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Old 11-30-2006, 03:52 AM   #256
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Umm, the lack of violence in the rest of Iraq is because they are already segregated in those regions. Kurds in the north, Shia in the south, and Sunni in the triangle. They aren't going to kill each other, yet. Baghdad is mixed, right now the civil war is sorting them out. Once the neighbourhoods have been sorted out, there could be another escalation in violence unless calmer heads prevail.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are getting the hell out of dodge cause this is going to end ugly. Surrounding countries are already seeing streams of refugees and the Saudis are building a fence to stop the influx of people. Neighbouring countries already have enough problems without having to handle Iraqi refugees. The US can stay and participate in the chaos or leave and come back to assist with the clean up. I don't think the US would have been too happy if the nation of France decided to leave garrisons of soldiers and it's navy behind after helping fight the British.

When history looks back upon this age, I wonder which will be viewed to have the greater negative impact on the world, 9/11 or the response to it.

Abizaid will be a CNN or Fox News analyst in a year or two commenting on the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:35 AM   #257
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So leave however million people to be murdered then come back with UN mandated multilateral force.

Which state and non-state actors have an interest in making it ugly? For what reasons?

Those questions must be considered before pulling all the stops and standing by for a slaughter. It happened after the first gulf war and what little credibility America ever had is completely lost if it does it again.

Right now Syria is making the play against Lebanon and Iran is moving ahead with it's nuclear program and the solution that the Bush admin seems to be adopting from the bipartisan commitee will involve courting both those countries; neither of which has any interest in seeing a free Iraq.
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Old 11-30-2006, 04:39 PM   #258
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Originally posted by STING2
Naturally, rebuilding both countries after the removal of such dominating regimes are very difficult tasks that require TIME in order for them to be successful.


they also require POST WAR PLANS and EXECUTIVE COMPETENCY and ATTENTION TO DETAIL.
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Old 11-30-2006, 04:54 PM   #259
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I asked you to technically explain why Kuwait is more likely to be overrun now than when Saddam was in power and all you have to say is "when the Shiites of Iraq and Iran join together, look out"? I thought the Shiites of Iraq and Iran were "already together" according to yourself and others, but in any event, please explain how they would be in a better position to overrun Kuwait than Saddam was at any time he was in power.

i'm sorry, are you presenting the location of Kuwait as some sort of trump card?

i'll explain again. Iran is operating inside Iraq and wields a great deal of influence. but, as you know, it will take TIME before Iraq is totally controlled by its Shiite majority (after murdering a few more hundred thousand Sunnis), and once it is, look for an Iraq more belligerant than Saddam with a nuclearized Iran looking on. Kuwait won't make much of a difference, just ask the Saudis -- they don't view Kuwait as the buffer you do, and they're already making plans.

[q]Part of the problem of many people in the media as well as critics is that they only look at the day to day events without considering the scale of what is being done and how long it will take to complete the process. You claim that General John Abazaid is failing at his job, but you ignore what has been accomplished and how much worse things would be on the ground without the accomplishments of the past 3 years. How can you call an operation that will take 10+ years to complete, with plenty of setbacks along the way, a failure after only 3 years? What level of violence would you consider to be normal given the tasks involved and how long it will take to complete them?[/q]

how good are "accomplishments" -- a bunch of purple forefingers -- when they cannot provide a basic level of security to the peple of Iraq? democracy means NOTHING without stability, without being able to go to the market or a mosque and not worry about being blown up by a car bomb or set on fire or being rounded up at a bus stop, abducted, have your eyes drilled, and then be executed and dumped in the river.

and what an interesting sentence:

[q]ut you ignore what has been accomplished and how much worse things would be on the ground without the accomplishments of the past 3 years.[/q]

so ... you're saying it could be even worse? is this your consolation? how much worse could it be? we could have failed even more? our leaders could have been even more incompetent? they could have been even more underprepared? and you use these points as measures of success?!?!?!?!


