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Old 03-29-2007, 05:01 PM   #46
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Saudi king slams 'illegitimate occupation' of Iraq

by Lydia GeorgiWed Mar 28, 8:10 AM ET

Saudi King Abdullah, whose country is a close US ally, on Wednesday slammed the "illegitimate foreign occupation" of Iraq in an opening speech to the annual Arab summit in Riyadh.

"In beloved Iraq, blood is being shed among brothers in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation, and ugly sectarianism threatens civil war," Abdullah said.

He also said that Arab nations, which are planning to revive a five-year-old Middle East peace plan at the summit, would not allow any foreign force to decide the future of the region.

In the past, Saudi leaders including Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal have often criticised US policy in Iraq but have never described its presence there as "illegitimate."

Seriously

"President Bush once said he was determined to stick with the Iraq war even if his wife and his dog were the only ones left at his side."

I guess it will be the same if the Iraqis ask us to leave.

Can anyone get to Barney and Laura?
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:46 PM   #47
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Monarch's remarks provoke rare US retort

By LEE KEATH and DONNA ABU-NASR
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia —

King Abdullah's harsh — and unexpected — attack on the U.S. military presence in Iraq could be a Saudi attempt to signal to Washington its anger over the situation in Iraq and build credibility among fellow Arabs.

The kingdom has taken an aggressive leadership role to quiet Mideast troubles, and wanted to show other Arabs it was willing to put their interests above its close ties to the United States.

The White House, in a rare public retort Thursday, rejected the king's characterization of U.S. troops in Iraq as an "illegitimate foreign occupation," saying the United States was not in Iraq illegally.

"We disagree with them," Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns told senators. "We were a little surprised to see those remarks."
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Old 03-29-2007, 05:57 PM   #48
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I"m not surprised that the Saudis are pissed off at us over Iraq. After all, we've botched it over there.
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:17 AM   #49
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Old 03-30-2007, 02:55 AM   #50
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Guess that's the smoking gun we were looking for that Bush is in bed with the Saudis (or at least one of them)
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:39 AM   #51
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America’s ‘Seinfeld’ strategy in Iraq

By Michael Fullilove March 29th 2007

The history of US foreign policy is punctuated by a series of doctrines. The Monroe doctrine (1823) declared that European powers would not be allowed to intrude into the western hemisphere. The Truman doctrine (1947) committed Washington to assisting free peoples in the fight against communism. The Nixon doctrine (1969) warned that America’s allies would need to assume primary responsibility for their own defence.

In recent times US grand strategy has been guided by a new kind of doctrine, named after not its author but its exemplar: the Costanza doctrine.

This doctrine, which had its heyday in 2002-2004 but remains influential, recalls the classic episode of the TV comedy Seinfeld, “The Opposite”, in which George Costanza temporarily improves his fortunes by rejecting all the principles according to which he has lived his life and doing the opposite of what his training indicates he should do. As Jerry tells him: “If every instinct you have is wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.”

Emboldened, he tries a counter-intuitive pick-up line on an attractive woman: “My name is George. I’m unemployed and I live with my parents.” At the end of their date, when she invites him up to her apartment, he demurs, cautioning that they do not know each other well enough. “Who are you, George Costanza?” the lady asks. Replies George: “I’m the opposite of every guy you’ve ever met.”

The Iraq policy pursued by the Bush administration satisfies the Costanza criterion: it is the opposite of every foreign policy the world has ever met.

The Costanza doctrine is most closely associated with President George W. Bush and his first-term confidants: the wild-eyed neo-cons and the dead-eyed ultra-cons. But there is a wider group, which includes most presidential candidates and many of Washington’s foreign policy elite, who are not fully paid-up subscribers to the doctrine but went along with it nonetheless. Allied governments in London, Madrid and Canberra also signed up.

In “The Opposite”, George breaches the most fundamental laws in his universe – for example, the age-old principle that “bald men with no jobs and no money, who live with their parents, don’t approach strange women”.

Similarly, in its geopolitical incarnation, adherents to the Costanza doctrine cast aside many of the fundamental tenets they learnt at staff college or graduate school. Let me name a few.

