Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Iraq Operation Five Year Roundup


Ghaith Abdul-Ahad (originally the blogger, "G") is producing a series of video articles for the Guardian, "Baghdad: City of Walls" (h/t Abbas who refers to Ghaith as "formerly pro-war" -- is this true? I haven't read anything by him saying he regrets the war.)

Here's a link to all his recent articles (h/t to BlogIraqi who took the opportunity to moronically suggest that Saddam's mass graves were actually victims of Shi'a militias. He is such an asswipe.)

UPDATE! Neurotic Iraqi Wife: Five years ago she was anti-Saddam and anti-war. What can I say but quote Orwell on pacifism in the face of evil in WWII: "Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other." I agree with one thing although I think she meant it differently: " Saddam was evil, But I never imagined that there were people as evil as he was. "
Caesar of Pentra: Cheney's in town. But Caesar doesn't know and he doesn't care. He's just trying to get home.
Last of the Iraqis: Talks about his family's emotions when Saddam was deposed by the Americans. This post should have been entitled "Stockholm Syndrome".
UPDATE! Dr. Mohammed has responsed to this in the comments.
UPDATE! New post with photographs on the celebrations of the Prophet's birthday Adhamiya and the demonstrations (the following day) for the five-year anniversay:
"...as we reached closer to them I noticed that a large gathering of people were carrying the Pictures of Saddam and they were dancing on old patriotic songs and they were shouting the old traditional line "we sacrifice our souls and blood for you Saddam" and later they shouted "Long live Satar Abu-Risha"!!!…there were so many people and they continued like that for about an hour, I don't know why they are shouting in his name? He hadn't done anything good especially to Adhamiya? Anyway my personal view to this is something good because it's a sign of democracy and freedom…if they like him let them sing and shout for him as long as they are not harming anyone…anyone can like anyone he wants…that's democracy as I think."
Iraqi Mojo: He doesn't miss Saddam, he wasn't sorry when they pulled down his statue or when they pulled him from his spidey-hole. "Saddam is gone forever, and today Iraqis have other problems to contend with. The Iraqi government must work harder now to reconcile with the Sunni Arabs, so that peace will at long last come to Iraq."
IraqPundit: Talks about opinion polls regarding how Iraqis think about their lives right now UPDATE! Michael Totten posts on them too.
UPDATE! New IraqPundit post: Five Years On: Who's Learned What?
Shaggy: Things are getting better....and he hasn't even finished his whiskey.
Gilgamesh (Into The Sun): Wants to know what is being done with Iraq's oil revenue.
Raed Jarrar: The first post from Raed in years worth referring anyone to. It's Raed Classic. Not the new bogus, pompous Raed we've had since he first began trying to "pass" to gain entry into the US. Maybe he's drinking again.
Treasure of Baghdad: Typical BT. One day the Iraqis came home and discovered that while they were out the Americans came over and messed everything up.
UPDATE! BlogIraq: First part is just like Treasure of Baghdad. His five conclusions at then end of the post, however, make a whole lot of sense. Point 5 puts beautifully something I've been saying for five years to people who claim the foreign invasion was as bad or worse than Saddam's rule: "5. Tyrannies do not always end. Occupations do."
UPDATE! Marshmallow26: Descriptions of key dates relating to the Iraqi liberation.
UPDATE! Layla Anwar: Iraq with Saddam, good. Iraq without Saddam, bad.
UPDATE! Salam Adil: Round-up of blog posts and articles on the five-year anniversary to assert the same thing as Layla Anwar.
Zappy: poetry
Saminkie: Salvador Dali diagnosed with a personality disorder (nothing about the five year war but it's great to see an Iraqi blogger post on something "normal").
Chickita: Declares the end of her blogging. We'll see if it sticks.

UPDATE! Reuters' photographic retrospective on the last five years in Iraq

Slate.com asks their politically liberal pro-Iraq war contributors "Why Did We Get It Wrong?" As typical, only Christopher Hitchens gets close to the truth of it.
UPDATE! Noreen Malone posts on Iraqi Bloggers' posting about the fifth anniversary. She doesn't credit this post as one of her sources, but she talks about Blackfive as well so I think it is.

