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> US counterinsurgency expert expresses despair, We can only react in Iraq he admits
Dingo
post May 12 2006, 09:34 PM
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Ahmed Hashim says the only policy option available that is under our control is to leave.
US policy in Iraq has become one of simply reacting to events there
QUOTE
NEW YORK — Iraq is embroiled in a “low-level civil war” that is forcing the United States to react to events on the ground rather than shape them, according to a former U.S. military adviser who spent two years there studying the insurgency.

“Once you start reacting to events, you cannot impose a solution,” said Ahmed Hashim, a professor at the Naval War College who worked with U.S. troops in Iraq from November 2003 to September 2005 in an effort to understand the emotions and loyalties driving Iraq’s insurgents. “You go along with the flow.”
----------------------------
“To stay in Iraq and to affect the situation in Iraq will require a kind of understanding at a level far deeper than we have,” he said.

Hashim said he was struck by the shift in the attitudes of ordinary Iraqi civilians over the course of his time there. In 2003, most Iraqis he spoke to did not consider civil war a possibility, he said; two years later, all that had changed.


And just as an example of how helpless we are over there one need only look at what has happened with the principle resource Iraq has - oil.
Insurgents, smugglers and corrupt officials syphon off oil.

My question is:

Does anybody see any policy available to this country that can have a positive outcome in Iraq other than just leaving.

If your answer to the above is yes could you describe those policies.

If your answer to the above is no could you explain why you think our only option is leaving.

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DaytonRocker
post May 17 2006, 10:32 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ May 17 2006, 04:36 PM)
The $290,000 project included 300 new interior lights, 55 ceiling fans, 11 window air conditioners, 300 square meters of new concrete playground surface, remodeling of restrooms, roof repair, raising the perimeter security wall one meter, repairing all broken glass and installing a steel mesh to protect all exterior windows, painting all interior and exterior walls, and supplying a new 80kva generator.

Awww....ain't that sweet? We've put $290K into a project to rebuild what we bombed the ever living snot out of. And we bombed them into oblivion to remove all those WMD from the area. Oh wait...I mean, break that link between Iraq and Al Qaida. Ooops...I mean, liberate all our Muslim friends who would do the same for us. Here's a typical response from someone in Sadr City:

QUOTE
“God will revenge the Americans for me. Now I have eight orphans, and I am the ninth. As they make us orphans, God is going to kick them out of our country. My husband did nothing.”


Notice they don't say where this reconstruction took place because it would be instantly destroyed. Sadr City was destroyed by cluster bombs. Kids are still getting killed in alleyways because many cluster bombs did not explode. But look at the good news! Even if another kid gets blown to pieces, there is a reduction of unexploded ordinance....YIPPEE!!!!!!

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Vermillion
post May 17 2006, 11:44 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ May 17 2006, 09:36 PM)
As usual the “good news” doesn’t interest you folks on the anti-Bush left.  We are “losing pretty badly” whatever that means.  Come on give me a break.


Anti-Bush left? You should check your polls. The anti-Bush people now come from all sides of the political spectrum.

Give you a break? I have my eyes firmly shut? Are you serious?

The country is in turmoil and people are being pulled out of their homes by roving death squads. They are also being killed i the street at an alarming rate. But far worse than all that is the complete lack of any response from this government you keep touting.

Yes, they had free elections. Now when were those? Almost a year ago? because so far the elected party has yet to form a government, let alone take up any of the roles of responsibilities of government. Read today's Herald tribune: The Sunni population was aparently promised certain key positions in government in return for their participation, and now that they are not getting them large sections of them are repudiating the system.

I mean seriously here, look at the 'Good news' you keep touting. A school was rebuilt, repairs to a firehouse were completed. a MASSIVE stockpile of weapons and IED was discovered in the middle of the city. (Which is the perfect example of good news couched in very, very bad news)

Ok, thats your good news. I accept it. Please tell me what you make of some of the bad news.

-Over 20,000 US casualties to date, including 2450 deaths.
-Add to that 200 dead from coalition allies
-Estimates of Iraqi dead vary, from 30,000 to 50,000. Casualties about triple that number.
-Cost to the US of nearly half a trillion dollars, and rising.
-Over 70% of rebuilding contracts unfulfillable.
-Steady decrease in popularity of US presence in Iraq among Iraqis
-Death rate among Iraqi civilians increasing
-Number of attacks per day increasing

Should I continue?

So you tell me. Does the rebuilt school and repaired firehouse trump all that? But even all that could be considered 'worth it' I suppose if there were any real signs of progress on the ground. You keep telling me that I'm blind or whatever, well please show me progress. I don't mean your version of good news, I have no doubt some Iraqi kids held a soccer match yesterday. I mean signs the war may have an end. Signs the government is taking ANY control of the situation, Signs the insurgency is decreasing. In fact, in all of those cases signs point to exactly the opposite.

Like I said, the situation is not lost, but by any objectoive standard it is in the process of losing.

I mean who seriously believes the war is going well (apart from you?) The American people don't. The Iraqi people don't. So if I'm so blind, prove me wrong, show me good news that outweighs the bad news obvious to anyone who opens a paper.
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Ted
post May 19 2006, 01:09 PM
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QUOTE
Vermillion
Yes, they had free elections. Now when were those? Almost a year ago? because so far the elected party has yet to form a government, let alone take up any of the roles of responsibilities of government. Read today's Herald tribune


Again you look only at the negatives. With your attitude we would have given up half way through every major war in history.
And to clarify what I said earlier numerous countries in the world could win this war in Iraq including CANADA, France, Germany, Russia, South Korea etc…….. All that is needed is the will to finish the job.

What is your solution???? Quit???

I am still angry that the UN didn’t do their job in 1998.

Iraq may get unity government on Saturday
By Mariam Karouny and Fredrik Dahl
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's parliament may vote on Saturday on a new government in which the country's main religious and ethnic groups will share power, officials said on Wednesday, signalling an end to months of political paralysis.

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moif
post May 19 2006, 01:38 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion. )
Yes, they had free elections. Now when were those? Almost a year ago? because so far the elected party has yet to form a government, let alone take up any of the roles of responsibilities of government.
So what?

What do you expect? That a government is going to just magically appear?

Imagine the difficulties this government is going to have to overcome! It may take decades for peace and stability to return to Iraq and the USA is going to have to nurture that country the whole time because one thing is certain above all others. Even if the USA stops 'meddling' in Iraq, Iran most certainly won't.

Ted is making a pretty valid point in my opinion. Setting up a state in the chaos of Iraq is not easy and the only thing your (apparently) proposing is to give up which certainly won't do any one any good.

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Vermillion
post May 19 2006, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ May 19 2006, 01:09 PM)
Again you look only at the negatives.  With your attitude we would have given up half way through every major war in history.


Stop repeating the same thing Ted, unless you intend to justify it. Are you disputing any of the facts I listed in my last post? Do you think the deaths of Americans and the expense of half a trillion dollars is somehow overemphasised, and not newsworthy?

I have asked for examples of the good news you feel outweighs the deaths and expense, and so far I have the repair of a firestation and the rebuilding of a public school. Actually, to be fair those are good news, and unusual at that since the vast majority of the US reconstruction contracts remain completely unfulfilled.

No the US would not have left every major war in history. Firstly, this war is a very rare example of a war in which the US was the aggressor, that includes only two other wars: The 1812 war (lost by the US) and Vietnam (lost by the US). But the complete unwillingness to see the bad news staring in the face of the obvious is what keeps the numbers of dollars and dead rising when no dollar value is in sight.

