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Old 02-21-2006, 11:14 PM   #16
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Originally posted by 2numb2feel
That leaves little work for me to do. The Bush Admin issued an estimate (1/20th the actual cost), which you say is calculated for a specific time frame. Yet, as you admit, no time frame was ever provided. There are only two possible conclusions that can be drawn from this:

1) There was no time frame and the estimate is baseless (dishonesty).
2) The time frame was so grossly underestimated that it is the result of complete incompetence.

Or are you expliaining that it's ok for leadership to be dishonest and incompetent at the expense thousands of lives because everyone does it?







In addition to cheeseburgers, the latter highlighted portion - regarding the average cost to taxpayer - illustrates one of many inherent problems that comes with a GDP-based measure.
GDP is the total wealth of the country. The country's ability to pay for anything is based on that. Its economics 101.

1) Has there ever been an administration that accurately predicted the financial cost of a war before it started in history? I challenge you to name one and provide evidence that shows that.

2) Has there ever been an administration that accurately predicted the duration of a war before it started in history? I challenge you to name one and provide evidence that shows that.

Dishonesty or lying is when one KNOWINGLY says something that is false. I challenge you to provide indisputable evidence that the administration lied about the cost of the war. Nothing you have posted so far shows or proves that anyone lied about anything.

If no administration in history has ever accurately predicted the length of a war, how can one consider the Bush administration incompentent for not accurately predicting the length of a war?


Have you ever considered the potential cost and risk to the region and the world of not removing Saddam from power in 2003, or do you think the region and world would be a better place with Saddam in power?
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:12 PM   #17
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Have you ever considered the potential cost and risk to the region and the world of not removing Saddam from power in 2003, or do you think the region and world would be a better place with Saddam in power?





[q]After Neoconservatism

By FRANCIS FUKUYAMA
Published: February 19, 2006
As we approach the third anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war, it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly. By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy: Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as a magnet, a training ground and an operational base for jihadist terrorists, with plenty of American targets to shoot at. The United States still has a chance of creating a Shiite-dominated democratic Iraq, but the new government will be very weak for years to come; the resulting power vacuum will invite outside influence from all of Iraq's neighbors, including Iran. There are clear benefits to the Iraqi people from the removal of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, and perhaps some positive spillover effects in Lebanon and Syria. But it is very hard to see how these developments in themselves justify the blood and treasure that the United States has spent on the project to this point.

The so-called Bush Doctrine that set the framework for the administration's first term is now in shambles. The doctrine (elaborated, among other places, in the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States) argued that, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, America would have to launch periodic preventive wars to defend itself against rogue states and terrorists with weapons of mass destruction; that it would do this alone, if necessary; and that it would work to democratize the greater Middle East as a long-term solution to the terrorist problem. But successful pre-emption depends on the ability to predict the future accurately and on good intelligence, which was not forthcoming, while America's perceived unilateralism has isolated it as never before. It is not surprising that in its second term, the administration has been distancing itself from these policies and is in the process of rewriting the National Security Strategy document.

But it is the idealistic effort to use American power to promote democracy and human rights abroad that may suffer the greatest setback. Perceived failure in Iraq has restored the authority of foreign policy "realists" in the tradition of Henry Kissinger. Already there is a host of books and articles decrying America's naïve Wilsonianism and attacking the notion of trying to democratize the world. The administration's second-term efforts to push for greater Middle Eastern democracy, introduced with the soaring rhetoric of Bush's second Inaugural Address, have borne very problematic fruits. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood made a strong showing in Egypt's parliamentary elections in November and December. While the holding of elections in Iraq this past December was an achievement in itself, the vote led to the ascendance of a Shiite bloc with close ties to Iran (following on the election of the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of Iran in June). But the clincher was the decisive Hamas victory in the Palestinian election last month, which brought to power a movement overtly dedicated to the destruction of Israel. In his second inaugural, Bush said that "America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one," but the charge will be made with increasing frequency that the Bush administration made a big mistake when it stirred the pot, and that the United States would have done better to stick by its traditional authoritarian friends in the Middle East. Indeed, the effort to promote democracy around the world has been attacked as an illegitimate activity both by people on the left like Jeffrey Sachs and by traditional conservatives like Pat Buchanan.

