From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
We broke, and it can't be fixed

July 24, 2006 5:00 PM

The Independent: '"Iraq as a political project is finished," a senior government official was quoted as saying, adding: "The parties have moved to plan B." He said that the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties were now looking at ways to divide Iraq between them and to decide the future of Baghdad, where there is a mixed population. "There is serious talk of Baghdad being divided into [Shia] east and [Sunni] west," he said.'

Iraq will be over soon, not the war.. the country. This was predicted by many before the war started because tese three groups were never meant to share their own country to begin with.

More from the archive in War and Peace.

We broke, and it can't be fixed (07.24.2006)

Next Entry: This must be why they do a psych evaluation (07.25.2006)
Previous Entry: The Man Who Knew Too Much (07.23.2006)

Read the 12 comments.

Dave E.:

Now this is a post that begs a couple questions, and some follow up thoughts:

1) Who gets the rights to the land where the oil reserves are located?
This is the issue that will lead to years, maybe decades, of scrumming and instability between Sunni, Shia, and Kurds. It's such a complex region, the positively last thing that should've happened was to treat it like a white hatted cowboy chasing down black bart.

2) Will Turkey (a valuable Islamic ally) recognize a Kurdish state and how will this affect US-Turkish relations?

Uhh...probably no and probably hugely. Turkey has a very recent history of near genocidal-policy toward Kurds in southeastern Turkey. Turkey may become extremely hostile toward an oil-rich Kurdish bordering state, and you can bet Kurds will remember those recent Turkish atrocities. Bad combination of circumstances if you ask me.

Secondly, Turkey already has taken a relatively hard position against the US by not permitting territorial rights to the US military during the initial invasion. The US being responsible for a neighboring fractured and failed Iraq would further erode already strained US-Turkish relations during a very tense period in Western-ME relations. The last thing we need is to piss off yet another Islamic nation -- but it looks like the Bush Doctrine will have done exactly that.

And yet, despite being wrong by the numbers on virtually every single account where being wrong means thousands of lives and billions of dollars lost, neoconservatives and chickenhawks still exert significant influence over US foreign policy. Welcome to the land of no accountability.

And this concludes the quizzing of myself.

Mon Jul 24 2006 6:54 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

You might as well just face it... go to and get yourself a 'Jesus is coming' T-Shirt and be done with it.

Tue Jul 25 2006 10:41 AM

Dave E.:

If Jesus really did show up, he'd be dismissed as a hippie liberal.

You may even find him on a website like this espousing liberal ideals, clamoring fruitlessly to get wingnuts to believe that he's the real deal.

Sort of like an inverted Life of Brian.
"Brian: Everyone here is an individual! Then a faceless moron in the crowd raises his hand and says: I'm not." Love that movie.

Consider the lillies...!

Tue Jul 25 2006 12:43 PM

Dave E.:

Looks like Bush is attempting to placate Turkey re the Kurd issue. Thought it was an interesting coincidence considering my comment about Turkey and Kurds just yesterday.

The big breakthrough?
"We have already identified some steps that can be taken and that the Iraqis are going to take," he (NSA Stephen Hadley) told reporters."

They have "identified steps" to be taken. Wow. That sounds very...substantive. These Bush cronies are all so very deft at saying absolutely nothing.

Also of interest:
"Diplomats say Turkey is frustrated that the United States accepts Israel's right to launch attacks against its enemies over the border in Lebanon while remaining opposed to Ankara taking unilateral action against the PKK in Iraq."

You mean the doctrine of preemption only applies to the US and its preordained situational allies? Looks like introducing the doctrine of preemption actually encourages other nations to follow suit. All they do to justify their action is to simply point to the US. Quite a slippery and dangerous precedent Bush has birthed.

This is why operating under the rule of law is widely considered above all other principles to live by. Specifically, hundreds of years of institutional evolution in international law exists still for a reason: It allows for states to operate in the closest thing toward a stable atmosphere. See Burke on the importance of institutions when he writes on the failures of the French Revolution.

This historical logic also feeds into why Iraq is such a disaster: no institutions. We disolved everything, including the fucking army. The result? No security and near total chaos, to this day. You always hear about senior US military leadership wishing there was some semblance of a bureaucracy in place that somebody respected so they can get even the most simplest of things done.

