May 2008

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1. The US military is stretched thin in Iraq.
2. Iraqis will have less difficulty killing Americans in Iraq and whatnot.

That might not make *you* personally less safe, but it would make the average American less safe, as he or she has a chance to get sent to Iraq.


The "surge" will not work obviously! I mean if you ever watch the news you see in"surge"ent attack... 1 American soldier dead and 56 Iraq's dead... well if you do the math that comes out to be 57 Iraqi people dead for one of ours and I don't think they can keep the population at any reasonable level with these losses... Also even if we were to take all the soldiers out of the states there wouldn't be a problem... What would the canadians do? Send the mounties to invade? The mexicans, Jump the border? O, wait they already do that... And if you've ever noticed a SWAT team seems to have a more deadly aresnal and more training the average U.S. soldier.. Also if any other country tried to invade us there would be weeks advance notice because of the large number of ships required to do so!


Two unrelated points: The government doesn't fund drug development. Companies do, and by extension their customers. The entire NIH budget is about the same as one large Pharma, and much of that is spent on academic diddling.

One could imagine the surge working by providing enough temporary security to embolden the locals to stop cooperating with the insurgents. If the locals stop supporting the insurgents, the insurgents will lose effectiveness. The goal of the surge is not to eliminate the terrorists, but to push them out of the way long enough for the locals to establish some semblance of control.


The war in Iraq does make us less safe. Those hundreds of billions of dollars being spent on the war could be spent on medical research that would make me safer from cancer.


Fire up the chicken cannon, beer soaked snowballs are their kryptonite! Launch the viking ships! Release the ninjas! SPARTA!!! (Sorry, groggy today.) A canadian


"The media give us actual footage. The people saying "180-degrees off" give us "Trust us." Guess which one I think comes closer to reliable."

Except for the people who say 180 degrees off are the people who are getting shot at. If they wanted to leave, they wouldn't be telling us it's all good. And, of course, the news people have better access to camera crews than your average marine, so they can get footage easier. And obviously bad things happen in a war, and yes bad things are bad, and equally obviously this is what the media would wish to cover. "Average Guy Does Average Stuff in Foreign Country" isn't much of a story.

Paul C

Strange Slang Terms Explained:-

From British Army rhyming slang:-

"Septic" = "Septic Tank" = "Yank"

Stroke City, Sandbag City: a peaceful fishing village on the Foyle estuary in Northern Ireland where the locals will give you the warmest of Irish welcomes (then slip over the border into the Irish Republic before you can bust them dfor throwing firebombs).

Known to "loyalists" as Londonderry; known to Republicans as Derry. Oftten described as LondonStrokeDerry by the politically correct, or Stroke City for short.

Northern Ireland is a paradigm that masy be used to explain Sunni versus Shiite violence in Iraq, with a porous border to a neighbouring state offering sympathy and safe haven to terrorists.

COL Mike

[How's the electricity going to work after we leave and the bad guys come back and blow the shit out of it? -- Scott]

Scott - Obviously, that is a possibility, although all they've attacked so far is the power lines. But a possibility is a long way from a certainty. We talk about this a lot. The bad guys only want to attack the power because it makes the government look weak and it makes the people unhappy. So the key is to find ways to reinforce the power grid, while at the same time we improve the government's ability to defeat the bad guys before they can attack the grid. That ain't easy -- even Israel can't stop bombers in a small, tightly controlled country -- but it seems there is little danger of the bad guys there overthrowing the Israeli government.

I was up in northern Iraq a few weeks ago. That area (Kurdistan) is much more peaceful than around Baghdad. The consensus among the people I talked to was that it was an aftereffect of the ten years of "no-fly zone" we had imposed over their part of the country. Obviously there are a lot of differences from there to Central and Southern Iraq, but it gives me cause for hope.


The "surge" was merely a tactic to get people off of thinking about drawing down troops. Its an opposite balancer. Moist robots are easily diverted into defense with a little offensive PR.


We're already throwing snowball. It's just that we're too beer soaked to throw them over the imaginary fence.

Adrian D.

