From a US Ranger in Irag


PDA






ravnew
May 5, 2007, 03:51 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh1dWrf-k_E

If you enjoyed reading about "From a US Ranger in Irag" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
dralarms
May 5, 2007, 05:20 PM
All I can say through choking down the tears is WOW. I've said it all along we need to finish the job.

Pax Jordana
May 5, 2007, 06:17 PM
according to the guy that posted the vid, I have no soul.


but! I agree completely with what the guy says. I'm not sure it'll make good soundbytes - "I have never failed at anything!"? - but they really do need a chance to finish the job.




(though this isn't gun related)

HiVelocity
May 5, 2007, 07:13 PM
Excellent post. Fortunately there are people who believe in what they're doing all over the world [including Iraq]. I fully support our troops.

When, and I mean when, we're forced to pull the troops out of Iraq; we'll be fighting "them" here.

Oh, for those of you who don't believe that suicide bombers are already here in the US. Why did I just get back from a Suicide Bomber course in January that is currently being taught in the U.S.? The class I attended has been taught to over 50 classes (50-60 to a class) of firefighters, police officers, and first responders since its inception.

............"if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem!"

I pray for our military every day and night..........you should too!

HiVelocity in SC

ravnew
May 5, 2007, 07:49 PM
I'm happy to hear that it wasn't just my eyes that teared up watching that vid. I also fully support our troops and I agree 100% with HiVelocity. If we don't fight them there we will be figthing them here!

billybob
May 5, 2007, 07:53 PM
Be better off fighting Nancy Pelosi. She's already here.

However, we will never fight Iraqi "insurgents"...here.

The Unknown User
May 5, 2007, 08:17 PM
I'm personally against the war, but listening to that man made me want to cry like a baby.

Don't get me wrong; I support the troops, just not the war. God bless everyone over there (I'm an Atheist so I don't know what else to say).

AlaskaErik
May 5, 2007, 08:19 PM
I did my time in Afghanistan and I'd rather we fight the enemy on their soil than on American soil. Islamofascism is not going to go away. We can't ignore it and we can't appease it and we can't cut and run from it. It will come to this country if we let it, and a certain political party wants that to happen. That's why it is imperative that the next president be pro Second Amendment.

Fulcrum of Evil
May 5, 2007, 08:24 PM
It'd be a lot easier to support the war if we 1: could trust anything coming out of the prez's mouth regarding the war and 2: had a clear goal with measurable objectives. As it stands now, we're on goal 5 or 6 and 4 years past 'mission accomplished'.

Cliff47
May 5, 2007, 08:25 PM
To borrow a quote from another forum/discusson thread "Save a baby seal, club a Congressperson".

Azaziah
May 5, 2007, 08:35 PM
Do not underestimate the Rangers... I know from whence I speak.

The Ranger Creed

Recognizing that I volunteered as a Ranger, fully knowing the hazards of my chosen profession, I will always endeavor to uphold the prestige, honor, and high esprit de corps of my Ranger Regiment.


Acknowledging the fact that a Ranger is a more elite soldier who arrives at the cutting edge of battle by land, sea, or air, I accept the fact that as a Ranger my country expects me to move farther, faster and fight harder than any other soldier.


Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be. One-hundred-percent and then some.


Gallantly will I show the world that I am a specially selected and well-trained soldier. My courtesy to superior officers, neatness of dress and care of equipment shall set the example for others to follow.


Energetically will I meet the enemies of my country. I shall defeat them on the field of battle for I am better trained and will fight with all my might. Surrender is not a Ranger word. I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy and under no circumstances will I ever embarrass my country.


Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.


RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!

*******************

These guys are taught that failure is simply not an option... and given time, they believe it. Believe me, they take that oath seriously.

God bless them.

PrimaryB
May 5, 2007, 09:14 PM
listening to that I asked myself have I been the person I should be. God bless our troops and God bless America.

possum
May 5, 2007, 09:52 PM
i appreciate the support of each and everyone, keep in mind that just because you don't support the "war" dosen't mean that you don't support the troops. i as a service member don't care if someone or another supports the "war" all we care as soliders saliors an marines is that you support us and appreciate the job we do. and ya'll do a great job of that and that is another fact that i love about this forum, ya'll are very very military friendly and the level of support here is awesome. thanks to you all, for your unwavery support and kind words, prayers and thoughts. it means more than ya'll will ever reliaze.

wooderson
May 5, 2007, 10:03 PM
I did my time in Afghanistan and I'd rather we fight the enemy on their soil than on American soil.
Was there a right-wing meme I missed about this? Seems to be a popular line now - we've got to fight THERE instead of HERE!!!!

Except that, you know, we didn't have to depose Saddam in the first place. And I don't recall anyone in the Bush Administration arguing that we should throw Iraq into turmoil because, as part of our cunning plan, it would draw out all the Islamists. Cunning, really, honestly - but maybe a nice explanation to offer up front rather than all that WMD and "free the Iraqi people" nonsense.

I guess it wouldn't have been a real hearts-and-minds winner to just say "Yes, we're planning to create a religious civil war in your Iraq, with our Saudi allies on one side, our Iranian enemies on the other and American soldiers in between being killed by both. But mostly by groups our Saudi allies are backing."

noops
May 5, 2007, 10:52 PM
what does this have to do with guns?

thexrayboy
May 5, 2007, 11:03 PM
what does this have to do with guns?
Nothing...it's about fighting those that would take our freedom (pollys) and
those that would take our lives (Islamofascists).

History will judge more accurately if Iraq was the right choice to make or not. History will also record whether western civilization awoke to the danger and fought back against Nazis in turbans or if we argued our way into
defeat. Like it or not we have a war on our hands. We can either fight it on our terms (in other places), we can wait till we fight it on their terms (here), or we can roll over and say **** us, we give up.

Antipasta
May 5, 2007, 11:23 PM
I'm not sure, but Wooderson's right. This administration can't seem to do much except come up with inaccurate one-liners that seem to catch on. This veteran always supports the troops. One has nothing to do with the other. "Fighting them here" is equally inaccurate. It's very possible, but not a valid cause & effect conclusion. I just so happen to oppose fighting this war in the wrong place. If I'm not mistaken, most of "them" are in Afghanistan. If we really want to take the fight to the terrorists lets really fight them on their streets.

Fulcrum of Evil
May 5, 2007, 11:26 PM
Iraq was never a threat to us here. Hell, Saddam used to be our boy until Bush attacked him to make himself look good (history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme). We screwed up bigtime by invading: Saddam was a nasty guy, but he was useful, not the least because he opposed Al Queda with no help from us.

Darko
May 5, 2007, 11:57 PM
Wow, that was kind of dumb and uninformative. This guy is dealing purely on emotion and not reality. I supported this war initially but things have changed and the war was handled poorly by Bush. Ask yourself what would be different two years from now if we stayed there? Answer is nothing. We have to leave sometime. We could win this but we need double the troops and less pc bull**** but that isn't going to happen.

BrianB
May 6, 2007, 12:05 AM
Soooo we all support the troops, AND we can all agree that this isn't the place where we're going to change each others' minds about Iraq, the President, and the ravages of birdflu. :rolleyes: I think after this many years, most of us have made up our minds on those issues (many had our minds made up long before 9/11, I bet!).

great video! God bless all you folks who wear/wore the uniform.

coylh
May 6, 2007, 02:02 AM
This kind of logic doesn't work very well.

1. My friends died over there.
2. We can't quit now, because that would make their deaths meaningless.
3. Therefore we should send more of my friends over there. Go to #1.

This is the basis of a feud because the enemy, and the rest of the people the military kills, are thinking the same thing about us.

Do you think they say on Iranian chat boards "We either fight the Americans over there, or we fight them here!"

BFIII12
May 6, 2007, 02:45 AM
At this point I could honestly give two you know whats about the policy! All I know is that we have BRAVE young men and women getting their arses shot off in a desert. And as long as I live I will never abandon them! My Vietnam veteran father made me promise him that I will never treat a soldier like he was treated. Its kinda nice to walk up to a soldier in an airport and offer thanks. Unfortunately it catches them off guard...

I have a couple of High School buddies that served in Afghanastan and Iraq. One earned his CIB in Afghanastan with the 5th Group and the other earned it in Iraq with the 82nd Airborne. They just want the citizens to be thankful. To them its not about politics.

wooderson
May 6, 2007, 02:54 AM
All I know is that we have BRAVE young men and women getting their arses shot off in a desert. And as long as I live I will never abandon them!
That reminds me of a recent Doonesbury.

http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/2007/db070401.gif

Soldier:"Sarge, I don't understand the debate in Congress... How is cutting off war funds 'not supporting the troops'? Does it mean we'd be stranded here without ammo or rations?"

Sarge: "Of course not, it just means we'd have to withdraw."

Soldier: "Really? So if Congress doesn't support the troops, I go home to my family, but if they do support us we have to keep returning to the meat grinder?"

Sarge: "Uh, right."

Soldier: "I don't mean to sound ungrateful..."

Sarge: "Permission to think it through denied."

helpless
May 6, 2007, 02:57 AM
I am not going to watch this video. I do not have the stomach for it right now. Right now I am pretty confused at what the hell is going on in the world and I would rather just read about firearms and not politics and propaganda.

JamisJockey
May 6, 2007, 09:35 AM
The Armed Forces are merely a tool to serve US Foriegn policy. When the need is no longer there, or the mission has failed due to inadequate planning and forethought by the administration, forces should be withdrawn. We have failed in Iraq. No fault of the military, they are the best in the world. But without the proper planning even the best fail. The bush administration failed to plan properly for after the invasion, so the mission has failed. Bring 'em home to rest, refit and retrain for the next one.

CZ223
May 6, 2007, 10:37 AM
To all of you who say you support the troops and not the war I say it is like being Catholic and pro-abortion at the same time. It is not possible. The reason that will will lose this war is not the fault of the current administration. Did we do things wrong? Yes, war never goes according to plan. The real reason we will lose, if we do, is because the Democrats and a few Republicans in Congress do not have the stomach for it. When Ted Kennedy and the other Liberal loudmouths started calling this war Bushs Viet Nam he was right. He was right because just like then Congress thinks they should run the war rather than the men on the ground. The media portrays this as a lost cause and the American people are starting to buy it. I will not sit and here profess to know how we could have done it better, although I do think we rushed things when it came to letting the Iraquis run things. War is bloody and the only way we can ever fight a war properly is to turn off the cameras and let soldiers do their jobs. To all of you who have steam coming from their ears right now, I don't care. I love the bumper stickers that say No War for Oil. Oh yeah, I would love to see how they feel in January in the Northeast or any other place that gets cold when they can't get oil to heat their homes because the Islamic countries of the world have decided not to sell oil to the infidels. I guess then we can rely on Hugo Chaves. The other thing that makes me laugh is that I have seen cars with that bumper sticker right next to the one that reads Save ANWAR. I hope they like it fridgid.

JamisJockey
May 6, 2007, 10:51 AM
BS. This war isn't winnable. It's not a war. Its an occupation. An occupation isn't winnable with the amount of troops we currently have.

CZ223
May 6, 2007, 11:35 AM
You are right sir. At this point it is not winnable with the amount of troops that we have and it is now an occupation. What you fail to understand is that this was inevitable from the get go when the beurocrats, those in congress, try to run things. The biggest mistake the Bush administration made was to allow the media and the public to believe that this was gonna be short and sweet. By the way, he did tell us early on that it wouldn't be. While it pains me every time we lose a soldier over there, I know that it is part of war. The media was against this from the get go and focused on things that made us look bad like Abu Garev and Guantanamo. Honestly, I didn't think he should have taken us to war right after and actually during Afghanistan because I know the American people, especially the media, do not have the stomach for this kind of thing. I really do believe that if we ever want to win any war ever again, we have to leave the cameras at home. I am not saying that we should commit attrocities but I am saying thatbad things do happen in war and it is not for the faint hearted.

LaEscopeta
May 6, 2007, 12:12 PM
…we need to finish the job.Not to get this thread moved to Legal and Political, but what is the job?

…we'll be fighting "them" here. And who are them?

BrianB
May 6, 2007, 12:17 PM
Whoa! Bush made it VERY clear from the beginning that this would be a long, hard, painful operation. The MEDIA expected another Gulf War I and have led this unrealistic expectation.

Here's a question...If all you knew about your city/town/state came from the first 10 minutes of your 10 O'clock news, would you want to live where you live? the Chicago local news scares me to death, but the vast majority of us don't experience shootings/rape/murder/fires on a daily basis. It just happens when 14 million people live in the same place.

In another post, somebody mentioned that the biggest enemy may be our government. it's not. The biggest enemy is the mass media.

Thank god for the internet, youtube, etc. Now we can view the WHOLE story instead of just the 10-30 sec clips the editors spoonfeed us. FREEDOM

foob
May 6, 2007, 12:21 PM
You are right sir. At this point it is not winnable with the amount of troops that we have and it is now an occupation. What you fail to understand is that this was inevitable from the get go when the beurocrats, those in congress, try to run things.

Er... No war funding was ever refused to Bush when the Republicans were in charge of congress. That was 5 years of unrestrained funding and zero restrictions by congress on Bush. Which means Bush had all the resources he could require to win the war.

Republican congress did nothing to impede Bush. So stop trying to blame congress for screwing up the war. Bush, Rumsfield, and the military all have to shoulder some portion of the blame. Seriously the recent administrations (Clinton, Bush) both suck donkey balls. I would like a President to just come out and say "It was our fault. The buck stops here."

It's like some Presidential love-fest. I think even if Bush starts eating live babies on television and having sex with a goat, you will still be able to find people defending him.

It's the new American way, blame somebody else for everything.

The biggest mistake the Bush administration made was to allow the media and the public to believe that this was gonna be short and sweet. By the way, he did tell us early on that it wouldn't be.

So it's a mistake to allow people to believe something? Does the people need permission to believe in things now? Bush should have made congress pass a law saying people who think the war is going to be short and sweet should be charged with a crime and locked away? Your statement makes utterly no sense.

If he told us early on it wouldn't be, then how did the people believe it was going to be short and sweet?

In another post, somebody mentioned that the biggest enemy may be our government. it's not. The biggest enemy is the mass media.

Yes those pesky mass media, chipping away at our civil liberties. Damn them to hell.

I think the biggest enemy is ourselves. A poor education system with bad parents will breed stupid kids. You get what you vote for.

Furncliff
May 6, 2007, 12:26 PM
March 19, 2003 - May 6, 2007 and still counting. Good Americans can support the troops and disagree with the reasons, methods, and execution of a war.

Those troops are our sons and daughters.

Those war plans belong to an administration.

The president and Rumsfeld had a plan, it's been a disaster. We are fighting the same terrorists in the same places that we did years ago and now there is a civil war going on as well. What progress has been made in Iraq in 4 years is not enough. There is no end point in sight.

I'm most depressed for the people in Iraq who have been visited by the worst that humanity can offer up. Years of despotism and now this. It's time, ready or not, for Iraq's to take over the fight.

Our men and women in uniform have served bravely and long. Most likely our sons and daughters will be there to about 5 years, that's long enough.

