Last night, on the Mr. Bill show, we got a look at the mind of Mr. O'Reilly as he not only decided to indulge in Kool Aid but add a lovely word to the 'Culture Warrior' lexicon: defeat. Somehow I just can't see 'traditionalists' liking that idea nor looking to embrace it with any great degree of love and caring. He has decided to actually agree that questioning the Iraq war was 'right' with respect to Bill Moyers - Bill O'Reilly now *agrees* with that. He does state that in the 26 APR 2007 Talking Points Memo. One does question this from the very same man who, on 07 FEB 2007 put forward this:
Nearly every intelligence agency on this earth believed Saddam had an arsenal of deadly weapons. But poor WMD intelligence doesn't excuse the poor post Saddam planning by the Bush administration or the failure of the Iraqis to put aside ancient hatreds and work together for freedom. — That combination, poor planning with hatred on the part of the Iraqis might doom Iraq.Yes, nearly every INTEL Agency on the planet believed this, including UK, France, Russia, China, Israel. Given the stocks of weapons, the amount of raw material and the processing facilities that were THEN in-place at the end of Desert Storm, there was no question of Saddam's capability to research, make and produce chemical weapons if not more. In point of fact there are numerous citations that I rounded up in this post. This sort of information garnered AFTER a war in which individuals of the prior regime and the documents of that regime are available was something that NO INTEL Agency on the planet could accomplish in any way, shape or form. No *journalist* could either. The folks at Regime of Terror continue to hound down documents, interviews, citations and the such like so that a fuller understanding of what Saddam's regime *was* doing can be seen.
What Bill Moyers and other Leftists are looking for is to enforce some sort of 'perfect world' standard on wars, as seen in this post on Dan Froomkin encouraging journalists to break the code of standards and ethics at the WaPo, and giving terrorists a full panoply of rights after waging illegitimate war. Saddam aided such organizations and utilized them in attacks against the West and in other ways to have the West remove restrictions on trade with his regime. That lovely world got us to 9/11. I have some news for Bill O'Reilly: there is no such thing as absolute certainty on *anything* in the INTEL Community, just levels of confidence. If you wish a scientific rendition of facts so as to make something lock-solid, you may forget about it as that is not possible in this world of ours. NO INTEL on the planet is 100% right in all ways after it has been gathered and cast with other pieces of INTEL. That is a world of uncertainty and judging risks and the INTEL Communities do not, by and large, give much credence to the blustering and dissembling of tyrants, dictators and genocidal rulers.
For damned good reason: it can get you killed if you DO.
On post-war plans, none of them from DoD, CIA, State... you name the group and its pre-war plan would have fallen into complete shambles as the single, salient thing that they all depended upon was some part of the regime staying around. Anyone, really. I went over that problem with this post on why the 'oil drop' could not work. This has been *confirmed* by two journalistic sources that have been on the ground in Iraq: Michael Ware and John Burns. Particularly troubling is Mr. Ware's citation of the Iraqi WMD industry being *mothballed*, which more commonly refers to being stored someplace so that it can be restarted later. That, in point of fact is the most displeasing thing coming from Mr. Ware, beyond the harsh contradictions between his ideology and his experiences. From both of these men we get a view of a regime that disappeared and in a scatter-shot way, picked up its terrorizing again. That simple disappearance of governmental structure by those in power just upping and leaving, brought the entire thing down. Because we had such poor interior HUMINT in Iraq before the war, like most other Nations, we had no idea as to the truly horrific conditions Saddam was subjecting his people to. And Saddam had *videos* of torture and killing sessions made to distribute to the population so they KNEW what would happen to them if any crossed the regime.
Do that to a society for three decades and tell me what it looks like. Then include the harsh factionalization that is typical of such Arab regimes. No, I'm afraid that Mr. O'Reilly and the Left are a bit too caught up in decrying poor INTEL and that the journalistic segment was and IS doing nothing to remedy the problem. To date we still have no organization, no group, no news channel, no documentary, nothing that looks at the problems in Iraq as they came about and *why* the place was the particular kind of hellhole it was. Because doing so would show the bankruptcy of those that have attempted to paper over this with ideological venom, and the true vacancy of 20th century 'Realism' and our understanding of post-war situations. By not doing that the PRESS is at fault for not serving its educational and background purposes, to help place the present in context of the past. Instead ideological diatribes continue ever onwards and no one dares to actually address the problems of the Middle East without some sort of rose-colored lens arrangement.