The reaction against democracy promotion and an activist foreign policy may not end there. Those whom Walter Russell Mead labels Jacksonian conservatives — red-state Americans whose sons and daughters are fighting and dying in the Middle East — supported the Iraq war because they believed that their children were fighting to defend the United States against nuclear terrorism, not to promote democracy. They don't want to abandon the president in the middle of a vicious war, but down the road the perceived failure of the Iraq intervention may push them to favor a more isolationist foreign policy, which is a more natural political position for them. A recent Pew poll indicates a swing in public opinion toward isolationism; the percentage of Americans saying that the United States "should mind its own business" has never been higher since the end of the Vietnam War.



http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/19/ma...icle_popular_4

[/q]
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:55 PM   #18
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Originally posted by Irvine511







[q]After Neoconservatism

By FRANCIS FUKUYAMA
Published: February 19, 2006
As we approach the third anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war, it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly. By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy: Iraq has now replaced Afghanistan as a magnet, a training ground and an operational base for jihadist terrorists, with plenty of American targets to shoot at. The United States still has a chance of creating a Shiite-dominated democratic Iraq, but the new government will be very weak for years to come; the resulting power vacuum will invite outside influence from all of Iraq's neighbors, including Iran. There are clear benefits to the Iraqi people from the removal of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, and perhaps some positive spillover effects in Lebanon and Syria. But it is very hard to see how these developments in themselves justify the blood and treasure that the United States has spent on the project to this point.

The so-called Bush Doctrine that set the framework for the administration's first term is now in shambles. The doctrine (elaborated, among other places, in the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States) argued that, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, America would have to launch periodic preventive wars to defend itself against rogue states and terrorists with weapons of mass destruction; that it would do this alone, if necessary; and that it would work to democratize the greater Middle East as a long-term solution to the terrorist problem. But successful pre-emption depends on the ability to predict the future accurately and on good intelligence, which was not forthcoming, while America's perceived unilateralism has isolated it as never before. It is not surprising that in its second term, the administration has been distancing itself from these policies and is in the process of rewriting the National Security Strategy document.

But it is the idealistic effort to use American power to promote democracy and human rights abroad that may suffer the greatest setback. Perceived failure in Iraq has restored the authority of foreign policy "realists" in the tradition of Henry Kissinger. Already there is a host of books and articles decrying America's naïve Wilsonianism and attacking the notion of trying to democratize the world. The administration's second-term efforts to push for greater Middle Eastern democracy, introduced with the soaring rhetoric of Bush's second Inaugural Address, have borne very problematic fruits. The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood made a strong showing in Egypt's parliamentary elections in November and December. While the holding of elections in Iraq this past December was an achievement in itself, the vote led to the ascendance of a Shiite bloc with close ties to Iran (following on the election of the conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as president of Iran in June). But the clincher was the decisive Hamas victory in the Palestinian election last month, which brought to power a movement overtly dedicated to the destruction of Israel. In his second inaugural, Bush said that "America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one," but the charge will be made with increasing frequency that the Bush administration made a big mistake when it stirred the pot, and that the United States would have done better to stick by its traditional authoritarian friends in the Middle East. Indeed, the effort to promote democracy around the world has been attacked as an illegitimate activity both by people on the left like Jeffrey Sachs and by traditional conservatives like Pat Buchanan.

The reaction against democracy promotion and an activist foreign policy may not end there. Those whom Walter Russell Mead labels Jacksonian conservatives — red-state Americans whose sons and daughters are fighting and dying in the Middle East — supported the Iraq war because they believed that their children were fighting to defend the United States against nuclear terrorism, not to promote democracy. They don't want to abandon the president in the middle of a vicious war, but down the road the perceived failure of the Iraq intervention may push them to favor a more isolationist foreign policy, which is a more natural political position for them. A recent Pew poll indicates a swing in public opinion toward isolationism; the percentage of Americans saying that the United States "should mind its own business" has never been higher since the end of the Vietnam War.



http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/19/ma...icle_popular_4

[/q]
Well, it looks like Francis needs to relearn his history of the security situation and problems that resulted from Saddam being in power for 24 years from 1979 to 2003. Would the region, the United States, and the world benefit from another invasion or attack by Saddam, something he did 4 times while he was in power, against 4 different countries? All of them attacks that nearly all analyst predicted he would NEVER do. Is the planets energy supply in the Persian Gulf safer with Saddam in power or out of power? Is the planet safer with the leader, who has used WMD more times than any other leader in history, in power or out of power? Is the planet safer with a leader, who despite economic sanctions, a weapons embargo, violation of 17 UN Security Council Resolutions, the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire Agreement, continued to not cooperate and pursue the development of WMD? Is the planet safer with a leader in power or out of power: who under Security Council resolutions and 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire agreement, failed to verifiably disarm of 1,000 liters of Anthrax, 500 pounds of mustard gas, 500 pounds of Sarin gas, over 20,000 Bio/Chem capable shells! Francis need not look further than the oil fields of Saudi Arabia and their impact on the entire planet and Saddam's threat to it, to see why the removal of Saddam more than justifies the expense currently payed by the coalition. The entire planet would pay far more in both lives and money if Saddam had been allowed to remain in power.

