Mission underway

Mission underway

: Finally heard Bush’s remarks on the Iraqi elections. How much better it would have been if he had given that after the fall of Baghdad instead of standing under a “mission accomplished” banner in a flight suit.

There’s a lot of hard work ahead.

eeyore.jpgTo the eeyores whose party line today is that a vote does not a democracy make, I say that that a journey begins with one step. Of course, it was not a perfect election. Well, duh. Our elections aren’t perfect.

It was a miraculous election. And the message of it is obvious — or should be obvious: These people hunger for the opportunity to govern there nation. What people would not? The fact of the election is a powerful message to the rest of the Middle East (and they’re hearing it); it is a message to those who said that Iraq is not ready for democracy; it is a message to the terrorists and murderers there who would try to stop the democratic inevitability.

But yes, of course, there is a tremendous amount of work to do.

Hell, democracy in America still requires work.

: The eeyore meme spreads.

  • http://amomentwith.typepad.com/ Easycure

    There is no doubt that even our elections are not perfect, as evidenced in the governor race here in Washington. But our elections are representative of the people.
    And finally, now Iraq’s are too. It’s a great day for Iraq, and I’ll never forget it.
    My wife and I celebrated in a most American capitalist way. We went to a The Seattle Winter Gift Show and ate at The Cheesecake Factory. Take that, you terrorists!

  • http://amomentwith.typepad.com/ Easycure

    A follow-up question. Anybody know who Saddam Hussein voted for?

  • tb

    The Iraqis did their part to start the path towards democracy, or at least representing themselves in some form. This is a good first step, time will tell if they have the will for the endgame. You seem obsessed with Juan Cole, that is somewhat sad to see. You’ll have to fill us in on what statute of freedom and democracy that comes under. I hope on the other hand, the Bushes of the world don’t take this as a vindication that freedom is established by deceit, lies and tryanny. Perhaps a little reality will seep into American politics, I doubt that, maybe the Iraqis rise up and teach the teachers how its done.

  • http://www.glcq.com paul_lukasiak

    Could you please explain what “miracle” occurred in Iraq?
    people voted in large numbers where it was safe to vote, and avoided the polls where the insurgents had made it unsafe to vote.
    in order to make sure that the polls were safe, we shut down the Iraqi economy and instituted martial law (rather anti-thetical to democracy, wouldn’t you say?).
    The only miracle that I saw was that people showed up to vote in complete ignorance of the the candidates and what the parties stood for. Of course, here in the US we just elected a President, the majority of whose supporters didn’t have the first clue about the facts concerning the invasion of Iraq…. so why should the Bush regime want a higher standard for Iraq itself?

  • johnr

    Hey, Paul, it sounds like you didn’t get the memo. The meme of the day: Bush Is God! Iraq is Free! Bush is God! Iran to Be Free! Don’t ask questions or you’ll get sent to Gitmo.

  • Angus Jung

    Yes, Paul has been having a lot of problems with memos lately.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/4621394 Matthew Goggins

    Jeff,
    President Bush’s speech on the aircraft carrier did say there was a lot of hard work ahead.
    The point of the “Mission Accomplished” photo-op was to congratulate our marines, soldiers, and sailors on a most impressive invasion. At the same time it was an attempt to psych out the enemy in Iraq: the jig is up, bad guys, so you may as well stop fighting now.
    It was a calculated risk to make a showy declaration of near-victory. It was a judgement call by the president. But if it had worked to short-circuit resistance by the insurgents, nobody would be criticizing President Bush for it now.
    President Bush has always seemed to put the interests of the country ahead of his own political fortunes, so I think it’s unfair for you to toss a bit of snark his way over “Mission Accomplished”.

  • johnr

    Matthew, you’re joking, right? “President Bush has always seemed to put the interests of the country ahead of his own political fortunes…” Do you really believe that? Are you really that naive?
    Is that why he lied to the country about the WMD in Iraq? Or lied about the Iraqi connection to al-Qaeda and 9/11? That was putting the country’s interests before his own?

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    So much bile because of Iraqi freedom — we need to get together a fund to buy the pro-totalitarian left some tums.

  • C. Bennett

    I still, even at my advanced age, get a twinge of emotion every time I vote — seeing the line of people from my neighborhood waiting their turn to contribute their input to the governance we live under.
    Paul and John, above, prefer to give each one a civics test first before they are allowed to vote to make sure they got the memo that provides the details on each candidate and party position. And they won’t be happy with voters until they all pass their test — until then, voting isn’t a miracle, its one more thing in Iraq to disdain and mock.
    I was moved by the pictures in today’a paper of the lines of Baghdad citizens lined up to vote — it never crossed my mind that Paul and his associates would see a line of ignoramuses who had risked their lives for nothing more than electoral folly. Typing away at keyboards safely tucked away in neighborhoods kept secure from terrorists by the U.S. military, it’s perhaps understandable that this is a relatively easy view for John and Paul to embrace. If so much as a petty thief bothered their property, swiping a bike or lawnmower, they would be on the phone to the police in a minute — it’s a bit cheap of them to mock people voting with the sound of explosions in the background.
    I read Juan Cole today, too: If the University of Michigan’s History Department has a museum, Prof. Cole deserves a place in it: a “period piece,” safely preserved in a tenure package, continuing to provide the same analyses and perspective long after the supporting data have been washed away.

