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The "They" in "They want us gone"

Fresh car bombings in Iraq bring a fresh wave of "They want us gone!" chants. Yes, they do. But they anti-war people refer to the wrong they in those chants. Of course there are people in Iraq who resent and resist the presence of the U.S. and coalition forces. They are the same people who resent and resist democracy. Basically, they are terrorists and thugs, leftover scraps of Saddam's army. And really, why would they want us there? In a democracy such as the one being formed in Iraq, there is no room on the governing council for terrorists. There are no government employment forms with a blank space that says: List all thuggery experience here. They are the people who will suffer the most from the absence of a brutal dictatorship. They are the people who lost jobs and whose gravy train has come to a grinding halt. I imagine that among the insurgents, radicals, resistance or whatever you want to call these groups (I prefer the term murdering terrorists, myself), are those who had lively careers under the tutelage of Saddam. The guy who was in charge of dragging people out of their homes to vote on Election Day. The guy who rounded up "volunteers" to carry signs during Saddam's birthday celebrations. They guy who sharpened the axes that were used in the beheadings. The guy who drove the bulldozer that covered the bodies of dead Kurds. The guy who rounded up young women for Uday to rape. The guy who was in charge of the children's prison. All of the men who murdered, tortured, raped and imprisoned innocent Iraqis at Saddam's behest. So yes, of course they want the U.S. gone. With the new form of governing that we bring to Iraq, the careers of these men are basically in the toilet. No longer will Saddam's opulence trickle down to them. No longer will they be able to kill at will or use their power for evil. At least not with government approval. So when I see a photo like this one or a report like this: Dozens of people gathered around two of the vehicles damaged in the blast, hammering on them, waving debris and jumping on their roofs, chanting: "America is the enemy of God." I just have to think to myself, who would bomb people who are working on the infrastructure of their country? What kind of person would kill the very people who are trying to rebuild the electricity grid? The answer seems pretty obvious. It would have to be someone who does not want the infrastructure rebuild. Someone who does not want the city put back together with better electricity than it had before. Someone who does not want schools and hospitals built, someone who does not want new roadways installed or markets to open. For all intents and purposes, we will call these people terrorists. Why? Because they are. No square quotes. Just the word. Terrorists. Replace the they in the opening paragraph here with terrorists. Fresh car bombings in Iraq bring a fresh wave of "Terrorists want us gone!" chants. The terrorists hate us. The terrorists do not want us in their country. As Homer would say, Doh! It was obvious all along, wasn't it? Now, this could all very well be conjecture on my part, but based on what I've seen and what I've read, I don't think so. Also, common sense tells me that people who lived under an oppressive, tyrannical, death squad regime, people who lived in squalor and fear while others who bowed to the evil principles of said regime lived in luxury and without fear, they would want the coalition forces there. They would want change and want democracy. I listen to Ali an Omar. I listen to Zeyad. I listen to Ays. I listen to Alaa, who says: bq. Dear Mr. President
Calm seas and easy winds do not test a ship’s worthiness, but it is the tempest and the hurricane that show her true metal. Strength is measured by the intensity of stress that can be withstood. And here we see you standing like a mountain towering over the raging elements. I would hope that the majority of Iraqis are of the same thinking. Do you think the people benefiting from and smiling because of Spirit of America are shouting for us to go home? I doubt it. I would assume (and yes, I know all about assumptions) that the terrorists are in the minority. Unfortunately, it is the minority who have the guns, bombs and means to strike out at what they consider their enemy. Which would be democracy. The U.S. and coalition presence represent that enemy so it would stand to reason that they would gather their forces and put their career skills - honed under Saddam's regime - to use. There's also another they at play here. See, the bombers and shooters are not always Iraqi. Sometimes they are from Jordan or Libya. Sometimes they are members of al-Qaeda or one of those AQ offshoots. So why would they care if democracy was coming to Iraq? Simple. There would be one less country in which they could hide out. One less country to trade weapons and ammunition with. One less country to recruit from. And one more country that the godless Americans are ruining for them. To them, the war in Iraq represents several things: an opportunity to kill Americans; a way to make American and it's nation building dreams look bad; a way to destroy the confidence American citizens have in their country; a way to possibly bring down the Evil American Empire; a way to recruit new members into their martyr's brigade, a brigade whose main purpose is to destroy everyone who does not follow their way of life. So, who wants us out of Iraq? Who are those people dancing around the charred bodies of fellow Iraqis? Who are these people not only murdering their own countrymen, but destroying any progress being made towards democracy and stability? My bet is that they are not ordinary Iraqi citizens. My bet is on terrorists. And frankly, I really don't care what they want or what they think. They can jump up and down and curse the USA all they want, it does not make their cause noble just because they are "protesting" against the horrible, evil people of the United States of America, despite what the people over here think. The people chanting "God is Great, America is Evil!" and the people dancing around bodies and smiling in the face of their dead countrymen are of the same mold (and sometimes the same people) who beheaded Nick Berg, who hung the bodies in Fallujuah, who killed Daniel Pearl, who crashed a few airplanes on September 11, 2001. They hate us. They always did. And now, we are in their zone, in their part of the world, trying to take away their guns and power. Of course they hate us. Of course they will do anything to stop the transfer of power, to stop the forthcoming democracy. That's who they are. And yes, they want us gone. Too bad. Of course, this only what I surmise from what I take in. I am not speaking for Iraqis. They speak well enough for themselves and from Omar right down to the Iraqi governing council, I can pretty much assume (there I go again) that they're not standing arm in arm with the terrorists who are killing their own people.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The "They" in "They want us gone":

