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Author Topic: Report from all 16 intel. agencies concludes Iraq War has made US less safe
kenmeer livermaile
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Another note (I'll make an octave yet):

Bias is virtually universal. Show me someone without it and I'll show you someone completely ignorant of the subject or suffering from brain damage.

Is it acceptable for a writer to comment on the 3 & 1/10th page extract? If not, then none of these articles should have been written, and instead, we should have been pinted solely to the extract.

BUT... if it weren't for the original article quoting the original leak, we almost certainly wouldn't have seen this extract, ci?

So the final bias takes one of two forms: do we get to see the report or not?

According to the NYTimes et al, the answer is yes, at least as much as their sources make it humanly possible.

According to the White House, the answer is no, except to the extent that releasing extracts might counter the assertions previously made on the basis of the initial leak.

After all, one can't form a bias on something about which one has no knowledge.

[ September 28, 2006, 04:46 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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DaveS
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So, you don't see her references to the excerpt that I quoted as honest?

Might she have an A4 formatted version? Wouldn't that be 3 pages? Might she have a translation, since her English doesn't appear to be so good. That could be 3 pages. Some people say a report is 3 pages long if it only dribbles over to the 4th page. Why is this the smoking gun that proves that she is a bogus correspondent?
quote:
I didn't say I didn't like these sources you list, you asked why they were biased.
I was being facetious, since you had previously dismissed all views opposing yours as inherently biased and said that "truth" usually lies between two biased views. If that's true, then Bush is by definition wrong. Just wanted to see if you extended the notion of bias to people you presumably (that word again) didn't know beforehand who therefore would have no known inclination to bias. In fact, you did accuse them collectively of bias.

I don't know why the last link (OhmyNews) doesn't work for you. Here's the complete text. These folks have some editorial/translation issues, too:
quote:
The Rumsfeld Test:
Is Washington's strategy killing terrorists faster than it creates them?

Ludwig De Braeckeleer (ludwig)

On Sunday, U.S. media revealed that a classified National Intelligence estimate asserts that the war in Iraq has worsened the threat of Global terrorism and contributes to the spread of Islamic Radicalism.

관련기사
U.S. Losing War on Terror: Intel Agencies

In the past, fearing to be perceived as weak on security issues, Democrats had refrained from criticizing Bush's strategy concerning the war in Iraq and the fight against Global Terrorism. But things are changing.

Over the last three days, they have used the document as an opportunity to denounce the debacle in Iraq and the failure of the fight against Global Terrorism.

"Every intelligence analyst I speak to confirms that the Iraq war had contributed to the increased terrorist threat," said Representative Jane Harman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. "Even capturing the remaining top Al Qaeda leadership isn't going to prevent copycat cells, and it isn't going to change a failed policy in Iraq."

The April 2006 NIE is "further proof that the war in Iraq is making it harder for America to fight and win the war on terror," said Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader.

"No election-year White House P.R. campaign can hide this truth. It is crystal clear that America's security demands we change course in Iraq," said Harry Reid, her Senate Democratic counterpart.

On Sunday, the White House released a statement claiming that the media had reported stories "not representative of the complete document."

The Director of national Intelligence, John Negroponte, confirmed the White House statement. Reflecting on the report "through the narrow prism of a fraction of judgments distorts the broad framework they create. While there is much that remains to be done in the war on terror, we have achieved some notable successes against the global jihadist threat," he said.

Arguing that the report was classified, the White House initially declined to comment on specifics. Under pressure, the Bush administration has taken on Tuesday the unusual move to release portions of the NIE titled "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States."

The report all but confirms Bush's repeated assertion that "America is winning the war on terror." To the contrary, the NIE states that the terrorists "are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion. If this trend continues, threats to U.S. interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide."

The report leaves no doubts as to what has caused this most disturbing reality. "The Iraq conflict has become the cause celebre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement."

The NIE report cites three additional causes fuelling the spread of Jihadism: "the fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims."

Nancy Pelosi asked for the House to go into private session to discuss the NIE report. Her proposal was defeated 171-217. The last secret session of the House was held on July 1983 to discuss US paramilitary operations in Nicaragua.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy argued for full declassification of the report. "The American people deserve the full story, not those parts of it that the Bush administration selects. President Bush should declassify the entire NIE as the Republican chairman of the Senate intelligence committee has suggested so the American people can read the plain facts for themselves," Kennedy said.

However, on Wednesday, the White House announced that the full report would not be released because of security concerns as it may put the lives of agents in danger. Moreover, the release of the NIE report would "compromise the independence of people doing intelligence analysis," said Press Secretary Tony Snow.

There is little doubt that the war in Iraq and security issues, let alone this NIE report, will play a central role in the upcoming congressional elections. Another report addressing specifically the situation in Iraq will not be published before Election Day.

