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Iraqi violence down

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Good to hear. We can probably put the "100 deaths a day," "the country is in chaos," and other assorted sensational rhetoric to rest.

Iraq still has problems and a long way to go, but this kind of news is always good to hear. I know some here will consider news like this to be a threat, but so be it. Just take the good with the bad, the bad with the good, then make your opinions from there.

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Yes, it's good to hear. Now if we can just keep pouring another $100B per year into the country while maintaining 50 bases there in perpetuity, we can probably be assured of solidifying these gains and perhaps even increasing them.

The threat of our policy in Iraq has never been that we will fail there. Korea was a limited failure and we survived. Vietnam was an absolute failure and we survived. The threat of Iraq has always been that we will succeed there and then use that success to convince ourselves that invasionary intervention remains the right thing to do or, worse, that it is what God wants us to do.

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Wow, "only" 500 odd deaths last month. Let's all celebrate and be happy that le surge worked. Never mind that this all could have been prevented if dubya and his merry band of clowns had taken post occupation more seriously than throwing out the first pitch of a baseball game (of course if no invasion had taken place, even better but that's for another topic). After all that bloodshed and senseless lives lost and pain caused, then these clowns decided to do le surge which was suggested prior to invasion? All this was worth it?

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Well, we can see who is threatened by the information so far...

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The upcoming provincial elections, scheduled for October but likely to be postponed until November so possible violence doesn't color the US presidential elections, are expected to make the elected government a more inclusive body. This has created the expectation that the Iraqis can solve their differences in the legislative arena rather than through violence on the streets.

Yet it will also bring legislators representing the interests of a greater number of constituencies into a body where a more narrow group has thus far shown no willingness to compromise, an essential element of democratic, as opposed to dictatorial, forms of government. Remember the uproar over their proposed six-week summer holiday last year? It hardly mattered since they weren't accomplishing anything anyway.

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Signs are emerging that Iraq has reached a turning point. Violence is down, armed extremists are in disarray, government confidence is rising and sectarian communities are gearing up for a battle at the polls rather than slaughter in the streets.

Just wanted to turn the screws a little more... :)

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Just wanted to turn the screws a little more... :)

You can really turn 'em up when the Iraqis decide things are going so swell they can handle it themselves and reject the security pact which would extend the stay of US troops in their country. "We won, the libs said we couldn't do it, but by golly we showed 'em and that made it worth every penny!"

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The threat of Iraq has always been that we will succeed there and then use that success to convince ourselves that invasionary intervention remains the right thing to do or, worse, that it is what God wants us to do.

I don't think so, SezWho. Madeleine Albright, in a recent piece entitled "The End of Intervention?" which addresses an audience who has enough grasp of the issues they don't need to rely on defenses such as "You wish Saddam was still alive!" argues convincingly the legacy of Operation Iraqi Freedom will be a great reluctance to undertake any type of intervention for fear of igniting civil strife which proves difficult to contain. Nobody wants to get stuck with this type of situation on their hands.

It's sad because the post-Cold War world was just grappling with such contingencies from a non-ideological perspective. Third world leaders had dropped the knee-jerk "imperialism" response which has now been resurrected owing to the fact Iraq conveniently has large oil reserves. As she wrote:

Some governments will oppose any exceptions to the principle of sovereignty because they fear criticism of their own policies. Others will defend the sanctity of sovereignty unless and until they again have confidence in the judgment of those proposing exceptions.

At the heart of the debate is the question of what the international system is. Is it just a collection of legal nuts and bolts cobbled together by governments to protect governments? Or is it a living framework of rules intended to make the world a more humane place?

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SezWho,

In 2004 I was struck when I read this (on salon.com natch!) and have referred to it several times since: Since the 1960s, the left has been cast as the faction of idealists, while the right has laid claim to skeptical realism. The left believed itself to be fighting against the odds to make the world a better place, while the right considered itself a bulwark against naive attempts at social engineering that failed to account for the incorrigible aspects of human nature.

[T]he scheme to "liberate" Iraq cast everyone against type, and in the scramble to construct a new rhetorical response to the fantasy of a forcibly democratized Iraq..."

One thing the right overlooked was the role of the outsider in such an endeavor. Years ago I recall reading a book about the two slain civil rights leaders from up nawth who were murdered in the south. Prior to being send there they had received extensive training on how to empower the natives rather than making them dependent on your expertise for enfranchisement.

It was a valuable lesson which nobody seemed to have considered prior to the kick-off of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Hence we see posts here waxing on about bringing the undeniably long-suffering Iraqi people freedom. You can give them tangibles such as food and medicine, but freedom "no." That they have to do for themselves and in an environment where those in power have the chance to make easy money by pocketing the oil proceeds.

It would be nice, not to mention reassuring, if the right make an honest appraisal of what went wrong, which cost us dearly in both blood and treasure, rather than dismissing the years of bad news as "sensational headlines from the liberal media."

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"Signs are emerging that Iraq has reached a turning point. Violence is down, armed extremists are in disarray, government confidence is rising and sectarian communities are gearing up for a battle at the polls rather than slaughter in the streets."

Ohhh, where's "Sarge" ??? Must be in the kitchen preparing dozens of dozens of "crow pies" for all his good buddies here at JT. Give em hell Sarge !!! Ya told em so !

