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Booger
October 11th, 2006, 06:59 AM
BALTIMORE, Maryland (CNN) -- War has wiped out about 655,000 Iraqis or more than 500 people a day since the U.S.-led invasion, a new study reports.

Violence including gunfire and bombs caused the majority of deaths but thousands of people died from worsening health and environmental conditions directly related to the conflict that began in 2003, U.S. and Iraqi public health researchers said.

"Since March 2003, an additional 2.5 percent of Iraq's population have died above what would have occurred without conflict," according to the survey of Iraqi households, titled "The Human Cost of the War in Iraq."

Iraqis "bear the consequence of warfare," the report said, comparing the situation with other wars: "In the Vietnam War, 3 million civilians died; in the Congo, armed conflict has been responsible for 3.8 million deaths; in East Timor, an estimated 200,000 out of a population of 800,000 died in conflict.

"Recent estimates are that 200,000 have died in Darfur [Sudan] over the past 31 months. Our data, which estimate that 654,965 or 2.5 percent of the Iraqi population has died in this, the largest major international conflict of the 21st century, should be of grave concern to everyone."

The researchers estimated that an additional 654,965 people have died in Iraq since the invasion above what would have been expected from the pre-war mortality rate. They did not ask families whether their dead were civilians or fighters.

Violence claimed about 601,000 people, the survey estimated -- the majority killed by gunfire, "though deaths from car bombing have increased from 2005," the study says.

The additional 53,000 people who are believed to have been killed by the effects of the war mostly died in recent months, "suggesting a worsening of health status and access to health care," the study said. It noted, however, that the number of nonviolent deaths "is too small to reach definitive conclusions."

Other key points in the survey:

The number of people dying in Iraq has risen each year since March 2003.
Those killed are predominantly males aged 15-44.
Deaths attributed to coalition forces accounted for 31 percent of the dead.
Although the "proportion of deaths ascribed to coalition forces has diminished in 2006 ... the actual numbers have increased each year."


The authors said their method of sampling the population is a "standard tool of epidemiology and is used by the U.S. government and many other agencies."

[B]Professionals familiar with such research told CNN that the survey's methodology is sound.

Information for the survey was collected by Iraqi doctors, and analysis was performed by the faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in cooperation with the Center for International Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Death certificates confirmed families' accounts in 92 percent of cases, the researchers said. http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/11/iraq.deaths/index.html

How does it feel, fellow Americans, to be the direct/indirect cause of nearly 3/4 of a million deaths? What say you "Christians"? At the end of the day when our troops leave and possibly 1 million or more dead Iraqis are left in our wake, what is it, exactly, that we would have accomplished? Is the goal simply now to defeat the insurgency (even though the insurgency is now essentially a sectarian battle notwithstanding Bush's attempt to paint the picture of the insurgency as a battle of Islamists vs. US)? How many more dead, chickenhawks?

Can there be any doubt why the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq recently stated, "The Iraq conflict has become the —cause celebre“ for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters forthe global jihadist movement"?

Is there any remaining doubt that the invasion of Iraq, cheer-led by chickenhawks, neocons and theocons, is the worst strategic mistake in the history of the United States?

Apokalupsis
October 11th, 2006, 07:44 AM
Truly disappointing and disheartening. However, is there a breakdown of deaths that shows the # of combatants on both sides? It appears that the total figure includes Iraqi insurgents...those we are fighting against, those who kill their fellow citizens because their citizens want change. Is there a way to remove the enemy combatants to see a more accurate figure?

*edit*
Found it. See civilian deaths below.

The below text has been automerged with this post.

Found an interesting stat you left out Boog. Why?


The private British-based Iraq Body Count research group puts the number of civilian deaths at between 43,850 and 48,693That's 7% of all casualties, are civilians. That's pretty low compared to other conflicts isn't it? Not sure about that, but it seems so at least.

And that figure not only represents collateral damage from coalition forces, but also direct fire from the enemy (firing upon civilians), and mayhem that followed.

IMO, the civilian deaths is the most important figure here. We expect casualties from combatants on both sides. The figures you gave represent figures from both sides of the conflict Boog.

Also, this fact: Those killed are predominantly males aged 15-44 tells us that the vast majority killed are those fighting in the conflict.

I'm much more concerned about those caught in the crossfires here than I am those 1) fighting for their liberation/change and 2) fighting to keep an oppressive regime. The next priority of care, would be the former. To be frank, I just don't care much at all about the latter group. I suspect, but obviously because we don't have complete data...cannot be certain, that this is the group that has taken the most casualties.

Did you not see the civilian stat? Why not include it? Doesn't seem objective and defintely smells of a bit of spin IMO. I was shocked at first when reading this and pretty ticked admittedly. Then, after seeing that this is overwhelmingly representative of direct combat casualties and not collateral/civilian casualties, I wasn't so heated. It's still a disturbing number...but IMO, this article/post just serves as an example of how emotion can be appealed to as well as manipulated, instead of a fair presentation of all the facts...especially the pertinent ones.

*edit*
The below was the result of misreading the article. Since I'm still trying to sort out the groups involved (how many deaths in each group: civilians/enemy combatants/friendly combatants/, etc...) I'm leaving it here for now as a reminder to dig up more data).

Another point I just thought of...

The article says that 2.5% more people died as a result of this war. Boog...the VAST majority (93%) of the 655,000 were those fighting in the conflict. Knock off 2.5%, and we get what...around 640,000 who would have died otherwise?

And since there would have been no war...and these people would have died w/o a war...it would be the case that the VAST majority of this 640,000 (if not all) would be civilians.

Thus, we are comparing 640,000 civilian deaths under Saddam, vs 46,000 civilian deaths due to war.

A staggering number indeed! This being the case, how can someone NOT justify the war? To be honest, I've stopped supporting the war and Bush on Iraq for a while now. But if these figures are accurate, then it would seem that the war was very much justified on moral grounds (despite the screwy reasons for going to war in the first place).

If my figures are wrong, then of course my position would fall back to opposition to the war. Someone want to confirm them? IMO, this either makes or breaks the case on the war in Iraq. As it appears to be the case atm, and if I'm correct on my math here, then the war was very much a GOOD thing as it saved approximately 600,000 civilians!

Waiting for confirmation or correction.

Turtleflipper
October 11th, 2006, 07:54 AM
Why did you count 640,000 civilian deaths under Saddam? Do you have some data that says he killed that many on average per 3 years?

Apokalupsis
October 11th, 2006, 09:36 AM
From the article:

Since March 2003, an additional 2.5 percent of Iraq's population have died above what would have occurred without conflict," according to the survey of Iraqi households, titled "The Human Cost of the War in Iraq."

Recent estimates are that 200,000 have died in Darfur [Sudan] over the past 31 months. Our data, which estimate that 654,965 or 2.5 percent of the Iraqi population has died in this,

However, I reread and found this:

The researchers estimated that an additional 654,965 people have died in Iraq since the invasion above what would have been expected from the pre-war mortality rate

I misread what was being said.

Anyone know what the mortality rate pre-war was?
<br><i><font color="red">The below text has been automerged with this post.</i></font><br>
The other thing to consider, is that many combatants have come from other countries to Iraq to fight the coalition. Does anyone know if they are excluded in these figures? Anyone know how many of them (approximately) there are to begin with?

KevinBrowning
October 11th, 2006, 09:48 AM
A little more than half a million. Is that supposed to be an impressive number, in context? More than 32 million civilians died in WWII. Not to mention that your estimate is grossly overblown, considering that the enemy in this war wears no uniforms and many of these "civilians" were combatants.

Yes, people die in war. That's what war is. But in the end, many more lives will be saved, and the quality of those lives will be immeasurably better.

ShadowKnight
October 11th, 2006, 09:57 AM
How does it feel, fellow Americans, to be the direct/indirect cause of nearly 3/4 of a million deaths? What say you "Christians"? At the end of the day when our troops leave and possibly 1 million or more dead Iraqis are left in our wake, what is it, exactly, that we would have accomplished? Is the goal simply now to defeat the insurgency (even though the insurgency is now essentially a sectarian battle notwithstanding Bush's attempt to paint the picture of the insurgency as a battle of Islamists vs. US)? How many more dead, chickenhawks?

Oh, you're right, Booger. The many more thousands that Saddam killed isn't really that staggering. I mean, he only used biological weapons to kill his victims, nope.. not that harsh. I totally agree with you, Booger, we should have left Saddam in power. Because being a bystander is much more rewarding :tup: :tup: :tup:



Can there be any doubt why the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq recently stated, "The Iraq conflict has become the —cause celebre“ for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of US involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters forthe global jihadist movement"?

.... they have always been there.... :insane:



Is there any remaining doubt that the invasion of Iraq, cheer-led by chickenhawks, neocons and theocons, is the worst strategic mistake in the history of the United States?

Uh huh, 12 years of not cooperating with the UN, a history of bloodshed, and a country that housed several terrorist organizations (even before the war, SURPRISE SURPRISE), and countless other atrocities commited under Saddam would have been a far better solution.

Apokalupsis
October 11th, 2006, 10:04 AM
As an aside: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061011/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_iraq_4

We are going to stay in Iraq until at least 2010. :(

Turtleflipper
October 11th, 2006, 10:53 AM
A little more than half a million. Is that supposed to be an impressive number, in context? More than 32 million civilians died in WWII. Not to mention that your estimate is grossly overblown, considering that the enemy in this war wears no uniforms and many of these "civilians" were combatants.

Yes, people die in war. That's what war is. But in the end, many more lives will be saved, and the quality of those lives will be immeasurably better.

Yeah, but see WW2 involved the entire world. It touched billions of lives directly. This is a single country in the ME

CC
October 11th, 2006, 10:53 AM
http://today.reuters.com/news/home.aspx

Study Finds 100,000 Excess Iraqi Deaths Since War
From Reuters:

Deaths of Iraqis have soared to 100,000 above normal since the Iraq war mainly due violence and many of the victims have been women and children, public health experts from the United States said Thursday.

"Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100,000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq," researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland said in a report published online by The Lancet medical journal.

"Violence accounted for most of the excess death and air strikes from (U.S.-led) coalition forces accounted for the most violent deaths," the report added.

The new figures, based on surveys done by the researchers in Iraq, are much higher than earlier estimates based on think tank and media sources which put the Iraqi civilian death toll at up to 16,053 and military fatalities as high as 6,370. (though the AP story is no longer online this link backs up the findings)
After excluding any possible statistical anomalies, they estimated that at least 98,000 Iraqi civilians had died in the previous 18 months as a direct result of the invasion and occupation of their country. They also found that violence had become the leading cause of death in Iraq during that period. Their most significant finding was that the vast majority (79 percent) of violent deaths were caused by “coalition” forces using “helicopter gunships, rockets or other forms of aerial weaponry,” and that almost half (48 percent) of these were children, with a median age of 8.

A year later, we do not have a more precise picture. Soon after the study was published, U.S. and British officials launched a concerted campaign to discredit its authors and marginalize their findings without seriously addressing the validity of their methods or presenting any evidence to challenge their conclusions. Today the continuing aerial bombardment of Iraq is still a dark secret to most Americans and the media present the same general picture of the war, focusing on secondary sources of violence.

Roberts conducted a follow-up study in the Congo that raised the fatality estimate to three million and Tony Blair cited that figure in his address to the 2001 Labor Party conference. In December 2004 Blair dismissed the epidemiological team’s work in Iraq, claiming, “Figures from the Iraqi Ministry of Health, which are a survey from the hospitals there, are in our view the most accurate survey there is.”

This statement by Blair is particularly interesting because the Iraqi Health Ministry reports, whose accuracy he praised, have confirmed the Johns Hopkins team’s conclusion that aerial attacks by “coalition” forces are the leading cause of civilian deaths. One such report was cited by Nancy Youssef in the Miami Herald of September 25, 2004 under the headline “U.S. Attacks, Not Insurgents, Blamed for Most Iraqi Deaths.” The Health Ministry had been reporting civilian casualty figures based on reports from hospitals, as Blair said, but it was not until June 2004 that it began to differentiate between casualties inflicted by “coalition” forces and those from other causes. From June 10 to September 10 it counted 1,295 civilians killed by U.S. forces and their allies and 516 killed in “terrorist” operations. Health Ministry officials told Youssef that the “statistics captured only part of the death toll,” and emphasized that aerial bombardment was largely responsible for the higher numbers of deaths caused by the “coalition.” The breakdown (72 percent U.S.) is remarkably close to that attributed to aerial bombardment in the Lancet survey (79 percent).

