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December 21, 2006

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Has there yet emerged any factual defense of the "surge"? President Bush, of course, is incapable of and indifferent to analysis of the likely consequences of his actions, so he's probably not the right guy to turn to.

But is there anything from McCain, or Kagan, about why this might work?

As sebastian points out, the plan seems, like everything else the administration has ever done, to be all rhetoric, no policy.

Warm Bodies and Duty Descriptions ...Ray Kimball via Paul Rickhoff at Huffington h/t Gilliard

This more properly belongs on Andrew's post way way below, since it is about the longer term increase in Army strength, but I really liked this guys plan as to where to spend the money.

Superquick:An Africa Command, MP's, Engineer, Support, MiTT (training)

When you say you've thought we needed more troops, were you thinking of something like a 15% increase? That's one of the things that seems odd about the "surge" to me -- it's not enough of a change that I'd expect things to be dramatically different. If it were a doubling, or even a 50% increase, then it would seem more like a real change rather than a PR stunt, but of course a real increase would be a lot harder to do.

I agree with KC -- this seems too much like a half-measure to take seriously. If an extra 20,000 or so troops would make the difference, then:

1. the generals would be calling for it, rather than backing away from it.
2. we would be hearing more positives about the status of the war than we are.
3. it would be done without all this fanfare. Increases of this size have been done before without weeks of public buildup and instead it was just announced that it was occurring.

This is PR, and nothing more.

Agreed with KC and Dantheman --

The "surge" isn't much of a surge -- my impressions are that we'd need levels in the six digits to make any difference and, as you emphasize, actual strategy for what to do with them.

Further impressions are that the "surge" is merely a political move (surprise) to skirt accountability. It's a one-last-try sort of thing: when this doesn't work, they'll be able to point to this meaningless* change and say "Well, we did all we could," and then blame it on someone else (my bets are on the Iraqis for "not standing up as we stood down" or somesuch -- an at-least-moderately racist sort of idea, as though it's the fault of the Iraqis that we didn't bother to even learn why they "don't just get along," as would be, you know, good strategy). Those proposing a surge should know it won't be nearly effective enough, but it will give the appearance of effort so that they can't be blamed when the downward spiral doesn't even slow.

* Seems dismissive of the lives that are going to be lost because of it. Meaningless, I mean, in terms of strategy and efficacy.

However I have identified a regularly discussed conservative understanding which perfectly explains why I'm not thrilled about a 'surge' at this point

Brilliant -- that's precisely why the surge solution is no solution at all. In fact, in a broader sense, Iraq has really taken to extremes the notion of defense as the conservative welfare state. The same people who think accountability should be all the rage when applied to education have no problem with no-bid defense contracts. And let's not even start on the unwillingness to hold the Commander in Chief accountable for the war.

I think you've nailed it, and I anticipate referring back to this idea of Iraq as the conservatives' education morass quite often.

if those new troops are all supposed to be going into Baghdad, and not dispersed throughout the whole country, then it would make a big difference in the total number of troops available for policing the city. if the goal is to pacify the one city, it could help.

though smart insurgents will just move to different cites.

Cleek
"...if the goal is to pacify the one city, it could help."

I'm not convinced, given that the city is Bahgdad. In order to pacify it, they are talking about taking on Sadr which will eventually mean Falluga style stuff in 'Sadr city', which IIRC has around 2 million souls. So let's say 1.8 million refugees to be handled at the same time that you've got 100 thousand folks throwing rocks, burning things down, blowing things up and shooting at people. And that's before we consider defections from the Iraqi army inside and outside the green zone.

How many tips are there in a spear of twenty thousand troops?

How many tips are there in a spear of twenty thousand troops?

a lot more than they have right now.

i'm not saying such a thing would be effective. but, don't forget, we're obviously talking about a CiC who seems to do the opposite of 'effective', at every opportunity.

heh. my last two posts seem to argue with each other. i'll try to reconcile...

i've heard it reported that the plan really is to put the troops into Baghdad to help calm the insurgency there. and, to me, it makes some sense that an increase of that magnitude could help - more troops patrolling the streets, rounding-up insurgents, doing good deeds, etc.. also the newly-arrived Eisenhower carrier group can assist.

nonetheless, i will be totally unsurprised if BushCo fncks this up, too.

