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Old 08-04-2006, 06:06 AM   #91
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I’ve held back from wading into this debate so far but you know what, I’ve had it. The following is a disjointed rant brought on by having my nerves rattled one too many times.

After September 11 the Bush administration had a stellar opportunity to deal with international terrorism by going after those responsible. Thus the invasion of Afghanistan. I despise war in all its forms but I do agree with Bush that something had to be done about Afghanistan – and then they completely bungled it. Instead of securing a steady government in Afghanistan by cleaning out the worst of the warlords the priority was buying off thugs and criminals. Instead of securing the country the priority was flattening Tora Bora. It makes me wonder how much of the cash distributed by the CIA has been used to buy the AK47s and the rockets that are now used against NATO forces.

And then to make matters worse the powers that be had the brilliant idea of invading Iraq – except it seems that the plan was already hibernating in a filling cabinet at the Pentagon. There was no credible intelligence, no firm exit strategy, and only a wildly inaccurate estimate of the Iraqi public support. Iraq has become a black hole for resources and troops, not to mention goodwill. It has not only virtually destroyed hope of actually countering the treat of terrorism but actually made the world a more dangerous place and the latest news of sectarian violence makes it even clearer that the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq has been the worst military blunder since Hitler said ‘Hey, I wonder if Stalingrad is nice in winter’.

Of course we can’t simple pull out and leave the Iraqis to the fate we’ve created for them. We owe our loyalty to those (and I believe they are the majority) who simply want to live peaceful lives. But I’m afraid that sooner or later that is exactly what will happen and in 10 or 20 years we’ll do this all over again. It’s time we start fighting the root of the problem – and that cannot be done with laser guided bombs but only with money, more money and a great deal of diplomacy.

All this might seem motivated by terrible selfishness for surely I’m not the only one with someone to worry about but every time I see a headline that reads ‘Soldiers killed in Helmand’ my heart skips a few beats – and all that worry turns to anger at the frivolous ways of Messrs Bush and Blair.

Ahemn… I’ll stop hijacking the thread and let you get back to the scheduled discussion.
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Old 08-07-2006, 02:56 AM   #92
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Shiite Cresent Rising
Quote:
BAGHDAD, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Shiite militias in Iraq are now brutally killing gays and children forced into same-sex prostitution, a report says Sunday.

The killings are ignored under Iraqi law because homosexuality is seen as a horrific act against Islam, London's Observer newspaper reports, and those doing the killing face no consequences.

Section 111 of Iraq's penal code lays out legal protections for murder when the targeted people are deemed to be acting against Islam. Homosexuality is viewed by some as so immoral that killing someone who is gay qualifies as an "honor killing," the newspaper says.

Graphic photos the newspaper obtained show ruthless execution scenes of Iraqis believed to have been gay.

The fervency of the militia death squads is growing into brutal "witch hunts" for homosexuals and even as an excuse to torture and kill people wearing Western clothing, the newspaper says.

The killing campaign is responsible for a rise in Iraqis seeking asylum in Britain, the Observer says.
link
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Old 08-07-2006, 03:02 AM   #93
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Shiite Cresent Rising link
so are you are agreeing the American adventure in Iraq is a disaster
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Old 08-07-2006, 03:50 AM   #94
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Not neccessarily and not yet, but the concequences of the Bush administration being soft on religious fascism have been apparent for some time now and they don't seem to have the will to make a defence of the secular state at home or abroad. The options for Iraq in the intermediate future present a choice between hard nosed realism and genuine support for the democratic process, this will be shown in how the militias are dealt with.
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:29 PM   #95
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Quote:
Iraq PM criticizes U.S.-led attack

By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 17 minutes ago

Iraq's prime minister sharply criticized a U.S.-Iraqi attack Monday on a Shiite militia stronghold in Baghdad, breaking with his American partners on security tactics as the United States launches a major operation to secure the capital.

More than 30 people were killed or found dead Monday, including 10 paramilitary commandos slain when a suicide driver detonated a truck at the regional headquarters of the Shiite-led Interior Ministry police in a mostly Sunni city north of Baghdad.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's criticism followed a pre-dawn air and ground attack on an area of Sadr City, stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia.

Police said three people, including a woman and a child, were killed in the raid, which the U.S. command said was aimed at "individuals involved in punishment and torture cell activities."

One U.S. soldier was wounded, the U.S. said.

