December 1, 2005
Which Hand Do You Choose?
Here in the right hand, we have this:
Major General Rich Lynch, top spokesman in Iraq: “In the month of November: only 23 suicide attacks; the lowest we’ve seen in the last seven months, the direct result of the effectiveness of our operations.”
11.5% drop in U.S. fatalities in November
Fatalities dropped from 96 in October to 85 in November, despite the fact that November was the month of the phenomenally successful Operation Steel Curtain in Anbar and Ninawa, driving the terrorists out of their somewhat-less-than-safe houses along the Syrian border.
There are now more than 120 Iraqi Army and Police combat battalions actively fighting against the terrorists
President Bush: "Of these, about 80 Iraqi battalions are fighting side-by-side with coalition forces, and about 40 others are taking the lead in the fight. Most of these 40 battalions are controlling their own battle space, and conducting their own operations against the terrorists with some coalition support.... At this moment, over 30 Iraqi Army battalions have assumed primary control of their own areas of responsibility. In Baghdad, Iraqi battalions have taken over major sectors of the capital -- including some of the city's toughest neighborhoods."
We've officially transferred 90 square miles of the Baghdad province to the Iraqis
Bush again: "Over a dozen bases in Iraq have been handed over to the Iraqi government -- including Saddam Hussein's former palace in Tikrit, which has served as the coalition headquarters in one of Iraq's most dangerous regions." The current policy of clear and hold has liberated 28 cities from terrorist control; those cities, including such major urban centers as Fallujah and Ramadi, are now controlled by pro-government Iraqis.
The Iraqis have held two successful, national, free elections in the past year
The first in January, electing an interim parliament; number two on October 15th, ratifying the new Iraqi constitution. And a third will be held -- and will doubtless be even more successful than the first -- on December 15th, choosing the first freely elected parliament under a constitution ratified by the people in any Arab (or Persian) country in the Middle East.
The terrorists and the Baathist bitter-enders have been unable to hold any territory whatsoever
Not only that, they have been unable to get a national front off the ground -- a national front is a unified and cohesive ideology that engages the support of a substantial portion of the population. But the goal of the die-hards (Saddam Hussein back on the throne) is rejected even by the Sunnis; and the terrorists' goal (a Mesopotamian caliphate with Zarqawi ruling the joint) is so terrifying to nearly all Iraqis that even with the very significant number of murders of police and army recruits, they continue to flood in... and more and more are Sunnis.
About the only thing everyone in Iraq agrees on is that eventually the Americans, the British, and other foreign Coalition forces should leave. But since "everyone" includes the Americans and the Brits, this is hardly a problem.
But on the left hand, we have this:
To show they are still in charge, terrorists have left some litter and graffiti on a street in the Anbar capital of Ramadi
After an unsuccessful attack on the U.S. base, in which only one granade was fired with no casualty in our part, "the insurgents [sic] left behind posters and graffiti saying they were members of al-Qaida in Iraq and claiming responsibility for shooting down a U.S. drone. There were no reports of any U.S. drones being shot down, though." (The so-called "insurgency" actually isn't, however; Reuters is simply illiterate. See the continuation of this post for an explanation why.)
The foreign terrorists still retain some ability to randomly kill women and children by blowing themselves up
I'm not sure exactly how this is supposed to help Zarqawi; most Iraqis seem to be less impressed than appalled, and they're deserting the terrorists (and turning them in) in droves. I don't think the two facts are unrelated.
The anti-Iraq forces do still maintain their strategic alliance with the U.N. bureaucracy, the internationalist nationalists in much of Europe, Africa, and in Venezuela, and with the American and international mainstream media, film community, and academe
Again, whether this will ultimately help them is questionable: if a Democrat is elected president, it will likely be a decisive coalition; but the mere fact of its existence works against any Democrat being elected president. Ever.
Finally, the cut-and-run policy of cowardice dictated by the gaggle of terrorists, mobsters, and once-weres in Iraq is rapidly becoming the majority position of the Democratic Party
Although this means the Democrats will likely not win control of any body of the government anytime soon, they can still make mischief by rolling the Republicans whenever they can gather enough cheerleaders for catastrophe to block a vital war bill via the filibuster, or to amend some critical piece of legislation into its mirror opposite by voting en banc, while the right remains fractured over some other, trivial contention.
On this last point, we have House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) coming out firmly in favor of Vietnamizing the Iraqi War, following closely on the heels of famed fair-weather feather Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) lending the shreds and patches of his tattered credibility to the same cause. Today, in an effort to rally the troops, Murtha offered more of his insightful military analysis:
Murtha Says Army Is 'Broken, Worn Out'
Dec 1, 2005
LATROBE, Pa. (AP) - Most U.S. troops will leave Iraq within a year, and the Army is "broken, worn out" and may not be able to meet future military threats to the country's security, Rep. John Murtha said....
Murtha predicted most troops will be out of Iraq within a year.
"I predict he'll make it look like we're staying the course," Murtha said, referring to Bush. "Staying the course is not a policy." [It isn't? -- the Mgt.]