Er.. that should either be 200,000 folks on General Mayhem duty.

Preview is my sadly neglected friend.

also the newly-arrived Eisenhower carrier group can assist.

Um. Please correct me if I misapprehend this statement, but I cannot see how adding still more airpower can do but harm, given how much is already there, and the nature of the conflict...

or, maybe we should take a lesson from Israel.

though smart insurgents will just move to different cites

Hmmm...I had no idea that the insurgency was being fought using cites. Truly, a war of idea-logy.

I cannot see how adding still more airpower can do but harm

frankly, me either. i just threw that in there as a bit of info - probably should've worded it better.

but i assume there's some kind of reason it's there, though - other than just wanting to scare Iran. maybe it's as simple as giving the Enterprise a chance to rotate out.

Hmmm...I had no idea that the insurgency was being fought using cites. Truly, a war of idea-logy.

i get the tone, but miss the meaning. help me out?

Cites -> Sites.

Cites -> Sites.

ahh...

cites -> cities

That too :)

Could I take this semi-open thread opportunity to make a suggestion?

The suggestion is that we banish at least temporarily both 'win' and 'lose' from our vocabulary about Iraq. Why? Because when people say something like 'not-losing' is still an option, I really have no idea what they are talking about. If we don't know what the standards of winning are, it stands to reason that we don't know what the standards of losing are.

I think we'd be a lot better off if we confined our talking to 'preventing X' or 'causing X' to happen rather than this inscrutable talk about winning or losing. I think it will also make more clear what our obligations are.

Because when people say something like 'not-losing' is still an option, I really have no idea what they are talking about.

i'm in favor of not tie-ing.

We built this cite on rock and roll.

I didn't know what to get you all for Christmas, so I got you this monumental pile of suck. Enjoy.

I didn't know what to get you all for Christmas, so I got you this monumental pile of suck. Enjoy.

Feh, have some of this, Slarti.

I'm going to (can you believe it) Denver on Saturday. I'll be just in time for the airport to reopen so I can freeze my butt off for 4 days.

Marines (from the Kilo company) charged in Haditha killings.

Education is an area where we spend more than most developing countries for an apparently lower return. Health care is another. Are the useful similarities between the two that could be examined?

Tag Line: If you love what the federal government has done for education, just wait until you see what they can do with healthcare!


If you can't explain how this surge of troops will do things differently and how that will help, I'm not for it.

Count me as being on board with this – if it is strictly a symbolic number (20,000 or less) with no plan being articulated as to how they will help, then I am against it as well. And I have been yelling for more troops for years. But I would see that as strictly a political move and I would be strongly against it.

If Gates returns from Iraq, talks to his generals at the Pentagon, and then says more troops would only make it worse – I’ll have to accept that. If Bush then says, “Too bad, you’re getting them anyway; figure out what to do with them” then I’ll know all is truly lost.

I didn't know what to get you all for Christmas, so I got you this monumental pile of suck. Enjoy.

oh, you shouldn't have...

Don't make me bring out the Whirly Girl.

I'd prefer a return to ordinary English usage: sending more troops into a conflict is escalation.

I said this before Jim Henley did, but not as well:

The word “surge” itself is a psyop, a domestic propaganda operation that deserves no respect. Stop using it.

Hm, I've never been to paradise, but I've definitely been to me.

Maybe too much!

I prefer the:

"And now I think of having loved and having lost

But never know what it feels like to never love

Who can say whats better when my hearts become the cost"

the Whirly Girl.

eeek. the video alone makes me sad for our species. i can't wait to get home so i can listen to the sound!

...so i can listen to the sound...

as opposed to just smelling it, like i have to do here at work.

behold, The Marimba Queens !

