This is topic The President's Speech on Iraq in forum General Comments at The Ornery American Forum.


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Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
Any feedback? (I know, we all knew what he was going to say).

As for me, I still can't get over the fact that he said "if mistakes were made, they are my responsibility."
Note: that is maybe the best way to look responsible without admitting any mistakes (he even had me fooled for a few seconds.)
 
Posted by scouser1 (Member # 3455) on :
 
Can somebody give me a link on this speech please?
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
It was level, pointed out that he had made mistakes, offered a harsh assesment of the current conditions, offered his plan to address these condtions, and placed the outcome into clear and understandable goals.

It was a good speech. Not as high up there as "Tear down this wall." or "WIN", or even "I did not have sexual relations..." in terms of being immediately recognized as importatn by the public. But I think it was D.O.A. because people are buying the Vietnam comparison and 2008 politics are already gumming up the Senate with policy wannbes.

Its a good plan. Is different from the past. Has a chance at winning. And recognizes the issue of radical islam for what it is.

The democrats, and even some republican presidential canidates all seem to be cheering for failure.

Oh well.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
The policy contained in the speech has many parts; it is "comprehensive" and has "benchmarks". It has "multiple points for success" and is already "having an effect". In fact, it's been in operation for quite a while now.

I'm listening right now to Condi meander on about all of this, plus the diplomacy in the "new Middle East", where Iran and Syria are offering a destabilizing role. She calls it "extortion". I recall that a few weeks ago she said in response to the ISG report that we don't need to talk to those countries, because they would be helping us already if they wanted to. She's basically advocating regional conflict between the "good" governments who want peace and stability and those bad actors. Seriously, I haven't a clue what the hell she's talking about.

The nut of the plan is to convince all Iraqis that their government cares about all ethnicities and citizens equally. My assessment is that their grand strategy is more like checkers than chess, and their new strategy is just a tactical adjustment to past policies, which even Bush admits have failed. The success of the "new way" depends on the Iraqis understanding that "this time" they have to take their responsibility seriously. Geez.

There are many here on Ornery who get angry at this sort of reaction, because it appears to cheapen the commitment of the troops who have to carry out whatever military plan is put into their hands. I'm angry that our troops are made to commit their lives to such shallow and short-sighted leadership.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
LOL!

I'm sorry, Dave, but that's just too funny.

A plan that attacks terrorists by attempting to create a democracy in a far off land is, by definition, anything BUT shallow and short-sighted. After all, you have to connect several dots before you understand the nature of the strategy. And a considerable amount of time must pass before it's fully realized.

Now, if you want to argue that it's the _wrong_ strategy, then fine. But shallow and short-sighted? Hardly.

OTOH, something that IS shallow and short-sighted would be arguing that we should quit now, 'cause we can't see the finish line, even though the it could be just around the next bend.

Ed.
 
Posted by IrishTD (Member # 2216) on :
 
scouser1 --

Transcript from cnn

I find it interesting how on the top of cnn's page right now there is nothing about Bush's speech (A headline from DoD Sec Gates is the closest to anything on it).
 
Posted by Adam Masterman (Member # 1142) on :
 
quote:
Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a message across the world that America is a weak and an unreliable ally. Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a signal to our enemies -- that if they wait long enough, America will cut and run and abandon its friends. And setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorists' tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder -- and invite new attacks on America. To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your Commander-in-Chief.
Here's the reality of Bush's plan: he's going to be a "bitter ender". This is the exact same defense of "stay the course" thats been used all along, and its still wrong. An endless comittment creates no incentive for the iraqi government to step up and do its job, which is the ONLY way this little adventure can be salvaged. Bush apparently isn't interested in reconsidering the wisdom of his failed policies; instead we get one more attempt to smear his opponents as cowards. Apparently, 83% of the public are "cut and run, abandon our friends cowards". Nice, George.

This is going to end one of two ways. Since Bush is unwilling or unable to approach this situation any differently, he is either going to slug through to the bitter end of his presidency, after which point ANY new president will certainly jettison his policies, or, congress will take action to bring the much needed change sooner.

The only pertinent question at this point is: how many more GIs will die before the inevitable change of course occurs?

Adam
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
quote:
The only pertinent question at this point is: how many more GIs will die before the inevitable change of course occurs?
I prefer another question: how many more American citizens will die as long as the middle-east remains a breeding ground for terrorism?

Ed.
 
Posted by Adam Masterman (Member # 1142) on :
 
Ed, the number of people who still believe that your question bears any relationship to mine has shrunk to near zero. Hypothetically, how long/how many dead before you, personally, would concede that more fighting isn't helping. Fly's given a number, whats yours? (Better question, what is Bush's? I fear he doesn't have one, that reality itself can't persuade him he is wrong...)

Adam
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
I don't think in any other war a hard date was set for the end of hostilities while that war was still being fought. I can't imagine Roosevelt having the idea that we would fight the Nazi's for 4 years and that's it. We win in 4 or let them have the world - it's ridiculous.

If a date was set, all that would happen is that Islamic Fascists would cease hostilities until that date. Then they would pop up and declare victory over the USA, initiating hostilities again in Iraq or wherever they feel like. Setting a withdrawal date is nothing more than setting a surrender date.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ Adam Masterman:

That's like asking me how many miles should I jog in a marathon of unspecified length whose end is not clearly in sight and which, if I lose, someone I love will die. And the answer would be: as many as is necessary.

You value the lives of our soldiers (not a bad thing) while devaluing the lives of those who may die should we fail.

Ed.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
ED

Honestly I think not many. At least as far as civilians go. And at least as far as in terms of calendar years. Those in the Middle East choosing to live in the region will obviously be targets. And I suspect that there will also be a few media attention grabbing attacks like those in Bali or London again. Larger scale attacks like the African embassies or Madrid will also occur outside the United States.

The long term issue is whether radical islam as a political and military movement gains the status of normalized acceptance in the countries of the Middle East. The possibility for such a normalized acceptance goes up exponentially if the creation of a democratic Iraq fails. If Iraq does fall apart, the issue will temporally not directly cause harm to the United States except in terms of oil costs and possibly in terms of use of the Suez. But it will place millions of people in the Middle East in harms way if the radical sects of islam engage in genocide based upon differences in faith and ethnic origin. It also has the potential to allow Iran to engage in military domination of the region at the expense of the Gulf States and Iraq. A failure in Iraq will result in literally millions of dead people in the Middle East.

The temporary abatement of direct harm to the United States itself would come to a relatively quick end. The military capacities of the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia are essentially non-existent and their territories are extremely vulnerable to both naval and ground based attacks. The United States would have to chose between helping its oil rich allies or simply letting Iran's conventional forces overwhelm the much smaller forces that our allies have. In light of a failure in Iraq, the American public is likely to declare that a third military action or war in the Middle East is not an option. We favor quick, clean wars that have easy to reach limited goals. Defending our allies in the Middle East is not such a goal.

Whatever the eventual outcome. The Middle East will either be a complete no-mans region of warlords and cleric, or it will become a region dominated by a single ethnic or political group. At that point we will face the type of terrorism that flourishes in lawless regions, or the state sponsored terrorism that thrives in conjunction with a sympathetic government. Thats when we will begin to expect massive American civilian casualties on or own territory. Whether from terrorist attacks like 9-11, or actual state sponsored formal warfare with ICBM missiles, America will bear the costs that will accrue as a result of failure in Iraq.

Short term we risk little in the way of civilian deaths of Americans. Long term we place not only other people at risk of death but also create the probability that we will also endure civilian deaths in the realms far beyond thousands.
 
Posted by Godot (Member # 2099) on :
 
I saw nothing really new in what Bush said, but I have two questions for him. Mr. Bush:
(1) Of the little that is new in your approach to Iraq, why are you proposing this now instead of four years ago?
(2) Hello?! What about Afganistan?
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Maybe because 4 years ago no one thought such a plan was needed, not because people were being idiots, but because it has only now become apparent that the radical islamic groups in Iraq have intentionally targetted the civilian population in an attempt to collapse the Iraqi political and economic stabilities so that the USA cuts bait and leaves.

And afghanistan is Nato and the United Nation's game. They call the shots and from the perspective of peace and civilian development, Afghanistan hasn't seen such rapid progress in at least 25 years. I think the Canadians currently call the shots in Afghanistan right now.
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
Not very good reviews from Cato: http://www.cato.org/homepage_item.php?id=452
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ Redskullvw:
quote:
Short term we risk little in the way of civilian deaths of Americans. Long term we place not only other people at risk of death but also create the probability that we will also endure civilian deaths in the realms far beyond thousands.
Nor was I speaking short term, Red. To do so would be short-sighted. [Smile]

Otherwise, I agree with you. YOU are thinking long term, as I believe Bush is.

Ed.
 
Posted by Adam Masterman (Member # 1142) on :
 
quote:


That's like asking me how many miles should I jog in a marathon of unspecified length whose end is not clearly in sight and which, if I lose, someone I love will die. And the answer would be: as many as is necessary.

You value the lives of our soldiers (not a bad thing) while devaluing the lives of those who may die should we fail.

[Roll Eyes]

Yes, my argument is based on the fact that I don't value the lives of Americans and don't care if they die.


Or...

I reject the premise that our presence in Iraq is saving lives. As does everyone except for the bitter enders who can't or won't admit that it was a mistake to go in in the first place.

You see, Ed, it isn't YOU who's running the marathon, nor is it Bush. Its American soldiers, most of them kids barely out of high school, and the race is killing them. Its one thing to say that one will make sacrifices themselves for loved ones, and quite another when they ask someone else to sacrifice for them. Especially when its becoming increasingly suspect to claim that that sacrifice is even accomplishing anything.

The truly cowardly approach to policy is to send troops at even the tiniest threat, spending their lives wantonly to buttress our own safety, however slightly. If we hold the position that civilian lives are worth ANY expense of troops then we will end up in permanent war, with no security nor quality of life. I'm afraid the question can't be easily dodged: how many troops before its just not worth it?

Adam
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Ok Adam, how about 100,000 American troop casualties as a cut-off.

In terms of trade off, you are calling for an end now, which will result in thousands of Iraqi deaths on a simular scale to that which happened in South Vietnam when we left, followed closely by the issue of where does the power void stop sucking in neighbors? Laos and Cambodia got sucked in by our leaving South Vietnam. Of course we didn't loose any American lives in that, but it did allow for a genocidal collapse of Cambodia which killed at least 1,000,000. So would Kuwait or Saudi Arabia get sucked into the Iraqi collapse? How about Jordan? Syria? Would Iran act as China did and let its sometime war with North Vietnam go silent, or would Iran rush in to pick Iraq's bones? Will Turkey play Thailand as the place where we set up our troops after withdrawal and draw a line in the sand? Or maybe Israel will host our forward army?

The fact is that people who follow Adam's logic are exhibiting the truely cowardly approach. We won't take a bullet in any sense of the term for ideas like freedom, democracy, or even the simple right to life without oppression because unless it is our freedom, our democracy, or our simple right to life without oppression we shouldn't be bothered with the attempt. This isn't a permanent war or a hopelessly obtuse valuation of civilian worth at stake here. This is whether you think people, everywhere should be able to live freely. Not just when it is an easy thing to do, but instead a thing which should and can be done simply because the idea of freedom is something priceless to all who want it.

The cowardly alternative is a withdrawal behind Byzantium's walls while those outside slowly get eliminated by an enemy we should rightfully face even if it is for principle alone.
 
Posted by Kent (Member # 832) on :
 
Red, thank you for your perspective, I agree with you wholeheartedly.
 
Posted by FiredrakeRAGE (Member # 1224) on :
 
Redskull -

The government of the United States is a government by and for the people of the United States. If staying in Iraq is not in the interests of the people of the United States of America, then we should not be there. Period.

If they want protection, let them petition for statehood.

However, I do think that a win in Iraq is in the best interests of the United States. With that in mind, I did like the President's speech. It sounds like he's actually willing to make a change here - and that change sounds helpful to our efforts.
 
Posted by Kent (Member # 832) on :
 
From the Times Of London

"The new Iraq strategy involves serious risks but is better than the alternative"

[ January 11, 2007, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: Kent ]
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
FDR

I don't remember the peoples of Europe or Asia ever petitioning for statehood. And despite the horrific costs we suffered, I think history has proven that not only was it in the interests of the United States to intervene but also that we were wrong not to involve ourselves sooner to stop absolute rule and innocent death.

There were many at the time who said it wasn't our war or or responsibility to defend anyone who wasn't part of the United States. And they made very compelling arguments that sounded great, right up until December 7, 1941.
 
Posted by FiredrakeRAGE (Member # 1224) on :
 
Redskullvw -

We had a vested interest in keeping Europe free from Nazi Germany/Italy, and keeping the Pacific within our sphere of control.

I don't claim that we should only help citizens. I claim that we should only take action when it is in the interests of the United States.
 
Posted by Adam Masterman (Member # 1142) on :
 
quote:
The fact is that people who follow Adam's logic are exhibiting the truely cowardly approach. We won't take a bullet in any sense of the term for ideas like freedom, democracy, or even the simple right to life without oppression because unless it is our freedom, our democracy, or our simple right to life without oppression we shouldn't be bothered with the attempt. This isn't a permanent war or a hopelessly obtuse valuation of civilian worth at stake here. This is whether you think people, everywhere should be able to live freely. Not just when it is an easy thing to do, but instead a thing which should and can be done simply because the idea of freedom is something priceless to all who want it.
I fail to see what is personally courageous about letting someone else fight a battle for you. If you are currently fighting in Iraq, Red, then I withdraw my criticism towards you specifically. Otherwise, I doubt your armchair is any more imperiled than mine.

To argue to stay in Iraq out of a desire to "free" Iraqis falls flat with the merest of critical thought. Right now most Iraqis want us gone (as do most americans, for that matter). Are we going to "make them free, whether they like it or not?" And if making people free is our object, why not choose one of the many countries where we really WOULD have been greeted as liberators? Tibetans have been asking for international aid in securing their liberty for 50 years. Is Red a coward for not advocating a massive invasion of the Tibetan plateau. I don't think so, but by his own rationale, he is.

The rationale for this war grows ever slipperier. Talk about the realities of an unpopular occupation, and suddenly you don't value freedom. Suggest that all sorts of people worldwide would love our help in becoming free, and its all about U.S. interests. Meanwhile, apparently we can afford to lose another 994,000 troops. Are there even that many Americans left who think we are on the right course?

'08 can't come soon enough.

Adam
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Whatever the eventual outcome. The Middle East will either be a complete no-mans region of warlords and cleric, or it will become a region dominated by a single ethnic or political group. At that point we will face the type of terrorism that flourishes in lawless regions, or the state sponsored terrorism that thrives in conjunction with a sympathetic government.
I don't see at all how the second sentence follows from the first. If we were so dimwitted as to have committed this war, how can we know what will happen at any future time?
quote:
Maybe because 4 years ago no one thought such a plan was needed, not because people were being idiots, but because it has only now become apparent that the radical islamic groups in Iraq have intentionally targetted the civilian population in an attempt to collapse the Iraqi political and economic stabilities so that the USA cuts bait and leaves.
You've GOT to be kidding!?!
quote:
The fact is that people who follow Adam's logic are exhibiting the truely cowardly approach. We won't take a bullet in any sense of the term for ideas like freedom, democracy, or even the simple right to life without oppression because unless it is our freedom, our democracy, or our simple right to life without oppression we shouldn't be bothered with the attempt.
Let's see if I understand this. We start a war with an impossible mission and then we are cowardly if we decide it was a mistake. That difference in perspective is so deep that there is no strategic common ground between us. We can debate how to wage the war, but we fundamentally don't agree on what it's about.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Adam

So I am discounted simply because I am not holding a gun?

