Sunday, May 01, 2005

Letting in the Draft?

I found this article by chance, I want you read it, and your opinion about it.

by Tom Engelhardt April 27, 2005


"An overstretched military? You bet. Things going terribly in Iraq? No kidding. Why only yesterday, Jill Carroll and Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor reminded us that, with 140,000 troops (and untold numbers of mercenaries) in Iraq, the Americans can't defend a crucial six-mile stretch of highway between the two lodestars of the American occupation -- Baghdad International Airport, a vast, fortified military encampment, and the Green Zone in the heart of the capital, another vast, fortified encampment. Carroll and Murphy write:

"The danger of the airport road also speaks to the wider problem of securing a country in the face of a dispersed and committed insurgency blended within the civilian population. Millions of cars traverse Baghdad's roads every day, and just a handful of them are carrying suicide bombers. For the Iraqi government and US forces, it's a needle-in-the-haystack problem with few practical solutions. There is limited US military manpower for adding checkpoints, but even if it was logistically possible, stopping every car on Baghdad's roads would bring the city to a grinding halt and make the airport journey even longer than it is now... The airport road is a direct link to the US headquarters in the secured Green Zone. But rather than risk the road, US diplomats fly by helicopter from the airport to the Green Zone."

As Patrick Cockburn of the British Independent commented last week, the inability to stop attacks along this stretch of highway has "become a symbol of the failure of the US in Iraq. Heavily armoured US patrols, prone to open fire unpredictably, are regarded as being as dangerous as the insurgents." On this highway, in the last week, five foreign "contractors" and the young aid worker Marla Ruzicka all died and others were wounded. The Americans undoubtedly dream of bringing in Iraqi troops, sooner rather than later, to help with the security task. Unfortunately, these highly touted, newly trained troops have evidently been deserting their posts in significant numbers in embattled parts of the country. "On the Syrian border, US troops in the Sunni city of Husaybah report mass desertions," writes Oliver Poole of the British Telegraph.

"An Iraqi unit that had once grown to 400 troops now numbers a few dozen who are 'holed up' inside a local phosphate plant. Major John Reed, of the 2nd Marine Regiment, said: 'They will claim that they are ready to come back and fight but there are no more than 30 of them on duty on any given day and they are completely ineffective.'"

In the last months, the Americans (as happened in the latter part of the Vietnam War) have also hunkered down in their bases, attempting to reduce casualties, among other things. In response, the insurgents have recently been launching more sophisticated operations, including, for the first time, serious attacks on isolated bases.

In the meantime, Baghdad continues to be an occupied city -- even at the level of symbolism. A report, translated from the Arabic and appearing at Watching America, an interesting new site featuring pieces about the U.S. from around the world, states:

"Iraq's new president has said he will not reside in the Presidential Palace, which for many Iraqis is a symbol of the country's sovereignty. Jalal Talabani said that the interim government has agreed to rent the palace to the Americans for two years. The presidential complex on the banks of the Tigris River is a maze of palaces, green lawns and orchards... President Talabani said that the Americans 'might' evacuate the palace when the lease expires."

Sovereignty anyone? In order to gain legitimacy, the Iraqis who were elected on January 30th would need to put some real distance between themselves and the American occupiers. However, as Middle Eastern expert Robert Dreyfuss comments in a canny piece at Tompaine.com, "doing so... is impossible, since the newly elected regime wouldn't last a week without the protection of U.S. forces." In any case, the new government, such as it is, will be a familiar one. "[V]irtually all of its leading actors," Dreyfuss comments, "are retreads from the IGC, which was appointed by L. Paul Bremer, and from Ahmed Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress, the exile-dominated coalition that included Chalabi, Talabani, Abdel Aziz Hakim of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, and other officials and members of the just-elected National Assembly."

To the frustration of the Bush administration, the Iraqis have proved incapable for almost two months of forming a government, in part because of the nature of Article 38 of the "interim constitution" that Bush officials so cleverly imposed upon them, as Justin Raimondo, columnist for Antiwar.com pointed out recently. And, of course, they too must meet inside the Green Zone where, Rory Carroll of the Guardian observes, "the 10,000 Iraqis who also live in the zone need passes to enter and must negotiate several checkpoints, as if they are in quarantine." Even the legislators are not immune from the indignities of occupation. As Carroll reports:

"Last week an assembly member named Fattah al-Sheikh said he was roughed up and humiliated by US troops on his way in. One allegedly grabbed him by the throat, another handcuffed him, and a third kicked his car. 'I was dragged to the ground,' he told parliament, weeping. 'What happened to me represents an insult to the whole national assembly that was elected by the Iraqi people. This shows that the democracy we are enjoying is fake.'"

Juan Cole offered the following on this incident: "[It] will seem minor to most Americans and few will see this Reuters photograph [of the legislator wiping away his tears] reprinted from al-Hayat... But such an incident is a serious affront to national honor, and Iraqi male politicians don't often weep." Naturally, Brigadier General Karl Horst of the 3rd infantry division "expressed regret" and promised "a thorough investigation"; but we've just seen, in the case of kidnapped Italian journalist Guiliana Sgrena and Nicola Calipari, the agent who died on the Baghdad Airport road after rescuing her, how such investigations generally turn out -- even when those who have suffered at American hands are citizens of the administration's second closest ally, Italy, with its government in desperate shape and its deployment in Iraq at stake.

This seems to be more or less the state of things -- impunity and quiet desperation -- as the Bush administration tries to keep the world it dreamed of dominating under some kind of control; and yet, as Michael Schwartz has made clear, it faces a daunting task simply keeping boots on the ground in Iraq. By the way, General Eric Shinseki's prewar comments -- which more or less got him laughed out of Washington by the neocons -- that we would need "several hundred thousand troops" to succeed in a post-war, occupied Iraq have often been quoted by critics, who invariably point out how right he was. I've never, however, seen anyone explain where exactly those 200,000-300,000 extra troops were going to come from. What we can now see is that, before the invasion of Iraq ever began, the Pentagon had already traded in those boots-on-the-ground for its high-tech army. (This is why, as the Boston Globe reported recently, ill-prepared Air Force and Navy personnel find themselves assigned to duties like "protecting supply convoys traveling along Iraq's violent roadways" -- and dying.)

It wasn't simply that Rumsfeld was wrong in his decision. After all, to do otherwise than he did, he would have had to strip the empire of troops. I suspect, given the numbers, that he had little choice -- of course, he and his cronies also believed in those strewn flowers and that "cakewalk" -- and that Shinseki's "several hundred thousand" statement was his way of saying exactly what they didn't want to hear: Don't do it, guys! So much for retrospect. As for the future, the Bush administration, backed into a military corner, may turn its thoughts to a future draft."

This is one of many articles about the war in iraq I found in this site.
The name of the site is Iraq Watch
Iraq Watch is a ZNet subsite providing alternative news and analysis of past, present and ongoing events, conflicts and crises in Iraq.

You can find it at "http://www.zmag.org/CrisesCurEvts/Iraq/IraqCrisis.cfm"

363 comments:

1 – 200 of 363   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Just to correct the semantics, that's less an "article" than an "editorial". It's an opinion piece. There's a saying in America (sorry for the crudeness) that goes "Opinions are like a**holes. Everyone has one."

This is not really a factual, non-biased article. It is one man on the internet (on an obviously rabidly anti-war website, judging by the other things written there) expressing his opinion and, frankly, it's so poorly written I can't even tell what his opinion is other than he selectively references some news items and basically proclaims that Iraq is a mess.

In the last paragraph he brings up the usual left-wing scare tactic of saying that there will be a military draft. I can tell you right now, TruthTeller, that will not happen.

So I guess I'm interested to know what you found compelling in this piece and why you thought it worth posting about. Can you tell us?

Dan said...

It is time for IRAQIS to start protecting THEMSELVES! Surely, with MILLIONS of Iraqi citizens, they can, at least, guard and secure a six mile stretch of road.

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
Tom Engelhardt went to Yale and Harvard. If these American universities are as good as they say, I suppose one must assume that his writing must be better than "poor". But then, George W. Bush went to Yale as well, so that may not be as meaningful as some people think... Afterwards Tom Engelhardt developed a career in editing, so that, again, his writing must pass the test...
Of course Anonymous is entitled to not liking his opinions, but then he should make an effort to criticize those opinions, and not try to make us believe the author is a slob who can't even spell his name...
Finally, I'm sure all young Americans will be much relieved to learn from such an authoritive source that there will be no draft... However, just in case, I would start looking for a place to stay in Canada...

Anonymous said...

Hello Truth Teller,
The news is worse than that. Jaafari is starting out the new administration with an outright purge of all Sunnis as baathists. Americans should not be getting into the middle of an ethnic war.
I read that Pacachi is leaving Iraq. Al-Amri, the commander of the Badr militia will be the new Interior Minister amid Shia cries for revenge. Bush, the perenial idiot chose to salute the new ministers, including oil czar/con man/spy Chalabi;
"I join with all Americans in congratulating Iraq's new leaders and in wishing them well as they begin to serve their country in this new government," Bush said in a statement released by the White House.
Apparently he has no idea what is going on.

Anonymous said...

Albatroz,

Why don't you try to succinctly and intelligently paraphrase the eloquent and well thought out opinions expressed by Mr. Engelhardt since it obviously eluded me. What I read was a hodge-podge of scattered quotes and references to other selected news articles or anti-war commenters, accompanied by no intelligent analysis and no original opinions other than the last line asserting there will be a draft (and that's hardly an "original" opinion, especially among anti-war types)

Maybe it's a "read between the lines" trick? Because there's not much there there. I don't care what schools the man went to. He obviously didn't learn much in the way of analysis or effective communication at those schools.

Anonymous said...

Finally, I'm sure all young Americans will be much relieved to learn from such an authoritive source that there will be no draft...However, just in case, I would start looking for a place to stay in Canada...

Would you like to place a bet? I'd be willing to put my entire life savings on the line that there will be no draft. That's how 100% positive I am. I don't need to convince you. I know there will be no draft. Anyone who brings up that tired, worn-out "watch out for the draft" scare tactic, to the detriment of more intelligent arguments, is not taken seriously by any serious-minded person. You are, of course, free to keep invoking that particular boogeymen if you want to but it does nothing to further your argument.

Hurria said...

"It is time for IRAQIS to start protecting THEMSELVES! Surely, with MILLIONS of Iraqi citizens, they can, at least, guard and secure a six mile stretch of road."

What you appear unaware of is that the road between the green zone and the airport is the main connector between the two primary locations from which the business of the occupation is conducted. The majority of travel on that road has to do with the occupation. Therefore, to guard that road is to guard the occupation and its interests, not Iraqis.

If the Americans would just leave, then the Iraqi "security forces" would be freed from their present job of following the orders of the occupation force commanders, and acting as proxies for and protectors of the occupier and its interests. At that point they could turn their attention and energies away from acting to support and protect the occupation, and start protecting Iraqis.

Anonymous said...

At that point they could turn their attention and energies away from acting to support and protect the occupation, and start protecting Iraqis.

That's what they're doing, or trying to do, now. Where did you get your information that the Iraqi forces are protecting the "occupation"? Give us specifics, please, not just generalities claiming that because the "occupation" exists Iraqi troops must exist only to protect it. The "occupation" is supplying it's own protection. The Iraqi forces are on the streets trying to protect the Iraqi people. Just because they go after "insurgents" doesn't mean they're protecting U.S. troops. If you hadn't already noticed the "insurgents" are killing many more Iraqis than Americans. Just in the past week or so "insurgents" have killed something like 10 U.S. troops and several hundred Iraqis. The ratio is running roughly 20 to 1.

Exadios said...

IMO the op. ed. is a pretty good summary of the situation of the present reality.

Lets forget what should have occurred previously. What should be occurring now is that we should be withdrawing our troops. If this government, elected in February, or subsequent governments to be elected, cannot stand now without our military support then they will not be able to do so in two years time, or five years time, or at any time in the future. And any government that exists only because of our military support will be perceived to be our puppets. It follows that, in order to achieve the optimal outcome (what ever that outcome will be), now is the time to leave.

Finally if, as the administration claims, Iraq is the front line in the "War against Terror" (because we have made it so), then clearly we are loosing.

Moron99 said...

In the spring and summmer of 2002 there was a split in American politics. One group concluded that fighting terror was a law enforcement issue that should be pursued through international law and diplomacy. A second group concluded that putting terrorists in jail would accomplish nothing until the ideology of terror was defeated. A third, and quite large group, was so busy reading about afghanistan and OBL, that they entirely missed the real debates regarding long term goals. After a spring and summer of debates, the American think tank arrived at a majority concensus supporting #2.

The first group and a large portion of the third group never came to grips with the decision to wage ideological war. They were later joined by the Europeans who were extremely upset in the severe degredation of UN influence. It is through UN security council seats that a declining Europe enjoys more influence over world events than their economies or militaries justify.

You can readily identify members of these groups because they never address issues relating to waging ideological warfare against terrorists. They constantly refer to Vietnam, they have wild oil conspriacy theories, they claim that America is empire building, and myriad other half baked ideas. The simple truth is that they either don't know or don't accept that the US is waging ideological warfare. For them, none of this makes any sense.

For example, why did the US only use 150K troops? They can't say that the US uses so few troops because we aren't trying to build an empire. That would conflict with some of their other wild-eyed theories. So instead, they claim that the military is falling apart and overstretched. You can pretty much go through all of the claims and analysis and the common thread that ties it all together is a rejection of the sinple truth ... after 9/11 the US decided to wage ideological warfare against terrorism and the heartland of the ideology lies in the mideast.

Hurria said...

"That's what they're doing, or trying to do, now."

You clearly keep up very well with the propaganda put out by the Bush administration.

Iraqi "security forces" have been from the beginning and are until this moment part of the American occupation, and take all of their orders from the American occupation commanders. The objective of the occupation forces has never been and will never be to protect Iraqis, but to continue the occupation. The primary purpose of the Iraqi "security forces" is to act as proxy forces for the American occupation forces, to do their dirty work for them, and to take casualties in place of Americans. As long as the occupation continues, they will be part of the occupation, and their purpose will be to serve the interests of the occupying power.

Anonymous said...

You clearly keep up very well with the propaganda put out by the Bush administration.

No, I listen to people who are actually on the ground in Iraq, both Iraqis and Americans. I don't particularly like the Bush Administration nor swallow anyone's propaganda, but nice try.

Iraqi "security forces" have been from the beginning and are until this moment part of the American occupation, and take all of their orders from the American occupation commanders

Well, no one disputed that they are being trained and mentored by U.S. forces. That's acknowledged. Has anyone disputed that? Although that is slowly changing and Iraqi forces are taking more and more control in specific areas. Sorry, I don't have the time to do an extensive search right now but there have been numerous articles describing this in detail including a long article in the Washington Post or NY Times in the last week or so that specifically addressed this and the reporter riding along discussed Iraqi forces taking control of specific areas and giving, not taking, orders to the handful of U.S. military advisors riding along. Scoff all you want, as I suspect you will, but this is the direction being taken and time will bear that out. One of us will be proved wrong and I strongly suspect it will be you.

The objective of the occupation forces has never been and will never be to protect Iraqis, but to continue the occupation.

Wow, you're so brilliant. That's the goal, of course. To continue "the occupation" indefinitely because it's so much fun spending billions of dollars and absorbing 40 deaths a month. Damn. You figured it out. Can't pull the wool over your eyes. No, Sir.

P.S. - You seem to be in love with the word "occupation". You've inserted it every 7 words or so, it seems. At some point, even if you didn't reach that point after the recent election, you're going to have to come up with another word. Maybe after the next election in December when the Iraqi people again vote for their own government. Sorry to disappoint you but under such circumstances, a freely elected government under an Iraqi-written constitution, the term "occupation" does not apply under international law or under any understanding of the word. So start looking in your dictionary now.

Hurria said...

"I listen to people who are actually on the ground in Iraq, both Iraqis and Americans."

Oh, really? And just where do you find these people, and how do you know who they are, that they are indeed in Iraq, and that what they are telling you has any relationship to reality?

"Iraqi forces are taking more and more control in specific areas."

Really! And who, exactly, are your Iraqi and American contacts on the ground in Iraq telling you is commanding them?

"no one disputed that they are being trained and mentored by U.S. forces."

They are not being "trained and mentored" by U.S. forces. Every move they make is under the orders of U.S. occupation force commanders, who are also their commanders.

"there have been numerous articles describing this in detail including a long article in the Washington Post or NY Times"

Hmmmmm - I thought you said you get your information from Iraqis and Americans on the ground in Iraq, and now you are telling me you get it from the U.S. press. Which is it?

"the term "occupation" does not apply under international law or under any understanding of the word"".

You might be able to bamboozle some people by sounding as if you know what you are talking about, but you will never bamboozle anyone who has a clue. What you have said could not be more wrong from the perspective of both international law, and any reasonable understanding of the word occupation.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm - I thought you said you get your information from Iraqis and Americans on the ground in Iraq...

Yes, genius, an American reporter on the ground in Iraq qualifies as an "American on the ground in Iraq". Is that difficult for you to comprehend? There are many sources in the media both foreign and domestic, in blogs and in other ways to get information from people on the ground in Iraq. Just where do you get your supposedly superior information from? Are you in Baghdad? If not, your information sources are not better than mine.


Hurria,

You've expended a lot of words in saying nothing and had not one fact to dispute anything I said.

As I said, time will tell. I am quite comfortable in what I know. You seem quite comfortable in what you know. One of us will be proved right and one of us will be proved wrong. I know which one I will be and would relish the opportunity to talk with you in a year or two. I hope you like the taste of crow.

Cheers!

Hurria said...

"an American reporter on the ground in Iraq qualifies as an "American on the ground in Iraq"."

I see. So, those "Iraqis and Americans on the ground in Iraq" from whom you say you get your information are actually American reporters.

Evidently you are unaware that only rarely to American reporters in Iraq leave the green zone, and that with only extremely rare exceptions they get all their information from the daily press briefings by the occupation authories.

Nevermind, though. That was obvious from the beginning.

And by the way, I do not claim to be a genius, just an ordinary person who knows Iraq and happens to be actually aware of the realities on the ground in Iraq as opposed to someone who pretends to know what is going on in a country he has no real knowledge of, and probably could not find on an unlabeled map.

Anonymous said...

So, those "Iraqis and Americans on the ground in Iraq" from whom you say you get your information are actually American reporters.

Sometimes, not always. There are many other sources of information.

Evidently you are unaware that only rarely to American reporters in Iraq leave the green zone, and that with only extremely rare exceptions they get all their information from the daily press briefings by the occupation authories.

I know the difference between press briefings and on the ground reporting. I'm referring to the latter, including interviews and first-hand reportage.

And by the way, I do not claim to be a genius, just an ordinary person who knows Iraq and happens to be actually aware of the realities on the ground in Iraq

Please identify, in detail, your superior sources of current "on the ground" information. Thanks.


What you have said could not be more wrong from the perspective of both international law, and any reasonable understanding of the word occupation.

Territory is considered "occupied" when it is actually placed under the authority of foreign armed forces, whether partially or entirely, without the consent of the domestic government.

International Committee of the Red Cross

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm off to bed, it's almost 3am.

I will be waiting with bated breath for your exhaustive and compelling "on the ground" information sources, Hurria. And I mean that sincerely. I'm a very intellectually curious person who seeks the truth. If your sources are truly superior and give a factual basis to confront my understandings, I will certainly investigate with an open mind.

