February 28, 2006

Not Quite War

Scattered, sometimes intense sectarian fighting broke out last week in the wake of the destruction of the Askariya shrine (also known as the Golden Mosque) in Samarra at the hands of suspected al Qaeda terrorists. While the fighting appears to have abated, the Washington Post is now reporting that officials at the main Baghdad morgue put the toll at more than 1,300 dead. This is more than three times previous estimates, and should prove sobering to both those who would brush this off as a minor hurdle already overcome.

While the loss of life is tragic, the series of skirmishes and ambushes of the past few days in Iraqi are far from the "civil war" many news outlets and pundits were all too eager to declare.

Civil wars tend to end with catastrophic losses and destroyed cultures after prolonged, drawn-out conflicts. This was decidedly not a civil war, but more than a riot. It was a "not quite" war where the best planning of al Qaeda and the most emotionally charged of targets failed to ignite an escalating conflagration that would spiral out of control.

Instead, al Qaeda is faced with the Golden Mosque strike that was a tactical success, which may yet turn into a strategic defeat. Terrorists succeeded in initiating a short-term sectarian struggle that while intense, lasted mere days.

The conflict ended with Sunni and Kurdish leaders pledging money and support to rebuild a Shia shrine. It drove politicians together for the good of all their peoples and a shared if not completely agreed-upon future.

The surprising number of dead may even force the Iraqi government to address the growing concern of religious militias and rogue interior Ministry forces that seem to have been responsible for the bulk of the reprisal killings in Iraq.

It was not quite war, but close enough to one, hopefully, that it forces sober thought to overcome bluster, and perhaps hard lessons will be learned.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 28, 2006 12:40 AM | TrackBack

Since the former MSM is no longer a viable news organization they are left with manufacturing stories and presenting them as fact. They assume (and rightly so in about 50% of the population) that the American people are too stupid to find out the truth (most wouldn't know the truth if it bit them on the a**) As a former democrat I can't understand why they are still falling hook, line and sinker for the lies, and it's sad they they agree with the lies and back the liars strickly for political purposes. They then wonder why their children turn out to be liars, thieves, druggies and murder's. Hey people, they watched you and only expanded 'a little' on your life style. I'm listening to a police scanner right now (3 AM) and one of the rabid left wing radicals ( I know them personaly)childred are being arrested and a background check shows wants and warrents all over the east coast. Assult, robbery, drugs and booze arrest everywhere they've been. I also know their parents have been more concerned (lying, cheating) with 'getting radical left wingers elected' than taking care of their children. I think they just got caught, attempted robbery, in the wrong county, and will pull several years at taxpayer expense in the steel bar hotel. If the lefties keep it up their children will flood the prisons and the taxpayers won't be able to afford it. Maybe every prison will be forced to become like the one in Az., make them all wear pink clothes and feed them one bologna sandwich a day.

Posted by: scrapiron at February 28, 2006 03:15 AM

You've got quite a learned following here in your comments section. I can see why the Washington Post would want to foist you and the likes of scrapiron on its online audience.

What makes you think al Qaeda had anything to do with blowing up the golden dome? And what do you think "the Iraqi government" can possibly do about rogue religious and other militias? Do you really believe that these sectarian rifts can be healed through "sober thought"?

Now I need to get back to my police scanner. It's how I keep track of my children.

Posted by: ahab at February 28, 2006 10:29 AM

Scrapiron, I have never heard such rubbish in my life. True, the media often tracks off after some trivial, irrelevant story that has little bearing on our national life. But look, mostly they simply cover the events of the day as they happen. It isn't the media's fault that George W. Bush and his obsequeious supporters have gotten pretty much everything wrong. It isn't the media's fault that there were no WMD. It isn't the media's fault that Bush didn't have a clue as to what he and his FEMA repres were supposed to do when Katrina hit. It isn't the media's fault that Bush appoints so many incompetent buffoons who have no experience in the agencies they are supposed to be leading. It isn't the media's fault that Bush nor Cheney seem to have the courage to face the American people and explain themselves when so much goes so wrong in their administration.

The media didn't appoint Harriet Meyers. The mdis didn't accidentally shoot a man in a hunting accident then clam up about it promoting the idea that there was something to hide. The media didn't bribe a partisan right wing columnists and talk show host to write favorable articles about its activities and disguise it as news. It wasn't the media who knowingly used flawed intelligence to sell a war that nobody now supports.

Noooo, scrapiron. You can't just dismiss the glaring incompetence of this administration by claiming its a media conspiracy. The same CBS poll that had Bush's approval rating in the 70% range in 2002, now has him at 34%. They are simply reporting what the American people now believe about this failed Presidency.