As Colin Powell said, the doctrine set out in the 2002 National Security Strategy, is simply a restatement of general United States Security Strategy since World War II. The United States has always reserved the right to launch wars to defend itself even if such wars were unilateral, unlike the current one.

The United States has generally supported spreading Democracy ever since World War II, and this is unlikely to change. The United States removed Saddam from power because he was a threat to the region and the world, not to simply bring democracy to Iraq. Obviously the removal of Saddam meant a new government had to be built to replace his regime and building a democracy was far preferable from a political standpoint to installing a regime. As for other democratic elections through out the region which have had fundamentalist winning, those fundamentalist are now in charge and under pressure to perform unless they want to be voted out themselves provided democracy continues there. Its unlikely that their radical policies will be able to deliver the "standard of living" that the people who voted them in want. While in some ways their election can be seen as a temporary setback, it also sets up such radical political forces for being rejected(in a way they have never been) by the wider population if they fail to deliver a better life for the people.

At the end of the day, the United States and every country on the planet for that matter grows more dependent by the day on Persian Gulf Oil. It is the life blood of the economy and the foundation that the planets industrial society rest on. Until the market finds a cheaper and more efficient source of energy, the United States and other countries will continue to intervene to protect Persian Gulf energy supplies, regardless of some opinion poll on intervention.
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Old 02-23-2006, 10:40 AM   #19
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Originally posted by STING2


Well, it looks like Francis needs to relearn his history of the security situation and problems that resulted from Saddam being in power for 24 years from 1979 to 2003. Would the region, the United States, and the world benefit from another invasion or attack by Saddam, something he did 4 times while he was in power, against 4 different countries? All of them attacks that nearly all analyst predicted he would NEVER do. Is the planets energy supply in the Persian Gulf safer with Saddam in power or out of power? Is the planet safer with the leader, who has used WMD more times than any other leader in history, in power or out of power? Is the planet safer with a leader, who despite economic sanctions, a weapons embargo, violation of 17 UN Security Council Resolutions, the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire Agreement, continued to not cooperate and pursue the development of WMD? Is the planet safer with a leader in power or out of power: who under Security Council resolutions and 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire agreement, failed to verifiably disarm of 1,000 liters of Anthrax, 500 pounds of mustard gas, 500 pounds of Sarin gas, over 20,000 Bio/Chem capable shells! Francis need not look further than the oil fields of Saudi Arabia and their impact on the entire planet and Saddam's threat to it, to see why the removal of Saddam more than justifies the expense currently payed by the coalition. The entire planet would pay far more in both lives and money if Saddam had been allowed to remain in power.

As Colin Powell said, the doctrine set out in the 2002 National Security Strategy, is simply a restatement of general United States Security Strategy since World War II. The United States has always reserved the right to launch wars to defend itself even if such wars were unilateral, unlike the current one.

The United States has generally supported spreading Democracy ever since World War II, and this is unlikely to change. The United States removed Saddam from power because he was a threat to the region and the world, not to simply bring democracy to Iraq. Obviously the removal of Saddam meant a new government had to be built to replace his regime and building a democracy was far preferable from a political standpoint to installing a regime. As for other democratic elections through out the region which have had fundamentalist winning, those fundamentalist are now in charge and under pressure to perform unless they want to be voted out themselves provided democracy continues there. Its unlikely that their radical policies will be able to deliver the "standard of living" that the people who voted them in want. While in some ways their election can be seen as a temporary setback, it also sets up such radical political forces for being rejected(in a way they have never been) by the wider population if they fail to deliver a better life for the people.

At the end of the day, the United States and every country on the planet for that matter grows more dependent by the day on Persian Gulf Oil. It is the life blood of the economy and the foundation that the planets industrial society rest on. Until the market finds a cheaper and more efficient source of energy, the United States and other countries will continue to intervene to protect Persian Gulf energy supplies, regardless of some opinion poll on intervention.




STING, i am pleased that you are being honest: it is about the oil. though, obviously, finding alternatives to oil isn't high on your list of priorities. and you seem fixated on Hussein while ignoring the present realities on the ground in Iraq, all underscored by the fact that the US has no plan. no plan, that's what a great friend of mine who's been over there for a few years as a Lieutenant said. you've done a great job articulating the position, and the problem, with this administration -- the obsession with Hussein has blinded you to the costs and consequences of a unilateral, highly contentious, and technically illegal (and i'm not going into that with you again, you know you are dead wrong on what 1441 says and does) war.