[q]There are plenty of people who agree with Abizaids position, especially among the US military, the largest group of foreigners on the ground in Iraq. If you understand and appreciate how long counter insurgency operations and nation building takes, then you would realize that these sudden declarations of failure are absurd.[/q]


sudden declarations of failure? my friend, this has been discussed for a while, it's only now that everyone is admitting what has been obvious to those of us who don't blindly follow whatever Rove-approved Pentagon talking points are released to the media. i am also dumbfounded that you'd view American troops on the ground -- who have every understandable impulse under the sun to defend their mission since no one wants to know that their friends have died for the arrogance and foolishness of a wildly incompetent chief executive -- as the most accurate barometers of "success" in Iraq. these are understandably the least impartial observers of the situation we have.

anyway, you say this is going to take 10 years.

have things improved over the past 3 years to the point where you think the next 3 years are going to get better? where? how? what's improved? what are the signs that things are working and that Iraq will be a stable, prosperous democracy in 2013? show me the evidence that firstly justifies the occupation, justifies each and every American and Iraqi death, and then shows me where Iraq will be.

the burden of proof is upon you, sir, to prove that the continuous escalation of violence and broader breakdown of civil society and ineffective government and an army and police force that has beeen infiltrated by murderous Shiite revenge militias is yet another step in the right direction.

lastly, no one agrees that TIME is some sort of cure-all, that things will inevitably get better if we just stay a certain course that is demonstrably ineffective. how can you ask men to die as part of a plan that has not worked?
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:08 PM   #260
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
what little credibility America ever had
I don't believe America has any credibility in the Middle East.

I also don't believe it has much anywhere else in the world anymore either.

If you think staying there with no post war plan, just pissing in the wind like this is going to change that, I am shocked because you are not that stupid.

Heckuva job.
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:26 PM   #261
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I heard Jimmy Carter on The Current this week and he brought up an interesting point about how during the past 6 years this administration has not even attempted to broker peace in the Middle East unlike most previous recent administrations including Bush I. He points out that this may be a contributing factor in the anger towards the US leading to the acts of terrorism. At least before there was an appearance that the US was unbiased and wanted peace, now it seems that Israel is infallible in the eyes of the US government. This would make a strong impression on the people of the Middle East.

Whatever is going to happen in Iraq is going to happen whether or not the US is there or not. And the people who have been predicting all the past events like, wait until after we catch Saddam, after the election, after we catch Zarquawi, insurgency in the last throes, no civil war and so on don't offer comfort to anyone in predicting future events in Iraq. They have been WRONG!! and they will continue to be WRONG with a hopelessly unrealistic optimistic view of the immediate future in Iraq by continuing the same path. It is definition of insanity, keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.
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Old 11-30-2006, 05:32 PM   #262
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer


Right now Syria is making the play against Lebanon and Iran is moving ahead with it's nuclear program and the solution that the Bush admin seems to be adopting from the bipartisan committee will involve courting both those countries; neither of which has any interest in seeing a free Iraq.
If I recall you were one who, for the most part, supported the Bush Administrations actions in this part of the world.


My problem with "supporters"
is that the Bush plan or plans never really had any real chance of success.

They have just squandered hundreds of billions of dollars and even worse tens of thousands of lives, ruined economies, infrastructures, institutions, historic sites, when there was no real chance for a successful outcome.

A better approach would have been to threaten the "so-called regime change", to keep the no-fly zones in place with the partition of Iraq. North for the Kurds, South for the Shia to have reasonable security.

This is what was done with the biggest terrorist of the 80s, Khadafi.
Khadafi started two wars and invaded countries and sponsored real terror, the bombing of international airlines.

Before this Iraq fiasco America was perceived to have the ability to accomplish it's will.

Now we have Iran, Chavez, North Korea all chomping at the bit to show the incompetence of the Bush Administration.

