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Old 07-10-2007, 12:17 AM   #151
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Mr. Irvine with the sarcasm in the Thread.

I love Clue™.
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:39 AM   #152
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I don't even know what to say anymore




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Old 07-10-2007, 08:38 AM   #153
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Irving Kristol is an infamous neocon, so it doesn't surprise me that he's spouting this garbage.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:59 AM   #154
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Quote:
Originally posted by struckpx

I agree it is working. If you look the number of violence in areas that this new wave of extra troops have been able to penetrate, violence has decreased dramatically.


yes, but the violence has spiked dramatically in areas which had previously been free of violence, and the overall level of violence across Iraq remains higher today than a year ago. it's like whack-a-mole. it most decidedly ISN'T working. the Iraqi government doesn't funciton, Iraqi troops remain incompetent and totally incapable of providing a basic level of security to the Iraqi people. you cannot -- repeat CANNOT -- have a functioning society, democratic or not, without a basic level of security. the only country on earth that is less stable than Iraq is Sudan, and Iraq has 150,000 American troops on the ground! we know that the iraqi "government" has failed to meet ANY of the established benchmarks designed to measure a modicum of political success, and ANYONE will tell you that success in Iraq won't be won militarilty, it will be won politically (the military action is supposed to provide the social stability so that political goals might be met, again, that whole security thing). you'll notice, as well, that the insurgents (for lack of a better word) are getting better and better at blowing shit up.

we are policing a civil war. plain and simple. and keep in mind that the "surge" only has enough troops and funding to last until next March. oh, and the Army fell short if it's recruiting goals AGAIN last month. the present course of action isn't sustainable. as i've said, if you really want to "win" in Iraq, we'll send 300,000-500,000 troops -- many of whom will probably have to be drafted, so that's something to look forward to on your next birthday -- and have to employ crushing levels of violence that will make the napalming of North Vietnam look like child's play. the sectarian hatred that has gripped "iraq" for centuries has been uncorked by the removal of a muderous dictator, and the past 3 years have given each side enough blood to justify another 3 centuries of violence.

please explain to me how continuing to occupy a Muslim country -- against the wishes of the American people and the Iraqi people -- is good for the US, good for Iraq, and good for the Middle East, especially when, as the 2006 National Intelligence Estimate told us, our presence in Iraq has increased terrorism?

if you actually want to look for progress in Iraq, turn away from the surge and look towards Anbar. there, the Sunnis have decided that the Al-Qaeda element is actually too fanatical for their tastes, and locals have taken it upon themselves to fight back.

the only strategy i can see would be to withdraw, and redeploy to Kurdistan, thereby removing the American element from central Iraq -- and especially Baghdad -- and try to manage from afar.

there will be much more bloodshed, but that might be bloodshed with an endgame, as opposed to the current stalemate.

and it remains your -- and by "your" i mean supporters of the war -- fault.

the blood is on your hands. all of it.
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:17 PM   #155
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I was against us going into Iraq when we did. But since we did go in there and screw their country all to hell, I have been a supporter if only to support our troops and to hold out for a strategy which does not abandon the Iraqis to their own fate.

For me, the thought of such a immoral abomination is just unthinkable.

So, as much as it turns my stomach and break my heart, I continue to support our presence there. I continue to be against any form of retreat before the job is done. I am most certainly against any strategy that broadcasts a timeline to the enemy.

Yes the war was wrong to begin with. But it would be an even greater wrong to withdraw now so that the animals even now slaughtering the Iraqis can really get started.

However, I do not buy the notion that this war is unwinnable. I don't think anyone has ever really tried to win it in the first place by dealing with realities as they in fact are on the ground.

I firmly place the blame for this first on Rumsfeld for his idiotic insistance that we could win Iraq on our terms without enough troops to do the job and only then on Bush for being so damn stubbornly loyal to him.

I think we need to continue to support the surge as long as the Army can sustain it. We can't know the future results of our actions now, but militarily it does seem to be working. Even more cause to hope on this front is that the tribes in the provinces where the insurgency and the terrorists have had free reign have now switched sides.

If that can happen, this late in the game, then I can see some hope that this kind of good news can spread from the grass roots and the provinces upwards where it really needs to be directed. The Iraqi government has been allowed to dick around too long. But if they see the tide turning against them in the way that it is now turning against AQ etc, they will either have to actually do something or else there will be a new government in town one way or the other.

We humans like to think that we can figure everything out, that we can know the future based on what is passed. But there is nothing more unpredictable than human beings and our future. We may in daily life and in ordinary times be creatures of habit and easily known, but when the shit hits the fan, all that goes out the window and there is no telling what will happen.

I think there just might be a chance that if the Army can acheive stability in the trouble provinces and the tribes can keep it, then there just might be a chance that the necessary political solutions will have a chance of succeeding as well.

