Milk for blood

December 20th, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Critics of the war claimed it was about oil for blood – that the motives for the US sending troops and spilling blood, was to gain control of ’s oil. This of course was leftish paranoia – the US has gained no control of any oil, and the cost of the war has been massively more, than any oil revenue could match.

But Wikileaks has revealed that one country which did send troops to Iraq, qas motivated by commercial factors. Yes, sent in troops to Iraq (something Labour hopes that people forget), and the reason was to help Fonterra.

So there was no oil for blood by the US, but Helen Clark was willing to trade blood for milk.

I look forward to Labour talking about their principled foreign policy.

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62 Responses to “Milk for blood”

  1. Jeremy Harris (319 comments) says:

    Wikileaks has been fantastic for learning exactly what rotten crooks many in the last gocernment were…

    The result, the politicians will just get better at hiding their chicanery…

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  2. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Well, the irony of all that was that those on the security council had “oil” reasons for voting the thing down in the form of signed deals with Saddam.

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  3. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >So there was no oil for blood by the US, but Helen Clark was willing to trade blood for milk.

    Extradition from the US. War crimes trial. And a long prison sentence.

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  4. Positan (390 comments) says:

    Incredible hypocrisy. Like every leftist who dreams of being fondly remembered (if only in tiny leftist circles) Clark must be sweating and worrying as to what will be revealed next.

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  5. metcalph (1,430 comments) says:

    Get it right. It wasn’t milk for blood but guns for butter.

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  6. grumpy (261 comments) says:

    There must be something in there about a certain airport toilet incident.

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  7. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    I am totally against the wikileaks and believe they undermine foreign policy of all countries

    but….

    it is wonderfully delicious hypocrisy is it not? I have no doubt the decision was not just about Fonterra but given the complete bullshit that comes out of the Labour party about blood for FTAs etc that phrase involving a hoist and an ancient explosive device rings a bell.

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  8. RRM (9,933 comments) says:

    There wasn’t enough money in the oil to make it Oil for Blood, yet somehow there’s enough money in the milk to make it Milk for Blood???!? What desperate, cheerleading spin. Oh the hypocrisy of the right. Et cetera.

    This has been a party political broadcast on behalf of the National Party of NZ…

    [DPF: Go check the numbers. The spend by the US on the war is massively more than any oil deals done by US companies. By contrast Fonterra's contracts are worth considerably more than the NZDF deployment Clark sent to Iraq.]

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  9. decanker (184 comments) says:

    DPF: “I look forward to Labour talking about their principled foreign policy.”

    Uh, Labour can just do what the Nats are doing, i.e. Bill English on the radio this morning: “We are not commenting on any Wikileaks”

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  10. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    There must be something in there about a certain airport toilet incident.

    Yes! When are we getting leaks on THAT particular issue? The only really interesting one.

    yet somehow there’s enough money in the milk to make it Milk for Blood???!?

    Actually, yes there is, if you’re only sending a few SAS people in. They don’t cost that much, as you’d expect from people who are trained to turn their own urine into drinkable water. :-P

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  11. Pete George (23,602 comments) says:

    The bloody reference might be a tad over the top?

    In accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483 New Zealand contributed a small engineering and support force to assist in post-war reconstruction and provision of humanitarian aid. The engineers returned home in October, 2004 and New Zealand is still represented in Iraq by liaison and staff officers working with coalition forces.

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  12. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    …but as to the substance of the issue: So what? Governments are supposed to act in the national interest. That is the point of a Government’s foreign policy. It is to act in NZ’s interests, not anyone elses. Every other country is the same, and people forget that. Wars and military action only happen because they are in the perpetrator’s interests, not because they are in the interests of the country being invaded.

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  13. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    The lefties don’t like it up’m. They dooooon’t like it up’m.

