The Consequences of Bush’s Wars

November 9, 2007 at 4:44 pm | Posted in American politics, George W Bush, War | 15 Comments


(courtesy of REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES))

Which of these actually fought in a war and which has never fought in a war?

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  1. So, by this photo youre insintuating that because a person may get wounded in battle the USA should never confront oppressive regimes, defend freedoms and seek to instill basic human liberties among people as a means to achieve long lasting peace? I guess so, I mean you’ve had two elections stolen from you, 911; an inside job, illegals wars, civil rights erroded, katrina, golbal warming, ect…and you on the left have yet to lift a finger to defend yourselves. If this is your track record on defending freedom and human rights how can we trust Hillary in the White house? Nevermind the facts, youre a democrat.

  2. Confront oppressive regimes? Ok, then why isn’t the US invading Israel? Or Saudi Arabia? Or Jordan? Or Egypt? Or Morocco? Or Algeria? Or Uzbekistan? Or Kazakhstan? Or Turkmenistan? Or Tunisia? Or Pakistan? Perhaps you believe those are countries ruled by cuddly puppies who love freedom, democracy, and apple pie so much that it’s ok to ignore their torture, oppression, murder, etc? In fact, so much so that you think it’s great the way we give them money, weapons, information and such to aid their oppression and torture, and sometimes even outsource our own torture to them?

    Get off your freaking high horse, it’s a bald-faced lie to say the US government is defending freedoms and liberty around the world against oppressive regimes. If you believe it, then you are sucker. If you are lying to us and everyone else here then admit it. The reality is that the US government is playing (very badly and stupidly) power politics. That isn’t limited to the current Bush administration, but they sure have gone after it with an extra abundance of hypocrisy, stupidity, and evil. And they’ve used kids like the one in the picture above as their guinea pigs and scapegoats. To say nothing of a friend of my own going through his own serious stages of PTSD now, and to say even less of the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis you clearly couldn’t care spit about. That’s right, we are now getting Iraqis killed at a pace faster even than Saddam and all his mass graves, but I doubt I’ll ever hear you decrying the American-made mass graves in Iraq. I assure you, my Iraqi friends are perfectly well aware of them and don’t take the manner in which Americans ignore their deaths lightly. Nor do they take lightly the manner in which we took their struggling, weak, problem-laden country, managed to screw it up even worse, turned 3 million of them into refugees (the equivalent of 30 million Americans being turned into refugees) and then refuse to even give those people refuge in the United States as any American with the slightest shred of honor ought to recognize is our minimum moral duty after what we’ve done.

  3. Non-Arab, why don’t you go sit down in the corner and let the clear thinking adults handle United States foriegn policy. If you actually believe your misguided, unfactual, propaganda laden remarks then you’re obviously a bigger dupe than I first supposed. For starters, the USA is’nt obligated to confront all dictators or countries we find repugnant. The only obligation the USA has is to herself and her national security interests. (BTW, thats true for all countries). Can you tell me why it’s so cruel for the USA to liberate and emancipate the Iraqi people from a tyrant? Can you explain to me why thousands of Iraqis have joined with the US military to fight Al qeada and force them from Iraq? Can you explain to me how it is that since the USA has increased her troop levels in Iraq that civilian deaths are down by nearly 80%? Can you tell me why sectarian violence is declining dramatically? Can you tell me how the USA is not defending basic human liberties when it has been the sacrifice and leadership of the US military that has enabled Iraqi citizens to participate in free elections? Alas, the desperation of the looney left is beginning to surface as the day of victory draws near for the brave people of Iraq and their partners in liberty; the loyal freedom loving people of the United States of America.

  4. Oh man, you make this far too easy.

    “The only obligation the USA has is to herself and her national security interests.”

    I see, so you want to have it both ways. Claim the moral high ground of pretending you are serving your neighbor, while simultaneously saying you have no obligation to serve anyone but yourself. That makes you neither idealist nor pragmatist, merely selfish hypocrite who talks out of both ends of your mouth. That’s what Bush is, Iraqis and the vast majority of the world realize this and are quite frankly thrilled to at least see such an irresponsible country’s unilateral powers diminished in favor of a more multi-polar world.

