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Booger
August 14th, 2005, 01:54 PM
Some how saying "I told you so" doesn't seem to be quite enough:

U.S. Lowers Sights On What Can Be Achieved in Iraq
Administration Is Shedding 'Unreality' That Dominated Invasion, Official Says

By Robin Wright and Ellen Knickmeyer
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, August 14, 2005; Page A01

The Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq, recognizing that the United States will have to settle for far less progress than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months, according to U.S. officials in Washington and Baghdad.

The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

[The] realities of daily life are a constant reminder of how the initial U.S. ambitions have not been fulfilled in ways that [stupid-ass chickenhawk idiot] Americans and Iraqis once anticipated. Many of Baghdad's 6 million people go without electricity for days in 120-degree heat. Parents fearful of kidnapping are keeping children indoors.

Barbers post signs saying they do not shave men, after months of barbers being killed by religious extremists. Ethnic or religious-based militias police the northern and southern portions of Iraq. Analysts estimate that in the whole of Iraq, unemployment is 50 percent to 65 percent.

U.S. officials say no turning point forced a reassessment. "It happened rather gradually," said the senior official, triggered by everything from the insurgency to shifting budgets to U.S. personnel changes in Baghdad.

The ferocious debate over a new constitution has particularly driven home the gap between the original U.S. goals and the realities after almost 28 months.

But whatever the outcome on specific disputes, the document on which Iraq's future is to be built will require laws to be compliant with Islam. Kurds and Shiites are expecting de facto long-term political privileges. And women's rights will not be as firmly entrenched as Washington has tried to insist, U.S. officials and Iraq analysts say.

"We set out to establish a democracy, but we're slowly realizing we will have some form of Islamic republic," said another U.S. official familiar with policymaking from the beginning, who like some others interviewed would speak candidly only on the condition of anonymity. "That process is being repeated all over."

U.S. officials now acknowledge that they misread the strength of the sentiment among Kurds and Shiites to create a special status. The Shiites' request this month for autonomy to be guaranteed in the constitution stunned the Bush administration, even after more than two years of intense intervention in Iraq's political process, they said.

"We didn't calculate the depths of feeling in both the Kurdish and Shiite communities for a winner-take-all attitude," said Judith S. Yaphe, a former CIA Iraq analyst at the National Defense University.

In the race to meet a sequence of fall deadlines, the process of forging national unity behind the constitution is largely being scrapped, current and former officials involved in the transition said.

"We are definitely cutting corners and lowering our ambitions in democracy building," said Larry Diamond, a Stanford University democracy expert who worked with the U.S. occupation government and wrote the book "Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq."

On security, the administration originally expected the U.S.-led coalition to be welcomed with rice and rosewater, traditional Arab greetings, with only a limited reaction from loyalists of ousted Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. The surprising scope of the insurgency and influx of foreign fighters has forced Washington to repeatedly lower expectations -- about the time-frame for quelling the insurgency and creating an effective and cohesive Iraqi force capable of stepping in, U.S. officials said.

Killings of members of the Iraqi security force have tripled since January. Iraq's ministry of health estimates that bombings and other attacks have killed 4,000 civilians in Baghdad since Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari's interim government took office April 28.

Last week was the fourth-worst week of the whole war for U.S. military deaths in combat, and August already is the worst month for deaths of members of the National Guard and Reserve.

Attacks on U.S. convoys by insurgents using roadside bombs have doubled over the past year, Army Brig. Gen. Yves Fontaine said Friday. Convoys ferrying food, fuel, water, arms and equipment from Kuwait, Jordan and Turkey are attacked about 30 times a week, Fontaine said.

"The most thoroughly dashed expectation was the ability to build a robust self-sustaining economy. We're nowhere near that. State industries, electricity are all below what they were before we got there," said Wayne White, former head of the State Department's Iraq intelligence team who is now at the Middle East Institute. "The administration says Saddam ran down the country. But most damage was from looting [after the invasion], which took down state industries, large private manufacturing, the national electric" system.

Ironically, White said, the initial ambitions may have complicated the U.S. mission: "In order to get out earlier, expectations are going to have to be lower, even much lower. The higher your expectation, the longer you have to stay. Getting out is going to be a more important consideration than the original goals were. They were unrealistic." http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/13/AR2005081300853.html

This is what our men and woman are dying in the desert for? This is what the hundreds of billions of our taxpayer dollars are being spent on? To create an Islamic republic in which the majority of people will face serious security and economic challenges and where women will have marginal or no rights? What the f*** is it going to take for the American people to wake the f*** up out of their stupid post-9/11 chickenhawk comas and understand that we made a colossal mistake in going to Iraq?

Speak up chickenhawks and war cheerleaders; inquiring minds want to know.

Apokalupsis
August 14th, 2005, 02:38 PM
Is the plan to pull out in 4 months? What exactly constitutes the transition?

On another note, should we just pull out? If we just bail now, we do not waste any more 1) money and 2) American lives.

However, aren't we now obligated to stick with it? If Iraq is in a worse condition than it was prior to the attack, wouldn't it make matters worse for the U.S. by bailing out now (or any time soon)?

Snoop
August 14th, 2005, 04:01 PM
However, aren't we now obligated to stick with it? If Iraq is in a worse condition than it was prior to the attack, wouldn't it make matters worse for the U.S. by bailing out now (or any time soon)?
No it would not - that is a fallacy. What would be worse is prolonging the eventuality of failure in the attempt to conduct "nation building" (which Bush & Co. denied we are doing). Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and run. There is no humility in admitting failure, but not admitting to failure is very humiliating.

If we do stay in Iraq, I would demand reimbusement for the war effort from the Iraqi's in the form of cheap oil.

FruitandNut
August 14th, 2005, 04:53 PM
The best laid plans of mice and men etc. - and this was not really a well thought out plan, as anyone who knows a bit about the history and feudal machinations of that part of the world could have pointed out, if the administration had the ears to listen.

Apokalupsis
August 14th, 2005, 06:15 PM
No it would not - that is a fallacy.
Can you support that claim?


What would be worse is prolonging the eventuality of failure in the attempt to conduct "nation building" (which Bush & Co. denied we are doing). Sometimes you just have to cut your losses and run. There is no humility in admitting failure, but not admitting to failure is very humiliating.
Well, the scenerio isn't "Pull out now or stay with it until it is fixed" but rather "Pull out now (4 months) or "Put more into it" as some analysists have been saying all along what was needed in the first place to accomplish the goals set forth.

Pulling out now results in a victory in the minds of the Arab world. Osama has made this point very clear. He had said in an interview years back that when America pulled out of Somalia that America was just a "paper tiger". This is exactly what Osama and those of his position were needing, it was the inspiration they needed and evidence that if you beat down America enough, they pull out. It let them know that our weakness was the issue of "morale", both citizen and soldier.


"The youth [Muslim mujahedin in Somalia] were surprised at the low morale of the American soldier and realized more than before that the American soldiers are paper tigers. After a few blows, they ran in defeat..."

One could argue that pulling out will only increase attacks on America and Americans around the globe. Pulling out has definitely not helped the nations that have actually pulled out (Spain for example). In other words, it rewards the enemy with a huge morale boost and justification for their position and actions. It lets them know that they are doing the right thing and all they have to do is push hard enough and they win.

Why on Earth would things get better for American if we did leave? Sure, we stop the cost of this specific and immediate war and we cause the killing of troops who are currently there. The problem is, I believe that the costs would increase (both financially and lives lost) if we pull out now.

That area is not known for it's negotiation skills. It only recognizes force. Give it overwhelming force, none of this half-assed, "appease the people" at home crap. Give it more resources and firepower, completely overwhelm with them brute strength. Then we come home in one piece and a changed new face of the ME.

The changes that were intended to be made can only be made by overwhelming the enemy. Fighting a war half-assed, or thinking that the enemy "ain't that strong" just underestimates the situation and enemy...and that's a serious flaw in any strategy.

Lastly, if we pull out now, Iraq is in shambles and it's only a matter of time before a new crazed madman comes into power by bruth strength. And this new dictatory will of course have the same hatred of the west as those we are fighting now. So then we'll have still a screwed up country run by a crazed, violent madman. What did we accomplish? Nothing. We wasted money and lives for nothing.



If we do stay in Iraq, I would demand reimbusement for the war effort from the Iraqi's in the form of cheap oil.
Agreed.

Snoop
August 14th, 2005, 06:20 PM
Lastly, if we pull out now, Iraq is in shambles

If we stay they are in shambles - what's the difference?

As far as my comment on the fallacy of "However, aren't we now obligated to stick with it? If Iraq is in a worse condition than it was prior to the attack, wouldn't it make matters worse for the U.S. by bailing out now (or any time soon)?" -- we are not obligated to do anything. Bush may feel a personal obligation, I don't.

Apokalupsis
August 14th, 2005, 06:49 PM
If we stay they are in shambles - what's the difference?
How are they in shambles if it is done right by using proper resources instead of half-assing it?



As far as my comment on the fallacy of "However, aren't we now obligated to stick with it? If Iraq is in a worse condition than it was prior to the attack, wouldn't it make matters worse for the U.S. by bailing out now (or any time soon)?" -- we are not obligated to do anything. Bush may feel a personal obligation, I don't.
Well, there are obligations to many and and many levels. One such obligation would be to simply "do it right" and not bail out ala Clinton-Somalia style. Bailing out now only causes more problems, more costs, more loss of lives. It's a bitter pickle we are in...but one we have to eat our way out of nonetheless.

If the United States suddenly pulled out of Iraq, it's a safe bet that within six months Iraq would become the second nation in the world without any central government [Somalia being the first] and no cohesiveness to hold it together. Chaos would rule as the secular Ba'athists, the theological Sunni, the Shi'ites, the Kurds and multi-national al Qaeda rebels attempted to overthrow whatever provisional government was installed by the United States and/or the United Nations. From that initial cancer, factional warfare would quickly ignite the neighboring Muslim nations that are still doing business with the United States and the western industrial nations—and, of course, with Israel. The Jihadic bonfire of Osama bin Laden would then consume the entire Mideast with the same type of hellfire that Saladin's jihad ignited in the Middle East in the 12th century after Christian marauders attacked a caravan in which Saladin's sister was traveling.
http://www.jonchristianryter.com/Two_Cents/2cworth.040404.html

Quack
August 15th, 2005, 12:18 AM
For a democracy to work you need the support of the people, the people must want that democracy to be in place otherwise it will simply fail. Do you expect the people of Iraq to openly accept a system exactly like the westernised democracies? They're not, but a system that has a democratic core even but is still based in Islamic values is going to have much greater support from the people and will stand a chance of surviving and maybe has a chance of evolving over time towards a more western democracy.

FruitandNut
August 15th, 2005, 06:10 AM
Quack - The problem is that trad. Islamic texts and Mohammad's call to Jihad just do not square with democracy which requires a modicum of tolerance.

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, a Muslim, has said: “The Democratic system that is predominant in the world is not a suitable system for the peoples of our region.” It is important to determine why Fahd believes this to be so; and if the Islam to which he adheres is the Qur’anic (unavoidable) Islam, then how do Islam and democracy co-exist in a pluralistic society. Can Islam be tolerant?

The Qur’an teaches about itself that it is God’s direct and verbal word, that it is eternal and came down from what is preserved in heaven (Sura 85:22) as the “Mother of the Book” (Sura 3:7; 13:39; 43:4). Although the Qur’an considers the Old and New Testaments as God’s word (Sura 3:93; 4:163; 5:46 etc.), it considers its own authority as greater than theirs (Sura 5:48). Even the Arabic language of the Qur’an is considered an integral part of Allah’s word (Sura 20:113; 12:2), therefore, Muslims consider the Islamic culture as of heavenly origin.

So, Islam is a political, cultural and religious system. Religion, as based primarily on the Qur’an, is a part of the system, which informs all the other aspects of the Islamic system. Religious doctrine, however, is viewed in Islam as a preamble to Islamic law, the Shariah (divine law), which is a comprehensive code governing every aspect of life, because Islam is a religion primarily oriented toward law rather than theology.

To a Muslim there is only one legitimate law - 'Allah's Law' - Shariah Law!

On a Collision Course: Democracy and Islam

by Robert Spencer
Posted Dec 2, 2003

"Can a nation be founded on both Islam and democracy without compromising on human rights and equality?" Noah Feldman asked this question recently in the New York Times in connection with Afghanistan's new constitution, for which so many have high hopes.

Feldman has high hopes too, although he acknowledges that its provisions about women's rights are ambiguous. Even more distressing is what it says about the rights of non-Muslim minorities, although Feldman doesn't seem to notice. "The provision that makes Islam the nation's official religion," he asserts, "also recognizes the right of non-Muslims 'to perform their religious ceremonies within the limits of the provisions of law.'" Feldman opines that "this carefully chosen language might arguably leave room to restrict proselytizing ? as, for example, do similar laws in India and Israel ? but it nonetheless guarantees individual expression as an inviolable right. (It's worth noting that the right to change one's religion is enshrined in the human rights declaration.)"

That would be the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, about which Feldman notes that "one essential provision mandates that the state shall abide by the United Nations Charter, international treaties, all international conventions that Afghanistan has signed and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." He also tells us that the new constitution calls for "elimination of traditions contrary to the principles of the sacred religion of Islam."

What he doesn't tell us is that those two principles are on a collision course. The human rights declaration does indeed contain the right to change one's religion, but the Sharia does not. Muslim radicals like to remind their more restrained coreligionists that the death penalty for people who leave Islam is rooted in the words of Muhammad: "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him" (Sahih Bukhari, volume 9, book 88, no. 6922).

There are numerous other indications that democracy is going to have a tough time in the Muslim world: in Arab News on the same day that Feldman's piece appeared, Fawaz Turki sneers at President Bush's Wilsonian plans to export democracy: "A people's habits of vision ? their history, culture, faith, language, literature ? codify that people's immemorial reflexes, the contours of their communal reference . . . President Bush in effect wants Arabs, along with folks elsewhere in the Muslim world, to weld these habits of vision to an idiom appropriated from Jefferson, Locke and Montesquieu. Well, it ain't gonna happen, fellow, not only because the whole enterprise is degrading for its ethnocentric bias, but because that's not the way social systems organically evolve and transform."

Rather, "in the end it will be in the wealth of our own heritage, not in the borrowed dress of other tongues and political traditions that an Arab renaissance will strike root."

Wonderful. But this kind of language raises red flags for non-Muslim minorities in Islamic states, who have for centuries have been subjected to the ravages of dhimmitude: the discrimination, harassment, and second-class status mandated for them by Islamic law, the Sharia. "The subject peoples," according to a manual of Islamic law that carries the endorsement of Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam's most respected authority, must "pay the non-Muslim poll tax (jizya)" and "are distinguished from Muslims in dress, wearing a wide cloth belt (zunnar); . . . must keep to the side of the street; may not build higher than or as high as the Muslims' buildings, though if they acquire a tall house, it is not razed; are forbidden to openly display wine or pork . . . recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals or feastdays; and are forbidden to build new churches."

That heritage is being asserted these days in Malaysia, where the Washington Times reported recently that "Malaysia's biggest opposition party yesterday declared its goal of forming an Islamic state, with punishments such as stoning and amputation for criminals and a ban on non-Muslims becoming prime minister."

They were full of reassurances: "Party leaders tempered the announcement by promising the country's large non-Muslim minorities they would not lose religious freedoms guaranteed by the constitution or the right to hold other government posts."

Lim Kit Siang of Malaysia's ethnic Chinese Democratic Action Party is aware that such a reassurance is on a collision course with Islamic law. He charged that an Islamic state would create "a new dichotomy between Muslims and non-Muslims. It confirms the worst fears of the non-Muslims in Malaysia. The proposals raised would alter the citizenship rights of both Muslims and non-Muslims."

The man knows his Islamic law. The problem is, so do millions of Muslims in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world.

The Qur’an ultimately does not teach tolerance but rather intolerance toward other religions in the society it seeks to dominate, there is nothing we can do about it; we cannot change the Qur’an. This doesn’t preclude on the other hand sympathising with Muslims and seeking to understand where they come from, so we may responsibly address the issues of concern. They are fellow human beings, much more similar to us than different. Not every Muslim believes what the Unavoidable Islam may suggest, and Muslims can and have changed or converted to another worldview.

Given the content of the Qur’an and the unquestioned place it has in Muslim religion and system, one fails to see how the Qur’anic Islam – the Unavoidable Islam can possibly change but a change in its adherents is a different matter. Therefore, we should not get tired of upholding the truth, exposing falsehood, showing the consequences of certain views, seeking to win all people to the truth, and being prepared to stand our ground when the evil hour comes, as people who have hope.

Bush Baby, Cheney et al just did not comprehend the full extent of the pit of vipers they were stirring when they embarked on Iraq2, whether it was for oil, democracy or both!

Nouvelian
August 15th, 2005, 06:48 AM
Two things.

Firstly, it has to be admitted that there exists little remaining hope that the three major factions of Iraqi political life, Kurds, Sunnis and Shias, can co-exist. The Kurds have historically considered themselves an independent group, and the civil tensions inflamed by the atrocious Zarqawi & Co. have deepened divisions between Sunni & Shia. Apparently the proportion of secular Iraqis beginning to identify themselves religously with either group is increasing dramatically. It is a terrible situation that grinds inexorably onwards, and assuming that the scars left by this tragedy will not heal quickly, I suppose that the framework eventually agreed upon will give both Kurds and Shias quasi-autonomy. Should the level-headed prevail, there remains hope that two crucial elements of the Iraqi future, governance over both the policing/army & the vast hydrocarbon wealth, could be centralised, and applied equitably. That being said, level-headedness doesn't seem the order of today.

Whatever is thought of the war-monger White House and their heady foreign policy mix of ideology and pragmatism, it is sad to see their (globally shared) ideological hope of a free democratic Iraq die a horrible death.

Secondly.

As to the backers of the idea that Iraqis have incurred a 2nd odious debt to foreigners (after that accrued under Hussein), and should divert cheap oil to these debtors, shame on you.

The hypocritical mutterings of 'freedom' and 'democracy' twinned with the saddling the Iraqi people with debts earned under either tyranny or occupation is disgusting. James Baker's story (http://www.guardian.co.uk/Columnists/Column/0,5673,1341468,00.html) is testament.

This disaster of an invasion and occupation was zealously undertaken by the U.S. and the U.K. administrations, and cheer-leaded by shadier elements of the Iraqi diaspora and neo-imperialists. The principal reasons given were not to alleviate the tyranny of Hussein, but to remove the threat of WMD and destroy any collaborations with 'terrorists'. Those were the reasons given for this adventure, and although, as an aside, it was mentioned that the people of Iraq would benefit from this action, it was never suggested they be made to pay for it. It was opined that their vast wealth would finance their country's 'reconstruction', but as the intervening vice-roys and constitutional conventioners have failed to secure (http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0714/p02s01-woiq.html) any 'reconstruction', it cannot be said that the Iraqi people owe anybody anything.

The blood of the innocent, the tears of soldiers' families, and the vacuum left by the spent billions are all the responsibility of those who were so eager to make war.

Fyshhed
August 15th, 2005, 10:02 AM
I would say disband Iraq. The nation's existence as is has nothing to do with the people who live in it, rather everything to do with what they were told their boundaries were by the Allies (WWI or WWII...)

If you let them manage themselves, they might be a little happier. I wouldn't expect them to ever be successful economically so long as they remain a Muslim society. Adherence to a strict religious code can never permit the variation needed to take moral and social risks.

Apokalupsis
August 15th, 2005, 10:21 AM
Are you suggesting to split up Iraq into 3 smaller countries? One for the Sunni's, one for the Shiites, and one for the Kurds?

If so, which gets the oil? While it may sound like a good idea, the fact that the oil industry there is what "fuels" the economy is something that must be taken into consideration. It pretty much leaves 2 of the smaller countries out to dry while 1 rakes in all the profit. It wouldn't be long before that 1 becomes pretty powerful, then it could take over 1 of the other 2 w/o much interference from the 3rd. Then, the 3rd is taken over and we have another nation the size of Iraq with the same problems.

Zhavric
August 15th, 2005, 10:27 AM
Are you suggesting to split up Iraq into 3 smaller countries? One for the Sunni's, one for the Shiites, and one for the Kurds?

If so, which gets the oil? While it may sound like a good idea, the fact that the oil industry there is what "fuels" the economy is something that must be taken into consideration. It pretty much leaves 2 of the smaller countries out to dry while 1 rakes in all the profit. It wouldn't be long before that 1 becomes pretty powerful, then it could take over 1 of the other 2 w/o much interference from the 3rd. Then, the 3rd is taken over and we have another nation the size of Iraq with the same problems.

The alternative (at best) is a situation not unlike the one between Israel / Palistine where Sunnis / Kurds / Shiites (all part of a "united" Iraq) kill each other as "payback" for earlier violence.

At worst, we'll see outright civil war... which will probably make what Saddam did look like the works of Mother Teresa. Kidnapping / torturing / murdering a small percentage of the population is dispicable in the extreme... but it's far preferable to watching the ENTIRE population mutilate / make war on / kidnap / murder each other.

It would be great if the U.S. could wave a magic wand and stop all that. Doesn't look like it's going to happen.

CC
August 15th, 2005, 10:31 AM
apok: Pulling out now results in a victory in the minds of the Arab world. Osama has made this point very clear.

Just like pulling out of Nam made the viet cong think we had been paper tigers? No. We have made a colossal mistake now just as then. Admitting we screwed up is half the battle.......

Within 5 years of ending the Viet Nam war many Vietnamese moved to the USA. They did not come here and seek revenge of any sort. We even have a communist political party in the USA. We were not after "commies" then just like we are not (in Iraq) after "terrorists" now.

was the inspiration they needed and evidence that if you beat down America enough, they pull out.

I disagree. What ahppened after 9/11? America has gone ape sh*t in forcing an agenda which has much more to do with global dominance than it does freeing anyone. The world knows the USA has destructive powers that outweigh even the former soviet nation (Even though they have more nukes those weapons now are in several different hands) When you hit America we will respond.
Had we had the good sense to stay the course in Afghanistan by now we would have Osama, (a big boost in our morale) and still have most of the world's trust. As it is we have Saddam who before 9/11 no one seemed overly concerned with, and Osama the cheerleader would be gone and forgotten. Bush should have finished the job in Afghanistan (get osama) and kept the overwhelming support and admiration the USA lost by trumping up charges to invade Iraq.

