Iraq War Hits Home


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MinScout
April 9, 2004, 11:12 PM
Two local Marines were killed in action this week in Iraq. One was a 20 year old from my home town another a 19 year old from a small town nearby. I did'nt know either of these kids, but sure felt strange driving around town and seeing all the flags at half staff. I hope they did'nt die in vein.

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whofan
April 10, 2004, 12:10 AM
We have had several from the local area (Southwest Missouri) killed in the past year.

Even had a guy in my department at work get wounded last December. He had to have his eye socket rebuilt at Waler Reed Army Medical Center. His Army Reserve unit is due to rotate home in the next 10 days, God willing. A woman in my department has a husband in the same unit. She seems to be holding up quite well.

I spent thirteen years in the Army, and, although I never saw combat, every one of these battle casualties seems to affect me personally. I hope that we hurry up and take care of business.

Lennyjoe
April 10, 2004, 01:52 AM
A salute to the fallen heros.

I hope they did'nt die in vein
In my eyes they did NOT.

warmi
April 10, 2004, 02:40 AM
I hope they did'nt die in vein

That is entirely up to us.
Everyone knows that will not be defeated militarily by a bunch of thugs - it is just a matter of our how far are we prepared to go at achieve our goals.

w4rma
April 10, 2004, 03:21 AM
… how far are we prepared to go at achieve our goals.What are our goals for Iraq?

R.H. Lee
April 10, 2004, 03:28 AM
What are our goals for Iraq?


Dr. Condoleeza Rice summed it up nicely earlier this year: (I won't do a w4rma cut and paste, just click the link)

http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/04022601.htm

w4rma
April 10, 2004, 03:34 AM
http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/04022601.htm

Reads like a bunch of non-informative flowery rhetoric to me. Perhaps you can extract concise quotes from it that explain/list Rice's specific goals in/for Iraq? That would be extremely helpful.

R.H. Lee
April 10, 2004, 03:40 AM
Sheeshh......your answer is in the first FOUR paragraphs

OK, I forgot I was talking to a liberal


The president's vision stands on three pillars, she said.

"First, we will defend the peace by opposing and preventing violence by terrorists and outlaw regimes.

"Second, we will preserve the peace by fostering an era of good relations among the world's great powers. And third, we will extend the peace by seeking to extend the benefits of freedom and prosperity across the globe."

The rest is the transcript of the speech.

w4rma
April 10, 2004, 03:53 AM
"First, we will defend the peace by opposing and preventing violence by terrorists and outlaw regimes.

"Second, we will preserve the peace by fostering an era of good relations among the world's great powers. And third, we will extend the peace by seeking to extend the benefits of freedom and prosperity across the globe."

Looks like flowery rhetoric to me. Allow me to explain:

"Defend the peace"
how?
"by opposing and preventing violence by terrorists and outlaw regimes"
how will we "oppose and prevent violence" by these folks.
who are these folks, these "terrorists and outlaw regimes"?

"preserve the peace"
how?
"by fostering an era of good relations among the world's great powers"
how? …?

"extend the peace"
how?
"by seeking to extend the benefits of freedom and prosperity across the globe"
how will we "extend the benefits of freedoms and prosperity across the globe"?
define, from Rice's POV, "freedoms" and "prosperity".

No specifics. Just flowery rhetoric. I fully and totally agree with her flowery rhetoric.

So, again, what are Rice's goals in/for Iraq?

Khornet
April 10, 2004, 09:21 AM
When the left damns Repubs for doing x, then wants to know why they didn't do x in 2001, there is no logical explanation.

When a Dem president does a similar thing in Bosnia, and without UN consent, and for no obvious (to some, though not to Repubs) advantage to America, and with no clear goal, he is supported while a Repub is condemned. Again, no logical explanation.

But there IS an explanation, if not a logical or ethically based one: hatred. Hatred of Bush, hatred of Republicans. Once you see that, there is in fact a twisted consistency to the antiwar types: it's not the rightness or wrongness of an act, it's whether a Dem or a Repub did it. All falls into place nicely. This is how the same kind of language from Rice can be meaningless flowery rhetoric, while the incomprhensible and self-contradicting words of Kerry are pure statesmanship.

greyhound
April 10, 2004, 09:29 AM
it's whether a Dem or a Repub did it.

