Saturday, November 13, 2004

 

The Fallujah Slaughterhouse


Assorted Thoughts While Guns Do the Talking

Microscopic vision:

I really was alarmed by how some "humanists" were yelling about some evidence of slaughterhouses (please note the "s") found in Fallujah. To them it was justification enough that their administration was doing the right thing in Fallujah.

Yet, these people fail to see the huge slaughterhouse (no "s") called Fallujah. I don't know how many houses the first "s" refers to (2, 3, 10?). I know that the second slaughterhouse (with no "s") refers to some 50,000 houses.

Please zoom out.

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Confusing disinformation:

We are now being told that the people of Fallujah were asking the US army to bomb their houses because they were taken over by terrorists. Apparently all that precision bombing over the past weeks was not precise enough.

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Yet another approach in the propaganda war is that other Iraqis (mainly Shiites in the south) are happy about the new Fallujah massacre. We are even given a list of unreasonable demands made by the Fallujans that no self-respecting government could meet, as an explanation for the breakdown of talks!

Yet another attempt at creating, or frightening people from, a sectarian civil war? One of the first groups to declare solidarity with the people of Fallujah was the Shiite Moqtada people.

Having said that, this time I can detect more dangerous Sunni-Shiite under-currents and polarization. It is that much more worrying.

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When our Interim PM was reading his statement authorizing the all out attack on Fallujah, I couldn't help feeling that the sentences he made in Arabic were translated from English.

This reminded me of a Japanese joke in the 1940's:

First Japanese: "Have you read the new constitution?"
Second Japanese: "No, have they translated it to Japanese?"

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Isn't there something strange about the media silence regarding what is happening in Fallujah? Even the normally aggressive al Jazeera is uncharacteristically relatively quiet!

I am told that in Chicago this is called "clout".

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A city of 300,000 – some 200,000 have fled their town… 100,000 civilians are still there.

I can only wonder at the incredible degree of precision those cluster bombs and artillery shells must have to avoid civilian casualties!!

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Revenge is often so expensive.

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Imagine what the war of liberation of Iraq would have been like had Iraqis really resisted the invasion in March 2003.

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More than 200 American soldiers dead and injured so far in only four days of fighting and 600 hundred Iraqi "insurgents" killed according to the US army. But how many civilians? How many women and children?

Why should anyone care? That's not important in the great fight against terror, is it? A few hundred innocents dead for such high ideals "is peanuts" as Americans would say. Besides, they were given the chance to leave their homes, weren't they?

Something that is worth paying so much for, in Iraqi and American blood, has to be worthwhile! We will have to wait for future events and developments before assessing its true worth. Alas, I fear that the attention span of many people would have been expired by then.

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"Freedom" and "Democracy" have been turned into vulgar words when mentioned by US officials. What a pity!

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Now, we are entering a new phase: the beginning of the end. America has only two choices left: subdue the whole of the Iraqi people through shear force… or call it quits.






Comments:

Hello Abu Khaleel,
Iraqis do have a chance to end Bush's war. By joining together across ethnic/religious groups in mass and in January electing candidates who support an immediate end to the occupation and then voting to end the occupation. If they boycott the elections the 29% of sunni arabs will have collective guilt of destroying Iraq in a civil war.
 
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I noticed that Al Jazeera didn't say a WORD about the hostage slaughter houses.

I think you should start watching a different channel.

You fear is palpable. The Kurds hate you. The Shia are turning against you. You can no long claim to be supported by Iraqis. The Sunni resistance is laid bare for exactly what it is. The pitiful flailing of Iraq's former tyrants trying to regain their grip on the throats of the poor people they used to behead at will.
 
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You guys better get your shit in gear and start thinking "politics." Violence is not going to get you anywhere--except to the afterlife.
 
