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Old 01-23-2007, 10:25 PM   #76
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Do you understand what "context" means?
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:29 PM   #77
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I don't like Bush any more than the next person, but it's not totally his decision how much aid gets sent where. If I'm not mistaken, Congress has not passed the bills that would accomplish the original goal.
That's completely true, but I think a lot of people think he might just throw these statements out there (in Dr Evil voice "Send to Africa 100 trillion bazillion dollars!") well aware that Congress is just going to knock it on it's head sometime in the future. In the meantime, he gets big positive headlines, and more people are aware of his big Presidential statement than they are months later of the 'quiet' vote in Congress that kills it. That may be a completely cynical way of looking at it, and it wouldn't actually surprise me if Bush believed in what he was saying, but that's the way many see it, that Bush uses these big statements to get a thumbs up while he damn well knows it's not going to actually happen.
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:30 PM   #78
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I asked the question after the person I was responding to questioned the existence of Iraq. Obviously, Iraq and Iraqi's exist just as much as Bosnia and Bosnians. If Iraq does not exist, then neither does Bosnia.

omg.

iraq = yugoslavia

shia, sunni, etc. = bosnians, serbians, slovenians, etc.
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:34 PM   #79
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That's completely true, but I think a lot of people think he might just throw these statements out there (in Dr Evil voice "Send to Africa 100 trillion bazillion dollars!") well aware that Congress is just going to knock it on it's head sometime in the future. In the meantime, he gets big positive headlines, and more people are aware of his big Presidential statement than they are months later of the 'quiet' vote in Congress that kills it. That may be a completely cynical way of looking at it, and it wouldn't actually surprise me if Bush believed in what he was saying, but that's the way many see it, that Bush uses these big statements to get a thumbs up while he damn well knows it's not going to actually happen.
I agree. I remember the first time when Bush mentioned aid to Africa in his State/Union speech my political science prof was entirely convinced he never would have mentioned it if not for the letter from Bono the Washington Post published the day before. If she's right (and I think she is, judging by the responses the letter created), he really did throw it in for some thumbs up and a pat on the back. I think they all may have been empty promises to being with, but we still can't place all of the blame on him, when after all someone elected him twice and the majority of this population has not made this an issue they care about and vote about.
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:49 PM   #80
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I agree. I remember the first time when Bush mentioned aid to Africa in his State/Union speech my political science prof was entirely convinced he never would have mentioned it if not for the letter from Bono the Washington Post published the day before. If she's right (and I think she is, judging by the responses the letter created), he really did throw it in for some thumbs up and a pat on the back. I think they all may have been empty promises to being with, but we still can't place all of the blame on him, when after all someone elected him twice and the majority of this population has not made this an issue they care about and vote about.
I think he just says it just to divert attention from his flaws. (ahem GAP & Converse on Product (RED) ) He has been making the same empty promises for years. Like ya'll said, Congress shut it down before and they will again.

But honestly, wtf why? All Bono has been pleading for was to raise that less-than-half percent of our budget that goes to aid up to one percent. Just one percent!!!

If our government would REALLY follow through with their support on this issue, they would speak more about money allocation, which, I only remember Dennis Kucinich talking about that (I could be wrong, I do have selective hearing at times when the mighty mystic comes down from the mountain to deliver to us his divine wisdom.) Either side can yap all they want about giving money to Africa, but nothing is going to happen unless they talk about seriously reallocating the funds. That's where the bigger issue lies.

By the way, I missed the SotU, b/c my ridiculously apathetic students decided to hold their meeting at 9pm. I came in just in time to hear the last 3 minutes of Webb's response. I once I heard "wreckless" and "predicted"...I threw my panties at the tv. Well done!!!! Webb kicks.

By the way, speaking of drinking games, we usually take a shot whenever Bush says freedom, and two shots when he says terror and other forms of the word. Last time we all got really hammered! Did anybody play that game tonight?
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:52 PM   #81
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omg.

iraq = yugoslavia

shia, sunni, etc. = bosnians, serbians, slovenians, etc.
Uh no, Iraq is similar to Bosnia. In Bosnia there are three major ethnic or religious groups just like in Iraq. In addition, in Iraq, they were mixed in such a way from the north of the country to the south, that there was no realistic way to seperate the major ethnic groups, despite the generalizations of Kurds in the North, Sunni's in the middle, and Shia's in the south. The reality is much different, and the Iraq Study Group picked up on this fact and has rejected the idea of partition of the country.

