Monday, August 20, 2007

I Was Wrong, Episode MCXXVIII: The Surge
(But Not Exactly Wrong In This Case)

So, Reuters sayeth:

U.S. Foreign Policy Experts Oppose Surge

More than half of top U.S. foreign policy experts oppose President George W. Bush's troop increase as a strategy for stabilizing Baghdad, saying the plan has harmed U.S. national security, according to a new survey.

As Congress and the White House await the September release of a key progress report on Iraq, 53 percent of the experts polled by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for American Progress said they now oppose Bush's troop build-up.

That is a 22 percentage point jump since the strategy was announced early this year.

The survey of 108 experts, including Republicans and Democrats, showed opposition to the so-called "surge" across the political spectrum, with about two-thirds of conservatives saying it has been ineffective or made things worse in Iraq.

Now, I've notoriously, if tentatively, supported the surge here, being, I think, careful to note that I haven't the foggiest idea what I'm talking about. But as a reasonably well-informed layperson (i.e., as someone who hasn't the foggiest idea what he's talking about) I (tentatively) concluded that the surge, though sucking as an idea, sucked less than any available alternative.

Now it looks like the experts have concluded that it was, in fact, a bad idea.

Which is very bad.

Not to seem overly fastidious about such things, or to make excuses, but--as the information above seems to confirm--experts were apparently mainly pro-surge back when I was advocating it.

I am still inclined to back the surge strategy (easy for me to say, as my ass is not on the line)...but only if we are going to get something like the straight dope from General Petraeus. If we continue to get propaganda and disinformation (ah, Ronnie, your administration is starting to look good in retrospect), then, I think, we have to leave. If we are deprived by the administration of the information required to rationally choose policy, we have to get out.

My $0.02.


Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

And mine, in the more expanded form that space prohibits here.

5:20 PM  
Blogger The Mystic said...


I am in such utter disbelief that I can barely see the screen. After all these accusations that you've been getting regarding your inability to post something relevant, you do this.

Unbelievable, man, truly unbelievable.

Not ONLY do you post something ENTIRELY irrelevant, but also LUDICROUSLY absurd. For all of you who just glossed over Tom's post, he wrote, and I shit you not, "Who'd a thunk it? I've always blamed France for the Iraq war, and of course that was right, as we shall see in a minute."

Yes, I, like you, thought this SURELY must be a joke. It's so absurd that it can't possibly be serious. In fact, even after I tell you all that it IS serious, you're not going to believe me and you'll have to go there to see for yourself. But here you are - it's serious.

Not only did Tom post an article about his opinion on how France caused the Iraq War as a comment to WS's post about how the Surge doesn't appear to be working (so it's COMPLETELY irrelevant), but he ALSO...

posted an article about his opinion on how France caused the Iraq War (so, it's COMPLETELY insane).

I mean, what the fuck, Tom? I can't take it anymore. Is this like, a sociological experiment on your behalf to see how long a blog can survive you? I cave - I don't want to participate anymore. If I say I don't want to participate anymore, doesn't that mean you have to stop? DOESN'T IT!? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Now, just to ensure you that I'm not "delegitimizing" you or whatever, here's why your view is utterly insane:

You say that France caused the Iraq War by criticizing and vehemently protesting the American threat of invasion against Saddam, causing a false sense of hope in Saddam that someone would stop the US from invading, causing Saddam to keep doing what he was doing - which is nothing - and just forcing Bush's unwilling hand into war.

I'm just not even going to bother going over all the reasons for the wrong premises, but I will point out the apparent wrong premises:

1) Bush didn't want to go to war - the diabolical union of Saddam and France FORCED him to.
1a) War was necessary given the evidence.
2) France had no reason to publicly challenge the US threat of invasion.
1a) War was necessary given the evidence.
3) Because France challenged the invasion, they are the cause of it.


Really, Tom. Jebus. JEBUS. I want to throw my monitor across the room when I read your post, but then..that wouldn't do any know..just like..reasoning with you!


What can we do? WHAT CAN WE DO to make you STOP POSTING IRRELEVANT, RIDICULOUS CRAP!? Do you honestly not see how absurd and irrelevant that post of yours was? Just say yes or no - honestly - you don't, or you do. If you don't, WHAT CAN WE DO to make it more clear for you? What would you need to see in order to understand?

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give it up, Mystic. There's nothing you can do; tvd is the closest thing I've seen to an immovable object.

This site hit the skids years ago, when Winston decided tvd deserved a spot on the blogroll.

I come back from time to time just to see if WS has come to his senses and banned tvd, but I gave up on commenting long ago.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Van Dyke said...

Time after time, the solution is to stifle dissenting voices. If I were a gentleman of the left, nobody would say boo about me around here.

Nice to hear from you, wmr. As you see, your place biting at my ankles has been adequately filled. A pity there were too many words in the essay I linked off-site to find out what I was actually saying, that included criticism of the conduct of the war. To caricature me as a dogmatic partisan is required to delegitimize my views and so that's the standard operating procedure.

And WS, the link was really intended for you. I find Kouchner a refreshing breeze in the stifling air of the orthodoxies of both right and left.

4:37 PM  

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