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September 08, 2008



Good Golly, everyone neglects the fatwah against violence midwived by the Anglican cleric and promulgated by the leaders of all the major religious parties in Iraq in late August of 2007. Sistani stopped this war through sheer spiritual authority.

Late August last year was when I announced that the War in Iraq was over; also, that the globe was cooling. I haven't been as good since.


Sadr defied the fatwah, and he hasn't been as good since.

Charlie (Colorado)

Anglican cleric?

Like Episcopalian Anglican?


Yep, Charlie, I'll go look for his name. Maybe Young?


Canon Andrew White. Utterly unsung; huge hero.

Barry Dauphin

If that's the best Woodward has to offer, the publisher should demand the advance back. No one has talked about the Anbar Awakening????? (which is what he's trying to say by using the mealy-mouthed "received less attention"). Sadr stood down because of... threats from Woodward & Bernstein? I guess Bob was too busy writing to...you know...like read the papers and watch TV.


Woolsey says the war is okay and we have TIA. He caught Plame on her trip to French speaking world. Spectre and Reid want another investigation into who outed CIA operations officers Matthews and Olbermann. Maybe just Matthews he and Val and Joe all have a similar past. Maybe it's the shield law. Maybe it's Abrams movie and 'Burn After Reading or just LIES'

Woodward works for CSIS out of Toronto.




"Sadr's order marked an unexpected stroke of good luck, another in a series for the Americans."

Good luck?

I flunk this paper for lack of intellectual rigor.


Yeah, chip, no insight into the background; he makes it sound like a bolt from the blue. Frankly, that's idiocy; where did this guy get his reputation. Oh yeah, Mark Felt, the you fill in the blank


woodward sees things linearly, and ignores pace...

a hypothetical:

if the us sends 100k addtional forces, or if the un doesn't get bombed out launching a larger scale peacekeeping mission, the genral assumption would have been that the civil war would have not occurred, or at least would have been dimished.

I wonder what woodward would make of the following contentions:

an increase in force prevents the influx of foreign fighters from getting a foothold, the sunnis are never exposed and victimized by an outside agent, and turn their focus on either escalting the civil war, or arming up for the eventual departure of the us forces, NEVER participating in govt.

this is not a defense of the bush strategy(?), so much as it is a question of making the point that order and the call for it, are a product of chaos.

as bad as things got, it made people far more willing to deal as a nation than had they never experienced life on the brink.

i would suggest woodward consider the butterfly effect, as one of his alternate solutions that should have been aprent to the bush admin, would not have guaranteed that other elements of Iraqi hisotry would have changed.

without 'poor' security, the Biden plan of confederation was an actual possiblity. Had the UN enetered, it would have been their wish to confederate as well, to expedite the matter.


caught woodward on larry king...

very kind to condi...made her out to be one of the people screaming 'baghdad's on fire'.

MAJ (P) John

"Sadr's order marked an unexpected stroke of good luck, another in a series for the Americans."

Yeah. Pure luck. Nothing to do with trying to preserve a position that was becoming ever more precarious with a public that was starting to understand the JAM were naught but thugs, an ISF that was growing stronger, and the Coalition who was pressing them from several angles.

But then again the "powerful" JAM did win in Basrah, Sadr City and Al Amarah....oh, wait a minute...


another point about alternate realities-

the us goes after sadr early and takes him out. The movement and sentiment he represents splits into a 100 diffrent components, with 100 different leaders.

under the 'watching the eggs in one basket' theory, monitoring and tracking the sadr organization was far more prefrable to dealing with scattered pockets, waxing and waning.

I understand the rummy/cheney sentiment in regards to increasing troops-

start a kid swimming with water wings, and he'll never learn to swim, and freak out when you take them from him. throw them in a lake and they learn to swim a hell of a lot faster...

the passiveness and slow response that woodward finds troubling, may actually be the cause of our success.


MAJ(P) John:

Congratulations! Whose silver leaf will you get to pin on first? Got a wetting down planned?

Great to see you here, be safe.

Semper Fi, and thanks.


Wait a second, you mean that they targeted and killed America's foes? How dare they?


"Sadr's order marked an unexpected stroke of good luck, another in a series for the Americans. "

Good luck= dumb luck and I get the feeling that Woodward is shit scared to outright say anything more positive about Bush. When I watched the CBS 60min about this, I came away with the feeling that for once Bush trusted his own instincts, and went with what he knew he had to do. Which I think should be appreciated.

