Thursday, June 12, 2008

Progress in Iraq

Updated 2/9/10 - Fixed some broken links with updated data.

By every objective, quantitative metric, the surge is working:
Click the image to enlarge
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Click here to see the entire set of graphs


1) Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, our Ambassador to Iraq, agrees. The surge is working.

2) With reports last September of improved security in Iraq, critics shifted their attention to less than stellar progress on the political front.

However, we now have irrefutable evidence of impressive political progress:

"Overall, according to Frederick W. Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, the government of Iraq 'has now met 12 out of the original 18 benchmarks set for it, including four out of the six key legislative benchmarks. It has made substantial progress on five more, and only one remains truly stalled.' The one benchmark that remains stalled is the hydrocarbon law, but its purpose (the equitable sharing of oil revenues) is being accomplished de facto through the budget."

Click here for the details on the benchmarks.

3) For a time, the Dems argued that Iraq was a “distraction” from the central front of the war against al Qaeda. However, as this link eloquently proves and broadly substantiates, that argument was too preposterous to take seriously:

“It would appear that our military, our allies, the Iraqi government and even al Qaeda itself believes that Iraq is the central front in the war against al Qaeda. At the other end of the spectrum is the Democratic leadership and Senator Chuck Hagel, oh yes, and certain media outlets, which insist we have set off a civil war with al Qaeda responsible for a minor share of violence"

Now that we have irrefutable evidence of strong military, political and economic progress in Iraq (the central front in our larger war), the Dems have shifted their focus again. They now claim we cannot afford the monetary price of victory. That, of course, is a bald faced lie. The fact is that, as a percentage of GDP, defense spending has been on a long term downward trend.

A) According to The Washington Post, these are the trends in defense spending as a percentage of GDP:

World War II - “nearly 40 percent”

Korean War - “15 percent”

Vietnam War - “10 percent”

Currently - “less than 5 percent”

B) As a percentage of GDP, current defense spending is below the average for the last 45 years:

* From the Congressional Budget Office (click the image to learn more):

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* From Heritage.org (click the image to learn more):

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* Click here to access the 2009 Historical Tables, Budget of the United States Government, Table 8.4 (which Heritage.org cited):

4) If only we could say the same about Entitlements (also measured as a percentage of GDP):

* From the Congressional Budget Office (click each image to learn more):

Click to view the CBO source image


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* From Heritage.org (click each image to learn more):

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* Again, for those who don’t believe the Congressional Budget Office or Heritage.org, The Washington Post reported on this in
May of 2007:

"Entitlement programs have dramatically changed the budget landscape. Today, national security spending accounts for less than 5 percent of the nation's gross domestic product -- compared with nearly 40 percent during World War II, 15 percent during the Korean War and 10 percent during the Vietnam War. That makes it sound like it should be easy to win the needed defense funding. It won't be. The enormous sums committed to mandatory federal programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid dwarf all other aspects of the budget. Left unchecked for a decade or two, they will consume a larger share of the nation's GDP than all our federal programs today combined. Coupled with increasing interest payments on the government's rising debt, they will either force up taxes or produce dangerous deficits. Unless we get entitlement costs under control, Social Security will inevitably square off against national security."

The sad fact is, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have already squared off against national security. But, neither the Dims nor their propaganda arm (the media) will admit it.

Even sadder is the fact that we could completely eliminate the tiny 4% of GDP we currently spend on Defense and it wouldn’t even make a dent in how long it will take for Entitlement Spending to bury us alive.

Folks, deficit spending is not driven by Defense Spending, it is driven by Entitlement Spending. And, without immediate reforms, Entitlement Spending will bury us alive!

46 comments:

AM Donkey said...

Your maidenship is no more, alas.

A comment from a liberal arrives.

I tend to disagree that defense spending isn't part of the problem, but I can honestly agree that we really need to reconsider the Entitlement programs... especially those for large swaths of the elderly.

I would be interested to see a comparision between life expectancy growth with the increase in "social security" retirement age.

sbvor said...

AM Donkey,

You can “disagree” all you like. The question is, can you substantiate your rhetoric?

1) According to The Washington Post, defense spending has, as a percentage of GDP, decreased by 90% since World War II.

According to the CBO, Heritage.org and 2009 Historical Tables, Budget of the United States Government, Table 8.4, defense spending, as a percentage of GDP, is currently 18% lower than the lowest point during the Jimmy Carter administration.

How much lower would you like it to go?

2) Spending on all other Entitlements pales in comparison to “The Big Three” (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid). Welfare has already been largely reformed (although there is plenty of room for more reform).

Quoting the Social Security Administration:

“Life expectancy at birth in 1930 was indeed only 58 for men and 62 for women, and the retirement age was 65.”

So, at the time Social Security was created, the average American would never live long enough to collect on FDR’s “wonderful” tax burden (er, sorry, Entitlement).

