszyn on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:30:52 PM EST

"Al-Sadr started going nuts (really nuts), when Israel assassinated Yassin."

We wouldn't hesitate to kill Bin Laden, would we ?
Why should we hold Israelis to a different standard ?

[ Parent ]

well... (none / 3) (#91)
by Wah on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 06:51:29 PM EST

after we have Bin Laden in prison, later let him out, and then assassinate him, you may have a point.

We don't hold the Isrealis to any standard.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Israel (none / 2) (#110)
by kurioszyn on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 02:05:39 AM EST

"We don't hold the Israelis to any standard."

We don't need to.
They are an advanced democracy trying to survive in a sea of 7th century style fundamentalism.
Cheers for them for holding onto their civility - I doubt US would show this kind of restrain.


[ Parent ]

We didn't (none / 1) (#125)
by Wah on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 11:54:05 AM EST

Cheers for them for holding onto their civility - I doubt US would show this kind of restrain[t].

We just were able to commit cultural genocide for our 'manifest destiny' before there existed international organizations created to keep such things from happening.

But then again, the situations aren't nearly that similar, so any metaphorical comparisons will be lacking.
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Genocide (none / 1) (#131)
by kurioszyn on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:09:18 PM EST

Well, back then this sort of "cultural genocide" was an accepted way of handling political affairs .
What next ?
Are you going to condemn contemporary England for the abuses perpetrated on the XIX workers ?

[ Parent ]
hmm (none / 1) (#175)
by Wah on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 12:39:14 PM EST

Are you going to condemn contemporary England for the abuses perpetrated on the XIX workers ?

Only if they do it tomorrow.  
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Israel... (none / 0) (#209)
by liftarn on Mon Apr 26, 2004 at 09:17:43 AM EST

Anybody who thinks Israel is "an advanced democracy" is still believing in cold war propaganda.

[ Parent ]
What do you mean? (none / 0) (#109)
by bento on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 01:43:50 AM EST

He went nuts? He said he supported Hamas and Hezbollah. But that's just talk. I didn't like it and said so here, but still, did he do anything? Prior to the arrests, I mean. Not that I'm aware of. Lots of people in the US support the IRA, including with money, which is more than talk. This is not called "going nuts" and does not bring arrests.

[ Parent ]
sorry (none / 0) (#112)
by Wah on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 02:34:04 AM EST

I used the same link twice there.  This is what was supposed to go under 'necessarily'.

"When did all of this tension start?
Maybe two week ago...
After the assassination of Sheikh Yassin of Hamas.
I think that was the spark that started everything...
People went out in the streets protesting and demonstrating againd Israel and The United States.
Some days after that, Muqtada AsSadr declared that he is the attacking arm of Hamas and Hizb Allah, and that he can take this responsibility.
And people applauded and clapped!
Then the American forces closed his journal, and surrounded his office.
There I think the crisis started."

--
So this added to the warrant that was coming for him for the murder of Hakim (IIRC), made his decision fairly straightforward.  A number of other places have pointed out that not dealing with him earlier was a mistake.  He's been using this whole year to organize forces.

--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Sequence of Events (none / 1) (#186)
by bento on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 04:45:10 AM EST

The site you linked to was almost all in Arabic, and none of the English on it is relevant from what I can see. However, I don't see your chronology. The earliest statements I find from Sadr supporting Hamas etc. are from Friday, April 2. The newspaper closure occurred Sunday, March 28. Therefore, the latter could not have been a reaction to the former. The reverse is probably the case.

I'm not sure it was necessary to deal with Sadr in this fashion. The figure of 50,000 I cited for his following was from last summer, and was probably an exageration then, but it had since declined sharply. He had been sinking into irrelevance. The apparent reason is that Sistani was wresting some concessions from the coalition through non-violence and Sistani has much more status. You can never be sure with counterfactuals, but it looks like al-Sadr would not have been a major problem if we had not attacked him and had dealt fairly with Sistani. His personal army was estimated at 3,000 just before the uprising. It might have been somewhat higher than that, but it was clearly not sufficient to do that much without the new wave of popular support. In attacking him, in a culture that reveres matyrdom, we made him a hero. That result was predictable (I have the right to say that as I, in fact, predicted it).

So here's another prediction. I have an hypothesis that the way to predict what Bush will do next is to ask what is the stupidest thing he could possibly do. Right now, I would say that is cut a deal with Sadr to get him out of Najaf, and then break it to arrest or kill him anyway. So that is what I now expect. Of course, there may be something even stupider that hasn't occurred to me. I wouldn't have thought of dragging Iran in, for example, that was an impressively innovative bit of foolishness.

[ Parent ]

sorry (none / 0) (#199)
by Wah on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 05:19:40 PM EST

the text in question is available. Use ctrl-f to find it.

The earliest statements I find from Sadr supporting Hamas etc. are from Friday, April 2. The newspaper closure occurred Sunday, March 28. Therefore, the latter could not have been a reaction to the former. The reverse is probably the case.

Ahh, that might be the case, but it is still an argument that A + B = C, where the time of A and B relative to each other is not that big a deal.  I should have more specifically research the dates.  To be sure, however, I'm not a close follower of Sadr's weekly tirades.

I would say that is cut a deal with Sadr to get him out of Najaf, and then break it to arrest or kill him anyway. So that is what I now expect.

Yes, that seems like the likely course of action, but it would have to appear that it is someone else responsible.  Or at least that's what I'm starting to think Iraqi politics requires.

If they have a solid case of his guilt for murder to present to Sistani, I'm sure he could end up being a chapter of disgrace for his family.  Maybe that's a lever to use...
--
'The Matrix' is a better interpretation of quantum mechanics than Copenhagen.
[ Parent ]

Another view: (2.90 / 10) (#55)
by nutate on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 01:50:07 PM EST

An interesting bit from Matt Taibbi subtitled: The real Vietnam Syndrome is amnesia. Mainly referring to comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam and how the U.S. can't seem to realize that it kills completely innocent people when it enters into war. Not to pretend that turning a blind eye (a la Rwanda) to mass murder occuring within a country is tenable, but directing our youths to go into a foreign country with hopes of regime change and to stay alive without loss of civilian life and the accompanying hatred/reprisal is arrogant.
Here's a snippet:
While Democrats and Republicans fight over who best to stick with the blame for our Southeast Asian ass-whipping, both sides remain completely blind to the fact that Vietnam was not really Johnson's or Nixon's Vietnam, any more than Iraq is Bush's Iraq. Vietnam was, first and foremost, Vietnam's Vietnam--and the current absurd debate about the comparison between the two wars has proven that the vast majority of Americans still have trouble grasping that fact.


Great Point (3.00 / 8) (#77)
by teece on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:53:53 PM EST

We have killed 10K or more Iraqi civilians.  People who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  People like you, me, your mother, your father.

Us Americans always ignore that fact.  It pisses me off to no end.

