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Thread: Bush Rebrands Irak - Page 34







Post#826 at 06-06-2007 09:27 AM by The Grey Badger [at Albuquerque, NM joined Sep 2001 #posts 8,876]
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Quote Originally Posted by Finch View Post
Yes, but who is the landlord? The US, Turkey, and/or Iran (which also has a Kurdish area?)

Maybe I should have said "anti-dog neighbors"? But Turkey is the power that has to be placated. The Kurdish area in Iraq is no problem to the United States; they're the ones we point to and wish all Iraq could be like.
How to spot a shill, by John Michael Greer: "What you watch for is (a) a brand new commenter who (b) has nothing to say about the topic under discussion but (c) trots out a smoothly written opinion piece that (d) hits all the standard talking points currently being used by a specific political or corporate interest, while (e) avoiding any other points anyone else has made on that subject."

"If the shoe fits..." The Grey Badger.







Post#827 at 06-12-2007 03:41 PM by Linus [at joined Oct 2005 #posts 1,731]
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For discussion purposes only.

"Post-traumatic Iraq syndrome"

Quote Originally Posted by Christopher J Fettweis

By Christopher J. Fettweis, CHRISTOPHER J. FETTWEIS is assistant professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College. These opinions are his own.
June 12, 2007

LOSING HURTS MORE than winning feels good. This simple maxim applies with equal power to virtually all areas of human interaction: sports, finance, love. And war.

Defeat in war damages societies quite out of proportion to what a rational calculation of cost would predict. The United States absorbed the loss in Vietnam quite easily on paper, for example, but the societal effects of defeat linger to this day. The Afghanistan debacle was an underrated contributor to Soviet malaise in the 1980s and a factor in perestroika, glasnost and eventually the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Defeats can have unintended, seemingly inexplicable consequences.

And as any sports fan can tell you, the only thing that feels worse than a loss is an upset. An upset demands explanation and requires that responsible parties be punished.

The endgame in Iraq is now clear, in outline if not detail, and it appears that the heavily favored United States will be upset. Once support for a war is lost, it is gone for good; there is no example of a modern democracy having changed its mind once it turned against a war. So we ought to start coming to grips with the meaning of losing in Iraq.

The consequences for the national psyche are likely to be profound, throwing American politics into a downward spiral of bitter recriminations the likes of which it has not seen in a generation. It will be a wedge that politicians will exploit for their benefit, proving yet again that politics is the eternal enemy of strategy. The Vietnam syndrome divided this country for decades; the Iraq syndrome will be no different.

The battle for interpretation has already begun, with fingers of blame pointed in all directions in hastily written memoirs. The war's supporters have staked out their position quite clearly: Attacking Iraq was strategically sound but operationally flawed. Key decisions on troop levels, de-Baathification, the disbanding of the Iraqi army and the like doomed what otherwise would have been a glorious war.

The American people seem to understand, however — and historians will certainly agree — that the war itself was a catastrophic mistake. It was a faulty grand strategy, not poor implementation. The Bush administration was operating under an international political illusion, one that is further discredited with every car bombing of a crowded Baghdad marketplace and every Iraqi doctor who packs up his family and flees his country.

The only significant question still hanging is whether Iraq will turn out to have been the biggest strategic mistake in U.S. history. Vietnam was a much greater moral disaster, of course, and led to far more death and destruction. But, just as the war's critics predicted in the 1960s, Vietnam turned out to be strategically irrelevant. Saigon fell, but no dominoes followed; the balance of Cold War power did not change.

Iraq has the potential to be far worse. One of the oft-expressed worst-case scenarios for Iraq — a repeat of Lebanon in the 1980s — may no longer be within reach. Lebanon's simmering civil war eventually burned itself out and left a coherent, albeit weak, state in its ashes. Iraq could soon more closely resemble Somalia in the 1990s, an utterly collapsed, uncontrollable, lawless, failed state that destabilizes the most vital region in the world.

Hopefully at some point during the recriminations to come, the American people will seize the opportunity to ask themselves a series of fundamental questions about the role and purpose of U.S. power in the world. How much influence can the United States have in the Middle East? Is its oil worth American blood and treasure? Are we really safer now that Iraq burns? Might we not be better off just leaving the region alone?

