Beazer Blasts Brainless Bunkum

If I’m not mistaken the Beazer is actually getting some traction right now.   Witness yesterday’s delightful poke in the Prime Minister’s eye in Parliament, where the Beazer with an admirable paucity of prolix jabbed out these belly punches on the failed strategy in Iraq.

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One: Sending Australian troops to war in Iraq on a lie.
Two: contributing to the spread of radicalism sporting a new generation of Islamic terrorists.
Three: Committing Australian troops to a war with no end.
Four: Exposing Australians to an increased risk of terror at home and abroad.

 
And then a flurry of uppercuts to drive home where the PM’s failing strategy is taking us.

One: the power of Iran has increased massively.
Two: (sadly with added prolix) the various circumstances in which the United States needs to act and those of its allies need to act have been compromised.
Three : (prolix now returning with a gush so I’ll translate) A middle east region that is rapidly spinning out of control, and where ours, and the US’s influence is at is its lowest ebb because of the continuing pursuit of this failed strategy.

I’m surprised the PM didn’t respond with the now empty slogan “cut and run”, but what he did say was this:

I say to the leader of the opposition what he’s now advocating would result in a humiliating defeat for our greatest ally.

The humiliating defeat is inevitable .   Any half smart PR firm would tell you to admit that you screwed up, apologise, and ask for forgiveness.   That’s what the AWB should have done when it had the opportunity, and that’s what the Coalition of the Stupids should do now.      
 
Stirling Newberry’s strategy might be an option for the US.

The only road to a stable solution set is to partition Iraq formally, and embroil directly the regional powers so that they cannot promote their interests destructively without cost. This is an unpalatable direction for policy, it will strengthen Iran, end Iraq as a bulwark against Farsi expansionism, and create three states all of which are dependent on the outside for their continued existence.

But Kimbo’s right on the money for Oz.   The troops should come home.   What’s the point of sharing in President Bush’s humiliating defeat?
 
Nukes : A sign of further strategic incompetence.
 
In an attempt to divert attention from this debacle, the PM tries to go on the front foot on his second failing strategy Global Warming.       As we now know The PM’s going all Nukey on us.

I believe very strongly that nuclear power is part of the response to global warming, it is clean green, it is something in relation to which many rabid environmentalists have changed their views over recent years

He is right.   It is part of a response.   But it just so happens that it is in effect this government’s only response.       The Beazer this morning blasted it as “nonsense” and it is.   It’s a short-sighted blinkered response.
 
Where will this technology come from to build these Nuke Stations?   Overseas is the answer.   We’re going to be coughing up big bucks to some foreign firms, that delivers us no technological edge, no future advantage,   when we should instead be investing in cutting edge new solar stuff of our own, to make up for the hollowing out of our manufacturing base, and the loss of jobs to Indian IT shops.   Flog the Uranium off for the time being, we can live with that,   but we don’t need to be buying other people’s smarts when we could be investing in our own.  
 
This government’s got no strategy anymore.   It’s just got spin.
 

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Amused
Amused
15 years ago

But it’s great spin! I love watching a master, and Howard is a master, the absolute best! Can turn on a sixpence! Now all we have to do is ask the obvious question.

What are the total greenhouse emissions from the commissioning and decommissioning of said ‘clean green’ nuclear reactor, compared to say, some combination of alternatives, and to follow, what level of subsidies will be required to nuclear energy producers in order to get this new ‘clean green ‘ technology up and running? Looking forward to the debate about the new ‘clean green’ approach to energy production. Isn’t it amazing! Three months ago, climate change linked to global warming was a soft left/totalitarian/radical deep green/commie/nazi plot! Now its just ‘common sense’!

Black is white, war is peace, red is the new black, and green is the new white. Who couldn’t be amused. I am rocking with laughter.

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

actually this week is the first time I have seen the Government hoping to score points in a nervous way ( Howard is actually quite easy to read when he is nervous) and I suspect they have just woken up to the fact they are not only way down in the polls but the ALP vote is solidifying.

Ken Parish
Admin
15 years ago

Rex

I think you’re right, although Beazley’s prolixity remains a problem (as you observed), and it’s questionable just how many voters are really tuned in this far out from the election. Moreover, although its significance can be overstated (and has been by several commentators) the incident at the SA Conference at the weekend where Beazley had to hold a press conference outside because of a ban on non-union journos certainly gives the Coalition an utterly unncessary free kick (faceless men ads during the election campaign are a dead certainty).

