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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Wrong, but accurate

I hardly know where to begin on this one (from Fox News).

While Bush has been campaigning as the best candidate to deter terrorists and protect the nation, Kerry portrayed him as out of touch with the situation in Iraq.

“With all due respect to the president, has he turned on the evening news lately? Does he read the newspapers?” Kerry said. “Does he really know what’s happening? Is he talking about the same war that the rest of us are talking about?”

This man thinks the Commander-in-chief should formulate war strategies according to what it says on CNN, and he is standing for president of the United States?

With all due respect to the Democratic candidate, has he never heard of military intelligence? Does he even know what the blogosphere is? Is he talking about the same universe that the rest of us are talking about?

Damn right, we are talking about different wars. This is the real one. And it’s not available in any newspapers.

24 comments to Wrong, but accurate

  • The leaked National Intelligence Assessment says that we’re losing in Iraq. So much for what the President knows that we don’t.

    As for the President’s other information sources, he’s said in public that he doesn’t read the newspapers or watch television.

    Anyway, I’m sure that the loonie Sharia lovers will be happy when Iraq turns in to another “Islamic Republic” after the US is forced to withdraw with its tail between its legs. We’ve already lost control of large swaths of the country which are now “no-go” zones. Our casualty rate has doubled in the last few months. The economy in Iraq is faltering. Water and electricity are in worse shape than they were just after the invasion. Oil exports are non-existent thanks to pipeline sabotage. Really, it is amazing what a mess idiot statists can make of a country in short order.

    Now can someone please tell me why it was in the first place that we decided to engage in this stupid and deadly $250 billion exercise while Bin Laden and company continue to roam free? Oh, yes, over Weapons of Mass Destruction that Hussein didn’t have, and over links to Bin Laden that he didn’t have.

    Statists never have any decent sense on how to spend money efficiently, but this has been an amazing gaffe. Not enough money to hunt down Bin Laden, not enough money to put decent security in our ports or to pay for decent security in places like New York, but we have lots to spend on an insane boondoggle.

    It is good, though, that we have George Bush around on the domestic front. Who else would try to pass a constitutional amendment banning gays from having the same rights as everyone else? Who else would give us steel tarrifs, textile tarrifs, a $450B deficit, indefinite detention without trial, military tribunals without juries while normal courts are operating, attempts to prevent the importation of drugs already approved for use in the U.S., secret security regulations and laws, and all the rest?

    Well, sadly, plenty of others would. Kerry may be just as bad. But why are people who are supposedly libertarians supporting this lunatic?

  • Panda

    Our casualty rate has doubled in the last few months.

    And that is, like, a high casualty rate, is it? Which wars are you using to compare it to, pray tell. Pathetic.

  • veryretired

    I am still waiting for the piercing analysis by Mr Metzger stating a definite date when the US should have adopted the Swiss strategy, and why it would have worked.



  • Verity

    Maybe the reason President Bush doesn’t read newspapers or watch television is, he already had all the information they’re pontificating about a couple of weeks/couple of months beforehand.

    Would we trust a head of government who took his information from the NYTimes, CNN and The Guardian rather than the US intelligence agencies, allied intelligence agencies and the military?

    John Kerry is a certifiable nutcase.

  • Louise Rutherford

    Why would only libertarians read this blog or even write for it? I would guess most of the people here are pro-survival so that would seem to exclude you guys. Bin Laden is probably been dead for several years and last time I looked, no large buildings had collapsed in the USA. You think we are losing? What planet are you writing about, Mr Metzger because I sure do not recognize it.

  • Verity

    Second certifiable nutcase, Louise Rutherford.

  • Mr Metzger,

    May I recommend the Samizdata archives?

  • What’s interesting about Kerry’s comment is that he’s served on our Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees (although it seems his chairs were lightly used). He’s held every conceivable position on the war. In fact it’s looked for a while now that he gets his personal views from focus groups. He has an awfully overblown opinion of the value of our mass media for someone who’s been in the Senate as long as he has.

    By the way, the intelligence assessment the first commenter mentioned is based on data collected in the Spring. It’s old stuff and not worth bothering with.

  • EddieP

    Would you have the coalition just packup and leave? How long would it take for Iraq to become the next Afganistan? Taliban anyone? Terrorist training camps? Ba’ath Party indoctrination sessions? Iranian mullah annexation.

    How long before we have to go back and try to do it all over again? Only next time with a populace that knows we’ll only cut and run? This is possibly our last chance for a non-nuclear exchange for maybe 50 years.

    This thing may not work out, but neither would WWII if we had given in to the wolfpacks in the North Atlantic. The fact that casualties are higher than we’d like, turning back means Beslan atrocities every week all around the world.

  • Winzeler

    Metzger may have come across wrong, but he is basically concluding the right thing. Bush is just like every other statist in that he believes his convictions (or at least the convictions of the majority) should reign supreme in everyone else’s lives.

    Let’s not be so quick to rally around someone in fear because we think he’s capable of making us safe from terror. Safety and freedom do NOT equate.

