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Old 08-23-2005, 06:16 PM   #166
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The Bush administration has not lied about anything and its central case for military action against Saddam was laid down in resolution 1441! The United Nations had already passed mulitple UN resolutions required Saddam to verifiably disarm of all WMD and he failed to. The planet cannot tolerate such a huge threat in such close proximity to the planets major energy reserves, especially in light of Saddam's previous history.

The energy reserves in the Persian Gulf benefit the entire planet and can help control the cost of energy when the supply is increased relative to global demand. This has many economic benefits for the entire planet. Cheaper energy means cheaper cost of doing business and cheaper cost of living. The average person on the street benefits when the cost of energy is held down or drops. The recent increase in energy cost worldwide make coalition goals for Security stability in the Persian Gulf region even more vital.

The United States is not the only country that benefits from a greater and more secure supply of oil from the Persian Gulf region. Everyone on the planet is effected by the market value of oil and the greater supply of oil from the Persian Gulf has a beneficial impact for the entire planet in terms of what people pay for their energy needs.

Germany and Japan benefited from US help after World War II and both countries have kept US troops on their territory continuesly over the past 60 years. The United States wants to establish a democracy in Iraq because that is the form of government that would most likely be respectful towards its neighbors and be less likely to start a war. That benefits the USA and the planet because it will enhance the security of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia which border Iraq just to the south. Anything that enhances the security of these two countries enhances the security of the whole planet. It was a necessity that Saddam be removed and new government established. The best form of government to establish in Iraq in order to enhance the security of the rest of the region is a democracy.

Democracies typically do not wage unprovoked war on their neighbors which is why increasing the number of them in the world benefits the planet greatly. Notice back to your French example that although France decided to protest the coalition invasion, they never sent troops to stop it. They would in fact months later vote for a resolution approving the occupation.

In regards to your Iraq of 20 years example, Iraq would never have to cut back on its exports of oil to meet domestic demand, the supply of oil in Iraq dwarfs the needs of the population there. On the contrary, Iraq needs to export more OIL in order to reach its full economic potential. Iraqi's can't eat the oil, its value to them is the vast amount of money they earn from exporting it to the planet for its energy needs. You need to remember that every country is effect by the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf even if they don't actualy import oil from the Persian Gulf. That is because the global market price for oil determines the price of oil all over the world, regardless of where that specific country or region extracts the oil. When the global supply of oil is increased relative to global demand for oil, the price of oil drops and everyone benefits regardless of where they live.

Under your interpretation of a colony, one could consider most of Europe and Japan to be colonies of the United States as well.

In regards to the UN resolutions, the countries that make up the UN ALWAYS have a choice about whether they want to support a given resolution or not. The UN did not have to pass 3 different resolutions authorizing the use of military force against Iraq, nor did they have no choice in authorizing 3 different resolutions authorizing the occupation. All it would have taken was one veto by a permanent member of the Security Council and those resolutions would not have been passed. In addition, resolutions could have been presented to the council for a vote, resolutions that condemned the invasion or called for a withdrawal, but none ever were. While its true the United States could veto such a resolution, it has never stopped countries from attempting to pass resolutions against Israel.

The UN does not pass resolutions to approve actions they cannot stop. The UN could not stop the initial Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, yet they passed numerous resolutions condemning and opposing it. Iraq occupied Kuwait for 7 months, but the UN never passed a resolution approving the occupation.

If any country on the security council did not approve of the coalition occupation of Iraq, they could have voted against the resolution. Countries vote against resolutions all the time, and permanent members of the Security Council have the power to veto resolutions.

The United States did not go into the war in Iraq alone with dozens of countries sending troops. The United Nations approved the action as well as the occupation. There have been few multi-lateral operations as large or involving as many countries as the one in Iraq.

The US/NATO operations in Bosnia and Kosovo did not actually have UN resolutions authorizing them. The United States led NATO into both operations, but that is a 26 nation military alliance, not the UN. Also, there was plenty of time in both cases for a UN resolutions to be passed.



all well and good as a term paper but reality is a different story rendering this little more than a pile of beans if/when it fails and Iraq falls into civil war due to the inteptitude of the administration.
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Old 08-23-2005, 07:29 PM   #167
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all well and good as a term paper but reality is a different story rendering this little more than a pile of beans if/when it fails and Iraq falls into civil war due to the inteptitude of the administration.
The necessity of removing Saddam, the resolutions that approved and authorized the action, are not a "hill of beans". Provided that the United States and its Allies stay the course in Iraq, the operation will be successful. I hope you won't be disappointed when that happens, simply because a president you dislike intensly was right and succeeded.
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Old 08-23-2005, 08:14 PM   #168
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The necessity of removing Saddam, the resolutions that approved and authorized the action, are not a "hill of beans". Provided that the United States and its Allies stay the course in Iraq, the operation will be successful. I hope you won't be disappointed when that happens, simply because a president you dislike intensly was right and succeeded.


the removal of Saddam, in the manner in which it was done, might be much more than a hill of beans if we wind up wtih a civil war, a theocracy, and the south of Iraq looking more and more like Saudi Arabia. in that sense, Saddam will indeed by a hill of beans in comparison to the mess that has been created.

your arguments make sense in an idealistic sense; the reality has not been so kind, and you have a president to blame for his inability or unwillingness to wage what was always going to be a breathtakingly difficult war and even more challenging postwar in a manner -- going back well before the invasion -- that would have produced a victory.

i hope you'll have the gumption to place blame where blame is due if/when we pull out in late 2006 and the country becomes another theocracy in the Middle East with a formerly secular populace now radicalized.

also, i'm not hoping for failure. i've said, several times, that now that the invasion has happened, it's important to be successful.

