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September 17, 2005

Tell Me It Means Nothing

Somebody had the nerve to ask me today, what are we doing in Iraq. I replied something on the order of 'providing stability in the region' and helping the people build a nation in the community of nations.

I always find it interesting to hear people who don't argue often jump into a political discussion. Well actually I find it annoying, but since I happen to love these particular naifs, I could shrug about it. There's a kind of hit and run disgust with the lack of acceptance of their conventional wisdom. Like the woman who said that she doesn't even know anybody who voted for Bush. And so a couple of my good friends had the nerve to suggest it was about oil.

Of course I was the only one in the discussion that could name an oilfield in Iraq: Majnoon. And I was the only one in the discussion who knew that France and Russia had contracts with the Iraqi government for substantial portions of Iraqi oil. I was the only one in the discussion who knew that it will take many years and many billions to get them up to reasonable production levels.

I was the only one in the discussion that read the Iraqi Constitution. One of my interlocutors does in fact believe that Iraqis are building their new Republic at the point of a gun.

So I realize that I am in the company of people who are just not going to see anything my way. I only have one bomb to drop. So I ask them to tell me it means nothing that Iraqi women have voted for the first time.

For that I get a stammer and a moment of silence. It was the best I could do.

I have other very simplistic arguments at the ready, but we started in New Orleans. We had to go all the way to Iraq to prove Bush is a 'moron' so that I could be assured that he's lying about the 60 Billion, which he will never spend - or so I've been told. So I had to go to Iraq.

So I ask. Let's say you have two choices. The US Army or the Israeli Army in charge of the Middle East. Whom to you choose? I even threw in a CIA assassination of Saddam as the third choice. The answer? Neither, of course. We shouldn't be over there, they say.

Osama bin Laden, they say. What about him. How come they can't find him. The same reason they couldn't find Eric Rudolph or DB Cooper. Locals hid him. I didn't have the presence of mind to snark their presumed cooperation. So here's one for you of like minds. If a liberal asks you about finding bin Laden, ask them if they would hide him from George W. Bush. The answer I gave left nobody breathless. We found Saddam because we had thousands of troops looking for him. Where do you want to send the next 20,000? It would be too logical for them to admit.


Posted by mbowen at September 17, 2005 10:57 PM

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You lost me in the last paragraph. Nothing made sense after, "locals hid him." Are you presuming that most avowed Democrats would hide Osama if they had the chance? Would you mind restating what you were getting at (along with the assumptions)?

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 01:08 AM

I had people tell me that GWBush knows where Osama is and is not revealing it so he can stay in Iraq. People who believe that would probably hide bin Laden just for the pleasure of denying Bush an 'October Surprise'.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 02:12 AM

Oh. Opposing paranoias square off. I know where I'm placing my bet (hint: you're crazy if you think a Democrat would ever suspend taking credit for hauling in OBL for even a milisecond).

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 07:59 AM

Sure - what American hasn't had a fantasy of hauling OBL down Pennsylvania avenue at the end of a rope and depositing him on the White House lawn? Personally, I'd like to hand him over to the Saudis. He's their boy, and I'd like to watch them squirm as they'd have no choice but a public execution or admit they are the real force behind Al Queda.

Yes, it's good that women are voting in Iraq, that Saddam is gone, etc. But if it isn't about oil, why don't we invade all other the countries led by bad men? What's wrong with admitting that oil was a factor in our decision to invade? Do we have to pretend to be boy scouts, helping Iraqi women across the street?

In the end, constitution or no, Iraq will end up an (Iranian-backed) Islamic theocracy. Hardly seems worth killing our own soldiers to switch them from one dictatorship to another if we don't at least get some oil out of the deal.

I'd feel a lot better about it if people would make some effort to conserve just a little oil while our soldiers are over there dying. You know, buy a sedan instead of an SUV, for instance. 25mpg wouldn't be a difficult minimum for everyone to hit, would it?

