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Old 01-30-2007, 08:30 AM   #1
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Iraqi forces failing

[q]January 30, 2007
Missteps by Iraqi Forces in Battle Raise Questions

By MARC SANTORA
BAGHDAD, Jan. 29 —Iraqi forces were surprised and nearly overwhelmed by the ferocity of an obscure renegade militia in a weekend battle near the holy city of Najaf and needed far more help from American forces than previously disclosed, American and Iraqi officials said Monday.

They said American ground troops — and not just air support as reported Sunday — were mobilized to help the Iraqi soldiers, who appeared to have dangerously underestimated the strength of the militia, which calls itself the Soldiers of Heaven and had amassed hundreds of heavily armed fighters.

Iraqi government officials said the group apparently was preparing to storm Najaf, a holy city dear to Shiite Islam, occupy the sacred Imam Ali mosque and assassinate the religious hierarchy there, including the revered leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, during a Shiite holiday when many pilgrims visit.

“This group had more capabilities than the government,” said Abdul Hussein Abtan, the deputy governor of Najaf Province, at a news conference.

Only a month ago, in an elaborate handover ceremony, the American command transferred security authority over Najaf to the Iraqis. The Americans said at the time that they would remain available to assist the Iraqis in the event of a crisis.

The Iraqis and Americans eventually prevailed in the battle. But the Iraqi security forces’ miscalculations about the group’s strength and intentions raised troubling questions about their ability to recognize and deal with a threat.

The battle also brought into focus the reality that some of the power struggles in Iraq are among Shiites, not just between Shiites and Sunnis. The Soldiers of Heaven is considered to be at least partly or wholly run by Shiites.

Among the troubling questions raised is how hundreds of armed men were able to set up such an elaborate encampment, which Iraqi officials said included tunnels, trenches and a series of blockades, only 10 miles northeast of Najaf. After the fight was over, Iraqi officials said they discovered at least two antiaircraft weapons as well as 40 heavy machine guns.

The government knew that the Soldiers of Heaven had set up camp in the area, but officials said they thought they were there to worship together.

Mr. Abtan said the Iraqi forces later decided to move on the group because an informer said Sunday was “zero hour” and the government noticed more men streaming into the area.

“If this operation had succeeded, it would have been a chance of a lifetime for them,” he said.

[...]

Government officials were quick to point the finger at Al Qaeda, alleging that it provided financing for the group. But numerous Shiite clerics, seeking anonymity for fear of contradicting the government, said it was highly unlikely that Al Qaeda, a Sunni group, would link up with a Shiite messianic group.

Officials in the Shiite-dominated government are loath to detail internal rivalries in their community, but in the past three years there have been several clashes between rival factions, and the deaths of two senior Shiite ayatollahs have been linked to internal struggles for dominance.

The often bloody internal rivalries have been overshadowed by the more overt Sunni-Shiite war being fought daily in Baghdad and in other mixed cities.[/q]
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:24 PM   #2
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Re: Iraqi forces failing

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
[q]January 30, 2007
Missteps by Iraqi Forces in Battle Raise Questions

By MARC SANTORA
BAGHDAD, Jan. 29 —Iraqi forces were surprised and nearly overwhelmed by the ferocity of an obscure renegade militia in a weekend battle near the holy city of Najaf and needed far more help from American forces than previously disclosed, American and Iraqi officials said Monday.

They said American ground troops — and not just air support as reported Sunday — were mobilized to help the Iraqi soldiers, who appeared to have dangerously underestimated the strength of the militia, which calls itself the Soldiers of Heaven and had amassed hundreds of heavily armed fighters.

Iraqi government officials said the group apparently was preparing to storm Najaf, a holy city dear to Shiite Islam, occupy the sacred Imam Ali mosque and assassinate the religious hierarchy there, including the revered leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, during a Shiite holiday when many pilgrims visit.

“This group had more capabilities than the government,” said Abdul Hussein Abtan, the deputy governor of Najaf Province, at a news conference.

Only a month ago, in an elaborate handover ceremony, the American command transferred security authority over Najaf to the Iraqis. The Americans said at the time that they would remain available to assist the Iraqis in the event of a crisis.

