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November 20, 2005

Comments

Anybody else thinking of Christian Slater in Heathers, yowling about "will"?

No? Didn't think so.

People typically go on & on about "will" as an excuse for inadequate planning or resources. The French General Staff in 1914. Hitler in 1945.

"My Buddhist Thai friend, lets call him Ood, (not as spritual a guy as you might imagine)"

Why on earth would I imagine anything about how spiritual a complete stranger is?

Do you have the delusion that random Buddhists are particularly more "spiritual" than random other people? (Or, rather, if you feel that this proposition is not a delusion, what led you to this belief, and can you cite some support for it?)

DaveC:
The Democrats won the 76 election by stopping support of SE Asia, and it was only the S Vietnamese, Cambodians and Hmong who paid the price.

Wow. This is just so wrong as to make my eyes swell up. Carter won because of Watergate and the Nixon pardon, not because he promised to cut off aid to South Vietnam. Nixon himself was the primary architect of our withdrawal from SEAsia. Your statement just makes no sense at all.

Now I can see the connection of this phrase to those who want to remove support to the fledgling Iraqi govt., and allow Al Qaeda In Iraq to take over. Not that they Want AQ in I to take over, but that is what would happen.

But do you see the connection between this phrase and the current situation inherent in the fact that the stab-in-the-back legend was completely false, and was used as a fallback position to retain the political viability of the vapid, militaristic jingoists that drove the Kaiser's Germany into war? You seem to interpret the legend as a useful illustration of the dire (if unintended) consequences of advocating against an ongoing war; in fact it is an illustration of the vile dishonesty of a political class that refused to accept the bloody consequences of their own foolhardy adventurism.

"Not that they Want AQ in I to take over, but that is what would happen."

I'm surprised the Dark Side doesn't cloud your vision. Truly, you are powerful with the Force.

As must be al Qaeda. Tell me, since you're offering strategic analysis: what would you say -- no fair checking Google, just use the same knowledge that gives you a firm enough grasp of the situation to make this solid prediction -- approximately what is the percetange of support in Baghad province for AQ, what is it for SCIRI, what for Dawa, what for Badr Brigades, what for the government, what for what other significant players? How about Anbar Province? Babil? An-Najaf?

Can you even name six provinces?

What's the basis of your strategic prediction? Do you have some study to point to? What do you point to as the source of your analysis?

"Well yes, the US miltary was by and large out of Vietnam and the Congress cut off funding to the S Vietnamese govt. And it was a mainly Democrat congressional decision, not Gerald Ford's, as best as I can remember."

I take it you are claiming that, gosh, the Vietnam war was won, by South Vietnam, and if only our darn traitorous Congressional Democrats hadn't cut off further aid, everything would have been fine? Is that it? So, tell us, how did that work, exactly? What were the precise actions that should have been instead taken that would have saved the day? Obviously you must know. I'm sure that it could only be helpful if the rest of us were made aware of how we could have saved Vietnam if only we cared enough. Incidentally, how is it that the rest of Asia didn't become communist, since the entire reason we fought in Vietnam was that there can be no end but victory, and a loss in Vietnam would lead to disaster for the United States in world affairs? How is it we're not all starving in Chinese slave camps, just as we are apparently in danger of living with AQ ruling the U.S.?

Do you have the delusion that random Buddhists are particularly more "spiritual" than random other people? (Or, rather, if you feel that this proposition is not a delusion, what led you to this belief, and can you cite some support for it?)

Yes, I had that delusion, and a good question is why. (maybe because of reading Hermann Hesse in high school.)

How about Anbar Province? Babil? An-Najaf?

Can you even name six provinces?

Hmm,there are a couple of solid Kurdish provinces up north, Kirkuk in one of them. Mosul is in a province in between solid Kurdish and Sunni. The 3 provinces expected to vote against were west and a little n of Baghdad. Tikrit and Fallujah are in province nearest Baghdad. I think Anbar is furthest west. There are like 7 or so majority Shiite provinces, generally to the s of Baghdad, and 1 or 2 east. Major towns there are Sammawah and Basra.

So you've proved me stupid w/o google or other references, I don't know Iraqi province names from P E Island!

What do you point to as the source of your analysis?

