President Clinton Calls Iraq Invasion "Big Mistake" - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-16-2005, 01:48 PM   #1
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President Clinton Calls Iraq Invasion "Big Mistake"

I am trying to locate a transcript of his entire remarks, maybe his library web site or some other site will have it..


By LARA SUKHTIAN, Associated Press Writer

Former President Clinton told Arab students Wednesday the United States made a "big mistake" when it invaded Iraq, stoking the partisan debate back home over the war.

Clinton cited the lack of planning for what would happen after Saddam Hussein was overthrown.

"Saddam is gone. It's a good thing, but I don't agree with what was done," Clinton told students at a forum at the American University of Dubai.

"It was a big mistake. The American government made several errors ... one of which is how easy it would be to get rid of Saddam and how hard it would be to unite the country."

Clinton's remarks came when he was taking questions about the U.S. invasion, which began in 2003. His response drew cheers and a standing ovation at the end of the hour-long session.

Clinton said the United States had done some good things in Iraq: the removal of Saddam, the ratification of a new constitution and the holding of parliamentary elections.

"The mistake that they made is that when they kicked out Saddam, they decided to dismantle the whole authority structure of Iraq. ... We never sent enough troops and didn't have enough troops to control or seal the borders," Clinton said.

As the borders were unsealed, "the terrorists came in," he said.

Clinton said it would have been better if the United States had left Iraq's "fundamental military and social and police structure intact."
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:10 PM   #2
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Clinton only shows us how easy it is to lead the last four years instead of the next four years.
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:18 PM   #3
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Piñata anyone?
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Old 11-16-2005, 03:26 PM   #4
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That makes him the 3,491,552,766th person to say that.
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Old 11-16-2005, 06:53 PM   #5
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Took him long enough.
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:02 PM   #6
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If the USA had left the Iraqi Military, Government Bodies and Police Force intact after the invasion then they would be installing another dictatorship. Mistakes were made but in lieu of the options they were the lesser evils.
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:10 PM   #7
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So a Shi'ite coalition with Iran and the balkaniation of Iraq is better?
it is going from a low intensity civil war

to an all out Civil War only a matter of time

and any body with any common sense saw this one coming

all the neo-con rosey predictions were just crap fed to an ignorant American public

any and all experts with any experience in these matters predicted this mess we have today
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:37 PM   #8
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I disagree, I think that the political engagent across Iraq and the shift form the alliance to the Allawi and Kurdish bloc will be a good check against Shi'ite power. The constitution has been approved and the next round of elections will cement the government.

Coalition troop reductions over 2006 are forcast and that is a good thing, the base level of violence driven by an ongoing outside presence must be removed, more responsibility for the Iraqi forces will minimise dependence.

The Iraqi Shi'ites are Arabs, I do not think that they have any desire to be under the dominion of the Persians. They did not defect in the Iraq / Iran war.
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer


The Iraqi Shi'ites are Arabs, I do not think that they have any desire to be under the dominion of the Persians. They did not defect in the Iraq / Iran war.


Quote:
Who's who in Iraq: Ayatollah Sistani
Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani is the prime marja, or spiritual reference, for Shia Muslims everywhere.

Ayatollah Sistani en route between Najaf and London for heart surgery
The reclusive cleric left Najaf for the first time in years for heart surgery
He is one of only five living grand ayatollahs and the most senior Shia cleric in Iraq.

During the regime of Saddam Hussein, the elderly cleric lived in uneasy stalemate with the status quo. He spent long periods under house arrest but avoided overt political activity.

The low-profile approach he had to adopt to survive in Iraq has been criticised by younger, more radical Shia leaders such as Moqtada Sadr.

In April 2003, just after the fall of the regime, club-wielding members of the Sadr Group besieged Ayatollah Sistani's house, demanding that he leave the country and that he recognise Moqtada Sadr as a marja.

The ayatollah went into hiding - but he since re-emerged to wield enormous power over Iraq's Shia majority.

The Persian-born ayatollah represents the conservative and mainstream of Iraqi Shias.
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:57 PM   #10
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Actually, I thought Clinton supported the invasion of Iraq, just not the timing of it or (apparently) how the post-invasion is now been handled. In an interview with Time magazine in 2004, he is quoted as saying:

"I have repeatedly defended President Bush against the left on Iraq, even though I think he should have waited until the U.N. inspections were over,"

Noting that Bush had to be "reeling" in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, Clinton said Bush's first priority was to keep al Qaeda and other terrorist networks from obtaining "chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material."

"That's why I supported the Iraq thing. There was a lot of stuff unaccounted for," Clinton said in reference to Iraq and the fact that U.N. weapons inspectors left the country in 1998.

"So I thought the president had an absolute responsibility to go to the U.N. and say, 'Look, guys, after 9/11, you have got to demand that Saddam Hussein lets us finish the inspection process.' You couldn't responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks," Clinton said.

Pressed on whether the Iraq war was worth the cost to the United States, Clinton said he would not have undertaken the war until after U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix "finished his job."
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
In an important step towards more credible and fair elections, senior cleric Ali al-Sistani announced through his office that he will refrain from receiving any of the political leaders running for office in the next elections and will reject the many requests made by many Iraqi politicians.

In my opinion, such steps constitute real support for the coming elections and a declaration on the part of the Ayatollah of his awareness of the previous mistake when politicians convinced the clergy into endorsing their lists which resulted in rendering the clergy liable for criticism from the public and affected its popularity rewarding the clergy with nothing but contempt from the people due to the poor performance of Jafari’s government.

