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(Commentary)   Progress so pronounced in Iraq that even New York times forced to admit it. Next up: Blind deaf mutes, hermits in Tibet, Obama   (commentarymagazine.com ) divider line
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1892 clicks; posted to Politics » on 22 Jun 2008 at 3:52 PM (7 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-06-22 12:56:19 PM  
I was going to point out what is happening, but Bill Maher said it best when he pointed out that lessening violence in Iraq while American troops are there is like when daddy stops hitting mommy while the police are in the house.

Yes, it is good, but bourgeois liberal hawks and conservatives are too willing to use this as a political point on their scorecard. This would be fine and dandy if it wasn't 5 years too late while we are there without an exit plan. We have to be there at least for a generation, unless we want to see widespread destabilization. They always are prone to ignore that.
 
2008-06-22 01:02:39 PM  
You sound biased Subby. Maybe you should calm down, have some Kool-Aid.
 
2008-06-22 01:06:00 PM  
Perhaps subby is Iraqi and has a vested interest...

/nahhhh... probably just some partisan jackass
 
2008-06-22 01:07:32 PM  
Author of TFA seems to have forgotten two obscure Times reporters by the names of Judith Miller and Michael Gordon who brought the paper along for the administration's bullshiat ride into Iraq.

On the other hand I suspect the author knows exactly what the facts are and is misleading intentionally, much to the pleasure of most Commentary readers.
 
2008-06-22 01:07:46 PM  
Wait, things were bad in Iraq, so The Times reported "things are bad in Iraq"

Now, things are better in Iraq, so The Times is reporting "things are better in Iraq"

What's the problem?
 
2008-06-22 01:09:03 PM  
So how's that Status Of Forces Agreement coming along?
 
2008-06-22 01:10:13 PM  
Suicidal Writer: bourgeois liberal hawks

You win the "stupidest phrase I've heard today" award.
 
2008-06-22 01:10:33 PM  
There are simply more Iraqi troops for the government to deploy, partly because fewer are needed to fight the Sunni insurgents, who have defected to the Sunni Awakening movement. They are paid to keep the peace.

Paid to keep the peace like a police force is paid to keep the peace, or paid to keep the peace like we pay the Egyptians to keep the peace with the Israelis? There is a chasm of difference between those two.
 
2008-06-22 01:10:57 PM  
Bowen
Wait, things were bad in Iraq, so The Times reported "things are bad in Iraq"

Now, things are better in Iraq, so The Times is reporting "things are better in Iraq"

What's the problem?


Apparently there aren't any problems. Guess we can leave now.

/obligatory
 
2008-06-22 01:12:53 PM  
Suicidal Writer: We have to be there at least for a generation, unless we want to see widespread destabilization. They always are prone to ignore that.

I was discussing this with friends recently, and everyone I was talking to supported almost immediate pullouts. I asked them if they realized that likely meant many, many more deaths in Iraq as a result of what I perceive to be the logical extension of a US pullout -- a shiite Iranian vs. Sunni Saudi based proxy war (or all-out war if it came to it) on Iraqi soil.

If people want to advance a pull-out, then I hope they do so with the knowledge that we will be condemning probably another 100,000 or so Iraqis to their deaths. To think that we are going to pull out and there wouldn't be massive chaos and destruction is either short sighted, ignorant, or naive.
 
2008-06-22 01:21:31 PM  
KaponoFor3: If people want to advance a pull-out, then I hope they do so with the knowledge that we will be condemning probably another 100,000 or so Iraqis to their deaths. To think that we are going to pull out and there wouldn't be massive chaos and destruction is either short sighted, ignorant, or naive.

How many Iraqi civilians have already died under our current policy?

How many have become refugees?

What proof is there that those 100,000 you are assuring us will die in a proxy war are not dying even now during the current war?
 
2008-06-22 01:24:28 PM  
KaponoFor3: If people want to advance a pull-out, then I hope they do so with the knowledge that we will be condemning probably another 100,000 or so Iraqis to their deaths. To think that we are going to pull out and there wouldn't be massive chaos and destruction is either short sighted, ignorant, or naive.

Over one million civilians have already died from the current conflict. But those are OK, because the US troops were there to prevent that.
 
2008-06-22 01:25:58 PM  
KaponoFor3: If people want to advance a pull-out, then I hope they do so with the knowledge that we will be condemning probably another 100,000 or so Iraqis to their deaths. To think that we are going to pull out and there wouldn't be massive chaos and destruction is either short sighted, ignorant, or naive.