"Bush has allowed Iraq to fester as a training ground for terrorists, and U.S. voters are worried about it," said Senator Joe Biden, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.

"On Election Day, that morning, if there's still the carnage in the streets of Iraq, then it will be clear that they have concluded that this administration's policy has failed and there will be a political price for it," Biden predicts.

"There is no question that many of our policies have inflamed our enemies' hatred toward the U.S. and allowed violence to flourish. But it is the mistakes we made in Iraq, the lack of planning, the mismanagement and the complete incompetence of our leadership, that has done the most damage to our security," said Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia.

"This is very much mainstream stuff. There are no surprises," said Paul Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia on the intelligence council from 2000 to 2005.

Indeed, at one level, the report is quite unremarkable, as it merely states the obvious. However, remembering the infamous 2002 NIE alleging the existence of WMDs in Iraq, one may find remarkable the fact that these 16 U.S. Intelligence Agencies have assessed so accurately the sobering reality that the Bush administration's strategy has failed the Rumsfeld test.

Have these agencies improved so much in the last four years? Or could it be that they got it right because, this time around, telling the truth actually serves their interests?

2006/09/28


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kenmeer livermaile
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The Bored MInd Strikes AGain:

It may also be that the lovely Natalina(?) noticed that page 4 was barely a postscript in volume and, probably being biased against the BUsh administration, decided that the report deserved only a 3-page count rather than 4, because the more extracts provided, the more ir could be claimed that Bush was providing the Big Picture rather than just a wee snapshot.

Who knows?

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kenmeer livermaile
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Clarification (versus chlorifiction):

Going... going... GONE!

SOLD to the man with the underwear on his head!

[ September 28, 2006, 05:55 PM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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Tom Curtis
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G2:

quote:
The problem with the NYT is that they are claiming to be an unbiased and non-partisan source of information, a place where we can get all the facts and make informed decisions. Had this story been on the editorial page, no problem. It was on the front page as hard news with no political motivation behind it. Obviously that was not true, the NYT story was as biased as any politician.
You keep on ignoring a fundamental point. The administration has been using those parts of the assessment positive to its views as talking points since April, and indeed, before it. That means they are not news. On the other hand, that part of the report which directly contradicts administration claims is news because the administration has known about it since April, and not let it influence their public comment. Simply because the administration commentary was biased, it ensured reporting of the NIE conclusions would be biased in favour of reporting those conclusions the administration rejects. That is the nature of news agencies, at least of the relatively unbiased ones.
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G2
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quote:
So, you don't see her references to the excerpt that I quoted as honest?

Might she have an A4 formatted version? Wouldn't that be 3 pages? Might she have a translation, since her English doesn't appear to be so good. That could be 3 pages. Some people say a report is 3 pages long if it only dribbles over to the 4th page. Why is this the smoking gun that proves that she is a bogus correspondent?

I don't see that she's quoting anything beyond the one source she lists in her article. I can only go with what she writes, you may somehow be able to see more there than I do. The report was released as a pdf - I don't think she could have altered it but maybe somebody copied and pasted it to her - why they'd do that I've no idea.

quote:
I was being facetious ...
I was wondering why you never could see that I wa answering your question, you never wanted an answer. This is kind of a two way thing, if you only intend to lecture me you should try a blog.

quote:
You keep on ignoring a fundamental point. The administration has been using those parts of the assessment positive to its views as talking points since April, and indeed, before it. That means they are not news. On the other hand, that part of the report which directly contradicts administration claims is news because the administration has known about it since April, and not let it influence their public comment. Simply because the administration commentary was biased, it ensured reporting of the NIE conclusions would be biased in favour of reporting those conclusions the administration rejects. That is the nature of news agencies, at least of the relatively unbiased ones. [/QB]
Hey, however you want to justify biased reporting is fine with me. Just don't be suprised when it gets pointed out AS biased.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
I don't know why the last link (OhmyNews) doesn't work for you. Here's the complete text. These folks have some editorial/translation issues, too:

Thanks for that full quote of the article, I could only get a bunch of Kanji(?) characters. Let's analyze that a bit shall we?

First it this:
quote:
In the past, fearing to be perceived as weak on security issues, Democrats had refrained from criticizing Bush's strategy concerning the war in Iraq and the fight against Global Terrorism.
Democrats have not been critcizing Bush? Seriously? That has GOT to be a joke to warm up the crowd or something. Can anyone even keep a straight face when reading that line?

So who does old Ludwig get his quotes from? Let's see:
  • Representative Jane Harman of California, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee
  • Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader
  • Harry Reid, her Senate Democratic counterpart
  • Senator Edward M. Kennedy
  • Press Secretary Tony Snow.
  • Senator Joe Biden, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
  • Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia
  • Paul Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia on the intelligence council from 2000 to 2005

Fascinating isn't it? Ludwig gets quotes from 8 people, 6 of them Democrats, 1 we don't really know and 1 from the press secretary. Yeah, Ludwig is totally balanced here. [Roll Eyes]

quote:
Have these agencies improved so much in the last four years? Or could it be that they got it right because, this time around, telling the truth actually serves their interests?
Oh yeah Ludwig, those intelligence agencies were all lying but now that you think it's detrimental to the Bush administration they must finally be telling the truth?