On the energy policy issue, solar and wind can’t provide baseload power, because the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. You can overcome that to an extent, by using part of the solar/wind-generated power to create (say) hydrogen fuel which is then used to create power at night/when the wind isn’t blowing. But that would make solar/wind solutions even more uncompetitive than they already are. It is likely that they will remain supplementary sources of power (but important nevertheless).

On your point that we should be fostering home-grown technology, there is in fact no reason why Australia could not become a significant player in applied nuclear energy research. Humble little South Africa is currently a leader in developing “pebble bed” reactor technology, for example. It’s largely because of irrational, stubborn head in the sand opposition from some on the left that Australia has failed to become a nuclear energy technology leader.

The real answer to all this is not for governments to attempt to pick winners (e.g. investing heavily and preferentially in a “home grown” solar or wind energy industry) but rather:

(1) progressively implement a significant carbon tax so that the market is given price signals to sort out which are the most efficient non-polluting technologies; and
(2) offer generous R & D tax concessions and subsidies for clean energy research generally (including solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, hydrogen, coal sequestration and nuclear).

Neither major party currently offers a policy mix of that sort, although the ALP comes closer than the Coalition.

Robert Merkel
15 years ago

In any case, we have been world leaders in some aspects of nuclear energy research.

There are two standout examples:

* The CSIRO developed what is possibly the best radioactive waste disposal technology in the world, Synroc.
* An Australian company, Silex Systems, developed a new form of uranium enrichment technology that is potentially much cheaper to operate than present techniques. They licensed the technology to General Electric, and they stand to earn big royalties if GE puts the process into production use.

Yes, in the total scheme of things we will be a niche player (except for uranium mining where we and Canada are the big cheeses). But we will be niche players in the world energy markets whatever happens, as a small part of the world economy.

I should add that Rex is 100% right on Beazer and Iraq (pity he hadn’t figured this out in 2004, but the past in the past…).

Robert Merkel
15 years ago

Whoops. Just to make it clear, I was referring to Beazley finally getting it right, not Rex.

Rex Ringschott
Rex Ringschott
15 years ago

All good and valid points Ken. Solar can’t provide baseload, but with appropriate policies to encourage distributed generation, it can help. After all there is a high correlation between sunny days and hot weather when you want to run the air conditioner.

I agree that carbon price signals are the answer. That would encourage investment in a whole range of technologies, pebble bed or perhaps even the tantalising Thorium Reactor. We may also find that gas fired generation becomes competitive with coal as a baseload source in that scenario, which would not impress the coal boys, but the gas boys would be very happy indeed, and it’s not like we haven’t got a lot of gas.

Under this strategically incompetent government though, its sticking the digit up the nose to pick the conventional nuclear reactor winner. Ratty needs an answer quick to polish up his green credentials and paying big bucks for US technology, is his default setting.

The big reason why the Government doesn’t want to introduce the carbon tax, or carbon trading regime though, is that his lack of foresight and planning has left this country pretty much relying on mineral exports as our main foreign income, and black coal is the biggest contributor of all. Here’s how vulnerable we are and why this Government has tried to scupper Kyoto.

Australia’s reliance on fossil fuel intensive exports means that national and international emission abatement policies will lead to a relatively more significant decline in export revenues, and hence purchasing power.

Australia’s reliance on fossil fuels to earn export revenue .. shows just under 20 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions attributable to Australia are released in the production of goods bound for export markets. This is higher than the other OECD countries.

What this government is failing to do is to offer us a strategy that reduces our vulnerability to a downturn in coal exports, increases the value of our offerings to the world, and y’know, that small thing, saves the planet.

Instead we just get more spin, to wit, Costello’s Vision of last week. An Energy Freeway.

C.L.
C.L.
15 years ago

Beazley’s Iraq War hysteria was dreamt up by the Opposition tactics committee to defuse Kim’s “faceless men” humiliation in South Australia. Labor expected a hammering on the journalistic lock-out, which is why Swan and Rudd sneaked into Parliament House yesterday – not giving doorstops for the first time in memory. (This reticence did not go unnoticed and caused a good deal of mirth). Howard dug up a pre-war quote from the same Kevin Rudd saying WMD were an “empirical” fact. When they knew that was coming – having listened as Howard revealed his source – about four Labor frontbenchers tried to get the Speaker to rule the PM out of order so as to prevent the Ruddian analysis being read into Hansard. Labor’s tactic was thereby demolished and Costello delivered the line of the day regarding Kim’s Press Conference In The Park: “No ticker, no start”.

