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October 28, 2008

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it will shut down military operations and other vital services throughout the country on Jan. 1

sounds like a timeline, to me. why does the US Military long for America's defeat ?

I think that there's a second story here: the vice-president of Iraq doesn't know that "the Americans are rendering such wide-scale services" as economic and education projects. How the hell is that a secret?

Excellent National name drop for the post headline. Watch the video.

Here.

Back story. What if Syria shot back? Wouldn't that have foisted an interesting dynamic into say the presidential race? Or am I just spitballing. You get the feeling Bush is running his last days much like McSame is running his campaign. Overwhelming fire, see what you hit.

I think that there's a second story here: the vice-president of Iraq doesn't know that "the Americans are rendering such wide-scale services" as economic and education projects. How the hell is that a secret?

Two possible explanations: 1) He was faking surprise in an effort to sell the Iraqis on the importance of the US; or 2) He was legitimately surprised at the scope of US assistance and was, perhaps, taking us for granted.

Back story. What if Syria shot back? Wouldn't that have foisted an interesting dynamic into say the presidential race? Or am I just spitballing. You get the feeling Bush is running his last days much like McSame is running his campaign. Overwhelming fire, see what you hit.

It certainly could have, but I doubt Syria would want to escalate the situation. They're not as powerful as Pakistan. But I don't doubt that the Bushis figured that even if this blew up, it could redound to the benefit of McCain.

In regards to the Syria raid, it was to take out Abu Ghadiya, a foreign-fighter facilitator who has probably been responsible for killing thousands by transporting suicide bombers into Iraq, and the raid worked. Obama supports cross-border strikes (at least in Pakistan) when a country can't police inside its own borders, so these type of raids aren't going away. As for Dabbagh issuing a condemnation, I think "The constitution does not allow Iraq to be used as a staging ground to attack neighboring countries" is more code for the U.S. is not allowed to attack Iran from Iraqi bases. The Shi'ite-dominated Iraqi government does not have very much sympathy for Al-Qaeda.

But I don't doubt that the Bushis figured that even if this blew up, it could redound to the benefit of McCain.
I don't think I'm as cynical as you, Eric. If this was supposed to be an "October Surprise" to keep the Republicans in power, they probably could've come up with a more grandiose strategy than a cross-border strike on the other side of the world. Although, I'm guessing the President was the one who had to approve this operation.

Hopefully, we can begin to return to a saner foreign policy next week.

Don't get your hopes too high. Bush/Cheney aren't out until the end of January. PLENTY of time to give the finger to an incoming Obama - plus, who knows what Obama will do with Albright and Berzinski in his camp - Albright thought the millions of innocents killed by the totally ineffective sanctions on Iraq, and Berzinski, totally OK with the disaster we foisted upon Afghanistan by encouraging a Soviet invasion (and championing the creation of Al Qaeda). With advisors like that, you are looking like more of the same, with perhaps a LITTLE less shooting from the hip.

and the raid worked.

Well, if you believe the unverified word of unnamed "American officials" who claim that all eight people killed by the airstrike "were militants".

Given that this is always the first reaction of unnamed "American officials" when the US military kills civilians, I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry to assume that they're telling the truth this time.

As for Dabbagh issuing a condemnation, I think "The constitution does not allow Iraq to be used as a staging ground to attack neighboring countries" is more code for the U.S. is not allowed to attack Iran from Iraqi bases.

The UK objected to being used as an airbase for the US to launch civilian-killing attacks on Syria too. The notion that when politicians of one country object to having their country used as a base for foreign air strikes on another country, this must be "code", is ... well, unnecessarily complicated. It's not the US that will suffer if Syria decides to retaliate for the raid, after all.

Kind of off-topic, but kind of not: Has anyone seen Condi Rice lately? I know SOFA is a miltary agreement, but shouldn't State have something to say?

And I'm not quite sure if the Syria raid is the kind of thing Obama's talking about. I've only heard him mention it in reference to taking out bin Laden. His focus is to get out of Iraq to concentrate on Afghanistan and al Qaeda/taliban. Widening the war in Iraq doesn't serve that purpose.

In regards to the Syria raid, it was to take out Abu Ghadiya, a foreign-fighter facilitator who has probably been responsible for killing thousands by transporting suicide bombers into Iraq, and the raid worked.

With all due respect, so you say. The Syrians say somethinfg different. And if this was such a bad guy, why not offer the Syrians some inducement to get him themselves?

I remain skeptical. How many Number 3's have we captured or killed?

Kind of off-topic, but kind of not: Has anyone seen Condi Rice lately? I know SOFA is a miltary agreement, but shouldn't State have something to say?

