Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What did I get right and what did I get wrong?

There's a blog-meme at the moment asking, "what did you blog about in the runup to the Iraq invasion and its immediate aftermath? Were you right, or wrong, in your predictions?"

So I went back to the archives of my old (now-offline) blog. And found a problem: I quit blogging between December 15 2002 and May 6 2003. Seems that my employer was going under at the time, and I was spending most of my time trying to bail them out. (They eventually went under altogether on June 15 2003, which I knew on May 6 when their May 1 SEC filing hit the SEC web site and basically said they were out of money, which is when I quit bailing and started waiting for the layoff notice).

Never fear, though. I did find the following on another forum: It appears I was pretty unconvinced about weapons of mass destruction.

Feb 10, 2003
>> Have the yanks
>> really found dangerous sites in Iraq that warrent destroying,
> Yup.
>>and if so
>> why haven't the weapons inspectors been sent there?
> They have, Eddy, they have.

And found nothing. Not a single biological warfare spore, not a single molecule of nerve gas. The most frightening thing the inspectors have found is a bunch of aging, rusty missile warheads that could be used to carry nerve gas or spores, but said warheads are not themselves a 'weapon of mass destruction'.

The Bush Administration's response appears to be to accuse the weapons inspectors of collusion with Iraq, basically stating that Iraq is getting a tipoff from within the weapons inspectorate as to what's about to be inspected.

If the U.S. is going to go to war with Iraq over weapons of mass destruction, I'd like to at least *SEE* one, being held up to the cameras by a U.N. weapons inspector or by a U.S. Army Ranger acting in support of the U.N weapons inspectorate (by, e.g., sequestering a site before the inspectors arrive). Right now all we've heard is rumor and innuendo, with not a single actual WMD found.

So it seems that, in the absence of, like, actual weapons of mass destruction, that I wasn't going to believe in weapons of mass destruction. As we all know, there were no weapons of mass destruction, so I was right to not believe in them.

What about an Iraq/al Qaeda connection? What did I think then? Seems I was pretty damned skeptical about that too:

Mar 20 2003, 6:23 pm
> You seem to have missed the part where he's been working with al Qaeda
> operatives in the north, best get some education son.

Saddam isn't in control in the north, idiot. Two Kurdish groups split control of the north. Saddam had to put four divisions of his regular Army just south of the Kurdish-controlled areas just to keep them from rolling into Baghdad. Hell, according to John Pike's, Saddam has more divisions facing off the Kurds in the North than facing off the Americans in the South!

So I dig around. What did I think was going to be the outcome of the war? Combining a post from April 1 and from April 3, we have this:

The eventual outcome (the toppling of Saddam's power) is not in doubt, though Saddam may do an Osama bin Laden and "disappear" to become a hidden hero of the Resistance. The aftermath... well, that's what I fear. I don't see much good waiting there.

The military will do its part. Saddam's military will be destroyed. Then comes the hard part: Winning the peace.

The only questions remaining, now, are how many Iraqi civilians we "liberate" by sending them on to the afterlife, and how many American GI's die from suicide bombings and snipers after we install our puppet government, and how many decades our troops will have to stay in Iraq to keep our puppet government in power.

Well, our troops have been in Iraq for four years thus far keeping our puppet government in power, though our puppets are not behaving well lately... we'll have to see how well that plays out. Will we be in Iraq for "decades" as I predicted? We'll find out, I suppose. The Iraqis seem to mostly be using IED's against GI's, not suicide bombings and snipers, but the effect is the same as what I predicted - most GI's getting killed after the conquest of Iraq, not during the conquest. We've "liberated" over half a million Iraqis by sending them on to the afterlife, mission fucking accomplished I suppose, so that prediction of mine was correct too. And my prediction that the peace was going to be the hard part... well, we know the validity of that prediction too, right?

What was I wrong about? Not a hell of a lot. I expected Saddam to pull his soldiers back into the cities and force us to pound the cities into rubble, not that this would have changed the eventual outcome, but it would have made things a bit messier. That didn't happen, thankfully -- Saddam apparently figured out we would kill as many civilians as necessary to topple his government, and decided to fade to guerilla activity instead, which eventually failed because Saddam was the second-most-hated man in Iraq by that time (the most hated man in Iraq being, of course, George W. Bush). But that is the *only* major thing I was wrong about, and really it wasn't all that major, the overall outcome is the same as what I predicted -- victory in war, but the peace being a bitch with our troops being required to prop up one puppet government after another, possibly for decades.

So, given that I was right and every single right-wing pundit, politician, blogger and commentator was wrong, why should I listen to them? More importantly, why should *anybody* listen to them? How can anybody listen to someone who has been proven wrong so many times? This penguin has no idea, other than that monkeys are stupid. But that's hardly a satisfying answer, given that monkeys rule the world...

-- Badtux the Memory Penguin

Labels: ,

Posted by: BadTux / 3/10/2007 06:44:00 PM  


Good news! Hillary & Obama have both vowed to end the war in the same breath.

They haven't said how yet, but they vowed...
# posted by L>T : 11/3/07 7:21 AM  

Great post. I really agree with your final paragraph. Why these idiots still get quoted is beyond me.
# posted by pygalgia : 11/3/07 10:00 AM  

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I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.

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"Keep fighting for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce." -- Molly Ivins, 1944-2007 "The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men."

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