Beazley argues that in order to fight terrorists, Australians should surrender in a fight against terrorists. The man is a coward and his foreign policy is now based on the appeasement template pioneered by Pig-Iron Jack Curtin: ‘If we lay off and lay low, they’ll leave us alone’. That didn’t exactly work a treat with Tojo or in Bali, PRIOR to the Iraq War. Labor is an embarrassing rabble.

Fyodor
15 years ago

Shorter CL: Iraq = WWII

Andrew Reynolds
15 years ago

Fyodor,
How do you account for the simple fact that, as far as I can see, the entire opposition front bench used to support the war and all of them accepted that there were WMD in Iraq?
The only one pushing at the last election for a speedy withdrawal was the one who got dumped. As they have now changed their position, perhaps the opposition can explain what the hell they are proposing to do other than just get out. Offering to help border guard training in Jordan is not quite what I would call a strategy.

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
15 years ago

Don’t speak crap Currency Lad. “If we lay off and lay low, they’ll leave us alone. That didn’t exactly work a treat with “

Alastair
Alastair
15 years ago

I think that Beazley was spot on in all he said about Iraq.

Howard’s actions in sending our troops to Iraq have made this country and the region much more vulnerable to terrorism.

It is clear that Howard and his government are in fact a danger to our national security.

Beazley and the Labor Party did not at any stage support the war in Iraq.

This war in Iraq is not going anywhere except creating plenty of carnage and instability. I believe that our troops must be withdrawn.

C.L.
C.L.
15 years ago

Chris, when you oppose tyrants they and their friends don’t like it and they respond. The situation escalates. Wheeling this notion out is like arguing that we really only encouraged the Nazis by objecting to the invasion of Poland. Well it’s true – we did. Not much of an argument.

By the way, bin Laden didn’t think we were a “country next to Bavaria”. Oddly enough, he thought we were a country next to Indonesia. The BBC’s transcript of a bin Laden rallying cry, 3 November, 2001:

Let us examine the stand of the West and the United Nations in the developments in Indonesia when they moved to divide the largest country in the Islamic world in terms of population.

We should view events not as separate links, but as links in a long series of conspiracies, a war of annihilation.

This criminal, Kofi Annan, was speaking publicly and putting pressure on the Indonesian government, telling it: You have 24 hours to divide and separate East Timor from Indonesia.

Otherwise, we will be forced to send in military forces to separate it by force.

The crusader Australian forces were on Indonesian shores, and in fact they landed to separate East Timor, which is part of the Islamic world.

Therefore, we should view events not as separate links, but as links in a long series of conspiracies, a war of annihilation in the true sense of the word.

Links in a long series, indeed. A year later and a YEAR BEFORE the Iraq War: the Bali Bombing. It is clear to anyone with an IQ above zero that Beazley’s surrender policy is meaningless populist rubbish and will do nothing to make anyone safer. About the Lancet’s new “estimate” of 650 trillion casualties, the less said the better.

Fyodor
15 years ago

Fyodor,
How do you account for the simple fact that, as far as I can see, the entire opposition front bench used to support the war and all of them accepted that there were WMD in Iraq?

The only one pushing at the last election for a speedy withdrawal was the one who got dumped. As they have now changed their position, perhaps the opposition can explain what the hell they are proposing to do other than just get out. Offering to help border guard training in Jordan is not quite what I would call a strategy.

How do I account for it, Andrew? By noting that they were using the same dodgy intelligence as Uncle Johnny. To be fair to CL, the ALP IS an “embarassing rabble”. That doesn’t mean sticking to a dumb strategy is a good idea.

We’re up to the googlies in FUBAR clusterfuck in downtown Baghdad and now KNOW the so-called intelligence that purportedly justified our intervention was deeply flawed. In light of this, reappraising the situation is appropriate. If the facts change, you change your mind.

What would I call a strategy? How about one with a realistic objective?
Our meagre forces serve no useful purpose for us risking their lives in Iraq and should be brought home. We are now the meat in the sandwich in a very nasty civil war, and it’s none of our business being there.

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

How the memory dulls the brain.
Actually the ALP voted against the troops going to Iraq and the ALP only supported invading Iraq if there was UN agreement.
There wasn’t hence the illegal invasion ( can one have a legal invasion?).

