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The Progress Myth in Iraq

Posted on Mar 8, 2006

By Molly Ivins

AUSTIN, Texas—It was such a relief to me to learn we are making “very, very good progress” in Iraq. As the third anniversary of our invasion approaches, I could not have been more thrilled by the news reported by Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on a Sunday chat show. Vice President Dick Cheney’s take was equally reassuring: Things are “improving steadily” in Iraq.

I was thrilled—very, very good progress and steady improvement, isn’t that grand? Wake me if anything starts to go wrong. Like someone bombing the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra and touching off a lot of sectarian violence.

I was also relieved to learn—via Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, so noted for his consistently accurate assessment of this war—that the whole picture is hunky-dory to tickety-boo. Since the bombing of the mosque, lots of alarmists have reported that Iraq is devolving or might be collapsing into civil war. They’re sort of jumping over the civil war line and back again—yep, it’s started; nope, it hasn’t—like a bunch of false starts at the beginning of a football play.

I’m sure glad to get the straight skinny from Ol’ Rumsfeld, who has been in Iraq many times himself for the typical in-country experience. Like many foreign correspondents, Rumsfeld roams the streets alone, talking to any chance-met Iraqi in his fluent Arabic, so of course he knows best.

“From what I’ve seen thus far, much of the reporting in the U.S. and abroad has exaggerated the situation,” Rumsfeld said. “We do know, of course, that Al Qaeda has media committees. We do know they teach people exactly how to try to manipulate the media. They do this regularly. We see the intelligence that reports on their meetings. Now I can’t take a string and tie it to a news report and then trace it back to an Al Qaeda media committee meeting. I am not able to do that at all.”

No horsepoop? Then can I ask a question: If you’re able to monitor these media committee meetings, how come you can’t find Osama bin Ladin?

But, Brother Rumsfeld warns us, “We do know that their goal is to try to break the will; that they consider the center of gravity of this—not to be in Iraq, because they know they can’t win a battle out there; they consider it to be in Washington, D.C., and in London and in the capitals of the Western world.”

I’m sorry, I know we are not allowed to use the V-word in relation to Iraq, because so many brilliant neocons have assured us this war is nothing like Vietnam (Vietnam, lotsa jungle; Iraq lotsa sand—big difference). But you must admit that press conferences with Donny Rum are wonderfully reminiscent of the Five O’Clock Follies, those wacky but endearing daily press briefings on Southeast Asia by military officers who made Baghdad Bob sound like a pessimist.

Rumsfeld’s performance was so reminiscent of all the times the military in Vietnam blamed the media for reporting “bad news” when there was nothing else to report. A briefing officer once memorably asked the press, “Who’s side are you on?” The answer is what it’s always been: We root for America, but our job is to report as accurately as we can what the situation is.

You could rely on other sources. For example, the Pentagon is still investigating itself to find out why it is paying American soldiers to make up good news about the war, which it then passes on to a Republican public relations firm, which in turn pays people in the Iraqi media to print the stuff—thus fooling the Iraqis or somebody. When last heard from, the general in charge of investigating this federally funded Baghdad Bobism said he hadn’t found anything about it to be illegal yet, so it apparently continues.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad told the Los Angeles Times that Iraq is “really vulnerable” to civil war if there is another attack like the al-Askari bombing. By invading, said Khalilzad, the United States has “opened the Pandora’s box” of sectarian strife in Iraq.

Could I suggest something kind of grown-up? Despite Rumsfeld’s rationalizing, we are in a deep pile of poop here, and we’re best likely to come out of it OK by pulling together. So could we stop this cheap old McCarthyite trick of pretending that correspondents who are in fact risking their lives and doing their best to bring the rest of us accurate information are somehow disloyal or connected to Al Qaeda?

Wrong, yes, of course they could be wrong. But there is now a three-year record of who has been right about what is happening in Iraq—Rumsfeld or the media. And the score is: Press, 1,095; Rumsfeld, 0.

