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Old 05-05-2007, 09:23 PM   #256
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Originally posted by AEON


There are several regular posters here who only post tragic news when it comes to Iraq. And when they are confronted with hopeful news - they attack it. What else am I to conclude?

Concerning the idea that it is not my place to post a moral judgment - isn't that what I read in every thread? Moral judgments? If it is true that some people truly are rooting for the US to fail in Iraq - I see no reason why I can't call out such an opinion as morally wrong.

I think I have shared opinions about Iraq that are both critical and supportive of the commanders and the administration. I do not equate dissent with disloyalty. Nevertheless, there are many people out there that certainly seem to actually desire failure in Iraq because peace in Iraq would mean a victory for Bush and the Republicans...and they certainly can't have that.
Let me tell you this. Nobody can "hope" for failure. Failure is already there. What did we get out of attacking Iraq? More Americans died in Iraq than on 9/11. Hundreds of Thousands of Iraqis have died. The country that used to be controlled is in complete chaos. More of the world has hated America than ever before. And we certainly have not made America any safer.

Do you really think that Iraq will become peaceful with the way Bush is handling Iraq? More and more Sunnis and Shiites are being trained to attack each other. It is not even as if we are fighting a certain person or persons. There is not even a leader of these terrorists. These terrorists are more and more being influenced by other terrorists. We are not getting ANYWHERE, do you hear me?
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:30 PM   #257
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You think we should pull out tomorrow? Phased? 6 months? 12 months? Or a few years?

You do know that just about everyone agrees that if we were to pullout now, the only blood that would be spared is American blood, correct? I only say this because you said "why should we spill more blood" - because if we were to leave today, the Iraqi bloodshed would be enormous.
You're wrong. Whether we leave today, tomorrow, at the end of the year or 5 years from now, the Sunnis and Shiites of Iraq are going to continue to kill each other. And as soon as we leave, whether it is tomorrow or 5 years from now, the country is going to erupt into a civil war.

You say that if we were to leave today then the Iraqi bloodshed would be enormous. Do you not see what has been happening there every day for the last 4 years??? There have been hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead. There are probably millions of them injured badly and millions of them who will die because of gruesome injuries.

Do you really think our presence there is helping maintain peace in Iraq or if it will ever cause peace to happen in Iraq? Do you really think so?

The people in that country loathe us, they will never ever cooperate with us while we try to spread "peace."
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Old 05-05-2007, 09:34 PM   #258
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That's not the issue on the table. The issue on the table is what would happen if the US military left right now. And I think it is safe to say the Iraqi civilians will face brutal acts of terror far worse than they are currently experiencing. The chaos would become genocide.
You are right, if we leave then there will be a civil war. But you are missing one very important point: It is that NO MATTER when we leave, it will become a civil war.
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Old 05-05-2007, 11:24 PM   #259
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Chinese proverb: riding on a tiger and you can't get off it.

wait and see how iraq ends, it's gonna be full of fun. Mark my word, this time, it gonna end more brutal than Vietnam and Korea.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:56 PM   #260
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[q]Beating an orderly retreat
It is no longer a question of if or when the U.S. leaves Iraq, but how.

By Francis Fukuyama
May 5, 2007


GEN. DAVID PETRAEUS, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, has promised to return to Washington in September to report on the outcome of his surge strategy. I hope he will say that sectarian killings, bombings and U.S. casualties are all down. But even if he does, I doubt he can offer a clear, plausible date by which the Iraqi army and police will be able to stand on their own without massive U.S. support. So regardless of what he concludes, we seem destined to enter the presidential election season with no credible date for a U.S. exit from Iraq.

In more than four years of war, there have been countless turning points at which we were led to expect decisive political progress in Iraq: the capture of Saddam Hussein (December 2003); the turnover of sovereignty (June 2004); elections for the constituent assembly (January 2005); elections to ratify the constitution (August 2005); and elections for the Iraqi parliament (December 2005).

The surge was the last military card we had to play, and now our bluff will soon be called.

In my view, there is only one condition under which we can withdraw from Iraq with our core interests fully protected and with a reasonable claim that our mission was accomplished, and that is when strong Iraqi military and police forces emerge that can operate independently of U.S. forces and prevent a takeover of the country by either Al Qaeda in Iraq, resurgent Baathists or Muqtada Sadr's Shiite militia.