unfortuantely, the conduct of the postwar has been so disasterous that success -- though no one is really sure what that is or would like like -- appears to be an impossibility.

a difference, STING, is that i actually hope you're right; but i don't think it's going to happen.
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Old 08-24-2005, 01:35 AM   #169
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the removal of Saddam, in the manner in which it was done, might be much more than a hill of beans if we wind up wtih a civil war, a theocracy, and the south of Iraq looking more and more like Saudi Arabia. in that sense, Saddam will indeed by a hill of beans in comparison to the mess that has been created.

your arguments make sense in an idealistic sense; the reality has not been so kind, and you have a president to blame for his inability or unwillingness to wage what was always going to be a breathtakingly difficult war and even more challenging postwar in a manner -- going back well before the invasion -- that would have produced a victory.

i hope you'll have the gumption to place blame where blame is due if/when we pull out in late 2006 and the country becomes another theocracy in the Middle East with a formerly secular populace now radicalized.

also, i'm not hoping for failure. i've said, several times, that now that the invasion has happened, it's important to be successful.

unfortuantely, the conduct of the postwar has been so disasterous that success -- though no one is really sure what that is or would like like -- appears to be an impossibility.

a difference, STING, is that i actually hope you're right; but i don't think it's going to happen.
Saddam was removed for power in Iraq in 3 weeks. If you know how it could of been done faster lets here it. The operation to remove Saddam from power has already gone down as one of the most successful military operations in history.

The most important thing about the war has been the removal of Saddam's regime as well as his capabilities that had previously invaded and attacked four different countries and threatened the planets energy supply with seizure and sabotage. Thats the reality of the situation and why Saddam's removal has made Persian Gulf energy supplies more safe and secure than it has been in decades.

Civil war in the country would not produce a threat worse than Saddam from within Iraq, because such a war simply weakens the power of the remaining political groups. Any group that would win such a civil war would be in an incredibly weak position relative to its neighbors(other countries) and would be struggling for control and legitamacy within the borders of a Iraq to a degree that would make it literal suicide to attempt an invasion of the Persian Gulf. Saddam's military machine, Tanks, artillery, Aircraft, all of his capabilities to project power beyond Iraq's borders has been destroyed and would take a significant amount of time to rebuild.

A Theocracy would not necessarily endanger immediate Global security interest provided the government was not hostile to other countries in the Persian Gulf region as Saddam was. In addition, if a hypothetical Theocracy were to develop in Iraq, it would be heavily dependent on US and Western aid for reconstruction and would there for have to moderate any extremist or threatening behavior if it wanted to continue to receive aid.

But the above two paragraphs still involve hypothetical senerios which I think are unlikely. The chance for a real civil war is still remote for a variety of reasons. I think its only possible for a limited theocracy to develop which would likely be moderated over time.


My arguements are based on the reality of US and international security needs in the Persian Gulf, not idealism. That the United States would be in Iraq for years after the initial invasion is a reality that every one knew prior to the invasion taking place. No one ever claimed that all or any of the troops would be home by a certain date unlike Clinton who predicted that US troops could be withdrawn from Bosnia within one year of their deployment there.

Another reality that many people here seem to miss is that Iraq has a total of 18 provinces, but the insurgency is only raging in 4 of them. Its true that the strength of the insurgency was a surprise, but it is not an insurgency that has support throughout the country, nor is it anything compared to the last major insurgency conflict the United States was in in Vietnam.

But, you claim that Bush could have had victory by now in Iraq if he had done things correctly. So, I'd like you to explain that specifically because Iraq was always going to be an operation that would take many years, not just two years. Iraq is already moving at a faster pace on the political track than Germany or Japan did after World War II. They are in fact years ahead of both.

The Bush administration is not going to be pulling out of Iraq by late 2006. Any complete pull out would have to start nearly a year prior to its completion which means that troops would have to start to leave Iraq before the end of this year according to your timetable. Its NOT going to happen and US troops are going to be in Iraq at current levels for at least the next four years, unless there is a dramatic and unexpected improvement in the overall situation! Its going to take at least that much time to complete or nearly finish the training of the Iraqi military.

Whats amazing is that you fail to recognize the huge number of success's of the US and coalition Civilain and military as well as the citizens of Iraq and the new military of Iraq. The things they have done have been amazing and their successes enormous. The Democrats claimed the election in January was not going to happen nor that a constitution woud be this close to completion. The fact is, if you would take time to listen to the troops and the Iraqi's who are fighting for this new country, you would see that progress is being made. Instead, to many people prefer to see and pay attention to the images created for you by Saddam loyalist and Al Quada, and base their analysis only on those images, just as Al Zarqawi and Bin Ladin want it to be.

8 million people risking their lives to vote, the reconstruction efforts of US civilian and military personal, the successful US military operations, the increasing numbers of well trained Iraqi military forces, the large numbers of Iraqi citizens that stand outside in line EVERY DAY to be recruited despite the fact that they are the #1 target of the terrorist, the fact that 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces are peaceful, these are the REALITIES that to many people ignore! If the postwar occupation was a disaster as you claim, not of these events would be realities that have and are going on in Iraq today.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:05 AM   #170
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Okay, Sting. I'll give you a listen.

1. Was Hussein really a significant danger outside his own country considering the number of surveillance planes watching
and the amount of containment.

2. What kind of weaponry did he have and was it any more
than any other country would have to maintain its self-defense.

3. When was the last time he crossed the borders into another country? And if the conservatives can make the argument that the fact that there have been no terrorist attacks since 9/11 prove that the war on terror is working, can't the same argument be made that since he had not left his borders, the surveillance and other containment strategies were working?

