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Old 05-08-2010, 08:18 PM   #1
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the cost of Iraq

let us pause, before we forget:


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[URL=http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/05/iraq_war_ledger.html]The Iraq War Ledger-/URL]
A Tabulation of the Human, Financial, and Strategic Costs
By Matthew Duss, Peter Juul, Brian Katulis | May 6, 2010

As we approach the date of full U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, now is an appropriate time to begin to weigh the total costs and benefits to U.S. national security from our intervention there. On May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush stood aboard the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and declared to the country and to the world that “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

As Americans would soon find out, Bush’s declaration of victory was severely premature. Iraq would soon be in the throes of a violent insurgency and, eventually, a full-blown sectarian civil war.

Seven years after that speech, Iraq has made progress, but still struggles with terrorism and deep political discord. Though the level of violence has declined from its 2006-07 peak—when dozens of bodies could be found on Baghdad’s streets every morning—Iraq still endures a level of violence that anywhere else in the world would be considered a crisis. Still, the end of Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime represents a considerable global good, and a nascent democratic Iraqi republic allied with the United States could potentially yield benefits in the future.

But when weighing those possible benefits against the costs of the Iraq intervention, there is simply no conceivable calculus by which Operation Iraqi Freedom can be judged to have been a successful or worthwhile policy. The war was intended to show the extent of America’s power. It succeeded only in showing its limits.

The tables and charts below tell the tale. We have grouped these costs into three categories:

The human costs, dealing with American and Iraqi casualties
The financial costs, dealing with the expense of the war and of the continued care for its veterans
The strategic costs, dealing with the impact of the Iraq intervention on U.S. power and influence in the Middle East and on the global stage
Before turning to those tables and charts, however, we would like to make two additional points.

First, it is critical to remember the shifting justifications for the Iraqi invasion. The Iraq war was sold to the American public on Saddam Hussein’s supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction and his alleged relationship with Al Qaeda. When both claims turned out to be false, the Bush administration justified the intervention on the idea that a democratic Iraq would be an ally in the “war on terror” and an inspiration for democratic reform in the Middle East. These arguments remain highly questionable.

Second, the authors would like to make clear that this analysis of the cost of the Iraq war in no way diminishes the sacrifice and honor displayed by the U.S. military in Iraq. Americans troops have served and died, and continue to serve and die, in Iraq at the behest of the American people and two of their commanders-in-chief. This is why it is important to draw the correct lessons from our nation’s invasion of Iraq. In order to do that, its costs must be examined honestly and rigorously.

Human costs

Total deaths: Between 110,663 and 119,380
Coalition deaths: 4,712
U.S. deaths: 4,394
U.S. wounded: 31,768
U.S. deaths as a percentage of coalition deaths: 93.25 percent
Iraqi Security Force deaths: At least 9,451
Total coalition and ISF deaths: At least 14,163
Iraqi civilian deaths: Between 96,037 and 104,7542
Non-Iraqi contractor deaths: At least 463
Internally displaced persons: 2.6 million
Refugees: 1.9 million
Financial costs

Cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom: $748.2 billion
Projected total cost of veterans’ health care and disability: $422 billion to $717 billion


Strategic costs

The foregoing costs could conceivably be justified if the Iraq intervention had improved the United States’ strategic position in the Middle East. But this is clearly not the case. The Iraq war has strengthened anti-U.S. elements and made the position of the United States and its allies more precarious.

Empowered Iran in Iraq and region.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the primary strategic beneficiary of the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq. The end of Saddam Hussein’s regime removed Iran’s most-hated enemy (with whom it fought a hugely destructive war in the 1980s) and removed the most significant check on Iran’s regional hegemonic aspirations. Many of Iraq’s key Iraqi Shia Islamist and Kurdish leaders enjoy close ties to Iran, facilitating considerable influence for Iran in the new Iraq. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the primary strategic beneficiary of the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq. The end of Saddam Hussein’s regime removed Iran’s most-hated enemy (with whom it fought a hugely destructive war in the 1980s) and removed the most significant check on Iran’s regional hegemonic aspirations. Many of Iraq’s key Iraqi Shia Islamist and Kurdish leaders enjoy close ties to Iran, facilitating considerable influence for Iran in the new Iraq.

