Baghdad Becoming Safer

Ralph
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Baghdad Becoming Safer

Post by Ralph » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:44 am

Gunmen grab up to 150 from Baghdad research institute
Story Highlights
•NEW: A few people have been released, according to Iraqi news reports
•As many as 150 were taken, considered one of the largest mass kidnappings
•Only the men were taken, the women were left in a locked room, minister says
•Bombings in Baghdad also kill a dozen people

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Gunmen clad in Iraqi National Police uniforms kidnapped between 100 and 150 people at a government research institute in Baghdad Tuesday morning, forcing the minister of higher education to order universities closed until security improves.

The daytime raid, considered possibly the largest ever in Baghdad, involved up to 80 gunmen and targeted the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research-Scholarships and Cultural Relations Directorate building, Minister Abed Dhiyab al-Ajili told parliament.

He said he had "no choice but to stop the teaching in the universities in Baghdad, adding he is "not ready to see more professors get killed." (Watch what the directorate looked like after more than 100 people were kidnapped -- 2:32Video)

The directorate had a guard force that numbered about 20, with a handful of weapons among them -- not enough to resist the abductors -- al-Ajili said.

Later, Iraqi state TV reported a small number of people were released but didn't say how many. Another news report said three were released.

Authorities deplored the act, and the United Nations issued a condemnation.

Hours later, bombers killed a dozen people in two separate attacks in the capital.

In what was a clearly well-organized operation, the kidnappers surrounded the four-story ministry building along Nidhal Street with at least 20 vehicles, taking captive guards, employees and civilians, al-Ajili said.

"They took 100 to 150 people, including employees from different ranks starting from manager and down to the cleaning workers and normal citizens," the minister said. The gunmen had claimed they were on a legitimate government mission, according to the minister, and had systematically gone through the four-story building.

One witness, a Sunni Arab well known to a Reuters employee, said he saw the gunmen check identity cards, pick out Sunni employees, including a man "who was just delivering tea." (Watch other witnesses describe how the gunmen carried out the morning attack -- 1:35Video)

"At the same time I saw two police patrols watching, doing nothing," Reuters quoted him as saying.

The gunmen separated the men from the women, locking the women in a room, while loading the men into vehicles before making their escape, al-Ajili said.

The massive kidnapping took place, despite an enormous security presence in the area, which is home to a number of political figures and their party headquarters, CNN's Michael Ware reported. Like all government institutions, it should have been protected by government forces, he added.

Al-Ajili said he had sent a letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki last week, asking for better protection for universities and education buildings. The defense and interior ministers had rejected earlier requests for 800 university guards, he said.

The U.N. secretary-general's special representative in Iraq, Ashraf Qazi, called the kidnapping "a nefarious crime," saying it "could dangerously and negatively effect progress and development in Iraq, a country long known for its literary and scientific tradition."

Qazi urged Iraqi officials "to immediately and inexorably pursue those responsible, free the abductees and ensure the sanctity of higher education."
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 12:22 pm

There clearly aren't enough troops there.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
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Post by Ralph » Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:31 pm

Barry Z wrote:There clearly aren't enough troops there.
*****

Would the American people accept a larger deployment? Where would the troops come from?
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:38 pm

Ralph wrote:
Barry Z wrote:There clearly aren't enough troops there.
*****

Would the American people accept a larger deployment? Where would the troops come from?
The American people don't make such decisions. The President does.

I am not well-versed enough in where all of our troops are currently deployed both home and abroad to say precisely where they'd come from, but nowhere near half of our troops are in Iraq. And more are needed there (actually, more should have been there all along, but that's another story).
My position on this is the same as John McCain's.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Ralph
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Post by Ralph » Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:52 pm

Barry Z wrote:
Ralph wrote:
Barry Z wrote:There clearly aren't enough troops there.
*****

Would the American people accept a larger deployment? Where would the troops come from?
The American people don't make such decisions. The President does.

I am not well-versed enough in where all of our troops are currently deployed both home and abroad to say precisely where they'd come from, but nowhere near half of our troops are in Iraq. And more are needed there (actually, more should have been there all along, but that's another story).
My position on this is the same as John McCain's.
*****

The President's decisions reflect to one degree or another the support his policies have. Bush has been clearly told that the war is a failure. Most Americans believe that now. It is impossible to raise the strength of the Army and Marines. National Guard units are now being tasked for second tours in Iraq, a very serious impediment to maintaining a strong Guard.
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:04 pm

www.realclearpolitics.com
Bush must call for reinforcements in Iraq
By Robert Kagan and William Kristol

November 12 2006

President George W. Bush has just over two years left in office. The central question facing him is: what kind of Iraq will he bequeath to his successor? Will it be a metastasising mess dumped on the doorstep of the next president, or an Iraq on the path to stability and success? The answer will determine how this president should be remembered by future generations.

There are, of course, other grave issues that will consume the Bush administration over the next two years: the continuing need to defend Americans from terrorist threats; Iran’s efforts to acquire nuclear weapons; containment and weakening of a nuclear-armed North Korea; an increasingly belligerent Russia; and manifold challenges presented by a rising China. But the fact remains that Mr Bush (correctly, in our view) took the nation to war to remove Saddam Hussein, and the success or failure of that war will be central to his legacy.


ADVERTISEMENT
The trajectory is downward towards failure. Indeed, this has been the case for more than three years, ever since Pentagon officials decided to put far too few troops in Iraq to bring stability after Hussein’s ousting. The result has been not only a consistently inadequate level of forces. The endless cycle of promised draw-downs, deteriorating security and cancellation of the proposed draw-downs has been politically disastrous in both Iraq and the US.

In Iraq, US policies have steadily undermined public confidence that America has either the will or capacity to provide the security Iraqis need. So they have turned to their own sectarian armed groups for protection. That, and not historical inevitability or the alleged failings of the Iraqi people, has brought Iraq closer to civil war.

These policies have been equally damaging in the US. The American people have rightly judged that the administration is floundering in Iraq and, worse, is not committed to doing what is necessary to succeed. This perception undoubtedly played a large part in last week’s mid-term election. Now, many Americans are looking to the Iraq Study Group, the commission headed by James Baker and Lee Hamilton, for a face-saving, bipartisan way to withdraw from Iraq as quickly as possible. The great irony is that with nothing new to offer, the Baker commission’s forthcoming report – if it takes the shape most observers predict – will probably suffer the same fate as similar past efforts.

There is a popular theory that the prospect of US withdrawal will force Iraqis to reach an accommodation with one another. This would be more plausible had it not been disproved by three years of painful experience. Instead of looking for a face-saving way to lose in Iraq, President Bush could finally demand of his top advisers a strategy to succeed: provide the US force levels necessary to achieve even minimal political objectives. This could begin by increasing US troops in Iraq by at least 50,000 in order to clear and hold Baghdad without shifting troops from other parts of Iraq. These operations could then be expanded into areas of insurgency. This strategy would not stabilise the country right away but could secure Iraq’s vital centre and provide real hope for progress.

Those who claim that 50,000 more troops do not exist to send to Iraq are wrong. But it is true that US ground forces are stretched, and that steps are needed to increase their overall size.

If the president undertook to send the necessary troops, we have no doubt many likely recommendations from the Baker commission would make sense and could be supported. We share the commission’s belief that the administration should actively seek bipartisan support for its approach to Iraq. Democratic hopefuls for the 2008 presidential elections should welcome any effort to ensure they are not left to deal with a collapsing country. There is much easy talk of how a victory strategy in Iraq has been rendered impossible by Tuesday’s elections. This is nonsense. First, victory in Iraq is a national priority, and to abandon it because of a loss of House and Senate seats would be irresponsible. The Republican loss was largely due to lack of confidence that Mr Bush had a victory strategy for Iraq, not a belief that he was not exiting fast enough. If the president makes clear he has such a strategy, he will have the support to do what is necessary.

As for the Baker commission’s likely recommendation that the US should engage Syria and Iran in the search for solutions in Iraq, we are sceptical these countries want to help. But it is one thing to seek their help while the US is losing and its negotiating position is weakest, and quite another to engage in such diplomacy while increasing US force levels to try to improve the security situation.

Finally, as others have noted, if the Iraqis choose to organise their country in a less “unified” and more “federated” way, that is fine – as long as it is peaceful and stable. A peaceful, federated Iraq will, however, require no less of a commitment of US troops to provide security than a unitary one.

The president has two years to turn things around and leave a viable Iraq to the next president. It should be obvious that “staying the course” is a recipe for failure. So are politically driven exit strategies. The president is left with the choice: quit, or do what is necessary to succeed. We trust he understands that the task before him in Iraq is to find a strategy for success.