To find out more about Molly Ivins and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate’s Web page at www.creators.com.

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By OnePatriot, March 13, 2006 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

# 5011 -  In recent weeks, at least two of Iraq’s top ranking generals have detailed the transfer of stockpiles of weapons using large trucks and converted aircraft across the Syrian border. Of course, the old media have buried it. This link is in regard to extremist ties to Saddam   ...http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2006/3/13/115752.shtml?s=lh

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By OnePatriot, March 13, 2006 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#5052 ...Of course we hate war .... but do you deny that there are times when wars must be waged ? Who will do the fighting? Who will give the ultimate sacrifice?Thank God so many great men and women have been brave enough to risk thier own lives for the sake of this country.I am quite sure that all of those who loath the military would be more than honored to accept thier protection if -God forbid -a threat came en mass to our own shores.(your opposition to the Iraq war is duly noted). The point is, when we are at war, disagreement is fine - but the constant hate filled,angry anti-American rhetoric -from our own citizens no less -demoralizes our troops and builds confidence in our enemies.So, is it your position that we are purposely destroying Iraq’s infrastructure to award contracts to Halliburton? Is there any documentation or proof of this? If so, I would be more than willing to condemn anyone involved.Can you disagree about the war/military without all the Bush -Cheney hating conspiracy theories?  ...It seems all of the sacrifices made by our military mean nothing to so many now ... it truly is sad. And as I’ve posted before, that “we support the troops but not the war” stuff is insincere at the least. I have a loved one and two friends in Iraq now and they feel betrayed by that kind of statement- the main reason being that all the anti-war rhetoric encouages the enemy, and of that, they have first hand accounts.Whether for or against the war,we should do whatever it takes to protect our troops in harms way - not give aid and comfort to the enemy.

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By felicity smith, March 12, 2006 at 11:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#4979 - I can’t take credit for the term Merchants of Death.  It was coined following WWI.  Eisenhower would have had no trouble using it either as he warned us about the military/industrial complex.  I certainly didn’t know that Halliburton had gone out of business.  My mistake.  In Iraq, as in all wars, civilian deaths far outnumber military deaths.  And yes, 9/11 was true to form - far more civilians died than military personnel. It would surprise me to learn that you are a combat veteran as the majority of them hate war.

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By koleso, March 12, 2006 at 12:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Sometimes we can predict the future if someone just wants to believe it.”

bohdan yuri
——————————————————-
IRAQ –the Votes, the Tally, the War:

“The Inevitable”


The Bush Administration keeps stating that “we” cannot leave Iraq: until the votes for democracy are complete; until Iraqis establish a democratic government, until Iraqi forces can protect their citizens, not until…

Well, not until we realize The Inevitable will the true Iraqi solution come forth. It’s the obvious one, the one that Iraqis are in the midst of forming themselves through violence.

This “insurgency” is not going to end until the most important lines are finally drawn,—- the boundary lines, separating each “tribe” into their own ruling domains.

Mankind has always and will always fight to the end for their country, their territory, their religion, their everything….

That is a Truth of any country, any heritage. Call it nationalism, call it anything you want except an untruth.

Presently, lines already mark territories guarded by numerous militias that answer only to their own leaders.

Therefore—- The INEVITABLE—- divide Iraq into three countries: Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites. And most important, divide the wealth equally. Then and only then can true nation building take place. That should have been the goal from the beginning.

Iran will control the south no matter what. If Turkey invades the Kurdish “nation” then NATO is nothing more than a farce. Central Iran (Sunni) can then play out it’s power over itself, as will the others.

If it’s still not too late, perhaps it’s worth diverting our efforts towards that solution.

But would the Bush Administration condone such a change in its policy, it would mean admitting a mistake—- and aren’t they all infallible—- in their own words, in their own minds, it’s always someone else’s fault - (does “faulty intelligence” come to mind?)

