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Old 01-21-2007, 07:42 PM   #46
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Originally posted by Irvine511



yes, silly, the US absolutely sent troops to protect the monarchies of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. they're the ones who give us cheap oil.

what's fantasical is the fact that containment had worked, was working, and if Saddam had stepped over the border into Kuwait, as he did in 1991, an actual inernational coalition would have been there to stop him.

that's HUGELY different than some cowboy-assed invasion executed with absolutely no regard to international opinion -- in striking contrast to Jim Baker's diplomacy in 1990 -- and complete fuck up of an occupation.

there were many, many good reasons why Bush 1 never marched into Baghdad in 1991. and we're seeing them all now.
The point was that oil, no other reason, was why the United States and other countries moved as quickly as possible to defend Saudi Arabia back in 1990.

If containment had worked or was working, why was there no sanctions or weapons embargo across the entire Syrian/Iraqi border by the summer of 2000? How was Saddam making 3 Billion dollars a year on the black market if containment was working and still in place. Any serious look at the sanctions and weapons embargo regime as it stood in 2002 would show it had crumbled from what it was.

There was no international coalition in Kuwait prior to the US build up for the invasion in late 2002. Kuwait had 10,000 troops and there were a few hundred US advisors, that was it. There were political restrictions and concerns on maintaining a large foreign military force in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia after 1991. It was hoped that Saddam's future compliance with UN Security Council Resolutions after such a huge defeat would show that he had changed his behavior, but this was not to be. It was also hoped that a fully maintained sanctions and weapons embargo regime would keep a permanent check on Saddams remaining military capability, but this had almost crumbled completely by the time of the 2003 invasion. Defending the huge oil reserves in Saudi Arabia once again partly relied on the United States racing enough forces into the area to prevent a disaster. Most CIA estimates showed that a determined thrust by Saddam into Kuwait could not be stopped, because enough US forces would not be able to arrive in time in sufficient numbers to prevent it. A Saddam essentially free of the restrictions of sanctions/embargo could after a few years start to significantly rebuild both conventional and WMD capabilities in several area's, and increase his capacitiy to reach beyond simply Kuwait, but into Saudi Arabia, a capability he had in 1990, as well as challenge US forces on their own terms.


The Bush administration built essentially the same coalition that it did in 1990 in terms of the forces that actually did any serious fighting. In addition, the Bush administration got another UN Security council resolution authorizing military action with even slightly stronger language than the resolution authorizing the use of military force to remove Saddam from Kuwait.

There are always good reasons not to occupy any country. Nationbuilding is an incredibly difficult task, and if there is a chance one can avoid doing it, so be it. Dealing with an insurgency makes it even more difficult. It was believed that Saddam would comply with the UN Security Council resolutions given the huge defeat he had suffered in the first Gulf War. No one believed Saddam would still be in power by 1996. In addition, although the world was changing in 1991, it was a very different place than it is today and the idea of having a large deployment of US troops to Iraq for years on end, while there were still mass numbers of Soviet troops in eastern Europe and so much political uncertainty in the Soviet Union was not a good idea, at that particular point in time. Bush Sr. made these decisions based on these idea's and circumstances. Had the above circumstances been different and Bush Sr. had known precisely how long Saddam could last in power, and the problems that could create, he probably would have let US troops move into Baghdad in 1991 as they were only 100 miles south of the capital with not a single Iraqi division in between them and Baghdad.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:48 PM   #47
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[q]Talk in Saudi Arabia turns to 'Iranian threat'
By Hassan M. Fattah

Thursday, December 21, 2006
RIYADH

At a late-night reading earlier this week, a self-styled poet held up his hand for silence and began a riff on the events in neighboring Iraq, in the old style of Bedouin storytellers.

"Saddam Hussein was a real leader who deserved our support," he began, making up the lines as he went. "He kept Iraq stable and peaceful," he added, "And most of all he fought back the Iranians."

Across the kingdom, in both official and casual conversation, once quiet concern over the chaos in Iraq and Iran's growing regional influence has burst into the open.

Saudi newspapers now openly decry Iran's growing power. Religious leaders have begun talking about a "Persian onslaught" that threatens the existence of Islam itself. In the salons of Riyadh, the "Iranian threat" is raised almost as openly and as frequently as the stock market.

"Iran has become more dangerous than Israel itself," said Sheik Musa bin Abdulaziz, editor of Al Salafi magazine, a self-described moderate in the Salafi fundamentalist Muslim movement that seeks to return Islam to its roots. "The Iranian revolution has come to renew the Persian presence in the region. This is the real clash of civilizations."