But, SSA also counters that:

“But life expectancy at birth in the early decades of the 20th century was low due mainly to high infant mortality, and someone who died as a child would never have worked and paid into Social Security. A more appropriate measure is probably life expectancy after attainment of adulthood.”

But, nobody collects the Social Security they pay in. Today’s workers are paying for the Entitlements promised to yesterday’s workers. Baby Boomers had relatively few retirees to subsidize. Those who are currently employed are already saddled with subsidizing a much larger population. And, future workers will have a quantitatively impossible burden to bear.

The first wave of Baby Boomers is retiring now. And, that is why the charts are already showing substantial growth in Entitlement spending as a percentage of GDP. And, it only gets worse from here (review the charts in the initial post).

3) I have an assignment for you:

Find a chart demonstrating the corrosive effect of “The Big Three” entitlements (by charting the growth of Entitlements against reduced savings rates).

Every aspect of human behavior is traceable to incentives created and incentives destroyed. All Entitlements are demonstrably perverse when viewed in that light.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Progress in Iraq can only be attained when we address (hell, acknowlede, even) the 4,000,000 Iraqi refugees, the persecution of Christians in that country, the decimated infrastructure (electricity, especially), the unfathomable corruption in the Iraqi government (virtually every ministry has been infiltrated by insurgents and even Al Qaeda), the proliferation of goon-squads, street-justice, etc.. Damn it, folks, it's time for the Republican party to return to the prudent foreign policy of Eisenhower and Reagan, a "more humble foreign policy", if you will (Bush the candidate, remember?)

sbvor said...

Will,

I have broadly substantiated the undeniable progress in Iraq.

Invading Iraq was unavoidable and utterly necessary (I hope to get those posts up sooner rather than later), we are making substantial, quantifiable progress and surrender is not an option, period.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

But the thing is, bro, we're just a cork on the bottle over there. As soon as we leave (and you can rest assure that someday we will), all hell WILL break loose. And, yes, it'll make Lebanon look like Disney Land. Hell, Iraq isn't even an actual country, for Christ. It's a British invention that up to now has only been held together by force. Realpolitik, in other words.

sbvor said...

Will,

1) How long did we occupy Germany before it got back in it's feet?

2) Did we fight an insurgency during our occupation of Germany?

Hint: The answer is yes.

3) Did so-called "journalists" say much the same things about their "pessimism for profit" dark prognostications regarding either Germany or Japan ever becoming civilized Liberal Democracies?

Hint: The answer is yes.

4) If we put a Dem in The White House and, in so doing, guarantee a disastrous surrender in Iraq, your dark vision will play out to a far worse outcome than even you paint.

5) Again, review the quantitative FACTS documenting undeniable progress! It would be insanely stupid (and downright suicidal) to surrender now.

Do not allow so-called “journalists” to lead you around by the nose!

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

It's ludicrous to compare Germany and Irag. Germany was an actual country with an actual identity. It also had a homogeneous population that shared a strong nationalistic sentiment. Iraq, on the other hand, is a hodge-podge that was constructed by the British after World War 1. It has never been held together by anything other than by empire (the British and, before that, the Turks) or dictatorship. It's internal population has been fighting for more than 1,400 years ("they're worse than the Jews", a Sunni recently said about his Shia adversary) and, because of Saddam's rule, the animosity is worse than ever. The German insurgency after World War 2? Give me a break. 1/100 of 1 percent of our casualties came after the war. Contrast this with Iraq, where 90% of our casualties have come after "mission accomplished". I mean, haven't we already won this damn thing? We toppled Saddam, we hung the son of a bitch, we allowed for elections, we have a government in place, no weapons of mass destruction. Isn't it up to them to determine if they want to establish a feasible country or not?

sbvor said...

Will,

I prefer victory, you prefer surrender. We will never agree.

I think the Sunday edition of your Old York Times is calling you.

Have a good day.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

If "victory" is a total elimination of Al Qaeda in Iraq and/or Iranian influence in that country, then "victory" is impossible. History and geography are both working against us. Mark my word, one day Al Sadr will run that country and we'll be longing for the days of that secular thug, Saddam.

Rey said...

The next question then is, when are you going to invade Iran? If Iraq was "unavoidable and utterly necessary" then the same reasons exist for Iran.

Rey said...

Good progress in Iraq.


http://tinyurl.com/42x47n

"And it has been alleged by one senior unnamed official in the Basra governorate that he has received financial support by a local politician to enable him to 'disappear' to Jordan for a few weeks, 'until the story has been forgotten' - the usual practice in the 30-plus cases of 'honour' killings that have been registered since January alone."

sbvor said...

Rey,

1) Should we allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons?

2) If not, do you seriously think diplomacy will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons?

3) If not, what option remains but the military option?