Todays Vietnam is seen in the US as a national tragedy, but at the time of withdrawal there were a lot of conservatives furious about the decision to leave, citing it as a national betrayal, and that all that was needed was the 'will to win'. Sound familiar? I'm willing you would have been furious about how the 'liberal press' was reporting only the 'bad news' from Vietnam, and not reporting on how the US had rebuilt a local waterway to help agriculture for a SV town.

QUOTE
And to clarify what I said earlier numerous countries in the world could win this war in Iraq including CANADA, France, Germany, Russia,  South Korea etc……..   All that is needed is the will to finish the job.


Oh that's rich. Think back Ted, think Waaaaay back: what was the position of Canada, Germany and South Korea in the lead up to war? All three had made public statements saying they WOULD commit troops to Iraq under UN mandate. France while not being so supportive, had openly declared it would NOT veto any UN mandate. Furthermore, such a motion was in discussion and scheduled. But Bush Jr wanted to go to war so urgently he preempted the vote and attacked unilaterally.

Now the fault lies with Canada, Germany, South Korea and France because the US is failing in its post-war occupation?

Besides, at the moment Canada is busy commemorating one of its dead soldiers, and first woman fatality, who is being shipped home after being killed in Afghanistan two days ago, where Canada and several other nations took over front line duty from the US, so more American soldiers could be freed to move to Iraq.

But please, be sure to tell the Canadians that really, the worsening debacle in Iraq is really THEIR fault.

QUOTE
Iraq may get unity government on Saturday
By Mariam Karouny and Fredrik Dahl
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's parliament may vote on Saturday on a new government in which the country's main religious and ethnic groups will share power, officials said on Wednesday, signalling an end to months of political paralysis.


Is THAT the good news that you say outweigs the deaths and chaos, the fact that after almost a YEAR of paralysis, the Iraqi parliament might vote on a new government soon?

Well, lets hope it goes better than last week, when the fact that one of the delegates had a cellphone which rang with a traditional Shia song as its ringtone shut down the entire legeslative branch after it caused a fistfight between delegates and their armed bodyguards (They need armed personal bodyguards present during a sitting of government?) and the entire Suni delegation stormed out. Yes, things seem to be coming along just swimmingly.

Here is a bit of the 'bad news' for you. Between when the delegates stormed out and when they reconvened two days later: in that 1.5 day period there were 49 seperate attacks, 3 suicide bombings, 5 US soldiers killed, 1 UK soldier killed, dozens of Iraqis killed (number unreported) and over 60 bodies discovered left around Bagdad having been abducted, tortured and executed by roving death squads. That was just a somewhat worse than usual 36 hours.

But please, tell me more about all the 'Good news' I (and the 'liberal media') are ignoring which makes all that bad news go away.

QUOTE
What is your solution????  Quit???


Its getting to that point, yes. Set a deadline to the Iraqi 'government' such as it is for scaled troop withdrawal. So far they have made zero effort to stand up, and in the end standing up and governing such a fractious state may not be possible. I can't say that withdrawing will be the best thing for Iraq, I honestly do not know what would be the best for Iraq, and at this point given the terrible methodology with which the administration handled this whole affair, there may no longer BE a 'best case for Iraq'.

But let me turn the question back on you, since you maintain (against all evidence) that all that is needed is the 'will' to win. Exactly how much more money and US bodies are you willing to spend for this phantom 'will'? As some have said, in the grand scheme, 2400 US dead and total of 20,000 casualties isn't THAT much, are you happy to see that double for this 'will' you speak of? Perhaps if the total bill goes up to a full trillion, is that fine too? When people disagree will you just yell at them for 'focusing on the bad news'?

When you say 'just the will is needed', are you implying that the will is not currently there? That the military doesn't have the will? That the Bush Administration doesn't have the will? How's that 'will' been working for them? Exactly what tactical tools would you employ to harness this 'will' to salvage the situation? How can this 'will' replace the obvious and clear LACK of will of the Iraqi 'government' to govern?

How does this 'will' work Ted? How much will this 'will' cost? How long will this 'will' take to emerge victorious?

Do you think the insurgents are lacking in 'will'? They are blowing themselves up to kill Americans, how are you going to defeat their 'will'?


You know what, it is possible that opponents of the war (ie: most Americans now) focus on the masses of bad news, but thats better than the proponents who simply pretend there is no bad news at all.


QUOTE(moif)
So what?

What do you expect? That a government is going to just magically appear?


A YEAR moif, they have not even named a cabinet yet, let alone made any effort to actually govern! What do I expect? I expected a lot more, and so should you.

QUOTE
Imagine the difficulties this government is going to have to overcome! It may take decades for peace and stability to return to Iraq and the USA is going to have to nurture that country the whole time because one thing is certain above all others.


I don't need to imagine the difficulties moif, anyone can see them, and they are vast. Three segments of society who hate each other, massacring each other in the streets, entire segments of the country that fall under the control of local militias and clerics with no care for the central government. Parts of the country which are transforming into islamicist conclaves with religious laws: women being subjugated in a nation where the women were once the most emancipated in the midle East. And Iraq police force that does not leave its barracks without US cover, and that takes no part in major combat operations even in joint actions. Two years ago we were told that out of 100 Iraqi batallions, only three were effective and combat ready. Six months ago Gneral John Abzaid stated that number had dropped to only one batallion. Since then reports have continued about mass desertions,, drop in recruitment, lack of equipment, and lack of Iraqi poitical will or capacity to reform the system. In the meantime, corruption has taken away money for the military, and the CIA estimates that as many as a fifth of all new recruits to the military have links to the insurgency.

I don't need to 'imagine' the problems moif, they are visible every day in the failures and the deaths. But then, thats just more of the 'bad news' you dismiss to easily in favour of repainting firehouses, right?

QUOTE
Ted is making a pretty valid point in my opinion. Setting up a state in the chaos of Iraq is not easy and the only thing your (apparently) proposing is to give up which certainly won't do any one any good.


Nobody said setting up a new state would be easy.

Oops, thats not true at all, conservatives around the US thtee years ago were claiming left and right it would be easy, that the Iraqi people would welcome Americans with open arms, there would be little or no insurgency and all the rest of it.

But ignoring that, I am not claiming that setting up this new state should be easy, what I am stating is setting up this new state in the manner the US has planned for it along the lines the US have designed may simply be impossible, or at least imposible without a 'rebuilding post-war germany or Japan' level of commitment.

Heck, if the US started conscription, put its economy on a war footing and committed itself to two decades in Iraq, I'm almost POSITIVE they would succeed. Is that what you are suggesting?

No? Then pray tell, exactly what ARE you suggesting? Cause that staus quo is failing miserably. So whats the big plan then? Just gut it out, sing a few songs, ignore reality, and hope the next IED doesn't kill somebody you know?







This post has been edited by Vermillion: May 19 2006, 02:34 PM
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TedN5
post May 19 2006, 05:12 PM
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Good posts, Vermillion. EDITED TO REMOVE PERSONAL ATTACK (Qui habet aures audiendi audiat). The only issue I would take with your posts are your very conservative estimates of Iraqi casualties and your over emphasis on the failure of the Iraqi officials when the majority of the responsible is due to the bungled and misdirected American occupation policies and projects. I would recommend this Michael Schwartz Article for an alternative view.

QUOTE
Media coverage of the Iraq War has generally portrayed the current quagmire as the result of an American failure to achieve a set of otherwise admirable goals: suppressing the insurgency that is intimidating the Iraqi people and sabotaging the economy; stopping the destructive ethno-religious violence that has become a major source of civilian casualties; building an Iraqi army that can establish and sustain law and order; rebuilding electrical and sewage systems and the rest of the country's damaged infrastructure; ramping up oil production to place Iraq on a positive economic trajectory; eliminating the element that has made crime in the streets a prevalent and profitable occupation; and nurturing an elected parliament that can effectively rule. U.S. failure, then, resides in its inability to halt and reverse the destructive forces within Iraqi society.

