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April 30, 2004

Comments

Wow, Chalabi is a "stubbornly independent and unashamedly pro-American Iraqi freedom fighter?" And here I was thinking he was just a con-man. Someone should tell the Iraqis, they seem to hate him.

Although I suspect that assertion that the Sunni and Shia would be overjoyed to be occupied by a heavily armed Kurdish militia might be slightly off the mark.

And hang on, the article says that the Iraqis despise the UN. But that ABC poll of Iraqis that was published last month had almost twice as many Iraqis saying they trusted the UN than the US.

Oh well. I guess when the house you're building starts collapsing around you, the best strategy is to start looking for someone else to blame.

Typical.

A) Protect the President
B) Protect the party
C) Whatever goes wrong, always say it was an insufficent application of conservative principle that was to blame.

This meme started some time ago, when "State" allegedly took over from Jay Garner.

Personally, my thinking is that the onset fo the occupation qua occupation approach is highly correlated with the lack of WMDs and the need for an ex post facto justification.

So, this Barbara Lemer is of the opinion that it was a mistake to give Chalabi too little power in the occupation, as opposed to too much power?

Gromit

OK, now that I actually read the damn thing, I'm steamed. These people must have Asperger's Syndrome or something.

1. The idea that the Kurds and 10,000 FIF-sters could do much of anything against Saddam's army is, well, as silly as it sounds.

2. The Pentagon is responsible for the following:


  • Postwar Planning, which began in January 2004 (!)

  • Awarding Contracts, which has been a disaster

  • Running the CPA, another disaster, until control was assumed by the NSC, equally terrible

  • Setting force levels, again, a disaster

  • Disbanding the Iraqi army, worst decision ever

3. "make an example of Fallujah" WTF?

I could go on, but I think that's enough.

Lerner is spouting the typical cover your ass crap. After all, it was Garner who complained that Rumsfeld wouldn't let him hire any people from State.

These neocon assholes don't really give a shit about how badly they've screwed up and how many thousands of people they've killed, and how they have seriously wounded America. They just don't want to be caught holding the bag.

1. The idea that the Kurds and 10,000 FIF-sters could do much of anything against Saddam's army is, well, as silly as it sounds.

It appears you're still having some trouble reading it. Care to try again? I've got no problem at all with criticizing the piece, as long as what you're criticizing and what the piece actually says resemble each other even a little.

But here, let's look at the statement:

Rumsfeld's plan was to train and equip — and then transport to Iraq — some 10,000 Shia and Sunni freedom fighters led by Shia exile leader Ahmed Chalabi and his cohorts in the INC, the multi-ethnic anti-Saddam coalition he created. There, they would have joined with thousands of experienced Kurdish freedom fighters, ably led, politically and militarily, by Jalal Talabani and Massoud Barzani. Working with our special forces, this trio would have sprung into action at the start of the war, striking from the north, helping to drive Baathist thugs from power, and joining Coalition forces in the liberation of Baghdad. That would have put a proud, victorious, multi-ethnic Iraqi face on the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and it would have given enormous prestige to three stubbornly independent and unashamedly pro-American Iraqi freedom fighters: Chalabi, Talabani, and Barzani.

That's quite different from 10k Kurds alone against the Iraqi Army.

The idea that the Kurds and 10,000 FIF-sters could do much of anything against Saddam's army is, well, as silly as it sounds.

Who can't read?

It looks as if neither of us can.

I suppose you're objecting to my not including special forces.

Well, so what?

I'm not mischaracterizing anything. My statement stands.

There's a major difference between battle-hardened Afghan mujahedin and a bunch of exiles. Maybe the Kurds are worth something. I don't know. I seem to remember Saddam's forces regularly slaughtering them.

I suppose you're objecting to my not including special forces.

Well, there's that. Plus the whole rest of the invasion force. Is your point really that it's pointless to add extra forces? And/or, that a cooperative effort is less desirable than one where we do all the work and get all the credit? I'm just guessing here, because you didn't offer much in the way of specific criticism, other than your disbelief.

They would have been slaughtered. That's my criticism.

