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SecaucusFats
01-03-2005, 10:46 PM
How the Left Betrayed My Country - Iraq
By Naseer Flayih Hasan
FrontPageMagazine.com | January 3, 2005

Before the last war, we Iraqis spent decades cut off from the outside world. Not only did the Baathist regime prevent us from traveling during the Iran-Iraq conflict and the period of the sanctions, but they punished anyone possessing satellite television. And of course, internet access was strictly limited. Because of our isolation, most of us had little idea or sense about life beyond our borders.

We did believe, however, that democracy and human rights were important factors in Western civilization. So it came as a shock to us when millions of people began demonstrating across the world against America’s build-up to the invasion of our country. We supposed the protests were by people who had no idea about the terrible atrocities that the regime had inflicted upon us for decades. We assumed that once they learned what had happened in Iraq, they would change their minds, or modify their opposition to the war.

My first clue that this would not happen was a few weeks after Baghdad fell. I had befriended a French reporter who had begun to realize that the situation in Iraq was not how the international media or the so-called “peace camp” described it. I noticed, however, that whenever he tried to voice his doubts to colleagues, they argued that he was wrong. Soon afterwards, I met a Dutch woman on Mutinabi Street, where booksellers lay out their wares on Friday morning. I asked her how long she’d been in Iraq and, through a translator, she answered, “Three months.”

“So you were here during the war?”

“Yes!” she said. “To see the crimes of the Americans!”

I was stunned. After a moment, I replied, “What about the crimes of the regime? It killed millions of Iraqis. Do you know that if the regime was still in power, the conversation we’re having now would result in our torture or death?”

Her face turned red and she angrily responded, “Soon will come the day that the Americans will do worse.” She then went on to accuse me of not knowing what the true facts were in Iraq—and that she could see the situation better than me!

She was not the only “humanitarian” who expressed such outrageous opinions. One afternoon, I was speaking to some members of the American anti-war group “Voices in the Wilderness.” One of the group’s members declared that the Iraqi Governing Council (then in power at the time) were “traitors.” I was shocked. Most of the Council were people whom we Iraqis knew had suffered and sacrificed in a long struggle against the regime. Some represented opposition parties who had lost ten of thousand of members in that struggle. Others came from families who had lost up to 30 loved ones to the Baathists.

After those, and many other, experiences, we finally comprehended how little we had in common with these “peace activists” who constantly decried American crimes, and hated to listen to us talk about the terrible long nightmare that ended with the collapse of the regime. We came to understand how these “humanitarians” experienced a sort of pleasure when terrorists or former remnants of the regime created destruction in Iraq—just so they could feel that they were right, and the Americans wrong!

Worse, we realized it was hopeless to make them grasp our feelings. We believed—and still believe--that America’s removal of the regime opened a new way for democracy. At the same time, we have no illusions that the U.S. came to Iraq on a white horse to save our people. We understand this war is all about national interests, and that America’s interests are mainly about defeating terrorism. At this moment, though, U.S. interests are doing more to bring about democracy and freedom in Iraq than, say, the policies of France and Russia—countries which also care little for the Iraqi people and, worse, did their best to save Saddam from destruction until the last moment.

It’s worth noting, as well, that the general attitude of peace activists I met was tension and anger. They were impossible to reason with. This was because, on one hand, the sometimes considerable risks they took to oppose the war made them unable to accept the fact that their cause was not as noble as they believed. Then, too, their dogmatic anti-American attitudes naturally drew them to guides, translators, drivers and Iraqi acquaintances who were themselves supporters of the regime. These Iraqis, in turn, affected the peace activists until they came to share almost the same judgments and opinions as the terrorists and defenders of Saddam.

This was very disappointing for someone like me, who thought for decades that the Left was generally the progressive power in the world. You can imagine how aghast I was when my French reporter friend told me that the Communist Party in his country actually considers the “insurgents” to be the equivalent of the French Gaullists! Or how troubling it is to hear Jacques Chirac take satisfaction from the violence wreaked by the terrorists—those bloody monsters that we Iraqis know so well—because they justify France’s original opposition to the war.

And so I have become disillusioned, at least with the Leftists I met in Iraq. So noble in their rhetoric, they looked to the stars, yet ignored what was happening around them, caring only about what was inside their minds. So glorious in their ideals, their thoughts were inflexible and their deeds unnecessary, even harmful. In the end, they proved to me how dogma and fanaticism had transform peace activists into—lifeless peace “statues.”


SF

nhp
01-04-2005, 12:30 AM
Of course Saddam committed horrible atrocities against his own people. So do the leaders of many other countries in the world today. There is a time and a place for everything-the problem with this war is that while we are putting our manpower in this one location, Osama is lurking about hundreds or thousands of miles away. While we are focusing on this one country, other countries are making moves towards manufacturing nuclear capabilities. I absoloutely agree that the media does not paint a clear picture of the war, however, neither do conservatives, and neither do liberals.

Ask yourselves, whom do you think would be a bigger threat in trying to attack the USA with nukes, Saddam, who was scared sh**less of us, or Pyongang, who has nukes and has been threatening us?

My concern with the war is the value, or lack thereof, of human life by the Bush administration. My concern is for the safety of our troops, I have a few friends over there. The troops are giving a call for our help, for our support, so that they don't have to create 'hillbilly armor' to protect themselves. The thousands of soldiers disserting and refusing orders in Iraq has to tell you something. Supporting the war and supporting our troops are two different things. When you accuse people of not supporting our troops because they don't support the reasons why we are there is meaningless. If you think that supporting the war is to help the troops morale, you are clearly mistaken, and lacking common sense. You support the troops by supporting what they need, and listening to them when they make a cry for help.

When the majority of the entire world, including nearly all of our major allies, protests a war, and by this I mean billions of people, please explain to me how the left is wrong for being a small percentage of those billions of people.

You know what really puzzles me about many conservatives, is that so many of them share this sentiment that they wouldn't mind just simply nuking or bombing the crap out of an arab country that hates us. I share that sentiment sometimes, especially when after the Abu Ghraib 'scandal', how the arab world was 'outraged' at the prisoner abuse stories, yet they said nothing about the beheadings and suicide bombings of innocent civilians. That pissed me off, so yes again, I have shared that sentiment when my blood boils. My point is, if so many of you would love to see these countries bombed to kingdom come, why all of a sudden do you think we should sacrifice thousands of american soldier's lives to save an arab country where most of it's civilians hated us for not ousting Saddam in the furst Gulf War, leaving the Iraqi rebels at the mercy of Saddam's Republican Guard, slaughtering tens of thousands of them and their families. Please explain.

Sid_Vicious
01-04-2005, 05:07 AM
"When you accuse people of not supporting our troops because they don't support the reasons why we are there is meaningless."

Tap, Tap, Tap...sid

Ross
01-04-2005, 06:30 AM
SF, as you know I'm generally in the liberal camp, but I agree with the article you posted. I've never understood how liberals could be for "peace" when there was no peace for Iraqi's under Saddam. Saddam was directly responsible for the death of a MILLION men (Iraqi and Iranian combined) when he kept pushing the Iraq war against Iran. He single-handedly squashed the dreams of economic and social progress in Iraq, which had vast human and natural resources to work with. And of course there was the continued torture, raping, and murders that occurred at the whim of him and his sons. And Saddam would NEVER give up power without being forced out, either through assasination or a war being declared against him. Years of sanctions had not fazed him one bit but had led to more suffering of his people.

I DO understand why liberals distrusted Bush's motives for going in since Bush really sold this war as one to "protect America" which seemed bogus to almost everyone except fervent Bush supporters. And I DO understand why liberals were upset at the ham-handed and impatient way Bush treated our allies and the UN in pushing this war. And I DO understand why liberals find Bush a hypocrite in pretending to really care about the welfare of citizens of Iraq - we all know that if it had been a poor African country (say Sudaan for example) he would have done little to intervene. And I DO understand why liberals find Bush's lack of realistic planning for a post-invasion Iraq as leading to the insurgency gaining a foothold and causing unneccesary deaths and maiming and suffering of both our troops and the Iraqi citizenry, as well as greatly hampering the rebuilding of the country.

But liberals need to give up the "we just love peace" argument. It is a privileged stance founded in denial. It just doesn't make sense for "peace lovers" who live in freedom and wealth to rail against war in the name of justice. To do so doesn't acknowledge the only realistic alternative -- an Iraqi citizenry doomed to continue to live under the iron-fisted rule of a war-mongering cruel despot.

Many liberals also mistakenly opposed entering WWII as well despite the evidence that Hitler was on a course to subjugate the citizens of half of the world.

I just think that part of being compassionate is to admit that, at this point in history, sometimes deadly force is needed to stop the cruel reigns of despots.

Chopstick
01-04-2005, 09:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr>
I DO understand why liberals find Bush's lack of realistic planning for a post-invasion Iraq as leading to the insurgency gaining a foothold and causing unneccesary deaths and maiming and suffering of both our troops and the Iraqi citizenry, as well as greatly hampering the rebuilding of the country.
<hr /></blockquote>

I actually don't understand this part. How could anyone plan on an insurgency from Iran and Syria? I think Colin Powell had some idea. He said in the beginning that Iraq would be a mess if we invaded. I never got to hear his side of it. I think he was pressured to go along.

