Well there I go again, not repeating large numbers of words I've written before. Whenever I assume attention spans of zero and comprehension of less there is always someone who will read my notes and chide me for speaking down to my readers as though they are children or saying something in print that any idiot knows perfectly well. Well, here I go filling in the stuff per your implied request. Words I assumed are in italics: "It is not a success yet," but we have defeated Saddam's army, gotten the government going, gotten support from most of the Shiites and perhaps all of the Kurds. Only the Sunnis, mostly supporters of Saddam with nothing to lose comprise the insurgents and we are training the Iraqis to handle these insurgents. "But the leftist & Islamist descriptions of its being a debacle are absurd." There are insurgents and Islamists causing trouble but this should have been expected and doesn't comprise a debacle. "A lot is at stake in Iraq," therefore Americans should realize this and support our cause in Iraq. If someone counts himself a sincere American he will support our efforts in Iraq and support the new Iraqi government, hoping for its success. "If we can help them [the Iraqis] get a workable non-militant government, the ramifications for the rest of the Middle East would be enormous. That is, the people in totalitarian or authoritarian states in the Middle East, may well understand that if the Iraqis can do it, they too can do it. The head of the Iranian Pasdaran said as much a few months ago. Authoritarian and totalitarian regimes will not wish Iraqi success, but if the Iraqi government does succeed, the Iraqi model of democracy may well spread. But then you turn your face around and claim that I say too much. You write, "Frankly, Lawrence, some of us are not very interested in what your troops think. We read newspapers, and today's headline is: "British soldiers die as helicopter is shot down. Then Basra erupts in bloody gun battles." Actually my troops are American and not British, but your hostility toward American and British forces is duly noted. Anyone favoring the success of the Iraqi government would be interested in what our troops say. If you think you get that from the newspapers you read, then I have some land out in our local desert I'd like to sell you. There is also a bridge up in Alaska you might be interested in as well. As to the reaction of Basran Shiites against British forces, the BBC has this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4981466.stm . You conclude mysteriously (from an earlier Guardian article reporting this incident), "So we base our conclusions on such reports, rather than on what you wish to be happening there." Whatever that means. I'll guess at what you mean, i.e., that the Iraqis in Basra, though influenced by nearby Iran, are the vanguard of a feeling that will soon be sweeping the country, namely that they want all coalition forces out now and if they don't go, the Iraqis throughout Iraq will engage in bloody riots. I would say this about what you seem to wish to be happening there: if that does happen, you will find a diminished patience with the Middle East in our congress, administration and nation. You will find Bush being criticized for imagining that Iraqis could ever favor a democratic form of government. You will find experts saying, "I told you so, only westerners can ever have any secure form of Liberal Democracy." You will find elements in our nation and congress that don't want to put our troops at risk for such unworthy causes as trying to help people who would rather riot and kill themselves than see their lot in life improved. You will find people who will be thinking if not saying, "Let them blow themselves up. The heck with them." But I don't think Basra is indicative of what is going to happen in the rest of Iraq. Basra is more under the sway of Iran than other areas of Shiite dominated Iraq; so it isn't surprising that they are not as enthusiastic about an Iraqi democracy as the rest. Lawrence -----Original Message----- From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Omar Kusturica Sent: Saturday, May 06, 2006 10:47 PM To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Lee Harvey Oswald & the Liberal Crack-Up --- Lawrence Helm <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: > It's not a success yet, but the Leftist & Islamist > descriptions of its being > a debacle are absurd. A lot is at stake in Iraq. > If we can help them get a > workable non-militant government, the ramifications > for the rest of the > Middle East would be enormous. *Yes, a lot is at stake in Iraq. I suppose that this logically demonstrates that it could not possibly be a debacle. , which doesn't mean that It is a shame that > so many people want Iraq > to fail so they can prove Bush wrong. This isn't > about Bush. It is about a > battle with a hostile force and one of the major > battlegrounds today is > Iraq. Some of us want it to succeed. Some of us > think a successful Iraq is > worth fighting for, but the Anti-Americans hope we > will lose. Being > pessimistic about Iraq doesn't place your standards > higher than mine. Quite > the contrary. Our troops have complained about the > twisted warped view > swallowed over here as fact. *Frankly, Lawrence, some of us are not very interested in what your troops think. We read newspapers, and today's headline is: "British soldiers die as helicopter is shot down. Then Basra erupts in bloody gun battles." http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1769503,00.html So we base our conclusions on such reports, rather than on what you wish to be happening there. O.K.