Monday, April 30, 2007

Four Years Since Victory

Four years ago Our Leader announced our great victory in Iraq.

In the immortal words of Chris Mattews on that day:
What's the importance of the president's amazing display of leadership tonight?
What do you make of the actual visual that people will see on TV and probably, as you know, as well as I, will remember a lot longer than words spoken tonight? And that's the president looking very much like a jet, you know, a high-flying jet star. A guy who is a jet pilot. Has been in the past when he was younger, obviously. What does that image mean to the American people, a guy who can actually get into a supersonic plane and actually fly in an unpressurized cabin like an actual jet pilot?
Do you think this role, and I want to talk politically [...], the president deserves everything he's doing tonight in terms of his leadership. He won the war. He was an effective commander. Everybody recognizes that, I believe, except a few critics. Do you think he is defining the office of the presidency, at least for this time, as basically that of commander in chief? That [...] if you're going to run against him, you'd better be ready to take [that] away from him.
Here's a president who's really nonverbal. He's like Eisenhower. He looks great in a military uniform. He looks great in that cowboy costume he wears when he goes West. I remember him standing at that fence with Colin Powell. Was [that] the best picture in the 2000 campaign?

Matthews on another show:
We're proud of our president. Americans love having a guy as president, a guy who has a little swagger, who's physical, who's not a complicated guy like [former President Bill] Clinton or even like [former Democratic presidential candidates Michael] Dukakis or [Walter] Mondale, all those guys, [George] McGovern. They want a guy who's president. Women like a guy who's president. Check it out. The women like this war. I think we like having a hero as our president. It's simple. We're not like the Brits. We don't want an indoor prime minister type, or the Danes or the Dutch or the Italians, or a [Russian Federation President Vladimir] Putin. Can you imagine Putin getting elected here? We want a guy as president.

Ah, those were the days, weren't they?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Observe how the Fox cable news network is unable to separate fact from fiction, just like its #1 fan, Dumbya.

Fox News Sinks To New Low, Repeatedly Reports Parody Story As Actual News

On Tuesday, Fox News morning show “Fox & Friends” aired at least eight segments on a purported “news” story that was actually a parody article written by a publication similar to The Onion.

The backstory: Last week in the town of Lewiston, Maine, a group of Somalian Muslim middle school students were the subject of a cruel prank when their peers placed a ham steak next to them in order to personally offend the students. School officials filed a report because the students considered the act to be a hate/bias crime.

This actual story was then spoofed by a parody site called Associated Content, which made up quotes and details, such as the school’s intention to “create an anti-ham ‘response plan.’”

On Tuesday, Fox & Friends reported these parody quotes and details as actual news. Poking fun at the students, hosts asked whether ham was “a hate crime…or lunch?” and showed screen shots of ham sandwiches, starving Somalians, belching, animal noises, and mock “reenactments” of the incident. Ironically, the hosts assured viewers several times, “We’re not making this up!”

See the video:

April 30, 2007 10:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of a few years back when Jim declared victory for the Fishback revisions.

What a difference a judge makes!

Here comes da judge!


April 30, 2007 11:28 AM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

Thanks for posting the Chris Mathews quotes. As I watch him justifiably bashing President Bush, without any apparent sheepishness about his earlier cheerleading for the War in Iraq, I was beginning to wonder if I had "misremembered" his 2002 and 2003 opinions.

It would be refreshing, as Mathews goes after proponents of the War and as he talks about senators who now regret their vote to authorize the President to use military force in Iraq, if Mathews himself would own up to be mistaken.

April 30, 2007 11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
Reading those quotes- I thought maybe Darrell Hammond who does Chris Matthews on SNL(and does it so much better than Chris himself)had said this stuff- The president as a jet pilot- yeah, right.


April 30, 2007 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Four years ago Our Leader announced our great victory in Iraq."

The original Itraq war was a mission to remove Saddam Hussein. We were victorious.

While reconstructing the damage, we and the people of Iraq came under attack from forces in the other war theater in which we were involved. This continuing war will be lengthy and is nothing less than a perilous fight for civilization itself. Leaving Iraq won't shorten in by an hour. It will simply shift the battlefield.

April 30, 2007 5:29 PM  
Anonymous David S. Fishback said...

