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Bloggingheads
04-01-2008, 01:33 PM

lamoose
04-01-2008, 03:05 PM
Can Goldfarb's optimism about the recent events in Basra be described as anything but the most wishful of thinking? Every time he was challenged--about Iran backing Sadr, about Iraq-Al Qaeda ties, Iran-Al Qaeda ties--he either disagreed without ever really mounting a counterargument or he actually conceded that he didn't know what he was talking about. I guess we should have had an "expert" like Stephen Hayes to tell us what Goldfarb meant to say.

Goldfarb can't prove that Iran helps Al Qaeda, but it just makes sense to him, so that's his story and he's sticking to it!

It was quite a pathetic performance, actually. You would expect that someone at the Weekly Standard would have at least had some talking points, some list of fake intelligence intercepts or something... Instead, we were treated to an ideological reflex that amounted to the repitition of this basic thought: "At the end of the day, Iran is the source of our problems in the Middle East." This thought is almost as compelling as the first time I heard it in 2003: "At the end of the day, Iraq is the source of our problems in the Middle East."

Of course, towards the end, Goldfarb showed that he is an expert in something, and that's Obama's preacher. Because if anything is important, it's not knowing what the hell is going on in the world. Rather, it's identifying the most effective bludgeon for use in the political arena!

Sadly, the section on Israel wasn't funny at all. BHtv gave us a liberal stroking a neocon, promising him that Obama won't deviate from the series of smashing successes of the last 50 years of our Israel policy. Ugh.

ohcomeon
04-01-2008, 03:39 PM
I have only watched the first section so far but - WOW - if it weren't both so deadly and so sad, I would be laughing hysterically. I don't find it very reassuring that Mr. Goldfarb is "not convinced."

jstrummer
04-01-2008, 03:45 PM
Could Michael Goldfarb be any less well informed about what's going on Iraq? It's like someone took Eli Lake and drained him of any knowledge or context. Of course both Sadr and Maliki get backing from Iran. But Maliki spent some of his exile in Iran (and the rest in Syria), his Dawa party supported the Iranian revolution in 1979, and his coalition partners SCIRI are Iranian-backed.

Sadr however is an Iraqi nationalist above all else, and although he does have his ties to Iran, it's kind of absurd to describe him of as the Iranian-backed of the two Shia factions.

Also, Goldfarb says on a couple of occasions, "I'm not convinced..." Ok. And? I mean, is the goal to satisify Goldfarb's requirements in order to provide a convincing explanation of what's going on in Iraq?

jstrummer
04-01-2008, 03:49 PM
Also, the surge was a success? Yes, yes, it reduced violence. No one disputed that the surge would reduce violence. But as Farley says, "if you're going to build a state, you gotta build a state." The advocates said that the surge would provide the necessary security in order to accomplish its goal of building a state.

But that hasn't happened.

ohcomeon
04-01-2008, 03:53 PM
Can Mr. Goldfarb identify Iraq or Iran on a map? His performance was pathetic. Bloggingheads can certainly do better than this!

Joel_Cairo
04-01-2008, 03:57 PM
Goldfarb's attempt to assert (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9858?in=00:05:47&out=00:05:56) that Sadr is more Iran-backed than Maliki's coalition is very possibly the most intellectually dishonest utterance in the history of BHTV.

jstrummer
04-01-2008, 04:02 PM
Ok, I'm going to stop watching this, I promise. But I love Goldfarb's vague appeals to "some evidence out there". "There's some evidence out there that Iran and al Qaeda are linked." "There's some evidence that Iraq is a viable state." "There's some evidence that Maliki's assault on Basra is making progress." Whatever dude. What is this evidence, or are you just invoking Steve Hayes' fevered imagination.

Joel_Cairo
04-01-2008, 04:45 PM
So now that I've made it to the end of this episode, it's pretty clear to me that Goldfarb's interest in BHTV begins and ends with his seeing it as an opportunity for him to pitch new wars. In the past, we've seen him wax pugnacious against China, North Korea, and now it's Iran who (in a perfect world where Bush weren't such a wuss) we'd be bombing yesterday.

He's starting to run out of bad guys though, who is left? He tips his hand a bit and hints that he'd like a war with Saudi Arabia, so maybe that's next episode; somehow I think that may be too predictable though. Maybe Russia? Or he could surprise us all with a dark horse like, say, Greece.

Anybody want to take bets on who Goldfarb's next Urgent Mortal Threat will be?

thouartgob
04-01-2008, 06:30 PM
There is a pain that occurs when listening to him that cannot be replicated except when I chew on aluminum foil.