    “Can you tell me why it’s so cruel for the USA to liberate and emancipate the Iraqi people from a tyrant?”

    Because bozo, we didn’t liberate them, we occupied them. Go back to the 80s movie vault and watch the old kitsch film called Red Dawn to get a sense of how you might feel about that if it happened to you no matter what lies your occupier spilled for you. And then there’s the fact that we took a country that had serious problems and somehow managed to make it even far worse. Less security, less electricity, less food, less hope for the future (don’t believe me? 3 million Iraqis have had to vote with their feet on that one and become refugees). And — let this sink in well into your head — MORE Iraqis are dying today than they did under Saddam. Do you not understand that? Bush’s meat-grinder in Iraq is MORE bloody than Saddam’s? Saddam’s! Hope you’re proud of that. So tell me, how is occupying someone else’s country liberating them? Wait, let me guess, black is white, dark is light, and evil is good? Why in the world do you think so many of them are freaking shooting at us? Because they agree with you that we “liberated” them? Do you have the first clue about how people throughout the entire Middle East feel about foreign occupation and their long history with it under countless racist colonialists who all swore they had “liberated” them but then – just like you I might add – surreptitiously admit that it was done for their own selfish “national security interests” which is really just a codeword for “we want what you got, screw you and drop dead if you disagree”. Why do you think in poll after poll done in Iraq even most of the people who benefited personally or as a sect (an identifier that was largely dormant in Iraq until we stupidly stirred up the hornet’s nest of sectarianism like all idiotic, bungling, and selfish colonialists have a tendency to do) still say there is nothing morally wrong with attacking the occupying US troops? Or were you not aware that tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of Iraqis have been shooting at our boys with vast Iraqi public support?

    “Can you explain to me why thousands of Iraqis have joined with the US military to fight Al qeada and force them from Iraq?”

    Wow, I can tell you’re really good at listening to Fox News and White House press conferences, what you are not so good at it is understanding who these people are, what their motives are, or what their next steps are. Abdus Satar Abu Risha for example was the most notorious kidnapper and murderer on the Baghdad-Amman highway (Iraqi version of Mad Max?) before he realized two things: (1) He was pissed off that the Qaeda nutzos were killing his family members, and (2) he could get lots of guns and money from the Americans which he could then use to build a little warlord state of his own on the ashes of the Qaeda state and all he had to do was lie and tell the Americans he loved them. Abu Risha (before he was killed and now his petty kidnapper brother) are the more hopeful of the lot actually if you’re a US general, but it kinda sucks to live under warlords like that if you’re an Iraqi even if it’s one marginal step ahead of Qaeda crazies. But then, both are far worse than living under Saddam where at least you knew which power structures not to cross if you wanted to be safe, get your kids an education, make a living etc. Now the only way to do that is to pay protection money to highway robbers who the US wraps up in a flag and declares democracy-lovers. Those same guys buy the way are openly stating in papers like Al-Hayat that their goal is to get guns and money and when the time comes that their position in the civil war that the US ignited is more secure, they’ll turn those guns on the Americans again. That’s the more nationalist elements who are faking cooperation for now, and they represent the vast majority of the new Anbar warlords, from groups like al-Jaysh al-Islami, Kata’ib Thawrat al-Ashreen and the like. Of course you’ve missed the entire point of all this in pretending like we’ve done the Iraqis some great favor in “getting rid” of Qaeda. Al-Qaeda didn’t exist in Iraq (other than a small portion of Kurdistan – you know the part where our supposed allies were standing brave against Saddam before 2003) until we opened the door for them. They represent only a small part of the insurgency that – brutal as it may be – has now been defeated NOT because the US turned on some magic button that solved the equation, but because the locals got pissed off that Qaeda tried to pull their same stunts as they did in Afghanistan in the 90s and integrate into the local familial structure, but when they were rebuffed for marriages they started killing dads and brothers and kidnapping the brides. Then they started acting totally against the wishes of the (vast majority) nationalist insurgency and slaughtering Shi’a and civilians and just generally pissing everyone off. Eventually a few of these car thieves and kidnappers recognized they could use that anger to their advantage, a few nationalists decided to make a tactical temporary switch to take some guns, and the general populace was angry enough to support the turn on Qaeda. THAT is what caused the flip, and THAT is why a few months or a year or whatever down the road the US will be no more welcome in Anbar or the rest of Iraq. The pace of attacks on US troops are down, but they’re not over, the nationalist insurgents continue to make the point even if it’s more token for the moment that the US occupiers are still in their gunsights and when the time comes they’ll turn the heat up again. Learn a little something for Vietnam – VC supporters in the South Vietnamese military would sometimes “calm” a province leading the US military to declare they had successfully pacified a region and claiming this showed we were winning the war. In reality those (far smarter) VC leaders new it made sense to pick and choose battles and create safe havens where planning, resupply, etc could take priority over the fighting. Iraq may be far more chaotic than all that was in Vietnam, but the same basic principle of tactical, not strategic, shifts is in play. Your inability to see that is emblematic of precisely why we have lost the war (and make no mistake, we lost it before we ever even invaded due to our deeeeeeeeeeep ignorance of the country and region which you seem to revel in like so many other ignoramuses).

