Go Back   Bloggingheads Community > Diavlog comments
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Notices

Diavlog comments Post comments about particular diavlogs here.
(Users cannot create new threads.)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #41  
Old 04-04-2008, 02:46 PM
graz graz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,162
Default Re: Ignore the Commenters Mickey...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastwest View Post
Bob and Mickey should just ignore the commenters.

a) They're totally unrepresentative of the actual "viewer base."

b) Commenters, almost by their very nature, are digital piranha delighting not so much in truth, civility, or elevated meaning as in scoring points and hopefully extracting a little blood through artful or not-so-artful snark.

So, relax, you're real audience loves you.

I'd go on in this vein, but, having lifted up one corner of the argument, being good students, you can infer the other three.

Cheers (and thanks to BHTV for the access to so many deep conversations from so many different points of view),

EW
As to your first point that Bob and Mickey should ignore us:
The depth and insight of your comments makes this nearly impossible.

A) Please explain how you have determined the "actual viewer base."

B) Does this account for your artless, solipsistic attacks on anyone who isn't you?
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 04-04-2008, 02:51 PM
Joel_Cairo Joel_Cairo is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cambridge MA
Posts: 198
Default Re: Basra Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
where does your ability to watch any diavlog that has a conservative participant " honestly and critically."
This is very true. It's a well known fact that people who believe things are incapable of listening in good faith to people who believe other things. This is why we should do away with all these time-wasting, opportunity-cost-riddled activities like "discussion", "debate" and "dialogue," which are no more than ornamental playthings of the sham system called "discursive democracy." If only everybody would shut up this world would be a much better place.
__________________
Full Disclosure: I work for BhTV.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 04-04-2008, 02:55 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,593
Default Re: Basra Bob

BJ
Don't really think I missed the joke and it probably would have had more resonance if you had linked to the previous comment on mine where I alluded to the commenters of the "loony left" being small fish in an pond. But in a comment about my dietary references the continues "reader of Readers Digest since childhood" means I must have slept in a Holiday Inn last night.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 04-04-2008, 02:57 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Basra Bob

pisc:

My joke had very little to do with fish.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 04-04-2008, 02:58 PM
Joel_Cairo Joel_Cairo is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cambridge MA
Posts: 198
Default Re: Basra Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
I hope you aren't falling for the idea that the Weekly Standard is the only one telling the truth about Iraq. Please. You could not name another nationally-known media outlet that is more of an apologist for neocon propaganda.
Brendan, I think you may have misread jeff's post, as he is a member in good standing of the anti-Standard, pro-reality contingent.
__________________
Full Disclosure: I work for BhTV.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 04-04-2008, 03:00 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Basra Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joel_Cairo View Post
Brendan, I think you may have misread jeff's post, as he is a member in good standing of the anti-Standard, pro-reality contingent.
Sorry if I was unclear. I was referring to jeffpeterson, not AemJeff.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 04-04-2008, 03:05 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,593
Default Re: Basra Bob

Neither did my earlier comment when considered in relation to the the meaning of my screen name.

Last edited by piscivorous; 04-04-2008 at 03:17 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 04-04-2008, 03:09 PM
graz graz is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,162
Default Re: Basra Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
pisc:

My joke had very little to do with fish.
Brendan:

You may need to explain the joke for Bob Wright's benefit. And then when Bob scans the comments - since he, unlike Mickey might really read them thoroughly, he will most certainly blush and regret ever having wondered aloud what fish lover might mean.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 04-04-2008, 03:16 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Basra Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by graz View Post
Brendan:

You may need to explain the joke for Bob Wright's benefit. And then when Bob scans the comments - since he, unlike Mickey might really read them thoroughly, he will most certainly blush and regret ever having wondered aloud what fish lover might mean.
I cannot bear the thought of being responsible for making Bob Wright blush.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 04-04-2008, 03:22 PM
ed fielding ed fielding is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 74
Default Re: Facts on the Ground

Silliness not aside, one of the dynamic duo’s more engaging sparkles. Okay, maybe not Astaire and Kelly, but close enough for government work, or theater, or here, or most places I know. You guys should be on Stewart of Colbert, Deadpan Duo vs The Shining Mug.
Pretty soon people would be flocking for your pearls...

