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Old 08-23-2006, 12:26 PM   #1
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administration's smokescreen/lies dissipate further ...

Iraq and the GWOT are not at all related.


[q]August 23, 2006
Poll Shows a Shift in Opinion on Iraq War
By CARL HULSE and MARJORIE CONNELLY
WASHINGTON, Aug. 22 — Americans increasingly see the war in Iraq as distinct from the fight against terrorism, and nearly half believe President Bush has focused too much on Iraq to the exclusion of other threats, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

The poll found that 51 percent of those surveyed saw no link between the war in Iraq and the broader antiterror effort, a jump of 10 percentage points since June. That increase comes despite the regular insistence of Mr. Bush and Congressional Republicans that the two are intertwined and should be seen as complementary elements of a strategy to prevent domestic terrorism.

Should the trend hold, the rising skepticism could present a political obstacle for Mr. Bush and his allies on Capitol Hill, who are making their record on terrorism a central element of the midterm election campaign. The Republicans hope that by expressing a desire for forceful action against terrorists, they can offset unease with the Iraq war and blunt the political appeal of Democratic calls to establish a timeline to withdraw American troops.

Public sentiment about the war remains negative, threatening to erode a Republican advantage on national security. Fifty-three percent said going to war was a mistake, up from 48 percent in July; 62 percent said events were going “somewhat or very badly” in the effort to bring order and stability to Iraq.

Mr. Bush recorded a gain of four percentage points in how the public views his handling of terrorism, rising to 55 percent approval from 51 percent a week earlier. This was his highest approval rating on the issue since last summer and followed the arrests in Britain in a suspected terror plot to blow up airliners.

Mr. Bush’s overall standing was nevertheless unchanged from the previous week, with 57 percent disapproving and 36 percent approving, far below the level Republicans in Congress would like to see as they prepare for elections in November.

[/q]

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Old 08-23-2006, 12:46 PM   #2
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Re: administration's smokescreen/lies dissipate further ...

Perhaps a better poll question to ask would have been: If Iraq becomes the "failed state" that Afghanistan was in the early 1990s, if its not already, is this a positive or negative development for terrorist?

If the answer is positive, the follow up question should be whether the United States should remain in Iraq indefinitely to prevent it from becoming the failed state that Afghanistan became.

To much of the focus is on 2002/2003. Saddam and whether or not his regime should be removed is history. The issue now should be whether or not a failed state in Iraq would benefit Al Quada or other terrorist elements.
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Old 08-23-2006, 02:03 PM   #3
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Re: Re: administration's smokescreen/lies dissipate further ...

Quote:
Originally posted by Maoilbheannacht
Perhaps a better poll question to ask would have been: If Iraq becomes the "failed state" that Afghanistan was in the early 1990s, if its not already, is this a positive or negative development for terrorist?

If the answer is positive, the follow up question should be whether the United States should remain in Iraq indefinitely to prevent it from becoming the failed state that Afghanistan became.

To much of the focus is on 2002/2003. Saddam and whether or not his regime should be removed is history. The issue now should be whether or not a failed state in Iraq would benefit Al Quada or other terrorist elements.


while i agree with your assessment of the situation, let's not forget that it was the continuous and deliberate mentioning of Saddam Hussein/Iraq and 9-11/mushroom clouds throughout 2002 that swayed the public, just enough, to give the administration the political capital to use in the invasion of Iraq. the American people would never have supported an invasion simply to oust a dictator, and they knew this, which is why the smokescreen of Saddam Hussen = 9-11 was routinely applied in most administration media appearances and on Fox News.

and this is what has led us to the tragic situation we now face.

simply, it's good to see that, yes, you can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the time.
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Old 08-23-2006, 02:07 PM   #4
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Re: Re: administration's smokescreen/lies dissipate further ...

Quote:
Originally posted by Maoilbheannacht
Perhaps a better poll question to ask would have been: If Iraq becomes the "failed state" that Afghanistan was in the early 1990s, if its not already, is this a positive or negative development for terrorist?

If the answer is positive, the follow up question should be whether the United States should remain in Iraq indefinitely to prevent it from becoming the failed state that Afghanistan became.

To much of the focus is on 2002/2003. Saddam and whether or not his regime should be removed is history. The issue now should be whether or not a failed state in Iraq would benefit Al Quada or other terrorist elements.
Nir Rosen made a good case for American pull-out in last December's Atlantic Monthly, trying to answer all the usual questions about potential detrioration of Iraq into all-out civil war, and the impact on Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Here:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200512/iraq-withdrawal

"Would the withdrawal of U.S. troops ignite a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites?