Don't take my word for it or the media's. Just ask William F. Buckley. Or do you think he is in on the conspiracy?

Posted by: Jaxas at February 28, 2006 10:36 AM

In this age of instant information where are the 12 mosque bombers who were reportedly captured?
Why is their nationalitiy or affiliations not pasted over every internet site.
Better still where is the demand to see them?
Who is benefitting from this silence?

Posted by: bob at February 28, 2006 10:59 AM

The Al-Qaaqa Munitions Dump which held 380 tons of RDX "plastique" explosives, was reported as "Secure and Locked" by the UN weapons inspectors only a few weeks before the invasion. By the time the Coalition Forces got around to checking on it, the doors were wide open and the contents missing.

Maybe better planning in 2003 would have included the securing of these munition dumps. "You're doing a heck of a job, Rummy."

Posted by: Jeff Moskin at February 28, 2006 11:02 AM

can someone tell me why so many Americans are drop-dead stupid morons?

and why these morons piss and moan about the corporate media when they dont tell the 'story' the way they'd like?

Bush and Putin arent the only anti-democratic leaders, just the biggest


Posted by: daver at February 28, 2006 11:46 AM

Al-Qaeda? Who says its Al-Qaeda? Where's the link?

Fact is, the entire insurgency, including the bombings targeting innocent civilians, is completely controlled by the Sunni leadership. As shown in the last election, they turn it on and off like a faucet. Perhaps they tolerate the foreign murderers in their midst as useful idiots, but the violence itself is a Sunni political tool.

It's horrible to see the sectarian killings going on in Iraq, but seeing the Shi'a finally say enough is enough and start striking back with equal force may be what it takes to get the Sunni to stop acting like monsters.

Posted by: Zakariah at February 28, 2006 11:48 AM

hey Zak, why dont you go to baghdad and tell the Shi'a to empower themselves and go and kill/bomb/murder to 'stop' the Sunni (from acting like monsters)

what are you... George Bush?

Posted by: daver at February 28, 2006 12:00 PM

To answer the questions asked above about al-Qeada's involvement:

Iraqi authorities have arrested 10 people linked to Al-Qaeda, including four guards, in connection with last week`s bombing of a revered Shiite shrine, a senior official said Tuesday.

"The investigation allows us to be certain that Al-Qaeda in Iraq is responsible for the attack," Iraq`s national security adviser Muwaffaq Rubaie told reporters.

"We have arrested four policemen who were responsible for guarding the mausoleum, along with six other people," he said.

"All are linked to the bombing" of the golden-domed shrine in Samarra, northern Iraq, he said after talks with top Shiite religious leader Ayatollah Ali Sistani in the holy city of Najaf.

The shrine`s dome was destroyed by powerful explosions on February 22, in an attack that led to widespread retaliatory attacks on the minority Sunni community.

So, just the country's national security advisor, nobody that would meet your high standards.

Posted by: Justin Case at February 28, 2006 12:02 PM

To quote Butch Cassidy, "Who are these guys?".

Killing by any name; war, civil war, sectarian war, is still killing. And this killing has occured since King George decided, in his infinite petro-wisdom, to invade a country based on faulty intelligence.

Confederate Yankee, what an oxymoron!

Posted by: w halstead at February 28, 2006 12:05 PM

There are those who see, those who see when they are shown, and those who do not see. The third group resides at the Old Exec, Heritage and the AEI.
This war was lost years ago.

Posted by: chefrad at February 28, 2006 12:06 PM

A war against an insurgency is one that the US Army can attempt to fight and conceivably delegate to homegrown security forces, but a war between militias will mark a watershed in the conflict. It will render US forces impotent -- unless, that is, they unambiguously take sides. The suggestion that they should do so is increasingly being voiced, though given the inevitable boost in US casualties that would ensue, it hardly seems like a credible option.

So far, the Lebanonization of the war is incomplete in as much as while Shia and Kurdish militias/government forces are arrayed on one side, they have thus far only been opposed by a loose mix of Sunni insurgents with diverse affiliations. Yet now the required conditions for full-blown civil war appear to be coalescing. (more...)

Posted by: Paul Woodward at February 28, 2006 12:12 PM

i have an idea...

why dont all the war-lovers suit up and get your lame asses over to iraq to assist in your war.

bleating on (in support) about it from the sidelines makes you all look quite cowardly your leaders

Posted by: daver at February 28, 2006 12:12 PM

Nice to see that you clueless buttheads still think there's a war on rather than your fear-inducing leader herding the sheep so that his familiy and friends make their profits while you Bruce Willis wannabes swim around like tadpoles in your testosterone pools...