Let's not kid ourselves. The situation today is in some ways much worse than the one faced by President Nixon in Vietnam 35 years ago. At that time, South Vietnam had an army with a paper strength of 1 million men that, despite its problems, was able hold on for three years after the U.S. withdrew its ground forces. The South Vietnamese army provided Henry Kissinger with his "decent interval" between the U.S. withdrawal and South Vietnam's collapse. (Indeed, Kissinger argues with some plausibility that the South Vietnamese military could have hung on indefinitely if Congress hadn't cut off funds for U.S. air support.)

Nothing like that exists or will exist in Iraq for the politically meaningful future. As of November, the Pentagon claimed it had trained 322,000 Iraqi military and police, but it admitted that the actual number on hand was much lower because of desertions and attrition. Iraqi forces continue to suffer huge shortfalls in armor, weaponry, logistics and communications, and it is unclear how they would fare without American hand-holding.

Serious training of Iraqi forces started late and never received adequate funding or top-level attention, despite the fact that Petraeus was at the helm of the training effort in recent years. The South Vietnamese army may have been nothing to write home about in 1972, but we are extremely unlikely to have an Iraqi equivalent by the end of 2007.

What all this means is that even if the surge, by September, is reducing violence in Iraq to some degree, it will not guarantee a "safe" exit strategy for U.S. forces.

But here's the problem: Do we have any other choice than to withdraw? We could stick it out, and I suspect that we could avoid losing in Iraq for another five, 10 or 15 years, as long as we're willing to maintain high troop levels, continue to spend large amounts of money and suffer more casualties. But even the most conservative Republican candidates are unlikely to campaign on a platform of staying in Iraq indefinitely when the primary season starts next winter and the war enters its sixth year.

This means that we will have to engage in a very different debate from the one we have been having up to now, a debate not about surging and not about withdrawing with our goals accomplished but about how to draw down our forces in a way that minimizes the costs that will inevitably accompany our loss of control.

This is a difficult situation, but it is necessary. The questions we need to address include: How do we reconfigure our forces to provide advice, training and support, rather than engaging in combat? How we can withdraw safely without a serious Iraqi army to cover our retreat? How will we dismantle enormous bases like Camp Liberty or Camp Victory and protect the diminishing numbers of U.S. troops in the country? Do we trust the Iraqi military and police sufficiently to turn over our equipment to them? How do we protect the lives of those who collaborated with us? The images of South Vietnamese allies hanging to the skid pads of U.S. helicopters departing Saigon should be burned into our memories.

And what if the weak Iraqi government we leave behind falls or other political crises occur when we have fewer U.S. troops to respond? Can we work with proxies, resources or arms supplies to shape outcomes?

As we draw down, the civil war is likely to intensify, and the focus of our efforts will have to shift to containing it within Iraq's borders. Preventing intervention by outside forces will become an even more urgent priority.

On the other hand, it is not necessarily the case that the situation will spiral out of control. Although the situation is graver in some ways than Vietnam, in others it is better. Although we have no equivalent to a South Vietnamese army, the enemy has no equivalent of the North Vietnamese army. It is hard to see any of the small factions struggling for power in different parts of the country emerging as a dominant force throughout Iraq.

The presence of U.S. forces has itself been a spur to terrorist recruitment, but as it becomes clear that we are on our way out, it will be easier for Iraqi nationalists to turn against the foreign jihadists (as they have already begun to do in Al Anbar province).

An intensifying civil war will be a tragedy for Iraq, but it is not the worst outcome from a U.S. standpoint to have a number of bitterly anti-American groups duking it out among themselves.

Civil wars eventually come to an end when one side wins (unlikely, in this case) or when the parties exhaust themselves and drop their maximalist aims.

The war is not lost, despite the assertions to that effect by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). But victory is not around the corner either. We need to start figuring out how to leave this zombie-like zone now.
[/q]
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:56 PM   #261
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double post.
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:03 PM   #262
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Stalemate.
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:16 PM   #263
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Stalemate.


haven't you been reading?

the only problem with Iraq is that progress simple needs to come at a more rapid pace.
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:21 PM   #264
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You are all just a bunch of negative Nellys.