3 great things I learned from Mr. Goldfarb

1. The Limeys let us down
2. Iran works for it's own interests
3. Al Queda uses lots of private money ( the only real state sponsor is Saudi Arabia ) so attacking supposed state sponsors is a waste of time.

There are more gems but you know he gets paid to do this. I am jealous.

Wonderment
04-01-2008, 06:36 PM
Anybody want to take bets on who Goldfarb's next Urgent Mortal Threat will be?

How about the fictional nation of Aztlán? That's the one Mickey Kaus is after.

thompsaj
04-01-2008, 07:24 PM
"I'm not convinced..." has the potential to go down in the black book of the bush years, along with "I don't think anyone could have predicted...", "You go to war with the army you have...", and "Heckuva Job!"

thprop
04-01-2008, 08:02 PM
Goldfarb is almost as execrable as Eli Lake. Matt Yglesias gave a great perspective (http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/11/michael_goldfarb.php) on this idiot. Great insight from Matt:
Meanwhile, we've been noting the shortage of captains and majors afflicting the military and wondering when age-appropriate advocates of an aggressive military posture like Goldfarb are going to step up to the plate to fill some of these absences. Well, he seems to have decided today that he should do his part to cope with growing personnel shortfalls in the State Department's mission in Iraq by . . . calling professional foreign service officers "diplowimps" because, I suppose, they've failed to demonstrate the sort of awe-inspiring courage required to write a blog from 17th Street. Maybe instead of being such wimps, the striped pants boys ought to join Goldfarb in trying to gin up a new war from the front-line cubicles here in Washington.

ohcomeon
04-01-2008, 08:44 PM
Agreed. The new movement should be called MG-MEN (Michael Goldfarb Must Enlist Now.) Come on, pal. America needs you.

zookarama
04-01-2008, 10:25 PM
"I'm not convinced..." has the potential to go down in the black book of the bush years, along with "I don't think anyone could have predicted...", "You go to war with the army you have...", and "Heckuva Job!"

And don't forget the ever-popular Gonzo-ism "I don't recall."


But this all begs the question: Why were they eager to invade Iraq on manifestly bogus intelligence, but were hesitant when presented with widely-accepted evidence of the effects of global warming? "We believe this issue deserves more study."
arrrgh!

thouartgob
04-01-2008, 11:47 PM
But this all begs the question: Why were they eager to invade Iraq on manifestly bogus intelligence, but were hesitant when presented with widely-accepted evidence of the effects of global warming? "We believe this issue deserves more study."
arrrgh!

Hypocrisy in the pursuit of market share is not a vice. Because for these guys and many other conservatives ignorance is not a bug but a feature. Modernity can scare more than islamic clerics.

Reviewing some of the pbs special "Bush's War" in my mind while watching Goldfarb was enlightening to say the least. These guys REALLY don't think they did anything wrong. Listening to Cheney or any of them, so blustery when making unsupported claims that costs hundreds of thousands of lives, mew softly about bad CIA intelligence and indulge in lawyerese ( I said growing and gathering I didn't specifically say imminent threat ... ) and sure maybe they needed more troops but the real problem is that the american people are wimps and the democRATS hate america. Oh and the WMDs were all shipped to Syria, so do we hit Iran first or Syria ????

Glaurunge
04-02-2008, 12:42 AM
So Michael Goldfarb starts the discussion on Israel by using the tired framework where in "pro-Israel" means aligning oneself with the most intransigent rightwing elements of Israeli society. He continues with the specious arguement that regular Americans should and do "support" Israel becaue it's a democracy. That fact is irrelevent as far as the most contentious issues are concerned. Does he think Israel would have less of a right to build settlements were it a monarchy, for example?

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 01:00 AM
As once again the flash version is balking so I have not had a chance to listen to this whole diavlog, but just to get started in this conversation I will direct those interested in this Al-Jazeera article Sadr fighters leave Iraq's streets (http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/5B329502-E818-44B1-9445-AC1D6407D488.htm). I am not aware of many instances where the winning side is quiting the fight and running away. But who knows, I suppose anything is possible, the world is so different now days.

look
04-02-2008, 01:20 AM
Since one of the goals of the conflict was to disarm the Sadrists, I would consider it a victory for them to have kept their weapons.

