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22 November 2005

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alice

Actually I thought this the most significant part of the NYT article:


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The statement, while condemning the wave of terrorism that has engulfed Iraq, also broadly acknowledged a general right to resist foreign occupation. That was another effort to compromise with Sunnis who had sought to legitimize the insurgency.
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So it's ok to kill Americans?

alice

Actually I thought this the most significant part of the NYT article:


------------------
The statement, while condemning the wave of terrorism that has engulfed Iraq, also broadly acknowledged a general right to resist foreign occupation. That was another effort to compromise with Sunnis who had sought to legitimize the insurgency.
------------------------

So it's ok to kill Americans?

nykrindc

******The statement, while condemning the wave of terrorism that has engulfed Iraq, also broadly acknowledged a general right to resist foreign occupation. That was another effort to compromise with Sunnis who had sought to legitimize the insurgency.

The Monday statement offered Shiite politicians concessions, too, by condemning terrorism against Shiites, condemning trumped-up theological arguments for attacks on Shiites, and legitimizing the political process that has made Shiite leaders the dominant political force in Iraq.

"If this meeting did anything, it was to comfort the Arabs and the Iraqi Sunnis about the whole process," he added. "The solution first is that Sunnis enter politics, then they enter government, then we deliver services to their areas, and then we build a strong government."******

This is where we want to get to. What you are missing is that while Iraqis gave the sunnis the right to fight the occupation, the sunnis in return recognized the Shiites as the now dominant power in Iraq. In addition, the sunni insurgency has recognized that while they can defend themselves against occupation, terrorism is not legitimate in any shape or form. This means that Zarqawi is out of luck. The wedge between the local insurgency and the Islamists seesm to be widening (if you take into account all the recent reports regarding these two elements fighting one another recently). Once the sunnis rejoin the political process, and begin to help the shiite government against the Islamists and Zarqawi, the US can announce its plans to begin a gradual withdrawal. It seems despite Bush's complete mishandling of the post war phase of the Iraq war, Iraqis are trying to find a way out of the morass.

Granted there is much yet to be done and many more groups to co-opt, but as long as al Qaeda, Zarqawi come out the real losers we win.

W. Patrick Lang

New Yorker

I am sure that the Iraqis are trying to find a way out of the morass.

Let us hope they find one. If they do not we are in deep trouble.

PL

Peter vE

Whose dulcet, authoritative tones did I just hear on ATC commenting on the reconciliation summit?

alice

"This is were we want to get."

OK, but I do submit that standards have fallen when we consider it a victory that the new government says it's legitimate to kill American and Iraqi government troops.

The position of certain Sunni groups against terrorism is not new.

It is indeed possible that this is a step in some sort of compromise that will defuse some of the worst internal tensions in Iraq. Possible, though I remain pessimistic.

But I do remain fascinated how you Bush supporters are now playing the "it's ok to kill Americans" agreement as a sign that Iraqis are uniting and that the Bush plan is working as advertised.

I suppose we are all supposed to be happy about this or else we are failing to support our troops who will be confused and upset if we question the policy that their role is to unite Iraqis by becoming a legitimate target.

I suppose our plan to unify the middle east and bring democracy is to rally everyone around the concept of fighting us?

This is either brilliant beyond my ability to imagine or insane.

nykrindc

++++how you Bush supporters are now playing the "it's ok to kill Americans" agreement as a sign that Iraqis are uniting and that the Bush plan is working as advertised.+++++

Sorry, you got the wrong person. I'm a democrat and I voted for Kerry. I disagree with almost everything Bush has done. I am merely recognizing the fact that having the local iraqi insurgency recognize the shiite led government in Baghdad, rejoin the political process and speak against the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians is better than the path we seemed to be heading in. As Muhammed and Omar from "IRAQ THE MODEL" argued, this is a way for Iraqis to take control of their destiny. We give the local iraqi insurgency recognition and they in turn recognize the current government and rejoin the political process. As they sever their links to the Islamists and terrorists (whom, they do not like anyway) we can get control of the situation in Iraq. As the terrorists loose power, and Iraqi (sunni, shiia and kurds) begin to take care of their own and police them, we will be able to withdraw more and more troops. That will make the conflict from one where the US is the primary enemy, or even where Shiia, Sunni and Kurds are each other's enemies to one where Zarqawi and his ilk are the enemy. That can only be good. Bush totally screwed this up. Iraqis are figuring a way out. Can many things still go wrong? Yes, but at least it is an important step in the right direction. It's an insurgency, it's both military and political you can't loose sight of that Alice. Given how badly Bush screwed up, this is probably the best we are going to get for now. I say, we now need to work to get Iraqis, Sunni, Shiite and Kurds working together to resolve their differences (particularly the loss of Sunni power which drove the insurgency). Violence will continue in the short term, but we need to get the local sunni insurgency to break completely with Zarqawi and the Islamists. They have limited objectives we can eventually deal with, whereas Zarqawi has far more expansive objectives which voids any thought or attempt to negotiate with him.


