Evaluating Iraq

Tgace

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I think the message of "we just come in kick @$$ and leave" is worse than getting into an "unjust"* war and staying to at least not leave things worse than before we arrived.


*(at least on the face of what was presented. I still think that a better case could have been presented based on atrocities/failure to comply to Gulf War 1 terms etc.)
 

Cruentus

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btw, I have only really glanced at this thread so far, so bar with me.

Mike E., I can appreciate your position.

But, here enlies the problem of why we should have never gone to war UNILATERALLY in the first place. Sure, we had the resources to kick their @$$ around for a few weeks, but we DO NOT have the resources to rebuild them without it costing us greatly.

But, if we just get up and leave, they and the rest of the world will hate us more for not finishing what we have started, and Iraq risks being in a worse state then it was when Saddam was actually in power.

What we need is to suck it up, go to the rest of the world and the U.N., and basically say, "Yes, we F-ed up. We were being ruled by a moron at the time. Please excuse our temporary insanity. Now...we need your help." Get other countries to start putting their money and troops in so it isn't just us; SHARE the contracts so that their will be mutual gain, and come up with a 5 year plan to leave Iraq to it's own independence.

Unfortunatily, though, by going in unilaterally and preemptively we have created a monster of a problem.
 

michaeledward

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PAUL said:
btw, I have only really glanced at this thread so far, so bar with me.
Mike E., I can appreciate your position.
But, here enlies the problem of why we should have never gone to war UNILATERALLY in the first place. Sure, we had the resources to kick their @$$ around for a few weeks, but we DO NOT have the resources to rebuild them without it costing us greatly.
But, if we just get up and leave, they and the rest of the world will hate us more for not finishing what we have started, and Iraq risks being in a worse state then it was when Saddam was actually in power.
What we need is to suck it up, go to the rest of the world and the U.N., and basically say, "Yes, we F-ed up. We were being ruled by a moron at the time. Please excuse our temporary insanity. Now...we need your help." Get other countries to start putting their money and troops in so it isn't just us; SHARE the contracts so that their will be mutual gain, and come up with a 5 year plan to leave Iraq to it's own independence.
Unfortunatily, though, by going in unilaterally and preemptively we have created a monster of a problem.
Thanks for your contribution.
But, really ... we do have the ability to go in and rebuild the country on our own. In fact, it would hardly be a struggle. Yes, it would cost the United States money, but we have so much money, most of us don't know what to do with it. (please don't jump on me for this statement ... I know many of us are always broke - me included - but when you look at that bigger picture, we're flush).

Iraq's Gross National Product (in 2001) was $59 Billion dollars. That is the 'Total Value of Goods and Services produced by the residents of the Nation'. The US is spending more than that just to have our military people there (I think the number for the current year is 79 Billion, isn't it?) We could buy and sell the country.

Of course, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney would probably have to give back their tax cuts (if you didn't see ... they both made out nicely, while 60% of Americans do not feel they have benefited from the Bush tax cuts). If we put a 'Marshall Plan' in place for Iraq, their economy would benefit and our economy would benefit ... and maybe eventually, we really could have tax cuts shared by all.

Also, I think I am getting tired of the term 'Preemptive' .... we should call it what it is, and Invasion. (think George Carlin - Shell Shocked).

Thanks - Mike
 
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1. Please see T. Grace's posts on page 9 of this thread, which featured: a) an assertion that Iraq is pretty much the same as a SWAT team going through a door, and therefore must be supported no matter what; b) big flag and reassedrtion of point; c) BIG flag and citation of TR on critics; d) restatement of statement on critics.

2. Again, my prob here is that the logic being offered could easily have been used to justify--and probably was--the German blitzkrieg. Are the situations different? Absolutely. Are the arguments and excuses similar? Disturbingly so.
 

Tgace

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Tgace said:
Im not saying that in the least....My dilema is were saying "right or wrong, were in it now...lets stay and finish things right." Should we deal with the rightness/wrongness of getting into it in the first place ...yes. Where/how do you "support" the mission as it is (as opposed to pulling out and leaving Iraq out to dry) and protest the war as a whole?? If were saying "right or wrong we have to deal with it now" than it is similiar to a squad going through the door. In for a penny...in for a pound. How do we deal with the contradiction?


Sigh...since you didnt read it the last time I posted it.....How do you validate a "lets at least finish this right" aspect of this mess without supporting the operation as it is now....as to the rest Ive stated my opinion of "critics without solutions/or at least goals".....If we are going to leave Iraq at least not as bad as before we arrived... we are like that team.....
 

Cruentus

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I don't know Mike E., I think that I have to humbly disagree.

It's not just a money problem; if that was the only problem then yes, I think that we could handle it uni-laterally, and would have already. The sooner that Iraq is up and running safely, the sooner our corperations can profit more then they have already. Because of the special interest involved, I think that if it was as easy as spend a few bucks, then the Administration would have solved all of Iraqs problems already.

