Positive numbers, fuzzy math, and well-spun figures

bush_smiling_green.jpgThere’s an undeniable buzz in the air as January 30th, the date of the upcoming Iraqi elections, rapidly approaches. It’s much akin to that feeling of excitement one gets around the holidays as you watch presents slowly accumulate underneath the family Christmas tree, and they just keep accumulating, and you’re all, “Wow, how many of those presents are for me, and what did I get?
And since you’re such a simpleminded bastard, you hold a press conference, and you talk about how excited you are about your presents. You prattle on and on about how you “think elections will be such a incredibly hopeful experience for the Iraqi people.” And you add that

14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces “appear to be relatively calm.” The four remaining provinces “are places where the terrorists are trying to stop people from voting,” [you] said. “So I know it’s hard. But it’s hard for a reason. And the reason it’s hard is because there are a handful of folks who fear freedom.”

And then this Grinch-like Brent Scowcroft asshole, who served under your dad as his national security adviser, and who just now apparently decided to fucking betray you, starts trying to take a bunch of the presents away and opens them up and shows you that there’s coal inside the sloppily-packaged boxes. And then you go, “Wow, ‘coal’ is a bad metaphor for ‘dissent and civil war’, and the gift boxes are an even worse metaphor for ‘free and stable elections!'”
So, anyway, Scowcroft goes on:

“The Iraqi elections, rather than turning out to be a promising turning point, have the great potential for deepening the conflict,” Scowcroft said. He said he expects increased divisions between Shiite and Sunni Muslims after the Jan. 30 elections, when experts believe the government will be dominated by the majority Shiites.
Scowcroft predicted “an incipient civil war” would grip Iraq and said the best hope for pulling the country from chaos would be to turn the U.S. operation over to NATO or the United Nations — which, he said, would not be so hostilely viewed by Iraqis.

But you? You’re sticking to your guns; you’re a stubborn, close-minded simpleton, after all. You’re staying with those numbers you cited above, how 14 of the 18 extant provinces are “safe” and “calm.” And, yeah, there are those four troubled regions, but you know what? Four out of eighteen, thats less than a quarter of the Iraqi geographic spectrum.
But your math, as usual, fucking sucks, and is distorted to no end, and doesn’t accurately take into account the depth of the problem. Because what you’ve left out of your simpleminded assessment of reality is the key fact that, get this, those four troubled provinces together contain more than half the population of Iraq.
When even Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, the commander of your ground forces in Iraq acknowledges this issue, it might help to pay attention. Particularly when he adds,

“I just can’t guarantee that everyone will be able to go to a poll in total safety,” he said. “I cannot put a bubble around every person walking from their home to the polling site.”

Because, while we’re dealing with tired clichés and bad metaphors, that “bubble” General Metz is talking about is so obviously wrapped around you, chump.

16 replies on “Positive numbers, fuzzy math, and well-spun figures”

well, because putting a bubble around all those voters would be about as easy as putting armor on all those humvees

it sounds like you are DEAD SET against allowing teh Iraqi people participate in an election for their leaders….

Nobody here is “DEAD SET against allowing teh Iraqi people participate in an election for their leaders.” But the fact is that Iraq is not ready for an election. I’m not saying Iraqis can’t handle democracy or anything like that, but right now they are not prepared. A succesful election requires, at a bare minimum, that the majority of people can get safely to the polling place, not to mention the need for education about the issues. That is just not the case in Iraq right now. I wish it was, oh how I wish it was. As a soldier who will probably be going in a few months, there is no way for you to understand how much I wish they were ready, but they’re not. No amount of saying they are will change that.

how do you know?
the people haven’t even had a chance at an election. you sit here and state that because a couple polling places may get attacked, we deny the entire country an election?
what about the kurdish north?
or the relatively stable southern Iraq?
why should Mosul, Fallujah and parts of Baghdad deny the nation an election?
wouldn’t it be quite an incentive for the people in those areas to take a stronger stand against the Baathist/militant islamic insurgents if an election came to town and they couldn’t participate because of those animals?
i’ll tell you one thing – if there were riots in Cleveland and Cincinatti on election day i wouldn’t be sympathetic to the idea of postponing our own election.
what if anti-WTO demonstrators(whose cause i actually agree with) rioted in NYC on election day – do we stop the election because of them?
and then next election day comes around…who’s going to riot then?
every single milestone for the new iraq is denigrated and belittled by those who dislike the current president, most recent the handing over of sovereignity last spring. i remember clearly the catterwalling and defeatist alarm at that deadline, but it came and went, so will the elections because if you bow to them, they win.
they know it – why don’t you?

what you call “rioting” is a full fledged rebellion against an unlawful occupation. and what use is an election if more than half of the population will simply NOT RECOGNIZE the elected government as their legitimate government?
and i believe that it’s not simply a matter of sunni vs. shia muslims, because even muqtada al -sadr, americas favourite bastard, states that the shias should not vote because the election will not representative of ALL peoplke in iraq! and he belongs to the religious faction that will actuall win the election.
nobody in the world trusts the US. nobody (exept the millions that inhabit the bible belt) believes the US claims of invading to “bring democracy”, that election is just another fraudulent one, on another continent. after having voted (or not), the iraqis will not love the US more and will not have a government that can bring peace and stability to their country.

I agree Horns, if one or two cities had riots on election day in the US weould want to continue with the elections anyway, but that’s not the situation. What if New York, Chicago, Boston, LA, Denver, Oklahoma, Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, Richmond, Atlanta, Washington D.C., and Houston were all not only rioting, but had been in chaos for a year and a half? Of course we would postpone elections. Democracy takes time. The US had the back ground of the European enlitenment and it still took us a number of years to get our constitution laid out. Over half their nation is in chaos! I’ll repeat that again for you. Over half their nation is in chaos! CHAOS! It is not going to be a legitimate election.

i’m soryy to differ with you nameless soldier, but more than half of Iraq is not in … “CHAOS!!”
there are a little over 100,000 US troops in Iraq and 25 million Iraqi citizens.
if they wanted teh US out of Iraq – they could kick them out in ONE AFTERNOON.
your statements boil down to the shrill alarmist view perpetuated in the disreputable arab news(but are considerably better than the outright delusional revisionist history that na oida posted)
this is the Iraqi bloggers central and it has a multitude of links to everyday iraqi citizzens and their realistic and refreshing take on the struggle for a new Iraq
the Kennedy Center just did a study on terrorism(its not caused by economic inequality) and the difficult task of installing democracy in formerly totalitarian states and history shows us that invariably, terrorism will rise at the peak of change. it happened in El Salvador and it happened in Algeria.
i think it is encouraging that we are staying the course

I wouldn’t say that the fact that the Iraqi people haven’t risen up to force our troops out of their country means that they are ready for elections. I have no doubt that elections will take place and with luck I think that a majority of Iraqis will be able to vote, but in Iraq’s largest cities their is a great deal of chaos. While you might say I’m defeatist, I would respond that ignoring the problems in Baghdad, Mosul, and other Iraqi cities in denying the truth.

very well smithers.
as always, you are the calming ying to my raging yang….

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