After 8 years of non stop "Bush is stupid" from the press, it should be noted that when he stood up to Cheney and fired Rummy without even talking to Dick, Bush started the trend that would change the ultimate direction of the war. Kudos to him for that.
I also like the last thing that the 60min piece leaves you with, basically Bush saying " don't lose this" or something to that effect. Because you know what they (CBS) begrudgingly had to say in so many words: The surge worked, Bush is not a complete moron, Obama was/is wrong about the surge. God bless the United States.

Ok, that last part was mine.

east one

woodwards book caused a stir with the iraqis by saying the u.s. spied on maliki. now they want an investigation. nothing like stirring the pot. somehow i missed the death of commonsense and critical thinking.

Barry Dauphin

Bush tells Casey that we're not playing for a tie, Casey gets indignant and stays indignant. He becomes Woodward's go-to guy. Yet, good-bye, Casey = hello, victory. It's funny how those things work.


Let's put this in words, even Joe Biden, can understand; there was no Civil War. There was only the reaction to the Sunni tribes and Salafi/Wahhabis 'farhud' against
the Shia, which they thought blowing the Golden Mosque in Samarra would do. It was really more in the character of the post war 'epuration' against Vichy collaborators.
It was Zarquawi's last step to implement what Zawahiri suggested in the intercepted letters. However, the subtlety exhibited by
the Salafi; eventually wore on the hospitality of the Dulaimi chiefs as well as those in Salahuddin and points west. The
Ambar Awakening arose from that, while the
press screamed civil war (MSNBC & McClatchy
yelling the most)Ultimately, it was that action that forced local forces to give up
Zarquawi; which Zawahiri 'pinch hitted' by
sending his understudy Egyptian Ayub Al Masri, who dialed things up to eleven. He had worn out their welcome, the inkcloud over Haditha, generated by Taliban flak McGuirk; along with the atrocious actions of Pfc. Green (who was the model for DePalma's flashback)and the backlash directed against Menchaca & Tucker, by another foreigner the late Al Tunissi; which might have been done, inorder to provoke another reaction; obscured the
progress of the Awakening and Petraeus's application of the entire counterinsurgency strategy. Woodward is typical of the view
that would have declared failure after the
Battle of the Bulge or Operation Market Garden.

I defer to the late and all too soon departed Ambassador Hume Horan; the Shia expert and Wahhabi foe, who thought Sadr should have been forced from the scene ASAP. However the fact, that he would have been the 3rd member of a leading Shia clan
to be martyred; along with the impact of
the 'dissapearance' of his kinsman Musa Sadr; who led to the rise of Hezbollah that gives me pose.

JM Hanes

Someone should put Woodward and Doug Feith on the tube together.


My initial rxn to the title and woodward's interviews seemed to lead mr to believe that the "War Within" was a dismantling of Bush/Cheney for failing to recognize that the strategy needed to change.

after additional reading, it now seems that the war within, is more about Bush/Cheney fighting with the joint chiefs on how to proceed with the war.

The libs will get off to a fast start, emphasizing the failure of Bush to heed his commanders in the joint chiefs, but the implication is that Bush AND Cheney were doing an end around to get Petraus' strategy up and running.

Woodward is setting the hook, that the dems are going to swallow, providing the issues that dems want to hear in interviews, but the meat of the book seems to be a blessing.

haven't read it, but I will.


from the Civil War to Vietnam to Iraq it seems it takes leadership @ 2 years to gain the operational advantage. Peter Mansoor's book outlined a lot of these issues which we faced early on in the follow up to the capture of Baghdad. Too few troops on the ground, inadequate engagement with the Iraqi cultural/political elite such as it was immediately after the war ended, a CPA that was not fully engaged, and all sorts of neer do wells, all with shifting agendas and alliances.Iraq is probably one of the most fractious cultures on earth, so it shouldn't be surprising.

The same can be said about our government's response so many times. Generals replaced, strategies altered until a winning formula is found. Every time we go to war, this happens.

Most analyses agreed that we needed up to 500,000 troops to properly accomplish the mission, but this would have put even further pressure on the military globally. The CPA came up zeros, which was another major factor. Someone should have tightened security of the oil sector immediately; stopped the corruption, and taken all of thet money and put it into reconstruction. Even that was not done. I always wondered if anyone in high places read anything on the Marshall Plan. It does not seem they did.

All that being said, the progress is heartening. Woodward, Bush, Rumsfeld, Bremer, Powell, Casey etc all had a Beltway mentality. I suggest we move the seat of government to Pierre, SD so that they can focus on what is important instead of playing the political game.




Okay, I think I have finally figured it out: Obama doesn't want his true devotees to see his O'Reilly interview, hence Olbermann.

Has he become the first candidate to counter-program himself? If so, it is truly a vicious smear to say that the new politics is just more of the same.


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