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How Will We Know If the Surge is Working?

In a column at the Examiner, I look at a few things that will indicate whether or not the surge is working.

In past operations, insurgents were flushed out of one area, only to regroup elsewhere. Now areas are being cordoned off, with access points being heavily controlled so that all those targeted are captured or killed.

Independent war reporter Michael Yon who described the operation as "surrender or die" reported on Baqouba: "Our guys are winning. Al Qaeda is about to be strangled and pummeled to death in this town, but the local Iraqi leadership is severely wanting."

Success in Iraq is something that will depend not only on police and military forces to improve the security situation on the ground, but in the new leaders and institutions rising up to replace the Saddam Hussein regime being stable enough to maintain order.

Even if the military surge is successful in accomplishing its goals, an accurate determination of whether or not the overall mission in Iraq is deemed a success is likely to be written by historians in the future, rather than reporters of today.

Read the rest at the Examiner.


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Comments (102)

Abdullah wants to know why ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Abdullah wants to know why one should conquer the world when one can buy it.

Something happened recently with Abdullah and the Iranian mullahs, which I don't understand, but it appears to have left the bin Laden organization out in the cold.
===========================

It might be interesting to ... (Below threshold)
kim:

It might be interesting to see what happens to the madrassahs short term.
====================

Are Iranian troops in Iraq ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Are Iranian troops in Iraq and Afghanistan?
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Surge? What surge? How my... (Below threshold)
kim:

Surge? What surge? How myopic.

But it's about time.
==================

Mitts off Meshad, please.<b... (Below threshold)
kim:

Mitts off Meshad, please.
============

don't stop now Kim, you're ... (Below threshold)
Frank:

don't stop now Kim, you're on a roll. Your intellect is as impenetrable today as I've ever seen.

As impenetrable and for the... (Below threshold)
kim:

As impenetrable and for the same reason as Sunni-Shia rivalry. I think Abdullah and the Persian mullahs have come to some sort of understanding to give better focus to their jihad against Israel. I think the radicals are being sidelined by moderate forces, Sistani, Abdullah, and some Iranian mullahs.

I'm also guessing.
========

I think she exhausted herse... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I think she exhausted herself and fell asleep on the keyboard, Frank.

Kim, I've always wondered why you don't condense this stuff into one or two posts.

Shia and Sunni tribal chief... (Below threshold)
kim:

Shia and Sunni tribal chiefs meeting last week in Baghdad were bombed.
==============================

H, I neither explain nor un... (Below threshold)
kim:

H, I neither explain nor understand my style.
==========================

Abdullah's wealth sits unde... (Below threshold)
kim:

Abdullah's wealth sits under Shia populated land. I think he recognized the strength and threat of Iran about the same time the Sunni tribal chiefs saw us protect their city cousins from Sadr's death squads. Things have changed, and it almost feels to me that this 'surge' is a lucky stroke, because more than our surge is changing right now.
=========================

H, I neither expla... (Below threshold)
Heralder:
H, I neither explain nor understand my style.

Something tells me one condition is dependent on the other.

Regarding the surge: it's difficult for me to be optimistic about it.

Never forget the Master of ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Never forget the Master of the Bazaar, Ahmed Chalabi.

Recently, the Maliki government cracked down on a Shia minister. Now it is a Sunni, the Minister of Culture, arrested for the murder of the two sons of a Chalabi protege, killed during an assassination attempt on the protege, two years ago.
================================

You got the 'something tell... (Below threshold)
kim:

You got the 'something telling' part right, H.
========================

It isn't really that compli... (Below threshold)

It isn't really that complicated. We will know the war if the war is being won when the civilian population is protected from the insurgents.

