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Old 09-29-2006, 02:07 PM   #106
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If we only wanted oil then we should have just cut a deal with Saddam, he was willing to sell and the world was willing to buy.

The Bush administration has taken a half-hearted approach, on one hand they take out Saddam and support democratic government to emerge but on the other they stifle change by backing the some of the less bad dictatorships who crack down on their own democrats - it's bad policy to sit on the fence it helps nobody and leaves you exposed on all fronts.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:28 PM   #107
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The Bush administration has taken a half-hearted approach, on one hand they take out Saddam and support democratic government to emerge but on the other they stifle change by backing the some of the less bad dictatorships who crack down on their own democrats - it's bad policy to sit on the fence it helps nobody and leaves you exposed on all fronts.

true.

either send 500,000 troops, raise taxes, and start a draft, or don't do it at all.

it's crystal clear that, with 7,000 Iraqis dead in July and August alone, the present course isn't working, and the present course was dictated by a combination of politics, personal vendettas, ideology, and just plain incompetence.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:40 PM   #108
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Im not sure that it is just the troop numbers, more soldiers on the ground equals more targets which equals more dead.

Being hesitant in the early stages; not going into the Sunni triangle with a large show of force, holding off the assault on Fallujah during an election year (and thus allowing AQ in Iraq to have a base of operations) and

The rhetoric of both staying the course and the present course isn't working is partisan bullshit on both sides; there is truth to both, the decision to cut and run from rebuilding and allowing the process to have been such a black hole for money (why not have a colonial office to hand nation building? people who can do it right?)

The early mistakes are coming to fruition, they have been poltical and not military - not bringing the material to rebuild Iraqs decaying infrastruture that we had been keeping run down for a decade was one, allowing Muqtada al Sadr to gain power another big one.

the coalition has done brilliantly on the military front; it has been a magnitude beyond Vietnam, but on the flipside the perception shows that the US never kicked the Vietnam syndrome - it just became even stronger and hyperbolic.

Everybody should be supporting Iraqi democrats and the Iraqi people against the religious nihilists and the fascists who are murdering them daily. These groups will be defeated by the Iraqi's -doing this and keeping the country a democracy should be a framework for this goal.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:52 PM   #109
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by AliEnvy


Well said - and certainly if that threat was a clear and present danger then it would warrant SIGNIFICANT action.

In what way exactly would you say that Saddam posed an immediate and significant threat to the Persian Gulf Oil supply in 2003 that the US didn't prove being able to handle effectively in 1991?




Yes indeed, Saddam killed thousands mercilessly with chemical weapons which, in light of 911, made it the obvious selling point for the removal of Saddam.

As it turns out, he posed no real WMD threat to Americans.

Iraq, prior to the invasion had no real connection to al Qaeda.

Yet, a few years ago Iraq somehow posed a significant, immediate threat to Americans that outweighed the potential significant rise of Islamofacsim and jihadism throughout the whole region that has now come to pass.

If the Persion Gulf Oil supply was under seizure or sabbatoge threat, people all ove the world could relate to and support effort to protect it. In fact they did in 1990-91 so there would have been no need for all the WMD, War on Terror bullshit.

What else could change in oil markets that could potentially trigger a global economic depression that made it necessary to occupy Iraq...
I'm afraid you don't realize how close events came to total disaster back in August of 1990. Most of the Persian Gulfs oil supply, both production and known reserves, is located in a small area clustered around Kuwait. Kuzusistan in Iran, right next door to Kuwait has most of Iran's supply and was the initial objective of Saddam's invasion of Iran in 1980. Kuwait has more, but the real prize is Saudi Arabia. Most of the reserves are located in area starting only a few dozen miles south of the Kuwait border.

Had Saddam pushed his troops forward after taking Kuwait in 12 hours, he could have overrun this area in Saudi Arabia and then moved in significant reinforcements to take the rest of the country and close of the ports, prior to the arrival of any US troops. No one had ever believed that Saddam would actually attack another Arab country, except for a single young CIA officer at the time named Kenneth Pollack, but he did and if he had continued further south, there would have been little that could have been done to stop him at the time.

Whats more, the United States was massively reliant on Saudi Ports and cities to help build up the force that eventually re-took Kuwait. Without the staging area of Saudi Arabia, the ability to respond to the Persian Gulf being overrun like this by an army the size of Saddam would have been extremely difficult and taken much more time, time enough for Saddam to effectively ruin the global economy with his new prize.


That is why after the 1st Persian Gulf War was over, the criteria for whether or not there would be further military action against Saddam would not be based on a new attack on his neighbors but his compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions that required him to completely and verifiably disarm of all WMD, repair the damage he did to Kuwait as well as account for missing Kuwaiti civilians, etc. It also required and unbroken string of Sanctions and a Weapons Embargo to ensure that Saddam could not rebuild his military capacity with modern weapons in the future that could threaten the military balance and the ability to stop him if military action broke out.