The Iraqis and Americans eventually prevailed in the battle. But the Iraqi security forces’ miscalculations about the group’s strength and intentions raised troubling questions about their ability to recognize and deal with a threat.

The battle also brought into focus the reality that some of the power struggles in Iraq are among Shiites, not just between Shiites and Sunnis. The Soldiers of Heaven is considered to be at least partly or wholly run by Shiites.

Among the troubling questions raised is how hundreds of armed men were able to set up such an elaborate encampment, which Iraqi officials said included tunnels, trenches and a series of blockades, only 10 miles northeast of Najaf. After the fight was over, Iraqi officials said they discovered at least two antiaircraft weapons as well as 40 heavy machine guns.

The government knew that the Soldiers of Heaven had set up camp in the area, but officials said they thought they were there to worship together.

Mr. Abtan said the Iraqi forces later decided to move on the group because an informer said Sunday was “zero hour” and the government noticed more men streaming into the area.

“If this operation had succeeded, it would have been a chance of a lifetime for them,” he said.

[...]

Government officials were quick to point the finger at Al Qaeda, alleging that it provided financing for the group. But numerous Shiite clerics, seeking anonymity for fear of contradicting the government, said it was highly unlikely that Al Qaeda, a Sunni group, would link up with a Shiite messianic group.

Officials in the Shiite-dominated government are loath to detail internal rivalries in their community, but in the past three years there have been several clashes between rival factions, and the deaths of two senior Shiite ayatollahs have been linked to internal struggles for dominance.

The often bloody internal rivalries have been overshadowed by the more overt Sunni-Shiite war being fought daily in Baghdad and in other mixed cities.[/q]
How many people would have died if this had not been prevented? Something every Democratic candidate advocating withdrawal should ask themselves. What will happen without continued coalition support to continue the long process of training the Iraqi military, as well as responding to unexpected events like this?
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Old 01-30-2007, 02:36 PM   #3
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Re: Re: Iraqi forces failing

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Originally posted by STING2


How many people would have died if this had not been prevented? Something every Democratic candidate advocating withdrawal should ask themselves. What will happen without continued coalition support to continue the long process of training the Iraqi military, as well as responding to unexpected events like this?
That's a good point, Sting2
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:29 AM   #4
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Re: Re: Iraqi forces failing

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Originally posted by STING2


How many people would have died if this had not been prevented? Something every Democratic candidate advocating withdrawal should ask themselves. What will happen without continued coalition support to continue the long process of training the Iraqi military, as well as responding to unexpected events like this?




what's going to happen to the Middle East when as we get more images and evidence of Americans enabling and training the Shiites to ethnically cleanse Iraq of Sunnis as there are fewer and fewer distinctions to be made between the "national" army and the Mahdi Army can be made?

watch as US soldiers cheer.

obviously, what's happening now isn't working. why continue to pursue a losing non-strategy?

how much longer are we going to claim "victory" when all we're really doing is avoiding total calamity?

how much lower can go in regards to our continuously revised "standards" of success?
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:53 AM   #5
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and let's stop lying to ourselvs that this is some sort of Republican vs. Democrat issue, or Left vs. Right issue.

the country is remarkably united, as is more and more and more of Congress. and united against the Bush, and united against the idea that there's a military solution to Iraq:

[q]Senate Allies of Bush Work to Halt Iraq Vote

By CARL HULSE and THOM SHANKER
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 — The Bush administration’s allies in the Senate began a major effort on Tuesday to prevent a potentially embarrassing rejection of the president’s plan to push 20,000 more troops into Iraq.

With the Senate expected to reach votes on possible resolutions sometime next week, the signs of the new campaign seeped out after a weekly closed-door lunch in which Republican senators engaged in what participants described as a heated debate over how to approach the issue.

The new effort by President Bush’s allies, including Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, is aimed at blocking two nonbinding resolutions directly critical of the White House that had appeared to be gaining broad support among Democrats and even some Republicans.

Republicans skeptical of the troop buildup said some of their colleagues had begun to suggest that opponents of the White House plan ran the risk of undermining Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new military commander in Iraq, as well as Mr. Bush.