In yugoslavia, there were more than 7 major ethnic groups, primarily already divided into republics that were already heavily dominated by one ethnic group or another, the exception being Bosnia. Yugoslavia as a whole was largely already divided and unmixed relative to Iraq.

Bosnia by contrast was very mixed, and there was no real way to effectively divide the ethnic groups peacefully.

Bosnia in that sense, does = Iraq, Yugoslavia does not.
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:23 PM   #82
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Uh no, Iraq is similar to Bosnia. In Bosnia there are three major ethnic or religious groups just like in Iraq. In addition, in Iraq, they were mixed in such a way from the north of the country to the south, that there was no realistic way to seperate the major ethnic groups, despite the generalizations of Kurds in the North, Sunni's in the middle, and Shia's in the south. The reality is much different, and the Iraq Study Group picked up on this fact and has rejected the idea of partition of the country.

In yugoslavia, there were more than 7 major ethnic groups, primarily already divided into republics that were already heavily dominated by one ethnic group or another, the exception being Bosnia. Yugoslavia as a whole was largely already divided and unmixed relative to Iraq.

Bosnia by contrast was very mixed, and there was no real way to effectively divide the ethnic groups peacefully.

Bosnia in that sense, does = Iraq, Yugoslavia does not.




Iraq = Yugoslavia, 1992. both were artificial creations.

like Yugoslavia, Iraq's previous government abruptly dissolved; as in Yugoslavia, the dissolution of a centralized national government exposed ethnic fault line; as in Yugoslavia, Iraq's fault lines only roughly correspond to geographic locality; as in Yugoslavia, Iraq's ethnic rivalries have become increasingly militarized.

in Croatia, the carnage basically ended by the expulsion of the Serbs. in Bosnia, it was ended by a de facto partition with two separate entities having nearly state interests.

there is a good lesson for Iraq. people cannot participate in government if it cannot keep them safe. tall fences make for good neighbors, and also for democracy. you bellow on and on and on about the two elections Iraq has had. but an election is not democracy. democracy requires the rule of law, respect for individual rights, the protection of property and basic fairness. these basic requirements did not exist in Iraq prior to the Potempkin elections held.
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:57 AM   #83
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Iraq = Yugoslavia, 1992. both were artificial creations.

like Yugoslavia, Iraq's previous government abruptly dissolved; as in Yugoslavia, the dissolution of a centralized national government exposed ethnic fault line; as in Yugoslavia, Iraq's fault lines only roughly correspond to geographic locality; as in Yugoslavia, Iraq's ethnic rivalries have become increasingly militarized.

in Croatia, the carnage basically ended by the expulsion of the Serbs. in Bosnia, it was ended by a de facto partition with two separate entities having nearly state interests.

there is a good lesson for Iraq. people cannot participate in government if it cannot keep them safe. tall fences make for good neighbors, and also for democracy. you bellow on and on and on about the two elections Iraq has had. but an election is not democracy. democracy requires the rule of law, respect for individual rights, the protection of property and basic fairness. these basic requirements did not exist in Iraq prior to the Potempkin elections held.
Iraq is BOSNIA, not Yugoslavia in terms of the ethnic make up of the country. The majority of Yugoslavia's ethnic fault lines DID correspond to geographic localities, that being the individual republics that formed the state of Yugoslavia. That is why there was almost no fighting in Slovenia, relatively little fighting in Croatia, which ended 6 months after it began in a ceacefire. The withdrawal of Serbs from the Karijana region of Croatia in 1995 was part of a deal between Serbia and Croatia on matters there and in Bosnia, not a sudden forced expulsion of the Serbs by the Croations. No real fighting in Montenegro, Macedonia or Serbia proper itself. The split up of Yugoslavia was possible because unlike Iraq, many of the ethnic groups were located primarily in specific republics, making any sort of break up possible and less violent.

The only exception to this was BOSNIA! Bosnia like Iraq was so ethnically mixed between the three groups that partition of the country in order to end the fighting was rejected over and over again. Partition of Iraq has been rejected by the Bush administration and the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group for the same reasons.

