Tuesday, June 28, 2005
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Open Bush speech thread
I wasn't able to watch Bush's speech tonight, but that doesn't mean you can't comment on it here. Fire away!
[What if they missed it?--ed. Then go check out David Adesnik's liveblogging.]posted by Dan on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM
Its been said before - Who decided we were going to pay to resurrect a nation from scratch? Have we got all the cat food we need back home? Nobody starving or needs a new school or a high way or what ever?
Junior lives in a dream world.
But a new paradigm emerges. Apparently the democrats spend money on social programs in a country called The United States of America and the republicans spend money on social programs in a suedo soveriegnty far away that may end up being called Iraq, if everything goes to plan. And by the way, they spend more too.posted by: exclab on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
I had expected a reworked stump speech that would say very little President Bush has not said on other occasions. This is pretty much what we heard tonight, though I was surprised to see the 9/11 reference used six times. In most recent stump speeches Bush hasn't referred to 9/11 more than three or four times.
We are to keep on keeping on, for as long as it takes, never letting our resolve fail, never acknowledging that anything done in the past or being done now might be done better or differently. And don't forget 9/11.
It could have been worse. At least Bush did not try any jokes.posted by: Zathras on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
Just some minimally inspiring words for those already thinking about it.posted by: Jon H on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
This was not a speech about Iraq. This was a speech about 9/11 and terrorism. We were supposed to make the false connection. This writer calls Bush out on it:
"And when you twist language, you can invoke ridiculous bromides like the flypaper analogy, claiming the need to "defeat the terrorists abroad before they attack us at home." Pay no mind to the fundamental lesson of 9/11, which is that terrorism knows no borders and that it's impossible to keep terrorists "bottled up" in a single country. Bush's mention of the attacks in Madrid, Istanbul, Jakarta, Casablanca, Riyadh, and Bali was unintentionally ironic. Would our allies in those nations agree that terrorism is contained within Iraq's borders by virtue of our military presence there? Does it only matter to us that---until now---we have not been attacked again within our own borders? If we ever do get hit here again, Bush is going to have to explain to an enraged public how the terrorists managed to slip out of Iraq undetected."posted by: jill on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
I have soured on the war considerably, and the administration seems incapable of anything but ridiculously sanguine statments about "death throes" and other such claptrap. The fundamental problem with democracy promotion strategy for the Middle East is that democracy makes little sense without liberalism first. Democracy does not beget liberalism where it does not already exist. The elections in January were wishful thinking to the contrary--let's rush democracy, because it'll be self-sustaining. The first elections for Iraq were in the long run meaningless--will they have a second election, especially if US troops leave? The big question for me is this: is the US safer, or better of, because of the war?
The NBA draft was more important.posted by: No von Mises on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
Good point, exclab. I remember thinking that myself during a speech in the run-up to war. "What country does this guy think he's the president of exactly?"posted by: Horatio on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"This was not a speech about Iraq. This was a speech about 9/11 and terrorism. "
Pardon, Im confused. When a suicide bomber blows himself up outside of a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, thats not terrorism? How CAN you talk about whats going on in Iraq now WITHOUT talking about terrorism?posted by: liberalhawk on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"Have we got all the cat food we need back home? Nobody starving or needs a new school or a high way or what ever? "
Yeah,before we help Iraq, we should help the US cities where electricity is routinely only available 12 hours a day. The cities where poor sanitation threatens cholera epidemics. We should restore security to the US cities where there are several suicide bombings a week.
Pardon, but what planet are you guys on?
"The fundamental problem with democracy promotion strategy for the Middle East is that democracy makes little sense without liberalism first"
the key items of liberalism, a free press, a vibrant civil society, are rapidly developing in Iraq.
The mideast is not, say, Chile. Or India under the Raj. The authoritarians there are NOT creating a liberal society first. The totalitarians, like Saddam, were crushing every vestige of one. Democracy first may not be the ideal sequence, but its the only way forward in many places.posted by: liberalhawk on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"When a suicide bomber blows himself up outside of a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, thats not terrorism? How CAN you talk about whats going on in Iraq now WITHOUT talking about terrorism?"