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 01:21 AM
This should be quite a busy diavlog for me because a little over two minutes in Mr Farley (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9858?in=00:02:07&out=00:02:37) is already showing just how little is known about any of the reasons for the negations that took place in Iran. For a rather different perspective of what took place, in these negotiations, and why they occurred I would recommend this post The ‘Intifada’ That Wasn’t (http://talismangate.blogspot.com/) from Nibras Kazimi. I have been reading him for a couple of years now and find what he has to say is often prescient and informative.

Wonderment
04-02-2008, 01:27 AM
He continues with the specious arguement that regular Americans should and do "support" Israel because it's a democracy.

Israel qualifies as a democracy only under a very generous definition of the term, and there's never been any democracy for the Palestinians living in refugee camps for 60 years.

I think Obama, if elected, may be taking another look at Israeli apartheid. He's likely to come to the same conclusion that Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu did.

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 01:29 AM
Iraqi law allows for Iraqi citizens to arm themselves for self protection. So it would be illegal to completely disarm the individuals. As far as the organization itself keeping there arms apparently they are no longer brandishing them openly as per the link above if you would have read it. Nor does it appear that the government forces have quit the offensive if this Al-Jazeera article, Iraqi PM claims Basra 'success' (http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/BE43E6EA-3B30-4D88-8AC7-F8C496BFC1B6.htm), is to be believed.

look
04-02-2008, 01:38 AM
I did read the article, and it said this:

The deal with al-Sadr meant that his supporters were able to keep hold of their weapons despite the best efforts of government forces to take control of the city

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 01:58 AM
It also says this Fighters loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia leader, have disappeared from the streets of Iraq after a week of clashes with government security forces.

Residents of Baghdad and Basra came out to bury their dead and shop for supplies as curfews were eased in the two cities on Monday.

Restrictions were lifted after al-Sadr ordered the fighters to withdraw on Sunday.

The violence, which left an estimated more than 450 people dead, began when an Iraqi military crackdown on warring Shia groups in Basra sparked unrest across the country.


However, on Monday the southern port city was largely calm with Iraqi soldiers the only armed men to be seen on the streets.

"We have control of the towns around Basra and also inside the city. There are no clashes anywhere in Basra. Now we are dismantling roadside bombs," Major-General Mohammed Jawan Huweidi, commander of the Iraqi Army's 14th division, said.
Now if the fighters have "disappeared from the streets", "Iraqi soldiers the only armed men to be seen on the streets." and "We have control of the towns around Basra and also inside the city..." it seems to me that the government has the upper hand. As long as Iraqi law says the individuals can possess arms don't you think that the government should honor that law?

there is also this In response to al-Sadr's order on Sunday, the government agreed not to pursue those involved in the fighting provided they put away their weapons. Not quite the purported surrender of arms as has been misrepresented here.

look
04-02-2008, 02:48 AM
I think the larger point is that Maliki wanted to disarm Shiite militias to establish the preeminence of the Iraqi Army, and failed. He also fears Sadr in the upcoming elections. Even more troubling for him is that the deal appears to have been brokered by an Iranian general, which undermines Maliki's authority. I found this article over at Col. Lang's site, Sic Semper Tyrannis 2008:

BAGHDAD — Iraqi lawmakers traveled to the Iranian holy city of Qom over the weekend to win the support of the commander of Iran's Qods brigades in persuading Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr to order his followers to stop military operations, members of the Iraqi parliament said.

Sadr ordered the halt on Sunday, and his Mahdi Army militia heeded the order in Baghdad, where the Iraqi government announced it would lift a 24-hour curfew starting early Monday in most parts of the capital.

But fighting continued in the oil hub of Basra, where a six-day-old government offensive against Shiite militias has had only limited gains.

So far, 488 people have been killed and more than 900 wounded in the offensive, Iraqi Interior Ministry officials said.

The backdrop to Sadr's dramatic statement was a secret trip Friday by Iraqi lawmakers to Qom, Iran's holy city and headquarters for the Iranian clergy who run the country.

There the Iraqi lawmakers held talks with Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Qods (Jerusalem) brigades of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and signed an agreement with Sadr, which formed the basis of his statement Sunday, members of parliament said.


The Qom discussions may or may not bring an end to the fighting but they almost certainly have undermined Maliki - who made repeated declarations that there would be no negotiations and that he would treat as outlaws those who did not turn in their weapons for cash. The blow to his own credibility was worsened by the fact that members of his own party had helped organize the Iran initiative.