Party all the time.

Come on Barbie. Let's Go Party.

Do you want me to go all Swedish hair band on you? 'cause I will.

My name is Shuffle, Superbowl Shuffle.

Bwa ha ha ha Bwo ho ho ho

I pity tha fool who starts a YouTube war without recruiting Mr T (or Colin Powell)!

Bwa ha ha ha Bwo ho ho ho

vile!

how can i be sure you're not pretender ?

Slarti: Nice video, shame about the song.

I bet Dr Dre wishes this could be purged from his resume...

I surrender.

i'm hooked!

West Germany's greatest contribution to civilization.

Completely unhumourous addition: Billmon, An Iraq Retrospective

West Germany's greatest contribution to civilization.

this should be marketed as a cure for Europhilia.

Wow. I’ve seen threads deteriorate before, but this one is just painful :)

From spartikus' link to Billmon:

Whatever chance Iraq had to eventually emerge from Baathist dictatorship into some less horrific form of government has been blown. The only options now are Lebanon-style chaos or an expensive, bloody U.S. occupation -- followed by Lebanon-style chaos once we finally give up and withdraw . . . Bottom line: The conservatives, their beloved president and his neocon revolutionaries have made an ENORMOUS mistake -- of the kind that keep historians busy arguing for decades: How could they have done something so stupid? It's the March of Folly, heading straight over a cliff.

That was in June, 2003.

Better Europhilia than urophilia.

In the end, policy mistakes -- particularly big ones -- tend to produce a kind of circular reasoning -- in which those in charge try to justify the policy by citing the need to avoid, at all costs, the failure of the policy

Billmon, July 03.

back in the day, i thought he was just pessimistic, that they couldn't fnck it up as badly as he had predicted - after all, his dire economic predictions have turned out to be mostly incorrect. thankfully! but on Iraq, he was sooo right. and he was right from the very beginning.

Something Harrison Ford would like purged off his resume.

Happy Light Day!

but on Iraq, he was sooo right. and he was right from the very beginning.

and we are sooo f*cked.

Slarti--

Merry Christmas. Here's a present for you.

You can use it to woo the next cute far-leftist you meet.

Allow me to add that it's not intended to suggest that you are far right. Rather, you'll need a song as great as this one for someone far left.

A bleg that I put up at TiO, does anyone know any good country songs with covers? I use songs for listening, and the ideal is to have one original and two covers that have almost precisely the same words, but different interpretations, which is much more interesting than playing the song three times. Charley Carp recommended Timeless: a Hank Williams Tribute and some other things turn up in googling,but recommendations are eagerly sought.

Merry Bushmas!

Merry Bushmas!

1m in ur ch1mni, starten m00r warz

Education is an area where we spend more than most developing countries for an apparently lower return. Health care is another. Are the useful similarities between the two that could be examined?

No.

Schools suck for all sorts of reasons; one reason that they are expensive and suck is that qualified, competent women in this country compete with men at the highest level for work. Those brilliant teachers you had in high school are now doctors, lawyers, engineers, politicians etc.

Salaries are rising across the board to get people who are qualified to do other things to decide to teach instead.

The other side of the tradeoff is that millions of women have received and taken advantage of opportunities not available to their mothers, and the nation as a whole is wealthier as a result.

Bottom line: Having women free to work at whatever they want and paying competitive prices for qualified teachers is a societal net benefit.

On health care we're just being stupid / captive to an industry [employer-based health care insurance] which arose out of a historical accident.

Happy Light Day!

Oh, I so give up. That was beyond awful.

But here's a vocal performance that might compare. Sort of.

Apologies. Anyone with an easily-offended sense of musicality should not, not, NOT click "play".

Country covers. Well of course there all a whole load of Dolly Parton things floating around.

The most famous of course being "I Will Always Love You" by Dolly Parton or by Whitney Houston, or by Horace Silver or by Linda Ronstadt, or by Kenny Rogers. I believe Dolly also has recorded it as a duet with some male country star.

