From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
More enemies. More attacks. Less freedom.

October 18, 2004 6:10 PM

Pat Buchanan in How Do We Get Out?:

"Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing," wrote Rumsfeld a year ago. "Is our current situation such that 'the harder we work, the behinder we get'?" We now have metrics to work with. A year ago, Gen. John Abizaid estimated there were 5,000 enemy fighters. After capturing and killing thousands, officials now estimate there are 20,000 enemy. A year ago, there were two dozen attacks every day on coalition forces. According to Kroll Security International, the number is now 70 a day. A year ago, U.S. troops had the run of the country and the press could travel almost anywhere. Now there are "no-go" zones in the Sunni Triangle, and Sadr City is a scene of daily carnage. Outside the Kurdish north, few provinces are free of daily attacks.

More from the archive in Incompetence, War and Peace.

More enemies. More attacks. Less freedom. (10.18.2004)

Next Entry: Bill O'Reilly: "I am a stupid guy." (10.19.2004)
Previous Entry: O'Sexxxy hits LA Times, Access Hollywood (10.18.2004)

Read the 40 comments.


"Is our current situation such that 'the harder we work, the behinder we get'?"

That is an awesome quote, and very appropriate to the Bush administration's strategy. All they did after Afghanistan was just keep digging a deeper hole.

At this point, the hole is digging itself as events build momentum. Everything is set up for a really disastrous next four years.

Mon Oct 18 2004 6:28 PM

Right Wing Robby:

...and 3 years ago there was a dictator who used to torture children while making their parents watch. Rape a wife while making the husband watch, then cutting of his hands.

America stands for freedom. It takes time to grow a democracy in a part of the world that hasnt had it in thousands of years. Iraq will get there, and history will again prove you wrong.

Mon Oct 18 2004 9:39 PM


This altruistic argument for Iraq is the height of absurdity. Anybody that thinks we're a benevolent world hegemon is as wrong as Thanksgiving without the tragic irony.

Altruism. Something usually not confused with our heavy-handed foreign policy of late.

Pretentiousness is usually pretty stinky...if Bush wins, I'm buying me some of that Glade stock.

Tue Oct 19 2004 12:08 AM

Tom from Madison:


you are absolutely correct. The idea that George Bush cares about the Iraqi people getting tortured and killed is totally without credibility. Of course the Iraqis themselves aren't buying it either. History tells them that the US is not their friend. Reagan & George Sr had pro-Saddam policies. They armed him. George Sr allowed Sunni's and Kurds to be slaughtered. Now Iraqis are supposed to believe we have their best interests at heart? And we demonstrate it by taking their oil.

Rumsfeld's disdain for the Geneva convention and the implementation of that doctrine in Guantanamo, Abu Graib and elsewhere show how little Bush cares about human rights.

An honest description of what this war has become would be "Operation Iraqi Conquest".

Tue Oct 19 2004 4:48 AM

Right Wing Robby:

There we have it ladies and gentlemen. All in one paragraph we see the defense of terrorists and concern for their rights, and the pictures of mass graves being brushed aside and concern for them being called absurd.

He attacks our government, blames us and then complains about human rights of terrorists.

Its amazing isnt it folks?

You couldnt have given a more perfect example of the liberal agenda then you just did.

Tue Oct 19 2004 6:32 AM


"Anybody that thinks we're a benevolent world hegemon is as wrong as Thanksgiving without the tragic irony."

So is it Thanksgiving per se that you believe is wrong, or only if it's lacking that "tragic irony"?

So how would you describe the U.S in the world today? What pejoratives would you use?
And TFM: Are you really that in tune with Iraqi public opinion? From this BBC survey
"Seventy per cent of people said that things were going well or quite well in their lives, while only 29% felt things were bad.

And 56% said that things were better now than they were before the war."

And the methods we use to treat "enemy combatants" i.e. non-military terrorists who are part of no recognized army, who wear no uniforms - because we don't afford them the same rights of soldiers of countries who are actual signatories to the GC - this, to you, "...shows how little Bush cares about human rights"?
What about giving Afghan women the right to vote- something they have never, ever had- or giving Iraqis the right to vote in actual elections...these acts don't count at all? These acts demonstrate a callous disregard for human
And the old "We took their oil" line...Really? Where is it? How come my fuel oil and gasoline prices have gone up so much? Seems to me if were REALLY going after the oil, then the US ("to the victor go the spoils") should be seeing plentiful and inexpensive supplies of petroleum. Where are they?