4. What proof do we have that the Iraqi armies are well-trained?
And when we do leave, whose interests will they serve? (I only ask because an army is there to serve at the will of the power structure and we do have a history of providing training and weapons in situations that subsequently blow up in our face. I'm not saying that it will, but that we do have a history of lack of foresight beyond the immediate advantage.)

5 Is the general infrastructure in better shape now than before the invasion? If so, please provide objective documentation.

6. I too was encouraged by the eagerness of the Iraqis to participate in the elections. Will that eagerness persist if a Constitution is drafted that gives certain factions in Iraq considerably less rights than they might have had under the old regime? Will they take heart in symbolic freedom, symbolic democracy if the reality becomes somewhat less than that for them?

7. Did we drop the ball on Bin Laden? Or has he become a nonissue to you? Serious question, as these all are.

8. At this point, are we in Iraq to serve Iraqi interests or American interests? The only advantage we had in Iraq before
all this was that Iraq was a secular government, which in a sense isolated it from much of the theocracy driven Middle East. If we end up with an Islamic republic of some sort, do we create a little bastion of democracy in the Middle East or a budding Iraq in ten years much more in line with Iranian interests than our own? I'm not saying that will happen and it may not due to the differing factions there, but if it does, did we make a mistake by making it ripe for terrorist propaganda?

Please provide new answers to these. I've read your posts very closely and will take your answers more seriously if I do not detect Administrationspeak.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:47 AM   #171
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Originally posted by STING2

But, you claim that Bush could have had victory by now in Iraq if he had done things correctly. So, I'd like you to explain that specifically because Iraq was always going to be an operation that would take many years, not just two years. Iraq is already moving at a faster pace on the political track than Germany or Japan did after World War II. They are in fact years ahead of both.

[...]

Whats amazing is that you fail to recognize the huge number of success's of the US and coalition Civilain and military as well as the citizens of Iraq and the new military of Iraq. The things they have done have been amazing and their successes enormous. The Democrats claimed the election in January was not going to happen nor that a constitution woud be this close to completion. The fact is, if you would take time to listen to the troops and the Iraqi's who are fighting for this new country, you would see that progress is being made. Instead, to many people prefer to see and pay attention to the images created for you by Saddam loyalist and Al Quada, and base their analysis only on those images, just as Al Zarqawi and Bin Ladin want it to be.

8 million people risking their lives to vote, the reconstruction efforts of US civilian and military personal, the successful US military operations, the increasing numbers of well trained Iraqi military forces, the large numbers of Iraqi citizens that stand outside in line EVERY DAY to be recruited despite the fact that they are the #1 target of the terrorist, the fact that 14 of Iraq's 18 provinces are peaceful, these are the REALITIES that to many people ignore! If the postwar occupation was a disaster as you claim, not of these events would be realities that have and are going on in Iraq today.




firstly, the fact that only 4 of 18 Iraq provinces are "peaceful" really doesn't make a difference when dozens and dozens of Iraqis are killed every day. if dozens and dozens of Los Angelenos were being killed every day you can bet there would be an overwhelming sense of crisis across the country.

also, i don't claim to defend Democrats, either in this war or in Kosovo (though it's implicit from you posts that you wish i were doing so since it's only through comparison, the whole "yeah, what would you have done," that you can make many of your points).

i've said it before and i'll say it again -- winning in Iraq, now that we're there, is necessary, but it is not a sufficient condition for a future where we are not immediately threatened by an Islamo-fascism.

failures? how about the absence of the primary rationale for the war: weapons of mass destruction. there are none. while it is true that intelligence provided by several western nations agreed on the *possibility* of Saddam's WMDs, only one country thought this was a threat worth going to war over and worth sending it's children to die over -- this is one thing that bugs me most about your posts, your total indifference to the death toll on American families and that you must provide a rationale *to them* that justifies the death of their sons and daughters, that we send troops when we have a clear and present danger to the safety of this country, and that danger was trumped up to be the WMDs, and that danger has turned out to be an illusion. were we lied to? not directly. but we were all mislead by an administration that knew they were on shaky grounds for invasion to begin with.

there are many costs involved with this war -- one example is the astronomical pricetag when they said it would only cost $200bn; we can point to a death toll rapidly approaching 2,000 troops; we can point to the nearly 10,000 who have been seriously wounded; we can point to the 70,000 who are suffering from PTS. you can argue that public support for a war doesn't mediate it's rightness or wrongness, and i'd agree with that (your insistance on the election as some sort of "approve/disapprove" referendum on the war strikes me as really simplistic), however there is a real, human cost to the war, and the ability for an administration to effectively and administer a war when they are dealing with a volunteer army is predicated upon the maintenance of popular support. the administration has done all it can to cover up the human carnage (and not just death ... come to Silver Spring, MD, where i work at lunchtime and we can take a look at all the limb-less 20 year olds from Walter Reed, just down the road, who are getting an afternoon in the sunshine), but the slow trickle of bodies is eroding popular support. Bush's approval ratings for the war are at around 34%, which compares to Johnson in 1968 who was at about 32%. if you can't keep the support of a population that voluntarily sends it's children to fight and die, then the war is already lost.

as for other failures:

-- we invaded with too few troops to keep the peace -- the administration deployed inadequate forces to suppress violent criminals and insurgents; they neglected to secure sensitive sites after Saddam was overthrown; troops were provided too little body armor and too few armored vehicles to protect U.S. forces which has resulted in needless deaths.

-- an absence of even elementary post-war planning -- the absence of any kind of exit strategy or vision of what “victory” would look like is what fuels the insurgency. we look like a permanent occupying force, thus rallying more insurgents – sometimes estimated at 500,000 strong -- to battle a perceived colonialist occupying power.