I agree 100% that irrational Bush hatred is driving all this, but does anyone truly believe that if (heaven forbid) "I don't fall" Kerry is elected, it won't be the same thing from the other side?

Especially anything he does regarding Iraq? I already have a horrible picture of him hat in hand at the UN.

We are so partisan that hatred of the President by "the other side" is inevitable.

A shame but I think true. We can try to justify it by pretending its just the policies, but it isn't.

Khornet
April 10, 2004, 09:37 AM
point well taken. Except that this administration has pursued "bipartisanship" to a fault, and gotten spittle for a reward. Note that most Repubs supported Clinton's Bosnia adventure. Note the widespread use of the term RINO (Repub in name only). Repubs just can't seem to learn to play partisan hardball like the Dems do. Their repetoire of epithets also speaks volumes: we (Repubs) are pretty much limited to "liberal" and "Leftist", while they have "racist" , "sexist", "fundamentalist", "macho", "Cowboy", "Puritan" ad nauseam.

w4rma
April 10, 2004, 10:43 PM
What are Rice's goals in/for Iraq?

Noone has answered the question because they don't know the answer, imho.

RealGun
April 10, 2004, 10:54 PM
w4rma:

"Noone has answered the question because they don't know the answer, imho."

[RealGun]

What answer would you like?

strambo
April 10, 2004, 11:09 PM
I think "Bush sucks" is the answer he's looking for.:rolleyes:

I'd settle for a lot less rape and torture, maybe have it not be a cesspool of terrorist training camps and a hotbed of radical Islamic hatred directed at the US. If the Iraqi people had food, utilities, education and an elected government that would be swell too. Of course we've already done a lot of that and are progressing towards the rest.

What would your goals be w4rma? And how would you accomplish them? What would you suggest we do to protect our civilian population from the next attack?

Lennyjoe
April 10, 2004, 11:28 PM
way to hijack a thread folks. :scrutiny:

w4rma
April 10, 2004, 11:45 PM
What answer would you like?I don't know the answer. I would like to know it.

HBK
April 10, 2004, 11:47 PM
Deliver us from liberals. :rolleyes:

joab
April 10, 2004, 11:57 PM
This is truly offensive and uncalled for how did a thread saluting the honor and courage of fallen heroes become a platform for this Bush hating DU rhetoric.
Go cut and paste your propaganda elsewhere and everybody else should have enough respect to ignore him this time.

Gary H
April 10, 2004, 11:58 PM
Have all of you lost it? This isn't the thread to start this kind of B.S.

tcdrennen
April 11, 2004, 12:05 AM
w4rma:
I don't know the answer. I would like to know it.

I swore I wouldn't ever get into one of these spitting matches, but...

So you're saying you have no idea WHAT the correct course of action is, but whatever is being done by the people who DO have an idea is wrong.

Because they're Repugnicants/conservatives? Or just because they work for Bush, and WHATEVER he does must be wrong in YNSHO?

Or would doing nothing except maybe wring hands and mumble about UN consensus be what you'd prefer?

Ya know, I'm NOT a fan of GWB and the current administration for many reasons - and I thought our original involvement in Kuwait was stupid and pointless: whoEVER held the oil would have to would have to sell it to gain any benefit, so whether it was an Arab tribal oligarchy or a Ba'athist megalomaniac was irrelevant.

BUT: Once we DID commit, we were in for the long haul, and BUSH I's failure to let the other shoe drop was inevitably going to mean we had to finish it. Leaving now or looking for a "compromise" would DISHONOR THOSE WHO HAVE GIVEN THEIR LIVES, just as Clinton's Somalia bugout (and, to be fair, Reagan's Lebanon bugout, though the still extant USSR was SOME excuse) spat on the graves of THOSE casualties

AND:
9/11.
'Nuff sed. :scrutiny:

TCD
April 11, 2004, 12:54 AM
The 9/11 argument for invading Iraq seems weak to me from the evidence I've read.