I also propose we meet again on this page in a year or so, if it is still up, and see whose perceptions are being proven right. I look forward to the day.

G'night.

Hurria said...

"There are many other sources of information."

Such as? So far the only source of information you have mentioned specifically is the Washington Post - or the NYT, you were not sure which. You did not, of course, mention which reporters, or cite a specific news article - come to think of it, you were not even sure in which American newspaper it had appeared.

"I know the difference between press briefings and on the ground reporting."

How do you know the difference? What, in your minde, distinguishes one from the other? Pardon my skepticism, but so far you have demonstrated that do not know the difference between getting your information from Iraqis and Americans on the ground in Iraq, and U.S. news media such as the Washington Post - or the NYT, you are not sure which.

"Please identify, in detail, your superior sources of current "on the ground" information."

Of course - but it would be rude of me to do so before you identify, in detail, your Iraqi and American on-the-ground sources.

"Territory is considered "occupied" when it is actually placed under the authority of foreign armed forces, whether partially or entirely, without the consent of the domestic government."

As anyone can see, by this definition, Iraq remains an occupied state. We can certainly explore this in more detail at a future time.

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
Tom Engelhardt, writing as a reporter, tells of the many reasons why things do not seem to be going well for the American adventure in Iraq. His quotes seem to support that opinion. As to the draft, he is very likely right in his assessment that it is a most probable development. Bush and his friends think that the war in Vietnam was lost for two main reasons: television showing daily American soldiers being killed, and the use of conscripts. So, in Iraq, Bush tried to solve these problems in the following way: First: embedding journalists, so that they only tell what the military approve, and shooting independent journalists, just as happens regularly with Al-Jazeera reporters, and just happened with the Italian jornalist Giuliana Sgrena; Second: avoid the draft and use professional soldiers. Unfortunately these "professional soldiers" are not very professional. National Guards are poorly trained and only signed up to play soldier on their own backyards, not to get shot at and killed in Iraq. As the number of reenlistments in the National Guard drops, the military are forced to make a difficult choice: either they end their occupation of Iraq or they must find elsewhere the replacements for a long and bloody occupation. Forcing parttime soldiers to do three or more tours of duty in Iraq is not feasible, not only because of poor moral, but because those National Guards will refuse to reenlist. The only solution left is the draft. So, it will come, unless the Americans decide to leave Iraq. An unlikely decision, since the US does not want to lose control of all that oil.
There is another reason why the war will be increasingly unpopular: although the number of dead has not been very high - compared with the 50,000 who died in Vietnam - the number of serious injuries is pretty high, and the sight of a limbless soldier is, at least, as disturbing as was the sight of all those coffins arriving from Saigon. In a democracy (of a sort) imperialism only works if wars are short and not too costly. The present war in Iraq is getting longer and longer, and the costs are mounting. Draft or no draft, regular Americans are going to become increasingly opposed to the war. The draft will only speed up that process.

Albatroz said...

Moron99 (expert on Iraq and Europe),

You stated, "The simple truth is that they either don't know or don't accept that the US is waging ideological warfare".

In my book ideological warfare is carried out with ideas, not guns. The Soviet Union and the US waged an ideological warfare. The US are waging an old-fashioned colonial war in Iraq, where you shoot wags (or is it ragheads?) to steal their goodies (oil). Besides, Americans have no ideas worth that name on what concerns the Middle East.

"They were later joined by the Europeans who were extremely upset in the severe degredation of UN influence. It is through UN security council seats that a declining Europe enjoys more influence over world events than their economies or militaries justify".

You forget that Europe is not a nation, not even a state. Europe is a civilization. And we are quite proud of the fact that we no longer equate influence with aggression. True, the UN are seen by most of us as the ideal place to solve conflicts. That's why the UN were set up in the first place. As to our influence, I believe that economically it is still pretty high - for some reason the Euro has been gaining in value against the Dollar -, but I aggree that is is not much from a military point of view. By our own choice. We have proven that we are quite capable of senseless killing in two world wars, but we ended up by deciding that it was not a very civilized thing to do, nor very profitable. However, if attacked (in reality, not in immagination), we will defend ourselves. But we do not go around the world imposing our will on others. Eventually, maybe after one or two more defeats (Vietnam style), you will learn to act in a more civilized and responsible manner. I hope not too many Americans will have to die for the lesson to be learned.

waldschrat said...

Near Mosul the other day, a bomb at a funeral killed more than 2 dozen Iraqis according to a report. These were not faceless robots controlled by George Bush via some video game console in the White House, they were living human beings, Iraqi citizens, fellow countrymen of the heartless murderers who slaughtered them.

What did that prove, Hurria? What did it accomplish? What have the uncountable incidents like it done to improve the situation in Iraq?

I can respect honest anger against the American invasion of Iraq and the continuing American presence in Iraq. However, I believe that determined denial of any good in American motives and stubborn refusal to accept that the process of developing a government to succeed the regime of Saddam is in any way legitimate puts you logically in a position of supporting the killers, Hurria.

Saddam gained and held power by force, as I understand it. What you seem to advocate is that the regime which follows Saddam should be likewise imposed by force. I sincerely doubt that it would be a good, fair, honest regime if it were imposed that way.

Like it or not, America liberated Iraq from Saddam. It's done. It's history. Some sort of government is going to have to come into existence to replace the one which was removed.

Who would really want that new government to be imposed by the lunatic jihadi murderers who understand nothing but violence and believe political and ideological change can only be achieved via armed conflict?

Hurria, you say the Iraqi police and military are merely minions of the "occupier", following the orders of an illegitimate authority. Yet, it seems they are committing no great crimes on the orders of that illegitimate authority. If the illegitiate authority commands them to do good and reasonable deeds, and they do so, what offense have they given to common sense and justice?

The word is "liberator", not "occupier", Hurria. And the killers you mistake for "patriots" are "heartless murderers motivated by selfish interests". I don't object to your using the word "occupier" if it makes you happy, but please don't use it to justify slaughtering honest Iraqis.

Don Cox said...

"And just where do you find these people, and how do you know who they are, that they are indeed in Iraq, and that what they are telling you has any relationship to reality? " How do I know that the author of this blog really lives in Mosul? Because his posts over a period of months are consistent and convincing. It could be that this whole blog is written by somebody sitting in a CIA office somewhere in the US, but if so that person has remarkable literary skills, as do those who write the other blogs that confirm this one. I think it is simpler to accept that this and the other Iraqi blogs (which show a wide variety of opinions) are genuine.

Moron99 said...

There are some blogs that predict future events, give knowledge that conveys insight into the course of future events, or simply describe conditions within Iraq. Over time, you can compare the author's opinions with actual events and evaluate their accuracy from the perspective of how often they have been right in the past. There are a number of Iraqi bloggers whose record is far better than the media or experts (such as Juan Cole who made outlandish predictions regarding Sadr). In specific, the Bagdhadee forums, the AllIraqi forums, BBC Arabic forums, ITM, Healing Iraq, and the Messopotamian have all established superior track records.

Insurgent friendly blogs such as Raed, uruknet, and this one are rarely accurate in terms of predictions or claims. They jump on the every bandwagon without examining the logic. For example, they went on and on about the Italian journalist and how the americans intentionally attacked her car. Now that satellite records show that her car was driving at 100Kph, they fall silent and jump onto the next bandwagon. However, as a body they predict the future in a different way. When the ebb and flow of their beligerence approaches crescendo, attacks on the ground increase.

So anyway, that is where you'll find more accurate information about the future. I automatically assume that anyone who can accurately predict the future is doing so on the basis of having more accurate information and a more accurate understanding of public sentiment.

BTW - the current direction of these groups is a deep support of the current government and continued calls for the Shia and Kurds to continue along the road of peace and fight the insurgents through their government. There are some who have agreed with the Iranian fatwa, but most reject it. The issues of greatest discussion currently relate to clensing the government without causing additional harm towards innocent sunni or penalizing people who became baathists for non-politcal reasons. There is also a growing concesus amoung them that the car bombs are not the work of jihadists as much as Iraqis who oppose the government.

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

If you refuse the concept of an ideological war that uses military force as a catalyst then you are left without any basis for understanding why the US makes its choices of action and inaction. It will lead you to false conclusions such as an imminent invasion of Iran and it will lead you to self-conflicting explanations such as explaining a $500 billion war as an attempt to grab $100 billion in oil or an army stretched too thin that intends to invade another country. If you are unable to understand a war with only ideological goals, then you may roughly approximate it as a war of occupation where the desired occupant is the 70% majority of indigenous citizens who hold moderate viewpoints. If you can understand this, then you will be required to analyze what is required for that 70% to maintain power ... at which point you realize that teaching that 70% how to sustain themselves is an important task even if it means letting them stub their toe or stab you in the back.

Anonymous said...

You did not, of course, mention which reporters, or cite a specific news article - come to think of it, you were not even sure in which American newspaper it had appeared.

I acknowledged that. Sorry if I didn’t have the specific reference at my fingertips. I read many newspapers and could not remember which one that specific article appeared in. If you were as interested as I am in gathering as much information on Iraq as possible you would have already read the article I was referring to. I’m not going to go crazy searching for it. I have a job and a life. But that specific reference was only one of many similar things I’ve read. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will see them too.

How do you know the difference? What, in your minde, distinguishes one from the other? Pardon my skepticism, but so far you have demonstrated that do not know the difference between getting your information from Iraqis and Americans on the ground in Iraq, and U.S. news media such as the Washington Post - or the NYT, you are not sure which.

It’s very simple to tell a press briefing from on the ground reportage. Do I have to explain it to you? One involves “the U.S. military said [x,y,z…]”, the other involves a reporter on the ground describing what he sees and hears, interviewing people, etc. When I read a well-written article in which a reporter “on the ground” does just that then that is, by definition, an “American on the ground in Iraq” often interviewing “Iraqis on the ground in Iraq”. That is first hand information whether you want to admit it or not.

Of course - but it would be rude of me to do so before you identify, in detail, your Iraqi and American on-the-ground sources.

If you had better sources of information than mine, which you scoff at, I’d think you’d want to share them with me and the class, if only to enlighten us and show us the error of our ways. So what's holding you back?

As anyone can see, by this definition, Iraq remains an occupied state. We can certainly explore this in more detail at a future time.

Let’s go back to what was said, shall we?

I wrote:

Maybe after the next election in December when the Iraqi people again vote for their own government. Sorry to disappoint you but under such circumstances, a freely elected government under an Iraqi-written constitution, the term "occupation" does not apply under international law or under any understanding of the word.

You wrote:

What you have said could not be more wrong from the perspective of both international law, and any reasonable understanding of the word occupation.

I then showed you the relevant definition that proves I’m right.
You're going to need some facts to convince me of your argument. So far, you have none.

Anonymous said...

However, if attacked (in reality, not in immagination), we [Europeans] will defend ourselves.

No, you won't. You will ask America to defend you, as usual. And America will, as usual.

Albatroz said...

Moron99,
I presume that the ideology moving the US, in your opinion, is democracy. Democracy being, for an American, a regime based on political parties, in which the rulers are periodically elected on the basis of those same political parties. However, I suppose you will aggree that political systems are very much dependent on culture and tradition, and that different peoples will have different views on what represents a democratic and legitimate system of government. It could very well be that a legitimate government, for Iraqis, would be chosen on a very different basis from the American democratic option. In many parts of the world political parties are not good vehicles of legitimate power. Because they tend to fall prey to corruption and ignore the people's real needs. Imposing on Iraqis a system based on the American concept of democracy could thus generate a very undemocratic and corrupt power. You may say that Iraqis are now free to write their own constitution as they see fit. But the fact is that present politicians - who will decide what constitution will be written - have been chosen in a manner that seemed legitimate to Americans, not to Iraqis. In no time these bunch of Iraqi elected politicians will be seen by the majority of Iraqis as incompetent, greedy and corrupt. Which most of them probably are. Such a divorce between the rulers and the ruled will lead to violence, to revolt and to oppression. All those things that Americans wanted to avoid, but which were intrinsecally built into the provisional system imposed on the Iraqis. Better believe that in no way will Americans ever be able to foster a legitimate government in Iraq, because your idea of legitimacy does not correspond to the Iraqi's. You have been arrogant. And you are brutal, convinced that military force can change people's believes. The least disastrous thing you could do would be to get the hell out of Iraq as fast as possible. And take Saddam Hussein with you, if you will. Iraqis would then have a real chance to choose a government to their liking, although maybe not to YOUR liking. But since it's their country, not yours, that should be of no concern to you.

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
If you have any influence on the Bush administration please tell them not to bother to "defend" us, if ever we are attacked... I assure you we dread our "saviours" a lot more than we fear our enemies...

Anonymous said...

Ah, but it's not up to you, Albatroz. It's up to your governments. And prior examples lead to the inevitable conclusion that they will ask the U.S. to come to your rescue particularly after you have spent the last 60 years basking under the U.S. protection umbrella and letting your militaries rot.

Moron99 said...

The ideology being promoted is tolerance of oppossing ideas without resorting to violence and the empowerment of government through the mechanisms of majority concensus. Your definition of democracy is too narrow to find a place within the US agenda. There is no specific assumption about what form it should take, the end result, the local leaders, or the political beliefs of the leaders. The only defining factor is that it ends up being arrived at through majority concensus. If the majority of Iraqis want to put the baathists into power, then so be it. If they wish to establish an Iranian style theocracy then so be that. If they wish to establish a European parlimentary system then good for them. It's their country and it's their choice. It's not the US choice and it's not some dictators choice. It's the people's choice through dialogue and concensus.

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
You are partially right. But why is it that everytime Europeans seem to be about to create a defensive alliance the US starts screaming that we are trying to destroy NATO. Could it be that the US doesn't want us to have a competing military power? It is difficult to eat your cake and to have it. Either you want to get rid of the expense of defending Europe - and then we must have our own defense capabilities -, or you want to control us and then shouldn't complain about our "basking under the U.S. protection"...

Hurria said...

"If you were as interested as I am in gathering as much information on Iraq as possible..."

Anonymous, I assure you that I have more information about Iraq in my baby fingernail than you could hope to acquire in your entire lifetime.

waldschrat said...

To some people the policy of trying to achieve political change through violent revolution and terrorism which is now pursued by jihadis seems reminiscent of the behavior of radical marxists in the past. Both groups also seem to share a dislike for America. By some reports, some Europeans once inclined to sympathize with Marxist ideals now find themselves sympathetic to jihadis, perhaps only for unconscious reasons they do not fully recognize.

I can see no similarity between Marxist ideology and jihadi philosophy (what little I know of it) other than the believe that violence is a legitimate way to solve problems. Yet, there are similarities in their methods. Is there some link between the two movements I have missed?

Dan said...

Hello,Hurria.

What YOU are overlooking is that people are responsible for their own successes and failures. I am very well aware of the facts of which I speak. Many, if not most, Iraqis are very greatful for the gift of freedom that the Americans have bestowed on them.

You are such a pathetic example of humanity that you pick at nits and set up straw men and non sequitors to sound like you are not a cowardly idiot.

Dan said...

Hello, Truth Teller.

That article is a piece of camel shit.

As an elder in your community, why don't you be a leader in preserving your new freedom instead of whining and crying that "the Americans" do not change your diaper in a manner that is desireable to you?

Moron99 said...

Waldshrat,

Let me draw a movie scene as example. In the movies there is a fight between two great gladiators. Finally the hero wins the battle and holds the blade of his sword on the other man's throat. The crowd yells for blood. The hero looks up to the emporer and the emporer turns down his thoumb. The hero looks back at his fallen opponent and pauses. Then he throws away his sword and helps his enemy to stand.

As Americans we are taught to believe that his real victory came when he threw away his sword and showed mercy. In islamic terms, there were two jihads. The first was an external battle with an opponent and the second was an internal battle to find peace and mercy. In any culture and any religion, there are those who never win the second battle. And away from the movies, back in the real world, people who win the second battle only survive if they band together or remain silent. Otherwise, the fallen opponent will often grab a sword and stab them as they walk away.

I think the commonality you seek is of human nature rather than political beliefs. Both groups are led by people who have never won the second jihad.

Hurria said...

"To some people the policy of trying to achieve political change through violent revolution and terrorism which is now pursued by jihadis seems reminiscent of the behavior of radical marxists in the past."

And the policy of trying to achieve political change by making false accusations of WMD's and terrorism connections against a state in order to justify bombing it into a state of "shock and awe", invading it, toppling its government, and imposing your political, economic and social will on it, throwing it into a state of lawless chaos, killing tens of thousands of its citizens, and destroying entire cities? What is THAT policy reminiscent of, please?

Moron99 said...

Sounds like Iraq Hurria. If saddamees ran in the elections instead of killing people then there wouldn't be US soldiers laden with weapons. Instead US military presence would be army engineers helping to design bridges, roads, dams, schools, mosques, irrigationa systems, water plants, sewage plants, electrical grids, libraries, etc. But they won't run in elections will they? Because they know that they will lose.

Instead, they prefer to kill people and prevent their lives from improving. Why? Because each little improvemnt in their lives will strengthen the government. Because every hour of electricity they recieve is one hour less you have to make them unhappy with the government. Making people happy ... that is not their plan. Their plan is to keep the government weak and hope for an opportunity to shoot their way back into power. It won't happen.

By the way. Have you heard the latest? They found more mass graves in southern Iraq and estimate that there could be as many as 300-400 thousand people buried there. Saddam was digging big trenches and bringing in busloads of people. Local residents say two caravans per week. They would force the people to stand at the edge of the long trenches and shoot them so that they would fall into the trench. Then the earth movers would shove the dirt back over their bodies. 200 sites so far.
The ones excavated so far are 90% women and children - including infants.

Maybe from where you sit things were better before. But there a few hundred thousand Kurdish bodies in southern Iraq that disagree.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I assure you that I have more information about Iraq in my baby fingernail than you could hope to acquire in your entire lifetime.

Then why are you so afraid of sharing your sources of information with us, or even enlightening us with some relevant facts? You've done neither of those things. You can "assure" me of superior knowledge all you want but unless I see evidence of it it's useless to me.

So why don't you enlighten us all, Hurria. Consider it your duty to world peace. If I'm completely wrong convince me, with facts and evidence not opinion, of the error of my ways. Just the facts, man. Opinions are useless. We all have them.

Anonymous said...

What this all comes down to, with almost always the same cast of characters, is the same debate that's been beaten to death in other comment sections, on this blog and others.

Basically, among some other things, what Albatroz, Hurria, other certain Europeans and American leftists believe is that:

1. Iraq will not be a democracy.
2. America went to Iraq only for oil and does not want to and will never leave Iraq.
3. There will be a military draft in the U.S.

Those of us on the other side believe the opposite. We can argue these points in circles until the end of time but the truth is that, sooner or later, one side or the other will be proven right. I know which side that is and I'm quite comfortable with that. All the rantings and ravings and circular arguments can not change the truth. "The truth will out".

An Italian. said...