Another key factor in when to use military force again in the future was the fact that the United States could not indefintely base large numbers of troops in either Kuwait or Saudi Arabia because the regimes there wanted to keep the US presence low for political reasons. A few hundred troops were allowed to be stationed in Kuwait and a few thousand were were allowed to be stationed in Saudi Arabia. Such forces though on their own were far from being enough to repel an attack by Saddam and even in Saddam's weakened state, CIA computer similiations showed it was still potentially possible for him to overrun Kuwait even with a rushed US response to the Persian Gulf region.

So given all those factors above, the United States and its Allies could not afford to allow Saddam not to comply on disarmament when it came to WMD and be able to get out effectively from sanctions and the Weapons Embargo.

Saddam failed to verifiably disarm, and the sanctions and embargo crumbled, giving Saddam the ability to re-arm, an showing that he had every intention of trying to dominate the Persian Gulf again as he had done in the 1980s and early 1990s. That was the red line that could not be crossed and Saddam crossed it. The World was not going to wait for Saddam to rebuild the capacity he had prior to 1990 so he would have the opportunity to successfully menace the world in a way he missed his opportunity to do in 1990. It was hoped after his defeat in the 1st Gulf War that he would have cooperated and stopped his madness, but he didn't. The only way to ensure that the serious threat did not materialize again was to remove him. This is what the world approved in the 17 UN resolutions that were passed and the UN Ceacefire Agreement that ended the 1st Gulf War. Saddam would be forced to comply with military force if needed, the risk of non-compliance and combined with the failure of sanctions and the embargo would be too great.

The coalition that was on the ground in Iraq in 2003 was nearly just as large in terms of countries as the one that was on the ground there in 1991 as well as in terms of the ratio between the US number of troops and other countries numbers of troops. In 1991, the United States made up 75% of the force and in 2003 it made up 85% of the force, not much of a difference at all.

The United States and coalition allies successfully dealt with the threat of Saddam when it became necessary to do so. Waiting for another event like August of 1990 before acting again would have been crazy given the potential risk.
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Old 09-29-2006, 02:56 PM   #110
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
If we only wanted oil then we should have just cut a deal with Saddam, he was willing to sell and the world was willing to buy.
And that was all well and good until he changed the payment terms. In 2000, he made deals to sell oil in Euros.

The first thing the US did in 2003 when they took control of the Iraqi oil fields was immediately revert back to sales in Dollars.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:12 PM   #111
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by STING2
The United States and coalition allies successfully dealt with the threat of Saddam when it became necessary to do so.
He had no WMD...what was the urgency?
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:24 PM   #112
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by AliEnvy


He had no WMD...what was the urgency?
Take time to actually read what I posted, I explain the urgency given a variety of factors both past and present.

No WMD was found, but that does not prove he never had any WMD because Saddam never accounted for 1,000 Liters of Anthrax, 500 pounds of Nerve Gas, 500 pounds of mustard gas as well as 20,000 Bio/Chem capable artillery shells.

US and coalition intelligence abilities prior to the 1st Gulf War and prior to the 2003 war showed that we did not have an effective way of being able to tell what Saddam did or did not have. Saddam's cooperation through the process of Verifiable Disarmament was the only effective way short of regime removal to insure that he did not have or build new WMD. The process failed to verifiably disarm Saddam because Saddam never fully cooperated with the process. The only way then to insure that he did not have, or build new WMD was to remove him from power.

Verifiable Disarment by Saddam, not whether the coalition or inspectors actually found some WMD at building x, or site B was the criteria for military action. The goal here is to prevent the Crises of August 1990, not wait to re-live it.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:33 PM   #113
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by AliEnvy


He had no WMD...what was the urgency?


Saddam was set up.

he could never comply to the satisfaction of the US interpretation of UN Resolutions, and there was never an expectation that he would have, or could ever, have complied.
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:41 PM   #114
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by STING2
Had Saddam pushed his troops forward after taking Kuwait in 12 hours, he could have overrun this area in Saudi Arabia and then moved in significant reinforcements to take the rest of the country and close of the ports, prior to the arrival of any US troops.
Then why didn't he?

Btw, do you prefer Kenneth, Kenny or Ken?
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Old 09-29-2006, 03:57 PM   #115
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Originally posted by Irvine511





either send 500,000 troops, raise taxes, and start a draft, or don't do it at all.

it's crystal clear that, with 7,000 Iraqis dead in July and August alone, the present course isn't working, and the present course was dictated by a combination of politics, personal vendettas, ideology, and just plain incompetence.
7,000 dead, mainly from a single province of over 5 million people does not make it crystal clear that the process has failed. If the situation was not working, the elections and passing of the constitution would have been impossible. There would be no Iraqi government in place out all. In a country the size of Iraq, a disasterous Civil War as you so often describe it would have involved 80,000 dead through out Iraq in July and August.

