Thursday, March 1, 2007

Wa-Wa-Wa-WHAT!? The troop surge is working!??

How can this be???

At least according to the AP (and we're skeptical), it seems that there's been about a 65% reduction in sectarian killings in Baghdad in just the first two weeks since the troop surge has gone into effect in Baghdad!

While Baghdad saw this past January's total hit 954 such killings, after December's 1,222, there have been a total of 164 killings discovered since February 14th - that would translate to 328 over a month (about a 65% reduction from January's figure, a 72% drop from December's...the AP called it a "small success," while acknowledging that 390 bodies were found over the same two week period last year.


Blue Wind said...

Hey JMK,
The troop surge has not even taken place yet. Only a small number of troops went there. Statistics can be manipulated to give desirable outcomes. And that is apparently what I think is going on with these numbers. Try again next week to see if this trend holds.

JMK said...

Actually, it's over two weeks old!

Started on February 14th.

Most of the extra troops were already in theater and no, you can't "manipulate same period stats."

There 390 Iraqis killed by death squads over that same two week period that 164 such killings occurred since the 2/14 surge.

"Try again next week to see if this trend holds. (BW)

Will do, though it kinda, sorta sounds as though you're wishing and hoping for it to fail.

Any U.S. military failure in Iraq has huge negative consequences for America.

Blue Wind said...

"Will do, though it kinda, sorta sounds as though you're wishing and hoping for it to fail.

Where do you base such a statement? Thats exactly the problem with the right these days. They blame the rest of America as being unpatriotic and thats, of course, ridiculous. I think the troop surge is the wrong thing to do. Of course and I want it to work, I want the war to end. I just dont think it will work, and I believe that it is another huge error of the Bush administration. And so do the vast majority of Americans.

mal said...

Posted by BW:

Where do you base such a statement? Thats exactly the problem with the right these days. They blame the rest of America as being unpatriotic and thats, of course, ridiculous.

Oh stop. Even Bush said that he doesn't question the patriotism of those who oppose the surge. You guys remind me of the old Republican 'bloody shirt' politics following the Civil War with this.

Explain this however: the Senate unamimously endorsed Petraeus for the leader of our troops. Then they tried, in their own inept way, to prevent the surge (which was Petraeus's brainchild) from even being allowed to be tried.


Loss of additional US troop lives?

At 3,200 or so in 4 years, this is remarkably small in historical context. Check out the loss of lives at Shiloh in ONE DAY (either side) and get back to me.

No, it isn't loss of life. It's the possibility, however small, that a 2008 campaign issue could disappear or worse boomerang.


Guilty as charged.

But as an active Democrat from 1968-1995, I know how my old party thinks. It's a major reason I no longer am one of you.

JMK said...

Please BW, "Try again next week to see if this trend holds," reeks of a hopeful anticipation that the trend will not hold, does it not?

Of course it does!

I'd say to those opposed to Iraq, stop looking at Iraq in terms of, "whatever good happens in Iraq is good for Bush and any bad there reflects badly on Bush."

That is NOT the current reality, far from it.

The "vast majority of Americans" also support "victory in Iraq," that's shown by polls.

I was polled by CNN awhile back and responded that "I DID NOT approve of the way the war was being handled in Iraq," as did about 70% of the respondants.

That view CANNOT be distorted to "70% of Americans oppose the war in Iraq," or "Most Americans favor an immediate withdrawal," as that question and the answer given do not imply that.

When the questions are more refined, the MSM tends to dislike the results. In fact, the more refined the poll questions, the less the MSM seems to like the results.

Rachel said...

how you know the surge is working?

when the Washington Post suddenly notices Walter Reed Hospital may have some issues that all military hospitals have had since the 80's. Now I am in total agreement that since the wars, there should improve the situation, but this absolutely smacks of "let's hurt W" instead of a real concern for soldiers.
If this were the case, the Post should have asked this question way earlier, like as a challenge to us starting war with Iraq or Afghanistan in the first place

The Post and other anti-Bush papers (I voted for Gore in '00 and Green in '04 so I have the "moral authority" to say this) have been pegging this war to be a Nixonesque failure since they found no WMD's. Nevermind the consequences, much less facts. Get Bush At All Cost seems to be the model of the day and as a card carrying liberal I am sick of it.

JMK said...

Rachel you have it 100% right!

There are legitimate questions and concerns about the war, the logistics (many, many mistakes have been made) and about the after-care for the wounded soldiers upon their return.

These questions and concerns are diminished when used to try and score partisan political points.

