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Mort Kondracke: It's time to consider Plan B

Mort Kondracke has a piece in RealClearPolitics today in which he recommends that Plan B, otherwise known as winning dirty, be implemented should the surge not succeed:

Without prejudging whether President Bush's "surge" policy will work, the administration and its critics ought to be seriously thinking about a Plan B, the "80 percent solution" - also known as "winning dirty." Right now, the administration is committed to building a unified, reconciled, multisectarian Iraq - "winning clean." Most Democrats say that's what they want, too. But it may not be possible.


The 80 percent alternative involves accepting rule by Shiites and Kurds, allowing them to violently suppress Sunni resistance and making sure that Shiites friendly to the United States emerge victorious.

No one has publicly advocated this Plan B, and I know of only one Member of Congress who backs it - and he wants to stay anonymous. But he argues persuasively that it's the best alternative available if Bush's surge fails. Winning will be dirty because it will allow the Shiite-dominated Iraqi military and some Shiite militias to decimate the Sunni insurgency. There likely will be ethnic cleansing, atrocities against civilians and massive refugee flows.

On the other hand, as Bush's critics point out, bloody civil war is the reality in Iraq right now. U.S. troops are standing in the middle of it and so far cannot stop either Shiites from killing Sunnis or Sunnis from killing Shiites.

Winning dirty would involve taking sides in the civil war - backing the Shiite-dominated elected government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and ensuring that he and his allies prevail over both the Sunni insurgency and his Shiite adversary Muqtada al-Sadr, who's now Iran's candidate to rule Iraq.

Shiites make up 60 percent of the Iraqi population, so Shiite domination of the government is inevitable and a democratic outcome. The United States also has good relations with Iraq's Kurdish minority, 20 percent of the population, and would want to cement it by semipermanently stationing U.S. troops in Northern Iraq to ward off the possibility of a Turkish invasion.

Ever since the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Sunnis - representing 20 percent of the population - have been the core of armed resistance to the U.S. and the Iraqi government. The insurgency consists mainly of ex-Saddam supporters and Sunni nationalists, both eager to return to power, and of jihadists anxious to sow chaos, humiliate the United States and create a safe zone for al-Qaida operations throughout the Middle East.

Although the concept of allowing the Sunnis to be wiped out sounds utterly barbaric, Mort does make a good point here:

Prudence calls for preparation of a Plan B. The withdrawal policy advocated by most Democrats virtually guarantees catastrophic ethnic cleansing - but without any guarantee that a government friendly to the United States would emerge. Almost certainly, Shiites will dominate Iraq because they outnumber Sunnis three to one. But the United States would get no credit for helping the Shiites win. In fact, America's credibility would suffer because it abandoned its mission. And, there is no guarantee that al-Sadr - currently residing in Iran and resting his militias - would not emerge as the victor in a power struggle with al-Maliki's Dawa Party and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, led by Abdul Aziz al-Hakim.

Link via Lucianne.


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Comments (66)

More than anything they nee... (Below threshold)
kim:

More than anything they need a fair cop, an impartial referee, and who better than us? Indeed, who other but us?

It's a dirty thankless job, but someone has to do it. Aren't you glad Bush is cheerful about it?
=============================

So then "Bringing a Democra... (Below threshold)
Lee:

So then "Bringing a Democracy to Iraq" was just Republican code for "getting control of the oil" after all...

Gee, we liberals were right all along. Can't wait for the war trials...

The Democratic Plan of pull... (Below threshold)
Rory:

The Democratic Plan of pulling out would be Plan B only uglier and much more protracted. Ghee if they could only get Bush to do it.

The really dangerous aspect would be the Kurdish question.

There is a geopolitical theory as to why some areas of the world are more susceptible to conflict.

One is that they are simply centrally located on the map and at the epicenter of where a lot of different cultures come to meet or clash.

The Balkans, Central Africa-Zaire and Rwanda-and if you look at Iraq it's pretty centrally located and surrounded.

So essenially they are timber boxes looking for a spark.

Turkey and the stability of that government is paramount-you wouldn't want things to spread from Iraq though Turkey to the Balkans.

That's why even though the Kurds being independent might be "right"- what would happen longterm might make it a costly proposition.

lee, not sure how you came ... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

lee, not sure how you came to that conclusion since oil was never mentioned in either the article nor kim's entry.

and war trials for who and what exactly? who would run them? and what kinds of punishiment would you recommend?

i think the author of the article is too pessimistic about the outcome in Iraq. I think it is still up in the air, but that reports coming out of Anbar and Diyala(sp) are encouraging. leaving and throwing the sunnis to the wolves would not only be morally and ethically wrong, it would send the message to our allies and potential allies that we could not be counted on.

yes, that's a blunt political view, but part of being an international player is having the "street cred" that you can play with the big boys.