“There is a lot of pressure on people who could be with us not to be with us,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, the co-author of one resolution along with Senators John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, and Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska.

As an alternative to that measure and another broadly backed by Democrats, Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham, along with Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the independent Democrat from Connecticut, are trying to enlist support for a resolution that would set benchmarks for the Iraqi government and describe the troop increase as a final chance for the United States to restore security in Baghdad.

The senators have been joined in their effort by the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Senator David Vitter of Louisiana.

The debate over Iraq also resounded elsewhere on Capitol Hill, as senators attending the confirmation hearing for Adm. William J. Fallon, nominated to command American forces in the Middle East, heard his blunt assessment of the path ahead. He said “time is running out” for positive action by the government of Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to show it can quell sectarian violence.

At another Senate hearing, the leaders of the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan panel that reported to Mr. Bush and Congress last month, disputed the White House’s contention that most of their recommendations had been incorporated into Mr. Bush’s troop increase plan.

“The diplomatic effort has not been full enough,” said Lee H. Hamilton, co-chairman of the study group with James A. Baker III. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Hamilton described the initiatives begun by the administration in the Middle East as modest and slow, and added, “We don’t have the time to wait.”

On the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats began laying the constitutional groundwork for an effort to block the president’s plan to send more troops to Iraq and place new limits on the conduct of the war there, perhaps forcing a withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.

In advance of a possible Senate vote on the resolutions, Republican senators now appear widely divided over how to proceed. In trying to head off the resolution supported by Senators Warner and Collins, allies of the White House appear to be trying to muster at least the 41 votes they would need to prevent a vote on the measure under Senate rules. Mr. McCain is sponsoring the competing resolution that would establish benchmarks for the Iraqi government. He said the proposal also could be fashioned to give Congress more oversight.[/q]
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:22 PM   #6
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what i don't understand about this entire thing is that the no one raises the serious possability of partitoning iraq into separate nations. i mean shit, the borders were carved out of the ottoman empire by britan anyways. what's the difference?

another case of the west trying to force drawn up borders on a people whom obviously do not want to live inside them.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:24 PM   #7
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Re: Re: Re: Iraqi forces failing

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Originally posted by Irvine511






what's going to happen to the Middle East when as we get more images and evidence of Americans enabling and training the Shiites to ethnically cleanse Iraq of Sunnis as there are fewer and fewer distinctions to be made between the "national" army and the Mahdi Army can be made?

watch as US soldiers cheer.

obviously, what's happening now isn't working. why continue to pursue a losing non-strategy?

how much longer are we going to claim "victory" when all we're really doing is avoiding total calamity?

how much lower can go in regards to our continuously revised "standards" of success?
If it was not working, there would not be a new Iraqi government and a growing Iraqi military force. Again, you can't throw your hands up and declare failure in a task that takes 10+ years after only 3 years. Why do you ignore virtually everything that has been accomplished? The strategy that is being pursued is the strategy for nationbuilding and counterinsurgency. It has a proven track record of success, provided it is given the time and resources to work.

The standards for what is required for stability in Iraq have not changed at all. Most of the problems with security forces have been with the Police, not the Iraqi military. It will take time to sort them out. There was virtually no Iraqi military, 3 years ago, a very small one with no real capabilities 2 years ago. Today there is an Iraqi military with 138,000 troops, 1/4 of whom are compentent and well trained enough to fight along side coalition forces. Progress is being made, why do you want to abandon the effort that will allow coalition troops to withdraw from Iraq?

Withdrawal is NOT a strategy. Partition is the strategy of ethnic cleansing. You want to see a real civil war, try partitioning a country as mixed from north to south as Iraq is. Even the ISG disagree's with any proposals to partition Iraq. Pre-mature withdrawal and or partition is the way to civil war, ethnic cleansing on a massive scale, and potentially a regional war.

What Iraq needs is a stable government with a capable military force to provide security for the country. Your not going to get to that point by prematurely withdrawing coalition forces. Who do you expect to suddenly replace all the tasks that 150,000 coalition troops perform every day? If you support withdrawal right now, then you have to believe that the situation on the ground in Iraq is going very well and that the Iraqi military is already where it will be four years from now.


