Friday, June 02, 2006

We Shall Overcome

The enemy builds on the picture we have painted ourselves.

Iraq the Model has an interesting post which speaks volumes about the two parallel American interventions that have taken place in Iraq.

There's one rumor in Baghdad these days that has become so big and spread beyond the normal limits of rumors…

This rumor speaks of an American plot, namely one of President Bush to orchestrate a military coup in Iraq, install a Pervez Musharraf-like general as head of state with a treaty signed between the US and the general to guarantee an honorable pull out from Iraq as well as Iraq's loyalty to the US to prepare for America's exit from the country and that this coup is to be carried out by the Iraqi army under command of a Sunni general from the former army since the American administration-according the rumor-believes officers of the former army are the only ones capable of understanding and controlling the security situation in Iraq.

The implied context of this rumor is that America is so desperate to pull out at any cost from Iraq that it would be willing to essentially restore control over the country to one of Saddam's underlings in exchange. What's the psychological basis for this rumor? The battlefield situation in Iraq? No. The Iraqi perception of the political debate in the United States. Omar continues.

It seems that this rumor in particular was created by a pro; he made a long and somewhat convincing (to the less informed) story on the origin of this coup scenario; the rumor says that President Bush was advised by former national Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzenzinski to give Sunni officers a free hand in Iraq to control the security situation and according to the rumor, this meeting of Bush and Zbigniew Brzenzinski was written about in the New York Times! Of course I didn't even bother to search for such a Brzenzinski statement or NY Times report as the story in its entirety sounds illogical.

The key thing to remember is that in Iraq, not very many people read the blogs. They get their information from the MSM. They watch CNN and Al Jazeera and what the person who manufactured this rumor did was take elements long highlighted by the MSM and woven them into a fictional scenario based on a plausible perception of the political situation in the US based on those elements. And what picture emerges? That President Bush or his inevitable Democratic successor are on the verge of ordering the Last Helicopter out of Iraq.

What's not often recognized is that there are two campaigns being fought inside Iraq. The first is the obvious one waged by the US military and the diplomatic establishment. But the second has its troops too who came in on the same wave that washed away Saddam Hussein; the one that let Iraqis watch the MSM for the first time. Every battlefield result in Iraq caused by the first force is represented in parallel by the second force. The US fights the Battle of Tal Afar and alters the battlefield. Time Magazine and Al Jazeera report it and alter perception. Ding. Dong. And what Omar is talking about is based on the Dong. Omar continues:

This reflects that there's still a big chunk of the population here in the Middle East that is having a hard time believing that the change has happened, understanding democracy and throwing behind the old conspiracy theory mentalities; a tough but essential struggle for establishing a new system. What worries me a lot is hearing people in Iraq in particular and in the Middle East in general saying that this region not good enough a land for democracy and that these countries will always need dictators to put things in order and preserve security and stability; these are remarks I hear all the time and some even go as far as saying that Saddam's reign was good for Iraq.

The line that alarms Omar so much -- "hearing people in Iraq in particular and in the Middle East in general saying that this region not good enough a land for democracy and that these countries will always need dictators to put things in order and preserve security and stability; these are remarks I hear all the time and some even go as far as saying that Saddam's reign was good for Iraq" -- could have been uttered by any respectably nuanced and sophisticated non-neocon. It was the genius of the rumor mill manufacturer to attribute this idea to Brzenzinski and the NY Times. Neither may have said it, but it sounds right enough to build the rumor upon. Omar goes on:

The important point here which should be taken into consideration is that we are not forming a government but we are forming a state and a system from scratch so naturally the difficulties we'll face during each stage will be much bigger than the difficulties that would face other states that are already democratic during similar stages, say after elections. Patience and hard work are the key to victory and in the same time obstacles, violence and disputes are no excuse for quitting; just like al-Qaeda and its allies concentrate on Iraq and consider it the nucleus for their Islamic state, we and the whole world must unite to rescue Iraq and present our model of freedom and justice.

The plausibility of the rumor Omar reports is constructed precisely on the impression that a sell-out is in the works. Anyone who watches the MSM can feel a desire so strong it can almost be tasted. An a sell-out may not be a pretty phrase to describe what the Left proposes, but that is precisely what it is. And the nice thing about these kinds of sell-outs, as the older Vietnamese and Cambodians can readily attest, is that they can be accomplished with a perfectly clear conscience. The sound track on the way to the Year Zero was "We Shall Overcome". Indeed sell-outs can be consummated with every appearance of moral superiority.

Of the two interventions in Iraq, who do you think has the upper hand?

70 Comments:

Blogger DanMyers said...

As in all fluid situations, the propaganda that is in place at the end is the winner. If we withdraw now, with the current propaganda, the enemy wins. I guess it depends on what level of the GWOT semi-sine wave we are on now...

