"How we've won the war in Iraq"

Big Don

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The whole point of Iraq is to wage a perpetual war against a vague nebulous enemy entity that by definition can never be defeated. It's a glorious success.
Terrorism is the idea that if you scare the hell out of enough people the rest will meekly follow orders.
You know how you win against an idea like that? Make every terrorist death an object lesson. As much as I hate to, the 80's movie The Untouchables had it right: "They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue" Hell, even the unashamedly liberal West Wing had it right, there is no value in a proportional response. The only way to drive home the point that we, yeah, we the United States will not allow terrorism or terrorist to prosper is by brutally and systematically hunting down and killing terrorists. In Tom Clancy's book Rainbow Six, there is a truly great line, during a discussion on terrorist motives, a character says, "There is only one thing we need to know about terrorists: How to kill them." Their motives and thought processes are not important, the fact that they willingly target non-combatants is enough to warrant their deaths.
Sadly, the politicians haven't shown the stomach to do what needs to be done to rid the world of terrorism.
Sometimes we have to take steps, that we would rather not in order to accomplish something worthwhile. I know, its sad and oft times ugly, but, it is reality and the sooner more people face it, the sooner we can get the job done.
Had the US not dropped the Atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese troops would have fought on longer. The easiest way to stop violence is with overwhelming violence.
 

Marginal

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Terrorism is the idea that if you scare the hell out of enough people the rest will meekly follow orders.
No. Terrorism is like trolling. You poke a sensitive spot (potentially) and sit back and watch the fireworks that ensue. No matter how skeezy you are, you win by getting the other side to engage.

You know how you win against an idea like that?
Yes. Don't play the game they want you to play. Quietly ban the troll, (or set up a quick police action or sniper/bomb etc) don't try to shout them down on a message board/attempt to slaughter them wholesale in the world theater. in both cases, it doesn't work in practice.

Make every terrorist death an object lesson.

That's great if you're willing to wage a costly and lengthy war of attrition. You might be able to outlast the troll, but who really wins in such instances?

The only way to drive home the point that we, yeah, we the United States will not allow terrorism or terrorist to prosper is by brutally and systematically hunting down and killing terrorists.
By that reasoning, invading Iraq made no sense. Killing a dictator isn't killing a terrorist.

Sometimes we have to take steps, that we would rather not in order to accomplish something worthwhile.
Yep. That's why the terrorists tend to eventually get what they want. It's too hard to not act rashly. It's easy to throw rationality out the window. If you do, you've sunk the nation, but hey, it's hard so we usually don't do it.
 

Big Don

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By that reasoning, invading Iraq made no sense. Killing a dictator isn't killing a terrorist.
We did not kill Hussein. He was tried, convicted, and executed by Iraqis. However, since he did support terrorism, by giving $25000 to the families of suicide bombers, we would have been fully justified had we blown his head clean off.
 

Blotan Hunka

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Eh. Millions killed by a brutal regime, but so what? Invaded his neighbors in the 90's, death squads, flaunting cease fires, gassed his own population, but so what he was keeping the region under control, who are we to get involved?...how important is freedom from oppression anyway? Espically when the president responsible is a Republican. Best of American ideals.

Thank God our generation wasnt in charge during WWII.
 

OUMoose

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Terrorism is the idea that if you scare the hell out of enough people the rest will meekly follow orders.

Yeah! Good thing the fight against it isn't it's own version of terrorism!! Wait...

Blotan Hunka said:
Thank God our generation wasnt in charge during WWII.
Rock on!! Woohoo!! Dang sissies! We should have wiped Japan off the map!! Bomb them back to nothingness!! Drop some on China so they get the message too! And just in case the rest of europe didn't get the message, lets take out Italy while we're at it. They were kind of evil too! We're not imperialists, we're promoting demockracy! (yes, that was intentional)

/sarcasm off

Violence only begets more violence, and it's too bad more of the world can't realize that fact. I'm not saying there shouldn't be a response in a conflict, but the old "eye for an eye" thing doesn't cut it. I'm also not saying their ideals are right. Perhaps if we (as a people, not a country) could get to the root of why these folks insist on killing each other en masse as well as us, the violence would diminish.

I have to agree with Marginal here. The "war" on terror is a farce. You can't kill an idea. Ask our English friends about that when we got the idea to do our own thing.
 

Marginal

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Eh. Millions killed by a brutal regime, but so what? Invaded his neighbors in the 90's, death squads, flaunting cease fires, gassed his own population, but so what he was keeping the region under control, who are we to get involved?...how important is freedom from oppression anyway?
Not very apparently. We're just as happy to prop 'em up if they're useful to the US.
 

Touch Of Death

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Eh. Millions killed by a brutal regime, but so what? Invaded his neighbors in the 90's, death squads, flaunting cease fires, gassed his own population, but so what he was keeping the region under control, who are we to get involved?...how important is freedom from oppression anyway? Espically when the president responsible is a Republican. Best of American ideals.

