Slog - The Stranger's Blog

Line Out

The Music Blog

« 206-386-4636 | Paris Hilton's Mysterious Ass ... »

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Quagmire Fiasco

Posted by on August 9 at 12:51 PM

“I have the blood of American Troops on my Hands”

Reporter and “Fiasco” author Tom Ricks: “I asked one officer why are you talking to me about these things, and he looked down at his hands, and he said because I have the blood of American troops on my hands. And I said what do you mean? And he said because when I said to Rumsfeld we need that division, and Rumsfeld said no, I gave up. I compromised. And he said U.S. troops died because of that. And he said that’s why I’m talking to you. … And he was practically crying as he spoke to me about this.”

This peek at Tom Ricks’s upcoming book, Fiasco, showed up on last night. (I couldn’t seem to link the post, but if you scroll down on the site you’ll find it.

Anyway, I’m excited to see Fiasco starting to get some traction. I’ve heard from a friend who read an advance copy that Fiasco is a breathtaking indictment of the war.

You can’t judge a book by it’s cover, but here’s something I already find encouraging about this book: Its title.

Just like a scandal isn’t a real scandal until it loses the “Gate” suffix and gets its own namethat is, it goes from “MonicaGate” to “The Lewisnky Affair”…Iraq needs to stop getting tagged a “Quagmire” (the tired old reference to Vietnam) and take on its own defining moniker. Fiasco about says it.

CommentsRSS icon

Iraq is not a fiasco. Israel needs American bases in the region to support Israel's war with Syria and Iran. The situation in Iraq is not perfect, nothing ever is in this world. But binary thinking about Iraq will hurt Israel and America. Israel is killing plenty of Islamo-Terrorists in Lebanon. The question you need to ask is would you rather kill Islamo-terrorists in Lebanon, or have Islamo-Terrorists attacking us here in America.

Fiasco? Hardly.
There's a building boom going on in northern Iraq. Southern Iraq is quiet. If we stay the course Baghdad has a chance of settling down. Most Iraq citizens are very glad Saddam is gone. If we cut and run, then the terrorists win.

hrm.. i have an advance copy too.. maybe i'll read it now.

it's not a Fiasco.

it's a Quagmire.

staying is like deciding to go down with the ship.

Northern Iraq is otherwise known as Kurdistan. We should negotiate a deal with them whereby in exchange for us pulling back to their territory -- and thus protecting them from the chaos elsewhere in the country -- they agree to not seek formal independence, which will keep Turkey and Iran from joining forces in declaring war on them.

Bin Laden has no reason to attack the US, here or anywhere else, because he has won. He has the Christian-fascists & the Jewish-fascists doing everything he wants them to do. His goals are achieved, except for one thing: the Islamic world is still divided. He needs Iran or Syria to be invaded to wake up Egypt, Indonesia, Lybia & most of all Saudi Arabia. Lebanon may be enough, but nothing would work quite like Syria or Iran. Once that is done, the Sunnis & Shi'ites will put aside their differences, the Arabs & the Parsi & the Afghans & the Pakistanis & the Malay will unite, and then we'll see a _real_ jihad, not these piddling things of the past few years.

Because these nations control most of the world's oil, I wouldn't invest in any gas-guzzling vehicles any time soon. Better yet, buy a car that runs on water.

@PGR: the "building boom" is the sound of the roadside bomb. Southern Iraq is quiet? Ha! If we stay the course, we have a chance of having 10,000 troops killed, at which point we get a free espresso machine with every new Humvee order. Just as terrorist leaders today were trained against USSR in Afghanistan, the terrorist leaders of tomorrow are training in Iraq. If we stay, the terrorists win.

That's right, Josh. "Islamo-terrorists" are all the same. As long as we're killing them ("them" including over 100,000 Iraqi civilians apparently), it's all good. Never mind the fact that Iraq was actually a secular, non-terrorist state before we invaded, and never mind that Lebanon was in the nascent stages of democracy before Israel decided to tear it apart.

Now THAT is binary thinking.

Iraq was a non-terrorist state? Huh? Saddam spent millions on terror. There's more to the international terror trade than Al Qaeda.

Fnarf, the only good thing you said was Kurdistan. We should pull out and have NATO defend that area (coincidentally with US troops).

The pooch is already s.r.w.d, time to pull up stakes, stop wasting money, and move on.

Ever notice you can't spell QUAGMIRE without I R A Q?

Coincidence? Things that make you go hmmm...

Fnarf: Saddam spent millions on terror.

As opposed to who...? Saudi Arabia? Pakistan? Israel?

But before you go postal, let's get our definitions straight-- Terrorism is a tactic whereby a group with political aims, and with little military power, deliberately attacks civilians of the country the group is fighting, in an attempt to reduce the public's support of the continuing domination of the terrorists' nation/ethnic identification. (*Please note that under this definition, the attacks on 9/11 were _not_ a "Terrorist" attack, as all the twin towers, pentagon & white house were legitimate military targets, under the Pentagon's own code of military conduct.*)

Israel's actions in the Occupied Territories & Lebanon (now & 20 years ago) definitely _do_ fall under this definition. And so, any country (of which there are legion, the US being the most prominent) who has helped Israel has "aided terrorism."

Fnarf, you come across as a reactionary wingnut, whether a D or R, as well as anyone else who slews around the term Terrorist! Terrorist! in a self-righteous frenzy. You talk like there are supposed "Good Guys" in international relations, AND THERE ARE NONE. There are no "Good Guys" in politics! There are no morals, no ethics, there are only actions that you can be public about, because your constituency backs them (like the bloodthirsty Israelis who want their miltary to kill more) or there are actions that you must keep private because your constituency finds them morally reprehensible (used to be torturing prisoners for the US, but that's obviously changing.)

Was Saddam a "Good Man"? Of course not, but no one who leads a country is. Did he keep his volatile & fractious country in line, and did the Iraqis on the whole enjoy a better standard of living before the invasion? That is undeniably true.

I _do_ agree with you that America is responsible for the chaos in Iraq, because (collectively) we were stupid & naive enough to think that getting rid of one man would solve all the problems. Let this be a lesson to all of us: Even though Bush will depart in 08, the organization that put him there & the media that continues to aid & abet him will still very much remain, and continue his work of destroying America.

You're an idiot, Queequeg, if that's how you read my posts.

Saddam funded terrorism, full stop. All that other stuff you read into it changes that fact not one iota. He would send a nice fat check to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, for starters.

There's plenty of terror to go around. Some of it's Al Qaeda, and some of it's not. The Tamil Tigers and the IRA aren't Al Qaeda; neither are they a particular concern of ours. It's Bush who insists on connecting up all the dots from different pictures, not me.

I know I'm a day late and a dollar short to come around posting on such an old topic, but for those who are interested, the three most widely respected books on the Iraq War are:

Cobra II
Assassin's Gate (once you get past the author's political leanings, about which he is upfront and honest)
and this new one, Fiasco.

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).