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Gee, ya know what, I am so ashamed of myself. Why, with all this glorious news of Iraqi violence down, people getting together and singing kumbaya, I along with others should be ecstatic that peace is finally here for good in Iraq.

Now, since we can all agree, pro and anti war alike, that Iraq violence is down and all is good, can we please starting an immediate withdrawal of coalition forces and let these people run their own darned country? Oh, what was that? It's still too fragile? Iraqi forces "need more time" to train? Over 5 years after the fact?

No end in sight indeed.

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I'm glad for the improvements in security.

Now bring the troops home. < :-)

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No matter where it is, it's good to see a decrease in violence. However, it's hard to get too excited about the decrease in violence in Iraq and then look at the headline directly below it on the lower right-hand corner of the page:

"Taliban take over villages outside Kandahar"

Global "whack-a-mole" is not going to stop terrorism but it will bankrupt America.

Taka

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"I'm glad for the improvements in security. Now bring the troops home"

What?! Who do you think is responsible for the improvements in security, and what do you think will happen if they leave NOW?

"Global "whack-a-mole" is not going to stop terrorism"

Heck, you might as well call police catching criminals "whack-a-mole," Taka.

"it will bankrupt America"

You mean China, right?

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The trends of the past few months have indeed been heartening. Here's hoping a virtuous and self-reinforcing cycle has set in.

In the meantime, Sunnis who once shunned politics are gearing up to contest provincial elections this fall.

The Sunni's partial boycott of the 2005 elections robbed them of political clout. Hopefully this fall's election will correct this imbalance and give the incoming government greater legitimacy in the eyes of Sunnis and provide them with a political outlet for grievances that have previously found expression in acts violence.

Despite the signs of progress, recent opinion surveys show that more than 60 percent of the American public opposes the war and believes it will end badly.

The presidential election could well turn on whether the positive trend in Iraq can be sustained and the degree to and speed with which the American public's - but particularly independents' - perceptions of the prospect for success there can change. Accordingly Dem and Republican partisans will be working overtime trying to shape such perceptions.

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When the violence was high I remember many of the anti-war crowd saying that Iraqis were so barbaric that only a dictator could stop them from killing each other. I remember them saying that Iraq needed a man like Saddam to prevent civil war. I disagreed with them then and I think to a large extent their position is being proven to be false now.

Bush's blinders regarding Iraqi violence are now slowly transferring to the anti-war crowd who refuse to look at any reduction in violence. Good for Taka and daydream for being able to at least mention the reduction of violence as a positive thing. Obviously Iraq has a long way to go but it's nice to see some don't consider positive news to be such as threat.

Betzee, I'm sure other like-minded individuals will be posting their propaganda soon so you'll have more ammo to cut and paste, but I don't envy your task. You're going to have to work hard to spread the misery on this one.

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Great! If violence in Iraq is down, we can leave, go to Afghanistan, and begin winning the war! Sweet!

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"Well, we can see who is threatened by the information so far..."

And who was that, superlib? Musta blinked and missed it.

Heh, if this article wasn't reporting what you wanted to hear, I'm sure you'd be joining in the choruses of "tha-AP" for the articles' lack of quality.

Obviously, less deaths is good news. But another 530 reported corpses isn't anything to be braying about, so the pro-war camp should remain very quiet IMO.

When the only way to cease the rampant blood-letting we saw in 2006 is a huge occupation army, the building of massive networks of blast walls to segragate rival communities and of course, the unresolved or unresolvable thousand year power struggle between Sunnis and Shiites still in full flow, I doubt that other than sustaining a permanent presence and at the current levels in Iraq, for the foreseable future, continuing this trend will be difficult if not impossible.

I note this upbeat article also comfortably ignores the deadlocked security pact that would basicaly give the US government the above mentioned (and what it really wants) no matter who wins the 2008 US elections.

This pact puts the US government, and the Iraqi government that it installed at logaheads with the people, who really don't want the humiliation of a permanent American presence in their lands. Watch al-Sadr take full advantage of this situation to work the fundies into a screaming pitch.

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When the violence was high I remember many of the anti-war crowd saying that Iraqis were so barbaric that only a dictator could stop them from killing each other.

And I remember you ranting about the liberal media and blood porn. Well wonders never cease; the media is only biased when you can't accept the information it provides!

It's good to read the Iraqis making demands on their government. Those displaced, mainly Sunnis, are demanding it provide security so they can return to their homes in West Baghdad without fear of being terrorized by Shi'ite militas. This is something Petreaus said was not possible a few months ago.

But if the government can do this, why do they need us? The details of the security pact have not been made public, how's that for democracy? But according to rumors, it predictably requests US military personnel not be subjected to Iraqi law. Rather like the pact the British foisted on Iraq in 1930 which did not lead to stability owing to nationalist resentment, something never acknowledged by the neocons.

There's also allegedly a provision that the US, not the Iraqis, will determine whether Iraq has been attacked. I'm sure an Iraqi concern is that they would get dragged into a US war with Iran.

The American public's perception is heavily influenced by the number of US casualities. Clearly that's gone down just as the war has receded in importance. I don't think the election will turn on Iraq in part because it's likely both parties, contrary to claims, will end up following the same path (which will be partly dictated by the Iraqis since they are now "standing up," including to us).