I think all of the pro-war people should be over there carrying a gun....

thanks for your support, I ain't your fool, you're george's and put your feet in the land of sand if you think we're the for the right reason and give us a cleaner gene pool........


Posted by: the big man at February 28, 2006 12:13 PM

big up the big man!

Posted by: daver at February 28, 2006 12:17 PM

War is a terrible thing; innocents are maimed and killed. That's what war is; it's not about two armies facing off on a field of honor and never was. And wars tend to grow beyond the control of those who start them. That's why starting a war should not be done lightly.

But the people caught up in a war have to deal with the situation as it is. As Americans are clearly not able to shape reality in Iraq any more, the people of that country have no choice but to do it themselves. It's not war-mongering on my part to say that the Shi'a and Sunni can only come to terms when they both realize the other side will not knuckle under to the kind of criminal abuse that the Sunni used for the last three decades to stay in power. Mutually respectful, and armed, factions in Iraq coming to some kind of detente based on mutually assured destruction should either violates the truce is probably the best hope for peace at this moment, unless Donald suddenly finds another 500,000 troops to put in.

Posted by: Zakariah at February 28, 2006 12:23 PM

His Imperial Highness Bushy Chimphitlerburton concocted a war with his pal Osama to murder Cindy Sheehan's son for free oil and Bruce Willis movies.

Does that about sum up your argument?

Posted by: Deep at February 28, 2006 12:24 PM

Well, this War in Iraq is not quite a war.

This operation in Iraq is an occupation. The war phase was over when the armies were defeated, the capital was taken, and the government was overthrown (dare I say, "Mission Accomplished!"). What was that, about 3 weeks into the whole shebang? Since then we've been nation-building - transforming a nation politically, socially and economically and we've been asking our military to do it all.

And on top of that, this war in Iraq takes no "prisoners of war" nor does it have a declaration. I know, I know, these points are a little nit-picky, with the numerous, similar deviations from the intent of the Constitution over the years. But they're worth pointing out in response to the above nit-picky bit of writing.

I hope your taste for making distinctions isn't limited to the usual "liberal media" whining that it appears to be. Did the media make up 1,300 dead? Did the media make up that we have lost control of over 50% of Iraq and only control about 50% of Baghdad?

This liberal media crutch, on which you all rely so heavily, is getting kicked out from under you. Perhaps things in Iraq aren't as rosy as Fox News and right-wing soccer moms around the country like to pretend. Sorry...I've said too much. Baby steps.

Is there a sequel to this scribble?

Posted by: Sr. Bojangles at February 28, 2006 12:30 PM

once again, Zakariah, suit up or shut up.

the "people caught up in this war" -the Americans, should commit, and do EVERYTHING it takes to end the war, or get comfy with the fact that Amerika is the fat, bad, corrupt, evil power that it is, and folks from all over the world (who arent fucked-up Conservatives) will justifiably view it as that

Posted by: daver at February 28, 2006 12:33 PM

Well Well Well, I love all this and being I have been on the ground and still support the war hole heartedly now what is your arguement. What is happening in Iraq is really no different than what happened right here on our soil a little over 200 years ago. Each person wants to be heard and they are making there statement the only way they know how to. As far as th einsurgency yes they are behind this comeon who does it benefit the most if we fail the terrorists or us?

Posted by: 81 at February 28, 2006 12:40 PM

Sr. Bojangles said:

Did the media make up 1,300 dead? Did the media make up that we have lost control of over 50% of Iraq and only control about 50% of Baghdad?

They didn't make it up, but apparently, their source was wrong:

An Iraqi government spokesman said Tuesday that 379 people have died and 458 others have been wounded since Wednesday's bombing of the gold-domed Al-Askariya Mosque in Samarra, north of Baghdad.

The head of Baghdad's morgue said 246 bodies have been brought to the facility, 53 people have been killed in nearby Baquba and dozens more have died in other Iraqi cities.

He disputed newspaper reports that put the death total at a much higher figure during the same time.

I'd be interested in seeing your source that says we have lost control "of over 50% of Iraq and only control about 50% of Baghdad."

That assessment seems to run counter to the kind of experiences Iraqi bloggers on the ground report, and the MSM's reporting as well.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 28, 2006 12:43 PM

i confused as usual. are you saying it is not a civil war because it hasnt ended with great losses and suffering like a civil war should.
or did someone edit your thought. i agree with your point, i am just stumbling on the connection between comparing a start with a finish. thanks for the great blog. (everyday)

Posted by: jackson80 at February 28, 2006 12:53 PM


You may be an intelligent, nuanced think; but your postings are nothing but an incoherent scream. Do you have any solutions to offer, or just more "you suck, he sucks, you all suck" ranting?