The Jihadic bonfire of Osama bin Laden would then consume the entire Mideast

You mean like communism spread and endangered the world after we finally got out of Vit nam? (NO similarities though).........:O)

Apokalupsis
August 15th, 2005, 10:41 AM
apok: Pulling out now results in a victory in the minds of the Arab world. Osama has made this point very clear.

Just like pulling out of Nam made the viet cong think we had been paper tigers? No. We have made a colossal mistake now just as then. Admitting we screwed up is half the battle.......
Vietnam was fought by politicians, not the military. Many say that if it was fought by the military, and we stayed, it would have been won. Instead, it was a fubar for obvious reasons. Our pull-out resulted in mass murders.



Within 5 years of ending the Viet Nam war many Vietnamese moved to the USA. They did not come here and seek revenge of any sort. We even have a communist political party in the USA. We were not after "commies" then just like we are not (in Iraq) after "terrorists" now.
Problem: The enemy we are fighting there, have fought us elsewhere including here in the U.S. They have made it public that the intend to do us harm. They have also demonstrated to other nations that pulling out doesn't make them safe.

APPEASING the enemy, COMPLYING with the enemy's demands doesn't work. There is absolutely NO reason to believe it does considering the history of ME terrorism and its historical and demonstrable hatred of the West.



I disagree.
Then Osama and his ilk are lying when they say that?



You mean like communism spread and endangered the world after we finally got out of Vit nam? (NO similarities though).........:O)
Ah yes...selective memory of history. Communism WAS spreading. It was stopped because it was confronted, not appeased and complied with. Vietnam was not the only conflict involving communism. Communism was fought on many fronts. It does not stand to reason that if major fronts are defeated, that when one is successful or sneaks by, that it has the force possible to "power-level" communism back to its full strength.

In other words, you ignore the other fronts where it was defeated. It didn't go away by itself and Vietnam's "success" was not enough to tow the defeats of communism elsewhere.

Zhavric
August 15th, 2005, 10:53 AM
Problem: The enemy we are fighting there, have fought us elsewhere including here in the U.S. They have made it public that the intend to do us harm. They have also demonstrated to other nations that pulling out doesn't make them safe.

APPEASING the enemy, COMPLYING with the enemy's demands doesn't work. There is absolutely NO reason to believe it does considering the history of ME terrorism and its historical and demonstrable hatred of the West.

It's a good thing Dubbya wasn't in power (in America or Russia) during the Cuban missile crisis...

Ibelsd
August 15th, 2005, 11:12 AM
It's a good thing Dubbya wasn't in power (in America or Russia) during the Cuban missile crisis...

Nope. Kennedy bungled that whole affair all by himself. If Dubbya was in power, it is doubtful that Cuba and the USSR would have felt confident enough to try such a brazen show of force so close to our homeland. In other words, you cannot pick and choose tidbits of history. You have to look at the entire picture. We were forced to pull out in Vietnam. Of course, shortly thereafter, it was realized that the policy of containment was futile and not needed since Communism wasn't "spreading" across the world as was once feared. The people of Communist countries, it was realized, were not particularly happy with this brand of government. Furthermore, it became obvious that Communist countries were having difficulty maitaining things like infrastructure and military. In other words, the real threat from these type of governments was seen as diminshing. On the other hand, Muslim threats appear to be increasing. As such, a combination of proactive and containment policy is needed. One cannot simply advocate pulling out of Iraq since there would be no positive outcome from that decision. Whether democracy can be installed in that country is an interesting study. In any case, we would be stupid to bail out before some sort of structure to fill the void is in place.

Booger
August 15th, 2005, 01:02 PM
It's a bitter pickle we are in...but one we have to eat our way out of nonetheless.

So was going to war in Iraq a mistake or not?

KevinBrowning
August 15th, 2005, 01:14 PM
Democracy can work in Iraq. Not a Western style, secular democracy, but a more democratic system than the fascism of the Baath Party. If the majority of Iraqis want the laws of the land to be congruous with Islam, then that is of course their choice. No one ever said a transformation from decades of fascism to an Islamic democratic republic would be easy.

But for the mass murderer Saddam Hussein to be deposed and facing trial, and Iraq's people achieving a country where they have a say over their own lives, and the world being safer because of this pattern of democratic choice, the short term losses are worth it. I'll continue this post in a while, I have to go.


Edit: Okay, back. I'd like to bring up the point, which I believe Clive has touched on, of just how slowly the United States' modern democracy came about. The United States declared independence in 1776. It ratified its Constitution years later in 1789. When the United States was formed, it was the case that only land owning white males could vote. By well into the 1800s, this was extended on a large scale to even unlanded white males. It was not until 1920 that women were constitutionally guaranteed the right to vote, and of course actual women being allowed in the polls came slower.

Similar was the case with blacks, who were not constitutionally guaranteed voting rights until 1965, and actual blacks at the polls, especially in the South, came later. What is my point? In Iraq earlier this year, men and women of both Sunni and Shia persuasion voted for their elected officials. With the help of the United States, this new democracy has already made incredible progress through the assistance of a nation that has had its own slow democratic developments. Does this mean that a few years after the United States pulls most of its troops out, Iraq will be a full fledged Western secular liberal democracy? You are kidding yourself if you think so.

In modern Islamic culture, "democracy" must not be understood as "a religiously impartial system with universal equality", but "an Islam dominated system with a degree of choice for every citizen, rather than a fascist dictatorship where no one has a single say in their country's running". Huge cultural differences cannot be impatiently discarded, expecting a religiously fundamentalist populace under a former dictatorship to make in a year or two the progress it's taken the United States its entire 229 year history to accomplish.

Apokalupsis
August 15th, 2005, 01:49 PM
So was going to war in Iraq a mistake or not?
I don't know. The post-war operation was/is definitely screwed and there were mistakes made in its planning and execution. But that's as far as I have thought this out atm.

Fyshhed
August 15th, 2005, 01:59 PM
APPEASING the enemy, COMPLYING with the enemy's demands doesn't work. There is absolutely NO reason to believe it does considering the history of ME terrorism and its historical and demonstrable hatred of the West.
Of course.

But has history now shown us that killing the products of a mentality does not halt the mentality? I think it may.

We may have the best military in the world, but bullets alone don't solve this kind of problem.

Apokalupsis
August 15th, 2005, 02:03 PM
Iraq's people achieving a country where they have a say over their own lives,.
But do they really? As it stands, it doesn't appear that women will have their say. And wouldn't it only be the dominating faction of Islam that has the voice? There is still great division between the Sunni, Shiite, and Kurds.

The issue isn't that people expected this to be quick and easy...the issue is that the Bush Administration appears to have planned post-ops as if a relatively quick and easy solution was possible. That if we just offered democracy, that all the people would "see the light" and welcome it and everything would be honkydory.

The problem is, the people appear to PREFER their cultured, Islamic oppression. The reason? They do not see it as oppression. They see it as the way it ought to be, and that it is the only way. We may know better...we may know that democracy brings economic stability, civil freedoms, increases healthcare and education, etc... But it could be the case that there is no amount of convincing them that this superior to what their currently have.

After years of being taught and believing that the bad guys are "the West", and that we are really screwed up, immoral, etc... why WOULD they submit to such a radical change of philosophy?

I never understood how Democracy could work in an Islamic state (which all are Islamic theocracies) as Islam does not ALLOW it by its core doctrine and beliefs. One would have to separate themselves from their faith to even attempt this. Christianity allows this, and we have seen this come to pass in our nation. But Islam doesn't. The followers of Islam are quite different when it comes to exercising their faith than the followers of Christianity.

I had hoped it could be done...some say that Turkey is a model for an Islamic Democracy...but there are problems with that view IMO as Islam is still incredibly influential in the government and Islamic law is still enforced to an extent.

Can't it just be...that there are some people, some cultures, some places on Earth... where democracy will never be accepted? While we may hold that democracy is THE superior government, and I truly believe it is, there will always be those who will never agree to that conclusion, always.

We also see freedom in different respects. They don't consider themselves to be slaves or oppressed under an Islamic theocracy. They did consider themselves to be oppressed under Saddam's rule of course...but that was due to the dictator's personal ambitions and rule.

In short, perhaps some people prefer living in their own little world. And while it's nice to try to enlighten others to the truth, one must acknowledge that it isn't always possible to do so and leave it at that.

I also believe however, that the ME culture breeds violence and terror and is a growing problem. Some say that democracy is the cure. I agree that something ought to be done...but what if they are immune to democracy...is there a fall back plan? Or were all our hopes riding on a change of government?

Apokalupsis
August 15th, 2005, 02:05 PM
Of course.

But has history now shown us that killing the products of a mentality does not halt the mentality? I think it may.

We may have the best military in the world, but bullets alone don't solve this kind of problem.
Well, I don't think anyone said that the only possible way for positive change was through force. What was said that when presented with force, the only possible reaction is that of superior force.

Ibelsd
August 15th, 2005, 02:13 PM
I think if we are looking for a Western style democracy, we are probably kidding ourselves. We should hope for, and I think it reasonable, for a variation of western democracy. At the very least, an Islamic theocracy tamed by democratic elements would be preferable to the iron-handed theocracy of Iran or the secular dictatorship of Hussein's Iraq. If you can show me a war which has not experienced serious elements of bungling, I will show you a war that has never left the classroom. It is rare enough for a particular battle to take place exactly as planned and/or expected. For an entire war... seriously now. Some are expecting way too much. Now, I don't think George has helped himself by giving overly optimistic messages at the wrong time. Still, I don't really think things are that bad. Hussein is gone. Iraq's new political leaders are still talking and negotiating. Iraq's people are seemingly tolerating the transfer of authority. Insurgents, people from outside Iraq, are causing most of the violence inside Iraq. These are good things in that there is no indication a civil war is imminent or that a coup is in the works. I would like the troops home, but there is a job to finish. If you want to know if this invasion was a mistake, ask me again in ten years. Until then, just a lot of speculation.

Fyshhed
August 15th, 2005, 02:14 PM
Well, I don't think anyone said that the only possible way for positive change was through force. What was said that when presented with force, the only possible reaction is that of superior force.
And yet that has failed in what seems to be every case since our revolution. Vietnam? We went over with shiny new helicopter units and rifles, Agent Orange, and heaps of various new toys and tricks and we still got shoved out.

My opinion is that our endeavor in Iraq wasn't "superior" enough. This war was a pitiful casual war. Much (maybe most) of this country doesn't care about it, doesn't participate in supporting it, and aren't forced to make sacrifices to win it. It's like someone else is dealing with a problem in some random land that has nothing to do with you.

In WWII, the entire national economy turned into a war machine. I think if we were ever to have a chance at winning a guerilla war with sheer power, we should have done a full-scale invasion with enough military backing to crush any attempt at resistance. I don't even think a draft would have been necessary... unless such a forceful act provoked international military backlash.

Perhaps we had a chance of winning in Iraq at some point, but half-assing it since before the start got us nowhere, fast.

Apokalupsis
August 15th, 2005, 02:33 PM
And yet that has failed in what seems to be every case since our revolution.
Patently untrue and unsupportable without completely rewriting and fabricating history.


Vietnam? We went over with shiny new helicopter units and rifles, Agent Orange, and heaps of various new toys and tricks and we still got shoved out.
Vietnam was lost due to it being fought by politicians, not the military. A politician with a big gun =/= "superior force".



My opinion is that our endeavor in Iraq wasn't "superior" enough. This war was a pitiful casual war. Much (maybe most) of this country doesn't care about it, doesn't participate in supporting it, and aren't forced to make sacrifices to win it. It's like someone else is dealing with a problem in some random land that has nothing to do with you.
The war against the nation of Iraq itself was an overwhelming success. It was a perfectly planned and executed campaign. And superior force was used appropriately.

The problem lies in the post war ops (as I've stated all along here).



In WWII, the entire national economy turned into a war machine. I think if we were ever to have a chance at winning a guerilla war with sheer power, we should have done a full-scale invasion with enough military backing to crush any attempt at resistance. I don't even think a draft would have been necessary... unless such a forceful act provoked international military backlash.
There is also such a thing as going to far. There must be a balance for the nation's resources. Giving it all over the war machine is unnecessary. Iraq War =/= WW2.



Perhaps we had a chance of winning in Iraq at some point, but half-assing it since before the start got us nowhere, fast.
It wasn't "before the start", but after the battlefield war itself that it was half-assed. Since the major conflict was overwhelmingly successfuly, it was assumed by the powers that be that the rest was cake. Keeping the peace and rebuilding has always been a challenge historically.

There are 2 stages here. 1) the war itself which had the goal to topple Saddam's regime, 2) post-war operations to rebuild and maintain the peace.

#1 was done perfectly. #2 is where the screw-ups are happening.

ShadowKnight
August 15th, 2005, 08:33 PM
And yet that has failed in what seems to be every case since our revolution. Vietnam? We went over with shiny new helicopter units and rifles, Agent Orange, and heaps of various new toys and tricks and we still got shoved out.

My opinion is that our endeavor in Iraq wasn't "superior" enough. This war was a pitiful casual war. Much (maybe most) of this country doesn't care about it, doesn't participate in supporting it, and aren't forced to make sacrifices to win it. It's like someone else is dealing with a problem in some random land that has nothing to do with you.

In WWII, the entire national economy turned into a war machine. I think if we were ever to have a chance at winning a guerilla war with sheer power, we should have done a full-scale invasion with enough military backing to crush any attempt at resistance. I don't even think a draft would have been necessary... unless such a forceful act provoked international military backlash.

Perhaps we had a chance of winning in Iraq at some point, but half-assing it since before the start got us nowhere, fast.

ffs, we would make a difference if maybe you lefties would shut the hell up and support, instead of criticizing every little move we make. I'm sick of hearing it, I'm supporting the freaking war, and I'm seriously considering signing up with the military, no joke.

If we want to win this war in Iraq, we need the nation to be united, and it's nowhere near that, you wonder why? Well hell, all we see in the news is how BAD we are doing, how ****ED up it is, how TERRIBLE Bush is, how we SCREWED it all up. No damn wonder the people don't want to support it, it's because the liberals want to bash Bush instead of thinking about what's good for our country, and how we should put our backs into this war. People like Booger for example, who has nothing GOOD to say about what we are doing, is not going to help our asses at all. No offense Boog.

You say we should be united and really put are asses behind this war, well, we can't do that when half the nation thinks Bush is an idiot. Is this war wrong? Please, that's like saying fighting against terrorism is wrong, are we going to stoop to the level of saying that leaving an evil, dictator is a good option? WTF is that? If no one can see the OBVIOUS good in that, then, why don't we just leave all terrorists alone? We are ASSUMING that if we leave the world alone, that it will leave us alone, when that is a pathetic lie. I think Bush wants to do more in this war, but how the HELL is he going to do that, when his own PEOPLE who SAY we should be doing better, and yet, they do NOTHING to help. Look at what Kerry and all those morons are doing, are they helping? Hell no, they want to take a stab at Bush. Well great jobs guys, you made Bush look like a moron, but we lost the war and lost a lot of men, a gooooood way to support your country /\

Telex
August 15th, 2005, 11:35 PM
Blaming the war's newfound unpopularity on Liberals' success rather than the Bush administration's failures is a perfect example of some conservative's refusal to accept the facts of the situation in favor of some imagined Holy Crusade.

SK, every point you have brought up has been addressed numerous times on this forum. Simply repackaging it as a nationalistic rant won't do anything to convince your opposition, and is just a pointless play on emotion.

FruitandNut
August 16th, 2005, 02:23 AM
ffs, we would make a difference if maybe you lefties would shut the hell up and support, instead of criticizing every little move we make. I'm sick of hearing it, I'm supporting the freaking war, and I'm seriously considering signing up with the military, no joke.

If we want to win this war in Iraq, we need the nation to be united, and it's nowhere near that, you wonder why? Well hell, all we see in the news is how BAD we are doing, how ****ED up it is, how TERRIBLE Bush is, how we SCREWED it all up. No damn wonder the people don't want to support it, it's because the liberals want to bash Bush instead of thinking about what's good for our country, and how we should put our backs into this war. People like Booger for example, who has nothing GOOD to say about what we are doing, is not going to help our asses at all. No offense Boog.



Pardon me for being thick, but just what is this 'war' supposed to be about in the the first place? Oil or Democracy? If you are plannig to sign up to force democracy on Islam, boy have I got news for you.

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, a Muslim, has said: “The Democratic system that is predominant in the world is not a suitable system for the peoples of our region.” It is important to determine why Fahd believes this to be so; and if the Islam to which he adheres is the Qur’anic (unavoidable) Islam, then how do Islam and democracy co-exist in a pluralistic society. Can Islam be tolerant? Democracy requires reasonable tolerance and toleration.
The Qur’an teaches about itself that it is God’s direct and verbal word, that it is eternal and came down from what is preserved in heaven (Sura 85:22) as the “Mother of the Book” (Sura 3:7; 13:39; 43:4). Although the Qur’an considers the Old and New Testaments as God’s word (Sura 3:93; 4:163; 5:46 etc.), it considers its own authority as greater than theirs (Sura 5:48). Even the Arabic language of the Qur’an is considered an integral part of Allah’s word (Sura 20:113; 12:2), therefore, Muslims consider the Islamic culture as of heavenly origin.

So, Islam is a political, cultural and religious system. Religion, as based primarily on the Qur’an, is a part of the system, which informs all the other aspects of the Islamic system. Religious doctrine, however, is viewed in Islam as a preamble to Islamic law, the Shariah (divine law), which is a comprehensive code governing every aspect of life, because Islam is a religion primarily oriented toward law rather than theology.

To a Muslim there is no democracy, and only one legitimate law - 'Allah's Law' - Shariah Law!

Nouvelian
August 16th, 2005, 02:35 AM
Wow, that was some tirade by the ShadowKnight. National unity, fight the evil, no dissent… verging on the fascist, friend.

Apok: "The problem is, the people appear to PREFER their cultured, Islamic oppression"

Sadly, an apparent majority of women in Iraq favor some form of sharia law governing personal freedoms, which has provoked patronizing (though partially true) reflections that this is due to their poor education. The saving grace could be that women are might be given the option of two laws to abide by, one secular, the other sharia, though commentators believe that peer-pressure will be strongly exerted on women to choose the latter.

That being said, Apok also wrote that :" I never understood how Democracy could work in an Islamic state … as Islam does not ALLOW it by its core doctrine and beliefs..."

One must remember, in the context of comparing the viability of pluralism, an essential democratic component, that the Ottoman empire was leaps and bounds more pluralistic than rival Christian, European cultures of the epoch, and grossly contrasted by the contemporaneous Spanish Inquistion. The Ottoman Empire's example shows that Islam is compatible with pluralism, albeit that it was only to a limited extent then. Many Muslims the world over cherish the democratic process, as we can see in the debate in the UK, where the deluded nostalgics pining for the caliphate are being confronted, and castigated, by their brethren. Religion, and therefore religiousness, existing in populations that are not fully secular will always permeate governance. The willingess for Muslims to maintain their religion as a personal belief, while not manifesting it upon others, is akin to the serious Christian element within the debate over personal freedoms in the world's democratic (self-titled) champion, the United States, specifically when it comes to cultural issues like gay marriage, abortion, and the death penalty, to name a few. Many Christians choose to vote according to religious alignment, and others do not, and many American Christians on this very website espouse their religioius beliefs politically (or political beliefs religiously?).

My own uncle thinks that Islam is a 'bad' religion, whatever that means. I really don’t know where to start with him. That Islam considers the Koran to be the word of god, verbatim, encourages pedantry, but doesn't prevent reasonable people, across the globe, from being able to reconcile it, however they choose, with universal human rights and democracy. Some people hold the Bible up as 'gospel', too. The current climate, with the Samuel Huntington-fueled perception of 'civilisation clash' on one side, and the Bin Laden-fueled perecption of a crusadist Christian invasion of Muslim lands on the other, only serves to encourage polarization of peoples to extremes…

''You're either with us or against us.'' In the S.H./O.B.L. context, that did the opposite of helping.

The invasion/occupation's legacy has yet to be made, though as of now the smart money isn't on a good one. The next week is critical to determining the shape of things to come. I foresee the creation of three largely autonomous states, and each will probably independently determine how much weight they're going to give to human rights/democracy.

As to Apok's original question over how I see the division possible with the oil wealth being geographically confined outside the Sunni areas, it would depend, as I wrote, on reasonable people to achieve during the next week, and maintain over the years, an agreement that the Oil and Security/Policing Ministries are retained as centralized entities with equitable dispensations for each region. As oversight of oil has been greatly decentralized already (http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0714/p02s01-woiq.html) , this will be difficult, but I believe it crucial to prevent a terrible civil war.

ShadowKnight
August 16th, 2005, 06:28 AM
Blaming the war's newfound unpopularity on Liberals' success rather than the Bush administration's failures is a perfect example of some conservative's refusal to accept the facts of the situation in favor of some imagined Holy Crusade.

SK, every point you have brought up has been addressed numerous times on this forum. Simply repackaging it as a nationalistic rant won't do anything to convince your opposition, and is just a pointless play on emotion.

I'm sorry, but I'm sick of hearing the endless, pointless banter of complaints from liberals. The FACT is, we ARE in a WAR. Yet, we still don't drop the subject, THIS IS THE WRONG WAR. It's too LATE to go back, we have already DECIDED to go to war, now DROP it and SUPPORT your country.

It's so messed up, you people claim that you support the troops and want to get through this war, sooo where's the support? You want to succeed in this war right? Well it seems to me that you people are more interested in shaming Bush instead of focusing on what is important, the WAR. We don't need people like Ted Kennedy coming on television and totally tear Bush apart and criticize what happened in the past, he should finding a way to improve our situation NOW, to UNITE people. But what is happening? Have you been listening at all to what is going on in the Senate? Hell, well it's the liberals doing a mess. Last I heard, they were philibustering(sp) their asses off, delaying and stopping the movement of legislation. They get freaking pay raises for accomplishing NOTHING. Now, don't get me wrong, a bunch of stupid ass republicans are in there doing ****. What I don't understand is that we are AMERICA, and we want to GIVE UP? We don't have the power to get through this war? Are you guys serious? We can't beat these people? Of course we can! We are what? #1 in just about everything, and we are beginning to think we can't do anything? Have you heard any good news coming out of Iraq? No? I haven't, you know why? Because everyone is focused on BUSH, Bush this, Bush that, enough ffs.