See, I didn't have to read it before I dismissed it. Now that I've read it, I dismiss it again as a biased report disguised as an impartial news story. I will hand it to Ludwig, he at least did some work on the story where Portyakova merely parroted the NYT.

[ September 28, 2006, 07:41 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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Tom Curtis
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G2:

quote:
I don't see that she's quoting anything beyond the one source she lists in her article. I can only go with what she writes, you may somehow be able to see more there than I do. The report was released as a pdf - I don't think she could have altered it but maybe somebody copied and pasted it to her - why they'd do that I've no idea.
Seeing that she mentioned two sources in her article, the declassified excerpts and the NYT, why do you keep on saying she only mentions one source? Your key premise, that she mentions only one source, is simply false. Yet you keep asserting this falsehood in order to suggest bias.
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DaveS
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G2, Yes, this one has its editorial problems, but I think we should do a little more analysis. The quote about getting it right this time, and the preponderance of oppositional Democrat quotes don't necessarily show bias, but do show point of view.

Don't forget that outside of the US, pretty much every country in the world thought invading Iraq was a bad idea, and think even less of it (and us) now. OhmyNews is South Korean. The President (Roh) of that country sent 3,000 troops to Iraq, over the objection of the citizens, and despite still feeling "duty bound" to honor their commitment, over 60% today would like to see their troops decreased or withdrawn entirely. Basically, the people of South Korea are opposed to the war. I repeat, that is not bias, even if it represents a view in opposition to yours.

You interpret the issues surrounding this as if we're playing a team sport where the Republicans "have the ball" and anybody who disagrees with them is rooting for the other team. It ain't that way. This war is deeply unpopular all around the world, where the only real constituency supporting it is in this country, is mostly Republican, and amounts to less than half of our own population.

[Edit: Piddly cleanup; no content changes]

[ September 28, 2006, 08:25 PM: Message edited by: DaveS ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Curtis:
Seeing that she mentioned two sources in her article, the declassified excerpts and the NYT, why do you keep on saying she only mentions one source? Your key premise, that she mentions only one source, is simply false. Yet you keep asserting this falsehood in order to suggest bias.

She quotes the NYT and "Most published points of the report ...".

Then she says, "However, the 3-page extract reflects only one positive trend in the war on terrorism. It is the conclusion that the U.S. managed to “seriously undermine the position of Al-Qaeda leaders, and hamper its activities”."

As we've discussed, it's a 4 page extract ...

Also, notice how she quoted, "seriously undermine the position of Al-Qaeda leaders, and hamper its activities” ? Is it your contention that she is quoting directly from the NIE extract? If not, where is she quoting from? You can check the NIE here . Where did she get that quote - I can't find it in the NIE extract so it must have come from somewhere else. Could it have come from the NYT? I can't see the original article, maybe you have it and can post it for us.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
G2, Yes, this one has its editorial problems, but I think we should do a little more analysis. The quote about getting it right this time, and the preponderance of oppositional Democrat quotes don't necessarily show bias, but do show point of view.

How is apoint of view different? This is a point of view that could have been written by the DNC. If you can't see that quoting almost nothing but Democrats along with all the other "editorial problems" I mentioned then you're literally blind to it and will never see it.

quote:
You interpret the issues surrounding this as if we're playing a team sport where the Republicans "have the ball" and anybody who disagrees with them is rooting for the other team. It ain't that way
You have no idea how I interpret issues so stop trying to have the conversation with yourself and don't put words in my mouth - again, try blogging if that's your goal. I disagree with the Republicans on quite a few things and am definitely not part of "the team". I simply prefer to call it bias when its so blatantly obvious. If you wish to keep your head buried in the sand, well, let me know how that works out for you.

[ September 28, 2006, 09:21 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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DaveS
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quote:
This is a point of view that could have been written by the DNC
G2, what does it mean when the newspapers of a variety of foreign countries that are or are not our close allies say things that sound like Democratic talking points? It means that they agree on a point of view, not that they are biased. Is it a bias to say that the Detroit Lions played badly on Sunday, or is it my opinion (based on my intimate knowledge of the game)? Get it?

Your tenacious don't bend, don't break defense brought the sports analogy to mind. Just a metaphor.

