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Geoman

What strikes me - we can't get off imported oil fast enough. Our greatest danger will always come from resource rich and HD poor countries, since these are the nations that export tyranny to the rest of the world. There is little doubt that the overall level of freedom and human development will increase markedly when the financial underpinnings of these export nations are removed.

I think China will make it. They are fortunate to have Taiwan and Hong Kong as good examples.

Churchill reportedly once asked an wealthy woman if she would sleep with him for 1 million pounds. She said she would have to consider it. He then asked if she would sleep with him for one pound. She was appalled and said "What do you think I am?" He replied "We have already establish what you are, now we are merely negotiating the price." China is like that. They have already established they will sell out communism and tyranny to get rich, now all that remains is to negotiate the final price. I suspect it won't be that high.

China will never invade Taiwan. Why? Because it would disrupt trade too much, and might piss off the U.S. Not that we would fight, we would just stop buying their stuff, which would be even worse.

I'm very bullish on India. I wonder if Pakistan and Bangladesh will ever realize that breaking from India was possibly the worst decision they ever made?

Breakup of Pakistan is not impossible. In fact it may be desirable.

One thing to note - the countries that you are most pessimistic about are problematic, but all the largest countries (China, India, Indonesia) are not on that list. If only those three make it, it will still represent enormous progress in the human condition.

GK

What strikes me - we can't get off imported oil fast enough.

We'll be importing much less of it in a decade. See the 'Why I want oil to hit $120/barrel' article.

China will have 'graduated' by 2017, and hopefully transitions to more freedom without much trouble.

Pakistan is the scariest. AQ Khan was already selling nuclear secrets, and Al-Qaeda leadership resides there.

jeffolie

Kondratief's view of history predicted there would be no significant wars during the bad times, the Kondratief Winter. This approach does call for significant wars as the Winter ends and countries try to grow through political and military conquest. The last such war was WWII. Thus, I expect significant war at the end of the current Winter.

Japan's death rattle.

Since the changes that happened after WWII little has changed in Japan's politics and culture.

I have posted for a very long time that Japan is a dying culture and economy. The Japanese fail to change their politics and culture as the death rattle eminates from 2 lost decades of declining population and GDP. Their population is generally getting older and less capable of performing work while their women refuse to marry and have children. They are prejudice and declare themselves to be a 'mono culture'.

Bad Japanese politics results in bad economics. Japan continues to do the same debt building for government spending. The recent change in leadership has not changed Japanese politics of depending on government jobs and expenditures that has failed to change their failing economy. Bad Japanese created jobs and programs have not promoted cultural changes leading to sucessful cultural and economic growth. The democracy and culture of Japan is doing the same thing over and over again.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein, (attributed) US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955).

I predict that Americans will enact laws and regulations to correct the current abuse just as Americans enacted reforms in the 1930s.

====================================================

Deflation Returns To Japan; Black Hole Madness In U.S.


Japan has been hopping in and out of deflation for decades. Japan is back in deflation once again. The Wall Street Journal is reporting Deflation's Return Weighs on Japan


The Bank of Japan faces mounting pressure to loosen its policy as deflation tightens its grip on the nation's economy, even as some other central banks begin to roll back stimulus steps amid signs of economic recovery.

The Japanese central bank on Friday kept rates unchanged and upgraded its assessment of the economy, citing rising exports and industrial output. The bank, which has stuck with super-easy monetary policy for more than a decade, has hoped to follow other central banks in looking at ways to tighten policy. Instead, Japan's government and economists are urging it to adopt new easing steps, such as purchasing long-term government bonds.

The calls grew louder Friday after the government declared that the nation's economy was in deflation -- a decline in the general level of prices for goods and services -- for the first time since 2006. That year, policy makers concluded the nation had finally shaken off the deflation that had hindered its economy since the late 1990s. The heightened pressure for easing also follows a spate of recent data showing accelerating price declines in broad parts of the economy.

"Deflation is getting very severe," said financial services minister Shizuka Kamei. "We are closely watching what the BOJ can do in this environment."

During the third quarter, the domestic demand deflator -- a measure of changes in prices of goods and services except for exports and imports -- fell 2.6%, its fastest pace since 1958.

"It's very important for the BOJ to show the market it has the will to conquer deflation, both through action and through words," Mr. Shirakawa, of Credit Suisse, said. "Otherwise, expectations for deflation will only get worse."
Pure Insanity

Japan has interest rates at 0% and cries scream for more easing. Japan has debt of 200% of GDP in a ridiculous fight against deflation and Mr. Shirakawa, of Credit Suisse wants Japan to "show the market it has the will to conquer deflation".

When does the insanity stop?

Meanwhile back in the US....

Core deflation in the US continues to gather pace

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard reports Core deflation in the US continues to gather pace

Core inflation for factory goods in the US fell to minus 0.6pc in October from a year earlier, edging the country closer towards Japanese-style deflation despite massive monetary stimulus.

Janet Yellen, the head of the San Francisco Fed, said emergency measures had prevented the US economy from sliding into a “black hole of deflation”, insisting that it is still far too early to talk of tightening policy.

A combination of “enormous slack in the economy” and fading fiscal support raised the risk that prices could fall below the Fed’s safe level. “It seems probable that core inflation will move even lower over the next few years,” she said.

While the Fed appears split over its exit strategy, even arch-hawk Richard Fisher of the Dallas Fed said the sheer scale of excess plant will curb prices and wages for a long time. Capacity use in manufacturing is near a post-war low of 67.6pc.

Mr. Fisher said the “peak impact” of the Obama fiscal blitz has already come and gone.

The M3 money supply has been shrinking at a 7pc annualised rate since June. Paul Ashworth from Capital Economics said it is not yet clear whether this is the harbinger of a crunch next year, or a blip caused by portfolio shifts. “We think deflation is still a bigger risk than runaway inflation,” he said.

Black Hole Madness

The black hole is not deflation. The black hole is fighting it like Japan did, or as the US is doing now. For the $trillions spent fighting this mess, all we have to show for it is a lousy bump in GDP at an annualized rate of 2.5%. Now, Fisher suggests (and rightfully so), that's all there is.

Meanwhile all the consumer debt and housing debt is still intact. Moreover, another turn down in commercial real estate and residential real estate is coming. To top it off unemployment is 10.2% and rising, likely headed far North of 11%.

Given that the US is essentially following the same idiotic path as Japan, there is every reason to believe the problem manifests itself in a similar fashion.

[I disagree with Mish's view that America will be the same as Japan. The Fed's view is that it wants mild inflation and will do whatever it takes to prevent Deflation. American politics and culture continue to produce positive population growth which means to me that there remains sufficient faith and confidence to grow even in the face of America's current abuse by bad government, the banking class and financial entities. I have not changed my prediction of the end of the financial world as we know it by 2013. I predict that Creative Destructionism will work again in America and that after the collapse America will adapt and recover. I predict that this means that Americans will enact laws and regulations to correct the current abuse just as Americans enacted reforms in the 1930s.]

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.c....black-hole.html

jeffolie

jeffolie predicts & bank agree on collapse.

This is the first very big bank backing jeffolie's prediction of the end of the financial world. I am gratified that such a very big bank would advise clients to prepare for an economic collapse. Soc. Gen. even agrees on my prediction of a Dollar crisis.

=====================================================

Société Générale tells clients how to prepare for potential 'global collapse'

Société Générale has advised clients to be ready for a possible "global economic collapse" over the next two years, mapping a strategy of defensive investments to avoid wealth destruction.

Explosion of debt: Japan's public debt could reach as much as 270pc of GDP in the next two years. A bullet train is pictured speeding past Mount Fuji in Fuji city, west of Tokyo Photo: Reuters In a report entitled "Worst-case debt scenario", the bank's asset team said state rescue packages over the last year have merely transferred private liabilities onto sagging sovereign shoulders, creating a fresh set of problems.

Overall debt is still far too high in almost all rich economies as a share of GDP (350pc in the US), whether public or private. It must be reduced by the hard slog of "deleveraging", for years.


'Debt levels risk another crisis' "As yet, nobody can say with any certainty whether we have in fact escaped the prospect of a global economic collapse," said the 68-page report, headed by asset chief Daniel Fermon. It is an exploration of the dangers, not a forecast.

Under the French bank's "Bear Case" scenario (the gloomiest of three possible outcomes), the dollar would slide further and global equities would retest the March lows. Property prices would tumble again. Oil would fall back to $50 in 2010.

Governments have already shot their fiscal bolts. Even without fresh spending, public debt would explode within two years [2 years is close to my prediction of 2012-13] to 105pc of GDP in the UK, 125pc in the US and the eurozone, and 270pc in Japan. Worldwide state debt would reach $45 trillion, up two-and-a-half times in a decade.

(UK figures look low because debt started from a low base. Mr Ferman said the UK would converge with Europe at 130pc of GDP by 2015 under the bear case).

The underlying debt burden is greater than it was after the Second World War, when nominal levels looked similar. Ageing populations will make it harder to erode debt through growth. "High public debt looks entirely unsustainable in the long run. We have almost reached a point of no return for government debt," it said.

Inflating debt away might be seen by some governments as a lesser of evils.

If so, gold would go "up, and up, and up" as the only safe haven from fiat paper money. Private debt is also crippling. Even if the US savings rate stabilises at 7pc, and all of it is used to pay down debt, it will still take nine years for households to reduce debt/income ratios to the safe levels of the 1980s.

The bank said the current crisis displays "compelling similarities" with Japan during its Lost Decade (or two), with a big difference: Japan was able to stay afloat by exporting into a robust global economy and by letting the yen fall. It is not possible for half the world to pursue this strategy at the same time.

SocGen advises bears to sell the dollar and to "short" cyclical equities such as technology, auto, and travel to avoid being caught in the "inherent deflationary spiral". Emerging markets would not be spared. Paradoxically, they are more leveraged to the US growth than Wall Street itself. Farm commodities would hold up well, led by sugar.