Quite clearly the ‘terrorists’ will claim victory no matter what however talk to anyone who has looked at Iraq and most believe insurgents far outweigh ant AQ lot.
The ‘terrorists’ cannot run the country and will as likely dissipate
They don’t any foreign troops there as the election proved so take them out.

Why can’t Busheee, toneee or our Johneee ever define what the job is.
Are they totally dyslexic

Amused
Amused
15 years ago

Re ‘Stability First’ option 1. Don’t you love it when suddenly it is OK to talk to terorists, when just the day before (or perhaps the month or year before) the ringing cry went forth-WE DON’T TALK TO TERRORISTS-AND ANYONE WHO SUGGESTS WE DO SO, IS AN APPEASER OF CHAMBERLAIN PROPORTIONS. First tip. Final option will look like installation of local strongman, backed by Syria and Iran, who will be a baathist or similar type sympathiser, armed and assisted by the US and Syrian proxies, to ensure that the Iraqis feel the smack of firm government on their necks. Again.

But the consequences for foreign policy in Ausrtalia will be felt for a long time. Despite the best efforts of the chicken hawkes in News Ltd, and the foghorn leghorns who make up much of the cultural right in this country, foreign policy is no longer a game for insiders anymore. The internet, and two generations of cynicism have put paid to all that. So in domestic terms, Downer and Howard can run around clacking ‘cut and run’ all they like. People made up their mind the before the war was formally entered into, and events have merely firmed the position, and made like adventures out of the question, at least in this country, for a generation or more. One thing, and one thing only can be said for this caper, which, cross fingers, has not so far cost one Australian serviceperson’s life as a direct result of combat , it will be the last of its kind for a long long time. Pity about the Iraqi dead, but of course ‘we’ don’t do body counts ,when ‘they’ are not only brown, but moslems to boot.

C.L.
C.L.
15 years ago

“People made up their mind…”

And re-elected the Bush, Blair and Howard administrations.

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

my guess is that it is nervousness as well as stupidly appointing Abbott leader of the House why the Government has been at sixes and sevens this week.

quite a rabble.

Amused
Amused
15 years ago

CL,
You never give up do you. The caper cost New labour scores of seats in the last UK election, has finished Blair’s career, and quite possibly, is about to finish republican control of Congress, although the latter has been immeasurably assisted by Congreesman Foley, gay point man for the moral majority. Here in OZ it figured as a big fat zero compared to the economy in 2004. Now it simply serves to illustrate and underscore for the ‘punters’ how Australia once again, allowed itself to be lead by the nose into the best little middle east adventure since the 1920s, on a pretext that not even its promoters actualy believed. If no Australian dies as a direct result of combat, it wil remain a matter that undermines the pathetic ‘strongman’ pose adopted by Dolly Downer, and silly old Howard. If one dies, watch out. It will then do for this lot, what it has done, over time, to both Blair and Bush. Trust me on this.

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

I vote that both CL and the Catallaxy mob are banned until their respective blogs are back online.

meanwhile……..

C.L.
C.L.
15 years ago

The caper cost New labour scores of seats in the last UK election…

Uh-oh, that could mean we’re heading for, er, a Tory Party government in the UK.

Majorities come and go in US mid-term elections. A set-back will have very little to do with Congressman Foley. The deeds of Democrat child molester Gerry “Stud-Muffin” Studds didn’t badly affect his party’s prospects and his superiors actually allowed the pervereted scumbag to stay in office for years. Peace campaigner Teddy Kennedy has hung on for decades and he killed someone.

…on a pretext that not even its promoters actualy believed.

SWAT Womble Kevin Rudd believed it. He said WMD were an empirical fact. So did Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, John Edwards, Nancy Pelosi, Scott Ritter, Ted Kennedy, Madeleine Albright and the United Nations.

It will then do for this lot, what it has done, over time, to both Blair and Bush.

Blair is the most successful British PM in modern history and George Bush was re-elected after the Iraq War with a double Congressional majority.

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
15 years ago

CL: Well done! Chalk up one to you on my OBL and Bavaria comment. “About the Lancet’s new “estimate”

Andrew Reynolds
15 years ago

Fyodor,
I presume from what you said that you do not call Howard a liar on the war reasons front. Good to see. I could not remember where you sat on that.
As for “none of our business being there” I, respectfully, disagree. We do bear a responsibility for what is going on over there, and simply withdrawing does not (IMHO) discharge that responsibility. Sure, it does look like the current strategy is not working, so further options must be explored, as Chris Lloyd’s link shows that is being done.
The only point at which full scale withdrawal becomes a real option is where it can be shown that the only reason there is no decent outcome is the presence of coalition troops. I do not believe we are even close to that conclusion.