Of course, we didn't have suicide bombers blowing themselves up in front of Baghdad mosques before the war in Iraq. So it may be OK to talk about Iraq and terrorism now. It was clearly a lie to claim links with the GWOT before the war.
"Of course, we didn't have suicide bombers blowing themselves up in front of Baghdad mosques before the war in Iraq. So it may be OK to talk about Iraq and terrorism now. It was clearly a lie to claim links with the GWOT before the war. "
There werent shells going off in North Africa and Sicily before America attacked Germany (did the Germans bomb Pearl Harbor?) in WW2.
Liberal Hawk "Yeah,before we help Iraq, we should help the US cities where electricity is routinely only available 12 hours a day. The cities where poor sanitation threatens cholera epidemics. We should restore security to the US cities where there are several suicide bombings a week.
Pardon, but what planet are you guys on?"
Actually there is a lot that could be done in the US to make life better. Ussually we pay taxes and get, in return, some sort of social investment.
That money is our money. Iraqis didn't make that money and we are basically giving to them.
Wait a minute! It's not our money either! It belongs to the #$%^&*! Chinese! Who gave Junior permission to do this to us!posted by: exclab on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"That money is our money. Iraqis didn't make that money and we are basically giving to them. "
Awfully shortsighted. Should we cut off our funding to things like Kosovo or Africa or Tsunami relief until our streets are paved with diamonds? Yeh, its our money, and if history teaches us anything its that ignoring the world now gets much more expensive later. Having a free and stable Iraq will be a bargain in the long term.posted by: Mark Buehner on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
Not sure if you caught al-Zarqawi 's speech that same night. Bears a striking similarity in rhetoric. Worth reading, if you ask me.
I had a look and I don't buy it. Where did you come by the "speech?" I didn't find any mention of it on al-Jazeera, and the rhetoric does not seem Islamist. Seems like a hoax to me.posted by: ken on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
Oops. missed the subtle disclaimer. I also miss the point of the parody. Equating the American war effort with a man who makes Islamist snuff films and sends his minions to drive explosive-laden cars into crowds of civilians is only a sign that you have lost all sense of moral perspective.posted by: ken on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"There werent shells going off in North Africa and Sicily before America attacked Germany (did the Germans bomb Pearl Harbor?) in WW2."
The Germans declared war on us, did you know that ? Before we declared war on them. They did not have a broken down pathetic army in late 1941, they had the world's most powerful army even then and they did not invite foreign inspectors in to verify the absence of weapons they did not have.
"We took the war to the enemy in a front of our choosing"
The only way I can parse this is "Osama is an Arab. Saddam is an Arab. We attacked Saddam because he was an Arab and easier to find than Osama". Or to put it in other terms: We had to do something. This was something, therefore, we had to do it.
"All this second guessing and hand wringing reminds me why the great generals to a man despised councils of war."
There is no second guessing here. The war was based on very dubious assertions. That was obvious before the war. It need hardly be added that many of our generals were dubious of the war, but naturally a great general like Lt. AWOL knew better.
posted by: Josh on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
To Mark Buehner:
Tsunami relief? Africa? Sure why the hell not! But we are throwing money into a cesspit here, and Damn it! This is not 20 20 Hind sight. People like me have been jumping up and down since before this idiotic war got started. And now we are spending money we don't have! On what? What solid investiment is being made here? None! Hundreds of Billions! Of Chinese money! and we have to pay it back! All we have to do now is wait for taxes to go up. And they will Oh Citizen, they will.posted by: exclab on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
Zarqawi, it should be pointed out, isn't even Iraqi so he cannot conceivably carry the banner of Iraqi nationalism. And while I have some doubts about his professed role as kingpin in the insurgency, no group that launches deliberate suicide bomb attacks against innocent Shiite pilgrims can be called anything other than a terrorist group. My contempt for the Bush's administrations exaggerations, mendacity and incompetence doesn't blind me to this essential fact.posted by: erg on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
Equating the American war effort with a man who makes Islamist snuff films and sends his minions to drive explosive-laden cars into crowds of civilians is only a sign that you have lost all sense of moral perspective.
I suppose you're one of those people that doesn't think that over 20,000 Iraqi civilian casualties is an issue? Or isn't bothered by the fact that we faked the pretenses for the war itself? Or that we've broken just about every rule in the Geneva Convention in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib? Or by how our "exit strategy" is to arm the very same people that we've demonized countless times in the past?
