Talk:Iraq Study Group

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This looks really good so far; two minor requests. First, at one point, the text says "Opinions in mainstream media were divided", but goes on to give only one example (on one side); can we have another one? Second, it describes French newspaper reaction as "a searing indictment of the Bush administration's incompetence"; instead of using such acerbic language directly (which could be taken as a CZ editorial comment), can we do it as a quote? Other than that, great job on such a difficult topic. J. Noel Chiappa 09:18, 20 May 2008 (CDT)

Thanks for the compliment. The sentence about the "searing indictment" is indeed a quote from somewhere (I'll have to find it again!). This is still work in progress. Researching this is not very hard but it is slow work. I'm doing it in chunks. More to come! Michel van der Hoek 07:08, 27 May 2008 (CDT)
Correction: My use of the words "searing indictment" are a rewording of pretty strong language used to describe the response by Le Monde (see the footnote). Do we really need to quote this text directly? The footnote will direct the reader to that article. I think the CZ text captures the tone of the Le Monde comments quite well. I'll leave it this way for now, unless other people think it's too tendentious. Michel van der Hoek 09:20, 27 May 2008 (CDT)
Well, the IHT quotes Le Monde as saying "stinging statement of failure of the policy", which to me isn't as strong as "searing indictment". (Which is a good part of why it's good to quote original words - avoids questions over whether the summarization/rewording is apt.) I'd love to see the original article, see if the IHT (or whoever they got it from) translation is good (or toned down :-). Anyway, if it's not too big a problem, I would prefer the direct quote (of the IHT). J. Noel Chiappa 13:28, 27 May 2008 (CDT)

Organizing Iraq articles in general

As you probably know, there is an Iraq War article, which has the internal US top-level thinking and the planning process, which links to a subarticle on Iraq War, major combat phase, and then returns to discuss the early Phase IV stabilization/ORHA/CPA/IGC/IIC up to about 2004. I have a rough draft on the WMD justifications in my sandbox.

Ideally, I'd like both to break off some of the parts of the main article into subarticles (e.g., the 2003-2004(5) attempts to change government), the insurgency identifying the sectarian conflicts, etc. This fits into the latter area although justifies its own subarticle. The various parties (Dawa, SCIRI, Sadr, etc.) need articles. Any thoughts how to organize all this so at least some parts can stabilize and move to approval?

A similar situation exists with Afghanistan War (2001-2021), blurring with Taliban and Taliban in Pakistan.

Do we have to wait until it's all over, as in Vietnam wars? Howard C. Berkowitz 14:19, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Robert Gates an "Independent"?

Howard, I noticed you changed Robert Gates' political affiliation from "Republican" to "Independent." May I ask why? Are you purely going by official party membership? In that case you would be correct, because he is not currently a member of the Republican party. However, by his own admission he considers himself a Republican (see I would prefer to keep Gates listed as a Republican because of this. Considering his motivation for not registering as a Republican, I think calling him an "Independent", while in other contexts more accurate, probably would be misleading in this article. Michel van der Hoek 15:29, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, registration is paramount. My reference would be the parliamentary rules of the Congress, which very much makes the distinction. Lieberman and Jeffords are Independents no matter with whom they caucus. Note that Lieberman received considerable backlash when he ran in the Democratic primary, lost, and then ran as an Independent.
In this specific caucus, I would hope that partisan status is a minimum factor. Gates, in particular, is sufficiently nonpartisan in practice that, while he was appointed as Secretary of Defense by GWB, he was reappointed by Obama. Much of his career was as a nonpartisan civil servant and, as far as I know, he's never campaigned for a candidate, certainly when he was on CIA staff. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:06, 5 October 2009 (UTC)