  • http://www.kohlmanobserver.com jake

    i find it odd that you attack Juan Cole so much Jeff since he actually, you know, knows what he’s talking about. How exactly does being the founder of Entertainment Weekly make you an expert on the Middle East?

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    Defer to your betters, everyone! (or) Shut up, proletariate, the commissars are speaking.

  • A_Reader

    The internet comment trolls are out today!
    Love the picture with the article. Nice.

  • http://www.glcq.com paul_lukasiak

    i find it odd that you attack Juan Cole so much Jeff since he actually, you know, knows what he’s talking about. How exactly does being the founder of Entertainment Weekly make you an expert on the Middle East?
    it doesn’t. what it does do is make Jeff the expert at providing a specific audience with the news that it finds entertaining. Facts don’t matter to Jeff, expertise doesn’t matter to Jeff…audiences matter to Jeff.
    and other than some people getting all tingly inside, I’m still waiting for the explanation of the “miracle” that occurred.

  • stevek

    To the left: I thought ‘democracy’ was one of your highest ideals. Maybe spite can sometimes trump it. You should consider how you’d feel if exactly the same course of action had been taken by a victorious Al Gore, and with the same results. Also, although I share much of your outrage about the conduct of the Bush administration, you should further consider how you’d feel if you were an Iraqi about the sanctions (served with a sprinkle of bombing) with which, under Clinton, the Iraqi people were punished for the posture of their tyrant. “Absolutely” worth the 500,000 dead, said Ms. Albright. Did you feel the same kind of outrage at American imperialism back then? You attack Bush for the lies of his administration, and rightly – but it doesn’t much matter, because it was your side that lent its blessing to the baldfaced deceptions of Clinton, which, if you get down to it, went FAR beyond matters of personal conduct.
    To the right: Have you ever considered whether ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ should be so blithely juxtaposed, as though they were one and the same? Do you not remember – heck, do you not see in the world today – the left’s call for every manner of social engineering and wealth redistribution, justified because ‘democracy’ demands it? Do you remember President Bush cautioning us against ‘nation building’? Also, while anyone who really does love freedom AND democracy (even those who would identify them as distinct and not necessarily compatible) should celebrate this election, don’t you realize that you are gloating? Surely you realize that the left would gloat over a worse-than-expected election, for which you would justly chastise them. Don’t you see how self-absorbed and arrogant this makes America look? And, finally, the political right with which I grew up was suspicious to its bones of government power, and came of age fighting the apotheosis of FDR. Do you not see how the Bush administration threatens the very fabric of our Republic in its arrogant and unchecked exercise of power? Do not think this a blessing becasue the power works for your ends: that power will follow the office, and there is no telling how it will be used in the future.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    it doesn’t. what it does do is make Jeff the expert at providing a specific audience with the news that it finds entertaining. Facts don’t matter to Jeff, expertise doesn’t matter to Jeff…audiences matter to Jeff.
    paul,
    What’s that “appeal to authority” logical fallacy again? I can’t remember the details.
    Have you posted your CV? I’m not familiar with your “credentials.”

  • Carrick Talmadge

    Jeff, you were exactly right on this take:

    Finally heard Bush’s remarks on the Iraqi elections. How much better it would have been if he had given that after the fall of Baghdad instead of standing under a “mission accomplished” banner in a flight suit.

    I will always lump Bush’s carrier appearance with John Kerry’s salute at the DNC as being poorly thought-out political stunts.
    To paul_lukasiak and johnr, I think John Podhoretz said it better than I could have, so I will just quote him:

    Losers.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/4621394 Matthew Goggins

    Jeff,
    Great picture, nice touch.
    johnr,
    Are you really that naive?
    I’m feeling generous today, so I’ll respond to your trolling snark:
    Are you so naive to think that anyone who disagrees with you is naive?
    stevek,
    I just posted a response to your comments on the ‘Not an election, a revolution’ thread.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/4621394 Matthew Goggins

    Carrick,
    Your interpretation of “Mission Accomplished” is not unreasonable, but it is unfair.

  • Angus Jung

    “Have you posted your CV? I’m not familiar with your ‘credentials.’”
    Why, do you need something catered?