Lt. Col. Paul Yingling wrote an interesting article about what has happened and needs to happen in Iraq. The following paragraph seems relevant to Lorie's argument:

After failing to visualize the conditions of combat in Iraq, America's generals failed to adapt to the demands of counterinsurgency. Counterinsurgency theory prescribes providing continuous security to the population. However, for most of the war American forces in Iraq have been concentrated on large forward-operating bases, isolated from the Iraqi people and focused on capturing or killing insurgents. Counterinsurgency theory requires strengthening the capability of host-nation institutions to provide security and other essential services to the population. America's generals treated efforts to create transition teams to develop local security forces and provincial reconstruction teams to improve essential services as afterthoughts, never providing the quantity or quality of personnel necessary for success.


It seems to me, achieving the goals Lt. Col. Yingling describes is going to take a very long time. I don't see how a six month 'surge' is going to accomplish all that much.

"...an accurate determinati... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"...an accurate determination of whether or not the overall mission in Iraq is deemed a success is likely to be written by historians in the future, rather than reporters of today."

Tacit admission of a looming defeat.
Also, the new generic "AlQaeda" label for all insurgents belies Yon's independence from administration propaganda efforts. A subliminal attempt to suggest Iraqi pro-American sympathies are being thwarted be a foreign army of Wahabbists when AlQaeda is no more than 5% of enemy forces.

"Now areas are being cordoned off, with access points being heavily controlled so that all those targeted are captured or killed."

Doesn't work in search and destroy operations, as the offensive portion of our occupation essentially is. The personell deployed for a wait and see (ambush or OP) are themselve made vulnerable, unless reinforced with close air support or fixed artillery battery. In which case (air), the air force becomes vulnerable to ground fire, or other support(artillery/mortars/weapons company/tanks) becomes an opportunity for a higher degradation of US forces via RPGs, ETC. (The closer-in to the enemy, the more the odds work against us). Plus, who's boxing in who? The bridges are being blown by the enemy to create choke points in our movements and logistics. That's obvious. If the insurgents could import some good IRA mortarmen they do some real damage.

My point is, without (old-fashioned) rear lines established, there is a sure Little Big Horn on its way. Rememeber, we're outnumbered, they are masters of their own terrain, and they have popular support (or more RELIABLE support), plus they're well-armed enoughed for a war of attrition. And the kamikazi thing, of course.

Blue, you and Heralder woul... (Below threshold)
kim:

Blue, you and Heralder would have a better point about the surge if there weren't a whole lot more going on, too. Maliki's government is gaining legitimacy. Sistani has worked his holy magic and now Sadr and the Badr Brigades are working with Sunni to combat al-Qaeda. And I maintain that Abdullah has seen Persia on the march, and the mullahs have seen him between, almost, them and the Mediterranean.

And bin Laden's Bora boring.
================

You're out of date and out ... (Below threshold)
kim:

You're out of date and out to lunch, bD. They no longer have local support.
===============

To clarify, ambushes don't ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

To clarify, ambushes don't work right in the middle of an "enemy" population, unless we're gonna fly in circles all day (which the enemy will notice) and which is essentially Waiting while moving. It's granting initiative to the enemy.(They don't call it a police action for nothing. 1-Adam 12, see the man, cat in tree...)
We've taken Paris and nothing has changed. Time to go home.

Everything is changing; Sis... (Below threshold)
kim:

Everything is changing; Sistani and Abdullah will tell us when to come home.
================

They no longer have local s... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

They no longer have local support.
===============
Posted by: kim

You're falling for the switcheroo. AlQaeda may not have local support, but we're not fighting AlQaeda (by and large). Remember last week/month/year? It was all Iran/Syria/iRAQIs. Did they get recruited en mass by OBL? Nooo. Think.

Blue, you and Heralder woul... (Below threshold)

Blue, you and Heralder would have a better point about the surge if there weren't a whole lot more going on, too.

The only metric that matters is the safety of the civilian population. If Maliki, Sistani et al can help achieve that then great, but it is going to take a long time to achieve. If Bush were actually a half way decent leader he would be preparing the American people for a long, hard slog in Iraq. Instead we get some gobbletygook about a six month 'surge'. It is long past time our nation had a grown up conversation about Iraq. To that end, the 'surge' talk isn't helping much.