Over 80% of the MSM's reporters and on-air staff are admitted "Liberal Democrats," but that does NOT excuse sloppy journalism - ANY editorializing or commentary that seeps into a news account undermines that account and the credibility of the journalist engaged in that practice.

I KNOW you're no Bush supporter Rachel (though the Kos & HuffPo crowds would call you a "Bush lover" for failing to toe their line), but you've always been fair about things.

I too have a big problem with Bush over the border issue and over his failing to rein in out-of-control federal spending, but I have to give him credit for the economy (those tax cuts worked) and the WoT (at least he realizes one exists).

To date Bush has been, at least in my view, a "mixed bag" - some good, some bad.

I may disagree with folks like yourself, Mal, Barry and some others on occassion, but I know we are both trying to understand the other side and why others believe what they do. That is the only possible way for people who disagree to have a chance of ever reaching some consensus.

Blue Wind said...

You have every right to call your self a liberal, but from what your write you sound as liberal as JMK or so (at least in my opinion). Sorry. May be I should start calling myself a "conservative".

In any case, that war was wrong from the very beggining. It was more than obvious then that the whole thing was a hoax and there were no WMDs, but the Bush administration was determined to start a war no matter what. That’s the problems that democrats, liberals and moderates have with this war. It is a war that should have never started. Continuing it is making a bad situation worse. The people who really care for the soldiers are the ones who want to end the war and bring them back out of harms way. Our soldiers have no place in the middle of a civil war.

JMK said...

BW, I've never heard Rachel laud the Bush administration, only revile the idiotic and over-the-top, partisan attacks on it.

THAT does not make her a "Bush lover."

Now, back to your response post, in which, YOU LIED!!!

I've proven to you time and again that there were no lies that led to the invasion of Iraq.

And the NY Times, in this case is on MY SIDE.

In that article they note that, "The Iraqi dictator was so secretive and kept information so compartmentalized that his top military leaders were stunned when he told them three months before the war that he had no weapons of mass destruction, and they were demoralized because they had counted on hidden stocks of poison gas or germ weapons for the nation's defense."

And that,

"Seeking to deter Iran and even enemies at home, the Iraqi dictator's goal was to cooperate with the inspectors while preserving some ambiguity about its unconventional weapons — a strategy General Hamdani, the Republican Guard commander, later dubbed in a television interview "deterrence by doubt.”

If it were ONLY the CIA or only even the CIA & M-9 who believed that Iraq still had stockpiles of WMDs, that would be something, but that WASN'T the case at all.

In fact, ALL the world's Intelligence Agencies from Spain's to Italy's to the Czechs, to the Polish, to the French, German, Russian and Israeli Intelligence ALL believed that Saddam's Iraq still had WMDs!

Hell, his OWN General's believed thay had those WMDs!!! Ergo, the view that "It was more than obvious then that the whole thing was a hoax and there were no WMDs," is not only inane, but woefully naive and misinformed.

Moreover, Saddam's Iraq harbored al Qaeda camps (Ansar al Islam) in northern Iraq and cooperated with those al Qaeda-run camps against a common enemy, the Iraqi Kurds and trained terrorists at places like Salman Pak.

I want a far broader war against the full forces of the world's radicalized Sharia-based Muslims, a fight that could easily result in a 100 years war...and I care deeply about the troops safety.

But they have a job to do...a charge to keep and that charge is to come home only after victory has been achieved.

Rachel said...

thanks, JMK. I always get tagged with conservative. I'm pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, and believe in diplomacy before battle. I even called W a Republican Johnson and I still got called a conservative. It doesn't bother me except that I have to tow some imaginary line. I thought liberals have no lines.
And be proud of who you are and your beliefs, conservative and otherwise so long as they don't hurt others. I have my disagreements with fellow conservatives such as yourself (like school vouchers, etc)but I like to think I call a spade a spade. Walter Reed and other VA hospitals have been crap before we knew Jeb had a brother and *now* we're just paying attention?

Thanks for listening ;)

JMK said...

Well Rachel, I'm also pro-choice...well sought of - I believe in unfettered first trimester abortion, though I generally oppose late term abortion unless its a life-saving procedure and would mandate either/or birth control or abortion for all "wards of the state" (incarcerated felons, the institutionalized mentally & physically handicapped and those dependent upon public assistance).

I also believe in diplomacy first...and with radicalized Islam we've tried that between 1991 and 2001 to no avail...and negotiations withy Saddam's Iraq went on from 10/2001 until 3/2003.

We obviously disagree on affirmative action, if by affirmative action you mean race/gender-based preferences...I've written extemsively on why,


and here;

and will probably do so again.

But people can disagree over an issue or issues and still seek common ground or at least understanding.