Dear Truth Teller,
some people ('people'?) here never learn, like this Anonymous & the aptly named Moron. They have the cheek to say 'The truth will out' (LOL! that said by the supporters of the fanatical, lying Neo-Con creed, the lies of which get exposed day after day).
So this ludicrous Moron falsely alleges, about the killing of Italian secret services man Calipari, "Now that satellite records show that her car was driving at 100Kph"!!!
As usual with this sort of 'people', Moron shamelessly lies: there were no satellite records of the incident, and none is mentioned in the official US report, so what are you hallucinating about, Moron? The quality of your 'facts' is always the same: try & follow up the story of the recently discovered mass grave (nobody said 300-400,000 bodies, but the moronic liar made it up).
As for the US official report on Calipari's murder (for Iraqi civilians these wantonly US murderers do not do any reports), it is quite interesting, Truth Teller, and all Iraqis, insurgents included, should read it. The messy US clerks wanted to censure it, but by their inadvertence the integral text can be seen.
In these last few months, the ludicrous propaganda fed by the US command to their compliant media (a propaganda as grotesque as Saddam's and as Stalin's) insisted on a fall on attacks against 'Coalition forces' (only 150-200 a month all over Iraq), and that attacks kill mainly Iraqi civilians (as these two characters, Moron & Anon, insist here). Now, look instead some of the parts of the Calipari report they wanted to censure, and make your assessment:
"Iraq. From July 2004 to late March 2005, there were 15,257 attacks against Coalition Forces throughout Iraq. The U.S. considers all of Iraq a combat zone.
Baghdad. From 1 November 2004 to 12 March 2005 there were a total of 3306 attacks in the Baghdad area. Of these, 2400 were directed against Coalition Forces.
Route Irish [like they call the road to the Airport]. Between 1 November 2004 and 12 March 2005, there were 135 attacks or hostile incidents that occurred along Route Irish. These included 9 complex attacks (i.e., a combination of more than one type of attack, e.g., an IED followed by small arms fire or mortars), 19 explosive devices found, 3 hand grenades, 7 indirect fire attacks, 19 roadside explosions, 14 rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), 15 vehicle borne explosive devices, and 4 other types of attacks".

Enough said, Moron, Anon & Dan.

An Italian. said...

BTW, Moron, lest I forget.
"ITM", i.e. 'Iraq The Minion', the fake Iraqi blog run by a couple of young Iraqis who believed they could become as useful to their masters as Allawi & Chalabi did, a blog paid for by US Neo-Cons, has never "established superior track records". It's OK to be comical, but you are exaggerating...
That's why you are a moron, Moron(and your likes). The US Admin. pays a couple of Iraqis to disseminate its propaganda; and its silly followers go to that blog, and suck up all its ludicrous contents, and take them as 'the truth'... and actually believe as gospel the lies therein, that did originate from their own US Administration!

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
If we are right and you are wrong, how do you plan to compensate Iraq for all the wantonly destruction and killing?... Or do you think this is all a game between Americans and The Rest of the World?...

Anonymous said...

The US Admin. pays a couple of Iraqis to disseminate its propaganda; and its silly followers go to that blog, and suck up all its ludicrous contents, and take them as 'the truth'... and actually believe as gospel the lies therein, that did originate from their own US Administration!

Unbelievable. Now these arrogant Europeans are slandering, without proof, the very Iraqis they profess to care about. Typical.

Anonymous said...

Hey "italian", tell your compatriots to stop paying terrorists millions of ransom dollars for the carbombs that kill innocent Iraqis every day. And tell your drivers to not speed wantonly through checkpoints while chatting on their cellphones. It can be dangerous to their health.

Anonymous said...

"italian",

Leaving aside for a moment the fact that a high number of attacks would be evidence in support of the U.S. soldiers at the checkpoint because it would bolster the argument that they needed to be alert to dangers...
leaving that aside, your numbers are way off.

You wrote:

In these last few months, the ludicrous propaganda fed by the US command to their compliant media (a propaganda as grotesque as Saddam's and as Stalin's) insisted on a fall on attacks against 'Coalition forces' (only 150-200 a month all over Iraq)

I don't know where you heard this "propaganda" (European media?) but I have never heard anyone in the U.S. military claim only 150-200 attacks a month all over Iraq. That would work out to approximately 5 attacks per day. That's ridiculous. The numbers I've always heard are an average of 40-50 attacks per day, with the vast majority being ineffectual, i.e not causing casualties. During intense periods attacks have gone as high as 80 per day and during slow periods as low as 30. I have never heard any report from the U.S. claiming attacks per day in the single digits. The only way that could be possible is if they were talking only of attacks that caused casualties but that would be a completely different accounting mechanism. The number of attacks per day, as reported month by month, completely coincide with the numbers in the checkpoint report.

By the way, at least 15-20 other cars managed to successfully negotiate the checkpoint that night before the Italians came upon it. I wonder why they were all able to figure out how to slow down and the Italians weren't. Perhaps because the Italians were too distracted by their speeding, their cellphone calls and their exciting "James Bond" caper to notice a checkpoint that so many other people were able to stop at in time?

Anonymous said...

italian,

About the alleged satellite footage which the U.S. military used to calculate the speed of Sgrena's car, I have no idea if it's true or not. It was reported by CBS News from a source at the Pentagon. Either it's false information (which seems unlikely given the specificity) or it's true but the fact that satellites are recording things is not something the Pentagon wants generally known so they used it as an investigative tool but didn't choose to make it public. Either way, it was reported by a respected news organization and a respected reporter. It was not simply made up by commenters here.

By the way, italian, you also dismiss as propaganda the U.S. assertion that insurgent "attacks kill mainly Iraqi civilians". A quick glance at any day's headline will prove that's true. Do you dispute it? On what evidence? In the past week alone there have been about 200 Iraqis killed by "insurgent" attacks and roughly 10 U.S. soldiers in the same time period. That's not "propaganda", that's fact.

Both of your assertions about "propaganda" (number of attacks and whom those attacks target) are false. Care to try again?

Moron99 said...

Italian,

here is one article about a mass grave. I located in less than a minute by typing in "kurd trench mass grave Iraq Saddam" and doing a google search. The original sources that I read included an interview with a woman who escaped and has been hiding in a mosque for 23 years. Her entire family tree was killed that day after being driven to southern Iraq in a convoy of busses. There are about 200 of these gravesites recently discovered. Included in the articles I read were interviews with local residents that said there were about 2 convoys per week that passed through the area. The simple fact is that saddamees murdered more kurds in southern Iraq alone than there have ever been people living in Fallujah. When the saddamees cry about their fate they will find little sympathy amoung the kurds or shia who have already sufferred far worse and see the baathist desire to resurect their former nightmare. You may say that the Kurds and Shia deserved it. But what would yoiu say about the Shia and Kurds who now have the power to do the same but think that Hurria and others deserve better? I know what I would say. I would say that they are far better suited to hold the reigns of power than the saddamees. If the saddamees regain power, they will unleash an even more massive killing in order to supress the disidents and re-establish rule by force. If you care about Iraq and you want to see the least amount of death and sufferring then there is only one valid choice. To oppose the insurgency.

also, the sattelite photos showed how far the car traveled during the three seconds of american fire. The distance/time works out to 100Kph over a three second interval. In reality, they were probably going faster than 100Kph at first and then slowed down after being hit.

Moron99 said...

"U.S. investigators have exhumed the remains of 113 people -- all but five of them women, children or teenagers -- from a mass grave in southern Iraq that may hold at least 1,500 victims of Saddam Hussein's campaign against the Kurdish minority in the 1980s, U.S. and Iraqi officials said this week.
"


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/04/29/AR2005042901191.html?referrer=email&referrer=email

An Italian. said...

Moron & Anon, again, you write "the sattelite [sic] photos showed how far the car traveled during the three seconds of american fire. The distance/time works out to 100Kph over a three second interval. In reality, they were probably going faster than 100Kph at first and then slowed down after being hit".
I know it was something CBS said, but there is no trace of it in the US report (uncensored). The Italian Govt. asked the Americans if there were ANY satellite recordings, in the course of the 'joint probe', but they officially stated that there were none.
So, were there any satellite photos, or not? Moron & Anon state as a fact that there were: in that case, the US Govt. did OFFICIALLY LIE to an Allied Govt.
So, Moron & Anon, what is worse? Now all Iraqis reading this blog know that the US may well be in the habit of lying to their vintage allies; and they know that they (& their propaganda agents, like these two) may lie even to the Iraqis.

An Italian. said...

'even' above = 'even more', of course.

Anonymous said...

So, were there any satellite photos, or not? Moron & Anon state as a fact that there were

Why do you insist on lying when the truth is right above your post? I did not state "as a fact" that there were satellite photos. This is exactly what I wrote:

About the alleged satellite footage which the U.S. military used to calculate the speed of Sgrena's car, I have no idea if it's true or not. It was reported by CBS News from a source at the Pentagon. Either it's false information (which seems unlikely given the specificity) or it's true but the fact that satellites are recording things is not something the Pentagon wants generally known so they used it as an investigative tool but didn't choose to make it public.

Like I said, either there is no such footage and the CBS reporter was mistaken or there is satellite footage and, for whatever reason, that fact was not officialy made public. I have no idea which is the case. But my response was simply to point out that this was something reported by a respected news organization. Your implication had been that it was something "moron" was "lying" about. Your exact words were "As usual with this sort of 'people', Moron shamelessly lies: there were no satellite records of the incident, and none is mentioned in the official US report, so what are you hallucinating about, Moron?"

Clearly, "moron" was not "lying" nor "hallucinating" as you belligerently accused him. He was merely quoting something reported by CBS News. Take the issue up with CBS News if you have a problem with their reporting of this incident.

Albatroz said...

Moron99 seems to think that any crimes Saddam Hussein may have commited justify American crimes in Iraq. As far as I am concerned I never said anything good about Saddam Hussein, so that it doesn't make any sense to try and find excuses for American actions based on previous crimes by Saddam. What Moron99 is saying to the Iraqis is: "You guys should be happy we came here and kill five of you everyday, because previously Saddam was killing ten of you". Besides, it is very unlikely that present insurgents have anything to do with the previous regime. They are fighting American invaders, they are not fighting for the return of Saddam Hussein, although it would be very convenient for the occupiers if that was the case.

Albatroz said...

The American report on the incident with the Italian journalist states the following:

"Due to it being their first full day on shift, 1-76 FA Soldiers lacked experience in issuing operational orders and in battle tracking security forces during execution of blocking missions."

In other words, at the very least the killing was the result of American incompetence. How many Iraqis and others have been the victims of this same incompetence since the beginning of occupation? How have these victims and their families been compensated for the tragic consequences of this incompetence? Or should we file all those "accidents" under "colateral damage" and forget it?...

waldschrat said...

Regarding mass graves, I wondered at the time of the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 at the unusual military activity centered about a certain cement plant in southern Iraq. The process of making cement involves very large, very hot cylindrical kilns capable of disposing of human remains very very efficiently. Mass graves are not the only way, not that Saddam's minions would need to hide their deeds.

richsanter said...

On the draft:

This article excerpt might be of interest to readers:

An army of the unwilling
By Niko Kyriakou - Apr 26, 2005

NEW YORK - At the end of last month, the US Selective Service System issued a report assuring President George W Bush that it would be ready to implement a draft within 75 days. While stirring up a storm of speculation, this report may actually be the least compelling harbinger of military conscription. Far more dire is the skyrocketing need for troops amid plummeting supply. More than 300,000 of the 482,000 soldiers in the US Army are already deployed abroad, predominantly in Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea and the former Yugoslavia. The ratio of two soldiers abroad for every one at home is the opposite of what military strategists say is necessary to maintain a long-term deployment.

It would take 100,000 new troops at home to correct this discrepancy, but the government concedes that new troops are not coming in. All four military services missed their enlistment quotas last year, according to one analysis, and regular military, reserve and National Guard recruitment levels are at a 30-year low.

With a lack of new troops, the Pentagon has relied heavily on rotations to maintain the 150,000-strong force in Iraq. Yet a Pentagon-funded poll in late 2003 found that 49% of troops did not plan to re-enlist, and that number is likely to be even higher now.
[...]
The head of the Army Reserves recently wrote a memo saying that over-deployment has crippled his troops' readiness and that the reserves were "degenerating into a broken force". Almost desperate, the Pentagon has called up more than 5,500 "Ready Reserves", older men and women whose regular reserve duty has already ended, and many of whom are now grandfathers and grandmothers. The army also plans to significantly increase the number of recruiters and to launch a new US$150 million ad campaign.” //end excerpt

Anonymous said...

Oooh, the "draft" bugaboo again.

I will say it again. Slowly for those with learning disabilities...


There.
Will.
Not.
Be.
A.
Draft.

Take it to the bank.

Inscribe it in neon paint on a 20 foot tall poster and hang it up in Times Square.

It ain't happening.

Anyone who thinks it will happen has zero understanding of the political and social state of America today.

You can post editorials about it all you want. It's still not happening.

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
Without the draft either you get out of Iraq or you will have to force your unwilling and unprofessional National Guards to go back to Iraq again and again, leading to an increasing rate of AWOL. Which is it going to be?

Anonymous said...

Without the draft either you get out of Iraq or you will have to force your unwilling and unprofessional National Guards to go back to Iraq again and again, leading to an increasing rate of AWOL. Which is it going to be?

Ummm, getting out of Iraq is part of the plan. Did you miss the memo? We've been trying to tell you that all along. Why do you think the U.S. military is expending so much time, money and energy to train and equip the Iraqi forces. For the sheer fun of it?

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,

"Ummm, getting out of Iraq is part of the plan."

Could you be more specific timewise? If you are preparing to leave within the next 12 months maybe you will still have then a few National Guards left in your armed forces. Of course, leaving within the next 12 months would probably force you to accept a less than friendly Iraq. If it is longer than that, forget it without the draft... And if the plan to attack Iran in June goes ahead you will definitely need bringing the draft back.

I wonder whether you realize what you are about to get into, in the Middle East. Maybe we (Europeans) should strive to trade our alliance with you for an alliance with Russia. It would be a lot safer and a lot saner...

Anonymous said...

Reuters report that a letter to Zarqawi was intercepted which indicated a drop of morale in the terrorists.

U.S. military says intercepts letter to Zarqawi

The U.S. military said the letter, dated April 27th, praises the sheikh for being "a thorn in the mouth of the Americans," but also addresses low morale among Zarqawi's followers and weakening support for Jihad, or Holy war.

Anonymous said...

Could you be more specific timewise?


No, I can't. Everything depends on events on the ground, as I'm sure you know. And it will, of course, be gradual, as I'm sure you also know.

And if the plan to attack Iran in June goes ahead you will definitely need bringing the draft back.

Oh, God, you Europeans are really clueless, aren't you? You really think there will be an attack on Iran in June? Really? Report back later this year and let me know how the attack on Iran went, OK?

Hurria said...

"getting out of Iraq is part of the plan."

I guess that is why they are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to build major American military bases there and a fibreoptic communication system between them. I guess that is why they are building and staffing a mega-embassy, which will be the largest embassy in the world. Why, sure! Those are definitely the actions of someone who plans to leave.

Anonymous said...

No one is denying there will be an American presence in Iraq for a period of years, who knows how long. We were discussing the possibility (or rather non-possibility) of a military draft and in that context it is true that the plan is to not keep 150,000 troops in Iraq very much longer. The phase-out will likely begin sometime soon after hopefully successful elections in December and will intensify through 2006. That is what "getting out" refers to in the context of troop levels and the draft discussion.

Moron99 said...

It's official. The new government got sworn in on Tuesday.

I see scant mention of it in blogs or media, but I think the best indicator of how this governemnt will perform is going to be relfected in how much power and cooperation they grant the Commission for Public Integrity.

Moron99 said...

BTW -

The troop draw-down already has a timetable based on IP/ING milestones and duty rosters. Some of the first milestones are already approaching and we should see logistical and rotation adjustments this summer in preparation for fall troop reductions. The threads and editorials about instituting a draft serve to prove that some people really have no clue. A month ago it was the imminent invasion of Iran and a secret conspiracy that even had a scheduled date for an invasion. The date will pass, there will be no invasion. The summer will pass, the IP will grow stronger, US troops will be reduced. And the tin-foil-hat club will move on to another wild-eyed hypothesis. It will never occur to them that have been wrong every single time before. Their new bandwagon will be absolutely, positively the truth that only they can see. Well, at least until it doesn't come true either.

Hurria said...

There is an enormous difference between "getting out of Iraq" and reducing the number of troops there. The Bush administration did not invade Iraq in order to "set it free" and leave. One of the primary reasons for invading Iraq was to establish a permanent major military presence in the country, not to "get out of Iraq".

If the plan had ever been to "get out of Iraq" they would have held real elections very early in the process instead of cancelling the local elections set up by Bremer's predecessor, reversing the results of elections that had already taken place, and thwarting Iraqis' efforts to organize and hold elections at any level.

The U.S. will not "get out of Iraq" unless they are forced out by the Iraqis, or unless the American public finally gets completely fed up and starts a massive opposition effort a la Viet Nam.

Anonymous said...

The Bush administration did not invade Iraq in order to "set it free" and leave.

Your opinion. As was noted, "Opinions are like ..." Oh, you get the point.

If the plan had ever been to "get out of Iraq" they would have held real elections very early in the process...

Hee, hee. Is this what the left's arguments are now reduced to? You didn't allow elections... well, wait you did allow elections but not quite soon enough! Waaah!

Not very convincing.

The U.S. will not "get out of Iraq" unless they are forced out by the Iraqis, or unless the American public finally gets completely fed up and starts a massive opposition effort a la Viet Nam.

The U.S. will "get out of Iraq" when it's ready or when a freely elected democratic Iraqi government asks it to. Whichever comes first.

An Italian. said...

Anon, 5/3/2005 07:22:36 AM.
You write "Like I said, either there is no such footage and the CBS reporter was mistaken or there is satellite footage and, for whatever reason, that fact was not officialy made public".
Precisely. If it is like you write, in 'case 1)' your comrade Moron was giving as a fact a load of baloney. But in your 'case 2)', it means that your US Government OFFICIALLY LIED to an allied Government (the Italian one), denying that any such footage existed.
So it seems that you admit that your Bush Government may very well be a bunch of liars; and so its supporters, like yourself.

And when you say "we do not want to keep our troops in Iraq" you are, like Hurria correctly remarked, telling us another disingenuous thing, since you are building 14 (fourteen) permanent bases in Iraq.
As for the predictions made by anti-war people, anybody who followed what you warmongerers said in these two years can easily see that not one of the beautiful things you were promising the Iraqi people came true.

Anonymous said...

But in your 'case 2)', it means that your US Government OFFICIALLY LIED to an allied Government (the Italian one), denying that any such footage existed. So it seems that you admit that your Bush Government may very well be a bunch of liars...

The other scenario is that the source who gave the information to CBS News was talking out of their ass.

But to support your argument that the U.S. govt "lied" you'll have to provide a link to proof that:

#1. The Italian govt. specifically asked if there was such footage

#2. The U.S. government categorically denied there was such footage

#3. That there is such footage therefore the U.S. govt. lied to Italy

If you can't provide that then you are the one talking out of your ass.


As for the predictions made by anti-war people, anybody who followed what you warmongerers said in these two years can easily see that not one of the beautiful things you were promising the Iraqi people came true.

Really? Not one? It seems to me the 2 main "beautiful" things promised to the Iraqi people were to get rid of Saddam and his tyranny and to help Iraqis form a democracy. Check. Check.

An Italian. said...

Anon,
you wrote: "But to support your argument that the U.S. govt "lied" you'll have to provide a link to proof that:
#1. The Italian govt. specifically asked if there was such footage
#2. The U.S. government categorically denied there was such footage
#3. That there is such footage therefore the U.S. govt. lied to Italy".
As for #1 & #2, you just have to browse the Italian press & TVs (all of them) following the CBS 'revelations' about the existence of satellite footage showing that the Italian car was going at 96 kmph. The Italian Government Minister Gianni Letta stated that much, and so did the Director of the Italian military secret service, and it was all over in the Italian media.
As for #3, it is your friend Moron99 who swore that such footage did exist, not me. Now anybody having even half a brain can see that, contrary to what you write ("The other scenario is that the source who gave the information to CBS News was talking out of their ass"), the Pentagon source who gave that crap to CBS News did it rather intelligently, in order to fool and convince warmongering Americans who, like Moron99, do not even have half a brain.