The Whitney Houston and Linda Ronstadt versions are significantly different in interpretation.

"Thin Line Between Love and Hate" is another classic. I actually did a blog post on it. The Persuaders, Pretenders, and Annie Lennox all have very slightly different wordings for the third verse, for dramatically different meanings and sung in fairly different styles.

As I mention in the linked post, the Peter Gabriel and Erasure versions of "Solsbury Hill" are very different, but both very true to what I take as the soul of the song.

It is almost trite to mention, but Johnny Cash's version of the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt" is painfully good. (Though the direction of the cover is the opposite of what you mention).

"How Soon is Now" original by the Smiths, interesting cover by Love Spit Love. I like both versions.

Francis sez: Those brilliant teachers you had in high school are now doctors, lawyers, engineers, politicians etc.

The retention rate among teachers isn't great. A reasonably good analysis here: http://depts.washington.edu/ctpmail/PDFs/Turnover-Ing-01-2001.pdf

Hmmm...damnit. Revise my previous statement. I just listened to the song all the way through, and went from wincing to cackling out loud in short order. The possibility that the singer might have thought that: "hey, I'm doing all right, here" is even more entertaining.

Covers: well, there's Linda Ronstadt's cover of Poor, Poor Pitiful Me. And Linda Ronstadt's cover of All That You Dream.

Italiacto!

kd lang did a lot of very good covers. I think Dwight Yoakam did a good cover of Dave Alvin's 'Long White Cadillac', excellent in either version.

"Solsbury Hill"

great song, of course. but after i saw that recast of "The Shining" as a trailer for a romantic comedy, i can't seem to hear the song without thinking of Jack Nicholson.

speaking of Dolly covers... i've been waiting for someone to re-do "Touch Your Woman". :)

Throwing more money into education isn't helpful when the teachers' unions make accountability for performance nearly impossible. .... Education is an area where we spend more than most developing countries for an apparently lower return. Health care is another. Are the useful similarities between the two that could be examined?

You could try examining the notion that "throwing more money into medicine isn't helpful when the doctors' union makes accountability for performance nearly impossible". (As my brother, a doctor, has pointed out to me many times, doctors do have a labor union, it's extremely powerful and extremely protective of its members, it works effectively as a closed shop, and doctors get paid extremely high salaries as a direct result - which salaries are not dependent on the same kind of stupid "performance measures" as nitwits regularly try to impose on teachers - for example, nitwits don't get to argue that dermatologists should get paid more than oncologists because a performance measure of how successful a doctor is, is how many of their patients die - and fewer dermatology patients die than oncology patients, so obviously dermatologists are better doctors...

Don't laugh too fast. I've seen "performance measures" just as stupid been proposed for teachers.

There's the Blues Brothers' covers of the Rawhide theme and "Stand By Your Man", but those may be a bit far afield.

Thanks for the leads. I have a post at TiO with the covers I currently use, and I will try to add the ones that I have but don't use.

Bush knows what he is doing. He sent in the right number of troops to remove Saddam. Now that Iraqis have seen the consequences of their infighting, he is going to send in the right number of troops to restore order. Presumably once order is restored the Iraqis will realize what steps they need to take to continue being a democracy.

If not, at some point you need to consider the possibility that Iraqis as a people aren't capable of democracy. We will still need to keep a few bases in Iraq, and we will still need to keep our oil fields there (lighting the lamp of freedom in the world takes oil, as does fueling the Volvos of liberals and shipping in their $300 a pound single-estate chocolates), but other than that, Sebastian is right, it doesn't make sense to continue throwing money down a bottomless pit.

And he's right on the education thing too. Spending more money on education, or reducing class sizes, or worrying about "self esteem", or whatever the liberal lost cause of the day is, does nothing to improve results. The thing that improves results is children having access to a high quantity and quality of reading material at a young age. I'd guess if you simply fire the teachers who basically punch a clock and then sit on their asses waiting to get paid (knowing the union will protect their jobs) and spend those salaries on books for the school libraries, test results would improve.