“Stay the Course” has been their eternal mantra, a course mapped by lies.

Truth requires Courage, while Strength requires character, and Wisdom will ensure a lasting and true peace. Yet none of those qualities can be in effect until the curtain of lies is lifted. And that is where Courage still waits its turn.

Does the Administration have the Strength, Courage, and Wisdom to understand the future—- and not use the excuse of, “...nobody could have predicted, nobody could have imagined.”

Republicans used that excuse in their past, from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the insurgency in Iraq. It’s become an idiot’s answer to the very end of time.

If they only saw the Truth….. they could predict the future!

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By Kara Tyson, March 11, 2006 at 6:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I dont know where this idea that if you are against the situation in Iraq you are liberal.

That is far from the truth. Those of us who are Constitutionalists (ie. John Birch members) are against this.

No where in the Constitution does it say that we have any responsibility or obligation to bring our form of gov. to other people.

Nor is it permissible to STEAL from the American people (foreign aid) to pay for this nonsense. Do you want to built a school in New Orleans or a mosque in Bagdad?

I dont care about Sadaam (as long as he leaves us alone)...not our problem. If Iraqi’s dont like it they will have a revolution like everyone else.

As for Afganistan. It should have been bombed within 24 hours of 9/11. We should have had bombers in the air within 1 hour. Don’t tell me we didnt know who it was. We knew. We had the hijackers names too fast.

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By DK, March 11, 2006 at 2:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s AMAZING that some people still actually believe that the Islamic extremists who attacked America were/are in Iraq or that they had something to do with Iraq. (They aren’t/don’t/didn’t).

Now, the U.S. finds itself in the middle of a sectarian battle—Iraqis killing Iraqis (and Americans).

So the U.S. is spending a half a trillion bucks in Iraq to create a new ISLAMIC REPUBLIC, while the Islamic extremists who attacked us (who came from SAUDI ARABIA and the UAE [our “friends”] now hide out in Pakistan and laugh at us because they HATED Saddam more than anyone.

The idea that Americans dying in Iraq makes us safer is stunningly ludicrous. And some Americans are gullible enough to believe it. Bet you also believed this one:

“We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” –Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, when asked about weapons of mass destruction in an ABC News interview, March 30, 2003

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By Alan, March 11, 2006 at 12:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Loved the neocon stuff, hope the sibling gets home without having his ass blown away. Iran and nukes.  C’mon a ‘grave threat says Bush”. Yeah the threat is not about nukes at all. It’s about Iran starting it’s own oil bourse and selling in Euro and THAT believe me will hurt the US a great deal more, than a few dumbo rockets. Rockets that could hardly hit the Gulf, never mind cross the Atlantic! I’ve been at the receiving end of Irans Scuds in Baghdad and they hardly stopped the traffic in Baghdad, but then neither did the amazing ‘shock and awe’! Baghdad Bob was laughed at when he talked about a “quagmire’ well guys, seems he was about right!

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By pierre wigan, March 10, 2006 at 9:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“There are things we don’t know, things we might know, and things we could know. However the things we might know, could be, or might be, outweighed by the things we might not know - so the uncertainty inherent in the things we might know versus the things we might not know should be considered in the context of the things we do know versus the things we don’t know we know. However the things we could know or could not know depend not only on things we might know and the things we do know - but on the things we don’t know or don’t know we don’t know and on the things we will never know. In order to be sure of the things we don’t know we have to be certain we will never know them otherwise we might know them and therefore we can never say with certainty we don’t know them or won’t know them. The American people don’t need to know what we don’t know and we can’t tell them what they might think we know, so in order for them to know as much as we’re allowed to pretend we know the safest policy is to convince them that we don’t know anything”.

