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Kryptonite is dense, isn’t it?
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, October 25, 2006

From uber-kryptonite Oliver Willis:
Following his co-blogger Dale Franks, Bruce McQuain of Q&O admits to the Iraqi FUBAR.
As much as I denied that a civil war was happening in Iraq prior to the last few months, honesty compels me to say I can no longer make that claim. Not only are Shites fighting Sunnis, but they're fighting each other now. And the death toll among Iraqis and American troops continues to rise.
It's funny how I knew this stuff before we ever went to war, but it took them this long to buy a clue.
Not that this is particularly unexpected, especially from him, but would someone explain to Willis that taking a contrarian position simply because you're politically opposed to those in power doesn't equal being "prescient."

Willis "knew this stuff" about as well as he "knew" that Howard Dean would win the Iowa Caucus in '04.

Doh!
 
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It’s funny how I knew this stuff before we ever went to war, but it took them this long to buy a clue.
The best example I have found for why there isn’t a civil war in Iraq now. People on the left (who happen to be very over-represented in journalism) have been droning about what a disaster any war will be, well in advance of every war after 9-11. Now they boast how they were "right all along."
 
Written By: Josh
URL: http://
Reminds me of the joke about the economist who predicted nine of the last five recessions.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
People on the left (who happen to be very over-represented in journalism) have been droning about what a disaster any war will be, well in advance of every war after 9-11
Yep. Remember the "brutal Afghan winter"? "Grave of empires"? Oh, and 10,000 American troops were going to die kicking Saddam out of Baghdad - only off by a factor of 500 or so there. Kerry was going to beat Bush like a drum. Etc. etc. They have a worse prediction record than Dick Morris, and yet they want to crow about something that they still only have about 10% right.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
They also knew lots of stuff that didn’t happen, such as hundreds of thousands of refugees, fierce house to house fighting in "Saddamgrad", up to a million casualties, rampant disease etc etc

But all that’s down the memory hole isn’t it
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
Not to mention what they knew about this hurricane season that hasn’t happened either ;)
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
Not that this is particularly unexpected, especially from him, but would someone explain to Willis that taking a contrarian position simply because you’re politically opposed to those in power doesn’t equal being "prescient."
This is a variation on the Jonah Goldberg argument: Those against the war were right, but for the wrong reasons. Those who supported the war were wrong, but for the right reasons. It’s revisionism going on before your very eyes, much like Bartlett’s statement the other day that the Bush administration had never taken the "stay the course" position in Iraq (now that the term had become a symbol for a politically unpopular policy).

Some war supporters can just be straight about it and admit they were wrong, without offering excuses or lashing out at those who were right from the beginning. Most can’t, especially as you go farther to the right, politically speaking. Instead, they adopt some ridiculous position like Goldberg’s. This past Sunday’s edition of the NYT had a wonderful summary in the Week in Review section about the five or six categories of excuses that most war supporters are relying on to try to justify their support for the war, even though their support turned out to be misplaced. It’s funny, but mostly pathetic.

From the get go, many of us who opposed the war did so because we had some basic understanding of the Middle East, and of the history and makeup of Iraq. By 2003, we knew, for instance, that Saddam was a Sunni, that Iraq was majority Shia, and that there was a historical emnity, if not hostility, between these two sects. We also knew there were Kurds, primarily in the north. We knew that Saddam had gassed the Kurds and brutally suppressed Shia uprisings. We knew that the Baath Party was mainly Sunni, and that the Sunni had, disproptionate to their numbers, been the ruling class in Iraq since independence. We also understood what had happened in the Balkans, Rwanda, and, most importantly, Lebanon. We knew that many Arabs in the Middle East viewed the US with suspicion, if not hostility, considering our support for Israel, even if the suspicion was totally unjustified.

We also remembered the first Gulf War, where the US considered toppling Saddam, and occupying Iraq. It really did seem like a bad idea at the time and it was rejected.

We knew a lot more, of course. And we concluded, rightly, that attempting to occupy Iraq and forge some kind of new, democratic government was a fool’s errand, no matter how good our intentions. We concluded, rightly, that remving Saddam would unleash mayhem, for obvious reasons, and that the United States could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

And not only did we know it, but the wise old men in the Republican party knew it too. And they told us years ago.

One didn’t need to be "prescient," as McQ claims. One needed only to have lived through Gulf War I and open a book or two to discover that the very people who were in charge during that war told us that occupying Iraq would turn out to be a bad idea. Bush 41 and Scowcroft said it. Baker said it. Cheney said it. They told us it was a bad idea. And they told us this years and years before 2003.

If one simply read what these people had to say, one would have figured out very quickly occupying Iraq was a bad idea. You didn’t need to be prescient. You only needed to read a book or two. To be interested in the Middle East. To be - in a word - curious.

Which brings us to Bush 43. We knew he was not curious. We knew he didn’t care about the history of the Middle East. We knew it did not interest him. We also opposed him politically, of course,

But our opposition was, at least in part, based on the fact that Bush was so completely uncurious. He just didn’t seem to care about the subtle complexities in the Middle East. Was he a good politician? Yes. But did he have the analytical kills when it came to foreign policy in the Middle East? Of course not. Not even close.