-- the gross mistreatment of prisoners that was a direct result from the WH insistance to treat terrorist captives as "enemy combatants" rather than POWs ... now, we have hundreds of cases of unspeakably inhumane treatment of detainees, including up to a hundred deaths and the deployment of what must be called torture in Bagram, Abu Ghraib, Basra, and in secret detention centers around the world

-- the increasing religious radicalization of Iraq, especially in the south, which serves as an ironic counterpoint -- we are supposedly battling a fanatical enemy determined to kill any civilization or people who seek the restoration of a medieval, theocratic dictatorship in the Middle East; good thing we've given them a new Afghanistan in the shape of Iraq

-- there is no evidence of the Iraqi army being anywhere close to prepared in the numbers they need

-- i have talked to some troops (seriously ... though i'm suspicous of anecdotal evidence, as well you should be, but they basically said that it was a tough job, they were simply treading water, and that no one would give a damn about Iraq if there weren't any oil ... those are exact words)

-- the Iraqis do not join the army because of some patriotic notion; simple anthropolgy will tell you that Iraqis have ethnic and religious loyalties, not to an Arab state that was a British fabrication to begin with; why do they joint the army? have you seen the unemployment rates in Baghdad?
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:39 PM   #172
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I am confused, are you saying Cindy Sheehan or Ann Coulter is pathetic?
Ann Coulter. I would never in a million years say that Cindy is pathetic
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:31 PM   #173
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Ann Coulter. I would never in a million years say that Cindy is pathetic
ROFL....something about that made me laugh.
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Old 08-24-2005, 03:33 PM   #174
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:56 PM   #175
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Originally posted by BonosSaint
Okay, Sting. I'll give you a listen.

1. Was Hussein really a significant danger outside his own country considering the number of surveillance planes watching
and the amount of containment.

2. What kind of weaponry did he have and was it any more
than any other country would have to maintain its self-defense.

3. When was the last time he crossed the borders into another country? And if the conservatives can make the argument that the fact that there have been no terrorist attacks since 9/11 prove that the war on terror is working, can't the same argument be made that since he had not left his borders, the surveillance and other containment strategies were working?

4. What proof do we have that the Iraqi armies are well-trained?
And when we do leave, whose interests will they serve? (I only ask because an army is there to serve at the will of the power structure and we do have a history of providing training and weapons in situations that subsequently blow up in our face. I'm not saying that it will, but that we do have a history of lack of foresight beyond the immediate advantage.)

5 Is the general infrastructure in better shape now than before the invasion? If so, please provide objective documentation.

6. I too was encouraged by the eagerness of the Iraqis to participate in the elections. Will that eagerness persist if a Constitution is drafted that gives certain factions in Iraq considerably less rights than they might have had under the old regime? Will they take heart in symbolic freedom, symbolic democracy if the reality becomes somewhat less than that for them?

7. Did we drop the ball on Bin Laden? Or has he become a nonissue to you? Serious question, as these all are.

8. At this point, are we in Iraq to serve Iraqi interests or American interests? The only advantage we had in Iraq before
all this was that Iraq was a secular government, which in a sense isolated it from much of the theocracy driven Middle East. If we end up with an Islamic republic of some sort, do we create a little bastion of democracy in the Middle East or a budding Iraq in ten years much more in line with Iranian interests than our own? I'm not saying that will happen and it may not due to the differing factions there, but if it does, did we make a mistake by making it ripe for terrorist propaganda?

Please provide new answers to these. I've read your posts very closely and will take your answers more seriously if I do not detect Administrationspeak.
1. Absolutely! Saddam had a military force of over 400,000 soldiers backed up by nearly 3,000 tanks, over 2,000 artillery pieces, 400 combat aircraft, several hundred combat helicopters, and several thousand other armored vehicles. In addition, Saddam had strong Ballistic missile program and had failed to verifiably disarm of over 1,000 Liters of Anthrax, 500 pounds of mustard gas, 500 pounds of nerve gas and over 20,000 bio/chem capable artillery shells.

Realize, it only took Saddam 12 hours to completely take over Kuwait with 40,000 troops and 600 tanks back in 1990. In 2002, Kuwait's total military force which was very small in 1990 was the same in 2002. Added to it were about 3,000 US personal, part of 1 US mechanized brigade, with a little over 100 tanks. The US presence in Saudi Arabia was also small numbering about 4,000 in total.

The containment force was designed to stop those trying to break the sanctions or the weapons embargo, they were certainly not large enough by themselves to stop a determined invasion by Saddam. Basing large numbers of US troops in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia over an extended period of time(years or decades) was politically impossible at the time.

In any invasion senerio, Saddam would only need to advance as little as 20 miles across the Iraq/Kuwait border and 20 miles across the Iraq/Saudi Arabia border to cause major damage to the planets energy supply.

As it was, sanctions and the weapons embargo had totally broken down by the end of 2002 and Saddam had already smuggled Billions of dollars of unknown goods across Iraq's borders. Faced with Iraq's still rather large military, Saddam's refusal to verifiably disarm of all WMD, and the end of full proof sanctions and weapons embargo to insure that Saddam could not get his hands on new conventional or WMD weapons, invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam was a long over due necessity.


2. Saddam had failed to verifiably disarm of 1,000 Liters of Anthrax, 500 pounds of Mustard Gas, over 500 pounds of Sarin Gas and over 20,000 Bio/Chem capable shells. Saddam had the largest mechanized force in the region and was in far closer proximity with that force to the vital energy reserves of the world than any other country. Iraq's Armored/Mechanized forces were twice the size of Iran's at the time and had a higher ratio of modern equipment to older equipment. Saddam also had an unknown quantity of Balistic Missiles.

