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The Surge: I guess ignorance is bliss
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, July 12, 2007

The opening line of the latest from Rasmussen:
Just 19% of American voters believe that the U.S. troop surge in Iraq was a success.
Well that's nice, because the Surge isn't a 'was' yet. In fact, it has just begun. We're at D+22 for heaven sake.

And this is supposed to give us a warm fuzzy feeling about the validity of opinion in other polls which reflect the percentage of those who are 'against the war'? Do they even know what the hell they're talking about?
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Right. The American people are stupid. Bush is smart. Got it.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Well, it certainly polls that way for a reason.

Couldn’t be all the prominent people saying it already is a failure (though not yet complete, or even at a 1/2 way point.)
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
David, the American people can’t believe the surge was a failure unless they are stupid or very ignorant. Verb tense has meaning, and the Surge is beginning, it has not concluded.

But thanks for playing.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Weren’t we just talking about smuggled premises, framing, and loaded questions...

David S, yes, or no, have you stopped beating your wife, kids, and/or pets???
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Ignoramus John McCain, too! Late last March the military moron was already seeing surge "success":
BLITZER: Sen. John McCain suggests that is crackdown is already working. I asked him about that in the last hour.

[BLITZER CLIP]: Here’s what you told Bill Bennett on his radio show on Monday. “There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through those neighborhoods, today. The U.S. is beginning to succeed in Iraq.”

Everything we hear if you leave the so-called Green Zone, the international zone, and you go outside of that secure area, relatively speaking, you’re in trouble if you’re an American.

[McCAIN CLIP]: That’s where you ought to catch up on things, Wolf. General Petraeus goes out there almost every day in an unarmed humvee. I think you oughta catch up. You are giving the old line of three months ago. I understand it. We certainly don’t get it through the filter of some of the media. But I know for a fact that much of the success we’re experiencing, including the ability of Americans in many parts. Not all, we have a long, long way to go. We’ve only got two of the five brigades here to go into some neighborhoods in Baghdad in a secure fashion.
Ya want more? I can get a ton of war dead-enders claiming surge success before "D+22."
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://highclearing.com/
Right. The American people are stupid. Bush is smart. Got it.
I believe the word used, David, was "ignorant".

But if that’s what you got out of this, well ...
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Ya want more? I can get a ton of war dead-enders claiming surge success before "D+22."
Uh, so?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
It is this continuing disingenuous framing of all news that I think has the possibility to truly chill discourse in this country. As much as people caterwaul about their first amendment rights being trampled upon, I fear that draconian restrictions could be in the offing if we fall victim to a few more spectacular attacks in the future. I would prefer to snipe at a free press now, and press it for accountability, rather than mourn its passing in the future.
 
Written By: Metzger
URL: http://rantblog.mee.nu/
"beginning to succeed" = already succeeded? Are you being dense on purpose? Surely we can argue whether the actions take have shown signs of success or whether those signs aren’t enough, or even that it’s show more signs of not succeeding, without resorting to misrepresenting the other side’s views and words.

 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Here’s the bottom line: Bush has made this country less secure with the Iraq disaster.
A new threat assessment from U.S. counterterrorism analysts says that al Qaeda has used its safe haven along the Afghan-Pakistan border to restore its operating capabilities to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001.
Here’s the link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118425569222864774.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

I’m sure you guys will find some way to spin this so that it’s everybody’s fault except Bush’s. The Democrats. The Republicans who won’t follow Bush off the cliff anymore. The media. The American public. Talk about Bush Derangement Syndrome. You guys got it. Bad.

 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Btw, the poll in question gave the option to choose "it is too soon to tell."
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://highclearing.com/
Right. The American people are stupid. Bush is smart. Got it.

Written By: David Shaughnessy
1. Ignorance is not synonymous with stupidity.