So was our opposition to the war based on our opposition to Bush? Of course. We opposed Bush because, while he is shrewd, he is not bright. He knows how to squeak out elections, but he does not know how to conduct foreign policy. We knew this, and we had read about Gulf War I, and therefore we concluded, again, correctly, that invading Iraq, while a bad idea, would be an even worse idea if Bush 43 was in charge.

McQ claims that Oliver’s position is that he got Iraq right solely because he opposed Bush politically.

Yes, he did. But that only proves that his opposition was both correct and prescient. Doesn’t it? After all, if you oppose an idiot in charge because he is an idiot, wouldn’t you also therefore oppose that idiot’s plans to invade and occupy a country when other people, who are not idiots and who know what they are talking about, have specifically rejected that idea?

When it comes to foreign policy decisions, being in opposition to Shrub is the smart bet. Iraq proves the easily demonstrable proposition that if Bush is for it, especially when it comes to foreign policy, the intelligent position is to be against it.






 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Those against the war were right, but for the wrong reasons.
Uh, no. No one here has said you were right for any reason.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Uh, no. No one here has said you were right for any reason."
Aghh! Coffee through the nose.


It burns!


Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I’d like to see one quote from our moonbat friends, circa 2002-2003 which says "We can’t go into Iraq because the Sunnis and Shiites don’t like each other! They’ll kill each other!"

I’d also like to know the exact point at which sectarian harmony became a stated goal of our going into Iraq. It seems to me that getting the population in general out from under Saddam’s oppression was a goal. But I don’t remember creating a Sunni-Shia love match as being part of why we went into Iraq.

mkultra, it sounds as though you know all about this school of thought being expressed pre-war. Would you have any cites for it?

 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
McQ - Dale - not that it’s a particularly worthwhile excercise - how long do you archive? I’m sure there’s some brilliant MK stuff back there that would demonstrate he was against it, but for all the wrong reasons.

After all as we now know, that fundamental understanding that there are male and female Iraqis should have been enough to tell BushCo that their plan wasn’t going to work. The plan should have been do nothing. That’s always the best plan.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I’d like to see one quote from our moonbat friends, circa 2002-2003 which says "We can’t go into Iraq because the Sunnis and Shiites don’t like each other! They’ll kill each other!"
Here is what Howard Dean said on February 17th, 2003....
Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms.
I think it is silly to ask for proof that people who opposed this war made dire predictions, of course they did, and there were so many predictions across the board, that some were bound to be right, and others were bound to be wrong.

All of them irrelevant.

What IS relevant is that our own intelligence services made these predictions and the administration CHOSE to move forward with the most optimistic estimates of the what would happen if we invaded Iraq. This made it highly likely that they were going to be wrong, and that likelihood, as one would expect has come to pass.

So no, it’s not that those who opposed the war being right that is relevant, it is the fact that administration was so wrong, and should have expected and anticipated being wrong and made plans for the worst case, rather than best case.

What this reality brings to light is that if the adminsitration accepted anything less than the optimistic view of the consequences of the invasion, we would never have gone in the first place.


We did have discussions about Sunni’s, Shiite’s, and Kurds before the war, the three state option discussed before the war, which included the breaking up Iraq was obviously a nod to this reality. Of course GWB was never engaged in this discussion.

But here is just one thing I wrote about the war BEFORE the war. McQ read this when I first posted it, and of course disageed.
Posted Tuesday, March 18, 2003

As the World Trade Center was still burning, I had considered the
possibility of Saddam Hussein being responsible or involved with this
terrorist act.

I had heard of Osama bin Laden, but it was not a name that flashed to
mind as the events of that day unfolded.

Saddam Hussein’s name DID come to mind.

I wanted to know who did this, and I wanted to see swift and certain
retaliation.

After responsibility for this had been placed at the feet of Osama
bin Laden and al Qaeda I had even theorized about bin Laden being a
field general in Iraq’s plans to take over Saudi Arabia. It was clear
even then that this was ALL ABOUT Saudi Arabia, that WAS and IS al
Qaeda’s stated goal, to remove the US and Western influence from
Saudi Arabia as well as removing the Royal Family.

Not only was I open to a link between Iraq and al Qaeda, I expected
it.

I had learned about the reported meeting the an Iraqi intelligence
agent and a 9/11 conspirator and I thought that this would be just the
first we heard, not the last. When President Bush made overtures
about Iraq, I thought that he knew something along these lines and I
looked forward to the evidence of this link and the swift retaliation
that would follow.

I did my own research, looking for the relationship between terrorist
groups and iraq.

And then a funny thing happened.

As I learned more and more about Saddam’s Iraq, I found that although
he is an evil guy, his government is the least likely of ANY Arab
nation to be involved with these Islamic Fundamentalist terror
groups. In fact, the atrocities that Saddam has committed were mostly
AGAINST Islamic Fundamentalist groups. The rebellions, attempted
assasinations, and coup attempts in Iraq were made by Islamic
Fundamentalists.