6/02/2006 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger NorthPut21 said...

just like al-Qaeda and its allies concentrate on Iraq and consider it the nucleus for their Islamic state, we and the whole world must unite to rescue Iraq and present our model of freedom and justice.

Maybe if we saw some more desire to "be rescued" some of us wouldn't be looking for the door.

6/02/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

So many have bought the meme and succumbed to the psyops.

So many have lost whatever faith they had, and view all who are not appropriately cynical and embittered as fools.

So many from whom one could reasonably expect better, enraged that the chain of command do not follow their advice, want to take their ball and go home.

6/02/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Massive Misreporting in the Media Ignored

6/02/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Media Prolonging War - Causing Casualties

6/02/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Blogger Meme chose said...

One thing is crystal clear: if GWB had given a tinker's cuss for what the journalists think, then both we and decent Iraqis everywhere would by now have lost everything we put into this fight.

6/02/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I would bet almost any amount against that one as long as GWB is in office.
Past that, all is currently blank from my vantage point.

6/02/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I wonder if some of his fellow Sunnis don't WISH it would happen?

6/02/2006 05:59:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Cannoneer No. 4,

Things have been tough on this little stretch of time we live in. Or, have we lost perspective of our predecessor's foibles and mistakes? When you look at WW1 and WW2, it's a miracle that we live as we do today.

Better men than I have taken up the load and move ahead. Are we capable of recognizing those men now? Hell, will it be a man? I digress.. We made it, can we fix it is my question.

6/02/2006 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Cracked Bells

Out beyond the coastal media enclaves ravaged by the black plague of the spirit, normal Americans yearning to know about and hate the enemy that has killed thousands of them and plans to kill tens of thousands more still tune in in the hope of a shred of the truth, a fraction of a fact. Instead they are informed, from unnamed sources deep within the CIA, that their enemy is the President who has kept them safe for four years. They click away and don't click back, and the soon to be made redundant reporters, newscasters and producers wonder why. After all, everything they have been spewing over the air and through the newspapers for years has been correct. Everybody they have lunch and dinner with, everyone that they cheat on their spouses with, everyone that they take "social drugs" with, everyone who has also been spewing the same stuff, says so. How can the people, the little people who don't even have an account with a car service, be so stupid, be so wrong?

But the people aren't wrong. As a great ad-man once said, "The consumer isn't an idiot. The consumer is your wife." The people are sick of it all. Sick of the same old two stories being told to them over and over. Sick of the blather and the disaster and the doom which they know, in their gut and in their heart, to be only a shadow, a dark shadow, of the real story.

6/02/2006 06:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/02/2006 06:06:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

A rumor of this type can exist and grow because it is a plausable scenario. Based on US past performance and the common narrative of the Iraqi.

It is well known Saddam has said we'd call HIM back. Many of his supporters must still believe it.
Why else does he still live.

And the idea that we'd stage a Coup in our own self interest is, after President Diem, not hard to fathom.

Things must be so awful that normal folk cannot believe the omnipotent US will allow it to continue. Iraq the Model recently lost a family member to the Horror, he has always be a staunch US supporter.

He believes the rhetoric of elections and freedom, still.
Mr Jefferson has Mr Model's heart, not Mohammmed.

The Iraqi expect a US led "crackdown" on the violence, as promised by General Casey. At the same time believing their Government will be unable to deliver.
The people must believe agents of the Government are responsible for the violence.
Mr Allawi has hinted, last month, of a Coup, it was reported.

It is not a totally unbelievable nor without historical precedent, for a rumor.

Because how can we condone the bloodshed, even if it is not US blood, for a political model "everyone" knows is unfit for the Region.

6/02/2006 06:07:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Is the honorable patriotism of Edward R. Murrow truly dead in American journalism?

6/02/2006 06:08:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Cannoneer 4,

The Dean Esmay link about Media reporting causing casualties is interesting because it plainly makes the point that there are two campaigns in tandem. The fake Koran flushing incident was a definite case where people died from bad reporting. How much else of that is happening? Some number larger than nothing but I would be hard pressed to put a bound to it.

Intuitively I'd say bad reporting causes a lot of casualties. The First Battle of Fallujah is another case in point. The optimal course of action becomes infeasible because the Press objects. Real people die then the Press rounds on the very people who deferred to it and says, "why did you listen to us?"

It's imperative to make this parallel countercampaign visible and manifest, not so that it can be opposed, so much as weighed. The effect of the antiwar campaign has to be quantified even to its backers so that they can ask themselves -- those of goodwill -- "was this worth it?" The picture on Haifa Street, for example, was that worth it?

6/02/2006 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Which side is the national media on?

6/02/2006 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The national media is on their own side, but since 90% of them vote Democrat, supported Kerry, hate Bush, consider themselves citizens of the world, have no useful prior service experience, and have a fine contempt for Red State America and it's sons and daughters in uniform, their own side has many common interests with others who fervently work towards regime change in America.

