Tuesday, October 26, 2004

 

Some of Our Losses


Seeking Solutions (2)
Where are we now?


We both have lost a lot.

1. Human Lives

You have lost more than 1100 of your boys and girls - dead, and more injured.

We have lost God knows how many soldiers and civilians, women and children (Nobody has bothered to keep an official count until June. Estimate: 20,000 – 30,000 dead)!

For both of us, the rate of killing shows no sign of decreasing. It is in fact increasing.

2. Money and Things

You have lost more than 130 billion dollars of your tax money. [The actual figure may be less, as some of that money went back to America in salaries and contracts to American corporations – but as public money, it's lost].

We have lost what is more than money. Our entire infrastructure, already in bad shape due to poor management, previous wars and UN sanctions… is now completely devastated. Most utilities and public services are below their pre-war levels. Unemployment is said to be around 70%.

3. Anxiety and Discomfort

So many Americans must have gone through much worrying and anxiety over the safety and well-being of their loved ones fighting thousands of miles away in a strange land.

Iraqis have gone through worse. We seem to spend our time worrying not only about ourselves and where the next blast or shell is going to be, but also about our children in school! On top of everything else, Iraqis have been though a great deal of suffering and discomfort during those 18 months. As a trivial example: just try and go for a year and a half without a single night of full sleep. Our entire future is so uncertain.


4. Security

If you think you are safer now. Think again. I assure you that you are not! Does the average American honestly feel safer? Is America's arch-enemy, Al Qaeda, any weaker now that your army is fighting it on our soil not yours? A few days ago, Zarqawi was reported to have declared his allegiance to Osama!! Just yesterday, another 'expert' was saying that Al Qaeda is now operating in 62 countries around the world. What will it take to convince the average American that his administration has made an error of historic proportions in the global war against terrorism?

The situations is so bad in Iraq that most people (including people who had lost loved ones under Saddam) now think that they were better off under that regime, bad as it was. Will you think about that for a minute? I know that it sounds unbelievable, but there is some logic in it: Saddam's violence was "directed", the present violence is more "random" – there is no safe place and there is no safe course of action!

Iraq is now a haven for all sorts of criminals, terrorists and extremists. We have a new unreasonable violence directed at mosques, churches, schools, hospitals, scientists, clergymen, doctors, rich people, poor people, children, aid workers and people at random - a violence that makes no sense.

5. Standing and National Pride

America has lost its moral standing in the world. America is also now seen as an evil power by hundreds of millions (probably billions) of people all over the world. It is believed by many to be after world domination by force, oil and money for its politically-connected corporations.

America's politicians, the intelligence agencies and the US army are seen as incompetent and/or immoral to say the least. [Yes, I know that there are more decent people in these establishments than bad ones. I am trying to describe how these institutions are seen by most people who, in Iraq, the USA and elsewhere, tend to generalize and cast people into convenient stereotypes]

[If you are not aware of this yet, you should be! Try and find out what other people are saying about America. It's all there.]

Iraqis are seen as murderous, beheading gangs. They are seen as mad people who do harm to people working with the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations to help them. Ordinary, decent, God-fearing Muslims are seen as terrorists.

Iraqis are seen by many Americans as an ungrateful lot. Many resent the sacrifices (in blood and in money) America has made for these undeserving people.

***


What was done was done. It will be discussed, debated, contested and analyzed for a long time to come… but it cannot be undone.

The problem is: It's not over yet.

The irony is: Many Americans do not realize the magnitude of the problem.

The question is: For how long can we both sustains such losses?




Comments:

The problem with the US intervention in Iraq is that it is not motivated by the same "freedom" or "democracy" that Americans enjoy at home.

Ignore, if you will, the lies about Iraq being a threat and Iraq being in possession of WMD. If one takes the new rationale at face value, and compares it to the so called freedom that the US and the CIA have brought to countries around the world, (like Guatemala, Chile, Iran, the "stan" countries etc). - one can understand why there is such a revulsion for current policy. When the US's past actions have such contrast with the present proffered motives, why are the war mongers surprised that nobody believes them?

For example, if the US was truly motivated by humanitarian concerns like freedom and justice, why has it not moved to stop Israeli enroachment on Palestinian land? (What's left of it, anyway) Why has it not pressured the bevy of tin pot dictators in central Asia it currently supports to cut their populace some slack and let them sample some of this "freedom" stuff? Surely that would have been a lot easier to accomplish than the current invasion of Iraq? The democracy angle thus seems to be much hot air.

The fact that the US is silent about these "friends" speaks volumes, especially when contrasted with the justice 'n freedom policy in Iraq. It says that "freedom" is equated to being pro-US; almost as if the US is the embodiment of the values in its constitution. A further extension of this line of reasoning is the idea that one cannot be anti - US but pro the values it espouses. This is a fallacy ... because the US is not the embodiment of those values. ( I find it strange to be accused of being pro-dictator because I'm anti - US )

I think that Americans ought to seriously start to reconsider their motives to stay in Iraq, because to date their objectives have not been accomplished, nor seem likely to. The best the US can hope for is a hostile semi - theocracy hostile to Israel and the US, and working closer to Iran. Was that worth the money, blood and equipment wasted so far?
 