Your argument does not withstand my commentary even though I am not a pair of boots on the ground. Personally, my family has done far more military service than most. And the fact remains that were it not for significant contributions by my family in the past, the existence of the United States would likely never have become reality. Was Tom Paine's commentaries invalid simply because he did not hold a musket? Maybe my ancestor should have stuck to hatmaking instead of calling his fellow citizens to uphold a principle that would be hard to attain.

Fact is Adam I do think we should help Tibet and the hundreds of other nations where people are simply treated as chattel. Sudan, Congo, Liberia, Haiti etc. I don't change my song because the chorus is hard. It may be geopolitically impossible to act on each instance, but when we have the ability to do so, we not only should act but must act if we even half believe that freedom is a worthy aspiration that is deserved as a simple human right.

Your song depends not on principle, but popularity.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ Adam Masterman:
quote:
Yes, my argument is based on the fact that I don't value the lives of Americans and don't care if they die.
I didn't say that, Adam. To value and devalue does not, necessarily, mean you don't care. It simply means that you place greater emphasis on actual deaths and less emphasis on hypothetical deaths. Nothing wrong with that, IMHO.

But, given that these hypothetical deaths could number in the thousands, tens of thousands, or even, however remotely, millions, then the lives of the 3,000 spent so far -- as much as I hate to say it -- seems worth it.

quote:
I reject the premise that our presence in Iraq is saving lives. As does everyone except for the bitter enders who can't or won't admit that it was a mistake to go in in the first place.
Reject it all you want, but it was no more a mistake to go into Iraq than it is for me to bet 10$ on two pair. It's only a "mistake" if I lose. You, however, want to fold before the hand is even called. That's just plain foolish, especially if the only hand your opponent is holding is an "ace high."

quote:
You see, Ed, it isn't YOU who's running the marathon, nor is it Bush. Its American soldiers, most of them kids barely out of high school, and the race is killing them. Its one thing to say that one will make sacrifices themselves for loved ones, and quite another when they ask someone else to sacrifice for them.
I wouldn't count me out of this fight so quickly if I were you, Adam. If the War on Terror ever escalates to the scale of WWII, and it's quite possible that it could, you're gonna see a lot of people volunteering, including me.

quote:
Especially when its becoming increasingly suspect to claim that that sacrifice is even accomplishing anything.
Even accomplishing anything? See. You just admitted it. You'd rather fold before the hand is even called. You'd rather squander the lives already spent rather than wait and see if the gamble was ever worth it.

quote:
The truly cowardly approach to policy is to send troops at even the tiniest threat, spending their lives wantonly to buttress our own safety, however slightly. If we hold the position that civilian lives are worth ANY expense of troops then we will end up in permanent war, with no security nor quality of life. I'm afraid the question can't be easily dodged: how many troops before its just not worth it?
Yep, yer right, Adam. I'm truly cowardly. I freely admit it. I fear the potential loss of life that will result if we don't settle this issue with the Muslim world now. As a firm believer in "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," I fear what's to come if we don't act now. You can call us "Bitter-enders" all you want, but from our point of view, you are being short-sighted, unwilling to pay an ounce and denying the "cure" that is to come.


@ DaveS:
quote:
Let's see if I understand this. We start a war with an impossible mission and then we are cowardly if we decide it was a mistake.
No, we're cowardly if we go to the dentist, let him drill our teeth and then fear to finish the job. We're cowardly if we go to the doctor, get diagnosed with cancer and fear the treatment more. We're cowardly if we don't finish something that we knew was going to be tough to begin with.

No... wait. That's not cowardly. That's just _foolish._


@ FiredrakeRAGE:
quote:
We had a vested interest in keeping Europe free from Nazi Germany/Italy, and keeping the Pacific within our sphere of control.
We have a vested interest in keeping the Middle East free of Terrorism/Al Qeada/Iran, and keeping the Mediterranean within our sphere of control, so, I'm not sure what your point is.

Ed.

"... It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
He said: "The majority of Shiites and Sunnis want to leave beside each other in peace."

Is that true?

I hope this "new plan" works.

He was kind of vague on 'how' we were going to stop Iran and Syria from arming and supplying the insugents. Is he saying we are going into those countries, or just blockade them? Surely we have been doing something like that already?

KE
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
FDR

We did have a vested interest in keeping Europe free from Nazi Germany/Fascist Italy, and keeping the Pacific within our sphere of control. My point was that even though the world was already shooting guns and dropping bombs at each other by September 1939 in Europe, and Early 1936 in the Pacific, most American political leaders and the American media leaned solidly towards no intervention at all. It was not our concern. Let Europe solve its own sectarian and ethnic problems. Who cares what is happening in China and Mongolia, the deaths of all those orientals isn't really that important to America.

Yet it was important. And those who argued it wasn't important were proven extremely wrong once December 7, 1941 happened. We didn't know just how extremely wrong they were until May 1945 in Europe and August 1945 in the Pacific.
 
Posted by FiredrakeRAGE (Member # 1224) on :
 
EDanaII said:
quote:
We have a vested interest in keeping the Middle East free of Terrorism/Al Qeada/Iran, and keeping the Mediterranean within our sphere of control, so, I'm not sure what your point is.
My point was simply that if we have a vested interest, I'm all for winning. However, we're not fighting to free the Iraqis - that's a good side effect. We're fighting to preserve the American way of life over here in these United States.

Redskullvw -

I agree. Hindsight is great. I remain convinced that had we not gone into Iraq, it would have remained a small problem. Now that we are in Iraq, I believe that victory is essential, and will save lives in the grand scheme of things.

I am doubtful that this new plan will work. We've seen too many strategic initiatives screwed up by the Bush Administration. However, at this point we're playing for enough of the marbles that I'm willing to back any plan but 'stay the course'.
 
Posted by moodi (Member # 3020) on :
 
quote:

He was kind of vague on 'how' we were going to stop Iran and Syria from arming and supplying the insugents. Is he saying we are going into those countries, or just blockade them? Surely we have been doing something like that already?

Good point on your part, KnightEnder. This new policy Bush is advocating towards Syria and Iran sounds good.... but it's NOT new. How many times have we heard the Bushies threatening those two countries? Has anything changed since then? Are we serious about spreading the war further? Will the American public support two more wars? Can we afford destroying the secular regime in Syria? Who will fill the void there?

Does anyone think the Arab Shiits will take attacking Iran so lightly? What if the situation in Lebanon catches fire? Does anyone think the Lebanese government can hold against 35% of its population (with an armed gorilla force that didn't do too bad against a superpower)?

The only solution for Iraq is to install a secular military government that is firm/ruthless by all means. As harsh as that sounds (to an audience who wants a democratic and stable Iraq), it is the reality of the people of Iraq.

Treat the cause not the symptoms.
 
Posted by G2 (Member # 2942) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by moodi:
The only solution for Iraq is to install a secular military government that is firm/ruthless by all means.

I don't know what to say to that, it's so far off the reservation I can't even begin to think it's nothing more than a joke.
 
Posted by moodi (Member # 3020) on :
 
G2,

It's not a joke. The joke is what the media is trying to sell us as a "solution".
 
Posted by Adam Masterman (Member # 1142) on :
 
quote:


Your argument does not withstand my commentary even though I am not a pair of boots on the ground. Personally, my family has done far more military service than most. And the fact remains that were it not for significant contributions by my family in the past, the existence of the United States would likely never have become reality. Was Tom Paine's commentaries invalid simply because he did not hold a musket? Maybe my ancestor should have stuck to hatmaking instead of calling his fellow citizens to uphold a principle that would be hard to attain.



Not at all. I'm not serving either, and that does not credit nor discredit your argument. My point was about the charge of cowardice that flies at anyone who advocates a pullout. Bush even managed to sneak that implication into this speech, as tired as that meme has become. No, my only point was that there is nothing particularly brave about being a hawk, unless one is actually fighting. That is not to say that your argument is right or wrong (its wrong), just that it isn't courageous.

quote:
Fact is Adam I do think we should help Tibet and the hundreds of other nations where people are simply treated as chattel. Sudan, Congo, Liberia, Haiti etc. I don't change my song because the chorus is hard. It may be geopolitically impossible to act on each instance, but when we have the ability to do so, we not only should act but must act if we even half believe that freedom is a worthy aspiration that is deserved as a simple human right.
Red no one will ever accuse you of not being motivated by principle, and I apologize if I implied otherwise. I just find your principles tragically flawed, and frankly, scary. Do all peoples deserve freedom and self-determination? Yes. Thats probably my most fundamental political belief. Can we use our guns to give it to them? Only in very rare cases. When people don't have any desire to live under our definition of freedom, then imposing it by force isn't liberation, it subjugation. Pax Americana is not the path to a just peace. And do I think Iraq is or ever was about freeing the Iraqis? Please. I've said this a number of times: Iraq is free right now to choose their future. They can either step up and secure their democracy, or allow it to fall to sectarian strife. Its THEIR choice, not ours. And the longer we prop them up, the less likely they will be to secure it on their own. I like that image of the last helicopter leaving Saigon, because it demonstrates MY point perfectly: after a decade of relying on us, South Vietnam was totally incapable of defending itself. What you are advocating will create the same tragic dependance in Iraq, and the results will be the same.

And remember that I sung my song when NO ONE wanted to hear it. I was called a traitor and worse for predicting exactly what has come to pass. So I can hardly be accused of following the crowd when I got here years before it did.

Adam
 
Posted by Kent (Member # 832) on :
 
The CAUSE is Saudi Arabia's version of Islam being promoted to the rest of the world funded by US dollars via petroleum. That is the cause. There is no long term solution to peace in the world without uniformly condemning that variant strain of Islam as evil and a blight on the world. Until we attack Wahhabiism as we did nazism, communism, facism, etc.; we cannot win. How do we destroy this virulent philosophy? Another philosophy must prevail and if it isn't democracy, which philosophy do you propose? By ensuring democracy wins in Iraq and Afghanistan we show that democracy is the more powerful idea. This is about ideas more than anything else and whichever philosophy shows momentum on its side is the philosophy that ultimately prevails. Anything less ensures that the Imams and Mullahs use this to prove they are gaining momentum.

Right now 40-60% (depending on the poll) of UK Muslims would like to be ruled by Sharia. If this is the case, can democracy survive in any western country long-term if the Mullahs gain momentum? Muslims are demographically the most significant force that Europe's future will face. If enough Muslims are eventually "radicalized" the future voters may vote to re-establish a king. We must stop the flow of cash to Saudi Arabia and we must prevail wherever we choose to fight.

Forget whether or not we should have gotten into Iraq. We must win there or I'm afraid we will have to nuke Mecca.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Adam

All people do deserve freedom. And aside from efforts by the United States, Great Britain, France, Portugal, and Spain, there have not been instances where people somehow became free without direct intervention in the last 50 years. I suppose you could claim Israel became free on its own, or the dissolutions of UN mandates. But other than that, democracy or even free elections and self determination have not happened without some form of direct intervention. Be it cases like Angola, Vietnam, or Haiti where Western democratic nations intervened and attempted to install democratic governments that failed. Or cases where united pressure by Western democracies has caused hostile nations to simply collapse as in the USSR, Cambodia, or Sri Lanka. Democratic institutions haven't simply resulted from the people demanding them. It has required force consistently and always, and more often than not it has failed sometimes after years of effort. But that has not meant that Western democracies in general, and the United States in particular, do not actively seek to install freedom wherever they can.

And there is a simple reason why. Free, democratic, stable states tend not to use force and hostility against their own people. They also tend not to attack their neighbors without provocation. And that is the one thing that has been a part of every American presidential policy. We will promote democracy, not because it is a great thing for the United States, but rather it is a great thing for any who have such freedom. It isn't a Pax Americana serving as a peace made by might, but a loose policy that is followed by all presidents to instal democracy instead of dictators. And there have been numerous example of when we did not fully follow the policy. We could have prevented Vietnam altogether if we had simply forced France to accept the declaration of a free vietnam after World War II. We screwed ourselves as well in Angola, Mozambique, and Ethiopia. The banana republics in Central and South America are also examples of where paying lip-service to democracy and freedom cost the United States far more later on as the decades passed.

The one thing that has to be noted is that it is a rare chance to ever instal a democratic and free system of government. When they work, you never have to revisit the nation again. But when it is abandoned half cooked, or is subverted by temporary political or military considerations, the nation always re-emerges as a problem that has to be solved. And often it emerges as a far worse problem simply because we abandoned the effort on our first attempt.

You know South Vietnam perfectly demonstrates my point. After just 3 years of independent operation as a fully independent government and military, our Congress decided it wasn't worth the political costs at home to continue funding the South Vietnamese. They cut aid, grants, loan guarantees, and essentially revoked South Vietnam's ability to trade on the free market. The government went bankrupt and their army literally ran out of ammunition. The South fell, causing a human tragedy in terms of Vietnamese refugees, political based killings, and the additional consequences of landing Laos and Cambodia in direct combat with Vietnam as well as a genocidal revolution in Cambodia. We may have lost some 54,000+ military personnel during our involvement in the war, but the region of SE Asia suffered literally millions of deaths as a direct result of our giving up.

Decades later, Cambodia is just now becoming a free democracy. Laos is less concerned with defending its border with Vietnam. And Vietnam itself is just now returning to the world stage after the collapse of its Soviet sponsor and is desperate to forestall any renewal of the Chinese designs on her northern border. The costs have been absolutely staggering. It has cost the united nations billions directly, and billions more to the United States indirectly. Simply because we gave up so that the American voters wouldn't have to worry their pretty little heads whether or not their hippie children might have to serve in Vietnam. Besides, those oriental gooks didn't seem ready for freedom or democracy. at least that was the argument back then as racist as it was.

South Vietnam collapsed because Congress cut the purse strings and emptied the purse. Imagine if we had done the same in South Korea. It took decades before they could defend themselves or even pay their own way. Yet we do not worry whether South Korea was worth the cost? Why was South Korea worth the cost and South Vietnam was not? And why is Iraq worthy of the same treatment by the United States Congress that was given to South Vietnam?

I too sung my song long before anyone wanted to hear it. Even before 9/11 when I predicted that the Middle East, radical islam, terrorism, and Iraqi and Iranian military aims were all direct threats to the United States and Western Civilization that we needed to face before they moved beyond diplomatic solutions and instead required military actions. No one wanted to entertain my point of view. Even though I turned out to be right. It has become a problem and it has required military actions.