Mr Fermon said junk bonds would lose 31pc of their value in 2010 alone. However, sovereign bonds would "generate turbo-charged returns" mimicking the secular slide in yields seen in Japan as the slump ground on. At one point Japan's 10-year yield dropped to 0.40pc. The Fed would hold down yields by purchasing more bonds. The European Central Bank would do less, for political reasons.

SocGen's case for buying sovereign bonds is controversial. A number of funds doubt whether the Japan scenario will be repeated, not least because Tokyo itself may be on the cusp of a debt compound crisis.

Mr Fermon said his report had electrified clients on both sides of the Atlantic. "Everybody wants to know what the impact will be. A lot of hedge funds and bankers are worried," he said.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/econo....-collap se.html

Geoman

Jeffolie,

Sheesh dude, can you at least try and keep it in your pants once in a while? Perhaps post on your pet ideas when, I dunno, the actual topic comes up?

Also cutting and pasting long articles from other sources isn't as helpful as you might think. How about just providing a link for us tech savvy individuals to follow?

jeffolie

I believe that politics and economics are two sides of the same coin.

My first above post was about when the next significant war will happen. I believe that the politics and economics for the next significant war will not happen until the economic bad times wane and the politics provide motivation for popular support to have nations seek power and expansion. For this to happen nations populations must be desparate enough to support war as a means of change from their dire economics. Typically such desparation comes with the destruction of entrenched industries and the emergence of new technologies to replace the old discredited industries. This dynamic is a portion of the Kondratief theory and the Creative Destructionism theory.

I reprinted the lengthy above articles to demonstrate where I believe we are in this process that I believe in. I could have just posted the links and will consider doing that next time.

GK

jeffolie,

Yes, a summary/link would be preferable to a whole article.

I don't think there will be wars between any major nations over a resource like oil.

Also, I don't agree there is core deflation in the US, given the rise in Gold prices we are seeing. The deflaton is the good sort, from Moore's Law.

jeffolie

I agree it is unlikely that the next significant war will be over oil.

The last significant war was for territory and ideology: WWII.

The next significant war will probably also be about territory and ideology or religion.

Geoman

Define "significant war". Is Iraq significant? Afghanistan? So, you're saying that if GP and HD indices fall back below certain thresholds then war may occur? Possible. But maybe the war is something we wouldn't even recognize as war - economic war, Internet war, financial war.

But how you get there will determine the actions. If it is via economic and religious reasons that is one thing. If the cause is infertility amongst your people, that would seem unlikely to translate into a hostile and expansive country. Such countries are more likely to be conquered than conquer.

We are sailing in uncharted waters here. At some time soon technology derationalizes our existing economic systems. It derationalizes war. It derationalizes everything.

We have arrived at a situation where at some price point, any commodity becomes infinitely available. For example, oil. At some price point you can build a nuclear reactor, take carbon dioxide from the air, and make all the hydrocarbons you want. At some price point, we can send spaceships to mine asteroids for gold. We can make diamonds. We can build food growing skyscrapers. Any basic commodity can be had for the right price.

In the future, the price point will decrease for all these things. Next will be manufactured goods. Then health. What happens when at some price point you can live forever? What happens when that price point falls? Maybe rich depopulating countries start growing again, rapidly.

I guess I'm saying, Kondratief cycles and all may apply, but not in a way we may even recognize.

Past performance is no guarantee of future returns...

Zachriel
The Futurist: I issued a prediction in May of 2006, during the darkest days of the Iraq War, that not only would the US win, but that the year of victory would be precisely in 2008. As events unfolded, that prediction turned out to be precisely correct.

You have a very odd notion of winning a war. There have been nearly 4000 civilian deaths among the many thousands of casualties in Iraq due to sectarian violence so far in 2009—a country with a population a tenth the size of the United States.

Guerrilla wars are not a new phenomena, and there is a familiar trajectory of struggle followed by exhaustion. Clearly, a major turning point in the war occurred in 2008 as Iraqis turned away from the senseless violence. But that is not the same as saying the war was won decisively.

Geoman

Zachriel,

You have a very odd notion of not winning a war. 4,000 civilian deaths in a country of 30 million? That is 1 per 7,500. New York, with a population of 8.3 million, had 522 murders this year. That is 1 per 16,000. Baltimore had 379 murders out of 2.7 million people, or 1 per 7,124 residents.

Not to pick at 4,000 civilian dead, but that seems to be getting pretty close to what we might define as "normal" levels of violence. My guess is it might take 10 years for the murder rate to fall further. But fall it will further.

The definition of victory in a guerilla war is everyone agreeing that you have either won, are are going to win. I'd guess Americans, Iraqis, and Al Qaeda would all subscribe to at least one of those two positions.

It seems as "wars" have been defined down, so have our victories.

GK

Zachriel,

You are utterly dishonest, and would not consider Iraq to be a victory no matter what the outcome was, simply because your opinions are based on fashion rather than proper analysis.

Iraq has a tenth of the population of the US, and the US does in fact have about 40,000 murders a year.

Furthermore, in the 1990s, during Clinton's time, 500,000 children died under Saddam on account of the UN oil for food program. I suppose you would prefer that were still the case. You have a very odd notion of right and wrong.

Even US Democratic politicians consider Iraq to be a victory. It is not 2006 anymore.

Zachriel
Geoman: 4,000 civilian deaths in a country of 30 million? That is 1 per 7,500.

That's in addition to the background murder rate. That's deaths attributed to sectarian violence, such as car bombs. That doesn't include the tens of thousands of wounded, and the hundreds of thousands still living as refugees.

Geoman: Not to pick at 4,000 civilian dead, but that seems to be getting pretty close to what we might define as "normal" levels of violence.

Listen to yourself. Three thousand civilians died due to the attacks on 9/11/2001. According to your reasoning, that's "pretty close to what we might define as 'normal' levels of violence." In fact, political violence and terrorism are more than mere murder. They strike at the fabric of a society.

Zachriel
GK: You are utterly dishonest, and would not consider Iraq to be a victory no matter what the outcome was, simply because your opinions are based on fashion rather than proper analysis.

That is incorrect (and a very poor argument).

All wars end. The Iraqi people have a stake in their own futures, and the conflict will wind down as more Iraqis decide they have a vested interest in the outcome. In this respect, the original post is correct. But the original post also overstates its case.

GK: Furthermore, in the 1990s, during Clinton's time, 500,000 children died under Saddam on account of the UN oil for food program.

The methodologies that determined excess deaths under Saddam also indicate that up to a million Iraqis died due to the U.S. invasion and the ensuing conflict.

Ali & Shah, Sanctions and childhood mortality in Iraq, The Lancet 2000.

Burnham et al., Mortality after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: a cross-sectional
cluster sample survey
, The Lancet 2006.

GK

The Iraqi people have a stake in their own futures, and the conflict will wind down as more Iraqis decide they have a vested interest in the outcome.

This has already happened in 2008. The Surge accomplished this. Even Democrats and Europeans are not disputing this anymore.

The methodologies that determined excess deaths under Saddam also indicate that up to a million Iraqis died due to the U.S. invasion and the ensuing conflict.

Not killed by America, but by AQ and sectarian conflict. And it was certainly not nearly a million. And that ended in 2008.

Saddam, in 1992, diverted the rivers to ruin the homeland of the Marsh Arabs. Now, the marsh has been reflooded and people are returning after 17 years of exile. 60 minutes did a feature on this just 2 weeks ago.

Plus, all Lancet stats on Iraq have been thoroughly debunked.

Zachriel
GK: Furthermore, in the 1990s, during Clinton's time, 500,000 children died under Saddam on account of the UN oil for food program.

Ali & Shah, Sanctions and childhood mortality in Iraq, The Lancet 2000.

GK: Plus, all Lancet stats on Iraq have been thoroughly debunked.

The methodologies that determined excess deaths under Saddam also indicate that up to a million Iraqis died due the violent forces unleashed by the U.S. invasion. It's even the same journal.

Zachriel
GK: Not killed by America, but by AQ and sectarian conflict. And it was certainly not nearly a million. And that ended in 2008.

Thousands have died in sectarian violence in Iraq this year alone.

GK

Thousands have died in sectarian violence in Iraq this year alone.

Actually, Iraqi troop deaths have only been about 300 and civilian deaths only 2500, in all of 2009 to date.

Iraq is a much safer place than at any time since the 1970s, and arguably ever. This is victory, which even Democrats and Europeans have quietly stopped trying to deny.

The reason your claims are in bad faith is because you seem untroubled by the much higher deaths under Saddam. Which means you think the invasion was a net negative for Iraq in the long run. That is incorrect.

Lastly, far more die in Darfur, Sudan than this. Why aren't the UN or EU doing something about that?


Zachriel
GK: Actually, Iraqi troop deaths have only been about 300 and civilian deaths only 2500, in all of 2009 to date.

According to Iraq Body Count, which only counts documented deaths, 3828 civilians were killed in 2009 through October. Keep in mind, that's more than the 9-11 attacks in a country with a tenth the population.

GK: The reason your claims are in bad faith is because you seem untroubled by the much higher deaths under Saddam. Which means you think the invasion was a net negative for Iraq in the long run.

Please don't continue misrepresenting my position. The claim was that the Iraq war was won decisively in 2008. In fact, the war is still clearly ongoing. It is, however, reasonable to assert that strides towards greater security have been made.

GK

It is, however, reasonable to assert that strides towards greater security have been made.

Far more than strides. AQ in Iraq scarcely exists. The Kurds are free for the first time. Sectarian violence is probably lower than it has been in a century. Plus, democracy is emerging in the least likely of places.

That is victory. BTW, I defined victory clearly in the linked articles, having set the parameters in May 2006, which were met in 2008. Go read those.

According to Iraq Body Count, which only counts documented deaths, 3828 civilians were killed in 2009 through October

icasualties.org says only 2500. Selecting the service with the higher number reveals a desire to arrive at a wished conclusion first, and fish for data later.

I thought you people said Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11? In any event, remember that the intent of the 9/11 attack was to kill 50,000 people (United 93 didn't hit its target, and 90% of the WTC occupants got out safely), of which they only managed to kill 3000.

