Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Quotes of the Day

First one from Michael Ware, CNN's Iraq correspondent:

"Anyone who still remains in doubt about whether this is civil war or not is suffering from the luxury of distance."
Those suffering from the "luxury of distance" would include White House Press Secretary Tony Snow, who said this yesterday while claiming Iraq is not in the middle of civil war:

"What you do have is sectarian violence that seems to be less aimed at gaining full control over an area than expressing differences, and also trying to destabilize a democracy — which is different than a civil war, where two sides are clashing for territory and supremacy."

Hey, Tony - how about moving the press office over into Baghdad for awhile, outside of the Green Zone, and then letting us know if the sectarian violence in Iraq is "different than a civil war"?

I bet your take would be different then.

And while you're at it, take the Chickenhawk Brigade, Talk Radio Division, with you. This way, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh and the rest can get a look at the "Not Civil War" up close.


What's your obsession with trying to define the character of this war about?

It is clearly not a war pitting the armies of two sovereign nations against each other. Nor is it a larger war involving the armies of several nations fighting a rogue nation or a confederation of rogue nations.

It is also not a civil war by any standard definition.

Does that matter?

9/11 wasn't easily definable either. It wasn't a simple act of terrorism. It was a diabolical conversion of commercial aircraft into piloted bombs.

The war in Iraq probably expands the list of war definitions.

We see it as fighting for the establishment of freedom and democracy in Iraq. And we are opposed by muslims (and Democrats) who claim they are fighting against infidels on "their" land as well as fighting among themselves as they reach for control of the country.

Who are we fighting? Factions from probably every middle eastern country except Israel.

Are our opponents unified in their goals? Not a chance.

Do they have an objective? Do they espouse a political ideology? No on both counts -- except for this: as muslims they seek the maximum amount of misery their pointless rage can create.

Is the war in Iraq a civil war? Who cares?

But one thing is painfully and brutally clear -- the muslims are the bad guys, through and through. Only bad guys oppose democracy.
Did Snow really say they are "expressing differences"?

Is that what they are doing? Wow, I thought they were killing people.
no slappz

Not bad until your final line, which of course, exemplifies the reasons why we are engaged in a war in Iraq. Only bad guys oppose democarcy, eh?

Democarcy works in the U.S. When we formed our current government after the mulligan of the Articles of Confederation, we were a largely homogeneous populace and more than a one hundred and fifty year tradition of some type of representative government.

Democracy has no chance in Iraq b/c the tradition of tribalism precludes its success. The Neocons were drinking their own bath water and confusing it w/ Vive Cliquot when they formulated a plan to depose a tyrant and thought that our form of republivcan government woould flourish like a weed b/c it works here.

These people not only failed to read any history of the region but also failed to appreciate the paradigm of Yugoslavia.

Consider for a moment that democarcy will not flourish everywhere.
The conflict in Iraq doesn't "expand the list of war definitions." Do you think this is the first time in history that more than two factions have competed for power and advantage? Try Lebanon in the 70's, for one. The fact that the administration doesn't know who is fighting who is part of the problem and just another example of why incompetent morons with hair triggers who get erections at the thought of using force shouldn't be put in charge of anything.

Next time they invade something, they ought to take the time to study out ALL the options of what might happen afterwards, not just the ones they want to happen.

pt, that's the quote from the LA Times story - Snow says they're "expressing differences." Helluva way to do it, huh?

Well said, kid.
reality, you wrote:

"Next time they invade something, they ought to take the time to study out ALL the options of what might happen afterwards, not just the ones they want to happen."

Maybe that's your way of saying we should never launch another invasion. If we -- or any other nation -- studies all the options, we and all other nations following that strategy will suffer the usual "paralysis by analysis".

That's no good in a nuclear world that's about to accept at least two new members to the club.

You, as usual, seem to think that every movement in the world follows a prime movement in the US and that nothing else is relevant.

I'm pretty sure al-qaeda didn't accurately predict or anticipate the US response to 9/11. Their view included an expectation of a US collapse. They're still calling for it. Iran, like a broken watch, again predicted the fall of the US.

Do you suppose the al-qaeda gang should get tossed out of power because their plan failed? Failed in massive terms, by the way.

