Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"Your country, your problems"

From VOA News:

Supporters of radical Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr celebrated in Badhdad's Sadr City district Tuesday, as a blockade was lifted on orders of Iraq's prime minister. U.S. and Iraqi forces abandoned checkpoints in the Shi'ite neighborhood within hours of Nouri al-Maliki's decree. Al-Sadr had ordered businesses and schools closed Tuesday as part of a strike to oppose the blockade. The blockade was part of a search operation for a missing American soldier, whom U.S. officials believe was kidnapped by Shi'ite militants.

Whether or not the missing American soldier, who was an interpreter, was genuinely kidnapped or AWOL; and whether or not there are other circumstances about the situation in Sadr City we don't know, Maliki's order to dismantle the checkpoints clearly shows how politically powerful Sadr is within the Iraqi government. Sadr's forces expressed their opposition by using the political strike, fair enough, but that does not diminish the fact of his influence.

To have disregarded the PM's order, would have been a politically unthinkable alternative for an America that recognizes Iraq as a legitimate government. They could no more thrust Maliki's order aside than they could any other Head of State's within his own borders. But clearly the identification between the former occupation government and the Iraqi government has begun to wane in the middle of what Donald Rumsfeld described as the process of declining influence. But the necessary consequence of independence is an acceptance of the consequences of independent acts. The liability of a parents for the actions of their children diminishes strictly with adulthood.

It is now possible — or at least it should be — to speak of the American "side of the bargain" as the limit of liability. America can only guarantee giving other nations a chance — as parents can only give their children chances — one can never guarantee absolute outcomes. There are going to be disappointments, but there have been real accomplishments and a lot of unknowables for the future.


Blogger Cybrludite said...

One wonders if this was a move on Al-Sadr's part to "prove the lie of Iraqi independance" or some such, possibly in hopes of stirring up a general uprising in Iraq just ahead of our elections here in the States. Backing down may well have been the smart play here.

11/01/2006 02:13:00 AM  
Blogger Goesh said...

al sadr could have and should have been taken out a long, long time ago - the price for dancing with the devil is always paid in blood - take him out with an air strike and when his militia engages, devastate the area of engagement with massive air strikes anywhere they occur, anytime

11/01/2006 04:59:00 AM  
Blogger Sammler said...

Mr. Fernandez: This sounds like a eulogy for the American occupation of Iraq. Are you packing it in?

11/01/2006 05:05:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

I'm unconvinced that allowing Maliki to call the shots for our forces in Iraq will advance our position in the GWOT. While it may help to legitimize Maliki, it also plays to the favor of a pro-Iranian segment of the population.

It would sure help if Rummy indicated some sort of strategy there. I think the brainstorming sessions recently held by the Bush team indicates that they are out of ideas. I look for a drop in morale until someone steps up with a plan.

11/01/2006 05:42:00 AM  
Blogger CatoRenasci said...

The US command in Iraq made an egregious and perhaps irreparable blunder when we did not kill Al-Sadr two years ago or more.

We should probably do the right thing and take him out now, and damn the consequences - it's always easier to ask forgiveness than permission. If Iraq blows up in the face of our killing Al-Sadr, then we should suppress it as necessary. The object lesson will not be lost on the Iranians, the Syrians or the rest of the world. It will mean higher casualties and world condemnation, but it's probably thie only thing that will stop Iranian influence in Iraq.

11/01/2006 06:13:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Gee, who could have foreseen that Iraqi candidates who ran for election as Shiite Islamists with deep ties to Iran would turn out to be Shiite Islamists with deep ties to Iran? My memory is getting a bit foggy with all the shifting in goals in rhetoric; Wretchard could you remind me why you thought the elections of these Islamists thugs constituted a victory? Did you honestly not know who they were or what they wanted for Iraq?

I agree with Rumsfeld that we are suffering from declining influence in Iraq, and Michael Gordon over at the NYTimes was just slipped a confidential slide from Central Command showing the whole misadventure sliding towards chaos. Why waste our troops in trying to impose a liberal peace on a fundamentally illiberal people?

Edward Luttwak once wrote that "An Unpleasant truth often overlooked is that although war is a great evil, it does have a great virtue: it can resolve political conflict and lead to peace. This can happen when all belligerents become exhausted or when one wins decisively . . . War brings peace only after passing a culminating phase of violece." We can not impose a peace on the Sunnis and Shiites, it must be won in blood. It should be obvious that neither the Shiite Islamists (now legitimate through elections) nor the Sunni Islamists are our friends. It is time for us to pull out and give war a chance.

