Afghanistan: from No Man's Land to Everyone's Land

Here's another wonderful song about the Christmas truce of 1914, this one by Mike Harding. What happened 95 years ago today shines down through the years. Let's transform Afghanistan from No Man's Land to Everyone's Land. Because but for some accident of birth any of us could be an Afghan or a soldier, fighting for who knows what. Just like No Man's Land, 1914:

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Way to totally take a war started over hardly anything except pride, involving more than twenty countries, and resulting in over 16,000,000 deaths (World War I) and compare it to a conflict started by one country against non-state actors, resulting in around 20,000 deaths, and continued for legitimate reasons.

Queef: Of course if you'd said the same thing then, President Wilson would have clapped you in jail. Of all the options possible you think our glorious leaders chose exactly the right ones each time? LOL.

No, of course not. Bush was a fuck up and the number of Iraqi civilian deaths over the past eight years is pretty shocking. If you want to rail against something, there's a decent target.

Queef: Well we have been doing that for years, here. But we have also been calling Afghanistan what is is for years, here, too. Obama had a range of options which he deliberated over for months. He chose one. There were options that also weren't on the list. What we are saying is that the choice he made was neither the optimal one from his list nor optimal from all possible ones he could have chosen from. So the chances that Obama hit on exactly the right one is slim to none. So that's one issue.

Another one is whether this is a justified war at all. If we think it isn't, that it's a waste or worse, then making the comparison with WW I. is quite apt, as is the comparison of Iraq with WW I. or Grenada or panama or Vietnam. The only exception to this sorry list is WW II, and we can debate how much the debacle of WW I. was a cause of that. But in every case we got strong claims that this war was justified.


We tagged about 60,000 and above all stay away from these idiots...

They are still citing a purely bullshit Lancet "study"that said we killed 600,000 with no bodies to attach to the study. Just another exercise in leftist crap.

The bottom line in a conflict for this is that no one is sure but they do try to be accurate as possible for the simple reason we have to know how effective we were. The military learned its lesson in bullshit when MACV in Vietnam stated just before Tet, that S. Vietnam was pretty well pacified. Inflated body counts, deflated NVA capabilities, and the fact that we werent bombing the shit out of N. Vietnam on valid targets was a huge lesson learned... But thats a Democrat government for you. We damned near got our asses whipped and would have had it not been for the air force. Everyone was screaming about the ancient city of Hue and we were getting shot up trying to extract them. Fuck 'em. Kill them all and if you have to, level the city. That was ultimately what had to be done. It was Giap's Operation Market Garden and militarily we won, he lost. But we lost the war because we had just had enough and all of this political correct came to a head and we bailed out.

Robert E. Lee told Jeff Davis that the South couldnt fight a holding action against the North due to the the long borders, the industrial base and the fact that there was no money. The leaders of the South sought reconciliation at first, then real live shooting started. Had the South moved more quickly against DC then things would have been much different. Didnt see anyone screaming in horror over the burning of Atlanta. Grant sure knew the importance of bloodshed in the right way.

Revere and I agree... Get out of Afghanistan while the getting is good. A holding action? A police action? A ten year positioning of troops is expensive and the place we need to be is just a little over the next hill by air and we can cut the money off from oil sales.

Al Qaeda is trying desperately to encircle Saudi Arabia right now via Somallia, Yemen, Iran. If Iran isnt able to get the bomb then they'll take Pakistan. This politically correct crap though is getting our guys killed and when the ROE says you cant shoot a kid thats packing an AK then its simply time to go. The morons in the UN/Congress and White House will figure it out soon enough but not before we have a Diem Bien Phu, or a Khe Sanh .

All of this police action stuff that tries to assert police type of US law protections to the undeclared army of Al Qaeda is doing nothing but chewing up our guys. One by one by one.....

Simple answers to all of this. First, take out the bomb making facilities and rocket facilities before its too late. Set them back ten years and then protect Pakistans border as that would be the only other way for them to get a bomb. Stealth into Iran on three sides and take out their electrical plants. Then just sit back and watch it unravel. No electricity means that the people will take these guys out on their own.

If we do nothing then who do I see about politically correct after a nuke goes off?

The rush to pummel these people after it happens will cause the worst carnage you have seen since WWII. There wont be any question of it and there wont be any political correctness in what is done to them. Civilian casualties will be very high but I am only talking about children under the age of 12 there. Everyone else is a combatant IMO because they will not do their own leadership...Again the Saracen conscription policy. They have to support them ...or else.

As for Al Qaeda, if they smuggle one into New York for the trials of those terrorists that we were dumb enough to give rights to, then the economy will be shattered permanently. There may be no United States after that unless there is an official declaration of war. ROE? Kill them all.

IMO Revere the war is and was and is even more now justified...Problem is that its just not a war because everyone gets flipped out about casualties. I wonder how many people have to die on both sides while we are being so polite about it? Specifically our guys.

Look negotiating with a terrorist is crazy. You end up buying them off. There is no permanent solution.The next bozo wants more money. Barring that, you make them the offer that they cant refuse. Stop it or you and about half of your people will die and we will continue it until they do stop. Sounds like a good idea to me. It forces their LEADERS to want to come to the negotiating table.

