Iraq War Deaths for October and November, 2007

Here are the updated graphs for October and November, 2007, with 38 and 37 US military deaths, respectively. It definitely looks like a real downward trend to me, which is a good thing, certainly. Here’s hoping that trend continues.

As always, I’m comparing the US military casualties in Iraq to those from the Vietnam war at a similar point in each war’s political lifetime (which some have charged is misleading; see disclaimer below). The data come from the advanced search tool at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund site, and from Lunaville’s page on Iraq coalition casualties. The figures are for the number of US dead per month, without regard to whether the deaths were combat-related.

The first graph shows the comparison for the extent of the Iraq war to-date. (Click on any image for a larger version.)

Next, the chart that gives the US death toll for the entire Vietnam war:

Disclaimer: I’ve been accused of comparing apples to oranges in these graphs. For the record, here’s what I am not arguing:

  • I’m not saying that Iraq is somehow deadlier per soldier-on-the-ground than Vietnam. For both wars, the number of fatalities in any given month tracks pretty closely with the number of troops deployed (along with the intensity of the combat operations being conducted). There were more troops in Iraq in the early going than were in Vietnam during the “corresponding” parts of the graphs. Similarly, for later years in Vietnam, when the monthly death toll exceeds the current Iraq numbers, there were many more troops in place.
  • I am not saying that Iraq is somehow “worse” than Vietnam. I include the first graph mainly because I wanted a zoomed-in view of the Iraq data. And I include the second graph, which shows the entire span of the Vietnam war, because I want to be clear about what the data show about overall death tolls — where any rational assessment would have to conclude that, at least so far, Iraq has been far less significant (at least in terms of US combat fatalities) than Vietnam.

I was just curious how the “death profile” of the two wars compared, and how those deaths played out in terms of their political impact inside the US. For that reason, I chose as the starting point for each graph the first fatality that a US president acknowledged (belatedly, in the case of the Vietnam graph, since US involvement in the war “began” under Kennedy, but the acknowledgement was made only later by Johnson) as having resulted from the war in question.

As ever, you are free to draw your own conclusions. And for that matter, you’re free to draw your own graphs, if you have a way of presenting the information that you believe would be better. In that case, feel free to post a comment with a URL to your own version. Thanks.

45 Responses to “Iraq War Deaths for October and November, 2007”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    That is great news, two months is on the verge of what I’d call a real trend, and at this point I’d bet December is low too.

    Given that the security situation in Iraq is worse than ever, my skepticism is screaming to find out whether active US operations are still underway to the same extent or if the decrease is due to some extent to US forces hunkering down more. There are anecdotal reports of some patrols taking it on themselves to go on “search and avoid” missions- that is, instead of following orders to go on active search and destroy patrols which leave them vulnerable to IED’s and snipers, the troops would search for a safe place (e.g. a big open soccer field), circle the wagons, and hang-out until time to return to base, thus lowering their risk of casualties.

  2. shcb Says:

    Kimberly Kagan was on Rosen yesterday, here is her piece in Weekly Standard detailing how we have changed the course of the war. I have also included Kagan’s bio. One interesting point in the interview was at the end when Rosen asked her to compare Sanchez and Petraeus. She simply gave the years that Sanchez was in charge over there. Read into that what you will but I took it that she thought he was all but useless.

    I don’t know who is telling you the security situation is worse or what they are using as criteria, but from what she and others have said, including John Murtha, the situation is improving greatly. She has been there twice this year and said in her last visit she saw a meter maid giving parking tickets.

  3. ymatt Says:

    Yeah, I think I might start taking my winter vacations in Iraq, with how peaceful it is. I mean look, only 25 deaths to car bombs today!

  4. shcb Says:

    It’s all relative, Baghdad isn’t as safe as Holly, Colorado but the majority of Iraq is probably safer than Detroit. The thing that came to mind when I read Kagan’s piece where she says they have pushed the fight out of the cities into the rural areas is “I’ll bet the farmers are pleased with that turn of events”

  5. NorthernLite Says:

    “The majority of Iraq is probably safer than Detroit.”

    Fuck, you make me laugh really hard sometimes.

