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Old 07-10-2003, 01:25 PM   #1
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Iraq Policy Is Broken. Fix It.

[Q]We’re utterly surprised,” a senior U.N. diplomat told me. “We thought that after the war, the United States would try to dump Iraq on the world’s lap and the rest of the world would object, saying, ‘This is your mess, you clean it up.’ The opposite is happening. The rest of the world is saying, ‘We’re willing to help,’ but Washington is determined to run Iraq itself.” And what are we getting for this privilege? The vast majority of the costs, for starters.

MOST ESTIMATES SUGGEST that Iraq is now costing U.S. taxpayers $4 billion a month.[/Q]

If this is a UN Operation, why are we fitting a majority of the costs? If all of these resolutions clearly make this an operation of the UN, where is the UN $$$.

[Q]The solution is obvious: internationalize the occupation. The Pentagon claims it already is—by getting troops from various Coalition partners. Here is what that means: Britain, Poland and maybe India will each lead a division. But few countries have active, well-trained troops in the numbers needed. So the British division will include troops from seven countries, sometimes just a few hundred. (The Czech contribution is 650.) The Polish division will have only 2,300 Polish troops, the rest coming from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. Even so, the division will be a small one, about 9,000 (as opposed to 15,000, which is more the norm). I’m not a military expert, but can this work as a fighting force?[/Q]

Wow, I wonder where we have heard this before????? Clearly our "coalition allies" are not able to give us more support. Where could we get this support?

[Q]There is one group of nations with large numbers of well-trained troops, experienced in peacekeeping and in working with the United States Army. It’s called NATO. The problem for the Bush administration is that calling on NATO means bringing France and Germany back into the fold. My suggestion: get over it. Even for NATO countries, sending large numbers of troops is not going to be easy. Besides, without NATO at the core, the Coalition of Iraq forces will be constantly changing, an ad hoc group with no experience working together.
But we will still need more troops. In order to get other countries—perhaps Muslim countries—to participate, Washington should give the United Nations a more central role. (Alternatively, create a multinational body specifically for the reconstruction of Iraq, blessed by the United Nations, with many foreign faces.) In virtually every negotiation the administration has had for more troops, countries have expressed a strong preference to be part of a U.N. mission rather than a U.S. mission.In India right now, the government is keen to send a division to northern Iraq, but it knows that it will pay a political price without U.N. cover.[/Q]

Wait a minute, ask Nato????? Get more Arab support????? Make this a UN Operation? I thought this was a UN operation? AM I missing something? Nations are still not willing to send troops because it is NOT a UN Operation?


[Q]The European Union and Japan, the two donors with big aid budgets, are far more likely to put large sums of money into a U.N. operation than a U.S. occupation. [/Q]

I must be missing something. Didn't Resolution 1483 make it a legitimate UN Operation? WHat are these other nations thinking? Maybe they read Resolution 1483 as an acknowledgement that it makes the US an Occupying force, and the only form of governement in charge there. If they are still not willing to send money to help IT MUST NOT BE A UN OPERATION IN IRAQ.


[Q]Today the United States gets to decide which Shiite leader will be mayor of Najaf—thereby annoying 100 other contenders. Meanwhile the United Nations distributes food, water and medicine. Why is this such a great deal for America? Why not mix it up so that the political decisions are made by an international group? And why not have the United States more involved in relief work?[/Q]

Because its my way or the highway maybe?

[Q]From the start, internationalizing the Iraq operation has seemed such an obvious solution. But the Bush administration has not adopted it because it holds a whole series of prejudices about the United Nations, nation-building, the French, the Germans and multilateral organizations. In clinging on to ideological fixations, the administration is risking its most important foreign-policy project.[/Q]

This is why we are OCCUPIERS as opposed to a group that is WORKING through the UN.


Peacehttp://www.msnbc.com/news/935250.asp
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Old 07-10-2003, 01:42 PM   #2
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This is a mess. Yes, let's fix this ASAP.
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Old 07-10-2003, 04:34 PM   #3
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good post dreadsox
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Old 07-10-2003, 04:42 PM   #4
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I think that the fact that the US are views as occupying Iraq, as opposed to their being a UN operation in that country is a possible explanation for why there have been many attacks on US soldiers. I don't think it's only "Saddam loyalists" etc who are carrying out attacks - many Iraqis feel resentment towards the US and unfortunately there are some people who turn to violence.

I didn't agree with the war to begin with (as you all know, lol) but I definitely think that now it's happened the US needs to give the UN a much more central role in post-war Iraq. For right or wrong, many people in Iraq are extremely suspicious of the US' motives in occupying their country and there's a good chance that were the UN more closely involved they would have more trust in the UN to bring the occupation to an end and restore control of Iraq to the Iraqi people as soon as possible.
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Old 07-10-2003, 04:44 PM   #5
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Dreadsox,

"If this is a UN Operation, why are we fitting a majority of the costs? If all of these resolutions clearly make this an operation of the UN, where is the UN $$$."