Created terrorist training ground.
According to the U.K. Maplecroft research group, Iraq is the most vulnerable country in the world to terrorism.The years of U.S. occupation in Iraq created not only a rallying call for violent Islamic extremists but also an environment for them to develop, test, and perfect various tactics and techniques. These tactics and techniques are now shared, both in person and via the Internet, with extremists all over the region and the world, including those fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Loss of moral authority.
While abuses are perhaps inevitable in any military occupation, the images and stories broadcast from Iraq into the region and around the world have done lasting damage to the United States’ reputation as a supporter of international order and human rights. Gen. David Petraeus acknowledges the damage done to the U.S. reputation by Abu Ghraib is permanent, calling it a “nonbiodegradable” event.

Diverted resources and attention from Afghanistan.
Rather than stay and finish the job in Afghanistan as promised, the Bush administration turned its focus to Iraq in 2002. Special Forces specializing in regional languages were diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq, and Predator drones were sent to support the war in Iraq instead of the hunt for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan Rather than stay and finish the job in Afghanistan as promised, the Bush administration turned its focus to Iraq in 2002. Special Forces specializing in regional languages were diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq, and Predator drones were sent to support the war in Iraq instead of the hunt for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Stifled democracy reform.
A recent RAND study concluded that, rather than becoming a beacon of democracy, the Iraq war has hobbled the cause of political reform in the Middle East. The report stated that “Iraq’s instability has become a convenient scarecrow neighboring regimes can use to delay political reform by asserting that democratization inevitably leads to insecurity.”

Rising sectarianism in region.
The invasion of Iraq replaced a prominent Sunni Arab State with one largely controlled by Iraq’s Arab Shia majority. While the end of the oppression of Iraq’s Shia majority is a positive thing, this shift has exacerbated regional tensions between Shia and Sunni, including in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, and Bahrain (where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based.) Lingering disputes in Iraq between Sunni and Shia Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen also continue to invite exploitation by both state and nonstate actors.The invasion of Iraq replaced a prominent Sunni Arab State with one largely controlled by Iraq’s Arab Shia majority. While the end of the oppression of Iraq’s Shia majority is a positive thing, this shift has exacerbated regional tensions between Shia and Sunni, including in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, and Bahrain (where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based.) Lingering disputes in Iraq between Sunni and Shia Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen also continue to invite exploitation by both state and nonstate actors.

More detailed costs

Veterans
Total U.S. service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan: At least 2 million
Total Iraq/Afghanistan veterans eligible for VA health care: 981,831 (through May 2009)
—Active component veterans: 504,962 (51 percent of total)
—Reserve/National Guard veterans: 476,872 (49 percent of total)

Total Iraq/Afghanistan veterans who have used VA health care since fiscal year 2002: 425,538 (43 percent of eligible veterans)
—Active component veterans: 224,232 (44 percent of eligible veterans)
—Reserve/National Guard veterans: 201,306 (42 percent of eligible veterans)

Total Iraq/Afghanistan veterans with PTSD: At least 101,882 (Veterans Health Administration data only; does not include Vet Center or non-VA health care data)
RAND study PTSD estimates: 13.8 percent15 (276,000 given 2 million deployed soldiers) RAND study traumatic brain injury estimates: 19.5 percent (390,000 given 2 million deployed soldiers)
Iraq reconstruction
Since 2003, the United States has appropriated or otherwise made available $53.31 billion for the reconstruction effort in Iraq. This quarter, the Congress authorized an additional $200.0 million for the Commander’s Emergency Response Program for Iraq and $382.5 million for the Economic Support Fund.

As of March 31, 2010, nearly $162.83 billion had been made available for the relief and reconstruction of Iraq. These funds came from three main sources:

Iraqi funds that were overseen by the Coalition Provisional Authority and Iraqi capital budgets —$91.43 billion
International pledges of assistance from non-U.S. sources—$18.10 billion
U.S. appropriations—$53.30 billion
Since 2003, the United States has appropriated or otherwise made available $53.31 billion for the reconstruction effort in Iraq. This quarter, the Congress authorized an additional $200.0 million for the Commander’s Emergency Response Program for Iraq and $382.5 million for the Economic Support Fund.