If the neocons hope to pick... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

If the neocons hope to pick off Iran, they need to calm Iraq down first(d'uh! but you gotta remind these Melvins of such things), before stabbing the Iraqi Shiites in the back later. So it's not make peace and go away. It's a Marxist Peace they're after. With perpetual Presence.

Of course, it's only Fred Barnes' bobbsie twin so who knows? Neocon trial balloon, diversion, something. The Israeli spy trial is straight ahead. They're juggling ugly. Won't some celebrity die?

"Although the concept of al... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

"Although the concept of allowing the Sunnis to be wiped out sounds utterly barbaric, Mort does make a good point here:"

Read these words...
read them again..

"Although the concept of allowing the Sunnis to be wiped out sounds utterly barbaric, Mort does make a good point here:"

now try...Although the concept of allowing the Nazis to be wiped out sounds utterly barbaric, Adolf does make a good point here...

The first quote is yours Kim...Do you have children? Did you tell them when they were young that torturing people, then shooting them in the head and dumping them in the street..which is what the Shia are now doing to the Sunni...is a good thing?
Will this happen when Dems are elected in 2008 and our troops brought home in 2009..maybe..will it be a good thing?
Perhaps you will cheer..normal people will mourn..


..(however your true stars and bars colors are flying high)

Of course I meant"Al... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Of course I meant
"Although the concept of allowing Jews to be wiped out sounds barbaric, Adolf does make sense"
The typo had to do with when reading what you wrote the word Nazi came to my mind and stayed there...
...and yes..I use the N...word

I wonder if the Sunnis coul... (Below threshold)
Captain Joe:

I wonder if the Sunnis could be bluffed into evacuating from Iraq, to go to Syria or Saudi Arabia. That way, a blood bath might be avoided. If the US starts making sounds about ganging up against the Sunnis, they might flee and leave. It would have to be done in a surreptitious way with just enough mystery, perhaps a suspicious repositioning of troops and mysterious meetings with the Shiites, the playacting has to be superb. I think it could be pulled off.

"Although the concept of al... (Below threshold)
Semanticleo:

"Although the concept of allowing the Sunnis to be wiped out sounds utterly barbaric, Mort does make a good point here:"

I guess maybe Saddam wasn't the worst social control imaginable. When you let the genie out of the bottle you have to expect there will be those who misuse the power they've been given. But then, we were warned about Mesopotamia, weren't we?

George Bush and his Crew have discredited the entire Conservative movement so badly that even Herbert Hoover seems benign. It will take a minimum of 60 years needed for a generation to pass before they can return as a viable political ideology without the scorn and ridicule they reap from the debacle known as Iraq.

only in your dreams, Semant... (Below threshold)
ke_future:

only in your dreams, Semanticleo. it's likely that conservatives will have a touch 2008. but if that happens people will get to see what living under the so-called progressive regime is like. and that will be that.

but a lot of polling analysis that i have seen has shown that:
1) people wanted a change in course in Iraq. but not defeat
2) people were fed up with the corruption in congress. oh my god, who wouldn't be. but the demo's are just as bad. it's not a right vs. left issue. it's a citizens vs. career politicians issue.
3) in general, people are more conservative than they are progressive.

that's why when looking at the generic question of democrat vs. republican, the democrat loses, but when you start naming individual candidates, things are not clear. some polls have the dems winning, some the reps.

in either case, the dems also have to contend with the fact that many of their conservative house members that won in the last election are going to have to run for re-election on what this demo congress does. and if the conservative voters don't like the dem leadership, there is a good chance that they will be turned out.

and that's not even taking into account the 2 solidly republican districts that dems won due to legal issues where the republican candidates weren't even on the ballot.

so while i'm not enthusiastic about the republican chances in 2008. i think there is a possibility it won't be as bad as you think.

LeeSo then "Br... (Below threshold)

Lee
So then "Bringing a Democracy to Iraq" was just Republican code for "getting control of the oil" after all...
Who are the "Republicans" and what would they do with the oil? How would the "Republicans" gain possession of the oil? Where would they refine it?...Think this through if you have a synapse firing on business terms. Ever heard of ARAMCO? Have any knowledge of US foreign investment in Mid East oil?