Pardon me for being thick, but just what is this 'war' supposed to be about in the the first place? Oil or Democracy? If you are plannig to sign up to force democracy on Islam, boy have I got news for you.

King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, a Muslim, has said: “The Democratic system that is predominant in the world is not a suitable system for the peoples of our region.” It is important to determine why Fahd believes this to be so; and if the Islam to which he adheres is the Qur’anic (unavoidable) Islam, then how do Islam and democracy co-exist in a pluralistic society. Can Islam be tolerant? Democracy requires reasonable tolerance and toleration.
The Qur’an teaches about itself that it is God’s direct and verbal word, that it is eternal and came down from what is preserved in heaven (Sura 85:22) as the “Mother of the Book” (Sura 3:7; 13:39; 43:4). Although the Qur’an considers the Old and New Testaments as God’s word (Sura 3:93; 4:163; 5:46 etc.), it considers its own authority as greater than theirs (Sura 5:48). Even the Arabic language of the Qur’an is considered an integral part of Allah’s word (Sura 20:113; 12:2), therefore, Muslims consider the Islamic culture as of heavenly origin.

So, Islam is a political, cultural and religious system. Religion, as based primarily on the Qur’an, is a part of the system, which informs all the other aspects of the Islamic system. Religious doctrine, however, is viewed in Islam as a preamble to Islamic law, the Shariah (divine law), which is a comprehensive code governing every aspect of life, because Islam is a religion primarily oriented toward law rather than theology.

To a Muslim there is no democracy, and only one legitimate law - 'Allah's Law' - Shariah Law!

We christians, here in America believe in the Word of God, we believe that we should be regulated by God's Will, and we still have a nice democracy running. Democracy can come in different forms, if they want just one religion... great, do that. But whose to say that Iraq can't live under democracy and have basic human rights that were basically stripped from them?

Our country did absolutely fine with democracy, even with most of the people as christians. What did we go to war for you ask? I don't know, hmmm... to get rid of a mad, murderous dictator, free the Iraqi people, gain a new ally that won't be a threat to us in the future, got rid of any great potential of terrorism in that region, set an example to other countries to that their people have a fighting chance to become free too, starting a system (democracy or not) that is more peaceful and will push more for world peace, a country that will not focus on military power and become a threat, a nation that will help us in the future, and the list goes on.

Tell me, what is the good of having Saddam in power? A man that supports terrorism, who aids terrorism, who had ties with many terrorists groups, a man that did not cooperate with the UN for 12 years, a man that murder hundreds of thousands of people, a person that has strived for WMDs, a man who preached about how Americans should all die, a person who believed all infidels deserved death, a man that had ties with Osama bin Laden, a man that pushed away inspectors in 1998 after agreeing to having them in, a man that promised to be more peaceful and then turn his back on us, a man who bombed the Kurds, and was in charge of a country and ruled it with an iron fist.

....

So, what was the good in all this? Maybe we could have prevented another idiot to become a huge world power and becoming a possible threat to everyone around him? I don't know, according to your logic, we should just leave him alone... uh huh. I wonder what's a good reason to leave this man in power, and how it will benefit anyone, and how this would improve any form of peace and cooperation. What do you propose? Isn't it obvious the good behind all this? Go ahead, explain to me why Saddam left in power is in any form GOOD. If you can't tell me why, then

http://img239.imageshack.us/img239/6016/knowyourrole6op.jpg

and SUPPORT your country. :P

FruitandNut
August 16th, 2005, 07:16 AM
SK - Your role as a sentient citizen may well be to act in an unquestioning way in support of whatever idiot schemes your administration may come up with. You do not owe your loyalty to the admin - you owe it to your people in general.

Always question govts. that create holes and require you to fill them.

If you had read my stuff on Islam, you would see that it is a hoss of a different colour set against Christianity. It is a 'whole system' by requirement. It requires that system to be total by demand - not by wish or request. It does not live well with a different system as its neighbour. It cannot be made to be Democratic without removal of many of its core laws.

Telex
August 16th, 2005, 09:32 AM
I'm sorry, but I'm sick of hearing the endless, pointless banter of complaints from liberals. The FACT is, we ARE in a WAR. Yet, we still don't drop the subject, THIS IS THE WRONG WAR. It's too LATE to go back, we have already DECIDED to go to war, now DROP it and SUPPORT your country.
Supporting an action just because the administration did it goes against all of our democratic principles.


It's so messed up, you people claim that you support the troops and want to get through this war, sooo where's the support? You want to succeed in this war right?
Liberals want to support our troops by bringing them home.


What I don't understand is that we are AMERICA, and we want to GIVE UP? We don't have the power to get through this war? Are you guys serious? We can't beat these people? Of course we can! We are what? #1 in just about everything, and we are beginning to think we can't do anything?
As dissimilar as the two wars may be, this is exactly the attitude that lead to the elongation of the Vietnam War, costing even more soldier's their lives and accomplishing nothing. None of the administrations wanted to be the one that lost a war for the first time, and so they just kept needlessly fighting it. I had hoped that America as a whole had at least learned the dangers of nationalistic pride when it came to fighting wars...apparantly, some have not.

FruitandNut
August 16th, 2005, 09:39 AM
http://img239.imageshack.us/img239/6016/knowyourrole6op.jpg

and SUPPORT your country. :P


Redneck born and Redneck bred,
strong in t'arm and weak in t'ead. :insane:

Booger
August 16th, 2005, 10:16 AM
No damn wonder the people don't want to support it, it's because the liberals want to bash Bush instead of thinking about what's good for our country, and how we should put our backs into this war. People like Booger for example, who has nothing GOOD to say about what we are doing, is not going to help our asses at all. No offense Boog.

The reason the country is divided is because Bush misled us into the terrible debacle that is the war in Iraq. Also. my not supporting the war is not a result of my desire to bash Bush; bashing Bush is the result of my not supporting the war. The war was a mistake and we were misled into going to war. Period. And I will continue to speak out on it.


Please, that's like saying fighting against terrorism is wrong,

Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist threat against our country. NOTHING.


We are ASSUMING that if we leave the world alone, that it will leave us alone, when that is a pathetic lie.

This has nothing to do with Iraq and no one is aying that we should just "leave the world alone." We should always act to defend against threats to our national security. It just so happens that Iraq under Saddam was not a threat to our national security.


Well great jobs guys, you made Bush look like a moron, but we lost the war and lost a lot of men, a gooooood way to support your country

The ONLY people responsible for the useless loss of life on our side is Bush and those who support the war drive. If we would not have invaded Iraq, 1,800+ soldiers would still be alive, countless thousands would still have all four limbs and thousands of families across the nation would not be suffering today. That's YOUR fault, SK, and the fault of all other chickenhawks and war cheerleaders. Don't blame "us" because we were wise enough to see through Bush's BS on Iraq....

nanderson
August 16th, 2005, 10:33 AM
The ONLY people responsible for the useless loss of life on our side is Bush and those who support the war drive.

This would include congress AND your boy John Kerry, they all supported the decision to go into Iraq



That's YOUR fault, SK, and the fault of all other chickenhawks and war cheerleaders.

Pointing fingers and name calling, a tried and true liberal debate strategy...what do you have planned next...calling me and other conservatives "poo-poo heads"?


Don't blame "us" because we were wise enough to see through Bush's BS on Iraq....

Before we went into Iraq the majority of America supported this action....Bush was given bad info, along with the REST of the WORLD...liberals, conservatives and everyone else thought the info was credible...now that the info has been shown NOT to be credible you and the rest of the liberals are now saying "we saw through Bush's BS the WHOLE time"...Riiiiiiight :insane:

Zhavric
August 16th, 2005, 10:39 AM
I'm sorry, but I'm sick of hearing the endless, pointless banter of complaints from liberals. The FACT is, we ARE in a WAR. Yet, we still don't drop the subject, THIS IS THE WRONG WAR. It's too LATE to go back, we have already DECIDED to go to war, now DROP it and SUPPORT your country.

If you go to buy a used car and the dealer assures you that you are purchasing a quality automobile which proceeds to breaks down 2 miles away from the dealership, are any of the following true?

A) Is the entire automobile industry responsible for your situation?
B) Is confronting the salesman who sold you the bad car the wrong thing to do because it hurts the industry as a whole?
C) Is it in your best interest to declare "I BOUGHT this car and it's too LATE to go back."
D) Are you obligated to tell your friends that you support the dealership that lied to you?

What is it going to take for you to unwrap yourself from this moronic idea that supporting the war and supporting the country are the same thing? :insane:

Conservatives have some funny ideas about how to "support the troops". Apparently, it means sending them into harm's way under false pretenses and telling anyone who points this out to STFU... all the time while claiming to love the Constitution (except for that whole free speach thing...)... and supporting a president who slashed veteran benefits and closed army bases. /\ Way to be consistant.

Telex
August 16th, 2005, 10:42 AM
Pointing fingers and name calling, a tried and true liberal debate strategy...what do you have planned next...calling me and other conservatives "poo-poo heads"?
Hilarious. After a pagelong rant by SK blaming liberals for the wars failure and telling the liberals to "shut the **** up," you say liberals are the ones always pointing fingers.
Great job, nan.

Zhavric
August 16th, 2005, 11:05 AM
This would include congress AND your boy John Kerry, they all supported the decision to go into Iraq

Were you living under a rock during the presidential debates last year?

Kerry & congress were handed the choice to DO SOMETHING about Iraq where military involvement was a last resort. Bush rushed to war, ignoring any diplomatic options.

Ever had rats in your house? If you tell the exterminator to "get rid of them" would you expect him to blow up your house?



Pointing fingers and name calling, a tried and true liberal debate strategy...what do you have planned next...calling me and other conservatives "poo-poo heads"?

If you think that name calling is a liberal tactic, I suggest you compare notes on CNN.com and foxnews.com. On CNN, he's Michael Jackson. On foxnews, he's "Jacko".


Before we went into Iraq the majority of America supported this action....Bush was given bad info, along with the REST of the WORLD...liberals, conservatives and everyone else thought the info was credible...now that the info has been shown NOT to be credible you and the rest of the liberals are now saying "we saw through Bush's BS the WHOLE time"...Riiiiiiight

Once again, were you living under a rock when the Downing Street memo surfaced? It PROVES that Bush didn't care what the intel said. It PROVES that he was "cooking the books" where the threat Iraq posed was concerned.

Honestly, Nanderson, if I disconnected myself from reality / the facts, I'd probably think this was a rock-solid argument, too. Except that liberals don't live in the same fantasy world that you clearly do...

Booger
August 16th, 2005, 11:14 AM
This would include congress AND your boy John Kerry, they all supported the decision to go into Iraq

Based on information provided to them by the President. And by the way, I NEVER supported the war in Iraq and have the posts in another forum (Apok's gaming site) to prove it, one of which said, on March 28, 2003, EIGHT DAYS AFTER WE WENT TO WAR IN IRAQ:

"Mark my words, Pok (we can discuss in a few years), and I said it here first. History will judge the Bush administration harshly for this action and will judge it even more harshly for deceiving the American populace."

http://www.ez-company.net/forums/showpost.php?p=75448&postcount=33


Pointing fingers and name calling, a tried and true liberal debate strategy...what do you have planned next...calling me and other conservatives "poo-poo heads"?

Wha? Did you even read SK's post? SK spent his entire post name-calling and blaming us for losing the war and "a lot of men." I merely pointed out that it was the Bush administration and their gulible band of chickenhawks and war cheerleaders that were the cause of the great loss of life we have suffered in Iraq. Why don't you try to keep up, k nandy?


Before we went into Iraq the majority of America supported this action....

No sh*t Sherlock! Bush told them Iraq could hit us with WMD in 45 minutes and that Saddam had reconstituted nuclear weapons. All exaggerated bullsh*t, I might add.


Bush was given bad info, along with the REST of the WORLD...liberals, conservatives and everyone else thought the info was credible...

lol. I NEVER thought that the info was credible. NEVER. See, for example, the post above in Apok's gaming forum dated March 2003--over 2 years AGO and EIGHT DAYS AFTER WE WENT TO WAR IN IRAQ. You think the Boog is just a Johnny-come-lately on this issue? Get a clue, d00d.


now that the info has been shown NOT to be credible you and the rest of the liberals are now saying "we saw through Bush's BS the WHOLE time"...Riiiiiiight :insane:

See above. Here's another quote from the post in Apok's forum, dated March 28, 2003, EIGHT DAYS AFTER THE START OF THE WAR IN IRAQ:

"I do not trust the Bush administration and its 'claims' of justification and I truly believe that the Bush administration has exaggerated the Iraqi threat to justify thier war games."

Put that in your pipe and smoke it! lol.

Booger
August 16th, 2005, 11:25 AM
Honestly, Nanderson, if I disconnected myself from reality / the facts, I'd probably think this was a rock-solid argument, too. Except that liberals don't live in the same fantasy world that you clearly do...

:tup: Abso-f**kin-lutely.

nanderson
August 16th, 2005, 11:40 AM
Based on information provided to them by the President.

But Bush got his info from some where....do you think he personally went over and spied on Iraq to see if they had WMD? No, information was GIVEN to him and the rest of us that was faulty....




Wha? Did you even read SK's post? SK spent his entire post name-calling and blaming us for losing the war and "a lot of men."

SK doesnt' represent ALL conservatives...I have heard liberals EVERYWHERE constantly insulting Bush and conservatives, and YOU have done this MUCH more than SK



No sh*t Sherlock! Bush told them Iraq could hit us with WMD in 45 minutes and that Saddam had reconstituted nuclear weapons. All exaggerated bullsh*t, I might add.

They (congress/your boy Kerry) viewed the SAME info Bush did about the evidence for WMD....they didnt' just rely on Bush's word...and you know what, THEY ALSO THOUGHT THE INFO WAS CREDIBLE




lol. I NEVER thought that the info was credible. NEVER. See, for example, the post above in Apok's gaming forum dated March 2003--over 2 years AGO and EIGHT DAYS AFTER WE WENT TO WAR IN IRAQ. You think the Boog is just a Johnny-come-lately on this issue? Get a clue, d00d.

I don't care what YOUR position was, the fact remains, MOST people thought the info was credible....if Bush told you the sky was blue, you wouldn't believe him because of your dislike of conservatives

Booger
August 16th, 2005, 01:12 PM
No, information was GIVEN to him and the rest of us that was faulty....

That's a myth. The intelligence agencies, badgered by the Bush "war cabinet," succommed to "group think" and driven by their client, the White House, they overemphasized intelligence to support the war cause, and downplayed intelligence against it. The policy makers in the White House then cherry-picked the overemphasized intelligence to mispresent the nature of the threat posed by Iraqi WMD. Everyone knows this, nandy...it's well-documented.

But alas, conservatives wish to argue that Bush merely passed on faulty intel and was completely innocent of any misrepresentations or exaggerations of the intel. And conservatives claim that liberals live in "fantasy land"? How foolish.


SK doesnt' represent ALL conservatives...I have heard liberals EVERYWHERE constantly insulting Bush and conservatives, and YOU have done this MUCH more than SK

Done what? Bashed conservatives for their blind approval of anything Bush does? Any such bashing is WELL deserved since that is what led us into the Great Debacle that is Iraq.


They (congress/your boy Kerry) viewed the SAME info Bush did about the evidence for WMD....they didnt' just rely on Bush's word...and you know what, THEY ALSO THOUGHT THE INFO WAS CREDIBLE

Not sure why you keep referring to Kerry as "my boy." Kerry was the Dems candidate against Bush; I would have voted for just about anyone they put on the ticket against Bush. Not just as a result of the vast disagreements with Bush's misguided policies, but because of the culture and corrupt individuals he brought to DC with him.

Second, all the intel was filtered through the White House, my boy...and you know that.


I don't care what YOUR position was, the fact remains, MOST people thought the info was credible....if Bush told you the sky was blue, you wouldn't believe him because of your dislike of conservatives

First, who cares what "most people" thought. If "most people" thought that all jews should be killed, the fact that most people thought it doesn't make it right. And the fact of the matter is that I and others like me KNEW the information wasn't credible from day 1. With respect to Iraq, that makes "us" the critical thinkers and "you" the sheep.

And as far as your "you wouldn't believe him because of your dislike of conservatives" claim, that's just a silly, sophomoric retort to the fact that I, and others like me, critically examined Bush's exaggerated claims about Iraq and dismissed them as mere propoganda in an effort to drive this country to war.

And guess what? We were RIGHT.

nanderson
August 16th, 2005, 01:27 PM
That's a myth. The intelligence agencies, badgered by the Bush "war cabinet," succommed to "group think" and driven by their client, the White House, they overemphasized intelligence to support the war cause, and downplayed intelligence against it. The policy makers in the White House then cherry-picked the overemphasized intelligence to mispresent the nature of the threat posed by Iraqi WMD. Everyone knows this, nandy...it's well-documented.

Well documented by conspiracy sites. ;)

If it is so well documented why don't you show me some documentation from CREDIBLE sites, it should be easy since this conspiracy is so widely known.


But alas, conservatives wish to argue that Bush merely passed on faulty intel and was completely innocent of any misrepresentations or exaggerations of the intel. And conservatives claim that liberals live in "fantasy land"? How foolish.

The only thing "foolish" is people buying into every conspiracy theory they read on the internet


First, who cares what "most people" thought. If "most people" thought that all jews should be killed, the fact that most people thought it doesn't make it right. And the fact of the matter is that I and others like me KNEW the information wasn't credible from day 1. With respect to Iraq, that makes "us" the critical thinkers and "you" the sheep.

Ah, more name calling...this is getting really old, here is a personal challenge to you, for the rest of the time in THIS debate don't call anyone names...if you are successfull I will give you some rep...I highly doubt that you will be able to do this though as name calling seems to be your #1 debate technique. Another side note, some of those "sheep" you refer to are members of congress since THEY believed the evidence...One last side note, comments like "I am a critical thinker and you are a sheep" show 2 things, 1 that you are not a critical thinker because if you have to tell yourself that you are a critical thinker it's probably not true, and 2, that your actual argument is lacking becuase you have to resort to insults...

Also, the only reason I mention "most people" is because you were trying to paint a picture that no one believed the evidence for WMD


And as far as your "you wouldn't believe him because of your dislike of conservatives" claim, that's just a silly, sophomoric retort to the fact that I, and others like me, critically examined Bush's exaggerated claims about Iraq and dismissed them as mere propoganda in an effort to drive this country to war.

Another insult...big surprise

I also critically examine Bush, and I DO NOT support everything he does, but I also don't buy into everything the far left tells me, so when Michael Moore tells me "Bush lied to you" I look at the evidence, and the evidence shows that faulty info was GIVEN to Bush, Bush didn't just fabricate that information, Congress even thought the info was credible...

tinkerbell
August 16th, 2005, 01:31 PM
I don't care what YOUR position was, the fact remains, MOST people thought the info was credible...

"Most" people did not believe him. That's why it was so difficult to find support throughout the world for this war. You are speaking of this huge majority of warmongers that have this "someone has got to pay for 9/11" attitude in this country. That believe if someone prays in public to the masses they are "Christian' and worthy of trust..So many Americans have no clue why we are in Iraq, and they don't care to know. We are such a fleeceable nation..

Ibelsd
August 16th, 2005, 01:35 PM
The reason the country is divided is because Bush misled us into the terrible debacle that is the war in Iraq. Also. my not supporting the war is not a result of my desire to bash Bush; bashing Bush is the result of my not supporting the war. The war was a mistake and we were misled into going to war. Period. And I will continue to speak out on it.

Mislead eh... Let's play a little game. Guess who said the following:
1. "Let's indict Osama. That'll bring him to justice!"
2. "It looks today…like women will be worse off in Iraq than they were when Saddam…was President of Iraq."
3. "Iraq is a long way from the U.S., but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
4. "Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement."
5. "If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
6. "Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people."
7. "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
8. "Without question, we need to disarm Saddam. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime…He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation…And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for WMDS…So the threat of Saddam with WMDS is real…"

Answers:
1. Bill Clinton 2. Howard Dean 3. Madeline Albright 4. Senator Babs Boxer 5. Bill Clinton
6. Ex-Senator and minority leader, Tom Daschle 7. Ex-VP ALGORE 8. Senator John Kerry Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee

The first one is a bit off topic, but fun nonetheless. The point, though, is that claims of Bush "misleading" us have been greatly exagarrated (sp?).

ShadowKnight
August 16th, 2005, 03:53 PM
Supporting an action just because the administration did it goes against all of our democratic principles.

So, you mean that not supporting our country is a better decision than supporting our nation, work together to make this "mess" better, and raising morale? Good point.



Liberals want to support our troops by bringing them home.

So, you admit that you think that this war is hopeless, that you have no faith in our strength, that it's better to be defeated than to release a country from terrorists, is THIS what you are telling me? To start a fight in vein? And to LEAVE? This is the liberal's stance?



As dissimilar as the two wars may be, this is exactly the attitude that lead to the elongation of the Vietnam War, costing even more soldier's their lives and accomplishing nothing. None of the administrations wanted to be the one that lost a war for the first time, and so they just kept needlessly fighting it. I had hoped that America as a whole had at least learned the dangers of nationalistic pride when it came to fighting wars...apparantly, some have not.

Hahaha, the reason why we lost that war is because the nation was divided. You think that if the idiots aka hippies would have supported the troops and to win the war, that perhaps the result would have been different? I think so. What I have learned, is that some people no longer have the guts to stand up for what's right, and what's logically sound. I need not describe Saddam's history, it is evident to us all what type of man he is. Once again, you have dodged my question. I repeat:


Isn't it obvious the good behind all this? Go ahead, explain to me why Saddam left in power is in any form GOOD.

----------


SK - Your role as a sentient citizen may well be to act in an unquestioning way in support of whatever idiot schemes your administration may come up with. You do not owe your loyalty to the admin - you owe it to your people in general.

Always question govts. that create holes and require you to fill them.

If you had read my stuff on Islam, you would see that it is a hoss of a different colour set against Christianity. It is a 'whole system' by requirement. It requires that system to be total by demand - not by wish or request. It does not live well with a different system as its neighbour. It cannot be made to be Democratic without removal of many of its core laws.