As of March 31, 2010, nearly $162.83 billion had been made available for the relief and reconstruction of Iraq. These funds came from three main sources:

Iraqi funds that were overseen by the Coalition Provisional Authority and Iraqi capital
budgets—$91.43 billion
International pledges of assistance from non-U.S. sources—$18.10 billion
U.S. appropriations—$53.30 billion
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:35 PM   #2
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Thanks for this thread - much as I try not to get angry about this stuff any more.
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Old 05-09-2010, 05:24 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
let us pause, before we forget:


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As Americans would soon find out, Bush’s declaration of victory was severely premature. Iraq would soon be in the throes of a violent insurgency and, eventually, a full-blown sectarian civil war.
Actually, if you went back and look at Bush's speech that day, he mentions that the hard work of rebuilding Iraq was just starting. Major combat operations had ended on May 1 as any service member in Iraq at that time knows. This would change as the insurgency grew as well as sectarian violence. But even now, the vast majority of observers do not look at what happened in Iraq as being a full-blown sectarian civil war. The level of fighting and casualties is far to light for that given the size of Iraq's population.

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Seven years after that speech, Iraq has made progress, but still struggles with terrorism and deep political discord.
Guess what, there are a lot of countries around the world that struggle with such things. Iraq's problems with this at least in terms of the level of casualties TODAY are actually less than several other countries including MEXICO.

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Iraq still endures a level of violence that anywhere else in the world would be considered a crisis.
The number of Iraqi civilians murdered in January of 2010 was 118. The number of US Civilians murdered in January 2010 was nearly 1,400! Even on a per capita basis, more civilians were murdered in the United States than Iraq. Yet this basic fact goes unmentioned by the writers.

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But when weighing those possible benefits against the costs of the Iraq intervention, there is simply no conceivable calculus by which Operation Iraqi Freedom can be judged to have been a successful or worthwhile policy. The war was intended to show the extent of America’s power. It succeeded only in showing its limits.
A bunch of tables showing the various costs associated with the Iraq war certainly does not show the limits of America's power, especially when compared to other similar interventions in the past. The fact that Iraq could potentially be on a sustained path of political and economic development without the need for foreign security forces in less than 10 years is in fact a RECORD when it comes to counterinsurgency and nationbuilding operations.

Quote:
First, it is critical to remember the shifting justifications for the Iraqi invasion. The Iraq war was sold to the American public on Saddam Hussein’s supposed possession of weapons of mass destruction and his alleged relationship with Al Qaeda. When both claims turned out to be false, the Bush administration justified the intervention on the idea that a democratic Iraq would be an ally in the “war on terror” and an inspiration for democratic reform in the Middle East. These arguments remain highly questionable.
Saddam's possession of Weapons Of Mass Destruction and his failure to comply with 17 UN Security Council Resolutions and his efforts to rebuff inspecutions and circumvent sanctions and weapons embargo are issues that pre-date the Bush administration. Saddam was considered a threat even by the Clinton administration that admitted that the BEST solution to the Iraq problem was a NEW GOVERNMENT!!!!!

Not finding certain types of WMD after the coalition invasion of Iraq does not change the FACT that the means of containing Saddam through the sanctions and weapons embargo had fallen apart. Without those key means of containment, the only option for dealing with Saddam was regime removal. Containment, even if one consider that to be viable policy in the long run cannot work when Saddam by 2001 could so easily sell oil illegally and import nearly anything he wanted through the complete collapse of UN Sanctions along the Iraq/Syrian border, as well as the collapse of sanctions along Iraq's borders with other countries and the willing and open violation of sanctions against Iraq by permanent UN Security Council countries like CHINA, RUSSIA, and FRANCE! The only chance of being able to live with Saddam was through an exstensive full proof sanctions regime and weapons embargo which unfortunately fell apart.

