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Old 12-13-2006, 08:01 PM   #331
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wading through all the debris, i find these ...


Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
[B]
For better understanding, just take a look at history. Your not going to be able to invade a country the size of Iraq and establish the level of prosperity and security after what this country had been through in the previous 25 years. Nation Building is a long and difficult process that takes far more time than the 3 years that has been spent so far. Defeating the average insurgency takes a minimum of 10 years.
so why, on earth, did they send in less than 150,000 troops? or, just enough troops to lose?


Quote:
The current course of action is working as the commanders on the GROUND in Iraq have testified.
i would love to see the recent (not 2004) assessments of the commanders on the GROUND and their optimistic outlooks.

since that stands contrary to EVERYONE else, including the incoming Sec of Defense.
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:05 PM   #332
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There is no greater middle eastern war nor is there a civil war in Iraq at the current time. You have significant sectarian violence around Baghdad, but thats it. Most of the provinces in Iraq sight the lack of services rather than the lack of security as being their most pressing problems. Again, you can't take Baghdad and extrapolate it as being all of Iraq.


oh come ON sting. i'm so glad my teammate died for your BULLSHIT.

this is horseshit, and you know it -- you need to look up your facts post-2004. there is 60 percent unemployment, oil production is well below prewar levels, and there's water service to only 30% of the population. yes, if 70% of the population doesn't have water, that's probably going to trump car bombs, but not by a whole lot.

there IS a civil war. EVERYONE is calling it a civil war, including Colin Powell, NBC News, Fareed Zakaria, numerous conservatives. what more do you want? does it have to be The Congo with 4m dead? the definiton of a Civil War is not contingent upon numbers dead but upon a collapsed central government and two clearly defined groups (usually ethnic) battling each other for control.
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:09 PM   #333
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
wading through all the debris, i find these ...




so why, on earth, did they send in less than 150,000 troops? or, just enough troops to lose?




i would love to see the recent (not 2004) assessments of the commanders on the GROUND and their optimistic outlooks.

since that stands contrary to EVERYONE else, including the incoming Sec of Defense.

They have not lost, and they sent in the maximum number of active army and marine ground combat brigades that could be sustained there over the long term, given other key US deployments in other countries, and the need to rotate ground combat brigades in and out of these deployments in order to rest and refit them. A sustained force size significantly larger than the one in Iraq can only be achieved through the full mobilization of the National Guard for years. Currently, caps on the use of National Guard Brigades prevent them from being used in this manner. But 40% of the United States ground combat brigades are in the National Guard and until the rules in using them are changed, only smaller temporary increases in force levels in Iraq can be achieved through delaying the return of combat brigades in Iraq, and accelerating the deployment of combat brigades sent to replace them, there by achieving perhaps a 5 month period where their deployments overlap naturally increasing the number of troops on the ground during that time period.

General John Abazaid just had a very important testimony before congress a few weeks ago where he defended the current strategy and mentioned he had just recently discussed the issue with ALL the divisional commanders in Iraq. Gates has yet to consult them, but has said their views will play the biggest role in his recomendations to the president. These are not 2004 assements, a year I might add that saw the insurgency at its peak, and US casaulty levels at their highest.
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:27 PM   #334
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Originally posted by Irvine511




oh come ON sting. i'm so glad my teammate died for your BULLSHIT.

this is horseshit, and you know it -- you need to look up your facts post-2004. there is 60 percent unemployment, oil production is well below prewar levels, and there's water service to only 30% of the population. yes, if 70% of the population doesn't have water, that's probably going to trump car bombs, but not by a whole lot.

there IS a civil war. EVERYONE is calling it a civil war, including Colin Powell, NBC News, Fareed Zakaria, numerous conservatives. what more do you want? does it have to be The Congo with 4m dead? the definiton of a Civil War is not contingent upon numbers dead but upon a collapsed central government and two clearly defined groups (usually ethnic) battling each other for control.
Oh, and there wasn't 60% or higher unemployment in 2004? Much of Iraq has never had running water! If you think water service in Iraq is poor, take a look at Afghanistan. Do you think Shia area's of Iraq would prefer life under Saddam when they could not even get humanitarian supplies given by the UN because of Saddam. This is Iraq NOT France! Iraq already had problems with oil production back in the 1990s under Saddam and the sanctions regime. Insurgent attacks on the supply line are to blame for the lower levels of production.