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  14. Batman (103 comments) says:

    Meh, so what? they were only looking out for NZ’s best interests. As much as I hated the Clark govt and that smug Michael Cullen, I would have done the same and would expect any future government to do that too! so far no Kiwis have died in Iraq, perhaps not even some injuries? ergo, not an issue. more interesting is the two-faced behaviour of that Labour government over our relationship with the US, maintaining a ‘moral’ foreign policy while doing the same things that they attacked National for in ’05. they should have fronted up and been honest, but then again that wouldn’t have pleased their more socialist supporters

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  15. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    If your economy isn’t worth fighting for wtf is?

    This is another diligaf moment from wikigeeks.

    Hey Pete they won 10 Bronze Stars and three majopr valor decorations for extreme bridge building and reconstruction above and beyond the call! Yeah I’m sure that was it.

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  16. Bryce Edwards (248 comments) says:

    Labour’s so-called independent and moral-driven foreign policy has always been a farce. I’m not saying that National’s foreign policy is in any way preferable, of course, but at least National doesn’t go to the same disingenuous lengths of pretending to be angels. The reality is that Labour and National foreign policy has always been remarkably similar, but both parties do they most to pretend otherwise by exaggerating the nuanced differences.

    It’d be very interesting to see how/if Red Alert and The Standard blogs address the revelations about the Clark Government’s “Milk for Blood” policy in Iraq.

    Steven Cowan’s independent leftwing blog, Against the Current, has a good comment on Labour’s hypocrisy over the Wikileaks revelations about the Government’s refusal to meet the Dalai Lama. See:
    http://nzagainstthecurrent.blogspot.com/2010/12/wikileaks-catches-out-key-and-mccully.html

    This is the gist of it: “ Labour have jumped on McCully’s ‘deceptions’, but the Labour Government of Helen Clark also played word games when it came to Tibet. When the Chinese regime was in the process of brutally suppressing the Tibetan uprising of early 2008 Labour failed to condemn China for its actions. Helen Clark claimed she had said nothing because she wanted ‘ to find out the full story behind the riots’. Keith Locke rightly condemned Clark’s comments as ‘weasel words’. It is also of interest that The Standard, the ‘unofficial’ mouthpiece of the Labour Party, is insisting that McCully should be held to account for misleading Parliament. Yet barely three years ago The Standard had nothing to say about Labour’s failure to condemn China’s brutal military repression of the Tibetan independence movement. While the hacks who write for The Standard will never admit it, both Labour and National share an overwhelming desire never to upset the Chinese regime. This has led to both Labour and National to consistently fail to speak out about China’s appalling human rights record. So the attack on Murray McCully, however much deserved, still reeks of political opportunism.”

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  17. Mr Nobody NZ (391 comments) says:

    BlairM :”They don’t cost that much”

    I’ve got a book from the Mid-Late Eighties that quoted the average cost to fully train a British SAS Trooper as being around 1 Million Pounds so I guessing that it would cost about $3 Mil NZD per trooper.

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  18. Right of way is Way of Right (1,122 comments) says:

    Then why does butter cost so much?

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  19. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    No doubt Mr Goff will say it’s a set-up!

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  20. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Then why does butter cost so much?

    Well, we get to send it overseas to the UN and others, pushing the price up.

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  21. Bryla (263 comments) says:

    DPF, I’m amazed that this is “news” to you. We anarchist types have long known the propensity of the state to horse-trade around miltary deployments, and particularly so in the present conditions of permanent war. You can’t seriously believe that a “Labour” government would be materially different to a “National” government in the exercise of its prerogatives. That would be tantamount to believing that the Republicans and the Democrats exemplified meaningful difference. I’m waiting for the Tea Party to start explaining why they have to change their promises (if they ever get close to power). Blood for oil, Guns for butter, bleed the poor and crush the opposition. Sigh. Roll on the Kingdom of God.

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  22. big bruv (13,931 comments) says:

    Now that Assange has blown Klark’s legacy apart I wonder if any of our journalists will be brave enough to write the real story of her nine years in power?