As for the rest, apart that you conveniently forget the reasons given to the international community for your Iraqi criminal adventure (the inexistent WMD) and those given to more apish portion of the US public (the inexistent 911/Saddam link), the only thing you did was ridding Iraq of Saddam (and of any established State, and of any security). You gave Iraq 'democracy'? Oh, come on, be serious.

An Italian. said...

And, Anon 5/3/2005 11:25:08 PM (don't know if you are the same Anon; why don't you call yourself 'Mickey Mouse' instead, or any other nickname, like sensible people do),
why do you feel that the readers of Truth Teller's blog would be very interested in the great (oh so great!) and especially most believable (LOL!) news that a new supposed umpteenth letter addressed to the supposed al-Zarqawi has supposedly been found by the Americans &/or the Iraqi puppet troops?
Do you truly think that anybody, outside the US, does believe anymore any such piece of your psy-ops crap?
Come on, me man, stop being this comical.

Hurria said...

"Your opinion."

No, it is not my opinion. It is the only reasonable conclusion based on the evidence.

"As was noted, "Opinions are like ..." Oh, you get the point."

No, I do not "get the point".

"Hee, hee. Is this what the left's arguments are now reduced to?"

It is simply fascinating how some people insist upon reducing this to "left" vs "right". Not a very good substitute for addressing the actual issues, in my opinion.

"You didn't allow elections... well, wait you did allow elections but not quite soon enough!"

You clearly do not know the facts and the events pertaining to the election issue. Those of us who experienced it all in detail and up close and personal are very aware of what actually happened and how and why. In brief, Jay Garner began organizing and scheduling local elections immediately upon his arrival in Iraq, and was planning for national elections within 90 days. This clearly did not meet with the approval of his employers, since he was immediately fired and replaced by Paul Bremer, who announced the cancellation of all election plans, and overturned the results of any elections that had been held already, replacing the elected officials with his own hand-picked officials. Some of his choices were quite mystifying. For mayor of Najaf, the most important city in all Shi`a Islam, was a Sunni with a known record of corruption. His choice for mayor of Basra was not even an Iraq, but a Dane.

Unlike Garner, Bremer had as his priority completely changing Iraq's economic structure, opening it up to exploitation by U.S. interests, despite the fact that this is unequivocally a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and other international law.

Bremer and a couple of the military commanders made it crystal clear why they were cancelling local elections - in the words of one commander, if Iraqis were allowed to elect their own leaders, the results would not meet "our" needs. One of Bremer's quotes from a Washington Post article is classic: "we will continue to impose our will on this country", he declaired.

As anyone knows who was paying attention, in 2004 the Americans placed themselves firmly between a rock and a hard place by provoking armed confrontation with Muqtada Al Sadr, thus adding conflict with the Shi`as to the rapidly deteriorating overall situation in the country. It was that wiley old fox Sayyid Sistani who forced the election issue. The election happened because the Americans created and opportunity for Sistani to give the Bush administration no other viable option. It was all in spite of the U.S., not because of it.

"Waaah!"

What is the purpose of adding this syllable? Do you believe it helps to support your argument, or make it more convincing?

"The U.S. will "get out of Iraq" when it's ready or when a freely elected democratic Iraqi government asks it to."

The Bush administration has no intention of leaving Iraq in the foreseeable future. If they did they would not be building major military bases, and they would not be setting up a mega-embassy. They are not preparing for eventual departure, they are preparing for a permanent presence.

Anonymous said...

You gave Iraq 'democracy'? Oh, come on, be serious.

What do you call elections? What constitutes "democracy" in your opinion?

Hurria said...

"The U.S. military said the letter, dated April 27th, praises the sheikh for being "a thorn in the mouth of the Americans," but also addresses low morale among Zarqawi's followers and weakening support for Jihad, or Holy war."

This kind of thing would be funny if it were not such pathetically transparent propaganda nonsense.

How convenient this Zarqawi is! My favourite to date has been the "intercepted" communication regarding his undertaking "operations" in the US - intended no doubt to strike fear into the hearts of Americans in order to inspire support for the "war on terror" - or whatever.

Anonymous said...

"Waaah!"

What is the purpose of adding this syllable? Do you believe it helps to support your argument, or make it more convincing?

It's simply a typewritten representation of your whining about the elections not being on your chosen timetable. Don't be offended, dear.

Anonymous said...

How convenient this Zarqawi is!

I wasn't the one who posted about the purported letter to Zarqawi, though I do find it interesting.

I also find it interesting how eager Hurria, Italian and others are to pretend Zarqawi doesn't exist. I wonder why.

Hurria said...

Oh yes - now we are being treated to the elections = democracy canard. Is the American education system really so poor that a person can graduate from it believing that all you need for democracy is elections of some kind, or is it just that some Americans are so desperate to deceive themselves? Either way, how sad is that!

Anonymous said...

...news that a new supposed umpteenth letter addressed to the supposed al-Zarqawi has supposedly been found...

I'm supposing by "umpteenth" you mean "first", but whatever.

This is the first (not "umpteenth) "letter to Zarqawi" I've ever heard of being found. The other letter found a year or so ago was supposedly from Zarqawi.

So that makes two. Not umpteenth. But I'm guessing math is not your best subject.

By the way, Zarqawi exists, though I'm sure you'd rather pretend he doesn't.

Do you truly think that anybody, outside the US, does believe anymore any such piece of your psy-ops crap?

If the Europeans I see represented here are representative of many of those "outside the US", I don't put much stock in their opinions or beliefs one way or the other.

Anonymous said...

Is the American education system really so poor that a person can graduate from it believing that all you need for democracy is elections of some kind

Was your education so deficient that you don't understand the laws of simple logic?

Elections "of some kind" are not "all you need for democracy". Saddam had "elections of some kind" but they surely did not constitute democracy. Democracy requires free and fair elections leading to a government that represents the will of the people. That is what Iraq is accomplishing at this very moment. At the end of the year, after a constitution is written and free, democratic elections are held based on that constitution the transition to democracy will be complete.

What do you call democracy?

Hurria said...

"...the elections not being on your chosen timetable."

And just whose timetable do you THINK they were on? Certainly not the Bush administration's, which was dragged kicking and screaming into them by Sayyid Sistani!

But what I like best about this remark is how well it illustrates a mentality that sees a claim to be bringing democracy as compatible with denying the recipients of said democracy the right to choose for themselves the time, the form, the manner, and the means of achieving it.

"Don't be offended, dear."

Oh, I am not offended. I am just fascinated with the idea that inserting this kind of thing in one's remarks is a good way to further one's argument in an intelligent, informed, mature discussion. In my world this particular debate technique is not used by anyone over the age of six years.

Anonymous said...

And just whose timetable do you THINK they were on? Certainly not the Bush administration's, which was dragged kicking and screaming into them by Sayyid Sistani!

I don't care whose timetable they were on. In the grand scheme of things, and comparing the Iraq situation to other situations, elections happened fairly quickly.

I am just fascinated with the idea that inserting this kind of thing in one's remarks is a good way to further one's argument in an intelligent, informed, mature discussion.

Oh, don't get your panties in a twist over one syllable. It wasn't meant to further the argument. It was meant to represent the ridiculous whining tone I hear in your nit-picking about which month elections happened in. If you can't deal with a little good-natured mockery you're way too thin-skinned.

Hurria said...

"I also find it interesting how eager Hurria, Italian and others are to pretend Zarqawi doesn't exist."

Perhaps you can clear up something for me that I have never understood about a debate technique you and others use frequently here and elsewhere. What exactly do you hope to gain by attributing to me statements I have never made, and positions I have never expressed? I could understand, perhaps, if every communication I have made were not here in writing, but given that it is here in writing, what is the point of making these misattributions? This is something I have never understood, and no one who does it has ever even tried to explain it to me.

Hurria said...

An Italian: "You gave Iraq 'democracy'? Oh, come on, be serious."

Anonymous replied: "What do you call elections? What constitutes "democracy" in your opinion?"

In other words, Anonymous is saying that elections = democracy.

They most assuredly do not. Even free and fair elections - which the "elections" in Iraq most decidedly were not - do not constitute democracy.

Anonymous said...

Then you explain to me what you meant by statements like this:

This kind of thing would be funny if it were not such pathetically transparent propaganda nonsense.

How convenient this Zarqawi is!

It seems to me you believe Zarqawi is simply "convenient" "propaganda".

If you don't mean to say he doesn't exist then what do you mean to say? He's not in Iraq? He's not causing violence? He's not making threats? He didn't write these notes? Be specific.

Anonymous said...

They most assuredly do not. Even free and fair elections - which the "elections" in Iraq most decidedly were not - do not constitute democracy.

Please explain, in detail, what you believe constitutes democracy and then we can all agree on when, or if, Iraq will meet your criteria.

Moron99 said...

Well Hurria, here's the deal. If you don't vote then your ballot isn't counted. The people who chose not to vote are now the ones saying the election wasn't valid ... because their votes weren't counted. Hmm. Tough.

The bus is getting ready to leave the station. The driver is now on board along with fifty passengers. There are twelve people standing on the curb. One of the twelve is threatening to kill anyone who tries to get on the bus and he keeps trying to slash the tires while the other eleven cower in fear. He says that the bus is going to the wrong place even though the fifty people on board got to decide where they wanted to go. What do you think will happen to the guy who insists on slashing the tires and threatening the other passengers?

An Italian. said...

Anon,
"If the Europeans I see represented here are representative of many of those 'outside the US', I don't put much stock in their opinions or beliefs one way or the other".

Not just we Europeans, but all those 'outside the US', including the majority of the Iraqis.
So we can better understand your 'democratic' mentality, the same of criminal Gauleiter Bremer, as quoted by Hurria: "we will continue to impose our will on this country", and on all the world.
Trouble is, four-handed Anon, that most people in the world, outside the US, do not like to be ruled by a gang of bullies (who "don't put much stock in their opinions"); where it is possible, they punish any supporters of the US at the elections; where it is not, and especially where your beastly troops occupy a country, they take up arms, like in Iraq now, in Vietnam in the Sixties & Seventies.
Do you remember the 30th of April 1975, when your Gauleiter Martin had to ingloriously escape in helicopter, like a cowardly rat, from Saigon? Be sure it will happen again in Baghdad.

Anonymous said...

Not just we Europeans, but all those 'outside the US', including the majority of the Iraqis.

What are you referring to? "The majority of Iraqis" what? Are as intellectually bankrupt as the Europeans represented here? I sure hope not.

I find it interesting that when each of your accusations are challenged or shot down you just ignore it and move on to the next one. Typical.

Do you remember the 30th of April 1975, when your Gauleiter Martin had to ingloriously escape in helicopter, like a cowardly rat, from Saigon? Be sure it will happen again in Baghdad.

You just keep clinging to the "Vietnam" mantra and counting on that, Italian. The millions of Vietnamese who were vanquished to "re-education camps" after the fall of Saigon will surely hope the Iraqis have a better experience than that. As do we all. You should be hoping for a relatively peaceful and successful transition to democracy in Iraq, if only for the Iraqi's sake.

Anonymous said...

...if only for the Iraqi's sake.

That should of course read "for the Iraqis' sakes". Not just for the sake of one particular Iraqi. Ha.

JJ said...

Perhaps good Dr. you should read a few other articles that point out the progress being made in your country. Although I have no hope that you will since you didn't bother to vote in your countries first free election. The anti-American stance and the "sky is falling" tone of the article/opinion you selected to post agree with your point of view and your mind is too poisoned after 50+ years of anti-American propaganda to change.

I afraid I can no longer read your blog. Too bad, you had some good posts when you stayed away from crap like this last post.

As for Albatroz, hurria and an italian....you are all clueless. Nice try Anonymous dan and moron99 but it's like peeing in the ocean -no matter how many facts and or accurate reports you refer to, this group and those like minded fools will either deny, ignore or twists the facts to suit themselves.

Moron99 said...

Well, I can tell you will happen with the bus. You can spin it however you want, but the inevitable is coming. First the people will let the police deal with it. If that doesn't work, they will get off the bus and kick the sh*t out of the guy (insurgent) who is causing them such trouble. The guy will naturally appeal to the other eleven and say "look I am one of you. We are all standing outside the bus!" At which point they will turn their back on him join the other 50 passengers. Once the guy slashing the tires is summarily beaten to a pulp, the other 61 passengers will get and the bus and move towards their agreed destination.

The problem with the insurgency is that they terrorize the very people who hide them while they attack the ones who do not. They think and act like saddamees and the vast majority of the people in Iraq recognize the similarity. The best that they can hope for is to be put in a warm jail cell before the grave they are digging gets put to use.

TxRockhound said...

It must be wondereful to sit and complain about the actions of those who are dying to try to bring your country a level of freedom it has not had in many decades. Instead of simply posting an endless series of rantings from others about what the Americans are doing wrong, perhaps as one of the intellectual elite in Iraq, you can make suggestions on what could be done differently? Maybe you could get involved in your government at the local level and try to change the way things are being done so that they are more the way you believe they should be done. It is very easy to sit on the sidelines and point out what was done wrong in the past. It is much harder (and more admirable in my eyes) to stick your neck out and become a part of making the future better than the past.

I admire your entire family for their willingness to let us get a peek into your lives through your blogs. However, I have to say that the level of hindsight and finger pointing is becoming a bit tiresome. Yes, we all understand that the situation is not ideal. Yes, it is clear that the coalition troops could have done many things differently to help change the situation for the better. All the same, at some point, you have to accept that it is your country, and the actions of you and your countrymen will be what eventually shapes the future of Iraq. When American troops are long gone, will it be the people who set off bombs killing innocent Iraqis trying to prevent democracy from taking hold that will represent you and and act as the face of Iraq before the rest of the world? Or will it be the people who stood against them and fought back with new ideas and determined resolve to make Iraq a new kind of country in the middle east? I can't decide that for you, nor can any American soldier. Iraqis will decide that. Which do you want to be your future?

Hurria said...

"...the actions of those who are dying to try to bring your country a level of freedom it has not had in many decades."

I would love to see every American live for just one day with the "level of freedom" you have actually brought to Iraq. I doubt seriously that you could manage it.

1) The invasion of Iraq was not undertaken for the purpose of bringing freedom to anyone, least of all Iraq people.

2) The invasion and occupation of Iraq has not brought any level of real freedom to Iraq at all. On the contrary, Iraqis are, in the ways that most affect our everyday lives, far less free than ever before. That is particularly the case for women and girls. Your "freedom" has also brought huge problems for Iraqi Christians.

3) You have killed many, many, many times more Iraqi men, women, and children than the Americans who have died for the sake of George Bush's Iraqi adventure, so don't be foolish enough to expect either sympathy or gratitude.

waldschrat said...

The slaughter continues.


An Iraqi child was killed and 15 others were wounded in two suicide bombings in Mosul today, in the fifth attack in three days against civilians in northern Iraq, the U.S. military said.



If a "freedom fighter" wanted to give his life for Iraq, would it not be more civilized to get a rifle with a telescopic sight, ambush an American patrol from a concealed sniper position, and perhaps kill two or three Americans before being killed himself? Is it true that Iraqis ae such incredibly bad marksmen that they can't imagine such thngs are possible and consider a rifle only suitable for making noise at wedding ceremonies? Why in the world are these people so fascinated with the suicide bomb idea?

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,

"If the Europeans I see represented here are representative of many of those "outside the US", I don't put much stock in their opinions or beliefs one way or the other."

As I see it, you don't put much stock in any opinions that are different from yours. You have been completely brainwashed into believing that Americans are dying in Iraq to save Iraqis. You have absolutely no understanding of other peoples' traditions, feelings and ideas. Anything outside your usual Mac Donald's fare is incomprehensible. Only one people is generous - the American people; only one system is good - your corrupt oligarchy, disguised as democracy; only one set of opinions is right - your own, which you then impose by force on any other people. You are too dumb to understand that those who rule over you couldn't care less about you or any other people in the world. You live in a violent society where force is the supreme argument. Throughout your history you have exterminated native Americans; you persecuted, discriminated, lynched racial minorities; you have bombed, shot and robbed uncounted peoples around the world. I lived in the US and know there are many good Americans, none of whom has any saying in the way your country is misruled. The rest of you is a bunch of arrogant bullies spreading like the plague all over the planet. Hopefully the Iraqis will teach you a lesson similar to that taught you by the Vietnamese. And the sooner the better, for all our sake.

richsanter said...

This latest series of posts by the war pimps is simply hilarious. This is symptomatic of their efforts:

[jj] “Nice try Anonymous dan and moron99 but it's like peeing in the ocean -no matter how many facts and or accurate reports you refer to, this group and those like minded fools will either deny, ignore or twists the facts to suit themselves.”

FACTS ??

They wouldn’t know a fact if it smashed them in the head.

What we have is the war mongers spouting the usual “either you are with the American effort to establish peace, democracy and a new order or you are an evil insurgent” drivel and some ridiculous bus analogies.

The reality is that you clueless buggers have a good handle on the official propaganda line of the US, but when it comes to the DETAILS and … FACTS … which contradict at every turn the reassuring, numbing propaganda used to sedate you simians … you don’t have a clue.

Hurria spelled it out as clearly as can be on the issue of elections, an issue that I have been over already previously with Moron99 before. But, here it is again, for the terminally stupid:

(1) The US planned rule by caucuses and appointed administrators.
(2) The US cancelled all local democratic elections in lieu of appointed autocrats.
(2) The US repeatedly criticized Sistani’s plan to use the food ration cards as a basis for elections as unworkable and tried to ignore him.
(3) Sistani forced Bush into the elections through mass demonstrations.

Ergo, it cannot be stated that the US “came to Iraq to create a democracy”, when its behaviour consistently contradicts that line. Its INTENTION was not to allow any true democracy.

Bush was presented with the option of a countrywide revolt on a scale larger than the resistance which has already inflicted well over 10 000 casualties, and he backed down.


Next item: the Draft.

I have no doubt that Bush and his cronies DO NOT want a draft. The opposition at home would not only go through the roof, but the generals are also not too keen on having anti war attitudes wreck their military.

HOWEVER, if the plan for attacking Iran is still on the cards, there is NO WAY that it can be accomplished without a draft.

Iran is a much stiffer proposition than poor old Iraq. The neocons can try a limited strike on Iranian nuclear facilities through their proxy Israel, but Iran’s response could be severe and unpredictable, given that it has the capacity to strike back heavily, not to mention stir up a LOT of trouble in both Afghanistan, Lebanon and Iraq. (The Iraqi ‘government’ has heavy ties to Iran.)

Secondly, if the US-supported paramilitary death squad (militias) groups are unable to staunch the rebellion, and if the ING continues to be as inept as it is right now, the current pace of operations will not be sustainable for much longer.

(Congratulations on all true Iraqi patriots and freedom fighters for inflicting so much damage on the US war machine with so little.)

There seems to be no particular reason why the tide should shift now, given the continuing strength of the resistance. If this continues, and reenlistment rates continue to drop, you can tattoo D R A F T to your forehead Anonymous, or you can scamper back to the US, because that’s what’s going to happen.