We need to stay with the surge until the Army says they've done all they can. Then we can and should talk about what to do then.
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Old 07-10-2007, 01:18 PM   #156
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflag
[B] I am most certainly against any strategy that broadcasts a timeline to the enemy.

or, do you think that a timeline might serve as motivation to the Iraqi government? that there's a system of dependency in Iraq, and only the threat of the removal of American support -- blood and treasure -- would be enough to get the government to begin to function minimally?


[q]I think we need to continue to support the surge as long as the Army can sustain it. We can't know the future results of our actions now, but militarily it does seem to be working. Even more cause to hope on this front is that the tribes in the provinces where the insurgency and the terrorists have had free reign have now switched sides. [/q]

my understanding is that the "surge" is only sustainable until March of 2008. i would disagree that the "surge" is responsible for the moderately good news coming out of Anbar province. the Sunnis turning against Al-Qaeda has less to do with American troops and more to do with their repulsion against the extremes of Al-Qaeda. sure, there's American assistance, but the Americans are not doing the bulk of the fighting in Anbar. while it is the Sunnis who are the group most opposed to the US occupation, they seem to have decided that the US presence is a good thing as their support will help them fight their enemies -- the Shia and Al-Qaeda. what seems to be going on there is the whole enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend. i think this is probably the only workable strategy in the Middle East -- where everyone hates everyone else already -- and it does not require 150,000 Americans on the ground.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:01 PM   #157
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Irvine,

I think the key word I used was broadcast. Sure I think that privately, diplomatically, whatever you might call it, there should be a timeline and we should mean it. I am all for leaning hard on them.

I just don't want AQ and all the world to know about it.

I happen to disagree. I think the troops gave the tribes the enouragement and firepower that they needed. They could not have turned on AQ with any success before we came in or else they would of. The two things happened to come together at the same time creating opportunity on the ground. Both the troops and the tribes should be given equal credit for the success of the current ops. I think that once the nest of vipers is cleaned out, the tribes should be able to keep them out in the future. (They welcomed them in the first place. I don't think that AQ can overcome a united tribal front against them.)

I don't see any reason not to stay with the surge until its time is up. Like I said, after that we can move to other strategies. I will not so glibly accept the kind of bloodshed that would ensue if we abandon Iraq and hole up in Kurdistan as you say, until this last effort has fully played itself out.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:06 PM   #158
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This war has been lost. Just like every other occupation never worked long term, neither will this one.

The reality is that this war is over. It will end within the next 18 months one way or another. There is really no question about it anymore; the public will not sustain it and the political process (elections) in the US will ensure it. So the question isn't how long we wait, it's how to get out in an organized way.

And refocus on Afghanistan which is a total lost cause. The Canadians, who have the highest death toll in Afghanistan after the US are pulling out in February, 2009. NATO has not done a good job distributing the troops and Europeans don't want to be in southern Afghanistan, dying. This country should not have been abandoned, but it was and for all we know, it's now going to be as lost as Iraq.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:12 PM   #159
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Sorry to jump in on this conversation. I've been against this war from the very beginning, suspicious of the intentions behind it. Now we've gotten ourselves into this messy situation.

What I don't understand is why when people say "we need to pull our troops out of Iraq" others are assuming that we're just leaving it as that. there is definitely a way to stabilize the situation over there without the presence of american military forces.

granted, i've only seen one politician with a very solid plan for removing the troops and assisting (key word: ASSISTING) in the stabilization of that area. but that doesn't mean that this option is impossible.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:45 PM   #160
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Quote:
Originally posted by unico
Sorry to jump in on this conversation. I've been against this war from the very beginning, suspicious of the intentions behind it. Now we've gotten ourselves into this messy situation.

What I don't understand is why when people say "we need to pull our troops out of Iraq" others are assuming that we're just leaving it as that. there is definitely a way to stabilize the situation over there without the presence of american military forces.

granted, i've only seen one politician with a very solid plan for removing the troops and assisting (key word: ASSISTING) in the stabilization of that area. but that doesn't mean that this option is impossible.
and what would that idea be??? 2 of the countries neighboring iraq do not listen to our diplomacy efforts, and that is not just b/c of bush. they are against the west and its beliefs on freedoms.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:55 PM   #161
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well, i'm gonna quote this from a brilliant policy. it is a great 12 point step plan:

Quote:
1. The US announces it will end the occupation, close military bases and withdraw. The insurgency has been fueled by the occupation and the prospect of a long-term presence as indicated by the building of permanent bases. A US declaration of an intention to withdraw troops and close bases will help dampen the insurgency which has been inspired to resist colonization and fight invaders and those who have supported US policy. Furthermore this will provide an opening where parties within Iraq and in the region can set the stage for negotiations towards peaceful settlement.