Liked the stuff about the Family; something that intrigues me much. Given that Sharlet gives it a scary zombie twist, Bob’s assessment seemed pretty clear-headed and a welcome reality check.
By the like token looking forward to Sharlet’s blogginghead. By another like token, Bob’s book sounds like something I’ll not only want to buy but read as well, the sooner the better.
Thanks and applause.
Darn fine site all round, except for stop-and-go edits and people whose mikes are inadequate to the task of making them audible.
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 04-04-2008, 03:46 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Ignore the Commenters Mickey...

Quote:
You sound like a great guy and the community here will miss your insightful and nuanced comments ...
There is nothing particularly nuanced or insightful about recognizing MK's bigotry. It's blatant and requires no more special insight than one would expect from your average 10-year-old.

I will continue to participate in the community; I just won't watch the vlogs with Mickey in them.
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 04-04-2008, 04:32 PM
zeke60 zeke60 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 6
Default Re: Ignore the Commenters Mickey...

Re: Facts on the Ground

quoting themightypuck: I was a bit troubled by Mr. Wright's seeming assertion that ideas don't matter. I don't intend to create a straw man here, but it seemed to me that this confounding "Marxist" notion was a centerpiece of this discussion. Ideas do matter. Ideas influence actors. Actors make history. Historical materialism is confirmation bias.

If you have trouble with the fact of historical materialism because it's associated with Marx, then read Jared Diamond, Marvin Harris, or Bob Wright himself. Assuming you approach their works without any pre-existing bias against historical materialism, the way you view the world and how it works will never be the same. And anyway, I don't think Mr.Wright meant that ideas don't matter, because if he did his own admirable notion of nonzero sumness wouldn't be the centerpiece of his approach to foreign policy.
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 04-04-2008, 05:48 PM
look look is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,886
Default Re: Basra Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpeterson View Post
According to Gartenstein-Ross and Roggio, the press blew Basra (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Conten...4/936meniz.asp), which would mean Bob followed suit. The time is coming when even Bob Wright will have to admit that something encouraging has happened in Iraq.
Well, Bob did admit that it was a positive advance for the Shi'ites to work things out among themselves. But this was a thought-provoking article, thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 04-04-2008, 08:47 PM
jeffpeterson jeffpeterson is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 63
Default Re: Basra Bob

bj -- thanks for trying to save me from the baleful influence of the neocons and their house organ. I'd understand this response if my post had criticized Bob for consistently ignoring the Weekly Standard, etc. But rather than make a blanket statement about the value of one journal or another -- and FWIW on Iraq reporting I'd wager the Weekly Standard's record compares favorably with the New York Times, John Burns being excepted as the gold standard -- I cited a particular piece which seemed well researched and suggested that it challenged Bob's relentlessly negative stance on Iraq. (I'm glad that "look" found it helpful as I did.) On reflection, it's curious that Bob is basically sanguine about repressive actions taken by existing governments, confident that globalizing processes will inevitably moderate them, but his knee jerks against any action taken by the US in Iraq or the Iraqi government (in this case, action taken to establish a monopoly on the use of force, the sine qua non of a viable government); it sometimes seems that the only states that Bob recognizes as capable of committing significant wrongs are the US (and its clients) and Israel.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 04-04-2008, 10:26 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Basra Bob

jeffpeterson:

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on the reliability of the Weekly Standard's reporting. I didn't follow the Basra story closely enough in the time leading up to the publication of the article to which you linked to be able to debate its details, but my general sense of the Basra situation from looking at various news sources since then is this: while your article contains some observations that sound credible, its overall tone strikes me as making every effort to emphasize the bright side. It also spends too much time attacking other reporting, and seems to exaggerate in so doing. Just to pick one example, the WS accuses the NYT of saying the operation "failed," when the headline they themselves quote characterizes it as "stalled."

The whole thing reminds me of how the war cheerleaders spin the surge: as an unqualified success, based solely on some short-term casualty reductions. Nowhere will organs like the Weekly Standard admit that the ostensible larger purpose has not been achieved, nor will it admit that the six-month timeline has been exposed as a fiction. I don't see much progress at all in establishing a unity government, basic services are still not restored, I'm certainly not seeing any troops coming home, and the latest news makes me think things are getting worse. Again.

You're also misrepresenting what look said about the article. She did not say "helpful;" she said "thought-provoking." A minor quibble, but I find your paraphrase representative of the source you defend -- an ongoing effort to spin things just a little bit better at every opportunity.

My point is, everyone who likes the Weekly Standard is always saying how they're the only ones to get it right, and how every other major media outlet always gets it wrong. This is borderline conspiracy-theory thinking. Sorry that I can't accept it.