...........http://thewall-usa.com/images/menubottom.gif


Respectfully,

Tom

wooderson
May 6, 2007, 01:28 PM
I was reading Philip Caputo's Vietnam memoir last night (A Rumor of War). One of the latter passages has the following exchange between Caputo (a 1LT) and a clerk:

"Sir," said a lance corporal, "if we pulled out now, then all our efforts up to now would have been in vain."
"In other words, because we've already wasted thousands of lives, we should waste a few thousand more," [Caputo] said. "Well, if you really believe that 'not in vain' crap, you should volunteer for a rifle company and go get yourself killed, because you deserve it."

wooderson
May 6, 2007, 01:29 PM
Whoa! Bush made it VERY clear from the beginning that this would be a long, hard, painful operation.
imagine a picture of Bush standing before the "Mission Accomplished" sign here (hotlinking broke down)

JamisJockey
May 6, 2007, 02:26 PM
Whoa! Bush made it VERY clear from the beginning that this would be a long, hard, painful operation. The MEDIA expected another Gulf War I and have led this unrealistic expectation.

Here's a question...If all you knew about your city/town/state came from the first 10 minutes of your 10 O'clock news, would you want to live where you live? the Chicago local news scares me to death, but the vast majority of us don't experience shootings/rape/murder/fires on a daily basis. It just happens when 14 million people live in the same place.

In another post, somebody mentioned that the biggest enemy may be our government. it's not. The biggest enemy is the mass media.

Thank god for the internet, youtube, etc. Now we can view the WHOLE story instead of just the 10-30 sec clips the editors spoonfeed us. FREEDOM

You fail to point out that Iraq is a country of roughly 25 million people. That's the size of a populous state in the US. And dozens to hundreds of people are being murdered in a civil war we created on a daily basis, plus the troops that are being thrust into the middle.
Your hero Bush and his administration are the ones that handicapped our military from day one of the occupation. Of course its a long hard occupation, he created it.

JamisJockey
May 6, 2007, 02:30 PM
You are right sir. At this point it is not winnable with the amount of troops that we have and it is now an occupation. What you fail to understand is that this was inevitable from the get go when the beurocrats, those in congress, try to run things. The biggest mistake the Bush administration made was to allow the media and the public to believe that this was gonna be short and sweet. By the way, he did tell us early on that it wouldn't be. While it pains me every time we lose a soldier over there, I know that it is part of war. The media was against this from the get go and focused on things that made us look bad like Abu Garev and Guantanamo. Honestly, I didn't think he should have taken us to war right after and actually during Afghanistan because I know the American people, especially the media, do not have the stomach for this kind of thing. I really do believe that if we ever want to win any war ever again, we have to leave the cameras at home. I am not saying that we should commit attrocities but I am saying thatbad things do happen in war and it is not for the faint hearted.

As another poster mentioned, Congress did squat to impede the Bush admin. The blame for us being there, and us failing lies squarely on thier shoulders.
Blaming the media is a joke. How about blaming the terrorists that blow up hundreds of people a week in that country. How about blaming Bush and co's misleading the country into thinking we could do it with such a small force. How can you occupy a country of 25 million people with 120 thousand troops? A country that includes two religious factions that truely hate each other and would do anything to kill each other? We stepped in **** big time.

BrianB
May 6, 2007, 03:22 PM
Jamis,

Dubya isn't my hero. He's not the best guy we've ever had in office. He's gotta be one of the worst statesmen ever to hold the office. He's made a ton of mistakes, (including declaring mission accomplished on that ship). My earlier point is that immediately after 9/11, he did clearly state that the war on terror would be a long hard difficult fight. (Iraq debatable for sure).

I have yet to have any politician I would actually vote FOR on any ballot. Unfortunately, many of us are often voting AGAINST somebody. :banghead:

Without a doubt, the real enemies are the bad guys from the sandbox. But I fear the media also (to a lesser extent) because they control the flow of information to the voting public. Taking THR, I'm all for seeing ALL the information, and formulating my opinions on my own. I just don't want my opinions based on spoonfed, filtered data.

My heroes are the ones who wear the uniform and their families.

lacoochee
May 6, 2007, 04:36 PM
You know, the disheartening thing is that none of us really know how the Iraq front is really progressing. The media is hopelessly biased.

Defeat as the old axiom goes, should never be reinforced. My fear is that if we declare the Iraq front in this war a defeat and retreat, that we will fold all of our tents all over the world and go home. The Democratic party is not even pretending anymore that it wants to fight terrorists in other places, they are meeting with Baathists (National Socialists) in Syria and making Moon eyes at the Iranians two of the largest state sponsors of terrorism in the world.

I honestly believe there only 2 reasons that we have not been attacked on our soil since 9/11 (discounting the occasional rogue muslim shooting spree (SLC, LAX, and The Jewish Center in Seattle) or runover spree (NC and San Fran)). The first is that we are really killing a whole boatload of young Jihadi's in the Middle East, tens of thousands at this point, this has got to be impacting their ability to sustain Ops outside of their region to some degree. The second being that I think they realize that if the blow is not massive enough it will goad us off our asses again and might ultimately doom them.

So if we stop the pressure on their home front, I think we will be empowering them on our home front. It's not like our borders are secure, and I know the multi-culturalists are going to scream at this, but you pick out the 1000 foot soldiers coming across our border in the night over a ten month period with the rest of the horde from the south, good luck.

The only solace I can take at this point, is that when these guys finally get through to us and they will as things currently stand, is that the four cities they are likely to target are in large part the root of the problem. (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and DC)

Oh and it would help if the President could articulate anything ever. It's sad but funny, even when I agree with him completely by the time he is done mangling every point I find myself just wanting to disagree out of disgust.

wooderson
May 6, 2007, 04:48 PM
You know, the disheartening thing is that none of us really know how the Iraq front is really progressing. The media is hopelessly biased.
Yeah, how dare they report on suicide bombings and dead soldiers, right? Such bias.

Sharps-shooter
May 6, 2007, 05:18 PM
We either fight them over there, or we fight them here

By the time "they" finish their civil war and get around to their long-anticipated invasion of the US, they will find we have long since been taken over by mexico.
I hear they've already taken over one of the western states and renamed it "New Mexico". And changed the name of LA to "Los Angeles".

wooderson
May 6, 2007, 05:19 PM
Don't forget the forward observation post in San Antonio.

Caimlas
May 6, 2007, 07:14 PM
I support the troops. I support the war. But I don't support Bush, because he's butchered the war effort and turned it into little more than what UN peacekeepers are capable of.

If we're going to fight a war, let's do it! This occupation isn't helping anyone but the Islamists.

coylh
May 6, 2007, 08:33 PM
I actually don't support the war or the troops. Volunteers, at this point, have had plenty of warning that they'll be be fodder for the economic and religious pissing matches the government sustains. Signing up with that knowledge is just aiding and abetting.

rickomatic
May 6, 2007, 10:19 PM
I actually don't support the war or the troops. Volunteers, at this point, have had plenty of warning that they'll be be fodder for the economic and religious pissing matches the government sustains. Signing up with that knowledge is just aiding and abetting.

While your sentiment disgusts me, I still applaud you for at least being honest. It's more than can be said for most other "anti war" folks. But, maybe I'm used to my fellow Washingtonians open attitude against the war and this administration, even though I disagree with them. Afterall, we did give the country Cantwell, Murray, and Baghdad Jim.

marksman13
May 6, 2007, 10:32 PM
coylh, that is quite distasteful. You have the right to your own opnion, but to bash the soldiers protecting the country you live in is less than admirable. Personally, I don't need or want support from you or your kind. Do all us soldiers a favor though and call on someone else when you need a hand. Despite your beliefs, some of us signed up because we wanted to do something for someone other than ourselves. It is a truly sad nation that can not separate themselves from their political views long enough to realize that their military is all that stands between them and tyranny.

thefitzvh
May 6, 2007, 10:36 PM
Quote:
"I actually don't support the war or the troops. Volunteers, at this point, have had plenty of warning that they'll be be fodder for the economic and religious pissing matches the government sustains. Signing up with that knowledge is just aiding and abetting."

Except for the thousands of soldiers, myself included, forced to fight in iraq under threat of imprisonment even though we left the military years ago.

Or perhaps soldiers who don't support the war, but joined for other reasons, maybe to avoid saddling their parents with enormous college costs.

Derek Zeanah
May 7, 2007, 01:48 AM
TheFitz has it right -- a moderator here was called back up after his tour was over. Turns out he's in Afghanistan, but he could just as easily have been sent to Iraq instead.

You've gotta understand -- enlisted get no choice for the most part. In my experience (Oct '91 to Feb '94) I never met anyone who didn't have a recruiter lie to them about something important. My case was different, but I walked in with a near-maxed ASVAB score and said "I'm signing with the Marines this week unless you can make me a better deal, and I want to be Airborne Infantry." He didn't need to lie. ;)

coylh
May 7, 2007, 02:29 AM
marksman13: ... Despite your beliefs, some of us signed up because we wanted to do something for someone other than ourselves.

To clarify, I didn't claim you are selfish. I said, to paraphrase, that by joining the military you become an enabler of pointless government directed violence.

I also said that our youth really should know better. This is probably what you call bashing, but I don't think it is. I consider it in the same spirit as warning someone not to jaywalk.

For example, if your friend jaywalks, and is hit by a car and killed, you wouldn't think that your friend's death was meaningless unless you yourself successfully crossed the street by jaywalking, would you? This kind of sentiment comes out in the video strongly for me.

js
May 7, 2007, 02:52 AM
billybob said = Be better off fighting Nancy Pelosi. She's already here.

However, we will never fight Iraqi "insurgents"...here.

I'm sorry, but we do have insurgents here... they're called Democrats.

The video clip is pretty moving... It's been a while since I've gotten choked up. That clip did it.

God Bless our troops!

Coylh said = I actually don't support the war or the troops. Volunteers, at this point, have had plenty of warning that they'll be be fodder for the economic and religious pissing matches the government sustains. Signing up with that knowledge is just aiding and abetting.

I won't comment on that remark...

Fulcrum of Evil
May 7, 2007, 04:01 AM
Every time I hear about 'wasting all our effort spent on Iraq' as justification for throwing good money and men after bad, I wonder what would be different if we required high school graduates to take a course in macroeconomics, especially the part about sunk costs. The idea shows up in a lot of places, too: 'when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is _stop digging_'.

Oh well, this whole war was a mistake, but we're they're, and we need to assess the best course of action. Every path is a disaster, so we can at best choose our poison.

My vote is to garrison Kurdistan, give refuge to those who fear retribution once we leave, and keep Iraq at arms length for the most part. It'll be a mess, but the big lesson is that this happens every time we go around screwing with sovereign nations for short term gain.

What to do with Iran? Keep them talking and make the old gray men in power fear their young more than they do us. The young Iranians actually seem to like us.

cheygriz
May 7, 2007, 02:51 PM
So it's better we surrender? And next year, the same soldiers fight them in the streets of Baltimore instead of Baghdad??

Pull your heads out of your armpits, pholks!:banghead:

ozwyn
May 7, 2007, 03:50 PM
heh, if I thought fighting them in baltimore would give Maryland gun owners some hope for real rights I'd say do it in a heartbeat :p

On a more serious note - the afganistan mission made sense. Not so sure I buy into Iraq. Frankly, the more I think about Iraq the more conflicted I get... and, historically unless you're the turks or the mongols (and willing to be that messy), I am not sure any kind of occupation will really be that successful.

We never had a real surrender on any kind of total Level in Iraq, mostly because I don't think we broke enough of the country and infrastructure for long enough before the military folded. Iraq surrendered, but the people were not "sick of the war" like they were in Japan on germany at the end of WWII.

Simply put, we failed to do ENOUGH damage to break the will of the non-complete fanatic. What we did do is make it easy for fence sitters to join the insurgency.

There is no humane way to bring peace and stablity in Iraq at this time without a lot more US casualities for a people who will just resent them for it. Neither can we allow ourselves to be the barbarians either by doing what is required to make the necessary breakthrough on countering the insurgency.

in short, we're screwed until we discover some real direction, which is something neither side domestically seems to be providing much of.

that's my .02, and i doubt its worth that much

foob
May 7, 2007, 03:53 PM
^^^ That's a pretty good post actually. Worth more than .02.

Titan6
May 7, 2007, 04:41 PM
ozwyn - that is surprisingly insightful for a BB. Normally these things start to devolve into people calling each other surrender monkeys, terrorists and fascists. That is why I do not normally comment on the war.

But you have to have a plan and the solution is either "kill them all" or find a political one. If we can have what passes for peace in the balkans after 11 years of contentitous civil war, ethnic, racial and religous infighting, genocide you name it... we can have it in Iraq also. But four years later no one has the plan....

DragonFire
May 7, 2007, 05:35 PM
After listening to my son who did a tour in Iraq, and to a bunch of soldiers who are still there or have been there, it seems strange that all there bright young people can not see how defeated we've been in Iraq.

Though none of them had been thrilled to have been sent there, they all thought their time there had been useful. Quite a few have been willing to go back again (and again).

If the only thing being accomplished is the deaths of their friends and fellow soldiers, you'd think they'd be more anti-war, anti-Bush, and anti-Iraq then they are.

Some of them were even foolish even to think the roads we've built, the schools, hospitals and other vital-services we've help set back up actually mean something. That the grateful looks of a majority of the people that think the Americans have made a postive change to their lives would have any value.

I'm sure the American media is reporting everything of any significance happening in Iraq, so since I haven't read of one postive happening, I'm sure it can't be happening. But I don't see how all how a soldier smart enough to operate all the modern sophisicated military equipment can't see that!

Why would a man who had the drive, dedication, intelligence and talent to become and survive as a Ranger believe that he could actually "finish" the job when "everybody" at home can see it's hopeless? Why does he think I'd even listen to the opinion of someone whose life may actually depend on what happens vs. a reporter trying to make a by-line, or a politician trying to make headlines! The nerve of some people!

And how dare anyone admire or even respect our young people actually enlisting into the military. Thinking they could make any difference in this world. Who taught them stuff like that?

Why, we shouldn't even have a military unless we're actually attacked (which we all "know" would never happen, unless of course we really deserved it in the first place). Then we could have a series of debates on TV, and then a national vote on whether we should defend ourselves or not, and if we should, maybe another national vote on the best way to defend ourselves (without any lives being lost of course). Maybe we could do it like American Idol, where we all vote weekly on what the military should or shouldn't do!


If only Gore had been elected. I'm sure nothing like Iraq would have happened. I mean, whatever happened while Clinton was president? I mean besides the pre 9/11 attacks on the towers, or the embassy bombings, and the attack on the Cole, and all those other attackes. Besides all that, what ever happened?

Titan6
May 7, 2007, 05:50 PM
Well, as I head back to the sandbox sometime this year I guess I will get another look. Call me crazy I volunteered to go back...

foob
May 7, 2007, 05:51 PM
If only Gore had been elected. I'm sure nothing like Iraq would have happened. I mean, whatever happened while Clinton was president? I mean besides the pre 9/11 attacks on the towers, or the embassy bombings, and the attack on the Cole, and all those other attackes. Besides all that, what ever happened?

