ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Willing Suspension of Disbelief, Part 2

Part 1 here

Idiot professor of the Left tries to dispel the Top 10 Myths about Iraq today. Fortunately, Dr. Sanity weighs in with an excellent, point-by-point refutation of the lowly professor.

Here's my response to Dr. Cole:
10. Myth: The US public no longer sees Iraq as a central issue in the 2008 presidential campaign.

Ummm - What's with all the questions in the Presidential debates about Iraq? (And, why is it that the debate moderators ask questions that would indicate that the violence in Iraq has increased, not decreased?)

[Update - I realize that I misread Dr. Cole's Myth #10 - Iraq is still a main issue in the presidential election (although it seems like debate moderators are spending less and less time on the issue as it seems that success is being realized. Hey, at least Juan and I agree on something!]

9. Myth: There have been religious and political reconciliation in Iraq in 2007.

Religious reconciliation is certainly in its early stage. As I have argued, political reconciliation is taking place at the local level and must be successful there before it can be provided by a national government.

8. Myth: The US troop surge stopped the civil war that had been raging between Sunni Arabs and Shiites in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad

yeah... rrrrrrrrrright. I assume that if we had pulled out of Iraq in the Spring of 2007, the "civil war" would've simply disappeared.

7. Myth: Iran was supplying explosively formed projectiles (a deadly form of roadside bomb) to Salafi Jihadi (radical Sunni) guerrilla groups in Iraq.

Why is Cole so desirous of eliminating any responsibility from the blood-stained hand of the Iranian government? He no doubt thinks that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is just some misunderstood version of the Boy Scouts. Why is it that Juan trusts President Tom more than anyone else?

6. Myth: The US overthrow of the Baath regime and military occupation of Iraq has helped liberate Iraqi women.

I know that the young girls who were abducted by the Hussein brothers to play their part with the Two Wild & Crazy guys (shortly before being shot in the back of the head) would agree with Juan.

5. Myth: Some progress has been made by the Iraqi government in meeting the "benchmarks" worked out with the Bush administration.

So, if the Iraqi government meets 3 of 5 benchmarks, do we simply throw our hands up, pull our troops out, and watch as the country disintegrates into an Al-Qaeda led rogue nation state of concern? Or do we attempt to assist the Iraqi government to achieve those benchmarks? And, given that relative stability in the security of the country are only recent achievements, it should be no surprise that some benchmarks have been unmet.

4. Myth: The Sunni Arab "Awakening Councils," who are on the US payroll, are reconciling with the Shiite government of PM Nuri al-Maliki even as they take on al-Qaeda remnants

Well, Sunni employment in Iraqi police forces and military is one step towards reconciliation with the national government (led by a Shiite). Baby steps, Juan... baby steps. I'm sure you didn't become an avowed anti-American socialist overnight. No, it took you some time to develop into an America hating idiot. Give them some time, dear boy. Look - they're starting to make some movement... Just need some time.

3. Myth: The Iraqi north is relatively quiet and a site of economic growth. Juan makes this ridiculous claim: The north is so unstable that the Iraqi south is now undergoing regular bombing raids from Turkey.

(The Turks are bombing the South of Iraq? WHAT?!?

Besides this idiotic statement, Cole points out that the Kurdish region is a political minefield because of the historical antagonism between the Kurds and the Turks. This is true and is a situation which the US is working with the Turks, the Kurds, and the national Iraqi government to resolve. But be sure that Turkish bombing of the Iraqi North is not happening without our knowledge.

[Update - Apparently Juan has fixed his mistake in his original post. Glad I could help. However, it doesn't minimize the fact that Turkey, the US, and the central Iraqi government have an interest in making sure the PKK does not destabilize the relatively quiet north and will likely work together to achieve that goal.]

2. Myth: Iraq has been "calm" in fall of 2007 and the Iraqi public, despite some grumbling, is not eager for the US to depart.

Iraq has been calm and average Iraqis (and especially those who've lived under the AlQaeda yoke) recognize that our pullout would insure their doom.

1. Myth: The reduction in violence in Iraq is mostly because of the escalation in the number of US troops, or "surge."

Wait... wasn't this Cole's point number 8? What is it about the Left that makes them go apesh!t over the Surge? They have to recognize that they are wrong. Even John Murtha, former champion of the White Flag, recognizes that the Surge has worked.

In fact, some Leftards are taking credit for the success of the Surge (even though it isn't working), because without the Democrat takeover in 2006, the change in strategy wouldn't have occurred, so any credit for the surge (which isn't working, by the way) should go to the Democrats.

A bit of tortured logic, but we shouldn't be surprised by anything that comes from the Left.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (14)
mattcohen said...

Wow. I like how when you don't like Mr. Cole's analysis you either a) change the questions, b) respond to statistics with anecdote c) make a huge issue out of an obvious typo or d) just start calling him names.

Cas said...

I came to this site to see what counterpoints you could make to Professor Cole's list of myths. I'm struck by the fact that none of your comments even addresses the substance of any of the corresponding points, much less actually debunks them.

If this is all you've got, it's no wonder a majority of Americans are no longer believing the pro-war propaganda.

LFC said...

Swing and a miss ... 10 times. You're going to have to back your statements up with more than frothing rhetoric. I think you're statement "if the Iraqi government meets 3 of 5 benchmarks" (since there were actually 18 benchmarks, the vast majority of which they haven't met) is probably the worst blunder.

NathaN said...

"The north is so unstable that the Iraqi north is now undergoing regular bombing raids from Turkey." This was just copied from, Asshat's like you have no shame, and would this not be libel if it was done to coulter et al?

Anonymous said...

While professor Cole has sacrificed the possibility for tenure at a prestigious university to espouse his beliefs and is widely respected, and admired by those "in the know" who are you?