Thank God our generation wasnt in charge during WWII.
You forget, we were involved in all of that too.
Sean
 

aedrasteia

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"Do you want to kill me?
Yes. But not today."


hey friends

watching and reading - thanks to all for the efforts.

in 1991 I tried to get more people interested in the US-Iraq-Iran triangle. Tried to get many people to be aware of the regimes in Ir and Ir and their cruelty. i'm one of those Amnesty international types... not much interest. Tried to explain Sunni-Shia-Sufi-Wahabbi-tried to explain what decades of horrific brutality does to people - an entire nation/region with PTSD. Tried to explain why I was marching to protest the invasion (which po'd people on the right) and also demanding that my liberal friends face the horror of Hussein and our support for him after the Iran revolution (po'd friends i marched with). Tried to get people to pay attention to the Kurds and their demand for their own country (watch what Turkey is doing). Tried to get people thinking about Lebanon and militias in the 80s and 90s.

Anybody here remember WHY the 241 American troops (mostly Marines) killed in Beruit Oct. 1983 bombing by Hezbollah/Iran ... were there to begin with? Please post what you actually remember first, before doing a search. Reagan made no significant response, moved all US troops offshore in December, withdrew all back to the US by Feb 1984. But why were they there? Guess about the message received in Iran after the withdrawl. what happened in Lebanon later?

the voting/general public has zero understanding of the most basic information about this region and the memory span of my Lab retreiver mix. And 5 years, trillions of $$, 3,800+ american dead, thousands of horribly wounded - plus carnage among the Iraquis... and only now it seems people are dimly, slightly aware of a reality there that we know close nothing about. and comprehend less.

who is the most revered Iraqui poet? Iranian? why is each beloved? where is each buried? are they sunni? shia? if you walk up to someone on the street in Iran and quote one in Farsii will it matter? why would it be important to know?

working out in Iraq? ok. maybe. but i just couldn't let this go by.

here's a POV from the british conservative journal The Economist. Not a bunch of 'hate Bush wimps'. the article that started this thread slides over so much.


I want to kill you, but not today; Iraq.(Americans co-operating with former Sunni insurgents in Iraq).
Source:The Economist (US) 385.8549 (Oct 6, 2007):
(emphasis/bold added by me)

Will American co-operation with former insurgents last?

"QAEM has no room for terrorists," read the billboards on the desert road to this remote town in Iraq's far north-west, near the Syrian border. In a dusty grid of houses beside a strip of farmland along the Euphrates valley, parents escort their children to school and people go shopping under the watchful eyes of American troops and Iraqi police. Peace, for the moment, prevails. It was very different two years ago. The Americans hail it as a fine example of progress at last.

Qaem was one of the first areas in Iraq to be overrun by a network proclaiming an allegiance to al-Qaeda--and one of the first to throw it out. Starting in 2005, militias run by the powerful Albu Mahal tribe teamed up with the Americans in a series of offensives that has turned a former al-Qaeda stronghold into one of the safer Sunni Arab areas in Iraq. Such "tribal awakenings" are now at the heart of American strategy. The idea is to isolate al-Qaeda and similar groups by building local alliances from the bottom up, rather than wait for the politicians in Baghdad to work out a national reconciliation plan.

But the Shia rulers in Baghdad feel threatened. As the model spreads across Iraq, they fear that creating new militias in a country already swamped with them is a recipe for civil war. This week they denounced the policy for "authorising groups to conduct security outside the government's knowledge and jurisdiction" and for "embracing terrorist elements".

In the past few months, the movement has spread from its cradle in Anbar province, west of Baghdad, to other Sunni parts of the country. In the farm belt south of Baghdad, the Americans have enlisted 14,000 "concerned citizens" into "neighbourhood watch" programmes to spot infiltration by extremists. In Diyala province, north-east of Baghdad, some members of one of the biggest Sunni insurgent groups, the 1920 Revolution Brigades, now accompany the Americans as guides on patrols and point out al-Qaeda safe houses.

In some cases the Americans have sponsored alliances against al-Qaeda, providing ammunition and security co-ordination, and arranging contracts for tribal leaders to put their men on the payroll. Al-Qaeda has fought back, notably by assassinating a leading Sunni sheikh, Abd al-Sattar Abu Risha, who led the movement from Anbar's capital, Ramadi. But that has not badly disrupted the process.

The "awakenings" probably account for the sharp drop in violence in Anbar, where nine Americans died last month, against 26 in September last year. They may also have reduced violence nationwide, measured by American and independent monitors. The civilian death toll last month was half what it was in August.