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

Andrew, a bloke who doesn’t enquire whether Iraq was capable of endangering his neighbours let alone the US,
Who doesn’t enquire what TYPE of WMDS was endangering world security,

Who doesn’t understand whom is more dangerous North Korea or Iraq,
Who doesn’t know whom is killing more people Mugabe or Hussein and in which country was increasing and who cut and run from Afghanistan which was the real front against AQ at the time is either lying or not the full quid

Chris Lloyd
Chris Lloyd
15 years ago

Andrew: Fyodor may not, but I DO call Howard a liar on the war reasons front. Before the war, people could have believed in the possible existence of some WMD though it was not proven. There was no credible evidence that the weapons were deliverable. And Howard was told point blank by Hans Blix that he thought there we no WMD. Presumably he told Bush the same. It is all there in Blix’s book. Yet Howard still refuses to discuss what was said to him in a “private” conversation with Blix.

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

but you said Bomber was problix

C.L.
C.L.
15 years ago

Homer, is there a TYPE of WMDS that don’t threaten security? Iraq WAS a danger to its neighbours – as even the briefest conversation with Iranians, Kuwaitis and Israelis would confirm for you.

Mugabe has not used WMD against his own population and he wasn’t looking to build a nuclear weapon. If people are advocating an invasion of Zimbabwe, they’ll need to convince the UN and Kofi Annan. Two weeks ago, Annan said nothing could be done for Sudan until an invitation to intervene issued forth from that ravaged country – presumably from a skeleton. Hard though it is to believe, the fact that Bill Clinton bombed an aspirin factory in Sudan didn’t help the situation.

Noeth Korea left the orbit of viable nuclear containment under the Clinton administration, not the Bush administration. Bush never said Iraq was “more dangerous” than Korea. In fact he correctly stated that these two countries (with Iran) were as bad as one another.

Australia did not “cut and run” from Afghanistan. Special forces cannot stay in situ permanently. When their temporary withdrawal was announced, the move was supported by Kim Beazley. AQ was given its biggest boost by Bill Clinton, who allowed bin Laden to escape on about five occasions.

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

err yes CL the ONLY type quoted by your boys Bush,Blair and Howard.
Canisters shot out of helicopters and laced artillery shells ( that incidentally didn’t win that battle).

You are dissembling yet again my old sorry young mate.

After the Gulf war Iraq had the slowest aircraft in the area, could service their own tanks, missiles that dropped out of the sky halfway to Israel and add to that an army that had never proved itself and no general of any note.

you have said one of the reasons to invade was the amount of people being killed.
Mugabe was killing more,much more.

Iraq never had nuclear weapons and never looked liked getting any.

Afghanistan if you do recall was where AQ and ABL was located yet your man let him go and indeed has been so successful there that reinforcements have been sent after they cut and ran.

Amused
Amused
15 years ago

I await with my customery amusement, the time when some journalist, (if we are allowed to have any these days), might ask Howard that precise question. ‘What did Hans Blix tell you, and why won’t you share it with the rest of us’?

Oh and btw andrew, if the only question we now must weigh is whether the current imbroglio is a reuslt of the presence of cow troops, what techniques and processes should be undertake to ascertain the correct answer? You know as well as the NIE that in the absence of a withdrawal, this mess will go on and on and on, until there is practically no civil society left worthy of the name, and the whole place has been reduced to a hell hole that only mercenaries, jihadist wingnuts , the poor and the resourceless are left, together of course, with the troops of what is left of the cow. We have 900 soldiers there. Exactly what, except some notion of ‘face’ are we protecting with that carefully calibrated commitment to ‘our great and powerful friend’, other than the imperatives of grubby domestic politics?