First, military and diplomatic resources are finite and should be directed towards your greatest priority. An example of the opposite approach would be for a country that has been attacked by a non-state terrorist group to retaliate by removing a state regime that had nothing to do with the attack.

Second, take care not to weaken your intimidatory powers through poor military performance. Aim for short, sharp victories (such as that in the 1991 Gulf war) that get your adversaries worrying about the extent of US power. The opposite would be to launch a war of choice involving the drawn-out occupation of an Arab country – the kind of thing that gets your allies worrying about the limits of US power.

Third, you get by with help from friends. Although the powerful are sometimes tempted to go it alone, international support helps determine the perceived legitimacy of an action, which affects its risk and costs. Building this support requires discussion and compromise. The opposite would be to spurn real negotiations, slough off your allies, bin multilateral agreements you do not like and declare that you are not bound by the rules that govern everyone else.

Fourth, state-building is hard. Few of the international efforts at state-building since the cold war’s end have succeeded. Luckily there are numberless reports identifying lessons learnt. The alternative would be to do the opposite of what those reports recommend, for example by deploying insufficient troops and dismantling any extant national institutions such as the army.

Fifth, democracy is a blessing that requires patient nurturing. The opposite approach would be to seek to impose democracy by force of arms on a population traumatised by decades of vicious and totalitarian rule.

Sixth, politics, like nature, abhors a vacuum. If two dangerous states are struggling for dominance of a strategic region, maintaining a balance between them may be the least worst option. The opposite would be to emasculate one of them, thereby greatly increasing the relative power of the other.

Finally, historians often cite the need for prudence in international relations, quoting the physician’s dictum: “First, do no harm.” The opposite would be: “Don’t think too much, just chance your arm and see what happens!”

There is a moment in “The Opposite” when George Costanza pre-empts some hooligans making a ruckus at the movie theatre: “Shut your mouths or I’ll shut ’em for ya. And if you think I’m kidding, just try me. Try me! Because I would love it!”

For a while, that kind of method worked – for both Georges. Then normal service resumed. The Costanza doctrine is all about hope, but when it comes to making your way, in New York or the world, experience is the better guide.

The writer directs the global issues programme at the Lowy Institute for International Policy in Sydney

The Financial Times Limited 2007
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Old 03-30-2007, 10:43 AM   #52
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Whether we get out now, next year, or 10 years from now, the result is the same- the puppet government we support WILL fall and the country WILL fall into a multifactional civil war likely resulting in either a radical Taliban type government, or another Saddam. Only a dictator of his extemity could control a nation of such varied factions that never should have been forced together into one country in the first place. So I say GET OUT NOW. Why should even one more American die when you're not going to stop or change a thing.

I'm tired of people saying if we leave all will go to ruin. Sure it will, but that is going to happen eventually anyway so let's go now. There is no hope of installing and maintaining a government friendly to the US because that's not the nature of Iraq, their people and their culture and it will never happen.
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:11 AM   #53
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Originally posted by AnnRKeyintheUSA
Whether we get out now, next year, or 10 years from now, the result is the same- the puppet government we support WILL fall and the country WILL fall into a multifactional civil war likely resulting in either a radical Taliban type government, or another Saddam. Only a dictator of his extemity could control a nation of such varied factions that never should have been forced together into one country in the first place. So I say GET OUT NOW. Why should even one more American die when you're not going to stop or change a thing.

I'm tired of people saying if we leave all will go to ruin. Sure it will, but that is going to happen eventually anyway so let's go now. There is no hope of installing and maintaining a government friendly to the US because that's not the nature of Iraq, their people and their culture and it will never happen.
Actually, a part of me agrees with this. The direct threat has been removed. If we focus only a part of those resources currently being spent in Iraq on border protection and US extremist mosques - we will be relatively safe from the terrorists. You can never fully eliminate the threat, but we can certainly mitigate it.


Our Air Force and Navy planes combined with our Special Forces are more than capable of taking care of all future foreign threats (Iran, Syria, Lebanon..etc).
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:17 PM   #54
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Originally posted by AEON


Actually, a part of me agrees with this. The direct threat has been removed. If we focus only a part of those resources currently being spent in Iraq on border protection and US extremist mosques - we will be relatively safe from the terrorists. You can never fully eliminate the threat, but we can certainly mitigate it.


