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June 27, 2004




Let freedom ring. Let the whole world sing.


Isn't that incredible Jim? They pulled a fast one
on the terrorist and insurgents by doing the handover ahead of schedule. Pray for the Iraqi interim government, the Iraqi people, and for Our people.

Keep up the hope and the positive cause there is going to be a whole hell of a lot of negativity and pessimism about this.....


I pray for all of them, Chrish. There will still be "dead enders" in the country who will try to stop the elections early next year, but they will go on. It won't be easy, but I can see great things for the future of the Iraqi's.

Brilliant move to to the official handover two days early.


I am delighted on one hand, on the other hand, I am very curious to see what happens next. Gotta say this though, today would not be happening if it wasn´t for the bloody resistance Iraqis put up to our occupation.

I don´t think attacks on us will stop as long as we are there. This actually puts Bush in a huge conundrum. We can minimize our military presence if we retreat to military bases outside of major population centers, which he is likely to do since he won´t want any more deaths ahead of election. But if we just sit there and do not provide security, then Iraqis, military families and those with an eye on the US budget will wonder why the hell we are still there. If we do go out and about, there is no question we´ll be attacked again and will have to respond. A response will also result in almost guaranteed civilian deaths, begging the question by Iraqis of what the hell are we still there. Then they´ll retaliate and, well you know the story. In the end, we may retreat from there altogether and Iraq will likely engage in a brutal civil

This to me sounds like damned if you do and damned if you don´t. Yes, I know, I will be labelled a pessimist by some. But I have borne that title since Bush officially announced his intention to invade Iraq back in August 2002 and
have been proven right time after time. Hopefully I´ll be wrong this time.


speaking of let freedom ring, anyone read about the Supreme Court decision? They did the right thing; of course, the ultra-right wingers dissented, but thankfully the rest have some brains. Now about that retarded Patriot Act.


Wow, I didn't think it would be possible to turn the turnover into something negative. We are now officially there at the request of the Iraqi government. Of course the average Iraqi doesn't want to be occupied. Who would? But it's the lesser of the two evils - the other being probable civil war.
By the way, the vast majority of attacks by the "insurgents" over the past couple of months have targeted normal Iraqi's - not Americans. Therefore these terrorists are not so much anti-American(occupier) now as they are anti-freedom. Now they are even threatening to cut off the heads of fellow Muslims. Talk about hijacking a religion. The terrorists want their own "fellow" citizens to live in fear.

And yes the Supreme Court did the right thing. Oh wait I keep forgetting I agree with the Bush Administration on EVERYTHING - at least that's what I'm constantly accused of.


I think you guys confuse negativity and pessimism with realism. As an American, why in the world would I not want things to work out exactly as our leaders say they will? Put this way, has the our government been right on anything, other than being able to easily defeat the depleted Iraqi army with the world's most powerful military?

If the Democrats were in power, maybe we'd all be bashing them for incompetence. After all, Clinton was in power for eight years and we were totally caught with our pants down on 9/11. It's not like planes have never been hijacked before... this threat alone was worth addressing, yet we did nothing. The WTC has already been bombed once, the Cole has been bombed, and we get killed by a couple of people with box cutters.

It made me sick to see the parade of politicians come in front of the 9/11 Commission protecting their own asses and saying that they had done all that could be done, again including the Clinton administration, because obviously it wasn't true. The people who were supposed to protect us failed miserably and we've since forgotten about holding people responsible. A get out of jail free pass.

Fast forward to the present administration. We can all fixate on the imaginary image of free, democratic, and American allied Iraq providing cheap oil, stability, a location for military bases and somehow fixing the Palestinian situation (doesn't the roadmap go through Baghdad)? I would like nothing better than for all of this to happen.

Now... what reason do we have to believe that any of this will happen? Nothing! Any WMD? No. Can we keep peace in Iraq without our allies? No. Can we trust the Iraqi exiles that we've put in charge? No. Do Iraqis trust us or the exiles we've put in charge? No. Is prisoner abuse limited to just a few soldiers? No. Are the insurgents all "dead-enders"? No. Do we even know who they are? No. Are we really handing over sovereignty? No!