Actually, forget it. If I'm the one who has lost "moral perspective" at this point, I'm done with your moral standards.posted by: DeWitt Clinton on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
Anyone catch Charlie Rose last night? A bunch of journalists (most notably, Jim Hoagland of the Wapo) did a postmortem of the speech that was highly informative. Speaking for left right and center of the mainstream press they concluded (essentially) that while Bush didn't hit a home run, he did what needed to be done: reassuring military families that there would be no cutting and running, letting Americans know that if they give up now things'll get much much worse. ALL slammed the Dems for pretending there are alternatives to what is already being done. They might have added their fellow journalists to the spanking list for much the same thing.
As for suicide bombers in Iraq, it might help to look at them as a fallback weapon for the Baathist terrorists who no longer get to torture, rape and kill their fellow Iraqis at will. Naturally, they'd like their old jobs back, and if blowing up the odd crowd outside a police station is a step in that direction, so be it.
It is the ultimate in liberal hypocrisy to suggest that the open violence of today's Iraq is worse than the brutal Baathist repression of the 80s, 90s, and early aughts. The key difference is that Saddam's torture took place mostly out of our line of vision. And that seems to make it okay for critics of the war. Or was it just "not our problem?" I can't keep these self-serving arguments straight.
Similarly, one of the weak-ass criticisms of Bush today is that he was too ambitious for Iraq. They're not ready for democracy. We should have given them something more suitable to their capacity/needs. Something like....? Ahmed Chalabi on a gilded throne? Yeah, that would've gone over well two years ago. Don't know if you heard, but we don't install insta-shahs anymore.
So we're muddling through in Iraq and war, as always, sucks. Still, we made our point that there are consequences to continued international mischiefmaking and recalcitrance--ask Uday and Qusay. And we now have a generation of battle hardened "old Arab hands" in the armed forces whose wisdom will gradually inform our actions across the region. That is worth quite a lot (let's remember where the much-vaunted British military learned their own lessons). I'm not conceding anything yet.posted by: Kelli on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
I think Bush missed an opportunity. Bush needed to preempt some of the spin people like Joe Biden have put on things (essentially claiming because Iraqi forces werent up to US standards they werent useful, which is absurd and demonstrably false). Bush could have easily deflected this and made his opponents look silly, uniformed, and overly negative (which many are) by simply explaining a few simple concepts which the media certainly doesnt understand, and using some actual details. How about noting that 40,000 Iraqi troops now, today, man the approaches to Baghdad, in positions formerly manned by US troops. And that this has freed up US troops to launch a series of systematic and sustained raids on the Syrian border towns which could not have been done 3 months ago? The president needed to specifically explain how each Iraqi soldier frees up an American soldier to take the battle to the enemy, and within 2 years we wont need 130,000 American soldiers at all anymore. He didnt do that, and let the democrats and MSM continue to confuse the issue with their lack of military knowledge and experience. There are simple concepts that simply arent being explained to the public and this was a great chance to change that.posted by: Mark Buehner on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
exclab, calm down, get some oxygen. Some of us would rather see our money spent in the 'saving lives' cesspool than in the 'federal government' cesspool. I know its tough seeing an Iraqi kid get a heart transplant or an African getting a polio inoculation when that money could be better spent slapping Sheet Byrd's name on another parking garage, but you will just have to cope.posted by: Mark buehner on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
" Some of us would rather see our money spent in the 'saving lives' cesspool than in the 'federal government' cesspool."
Of course, if saving lives was our major criterion, we could have saved far,far more lives in many other ways and places (notably Africa) with the $300 b plus spent in Iraq. I note that most/many of those most gung-ho about the war in Iraq were also most strongly opposed to aid proposals like those of Sachs. Well, Dan supported it, but not many others did.
"Similarly, one of the weak-ass criticisms of Bush today is that he was too ambitious for Iraq. They're not ready for democracy. We should have given them something more suitable to their capacity/needs. Something like....? Ahmed Chalabi on a gilded throne? Yeah, that would've gone over well two years ago. Don't know if you heard, but we don't install insta-shahs anymore."