"The delegation was from the United Iraqi Alliance (dominated by the Dawa party and the Supreme Council of Iraq), and the Prime Minister was only informed. It was a political maneuver by us," said Haider al Abadi, a legislator from Maliki's Dawa party. "We had evidence (that Muqtada and Iranian-backed militants were fighting security forces) and we sent people urgently ... If we had been waiting for one year in Baghdad we wouldn't have had this result." The delegation is expected to return to Iraq Monday.


McClatchy (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/32055.html)

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 03:17 AM
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9858?in=00:05:20&out=00:05:38

Mr Farley (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9858?in=00:05:20&out=00:05:38) draws some rather bizarre conclusions about the "will" and "capacity" of the Iraqi government forces to be successful based on rather sketchy information from the action in Basra and the south in general. First to his statement that "...even in the Iraqi south where it is strong." If he had been paying attention of the events in the south over the last couple of years he would have noticed that there are 3-4 Iraqi Shea groups that are contending for control of the resource rich south and the spoils that go along with it. This does not imply that the government, as Mr. Farley unabashedly states, without a smattering of evidence to support this statement and much to contradict it, that the government is in fact strong in the south.

As to his allegation that the Iraqi forces lack the will to fight. I have posted numerous links in the past that belie this statement so wont bother to bore you with the details but I think the fact that Iraqi forces are suffering a causality rates somewhere between 400% and 500% of coalition forces says something about their willingness to stand and fight.

Last but not least his patented opinion that the Iraqi government doesn't have the "...capacity to control its own territory..." there is this Maliki: "Security operations in Basra will continue" (http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2008/03/maliki_security_oper.php). The one attributed quote from the McClatchy article The statement issued today by (Muqtada al Sadr) is a result of the meetings," said Jalal al-Din al Saghir, a leading member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. "The government didn't have any disagreement with the Sadrists when it went to the city of Basra. The Sadrist movement is the one that chose to face the government.

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 03:54 AM
After dropping the names, one a member of the prime ministers party Ali al Adeeb and the second from isci Hadi al Amer the article goes on to provide one attributed quote to Jalal al-Din al Saghir, also a member of ISCI The statement issued today by (Muqtada al Sadr) is a result of the meetings," said Jalal al-Din al Saghir, a leading member of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq. "The government didn't have any disagreement with the Sadrists when it went to the city of Basra. The Sadrist movement is the one that chose to face the government. Everything else that is quoted comes from some "Iraqi official, who asked for anonymity due to the sensitivity of the subject." I'm curious why this reporter couldn't get any of the actors in this meeting to go on the record and must rely on some anonymous source for his riveting quotes. It appears that Col. Lang is also somewhat apprehensive as to the validity of the article as the first actual words of his post, after quoting the article isIf it is true...


P.S. Thanks for the site I hadn't run across it before.

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 04:18 AM
It i s so nice to see a lefty that is as heartless and cruel as we supporters of the Iraqi front are so often accused of being for how else can you explain away Mr Farley's (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9858?in=00:05:52&out=00:06:04) ability to laugh at Iranian backed militias. I wonder if finds humor in the EFP munitions that are killing many Iraqis, both civilian and armed forces, and are at this point in time probably the main killer of American personnel. Big joke right. I can"t believe this guys arrogance or is it willingly blind ignorance. There is plenty of reporting on this from the left as well as the right.

As far as Maliki having contacts in Iran supposedly negating the possibility of the Iranians doing such a thing as playing both sides against the middle what world does Mr Farley live in. Not in this one because that particular tactic has been used in warfare for as long as warfare has been recorded; in Latin "Divide et impera" and or "Divide ut regnes" is attributed to Roman Empire as a means of governance and conquest.

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 05:31 AM
It is nice of Mr Farley to acknowledge that the surge has provided some measure of improvement so to give those interested a ground eye view here is a two part story from Michael Totten, a man who makes his living as an embedded freelance reporter and spends extended periods of time there. The Liberation of Karmah Part I (http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/03/the-liberation.php) and Part II (http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/04/the-liberation-1.php). The pictures alone are worth a visit.

bjkeefe
04-02-2008, 09:08 AM
The forest is plagued by gypsy moths, beetles, and years of drought, and fires are sprouting all over, but if you take out a magnifying glass and look at just the right angle, it's arguable that some of the leaves on this one tree look pretty healthy.

bjkeefe
04-02-2008, 09:19 AM
It was great to see Robert Farley again. I hope to see him back, but paired with someone else. This was a conversation, for the large part, between a professor and a frat boy. Michael Goldfarb did not seem to have much to offer in the way of independent thought. Instead, we got the usual talking points about how swimmingly the war is going in Iraq (if you ignore the past five years, all larger context, and the stated goals of The Surge), how Obama needs to throw people under the bus (a stale cliché masquerading as election "advice" for someone he's never going to vote for), and the idea that the only perspective one needs to consider regarding Israel is that of the Likud Party.