This did not endear Saddam in any way, but it was clear that if our
goal was to defend America and retaliate for 9/11 by destroying the
terror groups and their support infrastructure, Iraq was the last
stop we needed to make.

My guess is that Bush could not imagine how a hated enemy like
Hussein could NOT have been involved in 9/11. Unfortunately, since we
have invested more resources into proving this link that any
investigation related to 9/11, it is clear that Iraq was NOT involved
in 9/11.

So in the aftermath of 9/11, with a clear mandate and a clear goal to
defend America and agressively seek justice against those who
attacked, I became increasingly perplexed as it became more and more
evident that Iraq was uninvolved with 9/11.

So here we are, approaching the two year mark of the attacks on
America, and we have squandered a global coalition of nations who
were on track with the United States to rid the world or these
international terrorists. Instead, we have chosen to use all of our
political capital and any goodwill to gain support for an invasion of
a nation that will not only be irrelevant in the war on terror, but
realistically, any attack that is unprovoked by overt aggressive acts
from Iraq will undoubtedly INCREASE the number of Muslims who are
willing to take extreme actions against Americans.

Perception is reality folks, and the perception of nearly 1 billion
Muslims is that we are taking our pound of flesh from Iraq in
retaliation for 9/11 because we can, because we know we know where it
is, we know we can win, and we know it can’t run away and hide.

Do I agree with applying a threat of force against Iraq in order to
gain cooperation with UN Resolutions? Absolutely.

Do I think that the timing is possibly the worst possible timing of
any action the United States has EVER taken? Absolutely.

Why not war?

We should not being going to war with Iraq now because the job of our
civilian government should be to protect and defend America and
Americans and this move will do the opposite of this. I love America.
If I thought that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the US, I would
not be in opposition to this action, but it is clear to me that the
imminent threat America faces is international terrorism, and though
Iraq is uninvolved with these attacks, an unprovoked attack on a
Muslim nation will dramatically increase the risk to Americans, in
other words, more Americans will die BECAUSE of the President’s
policy when his policies should protect Americans.

We don’t have to wait for them to attack first, they already have, on
9/11 and before. The only problem is that the "THEM" in "THEM" is not
Iraq and it never has been.

Has Iraq complied completely with the UN Resolutions? Nope, they
haven’t.

Is Iraq an imminent threat to America? Nope they aren’t.

If we had no other global issues other than Iraq’s less than complete
compliance, this would be an issue that we should focus our attention
on, but with a serious threat to America, perhaps more serious than
any that has come before, focusing our attention on Iraq, is in my
opinion, an example of our government taking it’s eye off the ball.

Do you want to call me unpatriotic? Do you want to boycott people who
share my point of view? Do you want me arrested for treason?

If you think that I am wrong, it is your right. It is unlikely that
you are aware of more evidence than I am, so I can only conclude that
you are in agreement with Dick Cheney, who on meet the press stated
that although he is not aware of any hard evidence that Iraq is an
imminent to threat to the US, he claims that if Iraq attacks our
trops with chemical weapons, "it will be clear to the world we were
absolutely right, that he does, in fact, have chemical weapons."

Hell of a way to prove that you are right to go to invade a nation...
attack them first and prove it later.

This war is going to happen, there is no doubt about this now, and I will
support our troops for a quick and bloodless vicotry. And I DO hope
that I am wrong about what I perceive to be the consequences of this
action, but in my opinion, for me NOT share my opinion would be un-
American.

Godspeed

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Cap,

Oh, you mean the intelligence services that missed the collapse of the Soviet Union, missed Saddam’s WMD buildup in the 80’s, missed NK’s nuke program, missed Libya’s WMD program, and told the President that WMDs in Iraq was a "slam dunk"?

Assuming (and that is a huge assumption) that the administration chose to "ignore" our intelligence services, could you blame it?
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
I think it is silly to ask for proof that people who opposed this war made dire predictions, of course they did, and there were so many predictions across the board, that some were bound to be right, and others were bound to be wrong.
The Dean quote is one sentence in a long list of fears and complaints, Cap. And you’re right. There are loads of fears on that list that didn’t come true, such as the fight the Republican Guards would put up. I’m looking for someone that said right up front, back when they would have had to in order to qualify the current "I told you so" that is the topic of this post, that sectarian violence would be the downfall of what we’ve done.

And the piece you wrote? Well, it reminds us that sectarian violence pre-existed our arrival so it seems a bit odd to call it our failure. The Iraqis may now be free to kill each other, but they are still free which they were not before.

And those who are doing the violence? Why, they’re just a tiny minority...

Do you really think the Dean answers my point? And really, if dividing Iraq is the ultimate answer and we see that happen, have we failed in what we went there to do?



 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Assuming (and that is a huge assumption) that the administration chose to "ignore" our intelligence services, could you blame it?
You are pointing at a tree and ignoring the forest.