I categorize most journos as Enemies-Domestic.

PSYOPS are being run on the American domestic target audience. Hostile media are Information Operators for the enemy. DoD IO are not allowed to target domestic audiences.

So who does domestic counter-PSYOPS?

6/02/2006 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

danmyers,


Other times have been tougher. Our ancestors persevered, and prevailed.

Whether we can fix it is in doubt. Whether fixing it is a worthy endeavor is not doubted by me.

6/02/2006 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Agree,

Excellent Cracked Bells link.

"No reason to get excited,"
the thief, he kindly spoke,
"There are many here among us
who feel that life is but a joke.
But you and I, we've been through that,
and this is not our fate,
So let us not talk falsely now,
the hour is getting late."

6/02/2006 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Wretchard,

Military Operations in a hostile press environment are degraded mode, i. e. the target still has to be hit whether all your fire control systems are allowed to be used or not.

Good guys have died because the right tool for killing bad guys was not used out of fear of bad press. And that fear is not misplaced. The media has veto power over acceptable tactics. And the enemy gets a vote, too, and their wishes are expressed through that same media.

It is hard to fight the Fourth Estate Fifth Column. Most people think they have to rely on it for their information. They don't, but most people don't know that, yet.

It's imperative to make this parallel countercampaign visible and manifest

Roger that

6/02/2006 06:40:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

wretchard,

Great interview with Bill Roggio in Kabul.

Thanks.

6/02/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

If this is Vietnam II, in this case, we are on Charlie's side. We are with the nationalists, only in this case they have no Great Leader, nor even any formula like Communism. It's messy, but we are on the side of the locals, we are trying to dis-engage, leaving the first-gen machinery of democracy as our ready-for-occupant Republic.

As much as our internal and external enemies try to portray US as such, we are not imperialists, we are proletariat comrades in the countries we are "occupying", we are liberating, treating others as we would be treated ourselves.

Along with this noble, generous egalitarian sentiment, there is a corresponding self-determined expressed in the first US Navy flag: Don't tread on me. And DEFINITELY, Don't Shoot On Me.

6/02/2006 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

"He has incited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontier, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions." - US Declaration of Independence.

Replace "He" with "The current elite Media establishment" and "Indian" with "Muslim".

Works for me....

6/02/2006 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

In the past week or two, I feel "we" - ie, the World Public, the Media Watchers, Newspaper Readers - we have suddenly been hyper-sensitized to the results of war.

The results of war, thrown in our faces, unattached to timeframe or context, bolts of white thunder in the night. sound and fury, signifying nothing, but hypnotizing half of the world in weird, plastic confusion.

First Fallujah was my first anchor to Wretchard's peerless focus on events, we all have our own, here we go back to the core:

Wretchard: Intuitively I'd say bad reporting causes a lot of casualties. The First Battle of Fallujah is another case in point. The optimal course of action becomes infeasible because the Press objects. Real people die then the Press rounds on the very people who deferred to it and says, "why did you listen to us?"

6/02/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Blogger brasas said...

Danmyers,

Comparing native americans with iraquis is not going to win anyone over from the other side...

You really need care to wage the parallel fight effectively heh?

I say that the problem is figting with too much emotion. Ultimately war is intellect.

6/02/2006 07:00:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Brezinski taught two graduate courses at Columbia that I attended back in the 1985-1986. The first was a Russia studies course 1900- present ....and the second -- was a survey of US policy interests in different sections of the world.

As to Iraq and Iran, at the time Brezinski said that the US policy was to balance the two powers off on each other--keeping both on edge without letting one or the other get the upper hand.

Likely today Brezinski thinks that the US has tipped the balance too far in favor of Iraq--on the way to over reacting to terrorist threats. But thats just speculation.

It was through Brezinskis Russia studies course that I came to understand the convoluted connection between Stalins Doctors plot and the McCarthy hearings.

6/02/2006 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Funny, I recall it was the objections of our Iraqi alllies that led to the end of Battle of Fallujah I.
That is what all the Wikipedia entries all say. There are other sources as well.

Did the live shots from the Hospital effect the Iraqis, you bet it may have.

But who gave the Iraqi veto authority?

Surely not the camera man, or the face, nor any broadcaster.

Who commands the US Army and Marines?

Who is responsible for crafting the US message?

It is not Ted Turner and it never was. To expect it to have been has no historical basis, in War or Peace, in the US.

6/02/2006 07:14:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Desert Rat Who commands the US Army and Marines?

This is the DOWNSIDE of 24/7 global network communications. Things were so much better when the Entire Order was something like: "Gen. Patton, call me when you get into Berlin."

A month or two, or even more could pass, while Patton accomplished the mission. Nobody wasted time doing email or webcasts. Sounds like heaven, don't it?

