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July 30, 2007

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RichatUF

TSK9-

...devious obstruction of Justice -- it's PERJURY damn it!

Wasn't that a running theme when the Left Wing when it was on, forget which seasons...Bartlet "lied" to the public about his "condition"...then some frosting for the feminists about some congresswoman "lieing" about her condition...was kind of nauseating...wish the swamps would get better writers

Sara

Wonkette:


Chief Justice John Roberts has died in his summer home in Maine. No, not really, but we know you have your fingers crossed.

Sara

Sheesh! Is there some weird alignment of the stars or something?

Tom Snyder dies today.

Bill Walsh of 49er fame dies today.

Ingmar Bergman dies today.

Chief Justice Roberts takes a nasty fall.

And now this:

NEW YORK — A former Emmy-winning television producer who worked with Tom Brokaw at NBC News died Monday after falling from his apartment building, police said.

Police initially reported that the producer, Eric R. Wishnie, was hit by a vehicle that fled the scene, but later they said they had located a witness who saw him as he fell from an adjacent building. The medical examiner's office said it had scheduled an autopsy.

NBC News President Steve Capus said in a statement that Wishnie, 44, was "an enormously talented former senior producer at NBC News, who had a hand in some of the most monumental and memorable news stories of our time."

Sara

First the NYTimes and now the House:

House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Monday that a strongly positive report on progress on Iraq by Army Gen. David Petraeus likely would split Democrats in the House and impede his party's efforts to press for a timetable to end the war.
Jane

Geez sara, that's the first thing I read when I refreshed. You nearly gave me a stroke. (If I had one, I give all of you my proxy to sue Schumer, who knew or should have known that would have that effect on me.

Sara

Jane, I absolve myself of any blame as I stole the link from Patterico. I will, however, gladly act as your proxy in a suit against Schumer. Does it extend to Reid too? :)

maryerose

NYT and Hil can spin all they want. We all know she and Obama voted to defund the troops and repubs are going to hammer her relentlessly for that error. She will not be the next president. Negatives-48%. She won't hit 50% just like her old man BJ. The majority of Americans never wanted either of them in the White House.

Jane

Sue them all, sue. Call and ask Amy to draft the complaint (between her tears)

boris

NYT's John Burns talking to Hugh Hewitt:

the more that the Democrats in the Congress lead the push for an early withdrawal, the more Iraqi political leaders, particularly the Shiite political leaders, but the Sunnis as well, and the Kurds, are inclined to think that this is going to be settled, eventually, in an outright civil war, in consequence of which they are very, very unlikely or reluctant, at present, to make major concessions. They’re much more inclined to kind of hunker down. So in effect, the threats from Washington about a withdrawal, which we might have hoped would have brought about greater political cooperation in face of the threat that would ensue from that to the entire political establishment here, has had, as best we can gauge it, much more the opposite effect, of an effect that persuading people well, if the Americans are going, there’s absolutely no…and we’re going to have to settle this by a civil war, why should we make concessions on that matter right now?

The wishful thinking of dimorats is always that they can scold and threaten people into doing the "right thing" (acc to dims) IN SPITE OF peoples own self interest.

When it doesn't work they are somehow never to blame.

RichatUF

boris-


wishful thinking of dimorats is always that they can scold and threaten people into doing the "right thing"


that the democrats constant talk of civil war, surrender, and time tables are making the situation on the ground more difficult and the democrats don't want to say, "sorry, we f***** up"...I'm shocked.

Sara

FYI, via Capt. Quarters:

Both parties like to blame the other for failing to exercise independence in Congress. Their supporters blame the members of the opposite side for excessive partisanship which keeps Washington DC from accomplishing anything for the people. The Washington Post decided to take a look at the 110th Congress to see which party exercises the most partisanship -- and the Democrats win the prize.

