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Old 01-23-2007, 03:20 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by onebloodonelife
I think it's too late for him to save the presidency. Plus, just because he says things like we need to find alternative sources of energy, doesn't mean that he will take any actions to move towards that. I think he has too much history with the big oil businesses to actually take action against the oil industry. That's just one example though. I'm more focused on the 2008 elections, to me, he's already a lame duck president and his State of the Union speech won't change that.
This article kind of sums up what you posted:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16755951/

Quote:
When President Bush delivers his next-to-last State of the Union address Tuesday night, he will confront this reality, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll: Nearly two-thirds of Americans appear to have given up on success in Iraq and also on his presidency.
Quote:
The public really says, ‘I just think it’s over,’” Hart says of Bush’s presidency. “If we had a British parliamentary system, there would be a call for a vote of no confidence. Essentially what the poll is, is a vote of no confidence.”
I think the troop increase was just the last straw for a lot of people. After all the debate, the bi-partisan Iraq study group, I think the majority of Americans looked at Bush's plan and said, "20,000 more troops? That's your solution? That's your plan? Check please."
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:24 PM   #32
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I'm going to try to watch just so I can see Speaker Pelosi standing behind him as the first Woman Speaker and his first with a Dem majority. Or more like I'll be watching her sitting behind him along with the left side of the aisle ,not standing. Otherwise I just can't f**king stand to watch him.

PS Martha,

I'll be in DC this weekend for the march. It's is almost the fourth anniversary of my first ever march, before the invasion. Hope to see some of you there.
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Old 01-23-2007, 03:25 PM   #33
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:14 PM   #34
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That's what the world thinks of Bush. I think it's interesting how similar these figures are with the poll in the US only.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6288933.stm
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:22 PM   #35
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^ found this to be the most interesting quote from the article:

[q]This poll underscores conclusions drawn from several other surveys - that anti-Americanism is on the rise, and the more the US flexes its hard power - the more it deploys troops abroad or talks tough diplomatically - the more it seems to weaken its ability to influence the world.[/q]
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:41 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by kellyahern


This article kind of sums up what you posted:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16755951/





I think the troop increase was just the last straw for a lot of people. After all the debate, the bi-partisan Iraq study group, I think the majority of Americans looked at Bush's plan and said, "20,000 more troops? That's your solution? That's your plan? Check please."
I never supported Bush or the war, but like many others, the fact that he decided that increasing the troops was the solution to what is obviously not going to get any better just made me shake my head in disgust.

2008 can't come any faster for me.
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:47 PM   #37
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Notwithstanding Iraq, which history and time will eventually judge, Bush fails as a leader for me for one reason: he is all goals and dreams, no follow up.

Last year he talked about "ending dependence on foreign oil" -- great idea, where's the 'to - do' list?

What conservation efforts were deployed impacting demand? What incentives were provided industry or business to change? Where's the task force from industry, government and science to consider alternatives and timing of change? Where's the $$ bounty for the first 300 Horsepower engine that gets 55 miles per gallon?

Certainly Presidents and CEOs should focus at a hihger level, but he has failed to ask the right questions or influence the pursuit of this lofty ambition. And you could probably add other items to the list of "great goal, no follow-up".
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:58 PM   #38
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bush: State of the Union

Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega


The war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the US withdrawing or not, is very likely to go on for decades, with the costs of human lifes reaching the millions.
The costs of the war in Iraq alone will overtake the costs of the Vietnam war this year, with over $670 billion.
A recession and also a boom are not that closely linked to any government that you can claim the one being responsible for the recession, and the other being responsible for the boom. Even lesser in a free market economy as the US is.

Here in Germany it's the same. We are picking up at the moment, as the whole western world does.
That's the economic cycle, and with September 11, it was clear that the world economy would decrease for a while.
Now that our economy is picking up again people are saying our Grand Coalition is responsible for that.
But it's not. The only good to say about the current government is, that they didn't change the reforms undertaken in the previous years.
Still, even Schroeder and the reforms are not responsible for the upswing, they are only a little help.
The cost in human lives in Iraq is under 60,000 after four years, a death rate far less than the worse years under Saddam or the average for that matter. The current occupation of Afghanistan is the most successful foreign occupation of Afghanistan in the 5,000 year history of that country!

As a percentage of US GDP, the current cost of the war in Iraq is no where near to being about to overtake the cost of the war in Vietnam. A comparison of the actual number either adjusted for or not adjusted for inflation, is irrelavant if it is not meassured against the countries GDP at the time, which shows the real financial cost of any endeavour.