King Richard did this with the Saracens and achieved a long standing but tenuous peace with them.

Get them out of Afghanistan if they aren't going to fight a war. This is the problem with the UN/White House and every leftist out there. They dont understand that this is a war and its escalating not by us, but by them. They are using the system and gaming us. Politically correct. The EU is also going to have to step up here pretty soon. Their countries are being taken over in a silent uterus revolution. The let them in, they bake babies up who vote. Next thing you know the UK is talking about Sharia law being used in the courts on UK citizens and some jerk thinks its a good idea. Bottom line? Every dip out there is trying to cause us to be insecure by terrorism and suggested army like action.

The fastest way to get it stop is to take them off the face of the planet. Problem solved.

Even if you don't believe in God, those people do and below the video pretty well describes their bent. Most of them dont but if you get a uniting leader driving them either by fear as the Saracens did and demanding conscriptions or outright force you WILL understand that its an army later. Right now they hide behind the garb of terrorism and street clothes of their region, next step will be open warfare and genetic purification...Sounds familiar doesnt it?

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 26 Dec 2009 #permalink

Randy: Since I read this paper and its methods fairly carefully, I am wondering what part of it you think is badly done and how you know what the real number is?

M. Randolph Kruger--you say "If Iran isnt able to get the bomb then they'll take Pakistan." The sentence has an elegant form but Pakistan is rather large and, in comparison, well armed, isn't it?

We can start with the numbers Revere and stop there. The paper was based on 600,000 Iraqi's killed. There were 300,000 all in the graveyards so the lefties counted them too and in some cases twice. Problem was that we didnt kill them, Saddam did.

Unless they can produce the bodies, the official count is what the US military says it was. Not the UN, not the lefties but the guys on the ground doing the counting. In a lot of cases that was a femur and a skull. If you have a femur and a portion or a whole skull then you had a body. Count one.

I know in a day we killed about 30,000 as they were forced to fight us by their leadership. By that I mean the Republican Guard. Buf's and Bones went in and smacked the snot out of them. By my count and its of course not scientific but it is if you used the tried and true of 6 to 1 ration which was about 10 to 1 in this deal. Even at ten to one we still and I mean still couldnt have killed 600,000. The Lancet was taken to task by bigger guys and organizations than me as well over it.

Their opinion? About the same as mine. Remember Revere, I have a pretty good handle on what the military is capable of. We didnt even expend 1 million rounds of ammunition during the fight. Bombers dropping 1000 lb sticks would only reach about 3 city blocks at a time and we were being mighty selective on what we dropped and where to keep the casualties down. Military targets only. We put the lights out one night, then the command centers the next. After that it was pretty much done. It lasted less than 60 days too Revere in uniform against uniform. Are we going to believe we were killing 10,000 a day? You saw the unfettered films, the embedded news guys. They were critical that we werent killing MORE. No one reported mass kills other than in the defense of Baghdad and even then that carnage lasted only for five days total.

Take a nuke. A Hiroshima type of bomb. That killed about 100,000 in a second or two. Think about the general math of fighting your way into a town... If you never have done it then I can tell you its a lot harder than you think. So bring in the bombers. But even then it wasnt Desert Storm. Remember Rummy was holding back troops and really a lot of supply wagon battalions too. At one point in time they had to pull up because they were outta gas. How did we manage to kill so many? And then again where are the bodies. You cant hide out in the berms without water and we didnt invade except through Basra and from the North with light infantry and Bradleys. The tanks were cha-cha'ing up Hwy 1. We were on the three main roads and keeping to the main drags to prevent RPG attacks. If they fired, we dropped a bomb. There were dust storms too. So who were we in the process of killing in such high numbers. FYI even in WWII, Korea, Vietnam we were NEVER ever able to bring them out and kill with the numbers that the Lancet was pumping out.

Fallujah was the biggest problem and still is but there are only about 10 major cities and the Kurds were on our side.

There are other things too that I can only brush on and it has to do with infrared trails... Lets just say that even the bodies leave a track thats observable. Total IR signature would be massive on even 500. Nope, not even close to 600,000. Where are the bodies?

No need to go any further because the stench alone from that many bodies would have wound up in the halls of the UN or Geneva. Or an Obama campaign slogan..... Jesus H. Christ they tried to blow up an airliner yesterday with a binary. Just as I said they would. They just havent gotten their biggest firecrackers out yet... I dont give any of them a pass at all either Revere/Paula. Obama or Bush. I am betting though that we havent seen the last of the bad boys. I just hope they dont do a city. Then you'll be saying what?

Hows this?..Get out of Afghanistan and just do them. Establish supremacy as this species has been doing for 50,000 years on its feet. Dont want to, they could always play nice. Negotiating has really worked with over 72 resolutions across 50 years in the UN. Nope, I know whats going to happen and it will be a WMD and well, what then?