  6. shcb Says:

    Hey, I was in a hurry to get to work when I wrote that, read it one more time, it makes no sense. If I had deletion rights, it wouldn’t have stayed there five minutes. I know, upper right hand corner….. I should have stopped with “it’s all relative” that is the only thing in that post the I’m proud of.

  7. shcb Says:

    actually, the last three lines aren’t bad, but scratch the middle part

  8. NorthernLite Says:

    Just so you know the Mozilla Firefox Web browser has a spell/grammar check built into it, so when you type into these text boxes on the Web it underlines mistakes and shit. It’s pretty cool. You don’t have to uninstall Internet Explorer (or your other default Web browser) or anything.

    I actually think it’s a really cool browser and I’m finding myself not using IE as much anymore.

    If you download and try it, let me know what you think about it.


  9. NorthernLite Says:

    But finally… less people are dying! I really don’t care what the reason for it is.

    But I will never forget why hundreds of thousands of innocent human beings were maimed and/or murderd. Never.

  10. shcb Says:

    No browser takes care of brain farts though. A lot of my friends are using that browser and really like it. I have word 2007 on my new laptop and it does a good job of that too, I use my old desk top for most of this writing though.

    I’m way too busy to mess with anything new now. I have a new product that is supposed to be on line mid ’08 and I’m barely in the Beta stage now. but thanks for the tip, I’ll try it when things slow down a bit.

    Why do thousands die in wars? It’s kind of like asking why does the lovely mother of three young children die of cancer and the town drunk live to eighty, it just happens.

  11. knarlyknight Says:


    No, it is not “kind of like asking” that at all.

    It is more like asking why the lovely mother of three young children dies of horrific injuries in a car accident while her children watch her last gasps for air, but the young drunk driver from Crawford who crashed into her vehicle lives to be 80 and remains a threat to all the other road users his entire life.

    That is not something that “just happens”. It is something that happens if other people (police, prosecutors, courts, legislators) do not take seriously their responsibility to prevent such tragedies from recurring.

    Impeach Cheney first, then Bush.

    Kinda *funny* what the latest NIE says about Iran’s nuclear program, eh?

    That’s “kinda like” a drunk driver just missed a head-on with a fully loaded school bus because he swerved back into his own lane while reaching for another beer in the backseat.)

  12. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, I think the last paragraph of your last post was a good example of a brain fart. You’re right, there’s not a Web browser our there that will pick that up.

  13. shcb Says:


    My example wasn’t about this war in particular, but war in general, it was a rotten shame what happened to the civilians of Europe and Asia in World War II, but to have done nothing would have been worse. Iraq is of course miniscule in scope but just as traumatic in individual cases.

    Here is a Cliff May piece about the NIE report, a side you probably aren’t getting on NPR.

    Many commentators are fudging the distinction between Iran “suspending” and “abandoning” its nuclear weapons program. According to the new NIE, Iran not only continues to enrich uranium, it also is “continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so.” If your teenage son tells you he doesn’t smoke, but you nonetheless find tobacco, rolling papers and matches in his knapsack, what would be your guess regarding his intentions and capabilities?

    Nor does this new NIE conclude that Iran poses no nuclear threat. The Tehran regime is “keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons,” it notes, adding: “The earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough highly enriched uranium for a weapon is late 2009.” Coincidently, in 2009 the United States will have a new president, one who — the mullahs may calculate — is likely to take a more casual approach to rogue regimes acquiring nuclear weapons.

  14. knarlyknight Says:

    Thanks shcb, I now realize it is not just you but probably most rwnj’s who are suckers for bad analogies to justify jumping to false conclusions.

    Here is a quick quiz for you.
    1) How many uses does a teenager have for tobacco, rolling papers and a lighter? Answer – Two key potential uses: one is to traffic these goods to another teenager who cannot get these for himself, and the other is to ingest the tobacco via smoking or chewing. Implication: when a teenager has tobacco there is likely an intent to smoke it or share it.

    2) How many uses are there for enriched uranium and related technologies? A) Many: one is for peaceful nuclear power, another is for medical applications, another is for nuclear weapons, another is for depleted uranium munitions (?), and the list probably goes on.
    Implication: The analogy is misleading and Cliff May is a warmongering idiot.