Not unless sovereignty is defined as people we appointed with long time ties to the CIA, with our troops all over the place (and immune from Iraqi prosecution), and with Bremer signing about a million directives into law before we leave? With U.S. soldiers dying every day and every Iraqi who helps us scared for their lives?

How is your hope and optimism going to overcome the reality on the ground? Did hope and optimism help us "handover" security to the Iraqi police? Or would guns, training, uniforms, and shoes been more effective? If the people who are paying attention to the details don't know what they're doing, then your hope and optimism is doomed. Exactly what have they done to inspire our confidence? People keep dying and scandal after scandal pops up...

So... the turnover itself is nothing negative. But why don't we be honest? Officially, we are there at the request of the Iraqi government. But really, we're there at the request of people we appointed, with whom we have longstanding ties, and who wouldn't have any power whatsoever if not for the American military. The "Iraqi government" has no choice. I'm not saying that anything should be done differently, but going crazy over a handover that's not a handover just because it happens two days early instead of dealing with the details... what's the point?


One last thing, exactly why was the handover done two days ahead of schedule, lasting only five minutes, and with no pomp or circumstance? Shouldn't there be a big speech, announcement of everlasting friendship between America and Iraq, and some wild celebrating?

I think being forced to have a secret handover says more than anyone ever could about how unsecure and dangerous the situation on the ground is. What is this more like, the British handover of Hong Kong or our diplomats retreating from Saigon near the end of the Vietnam War? Don't even accuse me of negativity or pessimism, it's the sad, hard truth.



Ahhh Jeff, I was wondering when you were going to bring in a comparison between Nam and Now? Such
pessimism you've just thrown out. It's amazing.
Yeah it is going to difficult nobody has stated anything differently about that fact; one of your realism's. Sure the Iraqi's are suspicious and
why shouldn't they be? We let them down once before what's to make them really believe we've
changed? "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me".

Given the circumstances these past number of months and more specifically the circumstances of the past two months how can you ask "Who are the insurgents"? The way you paint and dress it all up one would think All of the Iraqi people are running around with guns, knives, RPG's, and shooting at anything that moves or looks remotely
like an American. That ain't the truth, dude. The insurgents are Saddam loyalists who, it would appear, are teaming up or joining with terrorist cells, ala, Zarqawi types and also committing the majority if not all of those attacks, murders, and attacks. What don't you understand about that?

The coming months are going to be difficult and hard yes. Bush has not stated anything otherwise
nor denied that fact; another realism. Nato has agreed to help in the training of Iraqi forces and
appears they will also be sending people into Iraq
to further that training effort. It's not the most perfect of situations nor is it putting more boots on the ground but, at least they are starting to join in the effort; another realism.

From the actions of the Iraqi Interim Govt. a few weeks ago I would have to say they've already started to flex their muscles and aren't going to be the lapdogs of American Greed & Waste. It will be hard for them yes but, hopefully they will succeed in their efforts and Iraq will stand on their own two feet.

I do hope and pray and wish that the Iraqi people will take control of their own country and determine their own future, their own destiny irregardless of what Bush&Co or any other Govt., country, group, or entity wants or demands. They have had 35 years of pain, suffering, and anquish at the hands of a brutal dictator it's time they
had a taste of freedom. Let Freedom Reign.

That is my hope, my prayer, my wish, my realism and not your pessimism & negativity nor that of J.J's nor anybody else's is going to drain that away from me...


Well said, Chrish. Of course there will be problems. Nothing is perfect. And when there are elections in 6 months people will say, "well they are just U.S. sponsored elections." There will be problems. Others who have lost privileges will join Zarqawi (a Jordanian). But the Iraqi's will prevail. We're not running away. This is not Vietnam (which took 10 years and 56,000 American lives to lose). There is hope. And the glass is filling up.