People here are cautious (I mean the liberal people) from the interference of the clergy with the elections like what happened last time and I’ve discussed with many people that the outcome of last time’s experience will make it hard for the clerics to get involved in a similar mess again and tell them that there’s no need to be afraid this time.

The previous lesson they learned from the January elections and the aftermath was in my opinion enough to convince the Sheat senior clerics that they were wrong by interfering with politics while as to Sunni clerics, they will try their luck this time, apparently without making use of others’ mistakes and actually this is not something unexpected since we’re still in the early stages of learning how to accept and practice democracy and making mistakes will remain the main source of knowledge for some time. Here maybe I should refer to Salih al-Mutlaq’s separation from the main Sunni (mostly religious) list; this man has recognized that depending on sectarian emotions and affiliations isn’t going to take him and his party anywehere, I have reservations on this man though but I do encourage his choice and maybe his statement yesterday when he met Jack Straw about his interest in building a liberal state represents a positive sign to neutralizing clerics of both sects.

Don’t think I’m saying that the religious factor has been totally excluded or neutralized for good but I’m trying to say that it’s being reduced in magnitude and influence and the its interference in politics will undoubtedly be less pronounced next time and this is what I believe in. As a matter of fact, we have already seen signs indicating this change in the constitutional referendum where the voters turnout in the Sheat dominated cities was relatively lower when compared with January elections and the turnout in other regions despite the clergy’s call to participate in the referendum.

The coming election will certainly not be extensively governed by emotions like last time, well, at least when it comes to the Sheat, from what I hear and see here I tend to believe that voters are going to be more careful with whom to vote form.

And I’d like to remind those who persist to say that Iraq is a failed case that next month we will have witnessed three democratic carnivals within only one year, on January, October and one yet to come on December and I believe this alone is a striking proof on the accomplishments of a nation that has just emerged from the horrors of 35 years of tyranny and suppression and what adds to the value of the proofs of this success is that more of the community factions have joined the march and I want to remind you also that we’re human and we do err, one elections is not enough to state whether we’re successful or not and it is dead wrong to judge a country this way; we’re moving forward and nothing can stop the progress, this something I’m damn sure of.
link

And the wealth of Fatwas put out by Sistani and his hands off approach towards the Iraqi government is a good thing and represents the mainstream Shiite opinion, he has minimised sectarian violence. Iraqi Shiites are Arabs, they are not Persians.
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Sistani ...has minimised sectarian violence. Iraqi Shiites are Arabs, they are not Persians.


some jack ass blogger is not a very reliable source


Quote:
Ali al-Sistani was born in Mashhad, Iran (Persia) to a family of religious scholars. His grandfather, for whom he was named, was a famous scholar who had studied at Najaf. Sistani's family comes from the area of Iran known as Sistan, which accounts for the title "al-Sistani" in his name. Sistani began his religious education as a child, beginning in Mashhad, and moving on to study at the Shia holy city of Qom in central Iran. After spending a few years there, he went to Iraq to study in Najaf under Grand Ayatollah Abul-Qassim Khoei.
Wiki can be wrong, but is more credible, I can post more


this "Iraqi shi'ites are Arabs" is a crap line put out by Bush Admin to cover the asses


Sunnis are more Arab

and that is why we are in a civll war
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:21 PM   #13
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Arab is an ethnic group! Just like Persian or Kurd. Iraq is an overwhelmingly Arab country, wikipedia puts it at:

75% - 80% Arab
15% - 20% Kurdish
3% - 5% Turkoman, Assyrian or other

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Iraq

It is true that more Arabs are Sunnis but saying that Sunnis are more Arab is like saying that Protestants are more white than Catholics.

The divide is religious not ethnic, Sistani is Persian and he is their spiritual leader but that does not make them Persian which is a different ethnic group.

That jack-ass blogger is giving his opinion of his own countries political situation. He links to stories from a lot of the Arab press and translates polls and what is going on. That information and those views (in addition to reading the press here) are valid.
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Arab is an ethnic group! Just like Persian or Kurd. Iraq is an overwhelmingly Arab country, wikipedia puts it at:

75% - 80% Arab
15% - 20% Kurdish
3% - 5% Turkoman, Assyrian or other

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Iraq

It is true that more Arabs are Sunnis but saying that Sunnis are more Arab is like saying that Protestants are more white than Catholics.

The divide is religious not ethnic, Sistani is Persian and he is their spiritual leader but that does not make them Persian which is a different ethnic group.

That jack-ass blogger is giving his opinion of his own countries political situation. He links to stories from a lot of the Arab press and translates polls and what is going on. That information and those views (in addition to reading the press here) are valid.







I am not one that likes to make distinctions , but

"saying that Sunnis are more Arab is like saying that Protestants are more white than Catholics."

is probably correct


the Shi'ite Iraqis have a stronger loyalty to their religion
than to the concept of a united Iraq sharing power with Sunnis
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:35 PM   #15
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But the Shiites have not been the ones leading the insurgency, they have the demographic edge their rights are protected in a democratic government, the Sunni minority is the group that feels threatened but the increasing political engagement and split between the Jihadist element and domestic insurgency show that this can be resolved with compromise and diplomacy. The constitution was a move forward on that front and the the elections will be a test of it. Securing the borders with coalition forces and handing the security over to the Iraqi Army will reduce violence and enable the removal of foreign forces.
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