Historic Progress in Iraq


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Historic Progress in Iraq

By Charles Krauthammer

Real Clear Politics

December 5, 2008

The barbarism in Mumbai and the economic crisis at home have largely overshadowed an otherwise singular event: the ratification of military and strategic cooperation agreements between Iraq and the United States.

They must not pass unnoted. They were certainly noted by Iran, which fought fiercely to undermine the agreements.

This was sent to me and I think it is a good idea to not lose sight of Iraq. Like it or not, this issue will be with us for quite some time.

It feels good to see some level of nonviolent decision-making over there. It's a sign that something good is coming out of that mess.

Michael

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It feels good to see some level of nonviolent decision-making over there. It's a sign that something good is coming out of that mess.

Two Bombings Kill at Least 30 Iraqis

By KATHERINE ZOEPF

Published: December 1, 2008

BAGHDAD — Suicide bombings in Baghdad and Mosul took the lives of at least 32 Iraqis on Monday in carnage that recalled the levels of violence before the American troop buildup last year

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/03/world/mi...ast/03iraq.html

Bombs Kill 21 Iraqis, Including Children

By KATHERINE ZOEPF and ALISSA J. RUBIN

Published: December 2, 2008

BAGHDAD — Bombings took the lives of at least 21 Iraqis on Tuesday, including 3 children and 6 adults when an explosive on a horse-drawn cart went off in an attack on a primary school in Mosul.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/03/world/mi...ast/03iraq.html

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Bombs Kill 21 Iraqis, Including Children

By KATHERINE ZOEPF and ALISSA J. RUBIN

Published: December 2, 2008

BAGHDAD — Bombings took the lives of at least 21 Iraqis on Tuesday, including 3 children and 6 adults when an explosive on a horse-drawn cart went off in an attack on a primary school in Mosul.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/03/world/mi...ast/03iraq.html

All of this is Islamic faith in practice. The new call to prayer is the five times daily explosion of the suicide bomb.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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It's kinda hard to come out of a war straight into the land of milk and honey.

I think we should get real and not refuse to see actual progress because we only look at a dwindling violent status quo and treat the bad parts as if they were the only reality worth seeing.

Change has its own nature and it is only instantaneous with total destruction by bombing. Positive change takes longer and is messier.

I, for one, celebrate the progress.

Michael

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Amen to that!

~ Shane

You are all silly rabbits. Recall how the Pacific War was ended? With the total destruction of two large Japanese cities by nuclear attack. The way to win wars is to kill lots of people and bust up lots of stuff.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Amen to that!

~ Shane

You are all silly rabbits. Recall how the Pacific War was ended? With the total destruction of two large Japanese cities by nuclear attack. The way to win wars is to kill lots of people and bust up lots of stuff.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I see your point, but the difference is we did not occupy Japan. And it's about time that Iraq took over the reins of their future. Ultimately, it's their country, their lives. Let them fight for it if it's truly what they want.

~ Shane

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Amen to that!

~ Shane

You are all silly rabbits. Recall how the Pacific War was ended? With the total destruction of two large Japanese cities by nuclear attack. The way to win wars is to kill lots of people and bust up lots of stuff.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I see your point, but the difference is we did not occupy Japan. And it's about time that Iraq took over the reins of their future. Ultimately, it's their country, their lives. Let them fight for it if it's truly what they want.

~ Shane

If we, as a body politic, are unwilling to shed the requisite amount of blood and wreck the necessary amount of havoc, then we should not be going to war.

Going to war means being prepared to win it by any means necessary. And screw morality. There is only one Law of Warfare -- Win!

Worry about the Peace later on.

It was said of the Romans that they make a Desolation and call it Peace. Perhaps the Romans knew something that we do not.

P.S. I am an admirer of the Imperium Romanum when it was in its prime. At their best, Rome imposed a peace on the world for about 200 years during which goods moved, trade happened, clean water flowed and the chariots ran on time. This is something that Athens, despite its much vaunted democracy and flourishing art and philosophy never accomplished.

Once you accept the reality that humanity's greatest talent is mayhem and destruction of other people's stuff, the rest follows logically. We can't cure the common cold, be we can sure make glorious wars.

If you are annoyed that I say the truth, then by all means Kill The Messenger. My throat is located just above my collar-bone.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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It's kinda hard to come out of a war straight into the land of milk and honey. ... Change has its own nature and it is only instantaneous with total destruction by bombing. Positive change takes longer and is messier.

Mike, I just finished reading Brave New World. Toward the end, Mustapha Mond says that happiness is not as exciting as what we pursue to make up for unhappiness. Similarly, the gradual recovery of a market is not as interesting as a market run. OK, I can accept that.

Read those news stories. Those bombings were in response to the accords just signed. The psychic pain in Iraq is old and deep. Ali Hassan Al-Majeed was sentenced to death again:

Al-Majeed already faces the gallows for the Anfal campaign in northern Iraq, which killed at least 100,000 Iraqi Kurds.

The Anfal campaign included a 1988 attack with poisonous gas and chemical agents that killed 5,000 people in the village of Halabja, earning al-Majeed his nickname.

His original death sentence for the Anfal campaign came in June 2007. He and other former members of Hussein's regime are in U.S. custody.