Tue Oct 19 2004 7:45 AM


We shouldn't be out of Iraq until oil fields have been secured and Halliburton has established an industrial means pump the stuff that your BMW or Mercedes or 4 Runner or Suburban or whatever runs on. Those fields will be under Iraqi mangement but the strings are to be pulled by US oil companies. Understand this unspoken original plan and you might understand why it is a mistake to have someone who didn't start the plan... botch up the end game.

Maybe if we bring all the military back as soon as possible we won't have to build another prison here in the United States and new tyrants won't emerge amongst the rubble in Iraq......and just maybe monkeys will fly out of Britney Spears Butt.

Tue Oct 19 2004 8:07 AM


(Stupid internets and its addictive blogs).

"So is it Thanksgiving per se that you believe is wrong, or only if it's lacking that 'tragic irony'?"

My apologies, but if you can't extract each point I was making in that sentence it would take too long for me to expand on it here. There's that vexing nuance again. Next time I'll be overtly explicit.

Tue Oct 19 2004 8:33 AM

independent Jones:

"America stands for freedom."

Freedom for gays to marry?

Tue Oct 19 2004 8:35 AM

raging red:

Freedom to watch the President give a speech while wearing a t-shirt that says "Protect Our Civil Liberties?"

(Hint: the answer to that one is NO.)

Tue Oct 19 2004 8:56 AM

Right Wing Robby:

No Indy,

Freedom for Americans to decide for themselves rather then have activist judges impose their will upon us.

Tue Oct 19 2004 9:03 AM

Red Ghost:

How are all Iraqi civillians considered terrorists?
And are they the same terrorists that crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon?
How is erring on the side of civil liberties siding with the terrorists?
How is killing a people while trying to force them to be "free" democracy?

I'm personally so tired of the "gay marriage" non-issue. Really. If you honestly believe that "activist judges" (such trite, tired wording) make up our most pressing issue: WAKE UP.

So, where do we all agree? How do we move past all this divisive pandering?

I'm not sure. I've focused on voting. I honestly believe that we ALL want as many people to vote (and be able to vote) as possible. I went to a training seminar for pollworkers and am looking forward to working this election. You'd be surprised how many of pollworkers are: a) elderly and b) concerned with being the Voting Police. There were all these bizarre questions from people who self-identified themselves as already being experienced enough to have worked multiple elections.

"Do I have to allow somebody who shows up drunk to vote?"

"I heard there are going to be lawyers watching us. Do we let them in?"

"What if the Inspector drives a Volkswagen and can't fit the ballot box in his car?"

The coolest thing said by our trainer was something along the lines of:
"This is the United States of America. Our elections are OPEN. If somebody wants to come to your polling place and watch you all day, as long as they do not hinder the process, it is their right to do so. The polling place is a PUBLIC place. Your job is not to turn people away. Your job is to allow everyone who wants to to vote. Again, your job is to aid citizens in the voting process. You are the backbone of OUR democracy."

Tue Oct 19 2004 10:04 AM


"My apologies, but if you can't extract each point I was making in that sentence it would take too long for me to expand on it here. There's that vexing nuance again. Next time I'll be overtly explicit."

Wow...only 17 words yet packed with too much "nuance" for you to bother to explain. Aren't you the deep one!

"...overtly explicit." As opposed to covertly explicit? Non sequitur or just nonsense?

Tue Oct 19 2004 10:12 AM


Vladimir Putin spells out the truth...

"Any unbiased observer understands that attacks of international terrorist organizations in Iraq, especially nowadays, are targeted not only and not so much against the international coalition as against President Bush," Putin said.

"International terrorists have set as their goal inflicting the maximum damage to Bush, to prevent his election to a second term.

"If they succeed in doing that, they will celebrate a victory over America and over the entire anti-terror coalition," Putin said.

"In that case, this would give an additional impulse to international terrorists and to their activities, and could lead to the spread of terrorism to other parts of the world."