You can't site single casualty figures from one or two provinces in a country with 18 provinces and claim that it is representive of what is going on everywhere.

There is a government in place and process to negotiate and work at the problems of sectarian violence in Baghdad and some Sunni Arab's refusal to join and support the new government. Abandoning the process for which so many Iraqi's and Americans have worked in sacrificed for would be a terrible mistake. Nation Building takes years and you can't throw up your hands two years into a 10 plus year process and claim because a two month casualty figure from mainly a single province in the country means the process has failed and that its time to leave. You can't be claiming total victory or total defeat in a process like this until 5 to 10 years of constant and seriously engaged work has transpired.

The cost of the war in dollars is relatively small to past wars the United States has been involved in. The United States is currently spending a smaller percentage of its GDP on the military and reconstruction and war fighting in both Afghanistan and Iraq, than it did on the military alone in the 1980s or any time during the Cold War, peacetime or wartime.

The United States military has 89 ground combat brigades. It has 17 in Iraq at any given time, plus another 10 deployed to other hotspots or potential hotspots in other parts of the globe. Given the longterm nature of the reconstruction, counter insurgency, and nation building projects in Iraq and Afghanistan, the maximum number of total brigades that can be deployed to these efforts cannot exceed half of the total force so that units can be withdrawn to rest, refit and train before being deployed again. This means that the force in Iraq could potentially be doubled given the longterm effort required, but no more given the size of the ground combat force the United States has. The Army is being restructered to create more combat brigades in the coming years with more of the support and non-combat tasks being taking over by civilians. In addition, the Army chiefs have just agreed to expand the authorized level of the Active Duty Army by 70,000, which will take several years to complete.

The real and longterm solution is not more US troops on the ground, although I agree at the current stage it would defintely help, but building the Iraqi military and police force in size and capability. What will ultimately end and defeat the insurgency is the Iraqi military/police force and the political process now in place since June. The Iraqi police and military forces once they are trained and increased in size, will be more effective at counterinsurgency operations just as the Police in Northern Ireland were more effective than the British Army in ultimately defeating the IRA. Both have important roles to play, but intelligence is best gathered by locals in their communities, and good intelligence is usually the more important factor than large numbers of police or troops when it comes to cracking down on insurgencies. The political and economic aspects are just as important as the security aspect. Running from the political and economic accomplishments of the past 3 years instead of strengthening them is an excellant way to make the security situation worse.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:05 PM   #116
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by STING2
US and coalition intelligence abilities prior to the 1st Gulf War and prior to the 2003 war showed that we did not have an effective way of being able to tell what Saddam did or did not have.
Yet the policy on taking further military action after 1991 was predicated on Verifiable Disarmament when really, it wasn't verifiable at all...so pretty much free license...
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:05 PM   #117
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by Irvine511




Saddam was set up.

he could never comply to the satisfaction of the US interpretation of UN Resolutions, and there was never an expectation that he would have, or could ever, have complied.
The process was no different than the verifiable disarmaments of countries like Kazakstan, Ukraine, Belarus, or South Africa. All of those countries fully accounted for their stockpiles of WMD and dismantled or removed them under UN surpivision. Saddam had the opportunity to do the same and he refused to cooperate. He spent the mid-1990s blocking UN inspections of key sites, while trucks lined up removing unknown materials from the back. If there was nothing to hide, why bother playing the game? Come clean, create an opportunity to lift the sanctions and make more money for yourself. Its what any rational person who had no desire to have WMD or invade other countries would have done. Supposedly dismantling weapons in secret and not recording when and where it happened is not evidence of disarmament.

Every UN inspector agreed that Saddam never fully complied with UN Security Council Resolutions in regards to WMD, despite the fact he strung the process out 12 years with his game, a process that was only supposed to take 2 years at most as it had done in other countries with large sophisticated nuclear stockpiles like the Ukraine.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:09 PM   #118
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Originally posted by AliEnvy


Yet the policy on taking further military action after 1991 was predicated on Verifiable Disarmament when really, it wasn't verifiable at all...so pretty much free license...
Not from the point of intelligence agencies outside the country, but from the point of UN inspectors on the ground Saddam's full cooperation, and a tight set of sanctions and weapons embargo, it was possible to achieve verifiable disarmament and a process to monitor it after it was completed. Unfortunately, this never happened.
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:11 PM   #119
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Originally posted by STING2
The real and longterm solution is not more US troops on the ground, although I agree at the current stage it would defintely help, but building the Iraqi military and police force in size and capability. What will ultimately end and defeat the insurgency is the Iraqi military/police force and the political process now in place since June.
Wasn't that the plan in South Vietnam?
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Old 09-29-2006, 04:15 PM   #120
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraq has made us less safe, end of story

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Then why didn't he?

Btw, do you prefer Kenneth, Kenny or Ken?
It was a serious strategic blunder that he himself alluded to later in documents that have been found since the invasion. Its not the first time Saddam mis-caculated and it would not be the last either.
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