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  23. Magnanomis (138 comments) says:

    Like Cleopatra, Clark bathed in milk to preserve her beauty and youth. And here was I thinking that her visage had merely been heavily photoshopped http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/helen-clark

    (Why is this organ of statist history peddling this image of Clark?)

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  24. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Seems the left had no problem smelling the uranium on their breaths when they sail into one of our ports and were treated like the scum of the earth. But it would seem the smell of their dollars is far sweeter and trumps ideology and moral outrage every time, these people are so hollow.

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  25. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Udder nonsense.

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  26. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    I love the smell of lefty self-righteousness going up in flames. Smells like…hypocrisy.

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  27. burt (8,275 comments) says:

    ssb

    Of course not, it’s different when Labour do it.

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  28. backster (2,174 comments) says:

    This revelation is enough to make Keith Locke jump ship and switch to ACT the party of peace. No doubt he is releasing all sorts of press releases which the mass media will jump on.

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  29. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  30. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    Mr Nobody – well sure – the training is expensive! But that’s money already invested. You spend that much money so you can drop them in an inhospitable environment, leave them to fend for themselves, and expect them home for dinner with a few severed jihadi heads :-P

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  31. Fentex (986 comments) says:

    he US has gained no control of any oil

    Failure, or success, does not prove motive.

    Can anyone pretend the U.S would expend such resources justisifed by such transparent lies committing all the attendant crimes without a strong motive? None of their attempted rationalisations of doing good ring in the slightest bit true and stand in stark contrast to other forgone opportunities to do good in the world.

    Iraq is only of interest to anyone for it’s oil and placement adjacent to other sources of oil, and to suggest any foreign policy of the U.S regarding it is not primarily driven by consideration for the disposition of Iraqs (and Iraqs neighbours oil) oil is to live a fantasy.

    The U.S didn’t want to suck Iraqs oil directly but wanted a client state member of OPEC it could direct to manage world oil suppies to the U.S’s advantage with additional hopes of influence and inspiration from creating a prototype democracy in the heart of theocracy and dictatorship.

    Which was childish lunacy I’m confident the more real politik players (such as Cheney) never credited but promoted as support for their more cynical efforts.

    And just like the ill conceived support for Saddams attack on Iran (which buttressed the Islamic theft of the popular revolution against tyranny which may not have prevailed had the country not needed to pull together in war) the U.S has yet again incompetently handed increased power and influence to Iranian theocrats through ignorance and idiotic day dreams that the world wants to be American if they’re just bombed enough.

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  32. TCrwdb (242 comments) says:

    @RRM – no-one is making you read this, so why don’t you be good little boy and run off to the standard/red alert and hide behind mummy’s apron.

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  33. polemic (460 comments) says:

    According to Wikileaks info Clark had NZ deliberately “dating the Chinese and French Navies” to increase distance with the US.

    Both of these Countries are Nuclear Armed.

    This begs the Question: What questions are asked of them before they are granted visiting rights?

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  34. redeye (629 comments) says:

    [DPF: Go check the numbers. The spend by the US on the war is massively more than any oil deals done by US companies.]

    You can’t use its current value as part of your argument. It is a rapidly diminishing finite resource. What will be the value of the control of a large chunk of that resource in 10 years time?

    And you must also concede that Bush, Cheney et all never anticipated the length of time this war would run, nor it’s cost.

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  35. wat dabney (3,778 comments) says:

    There wasn’t enough money in the oil to make it Oil for Blood, yet somehow there’s enough money in the milk to make it Milk for Blood???!?

    Why would the US need to invade Iraq “for the oil”? That doesn’t make any sense. It had the cost-free option of maintaining Saddam in power, living the life of luxurious life of the despot, in return for continued pumping and favourable contracts (and in addition, as a bulwark against the overtly Muslim regimes in the region.) Win-win for Saddam and for the US.

    The claim that the war was about oil has never made the slightest sense.