Could you explain what you mean here more clearly.

DragonFire
May 7, 2007, 09:39 PM
Could you explain what you mean here more clearly

Sarcasm aside, what I mean is that I would rather have this country seen as a bully and feared than thought of as weak and disrepected. If Clinton had responded in force to some of the earlier attacks, maybe 9/11 wouldn't have happened.

Bush is blamed for "all" the deaths in Iraq, but no one talks about the deaths this country suffered under Clinton while appologizing to the rest of the world for being so evil that we deserved to be atacked. I think Gore (and probably any Democrat) would have continued the policy to bowed down to every third rate power and we would have continued to see American lives lost in terror attacks.

I feel about Bush's presidency somewhat as I did about Reagan's. While I don't agree with everything he's doing, and wish things could be different I definitely think he's doing better than his predecessor As a whole, this country will always be better off if we appear always ready to fight, rather than always ready to negotiate. I think Reagan's image as a "cowboy", served us well in the 80's. And unless we suddenly reverse course now, I think what we've done in Afganistan and Iraq will serve the same purpose.

Mess with the US and the next sound you hear will be a B52! Maybe a policy like that will see some American lives being lost, but I think in the big picture of the world, it will save American lives (and those of people in other countries) as well.

cheygriz
May 7, 2007, 10:11 PM
Dragonfire,

Thank you for your well thought out and insightful post. It's food to see that common sense hasn't totally vanished form this country.:)

atek3
May 7, 2007, 11:01 PM
I've never been to Iraq, but after speaking to a Navy SEAL friend of mine who has, I'm pretty doubtful on the war. He basically said the war started off well, but america let it devolve into a civil war. There's no way to end or salvage the situation, so America should get out before we lose more Americans. This guy isn't a pinko coward either, he's the toughest SOB I've met, and if he thinks the Iraq war is a bad idea...

atek3

marksman13
May 8, 2007, 12:17 AM
Coylh, the sad fact is that you and I will never see this war in the same light. Have you ever been to Iraq? Have you seen the things we are doing for that country? I suppose you think that we should have just sat this one out. I suppose you think that we should tend to American business and let the rest of the world deal with their business. We are not losing this war! We won the war when Baghdad toppled and Sadam hit the road. We are struggling through the peace. The fact is that nothing comes easy. The Iraqis are fighting hard for their country. How can we jump ship now and leave the Iraqis to fend for themselves. As Titan6 said, we finally forged peace for the Balkan region. We will win this peace too, if people like you will find a back bone, find some compassions, and find some will to see the job through. If we choose to sit on the side line through every global conflict we will soon find ourselves living like the rest of the world. We can help mold the world into the shape we believe it needs to be in or we can conform to it. We simply can not sit on our arses and watch the world destroy itself. We can not allow tyrants to rule. We can not allow the world to see us as weak. We have the greatest military the Earth has ever known. Men like me and Titan6 are still putting on our uniform every day, strapping on our armor, and loading our rifles so that someday our children will be able to enjoy a better life than we do. You can save the nonsense about jay walking. Jaywalking is a foolish misdemeaner that is easily avoided. Fighting this war is here whether you like it or not and it can not be avoided. We can either win it or lose it. The choice is ours and it is yours. You can run from it if you want, and hopefully men like me will be able to pull enough of your slack to move this thing in the right direction.

Fulcrum of Evil
May 8, 2007, 12:36 AM
> If Clinton had responded in force to some of the earlier attacks, maybe 9/11 wouldn't have happened.

I remember Clinton: he shot a cruise missile at one of binLaden's camps and the guys in the Senate were screaming about the end of the world. Then, when Bush showed up, he discontinued Clinton's al Queda plans (because it was Clinton's I suppose), but then reinstated them shortly after 9/11. Argue all you want about whether we should stay in the sandbox, but remember that Bush is the one that screwed this pooch.

nemoaz
May 8, 2007, 12:42 AM
he discontinued Clinton's al Queda plans (because it was Clinton's I suppose), but then reinstated them shortly after 9/11.

Clinton's plan was to do nothing, except on the one night he needed a continuance of his impeachment for perjury (and subsequent disbarment). Clinton did nothing for the other 9 terrorist attacks, even though he knew who the enemy was as Bin Ladin and Khalid Sheik Mohammed were listed by his Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 WTC attack.

You have to be quite the revisionist historian to conclude that Clinton did anything in his eight years to stop terrorism. And he instituted many of the policies which directly lead to 911, such as denying the FBI and CIA access to each others files and intelligence.

Clinton's policy was Carter's policy. DO NOTHING!!!!

rangerruck
May 8, 2007, 12:56 AM
Lemme jus go ahead and say, what a bunch of other's are thinking right now.
A bunch of you people, whether you ever served or not, whether you have folks over there or not, whether you are conservs or libs or not, are a huge bunch of a@#es!!!! Here is a typical soldier on the ground saying, stop playing all your stupid word game arguements, and politics, and let us do our job, we can win, and we can make the Iraquis proud of their own country. But you just can't keep your opinions to yourself sometimes , can you? I suggest you go back , and listen to the video again, and get inspired, and proud.

foob
May 8, 2007, 01:04 AM
I should learn from past lessons. Any attempts at opening anybody's minds to any differing viewpoint is just shot down.

U.S.SFC_RET
May 8, 2007, 08:06 AM
Its nice to see a soft heart for troops but those same troops turn into veterans. Multiple Deployments mean broken marriages and broken marriages mean split retirement checks. Half to the guy who get shot at and half to the wife. Veteran still makes child support payments. Wife gets paid for the entire life of the servicemember. The USFSPA law sucks and needs revamping.
Desert Storm One: I have seen many Servicemenbers (in Uniform) with horrible skin rashes. Some of their kids born deformed. I have known Desert Storm Veterans who have died from cancer.
This country as an institution knows how to conveniently forget and sweep under the carpet the veterans who sacrifice for life. Sure there's headlines concerning vets, ie (Walter reed) but there are many with severely underated disabilities after going through the VA from this war, especially the Army. My former commander witnessed quite a few mutulations after IEDs only to find out those kids got 25% disability, 35% disability.:cuss: :cuss:
You take this for what its worth. There is no glory.

wooderson
May 8, 2007, 09:37 AM
After listening to my son who did a tour in Iraq, and to a bunch of soldiers who are still there or have been there, it seems strange that all there bright young people can not see how defeated we've been in Iraq.

Though none of them had been thrilled to have been sent there, they all thought their time there had been useful. Quite a few have been willing to go back again (and again).

It's funny how personal anecdotes never quite match the available evidence, isn't it? You'd think that if so many soldiers found their time 'useful' and necessary and were willing to go again... widespread support for the war among soldiers in Iraq might show up in a poll. Any poll.

LaEscopeta
May 8, 2007, 10:46 AM
...we can make the Iraquis proud of their own country.Why do you think Iraqis are not proud of their country?

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 12:46 PM
Have you ever been to Iraq? Have you seen the things we are doing for that country?When I hear this the real argument is "we're doing good, humanitarian things for these folks." There are some here who don't think that's a suitable task for infantry and armor. Humanitarian aid is fine. Providing it at the point of a gun, after using "secret evidence" to justify the invasion that later turned out to be 100% false, is another issue.

Nothing against what you're doing, but look at the big picture.

I suppose you think that we should have just sat this one out. I suppose you think that we should tend to American business and let the rest of the world deal with their business.Yes. I don't believe we have a duty to use force of arms to bring democracy and freedom to the world. Certainly when we're not invited.

We are not losing this war!So, like, peace is on the horizon? We've 'won' and can come home? Or just another "mission accomlished - we won the invasion" post?

Look, I see where this is going: "Saddam was a bad man and we're doing good things -- peace corps things -- for these poor, previously downtrodden people." My point is that it appears that the Iraqi people are worse off now than they were under Saddam, our clout internationally is seriously decreased, our ability to deal with a real security threat anywhere else in the world is degraded, and it seems we're worse off security-wise than before Iraq.

We can help mold the world into the shape we believe it needs to be in or we can conform to it. We simply can not sit on our arses and watch the world destroy itself. We can not allow tyrants to rule. We can not allow the world to see us as weak. We have the greatest military the Earth has ever known. Dude, I want to live in freedom.

I don't want to be part of a frigging empire.

DragonFire
May 8, 2007, 12:51 PM
It's funny how personal anecdotes never quite match the available evidence

No what's funny is how what the media reports doesn't always match what I know from personal experience.

You'd think that if so many soldiers found their time 'useful' and necessary and were willing to go again... widespread support for the war among soldiers in Iraq might show up in a poll. Any poll.


Do you mean 'any poll' or any poll that the media would be willing to print.

foob
May 8, 2007, 12:54 PM
Do you mean 'any poll' or any poll that the media would be willing to print.

So somehow Fox News, fair and balanced, is purposely not mentioning any polls about the widespread support for the war among soldiers?

Or somehow the government, who desperately wants more support for the war, has not conducted such polls, or are hiding the results of such positive polls?

Just think for a moment what you are saying.

Of course there are positives going on in Iraq. There is a new government, elected by the people. There are infrastructure improvements, some oil is flowing. These are slow improvements. You can't expect the mass media to publish these results everyday. Does a school get built everyday? "Breaking news report: School construction now at 59% completion", next day "Breaking news report: School construction now at 59.5% completion". This isn't how news works. The reporter will get fired for covering it everyday.

Everyday there are bombs blowing up and civilians dying. That gets reported because it's happening and because people dying is news. Just like missing white females are news.

The media consist of businesses. They are out to make money. The make money by reporting news that generate high ratings. They aren't some evil empire hell bent on the destruction of freedom and all that is good.

DragonFire
May 8, 2007, 01:07 PM
My point is that it appears that the Iraqi people are worse off now than they were under Saddam


While I think apears is a key point, I'd like to ask why.

For the majority of the Iraqi people, how was life better before?

More hospitals have been opened.
More school have been opened, and now females are allowed to attend as well.
Clean water has been made available to more people.
Vital services like sewer and electrical power are available to more people.


And were not providing aid "at the point of a gun", we're using the "point of a gun" to ensure that the aid gets to the people who need it and not to a corrupt war lord.


I want to live in freedom

And you think ignoring the rest of the world is going to let you do that?

foob
May 8, 2007, 01:14 PM
More school have been opened, and now females are allowed to attend as well.

Just pointing out:

Saddam was a secular dictator. Iraq was the least sex discriminative arab country.
http://www.hrw.org/backgrounder/wrd/iraq-women.htm

Before the invasion of Kuwait, they were the most advanced arab country, in terms of western values such as non-discrimination against women. They were kind of like China now - authoritarian nation with capitalist economy.

Now they have one of the lowest literacy rate for females.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_lit_fem-education-literacy-female

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 01:18 PM
While I think apears is a key point, I'd like to ask why. For the majority of the Iraqi people, how was life better before?Because six hundred thousand more of them were alive before the invasion? Because they had regular power and running water?

Clean water has been made available to more people.
Vital services like sewer and electrical power are available to more people.
Look at your timeline. IIRC, we're still not up to pre-invasion levels.

And were not providing aid "at the point of a gun", we're using the "point of a gun" to ensure that the aid gets to the people who need it and not to a corrupt war lord.Riiiiiiight. Because that's worked so well every other time we've tried it.

And you think ignoring the rest of the world is going to let you [live in freedom]?I think it's got a better chance the constant meddling we've done over the past 60 years, yes. I also think that's the duty of the government. Taxing me and running off on yet another intervention where it's not clear that we've even welcome seems a bit pointless, if not immoral. You can talk about the good you're doing and how well you're accepted. Let's see how long that holds after we pull out, whether that's next year or next decade.

Remember, more than half a million dead Iraqis since our invasion. Why isn't that in your calculus? Yeah, we're not killing them, but removing Saddam and kicking the Baathists/Sunnis out of power seems to have been the trigger, and that wouldn't have happened if we hadn't gotten involved.

bogie
May 8, 2007, 01:22 PM
Well, when one looks at other third-world pestholes, and the concept of humanitarian aid, one realizes that one needs lots of folks on the ground with lots and lots of guns.

Otherwise, the leadership gets richer, the folks the leaders don't like still get dead, and we end up having to go in eventually.

IMHO, there would have been a civil war in Iraq eventually. Or there would have been even more killing than what happened with the kurdish minority.

foob
May 8, 2007, 01:33 PM
Mispost.

wooderson
May 8, 2007, 02:52 PM
Do you mean 'any poll' or any poll that the media would be willing to print.
Ah, yes, a fine excuse and good for all occasions. "The durned MSM are hiding the truth! CONSPIRACY!!!"

It's easy to believe anything you want when you set out to deny reality.

CombatArmsUSAF
May 8, 2007, 03:44 PM
It's easy to say these things from your computer desk at home. I would think the opinion of the people that have actually been there would hold more substance than what the media says.

One of the MAJOR problems in our country nowadays is that people don't educate themselves and just listen to whatever the media DECIDES to report.

For all the talk about sheeple, you guys could fill in for the news anchors on any major news network.

If it was something that painted gun owners in a negative light, I GUARANTEE that the support for the always truthful media being shown in this thread would immediately disappear.

foob
May 8, 2007, 03:50 PM
One of the MAJOR problems in our country nowadays is that people don't educate themselves and just listen to whatever the media DECIDES to report.

The irony is so strong in this I'm left speechless...

marksman13
May 8, 2007, 03:55 PM
CombatArmsUSAF, you hit the nail on the head. In order to get a feel for what is going on on the ground you have to experience it. The hell with the reasons for going to war. We are there. Period. We have to fix this thing that we started. Should we just bail on an entire country? Should we leave the Iraqis helpless for the next tyrant who comes along? This isn't about building an empire. This is about doing the right thing no matter what it costs. Some of you are content to do nothing for your fellow man. It is easy to armchair quarterback this war. Yes, mistakes have been made. We don't have enough troops on the ground. We have had logistical errors. We did have some bad intelligence when we started, but the bottom line is, we will lose more face with the rest of the world if abandon Iraq than if we continue this mission. Perhaps some of you don't mind if the rest of the world views you as a nation of spineless, heartless cowards, but I do. We have a mission to complete in Iraq. We must help them succeed in forming a government that can sustain itself. We must help them repair their infrastructure. If we do not do this we fail. If we fail it will be because the American people don't have the stomach for this war, not because our soldiers didn't do their jobs.

junyo
May 8, 2007, 03:55 PM
Look, I see where this is going: "Saddam was a bad man and we're doing good things -- peace corps things -- for these poor, previously downtrodden people." My point is that it appears that the Iraqi people are worse off now than they were under Saddam, our clout internationally is seriously decreased, our ability to deal with a real security threat anywhere else in the world is degraded, and it seems we're worse off security-wise than before Iraq.This is one of those persistent pieces of tripe passing itself off as wisdom that really bugs me. The Iraqi people were better off under a genocidal maniac than under a self determining democratic government? Who exactly do you arrive at that? Oh yeah, via the usual means:
Because six hundred thousand more of them were alive before the invasion? Because they had regular power and running water?
The six hundred thousand number, widely thrown around in antiwar circles has been rather thoroughly and repaetedly debunked (http://www.iraqbodycount.org/press/pr14.php) (and based on Lancet studies that have repeatedly been shown to use very poor methodology). The real number is maybe closer to 10% of that, and when you factor in the natural death rate, and the people that Saddam and the sanctions were killing annually prior to the invasion, there's a good chance that there are a decent number of Iraqis still breathing that would've ended up in mass graves had the old regime not been removed. And that's not forget that in addition to gassing Kurds, persecuting the Shiite majority, draining swamps and displacing the Marsh Arabs, assorted institutionalized rape and torture, and producing two psychopaths that would've continued the regime for at least the next 50 years or so, Saddam permitted his people to starve, the infrastructure to crumble, all the while siphoning off the the meager amount of aid and commerce his pariah nation was allowed to engage in, and turning into gold plated AKs and porn. Such a gentle soul, Iraq must've been an absolute dreamland, with butterflies, and unicorns, and Uncle Saddam handing out butterscotches...