Many here said they believed a showdown with Iran was inevitable. After several years of a thaw in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, analysts said the Saudis were growing extremely concerned that Iran may build a nuclear bomb and become the de facto superpower in the region.


In recent weeks, the Saudis, with other Gulf countries, have announced plans to develop peaceful nuclear power; officials have feted Harith al Dhari, head of Iraq's Muslim Scholars Committee, which has links to the Iraqi insurgency; and have motioned that they may begin to support Iraq's Sunnis. All were meant to send a message that Saudi Arabia intends to get serious about Iran's growing prowess in the region.

"You need to create a strategic challenge to Iran," said Steve Clemons, senior fellow and director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. "To some degree what the Saudis are doing is puffing up because they see nobody else in the region doing so."

Yet a growing debate here has centered on how Iran should be confronted: Head on, with Saudi Arabia throwing its lot in with the full force of the United States, as one argument goes, or diplomatically, having been offered a grand bargain it would find hard to refuse.

The split burst into the open last week when Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington, abruptly resigned after just 15 months in the job. The resignation set off rumors of a long-running battle over the kingdom's foreign policy.

On Tuesday, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the ailing foreign minister, confirmed Turki's resignation for personal reasons. Privately, Saudi royals and analysts with knowledge of the situation said Turki resigned because of deep differences with the national security minister, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, over the government's plan to deal with Iran.

Just days before President George W. Bush met with Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq, the outlines of a new plan were made public by Nawaf Obeid, a Saudi security consultant who wrote in an op-ed article in The Washington Post that the Saudis would intervene and back the Sunnis "to stop Iranian-backed Shiite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis."

Obeid was then fired from his job, but he is widely expected to return to the government in some capacity.

A member of the royal family with knowledge of the discussions, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the fight is between those like Bandar, who has sought to closely back the Bush administration as it seeks a toughened policy on Iran, and those like Turki who have sought to avoid taking clear sides in the sectarian conflict and believe the only solution to the problem is in negotiating with the Iranians.

"Neither King Abdullah nor the Faisals are American puppets," said the royal of the family that includes Turki and Saud. "Prince Turki's abrupt resignation was in fact to return to Saudi, to be face to face with Bandar and Abdullah."

"The possibility of having conflict is very high," said Abdlerahman Rashid, managing director of the Arab satellite news channel, Al Arabiya, and a respected Saudi columnist. "Who will face the Iranians tomorrow? Just the Israelis alone? I don't think that is possible."

[...]

Saudi Arabia's next ambassador to the United States will be Adel al-Jubeir, a young U.S.-educated diplomat who was drafted by the king in 2001 to repair the nation's image in America that had been shattered by the Sept. 11 attacks. He is a close associate of Bandar.

Many Saudis have also grown openly critical of the country's policy on Iraq, citing its adherence to a U.S.-centric policy at the cost of Saudi interests.

More pessimistic analysts here said the country has lost significant strength and stature in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine, even as Iran, with its populist, anti- U.S. agenda, has reaped the benefits.

"The Saudis made a big mistake by following the Americans when they had no plan," said Khalid al-Dakhil of King Saud University. "If the Saudis had intervened earlier and helped the Sunnis they could have found a political solution to their differences instead of the bloodshed we are seeing today."

Last week, a group of prominent Wahhabi clerics and university professors called on the government to begin actively backing the Sunnis, noting that "what Iraq, as a country and a people, has gone through in terms of a Christian-Shiite conspiracy preceded by a Bathist rule is one chapter in the many chapters of the conspiracy and an indicator for the success of the plan of the octopus which is invading the region."



[/q]
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:00 PM   #48
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Originally posted by Irvine511




i'm going to make one more point one last time, then i'm not touching the specifics of Iraq in this thread, unless it has to do with McCain.

simply supporting the idea of Iraqi regime change does not in any way whatsoever support or justify the manner in which Saddam Hussein was removed in 2003.

simply because the removal of Saddam Hussein might have been in the best interests of the United States and perhaps the Middle East, it does not follow that the Bush administration's illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 was good for the United States and the Middle East.

and as we've seen, the manner in which the invasion happened, followed by a disasterous post-war occupation and the inability of US and Iraqi forces to quell growing sectarian violence, has created a situation more dangerous than the one with Saddam Hussein in power.
What made Saddam's regimes dangerous was its behavior and its capabilities. It was hostile to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with the capabilities needed to threaten them and the vital energy resources located in those countries.