This rather comfortable portrait of the U.S. as a bumbling, even thoroughly incompetent giant overwhelmed by unexpected forces tearing Iraqi society apart is strikingly inaccurate: Most of the death, destruction, and disorganization in the country has, at least in its origins, been a direct consequence of U.S. efforts to forcibly institute an economic and social revolution, while using overwhelming force to suppress resistance to this project. Certainly, the insurgency, the ethno-religious jihadists, and the criminal gangs have all contributed to the descent of Iraqi cities and towns into chaos, but their roles have been secondary and in many cases reactive. The engine of deconstruction was – and remains – the U.S.-led occupation.


And then we now have documented evidence of an Iraqi "Mai Lai" incident. This event was just better documented than other similar atrocities that were covered up with cover stories like those attempted with this incident. Of course all such ground actions pale when compared to the Iraqi civilian deaths attributable to the American air campaign which has been stepped up.

"There was no firefight. There was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed those innocent people," Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., said during a news conference on Iraq. "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them. And they killed innocent civilians in cold blood. That is what the report is going to tell." See (Marines Deliberately Killed Iraqi Civilians).

This post has been edited by Jaime: May 19 2006, 05:47 PM
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Amlord
post May 19 2006, 05:49 PM
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QUOTE(TedN5 @ May 19 2006, 01:12 PM)
Good posts, Vermillion.  EDITED TO REMOVE PERSONAL ATTACK  (Qui habet aures audiendi audiat).



Let's debate this without getting personal and belittling other members.

Questions for debate:

Does anybody see any policy available to this country that can have a positive outcome in Iraq other than just leaving.

If your answer to the above is yes could you describe those policies.

If your answer to the above is no could you explain why you think our only option is leaving.



This post has been edited by Amlord: May 19 2006, 05:52 PM
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moif
post May 19 2006, 06:06 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion)
A YEAR moif, they have not even named a cabinet yet, let alone made any effort to actually govern! What do I expect? I expected a lot more, and so should you.
A year doesn't surprise me though of course it is disapointing. Its more or less the sort of difficulties one might expect under such harsh conditions.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
I don't need to imagine the difficulties moif, anyone can see them, and they are vast.
In effect what you are saying is that it can't be done. I don't believe adversity is an insurmountable obstacle and nor do I believe that any one has proven that Iraq cannot be tamed given time, patience and prudence.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
I don't need to 'imagine' the problems moif, they are visible every day in the failures and the deaths. But then, thats just more of the 'bad news' you dismiss to easily in favour of repainting firehouses, right?
I don't know what that means.

I'm not dismissing any bad news either. I'm merely asking you what your alternative is and what it would mean, both for the geo-political world and for the people in Iraq if America 'gave up'.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
Nobody said setting up a new state would be easy.

Oops, thats not true at all, conservatives around the US thtee years ago were claiming left and right it would be easy, that the Iraqi people would welcome Americans with open arms, there would be little or no insurgency and all the rest of it.
Well, I'm neither a conservative nor an American.

No body said it was going to be easy, except those who did.

On the other hand there was a whole bunch of people who said it was going to be hard. They've been hammering this message from day one and they've jumped on every possible tragedy to repeat and further emphasis their message. This is a recipe for defeat in itself. A nation which is divided when fighting a war is extremely vulnerable. So vulnerable in fact that war is not a credible option for such a state.

But the simple fact is, there are never any easy options. War is when you don't have any other choice and from the moment you've gone to war then anything but victory is a defeat.

Walking away or giving up, is not some neutral option devoid of consequence. It is a defeat.
It will be considered a defeat and used as such by the enemy to rally further attacks against the west.
The consequences of defeat in Iraq are so far reaching, both for us and for the Iraqi's that the war should never have been undertaken without guarantee's of considerable support within the fabric of Iraq's population.

That it was changes everything. From that point onwards, the option of giving up, of surrender, became null without the risk of consequences that would/will inevitably follow.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
But ignoring that, I am not claiming that setting up this new state should be easy, what I am stating is setting up this new state in the manner the US has planned for it along the lines the US have designed may simply be impossible, or at least imposible without a 'rebuilding post-war germany or Japan' level of commitment.
Agreed.


QUOTE(Vermillion)
Heck, if the US started conscription, put its economy on a war footing and committed itself to two decades in Iraq, I'm almost POSITIVE they would succeed. Is that what you are suggesting?
Yes. If that is what it takes then that is what they should do.

I don't think the Americans really understood what they were saying yes to when they re-elected GW Bush. I said at the time (...being such a far sighted sort of guy whistling.gif ...) that they had just validated everything that the USA had done in Iraq and I stand by that.

The only, credible way the USA can get out of Iraq is by electing a Democrat or other non republican government inthe next election, but even that is going to be perceived as a victory for botht he Iranians and the Jihadi's.

America's big mistake was in not fully understanding the public commitment they undertook when they invaded Iraq. By which I mean the United States undertook an obligation but its people didn't seem to understand that.

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Ted
post May 19 2006, 06:47 PM
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QUOTE
Vermillion
I have asked for examples of the good news you feel outweighs the deaths and expense, and so far I have the repair of a firestation and the rebuilding of a public school.


The good news is the dangerous lunatic with WMD sitting in the middle of ½ the world oil is out of office and on trial for just about everything. The good news is we control the country and they WILL be free and an ally regardless of how many “insurgents” blow themselves up. And the death toll and $$$ is a tiny fraction of WWII or Vietnam as I am sure you know.



QUOTE
Oh that's rich. Think back Ted, think Waaaaay back: what was the position of Canada, Germany and South Korea in the lead up to war? All three had made public statements saying they WOULD commit troops to Iraq under UN mandate. France while not being so supportive, had openly declared it would NOT veto any UN mandate.


Come on do you read the papers. The UN was never ever going to vote to use force in Iraq because France and Russia were not going to vote for it in the UN. We all know this so why not just get past it. IMO we should have waited up to another year and nailed them with the OFF scandal payoffs but we didn’t and the result is the same the UN did squat in 1998 and they were not about to do anything in 2003.


QUOTE
Is THAT the good news that you say outweigs the deaths and chaos, the fact that after almost a YEAR of paralysis, the Iraqi parliament might vote on a new government soon?


YES and no meaningful revolution ever happened without this kind of sacrifice.


QUOTE
Its getting to that point, yes. Set a deadline to the Iraqi 'government' such as it is for scaled troop withdrawal. So far they have made zero effort to stand up, and in the end standing up and governing such a fractious state may not be possible. I can't say that withdrawing will be the best thing for Iraq, I honestly do not know what would be the best for Iraq, and at this point given the terrible methodology with which the administration handled this whole affair, there may no longer BE a 'best case for Iraq'.

I agree that we need to have an (internal) timetable and be pushing HARD on Iraqi forces to take over. This is happening to some extent thus the greater number of their troops killed in action etc. And its just about “the best thing for Iraq”. Like it or not this is a vital area for the US and the west. Pull out too quickly and Iran could end up with control at some level. We are too connected to the oil and Israel to just let this go down the drain. And the generals on the ground say we can win and I mean the ones THERE doing the fighting not the armchair people back here.
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Vermillion
post May 19 2006, 07:53 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ May 19 2006, 06:47 PM)
The good news is the dangerous lunatic with WMD sitting in the middle of ½ the world oil is out of office and on trial for just about everything.  The good news is we control the country and they WILL be free and an ally regardless of how many “insurgents” blow themselves up.  And the death toll and $$$ is a tiny fraction of WWII or Vietnam as I am sure you know.


