Daily Wisdom

January 09, 2008

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Yesterday, as I was channel-surfing on my car radio, I tuned into National Public Radio's "Morning Edition", just in time to hear a segment come on about the Iraq war. As this is a subject of some interest to me, I decided to pay attention. You can read a transcript of the segment HERE. Guy Raz produced this analysis in the typical liberal-biased fashion of NPR. It attempts to suggest that the "surge" of troops in Iraq has had little to do with the reduction in violence there, and seems to give credit to everyone but the U.S. military. Unfortunately, I found some of the statements in the piece to be clearly misleading, such as the following...

During the first six months of the surge, violence in Iraq reached an all-time high. Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor said, "Up until that point, the surge was simply providing more targets for the insurgents to shoot at."

The implication of this statement (in the context of the segment), is that the troop surge began at the end of 2006, was in place almost immediately, and was totally ineffective. No clear statement is ever given as to when the surge actually began, how it proceeded, or when it was completed. The last previous time reference in the segment was "the end of 2006"; the quote above refers to "the first six months"; and then the very next statement in the piece says...

But then around June, almost too fast for anyone to absorb, the violence began to plummet - a decline that continues (today)...

In other words, the listener is left with the impression that the surge was fully in effect from the end of 2006, accomplished nothing for the "first six months" (except to provide U.S. troops as cannon fodder), but then in June the violence suddenly plummeted (unrelated, one would assume, to the surge).

A more truthful rendition of the situation would have revealed that President Bush ordered the troop surge on January 10, 2007, and that the first surge troops would not start arriving until nearly the end of January. In late April, General Petraeus said: "We're only about two months into the surge. We won't have all the forces on the ground until mid-June." In an article dated June 15, 2007, Reuters reported that "All U.S. troop reinforcements heading to Iraq to help restore security have now arrived, but it could take several more months before their weight is fully felt".

All of which leads of course, to an interesting time juxtaposition. With the arrival of the final surge troops in mid-June, NPR suggests that the violence started to "plummet". Coincidence? Perhaps. But why should a left-leaning radio broadcast bother to provide its listeners with a complete picture, when it can bolster its shoddy analysis with obfuscation?

The segment then goes on to suggest various anecdotal reasons why the surge could not have been responsible for the reduction in violence, and according to General Barry McCaffrey...

The least important aspect of the so-called change in strategy was the surge.

An odd choice of words for McCaffrey, no? He describes it as "the so-called change in strategy". Let's get real here. Is he suggesting that we have made no change in Iraq strategy, and just "pretended" to implement a new strategy? Who is McCaffrey kidding? A change in both strategy and tactics has been well-documented, and the results are clearly evident. If McCaffrey actually believes that no changes have taken place, why should we accept anything else this man has to say?

Now, I will agree with an assessment that the troop surge in and of itself did not cause the violence in Iraq to "plummet". General Petraeus is himself quoted in this piece as saying...

Improvements in security are a result of the greater number of Coalition and Iraqi security forces, AND the strategy that guides the operations we conduct. (emphasis added)

It is not merely a matter of more boots on the ground, but rather a matter of how those boots are being employed. When General Petraeus took command, it was clear that both Baghdad and Anbar Province were major problem areas. The old "light footprint" strategy of keeping our troops off the streets in between the occasional offensive forays was not working. The troops would clear an area of insurgents only to have them return within a short time. It was evident that areas must be cleared and held. But there was no way that could possibly happen without additional troops. The new strategy Petraeus wanted to implement would not have been possible without the surge.

So what does NPR believe caused the violence to plummet?

It could be, in part, exhaustion among Sunnis, tired of fighting and dying. Or also, in part, a cease-fire declared by the largest Shiite militia, others say.

Of course. Why didn't I think of that? Let's not give credit to the U.S. military. Let's give credit to the insurgents. They were simply "exhausted" and gave up. But think for a moment about the absurdity of such a position. If the Sunni insurgents were "tired of fighting and dying", then one can only ask: Who were they fighting? And who was killing them so relentlessly? Was it the U.S. military? Perhaps.

