T Nation

Violence is Down in Iraq?


#1

Only because they're lying, or manipulating the statistics.

Example: Car bombs are now classified as traffic accidents.

Example: If a body is found shot through the back of the head, it's classified as 'sectarian violence'. But if the bullet came in from the front, now it's only considered "crime" and won't make it into the military reports.

Those who lied about WMD, who lied about Saddam's connection to Al Qaeda, who lied about the urgent need to invade Iraq, who lied about being greeted with flowers, who lied about how long it would take and how much it would cost... well, there's no reason to think these people have started telling the truth.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/05/AR2007090502466_pf.html


#2

"If a bullet went through the back of the head, it's sectarian," the official said. "If it went through the front, it's criminal."

Also, we no longer count:

-Sunni-on-Sunni violence

-Shiite-on-Shiite violence

I'm going to start applying these techniques to my diet. If I close my eyes while eating a pint of Ben & Jerrys, it doesn't count, right?


#3

It's kind of like saying water has lost some of it's wetness isn't it?


#4

Uhmm... JeffR? and the other head in sand'ers.


#5

Shorter Surge supporters:

"More violence means teh surge is working"
also
"Less violence means teh surge is working"
either way it's clear (at least to the nuts in last night's debate)
"The Surge is (definitely) working!!!"


#6

100meters-lumpy-bradley: (I know you are the same person).

First, I read that article. You've got the military on one side versus a bunch of academics/clintonites and other foes of the effort.

Second, you (I mean the damn democratic nuts) should be ASHAMED of yourselves. If you had ANY self-respect or honor, you WOULD NOT be preempting Patreus' report by attacking the messenger.

I've see you clowns already starting this.

If Patreus says the surge is working, he gets the benefit of the doubt.

I can certainly pull up some of your old posts where you pointed to this report as an important and relevant benchmark. You, and your pals, were rightly confident that Patreus was an unbiased and reliable observer of the effort.

Now that it looks like your run and hide (YOU CALL ME HEAD IN THE SAND!!!) yellow-bellies are about to be rebuked, you are trying to attack both the messenger and the message.

In short, you guys are tools who care more about political power than the success of the United States.

JeffR


#7

The left, as Rush has pointed out many times, is totaly invested in US defeat in Iraq. I mean not even Lumpy, Bradley, 100m, whatever, should be able to deny this. Democratic success has been inextricably tied to US failure in Iraq. If Patreus delivered a report that depicted tremendous success, the lefties would cry foul and spin it somehow.

Sad really.


#8

Guys, seriously... please get your heads out of your own asses. The surge was supposed to buy time so that Iraq could have stability in order to forge a political reconciliation among Iraqis.

Instead, the Maliki government is crumbling. Even Republicans say that Maliki is unable to lead. The sectarian leaders Maliki was supposed to forge alliances with, are leaving his government in disgust. Bush administration members tell the press that there are some discussions about removing Maliki completely, and starting from scratch with new leadership in Iraq. The entire police force will need to be scrapped and built from the ground up. Meanwhile, corruption is rampant, at epidemic levels, in the Iraqi government.

You think Democrats ENJOY watching this complete disaster, this slow-motion train wreck? Hell, I'm starting to think the Republicans actually enjoy it. Because I've never seen such a large group of people so completely embrace FAILURE on a large scale, before. Not only embracing failure, but fighting to justify and defend failure, like a sewer rat fighting over a peanut.

Wow, I'm really impressed with Petraeus. Isn't he the guy who lost track of 190,000 AK-47 assault rifles in Iraq? He's been writing Op-Eds for the last four years, saying how great everything's going over there. Now, he's getting ready to do his own job evaluation. The public is supposed to give a shit about what this guy reports, about his own job performance? Even if the military performed well, the government that Bush installed in Iraq is crumbling! That's what we've been fighting for: an Iraqi government that is falling apart

Guys, please pull your heads out, and please do it soon. We spend 12 billion dollars a month in Iraq... how much money is protecting George Bush's fragile ego worth, to America? How much further in debt does America need to go, to support this farce?


#9

Very few people.

[i]"Most people across the world believe US-led forces should withdraw from Iraq within a year, a BBC poll suggests.

Some 39% of people in 22 countries said troops should leave now, and 28% backed a gradual pull-out."[/i]

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6981553.stm


#10

Imagine that...