==========

To your point about Bob's attitude: I don't want to try to argue on his behalf about all your complaints. I'll just state for the record that I think you're being a little simplistic in general, and I'll respond with my own feelings to this one point in particular, since it resonates so deeply:

Quote:
... it sometimes seems that the only states that Bob recognizes as capable of committing significant wrongs are the US (and its clients) and Israel.
I'm going to leave Israel to the side. I try never to get involved in debates about that country; it's pointless. Suffice it to say that I think they are not without responsibility for some of their own problems.

Regarding the US:

We are supposed to be the good guys. From those to whom much has been given, much is expected, to coin a phrase. I want to hold my country to the highest standard. We, the United States, have a long history of dubious behavior unbecoming our ideals and unbecoming a sole superpower. This has been greatly exacerbated during the past seven years. One of the reasons that we've let ourselves go as a country is that we have too many media organizations and too many citizens who blithely march to the slogan, "My country, right or wrong." There has not been nearly enough self-criticism.

Do other countries do wrong, too? Of course. But we've got quite a bit to do as far as getting our own house in order goes, and too many people have been unwilling for too long to acknowledge that.

In the particular case of Iraq, the war cheerleaders will get no respect from me until they stop trying to dismiss the past five years as insignificant or irrelevant. Crowing about today's momentary and minuscule successes without admitting any context or awareness of where we were when this all started is doubly unimpressive. We're coming up on being a trillion dollars in the hole for this little exercise, and we're continuing to spend at the rate of $200 million per day. We've got more than 4000 soldiers dead, tens of thousands wounded, and we're responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. We broke an entire country and no one has the slightest idea how to put it back together. Meantime, our national security is, to put it politely, weakened. We've got an overstretched military, we've lost respect and friendship around the world, and every day we stay in Iraq, bunches more young men sign up to be terrorists.

Look. Our own government won't even tell the truth about the security situation in Iraq. The White House has so far refused to release even a declassified version of its latest NIE. Gen. Petraeus is going to come do another stint in front of Congress in a few days, and I fear it's going to be another dog and pony show, featuring carefully selected statistics designed to paint a rosy picture. How many of these questions, gathered by BH.tv regular David Corn, do you think will be asked? How many will he answer honestly?

It's clear to me that the Bush Administration is trying to do nothing except keep the lid on until after the election in November. It seems to me that the Weekly Standard is complicit in this effort, as are those who perpetually gripe about the MSM "getting it wrong." When faced with such strident and willfully blind cheerleading, it shouldn't be a surprise that those of us who hold a different view sometimes harp on the shortcomings.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 04-04-2008, 10:54 PM
look look is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,886
Default Re: Basra Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffpeterson View Post
According to Gartenstein-Ross and Roggio, the press blew Basra (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Conten...4/936meniz.asp)
jeff, I found an answer to this question that was posed in your article:

Quote:
But none of the journalists bothered to ask one simple question: if Sadr was so successful, why end the fighting? If Iraq's army was being beaten and Maliki politically weakened, why not press the fight and make the government collapse? As an American military officer serving in southern Iraq told us, "Claiming a 'victory' and then withdrawing from the battlefield is the tactic of someone that is losing."
in this article:

asiatimesonline

Quote:
But it wasn't a matter of political symbolism, either. Tangible issues are involved. Questions of vital national interests. Clearly, Tehran had genuine concerns over the developing situation in southern Iraq close to its border. Tehran viewed the flare-up involving the Shi'ite factions with great disquiet. This was apparent from the speech by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, who led the prayer sermon in Tehran on Friday. He bemoaned, "Iraq is currently entangled in many problems." But Jannati explicitly didn't take sides between the warring factions.

On the one hand, he advised the Mahdi Army ("Iraqi popular armed forces") and Maliki ("Iraqi popular government") to hold talks. But he also advised the "popular armed forces present in Basra" (read Badr Organization, Da'wa, the smaller Fadhila party, etc.) to intervene with the "Iraqi popular government". Third, Jannati also called on Maliki to "heed the [popular] forces' views and solve problems eventually in a way that would be to the interest of all."

