The more you squint, the better you can see it

Samizdata, October 2003:

At present the combat death rate is running an almost insignificant amount over the accident rate. […] It will be interesting to see if the end comes with a bang or a whimper. One could imagine a last desperate and suicidal offensive by the remaining Saddamites. Alternatively, if Saddam is calling the shots and is taken out of the picture the remnants might just quit and go elsewhere. The most likely scenario – in my opinion – is an exponential tail-off in as the remnant forces are killed or captured…

Knowing how things turned out subsequently, one would think war supporters might choose to be a bit more careful. Admittedly, they have. Except for our man up north Adam Yoshida that is:

The hysteria in some quarters over the present state of affairs in Iraq actually bears very little relation to facts on the ground. For example, talk of ?escalating violence? is patent nonsense. In truth, the violence in Iraq is in control, reconstruction is proceeding, and an orderly transition to democratic government is taking place. It is only a media-imposed blindness that prevents most of us from seeing this elementary fact.

During April, when US forces had to contend with both an uprising the ?Mahdi Army? of rogue mullah Moqtada al-Sadr and an upsurge of violence by residual Ba?athist forces and al-Qaeda terrorists in the so-called ?Sunni Triangle?, one hundred and thirty-nine American soldiers were killed. A high number, to be sure, but hardly one so high as to be considered astounding or, in military terms, unacceptable.

Adam then goes on comparing casualties in Iraq to those suffered during the Tet offensive, reminding us again that Iraq is, or isn’t it’s hard to tell anymore, Vietnam. Adam continues:

Does anyone else see a pattern here? Certainly, any pattern which does exist is not one of “escalating violence” despite the use of that phrase by the Associated Press on May 15th and the Washington Post on May 16th.

In Adam’s World? of course casualties only count if they are American soldiers. Yet even measuring progress by that arbitrary yardstick, May 2004 is the 4th most violent month (of 15) since the war began.


Comments: 8


“A high number, to be sure, but hardly one so high as to be considered astounding or, in military terms, unacceptable.”

Because I know that I cast my votes on what the US military considers acceptable or unacceptable.

I find such a willingness to accept a military version of events, and especially military rhetoric (“colateral damage” instead of “civilian deaths”; “casualties” instead of “people getting killed”) a particularly disturbing aspect of right-wing ideology in this war. Especially since their only remaining defense against criticism is their so-called humanitarian (“we liberated 25 million people”) defense. When it comes to evaluating the human _costs_ of war, and not just the human gains, their hypocrisy really shows. A cynical manipulation of liberal ideals if ever there was one.


Adam is a fool and I shamed to say he’s a fellow Canadian. he’s eager to join the U.S. army yet hasn’t followed through on that promise, I really hope he does, he’s the most unCanadian person I’ve ever not met.


Is Adam now the principal customer for extreme pyschotrpic drugs in Canada? If he isn’t, what is the other guy writing?


You’ve mentioned before Adam’s dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. I’m surprised he hasn’t joined the Army — if you do, they speed up your application for citizenship. And in the (of course highly unlikely) event that you’re killed in Iraq (which is after all safer than California — just ask Sean “Statistics Genius” Hannity), that’s even better — they make you a U.S. citizen posthumously! Many of us would be overjoyed if Adam became a U.S. citizen posthumously.


Have y’all seen a picture of this loser? He makes Limbaugh look like an Olympic 1,500 meter runner. The fat tub of goo (tm Letterman) wouldn’t last a day in basic.


What the hell? Isn’t this guy Japanese or something?


Oh, a few years back, long before Adam came on to your radar and only those of us on Usenet had to suffer him, those of us who had actually served went so far as to give him directions to the nearest recruiting offices (Canadian Forces, and US military recruiters in Washington state, so he had his pick), their working hours and contact information.

Not that we particularly wanted him near any kind of heavy weapon, mind you, but we felt he should be putting his money where his mouth was.

That, and I knew several sergeants in training establishments who would have just loved to meet him.


He is indeed a tubby little grub and I think would have a stroke polishing his boots, forget any wall scaling.

He is the worst sort of Chickenhawk.


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