Just curious.

And yes, Justin Case is right--Al-Qaeda is in Iraq now. But it still seems true that they operate their only by the consent and cooperation of the distressed Sunni community who sees them as useful idiots to deploy as tools in the short-term. Al-Qaeda's longterm political aims would seem antithetical to Iraqi Sunni's history of secularism.

Posted by: Zakariah at February 28, 2006 01:00 PM

Zak, i never said anything of the sort.

i said, suit up or shut up... how's that for a solution to offer? you all dont suck (to use your words) you're just cowardly Americans

so, Zak, you gonna suit up or stay behind your monitor?

we're waiting to hear from you

Posted by: daver at February 28, 2006 01:08 PM

Did you pump your chest up a lot on the playground, too? Now you're just being silly. You have no idea who I am or what I do to try to make a difference in this world any more than I know anything about you and your long history of dedication to social justice.

"Suit up or shut up" means what exactly? All Americans should be under arms? I thought our supposedly militaristic approach to the world was what you had a problem with in the first place? Just being anti-American doesn't mean you stand for anything yourself; it barely even makes you trendy.

With your mastery of empty rhetoric, maybe there's a future for you an as a UN ambassador from where ever it is you that hold a passport.

Good day.

Posted by: Zakariah at February 28, 2006 01:38 PM

A blogger that claims to write columns based on “facts” and uses, as his slogan “Because liberalism is a persistent vegetative state” must derive his “facts” for some unpublished abridged versions of Cliff’s Notes.

What is more evident is that his knowledge of the conflict in Iraq is based solely on the singular “embedded” news reporting that permeates the conservative media, where illusionary hopes of a Democratic Iraq continue to be dispensed to the American public.

Imperialist hawks, be they Zionists, neocons or illusionary fools have one thing in common, they never experienced military service having evaded the draft for self-serving reasons including weak knees, ingrown nails, et al.

These paper patriots love slogans such as “Support the Troops” as long as I’m not one of them being killed or maimed. “Victory is at hand” with death tolls mounting daily or some other eunuch platitudes to imply they are tough and manly.

Has their house of cards, based on hot air “conservative/liberal” ranting, continues to crumble they continue to do their best to denigrate others based on lies, deceit and a peculiar mental obsessions about Clinton, homosexuals, teen sex, unmarried black teens as the source of poverty and other fabricated social calamities.

Pawns of the corporate exploiters, they actively support the transfer of jobs and technologies to Communist China, the deterioration of the American middle class, the elimination of their responsibility to the disadvantage and the elderly as they wave their fundamentalist bibles claiming to be disciples of Jesus.

So rather than actively support a unifying dialogue between Americans they prefer to encourage polarization. Perhaps had they served in an integrated military they would understand the meaning of “ Et Pluribus Unum.”

Fortunately, Americans have limited patience for fads and hot air so the future of America may not be as bleak as their propaganda.

Posted by: Camus at February 28, 2006 01:43 PM

Bush should have done this and he shouldn't have done that etc. That's really helping matters isn't it? It's as if they had found WMD, then everything would somehow be better. Wrong, it would the same. Woulda shoulda coulda's aren't going to solve anything. The US cannot remake Iraq, only the Iraqis can do that and there is real proof many want to do so. It only takes a few hundred people to blow up many civilians and create havoc. Should the US turn and run from this small group and leave the innocent Iraqis to fend for themselves?

Posted by: Dakar at February 28, 2006 02:32 PM


You're evading the question posed to you and other supporters of this war. Why not volunteer and show the conviction of your beliefs?

If you look at the dwindling few college age students who support this adventure, a tiny fraction are willing to give up dorm life for a tent in the Iraqi sand.

If you truly believe this war is important for American national security, suit up and defend the nation. That's why we have a volunteer army (among other reasons). It's the arm chair generals complaining about the anti-war movement whom I find particularly disgusting. And cowardly.


Posted by: manise at February 28, 2006 02:59 PM

Dave: Why don't I suit up and get my lame ass to Iraq and support my war? I've been there, buddy. Three times, and Afghanistan twice. I guess combat-wounded veterans who support the war don't count in this country, right? Iraq, like all wars, is not static. What was true on the ground in 2003 is not necessarily so in 2006 -in the way that the situation in Europe in 1943 hardly resembled that of May 1945.
Yet while things have changed in Iraq, the pessimistic tone of reporting remains calcified. Little is written about the Iraqi government, the Iraqi security forces or the changing role of the American forces.

Just remember, Dave - I defend your right to be an ignorant ass, and to call me mindless and brainwashed. Say something like that in China or Iran and see where it gets you.

