Saturday, December 22, 2007

# Posted 11:45 AM by Taylor Owen  

ON THE TIMELINESS OF TIMELINES: It is often difficult to disentangle the debates on Afghanistan and Iraq. The two are not the same, as Tony Cordsman demonstrates convincingly in his latest brief. Part of the problem of course is the rhetoric used for both tends to slip into the same fight against islamo-fascism story. In this regard, Harper's shift in language in Canada has been particularly unhelpful in distinguishing the conflict Canadians supported (Afghanistan) from the one they widely did not (Iraq).

One issue that gets improperly conflated between the two is the issue of timelines. If timelines are good in Iraq, as the Democrats are telling us in the US, then surely they should then be good in Afghanistan as well, as the Liberals in Canada claim? In fact, I would argue that timelines are good for US engagement in Iraq, and not for NATO engagement in Afghanistan. Let me explain.

In Iraq, a significant majority of the population (lets say 80%), view Americans as occupiers and actually support attacks against them. In Afghanistan, on the other hand, a significant majority of the population (some polls say 90%), support NATO presence. In Iraq, therefore, the timelines would serve to demonstrate to a unsupportive population that the US is not permanently occupying their country. A positive thing, and likely to bring local support to their side. In Afghanistan, the lack of a timeline would show Afghan's that the international community is committed to staying long enough to fight off the resurging Taliban, who by all accounts are making progress in the south and convincing local populations that it is better, in the long term, to side with them. A timeline in Afghanistan would support the rhetoric of the Taliban and likely drive support to them.

Timelines are good in Iraq because they will serve to convince the unsupportive population that the occupation is not permanent. Timelines are bad in Afghanistan because they would suggest to a supportive population that it would be in their long term interests to side with the resurging Taliban.

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(9) opinions -- Add your opinion

80 percent of the Iraqi population view us as occupiers, primarily because some bright (idiotic) spark early on decided that our presence met the legal definition for occupation. Overnight we went from being liberators to occupiers. A hell of a difference.

Nothing changed with what we were doing, but the Iraqis might just have been a tad upset.
80 percent" You didn't happen to invent that out of thin air? Is there a poll or something?
Yea Davod, there's a poll or something -- I think it was done a couple years back and Murtha, Reid, Pelosi et.al. latched onto it like leeches on Humphrey Bogart in "African Queen." IIRC, it was taken by some leftish British operation and probably polled insurgents tot the tune of 95% of respondents.

If anyone quoting such a poll, were to instead think about what that percentage would really mean to our ability to operate in country; they'd stop parroting such nonsense (can you tell I've been biting my tongue for a few days?).

Sorry Taylor, but please think and investigate with more fervor before passing along the propaganda as fact -- you're better than Murtha and imitating "Baghdad Bob" doesn't become you either! :-)
P.S. Sorry, my 12:57 was directed at anon's 10:07, not Davod's 7:49
So there was a poll that was not worth the paper it was printed on. So the thin air analogy holds up quite well. Was that the same group that gave us those wonderful Lancet studies?
Anon 3:05 asks, Was that the same group that gave us those wonderful Lancet studies?

I have no idea, my point was merely that the poll is so obviously skewed (and so old at that -- not that the age of a propaganda piece matters, other than the older it gets the more likely people are to be taken in by it) that Taylor was remiss in building his argument around such a thing.

Once the viability of the underlying premise is stripped away, the basis for the entire post is moot -- he should have known that (researched that) before forwarding the false premise as a basis for his analysis.
This is probably to late to have anyone read it. Nevertheless.

It is still likely that 80 percent of Iraqis considered the coalition as occupiers for the simple reason that we said we were.

That does not mean that they would all rise up in opposition. Or indeed that there would be massive civil disobediance.

The enormous turnout for the three elections shows that Iraqis wanted to participate in what the Coalition was trying to do.

Howover, a larger percentage of the population probably joined the rat bhags than would have if we had not been pushed into declaring we were occupiers.

I think the move to declare an occupation was forced by our own rat bags within government, and their external supporters, hoping to push the situation over the edge.

It is a pity that Bush embraced the word instead of sticking with liberation and including wording showing that the Coalition was there to support until the Iraqis could operate by themselves.
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