Well, yes, State probably should; but given the Bush regime's propensity to manage nearly everything to do with Iraq policy mainly through military channels, why would they start involving DOS now? And disrupt Dr. Rice's busy schedule of shoe-shopping?

Kind of off-topic, but kind of not: Has anyone seen Condi Rice lately? I know SOFA is a miltary agreement, but shouldn't State have something to say?

Good question. The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) is a sub-section of the Strategic Framework Agreement, which is very much a matter for the State Dept. Probably hearing more from the military than DoS because they are so badly under-resourced in our current foreign policy commitments.

Doesn't the Iraqi response sort of undercut the rationale for McCain/Bush's whole "we have to keep our bases" argument in the first place? My understanding of that argument has always been that they wanted to maintain power-projection in the Mideast, particularly over Iran and Syria.

If Iraq refuses to let us use our bases for staging, what exactly is the point of demanding permanent bases in the country at all?

Screw this. What kind of fncking pussy is Bush? Stop with these pansy-ass pin prick strikes and bring the noise. Damascus, Tehran, Karachi, Islamabad, etc. -- all fncking in. This drib drab here and there bullsh!t leaves hundreds of millions of screamin', pissed off muslims who hate the U.S. Just sign legislation that will outlaw Islam forever and begin the bombing in five minutes.

Otherwise, STFU and get the fnck out.

Jes,

I'm more likely to believe unnamed military officials than the word of the state-run Syrian news agency. Not exactly a country known for its journalistic freedoms. It's also nothing new that the Syrian-Iraqi border has been the Point of Entry for terrorists for many years.

"It worked." Well, then, that settles everything, doesn't it?

The Ned's Atomic Dustbin reference gave me a chuckle.

If this was supposed to be an "October Surprise" to keep the Republicans in power, they probably could've come up with a more grandiose strategy than a cross-border strike on the other side of the world.

But I didn't, even with my cynical cap on, suggest that it was supposed to be an October surprise.

I said that even if it blew up, it could be useful. Thus, the primary purpose was not October Surprise, but that could be an ancillary benefit if events evolved in a certain way.

I said that even if it blew up, it could be useful. Thus, the primary purpose was not October Surprise, but that could be an ancillary benefit if events evolved in a certain way.Sure, maybe, but it'll probably take more than an event like this to get McCain into office at this stage of the game. Matt Welch said in the LA Times it would basically take a massive act of domestic terrorism.

LT - Given the track record of both groups, I would be surprised of they aren't both lying, er, spinning wildly about what happened.

Ugh - Nice mic check. I remember hearing the news about Reagan's crack when it happened and realizing that sometimes it really helps to have a president who is amiable (particularly if he is a bit of a loose cannon).

[I]t would basically take a massive act of domestic terrorism.

Nope, the Republicans have been telling us how they are protecting us with their massive attacks on civil liberties. If we have given up our liberties for no added safety, they will lose votes. Even the thickest voters will realize that Republicans cannot govern.

If the terrorist attack were commercial airline related, they would be lucky to keep any seats in the House as flyers decide that the entire annoyance that they have been subjected to for the last seven years were nothing but show.

Sure, maybe, but it'll probably take more than an event like this to get McCain into office at this stage of the game.

Again, I agree. But again, I never said otherwise. Or implied otherwise.

With all due respect, so you say. The Syrians say somethinfg different. And if this was such a bad guy, why not offer the Syrians some inducement to get him themselves?

Maybe the Syrians agreed to allow this particular cross-border raid. You may recall an earlier instance of cooperation between the United States and Syria.

LT Nixon: I'm more likely to believe unnamed military officials than the word of the state-run Syrian news agency.

Yes, I'm sure you are. That says nothing about who's actually lying. (Also, what freelunch said.)

Your assertion that "it worked" is
breathtaking, too. If the objective was to (a) identify one person as responsible and (b) killing that one person, and that was all, then assuming that the US military had identified the correct man and killed him, I supposed that "worked". But if there were any long-term objectives to be accomplished by killing the man, you have no notion in the world if it "worked" or not, and past practical experience in trying to end terrorism says that it won't have done.

(Not my past practical experience. *facepalm* The recorded practical experience of British soldiers in Ireland, IDF in Israel/the Occupied Territories, etc. A military strike to kill one terrorist is at best useless: at worst, when the strike kills civilians too, counterproductive.)

Maybe the Syrians agreed to allow this particular cross-border raid.

Not likely. They wouldn't have mentioned civilian deaths, if it was done with the knowledge of Syria.

As for how well it worked, considering it made the Iraqis add a clause to the SOFA outlawing any further such raids, I'd say not so well.

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