NPR reports on Iraq:
Gen. Petraeus Defines Victory in Iraq
Mosul and the Fight for Iraq ("al-Qaeda cannot win in Iraq without Baghdad but it cannot survive without Mosul")
U.S. Bridging Gaps Between Baghdad, Provinces
U.S. Pres. Candidates to Mark Iraq War Anniversary
Gen. Petraeus Addresses his 'Legacy'
U.S. Forces Seek to Cement Gains in Iraq

Interview with Charles Sennott, "Embedded in the Surge"

Interview with Aram Roston about his book on Chalabi 'The Man Who Pushed America to War'
Even though Roston paints everything ....and I mean everything...with a black brush, this is a pretty good interview. Roston doesn't make up anything and I feel like (by reading between the lines) I learned something about Chalabi that I didn't know: Chalabi was cut off from CIA support in the 1990s because he presumed that they were giving him all that money to *actually* attempt to overthrow Saddam rather than just scare the hell out of Europe and the Gulf states. So the CIA started paying Allawi instead.

NYT Baghdad Bureau correspondents remenisce about Iraq five years on:
Dexter Filkins
Marc Santora
Max Becherer
Stephen Farrell
Sabrina Tavernise
Tim McLaughlin (it was HIS flag draped over the face of Saddam's statue)
James Glainz
John F. Burns
James Hill
Ashley Gilbertson
Robert Worth
Michael Kamber

Ian Fisher

Also, some man-on-the-street Q&As.

Washington Post: National Guard Officer, Paul Rieckhoff , discusses coming home from Iraq in 2004 and discovering Janet Jackson's exposed breast was the biggest news.
Blackfive: How Shall It End? UPDATE! and 5 years on, Iraq as an ally?
PajamasMedia: In Focus: Iraq, Five Years Later

MSNBC's World Blog
Jim Maceda (very interesting)
Petra Cahill

Kat of The Middle Ground posts at Argghhh!:
Iraq Economy: Light At the End of the Tunnel Part I
Part II
Part III

Marie Cocco (RealClear Politics)
Paul McLeary (On The Ground: the Grunts and the Press)
Pat Dollard: We Made Mistakes In Iraq, But War Was Just?

Bush Says Iraq War Was Worth It

How do I see it? It had to be done so why wring your hands that it went worse than every one planned (except for the money spent, it went a whole lot better than the critics predicted). Afghanistan would have been the Vietnam-style defeat that the anti-war leafleteers predicted and hoped for if we had stacked all our chips on that number. Yeah, Iraqis turned out not to be as secular or forward-thinking as everyone (including the Iraqi ruling class) believed them to be. Well, that only shows how bad off the rest of the M.E. is and how badly a turn-around was required. Saddam didn't have working WMD stockpiles? Well, now we know that, and we know he never will. It's taken longer and cost more than we thought? Money well spent...9-11 showed how expensive were the stew-post from which Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Muqtada Al-Sadr thickened into heroes in the M.E. 4000 US lives and 150,000 Iraqis? That can't be waved away, but it must be put against the lives that would have been lost without hope if Saddam & Sons were left to rule Iraq for the next 40 years or so. So those numbers have to be admitted head on with the knowledge that they include many Iraqis and Americans whom humanity owes an unredeemable debt and many Iraqis that humanity is better off without (including Saddam & Sons).


from RhusLancia:

It's three A.M. March 19th, 2003 and the kids are safely asleep. But there's a phone in RhusLancia's house and it's ringing.

RhusLancia: hello?

Voice: Yo, R. L.! It's Dubya!

RhusLancia: why are you calling me, Mr. President?

Voice: Listen! I gots all the troops on the border, ready to go. I need your advice, you see. It's all up to you. You say, we do. Just give us the word and we'll go get that sumbitch. Well, whadaya...

munch munch munch

Voice: Hey, what's that noise?

RhusLancia: I'm chewing my arm off so I don't have to answer your question!!


Reason #632 for why I'm not into politics is that I could not make a decision like that.

As for today, I like how Jules Crittenden put it:
Things rarely happen as expected. Once you start, you have to finish. You don't get to be the same again. There is nothing much good about any of it, but winning is better than losing. And there is no such thing as a safe place to which you can withdraw.
For us and the Iraqis, I hope this thing's wrapped up soon, and successfully!


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