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Don't know if people are going to keep the debate going in Abu's absence?
O.K., the Battle of Fallujah seems to be more or less over. Can anyone make a list of what has really been achieved?
Barry? Mark? Navy Guy?
from Circular
 
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Here in the good old USA, we're wondering why the Iraqi people aren't embracing this chance at freedom with enthusiasm. The people in Fallujah made a deal with the devil (ie the foreign terrorists) and the devil turned and bit them on the ass! US troops are trying to clean up the mess in YOUR country. Show a little gratitude, perhaps encourage your country men to help the US fight for YOUR freedom. We're all waiting to see this in the US, but to be honest with you, we don't think the Iraqi people want to be free bad enough. As we see it, you don't know how to function unless you have some bat shit crazy dictator telling you what to do, and burying you in mass graves. You're WRONG when you say that no one cares how many Iraqi civilians have died. The US soldiers and the US citizens care. WE would like to see your country serve as shining example to the rest of the middel east of freedom, peace, and prosperity. BOO HOO HOO, your country sucks because your people allowed a mad man to gain power. Now it's time to pull your head out of the sand and stand up for yourselves, else someone like Saddam or Osama Bin Asshat would love step in and govern you. Did you enjoy life under Saddam??? The US soldiers don't want to be in Iraq forever... trust me, they would rather be back home with their families on Thanksgiving, enjoying a foot ball game, home cooking, and other things American.

I wish I could feel sorry for you. But all I read was biotchin' and moaning about how the US is doing you wrong. Perhaps if more Iraqis would step up to the plate (that's an American baseball reference), the US could get the hell out of Iraq faster. Biotching about it isn't making anything happen.
 
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I'm an American. I just want you to know that I don't like American pccupation in Iraq. I feel so bad about all the pain and suffering that our troops are puting on your country. And I apoligize for it. It would mean a lot to me if you would sign my guestbook on my blog. www.bryan08.tk God Bless You!
 
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Princess Kimberley's remarks remind me of why there are wars like the current one in Iraq. There are people in this world who think you deserve what is happening. It's just your fault. Apparently, any people who are subjected to totalatarian rule or are invaded by a superior military force are just asking for it, otherwise they would reject it. Just how is, I guess, an exercise left for the reader.

It is the kind of thinking used by many Americans to justify to themselves and others what's happening in Fallujah. To me it is childish, from someone who has lived in a safe, protected, wealthy society with little knowledge of the world outside their immediate surroundings, let alone an awareness of life in the rest of the world.

Only 15% of Americans even have a passport, less have used them, and of those the travel is mostly to Europe (western Europe). It's been more than 200 years since Americans fought a tyrant on our soil. The last conflict in American was the our Civil War, fought because a collection of States did not wish to give up the practice of human slavery. So perhaps in light of those facts Kimberley's attitude can be forgiven somewhat. She simply doesn't know any better.

But this says a lot about American culture. Maybe it would change if, instead of a military draft, we had a travel draft and insisted that everyone spend time in other countries with different cultures, religions, political systems, and economic circumstances. I think the whole world would be better for it.
 
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Here's a better idea.... population exchange.

Let trade 10 million Iraqis for 10 million Americans. Send 10 million Americans to go live in Iraq and replace them with 10 million Iraqis to live in America and teach them how democracy works.

I bet the Americans would fix up Iraq and make it's economy work, while the Iraqis are learning how American democracy works.

Then, after 10 years, swap back. The 10 million Iraqis go back to Iraq and teach Iraqis how to run a democracy with e a free market, and the Americans go back the the US and teach Americans about Iraqi culture and how to fix it.
 
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From Circular
Off topic, if we have a topic, but the shrill contribution from Princess Kimberley above is just too hilarious to resist.
"The US soldiers don't want to be in Iraq forever... trust me, they would rather be back home with their families on Thanksgiving, enjoying a football game, home cooking, and other things American."
As an illustration of the sheer insularity of the mid-Western mind, surely this takes the cake.
Things American?
"Football" presumably means "Gridiron." The Princess (I thought America had no royalty) is apparently unaware that only a few hundred million in the U.S.A. follow this sport, while the many billions in the rest of the world follow "football" in the form of Soccer or Rugby. Iraq actually managed despite all odds to field a "football" team at the recent Olympics.
That’s silly enough, but "home cooking" is uniquely American? From the land that invented "take out?" What does she imagine the rest of the world do when we’re hungry - order Kentucky Fried? Shucks, all us poor ignorant Non-Americans haven’t yet figured out how to cook at home?
No wonder Abu is having trouble getting through to the Heartland.
 
