calling a spade a spade

finally! John Abizaid, the new Centcom Commander, has said that U.S. troops are facing a “classical guerrilla-type campaign.” What a mess.

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9 Responses to “calling a spade a spade”

  1. Larry Lurex Says:

    But a mess of their own making. Bush knew what would happen if he pushed on without the benefit of a UN resolution. While I’m happy that there is one less dictator in the world, I think unless it improves the lives of Iraqis, what the hell was the point of this war anyway?

    Oh. Of course. The oil. Silly me.

    I still hope Iraq becomes a democracy, but I’m not holding my breath at the moment. It has been a bad start.

  2. Big John Says:

    Quote:
    “finally! John Abizaid, the new Centcom Commander, has said that U.S. troops are facing a “classical guerrilla- type campaign.” What a mess.”

    What mess? Look at the cold numerical facts, not the emotional spin so prevalent in the media.

    US dead = less than 160
    Days since war started = 100
    Average US soldiers killed daily = 1.6

    Results of war for average Iraqi =

    Disruption of services (temporary), Brutal dictator gone (permament), Casualties minimal compared to annual death toll from Saddam’s evil influence, chance to form the FIRST democracy in the arab world (wow).

    Sure every person killed is a tragedy, but a worse tragedy would be to allow their sacrifice to be in vain because we shied away from a handfull of losses. Besides, if Washington DC were the size of Baghdad, its murder rate would be far higher than a measly 1.6 per day!

    Any war historians here? Name one full scale invasion with as few losses on either side. There are none. The smallest major battle in the American war between the states had 100 times as many dead (one short battle), and I decline to even mention the losses in WWI. But those wars did not have liberal networks fawning over every single casualty, in excruciating detail, 15 times a day! Yes indeed, a quagmire for sure.

    As for “guerrilla conflict”, all this stuff is happening in a tiny section of Iraq, and the rest of the country is beginning to see the end of the tunnel even now. The only thing that can prevent them reaching it is the fanatics currently attempting to return Iraq to totalitarian rule. Shall we just let them? Hmmm?

  3. moorishgirl Says:

    BigJohn,

    What emotional spin in the media? When was the last time you saw the parents of a U.S. soldier on CNN or Fox(as we did during the initial month?) The media is only too happy to play the official line. Here’s one book you might want to check out.

    The loss of 224 soldiers is not something to be shrugged off, nor is the loss of more than 4,000 Iraqi civilians. Wouldn’t you agree that we must cherish every life, no matter its nationality? The lack of compassion for the death of our soldiers is astonishing, and the assertion that “Casualties minimal compared to annual death toll from Saddam’s evil
    influence” is scary. Actually, it borders on the racist (the type of racism that claims that these people die by the thousands anyway, what’s another four thousand–it’s precisely that arrogance that breeds the hatred that is used by fanatics in ways we are all familiar with by now.)
    As for the quagmire, it doesn’t refer to the situation during the initial month, nor to the civilian deaths, but to the new, disparate, unpredictable guerrilla warfare that is now being waged. If things are going so well there, why is morale slumping? Why is the US considering getting UN help?

  4. Larry Lurex Says:

    Isn’t 4,000 more than the combined deaths of September 11th? Didn’t the Americans get a bit emotional about that? Also, given that Iraq has a smaller population, the impact is (presumably) bigger.

    Haven’t the Americans also killed more than 4,000 Afghanis? Is this the going rate then, one American life equals two Muslim lives?

  5. Big John Says:

    Quote:
    “The loss of 224 soldiers is not something to be shrugged off, nor is the loss of more than 4,000 Iraqi civilians. Wouldn’t you agree that we must cherish every life, no matter its nationality?”

    Of course. I cannot believe we allowed the UN sanctions against Saddam to claim 130,000 innocent lives EVERY YEAR for so many years. (that is the UN estimate) And most of those were children. You are suggesting that I pay more attention to the 4000 Iraqi casualties instead, apparently because there are pictures of those dead. Sorry, I don’t watch tv, so I am not influenced by their emotional pictures.

    In my mind’s eye I see hundreds of thousands of children slowly starving and dying of disease. Then there are the unfortunates who were mangled in Saddam’s control apparatus. What is their number? Who knows? There are no pictures, so the tv media couldn’t care less.