11/01/2006 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Does anyone know if Moqtada al-Sadr is actually an MP, or he is merely spiritual head of his militia-party?

If he is an MP, his continuing physical existence is the result of a need to honor the institutions we have created and the Iraqis have legitimized with their votes. I still say kill him like a pig on CSPAN, but his actual election provides the only possible obstacle, and it is significant.

If he has not been elected, this persisting problem is LUDICROUS. Kill him, kill his entire army; if their families come for revenge, kill them too.

How can a country have active militias and yet be a functioning country, whether the kind that warms the cockles of soft socialist hippy hearts or one that gladdens the most psychotic criminal? It is ridiculous.


11/01/2006 06:52:00 AM  
Blogger RPD said...

It looks to me like Maliki is saying "we got it, thanks". So we should assume that, and shif our troops out of Baghdad and Anbar and to the Syrian and Iranian borders. Cut off the flow of troops and supplies, and start giving those thugs a hard time.
In the core of Iraq, what happens, happens. Maybe they stay a democracy, maybe they don't, but we've done everything that we can do to give them a shot at it. Short of dominating Iraq for a generation, there's little more can do to build the institutions and culture of democracy.

11/01/2006 06:58:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

I should add that, when it comes to a missing serviceman, all bets should be off. Maliki may represent the sovereignty of a new Iraqi government but we gotta do what we gotta do.

11/01/2006 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/01/2006 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The last Marine that was a translator and "kidnapped", ended up in Lebanon where he turned hinself in.
Sent back to the States for investigation, the Marine went on home to Utah on leave, never to return.

We gotta do what we gotta do.

11/01/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

If Maliki wants more independence we should give it to him. We should end any involvement in providing for his personal security and the security of the government. It seems to me that he and his government have become all too comfortable and complacent wrapped in our security blanket.

Moreover, I'm not sure we lose anything if he is killed at this point.

11/01/2006 07:52:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Are you saying we should just forget about him based on what happened to the last guy?

11/01/2006 08:02:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

“It is time for us to pull out and give war a chance.”

This seems like the noble thing to do. How far do US troops need to pull back to draw Iran and Syria into the conflagration?

US policy has deftly maneuvered itself into an un-winnable position with no way forward and no way back. Things went desperately to hell with the chain of events starting with Chirac and the president of Gasprom who, no doubt, influenced Turkey to deny passage of the 4thID, the Bremmer Imperium, Faluja I, tiptoeing around Mosque-ammo depots-garrisons, and the namby-pamby treatment of Sadr. The new government had the possibility of breaking the insurgency yet has yielded worst consequences. It’s been a disaster and now the administration looks to Iran and Syria to “help” stabilize the region… it makes me sick. Can we just give war a chance?

11/01/2006 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

We cannot leave iraq at this point.

We can allow iraqis to kill one another

We can cut power & water to certain areas of the city

We can provide weapons and training to iranians that wish to go back to iran spread our love.

What is happening in iraq WILL happen in iran, syria, arabia, egypt, gaza and many other Islamic "true" believing places.

We should should tolerance and love by provide a free flow of hollow points and C4

The chinese have taught never fight an enemy head on... allow others...

Time to show the world our leadership is EXACTLY LIKE THEY ARE! We will TALK a great game, then quietly supply the arms to OUR friendlies to do our bidding.

Let the games begin...

11/01/2006 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Great idea What Is but the weapons that we have provided to the ISF have made their way into the hands of insurgents. What makes you think that there are any US simpatico Iranians in Iraq that we can arm and send back to their homelands. The flow of events seem to be going the other way.

“In the core of Iraq, what happens, happens.”

What happens in Baghdad stays in Baghdad. We need an operating understanding. Allow the US to dismantle the militias or be prepared to watch all go up in smoke. Frankly, a civil war in Iraq is the best remedy for these intransient belligerents, let god sort them out.

11/01/2006 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger ppab said...

A civil war is useful because it would demonstrate, unambiguously, which group possesses the monopoly on violence.

Presently, no force has demonstrated this convincingly to any party, American or Iraqi or Iranian or Syrian.