So, you are telling me you cannot see the obvious good result of this? Did not I explain that already? I quote:


What did we go to war for you ask? I don't know, hmmm... to get rid of a mad, murderous dictator, free the Iraqi people, gain a new ally that won't be a threat to us in the future, got rid of any great potential of terrorism in that region, set an example to other countries to that their people have a fighting chance to become free too, starting a system (democracy or not) that is more peaceful and will push more for world peace, a country that will not focus on military power and become a threat, a nation that will help us in the future, and the list goes on.

---------


The reason the country is divided is because Bush misled us into the terrible debacle that is the war in Iraq. Also. my not supporting the war is not a result of my desire to bash Bush; bashing Bush is the result of my not supporting the war. The war was a mistake and we were misled into going to war. Period. And I will continue to speak out on it.

You see Booger, I have NO problem with you speaking out against the war, freedom of speech bro, that is totally cool with me. But, when you do not support the troops and winning this war, and rather instead focus on blaming Bush on just about everything, that is a problem with me. You want this war to end? You want a good result even though you think it was stupid? Because it seems to me, that we are already at war, and we need people to shut their mouths about how it's the wrong war. Wrong war or not, is absolutely irrelevant at this point, it is in the PAST. You cannot change it, no matter how much you may hate it, but we are now here Booger. Tell me Booger, what do you think is the best thing to do?

Perhaps you should hope for the best and support?

Criticize everything Bush does and point out all the flaws and not help anyone?

You tell me Booger. The answer should be obvious, whether you disagree or not with the war, we are in one. And we need to stand together to defeat the badguys here, we don't need war inside our own boundaries when we have young boys dying out there, don't you agree?


Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist threat against our country. NOTHING.

Same with Germany in World War II. dun dun dun



This has nothing to do with Iraq and no one is aying that we should just "leave the world alone." We should always act to defend against threats to our national security. It just so happens that Iraq under Saddam was not a threat to our national security.

Not a threat? A man that has an ocean of a history of supporting AND funding terrorism, a man that preaches of the downfall of America and all infidels, a man who has a passion to destroy and murder everything, a man that has strove for power and weapons to USE them, and you think he is not a threat? How can you say that?



The ONLY people responsible for the useless loss of life on our side is Bush and those who support the war drive. If we would not have invaded Iraq, 1,800+ soldiers would still be alive, countless thousands would still have all four limbs and thousands of families across the nation would not be suffering today. That's YOUR fault, SK, and the fault of all other chickenhawks and war cheerleaders. Don't blame "us" because we were wise enough to see through Bush's BS on Iraq....

I can't believe my eyes.

You know Booger, I always believed that if you let a problem grow, the result would be MUCH more disasterous than if you dealt with it early on. You are so blind, because this is BASIC baby knowledge. Leaving Saddam in power is just a disaster waiting to happen, and you think that the result would have been better if we left him in power? How SO smart one, let me quote myself... again...


Tell me, what is the good of having Saddam in power? A man that supports terrorism, who aids terrorism, who had ties with many terrorists groups, a man that did not cooperate with the UN for 12 years, a man that murder hundreds of thousands of people, a person that has strived for WMDs, a man who preached about how Americans should all die, a person who believed all infidels deserved death, a man that had ties with Osama bin Laden, a man that pushed away inspectors in 1998 after agreeing to having them in, a man that promised to be more peaceful and then turn his back on us, a man who bombed the Kurds, and was in charge of a country and ruled it with an iron fist.

...

Where is your reasoning Booger? WHERE? When Germany was growing into power for the second time, and you lived during those times, I bet you would reiterate this ridiculousness. With a leader like Hitler(Saddam), an obvious problem, should Britian have solved the problem then? Or wait till the situation becomes overwhelmingly threatening, so we can realize that that's our cue? Here's the problem Booger, Saddam never wanted to cooperate in the first place, what does that mean? That means, he will not sit down like a good little boy and make a compromise. If they are not willing to negotiate Booger, then that's probably a good ass sign the size of Asia that says, "PROBLEM."

That means, we have a problem here, a man that is responsible for many autrocities is not cooperating... AGAIN. That means, that we will have to deal with him one way or another. So what is it Booger? Now? or should we wait a few years down the road when it may be too late?

The answer is on your lap Booger.

ShadowKnight
August 16th, 2005, 04:22 PM
If you go to buy a used car and the dealer assures you that you are purchasing a quality automobile which proceeds to breaks down 2 miles away from the dealership, are any of the following true?

A) Is the entire automobile industry responsible for your situation?
B) Is confronting the salesman who sold you the bad car the wrong thing to do because it hurts the industry as a whole?
C) Is it in your best interest to declare "I BOUGHT this car and it's too LATE to go back."
D) Are you obligated to tell your friends that you support the dealership that lied to you?

What is it going to take for you to unwrap yourself from this moronic idea that supporting the war and supporting the country are the same thing? :insane:

Conservatives have some funny ideas about how to "support the troops". Apparently, it means sending them into harm's way under false pretenses and telling anyone who points this out to STFU... all the time while claiming to love the Constitution (except for that whole free speach thing...)... and supporting a president who slashed veteran benefits and closed army bases. /\ Way to be consistant.

Hold on a second.

First off, there IS a big difference between supporting the war and supporting the country. I don't care if you support the war, but I do believe that every man should support the country. What I mean by this is, I don't mine if people don't agree with the war, but when this country needs to get through some tough issues, I would love to see the liberals actually do something to help this country to succeed in their issues. The war is a VERY big issue, and if people would stop looking back to the past and look forward, perhaps we can get somewhere, eh?

Booger
August 16th, 2005, 04:28 PM
Well documented by conspiracy sites. ;)

You're a sucker for a good beating, nandy. See below:


If it is so well documented why don't you show me some documentation from CREDIBLE sites, it should be easy since this conspiracy is so widely known.

First, nandy, it's not a "conspiracy." Second, if you think that opponents of the war having nothing to support their arguments other than "conspiracy sites," then you're truly living in fantasy land. Third, I've posted extensively on support for the claim that Bush exaggerated the threat posed by Iraqi WMD, including a report from the Carnegie Endowment (a non-partisan D.C. think tank of which Condi Rice sat on the Board of Directors) which states:

"Administration officials systematically misrepresented the threat from Iraq’s WMD and ballistic missile programs, beyond the intelligence failures, by:

Treating nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons as a single “WMD threat.” The conflation of three distinct threats, very different in the danger they pose, distorted the cost/benefit analysis of the war.
Insisting without evidence—yet treating as a given truth—that Saddam Hussein would give whatever WMD he possessed to terrorists.
Routinely dropping caveats, probabilities, and expressions of uncertainty present in intelligence assessments from public statements.
Misrepresenting inspectors’ findings in ways that turned threats from minor to dire."

http://www.carnegieendowment.org/publications/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1435&prog=zgp&proj=znpp [Emphasis added]

I know that you're used to gleaning your information from sources such as Worldnet Daily and answersingenesis, but don't project your reliance on pseudo-scientific and other such garbage on to me.


One last side note, comments like "I am a critical thinker and you are a sheep" show 2 things, 1 that you are not a critical thinker because if you have to tell yourself that you are a critical thinker it's probably not true, and 2, that your actual argument is lacking becuase you have to resort to insults...

What meaningless garbage you post. Sheesh.


Also, the only reason I mention "most people" is because you were trying to paint a picture that no one believed the evidence for WMD

Wha? :dunno: Re-read the posts in this thread, nandy. YOU claimed that EVERYONE including "liberals, conservatives and everyone else thought the info was credible" and further claimed that "now that the info has been shown NOT to be credible you and the rest of the liberals are now saying "we saw through Bush's BS the WHOLE time"...Riiiiiiight." I, of course, showed you that you were 100% incorrect, but now you claim that it was me claiming that "no one" believed the evidence for WMD. I never said such a thing.

Brush up on your reading and comprehension skills (not to mention your argumentation skills) and come back when you can present a cogent argument. Otherwise, you're just wasting my time.

Telex
August 16th, 2005, 05:20 PM
So, you mean that not supporting our country is a better decision than supporting our nation, work together to make this "mess" better, and raising morale? Good point.

No. One shouldn't make the decision of what to support and what not to support based on what you think is "best" for the country and government.


So, you admit that you think that this war is hopeless, that you have no faith in our strength, that it's better to be defeated than to release a country from terrorists, is THIS what you are telling me?
No, those are entirely your words.


To start a fight in vein? And to LEAVE? This is the liberal's stance?
Liberals didn't want a war until all options were exhausted. No liberal is advocating going around starting fights and then quitting - they don't want the unneccessary fights started in the first place. Once again, your words, not mine.


Hahaha, the reason why we lost that war is because the nation was divided. You think that if the idiots aka hippies would have supported the troops and to win the war, that perhaps the result would have been different? I think so.
No, I don't think it would have been different. You'll have to prove just how the bad morale back home affected the troops...just saying "it made them lose" means nothing. And that's beside the point, because if the war was a "good" one there would not have been the sizeable protesting that there was. Vietnam was lost because it was a stupid war in the first place, and blaming the people that said it was a stupid war for the loss is, once again, not looking at the facts. Myself, I'm glad that all those protestors marched against Vietnam - it got our troops home earlier, saved many of their lives, and put an end to our pointless war.

What I have learned, is that some people no longer have the guts to stand up for what's right, and what's logically sound. I need not describe Saddam's history, it is evident to us all what type of man he is. Once again, you have dodged my question. I repeat:
[/quote]


What I have learned, is that some people no longer have the guts to stand up for what's right, and what's logically sound.
By "right," you must mean "agreeable to you," as we have people standing up for what they believe is "right" all over the country.



Once again, you have dodged my question.
That question has been asked and answered in basically every Iraq War thread on this site. I wish you would think of a new one. It's good that Saddam's gone. It's bad we rushed to war, bad Bush lied or mislead us into the war, bad that we had no exit strategy, and bad that 1,800 soldiers have died.

Apokalupsis
August 16th, 2005, 05:21 PM
That's a myth. The intelligence agencies, badgered by the Bush "war cabinet," succommed to "group think" and driven by their client, the White House, they overemphasized intelligence to support the war cause, and downplayed intelligence against it. The policy makers in the White House then cherry-picked the overemphasized intelligence to mispresent the nature of the threat posed by Iraqi WMD. Everyone knows this, nandy...it's well-documented.
Nonsense. To believe that George Bush lied about WMD's or made it up, or had others made it up means that there was a vast conspiracy that involves the highest level of both parties which stretches across both the pro and anti-war movements. It's rubbish. It would be the biggest conspiracy in American history (and probably the world).

But I suppose the following people, some of which you are a fanboy of, must also be in line with this great international conspiracy that involves not just the US, but Russia, China, France, England, etc...



"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." -- From a letter signed by Joe Lieberman, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara A. Milulski, Tom Daschle, & John Kerry among others on October 9, 1998

"This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." -- From a December 6, 2001 letter signed by Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, & Tom Lantos among others

"Whereas Iraq has consistently breached its cease-fire agreement between Iraq and the United States, entered into on March 3, 1991, by failing to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction program, and refusing to permit monitoring and verification by United Nations inspections; Whereas Iraq has developed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and biological capabilities, and has made positive progress toward developing nuclear weapons capabilities" -- From a joint resolution submitted by Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter on July 18, 2002

"Saddam's goal ... is to achieve the lifting of U.N. sanctions while retaining and enhancing Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs. We cannot, we must not and we will not let him succeed." -- Madeline Albright, 1998

"(Saddam) will rebuild his arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and some day, some way, I am certain he will use that arsenal again, as he has 10 times since 1983" -- National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Feb 18, 1998

"Iraq made commitments after the Gulf War to completely dismantle all weapons of mass destruction, and unfortunately, Iraq has not lived up to its agreement." -- Barbara Boxer, November 8, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retained some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capability. Intelligence reports also indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons, but has not yet achieved nuclear capability." -- Robert Byrd, October 2002

"There's no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat... Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He's had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001... He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn't have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we." -- Wesley Clark on September 26, 2002

"What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad's regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs." -- Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow." -- Bill Clinton in 1998

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security." -- Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

"I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons...I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out." -- Clinton's Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

"Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people." -- Tom Daschle in 1998

"Saddam Hussein's regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

"The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction." -- John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

"I share the administration's goals in dealing with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction." -- Dick Gephardt in September of 2002

"Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." -- Al Gore, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction." -- Bob Graham, December 2002

"Saddam Hussein is not the only deranged dictator who is willing to deprive his people in order to acquire weapons of mass destruction." -- Jim Jeffords, October 8, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." -- Ted Kennedy, September 27, 2002

"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." -- Ted Kennedy, Sept 27, 2002

"I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force - if necessary - to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security." -- John F. Kerry, Oct 2002

"The threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but as I said, it is not new. It has been with us since the end of that war, and particularly in the last 4 years we know after Operation Desert Fox failed to force him to reaccept them, that he has continued to build those weapons. He has had a free hand for 4 years to reconstitute these weapons, allowing the world, during the interval, to lose the focus we had on weapons of mass destruction and the issue of proliferation." -- John Kerry, October 9, 2002

"(W)e need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime. We all know the litany of his offenses. He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. ...And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction. That is why the world, through the United Nations Security Council, has spoken with one voice, demanding that Iraq disclose its weapons programs and disarm. So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War." -- John Kerry, Jan 23, 2003

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandates of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." -- Carl Levin, Sept 19, 2002

"Every day Saddam remains in power with chemical weapons, biological weapons, and the development of nuclear weapons is a day of danger for the United States." -- Joe Lieberman, August, 2002

"Over the years, Iraq has worked to develop nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. During 1991 - 1994, despite Iraq's denials, U.N. inspectors discovered and dismantled a large network of nuclear facilities that Iraq was using to develop nuclear weapons. Various reports indicate that Iraq is still actively pursuing nuclear weapons capability. There is no reason to think otherwise. Beyond nuclear weapons, Iraq has actively pursued biological and chemical weapons.U.N. inspectors have said that Iraq's claims about biological weapons is neither credible nor verifiable. In 1986, Iraq used chemical weapons against Iran, and later, against its own Kurdish population. While weapons inspections have been successful in the past, there have been no inspections since the end of 1998. There can be no doubt that Iraq has continued to pursue its goal of obtaining weapons of mass destruction." -- Patty Murray, October 9, 2002

"As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." -- Nancy Pelosi, December 16, 1998

"Even today, Iraq is not nearly disarmed. Based on highly credible intelligence, UNSCOM [the U.N. weapons inspectors] suspects that Iraq still has biological agents like anthrax, botulinum toxin, and clostridium perfringens in sufficient quantity to fill several dozen bombs and ballistic missile warheads, as well as the means to continue manufacturing these deadly agents. Iraq probably retains several tons of the highly toxic VX substance, as well as sarin nerve gas and mustard gas. This agent is stored in artillery shells, bombs, and ballistic missile warheads. And Iraq retains significant dual-use industrial infrastructure that can be used to rapidly reconstitute large-scale chemical weapons production." -- Ex-Un Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter in 1998

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. And that may happen sooner if he can obtain access to enriched uranium from foreign sources -- something that is not that difficult in the current world. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction." -- John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002

"Saddam’s existing biological and chemical weapons capabilities pose a very real threat to America, now. Saddam has used chemical weapons before, both against Iraq’s enemies and against his own people. He is working to develop delivery systems like missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that could bring these deadly weapons against U.S. forces and U.S. facilities in the Middle East." -- John Rockefeller, Oct 10, 2002

"Whether one agrees or disagrees with the Administration’s policy towards Iraq, I don’t think there can be any question about Saddam’s conduct. He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do. He lies and cheats; he snubs the mandate and authority of international weapons inspectors; and he games the system to keep buying time against enforcement of the just and legitimate demands of the United Nations, the Security Council, the United States and our allies. Those are simply the facts." -- Henry Waxman, Oct 10, 2002
Riiiight, right, right. Bush made it all up. He somehow "fixed" it so that people throughout the 90's and up to the war itself believed him. What a genius Bush is, eh? But wait...that isn't very consistent. You have said repeatedly and even attempted to show through some posts that Bush is a dimwit.

Pull this leg, it plays Jingle Bells. Enough with these spectacular conspiracy theories liberals. UFO's, Elvis still living, Bush is capable of orchestrating perhaps the greatest conspiracy ever...enough of the fantasy land stuff. No one buys it.

Apokalupsis
August 16th, 2005, 05:26 PM
"Most" people did not believe him. That's why it was so difficult to find support throughout the world for this war. You are speaking of this huge majority of warmongers that have this "someone has got to pay for 9/11" attitude in this country.
In 2002, prior to the war, 64% of Americans supported the decision to go to war as long as we did so with other nations (which we did).

Most people did in fact believe that claims made. They did because several sources, not just the US intelligence were supporting the claims.

ShadowKnight
August 16th, 2005, 08:05 PM
No. One shouldn't make the decision of what to support and what not to support based on what you think is "best" for the country and government.

Look, let me make it quite simple to you. Even if I was against the war, I would have the basic understanding, DESPITE the fact I may be against it, if we are already in this, we might as well get out, yes? Get it now? You see, I don't mine the disagreement, just when people divid for the worse of our country.

If a group of people are in a mess, and half the people disagreed with it in the first place, if they were part of the mess, why does it make sense to make the problem worse instead of uniting and defeating the problem? The problem effects everyone, including you people, but you people insist on not solving the problem.




Liberals didn't want a war until all options were exhausted. No liberal is advocating going around starting fights and then quitting - they don't want the unneccessary fights started in the first place. Once again, your words, not mine.

Well, actions speak louder than words here. This a fight we are all involved in, and instead of putting your heads together, you would rather make things worse by causing conflict within our own boundaries. The more we disagree, the more we suffer, this is basic logic.



No, I don't think it would have been different. You'll have to prove just how the bad morale back home affected the troops...just saying "it made them lose" means nothing. And that's beside the point, because if the war was a "good" one there would not have been the sizeable protesting that there was. Vietnam was lost because it was a stupid war in the first place, and blaming the people that said it was a stupid war for the loss is, once again, not looking at the facts. Myself, I'm glad that all those protestors marched against Vietnam - it got our troops home earlier, saved many of their lives, and put an end to our pointless war.

Morale has a lot to do with it. Morale would bring devotion out, bring the nation together to focus on one thing, instead of dividing a country even further. Iraq is a good cause. I will not elaborate.



By "right," you must mean "agreeable to you," as we have people standing up for what they believe is "right" all over the country.

Okay, so getting Saddam off power is... wrong? hmm




That question has been asked and answered in basically every Iraq War thread on this site. I wish you would think of a new one. It's good that Saddam's gone. It's bad we rushed to war, bad Bush lied or mislead us into the war, bad that we had no exit strategy, and bad that 1,800 soldiers have died.

Lied? Have you forgotten? Based on information, not just from us, but from outside sources as well, confirming our own reports. Hell, we don't even know if there WAS WMDs, as if the 1998 inspections isn't enough evidence....

think of all the lives that would have been lost if we didn't stop Saddam now, eh?

KevinBrowning
August 16th, 2005, 08:12 PM
Unless I've missed it, no one has responded to the second half of my post on page one, so I'm just making sure it's known that I added to it.

Telex
August 16th, 2005, 08:37 PM
Look, let me make it quite simple to you. Even if I was against the war, I would have the basic understanding, DESPITE the fact I may be against it, if we are already in this, we might as well get out, yes? Get it now? You see, I don't mine the disagreement, just when people divid for the worse of our country.
So your idea of "getting them out" is to support their presence in Iraq? I think the liberals' way makes a little bit more sense.


If a group of people are in a mess, and half the people disagreed with it in the first place, if they were part of the mess, why does it make sense to make the problem worse instead of uniting and defeating the problem? The problem effects everyone, including you people, but you people insist on not solving the problem.
Please prove the protesters have made the problem worse, as opposed to bringing the problem into light.


Well, actions speak louder than words here. This a fight we are all involved in, and instead of putting your heads together, you would rather make things worse by causing conflict within our own boundaries. The more we disagree, the more we suffer, this is basic logic.

Putting "our heads together" to do what? I'm sure the liberlas would be willing to "put their heads together" with the conservatives if it meant ending the war, but it has been made clear that won't happen if the conservatives have their way. And with a Republican controlled government, the conservatives have no need to talk with the Democrats. It's not just the liberals who refuse to work with the other side - neither one will.


Morale has a lot to do with it. Morale would bring devotion out, bring the nation together to focus on one thing, instead of dividing a country even further. Iraq is a good cause. I will not elaborate.

"Morale has a lot to do with it?" "Focus on one thing?" You're being too vague - probably because you have no real support. What "one thing" do you want America to focus on, and how do you think it will affect the war?


Okay, so getting Saddam off power is... wrong? hmm

That wasn't my point. Please reread your own statement and my response.

However, Saddam has been out of power for a good 18 months sincce Saddam was captured and he's been out of power for even longer, and yet we're still there.


Lied? Have you forgotten? Based on information, not just from us, but from outside sources as well, confirming our own reports. Hell, we don't even know if there WAS WMDs, as if the 1998 inspections isn't enough evidence....
You mean the 1998 inspections that found...nothing? Truely, the evidence was staggering.

Booger
August 16th, 2005, 08:42 PM
Nonsense. To believe that George Bush lied about WMD's or made it up, or had others made it up means that there was a vast conspiracy that involves the highest level of both parties which stretches across both the pro and anti-war movements. It's rubbish.

What's rubbish is your ridiculous straw man argument. I never claimed that anyone "made up" WMDs. I also never claimed that there was no faulty intel. What is claimed and what is supported by the evidence is that the Bush administration "systematically mispresented" the threat posed by Iraqi WMD, not that Bush lied or "made up" intel about the bare existence of WMD. [How many times am I going to have to repeat myself?] Just to make it crystal clear (for like the thousandth time), here is the argument:

Beyond the intelligence failures, the Bush administration systematically misrepresented the threat posed by Iraqi WMD to the American people in an effort to lead us to war. See, e.g., the Carnegie Report cited above.