They may call it NATO, but who do you think provides the majority of the money? Who do you think provides the majority of the money for current NATO operations in Bosnia? Who do you think provides the money for the majority of NATO operations in Kosovo? Who do you think provides the majority of the money for operations in Afghanistan?

"Wow, I wonder where we have heard this before????? Clearly our "coalition allies" are not able to give us more support. Where could we get this support?"

Gee, lets send the Turks, Iranians and Syrians. I know the Iraqi's would love that. What a party that would be.


The "Senior" UN Diplomat critizes the mix of countries the the Bush administration is getting to send troops.

Britain, Poland, India, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary.

The diplomat states: I’m not a military expert, but can this work as a fighting force?

Realize that of the 9 countries mentioned, 7 are members of NATO and Ukraine could be a member in the future and is currently apart of "Partnership for Peace" where they often train with NATO forces. With that in mind read the next paragraph.

"There is one group of nations with large numbers of well-trained troops, experienced in peacekeeping and in working with the United States Army. It’s called NATO. The problem for the Bush administration is that calling on NATO means bringing France and Germany back into the fold. My suggestion: get over it. Even for NATO countries, sending large numbers of troops is not going to be easy. Besides, without NATO at the core, the Coalition of Iraq forces will be constantly changing, an ad hoc group with no experience working together."

Well, the countries he mentioned prior to the above paragraph are no "AD hoc group with no experience working together". They are in fact NATO countries that have worked extensively together.

It is true that there were some problems with NATO countries from a capability standpoint when it comes to high intensity combat, but the war is over. Judging by the past two months, most peacekeeping in Iraq with the exception of the Baghdad/Tikrit area is not any worse than Bosnia/Kosovo.

"Wait a minute, ask Nato????? Get more Arab support????? Make this a UN Operation? I thought this was a UN operation? AM I missing something? Nations are still not willing to send troops because it is NOT a UN Operation?"

Well thats this UN diplomats view point, who also thinks that Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, are an AD Hoc group of Non-Nato countries.

"Maybe they read Resolution 1483 as an acknowledgement that it makes the US an Occupying force, and the only form of governement in charge there."

Yep, that must be true. The UN does that all the time, recognize occupations they don't approve of. I mean, don't you remember when the UN recognized the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait?


"If they are still not willing to send money to help IT MUST NOT BE A UN OPERATION IN IRAQ."

Documents and votes on resolutions don't decide if something is a UN operation. How much money some country is giving decides that. It would be interesting to go through all the UN operations over the past 50 years and look at which countries gave considerably less to certain operations than others and then theorize that they did so because they did not consider it a "UN operation".


"Today the United States gets to decide which Shiite leader will be mayor of Najaf—thereby annoying 100 other contenders. Meanwhile the United Nations distributes food, water and medicine. Why is this such a great deal for America? Why not mix it up so that the political decisions are made by an international group? And why not have the United States more involved in relief work?"



"Because its my way or the highway maybe?"

Or maybe because certain decisions designed to be made by an "international group" often do not get made and were left with multiple problems. The USA has an excellant history when it has been in charge of nation building. How many countries helped the USA rebuild Japan? Germany? The UN has given the USA, Britain and Australia the role as the "Authority", which will speed up the political decision making process. Involving every country in the UN in that process would make the Iraqi situation a Quagmire.

"But the Bush administration has not adopted it because it holds a whole series of prejudices about the United Nations, nation-building, the French, the Germans and multilateral organizations."

Really, and what might be this diplomats prejudices?

"This is why we are OCCUPIERS as opposed to a group that is WORKING through the UN."

Until the US gives in to Paris, the US will always be occupiers as opposed to a group working through the UN.
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Old 07-10-2003, 09:13 PM   #6
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It's heart-breaking to read stuff like the shop-keeper in Baghdad who complained that they're just as bad off, if not worse off, than they were under Saddam. The entire quote is in the new Time magazine with the "Peace is Hell" cover. Arguments aside, that tells me something is dreadfully screwed up in Iraq. I hate it that innocent people are having to live like this.
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Old 07-10-2003, 11:44 PM   #7
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verte76,

Try asking the Shop Keeper in Mosul or Basra what they think of life under Saddam as compared to now.
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Old 07-11-2003, 10:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
verte76,

Try asking the Shop Keeper in Mosul or Basra what they think of life under Saddam as compared to now.
OK. *Perhaps* this can't be helped, that this is inevitable or whatever. I still don't have to like it.
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Old 07-11-2003, 10:57 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
verte76, Try asking the Shop Keeper in Mosul or Basra what they think of life under Saddam as compared to now.

Quote:
....
But despite these positive openings, most of the people we meet say their lives were better before – under Saddam Hussein – than they are now. Before, at least there was order. Before at least they had jobs and salaries, electricity and water. Before, at least women were not afraid to walk the streets. Many ask "How come the Americans were so prepared and competent when it came to making the war but so utterly unprepared and incompetent when it comes to rebuilding?"