Posted by: decrepitoldfool at September 18, 2005 09:23 AM

What is most striking to me is the never-ending struggle to rationalize and justify gluttony. It's as if the conservative mentality is afflicted by an overpowering psychological imperative to conceal its true motivations. No matter how tiny or flimsy the fig leaf, you can always rest assured that heroic efforts will be undertaken to deploy the little leaf...,

The problem is that there is no hiding from the eye of God. These just-so stories fool no one, least of all the hidden observer in your own heart who knows all about the errors your strive to conceal.

All that this means is that your organism is expending the energy of conscience on the falsity of psychological denial and self-calming. It is a certain and Pharisaic route to soul-lessness which no amount of self-calming rhetoric can ever make otherwise.

Posted by: cnulan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 10:58 AM

damn, craig. it's sunday. isn't today the day we lock our hard truths away in the back of liquor cabinet?

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 11:37 AM

damn, craig. it's sunday. isn't today the day we lock our hard truths away in the back of the liquor cabinet?

Posted by: memer [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 11:37 AM

We found Saadam because Iraqis were looking for him.

Posted by: DarkStar [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 18, 2005 12:17 PM

I enjoy telling people who are complaining about gasoline prices that I wish we HAD gone into Iraq for the oil.

Posted by: Laura at September 18, 2005 06:12 PM

I went to a house party last year with friends and we had a similar conversation. The weird part was they had the "No War for Oil" and "No Iraq" signs in their window upstairs as they showed off the new oil furnace they just installed downstairs. This was in Olympia Wash by the way.

Posted by: JR at September 18, 2005 08:29 PM

Craig, that's an astounding evasion of geopolitical reality. The US is bound to be a player in the Middle East, and we were bound to get involved with Iraq and/or Iran given the history of these two countries over the past 20 years. I realize that there are many such as yourself who could care less about the fate of Kuwaitis or others threatened by Baathists, but Bush isn't one of them.

It must be painful for all of your brain cells to explode with the knowledge that Bush has expanded civil rights by assisting in creation of the first Arab democracy. So I don't expect you'll ever be able to push those factual words out of your mouth. My sympathies for your incapacity.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2005 06:43 AM

Bound by gluttonous addiction to oil, period. What's painful to me is watching the profusion of ignorance and self-calming just-so-storytelling that people do around motive and facts on the ground.

Dikes weren't reinforced because of spending money/energy securing oil in Iraq, and now that the gulf oil is disrupted, more money/energy will be spent on fixing the rigs and pipelines, while neglecting roads and bridges elsewhere. When the bridges fall down and the grid starts failing, when you can't keep industry going, so farms can't get the fertilizer they need for crops, or move those crops to markets, everybody lacking some basic food self-sufficiency will begin to get a little hungrier - like in North Korea.

The reason this country has exported its manufacturing jobs, the reason the dikes failed, the reason the poor are getting poorer, is all because of less "net energy". If your beloved neocons had had the energy, it's possible they would've spent it.

Everyone here who is unprepared will pay the price - except the rich. Their paychecks will keep growing back to feudal levels because their wealth is not presently tied to this diminishing American enterprise.

Your little paychecks will be worth less next year cause you'll be paying more for gas, more for food, more for A/C. Wait, what am I saying, next year is right now!

So, I'll tell you exactly what it means. It means that what you call a geopolitical reality is in fact nothing other than an elite blueprint for unnecessary suffering in order to maintain an undesirable governance status quo.

Posted by: cnulan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2005 09:49 AM

The idea was to take over before the French and Russians began sucking out the oil in earnest. Thus the haste with which plans were implemented. As for the flimsy fig leaf of democratization and nation building {ROTFLMBAO}for which there was quite obviously no plan whatsoever, phase 2 of operation Freedom from Iraqis involves a population reduction in Iraq that when the oil is needed later, it can be gotten more easily without the hinderance of a large population. Thus the idea is to cripple them -aka destruction of the infrastructure and spread of depleted uranium (DU) everywhere so the Iraqis have no possibility of ever recovering.

The USA/UK coalition is therefore doing its level best to provoke civil war in Iraq.

This report (pasted below) supports that theory.

instigating civil war and chaos so that the oil extraction can be postponed until a later date.