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Surely you can give us some lip service about the positive developments in Iraq, Betzee. I mean I'd be pretty crazy to think that that's something you're simply unable to bring yourself to do. :)

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I note this upbeat article also comfortably ignores the deadlocked security pact that would basicaly give the US government the above mentioned (and what it really wants) no matter who wins the 2008 US elections.

I know! We hardly see any news about the security agreement while the daily headlines from Iraq only speak of the progress. It's like we're ignoring the pact entirely while the media is blasting us with nothing but good news. If the media were more honest they'd stop throwing the success in Iraq in our faces and start to actually report on something negative for a change.

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"If the media were more honest they'd stop throwing the success in Iraq in our faces and start to actually report on something negative for a change."

I was only pointing out the journalist completely missing out a section of current affair Iraq in his upbeat report. As I said, you are ofter critisizing, I quote, "tha-AP".

The article even starts with what the writer sees as the emergence of another "turning point" when the Reality of the situation is far from peachy.

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Say it ain't so Superlib, your claim not to read my posts was a lie!

Surely you can give us some lip service about the positive developments in Iraq, Betzee.

Well I didn't resort to cutting and pasting the quotations favorable to my vantage point, in contrast to you. You did pay lip service to "a long road ahead," can you elaborate what's on that road and how we can best navigate it?

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In fact superlib, your whole presence on this thread stems from these imaginary people that you claim hate "good news" from Iraq.

Some of us still find 532 cadavers in a month a little difficult to swallow as "good news".

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Heh, the "long road ahead" I imagine is several huge permanent bases in Iraq, whilst the ethnic factions the make up Iraq continue to slug it out around the bases for the next hundred odd years.

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Madverts,

The surge has worked......get over it.

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Adverts and Betzee...when you get the blinders from Bush, be sure to wipe off the "GWB" written on the side.

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Sailwind,

"The surge has worked......get over it."

You call 532 corpses in one month - portrayed as "good news" - as being a success? Christ, if you're setting the bar that low you could probably find yoursekf a job-for-life in the French government!

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Sorry....setting the bar that low for achievement

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SuperLib,

I think the only thing we can really see is who is offended by your use of the information.

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Sailwind,

Don't you think it's possible that al-Sadr, who does not want that security pact signed, is holding his powder to create the conditions that will enable the Iraqi govenment not to sign the proposed security treaty (which the citizens of neither country have been able to see) with the US? I mean, under these circumstances, that would be the best strategy for him to follow.

As Iraqi national Ali Allawi, cousin of the man installed as PM prior to the 2005 election, observes:

It is only now that Iraqis have woken up to the possibility that Iraq might be a signatory on a long-term security treaty with the U.S., as a price for regaining its full sovereignty. Iraqis must know its details and implications. How would such an alliance constrain Iraq's freedom in choosing its commercial, military and political partners? Will Iraq be obliged to openly or covertly support all of America's policies in the Middle East? These are issues of a vital nature that cannot be brushed aside with the Iraqi government's platitudes about "protecting Iraqi interests". A treaty of such singular significance to Iraq cannot be rammed through with less than a few weeks of debate. Otherwise, the proposed strategic alliance will most certainly be a divisive element in Iraqi politics. It will have the same disastrous effect as the treaty with Britain nearly eighty years ago.

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/87485/?ses=5ff050604c64142c5562027ca680a1d7

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Madverts

You call 532 corpses in one month - portrayed as "good news" - as being a success?

Agreed, miss the days of mass suicide bombings that were happening on a daily occurence.

Christ, if you're setting the bar that low you could probably find yoursekf a job-for-life in the French government!

Not really into a job with a government that sold Saddam Exocet missiles and Mirage Fighters.

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Adverts and Betzee...when you get the blinders from Bush, be sure to wipe off the "GWB" written on the side.

Actually you seem to need them yourself. Like GWB, there's lots of shrill shrieking from your vantage point of the safe sidelines. Questions, or unfavorable news, force you to resuscitate Saddam (just as GWB relies on 9/11) to deflect from your respective inabilities to answer. You claim there's a long road ahead, but cannot name a single point on that road. 'Nuff said.

On a serious note, I would like some of those who've cautioned against the consequences of a "precipitious withdrawal" to identify the conditions under which we know that phase has passed.

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"I think the only thing we can really see is who is offended by your use of the information."

Sez,

I think offense is almost too strong a word. Almost.

On one hand we have superlib who isn't a bad bloke, but who's refusing to admit the policy he supported in the hope of saving human lives, is actually costing a great many more of them.

And then we have your basic Bush supporter - he feels proud that their insistent, offensive, pre-emptive Iraq policy has only caused 532 recorded deaths this month, therefore the surge, and the pre-emptive doctrine, is clearly working....

...heh, these people continue to amaze me.

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"Agreed, miss the days of mass suicide bombings that were happening on a daily occurence."

Do you? That's quite sad for you. Sadly, suicide bombings are still happening and will continue to happen - as the US wakes up the real tax-payer cost of supporting colonialism.

"Not really into a job with a government that sold Saddam Exocet missiles and Mirage Fighters."

Hey, you're currently working for a govermnent that once sold lot's of nasty stuff to Saddam, supported his killing of half a million Iranians right down to satellite positions and choppers to better use WMD's on the persians, so why make a point about the French?