I don't think it is that easy.

Iraq has gone through a dictatorship to an area of political unrest where every group is struggling for power. If one group doesn't get their way over another, then they resort to violence as the means of solving the problem. Our U.S. government holds elections for positions by gun-point (literally) only to have the democratically elected official get assasinated the next day by an opposing group. People are ethnically and politically seperated over there. No amount of money will be a quick fix to these problems. Their GDP was only 58 bil; we could give them 200 bil if we wanted too, but if we left them alone then that money would be used by them to fight among themselves until another dictator prevailed.

Iraq has been run by dictatorship for too long for the country to really know how to operate any differently. Members of different sects don't seem to understand that if someone gets elected, you can't just shoot them out of office because you don't like them.

I appreciate your views, but let's not negate how F-ed up it really is over there. Money won't solve it without some sort of process. And it will take years, I repeat YEARS to put that process in place.

And, because we INVADED THEM, we now have put ourselves in a position to help them to put this process in place. This means YEARS of billions of dollars spent now over seas, and YEARS of our troops getting sent to Iraq, and YEARS of our troops dying due to the unrest over there.

SO,...you really believe we can do this ourselves in 90 days with a few billion dollars? I think we will have to spend billions over the next 5 years at least, and even then, where are all these troops going to come from? I don't know how many enlisted military people we have, but I would like to see some numbers to see how long we would have to keep this up before we actually have to institute a draft.

This is no happy little war. This isn't the O.K. corral that Bush was dreaming about, where the good guy shoots up the bad guy, then goes to the salon for hookers and beer afterwards, and everyone is happy because the town is saved. This thing is going to drag on and on. Can we do it alone? Maybe...but not without it greatly effecting our economy, our security, our military, and our resources.

I say we get some others involved so at the very least, we aren't draining our manpower, money, and resources to solve this problem. We have problems that we could be spending that money on within our own borders.

PAUL
 

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rmcrobertson said:
1. Please see T. Grace's posts on page 9 of this thread, which featured: a) an assertion that Iraq is pretty much the same as a SWAT team going through a door, and therefore must be supported no matter what; b) big flag and reassedrtion of point; c) BIG flag and citation of TR on critics; d) restatement of statement on critics.

2. Again, my prob here is that the logic being offered could easily have been used to justify--and probably was--the German blitzkrieg. Are the situations different? Absolutely. Are the arguments and excuses similar? Disturbingly so.

Thought you were done with it. And that was a piggy back on my analogy to the nation at war like a military unit during MOUT (Military Operations in an Urban Terrain - to decipher the military babble for the uninitiated :)) moving as one body. I don't really see it as any different as the 'ship of state' analogies that run rampant in politico circles.

At least the rest of the active contributors here are willing to stand and say "I am Spartacus" with filled out profiles and open discussions, not jabs and run behind the blinds. It would be nice if you took that superior training and logic and maybe....ran for office so that we could all benefit from your superiority, otherwise it seems like it is for entertainment purposes only from the way you use it to try and remind the rest of us how inferior we are.

I am entertained at least.
 

Tgace

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Problem is...the UN's track record on dealing with these situations is spotty at best...got their @$$ handed to them in Bosnia and NATO had to take care of busniess...a couple of bombs and they were out of Iraq so quick my head spun.
 

Cruentus

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Tgace said:
Problem is...the UN's track record on dealing with these situations is spotty at best...got their @$$ handed to them in Bosnia and NATO had to take care of busniess...a couple of bombs and they were out of Iraq so quick my head spun.

I agree with you there Tom; I am not real confident in the UN right now myself. But unfortunitaly, I feel that because of the way we went in, we aren't left with good choices. It seems like we either leave (leaving them worse off then when Saddam was in power, possibly), Stay (where we risk dragging ourselves through years of conflict, risking our troops and resources), or get help (where at least, even if it's S**tty help, at least all our soldiers aren't the ones to take the bullets, and all our $$ isn't what is being spent).

Not good choices, but what else can we do now? :idunno:
 

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PAUL said:
I don't know Mike E., I think that I have to humbly disagree.
It's not just a money problem; if that was the only problem then yes, I think that we could handle it uni-laterally, and would have already.
I didn't copy your whole statement, but your talking about two separate arguments that I made.

1) We should get out as soon as possible ... 90 days / 60 days. Let the looming civil war work out the future of Iraq.
2) We could completely rebuild the country and bring it to a level of industrial output equal to any western europe.

I am not arguing for both of these items at the same time. If the choice was an
'Either/Or', I think Option 1 would be better.