And as far as your laundry list of quotes go, no one is disputing that people thought he had weapons. What is disputed is threat that Iraq posed to the national security of the United States; a threat that was misrepresented and exaggerated by the Bush administration. Moreover, what these quotes are evidence of is a campaign to get Saddam to comply with UN resolutions, which Bush then turned into a policy of regime change which, contrary to his public statements, was firmly cemented within the Bush administration long before his "official" decision to go to war (see the Downing Street Memo). Further, the fact of the matter is, Saddam was contained AND the Duelfer Report provides ample evidence that the inspections were in fact working. Further, as evidenced in the Duelfer Report, Saddam's defiance of UN resolutions was to create the perception that he had WMD to retain his power in the ME, not to provide terrorists with WMD to attack the United States.

In short, it is my contention that Bush in fact misled the American people by misrepresenting the threat that was posed by Iraqi WMD....and evidence for that fact continues to gather, slowly but surely.


Most people did in fact believe that claims made.

Sure, because Bush did a good job of misrepresenting the threat posed by Iraqi WMD.


Pull this leg, it plays Jingle Bells.

Now that's just gay.


Enough with these spectacular conspiracy theories liberals.

Spectacular conspiracy theories? That's good one. I suppose your next argument is that the Carnegie Endowment is just a puppet of internet conspiracy buffs, Nandy, er, I mean Apok. There's no conspiracy; just a systematic mispresentation of fact to get America behind an ill-fated war in which over 1,800 of our soldiers have been killed, thousands maimed for life and billions down the drain. And there is ample evidence of this contention, notwithstanding your utterly ridiculous and intellectually dishonest claim that reports of Bush misrepresenting the threat posed by Iraqi WMD are tantamount to reports of "UFOs" or "Elvis sightings."

So let me ask directly, is it your contention that the Carnegie report is one big "spectacular conspiracy theory"? If so, let's see your support.


Enough of the fantasy land stuff. No one buys it.

lol. The only people living in fantasy land are the conservatives who claim that all Bush did was pass on faulty intel. If anyone ain't buyin' they ain't buying that crock o sh*t argument. And you can take that to the bank, son.

BTW, for future reference, you may want to construct an argument that actually deals with the claims made instead of constructing one big straw man argument that's as easy to crack as an egg on grandma's cast iron skillet.

Booger
August 16th, 2005, 08:59 PM
So, you mean that not supporting our country is a better decision than supporting our nation, work together to make this "mess" better, and raising morale? Good point.

You know what would probably help, SK? Some acknowledgement from the political right that Bush f*cked up, misrepresented the threat posed by Iraqi WMD and got us into an awful mess. Those are the plain facts, as unpleasant as they may be. Until then, this country will remain divided on Iraq because the libs are not getting what they deserve: honesty and recognition of our viewpoints. And until we get some honesty and acknowledgement of our concerns that resulted in us going to war, how can you expect us to come under the tent that you pitched?

What say you, SK?

Booger
August 16th, 2005, 09:18 PM
The following column, written by Frank Rich, sums things up quite nicely about where we stand today and where we are going:

LIKE the Japanese soldier marooned on an island for years after V-J Day, President Bush may be the last person in the country to learn that for Americans, if not Iraqis, the war in Iraq is over. "We will stay the course," he insistently tells us from his Texas ranch. What do you mean we, white man?

A president can't stay the course when his own citizens (let alone his own allies) won't stay with him. The approval rate for Mr. Bush's handling of Iraq plunged to 34 percent in last weekend's Newsweek poll - a match for the 32 percent that approved L.B.J.'s handling of Vietnam in early March 1968. (The two presidents' overall approval ratings have also converged: 41 percent for Johnson then, 42 percent for Bush now.) On March 31, 1968, as L.B.J.'s ratings plummeted further, he announced he wouldn't seek re-election, commencing our long extrication from that quagmire.

But our current Texas president has even outdone his predecessor; Mr. Bush has lost not only the country but also his army. Neither bonuses nor fudged standards nor the faking of high school diplomas has solved the recruitment shortfall. Now Jake Tapper of ABC News reports that the armed forces are so eager for bodies they will flout "don't ask, don't tell" and hang on to gay soldiers who tell, even if they tell the press.

The president's cable cadre is in disarray as well. At Fox News Bill O'Reilly is trashing Donald Rumsfeld for his incompetence, and Ann Coulter is chiding Mr. O'Reilly for being a defeatist. In an emblematic gesture akin to waving a white flag, Robert Novak walked off a CNN set and possibly out of a job rather than answer questions about his role in smearing the man who helped expose the administration's prewar inflation of Saddam W.M.D.'s. (On this sinking ship, it's hard to know which rat to root for.)

As if the right-wing pundit crackup isn't unsettling enough, Mr. Bush's top war strategists, starting with Mr. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, have of late tried to rebrand the war in Iraq as what the defense secretary calls "a global struggle against violent extremism." A struggle is what you have with your landlord. When the war's über-managers start using euphemisms for a conflict this lethal, it's a clear sign that the battle to keep the Iraq war afloat with the American public is lost.

That battle crashed past the tipping point this month in Ohio. There's historical symmetry in that. It was in Cincinnati on Oct. 7, 2002, that Mr. Bush gave the fateful address that sped Congressional ratification of the war just days later. The speech was a miasma of self-delusion, half-truths and hype. The president said that "we know that Iraq and Al Qaeda have had high-level contacts that go back a decade," an exaggeration based on evidence that the Senate Intelligence Committee would later find far from conclusive. He said that Saddam "could have a nuclear weapon in less than a year" were he able to secure "an amount of highly enriched uranium a little larger than a single softball." Our own National Intelligence Estimate of Oct. 1 quoted State Department findings that claims of Iraqi pursuit of uranium in Africa were "highly dubious."

It was on these false premises - that Iraq was both a collaborator on 9/11 and about to inflict mushroom clouds on America - that honorable and brave young Americans were sent off to fight. Among them were the 19 marine reservists from a single suburban Cleveland battalion slaughtered in just three days at the start of this month. As they perished, another Ohio marine reservist who had served in Iraq came close to winning a Congressional election in southern Ohio. Paul Hackett, a Democrat who called the president a "chicken hawk," received 48 percent of the vote in exactly the kind of bedrock conservative Ohio district that decided the 2004 election for Mr. Bush.

These are the tea leaves that all Republicans, not just Chuck Hagel, are reading now. Newt Gingrich called the Hackett near-victory "a wake-up call." The resolutely pro-war New York Post editorial page begged Mr. Bush (to no avail) to "show some leadership" by showing up in Ohio to salute the fallen and their families. A Bush loyalist, Senator George Allen of Virginia, instructed the president to meet with Cindy Sheehan, the mother camping out in Crawford, as "a matter of courtesy and decency." Or, to translate his Washingtonese, as a matter of politics. Only someone as adrift from reality as Mr. Bush would need to be told that a vacationing president can't win a standoff with a grief-stricken parent commandeering TV cameras and the blogosphere 24/7.

Such political imperatives are rapidly bringing about the war's end. That's inevitable for a war of choice, not necessity, that was conceived in politics from the start. Iraq was a Bush administration idée fixe before there was a 9/11. Within hours of that horrible trauma, according to Richard Clarke's "Against All Enemies," Mr. Rumsfeld was proposing Iraq as a battlefield, not because the enemy that attacked America was there, but because it offered "better targets" than the shadowy terrorist redoubts of Afghanistan. It was easier to take out Saddam - and burnish Mr. Bush's credentials as a slam-dunk "war president," suitable for a "Top Gun" victory jig - than to shut down Al Qaeda and smoke out its leader "dead or alive."

But just as politics are a bad motive for choosing a war, so they can be a doomed engine for running a war. In an interview with Tim Russert early last year, Mr. Bush said, "The thing about the Vietnam War that troubles me, as I look back, was it was a political war," adding that the "essential" lesson he learned from Vietnam was to not have "politicians making military decisions." But by then Mr. Bush had disastrously ignored that very lesson; he had let Mr. Rumsfeld publicly rebuke the Army's chief of staff, Eric Shinseki, after the general dared tell the truth: that several hundred thousand troops would be required to secure Iraq. To this day it's our failure to provide that security that has turned the country into the terrorist haven it hadn't been before 9/11 - "the central front in the war on terror," as Mr. Bush keeps reminding us, as if that might make us forget he's the one who recklessly created it.

The endgame for American involvement in Iraq will be of a piece with the rest of this sorry history. "It makes no sense for the commander in chief to put out a timetable" for withdrawal, Mr. Bush declared on the same day that 14 of those Ohio troops were killed by a roadside bomb in Haditha. But even as he spoke, the war's actual commander, Gen. George Casey, had already publicly set a timetable for "some fairly substantial reductions" to start next spring. Officially this calendar is tied to the next round of Iraqi elections, but it's quite another election this administration has in mind. The priority now is less to save Jessica Lynch (or Iraqi democracy) than to save Rick Santorum and every other endangered Republican facing voters in November 2006.

Nothing that happens on the ground in Iraq can turn around the fate of this war in America: not a shotgun constitution rushed to meet an arbitrary deadline, not another Iraqi election, not higher terrorist body counts, not another battle for Falluja (where insurgents may again regroup, The Los Angeles Times reported last week). A citizenry that was asked to accept tax cuts, not sacrifice, at the war's inception is hardly in the mood to start sacrificing now. There will be neither the volunteers nor the money required to field the wholesale additional American troops that might bolster the security situation in Iraq.

WHAT lies ahead now in Iraq instead is not victory, which Mr. Bush has never clearly defined anyway, but an exit (or triage) strategy that may echo Johnson's March 1968 plan for retreat from Vietnam: some kind of negotiations (in this case, with Sunni elements of the insurgency), followed by more inflated claims about the readiness of the local troops-in-training, whom we'll then throw to the wolves. Such an outcome may lead to even greater disaster, but this administration long ago squandered the credibility needed to make the difficult case that more human and financial resources might prevent Iraq from continuing its descent into civil war and its devolution into jihad central.

Thus the president's claim on Thursday that "no decision has been made yet" about withdrawing troops from Iraq can be taken exactly as seriously as the vice president's preceding fantasy that the insurgency is in its "last throes." The country has already made the decision for Mr. Bush. We're outta there. Now comes the hard task of identifying the leaders who can pick up the pieces of the fiasco that has made us more vulnerable, not less, to the terrorists who struck us four years ago next month.

Apokalupsis
August 16th, 2005, 10:36 PM
What's rubbish is your ridiculous straw man argument. I never claimed that anyone "made up" WMDs. I also never claimed that there was no faulty intel. What is claimed and what is supported by the evidence is that the Bush administration "systematically mispresented" the threat posed by Iraqi WMD, not that Bush lied or "made up" intel about the bare existence of WMD. [How many times am I going to have to repeat myself?] Just to make it crystal clear (for like the thousandth time),
Problem: Booger doesn't speak for the majority of liberals. Booger has also changed his position from "He lied" to "He misrepresented the facts" which is fine of course, but shows that it is not uncommon for a liberal to hold such a view.

So who says Bush actually lied?

Milt Bearden: Former Head of the CIA's Soviet/Eastern Eurpean Division and Station Cheif in Pakistan. Has worked for the CIA for over 30 years.
Rand Beers: Former Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council Senior Director to combat terrorism. Has worked for the CIA for 35 years.
Gragan Fuller: Former Vice Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA. 25 years as a professional intelligence officer at the CIA.
Karen Kwiatkowski: Former Air Force Lt. Colonel, officer of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, bear East South Asia and Special Plans.
John Brady Kiesling: Former Politicial Counselor to the Unted States Embassy Athens, Greece. Served in the foreign service for 20 years.
Patrick Lang: Former Chief of Middle East intelligence at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Dr. David C. MacMichael: 13 years as a CIA Analyst.
Peter Zimmerman: Former Chief Scientist of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Worked with arms control and disarmet agency before that.
Ray McGovern: Former Chairman of the National Intelligence estimate, responsible for the Presidents's daily brief. Before that an analyst of Soviet affairs for 26 years.
Henry Waxman: Congressman representing California's 30th Congressional District.
Colonel Mary Ann Wright: Deputy Chief of Mission in the US Embassies in Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Has served the US army for 30 years.
Philip Coyle: Former Assistant Secretary of defense and director of operational test and evaluation at the Pentagon.
Joseph Wilson: Former Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Iraq and special assistant to the President.
Bill Christinson: Former CIA Director of the Office of Regional and Political Analysis. Worked for the CIA for over 28 years.
Partrick Eddingtion: Former CIA Analyst during the 1991 Iraq war.
David Corn: Washington Editor of the Nation Magazine.
Clair Short: Former UK Cabinet Minister in Labor Government.
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
John Dean: Former White House Counsel to President Richard Nixon.
Thomas E. White: 23 year Commissioned Officer and Former Secretary of the Army.
Robert Baer: Former CIA operative who served in Iraq and Lebanon and was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal. He served the CIA for over 21 years.
Scott Ritter: Former Marine Captain and UN weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991-1998.
Mel Goodman: 20 year Senior CIA Analyst.
David Albright: Physicist and former weapons inspector with the IAEA Action team. He worked with assessing secret nuclear weapons programs for 20 years.
Admiral Stansfield Turner: Former Director of the CIA and Commander of the Second Fleet.

They claim Bush, Powell, Rumsfeld and several others lied.


They also claim:

Saddam was no threat.
Saddam was not trying to develop nuclear weapons.
There was no connection between Al-Qaeda and Saddam.
At least 95% of all WMDs in Iraq was destroyed by the earlier weapons inspectors after the Gulf war.
The aluminium tubes could not be used for nukes.
The facts were manufactured to mislead the public.
yada yada yada

Source: http://www.truthuncovered.com/ (the official site for the documentary: UNCOVERED: The War on Iraq (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0002ZDWGC/002-6154969-0720046))



According to the Documentary "Uncovered: The whole truth about the Iraq war".

FruitandNut
August 16th, 2005, 10:50 PM
Apok - We can presume that the communiques and briefings that Blair got were also known to Bush, that being the case the facts in regard to WMD were massaged and edited for public consumption; that being so, whether he 'lied' or 'decieved', or BOTH, is really down to semantics and political perception.

Apokalupsis
August 16th, 2005, 11:01 PM
Boog, Snoop: Click me! (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php?p=97800#post97800)

ShadowKnight
August 17th, 2005, 04:09 AM
You know what would probably help, SK? Some acknowledgement from the political right that Bush f*cked up, misrepresented the threat posed by Iraqi WMD and got us into an awful mess. Those are the plain facts, as unpleasant as they may be. Until then, this country will remain divided on Iraq because the libs are not getting what they deserve: honesty and recognition of our viewpoints. And until we get some honesty and acknowledgement of our concerns that resulted in us going to war, how can you expect us to come under the tent that you pitched?

What say you, SK?

Excuse me? I think we hear enough of liberals viewpoints... EVERYDAY on the news, EVERYDAY they have something to say, that I will not contest. Here's the thing Boog, I don't care who pitched this, whether you like it or not, this decision affected EVERYONE, including YOU. Instead of uniting, you insist on dividing our nation, and you think yourself smart?

And how do you know they didn't have WMDs, do you think that inspectors have explored every square foot of Iraq, a nation the size of California? Have you ever considered that possibly that the very wonderful world of transportation does exist? Iraq KNEW we were coming, wasn't it obvious? In 1998, what happened? Oh yes, UN Inspectors were kicked out for some ODD reason, and we just thought they wanted privacy! Bah, privacy my foot. If I recall, the inspectors were specifically not allowed to enter certain places, I wonder why.

FruitandNut
August 17th, 2005, 07:40 AM
SK - I am pointing out to you that the best laid plans can come adrift, and that this is not even a best laid plan. Yes, getting rid of Saddam is good in OUR scheme of things, but democracy is not something that is going to replace him. Just you watch - any form of nominally democratic system that is concocted will fall apart under the pressures of Islamic fundamentalist factions, tribalism and internecine feuding. Give it another 100-1000 years and perhaps Islam will modify its stance sufficiently, it is NOT going to be any quick fix Western 'Coalition' that will do the trick. The influence of worldwide communication, and moral pressure from the more educated and enlightened Muslim women and men, are what will make a real difference. The very real problem is that they are going to have to do what many Jews and Christians have already done, and see the extremist tracts as being what they are - influenced by the bloody nature and tribalism of the time - that God/Allah or whatever, does not call on us to wage a violent 'Jihad' - that any 'conversion', whether religious or political, should be by peaceful argument and example.

Booger
August 17th, 2005, 08:15 AM
Booger has also changed his position from "He lied" to "He misrepresented the facts" which is fine of course, but shows that it is not uncommon for a liberal to hold such a view.

That's total bullsh*t, Apok. I have said time and time again, most recently in that pointless Anti-War Claims thread you started, that Bush mispresented the nature of the threat posed by Iraqi WMD. Your characterization of my position is false and misleading. Go figure.

Regardless, who cares? :dunno: Care to address any of the actual claims made in my posts? I understand if you don't want to (because you're getting utterly pwnd), but consider whether coming back to post meaningless garbage that is not the least bit germane to the debate in an effort to deflect from the ineptitude of your arguments is really a wise strategy.


So who says Bush actually lied?

So who actually cares? :dunno:

Your arguments in this thread are growing weaker and weaker by the post.

Booger
August 17th, 2005, 08:23 AM
And how do you know they didn't have WMDs,

SK, your ignorance on this matter is truly astounding, particularly since you've been a member of ODN for like 2 years now. Do yourself a favor: Read the Duelfer Report (official US govt report on Iraqi WMD) from cover to cover and all your hunches, theories, etc. about how Hussien transferred WMD to Syria or hid them somewhere else are all discounted.


Bah, privacy my foot. If I recall, the inspectors were specifically not allowed to enter certain places, I wonder why.

Conservatives. Gotta have pity for them these days, particularly when they have to resort to arguments like this in an attempt to justify the horrific mess they created in Iraq.

And by the way, SK, I see that you rejected my offer. And you wonder why the country is divided? What pathetic fools you conservatives are these days, hiding under intellectually bankrupt arguments to justify the Iraq debacle, persisting in perpetuating half-truths and outright misrepresentations, and refusing to acknowledge the truth. Just plain pathetic. Ugh.

Apokalupsis
August 17th, 2005, 08:24 AM
The point of it is Boog...that YOU are an EXCEPTION to the anti-war crowd. That YOU now have the position that Bush merely misrepresented instead of flat-out lied, is not as important as the loud mouth liberals who continue to this day, claim that Bush did in fact lie and as such, something ought to be done about it.

It's like addressing a conservative who believes in God, believes this nation was founded or at least based on Christianity, but also beleives that faith and government should be separated. So what? The real meat is the claim that government and faith ought to be intertwined (for any given reason). That is what is attacked because that is what is held to be true by most of the group.*



*just an example, whether or not most conservatives believe that faith and government should be connected in one way or another is unknown and irrelevant, and was only used as a hypothetical example.

KevinBrowning
August 17th, 2005, 11:39 AM
Any comment yet as to the incredibly slow progress of America's democracy, and how in the respect of enfranchisement, Iraq is making much faster progress? Also, any comment as to the necessarily Islam dominated nature of an Iraqi republic, and how any sort of democratic influenced system is better than fascism?

It seems that the Democrats just don't understand what was meant by "democracy" for Iraq in the first place. Bush's Administration was never so naive as to imagine a fully functional western secular democratic republic within a couple of years, but I suppose the liberals were.

Booger
August 17th, 2005, 12:23 PM
Bush's Administration was never so naive as to imagine a fully functional western secular democratic republic within a couple of years, but I suppose the liberals were.

lol. Apparently you didn't read the article from the Wash Post closely enough. It is in fact the Bush administration that is shedding its "unreality" that dominated their thinking for a fully functioning western democracy, Kev. From the article:

"The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges, U.S. officials say.

"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=97486&postcount=1

In other words, it was the Bush team's naivete that is being "shedded" at the moment, Kev, not the libs. NT though.

KevinBrowning
August 17th, 2005, 12:35 PM
In other words, it was the Bush team's naivete that is being "shedded" at the moment, Kev, not the libs. NT though.

That article expresses the opinion of certain individuals, not the entire administration. I don't understand how anyone, conservative or liberal, would expect such a preposterous thing as a fully formed western style democracy in post Saddam Iraq within a matter of a few years. The reality is that any step toward self determination is better than dictatorship.

Booger
August 17th, 2005, 12:43 PM
I don't understand how anyone, conservative or liberal, would expect such a preposterous thing as a fully formed western style democracy in post Saddam Iraq within a matter of a few years.

Umm..the Bush administration did.

KevinBrowning
August 17th, 2005, 12:47 PM
Umm..the Bush administration did.

What makes you think so? Did Bush's administration ever use words to that effect? They used the term "democracy" a lot, but that's a far cry from "western, secular democracy." In the modern Middle East, an Islam centered republic with voting rights is as close to the western conception of "democracy" as is going to be obtained anytime soon. I'd say such is preferable to Saddam's cruel totalitarianism.

ShadowKnight
August 17th, 2005, 07:22 PM
SK, your ignorance on this matter is truly astounding, particularly since you've been a member of ODN for like 2 years now. Do yourself a favor: Read the Duelfer Report (official US govt report on Iraqi WMD) from cover to cover and all your hunches, theories, etc. about how Hussien transferred WMD to Syria or hid them somewhere else are all discounted.

As far as I'm concerned Booger, you simply cannot KNOW that for sure. ONCE AGAIN (answer this question), do you think the inspectors have explored EVERY SQUARE FOOT of Iraq (approx the size of California). YES or NO.

Also, when attention started gathering around Iraq, do you think Saddam would be dumb enough to actually keep weapons? Much attention started gathering around him for months, those many months that he had to play around with to hide anything that he may have, under very low supervision. I don't care what you believe, or what "facts" they present. Iraq was not under a very watchful eye when Bush was going to the UN to try to make them come along with him.




Conservatives. Gotta have pity for them these days, particularly when they have to resort to arguments like this in an attempt to justify the horrific mess they created in Iraq.

What I find pretty pathetic is how ignorant you are. You resort to dodging my question, knowing that 1998 inspections simply cannot be ignored. Once again, why why why why why why why weren't UN inspectors allowed into certain areas.



And by the way, SK, I see that you rejected my offer. And you wonder why the country is divided? What pathetic fools you conservatives are these days, hiding under intellectually bankrupt arguments to justify the Iraq debacle, persisting in perpetuating half-truths and outright misrepresentations, and refusing to acknowledge the truth. Just plain pathetic. Ugh.

rejected your offer? What have you offered to help this country one bit? What do YOU have to offer? Now that the nation is in war, YOU are the ones that are dividing the country. I'm sorry that you didn't win the vote contest, but we can't satisfy everyone you know. I got a question for you Booger, and I will repeat it until you answer. In fact, if you answer none of my questions, I will continue to repeat until you do.