The Sunni had better grab t... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

The Sunni had better grab their a** in both hands. There will be few left if the U.S. turns everyone loose on them. Of course none will survive the cut and run of the surrender cats either. One way or another they have brought disaster on themselves by the daily attacks on the citizens of Iraq. They're only safe way out is to start smiling and shaking hands with the other armed factions and help get rid of the AQ terrorists that aren't there. What was the first facility bombed during or during the run up to the invasion? A massive attack on 'AQ Terrorists' training camps in Iraq...Wonder how many that werent't there were killed by the bombs?

Whoops...I fell for the ... (Below threshold)

Whoops...I fell for the Jay T Rule on Changing the Subject....my apologies for taking the bait!

I thought the one encouragi... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I thought the one encouraging sign the surge was having was that more moderate Sunni groups were now engaging in combat with the Al Queda militant terrorists..Now someone is proposing the Salvador option again, where we train and encourage right wing Shiite militas and death squads to wipe out the same Sunnis who were taking on Al Queda. And don't even think of raising this plan in Riyadh, Capital of the Kingdom of (Sunni) Saudi Arabia.

So we did a favor to these ... (Below threshold)
dr lava:

So we did a favor to these people? We destroy their country, push them into civil war, kill 650,000 of them, steal their "social security", steal and privatize Iraqi industry, destroy their education system, destroy their health care system, destroy their infrastructure, pollute their country with DU, make millions of refugees, bleed them of their professionals.

Man the 25% of Americans like myself, who in 2002 predicted every damn thing, are SO sick of you Bush cheerleaders that know NOTHING.

I don't think you people have the slightest regret or remorse over your pitiful actions these past 5 years.

Kim,Although th... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Kim,

Although the concept of allowing the Sunnis to be wiped out sounds utterly barbaric, Mort does make a good point here

Ya Kim, it sounds "pretty barbaric" alright. That's because you're talking about genocide.

Are you seriously endorsing this? So much for freedom and democracy for the Iraqis, eh?

kill 650,000 of them... (Below threshold)

kill 650,000 of them

Prove that. And not with the multiply-discredited IraqiDeathCount (or whatever the heck the name of it is) website.

steal their "social security"

They had none under Saddam.

steal and privatize Iraqi industry

Which former Iraqi companies are now held by which American companies? I want specific names, not just "it's all been taken over by Halliburton."

destroy their education system

They had none under Saddam.

destroy their health care system

They had none under Saddam. Good Lord, you'd think that Iraq was paradise the way you write!

pollute their country with DU

That one I can agree with. Letting them access DemocraticUnderground.com on the internet is really polluting Iraq.

bleed them of their professionals

They fled during the Saddam regime.

You just don't live in the real world, do you? I honestly pity you.

C-C-G:How many Ira... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

C-C-G:

How many Iraqi civilians do you believe have been killed in this war? I have heard numbers anywhere between 30,000 and 600,000.

One U.N. report released in January estimated that over 34,000 died in 2006 alone.

Bush claimed 30,000 last December, and from what I have read the British Iraq Body Count group was estimating the deaths at 50,000.

What estimates do you believe, and why?

More numbers:-The ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

More numbers:

-The web site Iraq Coalition Casualty Count estimates that over 30,000 Iraqis have been killed SINCE JANUARY OF 2005.

-The site Iraq Body Count puts the current total between 63,000 and 69,000. They estimate their totals based upon deaths "reported in the news, and they also count deaths caused by criminal action resulting from the breakdown in law and order which followed the coalition invasion". I'm not quite sure how accurate that methodology is, however.

-And here's a Washinton Post article that talks about the group who came up with the 655,000 number. Who has discredited this one?

What is it with you Liberal... (Below threshold)
Rory:

What is it with you Liberals -

You were for genocide before you were against it?

You didn't give a damn when Saddam did it-

AND JUST WHAT IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN IF WE FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PULL OUT PLAN ?

When you can pin it on Kim who actually gives a damn then you are against it.

You ludicrous ,want to have it all, or both ways incongruous Liberals.

Just maybe Mort Kondrake is trying to shock you into what will happen if it's done YOUR WAY.


What's YOUR plan?

It's Genocide- no matter how you want to paint it with pretty prose...

The IraqBodyCount site is t... (Below threshold)

The IraqBodyCount site is the one that has been thoroughly discredited.

As for the rest, I don't waste my time or bandwidth keeping up on the debunking of lefty Iraq myths. If I did that I'd have no time to eat, sleep, or work.

So, until you can line up 650,000 bodies and provide conclusive proof that each and every one was killed by an American, I won't believe it.

Ghee Ryan-How many... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Ghee Ryan-

How many found in mass graves buried by Saddam?

At least 300,000.

How many dead children-KILLED by Saddam?

At least 80,000.

Why after Saddam is at least 60% of the population under the age of twenty five?