Most Iraqi Sunni Arabs still hate the foreign occupier but many seem to have decided that al-Qaeda is a greater evil. They particularly dislike al-Qaeda's penchant for setting off huge car-bombs in populated areas; the assassinations of Iraqis who join the police or rival insurgent groups; and the imposition of a puritan version of Muslim law that sometimes, according to some reports, involves chopping off the two fingers with which smokers held their cigarettes. Some also criticise al-Qaeda attacks on Shia civilian targets, especially because they have provoked deadly reprisals by Shia militias.

But tribal leaders' motives have also been questioned. In Qaem, some claim the Albu Mahal turned against al-Qaeda partly because it had helped a weaker tribe tip the balance of power in the area. Others say that Abu Risha was a devious former highway robber who simply found a new source of income by teaming up with the Americans. In many areas where a tribal awakening is proclaimed, rows have erupted over who is a clan's true representative and who a "fake sheikh".

More ominously, the Americans are accused of organising forces which may later turn their guns against the Iraqi government. Several Shia leaders worry that the Americans are too naive to distinguish between sincere foes of al-Qaeda and others who have co-operated with it in the past and may do so again. And al-Qaeda may have infiltrated some of the new outfits. It is rumoured, for instance, that Abu Risha was betrayed by one of his bodyguards.

In northern Iraq's Nineveh province around Mosul, Kurdish leaders are particularly worried by reports that the Americans may arm the Shammar, a Sunni tribe that controls a remote stretch of the border with Syria. Some American troops have misgivings, too, about arming people who may have killed their comrades.

An American soldier's blog records a telling conversation with a 1920 Revolution fighter. "Do you want to kill me?" asked the soldier. "Yes," replied the former insurgent, without emotion. "But not today."
 

michaeledward

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Amazing.

Al Qaeda in Iraq was never al Qaeda. They Stole the name as a marketing technique. For a time, it was effective. Now it is not effective. So they have stopped.

To think that because 'al Qaeda in Iraq' is disappearing (or has disappeared), there is going to be peace, love and understanding in Iraq is naive.

The war is going to have a total cost of 2.4 TRILLION Dollars. By this time next year, we are going to have spent more than 1 million dollars per soldier in Iraq.

This war has crippled this country in ways we can not even imagine.

And, some are still cheer leading; those 24%ers.
 
OP
CoryKS

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I rarely click "View Post" on you, mike. But it's usually entertaining when I do.
 

michaeledward

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A Colonel Harry Summers was negotiating with a Vietnamese counterpart.

Col. Summers, "You know, you never defeated us on the battlefield."
Mr. Tu, "That may be so, but it is also irrelevant."

It appears to me that what is relevant has been overlooked for the past seven years.
 

Marginal

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It's also interesting to note that all these dictators that the US is supposedly propping up are using Russian materiel. Which would make sense if the stuff actually worked, but... well, let's just say that I hope Iraq kept the receipt for those night vision goggles and radar jammers. Oh, and Syria might want to have a word with them about their anti-aircraft systems too.
I must be a lousy liberal pundit. I figured Iraq was selected as a target more of a feel good "Look, we're doin' somethin!" easy win. They'd push over iraq with little effort, say "See how easy that was?" Then they'd push on to their next target.

Then all the navel gazing hit reality and that fragile, precious neo-con dream shattered to flinders.

Shame the administration needed to compromise national security in order to receive that wake up call.
 

michaeledward

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I must be a lousy liberal pundit. I figured Iraq was selected as a target more of a feel good "Look, we're doin' somethin!" easy win. They'd push over iraq with little effort, say "See how easy that was?" Then they'd push on to their next target.

Then all the navel gazing hit reality and that fragile, precious neo-con dream shattered to flinders.

Shame the administration needed to compromise national security in order to receive that wake up call.

The true tragedy is that the Administration has not yet received the wake up call. This could be evidenced by the Vice President sleeping through the cabinent meeting yesterday. And it can also be evidenced by the drum beat for Iran.

I can not help but be reminded of the question I asked of one of my Senators five years ago.

I believe we must ask not just What to Change, but also What to Change to

And, as I look back on it ...

http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showpost.php?p=220858&postcount=1

... I really nailed it, didn't I?

At what point does pre-emptive self-defense simply become the actions of an aggressor nation.

How can we remain the Good Guys, when attacking people, within the borders of their country, without their request?

(Blackwater, anyone?)



As I said, it seems we have missed what is 'relevant'.
 

RandomPhantom700

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The article presented in the original post simply argues that the situation in Iraq has, for the most part, been a success. Personally, I think it's a narrowly-tailored article, which should discuss one interesting point in this thread: whether this success will remain once Coalition forces can (God willing) leave Iraq to its own devices.

However, easily half of this thread has devolved into partisan bickering and ad hominems. Not surprising. It's true that "success" in Iraq depends on how one is measuring success, but is saying things like "I rarely click "View Post" on you, mike. But it's usually entertaining when I do" or "Thank God this generation wasn't in charge of WWII" really necessary?

The topic is whether the progress in Iraq can be called a success. Hate to play forum police, but personal references aren't really needed for that discussion.
 
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