BBC World Affairs editor John Simpson, in another Health Ministry report covering July 1, 2004 to January 1, 2005, cited 2,041 civilians killed by U.S. and allied forces versus 1,233 by “insurgents” (only 62 percent U.S.). Then something strange happened. The Iraqi Health Minister’s office contacted the BBC and claimed, in a convoluted and confusing statement, that their figures had somehow been misrepresented. The BBC issued a retraction and details of deaths caused by “coalition” forces have been notably absent from subsequent Health Ministry reports.

Official and media criticism of Roberts’s work has focused on the size of his sample, 988 homes in 33 clusters distributed throughout the country, but other epidemiologists reject the notion that this is controversial.

Michael O’Toole, the director of the Center for International Health in Australia, says: “That’s a classical sample size. I just don’t see any evidence of significant exaggeration…. If anything, the deaths may have been higher because what they are unable to do is survey families where everyone has died.”

David Meddings, a medical officer with the Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention at the World Health Organization, said that surveys of this kind always have uncertainty, but “I don’t think the authors ignored that or understated. Those cautions I don’t believe should be applied any more or less stringently to a study that looks at a politically sensitive conflict than to a study that looks at a pill for heart disease.”

Roberts has also compared his work in Iraq to other epidemiological studies: “In 1993, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control randomly called 613 households in Milwaukee and concluded that 403,000 people had developed Cryptosporidium in the largest outbreak ever recorded in the developed world, no one said that 613 households was not a big enough sample. It is odd that the logic of epidemiology embraced by the press every day regarding new drugs or health risks somehow changes when the mechanism of death is their armed forces.”

The campaign to discredit Roberts, the Johns Hopkins team, and the Lancet used the same methods that the U.S. and British governments have employed consistently to protect their monopoly on “responsible” storytelling about the war. By dismissing the study’s findings out of hand, U.S. and British officials created the illusion that the authors were suspect or politically motivated and discouraged the media from taking them seriously. This worked disturbingly well. Even opponents of the war continue to cite much lower figures for civilian casualties and innocently attribute the bulk of them to Iraqi resistance forces or “terrorists.”

The figures most often cited for civilian casualties in Iraq are those collected by Iraqbodycount, but its figures are not intended as an estimate of total casualties. Its methodology is to count only those deaths that are reported by at least two “reputable” international media outlets in order to generate a minimum number that is more or less indisputable. Its authors know that thousands of deaths go unreported in their count and say they cannot prevent the media misrepresenting their figures as an actual estimate of deaths.

Beyond the phony controversy regarding the methodology of the Lancet report, there is one issue that does cast doubt on its findings. This is the decision to exclude the cluster in Fallujah from its computations due to the much higher number of deaths that were reported there (even though the survey was completed before the widely reported assault on the city in November 2004). Roberts wrote, in a letter to the Independent, “Please understand how extremely conservative we were: we did a survey estimating that 285,000 people have died due to the first 18 months of invasion and occupation and we reported it as at least 100,000.”

The dilemma he faced was this: in the 33 clusters surveyed, 18 reported no violent deaths (including one in Sadr City), 14 other clusters reported a total of 21 violent deaths and the Fallujah cluster reported 52 violent deaths. This last number is conservative because, as the report stated, “23 households of 52 visited were either temporarily or permanently abandoned. Neighbors interviewed described widespread death in most of the abandoned homes but could not give adequate details for inclusion in the survey.”

Leaving aside this last factor, there were three possible interpretations of the results from Fallujah. The first, and indeed the one Roberts adopted, was that the team had randomly stumbled on a cluster of homes where the death toll was so high as to be totally unrepresentative and therefore not relevant to the survey. The second possibility was that this pattern among the 33 clusters, with most of the casualties falling in one cluster and many clusters reporting zero deaths, was an accurate representation of the distribution of civilian casualties in Iraq under “precision” aerial bombardment. The third possibility was that the Fallujah cluster was atypical, but not sufficiently abnormal to warrant total exclusion from the study, so that the number of excess deaths was somewhere between 100,000 and 285,000. Without further research, there is no way to determine which of these three possibilities is correct.

No new survey of civilians killed by “coalition” forces has been produced since the Health Ministry report last January, but there is strong evidence that the air war has intensified during this period. Independent journalists have described the continuing U.S. assault on Ramadi as “Fallujah in slow motion.” Smaller towns in Anbar province have been targets of air raids for the past several months, and towns in Diyala and Baghdad provinces have also been bombed. Seymour Hersh has covered the “under-reported” air war in the New Yorker and writes that the current U.S. strategy is to embed U.S. Special Forces with Iraqi forces to call in air strikes as U.S. ground forces withdraw, opening the way for heavier bombing with even less media scrutiny (if that is possible).

One ignored feature of the survey’s results is the high number of civilian casualties reported in Fallujah in August 2004. It appears that U.S. forces took advantage of the media focus on Najaf at that time to conduct very heavy attacks against Fallujah. This is perhaps a clue to the strategy by which they have conducted much of the air war. The heaviest bombing and aerial assault at any given time is likely to be somewhere well over the horizon from any well-publicized U.S. military operation, possibly involving only small teams of Special Forces on the ground. But cynical military strategy does not let the media off the hook for their failure to find out what is really going on and tell the outside world about it. Iraqi and other Arab journalists can still travel through most of the country and news editors should pay close attention to their reports from areas that are too dangerous for Western reporters.

A second feature of the epidemiologists’ findings that has not been sufficiently explored is the one suggested above by Michael O’Toole. Since their report establishes that aerial assault and bombardment is the leading cause of violent death in Iraq and, since a direct hit by a 500 pound Mark 82 bomb will render most houses uninhabitable, any survey that disregards damaged, uninhabited houses is sure to underreport deaths. This should be taken into account by any follow-up studies.

Thanks to Roberts, his international team, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and the editorial board of the Lancet, we have a clearer picture of the violence taking place in Iraq than that presented by “mainstream” media. Allowing for 16 months of the air war and other deaths since the completion of the survey, we have to estimate that somewhere between 185,000 and 700,000 people have died as a direct result of the war. Coalition forces have killed anywhere from 70,000 to 500,000 of them, including 30,000 to 275,000 children under the age of 15.

Roberts has cautioned me to remember that whether someone is killed by a bomb, a heart attack during an air strike, or a car accident fleeing the chaos, those who initiated the war and who “stay the course” bear the responsibility.

As someone who has followed this war closely, I find the results of the study to be consistent with what I have seen gradually emerging as the war has progressed, based on the work of courageous, mostly independent reporters, and glimpses through the looking glass as more and more cracks appear in the “official story.”

http://zmagsite.zmag.org/Feb2006/davies0206.html

I went through many links that are pro and con for the Lancet reporrt, however, the vast overwhelming majority of sites I read through seem to lean heavily toward the Lancet report not only to be accurate but that even the Lancet report still falls short of the actual casualties caused after the inavasion.

KevinBrowning
October 11th, 2006, 10:56 AM
Yeah, but see WW2 involved the entire world. It touched billions of lives directly. This is a single country in the ME.

Surprise, this is also a world war. Just ask Spain, Britain, the list goes on. Not to mention that extremists of every nationality are pouring into Iraq. This is no mere regional conflict, I assure you.

Apokalupsis
October 11th, 2006, 11:00 AM
CC, so either you or Booger's report were incorrect as each have conflicting figures. Boog's for example says that only 46k civilian deaths have resulted, yours is more than double that. On the other hand, perhaps this 46K is only that which is beyond the norm, and your 100K+ includes the norm. If so, then it wouldn't be an accurate figure as it isn't making the distinction. Which one should we be using? Or is it possible, that no one really knows?

Turtleflipper
October 11th, 2006, 11:00 AM
.

Surprise, this is also a world war. Just ask Spain, Britain, the list goes on. Not to mention that extremists of every nationality are pouring into Iraq. This is no mere regional conflict, I assure you.

No it's not. Merely involving a few countries with isolated singular acts under a generic banner does not consitute a "war". Iraq is a war. A minor one.

KevinBrowning
October 11th, 2006, 11:05 AM
No it's not. Merely involving a few countries with isolated singular acts under a generic banner does not consitute a "war". Iraq is a war. A minor one.

Yes, minor in casualties but not in geographical scope. Iraq is actually just a battle within the larger world war against Islamofascism.

omegaprimate
October 11th, 2006, 11:36 AM
Yes, minor in casualties but not in geographical scope. Iraq is actually just a battle within the larger world war against Islamofascism.

So, we attacked one of the few secular leaders in the region in order to combat Islamofascism? Seems like an odd approach.

KevinBrowning
October 11th, 2006, 04:46 PM
So, we attacked one of the few secular leaders in the region in order to combat Islamofascism? Seems like an odd approach.

You actually think Saddam was secular? He is a Muslim, Sunni specifically. His regime may have been officially secular, but he persecuted Shi'ites and Kurds, often based on religion. He aided Islamic suicide bombers in Palestine. Saddam did what was politically expedient, but his fascist ideology is very much in line with Islamofascism.

Perkis
October 11th, 2006, 04:55 PM
You actually think Saddam was secular? He is a Muslim, Sunni specifically. His regime may have been officially secular, but he persecuted Shi'ites and Kurds, often based on religion. He aided Islamic suicide bombers in Palestine. Saddam did what was politically expedient, but his fascist ideology is very much in line with Islamofascism.

Well Osama Bin Laden didn't think so.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0211-11.htm

He thinks he is an infedel.

Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti (Arabic: صدام حسين عبد المجيد التكريتي, ṣaddām ḥusayn ʿabdu-l-maǧīd al-tikrītī[1]; born April 28, 1937[2]), was the President of Iraq from July 16, 1979 until April 9, 2003, when he was deposed in the United States-led invasion of Iraq.

As a leading member of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party, which espoused secular pan-Arabism, economic modernization, and Arab socialism, Saddam played a key role in the 1968 coup that brought his party to long-term power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein
Doesn't seem to indicate Islamic beliefs.

Besides all that what his personal religious beliefs were are not what is in question. How did he govern. He was about as far from any type of theocracy as one can get. Bottom line he was a secular leader that used harsh measures to keep the other sects in line. This had nothing to do wth religion and more to do with staying in power.

I would also be interested to see what the final tally is with the ongoing study. I would guess it would be hard to get really accurate information considering what a mess it is over there. I am sure the statisticians are hard at work trying to sort it all out.

KevinBrowning
October 11th, 2006, 05:02 PM
Well Osama Bin Laden didn't think so.

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0211-11.htm

He thinks he is an infedel.

Osama bin Laden would probably call Muhammad an infidel. Using one of the most extremist Muslims on the planet as a guideline for Islamic orthodoxy is not a very reliable method.

omegaprimate
October 11th, 2006, 05:05 PM
Osama bin Laden would probably call Muhammad an infidel. Using one of the most extremist Muslims on the planet as a guideline for Islamic orthodoxy is not a very reliable method.

How about Wikipedia? Are they Islamofacists/extremists?

KevinBrowning
October 11th, 2006, 05:09 PM
How about Wikipedia? Are they Islamofacists/extremists?

The editors of that article may very well be. Excuse me if I'm skeptical of the claim that Iraq's Sunni Muslim dictator was an atheist, supported by an encyclopedia entry edited by anyone with an Internet connection.

Perkis
October 11th, 2006, 05:11 PM
Osama bin Laden would probably call Muhammad an infidel. Using one of the most extremist Muslims on the planet as a guideline for Islamic orthodoxy is not a very reliable method.

Babble with no backup as per usual. You don;t get it do you? Even if he was a Muslim, A Christian, A Taoist, or worshipped a box of Captain Crunch, he governed by one strategy and one alone, and that was to maintain his power. Didn't have anything to do with his religious beliefs.

Ohh and just a small adendum.