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Incidentally, further to the above, and in a spirit of sheer nastiness:
I recently bought a Convection Oven (glass bowl, forced hot air) in which I have just cooked a lovely roast chicken and vegetable dinner - faster than a conventional oven, no fat or oil or mess, washes itself. Before buying I researched on the Internet, and found two American originals (Eze-Cook or something like that) and one Australian version. And about thirty Chinese knock-offs. At a quarter of the price. I bought Chinese.
Look out, they’re catching up with you!
 
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Hmm. Some very interesting posts. My comments:

China Anonymous --

You are to freakin right about the Made in China story. The Chinese dragon is rising, and everybody else must play ball or get stomped. I work in an industry related field, and can tell you that your typical centre lathe, for example, is at least half or a third of the price of a comparable US or European machine. Quality? Not great, but with prices like that, buy three and toss them out when they are done for.

What I find even more hilarious is that Americans reelected the Bushies, the very people that are all for cheap labour and outsourcing jobs out of the US for greater profits. (Unless it is textiles or steel ... in which case fat import tariffs are acceptable ... the very things that the US wants other countries to eliminate.)


Population exchange Anonymous --

I wonder sometimes if Americans of your ilk are aware of your immense hubris and conceit, or if you really believe in the superiority of your nation. FYI these unwashed Iraqi savages managed, with a few strands of baling wire and ingenuity, to repair the Iraqi electrical grid in a matter of three months, under sanctions after Gulf War 1. Americans? Took them almost two years with unlimited funds and parts to do the same.

American democracy? What democracy is it if you only have two viable choices, and they both taste like chicken, save for one being deep fried instead of baked?

But you are right. At least after that population swap you might be able to find Iraq on a map.
 
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Princess Kimberly --

I think the other posters have lambasted you for your ignorance enough. But, what is dangerous is the idea that the US truly wants a democratic Iraq.

Because, the reality is, the neoconservatives do not. Do you really think that the US has spent, what, 200 billion dollars and almost 10 000 limbless soldiers in order to replace a semi secular anti US dictatorship with a Shiite Muslim anti US theocracy? The latter which will probably be even more virulently anti Israel because their feelings are based in religion rather than a need to retain some measure of popularity?

Read my lips : ELECTIONS = RIGGED. The same as in Afghanistan.

And, your attitude of "we are the munificent Americans, we are struck by the disease of white man's burden and must help the poor ignorant natives to find their path again and they don't appreciate it" is pretty sad, and dangerous.

I come from South Africa, a country during which the Apartheid era the white government did all sorts of things for the blacks in order to try and placate them, like build schools and houses and support puppet bantustan homelands (Indian reservations anyone?) in the hope that they would sit quiet and accept the status quo. Guess what? They didn't. Right or wrong, the blacks wanted liberation before education. And right or wrong, Iraqis feel the same way : liberation before reconstruction. Your "gifts" were neither asked for nor wanted.

Finally, the condescending tone :

"As we see it, you don't know how to function unless you have some bat shit crazy dictator telling you what to do, and burying you in mass graves."

is embarrassing to read, because you are talking to the descendants of the people who built the Tower of Babel at the time your ancestors were trying to work out which end of the club to use while attempting to brain their neighbour in order to steal their shank of meat.

Lose the attitude and open your eyes.

You are not wanted there.

Go home.
 
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Circular,

Most likely nothing will come of the Fallujah battle. The media and the left will continue to portray it as the slaughter of innocents by the Evil American Empire and it will just keep right on going...
 
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Mujahidin terrorised Fallujah, residents sayHow do we reconcile these different accounts??? It is so freakin' sad..
 
