Plenty of Insanity, Very Little Common Sense

The New York Times reports a surge of violence in Anbar province:

Two insurgent bomb blasts struck Thursday at pro-American Iraqi targets in Anbar Province just west of Baghdad and in the northern city of Mosul. The police said more than 30 Iraqis were killed and 80 wounded.

An American military spokesman and Iraqi police officials said that three American marines were killed in the Anbar attack and that two interpreters were also among the dead. The American military command was preparing to hand control of the province, once considered the hotbed of the insurgency, to Iraqi forces.

The bombings extended a pattern of multiple-casualty attacks in recent days that are clearly intended to kill local Iraqi leaders, in particular those who are believed to have collaborated with American forces against insurgents. Thursday’s attacks were among a string of deadly episodes in the past week that broke the previous several weeks’ lull in violence.

This is insanity:

This is a grim reminder that although there’s been progress there it will be a long, long time before we can confidently remove our forces from the country.

Yes, forever is a long, long time and that’s how long it will be “before we can confidently remove our forces” from Iraq, given that the U.S. military occupation of that country is itself the reason for the violence. Dave quoted the same opening three paragraphs that I did but, inexplicably, simply ignored the part where the Times reporter mentioned that the people being killed in this series of bombings are all or mostly Iraqi leaders who were part of the so-called “Sunni awakening.” In other words, these are revenge killings carried out by insurgents who want the United States out of Iraq and are targeting Iraqis who work with U.S. troops. There is no way for our military to end the violence when the violence is part of an armed resistance by Iraqis against our presence in their country.

Libby puts it succinctly:

The Pentagon claims it’s the work of rogue Shia militants backed by Iran. The Iraqis on the scene say it was AQI. You know, the ones who were supposed to be vanquished. But in the end, outside of the fact that the White House is trying to use these attacks to gin up a case for bombing Iran, it doesn’t matter who is doing the killing. The point is that the violence is ongoing and will rise and fall forever as long as we remain in occupation of the country. These people are being targeted for collaborating with us.

A year ago St. Pet told us the Iraqis were moments away from political reconciliation. They’re still not even close. Baghdad was transformed from a thriving, ethnically mixed city into a restive metropolis of ethnically cleansed enclaves surrounded by concrete bunkers in order to ‘keep the peace.’ How much blood does it take before the serious pundits admit the surge success is a farce?

Libby, I’m afraid that Zimmerman asked pretty much the same question, in a more general context, more than 40 years ago, and the answer is still blowing in the wind.

4 Responses to “Plenty of Insanity, Very Little Common Sense”

  1. MediaMentions says:

    Here is a link from today’s online paper regarding the subject. Hope you’ll enjoy!

    Best regards,

  2. Libby says:

    Thanks for the link Kathy. It’s just crazy how they keep spinning every temporary development, good or bad, as progress and success when in fact the big picture is so bleak. For the ordinary people, it just keeps getting worse.

  3. Fred F. says:

    But the picture is not bleak. If the NY Times reported all of the progress, instead of the bomb blast, you would see that we are truly moving towards a situation that the US can disengage.

    The Iraqi army is showing it is ready to defend its country from both within and without. As the article stated, the entire Anbar province is prepared to be handed over to Iraqis; this small area is seemingly the only active sector.

    a major indicator is that the Iraqi government and army is acting as a non-sectarian institution. The Shiite-led government went in a lone to quell the Shiite violence in Sadr City, and it worked.

    In addition, all three major sectarian groups are continuing the oil-sharing talks.

  4. Kathy says:

    Recently, a left-of-center blogger more prominent than I referred to something I had posted as “insane” meaning, presumably, that he or she disagreed with what I had written….

    No, not meaning that I disagreed. Disagreement is not insane. The indefinite military occupation of Iraq is insane, and the point of view that says we can’t leave Iraq until Iraq is stable and no longer violent is insane because the instability and the violence are both caused and exacerbated by our presence. It’s insane — i.e., irrational — to continue advocating a response to a problem that is itself the cause of the problem.

    If the definition of insanity is continuing to support a policy that clearly has caused and is worsening the very problems it purports to solve, then it’s insanity to advocate such a policy. And I believe that, far from needing to spending *more* time, we have spent more than enough time listening to our “crazy people” — the ones who are responsible for implementing and continuing U.S. policy in Iraq most notably — given that we can clearly see the policy is not working, and in fact is leading to more harm.

    Does that mean that Dave Schuler is clinically insane and needs to be hospitalized? No. Sometimes words are intended to be taken in a more idiomatic sense (as in, “You’re going out without a coat in this cold? You’re insane!”) rather than in their most literal meaning.

    The above having been pointed out, you would probably not have been so offended had I said the policy you advocate makes no sense, rather than calling it “insanity.” That being (most likely) true, I apologize for using language that made you feel put down or belittled.


  1. The Glittering Eye - How Not to Disagree... Like everybody else I hate to be called names, insulted, or belittled. Recently, a left-of-center blogger…

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