It was refreshing to hear Gen. Petraeus tell the country that stabilizing Iraq may take a decade or so.

bD, you ask me to remember ... (Below threshold)
kim:

bD, you ask me to remember last month and I'm trying to tell you things are changing? I'm sorry you regret it. And Blue, where are the half way decent leaders from the Democratic Party who are preparing the American people for a long, hard slog in Iraq? I don't expect Sistani to send us home next year.
======================

It might be possible for th... (Below threshold)
kim:

It might be possible for the nation to have a grown-up talk about Iraq when one side quits listening to the likes of Joe Wilson and Michael Moore.
===========================

As reported by our <a href=... (Below threshold)

As reported by our own military the Iraqis haven't got enough weapons and ammo to hold the ground that our heroes have cleared.

So any success in Baqouba will only be transitory. I also suspect that many of the bad guys fled in advance as they always do because the operation has been so heavily publicized by our government and media.

It might be possible for... (Below threshold)

It might be possible for the nation to have a grown-up talk about Iraq when one side quits listening to the likes of Joe Wilson and Michael Moore.

I think the bigger problem is those who look for excuses not to have a grown-up conversation.

So do you believe Joe Wilso... (Below threshold)
kim:

So do you believe Joe Wilson?
===================

So do you believe Joe Wi... (Below threshold)

So do you believe Joe Wilson?

What does Joe Wilson have to do with winning in Iraq? My answer...nothing.

There are a lot of reasons ... (Below threshold)
kim:

There are a lot of reasons we should be in Iraq. Grown-ups accept that, and that we'll be there awhile longer. It is the people who argue now that we never should have gone there who are the child-like.
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Blue, Joe Wilson's false me... (Below threshold)
kim:

Blue, Joe Wilson's false meme, that Bush lied, is monstrously germane to why it is difficult to define winning in Iraq, or to gain it. We have won; Saddam is gone and his real threat, too. It is only children who expect the Garden of Eden over there.

So do you believe Joe Wilson? You may not much longer.
===============================

I might go so far as to gue... (Below threshold)
kim:

I might go so far as to guess that the key to 'winning' the war, in the hearts and minds of the US population, is debunking Joe Wilson and revealing what frauds he and Val Plame are, who poisoned pre-war intelligence.

You do know that Val Plame now has three stories about who sent her husband to Africa, don't you, and that inquiring minds want to know what really happened.
==============================

Blue, Joe Wilson's false... (Below threshold)

Blue, Joe Wilson's false meme, that Bush lied, is monstrously germane to why it is difficult to define winning in Iraq, or to gain it.

No, it isn't. It is quite easy to define winning in Iraq. I did it in my first comment on this thread. I also did it without mentioning Bush, Wilson or Saddam.

Far more important than the... (Below threshold)

Far more important than the short-term U.S. military goals of "the surge" is for the political leadership of Iraq, Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish to come to some sort of long-term political agreement to unite the country and stand united against violence and foreign terrorists like Al Qaeda.

You call a narrow definitio... (Below threshold)
kim:

You call a narrow definition of 'winning' having an adult conversation? What about the safety of the civilian population of the United States?

Joe Wilson's lying meme, and the people who support him and it, have warped the debate about our effort in Iraq from the get-go. As this gets straightened out in the coming months, I expect the American people to become proud of what we have accomplished in Iraq. It is, in fact, a good thing already. We have won the war, the peace is unfinished.
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Paul, I don't think it is n... (Below threshold)
kim:

Paul, I don't think it is necessary for Iraq to remain united. It might be more stable as three states.
=================

And Blue, you may not recog... (Below threshold)
kim:

And Blue, you may not recognize it, but you are dodging like a child without an answer.
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You have a dilemma, Blue, y... (Below threshold)
kim:

You have a dilemma, Blue, you recognize it will take longer in Iraq to 'win', even a lot longer. But do you agree with the need to 'win'? In other words, should we stay? If so, fine; if not, why not?
======================

Wouldn't it be nice for the... (Below threshold)
kim:

Wouldn't it be nice for the civilian population to be protected, if that is your definition of 'winning'? Whether it takes six months or ten years?
==================

It is so easy for Blue Neo ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

It is so easy for Blue Neo to create a matrix when the goals are moved at will by the left. ww

Is bryanD really as insane ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Is bryanD really as insane as he sounds? No wonder steel won't melt.

He doesn't want an adult co... (Below threshold)
kim:

He doesn't want an adult conversation; he just wants Bush to lose, the rest be damned. It's pathological and preschool.
==============================

I suspect bD is saner than ... (Below threshold)
kim:

I suspect bD is saner than everyone around him; that is protective coloration you see. His ghilli suit, so to speak.
====================

Paul, I don't think it is n... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Paul, I don't think it is necessary for Iraq to remain united. It might be more stable as three states.
=================
Posted by: kim

Now you tell us! We could have accomplished that BY DECREE before the invasion! We could have left Saddaam with a rump state (depose him silently at our pleasure), Kurds in the north, and the zone for the Shiites. Declare all three autonomous. That's 2 out of 3 as immediate allies, and Saddaam would have gone along , too. Without a shot fired.
We had the run of the country (along with the UN) BEFORE the war. Saddaam was powerless yet pliable and able to control his people in the name of their own self-preservation.
That is why the smell of rat was so apparent worldwide and why Bush knew he must execute a quick and clean victory there, since Victory would cover the underhandedness employed by the neocon intelligence fixers. But it wasn't clean, and Bush must slough off the defeat on a general with the unprecedented title of "Warlord".


When will we know that the ... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

When will we know that the surge is working. When the administration tells us it is working. That's how we know everything. Right?

jhow66: Burt Reynolds says ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

jhow66: Burt Reynolds says the team's already got a manager. And the warden says report to his office. (Bring kneepads)

Joe Wilson's lying meme,... (Below threshold)

Joe Wilson's lying meme, and the people who support him and it, have warped the debate about our effort in Iraq from the get-go.

I don't believe that is true, but even if it were a fairly competent leader could reframe the debate to make it about the future. Can you imagine Reagan blaming a former ambassador and a film maker for his poor showing in the war of public opinion? I can't.

And Blue, you may not recognize it, but you are dodging like a child without an answer.

Dodging what question?

You have a dilemma, Blue, you recognize it will take longer in Iraq to 'win', even a lot longer. But do you agree with the need to 'win'? In other words, should we stay? If so, fine; if not, why not?

I think we should stay. I have absolutely no hope that Bush can achieve any good outcome there, but the next president deserves a shot at achieving success and that means he/she is going to need 150K troops in Iraq.

bD, actually I did talk abo... (Below threshold)
kim:

bD, actually I did talk about three states, but no one was listening. The rest of your rant fails. Dam joos.
=============================

It is so easy for Blue N... (Below threshold)

It is so easy for Blue Neo to create a matrix when the goals are moved at will by the left. ww

Boo Hoo, the big bad Lefties are picking on the President. What kind of an excuse is that? I asked Kim this question and I will ask you too, do you think Reagan would complain about what the Dems are doing? I sure don't. He would be defining the debate himself and making sure every American knew what his goals were and how they were going to be achieved.

You guys give the Left far too much credit. Any President has a HUGE bully pulpit he can use to sway public opion. If you want to blame someone for Bush's failure to mold public opiinon you should start with Bush.

Glad to see you think we sh... (Below threshold)
kim:

Glad to see you think we should stay, Blue, because we are for the short term. I'm happy for you that you are so certain of the number 150K being adequate. We need people who are sure of themselves to be running that war.