Curiously, he criticized the silence on the part of the Muslim world - "especially the Organization of the Islamic Conference" (OIC) - over the "enormous brutality and oppression in Iraq". He said, "It is not clear why Muslim states, especially the OIC, do not show any reaction against so much injustice and oppression in Iraq, while such measures could be easily prevented through unity and solidarity." The remark contained a barely disguised barb aimed at Saudi Arabia for hobnobbing with the US. (US Vice President Dick Cheney had visited Riyadh and Baghdad barely one week before Maliki launched the offensive in Basra.)

Yet, all in all, Jannati politely refrained from expressing Iran's complete disapproval of the conduct of Maliki in carrying out the offensive as part of the US game plan to establish control of Basra, which is the principal artery for American oil majors to evacuate Iraqi oil. The Sadrists oppose the current plans for opening up the nationalized Iraqi oil industry to foreign exploitation.

However, the day after Jannati spoke, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini came down hard on the Maliki government. He deplored the use of American and British air power against the Sadrist militia - "waves of US-UK air raids on civilians". He called on the Shi'ite factions to end the fighting as "continued fighting only serves the interests of the occupiers ... and give pretexts to occupiers to continue their illegitimate presence" in Iraq.

Most important, he called for negotiations - which had already commenced in Qom by that time - "in a friendly and goodwill atmosphere". As for the Maliki government, Hosseini expressed the hope it would "exercise wisdom, cooperation, mutual understanding, patience, calm and contacts with Iraqi political leaders to overcome the current crisis period". Plainly put, Hosseini asked Maliki not to be dumb enough to sub-serve US interests and to realize where his own political interests lay. He pointedly drew a line of distinction between Maliki and the powerful Iraqi Shi'ite leadership.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 04-05-2008, 12:16 AM
Happy Hominid Happy Hominid is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: West Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 147
Default Very Funny, BJ!

But let me add a less humorous one. Bob is more sanguine:

http://www.bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs...4&out=00:44:50

And so am I. Well, I'll go further. We have no idea what's going to happen whenever we leave Iraq. Sure, it could be bad. That's certainly a possibility. But they might muddle through without too much bloodshed. Again, we don't know.

And certainly the right-wing bloggers, talking-heads and politicians have been pretty consistently wrong for the last 6 years so how about we just don't listen to their predictions? Instead, let's get our children home from the Middle East, offer HALF the money we spend every month there on economically strategic incentives for everyone there to get together (and as a way to heal the country). We could do all this while simultaneously proving to the world that we aren't there to control oil interests or to bring Christianity or that we are intent on world hegemony.

Now, you might say I'm a dreamer. I hope some day you will join me. Even you, Mickey.
__________________
It's another day in paradise...
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 04-05-2008, 12:53 AM
jeffpeterson jeffpeterson is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 63
Default Re: Basra Bob

bj -- You seem like a nice guy and someone worth talking to -- even arguing with -- but I'd suggest you try taking your conversation partners as individuals rather than representatives of a party orthodoxy which you're being asked to swallow whole. I find some things in the Weekly Standard insightful, some in the New York Times, some in TNR, some in National Review, etc.; and I find other things I read in all those publications unconvincing or without merit. I haven't said what you say "everyone who likes the Weekly Standard" always says, so your response to them has little relevance to our discussion. The Gartenstein-Ross/Roggio piece is a critique of the mainstream press coverage of Basra in light of reports to which it links; how can one fault it for spending "too much time attacking other reporting"? Whether the scenario it paints is too rosy depends on what one makes of the reports. On the broader issues you raise, the recent NIE reports considerably more progress towards security and unity than you allow in the past six months, and even the Times' editors have been compelled (grudgingly) to admit this (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/14/op...rogress&st=nyt.). And to defend myself on a small point (perhaps not unrepresentative of your mode of engagement), I can't see how glossing "thought-provoking" with "helpful" involves any misrepresentation; it's helpful to have thought provoked, right? Okay then.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 04-05-2008, 12:57 AM
jh in sd jh in sd is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 154
Default Re: Basra Bob

bjkeefe, You are so vile, and that is such an OLD joke.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 04-05-2008, 12:58 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 5,694
Default Re: Basra Bob

Quote:
bj -- You seem like a nice guy ...
He's likable enough.