Robert Kagan is author of “Dangerous Nation” (Alfred A. Knopf) and a contributing editor at The Weekly Standard. William Kristol is editor of The Weekly Standard. This article is based on a longer essay in this week’s Standard.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Nov 14, 2006 4:43 pm

Gunmen grab up to 150 from Baghdad research institute
According to Barry this is just another example of biased reporting

Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:08 pm

Ted wrote:
Gunmen grab up to 150 from Baghdad research institute
According to Barry this is just another example of biased reporting
Ted,
I wish you'd stick to giving your own views instead of rewording mine.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:19 pm

Please Barry….Are you going to make me find a post of yours from just last week where you clearly stated that the media was at fault for reporting only the bad news—that was last week—you’ve said the same for years now-Stick by your guns especially since you’re the CMG poster boy for the “US bringing stability to the Mid-East”

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Post by Sapphire » Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:19 pm

Barry Z

How do you explain the rising trend of Allied forces deaths in Iraq over the past couple of months?

Not enough troops? Or failing policy?

If not enough troops, how many more do you want? And why do you think this will cut the future number of deaths? Are you sure it will do so?

If failing policy, what's the point hanging around too much longer to suffer any more deaths?

And why the hell is Bush still fighting the war on terror in Iraq. He is now only fighting terror that is caused largely by the Allies' continued presense there. It's called shadow boxing. Our top British General said this a couple of weeks ago. It was that which made think that the whole thing is now a joke. Get out asap.

Won the war, lost the peace. Face up to it.


Saphire

Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:03 pm

Ted wrote:Please Barry….Are you going to make me find a post of yours from just last week where you clearly stated that the media was at fault for reporting only the bad news—that was last week—you’ve said the same for years now-Stick by your guns especially since you’re the CMG poster boy for the “US bringing stability to the Mid-East”
Ted,
I've complained about a lack of balance in reporting during the course of the war, and I still feel that way. But this kidnapping is a major story that obviously should be reported.

I'm also on record in the past as saying I am less convinced than Corlyss (and maybe Pizza) of any intent to ruin the war effort on the part of the press. My view is that as with local television news, blood (or fire) sells. But the consequences are bigger in war than they are with the local tv news.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:15 pm

Saphire wrote:Barry Z

How do you explain the rising trend of Allied forces deaths in Iraq over the past couple of months?

Not enough troops? Or failing policy?

If not enough troops, how many more do you want? And why do you think this will cut the future number of deaths? Are you sure it will do so?

If failing policy, what's the point hanging around too much longer to suffer any more deaths?

And why the hell is Bush still fighting the war on terror in Iraq. He is now only fighting terror that is caused largely by the Allies' continued presense there. It's called shadow boxing. Our top British General said this a couple of weeks ago. It was that which made think that the whole thing is now a joke. Get out asap.

Won the war, lost the peace. Face up to it.
Saphire
You'll have to pardon me if I do no such thing.

Much of the failing policy has had to do with a lack of troop strength right from the beginning. As to why I think we need to remain there, I spent a good deal of time elaborating on that yesterday with Ted and am not inclined to repeat my arguments yet again (you may be new here.....I've been over this ad nauseum for what seems like an eternity). You're welcome to look up the Murtha thread from yesterday for my views.

Your British top general doesn't sway me. I've done a good deal of reading on the subject in foreign policy and national security journals and agree with the solid majority of the American national security and foreign policy community that leaving or even setting a firm timeline for doing so would do more harm than good, both for Iraq and us (that includes those who opposed going into Iraq in the first place). There aren't any easy way outs. Staying will be painful; leaving may seem less so in the now; but the long-term consequences of doing so will be more painful than staying. You don't get the good fortune of having a "good" choice in most foreign policy/national security situations; and this is no exception to that rule. It's vital to our longterm national security (and Europes, whether you admit it or not) that the United States not be viewed by either its allies or enemies as not having the will to stick out a difficult situation.
Last edited by Barry on Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Ted

Post by Ted » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:23 pm

Barry
I applaud your courage in sticking to a position that seemingly makes you a supporter of the Bush Doctrine
And while I find myself compelled to debate the issue with you I do not take any joy in the battle
I hope you realize that

Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:25 pm

Ted wrote:Barry
I applaud your courage in sticking to a position that seemingly makes you a supporter of the Bush Doctrine
And while I find myself compelled to debate the issue with you I do not take any joy in the battle
I hope you realize that
Ted,
We argue this so passionately because we both know how important it is and are both convinced the other's position will do an immense amount of harm if carried out.

So I respect your passion on the issue even if I firmly disagree with you on it (hey.....look how chummy Clinton and Bush I are).

As far as me being a supporter of Bush, like I've been saying, I support certain of his policies and can't stand many others. Most of Europe was calling Churchill a war-mongering trouble maker during the mid to late 30s. And Churchill had many positions we'd both be disgusted by. But the guy understood the gravity of the treat we faced and stood his ground; luckily for all of us. Bush may not be another Churchill, and we may not get the kind of decisive win in Iraq that we did in WW II, but sometimes sticking it out to demonstrate your will to your enemies is enough of a victory, even if it doesn't look as glorious on screen or paper.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Lilith
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Post by Lilith » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:37 pm

"Staying will be painful" Barry

It really won't be painful to you. But some of our troops will loose limbs and life and YES, it will be painful for them.

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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:42 pm

Lilith wrote:"Staying will be painful" Barry

It really won't be painful to you. But some of our troops will loose limbs and life and YES, it will be painful for them.
Cheap shot, which of course I expect from the likes of you.

So I suppose everyone who is not eligable for active military service is forbidden from ever supporting a war. I dare say the troops don't support your view. They ask for nothing more than our support. And they haven't gotten it from people like you.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Lilith
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Post by Lilith » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:51 pm

No Barry the real cheap shot is you saying it will be painful.

You will not feel any pain whatsoever and that's what kills me about you right wingers. You will use those terms to, I guess, imply that you have some connection to the pain but you do not. When a loved one is lost, the pain lasts forever. And when its because of a failed policy, it is truly tragic.

Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:59 pm

Lilith wrote:No Barry the real cheap shot is you saying it will be painful.

You will not feel any pain whatsoever and that's what kills me about you right wingers. You will use those terms to, I guess, imply that you have some connection to the pain but you do not. When a loved one is lost, the pain lasts forever. And when its because of a failed policy, it is truly tragic.
That you think I would feel no pain as a result of people getting killed while fighting for me out of a sense of patriotism says more about you than me.
I feel the same sense of pain that anyone does when others lose their lives while fighting for their shared country. And the greatest injustice we could do with regard to those who have and will lose their lives in this conflict is to cut and run.

BTW, one of the things that Corlyss and I have both consistently faulted Bush for is not doing enough to make the entire nation feel the importance of and a sense of shared sacrafice in this conflict.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Lilith
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Post by Lilith » Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:11 pm

"BTW, one of the things that Corlyss and I have both consistently faulted Bush for is not doing enough to make the entire nation feel the importance of and a sense of shared sacrafice in this conflict."

We can all agree on that.

We have a new concept of war in this country. First, we get a resolution from Congress but not a declaration of war. Second, we have an all volunteer army ... so people don't have to worry so much ("Well, they volunteered, didn't they ?") Third, we ask no sacrifice from the rest of the nation, we tell them 'to go shopping'.

We seal off 90% of the nation from having any serious thoughts or feelings about it. Its sickening. And its very calculated.

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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:23 pm

I've been disgusted with much of the leadership of both parties for choosing political expediency over what is right with regard to the war. Bush/Rove decided to score political points and bash the Dems over the head with the war instead of genuinely attempting to unite the country behind the war effort while many Dems can't decide whether pleasing their base or doing what makes the most policy sense is the way to go.
They'll never be able to both please the Michael Moore wing of the party and have a responsible national security policy. It's just not possible.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Ralph » Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:22 pm

"Cut and run" is a simple political catcall that defeats sound discussion and intelligent debate much as "Law and Order" was a perverted term during Nixon's administration that did harm to resolving a real issue.

I appreciate the passion of those who argue this issue. What does "support" for the service members really mean? Surely we are far past the mindless and often vicious denigration of the military that accompanied opposition to the Vietnam War. And those on the elusive lines in Iraq expect support but that doesn't mean an endless commitment to what a majority in a democracy view, correctly in my opinion, as a failed enterprise.

Whether a larger commitment of assets in the beginning would have made a difference as many think is impossible to prove or disprove. Historians will weigh in and sides will be taken for a very long time.

The reality is that some form of planned disengagement is demanded by the American people. The unpopularity of the war isn't a high tide-low tide back and forth process which shifts with new events. The decline in support is steady and it isn't likely to reverse itself as a lame duck president keeps repeating the same witless slogans.

Most Americans don't read long books but the trickle down impact of serious works about the decision to invade Iraq and the planning - or lack thereof - for an occupation is real. And it isn't just the few(?) Blue States either.

I agree with Barry that protecting America's national security is the first imperative. But Iraq isn't where or how we can achieve that mission. It's in some ways the glaring opposite.
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Barry
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Post by Barry » Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:50 pm

And I'll continue to use the phrase "cut and run" because, as I've explained more than once, I think it perfectly describes what we'd be doing if we withdraw from Iraq in the near future.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

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Post by Ralph » Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:22 am

Barry Z wrote:And I'll continue to use the phrase "cut and run" because, as I've explained more than once, I think it perfectly describes what we'd be doing if we withdraw from Iraq in the near future.
*****

We expect nothing less from you. :) :)
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Albert Einstein

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Post by RebLem » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:01 am

First of all, Barry, if you check with your colleagues, I think you will find that the reason we don't report the "good news" about schools being built and repaired and modernized, etc., is that the Iraqis at the schools as reporters not to. The reason they are asked not to is that insurgents will destroy any work that has been done, often with lots of people in the building. This demonstrates that although we may be putting up lots of buildings, we are not doing the fundamental job we were sent there for, which is providing a secure environment in which the Iraqi people can live.