The need to remove Saddam NEVER rested on what coalition forces would find in terms of WMD weapons after Saddam was removed in 2003. It also involved the viability of the containment regime and Saddam's ability to add to his conventional and non-conventional military strength in the years ahead and the threats and cost that would pose to the region. To advocate waiting until one could confirm that Saddam had amassed more combat capability in these area's before acting would insure a heavier cost in lives for the United States, Iraq, and other countries in the region than what has been experienced to date.

Finally the removal of Saddam's regime meant a new government in Iraq had to be formed. Helping Iraq build a democracy was a far better course of action than simply installing another leader or dictator. The reason for removing Saddam never shifted. The mission did shift once that had been accomplished to building a democracy in Iraq.

Quote:
Second, the authors would like to make clear that this analysis of the cost of the Iraq war in no way diminishes the sacrifice and honor displayed by the U.S. military in Iraq. Americans troops have served and died, and continue to serve and die, in Iraq at the behest of the American people and two of their commanders-in-chief. This is why it is important to draw the correct lessons from our nation’s invasion of Iraq. In order to do that, its costs must be examined honestly and rigorously.
What the authors don't seem to understand is that the majority of those that have served in Iraq believe that removing Saddam was the right thing to do, unlike them. Support for removing Saddam and the current mission in Iraq is much higher among US military personal than it is among the civilian population in the United States.

Quote:
Total deaths: Between 110,663 and 119,380
Given the size of Iraq's population and the number of years of conflict, this is from a historic perspective on the low side compared to past conflicts. More French civilians died in the Allied push to liberate the country from Germany in 1944. More civilians in Bosnia died over a three year period in the 1990s even though the country was only 1/7 the size of Iraq. The numbers pale in comparison to the deaths in the Iran/Iraq war, Vietnam war, Korean War, as well as multiple conflicts still in progress in other parts of the world.

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U.S. deaths: 4,394
Of those, 3,498 were killed in combat. In the United States last major nation building/counter insurgency effort, over 48,000 US troops were killed in combat.


Quote:
U.S. wounded: 31,768
Over 304,000 US service members were wounded in action the United States last major nation building/counter insurgency effort.

Quote:
Cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom: $748.2 billion
As a percentage of GDP over the past 7 years, this amounts to barely .7% per year making it one of the least costly US wars in terms of financial burden in US history.

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Strategic costs

The foregoing costs could conceivably be justified if the Iraq intervention had improved the United States’ strategic position in the Middle East. But this is clearly not the case. The Iraq war has strengthened anti-U.S. elements and made the position of the United States and its allies more precarious.
LOL, the authors of this article do not understand fundamental US interest in the region and how those interest were threatened by Saddam. The fact that the United States had already had to send half a million troops to the region to deal with Saddam, attempt to maintain and support an extensive inspections, sanctions, and weapons embargo regime against the Saddam's Iraq, as well as deal with his multiple violations never registers.

Quote:
Empowered Iran in Iraq and region.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the primary strategic beneficiary of the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq. The end of Saddam Hussein’s regime removed Iran’s most-hated enemy (with whom it fought a hugely destructive war in the 1980s) and removed the most significant check on Iran’s regional hegemonic aspirations. Many of Iraq’s key Iraqi Shia Islamist and Kurdish leaders enjoy close ties to Iran, facilitating considerable influence for Iran in the new Iraq. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the primary strategic beneficiary of the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq.
Naturally, an Iraq free of Saddam is going to have better ties with Iran as well as its other neighbors. Thats a good thing. The Iran/Iraq war started by Saddam could have turned into a major international crises. Saddam never served as the check on Iran that many strategist hoped that he would. He was instead a loose cannon, attacking and invading his neighbors at will, regardless of the consequences for the region, Iraq, or even his own regime.

An Iraq free of Saddam has the oportunity to be a far more stable and reliable partner in the security situation in the Persian Gulf, especially when it comes working with other countries throughout the region and the world in detering unwanted Iranian influence or aggression.