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G2
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Analogies always break down so let's skip these too. I tell you what, what does it mean when a newspaper article quotes alomst exclusively from one side of the political spectrum and presents news with what you call "editorial problems"? It means they're biased.
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DaveS
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quote:
Also, notice how she quoted, "seriously undermine the position of Al-Qaeda leaders, and hamper its activities” ? Is it your contention that she is quoting directly from the NIE extract?
I bet either she was working from a 3 page translation [Smile] , or whoever translated the article from Russian to English did their best. Either way, she got the meaning. Here is the original:
quote:
United States-led counterterrorism efforts have seriously damaged the leadership of al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations;

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DaveS
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quote:
I tell you what, what does it mean when a newspaper article quotes alomst exclusively from one side of the political spectrum and presents news with what you call "editorial problems"? It means...
...that you don't like what they said, so you call it bias. Goodnight, I'm done here.
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Tom Curtis
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G2:

quote:
As we've discussed, it's a 4 page extract ...
Yes, and you have ignored the obvious points that she may have used a Russian translation, or a print out on a different page size, or even a print out using a smaller font.

quote:
Also, notice how she quoted, "seriously undermine the position of Al-Qaeda leaders, and hamper its activities” ? Is it your contention that she is quoting directly from the NIE extract? If not, where is she quoting from? You can check the NIE here . Where did she get that quote - I can't find it in the NIE extract so it must have come from somewhere else. Could it have come from the NYT? I can't see the original article, maybe you have it and can post it for us.
Curiously, when I do a google search of the NYT for:

quote:
"seriously undermine the position of Al-Qaeda leaders, and hamper its activities”
I get no hits.

On the other hand, when I look at the released extracts of NIE, I notice in the first paragraph the claim:

quote:
have seriously damaged the leadership of
al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations

To me Ms Portyakova's quote, which is known to have been a translation into English from the Russian is almost certainly originally a translation of this clause into Russian from the English.

I don't know how this establishes Ms Portyakova's bias, but we have certainly established yours.

Edited to add: I see Dave S has correctly made both my points before I did. Of course, it isn't like it was obvious or anything.

[ September 28, 2006, 11:37 PM: Message edited by: Tom Curtis ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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3 pages versus 4 pages.

See, G2? Size DOES matter.

And yes, people and publications around the world DO have opinions that reflect their bias. Resoundingly, their bias on this topic is that Bush sucks and so does the war on Iraq. Or war in Iraw. Or that war in Iraw in Iraq.

All the bias in the world isn't going to make that NIE report say something it doesn't. It says what it says, and one interprets it as one will. The fact that all these publications, who say that Bush and the war on Iraq sucks and the NIE report supports this contempt, have a bias against Bush and his war on terror, is axiomatic.

Question: were they born with this bias? Is it something in th water they drink that causes this bias? or is it the result of their objective observations of events impacting their subjective faculties? I mean, they ARE subjective beings. All the objectivity in the world impinges on a subject.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"I see Dave S has correctly made both my points before I did. Of course, it isn't like it was obvious or anything."

Only to those who will see. To the willfully blind, the only thing obvious is the darkness they;ve chosen.

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kenmeer livermaile
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And now that we've established the concept of bias, let's use it. Me first! This NIE report argus that the Iraq war has inspired jihadis and promoted greater jihad.

That's a bad bad thing, don't you agree? Or is biased to say that inspiring jihadis and promoting jihad is a bad thing?

Wait! There's a silver lining: if we stabilize Iraq, stem its steadily mounting internal violence, and create a government that is lastingly better than its predeccesor, the effect will be bad for jihad.

But if we lose, this will embolden jihad and increase global terrorism, something whicvh may note make us less safe here in the USA but certainly won't make us safer. (Only we can do that for ourselves.)

So... IF we can accomplish what we've so far not been able to do in Iraq, the war on Iraq is good for the war on terror. If we can't, it's bad.

Are we winning yet?

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Tom Curtis:
G2:

quote:
As we've discussed, it's a 4 page extract ...
Yes, and you have ignored the obvious points that she may have used a Russian translation, or a print out on a different page size, or even a print out using a smaller font.
I'd be interested in you showing me how that was done to a pdf file.
quote:
Originally posted by Tom Curtis:

quote:
Also, notice how she quoted, "seriously undermine the position of Al-Qaeda leaders, and hamper its activities” ? Is it your contention that she is quoting directly from the NIE extract? If not, where is she quoting from? You can check the NIE here . Where did she get that quote - I can't find it in the NIE extract so it must have come from somewhere else. Could it have come from the NYT? I can't see the original article, maybe you have it and can post it for us.
Curiously, when I do a google search of the NYT for:

quote:
"seriously undermine the position of Al-Qaeda leaders, and hamper its activities”
I get no hits.

On the other hand, when I look at the released extracts of NIE, I notice in the first paragraph the claim:

quote:
have seriously damaged the leadership of
al-Qa’ida and disrupted its operations

To me Ms Portyakova's quote, which is known to have been a translation into English from the Russian is almost certainly originally a translation of this clause into Russian from the English.
I don't know how this establishes Ms Portyakova's bias, but we have certainly established yours.[/QUOTE]Certainly we've established yours.