Iran stands ready to take over Iraq, but only if we withdraw prematurely. And, Iran already has its proxies attempting to foment civil war in Lebanon. This could be in preparation to invade Israel.

These are dangerous times and we cannot hide from them.

sbvor said...

In his comment stamped “MAY 12, 2008 12:50:00 PM” I think Rey was attempting to describe this story from the ultra Leftist Guardian UK.

The anti-war media, in typical fashion, incessantly seek out these isolated stories. And, those who are unable (or unwilling) to see the forest for the trees see these isolated stories as evidence of defeat and reason for surrender.

The bigger picture regarding violence in Iraq can be seen here. And, of course, the even larger picture can be seen by examining all the evidence I originally presented (something I rather doubt Rey has done or ever will do).

Rey said...

The point was that, can you call this progress when the government helps citizens when the citizens kill their offspring?

But you guys have your own issues with government corruption, so we'll leave that as an internal problem.

Rey said...

1) Should we allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons?

Probably not.

2) If not, do you seriously think diplomacy will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons?

Who would they use the weapons on? And do you think they would use them?

3) If not, what option remains but the military option?

Iran is a log bigger than Iraq and you don't have enough resources for Iraq.

"Iran stands ready to take over Iraq, but only if we withdraw prematurely. And, Iran already has its proxies attempting to foment civil war in Lebanon. This could be in preparation to invade Israel."

Do you think Saudi Arabia would allow Iran to invade Iraq?

And Al Qaeda doesn't like the Shia's so if Iran did invade, it would not really change much except Al Qaeda would be targeting Iranians instead of Americans (if Al Qaeda is still in Iraq).

As for invading Lebanon, I don't think Iran has the airlift resources to bypass Syria.

And as for invading Israel, we know the US would come to Tel Aviv's aid.

sbvor said...

Rey,

Should we, with respect to Iraq, do as General Petraeus suggests or do as Barack Obama suggests?

Anonymous said...

That's easy, clean up your mess.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Irag is like a dead tree with a pole inserted to keep it standing. Guess who the pole is? The quesion is, do we stay and bleed indefinitely to prevent the inevitable....or do we let them have THEIR civil war? Me, I think there's a strong possibility that that country will fracture into 3 parts with, yes, Al Sadr the kingpin in the south. And I'm telling you, this war was the greatest gift we ever could have given Iraq. Seriously, we take the hit, they get the benefit. Neocon 101!

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I meant the greatest gift we could have ever given Iran. For Iraq, it probably signifies the end.

Anonymous said...

I Agree,Iran, by far, the winner of this war without having to engage a single soldier. It is Unanimous consensus here in the middle east that, after what we have and are seing, unfortunately, the world will be longing for the days of Saddam Hussain.

Tom said...

It looks like the RNC talking points about Iran and Iraq are adequately being unraveled here.

#1 I have broadly substantiated the undeniable progress in Iraq.

No YOU have NOT, the surge as a strategy to give the Iraqis the ability to resolve their political differences, THE ORIGINAL INTENTION has utterly failed, because the Sunnis do not want to admit they have lost power and the Shiites are facing a civil war of their own between the factions which Iran backs Nuri al Maliki, the Badr Corps (which Maliki is allied with and uses as the police and foundation of the Iraqi Army and the anti Iran forces in the form of the Medhi army and Motaqa al Sadr who wants both the US occupation and Iranian infulence out of Iraq.

If Petraeus strategy at this point wasn't helping the Shiites allied with Iran to gain power and giving the Sunnis the US has been fighting since 2003 weapons ammo and money, things would be even worse over there, but HOW much bribe money can you pay to the Sunnis? Oh and of course the al Sadr "cease fire" didn't hurt you know the one which the surge strategy had NOTHING to do about. The recent fighting in both Basra and Sadr city have proved just how important that cease fire was to the slightly lower levels of violence. NOT the half baked ideas of Frederick W. Kagan.

#2 Did we fight an insurgency during our occupation of Germany?

Hint: The answer is yes.


Hint your full of "SHIiTe" there son, we NEVER faced anything like the Iraqi resistance whether from the Sunni or Shiite in Germany after the surrender of April 1945, try another dishonest talking point.

#3 1) Should we allow Iran to develop nuclear weapons?

No, but according to most analysts NOT in alliance with the Likud party in Israel or beholden to AIPAC in the US (ie the neo-cons)they aren't.

What they have achieved is MILES away from any real break-thru in nuclear technology, and using the type of uranium enrichment they are using they need tens thousands of gas centrifuges, because they can enrich to 5-10% for reactor use with what they have, BUT to get nuclear weapons grade they need to go to 95% other wise all they got is a big dud. They ain't near that, and even if they get the enrichment the bomb a uranium enrichment process makes is far too heavy to put atop a missile, it takes plutonium technology to produce a missile bases nuke weapon and they ain't even playing in that ballpark bucko.