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Fact Check!

"2. Money and Things
We have lost what is more than money. Our entire infrastructure, already in bad shape due to poor management, previous wars and UN sanctions… is now completely devastated. Most utilities and public services are below their pre-war levels. Unemployment is said to be around 70%."

Eletricity production exceeds prewar levels. If you believe otherwise, you are delusional. This power is now distributed evenly throughout all regions, which explains why Baghdad has less electric service than prewar. But the fact is, more megawatt hours are being produced than pre-war.

The 70% unemployment figure is not believable. In a June 2004 random nationwide survey of Iraqi adults (18 and over) this is what Iraqis said about their employment status:

CURRENT EMPLOYMENT STATUS

Employed full-time 13.2%
Employed part-time 1.2%
Employed casually .1%
Self-employed 22.7%
Unemployed 3.5%
Retired 1.9%
Looking after the home 36.1%
Unable to work .6%
In education 20.6%
 
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"We have lost what is more than money. Our entire infrastructure, already in bad shape due to poor management, previous wars and UN sanctions… is now completely devastated. Most utilities and public services are below their pre-war levels."

Do you only read what you want to read? Look at Chrenkoff's blog. Or the reconstruction web site that I don't have the URL for handy..


"Unemployment is said to be around 70%."

I agree that this is a major problem.


"So many Americans must have gone through much worrying and anxiety over the safety and well-being of their loved ones fighting thousands of miles away in a strange land."

Yes and though you dismiss it, we worry about our Iraqi friends and brethren too.


"Is America's arch-enemy, Al Qaeda, any weaker now that your army is fighting it on our soil not yours?"

Depends on how your frame it. It really has nothing to do with who's soil it is fought on.


"A few days ago, Zarqawi was reported to have declared his allegiance to Osama!! Just yesterday, another 'expert' was saying that Al Qaeda is now operating in 62 countries around the world. What will it take to convince the average American that his administration has made an error of historic proportions in the global war against terrorism?"

Al Qaeda is "suddenly" in 62 countries? Wow, Bush invades Iraq and Al Qaeda pops up like flowers. Give me a break.


"I know that it sounds unbelievable, but there is some logic in it: Saddam's violence was "directed", the present violence is more "random" – there is no safe place and there is no safe course of action!"

And who is the cause of this "randomness"? Keep blaming the Americans while letting the "insurgency" slide. It is your "freedom fighters" that blew up 30 some children to get 1 or 2 of ours.


"Iraq is now a haven for all sorts of criminals, terrorists and extremists. We have a new unreasonable violence directed at mosques, churches, schools, hospitals, scientists, clergymen, doctors, rich people, poor people, children, aid workers and people at random - a violence that makes no sense."

So kick them out. Why not take a little responsibility here? There are more "coalition" (meaning non-US) forces in Afghanistan but that doesn't stop a bomb from going off now and then does it?


"America has lost its moral standing in the world. America is also now seen as an evil power by hundreds of millions (probably billions) of people all over the world. It is believed by many to be after world domination by force, oil and money for its politically-connected corporations."

Meanwhile France works with Saddam under the table, sells sub-par goods to the people of Iraq and allegedly sells weapons to Saddam. Wow, what banners of morality and goodness.


"America's politicians, the intelligence agencies and the US army are seen as incompetent and/or immoral to say the least. [Yes, I know that there are more decent people in these establishments than bad ones. I am trying to describe how these institutions are seen by most people who, in Iraq, the USA and elsewhere, tend to generalize and cast people into convenient stereotypes]"

Americans are seen as Zionist puppets by many and it is just crap so what is your point here?


"Iraqis are seen as murderous, beheading gangs. They are seen as mad people who do harm to people working with the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations to help them. Ordinary, decent, God-fearing Muslims are seen as terrorists."

NO THEY ARE NOT. Stop spreading this kind of bulls**t. Radical Islamo-fascists who get off on killing innocent people in the name of Allah are seen as terrorists. Stop trying to frame this as a war on Muslims. Yes, we have some idiots in this country who cannot seperate decent "God-fearing Muslims" from the terrorists. But the overwhelming majority of people that I talk to and deal with know the distinction. You are only perpetuating this problem by making these types of statements. When I first came here, I thought you were truly looking for answers/solutions but the more I read into your statements I am beginning to wonder if you are not just trying to appear more moderate while driving more anti-US hatred.


"Iraqis are seen by many Americans as an ungrateful lot. Many resent the sacrifices (in blood and in money) America has made for these undeserving people."

Here you are oversimplifying the issue again. Yes, sometimes we get offended when we get lambasted for trying to do the right things. We understand that it would be almost impossible to be "grateful" when your brothers/sisters, friends, etc are dying but we do think that everyone is deserving at a shot at self-determination and freedom (in whatever context you want to use freedom).
 
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Bruno:

News Flash: The Cold War Is Over! Thus, your citation to cold war conflicts and bevaior is not particularly relevant to the current situation.