So you're saying her quote is not a quote but a prarphrasing. Why put it in quotes then? You can easily prove your point, go get the Russian translation you're convinced exists and show what you say it does. Put it up here or a link to it. I'm willing to admit I'm wrong on it but you have to show something other than your WAG.

I now think Dave was right, we are talking past each other. He asks questions he doesn't want answered, you both ignore mine and somehow see sources in stories that are not listed by the authors and are certin of translations you've never seen. But you're not biased, no way. [Roll Eyes]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"a) Yes, and you have ignored the obvious points that she may have used a Russian translation, or a print out on a different page size, or even a print out using a smaller font.

b) I'd be interested in you showing me how that was done to a pdf file."

Well, you see, the Russian/English translator READS the pdf. file in English and then translates it into Russian, see?

"You can easily prove your point, go get the Russian translation you're convinced exists and show what you say it does. Put it up here or a link to it."

The internet WWW is an amazing, vast library and archive, yes, but not EVERYthing exists on it. Maybe, just maybe, there is no web-posted English-to-Russia-to-English trasnslation posted?

Oh, I'm sure we can find an English-to-Russian translation posted (this might resolve the 3 versus 4 page squabble) but I doubt any of us could READ it, and I doubt there's a need or desire for someone to internet post an English-to-Russian-to-English translation online. Such an item would conceivably serve a very tiny audience, and so is unlikely to exist.

"So you're saying her quote is not a quote but a prarphrasing."

Translation is by necessaity a paraphrasing, for while all languages describe the same phenomenon -- the human perception of reality -- all languages view it differently and use slightly different terms to symbolize it. I can't offer an actual translation from Cyrillic Russian into Latin alphabet English, because I don't speak English. But I can provide a semantic example:

The term English physicists use to descrbe an object so massive and concentrated that its gravitational pull overpowers everything in its reach, including light, is 'black hole'. This amuses Russian astronomers and physicists, for in Russia, 'black hole' is Russian slang for asshole. (Translators beware.)

You really *don't* have a clue about how silly and hermetically self-sealed you sound, do you.

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kenmeer livermaile
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More leaks:

"Well, supersleuth Bob Woodward has himself been scooped.

Poised to unveil the contents of his new book on Sunday with a triple rollout--"60 Minutes" interview and excerpts in The Washington Post and Newsweek--Woodward woke up this morning to see the highlights splattered on the front page of the New York Times.

s it weird for the Times to vacuum up the news from the latest blockbuster written by the assistant managing editor for its chief competitor? Sure. Is there anything untoward about it? Not at all. The Post has done the same thing to other publications and authors.

And how did the Times's David Sanger score the super-secret book, "State of Denial"? This is fiendishly clever: He bought one at retail price. (He doesn't say where or how.)

So here is the Times's take on Woodward's take on the war in Iraq:

"The White House ignored an urgent warning in September 2003 from a top Iraq adviser who said that thousands of additional American troops were desperately needed to quell the insurgency there, according to a new book by Bob Woodward, the Washington Post reporter and author. The book describes a White House riven by dysfunction and division over the war.

"The warning is described in 'State of Denial,' scheduled for publication on Monday by Simon & Schuster. The book says President Bush's top advisers were often at odds among themselves, and sometimes were barely on speaking terms, but shared a tendency to dismiss as too pessimistic assessments from American commanders and others about the situation in Iraq.

"As late as November 2003, Mr. Bush is quoted as saying of the situation in Iraq: 'I don't want anyone in the cabinet to say it is an insurgency. I don't think we are there yet.'

"Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is described as disengaged from the nuts-and-bolts of occupying and reconstructing Iraq -- a task that was initially supposed to be under the direction of the Pentagon -- and so hostile toward Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, that President Bush had to tell him to return her phone calls. The American commander for the Middle East, Gen. John P. Abizaid, is reported to have told visitors to his headquarters in Qatar in the fall of 2005 that 'Rumsfeld doesn't have any credibility anymore' to make a public case for the American strategy for victory in Iraq."

And here's a juicy tidbit: Bush and Cheney would not be interviewed.

"60 Minutes" also provides some tantalizing hints in a news release:

"According to Woodward, insurgent attacks against coalition troops occur, on average, every 15 minutes, a shocking fact the administration has kept secret. 'It's getting to the point now where there are eight, 900 attacks a week. That's more than a hundred a day. That is four an hour attacking our forces,' says Woodward."