2. US announces that it will use existing funds to bring the troops and necessary equipment home. Congress appropriated $70 billion in bridge funds on October 1st for the war. Money from this and other DOD accounts can be used to fund the troops in the field over the next few months, and to pay for the cost of the return of the troops, (which has been estimated at between $5 and $7 billion dollars) while a political settlement is being negotiated and preparations are made for a transition to an international security and peacekeeping force.

3. Order a simultaneous return of all US contractors to the United States and turn over all contracting work to the Iraqi government. The contracting process has been rife with world-class corruption, with contractors stealing from the US Government and cheating the Iraqi people, taking large contracts and giving 5% or so to Iraqi subcontractors.

Reconstruction activities must be reorganized and closely monitored in Iraq by the Iraqi government, with the assistance of the international community. The massive corruption as it relates to US contractors, should be investigated by congressional committees and federal grand juries. The lack of tangible benefits, the lack of accountability for billions of dollars, while millions of Iraqis do not have a means of financial support, nor substantive employment, cries out for justice.

It is noteworthy that after the first Gulf War, Iraqis reestablished electricity within three months, despite sanctions. Four years into the US occupation there is no water, nor reliable electricity in Baghdad, despite massive funding from the US and from the Madrid conference. The greatest mystery involves the activities of private security companies who function as mercenaries. Reports of false flag operations must be investigated by an international tribunal.

4. Convene a regional conference for the purpose of developing a security and stabilization force for Iraq. The focus should be on a process which solves the problems of Iraq. The US has told the international community, "This is our policy and we want you to come and help us implement it." The international community may have an interest in helping Iraq, but has no interest in participating in the implementation of failed US policy.

A shift in US policy away from unilateralism and toward cooperation will provide new opportunities for exploring common concerns about the plight of Iraq. The UN is the appropriate place to convene, through the office of the Secretary General, all countries that have interests, concerns and influence, including the five permanent members of the Security Council and the European community, and all Arab nations.

The end of the US occupation and the closing of military bases are necessary preconditions for such a conference. When the US creates a shift of policy and announces it will focus on the concerns of the people of Iraq, it will provide a powerful incentive for nations to participate.

It is well known that while some nations may see the instability in Iraq as an opportunity, there is also an ever-present danger that the civil war in Iraq threatens the stability of nations throughout the region. The impending end of the occupation will provide a breakthrough for the cooperation between the US and the UN and the UN and countries of the region. The regional conference must include Iran, Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

5. Prepare an international security and peacekeeping force to move in, replacing US troops who then return home. The UN has an indispensable role to play here, but cannot do it as long as the US is committed to an occupation. The UN is the only international organization with the ability to mobilize and the legitimacy to authorize troops.

The UN is the place to develop the process, to build the political consensus, to craft a political agreement, to prepare the ground for the peacekeeping mission, to implement the basis of an agreement that will end the occupation and begin the transition to international peacekeepers. This process will take at least three months from the time the US announces the intention to end the occupation.

The US will necessarily have to fund a peacekeeping mission, which, by definition will not require as many troops. Fifty percent of the peacekeeping troops must come from nations with large Muslim populations. The international security force, under UN direction, will remain in place until the Iraqi government is capable of handling its own security. The UN can field an international security and peacekeeping mission, but such an initiative will not take shape unless there is a peace to keep, and that will be dependent upon a political process which reaches agreement between all the Iraqi parties. Such an agreement means fewer troops will be needed.

According to UN sources, the UN the peacekeeping mission in the Congo, which is four times larger in area than Iraq, required about twenty thousand troops. Finally the UN does not mobilize quickly because they depend upon governments to supply the troops, and governments are slow. The ambition of the UN is to deploy in less than ninety days. However, without an agreement of parties the UN is not likely to approve a mission to Iraq, because countries will not give them troops.

6. Develop and fund a process of national reconciliation. The process of reconciliation must begin with a national conference, organized with the assistance of the UN and with the participation of parties who can create, participate in and affect the process of reconciliation, defined as an airing of all grievances and the creation of pathways toward open, transparent talks producing truth and resolution of grievances. The Iraqi government has indicated a desire for the process of reconciliation to take place around it, and that those who were opposed to the government should give up and join the government. Reconciliation must not be confused with capitulation, nor with realignments for the purposes of protecting power relationships.

For example, Kurds need to be assured that their own autonomy will be regarded and therefore obviate the need for the Kurds to align with religious Shia for the purposes of self-protection. The problem in Iraq is that every community is living in fear. The Shia, who are the majority, fear they will not be allowed to govern even though they are a majority. The Kurds are afraid they will lose the autonomy they have gained. The Sunnis think they will continue to be made to pay for the sins of Saddam.