    By contrast, faced with the fact of the liberating invasion, Clark sent soldiers into theatre explicitly for financial considerations.

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  36. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    the iraq war was about destabalising the region and confronting muslims on their own turf.

    BUSH did the right thing IMHO. I just wish more civilians had died :)

    but seriously, it was the right strategic move. sure oil was a consideration, but not the main reason they went in.

    its a shame they cant take out some smug kiwi hippies while they are at it.

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  37. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    Jeez you lefties have had all day and only RRM out of the usual suspects tries to defend this? Is it really that bad? Oh dear. HAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAH.

    ( Well not actually defend, more like a retarded attempt to misdirect by a nonsensical argument that was shot down in flames on sight.)

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  38. jaba (2,143 comments) says:

    I built up a serious dislike on Clark after the speed-gate fiasco .. never liked Cullen. This so called milk for blood thing shows yet again that Labour were/are hypocrites .. have been for years BUT I have no problem with this issue.
    What I do have a problem with is that fucking moron Keith Locke wanking on about it .. what a hater of all things American. I just wish he would go away.

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  39. reid (16,513 comments) says:

    the iraq war was about destabalising the region and confronting muslims on their own turf. BUSH did the right thing IMHO…but seriously, it was the right strategic move.

    But seriously how the hell do you come to that conclusion. How was “destabilising the region” in the best US interests in 2001-2?

    Did you perhaps mistake the fact 911 was about Saudi-based terrorists for some hallucination that the ME was all this time full of teeming millions who were just about to burst forth lest the US “destabilise” it?

    Forgive me but I don’t immediately see the benefits of the strategy.

    I’ve always been rather suspicious of (a) the Israeli influence over domestic US politics and the media and (b) the fact Iraq and Iran are Israel’s public enemies no’s: 2 and 1.

    Invading Iraq was in the best interest of the Israelis, but not of the US. Where, precisely was the interest. It wasn’t there, so to make it credible they had to make it up, on a memorable occasion via the mobile gas-labs presentation Colin Powell gave at the UN. The fact he found out later it was based on complete and utter cherry-picked extreme biased intelligence courtesy of Cheney, is why he didn’t serve in the second term – the only senior player in that whole Administration who ever showed integrity.

    Anyone, the real reason they went in is currently unknown, cause based on the history which reveals both fallacy and folly, there is still no sign of the real reason.

    It’s the disingenuous of Hulun – time after time in action after action her standard operating procedure is to be totally self-absorbed and fuck everyone else. Decision after decision she has made has these traits. No-one that’s humane would be like she is. Aung Sun Syu Ki wouldn’t be, much lessor women such as Shipley or Thatcher wouldn’t behave or be the way she has proven herself to be. What I seriously don’t get, is that lefties pretend they operate on a higher plane of discerning humanity at least that’s what they say all the time, yet the very people who proclaim everyday a superiority in this field, just walk on by.

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  40. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Second look at Jules Assange? This and the anti-nuke stupidity only coming in to cut costs must be causing an identity crisis among the left.

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  41. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    P.S. @ the mongoloids who still believe Iraq was for oil: what’s the point when they could have just rehabilitated Saddam’s image and bought it off him normally like they did with the even-more-loathsome Gaddafi?

    OH WAIT REASON AND LOGIC NO THIS IS TERRIBLE WHAT IS HAPPENING ARRRRRRRRRGH

    I’m waiting for the Tea Party to start explaining why they have to change their promises (if they ever get close to power).

    Aren’t you paying attention? There was an election a few months ago and they did fairly well. Oh wait, of course you didn’t, you’re an anarcho-cretin, you can’t see out of your bubble.

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  42. reid (16,513 comments) says:

    Invading Iraq was in the best interest of the Israelis

    Just further to my comment there, and I apologise for the diversion.