So, what are reporters supposed to do? Report on the reconstruction anyway, and then on the murder of the principal and the bombing of the school a week later? The Administration complains that we are not reporting the good news. But if reporters did report on it and then on the logical consequences in terms of deaths of school personnel and destruction of the buildings we had built, the Administration would complain about that to. So what is the press to do? Just go home and not report anything, and let the military itself do all the reporting to us?

That is what George Bush would like. If we let him get away with it, though, are we a free country and a free people anymore?
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
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Post by Barry » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:05 pm

NEW YORK TIMES
By MICHAEL R. GORDON
Published: November 15, 2006
WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 — One of the most resonant arguments in the debate over Iraq holds that the United States can move forward by pulling its troops back, as part of a phased withdrawal. If American troops begin to leave and the remaining forces assume a more limited role, the argument holds, it will galvanize the Iraqi government to assume more responsibility for securing and rebuilding Iraq.

This is the case now being argued by many Democrats, most notably Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who asserts that the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq should begin within four to six months.

But this argument is being challenged by a number of military officers, experts and former generals, including some who have been among the most vehement critics of the Bush administration’s Iraq policies.

Anthony C. Zinni, the former head of the United States Central Command and one of the retired generals who called for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, argued that any substantial reduction of American forces over the next several months would be more likely to accelerate the slide to civil war than stop it.

“The logic of this is you put pressure on Maliki and force him to stand up to this,” General Zinni said in an interview, referring to Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister. “Well, you can’t put pressure on a wounded guy. There is a premise that the Iraqis are not doing enough now, that there is a capability that they have not employed or used. I am not so sure they are capable of stopping sectarian violence.”

Instead of taking troops out, General Zinni said, it would make more sense to consider deploying additional American forces over the next six months to “regain momentum” as part of a broader effort to stabilize Iraq that would create more jobs, foster political reconciliation and develop more effective Iraqi security forces.

The debate over American troop levels in Iraq was raging well before the establishment in March of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group led by James A. Baker III, a former secretary of state, and Lee H. Hamilton, a former congressman. Initially, it centered on Mr. Rumsfeld’s stewardship at the Pentagon and whether the United States had deployed sufficient forces and taken the requisite nation-building steps to defeat, or at least contain, a virulent insurgency.

But as the character of the Iraq conflict has changed over the past year, so has the debate. The primary worry for American commanders now is preventing the bloody cycle of drive-by shootings, kidnappings and bombings from spiraling into an all-out civil war.

With more American than Iraqi soldiers in Baghdad, there has been mounting frustration on the part of American officials over the failure of the Iraqi government to send sufficient reinforcements to the Iraqi capital, to establish a genuine “unity government” and to effectively challenge the power of the militias, some of whom have infiltrated the very Iraqi Army and police units that the American military is working with.

In essence, the current debate turns on whether Iraqi leaders would be susceptible to the sort of blunt American pressure entailed by troop reductions. Arguing that such pressure was necessary, Senator Levin joined forces with another Democrat, Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, to offer an amendment in June calling for a phased reduction of American troops, a measure he stressed has been supported by all of the potential Democratic presidential candidates. The proposal is less sweeping than most other Democratic proposals, which have called for the withdrawal of all American forces over a fixed time frame. Senator Levin’s plan has assumed more political importance following the Democratic gains in the midterm elections.

“There is no purely military solution here,” Mr. Levin said in an interview. “They have got to reach a political compromise in Iraq. The leaders have got to make concessions involving power sharing and resource sharing or else this insurgency and the violence continues to spiral.”

While Mr. Levin’s plan calls for beginning troop reductions over the next six months, it does not stipulate a time-frame for completing the withdrawal, or spell out precisely how many troops should be removed in the initial phase. The plan, however, does call for shifting the American military role to more limited missions like protecting the American Embassy, training the Iraqi forces and engaging in counterterrorist operations against cells of Al Qaeda.

“The point of the proposal is to force the Iraqis to take hold of the situation politically,” Mr. Levin said.

But some current and retired military officers say the situation in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq is too precarious to start thinning out the number of American troops. In addition, they worry that some Shiite leaders would see the reduction of American troops as an opportunity to unleash their militias against the Sunnis and engage in wholesale ethnic cleansing to consolidate their control of the capital.

John Batiste, a retired Army major general who also joined in the call for Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation, described the Congressional proposals for troop withdrawals as “terribly naïve.”

“There are lots of things that have to happen to set them up for success,” General Batiste, who commanded a division in Iraq, said in an interview, describing the Iraqi government. “Until they happen, it does not matter what we tell Maliki.”

Before considering troop reductions, General Batiste said, the United States needs to take an array of steps, including fresh efforts to alleviate unemployment in Iraq, secure its long and porous borders, enlist more cooperation from tribal sheiks, step up the effort to train Iraq’s security forces, engage Iraq’s neighbors and weaken, or if necessary, crush the militias.

Indeed, General Batiste has recently written that pending the training of an effective Iraqi force, it may be necessary to deploy tens of thousands of additional “coalition troops.” General Batiste said he hoped that Arab and other foreign nations could be encouraged to send troops.

Some military experts said that while the American military is stretched thin, the number of American troops in Iraq could be increased temporarily — by perhaps 10,000 or more, in addition to the 150,000 or so already there — by prolonging combat tours.

Kenneth M. Pollack, an expert at the Brookings Institution who served on the staff of the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, also argued that a push for troop reductions would backfire by contributing to the disorder in Iraq.

“If we start pulling out troops and the violence gets worse and the control of the militias increases and people become confirmed in their suspicion that the United States is not going to be there to prevent civil war, they are to going to start making decisions today to prepare for the eventuality of civil war tomorrow,” he said. “That is how civil wars start.”
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Barry
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Post by Barry » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:12 pm

Reb,
Reporting that schools and various infrastructural things are up and running doesn't have to include precise locations and the names of those involved.

I admit that things have gotten worse, at least in and around Baghdad, this year though and that can't be ignored by the press.

But neither should the progess made in a lot of other regions within Iraq during the first couple years after the invasion have been virtually passed over in place of large headlines and photos of the latest U.S. war dead on a daily basis (as if we don't know soliders die in war). But as I said, blood sells.

Still, I can't imagine we would have had the stomach to stick it out in WWII had the press reported that war the way they're reporting this one.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Sapphire
Posts: 693
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:23 am

Post by Sapphire » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:53 pm

Barry Z wrote:
Saphire wrote:Barry Z

How do you explain the rising trend of Allied forces deaths in Iraq over the past couple of months?

Not enough troops? Or failing policy?

If not enough troops, how many more do you want? And why do you think this will cut the future number of deaths? Are you sure it will do so?

If failing policy, what's the point hanging around too much longer to suffer any more deaths?

And why the hell is Bush still fighting the war on terror in Iraq. He is now only fighting terror that is caused largely by the Allies' continued presense there. It's called shadow boxing. Our top British General said this a couple of weeks ago. It was that which made think that the whole thing is now a joke. Get out asap.

Won the war, lost the peace. Face up to it.
Saphire
You'll have to pardon me if I do no such thing.

Much of the failing policy has had to do with a lack of troop strength right from the beginning. As to why I think we need to remain there, I spent a good deal of time elaborating on that yesterday with Ted and am not inclined to repeat my arguments yet again (you may be new here.....I've been over this ad nauseum for what seems like an eternity). You're welcome to look up the Murtha thread from yesterday for my views.

Your British top general doesn't sway me. I've done a good deal of reading on the subject in foreign policy and national security journals and agree with the solid majority of the American national security and foreign policy community that leaving or even setting a firm timeline for doing so would do more harm than good, both for Iraq and us (that includes those who opposed going into Iraq in the first place). There aren't any easy way outs. Staying will be painful; leaving may seem less so in the now; but the long-term consequences of doing so will be more painful than staying. You don't get the good fortune of having a "good" choice in most foreign policy/national security situations; and this is no exception to that rule. It's vital to our longterm national security (and Europes, whether you admit it or not) that the United States not be viewed by either its allies or enemies as not having the will to stick out a difficult situation.
Barry Z

You declined to answer my questions because you said you had already clarified your viewpoint on the Murtha thread to which you referred me. I have gone through that thread and I think your relevant arguments may be summarized by your statement as below:

  • You're still misunderstanding me, Ted. I have not argued that we went to Iraq out of pure virtue and I'm not concerned with whether the mission is viewed as such by others. We went to Iraq because our policy-makers thought it was in our national interest to do so within the context of the larger war against Islamic extremists. You may think they were wrong about that, and you are welcome to your opinion. My argument in this particular thread is simply that whether they were wrong or not, it would be against our national interest to withdraw the troops at this point because it would leave Iraq in a state of chaos and violence that would make the current circumstances there appear benign in comparison. And that would be against our national interest for a number of reasons.

