Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fuck it.

I've been trying to point out to many people over the past week that I'm not a "cut and run" guy, but a guy who wants this job done as soon as possible and, yes, with mechanisms left in place to come to Iraqis' aid when need be.

But screw that. It's time to go.
Leaders of Iraq's sharply divided Shiites, Kurds and Sunnis called Monday for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in the country and said Iraq's opposition had a "legitimate right" of resistance.

The final communique, hammered out at the end of three days of negotiations at a preparatory reconciliation conference under the auspices of the Arab League, condemned terrorism, but was a clear acknowledgment of the Sunni position that insurgents should not be labeled as terrorists if their operations do not target innocent civilians or institutions designed to provide for the welfare of Iraqi citizens. (Emphasis Nitpicker's.)
In other words, Iraq's leaders just painted a bullseye on the backs of American soldiers and said they're fair game.

Pop smoke.

More on the communique at AMERICAblog.

Update: A "cut and run" nation?


Blogger Boronx said...

Any disinterested observer would have thought so from day one.

But why would we ever make our own troops "legitmate targets" except as a truly last resort?

8:56 AM  
Blogger maximumken said...

A not-so-subtle suggestion that the door not hit our arses on the way out, no? All that's left is for Dubya's manly sense of honor to be eclipsed by his common sense. So we're talking months, at least.

8:58 AM  
Blogger mdhatter said...

well said,

if hatin' us is the only thing they can agree on, and killing us is the only thing they agree is okay, then what is the point exactly?

what is the mission again? and where did the goalposts get moved to this time?

8:59 AM  
Blogger Jim said...



Damn all in this administration to hell.

Our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our husbands and wives are trapped in that deadly catch-22 called today's Iraq.

The so-called leaders who sent our troops to face death and dismemberment there deserve our contempt and disgust. I cannot conceive of any penance that can expiate their sin.

9:38 AM  
Blogger America Is Fucked said...

First off, we should have known this was gonna happen BEFORE we went in there and secondly, Bu$h STILL ain't gonna leave. No matter WHAT we say, Bu$h does what he wants to do. He cares NOT what we think. He cares not what the Iraqis think. He and Cheney are the most dangerous men in the world.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Ray Radlein said...

if hatin' us is the only thing they can agree on, and killing us is the only thing they agree is okay, then what is the point exactly?>

I'm trying to remember just exactly how depressed about the whole thing I was when I wrote, a year or two ago, that our main lasting gift to Iraqi national unity and stability may be to give the various factions the experience of working together to defeat us.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

But what about all that oil. Can't we just leave our multinationals?

Iraq's oil: The spoils of war

Were the hippies right? Was this really all about oil?

2:06 PM  
Blogger Ergos said...

And why is that a surprise? Have they not every right to resist a war of aggression? What do we expect would be the average american's reaction should someone say "your leader is not democratic and needs to be replaced and we are going to do that for you" or alternatively "your WMD are a threat to the world and we will clear your house"?
Armed resistance was the hallmark and pride of France in WWII. The Germans called it "terrorism". What exactly is different here? Oh, it's that our "boys and gals in uniform" are benevolent heroes with only good thoughts in mind. If they kill you, it's for your own good, I tell you. And if in so doing, they torture you a bit or burn you with chemical weapons, or shoot unarmed wounded prisoners dead, and if they happen to laugh at doing it, what is so bad about it since they are rightful at heart?

3:41 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...


I'm no jingoist, but you need to dial that shit back.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Ergos said...

Terry, please explain? Are you suggesting that my facts are wrong? Or is the truth too hard to face? I know the US education system endoctrinates into believing we are good (and by contrast, they are bad) but there is plenty of evidence to what I stated. Time to get the head out of the sand.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

Whether you disagree with the policies that put them there or the actions that some of them have taken, I, as a veteran, take personal umbrage at the suggestion that the soldiers being killed over there are getting what they deserve. I think that's as stupid a thing to suggest as it is to suggest that Americans who question the war don't deserve those soldiers' protection (a la Bill O'Reilly).

5:05 PM  
Blogger Ergos said...