So your comparisons are flawed on many levels.

Furthermore, if I had asked you in 2006 what number of US troop, Iraqi troop, and Iraqi civilian deaths would have to drop to in order for the war to be won, you surely would have chosen a number higher than the 2009 actuals. That is why I charge your type with deception regarding your true priorities.

Geoman

Well, Zachriel, many of these body count analyses are fairly inaccurate, so be wary. Lancet is a very bad source to hang your hat on, I'm sorry to say.

I'd argue that the actual number of dead and injured is fairly irrelevant at this point. You are of course playing the classic game, the one where we all talk abstractly about death rates, which are much less than the year before, so that is a good thing. Then you swing in and say "Only 4,000 deaths is a good thing?! You monster!" It is transparent reasoning and lame pontificating.

4,000 people dead in Iraq is a very bad thing. We all agree to that here. That is in addition to the normal murder rate. I know that. My point is that, while unacceptable, it isn't that high a number, is much lower than it was until very recently, and it seems to be steadily falling into the range of what we might define as "normal" levels of violence.

The question is not how many people are being killed in a country. The question is what do you define as victory in Iraq? It is a fairly simple question. GK has given his definition of victory as what we have currently achieved. You disagree. So what is you definition? Whether you were for or against the war, whether you think it was moral or not, all these things are irrelevant to the question (and please don't post saying "Morality is irrelevant?!!").

The cost of the victory is also irrelevant to the question of what victory looks like. You seem to think that because XX number of people were killed, it cannot be counted as a win under any circumstances. If that is true, then I'd suggest no one has ever won a military victory in the history of mankind, which makes this conversation with you fairly pointless.

Now, my own definition of victory.

I think that we have decisively turned a corner in Iraq. The economy is growing, the political class seems stable.

Who leads the armed factions in Iraq? There was a time when we all knew their names. Now we don't, because their names are irrelevant, and they are largely irrelevant.

When violence in Iraq isan't in the news, then we have sorta won, havn't we? I mean the whole point of terrorism is to...terrorize, which requires the news to report what was done.

I suspect that some elevated form of violence will linger in Iraq for the next 10 to 20 years. But the country will progress forward on a much more hopeful path than it would have done under Saddam. That seems like victory to me.

George Bush was clearly and unmistakably right about the surge. That cannot be argued.

So my answer is, this is clearly a victory for the America, in that we accomplished what we set out to do. It is not yet clearly a victory for the Iraqis, but currently appears that it will be, some day, maybe soon.


Zachriel
GK: AQ in Iraq scarcely exists.

The Al-Qaeda that perpetrated the attacks of 9-11 were never in Saddam's Iraq.

GK: The Kurds are free for the first time.

The Kurds have been free since the Clinton era.

GK: icasualties.org says only 2500. Selecting the service with the higher number reveals a desire to arrive at a wished conclusion first, and fish for data later.

Iraq Body Count lists them by name. But even 2500 dead due to sectarian violence or terrorism just this year alone, in a much smaller country than the U.S., with the ensuing destruction, clearly means the war is ongoing.

GK: In any event, remember that the intent of the 9/11 attack was to kill 50,000 people (United 93 didn't hit its target, and 90% of the WTC occupants got out safely), of which they only managed to kill 3000.

And that's why saying that 9-11, or that 2500 dead 2009 in Iraq due to sectarian violence, is just a blip in the murder rate is a fallacious (and frankly appalling) position.

GK: Furthermore, if I had asked you in 2006 what number of US troop, Iraqi troop, and Iraqi civilian deaths would have to drop to in order for the war to be won, you surely would have chosen a number higher than the 2009 actuals.

I asked you politely to quit misrepresenting my position.

Zachriel
Geoman: Lancet is a very bad source to hang your hat on, I'm sorry to say.

Tell that to GK who introduced their study concerning early childhood death under the Iraq sanctions regime. (The Lancet used standard cross-sectional cluster sample survey methodology.)

Geoman: I'd argue that the actual number of dead and injured is fairly irrelevant at this point.

It's completely relevant to whether there is an ongoing conflict in Iraq.

Geoman: My point is that, while unacceptable, it isn't that high a number, is much lower than it was until very recently, and it seems to be steadily falling into the range of what we might define as "normal" levels of violence.

If, in your country, hundreds were being killed each month in sectarian violence, car bombs in the capital, organized snipers roaming the streets of major cities, mortars going off in the night, you would consider the conflict as ongoing. (As you don't immediately see this, I assume you are an American. Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Geoman: I think that we have decisively turned a corner in Iraq.

I had mentioned that in my first comment to this thread, but that is a different claim than what is under discussion.

Geoman: When violence in Iraq isan't in the news, then we have sorta won, havn't we? I mean the whole point of terrorism is to...terrorize, which requires the news to report what was done.

Sigh. Seriously. You must be an American.

GK

Zachriel,

You are flailing badly.

The Al-Qaeda that perpetrated the attacks of 9-11 were never in Saddam's Iraq.

This sentence alone betrays a complete lack of understanding of what AQ is. "Hey, let's go after only that part of AQ and not this part of AQ." How about only blame the 19 who did the hijackings, and since they are already dead, why conduct a war even in Afghanistan?

You fail to define what victory in Iraq means (despite whining about it not being met), so that you can keep it open-ended, because under no circumstance would you actually admit that victory has occurred, and that you are on the wrong side of history.

I noticed that you refuse to define what level of violence constitutes 'victory'.

The linked article has the defined parameters of victory in Iraq. I see that you are avoiding having to acknowledge those. That is telling about what your true position is (which is not being misrepresented).

Democrats and even Europeans have stopped claiming that the war is going poorly, and the majority of the US public considers the war to be won. That is victory. You may not like it, but too bad.

Zachriel
GK: How about only blame the 19 who did the hijackings, and since they are already dead, why conduct a war even in Afghanistan?

Because the people who attacked the United States did not operate alone, but were led and supported out of Afghanistan.

GK: You fail to define what victory in Iraq means (despite whining about it not being met), so that you can keep it open-ended, because under no circumstance would you actually admit that victory has occurred, and that you are on the wrong side of history.

Please quit misstating my views. You do a very poor job of it.

Guerrilla wars don't always have distinct endings. But Iraq is not in such a gray zone. Though the situation has improved, by any real measure, Iraq is still in a serious state of armed conflict. As long as pressure is maintained on security and on political reconciliation, there is reason to believe the situation will continue to improve.

They really made a mess of it.

GK: the majority of the US public considers the war to be won. That is victory.

That is a truly bizarre definition of victory. In any case, most Americans realize there is still an ongoing war in Iraq. Most are opposed.

GK

Because the people who attacked the United States did not operate alone, but were led and supported out of Afghanistan.

With a network harbored in many countries, notably Saddam's Iraq.

Please quit misstating my views. You do a very poor job of it.

You have failed to define what victory is, and refuse to address my detailed definition of victory. This leads to a conclusion of what your true views are.

You could, of course, define victory, and address my definition point by point.

Iraq is still in a serious state of armed conflict.

Not really. US troop withdrawals are happening in an orderly manner. A certain level of violence exists in the background of any Arab-Muslim country.

That is a truly bizarre definition of victory.

So a majority of the public is 'bizarre' to you, but you won't define your own specific parameters of victory?

Zachriel
GK: With a network harbored in many countries, notably Saddam's Iraq.

That is simply incorrect. The Bush Administration went so far as to abuse prisoners in a futile attempt to justify such links.

GK: You have failed to define what victory is, and refuse to address my detailed definition of victory. This leads to a conclusion of what your true views are.

You can continue to argue against views I don't hold, but it won't convince fair readers.

You point to The Lancet's study about early childhood mortality, then wave your hands at other studies using the same methodology published in the same journal, saying "all Lancet stats on Iraq have been thoroughly debunked." You equated sectarian violence to the background murder rate, which would be to reduce the 9-11 attacks to a mere statistical blip. Instead of modifying your claims, you ignore your errors and proceed to argue against imaginary positions.

Osama is still on the loose, still plotting, symbolizing the impotence of the forces arrayed against him. The most important requirement for victory is that those responsible be brought to justice. Guerrilla wars don't always have a distinct ending. But as pointed out above, Iraq is not in the gray zone. The war is ongoing, and sectarian violence still represents a threat to the stability of the region. Furthermore, the years of bungling did little to advance the cause of regional peace and global security. The worst impulses in Iran have been strengthened. All the goodwill after 9-11 was spurned. Of course, one can't unwind time, so the world has to deal with the current situation.

GK: A certain level of violence exists in the background of any Arab-Muslim country.

A certain level of violence exists in all countries, including the United States. If, in your country, hundreds were being killed each month in sectarian violence you would see things quite differently.

GK: So a majority of the public is 'bizarre' to you, but you won't define your own specific parameters of victory?

It's Orwellian to equate the state of awareness of the American public, at the center of power, with the existence of war in other regions of the world.

Zachriel

I appreciate the idea of looking at history from a very broad vantage in order to find the most important patterns. In that sense, The Futurist seems to provide an interesting viewpoint. But from that same broad view, the claim of victory is overstated. From Osama's point of view, just standing is a victory. It represents a miracle to his followers that he could still be fighting when faced with the greatest military complex the world has ever seen. That the United States even attacked Iraq was a huge strategic blunder. That the war is still ongoing is quite evident.

Napoleon conquered Moscow.

Emery S. Almasy, MAJOR, US Army (RET)

A word of caution: In days prior to WWI there was a great deal of writing about how the cultural and economic inter-dependencies of Old Europe made any notion of a major war clearly obsolete.

While I find your vision of a better future to be quite laudable, we must not forget that others long gone have had the same visions . . . and then had bitter experience to the contrary.

The means to wage war does change over time, I'll admit. My father rode to war on horseback, I rode heavy armor with a megawatt of power under the back deck and my grandson flies above Afghan hills even now.

But what of the motivations of those who start wars? Are they really going away, as some might suggest? What if a few passionate, dedicated or simply mad actors could gain power that only great nations could wield in the past?