2. President Bush is nowhere mentioned in this post.

3. Snarky sarcasm should be employed to accentuate incisive points, not to obfuscate muddled, facile banalities.
 
Written By: mjs
URL: http://
But Dave the article itself, undercuts the headline...AQ is more strong, than it was LAST YEAR, not that it has rebuilt it’s strength to Pre9-11 levels.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Btw, the poll in question gave the option to choose "it is too soon to tell."

Written By: Mona
Highlighting even further that those who did not choose that option (76% - see Rasmussen poll stating that 24% say "it is too soon to tell.") are ignorant, as this "hint" of an option was not chosen.
 
Written By: mjs
URL: http://
Not only is al qaeda as strong as pre-9-11 in Pakistan and the US, but al qaeda in Iraq is as strong as ever. The surge has not yet failed, but the lack of political progress in Iraq makes it unlikely to succeed. The frustrating part of this for war supporters is that when the US engages militarily, the US pretty much always succeeds. When the US military fights for Mosul, for Fallujah, for a region, it almost always kills a lot of insurgents, drives them from the region, and creates stability while there. This certainly is happening in the "surge," and thus supporters of the war are convinced that this is success at last.

But it will go the way of other "successes" if: 1) al qaeda in Iraq isn’t severely weakened; 2) Iraq doesn’t develop political changes to create reconciliation and settle major disputes; 3) the militias and other sectarian groups aren’t weakened; 4) sectarian violence isn’t dramatically reduced; and 5) the Iraqi military isn’t up to maintaining stability or acting without ethnic favoratism.

So far on those five parameters there does not seem to be much success. If you want to look to see if the surge will work, watch those areas.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
That’s true, but, they did it by regrouping in the tribal areas of Pakistan ceded to the remnants of the Taliban by Pervez Musharraf. I guess we could withdraw from Iraq in order to invade Pakistan, but, I would doubt that is your intention. Ooops, there goes my BDS again.
 
Written By: Metzger
URL: http://rantblog.mee.nu/
strong as pre-9-11 in Pakistan and the US,
Word game, how strong were they,IN PAKISTAN AND THE US, pre-9/11



but al qaeda in Iraq is as strong as ever.

Another word game, there was a small planning cell in Iraq, not designed for combat. It ahs grown to a combat organization, but is that a failure?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
By popular demand, I will amend my initial posting:
Right. The American people are ignorant. Bush is wise. Got it.
Better?

Of a bit more importance: AQ is reconstituted. Thank god we have such a wise president.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
Mona, I’d like to thank you for your absence from QandO although it was altogether too brief.
I believe the quote McQ provided referenced what has happened since the surge began. Not prior to the surge so McCain’s comment is irrelevant to the poll and McQ’s blockquote>
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
No, Joe, the study was clear, as an organization overall al qaeda is as strong as ever — at pre 9-11 strength overall, not just in specific locations. Moreover, they have continually grown in strength in Iraq as the fighting has gone on there. Our invasion of Iraq has failed to weaken al qaeda and in fact has helped them develop a lot of new recruits in Iraq and hone their skills.

Clearly, we need a new and better counter-terrorism strategy, and we can’t be spending so much money on Iraq when it’s not bringing about positive results.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"There is a perception in the coverage that Al Qaeda may be as strong today as they were prior to September the 11th. That’s just simply not the case. I think the report will say since 2001, not prior to September the 11th, 2001," Bush told reporters, referencing a new threat assessment that says Al Qaeda has reconstituted itself to a level unseen since the months before Sept. 11, 2001
Sorry Dr. Erb, you lose....from the President’s statement today.
Moreover, they have continually grown in strength in Iraq as the fighting has gone on there. Our invasion of Iraq has failed to weaken al qaeda and in fact has helped them develop a lot of new recruits in Iraq and hone their skills.