6/02/2006 07:27:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

desert rat,

You are right in saying -- as Bing West says -- that the President made the call not to go into Falluja. But West also makes it abundantly clear how the press was pressing against an attack. Bremer was taking heat from his Sunni contacts too. There was even a petition signed by dozens of prominent British diplomats against it. So it was the President's fault but it's only fair to say that he was under huge pressure not to continue Falluja 1.

Later of course, President Bush was excoriated for following the very advice he was urged to take. And he deserved it, because he succumbed to political pressure. "Why did you listen to us?" But of course the President is not a dictator under the Constitution. To a certain extent he is going to be constrained by what the political system demands. The buck stops with him, but it's only fair to say that sometimes it first comes out of the pocket of the MSM.

6/02/2006 07:28:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Brasas,

Read again slowly.... That was the Declaration of Independence discussing the Indian issue... Not me..

[deleted rest of response] - if you get my drift...


DR,

The message of the leadership is constantly downplayed as propaganda while the message of the opposition is not. The media's message is still propaganda. Surely you wouldn't call it anything but token news?

6/02/2006 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

7:14 PM Likewise 'Rat:
My recollection is that the Image of those contractors at the bridge was recent enough for most Americans to want vengeance.
That is not what the Marines planned to do, but they did what they were ordered, and their numbers were relatively small.
The Marine in charge was not the least bit pleased being told to Go, and then Stop.
Said something to the effect that that is not how military operations are carried out.
Meanwhile, Mookie was running around making a perfect target of himself as his boys killed our troops.
But here he is years later, stronger than ever.

6/02/2006 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

There was huge pressures, granted.
But most were there prior to the Assualt, though, known factors.

That is water under the bridge,now.

Today there are positive rumblings for a US led Coup, not in Tehran, but Baghdad, where we are supposed to be done with our Government Building Project.

How dissatified must those purple ink stained fingered folk be?
As bad as the Palistinians, worse perhaps? Much better?

Whose reporting is to believed?

6/02/2006 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

Desert Rat, Omar doesn't seem to believe the rumors. He is simply surprised that anyone would. But who knows? Winds of Change looks at a RAND study of the Algerian War; at the birth of modern terrorist war. When De Gaulle came to power the French Army at first believed he would keep Algeria in France. Algreria was part of Metropolitan France, the equivalent of a State of the Union. But in reality de Gaulle was setting them up. He would give over Algeria to terror and validate a method of war we are dealing with to this day. Incidentally, the famous movie Battle of Algiers was 70% funded by the successor regime. They originated the screenplay too. I didn't know that until I dug down. That's how successful the image-making was.

For a fictional description of the subsequent fallout, not to be treated as fact but as atmosphere, read Frederick Forsyth's Day of the Jackal. Maybe nothing should surprise us any more.

6/02/2006 07:49:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Wretchard,

Interesting, in your
Winds of Change link -


"Algeria was the first modern terrorist thugocracy, a nation born of a cowardly father -- European lack of will -- and a cruel mother -- unrelenting terrorism on a grand scale."

6/02/2006 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Suggested reading:Daniel Henninger's
column on "Iraq Syndrome" in today's Wall Street Journal.It is a brillant analysis of how a million tiny cuts of carping,defeatist,cynical critics will eventually erode our will to fight.
Danmyers:excellent Bob Dylan lyric.
How about:
Idiot Wind,blowing like a sucker around my feet/from the Grand Coulee Dam to the capitol/its a wonder that we still know how to breathe

6/02/2006 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Bill West @ Roggios:
June 02, 2006
Terror Threat On Southern Border - There Are Already Cases To Prove It
Thanks to IT expert and CT Blog regular reader Timothy Thompson, we learn the deportation case in Seattle against an African Muslim Imam is proving to be yet another indicator the US - Mexican border poses a very real threat to the Nation’s counter-terrorism efforts. ___Link___

6/02/2006 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

Sell-out!
Double-cross!
Screw-0ver!
Double-dealing!
Fuckover!
Abandonment!

I will stand for GUIDING Iraqis in their struggle for self-determination!

I will NOT give them up, sell them out, screw them over!

I'm not a leftist, I am an AMERICAN!

6/02/2006 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"...these are simply two of the examples who have been caught and prosecuted and are publicly identified.
Yet there continues to be public posturing from some Government officials and many in the media that our southern border has yet to be “proven” a security threat as a terrorist alien entry area.
There is a lot of desert sand out there in which the ostriches can bury their heads
."

6/02/2006 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Ash said...

I was under the impression that Iraq was a rumor mill central and it isn't surprising that life in a chaotic place would inspire all kinds of coup rumors. The only thing special about this particular rumor is tht Omar though it had some special significance IMHO.