Iran naturally has more influence inside Iraq now than it did before Saddam was removed. But this pales in comparison to the level of influence that the United States has built in the country over the past 7 years. The Iraqi armed forces and police force are supplied and equiped by the United States and its allies. This automatically makes the Iraqi government heavily dependent on the United States and its allies. Iran has no comparable influence like this. The level of of money, aid, support, and military equipment that the United States and its allies can offer the new Iraqi government dwarfs anything that Iran can offer. It is the United States that has had over 100,000 troops in Iraq each year for the past 7 years, NOT Iran. Even after the United States withdraws from Iraq, the Iraqi military and and US military will continue to have strong ties, far stronger than even the Soviet Union's military had with Iraq in the 1970s and 1980s.


Quote:
Created terrorist training ground.
According to the U.K. Maplecroft research group, Iraq is the most vulnerable country in the world to terrorism.The years of U.S. occupation in Iraq created not only a rallying call for violent Islamic extremists but also an environment for them to develop, test, and perfect various tactics and techniques. These tactics and techniques are now shared, both in person and via the Internet, with extremists all over the region and the world, including those fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.
You could make these same arguements about Afghanistan. Violence has dramatically decreased in Iraq. The government has taken over nearly all security tasks. The situation in Iraq today is dramatically better than it is in many other developing countries around the world.

Quote:
Loss of moral authority.
While abuses are perhaps inevitable in any military occupation, the images and stories broadcast from Iraq into the region and around the world have done lasting damage to the United States’ reputation as a supporter of international order and human rights. Gen. David Petraeus acknowledges the damage done to the U.S. reputation by Abu Ghraib is permanent, calling it a “nonbiodegradable” event.
If this were true, the United States would not be able to lead such a large multinational operation today in Afghanistan, as well as successfully continue other missions and maintain hundreds of other relations with various groups and countries throughout the world.

Quote:
Diverted resources and attention from Afghanistan.
Rather than stay and finish the job in Afghanistan as promised, the Bush administration turned its focus to Iraq in 2002. Special Forces specializing in regional languages were diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq, and Predator drones were sent to support the war in Iraq instead of the hunt for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan Rather than stay and finish the job in Afghanistan as promised, the Bush administration turned its focus to Iraq in 2002. Special Forces specializing in regional languages were diverted from Afghanistan to Iraq, and Predator drones were sent to support the war in Iraq instead of the hunt for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
99% of the coalition forces used to invade Iraq were not being used in Afghanistan. The invasion of Iraq was conducted primarily by heavy armored divisions from the United States and Britain. Even to this day, the vast majority of troops deployed in Afghanistan consist of light infantry, not heavy armor.

More importantly, the United States does not have the luxury of dealing with each of its threats one at a time. The United States needed to deal with both threats. No specialist trained in speaking Pashtun, Farci or other South Asian languages were diverted from Afghanistan to ARAB Iraq.

Quote:
Stifled democracy reform.
A recent RAND study concluded that, rather than becoming a beacon of democracy, the Iraq war has hobbled the cause of political reform in the Middle East. The report stated that “Iraq’s instability has become a convenient scarecrow neighboring regimes can use to delay political reform by asserting that democratization inevitably leads to insecurity.”
Way too early to be making any conclusions on that. Plus, I'd love to hear the arguement of how keeping Saddam in power in Iraq would be better for democracy in the middle east. LOL

Quote:
Rising sectarianism in region.
The invasion of Iraq replaced a prominent Sunni Arab State with one largely controlled by Iraq’s Arab Shia majority.
Current election results in Iraq show that the multi-ethnic but strongly supported Sunni Party of Alawi has won. Even Maliki's party that came in second is consider to be multi-ethnic compared to what it was years ago. The mainly Shia parties did not fair well in the election.