    With 20/20 hindsight we can see now that it wasn’t in the best interests of Israel to invade Iraq. This is because it has strengthened Iran not weakened her and weakened Israel not strengthened her. This is partly because Israel depends on a successful US. Take a successful US out of the picture and Israel doesn’t have squat. Iraq has seriously compromised the US ability to respond to the GFC with its constant drain for a decade prior.

    Imagine if Iraq split into three nations: Shite, Sunni, Kurd. The Kurds get the oil-fields based on current territory. Look at a map. Fortunately the Israelis are on very good terms with the Kurds.

    No of course it’s not about oil.

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  43. reid (16,513 comments) says:

    It’s about religion.

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  44. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    [DPF: Go check the numbers. The spend by the US on the war is massively more than any oil deals done by US companies.]

    That’s hindsight.

    The administration was quite clear that it expected oil revenue to pay for reconstruction after what was meant to a quick and relatively painless invasion and regime change, give or take a few tens of thousands of Iraqi lives.

    And the end result was meant to be a shining example of western-style Arab democracy – remember Rummy saying again and again that he expected to be welcomed with showers of flowers?

    This was the misguided motivation of the neo-con cabal behind Bush, from Cheney down. Poor Dubya didn’t stand a chance at first, but, let’s give him credit, he did stand up to them near the end of his presidency by refusing to attack Iran.

    And both Bush and Blair made it clear what their their personal motivation was: they were called by God. It’s true. And Bush was pissed at Saddam for having a go at his Dad in Kuwait. This is what passes for realpolitik!

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  45. reid (16,513 comments) says:

    The administration was quite clear that it expected oil revenue to pay for reconstruction after what was meant to a quick and relatively painless invasion and regime change, give or take a few tens of thousands of Iraqi lives.

    I agree that was the plan.

    This was the misguided motivation of the neo-con cabal behind Bush, from Cheney down. Poor Dubya didn’t stand a chance at first, but, let’s give him credit, he did stand up to them near the end of his presidency by refusing to attack Iran.

    Yes he did Luc, the only thing I ever commended him for. He did OK, from that one action.

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  46. Viking2 (11,488 comments) says:

    WikiLeaks: Attorney-General wanted anti-nuke policy axed
    By Hayden Donnell
    4:15 PM Monday Dec 20, 2010

    Current Attorney-General Chris Finlayson wanted to overturn New Zealand’s anti-nuclear legislation without a public vote, a WikiLeaks cable reveals.

    The cable from February 2006 describes a move to change National Party policy to unreservedly support anti-nuclear legislation introduced by Labour in 1984.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10695601

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  47. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Face it.

    Iraq was a victory.
    You anti-Iraq war lot also have a lot of explaining to do.

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  48. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Madeleine Not-Very-Bright wanted to have a U2 shot down over Iraq in order to provide a pretext for an invasion. Foreign policy experts! Talk about Carry On Slinking Through The State Department!

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  49. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    I was about to comment that the Smithsonian Institute probably wouldn’t appreciate one of their exhibits being shot down, but a quick check on Wiki indicates that some will remain in active service beyond 2014! Unbelievable!

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  50. reid (16,513 comments) says:

    Iraq was a victory.

    Pray tell precisely in which ways emmess.

    by refusing to attack Iran.

    Thanks too Luc for reminding me of that.

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  51. wat dabney (3,778 comments) says:

    Wikipedia also tells us, even more amazingly, that the US “intends to keep the B-52 in service until at least 2040, nearly 80 years after production ended.”

    Crikey.

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  52. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    The M1 tank will be in service until 2050 as well. And why not? They’re good pieces of kit unlikely to see any challenger for the next few decades.

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  53. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Pray tell precisely in which ways emmess.

    The war was won from late 2007 when the number of American/Coalition deaths dropped to a handful (currently less than one per month) paving the way for an orderly pull out which will be fully complete late next year.

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  54. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Thing is, Emmess, the surge should have started straight after the war ended and the occupation began. When a safety valve is blown off and a power vacuum appears you’d better fill it up quickly.