For a different perspective on life in Baghdad, Salam Pax has a new post up. An excerpt for y'all:

"I am working on two new 'Video Blogs' for Newsnight and as usual it takes a bit of time until I find out what it is I am looking for in Baghdad these days. I started going around the city with a camera 6 days ago. and it took me all these 6 days to know where I was going with this.

I thought this was going to be about violent death and how it has become part of our lives but I guess it is turning out to be about more.

In the 80s Kanan Makia wrote a book about Iraq under Saddam called The Republic of Fear. Today Saddam is in prison and we Iraqis are constantly being told that we have been liberated but when I look around I still see a Republic of Fear."

http://justzipit.blogspot.com/

6/02/2006 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

The Algerian War is not the lesson of history we want to follow in Iraq.

We do not want General Clark or General Zinni to replay the DeGaulle role.

We do not want General Batiste in the Salan role.

We do not want 1st Marine Regiment to share the fate of 1er Regiment Etrangere Parachutiste.

Sadly, there are those amongst us that do want the above.

6/02/2006 08:28:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr said...

How can this happen? Just look at the change in the tenor of the posts here at the Belmont Club over the past six months. Posters who pretend that the President does not have to be concerned with what Allies, the press, and the Democrats say, that we should just press forward and destroy a couple of cities. Ignoring, of course, that that would then lose any possibility of cooperation from countries such as Japan, Italy, UK, Australia, etc.

6/02/2006 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Summer of Haditha

The theme will run something like this: American military personnel have deliberately killed "scores" of Iraqi civilians, and their superiors did nothing to stop it. That presumptionwill, in turn, lead the chattering class back to their standard talking points: the war is a failure, troops are being killed and maimed for nothing, and we need to get out of Iraq now. For affirmation of this assessment, they will turn to the usual suspects, led by Pennsylvania Congressman Jack Murtha and those former generals who staged their anti-Rumsfeld putsch a few months back.

amid the relentless drumbeat of bad news from Iraq--and dark accusations of "widespread atrocities"--the American public may decide it's time to get out, because every time the U.S. goes in, it gets hung out to dry. Never mind that the alleged atrocities represent less than a fraction of a fraction of one percent of U.S. military operations in Iraq. Never mind that the war is actually being won, and the vast majority of our troops have performed magnificently. In the Summer of Haditha, it's the isolated incident that assumes strategic importance, and becomes the standard reference for an entire war.

6/02/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

exhelodrvr,

It's a Catch 22. The complaints are equally divided between charges of ignoring the MSM and the Allies and -- get this -- listening to them. Fallujah is a perfect historical example. Follow the Allies and you are damned. Don't follow the Allies and you are damned.

Ash makes the point that Iraq is rumor mill central. But Omar's point is that the rumor mill central feeds directly off MSM.

I think a lot of the change in tone over the last six months is based on a realization of what the West is really made of. The refusal to publish the Mohammed cartoons. The pity for Moussaui. The realization that maybe no one was interested in securing the border. There's a line in the Last of the Mohicans as the fort commander gets word that he's been left to hang out to dry. "I never thought a British officer would refuse to march to the aid of his fellow officer". The really interesting thing about Haditha is not that any possible perpetrators will be punished, but the glee with which they will be punished, if found guilty. It's the glee that tells the tale. And like the lightbulb that went in the British officer's head, an indication that maybe the world wasn't what we thought it was.

6/02/2006 08:42:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

There were those that hoped the Iraqi people were merely repressed by a tyrant. Generals were considering protocol to accept the surrender of entire divisions and march arm in arm to a twenty first century occupied Paris and be met by delirious crowds of newly liberated Baghdad. But this was Iraq. It was an elegant idea, optimistic, hopeful and unfortunately wrong. There are few who post on this site that take pleasure in this. I speak for a rapt audience of one and thought the venture was a reasonable optimistic long shot. We never had the power to make Iraq a democracy. We had the will and the means to provide the catalyst and perhaps provide incubation for the idea if they were so inclined to do democracy for themselves. They did vote. They formed a government and if they have the will, they can survive. If they do not, four hundred thousand US troops will not make a reluctant Iraq a democracy. We owe Iraq nothing more. This is neither good nor bad, it is the reality of the situation. No matter what happens to Iraq, it will not become a radical Islamic state. They have clearly rejected that. There is no equivalency with Afghanistan or Iran or Korea or Venezuela. An interesting experiment with ambivalent results, but there is other work to be done.

6/02/2006 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger trangbang68 said...

Thank you Wretchard for your 8:42 post.It brilliantly captures the pit of rage eating at my entrails.Glee...glee...glee.That's it in a nutshell.We find out we're not what we thought we were.After 9/11 people postured and got their facetime waving flags.Maybe they were grieving the 3000 pleasures and leisure activities they thought were killed with the WTC,but now its back to strolling the midway of Vanity Fair sampling the exquisite delights of post modern life.If only those horrid soldiers would go away with their squalid little war.That's so 2001!