If Kerry wins, the same people who celebrated the 9/11 attacks against America will have cause to celebrate again. Putting John Kerry in the White House would be biggest coup for terrorists since 9/11.

Tue Oct 19 2004 10:16 AM


"If Kerry wins, the same people who celebrated the 9/11 attacks against America will have cause to celebrate again. Putting John Kerry in the White House would be biggest coup for terrorists since 9/11."

Wow, you should work for Cheney. I hear they have an open position as chief scaremonger.

The same argument could be made the other way. If we vote for Bush because that's what the terrorists *don't* want, we are still being controlled by the terrorists, and technically, they have won.

Maybe what we should do is forget about what the terrorists want, and let Americans decide what is best for America. Both sides of the isle seem to have a bone to pick on terrorism, and I doubt they think they've got it made no matter who is elected.

Of course the enemy hates Bush more than Kerry now. Bush is the current figurehead of what they deem the enemy, and they would love to see him lose. It's called schaudenfreud. But the enemy of your enemy is not necessarily your friend. No matter who is president, and who is running against them, I'm sure they would love to see the president lose.

Don't vote based on what others want. Vote based on what you want.

Tue Oct 19 2004 10:47 AM


wrong wing,

You said:
"...and 3 years ago there was a dictator who used to torture children while making their parents watch. Rape a wife while making the husband watch, then cutting of his hands."

How naive you are to think that we have made things better. As horrific as the situation was under Saddam, Bush has made it much much worse. Think on that and be dismayed.

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:13 AM


"As horrific as the situation was under Saddam, Bush has made it much worse..."

So you're speaking for all Iraqis now? You must have done some serious research among the populace of Iraq, huh? No? How arrogant, presumptuous, and pompous of you.

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:18 AM


"Freedom for Americans to decide for themselves rather then have activist judges impose their will upon us."

So you are opposed to the traditional oversight role of the judiciary? This is what I don't understand. How can so-called conservatives be against judicial oversight and for a Putin-style government, with power concentrated in the hands of a single man, the president.

As far as I'm concerned, true conservatives should support the separation of powers, because it's the main pillar supporting our democracy. Free speech won't last long, if the president is above the law. Freedom of religion neither. It's separation of powers, and the conflict between the president, the legislature, and the courts, which preserves our way of life.

And Republicans are doing everything they can to tear down that separation of powers and give the president the powers of a king.

OK, cue up the bizarro nut wing response...

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:20 AM



"So you're speaking for all Iraqis now? You must have done some serious research among the populace of Iraq, huh? No? How arrogant, presumptuous, and pompous of you."

Please list concrete ways in which the lives of Iraqis are better. Then, please list concrete ways in which the U.S. invasion of Iraq has furthered our national interests.

Concrete. Not abstract. None of this hand-waving you so-called conservatives do while everything is falling apart around our ears.

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:30 AM


Subject: Fw: The Real Iraq

For those of you who have not seen Farnaz Fassihi's letter from
Baghdad, a copy is included below. Fassihi is the Middle Eastern bureau
chief for the Wall Street Journal. In addition to her official reporting
duties, she has also been writing a monthly letter to close friends and
newsroom colleagues describing the situation in Iraq in more detailed ways
-- and with more first-person evaluation -- than her stories published in
the paper. Last week, one of Fassini's colleague forwarded her latest
letter to someone else. The process was repeated a few times. Very quickly
this letter, which was intended as a private communication, ended up in
widespread circulation on the internet. Paul Steiger, the editor of the
Wall Street Journal issued a statement late last week. He said: "Ms.
Fassihi's private opinions have in no way distorted her coverage, which has
been a model of intelligent and courageous reporting, and scrupulous
accuracy and fairness." Nevertheless, the Journal announced within a day
that she is leaving Baghdad for a "long vacation."