I'll second ohcomeonhussein's sentiment: For his incisive prescriptions regarding Iran, perhaps he would like to choose some parting gifts (http://www.cafepress.com/patriotboy/692836).

brucds
04-02-2008, 10:04 AM
Honestly, I don't understand why we're treated to this Goldfarb guy. I just checked his blog at the Weekly Standard and in reading a couple of posts came to the conclusion that he's not only a shill, but a dishonest and ridiculous shill. It's apparent this guy know's nuthin' about nuthin'.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-02-2008, 10:46 AM
On the evidence of Mr. Goldfarb, the Weekly Standard appears to have become a kind of hack frat house -- if it was ever anything else.

I just recently finished Jacob Heilbrunn's _They Knew They Were Right_. The original neocons were intellectuals, and between their loony Trotskyist phase and their loony Cheneyist phase, they were sometimes valuable critics of liberalism (though they would always rather have been original than right - they have never had what Bertrand Russell called "a robust sense of reality"). The first generation were genuine intellectuals, according to Heilbrunn. But neoconservatism has become a dynasty (or a group of interconnected dynasties) with, unfortunately, a good deal of institutional power. Intellectual parents produced a generation of hack children, like Bill Kristol. I don't know if Goldfarb is a convert or the third generation of this story of decline. But it's awfully easy to see him as the Frat Boy son of some well-connected neocon, who figures the skills he learned in college -- making excuses for why his papers are late -- can now be turned into a career making excuses for Bush, McCain and testosterone-based policies.

I'm usually in favor of rational argument, but in Goldfarb's case, I think pure mockery is the best approach. Farley does laugh at him occasionally and now and then does mock his most ridiculous arguments -- for example when he points out that Goldfarb is taking absence of evidence as evidence of presence. But he I wonder if he doesn't struggle too hard to take the poor guy seriously.

When someone doesn't take intellectual argument seriously, except as an occasion for spinning politically expedient fantasies, the best you can do is not take him seriously.

Goldfarb doesn't even seem to know anything -- unlike the formidably informed Eli Lake. His argument always just comes down to "the people I work with are still taking this line."

Bloggin' Noggin
04-02-2008, 10:54 AM
Oh he's MUCH worse than Eli Lake. Eli knows a lot and makes intelligent arguments. And despite his neocon obsessions with Iran etc., he actually seems to think for himself and make the odd concession to reality.
There's just no comparison. I hardly ever agree with Lake, but I always learn something from his diavlogs.
I think I learned some things from this diavlog too, but what I learned was not really due to Goldfarb -- unless doing battle with a living strawman helped Farley make some good points.

Bloggin' Noggin
04-02-2008, 11:05 AM
I sure didn't get Goldfarb's argument there: Israel is likely to have a Likud government soon, and Obama says he backs Israel, but that doesn't mean he backs the Likud party line. Therefore, there's a question whether he backs Israel??
France and Germany are American allies. To take an example that should work for Goldfarb, did that mean the US had to agree with the democratically elected leaders of France and Germany on Iraq? (Of course I personally wish we had.)
Apparently Israel in the Weekly Standard mind is the ONE ally that should be able to dictate American policy. Elections in Israel should determine American actions, not elections in America.
The only thing "troubling" here is Goldfarb's reasoning.

Joel_Cairo
04-02-2008, 11:38 AM
Oh he's MUCH worse than Eli Lake. Eli knows a lot and makes intelligent arguments. And despite his neocon obsessions with Iran etc., he actually seems to think for himself and make the odd concession to reality.

+5,000,000. All these "Like Eli but worse" comparisons are really unfair to Eli, IMO. Like Bloggin', I think Eli is almost always wrong, but he's incredibly well-informed, has done original reporting from Iraq, has a real commitment to a plausible version of the National Interest, a semblance of a grand strategy beyond Start More Wars, etc etc. Goldfarb, by contrast, is just some smug, zitty frat-boy who sucks at life.

Sorry to go all negative and personal, but actually no I'm not.

otto
04-02-2008, 11:52 AM
We're due the Bob'n'Mickey show again around now.