Well, the 9/11 and the WMD both seem weak to me now.

No doubt I don't miss him, but at least the administration can be up front with us. UN supported mission would have been to our benefit as well. I know that the US can act unilaterally, but having a strong and large coalition with the support of NATO or UN makes the action more acceptable in the world's eyes. In my view, much of the international support that the US had after 9/11 was pissed away by this war in Iraq. To me, its not worth it. I don't want my friends going over there only to come back home in bodybags after two of the major reasons why we went to war are empty.

SIC TRANSIT GLORIA MUNDI
April 11, 2004, 01:46 AM
This man has a clear focus on what is at stake in Iraq:

Victor Davis Hanson
National Review On-Line

April 08, 2004, 8:15 a.m.
Western Cannibalism
Eating each other while our enemies smile.




This war grows stranger here at home and abroad all the time. Despite the horrific barbarism in Fallujah and the gun-toting and killing by the Shiites, the United States is ever so steadily establishing a consensual government of sorts under impossible conditions in Iraq. Meanwhile the Middle East watches the pulse of the conflict, wondering whether the Fallujah savages and the primordial Shiite extremists will succeed in Lebanonizing Iraq.

Or will the American pressure for democracy and reform reverberate beyond Iraq and Afghanistan to move Libya, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, and the Saudis to greater transparency, consensual rule, and an end of their support for terrorists? The courage and sacrifice of thousands of American soldiers now determine whether those who dream of freedom step forward boldly into the light, or retreat meekly into the shadows — and whether we will be safe in our own homes.

Out of all the recent chaos emerges one lesson: Appeasement of fundamentalists is not appreciated as magnanimity, but ridiculed as weakness — and, in fact, encourages further killing. A shaken Spain elected a new government that promised to exit Iraq. In return, the terrorists planted more bombs, issued more demands, and then staged a fiery exit for themselves. France, as is its historical wont, triangulated with the Muslim world and then found its fundamentalist plotters all over Paris. The Saudi royals thought that they of all people could continue to blackmail the fundamentalists — until the suicide-murderers turned their explosives on their benefactors and began to blow up Arab Muslims as well. General Musharraf once did all he could to appease Islamists — and got assassination plots as thanks.

Following the Iranian hostage takeover in 1979, the United States had embraced a quarter-century of appeasement that had resulted in far more American deaths than all those lost during the present war against terrorists abroad — flaming ships, embassies, planes, skyscrapers, and people the wages of its mollifying. And every time in Iraq we have tried to offer conciliation before complete military victory — low profiles, tolerance for looters and militias, allowance for vicious mullahs — we have seen more, not fewer, killed.

The sad truth is that civilization itself is engaged in a worldwide struggle against the barbarism of Islamic fundamentalism. Just this past month the killers and their plots have been uncovered in London, Paris, Madrid, Pakistan, and North Africa — the same tired rhetoric of their hatred echoing from Iraq to the West Bank. While Western elites quibble over exact ties between the various terrorist ganglia, the global viewer turns on the television to see the same suicide bombing, the same infantile threats, the same hatred of the West, the same chants, the same Koranic promises of death to the unbeliever, and the same street demonstrations across the world.

Looking for exact professed cooperation between an Islamic fascist and the rogue regime that finds such anti-Western violence useful is like proving that Mussolini, Tojo, and Hitler all coordinated their attacks and worked in some conspiratorial fashion — when in fact Japan had no knowledge of the invasion of Russia, and Hitler had no warning of Pearl Harbor or Mussolini's invasion of Greece.

In fact, it didn't matter that they were united only by a loose and shared hatred of Western liberalism and emboldened by a decade of democratic appeasement. And our fathers, perhaps better men than we, didn't care too much for beating their breasts about the exact nature of collective Axis strategy or blaming each other for past lapses, but instead went to pretty terrible places like Bastogne, Anzio, and Okinawa to put an end to their enemies all.

