Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken
gozz@gozz.com

Friday, September 24, 2004

Allawi, Bush jive turkey on Iraq 

This year, the Muslim holiday month of Ramadan begins October 16th. We recall the drastic increase in attacks during the Muslim holiday months of Ramadan, nicknamed "Bombadon" last year by troops in Iraq. The holiday is one in which Muslims are to lay down arms, but radical Islamists see it as the best time to blow themselves up and attack "infidels". It's not surprising that the Bush campaign and their supporters are trying to frame an increase in attacks in the future as signs of desperation to derail all the wonderful things going on in Iraq.

Yesterday, Bush clarified what he meant (transcript) when he claimed only "a handful of people" are willing to kill to disrupt US lead efforts in Iraq,

Look, what we're seeing on our TV screens are the acts of suicide bombers. They're the people who - that are affecting the daily - the nightly news. And they know its effect. I said that the enemy cannot defeat us militarily. What they can do is take acts of violence that try to discourage us, and try to discourage the Prime Minister and the people of Iraq. Look, I'm fully aware we're fighting former Baathists and Zarqawi network people. But, by far, the vast majority of people, John, and of 25 million people, want to live in freedom. My point is, is that a few people, relative to the whole, are trying to stop the march of freedom.

Is he saying he is only taking note of the people who make the nightly news after they attack or kill people? A Gallup poll of 3,500 Iraqis in April found that 39% could not at all justify the US led invasion of Iraq and 52% could at least sometimes justify insurgent attacks against US troops. Even if those findings are significantly off or have significantly changed since April, Bush is not facing the reality that many many Iraqis support the actions that "a handful" of people are taking.

Allawi followed up Bush's answer by claiming most of Iraq was safe,

Let me explain something, which is very important. I have noticed - and the media have been neglected and omitted several times - in the Western media - Iraq is made out of 18 provinces, 18, 1-8. Out of these 18 provinces, 14 to 15 are completely safe, there are no problems. And I can count them for you, starting from Basra moving into Iraq Kurdistan. There are three areas, three provinces where there are pockets of insurgents, pockets of terrorists who are acting there and are moving from there to inflict damage elsewhere in the country. So, really, if you care to look at Iraq properly, and go from Basra to Nasiriyah to Kut to Diyala to Najaf to Karbala to Diwaniya to Samaraa to Kirkuk to Sulaymaniyah to Dahuk to Arbil, there are no problems.

The LA Times writes that few agree with Allawi's assessment as anxiety grips the nation amid a surge in attacks, concentrating on Allawi's comments to congress. You can go to news.google.com and read about any number of bombings and attacks in the provinces he calls "completely safe". One of the new hotspots, Baquba is the capitol of the Diyala provence. Is Basra safe? British troops clash with al-Sadr miltia in Basra, September 18, 2004. Blast Near U.S. Office in Basra Kills 1, September 12, 2004 (most reports say 2 were killed), Oil pipeline near Basra attacked. Samara? Fighting errupts in Samarra, September 22, 2004. Kirkuk? Suicide Car Bomb Kills 10 Near Kirkuk, September 18, 2004. Divorced from reality or lying his ass off? Dunno.

Bush also said the insurgency in Iraq could spread to the US if we stop attacking them in Iraq,

The path to our safety and to Iraq's future as a democratic nation lies in the resolute defense of freedom. If we stop fighting the terrorists in Iraq, they would be free to plot and plan attacks elsewhere, in America and other free nations.

It would be great if we could quell the violence in Iraq. But that's not what he's saying. Rather, Bush claims that if we stop attacking the people he says are trying to derail elections in Iraq, they'll get pissed and take the fight to America.

He needs to make up his mind - does he want the violence to continue in Iraq so it doesn't happen here, as he claims it would - or does he want to stop the violence in advanced of the Iraqi election slated for January?

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