2) If not, do you seriously think diplomacy will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons?

Well if George W Bush and the numbskull neo-cons KNEW the difference between REAL diplomacy and what ever they are doing it might, we never had to attack the Soviets did we? Over 40 years of containment and the USSR had real weapons and real missiles OT some sort of right wing fairy tale version which have NOT been proved even by Douglas Feith. Diplomacy kinda worked well during the cold war, with the Soviets and communist China, hell Reagan thought diplomacy was the right path, was he so bad?

3) If not, what option remains but the military option?

Only a neo-con enabler would frame such a stupid argument. Only a shallow minded person would see ONLY two choices in such a complex diplomatic question.

4) Should we, with respect to Iraq, do as General Petraeus suggests or do as Barack Obama suggests?

Well since what the General WROTE in the Army field manual about counterinsurgency and what he is being allowed to do in Iraq are worlds apart, and what he wrote about the strategy for counterinsurgency requires many more troops then we currently have, maybe, just maybe we need to talk BEFORE getting a third war started with the other two going not too well at this point, and NO end in sight for either.

sbvor said...

Tom,

Your second point from the bottom made me roar with (really dark) laughter. If the objective is to keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of Iran, please, educate us poor dumb rednecks about the “complex” options which lay between failed diplomacy and war. I was not suggesting that we have exhausted our diplomatic options. I simply asked if diplomacy fails, “what option remains but the military option?”. Obviously, you had no answer and could only resort to extreme ad hominem.

Well, yes, I have “broadly substantiated the undeniable progress in Iraq”. That’s just a fact.

In response, you offer nothing but utterly unsubstantiated rhetoric (aka propaganda).

If you want to be taken seriously, try substantiating your points (even if only from MoveOn.org).

Until then, you’re just not worth my time and nobody should take you seriously. I certainly don’t.

Tom said...

Well considering you spout FOX LIES and RNC propaganda nobody really worries much about you either.

But keep a chuggin' on because history it seems has already rendered judgement on the right wing neo-con agenda. sucks to be on the sinking side of the societal battles doesn't it. Because your one sided hackery is old and tired and a loser to the vast majority of US citizens of the 2006 and three special elections are any gage let alone the polls which find the right wing message falling on deaf ears for most.

I hope you enjoy becoming more and more irrelevant to the political discussion because you hold to tired empty spin and facts that lack REALITY.

Come next Jan you'll understand.

sbvor said...

Tom,

1) I missed the part where I cited either Fox or the RNC. But, I am well acquainted with the tired old smear tactics of the Far Left. It’s a sure sign of weakness.

2) Get accustomed to saying "President McCain".

Greg Loutsenko said...

http://gregloutsenko.blogspot.com/2008/03/i-hear-quite-bit-of-right-wing.html

sbvor said...

Greg,

Your commentary demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what the surge is all about. It is a fundamentally different approach in every respect. And, it is clearly working.

You should read each link I’ve provided, especially the ones documenting “impressive political progress” and “the details on the benchmarks” (milestones reached on the political benchmarks).

Iraq now has a Shi'ite Prime Minister (Nouri al-Maliki) fighting Shi'ite extremists in Basra and WINNING!

Greg Loutsenko said...

My view, as i have outlined, is that the surge may be bringing down the violence now (simply by keeping sects separate, while allowing all to retain their weapons and militias), as soon as it is scaled back the violence will rise. This is because i do not think any substantial political progress is being made.

i think you place to much faith in the iraqi government. in my view what is happening is one shiite group (the army and government, which are dominated by shiites) is fighting for control with another, the Mahdi Army, which by all accounts is just as powerful and was able to resist and push the iraqi army back (even with british and american assistance). note that Mahdi Army was not defeated. cease fire is now the status-quo, since the Mahdi Army still has all of its fighters and weapons intact.

of course that is not to say that i would love to be proven wrong. only time will tell who is wrong. i am certain that the coalition forces are aware of all of these factors and are trying to make it work. lets hope they succeed.

also i never opposed the surge (not that anyone would have cared anyway). i think it is a good idea and far more troops should have been deployed in the first place because it is now clear the mission was FAR from "accomplished".

sbvor said...

Greg,

To say that “i do not think any substantial political progress is being made” is to pretend that objective and quantitative evidence to the contrary does not exist.

My previous link in my previous comment demonstrates that the Iraqi people are fed up with the murdering extremists and are uniting to defeat them.

You should read what skeptics of the day said about the prospect that Germany or Japan would ever be peaceful democracies. They were just as wrong then as their brethren are today.

Greg Loutsenko said...

i certainly hope you will be right and i will be wrong on this topic.

sbvor said...

Greg,

We have no reasonable choice but to continue our efforts in Iraq.