This last week in Falujah, we killed several hundred children for our righteous pay-back.  And people wonder why Iraqis might be unhappy with us over there?

The next time an Iraqi, Canadian, Mexican, or whatever nationality soldier kills insurgents in Anytown, USA, and does so by peppering a city block with 50 cal. rounds, and happens to blow your little sisters feet clean off, kill your brother, and blind your father, then, and only then, should we be speaking with righteous indignation about the Iraq ambivalence or outright anger at our presence.

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

warmi (1.40 / 5) (#79)
by kurioszyn on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:24:03 PM EST

We killed 10 000 French during D-Day.

Untold thousands of civilians in occupied nations died during WW2 from our bombs or as a direct result of our military action against Germans.

Looks like FDR was a fucking war criminal, wasn't he ?

[ Parent ]

That's a low estimate. (none / 2) (#90)
by nutate on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 06:09:32 PM EST

The allies probably killed more that day. Civilian casualties are a known factor in any military operation. Politicians just seem to forget that "collateral damage" tends to radicalize the very people they're trying to liberate against their country, especially in an invasion so weakly supported by the rest of the world.

The troops in Iraq now need a ton of outside well coordinated support. Support they could've had if the U.N. had believed the current administration had a reason to go in and topple this specific dictator. Clearly the most violent insurgents in Iraq will kill their fellow countrymen just to wreak havoc.

The still extant chokehold the U.S. has on imports into Iraq kills the most innocents. And that's held in place by elected and appointed officials sitting in offices, not teenagers risking their lives for my country.

[ Parent ]

Un (1.33 / 6) (#111)
by kurioszyn on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 02:15:46 AM EST

I somehow doubt people who engage in capturing and killing innocent civilians would care much about world support, UN etc..

I don't know if Bush made a right decision going there but when I hear Kerry and others talking about UN as a solution, I want to cry.
UN and so called "world support" is generally a diplomatic keyword for non-action.
This guy wants to ran this place and his only solution is to call for UN ?

[ Parent ]

Relative Question (none / 1) (#157)
by Ogygus on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 05:15:15 PM EST

Looks like FDR was a fucking war criminal, wasn't he ?

Since guilt in this matter is decided by the victors; if the Allies had lost the war, yes he would have been hung along with Churchill.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
Not really any comparison (none / 1) (#162)
by mcc on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 08:35:06 PM EST

The allies in World War 2 were fighting what I think practically everyone would agree is the platonic-form, textbook, gold-standard definition of  a "necessary war".

Whether the Iraq war was actually necessary to achieve the goals of anyone involved is something that has yet to be demonstrated to me.

---
Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame
[ Parent ]

Murder (2.00 / 4) (#82)
by daviddennis on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:27:53 PM EST

Saddam killed roughly 20k civilians a year since he came into power.  People who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  People like you, me, your mother, your father.

If we have killed roughly 10k civilians a year, we're actually saving lives compared to the nightmare that came before.

I absolutely agree that it's terrible that there are people who would be alive today if Saddam was still in power.  But we cannot forget that there are people -- more people -- who would be dead today if it weren't for Saddam's ouster.

Leftists always ignore that fact.  It pisses me off to no end.

D
amazing.com has amazing things.
[ Parent ]

Gee, I Forgot (2.00 / 4) (#86)
by teece on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:43:39 PM EST

The obligatory Saddam was evil, we are pure good disclaimer.

First, I am not ignoring Saddam's atrocity.  Second, the 20K dead Iraqis per year is an extremely suspect figure to me.  It seems a) very difficult to pin down the exact number, and b) often inflated to make Saddam into a bigger monster than he was.  The number of dead in the Iran/Iraq war are often included in the number that he 'killed,' which is very, very disingenuous.  Starting a war (that we in the US quite happily supported, by the way) is categorically different than murdering revolters or dissidents.

But even if it is true that less Iraqis are dead by our hand than by Saddams (big if), it is still blood on our hands.  Yet too many Americans find it distasteful, or even 'unAmerican' to bring that point up.

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

Consistancy: (none / 0) (#146)
by mns on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 01:53:40 PM EST

It's what you lack. Let me get this straight; you're willing to accept the 10,000 figure that you got from an unspecified source as *fact*, yet the 20,000 figure, which is documented by numerous different sources, is somehow "suspect" to you?

I hereby call into question two things: 1) Your motivation for questioning the twenty thousand a year statistics, and 2) your compassion for the civilians in Iraq. It seems to me, you don't much care about the citizens of Iraq, you're more concerned with the guilt you feel from the knowledge that a small faction of Islamic militants don't like your country, and possessed with the desire to self-righteously say "Told you so". If you own up to your real goals and desires, you might find life becomes a bit more pleasant for you. Just sayin'.

Here's something you can argue with: no one in the US "happily supported" going to war. Only a total sociopath would "happily" go into a war. Some of us realized that, in order to put an end to the AT LEAST SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DEATHS OF IRAQI CIVILIANS (note that this is a conservative estimate), someone had to do something. Is the resultant situation messy and unpleasant? Yes. Did it need to be done? In my opinion, yes. In your opinion, no. But don't go saying that anyone was fucking HAPPY about it. At least don't go saying it if you want your agenda to be anything other than transparent.



[ Parent ]
The sanctions question. (none / 2) (#153)
by nutate on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 02:58:37 PM EST

I'm still wondering if there will ever be a competely dissection of what was really going on with the sanctions. It seems to be an agreed upon fact that the Hussein regime was inflating civilian death figures and interrupting the food/medicine supplies. But it is also clear that the intent of the sanctions was to destroy the infrastructure of Iraq by not letting them buy 'dual use' equipment and chemicals.

I still don't have any answers and don't know what would've happened if the sanctions hadn't been in place. But according to a well documented piece a read a while back, the sanctions only stayed because of economic pressures levied on other UN countries by the US and UK. The other countries were threatened that if they vetoed, they would lose vital trade agreements.

[ Parent ]

ESP (none / 0) (#154)
by teece on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 03:12:53 PM EST

Oh, so we went to war over the sanctions and the long suffering Iraqis, huh?  Gee, I thought it was about national security and WMD.  Silly me.

And so I didn't support the war, your ESP skills are good.  Maybe you should apply for that million bucks that Randi guy is offering.  Thanks for straightening me out, though.  Because I thought I had support for the war, just not support for the way we were going about it.  Or the sick gloss it gets in the American psyche.

This is the same, tired argument when anything WRT to the Iraq war is questioned:  I support Saddam, I am a traitor, I hate the Iraqis.

Wake me up when you have got something better.

The only point you make that is valid is the statistics issue.  Yes, the 10K number is is suspect -- because we stopped counting.  It is probably higher now, but 10K was the last count.  And I pointed out my objection to the the 20K number -- from the things I have seen, it was arrived at with the specific purpose of inflating the threat that Saddam posed to his people.  He was a nasty SOB, just maybe not quite as nasty as we thought.