+++I suppose our plan to unify the middle east and bring democracy is to rally everyone around the concept of fighting us?

This is either brilliant beyond my ability to imagine or insane.+++

Your hatred of Bush is clouding your perceptions. That is almost as dangerous as falling for the administrations exagerations and rosy predictions.

Michael Murry

nykrindc:

Your comments remind me of that old joke about the Lone Ranger and Tonto where the masked man and his "faithful" Indian companion find themselves surrounded by hostile aborigines. The Lone Ranger says: "It looks like we're in big trouble now," and the inscrutable Tonto replies: "What do you mean "we," white man? I mean you no disrespect, friend, but you tend to use the word "we" (meaning America and Americans, I presume) quite a lot.

The indigenous peoples who live in what we still call "Iraq" will of course straighten things out among themselves, one way or another, since they live in the locale and seem disinclined to accept our ideas, methods, or meddling as in any way dispositive of their lives and history. "We" have already proven beyond all dispute that "we" don't know doodley squat about Iraq and -- really -- no one listens to "us" or cares what "we" think. Why should they? We have zero credibility. We'd have even less if we could manage it.

None of this truth involves President George W. Bush personally (or any "hatred" of the empty suit), since the subalterns who run him -- Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of War Donald Rumsfeld, and his reactionary Rasputin Karl Rove -- don't leave much for him to do except, as he cheerfully says in his own words: "catapault the propaganda: just keep saying the same thing over and over again until it sinks in." Everyone has already heard everything he has to say -- over and over and over again -- and no one wants to hear it one more time. Nothing repeated over and over again will never add up to anything. The fat lady has sung; the curtain has started to descend on the bloody, comic opera; and the audience has now mostly left the parking lot. Trying to scalp overpriced tickets in front of the deserted box office at this late date hardly seems worth the effort, wouldn't you say?

In Washington, though, the internecine political food fight has just begun. The whole unedifying spat between the two faces of the Incumbent Republicrat Party reminds me of that scene in the movie "Love at First Bite" where the psychiatrist Rosenberg and Count Dracula try to hypnotize each other to impress the girl who has already left the table in hunger and disgust at not getting to enjoy a promised, quiet meal. "You are getting sleepier!" says Rosenberg. "No, YOU are getting sleepier!" retorts the Count. "No, YOU are!" "No, YOU are!" et cetera, ad nauseum -- until a waiter approaches the table and passes out from from ambient hypnotic vibrations in the air. Not to wax too pedantic about it, but you can see which two hungry, disgusted, and hypnotically bored characters represent the American people here and which two represent the recess-playground, irrelevantly emotional, adolescent taunting that has pretty much characterized American "policy" regarding Iraq for the past decade-and-a-half.

As during the desultory nadir of the American War on Vietnam, America looks terminally stupid and self-destructive. You probably have to live outside of America, like I do, to see and experience the disbelief at first hand. Just the other day I went out for a brief walk down by the Love River here in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, only to have an elderly Chinese gentleman approach, politely engage me in small talk designed to put me at my ease, and then just blurt out directly in very un-oriental style: "Iraq! Very Bad!" My cheerful, smiling reaction seemed to somehow surprise him when I wholeheartedly agreed: "Yes! Bush! Very Bad Man!" I just love those moments when two different people from completely different linguistic and cultural backgrounds can communicate with such beautiful simplicity.