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

I expect Howard to share his conversation with Blix about the sametime he shares the advice he got from Miles Jordana

Andrew Reynolds
15 years ago

Amused,
What do you believe will happen if we and the rest of the CoW withdraw? Universal peace and harmony? Shia, Kurd and Sunni holding hands and leaping across the rivers? While the situation is bad now it would be difficult to envisage a situation where withdrawal actually helped, IMHO.
.
Homer,
The only reason why Iraq did not get a nuclear capacity was that the Israelis took preventative measures in 1981 – something that, arguably, should have been done in North Korea a decade or so ago. Unfortunately, they are not close enough to Israel for them to do it and Japan could not.
They were plainly trying to develop both them and delivery systems for them and would have continued to do so immediately sanctions were lifted.

C.L.
C.L.
15 years ago

Bill Clinton let bin Laden escape about five times and launched a missile at an aspiron factory (and a camel) in Sudan. Australian forces dod not “cut and run” from Afghanistan. Special forces cannot fight on forever without rest. Their temporary withdrawal was supported by Kim Beazley and the Labor Party.

The bipartsian Jull committee concluded that the Howard government did not lie about or exaggerate the WMD question but reflected – in what it characterised as “moderate” terms – exactly what intelligence agencies (including the ONA) then believed. One of the signatories who endorsed these conclusions was a chap named Kim Christian Beazley.

Amused
Amused
15 years ago

No Andrew,
I do not think any such thing will happen, as my earlier post demonstates. I think that what is actually being planned, as opposed to written about on liberty loving blogs like this, is a return of some ‘strong man’ underpinned by some combination of Syrian (secular) and Iranian (keep the Shias under control) proxies, perhaps armed and funded by the US. It is beyond thunderdome, the whole thing.

Andrew Reynolds
15 years ago

I think we can all just look back to the period immediately after the success of the invasion and just shake our heads. The disbandment of the army and police and several other decisions have come back to greatly haunt the US and UK. Without those mistakes I doubt we would be in this position now.
All speculation of course – it will be interesting to see the judgement of history, but (to state the bleedin’ obvious) we need to deal with the situation as we see it today. I just cannot see withdrawal at this stage as a viable option.

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

let me see when did the illegal invasion of Iraq happen?
1981! no that was when Ian Botham was winning tests for England.

Bush had for what reason both ABL and most of AQ at his mercy in Afghanistan but let them off the hook.
They bomb the USA and a couple of thousand troops are sent.

Iraq does what and how many troops are sent?

Which was more important both exante and exposte?

No-one in middle ranking positions in Defence thought Iraq could threaten any country in the region yet this did not make it to senior ranks why?
possibly the same reason the ONA report cited by one little johnee at the press club just before the 2001 election.

This avoids the questions of why Howard didn’t ask the obvious questions that were being answered by Eagelburger ,scowcroft Craig roberts and other ex Reagan and Bush1 staffers.

Cato was dead right about Condi as well. No wonder she refused to take the oath to the 9/11 commission.

Amused
Amused
15 years ago

Finally,
Who is ‘we’? ‘We’ ie Australia, has 900 troops. Exactly who and what are we ‘preserving/defending/securing in that morass of unchecked violence, and its corrollary, total social breakdown? Diddly squat, that’s what, except domestic political citadels called ‘national security expertise’ Bah humbug.

Fyodor
15 years ago

What Amused just said.

Fyodor,
I presume from what you said that you do not call Howard a liar on the war reasons front. Good to see. I could not remember where you sat on that.

As for “none of our business being there”

Andrew Reynolds
15 years ago

Fyodor,
Perhaps it is just the moralist in me, but I believe there is a longer term interest than the strictly Machiavellian one. If we (and in this I mean the CoW) create the mess, build a set of allies there, mess things around for a few years, tell the locals we will stay and support them and then, one day they wake up and we are gone, then what happens next time? We go into another country and all they see of our history is that we mess things up and piss off, what are they likely to do? Help us or try to run us out of town?
Like many other areas, we need to be seen to keep our promises. It increases the credibility of both our threats and promises. To me, half the problem we are encountering here is that the locals simply do not believe us – due to our past history. The image of the last helicopter out of Saigon is a powerful one and one that is taking a long time to live down.
Sure, you could argue the promise should not have been made – but it has. So where do we go from here? Piss off or keep the promise?

Fyodor
15 years ago

Where do we go from here, Andrew? We piss off like we did the last time we fucked up.

As you imply, we’ve all seen this movie before. You know, the one where dopey first-worlders send middle-class white boys to get killed in third-world shitholes because somebody thought it was a Good Idea At The Time. I can recommend a whole bunch of movies in that vein if you want some perspective.