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  55. wat dabney (3,778 comments) says:

    The operation was a success, but the patient died.

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  56. reid (16,513 comments) says:

    The war was won from late 2007 when the number of American/Coalition deaths dropped to a handful (currently less than one per month) paving the way for an orderly pull out which will be fully complete late next year.

    Er.

    A military victory normally consists of two things emmess.

    Firstly a successful suppression of resistance and establishment of stable occupation govt. Check.

    Secondly, successful and ongoing suppression of resistance. TBC if one withdraws however.

    This brings into play the abovementioned “Er” qualifier, and so it goes.

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  57. emmess (1,428 comments) says:

    Secondly, successful and ongoing suppression of resistance. TBC if one withdraws however.

    I think you’ll find the remaining troops are finding they have sweet FA to do. The Iraqi army is handling everything these days.
    So once they withdraw, the question for Al-Qaeda in Iraq becomes ‘what are we fighting against?’

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  58. reid (16,513 comments) says:

    Of course the suppression of the resistance is the military’s job which did its usual sterling while the establishment of a stable occupation govt is the responsibility of the President and neither of those Presidents have ever mentioned any answers whatsoever re: anything that could wring victory from what are now only ashes.

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  59. reid (16,513 comments) says:

    So once they withdraw, the question for Al-Qaeda in Iraq becomes ‘what are we fighting against?’

    Sadly it’s the Taliban-Al-Qaida not just the Taliban and not just Al-Qaida but both, on their home territory. Except we’ll be leaving them alone.

    So this is how it all started, right?

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  60. Fentex (986 comments) says:

    Anyone who thinks the U.S invasion of Iraq was a success because of acheived military objectives isn’t paying attention to details.

    The empowerment of Shiite factions in Iraq, having removed the political powerbase of the Sunnis has gifted Iran influence it did not have. Iraq now cannot have a government that is unacceptable to Iran.

    Turkey, the U.S’s strongest ally in the mid-east feels betrayed by the empowerment of Kurds that threaten the integrity of Turkey – the third of which adjacent to north Iraq is populated by Kurds unhappy with Turkman dominance. So Turkey is now develping a more independet mid-east facing diplomacy that will lkely strengthen political allegiances at future odds with U.S interests.

    A stronger Iran now delivers increasing support to Hizbollah that leverages the assets it’s gifted to defang Israeli threats to Lebanon and increasingly isolates Israel – quite at odds with the U.S’s hope to strengthen Israeli support by establishing an aspirational democracy among Arab nations.

    By any objective measure the U.S adventure in Iraq has been a complete policy disaster.

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  61. Fentex (986 comments) says:

    So once they withdraw, the question for Al-Qaeda in Iraq becomes ‘what are we fighting against?’

    There is no ‘Al-Qaeda’ in Iraq. For a brief period there were people calling themselves that (with whatever connection they had to the amorphous and dispersed identity of Al Qaeda) in alliance with other insurgent factions fighting U.S occupation and numerous civil conflicts over internal power, but they were as hated for their insanity by Sunni Iraqis as much as anyone else and were one of the first victims of the ‘Sunni Awakening’.

    Any Al Qaeda loons that persist will be dealt with by iraqi’s who’ve no more love of their insane desires than anyone else.

    They aren’t all ragheads and camel jockeys thinking the same and conforming to cartoon pictures drawn by the ignorant.

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  62. dime (9,980 comments) says:

    The iraq war lead to muslims fighting muslims.. the US woulda hated that…

    No terror attacks on US soil since the invasion.

    Thousands of terrorists killed fighting marines on iraq soil. The battle ground successfully moved to the middle east.

    No more terrosists sponsered by saddam

    saddam was a dick

    what if saddam died? and one of the nutter sons took over?

    WMD’s – they believed they had some.

    set the entire region back many years. destabalised. thats how ya stay at the top, by cutting threats down. by force or other policies.

    history will show Bush did the right thing and no US hating hippies on a blog can change that :)

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