And again, let's not give credit to the U.S. military. Let's give credit to Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of "the largest Shiite militia", who declared a cease-fire on August 29, 2007. But one must ask, why did al-Sadr declare a truce? Didn't al-Sadr flee like a scared rabbit to Iran only days after the first surge troops entered Iraq? And didn't al-Sadr return to Iraq four months later, only when it appeared that his militia was starting to disintegrate? And didn't the al-Sadr truce occur only one day after eight Iranians, including two with diplomatic credentials, were arrested by U.S. forces at a checkpoint in Baghdad? And weren't those eight Iranians arrested on the same day that President Bush accused the Iranian government of meddling in Iraq, including providing weapons to insurgents; the same day that President Bush ordered U.S. diplomats and military personnel to adopt a more forceful stance towards Iranians in Iraq? Coincidence? Perhaps.

The NPR segment then goes on to further "explain" the cause for Iraq's drop in violence...

But another part, and possibly the most significant, can be traced to the end of last May. That month, 126 U.S. troops died; it was the second deadliest month for U.S. forces during the war. Petraeus was under pressure to reduce those casualties. "Petraeus seems to have concluded that it was essential to cut deals with the Sunni insurgents if he was going to succeed in reducing U.S. casualties," Macgregor says.

Ahhh! Now we get to the crux of the matter. General Petraeus was desperate! He was so desperate in fact, that he had to "cut deals" with the Sunni insurgents to get them off his back. They fought so ferociously that he had to buy them out because he couldn't beat them militarily. But, aren't these the same Sunni insurgents who simply gave up because they were tired of fighting and dying? Perhaps.

Let's face it, we now know that deals were made, that is clear. But all deals whether in business, politics, or war, are negotiated. And I would contend that General Petraeus was negotiating from a position of strength and not from desperation. He had both a "carrot" and a "stick". The "carrot" was the promise of U.S. economic assistance, and the promise not to seek out and prosecute those insurgents who had committed violent crimes against the Coalition or the fledgling Government of Iraq. The "stick" was the threat of continued engagement by the U.S. military, increasing U.S. troop levels, and a protracted U.S. military presence in Iraq.

The Sunni insurgents were no doubt indeed tired of fighting and dying. As early as April 2007, General Petraeus was already reporting "the progress in Anbar Province", which he described as "very substantial", citing "the decision by a number of Sunni Arab tribes to join the fight against al Qaeda, saying 'No More' -- they've had it -- and linking arms with the Coalition to take on al Qaeda..." This move by Sunni insurgents to join forces with the Coalition against al-Qaeda has been called (by Sunnis themselves) the "Awakening".

Oddly enough however, this NPR piece fails to speak of the "Awakening" movement at all. Instead, it concentrates on the Concerned Local Citizen (CLC) program, something I have interpreted to be an adjunct effort of the U.S. military. My impression is that the CLC program is an outgrowth or ramification of the "Awakening" movement. This piece seems to portray it as another name for the "Awakening" movement, or as an alternative to the "Awakening" movement on which the U.S. military is pinning its entire hopes. In so doing, I believe it does a great disservice to those brave Sunni sheikhs who have come forward to stand with the Coalition and the Government of Iraq. It suggests that those with whom we have been negotiating are: "you know, five awkward-looking guys with their own AKs standing at a road junction with two magazines of ammunition... being paid $10 a day by the U.S. military".

General Petraeus and the U.S. military in Iraq deserve far greater credit than they are getting from NPR and from the retired military officers who contributed to this radio segment.


At 1/10/2008 12:32 AM , Anonymous Nylecoj said...

I suppose it would be too much to expect that NPR and the rest of the MSM would have an 'awakening' of their own.

At 1/10/2008 3:51 AM , Anonymous camojack said...


At 1/10/2008 9:47 AM , Blogger Ms RightWing's Ink said...

