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Old 04-09-2008, 06:47 PM   #46
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:40 PM   #47
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Sometimes I'm wondering to what extent you are taking into account that you are not talking about some machines, or roboters, you could deploy indefinitely, but actual people.
Again, the naive belief that everyone would be ok and everything would be alright if the United States just withdrew its troops.

Have you ever considered the cost of not keeping troops there to stabilize the situation? How would it be better for the actual people to pull them out now only to have to deploy them again under far worse and dangerous conditions? What would a pre-mature withdrawal mean for Iraqi civilians?
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:07 PM   #48
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I really don't think that any solid assessment can be made for decades, just look at Nixon.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:40 PM   #49
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... all this, STING, is a threat to the "vital national security interest" and poses a greater long-term threat to oil and to the future of potential terrorist attacks on the West than Saddam Hussein or, indeed, Osama Bin Laden could have ever dreamed.

the present and future of Iraq presents far greater peril to the "national security interest" of the United States than Saddam Hussein ever did.
First, the present security situation for vital US interest in Kuwait in Saudi Arabia is much better than it was when Saddam was in power. None of the current entities within Iraq would be able to effectively attack Kuwait let alone overrun it. Iraq's militia's and insurgents only have some degree of strength within their actual neighborhoods outside of which they are easy to identify and not as effective as when their using the civilian population for cover. They have no large scale capacity for the development and effective deployment of WMD as Saddam did, nor do they have any of the key means of military power projection such as aircraft, tanks, armored personal carriers, artillery etc.

The concern that the present situation in Iraq presents is that if the United States withdraws too soon, the situation could get worse and set the conditions for the development of a new dictator years later that could once again threaten Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the way that Saddam once did. More immediate though, but not nearly as big a threat to the large reserves of oil in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia would be the development of an Al Quada base inside Iraq similar to what they once had in Afghanistan. A mass style slaughter on the scale of Bosnia could claim 2 million lives in just a few years and potentially bring in regional powers which could then threaten the resources in the region. These problems are all there, but they require multiple events to happen, where as Saddam could at any time launch an attack which he so often did throughout his time in power. He had the military, money, scientist, weapons capabilities, but most important of all the past behavior and intention to cause serious harm to the region and the world.

Regional War, mass genocide, an Al Quada Base like Afghanistan pre-911, Saddam like dictator, won't happen in Iraq provided the United States continues to stick with the current nation building and counter insurgencies operations.


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it seems to me that continuing an empire-like presence in the middle of the most volatile region in the world that sucks blood and treasure -- treasure that's been borrowed, btw -- out of the US and gives us absolutely nothing in return but a generation of Muslim youth who hate the US
The United States is helping to develop Iraq into a stable country that will not threaten its neighbors or be a base for Al Quada. The United States and the world depend on the resources from countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for its economic life.

But of course, if the United States was just in AFGHANISTAN, no one would be dying, and no treasure would have to be spent right? A generation of Muslim youth would love us instead of heading to Afghanistan to fight us there like they did the Soviets in the 1980s?


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who see democracy as chaos
If the United States just abandons the place they will have an even worse opinion.

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who are given hundreds of reasons to rally around sectarianism
Or perhaps see reasons not to.

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that emboldens Iran
Except that they did stop Nuclear War Head design at the time the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.

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that enables the election of theocratic governments like the Supreme Islamic Council of Iraq
Any democracy could conceivably allow that.

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that has destroyed the US's standing in the world
The US standing the world has not been destroyed, but where ever you think it is, it is not going to be improved by abandoning Iraq.

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that has seen the adoption of torture by the US
This issue would exist with or without Iraq.

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that has severed necessary alliances
All of the alliances that the United States is apart of are intact and growing I might add.

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that has made something of a hero out of al-Sadr
Al Sadr is not a hero to the vast majority of Iraqi's. Its questionable if he is still a hero to the majority of Shias.

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that has plunged Iraq into a civil war
The military and diplomatic corp on the ground in Iraq has long stressed that Iraq is not actually in a civil war. Political power struggles and localized sectarian fighting do not necessarily constitute a civil war.

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that has worsened the quality of life for women in Iraq,
For many Sunni's that is true, for many Shia and Kurdish women, that is not.