Withdrawal now and partition of Iraq will not solve any of the problems you list. It will only make them worse and create new ones.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
and let's stop lying to ourselvs that this is some sort of Republican vs. Democrat issue, or Left vs. Right issue.

the country is remarkably united, as is more and more and more of Congress. and united against the Bush, and united against the idea that there's a military solution to Iraq:

[q]Senate Allies of Bush Work to Halt Iraq Vote

By CARL HULSE and THOM SHANKER
WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 — The Bush administration’s allies in the Senate began a major effort on Tuesday to prevent a potentially embarrassing rejection of the president’s plan to push 20,000 more troops into Iraq.

With the Senate expected to reach votes on possible resolutions sometime next week, the signs of the new campaign seeped out after a weekly closed-door lunch in which Republican senators engaged in what participants described as a heated debate over how to approach the issue.

The new effort by President Bush’s allies, including Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, is aimed at blocking two nonbinding resolutions directly critical of the White House that had appeared to be gaining broad support among Democrats and even some Republicans.

Republicans skeptical of the troop buildup said some of their colleagues had begun to suggest that opponents of the White House plan ran the risk of undermining Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the new military commander in Iraq, as well as Mr. Bush.

“There is a lot of pressure on people who could be with us not to be with us,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, the co-author of one resolution along with Senators John W. Warner, Republican of Virginia, and Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska.

As an alternative to that measure and another broadly backed by Democrats, Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham, along with Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the independent Democrat from Connecticut, are trying to enlist support for a resolution that would set benchmarks for the Iraqi government and describe the troop increase as a final chance for the United States to restore security in Baghdad.

The senators have been joined in their effort by the Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Senator David Vitter of Louisiana.

The debate over Iraq also resounded elsewhere on Capitol Hill, as senators attending the confirmation hearing for Adm. William J. Fallon, nominated to command American forces in the Middle East, heard his blunt assessment of the path ahead. He said “time is running out” for positive action by the government of Nuri Kamal al-Maliki to show it can quell sectarian violence.

At another Senate hearing, the leaders of the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan panel that reported to Mr. Bush and Congress last month, disputed the White House’s contention that most of their recommendations had been incorporated into Mr. Bush’s troop increase plan.

“The diplomatic effort has not been full enough,” said Lee H. Hamilton, co-chairman of the study group with James A. Baker III. In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Mr. Hamilton described the initiatives begun by the administration in the Middle East as modest and slow, and added, “We don’t have the time to wait.”

On the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats began laying the constitutional groundwork for an effort to block the president’s plan to send more troops to Iraq and place new limits on the conduct of the war there, perhaps forcing a withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.

In advance of a possible Senate vote on the resolutions, Republican senators now appear widely divided over how to proceed. In trying to head off the resolution supported by Senators Warner and Collins, allies of the White House appear to be trying to muster at least the 41 votes they would need to prevent a vote on the measure under Senate rules. Mr. McCain is sponsoring the competing resolution that would establish benchmarks for the Iraqi government. He said the proposal also could be fashioned to give Congress more oversight.[/q]
Well if that is the case, why isn't congress cutting off funding? The resolutions are essentially irrelevant! More importantly, why would you approve appointing, Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, the architect of the "surge" plan, and then attempt to pass a resolution opposing that plan? What a joke.

No one has ever claimed that there is a purely military solution to what is a nation building task. Counterinsurgency while involving the military also involves many political and economic tasks as well.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:41 PM   #9
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Re: Re: Re: Iraqi forces failing

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Originally posted by Irvine511

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Old 01-31-2007, 03:45 PM   #10
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what i don't understand about this entire thing is that the no one raises the serious possability of partitoning iraq into separate nations. i mean shit, the borders were carved out of the ottoman empire by britan anyways. what's the difference?

another case of the west trying to force drawn up borders on a people whom obviously do not want to live inside them.
How do you partition a country that is ethnically mixed north to south? Only half the country is composed of area's where one ethnic group forms a clear majority. Its not the perfect seperation that so many people imagine it to be with Kurds(north), Sunni's(center), Shia(south). Nearly half the Shia and Kurds, plus virtually all Sunni's except radicals are opposed to any sort of partition, especially one forced on them by foreigners.