Al-Maliki, a Shiite, said he was "very angered and pained" by the operation, warning that it could undermine his efforts toward national reconciliation.

"Reconciliation cannot go hand in hand with operations that violate the rights of citizens this way," al-Maliki said in a statement on government television. "This operation used weapons that are unreasonable to detain someone — like using planes."

He apologized to the Iraqi people for the operation and said "this won't happen again."
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:41 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Not neccessarily and not yet, but the concequences of the Bush administration being soft on religious fascism have been apparent for some time now and they don't seem to have the will to make a defence of the secular state at home or abroad. The options for Iraq in the intermediate future present a choice between hard nosed realism and genuine support for the democratic process, this will be shown in how the militias are dealt with.
I wish we could bring Ataturk back, this time to set up a secular state in Iraq.
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:52 PM   #97
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No words:

Quote:
A U.S. military court in Baghdad heard graphic testimony on Monday of how three U.S. soldiers took turns raping a 14-year-old Iraqi girl before murdering her and her family....

Special Agent Benjamin Bierce recalled that Barker described to him how they put a couple and their six-year-old daughter into a bedroom of their home, but kept the teenage girl in the living room, where Barker held her hands while Sergeant Paul Cortez raped her or tried to rape her.

Barker then switched positions with Cortez and attempted to rape the girl but said he was not sure if he had done so, Bierce told the hearing.

Barker also told the special agent he heard shots from the bedroom and shortly afterwards Private Steven Green emerged from the room, put down an AK-47 assault rifle and raped the girl while Cortez held her down....

Defense Attorney Captain Jimmie Culp was blowing chewing gum bubbles while Yribe, sitting to his left, began sucking on a red lollipop during the testimony....

After the rape and murders, [Specialist Barker] wrote that he began to grill chicken wings.
From Yahoo News.
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:42 AM   #98
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Quote:
Shia Embrace Partitioning of Iraq

By Borzou Daragahi
Times Staff Writer

7:30 PM PDT, August 8, 2006

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- They have a new constitution, a new government and a new military. But faced with incessant sectarian bloodshed, Iraqis for the first time have begun openly discussing whether the only way to stop the violence is to remake the country they have just built.

Leaders of Iraq's powerful Shiite Muslim political bloc have begun aggressively promoting a radical plan to partition the country as a way of separating the warring sects. Some Iraqis are even talking about dividing the capital, with the Tigris River as a kind of Berlin Wall.

Shiites have long advocated some sort of autonomy in the south on par with the Kurds' 15-year-old enclave in the north, with its own defense forces and control over oil exploration. And the new constitution does allow provinces to team up into federal regions. But the latest effort, promulgated by Cabinet ministers, clerics and columnists, marks the first time they've advocated regional partition as a way of stemming violence.

"Federalism will cut off all parts of the country that are incubating terrorism from those that are upgrading and improving," said Khudair Khuzaie, the Shiite education minister. "We will do it just like Kurdistan. We will put soldiers along the frontiers."

The growing clamor for partition illustrates how dire Iraq's security, economic and political problems have come to seem to many Iraqis: Until recently, Iraqis shunned the idea of redrawing the 8 1/2-decade-old map of Iraq as seditious.

Some of the advocates of partitioning the country are circumspect, arguing that federalism is only one of the tools under consideration for reducing violence.

But others push a plan by Abdel Aziz Hakim, head of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, a political party. Hakim advocates the creation of a nine-province district in the largely peaceful south, with 60 percent of the country's proven oil reserves.

Sunni leaders see nothing but greed in the new push -- the Shiites, they say, are taking advantage of the escalating violence to make an oil grab.

Iraq's oil is concentrated in the north and south, with much of the Sunni west and northwest desolate desert tundra, devoid of oil and gas.

"Controlling these areas will create a grand fortune that they can exploit," said Adnan Dulaymi, a leading Sunni Arab politician. "Their motive is that they are thirsty for control and power."

Still, even nationalists who favor a united Iraq acknowledge that sectarian warfare has gotten so out of hand that even the possibility of splitting the capital along the Tigris, which roughly divides the city between a mostly Shiite east and a mostly Sunni west, is being openly discussed.

"Sunnis and Shiites are both starting to feel that dividing Baghdad will be the solution," despaired Ammar Wajuih, a Sunni politician.

Critics scoff at the idea that any geographical partitioning of Sunni and Shiites will make the country any safer than it is now. In fact, some observers warn that cutting up the country's Arab provinces into separate religious cantons would be as cataclysmic as the partition of Pakistan and India in 1947.