    By the way I read the “real” news comment and about half its responses and didn’t find a thing I thought I could believe for sure.

  • Winzeler

    By the way, (again) I think it would not be too smart to cut and run in Iraq. I won’t stake my life on this, but it seems we should finish what we started.

  • Darth Snarky

    The fact that casualties are higher than we’d like, turning back means Beslan atrocities every week all around the world.

    Sure, anytime one of ours get killed that is one too many but as an earlier commenter pointed out, this is hardly World War One and the slaughter of a generation we are talking about here. Some proportion and perspective, please! As wars go, this one does not exactly ‘shock and awe’, to misuse a phrase.

  • Jacob

    About Kerry’s remark:
    I don’t know what he means. You never know what he means. But, but, if he means that this war in Iraq should be fought more aggressively, more resolutely – he has a point. (Not that I think for one second he would do that if elected).

    Perry E. Metzger:
    “Anyway, I’m sure that the loonie Sharia lovers will be happy when Iraq turns in to another “Islamic Republic” after the US is forced to withdraw with its tail between its legs. We’ve already lost control of large swaths of the country which are now “no-go” zones.”

    Will you be happy ? Maybe the “US [will be] forced to withdraw with its tail between its legs.” Will that make YOU happy ? Is that what you wish for ?
    I know you think the US should not have gone in in the first place. Do you propose to get out now ?

  • toolkien

    Is it so surprising that Kerry, probably disingenuously, touts the power of the popular news media? As we’ve all discussed it is soft-left and spins the news in that direction. Kerry must know it has limitations, but he also knows it is how the majority of the mass comes by it’s information (at least the swing demographics – granted blogs and the internet in general have expanded access but by and large a goodly portion of the swing demographic still gets its info via traditional means, or still give it greater credibility, IMO). The message is ‘if it’s good enough for Joe Blow, it’s good enough for the Prez’. Really it has an “i’ll wash your back if you’ll wash mine” feel to it.

    As for Bush, he certainly is a Statist in my book, and I’m fairly certain I am going to skip this election; abstention seems to be about my only option.

    I believe the war in Iraq has more to do with oil than terrorists, but if we are to have a centralized economy, then we need collective protection of resources. A warfare state breeds a welfare state and vice versa. Regardless, if war is deemed necessary, then it should be prosecuted with the objective of winning thoroughly with the least casualties. This war has been fought as a public relations move with muscle. Such ‘wars’ are doomed to ultimate failure.

    As for those who ramble on about Bin Laden still being free, it is my opinion that most of those folk, if no war had been engaged in Iraq, would now be demanding proof that Bin Laden was directly involved in 9-11. I’m not a Bush lover by any stretch, but the enemy of my luke-warm enemy is not my friend. I rarely support the general anti-Bush crowd (e.g. Kerry, Dems in general, Nader, ‘progressives’ in general).

    I find I can agree much more with the likes of Lew Rockwell, even though it seems to be a bit idealistic in its outlook. Yes, ideally I think that capitalism can only truly thrive in a world free from Statist snares, but it only takes one to tango. I agree that there is a time and place for war, and I grudgingly support the war in Iraq, but only because we are all forced to be ‘shareholders’ in a public trust and it is necessary that the collective economy thrive or we all go down. Oil is the blood of the economy, and the economy has been infested by Statists. Presented a fait accompli, to make the best of the situation, oil flow must be maintained. But since too little force was used, that objective has not materialized adequately.

  • Winzeler

    toolkien, don’t you think the Libertarian and Constitutional Parties are options?

  • veryretired

    Bush is unfortunate, as was his father. They are being rewarded by the party for being loyal. There were others I would have liked in 2000, and Bush’s record is mixed, very mixed, in several crucial areas.

    Kerry is the choice of the activist base of the Dems, or rather 2nd choice, after Dean. The campaign is desparately trying to avoid the ultra-liberal voting record of Kerry’s Senate career, which is why they must live in the even further past than the last 20 years.

    I can understand why some say they will pass on the election. I faced a similar situation in ’68 with Nixon-Humphrey, and ’72 with Nixon-McGovern. Unpalatable choices, certainly.

    There is a strategy available that allows a person to register their disapproval of these choices but still vote for other candidates who might suit their beliefs, and that is to selectively vote in only those races where one can find a suitably representative candidate, and skip the rest.

    It is a weak protest, but the discrepency between total votes and a particular race, such as President, where a certain number opted out does show up. Otherwise, the third party vote is always a possibility. I’ve gone that route several times over the years.

    Personally, I think the political process is in a very serious crisis stage, and, along with the media and academia, await a generational transition to resolve some of the problems. As an embarrassed member of the boomers, I must say it will be best for all when we have shuffled off this mortal coil.

  • Joe

    Isn’t Kerry the subject of Alice’s post? The man is sucking wind right now, but who knows – stranger things have happened.