So there it was, a week before Christmas and our old gang (now defunct) of storytellers were sitting around enjoying our annual get-together. It was not long before the only conservative (myself) was forced to say something true about the war and economy, as both were being trashed by the rest of the menfolk.

I soon walked to the kitchen to sit and listen to "women talk." As if by some magnetic attraction the conversation from the living room soon followed to the kitchen. So now it was another liberal confrontation over hot tea and store-boughten cookies.

"Is this not a Christmas party," I asked, "And are we not here to share stories and what-nots."

Soon little drifts of conversations regained there loud volume and words like Move On.Org started rattling around in my ear canals so once again I moved to the living room where I sat in silence for a moment.

Not long after, the rest of our defunct group with their liberal mates returned to the living room, where I sat in disgust. I was the only one who came prepared to bring humor and good tide (plus a story)

I recounted the above only to emphasize a point. Liberals have no clue. All they know is what is spoon fed to them by NPR. Each one of the group was identified by their allegiance to a lie and nobody, especially myself, was going to change their allegiance.

Never will I return to their Christmas party no matter how great the friendship.

At 1/10/2008 12:46 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Too much indeed.

Sad, but true.

Ms RW,
Yes, parties and get-togethers can be a real downer when one is forced to share them with the likes of such. I would have loved to hear your story.

(:D) Best regards all

At 1/10/2008 7:39 PM , Blogger Beerme said...

It's all in the spin, you see...

At 1/10/2008 10:39 PM , Blogger Ms RightWing's Ink said...

I think I told the story about the day Finneous fell from the sky. I posted the story several months ago.

I have a pretty big gig lined up for St Patty's day.

I don't go to Scrapple much anymore, but I been watching from the lurking room. I guess after 5 years my time has sort of faded away.

At 1/11/2008 7:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is how your header appears to me in Kanji. I can actually read your post in English though. It is very incisive and impressive. You truly have a mind that can cut through the crap and arrive at logical conclusion of a given action. I suppose that is where most libs fall short-lots of emotion not much logic.

I pray that you and the extended family are doing great.

God Bless

Deus est Semper Fidelis

Robert Johnson

At 1/11/2008 7:32 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

When libs do the laundry, they like to "wash away" any trace of credit for President Bush, Republicans, Conservatives, or the Military. And as you suggest, they like to run the "spin cycle" extra long...

Ms RW,
I'm sort of in and out at ScrappleFace. Scott generally comes out with a new article in the morning, and I'm so busy at work lately that I don't have time to check-in the way I used to. Some days I feel like posting, and some days I don't. And then I have my own blogs to try and attend to. Frankly my dear... I'm kinda tired. Have a good time at your St. Patty's Day gig!

RTJ (aka Sgt USMC 1ea),
Hey! Good to hear from ya! How the heck are ya? Camo said you guys were in touch. So I hear you're in Nippon, eh? God Bless you good sir, and thank you for your service. Oh, and THANKS for your kind words. Uh, oh... my head is starting to expand! I can't control it... I'm getting over-inflated. Aggghhhh!

(:D) Best regards all!

At 1/11/2008 7:34 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

P.S.-- By the way, best wishes to you and yours for the New Year! God's blessings be upon you.

At 1/14/2008 6:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to 'We don't negotiate with terrorists'?



At 1/14/2008 9:06 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

I do not support negotiations with terrorists where we acknowledge the status of the other party as a remorseless terrorist organization (ie, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah).

The Sunni "Awakening" is a bit different. Although they may have employed terrorist tactics, the Iraqi insurgents were never labeled as a terrorist organization by the US State Department. Although they had previously sided with the real terrorists (al-Qaeda), they were willing to reject terrorism, and join forces with the Coalition and the Government of Iraq against the terrorists. They wanted to become law-abiding citizens and partners in the democratic process. The very name "Awakening" suggests a transformation.

At 1/14/2008 6:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So terrorists are only terrorists when the USA says they are? Actually, according to Military Commisions Act, that is the case. What a funny old world!