Posted by: Steve at February 28, 2006 03:15 PM

Where did I say the Iraqi war is important for U.S. national security? What I said was it's important for Iraqi Shi'a to show the Iraqi Sunni that they aren't going to be their patsies any more (really, read my post.) Long-term stability in Iraq will depend on factors that make the continued American presence there of questionable importance.

The bugbear of Al-Qaeda exists in Iraq under the protection of a Sunni minority jealously guarding their legacy of privilege. The first demand of the Shi'a should be for the Sunni turn the terrorists out. But this hasn't got anything to do with Al-Qaeda being the sworn enemy of America; it's because Al-Qaeda is a "Sunni Supremecist" organization dedicated to wanton, global murder of Shi'a (read about the Hazara in Afganistan, it's awful) and there's no place for Al-Qaeda or their supporters in Iraq. What I said, in my first post, was that the war is horrible, but I will add that the war is now being sustained largely by the Iraqi Sunni and their convenient allies and that the only long-term solution is a Shi'a population willing and able to protect itself from their predations. That is the main prerequisite for peace.

As for Bush, Cheney, Rummy, et al., their incompetence is pretty well established; another reason for all indigenous parties in Iraq to look after their own futures without expecting any help from America. This is unfortunate, but I think self-evident.

Posted by: Zakariah at February 28, 2006 03:22 PM

You wrote:

"Civil wars tend to end with catastrophic losses and destroyed cultures after prolonged, drawn-out conflicts. This was decidedly not a civil war, but more than a riot. It was a "not quite" war where the best planning of al Qaeda and the most emotionally charged of targets failed to ignite an escalating conflagration that would spiral out of control."

That is an asinine comment. You are asserting that this event was "decidedly not a civil war". Add up the facts:
1. 1500 dead and coutning in a span of days, a rate that would roughly equal 400,000 a year if it continues at the current rate. Think about this, more people died in a span of days than it took for us to lose in over a year.
2. People being dragged out of their houses and then beaten, shot or dissappearing,
3. Armed militia roaming the streets, siezing territory, setting up checkpoints and targetting their opposition.
4. Beggining stages of ethnic cleansing.

The facts are loud and clear. This is the start of a civil war along the lines of what has been seen in places like Columbia, Bosnia and Lebanon. You are clearly mistaken in your assertions. You are blatantly wrong on the facts to such a degree that you lack credibility. You are a typical right winger, you live in a fantasy world.

Posted by: pjv at February 28, 2006 03:22 PM


What the heck happened while I was out visitin' other places? Did someone open the door to the asylum and let the idiots in?

Posted by: Specter at February 28, 2006 03:40 PM


how many were killed today? Or in the last four days? was it another 1500? must have great sources over there. Does Dan Rather call you personally to let you know what is going on?

Posted by: Specter at February 28, 2006 03:41 PM

OOOPS...I meant CY....LOL

Posted by: Specter at February 28, 2006 03:42 PM

We all know that the middle east situation is more unstable than before the Iraq war. We also know that we must look forward. That said, can we trust an administration that has made a series of bad decisions? We need good decisiions as we go forward. Like it or not the past does count.

One of the problems that the US faces is that we have backed away from the goals/promises made to the Iraqi people. In affect, cutting and running. War is more than a messy business. And the Iraqi's may be willing to forgive the US for the 100,000 or so folks that have died. But that will require that the US keep its original goals. If not, we'll our troops will not be supported by the current administration. The rubber does meet the road.

Posted by: john cook at February 28, 2006 03:58 PM

pjv wrote:

Add up the facts:
1. 1500 dead and coutning [sic] in a span of days, a rate that would roughly equal 400,000 a year if it continues at the current rate. Think about this, more people died in a span of days than it took for us to lose in over a year.
2. People being dragged out of their houses and then beaten, shot or dissappearing [sic],
3. Armed militia roaming the streets, siezing [sic] territory, setting up checkpoints and targetting [sic] their opposition.
4. Beginning [sic] stages of ethnic cleansing.

This is the start of a civil war along the lines of what has been seen in places like Columbia, Bosnia and Lebanon. You are clearly mistaken in your assertions. You are blatantly wrong on the facts to such a degree that you lack credibility. You are a typical right winger, you live in a fantasy world.

And yet, all of your facts are wrong, and the rest of your claims you do not substantiate with supporting evidence.

Not a single source that I've seen claims 1500 dead, and the 1,300 claimed by the Post is now being disputed by the very source they cited, as evidenced in a CNN link above. The actual number is 379, according to the Iraqi government spokesman that spoke with CNN. To get your wild estimate of 400,00 dead, you use bad data to make a false estimate based upon an invalid theory that would make a student in the first week of a statistics course blush for you in embarrassment.