1- The dangerous lunatic with the WMD. Right. we've had this argument before Ted, this is the WMD he was going to use on Americans but when the time came didn't use on Americans even though they were invading his country and instead shipped off to one of his nation's worst and most hated enemies, Syria? Those WMD nobody has been able to find, and that now even White House Republicans are admitting their error about? Well, as I said, thats a topic for another (actually about 30 other) threads, so we'll call that point 'unresolved', shall we?

2- You control the country? Really, well then you might want to do something about the massacres, the roving death squads, the increasing insurgent attacks per day (Average Number of Insurgent Attacks per Day—May 2003: 10, June 2004: 52, May 2005: 70, March 2006: 76), the sectarian violence, the suicide bombings... Cause if the US controls the country, why exactly are they letting all this happen? Why also are they launching major assaults on entire towns and districts every few weeks, if they control the country? Or is it possible you don't know what you are talking about?

3- I love this argument: The Iraq war costs less than WWII, and Vietnam, so what’s the problem? Firstly, according to the Institute for Policy Studies: "Operations costs in Iraq are estimated at $5.6 billion per month in 2005. By comparison, the average cost of U.S. operations in Vietnam over the eight-year war was $5.1 billion per month, adjusting for inflation." So in fact this war is costing MORE than Vietnam.

As for WWII, that was a WORLD WAR in which the United States had conscription, had the entire country on a war economy rationing food, rubber, nylon, steel and, oh yeah, oil. Are you seriously and honestly defending the cost of Iraq because it cost less than the second world war?

4- So, back to the original point, the 'Good News' that the media should be reporting instead of all that money and deaths is that Hussein is no longer in power? Uh bad news for you Ted. I can understand how you missed this, it was such a small thing, but as I recall the planet's media MAY have devoted a couple column inches to Hussein being out of power already.

But, instead of mentioning another 11 US troops dies last weekend, or that revelations have come up that the vast majority of reconstruction contracts are unfulfilled, YOU would prefer that the weekend's headlines were:

'Hussein Still not in Power! (AP)
"Reports coming out of Iraq have confirmed today that Saddam Hussein and former leader of Iraq is still the former leader of Iraq. We are seeking independent coverage of this event, as one can never be too sure, but by all account on the ground, Hussein is still out of power. We go live to our Hussein watcher in Iraq, Phil?"
"Thanks Steven, yes I have just visited the houses of government here in Iraq and I can say I saw no sign that Iraq leader Hussein had returned to power. He is still, I repeat, still no longer in power in Iraq. Steven?"
"Thanks Phil. Well join us later for our late 'Saddam-out-of-power evening update, and tomorrow at the same time, when we will again try to ascertain the status of Saddam Hussein, will he be back in power tomorrow? Tune in and see..."


QUOTE
Come on do you read the papers.  The UN was never ever going to vote to use force in Iraq because France and Russia were not going to vote for it in the UN.  We all know this so why not just get past it.  IMO we should have waited up to another year and nailed them with the OFF scandal payoffs.


Buy you are hitting all the talking points today aren't you...

1- We don't all know this Ted, only you seems to know this. I just stated France had publicly declared they were not going to Veto any action against Iraq. They can vote against it all they like, without Veto, the resolution passes.

2- You mean the Oil-for-Food scandal which a US senate subcommittee on investigations determined 52% of which was US oil companies? The single largest beneficiary of which then turned around and donated the funds to Build Bush Jr's presidential library? You always seem to miss that point in your anti-France rants, that US companies took more of the kickbacks than any other nation on earth combined...

3- Besides, you just turned around and defeated your own point. Regardless of the veracity of your assorted unevienced allegations, Bush Jr deliberately ignored the UN and went it without them so how exactly to you justify turning around and blaming in your last post the same nations he deliberately ignored?

QUOTE
YES and no meaningful revolution ever happened without this kind of sacrifice.   


Ah, now I understand your logic.

Successful Revolutions have always required great sacrifice, therefore (In Tedland) since this war is demanding great sacrifice from the American people, it will be a successful revolution!

Bad news for you Ted, failed revolutions have tended to demand enormous sacrifice as well.

QUOTE
Like it or not this is a vital area for the US and the west.  Pull out too quickly and Iran could end up with control at some level.  We are too connected to the oil and Israel to just let this go down the drain.


Yes, if only there was a man in power of Iraq who was strong enough to foil Iranian interests in the region, somebody preferably who ran a secular third-way kind of government in Iraq, not Shia or Sunni, which could keep the region divided and stable, and act as an effective brake on Iran...

QUOTE
And the generals on the ground say we can win and I mean the ones THERE doing the fighting not the armchair people back here.


Which generals on the ground exactly there Ted? Cause you have apparently been listening to different ones than the rest of the world. About a dozen retired US generals, including General Nash, the most decorated US general alive today, that the war is a badly planned failure and calling on Rumsfeld to resign.

Or perhaps you discount retired generals. So are you referring to Gen. John Abizaid, chief of US Central Command, who describes the situation as a 'slow deterioration due to the inability of Iraqi military units to perform internal security functions'?

Or Brig General Mark Kimmit, who describes Iraq as a 'long term problem requiring a substantial US presence for at least a decade to have a chance'?

Or General George Casey who has presented a specific, detailed plan for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq to the White House at least three times and been rejected every time?

I have no doubt there are occasional Generals saying it CAN be won, I have said the same thing myself. But all are calling for what they call the 'long war' to even have a chance. You never answered any of my questions Ted, how many lives and how much money is this mythical missing 'will' you speak of supposed to cost? And how exactly is 'will' supposed to succeed, given the advancing failure of the status quo?

You seem to have set the Bar at WWII, so are we to presume that you will only object when the Iraq war cost reaches that level, 418,500 dead and about 60 trillion dollars or so? Well, I certainly hope the Iraqis are grateful to you, Ted, what with your willingness to expend your nations fortune and so many of your nations young men for their sake...


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Dingo
post May 20 2006, 08:11 PM
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Other than platitudes and wishful thinking and scenarios of modern Roman Legions turning Iraq into a waste land I haven't as yet heard a serious alternative to simply leaving as having a possible productive outcome. And that, itself, could unleash a host of problems. Perhaps we are stuck in a no-way-out situation and can only hang on hoping some international coalition will emerge to bail us out. Not under this administration I fear. As for the 3 state solution, just for starters Turkey simply won't allow an independent Kurdistan so that's a no go.

No one has yet commented on my second link which shows the extensive corruption in the transporting of oil with considerable amount being diverted to the accounts of the insurgents. How can massive amounts of funds be syphoned off to the enemy and we are supposed to overcome a resistance payed for by the American taxpayers? We're funding both sides or to put it more accurately many sides along with a large collection of just-in-it-for-the-money gangsters and corrupt government officials. According to Allawi insurgents "get 40-50 percent of all oil smuggling profits." Here from the link.

QUOTE
Allawi said in February that the insurgents have infiltrated the top management echelons at the Baiji refinery. Other officials claim that an "oil smuggling mafia" is in place throughout the administration, which is said to control the allocation of administrative positions within the oil ministry. This allows the insurgents and their henchmen to routinely siphon off oil from the pipelines and hijack tanker trucks, as well as terrorize the drivers. "We can't stop armed men because they know where we live," said Lieutenant Colonel Saffah Mahjan, the refinery's security chief. "They know our families. They know everything about us."
-------------------------------
In 2005, the government sacked 450 officials in the oil ministry because of severe "administrative corruption" involving oil theft and fraud, according to the Commission on Public Integrity. That body is investigating more than 1,000 other cases. But the lure of immense profits is so strong that the mass dismissals and investigation have had no effect at all in curbing the corruption that is crippling Iraq's struggle to rebuild itself as much as the remorseless violence of the insurgency.