  • http://www.glcq.com paul_lukasiak

    What’s that “appeal to authority” logical fallacy again? I can’t remember the details.
    I don’t “appeal to Juan Cole’s authority” because he has credentials. I cite his authority because he is consistently insightful on what is really happening in Iraq.
    So while Jeff and the rest of the wingnuts are celebrating the “miracle of the election”, Cole is concentrating on what the results themselves will mean for the future of Iraq. The potential problems that can arise are legion, and the US does not have the kind of people running things that understand what is going on in Iraq. (Rice? Rummy? Negroponte? Abrams? Wolfowitz?)
    Hell, we don’t even know if the election results will be perceived as legitimate at this point—for instance, if the Sistani ticket does not receive a controlling plurality (if not an outright majority) of the seats in Parliament, do you really think that the Shia population is going to sit on their hands? And given the corruption of the Allawi government (as seen in the release of fake turnout numbers yesterday) the likelihood that massive election fraud is being perpetrated should not be underestimated.
    But none of the harsh realities of the situation in Iraq bothers people like you. “Its a Miracle!” is all you care about, not whether Iraqis keep dying by the thousands….

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    An online discussion from Baghdad by Pulitzer prize winning Washington Post reporter Anthony Shadid is worth visiting. One of his answers (the question containing a reminder that the pres had opposed the elections and then put them off until after the U.S. election):
    Anthony Shadid: It’s a good note of caution. Like I said in an earlier reply, it was hard to see yesterday and not feel impressed by the simple fact that so many people would defy threats and make their voices heard. Whether it brings change to what has admittedly been a very tough two years is difficult to say. As for the timing of the elections, I was struck by another feature of the vote. It was the security in Baghdad. In some ways, the city felt safer than it has since the U.S. invasion. A lot of people here, those who saw the looting and anarchy that followed Saddam’s collapse, wondered how the past two years would have played out had a similar clampdown been instituted in those first weeks of the occupation.”
    Funny what a little martial law will do!

  • dick

    Paul Lukasiak,
    You should read the Fadhil brothers on Juan Cole and what he knows of the Middle East history. They spent a couple of postings just pointing out the errors in his statements of Iraqi history. I notice that Juan Cole was also very wrong in his predictions as to what would happen yesterday on just about every count. He finally fell back on the statement that in the Sunni area they did not vote as highly as in the other areas. BFD. We knew that going in. Just what wonderful points did he add to the discussion at all.

  • EverKarl

    I want to thank Jeff for exploding blogs.
    What do I mean by that? I mean that Jeff is inventing an entirely new way to blog and to read blogs.
    In the early days of the blogosphere, a blogger would post on a topic and people would comment on it. Some of those people became known as “trolls” who would comment only to criticize or engage in disruptive tactics, such as attacking the author or other commenters ad hominem.
    Jeff is creating a new paradigm. Now, the blogger may post items for the express purpose of sending bile-filled miscreants into paroxysms of hate, compelling them to spew their tu coque, non sequitur and ad hominem, and to blurt out their baseless paranoid fantasies and prejudices in the comments. The trolls expose themselves as odious and repugnant. The bloggers’ other commenters get the opportunity to mock them. Were it not for blogs like this one, many reasonable, moderate people would not be exposed to the moonbats barking away in their dark and obscure caves.
    Intentional or not, it’s an innovative inversion of traditional blogging and I congratulate Jeff for offering it to the world.

  • pianoman

    Looks like the Democratic Party no longer believes in democracy. Neither does most of the MSM. Instead of celebrating this first step away from totalitarian rule, they are content to dump all over it.
    The Left is angry because this election repudiates their foreign policy. I’m grateful to Paul and John for their honest fury in this space; it makes clear to everyone reading what sore, impotent losers they have become.
    The foundation of a house isn’t a house. But you need the foundation to build on. The mason who builds that foundation doesn’t say to everyone, “Hey look at this great house!” He packs up his tools and moves on leaving the building of the house to the carpenters.
    And when the walls of the house are put up, it’s still not a house. Roof? Not a house yet. You need plumbing, electrical, insulation, a garage, shingles, etc etc etc…..and only after much hard work can you call it a house.
    The foundations for liberty and freedom were laid on January 30. The Iraqi people know this. Every one of those people with purple ink on their index finger RISKED THEIR LIVES TO VOTE. This is their country that they are trying to take back from the thugs and killers that have been running it since as long as they can remember.
    Note to Democrats and the Angry Left: Just keep dumping all over these monumental accomplishments. It’ll ensure your minority status for years. You’ll never win the White House again, and you may never achieve a majority in Congress again until you shape up. The American People are watching you right now; more and more of us are sickened by the sour grapes and rage.

  • Dishman

    It seems that for the lefties there is no good news that could possibly come from Iraq. It seems to me that all that matters is “stopping Bush”, and it doesn’t matter who dies. There doesn’t seem to be any room for him to be even slightly right.
    “Chicken Little” thinks I should listen attentively?
    No.