When our Congress ill-advisedly surrendered Vietnam to Communists, the world got lucky. A “mere” 4 million Asians were murdered as a direct result (the scholarly mid range estimate between Vietnam & Cambodia as provided by Dr. Rummel). We’re not talking about casualties of war; we’re talking about flat out murder (aka Democide).

But, had we not fought Communist aggression in Vietnam as long as we did, the Democide rate would have been far, far, FAR higher.

Ultimately, President Reagan navigated our way to victory in The Cold War (which Vietnam was a proxy for) without a nuclear holocaust.

But, the Soviets were not suicidal maniacs. Islamists are. If Islamic radicals get their hands in a thermonuclear weapon, they will not hesitate to use it on our soil. If we leave Iraq prematurely, the odds of that outcome will go up dramatically.

The media never told you this, but, in July of 2004, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence reaffirmed CIA intelligence indicating that:

"The Central Intelligence Agency reasonably and objectively assessed in Iraqi Support for Terrorism that the most problematic area of contact between Iraq and al-Qaida were the reports of training in the use of non-conventional weapons, specifically, chemical and biological weapons"

Chapter XII, Page 346, Conclusion 94

In other words, Saddam trained al Qaeda in the use of biological and chemical WMD.

The media also “forgot” to tell you that the post war Duelfer Report concluded:

“Senior Iraqis—several of them from the Regime’s inner circle—told ISG they assumed Saddam would restart a nuclear program once UN sanctions ended.”

If Saddam trained al Qaeda in the use of Biological and Chemical WMD, do you really think he would not have given al Qaeda a thermonuclear weapon the moment he developed one? Iran is now the greatest threat in that regard. If we leave Iraq prematurely, Iraq will become a safe haven for al Qaeda with Iran right next door and on the brink of thermonuclear capability.

Eliminating Saddam means one down, one to go. I hope we can eliminate the threat from Iran without going to war with Iran. That remains to be seen.

Greg Loutsenko said...

it is also interesting to note how many WMDs saddam had at the time of invasion, all those thousands upon thousands of nuclear warheads, millions of barrels of nerve agent. CIA is not the most trusted source on these matters. I clearly remember how the CIA told the world at the UN though Collin Powel of all the terrible things iraq had. Turned out to be very bad intelligence.

as far as i understand, and from what i heard from various official places (9/11 commission for one, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A47812-2004Jun16.html)islamists of your description were not present in iraq before invation. they certainly are now. I do of course think islamists of your description are terrible people.

if usa was so worried about such a threat then surely iran, Saudi Arabia and pakistan would have been far better target. Iran supports various terrorist organisation around middle east, Pakistan provides a safe place for taleban and various other extreme islamists, while Saudi Arabia seems to be the may source of al-qaeda. I find it very very very strange how EU, USA and various other places who are by all accounts democratic, allow such a terrible place as Saudi Arabia to exist in its present form where women are property, no kind of criticism of the king is allowed and is punishable for brutal means of flogging and public execution.

but finger pointing aside, i certainly think that the US+UK must take some responsibility for their acts and must stay in iraq for how ever long it takes. they must stay until iraq is a fully functional, accountable democracy with a flourishing econmony.

sbvor said...

Greg,

I suggest you:

1) Recall what so-called “journalists” told you about the 9/11 Report.

2) Read this analysis.

3) Fact check both against the 9/11 Report.

Note: In the 9/11 Report, if any given quote spans 2 or more lines, the Adobe Acrobat “find” feature will not find it. If you fail to locate any given quote, select various smaller subsets of the quote until you find it (and you will).

If you complete that task, you might begin to understand the extent to which you have been deceived by so-called “journalists”.

Greg Loutsenko said...

i don't quite get how "Saddam trained al Qaeda in the use of Biological and Chemical WMD" if he did not have any. the cia has spent quite a bit of time looking for them but found some aluminium tubes instead.

what is certainly true is that the current situation is a FAR better training ground for terrorists than iraq under sadam ever was.

i certainly trust MI6 far more than i would trust CIA. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2727471.stm

but this is a bit of digression.

sbvor, do you know any other right wing blogs, such as this, which i could keep a tab on? at least, what are your favourite?

sbvor said...

Greg,

1) You obviously did not complete the assignment.

2) If you had completed the assignment, you would understand that you have not placed your “trust” in MI6, you have (quite foolishly) placed your “trust” in what a so-called “journalist” told you about an MI6 report. When you have located and read the original MI6 report, let me know.

3) If you believe Saddam had no WMD, tell it to the United Nations (and the rest of the world). If Saddam had no WMD, why did the UNSCR waste 17 resolutions on Iraq and their WMD?

Remember UN inspectors cataloged and inventoried all the WMD. They had a list of what he had, what he destroyed and what remained. Then, in 1998, Saddam kicked them out before he destroyed it all.