It's my hope and prayer as well Chrish, but we've been operating on that for over a year. How has it helped for you to believe and call me a pessimist? We all hoped that no more of our troops or Iraqis would die after Bush declared an end to the war. Did that help us? I would argue that it hurt us because we weren't prepared at all.

Things may pass exactly as you hope, in which case, credit would go where it's due, just as the blame has gone where it's gone. Sure Bush can't say that it's going to be easy because it's not. What's he going to do, stand on a carrier and declare victory again? He had no problem going alone a year ago without the U.N. and without NATO. It only took a whole mess of deaths to convince him to do the obvious.

To answer your other questions, I've seen countless quotes from the military that they can't honestly figure out who the insurgents are. Was the al-Medhi army full of Saddam loyalists? No. But if you're saying that they are simply dead enders, then how are they defying us? If they are foreign terrorists, how did they get in? Are you sure they don't have some popular support? I don't claim to know these things, but how can you quote the official line and ask nothing else? We're so afraid of them that we schedule a secret handover.

The Iraqi government... need our support, can't prosecute U.S. troops, need to try to look like they're independent of us (to garner public support), and keep getting killed on top of all that. Chrish... I'm really sorry, but your prayers aren't going to help them. The only thing that can help is for us to make the right decisions going forward. Since Bush had made so many wrong ones, let's hope that past performance doesn't predict the future.


"We're so afraid of them that we schedule a secret handover.". For the same reason you can assume that "we're so afraid of them", I can assume that it was a way to throw the insurgents and terrorists off balance and avoid or minimize the number of deaths that would, obviously, have occurred had it gone on schedule.

I did not say all of them were either insurgents and terrorists. It's already a known fact that Al Sadr, wanted for murder, also had his followers resisting coalition forces. Al Sadr's motivations also come under suspicion since he didn't raise his head until after a warrant for his arrest had been issued by the Iraqi Council for the murder of another cleric. Do you recall that?

It is also a known fact that terrorist cells now in Iraq or other foreigners have come in through Syria, Jordan, and Iran. Surprise! They are also known to be Saudi Arabians, Iranians, Egyptians, and others. Surprise!

Yes, I'm sure there are a few everyday Iraqi's who are being drawn into the mix for various reasons or motivations but, I don't believe they represent the majority anymore than I believe Liberals, Conservatives, Right Wing, or Left Wing represent the majority of the People here in this country.

Of course the Iraqi government is going to need our continued support and backing for a time until they can handle their own security, their own issue, and their own problems. WWII, Germany and Japan also needed our support and backing until they were able to get onto their own feet.
They only difference there is they didn't have the insurgency nor terrorism as is going on in Iraq. Unless, of course, you want to call that period of time when Germany required an airlift because the Russians had surrounded and blockaded entry into that city. Whom do you think was there
one to jump to the ready to lend aid and assistance? We did. We didn't turn our backs on them, we didn't look the other way, we didn't wheel and deal with them. We ran the blockade by airlifting almost on a 24 hour basis the supplies, aid and assistance they needed until the Russians backed down. That is what Allies or
friends do; they help, aid, and assist the other.
But, I digress.

On one note I do agree with you but, has been that way for how long? That's this thing with
not prosecuting Our troops if they've committed
what would be considered as war crimes. I don't see where We are any different nor better than other's. a war crime is a war crime and those who commit such acts should be brought to trial and if found guilty punished for their crimes. Whether or not they are an American is irrelevant.

On the matter of prayer Jeff. Science, quite recently, has started to discover the power of prayer and have only scratched the surface of the power of prayer. Yes Jeff, I believe in the power of prayer and, despite what you or others may say will continue to pray for the peace of Iraq and for their future.

Yes Bush has made mistakes, a number of mistakes and hopefully he's man enough to admit, at least to himself, those mistakes and make changes in his direction and decisions. But, let's not forget that other's before him also made mistakes
which put us at risk culminating in what we have today...


It's funny that people would actually criticize the fact that this handover was done ahead of schedule and without pomp and circumstance. Please give me a break. If there were a big ceremony with Bush and Blair, can you imagine the criticism then? And why was it done early? Precisely to avoid the terrorist bombings that were scheduled for tomorrow. This is typical of the Bush = wrong, Anybody But Bush = correct crowd. It will probably soon be "proven" that the Bush family had slaves prior to 1860.