Any country's economy is impacted by the choices its government makes in terms of spending, type of spending, taxes, and interest rates. Clinton indeed does get some credit for the best economic climate this country has ever experienced. Bush also gets credit for the improvement in the US economy since 2001.

Provided the United States does not withdraw prematurely from those two countries, it will achieve its objectives there, just as other countries have in successful, nationbuilding and counterinsurgency operations.

Many Europeans opposed the US led NATO bombings and attacks in Bosnia and Kosovo, and believed that no matter what the US led NATO initiatives tried to do, the killings would go on for decades reaching the millions. Obviously, they have been proven wrong.
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Old 01-23-2007, 06:59 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
^ found this to be the most interesting quote from the article:

[q]This poll underscores conclusions drawn from several other surveys - that anti-Americanism is on the rise, and the more the US flexes its hard power - the more it deploys troops abroad or talks tough diplomatically - the more it seems to weaken its ability to influence the world.[/q]
I think it's the normal reaction that if someone comes and tells you off, just because he doesn't like it, you'll become more stubborn and won't listen, nor agree with what he says.
And that is what many people see when they think of America.
In the late 90's the USA was often referred to as the world police. After 9/11 it was not just an attack against the US and its freedom, but against the whole industrialized world.
So you got a lot of support for the war in Afghanistan, because people felt with America and understood the reasons.

But later then, despite the criticism from all over the world, the US marched into Iraq, ignoring the rules of the UN set after WWII, where every country agreed on how important it is that the UN will never be like the League of Nations, that was unable to do something when fascism rolled over Europe, and so people were appalled by the ignorance and self-rightouseness shown by the US government, and some other governments as well.

Now that Iraq is exactly the mess that many people were afraid of, they felt affirmed, and some of them have difficulties to draw the line between what is America, and what is the government.

But the majority of people here clearly sees the difference.

Still, the more the US government tries to tell the world how it has to function (as many view the actions by the US), the more people will distance themselves from America.
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:07 PM   #40
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bush: State of the Union

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Originally posted by STING2
The current occupation of Afghanistan is the most successful foreign occupation of Afghanistan in the 5,000 year history of that country!
Is this really something to brag about?
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:28 PM   #41
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Originally posted by Irvine511


and it is because of these mistakes that the US is eventually going to withdraw because it is increasingly politically impossible to continue to send men and women to fight in someone else's Civil War.

and all this because Bush's incuriosity and intellectual laziness caused him to wishfully believe that we were invading some kind of functional, secular state with institutions robust enough to survive a foreign invasion and then continue to function under new leadership.

it turns out that Iraq -- for all its roads and schools and oil -- is quasi-medieval where Saddam had merely secured loyalty through equal measures of fear and treasure.

there is no Iraq. there is only Saddam's Iraq.

Its clear what the obsession is with calling Iraq a "Civil War" when its not one. Obviously, they think if they can convince everyone that its a "Civil War", then its not our war, and we should just leave. Instead of being and objective assessment of the situation, its simply a way of building support for a premature withdrawal from Iraq.

If you can claim that Iraq is a "Civil War", then you can also claim that Afghanistan is also a "Civil War" as well. How can you support sending troops to Afghanistan's "Civil War", but not Iraq's "Civil War"? The vast majority of people killed by Al Quada in 2006 were killed in Iraq. While the Taliban is active in Afghanistan, Al Quada operations there are almost non-existent compared to Iraq. But you would prefer to withdraw from the "Civil War" with the most active Al Quada presence, Iraq, than the "Civil War" in Afghanistan with little or no Al Quada presence?


There is no Iraq eh? Was there ever really a Bosnia or a Bosnian? There is far more evidence for there being an Iraq and Iraqi's than there is for there being a Bosnia.

Funny how many of the same people who supported intervention in the BOSNIAN CIVIL WAR, were not too concerned about the idea of " its a civil war and not are fight", back in the mid-1990s. The Bosnian Civil War was a real civil war that led to the deaths of 10% of the Bosnian population, and now the people arguing that the United States can't stay in Iraq because its "a civil war and not our war" are some of the same people who so vigorously wanted intervention in the Bosnian Civil War in the 1990s.
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:29 PM   #42
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bush: State of the Union

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Originally posted by STING2


The cost in human lives in Iraq is under 60,000 after four years, a death rate far less than the worse years under Saddam or the average for that matter. The current occupation of Afghanistan is the most successful foreign occupation of Afghanistan in the 5,000 year history of that country!