In fact, the Democrats take nine of the top ten partisan spots, as well as scoring 8 points higher in partisanship as a party. The lone Republican ties for first, though:

100% - Charlie Norwood (R-GA)
100% - Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
99.7% - Nita Lowey (D-NY)
99.4% - Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)
99.1% - Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
98.9% - Xavier Bacerra (D-CA)
98.7% - Diana DeGetter (D-CO)
98.6% - Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
98.6% - Hilda Solis (D-CA)
98.6% - Ellen Tauscher (D-CA)
98.6% - Al Wynn (D-MD)

Of course, Norwood is dead, and has been since February

Sara

CQ UPDATE: Hey, what do you know? The Democrats win in the Senate, too! The Republicans make it a little closer, being less partisan by only six percentage points this time (88.5%-82.3%), but the Democrats sweep the Top Ten Partisans again:

97.8% - Dick Durbin (D-IL)
97.1% - Ben Cardin (D-MD)
97.1% - Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
97.1% - Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
97.0% - Joe Biden (D-DE)
97.0% - Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
96.7% - Jack Reed (D-RI)
96.7% - Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
96.6% - Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
96.6% - Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

The most partisan Republican in the Senate is the newly-seated John Barasso of Wyoming, at #13 on the list but with only 51 votes.

Terry Gain

The insurgency in Iraq has continued (despite the fact the insurgents cannot win) because the insurgents have not yet given up. So who in America is most responsible for the fact the insurgents have not yet given up?
a. Democratic politicians (pick one)
b. NYT
c. W.P.
d. AP
e. al Reuters
f. LAT
e. CNN
f. the networks
g. Soros
h. Matthews
i. Moore
j. Olberman
k. Kos
l. Sullivan
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sara

Cheney: Libby Shouldn't Have Been Convicted

WASHINGTON — Vice President Dick Cheney thinks his former chief of staff shouldn't have been convicted in the CIA leak case and that President Bush did right by commuting the jail sentence instead of issuing a pardon.

I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted of lying and obstructing justice in a probe into the leak of a CIA operative's identity. The former operative, Valerie Plame, contends the White House was trying to discredit her husband, a critic of Bush's Iraq policy.

Libby's allies had called for a full pardon, and some conservatives groused that Bush had declined to do so — at least for now. They criticized the middle ground the president sought to strike with his decision, in which he said he respected the jury's verdict but thought the 30-month jail sentence was too harsh. Bush left intact a $250,000 fine and two years' probation.

"I thought the president handled it right," Cheney said in an interview Monday with Mark Knoller of CBS Radio.

Cheney said he has seen Libby socially a number of times since the verdict, but he did not reveal anything about their conversations.

The vice president also said that embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should keep fighting for his job. "I'm a big fan of Al's," he said.

Cheney said any dispute over the accuracy of Gonzales' testimony is something he and the Senate are "going to have to resolve" and dismissed Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy's lack of trust in Gonzales as irrelevant.

"I've had my differences with Pat Leahy," Cheney said. "I think the key is whether or not he (Gonzales) has the confidence of the president, and he clearly does."

On another matter involving his office, Cheney said "there's nothing to cover up" involved in his refusal to comply with a requirement that executive branch offices provide data on their handling of classified material. Cheney's office provided the information, to the Information Security Oversight Office at The National Archives, in 2001 and 2002, then stopped.

Cheney's office and the White House insist that both the president and vice president are exempt from the order because they are not executive branch "agencies." The issue attracted widespread media attention after Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., charged that Cheney's office had originally argued to the Archives that it did not have to comply with the order because it was not "an entity within the executive branch."

Cheney did little in the interview to dispel that controversy. He said he is part of both the executive and legislative branches — and seemed to weigh his duties as president of the Senate slightly more by noting that he is paid by the Senate and gets only his legislative responsibilities from the Constitution.

"The vice president is kind of a unique creature, if you will, in that you've got a foot in both branches," he said.

Asked if he is principally part of the executive branch, Cheney said, "Well, I suppose you could argue it either way."

"Under the Constitution, I'm assigned responsibilities in the legislative branch," he said. "Then the president obviously gives me responsibilities in the executive branch. And I perform both those functions, although I think it would be fair to say I spend more time on executive matters than legislative matters."

Though Cheney is seen as an unrelenting advocate for more power for the executive branch, he apparently took no advantage of the brief period he spent two Saturdays ago as acting president. For two hours and five minutes, while Bush underwent a routine colonoscopy, the powers of the presidency were transferred to Cheney.

