Screwed Up War Priorities

The Juxtaposition of two articles in the Times this morning left my head spinning. In the first, Davd Carr takes on our collective ability to forget the troops we celebrate this Memorial Day. The White House sets a narrative–The Surge is Working–and the networks fall in line.

But the tactical success of the surge should not be misconstrued as making Iraq a safer place for American soldiers. Last year was the bloodiest in the five-year history of the conflict, with more than 900 dead, and last month, 52 perished, making it the bloodiest month of the year so far. So far in May, 18 have died.

Television network news coverage in particular has gone off a cliff. Citing numbers provided by a consultant, Andrew Tyndall, the Associated Press reported that in the months after September when Gen. David H. Petraeus testified before Congress about the surge, collective coverage dropped to four minutes a week from 30 minutes a week at the height of coverage, in September 2007.

So while we manage to forget about the War in the Streets of Sadr City, our Department of Homeland Security wants us to spend our tax tax dollars keeping those I.E.D.’s off the streets of Boston.

Juliette N. Kayyem, the Massachusetts homeland security adviser, was in her office in early February when an aide brought her startling news. To qualify for its full allotment of federal money, Massachusetts had to come up with a plan to protect the state from an almost unheard-of threat: improvised explosive devices, known as I.E.D.’s.

When Ms. Kayyem enquired whether there was any new intelligence on this threat, she was told no. What’s worse, the Feds want her to spend some of her tight police budget on this as well.

The disconnect between what is important and what is not, is quite profound.

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0 Responses to Screwed Up War Priorities

  1. Morgan Warstler says:

    Jon, don’t quote LYING stats.

    Basra was a serious effort in April – we lost 52. But we WON. Sadr the biggest cancer we faced has been neutered by his own side. Since Basra, Mosul fell with nary a whimper.

    We are at 17 casualties in May – which could be the lightest month in loss of US blood since the war began.

    Things are looking up, and it is WRONG for you to bring your nattering nabobs of negativism, to this effort.

    One question we can hold you to, try and really answer it:

    WHAT will be your attitude if in 2 years, with either Obama or McCain in office, we are at 80K troops in Iraq, the situation has stabilized, and the Iraqis are continuing to ask for us to stay?

  2. Rick Turner says:

    Morgan, just who are “the Iraqis”? Are they Kurds? Are they Sunnis? Are they Shiites? Or are they wonderful guys like Ahmed Chalabi? Who wants so much for us to stay there? Oil barons?

  3. Morgan Warstler says:


    All 3 of them. It behooves you to stop moving the goal posts on the Iraqis – they are making the political progress that was required of them, and then some – it is unbelievable.

    Services have been and are being restored. Electricity is up and running. People can walk the streets. Sunni, Shiite, and Kurds are warily intelligently forming a new Iraqi nation. these are proud nationalist folks, they don’t want Syria, Turkey or Iran telling them what to do.

    Oil will solve this. Let it. They want western oil companies in there pumping like mad, and so do we. We’re on the road to success. We’ll begin to see draw downs based on this success. Everyone should be happy that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    If shit all goes to hell, I’ll scream from the highest mountain we should leave – but Rick you really ought to give Iraqis some credit.

  4. Rick Turner says:

    If we ever leave it will just blow up until so many more are dead that there won’t be any left to pull triggers, and I hate to say it, but maybe that’s what needs to happen. I cannot see a happy future for a single country called Iraq. I can see mass migrations in three directions and a loose federation of three states possibly working. I cannot see an Iraq, though, as a single entity unless a new Saddam comes in to hold everything in place with an iron fist…kind of like we’re trying to do with our army right now, but don’t have the cruelty to do effectively.

  5. chris says:

    “If shit all goes to hell”…

  6. rhb says:

    What I find unbelievable about you Morgan is that you can link us to a site that supports your position and not notice the contradictory evidence that can be linked from the same page, Yes, US casualties are down this month. But the constant stress and strain of living in constant fear for your life has not subsided just because you say it’s so.

  7. Dan says:

    “If shit all goes to hell, I’ll scream from the highest mountain we should leave”

    If shit all goes to hell, you’ll scream from the highest mountain that everything is going right and anybody who says otherwise is a liar, a moron and a traitor.

    Just like you always do.

  8. Ken Ballweg says:

    You’re so cute when you come out in that little skirt waving your pom poms and jumping up and down like that…

    However, your single minded focus on “winning” without considering the cost is so west Texas tribal. We lost the moment we went in if you consider net value to both countries. We have ruined our military’s capacity to defend us (unless we impose a war tax and draft). We have driven up the price of oil to the point where it offsets any hope of long term cheaper oil for the taxpayer through the act of this invasion. We are saddled with enormous debt long into the future which will cause so much political chaos that it will only compound as our short sighted politicians struggle to not have the bill come home on their watch. In the process the dollar will decline even more and the total bill, will never pen out to a “win” except in your twisted semantics. Weigh it out; probably more dead and wounded US citizens then unchecked terrorist attacks would have caused, interest on a massive debt that would have funded a major infrastructure makeover at home (which is needed if we ever hope to be competitive abroad economically) and a country more psychically damaged than any “win” will ever repair.

    So, step away from the pom poms, stroll over to the dictionaryt and, in addition to looking up Dunning-Kruger effect, which certainly fits your mind set, check out Pyrrhic victory while you are at it.

  9. The Scanner says:


    The event you refer to as, “Morgue” is almost certainly a bot from some left wing “think tank” (if there is such a thing) meant to discredit Conservatism, given the repetitive and ludicrous nature of its posts.

    Carry on.

  10. Zhirem says:


    In an effort to have greater understanding of someone who makes me *boggle* more than any in recent memory, and in a similar vein to insistent-to-the-point-over-overbearing-annoyance cries of “Cite me your opinion of $MAX”, I pose the following question:

    “What defines ‘win’ in your lexicon for Iraq?”

    – Zhirem

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