But that was just the START of Mr. O'Reilly's inanity last night. Thank you to Hot Air for posting up the *other* segment that really takes the cake. In that segment Mr. Bill had on Ms. Rend Al-Rahim is the Executive Director and co-founder of the The Iraqi Foundation. Mr. Bill was ready to hit her with prime Defeatocrat work, with the recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll as ammunition. Now as that report is still under wraps at NBC and WSJ, what can be done is to look at the summary data at a place like Pollingreport - Iraq polls. Politicians love polls as do television commentators and such, because they can be used to 'gauge public opinion'. Thusly, Mr. Bill now feels it high time to add in his grand idea to 'Traditional Values' that *not* supporting democracy and helping people who had been under the boot of a tyrant for decades, IS a traditional value:
I really hate to say this, because I really wanted your country to have a shot at democracy, but I don't think its gonna happen. And if I were an Iraqi Citizen right now I would do everything I could to get out of there. Because I don't think the Iraqi People have stepped up enough to help the American forces control the fanatics and the killers. The Kurds in the north, they're doing very well, they banded together. And Kuwait in the south has a Shia-Sunni mixture and they're doing very well. But for some reason, Madam, the Iraqi People are putting up with this terrorism and its going to lead to even more terrorism, am I wrong?Yes, that 'Culture Warrior' also adds in the concept of comparing a small nation with limited territory, that you could easily lose in parts of Iraq to that of a much larger Nation. Perhaps he will next opine that Italians can't get the hang of stable government and he wouldn't be able to understand that because the Vatican CAN. Yes, those 2.4 million Kuwaitis living on 17,820 sq. km., which is about the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island, can show how easy it is to those 26.78 million Iraqis living on 437,072 sq. km, which is a bit larger than California. And Kuwait hasn't had a vicious and brutal dictator killing them off for 30 years, but did get the lovely opportunity to get INVADED by Saddam's Iraq. The Kurds to the north, in case it escaped Mr. Bill, happen to have a strong ethnic tradition of success and have had over a DECADE of safe haven from the tyrant Saddam.
I guess the rest of Iraq doesn't deserve that much time, according to Mr. Bill.
Then he is told that the People of Iraq are, indeed, stepping up to problems, informing on terrorists, leading soldiers to weapons caches and terrorists, and working hard and risking their lives to do so. From that Mr. Bill starts to opine some *more*:
O: All right. We see...[cross talk]... we hear that...Oh, my! Such a lovely example of an ISLAND Nation finally wanting to stop terrorism. Plus he pulls the old Maoist 'fish hiding in the school of fishes' bit. Of course it would be wonderful if there were a civil society that recognizes civil government, but Mr. Bill seems to have forgotten that for 30 years and more it was the rule of a dictator that worked hard to put people who had little in common together so as to play them off against each other and start breaking down communities and instill fear of government. Just what he wanted. Northern Ireland is so like that, isn't it? Dictatorial rule for decades on end by a single leader? No democracy or even memory of it there? Society torn apart and individuals videotaped as they were fed into plastic shredders feet first? Yes, Northern Ireland is just *so* like Iraq.
R: We have seen an improvement.
O: We hear that, but we see the body count every day. You know there are either more terrorists in Iraq than in any other country on the face of the earth has ever seen. Or the Iraqi People simply aren't doing what they should. As you know, no insurgency can exist unless the population tolerates it. That's what happened in Northern Ireland. It got to the point where the Northern Irish said 'no more' and it stopped. Here you got the Sunnis and the Shia, they hate each other, they're bombing each other. It doesn't seem to me that they're gonna stop. And we can't make them.
And some of that Mr. Bill even recognizes, but when he asks about how Saddam controlled the terrorism, even *I* can answer that: those that he did not invite in and train he simply executed via his multiple secret police organizations and the Republican Guards and various other paramilitaries that he had. His sons *also* had a few of their OWN secret police and paramilitaries, too. So abusing Iraq and using the Nation as a personal plaything was a 'family affair'.
Perhaps Mr. Bill just doesn't understand the concept of: Police State?
Really I have trouble describing the exact sort of leader that would order open execution of his political enemies, have that filmed and then run that on the nightly news and in theaters. One can find the videos out there, but I will not point anyone to such sickness and cruelty, lest they get a fine idea to start doing that *here*.