If I was smart, I would use a mixture of Winds of Change, ITM, Zeyad, raed's various stuff, Yon, Belgravia Dispatch vs belmont catfight, Mudville Gazette, praktike, and maybe throw in a little Trying to Grok. But w/o using the internet I am short on specifics

"Yes, I had that delusion, and a good question is why. (maybe because of reading Hermann Hesse in high school.)"

Probably because you've known a lot of self-professed Christians who are not particularly spiritual.

Familiarity breeds contempt. Lack of familiarity, on the other hand, helps one maintain illusions and stereotypes.

Familiarity breeds contempt. Lack of familiarity, on the other hand, helps one maintain illusions and stereotypes.

Which, to be fair, can often be contemptuous in their own right.

....whatever his faults, Kerry plainly was a responsible person who was not in favor of cutting and running.

I would have felt a lot better about the stakes in fall '04 had I been living in the Hilzoyan Universe in which John Kerry was a responsible steward of foreign policy.

Tacitus: I'm sure we would all be better off in the alternate universe in which George W. Bush had anything whatsoever to do with your depiction of him before the election.

Oh my. Well. Shall we do dueling cites? You pick and choose from my "depiction[s] of [George W. Bush] before the election," and I pick and choose from, say, the entire public career of John Kerry? At your pleasure, miss.

Not that I want to embarrass you.

Tac: given that you and I have an unbroken record of not convincing each other of anything, and that I'm working, I think I'll pass: too much effort, no payoff that I can see.

I have to say, Tacitus, that there's something pretty sinister in the way you deployed the word 'miss' above. I look down on men who do stuff like that.

Tacitus, I'd like very much to understand what specifically you thought Bush stood for in 2004 and what specifically you think now we should be doing in Iraq.

I know all the negative talking points from all sides, but these days, I'm begging to hear positive goals, positive positions from everyone. I'd like to understand better yours.

Soft cushions at 20 paces!

I'm begging to hear positive goals, positive positions from everyone.

Democratic elections in a united Iraq in 2009. Elections in Iran 2008 bring a more secular party to power. Establishment of autonomous region in Darfur.

and of course as you will likely point out, a pony.

I have to say, Tacitus, that there's something pretty sinister in the way you deployed the word 'miss' above. I look down on men who do stuff like that.

Were she a different skin color, I could well hear the word "boy" being employed there.

[failed attempt at lightening the tone deleted - sticking with a Carpian silence]

Good heavens, DaveC, is there anything we can really do militarily to ensure that the 2008 elections in Iran bring about the results we're hoping for?

I'm taking one example of your many, but this is the one I've been paying more attention to.

I would really love to see the pro-democracy, pro-transparency movements win out in Iran. Yet I am convinced that Iranians have to do it on their own steam, not under threat from outside.

If change happens there in the next few years, I will tend to see it as despite the US policy in the Mideast. The nuclear stance of Iran today, whatever the facts of its nuclear program may be, represents a belief on the part of Tehran that the US has been weakened and that power in the region will be left to the strong. Iranians, even those opposed to the current regime, even those exiled in the US, tend to be nationalistic. They would rather solve their problems in-house; they would rather their country be acknowleged internationally as an important civilization. These things take time and patience.

Do you really want populist revolutions across the Mideast? If so, are you willing to stand aside and let atrocities happen until all sides are exhausted? Oh, and while the wars are raging, are you willing to pay $5 per gallon, with the attendant rise on goods?

We need to be be careful and subtle going forwards. The region has been a incendiary since decolonization and the discovery of oil, and we are discovering how broad an impact such rapid and inequal wealth can have in an unprepared society. Democracy is nurtured through institutions and a spirit of public debate. We've got a long way to go before any true democracy is thinkable in the mideast.

Remind me to preface any comments to hilzoy by saying "Now listen, missy".

Anarch: Hot or not?

just wondering.

I didn't mean military action in Iran.

Elections in Iran 2008 bring a more secular party to power

is a decent goal, or perhaps a wish.

'miss' Are we already at the M's? It seemed like just yesterday, we were on 'chief' and I thought that 'champ' was just around the corner. Maybe the rush to open websites has caused a run on vocatives.

Anarch: Hot or not?

Yes, you're a regular studmuffin, Dave.

Best discussion I have seen of this issue ever. In the hate liberal's thing I think the hate is merely a tactic to keep the unthinking masses in line. If they hate you how can they beleive in what you say.

Dan

I think I'll pass....

Color me shocked.

I have to say, Tacitus, that there's something pretty sinister in the way you deployed the word 'miss' above.