» Yeah from Beth's Contradictory Brain
what she said. Michele has a great post on the phrase "they want us gone" in Iraq. How people fail [Read More]

» All Your Penis Are Belongs to Us! from My Pet Jawa
Michelle on the Minority Who Want Us Out. Keep dreaming babe. [Read More]

» Instant leftist boilerplate (just add spittle and stir)! from protein wisdom
Blah blah right-wing Rumsfeld warmonger chickenhawk evil Bushies Wolwowitz and his neocon cabal for oiloiloiloiloiloil blah blah ignorant stupid bloodthirsty morons, the real axis of evil on a ranch in Crawford and blah blah blah no WMD he lied, Bushit... [Read More]

» Do Iraqis want us to leave? A new poll overwhelmingly says "yes". from CenterFeud
"They want us to leave" we are often told, "they" ostensibly meaning the Iraqi people. And without doubt, there is definitely a group who wants us to leave as soon as possible, and is killing new members of the transitional [Read More]

Comments

It must be enjoyable to be so ignorant. This war was was a mistake. When will you admit it?

As usual, Michele, you nailed it. I'm sorry I wasn't a little quicker to keep the first comment on this thread from being a troll.
You rock!

It occurs to me recently that during the Cold War we had to fight these people with one hand while fighting the Communists with our other hand.

And I'm being poetic with my use of the term "we" since I was one of them--the moonbats I mean--back then.

But the point is, the good guys won then. The good guys will win now too.

It's just depressing how much work they make it for us. Then again, not as much work as the troops in the field have to go through, right?

Let's slog on shoulder to shoulder with whoever's with us.

DARPANET:

To quote Mr. Garrison, "Okay, now let's try to get an answer from someone who's not a complete retard."

DARPANET,
It must be enjoyable to be omniscient, which you must be as you can divine that the war was a mistake when people with access to far more information than you, both on the right AND the left, cannot come to that same conclusion.

Incidentally, I seriously doubt that Michele who co-founded the Command Post can be more ignorant (using the classic definition of the word) than you (unless you really work for DARPA; yeah, right).

There are also the operatives for Syria, Iran and probably Saudi governments. I know you mentioned foreigners, but I'm talking about the governmental spook shops. Each of these countries knows we have a legitimate reason to put them next on the list and troops and bases on their border, in Iran's case two borders.

Yes, they hate us, but they kill Iraqis.

That's good thinking there, guys, you must be winning hearts and minds like crazy!

Aggressive charity is rarely appreciated. Throw in killing civilians and blowing up their homes and what kinda response do you think you'll get?

Throw in killing civilians and blowing up their homes....

That's exactly what the "insurgents" are doing - killing Iraqi civilians.

I do believe you missed the entire point of the post you supposedly read.

