Tuesday, May 10, 2005

What Corn Said

David Corn that is on the Huff Post.

"Before the war, I and others argued that an invasion of Iraq could lead to a situation in which there would be no good options. [This was my position as well]That prediction has come true. Bush has created a mess that defies an obvious and low-cost solution. Military experts of late have been saying that the insurgency probably will last for years (perhaps decades) and that establishing an effective Iraqi security force could take five years or more. Yet Bush refuses to admit these realities."

Of course he does. He refuses to see any realities so it's no surprise to me. Withdrawing from Iraq may be the best of two bad choices. The question is when do we roll the dice?


Blogger Peter L. Winkler said...

We have 150,000 troops there now and can't prevent the violence. The conservatives' last rationale for staying in Iraq - that withdrawal will lead to chaos - has just been kicked out from under them. We can't do any good by staying, and the level of violence will probably be the same if we leave. The Iraqis will be no worse off. We should leave immediately. But failed projects that consume large amounts of resources tend to have an inertia of their own. I suspect that since Bush refuses to acknowledge a mistake, we'll stay there until an anti-war president can get elected.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous john said...

you liberals have been so concerned about the opinion of the rest of the world when it comes to US foreign policy. Are you not concerned that it might look a little bad to abandon Iraq without rebuilding the infrastructure we destroyed? what's your rationale...the cost?! you say it won't stop the violence. so we pull our troops, who are currently busy repairing the damage, just to save money? If america wasn't viewed as greedy capitalists before, that would certainly clinch it. what a terrible idea.

1:07 AM  
Blogger Peter L. Winkler said...

John, you are a reflexive partisan. Instead of confronting the issue - is there any point in remaining in Iraq - you try to change the subject to world opinion of Amnerica. It's a straw man, since I never brought it up. Frankly, I don't give a damn what the world thinks of us, so please don't lump me in with all liberals.

The job of the army is to fight wars, not build things. That's the job of private contractors or maybe UN agencies. And news stories have shown that billions committed to rebuilding have either been unused or grafted.

So now the new con fallback rational for Iraq is that we are there to rebuild it? Maybe we shouldn't have bombed it to hell and gone in the first place.

5:10 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

The reconstruction has been hopelessly screwed up anyway. A sfar as I'm concerned the connected contractors have looted the public treasury and neither side got anything out of it. That's pitiful, but predictable. And it was.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous john said...

mark... where do you get this gloomy crap? how is the reconstruction hopelessly screwed up? How have "connected contractors" "looted the public treasury"? How can you say neither side has benefitted from it? Sometimes I think your ideas are all based on the PIDOOMA model.

sorry peter... i'm used to the libs whining about how everyone hates us. in answer to the question - there are plenty of reasons to remain in iraq.
1. to prevent radical islamic thugs from taking control of the government.
2. to safeguard iraq against other countries while the military rebuilds.
3. to repair what we broke, and protect the repairmen.
4. to gain an ally in the middle east. this is probably the most important one. If the US pulls out of iraq so soon after invading it, iraqi public opinion will turn against the US. as polls show, the iraqis are mostly grateful for the removal of Saddam and the installment of a democratic government. In the years to come, this will have gained us an ally in the war on terror.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Well I get it from the facts. You ought to try it sometime. The Sunnis are still the problem as they were before the invasion. There was no threat then and there is now. They looted the treasury because we've borrowed the money to fund another country that's a basket case.

The pollyanna stuff is another fairy tale conservatives like to tell themselves before bed. Reality is much different.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous john said...

here's a few bits of info about the reconstruction and improvements made since the fall of saddam. not that you're interested in positive news about iraq.


1:36 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Well let's look at the source; your Aussie reporter: "a 19 year-old Christian, and politically a conservative, from Sydney, Australia. Issues that are important to me include National Security, Terrorism, Lowering Taxes and Freedom of Religion and Speech."

What a surprise that compared to a huge number of reported deaths in a report from Lancet (100,000)I'd never heard of the UN has now done a new survey that cites 24,000 Iraqi dead since the invasion. That is good news but since when do conservatives cite anything the UN does? When it's a straw man I guess.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous john said...

Quit being so lazy, mark. that blogger was not the source of anything. he linked to his sources for every item... among them, you'll find Unicef, CNN, ABC, London Times, International Herald Tribune. Fact-check them.
You say your gloomy outlook comes from the facts... I provided you with some facts that contradict your claims, and you don't wanna hear it. what's more, instead of disputing anything in the article, you attack the source and then have the gall to say the words "straw man". The straw man belongs to you, mark.

peter - still waiting to hear you opine on the reasons to remain in iraq.

1:09 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I dispute the false comparison of bad and really bad=good. Like all conservaties John you're just not very smart or you'd see the problem with this thesis. It's propaganda. The article in the mainstream press quoted experts saying the number was artificially high. There was no wide acceptance of it. It's a straw man: yours.

8:35 AM  
Anonymous john said...

no wide acceptance of it? google "iraq 100000 dead" and you'll get 532,000 results... that figure was widely accepted by the anti-war crowd. why? because they wanted it to be true.

you're still ignoring facts, though. do you realize that Iraq has more electricity available in the country than during Saddam's rule? more Iraqis are employed now than then? Salaries there have tripled on average, and the Baghdad real estate market is booming. In short, everyone knows that rebuilding Iraq is not easy, but things are already better than they were under Saddam in many ways, proof that the rebuilding effort is not failing.