- Donald Rumpsfelt

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By Hilding Lindquist, March 10, 2006 at 9:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kenneth M. Pollack’s article, “The Right Way: Seven steps toward a last chance in Iraq” appeared in the March issue of the Atlantic Monthly. The clarity expressed on what the right way was, if we were going to invade and occupy Iraq, is stunning. Colin Powell was right and then he punted—to carry through on Molly’s football metaphor. The current crop of generals at the top are preserving their careers ... avoiding the Shinseki Syndrone aka “telling the truth.” Rumsfeld and Cheney must be whacko ... and Bush(#43) doesn’t have the logical intelligence to connect the dots ... let alone recognize the problem with saying one thing one day and doing something else the next. And these weirdos still have the power to play Whack-A-Mole with anyone speaking the truth to them.

Maybe, just maybe, 2006 will become another Year of the People (like 1776) ... I have suggested elsewhere that we designate every year ending in “6” with a repeating digit in the hundreth’s and tenth’s positions as a Year of the People in honor of 1776 ... with the slogan, “Throw the bums out!”

Kind of like the Year of the Tiger, and so forth ... a reconition of the influence of the people.

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By Doug Stamate, March 10, 2006 at 7:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #4964 by OnePatriot on 3/10 at 8:03 am
from OnePatriot:
“Gosh Molly Ivins is such a whining, moronic bleeding heart liberal” - as opposed to the stoic, intelligent, pragmatic conservatives who have screwed up what should/could/might have been a six-month military operation with a fair chance of success?
” ... what a bunch of candy-ass crybabies in this country.. ” -  Nice alliteration, but really, there’s this thing called the Constitution; if someone wants to complain, it’s their RIGHT!
“Don’t ever forget - you are free because of the United States military” - And I thought we were free because of natural rights!
” ... and spare me the wishy-washy “we support the troops but not the war” b.s.. ... I have a loved one there now and he say’s that stuff makes he and his fellow soldiers sick .” - Then I’ll try to only support those troops that my support doesn’t sicken.
“... The radical muslims have been preparing to kill and destroy everyone else for decades ..” - and at present they control (?) one country (Iran) and form subversive groups in several others. Big deal. They’re a bigger threat to some corrupt Moslem states than they are to us.
“this war was right around the corner anyway ....” - It would have been nice had it been a legal one honestly presented, though.
” Are people so gullible as to believe that just because they pose no great risk (your opinion )at the moment, that they haven’t been planning a global jihad for years ??” - not gullible, just sensible.
“so I guess all the cry babies want to sit on thier hands while Iran produces a nuke too huh ?? .. have you heard what that nutjob leader over there is saying?? ..” - Have YOU ever heard of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction)? If Iran (or any other radical Islamic country) were to be so insane as to attack the US with a nuclear weapon their destruction would be quick, complete and radioactive.
” and don’t give me that “well,if we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq they wouldn’t be mad at us”...blah blah blah ... that’s b.s. big time..” - Why DID we go into Iraq? No WMD’s, no nuclear program left, no connection to Al Quaeda. Why DID we go into Iraq? (“Answer there was none…”)
“Iran, and at one point Iraq (before Isreal blew it to pieces)have for many years been building facilities and obtaining nuclear technology for the sole purpose of blackmailing the world and committing genocide against an entire country ( Isreal )...” - Iran began its search for nuclear power when it was an ally of the US.  The UN inspections destroyed Iraq’s
“there will ALWAYS be wars because of the sinful nature of men ..” - So, we’re just supposed to go along with someone when they want to start a war?
“there will always be death to deal with ...” - no reason to needlessly add our efforts to a very successful natural occurance.
“suck it up and deal with it or go crawl into a hole with Cindy Sheehan and cry (and yes I have lost a family member to war ) ...” - I believe Mrs. Sheehan is dealing with it. And very well, apparently.
“thank Christ these last few gutless generations weren’t in charge during the 1940’s or we would all be speaking German right now ...” - That’s right,  it must have been one of the proudest days in the country’s history when we declared war on Germany in September of 1939! Oh, that’s right! Germany declared war on the US. On December 11, 1941.
“should we wait for another three thousand Americans to be killed on our own soil ?? ...” - The final results from Hurricane Katrina aren’t in yet.
“when and if it does, that blood will be on the hands of the fools who decided there was “no immediate threat to us” ... - President G. W. Bush, January - August 2001.
“The time for diplomacy with these savages has long since past…” - Savagery does not preclude diplomacy (see USSR, Communist China, et al).
“to put it bluntly, it’s they kill us or we kill them first ... I prefer the latter ...” - Are you really that paranoid?
“and don’t label patriots who have sacrificed for thier country “war mongers” .. we are “peace mongers”..” - No, ‘fraid not! Language is language and while you MAY call yourself a patriot, there is no way (even in Roget’s) that you can ever be considered a “peace” monger!
“up until the time we are attacked .. then - it’s war!” - And just when did Iraq attack us?