How about looking at post-cold war U.S. conduct. Interventions in Somalia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. They clearly do not fit your world domination theme as U.S. interest in the first three countries are slim to non-existent.

The Afghanistan operation was blessed by U.N. security counsel resolutions. Accordingly, when you objectively examine the post-cold war evidence, your implied world domination theories falls to pieces.

As to the results of democratic elections in Iraq, the U.S. has little to fear from an expression of the political will of Iraqis. No matter who is elected they will probably decide that American financial support is too important for rebuilding Iraq to take an openly hostile approach.

As to Iran, it has moderated its approach to the U.S. over the years. Its young people want a more open and less theocratic state and, in my view, they eventually will succeed in reforming their system. Thus, there is really little to fear from Iran, unless American troops withdraw precipitiously, Iraq becomes destabilized, and the Iranian hardliners can't resist the oppurtunity to take Iraq's southern oil fields (justified as appropriate compensation for the Iran/Iraq war).

On another issue, you complain in one breath about the arrogant American meddling in other countries' political affairs, but in the next breath, you complain that the U.S. is not pressuring every government in the world of which you disapprove. Try a little consistency, should the U.S. try to influence other countries' internal politics or not? If the answer is yes, you realize, of course, that every choice will be sujective and controversial. There can be no hope of pleasing everyone with such an Internationlist approach.

Mark In Chi Town
 
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"Thus, there is really little to fear from Iran, unless American troops withdraw precipitiously, Iraq becomes destabilized, and the Iranian hardliners can't resist the oppurtunity to take Iraq's southern oil fields (justified as appropriate compensation for the Iran/Iraq war). "

This is a good point I hadn't considered before.
It is possible that Iran, after having orchestrated the US invasion (via Chalabi) to remove Saddam, is now trying to orchestrate a US withdrawl so as to leave it free to take over the southern portions itself?
 
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Let's negotiate.

America wants an Iraq

1) That does not provide support to enemies of the United States
2) That stably exports oil
3) That does not provide support to enemies of Israel
4) That does not itself threaten Israel

Democracy or no democracy, America would leave tomorrow if 1-4 could be accomplished.

Americans do not care about the welfare of Iraqis, positive or negative, if 1-4 can be accomplished.

Right now Americans have more than 1/2 of what we want.

1) Iraq is drawing the attention of enemies of the United States away from the United States directly. It may be creating more enemies than it attracts or maybe not. That's not clear.

2) Iraq's oil is coming on line slowly but surely. That could be better though

3) Iraq is providing inspiration, unity and propaganda for enemies of Israel, but no cash. Cash that might have been spent in Palestine is now being spent in Iraq

4) Iraq is absolutely no threat to Israel or any of the US client states today. Not that it was much of a threat before the invasion.

The price for the status quo is about 1000 US troops a year and something like 20 times that in Iraqi lives that we really don't care about. Americans would rather pay less, but if we have to its sustainable.

If Iraqis are willing to talk about cheaper ways for the US to accomplish our four goals we'll listen.

I'm sure you disagree with goals 3 and 4. Those goals are set by internal domestic processes that you are not able to debate.
 
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[[
Eletricity production exceeds prewar levels. If you believe otherwise, you are delusional. This power is now distributed evenly throughout all regions, which explains why Baghdad has less electric service than prewar. But the fact is, more megawatt hours are being produced than pre-war.
]]

I suspect that the coalition forces are both on the Iraqi electrical grid and have preferential access to electricity.

If you subtract them, it is possible that the Iraqi people have less electricity than before, not that any American cares, because most don't care either way.

And "pre-war" means post-sanctions and post 1991 war - Iraqis of course assign blame differently than Americans with respect to the 1991 war and the sanctions.

We'll see how long it gets until the Iraqi people have 1990 levels of access to electricity.
 
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The US military brings it's own generation capacity with it. They have to, that's what an army does. You can't fight a war without having mobile generation capability.

Some of the US generators are plugged into the grid, but as a support to it, not as a subtraction.
 
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From Circular

"The question is: For how long can we both sustains such losses?"

Abu, your tone is so bleak and depressed, it is difficult to know how to respond. Perhaps with an analogy:
Years ago, as an overconfident backyard mechanic, I decided for some stupid reason to overhaul the twin carburettors on my little British car. Seemed simple enough - just undo these four nuts, then lift the suckers clear, and ... Ker-flop, the whole complex assembly came apart in my hands, and dozens of little springs and links and spacers and all went bouncing around on the floor.
I got it back together eventually - I bought a workshop manual.
Unfortunately there’s no manual on how to put Iraq back together.
It is difficult to understand why everyone is pinning so much hope on the January elections. They’re just for an assembly to discuss a new Constitution, aren’t they? Not the formation of a real government? How will this reduce the insurgency - even if Sistani orders the Shia to vote, won’t they just go right back to laying IEDs for the American patrols afterwards?
Aren’t the Iraqis (and the clumsy reckless backyard mechanic) still at the stage of "maybe if this bit goes here, and then this bit goes this way ... ?" And the car’s still off the road. Do you see anything immediate being accomplished by this election?
An alternative would be the help of a competent mechanic. But the U.N. seems fairly helpless without the Yanks and Brits - they created the U.N. in the first place, and U.S. muscle is needed for any really big job. While the Iraqis might accept say the Egyptians and the Indians, perhaps even the French and Germans, in blue helmets, surely the Coalition forces wouldn’t be welcome now even if they changed helmets?

