The New Iraq, Five Years and Counting: Current Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Mr44, Jan 1, 2007.

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  1. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 6
    Hey folks, I had this thought yesterday.

    We need a plan.
    A workable plan that most people agree on that it's is a workable plan.

    I don't think there is one, is there? That's pretty horrible, isn't it? Pretty bad for motivation, too, I suspect.

    I think it basically comes down to (anybody please correct me if I'm wrong):

    A
    Americans pull out

    Doesn't seem like a great solution to me, because who will replace them? If a civil war is anything close to likely, I don't think pulling soldiers out is going to do the greater good any good. Yet, it seems the Iraqis have grown utterly tired of them... So how much good are they doing?

    B
    Americans stay

    And then what! It's not as if there's enough soldiers there. There should be... more. If you want stability. So, either way, you end up at

    C
    Americans rally more allies

    Get those priorities straight. Cancel that war on terror... Call the beast by its name(s). If you preach human rights, practice human rights. Don't lie! Make up for wrongdoing. Close Guantanamo Bay.
    It's an extensive list... but in singularly looking for a solution to the Iraq situation, I think there lies the solution.

  2. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I forget, hasn't that (bush's war) been aired before?
  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    A
    Americans pull out
    Doesn't seem like a great solution to me, because who will replace them? If a civil war is anything close to likely, I don't think pulling soldiers out is going to do the greater good any good. Yet, it seems the Iraqis have grown utterly tired of them... So how much good are they doing?


    It isn't going to happen. We can't do it for humanitarian reasons, we can't do it for regional geopolitical reasons. We can't do it because it would be seriously detrimental to our national security intersts (not terrorism, but energy. The terrorism argument is bogus. But we have no short-term alternative to asserting hegemony over the world's most important oil producing region)

    B
    Americans stay


    This is our future. We have built our permanent bases in Iraq. From Iraq, we can continue to dominate the region. We don't necessarily have to stabilize Iraq more than it is already stabilized as long as the flow of oil out of Iraq does not shut down.

    C
    Americans rally more allies.


    We cannot rally allies on Iraq. It simply cannot be done. The UN will never allow itself to be saddled with our mess, nor would it ever agree to come into Iraq as a junior partner to the U.S.

    Get those priorities straight. Cancel that war on terror... Call the beast by its name(s). If you preach human rights, practice human rights. Don't lie! Make up for wrongdoing. Close Guantanamo Bay.

    I think the real place where we can afford to admit defeat and walk away is Afghanistan. Our one-time slam dunk, Afghanistan is now "less stable than Iraq." Realistically, we have no strategic interests there other than our reputation. The Taliban or some similar successor is almost inevitably going to get Afghanistan back sooner or later.
  4. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I think if relations were to somehow improve with Iran -- whether it be through changes in the US or Iran itself -- at that point we might begin to see the possibility of a serious removal of troops.

    But we're a long way off from that day.
  5. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Gonk, I think "Bush's War" is new although it may have borrowed heavily from interviews/B-roll from its earlier documentaries on the war.
  6. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 6
    So... Is it likely that Americans will stay?

    Jabba, you say that it need not be more stable, as long as the oil flows. But don't forget that with the current level of stability, it costs the lives of six thousand Iraqis and a thousand US soldiers per year. Public outrage will continue to be tremendous.
  7. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I am outraged by it myself. But ever since the media concluded that "the surge is working," public interest has waned. Americans have demonstrated a new tolerance for the long slow bleed in life and money.

    Understand that no American president of 2009, whether McCain (the most honest of the three on this issue) or Hillary or Barack, will be able to abandon Iraq to its fate. For a while, Iraqi civilians were dying at a rate so astonishing, during the worst of the ethnic cleansing, it didn't seem to matter whether the U.S. was occupying the country or not. Now, I think the U.S. presence is saving lives. Maybe we're not saving as many lives as would have been saved had we never invaded, but that's no longer the point.

    No matter what other pretexts are offered up, asserting hegemony over the world's greatest oil producing region is the heart of American interest in the Middle East. Being able to maintain a massive troop presence on the ground in Iraq is now and for the foreseeable future, the mechanism for military dominance of the region.
  8. Alpha-Red Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I don't even think it was in American interests to attack Iraq in the first place. Even if it had economic benefit it undermined all moral considerations that our country used to adhere to, which is merely trading one American interest for another, and a lesser one at that. When you factor in all the violence and terrorism this whole thing has spawned, I'd say the war hasn't even fulfilled that economic interest.
  9. LtNOWIS Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 4
    Wait... that's just not true. We lost 4,000 service members in 5 years. That's 800 a year, even without considering the fact that death rates have been a much lower since September.