(Sorry. I got sort of addicted to playing Barack in my exchange with Look/Hillary in the "Clinton v Obama" comments.)
__________________
Seek Peace and Pursue it
בקש שלום ורדפהו
Busca la paz y síguela
--Psalm 34:15
Reply With Quote
  #61  
Old 04-05-2008, 01:17 AM
jh in sd jh in sd is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 154
Default Re: Basra Bob

Bob, Can't help lovin' a guy who uses the word sanguine. Try sangfroid and it will last forever.
Reply With Quote
  #62  
Old 04-05-2008, 01:44 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 7,750
Default Re: Basra Bob

Jeff, if you're making the point that not everyone who reads the The Weekly Standard is a participant in the perpetuation of Republican orthodoxy, then I doubt you'll find an argument from many people here. I think the point that has been made here is that the Standard is the house organ for a particular type of Republicanism and doesn't critically examine what it publishes, particularly if that's consistent with the house line. The Times particularly, but even TNR and National Review are far more heterodox and quite a bit more likely to be self-critical.

The Weekly Standard is a disgrace as a journalistic entity and has zero credibility, particularly in regard to this war, for which it has had an unvarying message for nearly six years, regardless of any externalities. I haven't read the Gartenstein-Ross/Roggi piece you're referencing, and I probably won't. It may be just as good as you say it is, but it seems to me that the Standard has disqualified itself as a source of reportage.
__________________
-A. E. M. Jeff (Eponym)
Magnets - We know how they work!

Last edited by AemJeff; 04-05-2008 at 01:45 AM.. Reason: typo
Reply With Quote
  #63  
Old 04-05-2008, 02:21 AM
johnmarzan johnmarzan is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Quiapo
Posts: 358
Default Re: Basra Bob

their first topic was garbage.

and the bob and mickey should not limit their diavlogs to only 30 minutes a week.
Reply With Quote
  #64  
Old 04-05-2008, 09:10 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Very Funny, BJ!

John:

I agree with you in general about the situation in Iraq, and certainly say "hear, hear" to the idea that the hawks in this country have pretty much lost all credibility, but on this particular point, one thing that Bob glosses over a little bit is the reality of the presence of US air power. While I think that there is a lot to the notion that the other parties involved are capable of working things out for themselves, having a bunch of bombers at one's disposal does tip the scales a bit. It's hard to say what Sadr's attitude might have been absent this factor.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #65  
Old 04-05-2008, 09:29 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Basra Bob

jeffp:

Quote:
... I'd suggest you try taking your conversation partners as individuals rather than representatives of a party orthodoxy which you're being asked to swallow whole.
In my own defense, I will say that reliance on the Weekly Standard as a principle source of news is about as good a predictor as I know for how someone will think about US foreign policy in general. I will also plead exasperation with such people, for all of the reasons I listed in my last post, as an extenuating factor.

However, there are always exceptions and I failed to keep this in mind. Yours is a legitimate criticism, and you're especially correct to make it in this instance. You're right: I don't know you well enough to lump you in with the herd. I apologize.

Quote:
And to defend myself on a small point (perhaps not unrepresentative of your mode of engagement), ...
Nice zing.

Quote:
... I can't see how glossing "thought-provoking" with "helpful" involves any misrepresentation; it's helpful to have thought provoked, right?
I don't want to make too much out of this, but I will respond. Yes, it is usually helpful to have one's thoughts provoked. However, the two are not always synonymous, and I still maintain that equating the two was trying to add a little sugar to the frosting. If you did it intentionally, to add strength to your argument, that is. If it was just the word you retrieved from short term memory, no big whoop.
__________________
Brendan

Last edited by bjkeefe; 04-05-2008 at 09:31 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #66  
Old 04-05-2008, 09:33 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Basra Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by jh in sd View Post
bjkeefe, You are so vile, and that is such an OLD joke.
If you are referring to my speculative etymology, I plead guilty to both charges.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #67  
Old 04-05-2008, 01:20 PM
Happy Hominid Happy Hominid is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: West Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 147
Default Re: Very Funny, BJ!

Brendan, I hear what you're saying and I'm fully aware that we, frankly, don't have a clue what's going to happen when we leave. But we should never have been there. We aren't going to install democracy. Either they will take it or they will rebel against it. Our military presence in the Middle East is damaging to our prestige with all Middle Eastern countries except Israel. It's damaging to our reputation with Muslims worldwide. It damages our relations with nearly all of our allies. It makes us less safe in a dangerous world. We have to get out at some point, so why not cut our losses and get out? We can still assist the forces that we find favorable and we can still target terrorists (specific, clear enemies) wherever we find them.
__________________
It's another day in paradise...
Reply With Quote
  #68  
Old 04-05-2008, 01:30 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: Very Funny, BJ!