The issue of who wants us in Iraq is also obscured by the fact that the Iraqi people don't want American troops in their country any more than . . . well, any more than we want our troops to be there, or the troops want to be there. Everyone would be happier if the job was finished and our guys could come home.

But the job's not finished. And I suspect that the majority of the Iraqi people recognize that foreign troops are a necessary evil to stabilize the country until they can handle the job themselves.

Remember: "winning hearts and minds" isn't about getting them to love us. It's about getting them to take responsibility for their own country and not give aid to those who want to kill us. That's all we ask.

Unless we get a balanced media, this kind of biased reported will never change.

That is what is so enraging about our "anti-war" activists here.

They are doing it all for the "Iraqi people."

Right, but when the smoke clears, they are merely standing with the Terrorists. They only share their common vision of American defeat and the real Iraqi people be damned.

Exactly, Crank. Y'know, we've been hearing for many months now how so many of the anti-war types just want to bring the troops home (presumably because they support those troops so much), and how the Iraqis supposedly don't want us there (based on the fact that former Baathists, Iranians, Syrians, and various others are attacking the troops and Iraqi civilians), but they never have a good answer about what the consequences of that act would be.

I don't think they care. Oh, they'll never admit it; they cloak their language in terms of caring about the troops, of wanting Iraqis to be free, but they don't honestly care what happens to the Iraqis. If they end up in another dictatorship it will just be something else they can blame Bush for.

Hey look, everyone, Prof posted a cartoon! Well, OK, a leftist, preachy, patently unfunny cartoon, but a cartoon nonetheless.

(T-minus 10, 9, 8 until Michele deletes it...)

The people who are killing Iraqis and American soldiers hope to install Islamic (shariah) law in Iraq.

One Islamist said:

"The way forward is to throw away these American Puppets who will refuse to rule by the Shariah and never allow them to get a foothold in Iraaq."

When the Marines left Fallujah, Islamic (shariah) law was installed, with the usual Taliban-style rules. According to AP, Fallujah's residents are known for their “religious piety.”

They’re also famous for the joy they take in desecrating the bodies of infidels. No coincidence there.

Unlike traditional fascism, this fundamentalist version of Islamic law allows slavery.

Michael Moore calls these religious slaveholder-wannabe Nazis ‘minutemen”

The religious fascism that motivates the ‘insurgents’ is the same fascism that motivates terrorism & Islamist genocide around the world. Extreme right-wingers like Pat Buchanan and the left appear to be helping it grow.

From Paul Berman:

"To arrive at a situation in which Nazis have conquered Europe, you not only need to have the Nazis themselves, you need to have all the other right-wing movements that look on Nazis in a friendly light, and you need to have left-wing opponents like the anti-war French Socialists, who cannot see that Nazis are Nazis."

Michele:

Thanks for one of the most logical summaries of what's happening that I've yet read.

Our first commenter is obviously immune to this sort of logic. Bush will be blamed regardless of what bad stuff happens over there.

This is why I think that this election is so darned critical. You think the terrorists are dancing now around charred bodies, think how they'll be dancing if we vote out GWB (G-d help us all).

And people like DARPA and Rall and the (flat) ghost of Rachel Corrie will be dancing right alongside.

Great company, don't ya think? WG

prof's cartoon: Typical attempted cleverness masking the lack of a substantive argument.

They talk out of their asses so much their cushions are probably deaf [meaningless emphasis, original].

Oh. So. Clever.

man the quality of idiot trolls has really gone downhill - we are left with the most ignorant and shrill ones. what a shame.

oh and Michelle - spot on.

Michele

Excellent essay! You've succinctly hit the most salient points. I notice that the "other side" has no argument on points, just pathetic obfuscating bluster.

Do Kurds count as "Iraqis"? They certainly have no problems with US military lending them protection; hell we've done it for years now, allowing them to actually prosper.

In almost every local election (and there have been dozens upon dozens) in small cities and municipalities in Iraq, the religious fanatics have been defeated and moderates elected. These people certainly have indicated their hopes for the future.

