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October 27, 2005


I wish someone would define 'winning' for me. Does that mean Iraq is a democracy? Does that mean Iraq is secure from insurgent violence? Does that mean Iraq has a fully trained and functional army and police force? Does that mean all of the above? Other?

It is very easy to say we are winning when you don't describe what victory looks like. I don't mean to single you out. Dubya and his merry band of neocon's don't seem to want to tell us what Iraq will look like the day before American troops leave. A very fuzzy timeline might also be helpful. Will troops still be in Iraq when Bush leaves office? A no BS assessment of how long will it take to train the Iraqi Army would also be welcome.

An unstable Iraq is the worst case scenario and we need to do all we can to avoid that. I used to think that meant leaving troops in Iraq, but I am starting to rethink that position. If Bush and Co. would give me a realistic idea about how this all plays out I might be more comfortable with the price (in lives & money) of this war.

This evidence is pretty slim and anecdotal, Von. I wonder what those insurgent poll watchmen are up to now that the constitution has passed and there are no more polls to watch.

And then there are these comments from Mr. Theeb:

"Politics for us is like filthy, dead meat," he said, referring to pork, which is eschewed by observant Muslims. "We are not allowed to eat it, but if you are crossing through a desert and your life depends on it, God says it's okay." Even if politics gets him a result he likes, he said, he will continue to wage war against the Americans, because he views them as occupiers.

Doesn't sound like he's invested too heavily in the political process.

Still, you might be right. I certainly think that many war opponents have been too quick to assume that the invasion will be a disaster for the Iraqis (whether it's a disaster for America is a separate question).


Uhh, excuse me von, but really: how can you put up a post containing a statement like this:

"And Abu Theeb's entry into politics was born partly of necessity; attacks by Shiite militias, operating inside and outside the government security apparatus, were taking an increasing toll on Sunni lives."

and try to spin it into some sort of afffirmation that, as you put it, "We are winning in Iraq?"

Who are "we" here? And just what is your metric of "victory"? That one gang of Iraqi guerrillas decided (temporarily) to stop blowing up US troops/their Iraqi rivals in order to push for participation in an vote? To campaign against the proposed Constitution in (what we now know was) a losing cause? This is your definition of "winning in Iraq"?
So if Abu Theeb and his gang go back to their insurgent campaign now that their sect has been been (in their view) shafted by the new Constitution, will that define a "defeat" for "us"?
Or are you just so desperate to find ANY indicator of ANYTHING that can be spun as a silver lining in the mess that the Bush Administration has made of Iraq, that you are reduced to grasping at pitiful straws like this?
I recall that in 1967, the US press made a similar to-do over the elections that year in South Vietnam; glossing over the manifold abuses in that process to declare that "freedom" and "democracy" had triumphed yet again in the selection of an "allied" government whose "legitimacy" would be henceforth unchallenged. And we see how long they lasted.

Well, crap. I don't get to be on the supreme court.

Does one suppose that Bush is rampaging around the WH today, throwing chairs, cursing up a storm and just generally having a hissy fit over Miers?

Really, it will be curious to see who is up next.

Really, it will be curious to see who is up next.

I've heard that he's considering nominating his barber.

I nominate: a pony. Really, any pony will do.

I vote for Harry Anderson. Not everyone can play a judge on TV sitcom after playing a con man in another. Plus he wears that cool hat and I saw him on VH1 last night.

Harry's busy running a magic store in NOLA.

maybe Judge Judy is available.

Anyone else up for a game of "Dead or a Supreme Court nominee"?

How to Discipline Delinquent Defendant Like Judge Mills Lane

"Once I had to gag and shackle a guy," says Nevada district judge and TV court show star Judge Mills Lane. "After a while I asked him if he'd had enough and told him that if he acted up one more time, he'd be outta here!"

1. Start with a firm hand and run your court like you mean business.
2. Have good security on site.
3. Remove the troublemaker if he or she causes too much trouble.
4. Bring the troublemaker back if he or she calms down, and offer another warning.
5. Gag and shackle troublemakers if necessary.
6. Control any courtroom outbursts quickly.
7. Treat everyone equally - attorneys, jury and witnesses.

Tips: "You get a reputation for being tough and people will shape up quick," says Lane. "I earned the nickname 'Maximum Mills.' I'm sure you can guess why."

There you have it. A paper trail. A clearly articulated judicial philosophy. Sounds perfect.

Well, crap.

I get halfway to Umbitck Kordan, and realize I left my keys in my other spaceship.

Well, crap.

I have to come in to work at 4 tomorrow and stay til 2am to help run a maintenance window that will take the site down.

Today almost every time I've tried to look at this site I got a "Internet Explorer doesn't know how to handle the type of file you have selected" message. This is the first time today that I've managed to access the site, and it took 2 tries to get comments. We'll see how the "post" works.

Well, crap.

We may be getting the Supreme Court Justice that we deserve rather than one we need.

And we see how long they lasted.
Yes we do. Eight long bloody years.

Open-thread diversion for a moment:
I notice the counter in the right-hand column is ticking away towards the magic one-million visitors mark: do the ObWi rulers plan any specific activities or commemoration to mark this milestone? Myself, I would favor something like an appropriate award to the lucky viewer who pushes Obsidian Wings into seven-digit history (a car or a vacation cruise would be nice). Anybody else think this is a good idea?

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