If ever there was a situation in which the cure was worse than the disease, this was it. Iraq under Saddam was hell for the people who lived there. Now it is even worse and we have helped terrorism metastisize and have presented Iraq and its oil wealth on a platter to the Iranians.

We have created a situation in which a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran (as they protect their sectarian compatriots in Iraq) becomes increasingly likely. If our presence could keep this from happening, I would agree we have a moral responsbility to do so. We broke it, after all. But it has become clear that we cannot prevent it -- our presence just pours oil on the flames, and serves as a crutch for the sectarian Shi'ites who see no reason to work out an accomodation with the Sunni as long as we are there to prop up their government.

If the warring parties know that we are going to leave, then maybe, maybe, they will look into the precipice and decide they need to find a way to live together. If they think we are going to stay, then they will just keep killing each other (and our troops), and the picture of the United States as an imperial power to be resisted will be imprinted in a new generation.

From our national interest, we are better off leaving the warring parties to themselves. At least we will stop creating so many more terrorists whose ire is aimed at us. The core terrorists will still hate us, but it will be harder for them to recruit. And they will have to deal with enemies in their own countries, as the sectarian violence increases.

Just think if we had concentrated our efforts in Afghanistan, where the Taliban is now resurgent. Instead, we invaded Iraq and created conditions for a whole new terrorist group: Al Qaeda in Iraq. Once we leave, Shi'ia Hezbollah will likely take care of Sunni Al Qaeda. The world we continue to be dangerous in a different way. But we will not prevent another attack by policies that create terrorists faster than we can kill them.

Obama is right: Our choices are between bad ones and worse ones. We need to find the best way to navigate in the environment which will have been left to us by George Bush. It will not be easy. But we won't be safer by doing more of the same.

April 30, 2007 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Warning, facts ahead said...

Today Salon reports a few other notable items on this 4th anniversary of Bush standing in front of the Mission Accomplished banner on the USS Abraham Lincoln and announcing, "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed."

On May 1, 2007, representatives of the largest bloc of Sunnis in Iraq's parliament are threatening to withdraw their ministers from Iraq's cabinet. They say they have "lost hope" that the Shiite-dominated government will treat them fairly.

On May 1, 2007, the Washington Post reported that the number of terrorism incidents in Iraq shot up 91 percent between 2005 and 2006.

On May 1, 2007, gunmen killed 14 Iraqis on a highway outside of Baghdad.

On May 1, 2007, the U.S. cost of the Iraq war will approach more than $550 billion, enough to pay for college educations for nearly half of the kids in U.S. high schools today.

On May 1, 2007, we close the books on a month in which 104 U.S. soldiers were killed. Approximately 140 U.S. soldiers had been killed in Iraq before the president declared that "major combat operations" were over. Approximately 3,211 have been killed since then.

May 01, 2007 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But we won't be safer by doing more of the same."


You seem to have a well-considered position in some ways but the problem is that we already tried what you suggest for years and the result was September 11. To stop "doing more of the same" is why we went to Afghanistan and Iraq.

The only way we could prevent that would be to completely retreat within our own borders and disengage from any area where our democratic ideals might come into conflict with a local group's Islamicist ambitions.

May 02, 2007 2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon

Anon- wake up! Sept 11 and Iran and Afghanistan?

9/11 didn't come out of Iran-where have you been? Or are you just another Rove/Cheney puppet? Still buying their lies? Even they have moved on to more elaborate lies.


May 02, 2007 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anon- wake up! Sept 11 and Iran and Afghanistan?

9/11 didn't come out of Iran-where have you been? Or are you just another Rove/Cheney puppet? Still buying their lies? Even they have moved on to more elaborate lies."

Saddam was so directly responsible for the chain of events leading to 9/11 that he could probably be held civilly liable for damages if still alive. Here's what happened:

Saddam invaded a non-belligerent country, an ally of ours. We were asked to undo the invasion, which we did, generally supported by the civilized world. We were forced to leave troops in the region in order to enforce a arrangement which we agreed to in order to accomodate the wishes of the international community whereby Saddam could remain in power. Because of our infidel presence in the Muslim holy land, our country was attacked. Note that it was our mere presence, not any action that these groups object to.

Bottom line: No Saddam aggression, no 9/11.

And right now, we might be able to secure our own safety and peace for a few years if we were to retreat into our borders and abandon all activity in any area where our democratic ideals might conflict with the fundamentalist Islamic vision.