Murtha, 73, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations defense subcommittee, expressed pessimism about Iraq's stability and said the Iraqis know who the insurgents are, but don't always share that information with U.S. troops. He said a civil war is likely because of ongoing factionalism among Sunni Arabs, and Kurds and Shiites....
Murtha, a decorated Vietnam war veteran, said the Pennsylvania National Guard is "stretched so thin" that it won't be able to send fully equipped units to Iraq next year.
(We don't know how the administration responded to this bizarre rant because AP didn't see fit to ask for comment from anyonewho disagreed with Murtha.)
Democrats in the Senate are nervously shuffling in this same direction, with many a backward look; like Lot's wife, some of these reluctant fainthearts stand a good chance of being turned into a pillar of salt next November... which, contrary to confident prophecies by triumphalist Democrats and dolorous Republicans alike, I predict will be a very good month for Bush and the conservatives.
So... which hand do you choose? The right or the left? Asking myself what I always ask in such cases of moral dilemma -- WWZD? (no, the Z doesn't stand for Zarqawi, Zawahiri, or Zarathustra) -- I think I shall have to lead with the right, Señor.
How about you?
(If you're interested to learn why Rumsfeld was correct and Reuters churlishly wrong about the meaning of insurgency, read on.)
On the all-important diction front, the word "insurgent" does not mean "anyone fighting against any government." Even Reuters admits this -- though they don't understand they have admitted away their whole case.
Nov 29, 2005: WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued on Tuesday that the guerrillas fighting U.S.-led foreign forces and the American-backed government in Iraq do not deserve to be called an "insurgency."Rumsfeld instead referred to the guerrillas in Iraq as "the terrorists" and "the enemies of the government." U.S. military statements also have referred to insurgents as "anti-Iraqi forces...."
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines an insurgent as "a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government."
God preserve us from truncated internet definitions!
The next step is to ask, well what is a revolt then? A real dictionary, such as my Websters Third New International, defines a revolt thus: 1 a casting off of allegiance : an uprising against legitimate authority : a renunciation of allegiance and subjection (as to a government). And an uprising is: 1 an act or instance of rising up.
Put them together, and you have the indisputable requirement that an insurgency, revolt, or uprising requires those who formerly accepted allegiance to a government rising up, surging in support of a positive agenda against the policies of the government, then renouncing their allegiance to the government because it won't mend its ways. The impetus must come from within the people themselves, not be foisted upon them by foreigners; a discontent with the government that bubbles up from the heartland of an oppressed people yearning for release.
But neither Zarqawi nor the ex-Baathists hiding out in Syria ever professed allegiance to the current Iraqi government; nor do either of them lift the Iraqi people up on wings of a positive ideology... they simply kill them for daring to side with freedom. Nor do the people have any expressed grievance with the current government, which certainly is not oppressing them; the only grievance among some Iraqi Baathists is that they're no longer in charge, like they used to be.
Words have meanings; and those meanings are not created by dictionaries but merely chronicled (well or badly). The terms insurgency, revolt, and uprising have never been used to mean a case as in Iraq, where a foreign military coalition is fighting to protect the Iraqis from a foreign conglomeration of terrorists, while the remnants of the old, ousted government plink around the edges, hoping to sidle back into power.
The American Revolution was all three. It comprised folks who saw themselves and were seen by all as Englishmen. They first request more freedom, then begged for it, then demanded it -- only revolting from the crown when mad King George III refused even to hear their just demands. The American revolutionaries carefully nurtured the American people along by explaining the concepts of freedom and democracy and how they differed from tyranny and mob rule alike; they journeyed around the colonies preaching liberty and self-determination; and they were joined by at least a third of the entire population (about as many loyalists opposed them, and the rest were neutral and confused).
The Zarqawistas and the Saddamites have done none of this. They have not even tried. Therefore, Rumsfeld is correct: they don't deserve the honorable title of "insurgents." They are terrorists, aristos, and tatterdemalion baby-slayers, nothing more.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, December 1, 2005, at the time of 5:18 PM
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Tracked on December 3, 2005 11:45 AM
The following hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi
Dafydd, i still wonder about the timing. In less than two weeks there will be elections in Iraq--if the left (sinisteri) really want to see what is happening, why not wait that small period of time? Unless, of course, they might be trying to influence the outcome by making a bunch of withdrawal noises.
They may see this as their last chance to have Iraq turn out badly enough to net them gains in 2006. Is is possible that the Left could be so consciously evil?
The following hissed in response by: matoko kusanagi
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Is is possible that the Left could be so consciously evil?
Is a bear Catholic?
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at December 1, 2005 10:59 PM
The following hissed in response by: mik123
The whole thing reminds me of Vietnam. Remember that war? Nixon tried "Vietnamization" there, too. Reported all kinds of successes training ARVN troops. Never got too far.
As to your argument about the definition of insurgents, well, how can it be that they're not insurgents when the revolution was foisted upon them by foreigners if they're revolting against a government that was also foisted upon them by foreigners?
The following hissed in response by: yblitz
Democrat Honor List
The above hissed in response by: yblitz at December 7, 2005 10:52 PM
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