Just how fast are things going in Iraq?

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starbug
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Post by starbug » Sep 25th 2003, 6:22 am

mglenn wrote: I say that that’s not just one reason its many many reasons.
This is my whole objection. In the UK, we were told we were going to war for one reason and one reason only: that Saddam had WMDs, that he posed a threat to our nation. IF there had been a justification based around human rights and freeing the Iraqi people at the time, I might have been more supportive. If there were many many reasons put forward, I might have even agreed with going to war. But there weren't. My problem isn't the fact that we have 'freed' the Iraqi people, it's that we were conned into going into war in the first place.
mglenn wrote:clear evidence and historical president that Saddam had and was trying to get more WMD’s.
.
I have yet to see any.
mglenn wrote:
starbug wrote:What I don't agree with is the fact that you can say 'well it took years in the case of WW2 and therefore it's fine if it takes just as long in Iraq.'
It hasn’t been five months though? And we’ve done more than we did almost 4 times as long in Germany. No one is saying it will take 7 years. But it will take time and also remember that at the end of those 7 years Germany what not what it is today. If in a year or two years we are still in the same boat, then ok… but five months is a bit short to start saying it’s a failure.
I take your point. I just think that given the amount of time we built up to, and debated, going to war, the post-war reconstruction should have been more thought through. Even GW is now admitting it has been far more costly than he ever thought it would be.
mglenn wrote: First off I was not trying to be offensive to those that resisted the Germans attacks and occupation. They risked their lives for their beliefs and I honor them for it. “You’ may not have given the Germans what they took, but the governments of the time did nothing to stop Hitler until May of 1940 when he took over what was left of Europe and the last that was standing in his way of having a direct route to England. The point being that you cannot appease a mad man, you should not allow evil to grow. If England and France had address the issue in the late 20’s and early 30’s we may have been able to avoid war in Europe, although that’s not certain. But it is certain that it gained nothing to allow him to continue with his plans.

Many Americans remember this lesson and do not wish to relearn it with Saddam. We would rather see 300 die now than to risk what could happen if we did nothing.
I realise you weren't trying to be offensive. It's just that it sounded like you thought that the people in the nations sat back and allowed hitler to march all over europe unopposed.
mglenn wrote:America did not do it alone, but without our industrial and military power things would not have worked out as they did. And to infer that Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and other US military leaders were not instrumental in the victory over Germany is to me a bit offensive.
I wasn't inferring that the US contribution wasn't vitally important. But it is true that US involvement hung back until you were directly attacked. Until that point and had it not happened, we would have been on our own and the result wasn't certain by any means. However, it isn't true to infer that the rest of Europe did nothing and waited for the US to come in and bail it out, and that was how I read your comments. On re-reading, I can see that isn't what you meant. It's just that this is a sensitive issue in europe and it isn't helped by the Hollywood 'interpretation' of the USA saving the poor unfortunate backwards countries of europe from a fate worse than death. Particularly I am talking of Tom Cruise's new film about the Battle of Britain where he single-handedly saves British pilots in the Battle of Britain. This has been widely reported over here (sadly I can't remember the name of the film) and people are getting a little uptight about it. Including me. Sorry, you know I didn't mean to offend :)
mglenn wrote: The US is not trying to exercise a “make the world England” policy here. These military dictatorships do not promote the creation of wealth and prosperity.

“If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose... the fact that they were the people who created the phrase "to make money." No other language or nation had ever used these words before... Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created.” – Ayn Rand
I am simply worried about where the line will be drawn. I think the USA is embarking on a fairly dangerous international policy of trying to make the world like the USA. I personally think there are both good and bad things about the USA, as there are about the UK. However, many nations don't feel the same, and don't want your interference, particularly those in the middle and far east.
mglenn wrote: So I ask you do you have to worry now about an attack with a WMD from Iraq any longer?
.
I can honestly honestly say that I was never worried about it in the first place. I am more worried about being stabbed, mugged or raped by someone living in my own city. Frankly, I was more worried about what I would be having for dinner in the evening. As I say, I might have been convinced on the issue of going to war for human rights. I was never convinced on the issue of going to war for WMDs, and that was because I didn't see them as a threat to me. Which is how it was painted by our government.