"No. That civil war is already under way—in large part because of the American presence. The longer the United States stays, the more it fuels Sunni hostility toward Shiite "collaborators." Were America not in Iraq, Sunni leaders could negotiate and participate without fear that they themselves would be branded traitors and collaborators by their constituents. Sunni leaders have said this in official public statements; leaders of the resistance have told me the same thing in private. The Iraqi government, which is currently dominated by Shiites, would lose its quisling stigma. Iraq's security forces, also primarily Shiite, would no longer be working on behalf of foreign infidels against fellow Iraqis, but would be able to function independently and recruit Sunnis to a truly national force. The mere announcement of an intended U.S. withdrawal would allow Sunnis to come to the table and participate in defining the new Iraq.

"But what about the foreign jihadi element of the resistance? Wouldn't it be empowered by a U.S. withdrawal?

"The foreign jihadi element—commanded by the likes of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi—is numerically insignificant; the bulk of the resistance has no connection to al-Qaeda or its offshoots. (Zarqawi and his followers have benefited greatly from U.S. propaganda blaming him for all attacks in Iraq, because he is now seen by Arabs around the world as more powerful than he is; we have been his best recruiting tool.) It is true that the Sunni resistance welcomed the foreign fighters (and to some extent still do), because they were far more willing to die than indigenous Iraqis were. But what Zarqawi wants fundamentally conflicts with what Iraqi Sunnis want: Zarqawi seeks re-establishment of the Muslim caliphate and a Manichean confrontation with infidels around the world, to last until Judgment Day; the mainstream Iraqi resistance just wants the Americans out. If U.S. forces were to leave, the foreigners in Zarqawi's movement would find little support—and perhaps significant animosity—among Iraqi Sunnis, who want wealth and power, not jihad until death."
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:54 PM   #5
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I think most educated Americans saw the manipulation. With that in mind, I'd be curious to find out what Fox News viewers believe.
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Old 08-24-2006, 11:27 AM   #6
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Re: Re: Re: administration's smokescreen/lies dissipate further ...

Quote:
Originally posted by Judah


Nir Rosen made a good case for American pull-out in last December's Atlantic Monthly, trying to answer all the usual questions about potential detrioration of Iraq into all-out civil war, and the impact on Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Here:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200512/iraq-withdrawal

"Would the withdrawal of U.S. troops ignite a civil war between Sunnis and Shiites?

"No. That civil war is already under way—in large part because of the American presence. The longer the United States stays, the more it fuels Sunni hostility toward Shiite "collaborators." Were America not in Iraq, Sunni leaders could negotiate and participate without fear that they themselves would be branded traitors and collaborators by their constituents. Sunni leaders have said this in official public statements; leaders of the resistance have told me the same thing in private. The Iraqi government, which is currently dominated by Shiites, would lose its quisling stigma. Iraq's security forces, also primarily Shiite, would no longer be working on behalf of foreign infidels against fellow Iraqis, but would be able to function independently and recruit Sunnis to a truly national force. The mere announcement of an intended U.S. withdrawal would allow Sunnis to come to the table and participate in defining the new Iraq.

"But what about the foreign jihadi element of the resistance? Wouldn't it be empowered by a U.S. withdrawal?

"The foreign jihadi element—commanded by the likes of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi—is numerically insignificant; the bulk of the resistance has no connection to al-Qaeda or its offshoots. (Zarqawi and his followers have benefited greatly from U.S. propaganda blaming him for all attacks in Iraq, because he is now seen by Arabs around the world as more powerful than he is; we have been his best recruiting tool.) It is true that the Sunni resistance welcomed the foreign fighters (and to some extent still do), because they were far more willing to die than indigenous Iraqis were. But what Zarqawi wants fundamentally conflicts with what Iraqi Sunnis want: Zarqawi seeks re-establishment of the Muslim caliphate and a Manichean confrontation with infidels around the world, to last until Judgment Day; the mainstream Iraqi resistance just wants the Americans out. If U.S. forces were to leave, the foreigners in Zarqawi's movement would find little support—and perhaps significant animosity—among Iraqi Sunnis, who want wealth and power, not jihad until death."
This article presumes that all the Sunni insurgents want is for US forces to leave the country. I think thats a bit naive. Many of the Sunni insurgent leaders were leaders in Saddam's regime and they obviously want those power structures that they belonged to re-established somewhere down the road.
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:26 PM   #7
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Maoilbheannacht: what do you think we should do? where do you see this going over the next 2 years? where do you want it to go?
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Old 08-24-2006, 12:36 PM   #8
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Re: Re: Re: Re: administration's smokescreen/lies dissipate further ...