Your view above is at odds with the view of Britain’s top General, Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, which I referred to above. Below are extracts from his interview in one our main newspapers, The Daily Mail, a few weeks ago. I think it is a fair summary although I have removed odd passages that are not relevant.
  • Sir Richard warned that the continuing presence of British troops "exacerbates the security problems" in Iraq and added that a "moral and spiritual vacuum" has opened up in British society, which is allowing Muslim extremists to undermine "our accepted way of life."

    The Chief of the General Staff believes that Christian values are under threat in Britain and that continuing to fight in Iraq will only make the situation worse.

    Sir Richard, who took up his post earlier this year, warned that "our presence in Iraq exacerbates" the "difficulties we are facing around the world."

    He lambasts Tony Blair's desire to forge a "liberal democracy" in Iraq as a "naive" failure and he warns that "whatever consent we may have had in the first place" from the Iraqi people "has largely turned to intolerance."

    He says clearly we should "get ourselves out sometime soon because our
    presence exacerbates the security problems."

    "We are in a Muslim country and Muslims' views of foreigners in their country are quite clear."

    As a foreigner, you can be welcomed by being invited in a country, but we were not invited certainly by those in Iraq at the time.

    "The military campaign we fought in 2003 effectively kicked the door in. Whatever consent we may have had in the first place, may have turned to tolerance and has largely turned to intolerance."

    "That is a fact. I don’t say that the difficulties we are experiencing round the world are caused by our presence in Iraq but undoubtedly our presence in Iraq exacerbates them."

    Gen Dannatt warns that the good intentions of 2003 have long since evaporated - pitching British troops into a lethal battle that few at home can understand.

    "I think history will show that the planning for what happened after the initial successful war fighting phase was poor, probably based more on optimism than sound planning," he said.

    "The original intention was that we put in place a liberal democracy that was an exemplar for the region, was pro West and might have a beneficial effect on the balance within the Middle East." ... "That was the hope, whether that was a sensible or naïve hope history will judge. I do not think we are going to do that. I think we should aim for a lower ambition."

    The Prime Minister has repeatedly insisted that British troops must stay until the Iraqi security forces are able to take charge - a forlorn hope as the country has slipped to the brink of civil war.

    Sir Richard warned that the consequences will be felt at home, where failure to support Christian values is allowing a predatory Islamist vision to take hold.

    "When I see the Islamist threat in this country I hope it doesn’t make undue progress because there is a moral and spiritual vacuum in this country."

    "Our society has always been embedded in Christian values; once you have pulled the anchor up there is a danger that our society moves with the prevailing wind."

    "We can’t wish the Islamist challenge to our society away and I believe that the army both in Iraq and Afghanistan and probably wherever we go next, is fighting the foreign dimension of the challenge to our accepted way of life."

    "We need to face up to the Islamist threat, to those who act in the name of Islam and in a perverted way try to impose Islam by force on societies that do not wish it."

    "It is said that we live in a post Christian society. I think that is a great shame. The broader Judaic-Christian tradition has underpinned British society. It underpins the British army."
This interview quite shocked me, and there was widespread concern around the country. I had no idea that our top Military felt this way. It is a very serious damming indictment of the whole policy. In a nutshell, the General is clearly saying that our continued presense in Iraq is making things worse.

Until that point in time I was a (wavering) supporter of the policy of hanging on in Iraq indefinitely until things improve sufficiently to withdraw safely. I had started out a very strong supporter and continued in that fashion until a few months ago. Now, in the light of this interview plus the everyday evidence that things are getting steadily worse, and the continued heavy casualties, makes me think it is not achieving anything, and never will.

Despite the above, let us suppose you are right that greater chaos will descend in the wake of an early departure. Are you still saying that you think it is worth another 100 lost lives of Allied military personnel per month to continue this fight? Why should hundreds (possibly thousands) more of our troops die because a bunch of uncouth yobs from an alien religion, in the middle of that stinking desert, can't settle their own differences? I say let them get on with it and murder themselves if they wish to. We've done more than enough to help. It's down to them now. This is the majority view by far in the UK.



Saphire

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Post by RebLem » Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:17 pm

Barry Z wrote:Reb,
Still, I can't imagine we would have had the stomach to stick it out in WWII had the press reported that war the way they're reporting this one.
Don't you understand the difference? For about the 1st 6 months or so of WWII, the Japanese advanced in the Pacific. They took the Philippines, and lots of other territory. Then they tried Midway Island. They failed, in early June 1942, and they never won another campaign against the US. The Soviets were victorious in the Battle of Stalingrad in February, 1943. In North Africa, the Germans were defeated in May, 1943, and we invaded Sicily in July, 1943. And then, of course, there was D-Day in June, 1944. In WWII, there were days--single days--when 45,000 of our soldiers were killed. But after June 1942 in the Pacific, and after February, 1943 in Europe and North Africa, except for the 6 weeks of the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 16, 1944-Jan 25, 1944), we had a constant, steady stream of victories to sustain us.

I have a clue for you, Barry. Victories in Iraq, and now, even in Afghanistan and Pakistan, are far and few between. In 2002, asked how long the war would take, Rummy said, "No one can say. Six days, six weeks, I doubt six months." That was supposed to be the deal when we went in. Saddam was going to be an easy act to follow. There were no terrorists in Iraq when we went in, except Abu Nidal, the mastermind of the Achille Lauro obscenity, and he was retired. There are lots of them in Iraq now because they followed us in to fight The Great Satan, and because we provided few employment opportunities for Iraqis, and the terrorists did. We hired contractors from Kuwait to build the cement barricades protecting our embassy and lots of other public buildings in Baghdad, for example, even though Iraqi contractors offered to do it for 1/5th the price. Why don't you report on that?

You have to watch BookTV on weekends to find this stuff out. Its seldom reported in the press. You also find that the Americans in charge of reconstruction in Iraq were virtually all recent college grads who had applied for jobs at the Heritage Foundation, and who were telling military people in the Corps of Engineers and other people with many years of construction and reconstruction experience what to do. And, they wouldn't hire former Iraqi military engineers either, even though the Iraqi Army sappers were the only part of the Iraqi military who were as good as those in anybody's Army. So, they got work designing IEDs for terrorists. Why not? No other way of earning a living was offered them.

Trouble with you, Barry, is you are dreading the investigations that are coming into all this corruption. You are dreading it because the MSM, of which you are a part, seldom reported on these things, and when they did, it was usually buried in the middle of the paper. You, therefore, have a community of interest with Bushco in never allowing those things to be on the front burner.
Last edited by RebLem on Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:48 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Ted

Post by Ted » Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:29 pm

Barry Wrote:
".... the progess made in a lot of other regions within Iraq during the first couple years after the invasion have been virtually passed over in place of large headlines and photos of the latest U.S. war dead
I nominate Barry for the Mohammed Saeed al-ahaf- “Baghdad Bob”
Iraqi Minister of Information Award

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Barry
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Post by Barry » Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:44 pm

Saphire wrote: Your view above is at odds with the view of Britain’s top General, Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, which I referred to above. Below are extracts from his interview in one our main newspapers, The Daily Mail, a few weeks ago. I think it is a fair summary although I have removed odd passages that are not relevant.
I refer you to my post 24 on this thread, which contains an article which cites several former top American military people as saying a pull-out would make the situation worse, rather than better. The current top American commander says the same thing.

I've read enough opinions on this from enough different people to conclude that a solid majority of people who are experts foreign policy and national security, at least on this side of the Atlantic, believe that as many problems as our presence creates, pulling the troops out would make those problems worse; probably much worse.

You believe your general; I'll believe ours.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:07 pm

Barry Z wrote:
Saphire wrote: Your view above is at odds with the view of Britain’s top General, Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, which I referred to above. Below are extracts from his interview in one our main newspapers, The Daily Mail, a few weeks ago. I think it is a fair summary although I have removed odd passages that are not relevant.
I refer you to my post 24 on this thread, which contains an article which cites several former top American military people as saying a pull-out would make the situation worse, rather than better. The current top American commander says the same thing.

I've read enough opinions on this from enough different people to conclude that a solid majority of people who are experts foreign policy and national security, at least on this side of the Atlantic, believe that as many problems as our presence creates, .

You believe your general; I'll believe ours.
Barry Z

I fully anticipated that reply, but with respect you have not answered the last paragraph of my post which I set out again below:
  • Despite the above, let us suppose you are right that greater chaos will descend in the wake of an early departure. Are you still saying that you think it is worth another 100 lost lives of Allied military personnel per month to continue this fight? Why should hundreds (possibly thousands) more of our troops die because a bunch of uncouth yobs from an alien religion, in the middle of that stinking desert, can't settle their own differences? I say let them get on with it and murder themselves if they wish to. We've done more than enough to help. It's down to them now. This is the majority view by far in the UK.