He was too ambitious for Iraq in many respects. Bush attempted to wage war on the cheap with Iraq. Everything about it suggested an attempt to achieve its aims in an unrealistically fast manner. Partly I think this reflects upon his realization (being shown in the polls more and more) that the US public will rapidly lose patience in an extended struggle. Partly it was due to hubris. However, the troop numbers, despite being more than sufficient for overwhelming the conventional Iraqi forces, have been consistently insufficient to achieve the kind of pacification necessary.
As for them not being ready for democracy, it is not a slur against them to say so. Few people are instantaneously ready for democracy. The biggest mistake that so many have made in the last 60 years is assuming that if you just put the institutions in place, voila! a democracy emerges. Democracy takes a long time. Does Japan have a working democracy? Yes. But would it have had one if the US had pulled out in 1946? Probably not. The upshot of the "benign dictatorship" of MacArthur's was that it allowed the foundations to be laid, slowly and solidly, for the democracy to function upon. With our insufficient troop numbers, we can't offer that to Iraq, and that's one reason we rushed the elections--in a vain hope that it would make it all better. Democracy promotion can be done, but it takes a LONG time, and lots of expense, and Bush' rhetoric, however inspiring, has not been backed by the necessary instruments to achieve those lofty ambitions.posted by: CMC79 on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
Re Kelli's comment "Anyone catch Charlie Rose last night? A bunch of journalists (most notably, Jim Hoagland of the Wapo) did a postmortem of the speech that was highly informative. Speaking for left right and center of the mainstream press they concluded (essentially) that while Bush didn't hit a home run, "
Consider, for example, these excerpts from Hoagland's September 15, 2002 article "Making the Case":
See, for example, this hilarious comparison of the contradictions in two of Hoagland's articles in 2002 and 2004:
Hoagland,in my opinion, is one of the few media people to have less credibility than Judith Miller.
posted by: Don the Greater on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"When a suicide bomber blows himself up outside of a Shiite mosque in Baghdad, thats not terrorism? How CAN you talk about whats going on in Iraq now WITHOUT talking about terrorism?"
Of course, we didn't have suicide bombers blowing themselves up in front of Baghdad mosques before the war in Iraq. So it may be OK to talk about Iraq and terrorism now. It was clearly a lie to claim links with the GWOT before the war. "
Im not going to address the whole question of when and under what circumstances Zarqawi and pals entered Iraq - thats been discussed elsewhere, and was NOT in the presidents speech last night. Every reference to 9/11 in the Presidents speech was accurate.
What i see is NOT a response to what the Prez actually said, but instead "OMG! He mentioned 9/11 in a speech about Iraq!!! Doesnt he know they have NOTHING to do with each other, and you can never mention them in the same sentence!!!" Sorry, but in reality lots of things in life are related, even when the connection is indirect. Zarqawi leads "Al Qaeeda in Iraq" Al Qaeeda attacked the WTC. It is correct to state that many of the people we are fighting in Iraq are people who want to come to the US and kill us.posted by: liberalhawk on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"Hoagland,in my opinion, is one of the few media people to have less credibility than Judith Miller."
Paul Krugman?posted by: Johnny Upton on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
There is only one sure thing about the situation in Iraq: We will spend treasure in amounts that will stagger the economy. All other things - spreading democracy, making inroads against the terrorists, stopping dictatorships, gaining respect internationally, and so on - are all things that may or may not happen. But we are rich right? We can afford to go right into debt with the Chinese for an effort that may or may not do any good of comensurate quality.
If you're that rich, you pay for it and send you children. From the start this looked badly organized and poorly oriented. There were choices and Bush made a really bad one. On top of that, he would have known if he bothered to inform himself. But he did not.
We are all supposed to be good and support the troops and ironically enough that means you can't critisize Bush whose judgement has been needlessly flawed and intentions unfocused. He is a careless wasteful president when we need a canny and resourceful fighting president.
Only in government would this guy still have his job.posted by: exclab on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
What is with these conservatives that suddenly want to spend tax dollars? How about instead spending money on flakey wars far away, how about we cut taxes?
And don't tell me Bush did cut taxes. Because after this admin, the next guy in office will be forced to raise taxes to service those loans.
