Powered by TypePad

« Grid Parity | Main | Intangibles, Or Why Some Flip-Flops Matter More Than Others »

June 24, 2008



Have we started the 100 year peaceful occupation already?


"in perpetuity, to be quite honest'. Well, he blew it for me right there.


Of course there has been enormous progress from the surge, on all fronts. Violence wise, politically, and economically

If the benchmark is: "But we havent met 110% of all of our goals in one year" then sure, the squawking defeatists in the MSM and in the Dem party can say "we're losing!!"

Its a self writing meme, and complete bullshit, of course


There is a simple Dem strategy ..

George W. Bush loses


When did the GAO become the Wikipedia of every government program; they have experts in oil finance, law enforcement and military training, I hold about as much stock in these as the NIE's which seem to focus on the recollections of one asset (Asghari for the Iran 2007 one) ignore details like the Mousavian letter to Khameini; showing the extent of Iranian deceptions to the IAEA and the PC2 group. This does not even consider that Rouhani and Larijani continued those operations.

Rick Ballard
Although oil production has improved for short periods, the May 2008 production level of about 2.5 million barrels per day (mbpd) was below the U.S. goal of 3 mbpd. The daily supply of electricity met only about half of demand in early May 2008. Conversely, State reports that U.S. goals for Iraq's water sector are close to being reached."

All three items are within the purview of the Corps of Engineers. Anyone caring to examine facts, rather than trust this gargle, can trace progress fairly easily by examining the Reconstruction Fact Sheets prepared monthly. The June fact sheet states:

• 3.0 million barrels per day of planned capacity has been met
• Of the 6,000 megawatts planned, 4,744 megawatts have been added and restored
• Of the 1.1 million cubic meters per day of potable water planned for IRRF, 0.9 million cubic meters per day of water treatment capacity has been achieved affecting 4.7 million people

I would note that the decision to produce 2.5 mbd is the responsibility of the Iraqi Oil Ministry, that the 4,744 megawatts is higher than Iraq ever achieved prior to 2004 (and that demand for heavily subsidized power is unlikely to ever be filled) and that contracts have been let and construction started on the remaining water projects.

I would also note that the Iraqis have the money to revamp their entire infrastructure on their own dime. They won't, of course, because the muslim sheik's propensity for keeping his serfs thoroughly immiserated hasn't changed one iota and is extraordinarily unlikely to change regardless of the composition of the government.

It's very possible that the agreement on oil pelf sharing will occurr quite soon. The Iraqi elections are scheduled for October and Maliki needs the Kurds on his side in the new government.


Violence is way down in Iraq, but the Iraqis aren't running their government the way Democrats want.

The Dems say Iraqi government officials need to start hiding money in refrigerators or accusing their soldiers of murder the way Congressman Murtha does. They should get involved in more shady land deals like Harry Reid or shady mortgage deals like Cris Dodd.

On top of that the Iraqis should get a guy who believes in nothing to give them Change they can believe in.


Brooks' article is a good one, and hints at one of the larger truths of the past seven years, and the underlying cause of BDS: no democrat, short of fighting joe, can ever admit that Bush was right about anything, even if they get to stipulate he was wrong on everything else.


They should get involved in more shady land deals

Don't forget Cunningham who introduced economies of scale to the business of corruption.

Soylent Red

On top of that the Iraqis should get a guy who believes in nothing to give them Change they can believe in.

Maybe we could help: airlift the Obamessiah and his ego in to straighten things out.

Why, he'll sort out hundreds of years of ethnic, tribal and religious divisiveness in a matter of months, if not weeks. He'll simply explain what a distraction it is.


Don't forget Cunningham...

Though he is a scumbag, Cunningham stands apart from the corrupt politicians I mentioned, in that Democrats actually criticized his misdeeds.


Why, he'll sort out hundreds of years of ethnic, tribal and religious divisiveness in a matter of months

Funny, but someone is on the record claiming he'll accomplish this very thing.


The president's comments came after his meeting with Palestinian leaders in the West Bank, where Bush predicted that a peace treaty would be signed by the time he leaves office in 2009.


...airlift the Obamessiah...

I hope McCain makes Brocko the Ambassador to Waziristan.


He'll simply explain what a distraction it is.

And how it does nothing to help Michelle's children.

Patrick R. Sullivan

In the Dept. of Be Careful What You Wish For...

In the first civilian judicial review of the government's evidence for holding any of the Guantánamo Bay detainees, a federal appeals court has ordered that one of them be released or given a new military hearing.

The ruling, made known Monday in a notice from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, overturned a Pentagon tribunal's decision in the case of one of 17 Guantánamo detainees who are ethnic Uighurs, a Muslim minority from western China.

....The one-paragraph notice from the appeals court said a three-judge panel had found in favor of Huzaifa Parhat, a former fruit peddler who made his way from western China to a Uighur camp in Afghanistan.