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Tragedy. Travesty of justice. I hope that the wheel turns...
 
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Barry
You are right of course. After all, Allawi has declared that no civilians at all have been killed in Fallujah, so doubtless we will soon learn that all those pictures of destroyed buildings are fakes knocked up by the left-wing media. And that Marine was only firing blanks - large quantities of Ketchup were issued before the battle.
Sometimes flippancy is not really an appropriate response to events?
Circular
 
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I was not being flippant, I was serious. I happen to agree with what that Marine did (see CNN article) but even if you don't, look at your comments. You only focus on that Marine incident, you talk about the destruction, etc.

Did you read my link above?
 
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Circular to Barry
Yes I read the link - as you say, how to reconcile different accounts? But I think you still don’t get the point:
(a) The fanatical Muslim extremists are horrible - everyone in the West agrees with that, but
(b) That does not justify lowering yourselves to their level. You only end up defeating yourself.
(c) It’s unlikely that the true figures for "innocent" civilian casualties will ever come out, but seeing the level of destruction, they must have been high, however many had left - I would guess probably more than actual "insurgents," certainly more than about 30 "foreign fighters" reported as captured
(d) And this brings us back to the subject of "collateral damage" that I’ve discussed before
(e) How many innocents is it worth killing to get one bad guy?
(f) And what’s the difference between doing it with an M16, and doing it with a bomb or shell?
Different approaches to war - the Black Watch have taken a few hits since moving north (happily fewer than expected) but you’ll notice they haven’t responded to each hit by spraying thousands of rounds, and dropping dozens of bombs, on the surrounding area in the hope of hitting bad guys, and tough luck on anyone else who happens to get in the way.
Which brings us back to that Marine. Whatever the background to his action, it seems clear that he set himself up as judge, jury and executioner: in which case he’s no longer a soldier.
When the S.S. murdered British and American POW’s, they knew perfectly well what they were doing, they regarded themselves as above normal laws of humanity. Is that how you see your G.I.’s? The rest of the civilised world seems to be able to get its head around simple ideas like "don’t shoot unarmed wounded prisoners." What’s your problem?
Some collateral damage can’t be avoided? Don’t get yourself into wars where you’re going to cause a lot of it. Not unless you really have to. You didn’t really have to get into this one, not in the way you have. How else to clear out Fallujah? Use 100,000 troops, go street to street, take the casualties. Or stay home.
Sorry to rave on.
 
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Circular,

Well I digress. Look all this discussion goes no where. You are gonna believe what you want to believe and so am I.

The loss of innocent life is tragic, I agree with that. We have made some severe mistake in Iraq, I agree with that. However, in the grand scheme of things my hope is that we are still doing the right thing.

This bullshit about "creating" terrorists, is just that, bullshit. We "created" the type of people that can kidnap an Iraq aid worker (who is also a converted Muslim) and shoot her in cold blood? Oh and why is that too graphic for Al Jewzeera but the beheadings aren't? Or the movie of the Marine shooting that person isn't? Couldn't possibly be propaganda could it?

Why is there no video of the gent they found chained to the wall in Fallujah? Or of the Marines saving an Iraqi girl from being raped by an ING? Or of Sadr's "religous court" back in Najaf? The world goes nuts over a Marine shooting "an unarmed wounded insurgent" (who could have possibly just been fearing for his life and those of his comrades) yet the daily atrocities of car bombings, beheadings, ad nauseum, just accepted as "resistance"???

You know what, don't even bother to answer because I will discontinue reading and posting to this site.

Take care.
 
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Circular:

The above series of posts are good evidence for my "thin veneer of civilization" theory expressed on the other thread. Note the bile in the posts. Each contentious poster asserts that "the other" is somehow evil, stupid or both. There is no room for good faith disagreement or civil discourse.

All of this hatred is largely grounded in divergent political views. If one thing should be clear by now, it is that each person's political views colors their interpretation of facts and plans for the future. The failure to account for this amongst most posters to this forum and many other that I have visited is what I find most depressing. Why is it so hard for some to believe that others may honestly believe a different course of action is better, rather than ascribing malice regarding each difference of opinion?