Pro-'surge' group is almost all Jewish
JTA
08/24/2007
Four of five members of the board of a campaign promoting President Bush's policies in the Iraq war are Republican Jews.

The board of "Freedom's Watch" includes Ari Fleischer, Bush's former press secretary; Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition; Bradley Blakeman, a senior White House staffer in Bush's first term; and Mel Sembler, a longtime RJC leader and former ambassador to Rome.

Brooks told JTA that the fifth member, William Weidner, a casino operator in Las Vegas, is not Jewish. However, Weidner's wife, Lynn, is Jewish and is active in that city's federation. Blakeman is the group's president.

Brooks said it would be a mistake to regard the group as having a Jewish direction.

"It's a coincidence that several of the board members are Jewish," he said...
http://www.jta.org/cgi-bin/iowa/breaking/103795.html

Expanding on the "coincidence" theme...

Top White House posts go to Jews
THE JERUSALEM POST
Apr. 25, 2006
The fact that White House policy is now in the hands of two Jews is not seen as significant by activists in the American Jewish community.

"He is simply appointing the best people for the job," said Nathan Diament, who heads the Washington office of the Orthodox Union. Another Jewish activist added that he "wouldn't read too much into it..."
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1143498911316&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter

More "coincidences" - Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Henry Kissinger, Michael Chertoff, Scooter Libby, Elliott Abrams, Dov Zakheim, James Woolsey, William Kristol, Michael Leeden, Frederick Kagan, Norman Podhoretz, Charles Krauthammer, Joe Lieberman, Robert Zoellick, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke... (the abridged list)

Yet another "coincidence" -- war with Iraq was declared on the Jewish holiday Purim...

Purim (March 17/18, 2003)
The Jews went from being the "victims" of an evil decree against them, to becoming the ones allowed by the king to destroy their enemies.

March 18, 2003

CNN was right on target in guessing war's start date
President Bush announced his now famous 48-hour deadline and, when the 48 hours ran out -- on Wednesday, March 19 -- war started.
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/04/03/MN306918.DTL

You'd think that would have made Arab Muslims EXTRA mad -- ahhhh, I'm sure they realized it was just a "coincidence".


#11

US Commander in Iraq Considering Small Troop Reduction

07 September 2007

[i]The top U.S. commander in Iraq is indicating a willingness to withdraw some U.S. forces from Iraq early next year.

Senior officials in the Bush administration are telling U.S. media that Army General David Petraeus would consider removing up to 4,000 troops from Iraq as early as January - a fraction of the more than 160,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq. The U.S. added 30,000 troops earlier this year to help quell the sectarian violence that has plagued Iraq after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

Some senior military leaders are advocating a quicker withdrawal of the additional troops, concerned about the strain the Iraq war has placed on the armed forces. The leaders include some members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made up of the leaders of the major branches of the U.S. military.

An independent panel of experts also says a significant reduction of U.S. forces by early 2008 would be possible and prudent.[/i]

http://voanews.com/english/2007-09-07-voa4.cfm


#12

Sanctuary Politics. The Dems are willing participants in being duped. What's good for the US is very bad for the Democratic Party...as they have acknowledged publicly.

100M and Bradley. Do you two really think your opinion of the surge has nay value whatsoever. I mean, based on your tactical military experience and mission planning expertise, what would you expect the casualty rate to be and why?

The purpose of the surge was to eliminate sanctuary for terrorist cells silly. It has done so and is continuing to do so. Remember what's good for the US is bad for the Democrats...so your mind has already been made up...why wait for the report.

Sanctuary Politics
September 7, 2007:

Islamic terror organizations like al Qaeda, Hamas and Hizbollah remain alive and well six years after September 11, 2001 because many countries, including many that have always supported terrorists, still provide sanctuary and support. This is very odd because, basically, Islamic terrorism is a response to frustrations within the Islamic, and particularly, the Arab world.

Most Islamic states, and all Arab ones, are run by dictators or monarchs. All of these nations suffer from low economic growth, rampant corruption and little opportunity for young people entering the work force. Women, in particular, have a hard time of it. But it is young men, and educated older men, who form the terrorist cells.