    “Can you explain to me how it is that since the USA has increased her troop levels in Iraq that civilian deaths are down by nearly 80%?”

    Yeah, because the tactical maneuvering mentioned above preceded the US troop increases by a few months, and because the remaining fighters are happy to lay low for a while until Bush declares victory yet again and reduces troops yet again. At that point, the fighting and casualties will pick up again. Troop reductions are supposed to start in February, that’s about the time I figure the casualties start rising again. Plus if we keep needlessly prodding Iran (who play a far smarter game on the ground in Iraq than we do), then they really may let the serious weapons flow to Iraq which they have largely refrained from to date (think anti-tank missiles ala Hizbullah against Israel writ large, and possibly anti-aircraft missiles), and then you could really see some nasty increases in US casualties.

    “Can you tell me why sectarian violence is declining dramatically?”

    Ummm…dude, are you really this dumb? Because the ethnic cleansing has largely succeeded. There’s fewer people left to kill in most neighborhoods because most of them are either dead or have fled. BTW, you should note, that even as that killing has declined, the deaths resulting from SIIC-Sadrist infighting has stepped up. Don’t be surprised if Sadrist-Nationalist Sunni alliances crop up with more intensity in the next year or two which would pit the majority of Sunni and Shia Iraqis against the SIIC exiles who the US installed in power. We’ll see if that happens, maybe not, but certainly a possible scenario as those groups have flirted before (Sadrists sent aid convoys to Fallujah in April 2004).

    “Can you tell me how the USA is not defending basic human liberties when it has been the sacrifice and leadership of the US military that has enabled Iraqi citizens to participate in free elections?”

    Free elections? We’ll ignore the right-wing fetish with pretending elections=democracy regardless of the content of those elections. No, actually we won’t ignore it, because that is really the point here. Most Iraqis had no idea what the Constitution they approved was. All they knew was “there is no law and order left in the country, the only way to get some measure of safety is to stick to my tribe or local warlord or cleric/warlord for protection” – and those warlords and clerics and tribal shaykhs lined up and told their people vote yes or boycott or then later vote for this or that party. People blindly followed the men with guns, and the men with the bigger guns and money saw advantage in milking the American suckers so they said go to the polls and vote for me and I’ll get the guns and money to kill thy neighbor who is pissing me off while hiring some more guns to keep you safe as long as you obey me. And then there’s the sectarian element. In a society infused with democratic ideals, people vote based on issues. Do you support or oppose this economic policy, this security policy, this foreign policy, this energy policy, this welfare policy, this ideology or that one. Iraq had that once, it had weakened severely along with the broader trends of growing disillusion with broad ideologies and the rise of (overwhelmingly US-supported) dictators. But when the US showed up, what did we do? Did we encourage national unity and cooperation on the basis of equality? Noooo. First thing we did was say “ok, you’re Shia, you’re Sunni, you’re Kurd, you get 3, you get 2, you get 1 rep, and WOW we are so fair and magnanimous”. So all of a sudden, the only way to get resources and survive is to declare yourself a member of a sect first instead of an Iraqi first. Never mind that people found that idiotic and incredibly old-fashioned, now if you didn’t want to get your throat cut, the Americans had made it so the only thing to do was to attach yourself to a sect and the corrupt newly-sectarian leaders (or in the case of the SCIRI/SIIC exiles we brought in and empowered, old-minority sectarian leaders) that the Americans funneled money and guns to. And that my friend is what your supposedly “free” elections were about — making sure your sectarian warlord got more money and guns than the other one. And that’s precisely what happened. Beautiful. You call that freedom? You’ve got some learning to do if you think so.