Do you think the idiot muslims predicted the US response to 9/11?

Not a chance. And now they wish they had, because sunnis are about to die in big numbers along with shias who will die trying to wipe out the sunnis.
no, it's not a way of saying we should never launch another invasion - it's a way of saying THINK before we do invade.

It is patently obvious watching the handling of the entire post-invasion phase of the Iraq war that this administration did very little thinking about the post-invasion phase afterwards. We know from Thomas Ricks' book and Bob Woodward's book and from other sources that they didn't understand the magnitude or complexities of what they were doing. We know that Preznit Bush, for instance, did not know that Muslims subdivided into Sunnis and Shiites. Given that the conflict between Sunni and Shiite, centuries old but now inflamed and raging in iraq, is the major problem we are facing in stablizing the place, don't you think it would have been nice if the leader of our country understood the situation, conditions, and peoples BEFOREHAND?
reality, you wrote:

"We know that Preznit Bush, for instance, did not know that Muslims subdivided into Sunnis and Shiites."

I guess you'll believe anything if you believe the preceding.

Even if you want to believe that Bush knew relatively little about islam, muslims and the middle east before we attacked and destroyed saddam's regime, his staff knew plenty and they didn't keep basic facts from him.

For the last two decades, even the unbalanced liberal press managed to croak out the fact that Iraq was controlled by its sunni minority that spent much of its time and exercised much of its power abusing the shiite majority.

I think Bush has known for a long time that two major islamic factions exist in Iraq and across the middle east.

Unlike Christians after the Reformation, however, muslims have shown no capacity for compromise, dialogue and acceptance. They willingly slaughter each other over worthless interpretations of which sect is the legitimate offspring of muhammad.

This is what happens to people whose culture demands they study nothing but a book inspired by a psycho with murderous tendencies.
No Slappz,

I cannot take issue w/ your analysis about how divers Muslim cultures react to various outside stimuli, to wit, the facts. By way of example, but not by of limitation, consider the number of Nigerian Muslims who decline to acknowledge the role of Muslims in 9/11.

I am assured, however, by the religion major in my immediate family, that there is a vast gulf between the written word of the Quran [sic] and the empirical acts of those whose lives are supposedly governed by that book.

I do take issue, however, w/ your belief that either the president or his staff were particularly knowledgible about Iraq b/f the invasion. I will modify that statement to the extent that if indeed there were members of the the staff of presidential advisors who were familiar w/ Iraq, their voices were surpressed or drowned out by the Neocon hegemony: the yes men w/ whom this president has surrounded himself b/c when it comes to policy, he is only interested in listening to people who agree w/ him.

At the risk of being tiresome by repeating myself, what is occurring in Iraq was foresseable by anyone familiar w/ that country whose borders were drawn up, willy nilly, by the British after WW I.

As for the details: the insurgency; the influx of foreign fighters; etc, these too were foreseeable by any astute analyst.

Listen to the rhetoric and arguments that propelled us into this conflict: Saddam has WMDs, etc. etc.

Listen to the predictions of what woud occur after Saddam was deposed: The U.S. will be welcomed as liberators; the Iraqis will embrace democracy. These seem ludricrous and as realistic as the lion will lie w/ the lamb; pigs will fly.

Our invasion of Iraq is a foreign policy disaster whose effects will last generations and which will prevent us from fighting the battles that really matter.

Do you agree that had we not invaded Iraq, our efforts in Afghanistan would have been more successful? Why has there been a resurgence of the Taliban?

Either the president was poorly advised and he acted on poor information or he was appropriately advised and he acted despite the advice.

Perhaps it is time for we as a nation to stop thinking in sound bites and elect someone who is varsity material as clearly this president was not.
Anyone who still remains in doubt about whether this is civil war or not is suffering from the luxury of distance.

I don't know that this is strong enough. Perhaps, "uncivil bloodbath"?
I agree with everything the loop garoo kid says. Especially about electing a guy from the varsity team.
Nope. It is not a civil war.

Snow stands correct. Liberals are stupid.
Steve, I guess that means Colin Powell, who also called it a civil war, is stupid too.
Steve, Are you any relation to Baron Vladimir Harkonnen?
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