The bipartisan Iraq Study Group rejected the idea of partition for many of the same reasons. Partition is the way to Civil War that so many mistakenly claim has started. If you would like to see large scale sectarian violence outside of Baghdad, as well as the intervention of Iraq's neighbors for competing reasons, partition is the way to go.
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Old 01-31-2007, 03:56 PM   #11
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraqi forces failing

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Originally posted by STING2


If it was not working, there would not be a new Iraqi government and a growing Iraqi military force. Again, you can't throw your hands up and declare failure in a task that takes 10+ years after only 3 years. Why do you ignore virtually everything that has been accomplished? The strategy that is being pursued is the strategy for nationbuilding and counterinsurgency. It has a proven track record of success, provided it is given the time and resources to work.


we occupy the country, and there is a civil war going on with genocidal militias that have thoroughly infiltrated the police force and the army, Iran operates effectively within Iraq, and sectarian tensions grow by the day and are spreading to all the countries in the Middle East. there has been savage bloodshed in Iraq, perpetrated by Iraqis on Iraqis, and nearly all the blame for this lies in the unspeakably poor planning done (or not done) by this administration. why do you dismiss the violence? why do you dismiss the startling new evidence of Shiite on Shiite violence? why do you assume that all countries are the same? why do you dismiss Middle Eastern history? why do you dismiss the enormous amount of damage this botched occupation has done to the US across the globe? why do you ignore the torture of Abu Ghraib? why do you support an administration that tortures? why do you support an administration that dismantles personal liberties? why do you support an administration that doctors intelligence in order to make a case for invasion to the public and the world, which begs the question as to how good the "real" reasons (as you wont to enumerate) ever were to begin with? why do you dismiss the fact that, 4 years later, the government barely functions, basic services barely function, unemployment is high, and lawlessness is rampant? this is a country occupied by the United States! and Americans are helping the Shia cleanse their country of Sunnis! the repurcussions of this foolish invasion are going to be felt for the next 100 years as the US does nothing to change the narrative that inspires some Muslims to terrorism -- us vs. them.

an election does not a democracy make.

such elections were always for the consumption of the American public, sadly.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:51 PM   #12
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while it's too late for me to go back and edit, i'm giving a pre-emptive "i'm not re-hashing the same arguments anymore" statement.

if anyone wants to talk about Iraqi forces and their current ability levels, cool.

if i hear anything about Resolution 1441, i'm reporting the post.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:23 PM   #13
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Iraqi forces failing

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Originally posted by Irvine511




we occupy the country, and there is a civil war going on with genocidal militias that have thoroughly infiltrated the police force and the army, Iran operates effectively within Iraq, and sectarian tensions grow by the day and are spreading to all the countries in the Middle East. there has been savage bloodshed in Iraq, perpetrated by Iraqis on Iraqis, and nearly all the blame for this lies in the unspeakably poor planning done (or not done) by this administration. why do you dismiss the violence? why do you dismiss the startling new evidence of Shiite on Shiite violence? why do you assume that all countries are the same? why do you dismiss Middle Eastern history? why do you dismiss the enormous amount of damage this botched occupation has done to the US across the globe? why do you ignore the torture of Abu Ghraib? why do you support an administration that tortures? why do you support an administration that dismantles personal liberties? why do you support an administration that doctors intelligence in order to make a case for invasion to the public and the world, which begs the question as to how good the "real" reasons (as you wont to enumerate) ever were to begin with? why do you dismiss the fact that, 4 years later, the government barely functions, basic services barely function, unemployment is high, and lawlessness is rampant? this is a country occupied by the United States! and Americans are helping the Shia cleanse their country of Sunnis! the repurcussions of this foolish invasion are going to be felt for the next 100 years as the US does nothing to change the narrative that inspires some Muslims to terrorism -- us vs. them.

an election does not a democracy make.

such elections were always for the consumption of the American public, sadly.
The Police force has many problems in regards to infiltration by the militia's, but the Army is in a different catagory and should not be lumped in with the Police. The coalition has been far more successful in building the Iraqi military.