Would you perfer to help your country that would perhaps save lives in Iraq and win our present battle?

or

Would you perfer to nag Bush, point fingers at the government, criticize every action made by the country, and generally be unhelpful to your own country, possibly dividing the country unneccesarily and costing lives in Iraq?

Pick. (here's a hint, i think you've been doing #2)

CliveStaples
August 18th, 2005, 02:41 PM
http://slate.msn.com/id/2124546/&#wright


WaPo's Robin Wright, who has been sneering from the sidelines throughout the Iraq war, recently co-wrote a much-noticed article, "U.S. Lowers Sights on What Can Be Achieved in Iraq." (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/13/AR2005081300853_pf.html)Am I the only person who found it thin and unconvincing? When I read, in Wright's lede, that the "Bush administration is significantly lowering expectations of what can be achieved in Iraq," I expect to see a depressing Kerry-like acceptance of a post-pullout stable military autocracy or acceptance of an Iran-style religious state--something that would really suggest that the invasion wasn't close to being worth the costs. Instead, Wright tells us: 1) What we already knew--there's not enough electricity or security and unemployment is very high. Damage from looting has hurt the ability to quickly build a "robust" Iraqi economy; 2) Oil production is "estimated at 2.2 million barrels a day, short of the goal of 2.5 million"! 3) the constitution will "require laws to be compliant with Islam," as if that vague requirement automatically means something horrible; 4) Kurds and Shiites are expecting "de facto long term" some sort of autonomy. (That's a bad thing?) 5) We don't expect to "fully defeat the insurgency" before our troops leave. ... There are also some downbeat, non-specific quotes from critics like Larry Diamond--who laments that we "don't have the time to go through the process we envisioned ... to build a democratic culture and consensus." And there's one anonymous "U.S. official" who says "we will have some form of Islamic republic." But there's no indication that this "Islamic republic" won't be democratic--e.g. that it will be de facto ruled by mullahs as opposed to elections. [Isn't the United Kingdom "a Christian monarchy with a state church"--reader T.N. That's Robin Wright's next piece: "Magna Carta Failing to Achieve Initial Expectations."] ... P.S.: I'm not saying the Bushies haven't drastically lowered their expectations recently. I'm saying Wright doesn't show it. ... P.P.S.: Wright also notes, without irony, that Iraq is "incapable of providing enough refined fuel amid a car-buying boom that has put an estimated 1 million more vehicles on the road." [Emph. added] A "car-buying boom"--another shocking failure! Don't they know about global warming? ... 11:58 A.M.


Interesting.




Umm..the Bush administration did.

Hah! Is that so? I suppose I should disregard all of Bush's speeches where he talks about a long and difficult time ahead, and how democracy is a process, not an event, etc., etc., etc.



"What we expected to achieve was never realistic given the timetable or what unfolded on the ground," said a senior official involved in policy since the 2003 invasion. "We are in a process of absorbing the factors of the situation we're in and shedding the unreality that dominated at the beginning."

No plan survives its first encounter with the enemy; similarly, occuaption plans need to be adapted to fit the situation. I fail to see how this is somehow "lowering our goals".



Conservatives. Gotta have pity for them these days, particularly when they have to resort to arguments like this in an attempt to justify the horrific mess they created in Iraq.

Democracy is horrific? Closing down rape rooms and torture rooms is horrific? I'm sorry that war isn't a bed of roses, but if we are going to combat terrorism, we need to take out states that support it. And the "horrific mess" in Iraq was justified by Congress, if you recall.

What is horrific about Iraq? What makes you think that the occupation isn't successful? It may not be going smoothly, but that's a rather absurd expectation.

Snoop
August 18th, 2005, 03:23 PM
What makes you think that the occupation isn't successful? It may not be going smoothly, but that's a rather absurd expectation.
Sorry to bust your bubble Clive, but it's not an occupation - far from it.

CliveStaples
August 18th, 2005, 03:28 PM
Sorry to bust your bubble Clive, but it's not an occupation - far from it.

Use whatever terminology you prefer. We have forces that occupy space in a foreign country. Our presence is there only so long as the foreign country tolerates it.

Booger
August 18th, 2005, 06:18 PM
Democracy is horrific? Closing down rape rooms and torture rooms is horrific? I'm sorry that war isn't a bed of roses, but if we are going to combat terrorism, we need to take out states that support it.

Of course democracy is not horrific, neither is closing rape and torture rooms, but as I have oft stated, the benefits cannot be lauded to the exclusion of the costs; i.e., the 1,800+ dead Americans and hundreds of billions spent/allocated. Further, the American people did not, as a whole (you seem to be an exception), "sign on" to the war in Iraq to provide freedom to Iraqis; they "signed on" to eliminate a "grave and gathering threat" to our national security, a threat that was overstated and exaggerated by the government.

CliveStaples
August 18th, 2005, 09:04 PM
Of course democracy is not horrific, neither is closing rape and torture rooms, but as I have oft stated, the benefits cannot be lauded to the exclusion of the costs; i.e., the 1,800+ dead Americans and hundreds of billions spent/allocated.

If left in power, much more than 1,800 Iraqis would have died. Is an Iraqi civilian's life not worth as much as an Americans'? By sending our soldiers over there, are we weakening our own national security (that is, are we rescuing Iraqis only to make Americans more vulnerable)? I think not.


Further, the American people did not, as a whole (you seem to be an exception), "sign on" to the war in Iraq to provide freedom to Iraqis; they "signed on" to eliminate a "grave and gathering threat" to our national security, a threat that was overstated and exaggerated by the government.

Ah, yes. Because there was NO link between Hussein and terror. None at all.

Here is why the American people signed onto the war:


Whereas in 1990 in response to Iraq's war of aggression against and illegal occupation of Kuwait, the United States forged a coalition of nations to liberate Kuwait and its people in order to defend the national security of the United States and enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions relating to Iraq;

Whereas after the liberation of Kuwait in 1991, Iraq entered into a United Nations sponsored cease-fire agreement pursuant to which Iraq unequivocally agreed, among other things, to eliminate its nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons programs and the means to deliver and develop them, and to end its support for international terrorism;

Whereas the efforts of international weapons inspectors, United States intelligence agencies, and Iraqi defectors led to the discovery that Iraq had large stockpiles of chemical weapons and a large scale biological weapons program, and that Iraq had an advanced nuclear weapons development program that was much closer to producing a nuclear weapon than intelligence reporting had previously indicated;

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998;

Whereas in 1998 Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in "material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations" and urged the President "to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations" (Public Law 105-235);

Whereas Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolutions of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population thereby threatening international peace and security in the region, by refusing to release, repatriate, or account for non-Iraqi citizens wrongfully detained by Iraq, including an American serviceman, and by failing to return property wrongfully seized by Iraq from Kuwait;

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction against other nations and its own people;

Whereas the current Iraqi regime has demonstrated its continuing hostility toward, and willingness to attack, the United States, including by attempting in 1993 to assassinate former President Bush and by firing on many thousands of occasions on United States and Coalition Armed Forces engaged in enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council;

Whereas members of al Qaida, an organization bearing responsibility for attacks on the United States, its citizens, and interests, including the attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, are known to be in Iraq;

Whereas Iraq continues to aid and harbor other international terrorist organizations, including organizations that threaten the lives and safety of American citizens;

Whereas the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001 underscored the gravity of the threat posed by the acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by international terrorist organizations;

Whereas Iraq's demonstrated capability and willingness to use weapons of mass destruction, the risk that the current Iraqi regime will either employ those weapons to launch a surprise attack against the United States or its Armed Forces or provide them to international terrorists who would do so, and the extreme magnitude of harm that would result to the United States and its citizens from such an attack, combine to justify action by the United States to defend itself;

Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 authorizes the use of all necessary means to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 660 and subsequent relevant resolutions and to compel Iraq to cease certain activities that threaten international peace and security, including the development of weapons of mass destruction and refusal or obstruction of United Nations weapons inspections in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, repression of its civilian population in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688, and threatening its neighbors or United Nations operations in Iraq in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 949;

Whereas Congress in the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1) has authorized the President "to use United States Armed Forces pursuant to United Nations Security Council Resolution 678 (1990) in order to achieve implementation of Security Council Resolutions 660, 661, 662, 664, 665, 666, 667, 669, 670, 674, and 677";

Whereas in December 1991, Congress expressed its sense that it "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 687 as being consistent with the Authorization of Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution (Public Law 102-1)," that Iraq's repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and "constitutes a continuing threat to the peace, security, and stability of the Persian Gulf region," and that Congress, "supports the use of all necessary means to achieve the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 688";

Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act (Public Law 105-338) expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime;

Whereas on September 12, 2002, President Bush committed the United States to "work with the United Nations Security Council to meet our common challenge" posed by Iraq and to "work for the necessary resolutions," while also making clear that "the Security Council resolutions will be enforced, and the just demands of peace and security will be met, or action will be unavoidable";

Whereas the United States is determined to prosecute the war on terrorism and Iraq's ongoing support for international terrorist groups combined with its development of weapons of mass destruction in direct violation of its obligations under the 1991 cease-fire and other United Nations Security Council resolutions make clear that it is in the national security interests of the United States and in furtherance of the war on terrorism that all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions be enforced, including through the use of force if necessary;

Whereas Congress has taken steps to pursue vigorously the war on terrorism through the provision of authorities and funding requested by the President to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001 or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President and Congress are determined to continue to take all appropriate actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such persons or organizations;

Whereas the President has authority under the Constitution to take action in order to deter and prevent acts of international terrorism against the United States, as Congress recognized in the joint resolution on Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40); and

Whereas it is in the national security of the United States to restore international peace and security to the Persian Gulf region;

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html


But why let the facts interrupt a good story?

Nouvelian
August 18th, 2005, 11:19 PM
]If [Saddam was] left in power, [many] more than 1,800 Iraqis would have died. Is an Iraqi civilian's life not worth as much as an Americans'? By sending our soldiers over there, are we weakening our own national security (that is, are we rescuing Iraqis only to make Americans more vulnerable)? I think not.

Strongly conservative estimates [those confirming their information rigorously] have body counts between 20 and 30 thousand Iraqi civilians. The BBC got into trouble recently for quoting an Iraqi ministry which claimed over 50% of the civilian deaths were from occupation forces. The quote was eventually retracted. The point is, when assessing the success of this regime change, the heavy-handedness of the occupation need to be taken into account. This is of course not saying that all occupation soldiers have been trigger-happy, but there seem to be more than a couple 'bad apples'. In the eventual hindsight of history, I'm certain that the brazen attitude of the leaders of the invasion/occupation towards civilian life and infrastructure will be shown as critical, if not principal, in garnering support for the insurgency.

Also, is the US safer? (http://sacramento.craigslist.org/pol/88759167.html)

CliveStaples
August 19th, 2005, 01:37 AM
...the brazen attitude of the leaders of the invasion/occupation towards civilian life and infrastructure will be shown as critical, if not principal, in garnering support for the insurgency.

Support this assertion, please. What exactly is "brazen" about the Bush administration's attitude vis-a-vis invasion/occupation? We've done lots of good things in Iraq (see http://chrenkoff.blogspot.com/2005/08/good-news-from-iraq-part-33.html).

Do you honestly believe that Iraq is now worse off without Hussein in power?

Re: civilians deaths--perhaps you should look to the groups targeting civilians; you know, those "freedom fighters" and "insurgents".

Nouvelian
August 19th, 2005, 05:06 AM
As to current disdain for civilians, this comes from today's Torygraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/04/11/wtact11.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/04/11/) (a play on Telegraph, as it is a right-wing paper), nonetheless. Also, this exhaustive report (http://www.worldtribunal.org/main/docs/attacks_on_civilian_population.pdf) chronicles bombing of civilian neighborhoods, a measure of the cavalier attitude from the get-go.

And with regard to the infrastructure, here are some linked quotes.

"...Yet today, unemployment and criminal activity are rife, the economy is in tatters and, perhaps most significantly for ordinary Iraqis, unbearable electricity, fuel and water shortages seem as bad as they did 12 and 24 months ago..." - May 3rd, 2005 (http://news.ft.com/cms/s/51608bc2-bb73-11d9-911a-00000e2511c8.html)

"...Efforts to rebuild water, electricity and health networks in Iraq are being shortchanged by higher-than-expected costs to provide security and by generous financial awards to contractors, according to a series of reports by government investigators released yesterday. Taken together, the reports seem to run contrary to the Bush administration's upbeat assessment that reconstruction efforts are moving vigorously ahead." - July 29th, 2005 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/28/AR2005072802269.html) Generous awards? Why would they waste... money.... ... on the...

...war-profiteering vice president?

The audacious World Tribunal on Iraq (above linked) claims to have findings of the US and UK governments "...[t]argeting the civilian population of Iraq and civilian infrastructure, by intentionally directing attacks upon civilians and hospitals, medical centers, residential neighborhoods, electricity stations, and water purification facilities in violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights ("ICCPR"), Articles 7(1)(a), 8(2)(a)(i), and 8(2)(b)(i). The complete destruction of the city of Falluja in itself constitutes a glaring example of such crimes..." 27th June, 2005 (http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/062705A.shtml)

This (http://www.tacitus.org/story/2005/7/4/131046/0914) (July 4th, 2005)claims that pre-war levels of output have been reached (I confess, I did not know that), but that demand is much higher:

"...[electrical] output peaked in August 2004, fell below pre-war levels, and got back to just above pre-war output again last month..."

"...As of late May 2005, reports indicated that Iraq had around 4,000-5,000 megawatts (MW) of available, operable power generating capacity, well below projected peak 2005 summer demand of 8,000 MW. As a result, Iraqis are likely to face shortages this summer, even if capacity increases by the 1,700 MW Electricity Minister Ayham al-Samarra'i has indicated is possible if adequate fuels can be made available. The shortage of electric generating capacity in Iraq has been caused by numerous problems, including sabotage, looting, lack of security for workers, disruptions in fuel supplies for the plants, difficulty in procuring replacement parts at the aging stations, lack of training for workers, and obsolete technology. In early March 2005, Samarra'i said that unless $5 billion were allocated to Iraq's electricity sector, the situation could become disastrous.
The World Bank estimates that restoring and improving Iraq's electric power sector will require about $12 billion in investment, more than double the $6 billion that the U.S. Congress appropriated in the fall of 2003. Iraqi Electricity Minister al-Sammara'i reportedly has drawn up a list of 200 power projects that he hopes to start by 2006, at a cost of $6 billion. Overall, Iraq's power ministry has cited figures as high as $35 billion as the overall cost of rebuilding the country's power sector..."

So, electricity is running ~ 10 hrs a day, akin to pre-war levels, yet well short of the self-set goals of the invasion/occupation.

Half-aside, during the research, I came across this accusation (http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/091700-01.htm) about the 1st Gulf War: "The US-led allied forces deliberately destroyed Iraq's water supply during the Gulf War - flagrantly breaking the Geneva Convention and causing thousands of civilian deaths" "...During allied bombing campaigns on Iraq the country's eight multi-purpose dams had been repeatedly hit, simultaneously wrecking flood control, municipal and industrial water storage, irrigation and hydroelectric power. Four of seven major pumping stations were destroyed, as were 31 municipal water and sewerage facilities - 20 in Baghdad, resulting in sewage pouring into the Tigris. Water purification plants were incapacitated throughout Iraq."

I find no evidence of any similar, systematic, large-scale destruction of the water facilities by the invasion forces in 2003, and since then, insurgents have taken up that cause (http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/31612/story.htm).

Booger
August 19th, 2005, 10:05 AM
If left in power, much more than 1,800 Iraqis would have died. Is an Iraqi civilian's life not worth as much as an Americans'? By sending our soldiers over there, are we weakening our own national security (that is, are we rescuing Iraqis only to make Americans more vulnerable)? I think not.

Clive, you're ignoring the argument. You are asserting that going to war in Iraq was a good thing since a horrible despot has been removed. And, of course, in a vacuum, it is a good thing that a horrible despot has been removed. Yet one cannot examine the benefits in a vacuum; one must also examine the costs. The costs, for us, are huge. 1,800+ dead Americans and hundreds of billions spent to provide freedom for Iraqis. Frankly, with millions living under the poverty line in our own country, why are we spending hundreds of billions on Iraqis when we could be spending that money to lift our citizens out of economic despair or for other things that benefit our country as a whole, such as improving the public education system? Or does the conservative ethos of limited government spending apply only to domestic policies that help our citizens? In other words, is the new conservative ethos to spend thousands of American lives and enormous amounts of treasure in uplifiting oppressed citizens around the world, but cap spending when it benefits our own citizenry? :dunno:

And as far as weakening our own national security by invading Iraq, (a) it is arguable that we have weakened our own national security by providing the Jihadists with a powerful recruiting tool, and (b) such a notion is besides the point. Wasn't the point in invading Iraq to eliminate a "grave and gathering threat" to our national security?


Ah, yes. Because there was NO link between Hussein and terror. None at all.

Any link between Hussien and terror that posed a threat to our national security was exaggerated and misrepresented by the Bush administration.


Here is why the American people signed onto the war:

To put it bluntly, it is a product of wishful thinking to assert that the American people signed onto the war in Iraq other than to eliminate a "grave and gathering threat" to our national security. That was the principal justification for the war and the only justification for us having to act in an immediate fashion. Isn't that precisely the definition of preemptive war?

Moreover, of the laundry list of resolutions adopted by Congress, almost all of the resolutions dealt either with protecting our national security or eradicating the threat posed by WMD and terrorism, including no less than 4 refernces to 9/11. To assert that the American people signed onto war to provide freedom to Iraqis is nothing more than an apologetic attempt to re-write history, particularly given the mess we find ourselves in now.


But why let the facts interrupt a good story?

My thoughts exactly...

Ibelsd
August 19th, 2005, 10:24 AM
why are we spending hundreds of billions on Iraqis when we could be spending that money to lift our citizens out of economic despair or for other things that benefit our country as a whole, such as improving the public education system? Or does the conservative ethos of limited government spending apply only to domestic policies that help our citizens? In other words, is the new conservative ethos to spend thousands of American lives and enormous amounts of treasure in uplifiting oppressed citizens around the world, but cap spending when it benefits our own citizenry?

I really hate this argument. If we weren't spendng the money in Iraq, it is just as likely the money would be wasted building more useless bridges in Alaska. The question is when we went to war in Iraq, was there probable cause? If so, it really does not matter what we think the money could be used for at this time. If you don't think there was probable cause to invade Iraq, then it really doesn't matter what the cost is, you would still oppose it. So, this is a bogus argument.

Booger
August 19th, 2005, 10:50 AM
I really hate this argument. If we weren't spendng the money in Iraq, it is just as likely the money would be wasted building more useless bridges in Alaska.

$200 billion worth of bridges in Alaska? I'm not following. At any rate, if conservatives don't like government spending, then why $200 billion spent on providing freedom to foreigners. Why is that an acceptable expenditure to convervatives, but like-kind expenditures to assist our own citizens living in poverty is not? Just asking.


The question is when we went to war in Iraq, was there probable cause?

Probable cause for what? Probable cause to assert that Iraq posed a clear and present danger to our national security, or probable cause to asset that Iraqis weren't free? Perhaps we are confusing arguments here...


If you don't think there was probable cause to invade Iraq, then it really doesn't matter what the cost is, you would still oppose it. So, this is a bogus argument.

We're definitely confusing arguments. What was asserted and that to which I responded was the notion that the American people as a whole were behind the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars and the sacrifice of thousands of American lives to provide freedom to foreigners. I'm merely pointing out that it is quite odd that conservatives, who ostensibly believe in limited government spending, would support such a vast expenditure of our treasure to uplift an oppressed people when supporting such expenditures for our own economically oppressed people would make the ordinary conservative's head spin. It's an issue of consistency.

Now, with respect to what I think YOU are arguing, i.e., if there was not probable cause for the notion that Iraq posed a threat to our national security then it doesn't matter what the cost, I agree with you 100%. As stated above, I'm addressing a different argument; the argument that the American people (including 99% of conservatives) supported the Iraq war and the expenditure of vast sums of treasure/sacrifice of thousands of American lives to uplift an oppressed people (not because of any threat posed by Iraq).

Ibelsd
August 19th, 2005, 01:12 PM
$200 billion worth of bridges in Alaska? I'm not following. At any rate, if conservatives don't like government spending, then why $200 billion spent on providing freedom to foreigners. Why is that an acceptable expenditure to convervatives, but like-kind expenditures to assist our own citizens living in poverty is not? Just asking.



Probable cause for what? Probable cause to assert that Iraq posed a clear and present danger to our national security, or probable cause to asset that Iraqis weren't free? Perhaps we are confusing arguments here...



We're definitely confusing arguments. What was asserted and that to which I responded was the notion that the American people as a whole were behind the expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars and the sacrifice of thousands of American lives to provide freedom to foreigners. I'm merely pointing out that it is quite odd that conservatives, who ostensibly believe in limited government spending, would support such a vast expenditure of our treasure to uplift an oppressed people when supporting such expenditures for our own economically oppressed people would make the ordinary conservative's head spin. It's an issue of consistency.

Now, with respect to what I think YOU are arguing, i.e., if there was not probable cause for the notion that Iraq posed a threat to our national security then it doesn't matter what the cost, I agree with you 100%. As stated above, I'm addressing a different argument; the argument that the American people (including 99% of conservatives) supported the Iraq war and the expenditure of vast sums of treasure/sacrifice of thousands of American lives to uplift an oppressed people (not because of any threat posed by Iraq).

If our original intention was solely to lift an oppressed people, I don't believe (perhaps you have some data which shows differently) that conservatives or liberals would support 200 billion dollars and even a single American life towards that end. If our original intention was to meet a perceived threat to American security, even if that threat turned out to be based on an erroneous assumption), the justification meets a different standard. The dollar cost becomes irrelevant to the argument. We are now invested. So, the dollars it takes to meet the objective must be spent and declaring that we could spend the money elsewhere is irrelevant.