Consider the ever-decreasing resource threshold required to effectively perform genetic engineering on micro-organisms [it is a grim exercise]. Now consider Al-queda with air-delivered smallpox bio-weapon (Army War College says 20 yrs, tops)

This is going to be an INTERESTING century.

GK

That the United States even attacked Iraq was a huge strategic blunder.

No it wasn't. It was a brilliant strategic move (and supported by 40 countries at the start) that destroyed most of Al-Qaeda and prevented an attack on US soil in 8 years, plus created a democracy in the ME, AND moved Sunni Arabs away from suicide bombing (which does not happen in Palestine anymore either).

You spurt out sentences that betray a lack of awareness of events that have occured since 2006. As well as an investment in a narrative that has been visibly proven wrong.

Also, you refuse to define what you consider to be victory, nor can you dispute my clearly defined parameters of victory on a point-by-point basis, and are dodging by going to side issues. Fair readers can see this.

That is your position. It is not 'misrepresenting' your position to state that you demonstrably cannot assess the facts.

Osama is still on the loose, still plotting, symbolizing the impotence of the forces arrayed against him. The most important requirement for victory is that those responsible be brought to justice.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was more of a direct mastermind of 9/11 than Osama, and he was caught. Educate yourself on matters beyond soundbites.

It's Orwellian to equate the state of awareness of the American public,

But your knowledge of the issue (or lack thereof) is correct? Anti-Americanism is a very petty jealousy.

You were on the wrong side of history. Accept it. Even other critics have moved on, recognizing that it is not 2006 anymore, and Bush's prosecution of the War on Terror succeeded in a) keeping America safe, and b) reducing Muslim interest in terrorism.

Zachriel
GK: That is your position. It is not 'misrepresenting' your position to state that you demonstrably cannot assess the facts.

I see you continue to ignore the content of my comments and refuse to correct even direct contradictions in your position (e.g. regarding The Lancet). Good luck with that.

Emery S. Almasy: A word of caution: ...

But what of the motivations of those who start wars? Are they really going away, as some might suggest? What if a few passionate, dedicated or simply mad actors could gain power that only great nations could wield in the past?

Very important point. The energy available to the individual has increased dramatically over modern history. The musket changed a peasant into a citizen. Samuel Colt's revolver became the Great Equalizer. Today, it means that an otherwise insignificant individual can disrupt the balance of power.

Zachriel

Another example is the spread of nuclear weapons, once the sole possession of superpowers.

Of course Iran wants a nuclear weapon. They feel threatened by all sorts of external forces. And it's not just their government. Nuclear power is symbol of pride and independence for the Iranian people. It's a Faustian bargain, though, something they need to take to heart; but the politics of the moment will probably prevail.

Geoman

I keep waiting for Zachriel to call someone, anyone, a Nazi. In vain. Perhaps insisting I must be "American" is his substitute catch phrase. But hey, at least he brought up "torture". Good show on that.

11 posts. That is how many posts it takes Zachriel to NOT say what he would define as victory in Iraq. That is some impressive dissembling. I salute you sir.

I assume you would also define the Korean war as "on-going". There is no formal peace treaty, and the North Korean's still occasional shoots across the border. Also by your (likely) definition, Saudi Arabia is in a state of war. Yemen too. Lebanon of course. Iran. Syria. Turkey. Israel. India. Nepal. Russia. South Africa. Burma. Morocco, Spain. Columbia. Peru, Egypt, Sri Lanka (I know they think they won, but really, the war continues), Bangladesh, Pakistan of course.... Sheesh...I'm having trouble naming many countries not at war, which you would appear to define as some armed group performing terrorist acts in any given year.

If you define war in this way, then yes, things are not better. Of course if you had read the Futurist article carefully, you would of realize that the entire point was how the concept of "war" is being steadily defined downward, and that in fact we live in a much more peaceful and prosperous world than we did just a few decades ago. So, every one of your posts reads like performance art, in that each one proves the basic premise of which you seem blissfully unaware.

Currently there are about 200 violent incidents in Iraq per month. This is too high, but of course, pre-surge there were 1,600 per month. Mortar, suicide, and sniper attacks are down around zero. So are attacks against the government and government facilities. What is left is mostly IEDs.

Notice something? Attacks that require any kind of organization or commitment by the individual are way, way down. What is left is probably bombing for hire. If I had to guess I'd say anyone with a grudge against the U.S. (Iran?) pays local thugs to plant bombs. Or Iraqis pay other Iraqis to plant them. Why? For revenge, political power, criminal activity, etc.

That sounds less and less like a war to me.

Let us pose a thought problem. Say the Iraq war had not been fought in the 21st century, but in the early 1950s. What would it have looked like? Technology and society being what they were, probably Baghdad and other major cities would look like Stalingrad or Berlin after WWII. Perhaps they would even be in radioactive ruins. Millions would be dead. Tens of thousands of American troops would be dead.

Okay, another thought problem. Say the U.S. had not invaded Iraq, where would we be today? Sanctions would have collapsed, and Saddam would probably have WMD weapons. There is a very good chance he would have started another war, and perhaps used them. His tally, by the way, is around 1.4 million killed due to his invasion of Iran, and around 100k killed due to his invasion of Kuwait. And several hundred thousand of his own people he brutally killed. So, in the 20 years prior to our invasion he killed perhaps 2 million people, or approximately 100,000 per year. Projecting forward, over the last eight years he'd have butchered another 800,000? If we were fortunate.

But on the plus side our hands would be...ahem...clean.

You keep (intentionally I think) confusing victory with cost. There is such a thing as a pyrrhic victory (as was Napoleon's invasion of Russia), and it is possible that Iraq will ultimately prove to be that. Right now we seem to be trending against that outcome, but time will tell.

Geoman

Correction, Zachriel now has 13 posts without giving his definition of victory in Iraq. Amazing. What does it say about a person that they cannot conceive of conditions for military victory, or under what conditions they might have to finally admit they were incorrect?

And yes, Zachriel, a fair reading of what you have written suggests you have only a slogan level understanding of the facts, and haven't bothered yourself with looking up recent events. Whenever you feel yourself getting pinned down, you retreat to posting on side issues (nuclear weapons?) or cheap moral preening. Which by the way, is the last refuge of the intellectually bankrupt. "I'm right not because the facts support my case...but because....I'm a better person."

What is really sad to see is there is a reasonable argument to be made that Iraq was a mistake, or has not resulted in a victory. I might not agree, but I can see how someone might generate a persuasive, fact based argument. Unfortunately you just don't seem intellectually or emotionally capable of making such an argument. Pity.

Zachriel
Geoman: I keep waiting for Zachriel to call someone, anyone, a Nazi. In vain.

Demonstrating your use of strawman arguments in place of acumen. You might focus on the points raised instead.

Geoman: I assume you would also define the Korean war as "on-going".

Peace means at the least a reasonable cessation of hostilities (a : freedom from civil disturbance b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom). There is not always a clear dividing line between war and peace, especially in a guerrilla war, but that doesn't mean the term can't be applied unambiguously in many cases. With regards to Iraq, the war continues by any reasonable measure. (I've already said all this.)

Geoman: Mortar, suicide, and sniper attacks are down around zero. So are attacks against the government and government facilities. What is left is mostly IEDs.

Just another day: A car bomb went off in capital, killing one and wounding six. Another was killed and two wounded by a bomb when an adhesive bomb exploded on a civilian car. In other cities, a child was wounded by a bomb, gunmen attacked a police checkpoint, two Iraqi soldiers were killed in clashes. The commander of a government anti-riot force, three guards, and seven civilians were killed with 15 others wounded by a suicide bomber.

Geoman: Saddam would probably have WMD weapons.

Iraq didn't have a nuclear weapons program. They had disarmed per U.N. mandate.

Zachriel
Geoman: blah blah ... Which by the way, is the last refuge of the intellectually bankrupt ... Unfortunately you just don't seem intellectually or emotionally capable of making such an argument. Pity.

An entire post dedicated to a personal assault. Good for you.

(edited by siteowner)

GK

Zachriel,

Until you can define, in detail, exactly WHAT your definition of Victory in Iraq is (in contrast to mine), you haven't said anything of value.

Of course, the question I could ask is, do you really *want* Iraq to become a peaceful democracy, if that means Bush/America is vindicated?

Geoman

15 posts. Care to make it 20 without answering a simple question? I believe in you Z! You can do it buddy!

Er..the Nazi comment doesn't really qualify as a "strawman". I was speculating that you seem to be the type of person who will eventually dissolve into sputtering invective. I think your last post probably checks that box. Therefore it seems not to be a "strawman" argument per se, but an accurate speculation on where you were likely to end this conversation. One proven by your subsequent post. QED.

I should say it would please me to no end to have been wrong about you.

Also, WMD clearly doesn't mean what you think it means. It includes nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. Saddam used chemical weapons before the war. I think it is fair to assume he would have had them again after sanctions collapsed.

I also don't think you are clear on what an IED is either. Spend some time looking that up - it is an improvised explosive device (a bomb). So when I say "attacks are down, except for IEDs" and you respond with "Oh yeah? Well a bomb just went off the other day!" you look pretty silly.

Also, if I say attacks have decreased significantly, saying "Oh yeah, well one just happened the other day" isan't exactly the zinger you think it is.

Personal attacks? I think I have been more than patient and generous with you. I've even tried to make your argument for you a couple of times. I've said you continue to evade answering a simple question. You still do. Your continued evasion leads me to speculate on your motivations and causes.

You seem like a reasonably intelligent individual, one who is not exactly up on all the facts, and constrained by certain words or concepts you simply cannot confront or admit, even anonymously. "Victory in Iraq" seems to be one of them. Probably "George Bush was right about...something" is another. I would guess there are many more.

You could post that victory in Iraq would be no less than complete absence of violence and a Jeffersonian democracy modeled after our own. It would be a silly answer, but an answer nonetheless. We could then have a fruitful discussion comparing and contrasting your vision of victory and GKs, one that might have some value. But you seem incapable of doing that. Instead we all chase butterflies.