Quote:
this shift has exacerbated regional tensions between Shia and Sunni, including in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, and Bahrain (where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based.)
These tensions already existed and there is little evidence that they have been exacerbated by events in Iraq.
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Old 05-09-2010, 02:57 PM   #4
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Summary: Because once a 747 crashed killing everyone on board, a 737 crashing and killing everyone on board is totally okay.
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Old 05-09-2010, 04:11 PM   #5
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Summary: Because once a 747 crashed killing everyone on board, a 737 crashing and killing everyone on board is totally okay.


remember, a predator drone drops a bomb on a Pakistani village and 12 women die and people turn into radicals and try to blow up Times Square, but we should remember that once we dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and 120,000 people died instantly. that was way worse, and that's the appropriate comparison and the lesson to be learned whenever we do anything. if at one point something worse happened, then no matter what we do, it is always good.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:06 PM   #6
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Whats missing here is an appreciation for the cost and consequences of NOT removing Saddam. The writers of the article nor most of FYM rarely if ever takes a look at this. The writers of the article don't look at this at all in fact. In attempting to avoid another World War in the 1930s, the leaders of the world failed to do what was necessary to stop Hitler which led to a slaughter far greater than anything seen in the first World War. Most people today believe that acting earlier against Hitler, in fact, just enforcing the ceacefire agreement signed at the end of World War I, would have saved millions of lives. The only options for dealing with Saddam were containment or regime removal. Containment is impossible without a stable sanctions and weapons embargo regime, which did not exist at the time of the coalition invasion. That by itself made regime change the only option. While there may still be people who will defend keeping Saddam in power in 2003, as time goes on, I think the number of people who feel that way will decrease.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:03 PM   #7
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remember, a predator drone drops a bomb on a Pakistani village and 12 women die and people turn into radicals and try to blow up Times Square, but we should remember that once we dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and 120,000 people died instantly. that was way worse, and that's the appropriate comparison and the lesson to be learned whenever we do anything. if at one point something worse happened, then no matter what we do, it is always good.

I have read that if America had tried a land invasion on Japan that at least as many civilians would have died as soldiers, bringing the total deaths somewhere around 200,000 to four million Japanese dead, along with the 50,000 to one million American dead, totaling 250,000 to five million total dead.


"War is hell."

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Old 05-12-2010, 11:50 AM   #8
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I have read that if America had tried a land invasion on Japan that at least as many civilians would have died as soldiers, bringing the total deaths somewhere around 200,000 to four million Japanese dead, along with the 50,000 to one million American dead, totaling 250,000 to five million total dead.


totally! the Iraqis should consider themselves lucky that a measly 110,000 have been killed since 2003.

worse things have happened, right? that totally justifies everything.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:04 PM   #9
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I have only skimmed over bits and pieces of this thread


but to invoke Hitler, WW2 along with Japanese Imperialism during WW2

with Saddam, Iraq 2001-2002,
shows how desperate and lacking in justification the Bush invasion really was


plus the argument that Iraq has been set on a Democratic course is laughable

we have the Shi'ite stealing this election, making deals with Sadr (who is hiding in Iran) and of course this Iraqi government just executed some Kurds (under Sharia law, no less)for wanting more autonomy, they are worse than a Sunni controlled government.

Iran is laughing at U S, we have fulfilled their desire to spread their Shiite revolution, with a trillion dollar gift from the American taxpayer along with thousands of sacrificed Americans at the alter of the Shiite revolution expanding


The Soviets were trying to stop the spread of Islamic radicals, we chose the wrong side then and now we are enabling more Sharia Law to spread.


Charlie Wilson's War, what a joke that was.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:10 PM   #10
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and all the violence this week.

but let's not talk about that.

Iraq day of violence leaves 102 dead - Telegraph

Iraq killing spree targets tribal chiefs, government workers | Reuters
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by deep View Post
I have only skimmed over bits and pieces of this thread


but to invoke Hitler, WW2 along with Japanese Imperialism during WW2

with Saddam, Iraq 2001-2002,
shows how desperate and lacking in justification the Bush invasion really was


plus the argument that Iraq has been set on a Democratic course is laughable

we have the Shi'ite stealing this election, making deals with Sadr (who is hiding in Iran) and of course this Iraqi government just executed some Kurds (under Sharia law, no less)for wanting more autonomy, they are worse than a Sunni controlled government.

Iran is laughing at U S, we have fulfilled their desire to spread their Shiite revolution, with a trillion dollar gift from the American taxpayer along with thousands of sacrificed Americans at the alter of the Shiite revolution expanding
Exactly.