  • http://www.elflife.com/ carsonfire

    stevek: “Do you not see how the Bush administration threatens the very fabric of our Republic in its arrogant and unchecked exercise of power?”
    This is a canard of the left. There is no “unchecked exercise in power”; Democrats have simply lost more elections, lately, and have failed to outmanuever Bush on key issues.
    For instance, no one held a gun to Kerry’s head to vote for certain resolutions. If you don’t like the fact that he voted to allow Bush authority in certain matters because of political expediency of the moment, that’s something you have to take up with Kerry.
    And, gee, “gloating” about successful elections in Iraq? If I’m going to be found guilty of “gloating” about something, I’d rather be guilty of gloating over positive developments that human beings should care about.
    If you want “gloating”, try DemocraticUnderground. I remember when a reporter considered right-wing was killed early after US forces entered Iraq. The Democrats there celebrated. They were enthused and ecstatic that a right-winger had got what was coming to him, just what he deserved.
    Since then, we’ve been subject to continuous leftist gloating and triumphalism: every time there are casualties, the left gloats. What was Atrios doing yesterday? Gloating about the downed Brit aircraft, while pretending that nothing else of significance was going on.
    So pardon me if I’m gloating about a long-too oppressed people giving solid evidence of their liberation. As an ex-Democrat, I am repulsed and sickened by leftist charges that people who care about this are somehow dishonest or hypocritical. This was never all about WMD, except to demented leftists. It started for most of us with the disappointment of the first Gulf War; we knew that that was the time that Iraqis should have been freed, but we were constrained by the demands of the earlier coalition. Since then, Americans have carried an especial guilt in seeing the torture and repression that have only increased, there. Saddam also continued to shoot at our planes in violation of the ongoing cease-fire. And WMD notwithstanding, he was paying terrorists to kill people. The man may have been used for US policy in earlier decades, but in the end, he was what he always was, an ex-assassin and brute. Now, of course, was not the time to go after Saddam. It was, in fact, too long coming.
    Now you tell me: which kind of gloating should we be embarrassed about? Gloating for good, or gloating for evil?

  • http://amomentwith.typepad.com/ Easycure

    “But none of the harsh realities of the situation in Iraq bothers people like you. “Its a Miracle!” is all you care about, not whether Iraqis keep dying by the thousands….”
    Now who is being naive? Who is killing those Iraqis? It’s leftovers from a totalitarian regime who have banded together with terrorists from other countries who have come to Iraq just to kill common Iraqi folk who just want to live their lives. We are there helping the Iraqis.
    They are on thier way, despite your undermining efforts. If you wanted to help, you’d support Iraq by applauding the steps to democratization.

  • Kevin

    Well, if Jeff’s going to compare Juan Cole to Eeyore, it’s only fair to point out that he bears a striking resemblance to Piglet.

  • http://ripnread.blogspot.com Charlie Quidnunc

    Jeff,
    Great post today. I read your post, and what Juan Cole said on today’s blogger podcast. Give it a listen if you get a minute. I also included a clip from John Kerry’s appearance on Meet the Press, with a terrific riff on “but….”. I’ve been spreading the Eeyore love around the audio web.
    Charlie

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    But none of the harsh realities of the situation in Iraq bothers people like you. “Its a Miracle!” is all you care about, not whether Iraqis keep dying by the thousands….
    “[P]eople like you.” LOL. Dude, when you can point out anything supporting your bizarre accusation, let me know.
    Whoops, here’s something I posted elsewhere earlier today:
    I couldn’t let my support for the war blind me to that fact that torture is wrong, and that we were doing it. I couldn’t let my support for the war prevent me from realizing that it’s wrong to keep people detained indefinitely without effective representation or recourse.
    Similarly, I think that anti-war folks should look at the election with an open mind. The election wasn’t perfect. It isn’t some sort of final victory. It isn’t a vindication for Bush. But it’s a great thing.
    Yep, you’ve got me pegged! Stereotype much?

  • EverKarl

    “The first and second entries summed it all up. One:
    I honestly don’t know how anyone could be upset by this successful first vote.
    Second entry:
    I’m certainly glad the Iraqis got to vote.
    But, I’m sorry, we were there to remove WMDs, NOT free a people under a dictatorship. There are LOTS of dictatorships out there, will we be freeing all of them now?
    There

  • http://www.perrspectives.com Jon

    Speaking of the “Mission Accomplished” fiasco, Bush’s USS Abraham Lincoln speech was just one of the 10 episodes part of Name That Bush Scandal Contest.
    View the winners and full results here.

