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March 30, 2008

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To quote "Postcards from the Edge:" These are my choices? Lana, Joan or you?

That statement is ignorant in so many ways. We have little say in who will control Iraq. Either the fighting or the upcoming elections will determine who runs things. I know Bush will stick his nose into the fighting eventually, which will commit us to one side in the elections. But what if the elections don't go our way,which could certainly happen if Iraqis see Maliki as nothing without us? Will we try to overturn them, thus finding yet another way to sink our credibility even lower? Iran has connections to both the major players and will come out OK no matter who wins, while we can come out on the short end if Maliki falls on his face. The only certainty is that "Al-Queda" won't be in charge; no one likes them.

That statement is ignorant in so many ways. We have little say in who will control Iraq. Either the fighting or the upcoming elections will determine who runs things. I know Bush will stick his nose into the fighting eventually, which will commit us to one side in the elections. But what if the elections don't go our way,which could certainly happen if Iraqis see Maliki as nothing without us? Will we try to overturn them, thus finding yet another way to sink our credibility even lower? Iran has connections to both the major players and will come out OK no matter who wins, while we can come out on the short end if Maliki falls on his face. The only certainty is that "Al-Queda" won't be in charge; no one likes them.

How about this nugget from a self-proclaimed expert in Iraq Body Count Accounting:

Conversely, few of the study’s supporters expressed much pleasure at the news that an extra 450,000 people might be walking around in Iraq.

Me, I’ll take Mickey Mouse any day. He does a great job with Disneyland.

@ed: Could you provide a link? (Or at least say who the quote is from) Thanks.

Yes, the Iranian-backed special groups, as opposed to the Iranian-backed normal groups, like ISCI and Maliki's bunch.

Look on the bright side, at least McCain's advisers know that Al Qaeda in Iraq and Iran aren't the same thing.

Hm. If word gets back to the armed-to-the-teeth, U.S.-paid-off Sunni militias (Sons of Iraq / the Awakening / Concerned Local Citizens) that they don't count for much in the McCain scheme of things, they're unlikely to sit quietly, grousing "What are we, chopped liver?"

I'm struggling to find the 'lie' in what was, after all, a question. From the added emphasis I gather the 'lie' is supposed to be contained in the phrase "Iranian-backed special groups". If publius thinks that's a 'lie' I can only assume this is because publius knows for a fact that there are no humans operating in Iraq that are Iranian-backed whatsoever.

I always marvel at people who claim to know for a fact things like that, about a country halfway around the world. publius must know everything. Tell us what other things you know for a fact about all the humans in a country halfway around the world, publius!

@Sonic Charmer: It's possible to lie by omission as well as commission.

The question leaves out that the parties left in the Maliki government (ISCI and Dawa) are also Iranian-backed (in fact, ISCI originated in Iran). And, as my comment noted, it leaves out entirely a significant military-political grouping, the Sunni militias.

If publius thinks that's a 'lie' I can only assume this is because publius knows for a fact that there are no humans operating in Iraq that are Iranian-backed whatsoever.

All Publius needs to know is that Maliki *is* one of the Iranian-backed special groups in Iraq, which at this point is common knowledge.

So I have an idea. Either you should have some idea what you're talking about, or you should try to be less snide in your posts.

Further, publius isn't asserting that it is, but (correctly) noting how screwed U.S. policy is if Iran is supporting Sadrist militias as well as the puppet Maliki government.

For anyone who objects to the characterization of the Maliki govt: When, in the middle of a military assault you've ordered, with what are supposedly your best troops, you need to be protected by foreign occupation troops, you're a puppet.

Well, maybe "lie" - as in the definition of "deliberate falsehood spoken with knowledge of the truth" doesn't quite apply to Mr. Scheunemann's comment - that still doesn't mean it is accurate, or take away in the least from its astonishing ignorance and inaccuracy.

But then, publius, what do you (or anyone) expect from the campaign of a fervent war-flogger like John McCain? Reducing the issues of the Iraq occupation to simple-minded soundbites and a puerile Good-vs-Evil narrative is just par for the course with them: it's how they've operated for five years:why would they change now?

Via John Cole, looks like Sadr is standing down from the fight for now. Not a surrender, just standing down.

