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Four Years Later

On the fourth anniversary of the Iraq invasion, Christopher Hitchens asks and answers some essential questions about the decision to invade Iraq.

Four years after the first coalition soldiers crossed the Iraqi border, one can attract pitying looks (at best) if one does not take the view that the whole engagement could have been and should have been avoided. Those who were opposed to the operation from the beginning now claim vindication, and many of those who supported it say that if they had known then what they know now, they would have spoken or voted differently.

What exactly does it mean to take the latter position? At what point, in other words, ought the putative supporter to have stepped off the train? The question isn't as easy to answer as some people would have you believe.

Read it all.


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Comments (74)

I was one of 20% of America... (Below threshold)
kim:

I was one of 20% of Americans who thought that no-fly zones and UN sanctions and inspections ws keeping Saddam in line. I expected the Iraqi people to overthrow him with our help. I didn't believe Powell at the UN. I have radically changed my mind after reading Duelfer on Saddam's intentions, and Rossett on his methods. He needed taking down, and we needed to do it. Whoever planned a war, anyway.
========================

There is no believer like a... (Below threshold)
kim:

There is no believer like a convert. There was no better course than the one Bush initially took. We probably should have partitioned it then.
===================

The problems with all regre... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The problems with all regretted decisions is that you can't know the outcome of the choice you now think would have been better. If somehow you could know, you might see that your first choice was the best choice. Hindsight is only 20-20 looking back at the path taken, but usually can't tell you much about paths not taken.

Hee, hee, the retrospectosc... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hee, hee, the retrospectoscope is the finest diagnostic instrument known to man.
=============================

Saddam was a gathering dang... (Below threshold)
kim:

Saddam was a gathering danger. We took him out in timely fashion.
============================

"At what point, in other wo... (Below threshold)
semanticleo:

"At what point, in other words, ought the putative supporter to have stepped off the train?"

It would appear prudent to get off before the wreck
snuffs you out. Glad he finally put down the Hennesey long enough to make a semi-coherent point of flaccidity.

He, like so many others, are tied-at-the-hip to the Iraq debacle, and so as not to appear weak (because only the weak admit error) and begin eating a mountain of crow. I hear it tastes like
'chicken'.

semantic leo,If we... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

semantic leo,

If we leave Iraq too early and the war just follows the troops home those who wanted to cut and run will be eating the crow.

If we leave Iraq too early ... (Below threshold)

If we leave Iraq too early we will simply go back in time to 9-10-01. Nothing will be changed, no progress will have been made. The danger will be the same. Radical Islam will be the same. Iraq will be the same hell. Iran will have the same ambitions. The Taliban may have moved from Afghanistan to Somalia, but it will be the same. The United States, the great Satan, will be blamed for all the hardship and pain suffered by the citizens of represive regimes in the middle east. Just like before. The genocide will continue in Darfur. It will recommence in Iraq.

The chance we have to birth an example of representative government with the concept of ethnic plurality and equality under the law, will be gone. Only the example of our unreliability will remain.

And all because it wasn't quite effortless enough.

Does someone think it will be easier next time?

I'd really rather send my kids over there for a peaceful accompanied tour than send them over to start all over again clearing Falluja.

That's a good piece. It wou... (Below threshold)
VagaBond:

That's a good piece. It would interesting to look at a fictious retrospective if we HADN'T invaded Iraq. Say like, Saddam Hussein just viloated his 28th UN resolution, etc.

If we leave Iraq, it won't ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

If we leave Iraq, it won't be the same. It will be worse. Iran will use the Shiite area as a terrorist sponsoring proxy. Al Queda will use the Sunni part as a new homebase.

The slaughter of anyone who helped us will be phenomenal.

If we leave now, we will only be coming back later after much misery. And this time the world will call us bastards for not intervening.

I LOVE the spectacle of the... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

I LOVE the spectacle of these formerly(?) Marxist and Straussian, neo-liberal Scoop Jackson fans scrambling to maintain their own political viability. As jo would might type while smoking a corncob pipe: BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

Note to Wizbang: neo-libera... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Note to Wizbang: neo-liberals morphed into neocons when the Cons ascended to power. They're parasites. Their host has lately been the Zionist "Christian" Republican wing of American politicos who're undergoing the rigor mortis process right now. Or to guage from these "apologies".