How again is 150K going to make the civilian population safe when 125K doesn't?
================

He doesn't want an adult... (Below threshold)

He doesn't want an adult conversation

And the mindreading begins. What is my favorite flavor of ice cream?

I love it; it's Bush's faul... (Below threshold)
kim:

I love it; it's Bush's fault we don't support this war.

Actually, he's prescient; when the Democrats realize we can't leave, and after the primaries, that will be a big selling point about how we need a war leader.

And John Kerry waits in the wings. Did you know he was a decisive leader and a war hero in Vietnam?
======================

Well, your adult conversati... (Below threshold)
kim:

Well, your adult conversation so far allows as how we oughta stay and we oughta have 150K over there. Blue Neponset's Adult and Perfect Solution.
================================

How again is 150K going ... (Below threshold)

How again is 150K going to make the civilian population safe when 125K doesn't?

I don't know if that is the exact number of troops needed. My point was the next President should have all the resources available to him/her that Bush has now.

Well, your adult convers... (Below threshold)

Well, your adult conversation so far allows as how we oughta stay and we oughta have 150K over there. Blue Neponset's Adult and Perfect Solution.

So what is your solution?

Well, why wouldn't the next... (Below threshold)
kim:

Well, why wouldn't the next President? This is an adult conversation?
=======================

Well, why wouldn't the n... (Below threshold)

Well, why wouldn't the next President? This is an adult conversation?

No, we seem to be one adult short.

My solution would have the ... (Below threshold)
kim:

My solution would have the Saudis, the Persians, and the Israelis jointly develop the middle east.
=======================

How Will We Know If the ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

How Will We Know If the Surge is Working?

What do you mean? Haven't you been paying attention? The surge has been working all along. It was working in February, and in March, and in April, and in May and June and July, wait--it will be working in July!

How do you know it's working? All you have to do is say that it's working and it is. It's the power of positive thinking, baby!

Oh, wait...

Iraq has emerged as the world's second most unstable country, behind Sudan, more than four years after President George W. Bush ordered the U.S. invasion to topple Saddam Hussein, according to a survey released on Monday.

The 2007 Failed States Index, produced by Foreign Policy magazine and the Fund for Peace, said Iraq suffered a third straight year of deterioration in 2006 with diminished results across a range of social, economic, political and military indicators. Iraq ranked fourth last year.

No, we seem to be one conve... (Below threshold)
kim:

No, we seem to be one conversant short.
==========================

I don't expect you to under... (Below threshold)
kim:

I don't expect you to understand the difference, mantis, between dying in defense of your neighborhood, and disappearing along with half your neighborhood in the middle of the night in the days of Saddam.

Are you arguing that we should not have gone into Iraq? Why?
==============================

My solution would have t... (Below threshold)

My solution would have the Saudis, the Persians, and the Israelis jointly develop the middle east.

That is a tall order considering the Saudis and Iranians don't recognize Isreal.

Almost forgot, Lorie, you s... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Almost forgot, Lorie, you should just listen to Kim:

The Iraq Surge is Working - March 13, 2007

Why the Surge is working - March 21, 2007

ABC News: the Surge is Working - April 4, 2007

Repeat after me: The surge is working. The surge is working. The surge is working...

It's a tall order, but is p... (Below threshold)
kim:

It's a tall order, but is probably inevitable.

mantis, more is going on now than just the surge. And it is working.
=============================

Are you arguing that we ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Are you arguing that we should not have gone into Iraq?

Not at the moment, but I could. Right now I'm making fun of the fact that many have declared everything about our Iraq adventure to be working from the very beginning. The surge has been working since before it started, it will continue working ever and anon, because they say so.

mantis, more is going on now than just the surge. And it is working.

Of course it is, that's what I'm saying! It's always been working, and it always will be working. Keep saying it, dammit!

