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Old 06-15-2006, 04:28 PM   #76
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Interesting question - assuming your premise to be factually correct, is there any benefit to a "no" answer?

Mind you, go back and look at some of the factors listed in your last question during WWII. All essentially occurred there as well, yet we have infinitesimal desire to give that one away.
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Old 06-15-2006, 04:35 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Interesting question - assuming your premise to be factually correct, is there any benefit to a "no" answer?



well, it is factually correct. which part isn't?


Quote:
Mind you, go back and look at some of the factors listed in your last question during WWII. All essentially occurred there as well, yet we have infinitesimal desire to give that one away.

while i agree that various bombing campaigns in Japan (Tokyo firebombing, the obvious Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and in Germany (Dresden, where the civilian population was deliberately targeted in an attempt to break Germany's spine) would have been considered war crimes had the war had a different outcome, but which items on my list happened during WW2?

also, simply because they occurred during WW2, does that make it acceptable for them to happen again? further, is it possible to compare what was gained (or lost) and what was at stake during WW2 with what was gained (or lost) and what was at stake with Iraq?

finally -- why does everyone return to WW2 as the basis of justification for all military actions? why is everything compared to WW2?
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Old 06-15-2006, 07:35 PM   #78
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well, it is factually correct. which part isn't?
You're making conclusions of law on issues that don't have a factual basis to bring charges.


Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
while i agree that various bombing campaigns in Japan (Tokyo firebombing, the obvious Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and in Germany (Dresden, where the civilian population was deliberately targeted in an attempt to break Germany's spine) would have been considered war crimes had the war had a different outcome, but which items on my list happened during WW2?

also, simply because they occurred during WW2, does that make it acceptable for them to happen again? further, is it possible to compare what was gained (or lost) and what was at stake during WW2 with what was gained (or lost) and what was at stake with Iraq?

finally -- why does everyone return to WW2 as the basis of justification for all military actions? why is everything compared to WW2?
WW2 makes a healthy comparison because today there is little disagreement with our involvement in the war. Yet, we faced many of the same questions about participating in the war then as we do today, or committed many of the same "errors" then as you have suggested today. The US entered WW2 with little international consensus, with a large, vocal opposition at home, engaged in what would politely be portrayed as blatant cultural bias, communicated limited truth to the American public, and incurred far costlier, repeated mistakes (the US lost more men on D-Day in a couple hours than the entire Iraq conflict).

I understand the viewpoints generated regarding Iraq are based on a relatively short span of time, whereas WW2 enjoys a long span of history for evaluation.
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Old 06-16-2006, 07:52 AM   #79
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Look at the news reports and anecdotes following the liberation of Italy, there was some very negative stories and there are documented cases of summary executions and torture by allied soldiers on POWs. Look at what happened fighting the Japanese, they were a vicious enemy and they recieved no quarter in return, the jihadist mindset is just as if not more ruthless than the Bushido cultist mindset (in point of fact I think that the comparison between the psychology of the kamakazi is a benchmark for the suicide bomber - but even the kamakazi was flying a plane into a warship and not blowing up a crowd of civilians).

The blunders in WW2 were much larger and much more deadly than those in Iraq, the expectation of modern wars is however tempered by Vietnam and the subsequent strategy of light troop numbers and heavy aerial targeting all through the 1990's that is so removed from having an occupying army they are incomparable. Iraq is not WW2, it is also not Vietnam - both those comparisons are shallow and self-serving.

If were going to judge a military action why not look at the results of the first Gulf War: it successfully got Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait with an international coalition, it avoided an occupation of the country, it resulted in Saddam surrendering large parts (but not all) of his WMD stockpiles and importantly weapons programs (which were definitely preserved). They are all good things - but they did come at a cost. It resulted in the long term deployment of US forces in Saudi Arabia to enforce no-fly zones, the end of the war allowed Saddam to supresses a Shiite insurrection with force which resulted in as many as 100,000 dead, the international community had to enforce sanctions on Iraq to make it fully comply with the UN resolutions - these sanctions were manipulated by the regime and resulted in many unneccesary deaths without coercing the leadership, the regime itself was mudering tens of thousands each year directly and the bodies are being dug up from mass graves every day. Now the Clinton administration maintained that the cost was worth paying in the long term for a liberated Iraq and by the rate of accumulating bodies being less now and the geopolitical situation changed we will see if that bears out.

By intervening to stop Iraq from wiping Kuwait off the map and then setting up and enforcing the containment policy the US was able to break Iraq down, the country never had any chance at recovery from the Iraq/Iran War or paying back it's debts. The road to war and direct responsibilities towards Iraq did not begin in 2001 but in 1991 and has spanned three administrations and will span more.