How about this - don't nitpick this post. Just tell me why that is so hard for you to discuss this issue. I'm interested. I wouldn't keep asking for your opinion if I didn't want to know it.

Zachriel
Geoman: 15 posts. Care to make it 20 without answering a simple question? I believe in you Z! You can do it buddy!

I answered you several times, in several different ways. By any reasonable measure, Iraq is still in a state of war.

Geoman: Er..the Nazi comment doesn't really qualify as a "strawman". {snip remainder of ad hominems}

Gratuitous ad hominem are arguments of diversion.

Geoman: So when I say "attacks are down, except for IEDs" and you respond with "Oh yeah? Well a bomb just went off the other day!" you look pretty silly.

The commander of a government anti-riot force, three guards, and seven civilians were killed with 15 others wounded by a suicide bomber. That was just yesterday.

Geoman: Also, if I say attacks have decreased significantly, saying "Oh yeah, well one just happened the other day" isan't exactly the zinger you think it is.

Attacks have decreased. That wasn't the issue raised. None of the rest of your post responds to that issue, or makes any substantive points.

Geoman

So...16! Some people thought you couldn't do it, but I'm a believer!

1) I understand that you don't think conditions in Iraq NOW constitute victory. It has been many posts since anyone asked you that question, if anyone ever did ask you that question. You have been asked, five or six times now, what conditions would have to be for YOU to agree on victory. The count is 16 posts without you even understanding the question exists. You seem to read right past it every time it has been asked, or proceed to answer a question not asked.

2) Hmmmm. You not only don't understand the proper meaning and use of the term "straw man", "IED", "WMD", but now "ad hominem". That means, by the way, that your argument is flawed because I think you are a flawed person. That is not the case, in fact just the opposite. I think you may be a flawed person because you refuse to make an argument. Really, quite a different beast altogether. But you can sweep that away with just a sentence or two. Just respond to #1. Anything at all will do. Go ahead. What would the situation in Iraq have to be before you would consider it victory?

3) "The commander of a government anti-riot force, three guards, and seven civilians were killed with 15 others wounded by a suicide bomber. That was just yesterday." Yes violence continues in Iraq. Do you presume that I (or anyone) disagrees? When I say violence has decreased, I obviously don't mean to zero. But you know that, don't you?

It has the appearence of a classic straw man argument. You pretend I think Iraq is a peacefull paradise, and then proceed to demolish me by presenting evidence of a recent attack. I don't respond because I don't get your point and...double word score!

4) "Attacks have decreased. That wasn't the issue raised. None of the rest of your post responds to that issue, or makes any substantive points." Er, so what is the issue raised? Ah yes, what consitutes victory in Iraq! GK says it is the current level of violence. As for me, I'd like it a bit lower before I'll declare absolute victory, but I concede we are close. And you think...?

Sigh. If we only knew.

Zachriel
Geoman: You have been asked, five or six times now, what conditions would have to be for YOU to agree on victory.

Peace means at the least a reasonable cessation of hostilities (a : freedom from civil disturbance b : a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom). There is not always a clear dividing line between war and peace, especially in a guerrilla war, but that doesn't mean the term can't be applied unambiguously in many cases. With regards to Iraq, the war continues by any reasonable measure. (I've already said all this.) Unless you claim that a U.S. victory entails ongoing violence and instability in Iraq, then the U.S. has not yet won in Iraq, much less achieved its long term strategic goals.

Geoman: Hmmmm. You not only don't understand the proper meaning and use of the term "straw man", "IED", "WMD", but now "ad hominem". That means, by the way, that your argument is flawed because I think you are a flawed person.

An ad hominem is a fallacy when it's a diversion. These are examples of gratuitous attacks.

I keep waiting for Zachriel to call someone, anyone, a Nazi.

So, every one of your posts reads like performance art, in that each one proves the basic premise of which you seem blissfully unaware.

cheap moral preening. Which by the way, is the last refuge of the intellectually bankrupt.

Unfortunately you just don't seem intellectually or emotionally capable of making such an argument. Pity.

Your constant personal invectives are irrelevant to the topic, and dilute whatever argument you think you are presenting.


Geoman: "The commander of a government anti-riot force, three guards, and seven civilians were killed with 15 others wounded by a suicide bomber. That was just yesterday." Yes violence continues in Iraq. Do you presume that I (or anyone) disagrees? When I say violence has decreased, I obviously don't mean to zero. But you know that, don't you?

That was in response to your statement "So when I say 'attacks are down, except for IEDs'," I responded that there was a suicide attack that day killing a police commander among many others. (Suicide attacks are not IEDs.) It was not the only violent incident of the day, and it was not an unusual day by any means.

Geoman: When I say violence has decreased, I obviously don't mean to zero. But you know that, don't you?

Yes, as was pointed out in my first comment on the thread.

Geoman: It has the appearence of a classic straw man argument. You pretend I think Iraq is a peacefull paradise, and then proceed to demolish me by presenting evidence of a recent attack.

Without a sense of irony, you present an argument I never made. We agree that violence in Iraq continues. My point has been that claiming victory in Iraq is premature.

Geoman: As for me, I'd like it a bit lower before I'll declare absolute victory, but I concede we are close. And you think...?

The invasion of Iraq was a gross strategic blunder that damaged the cause of international stability. Ongoing violence in Iraq means the situation remains precarious, but the Iraqi people are slowly rebuilding from the traumas of the last few years. Events in neighboring countries may make modest advances in Iraq of little consequence to the prospects of long term peace, but that depends on a number of actors and actions.

Geoman: Sigh. If we only knew.

My position can be found in my first post on the thread, which you followed by conflating sectarian violence with the background murder rate.

Geoman

You still managed (quite cleverly I might add) to avoid answering the question. "There is not always a clear dividing line between war and peace, especially in a guerrilla war, but that doesn't mean the term can't be applied unambiguously in many cases." Yes, you say that Iraq is unambiguously not at peace now. But you refuse to say where you might draw the line in the future. Just give us an example. What would Iraq have to look like? Pre-invasion Iraq? Iran? Saudi Arabia? Yemen? Turkey? Name a country and tell us that when Iraq is like XXX then you will unambiguously agree that victory has been achieved. Easy. But you know that.

Your position on you first post was that you disagreed with GK. After that...not much progress. Quite an impressive array of evasions, I must say.

"Gratuitous attacks?" "Constant personal invective?" This from the only one of us that has had a post excised from this site, presumably for bad language. I would note you seem to be very easily offended. And I'm sure you will interpret that observation as an "ad hominem" attack. Sorry. And my observation of such as another. Ouch. It is hopeless.

Soldier on brave sir, soldier on. I however, will bid you a fond farewell, and allow you to have the last word.

Zachriel
Geoman: This from the only one of us that has had a post excised from this site, presumably for bad language.

You presume a lot. To my knowledge, there has been no moderation of my comments.

Yes, you say that Iraq is unambiguously not at peace now. But you refuse to say where you might draw the line in the future.

I'm sorry that the world more complicated than will fit into your philosophy. There is no strict dividing line between war and peace, between political stability and chaos. Even countries at relative peace may have regions at war or the threat of war.

The issue is whether the U.S. has "won" in Iraq. Iraq is not politically stable and the enemy is capable of coordinating attacks across the capital, so unless you claim that a U.S. victory entails ongoing violence and instability in Iraq, then the U.S. has not yet won in Iraq, much less achieved its long term strategic goals.

CNN: At least 112 people were killed in central Baghdad and more than 400 were wounded early Tuesday when suicide bombers exploded their cars in a series of five terrorist attacks, Iraqi authorities said.
John Hoover

So Iraq really is a keystone state, and the struggle to prevail over the forces that would derail democracy has major repurcussions for many nations. The US, and the world, could nothave afforded for the US mission in Iraq to fail. But after the success in Iraq

I cannot agree what you said. Obviously US and others went to Iraq without have nay thing in mind really implanted on the ground. Paul Bremer was busy with privatisation of Iraqi assets and he surrounded by joiners unskilled staff according to recent revelations by UK/Blair saga,.

There is no democracy built on ethnic and sectarian’s pillars in the world, only just one that Paul Bremer built in Iraq with falsely called democracy. that lead to continues straggle inside Iraq with proxy gangs and thugs rolling and controlling some km in Green zone.


Is this the sort of democracy you talking about or the US success you believe in?

John Hoover

الأمريكيون يسلمون العراق نصف مساحة المنطقة الخضراء
http://www.sotaliraq.com/iraqnews.php?id=53568

John Hoover

When I saw the American movie “Final Destination,” I told myself that was exactly what was happening to us. As of late 2006The toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue on April 9, 2003, felt to me – and to millions of Iraqis – like the symbolic birth of a nation. But instead, another scene was watched by millions of Iraqis in the following years, and Iraqi officials eventually banned photographers from capturing it.

GK

John Hoover,

You, like Zachriel before you, still think it is 2006.

I have laid out the specific definition of victory in Iraq here, correctly predicted in May 2006 for 2008.

http://www.singularity2050.com/2008/12/how-we-decisively-won-in-iraq-in-2008.html

You would have to discuss each parameter of democracy, and offer an alternative definition of victory, in order to be taken seriously.

John Hoover

and offer an alternative definition of victory, in order to be taken seriously.

This archair views.

US went to country destroying it, set secterian/enthnic system and put thugs corrupted ganges and know you asked alternative definition of victory?


From start you distractions of the country this first fault, then your reconstructions plane was fake second fault, handover plane another shamble plan, followed by sectarian killing which know doubt that there are fingers to ignited in 2005-2006 with help of Iranian's Qudes Forces and some terrorists Al-Qaeda invited to come as Paul Bremer refused to secure the Iraqi borders, were ten of thousands of Iraqi killed just to cause havoc between Iraqi to accepted your definition of victory to them not their definition of victory.

So after all these you asked us alternative definition of victory, its to late to say what victory Iraqi can achieved under all this shamble victory you talking about.

GK

John Hoover,

You are not even coherent.