Where are the moderates, the compromisers, the peacemakers? They seems to be in very short supply. Depressing.

Perhaps, they just keep their opinions to themsleves? Your thoughts?
 
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Grrr, I said I wasn't going to post anymore.. :-)

Anonymous,

Have I ever called someone stupid or evil who disagreed with me? Yes I have some strong convictions about things and I think that there are some evil people running around in Iraq (of course we have our share here in the US too).

I still want to know, what is a fact in this scenario? Can you name one concrete fact about the struggles in Iraq?

I totally agree with you and it is especially bad here in the US and in the current political environment. The left wants to label anyone who doesn't agree with them as Bush-supporting, ignorant, war-mongering, religious zealots. The right labels them as Micheal Moore loving, elitist, anti-American snobs.

Of course the problem is, is that they are both right, and they are both wrong. There are those factions of both parties. And even more unfortunate is that these are mainly who we see on the TV day in and day out. No one wants to talk to a moderate because it doesn't make for as interesting television.

Hell maybe I'm part of the problem, I don't know, and now I am rambling...
 
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Mark
Refer my last post to you in "Fallujah Again" regarding the "thin veneer."
Where are the moderates? Well there’s me for a start .....
No, honestly, I thought I’d made my position clear. I was actually quite hawkish at the time of the invasion - followed the Jessica Lynch saga avidly, and so on. And I don’t think it’s bile I’ve developed since then, over the matter of mistakes, which this Blog is basically all about; its just honest exasperation at the refusal of so many to face up to these mistakes and their consequences. Bit like watching a careless driver run down a kid, and then raise every excuse and rationalisation possible - blame the kid, blame other motorists, blame the conditions - anything but admit they were going too fast. Is that immoderate?
I believe that there are such things as historical facts: no-one except a few nutters like David Irvine doubts the reality of the Holocaust, the history is mostly all there if you want to know what went wrong in Vietnam. And with modern communication, I think it is possible to get some idea of history as it actually unfolds now.
It’s the "fact-free," ideology-driven approach to events that I see as the greatest danger to civilisation at present - I thought we’d got rid of that with the end of the Cold War. And I’m not saying it’s exclusive to America, but I do believe it’s driving this war, perhaps I have to admit from both sides.
But I do believe that much of the world, left-leaning perhaps but not rabidly so, are more like compromisers and peacemakers than EITHER side at present.
And I certainly don’t read Abu as being a fanatic or a hater.
 
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I think there are many people on the left outside the US who are simply using Iraq as a proxy war against the US, because they hate capitalism and that's what America stands for. However, since their ideology is discredited, and it would contradict the mantle of peacenik to openly advocate killing Americans, they use disingenuous arguments to try to convince the gullible Democrats in America to do things that would be blatantly stupid. Withdrawing from Iraq is one such blatantly stupid proposal that they are hurridly trying to come up with rationalizations for, even though they know that doing so would expose the US to a high risk of future terrorist attacks. They want more terrorist attacks on the US, so this serves their purposes. They just can't say "we want more terrorist attacks to weaken American power in the world", and have any chance of convincing any American administration to agree with them.
 
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Circular:

I was realy pointing to the comments of Bruno. They are filled with contempt for "Princess Kimberley," in particular, and Americans, generally. The Princess actually raises two good points, although inartfully, (1) most Americans would rather have the soldiers home than occupying Iraq and (2) Iraqis do bear some responsibility for not ridding themselves of Saddam on their own.

Many right wing posters have the same degree of malice for the left as Bruno expresses for the Princess.

Your comments to her could be properly characterized as "snide," not malicious. Such comments do not contribute to a atmposhpere of civility.

As to whether "the left" is more inclined to moderation and "peace" than "the right," I strongly disagree. Intolerance on the left is just as dangerous as intolerance on the right. In my view, the ideologues on both extremes are equally prone to violence and resistant to compromise. As evidence for the position, the political violence of the last half or the last century seems to have originated from both the left and the right in fairly equal measures.

