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October 05, 2005

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Freedom is on the march!

These CIA analysts who write these things don't explain how they make all their pronouncements. I just don't understand how they can make such statements about a secretive organization and also how they count the members or sympathizers. (They sure don't conduct opinion polls.) I just don't understand how I can evaluate such an article for accuracy beyond being impressed with his CIA anti-terrorist credentials and taking everything he says on faith. His few references are to other articles by people like him.

Oh, and I also am sick and tired of people saying that satellite TV is contributing to terrorism's appeal by broadcasting news about what the US is doing in the Middle East. Surely that is the fault of the perpetrator, not the reporter!

Surely that is the fault of the perpetrator, not the reporter!

that would depend on the "reporter". is he/she simply reporting facts, or is he/she spreading propaganda ?

But we're fightin' in Iraq so we don't have to fight em here! They just can't up and leave, can they? Flypaper?

Why are pictures of casualties considered propaganda? Aren't they real? As far as I can tell no one has accused Arab satellite TV of making stuff up. If they were doing like the bush 1 administation and spreading stories about babies ripped from incubators, I would call it propaganda. Otherwise they are reporting the blasted news.

Anna: I think the point was just that those pictures will be seen by a lot more people than w/o satellite TV, and will have the predictable effect of angering them, and will appear to validate bin Laden's views about the West, thereby helping al Qaeda with recruiting. One can think this without thinking it's propaganda at all, and without thinking that they should therefore not broadcast what they see.

Why are pictures of casualties considered propaganda?

i'm pretty sure i didn't say they were.

This is grim news, indeed.

However, I always take the news that the Interior Ministry (which means something very different from what it means in the U.S., and means something very different here under Gail Norton than it has for many decades, but's that's a threadjack) of any country has found "papers" on dead guys detailing "plans" for anything with a grain of salt.

Now, if I was a conservative blogger, I would of course believe government at all levels is colossally incompetent at everything, except of course when it is lying, which would be the job of assorted Interior Ministries. But I'm not conservative, so who can account for my weird point of view.

Now, if I was a conservative blogger, I would of course believe government at all levels is colossally incompetent at everything

unless it's a Republican government.

unless it's a Republican government

No, I think Republican government is pretty clueless as well. And if a miracle occurs and a third party gets its foot in the door of government, well, maybe not right away, but sooner or later it will be populated by a bunch of buffoons whose main missions in life are to gather power and get reelected (which is, really, part of the gathering-power thing), and whose skills are honed with that purpose in mind. In general, though; there may be a few exceptions.

As the Bush Administration bungles the war on terror, its own practice of throwing gasoline on the fire becomes self-justification for needing to put out more fires.

All I need now is for Charles to tell me again how central Iraq is to the war on terror. Except that bungling stupidity has resulted in vastly inflaming the terror war with adventurism in Arab countries formerly unrelated to teh terror war, and continuing fighting the "war" in this manner will do little to end it or win it.

In the meantime, that model for Arab democracy, Iraq (which will allegedly help us win the war by sopreading freedom), has rigged the rules to insure passage of the Constitution and thereby insure a wider and more violent civil war. And again, conservative nitwits are going to tell me that the passage, using deceit in the electoral process, is a sign of "victory" as opposed to more gasoline on the fire.

In the meantime, that model for Arab democracy, Iraq (which will allegedly help us win the war by sopreading freedom), has rigged the rules to insure passage of the Constitution and thereby insure a wider and more violent civil war.

Actually they were changed back today.

I was just about to ask if this is what he was talking about.

But, you know, it could be worse:

Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has placed the military firmly in control of his nation's nuclear program, undercutting his government's claim that the program is intended for civilian use, according to a leading opposition group.

Ugh:

Just heard that news myself and came back to post the same point. I am glad to see this was dropped so that the vote is not tainted.

I have no idea whether or not the Sunnis will muster the vote to reject it, though, in those three crucial provinces. I would not be surprised if more nefarious means are used to prevent the rejection vote from being successful.

according to a leading opposition group.

Forgive me if I note once burned, twice shy?

Or eve better, advocates of the next war go in first. Tehran, 3,000 ft, and a parachute. Oh, and a fencer's mesh mask to keep the rice and flowers out.

"All I need now is for Charles to tell me again how central Iraq is to the war on terror."

Well, it is, of course. It was't a couple of years ago, when we invaded, at a time when Iraq had rather less to do with terror than any of its neighbors. It sure is now, however.

OK, it's "central." But how can we win there? If we start to "win" in Iraq, graduates of the Advanced Seminar on Urban Jihad we've been hosting the last 2 years can just go to some other country, and make that the central front.

In the psychology of the enemy, a "loss" in Iraq is just another entry on a long list of grievances.

I think, though, that we have already lost our most important assets: (a) moral high ground and (b) reputation for near omnipotence. The limits of our power, hard and soft, have been well demonstrated, and are self-evidently not scaring our adversary into surrender/non-aggression.

The creation of the Shia Islamic state, even if it has some badges of secularism, will be no victory for us, not matter how many people in Basra, Najaf, and Karbala think they're in a better place than they were in 2002.

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