John:

Sorry if I didn't make myself clear enough in my last reply to you. I do pretty much agree with your outlook on the general situation. I was only trying to make a point about the recent Basra conflict specifically. To reiterate, it's fine for Bob to have taken away from the event the observation that different Iraqi factions could solve something for themselves, but it was a little bit wrong not to take into account the presence of American firepower. For example, Sadr may not have been as willing to negotiate, or may have asked for different terms, if he knew for sure that the capability to bomb the city didn't exist.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #69  
Old 04-05-2008, 03:30 PM
jeffpeterson jeffpeterson is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 63
Default McCaffrey on Basra (Was Re: Basra Bob)

bj -- Olive branch and appreciation of zinger much appreciated, and I second your "no big whoop" (though it's clear you have much stricter standards than me for deployment of the word "helpful" in paraphrase). On the substantive issue we were tossing around, it's worth noting that Gen. McCaffrey (not a cheerleader) has a take on Basra much closer to Gartenstein-Ross/Roggio than to the early media reports; he suggests the battle might be looked back on as the Iraqi army's Kasserine Pass (only with the Iraqis coming off better than the Americans did in 1943) and says that "it appears as if the Iraqi security forces for the first time stepped up, largely independently of the United States" (http://www.newsweek.com/id/130347).
Reply With Quote
  #70  
Old 04-05-2008, 04:16 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: McCaffrey on Basra (Was Re: Basra Bob)

jeffp:

Thanks for the link to the McCaffery piece. Not really much to debate there -- it's pretty much all speculation. Three minor quibbles with what facts there were:

o "... only in relatively small numbers did some Iraqis desert to the other side ..." (1000 is "small?")

o "On balance it appears as if the Iraqi security forces for the first time stepped up, largely independently of the United States ..." (didn't US air strikes save the day?)

o I also can't help but note that this is being admitted as "the first time" that the Iraqi forces stepped up. We've been hearing promises about Iraqi troop readiness for years now. I am not enthusiastic about the rate of progress, to put it mildly.

To the speculative side of the article: I'm sure another student of military history could come with another parallel that's equally good, one in which a rebel force stood up to an attempt to squelch them, fought to more or less a draw, which when looked at later was seen as the first time ... blah, blah, blah.

I don't know McCaffery well enough to judge his credibility, but I always suspect people who make a living by being "consultants" or "experts" for TV spend a lot of energy trying to dream up new takes on current events.

If things work out as the article hopes, great. But the whole episode seems too small to offer support for any larger conclusions. One school of thought could see it as an indication of the Iraqi government's growing cohesiveness, another school could see it as an indication of Iran's increasing clout, since they appear to be significant contributors in brokering the settlement. No way to say anything for sure.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #71  
Old 04-05-2008, 07:23 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,593
Default Re: Basra Bob

There is a more in depth analysis from Mr. Roggio at The Long War Journal .A look at Operation Knights' Assault
Reply With Quote
  #72  
Old 04-06-2008, 12:29 AM
Happy Hominid Happy Hominid is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: West Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 147
Default Re: Very Funny, BJ!

Yeah, but who's gonna listen to YOU, with that middle name of yours?
__________________
It's another day in paradise...
Reply With Quote
  #73  
Old 04-06-2008, 11:35 AM
Loren Michael Loren Michael is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Default Re: China tidbit

Minor thing, Bob mentions that China caps or restricts upload speeds or something.

I am in Hangzhou, and have been since last summer.

Here is my current record for download speed, set in a public coffee shop last month: http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/7...gcancergn0.jpg

I don't take screen shots of my upload speeds, because they regularly meet and sometimes exceed that by at least 100 kB/s.

Yes, it is a pain to access Wikipedia and the like, but using things like bittorrent is essentially completely unrestricted in my experience.

Which reminds me: TORRENT DIAVLOGS, PLEASE. Direct downloads (at least from BH.tv) and iTunes downloads are terribly slow.

EDIT: I should add, this is at least 4x faster than anything I experienced in the States.

Last edited by Loren Michael; 04-06-2008 at 12:46 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #74  
Old 04-06-2008, 11:53 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: China tidbit

Loren:

Pardon me for quibbling, but the image you show indicates upload speeds of 269.1 kB/s, compared to download speeds of 759.9 kB/s. Since this appears to be a shot of progress during a torrent session, it's hard to say for sure, but the graph does seem to contradict your claim. Maybe it's different when you're just doing a straight upload from your computer to one other computer.

