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Old 05-03-2005, 01:22 PM   #1
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A question for the supporters of the war in Iraq

If this has been previously discussed, I apologize in advance.

I'm curious to know how many people who support the war in Iraq think it should have been done BEFORE the capture of Osama bin Laden (as it was), or AFTER that situation had come to its conclusion.

I'm not asking for anyone to defend the war in Iraq itself, but the timing of it. Would you have liked the United States to have concentrated on getting Osama bin Laden first and then go after Saddam Hussein, or do you agree with the way it has played out?

Your thoughts...
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Old 05-03-2005, 01:29 PM   #2
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I don't have any problem with the way it played out, with the exception of the number of US and coalition soldiers who have lost their lives. I just have this strange feeling and have for some time that Bin Laden is dead and has been for a while. Can't prove it. Just a feeling.
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Old 05-03-2005, 01:45 PM   #3
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Two separate issues. It would be imprudent to put tie your assessment of Iraq to the capture of bin Laden.
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Old 05-03-2005, 01:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Two separate issues.

This is NOT true.


I just heard an interview by someone in the CIA and he said significant inroads were being made to get Binladen.

Then the focus shifted Iraq, resources were pulled out of Afghanistan, and the trail went cold.

He stated that there was a direct correlation.
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Old 05-03-2005, 01:58 PM   #5
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That's the best reason to link the two policy decisions together?
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Two separate issues. It would be imprudent to put tie your assessment of Iraq to the capture of bin Laden.

I realize they are two separate issues. That wasn't my question. What I want to know is whether we should have dealt with the bin Laden issue first.
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Old 05-03-2005, 02:26 PM   #7
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No. We should have addressed each issues separate and independent of the other.

And I believe we did.
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:19 PM   #8
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You answered the question, but then proceeded to say that you believe we have addressed both issues, which I wasn't asking. But since you brought it up, I'm curious to know how you think we have dealt with the bin Laden issue when we haven't captured or killed him yet.
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Old 05-03-2005, 05:55 PM   #9
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Bin Laden is not the only terrorist in the world, first point. He did not personally plan the attacks against the trade centre and pentagon or the other attacks since.

Secondly the means to killing Bin Laden are a lot different than those required for stabalising Iraq. There is no diversion, you still have the same ammount of effort going to capture Al Qaeda using tools of intelligence etc.

Thirdly the other possibility is that Bin Laden is dead, he has not released many tapes and only a few have been verified. For all intensive purposes he may be considered out of the game ~ but that does not mean that there are not other individuals with the money and the conviction to kill.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:28 PM   #10
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Bin Laden is not the only terrorist in the world, first point. He did not personally plan the attacks against the trade centre and pentagon or the other attacks since.

Secondly the means to killing Bin Laden are a lot different than those required for stabalising Iraq. There is no diversion, you still have the same ammount of effort going to capture Al Qaeda using tools of intelligence etc.

Thirdly the other possibility is that Bin Laden is dead, he has not released many tapes and only a few have been verified. For all intensive purposes he may be considered out of the game ~ but that does not mean that there are not other individuals with the money and the conviction to kill.
Yes, of course Osama bin Laden isn't the only terrorist in the world, but he is the leader. Others may have personally planned the attacks, but he is the one who gives final approval. You always start with the leader.

And yes, the means to kill bin Laden are different, but I don't seriously think the United States doesn't have those means at its disposal. However, it could have had more of an effort, in my opinion, if the U.S. concentrated on him first. Wars aren't won on two fronts.

As for your last statement, while only a few tapes have been released, there have been tapes, and they have been verified, as you said yourself. So even though the frequency of those tapes isn't high, the fact that there have been some confirms that he is alive indeed.

The reason I ask this is because I personally believe we made a mistake. I would have preferred rooting out Al-Qaida and bin Laden while we were solely concentrating on the war in Afghanistan, which I wholeheartedly supported. But I think we had a misstep with Iraq. Not to say we should never take care of the issue in Iraq, but I would have preferred to finish the job in Afghanistan, and then go to Iraq.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:33 PM   #11
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Re: A question for the supporters of the war in Iraq

Quote:
Originally posted by phanan
If this has been previously discussed, I apologize in advance.