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Betzee,

I think we are going at this from two different directions. The Albright comment seems to apply to the legacy of this war, succeed or fail. I am suggesting that the greater danger is success because it will empower future interventions.

If you think interventions such as the one we have undertaken in Iraq are positive actions that we should replicate in the future, I would disagree. I don't think it's the case that we should never intervene. However, I think that we should be more cautious--and more honest--in intervention and, regardless of what the rest of the world may think, it will embolden us.

"After all, the US almost single handedly won WW1 and WW2, didn't we?" "It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it." These attitudes are not going to go away and a PNAC-like organization somewhere will always be advancing schemes for action.

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Betzee,

...it will embolden us.

It, a win, will embolden us.

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Actually the only ones that held this together these long years to even have this discussion today were the American troops on the ground.

Those troops continue to amaze me.

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"After all, the US almost single handedly won WW1 and WW2, didn't we?" "It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it." These attitudes are not going to go away and a PNAC-like organization somewhere will always be advancing schemes for action.

Yes, LBJ used them to escalate the Vietnam War. Platitudes essentially, which are evident in many posts (representing the spectrum of viewpoints).

But I don't think the American public will easily be sold on another such "pre-emptive" venture. This is not the result of more refined critical thinking skills but rather the uncertainty of the results. This has lasted a bit longer than "six weeks or six months." And wait 'til we have to start paying it off.

It's tremendously heartening to see the Iraqis starting to stand up and make demands on their government. This may disappoint some who relish the "savior" role (which those engaged in the civil rights movement were disabused of quickly). But that's a sign their polity is maturing. They don't need the Superlibs, who've never set a foot in their country or probably the Muslim Middle East, thinking of ways "to make it better." Incidentally, did he ever come up with anything?

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"Those troops continue to amaze me."

Then surely you'd be happier seeing these servicemen/women drunk, laid and parlez'd than you would seeing them chasing the futile fantasies of neo-conservative madmen?

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Then surely you'd be happier seeing these servicemen/women drunk, laid and parlez'd than you would seeing them chasing the futile fantasies of neo-conservative madmen?

Nah....Rather seem them do what the headline says

Iraqi violence down

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SezWho,

Yesterday someone forwarded this to me, excerpts from GWB's remarks from his London stop. It represents all that's wrong with the debate on intervention, issues which Madeleine Albright raises in her piece. Instead opponents were labeled selfish, racist, mentally ill, etc. mainly by those who'd never cracked a history book and were unable to engage the issues without name calling.

Will “freedom” transform the Middle East? “Some would say freedom is not a universal value. Some would say that maybe it’s only Western people who can self-govern. Maybe it’s only, you know, white-guy Methodists who are capable of self-government. I reject that notion! I think that is the ultimate form of political elitism!”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4152488.ece

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"....Rather seem them do what the headline says"

OK - we'll stick with only 532 dead Iraqi's this month due to US military intervention as being "good news", neh?

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OK - we'll stick with only 532 dead Iraqi's this month due to US military intervention as being "good news", neh?

Any sustained drop in violence is good news period. I don't relish in carnage to prove some idiotic political point that Bush shouldn't have invaded in the first place, but he did and since were stuck with that decision as a world community I'd rather see a drop in violence and Iraq a success instead of walking over enough Iraqi dead corpses so you can post 'Bush Bad'.

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An I'd rather be proven wrong.

But as of up 'till now, I'm not. Frankly, a "sustained drop in violence" is a hell of a piggy-lipstick on "only" 532 corpses. When it's 0 or nearabouts every month, then I'll be cheering with you.

Now, did you have anything to say regarding the article, or my post, or will more flag-waving ensue? ;)

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Nah, article says it all.

Iraqi violence down Tuesday 17th June, 06:30 AM JST

BAGHDAD — Signs are emerging that Iraq has reached a turning point. Violence is down, armed extremists are in disarray, government confidence is rising and sectarian communities are gearing up for a battle at the polls rather than slaughter in the streets.

It will get down to 0 or nearabouts soon enough. Thanks to the surge you opposed by the way.

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Nice back-track. I've already aired my thoughts on the article so please feel free to attack them, rather than baseless ranting. I wonder, in fact, why you didn't earlier, instead of making the usual Iraq revisionists retort that anybody offering dissent would "relish in carnage" to "prove a political point".

I didn't oppose the surge - I thought it was another in a long line of excersises in futility. Which it is.

Unless the US tax-payer wants to continue "the surge" for another 100 years...and there, methinks not.

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Adverts, I think it's fair to talk about progress when it happens. And I think we can define what's happened in the last 6 months in Iraq as progress, especially when it comes to violence. I think you can understand what I'm talking about.

But it is worrisome to know that there are people out there who are threatened by news of progress from Iraq. And I think "threatened" is an appropriate word to use. To me it is the same as Bush or Cheney giving their rosy statements amid the violence. I'm just waiting for Betzee to tell us that the coalition is in its last throes. ;) In my opinion there really is no difference.

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sailwind,

you said the same thing about vietnam no doubt. five years into this war and there is still no way out. Its a failure, it has been from the moment bush lied the country into an invasion, you wingers never talk about the missing WMDs. Or the Africa nuclear link to Iraq.