Now, in the middle of this terrible conflict, unlike the postbellum inquiry after Pearl Harbor, we are holding acrimonious hearings about culpability for September 11. And here the story gets even more depressing than just political opportunism and election-year timing. After eight years of appeasement that saw repeated attacks on Americans, Pakistani acquisition of nuclear weapons under Dr. Khan, and Osama's 1998 declaration of war against every American, we are suddenly grilling, of all people, Condoleezza Rice — one of the few key advisers most to be credited for insisting on using our military, rather than the local DA, to defeat these fanatics.

Over the last two years, each time a U.S. senator in panicked and wild-eyed passion screamed that we could not win in Afghanistan, she proved resolute and confident. On every occasion that an ex-general, a dissatisfied bureaucrat, or a wannabe journalist-strategist pontificated about what the United States could not do, she was unwavering in her determination to take the war to rogue regimes in the Middle East with a history of hostility against Americans and a record of providing easy sanctuary for terrorists. This present charade would be like holding public hearings on the eve of the 1944 election about the breakdown of intelligence and missed opportunities before Pearl Harbor — and then blaming Harry Hopkins and Secretary Stimson for laxity even while the country was in the very midst of a two-front war.

Then we have the creepy outbursts from commentators and screams from Democratic senators. We are told by Senator Graham that we smashed al Qaeda only to discover that we had hit a mercury-like substance that now has hopelessly scattered. Well, yes, that is what happens when you strike back in war. The alternative? Allow this elemental terrorism to remain cohesive and united? War is not a decision between good and bad choices, but almost always between something bad and something worse — and so it really is preferable to have toxic mercury scattered than to have it concentrated and pure.

Another pundit assures us that terrorists after American action in Iraq are more active now than before. Well, again yes — in the sense that Germany was messier in 1944 than in 1933, or that Japan was more dangerous for Americans in 1943 than in 1935. Danger, chaos, and death are what transpire for a time when you finally decide to strike back at confident and smug enemies.

Senator Kennedy, the past exemplar of sober and judicious behavior in times of personal and national crisis, has gone beyond his once-wild charges of Texas conspiracies to slur Iraq as Bush's Vietnam — his apparently appropriate moral boosting for the young Marines, who, even as he spoke, were entering Fallujah to hunt down murderers and mutilators.

But did he say Vietnam? Apparently the senator thinks that the cause of these medieval fanatics who want to bring the world back to the ninth century will resonate with leftists the same way Uncle Ho's faux promises of equality and egalitarianism swayed stupid anti-war protesters of the past. Or is the real similarity that, once more, as promoters of anti-Communist realpolitik, we Americans are installing a right-wing government rather than promoting pluralism, elections, and the protection of minorities and women — the "dream" of the 1960s? Or perhaps Kennedy's comparison revolves around 600 combat dead in Afghanistan and Iraq, the liberation of 50 million from the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, and the emergence of proto-consensual governments in less than two years of hostilities? Does all that suggest to Senator Kennedy that we are embarking on a 12-year war, will lose 50,000 men, and are stymied by a bellicose nuclear China and Russia on the borders of Iraq?

Yet Kennedy is right on one count in his evocation of Vietnam. If there is any similarity between Vietnam and the current war, it is not 1963, when his late brother convinced us to commit troops to stop Communist aggression. A better year for comparison is 1974, when Kennedy and other senators began to cut off funding for air support promised to enforce the Paris peace accords, resulting in the collapse of South Vietnam, mass murder in Southeast Asia, and over a million boat people, with more still sent to the Communist reeducation camps.

A New York Times columnist (who before the routing of the Taliban warned us of hopeless quagmire in Afghanistan) chimes in about Fallujah with neat metaphors like "block party" and "slam dance," and then ends by quoting the old tired canard from Vietnam that "We're going to destroy the village to save it" — apparently unaware that the supposed postmodern aphorism was probably made up, was never traced or attributed to any particular military officer, and was more likely the creation of a like-minded journalist also eager for some cute phraseology.

There are plenty of things to argue about and there will be plenty of time in which to do it. In a crisis and with worries about national security, many of us thought it was the wrong time to embark on deficit spending, allow near amnesty for those who cross our borders illegally, and not compromise about the need for both American conservation and exploration of oil, in an effort to wean us off Middle Eastern petroleum.