    “Alas, the desperation of the looney left is beginning to surface as the day of victory draws near for the brave people of Iraq and their partners in liberty; the loyal freedom loving people of the United States of America”

    Oh my gosh!!! I am rolling on the floor laughing here. Look, why don’t you go fry yourself up a nice batch of freedom fries and drink root beer floats until you pass out. Don’t worry, when you wake up hundreds of thousands of Iraqis will still be dead (are you still proud of that?) and more yet to die. I said before the war ever started this was beyond a mistake, this was just the highest form of sheet idiotic moronic stupidity there ever was. This isn’t John Kerrey in the 70s saying “how do you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?” this is “hyuck, hyuck, hey Laura, look at me, I’m blowin’ stuff up, this is cool, hyuck, hyuck” stupidity. Take the dumbest idea you could possibly imagine (invade a Middle Eastern country with a fresh history of colonialism in a region that is justifiably deeply pissed off at murderous US policies against Iraqis, Palestinians, Lebanese, you name it), implement it as stupidly as possible, blame all your mistakes on 5th and 6th tier people down the rung (I thought conservatives were about taking personal responsibility? guess not) instead of your own idiotic miscalculations and refusal to see the world through the eyes of those you’ll be invading, and then pass it off as an exercise in flag waving while simultaneously tearing down the Constitution that you bizarrely claim to be defending by invading a piss-poor half-destroyed country halfway around the world.

    When you know anything about Iraq or the Middle East – anything – then feel free to come back and beg to be admitted to the club of “clear thinking adults”. Somebody should have told that to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc. Instead they’ve sat around Washington crapping their diapers until the poo flowed over into Iraq and the rest of the world and left the rest of us to deal with their mess. History will assign them to the dustbin in the nuthouse. In fact, it already has. Too bad we can’t even empty the dustbin into the landfill, it’s full up with Iraqi (and Lebanese, and Palestinian, and Somali, and Afghan, and Pakistani) corpses.

  5. Non-Thinking Non-Arab, like most defeatist, you attempt to set the narative of our struggle againts militant Islam by taking events and circumstances out of context. Your disdain for the USA’s attempt to introduce and plant the seeds of basic democratic principls in a very troubled part of the world is disgusting. You attribute all the problems in the region to the USA when it’s the USA that is doing the most to create an evironment that will allow the Iraqi people to settle their differences and work towards political solutions to their problems. It’s sick that you somehow find it in your small mind to grudingly applaud Iran and how they are sizing up the situation in Iraq to spread more oppression and death.
    Yes, I do claim the moral high ground for the USA because the ultimate goal of the USA is’nt to oppress, or “occupy” Iraq like in a Hollywood film, thats just an odd and franklly bizare comparison with no fatcs to bolster it. Like most defetist you build straw men arguments then knock them down pretending that somehow it proves your point.
    You need to focus on the basic premise of what the current administration is attempting to do; which is to replace the misery and dispair that is so prevalent in much of the Middle East with a hopeful alternative and vision of human liberty and self government. The struggle to impliment this change in the Middle East is going to be met with oppostion and there will be those that will find every opportunity to kill and try stop the process of democratic reforms in Iraq. We know this. We know the effort will be painful. We know there will be set backs. We understand there will be mistakes. We even understand that to many the perception that the USA is acting against world opinion will make our efforts unpopular and misunderstood. We are aware that certain groups will seek to capitalize on the murder and mayhem that will result from this democratic reformation process. However, knowing that there will be oppostion to democratic reform in Iraq and the broader Middle East does not justify the attitude you seem to revel in. Infact, if you care to look fifty years into the future you’ll see that we as a free people have very little choice in attempting to impliment democratic reforms in the Middle East. It’s vital to the survival of mankind to defeat Jihad and whatever other muderous theology or secular government that motivates people to commit vicious acts of violence against innocent peoples. This is what motivates the Iraqi people to join with the USA and rid it’s land of Al Qeada and other killers, not the specious reasons based on greed and personal gain that you give. The truth is, and always has been from the begining of human history that people would rather live in free, peacful society, where human liberty based on a moral code of ethics is what governs. Have there been times in history when tyrants and those that seek to oppress have ruled the day and have poisoned peoples minds for generations? Yes, but unlike you most people are able to comprehend the fact that those that rule by force and deny people basic human liberties should be confronted and defeated in order to achieve peace and lasting security. If we dont who will?
    It’s just very sad to me that people like you have given in to the useless narrow chore of only studying why human liberty can’t prevail in this current struggle instead of applying your efforts to the better goal of helping to spread self government and human liberty by eliminating those that hinder it. Your dark prediction of casualties going up in Feb. once a USA draw down in troop levels begins speaks volumes about your mindset and perhaps the not too secret desire you have to see the USA bloodied and embarrassed in Iraq. Millions of people all around the world stand together to reject militant jihad and oppressive regimes and they’re efforts to attract more recruits to they’re ranks of blind killers. It’s too bad you will not help in the struggle but will only sit on the sidelines pointing fingers of scorne at those in the fight while constantly finding fault with every decision made by those that lead our brave soldiers in a contest for the survival of the free world.

