May 2008

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Comments

Steve

My wife and I need to go to the store. She says we need to go west for 5 blocks and we'll be there. I say "No, it's due east". I insist and force her to go east. We walk for weeks under her constant protests of "we need to turn back", but I press on dragging her along. "I'm positive this is the way, and if we turn back now, we'll fail!" After years of travel and turning a short trip into a global circumnavigation we finally arrive at the store. I say "see, that was the right way". In a way I was right, but should I be praised?

John E

I find the I will never give him credit for anything people entertaining. Not quite as entertaining as the he brought us to war under false pretenses people. Let's be honest here. Most everyone believed Iraq was hoarding chemical and biological weapons and was working on rebuilding those weapons factories. Turns out we were wrong that doesn't mean we were mislead. That is also besides the point. WMDs were just the thing that the government could sell us. Establisheing a foothold for a peaceful democratic society in the middle east was the real reason but you can't sell that. What does that get us. It gets us out of Saudi Arabia which is one reason the Muslims hate us. they don't like infidels in their holy land.

Chelsey

No. If it worked I still would not give him any positive response. He doesn’t KNOW if anything is going to work, he just BELIEVED it would. It’s quite different. So many bad things have happened and too many bad things could have happened. He does not deserve credit for foolishness. This would be consequentialism, and I don’t believe in it. In this case, the ends don’t justify the means.

Petteri

What a silly question. Of course I would.

Assuming, naturally, that it can be demonstrated to a reasonable degree of certainty that things improved because of the surge rather than despite it.

Gern Blandston

I find it difficult to congratulate someone on fixing something that they originally broke.

Geoffrey James, Sales Machine

Define "winning" and then explain how whatever you defined as winning was worth $1.5 trillion dollars.

Is America safer? No. We've vastly added energy and impetus to radical Islam. The U.S. is now seen as a bully state that's trying to destroy Islam. We're incomparably in a much worse position than on 9/12.

Is America better off economically? No. Largely because of the chaos we've created, oil is at $100 a barrel. (That's good for Bush's oil chums but nobody else in the U.S.) And tax cuts in wartime (another Bush first) have left dollar slipping down the toilet.

Now, how the fuck can ANYBODY call it "winning" if you're worse off in every way than you were if when you started. The Iraq war as a major strategic blunder. Maybe we'll avoid have Iraq slip into a chaos, but that's not winning, just not losing worse that we've already lost.

Q

yes

Derek

If it works, we have to give him credit. It would be hard since I waver every day between thinking he is a moron and he is evil, but if his plan works, how can we deny it.

Still, the victory would have be put in perspective (I won't list other mistakes or describe how wrong it was to into Iraq or any of the other points you asked not to mention) and then history would still not judge him kindly. The victory might prevent him from being considered the worst president in history though, which is a step in the right direction.

adele

Did... did you bet your wife that you could get 200 strangers to say "even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut"?

wernman

Victory for the US in Iraq would be the worst disaster possible for the Democrats. They, like al-Qaeda, are committed to doing everything possible to undermine a US vistory in Iraq and cause a loss, if they can.

Until they win the next election, get power back, and then it's a different ballgame. Except they would've have a clue what to do...

Yes, I'd give Bush credit but I've been doing that all along...

Tim c

Hey Mr Tend at 10:36 am, you made a remark about Canada being a "spineless quasi country".
Why not jump on a 'plane to Afghanistan and repeat that to the Canadian soldiers serving there? And when you have finished, then you can visit the Canadian war graves all over Europe. First and Second World War. Canada lost 100,000 men and women; as a percentage of population this was higher than losses suffered by the USA.

Ville

Of course he should get credit for it, though the people on the ground should get more.

This is how occupations tend to work. You go in and you NEVER know what you're going to be doing. Assuming anyone would or even could know is stupid (though admittedly you could have a better vision for it than the Bush administration did).

Once you have taken over the country, you have to trust your people to innovate their way through the situation. A president certainly can't "go local" enough to make good calls. The best he can do is not screw the forces on site over completely and provide them with the best possible personnel.

In the first Bush has succeeded fairly well. After all, the WORST thing he could have done for the forces on site would have been to give a withdrawal date. Might as well just post that "call in if you see anything suspicious... and oh yea, after 5th of May 2008, we're outta here and your family will get killed by the terrorists. Really though, do call!"

I have read a lot of bad stuff about how the civilian side jobs were distributed. That was probably Bush's biggest blunder, assuming he was directly involved in the philosophy behind that.

Leonel


... Can't ... resist ... Monkey ... must ... waltz ...

Damn. I promised myself I wouldn't post an actual opinion on what's going on, but apparently no one here has realized that the surge is going to "succeed" (whatever that means) because the Media says so! As always, the Military feeds the Media in a need-to-know basis. Remember one thing: this Administration has not done one thing right and the term is almost finished. Bush will step down from Office like a hero regardless of what's going on out there in the real World. We are now starting to be nourished with the "right" information as to brush up Bush's image before he leaves. The truth? In a few months, the truth will be what the majority says it is...

Stay alert.

Hywel

Yes. Because doing otherwise would be cognitive dissonance.

To pick up on one of your imaginings of what could happen:
"Suppose the Iraqi citizens start asking themselves why the Kurds are so fat and happy, and demand more of their government?"
It's all to likely that instead of demanding more from their government, other Iraqi's will instead use force to demand that the Kurds hand over their happiness and waistlines.