Your suggestion that BH.tv make their episodes available for torrenting is a good one, though. Have you emailed them with this idea?
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
  #75  
Old 04-06-2008, 12:51 PM
Loren Michael Loren Michael is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4
Default Re: China tidbit

At the moment, I'm not downloading anything, that was the only picture I kept around (as I wasn't aware speeds like that were even possible in public wi-fi areas... I probably have leg cancer or something) but as I mentioned unclearly before, I regularly get upload speeds that regularly exceed that download speed by at least 100 kB/s. That is, what, a megabyte a second or so.

Regardless, the upload speed in that picture is pretty fast, even if it's not as silly as that download speed.

And yes, emailed the torrent suggestion a while ago but no changes.

Last edited by Loren Michael; 04-06-2008 at 12:54 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #76  
Old 04-06-2008, 08:04 PM
look look is offline
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,886
Default Re: Basra Bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
There is a more in depth analysis from Mr. Roggio at The Long War Journal .A look at Operation Knights' Assault
Thanks for the article, pisc. I appreciate the inside-baseball look at the Iraqi Army. Some of the articles we've all been posting certainly call into question the original MSM take on the whole affair (Sadr in the catbird seat, Malaki screwed).

On the other hand, of course, I can't help but look askance at the title of the blog: The Long War Journal. But I've book-marked it and will keep an eye on it. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #77  
Old 04-06-2008, 09:21 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 2,593
Default Re: Basra Bob

Yea it sounds like a site for blood lust and mayhem put it is very informative site, but I think it has more to do with Osama Bin-Laden's description of the Islamic jihad being "The Long War" and nothing more.
Reply With Quote
  #78  
Old 04-07-2008, 12:24 AM
Tao Jones Tao Jones is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 25
Default Re: Facts on the Ground

And now for something completely off topic...

I was thinking about Hillary's teary-eyed tirade about how she "knows what is at stake." Given that Bill probably had her read Nonzero, does anyone else think she might be referring to something along the lines of this passage??

"In a sense, these fundamentalists are right. No, I don't mean about the Rapture. I just mean that growing turmoil does signify, by my lights, a distinct step in the unfolding of what you could call the world's destiny. We are indeed approaching a culmination of sorts; our species seems to face a kind of test toward which basic forces of history have been moving us for millennia. It is a test of political imagination—of our ability to accept basic, necessary changes in structures of governance but also a test of moral imagination.

So how will we do on this test? Judging by history, the current turbulence will eventually yield to an era of relative stability, an era when global political, economic, and social structures have largely tamed the new forms of chaos. The world will reach a new equilibrium, at a level of organization higher than any past equilibrium. And the period we are now entering will, in retrospect, look like the storm before the calm.

Or, on the other hand, we could blow up the world. Remember, even poppy seeds don't always manage to flower."

I know this is a bit of a reach, (as well as old news), but just some brain fodder.
Reply With Quote
  #79  
Old 04-07-2008, 01:40 AM
beve83 beve83 is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 9
Default Re: Facts on the Ground

Wow, Brendan you're famous! I'd like to take this moment to say I knew bjkeefe when he was a young, idealistic, up and coming commenter.
Reply With Quote
  #80  
Old 04-07-2008, 10:46 AM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Not Real America, according to St. SaŽah
Posts: 21,798
Default Re: China tidbit

Loren:

Thanks for clarifying, especially in noting that the units were, in fact, kilobytes per second, and not kilobits.

I do know that the principal reason download speeds are so much faster here in the US is an artificial one. Most ISPs purposefully throttle upload speed for reasons that are not clear to me, although I suspect it has something to do with worries about people hosting web sites on their home machines, and the potential legal and security headaches that come along with that. So, if I struggle to shake off my provincial outlook, I guess there is no reason not to believe your claim about uploading being faster than downloading where you are.

Still, though, the graph you linked to did show fairly healthy download speeds, more than adequate to download BH.tv episodes, I should think. Unless, of course, what you showed was an outlier. In that case, maybe grab the audio instead of the video?

On the lack of responsiveness to your torrent suggestion, I can only say, hang in there. I get the impression that the admin staff of BH.tv is small and quite busy. Try another email in a few days, and don't hesitate to start a new thread in the General section, to try to garner support. I myself don't often use torrenting, but there might be others out there who would share your desires.
__________________
Brendan
Reply With Quote
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.