As a percentage of US GDP, the current cost of the war in Iraq is no where near to being about to overtake the cost of the war in Vietnam. A comparison of the actual number either adjusted for or not adjusted for inflation, is irrelavant if it is not meassured against the countries GDP at the time, which shows the real financial cost of any endeavour.

Any country's economy is impacted by the choices its government makes in terms of spending, type of spending, taxes, and interest rates. Clinton indeed does get some credit for the best economic climate this country has ever experienced. Bush also gets credit for the improvement in the US economy since 2001.

Provided the United States does not withdraw prematurely from those two countries, it will achieve its objectives there, just as other countries have in successful, nationbuilding and counterinsurgency operations.

Many Europeans opposed the US led NATO bombings and attacks in Bosnia and Kosovo, and believed that no matter what the US led NATO initiatives tried to do, the killings would go on for decades reaching the millions. Obviously, they have been proven wrong.
I don't think you can compare the situation in the Balkan states with the structures and situation in Iraq or Afhanistan.
For these countries it was much easier to adopt democracy, in Iraq and Afghanistan many of the people don't even want democracy, since they have other structures.
And don't forget, if the S-For or K-For troops left the Balkan states, there would be civil war within weeks again.
That happened other the past few years. Whenever one of the armies in one region tried to loose the ties, i.e. reduced the presence to see whether the people will live together peacefully, they had to come back within hours because the could see immediately how the violence there increased again.
Still I was not against taking actions in the Balkan area, I thought they were even more important.
As I think that it would have been by far more important to intervene in Darfur than in Iraq.

You see, in the Balkan the Nato could achieve a lot more by the bombardement of a few weeks, and the deployment of the S-For and the K-For.
In Afghanistan, tell me, where are they making prodress?
Every report from there just told that the situation in the south got just worse over the last few months. Soldiers even said they were safer in Iraq than in the south of Afghanistan.
In the Vietnam war NVA and Vietcong just went over the border to Cambodia, and recovered from their battles. Now the Taliban are going over the boarder of Pakistan and are recovering there. The coalition forces don't make any progress there.

Even though the peace in the Balkan states is not the strongest, it's still much better than in Iraq. People there are preparing for a civil war between Sunnis and Shiits, incited by the al-Quaeda. The US soldiers aren't the main target anymore.
People are leaving the area, or live in fear of dying every day. So the situation didn't improve really for them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for every dictator like Saddam less, but not in the way that a country says: "We are going in there, now, and if you don't like it, be it.", with the illusion the masses will stand in the streets with flowers because they have waited for US troops to come for so long, only to discover that this isn't like that, and then there is no sophisticated plan of how to adjust the strategy.

With the GDP, that's a nice thing, but think of the definition of GDP. That is the value of every good and service produced within a country. And the value created by the military supplying industry is huge.

One economist even said, considering the indirect costs, the Iraq war already cost $3 trillion. With very high costs for the wounded and crippled-for-life soldiers.
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:31 PM   #43
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bush: State of the Union

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Originally posted by martha


Is this really something to brag about?
Its a fact, and Afghanistan currently has the best chance it has ever had for a stable and prosperous future thanks to the removal of the Taliban and Al Quada from power and the subsequent occupation which is helping to rebuild the country.
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:35 PM   #44
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Followed by US Sen. Jim Webb D-VA !!!!!!
I'm counting on Webb to steal the show.
It's all about Webb tonight.
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Old 01-23-2007, 08:07 PM   #45
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bush: State of the Union

Quote:
Originally posted by Vincent Vega


I don't think you can compare the situation in the Balkan states with the structures and situation in Iraq or Afhanistan.
For these countries it was much easier to adopt democracy, in Iraq and Afghanistan many of the people don't even want democracy, since they have other structures.
And don't forget, if the S-For or K-For troops left the Balkan states, there would be civil war within weeks again.
That happened other the past few years. Whenever one of the armies in one region tried to loose the ties, i.e. reduced the presence to see whether the people will live together peacefully, they had to come back within hours because the could see immediately how the violence there increased again.
Still I was not against taking actions in the Balkan area, I thought they were even more important.
As I think that it would have been by far more important to intervene in Darfur than in Iraq.

You see, in the Balkan the Nato could achieve a lot more by the bombardement of a few weeks, and the deployment of the S-For and the K-For.
In Afghanistan, tell me, where are they making prodress?
Every report from there just told that the situation in the south got just worse over the last few months. Soldiers even said they were safer in Iraq than in the south of Afghanistan.
In the Vietnam war NVA and Vietcong just went over the border to Cambodia, and recovered from their battles. Now the Taliban are going over the boarder of Pakistan and are recovering there. The coalition forces don't make any progress there.