"If we leave Iraq too ea... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"If we leave Iraq too early we will simply go back in time to 9-10-01. Nothing will be changed, no progress will have been made. The danger will be the same. Radical Islam will be the same. Iraq will be the same hell. Iran will have the same ambitions. The Taliban may have moved from Afghanistan to Somalia, but it will be the same. The United States, the great Satan, will be blamed for all the hardship and pain suffered by the citizens of represive regimes in the middle east. Just like before. The genocide will continue in Darfur. It will recommence in Iraq."

That's a lot of words just to say that there has been no progress in the Global War on Terror, that we've made no headway on Iraq in terms of curbing or eliminating al Qaeda, and that to continue along the same course we've followed so far will only lead to wasted lives and money. You're right - nothing's changed.

I hope you plan to vote Democratic in the '08 election so we can quit this insanity...

"there has been no progress... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

"there has been no progress in the Global War on Terror"

Riiiiight. If you're credibilty could get any worse lee, it would have after that statement.

Those who were opposed t... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Those who were opposed to the operation from the beginning now claim vindication...

And that's the twisted part in all this; claiming vindication instead of wanting complete and total success for the operation; a "See, I told you so!" vindication that's just wrong. Let me explain why with an analogy.

Recently, a friend moved to another state, quitting a wonderful job where he'd just been hired to take another job of equal pay yet far less reputable in our line of work. (Semi-burning a bridge in the process.) I knew this was a bad decision. I laid out the reasons to him of why it was a bad decision and that my experience told me he would be terribly unhappy at this particular place. But no matter what decision he made I would stand by his choice.

Guess what happened? Not more than 5 days after he started he called and basically said "oh boy, this place is not what they told me. It sucks". Of course, my first instinct was to go "See! I told you so!" because, yes, there was validation and vindication of what I had warned him about. But I didn't do that. Why? Because loyal and true friends don't rub it in the other's nose when they make a mistake. It accomplishes nothing, zero, nada. You listen, you talk, you try to solve or figure out how to best deal with situation as it stands and find reasonable and realistic solutions to the problem. In short, be a friend. What you don't do is gloat like an 8-year old and say "See! I told you so!"

So, if anyone feels vindicated for being "right" about the war from the outset, then I openly question your loyalty as a friend to this country. You can warn and critisize and question until the cows come home. Those are good and (hopefully) well-meaning things. However, what you don't do is root for its loss, and gloat over its mistakes and failures like an 8-year old. That just makes you a lousy friend that nobody wants around.

bryanDirtbag & "pucker puss... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

bryanDirtbag & "pucker puss" (lee lee) (RTP) (RM) your two cut and run cowardly pieces of liberal pig crap. Does p'p' really thinks anyone gives a rats ass what he thinks about Iraq? His (or her's) post sound like your demo sound byte of the day. Quack quack.Don't get your hopes up to much there p'p'. (case in point-anti-war protestors in D.C. Sat.--nothing but a bunch of kooks showed up.) You are now seeing the start of protests the other way from here out.

Well said Peter F. (take no... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Well said Peter F. (take note p'p' and the rest)

Lee never makes sense, Barn... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Lee never makes sense, Barney writes satire, and who the hell EVER knows that bryanD is saying. I don't think English is his first language

jhow666, what does RTP and ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

jhow666, what does RTP and RM mean? And could you go back to addressing me as bryanDumbass? Using a label maker from 1974, I festooned my cyber porn nook with bryanDumbass stickers. Unfortunately, I'm all out of that label-tape stuff.

And that's the twisted p... (Below threshold)
Brian:

And that's the twisted part in all this; claiming vindication

And then you proceed with attacks on this strawman. Ho hum.

So, if anyone feels vindicated for being "right" about the war from the outset, then I openly question your loyalty as a friend to this country.

And if anyone ridicules someone who was "right" about the war from the outset, then I openly question your loyalty as a friend to this country!

What you call "vindication", those who were proven right call "being right". And they bring this to your attention not to gloat, but to say "I was right, and Bush was wrong; so why do you keep listening to him instead of me?"

Howard Dean was a veritable Nostradamus about what's happened in Iraq, but you won't listen to him about what to do now. Why is that? Because you think he's wrong. Well, you were wrong about thinking he was wrong in the past, and you were wrong about thinking that Bush was right in the past. So rather than follow the advice of those who were proven right in the past, you paint their accuracy as something to be dismissed.

