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Old 03-21-2003, 10:17 PM   #61
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Originally posted by diamond
the UN displayed itself to be a dysfunctional group and afraid to enforce its own resolutions.

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Well, at any rate I sure hope that the outcome is indeed in the best interests of the people of Iraq. If it does make them happy then many other people will be happy as well. I sure hope this is what happens. The Iraqi people have suffered long enough. God bless them.
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Old 03-22-2003, 04:40 AM   #62
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It's complicated to reconcile these two ideas (that of Iraqis wanting liberation from Saddam yet biting the hand that liberates them, so to speak). But I guess it's human.

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Old 03-22-2003, 09:32 AM   #63
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At the same time, though, I still think it was dreadfully deceptive and dishonest of Bush to use the UN as he did. It was very clear from the start that "disarmament" was the last thing on his mind, and that war was an inevitability. He wished to turn the UN into a rubber stamp, and the damage that has been done to international relations still makes me ill.

Very true. But countries like, say, France, have behaved similarly. As I mentioned in another thread, I don't think they could possibly have believed that weapons inspections were really an effective way to disarm Saddam...they were just hoping the US would have been stupid enough to think they were.
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Old 03-25-2003, 02:17 PM   #64
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This in from CBS News Radio:

Iraqi civilians engaged in uprising against remaining Iraqi forces in Basra.

Iraqi troops are apparently firing mortars into the civilian crowd. British troops are systematically eliminating the Iraqi mortars in support of the civilians.
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Old 03-25-2003, 02:42 PM   #65
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This in from CBS News Radio:

Iraqi civilians engaged in uprising against remaining Iraqi forces in Basra.

Iraqi troops are apparently firing mortars into the civilian crowd. British troops are systematically eliminating the Iraqi mortars in support of the civilians.

This report is also on CNN.com. It is being reported that the people of Basra have never been supportive of Saddam's regime and are now engaged in some actions against it.
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Old 03-25-2003, 02:51 PM   #66
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Basra is now a military target. There won't be any civilians left to any do any uprising. It will be the same in all the larger cities in Iraq.

Since we don't have any journalists in Basra, it's all supposition.
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Old 03-25-2003, 02:57 PM   #67
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Only supposition? Yet, you seem convinced that Iraqi civilians will be wiped off the face of the planet.

No one wants to see civilians harmed - I don't know, however, if that applies to the Iraqi military.
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Old 03-25-2003, 03:07 PM   #68
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Not wiped off the face of the planet. Just many injured by an army that shouldn't be there in the first place.
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Old 03-25-2003, 04:28 PM   #69
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Only supposition? Yet, you seem convinced that Iraqi civilians will be wiped off the face of the planet.

No one wants to see civilians harmed - I don't know, however, if that applies to the Iraqi military.
I don't think there's any way to know what exactly is going on in this city. It's going to a heck of a fight because Basra is so strategically and economically important for Iraq. It's close to two-thirds of their oil supply and historically it's a pocket of resistance to the Baath Party, Saddam's ruling party. No wonder some big time Iraqi force is in there now. I guess we'll find out what happens at the end of the battle.
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Old 03-25-2003, 04:33 PM   #70
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This report is also on CNN.com. It is being reported that the people of Basra have never been supportive of Saddam's regime and are now engaged in some actions against it.
It can be the case. Indeed, most people living in Basra are Shiah.
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Old 03-25-2003, 05:19 PM   #71
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One of the major "wildcard" concerns put forward by the Center for Strategic International Studies is that Iran may intervene if the Iranians feel that the Shi'ites are not being treated well.

Iran may very well feel compelled to intervene if the Iraqi's are firing at the civilians and the US/Coalition is not properly protecting them.

Peace

This is an excellent resource if you are interested ADOBE to read it.

http://www.csis.org/features/attacko...groundcord.pdf
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Old 03-25-2003, 09:51 PM   #72
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British Forces today fired at Iraqi forces in defense of those doing the uprising in Basra.
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Old 03-26-2003, 12:46 PM   #73
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The Parallax View
Photos Give a Different Perspective on 'Operation Freedom'

By Philip Kennicott
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 26, 2003; Page C01

So far Operation Iraqi Freedom hasn't produced many images of liberation. No collapse of the corrupt house of cards, no joyful crowds, no tossing flowers at the soldiers.