Anyone comparing the ideological mindset or capacity of Saddam Hussein to Hitler is showing their desperation and ignorance right there. Iraq never had the unifying ideology, physical or human capital infrastructure necessary to dominate one country, never mind the world. They had an Army that, at the height of its "power" in 1991, 1 million men strong, got run down like a Boy Scout Troop by a US Army of 250,000. They couldn't surrender fast enough.

You said what I have been saying for years regarding the expansion of Shiite, particularly Iranian Shiite influence! Imagine if Bush got up there in 2003 and said we are going to invade Iraq just to make an example out of Saddam and while we are at it, lose 4000+ troops and spend more than 1 trillion dollars and by the way, expand the influence of radical Shiite Islamic law so that 20 or 30 years down the road, Iraq might have something that looks kind of like a democracy! We would have collectively concluded that he had picked up his old cocaine habit again! That's why they concocted the WMD/Al Qaeda scary story. They knew the real reasons for the war would never be bought by the American public.

What pisses me off the most is this has all been predicted right from the get go. I remember reading newspaper articles 2 months after the invasion with the experts saying that the biggest beneficiaries of this are Iran and radical Shiite clerics. This was not some kind of surprise.

I remember Joe Biden was on Meet The Press in September 2008 and he cut off the interviewer and said "give me a break about trying to sell this as some kind of success, when increasingly radical and unstable Iran has been handed a huge victory."

Sums up my thoughts.
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Old 05-14-2010, 10:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by deep View Post
I have only skimmed over bits and pieces of this thread


but to invoke Hitler, WW2 along with Japanese Imperialism during WW2

with Saddam, Iraq 2001-2002,
shows how desperate and lacking in justification the Bush invasion really was


plus the argument that Iraq has been set on a Democratic course is laughable

we have the Shi'ite stealing this election, making deals with Sadr (who is hiding in Iran) and of course this Iraqi government just executed some Kurds (under Sharia law, no less)for wanting more autonomy, they are worse than a Sunni controlled government.

Iran is laughing at U S, we have fulfilled their desire to spread their Shiite revolution, with a trillion dollar gift from the American taxpayer along with thousands of sacrificed Americans at the alter of the Shiite revolution expanding


The Soviets were trying to stop the spread of Islamic radicals, we chose the wrong side then and now we are enabling more Sharia Law to spread.


Charlie Wilson's War, what a joke that was.


I agree deep,

President Bush had a deep misunderstanding of the people in that region of the world.

Really sad that so many have died.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deep View Post
I have only skimmed over bits and pieces of this thread


but to invoke Hitler, WW2 along with Japanese Imperialism during WW2

with Saddam, Iraq 2001-2002,
shows how desperate and lacking in justification the Bush invasion really was


plus the argument that Iraq has been set on a Democratic course is laughable

we have the Shi'ite stealing this election, making deals with Sadr (who is hiding in Iran) and of course this Iraqi government just executed some Kurds (under Sharia law, no less)for wanting more autonomy, they are worse than a Sunni controlled government.

Iran is laughing at U S, we have fulfilled their desire to spread their Shiite revolution, with a trillion dollar gift from the American taxpayer along with thousands of sacrificed Americans at the alter of the Shiite revolution expanding


The Soviets were trying to stop the spread of Islamic radicals, we chose the wrong side then and now we are enabling more Sharia Law to spread.


Charlie Wilson's War, what a joke that was.
The World War II example simply demonstrates the benifit of acting early as opposed to letting a problem grow into something that is far more costly to deal with then if one had acted early. US foreign policy since World War II has been about acting early before issues turn into crises that result in the death of millions or world wide economic depression.

In Iraq currently, the Maliki block and the Allawi block both have significant sunni support although both leaders are shia. The election was very close and because of that it will naturally be contested. It also does not change the fact that today Iraq is providing for most of its security and has a murder rate lower than many US cities.