I have clearly stated what the parameters of victory in Iraq are (and that they have been achieved). You have not discussed those points, nor can you define what victory would be. So you are not discussing the topic in good faith.

The more obvious question for you is : Do you WANT Iraq to succeed. It would appear that you don't.

Geoman

Not responding to Zachriel (I promised not to, and I fully intend to keep that promise), but I want to understand what is at the end of one of his uncharacteristically short posts:

(edited by siteowner)
Posted by: Zachriel | December 04, 2009 at 12:26 PM

I assumed this meant that GK had cut some of the post off, presumably for bad language. Is this correct?

GK

Geoman,

No, no bad language. He made some typos, and then made another post correcting that. I cleaned that up for him.

Zachriel
Geoman: I assumed this meant that GK had cut some of the post off, presumably for bad language. Is this correct?

The moderator had kindly corrected a misattribution.

GK: I have clearly stated what the parameters of victory in Iraq are (and that they have been achieved).
The Futurist: Iraqi deaths are low.

That condition has not been met. If hundreds were being killed every month by coordinated attacks in the United States, a nation with ten times the population of Iraq, it would be considered more than sufficient to declare a de facto state of war, justify the mobilization of the military, including the invasion of any countries believed to be supporting those violent elements.

John Hoover

The more obvious question for you is : Do you WANT Iraq to succeed. It would appear that you don't.

The more obvious question for you is : Do you WANT US to succeed in Iraq?..........

GK

Zachriel,

You have yet to define what YOU consider to be victory, plus you are only contesting one of my 5 points (false too, I might add). This is far to little to be considered a serious counterargument.

Until you define your own parameters of victory (which I find unlikely), there is nothing of value for you to say on the subject. You are just being a broken record, that is dodging basic questions that both parties knows will refute your claim.

John Hoover,

Your response is much dumber still. You clearly are on the side of Al-Qaeda, and against that of the elected Iraqi government, and US troops. It must trouble you to know that you were on the wrong side of both history and basic decency.

John Hoover

What the F* you talking, are you madman.

Ohhh.... the words touched your nerve.

Please shut up you crazy thought and be balances and not biased dude.

GK

John Hoover,

I see that you cannot make an intelligent argument, much less define what victory in Iraq would constitute.

Now you can't dispute the broadly accepted victory without defining an alternative standard, now can you?

You were on the wrong side of history. Get over it, and quit projecting.

John Hoover

GK, You were on the wrong side of history our new terrorist.

You are so mild deaf and blind that your IQ can't involve in simple discussion with norm human people.

GK

John Hoover,

Classic projection. You were required to provide a definition of what you consider victory in Iraq to be, and you were not capable of doing that. Nor can you discuss the precise points I described of our superb victory in Iraq as of 2008.

I ask adult-level questions, but you have no tool other than namecalling.

No wonder your side lost. You probably don't even know where Iraq is on the map.

John Hoover

I ask adult-level questions,
You are adult Terrorist who justifying the terrorists and massacres of innocent people in name of your version of democracy and victory.

You probably don't even know where Iraq is on the map.


Hahhh, you think you smart like your boss who don’t know Iraq or where Iraq is on the map.

Did you see your folk on your TV when they struggle to find many cities include Afghanistan and Iraq on the world map?

On the other hand, your War criminal Bush and his gangs who do not know Sunni from Shiites.


Iraq and Babylonians they made you today talking about law, order, and the basic rule of democracy 3000 year ago when they put first ever Code of Law King Hammurabi our adult Terrorist on his black statue that looted or theft and now in one of France ore Germany museums .

Go do your homework to learn what stated above reads these links about your handlers


FOR the past several months, I’ve been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?”
A “gotcha” question? Perhaps. But if knowing your enemy is the most basic rule of war, I don’t think it’s out of bounds. And as I quickly explain to my subjects, I’m not looking for theological explanations, just the basics: Who’s on what side today, and what does each want?
Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?

This above writer like you calling others “enemy” why he thing so? Just because of his racial sickness mind on top of his ugly body.

GK

John Hoover,

You still can't define what YOU consider victory in Iraq to be, can you? A simple question that even a child should be able to answer.

Everything else you wrote is pure garbage, and reveals the great inner shame you feel.

John Hoover

Everything you wrote is pure garbage you should ashamed dude.

Go do your homework before your childish tagging people who have different view that your sick one.

There is no point talking to deaf and blind adult terrorist like the one you shame on you who seek victory on killing innocent people and disturbing million of innocent people for hoax democracy and victory.

Your victory you seeking like looking for pin in ashes.

One last question why you don’t go and invade N. Korea which much threaten to you and your nation than Iraq dude, go get your victory and give them your democracy show us your victory there.

Last thing as you believe there is an Iraqi elected government, that means elected by major Iraqi people , wheat if US withdraw now are they will stay in power you think?

If not they run before you finish your with draw, ohhhh, no Al-Qaida will take over what a hoax a group of terrorist take a country that US with all here smart guys and billion who spent seven years to trained Iraqi forces and police cannot stop a terrorist group, why not al-Qaeda get another country if they are effective to that level to take control of country?


Your seminal lies can stack up ... shame on... you shame on you, with your bad taste of garbage writing about victory.

GK

Readers,

Two polite questions that John Hoover is too much of a coward to answer :

1) What is YOUR definition of what Iraq needs to meet for the war to be a victory?

2) Do you want the US to win in Iraq?

Instead, all he can produce is projection and incomprehensible childlike crying.

Note how limited his discussion capacity is, where if he doesn't like something, it is a 'lie'. The substantial difference between an opinion and a 'lie' is beyond his capacity to grasp. Much like they claimed Bush 'lied', but can't express exactly what he lied about.

They don't have any range or variety other than 'you lied'. Again, classic textbook projection.

Read here how to swiftly win debates against unintelligent leftists like John Hoover.

Such examples are useful for educational purposes.

Zachriel
GK: 1) What is YOUR definition of what Iraq needs to meet for the war to be a victory?

A nation at peace. A nation that is reasonably stable, that is, likely to remain at peace. Of course, there is no perfect peace and no perfect stability. However, we can use a simple metric(which has been mentioned many times previously). If bombs were going off in major cities every month with a continuing death rate in the hundreds due to sectarian violence, would your nation consider itself in a state of war?

GK: 2) Do you want the US to win in Iraq?

Much depends on American efforts to stabilize Iraq. However, they also need to extricate themselves as soon as practical as their very presence is destabilizing.

blert

Subsequent to all the above in the late Spring of 2010 essentially the entire top management of AQ in Iraq was captured or killed.

Here and there an occasional bomb is detonated -- to no political effect.

There was a time when Islamists from KSA, Libya and Algeria pined to get into action against the occupation. That flow is now but a dribble. The Syrian connection died at the hands of US special forces.

Diversion of Iraqi oil by way of Iran has been shut down, too.

As expected the war has ended in a whimper.

Zachriel

Tuesday 6 July: 11 killed
Baghdad: 2 by mortars, 4 by bomb, 3 by mortars
Mosul: 2 by gunfire

Monday 5 July: 3 killed
Baghdad: 1 by bomb
Mosul: 1 by bomb, 1 by gunfire

Sunday 4 July: 11 killed
Baghdad: 1 by gunfire
Ramadi: 4 by suicide bomb
Mosul: 2 by suicide bomb, 1 body found
Kirkuk: 1 body found
Mandili: 2 by gunfire

Saturday 3 July: 3 killed
Baghdad: 3 by bomb

Friday 2 July: 3 killed
Ramadi: 1 by gunfire
Mandili: 2 killed

Thursday 1 July: 8 killed
Baghdad: 1 by bomb, 1 by bomb
Falluja: 1 by bomb
Aziziya: 1 by gunfire
Samarra: 1 by bomb
Kirkuk: 1 by gunfire
Mosul: 2 by gunfire

Wednesday 30 June: 13 killed
Baghdad: 2 by gunfire
Mosul: 1 by bomb, 1 by bomb
Kirkuk: 1 by gunfire, 1 body found
Baquba: 1 by bomb
Hit: 6 by gunfire and bombs

June 1-30: 379 total killed


If hundreds were being killed in sectarian violence each month in the U.S., including in the U.S. capital, the U.S. would certainly consider it a state of war. (That is not even accounting for Iraq's much smaller population.)

Levels of violence are down from their peaks of 2006-2007, but it certainly can't be considered peace.

GK

Zachriel,

It is peace. June had only 127 civilians killed. The montly stats show this to be the case :
http://icasualties.org/Iraq/index.aspx

Even Joe Biden tried to take credit for Iraq having been won (when in fact this was due to Petraeus, McCain, etc.).

If hundreds were being killed in sectarian violence each month in the U.S., including in the U.S. capital, the U.S. would certainly consider it a state of war.

The population of the African American community in the US is roughly comparable to that of Iraq. What is the murder rate of African Americans? (Hint : Much higher than the death rate in Iraq).

You are desperately hoping for a higher death rate because you cannot admit you were on the wrong side of history. Hoping for deaths is a shameful stance to take, even if it is a futile one.

Zachriel

Iraqi Body Count, June 1-30: 379 total killed.
http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/recent/

All such counts are almost certainly low, but even going by your source, that's 1367 dead, and presumably thousands others severely injured, just in 2010.

GK: The population of the African American community in the US is roughly comparable to that of Iraq. What is the murder rate of African Americans? (Hint : Much higher than the death rate in Iraq).

There are virtually no deaths due to sectarian violence in the United States. The 1367 dead in Iraq are those killed by sectarian violence, such as by bombs and mortar fire.

(And it is a vacuous comparision. It's like saying 9-11 is a statistical blip because far more people die in auto accidents.)

GK: Hoping for deaths is a shameful stance to take, even if it is a futile one.

That is obviously meant to avoid answering the objection. If the United States had a similar level of organized sectarian violence; such as mortals and bombs in the capital and other major cities; the American people would not consider it to be "peace," and the situation would be politically unstable.