I don't really care what the UN thinks. I never trusted those guys anyway. I mean Syria heading the Humans Rights council. Please. When Powell didn't go along I had doubts about it.

Qtec
01-04-2005, 09:59 AM
[ QUOTE ]
He said in the beginning that Iraq would be a mess if we invaded. <hr /></blockquote>

"You break it, you own it."

[ QUOTE ]
I mean Syria heading the Humans Rights council. <hr /></blockquote>

"Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer."

Q

nhp
01-04-2005, 01:47 PM
Ross can you please explain to me how 'many liberals' protested entering World War II, when our nation was attacked by Japan, and then nearly every able-bodied man was drafted?

The big difference now between 'many liberals' protesting this war, is that they are just a small few among the billions upon billions of the rest of the world that protested the war, including most of our major allies.

Ross
01-04-2005, 03:18 PM
nhp, I will check on the WWII info. I know I've read about it a few times.

The fact that the war was extremely unpopular around the world had a lot to do with the crappy job done by the Bush administration in building a credible case for the war. But the fact that there was a lot of hypocricy in the stated reasons for going to war still doesn't mean that leaving Saddam in power was the "humane, caring" choice .

So now I'll ask you a question -- how humane was it for the world to sit back and leave Saddam in power for those many years? Remember Saddam was responsible for the death of approximately one MILLION young Iraqi and Iranian men. He invaded and razed Kuwait at a whim. He killed his political enemies, including gassing thousands of Kurds. He allowed his son to torture Iraqi athletes when they didn't win and to rape and kill women he saw on the street. Where is the nobility in letting this guy continue to ruin the lives of his citizens?

How can a person of conscience say "war is wrong" without acknowledging that "letting a cruel dictator murder and terrorize his own citizens and repeatedly attack his neighbors" for decades is also wrong?

SecaucusFats
01-05-2005, 01:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr> SF, as you know I'm generally in the liberal camp, but I agree with the article you posted. I've never understood how liberals could be for "peace" when there was no peace for Iraqi's under Saddam. Saddam was directly responsible for the death of a MILLION men (Iraqi and Iranian combined) when he kept pushing the Iraq war against Iran. He single-handedly squashed the dreams of economic and social progress in Iraq, which had vast human and natural resources to work with. And of course there was the continued torture, raping, and murders that occurred at the whim of him and his sons. And Saddam would NEVER give up power without being forced out, either through assasination or a war being declared against him. Years of sanctions had not fazed him one bit but had led to more suffering of his people.

<font color="blue">Thanks for letting me know your feelings on this issue. We're both human and humane and with that comes (hopefully) the ability to empathize with others. I would go so far as to say that it is one of the qualities that a true human being should, of necessity, posess.

Look, history will record that there were many varied reasons for our (US) entry into the war, some of those reasons will be held to be laudable..some will be less then honorable. But, in my heart of hearts I believe that the good far outweighs the bad.

I'll let you in on something: I was born in the city of Havana, Cuba. I truly know the meaning of despotism and tyranny. Oh how I would welcome a US invasion of Cuba! Cuba, 90 miles from Key West, yet still the home of one of the world's last Stalinist regimes,also home to the most complete bio-warfare labs in the world. Here's a dictator who is thoroughly ruthless, has been cited by Amnesty International year in and year out, and yet some [censored] "wannabe good guy/gal" Americans practically fawn over him and praise him, apparently oblivious to his corrupt and murderous ways. </font color>

<font color="black"> I DO understand why liberals distrusted Bush's motives for going in since Bush really sold this war as one to "protect America" which seemed bogus to almost everyone except fervent Bush supporters.
</font color>
<font color="blue">We will have to leave it up to historians to judge the relative merits of our current policy. <font color="blue"> </font color> </font color>

<font color="black">And I DO understand why liberals were upset at the ham-handed and impatient way Bush treated our allies and the UN in pushing this war.
</font color>
<font color="blue">I can understand that as well, but understand this: after 9/11,Bush clearly stated that the war on terror would be fought aggressively, and on many fronts. "You are either with us, or you are against us." We needed to do what we needed to do and could not and would not abide with obstructionism born of unsavory dealings by those who had a vested interest in the maintainment of the status quo.

<font color="black">And I DO understand why liberals find Bush a hypocrite in pretending to really care about the welfare of citizens of Iraq - we all know that if it had been a poor African country (say Sudaan for example) he would have done little to intervene.
</font color>
<font color="blue">Ross, you're an intelligent man..of course it's hypocritical but it is diplomatic. BTW I hate having to bring this up but when 800,000 Rwandans died in a bloody genocidal war neither the US (under Pres.Clinton) nor NATO, nor the EU, nor any other ostensibly civilized nations raise a finger to help.

<font color="black"> And I DO understand why liberals find Bush's lack of realistic planning for a post-invasion Iraq as leading to the insurgency gaining a foothold and causing unneccesary deaths and maiming and suffering of both our troops and the Iraqi citizenry, as well as greatly hampering the rebuilding of the country.
</font color>
<font color="blue">Liberals are not alone in worrying over valid concerns. I think we all want to see the plan.

<font color="black">But liberals need to give up the "we just love peace" argument. It is a privileged stance founded in denial. It just doesn't make sense for "peace lovers" who live in freedom and wealth to rail against war in the name of justice. To do so doesn't acknowledge the only realistic alternative -- an Iraqi citizenry doomed to continue to live under the iron-fisted rule of a war-mongering cruel despot.

</font color> <font color="blue">What can I say..you nailed it right on the head. </font color>
<font color="black">Many liberals also mistakenly opposed entering WWII as well despite the evidence that Hitler was on a course to subjugate the citizens of half of the world.

I just think that part of being compassionate is to admit that, at this point in history, sometimes deadly force is needed to stop the cruel reigns of despots.

</font color>

</font color> <font color="blue">Yes, and sadly that's true. </font color>

<hr /></blockquote>

SF

nhp
01-05-2005, 04:07 PM
Ross, so do you think Saddam was the only cruel and murderous dictator of his time? Do you think it was a wise choice, at the time being, to focus entirely on Saddam, and forget about Osama? Osama is the guy who attacked the United States, killing a few thousand people, I think it was 3 or 4 years ago, on Sept. 10th, or 11th, one of those days. It's kind of hard for me to remember, because Iraq is our main focus now, and Bush himself even said he 'doesn't know, and doesn't care' about the whereabouts of Osama.

But I guess your right. Osama only killed a few thousand Americans, Saddam has killed hundreds of thousands of his own civilians over the decades.

Lets also not forget, that after the first gulf war, our country was responsible for more Iraqi deaths than Saddam could be held accounted for (our own troops who fought there will testify to this) Screw our own country, lets go save the Iraqis, or at least pretend to want to save the Iraqis so we can pillage the land for what it's worth, while Osama plans another attack on us!

Ross, lets go fight an unnecessary war that cost us most of our major allies. Lets further alienate them by calling them all cowards. That way, when North Korea decides to attack us with nukes, our former allies will be so angered and so insulted by the rightys for not following us into an urban warfare, that they will sit back and let at least one major American city get fried by a nuke before they step in, just in hopes that we will 'learn our lesson'.

Hey Ross, since Bush allowed North Korea to develop nukes on his watch while he was 'saving the Iraqis from a mean dictator', lets say we decide to attack Syria because they won't close their borders and they keep letting all these terrorists into Iraq.

But lets say at the same time, we discover that Libya has some nukes aimed at us. We should just say 'screw Libya' and invade Syria, correct? I mean, thats what we did with North Korea, now Pyongang is living smug in his mansion of gold, making sweet sweet love to a nuclear bomb that he sleeps with in his 40 ft bed of roses with satin blankets.

Doh! Crap! Pyongang makes millions of people in his own country starve to death! How come we arent fighting in North Korea right now? I hope you can sense the sarcasm here.

eg8r
01-05-2005, 04:26 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Ross, so do you think Saddam was the only cruel and murderous dictator of his time? <hr /></blockquote> Ross is more than capable of answering for himself, but I think you are missing his point. Whether Saddam was the only one, is not the issue. The issue was that he was a murderous dictator. If we were to sit around and wait until we were ready to take on every murderous dictator at the same time, then we might as well forget it.

eg8r

highsea
01-05-2005, 04:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>...since Bush allowed North Korea to develop nukes on his watch ...<hr /></blockquote>
Nate, you're spinning again. Look up the 1994 Agreed Framework. NorK was developing nukes during the entire Clinton administration (and probably before). The AQ Khan black market is where NorK got their nuke tech, and it was Bush Sr. that put the sanctions on Pakistan. A country can't develop nukes in just a few years, it takes decades.

Bush has put more pressure on Pyongyang than Clinton ever did. Clinton sold out, we provided NorK with 5 Billion in aid and a light water reactor, and all they did was go underground with their program. If anything, Clinton's handling of the situation accelerated the crisis.