The vice president said he didn't — and wasn't tempted to — take any presidential actions during that period.

"I basically wrote a letter to my grandkids ... a souvenir for them to have down the road some day," he said.

Elliott

Hit and Run:

Chuckie McNultzgeraldcomey?

MikeS

Terry Gain,
Great point.

JM Hanes

Not only did the New York Times feature O'Hanlon & Pollack this week, they had the good sense to publish my own brief letter to the Public Editor on Sunday:-)

Hoyt thought reporters should have worked harded to debunk the Administration's hyping of Al Qaeda in Iraq Mesopotamia. I thought different. It's the second letter after Hoyt's rather self-serving update.

vnjagvet

Brava, JM.

Topsecretk9

--Bill Walsh of 49er fame dies today.--

Was my Dad's P.E. teacher.

Topsecretk9

oops...meant to say -- P.E. teacher in highschool

Topsecretk9

Cathyf

thanks for posting those...the calls for bipartisanship and that the responsibility lies within the republicans to achieve it ?-- has always been ridiculous sham (like V.Lame) - bipartisanship is just code for "do whatever we Dems want or else"

96.6% - Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Hmmm...something tells me his "partisan point" will shoot up next year, especially given his unfortunately timed self-serving dickhead speech.

hit and run

From the article on Cheney above:
The former operative, Valerie Plame, contends the White House was trying to discredit her husband, a critic of Bush's Iraq policy.


COMMON GROUND: I contend that too! That the WH was trying to get the truth out, and that the truth discredited her husband.

hit and run

So in the last couple of days we have...

John Burns:

the more that the Democrats in the Congress lead the push for an early withdrawal, the more Iraqi political leaders, particularly the Shiite political leaders, but the Sunnis as well, and the Kurds, are inclined to think that this is going to be settled, eventually, in an outright civil war, in consequence of which they are very, very unlikely or reluctant, at present, to make major concessions.

David Ignatius:

A good start would be for Washington partisans to take deep breaths and lower the volume, so that the process of talking and fighting that must accompany a gradual U.S. withdrawal can work. Some members of Congress argue that pressure for an American troop withdrawal will persuade the Iraqis to put aside their sectarian agendas, but the opposite is more likely to be true.


Why was I not informed that John Burns and David Ignatius had been brought on board the reich wingnut neocon christofascist chimpymchitlerburton rethuglikkkan team?

I am responsible for new member orientation, you know.

Did we pick them up in free agency? Trade deadline deal? Who did we have to give up to get them?

hit and run

Elliott:
Chuckie McNultzgeraldcomey?


I like it! Hadn't thought about McNulty, but having the Mc in front of the last name makes it...

Jane

Nice job JM. Typical you - powerful, straightforward and understated.

Can anyone say for certainty where Schumer was yesterday?

And do we really knows how many doubles he employs?

We can't prove it, so it's time for a special prosecutor.

hit and run

I wanted to pass along a couple of emails that I've gotten from Sad/Bad. One is from a couple months ago and the other from the other day. I was waiting for her permission to share them here.


From May:

I'm doing well. My last scan showed the cancer had not progressed. Chemo is working!! Hopefully the next scan will show it shrinking the tumors.

Thank you for your prayers and support. We are kicking cancer butt and choosing happiness everyday. I read JOM when I can.

God Bless You


From July 24:

I'm behind on email. Sorry to be so slow to respond. The cancer showed a size reduction on the last scan. The chemo is very strong and toxic and I have very little energy. Edema is a continuing complication.

Thank you for your prayers for my family. They are so strong and loving and supportive.

Seixon

I think this is the Dem push to say, "Hey guys, Iraq will be fine if we leave, see? See??"

HoosierHoops

I've been reading about Louis XIV supporting the Turks at the Gates of Vienna.
==============

Posted by: kim
I've been reading about VLAN Bridge spanning-tree protocals for MSFC on a cisco switch..
And as an FYI to the post on Geeks..
That's a geek..

Brendan

Tom Maguire: And file this under "Must Be Easy To Be A Lefty Blogger" - both Greg Sargent and Glenn Greenwald tell their trusitng(sic) readers that O'Hanlon and Pollack supported this war.