The larger question is do we have the will to defeat this contemporary fascism like we had the will 60 years ago? And we must understand, in historical context, that defeating that old fascism had its own naysayers (America First), fellow travelers (German-American Bund, Vichy Government), sob-sisters (American press reporting on the "quamire" of occupied Germany post WWII) and "insurgents" attacking occupation troops and civilians (German werewolves).

Too much of the "anti-war" movement is just plain anti-American, and they prove it over and over again.

no, i doubt it's the common, everyday iraqi citizen who wants us to go home; however, i'm sure they are probably tired of all the war and killing. it must be horrible to have to live thru a 9/11 every day. Hopefully in the end, life will be better for the little man, for this is who we are fighting for.

Blah blah right wing Rumsfeld warmonger chickenhawk evil Bushies Wolwowitz and his neocon cabal oiloiloiloiloiloil blah blah ignorant stupid bloodthirsty the real axis of evil on a ranch in Crawford blah blah blah no WMD he lied Bushitler lied people died died died tie-dyed peace peace peace down with the Zionists peace peace Kyoto the hate us blowback blah blah blah unilateral multinational Halliburton Enronism crony oiloiloiloil blah blah blah cowboyish disregard for allies the world community rising up against us the terrorist threat is overblown and anyway is our fault because we gave Saddam his weapons to begin with that he no longer has because blah blah blah Saudi Pakistan Sudan handle it, Roy, handle it handle it Caspian pipeline oiloiloiloil blah blah blah show me the stockpiles, anthrax CIA plant Richard Clarke said and we believe him unless unless unless Abu Ghraib Abu Ghraib Abu Ghraib square-jawed cocksucking military jarhead torturing fucks bring home the troops! We care about the troops! We support the troops and don't you question our patriotism our love for this fucking filthy crass consumerist country of redneck dolts and blah blah blah blah blah because dissent is patriotism and fighting against your country is fighting for your country and up is down and black is white and oiloiloiloiloil. So, y'know, thanks fo the space.

Jeff just channelled everyone on the left in one fell swoop.

Here's yet another excellent article by Victor Davis Hanson that dovetails nicely with Michele's points:
Feeding the Minotaur
... In exchange for our not retaliating in any meaningful way against the killers — addressing their sanctuaries in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, or Syria, or severing their financial links in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and their various state-sanctioned kindred operatives agreed to keep the number killed to reasonable levels. They were to reap their lethal harvests abroad and confine them mostly to professional diplomats, soldiers, or bumbling tourists, whose disappearance we distracted Americans would predictably chalk up to the perils of foreign service and exotic travel.
Despite the occasional fiery rhetoric, both sides found the informal Minoan arrangement mutually beneficial. The terrorists believed that they were ever so incrementally, ever so insidiously eroding America's commitment to a pro-Western Middle East. We offered our annual tribute so that over the decades we could go from Dallas to Extreme Makeover and Madonna to Britney without too much distraction or inconvenience.
But then a greedy, over-reaching bin Laden wrecked the agreement on September 11. Or did he?
Murdering 3,000 Americans, destroying a city block in Manhattan, and setting fire to the Pentagon were all pretty tough stuff. And for a while it won fascists and their state sponsors an even tougher response in Afghanistan and Iraq that sent hundreds to caves and thousands more to paradise. And when we have gotten serious in the postbellum reconstruction, thugs like Mr. Sadr have backed down. But before we gloat and think that we've overcome our prior laxity and proclivity for appeasement, let us first make sure we are not still captives to the Minotaur's logic.

Read the whole thing!

Who are these "ordinary Iraqis of whom you speak? Those of you on the right put so much support in polling; check this one out:

"In a nationwide survey by the Iraq Center for Research and Strategic Studies, security and crime were cited as the most urgent issue for Iraqis, with the economy and jobs running a close second.

In another poll by the group, Mr. Allawi was strongly supported by only 4.8 percent of those surveyed.

That was in sharp contrast to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani, who enjoyed more than 51 percent support, and Sheik al-Sadr, who was strongly supported by almost 32 percent. "

32 percent. That makes him the SECOND most popular politician in Iraq. So, Michele you claiming that 32% (at least) of Iraqi's are 'terrorists'? Thats an awful lot. Or perhaps you just want to dismiss the numbers, which is, of course, easy to do. But it rather misses the point.