They believe they have the solution to everyone's problems, and that solution involves a religious dictatorship. This particular strain of Islamic terrorism is particularly nasty because it embraces the heretical (and quite ancient) belief that any Moslem who does not support the terrorists is not a true Moslem, and can be killed without violating Islamic religious teachings (that strongly discourages Moslems from killing each other).

For centuries, the rulers of Islamic states have known how to deal with Islamic terrorists. Basically, you kill them, their families and many of the neighbors. You make an example. These days, in response to international opposition to mass murder, most Islamic states ease up on the collateral casualties.

Instead, family and neighbors are thrown in jail, or suffer economic losses (a job, confiscated property) for the sins of their son the terrorist. Islamic despots have also learned how to use Islamic terrorists as a weapon against their enemies, including other terrorist groups. There are many terrorist groups in the Middle East (not all of them Islamic, some are secular), and they all need a sanctuary, a base area, so to speak.

So Islamic dictators offer terrorist groups sanctuary. The deal was this. The dictator would protect the terrorist group, as long as no attacks were made against the dictator. It worked, and most dictators maintained sanctuary for several terror groups. As a bonus, some of the terrorists were available to do dirty work for their dictator protector.

The U.S. went into Iraq and Afghanistan to upset this sanctuary system. It worked, in that many Arab nations are much less hospitable to Islamic terrorists now. Al Qaedas popularity ratings in the Arab world have dropped sharply because of all the al Qaeda violence against Iraqis, and other Moslems. Because of Iraq, most Arab despots have had to reconsider their terrorist sanctuary policies.

But then there's Israel. After World War I, when most of the current crop of Middle Eastern states were carved out of the dead Ottoman empire, the dictators (that quickly developed in these new states) found anti-Semitism to be very useful. The dictators began saying, "don't blame us, blame the Jews." This became much more effective when the local Jews established their own state; Israel.

Arab dictators found they could redirect popular anger, and terrorism, aimed at them, towards Israel. It worked for several decades. But by the 1980s, many of the Islamic radicals realized they were being played, and began concentrating their attacks on Arab despots.

The dictators worked their usual magic, and crushed the Islamic terrorists. Then, groups like al Qaeda came up with the idea of attacking Western nations, under the guise of taking down the wicked foreigners who propped up the Arab tyrants. That grew and grew until we got to September 11, 2001, and today.

As long as Moslems in general, and Arabs in particular, cannot figure out how to govern themselves more effectively, we will have Islamic terrorism. But by bringing the war home to the Arabs, and Islamic terrorists, we can have less of the violence in the West, and more if it where the disease originated.

James Dunnigan


#13

You know, somethings funny about that statement. AK-47's are Russian assault rifles. How were we put in charge of them?


#14

I still say we should chop Iraq up in to three bits. I believe the surge is working against terrorists, foreign nationals, freedom fighters, etc. But there is no way they will have peace. The fucking kurds, sunnis, sheites have way to much hatred for one another.

When the terrorists leave and weh nthe U.S. leaves they'll just kill one another. I just don't think life means much to those people. They are as backward hillbilly, inbread as it gets. I should know, I am from Georgia.


#15

That evil Bush tricked the Soviets into selling them to Saddam.


#16

Hello, bradley.

Thanks for making my point. Do you ever find it strange (or at least a little odd) that you and your party thought the world of Patreus (unanamious confirmation, public adulation, etc..) and NOW when he's succeeding, you want to throw him under the bus?

It's a simple question. Do you ever feel odd doing this sort of thing?

If you can answer this question, a follow up question would be: Can you see how some of us might view your motives as mostly if not totally political?

Finally, I want to make certain that everyone understands that when you rant against political progress in Iraq and Bush discussing alternatives, THERE IS A 100% CERTAINTY that if he wasn't creatively thinking through alternatives, you'd be whining about "staying the course."

In short, there is nothing Bush can say or do in any way shape or form (including pulling out immediately of Iraq) that will satisfy you loons.

You are completely tranparent.

JeffR


#17

Because this is how you know that the US never wanted an end to this conflict. They purchased used, unregistered AK's from Bosnia and shipped them to Iraq through blackmarket arms dealers and SURPRISE they're gone.

It'd be pretty hard to try and frame Iran for the violence in Iraq while insurgents are killing allied soldiers with registered, American M16/M4's now wouldn't it?

