Troops say U.S. should leave Iraq, poll shows

Bigshadow

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mrhnau said:
I would love to see them home, but I'd like them to com ehome after the region has stabalized and there is a working government that no longer needs us. Pulling out prematurely could potentially be disasterous.
To be honest, I am beginning to believe that no matter when we leave or how well we leave them, they WILL go back to the same society they have always had. It will happen. Just as it happens all over the world where we help and then leave. There is a country that we helped three times during the 20th century and spent billions doing it and each time they go back to the way they were before. It is human nature.
 

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Bigshadow said:
To be honest, I am beginning to believe that no matter when we leave or how well we leave them, they WILL go back to the same society they have always had. It will happen. Just as it happens all over the world where we help and then leave. There is a country that we helped three times during the 20th century and spent billions doing it and each time they go back to the way they were before. It is human nature.

Good points. Regime change starts at home. The people of Iraq need to decide what they want in a government. Going along with any government that a foreign occupying force sets up will only last as long as that foreign force sticks around and keeps pointing guns at people.

Leaving it to the people of Iraq will probably mean civil war, but it is at least a civil war that they choose rather than one forced on them by a foreign occupier.

There is probably a good chance that whatever would get set up over there after our presence is gone is something that our government would not be happy with. We claim to promote "democracy", but it has to be a democracy that we approve of or else it doesn't count. Our government can be very hypocritical about this kind of thing.
 

Makalakumu

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Flying Crane said:
There is probably a good chance that whatever would get set up over there after our presence is gone is something that our government would not be happy with. We claim to promote "democracy", but it has to be a democracy that we approve of or else it doesn't count. Our government can be very hypocritical about this kind of thing.

Is this what it has come down too? The Iraqis very likely are going to starting voting with bullets? What an absolutely nightmare!

As a related aside, do a search on Francis Fukuyama. He was a signatory of PNAC and he has abandoned ship on the neocons. I really liked his interview on NPR the other day...I'll see if I can find anything in print about his new positions.
 

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I heard excerpts from an article written a few days ago by a retired military officer turned journalist on what he is seeing in Iraq now, it paints a differrent picture of the progress that has been made than I am getting from the major media outlets (at least the ones to which I listen). I'm looking for the text, I'll post a link when I find it.

A similar story by Max Boot is available on www.LATimes.com
 

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upnorthkyosa said:
Is this what it has come down too? The Iraqis very likely are going to starting voting with bullets? What an absolutely nightmare!

As a related aside, do a search on Francis Fukuyama. He was a signatory of PNAC and he has abandoned ship on the neocons. I really liked his interview on NPR the other day...I'll see if I can find anything in print about his new positions.

Nightmare, yes, but I believe we have created a situation of chaos over there that will get worse before it gets better. We try to create stability and help them build a government, but I really believe that whatever we build will crumble very soon after we leave. We came in shooting, then told them to start voting while we continued to point guns at everyone, so of course whatever is set up under these circumstances and under our guidance won't last once we leave. The people over there won't accept it for very long, because it was not really of their own making. It was a situation created by foreign occupiers and their only choice was to go along with it in hopes of something better, or wallow in the chaos. So far not much better seems to be coming out of it, so they just might elect to try more chaos for a while until they sort out their own differences.

I am not saying that I want Saddam back in power over there, but I believe that thinking we could march into the country and shoot the place up and take him out of power and then tell them how to run their own show and they would welcome us in as heros and saviors was just incredibly naive, but this is what people like Rumsfeld in the early days were saying would happen. I have no military experience in my own life, but even I could see the foolishness in this notion, and now they are surprised at how tough it is to get things going over there and how much resistance they encounter.

It's going to get worse before it gets better, and it could take generations before it gets better.
 

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Mark L said:
http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/64407.htm

This guy is in Iraq, his observations don't equate with the chaotic, on the verge of civil war portrayal that is popular of late.