I'm curious to know how many people who support the war in Iraq think it should have been done BEFORE the capture of Osama bin Laden (as it was), or AFTER that situation had come to its conclusion.

I'm not asking for anyone to defend the war in Iraq itself, but the timing of it. Would you have liked the United States to have concentrated on getting Osama bin Laden first and then go after Saddam Hussein, or do you agree with the way it has played out?

Your thoughts...
A bit like saying the United States could or should have waited to engage Japan and concentrated everything on Germany or waited to go after Germany while concentrating everything on Japan in World War II.

This is national and international security. One does not have the luxury of waiting to deal with threats which further risks international security and creats a worse situation down the road.

Of course, the situation with Bin Laden and the situation with Saddam's regime were in many ways different and required different resources to engage both.

In Iraq, large tank divisions and mechanized units were required to overthrow Saddam's regime and have been necessary in hunting down the insurgency and defending the country.

In Afghanistan, there are not armored or mechanized divisions. It is all light infantry and special forces. Most of the weapon systems being used on the ground in Iraq would not be effective in chasing Bin Laden through the extremely high mountains of Afghanistan.

The point here is that the type of forces or the composition of forces needed for the situation in Afghanistan to capture Bin Ladin, is very different from what is needed in Iraq. So this idea that one conflict drains the other, is, overall, not valid given that the forces and resources used in both missions are for the most part different.

The United States and the coalition were long over due in dealing with Saddam's regime. This is something that had to be done independent of 9/11 or Bin Ladin.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by phanan


Yes, of course Osama bin Laden isn't the only terrorist in the world, but he is the leader. Others may have personally planned the attacks, but he is the one who gives final approval. You always start with the leader.

And yes, the means to kill bin Laden are different, but I don't seriously think the United States doesn't have those means at its disposal. However, it could have had more of an effort, in my opinion, if the U.S. concentrated on him first. Wars aren't won on two fronts.

As for your last statement, while only a few tapes have been released, there have been tapes, and they have been verified, as you said yourself. So even though the frequency of those tapes isn't high, the fact that there have been some confirms that he is alive indeed.

The reason I ask this is because I personally believe we made a mistake. I would have preferred rooting out Al-Qaida and bin Laden while we were solely concentrating on the war in Afghanistan, which I wholeheartedly supported. But I think we had a misstep with Iraq. Not to say we should never take care of the issue in Iraq, but I would have preferred to finish the job in Afghanistan, and then go to Iraq.
Most of the forces used to fight the war in Iraq would not be used for missions in Afghanistan. So waiting to go into Iraq would not have seriously effected the hunt for Bin Ladin. M1 Tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles, the work horses in Iraq at the moment, would never be used to hunt Bin Ladin through the high mountain ranges of Afghanistan.
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Old 05-03-2005, 07:46 PM   #13
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Re: Re: A question for the supporters of the war in Iraq

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Originally posted by STING2


A bit like saying the United States could or should have waited to engage Japan and concentrated everything on Germany or waited to go after Germany while concentrating everything on Japan in World War II.

This is national and international security. One does not have the luxury of waiting to deal with threats which further risks international security and creats a worse situation down the road.

Of course, the situation with Bin Laden and the situation with Saddam's regime were in many ways different and required different resources to engage both.

In Iraq, large tank divisions and mechanized units were required to overthrow Saddam's regime and have been necessary in hunting down the insurgency and defending the country.

In Afghanistan, there are not armored or mechanized divisions. It is all light infantry and special forces. Most of the weapon systems being used on the ground in Iraq would not be effective in chasing Bin Laden through the extremely high mountains of Afghanistan.

The point here is that the type of forces or the composition of forces needed for the situation in Afghanistan to capture Bin Ladin, is very different from what is needed in Iraq. So this idea that one conflict drains the other, is, overall, not valid given that the forces and resources used in both missions are for the most part different.

The United States and the coalition were long over due in dealing with Saddam's regime. This is something that had to be done independent of 9/11 or Bin Ladin.
I agree that dealing with Iraq was long overdue, and I wish that Bush the Elder hadn't let Hussein off the hook so easily, I wish that Clinton had done something more forceful, and I wish that Bush the Younger would have pounced on it immediately after he took office.

But those things didn't happen.