Our Air Force and Navy planes combined with our Special Forces are more than capable of taking care of all future foreign threats (Iran, Syria, Lebanon..etc).
Yes, but if, and I hate to say it,

but when you get stationed over there (if the Administration continues to have a free hand)

You won't be able to voice this opinion.


The thing is,
I believe if there was a pull out date
most of the violence would stop.


Each side ( or should I say the different sides) would just bide their time and try and consolidate power for the time when Iraq was left to Iraqis to struggle for the spoils.

Americans can stay there for ten more years,
and the insurgents or whatever you want to call them, also the Shiite death squads will keep on doing what they are doing, at times and places of their choosing.


How will it be better if we have a wall with 6000? 7000? 10,000 names on it
instead of 3300?
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:30 PM   #55
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Originally posted by AnnRKeyintheUSA
Whether we get out now, next year, or 10 years from now, the result is the same- the puppet government we support WILL fall and the country WILL fall into a multifactional civil war likely resulting in either a radical Taliban type government, or another Saddam. Only a dictator of his extemity could control a nation of such varied factions that never should have been forced together into one country in the first place. So I say GET OUT NOW. Why should even one more American die when you're not going to stop or change a thing.

I'm tired of people saying if we leave all will go to ruin. Sure it will, but that is going to happen eventually anyway so let's go now. There is no hope of installing and maintaining a government friendly to the US because that's not the nature of Iraq, their people and their culture and it will never happen.
So why not suggest the same policy for Afghanistan? After all Afghanistan has a real history of multifactional civil war and is much further removed from western standards of culture and government than Iraq is.

The same hopeless attitude was expressed about US intervention in Bosnia, a real civil war where nearly 10% of the population was slaughtered. Yet 12 years later, Bosnia is at peace with a rising standard of living that is better than Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and many of its neighbors.

Iraq will eventually develop a government and military force that will be able to handle its internal problems without foreign troops provided the international community does not walk away from it so early in the nation building process. The same can be said for Afghanistan.
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:43 PM   #56
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Hello Sting,



Each mission is different, with different difficulties, threats, costs and probabilities of success.


Reagan got out of Lebanon.

Clinton got out of Somalia


Bush 1 went so far with Desert Storm and contained Saddam and pulled back.

I realize that in most of the above and even Viet Nam you would have advocated more engagement

Well, those administrations and the overwelming sediment of the American people would not.
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:52 PM   #57
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Originally posted by deep


Yes, but if, and I hate to say it,

but when you get stationed over there (if the Administration continues to have a free hand)

You won't be able to voice this opinion.


The thing is,
I believe if there was a pull out date
most of the violence would stop.


Each side ( or should I say the different sides) would just bide their time and try and consolidate power for the time when Iraq was left to Iraqis to struggle for the spoils.

Americans can stay there for ten more years,
and the insurgents or whatever you want to call them, also the Shiite death squads will keep on doing what they are doing, at times and places of their choosing.


How will it be better if we have a wall with 6000? 7000? 10,000 names on it
instead of 3300?
Its military insanity to announce a pullout date for a military force of that size. It simply gives the enemy time to plan and execute attacks, particularly on logistical and transportation assets, that would be more exposed in any sort of a pull out, especially a rapid one as proposed by most democrats.

It was predicted by many that the Bosnia Croats, Serbs, and Muslims would fight for the next 1,000 years. That obviously did not and will not happen. Counter insurgency and nation building takes a long time and is very expensive, but provided the effort is not abandoned in any way, it will eventually succeed in bringing about stability which in this case is important to regional and global security.

The Taliban will continue to cause problems in Afghanistan for years to come, but no one is advocating a withdrawal from Afghanistan because of that fact. A responsible withdrawal will come once the Afghan and Iraqi governments no longer require foreign troops to insure their internal security.

Abandoning Iraq now will simply allow a Bosnian bloodbath on an Iraqi scale to happen, destabilize the region and create the conditions for a war that will be impossible for the United States to avoid with far greater risk and much heavier casualties. Iraq is not Somalia and the United States is not immune to the consequences of simply walking away as it was in Somalia. The United States and the rest of the planet will be dependent on energy from the region for the next couple of decades at a minimum, regardless of what happens in the search for alternative resources.