Maybe I scare you because my predictions have proven true, and my interpretation of what will happen if we abandon Iraq is a future that likely will result in a far worse war on the scale ED is postulating. If the principle that people deserve freedom as a basic right is viewed as tragically flawed by those who share your point of view, then I will consider it to be a redeemed flaw on my part and a damnation of your principles for your viewpoint holds that freedom is conditional and not suitable for all.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Kent

That was my point exactly before 9/11. The Saudis do fund the Wahabbist philosophy. And demographically the muslim world will soon be the majority. At least in terms of religious adherents. Islam be it sunni or shia is fine. I personally lived with both a sunni and a shia adherent for a couple of years. I even hung out with a Persian, and came to respect them and think the world was more than big enough for all of us. But the wahabbist viewpoint is black and white. And whether Catholic, persian, Sunni or Shia, the ability to exist is not possible under the style of religion exported by the Saudi Royals. i argued we need to stop it now peacefully, before oil money begins to slack off and places the unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia into the 60% range causing disgruntled people whose faith easily points to the non-believer as the root cause of their problem.

It really is not a stretch to see a future where radical islamic fundamentalism seeks to tip economic and political scales to their advantage by any means they acquire. And i do not think that it is too much of a stretch to think that a nuclear assault on Europe or even the United States would fall outside their considerations or goals. And at that point it would be an us or them scenario. Whomever strikes last will have already lost. And I fear that we would be faced with either being victims of nuclear blackmail or playing the nuclear weapons card ourselves.
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
I'd like to address the question of whether the troop surge will be effective in pacifying Baghdad.

We tried a troop surge before, during Operation Together Forward last June through October. During that operation troop levels were increased to 15,000 US soldiers in Baghdad, with 10,000 Iraqi soldiers (they promised 30,000, but didn't deliver), and 30,000 Iraqi police officers. The surge was completely ineffective -- the Iraq Study Group reported that violence increased over 43% in Baghdad during that time.

Bush's new plan would put about 30,000 US soldiers in Baghdad, and Iraq has promised 20,000 soldiers, plus their existing police force. (New York Times) Bush also believes that the government will this time allow US forces to enter Shiite parts of the city (such as Sadr City) that were off limits to US forces during Together Forward.

Our troops' mission is to bring peace to two factions who
1) are struggling for power,
2) have hated each other for centuries,
3) are capable fighters, especially when using guerilla tactics, and
4) in many cases hate us as well.

Bush's plan relies on Iraq this time delivering the brigades they've promised and the government fighting against Shiite leaders such as al-Sadr, commander of the Mahdi Army, who have strong influence in the police, and to whom the government is beholden.

Is a troop surge likely to succeed against all those elements? The surge is essentially Together Forward with more troops and greater expectations of the Iraqi government. I believe it's unlikely to succeed, but the gamble is worth it from a risk-to-reward perspective. As people have discussed above, the consequences of losing Iraq are dire enough for one last shot, even if hundreds more of our kids have to die for it.

Damn this president and his arrogance for misleading us into war and waging it so ineptly.
 
Posted by Rallan (Member # 1936) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by EDanaII:
quote:
The only pertinent question at this point is: how many more GIs will die before the inevitable change of course occurs?
I prefer another question: how many more American citizens will die as long as the middle-east remains a breeding ground for terrorism?

Ed.

There's a serious breakdown of logic there dude. Before you ask that, you have to ask "How does America's ongoing involvement in Iraq reduce the threat of terrorism?"

Your question is based on the (arguably rather silly premise) that America's ongoing involvement in Iraq somehow makes the middle east less of a breeding ground for terrorism. Which basically means that you need to make a good argument for the "flypaper theory" that neocons were throwing around in '03 and '04.

Y'know, as opposed to the "Tarbaby Theory" that seems to be the case today.
 
Posted by Adam Masterman (Member # 1142) on :
 
quote:
You know South Vietnam perfectly demonstrates my point. After just 3 years of independent operation as a fully independent government and military, our Congress decided it wasn't worth the political costs at home to continue funding the South Vietnamese. They cut aid, grants, loan guarantees, and essentially revoked South Vietnam's ability to trade on the free market. The government went bankrupt and their army literally ran out of ammunition. The South fell, causing a human tragedy in terms of Vietnamese refugees, political based killings, and the additional consequences of landing Laos and Cambodia in direct combat with Vietnam as well as a genocidal revolution in Cambodia. We may have lost some 54,000+ military personnel during our involvement in the war, but the region of SE Asia suffered literally millions of deaths as a direct result of our giving up.

If you think that South Vietnam stands as a beacon of freedom and self-determination, maybe I should question your comittment to those ideals. South Vietnam under Diem was an evil dictatorship, where 85% of the poulation was prevented from participating in their faith, and dissent was cruelly suppressed. Subsequent, U.S. sponsored military coups did little to make that State more democratic or less tyranical. They were no more free than their northern bretheren, they simply weren't communist.

It was racism that prevented Vietnam from being a free nation all along. Ho Chi Minh made numerous overtures to the U.S. in a bid to win his country free from imperialist France. Had we supported him instead of our white bretheren, communism would never have gone to that country, who were naturally suspicious of anything Chinese. Instead, we forced them into the soviet camp, and then proped up a corrupt and dictatorial state in the south for over a decade. And you think the solution was to continue to do so indefinately, in the name of liberty? Ask Thich Quang Duc about liberty.

The longer we stayed in South Vietnam, the worse the situation got. It wasn't us leaving that created the conditions for the killing fields, it was us spending a decade creating, improbably, an effective argument FOR communist rule. Without the cruelty of the South Vietnamese state, southeast asianers could have seen for themselves how bankrupt the communist system was. Instead, we made it seem the lessor of two evils. Way to spread freedom and liberty.

If you honestly think that our presence in Iraq rtight now is increasing freedom and liberty, there or anywhere, then there is little to discuss. Your historical revisionism with regards to Vietnam leads me to believe that we will probably not agree about the salient facts of the case, so its likely useless to continue. If this and this are your idea of freedom and liberty, we have little common ground.

Adam
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Adam

We have little to discuss then. But I will stand by my track record.
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
KE said: "He said: 'The majority of Shiites and Sunnis want to leave beside each other in peace.'
Is that true?"

From my experience in Bosnia, yes, yes, and yes. It's kind of the worst-case scenario of the 5% rule in this kind of situation. Meaning, 5% of the people are extreme assholes and muck it up for the other 95% of us.

In Bosnia, there were the 5% kooks, but then there were the farmers on the borders who just wanted to go back to farming. The school teachers who just wanted to teach any kid, and the Serb villagers who liked and trusted their old Muslim neighbors more than the uprooted and recent move in Serbs from Sarajevo.

People just want to be left the hell alone and live their lives.

I've been to enough places and met enough people to know the human condition is 99% the same no matter where you go. It's the 5% assholes who focus on that 1% difference that make life miserable for the rest of us.

The problem we’re having is in a place like Iraq being a fence-sitter seems just as deadly as working for “the other guy”, so you get much more than the 5% factor supporting the craziness, not because they are true believers, but for nothing more than self-preservation.

For short term, I fear Moodi is completely accurate.

This is all good in theory – Red’s reasoning for continuing, me thinking of ways to shut down the 5% and support the 95%, and Moodi’s plan to just clamp down and be ruthless when necessary…

But, I truly don’t believe the powers that be want to fix this problem. Perhaps I have become too much of a cynic, but I think the US government, as well as most of the other big, developed countries, are now controlled by the 5% assholes. Therefore, the question on how to put back together what we’ve broken begins at home with our own politicians.

[ January 12, 2007, 10:22 AM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]
 
Posted by Omega M. (Member # 1392) on :
 
Still, what can we really do to stop the civil war in Iraq? If we go after Sadr, we'll just get the Shiites angry; and if we go after some of the non--al Qaeda in Iraq Sunni groups, we'll just get the Sunnis angry. Maybe all we can do is keep top government officials, important buildings, and oil fields from being bombed; do we really need 150,000 troops to do that?

On another note, I wonder if this situation was all but guaranteed to happen when Saddam Hussein died even if we hadn't gone in. Wouldn't the same groups be vying for power and killing each other in that case---only then it would have been a lot harder for foreigners to jump in and reduce the violence?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Omega, just my opinion, of course, but I don't think so. He would have died with a functional government and civil infrastructure in place, and I suspect would have provided for some sort of dynastic succession. I'm not saying that it would have been "good government", but it's hard to imagine that things could have continued as badly as he controlled and managed things for very long without him. Chaos similar to what is happening now may have been inevitable, but it wouldn't have been a sudden collapse. It also wouldn't destabilize the entire region for a dictator to suddenly leave the stage without a political crisis causing his departure.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Now, if you want to argue that it's the _wrong_ strategy, then fine. But shallow and short-sighted? Hardly.
Shallow because after a long think and presumably consideration of other, untried options, it simply continues a policy that even Bush admits has failed, only moreso. Short-sighted because it offers no insight into what comes 'after' we supposedly pacify Iraq. For instance, there are hundreds of tons of munitions hidden by the militants, ethnic cleansing can be done without RPGs, the Iraqi borders are extremely porous to weapons and fighters, and every side in the struggle has grown stronger and more sophisticated over the past three years.
quote:
OTOH, something that IS shallow and short-sighted would be arguing that we should quit now, 'cause we can't see the finish line, even though the it could be just around the next bend.
Ed, you are a master of simplistic imagery. Anytime you can't see the finish line, it could be just around the corner, or the next, or the one after that. Tell me what it would take for you to finally conclude that there was no finish line. If you're inclined to respond that it's too soon to even consider such a possibility, then I would say that your thinking is shallow and short-sighted.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
O.K. then how about this. We as a nation, regardless of why we invaded, occupied, and installed a democratically elected Iraqi government, have not only a moral but also legal responsibility to the people of Iraq to leave their country at a bare minimum in at least as stable and functioning a condition as when we invaded the country.

Or is there a specific time frame to responsibility that absolves the United States of the responsibility? Or are we being short-sighted in not considering responsibility or its terms of limitation?

And before you answer, consider we still have forces in South Korea, Japan, and Germany.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
...installed a democratically elected Iraqi government, have not only a moral but also legal responsibility to the people of Iraq to leave their country at a bare minimum in at least as stable and functioning a condition as when we invaded the country.
This is totally overloaded with assumptions that render it meaningless. A few,

. The "democratically elected Iraqi government" became instantly corrupt. Are you praising its behavior or for bringing stability and order to the country? I know you have agreed with me in the past that it is complicit in the ruination of the country, so I am not sure why you raise it as something worth defending now.

. It was stable, because a brutal and inhumane dictator forced his brand of "stability" on the citizens, resulting in what many people have called institutional genocide. We should restore something akin to that? If so, we should prop up another ruthless dictator to replace the one we removed.

. If by "functioning a condition" you mean the civil infrastructure and main industry of the economy, oil production, we've spent about $28B on that task so far and things have regressed in all areas from what they were before the invasion. How much more do you propose to spend to accomplish that?

You cast it as a moral and legal responsibility. I don't know if we do or don't have a legal responsibility, but let's consider the moral one. RS, you have been absolutely clear that the US should act internationally only in defense and protection of our own interests. I'm surprised you are challenging me to defend the moral (altruistic?) principle of rebuilding their broken country when they seem intent on further destroying it.

But, it is a fair question. We can't stop the bloodshed within Iraq in the foreseeable future. I think we should reposition our troops and disengage our military presence from that country. We have a larger moral obligation to wage an even-handed and constructive diplomatic and political effort in the ME. We should use the same intensity to remove the threat of conflict between Iran and Israel, Israel and Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinians. We should undercut the Afghanistan opium production with judicious aid to the farmers, etc... None of this is easy, but it doesn't require killing the people we hope to help, either.

We should take some fraction of the $2B/wk we spend now on the war and use it to help improve the lives of people throughout the region with economic, medical and other forms of social aid. We also have a "moral" obligation to reduce our own dependency on oil, so we should spend some of the money on conservation and renewable energy. Yes, I know that is all hopelessly naive, even shallow and maybe short-sighted, but you did ask.

Last, we are the strongest military power in the history of the world. We have a moral obligation to use that power wisely, so we should apply ourselves to learning how to do that better than we demonstrated in Iraq.

Our forces in Japan and Germany may have prevented regional conflicts or global war from breaking out since WWII. Korea is a little different, because the war there was never resolved. However, because of our military presence in those countries, none of them have been at war in over 50 years, and our troops that are stationed over there have largely been peacekeepers rather than warmakers. We should learn a lesson from that, too.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
He would have died with a functional government and civil infrastructure in place, and I suspect would have provided for some sort of dynastic succession.

Why would he have, since he hadn't done so already?

Kim Il Sung's succession was set out ages ahead of time. Frankly, Saddam's brand of narcisism seems to preclude providing for his death.

Don't know if it's really true that Alexander said on his deathbed that his empire should go "to the strongest," but that's the sort of mentality we're looking at with a guy that has emblems of scimitar-holding arms carved to match his own fingerprints. Is there any evidence at all that he provided for his succession?
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
I wasn't praising the installation or even the performance of the Iraqi government. I was merely pointing out that its creation was done by our agency, as it flowed from invasion, to occupation, to installation of government.

By stability and functioning conditions, I mean exactly that. They have an expectation to the same levels of economic, health, and education capacities that are at least equa to those they had.

By international law, we are leagly responsible. We took on that responsibility when we formally occupied the former territory that was ruled by Saddam. And I think I have never quite said we should only act internationally in defense of our selves or interests. Rather I have stated that we need to hold other governments accountable to their agreements and as such, be willing to enforce those agreements.

That said do we have the continued responsibility. The fact that we even allowed a new government to come into existence calls into question whether it even is our responsibility anymore. Especially considering that the Iraqis have a moral responsibility to their own people to maintain a functioning government capable of protecting all citizens under its rule.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Why would he have, since he hadn't done so already?
I don't know that he did, but since he was "only" 66 when he was deposed and had two grown sons (up until the invasion), perhaps he felt there was plenty of time (if he hadn't already done it). Or, perhaps you're right that he was too narcissistic to give it any thought. But since you don't know that, either, each to our suspicions.
quote:
By international law, we are leagly responsible.
If you're right, why hasn't Bush, any other member of the Coalition or the UN brought it up? If this is the case, we can't leave until we've done that, right?
quote:
The fact that we even allowed a new government to come into existence calls into question whether it even is our responsibility anymore. Especially considering that the Iraqis have a moral responsibility to their own people to maintain a functioning government capable of protecting all citizens under its rule.
Doesn't this contradict your challenge to me? It seems like you're saying here that we explicitly don't have a moral and legal responsibility, since they have a new government.

[ January 13, 2007, 02:37 PM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
question =/= denial.
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
JM, I hope you are right. It is what I would like to believe.

KE
 
Posted by WeAreAllJust LooseChange (Member # 3411) on :
 
Here is a solution to the war in Iraq, which our President should've embraced if we are ever to get out of there (with some dignity still intact):

from www.GregPalast.com
-----
Waist Deep in the big Muddy
------
Published by Greg Palast January 11th, 2007 in Articles
by Greg Palast


George W. Bush has an urge to surge. Like every junkie, he asks for just one more fix: let him inject just 21,000 more troops and that will win the war.