Odd, that perhaps 15k Iraqis plus the whole US invasion force equals slaughter, while the whole US invasion force all by itself mopped up the Iraqi army with no problem whatever.

Is your point that a few more people in the theater in Iraq would result in utter failure? Somehow this runs counter to the we-have-far-too-few-soldiers-in-Iraq talk I've been hearing of late.

"Maybe the Kurds are worth something."

In the comparison to the Northern Alliance, yes, the pesh merga are a significant force. Unable to do anything significant on their own against Saddam, of course, but good fighters on their own terms.

Just for the record.

I see you've been engaged in some rather mature debate on another channel, Gary.

But my depressed observation is this: this article is an early shot in the "who lost Iraq?" fight.

"I see you've been engaged in some rather mature debate on another channel, Gary."

To what do you refer, sir?

Well, if the comments haven't already been deleted, here.

What are we trying to achieve in this conversation, exactly, Slartsville?

Just wondering what the hell your point is, is all. Because that one point of criticism was way off the mark.

I expected a bit more substantive criticism from von, too, but he appears to not be around to defend.

Slartibartfast said...

Odd, that perhaps 15k Iraqis plus the whole US invasion force equals slaughter, while the whole US invasion force all by itself mopped up the Iraqi army with no problem whatever.

Maybe I'm just being a contrarian here, but the recent hijinks in Fallujah make me think the Iraqi Army wasn't "mopped up." I think they turned into a large guerrila force.

Is your point that Rumsfeld's plan was a good idea for PR reasons? I might buy that.

Or that the Kurds and this imaginary 10,000-strong group of exiles were useful from a military standpoint?

Moreover, my understanding was that we were, in fact, using special forces and the peshmerga to some extent.

So I will concede the point that yes, the peshmerga might have been an effective military force.

they did.

JKC sez:

I think they turned into a large guerrila force.

That's certainly a possibility, although I haven't seen the evidence either way. Sure, it could be a bad thing. However, from von's "the usual suspects" link, I found my way here. It's possible that the multiethnic, all-Iraqi force is getting a tryout in Falluja.

asdf fragt:

Is your point that Rumsfeld's plan was a good idea for PR reasons?

Actually, I was just trying to figure out what your response to the NRO piece had to do with what the piece actually said. Plus, I'm having flashbacks to when the plan was to stage some of our forces out of Turkey, and how that whole thing might have just gone away had we made friends with the Northern Alliance and Kurds and had them help us secure some bases in the north.

Note, of course, that the plan she's talking about isn't just "Rumsfeld's Plan," but the plan that Richard Perle (and probably other neocons) have been pushing for most of the decade. Probably worth noting, given the neocons' general track record in this war.

"Well, if the comments haven't already been deleted, here."

Oh, that. I don't know about you, but I'm really turned on, now.

Also, the amazingly fine argument completely changed my mind. See, Jes? It can happen.

Gary, that stimulating and lengthy comment made me realize that I am not just a sicko pervert: I am a deeply strange person. My first reaction was: "God, can't this idiot even spell -----?"

What the hell are these guys trying to do, put The Onion out of business? How do you satirize this stuff?

"Because a large military presence will still be required under U.S. command, some would say 'Well you are not giving full sovereignty'. But we are giving sovereignty so that sovereignty can be used to say, 'We invite you to remain'. That is a sovereign decision," Powell said.

via Max Sawicky. Now that is funny.

OK, so my last comment was in response to Bob's comment...but it jumped the queue somehow.

edward, don't you folks have mt-blacklist installed?

I'd like to know what IP that fellow posted from, if that's not asking too much.

edward, don't you folks have mt-blacklist installed?

I'd like to know what IP that fellow posted from, if that's not asking too much.

Sorry folks, Moe's our tech guy

What does MT blacklist do, ban folks? I'm not sure I'm following here.

this

Thanks asdf...but what are your and Slarti's comments in reference to? Who should be blacklisted?

Wow. Comment #1 in LGF says that the Bush administration is actively working against the country! Traitors!

I guess it doesn't count if it's the state department, since Robertson says they should be nuked anyway.

I expected a bit more substantive criticism from von, too, but he appears to not be around to defend.