Don't try to make NorK Bush's fault. It was a situation he inherited. Kerry would have gone back to the Clinton policy of bilateral talks and appeasement, and the pressure from China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea would have gone away. That's a stupid policy wrt NorK.

The solution to the Korean Peninsula lies with primarily with China. It's our job, and the job of Europe, to keep the pressure on China to address the situation. That's the only way to deal with it and avoid war.

And before you get too excited, NorK does not have the capability to deliver a nuke by missile yet. The only way they could deliver would be by air. It will probably be at least five more years before they have the ability to miniaturize a warhead to the point where it is missile deliverable. They have missiles that are capable, but no payload yet.

The main threat is that they could pass one off to a terrorist group who could deliver it by cargo ship to one of our ports, or that NorK could attack South Korea (and our troops) by air.
__________________________________________________ _________

Ross
01-05-2005, 10:05 PM
nhp, you are missing my point. If a liberal were to stand up and honestly say "well, given all of the other problems in the world, and our problems with Bin Laden and worries about North Korea, etc., we just don't think it is worth it (i.e., we don't care enough) to stop the murderous reign of Saddam over innocent Iraqi citizens" then I would at least see their point. I wouldn't agree with it, but I would understand the logic. What I don't understand though, is how some liberals can cloak their argument as an "anti-violence" "give peace a chance" stance.

If you look at your own arguments one by one, you will see they are almost entirely about the self-interests of the US and not about compassion, caring, or justice. Liberals regularly criticize conservatives for their sometimes selfish, me-first attitudes (and rightly so!) so how can we liberals adopt the same arguments without being hypocrites?

Also, your other arguments -- that there are other despots getting away with quashing the hopes of their own people and that the US and Bush are often hypocrites -- are not strong arguments for doing nothing in the face of continued human suffering.

nhp
01-06-2005, 04:29 AM
Ross, are sure that the Iraqi civilians are really better off right now? Do you think what's going on right now, is for their own good? Do you have any idea how bad it is over there? Remember the violence in Israel and Palestine? Multiply that x1000 and you've got Iraq. Are you going to tell a boy who lost his entire family from a bomb planted by some idiot insurgent, that his family was murdered to escape from an evil dictator? There is MORE bloodshed there right now than there EVER was! And this is going to go on quite possibly for ANOTHER DECADE!! Even GEORGE BUSH SR. said that THERE WAS NO EXIT STRATEGY FOR IRAQ. George W. Bush acted way to rash, and was way to hasty to invade this country.

First everyone that supports the war is talking about WMD's. Now that everyone knows that there were no WMD's, suddenly everyone is saying that we had to go in because Saddam was an evil dictator. How many more excuses are there going to be??

Holy cow I am bewildered that so many people don't see this. Ross, the duty of the president of the United States is to protect his country first, then worry about other countries once his first duty has been fulfilled. Invading Afghanistan and ousting the Taliban did not bring Osama and the rest of his moronic followers to justice. Bush said he doesn't know and he doesn't care about the whereabouts of Osama. Osama attacked our country, Saddam didn't. If we had captured Osama and dismantled Al Qaida, then we would have a right to focus on Iraq and stop Saddam from being a brutal dictator. It's incredibly bad timing to do that while Osama is still at large, yawning and scratching his ass while we are battling insurgents in Iraq.

Chopstick
01-06-2005, 07:09 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr> Ross, so do you think Saddam was the only cruel and murderous dictator of his time?
<hr /></blockquote>

Saddam isn't the only one. He is merely the first one. They have all got to go. There will be no peace for anyone until it is done. They have made that quite clear as they are shouting it from the roof tops as we speak. If it can be done without blowing them up, that would be good. If it can't, lock and load.

Here's an exit strategy for Iraq. We leave when the country is set right and not before. No matter how long it takes and no matter how much the cry babies whine about it. Iraq is not THE war. It is only a phase of THE war. THE war is going to go on for decades, possibly the rest of our natural lives.

Wally_in_Cincy
01-06-2005, 07:59 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>
Invading Afghanistan and ousting the Taliban did not bring Osama and the rest of his moronic followers to justice. <hr /></blockquote>

Are you suggesting we should not have gone into Afghanistan?

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>
If we had captured Osama and dismantled Al Qaida, then we would have a right to focus on Iraq and stop Saddam from being a brutal dictator. <hr /></blockquote>

We didn't completely dismantle Al-Quaida but we took away their safe haven, killed or captured over half of their leadership, cut off the funding they were getting from Islamic charities and turned most of their rank-and-file soldiers into pink mist.

Osama slipped away. What can you do about that? It's not that hard to hide one man in the lawless mountains of Pakistan.

Qtec
01-06-2005, 11:10 AM
A better title would have been,
"How the Right mislead America and tried to mislead the UN, but the UN didnt go for it."

Q /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

Ross
01-06-2005, 04:03 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr> Ross, are sure that the Iraqi civilians are really better off right now? Do you think what's going on right now, is for their own good? Do you have any idea how bad it is over there? Remember the violence in Israel and Palestine? Multiply that x1000 and you've got Iraq. Are you going to tell a boy who lost his entire family from a bomb planted by some idiot insurgent, that his family was murdered to escape from an evil dictator? There is MORE bloodshed there right now than there EVER was! And this is going to go on quite possibly for ANOTHER DECADE!! Even GEORGE BUSH SR. said that THERE WAS NO EXIT STRATEGY FOR IRAQ. George W. Bush acted way to rash, and was way to hasty to invade this country.
<font color="blue">
Ok, this paragraph is an argument relevant to my point which was, to repeat "Does it make sense to oppose the war on the basis of the high moral ground of "compassion for others?"

Am I sure Iraqi civilians are better off now than before the war? I don't think there is a simple answer to that. Being "better off" can be looked at in terms of economics, quality of life, freedom from fear, personal tragedy, personal freedoms, hope vs. despair about the future, and so on. And different Iraqis and different regions of Iraq differ greatly on those factors.

Probably 100's or thousands have been maimed or killed or had loved ones maimed or killed so they obviously are worse off than before, no matter what the other variables are. And indeed many have worse living conditions and less security than they did before the war. And those Sunnis that held positions of power due to corruption on the part of Saddam are worse off now, but they probably deserve to be. In any case Iraq has a population of 24 million and many of these people ARE better off currently and many aren't.

But more importantly, Iraq is at the beginning or the middle of a major and chaotic and violent transition, so today is probably not the time to assess the long-term outcome of the war. IF the insurgency is eventually largely quashed or they eventually buy into the government allowing democracy and relative freedom to take hold, then I would say that most of those 24 million WILL be markedly better off in the long run.

Shia will be able to advance in careers, serve in the government, etc. Kurds will not have to rely on American planes flying overhead to protect them. And the relatively educated Sunnis should prosper as well. The enormous natural wealth of the country will be able to be used to build schools, hospitals, theatres, etc. instead of being wasted on war. Ideally Iraq would be transformed from a cruelly run dictatorship to a modern prosperous country.

A lot to hope for, I know. But I also know that the NOT intervening was easier but had almost no hope of changing the lives of these people.

The secondary but equally or more important gain for millions of Arabs would be if Iraq became a successful Democracy that served as an example of Arabs and Islam and democracy and freedom working in concert. It could be the start of self-determination and freedom for citizens all throughout the middle east.

Also, the long-term outcome for the US and Europe will be better if stable, democratic governments emerge in the ME.


But I said before the war we wouldn't know if it was worth it or a total disaster for 5 years at least. It was a helluva risk, I do agree on that.
Come back and ask me in 2008 and I may have a better idea on the answer.



</font color>

First everyone that supports the war is talking about WMD's. Now that everyone knows that there were no WMD's, suddenly everyone is saying that we had to go in because Saddam was an evil dictator. How many more excuses are there going to be??

Holy cow I am bewildered that so many people don't see this. Ross, the duty of the president of the United States is to protect his country first, then worry about other countries once his first duty has been fulfilled. Invading Afghanistan and ousting the Taliban did not bring Osama and the rest of his moronic followers to justice. Bush said he doesn't know and he doesn't care about the whereabouts of Osama. Osama attacked our country, Saddam didn't. If we had captured Osama and dismantled Al Qaida, then we would have a right to focus on Iraq and stop Saddam from being a brutal dictator. It's incredibly bad timing to do that while Osama is still at large, yawning and scratching his ass while we are battling insurgents in Iraq. <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">nhp, I agree with most of this, but NONE of it is relevant to my point that liberals should be honest about their reasons (like you are here) instead of talking about being "for world peace and justice" as SOME do. My problem is that some liberals who profess to care about the downtrodden in the world don't seem to factor in or acknowledge the cost in terms of human suffering of doing nothing. If I felt they did acknowledge this issue and then made convincing arguments that the world misery ratio will not be reduced in the long run by removing Saddam, then I might be convinced. But the on-going repression of the Iraqis never seems to enter the equation. Nor have I heard a single realistic proposal of a "peaceful" way that Saddam could have been removed.