I have been following this war from the off, and I remember perfectly well the rhetoric coming from the coalition of the willing. Then, all insurgents were terrorists. No exceptions. None. Those of us that tried to point out that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter were accused of ‘moral relativism’ (a heinous crime among conservatives for some strange reason) and told that we were siding with the enemy blah blah blah.

But it’s all so simple for you guys, isn’t it? Have you learnt nothing from the CIA’s establishment of the Muhajadeen in Afghanistan in 1979? Obviously not, so let me spell it out for you – THE ENEMY OF THE ENEMY IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.

Do not take the Sunnis for chumps. They will do what they have to do in order to restore themselves to power, and if that means playing along with the US for a while then so be it.

And why not? That way they get you guys to arm them and clear out Al Qaeda. Do you really think that the Sunni militias, who were shooting at the US but six months ago, are really gong to it idly by and let the US install and prop up a Shia government? The only ones being played for suckers is the USA so go ahead, arm and train a Sunni army – you’ll be shooting them again soon enough.

And Hamas are a ‘remorseless terrorist organization’? Hmm. How, then, do you feel about the fact that Hamas has also been helping US troops in Iraq? The war is way more complicated than you want it to be and has got a long way to go yet – there will be many more tears before bedtime.

And I thought the surge was merely temporary in order to allow breathing space for a political solution? By that measure it has been a failure, as it has turned from being a means to an end into being a end in itself. Discuss.

And what about the 4 million refugees and 5 million orphans? Any ideas on what to do about them? Pottery house rules…



At 1/16/2008 11:55 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...


So terrorists are only terrorists when the USA says they are?
Your ability to twist words and pervert logic is simply "inconceivable!"... "Truly, you have a dizzying intellect." I never said that at all. Please go back and read what I said. Your homework assignment is to prove to me that you understood what I actually said. For some various definitions of terrorism, click HERE.

Actually, according to Military Commisions Act, that is the case.
I would be interested in having you explain to me why you think so.

What a funny old world!
Indeed it is. And sometimes sad too.

I have been following this war from the off
You too?

I remember perfectly well the rhetoric coming from the coalition of the willing.
Memory is not a good tool. I prefer reference sources, documentation, links to articles, etc.

Then, all insurgents were terrorists. No exceptions. None.
A few of those references or links would come in handy right about now...

one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter...
You will note from the link above, that various definitions of terrorism refer to violence against "noncombatant targets", "citizens", "innocents", "civilians or non-combatants", where for example: "the direct targets of violence are not the main targets". This I believe is an inherent requirement in any definition of the word terrorism.

I would argue that true "freedom fighters" cherish freedom because they have tasted oppression. In general, it is governments which oppress people. And governments rarely oppress people through legislative initiative alone. Most often, governments use police and/or military forces as the tool of their oppression. A true "freedom fighter" therefore would attack the source of repression (ie, the ruling leader/regime), or the instruments of repression (ie, the police or military). Anyone who would purposely attack innocents, non-combatants, citizens, or civilians, who are "not the main targets" (that is, the source or instrument of oppression), are themselves acting as oppressors, because they impose their will on the unwilling. They deny their victims the freedom to live, the freedom to act, the freedom to choose, the freedom to prosper. As such, they fall into the category of terrorist, and forfeit any legitimate claim to "freedom fighter" status.

Those of us that tried to point out that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter were accused of 'moral relativism'
And correctly so.

'moral relativism' (is) a heinous crime among conservatives for some strange reason.
Not so much a "heinous crime" as a suggestion that critical thinking skills are lacking, or that intellectual dishonesty may be at work. Now, I suppose if the accusations are made with some ferocity, it might appear to be an "indictment". Perhaps some conservatives are a bit too passionate at times, unlike the ever calm and reasoned liberals. :-) But we are entitled to point out deficiencies in the arguments of our opponents, are we not? Can you honestly argue that there is moral equivalence between certain individuals and/or certain situations as portrayed by the Liberal Left? For example, George W Bush has been compared to Adolf Hitler. Are they morally equivalent? What say you...?

