As We See It – Version 11.0

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13 thoughts on “As We See It – Version 11.0

  1. There certainly is a lot of blame to be shared. I am disgusted at the effort on both sides of the aisle to “score points” vice actually putting their grey matter together to see if they can come up with brilliant ideas that don’t involve shafting donors. The idealist in me can see a future democratic Iraq; the pragmatist in me says we can’t get it done.

    I pointed out the irony I perceive in Bush being painted both a buffoon and a shrewd liar. In the wake of Katrina, I found a similar irony: much of the same constituency that is convinced that the government can’t get it right expressed indignant surprise that the government didn’t get it right.

    One final note: your comments on Deep Throat (not Mark Fehr, Rity Crosby) were dead-on.

    PS- I hope the Omnipotent Poobah, Sr., doesn’t read my commentary.

  2. Dear Omnipotent Stepbrother,

    Thanks for coming back and being so profligate with the comments. I like that.

    I know this is going to sound like a “dog ate my homework” defense, but I just spent a half hour addressing your comments, pushed the button, and watched as all those wonderful, well-crafted words disappeared into the virtual void. They’ve probably taken up residence on a porn site somewhere. Won’t THEY be surprised when the naked ladies disappear and my rant takes their place? I’d take another half-hour to do it again, but my gnat-like attention span won’t allow it.

    So I’ll sum it up thusly…we’re actually closer than you might think on some of these ideas. I may be strident, but I’m not blind. Some of my puffery is just me making a point and stirring the pot. Like you said, I didn’t fall far from the tree.

    In general, I think we mostly agree on how things started out, but not so much on how they ended up and who was responsible. I personally believe that there is plenty of shit to be spread around this mess on both sides of the isle and heavily distributed between both the executive and legislative branches. Hypocracy abounds. There are people who I believe lied (although I don’t credit George with enough finese for something as subtle as lying…I just think he’s a buffoon). Meanwhile, people are dying, the Iraqis are living in the smoldering wreckage of what was once their country, our country is more divided than anytime since the 60s, and no one is leading or following anyone. Worst of all, we are not only not safe from our enemies, but may actually be worse off than when the whole thing started.

    In the words of the immortal Oliver Hardy, “Stan, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.”

    In any case, thanks for taking the time to comment. I am duely impressed. Come back again and I’ll see if a few swift kicks to Blogger will allow me to respond in kind.

  3. Regarding nation building, a few comments.

    (1) Bush did indeed campaign against those types of missions in 2000 against Gore, but in his defense I sincerely believe 9/11 changed his outlook–as it did for many of us. If you read Woodward’s two books on Bush–Bush at War and War Plan–you’ll be surprised to read Woodward describe Bush as the Iraq naysayer in late 2001. Unlike Rummy, Dubya didn’t have it out for Saddam from Day One.

    (2) Once Al Qaida’s operations in Afghanistan were severely disrupted, Bush fell sway to the argument that the US was vulnerable to a WMD terrorist attack; the nexus for “capability” and terrorism was deemed to be Baghdad. Unlike most Americans, I don’t think Bush is an intentional liar* and think that he sincerely acted on Iraq because he felt–within two years of 9/11, remember–that the risk of inaction was too great.

    (3) For those that think the Administration lied about the intelligence, all I can say is the “intelligence failure” was not restricted to the United States. Even the French and Germans, who opposed going to war, shared the assessment that Iraq continued to cheat on its disarmament commitments dating back to 1991. Why? Because the Iraqis themselves admitted having deceived the UN in the mid-1990s. As you can imagine, it was nearly impossible for analysts to then assess the denials by a confessed liar to be legitimate.

    (4) For those that think UNMOVIC simply needed more time, how long would it have taken them to prove Iraq had eliminated its WMD when, as we now know, there was none there? My answer is that their mission, in retrospect, was doomed to fail and, as a result, we’d have still faced the same decision point with largely the same information.

    (5) Nationbuilding, of course, takes years. Postwar Germany and Japan were not built in two years (the amount of time that has lapsed since we invaded Iraq), nor should we judge nationbuilding in Iraq a success or failure after only 30 months. Note that I am not saying it is unfair to criticize going to war, simply that it is unfair to decide the fate of nationbuilding today. While I risk being labeled a neocon for agreeing with the vision of a democratic Iraq serving as a role model for oppressed Arabs and offering hope that doesn’t exist today, I am pessimistic that we can get it done effectively, especially given the amount of second-guessing that is happening in the first quarter of the long-term operation. The Marshall Plan didn’t even kick off in Europe until a couple of years after the fall of Nazi Germany, and Iraq–if it is to have hope– will need a similar infusion of economic/rebuilding assistance. Why do I think this is worthwhile? Put simply, it is considerably tougher to recruit an educated teenager with reasonable career prospects into a terrorist unit than it is some Palestinian whose parents were born, raised, and live in a refugee camp.