No Jim, the reason that it was done in secret and without pomp and circumstance is because they can't. Once again, you do twist my words... imagine if peace, democracy, and freedom were ringing in Iraq today. I would want a ticket to that party because it'd be the hottest in the world. We don't even have security and I don't know how you can overlook that because everything depends on it. How can you say that I'm anti-Bush just because I assign him the responsibility?

Chrish, what's the difference between being afraid of terrorists and planning the handover early so that we throw them off? So you say that terrorists are coming in from Saudi Arabia, Iran, and anyone but Iraq. That's funny, I thought we invaded Iraq because it was on the front line of terrorism. If they're foreign, then can't we conclude that they weren't there before the invasion?

Incidentally, you admit that Bush made mistakes and you hope that he's man enough to admit it. Do you get that kind of free pass at your day job? I'll bet when you make mistakes, people don't die either. You express optimism at NATO and U.N. involvement and somehow manage to give Bush credit, like he thought of it first! Once again, he was forced to change, mostly because people were dying.

In all of history, has any leader improved when his credit line is extended? The answer is no, but luckily in America we can fire our leader when he sucks. Given all the overwhelming evidence that no one can refute, I can't see why you would give him a second chance.

Just imagine your son or daughter, dead because we didn't have enough troops on the ground, dead in another al-Qaeda terrorist attack because we got distracted by Iraq and didn't go all out to kill Bin Laden, dead because we couldn't provide security to American firms working to reconstruct Iraq, dead because we didn't properly train Iraqi police, dead because we didn't armor our humvees, dead because the family of an abused Iraqi prisoner wanted revenge, dead because our president said, "Bring it on!", or dead because he invaded a country that posed no threat to us.

There are quite a few people who don't have to imagine any of this and every day there are a lot more, both American and Iraqi. Don't tell me that Bush didn't have plenty of opportunities to make fewer mistakes. If that's acceptable performance from the CEO of this country, then by all means paint sunshine all over the mass graves we're digging and just keep hoping it doesn't hit home one day.



if the Bush family had slaves prior to 1860, then that is irrelevant to this discussion or anything else, for that matter. What is relevant is how Jacques Chirac´s ass must have tasted when Bush kissed it over and over again and still got rebuffed each time.

no offense, but why is it ok to use WWII analogies but not Vietnam one´s?

Jeff said so much so well. I'm glad Bremer and CPA is the hell out of Iraq, they weren't doing jack except to pave the way for a pro-American puppet regime. Everything else like rebuilding the country was just sheer propaganda. Look at Afghanstan, we've had nearly 2 years and outside of a couple of big cities, anarchy, violence and extremism is still the norm. And I don't believe that Iraq will be sovereign until we are gone completely.


apparently Iraqis blow up our soldiers because they hate Eminem. It must have nothing to do with the occupation of their land. Or the humiliation when falsely arrested in the middle of the night in front of their families. Or the torture those said falsely arrested people are exposed to in prison by "a few bad apples."

from YahooNews:
ISTANBUL, Turkey - President Bush urged the Muslim world on Tuesday to put aside suspicion and hatred toward the West and embrace democracy, saying that does not mean Arab nations have to accept American pop culture.

"Some people in Muslim cultures identify democracy with the worst of Western popular culture and want no part of it. And I assure them, when I speak about the blessings of liberty, coarse videos and crass commercialism are not what I have in mind."


while the Marines are, no doubt, looking for a few good men, Army intelligence and Rumsfeld's mercenaries are looking for "a few bad apples." Kind of a catchy slogan, don't you think?


speaking of pessimism, the Bush/Cheney website is a non-stop express of blatantly negative images of Kerry.
Of course the website makes a lot of statements that are up to debate, but this one really got me laughing. I mean, the optimism is almost overwhelming:

Preserving the Beauty and Quality of Our Environment
President Bush believes that good stewardship of the environment is not just a personal responsibility, it is a public value. Americans are united in the belief that it is important to preserve our natural heritage and safeguard the land around us.