Saphire

Barry
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Post by Barry » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:15 pm

RebLem wrote:
Barry Z wrote:Reb,
Still, I can't imagine we would have had the stomach to stick it out in WWII had the press reported that war the way they're reporting this one.
RebLem wrote:Don't you understand the difference? For about the 1st 6 months or so of WWII, the Japanese advanced in the Pacific. They took the Philippines, and lots of other territory. Then they tried Midway Island. They failed, in early June 1942, and they never won another campaign against the US. The Soviets were victorious in the Battle of Stalingrad in February, 1943. In North Africa, the Germans were defeated in May, 1943, and we invaded Sicily in July, 1943. And then, of course, there was D-Day in June, 1944. In WWII, there were days--single days--when 45,000 of our soldiers were killed. But after June 1942 in the Pacific, and after February, 1943 in Europe and North Africa, except for the 6 weeks of the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 16, 1944-Jan 25, 1944), we had a constant, steady stream of victories to sustain us.

I have a clue for you, Barry. Victories in Iraq, and now, even in Afghanistan and Pakistan, are far and few between. ...
Neither battles nor victories in this war are as out in the open or clear-cut as they were in World War II. Part of the difference, probably the main part, is that the press in those days saw themselves as Americans first and reporters second. There also wasn't the post-Watergate drive to expose absolutely everything.
As I said to Ted earlier in the week, the serious policy people already know we've blown it in terms of the war's original goals, and yes, more because of Bush's and his advisors' screw ups than anything else. It's no longer about hoping for rosy scenarios. It's about achieving what can reasonably be achieved and preventing a large scale civil war that will undoubtedly include large-scale genocide. Accomplishing that isn't going to appear glorious in the manner of World War II. But if it's reported in the manner that the war has been reported thus far, it's going to be even more difficult than it would otherwise be to accomplish. You liberals have got to get your mind off of past mistakes and look to what needs to be done to achieve the best possible outcome, even if that outcome isn't what victory was originally defined as. It's the only viable alternative, and it's the only responsible alternative.

RebLem wrote:Trouble with you, Barry, is you are dreading the investigations that are coming into all this corruption. You are dreading it because the MSM, of which you are a part, seldom reported on these things, and when they did, it was usually buried in the middle of the paper. You, therefore, have a community of interest with Bushco in never allowing those things to be on the front burner.
If I'm dreading investigations, it's for the sake of the Democratic party; not the industry I work in (have to admit to getting a chuckle out of that line though). I'd like them to behave responsibly during wartime for a change and at least start to build some credibility on national security. You seriously don't think the public voted for anything the Democrats proposed, do you? That's because they didn't propose anything. The public is disgusted with the way the Bush administration has carried out the war, and they're justified in that disgust. The Democrats have capitalized on that by default. If they take the election as a mandate for cutting and running, they can count on another problonged period of being out of power, at least in the executive branch.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Barry
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Post by Barry » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:30 pm

Saphire wrote: I fully anticipated that reply, but with respect you have not answered the last paragraph of my post which I set out again below:
  • Despite the above, let us suppose you are right that greater chaos will descend in the wake of an early departure. Are you still saying that you think it is worth another 100 lost lives of Allied military personnel per month to continue this fight? Why should hundreds (possibly thousands) more of our troops die because a bunch of uncouth yobs from an alien religion, in the middle of that stinking desert, can't settle their own differences? I say let them get on with it and murder themselves if they wish to. We've done more than enough to help. It's down to them now. This is the majority view by far in the UK.

Saphire
Damn right, it's worth it. There will be consequences beyond even the Middle East if we show both our allies and our enemies that we will cut and run, rather than sticking it out until a more acceptable conclusion. There are always consequences when a great world power shows weakness. The vultures in the form of other nations eager to expand their own power are always circling and anxious to fill any power vacuum. The Soviets would have thought twice about invading Afghanistan if Reagan was in office, rather than Carter (of course, that wound up being a part of the Soviets' undoing, but that's besides the point). And as others increasingly feel confident to grab for power after our show of weakness, it will lead to other conflicts down the road; not to mention obviously giving great joy to the jihadists, emboldening them to further their efforts to knock the west out of the Middle East, which we obviously can't allow to happen. This isn't a fight we can run from. It's pointless to say these problems didn't exist in Iraq before we went there. I've acknowledged that ad nauseum. The fact is they're there now and we have to deal with that.

The Brits apparently haven't learned the lesson that running from a fight with an enemy that isn't going to disappear if left alone and that will cause a moderate number of casualties will often cause one down the road that will cause many more casualties. You'd think the last time they did that would have left a bigger impression.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Barry
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Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 3:50 pm

Post by Barry » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:33 pm

Ted wrote: I nominate Barry for the Mohammed Saeed al-ahaf- “Baghdad Bob”
Iraqi Minister of Information Award
:lol: I like it.

But still, you can also nominate virtually every wartime leader the United States has had over the years for the same award. You can't win a major war without some level of propoganda, Ted. That's been true for thousands of years.

I hope you don't take offense, but I honestly think the biggest problem with liberals is that they live in the world they'd like to exist, rather than the real world.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:58 pm

Barry Z

Any analogies between WWII and present day Iraq are very tenuous indeed.

In WWII we were facing a very strong enemy that was clearly out to defeat us. There was no question of giving up against a few defeats. We had to continue the struggle, or face far more serious consequences. In the UK's case it would have meant certain invasion by the enemy and the implementation of the most horrendous and vile regime in history.

In Iraq we are caught up a complex civil war which, when all is said and done, was actually created by dis-empowering the former dictator who prevented such a thing whilst he was running the show by imposing iron rule. The invasion was actually very likely to lead to subsequent civil strife, because the rival factions would no longer be restrained. The same tensions are still there, and we've merely opened up a Pandora's box. The badly thought-out hope was that this would resolve itself merely because Saddam had gone, and by having an election. It hasn't worked, and never will. The main terror that the Allies face in Iraq is as a result of our presense.

I should add that I am all for the war on terror. I have a very simple solution: hunt them down and kill them. But Iraq's a waste of time.


Saphire

Barry
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Post by Barry » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:12 pm

And I've mentioned in recent months that I've moved a little in the direction of thinking it was a mistake to invade in the first place (even taking the huge mistakes in execution out of the equation). Although I've never been firmly convinced one way or the other. There were valid reasons both for and against it. I know you weren't around then in terms of the boards I was posting on, but I was very much a fence-sitter, but felt that once we went it, there was no real choice but to support the mission.
And now, I see no choice but to make the best of a lousy situation, and that means staying (and maybe even increasing the number of troops) IMO. An all-out civil war there and what could happen in the coming years as a result of our showing a lack of fortitude are consequences that are worth the sacrafice.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Ted

Post by Ted » Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:16 pm

Ted wrote:
I nominate Barry for the Mohammed Saeed al-ahaf- “Baghdad Bob”
Iraqi Minister of Information Award

Barry Wrote:
I like it. :lol:
Atta Boy!

Ted

Post by Ted » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:09 pm

These are hilarious quotes from the real Baghdad Bob though they sound remarkably like Barry :wink:

Image

"We are surrounding them and pounding them. The whole trend has changed and we are going to finalize this very soon.''


"There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!"

"My feelings - as usual - we will slaughter them all"

"Our initial assessment is that they will all die"

"I blame Al-Jazeera - they are marketing for the Americans!"

"God will roast their stomachs in hell at the hands of Iraqis."

"We have destroyed 2 tanks, fighter planes, 2 helicopters and their shovels - We have driven them back."

"They're coming to surrender or be burned in their tanks."

"No I am not scared and neither should you be!"

"We are not afraid of the Americans. Allah has condemned them. They are stupid. They are stupid" (dramatic pause) "and they are condemned."

"The authority of the civil defense ... issued a warning to the civilian population not to pick up any of those pencils because they are booby traps," he said, adding that the British and American forces were "immoral mercenaries" and "war criminals" for such behavior.
"I am not talking about the American people and the British people," he said. "I am talking about those mercenaries. ... They have started throwing those pencils, but they are not pencils, they are booby traps to kill the children."

"We have them surrounded in their tanks"

"The American press is all about lies! All they tell is lies, lies and more lies!"
Bob's Note: Here is one instance where he was pretty close to the truth!

"Lying is forbidden in Iraq. President Saddam Hussein will tolerate nothing but truthfulness as he is a man of great honor and integrity. Everyone is encouraged to speak freely of the truths evidenced in their eyes and hearts."

"because we will behead you all"

"Let the American infidels bask in their illusion"

"I triple guarantee you, there are no American soldiers in Baghdad."

Britain "is not worth an old shoe"

"we have given them a sour taste"

Of US troops: "They are most welcome. We will butcher them."

"We will welcome them with bullets and shoes."

"We are in control. They are in a state of hysteria. Losers, they think that by killing civilians and trying to distort the feelings of the people they will win. I think they will not win, those bastards."

“We have placed them in a quagmire from which they can never emerge except dead”

"Washington has thrown their soldiers on the fire"

"I speak better English than this villain Bush"

"These cowards have no morals. They have no shame about lying"

"They're not even [within] 100 miles [of Baghdad]. They are not in any
place. They hold no place in Iraq. This is an illusion ... they are
trying to sell to the others an illusion."