    (6) Myth-busting. The US Army was, in fact, welcomed in Iraq by the people as liberators in many sections of the country, including Baghdad. Of course, because we botched the security situation after the cessation of force-on-force hostilities, the insurrection–fueled by the flow of foreign (e.g., non-Iraqi) fighters, was able to grow and help create the security situation that now has led many Iraqis to be less receptive to cooperation with the USA. Iraqis, like Americans and other peoples worldwide, want to eat, a safe place to work, and opportunity; unless the resistance can be squashed or a political settlement realized, the economic development needed for successful nationbuilding will be problematic.

    Sorry for the length of my posting. I hope it won’t be my last.

    Oh yeah, one last blast. I laugh when Congress calls the Administration out for fibbing about the prewar intelligence. Many of them didn’t even bother to read the famed 2002 Iraq National Intelligence Estimate–since declassified–before voting whether to sanction the war. Hypocrites.

    * – Bush isn’t the brightest bulb in the box, but I think it is funny that the popular perception of him cast him both as a buffoon and as a shrewd liar.

  4. Hey, I enjoy the read. I don’t see eye-to-eye on many of the issues, but can appreciate the humor provided by both sides of the aisle. If we can’t laugh, we’re in big trouble.

  5. Omnipotent Stepbrother,

    Actually, we fell quite far from the tree, but it was on a downhill slope so we rolled back. Besides, he has all the huff & puff, but we have all the omnipotent powers (and the huff & puff to boot). We’re flattered you took the time to stop by.

    Rev,

    The Omnipotent Stepbrother is no problem (aside from being a Republican – but he’s a “nice” Republican). Besides, we’d rather have him stop by than the bio-sister. From what I read, she would probably make your brother look like a shoo-in for the next Nobel prize (that is if Tookie Williams doesn’t get it posthumously the next time around).

    TJ,

    Glad you like the pics. Unfortunately, it’s always way too easy to get good material to work from.

    We’re with you on the nation building thing, except 10 years might be too short. What was that the Chimperor said about nation building? Oh yeah, it isn’t a good idea. But we guess he just swooned when he heard Rummy’s extreme makeover plan and went along like the good villiage idiot he is. Nothing like playing Follow the Leader Following the Underling we guess.

  6. Love the pics, poobah. An yeah, in regards to what Mary said: ANYONE in power should have forseen all of this. This isn’t shocking, and this didn’t creep up on anyone. We are in this for the long haul. To pull out now would be 10 times more criminal than going in was. THIS is why I (and many others) were against the war in the first place. Once you start on the path of nation-building, you are involved for no less than 10 years. 10 Years! If you think that’s an exaggeration, talk to me again in 8 years, when we are undergoing a “final” final pullout of our remaining “advisors”.

  7. i see you have similar problems from your family members making comments too. i don’t feel so alone now. thanks pooby.

  8. Good idea.

    When we were up against the Godless communist hoards (you know, before Ronald Reagan saved us all) I used to tell people we’d always win if the Ruskies attacked. I figured we could just meet them on the beach when they waded ashore and offer each person a McDonalds franchise. No muss. No fuss. No war.

    Welcome back Rev. You look well rested and well fed.

  9. Let’s stay there, and open up fast food franchises, that will show ’em. how do you say “supersize me” in farsi?

  10. Mary,

    Unfortunately, I imagined this much trouble and then some. I think that whatever number he pulls out over whatever period of time he chooses, those left behind are going to be so busy trying to stay alive they won’t have time to eat a cheese sandwich.

    We’re in such a tenuous position now that there is no real way to withdraw without causing horrendous damage to somebody – either us or the Iraquis, or more likely, both. Pull everyone out at once and the whole damn place collapses like a house of cards, killing thousands in the process. Slowly pull them out and we’ll be taking casualties so fast we’ll have to replace them at the same rate we withdraw them. Stand pat and we already see the result. We can’t even call on the UN or other countries to come in an save our sorry ass because Shrub has pissed them all off so badly they just stand around and laugh at him (Oh yeah, I forgot Poland. The Frat Boy always reminds us how valuable they are!). The damn knothead has us in so deep now there no longer is any real solution, just the lesser of a million crappy choices. I think we were doomed from the day the Chimp landed on the carrier, because things we already out of control at that point.

    What frosts my mug is that all of this could have been avoided if Little George had listened to Big George. I didn’t like Dad all that much, but he was smart enough to see that the conditions we have today are exactly what he was afraid of if he went to all the way to Baghdad the last time around. Hell, Saddam could barely keep the place on track by gassing half the populace and torturing the other half. At least he was a competent despot, George can’t even eat a pretzel without choking himself.

    I don’t see any way that the Chimp-in-Chief, Chalabi or any of his greedy thugs, or some half-assed coaltion of crooked Sunnis and Shites who don’t trust each other any farther than they can throw an oil derrick can hold the place together. Democracy is a huge job. We’ve been trying to perfect it for over 200 years and we still don’t have it right. The people behind this sure had the right moniker though – neo-cons – because they didn’t do anything but try to con everyone on how well this would go.

    Rat bastards!

  11. I was just thinking today that if Bush pulls out some of the troops and leaves 40,000 in perils way, I wonder if we would have a military coup and take him out. I just never know what is coming – I could not have imagined this much trouble ever.

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