Douglas E. Stamate, USN (ret)

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By anotherpatriot, March 10, 2006 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To OnePatriot. Your spitting, hateful brand of patriotism makes you one of the 34% I guess. There’s so much crap in your rant it’s unbelievable. Kill em all before they kill us! It might come to that, but if it does it will be more because of Bush and his idiot cabal than radical Muslims. They may have started it, but Murrica escalated it. Osama had a small following and a small network pre 9-11. Dumbass, war mongering, chock-full-o-lies American foriegn policy under Bush upped the ante and has potentially plunged the world into a dark and bloody future. Any other policy would have been better than the one embarked upon by Bushco, and yet you, and the rest of the 34%, hang onto misguided patriotism predicated on following leaders who seem to stop screwing up only long enough to to tell a few more lies. How any reasonable American can look at the Bush record and trust in anything that he says or devises is completely beyond me.

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By Jim Spiri, March 10, 2006 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just returned from working two years in Balad, Iraq for KBR.  I was fired for writing a memorial to a soldier from my home state of New Mexico that was killed in action.  I and some other civilians carried his casket onto the plane for the final journey home.  The Air Force refused to be awakened at 0400 to do the honor guard ceremony.  After two years of seeing total incompatence, I have a hard time believing anyone in authority about this war in Iraq.
Jim Spiri .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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By P Smith, March 10, 2006 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

in respone to “OnePatriot” - you are an asshole- plain and simple. I wish I could drop you into Baghdad. The problem with Americans like you is that you only know of America- which makes you a complete ignoramous when it comes to the rest of the world.

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By GOPHater, March 10, 2006 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Molly.  I’m finally reading “Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush”.  The guy just doesn’t learn, does he?  I can’t even stand to watch him on TV, my stomach crawls.

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By Outernet, March 10, 2006 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rumsfeld = Comical Ali. Anyone remembers him?

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By OnePatriot, March 10, 2006 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So many moonbats, so little time .. Re: #4969 Felicity -  so the U.S. military and its suppliers are merchants of death huh ... well, thank God those “merchants of death” have protected us throughout the years .. If only there was a way to seperate all of these gutless crybabies to a location where they can be free from the mean old military ... just don’t come looking for help when the real bad guy’s in the world come to rape, pillage and convert you ... And haven’t you heard, the Halliburton thing doesn’t work anymore .. find some fresh liberal idiot talking points ...one more thing .. your statement “Never mind the lost lives of thousands of human beings.” ... you weren’t talking about the thousands of your fellow Americans who were slaughtered on 9-11 were you ?? .. of course not.

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By chutta, March 10, 2006 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

responding to RH. No one in this administration has any credibility to anyone other than the Kool-Aid drinking, white supremacist fascist sympathizers. An exception to this may have been Colin, before they got to him for his UN speech. Unfortunately about the top 6 would have to go to see any improvement. With his track record at Arbusto, Spectrum and Harken known, hopefully he doesn’t have enough time to take the USA down too.