Because Saddam DECIMATED THEM.

Rory, don't waste the bandw... (Below threshold)

Rory, don't waste the bandwidth. Ryan obviously believes Saddam was a misunderstood Muslim version of Mother Teresa.

C-C-G-Ryan obvi... (Below threshold)
Rory:

C-C-G-

Ryan obviously believes Saddam was a misunderstood Muslim version of Mother Teresa.

Ain't that the truth-well he and his fellow travelers probably have more "issues" with Mother Teresa...

C-C-G:So, until... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

C-C-G:

So, until you can line up 650,000 bodies and provide conclusive proof that each and every one was killed by an American, I won't believe it.

Actually, if you READ what I wrote you might see that I was ASKING you what numbers you think are accurate.

If you pay attention, you might notice that I didn't say what numbers I think are correct--because I don't know, to be honest.

I have heard estimates that range from GW Bush's 30,000 all the way up to the report that estimates 655,000. Most seem to be under 100,000, so the last number seems extraordinarily high, which is why those numbers are so controversial.

Do me a favor though, before you go flying off the handle next time, at least read what I write.

I was asking you what numbers you think are reasonble or believable.

And try to avoid making assumptions, because it makes you look like an ass. I am fully aware of the fact that Saddam Hussein was a murderous dictator, from the time that he took power in 1979, all through the 1980s and 90s. His leadership was repressive, brutal, crimial, and atrocious. If you need any more clarification on my views, feel free to ask instead of making stupid statements.

Hey Rory, try calming down ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Hey Rory, try calming down and using your brain before you go around assuming you know my views and political positions.

If you think that I somehow dismiss the realities of Hussein's bloody rule, then you are gravely mistaken. Furthermore, you are coming across like quite a jackass by attempting to put words into my mouth based upon your stereotypical undertandings of what a "liberal" is.

You have no idea what my politics are, let alone what I think about Hussein, Iraq, history, Bush, or contemporary politics. If you do want to join the adult world, and actually have some kind of discussion, feel free to ask what my stances are.

Finally, here's a little reading comprehension lesson for you. Go back and read my post and find the place where I said that I believed or subscribed to any particular estimates of Iraqi deaths. Good luck with that. If you pay attention, you will realize that I was asking "C-C-G" what estimates he/she believes. I have no idea what numbers I think are correct, to be honest. Before you haul off and make asinine comments, at least take the time to read and understand what people are saying.

Of course I meant... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Of course I meant
"Although the concept of allowing Jews to be wiped out sounds barbaric, Adolf does make sense"
The typo had to do with when reading what you wrote the word Nazi came to my mind and stayed there...
...and yes..I use the N...word

Except your analogy doesn't work...the Jews were not a minority brutally suppressing the Germans via force, executions, rape, etc.

Perhaps if you had used Afrikkaners/Blacks-ASians, etc, the analogy would probably be closer.

I totally disagree with Mort on this, though. We are nowhere near the necessity of that drastic a choice.

So then "Bringing a Demo... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

So then "Bringing a Democracy to Iraq" was just Republican code for "getting control of the oil" after all...

Drat, you broke the sekrit code...now we have to kill you.

Lee, not sure how you ca... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Lee, not sure how you came to that conclusion since oil was never mentioned in either the article nor kim's entry.,/i>

Prodigious use of psychotropic pharmacuticals.

The typo had to do with ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

The typo had to do with when reading what you wrote the word Nazi came to my mind and stayed there...

"NAZI" has been rolling around the mind of most Leftists since the 80s. Everything to the right of them is compared to Hitler/Nazis. Nothing new here.

One U.N. report released... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

One U.N. report released in January estimated that over 34,000 died in 2006 alone.

Oh, yes, because the UN is trustworthy when it comes to reporting.

How many of those deaths included Iraqi insurgents and terrorists?

How many of those deaths were CAUSED by Iraqi insurgents and terrorists?

I have news for you: in a war, military and civilians die. Sad fact of life. Want to see some shocking civilian death numbers?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#Casualties_by_country

Germany alone lost 1,840,000 in civilian deaths--NOT including victims of the Final Solution.

Liberals simply want the US... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Liberals simply want the US to lose. As we predicted, the terrorists can blow up women/children and liberals will blame Bush. They can use any tactics against our troops and liberals will blame Bush. The Sunni insurgents want to regain their power by employing the terrorists' tactics, the liberals will blame Bush. If we let the 80% of the Iraqui loose to deal decisively with the terrorists and insurgents, the liberals will cry atrocities. Liberals will do anything to tie our hands. Liberals simply want the US to lose. They would rather have the terrorists to win in Iraq and they wouldn't even care how much atrocities would be committed. Vietnam is a perfect example of the liberal dishonesty. They cried atrocites all those years to ensure American defeat. When we left, 3M were killed and they didn't even care.