I can accept that they were willing consider the possibility that our intelligence analysts were wrong, but to ignore it completely and have no strategy, plan, or tactics to put into action if the administration was wrong is the main error.

But we now know why they did that. Generals who reported to Rumsfeld indicated as much, if they had to plan for anything but the best possible outcome, the reality would have precluded going forward with the invasion.

Keep defending the indefensible, maybe you can be last one doing so. Do you get a prize for that?

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
As I learned more and more about Saddam’s Iraq, I found that although
he is an evil guy, his government is the least likely of ANY Arab
nation to be involved with these Islamic Fundamentalist terror
groups.
Funny, the Syrians did a particularly good job crushing the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria back in the ’80s, yet now they support the Islamic fundamentalists in Hezbollah.

You have much trouble understanding such complexity?
In fact, the atrocities that Saddam has committed were mostly
AGAINST Islamic Fundamentalist groups. The rebellions, attempted
assasinations, and coup attempts in Iraq were made by Islamic
Fundamentalists.
Can you back that up?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
And the piece you wrote? Well, it reminds us that sectarian violence pre-existed our arrival so it seems a bit odd to call it our failure. The Iraqis may now be free to kill each other, but they are still free which they were not before.
Wow, talk about tunnel vision.

If that is you got from that, we’ll probably never do anything but talk past each other.

The BIG point of all this is not whether or not people correctly predicted civil war, of course many people did, and it’s still irrelevant.

The BIG point is that because of the hugely optimistic views the administration brought into this war, they were virtually guaranteed to be wrong. This is why moral clarity was so important to have before we went it.

Being able to successfully build a stable democracy in Iraq would have been a nice secondary goal, something that we could try, but were under no obligation to succeed. Because we lacked the moral clarity of attacking an attacker, our PRIMARY goal became nation building, and success or failure became totally dependant on that goal.

We KNOW now that administration did not care whether Iraq had massive stockpiles of WMD’s, it would have been politically helpful for them, but irrelevant to their main goal. And their main goal was wildly optimistic, far too optimistic for the American people to have bought into it.

It is also irrelevant what specific predictions were made prior to the war, other than two predictions, the administration optimistic predictions of success, and every opponents prediction of failure. Every opponent was right, and the specific predictions don’t matter, what matters is that if you don’t take the worst case into account, and only plan for a best case outcome, you are virtually certain to fail.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
I love how cons just make stuff up.

For the record: I didn’t think Dean was going to win in Iowa. I thought his ads (the one with him in front of the tractor) sucked, and I thought he was not running a good campaign there. I thought Gephardt was going to win, and the Kerry victory came as a complete surprise.

Once again I must point out that I didn’t simply take a contrarian position for the sake of it. Iraq was going to be a mess. I didn’t just go on my gut there, but also looked at the historical lack of success of countries like ours occupying countries like that, on the cheap. I also looked at what those icons of the far left like George Bush I, Colin Powell had said about the uphill battle involved in invading and occupying Iraq.

At the same time I fought with people on my side of the aisle who didn’t think Afghanistan - at least before we chose to give up on it to invade Iraq - was being done correctly. In fact, until we allowed Bin Laden to escape, the strategy was sound and made sense.

As I said in the post you’ve linked to - I’m no damn genius, yet I figured this stuff out over 4 years ago. Why are the rest of you so dumb?
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
Funny, the Syrians did a particularly good job crushing the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria back in the ’80s, yet now they support the Islamic fundamentalists in Hezbollah.
Hezbollah, and Hamas for that matter, are an entirely different animal than al Qaeda, and virtually the entire Arab Muslim world support these groups. Not on religious grounds, but on political anti-Israeli grounds. This is no better than the sophistry used to suggest that since Saddam supported Hamas with money for suicide bombers, that he was supporting terrorists. You can say that, but then you’d have to clamp your hands over your ears when someone mentions that Saudi Arabia has had telethons to raise money for the families of suicide bombers. Are you going "lalalalallalala" yet?
You have much trouble understanding such complexity?
Nothing complex about your attempted rhetorical sleight of hand.

But by the way, it is/was a stated goal of al Qaeda to remove Saddam from power. This doesn’t make for good relations. UBL routinely referred to Saddam as an infidel, and when UBL calls someone an infidel, you know what he wants to do to them.... don’t you?
In fact, the atrocities that Saddam has committed were mostly
AGAINST Islamic Fundamentalist groups. The rebellions, attempted
assasinations, and coup attempts in Iraq were made by Islamic
Fundamentalists.

Can you back that up?
It’s not like it’s not common knowledge, but if you really don’t know...