Waldschrat, Moron99 et al --

[wald] “Hurria, you say the Iraqi police and military are merely minions of the "occupier", following the orders of an illegitimate authority. Yet, it seems they are committing no great crimes on the orders of that illegitimate authority.”

This seems to be the official war pimp line.

Now, when I present you with evidence of the attitude of forces loyal to this regime, you (predictably) will tell me that such harsh measures are necessary in order to maintain control. Which brings us to the point that the eeevil Saddam also used harsh measures in order to retain control of Iraq and to stabilize the country – yet similar measures used by your ‘model’ government now are applauded by you bunch of sickening hypocrites! Really, what is the difference between Saddamite methods and your methods?

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE.

Here’s one small example to illustrate my point. This concerns press freedom, the cornerstone of any genuine democracy.

“Iraqi press under attack from authorities in Iraq”
By Mohammed al Dulaimy, Knight Ridder Newspapers - May 2, 2005

BAGHDAD - A photographer for a Baghdad newspaper says Iraqi police beat and detained him for snapping pictures of long lines at gas stations. A reporter for another local paper received an invitation from Iraqi police to cover their graduation ceremony and ended up receiving death threats from the recruits. A local TV reporter says she's lost count of how many times Iraqi authorities have confiscated her cameras and smashed her tapes.
All these cases are under investigation by the Iraqi Association to Defend Journalists, a union that formed amid a chilling new trend of alleged arrests, beatings and intimidation of Iraqi reporters at the hands of Iraqi security forces. Reporters Without Borders, an international watchdog group for press freedom, tracked the arrests of five Iraqi journalists within a two-week period and issued a statement on April 26 asking authorities "to be more discerning and restrained and not carry out hasty and arbitrary arrests."
While Iraq's newly elected government says it will look into complaints of press intimidation, local reporters said they've seen little progress since reporting the incidents. Some have quit their jobs after receiving threats - not from insurgents, but from police. Most Iraqi reporters are reluctant to even identify themselves as press when stopped at police checkpoints. Others say they won't report on events that involve Iraqi security forces, which creates a big gap in their local news coverage. "Tell me to cover anything except the police," said Muth'hir al Zuhairy, the reporter from Sabah newspaper who was threatened at a police academy.”
// end excerpt

Hmm. Somewhat tame, compared to the stuff that American soldiers get up to in Abu Ghraib, huh? I guess you might be more titillated by this:


Old brutality among new Iraqi forces
By Jill Carroll, The Christian Science Monitor

“BAGHDAD — Iraqi special forces soldiers Ali Jabbar and Mohammed Ali insist they mete out justice fairly. They beat only the prisoners they know did something wrong, not the innocent ones. In March, when a rocket attack on one of their bases missed the target but angered the soldiers, they searched the area and found two suspects. "You want to know the truth? My arms are still tired from hitting those guys," laughs Mr. Jabbar in an interview along with Mr. Ali in Baghdad.
[...]
Jabbar told the Monitor that during a raid he was on in January at a suspected insurgent hideout, three detainees died after being severely beaten by Iraqi security patrols. The Iraqi Association to Defend Journalists is investigating several cases in which security forces allegedly beat or intimidated Iraqi journalists. And in a report issued in January, Human Rights Watch said that torture and abuse by Iraqi authorities had become "routine and commonplace." The report detailed methods of interrogation in which prisoners were beaten with cables and pipes, shocked, or suspended from their wrists for prolonged periods of time — tactics that are more associated with Saddam Hussein's dictatorship than the democracy that is beginning to take root in that country.
[...]
"In the long run, with the assistance of the US military unfortunately ... [we are creating] a security force which is very much like the old Saddam security forces," says Perito. "That's not what we set out to do."
[…]
"They are getting the bare bones of that effort. They are getting what amounts to an introduction to community policing," Perito says, and the program assumes the officer is going to graduate into a benign environment. "Instead, the US military has put them on the fight against the insurgents."
” //end excerpt

That’s not what they intended, huh? Yet … the US sponsors a program on Iraqi TV which beats ludicrous confessions out of ‘suspects’ and in some cases has returned suspects as corpses to their families. Yet, as usual, rhetorical intention and real action somehow miss each other again.

Don’t worry, Americans, they may be BAD Iraqis, but they’re YOUR bad Iraqis.

Well, that’s what was once thought of Saddam.

That worked out, right?

Moron99 said...

Bruno,

What would you do if a clear majority - say 75% - of Iraqis wanted the insurgents to lay down their weapons and participate in the government? Would you accept the right of the Iraqi people to determine their own future in such a fashion?

Anonymous said...

http://iraqimistress.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

http://iraqimistress.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

http://iraqimistress.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

As usual people like albatroz and Bruno resort to silly insults ("war pimps") and even sillier generalizations. I suggest you both brush up on your argumentation skills because you are convincing no one who doesn't already agree with you. At every step of the way I and others have responded with facts and reasonable argument. Every time "italian", for example, brought up an unsupported accusation it was shown to be false yet he ignored it and moved on to the next unsupported accusation. That is the typical modus operandi. We, the two sides in this argument, have been down this road many times in the last 2 years.

I refuse to continue to beat this dead horse. I will let others continue and will just say again "one of us will be proved right."

By the way, your freedom fighters killed 60 young Iraqi police recruits today. You must be soooo proud.

Moron99 said...

The true nature of the freedom fighter can be found either Here (in english) or on a local television at 9PM.

Not surprisingly, ever since the freedom fighters have been talking in public their popularity has plummeted. The last opinion polls I read had their support at just under 13%. So when the pro-insurgency crowd rant about what "most" of Iraq wants, you need to realize that what they really mean to say is most of the Iraqis who already agree with them since the other 87% is just a bunch of puppets.

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,

1. I have proved that you are, and have been historically, a violent people, so that it is in your nature to shoot your way out of any situation you do not agree with. It is not therefore in your nature to put other people's interests above your own. Any attempt at convincing us that you have mended your ways will therefore fail.

2. You have lied about WMD and about Saddam's involvement in 9/11, in order to justify your aggression. Changing another country's regime is absolutely not good enough an excuse to go to war, and you knew it, otherwise you would have used it in the first place.

3. You are indifferent to other peoples' suffering and therefore are not fit to try and solve other peoples' conflicts. Only a very cruel people would invent the expression "colateral damage" for innocent people being killed in the course of your crude attempts at silencing those you dislike.

4. You are incapable of understanding - much less sympathizing with - other peoples' cultures, traditions and ways. You are intolerant and any thing different must be evil in your eyes.

5. You should remain confined within your borders until you learn to coexist in a civilized manner with other peoples.

In my view these are arguments strong enough to prove you should leave Iraq as soon as possible. Nothing of what you have stated can effectively contradict my arguments. If Iraqis have not been very successful at ruling themselves in a legitimate way, that's their problem. You had absolutely no business in interfering with a strict Iraqi internal question. I deeply dislike your government and its policies, but that does not give me the right to try and change it by force.

Albatroz said...

Moron99,

During WW I allied propaganda claimed that Germans ate little children. Apparently some French and English people believed it. Ninety years on some people believe almost the same things...

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

The early 20th century had nothing on the early 21st century in terms of propaganda. In the early 21st century there are people who believe America is waging a war of imperialism. Even more surprising is the resurgence of kamikazee's who target their own people instead of the enemy. Somehow, they have been convinced through deception and propaganda that strapping on suicide bombs and killing innocent people is what god wishes. The earth hasn't seen such extensive brainwashing since the conquistadors thought they were doing the mayans a favor.

waldschrat said...

Here is a link to a story suggesting that jobs created by the "liberating forces" were cheerfully passed out on the basis of insider influence rather than need or merit.

http://www.iwpr.net/index.pl?archive/irq/irq_123_5_eng.txt

Some days it is harder than other days for me to believe in the worth of my fellow human beings. The systematic pillaging f offices, universities and museums reported in Iraq, the apparent tendency of the Iraqi constabulary toward brutality and corruption, the reports of widespread religious prejudice, the casual disregard of Iraqi "freedom fighters" for human life, the murderously sanctimonious determination of some factions to settle things with bullets instead of ballots, and the determined, endless lies and distortions of the truth - it would be easy to conclude that Iraqis and Arabs in general are all moral degenerates unworthy of human respect.

Thank you Truth Teller. Your writing, and the blogs of your family and other Iraqis, provide evidence that there are good people in Iraq.

An Italian. said...

Moron99,
"In the early 21st century there are people who believe America is waging a war of imperialism".

Oh, how disgusting, Moron, only brainwashed people could conceive such a mischievous idea! No, no, it is just "an ideological war"!

Moron, can't you see that you contradict yourself? Cannot you see that "an ideological war" like the one your Neo-Cons (& their brainwashed supporters like you) are waging is, PRECISELY, a war of especially crazy imperialism, the same sort Hitler was waging?

And you go on, ludicrously ranting about 'opinion polls'. 'Opinion polls' in war-torn Iraq? Oh, they are reliable indeed. My four-handed friend, if you are in denial and happy to be blind, well, do keep believing that "87%" of the Iraqis support the US occupation (!!!). Only, please do spare us such 'hilarious' (as rightly Bruno called them) items; we are trying to discuss serious things, here.

tj said...

I think it’s become clear, after reading the rantings of “an italian”, albatroz, bruno and others, that this really isn’t about Iraq for them. It’s about America. (Vietnam, the Native Americans, McDonalds? What does that have to do with Iraq? And do you really want to get into a discussion of historical violence or of Europe’s history over the last several hundred years? Didn’t think so.)

People like them make it clear in everything they say that they couldn’t care less about what happens to Iraq or Iraqis. Any neutral observer can see it. All they care about is seeing America fail. They are obsessed with America. It’s kind of flattering, actually, that they care so much. It must just gnaw at them every day. The movies they watch, the TV shows, the McDonalds on every corner (which most Americans don't even like, by the way), the very Internet they write on, the fact that they have to write it in English… it must just kill them that their own cultures have been subsumed by America. And so they lash out like frustrated toddlers. It doesn’t bother me, though. Just like with a tantrum-throwing toddler yelling “I hate you, Mommy”, you can’t take everything they say seriously. Just smile and humor them. The more you react emotionally to the tantrum the louder they scream.

I do love the fact that we’re so “in their heads”, though. :-)

An Italian. said...

@Anon.
"Every time 'italian', for example, brought up an unsupported accusation it was shown to be false yet he ignored it and moved on to the next unsupported accusation. That is the typical modus operandi".

If you refer to the fact that the rate of attacks on 'Coalition forces' (mainly US troops) admitted to by the US is 150-200 per week, and not per month as I was claiming, OK, you are right: I was wrong. But then another question arises (at least, for any thinking being): WHY did the Pentagon 'classify' or censure that information (and that about 20 attacks a day in Baghdad) in the Calipari report? Are they hiding what they themselves are saying? Or are they plain crazy? As a US taxpayer & voter, you should wonder, maybe.

If you refer to the al-Zarqawi discussion, the subject is rather complex, and I'm quite sure that you (and your ilk) would get bored very fast. That's why I didn't follow it up.

As for the rest of what you put on top of your post, it seems to me that that "modus operandi" is more fittingly the one you & your pals indulge to. For instance, I do not answer to the last things you said (like 'democracy', US style) now, because Hurria, Albatroz & Bruno already answered in full, in a very reasoned way, with plenty of details. Anybody possessing a human brain would have registered, and, in case, having good arguments against what the three above named were saying, answered. Not you & your fellow warmongerers: like talking to the wall. And then you & your likes go on and on with other rants.

So, Anon, whose 'modus operandi' is the one you took exception to?

Anonymous said...

I am a regular guy from a place that no one heard of in the U.S.A. I read the article and most of your comments. I can see that this war will never end and many more people will lose their lives. You all seem so smart with your witty comments and wise words. If you are so damn smart then why not figure a way to end this blood filled carnage. The real problem is ourselves. I as well as you. Most people no matter where they live or what religion they practice would not want to bury a dead son, daughter, father, mother, or any loved one. But we will for as the time I wasted on this comment I bet another person as died. I just hope it wasn't anyone I loved.

An Italian. said...

Anon,
and, about the draft, the subject of Truth Teller's post, why are you beating about the bush (no pun intended...)?
Your own General Myers stated that much yesterday: the US military cannot substain the present rate of Iraqi attrition for much longer...
Don't you believe your own General?
Oh, Anon, you are Anti-American!

'tj',
the main reason - not the only one - why myself, Bruno, Albatroz & others do counter the foolish propaganda of US warmongerers like you are is, precisely, because the criminal collection of arrogant apes & bullies you call your military (your cowardly 'American Heroes', LOL) are slaughtering Iraqis every day, flattening their towns (two forms of 'collateral damages', as you call them, you Nazis), raping the very cradle of Western civilisation, inflicting on the 'liberated' Iraqis untold misery and suffering, sowing and spreading internecine conflict and sectarian war in Iraq, engaging in terrorism and fomenting it, shamelessly lying in a truly Orwellian way. We feel - like most people outside the US - that you should stop your crazy adventures, and withdraw your beastly troops from outside your own borders (and especially from Iraq). Spreading your barbarousness (and you believe, you mindless fanatics, that you can teach the Iraqis, or anybody else!) is bringing the whole world down the slippery slope of WW3. In your totalitarian drunkeness YOU do not care, neither for the Iraqis nor for anybody else in the world, my dear 'neutral observer' (LOL). But you'll be, please God, utterly defeated anyway: so, please, do spare Iraq and the world any more crimes.

tj said...

QED.


:-)

Moron99 said...

Italian,

you do not have a clue what the neocon strategy is. If you did, then you would understand why Syria was never invaded, why Saudi still has relations, why there weren't 400,000 soldiers sent to Iraq, why Iraq was allowed to descend into chaos instead of being ruled with an iron fist, why sadrists are free to hold demonstrations, why coalition forces don't kick the sadrists out of basra, why the coalition is intent about maintaining a protective bubble around Najaf, why the Iraqi government is going to stab the US in the back, why the US will be happy about it, why there will be no draft, and why the "invasion of Iran" is laughably ludicrous. But you don't understand these things do you? It is all some confusing swirl of conspiracies and you have no idea what will happen next. Maybe that's simply because you don't really understand very much of anything about why america is in Iraq.

Why don't you explain why Iraqis are free to draft their own constitution. Why don't you explain why they are guaranteed the right to hold a nationwide referendum and vote "Do you approve of this constitution as the basis for your government. yes or no?". Why don't you explain why Iraqis are guaranteed the right to pick their leaders from an open ballot?

I bet you can't do it. I bet you change the subject or try to spin some wild conspiracy theory. I bet your best effort to to label the government of Iraq as puppets. But if you do that, then you will need to explain how Allawi got left out and how someone the US bitterly hates ended up running the oil ministry. Nope. I don't think you can explain it all. I bet you start ranting about how evil the US is and never address the basic facts.

Albatroz said...

tj,

"...the fact that they have to write it in English… it must just kill them that their own cultures have been subsumed by America..."

Just in case you missed it, English was invented by the English, not by the Americans... And I could write in Portuguese, in Spanish, in French or in Dutch, but then you wouldn't understand it... Now, on what culture is concerned, you must be kidding... If there is any American culture it must be Native American...

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,

"If you are so damn smart then why not figure a way to end this blood filled carnage"

That's easy: just pack and go...

tj said...

Just in case you missed it, English was invented by the English, not by the Americans...

Never said it was invented by Americans. But "American English" has become the dominant world language.

And I could write in Portuguese, in Spanish, in French or in Dutch, but then you wouldn't understand it..

Exactly.

Now, on what culture is concerned, you must be kidding... If there is any American culture it must be Native American...

So does this formulation about native peoples apply to every country in the world or just America? Because I'm sure you realize that many countries are populated by people who are not necessarily "native".
Once again, you prove your obsession with America to the exclusion of the rest of the world. And once again, I'm flattered you care about us so much. It's good to know we occupy so much of your thoughts.

Albatroz said...

tj,

"Exactly"

Did it ever occur to you that not being able to speak and understand other peoples' languages means you will never be able to understand how they think? And then you go to Iraq and shout at people in English, and because they don't understand you, you end up by shooting them... Really smart...

tj said...

Speaking other languages is not the point. Many Americans speak a second language (actually millions of Americans also speak English as a second language and some other language as their first language).

That was not the point. The point was that the Internet is overwhelmingly English and you, Bruno, italian and others feel compelled to communicate in English because it is the "universal language". And that's just one of the petty gripes Europeans struggle with (particularly the French, who are amusingly apoplectic about it and keep trying to legislate ways to force their citizens to use French instead of English.)

Albatroz said...

tj,

I speak English to you because you do not speak anything else. I use other languages on the internet when I am communicating with other people. A common language, be it English or Swahili, is convenient, but does not make native English speakers any better. In fact it makes them prisoners of one single language. Something we see in Europe as a disadvantage.

Albatroz said...

tj,

For instance, when I am doing research on the internet - about Iraq, namely -, I can access and use documents in six or seven different languages, which puts me at an advantage over people who only understand English. I can thus get a broader range of opinions, and will not be limited, for instance, to the Fox News...

tj said...

I speak English to you because you do not speak anything else. I use other languages on the internet when I am communicating with other people.

You're not speaking only to me. If you're speaking, as you are on a blog like this, with people from many different countries, you speak English because it is the one language you can reasonably assume is understood by an Italian, an American, a Frenchman, a Spaniard, an Iraqi, etc. You would not speak Italian, French, Spanish or any other language in a mixed group like that because you could not reasonably assume all would speak that language. That was my point. Is that really hard to understand?


A common language, be it English or Swahili, is convenient, but does not make native English speakers any better.

When did I say it makes native English speakers "any better"? I neither said nor implied anything about anyone being "better". That's your own insecurity reading something into it that I didn't even imply. And the fact that you did that actually proves my point.

tj said...

I can thus get a broader range of opinions, and will not be limited, for instance, to the Fox News..

Can someone please explain to me the European obsession with Fox News?

Unlike many European countries, the U.S. does not have any government-owned media. (For example, one of France's main news outlets, France 2, is government-owned). We have a wide range of media of which Fox News is only a small part. Fewer people watch Fox News than watch the major network news shows (ABC, NBC, CBS). The major networks are, and have been proven to be, overwhelmingly liberal. Fox News is an admittedly conservative news outlet but it is only one piece of the puzzle. There is a wide variety of news outlets and they don't speak with one voice.

Hurria said...

"Really, what is the difference between Saddamite methods and your methods?"

The main difference is that despite the repressive and sometimes brutal nature of the regime, the overwhelming majority of Iraqis had at least a measure of normalcy in their lives. Iraqis - men, women, and children - could safely walk or drive anywhere in the country at any time of the day or night. Parents could send their children to school every day with full confidence that they would return home safely at the end of the day. Women's rights and freedoms, including equal pay for equal work - something American women can only dream of - were a matter of law. Iraqi women have always had the legal right to divorce their husbands. Girls and women had equal educational and professional opportunities with men, and were free to go where they wanted to go, do what they wanted to do, and dress as they wanted to dress. Christians went about their lives and work, and worshipped freely without concerns for their lives or safety.

All of that has changed. There is no such thing as normal life in Iraq now for anyone. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Iraqis are permanent refugees now because their homes, villages, towns and entire cities have been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by occupation forces, or because they have been expelled from their homes by Kurdish militias. Many families now keep their children home from school out of fear for their safety. Other families will send their kids to school only if a male relative will stand guard outside the school all day. No one feels safe leaving their homes, and no one feels truly safe even inside their homes. Women have no more rights or freedoms at all - even Christian women are wearing hijab these days - and this is likely to get worse rather than to improve. For the first time in Iraq's history it is dangerous to be a Christian there. Christians have been killed, churches have been bombed, and Christians in Kurdistan are under constant threat from Kurdish forces.