Perhaps at some point we will come to recognize that the United States can afford to be much more restrained in its foreign policy adventures. Were our founding fathers here, they would surely look on Iraq with horror and judge that the nation they created had fundamentally lost its way. If the war in Iraq leads the United States to return to its traditional, restrained grand strategy, then perhaps the whole experience will not have been in vain.

Either way, the Iraq syndrome is coming. We need to be prepared for the divisiveness, vitriol, self-doubt and recrimination that will be its symptoms. They will be the defining legacy of the Bush administration and neoconservatism's parting gift to America.
"Jan, cut the crap."

"It's just a donut."







Post#828 at 06-12-2007 04:53 PM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Nice find, Linus.

Christopher J Fettweis writes...
The battle for interpretation has already begun, with fingers of blame pointed in all directions in hastily written memoirs. The war's supporters have staked out their position quite clearly: Attacking Iraq was strategically sound but operationally flawed. Key decisions on troop levels, de-Baathification, the disbanding of the Iraqi army and the like doomed what otherwise would have been a glorious war.

The American people seem to understand, however — and historians will certainly agree — that the war itself was a catastrophic mistake. It was a faulty grand strategy, not poor implementation. The Bush administration was operating under an international political illusion, one that is further discredited with every car bombing of a crowded Baghdad marketplace and every Iraqi doctor who packs up his family and flees his country.
There were certainly mistakes made. Whether the grand strategy could have been made to work depends on what one thinks the objective was, and how it was to be achieved. Were we going after 9.11 plotters? Did Bush have a grudge against Saddam? Was it the WMDs? Were we trying to spread democracy by force? Was the idea to put troops near the oil? If one looks at the neo-con and administration propaganda, one can find folks advocating for any and all of the above, and moves were made to achieve each of the objectives. At a guess, if everyone was on the same page in looking for one or two of the above objectives, it might have been far more achievable. As is, the lack of a focused goal made achieving any goal unlikely.

Perhaps at some point we will come to recognize that the United States can afford to be much more restrained in its foreign policy adventures. Were our founding fathers here, they would surely look on Iraq with horror and judge that the nation they created had fundamentally lost its way. If the war in Iraq leads the United States to return to its traditional, restrained grand strategy, then perhaps the whole experience will not have been in vain.
I can second this. In my view, the 20th Century featured the industrial democracies suppressing various forms of autocratic government, including the remnants of monarchy, fascism and communism. It was necessary and proper for the United States to play Great Power games through the 20th Century. A return to the more limited role of US power ought to be strongly considered.







Post#829 at 06-12-2007 06:27 PM by Virgil K. Saari [at '49er, north of the Mesabi Mountains joined Jun 2001 #posts 7,835]
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Right Arrow G.w.o.t. >>> T.w.o.u.

Quote Originally Posted by Hizzonor, the Mayor of America
I will keep America on offense in the Terrorists’ War on Us.
GWOT No More–It’s TWOU, It’s TWOU


"What did you do in the TWOU, Daddy?"







Post#830 at 10-08-2007 12:36 AM by New_Waver [at joined Sep 2007 #posts 458]
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Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
IMO this is exactly BECAUSE of the media belittling the protests and trying to portray all the protesters as mostly Marxists and anarchists, that discourages center-left people, anti-war centrists, and anti-war conservatives from joining the protests.
Rabble-rousing? South Park does enough to discredit this activity on its own.







Post#831 at 02-03-2008 08:09 PM by Linus [at joined Oct 2005 #posts 1,731]
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You wonder if that un-de-Baathification law - coming so late - will help to reconcile the country or give aggrieved Sunnis in new positions of power access to information and resources that will aid and abet the insurgents.
Last edited by Linus; 02-03-2008 at 08:12 PM.
"Jan, cut the crap."

"It's just a donut."







Post#832 at 02-04-2008 01:15 AM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
You wonder if that un-de-Baathification law - coming so late - will help to reconcile the country or give aggrieved Sunnis in new positions of power access to information and resources that will aid and abet the insurgents.
A valid concern. On the other hand, de-Baathification excluded most of the people who knew how to run the country from running the country. It also made reasonable power sharing impossible.

I'm sure the move will generate mixed results.







Post#833 at 02-04-2008 09:35 AM by catfishncod [at The People's Republic of Cambridge & Possum Town, MS joined Apr 2005 #posts 984]
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Quote Originally Posted by Bob Butler 54 View Post
A valid concern. On the other hand, de-Baathification excluded most of the people who knew how to run the country from running the country. It also made reasonable power sharing impossible.