All 20 years of that suffering, the invasion, and all the subsequent destruction we speak of could've been avoided by the simple expediant of proving that he had fulfilled the terms of the ceasefire.

But put that aside for a second, let's just assume that that number is valid. Power and running f!cking water? You're telling me that lights and flush toilets under a murdering dictator is BETTER (as in 'preferable to') than the mere chance at representative government, even at the cost of the increased danger? Heck, I can lock you in a cage with all the power and running water you could want, that's better than living your life in the mean ol' dangerous world right?
Dude, I want to live in freedom.
But apparently you believe that other folks just want lights and running water. Goose, meet gander.

And of course, it's America's fault that those among their countrymen and co-religionist who disagree with losing their position or are unwilling to face the reality of the modern world versus their vision of a reborn 12th century theocracy feel that organized murder is a valid debating tactic. Because virtually all the danger in Iraq right now is not generated by the US, but rather by the actions of the few who refuse to live with democracy. If you applied the same logic to a firearm (that the killer isn't responsible, but rather it's some person that forced him to kill an innocent that's at fault) you'd be laugh off the forum... except for the whole you run it thing.

wooderson
May 8, 2007, 03:58 PM
If it was something that painted gun owners in a negative light, I GUARANTEE that the support for the always truthful media being shown in this thread would immediately disappear.

Some of us think that that paranoia is largely unfounded as well.

Look, the media is a capitalism machine, nothing more nothing less. Isolated cases aside (where ideology is part of the marketing package - the Washington Times, Fox News, The Nation, etc.), the media has two concerns.

First is income - advertising and (in print media) subscriptions. They print what sells. The second is the editorial policy of ownership - newspapers don't cross the desires of Belo Corp. or Rupert Murdoch. This is why the media was complicit in the run up to Iraq - ownership was acquiescent and it helped ratings and press numbers.

The 'liberal media' (or the anti-gun media or the Godless KKKommie Media) is a delusion. Nor is the media 'conservative' (though it is routinely hostile to left-wing leaders like Hugo Chavez, labor causes, willing to quash stories that upset advertisers). The media is a good capitalist enterprise - its ideology is money and money is its ideology.

nemoaz
May 8, 2007, 03:59 PM
Remember, more than half a million dead Iraqis since our invasion.

Yet obviously, we haven't kiled enough. Not that it matters. I'm all for pulling back a little and let us see a rematch of the Iranians/Shia vs. Suni/Syrians/Saudi's. Sunnis vs Shia fighting from Baghdad to Teheran seemed like a good idea in the 80s, and it's just as good of an idea today. The Gipper supported it. We could just bomb Al Queda or send in team to get them when we get the opportunity.

BTW Deke, any guess on how many of those were killed by our operations and how many werer killed by or at the direction of Syria, Iran, or SA controlled operatives? Or other Iraqis?

Our best path would have been to continue rolling past Baghdad to Teheran then Damascus to rid the region of the despots completely. Yet it seems to be in the Bush DNA to listen to the limpwristed Colin Powell types and do a half arse job.

You can mourn all you want for Saddam Hussein. But history will judge him as one of the most evil cretins ever to breath air on this earth. He's not Hitler, but only because he was too inept to spread his carnage and apparently got his military training from the French.

foob
May 8, 2007, 04:03 PM
So much to comment on, but I'll just focus on the obvious.

The six hundred thousand number, widely thrown around in antiwar circles has been rather thoroughly and repaetedly debunked (and based on Lancet studies that have repeatedly been shown to use very poor methodology). The real number is maybe closer to 10% of that,

Wow you link to a page that gives three points that suggest the number is unlikely, and you call that "thoroughly and repaetedly [sic] debunked"?????!!!!!

And then bring up some 10% number just to make the other number look ridiculous?

I don't know how many Iraqi dead there are, but one number is from a peer-reviewed journal, the other is a number you pull out from thin air... which do you expect me to believe in?

Our best path would have been to continue rolling past Baghdad to Teheran then Damascus to rid the region of the despots completely. Yet it seems to be in the Bush DNA to listen to the limpwristed Colin Powell types and do a half arse job.


Again the same thing all over. It is never Bush's fault. It was Colin Powell that made him do it. Also Gonzales has been stripping civil liberties from us. The screw ups in war was Rumsfield's fault. Katrina response, Brown's fault. Faulty pre-war intelligence, CIA's fault. Never Bush. I voted for him, he is perfect. Sure would make me look bad if Bush was implicated in anything.

“If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy” - James Madison.


Educate yourselves...

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 04:06 PM
BTW Deke, any guess on how many of those were killed by our operations and how many werer killed by or at the direction of Syria, Iran, or SA controlled operatives? Or other Iraqis?I don't need to guess. It's pretty clear that we've got 2 competing factions on the ground killing off each others supporters.

Yet they didn't do it under Saddam - it took us coming in and uncorking that bottle, while firing the civilian bureaucratic corps and army in the same week IIRC (interesting tidbit: guess which week the first IEDs started going off? Yep. Funny, that...)

You can mourn all you want for Saddam Hussein. But history will judge him as one of the most evil cretins ever to breath air on this earth. He's not Hitler, but only because he was too inept to spread his carnage and apparently got his military training from the French.Not saying he was a good guy. Not saying I liked him. Not saying his death is a bad thing.

I'm saying that it looks like the life of your average Iraqi today is worse than it was before the invasion. Guess who takes the blame for that, regardless of our intentions?

marksman13
May 8, 2007, 04:16 PM
Derek, you would be suprised at how many Iraqis report living much happier lives. They don't have some of the things they used to have and yes, they are tired of fighting a war on their home turf, but many of them are as happy as ever. Look back at the beginning days of America and I am sure you will find some of the same things. Look at the beginnings of the civil rights movement and you will find similarities. Operations like this take time and cooperation. It will take a larger military force than what we have now. It will probably never be realized though because the average American will have us pulled out before our mission is complete.

foob
May 8, 2007, 04:20 PM
Another liberal mass media lie.

http://www.zogby.com/NEWS/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1075

U.S. Troops in Iraq: 72% Say End War in 2006

* Le Moyne College/Zogby Poll shows just one in five troops want to heed Bush call to stay “as long as they are needed”
* While 58% say mission is clear, 42% say U.S. role is hazy
* Plurality believes Iraqi insurgents are mostly homegrown
* Almost 90% think war is retaliation for Saddam’s role in 9/11, most don’t blame Iraqi public for insurgent attacks
* Majority of troops oppose use of harsh prisoner interrogation
* Plurality of troops pleased with their armor and equipment

An overwhelming majority of 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately, a new Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey shows.

The poll, conducted in conjunction with Le Moyne College’s Center for Peace and Global Studies, showed that 29% of the respondents, serving in various branches of the armed forces, said the U.S. should leave Iraq “immediately,” while another 22% said they should leave in the next six months. Another 21% said troops should be out between six and 12 months, while 23% said they should stay “as long as they are needed.”

Different branches had quite different sentiments on the question, the poll shows. While 89% of reserves and 82% of those in the National Guard said the U.S. should leave Iraq within a year, 58% of Marines think so. Seven in ten of those in the regular Army thought the U.S. should leave Iraq in the next year. Moreover, about three-quarters of those in National Guard and Reserve units favor withdrawal within six months, just 15% of Marines felt that way. About half of those in the regular Army favored withdrawal from Iraq in the next six months.

The troops have drawn different conclusions about fellow citizens back home. Asked why they think some Americans favor rapid U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq, 37% of troops serving there said those Americans are unpatriotic, while 20% believe people back home don’t believe a continued occupation will work. Another 16% said they believe those favoring a quick withdrawal do so because they oppose the use of the military in a pre-emptive war, while 15% said they do not believe those Americans understand the need for the U.S. troops in Iraq.

The wide-ranging poll also shows that 58% of those serving in country say the U.S. mission in Iraq is clear in their minds, while 42% said it is either somewhat or very unclear to them, that they have no understanding of it at all, or are unsure. While 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,” 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was “to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.”

“Ninety-three percent said that removing weapons of mass destruction is not a reason for U.S. troops being there,” said Pollster John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International. “Instead, that initial rationale went by the wayside and, in the minds of 68% of the troops, the real mission became to remove Saddam Hussein.” Just 24% said that “establishing a democracy that can be a model for the Arab World" was the main or a major reason for the war. Only small percentages see the mission there as securing oil supplies (11%) or to provide long-term bases for US troops in the region (6%).

The continuing insurgent attacks have not turned U.S. troops against the Iraqi population, the survey shows. More than 80% said they did not hold a negative view of Iraqis because of those attacks. About two in five see the insurgency as being comprised of discontented Sunnis with very few non-Iraqi helpers. “There appears to be confusion on this,” Zogby said. But, he noted, less than a third think that if non-Iraqi terrorists could be prevented from crossing the border into Iraq, the insurgency would end. A majority of troops (53%) said the U.S. should double both the number of troops and bombing missions in order to control the insurgency.

The survey shows that most U.S. military personnel in-country have a clear sense of right and wrong when it comes to using banned weapons against the enemy, and in interrogation of prisoners. Four in five said they oppose the use of such internationally banned weapons as napalm and white phosphorous. And, even as more photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq surface around the world, 55% said it is not appropriate or standard military conduct to use harsh and threatening methods against insurgent prisoners in order to gain information of military value.

Three quarters of the troops had served multiple tours and had a longer exposure to the conflict: 26% were on their first tour of duty, 45% were on their second tour, and 29% were in Iraq for a third time or more.

A majority of the troops serving in Iraq said they were satisfied with the war provisions from Washington. Just 30% of troops said they think the Department of Defense has failed to provide adequate troop protections, such as body armor, munitions, and armor plating for vehicles like HumVees. Only 35% said basic civil infrastructure in Iraq, including roads, electricity, water service, and health care, has not improved over the past year. Three of every four were male respondents, with 63% under the age of 30.

The survey included 944 military respondents interviewed at several undisclosed locations throughout Iraq. The names of the specific locations and specific personnel who conducted the survey are being withheld for security purposes. Surveys were conducted face-to-face using random sampling techniques. The margin of error for the survey, conducted Jan. 18 through Feb. 14, 2006, is +/- 3.3 percentage points.

Titan6
May 8, 2007, 04:20 PM
CombatArmsUSAF, you hit the nail on the head. In order to get a feel for what is going on on the ground you have to experience it. The hell with the reasons for going to war. We are there. Period. We have to fix this thing that we started. Should we just bail on an entire country? Should we leave the Iraqis helpless for the next tyrant who comes along? This isn't about building an empire. This is about doing the right thing no matter what it costs. Some of you are content to do nothing for your fellow man. It is easy to armchair quarterback this war. Yes, mistakes have been made. We don't have enough troops on the ground. We have had logistical errors. We did have some bad intelligence when we started, but the bottom line is, we will lose more face with the rest of the world if abandon Iraq than if we continue this mission. Perhaps some of you don't mind if the rest of the world views you as a nation of spineless, heartless cowards, but I do. We have a mission to complete in Iraq. We must help them succeed in forming a government that can sustain itself. We must help them repair their infrastructure. If we do not do this we fail. If we fail it will be because the American people don't have the stomach for this war, not because our soldiers didn't do their jobs.

This is much how I see it. Were I president then we never would have gone to begin with. I was against it then as I am against going anywhere we do not need to go. Were I president today we would stay until the job is done. The problem though is not a military problem, even though it is the military doing all of the work. It is a political problem.

It is quite telling though that when the administration was shopping for someone to take the job of running the war they had no takers of men of substance. This is I believe is for two reasons. The first I believe is a generational one. The BB generation lacks solid leadership all around; business, political and religous leaders are all lacking. Refusal to take the task is a sad self indictment.

The second reason is that there still is not a good solid plan that can be pointed to as the way ahead in resolving the economic and political issues that plauge the country. Were a George Marshall or Eisenhower to emerge from this mess and lead the way with a solid plan then I think that the media might lay off (a little). We don't need armchair quarterbacks and naysayers we need somone who can come in off the bench and bring it in. Where such a man can be found I do not know but I hope we find one.

marksman13
May 8, 2007, 04:23 PM
Derek, picture this. You just accidently sho tme in the chest. I have a sucking chest wound and without medical help I am going to die. You have no obligation to me other than the fact that you shot me. What do you do? Are you going to help me out? Are you going to stand stand there and watch me die. Or, are you going to go just go home and pretend it never happened?

Same situation in Iraq. Like it or not we caused some problems for that country. We have to fix them.

foob
May 8, 2007, 04:24 PM
Another liberal mass media lie. Unfortunately the US government is so ineffective they can't counter the lies spread by the evil liberal mass media.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/19_03_07_iraqpollnew.pdf

A March 7, 2007 survey of more than 2,000 Iraqis commissioned by the BBC and three other news organizations found that 51% of the population consider attacks on coalition forces "acceptable," up from 17% in 2004 and 35% in 2006. Also:

* 64% described their family's economic situation as being somewhat or very bad, up from 30% in 2005.
* 88% described the availability of electricity as being either somewhat or very bad, up from 65% in 2004.
* 69% described the availability of clean water as somewhat or very bad, up from 48% in 2004.
* 88% described the availability of fuel for cooking and driving as being somewhat or very bad.
* 58% described reconstruction efforts in the area in which they live as either somewhat or very ineffective, and 9% described them as being totally nonexistent.

CombatArmsUSAF
May 8, 2007, 04:28 PM
You know, just earlier today I read a post by one of our users, an american citizen, talking about how if certain candidates were nominated for president, that he wouldn't even go to the polls and cast his vote.

That is pretty sad when you consider the fact that there were hundreds of thousands Iraqis that walked many miles and braved the possibility of IEDs and all other kinds of attacks, just to vote freely for the first time.

It is that kind of mindset that really distresses me about Americans. It is the same people with that kind of mindset that are armchair leading this war.

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 04:29 PM
This is one of those persistent pieces of tripe passing itself off as wisdom that really bugs me. The Iraqi people were better off under a genocidal maniac than under a self determining democratic government? Who exactly do you arrive at that? Oh yeah, via the usual means:
Keeping this in context then, you'd agree with the grandparent post that essentially argued that "our occupation of Iraq is a good thing, because Saddam is dead and we're building schools and hospitals," and completely left the daily death and decay out of the equation?