....Its practical consequences for Parhat, however, are not clear. The administration has said it will not return Uighur detainees to China because of concerns about their treatment at the hands of the Chinese government, which views them as terrorists.

Will those concerns now be reevaluated?


"I called upon both leaders to make sure their teams negotiate seriously, starting right now."

Then Bush stomped his little footsie, and all was well.


I thought they had sent the Uighurs over to Albania, or was it Elbonia. Zinjiang Province is a nasty place, remember that's
where they sent Jack Bauer for 18 monthes.
Well not really, but it is China's Chechnya
;on the Turkestani issue. This does raise one of the issues in Boumedienne, to send the aforementioned back to Bosnia, where his crimes allegedly occurred, to Tunisia where he's from, and who following the script, will be blowing someone up in the next few years, or be an accessory to those who do.



there was a James Burke SciAm series called 'Connections'; your posts are reminiscent of that column.

Have you ever read it?


Had liberals and radicals not covered up the predations of Arafat's clique so thoroughly, maybe Hamas wouldn't have had half a chance; someone like Fayyad might have had a better chance at governing. The
Palestinians since 1920 had plenty of chances to have a state, but Haj Amin Husseini, this nephew Arafat, and now Hamas
have forestalled this possibility. Russia has been an imperial power at least since the 16th century, the on again of again campaign in the Caucasus is just the most notable example. China, when did they take over Zinjiang; it was an independent region


"Bush is a stubborn man."

"Bush is an outrageously self-confident man."

"when it comes to Iraq, Bush was ...at his best when he was arrogantly overruling them"

Why is it that Bush is stubborn and arrogant? Perhaps Brooks is merely echoing the Democrat meme, but I think he believes this as well. Why didn't anyone in the msm call Clinton "stubborn" when he ignored the generals who told him that ethnic cleansing in Kosovo could not be stopped by bombing raids from 15,000 feet. According to the former NATO general who commanded the air forces, not only did it fail to stop the ethnic cleansing, it sped it up.

Bush had a job to do in Iraq and he has continued to do it. Finishing a job you start isn't stubborn or arrogant, it's what you're supposed to do. Of course that concept is foreign to most Democrats who only do something as long as polls tell them it's in their best interest to keep going.


as long as polls tell them it's in their best interest

Maybe sometimes polls have important information; like McCain switching his stance on offshore drilling.

My position on ANWR has been to treat it like a strategic petroleum reserve. So I was against drilling until oil went over the $100 mark. Now we're over that threshold, I have no problem drilling there; it made less sense when oil was $20/bbl.

But we should still think about the strategic value of anwr; maybe drill and cap a portion of the wells to hold in reserve for emergencies.






I give up


What's with the incantation?


Italics should be OK now


Patrick, I hope we do send them back or say we will and that they then BEG to be allowed to stay in Gitmo.


Patrick R Sullivan-

Will those concerns now be reevaluated?

Doubtful, however, he will probably be able to claim political asylum here. In a twisted way its a bit funny, the Bourdieme decision was based, in part, on the amount of time it taken but every time a set of rules are drafted and the process starts, the courts step in and say "no we want something different, but we are not going to tell you exactly what it is". The case of the Uighur Muslims is a good demonstration of this-the DOD has wanted to release them since at least 2006 and has appealed to Turkey, Sweden, and Germany-they all denied asylum. Albania took some of them, but not all.

It is almost as if all those who are solcitious of human rights and the rule of law are more interested in keeping Gitmo open and the issue alive until an Obama Administration can take charge and begin the real war crimes trials-the Bush Administration officials that opened Gitmo in the first place with the first exhibit being the remaining prisoners.


bad day today for html



what is with all this intalico?


mismatched tag


I think it is ok now. No more tags until my afternoon coffee kicks in.

...cited little improvement in the ability of the Iraqi security forces to act independently of the U.S. military...
Ok, let's try some Arithmetic For Dummies (or the MSM, which is Dumber than Dummies).
The number of trained Iraqi forces has increased from 323,000 in January 2007 to 478,000 in May 2008... the Department of Defense reported in March 2008 that the number of Iraqi units capable of performing operations without U.S. assistance has remained at about 10 percent....

10% of 323,000 = 32,300

10% of 478,000 = 47,800

32,300 to 47,800 is an improvement of 48%. Or, in WaPo Land -- "little improvement".