NOTHING, in the current state of Iraq has anything approaching the power projection capabilities needed to threaten the vital oil reserves in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as Saddam had. The insurgents and shia militia's do not have any of the equipment or logistical capabilities required for such an operaton. But I've asked you before to explain how one of the insurgent groups or Shia militia's would be able to overrun Kuwait in 12 hours like Saddam did. You never responded. Nevermind most of these groups find it extremely difficult to operate in large numbers out of the neighborhoods they come from.

There was only one way to remove Saddam as history had shown, and that was through a large foreign military invasion of the country as was done in 2003. Every other option had been tried and failed. The Bush administration and coalition allies had all the legal authorization they needed to invade Iraq. If that was not the case, there would have been a UN resolution or attempt at one condemning the invasion, and there never would have been a resolution authorizing the occupation. No international body has ever authorized any occupation that it felt was brought about through "illegal" means.

No matter how one wants to describe how the invasion was done, Persian Gulf Oil is safer today than it has been in decades because of the removal of Saddam's regime than the absence of any new threat with similar hostile intent and capabilities to take his place.
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:27 PM   #49
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what a laughable, thoroughly indefensable statement.

what can you possibly mean?



[q]McCain understands the situation and wants to add more troops as he has advocated since the summer of 2003. He understands that the United States military must remain in the country and continue to fight Al Quada, Sunni insurgents, and any other group that opposes the newly formed Iraqi government composed of representitives from every part of Iraqi society. Nationbuilding and counterinsurgency are long term tasks that require many years to complete. The Iraqi military needs the full support of the coalition military for at least another four years. It takes time to grow and properly train such a force, especially under these circumstance. Once that is completed though, the coalition will be able to withdraw much or all of its forces.[/q]


we'll even sidestep your total misunderstanding of what the Iraqi government is and isn't, and let's focus on the fact that if you actually paid any attention to what McCain has been saying, he supports the current surge as a final effort. he said on Meet the Press this morning -- after saying how "deeply disappointed" he's been in the occupation and blaming the "lack of success" and "mistakes" on the Bush administration and bashing them for their optimistic statements ("last throes!") that, ironically, have been even less fantasical than your rosey pronouncements -- that the current "surge" is a "last chance." McCain slams the Bush's, and YOUR, more-of-the-same policies. he stated that it was a "failed policy" and a "mistaken belief" that the Iraqis would be able to take over control of their country and we're currently seeing a "steady deterioration of the situation and if we continue as we are within months we will see a total breakdown in Iraq. we cannot afford it. ... it was a failed policy, it was pursued too long, we now have a new strategy. ... i believe we can succeed ... there is no doubt that the policy that was pursued wasn't going to work."

http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?...ideo_m_edpicks

this is it for McCain. if this doesn't work, he's out too.

the biggest mistake is more of the same. the current situation is untenable, and McCain knows this.

i find it strange how you'll support McCain, but only when you think that McCain is advocating more of the same, which he isn't, and McCain himself is seeking to distance himself from Bush, despite your claims that the two men are saying the same thing. when they're not. McCain disagrees with Bush, and disagrees with you, both in your assessment of what is going on in Iraq and in your assessment that the current status quo is somehow an effecitve method of nation building.

it boggles the mind.

Most US wars have involved casualties well in excess of what is being seen in Iraq, cost as a percentage of GDP that is mountains above what is currently being spent in Iraq. In order for the United States to suffer the same casualties it did in Vietnam in Iraq, the United States would have to remain in Iraq for almost the rest of the 21st century. To suffer the same casualties it did in World War II or the Civil War, it would have to remain there for half a millenium. The Iraq war is seen as a disaster by many because of the casualties and financial cost, yet, most US wars have cost way in excess of the Iraq war both casualty wise and financially why, which is why one could say that nearly every war the United States has been in, has been a disaster when using such criteria.


I've had my own criticisms of Bush administration policy in Iraq and I share many of McCains criticisms as well. Where, Bush, McCain, US Generals, myself and other agree on is that the United States CANNOT abandon the nationbuilding and counterinsurgency tasks under way by prematurely withdrawing US combat brigades as advocated by the Democrats as well as all of their candidates for President in 08!

I've stated multiple times the mistakes I thought the Bush administration made during the occupation of Iraq. But the Democrats proposals to simply withdraw nearly all of the US combat Brigades in Iraq is not a viable strategy that will accomplish anything. Whats laughable is that you would have to believe that the situation in Iraq is much better than anyone in the Bush administration says it is, in order to support such a withdrawal.