Do we really want that?

May 03, 2007 7:49 AM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous, that's hardly Saddam being directly responsible for 9/11. You've got a twisted concept of direct. And the 9/11 attacks were motivated by a lot more than the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia.

May 03, 2007 1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And the 9/11 attacks were motivated by a lot more than the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia."

Not according to Osama Bin Laden.

May 04, 2007 6:00 AM  
Anonymous Frank said...

"Bottom line: No Saddam aggression, no 9/11."

That's one opinion. Here's another. The impetus of Al Qaeda's decision to terrorize the US on 9/11/01 was the election of the arrogant cowboy who said "I don't think we should commit troops to Rwanda, nor do I think we ought to try to be the peace-keepers all around the world. I intend to tell our allies that America will help make the peace, but you get the troops on the ground to keep warring parties apart. One of the reasons we have such low morale in the military today is because we're over deployed and under trained." on February 16, 2000.

Bottom line: No President Dumbya, no 9/11.

May 04, 2007 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


To be frank, you need a history lesson:


Al qaeda bombs the World Trade Center but fails to bring down tower


Al qaeda issues a "fatwa" declaring war on the U.S. and its allies


Al qaeda bombs U.S. embassies in East Africa


Al qaeda bombs U.S. missile destroyer Cole, killing several sailors

All happened before the arrogant cowboy took over while a guy who used his power to take advantage of overweight young female subordiates was still President.

Furthermore, GB II was a fairly isolationist President until his hand was forced by this attack.

May 04, 2007 1:29 PM  
Blogger Randi Schimnosky said...

Anonymous, the U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia was far from the only reason Osama gave for the attacks. Others were the handling of the Palistinians and Israel, the war in Afghanistan, and the belief that the U.S.'s liberal society is the 'great satan'.

May 05, 2007 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be perfectly Frank, there's even more history that relates to the problems in the area. Here's SOME of it.


Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was put in power in Iran during World War II British and Soviet forces. They had invaded Iran and deposed his father, Reza Shah, who they suspected of planning to ally Iran with the Axis powers.


The Shah fled Iran during a power struggle with Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh. Through a military coup d'état aided by a CIA and MI6 covert operation, codenamed Operation Ajax, Mossadegh was overthrown and arrested and the Shah returned to the throne.

1979 (January)

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran, left Iran for exile.

1979 (February)

Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Tehran to a greeting of several million Iranians.

1979 (April)

Iran officially became an Islamic Republic when Iranians overwhelmingly approved a national referendum.

1979 The largest covert operation in the history of the CIA was launched in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in support of the pro-Communist government of Babrak Kamal.

1983 (October 23)

Suicide bombers detonate two truck bombs at the U.S. Marine and French Paratrooper barracks in Beirut, killing 241 American and 58 French soldiers.

1984 (February 7)

Ronald Reagan orders Marines to withdraw from Lebannon.

1985 (March)

President Reagan signed National Security Decision Directive 166, to increase covert military aid to the mujahideen in Afghanistan with the goal to defeat Soviet troops in Afghanistan through covert action and encourage a Soviet withdrawal.


The CIA encourages Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence to recruit 30,000 Muslim radicals from 40 countries to join Afghan's fight against the soviets. Tens of thousands more Muslim radicals came to study in Pakistani madrasahs.

May 05, 2007 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not forget these tidbits of the history of the US's involvement in the Middle East:


The US initiated Baghdad Pact united Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Britain together to provide for the common defense against the Soviet Union.

1958 (July 14)

Abdul Karin Qasim led an officer's coup and overthrew the British-installed monarchy in Iraq in a "horrible orgy of bloodshed." King Faisal II and many members of the royal family were assasinated in the courtyard of the Royal Rihab Palace.


The US joined the Baghdad Pact (renamed the Central Treaty Organization, CENTO) as an associate member and
Qasim removed Iraq from it, deeply alarming Washington.

Iraqi society consisted of poor rural Shiites who worked for mostly Sunnis, who owned half of the good land in Iraq. Two political parties arose, the Communist Party of Iraq and the Arab Baath Socialist Party. The CIA chose the Baathists as its instrument to work as a buffer (along with the West's ally, the Shah of Iran) between the Soviet Union and the West.