There is no normalcy, no order, and no safety at all now for anyone anywhere in Iraq. There is danger everywhere every moment of every day. For Iraqis the number one danger is from occupation forces, number two from so-called "insurgents", and number three from Iraqi "security forces". This is the reality in Iraq for more than two years, and also for the foreseeable future.

This is the freedom the war cheerleaders keep crowing about like the rooster who thinks he has brought the dawn.

Anonymous said...

The main difference is that despite the repressive and sometimes brutal nature of the regime, the overwhelming majority of Iraqis had at least a measure of normalcy in their lives...There is no normalcy, no order

And Hitler made sure the trains ran on time.

For Iraqis the number one danger is from occupation forces, number two from so-called "insurgents", and number three from Iraqi "security forces".

Switch numbers one and two to be closer to the truth these days.

Hurria said...

Hurria: "men, women, and children - could safely walk or drive anywhere in the country at any time of the day or night. Parents could send their children to school every day with full confidence that they would return home safely at the end of the day. Women's rights and freedoms, including equal pay for equal work - something American women can only dream of - were a matter of law. Iraqi women have always had the legal right to divorce their husbands. Girls and women had equal educational and professional opportunities with men, and were free to go where they wanted to go, do what they wanted to do, and dress as they wanted to dress. Christians went about their lives and work, and worshipped freely without concerns for their lives or safety."

Anonymous: "And Hitler made sure the trains ran on time."

So, according to you, complete loss of social and economic stability, complete loss of personal freedom and safety, loss of women's and minority rights and freedoms, freedom of worship, complete loss of a sense of security of the home - all that is equivalent to loss of trains running on time. I think I am beginning to understand the American war cheerleader mentality.

Hurria: "For Iraqis the number one danger is from occupation forces, number two from so-called "insurgents", and number three from Iraqi "security forces"."

Anonymous: "Switch numbers one and two to be closer to the truth these days."

Oh - I am so sorry, Anonymous! I did not know you were directly experiencing life in Iraq under American occupation - oh, excuse me, I mean American-provided freedom! For some bizarre reason I thought you were an American who has never set foot in Iraq, could not find it on an unlabeled map, and who only hears about it from U.S. press reports where only the most spectacular "insurgent" attacks are reported.

Albatroz said...

Hurria,

American fundamentalists, like any other sort of fundamentalists, are insane. It is impossible to reason with them. The only solution would be to throw them in present day Iraq, with Iraqi families, and letting them see for themselves what it means to be treated like dirt by the "liberators". They don't realize it, but they are the closest thing to nazi Germany since WW II.

Moron99 said...

Hurria,

you can not change the past. Saddam is gone and he will not be back. So what about the future?

Do you really expect the Shia or Kurd to ever lie down and accept another Saddam? The only way the tribal arab Sunni can ever control Iraq again is either by winning an election or by killing between 500,000 to a million shia/kurd. Which would you prefer?

The only solution is for the Arab Sunni to accept the Shia and Kurd as equals. The insurgents wish for the Sunni to believe that the Shia and Kurds will do to them as Saddam. But it isn't true. Neither Shia nor Kurd wishes to dominate or oppress. They have lived under Saddam whip for too long. They wish to break the cycle of oppression/violence and live in peace - as equals. Do some research. Do not let what Saddam taught you remain as the unquestioned truth. Even within the Sadrists, the voices of moderation have become stronger.

The writing is on the wall. Under Allawi, the "puppets" in the ministry of the Interior told their American masters to stick it up their butts. They formed a counter-insurgent group that included ex-baathists and republican guards. It is the "iraqi solution to an iraqi problem". Now that the governemnt is sworn in look for it to be greatly expanded. There will be a great number of Sunni who are willing to accept that all men are equal in both words and actions - so don't expect the "clensing" to weaken the counter-insurgent force. In fact, you should expect this force to increase rapidly now that a legitimately elected government is in power. By the end of the summer, your insurgents will be pushed into rural western Iraq. From there, they will continue to terrorize Iraq for years. But it is over. Unless there is a major shift or a major event, the insurgents have already lost. They have already lost popular will outside of western Iraq, they continue to lose the propaganda war inside Iraq, they will soon lose the propaganda war outside Iraq (yes - even al-jazeera will soon start criticizing them), they are losing geographical range, they are losing soldiers, they are losing Syrian and Saudi support ... they are just simply losing on all fronts and will continue to do so simply because they can not use hatred of America to conceal their lack of regard for Iraqi people. They are cowards who hide in the shadows while ordering the deaths of innocent Iraqis. It's over. Give it up. The wisest course of action is to end the sufferring and start the rebuilding.

richsanter said...

Anonymous –

What, do you see it as a compliment that America is in our thoughts? No, that’s the same as Germany was in Russian thoughts between 1942 and 1945.

Face it: with the threat of the Soviets and the Cold War you had a ready excuse for your endless wars and invasions. Arguments could be even made to justify some of them. Now, the Cold War is OVER. There are NO more excuses. YOU are the new USSR, right now.

Don’t you find it odd that the overwhelming majority of people in the world, common people like you and I, are opposed to the US and its global designs?


As for the English issue, really, YOU are the ones suffering for it.

That’s because, apart from the reasons Albatroz et al already mentioned, Americans write worse English (on average) than other English speakers. Don’t even get me started on your abysmal state of spelling, appalling grammar and miniscule vocabularies. The fact of the matter is, American arguments are frequently incoherent and / or incomprehensible because of this shortcoming. As native speakers your standards should be excellent, yet this is far from the case.

[tj] “The point was that the Internet is overwhelmingly English and you, Bruno, italian and others feel compelled to communicate in English because it is the "universal language".”

No, I communicate in English because I kick ass in English. Sadly my standard in the other two languages I speak is not what I would like it to be. If, on the other hand, I were communicating in one of those languages, I would not go about bragging about “my culture” and language subsuming other cultures; especially if I were talking to somebody who could take me behind the woodshed in that language, so to speak.


[anon] “And do you really want to get into a discussion of historical violence or of Europe’s history over the last several hundred years?”

Sure, let’s. And lets also look at the lessons that can be drawn from the violence that Europeans inflicted on one another. They drew the conclusion that war is a negative thing. You, on the other hand, need to learn the lesson through the application of pain and suffering. It’s really quite sad, if you think about it.


[moron99] “you do not have a clue what the neocon strategy is.”


Hm. Perhaps we are being unfair to the poor misunderstood neocon. Possibly we are putting words in their mouth. Let’s let them speak for themselves, alright?


Keeping the U.S. First; Pentagon Would Preclude a Rival Superpower
Barton Gellman, Washington Post Staff Writer

[This article refers to the 1992 blueprint drafted by Wolfowitz]

Though noting that "the passing of the Cold War reduces pressure for U.S. military involvement in every potential regional or local conflict," the document argues not only for preserving but expanding the most demanding American commitments and for resisting efforts by key allies to provide their own security. In particular, the document raises the prospects of "a unilateral U.S. defense guarantee" to Eastern Europe, "preferably in cooperation with other NATO states," and contemplates use of American military power to preempt or punish use of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, "even in conflicts that otherwise do not directly engage U.S. interests."
[...]
The central strategy of the Pentagon framework is to "establish and protect a new order" that accounts "sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership," while at the same time maintaining a military dominance capable of "deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."
[...]
But the new memo gives central billing to U.S. efforts to prevent emergence of a rival superpower, a diplomatically sensitive subject that has not been prominent in public debate. That objective, the document states, "is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. These regions include Western Europe, East Asia, the territory of the former Soviet Union and Southwest Asia."
//end excerpt


More specifically, neoconservatives had THIS to say about Iraq and the Middle East:


From "Rebuilding America's Defences", Page 17

"From an American perspective, the value of such bases would endure even should Saddam pass from the scene. Over the long term, Iran may well prove as large a threat to U.S. interests in the Gulf as Iraq has. And even should U.S.-Iranian relations improve, retaining forward-based forces in the region would still be an essential element in U.S. security strategy given the longstanding American interests in the region."

From "Rebuilding America's Defences", Page 76
" Global leadership is not something exercised at our leisure, when the mood strikes us or when our core national security interests are directly threatened; then it is already too late. Rather, it is a choice whether or not to maintain American military preeminence, to secure American geopolitical leadership, and to preserve the American peace."
Conclusion?

America IS the new world government, and we are merely lackeys. America IS peace, ergo, if one is against America, one is against peace. America IS Globocop, even if America acts in a manner that suggests otherwise.

Or so the neo-conservatives would have us believe.

In a greater sense, Iraqis fighting against the occupation are fighting on our behalf as well, because the strength of the war-mongers is being sapped by the grueling battle the resistance is putting them through.

I feel its time that their ideas were discredited completely.

Moron99 said...

Bruno,

the exceprts that you cut and pasted have already been discredited and discarded. We have no Saddams in America. We have a loosely defined think tank of scholars, politicians, journalists, and diplomats that publicly discusses everything from "nuke the bastards" to "send them flowers and beg them to like us". It is an ongoing discussion that is continually revised and includes a feedback loop of public opinion. At the end of the day, the think tank reaches a concensus and the person in power is obligated to pursue that path whether he agrees or not. Since the process is dynamic and contains a feedback source it is also constantly self-critical and adapting. If you want to understand the neocon without having to trace his footsteps, then read the 9/11 report.

At present, you have no working understanding of the neocon strategy.

richsanter said...

[m99] "Bruno, the exceprts that you cut and pasted have already been discredited and discarded."

References, links, quotes.

Not the whistling wind, please.

It just seems terribly coincidental that what those papers, and others like it advocated, is almost EXACTLY what is occurring today.

No, I guess I must just be a conspiracy monger to believe that if in the 90's and early 2000's the neocons called for the invasion of Iraq, and in 2003 it actually happened - that the two events are linked.

Gee, I must be pretty dumb, huh?

Your efforts are pathetic.

Go have a beer and play darts or something. These are bigger leagues than the office, OK?

Moron99 said...

Bruno,

how about a quote from yesterday? You'll have to do your own search for the transcript. This was a PBS broadcast "Sometime In April" which was about the Rwandan genocide. It was followed with an informal think tank discussion. Amoung the people answering questions and discussing policy were Wolfowitz and Pearle. I assume that they are "neocon" enough for you? To paraphrase:

Our thinking has changed since the nineties. It is in our national interests to fight against oppression and genocide because it will come back and haunt us if left unchecked. We have insufficient resources to fight all oppressive regimes and to stop all killing but that is no excuses for not doing what we can. People will say that we are discriminating and showing favoritism by trying to help some and not others. Some people will cast it as hypocrisy and cite it as an example of our desire to keep this group or that in a situation of misery. In the 90's we stayed too long in Mogudishu and were traunatized. After that we tried not to become involved and did not act to stop Rwanda. After 9/11 it is not sufficient to avoid risk, stand idly by, or let oppression stand unchallenged. Not being able to do everything is no excuse for doing nothing, we have to do the things that we can.


Dude, you are dead wrong about the neocons. The choice is yours. You can either continue to be one of the most deluded and misinformed people on the planet or you can go read the 9/11 report and speak about the neocons with some degree of truth.

Anonymous said...

Moron99,

You're wasting your breath. The people you're arguing with don't want to hear anything that doesn't already conform with their preconceptions. They're not interested in truth.

They'd rather run around shouting things like this:

American fundamentalists, like any other sort of fundamentalists, are insane... They don't realize it, but they are the closest thing to nazi Germany since WW II.

Well, if I was an undecided person that kind of well-reasoned argument would sure convince me!

P.S. - Godwin's Law, anyone?

Hurria said...

"throw them in present day Iraq, with Iraqi families, and letting them see for themselves what it means to be treated like dirt by the "liberators"."

Here I agree with you 100%. Let them experience one week of life as an Iraqi under U.S. "liberation", and some of them might see the light. I suspect, though that not all of them will.

"They don't realize it, but they are the closest thing to nazi Germany since WW II."

I don't think this kind of demonization is helpful, Albatroz, and I am not at all sure it is accurate or fair.

Anonymous said...

Truth Teller,

While you and your family seem to blame us for all of Iraq's troubles, while you are busy scouring the internet for as many anti-American articles or opinions that you can find, let me remind you of what the so called "insurgents" are busy doing.

Lynnette in Minnesota

Hurria said...

"the exceprts that you cut and pasted have already been discredited and discarded."

When? How? Where? By whom? These are excerpts contained in actual PNAC documents over the signatures of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, et al. Which of the signatories have "discredited and discarded" them? And if they have been "discredited and discarded", why are the excerpts and the documents that contain them still available on PNAC's web site, and why have none of the original signatories withdrawn their signatures?

Anonymous said...

Hurria - "Once I was asked in a very harsh and challenging way whether I would prefer a dictator over a democracy... I said that I would accept living with a dictator that I knew was a dictator better than I would accept living in a democracy in which the government hid its true nature."

At least in a democracy "in which the government hid its true nature" there is hope of the public discovering that "true nature" and voting the government out of office. In a dictatorship there is no such recourse. Maybe you prefer that because it makes no demands on you?

Moron99 said...

The excepts were from an early nineties memo at a time that the US was trying to decide post cold-war strategy. The concept of America assumming the role of globacop and paying for the costs through imperialistic resource control was assigned to a task group and put forth in this memo. It was one of many ideas. It was never adopted.

Instead of becoming globacop the decision was made to entrust the UN with international crisis resolution (they failed miserably). The US would focus its energy on domestic interests such as building the internet and pursue international politics through the UN. This decision was further cemented by the Clinton administration even to the point of non-action in Rwanda. After 9/11 the failure of the UN became undeniable and the Clintonian era ended.

If you wish to understand actual US policies and strategies, you will need to read a post 9/11 document. The 9/11c report is the single most concise body of work available on this subject.

In short, it is impossible to discredit an idea that was never credited in the first place. It is inaccurate to assume that a professional strategist tasked with the job of exploring post-coldwar globacop will present a paper about anything else. It does not mean that the strategist believes it is the best policy.

I thought you were living in England, no? Then certainly you realize that everything gets questioned and discussed ... and discussed ... and discussed ... and discussed. Even the most outrageous ideas get considered. It doesn't make them policy.

Read the 9/11c report. It does represent policy.

Albatroz said...

Hurria,

"They don't realize it, but they are the closest thing to nazi Germany since WW II"

It may seem excessive and unfair, but is it? If you take into account the insane sense of superiority shown by Americans, the messianic and intolerant spirit behind their policies, the disregard for the lives of "inferior" people, the extreme violence of their actions, the use of torture, their racial prejudices, you will see that the similarity is not just superficial. But they have no concentration camps, might you say. Don't they? What is Guantanamo? How are prisoners handled there? But they are a democracy, aren't they? If you read carefully the Patriot Act you will see the seeds of tyranny, the use of security as an excuse to do away with civil rights even on what Americans themselves are concerned. Bush doesn't look like Hitler, and civilian clothes are used, instead of uniforms. And there is an opposition party of sorts, although quite incapable of standing up to present policies. But I didn't say that America was exactly like nazi Germany. I just said it was the closest thing since WW II. And that it is.

Anonymous said...

Albatroz is typical of those whose irrational rants convince no one but those on the fringes who already agree with them. When even Hurria, no friend of U.S. policies or the current administration, calls you to account you know you're on the crazy fringes, Albatroz. Enjoy your time there. But be assured you convince no one, no matter how many times or how many different ways you and your friends say it.

Moron99 said...

Hurria,

It isn't about America anymore. It's about Iraq. If you truly understood American strategy, then you would understand this. You really should read the 911c report.

To be blunt, US intention is to de-radicalize the mideast. No more 911's. No more threats of dirty nukes. No more simmerring towards WWIII. No more wild zionist conspiracy theories and no more Palestinian proxy wars between Israel and the dictators. Enough is enough. There are many wide and varied factors from economics to Israel to religion to tribalism that contribute to the radical nature of the mideast. But the foremost contributor is the political state and institutionalized oppression. The problem is that there are no working models of Arab governance other than dictator and oppression. Before the political state can change throughout the Gulf, an Arab nation needs to step forward with a working model of governance. One that delivers a higher quality of living to its citizens in a free and fair environment.

That's Iraq's job. They have the freedom and the guarantees to design and implement any system of governance that they see fit. There are no assumptions about what form it will take because there is no existing model that works. They are going to have to create something new from the ground up.

The more successful they are, the more successful we are. We want Iraq to be the most powerful and prosperous nation in the gulf. We want Iraqi people to be the happiest and most affluent in the region. We want every other Arab in the gulf to look at their dictators and ask "why can't we have what the Iraqi's have? Why are they living the life that Allah promised us while we devout and faithful Muslims suffer? What do they have that we don't?"

Now, if you are a thinking person you will realize that imposing a government, assumming the role of a benevolent tyrant, or the seizing of resources are all mutually exclusive from the real goal. Other Arab nations would not seek to emulate Iraq if any one of these things were to occur.

That's how America plans to de-radicalize the mideast. That's the "neocon" strategy in Iraq. Always has been.

You should go read the 911c report.

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
Before WW II most Germans were delighted with Hitler. Unemployment had disappeared, sovereignty was fully restored, there was a sense of pride and purpose. Any democratic elections that might have been held would just serve to show the overwhelming approval of Hitler's policies. There were even people outside Germany fascinated by nazi Germany. Even in the US Hitler's supporters gathered in the "Bund". Anyone who dared then to point to the lunacy of nazism would be placed "on the crazy fringes". The unfortunate thing is that you don't realize where you are heading. You are so sure of your democratic institutions that you can't even believe that your democracy can be subverted from the inside. The elected President of the US can't be insane. His policies can't be criminal. So, they must be good and right. So, the occupation of Iraq must have an honourable purpose. You are wrong, but once you find out how wrong you are, it may be too late.

William said...

The only thing that some of you ignorant folks have proven is that you can type a lot faster than I can. Congratulations on that lone accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong, but once you find out how wrong you are, it may be too late.

Oh no!! Too late?!? It's the End Times!

And once you find out how wrong you are, you will just move on to the next crazy accusation. Seen it all before, my friend. Those on the left-wing fringes likened Reagan to Hitler, too and said he was going to blow up the world and the planet Earth would be destroyed in mutually assured nuclear destruction. Same old tune, different decade. You need a new tune.

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
Just to pick up one aspect I mentioned before: can you justify, from a democratic point of view, the way prisoners are kept and handled in Guantanamo? Does it fit with your idea of democracy? Doesn't it disturb you, not even a little bit?...

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

what is really, really, really scary is that if a guy like you ever became dictator there would be no way to get rid of you.

Albatroz said...

Moron99,
You are welcome to trying and answering my question to Anonymous, if you can, that is...

Anonymous said...

Just to pick up one aspect I mentioned before: can you justify, from a democratic point of view, the way prisoners are kept and handled in Guantanamo? Does it fit with your idea of democracy? Doesn't it disturb you, not even a little bit?...

Well, that's a reasonable question unlike many of your previous pronouncements so I will answer as best I can.

