"Is there anyone in the country who can say honestly, in their heart of hearts, that when that moment of fear hit them after the recent reports out of London, they said to themselves, "God, I'm glad we're in Iraq"?read the rest
Tom Friedman: "... Well, I just have one question for Mr. Cheney: If we’re in such a titanic struggle with radical Islam, and if getting Iraq right is at the center of that struggle, why did you 'tough guys' fight the Iraq war with .... just enough troops to lose? .... Please, Mr. Cheney, spare us your flag-waving rhetoric about the titanic struggle we are in and how Democrats just don’t understand it. It is just so phony — such a patent ploy to divert Americans from the fact that you have never risen to the challenge of this war. .... "
"Since the United Nations resolution calling for a halt to hostilities, Prime Minister Olmert, President Bush, Secretary-General Nasrallah, President al-Asad and President Ahmadinejad have all been procliaming the war a personal victory.
I don't know why they would want to claim it.
It was such a stupid war. It was thick-as-two-blocks-of-wood strategy on all sides. It was moronic for the Israelis to plan it out last year. It was idiotic for Hizbullah to cross over into Israel, kill soldiers, and take two captive. It was brain dead for the Israeli officer corps and politicians to think they could get anything positive out of bombing Lebanon back to the stone age and making a million people homeless. It was dim-witted for Hasan Nasrallah to threaten Israelis with releasing poison gases from Haifa chemical plants on them. It was obtuse for the Israelis to confront a dug-in guerrilla movement with green conventional troops marching in straight lines. It was dull of Hizbullah to fire thousands of katyushas into open fields where they mainly damaged wild grass. The few times when the rockets managed to kill someone, it was often an Arab Israeli civilian. Stupid.
But this war was a keystone cops war. It was horribly destructive for Lebanon, but not to any purpose for anyone, including the Israelis. The Americans and Israelis seem to have thought that the small farmers and small shopkeepers of south Lebanon were a sinister wraith army of the ghost of Ayatollah Khomeini. In fact, they were . . . small farmers and shopkeepers. One of the reasons they are rushing back down south is to see to their small farms, even if the small farmhouse isn't there any more.
But there you have it. Everyone wants credit for this cornucopia of foolishness."
"In other words, Bush doesn't have the slightest idea what he is talking about and nothing he said on this subject makes any sense at all. Why does the US press always let him get away with this?"
"Long time readers know that I am also opposed to seeing Iraq partitioned, and think it would only cause more problems. But wanting Iraq to stay together and arranging for it to do so are not the same things.paging david wurmser.
You have to ask yourself, what are the policies that would split it up and what are the policies that would keep it together? I maintain that Bush's policies have set in motion enormous pressures for partition, which did not exist in April, 2003. He has to change those policies if he is to maintain the country's integrity. Making the Marines an adjunct to Shiite sectarian policies of debaathification and suppression of the Sunnis is maybe not a winning strategy and should be rethought. Using the Kurdish Peshmergas to police Kirkuk and Ninevah provinces or to attack Turkmen in Tal Afar is also not wise from the point of view of ethnic politics. Kirkuk has Arabs and Turkmen who fear Kurdish dominance, and Ninevah is majority-Arab and knows that the Kurds covet Mosul, Iraq's third-largest city. If Bush hasn't been using ethnic divisions to divide and rule, then he has just been unwise about them."