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kenmeer livermaile
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But let's wait for the Russian translation...
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kenmeer livermaile
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So far, googling 'Russian translation of NIE report' and 'Russian translation of NIE excerpt' reveals anything but:

google results

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kenmeer livermaile
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You can spin this one both ways as your bias moves ye:

Article

Troop withdrawal bias:

"WASHINGTON - The insurgency in Iraq's volatile western Anbar province can be beaten but probably not until after U.S. troops leave the country, the commander of forces in the provincial capital said Friday.

"An insurgency is a very difficult thing to defeat in a finite period of time. It takes a lot of persistence — perseverance is the actual term that we like to use," Army Col. Sean B. MacFarland, commander of 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, said in a video-teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon.

"Who knows how long this is going to actually last?" he added. "But if we get the level of violence down to a point where the Iraqi security forces are more than capable of dealing with it, the insurgency's days will eventually come to an end. And they will come to an end at the hands of the Iraqis, who, by definition, will always be perceived as more legitimate than an external force like our own."


The war is being won bias:

"He did not say pointblank that the insurgency could be defeated only if U.S. forces left, but he indicated that his brigade's mission is to reduce violence until Iraqi security forces can take over — not to outright defeat the insurgency.

MacFarland's brigade is fighting in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, where the insurgency has become so entrenched and feared by residents that the city has no Iraqi mayor. Recently, however, the tide has begun to turn against al-Qaida in Iraq, which has become the dominant anti-government force, the colonel said.

"It's a situation that's beginning to spiral in our favor," he said.

MacFarland painted a largely upbeat picture of the battle for Ramadi. He said attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces have dropped from about 20 per day to about 15 per day, and the attacks have become less effective.

Also, recruiting for the Iraqi security forces has "soared 10-fold," local Sunni tribal leaders have begun cooperating more against the insurgents, and the U.S.-equipped Iraqi police are becoming more effective, he said."

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DaveS
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quote:
Translation is by necessaity a paraphrasing, for while all languages describe the same phenomenon -- the human perception of reality -- all languages view it differently and use slightly different terms to symbolize it. I can't offer an actual translation from Cyrillic Russian into Latin alphabet English, because I don't speak English.
You're exactly right, KL, but I can't resist this useless digression because sometimes, SOMETIMES, you get extraordinarily lucky. My favorite book by one of my favorite SF writers, Stanislaw Lem -- "The Cyberiad", was written in Polish. The following is a translation into English of a small piece of one of the stories. In it, a robot builds a machine to write poetry. He allows --begs-- his friend and arch-rival to challenge the machine to see how good it is, who thinks and then...:

quote:
Suddenly he brightened and said:

"Have it compose a poem - a poem about a haircut! But lofty, noble, tragic, timeless, full of love, treachery, retribution, quiet heroism in the face of certain doom! Six lines, cleverly rhymed, and every word beginning with the letter s!!"

"And why not throw in a full exposition of the general theory of nonlinear automata while you're at it?" growled Trurl. "You can't give it such idiotic --"

But he didn't finish. A melodious voice filled the hall with the following:

Seduced, shaggy Samson snored.
She scissored short. Sorely shorn,
Soon shackled slave, Samson sighed,
Silently scheming,
Sightlessly seeking
Some savage, spectacular suicide.


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kenmeer livermaile
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"My favorite book by one of my favorite SF writers, Stanislaw Lem -- "The Cyberiad""

Damme. We have a lot in common, I'd say. I'm a big Lem-ster, although I haven't read him in years.

Never underestimate the power of imaginary machinery [Wink]

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Tom Curtis
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G2:

quote:
I'd be interested in you showing me how that was done to a pdf file.
Only having a PDF reader, I cannot write or change the format of a PDF file. If I had a full fledged PDF program I imagine it would be a matter of seconds to change the page format from, say, A4 of Quarto to foolscap. Alternatively, the PDF text could be copied and pasted to a Word document for ease of use. Alternatively, the Russian news media may (and I gather this is unthinkable for you) have translated the document into Russian.

quote:
So you're saying her quote is not a quote but a prarphrasing. Why put it in quotes then? You can easily prove your point, go get the Russian translation you're convinced exists and show what you say it does. Put it up here or a link to it. I'm willing to admit I'm wrong on it but you have to show something other than your WAG.
No. I am saying it was quoted in Russian, and then retranslated back to English. As for the Russian original of the article, it was linked at the original English version:

http://www.kommersant.ru/doc.html?docId=708245

What is very obvious from this discussion is that you impute bias to any report you don't agree with, and will grasp at any straw to avoid changing your mind.

As a simple matter of fact, the report did not reffer to one source but to two. Strictly I should say it did not reffer to any sources, for it does not say of any document that it is a source. But it reffers to two documents, and your inference that only one of those is reffered to as a source is exactly that, your unjustified inference, which you tenaciously retain in order to continue imputing bias to an article you happen to disagree with.