Adolf Hitler was responsible for the deaths of 6 million Jews, half a million Gypsies, and untold numbers of homosexuals, mentally impaired, and physically handicapped persons... all in a genocidal endeavor to promote a 'pure' Aryan race. Hitler was responsible for the deaths of 3-4 million German soldiers according to various estimates. He was also responsible for the deaths of anywhere from half a million to 3.8 million German civilians. He was responsible for the estimated deaths of 6 million Poles, 20 million Russians, 1.5 million Yugoslavs, 300 thousand Austrians, 350 thousand Czechs, 600 thousand French, 250 thousand Greeks, 750 thousand Hungarians, 200 thousand Dutch, 700 thousand Romanians, perhaps 200 thousand Brits, 200 thousand Americans, and thousands more from Albania, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Bulgaria, Finland, Spain, Denmark, Luxemburg, and Norway... all in a maniacal effort to conquer Europe. Granted, there may be some overlap in the numbers above (ie, some Poles and Germans were also Jews), nevertheless, Hitler was responsible for the deaths of perhaps 40 million people. There is no moral justification for these deaths considering that genocide and mililtary conquest were ultimately responsible.

It can be argued that George W Bush is responsible for the deaths of up to 4 thousand Americans, and perhaps 90 thousand civilians in Iraq (see HERE). It can also be argued that Bush is responsible for the deaths of over 300 Americans and perhaps 5 thousand civilians in Afghanistan. However, it can likewise be argued that there was a moral justification for these deaths, that is, the liberation of 25 million Afghanis and 27 million Iraqis. It can further be argued that a substantial portion of the 90 thousand civilians killed in Iraq were caused by al-Qaeda in Iraq. Not only were they responsible for indiscriminate terrorist violence, but they were also responsible for instigating widespread sectarian violence. This is clearly something which Bush never intended, and which our military forces have tried to eliminate. Bush may have "mis-underestimated" what the Iraq war would entail, and he may have gotten bad pre-war intelligence, but he can hardly be blamed for unintended consequences or the actions of our enemies.

There is clearly then, no moral equivalence between Hitler and Bush. To say so is intellectually dishonest.

But it’s all so simple for you guys, isn’t it?
Which means... what?

Have you learnt nothing from the CIA’s establishment of the Muhajadeen [sic] in Afghanistan in 1979?
A few points. The CIA didn't "establish" the Mujahideen, but they did support it. The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in late December 1979. The Mujahideen emerged in 1980. The Mujahideen was comprised of up to 40 separate resistance groups. These groups formed two coalitions (both Islamic), one which was conservative while the other was more radical. The two groups quarreled amongst themselves until 1985 when they set aside their differences. Early US support for the Mujahideen was negligible. The Mujahideen was stymied by Russian helicopter gunships until late in 1986 when they started receiving better weapons from the US, the UK and China (particularly shoulder-launched missiles).

The CIA support for the Mujahideen against the Russians was not much different from the CIA support for the "Northern Alliance" against the Taliban in 2001, except that the Taliban were far inferior to the Russians militarily and therefore collapsed much more quickly.

let me spell it out for you – THE ENEMY OF THE ENEMY IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.
So let me get this straight. The Sunnis were formerly insurgents and allies of al-Qaeda. They were fighting us and killing our troops. Then they had an "Awakening" and decided to turn on al-Qaeda and join forces with us. They started killing al-Qaeda instead of Americans. Local citizens started giving us tips as to where al-Qaeda was. Al-Qaeda was pushed out of Anbar province, and is now being pushed out of other areas as other Sunnis join forces with us. And all of this is bad because...??

Do not take the Sunnis for chumps.
I don't.

They will do what they have to do in order to restore themselves to power
I think the first thing they wanted to do, was to stop getting killed by: a) the Americans, b) the Iraqi security forces, and c) al-Qaeda in Iraq. Do they want to get involved in the political process? Sure. But I don't think that "restoring themselves to power", was the principal motivator behind the "Awakening".

if that means playing along with the US for a while then so be it.
You are very cynical my friend. From the reports I hear, the change of attitude amongst the Sunnis seems to be quite genuine. Perhaps I am overly optimistic. No doubt, as in most arguments, the answer lies somewhere in between.