The important thing to remember in respect to Saddam's capabilities is that he had used them all in the past unlike most other countries in the region. The biggest problem with Saddam was not necessarily his capabilities but his willingness to use those capabiliities in strange and unpredictable ways. Saddam's invasions and attacks on Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel all came as a surprise to nearly all experts attempting to predict his next moves.

Saddam had far more military strength than was needed to simply defend Iraq's borders. He had an incredible offensive capability vs. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and even Iran.

3. Iraqi agents and other forces had been going Across Iraq's border engaged in smuggling of unknown goods in violation of UN sanctions and the weapons embargo for years. In regards to a major invasion, Saddam's failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD as well as meeting other requirements of the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire showed that Saddam's behavior had not changed and it was only a matter of time before Saddam would strike again. The United States and its allies failed to predict the invasion of Iran in 1980, and they failed to predict Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 as well as other attacks. In light of these facts, it would have been a serious mistake to presume that Saddam would not strike again. Saddam still had the capability, was now nearly free of sanctions and the weapons embargo, and had a previous kind of behavior which suggested he would indeed strike again. These were the reasons why the United Nations required Saddam to verifiably disarm of all WMD, or face renewed military action back in 1991. Up until 1997-1998, Saddam somewhat cooperated, but never completely. In 1998, UN inspectors were forced to leave and never allowed to return.

That terrorist have been trying to attack the United States since 9/11 is a well known fact, as well as the fact that they have been unsuccessful. What Saddam's next move in the Persian Gulf would be was unknown, but the international community could not risk non-compliance with the UN resolutions(covering all disarmament issues, sanctions, embargo, and issues in regards to the aftermath of Saddam's brutal destruction of Kuwait in 1991) as this would put the region and world in an intolerable security situation.

4. I disagree that the US has a serious history of providing weapons to people that later blow up in our face, especially if your refering to Afghanistan. But thats a another issue.

The Iraqi Army currently has 10 Battalions that are used interchangably with Marine and Army Battalions. They have performed exceptionally well in combat all over the country and in many ways have capabilities that the US Army and US Marine Corp do not because they all know the language and culture of the country. There are another 90 Battalions that have various different levels of training and are still trying to achieve the elite training level of those first 10 Battalions. One year ago, the Iraqi army only had ONE Battalion and it was judged to be not ready for combat. The Iraqi Army serves the interest of the Iraqi government and will continue to do that when the United States leaves.

5. The answer to this question is yes and no. The four Sunni provinces where the insurgency rages may actually have worse infrastructure than they did prior to the war in some area's. Most of the other 14 provinces have been allowed to improve because they are neither held under the tight repressive grip of Saddam because they are Shiate or Kurd, nor are their daily lives disrupted by insurgency nearly all of which occurs in the four Sunni provinces. I'll try to come up with some GDP estimates for the country as whole as well as the energy situation. You have to remember though that the most prosperous area's in Iraq prior to the war were where Saddam's Sunni tribes lived and these have been hit the hardest by the insurgent/terrorist movement. The provinces in the South have always been much poorer and some of the area has actually never at any time in history had running water or electricity.

What is definitely true is that most of the money devoted to Economic development in Iraq has yet to be spent. Part of the problem of course is the rather difficult security problem in the North Western part of the country.


6. They know if they don't participate they will get NOTHING. This is the lesson the Sunni's are learning the hard way and registration in Sunni area's to vote in both the referendum on the constitution and the new elections for a permanent government in December are steadily increasing.

7. I definitely do not think the US or the coalition has dropped the ball on Bin Ladin. There may have been some tactical mistakes made in catching him at particular times, but its still unknown if capture would have resulted had there not been any mistakes. Finding one man is very difficult. Just think about Eric Rudolph, the 96' Olympic bomber and how long he was able to evade capture right here in the United States. If one only counts from 9/11, Rudolph still has Bin Ladin beat as far as the number of years he was on the run.

More importantly, intercepted communication between Bin Ladin and Al Zarqawi in Iraq suggest that Bin Ladin no longer has the ability to plan and support terrorist attacks. One intercepted communication revealed Bin Ladin asking Al Zarqawi to try to put together attacks in European capitals and the United States, a bit strange to ask of a person who is so heavily involved in Iraq's insurgency has nearly been captured twice. It sound rather desperate. But then again, such intercepted communication could be Al Quada attempts at disinformation.


8. I would take a theocracy run government in Iraq any day over Saddam's regime. Just compare what Saddam did over the past 25 years to any of the theocratic governments in the Persian Gulf and you'll see what I mean. I would hope that a true theocracy would not develop in Iraq and I don't think it will, but even if it does, it will still be better than having Saddam's regime in power.
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Old 08-24-2005, 04:59 PM   #176
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1. Absolutely! Saddam had a military force of over 400,000 soldiers backed up by nearly 3,000 tanks, over 2,000 artillery pieces, 400 combat aircraft, several hundred combat helicopters, and several thousand other armored vehicles. In addition, Saddam had strong Ballistic missile program and had failed to verifiably disarm of over 1,000 Liters of Anthrax, 500 pounds of mustard gas, 500 pounds of nerve gas and over 20,000 bio/chem capable artillery shells.

Realize, it only took Saddam 12 hours to completely take over Kuwait with 40,000 troops and 600 tanks back in 1990. In 2002, Kuwait's total military force which was very small in 1990 was the same in 2002. Added to it were about 3,000 US personal, part of 1 US mechanized brigade, with a little over 100 tanks. The US presence in Saudi Arabia was also small numbering about 4,000 in total.