Here's one story on the poll:
http://washingtontimes.com/world/20040531-124523-6786r.htm

and more if you like:
http://www.cpod.ubc.ca/polls/index.cfm?fuseaction=viewItem&itemID=2832

Here's yet another excellent article by Victor Davis Hanson that dovetails nicely with Michele's points:
Feeding the Minotaur
... In exchange for our not retaliating in any meaningful way against the killers — addressing their sanctuaries in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, or Syria, or severing their financial links in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia — Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and their various state-sanctioned kindred operatives agreed to keep the number killed to reasonable levels. They were to reap their lethal harvests abroad and confine them mostly to professional diplomats, soldiers, or bumbling tourists, whose disappearance we distracted Americans would predictably chalk up to the perils of foreign service and exotic travel.
Despite the occasional fiery rhetoric, both sides found the informal Minoan arrangement mutually beneficial. The terrorists believed that they were ever so incrementally, ever so insidiously eroding America's commitment to a pro-Western Middle East. We offered our annual tribute so that over the decades we could go from Dallas to Extreme Makeover and Madonna to Britney without too much distraction or inconvenience.
But then a greedy, over-reaching bin Laden wrecked the agreement on September 11. Or did he?
Murdering 3,000 Americans, destroying a city block in Manhattan, and setting fire to the Pentagon were all pretty tough stuff. And for a while it won fascists and their state sponsors an even tougher response in Afghanistan and Iraq that sent hundreds to caves and thousands more to paradise. And when we have gotten serious in the postbellum reconstruction, thugs like Mr. Sadr have backed down. But before we gloat and think that we've overcome our prior laxity and proclivity for appeasement, let us first make sure we are not still captives to the Minotaur's logic.

Read the whole thing!

???? double post??

Sorry, about that!

Darpa says: "Michele you claiming that 32% (at least) of Iraqi's are
'terrorists'? "

Idiot. The people blowing up their fellow Iraqis and foreign workers are the terrorists.

I'm betting you didn't too well on those reading comprehension tests in school.

Interviews to 1,640 Iraqi adults in of Baghdad, Babylon, Diyala, Ramadi, Mousel, Basra and Sulaimaniya, conducted from Apr. 20 to Apr. 27, 2004.

Well, thats it. On the sentiments of 1640 adults (males? females?), the US should immediately turn the country over to the Saddamites and leave.

The Vichy wing of the Left has spoken!

Darleen: See, there's this thing called "sampling" which allows "scientists" to obtain accurate "information" about how people feel without asking everyone. This magical sampling technique has been around since the 1950s. Perhaps you should look it up.

Michele: Actually, I consistantly scored in the 99th percentile on reading comp. tests in school, thank you (though obviously not as well on spelling tests :) )

More to the point: Take, for arguments sake, that 32% of Iraqis support Sadr. Sadr is blowing up Americans. Logically, it stands to reason that (at least) 32% of Iraqis support blowing up Americans, if not more. If not by actually blowing things up, than by tacitly supporting those who do.

See, thats where arguments like yours about "who supports what" in Iraq fall apart. Almost every insurgency in modern times has had a small minority of fighters who actually do the killing, and a much larger minority (if not a majority) of "ordinary" people who support those who are doing the dirty work. In April, the numbers in Iraq decisively shifted in favor of the insurgency, I would guess.

Or perhaps you think every colonial supporter in the Revolutionary War was fighting in Washington's army?

Darpa

The "sampling" was not truly given, even the "error" margin was not given. And moral decisions should not be wholely dependant on "polling". If it were, then France would still be a province of Nazi Germany (the vast majority of French citizens supported the Vichy government; and even today, one finds a debate on whether or not D-Day was liberation or occupation).

Your support of the Iraqi "insurgents" is duely noted.

Hmmm... let me rephrase

Moral decisions should not be dependent on polling. Period.

Sadr is blowing up Americans

Sadr and his Iran-supported militia are also deliberately targeting & killing Iraqis. Most people believe that he's also responsible for the death of a rival cleric and 82 innocent people in a bombing last August.

Do many Iraqis support that? I find that hard to believe.

"Those of you on the right put so much support in polling" blah blah blah.