Re: IraqBodyCountS... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Re: IraqBodyCount

Start here:http://www.medialens.org/alerts/06/060125_paved_with_good.php

http://www.medialens.org/alerts/06/060126_paved_with_good_part2.php

Which also points to the Lancet study, and IBC's response to it.

I have news for you: in ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

I have news for you: in a war, military and civilians die. Sad fact of life. Want to see some shocking civilian death numbers?

No shit James, thanks for the enlightenment.

If you notice, I was asking a certain commenter what numbers they think are accurate, and why. I was posting some of the easily linked stats out there, not endorsing any of them. But then, to realize that, you might have to read what I wrote, which is probably asking too much.

De Sunni got de bum; de Shi... (Below threshold)
kim:

De Sunni got de bum; de Shia only almos'.
==============================

James,Did you read... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

James,

Did you read the article that you linked to, or did you just google it and browse through it? What point are you trying to make by linking to an article which is saying that the IBC is severely UNDERESTIMATING the Iraqi death toll:

But why has IBC not made crystal clear on its website that its figures under-represent the true figure in a particular direction - one that clearly favours the US-UK 'coalition'? Where are the caveats on the website advising that sources based on a largely Western press reporting on Western armies engaged in a ferocious war are inherently biased against filling in the wrong gaps - the gaps that reflect badly on the West?

Again, I'm just trying to figure out what numbers people around here think are reasonable.

James Cloninger, Unconvinci... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

James Cloninger, Unconvincing.

Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

Were the inhabitants of, say, Lodz ghetto in 1944, who perished when allowed only several grams of food/day, not attributable to the Final Solution?

It was Poles at the distribution point, former neighbors, not of Jewish descent, who dished the crumbs out. Some who died never saw a German face.

Immigrant:I think ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Immigrant:

I think that you are oversimplifying matters by pretending that everyone left of Dick Cheney blames Bush for everything that is going down in Iraq. Here's my list of causes and reasons for the current state of affairs in Iraq:

1. British colonialism, in which the state of Iraq was created for administrative reasons. Three distince ethnic/cultural groups were put under one state system, and then expected to have some kind of strong common identity.

2. Non-Democratic leadership from the colonial period to the present.

3. Saddam Hussein's brutal regime, which started in 1979.

4. The Iran/Iraq war, in which those two countries spent millions of dollars decimating one another.

5. Gulf War I, in which the United States and its allies beat the shit out of Saddam Hussein and Iraq for trying to invade Kuwait. I'm not making a value judgment here, I'm saying that one war, right after a brutal 8 year war, furhter tore the country to shreds.

6. Hussein's brutalities in the 1990s, including his slaughter of the Shiites when the US pulled out. This only incresed the ethnic divisions and hatred. Also, the gassing and brutal treatment of the Kurds.

7. UN Sanctions during the 1990s. The people of Iraq starved, while Hussein pretty much did as he pleased.

8. The Iraq war, 2003-present. Yes, Hussein is deposed, but the country, which has endured decades of repression and war, is going through yet another one, this time a large scale invasion by the major superpower in the world. With Hussein gone, and violence rampant, Sunnis and Shiites are basically going at one another's throats out of revenge, hatred, and desires for power.

What I blame Bush for is making the decision to invade Iraq when he did. I completely disagreed with that decision, from the start. But now, as the saying goes, we broke it so we bought it. We're in the middle of this mess, so we have to do all that we can to find solutions. But that still doesn't mean, in my opinion, that we should be talking about eliminating 20 percent of the Iraqi population in order to "win".

Good God, Kondracke is a co... (Below threshold)

Good God, Kondracke is a complete idiot.

We should, of course, always hold to a position of steadfast neutrality in these age old sectarian and religious conflicts that we haven't even got the remotest possibility of understanding.

I mean, how many of us can truly understand the animosity that underlies the centuries-old Sunni/Shiite conflict? Here in America, we can't even conceive of wanting to kill someone simply because their religion isn't the same as ours. These concepts are totally foreign to us. The people who engage in this sort of sectarian warfare are completely insane and we shouldn't ever favor one over the other.

We're Americans. We are all about tolerance and acceptance of differing views and beliefs. It's simply not in our DNA to support one of these warring sects over the other. It's not going to happen.