Mark In Chi Town
 
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Mark & Princess Kimberley,
I find Princess Kimberley's remarks contemptuous. As someone interested in the Assyrian community, I've been following events in Iraq for some time. I've been following the on-line Assyrian-American press (mostly pro-Republican/pro-Bush/pro-invasion/pro-long-long-long-term occupation) since 2000 or 2001. Since June 2003 I've also been perusing several of the pro- and anti-invasion Iraqi blogs.

U.S. activities in Iraq created part of the mess being cleaned up, and allowed yet more of it. Gratitude is hard to maintain when those to whom you've been grateful treat you with suspicion and contempt, and arrest or kill friends and family members. Gratitude is hard to maintain when those to whom you're supposed to be grateful demand that you agree that they've improved your life, whether or not that be the case.

Princess--what do YOU know about the Assyrians and Chaldeans of Iraq, the people whose ancestors lived there since before the time of Abraham? Their American relatives are mostly Republican, so you should be comfortable with their politics. If you live near Chicago, Detroit, San Diego, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, or Los Angeles you live near Assyrian or Chaldean immigrant communities. Their relatives suffered under Saddam. They suffered under the Kurds. They are suffering now from attacks by Shi'ite and Sunni radicals, and ongoing pressure from the (pro-American) Kurds. Have you bothered to learn ANYTHING about this community? Are you doing anything to support them, or are you just 'biotching' about Iraqi lack of gratitude?

If you don't live near any of these communities, you can access one of their on-line weeklies via www.zindamagazine.com

Be Well,
 
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Mark

Yeah, "snide" sounds about right. I’m trying to feel repentant ....
In your first paragraph you seem almost to be saying that the Iraqi people deserve to be punished because Saddam was so good at being a dictator? Anyway ....
Maybe I should have said "liberal" or "centrist" rather than "left-leaning."
Refer the antiquated attitudes elicited in the post above yours by the mere mention of the word "left."
Leaving aside conspiracy theories about oil interests or Halliburton exploitation being behind the original invasion, and leaving aside the extreme right orientation of your present administration, I suggest that one thing becoming clear is that for Iraq this war is not going to have been about the old Cold War left/right dichotomy. The most likely outcome, when and if the dust settles, is perhaps going to some sort of Shia-dominated semi-theocracy, which will have little relevance to First World left or right ideologies?
Now sternly put me right again.
Circular
 
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Circular:

I really do not blame the Iraqi people of Saddam's regime since they had little choice in the Baathist's rise to power.

Your comments concerning the likely outcome in Iraq are probably correct, although if "the resistance" wins its war, you are likely to see a repressive, Sunni dominated government in Iraq once more. Such a government would, of course, be anti-American, but probably not leftist in the traditional western sense.

I also agree that western notions of left and right will ultimately have little bearing on Iraq's new political path if the resistance is overcome. It will, hopefully, be something new, authentically Iraqi and include respects for the rights of Iraqi's minority communities (see I am capable of some optimism).

Bob:
You are usually one of the most polite commenters that I have run into. It is a quality that I greatly admire.

But, was "contemptuous" really necessary? Believe me, I am no saint since I have "lost it," in making comments more times than I care to recall and with langauge far more abrasive than "contemptuous." Please don't sink into the cess pool with the rest of us.
 
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While the shape of the future Iraqi government in Iraq probably will have little relationship with traditional western notions of left and right, the effect of the outcome will have every bearing on the left-right battle in the rest of the world. The left doesn't care what ultimately happens in Iraq. They care about the effect it's outcome will have on the security of the US. Or rather the insecurity of it.
 
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Hello anonymous,
'While the shape of the future Iraqi government in Iraq probably will have little relationship with traditional western notions of left and right, the effect of the outcome will have every bearing on the left-right battle in the rest of the world. The left doesn't care what ultimately happens in Iraq. They care about the effect it's outcome will have on the security of the US. Or rather the insecurity of it.'