Paula you really need to read up on the situation in Pakistan. Its far worse than you could imagine. The US is prepared to attack and seize their nukes and set a fuse to their bomb building capabilities if we have too. Dont think for one minute the Ruskies or the Indians would miss an opportunity to do that themselves to keep them out of the hands of Al Qaeda, the Pashtuns, or Taliban.

I dont know how long you have been here Paula, but I can tell you that the terrorists have been following my playbook of how I would game the system. Really the countdown to the day that there is a third or more use of nuclear weapons on this planet. Dont be surprised when it happens. I have always said you need to embrace the horror. Once they go, they dont come back. If Iran tests a bomb or steals one, then Israel WILL launch against Damascus, Qom, Teheran and anyone else that squawks. You probably didnt know that Israel threatened Russia two months ago either did you?
Look up S-300 missile systems and deliveries to Iran, you can do it on that site I gave you.

So if they missiles go up what happens after that I could only speculate. I can tell you it wouldnt be very good.

First order of business is that you go here...…

Then start thinking about Israelis or US forces having to fight their way into Iran to take out those facilities. Its another reason to launch.

You can also put in "Iraqi civilian casualties " in the search and you will see that no one other than the lefties with a bent say 600,000. They were losing more to IED's in marketplaces than they were from us. There were no combat air operations either except by Army Air assets after the second year. Nothing to shoot at except for a terrorist or two. The last one was a 500 pounder into a home where the beheader was hanging out.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 26 Dec 2009 #permalink

Randy: In scientific papers we usually talk about the methods. Perhaps in your world, it is OK to say, "Unless they can produce the bodies, the official count is what the US military says it was." In science, we use scientific methods, not convenient political rationalizations to make statements. I suspect you believe the US military has no reason to minimize civilian casualties, but you are the only one who thinks that. And of course they can't produce any bodies, either. The methods of the Lancet papers are fully described and they are standard methods used for these kinds of estimates. It's the best effort yet. It is still an approximation and may be too high or too low. But it is based on something solid, unlike other methods where systematic error (technically called bias) is obvious.

I never say anyone is wrong Revere, I just ask them to produce the bodies. They havent done that to anyone who does the counting normally satisfaction. Mine either. Its like I said there was wholesale carnage and there definitely wasnt, at 10,000 a day we could have killed almost the entire population within two or three months. Those scientific methods that you suggest may be biased probably are whether they were in uniform or not. Those not wearing uniforms did not necessarily get the Geneva count of being a civilian. As in if the bastards were wearing mufti's and carrying a rifle then they were irregulars and even then, we obviously didnt kill enough of them. But those were definitely counted.

Source Iraqi casualties March 2003
Iraq Family Health Survey 151,000 violent deaths. June 2006
Lancet survey 601,027 violent deaths out of 654,965 excess deaths. June 2006
Opinion Research Business survey 1,033,000 violent deaths as a result of the conflict. August 2007
Associated Press 110,600 violent deaths April 2009
Iraq Body Count 94,902 â 103,549 violent civilian deaths as a result of the conflict. December 09

People with Phd's that disagree with the findings of the Lancet, OPB
Sheila M Bird, MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge CB2 2SR, UK, chair of the Royal Statistical
Society's Working Party on Performance Monitoring in the Public Service

Stephen Apfelroth, Department of Pathology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Jon Pedersen of the Fafo Institute[28] and research director for the ILCS survey, which estimated approximately 24,000 (95% CI 18,000-29,000) war-related deaths in Iraq up to April 2004, expressed reservations about the low pre-war mortality rate used in the Lancet study and about the ability of its authors to oversee the interviews properly as they were conducted throughout Iraq. Pedersen has been quoted saying he thinks the Lancet numbers are "high, and probably way too high. I would accept something in the vicinity of 100,000 but 600,000 is too much."[29]

Debarati Guha-Sapir, director of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters in Brussels, was quoted in an interview for saying that Burnham's team have published "inflated" numbers that "discredit" the process of estimating death counts. "Why are they doing this?" she asks. "It's because of the elections.

An October 12, 2006 San Francisco Chronicle article[23] reported:

"Six hundred thousand or whatever they guessed at is just, it's not credible," Bush said, and he dismissed the methodology as "pretty well discredited." In December [2005], Bush estimated that 30,000 Iraqis had died in the war. Asked at the news conference what he thinks the number is now, Bush said: "I stand by the figure a lot of innocent people have lost their life." At a separate Pentagon briefing, Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said that the figure "seems way, way beyond any number that I have seen. I've not seen a number higher than 50,000. And so I don't give it that much credibility at all."

Again, skulls and femurs please. Its how we were taught to count them. Backbone, femur, backbone foot. I know Bush's estimate was far low at 50,000 but I would easily give up that it was 150,000 to 350,000 and civilians comprise generally in a carnage situation e.g. air strikes of 100 lbs or more, MLRS. Very few artillery pieces are in use now as they are easily tracked down and destroyed by radar. Who or what did all that killing? They didnt..... because neither side has the bodies to the high or low side. So absent of the bodies, they simply have to acknowledge that they are wrong.