Been there. Done that. In 1965, Tom Paxton sang,

Lyndon Johnson told the nation
Have no fear of escalation.
I am trying everyone to please.
Though it isn’t really war,
We’re sending 50,000 more
To help save Vietnam from the Vietnamese.

Four decades later, Bush is asking us to save Iraq from the Iraqis.

There’s always a problem with giving a junkie another fix. It can only make things worse. Our maximum leader says that unless he gets to mainline another 21,000 troops, “Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” and terrorists “would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people.”

Excuse me, but didn’t we hear that same promise in 2003? Nearly four years ago, on the eve of invasion, this same George Bush promised, “The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed.”

Instead of diminishing the threat from terrorists, Bush now admits, “Al Qaeda has a home base in Anbar province” — something inconceivable under Saddam’s rule.

Four years ago, Bush promised us, “When the dictator has departed, [Iraq] can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.” Just send in the 82d Airborne and, lickety-split, we’d have, “A new Iraq that is prosperous and free.”

Well, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Here’s my question: Who asked the waiter to deliver this dish? Who asked for the 21,000 soldiers?

We know the US military didn’t ask for the 21,000 troops. (Outgoing commander General George Casey called for a troop reduction.)

We know the Iraqi government didn’t ask for the 21,000 troops. (Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is reportedly unhappy about a visible increase in foreign occupiers).

So who wants the occupation to continue? The answer is in Riyadh. When the King of Saudi Arabia hauled Dick Cheney before his throne on Thanksgiving weekend, the keeper of America’s oil laid down the law to Veep: the US will not withdraw from Iraq.

According to Nawaf Obaid, a Saudi who signals to the US government the commands and diktats of the House of Saud, the Saudis are concerned that a US pull-out will leave their Sunni brothers in Iraq to be slaughtered by Shia militias. More important, the Saudis will not tolerate a Shia-majority government in Iraq controlled by the Shia mullahs of Iran. A Shia combine would threaten Saudi Arabia’s hegemony in the OPEC oil cartel.

In other words, it’s about the oil.

So what’s the solution? What’s my plan? How do we get out of Iraq? Answer: the same way we got out of ‘Nam. In ships.

But can we just watch from the ship rail as Shia slaughter Sunnis in Baghdad, Sunnis murder Shia in Anbar, Kurds “cleanse” Kirkuk of Turkmen and so on in a sickening daisy-chain of ethnic atrocities?

No. There’s a real alternative. And it isn’t more troops, George.

Let’s imagine that somehow we could rip away the strings that allow Cheney and Rove and Abdullah to control our puppet president and he somehow, like the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, suddenly grew a brain. His speech last night would have sounded like this:

“My fellow Americans. Iraq is going to hell in a handbag. So the whole shebang doesn’t collapse into mayhem and madness, we need to send in 21,000 more troops. So I’ve just wired King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and told him to send them.”

“My missive to the monarch reads: Dear Abdullah. It’s time your 16,000 princelings got out of their Rolls Royces and formed the core of an Islamic Peacekeeping Force to prevent mass murder in Iraq. The American people are tired of you using the 82d Airborne as your private mercenary army. It seems like the Saudi military’s marching song is, ‘Onward Christian Soldiers.’”

“Well, King Ab, we’re out of here. We’re folding tents and loading the wagons. For four years now, Saudis have been secretly funding the berserkers in the Iraqi ‘insurgency’ while the Iranians are backing the crazies in the militias. Well, we’re telling you and the Persians: you’re going to have to stop using your checkbooks to fund a proxy war and instead start keeping the peace. It’s time you put your own tushies in the line of fire for a change.”

“If the African Union nations, poor as they are, can maintain a peacekeeping force to stop killings in Sudan and Senegal, you Saudis, with all the military toys we’ve sold you, can certainly join with your Muslim brothers in Jordan, Iran and Turkey to take responsibility for your region’s peace.”

“And when you get to Fallujah, don’t forget to drop us a postcard.”

Well, that’s my fantasy. But instead, War Junkie George will get his fix of another 21,000 American soldiers.

It reminds me far too chillingly of a Pete Seeger tune written when LBJ was saving Vietnam from Vietnamese. It was based on the true story of a US platoon in training, wading into the rising Mississippi, whose commander ordered them to keep going, deeper and deeper - until they drowned.

We’re waste deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says to push on.

************
Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Armed Madhouse.” His reports on Iraq and oil for BBC-TV and Harper’s Magazine can be viewed at www.GregPalast.com
---------------
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ Rallan:
quote:
There's a serious breakdown of logic there dude. Before you ask that, you have to ask "How does America's ongoing involvement in Iraq reduce the threat of terrorism?"

Your question is based on the (arguably rather silly premise) that America's ongoing involvement in Iraq somehow makes the middle east less of a breeding ground for terrorism. Which basically means that you need to make a good argument for the "flypaper theory" that neocons were throwing around in '03 and '04.

[Shrugs] Just 'cause you can't see it, don't mean it ain't so.

@ DaveS:
quote:
Shallow because after a long think and presumably consideration of other, untried options, it simply continues a policy that even Bush admits has failed, only moreso. Short-sighted because it offers no insight into what comes 'after' we supposedly pacify Iraq. For instance, there are hundreds of tons of munitions hidden by the militants, ethnic cleansing can be done without RPGs, the Iraqi borders are extremely porous to weapons and fighters, and every side in the struggle has grown stronger and more sophisticated over the past three years.
You know, if water has been tried on a fire burning out of control and not worked so far, then I don't think it's fair to conclude that MORE water won't actually put the fire out. That's not only wrongful thinking, it's just illogical.

While not always so, sometimes MORE is better and you have, as yet, to provide any argument that says otherwise.

quote:
Ed, you are a master of simplistic imagery.
You're damn straight I am. [Smile]

quote:
Anytime you can't see the finish line, it could be just around the corner, or the next, or the one after that. Tell me what it would take for you to finally conclude that there was no finish line. If you're inclined to respond that it's too soon to even consider such a possibility, then I would say that your thinking is shallow and short-sighted.
I'm also a master of "untying the Gordian knot."

And, if you think, after anteing in for 5 dollars, drawing a pair of twos and then quitting without even seeing what the other guy has then... well, yer just not a practical person. You wanna throw those five dollars away just because you think the other guy might possibly but you ain't quite sure got a better hand than you then, by all means, that's your choice. But you'll forgive me if I get upset at the thought of throwing away 3,000 American lives when Saddam is gone, Al Qeada IS fighting us in Iraq instead of here AND a Constitutional Government is in place just because someone wants to pretend civil strife is "total chaos." From my point of view, that's like throwing away a pair of deuces when the other guy only has an "ace high." Not only is it stupid, it's just wasteful.

[Thwack goes the Gordian knott.]

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
You know, if water has been tried on a fire burning out of control and not worked so far, then I don't think it's fair to conclude that MORE water won't actually put the fire out. That's not only wrongful thinking, it's just illogical.
This is a variation on the "duct tape" solution, because the stuff is so useful: Duct tape is not the solution for every problem; there are times when even more duct tape is necessary.
quote:
And, if you think, after anteing in for 5 dollars, drawing a pair of twos and then quitting without even seeing what the other guy has then... well, yer just not a practical person.
If you ever have a high stakes poker game at your house, please, please PLEASE invite me.

quote:
Thwack goes the Gordian knott.
Hmmm, I think it was your bootstrapp [Smile]
 
Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
"This is a variation on the "duct tape" solution, because the stuff is so useful: Duct tape is not the solution for every problem; there are times when even more duct tape is necessary."

Fortunately for the rest of us, whatever we're trying to fix with duct tape does not spend all its waking hours thinking about and implementing plans to blow the duct tape to hell (although I have my doubts about my computer). Then you would start to need bomb-proof duct tape
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ DaveS:
quote:
This is a variation on the "duct tape" solution, because the stuff is so useful: Duct tape is not the solution for every problem; there are times when even more duct tape is necessary.
My analogy was more apt. [Smile]

quote:
If you ever have a high stakes poker game at your house, please, please PLEASE invite me.
Certainly! If you insist on folding before a hand is even called, I can only stand to win, regardless of the cards I hold. All I'd have to do is collect the pot at the end of each round. [Wink]

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Certainly! If you insist on folding before a hand is even called
In a slightly less mocking tone, you really do think that the game is somehow still in its early stages, even after four years with all the death and destruction that has occurred. That's a hand that you don't know when to fold, and the chips are now costing about 100 lives a day.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
<Reality Check>
code:
             American ======== Involvement =========  Deaths 
Conflict Deaths Started Ended Length per Day
* WWI 116,000 07/14/1914 09/11/1918 1,520 76
* WWII 440,000 12/07/1941 09/02/1945 1,365 322
* Korean 55,000 06/25/1950 07/27/1953 1,128 49
* Viet Nam 109,000 03/02/1965 08/12/1972 2,720 40
* Gulf War I 378 08/02/1990 02/28/1991 210 2
* Gulf War II 3,026 03/20/2003 [Present] 1,400 2

</Reality Check>

Assuming for the sake of argument that your numbers are correct and that Iraqi's are dying at 100 per day, and I admit that is possible. What do you think those numbers will be if we pull out? Care to guess? Given how the Shia and the Sunni want to kill each other, do you think it will still be less than 100 per day?

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
What do you think those numbers will be if we pull out? Care to guess? Given how the Shia and the Sunni want to kill each other, do you think it will still be less than 100 per day?
There are basically two ways this can go, but both are based on the same assumptions. First assumption, Iraq is in the midst of a civil war. Second, the outcome is the same either way, where a unified Iraqi government with centralized pan-ethnic/religious authority is not going to happen. If you don't accept those assumptions, then you'll have to supply your own and explain what you think will happen if we stay/go.

First option, we leave. Either the internecine conflict will be accelerated, resulting in higher death counts and a relatively rapid reconfiguration of the country, or the fighting factions will recognize an opportunity to settle this without our interference, resulting in lower death counts. I think the former is much more likely, so there will be increased deaths and violence, but that the civil war will end relatively soon. That means that deaths will peak and drop relatively soon (one year? dunno), leading to a new equilibrium and relative stability in the region (at least as far as Iraq is concerned).

Second option, we stay. In this case, deaths will stay the same or possibly even increase for the duration of our occupation. Besides fighting among themselves, they will also target us. We'll remain stuck in the political morass of not being able to trust or be trusted by any side in the conflict. Once we leave, the first option goes into effect. Eventually, we'll have to go, either because our own domestic political currents mandate it, or because we have spent so much money ($TT) on the war that it is unsustainable. Worse, since we sink so much money, materiel and manpower into Iraq, we are less able to defend our "frontier" elsewhere, with unforeseeable consequences to our global position.

Further, if we stay, besides having their civil war, our presence will continue to inflame antagonism toward us throughout the ME, with Iran and Al Qaeda among the beneficiaries. Since we won't have the bandwidth to deal with them or credibly address other ME problems in the political realm, the entire ME will stay in heightened turmoil. So, the longer we stay, the more deaths on all sides, the more money wasted, the more regional conflict we generate, the greater our loss of prestige and influence.

Even further, the more we keep scratching this wound, the more likely that something truly horrible will eventually happen elsewhere. Either we'll be drawn into (or jump into) war with Iran, terrorism will become a recognized historical method of state diplomacy against our "Imperialism", our "allies" will give up on us (e.g., Pakistan, which already is showing signs of that). Any of these possible eventualities will lead to unintended consequences, all of which would be bad.

It is fair to counter the option of leaving by saying that we will give the bastards a victory that they can use against us later. Maybe so, but I think that will definitely happen if we stay for a long time, and if we leave sooner we can use the conserved resources (money, material, manpower) to anticipate and deal with it proactively. I've offered my opinions elsewhere on how to do that, but we can go into that again if you like.
 
Posted by Kent (Member # 832) on :
 
Dave, I must congratulate you on your logic and tone. Well written post. I disagree with your prophecy of the future, but then isn't that really what we are all contending about, what "might" happen?
 
Posted by martel (Member # 3448) on :
 
REALITY CHECK

Relative Importance of American Wars

Revolutionary War-------95
War of 1812-------------30
Mexican-American War----40
Civil War---------------95
Spanish-American War----25
World War One-----------45
World War Two-----------100
Korean War--------------65
Vietnam War-------------40
Gulf War I--------------50
Gulf War II-------------0 (actually, to be fair more like 25).

Deaths are deaths. More deaths are bad. But still, having men die for nothing, because, as Dave so eloquently points out, that's what they're accomplishing, is never good. One of my friend's brothers died in Iraq. What did he die for?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Where do these lists of numbers come from ?? They use numbers to rank and compare, but I wonder what the basis is. Ed's chart says that there were 109,000 US deaths in Vietnam between when our "involvement" in the war began on 03/02/1965 and ended on 08/12/1972. Really?

Martel, the Revolution doesn't get a maximum score? Gulf-I was more "important" than Vietnam, WWI or Wo1812? How so?
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
Busy today, so I only have time for a quick reply.

@ DaveS:

If I got my numbers wrong on Viet Nam, please feel free to correct me. However, even if the deaths were half what I posted, the death rates are still 10 times that of the current conflict. If my dates are half the length of what they should be, that's still 5 times the current conflict. Anything else only increases that number.

I'll get to your other points later.


@ martel

Sorry, martel, but your numbers are meaningless. 95 what? 95%? What's the model for scoring? Until you explain the method used to derive those numbers, they have no meaning.

Furthermore, as I and others feel, we stand on the edge of a war that threatens to be as large as, and possibley even more destructive than, WWII. This is the nuclear age, after all. The Iraq war is an attempt to create stability in an unstable region. Do you really think that, given our belief is true, 0 or even 25% is an appropriate importance for a potential war that stands to kill people in the tens of millions?

Ed.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
quote:
There are basically two ways this can go, but both are based on the same assumptions. First assumption, Iraq is in the midst of a civil war. Second, the outcome is the same either way, where a unified Iraqi government with centralized pan-ethnic/religious authority is not going to happen. If you don't accept those assumptions, then you'll have to supply your own and explain what you think will happen if we stay/go.
Both are based on the _worst_ assumption. Both require you to ignore the fact that an Iraqi Constitution is in place and that a government is in place and willing to support it. This is exactly why I keep referring to the poker analogy. We have a good hand. The Iraqi's have a Constitution and our hand fails if, and only if, the Iraqi Constitution fails. Leaving now, however, would be equivalent to folding before called. A very poor poker strategy when you have a good hand.

It hasn't failed yet and won't fail until a REAL civil war occurs, not this sectarian violence that some want to pretend is civil war. Real civil war is when you have two declared governments fighting for the right to control a country.

quote:
First option, we leave. Either the internecine conflict will be accelerated, resulting in higher death counts and a relatively rapid reconfiguration of the country, or the fighting factions will recognize an opportunity to settle this without our interference, resulting in lower death counts.
Or the violence accelerates so badly that the Iraqi government and its Constitution crash and burn leaving no chance for stability whatsoever.

quote:
I think the former is much more likely, so there will be increased deaths and violence, but that the civil war will end relatively soon. That means that deaths will peak and drop relatively soon (one year? dunno), leading to a new equilibrium and relative stability in the region (at least as far as Iraq is concerned).
It most certainly will accelerate. Where you are wrong is that what is presently sectarian violence WILL become civil war _for certain_ as the Iraqi Government fails and its Constitution burns with it.