Interesting take! The papa-left wants Iraqis to take hold of their own destiny without US military might(typically called 'tough-love'), but the mama-right wants American troops to discipline Iraq like a rebellious teenager. The left obviously doesn't love Iraq, because it won't kill Iraqis in the name of freedom. Too bad most Iraqis hate your occupation and think they could do a better job! The point is that the left hates America going around disciplining 'adolescent' countries because it is unjust and kills US troops, while the neocon-right because it makes America look powerful and helps build up them up(nation-building). Unfortunately most Iraqis are not participating in the manifestly bogus nation-building and America looks isolated and stupid.
 
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Bull.

That's just the rhetoric the left uses to rationalize calling for a US withdrawl. They refuse to acknowledge that Iraqis will NOT "take hold of their own destiny" in such an event, because they will quickly be crushed under the boot of the those groups currently engaged in torturing and beheading hostages and shooting anyone who disagrees with them. I should say crushed AGAIN, because many of them are the same people who were engaged in torturing and beheading Iraqis BEFORE the invasion.

The reason the left wants a US withdrawl is absolutely NOT because of any noble intentions towards the Iraqi people, but is purely driven by anti-American sentiment and the desire for revenge. The left hates America because America is a symbol of capitalism, not because of US interventionism (which though sometimes unilateral, is frequently multilateral, as in Somalia, Yugoslavia, Haiti, etc.). The left is happy to support brutal dictators, authoritarians, and invasions when it is "their thugs" doing it. As in Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe.
They don't mind foreigners imposing their ideology on other countries. They just want it to be left-wing ideology.
 
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Dear Annonymous,

I chose the word 'contemptuous' because Princess Kimberley's post seemed characterized by a contempt for our host. I did not use the word 'contemptible' as I believe I can understand her frustrations with the situation in Iraq, where we were greeted first (by some) with open arms, later with demonstrations, and since at least June of 2003, with violence.

I am deeply frustrated (and hurt) by the vitriol flowing from American keyboards, both towards Muslims and towards non-Republicans. (I also find left-wing vitriol disturbing, but am probably blind to more of it)
I have been upset by how we've been prosecuting this war since March, 2003. While I believe that the war was wrong, I also believe that it could be handled better. The evidence stands that this administration is not interested in handling the war better. For instance, how many 'grunts' are receiving basic training in minimal Arabic?

Be Well,
 
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Hello red anonyomous,
"Bull....That's just the rhetoric the left uses to rationalize calling for a US withdrawl. They refuse to acknowledge that Iraqis will NOT "take hold of their own destiny" in such an event, because they will quickly be crushed under the boot of the those groups currently engaged in torturing and beheading hostages and shooting anyone who disagrees with them. I should say crushed AGAIN, because many of them are the same people who were engaged in torturing and beheading Iraqis BEFORE the invasion."

So the Shia 60% and the Peshmerga 20% will be terrorized and overwelmed by the Sunni-Baathists 20%? Ridiculous. They are not responding because they want to avoid a civil war, don't want to fight US troops and will use the ballot box to prevent Sunni domination. They are pleased to have Allawi order US troops kill their enemies, but is this a mission for the Marines? Do you really think Iraqis will thank us for leveling Fallujah?