A little unintended irony here?

clarice

JMH--Wonderful! I can't believe they published it because in my experience the WaPo and NYT letters editors generally select only articles supportive of their positions and an occasional one, often the worst in the pack, of those opposing it.I can't imagine how yours got thru..

For those who don't click on hpyerlinks, here it is:
"Letters To the Public Editor
Other Voices: Al Qaeda and the Enemies in Iraq
Sign In to E-Mail or Save This Print Single Page Share
DiggFacebookNewsvinePermalinkPublished: July 29, 2007
The battle over the nature of the war in Iraq is heating up.

Skip to next paragraph

Chuck Kennedy/McClatchy-Tribune
Clark Hoyt

More Public Editor Columns
E-mail: public@nytimes.com
Phone: (212) 556-7652

Address: Public Editor

The New York Times

620 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10018

Related
The Public Editor: Seeing Al Qaeda Around Every Corner (July 8, 2007) The New York Times and other news media have become more aggressive in questioning President Bush’s rationale for continuing the war, and particularly his argument that it is primarily a battle against Al Qaeda.

On Friday, July 13, Michael R. Gordon and Jim Rutenberg reported on the front page of The Times that Bush’s “references to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and his assertions that it is the same group that attacked the United States in 2001, have greatly oversimplified the nature of the insurgency in Iraq and its relationship” with Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, which according to a new National Intelligence Estimate (N.I.E.) has found safe haven in Pakistan.

That intelligence report, released on July 17, concluded that the United States faces a heightened threat of terrorist attacks because Al Qaeda has been able to regroup in the lawless, semiautonomous provinces along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. The report said that Al Qaeda would seek to take advantage of the “contacts and capabilities” of its ally in Iraq, which sprang up after the U.S. invasion in 2003. Intelligence officials briefing reporters about the report said that group is led by foreigners.

President Bush isn’t backing down from equating the two Al Qaedas and declaring them the main enemy in Iraq. In a speech Tuesday to a military audience in Charleston, S.C., he said the Iraqi group is a “full member” of bin Laden’s terrorist network and takes its cues from it.

The Times said the president used what aides described as newly declassified intelligence to make his case. “But the White House and intelligence officials declined to provide any detail on the intelligence reports Mr. Bush cited, including their titles, dates and origins,” the newspaper said.

It quoted Edward M. Gistaro, a principal author of the July 17 N.I.E., as saying that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia is “focused on the conflict in Iraq at this time.”

Readers had a lot to say about a column I wrote on July 8 about this subject. Here’s a sampling.

CLARK HOYT

Re “Seeing Al Qaeda Around Every Corner” (July 8):

You complain that “The Times has slipped into a routine of quoting President Bush and the military uncritically about Al Qaeda’s role in Iraq — and sometimes citing the group itself without attribution.”

Well, yes, The Times has returned to its default process — stenographer to the government. I do realize there is constant pressure from the emperor’s fashion commentators, but the job is to report that he is naked, not merely that he described his new (nonexistent) clothes.

DAVID VARTANOFF
Oakland, Calif., July 15, 2007

You write: “It’s a good move. I’d have been happier still if The Times had helped its readers by doing a deeper job of reporting on the administration’s drive to make Al Qaeda the singular enemy in Iraq.”

Well, this reader would be a whole lot happier if The Times would spend more time covering the actual war, instead of looking at virtually everything through the distorted lens of domestic politics. It’s certainly possible to distinguish Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia (which is itself a political convention designed to avoid the sin of putting Al Qaeda and Iraq in the same sentence) from Al Qaeda elsewhere. So? Where exactly do you go from there?

If you can argue that Baquba was not a Qaeda stronghold, or that Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia hasn’t had a catalytic effect on sectarian violence, or isn’t worth pursuing, or would not metastasize on our withdrawal, I’d sure like to hear it. Otherwise, you’re not really arguing content, you’re arguing slant.

J. M. HANES "

BTW I think the NYT' AQ in Mesopotamia is one of their most ridiculous affectations.

hit and run

Geraghty picks up on the Novak article I mentioned yesterday. Blowing the lid off of a covert plan to use special forces to aid Turkey in routing the PKK.

