Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bob Doesn't Understand What's Going On In Iraq

On Monday, Bob got rude to a caller when discussing about the war in Iraq. She wanted to know why he kept bringing up al Qaeda when talking about Iraq. So he started screaming at her:
Because al Qaeda, right now, is in Iraq. They are the people that we're fighting in Iraq. The insurgents and the people that we're fighting are al Qaeda themselves. That's who we're fighting. That's who is killing our troops. And they're fighting us in Iraq.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Ridiculously, Bob is trying to oversimplify the situation in Iraq and blame everything on "al Qaeda."

However, the on-going carnage in Iraq is not the doing of a single group. Rather, the violence stems from a complex mix of dozens of groups, of which al-Qaeda in Iraq is a bit player. These groups are currently engaged in a sectarian civil war comprised primarily of Sunnis versus Shiites.

But don't take my word for it. In 2007, Anthony H. Cordesman of the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies, said:
"[n]obody knows how many different Islamist extremist groups make up the insurgency [in Iraq]. Even when you talk about Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, the idea of somehow it is the center of the insurgency is almost absurd." (emphasis added)
Furthermore, "al Qaeda in Iraq" is simply not the same "al Qaeda" group led by Osama bin Laden that attacked the U.S. on September 11, 2001. When Bob says that "we're fighting al Qaeda in Iraq," he's being thoroughly dishonest.

Even if you were to believe Bob's lies and accept that al Qaeda is the enemy in Iraq, then does that mean that the war is over and we can bring our troops back home? After all, last October, the U.S. military claims it has "dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq ... leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group."

Bob doesn't know what is going on in Iraq, and more importantly, he doesn't care. Bob is incurious regarding the real situation and actual reasons as to why thousands of fellow Americans are dead and trillions of our dollars have been flushed down the drain.

For those who want extra credit, here's an article all about how the Bush Administration has perpetuated the Myth of al Qaeda in Iraq.


CJF-DLL said...

LOL, 'so he started screaming at her'. Unless I am mistaken, your link is to an audio file of a man who is not doing anything close to screaming. Is this really your idea of screaming? Or are you willing to exaggerate and lie to make your so-called points? (Pot, meet kettle.)

Scooter said...

Hi Jeff,

Unfortunately, I have to agree that Bob isn't exactly "screaming" (although he's clearly agitated). But notice how cjf-dll latches onto this bit of hyperbole as a means to dismiss the rest of your post? Bob would be proud.

Anonymous said...

Well, perhaps "screaming" is too strong of a word. Maybe "shouting" would be more appropriate. Nevertheless, this "loud talking" is probably as close as you can get to "screaming" on the air.

I should have cut more of the clip so you could hear the obvious raised voice. The caller was pretty much stunned after hearing this display and probably realized there was no more reasoning with Bob.

But cjf-dll, Scooters right about your dismissal of the entire post based on one poorly chosen word. So do you agree or disagree that Bob is generally ignorant of who we're fighting in Iraq?

CJF-DLL said...

You and Scooter accuse me of dismissing your entire post based on one small part of it. Well, I think that first impressions are meaningful. If your post starts off that way, it is already suffering from weakened credibility. Do you expect most of your visitors to not notice that you employ a lot of the same methods that you accuse Bob of using? You exaggerate your points in an effort to make Dutko sound worse than he really is. If he is so bad, then let your points speak for themselves instead of going the extra mile to 'hyperbolize'. Then perhaps you will have some more interesting discussions here, instead of a round table of like-minded buddies who rip conservatives together and then pat each other's backs for it.
I heard the segment that you clipped from, and in my opinion you have mislaid the focus of the conversation. The lady caller couldn't even explain why she was against the republicans, just that she was 'tired of all this crap' or something like that. She only had a feeling about it, but didn't know or couldn't articulate the reasons why. Bob was pressing her for an answer.
Yes, he oversimplifies the situation when he talks about AQ being THE enemy; they are an element of a multifaceted situation. I don't claim to know all of the issues about the U.S. in Iraq, and I don't think we can fully trust either the Dems or Reps as they continually vilify each other on this issue.
I'll probably check back again sometime, I hope you will do this blog a service, and consider adjusting your approach.

Anonymous said...

cjf-dll said: "The lady caller couldn't even explain why she was against the republicans, just that she was 'tired of all this crap' or something like that. She only had a feeling about it, but didn't know or couldn't articulate the reasons why. Bob was pressing her for an answer."

Well, I just listened to the entire 10 minute conversation again and your characterization of the caller is incorrect.

The topic of the conversation wasn't about why she was against the Republicans, the topic was why born-again Christians were going to the Democratic party. She hypothesized from her conversations with liberal and conservative friends, that they were generally 'fed up' with the Republicans. She then articulated the reasons, which included (1) the war in Iraq, (2) the No Child Left Behind Act, and (3) congressional spending while cutting taxes which leads to higher deficits.

But all Bob wanted to talk about was Iraq, saying that al Qaeda is who we're fighting in Iraq and that if we leave then al Qaeda is going to kill Iraq's elected leaders and take over the country to use as a base for further operations, including more spectacular attacks on the U.S. Meanwhile, he chastised the "liberals" for not being able to think ahead like a chess player (and like he is clearly doing).

(I found this especially ironic since, in my humble opinion, President Bush was clearly not "thinking things through" when he decided to go to war in Iraq. As Colin Powell famously warned the president, "if you break it, you bought it.")

Bob's whole premise of why we can't leave Iraq is predicated on the false assumption that al Qaeda is the enemy and that they'll "take over" and chaos will ensue. But, as anyone can realize by simply learning about the situation, chaos is already ensuing in Iraq thanks to the sectarian civil war that is currently raging even with our troops there. So what difference does it make if we stay or if we go?

djtyg said...

cjf-dll is using a classic right-wing tactic of making the argument all about YOU.

It's a good tactic, as it usually gets liberals on the defensive (so what if Bush's policies are a failure, because you hate America)! Then he pretends to give a crap what you have to say so that he can suddenly be portrayed as the nice guy.

Try again later, cjf.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for reminding me of that. I believe the technical term is an ad hominem attack.