Where you are also wrong is in the assumption that their will be "relative stability" in the ashes. History has shown, time and time again, that whenever there is a power vacuum, there is chaos. The Government will lose control as the Shia begin to wipe out the Sunni. The Constitution, without a Government to enforce it, will then become meaningless and our good hand will, once again, be tossed into the ****pile.

quote:
Second option, we stay. In this case, deaths will stay the same or possibly even increase for the duration of our occupation. Besides fighting among themselves, they will also target us. We'll remain stuck in the political morass of not being able to trust or be trusted by any side in the conflict.
And here you ignore the corollary. That we stay and keep the Iraqi Government in place and able to enforce their Constitution. This allows the Government Institutions to strengthen and eventually get the country under control. In other words, we stay in the game, strengthen our hand and actually get to play that hand when it is finally time to call. And if the hand is good, not only is the "money" we anteed at the beginning of the game put to good use, so is the "money" we paid to stay in the game.

In other words, if we stay and see this through successfully, the +3,000 American dead so far will not have died in vain. But if we leave now, it is guaranteed that they will have died for nothing.

quote:
Once we leave, the first option goes into effect. Eventually, we'll have to go, either because our own domestic political currents mandate it, or because we have spent so much money ($TT) on the war that it is unsustainable. Worse, since we sink so much money, materiel and manpower into Iraq, we are less able to defend our "frontier" elsewhere, with unforeseeable consequences to our global position.
A point of strategy here: We don't position armies where we think we might possibley need them but don't really know at this point in time where that need may be. We position armies where there is a good chance of being trouble. And right now, the Middle East is where the most obvious trouble is. It's been this way since the Seventies, and it's going to continue to be this way until we make a lot of terrorists, and their memes, dead.

quote:
Further, if we stay, besides having their civil war, our presence will continue to inflame antagonism toward us throughout the ME, with Iran and Al Qaeda among the beneficiaries. Since we won't have the bandwidth to deal with them or credibly address other ME problems in the political realm, the entire ME will stay in heightened turmoil. So, the longer we stay, the more deaths on all sides, the more money wasted, the more regional conflict we generate, the greater our loss of prestige and influence.
One more time: it ain't civil war until there are two declared sides fighting for control of the country. If we pull out now, we leave a power vacuum that will cause the Sunni and Shia to fight for control _guaranteed._ In other words, if you think it's civil war now, if you think the killing is high now... just pull out and watch what happens. It's going to get TRULY ugly if we do.

quote:
Even further, the more we keep scratching this wound, the more likely that something truly horrible will eventually happen elsewhere. Either we'll be drawn into (or jump into) war with Iran, terrorism will become a recognized historical method of state diplomacy against our "Imperialism", our "allies" will give up on us (e.g., Pakistan, which already is showing signs of that). Any of these possible eventualities will lead to unintended consequences, all of which would be bad.
You assume we opened this wound. You're just wrong. This "wound" opened hundreds of years ago, and it is they who will not let it heal. Furthermore, war with Iran is inevitable and will be as long as the Iranians continue to pursue nuclear armament and seek the destruction of Israel.

This is exactly why some of us foresee a war on the scale of WWII with the possibility of even greater destruction. Not JUST because of Iran, but because the ENTIRE region seeks the destruction of Israel and as long as the region seeks change using terrorist methods this war is coming. You think something bad is going to happen because of "a wound we opened?" Get serious. Something bad is going to happen REGARDLESS of what occurred in Iraq. Something bad has already happened by cause we had the audacity and imperiously and recklessly rescued Kuwait. That is EXACTLY why Osona bich Laden attacked us, because we dared rescue one of their brethren from another of their brethren.

The fact remains. They want to kill us regardless of what we do.

quote:
It is fair to counter the option of leaving by saying that we will give the bastards a victory that they can use against us later. Maybe so, but I think that will definitely happen if we stay for a long time, and if we leave sooner we can use the conserved resources (money, material, manpower) to anticipate and deal with it proactively. I've offered my opinions elsewhere on how to do that, but we can go into that again if you like.
But if we do stay for a long time, we give the Iraqi government and its constitution a chance to succeed. And if that works, and the Government enforces that constitution and punishes Shia and Sunni equally under the law, then the Iraqis begin to understand that their are alternatives to killing each other. Once that happens, they begin to resort to the rule of law instead of militias and violence. Peace breaks out. Terrorism becomes recognized as a threat to that peace and begins to diminish as a strategy.

But it can only work IF a constitutional government is in place, and does its job. Pull out now, and I guarantee you, it will never happen.

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Ed, I don't reject your analysis, but we can't to-and-fro, because our assumptions differ by so much. They differ enough that I don't even understand some of your points, like:
quote:
Something bad has already happened by cause we had the audacity and imperiously and recklessly rescued Kuwait. That is EXACTLY why Osona bich Laden attacked us, because we dared rescue one of their brethren from another of their brethren.
And there is your use of absolute terms, like:
quote:
...Not JUST because of Iran, but because the ENTIRE region seeks the destruction of Israel...REGARDLESS ...EXACTLY...and I guarantee you,...
What secret source of knowledge do you have that is hidden from everyone else? Given how little margin for error you allow in your argument, there's no point in disagreeing.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
quote:
the ENTIRE region seeks the destruction of Israel
Huh?

Egypt has been at peace with Israel for 27 years, Jordan for 13, Turkey has signed a virtual mutual defence pact with them, and Syria is making realistic and workable peace offers.

The UAE and Kuwait have toned down the Rhetoric massively, rulers in Yemen, Oman, and Saudi Arabia use Israel as a distraction to keep their populace from focusing on their own abuses of power.

What "entire region" are you talking about?
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ DaveS

Dave? If you can't understand those points, then I doubt sincerely you should be arguing policy.

We were attacked on 9/11 because we had a military presence in Saudi Arabia. We had a presence because the Saudi's asked us to be there. They asked us to be there, because a Sunni (one of their own) invaded a fellow Muslim country and they were afraid that Saddam would turn his attention to them. Having freed Kuwait, and foolishly leaving Saddam in power, we were asked to stay, just in case Saddam tried to push his luck again. And for our "arrogance" 3,000 civilians had to die. And the short way of saying that is "because we dared rescue one of their brethren from another of their brethren."

quote:
What secret source of knowledge do you have that is hidden from everyone else? Given how little margin for error you allow in your argument, there's no point in disagreeing.
And this is the other reason I'm beginning to sincerely doubt that you should be arguing policy. This isn't "secret" knowledge. This is a _known_ fact.


If you read anything, PLEASE read that last link.

Jesse's bickering aside, that entire region DOES seek the destruction of Israel and as long as they do, war with them, like it or not, IS inevitable.

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
And this is the other reason I'm beginning to sincerely doubt that you should be arguing policy. This isn't "secret" knowledge. This is a _known_ fact.
Ed, it will astonish you to know that I am familiar with everything you cite and yet somehow I come to different conclusions about how dire the situation is and what should be done about it. That should really rattle your confidence in my sanity.

OTOH, you might consider that you swept aside Jesse's factual rebuttal of your unsourced assertion "that [the] entire region DOES seek the destruction of Israel", which might lead thoughtful readers to wonder how much your opinions are influenced by evidence and facts.

Here's a quote from the host of the CNN show you cite that makes clear how objective he is:
quote:
No. 1, and you`ve heard me say this over and over again: I am not a journalist. More importantly, I don`t pretend to be one. I have also been extremely honest with you every step of the way if you watch this program every night.

I am a conservative, so when you hear me talk about anything from politics to religion to, yes, Islamic extremists, you have to understand that I express my opinions fully, no matter what anybody else thinks, like it or not, right through that prism.

Not surprisingly, every single one of the people he had on that show agrees with him entirely. His "expert" guest commentator, Brigitte Gabriel, is considered an extreme anti-Islamist, so you have to listen to what she says with that in mind, and Ralph Peters has been one of the loudest voices touting our great success in Iraq. Not surprising you refer to these people, because they agree with you.

Finally, because of your frequent use of CAPS to emphasize how sincere you are about what you say, I'd like to ask you to succinctly characterize what you should be done about the specific threats to Israel that you cite. As a bonus, I'd also like to hear how important you think it is to capture bin Laden or crack down on our wayward allies, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc. So, what should the US do about:

. Ahmadinejad/Iran
. Hezbollah/Lebanon
. Hamas/Palestinian areas
. bin Laden
. Afghanistan/Pakistan/Saudi Arabia
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Ed? Are you at all interested in refuting what I actually said?

The Iranian Government, Saddam (dead and deposed), AQ, Hamas, and Hezbollah sure aren't the whole region by any stretch of the imagination.

Calling disagreement "bickering" sure doesn't do much to support your case.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Here's a link that suggests how fighting one war (or two) makes it hard to sustain other military priorities (LA Times):
quote:
...In the early 1990s, at the height of the drug war, U.S. military planes and boats filled the southern skies and waters in search of cocaine-laden vessels coming from Colombia and elsewhere in South America.

But since 2002, the military has withdrawn many of those resources, according to more than a dozen current and former counter-narcotics officials, as well as a review of congressional, military and Homeland Security documents.

Internal records show that in the last four years the Pentagon has reduced by more than 62% its surveillance flight-hours over Caribbean and Pacific Ocean routes that are used to smuggle cocaine, marijuana and, increasingly, Colombian-produced heroin. At the same time, the Navy is deploying one-third fewer patrol boats in search of smugglers.

The Defense Department also plans to withdraw as many as 10 Black Hawk helicopters that have been used by a multi-agency task force to move quickly to make drug seizures and arrests in the Caribbean, a major hub for drugs heading to the United States.

And the military has deactivated many of the high-tech surveillance "aerostats," or radar balloons, that once guarded the entire southern border, saying it lacks the funds to restore and maintain them.

The Department of Defense defended its policy shift in a budget document sent to Congress in October: "The DOD position is that detecting drug trafficking is a lower priority than supporting our service members on ongoing combat missions."


 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
Jesse. You do realize, don't you that the word "region" has multiple meanings? That some of the nations you list are not considered part of the Middle East by some? That a person can speak of a region that does not include (directly) a nation? That a region may include geographic areas or peoples, rather than countries?

To engage on this point would amount, in my view, to bickering over what a "region" is.


@ DaveS

Did you read the article? In its entirety? You dismiss the hole of the article with an ad homonym and still fail to address the salient point it contains. That being that if you listen to the media of the region, it broadcasts blatant hatred against Israel. Worse still, they propagandize it to their children. And it's from that I can conclude that war is inevitable.

Furthermore, before you accuse me "sweeping stuff aside" you'd better stop and consider the things you are sweeping aside:



quote:
Not surprisingly, every single one of the people he had on that show agrees with him entirely. His "expert" guest commentator, Brigitte Gabriel, is considered an extreme anti-Islamist, so you have to listen to what she says with that in mind, and Ralph Peters has been one of the loudest voices touting our great success in Iraq. Not surprising you refer to these people, because they agree with you.
Nope. I didn't even know who those people were until I saw the show. I referred to _the transcipt_ to point out the fact, and fact it is, that the media in the region continues to spout propaganda that will eventually bring our two civilizations to blows and, therefore, leads me to the conclusion that war is inevitable.

quote:
Finally, because of your frequent use of CAPS to emphasize how sincere you are about what you say, I'd like to ask you to succinctly characterize what you should be done about the specific threats to Israel that you cite. As a bonus, I'd also like to hear how important you think it is to capture bin Laden or crack down on our wayward allies, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc. So, what should the US do about:

Ed.

Fixed list.

[ January 22, 2007, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: EDanaII ]
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
quote:
Did you read the article? In its entirety? You dismiss the hole of the article with an ad homonym and still fail to address the salient point it contains. That being that if you listen to the media of the region, it broadcasts blatant hatred against Israel. Worse still, they propagandize it to their children. And it's from that I can conclude that war is inevitable.
Yes, I did. It's hateful, but it's far from a declaration of war. You conclude that this tape alone is proof that war is inevitable. No further response is possible.
quote:
You have failed to show us how "throwing more water on a fire won't put the fire out." Instead, you simply switched to a less appropriate analogy without supporting why the analogy was more appropriate.
You mean my metaphor is worse than yours??? [Smile] . Ed, I said it won't work and gave detailed reasons why. It's not worth repeating them if you didn't think they were adequate the last time around.
quote:
if war is inevitable, and Iran is the likely source of that war and if we need to invade Iran like we did Germany, then where's the best place to stage an invasion? Would it be from, I dunno... Spain? Greece? Cucamonga? Or would it be advantageous to have a staging area next door? In some nearby land like, maybe... Iraq?
Nice to see you've given up shouting in favor of dripping sarcasm. It definitely makes you seem more credible [Wink] . So, you see war against Iran as inevitable, which means we should use Iraq as the base of operations. Do you realize that Iraq is busily building diplomatic bridges to Iran? They're a sovereign nation with a constitution, as you repeatedly point out. How do you get them to let us use their country to attack their next-door neighbor and presumed greatest ally in the region?

You keep talking about the Constitution, so I'll be as plain as I can be to tell you why I give a big whoop about it. The election institutionalized sectarian representation, meaning that it is a government of partisan factions. The factions all operate quasi-independently and have no real interest in "national unity" or whatever you want to call a normal federated method of self-government. It's a sham, a scam, guaranteed to enforce division, wealth-mongering, religious and ethnic intolerance and corruption. That list ignores the supreme incompetence of virtually the entire national infrastructure mechanisms, which would collapse in a heartbeat (not yours or mine) the minute we withdraw from the country. It's even worse than Lebanon, worse than the Palestinian government. Do you really think they were voting for democracy???
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Ed, please explain how Anti-Western Propaganda means that War is inevitable?

Was War with the USSR inevitable? Is war with Cuba and Venezuela inevitable?

In the interst avoiding further problems would you like to clarify your defination of the words "propaganda", "war", "inevitable", or maybe "is"?
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
Wow, this is a win-win for GW. He gets his war and cocaine prices plummet!

KE
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
After reading ED's link I am more convinced than ever that religion is going to be the end of us all.

KE
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ DaveS:
quote:
Yes, I did. It's hateful, but it's far from a declaration of war. You conclude that this tape alone is proof that war is inevitable. No further response is possible.
No, I conclude that we've been in a state of war with these people since the 70's and this hatred is evidence of that. And that, eventually, this hatred will escalate into a full scale war as evidenced by their indoctrination of their children in war propaganda worse than what the Nazi even dared to indoctrinate in their children.

quote:
You mean my metaphor is worse than yours??? [Smile] . Ed, I said it won't work and gave detailed reasons why. It's not worth repeating them if you didn't think they were adequate the last time around.
Yes, a very detailed _opinion_ which, when analyzed, amounts to "'cause I said so." You see, here's the problem with your argument. You argue with certainty, but back up with little facts. I, OTOH, admit this is a gamble, but support my position with points of fact.

quote:
Nice to see you've given up shouting in favor of dripping sarcasm. It definitely makes you seem more credible [Wink] .
Yer so quick to the ad homonym, and still slow with them facts...

quote:
So, you see war against Iran as inevitable, which means we should use Iraq as the base of operations. Do you realize that Iraq is busily building diplomatic bridges to Iran? They're a sovereign nation with a constitution, as you repeatedly point out. How do you get them to let us use their country to attack their next-door neighbor and presumed greatest ally in the region?
When have I ever _not qualified_ the whole strategy as a _gambit?_ This is the key difference between your opinion and mine. I know that what we are doing is risky, while your CERTAIN that what we're doing is doomed to failure. I believe we should do what we can do minimize the trouble that is to come, while you believe we should simply "ignore the problem and hope it goes away."