I said:

Silly Edelman, thinking you could keep a lid on something when you brief congress.

I pick on Congress, since Powell and Armitage are no longer at State.

Geraghty says:

We can strongly suspect that Novak's source is on Capitol Hill...

it strongly suggests his source was probably among the listeners (and a skeptical one at that), not among the Pentagon or the administration. (Anyone know if Richard Armitage caught wind of this plan?)

I've been reading Geraghty so long and so much now that I've started sounding like him. Hmmmm, or the opposite?

hit and run

TM (title of post):
And A Sustainably Stable Morning To You As Well

And a Real Big Problematic Morning To You Congressman Clyburn .

Many Democrats have anticipated that, at best, Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker would present a mixed analysis of the success of the current troop surge strategy, given continued violence in Baghdad. But of late there have been signs that the commander of U.S. forces might be preparing something more generally positive. [House Majority Whip James] Clyburn said that would be "a real big problem for us."

What a nerd. Oh wait....

Jane

Geez H&R you've been holding out. I'm afraid I fear the worst when we didn't hear from sad/bad. And as horrid as it sounds the fact that you have heard from her really made my day. Please please please send her our love.

Ernie

It is nice to hear some good news from Iraq. I'm still a supporter of the original decision, and I would go so far as to say it was going OK until the spring of 2006 when the Sumara mosque bombing became too much for the Shia (although al Sadr was going to have to be dealt with eventually). Of course the strategy we were using was to confine the US troops mostly to bases and to training the Iraqi army with occasional missions to hit high value terror targets and concentrations and to fight al Qaida. Good thing we got rid of that turkey of a strategy. Only an idiot like Chimpy Bushitler McHaliburton would think that kind of strategy would work.

Not to wish someone ill, but I really hope the news is very VERY bad for Democrats this fall. I also wish some Republican, maybe even the president could at that point perhaps point out that if the Democrats had their way we'd be retreating and Iraq would be in the midst of a civil war, but I think that is just hoping for too much.

Ralph L

Comey SchuFitzNultz

Sue

It is nice to hear some good news from Iraq.

And you think they couldn't spin good news? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/31/AR2007073100446.html>think again

found at http://ace.mu.nu/>Ace's

maryerose

H&R:
Great news about sad/bad. I'm still praying for her and her family.

Elliott

Ralph L,

That is very nice.

Hit and Run,

Do you know whence comes the "Mc" in the sobriquet some have bestowed upon our President? I believe it predates the MC/emcee Rove nonsense from the correspondents dinner and I can't think of anything else.

hit and run

Yes, I was holding out on the Sad/Bad emails. I wanted to make sure I had her permission before putting them up here. And I didn't get to post this one earlier because I only have it in my personal email, which I can't get at work, asking for the permission to post them:

I don't mind at all!! We need all of the prayer support we can get. We truly need a miracle. We are very open in sharing our experience in case it will benefit someone else.
hit and run

Elliott, honestly I have no idea on the Mc........but I like how it makes it roll off the tongue.

Jane

H&R,

Please send her my best wishes. Tell her I can't wait for her to get back.

Elliott

Hit and Run,

I too earnestly hope that there willl be much more good news to come from sad/bad.

Elliott

Hit and Run,

How does McHitandRun strike your fancy? Perhaps, Kynikos McHitandRun on your Obama posts.

Oh, and may I suggest Koureus McHitandRun when discussing Edwards Kalliplokamos?

lurker

What's up with Mullen's comments when he testified before Congress today?

Pelosi plans another vote this week.

lurker

Dems want to keep GOP from votes on Iraq

What's up with this one????

House Democrats set their strategy as Adm. Michael Mullen, President Bush's choice to become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, glided through his confirmation hearing at the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Mullen told lawmakers the military is spread thin by the war and testified that the security situation in Iraq "is better, not great, but better" since Bush ordered additional troops deployed last winter.

Still, he said, "there does not appear to be much political progress" in Iraq toward resolving long-standing issues that might ease sectarian conflict.