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By felicity smith, March 10, 2006 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, from the military/industrial viewpoint the war in Iraq is going well.  It justifies the latest military budget presented to Congress - a military budget larger than all military budgets world-wide put together.  It guarantees fatter and fatter profits for the merchants-of-death fat cats.  The more Iraqi infrastructure that is destroyed the fatter Halliburton’s bank account. Never mind the lost lives of thousands of human beings.  Sad, but hey, there’s always a little flotsam and jetsam in any war.

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By onevoice, March 10, 2006 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re: 4936 R.H.  .... about that feeling you’ve never felt before ... it’s called brainwashing.It’s a favotite tool of the extreme liberals ... If a lie is repeated over and over, some eventually begin to believe it ....yes yes yes, I’m sure there is lying on both sides, but at least be objective before you dismiss completely one side or the other .... when you say “there isn’t a trustworthy one in the bunch”, that bunch should certainly include the party that took lying and deceit to an art form - i.e. democrats. For the record, I am an independent and have reservations about much this administration is doing ...

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By OnePatriot, March 10, 2006 at 9:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gosh Molly Ivins is such a whining, moronic bleeding heart liberal ... what a bunch of candy-ass crybabies in this country.. Don’t ever forget - you are free because of the United States military ... and spare me the wishy-washy “we support the troops but not the war” b.s.. ... I have a loved one there now and he say’s that stuff makes he and his fellow soldiers sick .... The radical muslims have been preparing to kill and destroy everyone else for decades .. this war was right around the corner anyway .... Are people so gullible as to believe that just because they pose no great risk (your opinion )at the moment, that they haven’t been planning a global jihad for years ?? so I guess all the cry babies want to sit on thier hands while Iran produces a nuke too huh ?? .. have you heard what that nutjob leader over there is saying?? .. and don’t give me that “well,if we wouldn’t have gone into Iraq they wouldn’t be mad at us”...blah blah blah ... that’s b.s. big time .. Iran, and at one point Iraq (before Isreal blew it to pieces)have for many years been building facilities and obtaining nuclear technology for the sole purpose of blackmailing the world and committing genocide against an entire country ( Isreal )... there will ALWAYS be wars because of the sinful nature of men .. there will always be death to deal with ... suck it up and deal with it or go crawl into a hole with Cindy Sheehan and cry (and yes I have lost a family member to war ) ... thank Christ these last few gutless generations weren’t in charge during the 1940’s or we would all be speaking German right now ... should we wait for another three thousand Americans to be killed on our own soil ?? ... when and if it does, that blood will be on the hands of the fools who decided there was “no immediate threat to us” ... The time for diplomacy with these savages has long since past ... to put it bluntly, it’s they kill us or we kill them first ... I prefer the latter ... and don’t label patriots who have sacrificed for thier country “war mongers”  .. we are “peace mongers”  .. up until the time we are attacked .. then - it’s war!

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By John Earl, March 10, 2006 at 9:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To: V White,
Thanks for expressing your fears about the situation in Iraq and your hope that we will bring the troops home. If only more mothers would do so the world would be a better place.

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By The Oracle, March 9, 2006 at 11:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“We do know, of course, that Al Qaeda has media committees. We do know they teach people exactly how to try to manipulate the media. They do this regularly.” (Dumbsfeld)

Wait. I’m confused. Dumbsfeld just indicated, at least to me, that Al Qaeda has stolen some tricks from the Republican Party, the masters of “media committees” that “manipulate the media” “regularly” here in the good ol’ U.S. of A..

Obviously, the Al Qaeda have been quick students of the Republican Party’s media tactics, and are using the same tactics as the Republican Party, but overseas, beyond the control of the Republican mass media machine here in the states.

And Republicans like Dumbsfeld are crying foul instead of praising one of their more apt students? How ironic.