    Please keep in mind that Iran has signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and is therefore entitled to proceed; unlike Israel which did not sign the treaty, has apparently gained (illegal) access to nuclear weapons, and unless I am mistaken has the distinction of being the country having violated the most UN resolutions of any country ever. Your fears about some country starting a nuclear war would be more appropriately directed at North Korea, Pakistan, India, China, the USA (first strike idiocy) and rogue elements in Russia, the Ukraine, etc.

  15. knarlyknight Says:

    Oops, I missed a key one on that list: Israel.

  16. enkidu Says:

    gosh shcb, that NRO article sure is slanted towards one and only one conclusion from the very start: Iran is makin nukulr weaponz!

    Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but enriching uranium for peaceful electrical generation purposes does not constitute a crime under intl law.

    They don’t have the highly enriched cascade centrifuges on line. And we don’t seem to have any information on any secret facilities (which would have to run for years with many many centrifuges going day and night…)

    I know how much you guys want to bomb some more people that you don’t like, but frankly that is just going to make things worse.

    And this analogy? “If your teenage son tells you he doesn’t smoke, but you nonetheless find tobacco, rolling papers and matches in his knapsack, what would be your guess regarding his intentions and capabilities?”
    Is ridiculous to say the least… let’s have a little fun with it shall we?
    how about this:

    “If you can’t find matches (highly enriched Ur), tobacco (centerfuges) and rolling papers (intercontinental delivery system of any kind) in your kid’s backpack then you just go ahead and accuse your son of smoking crack, because he doesn’t agree with your crackpot lunacy”


    “If your Iranian neighbor’s teenage son heeds the call to prayer, you go over and find a crumpled cigarette pack on the driveway outside. You ring the bell and loudly accuse your neighbor’s son of smoking crack, then storm off to the house next door (who happen to be Iraqi and also hate your guts), kill the head of the household, then set fire to anything that you can’t steal (like the… oil). You then spend most of your time making crank calls and complaining to the sheriff about mostly made up nonsense and a sprinkling of facts (like the fact that both of those neighbors hate you)”

    just having some fun

    (will I be banned for not agreeing w ymatt?)

  17. shcb Says:

    I‘m not an expert but I don’t think you need enriched uranium for the uses you list, I think enriched uranium is a byproduct of certain power producing reactors but not all. That may be plutonium I’m thinking of.

    One of the problems with your list of other countries is they are not suicidal like this small group of Arabs.

    Your probably right, I’m sure the Iranians only have peaceful intentions. Ole Okejad is such a kidder with all that destruction of the west and seeing himself reincarnated as a mushroom cloud stuff. It’s just one knee slapper after another with that good ole boy.

    Simply amazing.

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    Good post enk.

    Good post shcb. But remember, you’re relying on translations and assumptions about who said what why. You claim to be a man of facts but actually you get all wrapped up in rwnj rhetoric (& lousy analogies).

    Your Iranian mirror image (short bearded desert guy) might be hearing lots about how America’s leaders and its propaganda arm (FOX News) want to wipe Iran off the face of the map, for example this piece of idiotic evil:

    “You know, in a sane world, every country would unite against Iran and blow it off the face of the earth. That would be the sane thing to do.” Bill O’Reilly, March 8, 2006

    And there is lots more idiotic evil where that came from, there’s a partial list here:

    My point is that rhetoric like that are what have been used since ancient times to whip the citizenry into a pro-war stance.

    Defence is one thing, aggression is something else entirely. Your posts come off as more than a little bloodthirsty.

  19. shcb Says:

    Your posts come off as more than a little bloodthirsty.

    That’s an accurate assertion. I definitely have a low tolerance for people who would do us harm. That is probably why I would never get elected. I think I am a fairly moderate conservative except for a “kill ‘em all and let God sort it out” attitude. Some of that is bluster but not all. I’m not that mean of a person, I just like to finish what I start and there is certain permanence with killing the bad guys (I know, black and white again). I’ve had a personal vendetta against prairie dogs on my property since we moved here, killing every one I can, any way I can, but I feed the rabbits and the birds in the winter, I picked up 4 orphaned ducks after seeing the mother and the other 4 ducklings get killed on the highway, built them a pond and cleaned the damn thing every morning until they were big enough to be released back to the wild. Go figure.