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

You forget (2.25 / 4) (#105)
by GenerationY on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:25:51 AM EST

Iraqi civilians weren't particularly keen on Saddam either... He had to use force and threats to keep them from going after him for decades.

[ Parent ]
withdraw (none / 2) (#59)
by cronian on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 03:00:13 PM EST

Why doesn't the US just withdraw? They could maybe keep a few bases there with maybe 15,000 troops, and let the rest of the country fall into anarchy just like in Afghanistan. Sadr or somebody elses militia would probably take over, and they could figure out how to pay him off later. If the Europeans want a real big occupation, let them send the troops.

Without the troops tied down, the US would have an opportunity to consider invading another country like Saudi Arabia, Iran, or even Qatar.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
Withdrawing from Iraq is costly. (2.60 / 5) (#66)
by NateTG on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:02:12 PM EST

I was against the US invasion of Iraq, but withdrawing from Iraq right now is probably the worst thing that the US can do.  If you mean,
"withdraw as fast as sanely possible" you'll have a hard time getting faster than the current rate.

The potential fallout is huge.  Let's take a quick look at some of the issues.

Bush et al. get booted out of office.  If the U.S. tucks tail and runs, then Bush's chances of re-election are essentially gone.  Everyone in the current administration has a vested interest in staying in Iraq.

There is no native government in Iraq right now.  The 'governing council' could readily be compared to a puppet show.  Both in the sense that there are others pulling the strings, and in the sense that it's only a show, but doesn't really have any power.

There is insufficient security.  Even with the US forces on the ground, there is rampant violence, kidnapping, and looting.  Taking the US out of the loop is going to make that situation worse.

An independant Kurdistan is a threat to Turkey. The Kurds are relatively well organized, are more-or-less US allies, and with a US pullout would probably attempt to form a seperate Kurdistan.  Kurds are an oppressed minority in Turkey, and there would probably be some fireworks on that border very quickly.

Iraq has lots of oil.  Let's face it, the oil in Iraq is not just attractive to the US.  Most everyone in the region has much to gain by controlling a massive strategic resource.  If the US pulls out, expect the neighboring countries to attempt to take control.  The result is liable to be chaos in the region.

[ Parent ]

Another reason (none / 0) (#137)
by Cro Magnon on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 12:38:38 PM EST

Though there was no clear evidence of Al-Queda in Iraq under Saddam, that might not be the case if we turn tail and throw Iraq to the wolves. Can you imagine Al-queda in control of one of the oil-richest countries on Earth?
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Saudi Arabia (none / 0) (#156)
by Ogygus on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 05:09:00 PM EST

Can you imagine Al-queda in control of one of the oil-richest countries on Earth?

As opposed to the current situation which is the exact reverse?

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
Syria Scenario (none / 1) (#158)
by phriedom on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 06:01:10 PM EST

Here is one way we might pull out of Iraq. Find those missing WMD in Syria, possibly when they are used against US troops for maximum outrage. The best timeing for this is probably August or September, followed by an invasion of Syria with the "liberation" at the end of October, just before the election. This would give political cover for the pullout from Iraq. We could still keep troops in the North (kurds) and South oil fields while essentially abandoning Bagdad and the Sunni Triangle. The exit strategy for Afghanistan was Iraq, so why not do it again? I've been predicting this since October of 2002, and I hope to God I'm wrong. But if I can think of it...
I don't ask for much, I just want a lot of it.
[ Parent ]
Al-Sistani, Al-Sadr, et al. (none / 1) (#167)
by cronian on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 12:49:31 AM EST

Let the Kurds take over Kurdistan. Let, Al-Sistani and those other leaders with militias take over Iraq. The US could hand them a little money to help them out, and make some demands. They could leave some troops. Just tell the various leaders to call an election. Presumably, they would popular to be elected anyway. The US can still threaten air strikes, and use foreign aid to gain compliance.

The whole thing about needed political cover isn't really true. Bush just announces that he is allowing Iraqis to assume a greater role for their security like he is already, and this way he really would be doing just that. You wouldn't need a full withdrawal. The US could leave a base or two.

If the idea poses too many problems, just threaten to enact it, and start enacting it. The Europeans get their oil form the Middle East a lot more than the US does. If the US refused to take care of Middle East problems, Europe would be forced to act.

As for Turkey, if they can't learn to get along with their Kurds, let them suffer from their own stupidity. The Kurds in Turkey really aren't very interested in an independent Kurdistan; They have always just wanted greater economic opportunities.

The US can't reliably threaten to invade other countries with the military tied down in Iraq. The send could alternatively use the troops it withdraws to threaten Iran or one of many other countries.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Ummm. Because we'd feel really bad about (none / 2) (#116)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 07:13:04 AM EST

the bloodbath and kleptocracy that would follow our withdrawal?


Will we line up for Grand Theft Auto 5 if it's the exact same thing, only with prettier texture-mapped bruises on the whores? -- David Wong
[ Parent ]
Follow? (none / 0) (#208)
by liftarn on Mon Apr 26, 2004 at 09:09:04 AM EST

It seems that's pretty much the current situation.

[ Parent ]
Good one... (none / 1) (#123)
by MKalus on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 11:29:13 AM EST

Why doesn't the US just withdraw? They could maybe keep a few bases there with maybe 15,000 troops, and let the rest of the country fall into anarchy just like in Afghanistan. Sadr or somebody elses militia would probably take over, and they could figure out how to pay him off later. If the Europeans want a real big occupation, let them send the troops.

Well first of all Europe didn't want to be in Iraq in the first place so chances for this happening are pretty much zero. You see the Western nations like to talk tough, but Body Bags are really not good for the politicians.

As for the US to withdraw now: Do it, and I bet you next time you threaten somebody with a might aircraft carrier the only way you will win is when they laugh themselves to death. The US would loose any credibility it has left.
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Important Strategic Interests (none / 0) (#168)
by cronian on Fri Apr 16, 2004 at 12:53:12 AM EST

If Europe's oil supply truly got threatened, and the US refused to take care of it for them, they would be forced to act. Just because they don't want to doesn't mean they wouldn't if they got desperate. Europe needs Middle Eastern oil.

We perfect it; Congress kills it; They make it; We Import it; It must be anti-Americanism
[ Parent ]
Nope... (none / 1) (#193)
by MKalus on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 09:35:37 PM EST

Europe does not need middle eastern oil. They can get it from Russia (heck, Hitler got it from Russia before he attacked France, and his main push east was to take control of oil).

The reality is that Europe right now is getting cozy with the Russians, and should Russia ever join the EU (and I wouldn't be too surprised if that happens ten years down the road) they have all the oil they could need.

Also, it seems like Europe is a bit more determined to get away from the oil dependency that the US is still riding high (and Canada too).
-- Michael
[ Parent ]

Why not withdraw? Well why did they go in? (2.80 / 5) (#189)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 10:27:42 AM EST

The reason you have to ask your question is the US Gov/leaders never gave the real reasons why they were attacking Iraq.

