Major major turn

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Last updated on August 3rd, 2017 at 10:36 am

The NYT’s John Burns, reporting from Iraq, tells PBS of Iraqi happiness at the large turnout for last week’s elections:

[Iraqis] had been very hopeful that something like this would occur. Delighted is probably an understatement. This is a turn in the political process that American diplomats and American military commanders had been hoping for, for a very long time.

It would have been seen quite illusionary only a few months ago to think that you could have had a turnout of this kind.

Things can change quickly, as Burns discovered while talking to one Iraqi about any abrupt withdrawal of coalition troops:

I said to one man, it sounds very much as though you have been listening to President Bush. And he laughed and he said, Bush’s formula would be fine with us—so a major, major turn here.

major major turn? Sounds like a Joseph Heller line. Some Baathist supporters won’t be happy about this.

(Via reader Brian)

Posted by Tim B. on 12/19/2005 at 11:49 AM
    1. Scheisskopf Burns, as his friends call him :  “I wonder what shithead is up to.’‘

      Catch-22 is supposed, by students today, to be about war rather than institutions.  Fools.

      Posted by rhhardin on 2005 12 19 at 02:49 PM • permalink


    1. This is all meaningless because Bush does not have a plan.

      Posted by Mystery Meat on 2005 12 19 at 02:50 PM • permalink


    1. What’s going to be funny to watch is the major, major scramble of the NYT and its ilk to explain away its positions, as the Middle Eastern shift toward democracy becomes a cascade.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 12 19 at 03:32 PM • permalink


    1. I’m looking forward (with a certain malicious glee, I admit) to the poleaxed expressions on the leftist faces when the denial dam finally gives way and reality comes crashing in upon them.  You’d think they’d be used to it by now.

      Posted by Achillea on 2005 12 19 at 06:24 PM • permalink


    1. RebeccaH – you misunderestimate the power of the ‘root cause’ argument.  It isn’t just useful for dismissing all of the administration’s reasons for having gone into Iraq as being short sighted and mean spirited.  Root Cause Rule #1 is “no good effect can be caused by George Bush”. Ergo any shift toward democracy is in spite of, not because of, Bush’s policies and actions in Iraq.

      I think the NYT can easily make the case it has been consistent in its positions.

      Posted by debo.v2 on 2005 12 19 at 06:39 PM • permalink


    1. debo, you’re probably right.  I haven’t met a knee-jerk lefty yet who had the good grace to be embarrassed by being wrong.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2005 12 19 at 06:54 PM • permalink


    1. RebeccaH—“Democracy spreads throughout Iraq and Afghanistan…”

      “Oh, yeah?  Well, well… what about um, Darfur! Yeah! And female circumcision in Africa! And Hugo Chavez is sure sticking it to Bush, how can we claim victory when Chavez isn’t even behind us?”

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 12 19 at 08:37 PM • permalink


    1. The turnout was so overwhelming they ran out of ballots and extended voting time, according to the NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer.

      Linsey Hilsum of ITN said, “that most Sunnis felt it was a MISTAKE to boycott earlier polls.”
      She went on to say that, “in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit more than 80% voted.” One Sunni in Tikrit said, ” like EVERY Iraqi I am very happy to participate in this election. I hope it will be a remarkable step forward and that we will be able to achieve peace, democracy, freedom and eventually the end of occupation.”


      For people who want a definition of “victory”, there it is!

      Posted by Brian on 2005 12 19 at 08:53 PM • permalink


    1. Democracy spreads throughout Iraq and Afghanistan

      Lefty: SHRIEK!

      Posted by Achillea on 2005 12 19 at 09:15 PM • permalink


    1. It’s sometimes nice to see history in the making.

      Congratulations Iraq.

      Posted by monkeyfan on 2005 12 20 at 12:24 AM • permalink


    1. What’s going to be funny to watch is the major, major scramble of the NYT and its ilk to explain away its positions,

      “Had President Bush been more candid with the American people, this paper, like so many others, would not have been led to such erroneous conclusions, albeit in the best possible faith…”

      I mean, come on, if he can snow Congress and the Senate, repeatedly, how hard can Ben Bradlee and Little Pinch Sulzberger be…?

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 12 20 at 02:00 AM • permalink


    1. It would have been seen quite illusionary only a few months ago to think that you could have had a turnout of this kind.

      You just have to love the faux “every person alive would have considered this totally illusionary” tone. Well, maybe he’s just talking about NYT readers.

      Posted by PW on 2005 12 20 at 02:24 AM • permalink


    1. slightly off topic: a letter I wrote to The Financial Review last Saturday which is clearly not going to be published (and incidentally, The Age on Sunday led its Letters briefs with a similar canard about Bush/God/Iraq – which shows the Fairfax media’s insatiable appetite for Bush slanders:
      Letter to Editor

      Brian Toohey in Saturday’s AFR (17/12)  wrote:
      “According to close friends, he (Bush) believes God wanted him to invade (Iraq).”
      The sub-editors included the sub-head: Bush believes God wanted him to invade Iraq.

      The alleged Bush quote was asserted by a Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath to have been made to him in June 2003 at a Jordan summit. Fellow Palestinian negotiator Mahmoud Abbas (now Palestinian President), who was present on the occasion of the alleged quote,  later commented (SMH October 8, 2005), “This report is not true..I have never heard President Bush talking about religion as a reason behind the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. President Bush has never mentioned that in front of me on any occasion and specifically not during my visit in 2003.”

      Bush’s spokesman denied the claim as fictional and “absurd”. Shaath himself said he did not take the alleged words literally.

      I think Toohey is making stuff up.

      sgnd (percypup)

      Posted by percypup on 2005 12 20 at 06:26 AM • permalink


    1. I read somewhere that religious leaders issued something called a “fatwa” saying that everyone had to vote.  But that couldn’t have made a difference, coz who would take any notice of a priest?

      Posted by slammer on 2005 12 20 at 08:00 AM • permalink


    1. I read somewhere that “slammer” is a dickhead.
      But that couldn’t be right, who would take notice of anyone called “the Ignorant”?

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2005 12 20 at 08:26 AM • permalink


  1. Slam bam,thank you Pedro…

    Posted by crash on 2005 12 20 at 10:18 AM • permalink