I am not comfortable with every aspect of the Guantanamo Bay prison. But I also understand that we are dealing with a new phenomenon of global terrorism. The old rules do not apply and the new rules have not yet been established. Those captured on this terror "battlefield" are not the same as POWs of a war between nations. There is no exchange of prisoners at the end of hostilities because there is no defineable end of hostilities. It's not a war between recognized nations. It's a war between the civilized world and a global murderous Mafia that almost exclusively and purposefully targets civilians, it's aim being terror. There need to be new rules to deal with this but no one knows what they are yet. Many of these known dangerous people can not be simply set free. The trick is to obtain information from those who have it while identifying, quickly, those who do not and who are not a danger & should be set free. I don't think a great job has been done at this but I have faith it will get better. Part of the reason it will, and has, is because of the media and congressional scrutiny that happens in a democracy.

Hurria said...

"Maybe you prefer that because it makes no demands on you? "

Or maybe I just prefer to know what I am dealing with. Maybe I am not so comfortable with someone who smiles sweetly while he stabs me in the back.

waldschrat said...

The slaughter continues.

MOSUL, Iraq - Four Iraqi commandos were killed and five wounded Thursday when a suicide bomber detonated a car laden with explosives next to a patrol in the northern city of Mosul, police colonel Mohammed Nuri Khalaf said.

http://www.turkishpress.com/news.asp?id=41511

Again, another misguided fool mislead by the minions of evil chose to waste his life and deprive several families of their sons/husbands/fathers. Those attacked were doing nothing more reprehensible than trying to keep Iraq safe. They were living, breathing human beings before this heartless jerk committed his abominable act of murder.

Tell me, who are the real heros in all this.

Are they the the ones who waste their life and the lives of others in a senseless act of murder? Are they the ones who hire and equip the deluded murderers, then go home to their families and have a nice dinner and boast to their friends about their deeds? Are they the polemicists who encourage violent struggle as legitimate, deluded by their own logic into believing that America is evil and thus senseless murder is holy?

Or are they the ones who steadfastly try to keep Iraq safe from such idiots, the ones who decry lawlessness, the ones who try to lead something like a normal, peaceful life in the midst of chaos?

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
You are not "comfortable" with Guantanamo, and you certainly shouldn't. There are reliable reports of torture being carried out there, and most prisoners have no access to counsel. Certainly at least some of those prisoners are innocent. How are they going to prove their innocence under such conditions? The fact that the Guantanamo facility was set up to place those prisoners outside the protection of American law is most schoking. To deny people who may be innocent the benefits of your own Bill of Rights is a shame. That's things like this that make me doubt your good intentions, and justify my extreme views on whether the US still can be considered a fully working democracy. As Americans you may be very uncomfortable with my opinions, but you must aggree that your actions justify the criticism you have been subject to.

Albatroz said...

Waldschrat,

"Again, another misguided fool mislead by the minions of evil chose to waste his life and deprive several families of their sons/husbands/fathers"

Your sense of outrage would sound more sincere if you showed the same outrage at the many cases of "colateral damage" caused by the American forces occupying Iraq. But I suppose those innocent victims do not have sons/husbands/fathers...

Anonymous said...

Or maybe I just prefer to know what I am dealing with. Maybe I am not so comfortable with someone who smiles sweetly while he stabs me in the back.

Oh, so it's the "smiling sweetly" part you don't like. You don't mind being "stabbed" by a dictator because you know he's a dictator and accept that. Just as I thought. Living under a dictatorship makes no demands on you and assigns no responsibility to you. Just sit back and accept it. It's easier that way and no one can blame you for anything.

An Italian. said...

@Hurria (& of course Truth Teller), 5/5/2005 08:53:29 PM.

Albatroz wrote "They don't realize it, but they are the closest thing to nazi Germany since WW II"; and you commented "I don't think this kind of demonization is helpful, Albatroz, and I am not at all sure it is accurate or fair".

Now, Hurria, of course we know that the US is not (or not yet) Nazi Germany in the Thirties; but when dealing with our American friends, the ultra-nationalists, the superpatriots, the fanatics in denial, the 'America can do no wrong', the 'kill them, kick butt!', those who bought into the 'IslamoFascist' arch-enemy, those who feel the US have 'a mission from beyond the stars' to civilize (!) us, the rest of the world, then you can see that their mentality is most disturbingly similar to the one of the German Nazis in, say, 1938-39. And when such a mentality is so widespread in a great nation, than one has to be very, very worried. The US are not Nazi Germany (or Stalin's Russia) yet; but with such a mentality in many of their citizens, and with these claims of their being entitled to go around invading other countries as they like, the danger IS there. Were these Neo-Cons to go on much longer, unopposed inside the US, the US themselves would become more and more similar to Nazi Germany, and WW3 would be needed to get free of these loonies. This for accuracy and fairness.

As for it being helpful or not to state this much, remember, Hurria, that we are not writing just to convince these US fanatical warmongerers posting on the comments pages of the Iraqi blogs; being such, precisely, Orwellian-minded totalitarian fanatics, I doubt they could ever be convinced through debate or reason (as this very page shows). Do you truly think that this debate could ever change the blind faith of a Moron99 or of the resident Anon, to name just two? That you (and Truth Teller) are Iraqis doesn't even register with them: they believe they know what the real situation is in Iraq much better than you do!
We (you included) write mainly for those Americans who are not already fanaticised, who bought into some of the Administration propaganda but are now realising that it doesn't fit reality. For them it is useful to see how the US superpatriots are commonly regarded in the rest of the world, and how, contrary to what the same superpatriots (or 'American Saddamists', like Iraqi blogger Abu Khaleel brilliantly called them) tell them, the prestige and image of the US in the world has never been so negative, and how America has never been loathed and hated so much.

Anonymous said...

...when dealing with our American friends, the ultra-nationalists, the superpatriots, the fanatics in denial, the 'America can do no wrong', the 'kill them, kick butt!', those who bought into the 'IslamoFascist' arch-enemy, those who feel the US have 'a mission from beyond the stars' to civilize (!) us, the rest of the world...US fanatical warmongerers...Orwellian-minded totalitarian fanatics...

What a beautiful Straw Man! May I inquire as to the kind of straw you used? I've rarely seen one so beautifully constructed!

Hurria said...

"You don't mind being "stabbed" by a dictator because you know he's a dictator and accept that."

Do yourself a big favour and do not interpret my words. You get it wrong every single time.

I prefer to know with what and with whom I am dealing so as to avoid being stabbed by anyone. It is the deceiver who smiles sweetly and speaks beautiful lies while he stabs you in the back who is the most dangerous.

It is, of course not suprising at all to hear the "no demands" canard from Americans who have only experienced their own system and culture, and who are only too happy to meet the heavy demand of accepting without question whatever the Bush administration does.

Hurria said...

"Saddam is gone and he will not be back."

So what? Saddam is history. Every Iraqi knows that, and almost no one wants him back. He would not last five minutes on any street anywhere in Iraq. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis moved on a long time ago. It is you Americans who are still obsessed with Saddam.
Get over it.

Albatroz said...

From a NY Times article:

" When Mr. Delgado returned to Florida last year from a tour of Iraq that included a traumatic stint with a military police unit at Abu Ghraib prison, he thought he could pretty easily resume the ordinary life of a college student and leave his troubling war experiences behind.

But people kept asking him about Iraq. And he had many photos, some of them extremely difficult to look at, that were permanent reminders of events that are likely to stay with him for a lifetime.

There are pictures of children who were wounded and barely clinging to life, and some who appeared to be dead. There was a close-up of a soldier who was holding someone's severed leg. There were photos of Iraqis with the deathlike stare of shock, stunned by the fact that something previously unimaginable had just happened to them. There were photos of G.I.'s happily posing with the bodies of dead Iraqis.

This is what happens in war. It's the sickening reality that is seldom seen in the censored, sanitized version of the conflict that Americans typically get from the government and the media.

Americans' attitude toward war in general and this war in particular would change drastically if the censor's veil were lifted and the public got a sustained, close look at the agonizing bloodshed and other horrors that continue unabated in Iraq. If that happened, support for any war that wasn't an absolute necessity would plummet.

Mr. Delgado, 23, is a former Army reservist who was repelled by the violence and dehumanization of the war. He completed his tour in Iraq. But he sought and received conscientious objector status and was honorably discharged last January."

I wonder what Moron99, Anonymous, and others will say about this...

Albatroz said...

Another quote for the war crazies:

"The third battalion, seventh marines returned home in September 2004, having suffered 17 dead and many dozens wounded.

The marines of this proud battalion were deeply scarred by their experiences in Iraq. This was the same unit that had, in April 2003, spearheaded the American assault on Baghdad, helping liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein. During that phase of the war, not a single marine from 3/7 was killed.

This time it was different. Rather than a sense of victory, the marines were struck by the futility, and tragedy, of what they had gone through.

"I feel like I wasted my time, caring about something that doesn't have any meaning any more," one marine was quoted as saying, speaking of his time in al-Qaim. "I felt like I was wasting time and the taxpayers' money."

His battalion commander concurred, noting that while much had been accomplished on the surface, little had fundamentally changed in Iraq as a result of the sacrifices of his marines."

Albatroz said...

Aidan Delgado's words:

"I think racism is a key motivating factor in the war. We witnessed a Marine kick a six-year-old child in the chest for bothering him about food and water. People in my unit used to break bottles over Iraqi civilians' heads as they drove by in their Humvees. A senior enlisted man in my unit lashed Iraqi children with a steel antenna because they were bothering him.

The only way people can do these sorts of things – which would never be acceptable in America – is [because of] the notion that Iraqis are somehow related to terrorists and 9/11. We completely dehumanize them. I used to come into conflict with other members of my unit who were doing these things, and [tell them] it was wrong. It made me really unpopular, the radical notion that you should treat Arabs or Iraqis as human beings."

Is he lying?...

waldschrat said...

albatroz
You said "Your sense of outrage would sound more sincere if you showed the same outrage at the many cases of "colateral damage" caused by the American forces occupying Iraq."

I am regrettably obliged to rely on reported facts. I recognize that there may be some imbalence in reporting of fatalities depending on whether they were inflicted by insurgents or "Liberating" forces.

The only online site I know of that systematically tries to track Iraqi casualties is http://www.iraqbodycount.net/database/ and I invite you to examine their database.

I understand that there are casualties inflicted by the "Liberating" forces, including both casualties among theinsurgents and among ocaisional innocent bystanders. Any loss of life is lamentable. Some reports of insurgent casualties I find disturbing, as when it was reported that a US sniper killed an apparent insurgent transporting weapons from hiding without first offering an opportunity for him to surrender. Some incidents of checkpoint shootings, as for instance that of the Italian journalist and her rescuers, suggest that US troops may be triggerhappy or too easily spooked on occaision, and disinclined to admit errors. However, many many people pass such checkpoints WITHOUT getting shot up, so one has to assume that in some if not most cases there is some error on the unfortunate target's part also.

However, in the case of suicide bombers, they seem either intent on deliberately killing Iraqis as their primary target or intent on killing Americans and totally heedless of Iraqi casualties. When you drive a carbomb into an armored vehicle surrounded by Iraqi children and kill yourself and injure and kill the children without killing any Americans, I have to say that you are devoid of morals and judgement and totally contemptible. What can explain this kind of behavior?

If the events cataloged by IraqBodyCount are in any way accurate, insurgents kill far more Iraqis than Americans.

I suggest that Americans kill far more combatants than non-combatants. Regrettably I do not have solid information to back this up, but it seems evident from all stated policies and from reports of engagements that Americans will commonly hold their fire to avoid hitting non-combatants, use "minimal" force with precisinon to avoid collateral casualties, encourage non-combatants to leave combat zones as at Falluja, and keep prisoners in prisons instead of dumping their headless bodies in some dark alley.

Albatroz, I don't care if you salute the American flag or spit on it. You can believe anything you want about America. Insult me if you wish, pretend that I am callous to deaths inflicted by Americans and offended only by deaths inflicted by those who oppose America if you wish to delude yourself. It doesn't change the fact that these jihadi lunatics are contemptible in a thousand ways and for a thousand valid reasons. It doesn't change the fact that Iraqis are dying at their hands. Their intentions and their deeds are clear for all the world to see and judge.

richsanter said...

Moron99 --

Interesting transcript. Let’s put it into context, shall we?

Their thinking has changed since the 90’s, eh?

I guess that they must be so disgusted with the tripe that they wrote about Pax Americana and Ledeen’s “war and great songs” attitudes that they would have categorically denounced it. In fact one would imagine that the PNAC website might have been taken down or disavowed. Well, I guess this change of heart must not be so profound after all, given that they have not done any of the above.

Secondly, and for all the interested parties out there, we have to redefine / explain some of the terms that they use. When they say “freedom, liberty, democracy”, then they are associating it with American interests. In other words, they confuse America the Idea with these other ideas.

Ergo, if you are against America, you are against Freedom, Democracy and Liberty. If you are a democracy opposed to them, you are ‘un representative’ or ‘oppressive’, and hence not a true democracy. When they say “help” people, they actually mean “bring them into the American sphere of influence by any means necessary”. Basically, they redefine all these other concepts in relation to America.

In true Orwellian style, they try to control the meaning of the language in order to redefine the terms of debate.

This is one of the perversions that really PISSES me off about them.

A simple example is the way that current US potentates described El Salvador as a “whale of a lot better” after CIA trained death squads rampaged, raped and pillaged the opposition into submission. Is it really a surprise that that fuckbag Jim Steele, who led the US effort into maintaining the El Salvadoran death squads, is back in Iraq and working with Adnan Thabit, the leader of the “Special Force Commandos”, that same group that beats confessions out of victims and broadcasts it on national television?

Odd that the same tactics by the same people for the same ends are still being employed, even after their “change of heart” no?

And then clowns like you come here to tell me about the huge shift in ideas of the neocons and how they have broken with the past? You’re a joke to anybody who knows the facts.

Alright, let’s look further into your transcript.

They plead inability to ‘help’ everybody, and that is why there are still oppressive regimes and so forth around that the US has not touched. Fair enough, if their intentions were honest, that would make sense. What WOULD NOT make sense would be to COOPERATE with these same oppressive regimes that ought to, in their opinion, be targeted for elimination.

If one is not able to overthrow a disgusting regime like Uzbekistan’s Islam Karimov’s, then that is one matter. It is quite another to SUPPORT the said regime with many millions of dollars of aid, and to make use of their torture facilities to process ‘rendered’ prisoners.

It is one thing to protest the lack of women’s freedom in the Middle East, but quite another to do it while holding hands with Saudi princes.

It’s expedient to rail against oppressive dictators while supplying the same dictators such as Mubarak with BILLIONS of dollars in aid to maintain their oppression. An oppression which coincidentally suppresses US enemies like the Muslim Brotherhood, who would have won democratic elections in Egypt, had the US ally Mubarak not overturned the result.

That, Moron99, is NOT inability to act, but blatant and revolting hypocrisy.

The old “911 changed everything” mantra is another load of crap. History and Neoconservative documents have it ON RECORD that not only did the neocons wish for an incident like 911, but that they actually bemoaned the fact that it was going to take a long time to implement their policies without it.

Proof:

Rebuilding America’s Defences, Page 51. (written September 2000)

“A transformation strategy that solely pursued capabilities for projecting force from the United States, for example, and sacrificed forward basing and presence, would be at odds with larger American policy goals and would trouble American allies. Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some
catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”


Conclusion?

You are not dealing with a class of schoolchildren here.

You are dealing with people who actually know the history and facts behind the pretty words, and who can handily dismantle them.

In fact, one might say you are embarrassing yourself by setting up such facile arguments to be knocked over.

Anonymous said...

"So what? Saddam is history. Every Iraqi knows that, and almost no one wants him back. He would not last five minutes on any street anywhere in Iraq. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis moved on a long time ago. It is you Americans who are still obsessed with Saddam.
Get over it. "


The let me rephrase - Saddam is gone and there not be another tribal warlord or Sheikh to replace him. Nor will there be large payments by the government to buy the cooperation of tribal warlords and sheikhs. More simply put - Saddam is gone and there won't be another.

Anonymous said...

Bruno,

If you are so smart then explain some simple realities in Iraq.

Why are Iraqis are guaranteed the right to approve or disapprove a constitution of their own writing in a nationwide referendum?
Why will there be nationwide elections with open ballots?
Why Allawi removed from power? Why has Chalabi gained power?

Perhaps the simple truth is that the neocons are doing exactly what they say.

Anonymous said...

BTW Bruno,

your insurgency's biggest problems are not the Americans and they have only just begun.

Hurria said...

"Why are Iraqis are guaranteed the right to approve or disapprove a constitution of their own writing in a nationwide referendum?"

Iraqis are not GUARANTEED anything at all, including this.

"Why will there be nationwide elections with open ballots?"

Maybe there will be and maybe there will not be - only time will tell.

"Why Allawi removed from power?"

`Allawi was not "removed from power". He never had any power to begin with. He was never anything more than a ventriloquist's dummy for the occupying power. He is still in the country, he still actively involved in whatever political processes are going on, and he still has the support of the real power in Iraq, which is the U.S. occupiers.

"Why has Chalabi gained power?"

The slimey opportunist Chalabi has, as usual, chummed up with the right people at the right time. And perhaps you did not notice the Americans frantically cozying up with him in the weeks just before the "election" once they began to realize that all the money they had sunk into their boy `Allawi's campaign was not going to get the big win they were going for.

Chalabi remains one of the most despised and distrusted people in Iraq, and with good reason.

Anonymous said...

"Why are Iraqis are guaranteed the right to approve or disapprove a constitution of their own writing in a nationwide referendum?"

Iraqis are not GUARANTEED anything at all, including this.

"Why will there be nationwide elections with open ballots?"

Maybe there will be and maybe there will not be - only time will tell.

Yes. Time will tell. All you have to offer is "i don't think that will happen", "maybe it will, maybe it won't", "that's not democracy" (and when asked for your definition of democracy so we can recognize it when/if it happens, you offer nothing).

Time will tell, you're right. Watch and see. :-)

waldschrat said...

hurria - are there any English language news sources you might recommend for someone who does not speak Arabic but is interested in events and politics in Iraq?

Hurria said...

"All you have to offer is 'i don't think that will happen' "

You and your fellow war cheerleaders consistently find it necessary to spin and twist my words beyond all recognition in order to make your arguments. You even, as in the completely fabricated quote above, need to pretend I have said things I have not even said. Very revealing indeed!

Anonymous said...

It's a paraphrase of your "maybe there will be and maybe there will not be" and "that's not democracy" attitude throughout.

You still have not provided your definition of democracy.

Moron99 said...

Hurria, Bruno, Albatroz

all of your assumptions require ignoring the most basic of truths. The US military is incapable of winning an imperial war or of defeating an insurgency on foriegn soil. To restructure the uS so that it could win either of these engagements would require changing the american constitution. Specifically, the US military is under the control of elected officials and the US constitution guarantees freedom of press. Insurgency can not exists without a local population that hides them and imperialism can not succeeed without massive denial of human rights. The nature of US politics makes the army incapable of sustaining the type of campaign required to be successful. You can continue with your propaganda, but that's all it is. In order to be believed it requires complete ignorance about the american relationship between sustainable political power and miltary actions.

But you know what? It doesn't matter any more. Hatred towards the US is no longer sufficient to justify the insurgent's ongoing disregard for Iraqi life. Similarly, it is now Iraqi's themselves that are the insurgent's greatest enemy. The big question for May is will the peshmerga and/or Badr and/or Mehdi send recruits to the commandos? Does Talibani bring enough trust to the central government? Will the recent bombings of innocent people be enough to push crack peshmerga into the arms of Adnan? The government has performed brilliantly to date. Slow, but brilliant. Don't be surprised if they start pulling the country together. The insurgents give them the perfect vehicle ... nearly 80% of Iraq now has a common enemy.