Just out of interest, have you heard about the suicide of Dr. David Kelly? It's big news over here and Mr. Bleugh has been called up infront of an enquiry about it, as have the BBC, and several high-up members of the cabinet. Dr. Kelly was a WMDs expert in the MOD. He was the source of a report by the BBC that the Government deliberately played up the threat of WMDs, saying that the claim they could be launched within 45 mins was false. Anyway, check it out... it's quite interesting.
mglenn wrote: I read the first two stories, the third required a subscription for me to read (maybe you could email me the text or post it here)
that's weird. I tried to post the text here but it won't cut and paste for some reason... if you want I can email it to you (I've managed to lift it into a word document). PM me your email address and I'll do it.
mglenn wrote:
starbug wrote: Now he's suddenly not an immediate threat, but merely a potential threat in the future?


In case I didn’t make it clear that it is my belief that we did not invade Iraq for a single reason but a multitude of them.
I understand. What I'm saying is that my government went forward on the single issue. When they realised people weren't impressed and after it was already too late they pulled other reasons out of the hat. My point is that the real reason we went was to find WMDs. There are clearly other justifications but they weren't produced at the time.

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lance
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iraq & spin

Post by lance » Oct 22nd 2003, 9:51 am

From NPR's Morning Edition (10/22/03), two reports said

Administration officals are restricting reporters access in Iraq, Dover AFB and Ramstein AFB.

At Dover AFB & Ramstein AFB officals are not allowing reporters to film coffins coming off transport plans. According to this report, legally the Administration can do this. In past Administrations this rule was not enforced. When bodies came home from the Balkans Clinton Administratin officals were there to meet them, ceremonies were held. This is apparently not happening with the current Administration.

Interestingly former General Hugh Shelton (former Joint Chefs and now avid, some say rabid, Clark critic) said the test of a popular war is whether the public can stand the sight of coffins arriving at Dover. The Administration is making certain the public won't have to pass this test.

In Iraq reporters are not allowed to see Iraqi officals without Administration approval. If reporters arrive at scene of Iraqi resistance attack, reporters are detained and film is confiscated.

The report said the the Pentagon is under reporting the number of wounded soliders in Iraq. If an attack occurs were soliders are killed, wounded will be reported as part of that attack. However, many incidents of attacks were soliders are wounded but not killed are not reported or vague figures reported.

I guess the Bush Administration is trying to control the flow of bad news from Iraq, must be an election soon.

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Post by andrewgd » Oct 22nd 2003, 3:10 pm

This stuff is so vile and disgusting. Can we PLEASE have a new president now? We have an administration that chastises soldiers for speaking to media about how badly its going, but when a general makes a speach saying this war is about our god versus their god (directly contrasting what his commander in chief has said) he MIGHT get a slap on the wrist?

And how about this little tidbit in the New Yorker:
http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact
By early March, 2002, a former White House official told me, it was understood by many in the White House that the President had decided, in his own mind, to go to war. The undeclared decision had a devastating impact on the continuing struggle against terrorism. The Bush Administration took many intelligence operations that had been aimed at Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups around the world and redirected them to the Persian Gulf. Linguists and special operatives were abruptly reassigned, and several ongoing anti-terrorism intelligence programs were curtailed.
This administration had the chance to eradicate Al Qaeda and its Taliban benefactors after the initial Afghanistan victory, yet negligently pulled our assets from the hunt to go after an impotent Iraq.

This administration, rather than make us safer, has actually done a poor job in eliminating our real threats.

