Who Lost Iraq?

Boy, Krugman’s pissed. Points the finger at Bremer’s strange focus in the immediate aftermath of pulling down that statue.

That was interesting reading. Foley is a CT guy I know of. He ran a nursing home chain in CT that provides healthcare to the elderly…I can see how that prepped him for reconstructing Iraq

Yeah, these Iraqis look pissed about their “lost” country.

I hear some people smile in wartime, too.

Yeah, someone tell these guys as well, with their full page note of gratitude in USA Today (you can see the PDF of their statement at their site)

Or the Iraqis who made these comments watching Bremer’s farewell speech:

After wards we sat for a while discussing different matters. The hall was busy and everyone was chatting and laughing loud. They had Al-Jazeera on (something I never managed to convince them to stop doing). Then suddenly Mr. Bremer appeared on TV reading his last speech before he left Iraq. I approached the TV to listen carefully to the speech, as I expected it to be difficult in the midst of all that noise. To my surprise everyone stopped what they were doing and started watching as attentively as I was.

The speech was impressive and you could hear the sound of a needle if one had dropped it at that time. The most sensational moment was the end of the speech when Mr. Bremer used a famous Arab emotional poem. The poem was for a famous Arab poet who said it while leaving Baghdad. Al-Jazeera had put an interpreter who tried to translate even the Arabic poem which Mr. Bremer was telling in a fair Arabic! “Let this damned interpreter shut up. We want to hear what the man is saying” One of my colloquies shouted. The scene was very touching that the guy sitting next to me (who used to sympathize with Muqtada) said “He’s going to make me cry!”

Then he finished his speech by saying in Arabic,”A’ash Al-Iraq, A’ash Al-Iraq, A’ash Al-Iraq”! (Long live Iraq, Long live Iraq, long live Iraq).

I was deeply moved by this great man’s words but I couldn’t prevent myself from watching the effect of his words on my friends who some of them were anti-Americans and some were skeptic, although some of them have always shared my optimism. I found that they were touched even more deeply than I was. I turned to one friend who was a committed She’at and who distrusted America all the way. He looked as if he was bewitched, and I asked him, “So, what do you think of this man? Do you still consider him an invader?” My friend smiled, still touched and said, “Absolutely not! He brought tears to my eyes. God bless him.”

Another friend approached me. This one was not religious but he was one of the conspiracy theory believers. He put his hands on my shoulders and said smiling, “I must admit that I’m beginning to believe in what you’ve been telling us for months and I’m beginning to have faith in America. I never thought that they will hand us sovereignty in time. These people have shown that they keep their promises.”

and here

Thank you united state of America for your great Job you done here .
Thank you coalitions forces for you brave work and supporting good.
Thank you all Brave mans ,who lost there life here ,your bloods will be the river of hope for us .
Thank you all good friends out there ,thank you for being with us all the way , minute by minute ,day by day ,living our sadness and happiness ,standing beside us ,encouraging us
Supporting us ,worry about us ,we always felt that you are there beside us ,with us .
Thank you all brave Iraqis who stand out there to fight for better future and freedom.
I will go now to celebrate with all people for this happy moments ,it has been long time since we celebrate .
Bye for now .

and here

Hail our true friends, the Great People of the United States of America; The Freedom giving Republic, the nation of Liberators. Never has the world known such a nation, willing to spill the blood of her children and spend the treasure of her land even for the sake of the freedom and well being of erstwhile enemies. The tree of friendship is going to grow and grow and bear fruit as sure as day follows night. And the people deep down at the bottom of their hearts, they appreciate. Make no mistake about that. The people have voted today, the pulse of the street is clear, without any hesitation I would give 90% of all Iraqis are hopeful and supportive of the new government, and this is a tacit indirect yes to the U.S. which has been the prime mover of all these events. This is what the foolish fail to understand. Why is this a different situation from that for example of a Vietnam? The answer is very simple: Because, the U.S. has achieved something very popular around here; which is the removal of the Saddam regime. Those who are really against the U.S. from amongst the Iraqis have been and remain a small minority; all other forms of resentment are simply disappointment and disgruntlement resulting from the discomfiture of the present situation and will simply disappear with progress and gradual improvement.

and here

Today is new day and it is a great day for all Iraqis and for freedom lovers. I have been waiting for a day like today for the last twenty two years I have lived here in the states. I as well as so many Iraqis thought we would never see a day like today. However, the day the coalitions decide to proceed toward Baghdad, I thought that is the beginning to a new era. Anyway that is that and we have to look forward and toward the future of Iraq. There are so much potential for Iraq as a country not to mention the people of Iraq. Now they have tasted some freedom they will never let go of it, I am certain of that. I am extremely optimistic about the new government and the new Iraq. I believe that Dr. Allawi will do something to defeat the terrorist and the ex-loyalist and that is because he has a plan (god knows what it is but I know he has a plan). I have spoken with people in Baghdad three times in the last two days and they are telling me, they already see changes on the streets of Baghdad, they are happier, they are optimistic, they are full of hope, and over all they are committed to defeating Al-Qaeda. I believe as long as the coalitions continue to help Allawi and his government, the future is bright and the end is near for Al-Zarqawi and his clans “Inshallaha”.

and here and here, etc.