Any time that he took sides with any group in Iraq, would it not have been Muslims? Isn't that what is mostly there?

omegaprimate
October 11th, 2006, 06:16 PM
The editors of that article may very well be. Excuse me if I'm skeptical of the claim that Iraq's Sunni Muslim dictator was an atheist, supported by an encyclopedia entry edited by anyone with an Internet connection.

Do you have any support for your claim that Saddam Hussein was not a secular dictator?

Booger
October 11th, 2006, 07:12 PM
A little more than half a million [dead people]. Is that supposed to be an impressive number, in context?


Yes, people die in war. That's what war is.


Surprise, [Iraq] is also a world war. [Iraq] is no mere regional conflict, I assure you.


His regime may have been officially secular, but he persecuted Shi'ites and Kurds, often based on religion.


Osama bin Laden would probably call Muhammad an infidel.

Egads, man! Yikes.

If you think for one minute that Iraq had anything to do with the terrorist threat facing the United States before we invaded, you're completely clueless.

If you think that our invasion and occupation of Iraq hasn't increased the terrorist threat facing this nation, you're just not paying attention.

If you think the insurgency we're facing in Iraq is simply a matter of Islamic terrorists vs. the United States, as opposed to being comprised of a sectarian battle for control among, e.g., Ba'athists, Sunni Nationalists and Shiite militias, then you haven't read a newspaper in months.

If you buy Bush's line that fighting them "there" means we don't have to fight them "here," then you're (a) simply a goofball, like the President, (b) prone to fanciful thought or (c) clueless.

If you think Saddam was an "Islamofascist" then you might as well believe that pigs can truly fly.

If you think that other global powers aren't flexing their muscles against our interests because we're completely bogged down militarily in a seemingly endless quagmire of our own creation, then suprise! They are.

CC
October 12th, 2006, 10:24 AM
apok:
Or is it possible, that no one really knows?

I don't think so. Sure no one has any exact figures with all the breakdown of who was who that were killed. But the lancet studies have been touted for years as giving the best accounts for many other difficult to research attrocities. Add to that that the ministry has stopped counting, (or at least have stopped publishing the numbers) and the fact that Bush/Blair and company, who once held the Lancet studies in high esteem as to both their methology AND accuracy now poo-pooed their account out of hand smells like more of Bush's smear and spin tactics. The Lancet studies have for sometime been favored by the US and Blair for all other polls they brought forth. But just as soon as the news shines a bad light on Blair and Bush, suddenly they run a smear campaign with no reasons (that hold water) at all, the studies done in Iraq by theis much esteemed group of researchers is suddenly biast?
Smells funny and I don't mean "ha ha".

Apokalupsis
October 12th, 2006, 10:33 AM
OK, so which is it: 46k civilians or 100k+ civilians? There is a pretty significant difference, no?

FruitandNut
October 12th, 2006, 12:29 PM
While I suspect very strongly that these new found casualty figures are somewhat overblown AND the official figures massaged down; I do believe that most Iraqi victims have been as a result of Iraqi action.

CC
October 12th, 2006, 01:01 PM
apok:
OK, so which is it: 46k civilians or 100k+ civilians?
I really don't know. I wish I did, but quite frankly I don't think anyone in here knows. But I have learned that if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, then it more than not is a duck. Answer me this: If the Lanset research has been ballyhooed by both the US and (if not the UK, then) Blair as the most reliable source to discern how many victims are because of (any given) situation, then why do they suddenly discount the findings without offering proof as to why they are doind so?

Apokalupsis
October 12th, 2006, 01:04 PM
I don't know. I don't know much about either study. I'm interested in the actual civilian loss that was over that which would have otherwise been the case had Saddam remained in power.

In otherwords, have more or less civilians died as a result of the war?

The 100k could contain all civilians lost, which doesn't account for the amount of civilians that would have died under his regime.

I'm just curious who has caused more losses on an annual basis...us or Saddam.

I thought I'd have time to dig a bit deeper here, but the site update and my focus on the new gay marriage thread (upcoming) is taking more time than expected).

KevinBrowning
October 12th, 2006, 01:12 PM
Babble with no backup as per usual. You don;t get it do you? Even if he was a Muslim, A Christian, A Taoist, or worshipped a box of Captain Crunch, he governed by one strategy and one alone, and that was to maintain his power. Didn't have anything to do with his religious beliefs.

Regardless of his government's official secular status, Saddam is a Muslim. Saddam aided Muslim terrorists. Saddam persecuted Shi'ite Muslims, and especially Christians. His Sunni Muslim beliefs influenced his policy.

Meng Bomin
October 12th, 2006, 01:25 PM
The editors of that article may very well be. Excuse me if I'm skeptical of the claim that Iraq's Sunni Muslim dictator was an atheist, supported by an encyclopedia entry edited by anyone with an Internet connection.


Osama bin Laden would probably call Muhammad an infidel. Using one of the most extremist Muslims on the planet as a guideline for Islamic orthodoxy is not a very reliable method.


Regardless of his government's official secular status, Saddam is a Muslim. Saddam aided Muslim terrorists. Saddam persecuted Shi'ite Muslims, and especially Christians. His Sunni Muslim beliefs influenced his policy.
And George Bush's Methodist beliefs influenced his policy. Does that make our government Methodist? In terms of Saddam Hussein's government, it was a secular dictatorship that was biased along ethnic lines. Yes he favored Sunnis (actually Sunni Arabs...Kurds are mostly Sunni themselves), but he didn't impose Sharia...so I can't see how you can call him an Islamofascist. Being a secular dictator doesn't necessitate atheism or areligion in any way. To be a religious dicator you have to make religion part of the law...which is something Saddam did not do.

KevinBrowning
October 12th, 2006, 01:35 PM
To be a religious dicator you have to make religion part of the law...which is something Saddam did not do.

He did persecute people of other religions or sects in practice, if not legally. Regardless of the official religious status of Saddam's Ba'ath Party, he aided Muslim terrorists. Saddam was a partner of Islamofascism.

Meng Bomin
October 12th, 2006, 01:46 PM
He did persecute people of other religions or sects in practice, if not legally.
As I mentioned, it was more of an ethnic than a religious issue. The Kurds, who he persecuted, were mostly Sunni. If it were really an issue or religion, not ethnicity, he would have treated the Kurds like he treated Sunni Arabs.

Regardless of the official religious status of Saddam's Ba'ath Party, he aided Muslim terrorists. Saddam was a partner of Islamofascism.
We aided Muslim terrorists against the Soviets in Afghanistan during the Cold War. Did that make us partners in Islamofascism?

Perkis
October 12th, 2006, 05:58 PM
Regardless of his government's official secular status, Saddam is a Muslim. Saddam aided Muslim terrorists. Saddam persecuted Shi'ite Muslims, and especially Christians. His Sunni Muslim beliefs influenced his policy.

Off course he is a Muslim Kevin, look at where Iraq is, anyone he persecuted would have been Muslim because that is what is mostly there. Did you have an indepth talk with him on the subject where he detailed just exactly how his religion came into play. Saddam was an equal opportunity dictator, he crushed anyone that oppossed him. You are trying to draw a casual link here between Islam, and Saddam's terrible actions. If you are not it sure seems like it. His goverment was a known secular goverment, all the surronding countries in the region thought this, we thought this, everyone apparrently but you thinks this.

Pasipo
October 12th, 2006, 07:42 PM
He did persecute people of other religions or sects in practice, if not legally. Regardless of the official religious status of Saddam's Ba'ath Party, he aided Muslim terrorists. Saddam was a partner of Islamofascism.

You know, I'm new here but I'm sorry. You have been repeatedly asked to back up the things you say and then you ignore those posts and reply to something else or post again and ignore it, what is the deal. You could very well be right but not have any credentials so just say so, or show your hand because you can't keep folding and take the pot especially when you don't put in any money. And I would never say something like this but I watch Perkis and all sorts of people make this same point and it continues to go unanswered.

There's nothing wrong with having an opinion but try to play along with the rest of the class.

Booger
October 12th, 2006, 08:22 PM
You know, I'm new here but I'm sorry. You have been repeatedly asked to back up the things you say and then you ignore those posts and reply to something else or post again and ignore it, what is the deal.

Welcome to ODN, Pasipo. Consider yourself lucky to get any kind of factual back-up for the statements Kevin makes. Just do what I do -- pound him with the facts. Although he'll initially continue to keep making the same unfounded, incorrect and nonsensical claims, he'll eventually quietly fold and leave the thread.

KevinBrowning
October 12th, 2006, 09:16 PM
As I mentioned, it was more of an ethnic than a religious issue. The Kurds, who he persecuted, were mostly Sunni. If it were really an issue or religion, not ethnicity, he would have treated the Kurds like he treated Sunni Arabs.

I never claimed Saddam only persecuted by religion. Obviously ethnicity is a huge factor. But religion was also a large factor. He supported terrorism against Israel. Whether you want to classify his actions as ethnically or religiously motivated is really irrelevant. He is an Islamic fascist, or Islamofascist.


We aided Muslim terrorists against the Soviets in Afghanistan during the Cold War. Did that make us partners in Islamofascism?

How were they terrorists if they were fighting an invading army and not civilians? I think you are confusing your definitions.
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Welcome to ODN, Pasipo. Consider yourself lucky to get any kind of factual back-up for the statements Kevin makes. Just do what I do -- pound him with the facts. Although he'll initially continue to keep making the same unfounded, incorrect and nonsensical claims, he'll eventually quietly fold and leave the thread.

I see you continue to set high standards for the newer members to follow.

Contrary to what Booger would have you believe, it is not condoned behavior to make off-topic ad hominem attacks with no mention of the topic under debate.

When I am the only one arguing a certain view in a thread, I can't respond to every point of every post by every person. Further, I am not required to respond to any single point you consider the most important in your post. I debate here because I want to. I only debate things that interest me. If only a certain part of your post catches my interest, then that's all I'm going to respond to. If there's a single sentence or several sentences you want me to address, then make that your whole post.

Now, to get back to the original subject of this thread, it's being claimed that half a million civilian deaths in a war is a big deal, relatively speaking. Well, history says otherwise. I have mentioned the WWII civilian casualty estimate, which dwarfs this conflict's. I have also pointed out the very problem of the term "civilian" in this type of war. Neither of these points have been rebutted.

Meng Bomin
October 12th, 2006, 10:26 PM
I never claimed Saddam only persecuted by religion. Obviously ethnicity is a huge factor. But religion was also a large factor. He supported terrorism against Israel. Whether you want to classify his actions as ethnically or religiously motivated is really irrelevant. He is an Islamic fascist, or Islamofascist.
But you claimed that it was based upon religion. The fact is that different religious sects in Iraq act as different ethnicities. If it were truly religiously-based, he would not have gasssed the Kurds. As well, the lack of Sharia law directly contradicts your assertion so I think that you should concede the point.

How were they terrorists if they were fighting an invading army and not civilians? I think you are confusing your definitions.
I think you are missing the point altogether. Saddam did not impose Islamic rule upon Iraq so he cannot be called an Islamofascist. We supported a group that went on to become Islamofascists in every respect (the Taliban) when they came into existence in 1993. By supporting Islamofascists, were we Islamofascists? Of course not. Does supporting Palestianian suicide bombers make Saddam an Islamofascist? No. You can't just group them together because one supports the other.


You know, I'm new here but I'm sorry. You have been repeatedly asked to back up the things you say and then you ignore those posts and reply to something else or post again and ignore it, what is the deal. You could very well be right but not have any credentials so just say so, or show your hand because you can't keep folding and take the pot especially when you don't put in any money. And I would never say something like this but I watch Perkis and all sorts of people make this same point and it continues to go unanswered.

There's nothing wrong with having an opinion but try to play along with the rest of the class.
I'm not a new member, but I would like to echo these sentiments. Kevin, though you may be a seasoned member...your opinion is only as valuable as the argument that backs it up in a debate...no matter how long you've been at this site. People are here to debate, not find out what your opinion is.

Booger
October 13th, 2006, 09:37 AM
[Saddam Hussein] is an Islamic fascist, or Islamofascist.