Is this number, be it 60,000 or 600,000, something that we should refuse to weigh when looking at the invasion/occupation in an attempt to determine its merits?

Power and running f!cking water? You're telling me that lights and flush toilets under a murdering dictator is BETTER (as in 'preferable to') than the mere chance at representative government, even at the cost of the increased danger?Reread my post. The guy I was responding to was saying "the mission is good - look, they've got more water and power." I said "we're not up to pre-invasion levels yet."

How exactly does that lead to your comment?

Just a couple of comments on 'representative government' versus 'dictator': Traditionally, US foreign policy has preferred dictators who were loyal to us, versus a free and democratically elected government. I believe they were wrong to do so, especially when they toppled a functional representative government (like Iran in '53) to replace it with a tame dictator (like the Shah).
I'm a big fan of representative government, but I don't believe it's the best choice for everyone. It requires an educated populace who's willing to participate in a meaningful way, and I don't believe Iraq has that. The big concern in the US was that there was a strong chance that Iraqis would choose a theocratic government if given the choice, IIRC. They weren't -- the 'representatives' that signed the 'constitution' we essentially drafted for them were pretty much picked by us.
It's simply wrong to step into another country, overthrow their current government, and demand they replace it with something we like better. I don't know where you get the idea that we have some moral right to do so. It might be OK if the changes we were implementing were wanted by the people, but I've seen little that suggests anything other than that we're being tolerated for now, but there's no real buy-in on the idea of 'freedom' and representative democracy. That's no better than killing the wife-beater next door and insisting she marry someone you deem 'better.' Might be she liked it the way it was and you'll be resented for the intrusion, no matter how irrational that viewpoint may be.
People have a right to be free. But that right must be earned, or it's meaningless. Forced 'freedom' won't last.There. Get critical with words I actually write, rather than putting them in my mouth.

Heck, I can lock you in a cage with all the power and running water you could want, that's better than living your life in the mean ol' dangerous world right?
Again, please stick to words I've written.

And of course, it's America's fault that those among their countrymen and co-religionist who disagree with losing their position or are unwilling to face the reality of the modern world versus their vision of a reborn 12th century theocracy feel that organized murder is a valid debating tactic. Because virtually all the danger in Iraq right now is not generated by the US, but rather by the actions of the few who refuse to live with democracy. If you applied the same logic to a firearm (that the killer isn't responsible, but rather it's some person that forced him to kill an innocent that's at fault) you'd be laugh off the forum...Well, I'd argue that the insurgency we're facing appears to be anything but religious, though they're smart enough to don a religious facade for PR reasons. PR among Iraqis, not us. From what I've read, it appears that the former non-religious leaders of the country and members of its army are behind the insurgency, imported useful idiots notwithstanding.

except for the whole you run it thing.Point out one time someone's been penalized in any way for arguing with me. Hint: you won't find it, and there are some folks here who seriously annoy me. ;)

budney
May 8, 2007, 04:33 PM
To all of you who say you support the troops and not the war I say it is like being Catholic and pro-abortion at the same time. It is not possible.

You might be right. Nevertheless, I don't support the war--but I won't say mean things to or about the soldiers who serve honorably, either.

--Len.

budney
May 8, 2007, 04:34 PM
Whoa! Bush made it VERY clear from the beginning that this would be a long, hard, painful...

...cakewalk (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A1996-2002Feb12?language=printer).

Titan6
May 8, 2007, 04:35 PM
Well, I'd argue that the insurgency we're facing appears to be anything but religious, though they're smart enough to don a religious facade for PR reasons. PR among Iraqis, not us. From what I've read, it appears that the former non-religious leaders of the country and members of its army are behind the insurgency, imported useful idiots notwithstanding.

This is not quite true. They are only one faction. There are other factions that are quite religous that are in it at the urgings of the holy men. They do not cooperate and sometimes even fight each other. A situation much like what we had in the Balkans.

nemoaz
May 8, 2007, 04:38 PM
[QUOTEYet they didn't do it under Saddam - [/QUOTE]

Really? Where were you in the 80s when Saddam attacked Iraq? When Saddam decimated the Shia? Launched nerve gas to kill Kurds? In the 90's, when Saddam took Quwait and moved into position to attack SA? When he again decimated the Shia and destroyed whole Kurdish villages? When he fed his disloyal family members and friends to his dogs. Or if he were feeling compassionate, to his wood chipper.

Mourn Saddam all you will.

I do agree with you regarding the military and civil authorities and believe that a multi-state option is the best result. However, we have refused that option in the past in part because of strong pressure by Turkey and SA-- so called allies that look to have adopted the French posture of "we'll be there when we need you" -- and a disinterest in making a Shia state that will likely be friendly to Iran. Screw Turkey and SA I say. They haven't helped and, in the case of the Sauds, they have supported and supplied those who are battling our troops.

Shia and Sunnis want to kill each other. And they always have, since 700 AD. Let them, I say.

October
May 8, 2007, 04:40 PM
The second reason is that there still is not a good solid plan that can be pointed to as the way ahead in resolving the economic and political issues that plauge the country.

And this is a primary reason why support for the occupation is faltering. Without a solid plan, the administration cannot effectively explain how the occupation will be brought to a successful conclusion. While there are positive events occurring in Iraq, no one can point to them and say, “This shows we are X% toward our goal.” The administration has no idea how many hospitals or power plants it needs to build in order to win. All they can say is that this is a very long undertaking – which leaves it open-ended without any benchmarks that could show progress (or lack thereof).

We’ve been at this nation-building task for more than four years – how close are we to winning?

budney
May 8, 2007, 04:41 PM
You have the right to your own opnion, but to bash the soldiers protecting the country you live in is less than admirable.

They are not actually defending this country at the moment. They're invading another country. I realize that every offensive war in any nation's history has been sold to its people as a defensive war, but the difference is usually not that hard to recognize.

--Len.

budney
May 8, 2007, 04:44 PM
And next year, the same soldiers fight them in the streets of Baltimore instead of Baghdad??

Yup, the "Imminent Iraqi Invasion" is coming soon to a city near you! Not.

--Len.

budney
May 8, 2007, 04:46 PM
The Iraqi people were better off under a genocidal maniac than under a self determining democratic government? Who exactly do you arrive at that?

Simple comparison of body counts. Saddam was really, really bad. And the US invasion is worse.

--Len.

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 04:57 PM
Replying to 4 posts with this one -- hopefully everyone can keep them straight:

The hell with the reasons for going to war. We are there. Period.Translated: "yep, it was stupid to pursue this course of action, but please don't be critical of that decision as it can't be undone."
We have to fix this thing that we started. Should we just bail on an entire country? Should we leave the Iraqis helpless for the next tyrant who comes along?If you're going to fix it, I think it would help to have leadership that actually seems capable of fixing the problem.

Now, start with a clear problem definition, and tell me how we'll proceed from here if you want to convince me. I don't believe you can do that -- I don't believe anyone can do that, because there's no reason to think that Iraq as a collection of peoples and territory is something that can be easily governed by one group, especially a group of outsiders. They've got no history of love between the different ethnic factions, no history of democracy (read: democracy may have no legitimacy in their society, even though we think it should), and it really looks like the only reason the country has held together this long is because an absolute tyrant who was willing to do anything to maintain power did do everything he needed to do to maintain power.

I don't think this was a good thing, but I think it sums up the issue. There needs to be a civil war so the winners can use that as a source of legitimacy, and build a functional government again. Problem is, that'll come at the cost of a big chunk of the population, and the end result still won't be democratic, though it may be 'democratic' in the sense that Saddam used, where he got 100% of the vote. Instead, we'll have another strong man, a theocratic regime, or some mix of the two.

The alternative, it seems to me, is to collect the Kurds and give them a border they can call Kurdistan (Turkey will never allow this, as their Kurd residents will likely revolt to try and have the land they live on annexed), merge the Shii section of the country with Iran (or make it independent and understand this will happen within 5 years), and give the rest back to the Sunni (and maybe Baathist) leadership. Let them decide how to be governed, let them set up their government, and get out.

This, of course, is acceptable to no-one.

This isn't about building an empire.Yet the post I quoted above absolutely was. Hell, it was reminiscent of the whole "White Man's Burden" thing we saw a century ago.

This is about doing the right thing no matter what it costs. What, exactly, is "the right thing?" I don't believe we even have a definition of 'success' that we can measure ourselves against. Without one, we'll never reach it, we'll just keep on muddling through about the way we have been up to now.

we will lose more face with the rest of the world if abandon Iraq than if we continue this mission. Perhaps some of you don't mind if the rest of the world views you as a nation of spineless, heartless cowards, but I do.The counter-argument seems to be that most of the world sees Iraq as a mistake, the damage to our national image has been done, and there's little we can do to improve it short of saying "oops, that didn't work out so well."

We have a mission to complete in Iraq. We must help them succeed in forming a government that can sustain itself. We must help them repair their infrastructure.If that's the mission, then essentially we can restore the country to where it was before we stepped in, with someone other than Saddam in power? I don't think that's what you mean -- I think you mean "we'll build a functional democracy if it kills us," because that's the only acceptable kind of government.

If we fail it will be because the American people don't have the stomach for this war, not because our soldiers didn't do their jobs.
No, if we fail it will be because the task wasn't possible, or because our leadership wasn't up to the task, regardless of the heroic efforts of the troops.

Derek, you would be suprised at how many Iraqis report living much happier lives.I don't doubt it. I do doubt they'll feel the same way after we leave, regardless of when we leave.

It will probably never be realized though because the average American will have us pulled out before our mission is complete.
Maybe we could build a sustainable democracy there if we educate an entire generation in western and democratic ideals. This, however, will take more than a generation. I don't think we'll stay that long.
Were I president today we would stay until the job is done. The problem though is not a military problem, even though it is the military doing all of the work. It is a political problem.
Yep. Which means you're not arguing for eleven series to build schools. Do you think we have the political ability to resolve the Iraq issue within the next 2 decades?

there still is not a good solid plan that can be pointed to as the way ahead in resolving the economic and political issues that plauge the country. Were a George Marshall or Eisenhower to emerge from this mess and lead the way with a solid plan then I think that the media might lay off (a little). We don't need armchair quarterbacks and naysayers we need somone who can come in off the bench and bring it in. Where such a man can be found I do not know but I hope we find one.
Never mind - you answered my question. I don't believe we have the will to stay in Iraq for 60 years, and I don't believe the benefits we'd see from that would outweigh the costs.

Derek, picture this. You just accidently sho tme in the chest. I have a sucking chest wound and without medical help I am going to die. You have no obligation to me other than the fact that you shot me. What do you do? Are you going to help me out? Are you going to stand stand there and watch me die. Or, are you going to go just go home and pretend it never happened?Well, I'm going to get my wife to hold you together until the ambulance gets here. Then I'm likely to go to jail and lost all of my belongings in a civil action by you or your survivors. Or, I'll shovel and shut up (not likely). Those are the two options.

Now, pretend I shot you in the chest, your mom is trying to patch you up, your step son is trying to finish the job I started, your wife and one of your kids are attacking me or are about to, and your cousin is fingering a knife and looking at my wife while talking about "payback..."

Yeah, it's a stretch, but so was your metaphor...

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 05:01 PM
Where were you in the 80s when Saddam attacked Iraq? When Saddam decimated the Shia? Launched nerve gas to kill Kurds? In the 90's, when Saddam took Quwait and moved into position to attack SA? When he again decimated the Shia and destroyed whole Kurdish villages? When he fed his disloyal family members and friends to his dogs. Or if he were feeling compassionate, to his wood chipper.<sigh>

You're deliberately missing my point. Saddam kept a stopper on that fulminating bottle we call Iraq. Agree? Disagree?

Mourn Saddam all you will.I'm glad he's dead. I think we should have equipped and trained Kurds to do it.

I do agree with you regarding the military and civil authorities and believe that a multi-state option is the best result. However, we have refused that option in the past in part because of strong pressure by Turkey and SA-- so called allies that look to have adopted the French posture of "we'll be there when we need you" -- and a disinterest in making a Shia state that will likely be friendly to Iran. Screw Turkey and SA I say. They haven't helped and, in the case of the Sauds, they have supported and supplied those who are battling our troops.
And as long as our leaders continue to play this game (read, a loooooong time, as both Democrats and Republicans like it this way), the "Iraq Problem" won't be solved.

Shia and Sunnis want to kill each other. And they always have, since 700 AD. Let them, I say.Translated: pull-out is a good thing.

wooderson
May 8, 2007, 05:05 PM
Really? Where were you in the 80s when Saddam attacked Iraq? When Saddam decimated the Shia? Launched nerve gas to kill Kurds? In the 90's, when Saddam took Quwait and moved into position to attack SA? When he again decimated the Shia and destroyed whole Kurdish villages? When he fed his disloyal family members and friends to his dogs. Or if he were feeling compassionate, to his wood chipper.
These were actions by Saddam, with the tacit (or explicit in some cases) support of the US.

They had nothing to do with what was being discussed in the sentence you quoted.

Sometimes I'm amazed that people have such a hard time following straight-line conversational paths.

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 05:05 PM
Regarding numbers, here's a quote from an article I found (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/11/world/middleeast/11casualties.html?ex=1318219200&en=516b1d070ff83c15&ei=5088&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss) from October of last year:BAGHDAD, Oct. 10 — A team of American and Iraqi public health researchers has estimated that 600,000 civilians have died in violence across Iraq since the 2003 American invasion, the highest estimate ever for the toll of the war here.
Skip to next paragraph
Reach of War
Go to Complete Coverage »
Multimedia
A New Estimate of Civilian DeathsGraphic
A New Estimate of Civilian Deaths

The figure breaks down to about 15,000 violent deaths a month, a number that is quadruple the one for July given by Iraqi government hospitals and the morgue in Baghdad and published last month in a United Nations report in Iraq. That month was the highest for Iraqi civilian deaths since the American invasion.

But it is an estimate and not a precise count, and researchers acknowledged a margin of error that ranged from 426,369 to 793,663 deaths.

It is the second study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It uses samples of casualties from Iraqi households to extrapolate an overall figure of 601,027 Iraqis dead from violence between March 2003 and July 2006.

The findings of the previous study, published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, in 2004, had been criticized as high, in part because of its relatively narrow sampling of about 1,000 families, and because it carried a large margin of error.

The new study is more representative, its researchers said, and the sampling is broader: it surveyed 1,849 Iraqi families in 47 different neighborhoods across Iraq. The selection of geographical areas in 18 regions across Iraq was based on population size, not on the level of violence, they said. Accurate? Off by a factor of ten? I'm inclined to think that the folks as Johns Hopkins know their work, but I'm not a statistician. Probably irrelevant, as the issues here don't depend on a precise body count.

foob
May 8, 2007, 05:13 PM
Sometimes I'm amazed that people have such a hard time following straight-line conversational paths.