Bush has spent a trillion dollars so sailwind and others can claim to be proud of 500 deaths this month to be added to the one million already dead.

Some things are just beyond amazing.

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Superlib - what coalition are you talking about?

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From Betzee...

"As Iraqi national Ali Allawi, cousin of the man installed as PM prior to the 2005 election, observes:"

"Yesterday someone forwarded this to me..."

"As she wrote:"

"In 2004 I was struck when I read this"

"http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article4152488.ece"

So far I've got you up to 5 cut and paste opinions, Betzee. I'm betting you'll have 8-10 when it's all said and done, especially when the new countermeasures are handout out online tomorrow. Right now you're fighting for your own relevance.

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Superlib, Betzee has been accurate, succinct and up with the news all along.

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Ahhh, at last a down to earth post. I'm buying the saké.

It is progress, I agree. My fear is that is is not a sustainable progress here in reality due to the simple cost of occupying a nation with that many troops. Also, the walls between the communities really doesn't fit my understanding of freedom and democracy.

Some people are just far too quick to jump up and shout "look, only 532 dead this month!! We're "winning"!! Vive la surge!!

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SuperLib,

Who do you think is threatened by news of progress from Iraq? It's easy to insinuate. It's a little more difficult when you have to be specific and make a case.

Progress in Iraq is a good thing. A decrease in deaths is a good thing. The Sunnis taking it to al-Qaeda in Iraq is a good thing. Al-Sadr still not fighting US troops is a good thing. Fragile political gains are a good thing. Where's the threat?

However, none of those things mean that the surge has worked or that continued application of force will bring about the desired results. Palliatives are not usually cures.

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Betzee,

I hope you're right about the American public. However, I'm not sure how much the American public was truly behind this venture. Additionally, a President doesn't really have to worry about what the American Public really thinks if he (or she) has a vocal support cadre and can cow the Congress into believing that the people support the need for intervention. Odds are increased if the President is actually willing to cook data and practice other deceptions.

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"Palliatives are not usually cures."

All my rantings compressed into one phrase. Thank-you Sez!

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Looks like a cornerstone of the Democrats' presidential campaign is about to vaporize.

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And why is that, Whitehawk?

Haven't you read any posts on this thread??

"Only" 532 recorded deaths is not an achievement.

The it highlights the wars' cheerleaders sheer desperation to see any "good news" as final proof of their uh, vindication.

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Madverts:

Haven't you read any posts on this thread??

No, I'm actually commenting on the article. I know, it's something of a novelty for JT.

"Only" 532 recorded deaths is not an achievement.

Which highlights the mindset of the anti-war zealots: Improvement will not be acknowledged, and if acknowledged, it will not be recognized as improvement.

So Madverts, fewer deaths is a turn for the worse? For Obama's campaign, perhaps...

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"I know, it's something of a novelty for JT."

Uhm, no, plenty have been doing it above. Ignoring the continuing refugee crisis, look at todays mess:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7459842.stm

Sorry, did you mention something about cornerstone's and presidential campaign's?

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Madverts, the debate isn't whether violence and attacks exist in Iraq, it's whether such is on the decline.

Focus, my old friend... focus.

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Madverts, the debate isn't whether violence and attacks exist in Iraq, it's whether such is on the decline.

No. The question is whether any decline (or increase) is indictive of a sustainable trend.

As the article states in several passages:

This relative calm is the calm before the storm,” said Mohammed al-Sheikhli, director of the Transitional Justice Research Center in Baghdad. “The worst violence is not over because the calm may collapse any moment.”

Conservative pinheads using the relative calm to declare a not-so-early victory for the policies of their clueless leader. Everyone should be able to recall how many Bush-ites were claiming that the Iraq war would pay for itself.

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Additionally, a President doesn't really have to worry about what the American Public really thinks if he (or she) has a vocal support cadre and can cow the Congress into believing that the people support the need for intervention.

True, there's been no public outcry over the confidential nature of the security pact, disguised as a non-treaty to do an end run around the need for Congress to sign off. (Our democratic form of governance has sure taken a hit from this administration.)

More and more I think Kevin Phillips was right when he saw the ultimate goal as a form of modern-day colonialism over a country rich in energy resources. We can claim the Iraqi government is nominally a democracy. But it's security remains dependent on US backing. While some Americans wonder how they can possibly sign off on a deal that reportedly gives the US control of their air space, Iraqis such as Allawi, quoted above, know they will put survival first. They will sign on the dotted line.

We certainly didn't drop half a trillion to bring the Iraqi people freedom. The size of the new American Embassy, which will cost over a million dollars to operate annually, is evidence of a permanent presence far beyond anything necessitated by bilateral relations between sovereign governments. The spector of permanent bases was dismissed early on as liberal conspiracy propaganda, yet clearly that seems to be part of the picture.

What the neocons don't seem to appreciate is that colonialism ended because it proved to be an unstable form of government. This is going to cost us and there have been precious few benefits to date. The Iraqis will resist and expect to eject us as they did the British.

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Most of the root causes of the war—notably the power struggle between Sunnis and Shiites—remain unresolved.

Yes, it's always "root causes" and "cycles of violence" when either Iraqi Shiites or Darfurians decide to fight back.