The Truth is right. Replace teachers with productivity-friendly robots. And if those robots one day revolt against their human masters, be rest assured Bush will send just enough troops to defeat them.

One way to view karma is as getting the allies you deserve. However, I would suggest a reevaluation of what makes US education so expensive. One important reason is that there is no national ministry that can control education the way it would in Japan or France (here, even the UK has a more powerful department of ed), so there is a huge amount of inefficiency. There is no other OECD country that treats education as a local matter. In addition, for the most part, learning targets as generally not for the sole sake of determining pay and employment, but are used for other selections.

This maps to historical factors in the development of US education, just like health care, so it is no surprise that there are similar problems. However, claiming that it is teacher unions that are the main problem, well, one would have to deal with the fact that teacher unions are prohibited in certain states, yet those states are not massively outpacing states that do allow teachers to unionize.

There was a paper discussing some of these aspects in 2000. Here is the abstract and here is an opposing view. Discuss.

Crap....the unions have already gotten to the robots.

the unions have already gotten to the robots.


i, for one, welcome our new robot taxpayers

I'd prefer a return to ordinary English usage: sending more troops into a conflict is escalation.

Actually after some chewing I've decided to differ (I just never got around to commenting over at Henley's). Sending another 50k, or even sending 20k all at more or less the same time, would be an "escalation." But 23k (15? 30?) non-combat and non-MP specialties that you can barely spare, in small contingents, without making any associated strategic adjustments, during a period when morale is crappy, and starting when the conflict is about to enter a cyclic cooling anyway? I think I'd call that "reinforcements."

Not that it matters what we call it. Stay the course, baby. Right over the cliff if necessary. It's no skin off the president's nether regions.

Thinking about this some more (as well reflecting on the 'why don't they just dig a well' comment, I'm beginning to suspect that thetruth is someone from the left acting like a wingnut and as such, shouldn't be thought of as damaging Seb's position, but should just be ignored and left unfed.

Yes, "liberal", everyone who disagrees with you must just be pretending to disagree with you. For, obviously, only your arguments are valid.

Good lord.

And the negativity in this thread is just amazing. How many of you are truthful enough to even admit that you don't WANT Bush to win in Iraq?

Perhaps the kitten could have a word with the thoroughly misnamed thetruth.

Oops, did I wear a pro-Bush t-shirt at the anti-Bush rally? My bad. By all means, then, have me forcibly removed. You would never complain if the reverse situation happened, would you Bruce?

You forfeited the right to respectful answers some while back, thetruth. If I were to be asked how I felt about dissenting displays at different kinds of gathering by someone who wasn't busily spouting slogans and ad hominems, I'd answer them. You? Nah, not until you show some scrap of seriousness or decency. Nor would I want to do it in this thread anyway, which has some purposes of its own; your llaack fo interest in topicality is another strike against you.

Shorter Bruce:

"I love free speech, as long as the speech is something with which I agree".

As for the topicality, I responded directly to the content of the post. I stated where I disagreed with Sebastian (I think more troops in Iraq are a good idea. There may be a point where we need to give up on the Iraqis - we're not there yet), and where I agree with him (I think teachers' unions are an impediment to education).

All you've done so far is insult me. Care to join the debate?

There is no debate around you. Come back when you're willing to respond to anything actually said by other people posting here, as opposed to free-associating to your misunderstanding or misrepresentation of vaguely relevant things said elsewhere.

Sebastian: I've long thought that one of the most important contributions to American politics from old-school conservatism is that calm voice coming from just over the budget books, asking "How exactly will this get you what you want? Define your measures of success and failure, and justify them." Opposing what someone (Buckley, in a good mood?) called therapeutic budgeting - "if it feels good, spend it" - is a very necessary step in the walk to a sane budget and social good. I used to grouse at it, as a kid in the '70s and young adult in the '80s, but I miss it now, and am happy to see signs of it getting some voice again.