It makes you wonder why all the other reporters on the ground in Iraq are not making the same statements?

http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2006/01/reporting_from_iraq.html

Two years into this conflict, coverage has been substantially reduced by all Western media. Some of that is the natural falloff of any long-running story. Except for stories about American soldiers, Americans seem weary of Iraq: of the sameness in the daily compilations of violence, the lack of military progress, the slow pace of political change, the sense of American failure. Theyve heard enough of the grim vicissitudes of life for Iraqis or the hundred and one ways the U.S. enterprise has failed to achieve its promised goals. They say they want more good stories from Iraq . But for reporters on the ground, its the danger involved that is shrinking coverage. Wed all love to file a broader range of stories. Not surprisingly in that environment, more organizations and more correspondents are deciding the risk is not worth it.
 

Makalakumu

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Mark L said:
http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/64407.htm

This guy is in Iraq, his observations don't equate with the chaotic, on the verge of civil war portrayal that is popular of late.

This question may sound cynical, but I am asking sincerely. Could material like this be propaganda?

The reason I ask this is because it read exactly like the "Progress for America" commercials that have appeared on TV in MN lately. Progress for America is a special interest group that supports the PNAC neocon agenda and they have a lot of money to produce material like this. They plainly state that they do it in order to influence public opinion.

Is it unreasonable to think that the Pentagon would have a division in it that would try to cast the best light possible the things the organization undertakes?

FWIW

upnorthkyosa
 

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Flying Crane said:
Nightmare, yes, but I believe we have created a situation of chaos over there that will get worse before it gets better. We try to create stability and help them build a government, but I really believe that whatever we build will crumble very soon after we leave. We came in shooting, then told them to start voting while we continued to point guns at everyone, so of course whatever is set up under these circumstances and under our guidance won't last once we leave. The people over there won't accept it for very long, because it was not really of their own making. It was a situation created by foreign occupiers and their only choice was to go along with it in hopes of something better, or wallow in the chaos. So far not much better seems to be coming out of it, so they just might elect to try more chaos for a while until they sort out their own differences.
All these things you believe, but that doesn't mean they will come to pass. I hear lots about how terrible things are, then I read the NY Post piece and others like it, and wonder what the truth is. Regardless of whether we think we were right to go to Iraq, we are in the middle of the situation, not the end. Predictions are easy to make, but they are only predictions. We will know the outcome when we know, not before.

It's going to get worse before it gets better, and it could take generations before it gets better.
I not trying to antagonize you, but this is pure speculation. You can't say this with any more certainty than I can say the opposite.
 

Makalakumu

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Mark L said:
I not trying to antagonize you, but this is pure speculation. You can't say this with any more certainty than I can say the opposite.

For the sake of those who are over there, we can only hope the predictions will turn out to be untrue. For the meantime, we need to be realistic. If this gets ugly, we need to exert some political pressure and get our folks out of there. Nobody wants to see another "Custer" because "America Won't Run From the Terrorists" neither do we want to leave before we've given it our best shot at cleaning up the mess.

More and more, this is sounding like a lose/lose situation...
 

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michaeledward said:
It makes you wonder why all the other reporters on the ground in Iraq are not making the same statements?

http://www.motherjones.com/commentary/columns/2006/01/reporting_from_iraq.html
The article recalls events in April 2005 and March 2004, do you believe the situation is so static that these conditions prevail today? Is it your contention that 'all the other reporters' rebut Mr. Peters statements? You are making a generalization that I don't think you can substantiate, unless you have access to 'all of the reporters' in Iraq.
 

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upnorthkyosa said:
This question may sound cynical, but I am asking sincerely. Could material like this be propaganda?
Of course it could, but so could that being offered by the mainstream media. I truly do not know what to believe, not having been to Iraq. I simply don't trust the media to report the facts, and only the facts.
 

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Mark L said:
All these things you believe, but that doesn't mean they will come to pass. I hear lots about how terrible things are, then I read the NY Post piece and others like it, and wonder what the truth is. Regardless of whether we think we were right to go to Iraq, we are in the middle of the situation, not the end. Predictions are easy to make, but they are only predictions. We will know the outcome when we know, not before.

I not trying to antagonize you, but this is pure speculation. You can't say this with any more certainty than I can say the opposite.

yes, you are correct. This is my own speculation based on what has happened so far, and based on what seems to me to be the logical outcome. We will see what happens over time and then we will know for sure.

a dialog often includes disagreement. When disagreement is articulated respectfully then we can all consider the other side of the coin with a level head. Makes for good discussion.
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Flying Crane

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upnorthkyosa said:
This question may sound cynical, but I am asking sincerely. Could material like this be propaganda?