The trouble is, the problem refuses to ignore us, and has been attacking us for a generation and does not appear to be going away any time soon.

Here's some more facts lacking in your opinion: You point out that Iraq is engaging in diplomacy with Iraq. Very true. You, however, assume that this diplomacy includes a non aggression pact? Facts please?

They ARE a sovereign nation. And no one expects them to bow to our demands. But just as I help my neighbor, I can expect help from him. Please don't confuse this with demanding help. Expecting help and demanding help are two different things.

quote:
You keep talking about the Constitution, so I'll be as plain as I can be to tell you why I give a big whoop about it. The election institutionalized sectarian representation, meaning that it is a government of partisan factions.
You mean, just like how our government is one of partisan factions and sectarian representation? I like how you use the obvious to make a negative declaration. That's exactly how representative government is supposed to work: reduce violence by allowing ALL groups access to the rule of law. And, somehow, you conclude this is wrong.

quote:
The factions all operate quasi-independently and have no real interest in "national unity" or whatever you want to call a normal federated method of self-government.
A very big assumption your part which you use, once again, to declare certain defeat. Facts please?

quote:
It's a sham, a scam, guaranteed to enforce division,
Facts please?

quote:
... wealth-mongering, religious and ethnic intolerance and corruption.
Yep. Just exactly like our system. And, somehow, we manage to make it all work. Which is the whole point. But for the Iraqi's? You conclude it's not possible. Where's them facts?

quote:
That list ignores the supreme incompetence of virtually the entire national infrastructure mechanisms, which would collapse in a heartbeat (not yours or mine) the minute we withdraw from the country.
Just exactly like our government too!

Funnier still, you conclude that it would collapse in an instance should we withdraw from the country, yet still argue that we should withdraw from the country. Do you not care, one iota for the lives that would be lost if we do? I'm not speaking of American lives here. I'm speaking of Iraqi lives. Nor am I speaking of JUST Iraqi lives, I'm speaking of the lives of the many innocent peoples in the region, because that is EXACTLY what will happen if we withdraw. Where is your concern for them? Do their lives not matter to you?

quote:
It's even worse than Lebanon, worse than the Palestinian government. Do you really think they were voting for democracy???
Put your money where your mouth is and prove that they weren't.

[Me checks me's watch, fully expecting you to use the current sectarian violence to prove that they were not interested in democracy while fully ignoring the meddling by Al Qeada, Iran and Syria.]


@ Jesse:
quote:
Ed, please explain how Anti-Western Propaganda means that War is inevitable?
We are already at war, Jesse and have been for at least 30 years. It is only a matter of time before a full scale one breaks out. At least, as long as the radicals of that region continue down their current course.

quote:
Was War with the USSR inevitable?
You mean the war we already had? I thank the gods that it didn't break out into a "hot war," but war it was.

quote:
Is war with Cuba and Venezuela inevitable?
These two do not have the power to make war. Not a big one, anyway. Not like the kind that Iran could, especially if they acquire nukes.

Ed.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Ed, I can't continue with this discussion. We're both entitled to our differing opinions, but you and I live in different worlds with completely different sets of facts. You even attack my oil and duct tape analogies because they are less appropriate than the water and finish line analogies you threw in to explain how things really are! Gimme a break!

I wrote a long response to your last post, but then remembered the golden rule never to post in anger and deleted most of it. There is no common ground for us to quibble over.

I'm done talking to you about this.
 
Posted by jm0397 (Member # 916) on :
 
KE - [Big Grin] now that was funny!

Clinton will probably thank him too, and his friends in Mena, AK.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Aye, I think I am to.

When it's easier to invent definations for the word "region" than to admit having casually overstated ones case, there isn't much talking left to do.

The truth is, both our situation and that of Israel could be made much more secure in a matter of weeks through a little sensible diplomacy, but I guess a Good War hallows any cause.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ DaveS:
quote:
Ed, I can't continue with this discussion. We're both entitled to our differing opinions, but you and I live in different worlds with completely different sets of facts. You even attack my oil and duct tape analogies because they are less appropriate than the water and finish line analogies you threw in to explain how things really are! Gimme a break!
I never said you weren't entitled to your opinion. I merely challenged it based on its factualness. I can understand why you might get mad, once you realized that it's missing a fact or two.


@ Jesse:
quote:
When it's easier to invent definations for the word "region" than to admit having casually overstated ones case, there isn't much talking left to do.
The Definition of Region.

Do you see ANYTHING in there that forces me to accept the definition of the region that you were providing? In my mind, when I spoke of the region, I wasn't thinking of Turkey. I don't consider them the threat. As to Egypt, signing a treaty with Israel might make the nation less likely to declare war, but it cannot necessarily change the attitude of its peoples. Or have you forgotten already that an Egyptian president was killed because he dared make peace with Israel?

Once again, to engage with you on that point would have been to engage in bickering.

quote:
The truth is, both our situation and that of Israel could be made much more secure in a matter of weeks through a little sensible diplomacy,
Yea, diplomacy has worked so well so far... It stopped Hezballah from invading and capturing Israeli soldiers and the war that followed. It stopped Hamas recruiting suicide bombers and blowing up Israeli civilians.

BTW, you do realize that it's been a while since we last heard of any suicide bombers against Israel, don't you? Why is that, I wonder? Was it diplomacy? Or was it our deposing Saddam which cut off the money supply to would-be bombers?

Diplomacy indeed.

quote:
but I guess a Good War hallows any cause.
Good wars are wars that have ended well. This one hasn't ended yet and won't end, even after we pull out. It started ages ago and will only end after someone gets a good "thumping."

Ed.

Added attribution. Edited grammar.

[ January 25, 2007, 01:19 PM: Message edited by: EDanaII ]
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
ED, your dismissal of diplomacy is so reflective of the Bush administration's arrogance. If Bush hadn't brushed off Iran in 2003, when they offered to put on the table the recognition of Israel, the end of their material support of Palestinian terrorists, and their cooperation with the US on peaceful nuclear technology. The US rejected the offer for talks because they favored a policy of regime change in Iran (Washington Post).

As another example of the possibilities of diplomacy, the de facto end of the Second Intifada in Israel was credited by many observers to Israel's unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip (others credit Arafat's death).

Many of our problems in the Middle East come from the attitude that our Muslim enemies hate us unconditionally and can't be reasoned with. Why is Iran so unreasonable to assume we want to destroy them when we spurn their negotiation efforts and, just recently, send additional carrier groups to the gulf in an effort to intimidate them?
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
ED?

Sadat was killed by the Muslim Brotherhood, which had also tried to kill him in the midst of the Yom Kippur War.

Israel isn't the center of everyones world, or the sole reason any Arab has done anything since 1948.


Killing Saddam didn't cut off the cash supply to suicide bombers, Iran is still funneling money right in. Israel finally developed some sense and built a wall, one they should have built on the actual border, but it worked.

Suicide Bombings started long before Saddam offered cash to the bombers heirs.

Your view of the world is completely beyond me, and seems to reflect a very limited understanding of the nature of the various conflicts in the middle east. It seems that you offer only rationalizations for a war you desire and can't provide much factual information or remotely objective analysis.

Edited to add

I would suggest reading popular Israeli newspapers.

[ January 25, 2007, 08:04 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TCB:
ED, your dismissal of diplomacy is so reflective of the Bush administration's arrogance. If Bush hadn't brushed off Iran in 2003, when they offered to put on the table the recognition of Israel, the end of their material support of Palestinian terrorists, and their cooperation with the US on peaceful nuclear technology.

[DOH] Given that they'd just taken advantage of and broken their previous agreement regarding nuclear development, your complaint makes Chaimberlain look like Churchill.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
There is a continuum of events, but ceasing diplomacy altogether was an overreaction, one typical of the "Bush Doctrine".
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
Pete -- I wasn't aware that Iran violated any agreements regarding its nuclear activities. What agreement did they break?

(I'm not trying to get you to do my research for me, but I'd appreciate it if you could give me some details to use as a jumping board.)
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
I think he's referring to the IAEA August 2003 report(pdf). From GlobalSecurity.org:
quote:
There remain significant such open question related to Iran's enrichment program. The 26 August 2003 IAEA report provides information making clear Iran has consistently misled the Agency about its enrichment program.

 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
Thanks for the documents, Dave. But it is from the summer of 2003, while Iran reportedly sent its proposal in the spring, shortly after we invaded Iraq.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Yup, there is little doubt that they have misled the IAEA.

There is also little doubt that invading their neighbor while refusing to talk to them scared the be-Isa out of em and provided plenty of incentive to get crackin on the refining.

There is absolutely no doubt, at all, that the massive increase in world oil prices which was largely a result of said invasion gave Iran far more financial resources with which to persue a nuclear program.

The raw truth is that we don't fully know what the heck they may or may not have right now.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ TCB

No, my problem with diplomacy has to do with a country that calls for the destruction of Israel and is attempting to gain power and influence in the region. I'm as willing to negotiate with them as I am with giving a robber the keys to my house. Or to let a pedophile babysit my child. To let them have their way would be idiocy.


@ Jesse:
quote:
Sadat was killed by the Muslim Brotherhood, which had also tried to kill him in the midst of the Yom Kippur War.
Where did I say otherwise, Jesse?

quote:
Israel isn't the center of everyones world, or the sole reason any Arab has done anything since 1948.
Where did I say otherwise, Jesse?

I think that part of the problem we are having with this conversation is that you are making a lot of assumptions that aren't even a part of my thought process.

quote:
Your view of the world is completely beyond me, and seems to reflect a very limited understanding of the nature of the various conflicts in the middle east. It seems that you offer only rationalizations for a war you desire and can't provide much factual information or remotely objective analysis.
I can make that same claim about you, since you appear to be ignore certain facts, like the one that Iran has be trying to kill us through terrorism since the 70s. Or the declaration of us as "the Great Satan." Or the calls for the destruction of Israel and their pursuit of nuclear weapons.

To draw on a quote from the link I provided: "My main lesson [as a holocaust survivor] is that if somebody tells you he`s going to exterminate you, believe him."

Are you really willing to gamble million's of lives on the chance, however likely, you might be right? I'm not. As long as Iran continues to "talk their talk" I'm more than willing to "block their walk."

Ed.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Ed, Sadat wasn't killed for making peace with Israel. One of the assasins screamed "I have killed Pharoh". Pharoh is the same guy in Islamic and Jewish tradition.

I don't ignore any of those things. The Soviet Union was dedicated to the destruction of Capitalism the world over ... and we still talked.

Syria has commited every evil Iran has, and yet they have offered Israel a workable peace, something that never could have happened if Israel didn't have sense to talk to *anyone* willing to talk.

40 years of "covert" Diplomacy with Jordan, a Nation which for that entire period called for Israels destruction and refused to recognize it's existance, resulted in a peace that has now lasted for 13 years.

My lesson from 70 years of Soviet threats?

Don't believe all the tough talk politicians throw out.

The holocaust analogies simply don't cut it - The Nazi's weren't comitting mass suicide by attempting to anhilate Jews, and the Iranians would be.

Take the Syrian peace deal, demarcate the borders between Israel, Syria, and Lebanon, fracture the alliance beyond repair. See how much internal support Hezbollah has for agressive action when Israel publicly announces that it has what it now considers permenant borders which it will not expand beyond but will defend to the utmost.

We're both talking about gambling with millions of lives, Ed. We can continue to argue about which of us is more likely to be correct about the best course of action, but we're both rolling dice.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ Jesse:
quote:
Ed, Sadat wasn't killed for making peace with Israel. One of the assasins screamed "I have killed Pharoh". Pharoh is the same guy in Islamic and Jewish tradition.
The Assassination of Anwar Sadat:
quote:
On October 6, the month after the crackdown, Sadat was assassinated [1] during the annual 6th October victory parade in Cairo. The assassination was carried out by army members who were part of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization. They opposed Sadat's negotiations with Israel, as well as his use of force in the September crackdown.
quote:
I don't ignore any of those things. The Soviet Union was dedicated to the destruction of Capitalism the world over ... and we still talked.

Syria has commited every evil Iran has, and yet they have offered Israel a workable peace, something that never could have happened if Israel didn't have sense to talk to *anyone* willing to talk.

40 years of "covert" Diplomacy with Jordan, a Nation which for that entire period called for Israels destruction and refused to recognize it's existence, resulted in a peace that has now lasted for 13 years.

My lesson from 70 years of Soviet threats?

Don't believe all the tough talk politicians throw out.

I don't. You, apparently, do. Don't confuse "not talking now" with "never talking."

quote:
The holocaust analogies simply don't cut it - The Nazi's weren't comitting mass suicide by attempting to anhilate Jews, and the Iranians would be.
They weren't? You mean, Hitler didn't commit suicide as a result of his actions? The Nazi party didn't fall out of grace and power as a result of their complicity with Hitler? A lot of Nazis never died because of WWII? There's committing suicide and then there's "committing suicide."

Furthermore, you make the assumption that the Muslim world believes they will committing suicide by destroying Israel. That's kinda like thinking that Hitler thought he was committing suicide by invading Poland. Or that Napoleon thought he was committing suicide by conquering Europe, etc, etc, etc...

quote:
Take the Syrian peace deal, demarcate the borders between Israel, Syria, and Lebanon, fracture the alliance beyond repair. See how much internal support Hezbollah has for agressive action when Israel publicly announces that it has what it now considers permenant borders which it will not expand beyond but will defend to the utmost.
I dunno, Jesse. How will Hezballah act, given their Manifesto:
quote:
The conflict with Israel is viewed as a central concern. This is not only limited to the IDF presence in Lebanon. Rather, the complete destruction of the State of Israel and the establishment of Islamic rule over Jerusalem is an expressed goal.
Please don't turn a blind eye to the blatantly obvious.

quote:
We're both talking about gambling with millions of lives, Ed. We can continue to argue about which of us is more likely to be correct about the best course of action, but we're both rolling dice.
Yes, Jesse, and just as I pointed out to Adam, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and just as with him, you appear to be afraid of that ounce while denying the coming cure.

Ed.
 
Posted by TCB (Member # 1677) on :
 
quote:
No, my problem with diplomacy has to do with a country that calls for the destruction of Israel and is attempting to gain power and influence in the region.
That fact that Iran was willing to put recognition of Israel on the negotiating table tells me that they're not as committed to Israel's destruction as you believe. America would never be willing to negotiate with another country regarding, say, our right to free speech because it's one of our core values. The fact that Iran was willing to negotiate on Israel says that the destruction of Israel is not actually one of their core values.