You don't have to say it; but having done so, I shrug, uncaring.

Tacitus, I'd like very much to understand what specifically you thought Bush stood for in 2004....

Very little, frankly. But I knew he'd stay in Iraq a great deal longer than John Kerry would. More than a year on, I feel vindicated in that assumption.

....what specifically you think now we should be doing in Iraq.

Unfortunately, what we're doing now is about what we should be doing: training up Iraqi forces, and engaging the guerrillas in a long, grinding insurgency that we'll win if we stay to do it. There's obviously a great deal I would have done differently, but moving forward, what's happening is now pretty much it.

"Democratic elections in a united Iraq in 2009."

Do the results matter?

Elections in Iran 2008 bring a more secular party to power

is a decent goal, or perhaps a wish.

Sure, I'll buy that for a quarter. But can you explain what President Bush has been doing to get us there? (Was it different than what President Kerry would have done, and if so, how?)

Can you explain what President Bush has accomplished in five years in office to make us safer in regard to Iran?

Can you explain what President Bush has accomplished in five years in office to make us safer in regard to North Korea?

(And, again, how would President Kerry's plans have differed?)

Tacitus: But I knew he'd stay in Iraq a great deal longer than John Kerry would. More than a year on, I feel vindicated in that assumption.

How could you possibly feel vindicated, laddie, when you have no idea how long Kerry woyld have stayed in Iraq? And your only metric in this matter is months in Iraq - not anything accomplished, just time spent?

Unfortunately, what we're doing now is about what we should be doing: training up Iraqi forces, and engaging the guerrillas in a long, grinding insurgency that we'll win if we stay to do it.

Define "win", laddie. As in: precisely what is the end-result that you think the US occupation might accomplish, and what makes you think that killing off more and more Iraqis, in quantities from Fallujahs to weddings to single carfuls will do it.


Kerry offered one enormous contrast with Bush: Bush was manifestly incompetent, and Kerry was not.

Because Kerry lost, Hil, that is something we'll never know. Nevertheless, during the campaign he gave clear signals that he would withdraw troops premature withdrawal

Who made the mistakes, Charles? Where does the buck stop?

Where it should, Gary. Bush is ultimately accountable. I've never said or implied otherwise. I also wasn't aware that I was obligated to explicitly assign blame to Bush every single time I refer to the mistakes made by this administration.

I wonder, Charles: do you have any doubt about the possibility and probability of success in Iraq, or do you just feel it would be a bad idea to admit to any doubt?

I have serious doubts as to whether we'll achieve success in Iraq. I really don't know how it's going to turn out. I am much less doubtful that prematurely withdrawing troops will be a major setback to our country and our security. I also believe that talking down Iraq and applying the Immutable Laws of Gilliard are unhelpful and are impediments to victory. Criticism's fine, but so's balance.

Charles: Nevertheless, during the campaign he gave clear signals that he would withdraw troops premature withdrawal

Did he? My recollection from what Kerry actually said, as opposed to what Republicans were saying he'd said, was that he refused to be tied down to strategy on Iraq because the speed of change was considerable.

Bush is ultimately accountable. I've never said or implied otherwise.

As I recall, you declined to make him accountable for any of the mistakes made by his administration back when you had the chance: last November: that is, you supported him for a second term despite his track record in his first term.

Charles: "Bush was manifestly incompetent, and Kerry was not. -- Because Kerry lost, Hil, that is something we'll never know."

Actually, given the word 'manifestly', we do.

Jes: "laddie"

Do you think you can out-snide Tacitus, and would you want to?


By the way, I appreciate your calm participation here lo these many days.

"Actually, given the word 'manifestly', we do."

Presumably CB meant we won't know if Kerry would have been an even worse president.

Anyway, can't "manifestly" mean "obviously", and couldn't a conservative reasonably (if wrongly) think Kerry would obviously be bad? Just because I can't see how to come to that conclusion (unless one thinks he would have been dithery in a crisis) doesn't mean it's not possible.

Here's a guy with some will. He's spending 100 hours homeless in Canton.

Rilkefan: Do you think you can out-snide Tacitus

No.

and would you want to?

No.

:-) But it gives me mild pleasure to call Tacitus "laddie", and as he can't possibly object, I see no reason not to indulge.