  20. knarlyknight Says:

    there’s baby ducks in Iran too ;-)

    I always realized the difference between you as a person and you as a rwnj philosopher on this site.

    By bloodthirsty, I was referring more to the attack them there before they attack us here Bushit; seems the world heard that one before from Hitler when he got his people worked up about the need to invade Poland before the Poles attacked the fatherland. Correct me if I got the wrong Hitler scapegoat there, please, I am not a WWII scholar.

  21. knarlyknight Says:

    …we’ve heard war rhetoric for ages, but every once in a while a peace message breaks through. Like this video that seems to have been forgotten. John’s message is poignant and just as true now than when the words were spoken.

    JFK and John Lennon were great men.

    Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Robert McNamara were latrine scum. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld come from the same latrine.

    We have yet to give peace a chance. It’s that simple.

  22. shcb Says:

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I actually do believe strongly in first strike concept, some of my other rhetoric is just venting but I think first strike is very important. I always told my daughters to avoid a fight as much as possible, but if one was inevitable hit first without warning, hit as hard as you can and then get the hell out of there. The same applies with world matters. We give peace a chance many, many times a day and it works. We are giving peace a chance right now with Iran, we haven’t attacked them yet, I would have preferred we attack Iran and Iraq simultaneously 4 years ago, but cooler heads prevailed. We will see if they were right.

    You can never win playing defense. In The Art of War Sun Tzu writes almost entirely about offensive war because it was a book about winning a war not surviving it. You are probably satisfied with that, well, that is just the difference in our personalities. I would rather buy a new boat than pay for someone else’s health care, food, clothing and all the other things social spending pays for, but I wouldn’t want to walk over dead bodies on my way to work. I understand that human nature being what it is, it is impossible for everyone to take care of themselves and not everyone has family to take care of them if they can’t. So I grudgingly pay my taxes knowing a portion is going to someone who is just too damn lazy to get a job.

    Similarly, your vision of an entire world never at war is a wispy notion that is simply unattainable. Now that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t limit war as much as possible and I think we do but sometimes we have no choice.

  23. shcb Says:

    Sorry, I didn’t answer your Hitler question/comment. I’m certainly no scholar on anything except maybe how to build automated machinery, but that has little pertinence here. I have always had more that a passing interest in WW II and have read quite a bit about it. It wouldn’t surprise me that Hitler did just that, I have always been more interested in the strategy and hardware of the war than events leading up to the war.

    I think you have the sides of the comparison wrong. This is because of your black and white numerator denominator thought process; Hitler bad, Bush bad, whatever Hitler did, whatever Bush did. It should be Hitler bad, Ahmadinejad bad, whatever Hitler did, what Ahmadinejad wants to do or is doing.

    Hitler was the one bent on imperialism and ethnic cleansing, this more closely resembles the president and religious leaders of Iran. Invading Iraq before Iran was like us invading Italy before Germany, Italy was an ally and the weaker of the two. Just as Sadam wasn’t as ideologically radical as the folks in Iran neither was Mussolini as radical as Hitler. If you ever want to get your arm around what we are up against here you have to understand this is not a few gang members with IED’s that can be arrested by the local police. This is a multi national war. You can hold your hands over your ears and chant “la la la la” but it won’t go away. Now once you make the decision to see it for what it is there are rational discussions as to how to prosecute this war, but until you understand the gravity of the situation you will simply be too far behind the curve

  24. knarlyknight Says:

    I guess you didn’t read my Knarly ’08 position on Iraq. It’s either go big with the Knarly plan or go home.

    I did not realize Saddam and Iran were allies in 2003 like Mussolini and Hitler were in 1942. Boy I learn a lot from you, who needs history books, eh?

    As for Sun Tzu:

    When one employs battle-
    If Victory takes long, it blunts the military and grinds down its sharpness.
    Attacking walled cities [or occupying Baghdad], one’s strength is diminished.
    If soldiers are long in the field, the state’s
    resources are insufficient.
    Now if one blunts the military, grinds down its
    Diminshes its strength and exhausts its goods,
    Then the feudal lords ride one’s distress and rise up.
    Even one who is wise cannot make good the aftermath!