"Their failure in this regard is abysmal. They want to tell the world changes thought - as a matter of fact, they do not respect the world, they want to tell taxpayers and the domestic public to keep them deceived. We will embroil them, confuse them and keep them in the quagmire. They have begun to tell more lies so that they might continue with the perpetration of their crimes. May they be accursed."

"We will kill them all........most of them."

"They are like a snake and we are going to cut it in pieces."

"They do not even have control over themselves! Do not believe them!"

Called Americans and Brits "Tarateer"– In Iraqi slang, Tartoor means a guy full of farts (hot air)

"they are nowhere near the airport ..they are lost in the desert...they can not read a compass...they are retarded."

"Faltering forces of infidels cannot just enter a country of 26 million people and lay besiege to them! They are the ones who will find themselves under siege. Therefore, in reality whatever this miserable Rumsfeld has been saying, he was talking about his own forces. Now even the American command is under siege."

"They tried to bring a small number of tanks and personnel carriers in through al-Durah but they were surrounded and most of their infidels had their throats cut."

"Our estimates are that none of them will come out alive unless they surrender to us quickly."

"We made them drink poison last night and Saddam Hussein's soldiers and his great forces gave the Americans a lesson which will not be forgotten by history. Truly."

"On this occasion, I am not going to mention the number of the infidels who were killed and the number of destroyed vehicles. The operation continues"

"We're giving them a real lesson today. Heavy doesn't accurately describe the level of casualties we have inflicted."

"I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that they have
started to commit suicide under the walls of Baghdad. We
will encourage them to commit more suicides quickly."

"Their infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad. Be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected."

"NO", snapped Mr al-Sahaf, "We have retaken the airport. There are NO Americans there. I will take you there and show you. IN ONE HOUR!"

"We defeated them yesterday. God willing, I will provide you
with more information. I swear by God, I swear by God, those
who are staying in Washington and London have thrown these
mercenaries in a crematorium."

"Please, please! The Americans are relying on what I called yesterday a desperate and stupid method."

"They will be burnt. We are going to tackle them"

"We blocked them inside the city. Their rear is blocked"

"Desperate Americans"

"Today we slaughtered them in the airport. They are out of Saddam International Airport. The force that was in the airport, this force was destroyed."

"They are trying to fool you. They are showing any old pictures of buildings. They even went into the VIP section of the airport, just because Saddam Hussein may have sat in such and such a chair or slept in such and such a bed"

"We went into the airport and crushed them, we cleaned the WHOOOLE place out, they were slaughtered"

"Yes, the american troops have advanced further. This will only make it easier for us to defeat them"

"Their casualties and bodies are many."

[On surrenders] "Those are not Iraqi soldiers at all. Where did they bring them from?"

"Just look carefully, I only want you to look carefully. Do not repeat the lies of liars. Do not become like them. Once again, I blame al-Jazeera before it ascertains what takes place. Please, make sure of what you say and do not play such a role."

"Search for the truth. I tell you things and I always ask you to verify what I say. I told you yesterday that there was an attack and a retreat at Saddam's airport."

"You can go and visit those places. Nothing there, nothing at all. There are Iraqi checkpoints. Everything is okay."

"This boa, the American columns, are being besieged between Basra and other towns north, west, south and west of Basra....Now even the American command is under siege. We are hitting it from the north, east, south and west. We chase them here and they chase us there."

"By God, I think this is rather very unlikely. This is merely a prattle. The fact is that as soon as they reach Baghdad gates, we will besiege them and slaughter them....Wherever they go they will find themselves encircled."

"Listen, this explosion does not frighten us any langer. The cruise missiles do not frighten anyone. We are catching them like fish in a river. I mean here that over the past two days we managed to shoot down 196 missiles before they hit their target."

"Blair...is accusing us of executing British soldiers. We want to tell him that we have not executed anybody. They are either killed in battle, most of them get killed because they are cowards anyway, the rest they just get captured."

"They fled. The American louts fled. Indeed, concerning the fighting waged by the heroes of the Arab Socialist Baath Party yesterday, one amazing thing really is the cowardice of the American soldiers. we had not anticipated this."

"the louts of colonialism."

"The forces of American colonialism began to drop containers that produce a sound explosion, a very huge sound. I remind you that they said that their strategy is based on shock and awe. Those failed ones manufactured a type of container that has an explosive substance, which they drop. They cause a very huge explosion in terms of sound, as if the universe was shaken. After a while, you go out and you don't find anything. You find some nails, screws, pieces of metal, but the important thing here is the sound. Those failed ones think that through the huge sound explosion, people would be shocked and consequently would collapse and be defeated. What happened? The contrary. The fighters..., the masses..., and the heroic sons of the Iraqi tribes discovered this game. They will turn it against the American louts so as to shock them. Wait for surprises, God willing, to see how the US game will fail."

"The shock has backfired on them. They are shocked because of what they have seen. No one received them with roses. They were received with bombs, shoes and bullets. Now, the game has been exposed. Awe will backfire on them. This is the boa snake. We will extend it further and cut it the appropriate way."

"It has been rumored that we have fired scud missiles into Kuwait. I am here now to tell you, we do not have any scud missiles and I don't know why they were fired into Kuwait."

"As for the mercenaries who advanced to the perimeters of Saddam International Airport, I would like to remind you of something. I will mention something that will make the picture clear for you and help you to understand what took place at Saddam International Airport. Most of you probably saw the American movie "Wag the Dog". I hope you remember it. Some of their acts that took place at dawn yesterday and today are similar to what happened in "Wag the Dog". If we succeed in keeping them isolated on that island, and we are determined to do so, we might let them taste a second mini Dien Bien Phu tonight. The European journalists remember it well. Our estimates are that none of them will come out alive unless they surrender to us quickly. They are completely surrounded now. This morning, the number of armoured personnel carriers that were destroyed, along with their occupants, is eight. The number of the tanks destroyed is 11."

"Tonight, we will do something unconventional against them. This means: not by the military. We will do something that I believe will become a pretty example for those mercenaries. I would not be giving out a secret when I say that action in the dark against such mercenaries is effective, not through the action of armies. I say that dropping down those mercenaries in a surprise fashion at Saddam Airport without accurate calculations is largely meant for showing things. It's a showy operation. It is a kind of surprise muscle flexing to the world to show it that the shock and awe operation is indeed successful. May they be accursed. Through this operation [shock and awe], they sent a number of their villains and mercenaries to be butchered. Again, and according to my early estimates, unless the remaining part of their soldiers surrender, the chance for their survival is very slim. The surprising thing is that after they threw their soldiers into a place where they are not aware of the real results, the villainous Americans, like Powell and the others, sat in Europe to discuss how to divide Iraq as spoils after the war [laughing]. This means what's post-war. The post-war [Iraq] will be the same current Iraq under the leadership of President Saddam Husayn."

"We will pursue them as war criminals. We will work with all the free people in the world, and they are many, who want someone to bell the cat [i.e.; to do a daring deed], and now we are belling the cat, according to the famous [Arabic] saying so as to rid the UN of those villains. After Iraq aborts the invasion that is being carried out by the American and British villains, the USA will no longer be a superpower. Its deterioration will be rapid. I say to those villains who are meeting in Europe, thinking of launching psychological war and brainwashing: wait. Do not be hasty because your disappointment will be huge. You will reap nothing from this aggressive war, which you launched on Iraq, except for disgrace and defeat. Iraq will continue to exist. Its civilization is 10,000 years old. It will not be changed by villains like the US and British villains."

"W. Bush, this man is a war criminal, and we will see
that he is brought to trial"

"I think the British nation has never been faced with a tragedy like this fellow [Blair]."

"The United Nations....[is] a place for prostitution under the feet of
Americans."

"They are sick in their minds. They say they brought 65 tanks into center
of city. I say to you this talk is not true. This is part of their sick mind."

"We have destroyed 50 tanks today. That 5-ohhh tanks" [while holding up his fingers]

"They are superpower of villains. They are superpower of Al Capone."

Americans are "wild donkeys" ['Alog' in Arabic]

"There are no Iraqis disguising themselves"

"I can assure you that those villains will recognize, will discover in appropriate time in the future how stupid they are and how they are pretending things which have never taken place"

"Iraqi fighters in Umm Qasr are giving the hordes of American and Brtish
mercenaries the taste of definite death. We have drawn them into a
quagmire and they will never get out of it."

"What they say about a breakthrough [in Najaf] is completely an illusion. They are sending their warplanes to fly very low in order to have vibrations on these sacred places . . . they are trying to crack the buildings by flying low over them."

"We have crushed the whole force which dared to venture there. Now they're outside the wall and the heroic Republican Guard is now in control of the whole area. . . . So where are those villainous louts, those mercenaries?''

"Their forces committed suicide by the hundreds.... The battle is very
fierce and God made us victorious. The fighting continues."

"Yesterday, we slaughtered them and we will continue to slaughter them."

"They think we are retarded - they are retarded."