Zachriel

The latest date tabulated bu iCasualties is 7/8.
http://icasualties.org/Iraq/IraqiDeaths.aspx

07/08/10 BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb targeting Shi'ite pilgrims killed two people and wounded 21 in Palestine Street, northern Baghdad, police said.

07/08/10 BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb targeting Shi'ite pilgrims returning from the Iman Moussa al-Kadhim shrine killed three and wounded 31 in the Mashtal district of eastern Baghdad, an Interior Ministry source said.

07/08/10 KIRKUK - A sticky bomb attached to a car killed the driver and wounded one person near the blast, in southwestern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

07/08/10 RAMADI - Four policemen were killed and six wounded in western Ramadi...after bombs planted near the houses of local policemen went off, followed by a roadside bomb when security forces arrived at the blast scene, police said.

GK

but even going by your source, that's 1367 dead, and presumably thousands others severely injured, just in 2010.

A small number. Quite peaceful, as evidenced by Joe Biden trying to take credit for success in Iraq. Even the Democrats have left you behind.

Why else would US troops be withdrawing?

The number will never be zero, and has never been.

There are virtually no deaths due to sectarian violence in the United States.

Gang violence between black gangs is 'sectarian'.

The fact that you actually *want* the deaths of more Iraqi civilians to be higher says it all.

Zachriel

GK: Gang violence between black gangs is 'sectarian'.

Sorry, but repeating yourself doesn't strengthen the argument. There are not bombs going off in the U.S. capital just about every day.

-
07/08/10 Washington- A roadside bomb targeting Catholics on the way to church killed two people and wounded 21, police said.

07/08/10 Washington - A roadside bomb targeting Jews returning from temple killed three and wounded 31 in northeast Washington.

07/08/10 New York - A sticky bomb attached to a car killed the driver and wounded one person near the blast in downtown Manhattan, police said.

07/08/10 Philadelphia - Four policemen were killed and six wounded after bombs planted near the houses of local policemen went off, followed by a roadside bomb when security forces arrived at the blast scene, police said.

So far this month (through 7/8), nearly a hundred civilians have been killed and over a thousand seriously wounded in continued sectarian violence in the U.S. Since the beginning of the occupation, 100,000 Americans have been killed with untold numbers of casualties. Millions have fled to Canada and Mexico to escape the continuing conflict.
-
Anyone who reads can see there is a significant difference between crime and organized, violent political conflict.

GK: The fact that you actually *want* the deaths of more Iraqi civilians to be higher says it all.

Repeating your slur doesn't make it any more valid.

Zachriel

Washington D.C. 7/18/2010 -- A suicide bomber killed at least 43 people and wounded 40 others in an attack outside Washington on Sunday morning, police said.

The attacker targeted former militants now in the pay of the U.S. government -- as they waited to receive paychecks, police said.

A second suicide bomber hit an office in Buffalo, on the U.S.-Canadian border, killing three and injuring six, U.S. official said. The attack also took place Sunday morning.

And another person was killed and three were hurt when a bomb attached to a car went off in northeastern Washington later on Sunday, police officials said.

At least 66 people were killed in more than half-a-dozen attacks on Christian worshipers on July 7-8.

Zachriel

GK: The fact that you actually *want* the deaths of more Iraqi civilians to be higher says it all.

Just to be absolutely certain to put this to rest, the Iraqi people and the world would be much better off with a peaceful and democratic Iraq. Democracy is still very tentative, and fraught with corruption. More importantly, the level of organized sectarian violence is destabilizing and politically unsustainable over the long run. However, that doesn't mean there is no possibility of a salubrious outcome.

Zachriel

Link to previous news report concerning bombing in the U.S. capital.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/07/18/iraq.suicide.bombing/
-

GK

Zachriel,

Your links don't change the facts. The death rate is very low, and even Democrats have been trying to take credit for victory, with media focus on Afghanistan now rather than Iraq.

In fact, if things were to worsen from here, you would have to attribute those to Obama.

Zachriel

GK: The death rate is very low, and even Democrats have been trying to take credit for victory, with media focus on Afghanistan now rather than Iraq.

You continue to conflate sectarian violence with ordinary crimes, which are not counted in the statistics above. You compared the rate of sectarian violence with gang violence in America's inner cities, an unsupportable position.

There are fatal bombings aimed at the stability of the Iraqi government occurring nearly every day. Just yesterday, several bombings, including 48 killed in a single attack near the capital. Another attack today. Again, if this were occurring in the U.S. it would be considered a state of war.


Deck

You seem to be attributing your own definitions to the way the public and population at large understands them.

Sectarian violence IS gang violence. Just because you seem to add more merit to the "dangerousness" because Iraq has more bombings than gang shootouts doesn't mean shit. A war isn't happening, not in the conventional sense. The "War on Drugs" has more in common with what the state of affairs is in Iraq than what you seem to be prescribing by.

Instability does not correlate so strongly with war-time and a "country at war" that they are not mutually exlusive ideas. And these ideas aren't so black and white that they can only be considered negative. Bad things happen in instable or war torn countries, whether the country is growing more hostile and instable or weeding out the danger in a steady pace (rather than all at once, as you want it to be).

I believe Zach defines Victory when a country is like the US or Canada, as he is most likely a citizen of one of these places. He seems incapable of seeing that, though the war at this point shows superfluous signs of an ongoing nature, it has inevitably and irrevocably been won.

Zachriel

Deck: You seem to be attributing your own definitions to the way the public and population at large understands them.

It is this blog that directly compared the ordinary murder rate in Western nations with the sectarian violence in Iraq, without having actually accounted for the ordinary murder rate in Iraq, which is in addition to political violence. Such fatuous comparisons leads one to declare that the attacks of 9-11 were just a statistical blip.

Deck: Sectarian violence IS gang violence.

The sectarian violence in Iraq is politically destabilizing in a way that gang violence in the U.S. is not. Hundreds are killed every month in Iraq, including in direct attacks on the security forces.

Such levels of violence lead to loss of confidence in the government. Ordinary citizens are forced into corruption to protect their families, because they simply can't rely on the government. Authority becomes fragmented whihc makes resolving the underlying political issues more difficult. It doesn't mean there is no hope. If you were to say the situation has improved, that might be a defensible position, but to claim victory is not.

Just this week; assassinations, police burn on street in Baghdad, soldiers bombed. This doesn't even begin to count the hidden damage the insurgency is doing.

Deck

Sectarian violence in Iraq is tapering off and will continue to do so as long as the democracy lasts. As GK has noted, an increase in per capita gain leads to stable nations. You're focusing so intently on any issues that come up you fail to think from anything more than your deluded 1st world upbringing.

You say that people would "lose confidence" in the new state of affairs, but you don't apply that from THEIR view, but your own priviledged one. The entire argument you present is ridiculous because their lives now are better than any other time in the past 20 years, yet you believe they'll ditch this government when it's barely started?

You think small and focus small. Look at the big picture once in a while, it's what successful people do.

Zachriel

Deck: Sectarian violence in Iraq is tapering off and will continue to do so as long as the democracy lasts.

That's a more reasonable point than your previous error equating ordinary crime with sectarian, political violence. The state of democracy in Iraq is still tentative. However, once the underlying balance of power finds a working model, then the prospects will continue to improve.

Deck: You're focusing so intently on any issues that come up you fail to think from anything more than your deluded 1st world upbringing... You think small and focus small.

Those are not arguments. Nor do they accurately reflect our views. "Mission Accomplished" is the viewpoint that is small because it ignores the vast long-term damage to the U.S. strategic position due to an ill-conceived war.

Deck: The entire argument you present is ridiculous because their lives now are better than any other time in the past 20 years, yet you believe they'll ditch this government when it's barely started?

There are very real prospects for progress in Iraq. That wasn't the issue, of course. Nearly all experts in the field consider the stability in Iraq to be fragile and tentative. In addition, unless the central government can exert authority throughout Iraq, al Qaeda can continue to use the chaos to mount attacks. The prospects of exerting such authority is better in Iraq, though, than Afghanistan.

Finally, it is difficult to consider mere stability to be "victory" when the entire expedition was such a strategic debacle. The lack of WMD severely damaged the reputation of the U.S., and even the limited goal of removing safe havens for terrorists has not been achieved.

GK

Zachriel,

The lack of WMD severely damaged the reputation of the U.S.,

No it didn't. Vladimir Putin and Tony Blair both said Saddam had WMDs, on top of Saddam certainly acting like he did.

Extreme leftists would be anti-US anyway, but mainstream people know better. So that unfounded claim about the 'US reputation being damaged' is completely demolished.

Nearly all experts in the field consider the stability in Iraq to be fragile and tentative.

Which 'experts' said this after the end of 2008? It isn't 2006 anymore, Zachriel.

All of your points have been disproved by first me and later Deck. Victory in Iraq has been achieved, and US troops are near the final stages of a withdrawal that is leaving behind a country much better than it was before. Furthermore, the victory in Iraq has corelated strongly to the decline of Islamic terrorism across with world. Period.

As usual, the left is always on the wrong side of history, as is deserved by their consistent siding with evil.

Zachriel

Zachriel: The lack of WMD severely damaged the reputation of the U.S.,

GK: No it didn't.

Of course, it did. The U.S. went before the United Nations and made a false case for aggressive war. There's just no other way to spin it.

GK: Which 'experts' said this after the end of 2008? It isn't 2006 anymore,

General David H. Petraeus: the progress in Iraq is still fragile. And it could still be reversed. Iraq still faces innumerable challenges

GK: Victory in Iraq has been achieved

Iraq is still an operational haven for extremists.

GK

Of course, it did.

No it didn't. Anti-Americans would be bashing America for leaving Saddam in power if that were the case.

You might be interested to learn that Clinton attacked Saddam and killed thousands of Iraqis in 1998 (Operation Desert Fox) specifically on account of Saddam's WMD programs. You also dodged the fact that Putin and Blair said Iraq had WMDs.

Facts are inconvenient, eh?

It is also shameful that you condone the corruption and bribery of the UN in the Oil for Food scandal. Bribes taken by Annan and Chirac were the main reason for their opposition to the enforcement of the UN's own resolutions.