  • http://www.glcq.com paul_lukasiak

    You should read the Fadhil brothers on Juan Cole and what he knows of the Middle East history. They spent a couple of postings just pointing out the errors in his statements of Iraqi history.
    lets see now, a couple of guys who got their history lessons under Saddam Hussein, and who write whatever they think will keep the cash flowing from right-wingers in America, vs someone who has spent a lifetime studying the Mid-East. Oh yeah, I’m gonna believe the Fadhil brothers….

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Cole just won a major award.

  • Jaybird

    Remember, Their guys have the worst possible intentions for doing what they’re doing.
    Our guys are perfectly principled.
    Their guys are either ignorant, deliberatly misinformed by people using them as puppets, or outright liars.
    Our guys have access to insights and facts that need not even be linked to.
    What else can we say about the differences between our guys and their guys, Paul?

  • d.jonz

    Name: Charles Pierce
    Hometown: Newton, MA
    Hey Doc:
    Because every day, even Day One Of Super Bowl week, is Slacker Friday, Part The XXXIV:
    You do not own their courage.
    The people who stood in line Sunday did not stand in line to make Americans feel good about themselves.
    You do not own their courage.
    They did not stand in line to justify lies about Saddam and al-Qaeda, so you don’t own their courage, Stephen Hayes. They did not stand in line to justify lies about weapons of mass destruction, or to justify the artful dodginess of Ahmad Chalabi, so you don’t own their courage, Judith Miller. They did not stand in line to provide pretty pictures for vapid suits to fawn over, so you don’t own their courage, Howard Fineman, and neither do you, Chris Matthews.
    You do not own their courage.
    They did not stand in line in order to justify the dereliction of a kept press. They did not stand in line to make right the wrongs born out of laziness, cowardice, and the easy acceptance of casual lying.

  • http://hubris.typepad.com Hubris

    Wow, Mr. Charles Pierce constructed a pretty elaborate straw man. I haven’t seen where Reynolds, et al tried to take ownership of the courage of Iraqis. Maybe I missed that post.
    Mr. Pierce does set a great example, though, by not trying to score any cheap political points through using the Iraqis in his letter. Bravo, Mr. Pierce!

  • EverKarl

    Voter Turnout falls 28% in Iraq; country more divided than ever.
    …and some people are freaking over the 72% estimate. Pikers.

  • jeremy in NYC

    On the the other hand, that’s a heckuva Altercation edition that the Pierce letter comes from.
    As far as I can tell, Alterman says that Jeff accused Alterman of a blood libel, which Jeff didn’t [unless I missed the part about Alterman using the brothers' blood for matza - let me know] but then, having constructed that straw man, attacks Jeff for, as a non-Jew, using a supposed blood libel against Alterman, a Jew; then pauses to note that maybe Jeff just “doesn

  • Mork

    You know, Jeff, for someone who wants to elevate the standard of blog debate, this little screed is the very model of the reason why the blogmire inevitably descends into a shouting match between two gangs of sloganeers.
    First, you start off by looking for some enemies to rip. You find them – the “eeyores” – into which you lump everyone who you deem to be insufficiently jubilant and optimistic. You don’t have to deal with their views on a substantive level, because, whoopee!, you can just call them all a name instead.
    Then, of course, (because the blogmire has a memory) you cover your arse by a mealy-mouthed “to be sure” paragraph which you can point to when any of the “eeyores” down the track might happen to point to an aspect in which their predictions turns out to be closer to reality to yours. “No!” you’ll say, “we never said that it would be easy!”. And you’ll be right. But what you’ll fail to add is that at the same time you were saying that everyone who said that it isn’t going to be easy is a stupid and/or immoral person who deserves nothing but mockery.
    So, you’re permitted to think about what a long journey it is from an initial vote that installs majority rule to an actual democracy if you’re a member of Jeff’s rah-rah gang, but if you’re not already a member, or you’re not prepared to sign on now, then you can’t say anything negative about the election because then you’re just an “eeyore” whose views are automatically not to be taken seriously.
    No wonder the whole show just descends into a mess of idiots shouting simplistic nonsense at one another. You can have all the Harvard symposia you like, but it’s still going to end up as idiots shouting at each other, because the sort of person who generally writes a blog tends to be the sort of person who just can’t help himself.