The biggest problem I have with Bush is his obscene characterisation of Islam as a religion of peace - which has allowed him to accept and defend the application of Sharia law in these countries constitutions, there is a difference between Bin Laden and regular domestic theocrats but supporting "moderate" political Islam in these situations sits very uneasily with me. As well the strategic blunders motivated by political considerations, such as the abortive attempt to go into Fallujah that gave the terrorists a base of operations for months, that seemed to be indecisiveness. But that is past and the situation has not changed and the militias are a more important dilemma, it can only be solved politically when the people are protected by Iraqi security forces - getting US troops out will lead to a reduction in overall violence if the government can keep the peace - and not with an iron dictatorial fist.
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:10 PM   #80
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Old 06-19-2006, 08:54 PM   #81
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Re: Life Gets Worse For the Insurgency

Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Papers Show 'Gloomy' State of Insurgency

There has been no substantiation of this iinfo. I no longer believe anything issued by our "honest gov't". If anything Osama, who I really believe is no longer really active except in name only, would love a further intanglement of US $ and loss of international support (which is almost nonexistant now) and lives.

To give examples of the current lies on only has to look at the last 2 weeks. Bush came home from his Bagdad fiasco saying the Iraqi's want no timetable then the press finds out that the Vice P specifically asked for a timetable and the P said he supported the view. Then there is Gitmo's story to US reporters that they had to leave cause UK was going to sue and the UK were told the US had been kicked out so they couldn't let them in or it would create a ruckus.

I'd really like to see the autoposy and evidence from the cells that are supposedly patrolled every 5 minutes.
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Old 06-22-2006, 12:58 PM   #82
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"I think — tide turning — see, as I remember — I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of — it's easy to see a tide turn — did I say those words?" —George W. Bush, asked if the tide was turning in Iraq, Washington, D.C., June 14, 2006
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Old 06-22-2006, 01:44 PM   #83
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It would be nice if the US govt could at least pay for the best helmets for the troops. I believe the Army has them but the Marines do not..

Cher has teamed up with Dr. Bob Meaders, founder and president of Operation-Helmet.org to help shed light on current problems with the existing helmets being used by members of the US Military, it was announced today. The Oscar winning actress and singer has committed to working with Operation Helmet to upgrade existing helmet to protect troops against blasts and impact concussions that they face in bomb blasts and motor vehicle accidents. Many of the helmets, including the new Marine Corps lightweight helmet, were designed to protect primarily against bullets and explosive fragments.

Operation Helmet is a nonpartisan, charitable grassroots effort that provides helmet upgrade kits free of charge to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. These helmet upgrade kits consist of shock-absorbing pads and a new strap system. For $75-$100, depending on the manufacturer, added safety and comfort can be provided for a trooper.

From the 360 blog

Dr Sanjay Gupta

"Over the past couple of years, I have been firmly embedded in some of the worst places on earth: In the middle of the northern mountains of Pakistan after the earthquake; on the eastern shores of Sri Lanka after a tsunami; and in Charity Hospital in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Still, one of my most vivid memories was when I spent two months in the middle of the war in Iraq in the spring of 2003. With bullets whizzing around and shrapnel flying through the air, I always triple-checked my Kevlar vest and helmet anytime I might be in danger, which was pretty much all the time.

Having that equipment made me feel a little more comfortable in the midst of wartime dangers. So imagine my concern when I saw a young Marine corporal, Jesus Vidana, brought by chopper into the tent of the Devil Docs, a medical unit tending to injured soldiers, because his helmet failed to stop a bullet.

He had been shot in the head and shrapnel had sprayed throughout his brain. Twice pronounced dead, once in the field, once in the helicopter, he was in fact alive, but barely. Looking at his injuries, I could not believe he had been wearing his helmet.

Given my background as a trained neurosurgeon and Jesus' dire condition, I was asked to shift from reporting on events to participating. I performed an operation on Jesus that day, removing the shrapnel and the life-threatening blood collection that was placing pressure, too much pressure, on his brain.

In the middle of the desert, my next objective was to find something sterile to repair the outer layer of his brain. My only option was to open a sterile IV bag and flip it inside out. It worked. Jesus Vidana survived and is living today in southern California.

After the operation, I went and found Jesus' helmet to investigate what exactly had happened. Sure enough, there was a hole in the back of his helmet on the right side. Jesus had done everything right, but his equipment had failed him. Needless to say, it was unnerving for all of us as I showed that helmet to everyone in the unit.