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that has given Turkey reason to bomb northern Iraq
Turkey was engaging in incursions into the border area long before the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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that "stability" means at least 600 dead civilians a month (not including soldiers and police)
Thanks to Saddam's wars, mass executions, chemical warfare, experiments etc, the average was worse under Saddam. In fact there are US cities that have a worse murder rate than that.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:22 PM   #50
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Originally posted by Strongbow


Again, the naive belief that everyone would be ok and everything would be alright if the United States just withdrew its troops.



see, no one thinks this.

you think that others think it, but that's about it.

you consistently put intentions and words into other people's mouths and claim they've said things that they haven't said, and all those things are entirely self-serving and, ironically, as black-and-white, as much the flip side of the same sclerotic coin that you keep arguing.

i don't understand why you'd want to continue pursuing a strategy that has clearly not worked. there is no basis for a serious and lasting political settlement in Iraq. it is no closer to existing than it was in mid-2007, and the recent clashes between the government and the Madhi army simply show the extent to which the Iraqi government and it's troops are dysfunctional.

the declared goal of the surge has failed. all that you are doing by keeping troops and treasure in the middle of mesopotamia is pause a centrifugal disintegration. Iraq has problems well beyond the capabilities of the US military. they are soldiers, they are not miracle workers. Iraq is no better off today than it was in 2005, and in many ways it was worse. what the surge has done is made it even harder for us to leave Iraq. if that doesn't qualify a military tatic as a failure, what else does?

it's not working. the US is now the new Saddam Hussein, the glue that's holding together an Arab Yugoslavia.

but why not continue. i'm sure we can borrow another trillion from the Chinese. and what's another 4,000 US soldiers? or 600 dead Iraqis a month (and this is a reduction!)
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:30 AM   #51
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Originally posted by Strongbow


Again, the naive belief that everyone would be ok and everything would be alright if the United States just withdrew its troops.
Name one person - ONE - who has said that everyone would be ok and everything would be alright if we just withdrew our troops. I don't think you can.
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Old 04-10-2008, 12:58 AM   #52
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Originally posted by Irvine511




see, no one thinks this.

you think that others think it, but that's about it.

you consistently put intentions and words into other people's mouths and claim they've said things that they haven't said, and all those things are entirely self-serving and, ironically, as black-and-white, as much the flip side of the same sclerotic coin that you keep arguing.

You consistently refuse to mention any of the consequences or cost to the strategy you would like to see pursued in Iraq as well consistently not mentioning any of the accomplishments of the coalition in Iraq. Afghanistan has many of the same fundamental problems, but you won't answer any questions about Afghanistan and seem willing to pursue the same strategy there, but not in Iraq.

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i don't understand why you'd want to continue pursuing a strategy that has clearly not worked.
The strategy has been working and is the only one that is capable of working. Simply abandoning Iraq is not even a strategy.

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there is no basis for a serious and lasting political settlement in Iraq.
That is in the process of being formed at the moment, and its sad that some people want to ruin Iraq's chances of achieving it.

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it is no closer to existing than it was in mid-2007
Its light years ahead of where it was in mid-2007. Many former Sunni-insurgents are now working with US military forces and Iraqi military forces in hunting down other insurgents and Al Quada terrorist. The government is making progress on new debathification law, and provincial elections will likely be held this fall. Sunni's and Kurds in the government were impressed with Maliki's attempts to go after Sadr's thugs and other cirminal elements in Basra.

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and the recent clashes between the government and the Madhi army simply show the extent to which the Iraqi government and it's troops are dysfunctional.
I was impressed given that they conducted much of the operation independently, moving nearly 15,000 troops hundreds of miles in an organized fashion, and succeeded in actually freeing 25% of the criminally controlled area of the city.

They certainly bit off more than they could chew at this stage, but given the scale of the operation and how independently it was conducted of US forces, it is light years ahead of where the Iraqi military was 2 years ago when much smaller multi-company or multi-batalion level operations would come close to falling apart even with extensive US support.

But I'm sure you'll continue to call anything and everything the Iraqi's do a failure and be unwilling or unable to either recognize progress or at least aknowledge it.

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the declared goal of the surge has failed.
The surge is working and the results on the ground show it. Lives have been saved. The casualty rate in most of Iraq is down to 2003 levels. US casualties over the past 6 months are the lowest they have been the entire war. There has been more political movement at both the national and local level than at any time over the past 5 years.

But because someone thinks that a nation building and counterinsurgency exercise of this scale can be completely wrapped up in 18 months, its considered a failure.

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all that you are doing by keeping troops and treasure in the middle of mesopotamia is pause a centrifugal disintegration.
By not withdrawing pre-maturely, your allowing the Iraqi government and military to successfuly develop the capacity to take over the job that US troops and civilian personal are currently doing for them. Your preventing Al Quada from establishing a base in the country as they attempt to rebuild and develop. Your reducing the ability of other countries to operate and cause problems in Iraq during a time in which it is unable to defend itself. Your creating the conditions for a stable government, that is not a threat to its neighbors and prosperous economy which will go along way to ending the insurgency and reducing tensions.