The latest sentence was handed down for al-Majeed's role in the slaughter of thousands of Shiite Muslims during the revolt in southern Iraq that followed the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Estimates of the Shiite death toll range from 20,000 to 100,000.

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/12...lali/index.html

Talk to a Kurd. Talk to a Chaldean. Why there ever needed to be any such country as "Iraq" or "Iran" or "Saudi Arabia" is unanswerable. They are total fictions. A rational person might have demarcated a single Kurdistan (maybe; that's arguable as well). As for the rest, city-states were what they knew best. King Fahd was not comfortable with Saddam Hussein, so he paid the USA to take the man out. Everything else is just the bottled up grief that was uncorked. It won't be over until the jar is empty.

During the Vietnam War -- in fact integral to it in many ways -- there would be coups and revolts and even so called "revolutions" in Saigon, each new government in turn promising that it would (could; should; might) unite the anti-communist elements and factions. Just look at this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leaders_of_South_Vietnam, from 26 October 1955 forward... and the problems did not start with Diem, that's for sure...

Just to say, there is no way to meddle well. If there were, collectivism would work. Individualism is a natural law of the universe for sentient, rational beings.

I mean, we're just us, a couple of guys... You would think that Our Leaders in Washington would be better at thinking things through. Max Weber explained in his book Bureaucracy why bureaucracy is essential to democracy.

It is impersonal: everyone is treated alike.

It is procedural: follow laws, not men.

It is meritorious: examinations for appointment and promotion.

With bureaucracy, when you need something from the government, you go to an office, fill out a paper, pay a fee, and the work moves from desk to desk according to plan and (eventually) you get what you need.

In Iraq you cannot have any of that. You have tribes. Religious sects. Corruption. Brute force. Family rule. About the only hope Iraq had was that under Saddam Hussein -- a secular socialist thug -- women attended universities. Well, there's a talent pool that cannot be tapped now...

It's a tarbaby, Mike. There was no good way to do it and there is no good way to continue. All you can do is cut your losses.

Mike M.

"Sucker for good news."

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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Recall how the Pacific War was ended? With the total destruction of two large Japanese cities by nuclear attack. The way to win wars is to kill lots of people and bust up lots of stuff.

Recall how the Pacific War started with a group of Japanese militarists who thought that by killing lots of people and busting up lots of stuff, they could make Japan great in the eyes of others. They were empowered in their social metaphysics by the Treaty of Versailles which awarded them German islands in the Pacific and German ports in China. Of course, the Treaty of Versailles had other consequences as well...

Crushing, destroying, pillaging, burying people alive, blowing things up, that all seems so ... what? ... loud, boisterous, violent, overt, unignorable. I mean, if you take karate and the first time you put a hand through a board or a block, you have this sense of power... That's way more dramatic than starting with

ax^2 + bx + c = 0 and by completing the square getting

x = [-b +- sqrt(b^2 - 4ac)]/2a.

Cause when you do that, there is no flash and bang for everyone else to see. All the action is in your own head... which might not be so interesting to you, after all.

Thought, comtemplation, reflection, experiment, ... trade, commerce, exchange, dialogue... the modes of creation just don't get the publicity that war does.

Which is why we have wars.

If education of the young happened without public and parochial schools, there is no telling what people might find interesting after a full generation or two.

Edited by Michael E. Marotta
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I see your point, but the difference is we did not occupy Japan. And it's about time that Iraq took over the reins of their future. Ultimately, it's their country, their lives. Let them fight for it if it's truly what they want.

~ Shane

The U.S. -did- occupy Japan and still occupies parts of Okinowa. The Emperor (a god-king) danced to a tune that General MacArthur played for him. The big difference is that the Japanese finally accepted defeat because the Emperor so decreed. They became meek and mild, humble and lovable. The fact that the Americans let the Emperor live convinced them to cooperate with us. If strict Justice had prevailed, Hirohito would have been hanged as a war criminal, just as Tojo was. Tojo played his role as The Good Soldier. He uttered made up testimony absolving Hirohito from any blame for the war and inhuman acts committed by Japanese troops in the territories they conquered.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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I see your point, but the difference is we did not occupy Japan. And it's about time that Iraq took over the reins of their future. Ultimately, it's their country, their lives. Let them fight for it if it's truly what they want.

~ Shane

The U.S. -did- occupy Japan and still occupies parts of Okinowa. The Emperor (a god-king) danced to a tune that General MacArthur played for him. The big difference is that the Japanese finally accepted defeat because the Emperor so decreed. They became meek and mild, humble and lovable. The fact that the Americans let the Emperor live convinced them to cooperate with us. If strict Justice had prevailed, Hirohito would have been hanged as a war criminal, just as Tojo was. Tojo played his role as The Good Soldier. He uttered made up testimony absolving Hirohito from any blame for the war and inhuman acts committed by Japanese troops in the territories they conquered.

MacArthur was something else. He was capable of both gross incompetence and brilliant strategy. He wasn't beyond vengeance either. Indifferent to bullets and physical dangers he flew into Japan after the surrender and drove right into town without any security to speak of, with the route lined with armed Japanese soldiers with their backs turned to him. "Not a simple man!" I believe he got two Congressional Medals of Honor, the first, in WWI, absolutely not deserved. The second was kinda political, too. I think it was for fleeing Corregidor albeit under orders. I think the idea was to cover up the disaster he was partially responsible for.

--Brant

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