Here is the truth and good news from Iraq. Read it and weep traitors!

http://www.goodnewsiraq.com/index2.htm

http://www.kmax.ws/b/goodnewsiniraq.htm
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:26 PM   #265
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Yes but that is politically impossible (even if it did progress like magic tbe dems have invested too much political capital in ending "Bush's War" and it has to be spun in a way to discredit the GOP on defence for the next decade or two).

Objectively Sting raises some valid points about the Iraq War compared to other counter-insurgency conflicts historically; but is totally ignorant of the domestic political element.

As long as US troops are on the ground there is going to be a baseline of violence; Iraq is not going to be left as a violence free country - but ensuring that the violence is manageable and reducable in the long term seems to be the only responsible course of action; although the chance to resume the tensions between the Persians and Arabs does seem to be favoured by some quarters.

The truly fucked up thing is that this will involve pandering to the same autocrats in the region and reinforcing those governments undoing the very small ammount of work and reasonably large ammount of empty verbiage on a liberalisation agenda. Nothing ever changes with governments expect spent lives and coin to essentially achieve nothing.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:15 PM   #266
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
YIraq is not going to be left as a violence free country - but ensuring that the violence is manageable and reducable in the long term seems to be the only responsible course of action;
Do you want to volunteer to go and die there in order to keep the violence at "manageable" levels? Is this what people sign up for when they join? Building nations and democracies abroad, in a country that posed no believable threat to their own? What a fraud.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:19 PM   #267
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hope it doesn't happen.



[q]12 GIs killed as carnage in Iraq rises
Military bracing for casualty jump in next 90 days

By Sudarsan Raghavan and Karin Brulliard
Washington Post

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Eight American soldiers were killed in roadside bomb attacks Sunday, one of the highest single-day death tolls this year. They were among 12 U.S. service members whose deaths were announced on a day when car bombs killed scores of Iraqis across the country, threatening to deepen sectarian tensions.

A senior U.S. commander said Sunday that the military was bracing for a rise in the casualty rate in the coming months, as an ongoing security offensive attempts to tame the catastrophic violence and stabilize Baghdad.

“All of us believe that in the next 90 days, you’ll probably see an increase in American casualties because we are taking the fight to the enemy,” Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the Army’s Task Force Marne, told reporters Sunday. “This is the only way we can win the fight.”

Even as insurgents take aim at U.S. troops, they have stepped up their attacks on so-called soft targets, especially in Shiite areas of Baghdad, in an apparent attempt to stoke sectarian warfare. In the deadliest such attack Sunday, a car bomb explosion tore through one of the capital’s biggest markets at midday, killing 42 people, police said. The blast, in the predominantly Shiite neighborhood of Baiyaa, ravaged buildings, scorched vehicles and injured at least 67 people, police said.

Under the new counterinsurgency plan, U.S. soldiers increasingly live in and patrol hostile parts of Baghdad and surrounding areas such as volatile Diyala province, where hundreds of fighters have fled to escape the offensive. The military’s goal is to wrest control of neighborhoods and towns from insurgents and militias by winning the trust of and getting information from residents.

But the strategy has multiplied the risks to U.S. soldiers. Insurgents are proving resilient and are drawing on their deep knowledge of the land to wage a guerrilla war with sophisticated tactics such as sniper and suicide attacks and the roadside bombings that kill more Americans in Iraq than any other form of violence.[/q]



i'm left with the feeling that our soldiers aren't training just the Iraqi army, but training the insurgents/Al-Qaeda/Iranian-funded Shiite militias/any pissed off jihadist from Jordan.

are we still going to claim that the threat Saddam Hussein posed to the region/world/universe is a greater threat to Joe Westerner than a suicidal jihadist becoming increasingly schooled in anti-American warfare as he's learned over the past 4 years how to kill a whole lot of civilians and honed his skills against the best army in history.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:37 PM   #268
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram


Do you want to volunteer to go and die there in order to keep the violence at "manageable" levels? Is this what people sign up for when they join? Building nations and democracies abroad, in a country that posed no believable threat to their own? What a fraud.
The Iraq state under the Baathists was an ongoing threat and tool of violence against it's own and the mass graves and documentary evidence attest to it's believability (which is convinent when the dead under Saddam can be used for anti-sanction arguments but neatly forgotten when it's declared US responsibility for the condition of Iraq began in 2003); but your right it isn't what volunteers sign up for and it is both wrong and dangerous putting them there in that position.