Has anyone ever figured out... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Has anyone ever figured out what old bryanDirtbag is trying to say? Or is he just a complete idiot?

jhow66, Stil... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

jhow66,

Still raining? :o)

NOTE: Preparation H was never meant to be ingested sublingually.

Imagine for a moment we wer... (Below threshold)

Imagine for a moment we weren't speaking of Iraq, Shia, and Sunni. Imagine for a moment that we were speaking of an occupation of Ireland, during a time of sectarian violence between Protestants and Catholics.

Would you support a complete pullout? Would you back Plan B? Or would you want to stick it out until there was peace between the factions?

Honestly, I'm a bit tired of the attitude of "Oh, it's Mesopotamia, those people are just like that." There's this little thing called caring for your neighbor, and this other thing called the humanizing effect of civilization.

It's the same unspokenly racist attitude that is trumpeted whenever a white tourist disappears in a tropical country, while dozens of African-American street thugs (ALSO AMERICAN CITIZENS) were gunned down by other gang thugs (ALSO AMERICAN CITIZENS).

Whe are you going to realize that "us vs. them" is only valid when "them" is actually trying to hurt "us", and even then is not a true moral judgement but a survival tactic?

When are you going to realize that the people of Iraq are "us" too?

Semanticleo, from the botto... (Below threshold)
kim:

Semanticleo, from the bottom of the pile, is still trying to heap scorn and ridicule about Southeast Asia. More than 72,000 virginal Kampucheans are awaiting his arrival in heaven.
=================================

Okay, let me make my positi... (Below threshold)

Okay, let me make my position perfectly clear.

I do not believe that we will ever have good records on precisely how many civilians were killed in this war, in large part because the terrorists themselves hide as citizens. In fact, a person can be a citizen and a terrorist at the same time.

I also believe that estimating the number of dead is nothing more than political grandstanding, intended to show how "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil" the Bush Administration is. As such, it is my general rule to ignore such estimates, except as a symptom of BDS.

Accordingly, I do hereby freely admit and acknowledge that I only skimmed Ryan's rants about casualty figures. I also do hereby apologize to Ryan. (And, as many politicians have shown us, an apology makes it all better, and precludes the possibility of anyone ever criticizing us again for what we apologize for, right?)

That's all I have to say on that topic. Future inquiries on that topic shall be ignored.

Lancet blew centuries of cr... (Below threshold)
kim:

Lancet blew centuries of credibility in two obvious and shabby political hit jobs. A bane upon 'em.
================

What plan are we on now in ... (Below threshold)
jeff:

What plan are we on now in iraq? I thought we were on plan B already. Plan C is give them what they want......nuke them.

Like I said--a complete idi... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Like I said--a complete idiot. (oh and by the way you are as humorous as having a quarter size boil on each cheek of your ass)-uh er i yeah go german ok huh it yed ko

Patience, jeff, Sunni got d... (Below threshold)
kim:

Patience, jeff, Sunni got de bum, Shia not quite. The undercard is nearly over.
===================================

But that still doesn't mean... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

But that still doesn't mean, in my opinion, that we should be talking about eliminating 20 percent of the Iraqi population in order to "win".
-------------------------------------------------
I don't like this either and the Bush team doesn't like it either, but what if the 20% employs the terrorist tactic of blowing up and women/children indiscriminately?

The rest of your post are simply old spins that have been dealt with.

The liberals simply don't have a plan, don't know how to solve real problems. They are carpers. All they can do is stay on the side lines and find fauls to criticize. No plan in the real world is perfect. You always have pros and cons in every decision and plan. Everyone who works in the real world knows that. Bush team has plan A of winning cleanly. But if it doesn't work out, then we should plan for plan B.

What plan does the liberals have but to surrender and let the terrorists slaughter the people over there?

Ryan, This may help... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Ryan,
This may help you understand the liberals' position a little better I hope. Bush team wants a 100% winning solution in Iraq and that should take a while. But liberals said it is too long. So we should consider plan B: the 80% solution. Liberals cry not clean; we want a 100% solution. IN essense, they don't offer any plan. They only find excuse to ensure that we don't have any solution there (ie surrender to the terrorists). These are examples of people who don't offer any plan or solution. It is easy to stay on the sideline and undermine other people 's work.

Using your own logic, here is what liberals want: a 20% solution. Let the Sunni wipe out the other 80% of the Iraqui population.

Except for Baghdad, and sev... (Below threshold)
kim:

Except for Baghdad, and several areas where Saddam settled Sunni on Kurd land, these three populations were separated anyway. It'll settle down like that. Baghdad is a big if, as it has been for four or five millenia, more likely double that. This was the Garden of Eden once, you know.
=======================

Personally, while I can't s... (Below threshold)

Personally, while I can't say I like Plan B, it's definitely better than Plan C, which is to turn that part of the desert into glass, if you get my point.