For sure, designing protective gear is a difficult job. As with anything else, there are advantages and disadvantages to changing the equipment. Not only should it be protective, but it must be relatively light. Not only should it be safe, but it should be able to accommodate the unforgiving nature of the desert heat.

For Jesus, everything worked out in the end, but what about the thousands of other Marines still fighting today? There's a debate raging about the adequacy of their protective gear. I am curious to hear your thoughts."
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:49 PM   #84
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The illusion of freedom

July 19, 2006 08:56 AM /

By DOUG THOMPSON

A longtime friend, a career soldier, returned home from Iraq recently and said that, sadly, he is thinking of resigning his commission.

After a record of service that extends from Vietnam to Panama to Desert Storm and, finally, to the invasion of Iraq, he says the will to serve his country is gone.

"This country used to stand for things that meant something," he said. "Not now. Honor, justice, loyalty, pride: None of these words have any meaning now."

As we sat down for lunch, I noticed a change. My friend could always look you in the eye and argue passionately about the need to use military force to defend democracy. No longer. He couldn't make eye contact. He looked down mostly and spoke in hushed, apologetic tones.

"We've destroyed their country," he said of the Iraqis. "We've turned it into a hellhole."

He talked of thousands of Iraqis fleeing the country each day. No one is sure how many have fled but he estimates the number will be more than a million by the end of the year.

"The last estimate I saw was over 800,000 have left. Think of that. Eight hundred thousand people have abandoned their homeland because we turned it into a place that is too dangerous to live. We're not liberators. We're destroyers. We destroyed a country, a culture and any hope they have for a future."

Iraq, he said, is out-of-control. The civil war that many predicted is already here and it cannot be stopped by either American presence or propaganda, he said, and Iraqis blame Americans for what has happened to their country.

"As bad as the situation may have been under Saddam Hussein, we have made it worse. Iraqis had electricity under Saddam. They don't now. They could go to the grocery story without fear. They can't now."

Perhaps, I suggested, he could help turn the tide by going public. He's a career military officer, I argued, someone with immediate credibility.

He shook his head.

"I've given my life to the military. It's all I have. If I go public, I lose my career and I could lose my pension. I can't afford a bad paper discharge. Not at this point in my life. I'm resigning my commission but I have to do it on my own terms and in a way to protect myself and my family. I can't put them at risk."

He left his lunch mostly uneaten and we walked out into the street. A light rain fell.

"They give us 'talking points' when we come home and they tell us to go out and talk up the war. I can't do that. I won't do that. I've done many things for my country but I won't lie for them. Not now. Not anymore."

As I watched him walk away in the rain, I realized the proud military man I've known for so many years no longer walked tall and straight. Those who sent him to fight in this current war based on lies and political opportunity took the spring out of his step and the pride out of his stance.

He spent his life fighting for our freedom. Now, when he needs that freedom the most, he cannot speak up.

Like too much else in America today, freedom is an illusion.
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Old 07-21-2006, 08:59 PM   #85
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Old 07-23-2006, 05:16 PM   #86
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Quote:
Iraqi speaker decries US 'butchery'

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Saturday 22 July 2006 9:17 AM GMT

US troops were roundly condemned in the speech

US forces have committed butchery in Iraq and should leave, the speaker of the country's parliament has said.

Mahmoud al-Mashhadani was speaking on Saturday at a UN-sponsored conference on transitional justice and reconciliation in Baghdad.

"Just get your hands off Iraq and the Iraqi people and Muslim countries, and everything will be all right," he said in a speech as the conference opened.

"What has been done in Iraq is a kind of butchery of the Iraqi people."

He also criticised US support for Israeli attacks against Lebanon.

The two-day conference, which was originally supposed to be opened by Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, will address the issue of dealing with the crimes of previous regimes and a plan to reconcile warring factions.

The prime minister is expected to name a reconciliation committee on Saturday.

Al-Mashhadani told the audience of UN officials, foreign experts, Iraqi politicians and civil society representatives that the Iraqi people had little use for foreign advice on running the country or for foreign-sponsored conferences.

Anecdote

"If a reconciliation project is going to work it has to talk to all the people," he said. "It must go through our Iraqi beliefs and perceptions. What we need is reconciliation between Iraqis only, there can be no third party."

He related an anecdote about how American soldiers keep people waiting in lines at checkpoints for hours because they insist on resting their bomb-sniffing dogs.

"The sleep of American dogs is more important than people being stopped in the street for hours," he said.