"How long can we both sustain such losses?" Well, the only precedent is Vietnam - 58,000 U.S. dead, most sources say at least a million Vietnamese. 20 to 1? (Clearly the anonymous poster 3 posts above is just a provocative troll, but you’ll probably get people writing in agreement with him.)

"America has lost its moral standing in the world." I try not to think like this - most of us out here in the real world prefer to see America as having just been temporarily hijacked by a small group of misguided idiots.

But I’ve been reading today a book about Robert MacNamara, Lyndon Johnson’s Secretary of Defence during the early Vietnam years, and at one point he says , about himself and other advisors, "... none of us ‘led’ America into Vietnam. The nation took itself into Vietnam."

My Lai, Makr Al Deeb. They seem to have learned nothing.
 
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It is difficult to understand why everyone is pinning so much hope on the January elections. They’re just for an assembly to discuss a new Constitution, aren’t they? Not the formation of a real government? How will this reduce the insurgency - even if Sistani orders the Shia to vote, won’t they just go right back to laying IEDs for the American patrols afterwards
?

Symbols have real meaning. Bringing down the WTC was symbolic more than a strategic strike. Pulling down Saddam's statue. Tearing down the Berlin Wall. Rosa Parks on the bus. Monk self-immolating in Saigon.

The surgents will do everything to prevent elections. Why?

The fact that they oppose them is reason enough to execute them. It is their worst enemy. Holding them will be the insurgency's greatest defeat. Actions speak louder than words. If elections are held, the Iraqis will have spoken in no uncertain terms.

Abu, you ask if we think we are safer now. I'm careful to discount what we think some times. We thought we were much safer on the 10th of September, 2001. We weren't, but that was due to our ignorance rather than our actual condition.

We are cleaning out a hornet's nest, and anyone who has ever done so recognizes the real danger is when you're on the ladder beating it with a stick. We accepted the occasional sting for years and years (the "nuisance" level as per John Kerry) and now we're knocking the nest down. There will be a heightened level of danger until we're done. Think long term, not short. Short term thinking leads to Neville Chamberlain-ism

Navy Guy
 
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From Circular to Navy guy

But isn’t that the whole point of the "wrong war" theme? The hornets were stinging you from their nests on the front porch, so you went and attacked the dead (well, pretty much) wasps nest in the back yard. And attracted the hornets from round the front.
In other words, Saddam was a tyrant and a bully, and defiant, but any threat he posed was as an old-fashioned secular expansionist, he wasn’t motivated by religious extremism when he attacked Iran and Kuwait, he was just after oil.
Regarding the "nuisance level" theme, it’s slightly off topic but I will say this, and I hope nobody takes it the wrong way. In retrospect, I think history may judge that that the terrorists "got lucky" on 9/11, in the sense that it was an immensely complicated operation requiring an extreme level of co-ordination, and the chances of it succeeding as much as it did should have been pretty low. After all, it was dreamed up by a bunch of real nut cases studying at a German University (the university gave them a "prayer room" where they did their planning,) who then went to al Qaeda for logistic supported, which was provided in the form of 15 Saudis to make up the required muscle.
Iraq wasn’t involved in any way. According to a very authoritative source, namely the U.S. Congress.
 
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"If you subtract them, it is possible that the Iraqi people have less electricity than before, not that any American cares, because most don't care either way."

There you go again. Some of us Americans do care so stop the generalizations.


"We'll see how long it gets until the Iraqi people have 1990 levels of access to electricity."

Maybe after folks stop blowing s**t up that we try to fix. You all complain about us protecting the oil above all else but without oil revenue Iraq will not be able to continue reconstruction since the US doesn't have an endless supply of money either. After you kick us out, how you gonna pay for reconstruction?
 
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Barry et al,

We say to the Iraqis 'it is your "freedom fighters" blowing things up'. Let me ask, how many of 'our Ku Klux Klanners' are over in Iraq now? (Of course, if Klanners are known to reject service in the armed forces, the answer is 0)
My issue, as my question should suggest, is with the possessive pronoun. For most of us in the US, even if a Klanner is in uniform, he does not represent us, although those with whom he deals may view him as representing the US. Likewise, for Iraqis like the Jarrars and Abu Khaleel, the 'freedom fighters' do not necessarily represent them. Neither in any of Abu Khaleel's blogs nor those of Riverbend nor of the Jarrars have I read anything celebrating the 'freedom fighers'. What I have read is material presented to aid in understanding of the social dynamics in Iraq. Information to help understand who the 'freedom fighters' might be, why the insurgency isn't dissipating...

A question I have, based on a discussion early in 2003. How many Americans believe that the US should own Iraqi oil? About half or more of the group in early 2003 believed we should appropriate the oil. I don't know whether any who believed that have changed their minds. (These weren't politicians, just southern Californians).

