Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Yeah, me too. And be sure to scroll down and read the takedown of the discredited, Dolchstoss-infused Hugh Hewitt. The self-immolation of the Titular Right continues apace.


Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

I really must take exception to this portion of the Belgravia article: those who insist on denigrating us former war supporters turned critics (you know, cheap ex post carpers, armed with 20-20 hindsight, whiney arm-chair quarterbacks to a man) that they read books like Rick's. They are really eye-openers.

I seem to recall TCR being against the war from the git-go, so this doesn't apply to TCR.

But to Belgravia, and other people who soured on the war after initial support (even Tom Friedman seems to have joined this group, as of last Friday)... I'm sorry, but you are engaging in self-serving historical revisionism, and if it's not corrected, this warped view will lead us into war with Iran, and other countries.

We are not and were not "denigrating" you, we were trying to wake you up to some facts, which WE knew in advance of the war, but which you at the time either didn't want to see, or were too deluded and excited about the bullets flying, to pay attention. That's not denigration, that is the only explanation for your performance.

We knew long before the war that there were too many risks of disaster for too small a payoff for the U.S. Your side "denigrated", downplayed, and dismissed all our valid concerns about the risks. THAT was why we opposed the war, not because we didn't "believe Arabs were capable of Democracy", or some other such nonsense. Before the war was even started, we knew the goal was impossible -- because Democracy can't be imposed from outside, by its very nature. WE knew that the only Democracy that could survive in the region, would be a home-grown Iraqi-initiated Democracy. You were the ones who "denigrated" us as dreamers. Looks like your plan was the one that was a pipe dream.

This Onion Article captures it perfectly. Look at the date on the Onion article -- March 2003, more than three years ago. (Yes, yes, I know the Onion is a satire, but this satire was strongly based in reality.)

From the beginning, with those pronouncements about "cake-walk", "rose petals", "pay for itself with oil revenues", it was obvious that the Bush Administration had no plan whatsoever besides just shooting everyone in sight and sucking the spoils out of the country. Looks like classic Roman Imperialism, quacks like classic Roman Imperialism, it WAS classic Roman Imperialism.

And it was obvious that, even if a plan existed, Bush and co. were too incompetent to pull it off. When Bush first ran for President, we tried to explain how his record of nepotism, cronyism, and bankrupting every company he ever got his hands on -- plus shirking his duty in the National Guard -- indicated he wasn't competent enough for this weighty office. Katrina, deceptions on Medicare costs, are just two of many domestic examples which confirm the realization which Belgravia is just now coming-to, in war policy: The Bush Administration is utterly incompetent, and frankly doesn't care about the fact. They knew they only had to answer to their rich corporate backers, not the voters, not the soldiers.

WE knew he was incompetent before the war -- before the troops started dying, before the Shiites stepped in to pick up the pieces we carelessly dropped. YOU just didn't want to listen to us.

So now we hear, yet again, that a little "Shock and Awe" in Iran will cause the Iranians to overthrow their government. Cakewalk, rose petals, all over again.

WRONG!! The strategy is erroneous, and even if it weren't, the Bush Administration is too incompetent to succeed. THAT is why we oppose the coming wars against Iran (and Syria? etc.), _NOT_ because we enjoy the thought of Iranian nuclear weapons, nor because we are in cahoots with the Ayatollas or whatever. Wrong, wrong, wrong. You were wrong about Bush's competence from the start, you were wrong that the goal was achievable, you were wrong that a plan existed, and you will be wrong again this coming year in Iran. (Has anyone _talked_ about a post-combat plan for Iran? Bueller? Bueller?)

If we don't disabuse these people like Belgravia and Tom Friedman of their notion that "the concept was great, but we made some mistakes" -- the U.S. will enter another disastrous war, which will probably destroy our country, economically, geopolitically, and maybe even militarily, by decimating our overstretched defense forces.

8/09/2006 12:29 PM  
Anonymous thirdeye said...

"Beyond the Euphrates began for us the land of mirage and danger, the sands where one helplessly sank, and the roads which ended in nothing. The slightest reversal would have resulted in a jolt to our prestige giving rise to all kinds of catastrophe; the problem was not only to conquer but to conquer again and again, perpetually; our forces would be drained off in the attempt."

Emperor Hadrian AD 117-138

8/09/2006 1:33 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Oh, but the helicopter assault on Tehran, that's feasible.

Seen a map lately? One with topography? K Thx.

8/09/2006 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Hedley Bowes said...

Thanks for the link to The Onion. It's a sad statement that The Onion has greater credibility than 99% of the Washington press corps and the government they report on.

It's time to pull the plug on this horror show.

8/09/2006 3:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to The Onion. It's a sad statement that The Onion has greater credibility than 99% of the Washington press corps and the government they report on.

Take a look at this Onion gem, and pay special attention to the date. It's funny, but it's also spookily, tragically prescient.
-- sglover

8/09/2006 3:36 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

On second look, I think the sentence in the Belgravia article which I took exception to... is actually his defense against pundits on the Right.

Which is really pretty mind-blowing. To think that enough people are still _that_ clueless and polarized, as to be accusing ex-War supporters of cowardice at this point in the game.

I stand by every single thing I said, but I might have phrased things just a little more gently if I had realized he was trying to defend his _other_ flank. Welcome to Reality, Mr. Djerejian...

I wouldn't wish upon any rational human being, the amount of abuse and vitriol that has been heaped upon _me_ since my first anti-War letter to the Editor... but apparently, with these people, (supporters of the President and the War), the minute you blink, you become One of The Enemy. These people are desperate and driven, and they're all in favor of the 2nd Amendment.