"The reason the left wants a US withdrawl is absolutely NOT because of any noble intentions towards the Iraqi people, but is purely driven by anti-American sentiment and the desire for revenge."
Since you are evidently not a leftist yourself, this is what is called in psychology 'projection'. Your motives are clearly for revenge against muslim 'terrorists'. But I think what you mean is 'Does the left wish to see America humbled?'. Of course, but Bush has put the US in a humilitating position at every turn. Maybe you'll be revenged for being embarrased but really you only have yourself to blame.
"The left hates America because America is a symbol of capitalism, not because of US interventionism (which though sometimes unilateral, is frequently multilateral, as in Somalia, Yugoslavia, Haiti, etc.)."
The anti-war left always opposed military interventions as Iraq on principle. Is America a country or just a symbol of capitalism to you? If you mean globalization, you'll find the extreme right wing is quite anti-globalization. Otherwise you must be talking cold-war rubbish again.
"The left is happy to support brutal dictators, authoritarians, and invasions when it is "their thugs" doing it.As in Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe."
Tell me which major leftist organizations are supporting Cuba or Zimbabwe.[Eastern Europe]You are reaching back 20 years now, which shows you are in a time warp-you may as well reach back to the WWII or the crusades.
"They don't mind foreigners imposing their ideology on other countries. They just want it to be left-wing ideology."
Why ideology? You're just mouthing slogans and repeating yourself, like your pathetic hero Bush.
Take off those silly blinders, US soldiers and Iraqi civilians are dying and there is no political process. Can you kill your way to a liberal democratic Iraq? After elections, the US will be thown out and Iraq will become an Iranian satelite. So what is all the dead troops, dead Iraqis, leveled cities and billions of dollars for?
 
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"So the Shia 60% and the Peshmerga 20% will be terrorized and overwelmed by the Sunni-Baathists 20%? Ridiculous."

Ignorant comment. That's exactly what the history of Iraq has been for the last 80 years.
 
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"Since you are evidently not a leftist yourself, this is what is called in psychology 'projection'. Your motives are clearly for revenge against muslim 'terrorists'. "

It's not a projection. It's the truth. And you know it.
 
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Comment on Comments

There have been quite a number of thoughtful questions posted in some very fruitful, and civilized, comments – as well as useful differences in the last few posts: Questions regarding the mood of the country, proposals for possible solutions, dangers of civil war, potential threats from neighboring countries… and many other points raised by a number of readers. I really would love to address and discuss many of them but…

On the other hand, we get comments like HRH's and others. The problem as I see it is that such comments not only lower the standard of the debate but others feel compelled to respond (sometimes in kind) and this derails the whole debate away from the issue being discussed. One aspect that bothers me is that these people seem to be no small minority in the US! [They also remind me too much of Secretary Rumsfeld's irresponsible and ill-considered one-liners]

Mark, I am surprised that you do not appreciate how offensive Kimberley's comments were. I can understand Bob Griffin's , Circular's, Andy's and Bruno's anger. I felt worse! How do you think I felt reading something like "Did you enjoy life under Saddam???" after all that I have been saying for more than six months?... not to mention those condescending words dripping hatred and contempt and manifesting total ignorance.

Perhaps the third comment poster from the top (above) was right: "You guys better get your ---- in gear and start thinking "politics." Violence is not going to get you anywhere—" if this is read as referring to the US administration...
 
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Abu Khaleel:

I understand the anger, but I think expressing anger without a measure of civility is counterproductive to the honest exchange of ideas. In my experience, such raw expressions of anger on blogs quickly degenerate into meaningless name calling by both sides to an argument.

It takes far more self-discipline to engage one that you strongly disagree with on a higher level. After all, the Princess is entitled to her opinions no matter how offensive you or I may find them. If one is to persuade people like her of the errors in their thinking, resorting to personal attacks is one of the least effective means of doing so.

Mark In Chi Town
 
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I'd much rather have an american bomb fall on me and kill me quickly than to have Zarqawi slicing off my head while I am screaming sounds of silence and agony!
I watched one of the beheadings in disbelief of how one human could be treating another. You seem to be one who takes the easy road but not necessarily the best road.
 
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from italy:
after 9/11 I started hating america so much that I cant believe. I can't stand all the lies and that fact that we all have to suffer that evil empire: yr president and all who support the u.s. have you opned your eyes ? I have. If I would have more courage I would join some terrorist plot but I would do your game. Remember: violence calls for violence. I live in florence and I see american tourists everyday nobody looks like the new arians but they all are. Do they all deserve to die ? No one does. If you're stupid and your country has an history of violence, your problem. I'll try to ignore you your lies, your games, your wars. Keep the oil, go away.
Hans
 
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