And Rumsfeld agrees with that assessment.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2003/10/22/91419/456

Ok, done with my rant for now...
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Post by Hunee » Oct 22nd 2003, 8:48 pm

The choices that the president makes are his choices alone... I am not defending his choices but untill we can actually be there and know what it feels like to deal with the most tragic day in american history and be judged every single second of every single minute of every single day we cant know what bush is thinking or what is going on in his mind... I dont have the right to say how I feel about the basis of this "war" because everyday I am reminded of september 11th... everyday I am reminded of the soldiers who are fighting and dying for me to live... for america to live... I remember I was telling my mother how I felt about the peace protesters this year and she told me stories from back in the 60's that made me want to throw up... they spit in the soldiers faces and called them murders... they would attack them and call them scum for wearing there uniforms in this country... I could never imagine ever doing that to any soldier... I think they deserve respect and should be treated with nothing but that... it is their choice to be there... to be doing what they do even if they dont agree with it they choose to be there and for soldiers to fight and die for this country... its honorable...
so make the best of this test, and dont ask why
its not a question, but a lesson learned in time its something unpredictable, but in the end is right i hope you had the time of your life

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Post by andrewgd » Oct 22nd 2003, 9:10 pm

Hunee wrote:I dont have the right to say how I feel about the basis of this "war" because everyday I am reminded of september 11th...
You DO know that Iraq has NOTHING to do with 9/11 right? NOTHING. The president HIMSELF has stated that.

A handful of Vietnam soldiers were scum and murderers. Of course this doesn't give the protesters rights to take that out on other soldiers, but it certainly gives them the right to be upset. Another note is that many of them never had the right to object to the war, they were forced to fight.

I believe it is our obligation to question and make sure the President and his officials are acting how they should for the sake of Americans, and mandkind.

Oh, and welcome to the political forum! :D I, for one, welcome hearing everyone's viewpoint. And even though I may strongly disagree with people's viewpoints, I don't think people are bad for thinking or stating them. ;) At least those smart enough to like MSCL. :P
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Post by Hunee » Oct 22nd 2003, 9:18 pm

Ooh I hear what you are saying... some people can get really bent out of shape just because of how a person feels and when they express it it is like watch out!!! but the reason I mentioned september 11th and I know it has nothing to do with what is going on now its just that alot of the soldiers who joined the military and who are fighting in iraq did so after september eleventh including one of my best friends who is one of the bravest people I know and when he died he died for me to live... he joined for me to live and for that I will always be greatful to him and all military... every person has a right to express how they feel and everyone has the right to be heard but sometimes you hear certain things and you read certain things and you cant help but to cry... i cant help but to cry... I was very closed off to the world when september 11th happend and when my eyes were opened it was a very terrifying experience... I just dont understand sometimes why anyone has to hurt anyone else for who they are and where they come from or hate them for certain reasons... its just not fair
so make the best of this test, and dont ask why
its not a question, but a lesson learned in time its something unpredictable, but in the end is right i hope you had the time of your life

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Post by andrewgd » Oct 22nd 2003, 9:34 pm

Hunee wrote:its just not fair
You're very right. I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I've been lucky not to have known anyone who's lost their life during the last few years of violence. I think any soldier in Iraq or elsewhere right now is very brave, and I commend them for doing something I would never dream of being able to do myself.

I think thats one reason why I (and many others) get very upset. We see a war that was never really necessary. It could have been done with more international forces, not just Americans. We see a president who hyped the reasons for war, and is now backtracking and telling us different reasons why we're in Iraq. We see Rumsfeld telling the media that the bad news is what is getting Americans killed.

Many people see lots of ways that things could and can be done better, and less "Gung-ho, With us or against us, Bring'em on" cowboy mentality that is getting the world upset with us, and Americans killed.
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Post by Hunee » Oct 22nd 2003, 9:42 pm

Ooh I totally agree!!! there was no justification for this war and for bush to spend or even ask for the billions of dollars he did was just wrong!!! The money should not have been spent to start war because then they would not need more money to fix war!!! this country has far to many problems that we need fixed but instead bush is creating bull shhh statements and lying just so he can get the satisfaction of knowing sadam is dead... he put a billion dollar price tag on his head and we lost thousands of innocent people in the process... and so did Iraq... he should have worried about america first before creating a problem and then fixing it... BTW thank you for your sentiments... it means alot...
so make the best of this test, and dont ask why
its not a question, but a lesson learned in time its something unpredictable, but in the end is right i hope you had the time of your life

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Post by lance » Oct 23rd 2003, 2:02 pm

andrewgd wrote:
Hunee wrote:its just not fair
You're very right. I'm sorry to hear about your friend. I've been lucky not to have known anyone who's lost their life during the last few years of violence. I think any soldier in Iraq or elsewhere right now is very brave, and I commend them for doing something I would never dream of being able to do myself.