I think I'm gonna stock up on rations and water before the next two elections; some kind of coup-d'etat is not out of the question if a Democratic Congress forces Bush to agree to an accelerated troop drawdown. Dolschtoss indeed.

8/09/2006 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About eight to ten years ago, a bunch of embassy brats I grew up with decided to walk away from The Shop and find something meaningful to do with their lives. Only one guy said it, the only time I ever saw him drunk: "Come the Millenium there's going to be two national security concerns: Israel and everything else, and I mean _everything_ else."

I figured he was probably right and felt cynical and ashamed, just as I was conditioned to feel. Now we're fighting TWO land wars in Asia, a major port has been destroyed, our very energy infrastructure is collapsing and we're essentially a bankrupt, pariah nation whose SigInt capabilities have been thrashed for at least a generation ("for sale: U.S. exportable Cusko router with Macroharsh XP auto-updating drivers -- five cents O.B.O.")... and then there's Israel needing help with their bonsai quik-Iraqi quagmire, so let's split our attention right down the middle like nice Americans.

If NASA identified a rogue asteroid on a collision course with Earth, that too would be "everything else." These guys can't get off the tiger now. Why be surprised?

8/09/2006 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

Did'ja see this list of more "mistakes" in the NY review of books? (Via Truthout):

> I arrived in Baghdad on April 14, 2003, as a news consultant to the ABC investigative team led by veteran correspondent Brian Ross. Before the war, Brian had broadcast a profile of Uday and one of his first stops in Baghdad was at Uday's riverside residence. In the basement of the partially looted house, Bob Baer, another ABC news consultant, made an astounding discovery, the personnel files of the Saddam Fedayeen. We were amazed that the military had not inspected or secured such an obvious location and Ross made that point in his exclusive ABC news report. ... I had thought Ross's story would arouse some interest from the Pentagon but there was no reaction. I then called Paul Wolfowitz's office to see if I could discreetly hand them over to the military. (I was still a professor at the National War College - and therefore an employee of the Defense Department - and wanted to help.) Although we were staying in the Ishtar Sheraton, a hotel guarded by US troops, the deputy secretary of defense could not arrange to pick up these documents before I had to leave the city.

> In the three weeks that followed Baghdad's fall, I was able to go unchallenged into sites of enormous intelligence value, including the Foreign Ministry, Uday's house, and a wiretap center right across Firdos Square from the Sheraton. All three had many sensitive documents but even weeks after the takeover, the only people to take an interest in these document caches were looters, squatters (who burned wiretap transcripts for lighting), journalists, Baathists, Iraqi factions looking for dirt on political rivals, and (possibly) agents of countries hostile to the United States. Neither the Pentagon nor the CIA had a workable plan to safeguard and exploit the vast quantities of intelligence that were available for the taking in Iraq's capital. ...

> As we now know, Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon had no plan to secure any part of Baghdad.


> It allowed looters to destroy Iraq's governmental infrastructure and to steal thousands of tons of high explosives, weapons, and radioactive materials.
> [During planning for the war] ...The defense secretary [Rumsfeld] said in exasperation that he did not see why more than 125,000 troops would be required and even that was probably too many. Rumsfeld's reaction was dutifully passed to the United States Central Command. ...Steve Cambone, Rumsfeld's closest aide, "jested that Rumsfeld thought the Army's problems could be solved by lining up fifty of its generals in the Pentagon and gunning them down." It was not an atmosphere that encouraged dissent.

> ... Fortunately for the US troops who had to invade Iraq, they were initially up against an adversary who was also convinced of his own military genius. Saddam Hussein knew it made no strategic sense for the US to invade Iraq and therefore he assumed it wouldn't happen. He had maintained ambiguity about whether he had WMDs not because he had something to hide but to intimidate the two enemies about whom he really was worried, the Iranians and Iraq's Shiite majority.

> Even after the invasion began, according to Gordon and Trainor, Saddam could not quite believe the United States intended to go all the way to Baghdad. He did not want to destroy bridges that might have slowed the American advance (since they would be needed to move troops to put down an expected Shiite uprising) and he devised his own plan of concentric circles for the defense of the capital. Iraqi Lieutenant General Raad Majid al-Hamdani identified the Karbala Gap - an agricultural area between Milh Lake and the city of Karbala - as a critical bottleneck for the undermanned American invasion force and sought to redeploy two Republican Guard divisions to take on the enemy. Qusay Hussein, Saddam's more sober son, explained that the plan for the defense of the capital had been decided and Hamdani's job was to carry it out. Thus the two opposing armies had plans dictated by armchair strategists both of whom made the mistake of assuming the enemy would think as they would.

> Saddam could not imagine that the United States would see an advantage in replacing him with a pro-Iranian, Shiite-dominated regime. Knowing very little about American politics, he could not grasp the ideological fervor of the Pentagon neoconservatives who believed Iraq's democratic transformation would revolutionize the Middle East. Rumsfeld and the neoconservatives could not imagine that Iraqis would not embrace liberation and pro-Western democracy and they assumed that both the invasion and occupation to follow would be easy. For the American generals, to challenge the petty tyrant on the Potomac could have ended their careers; for their Iraqi counterparts, taking on the tyrant on the Tigris could have ended their lives.

[THOMAS' NOTE AGAIN] : So in other words, our glorious victory in Iraq came about because Donald Rumsfeld was not quite as stupid and deluded as Saddam Hussein. Fine standard to hold our leaders to.

8/11/2006 10:56 AM  
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8/25/2006 6:07 PM  

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