There is sectarian violence in Iraq, but the US military has found that 90% of it occurs in only one area, Baghdad, despite the fact that the country is ethnically mixed from north to south. Sectarian tensions in other parts of the middle east outside Iraq are not as bad as they have been in the past.

Iraq's civilians suffered far worse periods of brutal violence under Saddam. In March of 1991, 300,000 Shia were killed in Iraq, compared to 60,000 Iraqi's of all ethnicities and political motivations that have died in the past 4 years.

The coalition operates effectively in Iraq, Iran must operate in hiding if they are conducting any sort of military operation or supplying insurgent or militia forces.


"why do you dismiss the violence?"

I don't, but you always overstate, especially when you look at Iraq's own past, other Civil Wars and missions of this type.

"why do you dismiss the startling new evidence of Shiite on Shiite violence?"

Nothing startling or new here. I've never dismissed and have brought it up myself. The Shiite's are to often lumped together as one united mass acting in the interest of Iran. Thats never been the case at any point.

"why do you assume that all countries are the same?"

I don't recall mentioning that all countries are the same. I have mentioned their differences as well as their similarities.

"why do you dismiss Middle Eastern history?"

A question better asked of those who think Iraqi history started in March 2003.

"why do you dismiss the enormous amount of damage this botched occupation has done to the US across the globe?"

The desire to export goods and services to the United States has never been higher. US exports worldwide have not suffered any major drop and are starting to rise. All of the United States alliances are still intact and performing important missions for their regions. Dozens of countries around the world have contributed troops to the nationbuilding process in Iraq. The United Nations has authorized and approved just about everything thats been done in Iraq.

But, there are those opinion polls which say everyone hates the United States. But, the actions of countries and people speak louder than such polls.


"why do you ignore the torture of Abu Ghraib?"

Why do you extrapolate an unfortunate incendent into something that suggest most US military personal are engaged in such behavior? Can you find a war of this length or a prison in the United States where such unlawful actions have taken place?


"why do you support an administration that dismantles personal liberties?"

There has always been some level of restriction on ones "personal liberties". There is nothing wrong with the government adjusting that line so that it can continue to protect country from terrorism.


"why do you support an administration that doctors intelligence in order to make a case for invasion to the public and the world, which begs the question as to how good the "real" reasons (as you wont to enumerate) ever were to begin with?"

The central case for the war in Iraq was presented on September 12, 2002 to the United Nations even if this was not officially a "war speach". The congress approved a resolution 4 weeks later supporting the President in early October 2002. At that point, the President had the support he needed domestically to proceed and debate beyond that point is not really relevant.


why do you dismiss the fact that, 4 years later, the government barely functions, basic services barely function, unemployment is high, and lawlessness is rampant?

The Iraqi government has only been in office for 9 MONTHS! Lots of third world countries suffer from a lack of services, high unemployment, and lawlessness. Yet, Iraqi GDP is growing faster, people have access to more consumer goods than they did before the war, Shiites have access to humanitarian supplies and many other things denied them when Saddam was in power. Again, look at the history of the Middle East and Iraq, as well as conditions in other countries before you go around saying the situation Iraq is so terrible. Take a look at where the coalition was starting from when it started to rebuild the country after 24 years of rule by Saddam and multiple wars.


The country is occupied by the coalition under UN authority, not just the United States. The Coalition is helping to build a stable and prosperous Iraq. Those supporting a withdrawal of US forces if anything are the ones that are supporting the potential for a civil war and the cleansing of various ethnic groups, not the administration.

On 9/11, the coalition had not invaded Iraq. Once again, history does not start in March 2003. The invasion of Iraq is not the cause of middle eastern terrorism. Its about time people start to realize there was an enormous cost and risk that would only get worse if Saddam was left in power.

Its also time for anyone who supports the immediate withdrawal of coalition forces to estimate the cost to Iraq and the region of such a withdrawal. Iraq is not Somalia or located in an isolated and unengaged region of the world.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:40 PM   #14
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" The desire to export goods and services to the United States has never been higher. US exports worldwide have not suffered any major drop and are starting to rise. All of the United States alliances are still intact and performing important missions for their regions. Dozens of countries around the world have contributed troops to the nationbuilding process in Iraq. The United Nations has authorized and approved just about everything thats been done in Iraq.