Quote:
Originally posted by Maoilbheannacht


This article presumes that all the Sunni insurgents want is for US forces to leave the country. I think thats a bit naive. Many of the Sunni insurgent leaders were leaders in Saddam's regime and they obviously want those power structures that they belonged to re-established somewhere down the road.
Could you clarify? Do you mean the Sunnis, fearing extermination, would want the Americans to stay longer and guarantee the Sunnis were a major part of the Iraqi government/military power structure, etc., before the Americans pull out? If that's your question, then i think the Sunnis have a point re: their fear of being exterminated...as that's what some of the Shiite death squads (mostly thought to be condoned by the Iraqi Interior Ministry) currently seem to be aiming at. But they would be a bit naive if they think the Americans can do any more than they already have.

Or do you mean that the American pull out won't do anything to get the ex Baathists to lay down their arms, since these Saddamites would want to share, if not dominate, the next government through forceful (civil-war) means if required? I think both these questions are addressed in Rosen's Q & A. But let me know if i'm not understanding you correctly.


There's more on these types of questions here:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060814/iraq_is_dying

"Even Sunni political representatives, while demanding a timetable for withdrawal, increasingly worry that they will be more exposed to vengeful Shiite and Kurdish militias when the Americans leave. The Sunni bloc representative, Salman al-Jumaili, said with frustration, "We want the Americans out tomorrow. But we want negotiated timetables to fill security gaps and prevent a power grab." He indicated that the nationalist insurgency "is looking for recognition...and a road map to ending the occupation through negotiations." "
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Old 08-24-2006, 01:03 PM   #9
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: administration's smokescreen/lies dissipate further ...

Quote:
Originally posted by Judah


Could you clarify? Do you mean the Sunnis, fearing extermination, would want the Americans to stay longer and guarantee the Sunnis were a major part of the Iraqi government/military power structure, etc., before the Americans pull out? If that's your question, then i think the Sunnis have a point re: their fear of being exterminated...as that's what some of the Shiite death squads (mostly thought to be condoned by the Iraqi Interior Ministry) currently seem to be aiming at. But they would be a bit naive if they think the Americans can do any more than they already have.

Or do you mean that the American pull out won't do anything to get the ex Baathists to lay down their arms, since these Saddamites would want to share, if not dominate, the next government through forceful (civil-war) means if required? I think both these questions are addressed in Rosen's Q & A. But let me know if i'm not understanding you correctly.


There's more on these types of questions here:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060814/iraq_is_dying

"Even Sunni political representatives, while demanding a timetable for withdrawal, increasingly worry that they will be more exposed to vengeful Shiite and Kurdish militias when the Americans leave. The Sunni bloc representative, Salman al-Jumaili, said with frustration, "We want the Americans out tomorrow. But we want negotiated timetables to fill security gaps and prevent a power grab." He indicated that the nationalist insurgency "is looking for recognition...and a road map to ending the occupation through negotiations." "
The assumption that the Sunni insurgents will lay down their arms and stop fighting as soon as the Americans is naive I think. That is essentially what the writer of the above article assumes. Its not clear that the Sunni's currently participating in the government have any real power over the insurgency or can even speak for the sunni insurgency despite such claims.

While the Sunni population may be outnumbered, initially after the invasion, I've heard from a military standpoint, that the Sunni's were still stronger. After 3 years of the building of the new Iraq military as well as the strengthening of Kurdish and Shia militia's, this may not be the case anymore. But that does not mean that the Sunni's would be wiped out in a civil war and will there for choose to negotiate rather than fight.

Look at what happened in Afghanistan when the Soviets pulled out. Iraq could be Afghanistan II if the coalition pulls out now. I don't see how anyone can seriously think that everything would just magically fall into place if the Americans would just leave.
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Old 08-24-2006, 01:39 PM   #10
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: administration's smokescreen/lies dissipate further ...

Quote:
Originally posted by Maoilbheannacht
Look at what happened in Afghanistan when the Soviets pulled out. Iraq could be Afghanistan II if the coalition pulls out now. I don't see how anyone can seriously think that everything would just magically fall into place if the Americans would just leave.


so -- what do we do?

a three state solution?

another dictator?

endless occupation?
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:35 PM   #11
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: administration's smokescreen/lies dissipate further ...

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




so -- what do we do?

a three state solution?

another dictator?

endless occupation?
Things are pointing to a three-state solution non (a la Bosnia/Serbia/Croatia)? For sure two-state, as the Kurds are in good position to -- finally -- have an independent state.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...home-headlines

"Shiites Press for a Partition of Iraq
Creating federal regions would curb the violence, backers say. Others see it as a grab at oil wealth.
By Borzou Daragahi, Times Staff Writer
August 9, 2006


BAGHDAD — They have a new constitution, a new government and a new military. But faced with incessant sectarian bloodshed, Iraqis for the first time have begun openly discussing whether the only way to stop the violence is to remake the country they have just built.

Leaders of Iraq's powerful Shiite Muslim political bloc have begun aggressively promoting a radical plan to partition the country as a way of separating the warring sects. Some Iraqis are even talking about dividing the capital, with the Tigris River as a kind of Berlin Wall.
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