Hey, I'm just doing outrage today. (Sadly, I'm preparing for a deposition in your neck of the woods, Slarti, so I don't have much time for analysis.)

Really? O-town?

Oh, and tone it down a bit, please. Just 'cause some barely-literate morons chose to infect an old thread doesn't make it appropriate for well-regarded regulars to start accusing each other of foolishness.

The problem with the State Department is that they fail to realize that all you have to do is show people that their culture is inferior, and they will soon see the error of their ways.

[/sarcasm]

John Cole makes the point that it's not a Rumsfeld vs. Powell thing. Bush is at the head of this whole thing, and it's his baby. If there is some disconnect, or if someone's decided to do things in a way inconsistent with policy, the responsibility for it is with Bush.

I agree with this completely, BTW.

"Thanks asdf...but what are your and Slarti's comments in reference to? Who should be blacklisted?"

The people/person posting to the dkos controversy thread.

Edward, do you ever look at the list of "new comments" towards the upper right of your sidebar?

Edward, do you ever look at the list of "new comments" towards the upper right of your sidebar?

Saw it now...thanks.

Moe's the one with the keys to the banning tools. I think it's safe to assume that person will not be posting here long, once he gets to his toolbox.

Moe's the one with the keys to the banning tools. I think it's safe to assume that person will not be posting here long, once he gets to his toolbox.

Moe, I used your user name to delete the posts. Apologies to Gary Farber for not catching it more quickly.

Carry on.

Bush is at the head of this whole thing, and it's his baby. If there is some disconnect, or if someone's decided to do things in a way inconsistent with policy, the responsibility for it is with Bush.

That's exactly my point as well, Slartibartfast.

Really? O-town?

Yup, another evening in the wonderful Westin Grand Bohemian. (They lost my freakin' overcoat, last time.) I'd suggest lunch, but I'm coming in late on Monday, in a deposition all day Tuesday, and flying back out Tuesday night. Next time?

No. I wouldn't tell you if it was yes, but it's no.

And...anytime that's good for you, just might be bad for me. So don't sweat it.

(By the way, Slarti, if your or one of your associates is expectin' on being deposed on Tuesday, I don't wanna know.)

Heh

Incidentally, the juxtaposition of comments here just now, including von's, would be amusing, if the real issues weren't so serious.

Since it won't last, I'll say it includes this:
--------------
Matt Yglesias: Wrongest...Column...Ever — Can be found here. It raises, however, an interesting subject.
Von @ObsidianWings: Rumsfeld's War, Powell's Occupation — This is so unbelievably idiotic that I can barely comment.
-------------------

Right next to this:
Charles Johnson: Rumsfeld's War, Powell's Occupation — An excellent analysis by Barbara Lerner on the occupation of Iraq—an...
Glenn Reynolds: ANOTHER UPDATE: Barbara Lerner says that it was Rumsfeld's war, but it's been Powell's occupation.

Je rigoles.

change of subject, anyone?

HOw cool is this?

I forgot to mention that Blaming The Evil Vizier is a timeless gambit.

"Je rigoles."

I am unfamiliar with this expression. Google translates it as "I drains."

"I laughed like a drain," I know. otherwise?

VERY cool, asdf.

Oh, I just found the Memeorandum thing amusing. Literal translation of 'rigoler' is just 'to laugh'. 'rigole' is sort of 'rivulets' or 'a channel' and so you can see where they're going with that one. My french cousins tend to use the verb more than 'rire' so I've picked it up from them, really.

yeah, but there shouldn't be an "s" on the end, mon frere.

yeah, but there shouldn't be an "s" on the end, mon frere.

Ah, it's one of those, is it? Never actually seen it written, you see, so I assumed it was an 's' in 1st person singular.

Where, exactly, does the buck stop?

[sarcasm]
On Bill Clinton's desk obviously, since we know that GW is god's gift to the US and that the US is god's gift to humanity and that only republicans are real Americans. Any bad or odious policy that may have occured prior to 1992 are obviously Carter's fault, and any thing prior to 1976 is obviously LBJ's fault. This we know to true since it has been told to us by the voice of real America: "Rush Limbaught".
[/sarcasm]

Nothing like a quick change of subject to liven things up.

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