I think thats one reason why I (and many others) get very upset. We see a war that was never really necessary. It could have been done with more international forces, not just Americans. We see a president who hyped the reasons for war, and is now backtracking and telling us different reasons why we're in Iraq. We see Rumsfeld telling the media that the bad news is what is getting Americans killed.

Many people see lots of ways that things could and can be done better, and less "Gung-ho, With us or against us, Bring'em on" cowboy mentality that is getting the world upset with us, and Americans killed.
Hunee,

Big ditto, sorry to hear about your friend and of course, welcome to the wild, wacky political forum.

I have been fortunate so far, my brother got out of the Army in May 2000. My cousin-in-law is a Marine currently serving in Japan. My other brother just entered Air Force ROTC this year. So far I and my family have been lucky. I don't trust this luck to last, especially if Bush is re-elected (or just elected depending on your view of the 2000 debacle) and serves another 4 years. That this madness might drag on for 2, 4, 5, possibly decades is an extremely sobering thought.

No big surprise, I agree with andrewgd, the administration's foreign policy objectives have been misplaced. They should have kept the focus on Al Queda instead of going after Iraq. All of this should be kept in mind as we approach the 2004 election.

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Post by lance » Oct 23rd 2003, 3:15 pm

Rumsfeld.

I just read a headline from the Cincinnati Post announcing that "Rumsfeld expresses doubts about war in Iraq"

:roll:

Now he tells us.

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Post by Hunee » Oct 23rd 2003, 7:18 pm

lance thanks for the welcome :wink: I usually dont like to speak about politics with anyone because it just leads to nonstop arguing and trying to push a person to believe in what you say and nothing else... I read the posts here and I feel safe enough to discuss politics... dont you just dread that word?? LOL but anyway thanks for your sentiments as well... I cant tell you how much it means to me... I know having family and friends in the military is so hard... sometimes to hard to bare and I think if you just believe everything will turn out fine... If there were only words I could say that could justify for the reasons of why my friend is not alive then I would but I just cant... what seems to get me mad the most is when people just forget sometimes... they forget about the military and forget what is even going on in this world... I want you to know your family is in my prayers along with every single soldier... it just doesnt seem fair... BTW i would be all for a new president as long as there would be a new republican and democrat!!! both parties suck!!!
Last edited by Hunee on Oct 24th 2003, 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
so make the best of this test, and dont ask why
its not a question, but a lesson learned in time its something unpredictable, but in the end is right i hope you had the time of your life

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Post by andrewgd » Oct 24th 2003, 12:06 am

I found this in the comments in a MeFi thread. Found it pretty interesting (my emphasis):
http://www.metafilter.com/mefi/29136#573575

Since when are dead US soldiers the only issue anyway? Let's talk about the number of US soldiers who have died as a result of Bush's war on terror. I put that number at around 435.

Don't forget to honor the approximately 2000 severely wounded, many with brain trauma, broken bodies and useless limbs. Our ability to save soldiers from bleeding to death or from infection has advanced considerably since Vietnam, but that also means that more soldiers than ever before will have to live the rest of their lives with the most severe injuries imaginable.

Feel free to add the deaths of our coalition partners. Another 51 British killed in Iraq, the Canadians we accidentally bombed in Afghanistan, the Kurds, the Spanish, etc. And don't forget about our more pigmented allies -- you might know them best as Kurds, Afghanis, Iraqis, Pakistanis, etc., but you don't know their names or how or where they died -- somehow their deaths didn't matter much, but I'm sure once you add them in, we're talking about numbers which could easily exceed US casualties.

And don't forget about all the volunteers from the UN, some who died in the bomb blast in Baghdad, or those who still die regularly in Afghanistan. Don't forget the aid workers and Red Crescent volunteers who died trying to help others. They're still risking their necks too.

We should also remember the 37 journalists who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan so far...

