July 21, 2003

Don't go there

Oh isn't this special. Suddenly the UN is all for the US sending troops to a foreign country -- Liberia. Let's see, the UN so far has thrown pissy-faced and stampy-footed tantrums over the battles we have fought so far. They not only didn't shut up when we were both successful and brought the battles in "under budget" (ie, with much less time spent and loss of life than expected), they and their lackeys in the press continued to fume and fuss at us for every smashed pot and discomfitted ex-Baathist who now has to clean toilets for a living. Now suddenly Kofi Annan is proclaiming that we just have to send troops to poor, beleaguered Liberia; this (proposed) battle gets their seal of approval. Can you smell something traplike, children? I sure can. Normally I am all for us going to some cracked up place and setting it straight, but this time my instincts say: "Run away! Run away!"

(Via Steven Den Beste.)

Posted by Andrea Harris at July 21, 2003 09:20 PM

The Iraq war was "under budget"?

That must mean it's over, right -- how else would you know? So the troops are coming home soon? Yippeee!

You read it hear first, children!

Posted by: Michael at July 22, 2003 at 07:04 AM

Har-de-har-har-har. You R so funny. Not.

I already explained what I meant by the "under budget" analogy in the parenthetical comment immediately following, but apparently you were so eager to score troll points that you stopped reading before you got to that point. Typical troll behavior.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 22, 2003 at 08:10 AM

Yes, you defined "under budget" as "with much less time spent and loss of life than expected."

All I'm saying is that such a conclusion is way premature. The war is still going on, hence we're still spending time and losing lives. It would appear the we have the opportunity to spend years in Iraq, losing about 20-30 soldiers and $4 billion per month. Those monthly price tags may well rise as we add more troops and more of the country joins the rebellion.

So what was the "budget"? Does coming in "under budget" include finishing the job?

(You know, "troll" is the cheapest shot in the blogosphere. For you, the definition is clear: "troll" = "someone who disagrees with Andrea" -- and has arguments that aren't so easy to answer without calling names. Aside to the children: Andrea is setting a bad example.)

Posted by: Michael at July 22, 2003 at 09:02 AM

Michael, a troll is someone who tries to start a fight by being intentionally stupid.

Your comment fits that definition.

Posted by: Robert Crawford at July 22, 2003 at 09:17 AM

Yeah, Michael. Andrea should have used the appropriate term. In your case "idiot" seems to fit best.

Posted by: John McCrarey at July 22, 2003 at 09:18 AM

Am I the only one who thinks the Iraq "project" hasn't run its course yet?

When did you all stop counting dead Americans?

It's extremely unpatriotic to disregard and dishonor loyal soldiers who die for their country. Shame on you.

Posted by: Michael at July 22, 2003 at 09:23 AM

Why should the U.S. go there when there are all these countries, oh Germany and France to name a couple, who have troops free from the burden of dealing with the Middle East? From what I understand, France already had guys in Africa, so it should be a snap for them.

Posted by: meep at July 22, 2003 at 09:25 AM

You know, Mike, you are a troll, because you came here and commented just to start an argument. If you have a problem with how the war is being run, there isn't shit bitching at me can do about it. I'm just a woman with a weblog and an opinion. But since you are so dense about this, I will elaborate further, and this is the end of the matter as far as I am concerned.

Disagree all you like with me on how long the war will go on. As a matter of fact I don't disagree with you that the war, as in the greater War Against Islamic Terrorist Fanatics, won't be going on for quite a long time. I guess you are too lazy to read my other post under this one where I said as much: "we are in for the long haul." What I referred to in this post were the battles -- to be specific, these battles:

  1. The effort to depose the Taliban in Afghanistan, which was supposed to result in Millions of Dead Civilians and American Soldiers and turn into a second Afghan War just like the ones the Soviets fought -- and which did neither. In fact, the Taliban were removed from power and Osama and his cronies were shuffled off to the mountains and no doubt off this mortal coil as well. We haven't heard from him in any substantial way in any case, unless you count the pathetic videotapes as evidence that he is still among the living, and I don't. This was all done in short order and with much less civilian and military casualties than the shriekers predicted.
  1. The invasion of Iraq. Again, the shriekers claimed that disaster would fall, all of Iraq and the Arab Street™ and so on would rise up, Saddam would loose his WMDs at the invaders and millions of Our Boys would die, and so on. WHat actually happened was -- again -- the whole thing was over in what, under a week? And Saddam is so far no where to be seen -- dead or alive, he's not in charge anymore.

I was not, in this post, referring to the greater War on Terror, or the mopping up operations which are ongoing in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Bitch and moan as you like about the length of the greater war, you could at least do it in a post where that is part of the subject under discussion. Or better yet, go bother someone else's blog.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 22, 2003 at 09:25 AM

You know, I am beginning to think that "idiot" is a better description.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 22, 2003 at 09:27 AM

I'm not referring to the greater war on terror, either. The "battle" in Iraq is not over yet. In case you haven't noticed, even the Pentagon acknowledges that they are engaged in a guerilla war. Consider this little thought experiment: when a war is over, the troops go home. Now, answer this: is this war over? (Hint: we're on the verge of sending reinforcements.)