One word, folks, Scrutator

There is no debate around you.

Well that's pretty much what I've been saying, and pretty much what this site has become, isn't it?

If you don't already agree with us, don't bother visiting. It's amazing that Sebastian still bothers posting here given that attitude.

Budgets? Who cares. Deficits don't matter. Give me one millionth of a cent for every false prediction of doom issued during the Reagan years about the deficit and I'm rich.

It's good that you've read Buckley though, his editing of the National Review from the 50's was pretty much the touchstone of modern conservatism. Maybe there's hope for you yet.

Bush knows what he is doing.

Assuming facts not in evidence. And, for that matter, making a declaration frankly contradicted by the evidence.

He sent in the right number of troops to remove Saddam.

Irrelevant, given most of the stated rationales and objectives for the war.

Now that Iraqis have seen the consequences of their infighting, he is going to send in the right number of troops to restore order.

Assuming facts not in evidence.

Presumably once order is restored the Iraqis will realize what steps they need to take to continue being a democracy.

Assuming facts so far not in evidence as to be actively unrealized.

We will still need to keep a few bases in Iraq...

Define "need". Then explain how this need necessitates bases in Iraq.

and we will still need to keep our oil fields there

"Our" oil fields there? Which would those be?

(lighting the lamp of freedom in the world takes oil, as does fueling the Volvos of liberals and shipping in their $300 a pound single-estate chocolates)

Ad hominem, and a remarkably stupid one at that.

Spending more money on education, or reducing class sizes, or worrying about "self esteem", or whatever the liberal lost cause of the day is, does nothing to improve results.

In order: probably false, actually false and assuming facts not in evidence.

The thing that improves results is children having access to a high quantity and quality of reading material at a young age

While I'll grant that reading at a young age correlates with improved education (and myriad other benefits), the unicity of this factor has yet to be demonstrated. Hence, assuming facts not in evidence.

I'd guess if you simply fire the teachers who basically punch a clock and then sit on their asses waiting to get paid (knowing the union will protect their jobs) and spend those salaries on books for the school libraries, test results would improve.

Possibly true but not terribly meaningful and, for that matter, contingent upon facts assumed but not yet in evidence.

And, of course, the icing on the cake:

How many of you are truthful enough to even admit that you don't WANT Bush to win in Iraq?

Yes, you're quite right. Some debate there.

You can pout all you like about how no-one wants to debate you because you're pro-Bush; the truth (if you'll pardon the pun) is that no-one's debating you because you've said nothing of interest or consequence. If you feel like making a substantive argument, as opposed to a series of unsourced and unconfirmed declarations of faith or ignorance, I have no doubt you'll get the debate you ostensibly desire. [Hell, if I have the time I might join in myself.] Given the quality of what you've put forth here and in previous threads, however, I'm guessing the antecedent won't be met for quite some time.

I think there were some excerpts from this book, Teachers have it easy, on Slate, but I can't seem to turn them up. Probably all that single estate chocolate I'm eating.

Ahh, Mother Jones for the excerpts.

LJ (03:46), I was thinking the same thing, but I remember Leonidas as being more entertaining.

Gresham's law in action?

Seb,

If you're coming to Denver, why don't you come say hello? I'm just an hour down the road. Or I could come to you, if you don't have transportation. If you're interested, drop me a line.

Irrelevant, given most of the stated rationales and objectives for the war.

Given that most of our objectives in Iraq could not be achieved with him in power, completely relevant.

Define "need". Then explain how this need necessitates bases in Iraq.
..."Our" oil fields there? Which would those be?

The primacy of the United States as a military power depends partially on its ability to control the worlds oil supplies and shipping lanes in the event of war. The bases in Iraq are part of that mission, and they are more important than what happens to the people of the Iraq. Its not politically correct to say that. It is the truth. The oil fields are "Ours" because we control them, and will continue to do so until there is a stable government in Iraq that we can trust to protect US interests in the region.