6/02/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

"We had been told, on leaving our native soil, that we were going to defend the sacred rights conferred on us by so many of our citizens settled overseas, so many years of our presence, so many benfits brought by us to populations in need of our assistance and our civilization."

"We were able to verify that all this was true, and, because it was true, we did not hesitate to shed our quota of blood, to sacrifice our youth and our hopes. We regretted nothing, but whereas we over here are inspired by this frame of mind, I am told that in Rome factions and conspiracies are rife, that treachery flourishes, and that many people in their uncertainty and confusion lend a ready ear to the dire temptations of relinquishment and vilify our action."

"I cannot believe that all this is true, and yet recent wars have shown how pernicious such a state of mind could be and to where it could lead."

"Make haste to reassure me, I beg you, and tell me that our fellow-citizens understand us, support us and protect us as we ourselves are protecting the glory of the Empire."

"If it should be otherwise, if we should have to leave our bleached bones on these desert sands in vain, then beware of the anger of the Legions!"

-- Centurion Marcus Flavinius, Second Cohort, Augusta Legion to his cousin Tertullus in Rome.

6/02/2006 09:09:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Cannoneer No. 4, it does appear from your recent post that fighting men keep learning again and again that politicians have feet of clay.

6/02/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

trangbang68,

The biggest chesspiece on the board is the one no one likes to look at. Reality. Omar's post perfectly describes the Kingdom of the Sham, the Empire of Illusion which thinks it going to win. It is a self-conciously a sham and already counting on its triumph. But any of its triumphs will be as illusory as itself.

There's a scene in a fiction novel where a man puts his face against a multi-ton pendelum and releases it, holding his face steady knowing that when it swings back, however threatening the appearances, the huge weight will never quite go further than where it was released. "This," the character intones, "is faith in reality". Reality is stronger than illusion. And for that reason it's important to keep doing the correct thing, whatever the temptation you see on the Holodeck to do otherwise. The punishment that can be inflicted by phantoms is nothing as against the punishment inflicted by ignoring reality. Dismay is temporary. The damage from the dream merchants is lasting.

6/02/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

The phrase is from the Bible (Daniel 2: 31-40). King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream. The image that appears to him has a head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, and legs of iron. The feet of this image are made of iron and clay. A stone hits the feet and the whole image breaks into pieces.

The prophet Daniel's interpretation of the dream is that Nebuchadnezzar was the head of gold (a great king), but after him would come weaker kingdoms (like the image with feet of clay). These kingdoms would finally be replaced by the kingdom of God.

6/02/2006 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Dylan lyrics... Who knew he was laughing...

Idiot wind, blowing through the buttons of our coats,
Blowing through the letters that we wrote.
Idiot wind, blowing through the dust upon our shelves,
We're idiots, babe.
Its a wonder we can even feed ourselves.

6/02/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

2164th,

and far too many of the people at home are unworthy of the sacrifices made for them.

6/02/2006 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

amen

6/02/2006 09:22:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

I am not overly worried.

Like 2164th, I think we now follow the Iraqis. If Iraq succeeds we succeed. Then the city on the hill will beckon…

If they don't we will be attacked again - probably after BusHitler leaves office, this conflict will be won or lost.

That sentence defines a scary thought – and one the media apparently subliminally buys. We were not hit hard enough on 9/11 to fully commit. President Bush is trying to win this thing without carpet bombing millions of people from unassailable sources of power – air and missile and ship. Personally, I think that is the proper decision. Give the third conjecture a chance before the second conjecture is all that is available – it will always be there!!!

But, look at how New York votes. Look at how Washington votes. Look at how New Orleans votes. Loosing 3,000 people may be acceptable to the media and the elites – it is after all only 0.001% of our population. Listen to the whining about the reduction in homeland security funding. They were going to use it for overtime pay. They view it as a welfare payment – not as a cost in a war. They are not at war.

My personal, and internal, belief is that the general populous not living within the very ink of our nations demographic parentheses (the thin sliver of coastline on both coasts) is gutting this thing out. No ooohhhrrrrraaaaahhhhhh. More like post-Midway – but beyond the Doolittle Raid. Was there an oooorrrrrahhhhh after the atomic bombs? Nope. We are winning rather decisively; we just have to crush the other team now. It is a team that must be destroyed.

The media makes a very dangerous mistake when they conflate this struggle with Vietnam. It is a mistake they will not recover from. Is that a good thing???

6/02/2006 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Wretchard,

Perception, for most intents and purposes, is reality.