And I am idealistic enough to care more about the fate of millions of Arabs than about making a point about the hypocricy of conservatives who change their tune as conditions change. Deposing a dictator for the wrong reasons and then pretending you did it for the right reasons is bad, but I think it is not as bad as leaving the dictator in power. Besides I like the fact that conservatives have backed into espousing nation building for humanitarian reasons, which they used to oppose vehemently! </font color>

nhp
01-06-2005, 04:27 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Are you suggesting we should not have gone into Afghanistan?

<hr /></blockquote>

Of course not. I am simply saying that ousting the Taliban doesn't count as securing that region of terrorists. I believe we should not have focused our military in another country until Osama has been caught or killed, unless we have concrete and obvious evidence that another country is poised to attack us.

[ QUOTE ]
We didn't completely dismantle Al-Quaida but we took away their safe haven, killed or captured over half of their leadership, cut off the funding they were getting from Islamic charities and turned most of their rank-and-file soldiers into pink mist.

Osama slipped away. What can you do about that? It's not that hard to hide one man in the lawless mountains of Pakistan. <hr /></blockquote>

I know, and I agree with you. We did open a can of whoop-ass on Al Qaida, but we are not done with them yet. We need to cut off the head of Al Qaida, and then chop up the body and toss it in a meat grinder.

Osama did slip away, and we let it happen. Lets say we have a 12% chance of finding Osama if we focused on finding him. Giving up the hunt for him, drops our percentages down to 0%. The families of September 11th victims have not recieved closure, and most of are angry with Bush.

nhp
01-06-2005, 04:39 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Am I sure Iraqi civilians are better off now than before the war? I don't think there is a simple answer to that. <hr /></blockquote>

There answer is they are far worse off than they were 2 years ago.

[ QUOTE ]
Probably 100's or thousands have been maimed or killed or had loved ones maimed or killed so they obviously are worse off than before, <hr /></blockquote>

Are you being honest that you really think that just a few hundred or thousand civilians have been killed since the start of the Iraqi war? The number is over 100,000.

[ QUOTE ]
so today is probably not the time to assess the long-term outcome of the war. IF the insurgency is eventually largely quashed or they eventually buy into the government allowing democracy and relative freedom to take hold, then I would say that most of those 24 million WILL be markedly better off in the long run. <hr /></blockquote>

Ross, the long run won't start for another decade. Even our own military admits they are projecting this conflict to last for roughly 10 years. 10 years of violence escalated one thousand-fold of whatever Saddam's henchmen were capable of.

[ QUOTE ]
Shia will be able to advance in careers, serve in the government, etc. Kurds will not have to rely on American planes flying overhead to protect them. And the relatively educated Sunnis should prosper as well. The enormous natural wealth of the country will be able to be used to build schools, hospitals, theatres, etc. instead of being wasted on war. Ideally Iraq would be transformed from a cruelly run dictatorship to a modern prosperous country. <hr /></blockquote>

Dude, they are on the brink of a civil war. If we ever leave there, it's going to be a bloodbath worse than it is now.

[ QUOTE ]
A lot to hope for, I know. But I also know that the NOT intervening was easier but had almost no hope of changing the lives of these people.
<hr /></blockquote>

I hope you really don't believe that changing the lives of those people is why Bush invaded that country. So far Bush has had about 200 different reasons to be there, and they keep changing as each and every one gets debunked.

[ QUOTE ]
The secondary but equally or more important gain for millions of Arabs would be if Iraq became a successful Democracy that served as an example of Arabs and Islam and democracy and freedom working in concert. It could be the start of self-determination and freedom for citizens all throughout the middle east. <hr /></blockquote>

What makes you think that the millions of arabs who are trapped under brutal dictatorships and rules of life would want to change into a democracy just like America's, when all of those idiots hate America?

nhp
01-06-2005, 04:43 PM
[ QUOTE ]
nhp, I agree with most of this, but NONE of it is relevant to my point that liberals should be honest about their reasons (like you are here) instead of talking about being "for world peace and justice" as SOME do. My problem is that some liberals who profess to care about the downtrodden in the world don't seem to factor in or acknowledge the cost in terms of human suffering of doing nothing. If I felt they did acknowledge this issue and then made convincing arguments that the world misery ratio will not be reduced in the long run by removing Saddam, then I might be convinced. But the on-going repression of the Iraqis never seems to enter the equation. Nor have I heard a single realistic proposal of a "peaceful" way that Saddam could have been removed.

<hr /></blockquote>

Tell me the truth, Ross. Tell me if you really think that the reason why conservatives support the war in Iraq is because we are 'helping' Iraqi civilians. Please tell me if you really think that this war was started out of compassion for the Iraqi people.

[ QUOTE ]
And I am idealistic enough to care more about the fate of millions of Arabs than about making a point about the hypocricy of conservatives who change their tune as conditions change. Deposing a dictator for the wrong reasons and then pretending you did it for the right reasons is bad, but I think it is not as bad as leaving the dictator in power. Besides I like the fact that conservatives have backed into espousing nation building for humanitarian reasons, which they used to oppose vehemently! <hr /></blockquote>

Even if it puts our own American lives at risk? Even if it could have been done at a later date with the help of the rest of the world, to minimize American casualties?

SnakebyteXX
01-06-2005, 05:09 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Osama did slip away, and we let it happen. Lets say we have a 12% chance of finding Osama if we focused on finding him. Giving up the hunt for him, drops our percentages down to 0%. The families of September 11th victims have not recieved closure, and most of are angry with Bush.
<hr /></blockquote>

My father spent twenty years working in military intelligence. I learned as a child that there are MANY things that go on on behalf of the American people that the average US citizen never hears about. Take my word for it the hunt for Bin Laden hasn't ceased. Not by a long shot.

The problem that too many people seem to have regarding a bad guy like Bin Laden is that he's not a stationary target. Way back when we first announced an intention to invade Afghanistan I knew that all he would have to do was leave the country if he wanted to avoid being caught. Duh!
Did anybody really believe that he was just going to hunker down in a cave and WAIT for us to come get him? Give me a break.

When it comes to catching someone like Bin Laden it's not about launching major military campaigns - or invading countries. It's about information - When our spooks find out exactly where he is - they'll nail him.

In the meantime you can rest assured that every ear is to the ground and every listening post we have is attuned to that frequency - no one has forgotten that son of a bitch - not for one minute.

Snake

highsea
01-06-2005, 09:58 PM
Nate, what Snake said is right on the mark.

But tell me, do you think this is a one-dimensional war? Do you think the US should have just started at one end of Afghanistan and started marching? And if he [OBL] gets away, we just keep going through Pakistan, Iran, Syria. KSA, until we find him? Shoot everyone in the way, and just keep going? Do you think getting OBL is the answer to the problem?

Do you have any idea how many ships al-qaeda has? (I'm not being facitious, but do you know? I will tell you. It's in the dozens, and even we don't know the extent. And these are not small ships.) Or the extent of Piracy in the Malacca Strait, and how it affects our mission? Do you know it's almost impossible to get security teams on those ships, because the demand is so high, and the supply of qualified teams is so low? These ships get hikacked, and the hijackers make practice runs through the straits before abandoning them. It happens hundreds of times a year. And that's just what gets reported. Ship owners and insurance companies are reluctant to report all the incidents, for fear of losing business or driving up rates. Read this:

http://www.cfr.org/pub7545/gal_luft_anne_korin/terrorism_goes_to_sea.php

Or how did the discovery of the modular Uranium enrichment plant in South Africa affect Libya's decision to give up their nuclear ambitions? And what the US's role was in that discovery?

The ME is a powderkeg, with at least 6 countries holding, or on the verge, of nuclear weapons. For the most part, these countries are not friendly with each other. Should we turn our backs and let it air out? Or should we impose a forced peace? (which is what we are doing now)

I know that you are aware that the bombing campaign against Serbia in 1998 was conducted by the Clinton administration (without UN approval). 78 days of continuous bombing, it was. Did you know that the bombing of the Chinese embassy was a response to China giving targeting data to the Serbs? (the radars were installed on the embassy roof) And that the information passed on allowed Serbia to shoot down an F-117, which ended up in Russian hands? (Naturally we apologized, and said it was a dreadful mistake)

Can you imagine what the media would say today if it was Bush that ran that campaign? Doesn't it seem odd that [since our mission hasn't changed], the whole world seems to have shifted gears in so short a time? Do you think the US media has had a part in that transformation?

There's no way for the US to disconnect ourselves from geopolitics, other than to surrender to isolationism. 20 years ago, Freedom House identified 83 countries that were classified as "not free". Today that number is 53. Maybe tomorrow it will be 43. Maybe not. Maybe it will be 93. It depends entirely on us, and whether we can drum up the resolve, and how hard we push. And what sacrifices we, as a country, are willing to make.

For all practical purposes, we have seen this movie before. The only question left to be answered, is this: Will the ending be the same?