If we were going to do Option 2, we would immediately have to increase troop strength to probably 500,000, plus fly in another 500,000 - 600,000 civil workers. We could probably spend somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 billion dollars a year to rebuild and reconstruct. Also we would be there for probably 30 to 40 years. We would install a client government (in the shape of a democracy).

I think both of these choices are better than our current policy ... but, that's why they don't hire me to do the job.

Mike
 

Cruentus

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michaeledward said:
I didn't copy your whole statement, but your talking about two separate arguments that I made.

So, your saying let an imminent Civil War sort things out? Perhaps you right, but that option still makes me queasy.

I am more or less also offering an option 3; help make them into an industrialized nation comparable to Europe, but with the help of the rest of the World so it's not all our 500K troops, our 500-600K civilian workers, and not all our money that will be used to get the job done.

I am just worried that option 1 will leave us even further behind in our relationship with the rest of the world; they no-likey us now, so they will REALLY no-likey us if we pulll out and leave the job "unfinished." :uhohh:
 

michaeledward

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PAUL said:
I am more or less also offering an option 3; help make them into an industrialized nation comparable to Europe, but with the help of the rest of the World so it's not all our 500K troops, our 500-600K civilian workers, and not all our money that will be used to get the job done.

I am just worried that option 1 will leave us even further behind in our relationship with the rest of the world; they no-likey us now, so they will REALLY no-likey us if we pulll out and leave the job "unfinished." :uhohh:
Certainly, going with your Option 3 makes the most sense. But the current administration has done everything it could to prevent others from wanting to help (which is foolish and sad, I think). It seems the NeoConservatives or the Project for a New American Century sold the idea that as the Worlds Only SuperPower, we don't need anyone else ... and we've gone out of our way to let them know .... from Kyoto forward.

I do think we aren't going to get anybody to contribute money or services until we can stabilize the fighting on the ground. This is going to require a major ramp up of our ground forces.

All of the Administration is sending signals to the Abizaid that he should ask for more troops ... they will be provided (I feel sorry for Germany, it's going to be a ghost town). One concern I have is, will the soldiers follow the orders. I think Rumsfeld told the Generals to win this fight with smaller troop numbers, and the Generals have been very good about toeing the company line. Here's hoping the read the signals clear enough and rapidly and dramatically increase the troop strength to provide some safety over there.

If the US chose to pull up stakes and walk away, I don't think we would suffer any harm that people and other countries would get more upset (sure we would be breaking international law, by abandoning an conquered country, but we already have broken international law by invading without cause). I can't imagine countries getting more mad at us ... they are already pretty wound up. I think the problem would be that it would enbolden the terrorist organizations.

It is just an ugly situation ... and it was predictable.

Good night all.
 
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So, I'm listening to NPR - "All things considered" - and I hear a report on the prevelence of soldiers who are REFUSING to go back to Iraq or to do their jobs while there.

Their reasons...

1. The deaths of civilians
2. The focus on oil

So, here we have people who are in Iraq. They are experiencing the reality of the situation and are not having to rely on second hand or third hand reports like we do here in the states. And they would rather face a court martial and prison time because civilians are dying and the focus of our efforts so far has been to secure oil production.

hmmmm

What about building schools and bridges and hospitols and such that we are hearing about? Why is there a discrepency in the stories? Can anyone guess...
 

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Its hard to build a school, fix a road, or run new powerlines when you may be shot by a sniper, or kidnapped. The lawlessness is a double edged sword. They yell about the lack of progress, yet they are part of the cause of the slow pace.

:(
 

Touch Of Death

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Kaith Rustaz said:
Its hard to build a school, fix a road, or run new powerlines when you may be shot by a sniper, or kidnapped. The lawlessness is a double edged sword. They yell about the lack of progress, yet they are part of the cause of the slow pace.

:(
I say we declare martial law. This was Saddams plan all along. Any voice against our protecting our guys for the sake of diplomacy is traitorous to say the least. We need to step up or get out. Good morning vietnam!
Sean (www.iemat.com)
 

loki09789

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upnorthkyosa said:
So, I'm listening to NPR - "All things considered" - and I hear a report on the prevelence of soldiers who are REFUSING to go back to Iraq or to do their jobs while there.

Their reasons...

1. The deaths of civilians
2. The focus on oil

So, here we have people who are in Iraq. They are experiencing the reality of the situation and are not having to rely on second hand or third hand reports like we do here in the states. And they would rather face a court martial and prison time because civilians are dying and the focus of our efforts so far has been to secure oil production.

hmmmm

What about building schools and bridges and hospitols and such that we are hearing about? Why is there a discrepency in the stories? Can anyone guess...

Much like your point about coming home to dissenting/protest for the cause, there will be those who do so in the service as well.

To paraphrase Clauswitz, to get men to go to battle the first time is easy. The hard part is to get them to go back after they have seen the white elephant (homage to Vietname era slang on seeing combat).