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Tom Curtis
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Here is another assessment of the NIE report for G2 to plead bias about:

quote:
More lessons in losing
COMMENT
Paul Kelly, Editor-at-large
September 30, 2006
THE incipient civil war in Iraq, according to the official US intelligence assessment, has become a cause celebre for jihadists, a judgment that should put the Howard Government under intense pressure.
The US report, released this week by an embattled President George W. Bush, means not just that Bush's Iraq war has been counterproductive but that John Howard has backed US policies that have fuelled the global jihadist movement and made Australia less safe. This seems a comprehensive failure and Howard should be called to account by the media, the Opposition and the public.

During the past week Howard, as usual, has been clever in his reply to this US assessment. But he has not answered the question. Indeed, he has deliberately avoided answering the question. The question, for the record, is how he explains Australia's commitment to a war collectively viewed by the US intelligence community as making the world less safe.

By any measure the Iraq war is going badly. And prime ministers who support unsuccessful wars that energise the enemy, expand his recruitment lines and give him vast propaganda value are not entitled to claim superior national security credentials.

Contrary to some reports, the US intelligence assessment is unequivocal about the impact of the Iraq war. It begins with the broader picture. It stresses that while US-led counter-terrorism efforts have "seriously damaged" al-Qa'ida, the activists "identifying themselves as jihadists" are "increasing in both number and geographic dispersion".

If this trend continues, "threats to US interests at home and abroad will become more diverse, leading to increasing attacks worldwide". The report highlights the complexity of the situation. It assesses that "the global jihadist movement is decentralised, lacks a coherent global strategy and is becoming more diffuse". The problem is that "the confluence of shared purpose and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups".

Moving to Iraq, the report says: "We assess that the Iraq jihad is shaping a new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives; perceived jihadist success there would inspire more fighters to continue the struggle elsewhere. The Iraq conflict has become the 'cause celebre' for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement."

In polite terms, the assessment implies the US is losing the long war against Islamist terrorism. It finds that "the underlying factors fuelling the spread of the movement outweigh its vulnerabilities". This hardly needs decoding.

It concludes there are four factors that fuel the jihadists: grievance, fear and anger about the West; the Iraq war; the slow pace of economic and social change in Muslim nations; and "pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims" (sentiment, it argues, is also fuelled by Iraq).

Understand what this document represents. It is the collective view of 16 US intelligence agencies. This extract was released by Bush following a media leak last weekend. "You can read it for yourself," the President said, trying to put the best spin on the embarrassment. The document does offer some support for Bush's policies. Its striking feature, however, is its damning message about the Iraq war.

The Bush administration's campaign against Bill Clinton betrays its desperation. This is a diversion and a gimmick. Responsibility for the failing war on terror rests with Bush, not Clinton. Responsibility for the failure to kill Osama bin Laden rests with Bush (who let bin Laden escape from the Tora Bora mountains in late 2001). Responsibility for the adverse consequences of Iraq rests with Bush. Iraq was Bush's war of choice.

Howard's own self-defences this week were spurious: that terrorism existed before the Iraq war (true) and that sudden withdrawal from Iraq would mean a victory for the jihadists (also true). Neither point can gainsay the original strategic folly of the war.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20498812-12250,00.html
(My emphasis.)

For the record, and to keep him honest; Paul Kelly ardently editorialized in favour of a war in Iraq in the lead up to the Iraq war (from memory).

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kenmeer livermaile
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Soldier's Bias

[excerpt] " I believe Afghanistan will go down in history as a successful U.S. military campaign and Iraq will likely go down as a modern-day Vietnam. People think I'm crazy when I say this. After all, as one friend pointed out, "What's the difference between them? Aren't they both Islamic countries?"

To start with, yes, they are both Islamic countries. However, in Afghanistan — a tribal society to be sure — they more or less have one national identity. Iraq remains divided among three fault lines — Sunni Arab, Shiite Arab, and Kurdi (who don't see themselves as Arabs at all). It is among these fault lines that we see the Iraqi civil war erupting today in the form of gangs of executioners roaming the streets looking for members of the other religious sects to kill en masse. And there has yet to be a national leader from Iraq with the strength, vision, and perhaps most importantly, charisma, to arise and unify his country."

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kenmeer livermaile
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Headline Says It Best

Stay the course in Iraq? What course?

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kenmeer livermaile
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A straight-forward assessment of an inescable ambiguity (italics mine):

Battle for Baghdad

"No longer a limited security problem while the main war was being fought out west in Anbar province, the battle of Baghdad is turning out to be "a critical point in the Iraq war," says former Pentagon analyst Anthony Cordesman.

"Securing Baghdad ... won't win. But losing Baghdad will lose," Cordesman says. "If they lose, Iraq is likely to slip into a major civil war."

Much of Baghdad is yet to be targeted in the joint U.S.-Iraqi pacification operation. Top commanders — signaling the toughest fight is yet to come — say they need six more Iraqi battalions, or 3,000 soldiers, to join the 30,000 Iraqi security forces and 15,000 Americans already in the city.