Oh, yes, the idea that we are less safe (and I am explaining the idea, not advocating it) is that the nations behind the original strike may attack again. According to the idea, we are so overcommitted in Iraq that what forces remain here would not be able to respond in time.


First of all, I appreciate the dialogue that's going on here and the passion behind it. It's refreshing to see people engaged in this sort of talk outside the confines of message boards dedicated to foisting one view or another on the public.

For my part, I'm very much behind the "surge" for the same reason I buy a PowerMegaBucks lottery ticket each time I fill up with gas and grab a 6 pack and some beef jerky. It's not because the odds of winning are all that good. I know they're not. But if it should somehow work out and every last ping pong ball falls into place, then all my problems are solved and I'm the one who gets the last laugh if anyone takes the position that they told me that I was doomed to lose.

I know that Americans who are against the "surge" are pegged as being un-American for not supporting the troops and wanting the terrorists to win. Not true for me. I fully appreciate just how ridiculous it is to send in more PowerMegaTroops...but I am as hopeful and prayerful as ever that it will solve all our problems. And if it should all work out, then nobody will have the last laugh at my expense because I'll be sharing in the jackpot, right?

I guess the big difference (other than the obvious difference in "price" for each lottery ticket) is that I'm not taking out huge loans and asking my children to sign personal guaranties for my loans so that I can buy more lottery tickets. So while I have very little expectation of a payout, you gotta trust me when I say that that doesn't keep me from wanting VERY BADLY for this ship to sail.

Gee whiz, I'm not THAT invested in my opinion that the odds against winning are abysmal that I won't root wholeheartedly for the big payoff. Although it's easier to dismiss contrary viewpoints if you can establish that they don't have America's best interests at heart, I'm reminded twice a week at the convenience store that there are very few, if any, Americans who hope that their beliefs about our crappy chances for success will be validated by losing.

Tomas Liubinas

Well, to be MORE safe either you have to act not like an asshole or to kill EVERYONE else. I don't see neither of these options happening.

Greetings from Lithuania


Speaking as a Canadian, I LIKE "Cannuckistan." Can we keep it, Mike?

Adrian D.

"4. The troop surge sufficiently thwarts active terrorist efforts just long enough for the Iraqi security forces to come to maturity and take responsibility for policing their own country."

Hahahaha. If that was going to happen, it would have already.

"It's interesting to see all the misinformed and clueless responses by those who haven't been there. The 'information' coming out of the media back here in the states is so 180-degrees from what is really happeneing there."

That ranks right up there with "Whom are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?" The media give us actual footage. The people saying "180-degrees off" give us "Trust us." Guess which one I think comes closer to reliable.

Sgt Rick

I stumbled into this link from Dilbert's ruling class newsletter. What a howl! Thanks for all of those interesting, informative, intelligent, uniformed, biased comments from all you diseased/non-diseased people!!!
OK, now to the straight stuff:
I used to think Bush would do right, but he has done so much wrong to the honor and reputation of the country and people like Colin Powell, whose only wish was to serve, that I cannot forgive him. Luckily, he will go out with the next election. Cheney and Rumsfeld should be dealt with as having committed treason against the US.
You cannot have, let alone "win" a war on a fixed budget. We can't get any more soldiers without a draft or emptying out state hospitals for the wacky. And we can't have a draft because that is politically a non-starter. So, we are stuck. We cannot win, because "win" is not possible in a religious war unless your religion wins. One of the two in Iraq will "win" but not the US.
We are headed the same direction as UK. And we refuse to admit that all of the manufacturing going offshore, and all the "h" series visas to bring smart aliens into the US are having no impact. But, I'm off course.
We can come out of Iraq anytime. Since we cannot send in enough troops EVER to get the job done, it really doesn't matter when we "declare victory and withdraw", as we did in Vietnam. Get ready for helos on the embassy or the Green Zone.
The main issue, note, main issue, has nothing to do with what we have been told. It is obviously the question of control of petroleum assets in the middle east. If we had actually gone after that, instead of trying to put democracy into a place that isn't interested in it, our job would have been much easier, and also easier to justify. Of course we'd have to admit that we are controlled by the oil business, but that shouldn't come as a surprise. Our reluctance as a nation to be clear in our objectives is a big part of the problem. Every country with the means wants to control the Middle East oil. And it will not be the US who suceeds ultimately. Having made the entire arab world against us to some degree is the result of our current dabbling.
Col Mike? I apologize for the anti-Canuck remarks from the masses. As an honorary member of PPCLI, I know how things are up in that cold north. Having said that, it is easier to talk about things when you are not doing the brunt of the work. Glad you and your amis are on the job, and sober you are, I'm sure. And our beer is better. Come back to WA state and I'll personally take you on a tour.
Bottom line? Quit complaining. We cannot win something when we are not trying to win what everyone else is: domination of people. The more the better.
Can we "win"? no. Are we trying hard? Yes. Try two words: alternative fuel. And no, corn oil/ethanol is not it. The world does not have enough arable land to support that. It is just another version of gas or diesel--not enough to go around, drives prices up, causes great profits.
Sgt Rick