We are not losing in Iraq as long as our presence there increases our ability to assume control of the world's oil supplies in the event of a major war. Yes, we would like the Iraqis to do a better job of running the democracy that was given to them, but the fact that you have a bunch of people killing each other because of what particular Islamic sect they belong to doesn't mean we are losing in Iraq.

Ad hominem, and a remarkably stupid one at that.

Classic. I may have to steal that one, if that's OK.

In order: probably false, actually false and assuming facts not in evidence.

You can find the facts if you go look for them. This is not a research paper. Self esteem isn't correlated with academic performance. We know this from the research done on the issue. One would think that if you were going to accuse me of assuming facts not in evidence, and then claiming that my statements are "actually false", you would bring along some facts to back up your assertion. One would think.

the unicity of this factor has yet to be demonstrated

There are other factors, but they are ones that contribute to the primary factor of quantity and quality of reading material in the home. The number of days a child is in school matters due to its contribution to the the first factor. The number of hours spent watching television matters, again, for the obvious reason. Being raised in a traditional two parent family is correlated with high academic performance, also. I would expect this factor is also related to the primary one. When there are two parents at home, it is more likely that they will have time to read to their child.

Spending more money on education doesn't affect the factors that matter, because the factors that matter aren't under the government's control. They are under the control of parents. Parents need to make sure their children have books in the home, and that they read them. Parents need to control how much time their children spend watching television. Parents need to make sure their children go to school. And parents need to wait until they are married until they have children, and stay married once they do.

The bases in Iraq are ... more important than what happens to the people of the Iraq. Its not politically correct to say that.

oddly enough, whenever someone says that the war is about oil, movement conservatives erupt. Try that not-PC approach at Redstate and see what happens.

The purpose of invading Iraq was to depose Saddam. That has been achieved. The purpose of staying in Iraq is to create a:

modern,
unified,
stable,
secular,
democratic,
pro-West,
state,

according to the President's public statements. Given a handle "thetruth", it's more than a little odd for you to be accusing the President of lying to Americans.

Francis- I don't know about that. Any slightly truthfull person would have to acknowledge that President Bush is a huge liar. The most dishonest President in history really.

Francis, given that I've argued above that our military should stay in Iraq until there is a stable government friendly to US interests, I'm not sure that President Bush and I disagree as much as you seem to think.

I expect now that the foreign policy realists have regained influence at the White House and the neoconservatives - who were, after all, basically liberals except for their desire for a strong military - have lost influence, you will see an approach that recognizes what I asserted above.

And yes, that will have to be spun for public consumption, as all wars must be.

The bases in Iraq are ... more important than what happens to the people of the Iraq.

All of them?

DNFTT, people.

All of them?

That's a good question. I would say that keeping the ability, in general, to control the oil supplies in the Middle East is more important than all of the people in Iraq. But specifically keeping Iraqi bases isn't. At some level of violence in Iraq, options in different countries - perhaps Saudi Arabia, or Iran - would need to be considered if the US is going to remain the world's only hyperpower. We need to look at the most cost-effective way to protect our interests in the region. If anyone can think of a less expensive way to dominate the Middle East, let's hear your suggestions. Right now, I say it is still Iraq.

Again, none of that is PC, of course. It's simply foreign policy realism. The public is short-sighted, so facts need to be spun. If a politician said, "The war in Iraq is about China", most of the public would say, "Huh"?

Well, I'm glad you are so honest. It makes it possible for me to be honest back. Your so-called realism is simply selfishness and you have the moral code of a mass murderer.

Unless, by chance, you are attempting humor? Maybe you wrote your last post as a satire.

I would say that keeping the ability, in general, to control the oil supplies in the Middle East is more important than all of the people in Iraq.

W. T. F. ?

Sheesh, people. He is a moby. Just move on. :)

Sheesh, people. He is a moby. Just move on. :)

We have moby's here now?

We have moby's here now?

Attracted no doubt by Obsidian Wing's most famous post.

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