These attacks on those who you admit were "vindicated" are no more than your own sour grapes and your inability to admit that you bet on the wrong horse. And, I dare say, your continued support for those who you admit were wrong shows that you are not serious about solving the situation.

Brian, you lost all of us a... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Brian, you lost all of us at "Howard Dean....."

Sorry, but don't bring up the screamer and expect for anyone to be able to type while wiping their drool from laughing so hard. K?

Thanks.

"That's a lot of words just... (Below threshold)

"That's a lot of words just to say that there has been no progress in the Global War on Terror,..."

I'm not at all surprised you'd see it that way, Lee.

I am surprised that you don't see it as a problem.

Vote Democrat? Why exactly would that translate to progress in the Global War on Terror? Democrats are owned by the netroots, terror-denialists of the first order. We've made progress which the Democrats would happily see undone if it means winning the White House.

Why would voting Democrat be something I could even consider?

For years they've represented a constituency more concerned with our popularity in Europe than any threat we might face from other parts of the world. Granted, multiculturalism doesn't allow us to criticize other cultures even when they produce butchers. We've got that "higher standard" thing going on I suppose, where the smallest mote is enough to condemn us and not very much is expected of anyone else. Sorta like they're, ya know, primative savages and can't really help it.

I should vote for Democrats to have the intestinal fortitude to do what is necessary in the face of European disapproval? Maybe they'll, ya know, stick some sanctions on somebody and give some speeches about how much they care about the poor people dying in Darfur and maybe they'll bemoan the horror in the middle east, and maybe they'll remember that the Taliban is evil and feminists will start to campain again to free their sisters... this time in Somalia. Dratted Bush, forcing them to actually support the misogynist bastards.

If a Dem candidate took the terror threat seriously and had the balls to stand up to world opinion and do anything about it, they wouldn't be the Dem candidate.

Brian, you lost all of u... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, you lost all of us at "Howard Dean....."

Hi, Sock Puppet Jo! Thanks for demonstrating exactly my point. So just wipe up your drool, figure out who was most wrong about Iraq, and go listen to them. And in three years, when it becomes clear who today is making accurate predictions about Iraq (hint: not Bush), you can mock them for being correct also. I'm not sure why you think it's valuable to follow the advice of those who were consistently wrong in the past. But it's probably related to your drooling problem. How much drool can a sock puppet hold, anyway?

Well, Brian's lost in his i... (Below threshold)
kim:

Well, Brian's lost in his image and mirages of Mesopotamia. Was it daffodils strewn in the conqueror's path, of jonquils?
======================================

Please tell me, Brian, how ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Please tell me, Brian, how you could prove Nostradamus, or anyone with his powers, wrong?
===============================

Please tell me, Brian, h... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Please tell me, Brian, how you could prove Nostradamus, or anyone with his powers, wrong?

How do you prove someone's predictions wrong? This seems so simplistic a question that perhaps I'm not understanding it. But if that's all you're really asking, then see "will be greeted as liberators", "weeks, not months", and "last throes" for some good reference material.

NUMBER ONE.We should... (Below threshold)
j:

NUMBER ONE.
We should have a foot print right in the middle of the problem.

It does not matter how the foot print gets there or how we ligitimize it!

All other arguments are just cover for this simple concept.
J.
NUMBER TOO.
SEE NUMBER ONE.

So what did the surrender m... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

So what did the surrender monkeys say on the eve of the invasion (2/03 UN Speech):

The option of war might seem a priori to be the swiftest. But let us not forget that having won the war, one has to build peace. Let us not delude ourselves; this will be long and difficult because it will be necessary to preserve Iraq's unity and restore stability in a lasting way in a country and region harshly affected by the intrusion of force.

No one can assert today that the path of war will be shorter than that of the inspections. No one can claim either that it might lead to a safer, more just and more stable world. For war is always the sanction of failure. Would this be our sole recourse in the face of the many challenges at this time?

Such intervention could have incalculable consequences for the stability of this scarred and fragile region. It would compound the sense of injustice, increase tensions and risk paving the way to other conflicts.

Ten days ago, the US Secretary of State, Mr. Powell, reported the alleged links between al-Qaeda and the regime in Baghdad. Given the present state of our research and intelligence, in liaison with our allies, nothing allows us to establish such links.

On the other hand, we must assess the impact that disputed military action would have on this plan. Would not such intervention be liable to exacerbate the divisions between societies, cultures and peoples, divisions that nurture terrorism?


