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November 18, 2008

Comments

I really don't know what to about the McCarthy piece, other than to marvel at how such a person could actually write something like that and mean/believe it.

I'm sorry, did he really just say that it would be bad for Iraqi's to be allowed to prosecute American soldiers and contractors for any crime they commit in Iraq?

There is so much more in there, but for some reason, that is jumping out at me just now. Any other country in which we have bases has that right, as per the SOFAs we have with those countries. Why shouldn't Iraq?

wow, it's gotten a lot tougher to rule vassal states these days. What with nationalism plus modern weaponry, people are just making it too hard to be imperialists.

ingrates indeed.

newsflash to Michael Yon: The war's over, but Iran won.

And I do love this line of yours Eric:

Second, if victory in Iraq means an Iraq that is both free of al-Qaeda and an ally against Iran, then we had already won before we invaded, and then squandered our winnings through the invasion itself.

It jibes with what I like to say: we lost the war when we decided to invade.

wow, it's gotten a lot tougher to rule vassal states these days.

I suspect this is grossly premature, but perhaps we should have a brief moment of silence to mark the occasion, just in case it later turns out with benefit of hindsight to have been the proper time to say this:

The American Transoceanic Empire 1898-2008.
Requiem in pace, sic gloria transit mundi.

Victory in Iraq has never meant a functioning democracy.

Hard to know just what to say about this assertion.

The nation's foreign policy has been run for the last eight years by Marvin the Martian.

Thanks -

"Americans were assured, when the nation-building enterprise commenced, that oil-rich Iraq would underwrite our sacrifices on its behalf."

If I recall correctly, the funding bill that Kerry was for before he was against a different one called for the funding to be repaid by the Iraqis. So, I don't know exactly where McCarthy gets that idea from, since that whole issue was denounced by Cheney, Bush, McCain and virtually the whole Republican Party, including, probably McCarthy himself.

"Victory in Iraq has never meant a functioning democracy. It means defeating radical Islam, which in turn means routing al-Qaeda and leaving behind a stable Iraq that is an American ally against jihadist-sponsoring regimes like Iran. By those metrics, how are we faring? [...]"

As you say Eric, if those had really been our concerns, what the hell were we doing in Iraq. I will quote my son, who did spend way too much time in Iraq, as most here know. "We got rid of one the main stabilizing influences in the Middle East and didn't know what to do next."

And the Itaqis are ingrates indeed. After all, all we did was kill a few hundred thousand of them, either directly or indirectly, did things that resulted in the displacement of 20% of the population, created an environment where the al Qaeda wannabe AQI was able to develop, destroyed what little infrastructure that was left and have done a miserable job rebuilding it, tossed billions of dollars to American firms and precious little to Iraqis that are more than willing to work, but aren't allowed to because foreigners are taking many of the jobs they could do, etc.

The list is far too long for a full accounting. I am sure if any country did that to us, we would be grateful.

If I recall correctly, the funding bill that Kerry was for before he was against a different one called for the funding to be repaid by the Iraqis. So, I don't know exactly where McCarthy gets that idea from, since that whole issue was denounced by Cheney, Bush, McCain and virtually the whole Republican Party, including, probably McCarthy himself.

I think McCarthy is referring to Wolfowitz's Congressional testimony before the war. During that testimony, he lowballed the costs of the war ($50 billion or so, with some costs picked up by foreign countries) and insisted that Iraqi oil would cover the remainder, thus ensuring that the war would actually pay for itself!

When Lawrence Lindsey, one of Bush's economic advisors, predicted that the costs could actually come to about $200 billion, Rummy and Wolfie were quick to call his figures "baloney" and Lindsey was shunted out the door.

At present, the total costs will likely come in around $1-2 trillion.

Funny, though: I forgot about the later Kerry bill.

"Any other country in which we have bases has that right, as per the SOFAs we have with those countries."

It varies. For instance:

[...] Japanese local leaders and antimilitary activists often criticize the SOFA for giving virtual extraterritorial rights to U.S. personnel.

In particular, they point out that under the accord, criminal suspects with the U.S. military are held on U.S. bases in the custody of U.S. forces, and are handed over to Japanese authorities only after an indictment is filed.

The Foreign Ministry, however, argues that the SOFA is not unfair, and in fact gives more favorable conditions to the Japanese side than most other SOFAs the U.S. has concluded with other countries.

For example, under the U.S. SOFA with Germany, U.S. military suspects are handed over to the German side only when punishment is actually meted out against convicted criminals, not at the time of indictment as under the Japan-U.S. SOFA.

I'm so glad that this blog isn't given over to lamentations about The Return of Joementum.

Seems to me that our quiet defeat in Iraq is of vastly more importance. And it happened under Bush's leadership!

No way to blame this on the argula-eating surrender monkeys.

Bush fought Saddam and Iran won!

Sung to the tune of "I fought the law . . ."

Almost, kind of, on topic, I highly recommend the movie War, Inc.

That pretty much covers what I mean, Gary. Most (I won't say all, because obviously I don't know for sure) countries in which we station troops are allowed to prosecute soldiers under their laws for crimes committed on their soil. The differences there are who gets custody during the proceedings, and at what point the soldier is handed over.

Bill White ftw!

More disturbing, though, is the trajectory of Iraqi politics.
Excuse me while my mind boggles. Does Mr. McCarthy not know the history of his own country? or his own planet? Or for that matter, has he failed to notice a basic and universal characteristic of his own species? Human beings do not feel gratitude toward others who decide what we need and impose the choices they make on us by force and without our consent. Even if the American government had imposed its will without a single bomb, a single DU round, had closed Abu Ghraib the moment they rolled into Baghdad, had made the power actually work, and generally behaved far more competently than the Bush administration actually did, the American occupation would still have faced off against human nature. To quote Star Trek:
We had not believed this possible. The customs and history of your race show a unique hatred of captivity; even when it's pleasant and benevolent, you prefer death!

"...people are just making it too hard to be imperialists."

It's never stopped and won't stop some Americans.

"...people are just making it too hard to be imperialists."

It's never stopped and won't stop some Americans.

So, I don't know exactly where McCarthy gets that idea from, since that whole issue was denounced by Cheney, Bush, McCain and virtually the whole Republican Party, including, probably McCarthy himself.

As Eric Martin noted, this came direct from Paul Wolfowitz when he was Deputy Secretary for Defense. When this became inconvenient, however, it turned into a Republican meme that the idea of Iraqis repaying the US was all John Kerry. Now Kerry is 2004 news, I expect the new Republican meme will change again to whatever is most convenient to attack Barack Obama. It is all pure Nineteen Eighty Four.

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