Daily Kos :: Iraq Hearts And Minds Are Unwinnable, So Go After The Dissenters

So says Newsweek
via href="http://www.juancole.com/2004/11/engagement-of-rules-rod-nordland-and.html">Juan

[The Newsweek authors] believe that the US
military simply cannot win hearts and minds in Iraq. That's a pretty
safe conclusion by now. Quite the opposite, it seems clear that more
and more Iraqis simply hate the Americans, and especially American

Why? Well, although American media don't play much controversial
footage, the replay of footage like the Mosque execution of an
insurgent/terrorist/fill in the blank on Arab TV has been a PR disaster
(one of many). Before simply blaming the Marine in a vacuuum note
Newsweek's summary for the bigger picture: A
white flag can be a ruse, a corpse can be a booby trap and a wounded
enemy can be a living bomb--or simply a wounded enemy. The fog of war
is thicker than ever.
Leaving young soldiers to clean up Bush's
political misjudgement is his signature. Nonetheless, you won't win
hearts and minds with incidents like this. As written in Juan Cole's

...the href="http://www.sundaymirror.co.uk/news/news/tm_objectid=14895593&method=full&siteid=106694&headline=crisis-in-iraq--there-s-no-humanity-name_page.html">Red
has issued a blistering critique of the US for human rights
violations in Iraq, while equally blaming the guerrillas.

More broadly

Iraq Is Not Like Vietnam. Say it again. Point out the ways because
there are many. But the similarities are there, and they are chilling.
Not least is and will be the growing finger pointing on the right and
amongst war supporters regarding how reports like this 'take joy' in
how America does badly. Hoe the left doesn't support the troops. Nope.
Been there, done that in the '70's. No one takes joy in this. But
better to start a diversion than talk about reality. That's right out
of the Nixon-Agnew playbook. Was the provision for href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-4628320,00.html">sensitive
IRS data
to be released to Senate and House Appropriations Chairs
in the same playbook?

Pounding on his desk, Stevens said he had
given his word and so had Young that neither would use the authority to
require the IRS to turn over individual or corporate tax returns to
them. ``I would hope that the Senate would take my word. I don't think
I have ever broken my word to any member of the Senate."

"... Do I have to get down on my knees and beg," he said.

Both Young and Stevens will cede their chairmanships when the new
Congress elected earlier this month takes office in January.

Some Democrats didn't accept the assertion that the provision was a
mistake and demanded an investigation.

"We weren't born yesterday, we didn't come down with the first
said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. ``This isn't poorly thought out,
this was very deliberately thought out and it was done in the dead of

More to come on this and on href="http://www3.capwiz.com/y/bio/keyvotes/?id=486">Rep. Ernest
Istook, R-Okla
(the purported author of the IRS provision). Think I
overdid the Nixon thing? Charles Grassley doesn't.

Finance Committee Chairman Charles
Grassley, R-Iowa, said the measure will "bring us back to the doorstep
to the days of President Nixon, President Truman and other dark days in
our history when taxpayer information was used against political

Americans of conscience will continue to write about Iraq. The
Administration and their supporters will continue to take steps to deal
with the dissenters, some of them over the line. In case you missed
them, welcome to the '70s. I do not look forward to having them back.


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