Damn those French, so smug and smart.

That's dirty pool, Barney! ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

That's dirty pool, Barney! The devils have hated the French since they carried the Curia off to Auvignon. Your playing with fire, now! Hexes, voodoo, little green footballs, wedgies, swirlies, indian burns, etc.

barney: "For war is always ... (Below threshold)
Hitler, Tojo, Mussolini:

barney: "For war is always the sanction of failure."???

Hurrah!! That means the Allies lost!!!

Of course, we're talking about the French, who haven't won even a major battle in 200 years and actively supported their Third Reich Occupiers!!

Hurrah!! We love the French!!

So was Nostradamus right or... (Below threshold)
kim:

So was Nostradamus right or wrong, oh Wise One?
============================

And then you proceed wit... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

And then you proceed with attacks on this strawman. Ho hum.

Exactly how have I misreprented the original position (which is the basic falalcy of a straw man argument) of those who have been "right" all along. You said yourself that people like Dean and the anti-war folks have been "right" all along, so who am I or what position am I misrepresenting.

Just for the record, let's say that even if things were hunky dorey and there were roses coming out of everyone's asses in Iraq, what would be my response? I'll tell you what. Not vindication and gloating, but graciousnes. I'll even give you an example: The Iraqis have held 3 incredibly successful elections, relatively free of the violence they were predicted to have. I was glad to hear it. But the last thing I did was stick a finger in some liberal's chest and say "told ya so!" because it accomplishes nothing and only serves to alienate.

Predictions of doom and gloom have come true in some casses in this war--some, like the Sunni-S'hia violence, too few troops to bring about peace, etc, were seemingly unaccounted for or not considered important. Should that honestly be any reason for any one to feel vindicated over something so negative?

Hey, let's take a look down... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Hey, let's take a look down memory lane. What has the Prez said on prior anniversaries?

And it is a good thing that the men and women across the Middle East, looking to Iraq, are getting a glimpse of what life in a free country can be like. Bush 3/19/04 (not so good)

We have seen many encouraging signs in Iraq. The free people of Iraq are now doing what Saddam Hussein never could -- making Iraq a positive example for the entire Middle East. Bush 3/29/05 (civil war is positive?)

We are implementing a strategy that will lead to victory in Iraq. Bush 3/19/06 (until we change strategies)

Warms your heart, doesn't it?

"Should that honestly be... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Should that honestly be any reason for any one to feel vindicated over something so negative?"

Abso-frigging-lutely! You think Americans haven't noticed that the Democrats/liberals' predictions about this debacle are coming true? Look for a landslide Democratic Party win in '08 as a result, and that will be the ultimate vindication.

And notice the people who follow below on this thread with comments disputing my prediction are the same ones who claimed the Dems wouldn't win in '06, and are the same commenters who said the Iraq would not turn into a civil war, and who have more recently said the surge was necessary and needed - - -

Just more blah blah blah Bullshit! from the incompetent right.

i think the Kurds would not... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

i think the Kurds would not agree that we have failed entirely in Iraq.

http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001407.html

From the Presidents speech,... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

From the Presidents speech, exactly 4 years ago:
"A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict. And helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment."

"Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force. And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures, and we will accept no outcome but victory."

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030319-17.html

For those like Barney that lie even to themselves about Bush promising a short, easy war.

Barney: Proving once again ... (Below threshold)
brainy435:

Barney: Proving once again that he thinks the bloody fingers of Saddam's elections were more righteous than the purple fingers of the free Iraqis elections.

Abso-frigging-lutely!</i... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Abso-frigging-lutely!

I expected nothing less from you.

brainy: "I assure you, this... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

brainy: "I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures,..

We didn't know he meant 1/4 measures.

Yet, the only way to reduce... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Yet, the only way to reduce the harm and duration of war is to apply the full force and might of our military, and we are prepared to do so. Bush 3/17/03

Too bad he didn't keep his promise. He might have avoided the death of thousands of Americans.

It's funny how practically ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

It's funny how practically ALL the Dems, and Repubs., were for the war in 2003, but now act like, "who, me?"

C'mon, and be a man/woman.