There are still options other than abandoning the state to a cathartic doom.

The "give war a chance" drives home this notion that monopoly of violence must be demonstrated. Reconstruction is nice but it pays no impressions to those curious about who is most powerful in Iraq.

Consider the meaning of Grozny I and Grozny II and Fallujah I and Fallujah II.

11/01/2006 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

No, just that we do not know what has happened to him. To assume that he was captured is no more accurate than to assume that he went AWOL.

There have been no demands, videos or a body delivered. Not the typical Insurgent behaviour when they have one of ours.

Think Fallujah contractors, the two soldiers that were butchered in response to the rape murder of that Iraqi family.

The disappearence of this trooper does not fit the "capture" profile.

11/01/2006 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I doubt any group could win outright to the point of actually quelling violence absent an on-going genocidal outfit that would put Saddam to shame and be viciously Islamist-sectarian. Obviously, the Mahdi Army would prevail. Thus we should just kill them all. If you think the Arabs would disapprove you must be an insane vegetable at this point. The Arabs are vicious barely-humans as a matter of culture. Plus it's hot as shit there, which makes everyone mad. So, we have proved the European proposition, over which they may justly gloat, that the Arabs are incapable, for the foreseeable future, to engage in democracy - mostly lbecause their predominant emotion is hatred. There cannot possibly be any disputing this, or that it is somehow the fault of anyone - Mongol, Turk, European or American - that this is the case. But it remains a strategic problem, one that democracy-via-revolution-from-above was initially attempted to resolve. It should be noted that the Iraqis in general do not have that much real beef with the USA, despite all our interventions; they could've given a shit about Abu Ghraib, for example. Now the next phase - as were are soon to see really ripen in Afghanistan - will have to begin: turn off the cameras and shape by slaughter, not negotiation. That, I am convinced, will come later than it needed to, but it will inexorably come, because the centripital pre-modern and recalcitrantly anti-modern forces of Islamic culture will demand and force it.

11/01/2006 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

True, rat.

Tough to make sense out of chaos.

11/01/2006 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger istarious said...

Is Nouri al-Maliki the new Commander-in-Chief of the US Armed Forces in Iraq?

Al-Maliki and his shite militia owe their lives to US and its Army. I would remind him of that, so that next time he opens his big mouth, Sunni fighters will have the latest coordinates on the whereabouts of this SOB.

11/01/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

It is much easier for the punditocracy to natter about John Kerry's boo-boo (which as I veteran I condemn), and no one to my knowledge is focusing on the big story out of Sadr City:

That the U.S. abandoned the time-honored tradition of using as many lives as it took to save the life of a soldier.

I know that HABU1 would consider the linguist kidnapped and apparently taken into Sadr City to be worthy of being half dead since he was half Iraqi, but he still was a soldier, by gosh, and the capitulation of the U.S. Command and White House to Al Maliki's order that the cordon thrown up after the kidnapping be taken down is far more obscene than idiot Kerry's utterance.

11/01/2006 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Well, it seems our trooper was no stickler for regulations.
I guess we take his mother-in-laws statement at face value and believe he was kidnapped, not AWOL.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - A U.S. soldier kidnapped last week in Baghdad was married to an Iraqi college student and was with his wife and her family when hooded gunmen dragged him out of a house, bound his hands and threw him in the back seat of a white Mercedes, a woman who identified herself as his mother-in-law said Monday.

U.S. military regulations forbid soldiers from marrying citizens of a country where American forces are engaged in combat. There was no immediate comment from the military about the account of the soldier‘s abduction.

The military did not identify the soldier or give further details. A massive search for him by U.S. and Iraqi forces has been under way since the Oct. 23 abduction. The in-laws said the soldier‘s name is Ahmed Qais al-Taayie.

She showed an AP reporter photographs of the couple in Cairo, one of them dated Aug. 14.

"My daughters struggled with the kidnappers. One of them broke her hand and another had her hand cut in the struggle. They were begging the gunmen not to take him," said Nasser.

One of her sons, 26-year-old Omar Abdul-Satar, and Abu Rami, the neighbor, followed the kidnappers in another car, but turned back before they could learn where the gunmen were headed. They feared that they too may be kidnapped. Abu Rami has since left the neighborhood with his family and went into hiding, said Nasser.