3) UNSCR 1441 essentially said to Saddam:

“Better hide the WMD, The United States will be invading 30 days from today”

But, that notice was given on 11/8/02 and we did not invade until 3/20/03. No wonder we have not found most of the WMD which the United Nations KNEW was there! Even so, what you think you know is belied by The Duelfer Report (if you care enough about the future of civilization to actually read it).

Sadly, I don’t think you do. I think you find it far more emotionally satisfying to believe the fictional narrative invented by so-called “journalists”.

4) Now you have two assignments to complete. Your second assignment is to actually read the three links to the three part series from Thomas Sowell provided in this link.

If you complete both assignments, you will not only begin to understand the extent to which you have been deceived by so-called “journalists”, you will also begin to understand how these so-called “journalists” play upon your predilection for narratives that are more emotionally satisfying than the cold hard facts.

P.S.) As far as Iraq being a “training ground for terrorists”, you should read:

A) What The Duelfer Report said about Salman Pak.

B) What PBS/NYT said about the same.

Quoting the above link:
“I assure you, this operation [9/11] was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam [at Salman Pak].”

The above assertion may or may not be true. Contrary to what so-called “journalists” would tell you, it has not been proven either way. But, no reasonable person, Charles Duelfer included, denies that Saddam trained LOTS of terrorists at Salman Pak.

Greg Loutsenko said...

certainly you did not pick the final report. the final report said:

[ISG had] not found evidence that Saddam possessed WMD stocks in 2003

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_Survey_Group#March_2005_Report_Addenda

Secondly the UN did not know anything, that is why UN wanted to get weapons inspectors into Iraq before anything kicked off. initial UN inspections in 2002 found nothing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq_war#U.N._weapons_inspections_resume

So are you saying that you know better than ISG and UN weapons inspectors, which both categorically said there were no WMDs in Iraq in 2003?

you can't get away with this one. There were no WMDs, Bush said there were, they were not there. Even the ISG, appointed by Bush, found this.

this does not mean that the war was not unjustifiable!!!

i also find it quite strange how you think you know better than the independent 9/11 commission, who categorically denied any links with iraq. even the defence department denied a link:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/05/AR2007040502263.html

declassified version of the report, by acting Inspector General Thomas F. Gimble, also contains new details about the intelligence community's prewar consensus that the Iraqi government and al-Qaeda figures had only limited contacts, and about its judgments that reports of deeper links were based on dubious or unconfirmed information.

sbvor said...

Greg,

Let’s see if we can focus you on one step at a time.

I am not claiming that I “know better than the independent 9/11 commission”.

I am telling you it is an objective and easily verified fact that so-called “journalists” utterly mislead you about the content of the 9/11 report.

Again, young man, if you will only complete your first assignment, you will easily verify this for yourself.

Until you do so, kindly stop wasting my time.

sbvor said...

P.S.) I will tell you that your Washington Post link is typical, in every way, of the latest version of the anti-war narrative invented by so-called “journalists” (in alliance with Congressional Dims).

The latest version of that narrative depends upon finding our CIA to be less credible than Saddam Hussein & his closest cronies as well as the entirely predictable and straight out of the al Qaeda operational manual recantation a known terrorist (al-Libi).

Oh, and, once one believes al-Libi’s recantation, one must also, conveniently, utterly ignore at least 11 other sources of the same information as what al-Libi provided (on the training of al Qaeda in the use of chemical and biological WMD).

But, please complete your first assignment before biting this one off. (See my previous comment.)

Baby steps (in cult deprogramming).

Greg Loutsenko said...

yeah, all those aluminium tubes, so dangerous!!!

Saddam was planning to get WMDs but he had none in 2002-2003. Duelfer said so himself:

1) Prewar Movement of WMD Material Out of Iraq, stating "ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place" but also acknowledging that "ISG was unable to complete its investigation and is unable to rule out the possibility that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war."

2)Residual Pre-1991 CBW Stocks in Iraq, concluding "any remaining chemical munitions in Iraq do not pose a militarily significant threat ... ISG has not found evidence to indicate that Iraq did not destroy its BW weapons or bulk agents".

3) Residual Proliferation Risks: People, concluding "former WMD program participants are most likely to seek employment in the benign civil sector, either in Iraq or elsewhere ... However, because a single individual can advance certain WMD activities, it remains an important concern".

4) Residual Proliferation Risk: Equipment and Materials, concluding "Iraq’s remaining chemical and biological physical infrastructure does not pose a proliferation concern".

I do not quite understand this. Where are those WMDs which Powell was so sure of? I mean if Saddam has such MASSIVE capabilities to destroy the World, where are they now? They were not moved anywhere according to Duelfer. They were not destroyed according to Duelfer. But the CIA cannot be wrong. Bush is never wrong. So the only logical conclusion is that all those WMDs were eaten by fairies.

