If American were Iraq, what would it be like? - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 09-22-2004, 04:01 PM   #1
Refugee
 
ThatGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Vertigo
Posts: 1,277
Local Time: 12:47 AM
If American were Iraq, what would it be like?

Written by Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan.

Quote:
If America were Iraq, What would it be Like?

President Bush said Tuesday that the Iraqis are refuting the pessimists and implied that things are improving in that country.

What would America look like if it were in Iraq's current situation? The population of the US is over 11 times that of Iraq, so a lot of statistics would have to be multiplied by that number.

Thus, violence killed 300 Iraqis last week, the equivalent proportionately of 3,300 Americans. What if 3,300 Americans had died in car bombings, grenade and rocket attacks, machine gun spray, and aerial bombardment in the last week? That is a number greater than the deaths on September 11, and if America were Iraq, it would be an ongoing, weekly or monthly toll.

And what if those deaths occurred all over the country, including in the capital of Washington, DC, but mainly above the Mason Dixon line, in Boston, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco?

What if the grounds of the White House and the government buildings near the Mall were constantly taking mortar fire? What if almost nobody in the State Department at Foggy Bottom, the White House, or the Pentagon dared venture out of their buildings, and considered it dangerous to go over to Crystal City or Alexandria?

What if all the reporters for all the major television and print media were trapped in five-star hotels in Washington, DC and New York, unable to move more than a few blocks safely, and dependent on stringers to know what was happening in Oklahoma City and St. Louis? What if the only time they ventured into the Midwest was if they could be embedded in Army or National Guard units?

There are estimated to be some 25,000 guerrillas in Iraq engaged in concerted acts of violence. What if there were private armies totalling 275,000 men, armed with machine guns, assault rifles (legal again!), rocket-propelled grenades, and mortar launchers, hiding out in dangerous urban areas of cities all over the country? What if they completely controlled Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver and Omaha, such that local police and Federal troops could not go into those cities?

What if, during the past year, the Secretary of State (Aqilah Hashemi), the President (Izzedine Salim), and the Attorney General (Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim) had all been assassinated?

What if all the cities in the US were wracked by a crime wave, with thousands of murders, kidnappings, burglaries, and carjackings in every major city every year?

What if the Air Force routinely (I mean daily or weekly) bombed Billings, Montana, Flint, Michigan, Watts in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Anacostia in Washington, DC, and other urban areas, attempting to target "safe houses" of "criminal gangs", but inevitably killing a lot of children and little old ladies?

What if, from time to time, the US Army besieged Virginia Beach, killing hundreds of armed members of the Christian Soldiers? What if entire platoons of the Christian Soldiers militia holed up in Arlington National Cemetery, and were bombarded by US Air Force warplanes daily, destroying thousands of graves and even pulverizing the Vietnam Memorial over on the Mall? What if the National Council of Churches had to call for a popular march of thousands of believers to converge on the National Cathedral to stop the US Army from demolishing it to get at a rogue band of the Timothy McVeigh Memorial Brigades?

What if there were virtually no commercial air traffic in the country? What if many roads were highly dangerous, especially Interstate 95 from Richmond to Washington, DC, and I-95 and I-91 up to Boston? If you got on I-95 anywhere along that over 500-mile stretch, you would risk being carjacked, kidnapped, or having your car sprayed with machine gun fire.

What if no one had electricity for much more than 10 hours a day, and often less? What if it went off at unpredictable times, causing factories to grind to a halt and air conditioning to fail in the middle of the summer in Houston and Miami? What if the Alaska pipeline were bombed and disabled at least monthly? What if unemployment hovered around 40%?


What if veterans of militia actions at Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City bombing were brought in to run the government on the theory that you need a tough guy in these times of crisis?

What if municipal elections were cancelled and cliques close to the new "president" quietly installed in the statehouses as "governors?" What if several of these governors (especially of Montana and Wyoming) were assassinated soon after taking office or resigned when their children were taken hostage by guerrillas?