And the Libs who never thought the people of Afghanistan and Iraq were worth it, well, there's not a whole lot of "liberal" in those liberals anymore.

brainy435: NO "HALF MEASURE... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

brainy435: NO "HALF MEASURES"??? Airport road. 2+ miles long. 4 years. STILL unsecure. If logistics isn't too much for Field Marshal Bush, can we call the old Office of Urban Renewal. The old wrecking ball? Some NO THRU TRAFFIC signs? Then road flares and barriers and a free fire zone?

What about the likelihood t... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

What about the likelihood that Baghdad is largely pacified, and then we go workin' on Anbar.

Have you turds (that would be Barney, Lee, and Bryanass) ever considered the possibility?

If so, would you be against our successful ops. in Iraq? Would you still want to pull out, even after violence is controlled?

I know what your answer is, if you would only give it honestly.

BryanAss, the airport road ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

BryanAss, the airport road is secure now.

Need new talking points, idiot.

Exactly how have I misre... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Exactly how have I misreprented the original position (which is the basic falalcy of a straw man argument) of those who have been "right" all along. You said yourself that people like Dean and the anti-war folks have been "right" all along, so who am I or what position am I misrepresenting.

There was no "original position". You're perpetuating Hitchens' strawman right from the start. There are none "claiming vindication". There are only those pointing out that they are better at predicting consequences than Bush is. And as a successful means to convince more people to listen to them, that's a wholly appropriate approach.

Just for the record, let's say that even if things were hunky dorey and there were roses coming out of everyone's asses in Iraq, what would be my response? I'll tell you what. Not vindication and gloating, but graciousnes.

Gee, and that would be such an effort were the situation all hunky dorey. Unfortunately, the situation is a disaster. This is not a time to graciously point out the problems. This is a time to smack the right in the face and ask, "what the hell are you thinking?!" If we're standing on a railroad track and you said no train was coming, it's easy for you to be gracious if you turned out to be right. But if *I* turned out to be right, I don't think you'd want me being all gracious about it!

I'll even give you an example: The Iraqis have held 3 incredibly successful elections

Oh yes, very successful. Why, I believe the influence of those elected now actually extends slightly beyond the green zone!

Should that honestly be any reason for any one to feel vindicated over something so negative?

If you truly cared about fixing the problems, you wouldn't care about what those who were correct were feeling, or how they presented themselves. All you would care about was that they were right, and therefore those are the people you should be listening to. Otherwise, you're just saying, "those people who were right are such assholes... I'm going to keep listening to the nice people who were wrong!"

What about the likelihoo... (Below threshold)
Brian:

What about the likelihood that Baghdad is largely pacified

Oh, wonderful! It took only four years to secure one city! Let's see... four years per city means we'll be in Iraq for how long?

BryanAss, the airport road is secure now.

Yes, it is. Let's look at what that took:

For 2 1/2 years, the road was, in many ways, a symbol of the U.S. failure to secure Iraq.

...

Then, the officer told him the mission: to secure the airport road, which had become a huge embarrassment for the military.

...

Harris started by slowing down the convoys, forcing soldiers to look out and see the passing landscape. Then he sent troops into the surrounding neighborhoods. Barriers went up, preventing cars and trucks from reaching the airport road unless they passed through a military checkpoint. The Iraqi army set up positions and stayed 24 hours a day.


"We've kept up a vigilant presence," Harris said recently.

...

"Presence is definitely a key to our mission,"

...

Harris, 43, from Santa Maria, Calif., said that limiting access to the road had been a key to controlling it. The soldiers put up fences and barbed wire to keep cars and pedestrians from reaching the road. They have also erected concrete barriers within the neighborhoods that surround it.

So let's recap... after failing to secure the road for 2 1/2 years, the military launched a special effort to end this embarrassment. This effort required barricading the road and posting armed guards 24 hours a day. So if we need this constant effort for a single road, what will it take to secure the whole country?

Oh, and did we actually stop the attacks and the violence? Well, even with all that effort, no.

The insurgents have gone north, the men said, to a different route with another name, this one called Sword by the military. "The enemy's just gone up the road," Carter said

Need new talking points, idiot.

And you need better counter-examples.

There was no "original p... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

There was no "original position".

Then how could I possibly be making a straw man argument, you fool. (That's rhetorical, don't answer.) Your entire premise that I'm making a straw man argument is defunct.

There are none "claiming vindication".

Brian, read your damn words, you fool. You did so yourself.

Oh yes, very successful. Why, I believe the influence of those elected now actually extends slightly beyond the green zone!