It’s led to a lot of dead AQ memebers, certainly. AQ says it’s the "Central Front" int he war, but what do they know, eh?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
The President contradicted the study presented by military experts. You can believe the President if you want to, but I don’t find him credible in comparison to a study by experts. Here’s the relevant quote:

A military intelligence report that concludes al Qaeda has largely restored itself to pre- 9/11 strength will be the focus of a meeting at the White House today. The meeting was called to discuss a pending National Intelligence Estimate.
Also, there aren’t that many dead Al Qaeda members compared to the recruits and the living members that simply avoid the surge. And don’t believe all their propaganda.

No, Joe, there is a reason why respected foreign policy experts like Senator Lugar and a variety of now Republicans are moving for a new policy.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
No, Joe, there is a reason why respected foreign policy experts like Senator Lugar and a variety of now Republicans are moving for a new policy.

Yeah it’s because the NYT is calling for them to "run away" and they don’t want to be on the outs with the NYT....

And Dr. My quote isn’t from an article ABOUT the report it is a quote from the POTUS, about the report, I’m betting my quote is closer to reality....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Democrats, by a 63% to 8% margin, consider it a failure.
Gee, imagine that...
A related survey found that nearly half of American voters believe the withdrawal of U.S. troops will lead to an increase in sectarian violence.
I would assume, some percentage of the others either don’t think it will, but know that it is still possible. So they are in the hope for the best surrender party.
Understandably, there was decidedly less support for putting U.S. combat troops on the ground, but the fact that almost 40 percent of respondents favoured this option at a time when the war in Iraq continues to rage and when no U.S. officials have advocated such an option, suggests a widespread belief among the American public that the United States has a fundamental responsibility to directly help protect civilian populations.
So, if we were to leave, and if Iraq turned into a bloody mass-genocidal crisis state, how many people would then be calling for US troops to go back into Iraq???
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Joe, the President’s quote was silly. Since 2001? That certainly includes pre-9-11! No, the President constantly makes mistakes, especially in situations like that. I’ll go with what is reported, I think you’re trying too hard to avoid confronting hard reality.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
A counterterrorism official familiar with a five-page summary of the document

[Snark]Well, hell, if unnamed officials familiar with summaries are saying it, I guess Dave and Scott must be right. [/Snark]

(Here is a link to the same AP story, for those of us that aren’t WSJ subscribers.)

Note further that it says AlQ has the most robust training program since 2001 (not "as robust as 2001), and that they’re operationally stronger than ... "a year ago", not 2001.

I see no actual contents in the AP report to suggest Al Quaeda is as strong as in 2001.

Note that the only specific "capability" mentioned in the ABC report of the same intelligence report as undiminished is... suicide bombers. In Iraq.

From this, we’re supposed to believe that Al Quaeda is overall no weaker than before the war? If the best measure of Al Qaueda’s strength is ability to put Iranian explosives on people in Iraq, I think we’ve already substantially diminished their effectiveness since September 2001.

Now, Scott might be right, and the reports might be accurate beyond suicide bomber rates; but I maintain it’s foolish selection-bias to assume that anonymous third-party summaries of reports are accurate ... when they happen to agree with what you want.

Some very selective reading seems to be going on.

(Me? I prefer to be actively agnostic about such reports; anonymous leaks about them have been so often misleading or wrong for the entire length of my life that I’ve been watching, that I’d consider myself a fool to rely on them - even when they support my desired outcomes. As I suggest that the "suicide bomber rate" tidbit does, contra Scott and Dave.)

 
Written By: Sigivald
URL: http://
The people know we’re still dying there four an a half years after we invaded and six months after Bush flip-flopped and announced the Surge. It doesn’t look like success, it doesn’t smell like success, and it doesn’t quack like success. Does noticing that constitute ignorance?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Are you being dense on purpose?
I doubt it. Denseness is rarely intentional.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Strongest since 2001 doesn’t mean as strong as 2001? The fact is al qaeda has been gaining in strength and while you quibble with whether or not "since 2001" means "less than 2001" it’s clear our counter-terrorism strategy hasn’t seriously degraded al qaeda. One wonders what would have happened if the hundreds of billions we spent on Iraq, giving al qaeda another front they can operate from and recruit in and from, had been shifted towards real counter-terrorism and working on many fronts against al qaeda and Islamic extremism. I’m still convinced Iraq turned out to be an unintended gift to al qaeda; perhaps that’s starting to change, but I’m skeptical.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Strongest since 2001 doesn’t mean as strong as 2001?
That’s correct, it doesn’t. It means "stronger than at any other point after 2001".