Your comment about not having heard from al Qaeda for a while was extermely insensitive to the families of those who died in Riyad recently, not to mention the victims in Bali. If you're satisfied with the fact that no major attacks have been aimed at American territory recently, well, just wait a while. They will. bin Laden may be dead (or not) but al Qaeda is as strong as ever. You know how I know? Bush says the opposite. :)

But seriously, do you really think what is going on in Iraq is a mopping-up operation? The mind boggles.

Posted by: Michael at July 22, 2003 at 09:37 AM

You know, idiot, I never said that the war was over, but I guess you CAN'T READ. And as for your smug moralizing, take it and shove it up your ass.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 22, 2003 at 10:01 AM

"You know how I know? Bush says the opposite. :)"

Well, there's fact-checking and independent corroboration for you. Dare I point out that even a stopped clock is right twice a day (unlike Michael)?

Posted by: ilyka at July 22, 2003 at 10:04 AM

And oh yeah -- your predict another attack on American soil. I can see the drool. You can't wait, can you, you sadistic creep? And you dare to chide me for being "insensitive" to the victims of the Bali and Riyadh massacres. Go to hell. Anyway, considering the track record of your sort, if I were a gambler your crystal ball readings would have me betting on "no attacks."

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 22, 2003 at 10:04 AM

"when a war is over, the troops go home"

So, I guess we're still at war with Germany and Japan?

Posted by: David Jaroslav at July 22, 2003 at 10:04 AM

I predict another attack on US soil. That is beacause we are neither fighting a serious war against terrorism nor shoring up our homeland defenses.

I don't welcome it, but I do expect it. I was as shocked and saddened by 9/11 as anyone else. That is why I'm outraged that Bush is screwing this up so badly.

He underfunds the vital measures that we need to take to protect ourselves, alienates every country that has assisted with crucial intelligence data, and fights a war that is completely irrelevant to the struggle against terrorism. (If you believe the Saddam / al Qaeda connection, I've got some yellowcake to sell you.)

In fact, Bush is playing into their hands. al Qaeda recruitment is way up. Afghanistan is in chaos, a fine place for terrorists to operate with impunity, and a radiological bomb (or worse) could be smuggled into any American seaport with no difficulty at all.

Posted by: Michael at July 22, 2003 at 10:30 AM

Andrea, you didn't say the war was over, explicitly, but you asserted that it was fought "under budget", which one normally doesn't assert before the final costs are in. You did say it was now a mopping-up operation.

ilyka, Bush has never let me down!

David, touche! You're right, sometimes the troops stick around after the war ends. So, do you also believe the war in Iraq is over?

Posted by: Michael at July 22, 2003 at 10:35 AM

Michael, this comment section refers to Andrea’s post about Liberia, and how, since the UN does not have our best interests at heart, we should be suspicious about their motives whenever they encourage us to do something. The situation in Iraq today is far better than the UN predicted that it would be, and, yes, the UN does have hissy fits. Why are you debating separate issues here, and who are you trying to debate – yourself?

Nobody said that we were 'mopping up' in Iraq, and if you believe that Iraq has no strategic value in the war against terrorism, then you don’t know much about the situation. You should read more about it.

Posted by: mary at July 22, 2003 at 10:55 AM

Michael, Michael, Michael.

A guerilla "war" that kills one soldier a day is so little of a "war" as to be nothing at all. (As I saw somewhere on someone's blog, "at this rate, Iraq will match the Vietnam War's death count sometime around 2350!")

(And, what do you suggest a "real war against terror" would look like, if not attacking centers of funding and training like Iraq? Please, we await your plan!)

Posted by: Sigivald at July 22, 2003 at 01:50 PM

Sigivald, Sigivald, Sigivald.

How quaint. You believe the Saddam - Osama connection story.

It is only a matter of time before that one ends up in the same dustbin as the WMD story. Already it is being debunked by terrorism experts.

But since you asked: you gather intelligence, you conduct covert actions against proven cells, you attack their (real, not politically spun) financial support channels, and you defend the country be addressing security gaps.

Intelligence from foreign countries is crucial. Syria was very helpful prior to the Iraq war, as was Yemen. It will be interesting to see if those countries share anything in the future.

The Iraq war was counterproductive in the war on terrorism. Worse than a distraction, it fueled the terrorist cause by yielding thousands of new volunteers.

Going after militarily weak states is an easy and tempting approach. It is also a huge mistake.

Posted by: Michael at July 22, 2003 at 05:28 PM


The original post was also about the Iraq war success being delivered "under budget".
And she did refer to the current effort as a "mopping up" operation. Scroll back to 9:25 AM and read it for yourself.

PS to Sigivald,

You and that blogger are correct about the relative casualty counts between Vietnam and Iraq. But I'm sure that is little comfort to the families of the daily victim, or to Karl Rove, for that matter.

Posted by: Michael at July 22, 2003 at 05:33 PM

Mopping up – oh, you mean where Andrea told you that this was part of another discussion and helpfully provided the link. I was paying more attention to the point she was trying to make than to the descriptions used. I guess you weren’t. My mistake.

Posted by: mary at July 22, 2003 at 09:03 PM

"al Qaeda recruitment is way up."

Man, I wish I was privy to the minutes of the monthly meetings as Michael clearly is. Yes, but how's the United Way pledge drive going? I think Akhbar and his cell in Morocco are holding out on us...

Posted by: Sekimori at July 23, 2003 at 09:57 PM

Sekimori, You just have to read the newspapers.

Posted by: Michael at July 24, 2003 at 01:27 AM