I have to say, it took me a while to get used to the move from once-a-week to 'fortnightly', but now it's rather odd to have the Odd Couple coming so frequently.

AemJeff
04-02-2008, 11:55 AM
Oh he's MUCH worse than Eli Lake. Eli knows a lot and makes intelligent arguments. And despite his neocon obsessions with Iran etc., he actually seems to think for himself and make the odd concession to reality.
There's just no comparison. I hardly ever agree with Lake, but I always learn something from his diavlogs.
I think I learned some things from this diavlog too, but what I learned was not really due to Goldfarb -- unless doing battle with a living strawman helped Farley make some good points.

Exactly. Eli has opinions. Goldfarb has positions.

brucds
04-02-2008, 12:06 PM
This is unfair as hell, but the only plus I can discern that Goldfarb brings to the table is that he looks just like the apologia for the war sounds.

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 12:15 PM
bj

I thought that you had grown out of your proclivity to to use name calling, insult and scatological ramblings as a means of argumentation, with those tat disagree with your omnipotent insight, but it is obvious from some of your comments in the last few threads that your penchant for using such infantile rhetorical tricks has once again come to the fore. I found this one particularly humorous as to my "...take out a magnifying glass and look at just the right angle..." from an individual who will quibble about a particular shade of yellow is Cream or Lemon Chiffon.

AemJeff
04-02-2008, 12:24 PM
Sorry, Brucds upon re-reading, I see that I misread you the first time. I'll let my reply stand as a general comment, though.

Unfair? How? I have never once discerned in Goldfarb's published output the slightest sensitivity to data or counterargument. He asserts wildly without even the slightest nod in the direction of backup. Nearly everything he says seems calculated by ideological slant, and ultimately he doesn't even seem particularly competent as polemicist - if you measure that competence by the likelihood that a message will have an effect on those who don't already agree with you. (As a preacher to the choir, he seems perfectly able.) Goldfarb puts me in mind of his boss, Bill Kristol, except that Goldfarb lacks the status and overall smoothness. In fact with few exceptions (Continetti (*), and, occasionally, Barnes come to mind) I'd say that the staff of The Weekly Standard, generally, displays an almost complete lack of intellectual honesty.

I'll assert here that my judgments, however flawed they might be, aren't tuned by my own particular political biases. At least to the extent that I can discern such things. I think my output here on BHTV supports that.

Added:
* I'd almost forgotten: Julian Sanchez shows (http://www.juliansanchez.com/2008/03/08/substandard/) that even the exceptions to my general proposition eventually conform to the hypothesis.

AemJeff
04-02-2008, 12:31 PM
Except, Pisc, that his analogy was exact. The evidence you cited didn't support your overarching message, it was just a single observation among many. The pattern for war supporters in this conflict has been to spin or ignore evidence contradicting their claims, but to crow disproportionately when any particular fact might seem to skew their way. How many times have we been told that we're winning?

lowellfield
04-02-2008, 12:51 PM
So this guy's m.o. is pretty straightforward: in the face of facts which are troublesome to the Weekly Standard worldview (of which there are many), just insist that "I'm not convinced" or "That's not clear." Better yet, take the long view: "I think it will take time to sort itself out..." That way you can be uninformed and dogmatic while sounding sage! It's really brilliant. The glibness is just icing on the cake.

Update:

This exchange really says it all. Watch as Goldfarb reveals how unfamiliar he is with the war he insists other people have to keep fighting, and how it amuses him (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9858?in=00:23:20) so. Talk about the banality of evil.

lamoose
04-02-2008, 01:37 PM
It i s so nice to see a lefty that is as heartless and cruel as we supporters of the Iraqi front are so often accused of being for how else can you explain away Mr Farley's ability to laugh at Iranian backed militias. I wonder if finds humor in the EFP munitions that are killing many Iraqis, both civilian and armed forces, and are at this point in time probably the main killer of American personnel. Big joke right. I can"t believe this guys arrogance or is it willingly blind ignorance. There is plenty of reporting on this from the left as well as the right.
First of all, Farley clearly wasn't laughing at the notion that Iran backs militias in Iraq, nor was he laughing at the resulting violence. And if you truly believe that this is the case, you need to calm down and watch it again. Farley was laughing at Goldfarb's positively absurd notion that Maliki's gambit represented anti-Iranian forces vs. Iranian forces.