Cecil Turner

Man, talk about a "glass half-empty" assessment. Seems to me the DoD complaint about the yardstick is spot-on. The only legitimate metric when comparing things like legislation, oil exports, electricity generation, etc. are how they've changed over time since the strategy was implemented (or the last report). But using that as a baseline would yield a positive across the board report. So they compare legislation against a wish list, oil exports to an arbitrary goal, and electricity production as a percentage of rapidly rising demand. This report is past biased into borderline dishonest, and it starts with the title: "Progress Report: Some Gains Made, Updated Strategy Needed." I'd also note the report appears to be a Democrat-only affair, citing the Chairmen of various committees, and an interim Comptroller General appointed earlier this year by an outgoing Clinton appointee. Further, the title of the cited classified report is instructive: Stabilizing Iraq: DOD Should Identify and Prioritize the Conditions Necessary for the Continued Drawdown of U.S. Forces. Note to Dems: if the goal is victory, we can leave afterward. If the goal is to leave, victory is very difficult.

But the part of this report that really stands out is the ongoing security assessment. First, the way they measure progress is in the level of enemy-initiated attacks. Which makes some sense, until you realize they classify enemy responses to ongoing security operations as such. Thus the successful operations of the Iraqi Army in Basrah contributed to a reported upsurge in violence in March. Similarly, the assumptions are fatuous. For example:

Security gains have largely resulted from [. . .] (3) the Mahdi Army's declaration of a cease fire.
They're actually talking about two cease-fires here, one last year, and the second following their defeat in Sadr City. But rather than credit the clearing operation . . .

The assessment of Iraqi security forces is also out-to-lunch. In the midst of ongoing Iraqi-initiated clearing operations, what could be easier than assessing performance of the armed forces based on results? But instead they rely on a listing of administrative assessments, when Iraqi forces in the field are in fact
"taking the lead":

MOSUL, Iraq — Just weeks after being under siege from Al Qaeda insurgents, residents of Mosul are enjoying a newfound sense of security as Iraqi forces bring stability to the country's third largest city. [emphasis added]
Seems to me that if the inadequate security forces are accomplishing the mission, maybe they aren't so inadequate. Short version: when presented with competing security assessments from DoD and GAO, throw the latter away.



The quote you pulled is even better if you leave in the "However", which indicates that the positive news was caveated by negative news. News that turns out, per your logical approach, to be not bad after all.

It still amazes me that straight reportage would have yielded two positive nuggets while instead somebody? decided to turn a positive nugget into a negative through mixing percentage and absolute changes. This is simple dishonesty that the MSM excels in, as does, apparently, the GAO.

Cecil Turner

The Brooks OpEd is an interesting take, and has a reasonably accurate assessment of the shift in security environment, but the premise is seriously flawed. In particular, this claim appears more drawn from headlines than actual statements of the officers cited:

Almost every top general, including Abizaid, Schoomaker and Casey, were [sic] against the surge.
But that's not what they actually said:
"We would not surge without a purpose," Schoomaker told reporters. "And that purpose should be measurable."
And that sentiment was hardly unique amongst those most familiar with the situation:
The surge proposal has also gained greater support among recently retired officers who served in Iraq, particularly if carried out as part of a broader political and economic strategy.
Gen Casey's view was much the same. If the "surge" had just been about a troop increase, they'd have opposed it (as would I), but that's not what it was--Petraeus had outlined a very ambitious plan, complete with underlying doctrine. Abizaid was in fact against the surge, but he'd already had his turn at the wheel, and had nothing new to offer.

In short, President Bush had to choose between a bunch of guys without a plan, and one guy with one. Not surprisingly, he went with Petraeus.


The Roman went through two other commanders before they employed Marius, the victor of the Jugurthan War. Closer ro home, Lincoln
had McClellan, then Burnside before settling
on Grant. Montgomery wasn't the firstchoice for the North African operation; that went to Auchinleck; who ended up in India. It takes time to develop a counter insurgency strategy like the one Petraeus developed in Mosul, but perfected at Ft. Leavenworth, with input from the likes of McMaster,(based on his experience at Tall AFar) Nagl, Mansour. It took the alienation of the tribes of the Dulaimi and Salahuddin provinces from AQ; as well as the reckoning of the Shia militias; to make it stick. It took 8-10 years for the Brits to prevail in Malaysia; and almost as long for the Americans to do so in the Phillipines.


About Petraeus, heh, 'He fights'.

What seems to have happened in Iraq in the last few months is that the Iraqi mainstream has finally done some liberating of itself. With the help of the troop surge ordered by President Bush, the mainstream Sunni tribes have liberated themselves from the grip of Al Qaeda in their provinces. And the Shiite mainstream — represented by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the Iraqi Army — liberated Basra, Amara and Sadr City in Baghdad from both Mahdi Army militiamen and pro-Iranian death squads.

Tom Friedman in the NYT


Under public financing, would Obama be allowed to “buyout” Hiliary’s debt ?

I seem to remember reading that he couldn’t.

Major John

I would invite the GAO report preparers to spend a little time with me in Iraq. I just finished three months down Basrah way and watched the IA manage to be "adequate" - if by "adequate" you mean "win"...


The comments to this entry are closed.