    Thus in the military one has heard of foolish speed
    but has not observed skillful prolonging.
    And there has never been a military prolonging that has brought advantage to the state.

  25. shcb Says:

    Actually the comparison of Mussolini and Sadam isn’t that bad. Hitler held Benito in contempt because he wasn’t one of the chosen Arian nation. He said on at least one occasion that Mussolini was a third rate thug, but he was Hitler’s third rate thug. The religious purists didn’t like Sadam, but they needed him, they needed Iraq. Why do you think they have been pumping so many resources into Iraq. This war doesn’t have the official alliances like WW II. I am reading a couple of H John Poole’s books now, I don’t agree with a lot of his conclusions but he makes good points about our enemies being a bottom up control structure. The down side of this is they can’t have strong alliances or amass large forces easily. The upside is it allows small autonomous groups to carry out guerilla strikes with less chance of loosing large numbers of men. This is essential to a force that is outnumbered and out gunned.

    Of course Sun Tzu was right, that was why we shied away from Baghdad in the first gulf war and why it has taken this long to achieve our goals. But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

  26. knarlyknight Says:

    To be fair, you didn’t say Saddam and Iran were allies. However your analogy of America attacking the lesser ally (Italy=Iraq) before the main villain (Germany=…?Iran?) is garbage unless you are saying Iraq and Iran were allies.

    So now I’m confused, do you think your analogy is garbage or do you think Iraq and Iran were allies?

    If Iran was the main concern all along, and if Iraq and Iran were not friends, wouldn’t it have been smarter to bring Saddam into the fray against Iran, diverting Iranian attention and tying up their western front?

    The Jesus lovin warriors from USA could (1) provide air support (initially great air support so Iraq can advance rapidly, then later intentionally lackluster support so that the Iraq troop strength is weakened), (2) take out Iranian defensive infrastructure throughout the country and (3) seize the key strategic locations; then with Iran conquered and subdued, oops I meant to say “liberated and given its freedom”, and the Jesus warriors controlling the key Iranian assets and Iraqi forces mostly in the wrong country and worn out from a bloody fight (due in part to late air support at critical moments), then you could arrest Saddam (doing so at the victory celebration would be a nice Machiavellian touch) and execute him the next day while offering his generals the choice of following in his fate or gaining great riches by helping to enforce martial law.

    Martial law would remain in place until all those pesky religious leaders can be rounded up and sent to Cuba.

    Then you could install another Shah – no wait the Iranian people might remember that from last time. Maybe instead you could start holding free elections – no wait they might elect islamic radicals again (unless you could convince them to use American mmade black box voting systems, but I doubt they are that dumb). Looks like you’d have to occupy the country forever – no wait that’s not viable just ask Sun Tzu. Hmmm.

    Perhaps you better rethink the attack approach. Maybe it would be best to just keep talking to the Iranians, to bring them around to our side by clever use of diplomacy, economics and other sensitive geo-pollitical tools; yes it seems like we are so far apart now but gradually without them even realizing it, perhaps Iran could become inter-dependent with the USA and the rest of the world. No wait, if you don’t attack Iran how are the major weapon manufacturers and military support corporations going to improve their price/earnings ratios? I guess you’ll just have to attack Iran anyway and remain mortal enemies forever.

  27. shcb Says:

    I’m glad that my theory isn’t junk because Iran and Iraq were allies, not in the traditional sense of shaking hands at a treaty signing ceremony but allies of convenience. The reason we didn’t use Sadam to defeat Iran is mainly because he didn’t want to, they were his allies and his enemies at the same time. We had pummeled his conventional forces in the first Gulf war, that is why he was the weakest of the two. So his best defense was nukes, real or imagined. This at the same time made him a friend because he possessed, or soon would posses the ultimate weapon against the infidel (their intelligence of him possessing nukes was probably our intelligence.) This is one of the main themes of Poole’s books, that the Western mindset doesn’t understand the Eastern. They will lie, cheat, do whatever to win. And since wining is everything, there is no dishonor in lying or signing treaties you have no intention in honoring, in fact it is considered a mark of intelligent cunning. He lumps the Arabs in with Japan, China, Indochina etc. He does a lot of lumping, one of the reasons I don’t agree with a lot of his conclusions. The rest of your post is just rhetorical questions / theories / answers / platitudes. Which is fine, we all need to vent from time to time.