Mullen said his goal is to have troops ordered to Iraq to spend one year there followed by two years at home, but he said the current strength of 160,000 troops would have to be cut in half for that to happen.

Ralph L

I assumed the Mc came from McDonalds: anti-corporations. Also cheesy, like McMansions.

I think Gates was an idiot to retire Pace because of the Senate. Shows weakness in the face of the enemy.

Rocco

Kalliplokamos...damn, tough one to rhyme. Would that be Kalli/plok/amos or Kallip/loc/amos?

OT: Would you take a look at this CSIS PDF from May 2004...

Chair

Walter H. Kansteiner III
Former Assistant Secretary of State for
Africa Affairs
Principal, Scowcroft Group

Panel Members

Tom R. Gibian
Managing Director and CEO
AIG Africa Infrastructure Fund

General Carlton W. Fulford Jr. (USMC ret.)
Director, Africa Center for Strategic Studies
Former Deputy Commander-in-chief
U.S. European Command

RichatUF

Interesting find Rocco

from page 6

Central/West Africa is in the early phases of an extended oil boom that will significantly enhance the global position of Nigeria and Angola and bring greater attention to emergent, unstable producers—Equatorial Guinea, Chad, and São Tomé and Príncipe, most importantly. With proven reserves of more than 60 billion barrels, the region today provides one in four new barrels of oil coming onto world markets from outside the Persian Gulf. In 10 years, if it remains attractive for investment, Central/West Africa could supply up to 20 percent of U.S. imported oil, bolstering vital U.S. energy security and commercial interests.

Now who might have a problem with this

...oil weapon but from the cartel’s management of abundance. Specifically, we suggest that wt collections by core OPEC states (cOPEC) have U.S. security consequences.

If oil were scarce, the cost to recover it should rise over time. The opposite has occurred. Since 1970, real Saudi recovery cost has declined from $3.86 b (ref. 22, pp. 269–301) to an ‘‘all-inclusive’’
$1.50 b (1999$) (11). More recent costs can be derived. A relatively new development at Shaybah, Saudi Arabia (S-SA) includes
a 395-mile pipeline and three gas separation plants ‘‘beyond the field boundary,’’
meaning pipeline, port, and processing infrastructure required to bring new barrels to market. Capacity costs inside and outside the field boundary comprise long-run marginal cost (lrmc). First, we derive S-SA capacity $5,000 b day (d) (from ref.
23). From this, we estimate lrmcS-SA $0.74 b by assuming a high 5%depletion rate,3%discount rate, 40-year well life, and operating cost equal to 5% of annual returns. At Abu Hadriyah (AH-SA), in the relatively mature Eastern Province, cost is lower, $2,000–3,000 b d (derived from ref. 24), perhaps because downstream infrastructure is adequate to bring new AH-SA production to market. From $3,000 b d we derive lrmcAH-SA $0.45 b under the assumptions above. This is similar to $0.50 b reported from north Iraq...

Pofarmer

This can't be good--for the Dims

U.S. death toll in Iraq at 8-month low

By Kim Gamel - The Associated Press

clarice

No, it can't. And the figure astonishes me because like many others I believed with the surge on and more direct engagements our casualty figures would be mounting, not decreasing.

JM Hanes

Rich:

Actually, what's amazing is that they lead with "U.S. death toll in Iraq at 8-month low" instead of headlining "July was the second-deadliest month for Iraqis so far this year" which we learn four paragraphs later -- for a change. Who let that slip by unannounced, I wonder?

Pofarmer

Well, Clarice,

You have a dual dynamic going. For one, you have more Iraqi troops in the fight. For two, you have the terrorists out of urban terrain and into areas they haven't had time to "prepare." We can wipe em out there. Just watch some of the videos at strategypage.com. Once these guys get in open ground where our sensors can pick em up, they're toast. It's gotta suck to be an insurgent in Iraq right now.

hit and run

Ah, but if you want to spin the numbers....time for some year over year comparisons. From a kos diarist (via Dean):

Try a different perspective regarding that "drop." Compare the Coalition’s fatalities for all the Julys that the U.S. has occupied Iraq via the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count Website:

July 2007: 77
July 2006: 46
July 2005: 58
July 2004: 58
July 2003: 49

Month over month comparisons are so hard to spin passe.