Or maybe, Saddam did not have any WMDs in 2002-2003 as Duelfer said so himself!

sbvor said...

Greg,

1) I’m giving you an “F” for failure to complete your first assignment.

2) You quote:

“any remaining chemical munitions in Iraq do not pose a militarily significant threat ... ISG has not found evidence to indicate that Iraq did not destroy its BW weapons or bulk agents”

You just quoted the Wikipedia interpretation of Charles Duelfer’s Addendums to The Comprehensive Report.

The very first sentence omitted by the Wikipedia “…” reads:

“However, if placed in the hands of insurgents, the use of a single even ineffectual chemical weapon would likely cause more terror than deadlier conventional explosives.”

Again, if you read the entire Duelfer Report for yourself, an entirely different picture emerges.

With respect to transporting the WMD to Syria, the only thing ISG said was they were too scared to go looking for the evidence. The media, of course, reported that as definitive evidence it did not happen. And, those who are young and naïve (or, simply naïve) fell for the lie. It’s just one more facet of the fictional anti-war narrative invented by so-called “journalists” and Congressional Dims.

Transporting the WMD to Syria is the most likely scenario (based on the evidence). But, it could have even more easily been buried in the desert (just like the fighter jets were).

Again, to understand the games Saddam played with WMD for over a decade, one need only review the 17 UNSCR resolutions related to Iraq and WMD.

Greg Loutsenko said...

you are speculating that the WMDs may be or may not be in Syria. There is no irrefutable evidence that says Saddam had WMDs as described by USA+UK in 2002-03!

As such your speculation is just as good as mine. I speculate that he did not have any WMDs, as ISG says. You say otherwise.

The only way to truly prove me wrong is to find those WMDs. I presume you can get yourself a spade and a bottle of water for digging up the desert. With the new and improved security situation in Iraq you are so desperate to describe, you will be very safe and greeted warmly. In fact most Iraqi people will be happy to see one more American. Happy hunting, and Good luck!

sbvor said...

Greg,

You have allowed so-called “journalists” to blind you to the objective facts.

Prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom, the United Nations spent over a decade attempting to rid Saddam of his WMD. They failed.

In the end, UNSCR 1441 essentially said to Saddam:

“Better hide the WMD, The United States will be invading 30 days from today”

But, that notice was given on 11/8/02 and we did not invade until 3/20/03. No wonder we have not found most of the WMD which the United Nations KNEW was there!

Even so, ISG, post war, found limited quantities of WMD. ISG found clear evidence of intent to produce more WMD, including thermonuclear weapons. They failed to find clear evidence of large quantities of recently manufactured WMD. But, they were also:

“unable to rule out the possibility that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war.”

Various other sources offer evidence that the WMD was evacuated to Syria.

Given fighter jets were buried in the desert, there clearly exists the possibility that WMD was buried in the desert.

The [Bi-Partisan] 9/11 Commission (page 66) concluded that:

“Iraqi officials offered Bin Laden a safe haven in Iraq”

This offer of “safe haven” is precisely the sort of state sponsorship of al Qaeda which led directly to 9/11! With that in mind, go back and complete that that first assignment and I might give you partial credit.

The [Bi-Partisan] Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, in July of 2004 concluded that:

"The Central Intelligence Agency reasonably and objectively assessed in Iraqi Support for Terrorism that the most problematic area of contact between Iraq and al-Qaida were the reports of training in the use of non-conventional weapons, specifically, chemical and biological weapons"

Chapter XII, Page 346, Conclusion 94

In other words, Saddam trained al Qaeda in the use of biological and chemical WMD.

PBS/NYT presented two Iraqi defectors, one of whom alleged:

“I assure you, this operation [9/11] was conducted by people who were trained by Saddam [at Salman Pak].”

The only “evidence” to the contrary is a blind mistrust of Chalabi on the part of so-called “Liberals” at the Old York Times (and other sources on The Far Left).

This is just the tip of a giant iceberg demonstrating that Saddam absolutely had to be taken out.

Greg Loutsenko said...

OK OK, as I said there exist some evidence for what you say, but it is not conclusive and quite speculative. At the end of the day we found no WMDs, until we do, one may conclude there were none. That does not mean that there was no intent to develop some. Its interesting to note how Bush and FoxNews has quietly dropped WMDs question and forgot about it. Luckily for them no one was paying attention.

A much better and airtight argument for "taking out" Saddam is that under his orders tens of thousands of people were murdered. I think that is a much better argument. But I suppose right-wingers care little about it. They did after all supply him with various weapons originally (Rumsfeld, that fine gentleman, shook hands with Saddam in the 1980s). But of course as long as they are on our side, who cares what they are doing to their people (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Ethiopia) right?!