  28. shcb Says:

    I like your idea for removing the UN from New York, I think we need to start immediately, in fact if you can get the move to Iraq started in January, I’ll pitch in a hundred bucks to pay for the moving van. If the UN were to loose the support of the US and Britain, you would also get your wish of third world mercenaries being their security forces, that is all that would be left. Do you think a rational armed force like Canada would go into battle without US/UK backup?

  29. knarlyknight Says:

    I think you are mostly right.
    Anyone disagree with shcb on his last two posts?

    On your topic of the shifty Arabs lying and cheating to win, I would add that all other peoples in the same boat would likely do the same. Gary Brechers two part feature on the Kurds illuminates that idea, have you read it? Part 1:

    Part 2:

    And some bad news ( I doubt this would have happened now if the new NIE was kept secret):

  30. knarlyknight Says:

    I think you are mostly right.
    Anyone disagree with shcb on his last two posts?

    On your topic of the shifty Arabs lying and cheating to win, I would add that all other peoples in the same boat would likely do the same. Gary Brechers two part feature on the Kurds illuminates that idea, have you read it? Part 1:

    Part 2:

  31. enkidu Says:

    I don’t have the time to point out the incredible anti-reality of believing that Iran and Iraq are allies. Neighbors, yes. Fought a war a few years ago that killed about a million or more people, yes. They share a common enemy in us, yes (to equate this to the unholy trinity of the ww2 axis is willfully ignorant of actual history).

    And the whole Iraq = Italy while Iran = Germany is ridiculous.
    Also, I know it is out of fashion to point this out, but Iran didn’t perp 9/11.
    They had spontaneous vigils all over their country in sympathy for the victims (the great Satan the USofA). They did not dance in the streets as TV or lefty mcfrootloop would have you believe (that was the Palestinians, but then facts have such a liberal bias).

    So in your rightwing fantasy where does Afghanistan (you know, where Osama bin Forgotten is still hiding) fit into your dog-eared “us good, them bad” ww2 analogy? Let me guess: Japan! cuz Afghanistan has such a huge military industrial complex, a massive navy and had invaded other countries to ‘secure the peace’?

    So little time, so many rwnj-crappin-ma-pants-and-callin-it-courage fantasies.

  32. knarlyknight Says:

    I must be tired, or shcb is getting to me, cuz I can’t believe you think Iran had nothing to do with perping 9/11. Let me ‘splain it to ya. Them 19 hijackers? All A-rabs. Iran’s an A-rab country, just like Iraq. Capiche? If that’s too hard for you, just remember “A-A-A” That stands for A-rab, A-raq and A-ran. And don’t forget, we be fighting that Axis of Evil.

    The other thing I can’t believe about you is you keep mistaking Zionists for Palestinians. According to Fox News, it was the Israelis who were dancing while the towers burned, and not in Palestine, but in a Jersey City parking lot. I’m not making this up, it was all reported in the mainstream press before it got buried, many of the links to the story are compiled here:

    Now, try to pay attention. Them 19 A-rabs were monitored and/or in contact with agents of the FBI, Mossad, and other intelligence agencies. The head of ISI wired Atta the hijacker $100,000; then some days (weeks?) later met with Bush Sr. on the morning of 911. Atta and the others had fun with their stacks of spending money, whether the cash came from ISI, bin Laden, or others too. The FBI reports they frequented strip clubs, enjoyed lap dances, etc. Pay attention now, this is where it gets tricky. How could these A-rabs have fooled the FBI into thinking they were enjoying such “pleasures” when in fact they were actually such fanatical-Islamists as to be suicide hijackers? It was all just a fiendish deception, no doubt masterminded by bin Laden himself, to conceal their real plans.

  33. shcb Says:


    I’m not equating the two, I’m just saying there are some similarities. My point was narrowly confined to ‘you don’t have to be soul mates to be allies’. I could have used Russia and the US in WW II or any two of the tribes that banded together to put the hurt on Custer, history is full of these unholy alliances.

    Afghanistan just happened to be the place the Taliban chose to operate from, just a place on the map. That portion of this war was the retaliation portion, Iraq and Iran are the preemptive part. I’ve given you my view as a rational adult can you do the same?