I think you need to set yourself up a little better than that, or just proceed to cite the figures without the straw-man preamble. Are you suggesting that conservatives rely more on polls than others? I realize it's OT, but your point was sloppily argued. Very disappointing.

You're also arguing from an inference you're not entitled to draw from Michele's comments (regarding the 32%). I think it's clear Michele knows who the terrorists are. I hardly think she should be made to answer for your confusion on the matter.

Maybe you test well, but you're doing really poorly in this outing. Please do try again.

Darleen,

Anything north of 1,067 adults in a properly constituted** survey should give you a margin of error of +/- 3 percent for the overall population (whether it's 2 million people or 20 million or 200 million -- the math isn't linear). Subsets (e.g. women, Shia, Sunni, under-35, former regime, etc.) of this will have larger MoEs.

**I can't speak for other elements of the poll, however (was it really random selection? was there order bias, sampling bias, acquiescence bias, etc.). There may be significant modal biases due to cultural influences left over from decades of police-statism (who has a telephone? who talks to canvassers? are there literacy issues?). But I can't find anything to indicate that the group conducting the polling has a reputation one way or another. If anyone knows better, let me know.

DrSteve

The "poll" as reported in the link leaves much to be desired, specifically for the reasons you state. Also, as you state, there is no data to indicate the biases of the pollsters. And their bias has to be taken into account when viewing their data.

Personally, I've grown suspicious of much polling because it has grown from being just data to be evaluated in a larger context, to actually being the data to drive the issue, and the dismissal of all other considerations.

Wetting one's finger and sticking it into the wind is not a useful paradigm by which to make any decision, whether personally, nationally or internationally.

I think when you accumulate this much vitriol from the trolls it is proof you are doing something right. No political pun intended but it surely ups the violence in words people are willing to throw your way. Keep it up, I hate the space you have to waste for those folks but your posts are great.

darpa

to obtain accurate "information" about how people feel

The sharp shift to make all decisions, macro or micro, based on feelings, is more than merely regretable, it is destructive, it is at best amoral.

But such is the legacy of the contemporary Left, which has elevated feelings into a quasi-religious dogma at the expense of any other consideration.

DrSteve: "I think it's clear Michele knows who the terrorists are. I hardly think she should be made to answer for your confusion on the matter."

Fascinating, considering that she's sitting in front of a computer on Long island. I'm not trying to claim that I "know" who the terrorists are. I am, however, noting some hard data that posters like this blogger often prefer to ignore when they ramble on ignorantly about "what the Iraqis want."

Also, I grant your point that there's not much information out there about this particular poll, at least not any that's easy to find quickly. If anyone has more info to share, be my guest. For what it's worth, these figures have been cited in a vast number of media outlets across the political specturm. The point, simply, is to argue that somehow "knowing" what the Iraqs want is a very difficult thing, and that its been a sad trope of the right to argue (like this blogger) that "the Iraqis love us (or at least tolerate us) and only the bad terrorists hate us." Unfounded, unwarrented, and desperate. I'd say the body count proves otherwise.

And I've yet to hear anyone respond to my argument, other than calling the data into question.

Great post, Michele. Those Iraqis whom the press always quote saying "We wish the Americans would go home" need to have their comments put in context.
Metaphor alert:
Having the Americans in Iraq is like being in the hospital; naturally you want it over as soon as possible. But as unpleasant as the hospital stay may be, the alternative--forgoing treatment for a malignant tumor, for instance--is worse.

And regarding the "cartoon" posted above, it's not true that Sudan is being ignored. I believe the U.N. has a number of people there. Their role, as near as I can tell, is to express "concern" each time a hundred people are massacred, and "grave concern" for each thousand deaths.