Your comment about my intelligence and that of conservatives in general is indicative of your own shortcomings. Checked out your resume, since you posted a link to it. I see you received a "D" in "Diversity and the Media". Now THAT'S ironic.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Peter L. Winkler said...

" the Baghdad real estate market is booming"

Yeah. Everything in Iraq these days is booming. Making great, bloody booming sounds as they blow up. Sorry, I can't resist when fed a great straight line.

4:16 AM  
Blogger Peter L. Winkler said...


I went to the blog from which you draw the support for yout conclusion that evrything's coming up roses in Iraq, clicked on the link for the story about how wlwctrical power is supossedly more plentiful now than pre0war, and it comes from a DOD propaganda web site.

Here's part of a story and the link for another view of the electrical power supply situation, and it has the ring of truth to it. As to why I didn't before, it's as I said before. I can't find any good reasons to stay in Iraq.


Electricity Production in Iraq Remains Below Pre-War Levels

by Dahr Jamail

Contrary to Bush Administration reports, Iraqi officials say the country's electricity problems remain endemic, and fear that despite Coalition promises, Iraq's plants will remain inadequate for the foreseeable future.

Baghdad , May 14, 2004 - Contrary to US President George Bush’s recent statement that electricity in Iraq "is now more widely available than before the war," Iraqi officials say the power supply in their country has not yet been repaired to pre-war levels. Bush made the claim in his May 1, 2004 speech commemorating the one-year anniversary of the "mission accomplished" address he delivered from aboard the USS Lincoln.

Twelve months later, it appears as though the majority of Iraqis have seen little improvement in their power supply.

At the Al-Dora power station in Baghdad on May 3, the deputy manager of the plant, Bashir Khalaf Omair, said that electricity output in Iraq prior to the March, 2003 invasion was around 5,000 Megawatts (MW) a day.

Currently, even in the best neighbourhoods of Baghdad there is only twelve hours of electricity per day, and this only intermittently.Most areas of the city have between six and eight hours of power per 24 hours,
NOTE THIS: Iraq’s Acting Minister of Electricity, Ra’ad Al-Haris, said in an interview Thursday that the current supply of electricity produced in Iraq measures between 3,600-4,000 MW.

Currently, even in the best neighbourhoods of Baghdad there is only twelve hours of electricity per day, and this only intermittently. Most areas of the city have between six and eight hours of power per 24 hours.

Baghdad resident Salam Obidy is frustrated by the unreliability of the electrical grid. "I have three hours on, and four hours off," he said. "Mostly it is completely unscheduled. Yesterday I spent all night not sleeping because it was so hot."

And it is only getting hotter. The temperature during the day in Baghdad is beginning to approach 100 degrees now. It consistently climbs to 110-120 degrees in July and August.

In the Al-Adhamiyah district of Baghdad, a man named Abu Talan also complained about the lack of electricity in his neighbourhood. "My family and I sometimes have thirteen hours with no electricity whatsoever," he said. "Usually we average six hours per day. If there is no fuel for our small generator, we all suffer."

"The parts we need come from Italy and Germany," Omair said, "and the security situation has made it more difficult to get these imported."

In addition to sabotage of gas and transmission lines in Iraq, as well a shortage of supplies, the reconstruction problems in Iraq have been underscored by the mass exodus of foreign contractors.

"Bechtel is responsible for the rehabilitation here," Omair explained. "The companies they subcontracted to, Siemens and Babcock, have pulled out their engineers. Without their presence, the Iraqi companies Al-Marjal and United Company, have been unable to do as much work."

4:33 AM  
Blogger Peter L. Winkler said...


Yeah, before you and everyone eles point out that the story is a year old, I apologize. I was Googling at 4 AM and my eyes were bothering me.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Yeah well I got an A in reporting. Diversity there was about how minorities were short-shrifted, which they were and then some, but I fought with my instructor from India. Surprisingly I got credit in two areas under appeal and graduated because of that very course. It worked well despite the trubbing from India.

Your reporting skills, John as Peter here has shown leave a lot to be desired. All that time in wingnut training camp. Tsk tsk.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous john said...

that's fine, no point trying to convince people whose minds are made up.
Is there ever a situation where you guys celebrate good news, regardless of what political party was responsible for it? Or are you committed to negativity? I think it's great that Iraqi's can vote now, can earn more money, have more jobs available, and don't have to live in fear of their government. But does anyone hear it from you? Hell no. You're driven to point out failure, even if you have to search for it. Your defeatism is tiring. No wonder your party loses.

12:43 AM  
Blogger Peter L. Winkler said...


" I think it's great that Iraqi's can vote now, can earn more money, have more jobs available, and don't have to live in fear of their government."

It would be great, if it happened in a country that wasn't immolated daily by random acts of violence which our presence precipitated and which now seems to be a condition of everyday life in Iraq. How would you feel if you didn't know, when you woke up in the morning, if you'd be alive by nightfall? Iraqis have no certainty of anything good when they can fall victim to a random act of violence at any time.

1:30 AM  
Anonymous john said...

In four scientific polls of iraqi citizens, fully two thirds of iraqis say that eliminating Saddam was worth any hardships that have resulted. You don't speak for them.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Here's the bill for that. Have a nice future on somebody else's borrowed dollar. The violence is real.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous john said...

don't quite know what that means, so...purple monkey dishwasher?

11:20 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

I'm not surprised since your head is jammed so deep in the sand.

7:25 AM  

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