Once again, US commanders on the ground have repeatedly stated that they do not see a civil war there. You have heavy sectarian violence in Baghdad. 90% of the sectarian violence that occurs in Iraq happens in or around Baghdad. The fact that Iraq has a central government, and the sectarian violence is such a localized event shows that this is not a civil war. Even Koffi Anan did not state that Iraq was in a civil war, but there was the threat that it could become a civil war.

There is no collapsed central government, and if all it took were for there to be elements of two defined ethnic groups fighting each other, we'd have dozens of other countries being listed as being in Civil Wars. The presence of sectarian violence in one part of the country does NOT make it a civil war!

In any event, keep in mind the following:

1. two successful democratic elections in which the majority of the population participated.
2. the passing of a constitution
3. Iraq's first elected government coming into office.
4. Over 300,000 military and police forces in training.
5. compromises between the various ethnic groups of Iraq including Sunni acceptence of Maliki as the new leader of the government when Jafferi was seen as unacceptable.
6. Iraqi military units that have performed very well in combat in various operations in Anbar province with little or no support from the US military.
7. The continued professionalism of the Iraqi military and non-sectarianism compared with police forces which have sometimes been caught in engaging in sectarian violence. The problems in the police forces are not seen anywhere near to that degree in the military.
8. Substantial GDP growth across the country.
9. Relative calm and peace in 13 of the 18 provinces of Iraq.
10. Polls in those provinces showing that "security" is not a top concern for the people that live there.
11. The distribution of humanitarian aid, electricity, and other services to many parts of Iraq that had often been denied such items for decades.
12. The standard of living of the average Iraqi is higher than that of the average person in Afghanistan, yet Iraqi's are perceived to be worse off than people in Afghanistan
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:25 PM   #335
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2


2. the passing of a constitution
And how does that speak to the fact there ISN'T (according to you) a civil war?

You signed a constitution and then promptly had a civil war less than a century later. It's hardly a yardstick against which to judge success at this point.

The majority of, well, pretty much everyone in the world disagrees with you. We must all be stupid and insane.
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:49 PM   #336
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and what's funnier still is that the army doesn't even agree with STING's characterization of how the army understands the situation. an editorial in the 11/4/06 Army Times editorial calling for Rumsfeld's resignation:

[q]So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth.”


That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.

But until recently, the “hard bruising” truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington.

One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: “mission accomplished,” the insurgency is “in its last throes,” and “back off,” we know what we’re doing, are a few choice examples.

Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.

Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war’s planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.

Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee in September: “I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I’ve seen it ... and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war.”

Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide showing an assessment that the civil conflict in Iraq now borders on “critical” and has been sliding toward “chaos” for most of the past year. The strategy in Iraq has been to train an Iraqi army and police force that could gradually take over for U.S. troops in providing for the security of their new government and their nation.



But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition.

For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don’t show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.

Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.

And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.

Now, the president says he’ll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.

This is a mistake. It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation’s current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.

These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.

And although that tradition, and the officers’ deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.

Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large. His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:

Donald Rumsfeld must go.[/q]
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:08 PM   #337
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
and what's funnier still is that the army doesn't even agree with STING's characterization of how the army understands the situation. an editorial in the .[/q]
Thats the view of the editoral board of the Army Times, NOT the US Army and all those serving in it. The view on what needs to be done in order to succeed in Iraq comes from Cent Com Commander, General John Abazaid, divisional commanders on the ground in Iraq, as well the officers, non-commission officers, with multiple tours in Iraq and knowledge of how to wage a counter insurgency effort. Rumsfeld is irrelevant to their view on what needs to be done, before or after he left.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:21 PM   #338
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STING also disagrees with our Prime Minister, who has troops in Iraq, and believes it is going "very badly".
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:37 PM   #339
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Originally posted by anitram


And how does that speak to the fact there ISN'T (according to you) a civil war?

You signed a constitution and then promptly had a civil war less than a century later. It's hardly a yardstick against which to judge success at this point.

The majority of, well, pretty much everyone in the world disagrees with you. We must all be stupid and insane.
Its not the first time the majority of the world was wrong about a given situation or how best to resolve it. Most people in Europe rejected strict enforcement of the treaty ending World War I as well as confronting Hitler in the early to mid-1930s when the cost of doing so would have been far less. Intervention then could have prevented World War II. The abandonment of South Vietnam before it was ready to stand on its own led to its collapse two and a half years later. The failure to intervene in Bosnia early on, led to the slaughter of nearly 10% of that countries population.