A trite and juvenile response to an utterly amazing and significant world event. I'm sure 14 million Iraqis disagree with you.

Otherwise, you're just saying, "those people who were right are such assholes... I'm going to keep listening to the nice people who were wrong!"

No, no, no. I'll listen to you when you can come up with a reasonable (key word), realistic solution whose end result doesn't end up in full-scale sectarian genocide (and no it's not there now) and leaves the Iraqi government in the hands of AQ in Iraq or Shitte militias.

Come up with a plan that works to save the situation, not run from it. I'll be more than willing to listen then.

But I ain't holding my breath.

Brian, you're pathetic.... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Brian, you're pathetic.

You obviously root for us to lose, since you can't even bring yourself to speak of the current success without talking about the 4.5 years of horrible conditions.

It is a war, and it involves radical Islam. We've seen nothing like it before; so, folks like you fold like a leaf.

There's a new world out there; hope you don't get killed in it.

Peter F.: If a friend of mi... (Below threshold)
ChrisO:

Peter F.: If a friend of mine was in the position you described, I wouldn't be gloating either. But those of us who opposed the war were called traitors, cowards, Saddam supporters and a million other things, and repeatedly told by supporters of the war that we should die. Now that it turns out that we were right and they were really, really wrong, they're whining that we're gloating. We're not gloating, we're telling them to go fuck themselves. Sorry, but you guys got it wrong, and really fucked our country for years to come in the process. Now all you can do is clutch at little incremental straws, and try to pretend that every blip somehow eliminates the last four years of total incompetence by this administration and their Republican enablers in Congress.

And Kim, I call bullshit. If you were converted by a report that largely blew holes in the administrations's claims, just because the report said Saddam "wanted" to be a nuclear power; and by reporting from the right wing journalist and administration mouthpiece, then you're either very weak minded, or a bullshitter (or more likely both.) The invective you spew doesn't come from someone who switched sides because of their rational analysis of the situation. What a liar.

ChrisONew Name, sa... (Below threshold)
epador:

ChrisO

New Name, same old game.


ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Now that it turns out th... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Now that it turns out that we were right and they were really, really wrong, they're whining that we're gloating. We're not gloating, we're telling them to go fuck themselves.

Yes, you really DO know how to win people over to your side, don't you.


This is exactly why you deserve no more of a response to your hollow, factless and context-free rhetoric than this.

Then how could I possibl... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Then how could I possibly be making a straw man argument, you fool.

Well, I'll explain it to you again, using smaller words. Hitchens made a baseless strawman argument. You picked up on that and proceeded to attack "those" people who do not exist. Did that get through?

Brian, read your damn words, you fool. You did so yourself.

I'm apparently too much the fool, I can't find myself saying that. Please help by pointing out where I claimed "vindication".

A trite and juvenile response to an utterly amazing and significant world event.

Apparently you don't pay attention to world events, so you shouldn't be commenting on that which you don't understand.

I'm sure 14 million Iraqis disagree with you.

Is that how many are left in Iraq? About 25% of the middle class have fled. The rest are gearing up for escalation of their civil war. I think they cared when they voted, but they have long since abandoned any expectation of value coming from that.

I'll listen to you when you can come up with...

Ah, the fallback "oh yeah, well nevermind that we screwed everything up... how are you going to fix it?" argument. Hey, I'll listen to Bush when he can come up with what you ask for. Until then, every outcome looks like a dissolution of Iraq, and I see no reason for more Americans to die while waiting for that to happen.

leaves the Iraqi government in the hands of AQ in Iraq or Shitte militias.

AQ in Iraq is irrelevant, but you keep using them as the boogeyman of the Republican platform. Curious how you don't view Iraq falling into the control of Iran to be a problem. Perhaps that's what you're hoping for.

Come up with a plan that works to save the situation, not run from it. I'll be more than willing to listen then.

The situation is lost. There was a time when Bush could have saved it. That time has passed. When you're falling off a building and heading for the pavement, you're an idiot if you spend your time challenging others to tell you a better way you could have gotten off the building.

Brian, you're pathetic.<... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Brian, you're pathetic.

Wow, what a thoughtful rebuttal. You should write Bush and have him use that argument in his next address to the American people.

Hey, Mitchell! Look out! It's al Qaeda! BOO!