    These death rates, while regrettable, are historically very low. And, I think, quite maintainable. What's wearing out the military is the constant deployments and the strains entailed in that.
  10. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    The death toll is highly misleading. Four thousand gives the impression of a relatively low number of casualties, when in fact there are more soldiers than ever surviving injuries that would have killed them in previous conflicts. Further, those injuries are taking a phenomenally heavy toll in the form of PTSD (the "lucky" ones), loss of limbs and mental impairment/brain damage, among other things.

    The real number that we should be concerned about is into the tens of thousands, and probably more.
  11. xboxmasta Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2002
    star 1
    List of U.S Military wounded in Iraq.

    http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/personnel/CASUALTY/oif-wounded-total.pdf




    This Info was aquired from here.



    http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/index.html




  12. McLaren Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 1, 2002
    star 3
  13. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
  14. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    You know what's telling at the end of the day?

    George Bush is willing to launch a war supposedly for the disenfranchised people of Iraq, promorte Democracy in the region, etc, a move that he knew would kill many people in the process to what he thinks is the greater goal.

    Yet he won't so much as decline to go to the opening Olympic cermonies for the disenfranchised people of Tibet, a move that wouldn't kill anyone.
  15. J-Rod Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    I'll tell you what's telling at the end of the day...

    The Dem candidates still want to pull out of a war that is being won. Why? Because (agree or disagree) Reagan twenty years later is remembered as the man who defeated communism. They can't stand the possiblility that Bush may be remember 20 years from now as the man who planted the seeds of democracy in the Middle East.

    You can argue all you want about whether or not democracy can take hold in that reagion. But what could it mean to the Dems...if...it...does...
  16. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    First of all there's no evidence the war is being "won" becuase nobody agrees what "winning" means. At best you can say you're not losing it as quickly as before.

    Not to mention, you could have come here and said the EXACT SAME THING before the surge even began. The Administration was sure as heck saying it over and over again: "the war is being won..." etc. We've heard that for years: at every given point in the conflict, someone is ALWAYS saying it no matter what happens. If an American nuke went off accidentally in Iraq and most of the country was destroyed you'd probably STILL have people going aroudn saying "the war is being won."

    And secondly -- more importantly -- I have to congratulate you on dodging the point entirely:

    Bush will launch a war to kill thousands for the sake of the IRaqi people, but won't stop himself from attending the Olympic opening ceremonies for the people of Tibet.

    And you counter by saying: "The Democrats want to pull out of a war that is being won."

    That's like me saying I don't approve of Bush's stance on how the Russians deal with Chechnya (let's just suppose I didn't for the sake of argument), and you saying "but the Democrats have said nothing about Russian flyovers in Britain and the Pacific".

    Uh-huh. True or not, it has NOTHING to do with the point in question.

    EDIT: On second thought... my example is bad because those two subjects are even MORE related to one another than what I posted and what you countered with. So I'm going easy on you.
  17. J-Rod Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    I'm sorry. I intentionally ignored the point as invalid. Seeing as how more Iraqis were dying due to sanctions than the war that put an end to those sanctions.

    I kinda thought you were kidding.
  18. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    No, because that point is not true. More Iraqis have died in the timeframe of this war than died under sanctions. A million, probably more Iraqis have died in this war, which is more than died under sanctions in a 5 year timeframe.
  19. J-Rod Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    I dunno. That ain't what I heard. But understand, I didn't support the war 'cause I thought it would save Iraqi lives. Though in the long run I believe it certainly will.
  20. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 9
    Bush will launch a war to kill thousands for the sake of the IRaqi people, but won't stop himself from attending the Olympic opening ceremonies for the people of Tibet.


    And what about the North Korean people? What about all the African countries under the thumb of dictators? What about China, even? The list goes on and on. We don't do much if it doesn't apparently affect us in any way, or at least doesn't help our bottom line (or is supposed to).

    I dunno. That ain't what I heard. But understand, I didn't support the war 'cause I thought it would save Iraqi lives. Though in the long run I believe it certainly will.


