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Old 07-27-2008, 11:54 PM   #46
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The United States only needs to stay as long as necessary to rebuild an Iraqi state to the point that it can handle its own internal and external security, and is not a threat to its neighbors or supports global terrorism. The fruit of that accomplishment alone will buy the world years of security and prosperity.

Come on, Sting. You sound like a politician. Do you or do you not agree with Charles Krauthamer? It's a simple question. Is the Korea/Japan/Germany model what you have in mind? Are you not interested in the "fruits of war" like Charlie is?
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:42 AM   #47
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Come on, Sting. You sound like a politician. Do you or do you not agree with Charles Krauthamer? It's a simple question. Is the Korea/Japan/Germany model what you have in mind? Are you not interested in the "fruits of war" like Charlie is?
The United States remained in Korea, Japan, and Germany out of necessity. US troops should remain in Iraq as long as it is necessary for US security needs there which include the development and rebuilding of the Iraqi State. Once they reach a sustainable level of development and security, both internal and external security, it will not be necessary to have US troops in the country.
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:50 AM   #48
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In all three countries they weren't considered an occupying force. Yes, to this day the situation in Japan is tense, though completely different than in Iraq.
A long-term massive presence of US troops in Iraq can't be compared to what it's like here in Germany, nor in South Korea or Japan.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:30 AM   #49
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in just a few short weeks after Obama's "refinement" of his 16 month timeframe, we now have McCain shifting from 100 years to now endorsing Maliki's 16 month timetable. McCain says that said withdrawal will be "based on conditions" while Obama says the size of the residual force (which everyone agrees on) will also be "based on conditions."
Its just simply inaccurate to keep on repeating a qoute that was taken out of its context from a town hall meeting. Bush, McCain, Patraeus have never supported any sort of a vague indefinite occupation. They have consistently supported the development and rebuilding of the Iraqi state and only withdrawing when conditions on the ground warrented it. If Barack Obama and the Democrats who have been crying for a withdrawal because American cannot solve the "Iraqi Civil War", but now want to stay as long as needed to finish the job, thats great. If that is really the case, Bush administration policy on Iraq would continue even into a Barack Obama administration if it were to happen. The base of the Democratic party and many of Obama's supporters will not be happy.


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say what you will, argue what you will, the end result is that nobody really knows anything other than the fact that this deeply unpopular war will slowly be phased out by the end of 2010.
Its a war that the majority of the country supported consistently until the end of 2005, which included the re-election of George Bush in 2004. Provided conditions on the ground continue to improve and a sustainable and irreversable level of security is reached, in a McCain administration you will see a withdrawal. But McCain will be willing to keep troops on the ground as long as it is necessary. If there are reversals in the security situation, setbacks, McCain would not hesitate to immediately reverse or suspend any withdrawal plans. If the Iraqi insurgency had not developed, the Bush administration had plans to have nearly all US troops out of Iraq by the end of 2006.


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to have an election on the specifics, or not, of "the surge" is foolish. it is an important part of the story of Iraq, but it is only one element. McCain and Obama and Bush and everyone all wants the same thing, and we're all going to get it: US troops will be leaving Iraq.
For Bush and McCain, provided conditions on the ground warrent it, US troops will start to leave. For Obama, he is still flipping between his various positions of immediate withdrawal no conditions and adopting the position that Bush and McCain have had on withdrawal since 2003.

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and then, what happens to all the bribes we've paid to get the insurgents to stop killing one another stop and 5 million refugees come home to find Shiites waiting for them in their living rooms.
The money that has been paid to those from Sunni tribes working for the US military over the past several years amounts to about the cost of 2 days of current US military operations in Iraq. Half of those involved in the program have never had any involvement with the insurgents. Its also very telling about the declining strength of the insurgency and the success that the US military was starting to have in combating it that many of its members would be willing to literally switch sides for such a small amount of money. But the real key to the sudden rapid development and decreases in violence has been the US troop increase and change in US counterinsurgency tactics in the deployment of US troops. The casualty statistics, both Iraqi and coalition, clearly show that sudden changes did not occur until after the Surge began. The disruption of key Al Quada and insurgent cells as well as the destruction of IED and bomb making networks and the killing and capturing of large numbers of leaders and their more hardcore followers is what has really dried up the violence. As the Iraqi military continues to improve, hopefully they will start to be able to handle some of the vital security functions that US combat brigades have handled for the past 5 years.

Refugees, most of him actually never left Iraq, have been returning to their homes for over a year now. Its not perfect, and not everyone will re-settle where they once lived, but its not a first for Iraq, and its not nearly as dire as many of the refugee crises that Iraq has experienced in the past where many died, or were in dire situations without any food or other humanitarian supplies.

Iraq has something that Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan do not have, a significant national history and the worlds second largest reserves of oil. Iraq is going to have a bright future provided the United States does not withdraw from the situation pre-maturely.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:37 AM   #50
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In all three countries they weren't considered an occupying force. Yes, to this day the situation in Japan is tense, though completely different than in Iraq.
A long-term massive presence of US troops in Iraq can't be compared to what it's like here in Germany, nor in South Korea or Japan.
They were not considered an occupying force because their continued deployment was agreed to by both country's. If Iraq in the future agrees to any stationing of US troops on its soil, it will be essentially the same thing as Germany, South Korea or Japan.