What if the leader of the European Union maintained that the citizens of the United States are, under these conditions, refuting pessimism and that freedom and democracy are just around the corner?
Thoughts?
__________________

__________________
ThatGuy is offline  
Old 09-22-2004, 04:32 PM   #2
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 08:47 AM
I refer this historian to the Civil War. The United States has indeed faced far more difficult times than what is occuring in Iraq. The population of the United States at that time was about the same as it is in Iraq right now. The number of people killed in the war was over 600,000 in space of 4 years. Area's of the United States two to three times the size of Iraq and more than 15 times the size of the Sunni Triangle and Baghdad were ruined by heavy fighting.

The President of the United States at that time was Abraham Lincoln, who like George W. Bush, had never served in combat. Abraham Lincoln led this country during that difficult time, when it would have been far easier to be pessimistic, remained optimistic that the end of the war, which would eventually bring Freedom, Democracy and prosperity to the country, was just around the corner.

There was certainly lots of criticism of Abraham Lincoln and his policies at the time, but the fact is, he was doing the right thing and pressed on despite the naysayers and pessimist who included some of his own officials and military officers, as well as political opponents.

One only wonders what this historian and others would have written about the United States in 1862.
__________________

__________________
STING2 is offline  
Old 09-22-2004, 04:45 PM   #3
Refugee
 
ThatGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Vertigo
Posts: 1,277
Local Time: 12:47 AM
So Iraq is in the middle of a civil war?
__________________
ThatGuy is offline  
Old 09-22-2004, 04:46 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
nbcrusader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,071
Local Time: 12:47 AM
nice analysis
__________________
nbcrusader is offline  
Old 09-22-2004, 04:50 PM   #5
Refugee
 
ThatGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Vertigo
Posts: 1,277
Local Time: 12:47 AM
Mine? Fine, then.

The biggest difference I can see between America's civil war and Iraq's civil was is that America was already opereating as a democracy for 70-odd years when our war broke out. The biggest issue in Iraq is that not only are we trying to fight a war, but we're trying to help establish a democracy from the ground up. It's more complicated when an infrastructure is not already in place.

And STING, why don't you ask the professor himself? Click on his name in my original post to go to his homepage and e-mail him.
__________________
ThatGuy is offline  
Old 09-22-2004, 05:13 PM   #6
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 08:47 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by ThatGuy
Mine? Fine, then.

The biggest difference I can see between America's civil war and Iraq's civil was is that America was already opereating as a democracy for 70-odd years when our war broke out. The biggest issue in Iraq is that not only are we trying to fight a war, but we're trying to help establish a democracy from the ground up. It's more complicated when an infrastructure is not already in place.

And STING, why don't you ask the professor himself? Click on his name in my original post to go to his homepage and e-mail him.
I don't think Iraq is in a "civil war" which drives home my point even more. Essentially in Iraq, you have a minority in the Sunni area of the country composed of Saddam Loyalist and those that had it good under Saddam, trying to prevent the movement towards a democracy with all the tools that Saddam used to use himself on a much greater scale. Right now, most area's of Iraq rarely see the violence that is so often reported.

Take a look at the US Revolutionary War, perhaps an even more dire situation for the Commander And Chief at the time, George Washington than the Civil War.

1/3 of the country openly supported and fought for England, the loyalist. 1/3 of the country sat back and did not take sides. Only 1/3 of the country was committed to winning and fighting for freedom and independence from England. Despite the dire circumstances that those who sought to form and independent democratic state faced, they succeeded.