Also, the oilfields will be in play, which means groups have every incentive to do what the RUF did in Sierra Leone, except with oil instead of diamonds. It's a quick to fund a military or militia, and with China, India, and even tinpot dictatorships needing cheap crude, there is a distinct possibility that such countries will end up funding conflicts in Iraq (just like China is doing in Sudan). The variables are a bit different compared to Sierra Leone; it's far easier to deal in black market diamonds compared to black market oil. The most probable scenario is Turkey battling the Kurds for the Kirkuk oil fields and Shia Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia battling it out, most likely by proxy, but Saudi Arabia is engaging in the world's largest (by expenditure) importation of arms, so that raises some questions.
 
2008-06-22 01:27:38 PM  
Progress is nice and all, but when does it start being in the best interests of the United States to be in Iraq? At this point, it seems like asking when playing a slot machine will become profitable, after you've already drained your bank account and taken out another mortgage.
 
2008-06-22 01:29:20 PM  
KaponoFor3: If people want to advance a pull-out, then I hope they do so with the knowledge that we will be condemning probably another 100,000 or so Iraqis to their deaths.

I don't think they care. It's not their problem. I think it was a huge mistake to go in the first place, but to abandon the effort now would be inhuman. This divides along party lines now, and party trumps humanity every time, just like it did in the Balkans in the 1990's.
 
2008-06-22 01:30:18 PM  
Obdicut: ...

I don't know the answer to any of your questions, except to say on the third one that any pullout will greatly expedite that process.

GAT_00: Over one million civilians have already died from the current conflict. But those are OK, because the US troops were there to prevent that.

One million huh? Where's your source for that number, that's the highest estimate I've ever heard to date.

Either way, a large majority of those deaths came not at the hands of the US, but rather at the hands of sectarian warfare.

Suicidal Writer: Also, the oilfields will be in play

We are both on the same page. Glad to see there are others who on Fark who have thought out the implications of a pullout on a global scale rather than just "ZOMG get the troops home!"
 
2008-06-22 01:31:20 PM  
Snarfangel: At this point, it seems like asking when playing a slot machine will become profitable, after you've already drained your bank account and taken out another mortgage.

But I'm due man! This slot machine has given me dick since I've sat down, I'm due!
 
2008-06-22 01:32:22 PM  
Nabb1: I think it was a huge mistake to go in the first place, but to abandon the effort now would be inhuman. This divides along party lines now, and party trumps humanity every time, just like it did in the Balkans in the 1990's.

Ahh the Balkans. The forgotten war where the US came to the defense of Muslims getting massacred. Funny how that one always gets ignored when people try to play the "US hates Mooslims" card
 
2008-06-22 01:33:21 PM  
KaponoFor3: One million huh? Where's your source for that number, that's the highest estimate I've ever heard to date.

Either way, a large majority of those deaths came not at the hands of the US, but rather at the hands of sectarian warfare.


That would be the Lancet number, from Oct 2006, extrapolated out for the next 2 years. As for the deaths being sectarian, aren't we there to prevent that sort of thing, thus making that war our fault? You can't dismiss hundreds of thousands of deaths as Iraqis killing each other while we are governing the state, and say it isn't our fault.
 
2008-06-22 01:38:12 PM  
GAT_00: That would be the Lancet number, from Oct 2006, extrapolated out for the next 2 years.

Then you'll understand if I ignore that number.

GAT_00: As for the deaths being sectarian, aren't we there to prevent that sort of thing, thus making that war our fault? You can't dismiss hundreds of thousands of deaths as Iraqis killing each other while we are governing the state, and say it isn't our fault.

I don't feel like we were there to protect the Iraqis from themselves -- rather, we were there to take out Saddam. By virtue of the idiotic fact that we decided to disband the Iraqi army, an argument can be made that the US was responsible to fill the security vacuum. Either way, I place the blame for the sectarian deaths squarely on the asshat militia members who actually, you know, did the killing of innocent civilians.

It's much easier to understand tribal/sectarian conflicts by looking at them as US street gangs.
 
2008-06-22 01:40:08 PM  
KaponoFor3: Suicidal Writer: Also, the oilfields will be in play

We are both on the same page. Glad to see there are others who on Fark who have thought out the implications of a pullout on a global scale rather than just "ZOMG get the troops home!"


Are we paying less than market price for oil because we are in Iraq? If we pull out of Iraq, will we suddenly be paying more than market price for oil? Is the cost of keeping the troops over in Iraq less than the added costs of oil if we didn't have troops in Iraq? Is oil no longer a fungible commodity?