More specifically, in our postwar paranoia about being too brutal in Iraq, we were too lenient — and thus ultimately will probably be more brutal than we would otherwise have had to be. During the prewar exegeses, there was too much emphasis on WMD and not enough on other legitimate casus belli, ranging from violations of the 1991 armistice agreement and U.N. accords, Saddam's past invasion and assassination attempts, the unending no-fly zones, Baathist mass murder, environmental catastrophe, and bounties for suicide killers.

More troops were probably needed; the Iraqi army should have been immediately reconstituted; and Iraqi officials might have had a more public role in the reconstruction. All these are legitimate tactical issues that could have been discussed and debated within the general parameters that we are at war against horrific enemies who wish to end our civilization, and who cannot be bought off or talked to, but only defeated, and yes, often killed.

Instead, we see more of the same hysteria and invective. It has been almost three years now and many Americans are becoming sickened by this continual procession of collective madness delivered up in doses of twenty-four-hour new cycles. This country has gone from the shouting and screaming about quagmire in Afghanistan, its high peaks, Ramadan taboos, the supposed unreliable Northern Alliance, Guantanamo meals, our failure to get bin Laden — to "millions" of refugees in Iraq, the toppling of moderate governments in the region, an envisioned 5,000 American dead in battle, Saddam and his sons forever uncatchable, worry over legal rights of the Husseins, Bush's landing on a carrier, looting of museums, WMD acrimony, tell-all books from ex-Bush-administration employees, and the present election-year 9/11 inquiry circus.

And this culminates now in the animus toward Condoleezza Rice, who has weathered it all and never for a moment evidenced the slightest lack of resolve. I suppose we are witnessing a sort of American pop version of the French revolution — journalists and politicians on the barricades and guillotines constantly searching for an ever-expanding array of targets, their only consistency blind and mindless fury at the old regime.

So let us get a grip. Bush yet again must remind the American people that we are at war not merely in the Sunni Triangle or in the Afghan badlands, but rather globally and for the liberal values of Western civilization. There is no mythical pipeline in Afghanistan; Halliburton executives are not lounging around the pool in Baghdad chomping on cigars and quaffing cocktails; and in this age of sky-high gas prices there is no sinister cabal that has hijacked Iraq oil. Sharon is not getting daily intelligence briefings about Iraq. The war is what it always was — a terrible struggle against an evil and determined enemy, a Minotaur of sorts that harvested Americans in increments for decades before mass murdering 3,000 more on September 11.

Everything that the world holds dear — the free exchange of ideas, the security of congregating and traveling safely, the long struggle for tolerance of differing ideas and religions, the promise of equality between the sexes and ethnic groups, and the very trust that lies at the heart of all global economic relationships — all this and more Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and the adherents of fascism in the Middle East have sought to destroy: some as killers themselves, others providing the money, sanctuary, and spiritual support.

We did not ask for this war, but it came. In our time and according to our station, it is now our duty to end it. And that resolution will not come from recrimination in time of war, nor promises to let fundamentalists and their autocratic sponsors alone, but only through the military defeat and subsequent humiliation of their cause. So let us cease the hysterics, make the needed sacrifices, and allow our military the resources, money, and support with which it most surely will destroy the guilty and give hope at last to the innocent.

Lennyjoe
April 11, 2004, 03:26 PM
MinScout, I appologize for your thread becoming a political debate instead of its intended purposes.

I hope this doesnt deter you from starting future threads on issues important to you.


By the way, welcome to THR

Monkeyleg
April 11, 2004, 07:28 PM
Seems like a good time to tune out the arguing that's gone on in this thread and say a prayer for those who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Rest in peace, gentlemen. Heaven holds a special place for you.

joab
April 11, 2004, 07:35 PM
All I can offer is my favorite poem.


Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep, peaceful sleep,
May the soldier or sailor,
God keep.
On the land or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night, Must thou go,
When the day, And the night
Need thee so?
All is well. Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light; And afar
Goeth day, And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well; Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise, For our days,
'Neath the sun, Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go, This we know,
God is nigh.

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