Criticism is easy, it doesn't require understanding. Offer us some solutions, and I will listen to your ideas. Perhaps you should start by describing what you are willing to sacrifice, because I promise you, sacrifices will be necessary.
__________________________________________________ ______

nhp
01-07-2005, 05:38 AM
Highsea, the difference between now and the war in Bosnia is that we have troops on the ground, dying and being maimed, and God knows how many are going to suffer from PTSD, just as my father does, who fought in a war 60 years ago.

I've already told most of you that I liked Bush before he invaded Iraq. So please don't think that I am against the war just because a Republican started it. Going into Iraq has threatened the security of our country. More countries hate us with a passion more than they ever did. What if, God forbid, something happened to this country where we needed the help of many other countries, like world war 3 or something. If we keep alienating ourselves from our major allies, they might get so fed up that they would sit there while we get hammered. I mean, there are so many bad things that are coming out of this decision to invade Iraq at this time. Look at how divided our own country has become. Does Bush want to alienate half of the USA's population as well as the entire world? For pete's sake, there are millions of things about liberalism that I completely disagree with, some of that ideology is just plain stupid. But if you are going to run a country, at least on some issues try to meet halfway, instead of this right-wing sweep.

highsea
01-07-2005, 11:12 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr> Highsea, the difference between now and the war in Bosnia is that we have troops on the ground, dying and being maimed, and God knows how many are going to suffer from PTSD, just as my father does, who fought in a war 60 years ago.<hr /></blockquote>Nate, we still have troope in Bosnia, 17 years now.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>I've already told most of you that I liked Bush before he invaded Iraq. So please don't think that I am against the war just because a Republican started it. Going into Iraq has threatened the security of our country. More countries hate us with a passion more than they ever did.<hr /></blockquote>
It's true that more countries have spoken out, but honestly, those countries hated us before, especially the Arab ones. We give Egypt 3 Billion dollars a year in aid, and have been for 22 years, yet they still hate the US. The US has been used as a whipping post in the Arab world for 40 years. With a little luck, Bush's policies will change that situation, or at least put it on the right path. I disagree that the US started this war, but I hope we will finish it.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>What if, God forbid, something happened to this country where we needed the help of many other countries, like world war 3 or something.<hr /></blockquote>
WW3 is what we are fighting right now. The situation in the world today is a remnant of the cold war. And new struggles are on the horizon, not just Iran and North Korea, but Taiwan, and a potential greater conflict with China over the South Pacific. I don't know if you have been following the news in Japan, but that country has shifted a 50 year old defence policy, because they see the upcoming threat.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>If we keep alienating ourselves from our major allies, they might get so fed up that they would sit there while we get hammered. I mean, there are so many bad things that are coming out of this decision to invade Iraq at this time.<hr /></blockquote>The reason Europe is in a tizzy, is because they are afraid that the US will gain control over the Mid-East, and be in a position to threaten their economy. It has nothing to do with humanitarian concerns, it's about money. Our real allies, the UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan are still with us, though Canada is opposed to the Iraq situation. The Eastern European countries that were formerly under Soviet dominance have fled to the US umbrella en masse. The only relationship that is threatened is with France and Germany, as they are actively pushing to support China as a counter to the US. Fortunately, there are enough European countries that see the folly in that course, and they are staying France and Germany's hand.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote nhp:</font><hr>Look at how divided our own country has become. Does Bush want to alienate half of the USA's population as well as the entire world? For pete's sake, there are millions of things about liberalism that I completely disagree with, some of that ideology is just plain stupid. But if you are going to run a country, at least on some issues try to meet halfway, instead of this right-wing sweep.<hr /></blockquote>The political divide in the US is here to stay, at least for a while. It wasn't created by Bush, and the next Presidential election will be as contentious as the last one. Eventually things will even out, but this is really nothing new. We will weather out this storm. Conservatives took a beating for 8 years under Clinton, we just aren't as vocal as the left. We don't run out and protest at the drop of a hat. But the massive losses by democrats in the last election should tell you something.

Ross
01-07-2005, 03:19 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> ...Conservatives took a beating for 8 years under Clinton, we just aren't as vocal as the left. We don't run out and protest at the drop of a hat. <hr /></blockquote>

Boy, talk about different perceptions depending on what side your on. I remember 8 years of non-stop Clinton bashing.

It is true that liberals are more likely to march and protest, but they don't run the equivalent of the TV, radio, and blog media whose content is devoted almost exclusively to "why liberals, and especially all Clintons, suck." From Limbaugh to O'Reilly to dozens of copycat talk-show hosts on radio and TV, plus the Drudge, Newsmax, and other internet media, the attacks on Dems and liberals are non-stop and vitriolic. I would call that vocal.

Ross ~ wonders if the pain pills helped Limbaugh get over selling his soul

highsea
01-07-2005, 06:43 PM
Ross, there is some conservative media, but most all of the mainstream media is very liberal. Have you forgotten CBS and Dan Rather so quickly? Remember the investigation they promised? It's done, but they refuse to publicize the results. First they said they were going to wait until after the election. Now it seems they are just not going to release it at all. All the criticism when Bush did his photo-op on the Aircraft carrier. Did you catch Dan Rather getting out of the helicopter on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln last week? I wonder if he thought he was as dashing in his flight suit as Bush was.

CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, etc...all liberal. Add to that list the major foreign news, BBC, Guardian, al-Jazeera. And Hollywood, Michael Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin, and on and on. There is no non-cable conservative news outside of radio. And there is liberal radio as well.

As far as the Internet, there are plenty of liberal voices, some to the point of extremism. Check out Democratic Underground sometime. And yes it's true, we don't run out and protest and have demonstrations every other day. Most of us have jobs.

Give me a break. The criticism of Clinton never ran anywhere close to the scale of attacks that the left has heaped on Bush. Tell me, are you proud of a president who sold nuclear secrets to China?

Thank god he will never be the SecGen of the UN.
__________________________________________________ _

Qtec
01-07-2005, 11:35 PM
[ QUOTE ]
The US has been used as a whipping post in the Arab world for 40 years. With a little luck, Bush's policies will change that situation, or at least put it on the right path. I disagree that the US started this war, but I hope we will finish it.
<hr /></blockquote>

You certainly have a one-sided view of history.
The fact is, the ME we have today was actually created by the West.
We have consistently backed oppresive regimes for our own interests and ignored the plght of the ordinary citizens in those countries eg, Iran[ the Shah], Iraq [ Saddam], Saudi Arabia etc. Countries with no Democracy and very little or none human rights. Its only natural for them not to trust us.


Q

highsea
01-08-2005, 02:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> The fact is, the ME we have today was actually created by the West. We have consistently backed oppresive regimes for our own interests and ignored the plght of the ordinary citizens in those countries eg, Iran[ the Shah], Iraq [ Saddam], Saudi Arabia etc. Countries with no Democracy and very little or none human rights. Its only natural for them not to trust us.
Q <hr /></blockquote>
Mostly created by Europe, not the US. True we support the House of Saud, that is a long standing alliance designed to ensure a stable supply of oil (which Europe is more dependent on than the US). But we didn't put them in power. The Shah tried to make too many reforms too fast. But he was still better for Iran than what replaced him. Had the US done nothing, the Soviets would have taken Afghanistan and cut off Balochistan from Pakistan, with Iranian help. Then they would be controlling the ME, and how much oil do you think they would have allowed Europe?

The US's assistance to Iraq during the war with Iran was limited primarily to intelligence. It was Germany that provided Iraq with chemical weapons. It was France that sold her UNSC veto to Saddam, and made Israel a nuclear state. The US brokered a peace between Israel and Egypt that has cost us 7 Billion a year, every year since 1973, while the EU sits on the sidelines and pisses and moans. Tell me, what has the EU done to push a mutually agreeable solution? (Making a hero out of the terrorist Arafat doesn't count)

I don't know what "we" you are referring to in your post, unless you are referring to Europe.
__________________________________________________ _____

Gayle in MD
01-08-2005, 07:37 AM
Highsea,
May I ask a you a few questions?

Please tell me what country has the most weapons of mass destruction?

How does it make any sense to fight a war in a country filled with fractions and tribes who hate one another, and whose religeon is by its nature and definition, totally at odds with democracy?

Why is it ever right for a President, any President, any party, to lie to the American People?

Why do people think that people who are against Bush, are automatically liberal? And why do people insist on lumping those people together with concientious objectors.

Why would a president be attacked by one group, bin L., and use the attack to build a false case in the face of the whole world for going to war with a totally different country? If you study Saddam, he wouldn't have wanted bin Ladden or his supporters to have any hold in his country. He was a dictator, unwilling to share any glory or control with anyone else.

When you are President, regardless of your so called religeous calling from God, and your faith based ideals, are you not also responsible to temper your idealistic ideals with some reality, and heed the warnings of those who have spent in many cases, thirty years or more studying the problem, and the efficacy of your decisions and desires, rather than extracting all those who disagree?

When you are living in a world filled with nuclear weapons, no matter who has them, how does it make sense to practice the early abandonment of UN inspectors, who believe that their work is succeeding, and are asking for a little more time to investigate, and make a pre-emptive attack in order to go to the other side of the world and put our men in harms way to save people in another country, many of whom hate us, and hate one another, in order to force feed them democracy, which is by its nature the antithesis of the teachings of their "Bible" if you will?