It seems to me Mr Mullen has hit the nail on the head.

11/01/2006 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger wretchard said...

America has its interests, such as the safety of on its soldiers, and Iraq has it's. The 2 may have run together once, but they have diverged. So the US has to start thinking of its own interests in Iraq again and less about that of its ward, on the assumption that it is increasingly on its own. If that means reading Maliki the riot act or threatening him as the US can threaten the sovereign heads of other nations when its national interest is at stake, so be it. That should be the principle, I think. And in a way, its progress. However, the actual implementation is something that should be left to people in the field.

Every time I think of Sadr I remember the First Fallujah and my guess, though I have nothing to really back it with, is that the same cast of characters is pulling on the ends of this. The outreach and diplomacy types on the one side and the direct action types on the other.

11/01/2006 01:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Those of us who had the front row seats, watching the Iran-Iraq war unfold from the radar consoles of AWACS used to quip, 'We didn't think much of Iraq, but they sure were whacking a bunch of Iranians'. We supported Saddam because he was the natural counter to an Iranian dominated Gulf. We stopped supporting him when he became a threat, not to us, but to the Saudis and our supply of Saudi oil. We played power games with him for 10 years and spent a huge amount of money and other resources holding him down. So finally Bush said, 'Enough!', and we took him out.
You can believe all the crap about bringing democracy to the region, or whatever else floats your boat, but our real goal was to maintain reasonable stability in the region, and protect the flow of oil to the west. Taking out Saddam was a huge gamble. If we could do it and then coax into existance an Iraqi government friendly to us, we'd have won big. If we took out Saddam and the region devolved into chaos, Iran would likely emerge as the biggest dog in the Gulf.
Bush bet the farm... and then rolled only one die. He invaded with half the troops he needed and we've been struggling ever since.
Hero or Goat? We'll soon know. By the way, it's your farm he wagered.

11/01/2006 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...

It could be that the election next week is holding up any firm reprisals against Sadr and the militias, against Iran, Syria, (Israel versus Hamas and Hezbollah), the Taliban, al Qaeda and Waziristan, North Korea, and the entire world it sometimes seems.

Either Bush and Rice have folded, and she sounds like it lately, or they've been bluffing until this campaign season came to a close. If the Repubs get routed next Tuesday, the WH and State could keep muddling on, with Iran, Russia and China (and our media) working against us with impunity, France and Germany (and the Dems) never really with us, and Great Britain on a thermometer watch with algore these days. We certainly can't take on all of our enemies, and a Dem House will make effective mil action next to impossible for the next two years, even were the administration inclined to try. Even taking on Iraqi militias without Maliki's permission might give Dems all the cover they need to insist on cutting funding for Iraq and forcing a withdrawal.

But, while the thuggery and sectarian violence of Sadr's forces could derail the Iraq project, their ties to Iran are the most worrisome. I'm still thinking there's a good chance Bush will order a strike on Iran in the next few weeks, no matter the election results or what elephants under the influence say :) There wouldn't be much that Speaker Pelosi or "internationalist" Senator Hillary could do about it at the time, until they catch their breath and ululate for inquiries and maybe impeachment proceedings.

Our attacking Iran is a terrible thing to hope for, given the reprisals to come, but Bush doesn't have a lot of choice in the matter, if it's about us and not him. To punt the Iran problem is to be eternally frustrated in Iraq, defeated by proliferation and terrorist/economic intimidation, or devastated by nuclear attacks. Bush is a free agent in the sense he hasn't much political capital left to lose, but has he the will and we the capability to hit and sustain retaliation both in Iraq and here?

Here's hoping so.

11/01/2006 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

No one seems to understand we have entered the era of
"The Fourth Way"

Revolutionary, really:
Being all-powerful, the administration has but to declare someone (anyone - Maliki, Chicoms, Syria, etc) an ally, and sit back and wait for the fruits of their co-operation.
As part of your journey back to reality, I suggest you read Ledeen's latest at NRO:
Iran and W.
What does the president know, and when did he know it?

11/01/2006 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

In noting that "America has its interests, such as the safety of on its soldiers, and Iraq has it's," Wretchard articulates (intentionally or otherwise) a salient reason for, pardon the term, cutting and running if Mr. "Our Man in Iraq" Maliki doesn't get religion not of the Shiite persuasion awfully quickly.