Although growing numbers of Iraqis acknowledge that their country is in the throes of an undeclared civil war, a partition would "actually lead to increasing violence and sectarian displacement," said Hussein Athab, a political scientist and former lawmaker in Basra.

Critics of partitioning note that rival Shiite militias with ties to political parties in government not only appear to be responsible for as much of Iraq's violence as Sunni insurgents, but have been known to turn their guns on each other.

"They're always talking about reconciliation and rejecting violence, but in truth they're not serious," Wajuih said. "Whenever there is a security escalation or violence, they bring the issue of federalism up again."

One Western diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, suggested that the Shiites were using the prospect of a southern mini-state to gain other political concessions from Sunnis, "a threat that they wouldn't want to have to exercise" because tearing the country asunder would be so traumatic.

A U.S. Embassy spokesperson declined to comment publicly on an issue so volatile. But U.S. policymakers have also begun to warm to the idea. Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware, one of the Democratic Party's leading voices on foreign policy, began openly advocating such a move this year.

"I think it's the only way out," says Ivan Eland, a former Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee staffer who is now an analyst at the Independent Institute, an Oakland, Calif., think tank. "Iraq is already partitioned. Kurds don't want to be part of it. And any central government controlled by one group, the other groups are going to be afraid of being oppressed by it."

The Kurdish experiment has inspired many Shiite leaders, especially Hakim. Clerics loyal to him have already begun using street demonstrations as well as the Friday prayer pulpit to advance to desperate and war-weary Shiite masses that an autonomous southern region will stem the bloodshed and bring prosperity.

"Those afraid of federalism in the south and middle are afraid that we will get our rights back," Sheik Sadraldin Qabanchi told the faithful gathered for Friday prayers in Najaf last month.

"Why not now?" said a July 30 column in Adala, a Shiite daily newspaper. "We are in a race against time to establish federalism in Iraq."

Hakim's advisers have already begun drawing up plans and proposals for what rights and territory such a region would encompass, said Haithem Hussein, one of his deputies. In one plan, the Shiite militias now considered part of Iraq's cycle of violence could be used as regional security force, just as the Kurdish "peshmerga" militias form the core of Kurdistan's regional security forces.
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Old 08-09-2006, 01:59 AM   #99
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nothing but librul lies, guys. can we cut out the partisan bickering and stick to the truth?

you can keep your "facts", but the people want to know the "truth". and the truth is, you libruls never have ideas for yourselves, you're too busy putting down ours.

that's not exactly constructive critiscm, gang!
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Old 08-09-2006, 09:34 AM   #100
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Librul Lies?

The truth is Iraq is a hellhole and our troops are walking around with targets on their backs. Read Riverbend's blog for a real Iraqi perspective.
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:00 PM   #101
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Quote:
Iraq: Highest Number of Civilian Deaths in July

By EDWARD WONG and DAMIEN CAVE
The New York Times, August 16, 2006


BAGHDAD — July appears to have been the deadliest month of the war for Iraqi civilians, according to figures from the Health Ministry and the Baghdad morgue, reinforcing criticism that the Baghdad security plan started in June by the new government has failed. An average of more than 110 Iraqis were killed each day in July, according to the figures. The total number of civilian deaths that month, 3438, is a 9% increase over the tally in June and nearly double the toll in January...When the tally for civilian deaths in July is added to the Iraqi government numbers for earlier months obtained by the United Nations, the total indicates that at least 17,776 Iraqi civilians died violently in the first seven months of this year, or an average of 2539 per month.

The rising numbers suggested that sectarian violence is spiraling out of control, and seemed to bolster an assertion many senior Iraqi officials and American military analysts have made in recent months: that the country is already embroiled in a civil war, not just slipping toward one, and that the American-led forces are caught between Sunni Arab guerrillas and Shiite militias.

The numbers also provide the most definitive evidence yet that the Baghdad security plan started by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki on June 14 has not quelled the violence. The plan, promoted by top Iraqi and American officials at the time, relied on setting up more Iraqi-run checkpoints to stymie insurgents. The officials have since acknowledged that the plan has fallen far short of its aims, forcing the American military to add thousands of soldiers to the capital this month and to back away from proposals for a withdrawal of some troops by year’s end.