I'm sure the move will generate mixed results.
You could say that. According to the NYT, the Sunnis and Shi'a are starting to come together -- against those uppity, too-independent Kurds. Oops.

I don't realistically see how Kurdistan gets established except by surviving a very long siege on all sides. Turkey, Iraq, and Iran all hate the idea of its existence; it's landlocked with no regional allies. (Israel would be the best candidate, but they want to cultivate Turkey.) Maybe the Europeans could sponsor them...
'81, 30/70 X/Millie, trying to live in both Red and Blue America... "Catfish 'n Cod"







Post#834 at 02-04-2008 10:02 AM by Virgil K. Saari [at '49er, north of the Mesabi Mountains joined Jun 2001 #posts 7,835]
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Right Arrow The Skull Crusher's Guide to the Galaxy

From the little nut of Lev Davidovich Bronstein a mighty oak (at once Romantic and rotten) has grown; the WaPo gives us the guide:

>>>----->

Romantic Idealism in Time and Space







Post#835 at 02-04-2008 10:31 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod View Post
You could say that. According to the NYT, the Sunnis and Shi'a are starting to come together -- against those uppity, too-independent Kurds. Oops.

I don't realistically see how Kurdistan gets established except by surviving a very long siege on all sides. Turkey, Iraq, and Iran all hate the idea of its existence; it's landlocked with no regional allies. (Israel would be the best candidate, but they want to cultivate Turkey.) Maybe the Europeans could sponsor them...
The Kurds are doing well in their corner of Iraq. Those doing well without overt exploitation or criminality are more appropriately imitated than hated . It's time for the Turkish Republic to give the Kurdish population some regional autonomy much as Spain gave the Basques and Catalans.







Post#836 at 02-05-2008 10:09 AM by catfishncod [at The People's Republic of Cambridge & Possum Town, MS joined Apr 2005 #posts 984]
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Quote Originally Posted by pbrower2a View Post
The Kurds are doing well in their corner of Iraq. Those doing well without overt exploitation or criminality are more appropriately imitated than hated . It's time for the Turkish Republic to give the Kurdish population some regional autonomy much as Spain gave the Basques and Catalans.
Just because that would be the logical and productive thing to do, is no indication that the Turks will do it.
'81, 30/70 X/Millie, trying to live in both Red and Blue America... "Catfish 'n Cod"







Post#837 at 03-15-2008 09:39 PM by Virgil K. Saari [at '49er, north of the Mesabi Mountains joined Jun 2001 #posts 7,835]
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Right Arrow If it is 4T, we ought oft be using 'citizen'

That the term 'citizen' might need be rectified

Quote Originally Posted by Mr. David Bromwich
in the 3 April 2008 number of the New York Review of Books "Euphemism and American Violence"
Are Americans more susceptible to such devices than other people are? Democracy exists in continuous complicity with euphemism. There are so many things (the staring facts of inequality, for example) about which we feel it is right not to want to speak gratingly. One result is a habit of circumlocution that is at once adaptable and self-deceptive. "Their own approbation of their own acts," wrote Edmund Burke of the people in a democracy, "has to them the appearance of a public judgment in their favor." Since the people are not always right but are by definition always in the majority, their self-approbation, Burke added, tends to make them shameless and therefore fearless. The stratagems of a leader in a democracy include giving the people a name for everything, but doing so in a way that maintains their own approbation of their own acts. Thus a war the people trust their government to wage, over which we have no control, but about which we would prefer to think happy thoughts, gives the widest possible scope to the exertions of euphemism.

There has sprung up, over the past five years, a euphemistic contract between the executive branch and many journalists. "A short, sharp war," as Tony Blair was sure it would be, has become one of the longest of American wars; but the warmakers have blunted that recognition by breaking down the war into stages: the fall of Baghdad; the Coalition Provisional Authority; the insurgency; the election of the Assembly; the sectarian war. In this way the character of the war as a single failed attempt has eluded discovery; it has come to seem, instead, a many-featured entity, difficult to describe and impossible to judge. And to assist the impression of obscurity, two things are consistently pressed out of view: the killing of Iraqi civilians by American soldiers and the destruction of Iraqi cities by American bombs and artillery.