Be Well,
 
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What would happen if America (and the Brits, Poles etc) left? If they just all went home and left Iraq? It's not a rhetorical question. Would the Iraqi's all get together and have a meeting and decide who should run the country and how? Or would it be a huge civil war, like Lebannon or Yugoslavia? Would that be better than the occupation? (I don't know, I'm asking)

How should Iraq be governed? I hear a lot of people, Americans, Iraqi's and others calling for an American withdrawl from Iraq. But what I never hear is, what happens after that.

My opinion is that America should withdraw from Iraq when it is asked to by a democratically elected Iraqi govt.
 
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Abu, if you haven't already done so, go and have a look at the photo on http://dailywarnews.blogspot.com/
Now that will REALLY restore your faith in America!
 
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Bob,

I usually try to differentiate between the general Iraqi public and the "freedom fighters" so I am not sure why this is directed at me. Though I am sure that there are times when I am not specific enough, I will admit.

As for the oil. I don't know who you talk to but I have rarely heard anyone say we should "take over" the oil. I know some thought we should take control of it in the initial stages so reconstruction could continue while some type of government was formed.
 
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BTW, for those of you that keep spouting that Americans hate Iraqis, here is an e-mail from a friend of mine that VOLUNTEERED to go to Iraq to train the IP:


"Friends and Family,

Not much to report from Baghdad this week. During Ramadan we have posted “Mission Essential” traffic only. So you really have to have a good reason to go out and about, like to Vote (hint hint!). Being that has an impact on us staying here; they let us drive to the post office to get out absentee ballots in/out. There was a long line, long line of military personal. You talk about some Kerry bashing. Next to Michael Moore, Kerry is thee most hated person to the military. I think they are both swell guys, and would love to have them both over for dinner. Kerry could sit at the kid table with Kaitlyn and Dylan and discuss politics. Oops, was that my outside voice again?



Yesterday I received 6 boxes. The majority of the stuff is for the Iraqi families. We are going to go out this evening, with a couple guards, and pass it all out. I will make sure to take lots of pictures so you can see where your care packages are going. I lost track of who gave me what. I have quite a large surplus. It will with out doubt draw a TON of kids. Below is a picture of some of the stuff I have already passed out.



Fifty One (51) days to go before I get home. Yes, I have to return to Iraq. Connie and I have decided to spend the first couple days up in Templeton with some close friends of ours. It is beautiful up there with a small town atmosphere. Serenity... I believe that is was the doctor has ordered."
 
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The irony is: Many Americans do not realize the magnitude of the problem. WRONG WRONG WRONG

The question is: For how long can we both sustains such losses?
US:forever
others: not very long
 
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Regarding the initial post....

I think the comparison of losses approach is barking up the wrong tree here. Most Americans that I know of are well aware that the losses sustained by the Iraqi people have been much greater than theirs. They are also far less concerned with US losses than Abu Khaleel seems to think.

It's true that the media does obsessively cover every single soldiers death and harps incessantly on the number of dead and the monetary cost. But this is not an accurate reflection of the concerns of most Americans. Like an earlier poster said: 'Don't believe the hype!'

Mainstream media coverage is almost exclusively driven by partisan interests. This is not to say that they are all biased "liberal" or "conservative", but that what gets covered, the material itself, is decided by it's effect on the political process in the US. If neither the Democrats or Republicans have anything to gain from a particular issue, it isn't "news".
 
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Iraqis have sustained losses for a VERY long time. LONG before we ever first set foot in Iraq. How many more would you have lost under Saddam, and then under Uday and Qusay? I wonder what those numbers would be?

Again, one day's entry seems to want to examine constructive ideas, and the next is whining about our being there. As far as your statistics, I think they are purposely understated. The reports and pictures here of the reconstruction would seem to argue what you claim is not being done. Yes, I'm sure the unemmployment is low. Until your country has a concrete government in place, and conrete infrastructure, your unemployment is not going to get better. It takes a solid government with vision and planning to take a country out of desperation. I hate to cite this example, but Hitler actually had good plans for getting Germany out of its desperate situation. His plans for infrastructure and construction (which thus created jobs) were carried out well into the 1990's. This is what Iraq needs.

As long as Iraqis continue to wail like victims, you will live like victims. I saw it in Croatia. The east coast of Croatia perpetrated the victim image, and didn't improve. The west coast (the Dalmation coast) was smart. They knew in order to regain the income from tourism they had to overcome and obliterate the war, and they did. There was very little evidence left that the Serbs had attacked such towns as Zadar on the coast.

Americans don't want you to remain victims. We want you to want to pick yourselves up, and reform yourselves. But we cannot instill that desire in you (meaning the nation as a whole, not you personally).
Express where you want to go, and not just the US, but the whole world will help you get there.

MB
 
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Let's put this to the test:

11:56pm said:
[[
My opinion is that America should withdraw from Iraq when it is asked to by a democratically elected Iraqi govt.
]]

Pakistan is a protectorate of the US now. We could order elections there tomorrow but we would not like the government we get

Egypt and Jordan follow orders from the US. We could order the creation of parliaments more easily than we order them to cooperate with the Mossad, but we would not like the governments we would get.