    This war is not evil, no matter how many Bush haters say it is.

  6. moorishgirl Says:

    The UN sanctions were imposed in the aftermath of the Gulf War of 1991. Who do you think helped impose them?
    And I didn’t say you should pay attention to the Iraqi casualties “instead.” I said your dismissal of their deaths was disturbing.
    As for the war, I think the fact that it was based on deception is becoming harder to deny.

  7. Dud Says:

    >chance to form the FIRST democracy in the arab >world (wow).

    How do people rate that chance? If democracy means the majority will of the people, wouldn’t that result in a government of Shi’ite clerics? Is the US really likely to usher that into being?
    Aren’t they more likely to try to buy any elections, whenever they may be, for the Iraqi National Congress despite their apparentlack of support in Iraq? You don’t have to be cynical to imagine that the goal is the creation of a compliant client state for the US. Not that that wouldn’t be an improvement on the Saddam regime- and it could hardly be more violent or repressive. But even that prospect seems distant at the moment.

    And, even if one’s prepared to justify the civilian death toll in terms of ends and means, did setting the precedent for pre-emptive war really make the world a safer place? Particularly if the perceived threat that was supposed to justify that war fails to materialise? And the reasons for war are retrospectively adjusted to take account of that inconvenient circumstance?

  8. Big John Says:

    “The UN sanctions were imposed in the aftermath of the Gulf War of 1991. Who do you think helped impose them?”

    That would be the UN, correct. And the primary reason they continued to be imposed is because Saddam refused to play square with the terms he agreed to in order to keep us from overrunning his ass in ’91.

    “And I didn’t say you should pay attention to the Iraqi casualties “instead.” I said your dismissal of their deaths was disturbing.”

    I didn’t dismiss them, I noted them. You want me to assign them more weight thatn I do, and I decline to do so.

    “As for the war, I think the fact that it was based on deception is becoming harder to deny.”

    Not if you are fully aware of the facts. Sure, if all you see is what’s on the tube you might get a belly full of the current media shark attack against Bush, and he sure made it easy for them, but there was nothing to apologize for. The rationale for the war was far more than sixteen words, and remember, Clinton had no problem sending hundreds of cruse missles into Iraq in ’98, and he was far less ambiguous in his speech than Bush. He mentioned the word “nuclear” three times in that speech, in refrence to Saddam.

    True, he really did it to divert attention from his upcoming personal Waterloo, but still the silence from the anti-war left was deafening.

    “chance to form the FIRST democracy in the arab world (wow).

    How do people rate that chance? If democracy means the majority will of the people, wouldn’t that result in a government of Shi’ite clerics?”

    Are you suggesting that the Iraqi people are sheep, totally under the thumb of their fanatical religious leaders? I prefer to believe that people are basically the same everywhere, and given a chance, they will create a secular society. They better, considering the variety of faiths in that country.

    “And, even if one’s prepared to justify the civilian death toll in terms of ends and means, did setting the precedent for pre-emptive war really make the world a safer place?”

    You tell me. What if Hitler had been stopped in the thirties? Several tens of millions would not have died, and I bet they would consider that “more peaceful”. How do you suppose world wars start? Evil leaders are not confronted in time, that’s how.

    “Particularly if the perceived threat that was supposed to justify that war fails to materialise?”

    Saddam was a known aggressor, with a history of chemical weapons use (against his own people!), and was on the way to the bomb until the Israelis put the kibosh on that. All thru the ninties his behavior was highly suspicious to say the least.

    The “percieved threat” was big as life and twice as ugly. Power politics is now too risky to be left to the lawyers. The democracies will either destroy the dictators, or the dictators will destroy the democracies. There are no other long term solutions.

  9. Dud Says:

    “I prefer to believe that people are basically the same everywhere, and given a chance, they will create a secular society. ”

    I’d certainly PREFER to believe that. Unfortunately, the evidence often suggests otherwise.

    Ultimately,history is likely to assess the legitimacy of this war on the shape of the New Iraq that emerges from it. No one’s going to be mourning the status quo ante of lavish presidential palaces, secret police and widespread poverty. But if it’s only succeeded by a land fit for more 12 year olds to stitch more trainers for Nike, the pro-war lobby’s claims to the moral high ground might start to look a bit tenuous.

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