“I have just reviewed some of the press reporting from 1946. The great War correspondent John Dos Passos [spelling corrected]… reported to the American people in January of 1946 that the US occupation of Germany had failed, that the Germans hated us, the French hated us more, that everyone thought we were liberators and now we were just looters. The title of the article was ‘America’s occupation of Germany has failed’. For us, if the 24 hour news channels had been in Japan or Germany during the occupation they would have said ‘This is an impossible dream, to turn the German people and the Japanese people into liberal democrats is crazy. The Germans invaded their neighbours three times in each generation, the Japanese have been a dictatorship for 4,000 years.’ And yet now Germany and Japan, because of this steady commitment, are now the heart of a democratic part of Asia and a democratic Europe.”
“That is what we are moving towards here in the Middle East. Every single nay-sayer in the world will say, with a kind of closet racism, that Arabs are not capable of democracy, like they used to say Japanese could never be democrats or the Germans could never be democrats. And I think we have to rise to what Abraham Lincoln called ‘the higher angels of our nature’. That everyone deserves human rights… Who thought that this was going to be easy?”

Congressperson Mark Kirk interview with BBC Radio 4, 5.6.04

If you believed that eventually, the people rebuilding your country would 'own' it, then you'd be inclined to stop them from rebuilding it.

When you realize that over 200 government-owned corporations have been "opened" to American's for "investment", what that basically means is that now American corporations OWN parts of what used to belong to Iraq. Whether it's 10%, 15%, or 100%.

Many of the oil barons in America, and many in the current administration, know this. There's a term... you break it, you buy it. We broke it, and now we bought it.

I, for one, hope that when the Iraqi's do gain control of their government, preferably through the proper channels, I hope they reclaim their water systems from Bechtal and make it government owned, the same way ours are in America. I hope they reclaim their roads, their electricity, their oil, their schools, their textbook contracts (currently 'sold' to american corporations), the contract to print their currency (currently 'sold' to britains'), and every other thing we sold off.

We've instituted a 15% flat tax there. That's nice and all, but isn't it THEIR choice if they want to tax the rich at 50% or 15%? Isn't it THEIR choice if they want to tax business a lot or a little? These are the most basic decisions of a society, when deciding if you want the tax structure to be progressive or regressive. There are pro's and con's to each side, but we're making those decisions FOR them.

I can imagine what'd happen in American if some country came in, and then all of a sudden British corporations had all the building contracts, Canada had the right to print our money and textbooks, and Mexico had contracts to all of the oil in Texas. And I can't imagine AMericans being happy with that situation, whether the occupying power is good, bad, or otherwise.

Rawb, I am distracted by your penchant for putting apostrophes where they do not belong.

Rawb, I am distracted by your penchant for putting apostrophes where they do not belong.

Using rawb's logic, because I paid someone to fix up and paint my living room, he owns some of my house.

I demand a better class of troll at A Small Victory.

so many comments, this will get lost.

Don't forget, Saddam emptied the prisons in Iraq before the invasion. I don't imagine all of them were innocent, nor do I believe they all turned over a new leaf upon their release. Some would probably want to repay him for their freedom.

rawb -

1. You fail to compare the situation to the extensive foreign concessions in Iraq's oil business before the war. Foreign investment in a developing country is always extensive, and necessary. Take a look some time at the extent of foreign investment and ownership in the US after the Revolutionary War.

2. The new Iraqi government will fairly quickly have the power to change the tax code. And even if you swear by progressive taxation, a low-rate flat tax makes all sorts of sense when you're imposing a brand-new tax system and want it to be simple and encourage compliance. The Russians learned that the hard way.

3. The Iraqis will also soon enough control their own currency, which is more than you can say for the French.

To evaluate all the sources of bias we'd have to have information all the way down to whether the interviewers had regional accents. The only other point I'd make about the poll numbers is that the "opinion infrastructure" in Iraq isn't all that similar to those in Western democracies quite yet. There's still quite a lot of rumor-mongering, appeals to the mob, etc. I imagine the quality of political discussion and polling will steadily improve.

It's perfectly fine for Iraqis not to like us. It's perfectly fine for them to want us to leave; I'd expect them to. It's their country. I'd like us to leave, too, as soon as we can be reasonably assured we're not leaving either an unelected government or a seriously imperiled elected government.

I really do tend to think that the folks setting off the car bombs are not part of a legitimate "national patriotic resistance" but are instead remnants of either the fedayeen or of groups of foreign fighters with specialized training. I think it's too facile an argument to say that in a year's time we've radicalized such a significant portion of the population in Iraq that we've got college students executing sophisticated hits on political leaders. I also seriously doubt that Michele was trying to say that anyone's a terrorist who doesn't agree with both the aims and the methods of the assassins.