If we had been killing 10,000 a day civilians or military there would have been a huge outcry and I can tell you the ONLY time that happened was when the local commanders were entering Baghdad and being forced by Saddams troops to fight. Heat tracks before and after were about 15,000 in just one day. I wouldnt allow people to inflate this number without proof or to deflate it. The radio traffic on the UHF band indicated that it was getting ugly with the coalition commanders. Shooting at people that were raising the white flag then they would get shot in the back by the Republican Guards, then go back at it

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 27 Dec 2009 #permalink

Randy: What does "produce the bodies" mean? Physically produce them? This sounds pretty silly to me. If you believe in polls -- I'm not sure you do but you quote them -- then you belive in methods that estimate things. These are the methods we are talking about, in this case cluster sampling. They are used in many ways for purposes you depend on to set prices, count things, etc. So if you have a problem with them, let me know what it is. They are completely described in the papers. If you don't believe in those methods you might as well stop reading most scientific literature about health, too.

Well yes Revere if you had ever been in the field since 68 that is required now. Estimates are just made from generalized body parts in a lot of cases. Gross, but it is necessary and the dead were never polled to see if they were irregulars or uniforms. The very interviews that Lancet put out were questioned from the outset and they never entered a lot of areas that they "estimated" their numbers from.

If any of that is acceptable then I can go poll to get the true numbers.

As for reading polls about health thats for people that are expected to be around. There are no polls on dead people that I am aware of. They dont let you know who took them out. The Al-Mahdi, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and there were wholesale slaughters after "Mission Accomplished". If you recall I said no way it was over. Said it here.

As for the numbers, I do know that most of the times the burial crews are pretty accurate. They once downed my numbers on a strike by 30%.. but it was a 1000 pounder that I had lobbed in there from the AF. Kind of hard to count. But outside of say 100 feet its easier, you always see a leg bone or a spine, or a head. Nasty business but thats the difference of winning a war and this bullshit we have now. A lot of guys on both sides gave it up for whatever reasons that they were and I for one wasnt happy that we went and didnt get the WMD's until they were found in Syria... Hey how about that 540 tons of yellow cake that they DID find?

But this is about those bogus numbers. Thankfully I was never detailed to graves, but I know that they do and did their best.. The leadership of the military being mindful of Vietnam numbers demands that accuracy now. From whatever methods they consider to be accurate. To inflate them is stupid for either combatants or irregulars. It then begs the question as to why we are still there does it not?

I do though recommend you observe a few things from a recent movie of Tom Clancy's and the IR capabilities of our satellites. The are able to determine by overall signature the general numbers of troops because their uniforms give off different wavelengths than civilians. I dont go beyond that information cause you saw it on TV. You start with a certain number, then you assess how many prisoners, how many are missing by estimates after you get through. If you cant find them you start again until you get them to the level of pacification.

This isnt a poll its the most accurate of estimates that can be made. As I said there isnt much that can be done for the ones that are ground up. But thats the difference here. You have the very left wing AP telling you about 110,000. You have the Iraqis' telling you about 150,000, Pedersen above saying 20,000 (BS) and then you get to the Lancet of lefties and pump up the numbers by 5 fold. One even goes up to ten beyond that. Since the military is the one that counts, I'll stick with their counts.

As for the Lancet I do know that they were counting in six huge grave yards from the Iran/Iraq war for their estimates. There are also a lot of them that had the bullet in the back of the head in there and Saddam was responsible for a lot of them. 50,000 I think that Amnesty put on it in one of them. But, I think that the whole thing was politically motivated to skew the elections myself. It sounded good, now we have Obama. Gitmo is still open, we are giving trials to terrorists on US soil, we are in Afghanistan with an ROE that doesnt allow us to shoot and kill the muthers and we are going to get popped as a result. I am sure you are sorely disappointed by what Obama has done in a year... You know I am.

But this is really just another turn of the page in history and it pushes us towards an inevitability IMO and I dont need a poll to figure that one out. Neither does anyone else. There is a bright flash in someones future. Either they do us... or we do them.....

Dont worry about the counts afterwards....

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 27 Dec 2009 #permalink

Randy: No, the issue isn't polls, as in asking people things. The issue is using statistical imethods to infer things. Epidemiologists do this with death data all the time and we don't ask anybody. We don't even see body parts. We see data streams. If you don't believe in statistical methods then there is nothing to talk about, but it is incorrect of you to say that the methods used in the Lancet article were debunked or shown to be false. They are standard methods accepted in the field of science where they were used. OTOH, no scientist woudl say that the only true numbers are the ones the military releases.

What it comes down to is this. You don't like the answer the method comes up with but you don't understand the method. So you reject it. But you like the answer the military puts forth, although their "method" has obvious flaws, so you accept it. So we aren't talking science but wishes. I don't know the real number but I do know a valid attempt to estimate one.

M.Randolph Kruger: It is never too clear what point Iran or other self-proclaimed protector of Muslim would have in "nuking" Israel, given the numbers of Muslim Palestinians living there and to the east of there. No, I had not heard of Israel's threat "to attack Russia"; what sort of threat or attack was this?
This is not to disagree with you that we're on a powder keg. But if you're going to take out a country or portion thereof, with or without a nuke, you're risking setting off new powder kegs. Not to mention minor moral issues long known regarding "preventive" wars.
Too much work for long postings with you, but your style is full of energy indeed.