This generation of servicemen and women are of the same 'instant gratification' generation that we have all complained about in the past. They are, in the majority the most professionally trained and best equipt military force in the world, but they are not the most experienced. There will be those who say "that is enough, can't do it anymore." Even durin WWII, when troops were in for the duration, there were those who had enough and refuse to even go at all. I respect the earlier generation of vets, but I don't forget the fact that they are human beings - not the near demigods that history wants to turn them into. Read "The Nake and the Dead" or "The Thin Red Line" where vets, fictional but based on reality, are not all Band of Brothering along but complaining and in fighting. There are all types in any age.

Civilian casualties? Sure, the enemy is blending in and hiding in plain site, THEY are making the statistical possibility of civilian casualties higher than in a stand up fight.

Oil focus? Sure, the mid east oil is the Wall Street of the international oil market. The entire market prices is influenced by the stability/instability in that region. Also the crude oil is more than just gas for our cars. It is the raw material for so many industries that we really on for so many products and services. The 'blood for oil' simplification is a protest cry to minimize the importance of the oil issue. I don't see people boycotting driving cars, buying sneakers/workboots with soles made from petroleum based synthetics, refusing medical treatments that include petroleum based products, or refusing to by technology - including the game station stuff or computer stuff - that is made from petroleum based materials.

I do NOT fault these folks for speaking up and saying "I have had enough" but the emotional stress and disillusionment can cloud informative statements and ideas. Happens in every war. I wish everyone would come home from one - on both sides (0r all sides in this case) would say "that is enough" - but that doesn't look realistic with the track record of human civilization. Death is a part of life. Sad, but true. I think the scale and openness of this Conscientious Objection speaks more to the overburdening of Guard and Reserve units and the immaturity (meaning unseasoned, not childish) of our current forces.

I do agree that humanitarian efforts would go a long way in creating stability AND improve approval there and here. I just don't know, if things like contract employees and other civilians being kidnapped (going old school terror on that one) happening, if the stability level is there for it to be the focus now.
 

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The President states on June 17, 2004, about Saddam Hussein

President Bush said:
"He was a threat because he provided safe haven for a terrorist like al-Zarqawi, who is still killing innocents inside Iraq," Bush said, referring to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,
I really wish someone would tell the president that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was not granted safe haven by Saddam Hussein. Prior to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, al-Zarqawi was working with Ansar al-Islam, a terrorist organization working in the hills of Northern Iraq, under the protection of the US / Great Britain Northern Watch No Fly Zone. Ansar al-Islam and Saddam Hussein's government were at odds with each other throughout the period preceeding the US invasion.

What is worse than the president making this foolish statement, is the fact that CNN, in reporting his claim did not offer any information to the contrary. So much for the 'So-Called-Liberal-Media'.

Mike
 

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Today, the 'quote' from the president's statement yesterday is parsed in this manner:

CNN said:
President Bush, however, insisted Thursday that Saddam had "numerous contacts" with al-Qaida and said Iraqi agents had met with the terror network's leader, Osama bin Laden, in Sudan.

Saddam "was a threat because he had terrorist connections -- not only al-Qaida connections, but other connections to terrorist organizations," Bush said.
This sentence fragment preceeded the sentence fragment I include in the previous post.

President Bush said:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/06/images/20040617-3_hw8n3205copyjpg-515h.html I always said that Saddam Hussein was a threat. He was a threat because he had used weapons of mass destruction against his own people. He was a threat because he was a sworn enemy to the United States of America, just like al Qaeda. He was a threat because he had terrorist connections -- not only al Qaeda connections, but other connections to terrorist organizations; Abu Nidal was one. He was a threat because he provided safe-haven for a terrorist like Zarqawi, who is still killing innocent inside of Iraq.
The So-Called-Liberal-Media (sometimes referred to as the 'Communist News Network) is not including the complete quote, which is demonstrably false.

OK .. rant completed (for now) - Mike
 
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Putin today said that his intelligence had said Saddam was plotting terorist attacks against the US and its interests after 9/11 and this was passed on to President Bush.
 

michaeledward

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MisterMike said:
Putin today said that his intelligence had said Saddam was plotting terorist attacks against the US and its interests after 9/11 and this was passed on to President Bush.
Yes, I heard that. I am looking forward to a more clear statement concerning what information the Russian Security Agency might have had. Certainly, this could have a significant impact on the Adminstrations plans to invade Iraq. It is interesting to note that even with that knowledge, Russia continued to oppose the war in Iraq. I wonder if that says anything about the credibility of the intelligence.

I think back to the arguments Secretary of State Powell made before the United Nations, and I don't recall any of his arguments being supported by Russian intelligence. Of course, most of his claims were unsourced, so it is difficult to tell. Reviewing the arguments put forth by Powell, most (if not all) are still unproven.

Mike
 
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