You have to ask yourself why they were there in the first place.

Obviously it's not about WMD or Saddam. Nor about liberating Iraq.

Does Iraq look like its being liberated? Are the strategies used by the US one of actual liberation rather than one of trying to pick a puppet government?

There were a number of times where the US could have started the ball rolling to a more democratic Iraq one where Iraqis could pick their leaders (set a timeline, milestones etc), but no the US held on to the reins (the US obviously afraid they'd get another Iran or something). Obviously more and more of the Iraqis are getting impatient and dissatisfied with that. The situation with Sadr? If the Iraqis are allowed to actually elect a Gov and they actually want to get rid of Sadr, then I'm sure the Iraqis won't mind the US giving them a hand. Too bad if they want to keep him, that's the prerogative of a genuinely free and liberated country.

I'd have given the US a more respect if they gave the real reasons for the war. I'd say a major reason is the oil. I'm sure there are other reasons of course, but the oil counts for a fair bit.

I think the Fog is mainly in the US and its not in Iraq or the rest of the world.

Proof: so many of the US people are still making fun of France (surrender jokes etc). And they don't see the real joke is in the US. The US citizens have a Gov who started a war without giving honest reasons. They are spending billions to pick a puppet gov in Iraq, while somehow they don't have enough resources to get decent voting systems for themselves. They use crappy electronic systems that produce negative votes, or more votes than voters. Given that the US talks so highly about their democracy, the people involved with producing and approving such shoddy election systems should be tried for treason.

But no, the US people think the problem is in Iraq or the Middle East. Sure all that oil is important. But I believe more important is who is (or will be) in control of the most powerful nation in the world.

Are the US people in control?

[ Parent ]

Probabl same reasons China stil thinks it (none / 1) (#194)
by cam on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 10:07:22 PM EST

own Taiwan.

cam
Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic
[ Parent ]

Iraq vs Vietnam (1.41 / 17) (#74)
by dxh on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:48:55 PM EST

The Similarities of Vietnam and Iraq

Some politicians (especially ones with enormous  heads) have been comparing the war in Iraq to the war in Vietnam, and, since politicians are smart, this must be taken seriously. Here are some of the similarities I have identified:

* Both Vietnam and Iraq have an 'i' in them.

* Both are foreign countries.

* Both wars were opposed by stupid, smelly hippies.

* Both wars were supported and then opposed by John Kerry.

Those are some striking similarities. So, if the war is like Vietnam, what did we learn from Vietnam? Well, what we learned from Vietnam is that, if you lose a war like Vietnam, forever after people will question future wars by saying they are like Vietnam. Think about how things would be different if we decisively won Vietnam; then, someone not liking a war would say, "We're going to get bogged down in this war like... well... no other war in American history." And no one would listen to that person.

Moral: Win your g'damn wars.

It's Not About the War (none / 2) (#102)
by jameth on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:05:18 PM EST

It's about the post-war. That's always been the big problem. We already won the war, we just won't have accomplished anything by doing so.

In Vietnam, we never even won the war.

Also, the issue wasn't about the war being difficult, it was about Bush lying to start it and the entire process being inappropriate.

[ Parent ]

The First TV War. (none / 2) (#124)
by Ogygus on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 11:36:02 AM EST

So, if the war is like Vietnam, what did we learn from Vietnam?

The military learned not to let journalists run around loose. (Hence, the "embed") The administration learned to not allow the media access to the harsh realities of war. (Hence, the ban on reporting on body bags and aluminum coffins returning home)

As a society? We have learned nothing. The military/industrial complex is still running the show and we're still letting them.

The mice will see you now.
[ Parent ]
I am doing some serious research on this subject (none / 1) (#75)
by dxh on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:52:43 PM EST

I bought a copy of Battlefield:Vietnam today so I could find out if it's really like Iraq. First thing I'm gonna do is jump on a Navy gun boat and shoot up a civilian village!

Then, I'll run for President of the Sims Online since I'll be a real war hero! Right?

warmi (none / 1) (#84)
by kurioszyn on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:36:31 PM EST

Was that supposed to be funny ?

BTW.
There are no "civilians" in BFV.
The game sucks .
Try Call of Duty - much better value.


[ Parent ]

We're still in the fog (none / 2) (#76)
by cpghost on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 04:53:18 PM EST

It is difficult to have the right perspective, when you're distracted by events nearby. Every little development instantly become of primordial importance, depending on your views, preferences, and (sadly) prejudices.

Changing societies is difficult, because changing human behaviour is hard. Remember how long it took to denazify Germany? Even now, they do have latent, covert xenophobia in some parts of their population (fortunately nothing too serious). Was it wrong to change their previous way of thinking? No, not really. It was beneficial for us, for all european neighbors, and also for them.

The key to opening societies is patience. Without endurance, it is impossible to achieve this goal. You've got to educate a whole new generation (perhaps even two or three) to your ideals, before you can hope to succeed. We had enough wisdom (and self interest) to stick to that program after WWII, and we're been reaping the benefits for more than a half century since then. In other parts of the world, we were not so patient. What were the consequences there?...

There's really nothing wrong with discussing pros and cons of the war in Iraq. Fortunately, we're living in a democracy and exchanging opinions helps (though not always) preventing the worst mishaps. But when we decide to take a course of action (and we did it democratically, IIRC), then we should try to stick to it, so we may have a chance to achieve something beneficial. We owe it to ourselves to be consequent enough and not pull out at the slightest road-block. We owe it to the people we're supposedly trying to help.

It would be great, if all parties threw in their opinions about the best way to handle this situation (After all, we've assume responsibility for all iraqis, and the least we should do is to act responsibly to the best of our ability). Will that happen? No, probably not. We'll see a lot of partisan bickering instead, as always. Instead of assuming our responsibilities as an active party in a large, worldwide conflict, we prefer to revert back to petty political domestic disputes.

Yes, we're still in the fog; and the fog is getting thicker up until election day...


cpghost at Cordula's Web
There is no time for 'patience' (3.00 / 5) (#89)
by fluxion on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:54:46 PM EST

Before the war started I was getting very worried about the rise of an imperial USA. I like Americans, and you don't have to read much history to realise how badly imperialism seems to damage the imperialist country itself, so I was concerned that America was on a very slippery slope. I googled about and came across one interview in particular from about a year before the war started. A reporter who was familiar with the area and Iraq in particular said something like: "Iraqis hate Saddam, and if the US invades they will be very grateful. But they are also very independent and want to rule themselves. They will dance in the street for 3 days, then they will take up sniping positions." Subsequently I looked up more comments by people who knew the area and they pretty much concurred. So my prediction to people about the war was that the 'war' would be brief but the peace would be shit.

The problem with empires or would be empires is that guerilla wars sap your strength, and often pay highly because the enemy is underestimated.