Look, if Sunni and Shia can... (Below threshold)
kim:

Look, if Sunni and Shia can reconcile, and I think a little of that may going on, then the Jews and the Muslims can get along. They have for 1300 years.
=================================

Of course the surge has alw... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

Of course the surge has always been working!

And, it's never been about "stay the course"? Yeah, we used the phrase "stay the course" dozens of times, but it's never been about "stay the course."

Talk about credibility gap. (That's one reason Bush's numbers are in the 20s; and Congress's quiet acquiescence is why their numbers are even lower.)

You are making fun of a str... (Below threshold)
kim:

You are making fun of a strawman, mantis, which if funny if you like that sort of stuff.

The course of the war in Iraq has been difficult. It is amazing to me that we have accomplished so much at so little cost. A trillion dollars, over three thousand dead and many more injured, but look how much better we and the Iraqis are off now than before.

What makes you think you can be credible about defining 'winning' over there, when you don't think we should have been there in the first place, mantis? Think about it.
========================

"you don't think we should ... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

"you don't think we should have been there in the first place"

How convenient for all of us to talk about we, when we mean "them" - those kids of 18, 19 and 20 who are being maimed and killed. Well, slap a yellow sticker on your SUV to show your "support"...for the ongoing death of these kids who haven't even begun to live.

The course of the war in... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The course of the war in Iraq has been difficult. It is amazing to me that we have accomplished so much at so little cost. A trillion dollars, over three thousand dead and many more injured,

Taking a page from your book, kim, I'll respond that you reject any hint that there may be some more dead over there, like say, Iraqis. Care to revise your figure? Or does that "cost" not count in your equation?

but look how much better we and the Iraqis are off now than before.

Quit kidding around.

What makes you think you can be credible about defining 'winning' over there, when you don't think we should have been there in the first place, mantis? Think about it.

Ooh, good one. I think the goal of deposing Saddam and replacing his government with a Democratic one is a good and laudable goal. The reason I thought the Iraq war was a mistake was that I didn't think we could achieve the second part, and the costs of that failure would be far greater than the benefits. I could still be proven wrong, but I doubt it. In any case I don't believe I have ever defined "winning" over there, and even if I had, what's wrong with hoping someone else's wrongheaded fuckup can be salvaged? That is certainly my hope.

I remind you again, mantis,... (Below threshold)
kim:

I remind you again, mantis, of the point that it is better to die defending you home and your neighborhood than at the hands of secret police goons. I am not kidding around.
================================

Nine million purple fingere... (Below threshold)
kim:

Nine million purple fingered Iraqis voted democratically for a government, which you didn't think could be done cost effectively. Worse, you still don't think it's been done. Maybe the 'wrong-headed fuck-up' is just the way you perceive the situation.
====================

I remind you again, mant... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I remind you again, mantis, of the point that it is better to die defending you home and your neighborhood than at the hands of secret police goons.

So says you. I don't necessarily think it was right for us to make that decision for the Iraqis. And I'm pretty sure there are many Iraqis who would rather they themselves died at the hands of secret police goons than to watch their children blown to pieces. But that's a choice they didn't get to make.

And I'll remind you that either way, you're still dead.

Nine million purple fing... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Nine million purple fingered Iraqis voted democratically for a government, which you didn't think could be done cost effectively.

Elections alone do not a lasting democracy make.

Worse, you still don't think it's been done.

Huh?

Maybe the 'wrong-headed fuck-up' is just the way you perceive the situation.

Maybe the sky is blue.

Huh? Well you are the one ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Huh? Well you are the one who said you didn't think we could help establish a Democratic regime in Iraq. Well, it's been done.

You reveal yourself so starkly, mantis. So the Iraqis had the decision to depose Saddam taken from them? Oddly enough, I doubt you would so willingly live under tyranny as you would have others do.
================================

"Elections alone do not a l... (Below threshold)
kim:

"Elections alone do not a lasting democracy make" Are you defining 'winning' now as 'lasting democracy'? How long, pray tell, is 'lasting'?