The situation in Iraq is not even remotely as bad as the situations faced by Americans attempting to build a new country in the 1770s or 1860s. The historian asked what if this was happening in the USA, and people said this and this. Things far worse have already happened in the USA and look at the leaders and how they prevailed.
__________________
STING2 is offline  
Old 09-22-2004, 05:23 PM   #7
Refugee
 
ThatGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Vertigo
Posts: 1,277
Local Time: 12:47 AM
I would agree with you, and I don't think that peace and freedom for Iraq is necessarily impossible. But how long did the Revolutionary war last? And how many years did it take to get the country up and running? And again, how long did the Civil War and Reconstruction take? I'm not saying that true democracy is impossible in Iraq, but it's many years if not decades away, if at all. And this is what we've been signed up for, not just a quickie war that would be over before we knew it. There may be a statue erected to George W. Bush in Iraq, but it would be years from now, not next year. And that's assuming that our involvement there would be successful at all.

And be sure to e-mail Professor Cole at his e-mail address here. I'm sure he'd love to debate your viewpoint.
__________________
ThatGuy is offline  
Old 09-22-2004, 06:19 PM   #8
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 08:47 AM
Despite what many liberals have said, the President never said that US troops would be able to leave Iraq by this time or that time. Bush when asked at the start of the war specifically said that US troops would be in Iraq for as long as it would take to accomplish the mission. Despite what many liberals say, Bush never said US troops could now withdraw from Iraq on May 1, 2003.

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln never gave a date for ending the wars they were involved in either.


The path to victory and eventual withdrawal in Iraq is through the development of an Iraqi military and police force that can handle the insurgency independent of foreign forces. This is going to take several years, and while the level of violence may now be higher than most predicted it would be by this time, it is still comparitively low by historical standards when compared to many other conflicts.

The insurgence best weapon is not any single bombing or kidnapping, but to trick foreign democratic governments into believing that they cannot win in Iraq and that their efforts have been a waste. It seems that many have been swayed by their actions into believing this, but most have not and as long as that remains the case, the insurgents will lose this war.
__________________
STING2 is offline  
Old 09-22-2004, 06:24 PM   #9
Blue Crack Addict
 
nbcrusader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,071
Local Time: 12:47 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by ThatGuy
Mine? Fine, then.
Sorry, I was referring to Sting. Your posts wasn't there when I was replying.



But I like other posts of yours
__________________
nbcrusader is offline  
Old 09-22-2004, 10:29 PM   #10
Refugee
 
ThatGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Vertigo
Posts: 1,277
Local Time: 12:47 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Despite what many liberals have said, the President never said that US troops would be able to leave Iraq by this time or that time. Bush when asked at the start of the war specifically said that US troops would be in Iraq for as long as it would take to accomplish the mission. Despite what many liberals say, Bush never said US troops could now withdraw from Iraq on May 1, 2003.

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln never gave a date for ending the wars they were involved in either.


The path to victory and eventual withdrawal in Iraq is through the development of an Iraqi military and police force that can handle the insurgency independent of foreign forces. This is going to take several years, and while the level of violence may now be higher than most predicted it would be by this time, it is still comparitively low by historical standards when compared to many other conflicts.

The insurgence best weapon is not any single bombing or kidnapping, but to trick foreign democratic governments into believing that they cannot win in Iraq and that their efforts have been a waste. It seems that many have been swayed by their actions into believing this, but most have not and as long as that remains the case, the insurgents will lose this war.
So it's the Tinkerbell Doctrine then, is it? If we think happy thoughts, clap our hands loud enough and ignore the negatives then we're going to do just fine. I take it your views jibe with the President's recent comments on the National Intellignece Estimate.
__________________
ThatGuy is offline  
Old 09-23-2004, 12:00 AM   #11
Blue Crack Addict
 
deep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Posts: 28,501
Local Time: 12:47 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Despite what many liberals have said, the President never said that US troops would be able to leave Iraq by this time or that time. Bush when asked at the start of the war specifically said that US troops would be in Iraq for as long as it would take to accomplish the mission. Despite what many liberals say, Bush never said US troops could now withdraw from Iraq on May 1, 2003.