And in the last day there were two attempts to bring down airliners... Whats next?

Revere, when Phd epidemiologists call it into question and with no axes to grind... the Netherlands and they call it for what it was, which was political then you have to question it from the outset. If you recall I popped them the second that I read it.

You really need to visit a battlefield or two before you say that this Lancet thing is worth the paper its printed on. Graves detail have to try to do spot ID's, friend or foe, papers if any have to be collected. If its a mess then you have to kind of lay it out before you count it. Then you again count the heads/femurs/spines for the count.

The data stream? It was called into question and the lefties keep inflating it by leaps and bounds and there just aint no bodies. I have been reviewing the BDA's and while it may take years I would say that the civilian and military deaths were less than 350,000 total unless Iraqis' vaporize when you shoot them. I bet its closer to 200,000 though. I dont buy the AP, or the Iraqi assessment of 100 to 110,000. If you only counted 30 KIA's which would be low, then the total numbers of 1000 lb bombs would account for about 40,000. Most of the bombs were deliberately low yield except in the vicinity of the Republican Guards and regular army formations. We didnt use much napalm either...again politically correct in a war zone. We dont fight it to win, and this is the reason our guys keep going AWOL and popping caps in themselves. It sure as hell aint the carnage because there isnt any.

I guess we should have just gone out and arrested them because everyone keeps trying to make it into just a dumb gang fight instead. So I guess we cant count them correctly? Call the cops next time and they can use pepper spray and harsh language.

Paula, if you were up on your Muslim game you would understand that the people calling the nuke shots are pissed off that they the Palestinians arent out gunning down school children in Israel.

Its eight o'clock and you havent killed a Jew today? Shame on you, you are a poor excuse for a Muslim.

I have now idea how old you are but the Israelis pushed all the non-documented Muslims into Gaza years ago. They were having babies as fast as they could turn them out. The Knesset responded to these new citizens and declared them to be non Israelis and thats where a good deal of the racial purification stuff comes into play. Israel plans to be Israeli and thats it...A Jewish state. I cant in light of current events of the last 300 years disagree with them.

The French in particular are having the same problem from their illegal population. They have a baby and that baby will vote at age 21. So again the soft invasion by the uterus is happening everywhere. Even here in the US... THEY HAVE RIGHTS !!!!!

They are gaming the system and laughing at us. Politically correct will result in the biggest war this planet has ever seen and in short order.

More references here. Israel could drop one on Moscow just as easily as they could Teheran with a missile. They could airburst one and take down the air defenses, drop another through the window and take down any triple-a, and then finally airburst the last one over Moscow. They would of course be pummelled by the Russian Rocket Forces command structure but then they would get it from us. You can see how selling anti-air missiles to Iran is not the best of ideas.

But you didnt know the Rus sank a Chinese freighter in international waters either did you? Thats because this IS state run media. NBC, CBS, ABC, AP are all controlled by the government. They'll deny it, but how much of the stuff you have been reading was ever published here in the US? You never heard it either. But that damned Lancet report was put out onto the airwaves, with no corroboration or condemnation from the other side. So if Brian or Katie say it, then it must be true....Right?……

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 28 Dec 2009 #permalink

Randy: I won't address most of the weird and hysterical stuff because there isn't that much time in the world for that kind of stuff, so I'll just stick to the original. You have just admitted that all you had to see was their result and you didn't need to see anything else. Like how it was done. Because you don't know how it was done and you don't understand how these things are done. You just take the word of the military for how many people they killed. In Vietnam when they wanted those numbers to be ridiculously large so they could claim success you believed them. When they wanted to minimize the number of people they killed they just issue a number and you believe them. Bottom line: whatever they say you believe them. But if someone uses accepted methods to try to get the best answer, well, if the number is too high, you don't believe them. The thing is, Randy, it's not about what you believe or I believe. It's what the data show and if the data are showing a biased result then you should criticize it and say why.

The nub of it is that you said a scientific study which you haven't even read or at least not understood was improperly done and when I asked you to say why you issued one of your patented rants full of provocative but not on point assertions as red herrings to cover up that you have no answer.

BTW, were you ever part of a graves detail? Not that it matters. Just wondering.

I had to help just one afternoon in Central America after a hit on one of our positions. Friendly fire and they were friends of mine. I never leave anyone in the field. Thats how it is done though. I wouldn't have called it graves detail though. There is a whole section of the military involved in that.

Here are their processes Revere which renders the Lancet "study" moot. Do you think we inflate the toe tags because we want too? Processes are there for everyone and that includes the militias and irregulars.