the fact remains that Saddam Hussein was effectively contained, and while his removal might have been a good thing for all the reasons you list, the manner in which he was removed by this Administration (who have proved themselves uniquely inept) has effectively negated what would have been the positive effects of his removal -- firstly, the removal of economic sanctions on the Iraqi people and his brutal dictatorship and bellicose actions. yes, i would have loved to have seen these things dealt with, but replacing such things with a democratically elected Shiite theocracy protected by their own militias, increasing cultural ties with an increasingly insane Iran, creating a new Afghanistan in the middle of the Persian Gulf, and putting the deaths of Iraqi civilians on the news every single day really isn't a better alternative than leaving Saddam in power.

ultimately, you've created a false choice and a false sense of crisis -- Saddam had to go! immediately! ultimatley, the world and the Middle East is vastly more complex (especially than the American election calendar)

Iraq is in the process of devolving from the current low level civil war into an all-out Civil War that will likely result in the mass slaughter of the Sunnis -- witness Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani threatening to create a paramilitary to protect Shiites if the Iraqi government doesn't do a better job of protecting Shiites and their holy sites ... something that is laregly the US's fault, our failure to effectively train an Iraqi police force -- the installation of a Shiite theocracy (that's democratically elected!), and said theocracy in alignment with the Shiites in Iran who will soon be in possession of a nuclear bomb is vastly more frightening, especially in an apocalyptic sense given Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's increasingly shrill rhetoric.

also, doesn't it bother you that we were told we were going to war for one reason -- WMD's -- and now there's been a bait-and-switch and it's now about democratiziation? and please stop with the Hussein-threat-to-region rationale. while that might be a compelling reason, it was profoundly not a part of the Administration's sale pitch to the American people -- the sales pitch was that Hussein had WMDs, and he was going to give them to Al-Qaeda, and float a bomb up the East River and level Manhattan. that was the reasoning given, and that's why there was, initially, broad support for the war, the fact that *we* were in danger -- Hussein can invade whomever he wants, and no mother or father in Idaho is going to let their son or daughter try to stop him. but say that Hussein is coming after you, and the stakes change.

ultimatley, i wonder why you're not angrier at this administration. i think your reasons for the removal of Hussein are good ones, yet you seem to hold them blameless for the mistakes, the catastrophic mistakes, and the gobsmacking ineptitude of this administration since April of 2003. i wish you'd take your energy and aim it at the administration -- as other pro-war writers do, like Hitchens and Sullivan -- and demand more accountability, demand competence, demand more troops, and demand a plan for making the situation work.

my plan?

you need the UN.
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Old 02-24-2006, 01:54 PM   #20
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Originally posted by STING2


GDP is the total wealth of the country. The country's ability to pay for anything is based on that. Its economics 101.

1) Has there ever been an administration that accurately predicted the financial cost of a war before it started in history? I challenge you to name one and provide evidence that shows that.

2) Has there ever been an administration that accurately predicted the duration of a war before it started in history? I challenge you to name one and provide evidence that shows that.

Dishonesty or lying is when one KNOWINGLY says something that is false. I challenge you to provide indisputable evidence that the administration lied about the cost of the war. Nothing you have posted so far shows or proves that anyone lied about anything.

If no administration in history has ever accurately predicted the length of a war, how can one consider the Bush administration incompentent for not accurately predicting the length of a war?


Have you ever considered the potential cost and risk to the region and the world of not removing Saddam from power in 2003, or do you think the region and world would be a better place with Saddam in power?

Sting,
Perhaps it is only since I have more than a basic level understanding of economics that I am able to critique the use of GDP as basis for measurement and don't simply repeat Rumsfeldian red herrings ad nauseum? However, I urge you to stick to the issue. I am not arguing that the US does not have "the ability to pay" for the war. I am arguing that the public was misled about the costs. In short, the GDP is IRRELEVANT and IMMATERIAL in the context of this thread. It is a vain attempt to hijack this thread and excuse or obscure the blatent incompetence or dishonesty of the bush admin by simply arguing that "we can afford it".


1) It makes no difference whether other administrations have accurately predicted costs or not. Rumsfeld was certain enough to call the $300 bn estimate "Baloney" and regardless, the Bush admin's original $50-60 bn estimate was false. You admit that it is virtually impossible to accurately predict costs and so you MUST now concede that the administration KNOWINGLY misled the public by producing one.

2) It makes no difference whether the duration of a war has ever been accurately predicted before. You yourself admitted that estimates are based on time periods. Since you have also admitted that these are unpredictable, you MUST concede that they could not have come up with an estimate unless it was completely baseless.


We are still left with the same two IMPERATIVES I noted earlier:

1) There was no time frame and the estimate is baseless (dishonesty).
2) The time frame was so grossly underestimated that it is the result of complete incompetence.



I will not get drawn into a endless philosophical debate about the war with you.
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:21 PM   #21
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