Hurria said...

"It's a paraphrase of your "maybe there will be and maybe there will not be" and "that's not democracy" attitude throughout."

Obvious rubbish. "I don't think that will happen" is not even close to a paraphrase of "maybe there will be and maybe there won't be". To interpret the statement "maybe there will be and maybe there won't be" as a belief that something will not happen is dishonest to say the least. A decent paraphrase of "maybe there will be and maybe there won't be" is "there may or may not be", or "it is unknown whether there will be or won't be", or "we cannot be certain whether there will or there won't be".

To interpret "that's not democracy" as "I don't think that will happen" is not only dishonest, it is downright absurd. The two statements have nothing whatsoever to do with one another.

It is also, of course, extremely dishonest to place even a reasonably accurate paraphrase in quotes.

Hurria said...

Moron99, I do not make assumptions. I base my conclusions on a combination of information, knowledge, logic, and reasoning.

Hurria said...

Waldschrat,

Thank you for your inquiry. I am not aware right now of any really good and complete English-language sources for the type of information you requested, unfortunately, and of course without some basic (and accurate) knowledge of Iraq's history, political and social structure and culture it is impossible to interpret much of what you hear).

My contemporary information comes from a variety of sources, in a variety of languages, and includes direct information combined with my personal knowledge of Iraq, and the personnel involved. Some of the things I alluded to, such as the fact that the Bush administration made frantic efforts before the election to make nice with Chalabi, WERE publicized in mainstream U.S. sources.

I will try to gather a list for you of sources, but you still have to approach any source with some basic knowledge, and a critical mind in order to analyze what you read.

Hurria said...

"Saddam is gone...."

ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

"and there not be another tribal warlord or Sheikh to replace him."

What are you talking about? Saddam was neither a tribal warlord nor (يا الله) a sheikh, of all the ridiculous suggestions. In fact, if you knew anything whatsoever about Iraq you would know that never in its history have tribal warlords or sheikhs ruled Iraq.

"More simply put - Saddam is gone and there won't be another."

Oh, no, of course. Now in the place of Saddam we have the Kurdish warlord President Jalal Talibani so beloved of the Bush administration (no one is quite sure what has happened to Mas`oud Barzani, the other Kurdish warlord favoured by the Bush administration). And let us not forget that Bushite favourite tribal leader Ghazi Al Yawar, to mention only one of several.

But the main thing we have now are the Islamic warlords of SCIRI whose goal is to turn Iraq, which has always been a socially progressive, secular state, into a regressive Shi`a Islamic state along the lines of Iran system.

So, please do keep up your boasting. It is always good for a laugh, and we DO need a good laugh these days!

Albatroz said...

Moron99,

"The US military is incapable of winning an imperial war or of defeating an insurgency on foriegn soil."

That may be so, but not for lack of trying. Just like the late Soviet Union, the US tries to disguise their imperial wars as wars of liberation. The US "liberated" the Philipinnes and Cuba from Spain, "liberated" Panama from Colombia, "liberated" Texas from Mexico, "liberated" Hawai from the hawainese, tried to "liberate" Vietnam from the "communists", and is trying to "liberate" Iraq presumably from the Iraqis...

"The US military is under the control of elected officials and the US constitution guarantees freedom of press"

I fail to see how that would prevent the US from trying to launch an imperial war. All you need is to convince a majority of Americans (which obviously doesn't seem to be very difficult...) that your imperial war is a war of liberation, and to use most of the press - through existing economic channels - to assist in this brainwashing campaign. As long as dissenting voices are kept well away from mainstream papers and television, and as long as casualties are, or seem to be, not too important, the trick is done.

But, of course, you are very well aware of all this. Nice try, but it doesn't work.

Call Me Grandma said...

I guess??? You were a fan of Saddam Hussein. This is a bunch of garbage.
I think The New Iraqi government should shut down all the highways and streets,especially in the cities, and make you people walk, or use public transportation, that way they can keep a closer eye on the comings and goings, of the good and the bad.

Albatroz said...

Waldschrat,
You have shown to be concerned about US military behaviour in Iraq. You may want to read the following:

http://electroniciraq.net/news/1947.shtml

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

There are many ways to analyze information. One way, is to form a hypothesis and then seek to disprove all competing ideas. Another is the way of parsimony. Parsimony is the gathering of information first and then seeking of a hyptothesis that offers the most simple and consistent explanantion. If you were to abandon your existing views and seek a new one using parsimony as your guide, then you would reach an entirely different set of conclusions.

Anonymous said...

Hurria,

I think most people reading this page would find my paraphrase accurate. Regardless, even discarding that phrase if it bothers you the rest of what you said is quite clear.

You still haven't given me your definition of democracy.

You said "Even free and fair elections - which the "elections" in Iraq most decidedly were not - do not constitute democracy."

Since you're the one saying what is "not" democracy why don't you enlighten us and tell us what is democracy so we can all agree on if/when Iraq reaches that point. Wouldn't it be good for the sake of clarity if we were all in agreement on that?

Anonymous said...

As long as dissenting voices are kept well away from mainstream papers and television, and as long as casualties are, or seem to be, not too important, the trick is done.

Ah, there's the rub. Unfortunately, that part of your plan falls apart.

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
Which part isn't happening? The dissenting voices part or the casualties part?... And can you prove it?...

Anonymous said...

Which part isn't happening? The dissenting voices part or the casualties part?... And can you prove it?...

Both. Casualties are always "important". Dissenting voices are heard all over the U.S. media. Tell me, are you one of those Europeans who think that FOX News is the sum total of the U.S. media?

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,
It took 50,000 dead to get you out of Vietnam. 1,600 may not be "important" enough...

How many Americans are exposed to dissenting voices on Iraq? How many read the New Yorker, compared to those who watch only Fox News? I find all the time on the internet American opinions against the war in Iraq. But I know they are not (yet) representative of the less educated majority of Americans. A lot more American soldiers will have to be killed and maimed in Iraq for that majority to start realizing what is happening there.

Anonymous said...

You really are clueless.

How many Americans are exposed to dissenting voices on Iraq?

Anyone who watches the news or reads the newspapers.

I find all the time on the internet American opinions against the war in Iraq. But I know they are not (yet) representative of the less educated majority of Americans.

Less educated how?

A lot more American soldiers will have to be killed and maimed in Iraq for that majority to start realizing what is happening there.

The majority realizes "what is happening there" and, at least for the time being, believes we must stay the course because a precipitous pullout would be the worst thing to do at this point.

Albatroz said...

Anonymous,

"Less educated how?"

Less educated in terms of schooling. Fewer years in school, less awareness as far as foreign issues are concerned, less exposure to different opinions. As far as I know (from the time I lived in the US), those people represent a majority in the US, and they will more easily be convinced of the American "sacred mission" in the world...

Anonymous said...

Less educated in terms of schooling. Fewer years in school, less awareness as far as foreign issues are concerned, less exposure to different opinions. As far as I know (from the time I lived in the US), those people represent a majority in the US, and they will more easily be convinced of the American "sacred mission" in the world...

Which people "represent a majority in the US"? You can't use comparative words like "fewer years in school", "less awareness" and then use words like "majority" unless you establish what benchmarks you're using. You can say the majority have "fewer years in school" etc. than a handful of Nobel Prize Winners too. That doesn't tell you much. Also, it would be useful to compare those things, such as college educations, with other countries to get a feel for the norm.

By the way, the educational levels of voters are fairly equal between Republican and Democratic voters with a few percentage points difference that swings back and forth depending on the election.

Hurria said...

"I think most people reading this page would find my paraphrase accurate."

Anyone who thinks your "paraphrase" was anything but a complete fabrication has serious problems understanding the meaning of language. "Maybe it will and maybe it won't" is clearly an expression of uncertainty, and not of a belief that something will or will not happen. The constant need to twist, distort, and fabricate is a clear sign of a complete inability to counter an argument.

Is it your belief that elections alone constitute democracy?

Anonymous said...

Hurria,

If you'd read carefully, I never said that "i don't think that will happen" was a paraphrase of "maybe it will and maybe it won't". I included that quote separately. It was a paraphrase of the totality of your argument here about democracy and Iraq. You seem fairly clear you think it's not happening and you don't think it will happen in the near future. If I'm wrong and that's not your position then feel free to correct my impression and I'll freely admit I misunderstood you.

Is it your belief that elections alone constitute democracy?

Elections alone don't constitue democracy, as I already said, noting that Saddam Hussein also held "elections".

I'm really curious why you're so reluctant to explain what you think democracy is, despite my repeated entreaties, since you're so sure this isn't it.

Hurria said...

"The majority realizes "what is happening there" "

The majority of Americans clearly "know" only what they see on TV or hear in political speeches, almost all of which is spun beyond recognition. They have only the most superficial, incomplete, and largely distorted idea of what is going on.

As of March, 05, a majority of Americans - 56% - still cling to the belief that Iraq had WMD's at the start of the invasion, despite the overwhelming evidence that it had none, and had not had for a decade or more. An even larger majority - 61% - still hold the delusion, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that Iraq had provided "direct support" to Al Qa`eda. And a still larger majority - 67% - are convinced that Iraqis are better off now than they were before. Apparently they are unaware of the grievous and increasing deterioration of every aspect of life for Iraqis - electricity, water, sanitation, sewage disposal, medical services and supplies, education, freedom of movement, personal safety and security, violent crime rates, unemployment (and even the 30-40% minority who are NOT unemployed are often prevented directly or indirectly by the occupation from going to work), availability and affordability of food, gasoline, kerosene, loss of women's and girls' rights and freedoms, loss of Christians' rights, freedoms and personal safety, massive homelessness caused by destruction by occupation forces of homes, neighborhoods, and virtually entire villages, towns and cities, abuses, including killing, of non-Kurds by the Kurdish parties and their militias - and so on and so forth, bombings of churches and murders by extremists of Christians, threats and even murders by Sunni and Shi`a extremists of barbers who offer shaves, or the "wrong" kind of haircut. And so on.

Oh - and a foolish majority of Americans are also under the delusion that the majority of Iraqis support what the U.S. is doing in Iraq. Apparently they are not aware that opinion polls in Iraq, and statements by both prominent and "ordinary" Iraqis have consistently demonstrated the opposite.

Nevertheless, only a shrinking minority of Americans support the occupation or the Bush administration's conduct of it. Only a shrinking minority consider that invading and occupying Iraq was "worth it". Those who approve of the Bush admininstration's handling of the Iraq situation is also a shrinking minority. By contrast a growing majority find that the enterprise is not worth it, and a similar growing majority disapprove of the Bush administration's handling of the situation.

Anonymous said...

Oh - and a foolish majority of Americans are also under the delusion that the majority of Iraqis support what the the U.S. is doing in Iraq.

They certainly suuport the democratization process in Iraq, which is what the "U.S. is doing".

By the way, what is democracy?

Hurria said...

Anonymous,

My sole point is that elections - even elections that are completely without flaws - do not by themselves constitute democracy. Since we appear to be in full agreement on this point, I don't see any reason to spend my already very limited time and energy discussing with you the definition of democracy, which is in any case not a matter of my opinion or your opinion. The necessary elements to qualify a political system as democratic have been clearly and consistently described and defined by specialists in political science, and this information is widely available from a vast number of excellent sources. If you are unsure of what constitutes democracy, it should be easy for you to find out. If instead, as appears clear, you think you can make a point by engaging me in a debate on what is a democracy, be assured I will not play your game.

That the Bush administration has so far denied Iraqis the democracy they keep promising is clear to anyone who 1) understands what does and does not constitute democracy, and 2) understands the American-designed process that has taken place in Iraq starting with the very non-free and very non-fair voting process in January. I am more than willing to explain what aspects of the process designed by the Bush administration for Iraq disqualifies it as democratic.

Hurria said...

"They certainly suuport the democratization process in Iraq, which is what the "U.S. is doing"."

No, it is not what the U.S. is doing. It is what many - probably the majority - of Americans, including yourself, have been deceived into believing is what the U.S. is doing. Just as the majority of Americans are still deceived into believing that Iraqi actually had WMD's, that Iraq had "provided direct support" to Al Qa`eda, and that Iraqis are better off with their country lying in ruins and virtually every aspect of daily life in a state of extreme meltdown.

If you want to know what democracy is, look it up. I am not going to play your game with you.

Anonymous said...

I am not going to play your game with you.

Whatever game you're playing, I hope you're enjoying it. But I assure you I'm not playing a game.

And I suspect, in fact I know, that the reason you refuse to articulate your definition of democracy is because you are afraid of the moment Iraq will meet the criteria you articulate, when those like me and also the millions of Iraqis who have invested themseves in this democratic process and laid their lives on the line, defying the suicide bombers and assorted grisly terrorists, will be able to say "I told you so". That's the moment you, Albatroz, Bruno and italian dread so much you are willing to see Iraq fail just to see America fail. But Iraq and America will both succeed and I look forward to talking with you about it in a couple of years time.

'Til then, fare thee well.

Hurria said...

"the US military is under the control of elected officials..."

The U.S. military is, to put it more accurately, under the control of politicians with political agendas who do not mind using the military as a tool to fulfill their agendas, and who have little or no military knowledge. If military experts had had any say at all regarding invading Iraq chances are there would have been no invasion, and the U.S. would not be in the pickle it is in now.

"...and the US constitution guarantees freedom of press."

The point of this non sequitur is unclear, but the U.S. constitution is only as good at any given time as the government in power. In any case, freedom of the press is at the best of times illusory. Furthermore, at no time does freedom of the press guarantee accurate or even truthful reporting. According to numerous credible reports, under the present administration there is extraordinary pressure on the press regarding the subject matter, timing, manner, and spin of its reporting. This pressure has lead to an exceptional level of press self-censorship. The Bush administration has also employed a remarkable - and very expensive - spin machine, which includes hiring several very high level P.R. firms. Then there is the Bush administration's almost unprecedented practice of concealing from its citizens, and from Congress, information critical for informed decision making. It is difficult to reconcile all of that with the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press.

"Insurgency can not exists without a local population that hides them..."

What does that tell you about the attitude of the Iraqi population toward the occupation?

"and imperialism can not succeeed without massive denial of human rights."

Another non sequitur, I see.

Indeed it cannot, and U.S. disregard for human rights has reached unprecedented levels during the Bush administration's tenure. This has been particularly dramatic and widespread in the two countries which the Bush administration has invaded so far, and will undoubtedly continue unabated. It has even come to the point of declaring the Geneva Conventions "outdated" and "quaint", given rise to a brand new definition of torture, and the approval of methods and actions universally defined by the rest of civilized world as torture, and war crimes, some of which rise to the level of crimes against humanity. That reality hardly supports your argument.

"The nature of US politics makes the army incapable of sustaining the type of campaign required to be successful."

Your government does not seem to realize that, as exemplified by Rumsfeld's recent statement that the U.S. does not have an exit strategy, it has a "success strategy". One cannot overlook, also, the many statements by other high level officials, including Bush, that they WILL be successful.

"Hatred towards the US is no longer sufficient to justify the insurgent's ongoing disregard for Iraqi life."

And how do you justify the U.S.'s ongoing disregard for Iraqi life, property, and fundamental human rights?

By the way, hatred towards the U.S. has never been what has motivated any element of the so-called "insurgency".

"it is now Iraqi's themselves that are the insurgent's greatest enemy."

Nice bit of wishful thinking!

"The big question for May is will the peshmerga and/or Badr and/or Mehdi send recruits to the commandos? Does Talibani bring enough trust to the central government? Will the recent bombings of innocent people be enough to push crack peshmerga into the arms of Adnan? The government has performed brilliantly to date. Slow, but brilliant. Don't be surprised if they start pulling the country together. The insurgents give them the perfect vehicle ... nearly 80% of Iraq now has a common enemy."

Wow, Moron99, you do a great job of making large streams of nearly pure processed bull food sound like they are coming from someone who knows what he is talking about. The problem is that you really don't know what you are jabbering about, so while someone with little or no knowledge of the subject might be convinced, anyone who has real knowledge can easily tell that you have very little idea what you are going on about.

Hurria said...

Anonymous,

As always, you let your imagination run wild, and are as wrong as wrong can be. I long for self determination and free will for Iraqis - something that can never exist as long as the U.S. or any other foreign power continues to use bombs, tanks, and attack helicopters to force down the throats of Iraqis its own choice of political, economic, medical, education, social, and cultural systems.

Iraqis and Iraqis alone have the right to determine whether to have any relationship at all with the U.S., and if there is a relationship what its nature should be, including the size of the embassy and who constitute its personnel. Iraqis and Iraqis alone have the right to decide whether to let even one U.S. soldier onto Iraqi soil.

No Iraqi government will ever be free do do this as long as it is dependent upon the good will, and the protection of U.S. forces, and the U.S. knows this very, very well. And so does the latest incarnation of the so-called "government".

Hurria said...

"There are many ways to analyze information. One way, is to form a hypothesis and then seek to disprove all competing ideas. Another is the way of parsimony."

Or one could use your technique - make things up based on wishful thinking, and justify them by spouting volumes of authoritative-sounding nonsense.

"Parsimony is the gathering of information first and then seeking of a hyptothesis that offers the most simple and consistent explanantion."

No, that is not what parsimony is at all. Parsimony is the scientific and philosophic principle, often referred to as Ockham's razor, that when you have two competing explanations for phenomenon, the simpler explanation that requires fewer leaps of logic is most likely to be the correct one.

Hurria said...

"Hurria, you say the Iraqi police and military are merely minions of the "occupier", following the orders of an illegitimate authority."

Waldschrat, I am usually excellent at expressing myself clearly, and at saying just what I mean, no more and no less. Please stick to what I have actually said, and do not embellish or distort it by putting words into my mouth. You might think it makes your argument more effective, but it actually has the effect of weakening it.

What I have said is that Iraqi "security forces" are, at present, acting as proxies for the occupation forces, and are under the command of occupation force commanders. As such they are being used to realize occupation goals, which involves attacking their fellow Iraqis, and to destroy Iraqi property, not to protect Iraqis. That is one of the main reasons that a large percentage of them refuse to fight, and that the desertion rate is so high.

"Yet, it seems they are committing no great crimes on the orders of that illegitimate authority."

Again, please do not put words into my mouth. It does not help your argument.

If you had any idea what is actually going on in Iraq you would know that they are in fact committing a great many crimes in their actions on behalf of the occupying power, which puts very few limits on them. American troops are expected to at least pretend to try to comply with international law. Not so in the case of Iraqi "security forces".

"If the illegitiate authority commands them to do good and reasonable deeds, and they do so, what offense have they given to common sense and justice?"

There is nothing remotely "good and reasonable" about armed conflict.

"The word is "liberator", not "occupier", Hurria."

The correct word, both de jure and de facto, is occupier. Please don't insult your own intelligence and ours by suggesting otherwise.

"And the killers you mistake for "patriots" are "heartless murderers motivated by selfish interests". I don't object to your using the word "occupier" if it makes you happy, but please don't use it to justify slaughtering honest Iraqis. "

Waldschrat, what the HELL are you talking about? This is a completely false attribution. I have never, ever made any kind of statement remotely like anything here.

You know, until I read this I actually thought you were sincere but misguided. It appears I gave you too much credit. You are clearly no different from any of the other self righteous, intentionally uninformed war cheerleaders here.

Moron99 said...
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Moron99 said...
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