    Please don't tell us you still believe in that insanity about "saving/defending American lives". The idea of that is so ridiculous, so over the top, that it's fit for nothing but parody cartoons.
  21. Gonk Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    I dunno. That ain't what I heard. But understand, I didn't support the war 'cause I thought it would save Iraqi lives. Though in the long run I believe it certainly will.

    If it does that has yet to be seen, and by the way it's looking it's going to take some significant suppositioning about the sanctions and how long the situation would have had to go on before it matched the death toll from Iraq.

    As for not supporting the war to save IRaqi lives... why the heck else would you possibly support it??? That's the only reasoning that could have ever made sense, at the time, in my book. Because the WMDs were an uncertain prospect even from the beginning, and absolutely nobody was under threat from Iraq at the time... otherwise Kuwait would have been kicking up a heck of a lot more fuss.


    As for Knightwriter: well that's true -- but I was talking about this in respect to the "reasons" to go to war in Iraq. It sort of turns that aspect of the reasoning inside out like David Kay's report did to the WMD reasoning.
  22. Jabba-wocky Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I think it's more that they want to pull out of a war that's being stale mated. The largest problems still exist, as evidenced by the persistently factionalized government and lack of meaningful political reconciliation. Iranian influence has not really waned, as seen in their role brokering the Basra peace deal, nor is it likely to in the long-run, given the close ethnic, cultural, and political ties between every major, non-Sunni party in Iraq, and Iran. The surge, while somewhat effective in reducing violence, is dependent on cooperation of many parties that cannot necessarily be relied upon in the long run (eg the Sadrist ceasefire). Overall, while things have gotten better, it is not at all certain that they are likely to get dramatic/significant continued improvement over the long term. Thus, the value of "staying" is pretty heavily debatable, because it can't be said to have an appreciable long term impact.

    As to your larger point about, "history" J-Rod, regardless of what happens going forward, Iraq as handled by Bush will be seen, near universally as a disaster. It has certainly provided one of the best examples for regional strongmen who argue democratization would push their nations into chaos and violence. While Reagan made missteps, he did not fail in the Cold War so publicly, thoroughly, and consistently as Bush has in this one.
  23. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 6
    I think we need to move past the Bush bashing... We know what he's like by now. The real question is, where do we go from here... We all know we've been dragged into this War with nonsense, we all know it didn't have much to do with terrorism - at first - but it's no use to keep pointing fingers... And I wondering if the current Democratic stance on this issue isn't purely motivated by finger-pointing, and not necessarily by looking for a good solution.

    lol, not here in Europe he's not. Here he's remembered as the Star Wars guy who joked about outlawing Russia when the mike was on.

    I think that 'possibility' is very far-fetched. Also, following your reasoning, the Democrats should opt for staying insteada leaving, because if they leave and Civil War breaks out, they will be the ones who get the blame. So they would retroactively make Bush a hero.
  24. JediCouncilMember Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2003
    star 4
    Also, following your reasoning, the Democrats should opt for staying insteada leaving, because if they leave and Civil War breaks out, they will be the ones who get the blame. So they would retroactively make Bush a hero.

    This is true, which is why neither Obama or Hillary will pull troops out, despite what they are saying in public to get elected.

    It would be such a complete disaster and neither one will ever ever ever take that chance. They'll expain away their decision under the guise of "we didn't really know how bad it was since the Bush Admin. didn't tell us X...". They will also have a built in "buffer" of probably 6-12 mo. (if not more) if they keep the status quo such that they can blame the Bush admin.

    So anyone thinking that the Dems will have the US presence in Iraq anywhere under 110K-130K troops in the immediate future (2009) is just being naive.
  25. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 8
    The is not "if it does." There is no seeds of democracy there. There never will be. Not until we have the necessary communication and infrastructure. Anyone who has lived there a few years (like me) would have been able to tell you this. The infrastructure just doesn't exist. And a democracy can't run well w/o an infrastructure to support it. A non-functional democracy cannot protect its people from random attacks, and as long as the people aren't safe, the infrastructure cannot be built. It's a never-ending cycle. President Bush did not have the foresight nor the experience to see this.

    I wish you could have seen Pakistan under Nawaz Sharif. That's what democracy in the Middle East is like: It EPIC FAILS.
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