  • Linda

    Before Bush breaks his arm patting himself on the back, perhaps he (and his friends) should be reminded of something very important, which was was pointed out by Tony Karon, Time Magazine.
    Bush never intended on giving the Iraqis a democracy when he invaded Iraq. An election was held in Iraq ONLY because Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani insisted on it. Bush’s plan was to install his Iraqi exile friends as heads of Iraq. A democracy was furthest from his mind. But the plan of exiles running Iraq was met with resistance from Sistani, so Bush wanted the US hand-picked Iraqi Governing Council to write the new constitution. When that was rejected by Sistani, then Bremer wanted a constitution-making body to be appointed by a series of caucuses comprising hand-picked Iraqis. But Sistani held all the cards, and it was Sistani that trumped Bush’s best efforts to avoid these elections by the ordinary, everyday Iraqis. It was Bush who fought the notion of national elections every step of the way.
    And it’s only been due to Sistani’s leadership over his fellow Shiites that has kept a full-fledged civil war from breaking out.
    Now to see Bush crowing that it was due to him that these elections took place, and are a vindication of his disastous policies is enough to make any sane, rational person vomit. Talk about revisionist history. Bush needs to give Sistani a great big hug … OK, thanks will do …, not take credit for what was essentially Sistani’s accomplishment.
    My congratuation to the Iraqi people, who took matters into their own hands to determine their own future. And I also think our military proved once again why they are the greatest in the world. It was them that prevented a bloodbath. To bad we’ve wasted them in Iraq instead of going after binLaden (you remember him, the guy that attacked us on 9/11).
    And Bush can take a flying screw at the moon.

  • Gary B.

    “we were there to remove WMD’s, NOT free a people under a dictatorship”
    Oh yeah, then why is the military campaign that began at 9:34 PM EST on March 19, 2003 called “OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM”?
    When President Bush spoke to the nation and announced that he had just given the order to launch military action, he specifically stated that the objective was to disarm Iraq of its WMD’s and to remove the Iraqi Regime from power.
    President Bush told the world he was concerned about Iraq, Iran and N. Korea in the January 2002 SOTU speech.
    Nine months later he goes to the UN and gets the UN Security Countil approval of res. 1441 which gives Saddam one last chance to prove he doesn’t have WMD stockpiles or else he’ll face serious consequences.
    Even Hans Blix said in Feb 03′ that Saddam still hadn’t decided to fully cooperate as required by 1441. So why didn’t he? If he had nothing to hide, why did he act like he was hidding something.
    Was he just trying to show the other arab leaders that he wasn’t afraid to stand up to the US? If so then it’s nobodies fault but his.
    If people are going to bitch about something, they should know wtf they’re talkin’ about first. The president never said Iraq was an “imminent threat” yet anyone who relies on the MSM believes he did.

  • jeremy in NYC

    At some point this gets ridiculous. On the one hand, as the Bush opponents note, Bush dragged his feet and finally had the election because he was forced by the Iraqis. [See Linda above]
    On the other hand, as the Bush opponents note, the Iraqis weren’t ready to have an election yet (what with unsafe conditions and the like) and Bush forced it down their throat.
    I tellya, at some point the carping should at least be consistent.

  • Derrick

    Bush never intended to bring democratic reform to Iraq? Now that’s revisionist history. Bush’s intention was to topple Saddam and replace it with another dictatorship? Please. The model for democratic reform in Iraq was modeled after Afghanistan. Or did Sistani also insist on holding democratic elections in Afghanistan?

  • Kevin

    jeremey in nyc wrote:
    As far as I can tell, Alterman says that Jeff accused Alterman of a blood libel, which Jeff didn’t..
    Oh, yes, Jeff did. It’s in the first paragraph of the post Alterman linked to. Nice try, Jeremy.

  • jeremy in NYC

    Aargh. Since I wasn’t apaprently wasn’t clear enough for some people above (I thought the reference to the matza was a tip-off) – what Jeff accused Alterman of is not actually a blood libel. If you want to see what a blood libel is,
    Alterman’s own article has a useful link showing what one actually is.
    Unfortunately, apparently nobody (you, Alterman, Jeff) actually seems to care what a blood libel is; it just appears to be a cool phrase to throw around.

  • http://www.vialls.com/myahudi/fortress1.html your zionist master

    such a good little shabbat goy puppet you are jarvis, keep promoting war and soon israel will have no competitors in the region and be the sole master of the middle east … then the world!

  • Carrick Talmadge

    Linda:

    Before Bush breaks his arm patting himself on the back, perhaps he (and his friends) should be reminded of something very important, which was was pointed out by Tony Karon, Time Magazine.

    I’m afriad this is purely a revisionist history. You need to go back and check your facts, as apparently does Tony Karon. A review of the historical facts reveals that the democratization of Iraq has long been on Bush’s agenda.
    Matthew Goggins say:

    Your interpretation of “Mission Accomplished” is not unreasonable, but it is unfair.