It's called tunnel vision. Like those who describe shooting their firearm in self-defense, you don't hear the blasts and are unaware of anything in your peripheral vision. Human condition.

shootinstudent
May 8, 2007, 05:17 PM
Iraq has become the new "PC" for conservatives. You can't admit that it's a complete failure, or else you're caving to the media conspiracy or whoever else.

It doesn't matter what you think of the justifications for going to war, the fact is, it's lose-lose situation.

If Iraq becomes a "stable democracy", it will use its oil profits to fund and arm the Badr corps and the Mahdi army. The Iraqis overwhelmingly chose Iranian backed religious parties for their government-unless of course you believe that the vote was rigged, in which case, there is not even one project that has gone well in Iraq.

If Iraq keeps going as is or gets even worse, then what was the point of the war? To create a hotbed for revolutionary violence that will likely consume our "allies" in Saudi Arabia, or to create ripe conditions for the expansion of Iranian influence into the Arabian world?

It's really a sign of the strength and pervasiveness of PC culture in America that anyone at all is defending this project. You must toe the party line, or else you're "against the troops!" or "rooting for failure" or whatever label you want to apply to the people who speak frankly about Iraq.

Liberals aren't the only ones who demand politically correct statements, it seems.

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 05:26 PM
Damn, Shootin'. Well said.

And there I was getting into point-by-point replies... :D

shootinstudent
May 8, 2007, 05:27 PM
:D

Hey, I'm glad you did the point by points....helps me to resist my natural inclination to hash out pages and pages of my own point by point...

Which I do almost every time, even though it's obvious that the facts aren't that important to most people.

Kentak
May 8, 2007, 05:36 PM
I *am* proud of the ranger who made the tape--as well as all of our servicemen and women. Their service, dedication, courage, and determination is awesome. Nothing can detract from that.

But, raw emotion, no matter how sincere, is not a substitute for reality. We invaded Afghanistan because that's where AQ and OBL were based and supported by the Taliban. So, we knocked the Taliban out of power, killed a whole lot of them and AQ. Great!

Then, we were told Saddam was virtually in league with AQ, possessed stores of WMD's, and was developing nuke capability. Imminent threat to our security. Okay, I'm all with you. Except, that wasn't the case. We invaded the country, killed a whole lot of them, destroyed their infrastructure, and set in motion conditions that led to sectarian violence and an insurgency against us. We can't set *them* up and can't make *them* proud and make *them* a democracy.

Just about everyone who had the responsibility for making this decision was wrong about the WMD's, the degree of popular support, had no idea there would be this level of sectarian civil war, or the amount and tenacity of an anti-coalition insurgency. They blew it.

No, we can't pull out. Yes, we have to finish what we started and fix what we broke. I hope in the end it's all worth it. I hope there's a more secure world because of it--but don't hold your breath.

And would someone please lay out the logic of "if we don't fight them there then we'll be fighting them here." Seems like our intervention in Iraq has been a self-fullfilling prophecy for AQ and all the radical jihadists, leading to more recruits and radicalization of what might have remained moderate elements. We'll be fighting them here regardless of what we did, didn't do, or will do in Iraq.

K

Autolycus
May 8, 2007, 05:43 PM
Has the authenticity of this "Ranger" been verified? Any idiot can call up a radio station and pretend to be something they are not. Especially when they are trying to further a political ideology.

I disagree with the man who called. I dont want to support the killing of people who are not attacking us? How many times has Iraq attacked us? I dont understand why we are over in Iraq? Should not we be attacking Saudi Arabia? Did not the majority of Al Quaeda leadership come from Saudi?

"It was really cool when the first bomb was dropped," I wonder if any of the innocent civilians killed by those bombs felt the same way as this soldier?

Originally posted by coylh:
This kind of logic doesn't work very well.

1. My friends died over there.
2. We can't quit now, because that would make their deaths meaningless.
3. Therefore we should send more of my friends over there. Go to #1.

This is the basis of a feud because the enemy, and the rest of the people the military kills, are thinking the same thing about us.

Do you think they say on Iranian chat boards "We either fight the Americans over there, or we fight them here!"

I think this is probably the most logical thing I have read yet. I am still reading the first page of the thread.

nemoaz
May 8, 2007, 05:52 PM
Iraq was never a threat to us here. Hell, Saddam used to be our boy until Bush attacked him to make himself look good (history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme).

Tired left wing propoganda. You think if you and that slob Michael Moore repeat it enough, it some how becomes true. The Baathist in Syria and Iraq were never supported by the US. They were instead supported by the Soviets. Hence the reason they both drive Russian T series tanks, fly Russian Migs, and carry AK rifles.

Doing nothing to hinder Saddam in killing Iranians is not the same as supporting him. You're deliberately missing my point. Saddam kept a stopper on that fulminating bottle we call Iraq. Agree? Disagree?No young man, I am failing to agree with your point. And for the record, disagree. Saddam was no stopper. He was a petty thug that managed to kill enough people to stay in power. Hundreds of thousands would have likely died under him in the 2000's just as they did in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. He had to kill 100,000's of thousands in order to stay in power. He had tanks and attack helicopters and they didn't. If the Shia or Kurds got out of line, he wiped out the familes of the rebels or even the entire town. That isn't a stopper. It just wasn't reported because it was muslim on muslim slaughter. And CNN wanted to keep their corner office in Baghdad.
I'm glad he's dead. I think we should have equipped and trained Kurds to do it.
I agree that a special ops/CIA led mission would have been preferable, more similar to Afghanistan. However, we didn't seem to have the level of confidence in them that we did in the Afghan locals. Probably because Saddam had so effectively eliminated resistance.
Translated: pull-out is a good thing.No, translation, let them kill each other if they want. We should only be looking for Al Quaeda or anyone who attacks us, not worrying about street level thuggery or militias attacking each other.

Sometimes I'm amazed that people have such a hard time following straight-line conversational paths.It had everything to do with Deke's assertion that Saddam was a stopper that keep the cauldron from boiling over, when in fact hundreds of thousands died in Iraq in the 70's, in the 80's, and in the 90's due to the actions of Saddam. Had he lived, he would have killed hundreds of thousands more every few years. Past actions are the best predictors of future results.

It's called tunnel vision. Like those who describe shooting their firearm in self-defense, you don't hear the blasts and are unaware of anything in your peripheral vision. Human condition.
Don't give me some college freshman 101 smart assed retort and think that you are being witty. If you had a little better reading comprehension maybe you WOULD see the point. Since I was honors in college and law school, I will bet you a few nickles that I scored much higher in reading comprehension or logic than you could ever hope for. Of course, you are only reading what you want to read. Simply reinforcing your pre-existing ideas.

Diamondback
May 8, 2007, 06:21 PM
Bush bought the lunatic neo-con notion that with a military invasion of about 125,000 troops...and no real plan for occupation......we could establish an "island of democracy" in the Middle East and thwart the spread of fundamental, radical Islam.

Backed by the poorest of intelligence ( I know, I know....to be fair the entire "free world" believed Saddam had WMD), fed misinformation and lies by Chalabi and his cohorts, sanctioned by nearly the entire Congress and much of the citizenry (raw with emotional distress after 9/11), and with the narrowest of international support......our bravest marched off to the Middle East win a quick victory over Saddam and his miliary forces.

The post war plan at times has seemed almost non-existent and was certainly poorly administered by the Bush Administration's civilian leadership at the Pentagon ( read : Rumsfeld ). More than four years later, hundreds and hundreds of our finest soldiers have died, billions upon billions have been wasted ( the latest GAO report show the Iraqi administration is rife with corruption and billions of assistance funds are still continually embezzled ) and our military forces are relegated to trying to "manage" an internal civil war between religious sects that have a long history of violent interaction.

We haven't even really begun to face the aftermath of our decision to invade, liberate, and occupy Iraq. I am less concerned with the "militants" following us back to our soil after our political leadership finds the courage to extricate us from Iraq, but shudder at the thought of our hospitals overflowing with the casualties of this fiasco when all our troops return......and what my son will tell his grandchildren 20 years from now when they are standing in front the Iraq War Memorial dedicated to the brave men and woman who gave their lives in this effort.

I do know this....there better be parades for these guys and gals returning (not that this will "fix" everything ).....and we better ALL get our asses out there with some real gratitude in our hearts. We ALL have a lot of responsibility for what has transpired in Iraq. "Now" is not the time to run from that responsibility...whether our fighting forces stay in Iraq for more police action....or soon come home !

- Regards

wooderson
May 8, 2007, 06:23 PM
It had everything to do with Deke's assertion that Saddam was a stopper that keep the cauldron from boiling over
Which is, factually, true. There was no Islamic civil war under Saddam. This is incontrovertible.

when in fact hundreds of thousands died in Iraq in the 70's, in the 80's, and in the 90's due to the actions of Saddam.
Which, again, is a non-sequitur. The point to which you responded was about religious conflict (and the presence/activity of Islamic terrorists inside Iraq).

You raise the specter of Saddam's crimes (and overstate them) because you can't respond to the assertion.

Had he lived, he would have killed hundreds of thousands more every few years. Past actions are the best predictors of future results.
This is nonsense. Saddam had been hobbled for more than a decade - Saddam in 2003 had neither the support nor the power of Saddam in 1988 or 1982.

nobody_special
May 8, 2007, 06:30 PM
People have a right to be free. But that right must be earned, or it's meaningless. Forced 'freedom' won't last.

Absolutely; and this points to one fundamental fallacy of logic which is ignored by those who support the Iraq war. You can't help people who don't want your help. It is futile to forcibly impose western ideas upon people with a completely different culture.

And you certainly can't stop people from hating each other through the imposition of force.

We can't stay to finish the job; the longer we stay, the more the Iraqis will hate us, as well as each other. And that path doesn't lead to a nice stable democratic society in Iraq.

Chui
May 8, 2007, 06:33 PM
Why are we there? There are fourteen permanent military bases being built in Iraq. We have NO plans on leaving.

Try a little bit of research:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1937.htm
http://presentdanger.irc-online.org/pdf/frontier/1031neocon.pdf
http://johnmccarthy90066.tripod.com/id51.html
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5428.htm

There is TONS more, but most won't take the time to read it anyway.

One good website is www.globalresearch.ca You may not agree with what is presented and you just might. Either way pursue knowledge and THEN we can decide for SELVES - not "history" - whether or not we should have gone.

If I were president I most certainly would NOT have gone to Iraq.

Look, oil pipelines are the key to all of this. Gov't is pushing Peak Oil and Global Warming. He who controls the known oil reserves effectively controls all nations who need the stuff. Sad thing is that all of the oil pipelines are to send the oil to Japan, India and China.

Had a close, influential confidant who was in a meeting with the Big 3 and Big Three Japanese Car companies and the Big 3 Oil Companies. Guess what? They stated that all of the new refineries will be "in Asia" even though the Saudis were willing to finance several oil refineries in the US. This took place 2 yrs ago.

Another good website is www.atimes.com

Titan6
May 8, 2007, 06:48 PM
The post war plan at times seemed almost non-existent and was certainly poorly administered by the Bush's civilian leadership at the Pentagon ( read : Rumsfeld ). More than four years later, hundreds and hundreds of our finest soldiers have died, billions upon billions have been wasted ( the latest GAO report show the Iraqi administration is rife with corruption and billions of assistance funds are still continually embezzled ) and our military forces are relegated to trying to "manage" an internal civil war between religious sects that have a long history of violent interaction.

The post war plan was written in September 2004. :banghead: It was already obsolete as it was based upon what was going on after the war not what was currently (then) happening.

Now, start with a clear problem definition, and tell me how we'll proceed from here if you want to convince me. I don't believe you can do that -- I don't believe anyone can do that, because there's no reason to think that Iraq as a collection of peoples and territory is something that can be easily governed by one group, especially a group of outsiders. They've got no history of love between the different ethnic factions, no history of democracy (read: democracy may have no legitimacy in their society, even though we think it should), and it really looks like the only reason the country has held together this long is because an absolute tyrant who was willing to do anything to maintain power did do everything he needed to do to maintain power.

True now explain how Yugoslavia under Tito was different? Because we are talking about essentially the same thing. I think the same solution might work.

I don't think this was a good thing, but I think it sums up the issue. There needs to be a civil war so the winners can use that as a source of legitimacy, and build a functional government again. Problem is, that'll come at the cost of a big chunk of the population, and the end result still won't be democratic, though it may be 'democratic' in the sense that Saddam used, where he got 100% of the vote. Instead, we'll have another strong man, a theocratic regime, or some mix of the two.

Here this may happen, may not, impossible to say. Some of the Baltic states got petty dictators but nearly all have some sort of representative form of government. What you are saying (and have been throughout in other posts) is that the people of Iraq are too ignorant and backwards to have a representative form of government. I am not sure if that is a fair assessment of the people of Iraq, although it may be.

The alternative, it seems to me, is to collect the Kurds and give them a border they can call Kurdistan (Turkey will never allow this, as their Kurd residents will likely revolt to try and have the land they live on annexed), merge the Shii section of the country with Iran (or make it independent and understand this will happen within 5 years), and give the rest back to the Sunni (and maybe Baathist) leadership. Let them decide how to be governed, let them set up their government, and get out.

If this plan won't work as you freely admit; why even suggest it as possible? You should know full well how the Kuwaiti's and SA's would repsond to Iran annexing part of Iraq (it isn't all about religion after all).

This type of thinking plauged the war at the start as everyone with a sharp and pointy pencil came up with a plan and so there ended up being no plan.

bogie
May 8, 2007, 07:00 PM
I think the main reason we went after Iraq was that they had the largest military in the region. It was an object lesson, plain and simple. And now it's turning into a "Oh, they'll just stay around for a little while, and then they'll cut and run."

shootinstudent
May 8, 2007, 07:06 PM
If this plan won't work as you freely admit; why even suggest it as possible? You should know full well how the Kuwaiti's and SA's would repsond to Iran annexing part of Iraq (it isn't all about religion after all).

Yeah-they'll buy personal fighter jets so that they can escape to their homes in London at supersonic speeds...hopefully before their own populations decide they've had enough of the faux royals.

But for US military presence, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would not survive one day in a war with Iran. They'd likely not even survive the wrath of their own citizens, war or not with their neighbors.

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 07:07 PM
No young manFirst off, what's with the "young man" thing?

Saddam was no stopper. He was a petty thug that managed to kill enough people to stay in power. Hundreds of thousands would have likely died under him in the 2000's just as they did in the 70s, 80s, and 90s. He had to kill 100,000's of thousands in order to stay in power. He had tanks and attack helicopters and they didn't. If the Shia or Kurds got out of line, he wiped out the familes of the rebels or even the entire town. That isn't a stopper. Ok. You disagree with me, then agree. We didn't have civil war under Saddam because he was ruthless with anyone who would challenge him.

But he didn't keep a lid on things. Well, he did, but he wasn't a 'lid,' he was just this other thing that looks and acts like a lid.

But not a lid.

No, translation, let them kill each other if they want. We should only be looking for Al Quaeda or anyone who attacks us, not worrying about street level thuggery or militias attacking each other.
But we should, like, 'stay the course' in Iraq. I guess because it's the main Al Quaida hideout?