Wiki Link
The Shi’a majority were long a source of opposition to the government due to its secular policies, and the Ba’ath Party was increasingly concerned about potential Sh’ia Islamist influence following the Iranian Revolution of 1979. The Kurds of northern Iraq (who are Sunni Muslims but not Arabs) were also permanently hostile to the Ba’athist party’s Arabizing tendencies. To maintain his regime Saddam Hussein tended either to provide them with benefits so as to co-opt them into the regime, or to take repressive measures against them. The major instruments for accomplishing this control were the paramilitary and police organizations. Beginning in 1974, Taha Yassin Ramadan, a close associate of Saddam, commanded the People’s Army, which was responsible for internal security. As the Ba’ath Party’s paramilitary, the People’s Army acted as a counterweight against any coup attempts by the regular armed forces. In addition to the People’s Army, the Department of General Intelligence (Mukhabarat) was the most notorious arm of the state security system, feared for its use of torture and assassination. It was commanded by Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam’s younger half-brother. Since 1982, foreign observers believed that this department operated both at home and abroad in their mission to seek out and eliminate perceived opponents of Saddam Hussein.[7]
Shia Islamists - fundamentlists - and filling some of those mass graves

You haven’t been watching Iraq try to turn itself into a fundamentalist Islamic regime, like, and likely a satellite to, Iran?

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
For the record: I didn’t think Dean was going to win in Iowa. I thought his ads (the one with him in front of the tractor) sucked, and I thought he was not running a good campaign there. I thought Gephardt was going to win, and the Kerry victory came as a complete surprise.
Right. I do love revisionist history.
I also looked at what those icons of the far left like George Bush I, Colin Powell had said about the uphill battle involved in invading and occupying Iraq.
Uh, huh ... and you just knew, knew, there’d be a civil war, right, Oliver?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ, if you’re going to make an accusation, try to make it fact based. Like I said, I did not ever think Dean would win the Iowa primary. I supported him, but I didn’t think he would win.

I knew it was going to be bad. I knew the idea of going in and occupying another country with no exit strategy was a bad idea. It ain’t rocket science.
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
"Why are the rest of you so dumb?"
Willis, you’re an arrogant prick. That was true before the invasion of Iraq and remains true today. I go out on a limb and predict you’ll be an arrogant prick for the rest of your life.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
An arrogant prick who was right about the Iraq War. Just spell my name right.
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
An arrogant prick who was right about the Iraq War.
Where were you right, Oliver? I’d love to see your early 2003 piece on Iraqi sectarian violence. But when I go to your site and click on the Iraq category, i don’t see it.

What’s up with that, Smirky?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Wow, talk about tunnel vision.

If that is you got from that, we’ll probably never do anything but talk past each other.
You don’t like facts, Cap? You’re probably right about us getting anywhere then. I am sort of myopic in my fact based worldview.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
An arrogant prick who was right about the Iraq War. Just spell my name right.
Actually a more apt description would be an arrogant prick who is claiming to have gotten it right about Iraq but has nothing to back the assertion.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
You don’t like facts, Cap? You’re probably right about us getting anywhere then. I am sort of myopic in my fact based worldview.
That’s an entertaining statement coming from a guy supporting the administration that makes it’s own reality, or least portrays it’s own reality.

What "facts" do you think I am missing?

Saddam’s link to al Qaeda?

Saddam’s WMD’s?

The Iraqi’s sweets and flowers?

The brilliant post war planning?

The al qaeda terrorists that were training in Saddam controlled Iraq?

The last throes of the insurgency?

Iran’s emergency as a regionally unchecked threat in the absence of Iraq as a counterbalance?

Sorry, as a member of the reality based community, I have been made aware that you folks use facts and your made up reality interchangeably, so when you talk about facts, you have no credibility.


 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
claiming to have gotten it right about Iraq but has nothing to back the assertion.
Seriously Q, do you think it’s relevant whether someone predicted precisely what’s gone wrong as opposed to the prediction that the administration had it wrong?

Before the war, I showed why they were making a mistake, not because Iraq deserved no attention, but that we had bigger fish to fry.

While I was saying that the Bush administration was failing to prove it’s case about WMD’s, you didn’t care, your argument was that Saddam used WMD’s before, so we just take him out and be done with it.

When I said that nation building in Iraq would be a disaster, you agreed, here’s what you said...
Hate’s no big deal as long as you’re respected. That’s
the point here and it speaks to your exit strategy ...
flatten Saddam and his ability to make war or produce
WMD’s and get out. Let the moderate Arab nations handle
the nation building.

McQ
Where’s your exit strategy now?

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
McQ, if you’re going to make an accusation, try to make it fact based. Like I said, I did not ever think Dean would win the Iowa primary. I supported him, but I didn’t think he would win.
Sure you didn’t Oliver, sure ...
I knew it was going to be bad. I knew the idea of going in and occupying another country with no exit strategy was a bad idea. It ain’t rocket science.

But that’s not what you claimed in your post, Oliver ... and that isn’t rocket science either.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Seriously Q, do you think it’s relevant whether someone predicted precisely what’s gone wrong as opposed to the prediction that the administration had it wrong?
Obviously or I wouldn’t have posted on it. When you claim to have "known" something while others were clueless, you had better be able to back up the claim. Naturally Oliver can’t ... not that it comes as any surprise.
Where’s your exit strategy now?
Guess you haven’t read this post ... or are we just asking rhetorical questions now for dramatic effect?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Guess you haven’t read this post ... or are we just asking rhetorical questions now for dramatic effect?
No, I meant, and should have been clearer, why did you continue to support this administration even after you knew that they not did they have no intention of getting out and leaving the nation building to other countries, but rather their PRIMARY goal was nation building, something you believed to be a recipe for disaster?