That works. Terror works. Terror works to destable... terror works to keep this madman in power. But look... you're an American citizen now. Look at it from our point of view, we're losing very fine Americans in the desert in a country that does not appreciate it. All the polls say the same thing. We got more than 10,000 wounded that are gonna feel those wounds the rest of their life. We have more than that... but I'm talkin about really severe wounds. You know... Americans say 'enough'. We gave you blood and treasure, we did everything we could and the Iraqi People are sittin there and watchin this garbage go on, and they're not joining with us in enough numbers to make a difference. And that is why you got 55% of the country goin 'get out'.Why yes, Mr. Bill, terrorism does work so long as it is applied day after day, year on year without end. Works quite well, actually. And the moment you give up, you give up your rights because you are too terrified to do anything. It is very strange to put that context out and then point to 55% of Americans who CANNOT TAKE IT. Then Mr. Bill goes on to pontificate a bit on defeat, so that it can be excused:
Its most serious for the Iraqi People. See, we'll recover from this. It was the *wrong* battlefield. It was. And there's no gettin around that. We made a mistake. Alright. But when we pull back as the next President... Bush will keep them there as long as he's in office. That'll happen. But the next President isn't going to do it, Madam Ambassador. And unless the Iraqi People get the urgency of the situation, there gonna be a lot more dead people in the street.Retreat?
Sometimes you have to retreat, regroup and come back.
Just like we did for South Vietnam?
Have some Kool Aid, Mr. Bill. You deserve it.
On the day of 26 APR 2007, Mr. Bill is giving up. That is 1498 days since the start of fighting in Iraq. Time to take a look at wars in the past that Mr. Bill *could* have supported to their end, which I take from my previous article on Wars long, wars short: Quasi-War with France, The War of 1812, Mexican-American War, actual *war* part of the Philippine-American War but not the insurgency part, The Boxer Rebellion, World War I for the active US fighting, World War II, The Korean War, The Gulf War.
Now for those that he could NOT have gotten through with American blood and treasure being spent...
The Revolutionary War. So sorry, Mr. Bill, you would be a Loyalist... or turncoat.
The Barbary Wars. Islam over O'Reilly!
Northwest Indian War. Running back to civilization already?
The US Civil War. Bill O'Reilly, Copperhead.
Westward Indian Wars, cumulative. How the West wasn't worth it, I guess.
The full Philippine-American War. Islam over O'Reilly!
The Vietnam War. Groovy, huh?
And as I have had to go over casualty figures for a few things, lets take a look at where we stand, which is 3335, according to the Iraq Coalition Casualty site, using only US casualties up to the 26th, which compares with the following:
Alcohol related vehicle deaths - about 17,000 per year. All voluntary.
All automobile deaths - about 42,000 per year.
South Fork dam collapse of 1889 - 2,200 dead.
The 1906 Earthquake and fire in San Francisco - between 700 and 3,000 dead.
1918 Spanish Influenza - 500,000 dead in the US *alone*.
Peshtigo, Wisconsin fire of 1851 - 1,500 dead... which is a lot for the size of the Nation then.
Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood of 1881 - 2,200 dead.
Galveston Hurricane of 1900 - between 6,000 and 8,000 dead.
Steamboat Sultana explosion of 1865 - 1,547 dead, most of those wounded Union veterans returning home.
Septicemia, year 2000 - 31,224 dead. The #9 cause of overall death in 2000.
From the NIH at the Septicemia page: "Appropriate treatment of localized infections can prevent septicemia."
Yes, clean your cuts and scrapes as you can die from having the infect. In large numbers, every single year, Americans die, voluntarily, from neglect. Neglecting themselves. And not doing what they should have learned to do at age 5. Absolutely voluntary, not cleaning one's cuts and scrapes. I am sure quite a few people do that all the time.
The certainly do die from it.
And the estimated cost of the war is $456 billion for FY 07. Sounds like a lot, huh?
That is LESS than the Merchandise Trade Deficit the US ran up importing more than we export, which was $750 billion (thanks to the CIA Factbook). With an economy of just about $13 trillion. So add Iraq and the Trade Deficit TOGETHER and you are still not at 10% of the US economy. And with a 3.4% growth rate the US added another $442 billion dollars to the size of the economy during 2006. Yes, you read that right: the 3.4% economic expansion basically OFFSETS the cost of the war in Iraq. That 3.4% is *conservative* and may actually be HIGHER by a fair margin.
So there you have the Iraq War from Mr. O'Reilly's point of view.
A war that is offset by economic growth, that has so few casualties that a simple 10% of Americans taking better care of themselves would offset it per year, every year, and a length longer than most modern conflicts, but not all... and nothing compared to some of the things the US has gone through previously.
Obviously way too much for America.
Now about that Avian Flu... shall we surrender now?