After 9/11, it was clear what needed to be done. Al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden were responsible for the attacks, and we needed to stop them. The war in Afghanistan was a great start, and while I respect your arguments for different personnel being used, it is my thinking that armored and mechanized divisions were needed in Afghanistan to reinforce our light infantry and special forces. Sometimes a show of massive force can help achieve your goal quicker and stabilize the region better.

And yes, international security is of the utmost importance, and as such, I believe it would have been more imperative to have our full attention on Osama bin Laden in the Afghanistan region than divide it.
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Old 05-03-2005, 09:26 PM   #14
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Re: Re: Re: A question for the supporters of the war in Iraq

Quote:
Originally posted by phanan


I agree that dealing with Iraq was long overdue, and I wish that Bush the Elder hadn't let Hussein off the hook so easily, I wish that Clinton had done something more forceful, and I wish that Bush the Younger would have pounced on it immediately after he took office.

But those things didn't happen.

After 9/11, it was clear what needed to be done. Al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden were responsible for the attacks, and we needed to stop them. The war in Afghanistan was a great start, and while I respect your arguments for different personnel being used, it is my thinking that armored and mechanized divisions were needed in Afghanistan to reinforce our light infantry and special forces. Sometimes a show of massive force can help achieve your goal quicker and stabilize the region better.

And yes, international security is of the utmost importance, and as such, I believe it would have been more imperative to have our full attention on Osama bin Laden in the Afghanistan region than divide it.
Armored and Mechanized forces cannot be used in most if not all of the heavily mountainous terrain along the Afghan and Pakistani border where Bin Ladin and the remnants of Al Quada hide. Nearly all the large concentrations of Taliban and Al Quada forces were destroyed in 2001/2002. If the military needed more forces in Afghanistan, there were plenty more forces that could be used from the United States that were not involved in the Iraq invasion.

The US military operation in Afghanistan is the most successful military operation ever conducted in the history of Afghanistan. US forces have suffered less than 100 troops killed by hostile fire after 3.5 years of occupation there. Compare that to the Soviet military which had over 5,000 killed in action over that same length of time in their occupation there in the 1980s.

With the Taliban removed in 2001, the hunt for Bin Ladin is a CIA/Special forces operation primarily. The light infantry in Afghanistan is actually more in a supporting role in regards to the hunt for Bin Ladin. The main work is being done by CIA/Special forces who have been enormously succussful in capturing and destroying the Al Quada network.
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Old 05-03-2005, 10:43 PM   #15
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Yes, of course Osama bin Laden isn't the only terrorist in the world, but he is the leader. Others may have personally planned the attacks, but he is the one who gives final approval. You always start with the leader.
No he is not, Al Qaeda is one part of the greater web of Islamist terrorism, it gets supported by certain governments and is ideologically rooted in radical schools of Islamic thought that are practiced in many places. The terrorist cells themselves are seperate entities and operate without a clear command and control structure from Bin Laden and his lieutenants. Take for example the terror attacks in Madrid or the Ricin plot in the UK which where perpetrated by European cells acting alone but with purpose. Or the Bali Bomings where an Indonesian Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah carried out an attack with assistance from Hambali. You can link the cells but the problem is much bigger than Al Qaeda and can only be solved by eliminating the support that the ideology recieves and the only plausible way of doing that is creating a free and prosperous Arab world. Iraq is a very big thing in the war on terror and it is a piece of brilliant power politics to route two enemies (rouge states with WMD ambitions and Islamist terrorists) at the same time.

Success in Iraq will catalyse democratic change in the region and break down the barriers that enable terror groups to have support, delivering a long term knockout blow to the ambitions of renwing the Caliphate and taking on the unbelievers. Failure would bring about blowback of a magnitude that would dwarf what came out of Afghanistan. The play has an element of risk but given the danger of taking no action against Saddam Hussein and his WMD ambitions (especially with a nuclear Iran creeping up) as well as the longer term strength that Islamist groups gain by having a "stable" Middle East of dictators and hardliners it was the safest choice. The payoffs are already being seen, both in Iraq where the country is uniting and rebuilding and the faint beginnings of true democratic change ~ from Lebanon to Egypt, Iran to the Palestinan Authority.
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