From: Farnaz Fassihi Subject: From Baghdad 9/29/04

Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being under
virtual house arrest. Forget about the reasons that lured me to this job: a
chance to see the world, explore the exotic, meet new people in far away
lands, discover their ways and tell stories that could make a difference.
Little by little, day-by-day, being based in Iraq has defied all those
reasons. I am house bound. I leave when I have a very good reason to and a
scheduled interview. I avoid going to people's homes and never walk in the
streets. I can't go grocery shopping any more, can't eat in restaurants,
can't strike a conversation with strangers, can't look for stories, can't
drive in any thing but a full armored car, can't go to scenes of breaking
news stories, can't be stuck in traffic, can't speak English outside, can't
take a road trip, can't say I'm an American, can't linger at checkpoints,
can't be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling. And can't
and can't.

There has been one too many close calls, including a car bomb so near our
house that it blew out all the windows. So now my most pressing concern
every day is not to write a kick-ass story but to stay alive and make sure
our Iraqi employees stay alive. In Baghdad I am a security personnel first,
a reporter second. It's hard to pinpoint when the 'turning point' exactly
began. Was it April when the Fallujah fell out of the grasp of the
Americans? Was it when Moqtada and Jish Mahdi declared war on the U.S.
military? Was it when Sadr City, home to ten percent of Iraq's population,
became a nightly battlefield for the Americans? Or was it when the
insurgency began spreading from isolated pockets in the Sunni triangle to
include most of Iraq? Despite President Bush's rosy assessments, Iraq
remains a disaster. If under Saddam it was a 'potential' threat, under the
Americans it has been transformed to 'imminent and active threat,' a foreign
policy failure bound to haunt the United States for decades to come.

Iraqis like to call this mess 'the situation.' When asked 'how are things?'
they reply: 'the situation is very bad." What they mean by situation is
this: the Iraqi government doesn't control most Iraqi cities, there are
several car bombs going off each day around the country killing and injuring
scores of innocent people, the country's roads are becoming impassable and
littered by hundreds of landmines and explosive devices aimed to kill
American soldiers, there are assassinations, kidnappings and beheadings. The
situation, basically, means a raging barbaric guerilla war. In four days,
110 people died and over 300 got injured in Baghdad alone. The numbers are
so shocking that the ministry of health -- which was attempting an exercise
of public transparency by releasing the numbers -- has now stopped
disclosing them.

Insurgents now attack Americans 87 times a day. A friend drove thru the
Shiite slum of Sadr City yesterday. He said young men were openly placing
improvised explosive devices into the ground. They melt a shallow hole into
the asphalt, dig the explosive, cover it with dirt and put an old tire or
plastic can over it to signal to the locals this is booby-trapped. He said
on the main roads of Sadr City, there were a dozen landmines per every ten
yards. His car snaked and swirled to avoid driving over them. Behind the
walls sits an angry Iraqi ready to detonate them as soon as an American
convoy gets near. This is in Shiite land, the population that was supposed
to love America for liberating Iraq.

For journalists the significant turning point came with the wave of
abduction and kidnappings. Only two weeks ago we felt safe around Baghdad
because foreigners were being abducted on the roads and highways between
towns. Then came a frantic phone call from a journalist female friend at 11
p.m. telling me two Italian women had been abducted from their homes in
broad daylight. Then the two Americans, who got beheaded this week and the
Brit, were abducted from their homes in a residential neighborhood. They
were supplying the entire block with round the clock electricity from their
generator to win friends. The abductors grabbed one of them at 6 a.m. when
he came out to switch on the generator; his beheaded body was thrown back
near the neighborhoods.

The insurgency, we are told, is rampant with no signs of calming down. If
anything, it is growing stronger, organized and more sophisticated every
day. The various elements within it - baathists, criminals, nationalists and
Al Qaeda - are cooperating and coordinating. I went to an emergency meeting
for foreign correspondents with the military and embassy to discuss the
kidnappings. We were somberly told our fate would largely depend on where
we were in the kidnapping chain once it was determined we were missing. Here
is how it goes: criminal gangs grab you and sell you up to Baathists in
Fallujah, who will in turn sell you to Al Qaeda. In turn, cash and weapons
flow the other way from Al Qaeda to the Baathisst to the criminals. My
friend Georges, the French journalist snatched on the road to Najaf, has
been missing for a month with no word on release or whether he is still

America's last hope for a quick exit? The Iraqi police and National Guard
units we are spending billions of dollars to train. The cops are being
murdered by the dozens every day-over 700 to date -- and the insurgents are
infiltrating their ranks. The problem is so serious that the U.S. military
has allocated $6 million dollars to buy out 30,000 cops they just trained
to get rid of them quietly. As for reconstruction: firstly it's so unsafe
for foreigners to operate that almost all projects have come to a halt.
After two years, of the $18 billion Congress appropriated for Iraq
reconstruction only about $1 billion or so has been spent and a chuck has
now been reallocated for improving security, a sign of just how bad things
are going here. Oil dreams? Insurgents disrupt oil flow routinely as a
result of sabotage and oil prices have hit record high of $49 a barrel.