Since I was honors in college and law school, I will bet you a few nickles that I scored much higher in reading comprehension or logic than you could ever hope for.Now why is this called for?

(Besides, I probably scored higher on the LSAT than you, and walked out knowing my score because I knew exactly which problems I missed because I mismanaged my time. :neener: )

TonyStarks
May 8, 2007, 07:08 PM
Regardless if we declared war on Iraq, or war on Afgan, or if never declared war period....people are dying everyday. good people, bad people, inocent people...it doesnt matter. We are at war, this is war. Death, destruction, and raw emotion.

I understand the point the Ranger makes in the video, I understand it 100%. But, this is his view on the war. He is a ranger, he is trained not to fail...and failure means to HIM that all his friends died for no reason.

Lets interview the guy thats not a ranger....who has had countless friends die and he beleives this is a waste of time, money and LIFE.

I dont disagree or agree with the Ranger or anyones point of view on the war. But if you support what this Ranger said, and you want them to finish the job in Iraq of setting up a goverment, army and a democracy....what is your answer to this?

WHY ARE WE THERE?!?!?! WHY IS THE U.S. SO CONCERNED WITH HELPING IRAQ BECOME A DEMOCRACY?!? Why ..when there are other countries that have much smaller problems that we can help without losing so many lives?
For what benefit to us are we there? Since when did the U.S. become the Crusaders of Democracy?
IMO, we are waisting our time. Iraq along with other middle eastern countries will be at war for a very long time....

what makes us think that we can DO in Iraq what has taken our country over 100 years to establish? Law, Order, Democracy, Peace, Freedom, Civil Rights.....

GET OUR SOLDIERS OUT OF IRAQ....Re-unite them with families, and the saftey of their home. If that video made you cry or made your eyes watery.....then look at this one....it made me cry and if you have kids...im sure it will make you cry as well

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1h0VNdcozA

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 07:09 PM
If this plan won't work as you freely admit;Actually, I believe cutting Iraq up into smaller regions that make sense and would want to self-govern effectively would work. I just don't think the political will to do it exists in this country.

Diamondback
May 8, 2007, 07:10 PM
True now explain how Yugoslavia under Tito was different? Because we are talking about essentially the same thing. I think the same solution might work.

Well one fundamental difference is that the Clinton Administration was able to finally get NATO troop support so that the "mission" was not entirely a unilateral effort by the US. Then too, there was a bevy of international monetary support from around the world for reconstruction in the Balkans after the invasion, and lastly, think what you might of the UN, they provided Peace Keeping efforts after the military conflict so US troops were not solely relegated to a police effort in the aftermath.

Some MAJOR differences !

- My best regards to all !

Titan6
May 8, 2007, 07:10 PM
It is very likely that if we leave this unresolved we will be back again in 3-5 years, except things will be much worse...

TonyStarks
May 8, 2007, 07:12 PM
Regardless if we declared war on Iraq, or war on Afgan, or if never declared war period....people are dying everyday. good people, bad people, inocent people...it doesnt matter. We are at war, this is war. Death, destruction, and raw emotion.

I understand the point the Ranger makes in the video, I understand it 100%. But, this is his view on the war. He is a ranger, he is trained not to fail...and failure means to HIM that all his friends died for no reason.

Lets interview the guy thats not a ranger....who has had countless friends die and he beleives this is a waste of time, money and LIFE.

I dont disagree or agree with the Ranger or anyones point of view on the war. But if you support what this Ranger said, and you want them to finish the job in Iraq of setting up a goverment, army and a democracy....what is your answer to this?

WHY ARE WE THERE?!?!?! WHY IS THE U.S. SO CONCERNED WITH HELPING IRAQ BECOME A DEMOCRACY?!? Why ..when there are other countries that have much smaller problems that we can help without losing so many lives?
For what benefit to us are we there? Since when did the U.S. become the Crusaders of Democracy?
IMO, we are waisting our time. Iraq along with other middle eastern countries will be at war for a very long time....

what makes us think that we can DO in Iraq what has taken our country over 100 years to establish? Law, Order, Democracy, Peace, Freedom, Civil Rights.....

GET OUR SOLDIERS OUT OF IRAQ....Re-unite them with families, and the saftey of their home. If that video made you cry or made your eyes watery.....then look at this one....it made me cry and if you have kids...im sure it will make you cry as well

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1h0VNdcozA

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 07:14 PM
Hrmmm. I wonder why we're getting dupes?

<ponders...>

TonyStarks
May 8, 2007, 07:18 PM
sorry about the duplicate post...Derek. Didn't see it after i posted....maybe i should have scrolled up...hmm

wooderson
May 8, 2007, 07:23 PM
Since I was honors in college and law school,
Can we start comparing our SAT percentiles next?

Or perhaps the length of our... AR-15s?

Titan6
May 8, 2007, 07:27 PM
Well one fundamental difference is that the Clinton Administration was able to finally get NATO troop support so that the "mission" was not entirely a unilateral effort by the US. Then too, there was a bevy of international monetary support from around the world for reconstruction in the Balkans after the invasion, and lastly, think what you might of the UN, they provided Peace Keeping efforts after the military conflict so US troops were not solely relegated to a police effort in the aftermath.

The UN has no stomach for conflict. They were last in and first out of Iraq when things went poorly. This was a good move on the part of the Baathists to drive them out. (That is one of the many reasons I find it so amusing that the tin foil hat crowd are afraid the UN will invade the US). The wasted opportunity on the international effort is stunning. The other nations in Europe had a stake in a stable region. Iraq's neighbors have many incentives to keep the country unstable. Until the neighbors cooperate nothing will be accomplished.

(Turkey will never allow this, as their Kurd residents will likely revolt to try and have the land they live on annexed)

True. And there is not a country in the Region South of Turkey that comes close to matching Turkey's Military power (except Maybe Isarel). Even the Iranians would be mincemeat in less than a month if they went against what Turkey wanted.

Actually, I believe cutting Iraq up into smaller regions that make sense and would want to self-govern effectively would work. I just don't think the political will to do it exists in this country.

errrr- So which is it? Personally I believe a weak central government is needed with stronger state governments. Much like what we had 222 years ago. But if as you say the people are too "uneducated" to govern themselves this will not work.

Titan6
May 8, 2007, 07:31 PM
Can we start comparing our SAT percentiles next?

93% in English and 91% in Math

Or perhaps the length of our... AR-15s?

I have 11 1/2 inches you know... down there...

Diamondback
May 8, 2007, 07:46 PM
To those that want to stay and fight it out in Iraq I say...ok, but no "half-assed" measures any longer. If it is that important that we succeed there then we re-institute the draft, send ALL of our sons and daughters off to win this conflict, and on the home front we all pay an additional fixed war tax to fund the effort. The one lesson I have learned from Vietnam is that we commit to total vitcory....or we commit to nothing. The "in between" is failing like it did in SE Asian in the 1970's. It's all or nothing now. Let the American citizenry decide if they they willing to make the sacrifice necessary to make a 25 year commitment to a plan that will put a permanent end to the sectarian conflict in Iraq. If the decision is ''yes'', then lets get to work expanding our military, VA facilities....and our cemeteries.

Since oil is the at the root of problem.....personal vehicles that are not fuel efficient and the gasoline that powers them should be taxed heavily ! Rationing needs to be the order of the day if we are to prevail. Personal sacrifice on a multitude of levels will be mandatory for many years.

- regards

XD Fan
May 8, 2007, 07:48 PM
I proudly stand in the minority of this country. I approve of President Bush! I Believe we need to stay the course in Iraq. The only thnig I beleive we should do differently is for the congress and the American people to fully support the actions of our troops over seas. By that I do not mean a much appreciated sentiment that we must support our troops even when we do not agree with their leaders. I mean we need to be willing to sacrifice and loudly say our soldiers can do the job. We must ignore the media that tels us they cannot.

I really appreciate the support of the troops but what they need is support of their actions.

XD Fan
May 8, 2007, 07:52 PM
To those that want to stay and fight it out in Iraq I say...ok, but no "half-assed" measures any longer. If it is that important that we succeed there then we re-institute the draft, send ALL of our sons and daughters off to win this conflict, and on the home front we all pay an additional fixed war tax to fund the effort. The one lesson I have learned from Vietnam is that we commit to total vitcory....or we commit to nothing. The "in between" is failing like it did in SE Asian in the 1970's. It's all or nothing now. Let the American citizenry decide if they they willing to make the sacrifice necessary to make a 25 year commitment to a plan that will put a permanent end to the sectarian conflict in Iraq. If the decisions yes, then lets get to work expanding our military, VA facilities....and our cemeteries.

Since oil is the at the root of problem.....personal vehicles that are not fuel efficient and the gasoline that powers them should be taxed heavily !


I do not entirely disagree with this! Our commitment must be total.

I think the eventual threat here is as great as our fathers faced in WWII. It is not as wide in scope yet, but, to use a perhaps tired catch phrase, we are at a fatal knife's edge with multitudes of islamofascists.

Titan6
May 8, 2007, 07:52 PM
To those that want to stay and fight it out in Iraq I say...ok, but no "half-assed" measures any longer. If it is that important that we succeed there then we re-institute the draft, send ALL of our sons and daughters off to win this conflict, and on the home front we all pay an additional fixed war tax to fund the effort.

I am opposed to indentured servitude to the state. The war tax is a great idea though. Nothing will get the BB generation moving on a problem like having their pocketbooks effected.

Since oil is the at the root of problem.....personal vehicles that are not fuel efficient and the gasoline that powers them should be taxed heavily !

The funny thing here is that even if we were not dependent on oil all of our major trading partners are even more so than we are (except our NA neighbors).

Derek Zeanah
May 8, 2007, 07:56 PM
So which is it?You're seeing a conflict between two statements where there isn't one.

We could simply say "Kurdistan exists," and while we'd potentially lose an ally over it I think it's the best long-term solution.

Personally I believe a weak central government is needed with stronger state governments. Much like what we had 222 years ago. I'd rather not have them associated at all. Why not make Iraq 3 separate nations, rather that trying to form a coalition of states?

But if as you say the people are too "uneducated" to govern themselves this will not work.No, actually I don't believe they'll "get" democratic ideas. Though education is a big part of that. Past experience trying to get a Palestinian through a government class in college -- bright girl (superb head for math, taught herself English by typing correspondence for US types after the first Iraq war) who simply couldn't get it. She understood dictators, and monarchies. The rest was mush. And I wouldn't doubt she'd easily be in the top tenth percentile on IQ. But she had no foundation to use to build on -- "government" as it exists in the middle east seems to be some yahoo or another telling you how it's going to be. Might be a king, or a tribal head, or a dictator, or an Imam, but it's some person who says how things are.

Trying to explain democracy in general, and republicanism as a derivative, throwing in 2 houses, an executive, an independent judicial branch, and all the rest just didn't work. Hundreds of hours of honest effort later, she never got it.

Anecdotal I know, but there it is: my bias re: Democracy in the Middle East. (Ain't. Gonna. Happen.)

Diamondback
May 8, 2007, 08:14 PM
I am opposed to indentured servitude to the state. Then if we are to continue in Iraq without a universal draft we are relegated to practice of voluntary paid troops and "hired mercenaries".
The Romans decided to go this route; as the Huns incessantly pushed the Germanic tribes eastward, invading the outlying Roman provinces, their citizens were incapable of sacrificing to protect the frontiers. The mounting debt necessary to pacify the barbarians became so overwhelming that eventually the crown precipitously slipped from the last Caesar's head in 476; the Empire crumbled.

But then...no one ever claimed a "golden age" will last forever. :)

- best regards

Titan6
May 8, 2007, 08:22 PM
You're seeing a conflict between two statements where there isn't one.

We could simply say "Kurdistan exists," and while we'd potentially lose an ally over it I think it's the best long-term solution.

I don't think saying it would make it so. I think it would last about as long as it would take for the Turks to read the headline and send order to several divisions of armor to the South East.

I'd rather not have them associated at all. Why not make Iraq 3 separate nations, rather that trying to form a coalition of states?

Let's see Kurdistan (see above), Baghdadistan (otherwise known as the land of perpetual civil war) and a Southern State to be named later (let us call it Richastan as they will have lots of oil and be the envy of their neighbors). What could go wrong here? Without a central government to unite them they will all be easily overwhelmed by their neighbors and after the best parts are partioned off will likely devolve into Somolia like states.

The US military leaving Iraq will not suddenly end all the problems in Iraq for anyone... except us of course. And even we will still have problems for years to come.

Trying to explain democracy in general, and republicanism as a derivative, throwing in 2 houses, an executive, an independent judicial branch, and all the rest just didn't work. Hundreds of hours of honest effort later, she never got it.

Probably so. They need to come up with their own ideas on how it should it work anyway. Is a civil war needed to let the strongest survive? Maybe, maybe not. We are trying to do something new in the region but not unheard of in the world. Could it work? Maybe. Don't know for sure, my crystal ball dosen't work as well as it used to. But without a plan I can tell you with 100% certainty nothing will work.

Titan6
May 8, 2007, 08:31 PM
Then if we are to continue in Iraq without a universal draft we are relegated to practice of voluntary paid troops and "hired mercenaries".
The Romans decided to go this route; as the Huns incessantly pushed the Germanic tribes eastward, invading the outlying Roman provinces, their citizens were incapable of sacrificing to protect the frontiers. The mounting debt necessary to pacify the barbarians became so overwhelming that eventually the crown precipitously slipped from the last Caesar's head in 476; the Empire crumbled.

Yes, yes the Empire of America. I admit I am not crazy about the high number of foreign mercenaires in Iraq but they do solve problems. But you are forgetting lots and lots of other things such as there are no Germanic tribes moving to seize the Gold in Ft. Knox. And the lack of Emperor, slaves, lead pots, rise of a new religion, geography, political system, and just about everything else.

Diamondback
May 8, 2007, 08:50 PM
Yes, yes the Empire of America. I admit I am not crazy about the high number of foreign mercenaries in Iraq but they do solve problems. But you are forgetting lots and lots of other things such as there are no Germanic tribes moving to seize the Gold in Ft. Knox. And the lack of Emperor, slaves, lead pots, rise of a new religion, geography, political system, and just about everything else....yes, my analogy was cavalier at best; but there are some legitimate parallels as to which you allude.

- regards

Malone LaVeigh
May 8, 2007, 09:05 PM
I don't doubt the Ranger's sincerity, but the maker of that vid deserves the Vladimir Lenin award for ham-fisted propaganda.

I doubt any minds were changed.

hqmhqm
May 8, 2007, 10:00 PM
Here's how it should have played out.

George Bush senior should not have invaded Iraq the first time. Iraq should have been allowed to bulk up with wealth from Kuwait, then allowed to invade Saudi Arabia, and then wage a full on war against Iran using as much weapons purchased from the U S of A as they wanted.

Saddam would have done wonders in eliminating the Islamic fascists, as they represented the biggest threat to his power, and he would have done it in the most effective manner, which is by killing them in large numbers, something we are in no position to do due to our ethics.