Afghanistan = Jordan plus Tammany-Hall-style fake elections.

(Tammany Hall was a New York City political organization that was theoretically democratic but where little decision-making power was held by the people of New York or their representatives)

Which Americans reading this comments section can affirm any of the following statements

1) I believe the US should leave Iraq if a democratic government asks us even if that government supports AlQaeda or other organizations on the State department terrorist list

2) I believe the US should leave Iraq if a democratic government asks us even if that government is not producing oil, or is delivering oil on favored terms to countries antagonistic to the US

3) I believe the US should leave Iraq if a democratic government asks us even if that government provides support for Palestinian groups to a degree similar to Iran or Syria

4) I believe the US should leave Iraq if a democratic government asks us even if that government aims to become a military power capable of harming Israel

Any American who cannot make all four affirmations does not support democracy for Iraq. Claims of support for democracy from people who cannot make those affirmations reflects a tendency of Americans to lie to themselves before lying to others.

The Iraqi people should and I think largely do understand that the American people do not believe in democracy for Arabs.
 
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Pakistan is a protectorate of the US now.

Thanks for putting that up front, so I could stop reading early.
 
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From Navy Guy to Circular,

But isn’t that the whole point of the "wrong war" theme? The hornets were stinging you from their nests on the front porch, so you went and attacked the dead (well, pretty much) wasps nest in the back yard. And attracted the hornets from round the front.
In other words, Saddam was a tyrant and a bully, and defiant, but any threat he posed was as an old-fashioned secular expansionist, he wasn’t motivated by religious extremism when he attacked Iran and Kuwait, he was just after oil
.

You are right, if you consider that we are fighting Osama Bin Laden and terrorists from his organization, of which Saddam had only loose connection. You are wrong if you believe we are fighting Islamo-fascism, which is bred in the failed Arab countries that are in the Middle East.

If you go with the second reason, then going after Saddam makes great sense. He probably wins the most brutal dictator award having killed hundreds of thousands of our own, had fought us once already, had defied the UN for 12 years, taking continual pot shots at our aircraft in the no-fly zone for most of it (yes, he was shooting at us regularly). His country was semi-ripe for freedom, as polls show majority of Iraqis want elections (even if they hate us). It is centrally located. Democracy in the heart of oppression. Powerful message, that.

As for the nuisance argument, why isn't intent enough? Why did we have to wait until they succeeded before going after Osama? The 1993 bombing of the WTC would have been catastrophically worse, as it would have toppled from the bottom with no chance for evacuation. It would have been an unimaginable catastrophe that would have caused 20,000+ deaths. Yet there was some sort of "no harm - no foul" rule in place. Failed bombings are a nuisance only, to be handled only be law enforcement. You see where that got us.

I appreciate your persepctive, I think we all had similar before 9/11, but disagree now. Intent is enough, whether it was luck or not.
 
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Here is a question:

What exactly is Islamo-fascism?

Sounds to me like nothing more than a cheap way to put Islam and fascism into the same term.

Kind of like Republicano-fascism or Busho-fascism.

It actually seems a little childish.

Anyway, no Americans have taken the opportunity to affirm that they favor democracy in Iraq, even if the Iraqi people do not want to be puppets of America. That is quite to be expected, but it exposes American rhetoric about democracy is either self delusion or cynical lying.
 
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Here is a question:

What exactly is Islamo-fascism?

It actually seems a little childish
.

It's the Islamic version of this...
Fascism
a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.


Anyway, no Americans have taken the opportunity to affirm that they favor democracy in Iraq, even if the Iraqi people do not want to be puppets of America.

I am an American, and I affirm that we want democracy in Iraq, even if they are not our puppets. Especially if they are not. Same as Turkey.

That is quite to be expected, but it exposes American rhetoric about democracy is either self delusion or cynical lying.

Retard.

Navy Guy
 
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Can you make any, all or none of the following affirmations:

1) I believe the US should leave Iraq if a democratic government asks us even if that government supports AlQaeda or other organizations on the State department terrorist list

2) I believe the US should leave Iraq if a democratic government asks us even if that government is not producing oil, or is delivering oil on favored terms to countries antagonistic to the US

3) I believe the US should leave Iraq if a democratic government asks us even if that government provides support for Palestinian groups to a degree similar to Iran or Syria

4) I believe the US should leave Iraq if a democratic government asks us even if that government aims to become a military power capable of harming Israel

If you cannot make them all, you do not favor democracy in Iraq. Period. Retard.
 
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[[
Fascism
a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.
]]

By these definitions, all of the governments that could not exist without US support are "fascist".

We send $2 billion per year to Egypt because even though that government is "fascist" it recognizes Israel contrary to the wishes of its citizens.

We have a similar arrangement with "fascist" Jordan, a nation kind enough to torture our terrorism suspects for us. As usual, contrary to the wishes of its citizens.

It may sound good to you, but the US is not at war by any means with any form of fascism. If it was, the Islamo-fascist leaders of Kuwait would not have been restored without any mention at all of political liberalization.