The UN representative who then opened the conference referred to al-Mashhadani's speech as "spirited".
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:00 PM   #87
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Republican lawmakers losing positive tone on course of war

- Jonathan Weisman, Anushka Asthana, Washington Post
Saturday, July 22, 2006

(07-22) 04:00 PDT Washington -- Faced with almost daily reports of sectarian carnage, Republicans are shifting their message on the war in Iraq from optimistic talk of progress to acknowledging serious problems and pointing up mistakes in planning and execution.

Rep. Gil Gutknecht, R-Minn., once a strong supporter of the war, returned from Iraq this week declaring that conditions in Baghdad were far worse "than we'd been led to believe," and urging that troop withdrawals begin immediately.

Other Republican lawmakers acknowledge that it is no longer tenable to say the news media is ignoring the good news in Iraq and painting an unfair picture of the war. About 4,338 Iraqi civilians died violent deaths during the first six months of 2006, according to a new report by the U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq. Last month alone, 3,149 civilians were killed -- an average of more than 100 a day.

"It's like after (Hurricane) Katrina, when the secretary of Homeland Security was saying all those people weren't really stranded (at the New Orleans civic center) when we were all watching it on TV," said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. "I still hear about that. We can't look like we won't face reality."

"Essentially, what the White House is saying is, 'Stay the course, stay the course,' " Gutknecht said. "I don't think that course is politically sustainable."

"Congress needs to be more proactive and aggressive in evaluating what is the progress in Iraq," he said. "The Iraqi government shouldn't feel like it's got a blank check on American lives and American dollars."
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Old 08-02-2006, 08:40 AM   #88
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HELENA, Montana (AP) -- A nephew of Sen. Max Baucus serving in the Marines was killed in Iraq during the weekend, the senator's office said Tuesday.

Cpl. Phillip E. Baucus, 28, died Saturday during combat operations in Anbar province, the Department of Defense said. It did not immediately release further information.

In a statement, Baucus, D-Montana, said the family was "devastated by the loss."

"Phillip was an incredible person, a dedicated Marine, a loving son and husband, and a proud Montanan and American," the senator said. "He heroically served the country he loved and he gave it his all."

Phillip Baucus, of Wolf Creek, was part of a Marine Corps battalion based at Twentynine Palms, Calif. He was married last August at the ranch his parents operate between Helena and Great Falls.

Max Baucus voted to authorize war in Iraq in 2002. Earlier this summer, he joined other Democrats in voting to begin a phased redeployment of troops from the war-torn country by year's end.

Baucus is in his fifth term in the Senate.
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:25 PM   #89
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Quote:
Generals warn Senate that Iraq could descend into civil war

By Stephen J. Hedges
Chicago Tribune, August 3, 2006


WASHINGTON - In what may be the Pentagon's most pessimistic assessment of the war in Iraq to date, two top generals told a Senate panel Thursday that the country could descend into civil war if the wave of sectarian violence isn't checked soon by Iraqi and U.S. forces. The generals and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned of the toll that violence between Shiite and Sunni Muslim militia groups is taking on efforts to constitute a new Iraqi government, restore order and begin the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

"I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I've seen it, in Baghdad in particular," Army Gen. John Abizaid, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and chief of U.S. Central Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. "And that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war." Abizaid's assessment came in response to a question from Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., who noted that the outgoing British ambassador to Iraq, William Patey, recently told his government, in a memo that was later leaked, that Iraq was nearing civil war and could split along ethnic lines.

U.S. Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed, saying, "We do have the possibility of (sectarian violence) devolving into civil war."

Thursday's stark assessment stood in contrast to earlier testimony from military leaders, who, while acknowledging the dangerous environment in Iraq, have generally emphasized positive developments, such as national elections and Iraqi police successes.

"We need the Iraqi people to seize this moment," Pace said. "We've provided security for them, their armed forces are providing security for them, and their armed forces are dying for them. They need to decide that this is their moment." A primary target of those security forces are the Shiite and Sunni militias that have come to flourish in the security vacuum, particularly in and near Baghdad, where sectarian violence seems most intense today.

Abizaid said abolishing those militias is central to bringing order to Iraq. "Militias are the curse of the region," he said, adding that such groups can push "the region into very unpredictable directions, as you see Hezbollah moving with regard to inside of Lebanon."
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Old 08-03-2006, 09:40 PM   #90
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I just watched a video on my ISP about the possibility of civil war in Iraq, and it's looking more and more like this may come to pass. It's a shame, but our stupid blundering people in Washington only have themselves to blame. I saw the Senate giving Rummy hell today. He deserves it.
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