Its rare that you actually read and understand what I have said. I never said the insurgency was in its last throes. I've always maintained that Nationbuilding and counterinsurgency tasks are probably the most difficult military or foreign policy task any country can enage in. I've also stated that the Iraqi military is at least 4.5 years away from being able to take over most of the responsibilities of the coalition military. Some coalition presense inside Iraq will probably be required 4 years beyond that point as well. Thats 8.5 years of military commitment on some level. You classify that as rosey?

I suppose you could say I defer with McCain in the sense that he believes the current policy is destined for failure, Its not perfect and needs to be improved, but it is a sound policy that given enough time will succeed and most Generals, including Casey and Abazaid have said that as well. In fact, Abazaid spent some time rebuking Clintons assertion that it was not, back in November.
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Old 01-22-2007, 04:29 AM   #50
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Originally posted by Irvine511



yes, silly, the US absolutely sent troops to protect the monarchies of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. they're the ones who give us cheap oil.

what's fantasical is the fact that containment had worked, was working, and if Saddam had stepped over the border into Kuwait, as he did in 1991, an actual inernational coalition would have been there to stop him.

that's HUGELY different than some cowboy-assed invasion executed with absolutely no regard to international opinion -- in striking contrast to Jim Baker's diplomacy in 1990 -- and complete fuck up of an occupation.

there were many, many good reasons why Bush 1 never marched into Baghdad in 1991. and we're seeing them all now.
Given what we know of the oil for food program and the ammount of arms illegally going into Iraq under the sanctions that declaration is rather staggering.

Sanctions killed more Iraqis than the war, Saddam remained in power and retained the WMD programs - can you give the magical solution that would have not made Iraq in the 2000's a clusterfuck?
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:35 AM   #51
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Given what we know of the oil for food program and the ammount of arms illegally going into Iraq under the sanctions that declaration is rather staggering.


oh?

Saddam was successfully contained. he did not pose credible threat to his neighbors, not since the end of the first Gulf War, what with most of Iraq a no-fly zone patrolled by British and American war planes.


Quote:
Sanctions killed more Iraqis than the war, Saddam remained in power and retained the WMD programs - can you give the magical solution that would have not made Iraq in the 2000's a clusterfuck?
we can make the argument that sanctions are a bad thing -- which would then beg one to argue that the current situation is somehow better than a sanctioned Iraq -- and we can also make the argument such a situation was untenable in the long run. however, neither of these things then provides justification for the ineptitude of the occupation, or the fact that the invasion happened on a timetable for the American 2004 elections and that 9-11 was woefully politically manipulated to provide "justification" for the overthrow of Saddam.

the overthrow of Saddam was never a new idea. everyone knows this. there were rumors -- fueled by Chalabi, natch -- that Hussein could have been overthrown internally with just a few American troops on the ground supporting internal insurrectionist forces. all sorts of rumors. but what no one wanted to belive was that Saddam's Iraq was filled with lies, one commander lying to another, one agent lying to another, it was every bit as baffling as the Soviet Union ever was.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:52 AM   #52
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The threat posed by Saddam was not that he was going to send divisions into Kuwait; it was that the proliferation of WMD and other banned weapons, and the sanctions regime couldn't stop that.

Whats clear is the level of ineptitude of the CPA and the Bush Administration who were clearly operating on a domestic political timetable; I supported the removal of Saddam and still do; I don't think the surge is the big issue - its the changing of the ROE and tactics.

The situation has changed a lot since 2004, power has swung away from secular forces - whats frightening is that the coalition seems to have coopted the Shiite fundamentalists for stability - whats good is to see that Sunni terrorists from abroad have lost (the program of murdering innocent Muslims and rejecting man made laws isn't as persuasive as they think it is); the challenge of removing foreign forces without passively enabling genocide (different from the ethnic cleansing by means of a Sunni diaspora), guaranteeing the protection of allies within the country and resolving regional issues of nuclear proliferation that will come to a head over the next few years are where leadership and solutions are needed and where the long term place in history of the Iraq invasion will be made.

To these ends the woefully inadequate solutions that Bush has brought are a step above pure disengagement. The big issues of Islamist political movements, terrorism, rogue states and WMD are still relevent - but since both political sides don't even identify the issues let alone adress them things may well go pear shaped.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:19 AM   #53
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The threat posed by Saddam was not that he was going to send divisions into Kuwait; it was that the proliferation of WMD and other banned weapons, and the sanctions regime couldn't stop that.


agreed.