He was secular, he was modern, and he was someone we could deal with (as George Bush senior did plenty of when he was VP). I have a nice pamphlet from the Bagdhad International Weapons show in the 1980's with a big full page glossy color photo and endorsement from vice president George Bush.

I think the Islamofascists represent an order of magnitude greater threat to our interests, and to the free world, than Saddam Hussein did. They cannot be reasoned with, bought off, or educated. They can only be killed. And it takes a middle easterner to do it.

nemoaz
May 8, 2007, 10:02 PM
Deleted. Straying too far off topic.

marksman13
May 8, 2007, 10:06 PM
Derek and wooderson, you both make claims about there being no civil war in Iraq before we invaded and I must concede. You are both right. Before our invasion there was genocide. :what: Thanks for making this debate so easy for us. We have given the oppressed Shias a chance to fight back.

Chui
May 8, 2007, 10:54 PM
There was no definitive proof of genocide in Iraq. The UN has already claimed that there is no proof of Iraq gassing the Kurds, either. How so, you ask? Because the areas were being shelled by both Iraq and Iran.

The mass graves that were unearthed showed blast wounds - raggedly sheared long bones - not the way one would torture someone. Others had crushed skulls and some had both. I would assume that these would be massive graves for the 8 years of war with Iran/Persia.

The attack on the Kurds occurred way back in 1992. And let me ask you something. If Mexico and Central America were at war with the US and the Latino population along the border with Texas supported the Central Americans or, for the sake of complication, wished to secede after the US's stalemate with Central America WHAT course of action do you think WE would have with Latinos along the Texas border? I thought so.

You and I would disarm them by FORCE. Just as any other leader would.

We wish to control all known oil reserves and Iraq has a very large percentage of it. Our foreign policy also props up Israel as the most powerful nation in the region. It's in Israel, the US and the UK's best interest to topple Iraq, Iran, Syria and Lebanon. Then our attention would be along the Caucasus - the oil is to be for the India, Japan and China's consumption so the ambitions of Russian steppes (beginning with Pakistan) must be curtailed, wooed or destroyed.

This is a simple game of "Risk".

Problem is that China and Russia are increasingly cooperating with many of the "stan" nations in the Caucasus and the US nuclear missile defense shield that has now advocated nuclear missiles in Europe has OFFICIALLY reinstated the Cold War.

Things will become "hotter" and "hotter" and it looks like if the neocons are successful with their nuclear plans then look for a US first strike attempt on Russia in the near future.

Autolycus
May 8, 2007, 11:50 PM
How about those in support of a war-tax just voluntarily pay it and those of us who do not feel that the troops should be sent to deaths for no purpose are exempt? I dont support blood for oil. I dont drive and ride my bike but either way I feel that it is not a good idea to send others to their deaths because Bush wants to make up for his dad's mistake.

Titan6
May 9, 2007, 12:23 AM
Most people refuse to take part in the political process unless money or personal comfort is involved.

Chui - Saddam apologist? Very sad I expected better.

Malone LaVeigh
May 9, 2007, 12:31 AM
The more I think about that video, the madder I get. If you needed any proof that the supporters of this war have completely run out of rational, honest arguments, this is it. To use the anguish of that poor soldier to try to twang the heartstrings of the viewer while slugging you over the head with terms like "traitor" is more than reprehensible, it's pathetic. I feel sorry for the poor guy, but he can still be wrong about the war. The truth is he's been sent on a fool's errand by a bunch of venal, greedy liars who don't care two pins for his well-being or whether he's "allowed to do his job." This administration has done more to mis-manage and lose this war than anyone else. If Reid et al. happen to point out the obvious, it's not their fault.

But I expect scum like Boortz will use this to pound the sensible opponents of the war from now on out for "losing Iraq" when we all know who lost this war we never should have been in in the first place.

Don't mean to vent, but this thing has become a lot more personal to me lately, for reasons I don't wish to discuss.

Autolycus
May 9, 2007, 03:12 AM
The supporters of this war are out of rational reasons for our involvement there. Its a pointless war and the soldiers did die in vain. The citizens of Iraq do not really seem to want us and the majority of Americans do not want to be there, so it makes sense we leave.

The whining loser in the video is furthering a pointless agenda. I really doubt that this person is a soldier at all and most likely a chickenhawk. What he fails to realize is that we failed. The war is lost. Both here and there. It was lost when we learned that Bush lied to us.

nemoaz
May 9, 2007, 03:24 AM
The supporters of this war are out of rational reasons for our involvement there.

The terrorists aren't all dead yet. That's the only reason that matters.

If Derek is right and it's 600,000 to 2,000, we're still doing real well. And you guys will have to mourn the additional thousands of terrorist to die in the next few years. I'm feeling for you. I really am.

As much as your champions on capitol hill would like to pretend to be for pulling out, they won't force it. Even their "pullout" bills are just a draw down bill with a provision enabling the President to continue killing the terrorists. All they REALLY want is to make some noise and send some pork home. The lefties on capital hill won't pull out because they have folks on the intelligence committees so they know what's coming. And they don't want to be blamed for being a coward. After all, they campaign with rhetoric about "fighter the war smarter" and "chasing down al Quaida and Bin Ladin."

The war was over when we toppled Hussein. It's the peace that isn't going so well. Once Bush stops listening to his limpwristed advisors and either takes the throttles off the military OR decides to abandon the one Iraq plan and meddling in every neighborhood dispute, the US losses will decrease drastically. Once we let the Shia loose, they will kill most of Al Quaeda and the militant Sunnis. If there's a down side in that, I'm not seeing it.

Derek and wooderson, you both make claims about there being no civil war in Iraq before we invaded and I must concede.

That's a bad concession. There WAS a civil war, but Daddy Bush left the Shia's and Kurd's defenseless after encouraging them to rise up, and then William Jefferson Carter abandoned them totally. Hussein was just very efficient at killing the entire village that was in anyway connected with revolt. The civil war was there, but had been reduced to a mere smolder.

This is my last post on this thread. Have fun with it.

Autolycus
May 9, 2007, 04:27 AM
Originally posted by nemoaz:
If Derek is right and it's 600,000 to 2,000, we're still doing real well. And you guys will have to mourn the additional thousands of terrorist to die in the next few years. I'm feeling for you. I really am.

Those are civilian casaulties, not soldiers.

Orignally posted by nemoaz:
The terrorists aren't all dead yet. That's the only reason that matters.
So are we going after the terrorists in Saudi Arabia our ally? I do believe that the 9/11 terrorists were Saudi Arabian and not Iraqi. What about Pakistan? I believe that they have large refugee camps where Al Quaeda members are hiding? What about Al Quaeda groups in the South Pacific?

And other terror organizations like EZLN, IRA, the Basque Seperatists, Japanese Red Army, Shining Path, and numerous others?

No we seem to be in a country where they have not attacked us. Yet Bush insists on making this a priority.

Did Iraq have anything to do with 9/11 and other terrorist attacks?

nobody_special
May 9, 2007, 05:34 AM
The terrorists aren't all dead yet. That's the only reason that matters.

Yet according to this (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/19_03_07_iraqpollnew.pdf) (thanks foob (http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=3375251&postcount=90)), the majority of Iraqis now think it's okay to attack US forces, and this number has steadily (and significantly) increased over the last 3 years. This is a perfect example of how the occupation of a foreign country can increase the ranks of the enemy. ("One person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter.")

So tell me again why "the terrorists aren't all dead yet" is a good reason to continue the occupation of Iraq. Do you really think we should just kill all the Iraqis? Because pretty soon, that's what we'd have to do in order to meet your criteria for withdrawal.

RealGun
May 9, 2007, 07:36 AM
This thread makes decisions about what is or is not on topic appear to be quite arbitrary.

October
May 9, 2007, 09:41 AM
So tell me again why "the terrorists aren't all dead yet" is a good reason to continue the occupation of Iraq. Do you really think we should just kill all the Iraqis? Because pretty soon, that's what we'd have to do in order to meet your criteria for withdrawal.
On the plus side, at least then we'd have a tangible metric by which to determine how close we are to winning. With a population of 25 million, and a generous estimate of 600,000 dead Iraqis, we're 2.4% of the way to our final goal. And that took only 4 years. If we can get the Iraqi's birthrate to equal their natural death rate, close off immigration, and maintain our op tempo, we'll have things sewed up in only another 163 years.

Anybody got a better method of measuring our progess?

Kentak
May 9, 2007, 09:44 AM
Wow. I wonder if someone invaded our country how many of us would become "terrorists."

A lot, I hope.

K

Titan6
May 9, 2007, 09:57 AM
Let me see. Saddam is dictator of America. He has two sadistic kids who feed my friends alive to lions in the basement of their home and cruelly kills everyone who gets in his way.

The Chinese invade and overthrow him and install socialism as the only form of government. Yep, after Saddam is good and gone I start fighting the Chinese. Because I do not want to be a socialist.

Malone LaVeigh
May 9, 2007, 11:55 AM
Quote:
The supporters of this war are out of rational reasons for our involvement there.
The terrorists aren't all dead yet. That's the only reason that matters.
Like he said, rational. There's a good working definition of "irrational", something along the lines of "continuing to do the same failed action while expecting a different result."

Edited for proper attribution.

Titan6
May 9, 2007, 12:18 PM
Benjamin Franklin said; ''Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result''. I happen to agree fully. A workable plan is needed.

Colt
May 9, 2007, 12:23 PM
The establishment of a viable, sustainable elected government in the middle east is an extremely valuable goal for the US. A free Iraq would also be the worst possible outcome for Islamic fundamentalists in the region. The insurgents attacking US and Iraqi forces in Iraq aren't Iraqis, they are Syrians and Iranians.

The left and the media have a vested interest in our failure in Iraq. Victory would be devasting for them, since they have been so opposed to the war.

Bush declared victory in major operations 4 years ago, and he was correct. Those trying to spin it any other way are anti-Bush. Period.

I'm tired of people sniping at the President and hindering our soldiers' moral for political gain. The same people the gripe about the 4 year long war, or say they support our troops, but not their mission, have the blood of our soldiers on their hands. They embolden and give hope to our enemy, while demoralizing and belittling our own troops.

If you "support our troops but not the war," you are supporting our enemies.

wooderson
May 9, 2007, 12:33 PM
The establishment of a viable, sustainable elected government in the middle east is an extremely valuable goal for the US. A free Iraq would also be the worst possible outcome for Islamic fundamentalists in the region.
Except that in the Middle East, when opened to free and fair elections, votes for Islamic 'fundamentalists.' The last time a nation-state in the region elected a secular democratic government was Iran, circa 1952. We overthrew that government for being insufficiently amenable to our business needs. (Turkey doesn't count - the only reason they were a secular state was the constant threat of a military coup should an 'Islamist' be elected.)

That's the catch-22 in all of this. Were we to accomplish our goal of an Iraqi democracy - it would, within a matter of years if not weeks, become Iran Jr..

The only way you establish a secular democracy in Iraq is to make it a puppet regime of the United States, constantly and eternally backed with a threat of force from our military.

The insurgents attacking US and Iraqi forces in Iraq aren't Iraqis, they are Syrians and Iranians.
Evidence?

Titan6
May 9, 2007, 01:09 PM
The insurgents attacking US and Iraqi forces in Iraq aren't Iraqis, they are Syrians and Iranians.

Slightly out to lunch. Iraqi's are of course attacking American troops everyday. But every single other country in the region has been sending manpower to the fight. Jordan, SA, everybody... They have caught people of every mid eastern nationality. There are literally tons of published accounts....

Colt
May 9, 2007, 01:40 PM
But every single other country in the region has been sending manpower to the fight. Jordan, SA, everybody...

I don't think "sending" is quite the right term. Certainly people from the countries you list are traveling to Iraq to take a shot at the US military and to demoralize the Iraqis, but I'd argue that the Syrian and Iranian governments are probably the only nations actually "sending" manpower.

In the case of Iran and Syria, insurgents of many different origins have been killed while carrying weapons of recent Iranian manufacture. Post invasion of Iraq production.

This has become a war of wills. That's why bombers attack the opening ceremony of a new school, or at the soccer game of 12 year-old boys. They know there are people in this country without the stomach to go the distance. I'm not one of them. And yes, I have immediate family and friends serving in Iraq. They have the stomach, too.

The insurgents are using the media and the anti-US, anti-Bush crowd to their advantage.

Titan6
May 9, 2007, 01:46 PM
I don't think "sending" is quite the right term. Certainly people from the countries you list are traveling to Iraq to take a shot at the US military and to demoralize the Iraqis, but I'd argue that the Syrian and Iranian governments are probably the only nations actually "sending" manpower.

When the government puts volunteers on the bus and orders the bus to drive to Baghdad I call that sending (Jordan). This is a way for them to get rid of their radical elements of the population. It works for us too as we get rid of the terrorists.

The insurgents are using the media and the anti-US, anti-Bush crowd to their advantage.

A story as old as warfare itself.

Malone LaVeigh
May 9, 2007, 02:26 PM
The establishment of a viable, sustainable elected government in the middle east is an extremely valuable goal for the US.
Too bad the Bush admin didn't do anything to achieve that goal. Instead moved the proverbial bull into the Iraqi china shop bazaar, wishing (upon a star?) that they would greet us as liberators. Jimminy Cricket doesn't make for good foreign policy.

Autolycus
May 9, 2007, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by Colt:
The establishment of a viable, sustainable elected government in the middle east is an extremely valuable goal for the US. A free Iraq would also be the worst possible outcome for Islamic fundamentalists in the region. The insurgents attacking US and Iraqi forces in Iraq aren't Iraqis, they are Syrians and Iranians.

The left and the media have a vested interest in our failure in Iraq. Victory would be devasting for them, since they have been so opposed to the war.

Bush declared victory in major operations 4 years ago, and he was correct. Those trying to spin it any other way are anti-Bush. Period.

I'm tired of people sniping at the President and hindering our soldiers' moral for political gain. The same people the gripe about the 4 year long war, or say they support our troops, but not their mission, have the blood of our soldiers on their hands. They embolden and give hope to our enemy, while demoralizing and belittling our own troops.

If you "support our troops but not the war," you are supporting our enemies.

Yes because a free Iraq is what the Iraqi people want. I seem to remember them voting in a Muslim extremist government. So we get another Iran because they want to be free. ANd then where will the US Government intervene next? Why not just let those people be?

Colt
May 9, 2007, 03:34 PM
I don't recall the Iraqis electing a "mulsim extremist" government. Source?

Colt
May 9, 2007, 03:40 PM
Titan,

Missed that story about Jordan. But it illustrates the value in having a foreign frontline for the WOT.

Yes, we've lost thousands of soldiers, but who among Bush's detractors can honestly claim that they foresaw the US going 5.5 years without a major terrorist success on US soil under the president's watch?

We're killing terrorists and jihadists by scores in Iraq, and all they have to swing at is our strongest and best-prepared (volunteer) citizen soldiers. Each soldier's life is a serious loss, but not without purpose or benefit for our country.

Art Eatman
May 9, 2007, 03:54 PM
Whee! No limits to off-topic!

Fun, ain't it?

Art

If you enjoyed reading about "From a US Ranger in Irag" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!