Now that the course of action that Bush so carelessly took is beginning to show the very problems and disasters which were predicted by those who warned him, why are those of us who thought his advisors were right and he was wrong, considered to be anti-American, and wishing for America to fail? Does being a patriotic American require denial of the facts?

How can a president who divides our country, alienates our allies, welcomes criminals to come here illegally, runs up a massive deficit, encourages outsourcing when the job rate is falling, and puts us into a war with a country that never attacked us, by lieing to us, get re-elected?

Gayle in Md.

Qtec
01-08-2005, 08:37 AM
[ QUOTE ]
The US's assistance to Iraq during the war with Iran was limited primarily to intelligence. <hr /></blockquote>

So the US, at a time of war between Iran and Iraq, tells Saddam where to drop his bombs[ whch included WMDs]to inflict the most casualties and you dont see why Iran has a problem with that?

Q

highsea
01-08-2005, 11:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> So the US, at a time of war between Iran and Iraq, tells Saddam where to drop his bombs[ whch included WMDs]to inflict the most casualties and you dont see why Iran has a problem with that?

Q <hr /></blockquote>
I never said Iran doesn't have a problem with the US. But you ignore the larger picture, and you fail to look at it in a cold-war scenario.

If Iran would have been allowed to take Iraq, that would not have been the end of it by a long shot. The USSR would have dominated the ME. The Soviets had their sights set on the Arabian Sea, whether you understand this or not. This was not in the US or Europe's interest.

The war between Iran and Iraq was happening concurrently with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Had they been successful, Pakistan (at very least the Balochistan province) would have fallen, and the Soviets would have had unhindered access to the oil in Iraq and Iran. The only thing that prevented this was US assistance to Iraq and Afghanistan (via Pakistan).

Pakistan (a US ally, and a democracy) would have been isolated on all sides, with India on one side, a Soviet controlled Afghanistan on the other, and Iran, (another Soviet ally) to the south. How long do you think they would have survived? Do you think Saudi Arabia wouldn't have been next?

The economic power that this would have given the USSR would have sustained them indefinitely, and Europe and the rest of the West would have been cut off from Mid-East oil. This could very easily have sparked a much larger war, between the two superpowers directly, which is a very ugly scenario.

You can cry and moan all you want about the US's involvement in the ME, but the actions taken in the 80's were unavoidable, and a direct response to Soviet expansionism.

The US had FULL support from Europe at the time, by the way. Europe's holier than thou attitude has only emerged since the Soviet threat has disappeared. You can sit there on your high horse, since the US did the dirty work, but your complaints reek of hypocrisy. jmo.
__________________________________________________ __

SnakebyteXX
01-08-2005, 11:25 AM
[ QUOTE ]
You can cry and moan all you want about the US's involvement in the ME, but the actions taken in the 80's were unavoidable, and a direct response to Soviet expansionism.
<hr /></blockquote>

In your opinion does the US invasion of Iraq qualify as a form of 'American expansionism'? Are we not there at least in part, to assure that our oil supply from the ME is protected? Wasn't the Gulf War (at least in part) about protecting our oil interests?

Snake

Wally_in_Cincy
01-08-2005, 11:41 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> In your opinion does the US invasion of Iraq qualify as a form of 'American expansionism'?<hr /></blockquote>

I wouldn't call it that. "Protecting American interests" would be more accurate.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> Are we not there at least in part, to assure that our oil supply from the ME is protected? <hr /></blockquote>

Absolutely.

OK imagine this. The US is the world's biggest supplier of food. Imagine we were to cut off the food supply like OPEC cut off the oil supply in the 70's. If another country had the power to invade us to avoid a famine, would they be justified in doing so?

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> Wasn't the Gulf War (at least in part) about protecting our oil interests?

<hr /></blockquote>

Not just our interests but the interests of the entire free world.

If Saddam had gotten away with taking Kuwait then Saudi Arabia would have been next. If he cut off the oil from Iraq, Kuwait and SA all at once the world would have seen a repeat of the Great Depression. This was an unacceptable scenario.

highsea
01-08-2005, 12:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr>In your opinion does the US invasion of Iraq qualify as a form of 'American expansionism'?<hr /></blockquote>Not in the same sense as the Soviet expansionism, by a long shot. The US's goal is to put a democratic government in place, get reconstruction going, and get the hell out. I believe that (given the chance), democracy and a good economy will do the rest. Whether they get the chance is the 64,000 dollar question. It's working in Afghanistan, slowly, but they are making gains. No one thought that was possible either.

The Soviets were interested in putting puppet dictators in charge, and ruling with an iron fist. A stable ME is in everyone's interests, but the War on Terrorism is central to this struggle, not oil. For the Soviets, it was about oil and only oil. Had they been successful, it would have had a devestating effect on the economy of the west.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr>Are we not there at least in part, to assure that our oil supply from the ME is protected? Wasn't the Gulf War (at least in part) about protecting our oil interests?<hr /></blockquote>
Certainly, when you realize that Iraq was intent on taking Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Of couse we have oil interests there, but primarily in KSA. We only source about 5% of our oil from the gulf, virtually all of that from KSA. Europe has a much higher dependency on gulf oil, but it is in everyones interests for the region to be stable, ours included.

Iraq's economy was devastated by the war with Iran, and Saddam felt Kuwait was undercutting that by overselling their oil. In the long term, Saddam desired ultimate control of all the ME, and thought the US would permit it because we helped him with Iran. But Kuwait and KSA are US allies, and we couldn't sit by and just let Saddam have them unchallenged. Even so, all we did was to push him back to Iraq, we didn't want to take Baghdad. It was Iraq's actions in the intervening years, coupled with 9/11, that sparked the invasion.

Saddam never did believe that the US would enforce the terms of the '91 cease fire. He thought the US saw Iraq as a useful counter to Iran. But the fall of the Soviet Union changed the calculus, and Saddam never understood that. He was still obsessed with his enmity with Iran, and he thought the US knew he had no WMD's. He wanted Iran to believe that he still had them, and even his own Generals thought they still did. He had the opportunity and ability to avoid the US invasion, but he didn't think we were serious until it was too late. Even on the eve of the invasion, we gave him the chance to go into exile and avoid war. With the billions he had squirreled away, he would have lived a life of luxury, but he just couldn't give up the power.
__________________________________________________ ______

Qtec
01-08-2005, 12:34 PM
So basically, US morals depend on the situation!

I,m not saying the rest, eg Gb and France,are any better. I just think to be able to resolve the situation in the ME , you need to understand the problem, which you obviously dont!
All you have is conjecture, no facts.
The whole US reason for invading Iraq is based on, "probably, maybe, if he got the chance,etc"
Its strange that you see threats from all sides, but you are INCAPABLE of using this reasoning when it pertains to your suposed[sp] enemies! Dont other countries have the right to protect themselves from US aggression?

I dont have a 'holier than thou' attitude. Its you that continues to think that the Arabs 'hate America'? because they are jealous. LOL

People who disagree with US foriegn policy have nothing against ordinary US citizens. Why is that so difficult to undersatnd. Its the polocies that they object to.
ie THE LACK OF MORALS in US foriegn policy.
GW only represents slightly more than half the US Pop.- and most of them voted on the abstract issue,s such as abortion, Homo,s and Gay marrige!
You are obviously incapable of seeing the actions of the US thru the eyes of an Iraqi or Iranian or Saudi Arabian or a Palestinian.

The fact is, the US has almost never taken into account the will of the people in whichever country it is interfeering with. US interests come first.
You can continue to claim,'its not our fault", but that doesnt change reality.


Q

highsea
01-08-2005, 12:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> So basically, US morals depend on the situation!

Q<hr /></blockquote>No, US actions depend on the situation. All countries look out for their interests.

Good luck in your search for Utopia.

Qtec
01-08-2005, 01:32 PM
So you think it is morally right to interfere in other nations political affairs?
Whatever happened to self-determination!
Didnt you fight the British for the same principal?

Q

highsea
01-08-2005, 01:47 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> So you think it is morally right to interfere in other nations political affairs?
Whatever happened to self-determination!
Didnt you fight the British for the same principal?

Q <hr /></blockquote>
Self determination is what the US is bringing to Afghanistan and Iraq.

You pretend to be morally superior, because you think you are better than everyone else, but you never answered the question. What has the EU done to push a mutually agreeable solution in the ME?

People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Qtec
01-08-2005, 02:21 PM
Highsea, I,m not the one who is pretending to be morally superior. Gw is!

[ QUOTE ]
because you think you are better than everyone else <hr /></blockquote>
I dont, but just sometimes I might be right!

[ QUOTE ]
What has the EU done to push a mutually agreeable solution in the ME?
<hr /></blockquote>

Israel can never be forced to comprimise so long as the US backs everything they do.