The President has launched initiatives that express this same commitment. His Administration has acted in a comprehensive way to achieve impressive results. By almost every indicator, environmental quality in the United States is improving with cleaner air, water, and land, and improved public health.

The President believes that the federal government has an important role to play in protecting our environment and he has introduced new and innovative policies to achieve these goals. The President favors common-sense approaches to improving the environment while protecting the quality of American life. Over the past two-and-a-half years, the Administration has introduced initiatives that have already begun to deliver significant environmental results for all Americans.


Analogies to WWII vs. Vietnam. Like Germany and Japan, we won in Iraq and we are rebuilding it. Like Germany and Japan it takes time. Like Germany and Japan, there was still violence and terrorism after the war was over.

Jeff and J.J. you guys criticize the handover while there is "no" security. There is never going to be 100% security. And there will always be some violence while we are there. It's not like you can just flip a switch and everything changes. As the Iraqi's get stronger, we start to pull out. You know this. But if it's not perfect and tied in a bow you will criticize it. Thank God we didn't have CNN during WWII. We never would have got that Greman oil.


That's German oil.


crikey, what are you talking about, man?


Jim, if you want to do WWII vs. Vietnam analogies, do it right. All of the so-called likenesses that you have projected, have yet to happen and may not happen, so how can we find any of those things persuasive? Why don't we go over a list of things that have happened?

Like Vietnam and unlike Germany and Japan, Iraq did not attack us and was no threat to attack us. Like Vietnam, we went in thinking we had the power to do anything and left slinking into the night. Unlike Germany and Japan, most of the world thought we were wrong and did not support our efforts. Like Vietnam, we showed incredible arrogance about spreading our way of government and support a puppet regime. Like Vietnam, we have no support in Iraq. Like Vietnam, our leaders block negative images (like caskets) to mask the fact that troops are dying. Like Vietnam, our leaders won't tell us how much money we're spending there.

Your rational is simply not supported by the facts. Of course, Iraq will never be 100% secure, there's more than enough crime on the streets of America. But it's not even secure enough to avoid importing oil from Jordan. It's not secure enough to restore the electrical grid to full power. It's not secure enough to protect Iraqis, American soldiers, foreign contractors, or Iraqi governing council members.

But forget all of that for a moment, what really bothers me is that we were powerful enough to prevent or limit all of these tragedies, but not competent enough. Before the invasion, the Army estimated that we needed 400,000 troops, but our civilian leaders thought they were smarter and only needed 75,000. Those same leaders thought that Iraq oil would pay for reconstruction. They also thought we would be greeted as liberators, followed a possible Iranian spy, authorized and did not control prisoner abuse, thought that a obviously forged nuclear purchase was real, ignored warnings for 9/11, the list goes on and on and on.

All of this went so terribly wrong that we don't even need to get into details. Many lives were lost because our leaders were incompetent and you and Chrish continue to gloss this all over with letting freedom ring, even though there's no security, forget about freedom and democracy. The handover is not even a handover, though I suppose if you call it that enough times, you'll believe it is.

Incidentally, how's security in Israel these days? Is giving it more time helping?

Last thing, Chrish, the Berlin Airlift example doesn't fit at all. We almost had 100% support from West Berlin. Imagine how it would have been if the citizens had been shooting at us. Security is so bad that Baghdad Airport isn't even open for business and the road to it is the most dangerous in the country.



We left slinking into the night. All except for the 140,000 who are still there trying their best to bring stability to the new government. Got it.


Right on cue Jim, all you can do to answer is to take something, put it out of context, missing the point completely, coupled with a snide remark. Do you think we got half a million troops out of Vietnam over night or did it take a couple of years?

140,000 doing their best to bring stability, eh? Why? Because there is no stability. No stability and U.S. troops means that there is no handover. Nice try to have it both ways and once again you avoid answering all the tough issues that require thought.


Thanks Jeff

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