General David H. Petraeus:

YOU'RE quoting General Petraeus???? This, despite how much effort you are making to say that his 'surge' failed.

Iraq is still an operational haven for extremists.

Yeah, there might be a tiny number of extremists still there. Perhaps as many as there are operating in the US itself (Fort Mason, Times Square, Detroit airplane plots, etc.)

So why is the US leaving in victory, then? Why are even Democrats trying to take credit for victory? Why is the topic of Iraq not even coming up in the 2010 election season? You have succumbed to these points before, of course.

Zachriel

Zachriel: The lack of WMD severely damaged the reputation of the U.S.

GK: No it didn't.

That's a truly bizarre position. You might argue it only did minimal damage, then we would have to delve into the details of world opinion; but certainly presenting with great fanfare a false case for a war is damaging to one's reputation.

GK: You might be interested to learn that Clinton attacked Saddam and killed thousands of Iraqis in 1998 (Operation Desert Fox) specifically on account of Saddam's WMD programs.

Operation Desert Fox was largely feckless, and resulted in the temporary ending of U.N. weapons inspections (due to an overreliance on airpower, as during the war in Kosovo).

GK: You also dodged the fact that Putin and Blair said Iraq had WMDs.

Blair's reputation was terribly damaged. Putin's government did not participate in the Iraq War. The U.S. reputation was also damaged, but many Americans are blithely unaware. More specifically, Blair and Putin are not representative of the world, a world which strongly disagreed with the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq.

GK: It is also shameful that you condone the corruption and bribery of the UN in the Oil for Food scandal.

Do you have a habit of just making stuff up?

GK: YOU'RE quoting General Petraeus????

Yes, we did. Just this year he said, "the progress in Iraq is still fragile. And it could still be reversed."

GK: This, despite how much effort you are making to say that his 'surge' failed.

Again, you are making stuff up. The surge gave the opportunity for the Iraqi people to achieve a modicum of stability. To review, this is what you said:

GK: Which 'experts' said this after the end of 2008? It isn't 2006 anymore,

Your statement implied that expert opinion supports your position, but that is simply not the case. And indeed, Petraeus is correct: the situation is fragile and reversible.

Zachriel: Iraq is still an operational haven for extremists.

GK: Yeah, there might be a tiny number of extremists still there.

Terrorism is far more organized and deep-rooted in Iraq today.

GK: Why is the topic of Iraq not even coming up in the 2010 election season?

In other words, if it's not a political issue in the United States, then it doesn't exist. People in the center of a great power tend to become insular.

GK

Zachriel,

Here is an early 2007 article I wrote (back when the war in Iraq was raging), that will address may of the misconceptions you have :

http://www.singularity2050.com/2007/02/the_way_to_deba.html

All the tired old points of yours are covered.

Zachriel

GK: http://www.singularity2050.com/2007/02/the_way_to_deba.html

Most of the points at that link are irrelevant.

You don't seem to be capable of directly addressing the argument. In particular, in an attempt to belittle a view contrary to your own, you suggested there are no experts that still consider the situation in Iraq to be fragile and tentative, hence not a question still subject to reasoned debate. In reply, you were provided a recent quote from Gen. Petraeus, certainly a qualified expert, stating exactly that. That doesn't make Petraeus right. Perhaps he is being overly cautious. But instead of modifying your position, you explicitly advise diverting the conversation by creating strawmen like this, "I notice that people like you tend to always side against democracy."

This blog purports to be dedicated to providing the broad perspective. Sometimes it succeeds, which makes it worth reading on occasion. Other times, though, it become hopelessly parochial and partisan, such as by vehemently attacking minor historical figures, such as Clinton.

This is the primary question: Can the Iraq War be considered a "decisive victory" when the situation is still fragile and reversible, and with terrorists still free to organize devastating attacks?

A second question was raised, but seems to answer itself. Did the lack of WMD, after the U.S. ballyhooed them as the legal justification for war, damage the U.S. reputation?

Saying, "I notice that people like you tend to always side against democracy" is not an argument.

GK

Zachriel,

You don't seem to be capable of directly addressing the argument.

Projection. I have addressed and defeated your points many times. My link debunks your tired old 'no WMDs' broken record.

Points you keep avoiding are :
1) Removal of Saddam on account of WMD programs has been US policy since 1998, and Clinton correctly (if incompletely) acted on it.
2) Putin, Blair, and Clinton said Saddam had WMDs, and Saddam himself acted like he did. The clain that Putin's opinion does not matter because he did not participate would also invalidate the merit of Chirac, Shroeder, and Annan being opposed to the war due to lack of interest in participating.

Terrorism is far more organized and deep-rooted in Iraq today.

An odd statement given the greatly reduced violence. Imagine that, terrorism becoming more organized and deep rooted even as violence went down!

Again, you are just making things up.

Can the Iraq War be considered a "decisive victory"

Yes, it can, because the gains are solid and irreversible. Iraq will never again be under a genocidal dictator such as Saddam.

Did the lack of WMD, after the U.S. ballyhooed them as the legal justification for war, damage the U.S. reputation?

It most certainly did not, for reasons already explained.

"I notice that people like you tend to always side against democracy" is not an argument.

That's right, it is not an argument. It is even more - an easily-observable fact.

You desperately want things to be worse in Iraq, thus grasp for any slight evidence that you can cling to, as evidenced by the 9 months you have been a broken record on this very thread.

Also, if you think things are terrible in Iraq, and Obama has been President or 19 months, then you are also indicting Obama for incompetence, as per your own logic. Why are you not slamming Joe Biden for taking credit for success in Iraq?

Zachriel

GK: Removal of Saddam on account of WMD programs has been US policy since 1998, and Clinton correctly (if incompletely) acted on it. Putin, Blair, and Clinton said Saddam had WMDs, and Saddam himself acted like he did.

Bush said Saddam had WMD. Saddam said he didn't. Saddam was right, and Bush was wrong. There is no way to consider that as anything but a blackeye for America. The Iraq War was a huge strategic blunder, and it was avoidable, but the Bush Administration was propelled by their ideological viewpoint.

Zachriel: Terrorism is far more organized and deep-rooted in Iraq today.

GK: An odd statement given the greatly reduced violence. Imagine that, terrorism becoming more organized and deep rooted even as violence went down!

Toppling Saddam created a political vacuum, and the ensuing chaos allowed the development of a complex infrastructure capable of mounting sustained terrorist attacks. There are bombings nearly every day in Iraq. Hundreds die every month. Progress at dismantling these organizations has been made, but they are still a lethal threat.

GK: Yes, it can, because the gains are solid and irreversible. Iraq will never again be under a genocidal dictator such as Saddam.

As Petraeus recently pointed out, it is reversible. Large segments of the country still lie outside central authority. However, much progress has been made, and there is still a chance for a long-lasting peace. Ultimately, it's up to the Iraqi people to determine their future.

Zachriel: Did the lack of WMD, after the U.S. ballyhooed them as the legal justification for war, damage the U.S. reputation?

GK: It most certainly did not, for reasons already explained.

Reputation is not determined by what you think, but by what others think. Preemptive war against international convention. False casus belli. Botched occupation. Prisoner abuse. Sorry, but much of the world thinks America screwed up, big time.

GK: You desperately want things to be worse in Iraq, thus grasp for any slight evidence that you can cling to, as evidenced by the 9 months you have been a broken record on this very thread.

Ah! So, you do make a habit of making things up. And you probably think it makes your position more credible.

It would be best for the Iraqi people, for the region, for the U.S., and for the world, for Iraq to be a stable, productive, democratic country. And one day, they will achieve it.

GK

Zachriel,

You are merely repeating points that have been debunked, in some cases more than once.

The last US combat troops have left Iraq per schedule just this week, and neither Democrats nor Republicans are saying this was in defeat.

I see you are desperately trying to avoid admitting that Putin, Blair, and Clinton also said Saddam had WMDs. You also can't explain what happened to the chemical weapons he used on the Kurds. Your idol Saddam obidiently dismantled them, which is why he kicked out inspectors.

The Iraq War was a huge strategic blunder,

Nope. It was a major strategic success that broke the back of Islamic terrorism, which even the critics have admitted. Reputation is not judged by what you think, but what others think. America won, you lost. Get over it.

What is funny is that you are clinging to the same discredited narrative for 9 months on this very thread (see above), yet won't say that if you believe Iraq has been a failure for the last 19 months, that this is on Obama's watch. You have yet to admit that whatever is happening in Iraq now (which fair-minded people consider to be a success), is under Obama's tenure.

So is Obama failing or succeeding? I predict you will dodge this question as well.

Pathetic.

Zachriel

GK: The last US combat troops have left Iraq per schedule just this week, and neither Democrats nor Republicans are saying this was in defeat.

So your cite concerning America's reputation are to the major political parties — in America.

GK: Reputation is not judged by what you think, but what others think.

We agree. There is just no way to reasonably claim that the lack of WMD in Iraq, after it was used as a central justification for war, did not hurt America's reputation. That other major leaders made similar claims is irrelevant to that point.

GK: What is funny is that you are clinging to the same discredited narrative for 9 months on this very thread (see above), yet won't say that if you believe Iraq has been a failure for the last 19 months, that this is on Obama's watch.

Still posing strawmen. We did not say that there was no chance for a sustainable outcome in Iraq. Indeed, we stated quite the opposite — repeatedly.

GK: So is Obama failing or succeeding?

Success or failure in Iraq does not, and never did, belong to the Americans. Leaving Iraq gives the Iraqi people the best chance of finding a solution to their political problems. Considering the situation, and the damage already done, that's the best the U.S. can do at this point.

sayyid_q1967

Zachriel you are an Islamophobic racist Arab-hater who wants America to abandon the Iraqis so that they can be destroyed by the mullahs of Iran and their terrorist surrogates. You homo leftists didn't say anything when Saddam was murdering us by the tens of thousands, now you claim to care about "the Iraqi people the best chance of finding a solution to their political problems"?! You fucking pig bastard.

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