A reconciliation process which brings people together is the only way to overcome their fears and reconcile their differences. It is essential to create a minimum of understanding and mutual confidence between the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds.

But how can a reconciliation process be constructed in Iraq when there is such mistrust: Ethnic cleansing is rampant. The police get their money from the US and their ideas from Tehran. They function as religious militia, fighting for supremacy, while the Interior Ministry collaborates. Two or three million people have been displaced. When someone loses a family member, a loved one, a friend, the first response is likely to be that there is no reconciliation.

It is also difficult to move toward reconciliation when one or several parties engaged in the conflict think they can win outright. The Shia, some of whom are out for revenge, think they can win because they have the defacto support of the US. The end of the US occupation will enhance the opportunity for the Shia to come to an accommodation with the Sunnis. They have the oil, the weapons, and support from Iran. They have little interest in reconciling with those who are seen as Baathists.

The Sunnis think they have experience, as the former army of Saddam, boasting half a million insurgents. The Sunnis have so much more experience and motivation that as soon as the Americans leave they believe they can defeat the Shia government. Any Sunni revenge impulses can be held in check by international peacekeepers. The only sure path toward reconciliation is through the political process. All factions and all insurgents not with al Queda must be brought together in a relentless process which involves Saudis, Turks and Iranians.

7. Reconstruction and Jobs. Restart the failed reconstruction program in Iraq. Rebuild roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and other public facilities, houses, and factories with jobs and job training going to local Iraqis.

8. Reparations. The US and Great Britain have a high moral obligation to enable a peace process by beginning a program of significant reparations to the people of Iraq for the loss of lives, physical and emotional injuries, and damage to property. There should be special programs to rescue the tens of thousands of Iraqi orphans from lives of destitution. This is essential to enable reconciliation.

9. Political Sovereignty. Put an end to suspicions that the US invasion and occupation was influenced by a desire to gain control of Iraq's oil assets by A) setting aside initiatives to privatize Iraqi oil interests or other national assets, and B) by abandoning efforts to change Iraqi national law to facilitate privatization.

Any attempt to sell Iraqi oil assets during the US occupation will be a significant stumbling block to peaceful resolution. The current Iraqi constitution gives oil proceeds to the regions and the central government gets nothing. There must be fairness in the distribution of oil resources in Iraq. An Iraqi National Oil Trust should be established to guarantee the oil assets will be used to create a fully functioning infrastructure with financial mechanisms established protect the oil wealth for the use of the people of Iraq.

10. Iraq Economy. Set forth a plan to stabilize Iraq's cost for food and energy, on par to what the prices were before the US invasion and occupation. This would block efforts underway to raise the price of food and energy at a time when most Iraqis do not have the means to meet their own needs.

11. Economic Sovereignty. Work with the world community to restore Iraq's fiscal integrity without structural readjustment measures of the IMF or the World Bank.

12. International Truth and Reconciliation. Establish a policy of truth and reconciliation between the people of the United States and the people of Iraq. In 2002, I led the effort in the House of Representatives challenging the Bush Administration's plans to go to war in Iraq. I organized 125 Democrats to vote against the Iraq war resolution. The analysis I offered at that time stands out in bold relief for its foresight when compared to the assessments of many who today aspire to national leadership. Just as the caution I urged four years ago was well-placed, so the plan I am presenting today is workable, and it responds to the will of the American people, expressed this past November. This is a moment for clarity and foresight. This is a moment to take a new direction in Iraq. One with honor and dignity. One which protects our troops and rescues Iraqi civilians. One which repairs our relationship with Iraqis and with the world.
again, this is from someone else's proposed policy. it is not mine, but i agree with it. and i'm glad that somebody is at least trying to do something instead of just saying "stay in!" or "pull out!" i hardly hear of strategies from either side in that respect.
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Old 07-10-2007, 02:58 PM   #162
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well, i'm gonna quote this from a brilliant policy. it is a great 12 point step plan:



again, this is from someone else's proposed policy. it is not mine, but i agree with it. and i'm glad that somebody is at least trying to do something instead of just saying "stay in!" or "pull out!" i hardly hear of strategies from either side in that respect.
it does look great, but we are not there to see the struggles. george bush addressed it amazingly well today in his speech. one of his best ever.
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:01 PM   #163
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how would this 12 point plan not help the struggles? this plan addresses all of them.
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:05 PM   #164
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how would this 12 point plan not help the struggles? this plan addresses all of them.
b/c we cannot write iraqi law. they need to figure out for themselves what is best. that is why bush is letting the generals have so much control b/c they are in iraq.
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Old 07-10-2007, 03:10 PM   #165
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b/c we cannot write iraqi law. they need to figure out for themselves what is best. that is why bush is letting the generals have so much control b/c they are in iraq.
did you read the plan?
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