The point is, they KNOW we fucked up. They KNOW we’re going to ditch them. Why? Because it’s the sensible thing for us to do. It gets to the essence of counter-insurgency warfare: the other guy knows he just has to bleed your flabby white arse until you can’t take it anymore and he’s won the game. And he will, because he has NOWHERE to go. There is no option for our enemy in Iraq but victory – the alternative is unthinkable. For us, “defeat” means no more wasted money and no more body bags sent back from somebody else’s country. Do you really think that’s a tough choice for either side?

Forget about proving our word, or any similar notions of credibility – we’ve already lost, what, a decade of credibility on any security or defence issue. That’s what a lot of misguided supporters for this occupation don’t get: the longer we insist on losing this particular war, the more depleted our resources and credibility for the next one, which could be a damn sight more important to us than Iraq [*cue Kim Jong Il*]. George Bush Snr. knew how to play this game. Junior has squandered his inheritance.

The question isn’t WHETHER we bug out or not, but WHEN.

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

Fyodor,
you are missing one important fact.

No matter what information base you use the death rate in Iraq is increasing and at an alarming rate.

The other point I would make is the the Insurgents at present put up with foreign terrorists because they want foreign forces out. If they were not there it is highly possible the Insurgents would not tolerate these foreigners as well.

Fyodor
15 years ago

What does that have to do with the price of fish, Homerkles? The fact that the death rate is appallingly high hadn’t escaped my notice – it’s one of the reasons why I think the place is a shithole we should exit pronto.

As for “foreign terrorists”, I’d rather they were the Iraqis’ problem, not ours.

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

oops , sorry Fyodor I misread your comment.

Amused
Amused
15 years ago

Andrew,
Fyodor said it. In any counterinsurgency the people who actually live there have no where else to go. It is their place. It is not our place, it’s theirs, whether we like it or not. No matter what the original raison d’etre for invasion and regime change, once enough of the inhabitants of the ‘homeland’ decide they want you to go, it is not ‘if’, it is always ‘when’.

Do you really think that the Shia majority support the COW because they like us, or because they have read the US constitution and support the Federalist Society position on the role of the Presidency in the US system of checks and balances? No, I don’t think so either. What has been unleashed might be the result of tearing the scab (hussein) off the sore that is/was Iraqi society, but in the end, it is they, and only they, who have sufficient and direct ‘interest’ and ability to put somehthing back together that might be minimally tolerable and permit some basis for ordinary everyday life.
I note that the news last night from the BBC suggested that the US was indeed thinking to impose a solution along the lines that I posted yesterday. Syria+Iran+local strongman, supported and funded by US from a distance, to ensure no fundi jihadists get control in Iraq. We are back to precisely where we started, and Iraq has lost around 30 years human and social development.

Yes indeed Downer, you are guilty, along with the rest of the racist, thoughtless, blowhard armchair generals in the print media and the wingnuts that float around the blathershere and who never, ever try to imagine how it must feel, to see your place, and your people, blown to smithereens by strangers, who not only speak another language, but worse, while holding you and yours in deep contempt, get angry and disdainful because you and yours show insufficient gratitude for the sacrifices you have made on their behalf.

Colonialism might have been vanquished as a mode of direct control, but the habits of mind, and the failures of imagination it engenders live on, often in the places that proclaim the loudest, their liberation from all the ‘isms’ of the past.

C.L.
C.L.
15 years ago

…who never, ever try to imagine how it must feel, to see your place, and your people, blown to smithereens by strangers, who not only speak another language, but worse, while holding you and yours in deep contempt, get angry and disdainful because you and yours show insufficient gratitude for the sacrifices you have made on their behalf.

Life under Saddam.

Amused
Amused
15 years ago

Yep, it was for some CL, and now we have provided the whole society with the experience. So that makes it even I guess. I love you moral clarity types.

Alastair
Alastair
15 years ago

Regarding the Jull report (which was bipartisan though it actually contained a majority of liberal members, and it did include Mr Beazley)- It’s findings included that the government’s presentation of the intellegence re Iraq having WMDs:

Bring Back EP at LP
Bring Back EP at LP
15 years ago

My memory has ONA unable to explain how they went from being ambivalent on WMDs to being in the ‘slam dunk’ territory within a few days and with no new information.
It did happen after a PM speech on that topic however.

Another Miles Jordana moment perhaps

Fyodor
15 years ago

Shorter CL: Bush = Saddam

You gotta love that moral equivalence crap.