[q]Whats clear is the level of ineptitude of the CPA and the Bush Administration who were clearly operating on a domestic political timetable; I supported the removal of Saddam and still do; I don't think the surge is the big issue - its the changing of the ROE and tactics.[/q]

again, agreed. i really appreciate your nuanced perspective that's capable of seeing shades of grey.


[q]The situation has changed a lot since 2004, power has swung away from secular forces - whats frightening is that the coalition seems to have coopted the Shiite fundamentalists for stability - whats good is to see that Sunni terrorists from abroad have lost (the program of murdering innocent Muslims and rejecting man made laws isn't as persuasive as they think it is); the challenge of removing foreign forces without passively enabling genocide (different from the ethnic cleansing by means of a Sunni diaspora), guaranteeing the protection of allies within the country and resolving regional issues of nuclear proliferation that will come to a head over the next few years are where leadership and solutions are needed and where the long term place in history of the Iraq invasion will be made.[/q]

agreed.


Quote:
To these ends the woefully inadequate solutions that Bush has brought are a step above pure disengagement. The big issues of Islamist political movements, terrorism, rogue states and WMD are still relevent - but since both political sides don't even identify the issues let along adress them things may well go pear shaped.
great post. thank you.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:25 AM   #54
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Originally posted by STING2
Its rare that you actually read and understand what I have said.


pot? kettle?

i never said you said "last throes." everyone knows that's what Cheney said in 2005 on Meet The Press.

don't give yourself so much credit.

and, yes, the list of "accomplishments" -- or, better phrased, "non-obvious defeats" -- you continue to cut-and-paste, as well as your estimation of the "coalition," as well as your disregard for world opinion, as well as your disregard for the UN, and your dismissal of the dead and the billions upon billion spent, and most of all your unwillingness to grasp the sectarian nature of the violence in Iraq, and, yes, you do offer a rosey scenario.

one Cheney himself has never offered, but i'm sure he'd appreciate the spin.
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Old 01-22-2007, 11:54 AM   #55
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What constitutes the insurgency - what groups are causing the biggest problems today. Is it the Baathist remnant? The Zarqawi type foreign butcherers? Iranian backed death squads?

Would it be fair to say that some of those groups that were most problematic earlier on have gone through their last throes and have faded.
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:17 PM   #56
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The threat posed by Saddam was not that he was going to send divisions into Kuwait; it was that the proliferation of WMD and other banned weapons, and the sanctions regime couldn't stop that.

Funny, but thats what some people used to say prior to August 1990. The largest deployment of US forces since World War II followed Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

In the fall of 1994, the United States and its allies agreed to the deployment of 140,000 troops to the region two Republican Guard divisions moved within just a few miles of the Kuwaiti/Iraqi border. It took several weeks to deploy the entire force.

Saddam's WMD and the possibility of proliferation was always a problem, but the chief threat from Saddam was always what he was willing to do with HIS capabilities vs. his neighbors and how WMD could enable and support his regional goals which could seriously impact the planet given the proximity of key natural resources in the region. This is what Saddam was after in his invasion of Iran in 1980, with all of his incursion attempts into Iran taking place in Iran's primary oil rich region, Kuzistan. Unlike Iran, Saddam primarily acted against his enemies directly, as opposed to using proxies like Iran, which is part of the reason why he was so dangerous.
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:37 PM   #57
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and, yes, the list of "accomplishments" -- or, better phrased, "non-obvious defeats" -- you continue to cut-and-paste, as well as your estimation of the "coalition," as well as your disregard for world opinion, as well as your disregard for the UN, and your dismissal of the dead and the billions upon billion spent, and most of all your unwillingness to grasp the sectarian nature of the violence in Iraq, and, yes, you do offer a rosey scenario.

one Cheney himself has never offered, but i'm sure he'd appreciate the spin.

Disregard for the UN? The only one that has any disregard for the UN or those that don't understand the necessity of enforcing the UN's most vital security council resolutions, as well as recoconized basic facts such as the authorization provided by resolution 1441 or 1483.

Dismissal of the dead?, I leave that one for those that opposed the removal of a man that murdered 1.7 million people.

The Billions being spent on the war combined per year is still a smaller percentage of GDP than what the United States was spending on just defense alone during the peacetime of the 1980s. The financial cost of the war to the country as a whole is being greatly exaggerated.

90% of the sectarian violence in Iraq happens within 30 miles of Baghdad. Thats a fact, reported by the US military that is dealing with the situation on a daily basis.