    He seem like the sort of person who would be a terrible terrible president. Security risk present or absent. He’s a moral pygmy, and is likely to be guilty of the entire AWOL routine that his campaign is trying to put on President Bush.
    Kerry was not formally released from the Naval Reserves unitl 2001. He must had quite a bit of tidying up to do.
    To begin with he pried his way into the Naval Reserve to avoid going to Vietnam, but chance gave him that cold wet kiss.

    He is man at his worst – he really doesn’t believe in the issues, the life, and can’t fathom the lifestyles of the people he’s trying to lead. His part has to hide everything about him, making tremendous efforts to convince us that everything he is, is actually the opposite of what we see.

    Either his campaign is doomed or we are.

  • “The leaked National Intelligence Assessment says that we’re losing in Iraq.”

    Mr. Metzger, I invite you to read the article linked in Alice’s post — almost all your positions are thoroughly shot down, one by one.

    The NIA assessment was drawn up IN APRIL 2004 (Fallujah, anyone?), and all the prognoses are based on that old scenario.

    It’s about as relevant as a prognosis made in November 1944 of the progress of the war in Europe, based on the Normandy / Caen “June quagmire”.

    That popping sound is that of Lefty and anti-war bubbles bursting everywhere.

  • R C Dean

    We’ve already lost control of large swaths of the country which are now “no-go” zones.”

    Perry, what on earth are you talking about? The vast majority of Iraq (geographically speaking) is pretty well pacified. The only problems are in the Sunni triangle and the usual neighborhoods of Baghdad, and it looks as if a new offensive is getting underway, at least in Fallujah.

    Go read Belmont Clubfor some perspective on where casualties are happening and why. The upshot – casualties are occurring in the Baathist strongholds because we are engaging on their home turf.

  • syn

    Under President George W. Bush’s leadership, 50 million people have been liberated from life under oppressive brutality. The 50 million liberated will now have governments accountable to the people instead of having dictator accountable only to the gangsters within the United Nations.

    Unfortunately, most who have always had the luxury of living free have taken freedom for granted. To those who only want the good life for themselves, I say selfish, spoiled brats. The fact that people around the world are STILL arguing about this monumental liberation, instead of celebrating, signifies how pathethically miserable is your existance. So polluted with self-indulgent liberals of the intellectually vacuous, the earth reeks foul.

    I am hanging with President George W. Bush where the air has been freshened with new hope for our world.

  • A Hermit

    “Under President George W. Bush’s leadership, 50 million people have been liberated from life under oppressive brutality…”

    Really!? Where?

    Not in Afghanistan, where most of the country is still being run by tribal warlords, drugrunners and the supposedly defeated Taliban…

    And certainly not in Iraq, where the American appointed government is being run by an ex-Baathist enforcer famous for doing Saddam’s “wetwork” in the seventies and early eighties, where religious fanatics, Kurdish nationalist thugs and more ex-Baathists turn more and more of the country into “no-go” zones while American aircraft drop bombs and missiles in residential neighbourhoods in a vain, self defeating attempt to defeat the insurgency.

    I’ve been asked if I don’t think Iraq is better off now that Saddam’s gone. My answer is, they should be. But thanks to Bush’s haste and incompetence, they really aren’t.

  • william

    A quick question:

    Why is it that no one in the Bush administration is saying that July’s NIE was old and the predictions no longer applicable? Why is this argument only being made by bloggers who haven’t read the source document?

  • PeterBoston

    One would suppose that an honest crtique of the situation in Iraq would at least make an effort to get the facts right.

    We have not lost control of large swaths of the country. Casualties, American and otherwise, are occurring almost exclusively in the Sunni Triangle, which for one reason or another was never “under control.” In fact, there have been almost no American casualties in 11 out of the 18 provinces where life is for the most part very normal, complete with electricity water, restaurants, muncipal elections and get-up-and-go-to work daily activities.

    Even within the Sunni Triangle casualties are not increasing from previous monthly distributions, never mind doubling as has been asserted. Neither is the insurgent enclave invulnerable. At some point in time in the not too distant future US and Iraqi forces will sweep the Sunni Triangle and exterminate the Baathist and Al Qaeda fighters.

    A little cynicism is good. Defeatism accompanied with large dollops of ignorance or deception is not.

  • PeterBoston

    Mr. Hermit may want to read this NYT article about Afghanistan. Maybe he won’t because the contents do not fit his Bush-hating, defeatist meme.

    Go to BugMeNot for an already registered username and password.

    I’m all for full discussion even if it’s critical or unfavorable but it’s way past time to start slapping down (metaphorically of course) the people who make things up as they go along.

    And for anybody who’s interested the fight against Al Qaeda is in Iraq.

    At that meeting (November 2003), according to Taliban sources, Osama bin Laden’s men officially broke some bad news to emissaries from Mullah Mohammed Omar, the elusive leader of Afghanistan’s ousted fundamentalist regime. Their message: Al Qaeda would be diverting a large number of fighters from the anti-U.S. insurgency in Afghanistan to Iraq. Al Qaeda also planned to reduce by half its $3 million monthly contribution to Afghan jihadi outfits. MSNBC report