If the majority think the above points on Iraq were not accomplished, its uninformed, ignorant, or in denial. More importantly though, is what the majority consenses would be as far as what to do about Iraq given the long term global interest in insuring stability in the region. The majority of people who criticize Iraq strategy do not offer any alternative aside from simply removing troops, which only succeeds in removing troops from the country, and making the situation far worse than it is at the current time.

In contrast the "Iraq Study Group" does offer many important political and economic initiatives that could help the process, many of which are already apart of current strategy to some degree. But they are wrong to withdraw nearly all US combat brigades by early 2008, leaving behind trainers and other imbedded personal without sufficient forces to help them in difficult situations as well as thinking that the Iraqi military will be ready by January 2008 to assume all the task and duties of the withdrawn US combat Brigades. Early 2011 would be far more realistic for such a withdrawal, anything prior to that is way to premature, unless you think the Iraqi military has been vastly more successful in its training and equiping then even I think.

Its also more than a bit contradictory to be suggesting we should threaten the Iraqi government with the removal of troops and aid if "national reconciliation" is not proceeding as fast as we think it should, given how important the iraq study group describes the stakes as being for the United States in Iraq.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:08 AM   #340
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When the ARMCHAIR General's and Neocon's get off thier ass and go to Iraq, I will support the effort to keep troops there until 2011.

I will now commence holding my breath.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:07 AM   #341
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2

12. The standard of living of the average Iraqi is higher than that of the average person in Afghanistan, yet Iraqi's are perceived to be worse off than people in Afghanistan

this is really indicative of the arguments put forward.

please go through this thread and point out where anyone has said that the people in Iraq are worse off in Afghanistan. we have different measures to guage this. we can talk about the level of violence, which is certainly worse in Iraq, but as for standard of living, Iraq is better than Afghanistan.

in fact, pretty much any country on the face of the earth is going to look better than Afghanistan when you consider the fact that the country has lived with war since 1979 and was considered a failed state and where the Taliban, arguably the worst government on earth, took over in the 1990s. the bar couldn't be any lower than Afghanistan, and if you need to use freaking Afghanistan to make Iraq look better by comparison, then you're really in trouble.

Iraq was selected for Bush's little democracy-oil-fantasy precisely because Iraq, pre-occupation, was a generally successful society especially for the Middle East. Iraq had roads, schools, a functioning (albeit tyrannical) government, oil, an army, universities, water, electricty -- Afghanistan isn't even comparable to Iraq when it comes to the conventional measures of standard of living.

so the comparison is complete and total crap, and indicative of the lengths we have to stretch to put lipstick on this pig of an invasion.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:12 AM   #342
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Irvine I think that you make a big mistake in drawing the destruction of Iraq to the occupation directly. It was a ruined society after two decades with war and sanctions with a deliberate policy of breaking down certain ethnic groups in the allocations of resources. The failures of the occupation - of which there are plenty - do not detract from the state Iraq was in before the war, the failure to bring it far beyond that state is where criticism should be put.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:55 AM   #343
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Irvine I think that you make a big mistake in drawing the destruction of Iraq to the occupation directly. It was a ruined society after two decades with war and sanctions with a deliberate policy of breaking down certain ethnic groups in the allocations of resources. The failures of the occupation - of which there are plenty - do not detract from the state Iraq was in before the war, the failure to bring it far beyond that state is where criticism should be put.


i didn't draw it directly -- please show me where i have. i was debunking the extremely convenient, incorrect comparisons made between the state of Iraqi society in 2003 and the state of Afghani society in 2003. the two are not comparable. yes, Iraq deteriorated throughout the 1990s, but it was in no way comparable with Afghanistan.

further, you point to the deterioration of Iraq pre-war, but after four years of occupation, society has disintergrated even farther. does this not underscore the point that the occupation has failed in numerous capacities, particularly the most important one: creating a working, functioning society with an entrenched middle class who have a vested interest in the maintenence of stability. democracy is meaningless without such people, and most of them have left.
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:56 AM   #344
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I don't disagree with any point in particular, especially given that in the absence of that buffer sectarian religious forces will emerge.
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Old 12-14-2006, 11:10 AM   #345
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Quote:
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I don't disagree with any point in particular, especially given that in the absence of that buffer sectarian religious forces will emerge.


and this is what is so troublesome -- we've basically reduced Iraq into another Afghanistan, removed the socialist secularist element and injected a lethal sectarianism.

i also agree that had the coalition invaded and occupied Baghdad in 1991, we might not have the same level of difficulty as we do today. twelve years of sanctions and containment have made the job harder than it would have been before, though the military operations necessary for the invasion would have been more difficult in 1991.
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