Is the US going to create a pro-US Islamo-fascist government in Iraq such as the US supports in Pakistan? That's what it looks like when you cannot affirm that you support democracy even if it is anti-US.

If you cannot affirm that, who are you lying to when you claim to support democracy?
 
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"1) I believe the US should leave Iraq if a democratic government asks us even if that government supports AlQaeda or other organizations on the State department terrorist list"


Hahahahahahaha!

If any government supports Al Qaeda, the US has every legal right under international law to invade and occupy that country, even if their government is democratically elected. And we have every legal right to KILL those who vote for such a government, for they are in essence, supporting and advocating the violent muder of Americans.

Any Iraqi who supports Al Qaeda may be legally killed by the US military.
 
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If international law supports such options, then equally it would support an attempt by North American Indian tribes to kill all Anglos during the late 19th century, since much of US policy towards the Indians was colored by the phrase 'the only good Indian is a dead Indian'. Or do such rights only belong to recognized nations?

As I have never heard that ObL seeks the death of all Americans, nor even a large minority, it seems the targetting of American citizens is te issue. In that case, Iran would have the same rights against the US for our support of Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. Soviet Afghanistan, targetted by our mujihadeen allies during the 1980s, would have had the right to request an invasion of the US and the slaughter of all US citizens who had voted for a government which supported the offensive against the Soviet Afghani government and its citizens.
 
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Of course, but what you have the right to do, and what you *can* do are two different things.
;)

Iran, I suppose would have been within it's rights to declare war on the US during the 80s for our diplomatic aid to Iraq, but that would have been a terribly stupid thing to do.

The Indians would have had every right to attempt to drive white settlers from their shores, but of course, they tried, and failed.

And the Soviet Union could, legally, have used our support for the muhajedeen in Afghanistan as a pretext for nuclear war, but I guess they decided nobody would benefit from that.
 
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A belated reply; my internet connection went to hell since my last post, but here it is anyway:

Anonymous --

The electricity saga is just plain embarassing. The fact is, it has taken the US almost two years to accomplish, (backed by the full might of such vaunted mega corporations like Bechtel wielding astronomical budgets) what the Iraqis managed to do in three months, under sanctions. The fact is, Bremer, and almost the entire mainstream press, lied for almost a year about reaching their targets ... in fact, they reported a 'spike' in energy production as if it were everyday occurrence, when in fact it was an anomaly. And gee, Iraqis are still saying the power situation is pathetic ... which makes me wonder ... is the truth being told here, or are there merely more lies?

Your June 2004 poll might be more believable if you supplied a link to it. You are claiming here that there is only 4% unemployment in Iraq. WTF? Hand me a handkerchief to wipe the tears from my eyes.

Barry --

"Iraqis are seen as murderous, beheading gangs. They are seen as mad people ... "
"NO THEY ARE NOT. Stop spreading this kind of bulls**t"

As a matter of fact there are numerous of your fellow Americans doing their utmost to spread these kinds of rumours. Here are merely a couple of examples of them:

Why Are Some American Christians So Bloodthirsty?
by Dr. Teresa Whitehurst - October 23, 2004

"But no matter how bad it gets, nothing seems to change Americans' support for war, which for some reason is stiffest among Christian supporters of the Bush administration. "Stuff happens in a war zone." "Don't worry because God is in control." With these and other slogans, I've been reassured by countless pro-war Christians that, as long as civilians aren't intentionally targeted, taking their lives is okay, maybe even predestined, God's will. " //end

*This* is a chain letter I have run across several times. It seems to be real popular with the brainless prowar factions. The letter in its entirety is crafted to (a) show that moderate Muslims are cowed by fanatics and hence actually indistinguishable and (b) the ignorant Muslim hordes are but a few years from invading Washington. Here are a few choice excerpts:

THE WORLD SITUATION * A LETTER TO MY SONS
This was written by a retired attorney, to his sons, May 19, 2004.

Dear Tom, Kevin, Kirby and Ted ...

"2. Why were we attacked? Envy of our position, our success, and our freedoms.
4. Who were the attackers? In each case of attacks on US they were Muslims
5. What is the Muslim population of the World? 25%
6. So who are we at war with? There is no way we can honestly respond that it is anyone other than the Muslim terrorists. Trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing this conclusion can well be fatal. There is no way to win if you don't clearly recognize and articulate who you are fighting."

"... Remember, the Muslim terrorists stated goal is to kill all infidels. That translates into all non- Muslims - not just in the United States, but throughout the world. We are the last bastion of defense..."

"... And finally, name any Muslim countries throughout the world that allow freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the Press, equal rights for anyone - let alone everyone, equal status or any status for women, or that have been productive in one single way that contributes to the good of the World ..."