The containment force was designed to stop those trying to break the sanctions or the weapons embargo, they were certainly not large enough by themselves to stop a determined invasion by Saddam. Basing large numbers of US troops in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia over an extended period of time(years or decades) was politically impossible at the time.

In any invasion senerio, Saddam would only need to advance as little as 20 miles across the Iraq/Kuwait border and 20 miles across the Iraq/Saudi Arabia border to cause major damage to the planets energy supply.

As it was, sanctions and the weapons embargo had totally broken down by the end of 2002 and Saddam had already smuggled Billions of dollars of unknown goods across Iraq's borders. Faced with Iraq's still rather large military, Saddam's refusal to verifiably disarm of all WMD, and the end of full proof sanctions and weapons embargo to insure that Saddam could not get his hands on new conventional or WMD weapons, invasion of Iraq to remove Saddam was a long over due necessity.


2. Saddam had failed to verifiably disarm of 1,000 Liters of Anthrax, 500 pounds of Mustard Gas, over 500 pounds of Sarin Gas and over 20,000 Bio/Chem capable shells. Saddam had the largest mechanized force in the region and was in far closer proximity with that force to the vital energy reserves of the world than any other country. Iraq's Armored/Mechanized forces were twice the size of Iran's at the time and had a higher ratio of modern equipment to older equipment. Saddam also had an unknown quantity of Balistic Missiles.

The important thing to remember in respect to Saddam's capabilities is that he had used them all in the past unlike most other countries in the region. The biggest problem with Saddam was not necessarily his capabilities but his willingness to use those capabiliities in strange and unpredictable ways. Saddam's invasions and attacks on Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Israel all came as a surprise to nearly all experts attempting to predict his next moves.

Saddam had far more military strength than was needed to simply defend Iraq's borders. He had an incredible offensive capability vs. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and even Iran.

3. Iraqi agents and other forces had been going Across Iraq's border engaged in smuggling of unknown goods in violation of UN sanctions and the weapons embargo for years. In regards to a major invasion, Saddam's failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD as well as meeting other requirements of the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire showed that Saddam's behavior had not changed and it was only a matter of time before Saddam would strike again. The United States and its allies failed to predict the invasion of Iran in 1980, and they failed to predict Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 as well as other attacks. In light of these facts, it would have been a serious mistake to presume that Saddam would not strike again. Saddam still had the capability, was now nearly free of sanctions and the weapons embargo, and had a previous kind of behavior which suggested he would indeed strike again. These were the reasons why the United Nations required Saddam to verifiably disarm of all WMD, or face renewed military action back in 1991. Up until 1997-1998, Saddam somewhat cooperated, but never completely. In 1998, UN inspectors were forced to leave and never allowed to return.

That terrorist have been trying to attack the United States since 9/11 is a well known fact, as well as the fact that they have been unsuccessful. What Saddam's next move in the Persian Gulf would be was unknown, but the international community could not risk non-compliance with the UN resolutions(covering all disarmament issues, sanctions, embargo, and issues in regards to the aftermath of Saddam's brutal destruction of Kuwait in 1991) as this would put the region and world in an intolerable security situation.

4. I disagree that the US has a serious history of providing weapons to people that later blow up in our face, especially if your refering to Afghanistan. But thats a another issue.

The Iraqi Army currently has 10 Battalions that are used interchangably with Marine and Army Battalions. They have performed exceptionally well in combat all over the country and in many ways have capabilities that the US Army and US Marine Corp do not because they all know the language and culture of the country. There are another 90 Battalions that have various different levels of training and are still trying to achieve the elite training level of those first 10 Battalions. One year ago, the Iraqi army only had ONE Battalion and it was judged to be not ready for combat. The Iraqi Army serves the interest of the Iraqi government and will continue to do that when the United States leaves.

5. The answer to this question is yes and no. The four Sunni provinces where the insurgency rages may actually have worse infrastructure than they did prior to the war in some area's. Most of the other 14 provinces have been allowed to improve because they are neither held under the tight repressive grip of Saddam because they are Shiate or Kurd, nor are their daily lives disrupted by insurgency nearly all of which occurs in the four Sunni provinces. I'll try to come up with some GDP estimates for the country as whole as well as the energy situation. You have to remember though that the most prosperous area's in Iraq prior to the war were where Saddam's Sunni tribes lived and these have been hit the hardest by the insurgent/terrorist movement. The provinces in the South have always been much poorer and some of the area has actually never at any time in history had running water or electricity.

What is definitely true is that most of the money devoted to Economic development in Iraq has yet to be spent. Part of the problem of course is the rather difficult security problem in the North Western part of the country.


6. They know if they don't participate they will get NOTHING. This is the lesson the Sunni's are learning the hard way and registration in Sunni area's to vote in both the referendum on the constitution and the new elections for a permanent government in December are steadily increasing.

7. I definitely do not think the US or the coalition has dropped the ball on Bin Ladin. There may have been some tactical mistakes made in catching him at particular times, but its still unknown if capture would have resulted had there not been any mistakes. Finding one man is very difficult. Just think about Eric Rudolph, the 96' Olympic bomber and how long he was able to evade capture right here in the United States. If one only counts from 9/11, Rudolph still has Bin Ladin beat as far as the number of years he was on the run.

More importantly, intercepted communication between Bin Ladin and Al Zarqawi in Iraq suggest that Bin Ladin no longer has the ability to plan and support terrorist attacks. One intercepted communication revealed Bin Ladin asking Al Zarqawi to try to put together attacks in European capitals and the United States, a bit strange to ask of a person who is so heavily involved in Iraq's insurgency has nearly been captured twice. It sound rather desperate. But then again, such intercepted communication could be Al Quada attempts at disinformation.