Terry, sorry to be blunt, but your being a veteran does not raise your status in my mind. You may be a wonderful and respectable human being, but the veteran bit is at best irrelevant in assessing that.
The US military in Iraq is de facto and de jure a force of illegal military aggression. I am very willing to accept that many (maybe even most) of the US military personnel there are decent human beings, but they are still oppressing a people that unambiguously wants them out.
And beyond those decent people, there seems to be quite a few bastards - it does not take long to come across despicable and damning evidence; "bake and shake", "Abu Ghraib" and other tortures, embedded journalists filming assassination of wounded prisoners, movies of choppers shooting at whatever moves and having a good laugh about it, I could go on and on. So are those bastards good bastards because they are our bastards? No - they are our shame.
Again, turn this around and think of it as happening here in your backyard; say, 20 years ago, with a Soviet occupation force. The guys occupying us could be the same mix of decent people and bastards (their bastards this time). People would be killed and tortured, women raped, cities destroyed. What would you do? What is the difference? Are we inherently better?

5:37 PM  
Blogger Ergos said...

I realize I have not addressed one thing - the "suggestion that the soldiers being killed over there are getting what they deserve". Come to think of it, I had not tried to make a point on that and at first I thought you were caricaturing my discourse. But I can see the reason you react in that manner, so let me address your comment.
Military personnel renounces/suspends some civil and personal rights as part of their "duty". Why one would want to do that is unclear to me, but they do. They voluntarily renounce self determination and accept to become and instrument of policy and government. They are not individuals first and foremost, they are military. The "duty" (whatever that means) primes all, even physical or moral survival.
In other terms, they are part of the collective.
As much as I can regret and grief the loss of any individual (including one that was hidden under a uniform), what is happening to the great collective body of the military in Iraq is indeed fully understandable, in the same manner that most Americans never even had afterthoughts about Saddam's army being baked in the few first days of the conflict. After all, it was that great collective body of Saddam's army, not the individual faces and names of each of them...
War is the absolute crime and the absolute violence - it suppresses the individual and all its rights.
A last point you make is the "soldier's protection". Well, as it stands the US is probably the primary cause of violence in the world. It certainly has the most effective/richest military, has been involved in wars almost constantly for the past 50 years or so, and it is far from clear if it's effect is beneficial to our security any more than the protection bought from the mob is beneficial to a shop keeper. Trim the US military to an internal defense force only and then we might be talking.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Nitpicker said...

Arguing that the US is "probably the primary cause of violence in the world" is idiotic. Darfur? Bosnia? Chechnya? Rwanda? North Korea? Et-cet-era.

We have blood on our hands, no doubt, but we're not anywhere near the "primary cause" of the spilling of blood. I do not argue that American lives are worth more than others or that we are inherently better than others, but our country undoubtably offers more opportunities than 99.9% of nations (we're closing in, Iceland) and you seem to suggest that something in the American makeup actually makes us worse than others.

I do not point out I am a veteran because I think it gets me some sort of cred with you. Judging from your comments, I would guess it achieves the opposite effect. I tell you that I'm a veteran in order to explain the reason that your synecdochical argument--some soldiers do bad things so soldiers are bad--makes me want to knock a few of your teeth down your throat. Does this make me one of the bad bastards?

So be it.

12:23 AM  
Blogger Areopagitica said...

Two things: First, soldiers are people who we all should respect. Regardless of everything else, countless examples prove that without a strong army, the U.S. couldn't enjoy the status it does today. (To make the argument of extremes, without that army and the soldiers volunteering for it, Nazi Germany would have won.)

Second, I don't know the context of the "legitimate right" statement quoted in the article, but the other point nitpicker emphasizes, that Iraq agrees that insurgents shouldn't be labeled "terrorists" if they aren't targeting civilians or civilian institutions, makes perfect sense. Targeting soldiers of any country is not "terrorism." It may be unjust, belligerent, irregular, etc, but it is not terrorism. Insofar as the insurgents are targeting U.S. military targets, they are fighting a guerilla war. Targeting Shiite Mosques IS terrorism, and the statement that Nitpicker emphasizes doesn't contradict that.

This is not to excuse the violence that is going on; all I'm trying to do is clarify whether or not our outrage on this statement IS merited, and if Iraqi leaders ARE saying that targeting U.S. soldiers is "justified," then rage away. If they're making a technical argument about rules of war or various technical terms for what's going on, then their point does make sense at least to some degree.

1:54 AM  
Blogger Slobodon Ginfizz said...

(To make the argument of extremes, without that army and the soldiers volunteering for it, Nazi Germany would have won.)

Eh. It's a pretty good bet that the Soviets would have won even if the US never set foot on European soil.

10:23 AM  

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