I served in one Fig Leaf Contingent many years ago and I do not want to see it now redeployed as the Buy Time Brigade. America has had almost a thousand days to plan and execute a leisurely, phased, withdrawal (or whatever other euphemism one wants to employ) from Iraq. Only inexcusable, incompetent, interminable procrastination by the Bush administration now confronts anyone with an "immediacy" problem. Congressman Murtha and General Odom both advocate the correct policy at this time: namely, "cut and run," "walk," "hop," "skip," or "jump" out of the sand trap shooting gallery and do it not "immediately" but yesterday. I've had enough of this stalling just to cover in our own blood the exposed and politically shrunken genitals of the goofballs that got us into this mess.

nykrindc

An exercise in hyperbole if I've ever read one.
You watch movies alot, I see, good for you. As is usually the case with people who can't see past their own biased perception, you attach to my argument everything relating to someone else's even when I've clearly said I disagreed with said point of view. Misinterpreting anyone's argument only voids understanding, it never aids it. As for the one reference you made to my argument where you state that I "tend to use the word "we" (meaning America and Americans, I presume) quite a lot." Not a substantive part of the argument, mind you.

I use "we" because unlike many others I don't believe the US can win, or withdraw from Iraq unless we are united and understand the stakes at play.

Many people disagree on whether we should have gone to war or not. Frankly, that no longer matters, we are there now and need to find a way to leave that allows Iraqis to have a chance at a better life. Do you really consider it to be the moral highground for us to withdraw right now only to leave Iraq completely open to either take over by Islamists (who will try to fill the vaccuum we leave behind, or various parties such as the Saudis, Iranians, Syrians etc., joining in trying to carve up the place into mini-protectorates which will eventually lead to a larger regional war?

As I stated in my comments, the Bush administration screwed this up big time. They did not go in with sufficient forces, with a faulty plan that was grounded on many misperceptions of how the after-war would play out, and all of these turned out to be wrong. Given that background, we have now got to come up with an alternative that gets us out of Iraq and leaves Iraqis a chance to leave in peace. Otherwise, not only would we have made a "mistake," from your point of view once, but twice by abandoning Iraq and Iraqis to a nasty, violent fate. Many people are trying to provide understand the problems that confront us and to provide solutions to them, that is why many of them blog. Meanwhile others aparently are content to cite lines in one movie after another and call it an argument. Sorry to be harsh, but if you want to debate specific points of an argument then do so directly. In this way we all learn. Truth belongs to no one man, or point of view. Only by engaging in honest debate can we ever achieve it.

As an aside, and since you like to quote movies, I would just like to submit one of my favorites from As Good as it Gets, "People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch"

J Thomas

Nykrindc, you seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding here. I'll point it out:

"As I stated in my comments, the Bush administration screwed this up big time."

"Given that background, we have now got to come up with an alternative that gets us out of Iraq and leaves Iraqis a chance to leave in peace."

Who is this "we" who gets the opportunity to come up with an alternative? Is it Bush who will create an alternative? Is it some other "we" who makes an alternative that Bush will follow? Will "we" make an alternative that "we" will start to carry out in 2009?

I agree with you about what Bush has done so far. But any "alternative" involves impeaching Bush and Cheney as a first step. Until you do that, you don't have an alternative. Until you do that you're just a kibitzer. You get to talk about anything you want to talk about, and you get to pay the bills, and you get to watch what Bush does.

"Otherwise, not only would we have made a "mistake," from your point of view once, but twice by abandoning Iraq and Iraqis to a nasty, violent fate."

Yes, Bush will do that and he'll time it to get the maximum political advantage. The war is enough of a liability now that he probably does better to dump it than to hand it to some Democrat and blame the failure on her.

Do you have some alternative to talk-talk while he does that?

You want to win. But you aren't going to get the chance after Bush loses another 3 years. And you aren't going to get the chance if Bush pulls out. And you aren't going to get the chance if Bush is the one who follows the plan you come up with.

That pretty much narrows the choices, now doesn't it?

ked

at the risk of interupting the cocktail party...

"Do you really consider it to be the moral highground for us to withdraw right now only to..."

There follows quite a chain of... of... words.
Moral High Ground - "we" began by lying our way into a desert-infested Neocon dream - when did we capture the MHG? Are there metrics? What is the ratio of morality to dead that might aid us in policy making?

Oh, I get it, let's stay the course UNTIL we have established the MHG. Let there be no limit to the dead that are called to righteous morality!

Santayana reminded us that, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" I tire of old lessons, unlearned.

nykrindc

+++J Thomas: But any "alternative" involves impeaching Bush and Cheney as a first
step.++++

No it does not. As you may have noticed, Bush is weak right now and if the dems can come up with some plan that actually makes sense and does not abandon Iraqis
to their fate, a fate that will be the result of our mistakes, then we
can move forward. While many people may want to see Bush impeached, that
won't happen anytime soon. Dreaming of it won't make it reality, nor does it do our country any good (the dreaming that is).