Got Goalpost, Will Travel.
===============

Will you not understand, ma... (Below threshold)
kim:

Will you not understand, mantis, that having children blown up by criminals is not as bad as having children kidnapped, raped, and murdered by the state?
============

The choice is stark: a demo... (Below threshold)
kim:

The choice is stark: a democratic republic or a despotic satrapy.
=======================================

Are you defining 'winnin... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Are you defining 'winning' now as 'lasting democracy'? How long, pray tell, is 'lasting'?

Oh, the goal was not to create a lasting democracy, but rather to hold an election to form a government that controls very little and may not last at all? You're the one moving goalposts, closer and closer.

Will you not understand, mantis, that having children blown up by criminals is not as bad as having children kidnapped, raped, and murdered by the state?

Ok, for how long and in what numbers is that better? Always and no matter how many? Is one child kidnapped, raped, and murdered by the state better than thousands of blown up children? How long will we stay there supplying weapons and motivation for those who do the blowing up? When will it no longer be "better?"

The choice is stark: a d... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The choice is stark: a democratic republic or a despotic satrapy.

The first option is tenuous at best, but you keep on dreamin. The choice never existed for the Iraqis, we made it for them.

The goal was establishing d... (Below threshold)
kim:

The goal was establishing democracy. Mission accomplished. You've established movement by introducing the term 'lasting'.

Tough questions about the balancing act, but I take as a given that self-determination under a democratic republic is preferable to the vicious sort of tyranny practiced by Saddam.
=========================

Twenty percent of Iraqis wo... (Below threshold)
kim:

Twenty percent of Iraqis would have chosen Saddam; eighty percent would not have. Don't be disingenuous. With you it equates to sophistry; some can get away with it.

The Iraqis were not allowed a choice until we intervened. They understand that, and I'm amazed that you don't.

Actually, I'm sure you do understand it, but are using it because it is a standard anti-war talking point. mantis, you are better than that, I am sure of it.
===============================

Dreaming? It is the Iraqis... (Below threshold)
kim:

Dreaming? It is the Iraqis who are dreaming. The fact is that democratic elections are an option for bringing about the Islamic concept of 'justice' and it may even serve as a way middleasterners can co-exist rather than defaulting to ethnic cleansing.
==================

The goal was establishin... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The goal was establishing democracy. Mission accomplished.

Ok fine, why are we still there fighting?

The Iraqis were not allowed a choice until we intervened. They understand that, and I'm amazed that you don't.

That's no choice at all. I'm amazed you don't understand that.

Saddam's rule gave them no ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Saddam's rule gave them no choice until we intervened. Are you willfully blind?

We are still there fighting because of a variety of reasons. You are being sophistical here. You brought up that you didn't think we could establish a democratic regime there, and I point out that that mission is already accomplished.

Do you think we should have stopped fighting once the mission of deposing Saddam was done? You have a dilemma similar to Blue's which I see he is stewing over in the corner. Define a few goals, define 'winning', do something besides indulging yourselves in Bush Derangement Syndrome.
======================================

In case you still don't und... (Below threshold)
kim:

In case you still don't understand, what is going on in Iraq presently, is universal political choosing, which wasn't happening at all with Saddam's suppression. They had chosen to reject Saddam, but were powerless to act.

I did not expect to hear you cheerleading for tyranny. Bush Derangement Syndrome causes manifold symptoms.
==============================

Why would happy kite-flying... (Below threshold)
kim:

Why would happy kite-flying Iraqis give flowers to invaders, anyway?
=====================================

I did not expect to hear... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I did not expect to hear you cheerleading for tyranny. Bush Derangement Syndrome causes manifold symptoms.

You know I don't have "Bush Derangement Syndrome" and you know I'm not cheerleading for tyranny. If that's the bullshit you want to sling then you're not worth talking to anymore. Carry on.