Tim F sees this as, basically, a poke in Al Maliki's eye, because it puts Sadr in the driver's seat. He sees this as Sadr setting himself up for a legitimate electoral win in the fall, rather than usurping the government as a warlord.

I have no clear idea which end is up over there right now, but I'm pretty sure the situation is basically not under our control.

If anyone has an insight about what this means, I'd be glad to hear it.

Thanks -

“This happens to be one of the provinces where the Iraqis are in the lead…and this is a good test for them,”
-President Bush (unbeliever)

“We supposed that this would be a normal operation but we were surprised by this resistance,”
-Iraq Defense Minister Abd al-Qader Jassim (believer in name only ‘BINO’, really more of an unbeliever)

“Death to the filmmaker”
-A bunch of guys with knives and AK-47s who didn’t like Fitna (believers)

“We're succeeding. I don't care what anybody says. I've seen the facts on the ground,"
-Senator McCain (unbeliever)

2:10 – 2:99 - 2:104 – 2:171 – 3:28 – 3:48 – 3:73 – 4:64 – 4:89 – 4:101 – 4:144 – 5:51 – 5:57 – 5:59 – 5:60 – 6:106 – 8:55 - 9:5 – 9:29

4:89 Have no unbelieving friends. Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.

"What are we, chopped liver?"
Exactly, if the straight talker/shooter has anything to say about it.
Otherwise, a little too close to the bone.
Muqtada Al-Sadr interviewhere.">http://snipurl.com/22zba">here.
Also,Five Things You Need to Know To Understand The Latest Violence in Iraq here">http://snipurl.com/22zbp">here

Second link broken; try here

And the first, a 404; but properly found here.

Maybe it’s my mac acting up...

This from Al-Jazeera. AlSadr seems to be calling the shots successfully (no pun, sort of).

Ali al-Dabbagh, an Iraqi government spokesman said Muqtada al-Sadr's order will help restore peace.

"A large number of people will listen to Moqtada al-Sadr's call. Life will return to all of Iraq as before," al-Dabbagh said on Al-Iraqiya state television.

"Those who do not obey the instructions of the government and of Sadr, the government will be forced to implement the law against them."

From the AJ link. Interesting, enlightening, even. The government quoting AlSadr as the defining voice. Malaki is in effect ceding control to the Sadrists. Sounds hopeful on the face of things.

Nell:
@ed: Could you provide a link? (Or at least say who the quote is from) Thanks.

Oops. Meant to. Forgot (although remember there is Google...):

Stupid quote from self-proclaimed Iraq Body Count Accountand here.

Sonic,
I'm struggling to find the 'lie' in what was, after all, a question.

If you don't understand that questions can contain assertions of fact, consider the following question: Are you mad that Im sleeping with your girlfriend?

If you don't understand that either-or comparisons contain can an implicit assignment of a denied attribute, consider the following question: Would you rather sleep with your girlfriend or someone attractive?

Im sorry that I have to put these things in such concrete terms, but apparently publius's more abstract ideas were confusing to you.

carlton wu: "If you don't understand that either-or comparisons contain can an implicit assignment of a denied attribute, consider the following question: Would you rather sleep with your girlfriend or someone attractive?"

I'm not quite sure what this tortured assertion means: "an implicit assignment of a denied attribute" but I'll guess you're trying to describe a "loaded question" - one with a false or questionable presupposition: 'your girlfriend is unattractive' 'have you stopped beating your wife?' etc. This type of loaded question can't be answered directly without deferring to the falsehood inherent in the question (unless, that is, your girlfriend is ugly, and you are beating your wife, and then they become reasonable questions to ask).

But the Iraqi statement publius called 'a lie' isn't a loaded question - the three elements (the Maliki government, Iranian-backed special groups, Al Queda) exist in Iraq - and since a question (any question) is not in itself an argument (it doesn't reason various propositions) it can't be categorized as 'a lie.' The statement may in fact be inferentially incredible (almost nil chance Al Queda will end up in control); it may unfairly limit the possibilities or alternative choices (maybe the Turks will invade Iraq and take over, maybe extraterrestrials will cast a reconciliation matrix of peace over Iraq, maybe the Farmer and the Cowman will be friends); but to call it a lie is… intemperate.

"Second link broken; try here"

"And the first, a 404; but properly found here."

These seem to be links to pages with dozens of links. Is there a particular story you'd like to direct our attention to? This, possibly? Or others?

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