Many people made the same claims about Bosnia in 1995 to argue against intervention there that have been made about Iraq. A Civil War, and an artificially created state that would NEVER be viable. But, 11 years after the end of the Civil War there that killed nearly 10% of the population in the 3 years and 9 months that it raged, Bosnia is a relatively stable country with nearly the same ethnic mix it had prior to the war. It has a standard of living that is higher than Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, about the same as Malaysia! A huge accomplishment for a country that had never been an independent state prior to 1992(at least in modern times), considered by many to not be viable, had just gone through one of the worst ethnic civil wars in history slaughtering nearly 10% of the population. In September of 1997, roughly two years after the end of the Civil War that murdered nearly 10% of the population, Muslims, Croations, and Serbs gathered in Kosovo stadium to enjoy U2's POPMART show. Say what you will about the two republics within Bosnia, one Serbian the other mixed of Croats and Muslims who bitterly fought each other, thousands of Serbian U2 fans poured into Kosovo stadium to enjoy the U2 concert in Sarajevo which is in the Bosnian/Croat republic within Bosnia. Such an event would have seemed like the wildest of fantasy's two years earlier.

Bosnia has remained a unified state with the support of NATO troops who's force levels have been reduced from 60,000 to 20,000 troops. Despite the massive blood letting that occured in Bosnia which has yet to happen in Iraq, the difficult mix of the ethnic groups, the country has remained intact and prospered. This shows that despite the ethnic differences in Iraq, regardless of how unviable one think the state of Iraq is, it can indeed become a stable and prosperous country as long as the coalition continues to provide and sustain the support and resources vital to develop and rebuild the country. But it takes time. While Bosnia has been very successful in its nation building process, it is not over yet. Iraq has many years to go, and just because the newly elected government has not created and solved all of Iraq's problems in the past 8 months is not evidence that it will not happen. The process will succeed provided that the coalition does not withdraw prematurely.

The same can be said about Afghanistan. Once again, Democrats make every arguement they can about how Iraq is a Civil War and not a viable state, as well as a whole laundry list of other problems. Yet, all these same problems exist in Afghanistan to some degree. But no one is calling for withdrawal there. The Democrats have yet to produce a viable alternative strategy to the Presidents in Iraq, their suggestions for why withdrawal from Iraq is necessary contradict their views on keeping troops in Afghanistan.
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Old 01-24-2007, 04:01 AM   #84
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We should deal with reality; and that includes acknowledging the problems in Iraq and then rather than just walking away working on policy that can acheive the goals - it shouldn't be a dichotomy between staying the course and raising the Shiite cresent or leaving the country and handing religious fascists a victory.
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:09 AM   #85
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gee I wonder who urged him to fund more money for these programs... Could it be>>>
ya that's what i thought
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Old 01-24-2007, 09:58 AM   #86
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We should deal with reality; and that includes acknowledging the problems in Iraq and then rather than just walking away working on policy that can acheive the goals - it shouldn't be a dichotomy between staying the course and raising the Shiite cresent or leaving the country and handing religious fascists a victory.

but don't you see?

the only way some of us can even pretend our positions make sense is if we cast the world in black-and-white dichotomies and an all-encompasing Manichean worldview.

don't you realize that if you supported a policy of regime change in Iraq, then you by default must support the invasion of Iraq in 2003?

don't you realize that if you don't support the current policy, or the oft-mentioned "surge," you are in favor of getting all troops out by March 30th?

don't you realize that if you think things could have been done differently, then you're really no better than Saddam Hussein?
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:12 AM   #87
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If one were to take all of STING2's posts on Iraq and put them together, that would be one huge book.
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:44 AM   #88
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If one were to take all of STING2's posts on Iraq and put them together, that would be one huge book.

but there's only, like, 8 pages.

they're just repasted, over and over and over.
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:34 PM   #89
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The proposal to decrease gasoline consumption 20% was a good start, at least...it'll be interesting to see where that one goes in Congress. And the proposals for tax incentives and increased Affordable Choice grants to states is a decent beginning for health insurance reform, though those measures won't be nearly enough. But at least it puts something out there...we can't keep delaying these things until the next round of elections.