"Will we ever stop hearing from the politically correct, about the "peaceful Muslims"?"
//end

Oh, and *this* comment by Bill O' Reilly, supposedly some media big shot:

(http://www.jimgilliam.com/2004/08/krugman_vs_oreilly_full_transcript.php)

"I don't have any respect by and large for the Iraqi people at all. I have no respect for them. I think that they're a prehistoric group that is -- yeah, there's excuses. Sure, they're terrorized, they've never known freedom, all of that. There's excuses. I understand. But I don't have to respect them, because you know, when you have Americans dying trying to, you know, institute some kind of democracy there, and two percent of the people appreciate it, you know, it's time to -- time to wise up. The big lesson is that we cannot intervene using ground troops in the Muslim world ever again. What we can do, is bomb the living daylights out of them, just like we did in the Balkans. Bomb the living daylights out of them. But no more ground troops, no more hearts and minds ... ain't going to work. They're just people who are primitive." //end

And Barry, please don't even make me go and dig up posts to boards from ordinary Americans saying what they think about Iraqis. One, because I will be nauseated anew, and two, it will simply flood the board with crude mongoloid, misspelt obscenities worthy of a foetid cesspool, not a rational discussion. There are many, many more "sodapants" out there than you can believe.

The fact remains, this war in Iraq was a catastrophic blunder that has cost you a fortune, will cost you even more in future, and has made you markedly less safe. And, let's face it, whatever dirty deals France had going with Saddam have been vastly overshadowed by the spectacle of US troops actively shooting Iraqis. Even if we were to agree that the deposing of Saddam was a good thing, we would have to weigh it against the immense ball of crap that Iraq has turned into thanks to the US deciding to make it the new battlefield against Al Qaeda. Whatever gratitude Iraqis had for the removal of SH I suspect has been evapourated by the arrogant behaviour that followed, not to mention actual violence against Iraqis.

Furthermore, US presance there just seems to stoke the flames higher, nyet? Perhaps it is time to go home.
 
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My dear Mark, explain to us in what way the Guatemalan takeover had to do with the Cold War, and what major threat it posed to the US. While you are about it, you might also want to remark upon the United Fruit Company and what role it played.

The same for Iran. Tell us how Iran in the 1950's posed a threat to the US, in the context of the Cold War, and remember to justify the CIA subversion keeping your "newsflash" in mind.
Chile I can concede was a casualty of the Cold War. Of course, we are talking about the subversion of a democratic choice here, the supposed theme of today's ideological crusade.

As an aside, I might then caution you not to mention Japanese or European reconstruction after the Second World War in future. If one puts them in the context of a Cold War scenario, it becomes obvious the only reason that they were aided was to provide a counterbalance to the immense Soviet influence of the time, and to ensure that the US was not globally isolated. Not at all the altruistic scenario often painted by your compatriots.

"... your implied world domination theories falls to pieces."

I was not implying this at all (on this occasion at least ;) ). However, I feel the evidence pretty much points to these trends in especially neoconservative policies. Previous documents leaked from high level sources have stated categorically that the US will tolerate no challenge to its aims. Furthermore, these nuts adocate the contol of global energy sources (read ME) as a prelude to greater actions.

Let me ask you a simple question then. What is the US doing in the Middle East? Americans don't share any borders, don't speak the language, don't share the culture ... need I go on? What possible motivation does the US have in pouring troops into that area? My personal guess is to keep a thumb on the treacherous Arabs and the oil spigots. What is your explanation? Let us hear it.

"On another issue, you complain in one breath about the arrogant American meddling in other countries' political affairs, but in the next breath, you complain that the U.S. is not pressuring every government in the world of which you disapprove."

Mark, I have to assume you have misread me here. That is not what I said. What I said was:

(a) the US says it is in Iraq on behalf of democracy (ignoring the other casus belli lies)
(b) the US is friends with a number of dictators and undemocratic regimes
(c) the ease of pressuring these other countries to democratise to some extent is greater than trying to ram the concept down Iraqi throats by force.
(d) my conclusion being, the democracy angle is yet another lie spewed out to try to rationalise and mask the US's intentions regarding Iraq.

Those intentions being to secure the Middle East's oil supply both for domestic consumption and as leverage against non compliant countries in future. And, the US's strange obsession with propping up Israel probably is another factor.
 
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Anonymous --

Your post is probably the most sober evaluation of genuine intentions here, although I tilt towards the " proxy rule of oil scenario " as opposed to the stable oil flow idea. I disagree with your analysis of current events, however.

(1) Iraq is becoming another symbol, and proof of, US perfidity against Arabs / Muslims. Radical organisations have enhanced popularity; given the limited resources that the 9-11 operation was carried out with, I doubt any effect has been had on groups determined to hit the continental US

(2) Iraq's oil will never flow at the rates possible in peacetime as long as it is occupied. That much is certain.

(3) While Israel's security may be temporarily enhanced, there is no guarantee that longer term damage has not been done due to the general anti west tilt the debacle has caused amongst ME society. Furthermore, if one considers the fact that Iraq and Iran have seen each other as enemy #1 ... the virtual removal of Iraq from the equation means that Iran, a far more numerous and homogenous country, is free to expand its influence through the heavily anti Israel Middle East. In the long run, from Israel's perspective, two counterbalancing enemies have been replaced with a single powerful one.


Oh, and to the anonymous who thinks that intentions are enough pretext for military action; well, you have just justified 9-11, you do realise, you AQ apologist.
 
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