IF that president is a democrat, I think we all find that all these big goverment/ big spending republicans will turn into fiscal republicans overnight. They may even forgive Newt Gingrich, the man, whom like Christ, they adore but can not emulate.posted by: exclab on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
One thing I found interesting in Bush's speech was his plea to Americans to support military families in their neighborhoods.
Personally, I think one way to do that would be to divert a little more of a $450 Billion/YEAR defense budget to the rank and file -- and away from those defense contractors who give multi-million dollar campaign donations to the Republicans.
Bush's plea also raises the interesting question of what specifically he and the wealthy Bush clan have done for our men and women in uniform --aside from uttering glib platitudes, that is.
At a time when the daughter of a blue collar West Virginia family was being beaten badly and raped in Iraq, I seem to recall the Bush twins posing on the cover of Vogue magazine in expensive designer gowns -- while continuing their father's proud military tradition of never getting within 5000 miles of an active battlefield.
Come to think of it, have any of them ever been within 5 miles of a VA hospital?posted by: Don the Greater on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
It's always amazing to see the naivety of even the United States' detached intellectuals when it comes to the myth of the country's virtue. America is good? George Bush is a "good man?" You infer that the United States is losing the war on terror because it's the good superpower. How ridiculous. Perhaps you can explain to me exactly what was the circumstance through which Americans came to believe in their moral superiority. I suspect it's a combination of the genuinely enlightened Declaration of Independence and its role as rescuer in the two World Wars (although president Wilson distorted the Great War through the morality lens by saying it was a war ... against empire and autocracy, imperial England being their ally). What the United States has done better than most empires is treat its homogenous white majority relatively well. Have you forgotten that the creation of the United States of America was basically a genocidal occupation? Or that what many intellectuals call the stain of slavery was in fact a vital industry for the growth of this great good nation? "Stain" implies a blemish on an otherwise clean garment; slavery and its aftermath are the very fabric of this blessed nation. "Good people cannot understand wicked people," you say, but your black minority, brutalized, marginalized, and consigned to the ghettoes understands evil very well I'm sure. As do the victims of your foreign policy. I will admit that Americans' belief in their inherent virtue does serve to temper their imperial maneuvers. Any president must justify the United States' foreign-policy expeditions on the grounds of self-defense and spreading the benevolent American way. Thus its actions will always be constrained, unlike those of the British, who could say their goal was to civilize, or the Spanish, whose goal was to Christianize. America's goal is always tied up in its direct actions. How can your goal be to be "good" to people and you're slaughtering them and dispossessing them of their land? So they try to limit casualties and go for the soft imperialism of behind-the-scenes economic and political control. But as in all vicious empires, American foreign policy is dominated by the urge to defeat rivals and to control wealth and resources, and domination of the world. The "good" masses, a racist lackadaisical bunch, will follow along as long as they are given a plausible moral justification for their leaders' actions. As the 21st Century Empire, the United States is certainly constrained by both its internal morality myth and the development of Western ideals of democracy and peace, but this shouldn't be mistaken for "goodness". It is, however, a schism that has and will continue to hurt them Americans and will most surely lead to their defeat in Iraq.posted by: Hollis on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"Zarqawi leads "Al Qaeeda in Iraq" Al Qaeeda attacked the WTC."
Zarqawi lead "Al Qaeeda in Iraq" (whateve that was) before the US invasion ?
"It is correct to state that many of the people we are fighting in Iraq are people who want to come to the US and kill us."
It would probably also be correct to say that while many of them disliked the US, few would have been tempted to go into Iraq and fight us were it not for the war. And the CIA said in its recent reports that it believes at least some of these will survive and form a new set of terror cells the way Afghani Mujahdeen did.
Historians have long noted that the main reason the United States
Most historians agree it was not just a lack of military force on the
But the old world saying might summarize it best: "America lost because it was
Last I checked no one was asking for a mass beatification of the US--and, no, we wouldn't deserve one either. Your points are shrill and borderline hysterical but they have a basis in fact. I'd love to know what black marks your own nation has in its book, but that's beside the point.