Instead you cite Hezbollah's manifesto as proof that the "entire region" wants to see Israel destroyed. But by your definition of "region" I could say with equal validity that the entire region is committed to a two-state solution, citing Saudi Arabia, the PLO, and many others -- even Hamas acknowleges that Israel exists, but says it won't recognize it formally until a Palestinian state has been established.

Bush was unwilling to talk to Iran when we had a position of strength, after Iran saw us conquer in three weeks what they couldn't defeat in eight years, because he desired the bigger prize of regime change in Tehran. But now Bush's people say they can't talk with Iran because we're in a position of weakness, with an army bogged down in a civil war and an apparent lame duck commander-in-chief. If we're unwilling to negotiate when we're strong or when we're weak, we're just plain unwilling to negotiate.

The American view is that Iran is too irrational to negotiate with, but there's justification for the view that we're the ones being unreasonable, and that we desire war.

Finally, it's true that Hitler killed himself and many Germans died in the war. But even Iranian fanatics aren't so stupid as to think that seeing nuclear missiles hit every major city in Iran, killing millions of innocent Israeli Muslims, and poisoning the land of Palestine is worth "wiping Israel off the map". Iran's leaders know that Israel would retaliate with nuclear weapons if Iran hit them first. Even if Israel couldn't, the US probably would.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Very reasonable.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
TCB

I don't think the USA or NATO would send a retalitory strike should Iran send nukes to Israel. Just as I do not think the USA or its NATO allied forces would ever strike at Iran's nuclear facilities should the Iranians finally tell the IAEA to get lost.

No one in the Unied States wants a nuclear war, or even to risk a nuclear war. Iran knows this. Iran will be a full fledged nuclear power with a ICBM delivery system possibly as early as he end of this summer. Unless Israel does something about it.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
The Egyptian Islamic Jihad is the armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Ed.

quote:
as well as his use of force in the September crackdown.
and because he was a seccularist, and they are sworn to "restore" Islamic Governance to all of the Middle-East, which is their primary purpose for existance. They opposed Nasser just as strongly, and made more than one attempt on his life as well, and he sure didn't make peace with Israel.

quote:
They weren't? You mean, Hitler didn't commit suicide as a result of his actions? The Nazi party didn't fall out of grace and power as a result of their complicity with Hitler? A lot of Nazis never died because of WWII? There's committing suicide and then there's "committing suicide."
Of course, it wasn't seeking the eradication of Jews and Gypsies ect. that spelled the death of the Third Reich. The brutal truth is that the Western Powers collectively did not give a damn about that.


quote:
I dunno, Jesse. How will Hezballah act, given their Manifesto:
This relates to my statement about how a lessened percieved threat of Israeli designs on Southern Lebanon will reduce the support for Hezbollah inside of Lebanon how exactly?

Currently, an overwhelming majority of even Christian Lebanese believe them to be a legitimate resistance group. I said absolutely nothing about their intentions.

quote:
Yes, Jesse, and just as I pointed out to Adam, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and just as with him, you appear to be afraid of that ounce while denying the coming cure.
Sell me then. Unless you're seeking to "cure" a surplus of able bodied young American males, sell me on what you're going to cure and how you're going to cure it. None of your posts so far have done that.

To the best of our knowledge, Irans largest cascade involves 162 centrifuges. It takes something over 16,000 to make weapons grade uranium.

However - We have no friggin idea whether or not Iran may have gotten hold of a loose nuke or two from one of the 'Stans. Not all of the Soviet Arsenal is accounted for.

You're pumping a "quick and easy" mantra again, and we all saw how that worked out last time.

Any serious atack on Iranian soil will not end quickly or easily. It will be the start of a long and bloody slog that will take years, and we will suffer several serious terrorist attacks at home and lose tens of thousands of fighting men in the ensuing battle.

Hezbollah *will* launch everything they have at Israel (which didn't manage to knock out even one katushka launcher last time), and Iran *will* launch everything they've got that can reach Israel...with the rest being launched at our men and women in the region.

We may reach the point that such an attack becomes necessary, but we aren't even close right now. If it does become necessary, I really hope you stop spinning fairy tales about easy it's going to be, and once again undermining the will of the American people by trying to delude them about the nature of the sacrafices they're going to have to make.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Redskull-

quote:
Iran will be a full fledged nuclear power with a ICBM delivery system possibly as early as he end of this summer.
Please tell me what you base this on.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Redskull-

quote:
Iran will be a full fledged nuclear power with a ICBM delivery system possibly as early as he end of this summer.
Please tell me what you base this on.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
He had how many centrifuges when Iran officially declared that it not only had centrifuges but also had several hundred more than the IAEA suspected? He has a site for bunkered, inaccessible to IAEA inspectors or MOAB attack proof, centrifuges that has an estimated capacity of at least another 5-15,000 more centrifuges. The announced enrichment levels and progress that Iran officially declared as a result of having only 300 centrifuges to the IAEA. The shocking rapidity with which Iran began producing enriched uranium and plutonium suspectedly, at a rate of roduction and level of enrichment that the IAEA nearly garunteed would be beyond Iran's grasp for at least five more years.

Or the fact that they are getting another 3000 centrifuges online. According to their legislature.

Simple math. At a minnimum they have at least 1000 centrifuges running 24/7 to refine uranium hexafloride. More likely they have at least 3000 running right now. They could have as many as 18,000 running right now. If it is 1000 then they have enough for a bomb by 2008. 3000 get sthem to sometime this summer. 18,000 gets them enough for a bomb last december.

So do you go with IAEA estimates which have proven to be off by a large factor. Do you go with the estimate that takes into account what facilities they have built and how many centrifuges they have officially acknowledged as existing. Or do you take into account Iran's facilities, declared capacity, and the fact that their declared capacity has been hidden right under the IAEA for almost a decade, and the Iranians aren't liekly to start comming clean with exactly how many centrifuges they have running underground that they won't let the IAEA even see?

I'm going with the conservative of the three, summer.

Of course it will turn out to be another IAEA surprise, like pakistan, india and north korea.

That the Iranians have stated that they will negotiate anything other than giving up their nuclear program, I think I have a pretty good chance at being right.

Was off by about a year on the North Koreans. They turned out to be a little faster than I anticipated. I suspect the Iranians are a little better at nuclear aquisition compared to their sometimes missile trading partner. So while the cascade we "know about" contains only 160 odd members, why then do they have not one but two huge underground facilities for centrifuges? Why do they not let anyone in to inspect the sites? Why are they blocking IAEA people at the border? Where is the plutonium and highly enriched unranium coming from that the IAEA inspectors are finding?

And that is without even going into the rumor mill, which is a lot more frightening than even the IAEA has acknowledged as being the situation on the ground right now.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Red, last April you were arguing that Iran was as little as 120 days from having enough Uranium for a bomb and that we HAD to BTFOO them immediately. I think you're going to that well of hyper-alarm again, and again the situation on the ground doesn't merit an overwhelming response.
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
Judging by what I've heard and read Red is right. I too read about the 300 centrifuges Iran admitted to having.

The question is 'what are we going to do about it'?

I can't believe the Israelis will tolerate a nuclear Iran. Nor should we. Big stack poker. We better start playing it. We don't want to depend on MAD with mad countries like Iran and NK. We will long for the days of the Iron Curtain.

KE

[ January 29, 2007, 10:39 PM: Message edited by: KnightEnder ]
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
Jesse, why would we send men when one submarine could neutralize the entire country, and for damn sure a couple of nuclear weapons factories?

KE
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Dave

I think what I was arguing in April was that they had two physical sites, configured for up to 15,000 centrifuges each, and that back then we had just shockingly discovered that Iran not only had centrifuges running, but also had already begun processing Uranium. Under a worse case senario, back in April, assuming the Iranians had two full complements of centrifuges at both sites, running full tilt, a guestimate of less than 120 days to a bomb seems reasonable.

Now that we know what the Iranians have admited to having, 2008 is the maximal time frame.

I think MOAB strikes, were and still are the only answer. We did not bomb back last April. Has Iran ceased or even negotiated with the IAEA? Nope. Iran now has more publicly admitted centrifuges. Iran has more developed sites. And simple math suggests that it is indeed a matter of time before Iran gets a bomb. They already have the delivery system.

Once they have nuke #1, Middle East peace becomes a pipe dream, Israel is almost certainly doomed, and Europe ceases to be a functional player on the world stage.

Frankly I think they already have the weapon material, and they are just trying to get it all to work first time. Wouldn't surprise me in the least if the North Korea weapon had actually been an Iranian weapon.

Big picture, diplomacy is not working at all. Meanwhile Iran is working like all get out to produce the bomb materials. All they need is time, and each time they reveal that they have already far exceeded even the gloomiest IAEA estimates of Iranian ability, they are sending a very strong message militarilly and diplomaticly. They have demonstrated a capacity to avoid IAEA oversight, while establishing all the production components and capacities required to produce nuclear bombs on a large scale.

Bet they already have it, bet it was tested in North Korea, and bet they are working on a Mark II version, because the first time wasn't too good.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Red, do you know this or are you just speculating? I've read a number of assessment reports on the web from 2002 through the present, and I don't see any of them making as strong a case as you do. Uncertainty about what Iran has developed so far and what their expansion plans are outweigh the "worst case" projections. It would help me if you could refer me to one or two credible analyses that go as far as you do.

Edited to add:
quote:
Once they have nuke #1, Middle East peace becomes a pipe dream, Israel is almost certainly doomed, and Europe ceases to be a functional player on the world stage.
What happens to ME or world peace if we preemptively bomb Iran? Russia re-rises as our international counterweight, NK is "proven right" about us, China realizes they need to stiffen their military/diplomatic position, Pakistan turns its back on us, India puts additional effort into its weapons program, and the UN becomes powerless. Basically, the whole world goes into a frantic race to build new weapons and the US becomes even more isolated from even our most staunch allies. If some substantial part of that is the outcome of your idea to bomb Iran, would you still do it?

[ January 30, 2007, 09:32 AM: Message edited by: DaveS ]
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Thats what someone else said the last time I brought this up. So again I ask how about going to the IAEA web site for your self? Other people did , and found I wasn't making anything up.

Iran has admitted to having just somewhere north of 3000 centrifuges installed, has been less forthcomming on how many became operational, and when the opperations started. The addition of another 3000 centrifuges already in process, means the number of centrifuges that Iran had admited to that are functioning, and producing uranium refined to weapons/energy grade is at least 6001. Leaving in question the IAEA estimates as to other probable centrifuge sites.

Then again, I lost interest in the whole issue because apparently in order to discuss anything on Ornery anymore, you have to provide wiki links for absolutely everything. But for thse of you out there with short term or long term memory degradation, and can't remeber from one week to the next what the hell you heard or saw in a daily paper or newscast, the internet must be an amazing crutch.

Sorry Dave, it isn't meant directly at you. Just getting sick of every single thread on ornery boiling down to a tit for tat citation orgy. Check the IAEA site, and then I guess any news outlet of your choice. If CNN had the details last week, then it has to be everywhere by now. CNN hasn't broken a good story in years.

Trying hard not to be snippy.
 
Posted by jasonr (Member # 969) on :
 
Red, your posts are always such a bright ray of sunshine in my day [Smile]

Just to indulge my morbid curiosity... what exactly will happen if/when Iran finally proves that it has at least one nuke? You say Israel is doomed, but how exactly are things going to play out? What will be the blow by blow chain of events.

Also, what do you think the odds of an Israeli pre-emptive strike are? If I know the Israelis, they're not going to sit around and wait for Iran to have a nuke. The question is, what will they do? What CAN they do?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Red, NP on the snippy. I read the stories/reports on the IAEA site and ElBaradei's interview. It's not good news, but those alarm bells have been sounded before.

The other approach (that Bush is pursuing) to isolate Iran is having some effect. Europe is coming along with it hesitantly because they are understandably skeptical about our claims of the threat Iran poses because of our total screwup on Iraq. So it will take a lot more to persuade the world that war against Iran is necesssary than it might have years ago. It isn't yet time to strike out at Iran and won't be until the likelihood of them having and planning to use a bomb exceeds the likelihood of them not using it. IMO, rather than solving a problem politically, bombing Iran starts the next global war, and that one will last a generation and will be nuclear.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Dave

I'd say the isolate Iran/UN/IAEA approach has had zero results. The Iranians have not backed away from or scaled back their program. They have apparently accelerated it. The only progress made has been the IAEA report was completed, presented to the SC as evidence of outright Iranian violation, and the SC, under the rules of the NPT were forced to vote for sanctions against Iran. The sanctions however are being held off in the hopes that Iran will negotiate to end its potential weapon capacity. Something which Iran has flatly stated is not on the table.

So we completed the entire gamut of diplomacy, as advocated by many people, and gotten nothing to show for it except for an Iranian government that is commited to a nuclear program.

There is a very limited space of time before Iran goes nuclear. After they do, all the diplomacy in the world cannot get the world back to a pre event status quo. So now that diplomacy has failed utterly, do you simply wait for the Iranians to provide proof they are in the nuke club, or do you do nothing?
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
I do answer rhetorical questions, so my answer is that your assumptions of where things are going and predictions for what will happen aren't yet solid, hence aren't actionable. That's the best I can come up with, but all it lacks to counterbalance your opinion is the force I use to state it. The world will change when/if Iran actually possesses a nuke, but it's a world that has 1000's of them already, many in unsavory hands. It's not a foregone conclusion what it will mean.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ TCB:
quote:
That fact that Iran was willing to put recognition of Israel on the negotiating table tells me that they're not as committed to Israel's destruction as you believe. America would never be willing to negotiate with another country regarding, say, our right to free speech because it's one of our core values. The fact that Iran was willing to negotiate on Israel says that the destruction of Israel is not actually one of their core values.
You ever play poker, TCB? The art of diplomacy is a lot like poker. Countries use their strengths and weaknesses to make bargains and agreements with each other. Have you ever gotten a really good hand in poker, like, let's say, a Royal Flush? A lot of people, when given such a hand, want to immediately raise the biggest stakes they can. They raise the pot to the maximum bet immediately. This is a big mistake as most other players, especially if they have weak hands, fold almost immediately in response and the player with the good hand gets considerably less than what he could have gotten. The best strategy is to raise the pot a little, but not enough to scare the other players so that they'll stay in the round. Play it just right and you can raise the pot significantly and still win.

What's this got to do with Iran and the destruction of Israel? It's very simple: it's a stupid move. By pursuing nukes and calling for their use to destroy a neighboring country while using that to negotiate is tantamount to blackmail. Most countries decide that this is a game the do not want to play. But, not only are the Iranians "raising the stakes higher than most nations are willing to tolerate," they're also not playing by the rules. So, the better analogy would be if I brought a gun to the poker game and threatened to take the pot if I lost.