America has to get out of Iraq. Iraq is founded on thousands of years of customs, and I don't just mean Islam, you can't change all that without a lot of resistance and therefore you can't expect a western democracy to work.

The big danger of Iraq is that, whereas Vietnam was a civil war mistaken for an anti-communist war , Iraq was supposed to be a war of liberation but could easily become a religious war ... and therefore a very long lived conflict, think centuries.

I think the US needs to get out ASAP. Just an opinion but I can't think how staying is going to be to anyone's benefit.


[ Parent ]

What can Bush do? (none / 3) (#78)
by ajs on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:08:59 PM EST

I don't like Bush personally or politically, but that's no reason not to sympathize with him. What a lot of folks don't get is that there are 4 sides here: What's best for Iraq; US Democratic political advantage; US Republican political advantage and the reprecussions on the US military. The fourth is the one that bothers me the most. Right now, the military has to be saying, "this is another Viet Nam... in the end, we're going to have to make hard choices, and the president isn't going to want to go all the way!" The hawks in Bush's administration have made going along with the military an easy choice, but at some point, Bush is going to look at the blood on his hands and his place in history. What does he do then? Can he pull back, or does the leash only work until you let slip the dogs of war? Dunno, but I know I don't want to be him right now. Truths about military and political strategy: 1. You can't hold a country by force of arms alone 2. You cannot win a conflict which has no objective 3. No one will trust you while you have your boot on their neck 4. Subjugation under the rule of a democratic country is not democracy 5. Things that are not democracies do not become democracies without bloodshed 6. In order to achieve democracy, a country must WANT democracy I wish the US administration would keep this in mind.
-- Aaron Sherman <ajs@ajs.com>
Not quite true (none / 1) (#87)
by Znork on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 05:43:56 PM EST

"5. Things that are not democracies do not become democracies without bloodshed "

A lot of countries have become democracies with very limited amounts of bloodshed. Historically, much of western europe, and in more recent days, parts of the east bloc.

I wonder if anyone has bothered to make a complete comprehensive statistical analysis of tbe correlation between bloodshed and the rise of stable democracies.

[ Parent ]

Depends on how broadly you view it (none / 1) (#92)
by godix on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 07:38:39 PM EST

England had a series of violent revolts which slowly took power from the monarchy and turned themselves into a democracy. For awhile France had a revolution every other week or so, it almost seemed to be their hobby. Germany had to be beaten down by the rest of the world, twice, before democracy took a real foothold there. Western European had to shed more blood than anyone else before stable democracies could be formed.

As for the eastern bloc, none of them would be democracies if it wasn't for Russia losing the cold war. Many lives were lost during the cold war across the middle east, africa, south america, central america, asia, etc. Sure the overthrown of Russian rule at the end was fairly bloodless but none of it would have happened without all the various battlefields of the cold war.

Thank god I'm worth more than SilentChris

[ Parent ]

Australia became a democracy without bloodshed. (none / 1) (#113)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 03:17:28 AM EST

We asked England if we could, England said yes, and we did. Simple.

Pay no attention to the murdered Aborigines behind the curtain, please.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

F, F, F, F, F, T, F. (2.25 / 4) (#94)
by godix on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 07:57:08 PM EST

  1. False. Germany proved you can in France, Rome proved it in the rest of Europe, England proved it in Ireland, China proved it in Tibet, the US did it in indian lands that were about to become the US, and those are only the examples I can think of off the top of my head. Regardless of that, we aren't trying to now anyway. That's what the entire passing rule to the Iraqi council, building up their police force, etc is all about.
  2. False, there is an objective, giving Iraqis self rule. America (and Iraq) win when that occurs.
  3. False. The boot isn't on Iraqis neck, it's on Iraqi insurgents neck. There is a distinct difference. That's just reality though, in terms of perception the US boot is on everyones neck and in matters of trust it's how the gullible population precieves things rather than reality that matters.
  4. False. No one is claiming that Iraq is CURRENTLY a democracy, the claim is that hopefully when we're done it will be a democracy. Right now it's little more than an American protectorate with big dreams for the future.
  5. True. Blood has been shed by both sides over an Iraqi democracy and will continue to be shed. This isn't something to be shocked over and IMNSHO it isn't a reason to give up on Iraqi democracy.
  6. False. Right after WWII both Japan and Germany were not begging for democracy. It was forced on them as a result of losing a war and it took awhile before the population accepted it. It has worked so well in both countries that the citizens there have forgotten that they had to be forced into it.


Thank god I'm worth more than SilentChris

[ Parent ]
Japan (3.00 / 5) (#104)
by driptray on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 11:44:20 PM EST

Right after WWII both Japan and Germany were not begging for democracy. It was forced on them as a result of losing a war and it took awhile before the population accepted it. It has worked so well in both countries that the citizens there have forgotten that they had to be forced into it.

Japan had substantial democracy movement before WWII. The post-WWII US occupation initially relied on this home-grown thirst for democracy, but as the Cold War began to heat up the US began to support the older, war-time leaders in their battle against the Japanese democracy movement.

The problem for the US was that the Japanese democracy movement was basically socialist in orientation and were fervently anti-militaristic. This was in conflict with the US's growing fear of communism, and their plans to quickly re-arm Japan to be able to fight the Soviets and North Koreans.

And so the burgeoning Japanese democracy movement was stamped out by the US in partnership with the Japanese conservatives who couldn't believe their luck that the US was helping them do their dirty work for them. The very weak democracy that currently exists in Japan is a legacy of the whole episode.

So what are the lessons for Iraq? Well, if I was an Iraqi who was interested in democracy, I'd be fighting the US, not assisting them.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

How about: T,?,T,T,T,T,T (3.00 / 4) (#161)
by NateTG on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 06:30:59 PM EST


  1. This isn't accurate.  Not only was there an active resistance during the war, but Germany was also using a massive secret police force, and a gang of propaganda about the communist threat that the USSR represented.  IIRC Germany also had trouble controlling the south of France.
  2. While your refutation is technically accurate, the goal of the US is not necessarily to give the Iraqi's self-determination.  (This is one of the big parralels to Vietnam.)  For example, the Kurds are  pretty big on the idea of forming an independant Kurdistan and there's probably a goodly number -- possibly a majority of people that want an Iran-style theocracy.  Both of these are situations that the US really wants to avoid.

    In practice, the US does not have any clear stated goals in Iraq -- sure the pundits are willing to blather on about democracy, freedom, and whatnot, but the government hasn't been at all forthcoming about its goals.