As far as Maliki having contacts in Iran supposedly negating the possibility of the Iranians doing such a thing as playing both sides against the middle what world does Mr Farley live in. Not in this one because that particular tactic has been used in warfare for as long as warfare has been recorded; in Latin "Divide et impera" and or "Divide ut regnes" is attributed to Roman Empire as a means of governance and conquest.
This is a pathetic straw man. Farley says quite explicitly the he believes Iranian agents are working with virtually all sides, perhaps even some Sunnis.

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 01:54 PM
Except, Pisc, that his analogy was exact. The evidence you cited didn't support your overarching message, it was just a single observation among many. The pattern for war supporters in this conflict has been to spin or ignore evidence contradicting their claims, but to crow disproportionately when any particular fact might seem to skew their way. How many times have we been told that we're winning? I would like you to give your interprtation of what my "... overarching message..." is so that I can formulate a reply. And yet once again the generality of the "...war supporters ... been to spin or ignore evidence ... " raises it's hue and cry and by the mere fact of taking a position that agrees with there conclusion I therefore am also guilty of the same. The argument of guilt by association is a juvenile tactic that i would expect from some commenter here but surprises me that you would use such an obvious ploy. Do I believe that "the devil is in the details." I'll leave the "vision" things to those that have no time or interest to peruse looking at the details as in the short span of time that I have been on this mortal plain I find that mastering the details generally leads to the success. The Human Race needs both the visionary and the plodder. But visionaries came a dime a dozen and can be found atop their soap boxes just about everywhere; every once in awhile one gets it right. The plodder will tend to get things right most of the time over the long run.

lamoose
04-02-2008, 02:05 PM
The argument of guilt by association is a juvenile tactic that i would expect from some commenter here but surprises me that you would use such an obvious ploy. Do I believe that "the devil is in the details." I'll leave the "vision" things to those that have no time or interest to peruse looking at the details as in the short span of time that I have been on this mortal plain I find that mastering the details generally leads to the success. The Human Race needs both the visionary and the plodder. But visionaries came a dime a dozen and can be found atop their soap boxes just about everywhere; every once in awhile one gets it right. The plodder will tend to get things right most of the time over the long run.
Please tell us more of your interesting stories. Especially the one where you "generally leads to the success". That one sounds helpful.

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 02:12 PM
First of all, Farley clearly wasn't laughing at the notion that Iran backs militias in Iraq, nor was he laughing at the resulting violence. And if you truly believe that this is the case, you need to calm down and watch it again. Farley was laughing at Goldfarb's positively absurd notion that Maliki's gambit represented anti-Iranian forces vs. Iranian forces.

This is a pathetic straw man. Farley says quite explicitly the he believes Iranian agents are working with virtually all sides, perhaps even some Sunnis.

His actual words were "...actually Mike I just have to laugh at the Iranian backed militias part of this..." and then goes on to try and equate all the various factions that have dealings as being essentially equal or a wash. Yet to laugh at the assertion that the Iranians are suppling weapons and training to various factions, that are responsible hove a good deal of carnage, death and destruction, is not really a laughing matter no matter that the forced nature of the laughter exposes it for the shallow rhetorical artifice that it was.

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 02:15 PM
Try reading the links provided here in this previous comment (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?p=73079#post73079)

AemJeff
04-02-2008, 04:23 PM
I would like you to give your interprtation of what my "... overarching message..." is so that I can formulate a reply. And yet once again the generality of the "...war supporters ... been to spin or ignore evidence ... " raises it's hue and cry and by the mere fact of taking a position that agrees with there conclusion I therefore am also guilty of the same. The argument of guilt by association is a juvenile tactic that i would expect from some commenter here but surprises me that you would use such an obvious ploy.

I think the following might embody at least a hint of what your "overarching message" might be:

bizarre conclusions about the "will" and "capacity" of the Iraqi government forces
As to his allegation that the Iraqi forces lack the will to fight. I have posted numerous links in the past that belie this statement
we supporters of the Iraqi front
surge has provided some measure of improvement

Note I haven't provided a judgment here about the truth or falsity of that message, only provided some evidence of what the message is. Of course it's not too difficult to divine my "overarching message," either, or to, from that observation, determine what opinion I might hold regarding the former.

Regarding "guilt by association," I don't think you're taking enough responsibility for your own words. There's no need to take what I said as an indirect swipe.

piscivorous
04-02-2008, 05:33 PM
Quit frankly I try to leave my Ouija Board, and all other such tools of divination, out of my argumentation as it is difficult to clearly perceive the intentions of an individual by the pixels that their words radiate, out at you from the monitor. Believe me I didn't take you use of the logical fallacy as a "... an indirect swipe." but merely pointed that better than half of your comment was nothing but a rather poor attempt to use a "Guilt By Association" fallacy. But naturally you divined my obvious discomfort.

brucds
04-02-2008, 11:27 PM
Surprised that Paul Berman didn't smoke during his diavlog. That clearly seperates him from his fellow insufferable assholes.

look
04-03-2008, 02:16 AM
I think we're playing article tag...