His remarks on education and immigration were surprisingly bland IMO. Although "giving employers the tools to verify the legal status of their workers, so there’s no excuse left for violating the law" did get a mention.
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:32 PM   #90
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more evidence that the mentioned "surge" is incredibly dangerous -- it isn't a serious effort to win but an effort to smear some of this mess on the next administration as the US dangerously sides with the Shia against the Sunnis and begging a worse question, just how many American lives are we prepared to throw at the Sunni/Shia civil war especially as it spreads beyond Iraqi borders?

[q]In a miniature version of the troop increase that the United States hopes will secure the city, American soldiers and armored vehicles raced onto Haifa Street before dawn to dislodge Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias who have been battling for a stretch of ragged slums and mostly abandoned high rises. But as the sun rose, many of the Iraqi Army units who were supposed to do the actual searches of the buildings did not arrive on time, forcing the Americans to start the job on their own.

When the Iraqi units finally did show up, it was with the air of a class outing, cheering and laughing as the Americans blew locks off doors with shotguns. As the morning wore on and the troops came under fire from all directions, another apparent flaw in this strategy became clear as empty apartments became lairs for gunmen who flitted from window to window and killed at least one American soldier, with a shot to the head.

Whether the gunfire was coming from Sunni or Shiite insurgents or militia fighters or some of the Iraqi soldiers who had disappeared into the Gotham-like cityscape, no one could say.

“Who the hell is shooting at us?” shouted Sgt. First Class Marc Biletski, whose platoon was jammed into a small room off an alley that was being swept by a sniper’s bullets. “Who’s shooting at us? Do we know who they are?”

Just before the platoon tossed smoke bombs and sprinted through the alley to a more secure position, Sergeant Biletski had a moment to reflect on this spot, which the United States has now fought to regain from a mysterious enemy at least three times in the past two years.

“This place is a failure,” Sergeant Biletski said. “Every time we come here, we have to come back.”

He paused, then said, “Well, maybe not a total failure,” since American troops have smashed opposition on Haifa Street each time they have come in.

With that, Sergeant Biletski ran through the billowing yellow smoke and took up a new position.

The Haifa Street operation, involving Bradley Fighting Vehicles as well as the highly mobile Stryker vehicles, is likely to cause plenty of reflection by the commanders in charge of the Baghdad buildup of more than 20,000 troops. Just how those extra troops will be used is not yet known, but it is likely to mirror at least broadly the Haifa Street strategy of working with Iraqi forces to take on unruly groups from both sides of the Sunni-Shiite sectarian divide.

The commander of the operation, Lt. Col. Avanulas Smiley of the Third Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Second Infantry Division, said his forces were not interested in whether opposition came from bullets fired by Sunnis or by Shiites. He conceded that the cost of letting the Iraqi forces learn on the job was to add to the risk involved in the operation.

“This was an Iraqi-led effort and with that come challenges and risks,” Colonel Smiley said. “It can be organized chaos.”

The American units in the operation began moving up Haifa Street from the south by 2 a.m. on Wednesday. A platoon of B Company in the Stryker Brigade secured the roof of a high rise, where an Eminem poster was stuck on the wall of what appeared to be an Iraqi teenager’s room on the top floor. But in a pattern that would be repeated again and again in a series of buildings, there was no one in the apartment.

Many of the Iraqi units that showed up late never seemed to take the task seriously, searching haphazardly, breaking dishes and rifling through personal CD collections in the apartments. Eventually the Americans realized that the Iraqis were searching no more than half of the apartments; at one point the Iraqis completely disappeared, leaving the American unit working with them flabbergasted.

“Where did they go?” yelled Sgt. Jeri A. Gillett. Another soldier suggested, “I say we just let them go and we do this ourselves.”

Then the gunfire began. It would come from high rises across the street, from behind trash piles and sandbags in alleys and from so many other directions that the soldiers began to worry that the Iraqi soldiers were firing at them. Mortars started dropping from across the Tigris River, to the east, in the direction of a Shiite slum.

The only thing that was clear was that no one knew who the enemy was. “The thing is, we wear uniforms — they don’t,” said Specialist Terry Wilson.

[/q]



and some disturbing video. an Iraqi Rodney King?
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