The primary disagreement between you and I was WMD’s. I kept looking for the administration to get some on the gound factual evidence of WMD’s before I could support the war. And I would have supported it if that had been provided. I am not remotely anti-war, I supported every military action we have taken in my adult lifetime, and even a few that we haven’t taken.

If we proved the WMD’s, the Iraq invasion could not have been, or even perceived to have been, a mistake by most Americans. Whether Iraq was left as a failed state or blossomed into a Western style democracy, that would have been secondary to disarming a genuine threat to American security.

You weren’t wrong when you said that Iraq should be disarmed, and that was your primary goal in your support of the war. You were just wrong not to have asked for better evidence that they needed disarming. You weren’t wrong to say that we should get in, disarm, remove Saddam, and get out. You weren’t wrong when agreed that nation building in Iraq was a bad idea.

So why are you now supporting what is virtually the opposite of what you were willing to support before?
McQ - August 24th, 2002 "I’d agree we’re not in the nation building business which
is why I said we should do our business, get out and let the Arab states do the nation building."
So no, it was not for effect, it was for being 3 years too late.

And I did read that post, and it was refreshing.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
My bold prediction was that occupying a foreign nation would just antagonize the Islamic world and lead to the death of Americans. Quit blaming me (and making up stuff about the 2004 election) just because you weren’t smart enough to figure out something so essentially basic.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
The primary disagreement between you and I was WMD’s.
That’s correct, and I said there or not, I wasn’t willing to take the chance. I’ve not changed my opinion in that regard.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
My bold prediction was that occupying a foreign nation would just antagonize the Islamic world and lead to the death of Americans.
Not in that post it wasn’t Ollie. What I talked about was civil war. And you said you "knew" that would happen eons ago.

So show me.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Not in that post it wasn’t Ollie. What I talked about was civil war. And you said you "knew" that would happen eons ago.
Do you think that if you make the requirements of opponents having been right narrow enough, you’ll be any less wrong?

Here is some documentation of a guy that was right before the war...

In response to someone who said that "The only true victory in war is to conquer the enemy, occupy the country, and rebuild its institutions. "

You correctly noted...
Nah ... "true victory in war" is accomplishing your goal.

In this case it’s getting Saddam out of the way and destroying
any WMDs and the capability to make them (as well as his
ability to sponsor and fund terrorists).

Transitioning into "nation building" is a huge mistake
for the reasons you outline. Nations evolve based on their
own culture and institutions and really aren’t going to
accept those of another very readily. About the only
exception I can think of to that statement is Japan at
the end of WWII, but that’s a very unique homogeneous
culture with some really different cultural ideas about
conformity, etc.

McQ
You were right, nation building in Iraq was a HUGE mistake.

Why did you change your mind?

Was it because we didn’t find WMD’s making success at the primary mission impossible, so we had to cover it with another?

You should have stuck to your guns, you would not be in the position of defending a mistake now, except that you should have required better proof of WMD’s.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Do you think that if you make the requirements of opponents having been right narrow enough, you’ll be any less wrong?
Cap, I’m sorry but you’re just out in left field on this one. This is about a particular post which said a particular thing. Now you can drag this all over hell’s half-acre and it doesn’t change what was in the post and what was claimed.

So enjoy yourself, cause you’re going to do it by your lonesome from here on out.
Why did you change your mind?
Nothing made me change my mind ... I didn’t get to decide on which course was taken. But I come from the school of philosophy which says ’when handed lemons, make lemonade’ espeically when US troops are involved
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Nothing made me change my mind ... I didn’t get to decide on which course was taken. But I come from the school of philosophy which says ’when handed lemons, make lemonade’ espeically when US troops are involved
I’m from the same school, but for me, lemonade wasn’t digging deeper into the hole when we found out that our primary mission (WMD’s, removing Saddam) was unnecessary, for me it was, no threat, no Saddam, see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya. Build your own damn nation (or damnation as the case may be) and if they started to build into something that threatened our security, bomb them back to square one.

Doing whatever it is we are pretending to try and do in Iraq has NOTHING to do with the troops, it has everything to do with face saving (troop losing) politics.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
I’m from the same school, but for me, lemonade wasn’t digging deeper into the hole when we found out that our primary mission (WMD’s, removing Saddam) was unnecessary, for me it was, no threat, no Saddam, see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.
And that’s all irrelevant since that’s not what happened.

Now what? Scream and yell and hold your breath or do something?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
And that’s all irrelevant since that’s not what happened.

Now what? Scream and yell and hold your breath or do something?
We could be honest.

Let’s assume for a moment that no part of the Iraq adventure was intentional deception on the part of the administration.

Now I want you to consider George W. Bush as the CEO.