Ridiculous. Note Kevin's intellectually dishonest use of the term "Islamofascist" here. What he's doing here is saying that since Saddam was both (a) a fascist dictator and (b) a muslim, he was therefore an "Islamofascist." Not so fast there, kid. If one ascribes the actual meaning to the term "Islamofascism," i.e., a movement by Islamists who seek both a return to strict Sharia law and the violent restoration of a new Caliphate spanning the former Islamic empire, then Saddam was certainly no "Islamofascist." In fact, the notion is patently absurd:


The Arab Socialist Baath Party (also spelled Ba'th or Ba'ath; Arabic: حزب البعث العربي الاشتراكي) was founded in 1947 as a radical, secular Arab nationalist political party. It functioned as a pan-Arab party with branches in different Arab countries, but was strongest in Syria and Iraq, coming to power in both countries in 1963. In 1966 the Syrian and Iraqi parties split into two rival organizations. Both Baath parties retained the same name and maintain parallel structures in the Arab world.

The Baath Party came to power in Syria on 8 March 1963 and attained a monopoly of political power later that year. The Baathists ruled Iraq briefly in 1963, and then from July 1968 until 2003. After the de facto deposition of President Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime in the course of the 2003 Iraq war, the occupying authorities banned the Iraqi Baath Party in June 2003.

The Arabic word Ba'th means "resurrection" or "renaissance" as in the party's founder Michel Aflaq's published works "On The Way Of Resurrection". Baathist beliefs combine Arab Socialism, nationalism, and Pan-Arabism. The mostly secular ideology often contrasts with that of other Arab governments in the Middle East, which sometimes tend to have leanings towards Islamism and theocracy. Due to the party's mixture of strong nationalism with socialism, some have labelled the Baath Party a fascist movement, though this definition is hotly disputed and the subject of much debate.

Do you actually think, Kevin, that you're making a point by engaging in intellectually dishonest word games? No one is interested in playing. Seriously.

KevinBrowning
October 13th, 2006, 07:24 PM
The fact is that different religious sects in Iraq act as different ethnicities.

Tribal identity and sectarian identity are often tied together in Iraq. However, it's incorrect to say that different ethnicities are different sects. As you have noted, the two different ethnicities of the Kurds and Arabs both share the sectarian identity of Sunnis in some populations.


I think you are missing the point altogether. Saddam did not impose Islamic rule upon Iraq so he cannot be called an Islamofascist.

Considering that "Islamofascist" is not actually a word in the dictionary, the definition is based on personal usage. I am using it to mean an Islamic dictator who uses Islam, to whatever degree, in his ideology. Saddam obviously did so. He discriminated blatantly against those who opposed his idea of Islam, namely the Shi'ites. He also discriminated along ethnic lines, such as with the Kurds. A clear example of his Islam-based hatred was his financial support of Palestinian terrorists against Israel.


We supported a group that went on to become Islamofascists in every respect (the Taliban) when they came into existence in 1993. By supporting Islamofascists, were we Islamofascists? Of course not. Does supporting Palestianian suicide bombers make Saddam an Islamofascist? No. You can't just group them together because one supports the other.

Saddam was an Islamic fascist dictator who supported Muslim terrorists. Whether you want to use the terminology of "Islamofascism" makes no difference. Until the word enters the lexicon, how it's used is necessarily arbitrary.

Perkis
October 13th, 2006, 08:32 PM
How were they terrorists if they were fighting an invading army and not civilians? I think you are confusing your definitions.


Most interesting use or wording here. When the Taliban were fighting an invading army they were freedom fighters. So I guess by this logic that all the insurgents fighting us in Iraq at the moment are freedom fighters as well? Or are our troops there just sight seeing? If what you say is true then that must mean that there are no terrorist elements in Iraq because we are the invading army this time. I personally do not believe this, just applying your logic to the situation.

FruitandNut
October 13th, 2006, 10:56 PM
Kev - Saddam was a dictator, but to brand him as a Fascist, per se, is to play political 'footsie' with peoples' emotions; including your own. Saddam's agenda was personal and hegemonic power. His perception of Iraq was not the same as Hitler's; he did not percieve of a common Germanic people united in a common history and with common values. Saddam focussed on using his own more tribal connections to hold sway over the other 'Iraqi' tribal and ethnic groups. His rule over Iraq was akin to a minature version of an Emperor controlling the Roman Empire. The word 'fascist' is too loosely used these days. To call Saddam an 'Islamofascist' is doubly incorrect, since he was not deeply religious himself, but more used 'religion' in order to serve his more secular and material motives.

KevinBrowning
October 13th, 2006, 11:56 PM
When the Taliban were fighting an invading army they were freedom fighters.

No, not "freedom fighters," in the righteous connotation of the term. Simply fighters. But not terrorists, according to the most specific definition: "the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear."

The Iraqis who have murdered Allied journalists, Iraqi non-combatants, etc. are indeed terrorists. But the Iraqis who have killed only Allied troops cannot accurately be called terrorists.

Booger
October 14th, 2006, 12:11 PM
Considering that "Islamofascist" is not actually a word in the dictionary, the definition is based on personal usage. I am using it to mean an Islamic dictator who uses Islam, to whatever degree, in his ideology.

Then you would be only person English-speaking person in the world who uses the term Islamofascism in this manner.

Hey. I know. Why don't we start making up words here at ODN? What a sure fire way to promote honest and intellectually challenging debate. My first word is "gretarded." Likey?

FruitandNut
October 14th, 2006, 03:47 PM
Kev - Many of the 'insurgents' do see themselves as 'freedom fighters', it is just that often peoples' ideas of what constitutes the definition(s) of 'freedom' can seem quirky. To them, your particular ideas of freedom and democracy probably appear somewhere along a scale from 'weird' to 'anathema'.

KevinBrowning
October 14th, 2006, 05:46 PM
Then you would be only person English-speaking person in the world who uses the term Islamofascism in this manner.

I'm doubtful you can document how every English speaker who has used the word "Islamofascism" has construed it.

If you are aware of an actual dictionary definition of the word, please cite it. Until you do so, I will continue to use the word in the way that makes the most sense to me based on the two words from which it derives.

Perkis
October 16th, 2006, 06:47 PM
I'm doubtful you can document how every English speaker who has used the word "Islamofascism" has construed it.

If you are aware of an actual dictionary definition of the word, please cite it. Until you do so, I will continue to use the word in the way that makes the most sense to me based on the two words from which it derives.

This just seems to me to be a case of, I spell it potato and Dan Quayle spelled it potatoe. You can call it all you want but it still does not change the fact that the Hussein regime was a secular one. I still see nothing to counter this, your claim that he sided with one group of muslims over others means exactly what? From what I said earlier, if he sided with anyone at anytime in that nation it would have been the case, because that is what primarily makes up the country. The important reason is why, and I think it is quite evident because it was to maintain his power. Not in order to aid one religious sect over another. If the roles would have been reversed he would probably have went the other way, he had one goal in mind and that was to maintain his regimes power.

KevinBrowning
October 16th, 2006, 08:27 PM
You can call it all you want but it still does not change the fact that the Hussein regime was a secular one.

Saddam financially aided Palestinian Muslim terrorists against Israel. That is not a secular policy. To call Saddam a secularist, just because he was not a caliph or ayatollah, is to grossly misunderstand how the Middle East works.

Leaders who do not support Islam over all other religions or none, whether in law or in practice, do not gain power in the Middle East. There is no concept of separation of church and state such as there is in the West.

Perkis
October 16th, 2006, 08:36 PM
Saddam financially aided Palestinian Muslim terrorists against Israel. That is not a secular policy. To call Saddam a secularist, just because he was not a caliph or ayatollah, is to grossly misunderstand how the Middle East works.

Leaders who do not support Islam over all other religions or none, whether in law or in practice, do not gain power in the Middle East. There is no concept of separation of church and state such as there is in the West.

Kevin I have been deployed to that region a couple of times so I have a little understanding of how things work. The United States supports Israel, and we should because they are our allies. This brings up the point then as to why would Saddam support groups against Israel. Is it because of religious beliefs, or simple regional politics? I think you may want to consider that everything that occurs in the middle east may not be of a religious nature. It would be more politically expedient for him to do so, because if he doesn't then he has a whole new group of enemies to deal with. You call it religious based, I call it a political move.

KevinBrowning
October 16th, 2006, 08:51 PM
I think you may want to consider that everything that occurs in the middle east may not be of a religious nature.

And I think you should consider that it may. Religion is not a once-a-week obligation of a couple hours in the Middle East. It is what provides the context for every other aspect of life. It is an integral part of each day which stops all daily activity for organized prayer six times.


It would be more politically expedient for him to do so, because if he doesn't then he has a whole new group of enemies to deal with. You call it religious based, I call it a political move.

A political move based on what? Religion, perhaps? The Israelis are sure not economically hurting the rest of the Middle East by occupying their tiny sliver of land. They are religiously seen as hurting it, though, since that sliver of land happens to be the Holy Land.

Perkis
October 17th, 2006, 04:16 AM
And I think you should consider that it may. Religion is not a once-a-week obligation of a couple hours in the Middle East. It is what provides the context for every other aspect of life. It is an integral part of each day which stops all daily activity for organized prayer six times.

Ohh you are exactly right Kevin, I am sure Saddam Hussein had all the best intenetions of Islam in his mind as he perpetrated the very acts that you harp on and on about. This man was a secular dictator that ran around in a mock military uniform for goodness sakes! He was ablsolutely despised by most of the higer authorities amongst the Islamic faith.




A political move based on what? Religion, perhaps? The Israelis are sure not economically hurting the rest of the Middle East by occupying their tiny sliver of land. They are religiously seen as hurting it, though, since that sliver of land happens to be the Holy Land.
In case you haven't noticed Iraq is full of discord and some of the worser elements that can be encountered in the region. Now think for a moment. What would be one good way for Saddam to get on the good side of most everyone in the region? Could it be? Ohhhhh say maybe? Supporting anti Israeli sentiment and lending support to groups that oppose them. Do you really think he cared about the holy land? Seems to me the only land he ever cared about was the oily land, as it was Kuwait he attacked. He knows that the region is infalammatory especially when it comes to the Israelies. What did he do during the first Gulf war? He launched Scud missiles at them? Why? To try and illicit a response from them in order to convolute the situation even further. These are tactical and political moves and not ones of religious fervor.

Booger
October 17th, 2006, 09:50 AM
Saddam financially aided Palestinian Muslim terrorists against Israel. That is not a secular policy.

Completely and utterly ridiculous. The support of Palestinian terrorists was motivated by Saddam's political aspirations and foreign policy, not Islam. Further, Palestinian groups that Saddam supported, such as the Palestinian Liberation Front, were secular groups. According the Council on Foreign Relations:


What type of terrorist groups did Iraq support under Saddam Hussein’s regime?

Primarily groups that could hurt Saddam’s regional foes. Saddam has aided the Iranian dissident group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (known by its Turkish initials, PKK), a separatist group fighting the Turkish government. Moreover, Iraq has hosted several Palestinian splinter groups that oppose peace with Israel, including the mercenary [secular] Abu Nidal Organization, whose leader, Abu Nidal, was found dead in Baghdad in August 2002. Iraq has also supported the Islamist Hamas movement and reportedly channeled money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. A secular dictator, however, Saddam tended to support secular terrorist groups rather than Islamist ones such as al-Qaeda, experts say. [Emphasis added] http://www.cfr.org/publication/9513/

Further, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency issued Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary No. 044-02 in February 2002 in which it concluded, "Saddam’s regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements. Moreover, Baghdad is unlikely to provide assistance to a group it cannot control." Douglas Jehl: Report Warned Bush Team About Intelligence Doubts. The New York Times, November 6, 2005


To call Saddam a secularist...is to grossly misunderstand how the Middle East works.

:huh: To state the above is to grossly misunderstand who Saddam was and what his motivations were. You simply do not know what you are talking about. As stated in testimony to the Senate 9/11 Commission:


Saddam may have posed as a devout Muslim to win the support of Iraq's Shia but he was at heart a secular Arab nationalist whose only loyalty was to himself and the state. http://www.9-11commission.gov/hearings/hearing3/witness_yaphe.htm

This whole line of argumentation by you Kevin is just absurd.