The moral of the story is, we don't live in a perfect world, and sometimes must settle for imperfect solutions to problems.

CCG:I do not be... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

CCG:

I do not believe that we will ever have good records on precisely how many civilians were killed in this war, in large part because the terrorists themselves hide as citizens. In fact, a person can be a citizen and a terrorist at the same time.

Good point. The lines between who is a civilian and who is a terrorist are definitely blurred.

I also believe that estimating the number of dead is nothing more than political grandstanding, intended to show how "eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil" the Bush Administration is. As such, it is my general rule to ignore such estimates, except as a symptom of BDS.

I can understand your take on that. There is a good amount of political grandstanding going on, you're definitely right about that.

But then, I do think that some people have genuine humanitarian concerns for what is happening there.

Accordingly, I do hereby freely admit and acknowledge that I only skimmed Ryan's rants about casualty figures. I also do hereby apologize to Ryan.

Nice. It's appreciated.

Immigrant:I don... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Immigrant:

I don't like this either and the Bush team doesn't like it either, but what if the 20% employs the terrorist tactic of blowing up and women/children indiscriminately?

Well, I highly doubt that 20 percent of Iraq's population is doing such things. Think about it. If 20 percent of 26 million people were employing terrorist tactics, that would be around 5.2 MILLION PEOPLE. Now, Iraq is pretty bad right now, but if there were 5 million Sunnis terrorists running around bombing everyone, it would be much worse.

The rest of your post are simply old spins that have been dealt with.

Old spins that have been dealt with? Do you mean my disagreements with Bush's decision to go to war, or my historical understandings behind the current state of affairs?

The liberals simply don't have a plan, don't know how to solve real problems. They are carpers. All they can do is stay on the side lines and find fauls to criticize.

I think that's a pretty valid statement when applied to many Democrats, yes. Hence the reason why I'm not all that excited about them, since they just tend to react to Republicans, instead of actually coming up with workable, and intelligent, solutions.

Sea change in Iraq. A prev... (Below threshold)
kim:

Sea change in Iraq. A previous Shia Arab group aligned with Iranian mullahs has moved its allegiance to Sistani, the strongest Shia Arab spiritual leader in Iraq and a relative believer in secular government.

All your previous arguments are belong to us.
==========================

Well, I highly doubt that 2... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Well, I highly doubt that 20 percent of Iraq's population is doing such things. Think about it. If 20 percent of 26 million people were employing terrorist tactics, that would be around 5.2 MILLION PEOPLE. Now, Iraq is pretty bad right now, but if there were 5 million Sunnis terrorists running around bombing everyone, it would be much worse.
-------------------------------------------------
Ryan,
Then your arg that the 80% of the Iraqui people are trying to wipe out the other 20% is simply an exaggeration. We had a 20% solution in Iraq under Saddam Hussein already. These 20% had violently suppressed any Shiitte insurgents already. So now we will have an 80% solution. The 20% minority has to work within the political framework. If they want to use armed insurgency, then the other 80% will have to deal with them militarily.

So your original cry about wiping about 20% of the population is simply an exaggeration or a spin.

What is your problem with the 80% solution again?


Old spins that have been dealt with? Do you mean my disagreements with Bush's decision to go to war, or my historical understandings behind the current state of affairs?
-------------------------------------------------
You seem to conveniently forgot a couple of important historical facts: (a) a long list of warnings by Clinton and other Dem leaders during the 1990, (b) the current situation in Iraq, esp with the terrorists/insurgency trying to defeat the US via political means (by blowing up women/children for maximum PR effect), can be attributed to the willingness of the liberal media and politicians to give them the propaganda they want.

It is your right to disagree with Bush, but I think Bush made a rational decision as any responsible leader would. His team seems to have a strategy to win in Iraq. They wanted a 100% solution in Iraq as pointed out Mort, but that will take time. The liberals only want to ensure the US defeat. Given the current terrorist-cheering rhetoric/policies of the Dem majority in Congress, we have to consider the plan B (80% solution). This is quite a sensible plan. So I don't understand the exaggeration that we want to wipe out 20% of the population. We had a 20% solution under Saddam. Now we would have a 80% solution as an intermediate step to a 100% solution. Quite sensible to me.

AGain what is the problem?

So your original cry abo... (Below threshold)

So your original cry about wiping about 20% of the population is simply an exaggeration or a spin.

Bravo, LAI! Bravissimo!

ccg, Thanks for the... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

ccg,
Thanks for the encouragement.