"I have serious doubts as to whether we'll achieve success in Iraq. I really don't know how it's going to turn out. I am much less doubtful that prematurely withdrawing troops will be a major setback to our country and our security."

Thanks for clarifying that; that's helpful to know.

I don't know if you noticed, but I said I disagreed with Murtha -- for now -- myself.

(However, I don't think it's crazy to debate the proposal, and in fact I think it's more than useful; let all the arguments be made, and the good sorted from the bad -- neither side has a monopoly, in my view, on either bad or good arguments -- and, of course, on What To Do In Iraq, there are considerably more than two sides.)

Just so you know, "laddie" doesn't have much of a penumbra of meaning in these American ears - it just sounds like a Scots version of "lad", which is a word I associate with A.E. Housman - so its utility may vary with nationality.

bad ceyb0ard cann0t tyqe. bad ch11d wrecx 1aqt0q when 1 was at w0rx.

3 v0we1s n0t w0rx1ng
1etters t0 r1ght 0f y,h,n are bad.

1 destr0y 11bera1s w1th w0rds 1f ceyb0ard w0rx

habby thanxg1v1ng

As far as I know, this isn't the kind of site that welcomes people who post under others' handles, no matter how transparent the facade.

Actually, Jackmormon, it seems to be from the same IP address.

1t 1s rea11y DaveC, n0t a tr011 0r an exec1se, "r0ses 1n the b0w1" can attest.

h0w can 1 f1x de11 1nsq1r0n 5000 at 10w c0st

Roses in the bowl would be me, I guess. However, since I've had a 101-degree fever today I am stone-cold sober, which makes it hard to follow the above.

Dear Rilkefan: I am indeed sorry for your fever, but a bit surprised that you do not (as I sometimes do) have that febrile disregard for doctor's orders that enables one to avoid stone-cold sobriety even when it's doubtless the best thing for you. I mean it's lousy to be sick, but lousier to be sick and sober. If not hot buttered rum (good for all seasonal disorders), I hope some of your "medications" give you the sleep you need and deserve.

PS: Lest it be unclear, I am a PhD, not the kind of "doctor" who actually helps people.

PPS: I take it that DaveC really did have his computer (keyboard) damaged by his kids (?) and is trying to comment as best he can on what's left of it, appealing to your nickname as proof of his bona fides. Of course, I could be wrong. I'm neither feverish nor intoxicated, but I am getting senile.

cut and paste with the mouse. Revel in the feeling of throwing our words back at us ;^)

I'm sure DaveC can carve individual letters out of ASCII by hand if need be. He just needs the will to victory!

More seriously, you may find a perfectly good keyboard at a Salvation Army or thrift store or garage sale for $2; if not, you can find a perfectly decent one at any computer store for ~$10. You can pay more for fancyness, such as wireless or special layouts, but, really, a simple decent keyboard isn't too much; on the other hand, if you're deeply attached to a fancy keyboard, well, you'll just have to kill your children to keep them from getting near it. I'm afraid there's simply no other way.

Best of luck!

I've got quite a few old keyboards that I still can't bring myself to throw away. I've even got computers that I can't seem to rid myself of, as if anyone might ever again want a 133 MHz Pentium machine. Monitors? I've got a couple or three, all sitting in my attic.

On withdrawals and redeployments.

dr. ngo, as a member of the burgeoning uninsured class, I don't disregard doctor's orders. However, I seem to have traded my fever for my voice. Guess it's not consumption, curse my luck.

1t 1s rea11y DaveC, n0t a tr011 0r an exec1se

Huh. Sorry, DaveC, and I hope you didn't take offense. Good luck with the keyboard, and Rilkefan, with the cold.

Absolutely Amazing!!!!!!!!!! I am not an Americanbut an Aussie, but you have put into words things I have been thinking for the past 12-18 months. (Prior to that I was just an anti-war Michael Moore supporter,oh so sad)

"h0w can 1 f1x de11 1nsq1r0n 5000 at 10w c0st"

And in case it isn't clear: for the most part, keyboards are keyboards are keyboards. Any computer keyboard bought in recent years, absent exceptions we won't go into, is apt to be USB. That's "Universal Serial Bus."

"Universal" actually mostly means what it sounds like.

It's not as if, save for incredibly rare exceptions, keyboards have to match boxes, save, perhaps, in a fashion magazine.

But, with luck, I hope DaveC finds a fine keyboard under the Thanksgiving tree, with stuffing included.

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