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Iraq has problems well beyond the capabilities of the US military. they are soldiers, they are not miracle workers.
The US military, other coalition military and civilian workers continue to prove on a daily basis what you have longed claimed is impossible is in fact possible and happening as we speak.

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Iraq is no better off today than it was in 2005, and in many ways it was worse
Much of the casualty data as well as the economic indicators show that is not true. Most US troops say that conditions in terms of combat are more like 2003 now. Iraq's per capita GDP is more than 4 times that of Afghanistan and is closing in on Syria. Iraq will likely pass Syria in per-capita GDP in 2009 or 2010. Oil production per day has steadily improved. The Iraqi military is light years ahead of where they were in 2005. The elected Iraqi government did not even exist in 2005. Now you have an elected government that is making progress on key benchmarks.

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what the surge has done is made it even harder for us to leave Iraq. if that doesn't qualify a military tatic as a failure, what else does?
The surge has helped speed up the development process and knocked out specific problems that were impeding development. The worse the situation in Iraq is, the harder it would be to leave. Ironically, because of the rapid success experienced during the Surge, the US is much closer potentially to a partial withdrawal of pre-surge forces than at any time during the conflict.


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it's not working. the US is now the new Saddam Hussein, the glue that's holding together an Arab Yugoslavia.
Its working, but you have to step away from the democratic talking points and objectively take a look at some figures and facts on the ground, in addition to appreciating the scale of this task and the time the operation needs to succeed.

Iraq has yet to go through anything like the internal hell that Yugoslavia, in particular Bosnia experienced. But look at what US intervention helped achieve in the former Yugoslavia. Just as many people said the US operations in Bosnia would never bring peace there and that the people would be fighting there for the next thousand years. The opponents of US military intervention and occupation in Bosnia and Kosovo were wrong, so will be those who oppose the operation in Iraq provided the United States does not withdraw pre-maturely.


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but why not continue. i'm sure we can borrow another trillion from the Chinese. and what's another 4,000 US soldiers? or 600 dead Iraqis a month (and this is a reduction!)
Again, what do you think the cost and consequences of essentially abandoning Iraq would be. How many US soldiers would have to die when were forced to re-deploy to Iraq because of a regional war, mass genocide, another 9/11 launched from inside Iraq by a relatively safe established Al Quada base there. How much money do you think a worse terror attack than 9-11 or a large re-deployment of US troops under any number of conditions brought about by a pre-mature withdrawal of US troops would cost? How many Iraqi's will die when you suddenly yank all the US troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible?



While were at it, how long do you think the United States should remain in Afghanistan? What is the end point there? If you think Iraq has ethnic and sectarian problems, Afghanistan's potential problems dwarf Iraq's in that area. Kabul does not have nearly the capability of the government in Baghdad, does that mean the US should pick up and leave?
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:02 AM   #53
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Originally posted by Diemen


Name one person - ONE - who has said that everyone would be ok and everything would be alright if we just withdrew our troops. I don't think you can.
Name one person - ONE - who is strongly in support of a rapid US withdrawal who has dicsussed at length the risk, consequences and cost of such a rapid US withdrawal. Maybe you can, maybe you can't, I don't recall anyone at the moment.
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Old 04-10-2008, 01:31 AM   #54
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Originally posted by Strongbow


Name one person - ONE - who is strongly in support of a rapid US withdrawal who has dicsussed at length the risk, consequences and cost of such a rapid US withdrawal. Maybe you can, maybe you can't, I don't recall anyone at the moment.


you're out of arguments, aren't you?

we know the risks and consequences of continuing the same failed policies.
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:45 AM   #55
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Name one person - ONE - who is strongly in support of a rapid US withdrawal who has dicsussed at length the risk, consequences and cost of such a rapid US withdrawal. Maybe you can, maybe you can't, I don't recall anyone at the moment.
I didn't think you'd be able to answer the question. Thanks for confirming it.

As to your question, those who are for a relatively rapid withdrawal believe the risks, consequences and cost of a withdrawal far outweigh the risks, consequences and cost of staying indefinitely. But if you genuinely are interested to hear what proponents of withdrawal have to say, there is plenty if you just look. Here's but one example:

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/pdf/IraqFactSheet.pdf
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:56 PM   #56
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Originally posted by Strongbow


Again, the naive belief that everyone would be ok and everything would be alright if the United States just withdrew its troops.

Have you ever considered the cost of not keeping troops there to stabilize the situation? How would it be better for the actual people to pull them out now only to have to deploy them again under far worse and dangerous conditions? What would a pre-mature withdrawal mean for Iraqi civilians?

My point was that you are talking about deploying soldiers, starting wars and how capable the US military is as if it was just another business decision. Your cure for nearly everything is to attack that country at times, and because the US still has these large reserves, it is no problem to go in and stay there for awhile.