As far as a government of national unity that's kind of hard to bring about in a region of rampant ethnic cleansing. Check this out.
Iraq degenerates into ethnic cleansing
QUOTE
Across central Iraq, there is an exodus of people fleeing for their lives as sectarian assassins and death squads hunt them down. At ground level, Iraq is disintegrating as ethnic cleansing takes hold on a massive scale.
------------------
The sectarian warfare in Baghdad is sparsely reported but the provinces around the capital are now so dangerous for reporters that they seldom, if ever, go there, except as embeds with US troops. Two months ago in Mosul, I met an Iraqi army captain from Diyala who said Sunni and Shia were slaughtering each other in his home province. "Whoever is in a minority runs," he said. "If forces are more equal they fight it out."


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Mrs. Pigpen
post May 21 2006, 11:55 AM
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QUOTE(Dingo @ May 20 2006, 04:11 PM)
Other than platitudes and wishful thinking and scenarios of modern Roman Legions turning Iraq into a waste land I haven't as yet heard a serious alternative to simply leaving as having a possible productive outcome. And that, itself, could unleash a host of problems. Perhaps we are stuck in a no-way-out situation and can only hang on hoping some international coalition will emerge to bail us out. Not under this administration I fear. As for the 3 state solution, just for starters Turkey simply won't allow an independent Kurdistan so that's a no go.

No one has yet commented on my second link which shows the extensive corruption in the transporting of oil with considerable amount being diverted to the accounts of the insurgents. How can massive amounts of funds be syphoned off to the enemy and we are supposed to overcome a resistance payed for by the American taxpayers? We're funding both sides or to put it more accurately many sides along with a large collection of just-in-it-for-the-money gangsters and corrupt government officials. According to Allawi insurgents "get 40-50 percent of all oil smuggling profits."  Here from the link.

QUOTE
Allawi said in February that the insurgents have infiltrated the top management echelons at the Baiji refinery. Other officials claim that an "oil smuggling mafia" is in place throughout the administration, which is said to control the allocation of administrative positions within the oil ministry. This allows the insurgents and their henchmen to routinely siphon off oil from the pipelines and hijack tanker trucks, as well as terrorize the drivers. "We can't stop armed men because they know where we live," said Lieutenant Colonel Saffah Mahjan, the refinery's security chief. "They know our families. They know everything about us."
-------------------------------
In 2005, the government sacked 450 officials in the oil ministry because of severe "administrative corruption" involving oil theft and fraud, according to the Commission on Public Integrity. That body is investigating more than 1,000 other cases. But the lure of immense profits is so strong that the mass dismissals and investigation have had no effect at all in curbing the corruption that is crippling Iraq's struggle to rebuild itself as much as the remorseless violence of the insurgency.

As far as a government of national unity that's kind of hard to bring about in a region of rampant ethnic cleansing. Check this out.
Iraq degenerates into ethnic cleansing
QUOTE
Across central Iraq, there is an exodus of people fleeing for their lives as sectarian assassins and death squads hunt them down. At ground level, Iraq is disintegrating as ethnic cleansing takes hold on a massive scale.
------------------
The sectarian warfare in Baghdad is sparsely reported but the provinces around the capital are now so dangerous for reporters that they seldom, if ever, go there, except as embeds with US troops. Two months ago in Mosul, I met an Iraqi army captain from Diyala who said Sunni and Shia were slaughtering each other in his home province. "Whoever is in a minority runs," he said. "If forces are more equal they fight it out."

*



sad.gif I agree the situation is bad, but I don't think leaving is an option until things get under control. This isn't new....Look at the problems they are STILL having in Kosovo, in spite of a longstanding UN presence. Look at the operations such as those in Haiti, the Balkans, East Timor, Somalia, and there is a picture of very few “liberal, democratic military peacekeeping operations” creating stable liberal democratic societies, WITH the participation of "international coalitions". In fact are there any? The Balkans is the only place that I can think of that even made legitimate forward steps in that direction. There is more or less peace in Bosnia and Kosovo at the moment because of strong military forces deployed there, but the ethnic tensions remain, and the style of democracy the international community wishes to establish is still a dream. And I might add that the population in that area is about one fifth that of Iraq.

This policy worked in Japan because we had the will to transplant our value system to that culture. They were Americanized, their own textbooks burned and ours took their place. We stayed for years and years with authority over them. We “Americanized” South Korea, too, but more slowly. Even so, look how long it took…they didn’t have a stable, truly representative government until about three decades after the cease-fire.

Frankly, I don’t see the comparison to Vietnam that many people seem to see. In Vietnam we were trying to prop up a government that was already in place and few liked. Furthermore, we faced a charismatic opponent that a lot of people liked, who would be the obvious leader choice when we left. There is nothing close to this in Iraq. The situation is infinitely closer to the one in the Balkans. Does anyone doubt that hostilities wouldn’t persist in Bosnia and Kosovo in the absence of external peace enforcement? Like in Korea, the employment of force inevitably saddled us with post-war obligations. We need to deal with it. For all of the short-term positives to leaving, there is the long-term reality of leaving a failed state in the middle of the Middle East, which likely will not be contained.

This is a list, in order, of what I think the primary purposes of any government should be:

1. Basic security for the people.
2. Basic human rights protections.
3. Basic human services for quality of life…electricity, running water, access to health care and potable water, food, ect.
4. Personal freedoms
5. Representation

Without the first three, or at least definitely the first two, the fifth is irrelevant and the fourth is impossible.

My first and foremost suggestion is controversial and won’t sit well with some, but I think it could work. The Iraqi government should hire mercenaries to protect their oil fields. They shouldn’t be interacting as a police force in people’s homes, I think that would be a bad idea for many reasons, but they could ease the pillaging of resources. Remember the situation in Sierra Leone…a few hundred Executive Outcomes people were able to chase the rebels out and bring them to the bargaining table in a month, something that thousands of UN forces couldn’t do in years, at about 3 percent of the cost. Then there won't be any Iraqi or coalition soldiers or family members taken captive by the thugs for performing this job.

Next, the government should issue a firearm to every male over the age of 18 and require them to own and know how to use it. They become the unorganized militia, and everyone will know that each home is armed and ready.

I don’t think the above two propositions are radical considering the fact that we have already basically resigned ourselves to militia control of certain areas. The situation is starting to resemble Yemen as it is….

Next, and no less important, get the electricity rolling. It is nearly summer, and the conditions in the desert will be absolutely inhumane without it. When the electricity is out, the population becomes enraged. Try living without a fan, let alone central air, when it’s over 100 degrees. We put a man on the moon, surely we can get the electricity going in Baghdad. In fact, every tax-funded desk job that involves planning for Iraq, but sits in Washington DC should have to move to homes in Baghdad. They don’t get air conditioning until the Iraqis do.

Finally, provisions requiring that Iraqis use US companies or material need to end, and the funds go directly to Iraqi firms.

That’s all I have for now…

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CruisingRam
post May 21 2006, 12:29 PM
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thumbsup.gif I think those are great ideas Mrs P- better than this administration has even come close too- it is simply too incompetent to get a decent idea in it's head and go with it LOL- and your comments are close to what my cuz says over there, and another says in the Balkans- but- you are missing some key components.