So Iraq is about our interests--as defined by Bush et al--and not pie in the sky idealism. That leaves out Josh's noble goal of saving "Africa" with the 300 billion we might have had laying around were it not for Iraq. I wonder what countries you mean, Josh, and what means (I assume you don't mean we should dump the money from an airplane) for "saving Africa" from its own murderous thugs you are suggesting? Because, frankly, we've asked the rulers of Sudan and Zimbabwe to stop ("hey, we mean it") yet they ignore us. Should we send troops? Install a "benign dictatorship"? Arm rebels? Is this some kind of bizarro reverse racism, wherein the suffering of Africans (extreme to be sure) is somehow qualitatively worse than that of Arabs? I really don't get it. Please elaborate.
Who says you can't criticize the president? Wail away! The persecution complex of Bush haters is staggering--no one's coming after you. Now relax and have a beer.
I don't argue with the logic that Iraq is struggling to field the rudiments of a civil society and democratic institutions. The question is really, how could we possibly have installed an open-ended caretaker government to babysit them for a decade? Who would it have been and how could we have "sold" it to the US public, let alone our critics overseas? No, we had no choice but to force Iraqis to grow up awfully fast. They'll do no worse, in all likelihood, than most countries that got their independence in the 40s and 50s. The world is an imperfect place. Muddling through is the norm, lest we forget.posted by: Kelli on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"Most historians agree"? The future is truly a strange and wondrous place.posted by: Kelli on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
Dang, warmongering seems to be hard work.
Sure glad none of these right-wingers signed up for military duty...who else, would be brave enough to do it?posted by: NeoDude on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
Who says you can't criticize the president? Wail away! The persecution complex of Bush haters is staggering--no one's coming after you.
A very open-minded opinion, and very much in the minority. For the last 4 years, we've learned that criticism of this President comes from unpatriotic anti-Americans. You obviously have not stepped in the shoes.posted by: wishIwuz2 on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
I'm not paranoid. We do have to support the troops. That is ironic twist. The president is the commander in chief so in a sense in order to support the soldiers it follows often that we must support him. Stalin put himself in the same situation with Germany. He was not so hot a strategist and he was out flanked. But supporting Russia ended up meaning supporting him no matter how dumb his actions had been.
GW is no Stalin I grant you. But if you were Russian watching those starving soldiers outside Stalingrad, facing the best army in the world with little food or training, you would have supported the only leader they believed in, even if he was useless.
The soldiers in Iraq are again fighting the kind of war they fought in Vietnam and again they are doing it with an army designed to fight a 20 centery total war. A total mismatch. They are once again hopelessly wrongly supported but some how we can not let them down.
You say they are properly supported? I ask a couple of questions. How many arab speakers born in the US do you think are assisting them? If the answer is very few; why have we let them go and fight? You can't fight this kind of war without good intel. We have dreadful intel. What part of all this looks right to you? That we have good intentions? Please.posted by: exclab on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"In an interview a week after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Mr Krasner said prudence was what counted in international relations. "The notion that you can create an ideal world is what walked us into Mao's China, Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia. If you want a decent life, what you need is a political system which is prudent and limited."posted by: sun tzu on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
...What people find particularly frustrating is the fact that while Baghdad seems to be falling apart in so many ways with roads broken and pitted, buildings blasted and burnt out and residential areas often swimming in sewage, the Green Zone is flourishing. The walls surrounding restricted areas housing Americans and Puppets have gotten higher- as if vying with the tallest of date palms for height. The concrete reinforcements and road blocks designed to slow and impede traffic are now a part of everyday scenery- the road, the trees, the shops, the earth, the sky ... and the ugly concrete slabs sometimes wound insidiously with barbed wire.
Lets look at this in proper perspective people. First time to this sight and I see lack of research.
President Bush Quote:
"Our military reports that we have killed or captured hundreds of foreign fighters in Iraq who have come from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and other nations."
Now here is what the General and the Pentagon says about this:
While it is not known how many of those resisting the U.S. occupation in Iraq are not Iraqi, it is generally agreed that foreign fighters make up a small percentage of the insurgency. Major General Joseph Taluto, head of the 42nd Infantry Division, said that "99.9 per cent" of captured insurgents are Iraqi. This estimate is bolstered by the Pentagon's own figures; in an analysis of over 1,000 insurgents captured in Fallujah, U.S. Ground Commander General George Casey found only 15 non-Iraqis
Now, from his speach, which is correct. Is he really telling us the truth? Its not a direct lie but it is intentional to deceive.