Every day, the United States appears to be losing ground here in Iraq. There are an average of 13 attacks a day on the occupation forces, and there is less and less sympathy among Iraqis when U.S. soldiers are attacked. To many, the words freedom and liberation now seem like a cruel joke.

Two elderly moneychangers sitting outdoors in the brutal heat clothed in long flowing robes and white caps sat at their stand hawking thick wads of Saddam Hussein bills, which is still the currency in use. We started chatting. They asked where we were from. "Oh, America," one answered, crossing his arms against his chest, "I love America."

"How about the soldiers?" we asked, pointing behind them at U.S. soldiers sitting atop ferocious-looking tanks, weapons at the ready. The man who "loved America" said how happy they were to be free of Saddam Hussein, but the other man demurred. I asked him directly, "So you think the soldiers should go home to America?" Both men broke out in big grins. "Yes, Saddam gone. That's good. Soldiers should go, too. Many Iraqis don't like them here."

They said if conditions in Iraq do not improve soon – a month, two months, six months – it won't be just Saddam loyalists or Shi'ite fundamentalists but ordinary Iraqis who will fight to get rid of the Americans. "We have a 9,000-year-old culture, you have a 200-year-old culture," one of the men said. "I think we can figure out our own future."

Iraqis are puzzled why the United States, a country that can make bombs so smart they target a particular building from 30,000 miles in the air, can't give Iraqis electricity or create a functioning economy. Some are so puzzled that they have concluded that the United States is purposely trying to destroy every aspect of the economy so that they can come in and rebuild it in their own image. Others attribute the mess to incompetence, arrogance or stupidity.

One of our visits in Baghdad was to the famous circle where the statute of Saddam Hussein had come tumbling down, the scene that was showed over and over on U.S. television. Now, a new, rather indecipherable three-headed statue by a young Iraqi artist was in its place. But curiously, on the column just beneath the statue, someone had written in bright red paint and imperfect English, "All donne. Go home."

For lack of an alternative, most Iraqis are still willing to give the United States more time in the driver's seat. But the clock is ticking and their patience is wearing thin.

entire text here
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Old 07-11-2003, 11:34 AM   #10
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Besides which, I agree with Dread, the U.S. War College scholars and other knowledgeable people that this could have been prevented. That's what makes it such a damn shame.
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Old 07-11-2003, 01:46 PM   #11
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What precisely could have been prevented? This was a country that has been brutalized for 30 years and gone through 3 wars and stiff economic sanctions. On the contrary, I am surprised after all that and the various ethnic rivalry's that there has not been far more unrest and difficult situations.

Again, look at the entire country. Baghdad/Tikrit does not equal Iraq. Where are the reportest in Northern Iraq and Southern Iraq. Why does Baghdad/Tikrit get the majority of the coverage but yet is only a tiny part of Iraq.

The war has been over for 2 months and people call it failure because there are actually "problems". I say, what the hell did you expect? What did Germany look like two months after the end of World War II? What did Japan look like two months after the end of World War II? Bosnia? Kosovo?

Despite the horror stories thrown out by many in the anti-war movement before the war, much of Iraq is already in better shape than the above countries were at the two month mark.
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Old 07-11-2003, 02:04 PM   #12
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Maybe I just need a nap.
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Old 07-11-2003, 03:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Maybe I just need a nap.
I guess it is too easy to understand that a multinational force supported by Arabs, Nato, and the UN would change this from a US occupation to something more appealing to the Iraqi people, since indeed the war was to "liberate" them.

Of course, the author of the article I posted must be too dumb as well.

I am taking a nap with you VERTE
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Old 07-12-2003, 02:55 AM   #14
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I guess it is to difficult for some people to understand that many people living in absolute poverty, who have wondered for decades where certain family members are don't give a rats ass about how many countries form a coalition or whether this is or is not a UN operation. People want to be free of anxiety and torture and the composition of the forces that bring that about matters far less than the results produced.

But if its easier for you to dream otherwise, be my guest.
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Old 07-12-2003, 08:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
I think that the fact that the US are views as occupying Iraq, as opposed to their being a UN operation in that country is a possible explanation for why there have been many attacks on US soldiers. I don't think it's only "Saddam loyalists" etc who are carrying out attacks - many Iraqis feel resentment towards the US and unfortunately there are some people who turn to violence.

I didn't agree with the war to begin with (as you all know, lol) but I definitely think that now it's happened the US needs to give the UN a much more central role in post-war Iraq. For right or wrong, many people in Iraq are extremely suspicious of the US' motives in occupying their country and there's a good chance that were the UN more closely involved they would have more trust in the UN to bring the occupation to an end and restore control of Iraq to the Iraqi people as soon as possible.
Exactly.

Angela
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