(And if not, we just "ask" (better: tell) the other countries to participate.)



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that emboldens Iran


Except that they did stop Nuclear War Head design at the time the United States invaded Iraq in 2003.
And at other occasions you pointed out how easy it is to develop a nuclear war head meaning that this isn't that important
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:40 AM   #57
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Wow, how low can he go?

May 1, 2008
Poll: Bush most unpopular in modern history


WASHINGTON (CNN) — A new poll suggests that George W. Bush is the most unpopular president in modern American history.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 71 percent of the American public disapprove of how Bush his handling his job as president.

"No president has ever had a higher disapproval rating in any CNN or Gallup poll; in fact, this is the first time that any president's disapproval rating has cracked the 70 percent mark," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"Bush's approval rating, which stands at 28 percent in our new poll, remains better than the all-time lows set by Harry Truman and Richard Nixon (22 percent and 24 percent, respectively) but even those two presidents never got a disapproval rating in the 70s," Holland added. "The previous all-time record in CNN or Gallup polling was set by Truman, 66 percent disapproval in January 1952."

CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider adds, "He is more unpopular than Richard Nixon was just before he resigned from the presidency in August 1974." President Nixon's disapproval rating in August 1974 stood at 67 percent.

The poll also indicates that support for the war in Iraq has never been lower. Thirty percent of those questioned favored the war while 68 percent opposed the conflict.

"Americans are growing more pessimistic about the war," Holland said. "In January, nearly half believed that things were going well for the U.S. in Iraq; now that figure has dropped to 39 percent."

The numbers on the Iraq war come on the five-year anniversary of President Bush's "mission accomplished" moment onboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, when Bush proclaimed that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

The record low support for the war in a CNN poll could be one reason behind the president's unpopularity, but it probably is not the only one.

"Support for the war, the assessment of the economy and approval of Mr. Bush are all about the same — bad," Schneider said.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted by telephone from Monday through Wednesday, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:35 PM   #58
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Wow, how low can he go?

May 1, 2008
Poll: Bush most unpopular in modern history


WASHINGTON (CNN) — A new poll suggests that George W. Bush is the most unpopular president in modern American history.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday indicates that 71 percent of the American public disapprove of how Bush his handling his job as president.

"No president has ever had a higher disapproval rating in any CNN or Gallup poll; in fact, this is the first time that any president's disapproval rating has cracked the 70 percent mark," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

"Bush's approval rating, which stands at 28 percent in our new poll, remains better than the all-time lows set by Harry Truman and Richard Nixon (22 percent and 24 percent, respectively) but even those two presidents never got a disapproval rating in the 70s," Holland added. "The previous all-time record in CNN or Gallup polling was set by Truman, 66 percent disapproval in January 1952."

CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider adds, "He is more unpopular than Richard Nixon was just before he resigned from the presidency in August 1974." President Nixon's disapproval rating in August 1974 stood at 67 percent.

The poll also indicates that support for the war in Iraq has never been lower. Thirty percent of those questioned favored the war while 68 percent opposed the conflict.

"Americans are growing more pessimistic about the war," Holland said. "In January, nearly half believed that things were going well for the U.S. in Iraq; now that figure has dropped to 39 percent."

The numbers on the Iraq war come on the five-year anniversary of President Bush's "mission accomplished" moment onboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, when Bush proclaimed that "major combat operations in Iraq have ended."

The record low support for the war in a CNN poll could be one reason behind the president's unpopularity, but it probably is not the only one.

"Support for the war, the assessment of the economy and approval of Mr. Bush are all about the same — bad," Schneider said.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted by telephone from Monday through Wednesday, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.
One thing to note is that people in the 1950s-1970s were less likely to register disapproval about a President in office do to greater loyalty and respect that most people in general had back in those days for the government and especially the President. Today, its anything goes in terms of saying things about the President or the government etc.

The Approval rating is the more important figure, and that is still above Truman who is now regarded by most people as one of the greatest Presidents of the United States and one of the greatest leaders ever in history. Even the Democrats beloved Clinton has approval ratings in the low 30s.

Although accurate polling was not present at the time, far and away the most unpopular President in US history was Abraham Lincoln in the summer of 1864. Half the country had left the Union, and Lincoln was headed towards defeat in the 1864 election with his opponents wanting to make peace with the south and allow them to form an independent country. Without certain military victories in 1864, Lincoln would have lost the election and the United States would ceace to exist as we know it.
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:28 PM   #59
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Loyalty and respect is earned. He serves at our (dis)pleasure, it's our right to say what we want.

71 vs 28-hmm, still sounds bad to me no matter how you spin it.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:57 PM   #60
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