(leaflet drops) "I think this is very laughable for a Superpower to be so cheap to drop inside Iraq such poor things and they are printed in Kuwait''

"...crocodile tears [shed in] .. The gangster Bush's lair..." (refers to Bush and Blair at Camp David calling for the Geneva Conventions to be applied to all POWs)

"We're going to drag the drunken junkie nose of Bush through Iraq's desert, him and his follower dog Blair...There are 26 million Saddams in Iraq"

"We will push those crooks, those mercenaries back into the swamp"

"When we were making the law, when we were writing the literature and the mathematics the grandfathers of Blair and little Bush were scratching around in caves"

"They will come and we will slap them about the head and then kick them on their backsides when they leave"

About Bush: "the leader of the international criminal gang of bastards."

"the insane little dwarf Bush"

About Bush and Rumsfeld: "Those only deserve to be hit with shoes."

"Bush is a very stupid man. The American people are not stupid, they are very clever. I can't understand how such clever people came to elect such a stupid president."

"Who is this dog Franks in Qatar?"

"Whenever we attack, they retreat. When we pound them with missiles and heavy artillery, they retreat even deeper. But when we stopped pounding, they pushed to the airport for propaganda purposes.''

Any apparent American gains, he said, were a cunning ploy by the Iraqis to lure the enemy into a trap. "Our armed forces, according to their tactics, are leaving the way open"

"The capital, especially the commandos, are getting ready to wipe them out"

RebLem
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Post by RebLem » Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:00 pm

Ted, have you been sandbagging all that all this time? :lol: :lol: :lol:
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

Ted

Post by Ted » Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:09 pm

Reb Wrote:
Ted, have you been sandbagging all that all this time? :lol: :lol: :lol:
Actually no, Barry motivated me to dig it up today

RebLem
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Post by RebLem » Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:12 pm

Barry Z wrote:
RebLem wrote:
Barry Z wrote:Reb,
Still, I can't imagine we would have had the stomach to stick it out in WWII had the press reported that war the way they're reporting this one.
RebLem wrote:Don't you understand the difference? For about the 1st 6 months or so of WWII, the Japanese advanced in the Pacific. They took the Philippines, and lots of other territory. Then they tried Midway Island. They failed, in early June 1942, and they never won another campaign against the US. The Soviets were victorious in the Battle of Stalingrad in February, 1943. In North Africa, the Germans were defeated in May, 1943, and we invaded Sicily in July, 1943. And then, of course, there was D-Day in June, 1944. In WWII, there were days--single days--when 45,000 of our soldiers were killed. But after June 1942 in the Pacific, and after February, 1943 in Europe and North Africa, except for the 6 weeks of the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 16, 1944-Jan 25, 1944), we had a constant, steady stream of victories to sustain us.

I have a clue for you, Barry. Victories in Iraq, and now, even in Afghanistan and Pakistan, are far and few between. ...
Neither battles nor victories in this war are as out in the open or clear-cut as they were in World War II. Part of the difference, probably the main part, is that the press in those days saw themselves as Americans first and reporters second. There also wasn't the post-Watergate drive to expose absolutely everything.


Oh, yeah. MacArthur, Nimitz, Zhukov, Eisenhower, Bradley, Montgomery, Patton, Henry Kaiser, Enrico Fermi, and Robert Oppenheimer didn't have anything to do with winning WWII. Andy Rooney was our secret weapon. He won the war.
:shock: :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: :roll: :shock:
Last edited by RebLem on Wed Nov 15, 2006 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

Barry
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Post by Barry » Wed Nov 15, 2006 11:22 pm

RebLem wrote: Oh, yeah. MacArthur, Nimitz, Zhukov, Eisenhower, Bradley, Montgomery, Patton, Henry Kaiser, Enrico Fermi, and Robert Oppenheimer didn't have anything to do with winning WWII. Andy Rooney was our secret weapon. He won the war.
:shock: :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: :roll: :shock:
That's quite the leap from my statement to that bit of sarcasm. There are many factors that go into winning a war or, in the present case, minimizing the damage from a botched mission. Maintaining public support is one of them. And that factor has been negatively influenced by a comination of the administration's failure to adequately make the entire nation feel like they were a part of what is happening and the unbalanced press coverage during the first couple years after the invasion. There is no doubt that things have gotten worse this year. Our top general in the Middle East and others have admitted that. But there was plenty of good to report along with the bad during the first couple years of the war, before sectarian violence went from a simmer to a boil (with the goal now to keep it from overboiling). And as the situation has gotten worse, the coverage is going to adjust accordingly. But for the couple of years before February, when the sectarian violence spilled over, I didn't think the balance of coverage was proper based on what was actually happening on the ground in much of the country. And that had an impact on public perception.

Having top leadership both in the military and the white house is even more important. But that fact doesn't eliminate the significance of all other factors; your sarcasm aside.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Kevin R
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Post by Kevin R » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:35 am

RebLem wrote:
Barry Z wrote:
RebLem wrote:
Barry Z wrote:Reb,
Still, I can't imagine we would have had the stomach to stick it out in WWII had the press reported that war the way they're reporting this one.
RebLem wrote:Don't you understand the difference? For about the 1st 6 months or so of WWII, the Japanese advanced in the Pacific. They took the Philippines, and lots of other territory. Then they tried Midway Island. They failed, in early June 1942, and they never won another campaign against the US. The Soviets were victorious in the Battle of Stalingrad in February, 1943. In North Africa, the Germans were defeated in May, 1943, and we invaded Sicily in July, 1943. And then, of course, there was D-Day in June, 1944. In WWII, there were days--single days--when 45,000 of our soldiers were killed. But after June 1942 in the Pacific, and after February, 1943 in Europe and North Africa, except for the 6 weeks of the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 16, 1944-Jan 25, 1944), we had a constant, steady stream of victories to sustain us.

I have a clue for you, Barry. Victories in Iraq, and now, even in Afghanistan and Pakistan, are far and few between. ...
Neither battles nor victories in this war are as out in the open or clear-cut as they were in World War II. Part of the difference, probably the main part, is that the press in those days saw themselves as Americans first and reporters second. There also wasn't the post-Watergate drive to expose absolutely everything.


Oh, yeah. MacArthur, Nimitz, Zhukov, Eisenhower, Bradley, Montgomery, Patton, Henry Kaiser, Enrico Fermi, and Robert Oppenheimer didn't have anything to do with winning WWII. Andy Rooney was our secret weapon. He won the war.
:shock: :roll: :lol: :lol: :lol: :roll: :shock:
Barry's points are well taken.

The war we are engaged in today is not measured by cities captured by one side or the other. There is no Stalingrad on the horizon, because this is a completely different conflict.

The coverage of this conflict, as we first saw in Vietnam, has been slanted. The press doesn't seem to understand the enemy, unlike reporters in WW II. John Steinbeck wrote after the war that reporters “were all part of the war effort. We went along with it, and not only that, we abetted it.” Can you imagine the current crop of pseudo reporters making a similar statement? Not a chance.
"Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular."

-Thomas Macaulay

Lilith
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Post by Lilith » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:39 am

"The coverage of this conflict, as we first saw in Vietnam, has been slanted..." Kevin

Kevin in the Dobbs Democrats thread on world poverty:
"Yes, this is one of the great stories of recent memory, yet the media ignores it. If the trends were reversed, the media would be having nightly stories"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This seems to be your answer on every thread. We've heard it two hundred times before. Tv, Radio, the Press, Magazines - all of them are conspiring to oppose Kevin's viewpoint. Don't you have any other ideas than that the illusion
that the media conspires against you on every issue?

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Post by RebLem » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:01 pm

Saphire wrote:Barry Z

Any analogies between WWII and present day Iraq are very tenuous indeed.

In WWII we were facing a very strong enemy that was clearly out to defeat us. There was no question of giving up against a few defeats. We had to continue the struggle, or face far more serious consequences. In the UK's case it would have meant certain invasion by the enemy and the implementation of the most horrendous and vile regime in history.

In Iraq we are caught up a complex civil war which, when all is said and done, was actually created by dis-empowering the former dictator who prevented such a thing whilst he was running the show by imposing iron rule. The invasion was actually very likely to lead to subsequent civil strife, because the rival factions would no longer be restrained. The same tensions are still there, and we've merely opened up a Pandora's box. The badly thought-out hope was that this would resolve itself merely because Saddam had gone, and by having an election. It hasn't worked, and never will. The main terror that the Allies face in Iraq is as a result of our presense.

I should add that I am all for the war on terror. I have a very simple solution: hunt them down and kill them. But Iraq's a waste of time.
Saphire
Saphire,

It should be obvious by now that Barry Z is part of the "ordinary people can't handle the truth, so its the job of government to hide the truth from them in wartime, and its a reporters job to help them" school of "thouhgt." Of course, it is profoundly anti-democratic. It spits in the face of anyone who thinks people are capable of self-government. But that doesn't bother people like Barry, who think of themselves as, unlike the Great Unwashed, part of the sophisticated Realpolitik world of people who can take it. It allows him to think he is somehow better than the great mass of humanity, and it gives him an infuriatingly smug sense of superiority.