Is it unreasonable to think that the Pentagon would have a division in it that would try to cast the best light possible the things the organization undertakes?

upnorthkyosa

I personally think this is a possibility. Do I know for sure? of course not. But it would not surprise me.
 

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Mark L said:
The article recalls events in April 2005 and March 2004, do you believe the situation is so static that these conditions prevail today? Is it your contention that 'all the other reporters' rebut Mr. Peters statements? You are making a generalization that I don't think you can substantiate, unless you have access to 'all of the reporters' in Iraq.

Yes, there has been such a dramatic improvement in the last last 10 months. Certainly the situation is not static. The Shia have power, and now they are going to make the Sunni pay for the abuse they suffered for the past 80 years.

But, you are correct, I have not queried each and every reporter in Iraq. One reason for that is a number of news organizations are closing their Iraq bureaus; because they can't go outside the Green Zone. But, that is only in the news reports I hear. Don't worry though, the military is paying Iraqi's to print favorable stories. So those we should trust are the unvarnished truth.

Even the military does not go out of their fortified cities. During the recent incidents, the American commanders were keeping the American soldiers out of sight, so as to not create any higher tensions.

Add to that the military's quarterly report showing the number of Iraqi divisions able to operate without American support has gone from one last fall, to zero now.

Yeah, things are looking up all over.
 

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michaeledward said:
Don't worry though, the military is paying Iraqi's to print favorable stories.

Actually, I think I did hear this recently, but I don't remember where...
 

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Flying Crane said:
Actually, I think I did hear this recently, but I don't remember where...

http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/13295806.htm

U.S. military pays Iraqis for positive news stories on war

By Jonathan S. Landay

Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Army officers have been secretly paying Iraqi journalists to produce upbeat newspaper, radio and television reports about American military operations and the conduct of the war in Iraq.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-01-06-williams-whitehouse_x.htm

Education Dept. paid commentator to promote law
By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY
Seeking to build support among black families for its education reform law, the Bush administration paid a prominent black pundit $240,000 to promote the law on his nationally syndicated television show and to urge other black journalists to do the same.

Now, the New York Post is a Newscorp product, owned by Rupert Murdoch, so we know the company is fair and balanced, and his reporters would never take payola from the Federal Government (Ralph Peters). And, Newscorp reporters are hard hitting journalists, like Sean Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly.

Of course, that Mr. Peters does not disclose he is a retired Army Lt. Colonel, so there is no hidden agenda there. I mean, we all knew the guy telling us that downtown Baghdad has become Seasame Street was a military guy, right?
 

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mrhnau said:
I would love to see them home, but I'd like them to com ehome after the region has stabalized and there is a working government that no longer needs us. Pulling out prematurely could potentially be disasterous. As long as they want us there (they are free to request us to leave, but I'm sure that would be debated) and we see a clear need to stay, I can't see us doing a complete withdrawl. I think its going to be a gradual thing. The more capable they are of defending themselves or policing their own people, the less troops we need over there. Sadly, the recent bombings demonstrate that they have a ways to go...

If the situation gives over to civil war, there's no excuse to stay. The effort at that point, has failed.
 

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Marginal said:
If the situation gives over to civil war, there's no excuse to stay. The effort at that point, has failed.

agreed... I think they are trying hard to prevent it, but in my personal opinion, thats how its going to end up... at least two countries, likely three coming out in the end. Either that, or one sect completely obliterated, either dying or a s refuges in a friendly country.

democracies can work, but only if the people want them too... countries in that region such as Israel or Turkey are examples that it is possible... just need the people to be willing and leaders to step up to curb the ridiculous violence...
 

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michaeledward said:
http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/13295806.htm
Of course, that Mr. Peters does not disclose he is a retired Army Lt. Colonel, so there is no hidden agenda there. I mean, we all knew the guy telling us that downtown Baghdad has become Seasame Street was a military guy, right?
Check post #24 on this thread, I indicated I'd post a link to an article by a retired military guy. FYI, I trust retired career officers opinions on conflict conditions substantially more than those hard hitting, only the facts, no liberal bias guys from the NY Times and Boston Globe.
 
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