KevinBrowning
October 17th, 2006, 01:28 PM
Completely and utterly ridiculous. The support of Palestinian terrorists was motivated by Saddam's political aspirations and foreign policy, not Islam. Further, Palestinian groups that Saddam supported, such as the Palestinian Liberation Front, were secular groups. According the Council on Foreign Relations:

The PLF is not a secular group. They are trying to kick the Israelis out of the Holy Land. They are doing this for religious reasons, not economic. To say it's political simply means it's for self-interest. Well, obviously. But what is their interest? Reclaiming land they see as important to their religion.


Iraq has also supported the Islamist Hamas movement and reportedly channeled money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. A secular dictator, however, Saddam tended to support secular terrorist groups rather than Islamist ones such as al-Qaeda, experts say. [Emphasis added] http://www.cfr.org/publication/9513/ [/INDENT]

Newsflash, al-Qaeda isn't the only Muslim terrorist group. And Hamas is most definitely a Muslim terrorist organization.


Further, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency issued Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary No. 044-02 in February 2002 in which it concluded, "Saddam’s regime is intensely secular and is wary of Islamic revolutionary movements.

Secular compared to Islamic theocracies, yes. Secular in the Western sense you are implying, no. Saddam is a Muslim, he supported Muslim terrorists, and he endorsed Islam over other religions and atheism in his words and actions.

Perkis
October 17th, 2006, 01:37 PM
Secular compared to Islamic theocracies, yes. Secular in the Western sense you are implying, no. Saddam is a Muslim, he supported Muslim terrorists, and he endorsed Islam over other religions and atheism in his words and actions.

Maybe time for a slight reality check. Think about this logically for a moment, if Saddam did not endorse Islam considering the region that Iraq is in, how long do you think he would have stayed in power? Just think about it.

Apokalupsis
October 17th, 2006, 03:11 PM
For at least as long as Israel was still a nation in an "Islamic world". The #1 enemy of the area wasn't Saddam, it is Israel. Israel was the enemy that bound the other Arab states together as one...putting differences aside until the goal of eradicating Israel from the face of the planet was acheived. Then perhaps, would the Arab world turn on each other, maybe.

robertus
October 19th, 2006, 02:14 PM
the humanity of this such things called humanity of 911 those not to be affraid of who is going to war. but the freedom of being who are skills survivor. marines and soldiers like alike are kinda heartbreaking to see their leaving and disguised as coward not. the navy seals who are preparing to blow the switch of other in the life of humanity are solely mistaken by having the survive the mistaken identity of cruelby neating of meeting and mating. those soldiers fought hard to be anarchy in the life and sentence of judge judy but seems who are being deaths likely to have great ambition to willing survive and leave their daughter and sons alike to be going away without medal of honors. robertus

Perkis
October 19th, 2006, 04:17 PM
Washington's Worst-Kept Secret: Changes Are Coming in Iraq Policy
Analysis: When the U.S. elections are over, the Bush Administration will hear some advice it won't like, from a White House-backed bipartisan panel that sees the present policy as unlikely to succeed

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2006
It has become conventional wisdom in Washington's foreign policy circles that "staying the course" in Iraq is untenable. That's why much of Washington and the media is focused on the secret deliberations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, initiated by congressional Republicans and endorsed by the White House. The panel, headed by former former Secretary of State and Bush family consigliere James Baker, will not report until after November's elections, which will avoid a serious reexamination of Iraq policy being subsumed in partisan bickering.

While the specifics of its proposals are not yet clear — or, says Baker, even finalized — the broad premise guiding those recommendations appears to be that the U.S. needs to try to salvage the best possible outcome given that the achievement of its original goals in Iraq appear increasingly unlikely. The New York Sun first reported last week that Baker's group would make clear that "victory" in Iraq, in the sense that the White House uses the term — establishing a stable democracy capable of defending itself and serving as an ally in the U.S. war on terror — is beyond reach.

Such a conclusion certainly jibes with the facts on the ground: Iraq has become a charnel house with a current average of around 100 Iraqis killed every day in rampant sectarian bloodletting, while the U.S. casualty count continues to climb at a steady clip — October 2006 is currently on track to be the third-deadliest month for U.S. troops since the invasion of Iraq. The U.S. has long recognized that the insurgency can't be eliminated by military means; instead it hoped that it could be defanged by a national reconciliation process pursued by the elected government, which would coax Sunnis away from the insurgency by dismantling Shi'ite militias and by giving them a greater political stake. At the same time, security duties would be transferred increasingly into the hands of Iraqi forces. But six months after the new government took office, the national reconciliation process is effectively stalled. And the reason American casualty figures have spiked in recent months is that U.S. troops have had to resume a greater role in security operations, particularly in and around Baghdad.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1547851,00.html?cnn=yes

What a suprise, stay the course is not working. Frankly when I read this and have watched the corresponding news programs give their own version of this I have just been totally shocked!
Sarcasm aside, why is it that the guys in Washington always seem to be a couple of years behind common sense?

FruitandNut
October 19th, 2006, 05:05 PM
Perkis, this kind of news is not really news to those of us prepared to take on board reality. This article was filed by a Conservative leaning newspaper a year ago!

Secret MoD poll: Iraqis support attacks on British troops
By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent

(Filed: 23/10/2005)

Millions of Iraqis believe that suicide attacks against British troops are justified, a secret military poll commissioned by senior officers has revealed.

The poll, undertaken for the Ministry of Defence and seen by The Sunday Telegraph, shows that up to 65 per cent of Iraqi citizens support attacks and fewer than one per cent think Allied military involvement is helping to improve security in their country.


Andrew Robathan: Government policy 'disastrous'
It demonstrates for the first time the true strength of anti-Western feeling in Iraq after more than two and a half years of bloody occupation.

The nationwide survey also suggests that the coalition has lost the battle to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, which Tony Blair and George W Bush believed was fundamental to creating a safe and secure country.

The results come as it was disclosed yesterday that Lt Col Nick Henderson, the commanding officer of the Coldstream Guards in Basra, in charge of security for the region, has resigned from the Army. He recently voiced concerns over a lack of armoured vehicles for his men, another of whom was killed in a bomb attack in Basra last week.

The secret poll appears to contradict claims made by Gen Sir Mike Jackson, the Chief of the General Staff, who only days ago congratulated British soldiers for "supporting the Iraqi people in building a new and better Iraq".

Andrew Robathan, a former member of the SAS and the Tory shadow defence minister, said last night that the poll clearly showed a complete failure of Government policy.

He said: "This clearly states that the Government's hearts-and-minds policy has been disastrous. The coalition is now part of the problem and not the solution.

----------------------------

The survey was conducted by an Iraqi university research team that, for security reasons, was not told the data it compiled would be used by coalition forces. It reveals:

• Forty-five per cent of Iraqis believe attacks against British and American troops are justified - rising to 65 per cent in the British-controlled Maysan province;

• 82 per cent are "strongly opposed" to the presence of coalition troops;

• less than one per cent of the population believes coalition forces are responsible for any improvement in security;

• 67 per cent of Iraqis feel less secure because of the occupation;

• 43 per cent of Iraqis believe conditions for peace and stability have worsened;

• 72 per cent do not have confidence in the multi-national forces.

The opinion poll, carried out in August (2005), also debunks claims by both the US and British governments that the general well-being of the average Iraqi is improving in post-Saddam Iraq.

The findings differ markedly from a survey carried out by the BBC in March 2004 in which the overwhelming consensus among the 2,500 Iraqis questioned was that life was good. More of those questioned supported the war than opposed it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/10/23/wirq23.xml

Perkis
October 19th, 2006, 05:28 PM
Perkis, this kind of news is not really news to those of us prepared to take on board reality. This article was filed by a Conservative leaning newspaper a year ago!


Ohh I am with you 100% my friend and have been for quite some time. Like many I was on board for it when it first started, but the moment I learned there were no WMD I knew we'd been had. It is just always amazing to me that some refuse to see the obvious even when given overwhelming facts. Is realizing that something you have tried to do that does not go precisely the way you planned it so horrible? It happens all the time, but it as if there are some that just won't admit to even the slightest possibility of having been wrong. It is bad eough to be this way just in the general world, but when you have leaders showing this quality it is tantamount to a disaster.

FruitandNut
October 20th, 2006, 12:32 AM
Bush and Blair say they will remain until the job is done. Does any else wonder what "until the job is done" actually means; especially as the news is that the situation there is getting worse rather than better.
Does anyone else suspect that party politics and elections have more to do with their 'speechifying' than an overriding concern for Iraq?


I think the fact that the US are building their biggest ever embassy in Baghdad, with all the latest spy technology, would confirm that they are never wanting to pull out, unless a future US government are faced with an "Iranian revolution" type scenario - which seems more than likely at some time.

ps. I hope the embassy comes complete with several helipads and a runway for a quick evac.

Perkis
October 21st, 2006, 08:25 AM
It's like some sort of Edgar Allen Poe, opium induced nightmare, it just keeps getting worse and worse, by the day.

Deadly clashes erupt in second Iraq town

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Police and members of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's militia fought in another southern Iraq town on Saturday, leaving nine people dead.

A gun battle erupted in Suwayra, in Wasit province nearly 40 miles south of Baghdad.

This comes after an eruption of violence this week in Amara between police and the militia, known as the Mehdi Army.

Police said eight militia members and a civilian were killed in Suwayra.

An argument between a policeman and a Mehdi Army fighter sparked the incident.

The militia member was stopped by the policeman from driving along a road.

A quarrel ensued and then clashes started after the militia member called fighters.

A curfew was imposed in parts of the town and the situation is relatively calm.

Meanwhile, Amara is relatively calm now after troops stepped in and the government and al-Sadr appealed for calm.

Sources said the clashes in Amara were sparked when the chief of police intelligence in Maysan province, Ali Qasim al-Tamimi, was killed in a bombing.

Police in Amara said the al-Tamimi family accused the Mehdi militia of carrying out the killing, and in a retaliatory move, al-Tamimi family members kidnapped the militia commander's brother.


http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/10/21/iraq.amara/index.html

FruitandNut
October 21st, 2006, 03:11 PM
At least the clashes were got under control by the Iraqis themselves this time, backup Brit forces didn't have to intervene.

A senior Brit officer said that it was a needed test to prove whether or not Iraqi security forces were up to the challenge. I suppose the guy has a valid point. Though, as you intimate, the wider picture is still very grim.

Yuruusan
October 27th, 2006, 12:18 PM
Apok is confusing two reports with differing methodoligies, the 50K some civilians killed report were based only on news accounts and some iraqi of health ministry stats.
The lancet report conducted an actual random sampling type study, which is used in many third world countries so guage the effect of aids or other such illness.
93 % of the time a death certificate was brought to the study to confirm how the death occured. So the study is far more accurate than the first one, if for no other reason than it simply count all "collateral damage". Everytime the us military says it conducted a bombing raid on a suspected insurgent stronghold, only to later find out 40 people were killed, then of course the news cast ends with "unable to get 3rd party confirmation" well this report is that 3rd party confirmation
The report estmated a minimum of 400,000 and a maximum of 900,000 iraqis killed, so the 655,000 is just an average

I find it disturbing that apok seems to be on the edge of either comdemning or praising the invasion, if and only if the "right" number of iraqis have been killed.
If the majority of these 500,00 some iraqis killed were indeed insurgents (they are actually mostly women and children) doesn't that tell you something about the insurgency if killing 250,000 of them and this past month is their most damaging to us troops ? If anything, the report confirms the theories that killing terrorists only increases their numbers, which would explain the continued and rising amounts of deaths on all sides
And I find it down right sick that kevin browning, has no feelings what so ever about this becuase in world war 2, where something like 75 million people died, iraqi has ONLY suffered 1 million dead, therefore its really nothing.
I thought we left this kind of genocidal warfare back in the 1940s?
I guess if gas chambers were discovered and mass graves next to those gas chambers contained 5 million corpses, kevin would hail the coalition and praise the war becuase 5 million is considerably less than the 6 million jews that were killed during (you guessed it) world war 2

Apokalupsis
October 27th, 2006, 12:26 PM
I find it disturbing that apok seems to be on the edge of either comdemning or praising the invasion, if and only if the "right" number of iraqis have been killed.
Why? It means the difference between it being just and successful vs unjust and unsucessful doesn't it? If it is the case that far less people have died than would have had Saddam beeing in power, then isn't this a good thing and not bad? If it is the case that far more people died as a result of not leaving things are, then isn't this a bad thing vs good?
<br><i><font color="red">The below text has been automerged with this post.</i></font><br>
How many of the 655k were combatants vs non-combatants? What was the death rate under Saddam, pre-war? Is the additional 2.5% the 655K?