I believe the Republicans call one of their “media committees” the “War Room” that “regularly” manipulates our First Amendment right to a Free Press to “regularly” deny U.S. citizens their right to Factual News instead of partisan-spun lies.

It is a sad day for our democracy to see one of our political parties, the Republicans, sink to the same level as the Al Qaeda. Sad, sad indeed.

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By FreeDem, March 9, 2006 at 11:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lets see we spend a billion dollars or two on a bomber and Osama spends a few hundred. All we have to do is buy more bombers than Osama, and we win.

Simple
/snark

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By Herb, March 9, 2006 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rumsfeld: “We do know, of course, that Al Qaeda has media committees. We do know they teach people exactly how to try to manipulate the media.”

But, as Molly Ivins notes, the “Pentagon is still investigating itself to find out why it is paying American soldiers to make up good news about the war, which it then passes on to a Republican public relations firm, which in turn pays people in the Iraqi media to print the stuff.”

Even Orwell’s imagination wasn’t up to the task of foreshadowing this administration. Pass the Kool-Aid.

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By James, March 9, 2006 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think there is something wrong when Molly Ivins can wring out this much sarcasm from the stuff that this administration has done (more serious than what Clinton got with his intern) since its inception.  I only got one beef with her column: how would we come out ok (out of Iraq) if we got our act together?

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By RH, March 9, 2006 at 6:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve reached the point that whatever the spokesperson for this administration says, I immediately disbelieve.  Don’t think I’ve ever felt this way before.  There isn’t a trustworthy one in the bunch.

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By Duane Poncy, March 9, 2006 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am the greatest fan of Molly Ivans, and that’s why I can’t believe I read that last paragraph:

“...there is now a three-year record of who has been right about what is happening in Iraq—Rumsfeld or the media. And the score is: Press, 1,095; Rumsfeld, 0.”

Molly, are you talking about the media in the same country I am living in. I’m in Oregon, USA, by the way.  “Rumsfeld, 0” I can agree with, but I put the press at about 50 or so. The other 1045 times, they have agreed unquestioningly with Rumsfeld!

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By rex, March 9, 2006 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I bet those Al Qaeda “media committees” don’t need a hundred million dollars for their public relations operations. The Pentagon spends that much and more on fake news contracts and then complains it’s side of the story is not getting
in the news.
If the Pentagon would simply answer the honest
questions of taxpaying United States citizens on these issues instead of dodging them it might have a lot more popular support and good will.
As it is the Pentagon’s own data from sources like the US CENTRAL COMMAND Air Forces daily air power report seem to contradict the claims that the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan are “going well” but when I ask them specific questions on these reports I get no reply.
For instance I asked when exactly the “Iraqi Air Forces” will be able to take over for 20,000
US Air Force personnel and conduct 300 air attacks, 1400 air lift and 200 air tanker missions per week.  Nobody has answered that one.

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By V White, March 8, 2006 at 10:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This seems like an impossible situation. I am the mother of a soldier and I have spent the last 3 years in sheer terror. I Thank God above that my son is safe . Why is it that We (The People) Have absolutly no say any longer. I have my own beliefs and views on that one. I just cannot believe that this administration is allowed to continue on its path of destruction with no consequenses. Presidents have been impeached for “Minor” incidents compared to what this one has been allowed to get away with.What can the american people do to get our troops out of Iraq once and for all. I realize that the patriot act took away a lot of our freedoms, I am certainly realizing at this point that we are no longer a free nation but a herd of stupid sheep that has dulled our ears to truth and listen to only lies and spin from dictatorial leaders and government controlled media, that are nothing but thieves and liars. We have no freedoms and soon we may have no military if they are allowed to continue to annialate them. I am so thankful that I believe in a God , that is able to answer prayer.
I believe that is the ONLY reason we as a nation have not completely fallen apart. Let freedom ring, let God Be true and every man a liar and let our troops come Home NOW.

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