Oh, and get bent, fuckhead.... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Oh, and get bent, fuckhead.

We're entirely leaving out ... (Below threshold)
kim:

We're entirely leaving out of this equation so far that Saddam was starving Iraqi children so he could acquire WMD before the Persians.
===================================

sic semper tyrannis, usuall... (Below threshold)
kim:

sic semper tyrannis, usually honest disputant.
==========================

"Wrongheaded fuck-up' is Bu... (Below threshold)
kim:

"Wrongheaded fuck-up' is Bush Derangement Syndromese. If the tongue ring fits, blow smoke through it.
=====================

Look, you know, in your hea... (Below threshold)
kim:

Look, you know, in your heart, that going there was the right thing to do. Now what do we do? I, for one, am not so sure of the right course as I was.
==============================

It seems to me that Sunni a... (Below threshold)
kim:

It seems to me that Sunni and Shia may be remembering they are brothers. And de Paki got de bomb Joe Wilson helped 'em get. Will we defend Israel from nuclear attack? Can we?
========================

The strike on the Israeli g... (Below threshold)
kim:

The strike on the Israeli guided missile ship last year showed that the Republican Guards can penetrate the most sophisticated missile detection and deflection system the Israelis have. At least they could last year. I'll bet all those electronic signals are thoroughly studied.
============================

So that's probably what's h... (Below threshold)
kim:

So that's probably what's happening; the insurgents have been abandoned by their foreign support and turned on by the natives, all at once.
=====================================

Blue Neo, it is the lefties... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Blue Neo, it is the lefties that constantly say we lost. What matrix did you use to come to that conclusion? I bet the matrix has changed many times to suit your ends which is to bash GW.

GW's ratings are in the low 30's. The democratic leadership in congress is in the low 20's.

I slowly see the wheels coming off the dimmers wagons. ww

Hey, we won. The Iraqis wo... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hey, we won. The Iraqis won. Everyone over there thinks so but for a diminishing number of criminals.
===============================

And we've demolished bin La... (Below threshold)
kim:

And we've demolished bin Laden's al-Qaeda, which was yet another goal of going into Iraq, if not all of radical Islam. Of course, it is not our job to suppress all of radical Islam; that job belongs to Allah and the Muslims, and it seems to me they are getting about it.
===============================

We'll know if the surge is ... (Below threshold)
Gator:

We'll know if the surge is working by the repercussions we suffer from, I just wouldn't bet the "house" on it just yet. Everything points to difference in government: Islam vs. Democracy. Sure we have the weapons, but they have the insanity to use at will, and whenever. The next election here scares me, I see nothing but banana backbones, and high costs. These are our short-comings, coming to fruition. If we keep using the phrase, "thou shalt war" we're in for some big trouble: Retaliation !

Hey, it's they who 'shalt w... (Below threshold)
kim:

Hey, it's they who 'shalt war'. I like banana backbones. Yep, I'll steal it, thanks. With attribution of course. Are you an orange gator?
==================

The surge has been worki... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

The surge has been working since before it started, it will continue working ever and anon, because they say so.

No, you got it backwards. The war in Iraq has been failing, it's always been failing. Why, it started failing before it happened. And it was really failing when, during the fastest armored advance in history, they stopped to refuel during a sandstorm. That right there was the beginning of the quagmire.
Just like the war in Afghanistan has always been failing. Remember how, right before those pussy Taliban ran away, we were about to lose in the Graveyard of Empires?

We are in Iraq, the stakes are incredibly high, it is very important. The result of a free and democratic Iraq would be incredibly important to that region and to the world.

But no, we've already lost so we have to run away because little children don't understand that decisions have consequences.

So many lies of commission ... (Below threshold)
kim:

So many lies of commission and omission have been told to diminish our support for this war, starting with Joe Wilson, Val Plame, Jay Rockefeller, and John Kerry at the May, '03 Senate Democratic Policy Committee meeting.
====================================




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