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February 01, 2004

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The MSNBC Breaking News alert said 57 dead and more than 235 injured. Which sounds to me like their way of lowballing the casualty figures...

Whoa, that don't look right. To clarify my above post: I didn't mean that MSNBC is deliberately underreporting the casualties for whatever reason. I meant that they probably can't identify all the (pieces of) bodies yet, so these numbers are likely provisional, and low.

Sheesh -- and I usually take such pride in my copy-editing.

Don't worry about it, Anarch: I at least understood what you meant.

Well, you're right. I agree with everything the man said, except that last line.

Let's see. Ideologue embraces war in the service of fevently held world view. Ensuing conflict provides venue for unexpectedly fierce guerrilla resistance leading to deaths of American soldiers. Ideologue insists that we are winning despite rising body count.

It's all to effing familiar. Or, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Oh, forgot to mention that the Breaking News report just before this was that 244 people were crushed to death in a "stampede" at a hajj ritual in Mecca. Not a good day in the Middle East :/

OK, what are your metrics for that last line, Moe?

Today on Stephanopolous, all 4 panel members, including James Woolsey, George Will, Richard Holbrooke, and Fareed Zakaria, all of whom supported the invasion, agreed that there was no f*cking way we'd meet our deadlines.

The funny thing is, I think that without the invasion of Iraq, we might have completely wiped out Al Qaeda by now, and your assertion would be correct, Bush would be hailed, and he'd be re-elected.

The last part of what Wolfowitz said is not for agreeing or disagreeing. It's irrelevant. That's not the point. The point is that terrorism is wrong.

"The point is that terrorism is wrong."

It is, indeed. In this particular case, it's also not going to accomplish its goal, which I presume is to split off the Kurdish section of Iraq away from its ties to the US. If this kind of terrorism worked, the PLO and/or the IRA would have decisively and fully accomplished their aims years ago.

I know, James, you weren't saying that - but I got asked about my metrics, and that's one of them - Will this activity stop Iraq from being turned into a successful nation-state? My answer is no, it won't.

Moe

It'd better not stop Iraq being a successful nation-state, because that's a whole fat waste of 2003 otherwise.

But I don't think they'll succeed either.

I wonder at what point we'll be able to objectively see the effect Saddam's capture has had, psychologically (and otherwise) on Iraqis.

Will this activity stop Iraq from being turned into a successful nation-state?

Define "successful".

Terrorism is wrong. Yep. Also familiar (see Communism is wrong).

The relevant questions are if the Iraq war represented the most effective way to combat it, and if that war was the most tactically efficient use of our finite resources.

I'm guessing the answer to that question is where we part company.

Terrorism is wrong. Saying that may make you feel good, but it does nothing to solve the problem, however. The left is supposed to be the group that prefers therapy over results, right?

Allow me return to this point:


Today on Stephanopolous, all 4 panel members, including James Woolsey, George Will, Richard Holbrooke, and Fareed Zakaria, all of whom supported the invasion, agreed that there was no f*cking way we'd meet our deadlines.

Now what they wanted to do was extend the deadlines. Meanwhile, the Shiites are gearing up:

If Sistani decides that he is willing to risk turmoil and calls for further demonstrations, there is little doubt that many Iraqis will follow him. His photograph is ubiquitous in shop windows throughout the Shiite heartland and also in Baghdad's Shiite neighborhoods. In one commercial street in Karrada, a middle-class Baghdad neighborhood, shopkeeper after shopkeeper told me of their devotion to Sistani. ''He is our leader,'' one man said. ''We will follow him until our deaths.'' Another told me, ''If the marjah'' -- the object of emulation -- ''asks us to fight the Americans, we will do so immediately, happily, to the last drop of our blood.'' The man spoke with such enthusiasm, I assumed he considered this fight to be both inevitable and imminent. But when I asked him whether he thought the grand ayatollah would in fact call on him to resist the American occupiers, he shook his head emphatically. ''Absolutely not,'' he said. ''We Shiites will wait until June'' -- when the C.P.A. is scheduled to hand over authority for the country to Iraqis. ''We will get our country back soon enough.''

So we're in a bit of a bind. All discussion of "winning" is nonsense until we see what happens in the next few months.

Praktite, never mind the folly of referring to "the left" as if it is a single monolithic group: let me copy that. Given that Bush's most coherent/truthful statement about invading Iraq has been "He tried to kill my Daddy!" can we say more justly that "the right" prefer therapy over results? Why, I think we can. To make Bush feel better about his Daddy, massive resources were diverted from the war against terrorism and poured into invading Iraq. Hope Bush feels better now.

Roll on November.

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