Do you really want to play poker with someone who plays the game in that fashion? I sure don't.

quote:
Instead you cite Hezbollah's manifesto as proof that the "entire region" wants to see Israel destroyed. But by your definition of "region" I could say with equal validity that the entire region is committed to a two-state solution, citing Saudi Arabia, the PLO, and many others -- even Hamas acknowleges that Israel exists, but says it won't recognize it formally until a Palestinian state has been established.
Care full there, TCB, lest I accuse you of "straw manning" my argument. Read back, I didn't cite Hezballah's manifesto as proof. I cited SEVERAL manifestos and pointed to the media and the propaganda of the region as my proof.

quote:
Bush was unwilling to talk to Iran when we had a position of strength, after Iran saw us conquer in three weeks what they couldn't defeat in eight years, because he desired the bigger prize of regime change in Tehran. But now Bush's people say they can't talk with Iran because we're in a position of weakness, with an army bogged down in a civil war and an apparent lame duck commander-in-chief. If we're unwilling to negotiate when we're strong or when we're weak, we're just plain unwilling to negotiate.
No, Bush is unwilling to negotiate with Iran because it is a "rogue state." Because it refuses to play the game in the same way that all other nations do and, instead, would rather bring a gun to a poker game just in case it loses.

quote:
The American view is that Iran is too irrational to negotiate with, but there's justification for the view that we're the ones being unreasonable, and that we desire war.
The only thing we are being unreasonable about is our staunch desire that the Iranians play by the same rules as the rest of the world. The only thing we are willing to go to war over is to keep them using that gun.

quote:
Finally, it's true that Hitler killed himself and many Germans died in the war. But even Iranian fanatics aren't so stupid as to think that seeing nuclear missiles hit every major city in Iran, killing millions of innocent Israeli Muslims, and poisoning the land of Palestine is worth "wiping Israel off the map". Iran's leaders know that Israel would retaliate with nuclear weapons if Iran hit them first. Even if Israel couldn't, the US probably would.
One could have made that very same argument about the Germans (and many did). And, yet, a very small minority of people managed to launch that entire nation into a war that ultimately cost 50 million lives.

Do not ignore that reality at OUR peril.


@ Jesse:
quote:
Sell me then. Unless you're seeking to "cure" a surplus of able bodied young American males, sell me on what you're going to cure and how you're going to cure it. None of your posts so far have done that.
Then you haven't been reading this thread and we are merely bickering. I suggest you go back and do so, otherwise you are wasting my time.

Ed.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
Ed, Sadat wasn't killed for making peace with Israel. One of the assasins screamed "I have killed Pharoh". Pharoh is the same guy in Islamic and Jewish tradition.

That's a bit of an ethnocentric leap. To Egyptian fundie muslims, Pharaoh would represent a non-muslim ruler of Egypt. That's the fundie nightmare: non-muslim ruling over a muslim population. Note that these same fundies vandalize ancient egyptian stuff murder tourists at Karnak, etc.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Uh, Pete?

The Muslim Brotherhood/Egyptian Islamic Jihad saw Sadat as a non-muslim ruler (to THEM he was appostate) of Egypt persecuting them for trying to keep "their faith with God" and holding them in bondage.

That's the point of the statement. Pharoh in Islamic tradition (see, back then, the Jews were still listening to God and were his chosen people) is the same guy as in Jewish tradition.

Redskull-

I wasn't accusing you of making stuff up when I asked what you based your current estimates on.

Since last December is your worst case scenerio, how do we know that they don't already have the bomb? Even if it was a test of one of their bombs or bomb designs that performed poorly in NK, does that give us any assurance that they don't have another which might work?

Isn't it possible they've already got a warhead or two, and very probable that they will launch if seriously attacked?

Ed-

I'm sorry, but you haven't laid out a case for anything but WWIII. I've carefully read your posts, but you haven't adressed any of the concerns I've raised, shown the ability to respond to correction of incorrect statements, admit that there are things you haven't considered, or lay out any long term strategy.

1) Bomb Iran.

2) ???????

3) All better.

KE

Bro, the Iranians are not utterly without any ability to respond to our attacks. We can't get away with glassing their country for litteral fallout reasons alone.

The borders between Iran and Iraq/Afganistan are not remotely close to seccure, they have a fair arsenal of short, intermediate, and long range missles, they have plenty of dirty bomb material, they have chemical weapons, they support multiple terror cells around the world, and there is no reason to believe they will take it lying down with a smile.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
@ Jesse:
quote:
I'm sorry, but you haven't laid out a case for anything but WWIII.
I drew a parallel between today's events and WWII. Events that are so similar as to be downright scary. You argue that I need to make a case for something, when that was never my intent. My intent was to demonstrate the parallels, and I've done so.

quote:
I've carefully read your posts, but you haven't adressed any of the concerns I've raised,
Because the concerns you've raise are irrelevant to the point I'm making? Your disagreement over what comprised the region was irrelevant since you identified a region I wasn't referring to. Your assertion that Anwar was killed by the Muslim Brotherhood doesn't do anything to change the fact that their is a huge amount of propoganda being broadcast by their media that will, if nothing changes, result in war.

quote:
shown the ability to respond to correction of incorrect statements,
Corrections that still do not change my main point, even if I accepted them, and I don't accept them because they are irrelevant.

quote:
admit that there are things you haven't considered,
You haven't pointed out anything I haven't considered. You've only pointed out irrelevancies.

quote:
or lay out any long term strategy.
If I feel we're on the road to war, and I'm arguing that position, then, once again, laying out a long term strategy is irrelevant.

Furthermore, read the title of this thread, it's about Bushes speech, and, therefore, about Bush's strategy. That IS what this argument is about. Why do I need to lay out a long term strategy when I believe that Bush's strategy is likely the best one?

Have I said "irrelevant" enough times yet?

quote:
1) Bomb Iran.

2) ???????

3) All better.

Would you mind showing me where I make this assertion?

Ed.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
quote:
Why do I need to lay out a long term strategy when I believe that Bush's strategy is likely the best one?
Bush hasn't provided a long term strategy, and you think it's the best one?
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
What? Attempting to build a free and democratic Iraq is not and cannot be a long term endeavor? Yer funny, Jesse. [Wink]
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Jesse

we don't know if they have a bomb or not. period. But they announced yesterday, and its in the cable news today, that they have accelerated plans to deploy 54,000 centrifuges, regect the current UN penalties, care less for the Russian offer to provide them with nuclear fuel for free, and more hauntingly, some think tank has said Iran is 3 years at most away from multiple ICBM nuclear weapons. And in their estimate, probably only 2 years.

So the question remains, we have no idea what they have. They apparently plan to have a nuclear bomb. And they apparently plan to have ICBMs to put bombs on. Do we wait until they demonstrate conclusively that they have a nuke? Do we act before they acheive an orbital ICBM test? Or do we just wait and see?

At anyrate the ball is under our control for only a limited space of time.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
Honestly, Red, I don't think Iran will use those nukes without provocation. I'm more concerned about their attempts to increase their sphere of influence throughout the Shia dominated areas of the Middle East, just as they are doing now in Lebanon and Iraq. If they ever succeed, and if we're forced to push them out of whatever territories they've taken, then I fear they might resort to nukes.

But given their wanton calls for the destruction of Israel, their failure to hold to international law and their blatant disregard for the international community, it's wisest we do what we can to prevent them from ever obtaining nukes.

Just my two cents...

Ed.
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Jesse:
Uh, Pete?

The Muslim Brotherhood/Egyptian Islamic Jihad saw Sadat as a non-muslim ruler (to THEM he was appostate) of Egypt persecuting them for trying to keep "their faith with God" and holding them in bondage.

That's the point of the statement. Pharoh in Islamic tradition

That's exactly what I was saying, Jesse. That the Pharaoh reference was a shout of Islamic extremism. Not some expression of sympathy for Israel, as the first poster seemed to think. Satat was murdered by the same type of Islamo-necrophiles that we're battling now. Even some of the faces are the same.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
Yes, Pete, but my point to Jesse had to do with the fact that, amongst the reasons for killing Sadat, was his desire to make peace with Israel. A person can be killed for multiple reasons. [Smile]
 
Posted by Pete at Home (Member # 429) on :
 
Right. I thought that was what you were questioning -- that Sadat was murdered in retaliation for Sadat's peace initiatives with Israel. Same #1 reason that OBL stated for his jihad on the west -- that we persuaded Egypt to peace with Israel.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
That's what *I* was questioning, Pete. [Wink]

Before peace with Israel, he was already top of their hit list. Now, peace with Israel was one of their gripes, but since the intent to kill him already existed and attempts to do so had already been made, it's pretty hard to say it was the reason they did it.

Redskull-

If they do have a nuclear weapon or two at this point, and we make a serious strike, we pretty much gaurantee they will launch, don't we?
 
Posted by KnightEnder (Member # 992) on :
 
Jesse, I don't want to glass their country because I think the majority of Iranians are not dangerous to us. However, we cannot, and the Israelis damn sure cannot allow them to build up a nuclear arsenal.

Bomb, bomb, bomb
bomb, bomb, Iran!

KE
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Thing is, KE, it doesn't end with a few bombs on their nuclear sites.
 
Posted by Redskullvw (Member # 188) on :
 
Jesse

I dont see the USA or even a UN authorized strike against Iran. I think Iran gets the bomb, and puts them on ICBM's.

We don't get a chance to act before they do, or want to. I figure we will learn of Iran's nuclear ambitions when they test a bomb publicly, possibly point a nuclear trigger at Israel, and park a few ICBM nukes in Venezuela and tell the USA that any effort to defend Israel, will result in parts of the Southern USA disappearing in a mushroom cloud.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
Ok.

So, we've got a Venezuelian missle crisis (maybe) and couple of ICBMs pointed at the Green Zone and Tel Aviv maybe...twelve months from now.

Then what?

Redskull....I often disagree with you but your speculations tend be well founded and grounded in objective reality. I'm very interested to hear how you think this plays out.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
Redirected from this thread since it is the continuation of an old argument:

@DaveS:
quote:
Ed, your first post asked:
quote:
Pull out a metaphor OR prove that things are going badly, specifically.


No, Dave, my first post DECLARED. There was no question there, merely the statement that you couldn't create a metaphor to illustrate that Iraq was a failure or that things were going so badly we should quit. And I'm still waiting. So far, most of your metaphors have been personal attacks against me. Very bad aim...

quote:
I just did that, so now your position is, well Fly already said my facts don't matter, and that I should apply a standard as you did in another thread. Except that the standard you used there is completely irrelevant to the problem in Iraq.
Then back that position up and SHOW ME why a cost of war (the death of soldiers) is irrelevant, especially if it can be used to prevent a larger war with larger costs. It's things like this that I'm lambasting you for and I'm STILL waiting. Instead, you keep insisting that this isn't relevant.

quote:
By your logic, if 5000 US servicemen or women die each month between now and the end of the year, it would still be a better situation than in any of those other wars. If ten times that many died each month for the next 8 months, it would still be a better situation than WWII.
No, only by the twisting of my argument, such as claiming that a cost of war is irrelevant, exaggerating my numbers and ignoring the possibility of a greater cost, can you arrive at such a conclusion. The first time I posed this point to you it was in the context of cost: how many people are you willing to let die in the context of the potential loss of tens of millions should our struggle with the Middle East escalate to a world wide war?

By my logic, the death of 2 soldiers per day (terrible) is worth it if it can prevent the death of 300 soldiers per day (very terrible). It's a very simple cost equation.

But you keep ignoring the whole "pay now or pay later" argument by claiming the cost is irrelevant and failing to prove why it is.

quote:
Blatting statistics (at least some of which you didn't bother to fact check and were erroneous) is not the same as applying a standard.
And this is pure, unadulterated, crap! How many times must I repeat that my facts were verifiable? Or that I accounted for the inaccuracies? Repeating myself one more time.

And your response? You change the subject.

The fact that some statistics were "incorrect" -- death statistics from wars vary from source to source -- does not render my argument invalid. Regardless of the source, the cost of other wars are still, _at least,_ ten times the current conflict. You are supporting a compositional fallacy by arguing "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch." And it's even questionable that it is a "bad apple" since estimates tend to vary.

quote:
You also repeatedly lambast me for not applying a standard of my own and not backing up my arguments with real data.
That's because you don't. If I raise a point to you, such as the costs of war, and your only response is to declare "the point is irrelevant" without explaining WHY the point is irrelevant then you are clearly NOT backing up your arguments with anything, not even data.

I acknowledged that you supplied measurements (data). I am, however, waiting for you to provide some kind of standard that convinces me that we are losing this "war." And still I wait...

quote:
Since you refer to that other thread, reread this post of mine from over there. I researched my positions carefully throughout that thread (and this one), and I even researched yours over there.
More baloney. With that answer, you attempted to entangle me in that whole "region" equivocation of Jesse's, since he was using it in a context that I was not. Then, as now, you are merely attempting to distract from the real issue. Forgive me if I don't chase any herrings here, red or otherwise.

quote:
What became obvious there and you have yet to disprove here is that you have a far lower standard for objective evidence to back up anything you say and, perversely, a far higher confidence in your opinions.
And, yet, I'm not the one misconstruing the argument, chasing red herrings, or even, suppressing the correlative:

quote:
Do between 100K and 600K Iraqi civilian deaths factor into your thinking? How about 2M - 3M civilian injuries or displacements? How about the fastest increase in infant and child mortality in the world?
And here's another question posed that you failed to answer: "What do you think those numbers will be if we pull out? Care to guess? Given how the Shia and the Sunni want to kill each other, do you think it will still be less than 100 per day?"

And your response? You evaded the question by suppress the correlative as I've already pointed out.

And my position? The same as it's always been, that the cost of 2 soldiers per day is worth keeping Iraqi death tolls from spiraling even higher than they are today which you promptly ignored it.

Did you really think I was comparing those costs only in American lives, when I have said, repeatedly, that I feel that we are on the verge of a war that could cost tens of millions of lives, just as with WWII? Why would I exclude the Iraqis in this equation?

quote:
If there were 0 US deaths, the trends of increasing violence, deterioration of infrastructure, disintegration of parliament, the worsening humanitarian crisis all show that forward progress isn't happening, and that things are getting worse in virtually every way they can be measured. My very reasonable standard is that things have gone badly and are getting worse for the people of Iraq, and the recent increase in US deaths is just one additional data point to consider. Care to rebut my facts with references that show I'm wrong? Care to explain with references how things are in a stalemate? Care to provide any links or references at all to back up your position?
Is it reasonable to suppress the correlative? If I ask "how many lives will be lost if we abandon the Iraqis and you respond without acknowledging that things will get worse if we leave, then that is exactly what you are doing and it is FAR from reasonable. It is, by definition, unreasoning. Dare I say "hard and impenetrable?"

quote:
This is a discussion group, not a bulletin board. Try harder.
Then more discussion and less suppression of the correlative, please?

Ed.
 
Posted by Jesse (Member # 1860) on :
 
I leave you alone, please leave me out of your drama.
 
Posted by DaveS (Member # 2734) on :
 
Ed, I cannot provide either any standard or adequate evidence that will disprove your position. I stipulate that I have been unwilling to argue in the same fair manner as you, causing me to be evasive and non-responsive to your consistent points. Given these concessions, I further stipulate that you are correct in all of your points and conclusions, and I withdraw from the argument.
 
Posted by EDanaII (Member # 1062) on :
 
Why are images from "A Fish Called Wanda" popping into my head?

"Don't call me 'stupid!'"

And, no, I've never read Nietzsche... [Wink]

Ed.
 


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