I like this paranoia of the media you have. The left is convinced that the media has been too soft on Bush and the right is convinced that the media has a bias against them. "liberal media bias" against "right-wing conspiracy", I wonder which bias will wing!

Its a strange situation this one with Iraq. Under Clinton, the Kosovo war had no backing from the right-wingers, while the objective (stopping murder etc.) was about the same. Its strange how political bias bends people's morals and rational thought in USA.

Interesting to note that FT, The Times (I presume you would call it London Times), The Telegraph, and The Economist all concluded that there were no WMDs. All of those publications are far from left-wing and regularly support right-wing politicians. But I guess they must be biased now because they disagree with the extreme right. I think it is easier to label someone as a "radical" who opposes one's views than to admit that the opposition may have some merit and some rational grounding.

sbvor said...

1) Greg sez:

“Its interesting to note how Bush and FoxNews has quietly dropped WMDs question and forgot about it”

When the Far Left control the media, it is pointless for any politician to challenge them. They’re guaranteed to get shouted down.

And, that is precisely why very few politicians will publicly challenge the charade of Man Made Global Warming.

2) Media Bias to the Left is extremely well documented (by, among others, a self-described “Liberal” insider). It is also thoroughly quantified, even by UCLA. Media Bias to The Right is just pure freaking fiction. Thus, there is, once again, no “Moral Equivalence”.

Note, in the UCLA quantification, that The Wall Street Journal (other than the editorial page) is farther to The Left than The Old York Times. Reporting on economic matters does not preclude a profound bias to The Left.

3) You are, as always, dead wrong in your Leftist knee jerk “Moral Equivalence” argument on Kosovo. The United States had no National Security interest in Kosovo. Therefore, not one American life should have been put on the line. Despite your denial of the obvious, Iraq represented a grave threat to our National Security.

sbvor said...

P.S.) In citing the UCLA led study, I intended to link to this press release from UCLA.

Greg Loutsenko said...

Media bias on the right is also very well documented.

Christian Broadcasting Network is unbiased right?! FoxNews is fair and balanced?! In a shouting match O'reilly will win, he will tell you to "shut up" if you disagree, or "cut the mic". Also, Ann Coulter has a pure rational approach to problems. When Coulter analysis an idea she does so purely on rational and logical grounds and not on her political bias.

So what you are saying is that it was not right for us to stop ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. That only national interest should drive foreign policy. How humane you are? How Christian? How noble and chivalrous? Maybe the British Army should not have sent food rations to Katrina survivors, it was not a national security issue for us after all.

and what is this "old" york times?

You make yourself sound a little paranoid and hysterical when you say that say WSJ is left wing. I mean, you would use anything to support your view. UCLA? I am pretty sure you think they are destroying american, yet as soon as they have slightly similar view on a narrow topic, they all of a sudden carry great intellectual prestige. You are a culture war victim. Your mind is shell shocked. It is twisted to only see things in black and white, right or left.

lets face it, you don't like global warming idea because it originated from hippies. If it came from GOP you would have been there on greenpeace ships boarding oil tankers.

sbvor said...

Greg,

1) UCLA, not me, quantified the fact that:

“While the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal is conservative, the newspaper's news pages are liberal, even more liberal than The New York Times.”

“The news pages of The Wall Street Journal scored a little to the left of the average American Democrat”


2) UCLA, not me, also quantified the fact that:

“Five news outlets — "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," ABC's "Good Morning America," CNN's "NewsNight With Aaron Brown," Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume" and the Drudge Report — were in a statistical dead heat in the race for the most centrist news outlet.”

3) Experience has taught me that the best way to even have a prayer of making the smallest of chinks in the denial armor of any given Leftist is to cite Leftist sources in substantiating my points. Any other source will be summarily dismissed by any given Leftist. Fortunately, my world view is so objectively accurate that I can usually find one or more Leftist sources which back me up.

Hell, even The Old York Times has admitted for over a year now that the surge is working.

4) Bill O’Reilly is a former school teacher from Long Island. He is a typical New York Populist “Liberal” except for two things. He is, owing to his Catholicism, socially Conservative and, he does not favor surrender in Iraq. But, O’Reilly fervently and ignorantly believes in the religious cult of Man Made Global Warming and, O’Reilly fervently and ignorantly hates “Big Oil” with every bit as much venom as the most whacko of Radical Leftists.

5) It is my personal opinion that our military men and women should only be ordered to war in matters which affect our National Security. That does not mean that I am opposed to humanitarian efforts, either by our military or by our private citizens.

6) I am a trained scientist. On matters of science, I rely primarily on science journals, not so-called “journalists”. This is how I know the religious cult of Man Made Global Warming is not supported by the scientific literature.

7) The Old York Times is old, as in (with extremely rare exceptions) routinely spouting tired old Socialist rhetoric from the early days of previous century.

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