6/02/2006 09:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Savage had some soundbytes from CNN and MSNBC:
Definitely some poorly hidden thrills there.
I don't see much of that here, except occasional leftys

GWB's refusal to be honest about the border while casting aspersions on the folks that elected him, and "the American Worker" disgusts me.
Sorry about that.
Seems to have more compassion for Mexicans than American workers displaced by illegal wage structures or medical caregivers and states overwhelmed by the flood.

That aside, it remains an UNNECESSARY security vulnerability, and his refusal to deal with it in a serious manner does not speak well for him in a multitude of ways.
jmo

6/02/2006 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Cannoneer,

Perception is only reality till the mirror breaks.

Who puts the same trust in the MSM as they did five years ago?

Not the decision makers...

And, I don't think the voters do either...

This 2006 US election matters.

6/02/2006 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Then there are those stinking ROE's, but I am mistaken for holding him responsible in any way, I suppose.
Always some reason why he's not.

6/02/2006 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Doug,

If the rightwinger I was watching had his facts straight - he was railing against the libby desire for higher minimum wage - than only 3% of our labor force gets paid minimum wage.

We have a lot of issues with supporting Mexican citizens as a standard policy. I obviously trend in your direction on the topic. I don't expect free medical and welfare benefits from Germany if I visit that fine Teutonic paradise.

But, we are not at war with Mexico. And, I have heard far more news about Mexican authorities capturing nice Syrians and Iranians and the like and deporting them - hear anyting similar from north of the border.

I want to win the war and destroy this brand of conflict. That is all.

6/02/2006 09:33:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Doug has something that Wretchard referred to. GWB is either with US or against US when it comes to illegal invasion and trespass against US.

6/02/2006 09:34:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Lets see if I can find a Dylan tune that fits these posts...

Life is sad
Life is a bust
All ya can do is do what you must.
You do what you must do and ya do it well...



OK, no more...

6/02/2006 09:36:00 PM  
Blogger Karridine said...

"Reality is stronger than illusion. And for that reason it's important to keep doing the correct thing, whatever the temptation you see on the Holodeck to do otherwise."

Winston Churchill crawled daily through the rubble of London, braving fire and unexploded ordnance and collapse of masonry, to see and be with the indomitable British bearing this Nazi onslaught!

Hitler was chauffered through Berlin in a shuttered, near-sealed Benz limo... and he held his illusions until the first cramps from the cyanide hit, then grunted to his faithful chauffer, who blew his brains out!

I put MY faith in REALITY!

6/02/2006 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Two things give Americans a skewed outlook on the Iraq war: the media and our natural instinct to compare the daily existence of Iraqis to our own situation. The media is a business; it must sell, and it certainly is easier to sell sex and violence than peace and routine. And finally, the Iraqi citizen is not living a life that is much worse off than citizens in many African countries, Egypt, Pakistan, India and other locations where poverty beats down hope and initiative.

There are places in Iraq where urban combat is an hour-to-hour situation. I spent some time in one. But do not forget the Iraqi people and their desire for peace. Do not be misled by our own sensationalism and desire to see those in power in our own country fall for whatever reason. Remember, the vast number of soldiers understand why we are here, are proud of their service, can recognize the positive difference that is being made and fully understand the difference between right and wrong.

-- Maj. John S. Phillips, Al Kassick, Iraq

6/02/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Citizens are murdered, and children are molested by criminals that have no business being in this country.

Phoney accidents and insurance scams injure citizens and raid their pocketbooks.
Taxpayers pay for prisons, medical care, and education.

Other than items like that and terrorists using the border as an infiltration route, no big thing.

6/02/2006 09:41:00 PM  
Blogger DanMyers said...

Maybe one more for trangbang68...

"Someone's got it in for me,
they're planting stories in the press.
Whoever it is I wish they'd cut it out,
but when they will I can only guess."

6/02/2006 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...


Haditha: Acknowledge. Accept. Analyze. Act.


The fog has not cleared enough to fully see what we are facing, and many of the rumors around are unsubstantiated – but one thing is clear from my little vantage point – fed with this latest fuel, the anti-victory army is on the march and regardless of what the ultimate truth is, right now they are trying to take the high ground and outflank us.

6/02/2006 09:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Al-Qaeda recognizes two important things about the United States:

(1) 80% of the Nation is fickle, lacks any attention span, lacks the tenacity to commit to a conflict that claims American lives (and demands a withdrawal once their delusions of invulnerability are threatened), and are so self-absorbed in their own materialistic decadence and wrapped up in self-loathing as to present any real threat to thier campaign of terror worldwide.

(2) the leftover 20% doesn't take sh1t from Muslim Terrorists, the UN, the Anti-War Crazies, Germany, France, Iran, the other 80%, or anyone else that doesn't uphold the Judeo-Christian values this Nation was founded on.

If you're one of the 20%...Thanks for having our backs. What we do...we do for you.

If you're one of the 80%: we do it for you, too...but we don't have to like it. We just have to.