    I’ve read about half of the first article and some of the second. I will finish tonight, it’s interesting, I don’t have a good grasp on the history of that area so this is fun. I like Brecher’s style (sort of). He writes about history sort of like Newt, they throw in a lot of details in a way that makes it less dull. The only problem with that is it also interjects a lot of their personal ideas into the story, not really a bad thing just another filter you need to use. I’ll be interested to see if he comes up with any conclusions of how to get the country of Kurdistan on the map without war. I doubt there is one.

    Maybe you were yanking my chain when you said “I think you are mostly right.”, if you were, that’s ok, I bought it hook line and sinker, one of the reasons I read Brecher. If you weren’t messing with me, you need to get a backbone, giving me those very minor points didn’t hurt your arguments much if at all, and they were good points. Just because Inky rejects them without rebuttal doesn’t make them any less a good point. I know which side you’re on so I don’t expect you to come to my defense, but you can let Inky flail on his own, you just loose credibility jumping in there with him.

  34. knarlyknight Says:

    I wasn’t yanking your chain. I agree with you given all the careful parameters needed to make your argument work, and I agree with Enk on the more global basis. And I recognize that both positions are mutually exclusive, so that makes me schizophrenic or confused. My last post was a venting of the confused demons, sorry if it offended.

    A pre-emtive attack on Iran would be a big mistake, because what is it that you are pre-emting? According to Bush now, post knowledge of the new NIE, it is their “desire” to obtain the knowledge to make a bomb. Sure go ahead and attack that amorphous “desire to obtain knowledge to make an atomic bomb” just be sure to keep track of the collatoral damage because they’ll by adding up the tally for you Americans at The Hague; compensation to be paid in cash and retribution to be paid by severe sentencing for the worst of war crimes. Attack a sovereign nation based on lies and justice will, sooner or later, be served upon you the transgressors. You should not be promoting such violence as an attack on Iran. Just because other rwnj commentators are leading the call to attack, that does not lessen your responsibility to refrain from inciting state violence upon another sovereign nation.

    Gary Brechers second part on the Kurds is better, but it is more interesting if you read the first part first, as you are doing. I like Brecher’s writing too, and yes: I put on lots of filters when reading his stuff, and when finished the filters are so clogged they are thrown out. It’s a fun read though.

    I watched “Iraq in Fragments” yesterday (documentary filmed in 2004 – 2005). Not a great film, except for how it raised my understanding of the immenseness of the country and the power of various rulers from the perspective of the common man’s life and hopes. The part on the Kurds was most promising. The best they can hope for is autonomy within Iraq and retention of the region if Iraq is split up; however thier claims on Turkey and Syria will cause them grief for a long time.

  35. shcb Says:

    Just a quick note at lunch, I may write more this evening since we are on an interesting subject (the Kurds).

    I agree with you that invading Iran at this time would be a big mistake, but I do think it is inevitable in the next 5 years or so. I hope I am proven wrong. I think Iraq was justifiable for a number of reasons but Iran isn’t at this time. But at some point they will do something that will justify it, maybe attack Israel something like that. Unfortunately I am afraid the decision to deal with them decisively will come after the deaths of several if not many thousands of innocent friends. I would love to come to you peaceniks with hat in hand saying you were right and I was wrong, but I don’t have much confidence that will be the case.

  36. enkidu Says:

    rwnj – you made a silly analogy which echoed your silly and pathetic excuse for a prezlnitwit’s ‘axis of Evil™!!!!’ speech.

    So it is now Iran’s fault we invaded Iraq and let Osama bin Forgotten go free?
    I know Rove is trying to sell the line that the Dems pushed poor georgie into this counterproductive Iraq debacle, but please… will reality *ever* intrude on rwnj fantasyland? signs point to no

    Peacenik? No we just aren’t as blindly aggressive and stupidly dogmatic as the average rwnj. At least you make more sense than TV or lefty mcfrootloop… same narrow worldview tho, just nicer prose. Using nuclear weapons on Iran will guarantee we are hit by a terrrrist nuke. The genie will be well and truly out of the bottle.