Quite clearly the neocons are not in it to win it in anything even remotely approaching a conventional sense

Posted by: cnulan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2005 10:55 AM


you crack me up. that was a funny post. you really can't make this stuff up. admittedly, those folks were amateurs and you should be taxed for showing off about busting them down, but to bring that weak stuff to your own blog...taxes just went up.

don't be out here talking about 20 years of history in the region when it goes back much farther than that. the british have been at this game for generations...just as they been at the balfour declaration game for generations. step it up bruh...the amateurs are asleep. ain't nuttin' but grown folk on these pages.

one love.

Posted by: Temple3 [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2005 11:48 AM

One of these days, I'm going to go to the toy store and I'm going to find out that all Toys R Us is going out of business because all of the plastics used in toys have become too expensive because of the price of oil.

One day, I'm going to go to the McDonalds and I'm going to find out that I can't get a Happy Meal because the cost of transportation has gone too high.

There are going to be plenty of concrete indicators that oil is too costly which will show a deeper problem than just the price of gasoline. The price of gasoline is not a leading indicator, because we have never paid the going rate as have other companies.

And yet, your beloved Hugo Chavez is still charging what, 50 cents a gallon for gasoline in his country?

There is going to have to be a huge amount of shrinkage in domestic spending in the consumer economy before the oil supply is consumed righteously, because today we have huge amounts of frivolous goods and services. We will miss those frivolous goods and services and we'll know to buckle down and moderate our consumption of oil.

But today people are still buying new SUVs. Come back and whine when the SUV market is dead. Three years notice I say.

As for depopulating Iraq... do you honestly believe, given the nature of Americans and their reaction to FEMA in NOLA that a strategy of that magnitude would escape unnoticed? Did your gods of information miss something on the way back from squawking about Abu Graibh?

I welcome your submissions from Amnesty International or the humanitarian organizations on the ground in Iraq. But a jailbreak? How low can you scrape?

Got any news from Kurdistan you'd like to share, or are the Kurds too satisfied to mind?

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2005 07:32 PM

"In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation. For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying. These people know only too well how to use falsehood for the basest purposes."
Mein Kampf 1925

Posted by: cnulan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 20, 2005 07:53 PM

Looks like blowback from covert farming operations in Basra is heating up

Posted by: cnulan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2005 12:39 PM

That means nothing.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 21, 2005 01:11 PM

It must be painful for all of your brain cells to explode with the knowledge that Bush has expanded civil rights by assisting in creation of the first Arab democracy. So I don't expect you'll ever be able to push those factual words out of your mouth. My sympathies for your incapacity.

My incapacity to smoothly instantiate and run the big lie is nowhere approaching the eclexia of your braincells drowning in it...., dood, it's one thing to act a role, and I can respect the whole spook who sat by the door thang but your capacity for rhetorical reality evasion is becoming unsettling....,

The argument that withdrawal will lead to civil war is slightly absurd, since the occupation has already accelerated and exacerbated ethnic and religious tensions in Iraq. Divide and rule is the deadly logic of colonial rule - and signs that the US is planning an exit strategy coupled with a long-term presence is evident in the new Iraqi constitution, pushed through by US proconsul Zalmay Khalilzad. This document is a defacto division of Iraq into Kurdistan (a US-Israeli protectorate), Southern Iraq (dominated by Iran) and the Sunni badlands (policed by semi-reliable ex-Baathists under state department and Foreign Office tutelage). What is this if not an invitation to civil war? The occupation has also created a geopolitical mess. Recent events in Basra are linked to a western fear of Iranian domination. Having encouraged Moqtada al-Sadr's militias to resist the slavishly pro-Iranian faction, why are the British surprised when they demand real independence?

Posted by: cnulan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 24, 2005 05:07 PM

romanticize these soccer hoodlums with licenses to kill...., the crusty thug life of real world agents 001 and 002

Posted by: cnulan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 24, 2005 05:12 PM

Alright, tell me straight up. Do believe the author of that rant in either of these two assertions?

1. Al-Zarqawi is dead.
2. Al-Zarqawi's organization has no links to Al Qaeda.

001 and 002 were obviously spies for our side trying to infiltrate. They may or may not have blown their cover and so we busted them out of jail. So what?