    Please re-read my comment. I didn’t base my comments on the over-hyped mission-accomplished meme. Regardless of whether there was a banner or not, my point is that the whole landing-on-the-carrier shtick was ill conceived and ultimately backfired on Bush… and in a manner similar to the fallout from Kerry’s salute. That carrier landing was indeed the “gift that kept on giving” for the Democrats.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    “You seem obsessed with Juan Cole, that is somewhat sad to see. You’ll have to fill us in on what statute of freedom and democracy that comes under. ”
    Many people have been taking Cole to task for his boneheaded analyses and predictions, Jeff isn’t the only one. Also Cole is treated as an expert by the Wapo and his innaccuracies and smear attempts on the Fadhil Bros should be exposed.
    “I hope on the other hand, the Bushes of the world don’t take this as a vindication that freedom is established by deceit, lies and tryanny.”
    Freedom wasn’t established by deceit etc. Is this yet one more rerun of “Bush lied about WMDs”? That’s been debunked numoerous times, do you think you’ll make it true just by repeating it?
    “people voted in large numbers where it was safe to vote, and avoided the polls where the insurgents had made it unsafe to vote.”
    Not true – they also voted where it was unsafe.
    “in order to make sure that the polls were safe, we shut down the Iraqi economy and instituted martial law (rather anti-thetical to democracy, wouldn’t you say?).”
    Martial law for 3 days to make sure people can vote in peace? I think that supports democracy. But not in your black-or-white world, where it shouldn’t be allowed if it isn’t perfect.
    “The only miracle that I saw was that people showed up to vote in complete ignorance of the the candidates and what the parties stood for.”
    Unlike here or any other democracy, right? In fact, people knew who the parties and their leaders were, even if they didn’t know all the candidates. Which is what people do here and in every other democracy. I voted a straight Republican ticket this year, and I didn’t know who some of the minor candidates were.
    And this was their first election, under very trying circomstances. But if they don’t outperfrom 90% of Western voters, the whole thing is illegitimate to you.
    “Bush never intended on giving the Iraqis a democracy when he invaded Iraq. An election was held in Iraq ONLY because Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani insisted on it.”
    That’s simply not true. Bush wanted to delay the elections more to get the security under control and make sure the civil institutions like the judiciary and police and banks were firm, also to give smaller parties a chance to become better known and make their case to the public. This is sound practice in nation-building. If you hold elections too soon, it is easier for those already in power to use their power to keep other groups out.
    Frankly, I think the Bush position made sense – probably all the political parties would have had more chance to organize and present their positions, and campaign in more local elections and build legitimacy. But this seems to be working okay so far.
    But if the most powerful well-known Iraqi political personalities get into power and the lesser-known groups get shut out, don’t blame Bush, because delaying elections would have given them more of a chance to compete.

  • http://geekesque.blogspot.com/ Geek, Esq.

    Congratulations on having your triumphalist meme spread to the NY Post and Podhoretz, Jeff. I’ll be sure to send you a card when Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh use your talking points on a daily basis.
    Btw, is it just me, or is this chest beating we’re seeing exactly like the stuff we saw during the Mission Accomplished period.
    It’s amazing how one never sees the “war is great” crowd discuss the costs, only the benefits.

  • Dork, Inc.

    Better to focus on only the costs and never the benefits, right?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/4621394 Matthew Goggins

    Carrick,
    Jeff, you were exactly right on this take:
    “Finally heard Bush’s remarks on the Iraqi elections. How much better it would have been if he had given that after the fall of Baghdad instead of standing under a ‘mission accomplished’ banner in a flight suit.”
    I will always lump Bush’s carrier appearance with John Kerry’s salute at the DNC as being poorly thought-out political stunts.
    “Mission Accomplished” was not a political stunt, and it was not poorly thought-out.
    It was a salute to our troops, and even more importantly, it was an attempt to convince the insurgents to give up the fight.
    The fact the insurgents decided to keep on fighting was not Bush’s fault. The fact the Democratic leadership mocked Bush’s move was not Bush’s fault.
    President Bush decided the photo-op was the best thing for the troops and for the conduct of the war, and that is why he did it.
    To say otherwise is unfair (and not a little ironic: “It was just a political stunt, and he paid a big political price for it!”) Bush knew the photo-op could backfire, but he felt he should do it anyway. He was being a leader first, a politician second.

  • Kat

    This is off topic, but I just read that Michael Moore’s minutemen used a Down’s Syndrome child as a suicide bomber–the cowardly scum strapped bombs on a mentally handicapped child.
    { Disabled child in suicide attack
    31 January 2005
    Terrorists used a disabled child as a suicide bomber on election day, Iraqi interior minister Falah al-Naqib said today.
    In all, 44 people were killed in a total of 38 bomb attacks on polling stations. Police at the scene of one the Baghdad blasts said the bomber appeared to have Down’s syndrome.
    Mr Al-Naqib praised an Iraqi citizen who was killed while preventing one suicide bomber from reaching a crowd of people outside a polling station.

  • Carrick Talmadge

    Matthew says:

    Bush knew the photo-op could backfire, but he felt he should do it anyway. He was being a leader first, a politician second.