Questions remain about how much Bush and his top aides knew in advance about the offensive and whether they encouraged Maliki to confront radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr.

A senior U.S. lawmaker and four military officials said Tuesday that the Americans were aware in general terms of the coming offensive, but were surprised by the timing and by the Iraqis' almost immediate need for U.S. air support and other help.

One senior U.S. military commander in Iraq said the Iraqi government originally told the United States about a longer-term plan to rid Basra of rogue elements. But Maliki changed the timing, and the nature of the Iraqi operation changed, he said.

"The planning was not done under our auspices at all," the American commander said. The plan changed because "the prime minister got impatient."

There's no evidence, however, that the U.S. tried to dissuade Maliki from executing either plan.


McClatchy (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/staff/warren_strobel/story/32337.html)

Thanks for your thoughts, and I'll leave the last word with you, if you wish.

Joel_Cairo
04-03-2008, 02:22 AM
http://draftgoldfarb.blogspot.com/

do it for your nation.

piscivorous
04-03-2008, 08:20 AM
It is my understanding that the Iraqi government began moving forces into the area some time late last year making it pretty hard for the US not to know that something was going on as significant troop movements are pretty hard to miss. Iraqi forces are still dependent in significant ways to our logistic chain and for any kind of air support making it fairly obvious that even thought this is the first major action planed and executed solely by the Iraqi armed forces they would have still had to coordinate things with American forces for support. These two minor details tend to tell me that we had a pretty good idea as to what was unfolding.

Joel_Cairo
04-03-2008, 09:09 AM
Come on pisc, don't be daft.

Isn't it clear that:

1. this was a gov't operation, planned long in advance (as you said), intended to undermine Sadr ahead of the upcoming Iraqi elections as well as strike while the iron is hot to consolidate state power ahead of the US elections (after which Maliki knows he may well have less backing from us).

2. It was a failure, and is now being spun like crazy to look like a victory (as in "The Sadrist movement is the one that chose to face the government"). The Sadrists disappearing from the streets (without fulfilling the conditions of Maliki's initial ultimatum) is an expression not of Maliki's power, but that of the Sadrists. Sadr is basically flexing his muscles and saying "We can turn this faucet on or off at will. We can give you a chance to save face, or we can raise hell. Don't forget it."


His actual words were "...actually Mike I just have to laugh at the Iranian backed militias part of this..." and then goes on to try and equate all the various factions that have dealings as being essentially equal or a wash. Yet to laugh at the assertion that the Iranians are suppling weapons and training to various factions, that are responsible hove a good deal of carnage, death and destruction, is not really a laughing matter no matter that the forced nature of the laughter exposes it for the shallow rhetorical artifice that it was.

He doesn't laugh because it's funny. He laughs at the absurdity of our position, where we have to chose sides in, and pour resources into, a fight between two strains of illiberal Shia dominance (option A: propping up a puppet gov't, utterly dependent on us but ultimately beholden to Tehran, with little grassroots legitimacy; option B: surrendering to a populist firebrand, who does enjoy a species of "democratic" authority, but who is vociferously antagonistic to the West). He laughs because, even after all we've invested, Iran is still more able to pull strings in Iraq than we are.

As for his specific response to Goldfarb, Farley laughs because of the clockwork predictability of a Weekly Standard schill/hard-power-zealot claiming that our dog in the fight (the one whose mail is still delivered to Tehran addresses) attacking Sadr (a Shia nationalist whose comparatively overwhelming popular support is rooted in never having fled into exile under Saddam's Iraq) is somehow a blow against "Iranian-backed" forces. He laughs at Goldfarb because what the hell else can one do (http://www.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9349?in=00:09:22&out=00:10:21)?

Bloggin' Noggin
04-03-2008, 11:45 AM
The Totten articles were very good, and you're right: the pictures are terrific.
Thanks for the link, pisc.!

bjkeefe
04-03-2008, 11:59 AM
http://draftgoldfarb.blogspot.com/

do it for your nation.

Done. See also (http://bjkeefe.blogspot.com/2008/04/pet-peeve-ishin.html).