Booger
August 19th, 2005, 01:54 PM
If our original intention was solely to lift an oppressed people, I don't believe (perhaps you have some data which shows differently) that conservatives or liberals would support 200 billion dollars and even a single American life towards that end.

I don't disagree. In fact, I agree 100%. With that said, there are those conservatives who now claim that we went to war to free Iraqis from oppression whilst casting aside the WMD threat issue as a mere but one of a laundry list of reasons why we went to war. But again, my point is that I find it ironic that (some) conservatives now claim they support the expenditure of $200 billion and the sacrifice of 1800+ American lives to free Iraqis from oppression, when a similar expenditure to free our own citizens from economic oppression would be utterly unthinkable.


If our original intention was to meet a perceived threat to American security, even if that threat turned out to be based on an erroneous assumption[Booger edit:] or material misrepresentation, the justification meets a different standard. The dollar cost becomes irrelevant to the argument. We are now invested. So, the dollars it takes to meet the objective must be spent and declaring that we could spend the money elsewhere is irrelevant.

Also agreed (w/ edit as noted).

Booger
August 21st, 2005, 09:58 AM
/Booger reaches over to the center of the table, using both arms to drag all the chips towards him.

"Thanks for playing, guys."

KevinBrowning
August 21st, 2005, 01:11 PM
I don't disagree. In fact, I agree 100%. With that said, there are those conservatives who now claim that we went to war to free Iraqis from oppression whilst casting aside the WMD threat issue as a mere but one of a laundry list of reasons why we went to war. But again, my point is that I find it ironic that (some) conservatives now claim they support the expenditure of $200 billion and the sacrifice of 1800+ American lives to free Iraqis from oppression, when a similar expenditure to free our own citizens from economic oppression would be utterly unthinkable.

Please provide evidence of any conservative politician claiming that the U.S. invaded Iraq solely to "free Iraqis from oppression." Also please provide evidence of any conservative politician "casting aside the w.m.d. threat issue." We have not yet found w.m.d. in Iraq. This does not mean that Saddam did not have them right up until the invasion, nor is it impossible that they're still not hidden somewhere in Iraq and we haven't found them. What conservative politicians have claimed is that w.m.d. was never the only reason given for invading Iraq.

Saddam has launched a w.m.d. attack against his own people. Saddam has organized an assassination attempt on the U.S. president. Saddam has financially rewarded the families of terrorist suicide bombers. Saddam has invaded a sovereign nation and committed war crimes, requiring the nations of the world to intervene. It is foolishness that the world had allowed this tyrant to stay in power as long as it did. Finally, please explain what you mean that it is "ironic" that conservatives would not support the expenditure of billions of dollars and hundreds of lives to "free our own citizens from economic oppression." First, please demonstrate that citizens of the U.S. are economically "oppressed." Second, please explain how and why the government spending billions of dollars and sacrificing hundreds of lives would somehow correct this alleged state of economic oppression.

FruitandNut
August 21st, 2005, 01:58 PM
The big problem that we Westerners face is in understanding the 'mindset of Islam', a mindset that so readily produces 'martyrs' to wreak havoc and atrocity, both within and without of itself. Democracy is seen by many in the Isamic world as un-Islamic, and the spawning ground of infidel Satanic licence.

I came across a symposium transcript, in which a group of scholors on the subject seek to explain the mind of the Jihadist suicide bomber.

Symposium: Through the Eyes of a Suicide Bomber

By Jamie Glazov
FrontPageMagazine.com | August 12, 2005


The July suicide bombings in London were yet another horrifying reminder of the dreadful tactic perpetrated by Islamic jihadists in their holy war. To be sure, Israeli citizens have long known the nightmare of suicide bombing – and Iraqis, unfortunately, have become acquainted with it daily.
What exactly is inside the mind of the Islamic suicide bomber? What impulse motivates a human being, who supposedly believes in God, to blow himself up alongside innocent people? To discuss these and other questions with us today, Frontpage Symposium has assembled a distinguished panel. Our guests today are:

Jessica Stern, an expert on terrorism, a lecturer on the subject at Harvard, and the author of Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill;

Dr. Theodore Dalrymple, a prison psychiatrist who has had much experience with treating Muslim patients in Britain and who has witnessed the "collision of cultures." He is the author of his new collection of essays, Our Culture, What's Left of It. The Mandarins and the Masses;

Dr. Nancy Kobrin, an affiliated professor to the University of Haifa, Arabist, psychoanalyst and author of the upcoming book, The Sheikh's New Clothes: Islamic Suicide Terror and What It's Really All About;

and

Dr. Hans-Peter Raddatz, a scholar of Islamic Studies and author of Von Allah zum Terror? Der Djihad und die Deformierung des Westens (From Allah to Terror? Jihad and the Western Deformation).

FP: Jessica Stern, Dr. Tilman Nagel, Dr. Nancy Kobrin and Dr. Hans-Peter Raddatz, welcome to Frontpage Symposium.

Suicide bombings are a perpetual reality in Iraq and Israel today.
In Israel, we see Palestinians, often kids, blowing themselves up alongside Jewish inoccents while their parents cheer on in euphoria. In Iraq, we see foreign fighters coming from all over the Arab and Muslim world to detonate themselves amongst innocent civilians.
Now they have struck in London.

Let’s start from square one to crystallize things. What instils the yearning to blow oneself up?
Dr. Raddatz?

Raddatz: If you were a molecule type of "personality" who has only one alternative of existence, namely being stripped of any individual ego and merged with the mass of the "umma", the community of Allah, you might also be tempted to look for some dynamite - or rather C4 - in order to focus your unimportant life into one single, supposedly grandiose moment. When you in addition to that are not able to distinguish spiritual from material aspects, you are in really serious trouble.
In one previous symposium, Dr. Kobrin rightly mentioned the regrettable inabililty of not so too few Muslims to tell brain from mind. While they cut heads off, they think to destroy the thoughts of their victims. Similar to that they expect to meet innumerable beautiful girls in paradise since all their lives they have been told to proceed directly there as reward for the martyr death. Needless to mention that there will be unlimited erections as well as hymens renewed constantly. Some of the Palestinian suicide bombers wrap their penises into fire-proof aluminum foil to save them for the pleasures to come. Their parents get even doubly rewarded, by cash and "honor." Allah provides for an unusually profitable deal, indeed.

What we are facing here is not only pre-modern but pre-cultural "thinking". The Koran and Islamic tradition set guidelines conserving a manichaean type of prevalence claim that ultimately rejects any other society alternative. While strengthening its orthodox structures worldwide, Islam keeps on lacking one very important feature which most cultures have developed and which is indispensable for diverting violence inside a group: the subliminal function of the sacrifice concept. The impossibility for the average Muslim individual to develop a thinking outside the community and for the Muslim collective to deal with power and with women without violence has prevailed until today and is even picking up again due to modernization conflicts.

In this context, one has to keep in mind the Western "scientists" in sociolgy, anthropology, neuro-physiology etc. who deny the singularity of the human mind. Therefore, they have no problems with cognition Islamic style and thus explain "martyr" bombers as "emergency defence". Ultimately we are talking about politics, of course, renewing sympathies with a radical ideology quite close to the biology of Fascism.

FP: Ms. Stern?

Stern: There has been exponential growth in suicide attack worldwide, the most virulent form of terrorism, which accounts for less than 5 percent of all terrorist events but about 50 percent of all casualties. Many suicide attacks since1980 originated in organized campaigns to drive perceived occupiers from the attackers` homeland, and US military interventions have only exacerbated the problem. That said, most military occupations in history have not led to suicide bombing campaigns.

The answer to your question - what instils the yearning to blow oneself up – is dependent on many factors. I believe the reasons are likely to be a combination of political, religious, psychological, organizational, and material factors. But not all suicide-murder operations are committed by religious zealots. It used to be the case that a secular group – Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger’s – were responsible for most suicide-murder attacks. Now Islamist groups are more important.

You mention two areas: Palestine and Iraq in particular.

In Palestine, Hamas and the other terrorist groups use religion to justify their aspirations for political power and to recover Palestinian territory from Israeli occupation. Part of this land is sacred to Muslims but also to Jews and Christians. To achieve their ends, some of which are accepted as legitimate by much of the world, Hamas and the other terrorist groups in the region are committing atrocities against Israeli citizens and against the Palestinian people. The terrorist leaders deliberately inculcate the idea that “martyrdom operations” are sacred acts, worthy of both earthly and heavenly rewards. Mainstream Islamic scholars are increasingly voicing their view that suicide-bombing attacks against civilians are not acts of martyrdom but suicide and murder, both of which are forbidden by Islamic law.

I believe the best way to understand the situation in Palestine is to see suicide-murder as a kind of epidemic disease. Ordinary suicide has been shown to spread through social contagion, especially among youth. Studies have shown that a teenager whose friend or relative attempts or commits suicide is more likely to attempt or commit suicide himself. Not surprisingly, ordinary suicide is more common among youths who are depressed or exposed to intense social stress. Suicide bombing is different from ordinary suicide: It entails a willingness not only to die, but also to kill others. Often, an organization takes charge of planning the suicide operation, and the terrorist may be on call for weeks or, in the case of the leaders of the September 11th attacks, years. But there are some commonalties.

The situation in Gaza suggests that suicide-murder can also be spread through social contagion, that there is some tipping point beyond which a cult of suicide-murder takes hold among youth. Once this happens, the role of the organization appears to be less critical: the bombing takes on a momentum of its own. “Martyrdom operations” have become part of the popular culture in Gaza and the West Bank. For example, on the streets of Gaza, children play a game called shuhada, which includes a mock funeral for a suicide bomber. Teenage rock groups praise martyrs in their songs. Asked to name their heroes, young Palestinians are likely to include suicide bombers on the list.

There were more suicide attacks in Iraq in 2004 (104) than for the entire globe in any previous year of contemporary history, involving fighters from at least 15 Arab countries. And the rate of suicide attacks in Iraq in 2005 is likely to surpass that.

From talking to terrorists and those who monitor them, I and others have learned that terrorism thrives in an atmosphere of humiliation, marginalization, and dashed expectations. Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman Zawahiri, describes globalization as deeply humiliating to Muslims. That's why, he says, he encourages the youth of Islam to carry arms and defend their religion with pride and dignity rather than ignobly submit to the “new world order.” Perceived humiliation and religious fervor are both tools that terrorist leaders can cynically exploit to promote “martyrdom.”

FP: Thanks Ms. Stern.

To make the statement that “US military interventions have only exacerbated the problem” might be true on some levels, in the sense that if you confront your enemy he is going to engage in violence. But to mention U.S. intervention in the context of our discussion is to imply that it is America’s fault somewhere that a Muslim in the world gives up his college education and comfortable material existence and flocks to Iraq to blow himself up. Daniel Pipes’ article The California Suicide Bomber is a perfect example of where a suicide bomber does not come from among the poor, the oppressed and the downtrodden. His cravings to kill himself alongside innocents stemmed from many factors other than having supposedly suffered from American “imperialism.”

There can be all kinds of military occupations, invasions, etc. Not all people blow themselves up.

Ms. Stern, you mention that “mainstream Islamic scholars are increasingly voicing their view that suicide-bombing attacks against civilians are not acts of martyrdom but suicide and murder, both of which are forbidden by Islamic law.” These are truly encouraging developments and we all hope they continue. But unfortunately, these Islamic scholars are pretty effective in their invisibility and in getting absolutely no respect from suicide bombers and from a large section of the Muslim world. Why is that? Why is it that the parents of Palestinian suicide bombers do not shiver in dread worrying that their dead kids are in hell -- because their clerics teach that suicide bombing is against Islamic law and will not lead you to paradise, but to ever-lasting hell-fire? How come the 9/11 hijackers weren’t depressed knowing they would be in hell after they would commit their crime, because their clerics and their religious texts told them this would be the case?

Could it be that maybe suicide and murder might just not be all that directly in conflict with certain components of Islam law? Scholar Robert Spencer’s &Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West, clearly demonstrates that Islamic jihad finds much of its basis in Islamic religious texts. Yes, there are many portions of Islamic texts that teach tolerance and peace, and we must all fight for this part of Islam to prevail and to defeat the side that Islamic extremists and terrorists refer to and manipulate. But can we, and is it wise for us, to deny that the negative and dark side exists?

Terry McDermott’s new book Perfect Soldiers is a clear example of how the 9/11 hijackers were the last thing from impoverished and oppressed victims. For some reason, I highly doubt that if you gave a New Testament to each of those individuals and that if they experienced a religious conversion to Christianity, or if they became atheists, that they would still have longed with such fervor to leave this world though smashing planes into populated American buildings filled with thousands of innocent people.

Humiliation, marginalization, and dashed expectations? Yes, those words can fit the plight of many Jews under Nazi occupation, but you didn’t see them strapping bombs unto themselves and walking into cafés and blowing themselves up. These terms also fit my Russian peoples and many of the Russian dissidents who suffered under the horror of Soviet tyranny. These dissidents included my parents and many of our friends. They were humiliated, marginalized and suffered dashed expectations. I can’t name you one who walked into a café in Russia and blew himself up alongside innocents.

It is clear that Islamist terrorists hate globalization. But they do so because it makes life on this earth even more materially comfortable. They reject earthly pleasure and happiness. The enjoyment of life represents humiliation to them. The sight of a happy free and spontaneous woman laughing, dressed as she wants to be dressed, represents humiliation to them. That is the problem. Can we really blame America for the unhappiness of those who venerate a death-cult that rejects individualism and the pursuit of happiness in earthly existence?

Ms. Stern, I am by no means saying that you have argued some of these notions that I am questioning and criticizing. I am just provoking a dialogue here that I hope will help all of us crystallize some important themes relevant to this discussion.

Dr. Dalrymple, tell us about your own personal experience with your patients and what it revealed about the Muslim mindset. As you answer this, please also include what we really want to narrow in on: what is inside the mind of the suicide bomber?

Dalrymple: I agree that poverty and humiliation are not sufficient explanations of the phenomenon. These are things which are almost part of universal human experience.
I think the problem is a combustible mixture of elements.

The first is the belief that Muslims are in possession of the final revealed truth, and that they have a testament and a tradition of sayings of the Prophet that in essence answer all human questions, and by the light of which all such questions ought not only to be answered but are answerable. While no doubt there are Christians who feel more or less the same about their favoured scriptures, they now have to live in a world of competing ideas. Muslims have created societies in which it is possible, perhaps, to dispute what the Koran and hadith mean, but not their underlying authority to answer all questions. It is still not safe in a Muslim country to say 'There is no God and Mohammed was therefore not his prophet, but a man suffering from a delusion.'

While in possession of transcendental religious and philosophical truth, however, it has not escaped notice that the Muslim world has fallen behind the rest of the world. Japan, China, India are fast catching up or overtaking the West: they have been able to meet the Western challenge. No Muslim country has managed more than a kind of parasitic prosperity, dependent on oil - the industry which no Muslim did anything to discover or develop. Even their wealth, then, is a reminder of the dependence. The whole of the Arab world, minus the oil, is economically less significant to the rest of the world than one Finnish telephone company.

The fact that Islamic civilisation was once exquisite, and in advance of most others, is in this context a disadvantage. It means that Muslims tend to think in terms of recovery of glory, rather than anything new. In Muslim bookshops, you can find books about the scholars and scientists who led the world 600 years ago or more - who are a perfectly legitimate subject of enquiry of course - but after that there is a hiatus. If there had been no Muslims for the last 300 or 400 years, the world would have lost no technical or scientific advance.

So there is both a sense of superiority and a gnawing sense of inferiority. Repeated attempts to 'catch up' within an Islamic context have failed. Moreover, there is an element of personal self-hatred as well. For all the hatred of the West, it is absolutely essential to the satisfaction of the tastes of the modern Muslims. They are all partly Westernised. Even Osama dresses half-Muslim, half-Western. His reliance of Western inventions is total. As for the attractions of the flesh-pots of the west, they need not be stressed.

Then, of course, there is the day to day humiliation of individuals, who do not see a purely pragmatic way out of their impasse. I think this completes the mindset.

In summary, we have:
* Metaphysical superiority.
* Technical and intellectual retardation.
* Self-hatred caused by the impurity of their own desires.
* No practical means of escape from genuine quotidian humiliations.
* The promise of rewards, for their families on earth and for themselves in the other world.

FruitandNut
August 21st, 2005, 02:03 PM
Part Two

FP: Thank you Dr. Dalrymple. So, let’s get deeper into this now. With this background and context, let’s get inside the mind of a hypothetical suicide bomber. Paint a picture for us of a Muslim, let us say, that you once had in your psychiatrist office in Britain. Let us suppose that he decides to go to Iraq to blow himself up. Illustrate for us the step-by-step process that is going on in his mind, as he quits his life and heads off to Iraq. Sketch for us the thoughts patterns that lead to this decision-making. Pretend you are writing a script for a movie and we are listening to what is going on in his head as he quits school or his job, starts packing his suitcase or whatever, and is visualizing with great glee how he will detonate himself in a crowd of civilians in Baghdad.

Dalrymple: Clearly, although the fundamental socio-psychological conditions I have described apply to millions - hundreds of millions - of people, only a vanishingly small proportion of them actually want to be suicide bombers, even if rather more admire and approve of suicide bombers.

So what pushes someone over the edge, as it were? In my experience, which admittedly is limited, and of a selected sample, I would say the following:

The suicide bomber is of above average intelligence. He, or she, is therefore searching for an explanation of his or her existential plight. (You need a certain level of intellection for this to be so.) This involves the identification of an enemy.

The person who becomes a bomber often has a special, personal sense of grievance. This can derive from an intrinsic sensitivity to perceived insult, consequent upon the normal variation of human personality, or can come from outside, eg a person is humiliatingly accused of something of which he is guilty, but regards the accusation itself as lese majeste. For example, a Muslim rapist I know wanted to become a suicide bomber, having become convinced that the West was rotten to the core, deficient in moral worth, because it took the word of a mere woman against his.

So to refine it further, we need all the general cultural and economic conditions, plus the personal particularities I have suggested.

The act of killing oneself for a cause, in the process taking a few 'enemies' with one, is an apologia pro vita sua. Let us not forget that we in the West have a long and inglorious, irrational tradition of supposing that the lengths to which people are prepared to go in the furtherance of a cause is itself evidence of the moral worth of that cause.
The kind of would-be suicide bomber I have known thinks to himself:

They have accused me of what I have done.

What I have done is no crime.

Therefore those who accuse me are the corrupt of the earth.

Those who accuse me are truly representative of the society from which they come.

The destruction of the corrupt of the earth will be rewarded appropriately. Therefore it matters not which individuals I destroy.

The belief is therefore not in representative government, but in representative guilt.

FP: Thank you Dr. Dalrymple. This is fascinating and frightening stuff.

Dr. Kobrin?

Kobrin: Yes Jamie, it is perversely fascinating and downright terrifying. It is also part of the Eros of the terrorism. Dr. Dalrymple has succinctly described the crux of the problem – that the other is always already guilty and hence expendable. Similarly Dr. Raddatz is correct in fore grounding the Ummah. Just as the child in Arab Muslim culture is not permitted to separate from the Umm [Ar. mother], this enmeshment gets repeated and reinforced by the Ummah as a singularly fused group. There are working groups which strive for the betterment of life and then, there are regressed destructive groups. The Islamic terrorist organizations are among the most destructive because they send their own to be killed off using women and children under the guise of martyrdom while attacking and murdering the innocent. Just because this is done consciously as a tactical tool does not mean there doesn’t exist a vicious psychological undercurrent.

When there is no sense of self, this leads to many problems. If you are denied a life and live in a community where power [meaning absolute control of the other] is the rule of thumb and it is enforced brutally through honor killings, child beating, sexual abuse, beheadings etc., fear and terror are pervasive. The need to hate and the need to have an enemy are in place by age 3 – and the Jew is among the most hated of all. I will return to this in a moment. It is precisely because of the terror that few factor in the ramifications of shame-based child rearing practices because the implications are enormous and the ability to do effective interventions are highly compromised.

What winds up happening, in a nutshell, is that the mother who has been so pervasively and insidiously traumatized struggles to give the child what s/he needs. It’s not that the mother doesn’t want to and I don’t mean to minimize the role of the father either but it is here that the problem of splitting the world irrationally into loving vs. hating begins without being able to develop the cognitive piece to bridge between the two extremes.
There are many adults who may appear to be high functioning but the splitting is there below the surface in their minds and they still struggle to be “free” from their terrors of abandonment and rejection, feeling humiliated and shamed by this impotent inability. So that when the terrorists and the Ummah scream in a deafening voice “we have been shamed and humiliated!” it might be worth the while to ask – how did they themselves participate in creating a collective self which is so easily shamed by others? If a person has a realistic sense of self, it is hard to buy into being shamed as an adult. There is the Arabic saying: “He hits me and cries, and races me to complain.”

Dr. Stern raises the subject of the Tamil Tigers. Yes, counter terrorism studies have repeatedly defined them as a secular nationalist ethno-separatist organization. However, the experts forget that it is the first three years of life when the cultural-religio ideologies are absorbed like a sponge ingrained into the personality. In Hindu culture as in Arab Muslim culture, the child is not supposed to separate from the mother. Prabhakaran, the charismatic leader of the LTTE, claims that religion is a non-issue and ironically vowed never to marry, yet did so in a Hindu ceremony. What is the importance of this? It shows that the process of identify formation is much more nuanced and complicated than we like to admit. It is a reminder that there is no purity of identity. Indeed the LTTE on the one hand threw out their Muslim Tamil-speaking members in the early 1990s and yet on the other, there are reports that they are recruiting people of mixed parentage – Tamil-Muslim and Hindu-Catholic from the south (personal communication, A. Gunawardena) When I was in Sri Lanka in March, I wondered about this history and the growing local Arab Muslim community.

This added dimension of religious identity is thrown into this mix. For example, Muslims refer to Hindus as najus meaning ‘filthy’ because they are polytheists. This is its socially sanctioned prejudiced attitude. Then there are the Jews and Christians as Dr. Stern points out with the land of Israel being sacred to all three. But in the mind’s eye of the Muslim, Judaism and Christianity and their believers are subjugated to Islam as Dhimma. The root of the word means to blame so that the Prophet Muhammad built into the religion an institutionalized ideology where you can always blame the other and never have to assume responsibility for your own community’s predicament. This is to say nothing of the ideology of submission only to Allah and never to a non-Muslim so that any occupation stings deeply.