There have been a few happy images, a couple of young Iraqi men greeting American soldiers, some civilians watching tanks pass and making nonthreatening, supplicant gestures (for food, perhaps). But yesterday, the people of Iraq looked a lot more like the hassled and humiliated residents of America's poorest neighborhoods, the fodder for television shows like Fox's "Cops" and "World's Wildest Police Videos."

These were not images of liberation, but detention: Men in bluejeans with their hands on their heads and men lying on the ground with U.S. troops poised over them, guns at the ready. And if they weren't in custody, they were either in pain (a wounded 9-year-old girl, now a motherless child), or exulting over whatever small victories (a downed helicopter) they can snatch from the teeth of the overwhelming force descending on their homeland.

The well-fought war (if there has ever been a well-fought war) might be long and messy but it ends with victory and minimal loss of life, and might produce some of the images we're seeing: disarming the enemy and treating unknowns with a healthy sense of suspicion (the line between soldiers and soldiers dressed as civilians is becoming fraught, says the U.S. military).

The well-documented war covers all the messiness, the whole war, whether it is well fought or not. By necessity, it produces ambiguous photographs. Photographs that some will read as images of humiliation and capture, others will read as soldiers working efficiently and cautiously in a hostile environment.

The well-scripted war, however, ends only one way: with jubilation and embrace, children emerging into the streets as if after an endless rainy day, women kissing their liberators, and kites.

The well-scripted war sends no message of dissonance. The first act lays out the crime (the Axis of Evil, the rape and torture rooms, the malevolent dictator) and ends with a blaze of firepower. The last act is all celebration. There is no Act II, none of the business of war, just the prospectus and the profits.

Americans awoke this week to newspapers filled with crisp images of the ups and downs of war, and live television feeds of vehicles stalled in the orange blur of a sandstorm. The pace was slowing and the script growing denser with unforeseen incidents. Commentators have observed (and was there a measure of complaint in their voices?) that this war didn't begin the way they expected. If it doesn't end the way they expected, America's fundamental sense of its identity -- as protector and liberator of the oppressed -- will be further shaken, if not shattered.

A photograph by Eric Feferberg of Agence France-Presse (used in both The Washington Post and the New York Times) showed a half-dozen American soldiers rushing to take positions after being attacked near Nasiriyah. Their guns point in three directions, suggesting not just surprise but an enemy on all sides. The palm trees behind them, however, send a more subtle and disturbing message. America has fought plenty of wars among the palm trees -- in Grenada, Panama, Kuwait -- but these palm trees, taken together with an enemy on all sides, suggest only one war. The war that no one wants to think about whenever the country goes back to war. The war that ended one presidency, the war that cast this nation as an oppressor, the war that continued because the people we were fighting to liberate just kept coming, with guns.

Two images are, so far, missing. To give this war some sense of moral purpose, we must see (and believe in) the clamor of happy people, and we want to see American GIs standing warily over a cache of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. The war, the president and his Cabinet have reminded us often, may take a long time. The generals are pursuing regime change, not searching for the smoking gun of weapons of mass destruction. It's foolish, perhaps, to be impatient for the images that will vindicate the president and ease the American conscience. Soldiers fight; civilians wait; pundits fret; politicians advise taking the long view. (The visual icons: the tired and determined dogface, the resolute general, the lines in the president's face.)

If there was something discordant and troubling about many of the images that emerged yesterday, it was perhaps because they clash so sharply with our short-view logic for war. The short-view thinking was built upon a basic, simple, obvious premise. The regime was bad, the people oppressed. If that first premise was right, then many happy conclusions would necessarily follow. The regime would collapse. The people wouldn't resist. Let the cakewalk begin. (The visual icons: toppled statues, torn posters.)

The problem may not be the premise (the regime is bad, the people are oppressed), but some rather simplistic thinking about the psychology of people under repressive governments. Earlier this month at a Library of Congress roundtable discussion, Sergei Khrushchev (son of Nikita, the Soviet premier) remembered the death of Stalin. The Soviet people, prisoners of his vast charnel house, mourned. Hysterically. If the people mourned when Stalin died, what, Khrushchev mused, might happen when Saddam Hussein (a student, we're told, of Stalin's power) goes to his reward?