The daytime curfew has been lifted. al-Qaeda leader Abu al-Farouq al-Suri has arrested along with five other terrorists. Iraqis bloggers report firsthand that things are slowly returning to normal, despite several terrorist attacks.

Pjv, it is fine to have a fantasy life, and I’m glad you enjoy yours. Just don’t confuse your sick fantasies of large-scale genocide with the reality the rest of us share.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 28, 2006 04:00 PM

Re the number of dead: What we know is that there are different numbers from different sources. There is no reason to believe that the report of the Iraqi government is more accurate than the report of the Washington Post. In fact, I would argue that the Iraqi government has less reason to be accurate in that it is motivated to make it seems like things are not so bad. But, again, the fact is we don't know.

Posted by: THS at February 28, 2006 04:06 PM

I just double-checked the basis of the Post's report that 1300 people had died. Their source was Baghdad's main morgue. That would seem to be a relatively reliable source of information. I'm sure the staff there can count.

Posted by: THS at February 28, 2006 04:10 PM

I didn't read carefully enough the info you posted, so I didn't realize that the report you were giving was also based on info given out by the morgue.

So, we'll see which numbers hold up. In either case, it's a lot of dead people.

Posted by: THS at February 28, 2006 04:13 PM

Hey 81,

I hate to break this to you, sir, and I do thank you for your service, seriously, BUT if you're going to bring up this argument that "they're like we were 200 years ago" YOU HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE that WE WERE THE TERRORISTS!!!

I don't mean to ruin your day or anything but WE threw out the rules of war and fought them with any means available. WE were called barbarians and worse by the Brits, and the civilized world, the whole time.

Pull it together, sir, and take a deep breath. We were the rogues, the civilized world was against us.

In the end, we began this great journey and soon inspired the French and eventually the rest of the West, and how many hundred countries now have followed us, on this great experiment called democracy. These terrorists in Iraq see themselves in the same righteous struggle.

Don't kid yourself. We were not the patsy government of the superpower, we were the down and dirty, do whatever it takes, force fighting for freedom from oppression by the world's superpower.

It's our ignorance of this reality that has been our biggest obstacle in our strategy against terrorism.


Posted by: Sr. Bojangles at February 28, 2006 04:38 PM


It isn't the media's fault that there were no WMD I wouldn't blame the media on that. But you need to qualify your time frame. Because there were WMD there - for many, many years. And we are just now starting to translate and declassify hundreds of thousands of documents that were siezed during the war. The latest tapes show that just before the war, Saddam and crew were talking about their WMD programs. And you might also want to check out the work being done at the Combating Terrorism Center at Westpoint where they are translating thousands of documents from the Hussein regime. You can find it (A HREF="" REL="nofollow">here. And while there were no specific weapons found (but residuals of weapons were), we might just find out through all this work how close we actually came to finding them. Add that to the fact that two of Hussein's generals say the weapons were moved to Syria in the days leading up to the get it. Or maybe it was just a conspiracy, right?

And interesting side note - I wonder why Fitzgerald is fighting so hard not to have the PDBs released in Plamegate? We heard all along that the info in the PDBs was so much more alarming than what was given the Intelligence Committees. What if it turns out that the "twisting" was done by the CIA - who in reality is the SP's client....That would make news...Probably not - because it was all a right wing conspiracy, right?

It isn't the media's fault that Bush didn't have a clue as to what he and his FEMA repres were supposed to do when Katrina hit.

Right again - it wasn't the media's fault. But tell me this Jackass - who is the designated first responder in a disaster such as this? Got an answer yet? Is it FEMA? The answer is "no". It is the local governments. Look at it this way. Each locale has an "emergency preparedness plan". Certainly where you live these first responder groups have had drills to practice? The problem with Katrina was that it did not just hit one specific area - it hit tens of thousands of square miles - and devastated homes, lives, and businesses. There was no power, no gas, in many places impassable roads. How were the first responders - who rely on help from neighboring districts - supposed to get there, let alone FEMA? There is no person who could have adequately prepared for this storm. Even Nagin didn't call for evacuation until a day later than he was told to do it.

The unfortunate part is that people are still suffering. But I heard a news conference with a local Congressman from NO and he said that there is money to do the rebuilding (courtesy US gov), but people are afraid to come back until the local governments have finished their rebuilding and protection plans.

The media didn't appoint Harriet Meyers.