You know, Musa (Moses) is the most frequently mentioned prophet in the Qur’an. Why? Because of the giving of the law at Sinai Moses makes divine will manifest in human discourse in the Torah. However, to be a believer requires a leap of faith. The Christians had to appropriate the giving of the law and then added to it with the New Testament. The Prophet Muhammad was faced with a much more difficult task since he had to juggle two preceding religious identities. Muhammad initially borrowed extensively from the Jews who at that time lived in what is now Judenrein Saudi Arabia. He borrowed with the hopes that the Jews would convert. When that didn’t happen, he became enraged and more deeply engaged in Jihad and Da’wa [the call to convert]. However, this still left him and his followers with the problem of their mixed heritage, that is – their Judaic and Christian roots.

The Ummah struggles to admit to this borrowing. It is very difficult to do so when the Jew and Israel are always at the eye of the storm. Muslims seek to cancel out their Judaic roots and the Islamic terrorists seek to kill them off rather than accepting the fact that Judaism and Islam are so similar up to a point. The unacknowledged terror is the fear of losing their identity in the other. Think: enmeshment. Jihad is unique to Islam – Judaism and Christianity have nothing remotely similar. People routinely fail to remember that the Muslims invaded Spain fi sabil Allah – [fighting] in the path of Allah in 711 AD. They came on Jihad. The Crusades were a response to massacre, forced conversions to Islam, Muslim invasion, conquest and the animosity for the Prophet co-opting the New Testament by the Quran. So the Islamic terrorists attempt to resolve their religious identity confusion by brute force, using suicide bombers as a tactical tool with this psychological undercurrent. By the way, the Sira (the biography of Muhammad) records that the prophet attempted suicide twice; though this has rarely been pointed out as a modeling moment for Muslim identity. (personal communication, R. Paz)

Thus, it is not merely that the ideologies per se are exacerbating the violence but it is the way in which they function and are deployed by their practitioners. I agree with Dr. Dalrymple that poverty and humiliation are not sufficient explanations rather that there is a fear of recognizing that their identity is mixed – not pure. They are uncomfortable with “the impurity of their own desires” which are accompanied by violent fantasies that get acted out in real time on innocent victims. Just like BTK, the serial killer, their external life is a mask of sanity but their internal life is a mess of psychosexual violent fantasies.

But surely it can’t be that hard to comprehend what kind of mind the suicide bomber must have, given the fact that s/he is part and parcel of the Umma, born and raised by the Umm. The vast majority of whom venerate Ayman al-Zawahiri who ordered the execution by firing squad of the 15 year old son of one of his closest confidants in the presence of the father and other colleagues. (Montasser al-Zayyat, The Road to Al-Qaeda, p.105) This mind is merely a reflection of the crisis within Islam. [E. Sivan, Hitnagshut b’tokh ha-Islam [The Crash Within Islam - in Hebrew].

This crisis has been projected on to the West.

Booger
August 21st, 2005, 02:12 PM
Please provide evidence of any conservative politician claiming that the U.S. invaded Iraq solely to "free Iraqis from oppression."

Never claimed that anyone said we invaded Iraq "solely" to free Iraqis from oppression. Take your straw man BS somewhere else, Kev. I ain't got no time for kiddie play.


Also please provide evidence of any conservatives "casting aside the w.m.d. threat issue."

Ample evidence of this exists throughout dozens of posts in ODN, including in this thread.


We have not yet found w.m.d. in Iraq. This does not mean that Saddam did not have them right up until the invasion, nor is it impossible that they're still not hidden somewhere in Iraq and we haven't found them.

Read the Duelfer Report (aka official US Government Report on Iraqi WMD). Until you present evidence of your claims, they're nothing more than wishful pie-in-the-sky thinking.


What conservatives have claimed is that w.m.d. was never the only reason given for invading Iraq.

Whilst at the same time attempting to rewrite history by claiming WMD wasn't the overriding, primary reason for invading Iraq.


Saddam has launched a w.m.d. attack against his own people.

You mean the attack where we sat back and did nothing?


Saddam has financially rewarded the families of terrorist suicide bombers.

None of which had anything to do with terrorism against the United States.


Saddam has invaded a sovereign nation and committed war crimes, requiring the nations of the world to intervene.

Now Gulf War I is a reason for Bush War II?


Finally, please explain what you mean that it is "ironic" that conservatives would not support the expenditure of billions of dollars and hundreds of lives to "free our own citizens from economic oppression." First, please demonstrate that citizens of the U.S. are economically "oppressed."

What a lazy argument. The citizens of the US are not economically oppressed, Kev. I was referring to those millions living under the poverty line. I know it's hard, but try to keep up.


Second, please explain how and why the government spending billions of dollars and sacrificing hundreds of lives would somehow correct this alleged state of economic oppression.

You make me laugh so hard I split me drawers!

Kev: Booger, please explain how the expenditure of $200+ billion dollars would help those citizens living under the poverty line.
Booger: ??

Can I leave with my chips now, or do you have a better argument to present?

KevinBrowning
August 21st, 2005, 04:23 PM
Before addressing your response, let me post your original post that I responded to again, since you seem to be denying several of your earlier statements now:


I don't disagree. In fact, I agree 100%. With that said, there are those conservatives who now claim that we went to war to free Iraqis from oppression whilst casting aside the WMD threat issue as a mere but one of a laundry list of reasons why we went to war. But again, my point is that I find it ironic that (some) conservatives now claim they support the expenditure of $200 billion and the sacrifice of 1800+ American lives to free Iraqis from oppression, when a similar expenditure to free our own citizens from economic oppression would be utterly unthinkable.


Never claimed that anyone said we invaded Iraq "solely" to free Iraqis from oppression. Take your straw man BS somewhere else, Kev. I ain't got no time for kiddie play.

Your claim, "went to war to free Iraqis from oppression," followed by your clarification that w.m.d. is now only regarded as one of a "laundry list of reasons," caused me to interpret your claim as being that Republicans now say the Iraq invasion was solely to free Iraqis from oppression. Since you say now that's not your claim, may I ask, what is your actual claim as to what Republicans are stating now regarding our purposes for Iraq?


Ample evidence of this exists throughout dozens of posts in ODN, including in this thread.

Maybe you would be so kind as to summarize it for me here. You claimed that conservatives have "cast aside" the threat of w.m.d. Do you mean by that that anyone has denied that w.m.d. was part of the rationale for war? Because that's false. It's simply emphasized now, since no w.m.d. have yet been found, that there were several other important reasons given for the invasion.


Read the Duelfer Report (aka official US Government Report on Iraqi WMD). Until you present evidence of your claims, they're nothing more than wishful pie-in-the-sky thinking.

I don't recall if I've read any of it, but I understand its conclusion, that no w.m.d. have been found. Further, my claims that there might yet be w.m.d. unfound in Iraq is not "wishful thinking." I am glad if there is no w.m.d., that is a good thing. However, that doesn't invalidate the entire rationale for our going to war.


Whilst at the same time attempting to rewrite history by claiming WMD wasn't the overriding, primary reason for invading Iraq.

I have yet to hear a prominent Republican deny that w.m.d. was a major, or even the primary reason for the war. However, what you seem to be flatly ignoring is that "primary" does not in any way mean "only."


You mean the attack where we sat back and did nothing?

Would you rather we had invaded then? Strange, because I would too. But that seems to contradict your current position that we never should have gone into Iraq.


None of which had anything to do with terrorism against the United States.

Surely you aren't so short-sighted. Israel and the United States are intimately linked in the terrorists' minds. Terrorism is a global phenomenon, not a regional one. Saddam supported Islamic terrorism, and that is something the Democrats need to come to terms with.


Now Gulf War I is a reason for Bush War II?

In an indirect way, yes. The Iraq War is concluding the unfinished business of getting rid of Saddam.


What a lazy argument. The citizens of the US are not economically oppressed, Kev. I was referring to those millions living under the poverty line. I know it's hard, but try to keep up.

Lazy argument? I am only going by what you say here. You said that conservatives would never spend billions of dollars to "free our own citizens from economic oppression." That implies that you believe the citizens of the U.S. are economically "oppressed" in some way, in other words that you disagree with capitalism. Now you have reversed that claim though, saying "the citizens of the U.S. are not economically oppressed," so I'll leave it alone. Now you are introducing the fact of millions of Americans living under the poverty line. That's true, but of course unavoidable in a free market. Some people will have more money, and others will have less. You seem to be advocating the government handing out billions of unearned dollars to those who have not earned it. That is of course consistent with liberal ideas of big government, but it's also undemocratic and against basic economic principles we run our country by. But honestly, I find this little side debate of domestic poverty to be utterly irrelevant and off-topic to the discussion at hand.


You make me laugh so hard I split me drawers!

Kev: Booger, please explain how the expenditure of $200+ billion dollars would help those citizens living under the poverty line.
Booger: ??

Can I leave with my chips now, or do you have a better argument to present?

Rather than derail the thread further with more explanation of why your poverty comments are irrelevant, let me simply say that if this is a poker game, it reminds me of the ones on t.v. in which a professional (me) plays a comedian (you).

ShadowKnight
August 21st, 2005, 07:03 PM
Clive, you're ignoring the argument. You are asserting that going to war in Iraq was a good thing since a horrible despot has been removed. And, of course, in a vacuum, it is a good thing that a horrible despot has been removed. Yet one cannot examine the benefits in a vacuum; one must also examine the costs. The costs, for us, are huge. 1,800+ dead Americans and hundreds of billions spent to provide freedom for Iraqis.

Would you rather spend more lives by waiting eh? I wonder Booger, if you were in the position to do something against Germany, growing militarily, not negotiating, and according to YOUR logic: "no threat," would you WAIT to solve this problem. AGAIN, you are avoiding the OBVIOUS problem here.

Let's go back to kindergarden AGAIN. Would YOU or would you NOT solve a problem? I was always taught that in order to solve a problem, you have to DO something. War is not always the answer, granted, but let's go through this one last time before I conclude that you cannot think correctly.

Iraq, under the leadership of Saddam, has an entire history of distruction, chaos and murder, can we possibly assume that Saddam after being defeated once, will not come up to rise again? You are basically telling me that this man, with countless cases of pure death and murder, is better LEFT under the power of an entire nation? A man who HAD AND HAS TIES to terrorism thoughout his entire reign of Iraq. He funds terrorism, he supports terrorism, he IS a terrorist, he has USED WMDs and most likely (because of the 1998 inspections) he was looking to get them again. I'm sick of these games, the FACT is he did NOT cooperate. Let's say that again... DID NOT COOPERATE, FOR 12 YEARS. During those 12 years, he was under the AGREEMENT to cooperate under ANY circumstance that the UN felt neccesary to investigate. 1998 came along, and guess what happened? UN inspectors were kicked out of Iraq, after there was talk of possible WMD build up once again in Iraq, MYSTERIOUSLY, they were all pushed away from certain areas. What is this called Booger? Taken from the dictionary (www.dictionary.com)

hide1 Audio pronunciation of "hiding" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hd)
v. hid, (hd) hid·den, (hdn) or hid hid·ing, hides
v. tr.

1. To put or keep out of sight; secrete.
2. To prevent the disclosure or recognition of; conceal tried to hide the facts.
3. To cut off from sight; cover up: Clouds hid the stars.
4. To avert (one's gaze), especially in shame or grief.

HIDING. When kids do something wrong, and you come to the point and location of the place they did wrong, what do they do? They try to AVERT you, to push you away, that is a HUGE sign of guilt RIGHT THERE, and remember, this is AFTER he agreed to allow ANY form of investigation in their country.

Not ONLY this, but countries outside the U.S affirmed that Iraq had WMDs, isn't that the strangest thing? How is it possible, that a man such as Saddam, can possibly be a threat again!? Well, hell, I don't know Booger, you make him sound like he's never done a crime before.

So, I ask you, what would YOU do? 1998 is huge evidence against Saddam, and he already knows he's in trouble, what do you think the next step is? It's clear that we are going to be after him, so what is his only choice? HIDE (there's that word again!) the evidence. OHHH, Saddam NOW wants inspectors in, after not cooperating for 12 years (only 12 years!), kicking out UN inspectors, and of course, you can't forget his undying honesty and integrity! Bah, you make him sound like a fool, who doesn't understand the basics of getting away with something. Whether you like it or not, these are THE facts buddy, you want to deny that? Go RIGHT on ahead.



Frankly, with millions living under the poverty line in our own country, why are we spending hundreds of billions on Iraqis when we could be spending that money to lift our citizens out of economic despair or for other things that benefit our country as a whole, such as improving the public education system? Or does the conservative ethos of limited government spending apply only to domestic policies that help our citizens? In other words, is the new conservative ethos to spend thousands of American lives and enormous amounts of treasure in uplifiting oppressed citizens around the world, but cap spending when it benefits our own citizenry? :dunno:

Why are we spending BILLIONS of dollars on little stupid satellites that crash into meteorites countless of miles away from us when we can use that money to feed the poor? As far as I see it, anyone can get out of poverty with the right moves, many generations of people have lived under poverty needlessly, we have an educational system where EVERYONE has an oppertunity to make a difference, every child has a chance, AND don't forget that minorities are offered hundreds of scholarships and great financial aid for going to college. If people want to get smart Booger, you have to leave it up to the people to do that, the education is there, now it's their turn to take it.



And as far as weakening our own national security by invading Iraq, (a) it is arguable that we have weakened our own national security by providing the Jihadists with a powerful recruiting tool, and (b) such a notion is besides the point. Wasn't the point in invading Iraq to eliminate a "grave and gathering threat" to our national security?

WEAKENING? Where the hell have you been for the past years? If I recall, we were attacked EIGHT, count em, EIGHT TIMES under the rule of Bill Cliton alone. And after 9/11 happened, if you haven't noticed our airplane secruity is tighter, we are strongly patrolling the borders with homeland secruity officers (which I ran into the other day, and they asked me many questions because I look mexican), and not only this, we are fighting the VERY thing that has attacked US. What are you looking for Booger, would you instead make a bleeding problem such as terrorism continue to bleed bigger? Or would you directly attack that threat?

First off, you obviously have NO concept of war, so don't be applying to be a war general, because the one thing you always have to remember about war is: you will have resistance. What is that saying I hear every once in a while? "Things will get worse before they get better," and I tell you that those words are ringing true today. You think terrorists are going to be sitting on their asses? Oh, they will come, I can GURANTEE that. But I would rather fight against terrorism that allow it to grow and face it in the future when the odds are worse, and perhaps too late to solve.

Tell Booger with your extensive amount of knowledge of terrorism, how do you solve a problem like that? When Jihadists preach of the destruction of infidels such as Americans, to dream of a world where American citizens should die (that's you Booger, you and I), and have attacked us a handful of times in the past. Saddam, a man that is a huge supporter of terrorism, had ties with Al-Queda, used and was building up WMDs (duh), and a big supporter of the destruction of America, is somehow better left in power? Are you NUTS? WMDs is NO joke Booger, and I think Saddam has a good memory on who defeated him in 1991. And America is one of those people. You live in a world of blindness Booger, where somehow through the clear glass of truth, you fog it up with lies and simply close your eyes to the obvious truth.



Any link between Hussien and terror that posed a threat to our national security was exaggerated and misrepresented by the Bush administration.

Go back to history class, Germany was no threat to America either according to your logic.




To put it bluntly, it is a product of wishful thinking to assert that the American people signed onto the war in Iraq other than to eliminate a "grave and gathering threat" to our national security. That was the principal justification for the war and the only justification for us having to act in an immediate fashion. Isn't that precisely the definition of preemptive war?

I don't know about you Booger, but I seem to have images of hundreds of thousands of people dead under the direct authority of Saddam Hussein. Then, 12 years of not cooperating for further peace, pushing back inspectors, I sense a deep threat Booger. Something obviously stinks, you need to unplug your nostrils and smell the obvious threat.



Moreover, of the laundry list of resolutions adopted by Congress, almost all of the resolutions dealt either with protecting our national security or eradicating the threat posed by WMD and terrorism, including no less than 4 refernces to 9/11. To assert that the American people signed onto war to provide freedom to Iraqis is nothing more than an apologetic attempt to re-write history, particularly given the mess we find ourselves in now.

A bigger mess would be waiting to happen if we weren't to clean that up now Booger, you think that it's smart to wait and allow Saddam time to grow into a bigger threat? You underestimate Saddam, do you really think his intentions was for world peace with the circumstances we were facing after 12 years of no cooperations and negotiations? What are you thinking!? Kicking out inspectors and pushing away from certain locations, where is the logic Booger? WHERE? What world do you live in to tell us that you think that Iraq is innocent? If there really wasn't WMDs, if Saddam really wasn't seeking to peek back up, then why the hell did he close off from the UN?



/Booger reaches over to the center of the table, using both arms to drag all the chips towards him.

"Thanks for playing, guys."

"Hold on, partner."
*puts down Royal Flush*

Booger
August 22nd, 2005, 11:49 AM
I wonder Booger, if you were in the position to do something against Germany, growing militarily, not negotiating, and according to YOUR logic: "no threat," would you WAIT to solve this problem.

Go back to history class, Germany was no threat to America either according to your logic.

Get up to speed kid. Jesus. The appeasement argument initially set forth by conservatives in the early days of the Iraq war has been thoroughly discredited for a multitide of reasons not the least of which is the fact that Saddam was contained and was not "growing militarily." In short, comparing WWII Germany and appeasement arguments to Iraq is what lazy, ill-informed people do to justify invading Iraq.

I'd waste my time responding to the rest of your lame argument, but it's just that: a waste of time.

Anyone else who actually knows what they are talking about wish to join the debate?

KevinBrowning
August 22nd, 2005, 01:03 PM
I'd waste my time responding to the rest of your lame argument, but it's just that: a waste of time.

Booger concedes, thread closed.

Booger
August 22nd, 2005, 01:13 PM
Booger concedes, thread closed.

Booger already left the house with all of his chips...and yours.

ShadowKnight
August 22nd, 2005, 04:11 PM
Get up to speed kid. Jesus. The appeasement argument initially set forth by conservatives in the early days of the Iraq war has been thoroughly discredited for a multitide of reasons not the least of which is the fact that Saddam was contained and was not "growing militarily." In short, comparing WWII Germany and appeasement arguments to Iraq is what lazy, ill-informed people do to justify invading Iraq.

Which makes perfect sense, Iraq not cooperating for 12 years and pushing out inspectors in 1998, yep, that sounds about right. Iraq had nothing to hide, you got me good :tup:



I'd waste my time responding to the rest of your lame argument, but it's just that: a waste of time.

Anyone else who actually knows what they are talking about wish to join the debate?

Avoiding questions again are we?

FruitandNut
October 12th, 2005, 06:32 AM
The Shiites want us out in order that they can excercise their particular brand(s) of what they see as democracy/majority power. The Sunni want us out, so they and their sympathisers can wrestle back power and privilege for themselves. The Kurds want everyone out of their bit of space. Yeh, things are going just great.

A recent article [10-11-2005] in The Independent (The Indy) is headed 'BASRA voters say it is time for soldiers to go' and includes the following.

"I felt proud that the Iraqi police had arrested the British soldiers, it is our country and our laws should be obeyed", said Zainab.

Her colleague Fatima added: "I do not like seeing foreign soldiers on our streets, they should go."

What is surprising about these views in Basra is that they came from two educated, middle class women speaking fluent English who have frequent contact with the British and have little sympathy for the Shia militia who have infiltrated the Iraqi police.

In fact, the women admit they are very wary of the same police who had arrested two British special forces soldiers, triggering a rescue mission in which British forces smashed their way into a police station.

Their sentiments, echoed by others, do reflect, however, the new, public mood of defiance and nationalism among the Shia of Iraq as they prepare for power for the first time in 100 years.

The generally accepted forecast now is that the impending referendum will vote in favour of the new constitution and, with it, put in motion the Shia gameplan for a future Iraq.

Under the federal structure of the document Shia leaders will, at last, gain control of thelucrative oil fields of the south while the Kurds keep hold of those in the north. The Sunni bitterly bemoan that they will be left with "the sands of Anbar" - the barren, Sunni majority province.

Like the Kurds, the Shia south suffered from periodic bouts of brutal repression under Saddam. Now, they say, they are free of fear to decide their own destiny.

But the freedom from fear stretches only up to a point. The vast majority of those who spoke wanted only their first names mentioned because of fear of retribution from the militias who are fighting each other, and British forces, for the control of Basra and the riches it will bring when political and economic power shifts from Baghdad to Basra.

There are, however, significant doubts about the religious nature of the new constitution, and even those who want the British to leave Iraq for nationalistic reasons are deeply concerned at the prospect of being left in the hands of the Islamist militias.

"It is written by Islamists for Islamists", declared Adil, an academic. "I have looked through this and there is nothing there for a secular person like me.

"But I shall be voting 'yes' because if it is rejected I know there are groups who are ready to use that as an excuse to break away the south from the rest of Iraq as a separate state where the Iranians will have huge influence. I don't like the constitution but it is the only option left now.

"The militias are a great danger. The British allowed them too much time to take over. Now the British are, at last, doing something and carrying out arrests. But this should have been done sooner."

Zainab and her friend Zahra, 37, are both deeply apprehensive about the effect the constitution will have on women's rights. Since "liberation" by US-led forces they have seen the growth in the power of Muslim clerics and the diminishing power of choice.

Both come from mixed Sunni and Shia families and they say both sides of their families are liberal and tolerant about religion.

"But now I have to wear this", said Zainab, tugging her headscarf. "I started wearing it five months ago. If you don't, there is trouble. It is not just insults in the street, we know of at least two girls who have been shot for refusing to cover their heads.

"Iraqi women used to be the most well educated, holding the best jobs, in the Arab world. All that is being threatened and I am afraid it is going to get worse. I am not going to vote. I don't want to risk my life for 5,000 dinars, which is what this [headscarf] costs. What I find annoying is that I am being forced to wear it, I am left with no say."

__________________________________________________ _____________________-
It seems that most Iraqis feel as though they are between a rock and a hard place, but that the majority Shiites feel that they will in the main face a better life under Shiite clerics and political warlords than they had under Saddam. In contrast all the Sunnis feel is that they will be left with the desert sands.

Perhaps rather like that American Pie, Iraq is finally facing a carve up.