The Bush Administration misdeeds will reduce the U. S. as the major player in international affairs within the next decade.
A smarter team could have preserved that popular conception for several more decades.
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:23 PM   #263
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Originally posted by trevster2k
I heard Jimmy Carter on The Current this week and he brought up an interesting point about how during the past 6 years this administration has not even attempted to broker peace in the Middle East unlike most previous recent administrations including Bush I. He points out that this may be a contributing factor in the anger towards the US leading to the acts of terrorism. At least before there was an appearance that the US was unbiased and wanted peace, now it seems that Israel is infallible in the eyes of the US government. This would make a strong impression on the people of the Middle East.

oh hush!

we all know that the removal of Saddam Hussein was far more vital to the "world's interests" and the Middle East than brokering an agreeable settlment between the israelis and the palestinians.

after all, it's not the Palestinians that Muslims across the world get upset over; it was Saddam. now that Iraqis have had two elections, there is great rejoicing across the Middle East.

everything comes down to Saddam.

thank goodness he's gone! that's all that should ever, ever matter!
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Old 11-30-2006, 06:25 PM   #264
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The Bush Administration misdeeds will reduce the U. S. as the major player in international affairs within the next decade.
A smarter team could have preserved that popular conception for several more decades.

and what is truly tragic is that US leadership is badly needed on what are the real global issues (which, incidentally, have NOTHING to do with Iraq):

1. global AIDS
2. Israel/Palestine
3. nuclearized NoKo
4. the rise of China
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Old 11-30-2006, 11:47 PM   #265
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If I recall you were one who, for the most part, supported the Bush Administrations actions in this part of the world.
Yes I supported and still do support the removal of Saddam Hussein, I also would support more pressure on Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria. Bush didn't pursue an agenda of liberalisation or support for democracy movements beyond Iraq - it was all empty verbiage. Coupled with the failures such as not going into the Sunni areas more strongly earlier on; such as the aborted move against Fallujah in early 2004 and allowing Sadr to live to make another militia are big failures. The occupation has been a string of failures - but the original OIF not so much.

I refuse to accept that the only permutation for the middle east is violent secular autocracy or theocracy. But with an opressive theocracy on the verge of getting the tools to fufil prophesy it may all be completely moot. I hate to think that because of Iraq the Lebanese, Egyptian and Iranian activists will get screwed over.
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:27 AM   #266
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i'm sorry, are you presenting the location of Kuwait as some sort of trump card?

i'll explain again. Iran is operating inside Iraq and wields a great deal of influence. but, as you know, it will take TIME before Iraq is totally controlled by its Shiite majority (after murdering a few more hundred thousand Sunnis), and once it is, look for an Iraq more belligerant than Saddam with a nuclearized Iran looking on. Kuwait won't make much of a difference, just ask the Saudis -- they don't view Kuwait as the buffer you do, and they're already making plans.


how good are "accomplishments" -- a bunch of purple forefingers -- when they cannot provide a basic level of security to the peple of Iraq? democracy means NOTHING without stability, without being able to go to the market or a mosque and not worry about being blown up by a car bomb or set on fire or being rounded up at a bus stop, abducted, have your eyes drilled, and then be executed and dumped in the river.

and what an interesting sentence:


so ... you're saying it could be even worse? is this your consolation? how much worse could it be? we could have failed even more? our leaders could have been even more incompetent? they could have been even more underprepared? and you use these points as measures of success?!?!?!?!




sudden declarations of failure? my friend, this has been discussed for a while, it's only now that everyone is admitting what has been obvious to those of us who don't blindly follow whatever Rove-approved Pentagon talking points are released to the media. i am also dumbfounded that you'd view American troops on the ground -- who have every understandable impulse under the sun to defend their mission since no one wants to know that their friends have died for the arrogance and foolishness of a wildly incompetent chief executive -- as the most accurate barometers of "success" in Iraq. these are understandably the least impartial observers of the situation we have.

anyway, you say this is going to take 10 years.

have things improved over the past 3 years to the point where you think the next 3 years are going to get better? where? how? what's improved? what are the signs that things are working and that Iraq will be a stable, prosperous democracy in 2013? show me the evidence that firstly justifies the occupation, justifies each and every American and Iraqi death, and then shows me where Iraq will be.