But the article doesn’t say that, it says AQ is stronger than a year ago, and regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001. Not the same thing at all.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Steverino, come on. All over the reports are that al qaeda is as strong as pre-9-11. Your quibbling over ’the end of 2001 or start’ is much like Bill Clinton arguing what the meaning of "is" is. The point that al qaeda has been resurgent and strengthening is pretty profound. Our counter-terrorism policy has failed so far. We need to rethink the policy and our approach.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"Democrats, by a 63% to 8% margin"
You know, when we spend money to find out what thinking America believes, we need a method to screen out the sheeple, whose opinion can be accurately guaged ahead of time from the LN.

One might think that if we could hire the formulaters of the LN and put them in charge of the Fact Surge they could perform this miracle easily.

Of course, that wouldn’t work either. Opponents of the Surge would simply point out the lack of truth in their formulations and, given the opponents’ control of the media...

Given the media’s demonstrated ability to ignore facts unfavorable to their bias, I predict a dead end for the Fact Surge.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
And this is supposed to give us a warm fuzzy feeling about the validity of opinion in other polls which reflect the percentage of those who are ’against the war’? Do they even know what the hell they’re talking about?
Obviously, there is no way that using the past tense for something that is not past could possibly yield a valid result. It would have been just as bad if 81% thought the Surge WAS a success, for the same reasons.

I think the only conclusion you could possibly draw from this is that a lot of people think that GWB is simply incapable of success, in past tense, future tense, present perfect tense.

The American people don’t know what the surge is, and they didn’t know what the strategy behind everything we had up to this point was. But they believed our strategy would be successful 3 years ago without knowing what it was.

These polls don’t tell us about the populations understanding of military strategies, or if they do, they tell us that the general public has very little understanding of them, but it tells us about confidence in our leadership. And in any grammatical tense, we have lost faith in this administration to succeed.

The question is, is this because the MSM has turned the people away from the President, like notherbob suggests, or has the President dug this hole by himself?

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"... is this because the MSM has turned the people away from the President...or has the President dug this hole by himself?"
Notice how Captin Sarcastic’s framing sets up a focus on the President digging the hole - which rhetorically leaves the MSM scott-free of the charges. This framing, in effect, disregards the fact that the whole issue here is the MSM’s failure to tell the truth.

Typical example of liberal mis-framing of an issue. This is not an either/or issue. The MSM has turned the people away from the President; what does that have to do with the communication skills of the President? Shouldn’t the MSM take MORE care to impart the truth about Iraq if the President is a poor communicator (assuming that the MSM has a duty to tell the truth)?
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Notice how Captin Sarcastic’s framing sets up a focus on the President digging the hole - which rhetorically leaves the MSM scott-free of the charges. This framing, in effect, disregards the fact that the whole issue here is the MSM’s failure to tell the truth.

Typical example of liberal mis-framing of an issue. This is not an either/or issue. The MSM has turned the people away from the President; what does that have to do with the communication skills of the President? Shouldn’t the MSM take MORE care to impart the truth about Iraq if the President is a poor communicator (assuming that the MSM has a duty to tell the truth)?
This is not about communication skills of the President. Notice how notherbob’s framing ignores the failures of the administration, not in communication, but in prosecution of this war and goes on to blame the MSM for not continuing to support the administration in failure after failure. Did notherbob expect the MSM to report on small successes and ignore major failures? The MSM has told the truth about Iraq, the whole truth, though perhaps not in manner notherbob would prefer.