Yuruusan
October 27th, 2006, 01:01 PM
The 2.5 % IS the 655,000 deaths which are ABOVE pre-war saddams death rate.
And the study says the majority of dead are women and children
And again I'm asking you apok, lets say most of these 655,000 are insurgents.
By insurgent were gonna have to say sunni baathists, crimials or al qaeda/foreign fighters (the us military itself says foreign fighters account for only 10 % of the sunni anti-government forces).
400,000 of 655,000 are insurgents and this past month they posted their highest scores (since playin this numbers games seems to be the way to do it) against US troops. Doesn't this mean the insurgency growing ? Doesn't it mean even when you kill a terrorist it only creates more of them ? My point is there is no "right" amount of iraqis dead, only a "horrible" amount and an even "more horrible" amount.

Apokalupsis
October 27th, 2006, 01:13 PM
What do you mean "they posted their highest scores"?

Yuruusan
October 27th, 2006, 01:27 PM
The tone of the debate seems to be a numbers game, in that vain the insurgents posted their highest scores against us troops, ie killed

Apokalupsis
October 27th, 2006, 01:33 PM
Ah, got it. So more US troops killed = increased numbers of insurgents?

How do you know that insurgents aren't just getting better, fighting harder, are more organized, etc...? vs just having more numbers?
<br><i><font color="red">The below text has been automerged with this post.</i></font><br>

The tone of the debate seems to be a numbers game
It's always been a numbers game, right from the opening post, right from the title of the thread. I mean, it even says "655,000 dead" Yuru...the numbers game got played from post #1.

Yuruusan
October 27th, 2006, 02:25 PM
All of the above AND they have increased their ranks.
The us military estimated about 50,000 insurgents, this was back in the beginning of the war. And if we take your position that a majority of the 655,000 iraqis killed were insurgents, that would proove quite easily that they have indeed increased their numbers by a large amount.

To think that if a family member is killed by us troops even if he was a terroist, and that would simply be the end of it, is naive at best, and ignorant of the region at worst.

I'm not too sure what is worse, 50,000 highly skilled, fanatical fighters, or 250,000 fanatics that run around in groups of 5 to 15 randomly shooting up us troops and planting ieds on roads known to be used by us convoys ?

The us according to apok has killed about a quarter million insurgents, and yet this past month there's still enough of them, and skilled enough to inflict the highest losses on us troops in years? Well damn then, an army that gets stronger as its numbers diminish ? Its skill and strategy become even more cunning and calcuilated ? Its morale improves with every soilder that is killed ?
Taking apoks numbers, we've killed about 90 % of all insurgents in iraq, and yet their morale, strategy, tactics and skill only increase? Are we fighting regular people ? Or agents from the matrix ?
Which is it apok ?

Apokalupsis
October 27th, 2006, 08:11 PM
All of the above AND they have increased their ranks.
The us military estimated about 50,000 insurgents, this was back in the beginning of the war. And if we take your position that a majority of the 655,000 iraqis killed were insurgents, that would proove quite easily that they have indeed increased their numbers by a large amount.

To think that if a family member is killed by us troops even if he was a terroist, and that would simply be the end of it, is naive at best, and ignorant of the region at worst.

I'm not too sure what is worse, 50,000 highly skilled, fanatical fighters, or 250,000 fanatics that run around in groups of 5 to 15 randomly shooting up us troops and planting ieds on roads known to be used by us convoys ?

The us according to apok has killed about a quarter million insurgents, and yet this past month there's still enough of them, and skilled enough to inflict the highest losses on us troops in years? Well damn then, an army that gets stronger as its numbers diminish ? Its skill and strategy become even more cunning and calcuilated ? Its morale improves with every soilder that is killed ?
Taking apoks numbers, we've killed about 90 % of all insurgents in iraq, and yet their morale, strategy, tactics and skill only increase? Are we fighting regular people ? Or agents from the matrix ?
Which is it apok ?
You seemed to be confused as to what a claim is vs what objective survey and inquiry is. Where in my immediate last post...do you see a claim being made? You seem to be on a crusade to prove ole 'Pok wrong on something, anything, for some reason.

It's not impossible to do. Just make sure you do it correctly. The first step is to fully understand the difference between a claim and inquiry. An inquiry is usually a clarification so that the pathway for a claim can be laid.

Now, let's try again...

1) So more US troops killed = increased numbers of insurgents? Yes or no will suffice.

2) How do you know that insurgents aren't just getting better, fighting harder, are more organized, etc...? vs just having more numbers?

Your comparison of the 50K doesn't work. It's only escalated this month. Are you then suggesting that we've gone from 50K to hundreds of thousands in mere months? Something happened very recently (w/ the insurgents) Yuru, what do you think that was? If it was merely numbers, then you must believe that the recent change as a significant increase in numbers (from 50K to several hundred thousand). Any support for that? If you don't believe this is a recent change, then your response above re: 50K isn't applicabe, is it?

Yuruusan
October 27th, 2006, 10:13 PM
Apok, unless you are trying to say the insurgents are the first ever armed force that is able to continually increase its skill, coordination, cunning and morale inversly proportional to its size, then I'm gonna have to say that their increase in number is the biggest factor contributing to the chaos and the US troubles in iraq.

The us military estimated insurgent numbers at 30 to 50 thousand near the beginning of the conflict, its actual first ever statement about the number of insurgents was "a few thousand". 30 to 50 K was the last estimate the military gave about insurgent numbers.
Now three years later with 650,000 estimated iraqi deaths, you want us to know if most of these are combatents, I'm saying fine, lets say the are.
400,000 combatents dead, surely this isn't a fraction of combatents, but in fact must be the majority of all anti-american forces in iraq, this number is almost as big as saddams army !
And what "surge" are you talking about apok ? The us itself only suffered its worst month in a year, but violence against iraqis themselves these past FEW months, most notably iraqi police has been the worst ever.
In summary, the insurgency has been spreading and swelling in power and number since day 1, not just the past month.

Insurgents have been increasing their skill, coordination and ability to plan, but these alone can't account for the increased violence.
Us and iraqi patrols are now only recently being ambushed by 15 to 20 insurgents after they run over ieds, in the past insurgents would simply film the aftermath, now it appears they are taking advantage of that aftermath and are attacking immediatly after ied attacks to maximize casualties, and then leave before back up arrives.

Now you are telling me, after losing MOST (400,000)
of their comrades to us attacks that they are now taking bigger risks by attacking us troops head on ? Are you trying to say the insurgency is in its last throes ?

Or is it more realistic to believe that thanks to us air strikes and the number of collateral damage attacks, the insurgents finally have the numbers to ambush and attack us troops directly?

P.s. I'm only trying to nail ya on this issue cuz you rock, kevin on the other hand......

Booger
October 31st, 2006, 12:45 PM
To call Saddam a secularist, just because he was not a caliph or ayatollah, is to grossly misunderstand how the Middle East works.

:grin:


It's fairly well-known that Saddam was a secularist dictator.

Above quote from you taken from: http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=31543&postcount=8

Can you say:

http://www.owned.com/Owned_Pictures/footballdudeowned.jpg

:grin: :grin:

KevinBrowning
October 31st, 2006, 12:55 PM
http://www.owned.com/Owned_Pictures/footballdudeowned.jpg

That is a fairly amusing picture, but as usual, Boog, you are putting your idea of comedic style over debating substance. An interesting fact of human nature which you may not have grasped as of yet, is that people's opinions change over time. It's the product of our being fallible.

Two years ago, I knew less about Saddam. I was content to accept the conventional characterization of his regime as "secular." However, after discovering the extent to which he verbally and financially aided Muslim terrorists, I have decided this is a misleading and inaccurate description.

Apokalupsis
October 31st, 2006, 12:58 PM
KB, couldn't it be that he merely supported the political ambitions of the terrorists vs their religious beliefs? For instance, the US helped Afghanistan against Russia. We backed them financially, in training and in resources. Does that make the US an Islamic state?

I don't see the connection between using a group with similar political objectives and it meaning that there is a shared religious value system.

KevinBrowning
October 31st, 2006, 01:32 PM
KB, couldn't it be that he merely supported the political ambitions of the terrorists vs their religious beliefs? For instance, the US helped Afghanistan against Russia. We backed them financially, in training and in resources. Does that make the US an Islamic state? I don't see the connection between using a group with similar political objectives and it meaning that there is a shared religious value system.

There are important differences between the two situations you compare. In the case of the United States helping the Afghanis against the Soviets, we were helping their efforts in defending their own land against the Soviet military. We were not assisting terrorists. More importantly, though, we were preserving our self-interest of resisting Soviet aggression during the nuclear tension of the Cold War. In the case of Saddam aiding Palestinian terrorists against Israeli civilians by paying relatives of suicide bombers, he was also looking after self-interest, but in a different sense.

Rather than simply preserving his country, he was building ties in shared animosity towards Israel. Why are the Arab states hostile towards, Israel, however? Is it because Israel has important natural resources, or is a very large area of land? No. Israel is tiny and fairly unimportant financially and territorially. It is only considered important because it is the Holy Land. It was for ultimately religious reasons that Saddam supported the persecution of the Israelis.

Apokalupsis
October 31st, 2006, 01:47 PM
There are important differences between the two situations you compare. In the case of the United States helping the Afghanis against the Soviets, we were helping their efforts in defending their own land against the Soviet military. We were not assisting terrorists. More importantly, though, we were preserving our self-interest of resisting Soviet aggression during the nuclear tension of the Cold War. In the case of Saddam aiding Palestinian terrorists against Israeli civilians by paying relatives of suicide bombers, he was also looking after self-interest, but in a different sense.
But these are not the relevant similarities. An analogy is the comparison of relevant similarities. The relevant similarites here, is that we have 2 parties using/assisting 2 other parties to further political interests. The US supported Afghanistan against Russia due to political interests as Iraq supported terrorists against Western societies due to political interests.



Rather than simply preserving his country, he was building ties in shared animosity towards Israel. Why are the Arab states hostile towards, Israel, however? Is it because Israel has important natural resources, or is a very large area of land? No. Israel is tiny and fairly unimportant financially and territorially. It is only considered important because it is the Holy Land. It was for ultimately religious reasons that Saddam supported the persecution of the Israelis.
It is not true that Israel's land (land itself) is unimportant. It has been industrialized and cultivated, making it some of the most fertile land in the area. Furthermore, Israel is a Western, socialized state in the middle of dictatorships and theocracies. It is most definitely in the interest of every surrounding nation to get rid of Israel as the influence of Israel as a free state, and it's growth in military/resources is a threat.

Also, one can be anti-semitic without supporting a specific religion. Also, it's possible to cater to one's constituents, or even one's neighbors, for self-gain. The gain in this instance, would be the removal of a despised Western culture of freedom that is only growing in resources.

The mere supporting of a common ideal does not define one's religion or political leaning.

I'm not arguing for or against Saddam being a secularist, I'm still researching. I just disagree that he can't be because of the reasons you provided. I think that a much stronger argument will have to be made if we are to believe that he wasn't a secularist.

Booger
October 31st, 2006, 02:02 PM
That is a fairly amusing picture, but as usual, Boog, you are putting your idea of comedic style over debating substance.

No, I just enjoy gloating at an obvious killer "find" (i.e., your quote) by me. Quite a glorious find wouldn't you agree?


An interesting fact of human nature which you may not have grasped as of yet, is that people's opinions change over time. It's the product of our being fallible.

But of course, John Kerry is a "shameless flip-flopper" (http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=38847&postcount=1) when he changes his mind on Iraq, right?

Who hasn't grasped what?


Two years ago, I knew less about Saddam. I was content to accept the conventional characterization of his regime as "secular." However, after discovering the extent to which he verbally and financially aided Muslim terrorists, I have decided this is a misleading and inaccurate description.