Appreciate the back-up, Bri... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Appreciate the back-up, Brian, but there's something still fishy about the sudden "only" 2 1/2 years being the timespan that the airport road was unsecured. Has anyone heard of VIPs DRIVING from the airport to the Green Zone? ( If not, it's not secure. The place should be like the DMZ!) Just last month congressmen were being subjected to the trademark helo ride from hell. And helos are risky in good conditions. And easy to shoot down with longarms. One slug touching one rotor blade...Not to mention the abrupt 30 foot drops from air pockets, etc. And last year (year 3 1/2) there were stories all over about the "unsecure airport road". I smell dead fish AND a rat. Probably CIA-DoD-media plants in CENTCOM re-writing history on the fly. Sorta kidding, but not really.

Oh, and 2 months ago the bu... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Oh, and 2 months ago the bull's eye on the chopper-full of Command Sergeant Majors and Senior Staff Officers! 200 years of military vig down the drain! All on one bird! That on the heals of the Green Zone incursion! Mitchell: go back to school or put some links, DINK!

And they bring this to y... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

And they bring this to your attention not to gloat, but to say "I was right, and Bush was wrong; so why do you keep listening to him instead of me?"

Your words, fool; not mine.

Peter F.Who said I... (Below threshold)
ChrisO:

Peter F.

Who said I wanted to win those assholes over to my side? If you read what I said, I was referring to the people who threw around accusations of treason and cowardice against people who opposed the war, as well as various fantasies about the different ways in which we should die. Why in the world would I give a damn about winning them over to my side?

As for being fact free, I would assert that my posts generally are chock full of facts. But when we're discussing how we react to the developments in the war what kind of facts were you expecting to see? The conversation is largely about emotional reactions. Would it have been better if I had told a lengthy and pointless story about a friend taking a new job, as if that was somehow relevant to the conversation?

Ooh, I want to hear about y... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Ooh, I want to hear about your friend's new job! I hope he's an astronaut. Or a professional sports figure.

Hey Saddam needed offing an... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hey Saddam needed offing and we had plenty of reasons to do so.

There is a new situation. Want to come on along and figger out how to deal with it?
==========================

Ladies and gentlemen, for... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Ladies and gentlemen, for those new to the neighborhood please keep your arms and legs in the vehicle. Better yet for ultimate protection keep your windows rolled up , many of the creatures at this site suffer from extreme BDS and ejaculation of the mouth. also, whatever you do , no matter how much they whine , cry and beg do not unlock your door or roll down your window even to throw food at them. Failure to heed these basic safety precautions will lead to permanent brain damage.

Todays featured embarrassment to the Human race part neanderthal and part jackass goes by the name of Lee. You can say he is the leader of this Motley Crew who feels the need to insult others intelligence while being oblivious to his lack there of.

Oh look! He just spouts off the following , please no flash photography , it gives him Diarea of the Mouth.


"And notice the people who follow below on this thread with comments disputing my prediction are the same ones who claimed the Dems wouldn't win in '06, and are the same commenters who said the Iraq would not turn into a civil war, and who have more recently said the surge was necessary and needed"

"The British poll determined 61 percent don't believe they're in a civil war ... most Iraqis do not believe their country is embroiled in a civil war. ..."

http://newsbusters.org/node/11521

What do the BDS-ocrats do? WAAAAAA!!

What does the Democrat Media Frauds do? WAAAAA!

I like what CSPAN Did Yesterday , they seemed to just thumb their nose at the Iraqi's as if they are stupid and should have no say in the state of affairs in their own lives , city or country. So they take a poll asking what their viewers what they think , whether or not Iraq is in a civil war. Looks like the Democrat perpetual fraud management got caught slippin. Democrat media responds ,a bunch of our (Biased)(Skewed) and (Democrat Oversampled) polls conclude you Iraqi's have been misled by President George W Bush and it's all America's Fault.

Not to worry Lee and you Lee-likes, Brave honorable and courageous AMERICANS will bleed and yes , give their life so people like yourselves will indulge in the freedom they have provided to be as stupid and ignorant as you can possible be.

Love how you guys support(bullshit!) the troops.

So Radical Islam is going t... (Below threshold)
Fortuna:

So Radical Islam is going to build a navy and invade the continental United States? Oh boy, I should be worried!