Or are you suggesting that Chinese troops will take over Iraq if we leave, and simply steal the oil?
 
2008-06-22 01:41:42 PM  
KaponoFor3: We are both on the same page. Glad to see there are others who on Fark who have thought out the implications of a pullout on a global scale rather than just "ZOMG get the troops home!"

There are some of us here.
 
2008-06-22 01:43:57 PM  
KaponoFor3: Then you'll understand if I ignore that number.

Not really, but fine then how about the original Lancet number: 600,000.

KaponoFor3: Either way, I place the blame for the sectarian deaths squarely on the asshat militia members who actually, you know, did the killing of innocent civilians.

So since, as you said we disbanded the army, didn't that make the US troops their army? And then we completely failed to prevent the civilian deaths of that war.
 
2008-06-22 01:44:10 PM  
Snarfangel: Are we paying less than market price for oil because we are in Iraq?

Right now? Not to my knowledge.

Snarfangel: If we pull out of Iraq, will we suddenly be paying more than market price for oil?

If the predicted Turkish/Saudi/Iranian resource grab/wars started, then I think the answer to this would be a resounding yes.

Snarfangel: Is the cost of keeping the troops over in Iraq less than the added costs of oil if we didn't have troops in Iraq?

Right now, I'd say probably so.

Snarfangel: Or are you suggesting that Chinese troops will take over Iraq if we leave, and simply steal the oil?

I don't think they would actually send troops in -- they learn from the mistakes of others -- but I think they would buy the oil from them at whatever the price given the rapid growth of their economy
 
2008-06-22 01:47:44 PM  
GAT_00: So since, as you said we disbanded the army, didn't that make the US troops their army? And then we completely failed to prevent the civilian deaths of that war.

There wouldn't have been any need to "prevent" anything if the sectarian asshats weren't roving around looking to kill anyone with a shiite/Sunni last name. I place a large majority of the blame on this on the feet of Saddam and his campaign against the shiites while he was the ruler. He festered such resentment that revenge was natural, but that does not make such revenge morally excusable or of such a matter that the US troops can be blamed for failing to prevent it.
 
KIA [TotalFark]
2008-06-22 01:54:24 PM  
Step 1: Kill thousands
Step 2: Claim it's quiet now, therefore better
Step 3: ??
 
2008-06-22 02:08:16 PM  
KaponoFor3: There wouldn't have been any need to "prevent" anything if the sectarian asshats weren't roving around looking to kill anyone with a shiite/Sunni last name. I place a large majority of the blame on this on the feet of Saddam and his campaign against the shiites while he was the ruler. He festered such resentment that revenge was natural, but that does not make such revenge morally excusable or of such a matter that the US troops can be blamed for failing to prevent it.

Okay:

A) You mean "fostered".

B) The Shi'ite Sunni tensions are not just present in Iraq, but plenty of places. Anywhere with Sunni and Shi'ite and a power vaccuum would lead to sectarian violence.

C) We were the ones who created the power vacuum, even though this was obviously going to happen. Those in power ignored all information about Sunni and Shi'ite, all warnings that sectarian violence would be the result.

D) Of course the killings are the fault of those that are killing. The situation, though, the power vacuum, that is our fault. Entirely. We did it. We need to accept that we did it. We, America, started a war that killed half a million civilians. You can say that it was worth it, but you cannot deny that we did it.
 
2008-06-22 02:19:51 PM  
what level of sectarian violence are we supposed to be returning to? The unified Iraqi state has been at war with itself ever since it was put together by the British. It's been kept together by strong men backing one sect over the others with secret police. It's currently being pulled apart by regional powers who have a greater political will and ethno-geographical ability to wait us out. We can't wait out the violence because the violence was waiting there for us. The Balken solution doesn't apply as we do not have the military capability to do to Iran what we did to Serbia.

Iraq will always be a puppet state. It can't be ours forever. The fight going on right now is to see who gets it when we leave. The only way to prevent massive bloodshed is to bring in enough outside states into the situation that any large-scale sectarian action in what may then be 3 autonomous regions would lead to multi-state war, which none of the participating powers want. This can of influence cannot take place while the US maintains a strong military presence there. While I am glad to hear that violence is down, this progress only indicates to greater degree of patience that those who would control Iraq possess
 
2008-06-22 02:20:43 PM  
Obdicut: B) The Shi'ite Sunni tensions are not just present in Iraq, but plenty of places. Anywhere with Sunni and Shi'ite and a power vaccuum would lead to sectarian violence.