You're a good egg, Rachel! Or as Barry Farber (Talk Radio host) would say, "You're not what's wrong with America."

Blue Wind said...

Rachel wrote:

" I have my disagreements with fellow conservatives such as yourself (like school vouchers, etc)but I like to think I call a spade a spade. "

So Rachel, is that finally an admission that you are a conservative or what? :)

JMK said...

BW, she's acknowledged voting for Gore in 2000 and the Greens in 2004 (who'd say that, if they did not???) and I've actually never heard Rachel either laud the Bush administration or the war in Iraq.

Sorry old chap, but you don't get to define Liberalism.

Joe Lieberman who supports the war in Iraq, but also supports 95% of the rest of the Democratic agenda is a "LIBERAL," whether you like that fact or not.

You neither have to detest Bush, nor fiercely oppose the war in Iraq to be a "Liberal."

When did Liberalism go from that kooky, hippie hodgepodge of "do whatever you feel," to this new Spanish Inquisition-styled "Oppose this war and this vile administration or be excommunicated?"

I'll tell ya something, I never saw this coming!

Blue Wind said...

"Joe Lieberman who supports the war in Iraq, but also supports 95% of the rest of the Democratic agenda is a "LIBERAL," whether you like that fact or not."

Well, if Joe Lieberman is a liberal, then Dick Cheney is also a liberal. There is essentially no difference between the two. Do you really believe that Cheney and Lieberman are sincere in their beliefs? They just work for the interests of oil companies and weapon manufacturers. They are neither liberal nor conservative. They dont care. Of course, I have no doubt that you disagree with me :)

People like Buchanan or Gingrich are sincere conservatives and they are quite a few sincere liberals on the other site. But Lieberman, Cheney (and Ann Coulter) are ideologically indifferent. They just pretend.

JMK said...

You always go over the top BW and make unsupportable statements like that.

The truth is, there is only ONE issue that Liberals and Lieberman disagree on...and that's Iraq.

He's got a 100% approval rating from Planned Parenthood and NARAL, and that 100% rating can only be achieved through supporting abortion right up to birth (late term or "partial birth" abortion).

He's opposed the Bush tax cuts, supported tax increases and more social spending. I couldn't vote for that agenda.

He's in favor of an amnesty program and a "fast-track" to citizenship for "illegals," a/k/a "Open Borders," which is the Liberal Democratic position on that issue.

In short, there is NO other issue, aside from Iraq on which Lieberman can be called "Conservative."

I don't know what your point about Cheney is, he's been a lifelong Republican and though I disagree with him over the "Guest Worker" program he endorses (because his constituents want cheap labor) and some other ancillary issues, he's been a lifelong Republican if not always a reliable Conservative. The two are not one and the same.

Coulter is most certainly a Conservative.

From her days in College helping start the Cornell Review and then starting a local chapter of the Federalist Society upon graduating from Michigan Law School, right up to her current days as a Conservative "bomb thrower."

None of those people "pretend" to be something they're not.

Lieberman was always a Liberal with an independent streak. Throughout the 1990s he vigorously opposed race/gender-based preferences, only changing that position when the Democrats prevailed upon him to do so, before accepting Gore's nomination of him as VP.

Cheney and Coulter have both been lifelong Republicans and, for the most part, Conservatives, as well.

It's OK not to like people, but it's important to be honest when assessing them or we lose credibility.

Moreover, being a single issue voter is a real bad idea.

I used to have two litmus tests for a candidate - guns (violent self defense) and race/gender-preferences...a candidate had to support the innate rate of every individual to violent self-defense AND oppose race/gender-based preferences for me to vote for them.

But even that test is far too narrow.

I supported Giuliani over both David Dinkins and Ruth Messinger, even though he was pro-gun control and...OK, he was actually very good on preferences. He was absolutely GREAT compared to either of his more Liberal rivals.

The point is, each of us has a responsibility to vote for the person closest to our ideals as possible.

That's why I commend people like Rachel for voting the Green Party when the other choices were not to her liking.

I may disagrree with that choice, but that's Rachel's choice to make and I'd never seek to alienate someone who could possibly one day support some of the things I do by calling them "Liberals" or "Conservatives" when they claim not to be...insinuating that somehow they are "traitors to the cause" simply for thinking independently.

Charles Schumer and Rahm Emmanuel seem to understand that, thus their reaching out to Joe Lieberman, you seem not to, and thus your view that Joe Lieberman is a "traitor to Democrats."

Bottom-line you supported Ned Lamont and were pissed that he won the Primary and then promptly lost the general election.

I understand that, but it's always imprudent to throw the baby out with the bath water.

American Ideas Click Here!