  6. That’s really nice, I give you concrete examples, you give me a right-wing propaganda speech with nothing concrete in it. Not surprising given that you nor Bush know anything about the people you are liberating-to-death. When you can do something other than hallucinate about a reality that doesn’t exist and instead start talking about actual people, with actual names (Arabs do have names you know), with actual stated motives, and actual resources being worked with…well, then perhaps you’ll be able to make an intelligible argument.

    Until then, let me go ahead and save you the trouble of writing your next unintelligible screed and do it here for you:

    “Liberty, freedom, jihad, freedom fries, fighting them there so we don’t have to in Provo, flag waving, liberal, you hate America, left-wing, MSM, defeatist, freedom, freedom, freedom.”

    There, now see if you can write something of substance that doesn’t use those words, I’ve heard them all enough times and still haven’t seen any substance inserted between them. Names please, places please, quotes please, strategic maps please, movements and organizations in Iraq and the Middle East please, Iraqi history please. I’d say it’s not hard, but when your head is so deep in the sand I realize it can be hard. And then actually doing something really crazy like educating yourself about the place that you are “liberating” by murdering children and grandmas I know can be even tougher.

  7. Oh, and to repeat, MORE Iraqis being killed under the US occupation than Saddam. You say some sacrifice is required to accomplish a vision that only right-wing Americans have to solve a problem that only right-wing Americans believe exists. Gee, that sure is nice of you to be willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives to calm your own paranoia.