Gosh, I’m convinced now. Thanks to the iron grip of Desslock’s and bago’s logic, I can now see that the occupation has been an unprecedented success. Thanks for posting pictures of two people celebrating and a blog by Iraqis on the occupation payroll. I’m sure their point of view clearly reflects that of the majority of the populace there.

There were people smiling and cheering and posing for pictures after Paul Martin won. Canada is saved!

The point of the article was that the administration turned Iraq into a right wing sandbox. Com’on, Desslock, wasn’t this the kind of cronyism you were blasting the liberals for? I can’t see how anyone can really defend putting a bunch of republican idealogues with no relevant experience in charge of Iraq.

I am not in favour of cronyism, to be sure. But I also certainly don’t think first-hand accounts of a situation are valueless - in fact, even though each person has a limited perspective, they are always the best way to understand a situation, and certainly more valuable than opinion pieces from partisan media outlets.

Concluding that first-hand accounts are meaningless, when they’re actually the only credible way to study historical events, is just crazy.

Where’s Waldo?

Anecdotes are the ONLY credible way to study historical events? Der, what?

Are you sure I didn’t say dinner jokes are the ONLY credible way to study historical events?? Maybe I said amusing yarns, or hyperbolic causeries?

Why don’t you stick with what I actually wrote. If you want a clearer iteration - first first-hand accounts are the most important source for historically interpreting any event. Individually, they don’t tell the whole story, which is why you should try to read as many as possible, as well as supplement those accounts with other primary sources of information.

It seems to me that well framed statistics would be more informative. For example, how much of the electricity supply has been restored during the occupation? How much did they promise in the beginning? If it falls short, then history will see at least that part of reconstruction effort as inadequate. First person accounts might illuminate those statistics, but they can be even more skewed than statistics (for example, I assume everyone you linked to have enough means that they can afford internet access, know enough English, etc)

Are you sure I didn’t say dinner jokes are the ONLY credible way to study historical events?? Maybe I said amusing yarns, or hyperbolic causeries?

Why don’t you stick with what I actually wrote.[/quote]

Amusing. Desslock feels someone has misquoted him, but Doug doesn’t even use a quote. I’m not sure why you think anyone should give you the benefit of the doubt when you’ve been so eager to split hairs in the past.

Concluding that first-hand accounts are meaningless, when they’re actually the only credible way to study historical events, is just crazy.

You would have to be quite the apologist to conclude from a fair and balanced assessment of first-hand accounts that the invasion of Iraq has been a success.

Where are the first-hand accounts of ill-equipped soliders who don’t understand what they’re doing over there? Where are the first-hand accounts of dead or displaced civilians? Where are the first-hand accounts of the army of contractors getting fat and rich off my tax dollars? Where are the first-hand accounts of all the moderate Arabs around the world who now hate the US? Where are the first-hand accounts of Iraqis sent to Abu-Ghraib? Where are the first-hand accounts of the family of Marine Lance Cpl. Manuel A. Ceniceros, the 853rd casualty who was announced yesterday by the Defense Department? Where are the first-hand accounts of people enjoying the way the world could have been if the Bush administration hadn’t committed such an egregious misuse of American power?



Well said! I completely agree. You really do have to put the blinders on to get this sort of spin.

I suppose that’s why we don’t see anyone start threads that tout what an amazing success Iraq has been. Instead we get Desslcok rushing in to spin doctor the obvious in thread after thread.

I think the reasons behind which threads get started vs which threads never get started have a lot more to do with the people in P&R than the issues or facts. Liberal dogpiles are nauseating to watch even when I’m in complete agreement issue-wise with the people doing the dogpiling.

To be fair, conservative dogpiles are equally nauseating.

Yeah, those conservative, right-wing, neocon, apologist dogpiles are much easier on my tummy too.

The fact of the matter, Nick, is that if someone says something extreme or crazy, there’s going to be a dogpile-sized response. Just ask Cleve.

Stefan waltzing into a thread with some blog entries as evidence that everything’s peachy keen in Iraq is extreme and crazy. If that doesn’t encourage a dogpile, liberal or otherwise, then I don’t know what does.


Yeah, those conservative, right-wing, neocon, apologist dogpiles are much easier on my tummy too.[/quote]

My point exactly. Thank you.