You are right. They did not. Bush did on the basis of input from many sources. Did you know that one of the biggest supporters of her nomination was Harry "I got $68K; Didn't Take Any Money And I'm Not Giving It Back" Reid? You might want to get over that one - she didn't get appointed. But Alito did - you know the one the press and Schumer and Biden and Splash Kennedy painted as "evil conservative". But what does Alito do - first decision out of the gates he sides with the liberal side of the bench. Imagine that.

The mdis didn't accidentally shoot a man in a hunting accident then clam up about it promoting the idea that there was something to hide.

No the media did not do the shooting here. Cheney did and he admitted it. But let me ask a couple of questions Jackass. Did Cheney get help for his friend right away - I mean were the local authorities notified? Yes. Did Cheney block any investigation? NO - you should read the official police report from the Sheriff before you spout. You can find it here. Not only did they get help for Whittington, but they notified the Sheriff within minutes. Later the Secret Service called the Sheriff back to ask if he was going to send someone to the ranch to take statements and the Sheriff, not Cheney or his group, decided to wait until the next morning. Get a grip...but oh..that's was a conspiracy wasn't it Jackass?

More questions for you. How much roar and complaint of "hiding" and "promoting the idea there was something to hide" did you make when Splash Kennedy hid for 9 hours before even calling the police about Chappaquiddick? And that while she slowly suffocated. And how much did you complain when Hillary Clinton held on to Vince Foster's suicide note for more than 36 hours without notifying the press. Surely you were just as outraged then, right?

The same CBS poll that had Bush's approval rating in the 70% range in 2002, now has him at 34%.

Well...that is true and that is the media's fault. Let me explain. Did you just read the article Jackass or did you take the time to look at the poll itself? To begin with - here are the demographics of the respondents:

Total Respondents 1018 Total Republicans 272, 289 Total Democrats 409, 381 Total Independents 337, 348

Now let's examine these numbers first. The first number is the actual count, the second is the weighted. In the actual it shows 40% Democrat, 27% Republican, and 33% Independent. Does that reflect a bias? Considering that in the last national election the Dems and Repubs were split 37% each, I'd say it does. But that is why they weighted it so we better look at those numbers. Dems 37%, Independents 34%, and Repubs 29%. Ok - the statistical population used is INVALID - it was biased against Bush from the beginning. That means that any question asked specifically about Bush or the administration has a clear bias to the left.

Nevertheless we can get some interesting information from the poll even though it is biased - and probably more interesting because it is:

VIEWS OF CHENEY’S HUNTING ACCIDENT… Understandable it could happen 76% No excuse for it to happen 20

Imagine that - the majority of the-biased-to-the-democrats statistical population think it was an accident that was understandable. Funny - I did not see that on any of the recent contributions from the unbiased MSM.

MEDIA COVERAGE OF CHENEY HUNTING ACCIDENT Too much time 66% Right amount of time 22 Too little time 9

Well what do you know. People think the media is full of it.

The problem here Jackass is that you hve bought totally into the MSM bias (80% of journalists vote Democrat and hate Bush - just look at Pompadour Gregory and his shouting at the press conference). If only people like you would study something rather than just spout life would be better. Get a grip.

And to that conspiracy stuff - Quick look under your bed. Take apart your computer and phone. Cut all the lines of communitcations to your home and certainly don't use and wireless technologies. We are watching your every move.....


Posted by: Specter at February 28, 2006 04:52 PM

Sorry...the link to Westpoint Combating Terrorism Center is here

Posted by: Specter at February 28, 2006 04:55 PM


you hit the nail on the head. We have to stay now. We've helped the Iraqi's get the start and now we need to support them while they sort out how their government is going to take shape. We can not "cut and run" like in Viet Nam.

Posted by: Specter at February 28, 2006 05:09 PM

john cook,

Why is it our fault that so many have died? I keep hearing this, but have not seen a coherent answer to the question. And please don't spout that there would be no "insurgency" if we were not there. It might be correct, but Saddam would still be killing his own people - sometimes thousands at a time.

Posted by: Specter at February 28, 2006 05:11 PM

Confederate Yank:

I appreciate you counting me down on my facts. I can not find their source right now so I'll rescind them. I am sure that I read recently that Baghdad was 50-60% controlled by the coalition and that after the mosque bombing that we seemed to only control about 30% of the country (I was trying to be conservative since I didn't have a source). There may be anecdotal evidence that suggests that these are true, BUT, since I cannot find their source I'll walk away from them. Consider them gone, until I can back them up.

HOWEVER, the POINTs of my response remain, the operation in Iraq is not a war, the facts on the ground are consistently worse and worse and yet you right-wingers like to imagine that things are better than the dirty media makes them seem, and you use the "liberal media" tag line like a mental crutch.