Waiting until 2009 is not an option. See, that's the problem I've had with the democratic party for these past four years. They really haven't presented any plan to move forward that is, any alternative to Bush and the neocons. All they have done, is to relegate themselves to the role of opposition in the sense that they can criticize everything the President does without actually providing alternatives to how to get it done. This has been particularly true of International Affairs. Recently that has begun to change, if only slightly. This of course is a reflection of the fact that the country's mood as a whole has indeed moved away from the President, and even republicans are beginning to feel the winds shifting against them. As such, there is an opportunity now to move forward. The set up of having the Dems win only if the country looses, is not going to work.

+++And you aren't going to get the chance if Bush is the one who follows the plan you come up with.+++

What matters is the good of the country, not the good of the party. If anything, Bush's inability to distinguish between the two should have taught you that much.
I don't care if Bush implements the plan the Dems come up, frankly, the dems should not care either. What is far more important is that we are able to win the conflicts we are involved in. At the end of the day partisan politics should not be the end all. We have to stop looking at this as dems or reps, as anti- or pro-Bushies, it doesn't matter in the end. What matters is what we all can do to ensure a better outcome than the one we are currently headed for.


++++KED-Moral High Ground - "we" began by lying our way into a desert-infested Neocon dream - ++++

So how does withdrawing help us in any way? It seems if anything we'll not only have lost the MHG but also any credibility if any we have left. Cutting and running from Iraq cannot in any way be deemed a good option, particularly as it seems Iraqis are finally coming together to resolve their differences. I'm not entirely sure they will succeed, but hope that they do. As Col. Lang said alluded for both their sake and ours.

++++"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it" I tire of old lessons, unlearned.++++

Yeah, abandoning Iraq to its fate and allowing it to become the playground of all the regional players is not repeating history? Remember Afghanistan after the Soviet war? The fact that everyone abandoned them and left the regional players to fight it out is what eventually got us the Taliban. You are correct about those who forget the past, I for one would not want to repeat that one.

J Thomas

+++J Thomas: But any "alternative" involves impeaching Bush and Cheney as a first
step.++++

"No it does not."

It appears you didn't follow my logic. There may be a flaw in the logic but you didn't follow it well enough to notice what I said.

"Waiting until 2009 is not an option."

It's an option, but not a good one. If we're still in iraq in 2009 Bush will have messed it up far beyond his current level. I agree with you that this is not desirable.

+++And you aren't going to get the chance if Bush is the one who follows the plan you come up with.+++

"I don't care if Bush implements the plan the Dems come up, frankly, the dems should not care either."

This is where you missed my point. If Bush attempts to implement a good plan, is there much chance it will have good results? Bush has failed at many good plans already.

The big result if you suggest a plan is that you are complicit. You are on record as saying "We can win this, I want to give Bush a blank check and 3 more years to occupy iraq."

The third choice, which you didn't mention, is that Bush might at any time decide to cut and run, and then your wonderful plans will require us to invade iraq again after 2008 before we can carry them out.

Bush has all the initiative, you have none -- while he is in office.

We cannot get a good result in iraq while Bush/Cheney are in office. If it's true that they can't be impeached, then QED: We cannot get a good result in iraq.

My logic is irrefutable, but it depends on assumptions which might be wrong. If you have reason to doubt my assumptions I'd be interested in hearing about it.

My own thought is that while the chance of impeaching Bush/Cheney might be small, it looks like the main chance to get results in iraq (and on various other fronts too). Since nothing else has a ghost of a chance of getting results before 2009, I see no reason to do less than our best at the attempt.

ked

I don't think continuing to spend Amercian lives on an unnecessary war is Moral High Ground & I don't care much for gaming "International Credibility Points" while they die. {the next event gets more attention than the last anyway}. J Thomas, you're pretty close (& what plan / non-plan of any kind has W & gang NOT Fd up so far?). However, don't overlook the pressure from the Party over the hit they will take in mid term & next Pres. election. He just might cut & run, "w/ honor", no doubt, since there is $ on the table back home. The sooner we're out, the sooner we'll all find out what is going to happen inside Iraq, which is what was likely to happen anyway, after "Mission Accomplished Day". Happy Thanksgiving (esp to those Giving over there)!

Rebecca

what is the pardon of the turkey?do they kill it?
I am in 6th grade and i dont know what it means.

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