the burden of proof is upon you, sir, to prove that the continuous escalation of violence and broader breakdown of civil society and ineffective government and an army and police force that has beeen infiltrated by murderous Shiite revenge militias is yet another step in the right direction.

lastly, no one agrees that TIME is some sort of cure-all, that things will inevitably get better if we just stay a certain course that is demonstrably ineffective. how can you ask men to die as part of a plan that has not worked?
The plan can't work if its not given the necessary time to do so! How can you abandon one of the only proven ways to defeat an insurgency and build a nation from the ground up? How will abandoning the current plan improve the security situation for the USA and the region, as well as the lives of the Iraqi people? What is the alternative plan that has a historic track record in quickly defeating insurgencies and building nations in under the 3 year time period you somehow believe it can be done?

The escalation of violence in Iraq has so far been confined to a 30 mile area around Baghdad. You do realize that Iraq is a much larger country than the Baghdad metropolitian area and violence in that one area does not represent the condition in all the other provinces of the country? The government, which you specifically claimed would NEVER form, has only been in office 6 months, yet you expect it to have already rebuilt the country and stopped all the violence. When has any new government ever in history stopped a level of instability like this in under 6 months?

The Iraqi Army is a very different case from the Iraqi police force. The Iraqi Army has not been penetrated by militia's any where near to the degree that the Iraqi police forces have. Yet, you lump them together as being one in the same which is simply inaccurate. Building of the Iraqi military, which had less than a thousand members 2 and a half years ago is going well and will take more time to be complete, but is ultimately one of the key solutions to many of the problems that are faced in the country.

The next 3 years will see the Iraqi Army grow in size, capability, and experience, provided people do not withdraw US forces prematurely. As the Iraqi military becomes more compentent and grows in size, it will be increasingly difficult for insurgence and terrorist to pull off their actions. More area's can be secured, which will increase security for civilians and allow for greater intelligence gathering as civilians feel safer about coming foward and telling what they know about terrorist or insurgents. Sorry, but this is not something that will happen overnight, that will be marked by some date on a calander etc. Its a gradual process, just as it has been in every other successful, nation building, counter insurgencey process. Show us the evidence that the world would be a safer place without US troops in Iraq and that the lives of Iraqi's would dramatically improve if the United States abandons the country as your friends in the Democratic Party are electing to do. Show us why the world was better with Saddam in power and that the Iran/Iraq war, invasions and attacks on Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Israel were good things for the region and made it a safer place. Show us why pushing the planet to the brink of the worst global economic depression, the largest use of WMD in history, and the slaughter of 1.7 million people were good things for the region and the world relative to the situation now.


Oh yes, US troops on the ground, what would they know right? 140,000 on the ground at any given time over the past 3 and a half years, and over a half a million who have been in country. Their all just beating the propaganda drum for Karl Rove, it has nothing to do with their training, what they know an understand about counter insurgencies or nation building, as well as what they have experienced on the ground in Iraq? Its all just one mass conspiracy and the only people who can save us are those that work at the Washington Post and the New York Times?

I'm not asking that you agree with everything the military says, but you could at least look at it, respect what they have to say, acknowledge the things they have been successful at, instead of labling everything they say as propaganda just because it does not agree or fit in with your conclusions about things.


Indeed, Iraq could be far worse than the present situation, and will certainly get far worse if the Democrats have their way in withdrawing troops prematurely. Iraq could be in a civil war, a real civil war that is marked by more than just sectarian violence in one city. A Civil War like Bosnia, which if it happened in Iraq would kill over a million people every year! Iraq itself has saw far worse periods of violence under Saddam than the current period. Its sad that 200 people were killed in the recent bombing, but it pales in comparison to the 6,000 Iraqi's who were gassed in one town one early morning while Saddam was in power. The hundreds of thousands of Iraqi's who died from Saddam's unecessary war with Iran. The 300,000 Shia's slaughtered by Saddam in under 30 days in March/April 1991. Thats 10,000 people a day!