This is not necessarily an either/or issue, however, the problem we have is NOT the MSM, the MSM were cheerleaders for this war in the early days, and had the President not prosecuted it so poorly, they never would have reported on the poor prosecution of this war. The administrations incompetence became a story because it happened. Until the surge, the administration did very little right.

The strategy behind the surge is a competent, well planned, solid COIN strategy. Perhaps the MSM should recognize this, but like the American people, confidence that the administration can actually do anything right is very low. From my perspective, it will represent a failure of the MSM to recognize this, but don’t pretend that everything up to this point was anything but failures by the administration, accurately reported by the MSM. It is also not a failure of the MSM to report that the surge may be irrelevant, with the absence of precious time for it to succeed, it may be correct to suggest that the right strategy at the wrong time, is a failure in itself.

But go ahead and pretend that I am part of some liberal narrative so you can dismiss my comments without having to actually consider them. It is much easier for you, and I don’t want you to tax yourself.

Cap



 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Steverino, come on. All over the reports are that al qaeda is as strong as pre-9-11
I’m just quoting from the article, Erb. If you don’t like what the article says, take it up with them.
Your quibbling over ’the end of 2001 or start’ is much like Bill Clinton arguing what the meaning of "is" is.
Again, I am not quibbling over anything. I’m merely reading the article in question and comprehending it. Here’s the relevant passage, if it’s any help:
The estimate echoes the findings of another analysis prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center earlier this year and disclosed publicly on Wednesday. That report — titled "Al-Qaida better positioned to strike the West" — found the terrorist group is "considerably operationally stronger than a year ago" and has "regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001," a counterterrorism official familiar with the reports findings told the AP.
Now, where in there does it state that AQ is as strong as pre-9/11? (Hint: it doesn’t.) The article states the report found AQ is stronger than it was a year ago (that would be 2006, not 2001), and that is has regrouped to an extent not seen since 2001. "Regrouped", while a bad thing, isn’t the same thing as "strong".

You may not like the fact that the article doesn’t support your claim. Tough.
 
Written By: steverino
URL: http://
"The MSM has told the truth about Iraq, the whole truth...everything up to this point was ... failures by the administration, accurately reported by the MSM..."
"... go ahead and pretend that I am part of some liberal narrative..."


Why would we do that? Nuff sed.
 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://
Why would we do that? Nuff sed.
Snark without substance is just snark.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Aside from the punk fruitcakes, it’s interesting to note how many people have no more knowledge of military operations than they get from movies. Likewise, those self-proclaimed experts (i.e., public schools, where every opinion is valid) who probably couldn’t name a single battle in WW2, or even when it was fought.

Oh, and Capt Sarcastic; snarky comments, used for reductio, are often well done; your’s just demonstrated overwhelming stupidity and unmitigated adolescence.

 
Written By: Sharpshooter
URL: http://
Oh, and Capt Sarcastic; snarky comments, used for reductio, are often well done; your’s just demonstrated overwhelming stupidity and unmitigated adolescence.
You are going to be very popular here. Just keep throwing stones (but never respond) at the folks walking out of step with the local meme.

Of course the purpose of my posts is not to ingratiate myself with the posters, that would be an exercise in futility, but I am quite satisfied with the mark I would make on readers.

Overwhelming stupidity... can you offer anything to support this claim, or is just a shot in the dark?

If you stumble for an answer, try this one, it gets a lot of play... "You seem like a liberal, therefore you must be overwhelmingly stupid". That, or point out a spelling error.

Cap



 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"You seem like a liberal, therefore you must be overwhelmingly stupid"
Sorry. Let me rephrase my comment:
"... go ahead and pretend that I am part of some liberal narrative..."
Why would we do that? Because you are directly quoting some of its main memes:
"The MSM has told the truth about Iraq, the whole truth...everything up to this point was ... failures by the administration, accurately reported by the MSM..."
Nuff sed.

 
Written By: notherbob2
URL: http://

 
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