War News for Today. From the Today in Iraq blog. Each item is preceded there by the phrase "Bring 'em on," a pissed-off reminder that all this carnage is happening because of one determined and barely adult man (and many misguided enablers such as the "liberal hawk" contingent, who egged on the war). This is reposted here because the regular media would have you believe the California fires are "today's top story," rather than a frighteningly organized offensive that caused our troops to actually vacate their headquarters. In military terms this is called losing ground, despite the administration's attempt to spin it as victory. Sorry to be a politiical bore, but I think all this needs to be documented and discussed as much as possible. I get as numb as you probably do hearing all this disaster recited, and I think the bad guys want that (meaning our bad guys); nevertheless, not to recite it seems worse.

Two US soldiers wounded in firefight near Fallujah.

Two US soldiers wounded in bomb ambush near Balad. (Second-to-the-last paragraph of this story.)

US soldier killed, two wounded in mortar attack at Abu Gharib prison near Baghdad.

US troops reportedly open fire after bomb ambush in Fallujah. Four Iraqis killed.

Mortar rounds fired into US administration compound in central Baghdad.

Two US soldiers killed, two wounded in bomb ambush in Baghdad.

Suicide bomber kills 18 at Red Cross headquarters in Baghdad.

Ten wounded, including seven Iraqi policemen, in bombing at western Baghdad police station.

Suicide bomber wounds seven at Al-Shab police station in Baghdad.

Three Iraqi policemen killed, ten US soldiers wounded in bombing at Al-Elam police station in Baghdad's Khark district.

Al-Sayidah police station in Baghdad struck by car bomb.

- tom moody 10-28-2003 7:27 am

this whole "they hate us because we're free" line has been galling all along, and now it's sounding like a sad, thin, plaintive lie.
- sally 10-28-2003 7:36 pm

You guys just don't get it. The increase in attacks actually proves that the U.S. is winning because it demonstrates the desperation of the opposition.

And in unrelated news the White House announced that Yogi Berra has been brought on board as Chief Administration Logician.
- jim 10-28-2003 7:58 pm

If Bush was in therapy (if only), his shrink would be saying, "George, you keep using the word 'desperate.' Have you considered that maybe you're using the word so much because that's how you feel?"

According to Robert Fisk, the US used to have a five mile security perimeter around Baghdad airport. It's now down to 2 miles. Planes take off using evasive corkscrew maneuvers once airborne. Christ, that rocket hit the hotel 3 floors down from where Wolfowitz was sleeping. The man was in his p.j.s!
How can the press keep repeating Bush's BS?

- tom moody 10-28-2003 8:12 pm

- jim 10-28-2003 9:38 pm

No, no, no! Desperation is for the desperate. For Bush it's a matter of urgency.
- steve 10-29-2003 4:07 pm

Not sure where to stick this rant by Steve Gilliard so I'll put it here. It's about the liberal hawks putting their trust in Bush. Now they're saying "Bush deluded himself and us too" about what was obviously (to us antiwar types) a sham rationale with great potential for disaster:

Atrios points out a post by Matt Yglesias about how the Bush Administration deluded themselves and the American public into going to war in Iraq.

I'm sorry, but that's a bunch of horseshit. They lied. They lied like teenagers caught with a bottle of Jack and a half dressed girl between their thighs. They lied about Saddam's intentions, his capabilities and his agressive posture and we knew it at the time. Saddam didn't want war and didn't do anything, or much of anything to provoke it. He'd buried his air force and didn't trust his commanders to have chemical weapons.

What drives me nuts about Matt's bland statement about how because us liberals hated Bush, we ignored their arguments about how removing Saddam was a good thing. Which is even more horseshit. There was no good argument for war. None. Iraq was a distraction when we had real enemies in Afghanistan. Saddam couldn't trust more than 12,000 of his 600,000 man police force and Army. Even the Republican Guard had turned on him in the mid-90's.

Now, certainly, Chalabi spun a tale which would have Scherazade green with envy, but Bush and his cronies not only lied by comission, but omission as well. They suggested tales of frightening drones coming to bomb London like it was 1944 and handoffs of nukes to Al Qaeda. Fantasies so lurid, Larry Flynt wouldn't have touched them. And none, in the end, true.

What we said in the run up to the war was simple: once you invade, you open Pandora's Box. It wasn't about hating Bush. I didn't like Reagan, but going into Lebanon was based on good, if naive, motives. Iraq was the absolute opposite. Chalabi was the Iraqi version of Jorge Mas Canosa, the exile who thought he'd replace Castro because the CIA liked him. Anything from his mouth was a lie.