1) The balkans don't have a very large and growing "insurgency" that don't mind dying for a cause, adn that hate Americans and our way of life to thier core. Eastern Europeans kinda like americans and stuff thumbsup.gif - well, a good chunk of them do anyway.

2) The total lack of will of the Iraqi "culture" (yes, I realize there are several, but this seems to be a common denominator)- a lack of will to do for themselves- in anything, and cultural bias about certain duties. Take basic thing like trash pick up- no Iraqi really wants to do it- and, my cuz says, they clean up a place, get something running, and by the next day, the area is trashed, and the stuff sabatoged. The cuz in the Balkans says that the various factions never did anything bad to thier own stuff if it didn't have strategic value to do it! Sure- go get the other guys stuff, but don't mess up your own!
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post May 22 2006, 01:39 PM
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QUOTE
Vermillion
2- You control the country? Really, well then you might want to do something about the massacres, the roving death squads, the increasing insurgent attacks per day (Average Number of Insurgent Attacks per Day—May 2003: 10, June 2004: 52, May 2005: 70, March 2006: 76), the sectarian violence, the suicide bombings


Come on please. The “insurgents" know they LOSE when a new elected government takes over. What do you expect them to do? As far as killings and control of the country you need to realize, as I am sure you do, that nothing is absolute. We control New York yet we have thousands of crimes a day, including rape, murder, gang violence, etc. So I guess we should just give up all our cities to the criminals since we obviously cannot control them???

3. We lost an average of 200 men a WEEK in Vietnam. Iraq will never come close. And Iraq total $$ cannot be judged by one year as you know.


QUOTE
We don't all know this Ted, only you seems to know this. I just stated France had publicly declared they were not going to Veto any action against Iraq. They can vote against it all they like, without Veto, the resolution passes.


We DO know this.

Envoys admit taking oil payoffs
BY CHARLES BREMNER
France has distanced itself from two former ambassadors facing corruption charges

TWO former French ambassadors have admitted earning hundreds of thousands of dollars from the sale of oil that Iraq had assigned to them under the United Nations Oil-for-Food programme.
The disclosure tarnished France’s moral stand against the invasion of Iraq, and its Foreign Ministry scrambled to distance itself from the alleged illicit activities of Serge Boidevaix, a former director of the ministry, and of Jean-Bernard Mérimée, a former French Ambassador to the UN. Both are facing corruption charges.

Jean-Baptiste Mattei, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said: “There is no link . . . with the decision of France not to participate in the Iraq war. This stemmed from our concept of international law.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13...1824684,00.html

Ya right. No link my ....

We also know that the slimy French introduced a resolution in the UN in 1999 to drop all sanctions against Iraq so they could collect BILLIONS in oil contracts. So spare me the nonsense about France being innocent.


We need to win In Iraq and we will. Yes the UN should have done the job of dealing with Saddam but now we know how absolutely worthless this organization is and we need to move on.

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post May 22 2006, 05:29 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ May 22 2006, 01:39 PM)
Come on please.  The “insurgents" know they LOSE when a new elected government takes over.  What do you expect them to do?  As far as killings and control of the country you need to realize, as I am sure you do, that nothing is absolute.  We control New York yet we have thousands of crimes a day, including rape, murder, gang violence, etc.    So I guess we should just give up all our cities to the criminals since we obviously cannot control them???


Yes Ted. Downtown Bagdad is just as dangerous as New York City. Is this the point you were trying to make? That there is no difference between occupied Iraq and New York City? That anyone going to Bagdad would feel just as safe as if they were in New York City? Please explain to us if this is the point you were trying to make.

If it WASN'T, then please explain what on earth that reference had to do with anything. The city of Bagdad got New York's current annual number of death in SIX DAYS last week, including Iraqis and Foreign soldiers.

As for your initial point, "The insurgents know they lose when the government takes over", you are just (again) repeating the exact same assertions people have been calling you on for about three of your posts now. Reition of wild assertions does not equal evidence.

Firstly The insurgent lose when the government takes over. Out of curiosity Ted, could you do me the favour of pointing to ONE Insurgency on the planet in the history of mankind which up and surrendered when a government was elected in the nation in question? You speak with such absolute self confience on this point, it must be easy for you to come up with examples to demonstrate it. Well?

Secondly, even if your above obviously counterfactual assertion were true, it STILL depends on the New government being able to take over, and so far they have not even made an attempt to do so.

From today's Herald Tribune:

"The Iraqi police are a battered and dysfunctional force that has helped bring Iraq to the brink of civil war. Police units are accused of operating death squads for political groups, or simply for profit. Citizens, distrustful of the police, are setting up neighbourhood security squads. Killing of police officers is rampant, with at least 547 slain this year alone. (...) Not only is the police force inept and rife with corruption but fractious tribal, sectarian and criminal groups are competing to control it."

So Once AGAIN I am forced to ask you, do you have any actual evidence to back up your jingoistic assertions?

QUOTE
We lost an average of 200 men a WEEK in Vietnam.  Iraq will never come close.  And Iraq total $$ cannot be judged by one year as you know.


So, this will be a success as long as we keep the casualties below 200 people a week? I asked you this before. Since you seem to have no care for the half trillion spent and 20,000 casualties, exactly what is the price you are willing to pay in the lives and treasure of your countrymen for your phantom 'will'?

Oh and by the way, as an aside, your facts are quite wrong. The worst month for the US in Vietnam was April 1969 when the US lost 543 people, well short of 200 per week.

As for cost, you are correct we cannot determine costs from one year, so we look at trends, and the cost of the war has been incresing every single year. Last year the cost was annually more than Vietnam, and so far this year the cost has been higher than last year. Again, do you have any actual evidence to support your point?


QUOTE
We don't all know this Ted, only you seems to know this. I just stated France had publicly declared they were not going to Veto any action against Iraq. They can vote against it all they like, without Veto, the resolution passes.


QUOTE
We DO know this.

Envoys admit taking oil payoffs


Firstly To be clear, the 'evidence' you present is a news article referring to two individuals in the Oil for food scandal (both of whom have been charged under French law), also stating their corruption had nothing to do with national politics... Then following your article you give us your opinion that you disagree with it.

I am forced to repeat myself again. Repeating the same assertions again and again does not constitute evidence.

Besides, once again you seemingly forget that the nation embroiled in oil-for-food more than every other nation on the planet was the United States... Do inconvenient 'facts' like that get in the way of your insulting the 'slimy French'?

Secondly This is completely irrelevant. I never once claimed the French were 'innocent', I stated that they had promised not to VETO military action. Fine they might have voted against the bill, but Unless the UN is only composed of one country, then France voting against it would have no effect at all. Thats how voting works. You ignored that, just as you ignored the point of Bush deliberatly shunning the UN to go on his own, and you now blaming UN nations for 'not carrying their weight'.

QUOTE
We need to win In Iraq and we will.  Yes the UN should have done the job of dealing with Saddam but now we know how absolutely worthless this organization is and we need to move on.


TED. Repeating an assertion again and again and again does not constitute evidence. The UN was never given a chance to work because Bush Jr deliberately circumvented it. Who knows how things would have turned out, but Bush torpedoing the UN to rush off to his personal badly-planned war is not good evidence of the character of the UN. It is however, fairly good evidence of the character of Bush jr.

And as for the character of those who now turn around and blame the UN for Bush Jr. torpedoing it, well...