So what do you think constitutes a real coalition? Do you have to have France and Germany in the coalition for it to be a real coalition? Honestly, just look at the forces in the 1991 Gulf War that did the actual fighting, and it is essentially the same coalition that is in Iraq today.

There have been multiple accomplishments in Iraq, but unfortunately, you will never recognize or acknowledge them.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:15 PM   #58
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Disregard for the UN? The only one that has any disregard for the UN or those that don't understand the necessity of enforcing the UN's most vital security council resolutions, as well as recoconized basic facts such as the authorization provided by resolution 1441 or 1483.


sorry, but the UN decides how it enforces it's resolutions, not you.



[q]Dismissal of the dead?, I leave that one for those that opposed the removal of a man that murdered 1.7 million people.[/q]

so you're happy to add 600,000 more? and the hundres of thousands more to come? and the nearly 2 million refugees? and the wider Shia/Sunni war? do you ignore US support for Saddam during the Iran/Iraq war that you use to get your 1.7 million number?



[q]90% of the sectarian violence in Iraq happens within 30 miles of Baghdad. Thats a fact, reported by the US military that is dealing with the situation on a daily basis.[/q]

Baghdad is a city of 6 MILLION people. you cannot have a country if you cannot have a capital city. Anbar is in chaos as well. violence happens all over the country -- Basra, Mosul -- of COURSE the violence is concentrated around Baghdad, that's where a HUGE percentage of the Iraqi population lives.


[q]So what do you think constitutes a real coalition? Do you have to have France and Germany in the coalition for it to be a real coalition? Honestly, just look at the forces in the 1991 Gulf War that did the actual fighting, and it is essentially the same coalition that is in Iraq today.[/q]

show me all the Muslim troops that were on the ground in 2005. show me all the countries that are still in Iraq 4 years later. show me the worldwide support for the invasion. show me the countries that didn't have their support bought off -- remember our coalition of the Billing.

where is Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Qatar, the UAE, France, Bahrain, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Turkey? come on, they had such a good time in 1991, surely they were fully convinced of the right for the US to enforce UN Resolutions and supported the US to protect the "global energy supply" from Saddam Hussein!

and, yes, France is a big deal. Germany is a big deal.




Quote:
There have been multiple accomplishments in Iraq, but unfortunately, you will never recognize or acknowledge them.
because they are shattered by the failures, violence, and instability that is spreading throughout the region. because the United States has destroyed it's international reputation.

this is quite funny coming from you, someone who's even more blinkered and self-deluded than even Bush himself and all his yes-men.

not a single accomplishment you've offered comes close to justifying what's happened.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:17 PM   #59
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
What constitutes the insurgency - what groups are causing the biggest problems today. Is it the Baathist remnant? The Zarqawi type foreign butcherers? Iranian backed death squads?

Would it be fair to say that some of those groups that were most problematic earlier on have gone through their last throes and have faded.


sorry, not much time to post today, here's a good analysis:

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...l/16459277.htm

good quotes:

[q]ocus on towns and cities

The Sunni guerrillas took over territory where they could, mainly concentrating on villages, towns and city quarters in the center, north and west of the country. At some points, cities like Al-Fallujah and much of Ar-Ramadi, Al-Hadithah, Samarra and Tikrit have been at least in part under their control. They have entire districts of Mosul and Baghdad. They have attempted to cut the capital off from fuel, and they steal and smuggle petroleum to support their war. In areas they only partly control, or in enemy areas, they set off bombs or send in death squads to make object lessons of opponents.

The guerrillas know they cannot fight the U.S. military head-on. But they do not need to. They know something that the Americans could not entirely understand. Iraq is a country of clans and tribes, of Hatfields and McCoys, of grudges and feuds. The clans are more important than religious identities such as Sunni or Shiite. They are more important than ethnicities such as Kurdish or Arab or Turkmen. All members of the clan are honor-bound to defend or avenge all the other members. They are bands not of brothers but of cousins.

The guerrillas mobilized these clans against the U.S. troops and against one another. Is a U.S. platoon traveling through a neighborhood of the Dulaim clan, where people are out shopping? They hit the convoy, and the panicked troops lay down fire around them. They kill members of the Dulaim clan. They are now defined as the American tribe, and they now have a feud with the Dulaim. Members of the Dulaim cannot hold their heads up high until they avenge the deaths of their cousins by killing Americans.[/q]
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:21 PM   #60
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oh, and this thread should be about McCain.

but whatever.
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