Your analysis falls flat, as shown above. Further, since you're in the flip-floppin' mood, care to change these analyses:


Compared to other wars, things [in Iraq] are going swimmingly. http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showpost.php?p=18503&postcount=34


No matter how much the liberals do not want this to succeed, it is going to, if Bush is re-elected, because he has moral resolve and firmness of purpose. Kerry says it's the "wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time". If he is elected, it might very well turn much more chaotic. http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1298&page=2

Meng Bomin
October 31st, 2006, 02:12 PM
There are important differences between the two situations you compare. In the case of the United States helping the Afghanis against the Soviets, we were helping their efforts in defending their own land against the Soviet military. We were not assisting terrorists. More importantly, though, we were preserving our self-interest of resisting Soviet aggression during the nuclear tension of the Cold War. In the case of Saddam aiding Palestinian terrorists against Israeli civilians by paying relatives of suicide bombers, he was also looking after self-interest, but in a different sense.
In the context of making him a religious leader, the situations are not that different. We supported an Islamic group to fight a foreign military, and as you say, supporting that Islamist mitia didn't make our country's government Islamist. Saddam supported Islamic militants, who performed terrorist attack on Israel. He may have supported terrorism, but that doesn't make him an Islamist.

Rather than simply preserving his country, he was building ties in shared animosity towards Israel. Why are the Arab states hostile towards, Israel, however? Is it because Israel has important natural resources, or is a very large area of land? No. Israel is tiny and fairly unimportant financially and territorially. It is only considered important because it is the Holy Land. It was for ultimately religious reasons that Saddam supported the persecution of the Israelis.

<hints id="hah_hints"></hints>The Arab amniosity to Israel is much more complex than a religious conflict. Ethnic groups will fight over land, even if it's not holy. Take a look at Cyprus for example. As well, Muslims are not the only Palestinians. Have you heard of Jabra Ibrahim Jabra? He was a famous author in Iraq (he died in 1994), who was originally Palestinian. He wrote many books about the plight of the Palestinian and he was a Christian. To treat it as if it were merely an issue of religion and not one of ethnicity is to ignore some of the facts. Ethnic conflicts aren't particularly rational. Look at Serbia, look at Cyprus, look at Western Sahara, look at Rwanda, etc. All of these had or have ethnic conflicts over pieces of land that weren't particularly special. It doesn't take religion to make people fight over land.

Stormer
October 31st, 2006, 10:16 PM
If these statistics are accurate then this is very troubling.

To put this into perspective, compare it to the 562,000 total deaths (combatent+civilian) suffered by France in the whole of WW2.

More Iraqis have died in this invasion by the so called "liberal, free and democratic" US than in the occupation of France by the autocratic, oppressive and racist Nazi Germany.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ww2_deaths#Casualties_by_country

StOrMeR

Yuruusan
November 1st, 2006, 02:49 PM
Another authority on iraq talking about the authenticity of the lancet report

http://www.juancole.com/2006/10/655000-dead-in-iraq-since-bush.html

Again, anyone that is looking to discredit the report will need to proove it.
The report was reviewed by peers (meaning other people that carry out studies like this one) and then after being reviewed was published in the respectable lancet magazine.
The burden of proof is on anyone that wants to discredit this report. Its confirmed to be authentic and its methodlohy has been checked out.
The only advice I can give anyone that doesn't like the report is to "cry more noob"

Booger, please stop picking on kevin, he's the resident "stay the course" member of the 101st keyboard division.

Yuruusan
November 9th, 2006, 06:38 PM
now the "official" estimate of the number of civilians has gone up from 30,000 which sounded "right" to bush some time ago, to 150,000 dead iraqis, and its claimed in this estimate that they are ALL civilian.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061110/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

Apokalupsis
November 9th, 2006, 08:34 PM
now the "official" estimate of the number of civilians has gone up from 30,000 which sounded "right" to bush some time ago, to 150,000 dead iraqis, and its claimed in this estimate that they are ALL civilian.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061110/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq

Selective reading it seems. From your own very source, it also claims that these deaths were caused by Sunni insurgents, Wahhabis — Sunni religious extremists — and criminal gangs.

You've just provided an effective argument against the anti-war crowd who blames America for the deaths. ||


Health Minister Ali al-Shemari gave his new estimate of 150,000 to reporters during a visit to Vienna, Austria. He later told The Associated Press that he based the figure on an estimate of 100 bodies per day brought to morgues and hospitals — though such a calculation would come out closer to 130,000 in total.

"It is an estimate," al-Shemari said. He blamed Sunni insurgents, Wahhabis — Sunni religious extremists — and criminal gangs for the deaths.

Hassan Salem, of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, said the 150,000 figure included civilians, police and the bodies of people who were abducted, later found dead and collected at morgues run by the Health Ministry. SCIRI is Iraq's largest Shiite political organization and holds the largest number of seats in parliament.
The Iraqi Health official who gave the 150,000 body count (that came from actual bodies counted in morgues btw, not "interviews with people" like the Lancet study), said the following OF the Lancet Survey...

Al-Shemari disputed that figure (the 655,000 from the Lancet Survey) Thursday.

"Since three and a half years, since the change of the Saddam regime, some people say we have 600,000 are killed. This is an exaggerated number. I think 150 is OK," he said.
Hmmm...perhaps the Health Minister is biased and sides with the US and Bush? Nope!


Al-Shemari is a controversial figure and a member of the movement of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Some U.S. officials have complained that the ministry has diverted supplies to al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.

In August, U.S. troops arrested seven of al-Shemari's personal guards in a raid on his office. The U.S. never explained the raid, but Iraqi officials said Americans suspected the guards were part of a militia.

Thank you for a most excellent refutation to those who declare that 1) There have been 655,000 deaths in Iraq and 2) the US is the cause of them all.

Yuruusan
November 9th, 2006, 10:39 PM
Selective reading it seems. From your own very source, it also claims that these deaths were caused by Sunni insurgents, Wahhabis — Sunni religious extremists — and criminal gangs.

You've just provided an effective argument against the anti-war crowd who blames America for the deaths. ||


Health Minister Ali al-Shemari gave his new estimate of 150,000 to reporters during a visit to Vienna, Austria. He later told The Associated Press that he based the figure on an estimate of 100 bodies per day brought to morgues and hospitals — though such a calculation would come out closer to 130,000 in total.

"It is an estimate," al-Shemari said. He blamed Sunni insurgents, Wahhabis — Sunni religious extremists — and criminal gangs for the deaths.

Hassan Salem, of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI, said the 150,000 figure included civilians, police and the bodies of people who were abducted, later found dead and collected at morgues run by the Health Ministry. SCIRI is Iraq's largest Shiite political organization and holds the largest number of seats in parliament.
The Iraqi Health official who gave the 150,000 body count (that came from actual bodies counted in morgues btw, not "interviews with people" like the Lancet study), said the following OF the Lancet Survey...

Al-Shemari disputed that figure (the 655,000 from the Lancet Survey) Thursday.

"Since three and a half years, since the change of the Saddam regime, some people say we have 600,000 are killed. This is an exaggerated number. I think 150 is OK," he said.
Hmmm...perhaps the Health Minister is biased and sides with the US and Bush? Nope!


Al-Shemari is a controversial figure and a member of the movement of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Some U.S. officials have complained that the ministry has diverted supplies to al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.

In August, U.S. troops arrested seven of al-Shemari's personal guards in a raid on his office. The U.S. never explained the raid, but Iraqi officials said Americans suspected the guards were part of a militia.

Thank you for a most excellent refutation to those who declare that 1) There have been 655,000 deaths in Iraq and 2) the US is the cause of them all.


the lancet report is not in any way refuted by this new claim, in fact this new estimate came out to bring a number closer to the truth after the lancet report was released. iraqis know about the lancet report and wanted their government to issue a more accurate number of the number killed. they werent accepting 30 K civilians dead.

ANY and ALL deaths that comes after the invasion is indirectly as a result of the US invasion and the lack of security as a result of the invasion, and so the US has a share in the responsibility of EVERY SINGLE death in iraq that happens from the violence.

Apokalupsis
November 9th, 2006, 10:56 PM
Let's sum up...

1) The Lancet Report claims that 655,000 Iraqi's have died as a result of the war.
2) You say that Lancet Report is true.
3) The Iraqi Health Minister as per his report, says that 150,000 Iraqi's have died as a result insurgents, terrorists and gangs and that the Lancet Report is false, 655,000 have NOT died, it is wrong.
4) You say that this report is likewise true.
5) If both are equally true, then according to Yuru, 655,000 = 150,000, and the cause of the 150,000 (which according to the article is actually closer to 130,000) is that of insurgents, terrorists and gangs (not the US).

Yuru's conclusion: The US has killed (is responsible for) 655,000 Iraqi's. Bravo Yuru, ego-strokin', never concedin' "logic" at its best! || Brilliant logic there (despite the fact that the argument is 100% devoid of any).

Snoop
November 10th, 2006, 05:19 AM
Here's what MIT has to say on the subject:

Disputed MIT Study Says 600,000 Iraqi Civilians Killed


By Brian MacQuarrie
THE BOSTON GLOBE
President Bush and defense officials Wednesday assailed an MIT-funded survey that estimated about 600,000 Iraqis have died in war-related violence since the US invasion in 2003, a figure many times greater than the number used by American officials.
However, researchers from Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, which conducted the study in conjunction with teams of Iraqi physicians, defended the methodology as the best yet in determining the war’s total death toll.
“I don’t consider it a credible report,” Bush said at a White House news conference. The study’s methodology, he added, “is pretty well discredited.” In December, the president said he believed that the number of Iraqis who have died since the war began was “30,000, more or less.”
Several specialists countered that the methodology used by the researchers was appropriate for such a study.
The survey, to be published Thursday in the British medical journal Lancet, reached its estimate based on 12,801 interviews in May and June at 1,849 households in 47 randomly selected “clusters” of homes throughout Iraq.
“Our total estimate is much higher than other mortality estimates because we used a population-based, active method for collecting mortality information rather than passive methods that depend on counting bodies or tabulated media reports of violent deaths,” said Johns Hopkins researcher Gilbert Burnham, one of the principal authors of the study.
The estimate exceeds what other groups have found, including Iraq Body Count, a London-based group that opposes the war and compiles its toll from English-language media reports and official statements. The group estimates that between 43,491 and 48,283 people had died as of Sept. 26. Hamit Dardagan, a spokesman for Iraq Body Count, said the group would not comment on this new study “until we have read and digested the full report.”
If accurate, the latest estimated death toll of 601,027 would represent 2.5 percent of Iraq’s population. The annual death rate of 13.2 per 1,000 since the invasion, according to the study, is more than twice the figure of 5.5 per 1,000 before the war began.
The most common cause of violent death was gunfire, at 56 percent, the study indicated. Airstrikes, car bombs, and other explosions each accounted for 13 to 14 percent of the deaths.
The survey reported that coalition forces were responsible for 31 percent of the deaths, although that proportion has dropped in 2006.
The authors of the study, titled “The Human Cost of the War in Iraq,” said the research carries a 95 percent “confidence index” that the range of violence-related casualties is between 426,369 and 793,663.
The latest study received $90,000 from the Center for International Studies at MIT. John Tirman, the center’s chief, said he had become concerned that the issue of casualties was not receiving proper attention.
Tirman responded to the president’s criticism by saying, “Their best shot at bringing it down was to call the method not credible, when in fact this is the only scientific account of the fatalities in the Iraq war.”
Paul Bolton, a researcher at the Boston University School of Public Health who has conducted surveys throughout the world, also said the methodology appears sound. “The president mainly relies on figures that come from passive surveillance, where you have institutions like hospitals that collect data as bodies are brought to them,” Bolton said. “When the president says these studies are different, they are different. But the passive method is the flawed one.”
Army General George Casey, the commander of ground forces in Iraq, discounted the estimate. The survey’s death toll, he said, “seems way, way beyond any number that I have seen. I’ve not seen a number higher than 50,000. And so I don’t give that much credibility at all.”
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Reuters, “The report is unbelievable. These numbers are exaggerated.”
However, Barbara Bodine, a former US ambassador to Yemen who is a visiting scholar at the Center for International Studies, said the science is sound and the conclusions deserve prompt, serious attention. “I think we do ourselves and the Iraqis a disservice by dismissing these numbers out of hand, because they are deeply disturbing,” said Bodine, who served as Coordinator for Reconstruction in Baghdad and the central provinces in 2003. “While we have become almost numb to the daily reports of Iraqi civilian casualties, this survey reminds us that there is an Iraq and that the human infrastructure is being possibly irreparably damaged.”

http://www-tech.mit.edu/V126/N45/45iraq.html

Yuruusan
November 10th, 2006, 07:36 AM
Apok knows full well that 650K is the average (becuase I told him) of the RANGE which they placed as you mentioned between 400,000 and 800,000. This number includes ALL iraqis regardless of what they are.
The ministers numbers are just civilians, not insurgents, baath party fighters, iraqi army, and one big thing with his numbers is that it counts only bodies, we can only wonder how many mass graves have replaced saddams mass graves courtesy of the us invasion that enabled all this. Fisherman continue to pull bodies out of the waters daily.
Iraqi army fighting us troops are in the right since the un resolution that did pass stated simply "other measures" would be taken, the bush administration used "other measures" to mean war. The UN of course said no it doesn't, so bush took a few countries with him and invaded anyway.
And even if it really did mean war, the resolution was passed becuase saddam supposedly had wmd, which he didn't.
So the war is illegal, and every iraqi death, army, insurgent or otherwise is suspect at best, and murder at worst, iraqis are allowed by international law to resist occupation.

don't like it ? You shouldn't have invaded.