This post has been edited by Vermillion: May 22 2006, 05:30 PM
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post May 22 2006, 05:51 PM
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QUOTE
QUOTE(Ted @ May 22 2006, 01:39 PM)
Come on please.  The “insurgents" know they LOSE when a new elected government takes over.  What do you expect them to do?  As far as killings and control of the country you need to realize, as I am sure you do, that nothing is absolute.  We control New York yet we have thousands of crimes a day, including rape, murder, gang violence, etc.    So I guess we should just give up all our cities to the criminals since we obviously cannot control them???

(Vermillion)
Yes Ted. Downtown Bagdad is just as dangerous as New York City. Is this the point you were trying to make? That there is no difference between occupied Iraq and New York City? That anyone going to Bagdad would feel just as safe as if they were in New York City? Please explain to us if this is the point you were trying to make.


I have difficulty debating the situation in Iraq when it is such an obvious failure particularly when we are contemplating compounding the carnage by bombing Iran. Nevertheless, I couldn't resist pointing out that our military is actually recruiting street gang members and sending them to Iraq, so maybe the comparison of the streets of New York with the streets of Bagdad has some justification.

QUOTE
This is hardly surprising, since a growing number of real gang members are signing up for the military. Like, after all, attracts like. An extensive piece in the Chicago Sun Times reports:

"The Gangster Disciples, Latin Kings, and Vice Lords were born decades ago in Chicago's most violent neighborhoods. Now, their gang graffiti is showing up 6,400 miles away in one of the world's most dangerous neighborhoods – Iraq.

"Armored vehicles, concrete barricades, and bathroom walls all have served as canvasses for their spray-painted gang art. At Camp Cedar II, about 185 miles southeast of Baghdad, a guard shack was recently defaced with 'GDN' for Gangster Disciple Nation, along with the gang's six-pointed star and the word 'Chitown,' a soldier who photographed it said. The graffiti, captured on film by an Army Reservist and provided to the Chicago Sun-Times, highlights increasing gang activity in the Army in the United States and overseas, some experts say."
(See American Gangsterism).
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post May 22 2006, 06:17 PM
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QUOTE
Vermillion
Yes Ted. Downtown Bagdad is just as dangerous as New York City. Is this the point you were trying to make? That there is no difference between occupied Iraq and New York City? That anyone going to Bagdad would feel just as safe as if they were in New York City? Please explain to us if this is the point you were trying to make.


You seem to like to ‘play dumb” so lets drop it. Obviously I mean that NO city or country controls crime in the street and yes New York is probably as dangerous, at least in sections, as Baghdad. Thus crime does not = lost war. Far from it.

At some point soon the Iraqi forces will be strong enough to control the “insurgency” as we do crime in NY.


QUOTE
Firstly To be clear, the 'evidence' you present is a news article referring to two individuals in the Oil for food scandal (both of whom have been charged under French law), also stating their corruption had nothing to do with national politics... Then following your article you give us your opinion that you disagree with it.

I am forced to repeat myself again. Repeating the same assertions again and again does not constitute evidence.


Come on give me a break. Do you live in Quebec? Why the French blind spot. You apparently don’t watch FOX (far to conservative huh?). They have recorder lots of evidence that the French were heavily into this scandal. Why did the Foreign Ministry scrambled to distance itself from the alleged illicit activities of Serge Boidevaix, a former director of the ministry, and of Jean-Bernard Mérimée, a former French Ambassador to the UN. Both are facing corruption charges. and it matters little if US companies were involved as well since they did NOT influence public policy - not true in France.

No why exactly did the frogs want to drop sanction against Iraq a year after they kicked out UN inspectors and had never complied with a single UN resolution??????? You must know I am sure.

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post May 22 2006, 08:06 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ May 22 2006, 06:17 PM)
You seem to like to ‘play dumb” so lets drop it.  Obviously I mean that NO city or country controls crime in the street and yes New York is probably as dangerous, at least in sections, as Baghdad.    Thus crime does not = lost war.  Far from it.


I'm not playing dumb Ted, I'm trying to figure how in the name of heaven you can compare current Bagdad to New York City. I mean... I'm baffled. Are you honestly that unaware of what is going on in Iraq?

Even if you were somehow that unaware of the news for the past couple years, I pointed it out to you in my last post, which you ignored. I repeat myself: As many people as die in New York in a year died in Bagdad in 6 days last week.

No, Ted, in no imaginable way whatsoever is New York 'as dangerous as Bagdad', and to even make such a comment in the first place is... well, staggeringly unbelievable.

I mean if you genuinely believe that... if that is actually what you think the current state of Bagdad is... then really we have nothing whatsoever to talk about until you go pick up a newspaper, and brush up on current events.

There is not 'some crime' in Bagdad, there is near anarchy, with the authorities doing nothing whatsoever to stop it, and in some cases even participating i it, as I cited in my last post (which you ignored).

QUOTE
At some point soon the Iraqi forces will be strong enough to control the “insurgency” as we do crime in NY.


Is anone reading this keeping count? I've lost track of how many times in a row I have had to repeat the same thing now. Lets try bold, maybe then you will notice.

TED, repeating the exact same unevidenced assertion again and again and again does not constitute evidence.

PLEASE, and I am getting tired of asking this, PLEASE provide some evidence that the police force will 'be strong enough to control the insurgency sometime soon'. You keep repeating the same assertion, and then utterly ignoring all the evidence presented against it, and there has been a LOT presented. Shall I repeat that as well?


QUOTE
Come on give me a break.    Do you live in Quebec?    Why the French blind spot.  You apparently don’t watch FOX (far to conservative huh?).  They have recorder lots of evidence that the French were heavily into this scandal.


They do? Thats odd, because in both this thread and another on the same subject I have asked you time and time again to provide any evidence of French government complicity, and you have never done so.

I don't have a French blind spot. No I don't live in Quebec. But I should ask you Ted, why the vitrioloc, unreasoning hatred of France against all evidence? Thats a much better question.

So your evidence of French government complicity here is that the French government distanced themselves from the two men they have arrested? My God! Thats solid proof! They distanced themselves! Call the hangman! How could they?

QUOTE
and it matters little if US companies were involved as well since they did NOT influence public policy  - not true in France.


Ah, back to wild-assertion-land.

Firstly, its not 'If'. US companies took at least 52% of all the oil-for-food contracts that were determined to be questionable, according to the US senate investigations committee.

Secondly, are you actually asserting (seriously!) That US Oil companies have no influence on public policy in the US, but somehow French companies have vast influence on the French government? Ignoring of course the fact that the single largest US benficiary from the scandal immediatly turned around and contributed the money to build the Bush Jr. presidential library. I'm sure you think thats just fine, and means nothing.

I don't suppose (he asked in vain) you would care to present any actual evidence backing your somewhat wild assertion would you?


And, as I repeat myself AGAIN, none of this has anything to do with the case at hand. Nothing. They were not going to VETO the resolution. Who knows, maybe they would have voted against it, but that doesn't matter! The fact is Bush jr. jumped the gun, ignoring the UN, and almost all of his advisors, and decided to rush to war with inadequate preparation and planning.


I do not want to draw Mod ire here, so I have to be careful how I say this, but I have repeated the same points amost exactly for three or four posts now. Please, for my sake, do not just ignore them and continue making the same unevidenced assertions in response as if nobody had spoken, Its quite frustrating.

This post has been edited by Vermillion: May 22 2006, 08:34 PM
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Ted
post May 23 2006, 04:46 PM
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QUOTE
Vermillion
I'm not playing dumb Ted, I'm trying to figure how in the name of heaven you can compare current Bagdad to New York City. I mean... I'm baffled. Are you honestly that unaware of what is going on in Iraq?