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 24, 2005 05:44 PM

uh.., they killed a cop on your side..,

since the whole gist of the big lie is that "your side" is democracy building, seems to me that cop-killing while insurgent playing, particularly this sub-WalMart-quality faux Sir Richard Burton shit these ass-clowns were caught perpetrating, did you see those cheesy-assed wigs? these busters didn't even have on a decent coat of mantan, or whatever blackface they use to fool the beneficiaries of their unsolicited freedom social services would necessitate their immediate disavowel!!! but that's just me.

I'll interpret this to mean all's fair in the great game of infiltration...., aight man, I'ma let you get back to your undercover brother thang, and I'ma go back to sniping red state knuckledraggers...,

oh yeah, i'm still picking the zarqawi straw out of my afro. that's a funny rhetorical countermeasure mayne. I put it right up there with those wack wigs your soccer hoodlums tried to perpetrate.

Posted by: cnulan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 24, 2005 08:16 PM

You know, I never pegged you as a pacifist. Is that the deal here or are you just unclear about the rules of engagement?

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 24, 2005 10:28 PM

rules of engagement to accomplish what? partition and perpetual civil war..., the lie is being put to your absurd figleaf of democracy building by the minute. there are no developments in Iraq that justify continuing presence, given that the presence already there is in pure self-defence mode.

To find out beyond any doubt that all that's going on beyond pure self-defence is instigation and abuse of the natives would shut an ethical man's handwaving defence of the indefensible down. It's comical how you've got nothing factual to add to tip the scales in favor of your contention. Face the facts. It Means Nothing.

It's gone beyond pitiful even as nothing more than a cynical and doomed gang move on the oil. Your people have not proven themselves competent to pull that off. It's not gonna happen.

So, your continuing Faustian/Nietzschean pose in defense of their now fully disclosed incompetence is an ill-fitting drag that can only undermine your appeals to republican-ness.

Posted by: cnulan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 25, 2005 08:49 AM

I've already given my proxy, and returning to criticize is not going to change the strategy, only reality will do that. I'm not going to try a highfalutin moral dance which basically has no standing to the enemy. I'm down with the program on a nationalist basis as well for the geopolitical implications.

The way I see it, even if the entire new nation of Iraq collapses (not that I believe it will) is that going in with troops and occupying the nation was in fact the best way to accomplish the goal of ridding Saddam. And this way was an order of magnitude more preferable than the kind of semi-covert CIA stuff we perpetrated during the Contra 80s under Reagan, who was really mincing militarily speaking in comparison to either Bush.

Posted by: Cobb [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 25, 2005 09:25 AM

Iran is now organizing the euro denominated oil exchange that got Saddam in trouble with his puppeteers. Your boyz don't have the testicular fortitude to go toe to toe with the ayatollahs. Not gonna happen. So this entire fiasco accomplished nothing other than to make the U.S. an unequivocal pariah and yielded a significant negative return on investment beyond the perpetually tarnished PR - and - it handed Iraq and Afghanistan ever more firmly into the Iranian sphere than Iran itself could ever possibly have imagined. All-in-all, you and yours have done a stellar job in service to Shia Islam.

As for mincing, your boy Bush 43 has in common with 41 and re-Ron nothing beyond his unique contribution to the 8 trillion national debt, 85% of which is attributable to these three divas of republican strategic and fiscal incompetence.

The only satisfaction you can take from any of this is that the mainstream democratic shills went whole hog for the entire misguided program as well, so they're effectively dead in the water programmatically, strategically, and morally.

BTW - that constitution you've been trumpeting doesn't do a damn thing for Iraqi women, so you need to put that lie to rest, as well. Matter of fact, it sets them so far back under Sharia that they're worse off than American women of 200 or so years ago. Irony of ironies, Hillary Clinton got's jack to say on the cause of women in Iraq cause she's been in lockstep with the incompetent empire in all this meaningless retrograde fuster cluckage from the word GO.

Under Saddam, Iraqi women were among the most liberated arabic women in the world.

Posted by: cnulan [TypeKey Profile Page] at September 25, 2005 11:06 AM