"in a move that can only be likened to the fox guarding the hen-house, it turns out, as the Los Angeles Times reported on August 13, that there may have been another factor at work, namely the US government's use of Viktor Bout - a Russian air transporter who also happens to be the world's most notorious arms dealer."
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IH17Ak01.html

Or do you think that was just another "mistake"....


#18

Nope, that evil Bush and company bought em', themselves - funny huh?

"in a move that can only be likened to the fox guarding the hen-house, it turns out, as the Los Angeles Times reported on August 13, that there may have been another factor at work, namely the US government's use of Viktor Bout - a Russian air transporter who also happens to be the world's most notorious arms dealer."
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IH17Ak01.html

Funny trivia about Victor Bout...

[i]Yuri Orlov, Nicolas Cage's character in the 2005 film Lord of War is said to be partially based on Viktor Bout...

His criminal profile in the public eye reached a high-water mark with the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Bout supplied weapons to the Taliban, which has close ties to al-Qaeda. This placed Bout on a top-priority list for U.S. officials...[/i]

Of course I hate to keep rehashing why we're in Iraq in the first place...

Israel linked to Iraq intelligence failure, general says
Jerusalem
December 6, 2003
Israel was a "full partner" in American and British intelligence failures that exaggerated former president Saddam Hussein's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs before the US-led invasion of Iraq, a report by an Israeli military research centre has alleged.

"The failures of this war indicate weaknesses and inherent flaws within Israeli intelligence and among Israeli decision-makers," Brigadier-General Shlomo Brom wrote in an analysis for Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies.

Israeli intelligence services and political leaders provided "an exaggerated assessment of Iraqi capabilities", raising "the possibility that the intelligence picture was manipulated", wrote General Brom, former deputy commander of the Israeli military's planning division.
http://www.theage.com.au/cgi-bin/common/popupPrintArticle.pl?path=/articles/2003/12/05/1070351789502.html

Israeli Subcommittee Faults Intelligence on Iraq
An investigation into Israel's failure to provide accurate intelligence on Iraq's weapons capabilities found that Israeli intelligence agencies suffered from a closed "information loop," as well as other failures...

The subcommittee found that Israeli intelligence agencies used information from foreign intelligence services without recognizing that the other states obtained the data from Israel in the first place. The result, according to Steinitz, was that speculation was passed in circles "without any substantiation from the field." However, Steinitz rejected suggestions that the Israeli agencies intentionally misled the United States and others in hopes of encouraging them to go to war against Iraq, a longtime enemy of Israel...
http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2004_05/newsbriefs.asp

Of course the Jews tell a different story...
Richard N. Perle - How the CIA Failed America


#19

I'm not sure where I attacked Petraeus? Nor have I pointed to this report as important or relevant? Just creating this from vapours?
But factually:
no political reconciliation
troop deaths up
civilian deaths up

so obviously a logical person would conclude "teh Surge is working!"

And of course nobody could possibly question Petraeus' optimism. He did say afterall in 2004:
"8 months after entering Iraq, I see tangible progress....there are reasons for optimism....Iraqi security forces are in the fight....Within the next 60 days, six more regular army and six additional Intervention Force battalions will become operational....40 of the 45 existing battalions....are conducting operations on a daily basis....1,100 graduated from the basic policing course and five specialty courses. By early spring, nine academies in Iraq and one in Jordan will be graduating a total of 5,000 police each month.

....Numbers alone cannot convey the full story....there is no shortage of qualified recruits volunteering to join Iraqi security forces....I meet with Iraqi security force leaders every day....I have seen their determination and their desire to assume the full burden of security tasks for Iraq....Momentum has gathered in recent months. With strong Iraqi leaders out front and with continued coalition �?? and now NATO �?? support, this trend will continue."

Nevermind none of this actually came true....(training the Iraqis was his baby by the way)

So it's the
1.facts on the ground
2.Congressional Research Service
3.GAO
4. Jones commission
5. Embassy in Iraq

vs.

Petraeus and JeffR

which somehow equals

I'm a tool craving political power? Odd.


#20

Uhggg, it's obvious when one party has run a warplan as ineffective, as bungled, and as misguided as this one with catastrophic consequences all while having the opposite results of said intentions that voters might explore option B?

Also while very serious people like Rush and his ilk have been wrong on every aspect of this war from even before the begining and dirty hippy bloggers have been svengalis on all things Iraq, lets please keep listening to Rush, Kristol, Instapundit etc....