U.S. commanders have defined victory as reducing violence in the capital to the point where Iraqi civilian police could handle security. With order restored in the capital, the Iraqi government then could focus on providing security and basic services to the rest of the country — thus creating conditions for U.S. troops to leave.

Baghdad is "the center of gravity for the country. Everybody knows that," Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. general in Iraq, told The Associated Press in a recent interview. "The bad guys know it, we know it, the Iraqis know it. So we have to help the Iraqis secure their capital if they're going to go forward."

U.S. officials won't say how they define defeat — insisting there is no choice but to win. Senior military officials concede it will take weeks if not months to turn Baghdad around. But they insist no effort can be spared."

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DonaldD
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Something to ponder - is the Iraq invasion and occupation - the 'situation' in Iraq - improving, stable or deteriorating?

If it is getting worse, was there anything the US could have done differently that would have led to a better outcome?

If so, could the blame for such a missed opportunity be placed at the feet of the war detractors? In what way would it be reasonable to lay the blame of a US 'loss' on the actions of opponents to the war (a la Vietnam)?

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DaveS
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quote:
If so, could the blame for such a missed opportunity be placed at the feet of the war detractors? In what way would it be reasonable to lay the blame of a US 'loss' on the actions of opponents to the war (a la Vietnam)?
You would have to put forward what those actions were and the practical effect they might have had on the Iraqi combatants and US forces. Anything less, like psychological influence, e.g., diminishing our resolve and enhancing theirs, is speculative voodoo.

I don't know where you're coming from on this, but I won't be all that surprised if some of the vocal public war opinionators apply a weasel strategy like this to pin the blame on a scapegoat. It would be ironic if they scapegoat the people who disagreed with them and were proven right for their own stupidity.

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DonaldD
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Well, "weasel" is a bit of an impolite term, but there are several people on this site who have previously linked failure in Iraq to the lack of support for the war effort.

I'm trying to get a feel for in what way, in the context of the Iraq conflict, the actions of Iraq war opponents might arguably have changed the outcome to-date.

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DaveS
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"Weasel" wasn't directed at you, since you didn't come right out and say that's what you think. But, raising a possible argument like that is either a strawman or your view. You don't say in your second post, either. You should make your case and give the rest of us something to work with.
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naomi
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For crying out aloud, of course,..... America going to war, causes problems with safety at home, that goes without saying!.

When you go and fight someone, they can either fight you on thier ground or on yours. Yours is easier, and causes less damaage to their ground.

Plus you already told everyone that America can't keep track of airplanes,cars,trucks, tanks or anything else big that comes into your country (and maybe hit or blow buildings/things up,[9/11])

All your troups are overseas, nobody is at home looking after America, Ummmm ,yes you will be attacked,.... and huge,... and soon.

The sad fact is, I doubt you're gonna do anything about it. - my recomendation - get rid of Bush as soon as you can. !!

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DonaldD
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Dave, I honestly didn't for a second imagine that "weasel" could have been directed at me. In fact, I think you have completely misunderstood my questions. And maybe I wasn't very clear in my phrasing.

Try re-reading the questions without ascribing any motives to my having asked them.

Here's a hint: if I'm asking how Iraq-invasion-opponents could have affected the outcome, it's because I'm unclear on how people support the position that Iraq-invasion-opponents have affected the outcome. Capishe?

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kenmeer livermaile
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"If it is getting worse, was there anything the US could have done differently that would have led to a better outcome?"

We couldhave sehnt in adequate troops per preestablished war plans and our generals' best advice.

"If so, could the blame for such a missed opportunity be placed at the feet of the war detractors? In what way would it be reasonable to lay the blame of a US 'loss' on the actions of opponents to the war (a la Vietnam)?"

We, the coalition of the unwilling for the ineptitude and resultant failures of the coalition of the willing.

i note, however, that we are now passing through phase similar to the Tet offensive and afterwards of Nam, wherein suppor for the war steadily diminished. curreny Nam apologists blame thjis on an anti-war media and, how shal i say it? -- 'wimpy' public attitude toward further usa troop loss, napalm massacres, and general carnage.

the rationale of this blame is often bolstered by nam apologists by citing key viet cong commanders who say that if we'd stayed the course we would have won. i won't argue against this. who am i to say? but i can say that par6 of a war effort in a democracy like ours is not just winning the hearts and minds of the enemy's people but, even moreso, the hearts and miunds of one's own.

so, if the 'lack of determination and persistence rationale of blame be invoked for the iraw war's likely failure, that blame lies not on the media or we the people, but the uninspiring leadership of this war.

lord knows, the american people TRIED to get behind it.

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kenmeer livermaile
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"But, raising a possible argument like that is either a strawman or your view. "

or perhaps just *question*?

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