The US deployment in South Korea and Japan most of the past several decades has consisted of force levels of less than 30,000.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:57 AM   #51
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It won't be the same thing, as public perception is completely different.
Especially in Germany, after World War II US troops were welcomed by the public and not seen as an occupier that much. It doesn't matter really what the governments agree on when the public has a totally different view.
In Iraq, public perception is of the US to be an occupying force, no matter what Maliki or any other Iraq government and any US government agree on.
Hence, the US won't find itself in the same situation as in Germany should it try to establish permanent bases or evoke the perception they aren't going to go anytime in the not too distant future.
In Japan, US forces had it more difficult with the public, however they didn't have to cope with that kind of hostility.
In South Korea, the US troops are especially welcomed since they are viewed as a kay protection against future armed conflict with North Korea.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:15 AM   #52
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We heading into the 6th year of our invasion/occupation of Iraq. Yet it appears we are still arguing if it was the right thing to do.

We are beyond that. Good grief....Even Kenneth Pollack has publicly said that the invasion was an intelligence failure. He has called out the administration on it's exaggerations of the threat posed by Saddam. He has also criticized the wasted opportunity to build an international coalition (yes I know blah blah blah - that statement ignored the contrinbutions of others).

Can we move forward, because quite honestly, nothing of the last six years can be undone. I care about which candidate is going to move my country forward from here. Which candidate is going to construct Iraq so that it is a functioning society. Sadly, it seems that because less people are dying we are claiming this is a success. I look at it as the first step towards success. If that is the measure of success and we leave, we have done the Iraqi people an injustice. There are many more things that should be a measure of success.

The mistake of invasion was made. Its done and it cannot be undone. Its time to move on.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:25 AM   #53
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The mistake of invasion was made. Its done and it cannot be undone. Its time to move on.
I actually agree with you that it's really counterproductive at this point.

The only reason I see some value in it is that if people like Sting are so completely opposed to even admitting the things which you talk about in your post, then I see absolutely no lesson has been learned and it leaves me feeling very unhopeful about similar future mistakes being made.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:56 AM   #54
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astonishing.
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:10 AM   #55
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The only reason I see some value in it is that if people like Sting are so completely opposed to even admitting the things which you talk about in your post, then I see absolutely no lesson has been learned and it leaves me feeling very unhopeful about similar future mistakes being made.
I agree, if it's not debated it will be forgotten and will undoubtedly happen again.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:48 PM   #56
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It won't be the same thing, as public perception is completely different.
Especially in Germany, after World War II US troops were welcomed by the public and not seen as an occupier that much. It doesn't matter really what the governments agree on when the public has a totally different view.
In Iraq, public perception is of the US to be an occupying force, no matter what Maliki or any other Iraq government and any US government agree on.
Hence, the US won't find itself in the same situation as in Germany should it try to establish permanent bases or evoke the perception they aren't going to go anytime in the not too distant future.
In Japan, US forces had it more difficult with the public, however they didn't have to cope with that kind of hostility.
In South Korea, the US troops are especially welcomed since they are viewed as a kay protection against future armed conflict with North Korea.
Many Iraqi's view the US forces as being necessary for their security and fear the type of withdrawals being proposed by many Democrats. Strong bonds have developed among many Iraqi's and Americans over the past 5 years as they work together to rebuild the country after 24 years of Saddam's rule. No country's citizens want foreign troops on their territory unless they feel it is necessary, and there are many Iraqi's who do feel that the US presence is currently necessary for internal stability and the rebuilding of the country.
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Old 07-28-2008, 01:54 PM   #57
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I actually agree with you that it's really counterproductive at this point.

The only reason I see some value in it is that if people like Sting are so completely opposed to even admitting the things which you talk about in your post, then I see absolutely no lesson has been learned and it leaves me feeling very unhopeful about similar future mistakes being made.

Removing Saddam from power was not a mistake, it became a necessity after 12 years of trying other methods short of invasion to deal with the security problem. When one only focuses on the cost and consequences of the actions taken and not at all on the cost and consequences of not acting, your not going to be able to accurately assess the issue.
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:02 PM   #58
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Removing Saddam from power was not a mistake, it became a necessity after 12 years of trying other methods short of invasion to deal with the security problem. When one only focuses on the cost and consequences of the actions taken and not at all on the cost and consequences of not acting, your not going to be able to accurately assess the issue.
I was quoting Dread.

Maybe you can explain to him why he and all his sources are wrong.
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:06 PM   #59
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We heading into the 6th year of our invasion/occupation of Iraq. Yet it appears we are still arguing if it was the right thing to do.

We are beyond that. Good grief....Even Kenneth Pollack has publicly said that the invasion was an intelligence failure. He has called out the administration on it's exaggerations of the threat posed by Saddam. He has also criticized the wasted opportunity to build an international coalition (yes I know blah blah blah - that statement ignored the contrinbutions of others).

Can we move forward, because quite honestly, nothing of the last six years can be undone. I care about which candidate is going to move my country forward from here. Which candidate is going to construct Iraq so that it is a functioning society. Sadly, it seems that because less people are dying we are claiming this is a success. I look at it as the first step towards success. If that is the measure of success and we leave, we have done the Iraqi people an injustice. There are many more things that should be a measure of success.

The mistake of invasion was made. Its done and it cannot be undone. Its time to move on.

I think any historical policy issue should be studied and debated because that process is important to the formulation of policy in the future. Those who consider the invasion a mistake because certain types of WMD were not found at the time, are not understanding the broader security consequences of leaving Saddam in power. Just as whether the US should begin to withdraw should not be based alone on recent casualty levels, nor should the cost of the war to this point be the lone determining factor in the wars necessity. Multiple other factors in both cases have to be considered.
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:49 PM   #60
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if there's one thing i know, it's that Muslims love to be occupied ... it always turns out really well.
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