The War we fight today, this Long War, will define who we are as a nation, and what our place will be on the world stage for generations to come. The future of Western Civilization rests on the outcome of this conflict.


-- SSG Mike Gulf, Ft. Hood TX

6/02/2006 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger geoffgo said...

exhelodvr,

You could be right. OTOH, Japan, UK, AUS, etc. could be afflicted with the same moral malaise that afflicts many Americans, and all of the world's Left.

It becomes increasingly apparent:
Unless we scare the livin sh*t out of all the Muslims preaching death, this incessant terrorism will escalate.

Either we allow them to escalate, or we escalate. We'd like to stop the terror. The vast majority of terrorism is Islam-inspired. The Muslims are not committed to, nor convinced to stop it. Theirs' is a culture of victomhood. They need victoms.

What will be necessary to get them to stop? Unfortunately, IMHO we will have to move up the list of Wretchard's Conjectures.

When one has no options in a struggle for survival, morality will always take a backseat; because it's not a moral issue.

One can't be moral and dead.

6/03/2006 04:58:00 AM  
Blogger gokart-mozart said...

tony 7:27PM "Things were so much better when the Entire Order was something like: "Gen. Patton, call me when you get into Berlin."

Or how about the elegant simplicity of VADM Halsey: "Kill Japs Kill Japs Kill More Japs".

6/03/2006 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger fred said...

Well said, cannoneer no. 4.

There is somewhat of a gap between those of us who support BOTH the troops and the mission and those who simply - allegedly - "support the troops."

Among those 80%, probably a quarter to a third of those are the real, hard-core Leftie moonbats who cheer for the enemy's victories, psychological or material. The rest inhabit a haze of vapidity that lays bare the vacuousness of our education system.

6/03/2006 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger ledger said...

...this coup is to be carried out by the Iraqi army under command of a Sunni general from the former army... some even go as far as saying that Saddam's reign was good for Iraq. -Iraq The Model

This type of rumor is self-serving and transparent.

If I were an out of work thug who enjoyed wealth, power and prestige under Saddam I would yearn for the "good old days" of operating the shredder and keeping the watch and wallet of the victim. And, If I were really desperate - like some the victims family member's had found my location - I would probably spread a few rumors around to keep people in turmoil.

Needless to say there a number of people in Iraq with and agenda and will use rumors to further that agenda.

To the media problem. Cannoneer No. 4 does a good job exposing the MSM. As other posters have noted, most of the "Newsmen" are left leaning, vote democratic, and idolize Hollywood. It's fairly easy to take a few facts mix in a good dose of fiction (quotes from "anonymous sources") and produce a biased product.

Exhelo, as makes an interesting point. I would suggest reducing the consumption of biased news sources (don't feed the monster) and promote unbiased news sources.

On a lighter note, Liberal Larry does a good job of highlighting the mixing of facts with fiction:

In Iraq this week, U.S. troops fired upon and killed a pregnant Iraqi woman; obviously ignorant of the Muslim custom of speeding one's vehicle towards a heavily armed group of soldiers as a gesture of peace and friendship. In Afghanistan, a military cargo truck plowed headlong into a wedding reception at a baby milk factory, sparking a wave of violent protests. Most recently, U.S. Marines went on a murderous rampage so horrific that it can only be justified by the publication of offensive cartoons.

It's easy to rush to judgment and blame our soldiers for these terrible atrocities, so there's absolutely no excuse not to
...


See " U.S. Media Too Slow in Judging Marines

[warning, this is a highly sarcastic site designed to trap liberals and skewer them]

6/03/2006 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger Bob Smith said...

Cannoneer no. 4 writes: Al-Qaeda recognizes two important things about the United States: (1) 80% of the Nation is fickle, lacks any attention span, lacks the tenacity to commit to a conflict that claims American lives (and demands a withdrawal once their delusions of invulnerability are threatened), and are so self-absorbed in their own materialistic decadence and wrapped up in self-loathing as to present any real threat to thier campaign of terror worldwide. [and (2) the rest don’t.]

I have trouble with this position/argument. The issue is differential development among the nations of the world. Citizens of western societies, especially the U.S., are expected to deliver to the economic engine of the markets, without assistance from the nanny state. So whether we are absorbed in materialistic decadence or doing what is required to survive and provide for families is a matter of perspective. Now we are supposed to drop it all and fight the Long War. Americans grabbed the brass ring of technology. Under any other circumstances that aggressive reach would have been applauded. Under the current circumstances, with State up the creek so to speak, Americans are expected to rally the bully pulpit.

That 80% - minus the looney tune Left - is getting it. Don’t concern yourselves about that.

To fight or not to fight. Please. Collect some oral history. Fight is still the sum and substance of life. Just not typically accompanied by the multi-hued explosions of IED’s.

6/03/2006 08:35:00 PM  

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