Yes, preventing the level of tragedy that was so common place before Saddam was removed is indeed a success, as well as preventing a real Civil War. A government is in place, the military is getting stronger, GDP growth is up, the insurgency has not grown since April 2004, the sectarian violence is confined primarily to Baghdad, these are all positive things that had the potential to be worse, not be in place, or not exist at all.


In the 13 non-Sunni majority provinces, people do go to the Market and the Mosque, usually without fear of being bombed or attacked. Polling done in these area's shows that peoples top concern is the lack of services rather than the lack of security. But wait, there is only one Iraq, the Iraq that is within 30 miles of Baghdad, right? Lets just pretend the majority of Iraq does not actually exist.

Once again, you've yet to explain how a bunch of relatively rag tag shia militia's are going to go through a hundred miles of desert with few roads and overrun Kuwait in 12 hours like Saddam did in August 1990. The Iranian's only have at best 25% of power projection capabilities that Saddam had in August of 1990, and thats assuming one could count hundreds of pieces of US equipment from the days of the Shah as still being operable. How many people in any of the Shia militia's have ever operated more than a hundred miles from where they actually live? What vehicles are the Shia militia's equipped with besides civilian trucks and cars? Beyond hand held motars and RPG's, what medium or heavy weapons do the Shia militia have to use in their conquest of Kuwait? IED's may be good weapons in attacking an occupier, but their not much use when your doing the occupying. Stripped of the safety, and security of their own towns, neighborhoods, and civilians, how would a Shia militia a hundred miles into the open desert combat ANY of the professional military forces in either Kuwait or Saudi Arabia with such limited weaponry, vehicles, as well as the logistics needed to sustain such an operation like that? Are the Iranians going to actually supply the Shia militia's with this missing equipment, equipment that their own military is in desperate need of, equipment that for the past three years, they have not given to any Shia militia?

Its not necessarily that Saudi Arabia considers Kuwait to be a buffer, but if your not properly equipped for crossing the desert where there are no roads, then your going to have to stick to the major roads that run through Kuwait and then into Saudi Arabia. More importantly, if your no match for the Kuwaiti military, your certainly not something that is going to worry the Saudi's. I don't know of any Shia militia that would last long in the open desert, hundreds of miles from home, against 10,000 dug in, fully supplied Kuwaiti troops, with modern Main Battle Tanks, Artillery, Attack Helicopters, Combat Aircraft, etc. There is a huge difference between being able to make trouble in your own neighborhood and being able to march into a neighboring country and defeat a professional military force in the open.
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:31 AM   #267
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I don't believe America has any credibility in the Middle East.

I also don't believe it has much anywhere else in the world anymore either.

If you think staying there with no post war plan, just pissing in the wind like this is going to change that, I am shocked because you are not that stupid.

Heckuva job.
Can you name another country that has more credibility as well as capability in handling these problems?
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Old 12-01-2006, 03:54 AM   #268
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Whatever is going to happen in Iraq is going to happen whether or not the US is there or not. And the people who have been predicting all the past events like, wait until after we catch Saddam, after the election, after we catch Zarquawi, insurgency in the last throes, no civil war and so on don't offer comfort to anyone in predicting future events in Iraq. They have been WRONG!! and they will continue to be WRONG with a hopelessly unrealistic optimistic view of the immediate future in Iraq by continuing the same path. It is definition of insanity, keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome.
Well, thats not what history has shown us. For 25 years, very little happened in Iraq unless Saddam wanted it too. Saddam was then removed in an invasion that the liberals claimed would kill a million people and cause another 1 million to flee the country immediately. Oh, but that was nearly four years ago, no one remembers that right.

The accomplishments of the elections, capturing or killing certain insurgent leaders, the growing Iraqi military, the passing of a constitution, the establishment of the first elected Iraqi government, are all important, but few people if anyone actually claimed that Iraq would immediately stabilize and become a prosperous nation once any of these things occured. Most people especially those who looked recently at Bosnia and Kosovo realize that nation building takes many years if not decades. Resolving these problems and issues take time and involve many costs and setbacks along the way.