  3. Huh?  How is the boot not on all of the Iraqi's necks?  The US military controls the roads, the airspace, and the media in Iraq.  As long as the US has logistical control of the country, it has the ability to strangle any region.
  4. Considering that the US is trying to prevent some relatively popular large-scale political possibilities -- for example the formation of an independant Kurdistan, or an islamic theocracy -- it's hard to describe the desired result as a democracy.  It's more of a "you can have what you want, as long as you want what we want you to want" situation.
  5. This is probably true, but bloodshed is really a common side effect of government changes more than it is an intrinsic part of the formation of a Democracy.
  6. Germany had a democratic government between World War I and World War II -- it's called the Weirmar Republic. (Named after the city where the consitution was signed.) In fact, one of the key events in Hitler's rise to power was a fire in the Reichstag (parliament) in 1933 - 15 years into the Weimar government.


[ Parent ]
An Alternative (none / 1) (#99)
by commissar on Wed Apr 14, 2004 at 10:01:14 PM EST

There's been plenty of complainng and posturing.

How about a suggestion for a different approach?

Let's stop playing into their hands (2.28 / 7) (#108)
by dachshund on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 01:41:44 AM EST

We need to be clear on something: The violence in Iraq today is not simply the work of a small band of foreign terrorists and Saddam holdovers. It's the work of a small band of terrorists and thugs who are beginning to bring the Iraqi people over to their side. This was their plan from the start, and only now are they realizing success.

The techniques are simple: relentlessly provoke coalition troops, incite collateral damage, and where necessary, attack Iraqi civilians outright. Press their advantage by provoking ever more damaging retaliation from Coalition troops-- spurred on by bloodthirsty calls for revenge and pacification in American popular discourse. It's a very effective strategy, in that it uses our own strength against us, and from the tone of some posts on this board, the perpetrators should be quite happy with the results.

There is exactly one way out of this mess. We have to shut this feedback loop down now. Going after the perpetrators is fine. But right now we have to separate the real perpetrators from the thousands of red-blooded Iraqi citizens who have been sucked into this conflict. If we continue to bludgeon the populace indiscriminately with 500-lb bombs and collective punishment, you'll be amazed how quickly we can lose an entire country's support. And if that happens, then what's the point of being there at all?

It sickens me that a handful of thugs from a backwater desert nation have more common sense than our current leadership. But maybe this is a lesson to us. We need to stop fighting with our balls and start using our brains-- what are we trying to accomplish over there that will be advanced by brute force military displays? Imagine you were a "freedom fighter" with no concern for Iraqi or American lives-- how would you like the US to respond? Please, people, stop drinking the kool-aid, and use a little bit of that famous American ingenuity.

You are right on target. (none / 1) (#115)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 07:10:02 AM EST

The problem is developing the tactics that allow Private Ryan to defend himself without causing collateral damage.

It's particularly rough when the bad guys have no scruples at all about hiding behind the innocent while they shoot.

Will we line up for Grand Theft Auto 5 if it's the exact same thing, only with prettier texture-mapped bruises on the whores? -- David Wong
[ Parent ]

We should have seen this coming (none / 1) (#118)
by dachshund on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 08:52:48 AM EST

The problem is developing the tactics that allow Private Ryan to defend himself without causing collateral damage. It's particularly rough when the bad guys have no scruples at all about hiding behind the innocent while they shoot.

It's one of the reasons we should have thought this through before entering into this situation. After all, we know what the bad guys are like-- it's something we don't have a lot of control over, and this isn't the first time these tactics have been used (Palestine, Somalia, anyone?). In fact, the only surprise is that it's taken so long for the insurgents to succeed. I hope the leadership was smart enough to see this coming, but judging from the reaction I'm worried that they didn't.

As for developing new techniques... I hope we can do this. But I have to admit that it's a long shot even if there is a political will to do so-- and I'm not sure there are too many level-headed, diplomatic tacticians calling the shots right now. We can't afford too many more weeks like this one.

Finally, we need to think carefully about what we're trying to acheive with out military force, and consider how much greater the threat will be if we overdo it. I think we're moving rapidly away from any hope of creating a secular democracy (I don't think there was much chance of this anyway.) Even the politicians are admitting that a Sistani-style Islamic theocracy is a best-case. I suppose an Al Qaida-friendly failed state is a good possibility now, too.

[ Parent ]

We DID See This Coming (none / 2) (#187)
by jameth on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 09:09:42 AM EST

This is why many people complained that going into Iraq would result in us getting bogged down. Bush and the rest of the current leadership were the only ones who seemed to think this could come out clean.

[ Parent ]
Thanks for clearing that up .. (none / 3) (#188)
by myyth on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 09:49:16 AM EST

It's particularly rough when the bad guys have no scruples at all about hiding behind the innocent while they shoot.

Oh, I see ... that's why we have all those dead civilians in Falluja.

I mean, with those first hand reports of American troops firing upon ambulances, women and children (here), Amnesty International reporting over 600 killed in Falluja (here), when we have a whole brigade of Iraq Soldiers who refused to enter Falluja because they (stupidly) wouldn't risk the lives of innocent women and children just because four american mercenaries were killed (here) - by the way, the Americans have locked all 200 of them up - and, with even the British military is uncomfortable about how the Americans are handling the situation in Iraq (here) .. I thought it was because the "good guys" were shooting first and asking questions later.

Now I can see that they were shooting at the "bad guys" hiding behind all of those innocent civilians.

I guess its lucky you watched all of those Die Hard and Lethal Weapon movies ... so you can tell the good guys from the bad.

[ Parent ]

If the objective were peace, and a better world... (2.66 / 6) (#121)
by Fantastic Lad on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 09:57:39 AM EST

then your suggestions wouldn't even be necessary.

The top of the pyramid command staff who ordered cluster bombs dropped on civilians, I'm sure, had ample logistical intelligence provided to let them know that such actions tend to upset chances for a smooth ride.

The people at the top WANT a protracted, messy war.

Protracted, messy wars are the only kind that deliver lots of fast money into the hands of the Bushites and their military contractor friends. Messy, protracted wars are also the only sort which allow for the kind of global chaos necessary to feed the Christian neo-con self-destructive desire to 'bring on' the apocalypse.

Honestly. If people really wanted to change the Iraqi leadership, it could be done quickly and easily without any bombing. That idiot game, 'Ghost Recon' is stone-age bullshit, but the general idea is right. There are covert teams with the kind of technology and training which could have easily taken the Iraqi government in very short order, no questions, no problems.

Technology available and used. . .

-Light weight, bullet proof suits.
-City-wide subduing mind-control EM.
-Non nuclear grenade rockets which can be carried on your belt and which can flatten a 5km area. (Not that you'd even need something like that.)
-Soldiers with martial arts training which makes Matrix-Neo look like a chimp. (Think Ghurkas)
-Pre-installed dictators who do as you tell them, so you don't need to have the situation there in the first place.

Big, rah rah armies are for parades only. --And big, messy, protracted wars on humanity. The current situation is entirely a stage production and social engineering project with the objective to leave only a few million people alive when all is said and done.

A plan, interestingly enough, which is going to fail. The planners of such actions have a curious proclivity for cocaine-sex and wishful thinking. Leaves them open to error, which in the long run, will deposit them in the ditch while those very few who aren't stupid enough to fall for their lies have the opportunity to survive this whole thing and come out on the other side of the looking glass intact.