But, there are those opinion polls which say everyone hates the United States. But, the actions of countries and people speak louder than such polls."

Yes, trade with the US has not dropped, and will not drop.

Only a few "idiots" are hating the USA.

But.. it is not true that the support of the US intervention in Iraq is supported by the masses.
In every European country, sending troops or not, the numbers of people against the war a way higher than the numper of supporters.
In major European cities like Berlin, Paris, Rome, Madrid or London hundreds of thousands, up to millions protested against the war, and in nearly every city there have been protest marches.
The majority of people in England, Spain, Denmark or Italy didn't support the war.

Aznar and Berlusconi lost the elections partly because of their decision to send troops and because opposition promised to withdraw their troops.

Germany and France decided not to participate in the war until there was a clear mandate by the UN to send in troops.

The credibility of the US government decreased dramatically, getting worse when we learned about what happened in Abu Ghreib and Guantanamo, or with Khaled el Masri or Murat Kurnaz.

People here clearly differentiate between what is the USA, and what is the US government. Of course there are exceptions, but the majority still likes what America stands for, apart from the current government.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:49 PM   #15
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looks like someone else thinks that 4 years has been plenty of time:

[q]GOP sets benchmark for Iraq progress
By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer2 hours, 22 minutes ago

Several leading Senate Republicans who support President Bush's troop-boosting plan for Iraq say they will give the administration and the Iraqis about six months to show significant improvement.

"I don't think this war can be sustained for more than six months if in fact we don't see some progress," Sen. Pat Roberts (news, bio, voting record), R-Kan., said Wednesday. Until this month, he was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Roberts' comments came two days after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (news, bio, voting record), R-Ky., said the new U.S. military push was the Iraqis' "last chance."

"This needs to be successful over the next six to nine months," McConnell said in an interview Monday with Fox News Channel's Neil Cavuto. "And if not, we're going to have to go in a different direction."

Until now, most Republicans have been reluctant to set any timetable on the war's conduct. Their comments appear designed to hold Bush and the Iraqi government to the goal of securing the country by next fall.

In Bush's address to the nation on Jan. 10, the president said: "To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November."

Roberts' and McConnell's remarks also come as Democrats press Republican senators to support resolutions critical of Bush's decision to send 21,500 more soldiers into Iraq. Two of the leading resolutions opposing the troop buildup have support from a few Republicans. Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record), R-Ariz., who supports the injection of additional troops, is drafting his own resolution to set benchmarks for progress in Iraq.

Roberts, who said he planned to support McCain's measure, said he was willing to entrust Bush's plan with Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, the new U.S. commander in Iraq.

"People trust this military and I think they trust Petraeus," Roberts said in an interview. "He is the right man at the right time for a very, very difficult job."

The House, which previously had planned to wait for the Senate to vote first on a resolution, may move ahead on its own anyway. A Democratic aide said the House next week will likely review a resolution stating opposition to Bush's troop buildup with the goal of starting floor debate the week of Feb. 12.

Bush on Wednesday objected to Iraq proposals from Republicans and Democrats alike and acknowledged that "there's a lot of pessimism" in Congress about his troop buildup.

In an interview with Fox's Cavuto, Bush took issue with McConnell's statement that Bush's plan needs to be successful over the next six to nine months.

"I think it's a mistake to put timetables on difficult missions because an enemy can adjust," Bush said. "On the other hand, I certainly understand the urgency in Mitch's voice. I also understand the skepticism on Capitol Hill. I mean, no doubt, there's a lot of pessimism there today."

McConnell aides on Wednesday said the senator expects to see progress in Iraq in six to nine months.

Bush also criticized a proposal by Sen. Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record), a Democratic presidential candidate from Illinois, to have all U.S. combat forces out of Iraq by spring 2008. "I say that it's important to succeed and that failure in Iraq will cause chaos," Bush said.

"My admonition to those who are speaking out is let us back the troops and let us hope for the success" of their mission.

Deserted by some key Republicans, Bush nevertheless said, "I don't feel abandoned. ... When times are good, there's millions of authors of the plan. When times are bad, there's one author, and that would be me."[/q]
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