8. I would take a theocracy run government in Iraq any day over Saddam's regime. Just compare what Saddam did over the past 25 years to any of the theocratic governments in the Persian Gulf and you'll see what I mean. I would hope that a true theocracy would not develop in Iraq and I don't think it will, but even if it does, it will still be better than having Saddam's regime in power.
Thanks for posting, Mr Cheney. I'm glad that you took the time to explain the government's position.
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Old 08-24-2005, 05:05 PM   #177
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why?
Because having gotten to know you for all this time here in FYM.....I cannot imagine asking you what you meant...LOL
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Old 08-24-2005, 05:06 PM   #178
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Thanks for posting, Mr Cheney. I'm glad that you took the time to explain the government's position.
Yeah, using facts to explain a position is just so tough to debate.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:37 PM   #179
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firstly, the fact that only 4 of 18 Iraq provinces are "peaceful" really doesn't make a difference when dozens and dozens of Iraqis are killed every day. if dozens and dozens of Los Angelenos were being killed every day you can bet there would be an overwhelming sense of crisis across the country.

also, i don't claim to defend Democrats, either in this war or in Kosovo (though it's implicit from you posts that you wish i were doing so since it's only through comparison, the whole "yeah, what would you have done," that you can make many of your points).

i've said it before and i'll say it again -- winning in Iraq, now that we're there, is necessary, but it is not a sufficient condition for a future where we are not immediately threatened by an Islamo-fascism.

failures? how about the absence of the primary rationale for the war: weapons of mass destruction. there are none. while it is true that intelligence provided by several western nations agreed on the *possibility* of Saddam's WMDs, only one country thought this was a threat worth going to war over and worth sending it's children to die over -- this is one thing that bugs me most about your posts, your total indifference to the death toll on American families and that you must provide a rationale *to them* that justifies the death of their sons and daughters, that we send troops when we have a clear and present danger to the safety of this country, and that danger was trumped up to be the WMDs, and that danger has turned out to be an illusion. were we lied to? not directly. but we were all mislead by an administration that knew they were on shaky grounds for invasion to begin with.

there are many costs involved with this war -- one example is the astronomical pricetag when they said it would only cost $200bn; we can point to a death toll rapidly approaching 2,000 troops; we can point to the nearly 10,000 who have been seriously wounded; we can point to the 70,000 who are suffering from PTS. you can argue that public support for a war doesn't mediate it's rightness or wrongness, and i'd agree with that (your insistance on the election as some sort of "approve/disapprove" referendum on the war strikes me as really simplistic), however there is a real, human cost to the war, and the ability for an administration to effectively and administer a war when they are dealing with a volunteer army is predicated upon the maintenance of popular support. the administration has done all it can to cover up the human carnage (and not just death ... come to Silver Spring, MD, where i work at lunchtime and we can take a look at all the limb-less 20 year olds from Walter Reed, just down the road, who are getting an afternoon in the sunshine), but the slow trickle of bodies is eroding popular support. Bush's approval ratings for the war are at around 34%, which compares to Johnson in 1968 who was at about 32%. if you can't keep the support of a population that voluntarily sends it's children to fight and die, then the war is already lost.

as for other failures:

-- we invaded with too few troops to keep the peace -- the administration deployed inadequate forces to suppress violent criminals and insurgents; they neglected to secure sensitive sites after Saddam was overthrown; troops were provided too little body armor and too few armored vehicles to protect U.S. forces which has resulted in needless deaths.

-- an absence of even elementary post-war planning -- the absence of any kind of exit strategy or vision of what “victory” would look like is what fuels the insurgency. we look like a permanent occupying force, thus rallying more insurgents – sometimes estimated at 500,000 strong -- to battle a perceived colonialist occupying power.

-- the gross mistreatment of prisoners that was a direct result from the WH insistance to treat terrorist captives as "enemy combatants" rather than POWs ... now, we have hundreds of cases of unspeakably inhumane treatment of detainees, including up to a hundred deaths and the deployment of what must be called torture in Bagram, Abu Ghraib, Basra, and in secret detention centers around the world

-- the increasing religious radicalization of Iraq, especially in the south, which serves as an ironic counterpoint -- we are supposedly battling a fanatical enemy determined to kill any civilization or people who seek the restoration of a medieval, theocratic dictatorship in the Middle East; good thing we've given them a new Afghanistan in the shape of Iraq

-- there is no evidence of the Iraqi army being anywhere close to prepared in the numbers they need

-- i have talked to some troops (seriously ... though i'm suspicous of anecdotal evidence, as well you should be, but they basically said that it was a tough job, they were simply treading water, and that no one would give a damn about Iraq if there weren't any oil ... those are exact words)

-- the Iraqis do not join the army because of some patriotic notion; simple anthropolgy will tell you that Iraqis have ethnic and religious loyalties, not to an Arab state that was a British fabrication to begin with; why do they joint the army? have you seen the unemployment rates in Baghdad?
Its 14 of Iraq's provinces that are peaceful not just 4. It does make a difference that 14 are peaceful and this fact is rarely reported by the media! Plus there is not an overwhelming sense of crises all across Iraq. Most people in the other 14 provinces site things other than the insurgency as their biggest concerns.

The primary rational for the war was Saddam's Failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD. That rational still stands today because Saddam never verifiably disarmed of over 1,000 Liters of Anthrax, 500 pounds of mustard gas, 500 pounds of nerve gas and over 20,000 Bio Chem capable shells. The Saddam failed to disarm of these items is fact reported by the UN weapons inspectors. The fact that the coalition has not found such materials since invading Iraq is not evidence that there were none. The evidence from years of UN inspections shows that Saddam had this material, in addition Saddam even admitted they he had it. The fact that this material exist is not in doubt, the only questions are, is it still intact or was it dismantled without UN supervision, If it was dismantled when and where was it dismantled.