Who did this war exactly benefit? Was it worth it? Are we safer because
Saddam is holed up and Al Qaeda is running around in Iraq? Iraqis say that
thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity. Guess what?
They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having
a dictator ruler. I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein
were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote.
This is truly sad. Then I went to see an Iraqi scholar this week to talk to
him about elections here. He has been trying to educate the public on the
importance of voting. He said, "President Bush wanted to turn Iraq into a
democracy that would be an example for the Middle East. Forget about
democracy, forget about being a model for the region, we have to salvage
Iraq before all is lost." One could argue that Iraq is already lost beyond
salvation. For those of us on the ground it's hard to imagine what if
anything could salvage it from its violent downward spiral. The genie of
terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result
of American mistakes and it can't be put back into a bottle. The Iraqi
government is talking about having elections in three months while half of
the country remains a 'no go zone'-out of the hands of the government and
the Americans and out of reach of journalists. In the other half, the
disenchanted population is too terrified to show up at polling stations.
The Sunnis have already said they'd boycott elections, leaving the stage
open for polarized government of Kurds and Shiites that will not be deemed
as legitimate and will most certainly lead to civil war. I asked a
28-year-old engineer if he and his family would participate in the Iraqi
elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degree elect a
leadership. His response summed it all: "Go and vote and risk being blown
into pieces or followed by the insurgents and murdered for cooperating with
the Americans? For what? To practice democracy? Are you joking?"

Your comments are invited. Read the home page of the World Association of
International Studies (WAIS) by going to:

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:31 AM


Last time I looked Putin was close to turning his country back into a semi communist dictatorship.

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:38 AM


Well, if you so cavalierly dismiss the mass graves and the torture chambers as if they were mere annoyances (Links provided up-thread by RWR) and you care not one whit that the Iraqis will get to vote in actual elections, I don't guess anything will convince you.

So let's just call the whole thing a big mistake and return Saddam to power. Would that make you happy? Would you loathe the U.S. less if we did that?

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:49 AM

Right Wing Robby:

Paul, I couldnt agree more. No single man should have the power to cancel out the will of the people. Thats what check and balances are all about.

So let me make up an example. Lets say there was a vote and the huge majority of people voted in favor of an amendment. Lets say 60%, no lets say 70%. No actually lets say almost 80% of the people voted in favor of an amendment. And the on single man came along and cancelled that vote for his own agenda. That person shouldn't have the power of a "KING."

The only problem is that the example isnt made up. It happened.

So we agree that no man should have the power of a king?

Cue up liberal back pedaling response....

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:52 AM


Millions of people are starving in North Korea and living under a regime as brutal or more brutal than Hussein's was. In every way possible, Kim Jong Il was a more deserving target than Hussein.

I don't think that removing Saddam Hussein from power was a bad idea in principle. It was just a bad idea in practical reality (the real world).

I do admit that it's a wonderful thing that Hussein is not around to torture people, but that's only half of the scenario. It's fairly apparent to any impartial observer that we are replacing his tyranny with civil war.

Not only that, we have created a failed state, which is a refuge for terrorism.

It is the height of arrogance and pomposity to think that we can play god with other people. When we do choose to play god, it's important that we fully understand what we are getting into.

In the case of Iraq, we were lied to about the reasons for playing god. We were lied to about the costs of playing god. And we were lied to about the likely outcome of playing god.

A failed state is not in the best interests of the Iraqi people, nor is it in the best interests of American national security, but that's where we are today.

Iraqis are living in fear. Law and order has broken down. They don't have reliable water and electrical services. There is an occupying power and violent insurrection fighting a war on their streets.