Saying that its not how its done and letting the Lancet do the dirty without even entering the theater is not scientific Revere. Its mutual masturbation by people looking to make things worse than they are. The supposition of reading or understanding it is not right either. Its statistics at its worst and skewed to make it sound very bad. Are we to suppose that using a variable the way that it was in the Lancet that they are right? Here is a simple answer. Count the number of damned tags... they wont and dont lie.
So now we have Obama and its very bad when our guys are getting whacked while our fearless leader plays golf and mulls a troop deployment. I dont sit back and start counting bodies of those that I killed as a rule either. I count the numbers of the sunsabitches that I have to kill to win and go home. But we are just target practice there now under the Obama ROE....

Its garbage in and garbage out Revere. The study made some critically flawed assessments as the base numbers were all wrong. The Army knows for sure under the Quartermasters Corps mission statement. Populations hadnt been counted in Iraq in ten years either and there were social enclaves that had grown out of being in or out with Saddam.

Worse than that, from what I could tell, these bozos had never done a study on this stuff before either. They may have done them before but I could be wrong at that. If they did, it was only when a Republican was in office. A lot of the people that are statisticians, forensic epidemiologists etc. took them to task and the leftists didnt like it so they jacked it another 1/2 million. Right.... lets just put something down on paper, call it a study. If thats all there is that needs to be done then I can do one this evening.

I also noted that they never, ever answered any of the rebuttals to their assertions... Poor logic and I always in a patented way say prove it. No one ever takes me up on it.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 28 Dec 2009 #permalink

Kruger: I like reading your work, and especially on more medical-oriented topics, but you missed my point re what a nuclear bomb on Israel would do to Palestinians, or are you saying the militants of, e.g., Iran dislike them and so wouldn't care? (Which may be the case, but not [only] for the reason you brought up.) Look, anyone with nuclear arms may set off a war, it is true, but they can also recognize (since October 1962 anyhow) the possibility of such ascenario as you described, and unless set on a fundamentalist Rapture (of any religion), are likely to hesitate to hit the button.

Paula-Just remember you said that. The Iranians are Persians, not Arabs. The Persians seek to regain old territories and the Brits put that into the realm of possibility. Two Ba'ath parties in two countries resulting in three dictatorships. The goal? The reunification of all of Western Asia. Gamel Nasser tried but failed. They launched the first attacks on Israel and with all due respect would have happily used a bomb had they had it because that is what their Jesus would have done to achieve that goal.

Nasser went into a box. Sadat took over and tried too. They still didnt have a bomb and they lost and miraculously the Israelis during Nixon suddenly were added to the nuclear powers list. Not a missile fired, not a nuke test done...that they admitted. You must see the strategic importance of the control of the flow of oil as anyone does. If they get a bomb they move us out of the Persian Gulf. They can arrest ships and do a Somalia on them. Moving us out would be out over 2000 miles to safe territory and frankly those missiles they're building are capable of making W. Europe... Hence the need for a theater high air defense system. You know, the one Obama is scrapping... typical but different story.

The kind of stuff I have seen over and over again made me a believer a long time ago about the intent of these types of peacniks and proselytizers to a cause. We have them here. Some say we shouldnt have gone to Iraq. We would have had to have gone anyway. No WMD? Sure as hell was sitting on launchers aiming at Israel in S. Syria in September two years ago with Iraqi markings on them when the warheads popped in the hot sun. Next thing you know you arent hearing a word about WMD's any longer. Its because the 51st state went out and collected them, the Chinese and Norko advisors and a couple of locals too. But what comes out in media? Israel attacked Syrian territory to attack launcher sites... No mention of what KIND of sites.. Yeah right.

My point is that the US media is controlled. You hit the news feeds from the other side of the world and you say...Why havent I heard that? When did this happen? Reasonable people when presented with reasonable facts will reasonably come up mostly with the same reasonable answers to problems. You probably didnt know that Saddam had 540 tons of yellowcake uranium either. When I say something about things like this I pop the link, hand it to them on a platter and they still dont believe it. The important thing is that you question everything.

This study is based in bias and made some critical errors and it was done from afar. There was no attempt to increase the size of the study either. The idea is that a hypothesis is made and then you prove/disprove it. They went out of their way to prove it by whatever means necessary to show 1/2 million civilians in a 60 day attack. Jesus, I could have taken Germany in WWII in a week if I were knocking over 10,000 a day of the civilian population. It lasted for four years and we would have killed 1/4th of their population in that time. Vietnam? Tet would have never have started-no one to fight. Think about it... roughly 10,000 a day. We would have to have been targeting civilians and the big glaring fact that keeps being discounted by Revere... no bodies.

I read the math and it was sound. But if you use the wrong data when applying it you get junk. If I sat back, proved six or seven things that were glaring from this it would indeed be junk. But, then there would be those that would say that was wrong too. By their own statement its an estimate. I would say thought that the guys doing the actual burials have a much better idea. We are required as the attacker under Geneva to do those counts, return the bodies to the attacked after cessation of hostilities. Funny, we were still counting and transferring when the Lancet report was produced. Got to get it in before the election and all.

Here is a pretty concise description from a far left newspaper (one of few from them)

It describes that they used estimates from only about 500 and change families, with the assertion being indirectly that we killed them. No questions I found were asked about who tagged them. Many died AFTER the cessation of hostilities. Without a doubt we killed a lot of them when we were shooting. The study is in question across the board as being inadequate to produce the numbers that they were touting. Sorry, we simply didnt have the forces in the region to maintain order much less to be killing them in those numbers.