Michele,

Great post and right on the money. I'm not responding to the trolls as they are simply trying to rationalize their fascist sympathies. Of course, the war WAS a big mistake - for Saddam and for the Ba'ath Reich that the peace movement admires so much.

Notice how all the leftists' arguments hinge on the idea of a devious leader (GWB) manipulating an ignorant and unthinking populace - the "sheeple", as the DU are fond of calling Americans. Think of the worldview that this attitude implies: a fundamental contempt for humanity and for democracy, and faith only in the power of a "supreme leader". This is the essence of fascism on the Left.

These people despise Bush precisely because he is NOT like Saddam Hussein; and had they the power, they themselves would strive to be like Saddam.

Is no one talking about the Halliburton news from today?

DARPA,

I really, really, really resent your use of DARPA as a handle. If you're going to do something under a pseudonym, I would greatly appreciate it if you didn't do it under a pseudonym that puts words in the mouth of our defense R&D establishment.

The big problem with the terrorists (or the insurgents, minutemen, loyalists, whatever you call them) is that they are willing to kill for what they believe in, while the ordinary Iraqis lack the ability to kill them.

The United States military, even if we sent in the entire US military, can't stop that without resorting to unsavory methods that make the prison abuse scandals look like a trip to Disneyland with no lines at the rides. We disbanded the Iraqi military and police structure (generally a good thing, but not when we don't replace it with anything viable).

So they're stuck with insufficient security, no working societal structures to rely on, some hope that things will get better, some fears that the June 30th deadline will squash those hopes, and the promise from militant groups that they can at least protect those who do them favors.

Not a promising scenario. I'll abstain from saying I told you so, since I supported the invasion. I knew things weren't going to be easy, but I really haven't seen much progress other than our creation of their government. The Iraqis are better off with Saddam gone, but I have strong doubts about our resolve to rebuild Iraq.

Sure, that's up to the Iraqis. But we have to try to make it so they can build without getting blown up every time they start something useful.

The Vietnam analogy I fear is that we'll leave a government in place that will get quickly overrun by the crazies after we fulfill our objectives and pull out. Technically, Otto from A Fish Called Wanda was right when he said it was a tie. But that didn't make the South Vietnamese feel any better in the late 1970s. Or the Marsh Arabs or the Kurds in the 1990s, for that matter.

Bravo Romeo Delta: You've got to be kidding me. With all the discussion on this page, thats the most intelligent thing you can come up with?

Some of the comments on this site are truly beyond satire.

DARPA,

If you are to infer my entire ability to construct arguments and cite evidence based on the entirety of two sentences, then you truely are not representative of any of the fine folks over at DARPA. Actually, as a question, can you tell me anything about DARPA - or was it just some cool acronym you thought would be oh so nifty?

And as far as my decision to post argumentation in response to your commentary, I have noted that you either exhibit a marked unwillingness or inability to respond in any substantive manner to any of the commentary posted here. I chose not to waste my time sparring with someone who seems to be incapable of holding up their end of a debate.

Finally, as far as it goes, I object to your using 'DARPA' as a handle in much the same way that I would object to someone using 'Greenpeace' as a handle while they were calling for the carpet bombing of Iraqi cities.

If, on some fundamental level, the foolishness and cognitive dissonance that your choice of pseudonym brings to the fore is beyond your ability to understand, then my decision to avoid wasting my time arguing with you is well-founded indeed.

Carpet cleaning for all Iraqi cities, beginning tonight!

no wait, that's not right.

So I guess the answer is to just give up and surrender to the terrorists. Ok.

They're not "insurgents." They're "Resistance." That's what you call the citizens of a country who fight against an occupying force.

Carpet cleaning?!?

D'oh!

This is why we're safer with Homer Simpson in a nuclear plant than writing air tasking orders. ;P

I'm surprised they still let me drive BRD.

Hey, I just noticed my initials are Delta Bravo Romeo.

Far out.

Rawg-

Just a note my water company in lexington, ky is owned by a german company. Most water companies are owned by the cities the serve. This is not government owned as much as locally owned.