Even though the peace in the Balkan states is not the strongest, it's still much better than in Iraq. People there are preparing for a civil war between Sunnis and Shiits, incited by the al-Quaeda. The US soldiers aren't the main target anymore.
People are leaving the area, or live in fear of dying every day. So the situation didn't improve really for them.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for every dictator like Saddam less, but not in the way that a country says: "We are going in there, now, and if you don't like it, be it.", with the illusion the masses will stand in the streets with flowers because they have waited for US troops to come for so long, only to discover that this isn't like that, and then there is no sophisticated plan of how to adjust the strategy.

With the GDP, that's a nice thing, but think of the definition of GDP. That is the value of every good and service produced within a country. And the value created by the military supplying industry is huge.

One economist even said, considering the indirect costs, the Iraq war already cost $3 trillion. With very high costs for the wounded and crippled-for-life soldiers.
GDP is the best way to measure the financial cost of any endeavour. The best way to understand the cost of World War II to the United States financially is took compare the cost of the war to GDP then. By the end of World War II, the US national debt which had prior to the war only been 10% of USA GDP, was now 150% of GDP.

The Iraq war has cost over $400 Billion dollars to date, and could eventually cost up to 2 Trillion dollars. That is the highest estimate that has been reported. Thats only 15% of current GDP and its spread out over a 10 year plus period amounting to less than 200 Billion dollars or less than 10% of what the annual federal budget is.

In the peacetime of the 1980s, the United States was spending 6% of its GDP every year on national Defense. Defense spending combined with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan today amount to around 4.5% of GDP, 25% less than the level of defense spending during the peacetime of the 1980s.

In both Bosnia and Kosovo, the number of NATO troops in each country has significantly dropped from what the levels were in Bosnia in 1996 and Kosovo in 1999. There are currently less than 20,000 NATO troops in Bosnia today, there were over 60,000 in 1996! So the process is working, and eventually few if any troops will be needed in both countries!

Bosnia and Kosovo while they are more modern area's and societies, went through a vastly more deadly conflict that was had been seen in Iraq. Nearly 10% of the population in Bosnia was murdered. If nearly 10% of the population in Iraq had been killed, you would have a death toll after four years of 3 million, not 60 thousand. Despite the more modern history, the worse devistation and fighting between the ethnic groups made it more unlikely that a stable democratic situation could arise in Bosnia than even Afghanistan or Iraq. And just like in Iraq early on, the ethnic groups all voted for their own ethnic leaders in Bosnia leading to the same criticism that there was no democracy in Bosnia at all.

Afghanistan has made more progress over the past 5 years than in any other foreign occupation in that countries history or in the decades since the 1979 Soviet invasion. The death rate has dropped signicantly, education especially for women as vastly improved, more roads, electricity, and water is available to much of the population than ever before, and there is now a democratically elected government. The improvements in these area's for Afghanistan have been enormous. It often gets reported that 4,000 people died in Afghanistan in 2006, but they neglect to clarify that more than half of them were Taliban fighters.

The increase in fighting in Afghanistan from 2005, is largely the result of NATO forces moving into area's in the south where it had never been before rather than some brand new surge of Taliban numbers inside the country.

I might add that progress in Afghanistan is hampered by the fact that FRANCE and GERMANY won't send their troops to the trouble area's of the south, as well as send more troops to Afghanistan in general!


In Iraq, the vast majority of attacks 75% to 80% according to the US military are still against the coalition, even though the vast majority of casualties are suffered by the Iraqi population. That is because a single attack against defenseless civilians always will yield far greater casualties than a single attack against the military, which may not even result in casualties.

90% of the sectarian violence in Iraq happens within 30 miles of Baghdad and is primarily the result of Al Quada and certain insurgent groups as well as the Maidi Shia militia.

Most Iraqi's are either indifferent or work with coalition forces in Iraq. Only a minority actually support the insurgency against the coalition and nearly all of this support comes from the Sunni majority area's of the country. 13 of Iraq's 18 provinces are relatively peaceful.

The coalition that invaded Iraq in 2003 had just as much authority to do so with UN resolution 1441 as the coalition that used military force to remove Saddam from Kuwait in 1990 did from UN resolution 678. The UN resolutions authorized the invasion and subsequent UN resolutions like 1483 authorized the occupation. The UN would never vote to authorize an occupation it felt had been brought about through illegal means, a perfect example being Saddam's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
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