I don't suppose Pakistani Sunnis blowing up Shia mosques in the years leading up to the American invasion of Iraq would be a "root cause" for anything . . .

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"Corner turned! Mission Accomplished!" say the Wingnuts. Yeah. Right.

Ditto, yabits: "The question is whether any decline (or increase) is indictive of a sustainable trend." The Wingnuts won't even address the fact that W's administration was duped by Iranian intelligence (in a word, Chalabi) into greatly increasing Iran's influence and radicalizing the whole Muslim world.

BAGHDAD - A car bomb ripped through a busy commercial street in a Shiite area of Baghdad on Tuesday, killing at least 51 people and wounding scores more in the deadliest blast in the capital in more than three months. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080617/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

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Jahdog:

"Corner turned! Mission Accomplished!" say the Wingnuts. Yeah. Right.

Pay attention. It's not the "Wingnuts" saying this, it's the Associated Press.

Look at the bottom of the article (something of a novelty for JT):

Robert H. Reid is the Associated Press chief of bureau in Baghdad and has reported from Iraq since 2003. AP correspondent Bushra Juhi contributed to this report.

Or do you consider the AP to be part of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy / Bush Machine?

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Pay attention. It's not the "Wingnuts" saying this, it's the Associated Press.

No, WhiteHawk, it's folks like you who need to pay closer attention. It is the WingNuts who want to inflate this current period of temporary calm as something much more than it likely is. Go back and re-read all of the cautionary advice given by people closer to the scene -- the current peace, such as it is, is as fragile as can be. A period of calm before the storm.

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Looks like a cornerstone of the Democrats' presidential campaign is about to vaporize.

I offer this as Exhibit A of Wingnut nonsense.

<strong>Moderator: Please do not use expressions such as "wingnut." It is a meaningless word that lowers the level of discussion.</strong>

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WH......you're not really as d__b as you appear, are you? You know about information warfare, psyops by a government on its population, right? It's very old news, but: the administration promotes the talking point of the day, and the media duly report it. The "liberal" mainstream media is owned by ultra-conservatives billionaires. It must be hard to question what the TV and your favorite websites tell you when the message is reassuring and the logic self-serving, but educate yourself http://www.consortiumnews.com/2002/123102a.html

By the way, how many times do you think Robert H. Reid of the AP has walked around outside the Green Zone?

Once again: Good news that the violence is down and everyone is planning to vote, but a bit early for everyone to sing Kumbaya.

But regarding the propaganda arms of the administration (remember the OSP?) the Pentagon information apparatus has used analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the Iraq invasion, beginning with the buildup to the Iraq war and continuing to this day. Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.

Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, several dozen military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.

Records and interviews show how the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform the analysts into a kind of media Trojan horse — an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks...[analysts] have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated. Some analysts acknowledge they suppressed doubts because they feared jeopardizing their access.

A few expressed regret for participating in what they regarded as an effort to dupe the American public with propaganda dressed as independent military analysis. Kenneth Allard, a former NBC military analyst who has taught information warfare at the National Defense University, said the campaign amounted to a sophisticated information operation. “This was a coherent, active policy,” he said. As conditions in Iraq deteriorated, Mr. Allard recalled, he saw a yawning gap between what analysts were told in private briefings and what subsequent inquiries and books later revealed. “Night and day,” Mr. Allard said, “I felt we’d been hosed.” http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/20/washington/20generals.html?pagewanted=all

Then there's this: The document, which has been verified, is official US Special Forces doctrine. It directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates warrantless searches, detainment without charge and the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates bribery, employing terrorists, false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it directly advocates the extensive use of "psychological operations" (propaganda) to make these and other "population & resource control" measures more palatable.

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The operating budget for the new US Embassy inside the Green Zone exceeds USD 1.2 billion per year. It provides working space for a diplomatic staff of over 1,000.

US goals in Iraq have been described by Kevin Phillips, who worked in the Nixon Administration, as "oil protectorate cum military base." At first I was skeptical, but I'm beginning to believe maybe he's right based on what I've read about this security pact which GWB wants signed by 31 July of this year.

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Betzee,

It looks as though we're trying to use the "Japananese model" after all.

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Progress in Iraq is a good thing. A decrease in deaths is a good thing. The Sunnis taking it to al-Qaeda in Iraq is a good thing. Al-Sadr still not fighting US troops is a good thing. Fragile political gains are a good thing. Where's the threat?

Good for you. I think it's great that you can say those things and not feel threatened by them. But there are some here who actually cannot bring themselves to type the above. If you want to know why....why not ask them directly?

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Whitehawk,

Sustainable is the operative word here. Which it 'aint IMO.

Perhaps the Bush Jügen really think that the American public are prepared to pay for a never-ending enormous occupation army to hold what's left of Iraq together for the next century, but nobody other than they are that deluded.

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SuperLib,

I think you asserted that people were threatened by progress in Iraq. I tend to believe that this implies that you know why they are threatened by it. But, setting that aside, please tell me: Who, specifically, should I ask?

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What is about the headline 'Iraqi violence down' that so upsets some people here? Why are those celebrating a decline in some of the most horrific and senseless violence imaginable being called "Conservative pinheads," "Wingnuts" and "Bush Jugen" ???

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meat,

Sorry that's a private joke between me and The Whitehawk of Bukoto. He understands that it wasn't meant in meaness.