Francesco Orsenigo


I think US administration is a bunch of theives, liars and murderers, and their US are behaving like true assholes.

Given that, I guess I would probably credit the US administration for finding a solution to the mess they've done.

I see no solution, staying in the course or leaving, so if they come up with something that actually works... WOW!

I'll be happy for Iraqis and, why not, even for US people.

Greg Wischnewsky

No I wouldn't.
He still is a guy who's horizon ends at the edge of his breakfast plate. Him doing accidentally did this one thing right does not change a iota of the rest.
And we all know, he didn't do this one thing right either.

Steph

People keep on using 9/11 as an excuse for the war. I'm sick of it, all that has been done is to further reduce the stability of the middle east.

The problem really began centuries ago with the empire essentially throwing down country lines without due consideration, splitting some tribes and lumping parts of others that are mortal enemies together. It was a more stable form of unrest.

I believe there were other motives involved with going into Iraq and the "war on terror" was mainly an excuse.

It's not about going after the terrorists, if that were the case then there would be no reason for a full scale war. Working on the principal of weapons of mass destruction, should it not have been called quits when it was determined that there were none?

Most importantly, should it not have been determined by the UN that the war was in fact legal before going in, instead of going forth regardless? That is where my main problem lies.

It makes very little difference to me if things work out in the end, though I sincerely hope that it does for the sake of the Iraqi people, and the reputation of America (which even in the past decade has soured immensely overseas. It used to be held up as an ideal, a great place, but now is pretty much the laughing stock of the world and it makes me sad to see).

The violence instigated by America, and the death toll there goes far beyond retribution or vengeance. Whatever end there is now will not to me justify the means.

I do however believe that people should fix their own messes, and the same goes for countries. We're in too far now and I believe that we have to just do the best we can with it.

PS It seems consider Bush is just a figurehead to direct the hatred at, even if it is mistakes at all levels that contributed to the outcome, and we shouldn't forget everyone else's role in this mess

Hugo

There is a dog crap problem in Happytown. As the mayor of Happytown I have two choices: place some crap bags and crap bins so people can dispose it, or I can have all dogs killed. Both solve the dog crap problem. Should I be given credit choosing the second route?

Hugo

ink miami tattoo

Bush gets no credit from me. Evah. With all the death, destruction, and innocent blood shed, there is no definition a sane person could use to say that any part of the Iraq invasion "worked." Bush is a blind squirrel who can't find his nuts with both hands.

jeqp

No way. We have a saying, something that we say over here: Never put a round hole into a square peg. That's what I'm mean, do you see what I'm ... what I'm trying to say? You've got a peg and a hole, and you can try and make them fit but it's like fooling fools, you can fool some people some of the time and it's shame on you, if you fool all of the people all of the time, it's... well, it's like a square peg and a round hole. Do you see?

chuckleberry

@rockbert..
well bro small difference between the 2 occupations.. the brits did somne good work like
created some infrastructure in india e.g. railways and some roads, also did unite most of india under what was then known as "british raj"..
but they also sucked india bone dry.. no industries were set-up india though at that time britain was at fore-front of industrial revolutiom..used the indian wealth for fighting the world wars .. also if you read indian history that period in india is regarded as economically most disastrous for the sub-continent.. coz brits took control of all trade of silk, spices, cotton, and precious metal.. and levied such high taxes on the natives that almost all the wealth in india at that time (yeah believe it or not india was wealthy.. though fragmented).. was sucked out of it to make the "queen happy"..
but in case of US troops in Iraq.. they actually disposed a cruel dictator and although the war itself was unjustified.. they are trying to stabalize the area and ARE planning to get out.. though even this war was because of greed of oil..still the human rights record of US troops is far far better than of britishers in india ...
phew long post but sometimes one has to drill in some sense in few dumbos

Stephen

Maybe if democracy takes hold, Iraq can be the next India

And more of our tech support jobs can go oversea. Well, then they'd be competing with Indian companies, so that's no good. I know, we can move the sales departments there, as if you were a good enough manager to pitch to a company that they'd save money having a division with customer sensitive info (credit cards, home addresses, etc) be moved to Iraq, at least SOMEONE on your team has amazing sales skills.

Andreas Toscano

Only if you presume that invading other people's country and hanging their president is all right. Should other countries do the same, considering the threat of America to the Environment (a damage far greater than Al-Qaeda's bombings)?
Plus, do you really believe that Al-Qaeda is that popular in the Middle East? You talk about it like a Rock Band that extremists worship and wanna attend their gigs...
Watch this. It's also a response to your "how many foreigners would you kill" post and what lack of common understanding causes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mek3yiyuGkU

Cheers,

A

Paul O

There has been no material change in the course of the war. The war is still open ended, President Bush is not willing to commit to any dates. It is impossible to claim progress if it has not brought you closer to your goal (a stable and democratic Iraq).

plen

We give credit where its due because we feel that it is deserved and we decide who is deserving based on evidence. If the war turns out positively, I would still feel that it was due less to the decision-making skills of Pres Bush and more to the good work of people like the commanders in Iraq because the evidence is that Bush made lots of bad decisions, reducing the likelihood that this upturn in military fortune was due to any of his brilliant decisions.

Can a reasonable person possibly see it any other way? (based on evidence)

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