And why not? That way they get you guys to arm them and clear out Al Qaeda.
And the bad thing about clearing out al-Qaeda is...? Are you upset that al-Qaeda is being cleared out?

Do you really think that the Sunni militias, who were shooting at the US but six months ago, are really gong [sic] to it [sic] idly by and let the US install and prop up a Shia government?
The US did not, and is not installing a Shia government. The people of Iraq voted for their own government. The election results ended in a Shia majority. No surprise there. The Sunnis did not participate early in the process, and the Shia are a majority in the country. The US administration was not particularly happy about Nouri al-Maliki becoming Prime Minister, nor Jalal Talabani becoming President, but it conceded to the will of the people.

The only ones being played for suckers is [sic] the USA
Time will tell.

go ahead, arm and train a Sunni army – you’ll be shooting them again soon enough.
So then, we should only arm and train Shiites and Kurds? Or perhaps only Kurds? Perhaps we should arm and train no one? But didn't I hear someone say it was important to arm and train the Iraqis so they could defend themselves, and so we in turn could withdraw? In fact, I thought I heard Clinton and Murtha and other libs say that we should limit our role in Iraq to doing nothing BUT training? Oh well. I guess you libs can't seem to get your message straight from day to day.

And Hamas are [sic] a 'remorseless terrorist organization'?
No. Hamas IS a remorseless terrorist organization. They refuse to recognize the right of Israel to exist. They refuse to cease firing rockets into Israel. They refuse to stop digging tunnels from Gaza into Israel for the purposes of terror attacks... Sounds pretty remorseless to me.

How, then, do you feel about the fact that Hamas has also been helping US troops in Iraq?
Citations, references, links...?

The war is way more complicated than you want it to be and has got a long way to go yet – there will be many more tears before bedtime.
Really? The batteries in my crystal ball went dead. Thanks for the info.

And I thought the surge was merely temporary in order to allow breathing space for a political solution?
Yes, it is, and so...? The surge was finally in place as of June 2007. It has only been in place for 6 months. Violence in Iraq started falling steadily beginning in June to levels that are now 60-80% lower. Life started returning to normal in Baghdad only as recently as November.

And now that things have settled down a bit, political progress IS being made. On Monday, Iraq's main Sunni Arab bloc said it was ready to return to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led administration in an effort to revive the national unity government. On Sunday, some of Iraq's Shiite and Sunni parliamentary blocs signed an understanding aimed at protecting the country's unity and stressing central control over oil reserves. The statement said that the blocs pledged to work together in the parliament to stress a higher national interest and to maintain the unity of the country away from sectarian divisions. On Saturday, an overwhelming majority of Iraq's lawmakers ratified a new law allowing functionaries of the Baath party to return to public life. The Accountability and Justice Law is regarded as a major step taken towards the country's reconciliation. Parliament is also looking at a bill to free thousands of prisoners, again in the interests of reconciliation. On Friday, Ammar al-Hakim, one of Iraq's most powerful Shi'ite political and religious figures, issued a stunning call for the government to set aside differences with Sunni Muslim politicians and entice them back to help lead the country. And all of this in only the last few days. At the end of November, the Parliament passed a law allowing former Sunni Baathists to receive pensions from the predominantly Shiite government, another political move towards reconciliation. It's happening my friend.

By that measure it has been a failure, as it has turned from being a means to an end into being a end in itself. Discuss.
Hardly. See my comments above. Your conclusions are mere generalizations without any basis in fact. You sound like you are reading from the Daily Kos talking points.