But what is a civilian and what is an irregular/militia? That also was never asked either in the study. My definition? Is he packing a wep? I use the same analogy now in Afghanistan. A 14 year old with an AK is a combatant, but he may be on your side or theirs. In Iraq, they were all combatants if they were packing. I wonder often how the UN counts him. Maybe it goes like this...Killed by US forces he gets counted 3 times. If killed by the USAF in a bomb run every part they can find is a kill so 1 =10,000 and you get the idea. Politically correct.

So we always could have had them shut their reactors down, the centrifuges yeah, its all for electricity production for everyone of them. Funny, Pakistan said the same thing. India said it was for peaceful research. Ever wonder why Israel bought gas masks for every man woman and child in the country 5 years ago? Its because they COULDNT find the WMD, but they knew it existed. So you always have to question everything Paula. I am constantly amazed at what people call a study, and news here. Facts are not facts... they are position reports. On both sides. As far as hitting the button, trust me on this. The only hesitation of Iran on this will be the hesitation on the panel as to which is the right one.

A little further reading of why we are where we are here and why we dont shoot anymore. Everything is a smart weapon. One shot, one kill is in our future and its because of the civilian casualties that everyone is trying to prevent. For me, civilians in an ideology base that do nothing about it when its wrong are combatants too. Tell me the diff between these guys in the middle east and fundamentalists in the South... Let me do it for you... The ones in the South are better armed.…

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 29 Dec 2009 #permalink

Randy; I guess you didn't even read the papers if you think they didn't enter the theater. These were done in Iraq, by Iraqis collecting the data via an accepted method for estimation called cluster sampling. The methods are fully explained and one can quibble with one detail or another but it is the best attempt yet to get a handle on the excess mortality caused by the US invasion. The people who collected the data risked their lives to get it. And, yes, in Vietnam the military intentionally inflated the "body count" to make it look like they were doing better. And they routinely report how many "militants' they kill in this war without seeing the bodies (and without, apparently, realizing that if they did the children shouldn't be counted as "militants"). If you are going to argue the paper is bullshit then you should at least know what's in the paper and have some idea of what you think is wrong about it, other than you don't like the result. BTW, Mrs. R. has an old Toyota Corolla you can have for $10K that the military says is worth five times as much (and would probably pay that much for it). Here's your chance to make a lot of money.

Or I can sell you a piece of crap study from the Lancet. Subscription required. There is a big difference Revere between 300,000 and 600,000 and there isnt a soldier out there that likes seeing a dead civilian. The can still do the best study that there is under an FOIA. Pull the tags. Very simple...But they wont do that because it will screw their study. But thats just me... Waiting for them to take me up on it.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 29 Dec 2009 #permalink

Randy: Once again, the Lance study is "a piece of crap" because . . . ? Produce the toe tags sounds a lot like, "Just how me the birth certificate."

Kruger: I think we're all aware Persians aren't Arabs, (some) Ba'ath parties' history, etc. None of that means we go taking out scores of thousands of Arab OR Persian people pre-emptively. Yes, someone is going to use a nuclear bomb at some point, probably--probably--but invading and bombing host countries is hardly going to prevent that.
Kruger and Revere--on one moral level, does it matter whether 150,000 or 600,000 have died? Obviously to each of those 450,000 it does, yes--because *each* death counts. Each person is a universe, remember? Would we be less the cause if we start a war in which only 50,000 die? (I don't want to carry this too far; obviously, if an assassination of 1 or 3 or so prevents a war, then. . . Interesting is at what point one would say this becomes "pre-emptive war" and subject to condemnation as such. Though "interesting" may be rather an armchair word for this.)

Paula-My entire rub with this is this "excess death" stuff. There were camera people on this side of the fence, and on their side of the fence. There were something like 2500 imbeds in there and were getting news feeds as it was happening. Watched guys changing tires in a dust Where were the bodies? I only saw a few on TV and I only saw a few on Al-Jazeerah. If there were that many killed we should have had more soldiers dead first... Where were they? About 110,000 with 30,000 going on the first and second days of the assault into Baghdad. Now those I did see and it took a month to clean them up and give them back to the families.

But the idea is that WE killed whatever number the Lancet said. Nothing was collected in the interviews touted by Revere about the methods of death and they didnt go into the areas where the militias were working either. If Revere wants to go with the Iraqi's then they say 110,000 which I would say is low by maybe 90,000. But the total gig is that iff they got dead it had to be the US huh?

I guess the Dresden raid was an excess death thing? Not if you ask the military historians and the legal beagles who got to determine the war crimes. Since the workers in Dresden were almost 90% military workers it made them a legitimate target as did the installation by the Iraqi leadership of weapons cache's in schools and mosques. Strictly prohibited by the Geneva and therefore once done, a legitimate target. War isnt a pull out a playbook and go to page six and say this is what we will use on this particular school. Me, school or not it gets a 1000 pounder to make sure that they get all the ammo in it. Dead kids... You betcha. Did I want to do it? Nope, but its a war and it may sound callous saying it. But thats where Revere and I diverge.

