Monday, May 23, 2011

Bad judgment: Nouri's and others

Al Sabaah reports that Nouri al-Maliki declared this is the best time (ever) for businesses to invest in Iraq and that he made this declaration yesterday morning at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the opening of the al-Jihad housing complex. That was the same day in which Baghdad would be slammed with bombings and, across the country, at least 21 Iraqis and 2 US soldiers died. And today, UPI reports, a Kirkuk car bombing has claimed at least 7 lives (five were police officers). AFP notes that the 2 others killed were soldiers -- peshmerga or Iraqi is not noted. Aswat al-Iraq reports a Baghdad bombing has claimed 1 life and left nine people injured.

As out of touch as Nouri is, so is Christopher Millson -- a student who apparently was stationed in Iraq and hopefully took home a t-shirt since he clearly took home no valid observations. Millson writes (and I use the term "writes" loosely) a paper entitled "Comparing Counterinsurgency Tactics in Iraq and Vietnam" and Student Pulse chose to publish it -- for what reasons I have no idea. There's nothing academic about the paper which should have received an F (but this is Colorado State University we're talking about . . .).

It's a one-sided paper. Not one sided in sources. There really aren't sources (except for DoD). It's one-sided in that it supposedly eye balls Iraq but never illuminates Iraqis. It's a patronizing, smug piece of crap.

Statements like what follows really demonstrate that Millson learned nothing in Iraq: "After their political collapse, ethnic turmoil increased between the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. Their defeat led to a need to restore their honor and exact revenge."

The Kurds had a polticial collapse? The Kurds had a defeat? He doesn't know what the hell he's talking about and should be ashamed that he was stupid enough to allow a months old paper to be posted online. (The Kurds welcomed the invasion.)

Months after you turn in a paper, presumably you got some input on it and could make changes but maybe they don't have a staff at Colorado State? That would explain how statements such as "we left Vietnam" pop up. We? Child, you weren't old enough to be there.

Grading should have also caught the many grammer issues such as in what follows:
"There is no doubt that America was successful in Iraq, this is because it was able to reorganize its military within three years, from a conventional army to one that is capable of fighting an insurgency." That's not a sentence, that's two.

"There is no doubt that America was successful in Iraq." "This is because . . ."

Of course, there is incredible doubt that the United States (America? Does he think Mexico and Canada joined the invasion or he is too ignorant to grasp that North America is more than the US?) "was successful."

But a smug, uneducated and uninformed mind is all he has to offer. His white washing of the crimes of Vietnam, his glorification of Richard Nixon do damn little to indicate that Colorado State is anything other than a diploma mill.

I am opposed to counter-insurgency. I'm also opposed to bad writing and one-sided garbage presented as 'researched.' This is an academic paper. He should have received a failing grade for it. He obviously didn't because he's stupid enough to have it posted online. Every day the public account is flooded with student writing and I work in what I can. If it's bad, I don't work it in and usually don't say anything. (I also don't work a lot of it in because I don't have time to.) When I finished the first paragraph, I knew it was bad. But I had no idea how bad the paper would get as it goes along. The failure to pursue academic goals -- which are much greater than what's required for a column -- is honestly offensive. The failure to treat the Vietnamese or the Iraqis as a people with their own goals and their own rights is flat out offensive and has no place in an academic environment.

The pursuit of higher education is a pursuit of greater understanding. Nothing in the paper indicates that the student grasped that. The paper indicates no stretching, no reaching, no attempts to comprehend or to see anything from another angle. The student has written a one-sided paper to back up the prejudices he carried onto campus.

Aswat al-Iraq notes
that the Sadr bloc is still working to pull off their May 25th protest event. They've been working on it all month so the Baghdad event will need to have a large number of people. For the recent al-Sadr events, sparesely attended ones, they bussed in people from Basra to fill out the thin numbers.

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