And what about the 4 million refugees and 5 million orphans? Any ideas on what to do about them? Pottery house rules...
I assume you refer to the old adage: "You break it, you own it." Well, "UNHCR estimates that more than 4.4 million Iraqis have left their homes. Of these, some 2.2 million Iraqis are displaced internally, while more than 2.2 million have fled to neighbouring states, particularly Syria and Jordan. Many were displaced prior to 2003." Clearly, those that were displaced prior to 2003 have no bearing on any discussions about the consequences of the Iraq invasion. We have Saddam Hussein to thank for those refugees. Of the remainder, those who are displaced internally may or may not move back to their old neighborhoods. If not, they will have to make a new life for themselves in communities which are more welcome to them. Many were displaced as a result of the sectarian fighting that began with the bombing of the Golden Dome mosque in 2006. We have al-Qaeda to thank for those refugees. That's not the fault of the Coalition. Is it a problem? Sure. Is it all our fault? No. And tens of thousands of externally displaced Iraqis are returning anyway now that the violence has subsided.

Regarding the 5 million orphans, I believe that this number is inflated. According to the "Baghdad Orphanage" web site, estimates of orphans "range from 1.5 million to 5 million". I find it hard to believe that the deaths of less than 100 thousand civilians has resulted in the orphaning of so many children.

Let's assume for a moment that exactly 100 thousand civilians were killed, and that none of them were of the same household, and that all were single parents. If we start with a low figure of 1 million orphans, that would mean that each single parent who died had 10 children at the time of death. If there are 5 million orphans, that would mean that each single parent had 50 children at the time of death. Unlikely scenario, eh? Unfortunately, children are not considered orphaned until both parents are dead. Thus we would have to double the number of children per household (ie, 20 to 100 children per household). The numbers simply don't work.

There can be only two explanations. First, the actual number civilians killed is more than the widely accepted number of 90,000. This is possible, but the suggestions of 1 million killed are totally ridiculous. Even the 650 thousand estimate in the Lancet study (funded BTW by George Soros) has been completely de-bunked. If that many people were killed, nobody seems to know where the bodies are. So let's double it to 200 thousand. That still means that each household had between 10 and 50 children.

Second (and more likely), not all of the orphans are less than 5 years of age. Since the invasion began less than 5 years ago, any orphans aged 5 or older were pre-invasion. Some could be as old as 12-15 years of age. Again, we have Saddam to thank for those orphans. And many of those orphaned in the last 5 years we have al-Qaeda to thank for. It was al-Qaeda that used indiscriminate violence against civilians. It was al-Qaeda that instigated sectarian violence. Can some of the civilian deaths be attributed to US accidents? Of course. But how many of those orphans are the children of terrorists and insurgents that were killed fighting the Coalition?

Is it a problem? Yes. Are we fully to blame? Hardly. Must we solve all these problems for the Iraqis? Not really. As you libs are so fond of saying, the Iraqis must bear the burden of responsibility. Are we willing to help? You bet. Well some of us are anyway. Lots of libs just want to cut and run abdicating ALL responsibility.

At 2/03/2008 11:42 PM , Anonymous lebefrei said...

Not Particularly Reliable reporting?

At 2/10/2008 9:35 PM , Anonymous prettyold said...

New motto for Elroy ," Chickens shouldn't mess around with Hawks."

At 2/11/2008 8:18 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Is that you Lebenfrei? Wow, how the heck are ya? Haven't heard from you in awhile! Hope all is well with you and yours. Great acronym NPR=Not Particularly Reliable. Love it!

Take care...

At 2/11/2008 8:26 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Hi. Thanks for stopping by. "Mr Jetson" (as Beerme refers to him), is great at spouting talking points, but he is short on facts.

God Bless...

At 2/19/2008 6:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damn! I thought I had comprehensively demolished your arguments it an overlong and wide ranging post that you were guaranteed to ignore!

I wonder what happened to it? Hmm. Must be around here somewhere. But tell me, if I find it, will you respond?



At 2/20/2008 7:51 AM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

You did produce "an overlong and wide ranging post" that I was "guaranteed to ignore" about McCain, et al. Perhaps that is what you were thinking about?



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