Pofarmer

Hmmm, year over year you say? We have more troops in the field, and more offensive operations going on than in past years. But, don't let that get in the way of the numbers, I suppose. I'm with Clarice, I though it would be worse than it is. Let's hope this is the beginning of a declining casualty rate trend. That will really take the wind out of the Anti-war crowds sails. All they'll be left with is the "It's too expensive" argument, and it just doesn't have the same feel, ya know?

Les Nessman

I've noticed a lot of MSM and Dem predictions of a highly positive report from Petraeus this September.

They will build-up expectations for this report, then when the actual report comes out and it is not 100% positive, the MSM and Dems will say " Aha! Things are worse than we were led to believe!"

cathyf

Don't be so quick to use the low casualty numbers as a mark of success. Every war or insurgency ends the same way, with the losers making one last horrific surge of violence -- both as a desperate bid to snatch victory from defeat, and also the simple logic of putting all of their remaining assets in play because they are going to lose their value very soon.

If we allow the defeatocrats to define low casualties as a sign of victory, then of course logically high casualties are a sign of defeat -- and the defeatocrats could force surrender right when we are at the point of victory.

Every comment about low casualties should be accompanied by the warning that the enemy is most likely gathering and husbanding resources for some horrific attack -- the lull before the convulsion of violence.

Pofarmer

cathyf

I could be totally, horribly, and utterly wrong.

However, without an oviously overt amount of outside influence from Iran and Syria, I think the "insurgents" in Iraq have pretty much shot their wad. The populace is pretty much against em, and they are running out of free battle space. This could go on as a low grade insurgency for years. But, what are these guys gonna gather up for a last horrific attack? I don't see any Tet coming unless Iran is directly involved.

Pofarmer

They will build-up expectations for this report, then when the actual report comes out and it is not 100% positive, the MSM and Dems will say " Aha! Things are worse than we were led to believe!"

On the other hand, I think the administration and the Generals are playing up the "things are very serious in Iraq" angle way too much. Sure, things are serious, but we are winning and will definately win if we stay. These folks need to be a lot more positive in their presentations. Obviously, they are worried about playing to the Dims and maintaining "crediblity" which essentially means groveling to the committees. Whaddaya wanna bet these Generals go take a nice hot shower and have a shot after these Dog and Pony shows?

Pofarmer

Now, with that said, the resurgent Taliban in Pakistan will have to be dealt with. They are probably more dangerous than anything in Iraq right now.

Cecil Turner

This could go on as a low grade insurgency for years.

Yes, it could. As long as the jihadists are getting good (for them) media coverage and have a perceived shot at winning in the court of public opinion, they have every incentive to continue. They never had a hope for a military victory, and still don't. But setting off a few car bombs takes no particular operational skill nor a significant amount of assets . . . and the idea that we can snuff that out completely through military action is not on. Still, we can raise the butcher's bill amongst the jihadis and their supporters, and create the conditions for them to lose heart . . . and if the Iraqi government organs continue to gain strength, eventually it'll be a lost cause for the insurgents.

But the bottom line is that the determining factor in US involvement in the war is predominantly propaganda, not military progress, and has been for a while now. If the American public is convinced it's worthwhile, we can't lose militarily. If the insurgents were convinced we'd never leave until victory was achieved, they'd have no incentive to continue. Which is why the defeatist rhetoric and outright enemy propaganda so rampant in our media and among our political spokespersons is so damaging.

This'll all be very interesting in hindsight. If the bulk of the insurgents give it up as a bad job, history will not be kind to our fifth columnists. If we leave prematurely, and the jihadis make gains in our absence, there'll be long introspectives on whether the volunteers were suckers. Which just goes to show you, some things haven't changed all that much in the last couple millenia:

Treason doth never prosper: what's the reason? Why if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

centralcal

OT for this thread ... but "the Editors" have posted (at 2:37 pm) again re:Beauchamp. And is is all Army, Army, Army - blame, confuse, and misdirect.

These boys at TNR need to be brought up short damned quick.

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