The United States was not the only country that knew Saddam had WMD, the whole world new. In addition the UNITED NATIONS passed 3 different resolutions authorizing the use of military force if Saddam failed to verifiably disarm of all WMD. These resolutions were resolution 678 (1990), 687 (1991), and 1441 (2002). The United States help to assembled a coalition that consisted of over 50 nations that provided resources for the invasion. The United Nations has since passed 3 different resolutions approving the occupation!

No one lied and the threat Saddam posed to this country and the world was extremely serious. Any serious and objective study of the importance of the Persian Gulf to the planet in terms of energy supply and what a sudden cut off from such supplies would do to the planet will show that.


Once again the November 2004 election was the best indicator of support in the country for the war. It clearly showed that the American people despite all the rantings of the left as well as hollywood still support the war as well as the Presidents policies in winning it.

Also the carnage from the war has received tremondous coverage every night on the major news networks as well as cable news and local media. So this idea that this is all hidden is completely false.

The cost of the war in terms of money is not a surprise, the level of casualties to certain degree, at least from the way things were in the begining is a surprise. The Sunni population and the remainder of Saddam's regime have built a strong insurgency in 4 of Iraq's 18 provinces. Still it should be mentioned that casualties compared in the current war are only a fraction of what they were in Vietnam. The year my father was in Vietnam, 1968, over 16,500 US troops were killed and another 80,000 were wounded. Of course the loss or injury to just one life is a tragedy, but if one is going to use the current numbers of the Iraq war in a way to emphasise the cost to the nation as whole, then one needs to compare the cost of previous conflicts is one is going to be objective about what the cost to the nation as whole really is.

The lowest opinion poll for the war that I have seen recently is 42% still in favor. Back in February it was above 50% which was actually above what it was back in October. Still these opinion polls go up and down and are nothing compared to the accuracy of the Presidential Election in November 2004.


-The first failure you site, was not a failure at all. The Presumption is that if there were twice as many Brigades on the ground at the end of the war that there would be no violence no insurgency, no problems, which is complete rubbish. Violence in Iraq following the toppling of Saddam was actually VERY low. Certainly there was looting and disturbances through out the country, but much of this was temporary, unavoidable and enevitable. The insurgency that is on going now, was partly planned by Saddam long before the first shot was fired based on documents that have been recovered.

- your second claim of failure is also wrong. This idea that there was not even elementary post war planning and that there was no exit strategy is simply a political catch phrase of the left. The United States and its coalition allies have been involved in an extensive reconstruction effort in a country that has been ruled by one of the most brutal dictators in history for the past 25 years as well as being involved in many wars. The United States and its allies are spending Billions of dollars to help rebuild the country and defeat the Sunni insurgency. There have been multiple accomplishments and things are moving foward, not backward.

For your information, most Iraqi's actually support the occupation and do not want US forces to pull out. Only Saddam's former regime elements which make up the corp of the insurgency as well as Al Quada want the USA and the coalition to leave. Once again, look back to the 8 million people who voted in the elections in January!

Your accusations about the mistreatment of prisoners is just pure rubbish. There has been isolated abuse, but nothing on the level you talk about. Once again, my friends who have served multiple tours in the Marines in Iraq can attest to this fact. My best friend flew a Combat Helicopter escort mission for a prisoner in Abu Graib who needed an organ transplant. Here he was risking his life to insure this terrorist could get the best medical treatment in the world!

Whats more, you simply ignore the tens of thousands of Iraqi insurgents and Saddam military troops who were wounded and their lives were saved by US troops!

Iraq is not Afghanistan. The Shia in the South are not members of the Taliban, nor are they Iranians, they Arabs that have grown up with Iraq as their history, and its totally inaccurate to make some sudden gross generalization about them because of their religion. To equate everyone in the Shia part of Iraq with Bin Ladin and Al Quada is just absurd.

The Iraqi military today has 10 Battalions that function interchangably with US army and Marine Battalions, as well as 90 Battalions that are currently training to get to that level. Things are improving, but building a new army takes years! If one considers this a failure then one may not understand the reality of building a new military from scratch.

Its a bit naive to declare that Iraqi's line up every day to risk life and limb just because they were unable to find a labor job in downtown Baghdad. Once again, look at the January election and all the people who risked life and limb for NO monetary gain at all. The terrorist are attacking and killing Iraqi civilians and attempting to prevent the development of the country both politically and economically. It is not surprising that people are angry and want to strike back at the terrorist who are trying to prevent the development of their country.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:52 PM   #180
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this is pointless.

you've addressed virtually none of my questions, and merely reiterated for the millionth time the same pieces of information. and if you have to justify the "success" of iraq in comparison to the abject failure of Vietnam, then i guess the bar for success isn't set too high.

you're also lying to yourself about torture. what isn't done by US troops is outsourced to places like Egypt.

you have your information and you choose to read it in only a single way. i don't see any evidence of a give-and-take, just a constant monologue on your part and a refusal to countenance any questions. you assert things like "Saddam was a great danger to the world" when the man had been effectivley contained for 12 years, had a skeleton army, no WMDs, and nothing to do with global terrorism. also, the case you present for the removal of Saddam was not the case presented by the administration to the American people. the fact that this makes no difference to you is extremely telling.

how does that Kool-Aid taste?

i'm happy to continue discussing with Dread or other supporters of the war who are willing to engage, not monologue.

other than that, i'm out.
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