Here's a great Opinion Journal piece by Bing & Owen West who've been to Anbar over a dozen times:

Basically, the locals were predisposed to side with AQI based upon religion and a natural feeling of resentment against the invading US forces, but local powerbrokers are starting to finger AQI activists based on comparing the behavior of AQI versus the US forces: AQI detonates chlorine truck bombs while we give locals medical care.


Having traveled myself to the sandpit of Kuwait, and in communication with not only military, but civilians deployed in theatre, I have to concur with Monk and Col.Mike on thier assesments of the situation. While I address most things with my sometimes feeble attempts at tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, I have PERSONNALY found that the average Iraqi citizen (be they Sunni or Shia) would prefer the foriegners remain visible in thier communities for a while longer until the extremists return to thier own lands. And another passing thought, while I was in Kuwait I was sincerely and warmly treated by the Kuwaiti's.

S. Lewis

4. The troop surge sufficiently thwarts active terrorist efforts just long enough for the Iraqi security forces to come to maturity and take responsibility for policing their own country.


It's interesting to see all the misinformed and clueless responses by those who haven't been there. The "information" coming out of the media back here in the states is so 180-degrees from what is really happeneing there.


A humans memories are faulty because things are not properly filed for retrieval. That is why hypnosis probably works. It can find those 'lost' files.

Pertaining to our senses: It is amazing how many people have had instances of 'deja vu'. It appears that the phenomenon is more common that most would believe. Is this a glimpse of the future or a mirror image of another alternate time?

Pertaining to natural selection: I think sometimes humans settle for whatever is available.

Mike In San Marcos

At the risk (probability factor >>1.0) of offending Muslims, I direct the follow comment only to those Muslims who do wish to visit violence upon us, without provocations (aside from things which happened a millennium ago), as opposed to the majority of Muslims that I have met and know in life. Release this bit of intel: The word “surge” turns out to be the Arabic word for “pork flavored bullets.” Make sure it is real, too. (As in smear all rounds with a little bit of Lard). Then maybe we can start finding pig farmers in other areas that would like a very-low-cost supply of pig food.

Terrorist play dirty, and for keeps. Why the F*** shouldn't we!?


For those who cite bloggers with personal (albeit anecdotal)stories about "true conditions in Iraq:"

How do you know where those bloggers are? I'm a technofeeb, but I'm not aware of any way to be sure of a blogger's true identity



"George Gooney"

blowjobgate was brought to us by the REPUBLICANs.

The Dude


Don't underestimate our Presidents want and desire to obliterate the entire Middle East region. While the American people don't support him he doesn't seem to care. If 15 of our people were captured he probably would have aimed a large number of bunker buster missles right at Iran (force is about the only language our President knows how to speak). If it weren't for the fact that we are stretched so thin in Iraq we would probably already be in Iran causing all kinds of trouble. As it is there are at least some Conservative folks (Sean Hannity, talk radio and Fox News host for one) who are all for an invasion of Iran stating "There will never be peace in the region if this regime is allowed to remain in power."

Personally I think invading Iran would be the dumbest move this President could make, which is why he will probably do it, I'm guessing the day after the General Presidential elections 2008.

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