He invested massive company resources into neutralizing a threat to shareholder value. His shareholders, based on the information he provided them, supported his actions. He turned out to be wrong on a massive scale. His secondary was a long shot to begin with, and few would have supported it as a primary goal. Now it has become his only goal and he continue to invest enormous treasure into achieving the secondary that YOU believed to have been HUGE mistake before the initial campaign.

Does this CEO last through the next quarterly Board of Directors meeting?

Now to your question...
"Now what? Scream and yell and hold your breath or do something?"
You don’t become a cheerleader for a policy that you believed to be a HUGE mistake, enabling a continuation of policy that is wasting precious lives and resources, with little hope of success, and mostly just political cover as the President can continue to sell the story that he hasn’t failed YET because we are still engaged.

I have done exactly what you would expect someone who knew what I knew (and tried to share) before the war, I hoped for the best when it happened, cringed when we didn’t find WMD’s, became furious when we began nation building, and am absolutely perplexed as to why people like you continue to think that the invasion itself was not a huge mistake for which the decider should be fired.

No one who opposed this adventure needs to defend themselves.

Those that failed to oppose it, need to admit their mistake and push for a best exit strategy we can come up with.

Those that continue to support it are indefensible.

Pick one.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
We could be honest.
Who’s "we"?
You don’t become a cheerleader for a policy that you believed to be a HUGE mistake, enabling a continuation of policy that is wasting precious lives and resources, with little hope of success, and mostly just political cover as the President can continue to sell the story that he hasn’t failed YET because we are still engaged.
This is idiotic on its face. Is trying to make the best of a bad situation now cheerleading if it doesn’t go as well as you’d like it?

What, just step back, yell "oh, not what I wanted, I quit" and feel all good about yourself because you did?

Amazing. You know, I’ve tried hard to make sense of your diatribes on this, but frankly they’re simply the same old same old with different rhetorical flourishes each time. You’re not here to discuss, you’re here to preach.

Not interested.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
You’re not here to discuss, you’re here to preach.
I’m not here to do either, I am here to debate issues on their merits.

The particular issue is your insinuation that if someone was right about Iraq being a bad idea, that it is irrelevant unless they have never been wrong about everything. We have expanded to pre-war predictions in general.

How is my comments about pre-war opinions and post war positions preaching?


Okay then, I get it, you chose to rally ’round the President and hope for the best, even though in YOUR opinion, nation building was bad idea. That’s not indefensible, I was wrong to suggest it is. I obviously disagree with that choice, but it is not indefensible.

Can you accept that it was not the only choice, and perhaps not even the best choice, and more importantly to accept that if everyone had rallied ’round the President, we would not be any closer to victory, but would have enabled a continuation of very bad decision making?

Can you accept that for me, the right thing to do was to point out every opportunity that these guys (Bush administration, Republican party) have been incompetent when we needed competence most?

By taking the stand that you have, you have put yourself in the position of having to at least try to knock down everyone who has choice to speak THEIR OWN mind against this war, rather than suck it up and follow the leader.

Just for future reference, when nation building fails, please don’t blame the Democrats, since you thought it would fail anyway. To do that would be to become nothing but a partisan... and that’s just not you.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
What "facts" do you think I am missing?
Let’s start with the big glaring one that I pointed out in my earlier post and also drew from your pre-war writing: Sectarian violence in Iraq predated the war.

True or false, Cap? And if it’s true, how is it our failing that it continues to exist? And when did it become a primary objective of the war to eliminate it?

 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Let’s start with the big glaring one that I pointed out in my earlier post and also drew from your pre-war writing: Sectarian violence in Iraq predated the war.

True or false, Cap? And if it’s true, how is it our failing that it continues to exist? And when did it become a primary objective of the war to eliminate it?
Good one, thanks for playing the straight man.

It became our primary objective when the original primary objective (disarming, WMD,s yadda, yadda) became vapor.

If Iraq had WMD’s, we could have just destroyed them, sacked Saddam, and walked away, Mission Accomplished. Without a mission to have accomplished, there was too much egg on too many faces for us to just walk away, so we redefined the mission into something few would have agreed to, and had little likelihood of success.

Saddam used to deal with sectarian violence, it wasn’t pretty. It won’t be pretty when the new Iraqi goverment deals with it. It’s not something you are going to want to the United States associated with, but now we are inextricably linked to whatever happens.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
True or false, Cap? No joke. It’s true, huh?
Without a mission to have accomplished, there was too much egg on too many faces for us to just walk away, so we redefined the mission into something few would have agreed to, and had little likelihood of success.
You need to read up on the Geneva Convetions and the obligations of an invading country when it topples a standing government.
Saddam used to deal with sectarian violence, it wasn’t pretty. It won’t be pretty when the new Iraqi goverment deals with it. It’s not something you are going to want to the United States associated with, but now we are inextricably linked to whatever happens.
In the minds of fools, sure. How else would we wind up "inextricably linked" to something that existed long before we got there and will exist long after we leave?
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
Oh, and the primary objective, for the millionth time, was regime change. Mission Accomplished.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://
You need to read up on the Geneva Convetions and the obligations of an invading country when it topples a standing government.
Confidential

Prime Minister

Iraq: Authorisation for an Interim Administration



1. I am writing to confirm the advice I gave at the meeting this morning concerning the need for UN Security Council authorisation for the coalition or the international community to establish an interim Iraqi administration to reform and restructure Iraq and its administration.