Q [ BTW did you know that the US sold submarines to Isreal so they now can threaten ANY country with their WMDs?]

highsea
01-08-2005, 03:32 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Qtec:</font><hr> BTW did you know that the US sold submarines to Isreal so they now can threaten ANY country with their WMDs?]
<hr /></blockquote>
Wrong. Those are German submarines (Dolphins). The first three were gifted to Israel, and the last two will probably be also. The US doesn't build any diesel-electric subs.

And those WMD's, by the way, are delivered with an indiginous cruise missile (Turbo Popeye), and armed with warheads built with French technology, and fissile material created in a French-built reactor (Dimona).

The US refused to sell the Tomahawk (TLAM) to Israel, because we knew they could modify it to carry nukes.

Guess who built Israel's Jericho Ballistic Missiles? If you said France, you would be right.

Qtec
01-08-2005, 10:27 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Israel deploys nuclear arms in submarines

Peter Beaumont in London and Conal Urquhart in Jerusalem
Sunday October 12, 2003
The Observer

Israeli and American officials have admitted collaborating to deploy US-supplied Harpoon cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads in Israel's fleet of Dolphin-class submarines, giving the Middle East's only nuclear power the ability to strike at any of its Arab neighbours.
The unprecedented disclosure came as Israel announced that states 'harbouring terrorists' are legitimate targets, responding to Syria's declaration of its right to self-defence should Israel bomb its territory again.

According to Israeli and Bush administration officials interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, the sea-launch capability gives Israel the ability to target Iran more easily should the Iranians develop their own nuclear weapons.

Although it has been long suspected that Israel bought three German diesel-electric submarines with the specific aim of arming them with nuclear cruise missiles, the admission that the two countries had collaborated in arming the fleet with a nuclear-capable weapons system is significant at a time of growing crisis between Israel and its neighbours.

According to the paper, the disclosure by two US officials is designed to discourage Israel's enemies from against launching an attack amid rapidly escalating tensions in the region following a raid by Israeli jets on an alleged terrorist training camp near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

<hr /></blockquote>

Q

highsea
01-08-2005, 10:32 PM
The article is BS. Israel's SLCM's are Popeyes, not Harpoons. Harpoons are anti-shipping missiles, not land attack missiles. They are not nukes.

So suddenly an anti-shipping missile is a submarine? Lol.

highsea
01-08-2005, 10:51 PM
Popeye:

[ QUOTE ]
In May 2000, Israel is reported to have secretly carried out its first test launches from two German-built Dolphin-class submarines of cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The missiles launched from vessels off Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean are said to have hit a target at a range of about 1,500 kilometers [about 930 statute miles]. Israel is reported to possess a 200kg nuclear warhead, containing 6kg of plutonium, that could be mounted on cruise missiles.

Israel has reportedly developed an air-launched cruise missile that could be operational by 2002, called the Popeye Turbo. The Popeye Turbo, with a range that is variously reported at between 200 km and 350 km, would appear to represent a turbo-jet powered cruise missile that may incorporate avionics and other components developed for the Popeye family of missiles. The AGM-142 HAVE NAP is a variant of the Israeli Air Force "Popeye" missile, which uses a solid propellant rocket motor. The Popeye II, also known as the Have Lite, is a smaller missile with more advanced technology. Designed for deployment on fighter aircraft, Popeye II has a range of 150 kilometers.


The Popeye Turbo missile is probably similar to if not identical with the Israeli submarine-launced cruise missile carried on the Dolphin-class submarines. The baseline Popeye missile with a range of 45 miles has a diameter of 21 inches, and is nearly 16 feet long. For comparison, the American MK-48 heavy torpedo is 21 inches in diameter, and 19 feet long, while the BGM-109 Tomahawk SLCM is 20.4 inches in diameter and 20.5 feet long [including the booster motor], and the Russian SS-N-21 SLCM is similar in configuration and dimensions to the American Tomahawk. <hr /></blockquote>
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/israel/popeye-t.htm

Harpoon:
[ QUOTE ]
The AGM-84D Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile system. Its low-level, sea-skimming cruise trajectory, active radar guidance and warhead design assure high survivability and effectiveness.

The AGM-84D Harpoon was adapted for use on B-52H bombers, which can carry eight missiles externally on pylons. External carriage of AGM-84s allows the B-52 to additionally upload U.S. Navy sea mines internally in the bomb bay providing the theater commander a long-range, rapid response platform for sea control and area denial. The B-52 armed with Harpoons and mines offers the warfighter complete sea control.

Originally developed for the U.S. Navy to serve as its basic anti-ship missile for fleet-wide use, the AGM-84D Harpoon also has been adapted for use on Air Combat Command's B-52H bombers.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Air-to-surface anti-ship missile
Contractor: McDonnell Douglas
Power Plant: Teledyne Turbojet
Thrust: 660 pounds
Length: 12 feet, 7 inches (3.79 meters)
Weight: 1,145 pounds (515.25 kilograms)
Diameter: 13.5 inches (34.29 centimeters)
Wingspan: 3 feet (91.44 centimeters)
Range: Over the horizon
Speed: High subsonic
Guidance System: Sea-skimming cruise monitored by radar altimeter, active radar terminal homing
Warheads: Penetration high explosive blast (488 pounds)
Unit Cost: Not available
Date Deployed: 1985
Inventory: Classified<hr /></blockquote>
http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=73

The Harpoon only has a range of about 65 miles. This is totally inadequate for a land attack missile.

The baseline popeye was extended in the fuel section to give it a greater range, which we know today to be at least 350km, prehaps more. The diameter fits the 533mm (21") tubes on the Dolphin class submarines. Also, the subs were modified with 4 650 mm (25.5")tubes to accomodate a larger missile, like the Russian SS-N-16 Stallion, Brahmos/Yakhont supersonic cruise missiles, or a larger version of the Popeye.

There was never a nuke version of the Harpoon.

Dagwood
01-09-2005, 12:16 AM
Oh boy, I started way behind on this one. Now where to start...

First of all, I'm not here to say that anyone is wrong. BUT, I will say that be carefull of where you get your information from. Someone, I think it was highsea, said that they were or had family or friends in MI. I am currently in the Army, and in MI. Specifically, working with the target region. That's all I am really going to say about that. I'm sure you understand why I'm not going to say anymore about my job. But, being in this position has let me into some information that the everyday public doesnt' get. If I could say it I would. And trust me, to proove alot of people wrong, I would really like to, because there are alot of people who believe the liberal or conservative media sources like they were the gospel, (which I might add aren't too accurate themselves, being passed down by word of mouth for centuries. But that's a separate matter.), and that's just ignorant. I will say this though. Even though the PRESIDENT's true intentions in going in weren't the stated ones, we WERE justified in going into Iraq. The situation wasn't going to change if we didn't. Even if we waited until Saddam died. It actually would have been worse had that happened. His sons made him look like an angel. The situation in Iraq right now, though deffinitely not ideal, is far from being worse than it was 2-3 years ago. Yes, insurgants are attacking locations daily. Yes, people are being killed or maimed everyday there. But for the size of the country, can you really say that because a bomb went off in the green zone in Baghdad that the situation in the entire country is gone to $h1t? Far from it. I have talked to plenty of people who have been there, lived there, served there, and they all say the same thing. The U.S. going in and cleaning the Baathist regime out of there was and still is a good thing. Personally, I don't think that we went about it the right way. But I dont' have a solution to the problem of how we could have gone about it differently, (stabilizing the country that is. I think how we invaded was fine), so there's no point in arguing that, IMO. Were there alterior motives to invading? Absoloutely. We were protecting our national interests over there. Was it selfish? Maybe, very possibly. But, in the end all, through all the selfish intentions in going in over in the ME, the result of those selfish actions is leading to a country, which, for GENERATIONS, hasn't been able to, being able to choose it's own destiny. This is what we are seeing over there right now. Yes it's ugly. Civil war is. And don't be mistaken. THis is civil war, no matter what our involvement is. (Just to let you know, I'm not some stateside MI brat. I'm heading over there in the coming year.)

I will say one thing about the situation that gives me some consternation though. That is that these Iraqii people have been under a dictators thumb for a few generations now. It is programed into their way of living that they have to be told how to live their lives. They don't know how to be independant. Unfortunately, this is something that is going to take at least a generation to fix. The saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." is very relevant. I have 3 years left on my enlistment. (been in 6 so far), and I have no illusions that this is going to be over before I'm done with the Army. It may not be over by the time I pass from this world. What I can hope for is that our, (the military's), efforts over there aren't in vain, that we don't abandon our post there, and let the warlords and terrorists who are operating there now take over the country and ruin what progress we've accomplished so far. We need to stay the course on this one. To quote a poker term, (I know it gets on us pool players nerves, heheheh), we're pot commited, and we have to pay to see the river.