  8. This is classic, you insist on remaining conviently ignorant of facts on the ground in Iraq and pretend that it’s my ignorance on the subject that prevents you from fully understanding the reality of the situation.
    Place names? Try Al ANBAR Province, Lt. Col. Salah Arak al Alwani, the al Jameah police station commander, cited the present as the moment for all Iraqi’s to come together. He said, “Catholics, Muslims, Sunnis and Shiites act as one, work as one to rid the country of terror and fear. ”We’ve seen events like this all over the province,” said Brig. Gen. John Allen, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) deputy commanding general. “These are the signals that the people here are beginning to emerge from a period of conflict into a future that has some promise for them.”
    What about BAQUBA — After three months of close mentorship with an advisory team from the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division, the Diyala Operations Command has been validated to take the lead on security operations within Diyala province, just north of Baghdad. “All of the people of Diyala province have been waiting for this day,” said Staff Maj. Gen. Abdul Kareem al-Robiya. “It is a great day because command will be in Iraqi hands. However, they look toward Coalition forces respectfully and we all look forward to working with Coalition forces in the future.”
    Maps? In a historical ceremony on July 13, 2006, Muthanna was the first to transfer – a significant milestone in the successful development of Iraq’s capability to govern and protect itself as a sovereign and democratic nation. The second province to transfer was Dhi Qar in September 2006, the third was An Najaf in December 2006, the fourth was Maysan in April 2007. The Kurdish Regions of Irbil, Sulaymaniyah and Dahuk were the fifth, sixth, and seventh provinces transferred under Provincial Iraqi Control in May 2007. Karbala was the eighth province to transfer to provincial Iraqi control in October 2007. The next province will mark the half-way point in transferring all provincial security over to Iraqi security forces.
    Maybe some General Odeirno quotes will help you get it. “We have been able to eliminate key safe havens, liberate portions of the population and hamper the enemy’s ability to conduct coordinated attacks.” “Over the past four months, attacks and security incidents have continued to decline. This trend represents the longest continuous decline in attacks on record and illustrates how our operations have improved security since the surge was emplaced.” “Since the beginning of this year, the Iraqis have stood up operational commands in Baghdad, Samarra, Karbala, Diyala and Basra, which has progressively enhanced their command and control capabilities as well as security in these strategic locations.”
    I could go on and on with similar stories of success in the liberation of Iraq. I found these in about one minute with a simple search…to bad you can’t figure out how to do the same.
    As for freedom fries, I dont know what those are. I’ve always respected the French and their culture and have never felt resentment towards them due to their uninvolvment in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
    Fight them there instead of Provo? I have never used that talking point or felt that it was an accurate way to portray the struggle we are engaged in, it’s too simplistic. I’m not from Provo.
    You say, more Iraqis are dying due to the US “occupation.” It’s true that many Iraqis have been killed, but you seem to have not the itellectual honesty to admit who is killing them. It’s Al qeada and those who are like minded, along with a small number of vicious secular groups that see democratic reforms as a threat to their ability to control and stifle the progress of Iraqi society towards freedom and human rights. If you can’t bring yourself to face this basic truth you might as well move in with Hugo Chavez and scrub his back in the bath tub by candle light under his huge velvet painting of Che.

  9. Wow, you can google…well that settles the debate right there. I just gave you piles of context to all the surface-info you just lamely posted, but you ignore it because it doesn’t fit your pre-determined theories. Brilliant, how very Bush-like. Quoting some dude named Arak (do you even know what Arak means?) and a bunch of US military brass who can’t see beyond this week to what is coming over the horizon, does not undo the broader strategic realities I outlined to you. Iraqi insurgents are still signing up only for tactical reasons and openly saying so in the Arab press, militias of all varieties are openly saying they’re just milking the US and Iran for guns and money, like any civil war periods of tactical re-allignment are occurring, and specifically here we now have everyone from Ansar al-Sunna to Jaysh al-Mahdi, from the Badr Brigades to the Kata’ib al-Ashreen openly either saying they are using this period to prep for the next round of fighting (one particularly sectarian Shaykh in exile in Amman talking even openly in the English press about his plans to bulk up on the guns to retake Baghdad using fighters from Anbar) or else being pissed off at the Americans for giving guns to their foes even though they ARE the government the US installed. Please tell me how anything you have quoted in any way shows all those people are lying in their public pronouncements. They are after all Iraqis and not Americans listening to some translator (who is probably deliberately mis-translating because of his own agenda anyhow). Do you know Arabic? Do you watch Jazeera and Arabiya and NewTV and Sharqiya? Do you even read what these folks are saying in their own papers? Of course not, you are incapable, you read everything through not just an American filter, but a right-wing Bushie filter.