Its ironic that Democrats are so insistent on fighting in Afghanistan where non-Taliban Al Quada activity is near zero, but want to pull out of the country where Al Quada is launching the vast majority of its attacks.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:08 PM   #58
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Originally posted by STING2


The United States and the rest of the planet will be dependent on energy from the region for the next couple of decades at a minimum, regardless of what happens in the search for alternative resources.


what is your point?

If a Shiite Iraqi government were in league with Iran
and they controlled the oil, what would they do with it?




The oil just gets put on the world market.

The price would probably come down.

Is Chavez impacting the oil market?

He controls quite a bit
and is probably more anti-Bush than Iran?


When an oil tanker sails across the Atlantic
ownership of the oil contained therein, changes ownership about 300 times.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:27 PM   #59
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Originally posted by deep
Hello Sting,



Each mission is different, with different difficulties, threats, costs and probabilities of success.


Reagan got out of Lebanon.

Clinton got out of Somalia


Bush 1 went so far with Desert Storm and contained Saddam and pulled back.

I realize that in most of the above and even Viet Nam you would have advocated more engagement

Well, those administrations and the overwelming sediment of the American people would not.
Well, Iraq is NOT Lebanon or Somalia in regards to how it impacts United States security. Its not Vietnam either. Given the vital oil reserves that sit just across the border in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, vital to the survival of the global economy, stability in Iraq is not something that can simply be dismissed.

Bush 1 would have gone to Baghdad had Saddam continued to fight coalition forces. No one wants to engage in the kind of nationbuilding and counter insurgency warfare that is going on in Iraq or Afghanistan because it is enormously difficult, costly and takes an enormous amount of time to succeed. That is why with Saddam's acceptance of the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire terms, it was felt containment was better than regime removal at that time. But containment fell apart and Saddam showed no signs he was serious about compliance or avoiding the types of policies he had engaged in in the 1980s and early 1990s which is why regime change became a necessity despite the cost.

Same with Afghanistan. Although many felt removal of the Taliban was necessary in order to get at Al Quada in the 1990s, it was not done because of the projected cost. But in both cases, events and the potential cost of not acting became far greater than the cost of actual action.

The majority of Americans actually supported the Iraq war for 2 and half years. But as always happens with many difficult counter insurgency efforts, the time and difficulty in engaging in such and effort causes division at home and eventually a majority of the population voting against the effort. If the Civil War had lasted longer and the Presidential election was a year later, Lincoln likely would have lost re-election which would have led to an administration that would have essentially surrendered to the confederacy. But the reality was, it was only a matter of time before the North would have won the civil war given the resources at its disposal versus what the South had. The only way the North could lose and the one thing that the South hoped for, was that North would give up the fight. That is precisely what Sunni insurgents, Al Quada, and other anti-coalition forces in Iraq are hoping will happen with the current conflict. They know that if the United States continues to expend the necessary resources in the conflict, they will never win, but if they can convince the majority of the domestic population that winning is not possible or not worth it, then the US population can accomplish in the next election what they could never do themselves, the removal of all coalition troops from Iraq.

But public opinion can change, and if over the next 18 months operations in Iraq are successful enough to change the public perception of the war, public opinion for a withdrawal may drop from 65% to below 55% which may be enough to allow a Republican victory in November 2008 or allow a Clinton campaign/administration to adopt a more moderate view about withdrawal and the war in Iraq.
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Old 03-30-2007, 08:39 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep




what is your point?

If a Shiite Iraqi government were in league with Iran
and they controlled the oil, what would they do with it?




The oil just gets put on the world market.

The price would probably come down.

Is Chavez impacting the oil market?

He controls quite a bit
and is probably more anti-Bush than Iran?


When an oil tanker sails across the Atlantic
ownership of the oil contained therein, changes ownership about 300 times.
Stop talking sense!!

The oil companies are loving the conflict in the Middle East. Record profits continue to rise. It also encourages oil development in regions like the tar sands and offshore in Newfoundland which would be too expensive to produce at lower oil prices. Freaking "uncertainty" is what causes instability in oil prices. The oil companies could care less if a dictator runs the country where the oil comes from, ahem, Saudi Arabia, so long as the oil gets to the market. Which it will because not selling the oil would be stupid.
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