The problem is that "oppressed people" is an abstraction, a simplification that doesn't take into account that people may live under bad governments yet still feel a patriotic determination to resist invasions. Or that as generations pass under autocratic rule, autocratic rule is simply taken for granted. Or that people may weigh in the balances the state motto of New Hampshire ("Live free or die") and decide that maybe there's another alternative.

For the first time since the long buildup to war began, we are seeing images that give a better sense of the people of Iraq than the abstraction ever allowed. Two men sit together, listening to Saddam Hussein on the television, their expressions suggesting only that they've done this often, that it's a familiar thread in the fabric of daily life. A family flees hostilities, their furniture and rugs and other household goods loaded on a trailer dragged by a tractor. A woman leaves the market, a handkerchief pressed to her face to keep out the choking smoke of fire in Baghdad.

These images -- of daily life and daily life interrupted -- may fade. Or they may be remembered dimly as the bitter medicine of a little regime change. But for the moment they recall a phrase from a master of abstractions who muddled the two most important categories of political thought, freedom and tyranny. Sometimes, Jean Jacques Rousseau said, people must be forced to be free.
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Old 04-02-2003, 05:45 PM   #74
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From the New York Times

April 2, 2003
Cheers and Smiles for U.S. Troops in a Captured City
By JIM DWYER


AJAF, Iraq, April 2 Hundreds of American troops marched into town at midday today and were greeted by its residents.

The infantry was backed by attack helicopters and bombers, and immediately destroyed several arms caches and took over a military training facility to serve as their headquarters.

The occupying forces, from the First and Second brigades of the 101st Airborne Division, entered from the south and north. They had seized the perimeter of town on Tuesday.

People rushed to greet them today, crying out repeatedly, "Thank you, this is beautiful!"

Two questions dominated a crowd that gathered outside a former ammunition center for the Baath Party. "Will you stay?" asked Kase, a civil engineer who would not give his last name. Another man, Heider, said, "Can you tell me what time Saddam is finished?"

Residents also pleaded for water and fuel, saying that supplies had been cut off for four days. Asked what else the people wanted, residents pointed to a building from which they said rocket-propelled grenades were launched, and asked the military to remove them.

A Shiite leader, Ayatollah Ali Alsestani, said to have been under house arrest for a decade or more, was freed after his guards fled during the American entry into Najaf.

Lt. Col. Chris Hughes said he had been talking with an emissary of the imam about governing arrangements for the city now that the Baath Party had been routed. The cleric said he would give his response on Thursday.

United States Army troops encircled the city last Thursday after seizing three bridges across the Euphrates River in fierce clashes.

But today the Americans did not yet have control of the entire city. There were radio reports that paramilitary forces had seized some 20 civilian hostages in another part of town.

Among those entering the city was Kadhim al-Waeli, 30, who said he fled the city on March 23, 1991, after the first gulf war, when a Shiite uprising was brutally suppressed by the Hussein regime and after American encouragement amounted to no more than a pep talk. He is a member of what he described as the free Iraqi forces attached to a civil affairs unit of the United States Army.

"I was so glad to come back and see a guy on the street with pita bread," Mr. al-Waeli said. "I got some from him; he gave it to me and the other soldiers for free. He said you're one of them."

Mr. al-Waedi said that Ayatollah Alsestani was being cautious about embracing the Americans because of uncertainty about how they would be viewed by the local Shiites.

But he also said that the local Shiites were concerned that the Americans would not secure the peace and wanted to know, "Are you going to be here or are you going to leave us?"

American troops found that the fleeing Baath Party and paramilitary forces had set up minefields on roads and bridges leading out of the city. Late today an American engineering team was clearing the third of such fields, this one with 30 mines, by detonating them with C4 explosives.

Lt. Col. Duke Deluca, noting that the mines had been made in Italy, said, "Europeans are antiwar, but they are pro-commerce."
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Old 04-09-2003, 10:31 PM   #75
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I just cant understand a kind of question like "Will there be cheering...".
Well, hopefully you understand it now.

Respectfully,

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