I disagree -- not all places with mixed Sunni-Shia populations have such a history of one group oppressing the other. You can't say Saddam's campaign against the shiites didn't serve as motivation for their revenge. If Saddam treated the shiites like his did his minority-Sunni brethren, I posit we wouldnt have seen anywhere near the level of sectarian violence that we did.

Obdicut: C) We were the ones who created the power vacuum, even though this was obviously going to happen. Those in power ignored all information about Sunni and Shi'ite, all warnings that sectarian violence would be the result.

Does that mean that we are responsible for the sectarian deaths? I still say no -- you can't just excuse the deaths because the US was in charge. Criminals and murderers should not be able to have their actions explained away by "but.. but.. the US was in control!". The asshat Iraqis who actually did the killing deserve scorn, not the members of the US military.

Obdicut: The situation, though, the power vacuum, that is our fault. Entirely. We did it. We need to accept that we did it.

Absolutely. I don't think anyone will disagree with that proposition. Some might point to Iranian influence as helping sustain that power vacuum by preventing shiite reconciliation with each other, but that's a whole other story.

Obdicut: We, America, started a war that killed half a million civilians. You can say that it was worth it, but you cannot deny that we did it.

We started a war and ended a war very quickly with relatively few casualties given the scale of the war. It was the occupation, not the war, that resulted in the large majority of those deaths, and I'd hazard to guess a great majority of the occupation deaths were a result of sectarian warfare.

I'm not excusing the US's role in creating the situation. On the same token, the sectarian warriors must take responsibility for their actions, as must the outside elements who are playing a role in Iraq (I'm looking at you, Iran)
 
2008-06-22 02:25:55 PM  
Why is it that people think that the Republicans rushing into war with Iraq without proper intelligence and planning worse than the Democrats wanting to withdraw quickly from Iraq?

I mean, you screwed it up in the first place, and you still want us to trust you to fix it?

Hell no.
 
2008-06-22 02:30:18 PM  
KaponoFor3: Does that mean that we are responsible for the sectarian deaths? I still say no -- you can't just excuse the deaths because the US was in charge. Criminals and murderers should not be able to have their actions explained away by "but.. but.. the US was in control!". The asshat Iraqis who actually did the killing deserve scorn, not the members of the US military

I'm not scorning the US military at all, and it's either a terrible misreading on your part to say that I am, or outright disingenuous. I am clearly and obviosly placing the blame on those who decided to invade; the politicians. Not the generals who, by and large, tried to stop them and warn them what a stupid farked up idea it was.

And I say we are responsible for their deaths. We put them in a situation to die. We did not stop their deaths. We were there, we caused the situation. How do you excuse us, exactly?


KaponoFor3: We started a war and ended a war very quickly with relatively few casualties given the scale of the war. It was the occupation, not the war, that resulted in the large majority of those deaths, and I'd hazard to guess a great majority of the occupation deaths were a result of sectarian warfare.

To me, that's bullshiat. The war is ongoing. Our armed forces are fighting armed forces. It's a guerrilla war now, but it's a war.

I disagree -- not all places with mixed Sunni-Shia populations have such a history of one group oppressing the other. You can't say Saddam's campaign against the shiites didn't serve as motivation for their revenge. If Saddam treated the shiites like his did his minority-Sunni brethren, I posit we wouldnt have seen anywhere near the level of sectarian violence that we did.


That's an impossible proof, unless we're really retarded and knock off Iran's leaders too. Then we'll see.

However: you're still attempting to shift the blame for the post-Iraq violence to Saddam. The post-iraq situation was entirely of our making. It broke down into secterian violence just as was predicted, and we were unable to control it, just as predicted.

To me, knowing that sectarian violence will erupt if you take a certain action, and still taking that action while denying that sectarian violence will erupt, makes use very, very, very culpable for what occurs. We were warned, we did not listen, we acted, and the civilian dead our on our hands.

I'm not excusing the US's role in creating the situation. On the same token, the sectarian warriors must take responsibility for their actions, as must the outside elements who are playing a role in Iraq (I'm looking at you, Iran)

To me, you are excusing the US, almost entirely. Would those 600,000 people have died if the US hadn't invaded? No. How can you claim their deaths aren't the result of our actions?
 
2008-06-22 02:45:34 PM  
Obdicut: KaponoFor3: If people want to advance a pull-out, then I hope they do so with the knowledge that we will be condemning probably another 100,000 or so Iraqis to their deaths. To think that we are going to pull out and there wouldn't be massive chaos and destruction is either short sighted, ignorant, or naive.

How many Iraqi civilians have already died under our current policy?

How many have become refugees?