You offered nothing substantial or substantiated, instead relying on the propagation of well worn media myths.

But then your offered an ad hominem attack. This says all I need to know about the integrity you have and the quality of your contribution to the debate.

Christiane said...

Well, I've read your refutation of Juan Coles ten myths and I find nothing particularly convincing in what you wrote.

Chris said...

I concur with these others who have commented. I followed your link not knowing where it would lead. But when I came to your post, I immediately saw that you were antagonistic to JC's post. I read your responses to his 10 issues, and I have to say, How can you take yourself seriously? and How can your readers find you credible or persuasive when you make no substantial or rationally articulated argument addressing the content of any of Cole's statements. What you are writing is a senseless personal attack, and you are intellectually dishonest.

Did you purposefully misquote Cole about the South of Iraq and Turkey? I can understand if you misread what he wrote or even if an earlier version of his post said "south" and he corrected it. What happened here? Did you intentionally lie?

And do you understand how to refute an assertion? It's by contradicting that assertion with evidence and strongly supported argumentation. If I understood your intention in dealing with the statement that "The US public no longer sees Iraq as a central issue in the 2008 presidential campaign", you are claiming that this statement is, in fact, true by pointing to the scarcity of questions in debates on the Iraq topic? Is this your intention? Then, do you understand that you have not made the case that this statement is true? You have not even challenged Cole's supporting evidence, the poll results. If you're serious about discrediting his writing, you should at least know what you're doing intellectually.

Anonymous said...

Yikes, what a poor critique. Seriously now, you can't refute arguments in two lines with NO actual information to discount what they said.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is such a juvenile critique of JC's article. Anyone who begins a post with "idiot" has no credibility commenting on the complex issues regarding Iraq.

somegirl said...

just another person here to comment that your refutations are nonsense - they don't even answer what he says. you might as well have just said "nuh-uh!"

Derrick said...

Dear St Wendeler, I'm sorry to tell you, you are a moron. You don't know how to argue. Your point-by-point refutation is all over the board, begging the case, appealing to emotion, cracking little in-jokes and making ad hominem attacks. You are apparently unable to address an issue from a serious, reasonable perspective.

St Wendeler said...

Appreciate all of the feedback, but beyond simply saying that my response to Juan Cole is insufficient, none of you have backed up a single Cole-Myth or refuted any of my claims.

Myth #
10 - I suppose I agree w/ Juan that Iraq is still an important issue, although the coverage of Iraq has dropped significantly along with the bloodshed.

9 - Does anyone think that Sunnis joining the military and police and have aligned themselves with a Shia led government is insignificant?

8 - Who here will argue that there is still a civil war in Iraq? Who will deny that many Iraqis (Shia, Sunni, and Christian) are returning to major Iraqi cities in droves.

7 - Which of you believes that Al Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents (what's left of them) developed explosively formed projectiles on their own (without assistance in knowledge, materiel, etc)?

6 - Which of you would prefer to be a woman in Saddam's Iraq, subject to brutal rape by the regime?

5 - I concede that benchmarks have not been met at the national level. One benchmark that has not been met is the passage of a law to share oil revenues between the provinces. Somehow, without the actual law being passed, oil revenues are being shared. Marked as a failure because a document has not been signed; yet the actual events on the ground would indicate some degree of success. Similarly with the national reconciliation between Sunni & Shia; If it's taking place at the local level, is it still a failure if the national government hasn't passed the law?

4 - The Sunni Awakening is a step in the right direction and is certainly preferred to the previous political position (insurgency) of the Sunni tribes. Who would argue that outright insurgency is preferred to the current state? Who is unwilling to give the Sunni's time to further demonstrate their loyalty to the new Iraqi nation through continued support of the police, military, etc.

3 - The fact that the Turks are concerned about the PKK in Kurdistan is no surprise. The Iraqi government recognizes this as well and is working to manage the PKK problem internally. What is Cole's point here? Is he arguing that a Turkish attack on the PKK is an attack on the Iraqi national government?

(Side note - I see that Juan has now updated this item to correctly state that it's the Iraqi north that is being bombed.)

Myth 2 and 1 - Which of you would seriously argue that the violence experienced in 2006 has not abated? Which of you would state that Anbar province and Baghdad are less safe than they were a year ago?

It is unlikely that the relative calm in Iraq today would've been achieved without additional US forces and the counter-insurgency tactics employed by our troops (as discussed on PBS's Charlie Rose by Australian David Kilcullen). It's important to remember that The Surge was not merely about additional troops; it also involved a change in tactics.

It is Juan and his comrades which are continuing to push the myth that we are not making progress in Iraq. Despite the increasing number of anecdotal and statistical reports reports of the situation in Iraq turning around, Juan & Co would have you believe that we've still Lost in Iraq and that we must pull out yesterday.

Let's move on.

jacque said...

um's and yeah rights aren't refutations. Refutations are when you cite a fact that disputes a fact.
Sadly, you just mutter your opinions and hope the 'rovian' sheep will follow. I try and read both sides of the aisle for balance. For my benefit, it's good that blogs like yours exists. Just like folks who wear rebel flags or emblazon their cars with Get US out of the UN. It helps me avoid wasting my time considering whether you have an important point.

St Wendeler said...

Jacque - Thanks for your strike) thoughtful (/strike) response.

Again... Can you dispute the fact that Iraq is less violent than it was last Spring or Winter?

Can you dispute that this occurred during the surge in troops and the change in tactics?

Can you dispute the fact that the Sunni Awakening is a political act, far more important than some law passed by the national government (which, without the Awakening itself, would have little meaning)?

These are facts, not opinions. Trying to pretend that they are not facts is the Willing Suspension of Disbelief.