The truth is, of course, that I will never be able to read an article from a Philadelphia newspaper again without asking myself if I can really trust the writer, or if he is just trying to jolly me along because he thinks I can't stand to deal with reality.
Don't drink and drive. You might spill it.--J. Eugene Baker, aka my late father
"We're not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term."--Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S. Carolina.
"Racism is America's Original Sin."--Francis Cardinal George, former Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago.

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Post by Barry » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:20 pm

www.realclearpolitics.com
November 14, 2006
The Smugness of the War's Opponents
By Dennis Prager

In this week's New York Times Book Review, a historian reviewing a major new work of 20th-century history, Oxford and Harvard Professor Niall Ferguson's "The War of the World," notes that "Ferguson argues that the Western powers should have gone to war in 1938, which would most likely have avoided much of the horror of World War II . . . . "

Imagine that. The New York Times publishes a favorable book review of a book arguing that a pre-emptive war in 1938 would have saved tens of millions of lives aside from preventing the Holocaust, "without parallel . . . the most wicked act in all history."

You have to wonder if the Times' editors and all their allies on the Left, who have spent the last four years mocking the very notion of pre-emptive war, read this review.

Whatever incapacity for self-doubt George W. Bush's critics charge him with, it has been more than matched by his political enemies. They are as certain as human beings can be that the invasion of Iraq was wrong from the outset because no nation should ever engage in a pre-emptive war, since such wars, they contend, are inherently immoral, not to mention illegal.

They know that Saddam never had weapons of mass destruction, and they know that even if he were working on acquiring such weapons, he would never have used them or shared them with Islamic terrorists. They know this despite these facts:

Virtually every intelligence service believed that Saddam either had or was working on attaining WMD.

Saddam Hussein had already used biological weapons against his own people.

Saddam refused to allow UN inspectors unfettered access to Iraq, even when he had every reason to believe that America would attack him.

Saddam gave $25,000 to the families of Palestinian terrorists who blew up Israelis.

Saddam had already invaded two countries, attempting to eliminate one from the map (Kuwait) and killing a million in the other (Iran).

President Bush had very good reason to believe then, and we have very good reason to believe now, that Saddam was indeed seeking uranium from the African country of Niger.

Given these facts, George W. Bush believed that a pre-emptive strike was the moral thing to do, just as any moral person now understands it would have been moral to do against Hitler's Germany in 1938.

Given the same facts, his critics were/are at least as certain that such a war has been wrong strategically and morally.

They now argue that obviously they are right.

But it is not so obvious. It is overwhelmingly likely that even if we had found WMD in Iraq, The New York Times, Michael Moore and nearly all college professors would have still opposed the invasion. After all, they would have argued, it was still a pre-emptive war and therefore wrong by definition; and besides, Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11.

Of course, the critics look right because we hardly seem to be winning the war in Iraq. But even here the critics are too smug. We have not won the war in Iraq because of something completely unforeseeable: widespread massacres of Iraqi civilians by other Iraqis and Muslims. We have never seen mass murder of fellow citizens in order to remove an outside occupier. No Japanese blew up Japanese temples in order to rid Japan of the American occupier. No Germans mass murdered German schoolchildren and teachers to rid Germany of the American, British, French and Soviet occupiers.

The level of cruelty and evil exhibited by those America is fighting in Iraq is new. Had Iraq followed any precedent in all the annals of resistance to occupation, America would likely have been victorious in Iraq. It may just be impossible, if one is morally bound not to kill large numbers of civilians, to fight those who target their own civilians and hide among them. But George W. Bush had no way to foresee such systematic cruelty.

With the election of a Democratic Congress and the reversion to the visionless "realists" of George W. Bush's father's administration, the critics are more certain than ever of their moral rectitude. But unless they disagree with Professor Ferguson's assertion that a pre-emptive war in 1938 would have been the most moral thing the Western democracies could have done, they ought to show a little humility. Based on what was known at the time, George W. Bush made a moral choice. And he would have won were it not for something new in the annals of human depravity.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't agree with 100 percent of the above, but I do agree with the writer's general premise on the smugness of those who are so certain that they know history's judgement long before the final chapter has been written.
I'll add that I stand by everything I've written with regard to the war and am proud that I haven't followed along with the popular cut and run chorus. I also hope that I'll never be so naive as those who think something like exposing a secret spying program that is set up to keep track of our enemies by listening in on those who are communicating with them is the proper role of the press, rather than seeing it for what it really is; that being providing aid to those who wish to do us harm. I only hope enough Americans wake up to the reality of the situation we face for the foreseeable future in time for us to prevail in the end. But I'm unfortunately confident that won't happen if the liberal wing of the Democratic party gets its way in determining our foreign and national security policy.
"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee." - Abraham Lincoln

"Although prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it be postponed." - Winston Churchill

"Before I refuse to take your questions, I have an opening statement." - Ronald Reagan

http://www.davidstuff.com/political/wmdquotes.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pbp0hur ... re=related

Kevin R
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Post by Kevin R » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:31 pm

Lilith wrote:"The coverage of this conflict, as we first saw in Vietnam, has been slanted..." Kevin

Kevin in the Dobbs Democrats thread on world poverty:
"Yes, this is one of the great stories of recent memory, yet the media ignores it. If the trends were reversed, the media would be having nightly stories"
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This seems to be your answer on every thread. We've heard it two hundred times before. Tv, Radio, the Press, Magazines - all of them are conspiring to oppose Kevin's viewpoint. Don't you have any other ideas than that the illusion
that the media conspires against you on every issue?
Of course, as I have stated in the other thread, there is no conspiracy. But there is a worldview held by a majority of "reporters" that does not allow objectivity to enter the picture. It is, however, difficult to enter into much of a discussion as you haven't read the literature. Have you read Braestrup's study on the press coverage of Tet? What about Halberstam's 1963 Buddhist stories? Any of the independent studies on media bias?
"Free trade, one of the greatest blessings which a government can confer on a people, is in almost every country unpopular."

-Thomas Macaulay

Lilith
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 5:42 pm

Post by Lilith » Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:13 pm

"It is, however, difficult to enter into much of a discussion as you haven't read the literature. Have you read Braestrup's study on the press coverage of Tet? What about Halberstam's 1963 Buddhist stories? Any of the independent studies on media bias?"

Have you read the Bible backwards? Don't give me that crap Kevin. We are on a bulletin board - I am not defending my Thesis.
Last edited by Lilith on Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ted

Post by Ted » Thu Nov 16, 2006 4:23 pm

"It is, however, difficult to enter into much of a discussion as you haven't read the literature. Have you read Braestrup's study on the press coverage of Tet? What about Halberstam's 1963 Buddhist stories? Any of the independent studies on media bias?"

Have you read the Bible backwards? Don't give me that crap Kevin.
I devoured Braestrup's study on the press coverage of Tet--couldn’t put it down-- but I’ll wait for the movie version of the Bible Backwards

Sapphire
Posts: 693
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:23 am

Post by Sapphire » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:28 pm

Barry Z

Going to war in 1938? I haven't read this book but is it referring to the War in Europe or with Japan? I presume Europe. I don't think Hitler had pushed his luck far enough by then. It was only after his invasion of Poland that Britain (and France) had enough, and declared war on Germany in September 1939. Before then it looked chiefly as if Hitler only wanted to regain lost territory from the Treaty of Versailles after WW1. It wasn't obvious that he had much grander plans for controlling much of Europe until mid 1939. For two years Britain was alone, and would have been clobbered were it not for the Royal Air Force which prevented invasion during the Battle of Britain in summer 1940. It was Germany's declaration of War against the USA that brought your side in too in December 1941. Even if the USA and UK had declared War on Germany in 1938, the Germans and Japanese were so much in cahoots this might have triggered an immediate response from Japan too. In short, I can't see how going to War in 1938 would have been saved much in lives against these two very might foes who were heavily geared up by that stage.

Enough on that. As regards Iraq, you still don't appear to have grasped the basic nettle. In the hype of the war on terror it was Iraq - rather than Iran or N Korea - that was perceived as the easiest military target to have a go at. This wasn't surprising after many years of sanctions against Iraq. A relatively easy victory was perceived against Iraq, and this was coupled with multiple policy gains of (i) preventing use of suspected possible WMD, (ii) securing oil supplies for the West, (iii) sorting out a few humanitarian local issues, (iv) being able to place a large miliary force next to Iran semi-permanently.

Where it all has all gone wrong - and I admit I did not appreciate this possibilty at the outset - is that by removing Saddam this has merely exposed the underlying problem that these people so hate each other that no stable democratic regime will ever result. Our continuing efforts to secure such a peace are not working. In fact they are only making the situation worse, as we are not wanted there. We have overstayed our welcome, and there is no tolerance of us. Iraqi Muslims don't like westerners trampling over their soil as if we own it. This too is the view of the UK military chiefs.

If yet more proof of this hostility is required, even in the relatively safe Southern part of Iraq four British soldiers were killed last weekend. A proper response to this failure doesn't mean compounding the problem by hanging on in there indefinitely hoping that something might turn up, or merely hoping to prove that the USA/UK don't cut and run. The best chance of something favourable emerging is by getting out, although I agree the odds don't look good of a stable peace emerging.


Saphire

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