WWII we didnt have studies to see if we were killing too many civilians... Hell it was obvious from the BDA films that we were killing civilians and a helluva lot of them... on both sides. Hitler targeted civilian facilities and tell me PLEASE what a V-1 and V-2 did? Unguided 1000 pound world wreckers. The study was done with 500 and change families in a population of 45 million. Oh now thats representative of the truth. If it was done with great danger to the people taking the surveys then why werent any of them dead? Pretty slick operators them Lancet guys. The guys from Harvard also called this study into question and thats about as lefty as it gets. So did the militias let them go in because it might it be it played to the Al Qaeda/Taliban side of the argument and start people of the US losing support for the non-war, war?

Hey, no question it was a war when Bush was in. After that it was one of those peacenik love fests that turned Vietnam into the maelstrom that it was. Didnt fight it to WIN it. That would mean win the peace too. What it turned into was a contractors dream for sucking the nipple here at home for god awful amounts of money.

Paula-All honor on the battlefield exited at the end of WWII. Would I have used a nuke to invade Japan? A carefully couched yes but only to preserve our people. We knew Saddam had WMD's and they just simply dissappeared...and were found in Syria three years later as they were getting ready to launch them into Israel. 600 of them in fact. Now, lets see if they had landed in Israel and they killed mostly civilians would Revere and Lancet be defending the action? I dont know. I do know though that there wouldnt be the first damned study on it because there would have been a bright flash in Damascus. I guess the definition of "excess deaths" is fleeting no?

To answer your question about assassinations yes, it is justified. EO 11905 or is it 06? Cant remember, specifically outlawed political assassinations and that was issued under Ford. Ronnie Rayguns came in and put in 12333 that reiterated it. Then Clinton asserted after he left office that none of these orders apply to terrorists. Only heads of state. I can personally attest to that as I had a certain leader from a Central American country and I was going to pop him. I made the request to the command structure and it came back from the White House...denied. Really though, the idea becomes would you kill a terrorist on a plane, take control and crash it into a beanfield in PA to save DC or some sort of iteration of this? You know what the answer is. The left keeps trying to apply law to an enemy that doesnt care about the law. Saddam tried to kill George Bush 1 so does that make him a legal target? Not under the law. You can attack him in the open with a GBU-15 or a JSOW unit after a declaration of conflict of some kind ..War, Monroe Doctrine, Bush Doctrine and kill him as the leader of their military, like attacking a command post type of thing...That is legal. The idea behind the Bush Doctrine is that we may depose the leaders of other countries by force or other methods (assassination) if they present a clear and present danger to the sovereignty of the US or its allies. It would include that we were allowed to press preventative wars.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 29 Dec 2009 #permalink

Kruger--without pursuing this much longer, okay, but did you call the NYT "lefty" in here somewhere? The same NYT that, according to FAIR, shares a huge percentage of board members with our wonderfully leftist health insurance companies that have just spent fortunes to make sure single-payer or even public-option health insurance won't prevent profit-taking from people who may get ill? Right.

Just like Michael Moore owns shares in oil companies Paula---Right? Or Al Gore being on the board of Occidental Petroleum?----Right? Or how about the lovely Ms. Pelosi and her healthcare for life having served in the Congress and its an all the bells and whistles approach to it.---Riight? The idea is that I pay for you and you pay for me. 2/3rds of this country would and will end up being paid for by me...If I am still in business along with some 200,000 others. Lefties never get it. Their ideas are just idealistic, its the other side that has to pay for them. It lifts very few out of their problems, but spreads their problems to other people that try to stay above the line.

Its politics Paula and the only way to hold them accountable is to do just that. I dont say these people below are doing anything illegal, but it is wrong. Revere and I agree on the immorality of war. So to prevent any "excess deaths" you get in there and kick ass, stomp the opposition and you leave them in squalor. Quit nation building. Break their stuff and let it go. They'll be too busy trying to rebuild for years to screw with you. Or, if things continue you just use weapons that they will remember for years. The Ruskies were just wholesale slaughtering the Afghans. We on the other hand are not. But this is Peshmerga, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Kurd, Paki, united under a Muslim crescent. They are uniting against us and thats the reason I agree with Revere that we should just get out. After that we diverge again. I advocate the use stand off weapons, or my favorite is that we should kill them all. Not that I want to, but unless someone does something soon this army will grow and use the system to kill us. Law application to an army of God? Please......!

There is no accountability in there except via a bullet. You have a quick access from Iran into Pakistan through Afghanistan. They are trying to destabilize Pakistan and the ultimate bottom line is that we have to either be there or not. If we arent, then we will have to hit them with large bore conventional weps which will kill more and more civilians and keep them tamped down. Wont stop terrorism though. Only the use of a terror weapon will stop that... Yes, a nuke if you are thinking.

By M. Randolph Kruger (not verified) on 30 Dec 2009 #permalink