What happens then is anybody's guess.

-FL

[ Parent ]

What have you been smoking? (none / 1) (#196)
by Quila on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 01:27:27 AM EST

-Light weight, bullet proof suits.

Too expensive. Even SF isn't issued that. But even with the light-weight suits, the wearer is usually injured to some extent.

-City-wide subduing mind-control EM.

Doesn't exist.

-Non nuclear grenade rockets which can be carried on your belt and which can flatten a 5km area. (Not that you'd even need something like that.)

Doesn't exist.

-Soldiers with martial arts training which makes Matrix-Neo look like a chimp. (Think Ghurkas)

Even our SF guys aren't that good.

Remember, video games are not necessarily reality.

[ Parent ]

What are SF guys? (none / 0) (#197)
by Fantastic Lad on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 09:55:01 AM EST

You speak with authority about something you seem to have very limited knowledge in. Perhaps you need to do a little more networking. . ?

I am not coming from nowhere with this stuff, and I'm not quoting from the web. Think about it and don't let ego get in your way. That's the real trick and barrier between the self and extending one's knowledge.

What you know is not what makes you special. It's that you seek.

-FL

[ Parent ]

You know about such stuff, but.. (none / 0) (#200)
by Quila on Sun Apr 18, 2004 at 08:57:35 PM EST

You don't know what SF means? It means "Special Forces," the elite of the U.S. military. In addition to their other military training, these people go through up to a year of specialized training designed to weed out all but the best. Actually, a good chunk of people are weeded out before they even get to the school. Then they go to language school for 1+ years. When they go out on missions, these people always get the latest and greatest of equipment, and are trained in the latest techniques for tactics, killing and maniuplation..

You speak with authority about something you seem to have very limited knowledge in.

I work with SF.

That's the real trick and barrier between the self and extending one's knowledge.

The real trick is knowing BS when you see it.

[ Parent ]

Science Fiction. . . (none / 0) (#202)
by Fantastic Lad on Mon Apr 19, 2004 at 02:24:53 PM EST

You don't know what SF means? It means "Special Forces," the elite of the U.S. military.

Ah. Should have guessed. Still, anybody who uses acronyms in arrogance without defining them is too interested in playing at elitism to ever actually be elite. Sorry. Psyche one-oh-one. It's a dead give away.

Actually, a good chunk of people are weeded out before they even get to the school. Then they go to language school for 1+ years. When they go out on missions, these people always get the latest and greatest of equipment, and are trained in the latest techniques for tactics, killing and maniuplation..

Yes this is true, but if you don't know about the kind of technology that I've described, then the people you work with are either lying to you, or they are a bunch of chimps who didn't make the grade. There are levels within levels, you see.

I work with SF.

Call it what you want. If you are being honest, then you work for a paramilitary wing of the stage-production version of the U.S. military which only thinks they are the elite. If you are both honest and 'the real thing', then you'd not be retarded enough to be screwing around like this on the internet.

The simple fact that I'm even discussing this with you means that on at least one level, (and probably several), you are not presenting truth.

At least you sound honest in it. The ignorant are better than assholes any day of the week.

-FL

[ Parent ]

Illuminati (none / 0) (#203)
by Quila on Mon Apr 19, 2004 at 10:41:06 PM EST

You must be one of the Illuminati to know so much.

Still, anybody who uses acronyms in arrogance without defining them is too interested in playing at elitism to ever actually be elite.

It's automatic. Like people in computer circles saying "CPU" and "USB" all the time. Take off the tin foil hat.

if you don't know about the kind of technology that I've described

I know about the idea of it, but it's still the PM (that's "Popular Mechanics" for the cynical) pie-in-the-sky wishfulness we've seen on their covers for years. For example, even diazyltetrozolate or octanitrocubane (the latter extremely difficult to synthesize in any quantity) can't flatten a 5K radius with only a couple kilos of compound.

then you work for a paramilitary wing of the stage-production version of the U.S. military

Huh? SF is only a branch of the Army with a MOS designator like any other. However, they are quite definitely elite, just like the Navy's Seals. They go in before anyone else before the war even starts. Sometimes they're in and out and the public never even knew a war went on, all of it classified.

BTW, none of what I am saying is even close to being sensitive information. It's all on public record.

[ Parent ]

I see. . . (none / 0) (#204)
by Fantastic Lad on Tue Apr 20, 2004 at 10:33:00 AM EST

You must be one of the Illuminati to know so much.

Pshaw. Not even if they paid me. --Knowledge sometimes comes to those who do not actively seek it, but who are willing to accept it nonetheless.

It's automatic. Like people in computer circles saying "CPU" and "USB" all the time. Take off the tin foil hat.

'CPU' and 'USB' are known acronyms. Everybody who uses a computer, and thus all K5 posters, know what they mean. 'SF' however, isn't a common acronym around here and you know that, which is why you used it; To sound impressive. Do you really want to continue on this track? Somebody with tactics training ought to know better.

I know about the idea of it, but it's still the PM (that's "Popular Mechanics" for the cynical) pie-in-the-sky wishfulness we've seen on their covers for years. For example, even diazyltetrozolate or octanitrocubane (the latter extremely difficult to synthesize in any quantity) can't flatten a 5K radius with only a couple kilos of compound.

I see. So "non-nuclear" means "chemical", then, does it?

Huh? SF is only a branch of the Army with a MOS designator like any other. However, they are quite definitely elite, just like the Navy's Seals. They go in before anyone else before the war even starts. Sometimes they're in and out and the public never even knew a war went on, all of it classified.

There are those who roll their eyes when you mention, 'Navy Seals'. Levels within levels.

And what the heck does 'MOS' mean? (Though this time you're just being belligerent as opposed to arrogant. Simply put, the big guns are not given to those who haven't managed to sort out this kind of simple ego issue.)

-FL

[ Parent ]

A little history... (none / 1) (#201)
by DigDug on Mon Apr 19, 2004 at 06:17:07 AM EST

Pre-installed dictators who do as you tell them, so you don't need to have the situation there in the first place.

Uh... Have you forgotten history altogether? That's how Saddam Hussein came to power in the first place. He was put in power largely by the United States (CIA, to be exact) to fight Iran.


--
Yavista - if you haven't found a nice homepage yet.

[ Parent ]

I Created a Poster (none / 1) (#117)
by darkonc on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 08:03:52 AM EST

I was so upset by the prospect of the US attacking Najaf that I created a protest poster. If anybody has a good use for it, feel free.
Killing a person is hard. Killing a dream is murder. : : : ($3.75 hosting)
Why shouldn't iraqi's fight americans? (3.00 / 9) (#152)
by raj2569 on Thu Apr 15, 2004 at 02:48:11 PM EST

I am from India and watch news daily to see what is going on in Iraq. Most of it's from CNN and BBC. (it's a pity that Al Jazeera is not avaiable) India is a nation opposed to war in the first place and still do.