2. In short, my view is that a further Security Council resolution is needed to authorise imposing reform and restructuring of Iraq and its Government. In the absence of a further resolution, the UK (and US) would be bound by the provisions of international law governing belligerent occupation, notably the Fourth Geneva Convention and the 1907 Hague Regulations. The provisions of these treaties would need to be considered against specific proposals in order to give detailed advice on the precise limits of what is possible, but the general principle is that an Occupying Power does not become the government of the occupied territory. Rather, it exercises temporary de facto control in accordance with the defined rights and obligations under Geneva Convention IV and the Hague Regulations. These instruments are complex, but the following points give an indication of the limitations placed on the authority of an Occupying Power:

(a) Article 43 of the Hague Regulations imposes an obligation to respect the laws in force in the occupied territory "unless absolutely prevented". Thus, while some changes to the legislative and administrative structures of Iraq may be permissible if they are necessary for security or public order reasons, or in order to further humanitarian objectives, more wide-ranging reforms of governmental and administrative structures would not be lawful.

(b) Geneva Convention IV prohibits, subject to certain limited exceptions, any alteration in the status of public officials or judges (although officials may be removed from post in certain circumstances).

(c) Geneva Convention IV also requires that the penal laws of the occupied territory must remain in force except where they constitute a threat to security or an obstacle to application of the Convention. In addition, the courts of the occupied territory must be allowed to continue to function. There are limited exceptions allowing the Occupying Power to promulgate its own laws in order to fulfil its obligations under the Convention and to maintain security and public order, but in principle, the existing structures for the administration of justice must remain in place.

(d) Apart from rules on the collection of taxes (which must as far as possible be in accordance with existing local law), there are no specific provisions in Geneva Convention IV or the Hague Regulations dealing with the economy of the occupied territory. However, the general principle outlined in (a) above applies equally to economic reform, so that the imposition of major structural economic reforms would not be authorised by international law.

3. Different considerations could apply if it were suggested that the people of Iraq themselves were engaged in undertaking such governmental and administrative reform, but that is not what I understand is currently envisaged.

4. I can also confirm that the issues set out in paragraph 2 above are a separate matter from the question of whether a further Security Council resolution is necessary to amend the existing Oil for Food and sanctions regimes in order to secure the immediate delivery of humanitarian aid to Iraq.

5. Although unconnected with the requirement for a further Security Council resolution, a further complicating factor for the United Kingdom is the extent to which the ECHR [European Convention on Human Rights] and other international human rights instruments are likely to apply to any territory of which the UK is the Occupying Power. I am advising the Ministry of Defence separately on the extent of our ECHR obligations in Iraq.

6. Finally and in any event, it must be borne in mind that the lawfulness of any occupation after the conflict has ended is still governed by the legal basis for the use of force. As you know, any military action pursuant to the authorisation in resolution 678 (1990) must be limited to what is necessary to achieve the objectives of that resolution, namely Iraqi disarmament, and must be a proportionate response to that objective. The Government has concluded that the removal of the current Iraqi regime from power is necessary to secure disarmament, but the longer the occupation of Iraq continues, and the more the tasks undertaken by an interim administration depart from the main objective, the more difficult it will be to justify the lawfulness of the occupation. So in the absence of a further Security Council resolution, in addition to the issues raised in paragraph 2 above, it is likely to be difficult to justify the legality of the continued occupation of Iraq once the disarmament requirements of the relevant Security Council resolutions have been completed.

7. I am copying this note to the Foreign Secretary, the Secretary of State for International Development, the Defence Secretary and the Cabinet Secretary.

The Rt Hon the Lord Goldsmith QC
Attorney General

26 March 2003
How else would we wind up "inextricably linked" to something that existed long before we got there and will exist long after we leave?


Being that you are the onlu person who will read this that apparerently doesn;t know the answer to this, I’ll leave it alone and suggest you give Colin Powell or Pottery Barn a call.
Oh, and the primary objective, for the millionth time, was regime change. Mission Accomplished.
Just keeping telling yourself that.

Cap

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
I’ll leave it alone and suggest you give Colin Powell or Pottery Barn a call.
The "Pottery Barn" rule states that if you break it, you bought it. What part of "Shia and Sunni have been killing each other for centuries" are you having a problem understanding, Cap? We didn’t make it happen, therefore we don’t own it.

You’ll leave it alone because you’ve got no answer and you know it. This is the same reason you pasted that Goldsmith letter without conceding my point. It’s a dodge, and an obvious one.
Just keeping telling yourself that.
Every time I find myself doubting it, I just go back and read the Joint Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq and the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. You should try it. Facts really help to clarify one’s worldview.
 
Written By: Pablo
URL: http://

 
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