    If you would have been Nixon’s advisor, he would have bombed China instead of opening them up to the West. nucking futs

  37. knarlyknight Says:

    Yes, attacking Israel would be a really stupid move, I can’t imagine Iran doing that except in defence, or possibly in retaliation if other options are absent.

    It sounds like, to lend your support to attacking Iran, you need something more concrete than another imaginary “Gulf of Tonkin” attack. I wonder if a “misunderstanding” like the following would suffice for you… or if you would wait for a full international investigation of such an incident and UN approval to react, or would it again take something bigger, like another “New Pearl Harbour catalyzing event” before you would approve of America declaring war on Iran? (I like the scary background music.)

  38. shcb Says:


    It’s not Iraq’s fault we invaded Iran, what did I say that would make you think that? It’s Iran’s fault they said they want to kill us, it’s Iran’s fault that they are supporting the killing of American soldiers in Iraq, but not that we invaded Iraq. They are the next obvious target in this war, but their actions will determine if we have to invade, nothing else. I’m not sure where I said anything about using nukes on Iran, but it is an option.

    You are right about China to a point, I was totally against Nixon opening trade with them. I was fairly young when he visited the Chinese, I guess I would have been a freshman in high school. I didn’t even realize what a conservative was at time, let alone that I was one. Still I was very much against it, I was wrong. Now I didn’t want to bomb them, but I didn’t want to be their friends either. Now I’ve been their, loved the people and the countryside and can say I have good friends there. Go figure. Still don’t trust Communists.


    I’m a little torn on attacking Iran, the best thing to happen would be a revolt from within, but if that doesn’t happen I would rather attack right now from a strategic standpoint, but I am enough of a realist to understand that would be disastrous from a political standpoint. So I’m afraid we will wait for another Pearl Harbor or 911. If it doesn’t happen maybe I’ll have friends in Iran too. It’s kind of up to them.

    I wouldn’t wait for the UN to approve anything but my parking voucher.

  39. shcb Says:

    oops, first sentence backward

  40. shcb Says:


    I watched the Youtube strip, it was good, I didn’t see anything wrong there, or course we are looking at things from opposite sides. But it all looked above board to me. Political folks out of power go to think tanks, that is one of the main purposes of them, to warehouse the people out of power and still give them a soapbox until it is there turn again. They came up with a plan that was sound but too radical so they scaled it back a bit, that sounds rational. I’m going to see if I can find the text of those reports and put the three and four word pictures in context. But this didn’t seem over the top. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were fairly truthful in this piece.

  41. shcb Says:

    Point one, did you notice that Ellen Bork is the director of the think tank? Judge Bork’s daughter.

    Ellen Bork
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Ellen Bork is acting executive director at the Project for the New American Century, a conservative policy organization based in Washington, D.C. Ellen is the daughter of Robert Bork, a former judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and failed Reagan Supreme Court nominee.
    From 1996 to 1998, Bork was the Senior Professional Staff member for Asia and the Pacific at the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. From 1998 to 1999, she served as counsel to Martin Lee, Chairman of the Hong Kong Democratic Party, and from 2001 to 2002, she was a fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Transatlantic Center in Brussels. In the mid-1980s she served in the Department of State and Department of Education and then with the International Republican Institute.
    Bork earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. She has served as an election observer in Cambodia and Indonesia. Her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Financial Times, the The Wall Street Journal Asia, The Weekly Standard, Humanitarian Affairs Review, and The Forward. She writes a column for the New York Sun, and is a contributor to Fox News.

    Pretty impressive.

  42. knarlyknight Says:

    yea, but she’s nothing in comparison to Mary-Ann.

  43. shcb Says:

    thanks a lot, now I have spend the rest of the afternoon working with those legs in my mind. Kind of like the guy that comes into your office whistling a Barry Manilow tune.

  44. shcb Says:

    I finished the article on the Kurds, pretty good stuff. I was glad he (or she) didn’t make any suggestions on how to get the Kurds their own country because I don’t think there is a practical way to do it. They aren’t strong or organized enough to take it and no one is going to give it to them. They are too proud to work with each other so they certainly aren’t going to work with their advisories. Oh well.

  45. knarlyknight Says:

    Some people really, really need to listen to this ordinary yet extraordinary soldier:

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