Sistani is not going to all... (Below threshold)
kim:

Sistani is not going to allow a genocide of the Iraqi Arab Sunni. He needs them for a buffer state against Syria and Saudi Arabia. His split with Sadr was over Sadr's bloodthirstiness.

I think Rice and Cheney might have done some good over there, and in reverse fashion, maybe Pelosi helped, too. It must have been pretty grim for the King of the Sauds to watch her primp with that tyrant eye doctor in Damascus.
==========================

So your original cry abo... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

So your original cry about wiping about 20% of the population is simply an exaggeration or a spin.

Wow, CCG got really excited about this one. "My" original cry about wiping out 20% of the population wasn't mine at all. That was Kim's suggestion in the original post:

Although the concept of allowing the Sunnis to be wiped out sounds utterly barbaric...

"Wiping out the Sunnis" equates to killing 20 percent of the population, which is an INSANE suggestion. And that's the whole idea that I'm on here arguing AGAINST.

You seem to conveniently forgot a couple of important historical facts: (a) a long list of warnings by Clinton and other Dem leaders during the 1990, (b) the current situation in Iraq, esp with the terrorists/insurgency trying to defeat the US via political means (by blowing up women/children for maximum PR effect), can be attributed to the willingness of the liberal media and politicians to give them the propaganda they want.

Look, I wrote all of that because you made some claim that all liberals simply blame Bush for what's going wrong right now in Iraq. And while I disagreed with the initial decision to invade Iraq, I am not naive enough to even consider the idea that we're dealing with is somehow Bush's fault. Got it? Point: I am not someonw who blames Bush for everything under the sun. I might have disagreed with some of his decisions, but that doesn't mean I think that this is all his fault. FAR FROM IT.

I am fully aware of the fact that Clinton, and many other Democrats, were saying exactly the same things as Bush, Cheney, and others before we invaded...and I know that Clinton was talking about the threat of Hussein all through the 1990s.

It is your right to disagree with Bush, but I think Bush made a rational decision as any responsible leader would. His team seems to have a strategy to win in Iraq.

Well, I think that heading into Afghanistan made sense in the grand scheme, but that deciding to engage in a full-scale invasion of Iraq did not. The decision to go after Hussein, ya, that made some sense...but not invading the country, disbanding the military, and occupying it for four years. I personally didn't think that us invading would go over very well with the people of Iraq as a whole.

So I don't understand the exaggeration that we want to wipe out 20% of the population.

One last time: that was Kim's claim, not mine.

CCG:Bravo, LAI!... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

CCG:

Bravo, LAI! Bravissimo!

Looks like you're having another lapse in your reading comprehenion.

comprehension, I mean.... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

comprehension, I mean.

Dashed Line Kim:<i... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Dashed Line Kim:

I think Rice and Cheney might have done some good over there, and in reverse fashion, maybe Pelosi helped, too.

I agree with you. I think that Rice has made some headway, which is a very good thing. Did Pelosi help in some fashion? Maybe. I wasn't really all that thrilled with the way she went about things, but maybe indeed she did open some dialogue.

As for Cheney, well, I haven't read enough about what he's been doing/saying to comment as of yet...

Looks like you're having... (Below threshold)

Looks like you're having another lapse in your reading comprehenion.

Looks like you're reacting just like a typical lefty again.

Don't worry, this will fall off the main page soon so those who haven't read it yet won't be aware that you messed up.

CCG:Don't worry... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

CCG:

Don't worry, this will fall off the main page soon so those who haven't read it yet won't be aware that you messed up.

Point out where I "messed up," if you can.

Ryan,Look, I wrote a... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Ryan,
Look, I wrote all of that because you made some claim that *all* liberals simply blame Bush for what's going wrong right now in Iraq.
------------------------------------------------
Ryan,
This is a dodge: all is an escape route. Of course, you can never get 100% of any group. But 95% is pretty close to "all". I stand by my claim that all the liberals care about is anti-Bush and for American defeat. The liberals are waging war against Bush rigorously while they expend little (if not outright excuse) against the terrorists and other enemies of America.


I personally didn't think that us invading would go over very well with the people of Iraq as a whole.
-------------------------------------------------
It would go over well with the majority of the Iraqui people. The 20% (Sunni) would not be happy for sure since they wouldn't have the power to oppress the other 80%. Our military has a tough enough PR job. The liberals in the West have made that even harder by constantly calling for investigation to intimidate the military with atrocities charges and at the same time trying to make excuses for the terrorrists.

*Again, do you have any problem with Plan B (the 80% solution)?* I don't see any plan for victory from liberals yet.




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