P.s. The iraqi government is legit, Iran thanks the us everyday for that.

P.p.s and jesus bloody christ apok, why do you accuse me of things you are guilty of, I know you can read, and I know you're smarter than average joe shmo.
In the link its said how the "passive" method of just picking up media reports and counting bodies is flawed, for the simple reason that there are so many missing, so many buried, and so many deaths that are simply not reported by people that are trying to survive.
What is more accurate, counting bodies, or interviewing people of those that are dead ?
And for the last time 640K is the average of the RANGE, which is 400K to 800K.
You keep putting words in my mouth and it only makes yourself look bad, but your outright dismissal of the number is bordering on dillusion now.

Apokalupsis
November 10th, 2006, 08:23 AM
Apok knows full well that 650K is the average (becuase I told him) of the RANGE which they placed as you mentioned between 400,000 and 800,000. This number includes ALL iraqis regardless of what they are.
The ministers numbers are just civilians, not insurgents, baath party fighters, iraqi army, and one big thing with his numbers is that it counts only bodies, we can only wonder how many mass graves have replaced saddams mass graves courtesy of the us invasion that enabled all this. Fisherman continue to pull bodies out of the waters daily.
Seeing as how the Iraqi Health Minister said that the Lancet Report is wrong, are you then saying that the Iraqi Health Minister is wrong? That is why this doesn't jive Yuru. Both reports cannnt be correct. The Iraqi Health Minister's is not a compliment to Lancets, it is in direct contrast.




Iraqi army fighting us troops are in the right since the un resolution that did pass stated simply "other measures" would be taken, the bush administration used "other measures" to mean war. The UN of course said no it doesn't, so bush took a few countries with him and invaded anyway.
And even if it really did mean war, the resolution was passed becuase saddam supposedly had wmd, which he didn't.
Relevancy to figures?



So the war is illegal, and every iraqi death, army, insurgent or otherwise is suspect at best, and murder at worst, iraqis are allowed by international law to resist occupation.
Relevancy?



don't like it ? You shouldn't have invaded.
Who said I didn't like it? I wouldn't be saddened in the least to see 1,000,000 dead terrorists, insurgents and gang members. It merely means we are doing the job right.



P.s. The iraqi government is legit, Iran thanks the us everyday for that.
Source? Iran and Iraqi governments are in contrast to one another, not complimentary. Good grief Yuru.



P.p.s and jesus bloody christ apok, why do you accuse me of things you are guilty of, I know you can read, and I know you're smarter than average joe shmo.
What am I guilty of exactly Yuru? You are the one insisting that both reports are correct, despite the sources of each indicating that the other is wrong. We have 4 parties here...you, me, Lancet and the Health Minister's Report. The only party saying that Lancet and the Iraqi's new figures are both true, is you.



In the link its said how the "passive" method of just picking up media reports and counting bodies is flawed, for the simple reason that there are so many missing, so many buried, and so many deaths that are simply not reported by people that are trying to survive.
And? LOL Are you trying to refute your own provided study now?



What is more accurate, counting bodies, or interviewing people of those that are dead ?
Counting bodies...which is what the Iraqi Health Minister's report does. The Lancet report interviewed people. The Health Minister even states this for you Yuru. C'mon.



And for the last time 640K is the average of the RANGE, which is 400K to 800K.
So what? It doesn't matter if it is 300,000 or 1,200,000. The latest report CONTRADICTS and REFUTES the Lancet Report. ONE of them is right, they both can't be correct. They both are NOT complimentary of one another.



You keep putting words in my mouth and it only makes yourself look bad, but your outright dismissal of the number is bordering on dillusion now.
I'm not dismissing anything except what you have provided evidence for. You refuted your own claims of 655,000 (the average) by posting the new link. You were called on it. Now, instead of admitting that both reports are in contrast to one another and admit that the Iraqi Health Minister does not agree with the Lancet Report and says that it is far too high, you are the ONLY person in the world it seems, trying to spin, manipulate, fabricate the truth so that magically, both repots are compatible. Good grief Yuru, this is a prime example of why ego should NOT interfer with reason. Your argument is all over the board, there is no cohesive argument here.

Which is it? The Lancet Report or the Iraqi Health Minister's? It is impossible to have both.

manise
November 10th, 2006, 08:51 PM
Hmmm...perhaps the Health Minister is biased and sides with the US and Bush? Nope!


Al-Shemari is a controversial figure and a member of the movement of radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Some U.S. officials have complained that the ministry has diverted supplies to al-Sadr's Mahdi Army militia.

In August, U.S. troops arrested seven of al-Shemari's personal guards in a raid on his office. The U.S. never explained the raid, but Iraqi officials said Americans suspected the guards were part of a militia.

Thank you for a most excellent refutation to those who declare that 1) There have been 655,000 deaths in Iraq and 2) the US is the cause of them all.It's actually quite reasonable to expect the Health Minister to fudge the death count away from civilians. The al-Sadr militias are accused of slaughtering Sunni civilians and Shiite collaborators. Reporting civilian death statistics attributed to Sunni insurgent killings helps the US--yes--but it also helps the Health Minister's boss, al Sadr. So why would you trust this source-a man in need of an alibi-and not Lancet?

Also, Snoop's last post offers expert testimony that supports the methodology used by the Lancet study.

Although I'm not convinced by the Lancet study, I'm not prepared to discount it because the Decider and a Shiite fundie Health Minister want us to think Sunni insurgents are the primary fillers of Iraqi morgues and recent graves.

Yuruusan
November 10th, 2006, 09:29 PM
Exactly manise, Apok is simply in denial.
the lancet report is an estimate of all types of iraqi deaths, civilians, military and insurgents and of course people that are fighting the occupation, what kind of a human body can stay intact after a missle strike? how many lost beneath the rubble of destroyed buildings, how many go unclaimed and then quickly buried by familes that have fled the country?

its so easy to see that both can be correct, if you take the ministers numbers of 150K and add in a similar number of actual fighters and there you have the estimate of 400K iraqis killed, granted its the low estimate but it adds up nonetheless.

I dont understand why i had to do the math for you apok, but im sure youll agree now that there is no reason to see that they cant BOTH be right.

and this minister just now comes out with an estimate this high? previous estimates were 30K, then 45K, then 50K. now all of a sudden, after the lancet report, we are at 130 to 150K? this isnt the last number we hear from this minister.
Hell if all of a sudden you believe what the iraqi government is saying, then this will make things easier from now on

"which is it yuruu?????650,000 or 150,000 !?!?"

Both are right.
minister is talking civilians only
lacnet is talking about civilians, military, insurgent and (iraqi) terrorist.

"Source? Iran and Iraqi governments are in contrast to one another, not complimentary. Good grief Yuru"

WOW. welcome to earth Apok
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21679-2005Feb13.html

"the top two winning parties -- which together won more than 70 percent of the vote and are expected to name Iraq's new prime minister and president -- are Iran's closest allies in Iraq."

Apokalupsis
November 11th, 2006, 10:14 AM
It's actually quite reasonable to expect the Health Minister to fudge the death count away from civilians. The al-Sadr militias are accused of slaughtering Sunni civilians and Shiite collaborators. Reporting civilian death statistics attributed to Sunni insurgent killings helps the US--yes--but it also helps the Health Minister's boss, al Sadr. So why would you trust this source-a man in need of an alibi-and not Lancet?
I never said I trusted him. Strawman.

My objection is NOT that this source must be right because it is lower. My objection is that both reports cannot be correct as Yuru has tried and failed, to argue. He is now trying to discredit is own source.

If the Lancet is spot-on and the Iraqi #'s are wrong, that's fine. No objection. My objection was more of poor debating rather than which report is correct. Yuru has consistently in his time spent here, argued for the sake of arguing w/o supporting much of what is claimed, and when refuted thoroughly and adequately (even when on issues of miscommunication in which all others agreed what he posted is not what he later stated he meant), he is not one who is capable of admitting a mistake was made.

This is yet another such instance. First Yuru claims that the Lancet report is spot on and authentic/legitimate. Then, because he is merely grasping at anything he thinks helps his position (he saw the headlines vs actually reading the article), he creates another argument. He was unaware however, that the 2nd argument refutes or is in contrast, w/ the first.



Also, Snoop's last post offers expert testimony that supports the methodology used by the Lancet study.
That's super! However, it isn't what I'm objecting to.



Although I'm not convinced by the Lancet study, I'm not prepared to discount it because the Decider and a Shiite fundie Health Minister want us to think Sunni insurgents are the primary fillers of Iraqi morgues and recent graves.
I discount it for other reasons. However, my objection over the last few posts are merely that of showing how both cannot be true at the same time, considering that at least one of them, directly refutes the claims of the other. The minister even REFERENCED the Lancet study, said it was untrue, and Yuru, either because of ego or lack of experience in debate, maintains that the minister is incorrect, and both ARE true. It's absurd, horrible debate form, and is the reason for all of his neg reps by members.

manise
November 11th, 2006, 02:50 PM
My objection is NOT that this source must be right because it is lower. My objection is that both reports cannot be correct as Yuru has tried and failed, to argue. He is now trying to discredit is own source.Yuru has stated that both reports use different statistical methodologies. If the same methodology were used, and different figures arrived at, then you would have a clear contradiction. But it seems that we're talking about apples and oranges here. The Lancet report did a random sample of a wide variety of Iraqis, both civilian and military. The Health Minister's numbers seem limited to morgue lists which could easily fit into the much broader Lancet study. Hence, both studies could be correct for the stats they are trying to measure. The Health Minister, for political reasons, has no interest in confirming the Lancet study when such a study would highlight the growing number of Shiite sectarian killings.

At least, this is how I'm understanding your objection to Yuru's position.

Stealth
December 5th, 2006, 01:19 PM
This study appears to be based on dubious methodology:

OpinionJournal - Featured Article (http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110009108)

CC
December 6th, 2006, 10:17 AM
So we just plain cannot be certain. So who's guesstimate is worth more in terms of dampening causualties?

Stealth
December 6th, 2006, 10:29 AM
Well I don't support the war, but I don't think the study is accurate in any terms. It looks like its based on deliberately dishonest methods.

I think IRAQ BODY COUNT Fundraising appeal (http://www.iraqbodycount.org/) is the best source, personally.

Meng Bomin
December 6th, 2006, 03:02 PM
I found a blog article that discussed this topic and pointed out that there has been widespread disinformation about this study and that there aren't any other studies that are comparable. Iraqi Body Count for example, only counts media reported deaths, not the actual number of deaths, which would presumably be greater than the number reported to the media. Here's a link to the article:
Deltoid: Walkley Magazine article on Lancet study (http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/12/walkley_magazine_article_on_la.php)

If this blog-writer's assessment is accurate, I see no reason to discard the results of this survey as "trash".
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CC
December 7th, 2006, 09:43 AM
If this blog-writer's assessment is accurate, I see no reason to discard the results of this survey as "trash".

Bush does.