Change your diapers. The angry young men with Ak-47's don't pose a threat to you. 9/11 sucked. Will it happen again? Well, it's less likely if more resources were poured into preventing that sort of thing than trying to play whack-a-mole in Asia. End the war in Iraq, accept moral responsibility for the aftermath, secure the United States' borders and ports, and then use the neutered military for bandage operations in global hot-spots (even ones without oil!). Think the troops won't like it? Think it'll make America look weak? Well, who fucking cares, because it's far too late for that sort of selfish hand-wringing. Blame Rumsfeld and Bush for the way things went down.

Game's over. The 30 percenters aren't likely to ever accept that, and will still bemoan the "premature" exit thirty years from now just like their predecessors who wanted to tough it out in Vietnam. It's up to you whether or not you listen to them. I choose not to, which is especially easy now that they're politically irrelevant.

"As for being fact free, I ... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"As for being fact free, I would assert that my posts generally are chock full of facts."

That is highly unlikely, being unable to cross over into the Real World has that sort of effect.

Hey, Fortuna, hide in your ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hey, Fortuna, hide in your ballroom, the masque of the red death can't get you.
===============================

And Fortuna, we remember tw... (Below threshold)
kim:

And Fortuna, we remember two million dead Kampucheans. Why don't you?

Ever again.
=============================

"which is especially easy ... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

"which is especially easy now that they're politically irrelevant."

You me mean like those 15% criminal frauds just a little over a few months ago? Game over? That what you losers said 30 years ago , pull up your diapers when I'm talking to brat. When Democrats Lied , Three Million DIED! Got it stupid? It is a fact and you cannot deny it no matter how much you cry and lie and betray my Country . Now pack your shit and get the F**K out. You are not worthy nor do you belong here , you are just plain too stupid and ignorant to be an American. You are a Democrat but don't worry , where ever you dummies go , your incompetant criminal leaders will follow. Your "MADE IN CHINA" tags on your neck have been showing for a long time now and you are being returned as DEFFECTIVE.

Your words, fool; not mi... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Your words, fool; not mine.

Yes, they were. And I see you have no response to them, other than to berate me for words I did not say.

Hey, let's look at what els... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Hey, let's look at what else is going on "Four Years Later"...

More than six in 10 Iraqis now say that their lives are going badly -- double the percentage who said so in late 2005 -- and about half say that increasing U.S. forces in the country will make the security situation worse
Atta boy Brian , lap up... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Atta boy Brian , lap up those talking points(Democrat Incompetance)(Zero origional thought /ideas). Good boy.

Atta boy Brian , lap up ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Atta boy Brian , lap up those talking points(Democrat Incompetance)(Zero origional thought /ideas). Good boy.

At least he posted something that didn't come from a Jack Chick comic, Rob. Did you look up gullible in the dictionary yet?

No mantis , I was fortuna... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

No mantis , I was fortunate enough not to have suffered a democrat indoctrination. I used real books in class not comic books . Why don't you look up what the Democrats are all about ? It's called Chicanery.

Oooh, chicanery--Rob, you f... (Below threshold)
Fortuna:

Oooh, chicanery--Rob, you finally found that thesaurus beneath the giant heap of Juggs and Guns & Ammo.

Wasn't aware Pol Pot was a Democrat. Wasn't aware the U.S. has done much to prevent other genocides that it could have, including more recent ones in Africa.

This "Democrat indoctrination" sounds pretty impressive, as it has apparently worked on over half of the United States. America has been made to hate America, because... umm... text books come from Blue states...?

Why don't you get off the internet, Rob, and go drive a truck for KBR? You make irrelevant contributions to an irrelevant political movement, so why not contribute to the world?

Atta boy Brian , lap up ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Atta boy Brian , lap up those talking points(Democrat Incompetance)(Zero origional thought /ideas). Good boy.

Thanks! The rest of the Dems and I spent all weekend calling all the Iraqis whose lives are vastly improved and convincing them to say otherwise when asked. And we practically had to promise everyone a box of Thin Mints to get those who think additional US forces will improve things to say they won't. Boy, is my dialing finger tired! But at least we Dems got our talking points out!

It's nice to read that fat ... (Below threshold)
Cecelia:

It's nice to read that fat drunk Hitchens, and laugh out loud at the logical fallicies. Amusing the way he pitched himself such softball questions and then lied in his responses. This guy guy needs to get to rehab and fast.

Read Bernard Lewis's recent... (Below threshold)
kim:

Read Bernard Lewis's recent address to the American Enterprise Institute.
=============================




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