My morning constitutional begins with a tooth brushing, OJ and then a quick glance at CNN. I have had this dreadful feeling that I'm going to see a story of unspeakable carnage involving the deaths of many U.S. troops in the Green Zone or some other supposedly safe bastion. God help us, but I feel it coming.

11/01/2006 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Shaun, you left one thing out of your morning constitutional that, if added, may clear your thinking.

11/01/2006 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Eliminating something?
Odd how conservative pundits credit W with looking 20 years down the road, as if the thought itself is enough to carry the day.
Ledeen's first two paragraphs lead me to a different conclusion.

11/01/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

I think you're once again on the doesn't fit the kidnap profile.

11/01/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

Why on Earth would anyone turn on CNN for any reason?

11/01/2006 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...'s impacted

11/01/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

To speed up your Constitutional?

11/01/2006 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger Shaun Mullen said...

2164th: I didn't leave it out. I fit it in between CNN and coffee.

Habu1: You are such an abject coward. I challenged you several days ago to trot out your High and Mighty credentials -- war record and so on -- and you scurried into your rat hole. It's time to share with me and your fellow correspondents how your action- and thought-filled life -- you know, battles fought, challenges overcome, adversity thrust aside -- turned you into a constipated-minded bigot.

11/01/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

I was with David Crockett at the Alamo. Then later I was with Nathan Bedford Forrest at Chickamauga. Finally I was with the
Teufelshunde at Belleau Wood.

Now I'm dead. But thanks for asking. Hope all is well.

11/01/2006 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

enscout said...
Are you saying we should just forget about him based on what happened to the last guy.

The guy went lost or AWOL in a city of 5 million. If he was "lost" it was by disobeying fraternizing regulations and venturing out alone. We cannot barricade a mega-city looking for one guy for many weeks, months, years. Even the Coast Guard and cops are obligated by budget and realistic odds to call off massive searches at some point.

Especially when such missions, like the summer of 2003 devoting thousands of top warriors and hundreds of millions to "find the bones of Scott Michael Speicher", a pilot lost in 1991, diverted US soldiers from other missions like securing the ammo dumps. That were later used to blow up and maim over 10,000 soldiers.

Blackhawk Down was a story of courage - but it was a story as well, of 18 men dying for a corpse. Or the 8 men that died at Tora Bora trying to reclaim the corpse of a SEAL that fell out of a helicopter and was confirmed dead. Curiously, in that one, 2 badly wounded were left to bleed out and die rather than "risk" helicopters beiong lost in daytime.

"Leave no dead man behind" - justifies mission failure and slaughtering the living?

Mullen - and no one to my knowledge is focusing on the big story out of Sadr City:

That the U.S. abandoned the time-honored tradition of using as many lives as it took to save the life of a soldier.

There is no "time-honored tradition" - it was an elite credo of a Ranger squad that emerged post-Vietnam in peacetime elite forces.

Dispense with the propaganda that it "encourages morale" - Think! And that is one reason I told detailers I would not kill the living to "save the dead" - there is no "esprite d'corps" imperative to lose a battle to get bodies back. Or lose the postwar in a feckless pursuit of a 12-year dead shot down pilots remains. Or saying the corpse of a dead sailor is worth a dozen fresh dead, but not worh killing a helicopter crew and the machine over.

That I was under no moral obligation to order 3-20 men to die to get a dead body. That was pre-"Blackhawk Down!', but my answer was -

Better we win the engagement then negotiate with reciprocity of enemy captured or dead - for reciprocal treatment of our captured or dead.

But I said I would never willingly take a position where I was required to be "using as many (American) lives as it took" on corpse retrieval or hypothetical rescue of a "not-yet endorsed KIA who had a remote chance of recovery".

And, as an aside, the idea of Hollywood's Leave No Man Behind - "POW rescue missions" deep inside enemy territory, before final days of war, are Pyhrric. If the idea is that Chuck Norris et. al. will kill anyone civilian or military tasked with guarding spared USA soldiers - the obvious conclusion enemy decision-makers have is to spare as little USA enemy as possible - outside intelligence assets or the son of the Deputy Commander of the Pearl Harbor-based 6th Fleet.

11/01/2006 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger istarious said...