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"Who, specifically, should I ask?"

That's what I want to know.

WHo on this thread feels threatened the ever paradoxical (if that's a word) positive bad news from Iraq.

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"What is about the headline 'Iraqi violence down' that so upsets some people here?"

However, meat, perhaps you could tell us which posters are upset that the monthly death toll is down?

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What is about the headline 'Iraqi violence down' that so upsets some people here?

It's not the report of "violence down" that is upsetting. Not in the least. (But a level of decrease from "horrendous" to just plain awful is nothing to celebrate.)

Thinking back on all the conservatives' promises about the war -- That WMD would certainly be found, that the troop levels specified by Bush-Rumsfeld would certainly be enough to prevent the country from spinning into chaos, that the cost of the war would not exceed $100 billion, that the war and reconstruction would pay for themselves, etc., etc. -- you get the sense that the people "celebrating" this latest news are simply foolish. (What? Is it now "mission accomplished?")

Every time the Bush regime shoots an arrow that goes wildly off course, some little Bush toady wants to run up and show us all that there's really a bulls-eye around where it landed. (If not, they'll paint one.) It may not be upsetting, but it is pathetic and predictable.

Can you imagine the reactions of these same Bush toadies if a Democrat showed only a tenth of the gross incompetence of Bush regime? That kind of foolishness from Americans is certainly nothing to celebrate.

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"But a level of decrease from "horrendous" to just plain awful is nothing to celebrate"

When you have had zero positive news since 2003, and your only counter-argument is saying people commenting on the disaster secretly long for more suffering on the Iraqi end to "prove some political point", well, you know who you're up against.

That said - less dead people is good news. Only it's good news about bad news.

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Bush Bad.....Thanks yabits and Madverts, The troops on the ground in Iraq have got that clue alot longer than your opinion.

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If we can kill a few more Iraqis, we can make it so much safer. We've killed about a half million, millions have left country, we're reducing the numbers and it'll be real safe shortly.

As soon as george bush gets those permanent bases that he said he wasn't trying to get, we can establish this as another Korea, stay forever attitude. We can send all our tax dollars there forever.

Hey...hey...where's that cheap Iraqi oil, huh? < :-)

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"We've killed about a half million ( Iraqis )"

adaydream should apologize for this ridiculous remark.

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According to nonbiased sources: "As many as 654,965 more Iraqis may have died since hostilities began in Iraq in March 2003 than would have been expected under pre-war conditions, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad. The deaths from all causes—violent and non-violent—are over and above the estimated 143,000 deaths per year that occurred from all causes prior to the March 2003 invasion."

source: http://www.jhsph.edu/publichealthnews/press_releases/2006/burnham_iraq_2006.html

Much depends on whether one thinks that the US killed this half-million directly, and therefore wants to absolve the US of ALL responsibility by answering in the negative. Would the half-million-plus have been killed if the US had not invaded? Would over a million have been displaced as refugees? The safe answer is "Not Likely."

adaydream has absolutely nothing to apologize for. The same cannot be said for the war-supporters.

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"may have died"

Indicates sheer speculation rendering the rest of the discussion absolutely moot ! Come now people think a bit before posting such crap.

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JahDog:

You know about information warfare, psyops by a government on its population, right? It's very old news, but: the administration promotes the talking point of the day, and the media duly report it.

So, was Zebari using "psyops" on Obama during their phone conversation?

Zebari:

The foreign minister said "my message" to Mr. Obama "was very clear. . . . Really, we are making progress. I hope any actions you will take will not endanger this progress."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/17/AR2008061702034.html

JahDog:

The "liberal" mainstream media is owned by ultra-conservatives billionaires.

And FoxNews is owned by Murdoch, who is a regular DNC contributor. What you fail to see is that the liberal mainstream media is comprised of just that - liberals. To the tune of 93%. That's liberals doing the reporting, editing, interviews, and story selection. Those "ultra-conservative billionaires" bogeymen you allude to aren't spending their days and nights on the phone, barking orders to every journalist, reporter and editor working for their news outlets.

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Well, it's good that no one was fooled by the article.

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Sarge, prove me wrong. I don't need to apologize for my statement. < :-)

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adaydream:

Sarge, prove me wrong. I don't need to apologize for my statement. < :-)

Actually, since you're the one who made the claim, you have to back it up and prove it true.

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Indicates sheer speculation rendering the rest of the discussion absolutely moot !

LOL!!!!! Such shoddy reasoning is really funny.

The number given, 654,965, is only speculative because the researchers cannot claim an exact number. Applying a 10-20% error rate to it still provides a result over a half-million who died on account of the US invasion. What you meant to say is that you WISH the caution on the part of the researchers could render the subject moot. (Hey, being an American I don't blame you for not wanting that many victims on your hands.)

Come now people think a bit before posting such crap.

You should heed your own advice, possum.

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yabits:

The number given, 654,965, is only speculative because the researchers cannot claim an exact number. Applying a 10-20% error rate to it still provides a result over a half-million who died on account of the US invasion.