And the insurrection cannot be defeated without stalinist measures. So, in order to win this war, we must *become* Saddam Hussein.

That is not something I want to be a part of.

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:53 AM


wrong wing,

You didn't respond to my point about Republicans trying to break the authority of the courts and create a presidency which is above the law. Please don't bring up petty side issues.

Tue Oct 19 2004 11:55 AM

Right Wing Robby:


There is nothing to argue against because it isnt happening. I provide you with real life examples and you dimiss them as a petty side arguements. You provide me with nothing but conspiracy theory garbage. I cant disprove something that is false to begin with.

Got anything to show me other than your fantasy land theories? Nope.

Tue Oct 19 2004 12:08 PM


Would you vote if you might be blown up or be followed and have your family blown up or tortured?

Is that freedom to vote?

I agree you can't ignore Sadam's atrocities. It seems the difference now is US soldiers and civilians are being killed along with the Iraqis killing each other.

Tue Oct 19 2004 12:12 PM

Independent Jones:

I'm curious, Robby, how does a judge saying two dudes can marry affect you in any way? How does this impose on you? You are not required to be gay yourself, you know.

Tue Oct 19 2004 12:17 PM

Right Wing Robby:

Indy, I am concerned about the overwhelming majority being snubbed by one man, one "king."
Thats not the only example I can point to. It effects me because the will of the people(me, you and my good buddy paul here) are being ignored. The people of that state voted, and their vote didnt count. That should concern everyone. Thats a very dangerous road to walk down.

What if the situation was the opposite? What if the people overwhelmingly voted in support of gay marriage, and one neo-con conservative judge said no way and killed it? Dangerous stuff Indy. Very dangerous stuff.

Personally, the gay marriage issue has no effect on me. I dont care who marry's who. You can marry a goat if it makes you happy. Im in favor of civil unions that have equal rights I guess. I think that would keep the hard core religious people happy and give gay people equal rights.
But in the end, I really dont care what they do.

Tue Oct 19 2004 12:39 PM


wrong wing said:" There is nothing to argue against because it isnt happening."

In the America where I grew up, anyone accused of a crime had the right to be charged and to defend the charges in court. In Bush's America, the president is above the law, and he has the right to imprison any of us at his own whim, even those of us who are American citizens.

"In April 2002, after U.S. prison camp officials accepted his claims of U.S. citizenship, Hamdi was sent to the Naval Station Norfolk brig where he was imprisoned and held incommunicado without being charged and without a trial."

"Padilla later traveled to Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. On his return, he was arrested by federal agents at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on May 8, 2002. Subsequently he was declared an enemy combatant and accused of participating in the construction of a radioactive dirty bomb. No evidence was presented, no legal proceedings authorized, and he was not allowed to talk to his lawyer. He is being held in a naval brig at Hanahan, South Carolina."

Now, if someone tries to tell me that if I'm not a terrorist I don't have anything to be afraid of...

Well, please don't make such an argument, or my head might explode.

And you really don't want that on your conscience.

Besides, it's the same argument that every police state has made in its defense.

Tue Oct 19 2004 1:41 PM

Independent Jones:


Dangit, I had written a lengthy, lucid post back to you, which was thoughtful, considerate and raised a few good points both in concurrence and disagreement with some of your statements. Then I went and accidentally hit the freakin' "esc" key and it blew my post away. So, now I'm almost ready to leave work and don't want to stay late trying to redo what I undid. So, just pretend I wrote something solid, but still arguable, and flowing with respect for both sides and all that good stuff.

It was good, too...

Let that be a lesson to the "esc" key!

Tue Oct 19 2004 1:48 PM


wrong wing,

"Indy, I am concerned about the overwhelming majority being snubbed by one man, one "king."

Permitting gay marriage is not in the same class as running a police state, now is it? As long as I'm not forced to marry a gay man, how does allowing gay marriage affect me? It doesn't.

However, running a police state does affect me, because I know that I could always be next in line for solitary confinement. I don't believe in entrusting politicians with the keys to my freedom, because ultimately I guarantee you that they will betray that trust. They might be locking up only Ay-rabs today, but they'll come after the rest of us soon enough.