If you disagree with the establishment of Iraq's first democratically elected government, the passing of a new constitution, the building of a new Iraqi military and police force, Billions of dollars in economic aid for previously impoverished area's of Iraq, talking with all the groups in Iraq in order to try and bridge differences between them, what is your alternative plan? Perseverance is not insanity, its necessary to accomplish objectives that take a considerable amount of time.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:24 AM   #269
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If I recall you were one who, for the most part, supported the Bush Administrations actions in this part of the world.


My problem with "supporters"
is that the Bush plan or plans never really had any real chance of success.

They have just squandered hundreds of billions of dollars and even worse tens of thousands of lives, ruined economies, infrastructures, institutions, historic sites, when there was no real chance for a successful outcome.

A better approach would have been to threaten the "so-called regime change", to keep the no-fly zones in place with the partition of Iraq. North for the Kurds, South for the Shia to have reasonable security.

This is what was done with the biggest terrorist of the 80s, Khadafi.
Khadafi started two wars and invaded countries and sponsored real terror, the bombing of international airlines.

Before this Iraq fiasco America was perceived to have the ability to accomplish it's will.

Now we have Iran, Chavez, North Korea all chomping at the bit to show the incompetence of the Bush Administration.

The Bush Administration misdeeds will reduce the U. S. as the major player in international affairs within the next decade.
A smarter team could have preserved that popular conception for several more decades.
Saddam killed far more people than Khadafi did in the 1980s in just a few hours one morning in 1988. Khadafi never threatened the planets energy supply with siezure and sabotage or caused the largest deployment of US troops since World War II. He invaded neighboring Chad where his small military forces were picked off and defeated. Terrorism was a concern, but Libya never had the anywhere near the size and capabilities of Iraq or other countries of the Middle East. Not that Khadafi did not try to be big, but its difficult when the size of your population is not much bigger than the Republic of Ireland and your country does not sit on or in close proximity to the planets vital resources.

The Bush administration has already accomplished several of its goals in regards to Iraq and removed a serious threat to the planets energy supplies. Now that the most important goals have been accomplished, stabilizing Iraq to ensure stability and peace in the future will obviously take more time. It will be successfully accomplished provided the time and resources are spent to see that it does.

The amount of money spent on the US military, Iraq, and Afghanistan, is currently smaller as a percentage of US GDP, than annual defense spending in the 1980s under Reagan.

Iran's behavior is no different than it was prior to the invasion of Iraq. North Korea has had nuclear weapons since 1994! I know its fun to believe that all the worlds problems are suddenly the result of the invasion of Iraq, but thats not the case.

Bush's "misdeeds" are no more likely to reduce the United States role as the major player in international affairs than Reagan's "misdeeds" were to do the same to the United States in the 1990s. What fundamentally makes the United States the most powerful nation on the planet and the most important player in International Affairs has not changed at all. In many ways, it has only become stronger.
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Old 12-01-2006, 02:13 PM   #270
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BAGHDAD — With sectarian violence reaching new extremes, some Sunni Muslim clerics are breaking with the most militant factions in their sect and reaching out to Shiite clergy in an effort to pull Iraq back from the abyss.

Some members of the Muslim Scholars Assn., which has acted as a broker between Western officials and members of the country's Sunni-driven insurgency, worry that their group has done little more than clasp hands before television cameras with their Shiite counterparts and issue joint appeals for calm.

"The Muslim Scholars Assn. so far has not participated in any real, effective negotiations," said Sheik Mahmoud Sumaidaie, a senior member who preaches at the organization's Baghdad headquarters, the Umm Qura Mosque.

Sumaidaie said more than 70 clerics across Iraq want to form a new religious council that can unite all Sunni factions and open a channel of communication with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, the country's most revered Shiite cleric. Without it, he said, "we will never be able to stop the bloodshed in Iraq."
http://www.latimes.com/news/la-fg-sunnis30nov30,1,4562125.story?ctrack=1&cset=true
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