Israel went to war to recapture its soldiers from Lebanon. Now, it is poised to again go to war with Lebanon Syria Gaza over this unresolved issue. The time is ticking, and the Jihadis know it. The Romans destroyed whole cities over the killing or abduction of their citizen. When you lose the will and fail to react to these provocations, you have lost the war.

11/01/2006 03:47:00 PM  
Blogger Habu1 said...

My morning constitutional.

Kinda has the ring of "What I did on my summer vacation"

Still hang'n with the Griswolds at WallyWorld?

My morning constitutional.
ROTFLMAO,no we all care,honest.

11/01/2006 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger ExRat said...

Lots of interesting comments here. I'd make the observation that Bush and his administration has successfully "rope-a-doped" his political opponents through two presidential election cycles. At least domestically, he has chronically been "misunderestimated." He might have something up his sleeve for Sadr. After all, just because Rummy et al. haven't told us of a plan doesn't mean they don't have one.

Bush is a guy who's supposed to be dumb as a plant, but he's outfoxed the Dems at least twice and they still think he's an imbecile. I can only hope he can pull off something similar re: Iraq and Iran.

11/01/2006 04:07:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I think we are preparing to give the Iraqi's the same lesson that the Israeli's have just given the Palestinians; i.e., you wanted it, you got it.

Now, let's see you feed yourselves, build yourselves a government and act like civilized human beings.

My bet, further, is that they will fail. Across the board since we first went into Baghdad three years ago, we have treated the Iraqi's as adults and as partners, and across the board, they have failed to live up to that trust.

We will do what Mr. Maliki has asked us to do about the checkpoints in Iraq and there is going to be a bloodbath. Sunni's are going to start screaming about genocide and why don't we Americans *do* something ... and we'll be able to now say the equivalent of, "It's not in our job description."

Our job description, until told otherwise by Mr. Maliki, is to keep Iran and Syria at bay. Whatever level of civilization the Iraqi's want to achieve - it will now be up to them to do it.

They've already got a pretty good headstart on intramural killing a la the Palestinians. Let's see if they can figure out that mug's game and bring themselves back from the brink before their brothers in Gaza do.

11/01/2006 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger charlotte said...


Wishful thinking keeps the wrinkles away. Bush is either being blackmailed with nukes aimed at Crawford, or some dem-onic entity has taken over his body, if he's not planning to hit Iran and hard.

Or, perhaps Bush sipped water from a cooler at State provided by Venezuelan contractors. Too bad about Powell and now Rice- they never had a chance.

Has everyone here seen "Flags of Our Fathers"? Shows our amazing mil machine down to the faces of our boy-men in Iwo Jima's volcanic wasteland. Political and personal foible isn't unique to war and that narrative seems obvious, but Eastwood's depiction of the casualty and triumph of spirit in a fight against hell and for each other would move a piece of furniture to tears.

11/01/2006 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Yes, do see 'Flags of our Fathers'
I went to a late showing Monday night and was one of only 3 patrons in the theater. Seems everyone else wanted to see 'Halloween' Their loss.

11/01/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Woman Catholic said...

Bush is a guy who's supposed to be dumb as a plant, but he's outfoxed the Dems at least twice and they still think he's an imbecile

Kerry says his "botched joke" was really about how Bush didn't do his homework in college and so Bush got "stuck in Iraq" but...uh...number 1, he never mentioned Bush at all at the time, and number 2, Bush and Kerry went to the same college and Bush got better grades. I know Bush messes up his words now and then, but you can't even get the GIST of what Kerry says unless he holds a press conference the next day to revise and extend his remarks.

11/01/2006 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger Addanz said...

Wretchard said:

"It is now possible — or at least it should be — to speak of the American "side of the bargain" as the limit of liability. America can only guarantee giving other nations a chance — as parents can only give their children chances — one can never guarantee absolute outcomes."

1. Iraq is now a sovereign nation, with a freely elected central government in place, a success;

2 Sadr is now operating within the government, no longer in rebellion, a success;

3. Roughly 5/6 of the Sunni tribes have indicated they will work within the government, no longer in rebellion, a success;

4. AQ has been damaged and has a reduced support base, a success; and

5. As a result, the Maliki government appears to be reasonably stable against internal threats, albeit at yet still largely ineffective and facing many internal political issues that only it can work out.

In this context, Wrechard's words above ring true.


11/02/2006 03:21:00 PM  

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