True "conservatives" should be concerned about such things.

Tue Oct 19 2004 1:52 PM

Tom from Madison:

Getting back to Iraq...

We need to identify who the various factions fighting are. To hear George Bush tell it, there are only 2 sides--ours and the terrorists. This is a GROSS OVER-SIMPLIFICATION! Moreover, it ignores the fact that there were no Al QAEDA in Iraq until we invaded. We made it possible for them to get into the country!

Also, remember that in the process of prosecuting this war, US operations have killed at least 15,000 innocent Iraqi civilians. Our government doesn't even keep an official count of these deaths. Killing innocent people, even by "accident", is no way to win the hearts and minds of a country you're occupying. How could average Iraqis who have seen their families killed by the US military be expected to rally in support of what we're doing there?

This mission is self-defeating. It's obvious Rumsfeld & Wolfowitz are in way over their heads. "Quagmire" doesn't cover it any more. We're into "collosal blunder" territory.

Tue Oct 19 2004 2:00 PM


Indy, I must admit that was a very cogent and perceptive argument you made there. You really made me think.

Tue Oct 19 2004 2:25 PM


"Well, if you so cavalierly dismiss the mass graves"

Which mass graves? Do you mean from the Iran-Iraq war, from Hussein crushing the Kurdish uprising (which former President Bush stood by and did nothing to stop), or from the invasion of Iraq?

In two of those catastrophes, the Bush family is at least partially responsible.

See above for my argument about why it doesn't matter if we removed a despot, when the end result is civil war. I'm not cavalierly dismissing the wonderfulness of getting rid of a tinpot dictator, but I'm questioning whether we have actually improved the situation, when the country is sliding into a civil war, a la Lebanon or Somalia.

Again, I argued this point above, so please go check it out. I'm sure you will come away impressed, and with a completely changed outlook on things.

This whole thing about holding an election in Iraq is pure political theater, and the so-called conservatives swallow it whole. A more naive bunch never existed. How can you hold elections, when you can't maintain law and order? It's inconceivable.

Granted, Bush has no choice but to try. Bush needs to hold elections and declare the country stable, so he can pull our asses out of there and declare "peace with honor" while Iraq implodes in on itself. You know, the usual way that Republicans handle their wars when they go wrong.

Tue Oct 19 2004 2:37 PM


"Indy, I must admit that was a very cogent and perceptive argument you made there. You really made me think."

Darn. I put a "grin" inside of angle brackets after that, but the blog doesn't allow anything which looks like a tag. I wasn't being sarcastic, but it's hard to tell without the :).

At least smileys work.

Tue Oct 19 2004 2:40 PM

Right Wing Robby:

Indy, you crack me up. That was seriously funny.


I am familiar with the Hamdi case. The ruling basically said the Government could hold enemy combatants, but not forever. The check and balance system worked fine.

I dont get what your issue is? It seems you are trying to alledge that Bush is attempting to get rid of the system of checks and balances. Has he introduced a bill to congress to rid the USA of the judicial branch that Im not aware of? The case you site proves the system is working fine, not breaking down.

Tue Oct 19 2004 2:47 PM

Dan H:

"So you are opposed to the traditional oversight role of the judiciary? This is what I don't understand. How can so-called conservatives be against judicial oversight and for a Putin-style government, with power concentrated in the hands of a single man, the president."

Just a few mistakes, errors or omissions in that statement.

The three branch system of government was set up to to hold each other in check - the judiciary branch was never supposed to be the "overseer". In the past thirty years the judicary system has made the biggest power grab ever seen in the this country, and for the most part has succeded. I don't give a flying fuck about two homos getting married, that's the least of the problem. Currently there are courts in the US raising taxes, law enforcement agencies seizing property without even a hearing and whole sections being added to constitutions without even consulting the populace.

Tue Oct 19 2004 3:17 PM

Red Ghost:

The fourth branch of government is the People! This looks fun:

Tue Oct 19 2004 5:13 PM

Independent Jones:


Thanks, I really sweated that one out. I needed intravenous fluids after making that argument.

Oh, and I knew you were joking in good nature. I did not take it as sarcasm.

Wed Oct 20 2004 7:09 AM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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