Richard Perle said the following at an American Enterprise Institute conference on September 22, 2003:

"A year from now I'd be surprised if there's not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush."
__________________
deep is online now  
Old 09-23-2004, 03:25 AM   #12
Refugee
 
Klaus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: on a one of these small green spots at that blue planet at the end of the milky way
Posts: 2,432
Local Time: 09:47 AM
So i guess he's surprised now - well or maybee the US-military renamed some place in Baghdad to the G.W.B.-place

Anyway i guess the story is pretty nice if you try to imagine how the people down there feel.
Try to imagine the situation above (Daily 9/11s) and then add "comments" like "Why do they allways report about the bad things and not about the things which have improoved etc
__________________
Klaus is offline  
Old 09-23-2004, 06:22 PM   #13
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 08:47 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by deep




Richard Perle said the following at an American Enterprise Institute conference on September 22, 2003:

"A year from now I'd be surprised if there's not some grand square in Baghdad that is named after President Bush."
And thousands of liberals and anti-war protestors claimed millions of Iraqi's would be killed in the war and that there would be 900,000 refugees living in other countries. There would be revolts throughout the middle east and all of the governments the USA support would be overthrown.
__________________
STING2 is offline  
Old 09-23-2004, 06:46 PM   #14
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 08:47 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by ThatGuy


So it's the Tinkerbell Doctrine then, is it? If we think happy thoughts, clap our hands loud enough and ignore the negatives then we're going to do just fine. I take it your views jibe with the President's recent comments on the National Intellignece Estimate.
Its funny how liberals will pay attention to the National Intelligence Estimate in 2004, but completely ignore it in 2002!

The Tinkerbell Doctrine is John Kerry's plan for Iraq when he becomes President. His plan as president is to go to the UN and ask other countries for aid. He is going to get thousands of French and German troops on the ground in Iraq as well as Chinese and Russian troops. Most of the fighting and and money for development will come from these and other countries.

This is indeed the Tinkerbell Doctrine. It ignores the facts of what the United States government has already done. It has asked every corner of the globe to help aid in the mission and has followed the UN system to the tee. Unfortunately, the French government would rather someone else take care of what is in their vital interest as well as the globes vital interest. Germany is conflicted with Ghost of World War II and is the most unlikely candidate to send significant numbers of troops despite their participation in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Russia is simply to poor and has to many other problems to be sending troops to Iraq. China has never participated in any similar operation and is unlikely to now. It would rather watch its potential competitor and opponent solve the problem on its own. In addition, all of the countries with the exception of France has serious problems with projecting significant military power this far beyond its borders.

Kerry creates this image they he will bring hundreds of thousands of foriegn troops to take over the mission in Iraq, and there is nothing that could be farther from the truth. He is essentially talking of foreign troops and capabilities which, in many cases, simply don't currently exist.

Kerry has no understanding of these realities and does not understand that it is not this fantasy of foreign troops that will ultimately stabilize Iraq, but Iraqi's themselves.

Any operation of this magnitude will have problems no matter what plan or startegy is in place. Kerry is unwilling to aknowledge that and wants people to believe that if he were president, he would have been able to build an Iraqi Disney Land.

If Kerry is elected President, and wants to see Iraq succeed, he will have to suffer the embarrasment that his tinkerbell doctrine is, just that, and will be forced to continue the strategies of Bush. He will certainly try to spin it differently, but all the fundamentals will be the same.

The Ultimate Irony is, the more successful a possible Kerry administration is in Iraq, the better it will make George Bush look in the long run.
__________________
STING2 is offline  
Old 09-23-2004, 06:48 PM   #15
Rock n' Roll Doggie
FOB
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 8,876
Local Time: 08:47 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus
So i guess he's surprised now - well or maybee the US-military renamed some place in Baghdad to the G.W.B.-place

Anyway i guess the story is pretty nice if you try to imagine how the people down there feel.
Try to imagine the situation above (Daily 9/11s) and then add "comments" like "Why do they allways report about the bad things and not about the things which have improoved etc
I've got best friends on the ground right now in Iraq that are in the thick of things. The media is not reporting what they do and the success they are having.
__________________

__________________
STING2 is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:47 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com