But there is a difference between a decade of protracted low-level violence and sectarian killings and an all out multi-state war.
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:37 PM   #269
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Sunni demand could unravel Iraqi government

May 7, 2007

Story Highlights
• Top Sunni official sets a May 15 deadline to pull out from Iraq's government
• Tariq al-Hashimi says Sunnis are feeling "meaningless" in the government
• If Sunnis aren't an equal partner, he says it's "bye-bye" political process
• He says he has rejected for now an invitation to meet with President Bush
From Nic Robertson CNN


BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's top Sunni official has set a deadline of next week for pulling his entire bloc out of the government -- a potentially devastating blow to reconciliation efforts within Iraq. He also said he turned down an offer by President Bush to visit Washington until he can count more fully on U.S. help.

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi made his comments in an interview with CNN. He said if key amendments to the Iraq Constitution are not made by May 15, he will step down and pull his 44 Sunni politicians out of the 275-member Iraqi parliament.

"If the constitution is not subject to major changes, definitely, I will tell my constituency frankly that I have made the mistake of my life when I put my endorsement to that national accord," he said.

Specifically, he wants guarantees in the constitution that the country won't be split into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish federal states that he says will disadvantage Sunnis.

Al-Hashimi's cooperation with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government is widely seen as essential if there is to be a realistic chance of bridging the Shiite-Sunni divide in Iraq -- one of the key goals of the Bush administration.

The withdrawal of the Sunni bloc would unravel months of efforts to foster political participation by Sunnis in Iraq's government. It also would further weaken al-Maliki just weeks after Shiite Cabinet ministers allied with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr bolted from the government.

Al-Hashimi's Iraqi Islamic Party was key in getting Sunnis out to vote in the December 2005 election. Sunnis had been reluctant to take part in the political process, and many were only convinced to do so with the promise of changes to the Iraqi Constitution. Al-Hashimi said the United States co-signed those changes, and now a year and a half later nothing has been done.

Without a change to the constitution, he said, "The situation would be a disaster for Iraq."

He added, "I would like to see the identity of my country, in fact, restored back."

Al-Hashimi said he has expressed his concerns to Bush, and that for now he will not travel to the United States unless he knows it will result in action. Al-Hashimi was invited to Washington during a recent phone call with Bush.

Al-Hashimi said he was "very clear" to Bush that "our [Sunni] participation is quite unfortunately becoming meaningless." Bush and al-Hashimi have met once before, in December.
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Old 05-11-2007, 05:58 PM   #270
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I guess this is the defacto "Iraq thread" now.

Is this a good thing??


Quote:
Iraq Petition Presses for Withdrawal of U.S. Troops

By KIRK SEMPLE

BAGHDAD, May 11 — A majority of Iraq’s parliament has signed a petition for a legislative timetable governing a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq, several parliamentarians said today.

The withdrawal would only take place if the Iraqi security forces became strong enough to ensure that an American departure would not create a security vacuum or make the sectarian conflict worse, the petition’s sponsors said.

“The troop withdrawal would move in parallel with the building of Iraqi troops, but their stay should not be for a long time,” said Saleh al-Igili, a member of the parliamentary bloc allied with the anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, which sponsored the petition.

Officials in the Sadrist bloc said that 144 of parliament’s 275 members — including Sunni and Shiite Arabs and at least one Kurd — had signed the petition. The document is now being developed into a draft bill by the parliament’s legal and foreign relations committees, said Bahaa al-Araji, a member of the Sadrist bloc and head of parliament’s legal committee.

The petition mirrors the demands by some Democratic lawmakers in Washington for a timetable for the gradual withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

But both President Bush and Iraq’s prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, have rejected the idea of withdrawal timetables.

The Iraqi parliamentary petition makes formal a widely-held sentiment among many lawmakers here — and among Iraqis in general — that American troops should withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible, though not before Iraqi security forces are prepared to assume control of the country’s security.

Even Mr. Sadr, who has been in the vanguard of Iraqi leaders demanding an American departure, and who withdrew his six ministers from Mr. Maliki’s cabinet in protest over the prime minister’s resistance to timetables, has cautioned against an immediate American withdrawal.
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