Saddam Hussein joined the Baath Party and was part of a CIA assembled team that attempted and failed to assasinate Qasim on October 7, 1959. Saddam was wounded in the attempt, given CIA training in Beirut, and given safe passage to Cairo. Saddam eventually returned to Iraq.

1963 (February 9)

Qasim was killed in a Baath Party coup after a show trial. More than 5,000 Iraqi Communists were killed from February 8-10, 1963. The CIA provided lists of suspected communists to the Baathists who killed them outright.

Saddam Hussein became the head of al-Jihaz a-Khas, the secret intelligence apparatus of the Baath Party.



Iraq launched the first attack on Iran in the Iran-Iraq war.

During Iraq's war with Iran, the CIA and the US Defence Intelligence Agency regularly provided Iraq with battlefield intelligence obtained from Saudi AWACS surveillance aircraft.


The US condemned Israel for violating Iraq's sovereignty in a raid that destroyed the nuclear reactor at Osirak that the Iraqis had built.


The U.S. government approved around $200 million in arms sales to Iraq. The U.S. Department of Commerce had approved, for the purpose of research, the shipping of dual-use biological agents to Iraq during the mid-1980s, including Bacillus anthracis (anthrax). Declassified U.S. government documents indicate that the U.S. government had confirmed that Iraq was using chemical weapons "almost daily" during the Iran-Iraq conflict as early as 1983


The Iran-Contra scandal became public. It was revealed that Reagan Administration officials tried to strike a deal in which secret arms sales to Iran could lead to the release of U.S. hostages held by pro-Iranian terrorists in Lebanon. Saddam Hussein learns of the US playing both sides in the Iran-Iraq war and vows he will never trust the West again.


An armada of US Navy ships protected tanker traffic and blocked the Iranian Navy, saving Iraq from defeat in the ongoing Iran-Iraq war.



The CIA and DIA blinded Iranian radar for three days so Saddam's troops could attack Iranian positions on the al-Fao peninsula.


Iraq gassed its northern provinces and an estimated 5,000 Kurds are killed. The Reagan Administration responded to these chemical weapon attacks by filing paper protests with the Iraqi government, sponsoring a resolution in the UN general assembly, and tightening some export controls on chemical supplies and technology. At the same time, however, the United States continued to provide Iraq with intelligence data on Iranian troop movements and formations, ignoring the fact that such data was being used to optimize the deployment and use of chemical attacks against the Iranians.

1990 (August 2)

The US/Iraq alliance ended when Iraq's troops invaded Kuwait.

May 06, 2007 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Horne [Sir Alistair Horne, author of "A Savage War of Peace"and other books, who was invited by Bush to tea at the White House last Thursday] said... "In April 2002, I was lecturing to 24 U.S. generals, four-star generals, the top brass in Europe, in France, and it was absolutely clear to me that they were all set to go to war in Iraq," he said. "They were discreet about it, but they pretty well knew what spots they were going into. There was the commander of the 3rd Division, the commander of the 3rd Corps, and it was all set up. That was a year before the war. Then, six months later, I was lecturing at the marvelous VMI, the Virginia Military Academy, where General Marshall graduated. At dinner there were some very bright colonels -- it's colonels who run armies, not generals -- from the Pentagon. One of them said to me, 'Remember what they said about the First World War, "the trains have left the station"'? That was October, and the trains had left the station. Actually, I think they'd pretty well left the station by the April before."

...Horne provided a fascinating historical gloss on how the U.S. botched Iraq. "One of the stupidest things the U.S. did, and this comes out in [Tom] Ricks' book ["Fiasco"] and Rajiv's [Rajiv Chandrasekaran's "Imperial Life in the Emerald City"], was disarming the Baathists, the Iraqi army," Horne said. "I mean, honestly. To go back in history, we beat Napoleon in 1814 and sent him to Elba. Then he had this amazing comeback in 100 days and very nearly beat the hell out of us at Waterloo. How did he manage to resurrect his army? Because the stupid fat king didn't pay them! He stood down Napoleon's army. They were all these old soldiers who weren't paid. It was the same thing in Iraq. There were what, a half a million men, and we just said, 'Go home.' You don't think they're going to set up a kebab stand in Baghdad. They're going to use their weapons. We created the insurgency there."

May 08, 2007 10:45 AM  

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