    Tell you what, I don’t want to just point out the obvious that you don’t know diddly squat about Iraq or the Middle East (sorry, a Google search does not make you knowledgeable), I want to help you learn a thing or two. I want you to go read these books, none of which are about the current war specifically, so you can – if the thought doesn’t horrify you – actually learn something about the context we stepped into:

    -Hanna Batatu’s classic “The Old Social Classes and the Revolutionary Movements of Iraq”
    http://www.amazon.com/Social-Classes-Revolutionary-Movements-Iraq/dp/0863565204/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-6612847-1344717?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1195009556&sr=8-1

    -Albert Hourani’s “A History of the Arab Peoples”, an ok primer on the broad sweep of the region’s history.
    http://www.amazon.com/History-Arab-Peoples-Second/dp/0674010175/ref=sr_1_1/104-6612847-1344717?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1195009606&sr=1-1

    -Kathleen Christison’s “Perceptions of Palestine”. I don’t care what you think about Israel/Palestine, one needs to understand the sweep of US involvement and how it is seen to understand the regional context we stepped into:
    http://www.amazon.com/Perceptions-Palestine-Influence-Updated-Afterword/dp/0520217187/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-6612847-1344717?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1195009709&sr=1-1

    -Naguib Mahfouz’s “The Journey of Ibn Fattouma”. Fiction by the Nobel Prize winning Egyptian author. The world does not look the same through Arab eyes as it does to you (and why should it, is your perspective any more correct than theirs, is your world any less biased and full of myths than anyone else’s?).
    http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Ibn-Fattouma-Naguib-Mahfouz/dp/0385423349/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-6612847-1344717?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1195009854&sr=1-1

    -Lenin al-Ramly’s play “In Plain Arabic”, a good translation, another window into how different the world looks when seen from another angle, this one laden with self-criticism (though sorry, it doesn’t make US oppression look any better even if it isn’t the main topic):
    http://www.amazon.com/Plain-Arabic-Universitesi-Ilahiyat-Fakultesi/dp/9774243420/ref=sr_1_1/104-6612847-1344717?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1195009966&sr=1-1

    -Bob Vitalis’ groundbreaking “America’s Kingdom”. Since you seem to think America’s presence has been so benign in the Gulf, have a peek at a few facts of the Saudi-US relationship. Facts which by the way are not the standard lame-o fare that shows up in the paper so don’t bother trying to say some lame-o “Wahabbi this, Wahabbi that” argument before reading the book.
    http://www.amazon.com/Americas-Kingdom-Mythmaking-Frontier-Stanford/dp/0804754462/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-6640961-8433428?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1175477671&sr=1-1

    Now go read books by people who know what they’re talking about on the Middle East and Iraq (something no politician Washington other than maybe Chuck Hagel has bothered to do), then I guarantee you you’re not going to be able to keep thinking google is the ultimate source of knowledge. I challenge you, will you read those books?

  10. You can hide behind your stack of class struggle, Marxist, woe is me I’m an oppressed misunderstood muslim books all you want. BTW, the KGB didn’t have a benign influence in the Middle East either.
    Here is some more good news from Iraq, FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU — A former member of an insurgent group led Coalition forces, Iraqi Army (IA) and members of a Concerned Local Citizens group to a weapons cache site here in the early morning hours of Nov. 13.
    BAGHDAD — Coalition forces detained (16) suspects, including three wanted individuals, during recent operations to disrupt al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and foreign terrorist operations in central and northern Iraq.
    The community continued to educate the children, despite not having a place to go,” Sheik Juwad Al Shimmari, the Waheda city council chairman, said through a translator. “But now we have this beautiful school and we are very grateful to Coalition forces and the city council for giving us the resources to rebuild.”
    BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces killed 25 suspected terrorists and detained 21 suspects, four of whom were wounded, late Tuesday and early Wednesday during operations targeting senior terrorist leaders in central Iraq.
    BAGHDAD – Five vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices were uncovered in the Al-Rhabi neighborhood of the Adhamiyah District Nov. 13 thanks to reports from Iraqi Security Volunteers
    The US brass is not as naive as you think they are. They are fifty steps ahead of any hare brained sheem that your murderous Islamic folk heros may be planning while biding their time.
    I really doubt that the crew of an AC 130 gun ship is all that concerned about 47 macho drugged up Al qeada types taking over fallujah.
    As for all the militants laying low and biding their time as you say…well, it seems many of them are seeing the error of their ways and are starting to assist US and Iraqi forces in stabilizing various parts of Iraq.
    hu oh, more good news, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of U.S. forces south of the capital, said Sunday he believed the decrease in rocket and mortar attacks would hold because of what he called a “groundswell” of support from regular Iraqis. “If we didn’t have so many people coming forward to help, I’d think this is a flash in the pan. But that’s just not the case,” Lynch said.
    I wont crow too loud over this success because I know that Iraq is a complex and constanly changing place with mulitple groups seeking for power and political leverage. I know there will be set backs. I will maintain tho that there are gains being made and barring some huge catastrophic incursion from Iran I see Iraq making steady progress for the next 3-4 years, and then perhaps things will begin to really settle down.