No more people are dying in Baghdad. But if you want me to believe that a ragtag group of “insurgents” can defeat a US force of 150,000 men and a growing Iraqi force of 10,000 + I think THAT is staggeringly unbelievable. Can they kill people yes can they win NO. Will we just run away – I hope not.


QUOTE
PLEASE, and I am getting tired of asking this, PLEASE provide some evidence that the police force will 'be strong enough to control the insurgency sometime soon'



Define “combat” and “control”. The insurgents are criminals and they are killing people. If they control parts of Iraq it is measured in city blocks and houses. IMO within the next 2 years the US will be down to < 25,000 troops and the Iraqi forces will control the country. How I could give you “evidence” is impossible just as you can never give me “eveidense” that it cannot be done.


I
QUOTE
don't have a French blind spot. No I don't live in Quebec. But I should ask you Ted, why the vitrioloc, unreasoning
hatred of France against all evidence? Thats a much better question.


I have. Who does the Frence Ambassador to the UN work for??? The Russians or the French government? Why ask stupid questions when it’s right in front of you.

And yes I hate the stupid French because I am convinced if they and the Russians were not in bed with Saddam the UN would have voted to use FORCE on Iraq after 1998 and we would not have had to go in without the UN. I blame them for each and every American death and I am not alone in this. Certainly you disagree.


QUOTE
And, as I repeat myself AGAIN, none of this has anything to do with the case at hand. Nothing. They were not going to VETO the resolution. Who knows, maybe they would have voted against it, but that doesn't matter!


I does matter. It was clear they ,the Russians and the Germans were not going to vote for the use of FORCE in Iraq. Saddam got what he paid for. Please read below and disagree if you can.

France, Russia Oppose Use of Force Against Iraq
Middle East Online
February 7, 2003


Any use of force against Iraq would require a second vote in the United Nations Security Council, French President Jacques Chirac said on Friday, describing a war as "the worst of all solutions."

Chirac spoke alongside visiting Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen, who endorsed the statement on the need for a second UN resolution. "There still exists an alternative to war. It is the responsibility of each of the members of the security council to explore it to the end," the French leader said.

Russia said Friday it will oppose a second UN resolution authorizing the use of force against Baghdad should Iraq fail to disarm after President George W. Bush said he would welcome such a measure.

"Today, we see no basis for adopting a UN Security Council resolution that would open the way for the use of force against Iraq," Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said. "It is very possible to solve the problem of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq through political means," said Ivanov as he called for UN weapons inspections to continue. "They can still continue at this point."

This post has been edited by Ted: May 23 2006, 04:48 PM
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Vermillion
post May 23 2006, 05:32 PM
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QUOTE(Ted @ May 23 2006, 04:46 PM)
QUOTE

I'm not playing dumb Ted, I'm trying to figure how in the name of heaven you can compare current Bagdad to New York City. I mean... I'm baffled. Are you honestly that unaware of what is going on in Iraq?


No more people are dying in Baghdad.


They aren't? Well thank God for that. Thank you for setting the record straight, telling all of us that no more people are dying in Bagdad. I am sure we are all pleased to her that.

On thing though, you might want to tell that to the people of Bagdad. because some of them are under the silly assertion that a car bomb went off today killing 6 and wounding another 16, and a mortar attack on the 'Green Zone in bagdad today wounded another half dozen.

Still others of these silly Bagdadis who have not been 'set straight' by Ted believe that 5 people were killed in bagdad yesterday in an ambush and a dozen bodies were discovered having been tortured and killed by death squads.

And a few others of these delusional Iraqis thought that the day before yesterday, 15 people were killed and over 50 injured in a suicide attack in downtown Bagdad, while a Car bomb in northwestern Bagdad aimed at a police patrol killed one and injured over 20.

Now Ted, I admit I don't live in new York, and am no expert, but perhapos you can tell me, how many suicide bombings were there in New York in the last 72 hours? How many people killed and wounded? because the Bagdad total is about 50 dead and 150 or so injured, and thats just in the city. The death toll around Iraq in attacks is over 30 dead and about 50 injured just TODAY, anbd the day's not over.


So, please, are yougoing to continue to sustain this insane assertion?


QUOTE
But if you want me to believe that a ragtag group of “insurgents” can defeat a US force of 150,000 men and a growing Iraqi force of 10,000 + I think THAT is staggeringly unbelievable.  Can they kill people yes can they win NO. 


I'm sorry Ted, I should have been more clear on this point. I think I was too subtle before.

This time I will try bold AND underline, maybe then it will grab your attention.

TED: Constantly repeating the same assertion again and again and again does NOT constitute evidence.

I can off the top of my head provide a dozen examples of times in history when a bunch of ragtag insurgents defeated a large occupying force, so don't go and pretend such a thing is impossible, its very possible. Secondly, as I have already pointed out at LEAST Thrice, the Iraqi police force is not growin, it is shrinking. The US military itself says that the number of first line batallions has dropped from 3 a year ago to just 1 a few months ago. Once again your assertions fly in the face of all available facts.

QUOTE
IMO within the next 2 years the US will be down to < 25,000 troops and the Iraqi forces will control the country.  How I could give you “evidence” is impossible just as you can never give me “eveidense” that it cannot be done.


Well thank you for your unevidenced opinion Ted. I don't think anyone here was clear on that yet. Oh, you CAN'T offer any evidence?

Are you seriously defending your assertion now by saying providing evidence to back up your opinion is impossible? Come on Ted, who do you think will accept that?

I have already provided reams of evidence that it is not happening, that the situation is not improving in fact by EVERY available measure it is deteriorating.

Your answer? "We Can Win, We can Win, We Can Win!"

Well good cheerleading, but here I think it would be better if we stuck to fact and evidence don't you?


QUOTE
I have.  Who does the Frence Ambassador to the UN work for???  The Russians or the French government?  Why ask stupid questions when it’s right in front of you.


I have to admit I never though you would straight up openly admit you have a vitrioloc hate for all things France. Still, refreshingly honest of you.

So NOW your evidence of French government complicity was that these two ambassadors were working for the French government. OK.

Except that you are (again) wrong on fact. Both of these men were retired, neither was on the payroll of the French government at the time. But hey, once you have admitted your anti-French bigotry openly, as you have, I suppose facts are not terribly relevant.

QUOTE
And yes I hate the stupid French because I am convinced if they and the Russians were not in bed with Saddam the UN would have voted to use FORCE on Iraq after 1998 and we would not have had to go in without the UN.  I blame them for each and every American death and I am not alone in this. 


Yeah. You are. The Iraqi liberation act was put on hold by negotiation by Kofi Anan to let inspectors back into Iraq. This was negotiation the United States endores and agreed with. France had nothing to do with it. What are you on about now?

And besides, there was a resolution to attack Iraq on the table in 2003, But Bush Jr jumped the gun, refused to wait and charged into this ill prepared, ill planned and ill executed war.



QUOTE
QUOTE
And, as I repeat myself AGAIN, none of this has anything to do with the case at hand. Nothing. They were not going to VETO the resolution. Who knows, maybe they would have voted against it, but that doesn't matter!


I does matter. It was clear they ,the Russians and the Germans were not going to vote for the use of FORCE in Iraq. Saddam got what he paid for. Please read below and disagree if you can.


AAAARGH!

Can somebody help me here? I have repeated exactly the same thing four posts in a row. Ted, you even QUOTED me saying it before you ignored it.

It doesnt matter if France voted against the resolution, even if they would have!!!

They had declared they were not going to VETO it, and so even with France voting against, the resolution would have passed with 50% +1. Why on earth do I need to keep repeating this?

Please, please please go to my last post, and reread the last two lines I wrote.

This post has been edited by Vermillion: May 23 2006, 05:33 PM
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