But what Matt, and Josh Marshall and the rest of the pro-war crew didn't get, and it was as evident as googling Iraqi history, was that any occupation would run smack into Iraqi nationalism. That unless there was a parallel, internal resistance movement, our invasion would be seen as an occupation. Also, many of Saddam's decisions were not based on mental illness, but the reality of Iraq's strategic situation. The Kurds had acted against Iraq's territorial integrity, as had the Shia. This wasn't some random threat, but a real, strategic concern. A concern which had been a problem since the 1960's, before Saddam came on the scene.

Not liking Bush is one thing. Questioning his policies is quite another. Iraq just didn't make sense. The French, who were going to participate as late as January, even sent the Clemenceau towards the Gulf, realized what a mistake this policy was going to be. They didn't trust the follow-on planning. And said so. Resulting in drawing all the heat when in fact, the Germans had the far more dogmatic position.

Now, we have too few troops, declining morale, and a growing resistance movement and the best we get from Bush is his standard "we gonna get them terraist sum uh bitches" speech, one belied by his sneaking into Iraq in the dark, turning out the lights in Baghdad and running away two hours later. Which says everything you need to know about security in Iraq.

The war was always wrong, always destined to fail. Those who thought we could impose democracy or even a non-Saddam Iraq were wrong and it's nice to see them say so. Even if they had to wait months to see the folly of their ways.

- tom moody 11-30-2003 9:44 am

i read that late last night, too. how could have any reasonable lefty not seen their throw any rationale at the wall and see what sticks policy to sway opinion towards their point of view as evidence of their mendacious tendencies.

heres my not very original reverse flypaper position. the invasion of iraq while damaging to the US standing in the world has handcuffed our ability in the near term to engage in unilateral expeditions as our resources are preoccupied. this does not bode well for our counter-terrorism efforts but will hopefully keep us out of trouble for a while. at least until that next major attack on US soil when we can look forward the martial lawyers stepping up. we had to destroy the freedom to save it.
- dave 11-30-2003 5:50 pm

Agreed on both points. A related question is, will Rovean political considerations--merely getting Bush releected according to the existing rules--trump the world-domination fantasies of crazy-like-a-fox Mountain Man Dick Cheney? If things get desperate (that is, the minute the Shiites decide it's time for us to go), I'm afraid a "little incident" might be necessary to remind us how much we need strong leaders. Not saying Cheney & Co. "caused" 9/11 but it sure helped them, and they seem quite capable of suspending moral judgment for what they see as the greater good.

Also, how about that "Thanksgiving surprise"? The media sure lapped it up.
- tom moody 11-30-2003 6:18 pm

didnt pay much attention to it but i guess its still being bandied about in the mediasphere. here are the talking points gleaned from meet the depressed on tv this morning.

1) self important media asks itself was it ethical not to report on the trip before. was that lending yourself to being used for propaganda by the bushies. in my mind that question in this instance is unimportant and in fact evades the central question as to what was the point of the visit. i find the visit a wasteful exploitative folly but i dont begrudge the security efforts. obviously the need for excessive security underlines the current level of chaos that the policy has wrought.

2) was good for troop morale on the ground in iraq and that trumps cynicism over bushies intentions for the visit to iraq.
after all, the troops are living saints, at least while theyre still of use.

i think bush tries to have it both ways in iraq. he will try to make it seem like we are pulling back but actually change very little on the ground. at the same time he will say we are standing firm while looking for the nearest exit. josh marshalls last post touches on much of this. as you said this dicotomy exposes the split between the rovians and the neocons. not sure either will emerge as a clear winner, rather the ambiguity will serve to cloud their intentions, a comfortable fallback strategy for the republicans.

and yes, the media are whores, or so ive heard it said.

- dave 11-30-2003 7:50 pm

I'm a Canadian girl who recently spent 2 months in NYC, and watched C-span nightly while I was there. The best stuff was Rumsfeld trying to convince senators to fork over the 85 billion. This was before they finked out and didn't show up for the vote. One of the things that surprised and appalled me most was how little _anybody_ seemed to know about conditions on the ground in Iraq. Rumsfeld included. There was a phase of public bumbling around there with bad optics. The friggin' turkey dinner stunt is a pretty powerful antidote to that optic and INFURIATING cause it's not like Bush has anymore information about what it's like on the ground in Iraq than he had before he went. arrrg.
- sally mckay 11-30-2003 8:28 pm

I'm calling Bush's visit a "layover at the Baghdad airport".
- mark 12-01-2003 6:34 am

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