The American ambassador said in an interview last week that Iraq’s political leaders had failed to use their influence fully to rein in the soaring violence, and that people associated with the government were stoking the flames of sectarian hatred. "I think the time has come for these leaders to take responsibility with regard to sectarian violence, to the security of Baghdad at the present time," said the ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad.

The American command has added nearly 4,000 American soldiers to Baghdad by extending the tour of a combat brigade. Under a new security plan aimed at overhauling Mr. Maliki’s efforts, some of the city’s most violent southern and western areas are now virtually occupied block-to-block by American and Iraqi forces, with entire neighborhoods transformed into miniature police states after being sealed off by blast walls and concertina wire.

United Nations officials and military analysts say the morgue and ministry numbers almost certainly reflect severe undercounting, caused by the haphazard nature of information in a war zone. Many casualties in areas outside Baghdad probably never appear in the official count, said Anthony H. Cordesman, a military analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a research group in Washington. That helps explain why fatalities in Baghdad appear to account for such a large percentage of the total number, he said in a recent report.

...Iraqi and American officials agree that civilian deaths had been much lower before wide-scale sectarian violence erupted after the Feb. 22 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra, and has only gotten worse.

Iraqi politicians are furiously lashing out at one another. On Monday, the speaker of Parliament, a conservative Sunni Arab, said he was considering stepping down because of animosity from the Kurdish and Shiite political blocs. The move to oust the speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, appears to have thrown the Sunni Arab bloc he belongs to, the Iraqi Consensus Front, into disarray. On Tuesday, a senior member of the bloc, Khalaf al-Elayan, said the bloc rejected any call for Mr. Mashhadani’s resignation. Another Sunni leader, Adnan al-Dulaimi, said in an interview that Mr. Mashhadani should step down. Mr. Dulaimi is considered a possible replacement.

In Karbala, Shiite gunmen and Iraqi military forces exchanged gunfire for several hours near one of Iraq’s holiest Shiite shrines. Witnesses said the fighting forced the Iraqi Army to block entrances to the city and impose a curfew, prohibiting all cars and warning residents not to carry guns. One of the deadliest attacks in recent weeks took place in southern Baghdad on Sunday night, when bombs, mortars and rockets killed at least 57 people in a Shiite neighborhood, according to Iraqi officials. The American military said Tuesday that the death toll had grown to at least 63 and that the cause had been identified: two car bombs that ignited a gas line. The well-organized attack came despite the fact that American and Iraqi troops have flooded areas of southern Baghdad.
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Old 08-16-2006, 06:12 PM   #102
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:09 PM   #103
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Oh, just wonderful. Allowing the Shiites to have their nice little enclave with 60% of the oil. In addition to the fact that these guys would very naturally want to share that oil with their Shiite buddies in Iran (thus perhaps enabling some of it, or funds from its sale, or the military ordinance it would buy, to stuff Hezbollah coffers or munitions dumps in Lebanon), I thought the REAL reason we were in Iraq is STILL the oil, and naturally, if the Islamists got control of it, there's no way we would ever be able to see a drop. So much for the sacrifice of our soldiers--not to mention the horrific waste of our (um, China's?) hundreds of billions we've spent so far.

Not to mention what would happen--it is already happening, alas---to Iraq's women. And the article about killing gays shows what kind of a state a Shiite one would be....#($($ Saudi Arabia all over again, only we won't be able to partner up with these folks.

I wonder how construction is going on that nice U.S. Embassy complex in the Green Zone these days. You know, the one that's going to be 4 times the size of Vatican City, and the largest U.S. Embassy in the world, by far. I wonder if anyone is starting to think the whole project is insane....

I think I'm going to hurl my lunch....
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:13 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally posted by Teta040
I wonder how construction is going on that nice U.S. Embassy complex in the Green Zone these days. You know, the one that's going to be 4 times the size of Vatican City, and the largest U.S. Embassy in the world, by far. I wonder if anyone is starting to think the whole project is insane......
I read that it was the only US construction job in Iraq that was running on time and on budget. 21 buildings, a mini city within a city with it's own power station and water supply, to house 4000 people.

You could write a more fucked up story.
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Old 08-16-2006, 07:21 PM   #105
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Earnie, these days you COULD write a more ed up story, but as regards Iraq, I think this one beats the competition....I have no doubt that a hundred years from now, little local kids are going to be playing Crusader Fort in the ruins of this thing. It'll be the last--and most tragic--of all the Crusader castles in the Middle East. The Islamists talk about us being "Crusaders" and in this instance, at least, it may be true....
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