Question for you: if it turns out that 1,300 is a lot closer to reality than the 379 you keep citing, are you going to come clean, like I just did? Are you going to post an acknowledgment of your error in judgement, here on your blog?

Posted by: Sr. Bojangles at February 28, 2006 05:28 PM

We were the terrorists?

Banastre Tarleton was the closest thing to a terrorist I'm aware of in the Revolutionary War, butchering American soldier's in what becuase known as the "Waxhaw massacre."

Re-read your history.

As for the fatalities invloved to that date (2/27) ineh recent sectarian violence in Iraq, I have no vested interest in the numbers gleaned from professional news sources, so I would have no issue with admitting someone else was wrong. Why would I?

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 28, 2006 05:53 PM


It's obvious you're from a revisionist school of thought, so I was surprised you could not come up with a nice one-word euphemism that best captures your passage "This was decidely not a civil war, but more than a riot." Yeah, several car bombings a month does not a civil war make. How about "weekend conflagration?" What planet do you live on? Irregardless of the actual death toll over the past weekend, many more Iraqis have died since the "Top Gun" POTUS announced the end of major combat operations. Why don't you go read material from someone who knows something about the area:
Earth to CY: A civil war started a long time ago...

Posted by: Planet Earth at February 28, 2006 06:36 PM

Yes CY,

We were the equivalent of terrorists in our day. The parallels are resounding.

Our error is in imagining that terrorism requires some subhuman being, who is totally without civility or morals. What would you do if you felt your family, friends, and way of life were in jeopardy? Would you sacrifice your life to defend them? Would you attack on a religious holiday (ie. Washington crossing the Delaware)? Would you do whatever it takes to defend your family?

Terrorism is the tactic of the poor. If they had a navy, we'd fight them at sea. If they had an airforce, we'd fight them in the air. They have a little money and their witts. When people have no other means they resort to whatever they can think of, whatever might be effective. Arab terrorists have families and they think they're protecting them. They didn't attack us because "they hate our freedoms." They attacked us because of why they said they did, because they think we support oppressive regimes that keep Arabs down in the world (ie. Saudi Arabia, for one) and because of our support for Israel re: Palestine. If you think their lying, is anyone so stupid that they'd lay down their lives and not make VERY clear why they're doing it? I don't think anyone is that stupid.

New question: Why do we keep building nuclear subs and missle defense shields in response to terrorism?

If the Wash Po's number is right (on deaths), I'll look for an admittance of poor judgement on your part. Why did you seem to believe the lower number and attack the higher one? The Wash Po' isn't backing away from theirs. Or at least, you could provide an acknowledgement that the media wasn't blowing things out of proportion, or something. One must aspire to the truth, you know.

Posted by: Sr. Bojangles at February 28, 2006 07:06 PM

Fortunately the WaPo numbers are not right. Any number is too high, but considering how shabby MSM reportage has been, I don't know why anyone would read anything printed therein and not take it with a grain of salt.

Of course, if the press is reporting what you want to believe, then I suppose that makes it easier to swallow. We Bushies have learned that the only way we can be satisfied with the press is to change our political affiliations and learn to love Hillary and Nancy. Which simply won't do.

Posted by: Lizzie at February 28, 2006 07:14 PM

Uh, hold on a second there, sparky.

300 people died on 9/11 and that resulted in the announcement of a INTERNATIONAL, GLOBAL WAR (on terror.)

Add a thousand more dead and the criteria for "war" actually decreases?

I guess you are saying that a dead brown person is only worth 0.23% of a dead American. Gotta love that math.

Posted by: Mark Spittle at February 28, 2006 07:40 PM

Actually, the Iraqi blogger Healinginiraq, Zayed, whose reported on the scale of the insurgency on his site -- he's located in Baghdad -- nails it when he compares the current government spokesmen to the spokesmen under Saddam Hussein -- both are liars, and both have threatened papers that "exaggerate" i.e. that actually try to look at the number of the dead and the extent of the fighting.

I'm glad Confederate Yankee swallows a bunch of codswallop from the Iraqi ministry. I'm sure, in another life, he was an ardent Pravda reader. "Gee, us Russians invented baseball. The sports minister said so!"

Posted by: roger at February 28, 2006 07:54 PM

Confederate Yankee,
Take your ignorent white ass to Baghdad and tell some Iraqis your theories on civil war. Take whoever decided to link your nonsense from the Post site with you. Dont come back until you get a good sense of reality; you'll know when that happens when you start losing extremities.

Posted by: George at February 28, 2006 08:03 PM

George=Angry Troll

Posted by: Specter at February 28, 2006 08:07 PM

As this conversation seems to be running towards personal attacks instead of substance, I guess it's time to lock 'er up.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 28, 2006 08:10 PM