This is turning, or turned, into a rant. I'm done.

When's Jesus gonna get here?

Tue Jul 25 2006 9:35 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

I'm sorry, but unless someone did a piss poor job putting this poll together and totally f'd up the numbers.. then im ready to give up all hope for America.

Needless to say i can imagine who the bulk of these respondents voted for in 04'.

Ignorant people should be barred from attaining citizenship. There should be an educational element to becoming a citizen that should be higher than memorizing a pledge.

Wed Jul 26 2006 7:14 PM

Jim Gilliam:

read the absolutely incredible new book 'stumbling on happiness'.. it scientifically explains in a very easy-to-read and ejoyable way how polls like this happen, and well.. just about how evertyhing happens really.

our brains are wired such that when something really truly horrible is happening, we have to put up our psychological defenses to find the 'good' in it, otherwise we just can't handle it. so as the iraq situation gets worse, people mis-remember the past to explain away their actions in supporting the war...without even knowing they are doing it. so the worse iraq gets, the more people believe saddam had weapons.

after reading this book, i swear, the entire world makes sense to me. including my own behavior.. why do i feel like getting cancer was the best thing to ever happen to me, and everyone else thinks that's nuts.. it's because when something so traumatic happens, we *have* to find the good in it otherwise we wouldn't make it through it. but if it's just a little something bad that happens, it doesn't trigger those defenses..

Wed Jul 26 2006 7:57 PM

Dave E.:

Science has a well known liberal bias Jim.

Thu Jul 27 2006 1:38 AM

Dave E.:

Snark aside...a few of you may enjoy this recent poll indicating troubles within Bush's core group of voters:

And Jim's post reminds me of a very recent and very interesting NYT op-ed regarding imperceptible cognitive bias on the micro and macro scale.

Thu Jul 27 2006 1:50 AM


Mr Gilliam

Since you're into reading, try these books:

More Guns Less Crime by John R. Lott JR.
the Bias Against Guns by John R. Lott JR.
Do as I Say Not as I Do by Peter Schweizer Warlord by Ilario Pantano
The Savage Nation by Michael Savage
The greatest speeches of R. Reagan by R.R.
Indivisible by Martha Zoller
The Connection by Stephan Hayes

Sun Jul 30 2006 10:30 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

I'm sorry. I just can't get over this.

Stupid people.

Either blissfully ignorant and misinformed by the MSM, or intentionally stupid by design. (nothing intelligent about it)

I especially love this line right here... tells you what i'm feeling about the future of America right now:
"This finding just has to cause despair among those of us who hope for an informed public able to draw reasonable conclusions based on evidence."

In other words, no matter how much access to information there is, even in this age of the internet, there will always be people who will intentionally wish to remain stupid so they can live their lives in a fucking bubble. No hope.

I also heard that in the US military, about 85% believe Saddam was involved in 9-11, hence the revenge factor.

I would seriously like to ask NJ the next time he is deployed to Iraq, to ask every serviceman he comes across if they believe this to be true. If they answer yes, i would ask he correct them by telling the truth and then asking if they still believe in their mission?

Ill give the military a pass on this. They're trained to fight, not to critically think.

Thu Aug 17 2006 2:08 PM

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Wed Sep 6 2006 5:07 PM

Mike of the Great White North:

Quote of the day on Anderson Cooper 360.

John Roberts talking to a correspondant in Bagdad asking "What do Iraqi's make of Bush's speeches regarding Iraq as the main front in the war on terror"

Correspondant. "They're not taking it too well, they're saying it wasn't until you invaded us. Asked about whether it was a haven for terrorists, again they say it wasn't until you invaded us. Now there is a new poll out there showing that 43% of Americans still believe Saddam had links to Al-Quada and Iraqis here just cant believe the level of IGNORANCE amongst some Americans."

John Roberts eyes shot open during that last remark. Must have been the truth smacking him in the face. What i've been saying since day one. Still priceless though to hear it in the MSM for a change.

Fri Sep 8 2006 5:35 AM

Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam


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