NOW, as far as RoK goes. The reason that we aren't dealing with them, and pyongyang like we delt with Saddam is very simple. They HAVE nukes. They WILL use them. Why instigate them ourselves, when we can pressure China into doing it for us. Being right next door, they can certainly put more physical punch into threats. And being a, (relatively progressive), communist government who in the past supported the Rok, also gives them more pull. We won't be able to bully Rok to do what we want, and invading them is out of the question. Most of you may know this, but if Rok decided to invade SK, it would take 2 days. We have approximately, (don't know for sure, so don't quote me), 50k troops over there. They say that in evacuating the majority and leaving the border units at the border as a roadblock, there will be a 10-25% loss of personnell. That's all our force is over there. A roadblock. If they want to come over, they will. We will just be able to give the rest of our troops enough time to get out. Now why would we want to provoke a reaction out of them, and turn a possible 10-25% loss rate into possibly 50-75% by having them use their nukes on SK? That would be folly. I applaud the President and the policy makers in how they are handling Rok.

OK...UBN. Usama Bin Laden. Where is he? Probably in the Pakistani mountains. Could we get him if we concentrated all our efforts to getting him? Maybe. WOULD IT CHANGE ANYTHING IF WE DID CAPTURE/KILL HIM? I don't think it would. If anything, it would hasten another massive attack on the U.S.. We've already thwarted dozens of terrorist plots to attack the U.S. since 9/11. Unfortunately, because of what is going on overseas, it's not getting big billing. THat is the bad thing about working in the intelligence field. If you do your job, you aren't heard about. If you are heard about, you XXXXed up. It's a catch 22. So just because you don't hear about us, it doesn't mean that we aren't doing our jobs. We are still looking for UBN. Personally, I think that he's being harbored by the Pakistani gov't, but because we have to keep the image up that they are our allies, we can't go in there without their approval. It's all about saving face over there.

Honestly, I don't really care what people think, but when it gets thrown in my face by hard nosed liberals, it makes me want to unbuckle my BDU trousers, (battle dress uniform, that is my camoflage uniform for you not versed in military lingo), turn around bend over and tell them to kiss my army issue brown underwear where the sun don't shine.

I've lost friends over in Iraq. I don't want to go over there. But it's my duty. I volunteered, as did they, to possibly die defending our country from threats foreign and domestic. It's our duty as soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines. You don't have to agree with it or the policymakers. But like it was said earlier in this thread, make sure, when you run into a service member, to tell them that they are supported and appreciated by everyone who is back home. I haven't met anyone but a few on this board, and from everyone who is serving right now, I want to say thank you for the support that we have been getting from the homefront. It really is amazing.

Dags

SGT Joshua Johnson
USA

highsea
01-09-2005, 02:05 AM
No need to thank us Dags, just watch your ass when you get over there. And to you and your buddies overseas, we appreciate what you guys are doing every day. Keep the faith, and be safe. __________________________________________________ ______

Chopstick
01-09-2005, 07:07 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr>
Europe's holier than thou attitude has only emerged since the Soviet threat has disappeared. __________________________________________________ __ <hr /></blockquote>

Now that you mention it. That's exactly right. They didn't say a word when we were keeping the Bear out of their back yard.

Ross
01-09-2005, 12:24 PM
Dagwood, before you dismiss all liberals read what I have posted about the Iraq war. I am liberal and agree with you almost word for word and have posted as much. We didn't go in for the altruistic reasons, but removing Saddam by force was necessary.

I do however have an idea of what we should have done differently. We should have done MUCH more planning for post invasion Iraq before going in. And I do blame Rumsfeld and Bush (two non-soldiers) for this lack of realistic and thorough planning. I think if, for example, Powell had been SOD, he would have INSISTED that worst case scenarios for the soldiers be anticipated. That is how you protect your soldiers - hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

There should have been a ready to roll "shock and awe" post-invasion planned rollout of what was needed to establish security on the streets. Many, many more troops, maybe 200,000 or more (hopefully including many more international troops or UN peacekeepers which, contrary to claims of some COULD have been brought on board given a bit more patience and statemanship skill) should have come in immediately to establish order before the insurgency could get it's footing. All known weapons caches should have been immediately secured and cleared out within the first month. Security on the street should have been job one, so that the rebuilding of the infrastructure could have begun immediately and so international aid groups could operate without fear of being killed. Training of the Iraqi police should have taken place outside of the country, so they weren't getting blown up by the dozens as they waited in line to join. Military forces should have been in place to protect Iraqi police stations from being overrun by insurgents. IED's should have been expected and properly armed vehicles in adequate supply should have been prepared before we invaded. The list goes on and on...

Bottom line - the outcome of post-war Iraq is totally an issue of reaching critical mass in the perception of the people on the steet. Going in with insufficient troops to ensure even the most basic security has given the insurgents almost a free hand to operate. More importantly it has let them have hope of succeeding, which is the worst situation possible. When you go into a riot and you want to make sure your officers aren't hurt, you use "overwhelming force" to keep the rioters from even trying anything. We should have planned for a post-invasion "overwhelming force" to make it clear right away that there was NO hope for the insurgents. We should have had enough troops so that when Fallujah was cleared out we could have kept it patrolled and cleared out instead of having to take the same troops to put out another fire in say Basrah. And so on...

It was crappy post-invasion planning no matter how you look at it. And the argument that "we didn't know" is just weak - we should have known. Many of our soldiers and Iraqi citizens have paid the ultimate price for this lack of planning. And many more will over the next months and years. It is sad.

Chopstick
01-09-2005, 01:05 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Ross:</font><hr>
Bottom line - the outcome of post-war Iraq is totally an issue of reaching critical mass in the perception of the people on the steet. Going in with insufficient troops to ensure even the most basic security has given the insurgents almost a free hand to operate. More importantly it has let them have hope of succeeding, which is the worst situation possible. When you go into a riot and you want to make sure your officers aren't hurt, you use "overwhelming force" to keep the rioters from even trying anything. We should have planned for a post-invasion "overwhelming force" to make it clear right away that there was NO hope for the insurgents. We should have had enough troops so that when Fallujah was cleared out we could have kept it patrolled and cleared out instead of having to take the same troops to put out another fire in say Basrah. And so on...

<hr /></blockquote>

I agree they should have foreseen the need for a policing force. But I don't believe that more troops would be the answer. As it was clearly demonstrated, the troops we went there with are quite capable of blowing the crap out of the entire country. That's what they are trained to do and they do it very well. Using them for police work is the wrong tool for the job.

IMO the post-invasion "overwhelming force" should have been an overwhelming police force and they should have already been on ships headed there to relieve our guys when Dubya said "Mission Accomplished". Their mission was accomplished, brilliantly I might add. Their mission was not police work. Now they are scraping up MPs as fast as they can where ever they can get them.

One final thought on the insurgency. If we had an adequate force in place at the time, they might have just waited until things cooled off and we started going home to start things up. Maybe not, but the point is that it may have been unavoidable. Only the time it would occur would be changed.

Dagwood
01-09-2005, 01:27 PM
Ross, I can't disagree with anything you said there. The reason I don't debate what we could have done differently, is because I personally don't have a solution. Tap, tap, tap Ross.... good post.

Dags

Ross
01-09-2005, 05:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr> ...
I agree they should have foreseen the need for a policing force. But I don't believe that more troops would be the answer. As it was clearly demonstrated, the troops we went there with are quite capable of blowing the crap out of the entire country. That's what they are trained to do and they do it very well. Using them for police work is the wrong tool for the job.

IMO the post-invasion "overwhelming force" should have been an overwhelming police force and they should have already been on ships headed there to relieve our guys when Dubya said "Mission Accomplished". Their mission was accomplished, brilliantly I might add. Their mission was not police work. Now they are scraping up MPs as fast as they can where ever they can get them.

... <hr /></blockquote>

I agree completely Chopstick that a policing force would have been better. All of these issues about post-invasion needs needed to be thought through and prepared for ahead of time.

On a related issue - the total mis-planning for the training of the Iraqi police. I once posted the unbelievably ludicrous police training syllabus that the US went and used for several months to train the Iraqis. You would have to see it to believe it - there were dozens of things like "1.5 hours - discuss women's rights, 2.0 hours - handling domestic violence, blah blah blah" Remember this training was being done through translators - so you can imagine how well that went. Meanwhile a lot of the men they were training had never even driven a car! Some had no prior weapons training nor training in how to control a scene, subdue a suspect, or even how to use handcuffs. Many were unfamiliar with jobs where you are expected to show up on time and the idea of following a chain of command was completely foreign to many of them. So they needed to be started at remedial training step 1a. The syllabus used was so out of touch of the real basic needs of the Iraqi police that it was a bad joke. The result was basically untrained "police" that were then sent out under incredibly dangerous conditions and were very unprepared to do their job. I emphasize this planning failure, because it is the Iraqi police that we need to be able to do their jobs so that the US doesn't have to and so that the Iraqi civilians can feel safe to go to work, school, and all of the other things that should happen in a "democracy." Not to mention being able to vote or campaign for votes without getting blown up.

It is true that no matter how much planning we did, there would still be problems and some trying to displace us, some Iraqi civilians would be killed and some US soldiers would die. Nothing could have prevented that completely. Nothing goes perfect or close to it and certainly not forcible occupations. But that misses the point of planning - which is to minimize the scope and impact of those problems and to maximize the probability of success of our operations. This up-front work simply wasn't done nearly sufficiently, IMO, and the US and the Iraqis are paying a pretty large price because of it.