Who owns the national industries? Electricity, gas, oil, water, telecommunications...
Economic freedom is infinitely more important that political "freedom".
"So we're muddling through in Iraq and war, as always, sucks."
Oh is that right Kelli? And how do you know this? Have been in a war? In a war torn area? Has your country or people been defeated in war? Have you lost your belongings, both material and human, at the hands of an army that spends more on defense than the rest of the world put together? America cannot compete in the global marketplace hence it needs its military apparatus to ensure favorable terms of trade. A side effect is war. Oh well. War sucks, of course. It's been so painstakingly evident that a white persons life is far greater than anybody elses.
And yes, cut off US aid to those helpless savages in the Third World. Please do. Every dollar is on a fishline, every dollar is strategic, almost coming with a contract to sell your soul instructing you to sign on the dotted line.
Please, do travel around the world and see how the rest of the world lives......your "education" in the ivory towers isn't worth a damn when converted to common sense.posted by: No von mises on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"Major General Joseph Taluto, head of the 42nd Infantry Division, said that "99.9 per cent" of captured insurgents are Iraqi. This estimate is bolstered by the Pentagon's own figures; in an analysis of over 1,000 insurgents captured in Fallujah, U.S. Ground Commander General George Casey found only 15 non-Iraqis
that ones easy. The percentage of foreign jihadis CAPTURED at Fallujah was small. Cause these guys came to Iraq for the opportunity to martyr themselves. They went down fighting, and didnt surrender, unlike the locals.
IIUC, at the battle of Okinawa, none of the Japanese Kamikaze pilots were captured. Does that mean they didnt exist?posted by: liberalhawk on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"Zarqawi lead "Al Qaeeda in Iraq" (whateve that was) before the US invasion ?"
thats a matter of dispute. But as it was not mentioned in Bushs speech, I dont know why its relevant.posted by: liberalhawk on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
'One month ago, Jordan's King Abdullah explained to the Arabic-language newspaper al Hayat that his government had tried before the Iraq war to extradite Abu Musab al Zarqawi from Iraq. "We had information that he entered Iraq from a neighboring country, where he lived and what he was doing. We informed the Iraqi authorities about all this detailed information we had, but they didn't respond." He added: "Since Zarqawi entered Iraq before the fall of the former regime we have been trying to have him deported back to Jordan for trial, but our efforts were in vain." '
Maybe you make more sense in your native tongue. Maybe you haven't understand what I wrote earlier. Maybe you have no access to accurate reporting, through which you might have learned that the US has tripled direct aid over the past 5 years to "savages" in the Third World, that many African Americans are doing quite well these days (in contrast to racial minorities in Europe, especially) and that America's economy is the healthiest in the world in most respects (not perfect, but I wouldn't trade places with Western Europe on a bet).
It is true that the US is hegemonic (though, as an imperial historian I dispute the term when applied to us), and that US military forces are actively called on to defend the global status quo. So what? Since the end of WWII the status quo has been pretty good for most of the planet, and at any rate the alternatives are not nearly as palatable as misguided Euros imagine them to be.
For the record, I have travelled widely in both first and third world countries--my towers are at best a dull grey these days. Get over yourself my friend. Americans are not cowed by pompous Europeans anymore. That's so 19th century.posted by: Kelli on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
let it go
Kelli just doesn't get itposted by: exclab on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
That hurts, exlax. Happy Fourth to you though!posted by: Kelli on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
"IIUC, at the battle of Okinawa, none of the Japanese Kamikaze pilots were captured. Does that mean they didnt exist?"
Lots of people in the would-be kamikaze squadrons were captured on the ground. But in Iraq, the vast majority of captives (and injured) so far have been Iraqi. No doubt some groups like the car bombers are almost entirely non-iraq, but the bulk of the insurgency is Iraqi.
". But as it was not mentioned in Bushs speech, I dont know why its relevant."
You mean the fact that Iraq was not a terorist threat to use before the war, but is now a breeding ground for terrorism is not relevant ?posted by: Josh on 06.28.05 at 11:07 PM [permalink]
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