  11. Ok, so (1) you revel in your ignorance hating those liberal things called “books” (knowledge is dangerous you know, before long you might start understanding things, can’t have that), and (2) you are an admitted sucker who believes press releases and believes surface headlines tell the whole story. Bad speculative traders do what you do too – they see a trend and jump on it convinced they’re riding the wave, only to see it reverse and pound their profits into losses. Then like you they double down and triple down convinced if they just keep doing the wrong thing more they’ll win it back and more. Sorry, probably not the Marxist analogy you hoped for, so chew on some capitalism to understand your ignorance better.

    Read the books, then address the issues. Until then, I can go read Pentagon and White House press releases without your assistance.

  12. I don’t need to read those books to know that many sources of media are reporting that important security gains are being made on the ground in Iraq.
    Those books you suggest won’t detail the rooting out of Al qeada in many regions of Iraq and the cooperation the common people of Iraq are giving to pro-democratic forces to eliminate oppressive and brutal killers.
    Your flimsy reading list will not mention the desire most Iraqis have to live in freedom and peace by rejecting those that would use fear and intimidation to oppress them or deny them basic human rights.
    Those rehashed angst filled books will not describe the success the people of Iraq are having in quelling militias and secular violence by uniting with US and coalition forces to turn in and apprehend those that would use terror and murder to achieve narrow self serving political goals.
    Your half truth screeds will not tell about how the introduction of human liberty, minority rights and the empowerment of woman in the Middle East would be the greatest advancement towards long lasting peace and security in that region.
    As for any of your brutal oppressive militant folk heros laying low on the fringes of Iraq, biding their time until they feel they can lash out and strike back at the people of Iraq and US forces; just know that any person or group that seeks to roll back the security gains made over the last several months will be confronted and delt with. Serious consequences await anyone misguided enough to challenge those that defend liberty and human rights.
    The next four months will show you just how defeated and impotent anti democratic forces in Iraq have become.
    Now go hide behind your stale, irrelevant, dusty history books. The new history of the Middle East is being written now.

  13. God: “seek ye wisdom out of the best books”

    Craig: “who is this God guy pushing liberal ideas like “reading books” and “learning”, probably some atheist jihadi-loving pinko”.

    Oh, and while you’re at it, perhaps you’ d’ like to tell me who these new great democratic forces in Iraq are? Can you name one national leader in Iraq who’s hands aren’t stained by massive corruption and/or bloodshed? Heck, you can even include Americans in that leadership search list since they’re the real powers that be and have proven ever bit as corrupt and blood-stained.

  14. Well, you’re comments are just getting desperate now. What constitutes a “best book” is subjective, ya know? You really want me to order one of your suggested books, don’t you? Do you get a commission from Amazon.com or something? I’ll save you the touble of more flailing, feeble, posts and leave you with a prediction.
    Over the next several months all enemies of democratic reforms in Iraq, whether they be al Qeada, Iranians, militia factions or influential intolerant religious leaders will steadily be degraded, discarded or dead.
    Even though the progress in Iraq is fragile and the momentum of success is not always fluid, there is an ever growing awareness among the common people that insurgents, sectarian violence and factional revenge killings will only harm innocent citizens and destroy any chance for a prosperous future in Iraq.
    As I stated previously; my only real concern to our long term success in Iraq is the leadership of Iran. If they do something to up the ante on the battlefield then things could get seriously off track.
    Good day.

  15. More delusions, more statements without facts, more disdain for reading anything that might conflict with your pre-conceived paranoid delusions based on no facts. You are indeed the quintessential Bushie. You don’t need facts, you have your hallucinations, and I can see you are quite happy living in them. “Facts”, who needs them eh?


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