    You are right about this, though I think you, like myself, are guessing as to the motivations with regards to the carrier incident. I can imagine in any case a salute to the troops which didn’t involve Bush in his flight suit (Ever heard of Madison Av. parades?) My reaction at the time was that it was grandstanding and way over the top.
    Regardless of that particular incident, I have learned to respect and even admire Bush for his willingness to take lumps for what he thinks is the right thing to do. That is definitely the mark of courageous leadership, whatever one may think about Bush in other respects. And it is one place he really shines in comparison to John Kerry, if you know what I mean.

  • Mork

    President Bush decided the photo-op was the best thing for the troops and for the conduct of the war, and that is why he did it.
    That is seriously the funniest thing I’ve seen in the blogmire for weeks.
    Thanks, Matthew, keep it up!

  • Linda Edwards

    Carrick
    Your link doesn’t prove one damn thing (as usual with the right). The neocons have been banging this war drum for a long time all right, NOT because they were at ALL interested in bringing democracy to Iraq, but simply because they wanted to take out Saddam. They were ticked off because:
    1) They thought Daddy Bush didn’t finish the job. Black eye on him. Gotta fix it.
    2) Oil. Lots ‘n lots of oil, which led to:
    3) Needed a puppet in the Middle East. Must have control Middle East to control the oil.
    4) Not least of all, the Israel factor.
    Anyone who thinks that Bush had any intentions of having his grand plans ruined by a bunch of Iraqis who would insist on voting, controlling their own country and their own future, people over whom he had absolutely no control, which would create a situation over which he had no control, has to get a grip on reality. Bush was forced into having these elections, he was cornered. Are you trying to tell me that Bush would risk de-stablizing the entire region for this, where we could leave the door wide open for our “friends”, the Iranians to come in and exert their unwelcomed influence, that he would risk a wider war that could lead to the downfall of Bush’s pals, the Saudi royal family? Are you telling me that Bush intented to sacrifice the lives of over 1400 of our soldiers, allowed over 11,000 of our soldiers to be injured (amputations, paralysis, severe traumas, etc etc you name it), and spend $300 billion of our tax-payers money (and counting) without having an any idea whether or not Iraq was going to be under U.S. control when all was said and done. Are you trying to say that Bush was that stupid, reckless and/or irresponsible?
    Oh, wait a minute…..
    Two years ago, if you have asked the American people if they would support this war, knowing there were no WMD, no links to bin Laden, no imminent threat, and it would cost us all of the above, ruin our international standing, just to give the Iraqis a chance to cast a vote, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know that the vast majority of the American public would NOT have supported this invasion.
    The fact is simply, this war has been lost, long ago. The Bush adm has known it, and have been desperate to hide it.
    BTW, has anyone seen a stray $9B laying around anywhere? We seem to have misplaced it somewhere in Iraq, it may have been left on the coffee table…..

  • LT

    Linda
    Get your head outa your 4th point of contact. The US has not lost this war. The US is not losing this war. In fact, we’re doing quite well thanks. Speaking in an unofficial capacity of course, the US will continue to have casualties, as a result of ongoing combat ops, and I wish I could tell you what I know. Our soldiers are doin wonderful things here and making huge accomplishments. After all the terrorist threats about the elections and how many would die, and how Iraqi’s better not come out to vote or else….look at it. 45 people I believe died, across the country, as a result of terrorist bombings. While unfortunate, the number is not nearly as high as the terrorists hoped to achieve. What a shame huh? They got shutdown again. People voted and the terrorists lost that round to freedom.
    2LT Green, Iraq

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/4621394 Matthew Goggins

    Mork,
    No wonder the whole show just descends into a mess of idiots shouting simplistic nonsense at one another. You can have all the Harvard symposia you like, but it’s still going to end up as idiots shouting at each other, because the sort of person who generally writes a blog tends to be the sort of person who just can’t help himself.
    Okay, so I write three posts defending President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” photo-op. Each time I am respectful, refrain from “shouting” and calling names, and just put my opinion out there for anyone to consider as he/she sees fit.
    So how do you respond?
    That is seriously the funniest thing I’ve seen in the blogmire for weeks.
    Thanks, Matthew, keep it up!
    You respond with a sarcastic insult.
    So why do you blame Jeff for what you perceive to be a low level of political discourse? I’ve given you a chance to talk about something in a serious, civil way, but you choose to answer me with belittling snark.
    I respectfully suggest that you comment according to the standards that you state you would like everyone else to follow.

  • Carrick Talmadge

    Linda Edwards says: Your link doesn’t prove one damn thing (as usual with the right).
    I think your rambly comment unconnected to the theme that was being discussed deserves at least this much of a response: I’ve learned long ago not to spend much time arguing with people who have closed minds, or who are simply unable to reason. I am pretty sure, based on your posting, that you qualify for at least one of those two categories.
    Cheers.

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