What proof is there that those 100,000 you are assuring us will die in a proxy war are not dying even now during the current war?


Why don't you fill in the answers instead of asking questions since you seem to know so much.
 
2008-06-22 02:56:12 PM  
One need only consider the source on this: Commentary, the flagship publication of the neoconservative movement. Next.
 
2008-06-22 02:57:35 PM  
The main reason things are getting better in Iraq is because the US military is training the Iraqi army and police to handle Iraq's security. The idea being that when they have to leave, the Iraqis can take over. If they can finish that job, then I don't think Iraq will be destined for war and devastation like some of you make it out to be.

Of course, the US has managed to f*ck up a lot of things in that conflict, so who knows. But the result of a US pullout is not necessarily gonna be full out regional warfare. Jeez.
 
2008-06-22 03:04:22 PM  
Man, at this rate...any day now Iraq will be like post-war Germany and our troops will be ok for 50 years during the peaceful rebuilding process.

Going from "f*cking terrible shiatty screwed up war" to "not nearly as f*cking terrible as 2 months ago but still a shiatty screwed up war" is not progress.
 
2008-06-22 03:35:31 PM  
So is this a reason to vote for McCain? Does this mean that we'll have reduced violence in our 6th year of occupation of Iran?
 
2008-06-22 03:49:15 PM  
muck4doo: Why don't you fill in the answers instead of asking questions since you seem to know so much.

What exactly is it that you view as so unfair about questions? I'm serious. You seem to feel that me asking questions of people is somehow an unfair tactic; I'm really wondering why. Do you feel that those three questions I asked are not relevant to the statement that was made?
 
2008-06-22 03:57:19 PM  
there was another suicide bombing this morning.
 
2008-06-22 04:01:03 PM  
Benchmarks anyone?
 
2008-06-22 04:01:10 PM  
img204.imageshack.us
 
2008-06-22 04:01:35 PM  
Hay look! Our utter failure is slightly less wretched!
 
2008-06-22 04:01:43 PM  
Still doesn't mean we needed to go there, or that I should support someone who (as proven by voting for this war) is prone to do the same thing again.
 
2008-06-22 04:02:18 PM  
Obdicut: KaponoFor3: If people want to advance a pull-out, then I hope they do so with the knowledge that we will be condemning probably another 100,000 or so Iraqis to their deaths. To think that we are going to pull out and there wouldn't be massive chaos and destruction is either short sighted, ignorant, or naive.

How many Iraqi civilians have already died under our current policy?

How many have become refugees?

What proof is there that those 100,000 you are assuring us will die in a proxy war are not dying even now during the current war?


pretty much this. what will happen after we leave is speculation, what is happening while we're there is not. and what is happening while we're there is not good.

and if you think that us leaving will lead to proxy war, exactly what course of events will need to occur for that to not happen?

and most importantly, no amount of reduced violence is success in iraq, because success is not measured in levels of violence. success is measured in how self-sufficient their government is. but we've given them plenty of time to do that, and they haven't... one of their legislature's first acts was to take a month long vacation.

if what we're doing isn't moving us toward success, then continuing what we're doing is idiocy.
 
2008-06-22 04:03:07 PM  
In an election year? How convenient.
 
2008-06-22 04:03:16 PM  
We're paying warlords to shut up -- for those that can't be bought, we have concrete blast walls. Baghdad is a maze.

The situation is still stupidity -- and troop deaths have gone down from avg. 3 a day to 1 a day. A good thing, but it's still a war -- an expensive and unsustainable one at that.

Some solders have been fighting since the start -- it's unprecedented.

But by gawd if we won't teach those Vietnam era Hippies a lesson.
 
2008-06-22 04:04:20 PM  
DarnoKonrad: But by gawd if we won't teach those Vietnam era Hippies a lesson.

we'll harsh their buzz if we have to blow up the world to do it, god damnit!
 
2008-06-22 04:04:27 PM  
burndtdan: there was another suicide bombing this morning.

Why do you hate America?
 
2008-06-22 04:08:05 PM  
The New York Times has made a startling discovery: things are much improved in Iraq.

It sure as fark can't get much worse...
besides, I thought freepers told us not to believe anything the N.Y.T. has to say!
 
2008-06-22 04:11:57 PM  
It's amazing to see that Obama hasn't been to Iraq since 2006 before the surge began and he wants us to get out of Iraq. What's also shocking is that more US troops are dying in Afghanistan now than in Iraq. Spring offensive, Taliban, Al-Qaeda who?

Of course, now we have set our sights onto Iran now...
 
2008-06-22 04:12:03 PM  
 
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