Iran does not have ANY troops in Iraq. They are not the ones providing all the logistical support to the Iraqi military. Yes, Iraq is 60% shia as it was under Saddam. That does not make it an alley or a pupput of Iran. The Iran-Iraq war shows that. The majority of the Iraqi troops who fought the Iranians in the war were ARAB SHIA! Yes, they share a religion with people in Iran, but they are also Arab and have language and ethnic ties to the Arab community that are equal or more important than those ties.

The Soviets were never worried about Islamic radicals to the degree we are today, only about spreading their influence in the region. Al Quada is Sunni and the vast majority of the tribes in Afghanistan are Sunni as well.
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
Have you ever consider the level of violence Iraq would be experiencing today if the United States had pulled out pre-maturelly and not conducted the surge? Do you think the level of murder in Iraq today whether it is conducted by terrorist groups or the government would be lower under Saddam than Maliki?
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Old 05-16-2010, 02:43 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by U2387 View Post
Exactly.

Anyone comparing the ideological mindset or capacity of Saddam Hussein to Hitler is showing their desperation and ignorance right there. Iraq never had the unifying ideology, physical or human capital infrastructure necessary to dominate one country, never mind the world. They had an Army that, at the height of its "power" in 1991, 1 million men strong, got run down like a Boy Scout Troop by a US Army of 250,000. They couldn't surrender fast enough.

You said what I have been saying for years regarding the expansion of Shiite, particularly Iranian Shiite influence! Imagine if Bush got up there in 2003 and said we are going to invade Iraq just to make an example out of Saddam and while we are at it, lose 4000+ troops and spend more than 1 trillion dollars and by the way, expand the influence of radical Shiite Islamic law so that 20 or 30 years down the road, Iraq might have something that looks kind of like a democracy! We would have collectively concluded that he had picked up his old cocaine habit again! That's why they concocted the WMD/Al Qaeda scary story. They knew the real reasons for the war would never be bought by the American public.

What pisses me off the most is this has all been predicted right from the get go. I remember reading newspaper articles 2 months after the invasion with the experts saying that the biggest beneficiaries of this are Iran and radical Shiite clerics. This was not some kind of surprise.

I remember Joe Biden was on Meet The Press in September 2008 and he cut off the interviewer and said "give me a break about trying to sell this as some kind of success, when increasingly radical and unstable Iran has been handed a huge victory."

Sums up my thoughts.

Actually, anyone who fells to understand the anology being made with World War II is the one that is showing their ignorance. No one directly compared Hitler to Saddam, only the benfits of acting BEFORE such leaders engaged in actions that were very damaging to the world.

By the way, the US military had 2.4 million troops back in 1991 when it took on Saddam's 1 million man army. It sent a combined total of 500,000 troops to Saudia Arabia to help remove Sadam's military from Kuwait which had completely conquered and annexed the country, which shows the ignorance in the idea that Saddam's could not conquer or dominate another country.

The events of the 1991 Gulf War are a little more complex than you put it, and NO Iraqi Republican Guard Divisions ever surrendered to coalition forces during the war.

Saddam's possession of WMD is not something that was made up by the Bush administration. It was a serious on going issue that involved 17 UN Security Council Resolutions passed against Saddam's Iraq, the 1991 Gulf War Ceace Fire Agreement, the entire containment regime involving sanctions and the weapons embargo, no fly zones, as well as repeated bombing of various sites in Iraq by the US Air Force from 1991 through 2003. This was not an issue or problem that W created, but something that his Father and Bill Clinton had to deal with for years. It was Bill Clinton who expressed the fact that Saddam was a threat and that the best solution to that threat was to have Saddam removed and replaced with a new Iraqi government.

As far as Iran benefiting from Saddam's removal, that is true to an extent. They benifit like Kuwait benifits, like Saudi Arabia benefits, and like other countries in the middle east benefit. But its not Iran that has troops on Iraqi soil. Its not Iran that is rebuilding Iraqi infrustructure. Its not Iran that helping to extract oil in Iraq. It is not Iran that is helping provide Security. It is not Iran that is supplying the Iraqi Army. And it is not Iran that Iraq is so dependent on for military, logistical and financial support. The country that Iraq is tied to for these things is the United States.
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