When I see news where Gen Kimmit talks about being dissapointed by Iraqi soldires and urging people to collaborate with them, the natural question that comes to my mind is, why shouldn't they fight the oppressers.

I am not impressed by the "thugs and bandits" theory. People who staged armed rebellion against the current empire were always termed as such. From my perspective I do not see any difference between people who tried to evict British from India with violent means and the people who kill Americans.

Americans had no business to be at Iraq to start with. Iraq was never a threat to them. Even if they were, they need not had to hide behind WMD to that remove that threat. They did not need any WMD excuse to attack Taliban and most of the world supported them.

North Korea is a bigger threat to US but if you touch them they will sting real hard. It was not about removing a dictator either. Then they could have started at one end of Africa distributng freedom all along. Americans were not interested in Iraqi's freedom when Saddam was "Our Dictator", just like Pres. Musharaff now. (not comparing their oppression though, just that both are dictators.) And that situation has not changed even now. All Americans wants is to put a puppet in Bagdad.

Then their is this talk about bringing them civilization. Bush talks about this a lot. wtf is that B**tard talking about? Iraq is one of cradles of civilization and even if they are economically poor now, that do not lessen their culture and civilization. perhaps Bush do not understand what it means to be civilised.

Enough rant. coming back to my original question, why an American in Iraq is not a legitimate target of Iraqi freedom fightors and why shouldn't they fight Americans to kick them out of their country?

I am waiting for the news that one day Americans are ejected out of Iraq and Iraq is ruled by Iraqis. That will make world safe from American agression for next 30 years.

raj

Well then (none / 1) (#192)
by BloodmoonACK on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 07:25:45 PM EST

Ok, first off America is not going to be kicked out of Iraq by Iraqis. I'm not sure how this would happen, mainly because of the commitment to remove troops by June 30 (which seems like a political winner either way - if the war is going poorly, as it seems to, then the withdrawal is "sticking to our promises" while also pulling out of a crappy situation. If the war is going well, then we have also "stuck to our promises" and "liberated the Iraqis toward a better future"). Look, the Iraqis have killed HOW many people so far? While it's a lot, relative to how many we've lost in the post twenty years, it's nothing when looking at the magnitude. The *ONLY* way the Iraqis would kick the Americans out was if they killed massive numbers and the political pressure got to be too large - which doesn't look to me as if it would happen, since Bush is pandering to the right in this one, and the right seems pretty firmly committed to the "liberation" theory. I think it would take a *lot* before this starts becoming politically potent on the right.

So we're left with the question of whether the Iraqis *should* be trying to rebel. Well, I'm not quite sure what to say here. I have two somewhat different views (and this is coming from an American, so it's obviously biased). First, there is the view that the American military is an occupying force, and self-determination is a noble goal that the Iraqis should be striving for. I *understand* this view, and I know where it's coming from, but it appears to be both (1) politically motivated and (2) naive. It's politically motivated because it comes from people like Sadr who want an Islamic government, not a democratic one, dominated with people from his sect of Islam. It's naive because the whole premise seems to be situated on the assumption that the U.S. would not otherwise leave and that Iraq would be better of if the U.S. left *now*. I don't think that Iraq would be better off if the U.S. left now (the Iraqi security forces that the U.S. has been training looked on in Fallujah - very well trained, obviously). My best guess would be that Iraq would devolve even moreso into a factionalized nation ruled by local warlords/clerics. Also, I certainly think that the U.S. *will* leave on it's own.

I believe that the source of the rebellion is also naivity because it appears to be a function of the assumption that America is trying to harm Iraq (a subconscious belief) and that Iraq would be better off with UN troops as opposed to American troops (which is certainly what would happen) - or even that there would be no foreign occupiers. Well, sorry to tell you this, but I honestly don't believe that the U.S. is trying to harm Iraq. As much as I dislike Bush, I truly believe he is (right now) trying to make Iraq a better place. Let me declare that I think the war in the first place was a poorly conceived idea. Now, however, there is infrastructure development, there is job creation, there is a lot of improvement - but it's not coming fast enough, which leads to people thinking that America is not truly trying to help Iraq.

My other view is that Iraq should look to it's own self interest. Yes, I think the war was wrong. However, it *happened* and we can't change that now. If America is saying that it will turn over power on June 30, wait until then. Why are they so impatient? What would rebellion truly accomplish for them? After June 30, if there is no turn-over of power, if Iraq is not ruled by Iraqis, then fine, rebel, I totally understand. But to do so before then is just fucking stupid. What do they lose? The money that should be going to build roads, schools, and other infrastructure, as well as people *attempting* to keep the peace. What do they gain? Rule by their chosen cleric in a certain portion of the country? Self-determination? Well, of a sort.

"It's like declaring a 'war on crime' and then claiming every (accused) thief is an 'enemy combatant'." - Hizonner
[ Parent ]

Sadly this "Fog" is synthetic. (none / 0) (#185)
by stpna5 on Sat Apr 17, 2004 at 03:58:04 AM EST

It emanates from an adminstration that lives walled away from the peons and the fog is produced by media stagecraft--the smoke machine of Pentagon disinformation. There is then unleashed a blast of partitioned, corporate-media Orwellian hyperspeak. Heroes. Evil-doers. Freedom. War is Peace.

The per-diem cost is $3000 to $5000 per man for a defense "subcontractor" Hessian like those who were barbecued and hoisted up as human bridge decorations by the mob in the "city of mosques".

Oh the irony in one of those comments! (none / 1) (#205)
by Lethyos on Wed Apr 21, 2004 at 02:36:27 PM EST

It's a battle against people who vehemently oppose a democratic Iraq. The task is to crush those enemies without making life impossible for those who fundamentally want what we want.

The cognitive dissonance in this comment rivals that of our own president. How do people function in the morass of such doublethink?



earth, my body; water, my blood; air, my breath; fire, my spirit
views inside US and outside are very different (none / 1) (#207)
by raj2569 on Thu Apr 22, 2004 at 02:16:45 PM EST

it comes from people like Sadr who want an Islamic government, not a democratic one, dominated with people from his sect of Islam.

What is wrong with it? Americans wants a democratic elections in their country, iraqis wants another form. North Koreans wants another form of Govt. It is not for outsiders to decide what is good for every one. Sadr was not not trying to bring his form of govt in US of A. So if majority of them wants such a Govt so be it. What is your probelm with it? (you as in Bush Admn.)

I honestly don't believe that the U.S. is trying to harm Iraq.

But I guess rest of the world do not subscribe to that view. Coupled with recent meeting of Sharon and Bush, where they both presented an excellent opportunity to palastinians, not many view bush as a do gooder.

raj
PS: Sorry did not check for spelling errors

Piercing the Fog of War | 210 comments (204 topical, 6 editorial, 5 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!