And then there are the innocent civilians -- approximately 13,000 of them -- killed during the assaults on Iraq and Afghanistan. This doesn't count the thousands who died after these conflicts as a result of lawlessness, instability, lack of clean water, poor sanitation, lack of access to medical care, landmines, unexploded ordinance, or just plain being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But we're still overlooking the bulk of the casualties -- those of the soldiers who fought for Iraq and Afghanistan. We associate them with the sins of their leaders, but we don't talk about many of them being teenagers -- some as young as 14 -- many forced into military service. They were young, scared, and had families too, and though we don't have any available figures on their casualties, we know they were slaughtered by the tens of thousands. Of course, more Iraqis and Afghanis die every day, trying to repel the infidel...

Start looking at the true cost of the war on terror, and it becomes pretty obvious that the United States has compounded the death of 3000 Americans by a greater tragedy which has killed somewhere around 30,000 - 50,000 people and probably wounded over 100,000 more in the process.

And, last but not least, let's not forget the sanctions against Iraq which killed hundreds of thousands of people. Numbers which easily exceed the number of Iraqis which Saddam killed himself during his reign, most of which died in the uprisings following the Gulf War.

And yet, terrorism still exists, Saddam and Bin Laden are still on the loose, and and al Qaeda is growing once more. Once more, the warlords rule over much of Afghanistan, which, after the fall of the Taleban, has once more become the world's leading exporter of opium.
Links in the post:

http://www.usmedicine.com/article.cfm?a ... issueID=50
http://media.guardian.co.uk/iraqandthem ... 24,00.html
http://www.newseum.org/scripts/Journali ... ntryID=102
http://www.iraqbodycount.net/
http://www.cursor.org/stories/civilian_deaths.htm
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Post by lance » Oct 24th 2003, 12:38 pm

Hunee,

Thanks very much for the kind words. Yes, political discussion can be fraught with difficulties, but hey, life is political.

Andrewgd,

Thanks for those sobering numbers. As you say, the infuroriating thing is Osama and Saddam are still on the loose, despite for calls by the President to catch them "dead or alive". I also suspect that even if Osama and Saddam were captured or killed that the attacks by Iraqi resistance fighers (or whatever else you may want to call them) would still continue.

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iraq

Post by lance » Nov 7th 2003, 12:58 pm

Hey all,

Apparently its all about the numbers.

In a New York Times Op-Ed from 11/04 (sorry no link, the Times is horrible about denying access to articles after the day they were printed) entitled "So Few Soliders, So Much to Do", Edward N. Luttwak writes,

"The support echelon is so large that out of the 133,000 American men and women in Iraq, no more than 56,000 are combat-trained troops available for security duties...And even the finest solider must sleep and eat. Thus the number of troops on patrol at any one time is no more than 28,000-to oversee frontiers terroists are trying to cross, to patrol rural terrain including vast oil fields, to control inter-city roads, and to protect American and coalition facilities. Even if so few could do so much, it still leaves the question of how to police the squares, streets and alleys of Baghdad, with its six million inhabitants, not to mention Mosul with 1.7 million, Kirkuk with 800,000, and Sunni towns like Falluja, with its quarter-million restive residents."

It should be noted that Luttwak is not from the left side of the political fence. With the president set to reduce troop levels from 133,000 to 105,000 starting in January one might wonder how far the 56,000 combat trained troops will drop.

Also from NPR's Diane Rehm show 11/7/03 a reporter said that currently 22% of the 133,000 troops are reservists and national guardspeople. In January the percentage will rise to 35% of the 105,000 troops will be made of reservists and national guardspeople.

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Post by TomSpeed » Nov 24th 2003, 5:59 pm

The number of Iraq/Vietnam similarities continues to grow. Here's an interesting article in Salon.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/ ... index.html

This article is also of interest because of the 40th ann. of JFK's death. This article reminded of things I've forgotten from studying poli-sci as an undergraduate: through the JFK admin., American presidents were not the only ones who had their fingers on the button (generals had tactical command) and JFK ordered a pullout from Vietnam, which was to be completed after his reelection.

The murkiness of how we got involved in Vietnam and Iraq is disturbing. Hopefully, the true answers about Iraq won't take twenty years or more to come to light. For myself, I don't underestimate what Bush supposedly said at one time: "Saddam tried to kill my daddy."
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