Slight uptick in violence is a coinage new to the war in Iraq, and useful for obvious reasons. It suggests a remote perspective in which fifty or a hundred deaths, from three or four suicide bombings in a day, hardly cause a jump in the needle that measures such things. The phrase has a laconic sound, in a manner popularly associated with men who are used to violence and keep a cool head. Indeed, it was generals at briefings—Kimmitt, Hertling, and Petraeus—who gave currency to a phrase that implies realism and the possession of strong personal shock absorbers.
As Yo. Ob. Sv. still uses the style The Reform of Eurasia to denote the killing of Eurasians and their domestic livestock and it bothers very few that such an elusion allows for domestic tranquility within Our Commercial Republic, does this not speak in favor of our being yet Unravelling?

Crush ---insert Eurasian ethnic group here--- Skulls!!!has attained very little favor amongst T4Ters, but is this not the plain-speaking of a 4T?

Perhaps, in three years, when the 4T comes to us and with it the more sublime events of a Crisis, words closer to actions will also arrive.

Yo. C>A>R>R>H>A>E>-coining Sv.
VKS







Post#838 at 03-31-2008 10:16 PM by Linus [at joined Oct 2005 #posts 1,731]
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Maybe Iraq needs one of these Saddumb-era action heros to unify the country and exalt in glorious national hopes; know of any?

What about that guy from Lost?
"Jan, cut the crap."

"It's just a donut."







Post#839 at 04-01-2008 07:02 PM by Linus [at joined Oct 2005 #posts 1,731]
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Is it my imagination or did I hear someone on the radio yesterday refer to the Sadr fellow as "Maqtari al Sadr" (or something like that) because he sat around as a kid playing video games?
Last edited by Linus; 04-01-2008 at 07:06 PM.
"Jan, cut the crap."

"It's just a donut."







Post#840 at 04-01-2008 10:10 PM by herbal tee [at joined Dec 2005 #posts 7,116]
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Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
Is it my imagination or did I hear someone on the radio yesterday refer to the Sadr fellow as "Maqtari al Sadr" (or something like that) because he sat around as a kid playing video games?
I heard the same thing on NPR yesterday afternoon.
Considering his age and the fact that he is from the family of an elite shiite leader, it doesn't surprise me at all.







Post#841 at 10-12-2008 12:24 PM by Linus [at joined Oct 2005 #posts 1,731]
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It used to be that the introduction of midget children to the cast of the sit com was a strong leading indicator of the show's impending demise.

So too maybe with the Iraq War.
"Jan, cut the crap."

"It's just a donut."







Post#842 at 10-12-2008 01:42 PM by The Wonkette [at Arlington, VA 1956 joined Jul 2002 #posts 9,209]
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Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
It used to be that the introduction of midget children to the cast of the sit com was a strong leading indicator of the show's impending demise.

So too maybe with the Iraq War.
I saw those trailers for that show. I confess to an addiction to What Not To Wear, which also is seen on TLC.
I want people to know that peace is possible even in this stupid day and age. Prem Rawat, June 8, 2008







Post#843 at 10-12-2008 01:46 PM by Earl and Mooch [at Delaware - we pave paradise and put up parking lots joined Sep 2002 #posts 2,106]
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Quote Originally Posted by The Wonkette View Post
I saw those trailers for that show. I confess to an addiction to What Not To Wear, which also is seen on TLC.
My wife loves that show too. I cannot stand it - just how rude can the hosts get?
"My generation, we were the generation that was going to change the world: somehow we were going to make it a little less lonely, a little less hungry, a little more just place. But it seems that when that promise slipped through our hands we didn´t replace it with nothing but lost faith."

Bruce Springsteen, 1987
http://brucebase.wikispaces.com/1987...+YORK+CITY,+NY







Post#844 at 10-12-2008 01:49 PM by The Wonkette [at Arlington, VA 1956 joined Jul 2002 #posts 9,209]
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Quote Originally Posted by Earl and Mooch View Post
My wife loves that show too. I cannot stand it - just how rude can the hosts get?
Yeah, but look what they insult -- the clothes! They don't insult the make-over's body -- they are always saying how beautiful the makeover is and how the proper clothing will allow that beauty to be seen.
I want people to know that peace is possible even in this stupid day and age. Prem Rawat, June 8, 2008
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