Oh, it's speculative all right. And which group offered the original speculation? Lancet. Nonbiased? Complete BS. Nothing funded by George Soros is ever "nonbiased". And it's how many times higher than any other estimation? Have there been any critical reviews of Lancet's work? Yes:

http://www.fumento.com/military/lancet2008.html

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/07/david_kane_on_lancet_confidenc.php

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Depending on the sourses used the count goes from 40,000 to 600,000. I don't keep the counts and the DOD says they quit counting deaths of Iraqis in May 2003 because the count was growing too many too fast. < :-)

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Depending on the sourses used the count goes from 40,000 to 600,000.

Well there ya go. ;)

I don't keep the counts and the DOD says they quit counting deaths of Iraqis in May 2003 because the count was growing too many too fast. < :-)

And yet, just a few hours ago, you claimed a number. Still, don't you think it's odd that a Soros-funded "survey" claimed exponentionally increasing fatality statics while violence was actually on the decrease?

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And it's how many times higher than any other estimation?

No other estimates have been compiled by anyone doing research with anywhere near the same level of detail and rigor as the two universities cited in the Johns Hopkins report.

The real story is why the US war-supporters have a vested interest in keeping the numbers low by a factor of many times. Just another in the long string of lies associated with the Bush regime and this war.

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Still, don't you think it's odd that a Soros-funded "survey"...

You really seem to believe that George Soros paid for the survey, and by so doing, told the researchers not to conduct an honest survey. Do you actually expect others to be as gullible as you have chosen to be?

What is it specifically about the methodology used by the researchers at Johns Hopkins that you find so wrong? (Or is it just simpler to attach Soros' name to something that you can reject without the slightest understanding?)

I've not caught Johns Hopkins in any lie; on the other hand, I've caught Bush and his crew in PLENTY of them.

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You really seem to believe that George Soros paid for the survey, and by so doing, told the researchers not to conduct an honest survey. Do you actually expect others to be as gullible as you have chosen to be?

Name a single act or group that Soros has funded that doesn't serve his agenda. He wouldn't "invest" his money on anything that didn't produce results in his favor. Trying to portray him in any other way is like trying to portray Saddam Hussein as a "harmless ol' coot". It's not a matter of gullibilty, but rather of your own deliberate ignorance.

What is it specifically about the methodology used by the researchers at Johns Hopkins that you find so wrong?

Taking samples from selected areas and then extrapolating them across the entire country is a technique that only works when that country is consistent in all areas. It's also ripe for manipulation. Imagine taking an election poll on the UC Berkeley campus and extrapolating it for the entire U.S. On the surface of the results, you would get the impression that Barack Obama could expect 98% of the vote in November.

on the other hand, I've caught Bush and his crew in PLENTY of them.

Really? Are those the same "lies" told by Democrats prior to Bush's inauguration? Funny how you and Alan always cry out about "Bush's lies", but always -always- ignore my above point.

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The used the same flawed technique for estimating Iraqi death rates as did Lancet

Johns Hopkins' research was peer-reviewed and found to be based on sound methods. I don't know what Lancet has to do with it.

What about Fumento's work? Why nothing about that?

It makes NO reference to the Johns Hopkins research. Like you, it keeps harping on Lancet.

And of course, American universities are known for their lack of political bias or agenda.

According to right-wing Republicans, any research which contradicts conservative ideology must be attacked. Nonetheless, research methods are subject to peer review and objective scrutiny. This is probably why the Bush administration does not want to conduct its own research. Much easier to Swiftboat and slander the researchers.

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Name a single act or group that Soros has funded that doesn't serve his agenda. He wouldn't "invest" his money on anything that didn't produce results in his favor.

Soros has no connection to the Johns Hopkins-Bloomberg School research inasmuch as I have been able to determine. (If there is a connection, you'll have to validate it.) The fact that the JH results parallel whatever Soros has done should not be blamed on Soros.

Taking samples from selected areas and then extrapolating them across the entire country is a technique that only works when that country is consistent in all areas. It's also ripe for manipulation.

And you could not be more wrong. 47 "clusters" of 40 households each from all around the country were selected at RANDOM. That's how such research is done. Manipulation of the Johns Hopkins data would have to be proven, and that you have not done.

Are those the same "lies" told by Democrats prior to Bush's inauguration?

Bush lied about what he claimed his experts told him about those aluminum tubes. He said that all the experts were certain their purpose was for a nuclear program. A total lie.

<strong>Moderator: Back on topic please. George Soros is not relevant to this discussion.</strong>

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WhiteHawk - I don't make up the information.

http://www.jhsph.edu/publichealthnews/press_releases/2006/burnham_iraq_2006.html

http://www.antiwar.com/ips/lobe111303b.html

Check out the numbers. Not Fox News numbers. < :-)

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z,

Please add quotes to the "news", in fox "news".

We don't want anyone thinking Murdoch's minions are really reporting "news".

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Signs are emerging that Iraq has reached a turning point. Violence is down, armed extremists are in disarray, government confidence is rising and sectarian communities are gearing up for a battle at the polls rather than slaughter in the streets.

Now where have I heard this before....

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Bring the troops home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! < :-)

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Signs are emerging that Iraq has reached a turning point. Violence is down, armed extremists are in disarray, government confidence is rising and sectarian communities are gearing up for a battle at the polls rather than slaughter in the streets.

Right before Americans got carried away and Iraq blew up again. I'm not in favor of cutting and running, but I hardly think our time their is almost over.

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