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Old 01-07-2008, 12:47 AM   #136
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you see?
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:01 AM   #137
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you see?
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it's impossible to have a discussion with someone who keeps repeating falsehoods like the above that have been thoroughly debunked years ago on these very pages.
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so, instead of wasting my time and energy typing out coherent arguments, i'm just going to start carpet bombing with posts from various pundits and newspaper articles, with the hopes that perhaps these will be read, unlike my (and many others) painstaking previous posts. it's never a discussion, no give and take, no "yes, you have a point but ...," and the worst thing of all -- taking a position and distorting it, and then saying that everyone who doesn't agree with you is in lockstep with said distorted position. and using polls or the NIE when they work for you, but when they don't, they're wrong. it boggles my mind when someone is confronted with the fact that Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and then he squeaked out a less than 2% victory in 2004 and this is presented as "crushing" victories because he received (gasp!!!) a "majority" of the popular vote. it doesn't change the down-to-the-wire nature of both these elections. it's just a means of crafting a soundbyte that's throughly meaningless when put in any sort of context, and so these threads seem to devolve into just a cut-and-pasting contest, so i can't think of a reason to do anything else.
I see someone that needs to relax and not worry about others perceived posting behavior. Its a message board on a U2 fan website. Post your opinion on the ISSUE and move on.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:16 AM   #138
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You're like a skipping record player. It gets tiresome.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:43 AM   #139
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I realize the reasons for the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq were different, but that is not what I was refering to with my point. I've explained how I see the fundamental goals and difficulties faced in both of the post-invasion occupations as being similar. You feel differently and I asked why. No reason to get excited.
The reason people have such radically different attitudes towards Iraq and Afghanistan have everything to do with the reasons they were invaded.

Yes, they are very similar BUT many people see the blood and treasure invested in Afghanistan as "worth it" but they don't see that same investment as "worth it" in Iraq. Your argument needs to be not "the situations are very similar", but why both are equally worthy of our blood and treasure. And your case, IMHO, would be much stronger if you would admit, for example that things have really been bungled in Iraq and we have created a lot of problems there (like the presence of Al Qaeda in that country) that weren't there before, rather than trying to have it both ways. You want Iraq to be this brilliant shining success from the beginning and yet be this tortuous thing that will take years and years to fully resolve and it just doesn't sell. I don't believe you. Not for a minute. Instead, I really think you're employed to spread propaganda in Interference. I hear the argument that things in Iraq are now so fragile that we can't just pull out tomorrow (I think every presidential candidate knows it too), but to try to argue at the same time that it's been nothing but roses all along is ludicrous.

People would feel very differently about the "worthiness" of the effort in Iraq if the 9/11 terrorists had been trained and launched from Iraq or if we'd found huge hidden caches of weapons of mass destruction. Neitherof those things are true and as a result most people will continue to believe that Iraq was--and is--a mistake regardless of how "similar" it is to Afghanistan or Bosnia or anywhere else.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:48 AM   #140
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Very well put, sean. As usual.
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Old 01-07-2008, 02:46 AM   #141
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Yes, I was going to say that holding Iraq and Afghanistan up on paper in 2008 as examples of the same thing would be all well and good if I'd just woken from a 7 year coma, but I don't think anyone here is in that position. And most people here, and around the world, are aware of, do still remember, and do still factor in the last few most recent years of history. You simply can't ignore it.
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:49 PM   #142
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Originally posted by maycocksean


The reason people have such radically different attitudes towards Iraq and Afghanistan have everything to do with the reasons they were invaded.

Yes, they are very similar BUT many people see the blood and treasure invested in Afghanistan as "worth it" but they don't see that same investment as "worth it" in Iraq.
The reasons for invading both and the threat posed by the regimes that ruled both prior to the invasions is indeed different. But what is similar, is the post-invasion or occupation phases of each conflict. The goals and problems of each occupation are fundamentally similar.

The only reason there is currently a majority opposed to the Iraq war in the USA is the length + casualties levels and the political attempts by many to de-legitimize the Iraq war that previously had majority support of the US population until the summer of 2005 according to the Gallup poll and the re-election of George Bush in November 2004.

Afghanistan casualty levels are so low relative to Iraq that it receives little if any media attention and much of the public does not even realize that the United States even has troops in Afghanistan. The fact is, the United States has 25,000 troops in Afghanistan leading a total NATO force(including USA) of 45,000. So with Afghanistan, you have a conflict with relatively low casualties for the USA which in a sense keeps it off the front page and out of the publics mind. So really, the comparison between the two rarely happens, but when it does much of the public simply return to the initial invasions to decide whether or not they support either operation when asked about it, which of course is a mistake given that its 2008 and those initial operations and the reasons that prompted them are gone.




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And your case, IMHO, would be much stronger if you would admit, for example that things have really been bungled in Iraq and we have created a lot of problems there (like the presence of Al Qaeda in that country) that weren't there before, rather than trying to have it both ways.
There have been serious mistakes in the Iraq war, I've never denied that. But that does not change the fact that removing Saddam was a necessity, and that in doing so, Iraq had to be rebuilt and stabilized to prevent Al Quada from gaining a base there, as well as preventing other countries from exploiting the power vacuum while Iraq is rebuilt and insuring that a future Iraq is not a threat to Persian Gulf energy like Saddam was.


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You want Iraq to be this brilliant shining success from the beginning and yet be this tortuous thing that will take years and years to fully resolve and it just doesn't sell.
Any nation building activity is a long and difficult process that requires years and usually decades of support especially if the country faces an insurgent movement from within trying to prevent progress and overthrow the government. The success anyone talks about within Iraq is relative to the task of what is being undertaken.

Its impossible to rebuild a country like Iraq in two years which it seems many Democrats curiously expect. Having 500 civilians killed during the month of December 2007 may not seem like a success, but it is when you realize that the death rate 9 months earlier had reached 3,000 a month according to the estimates. It is even more of a success when you realize that a real civil war in a country the size of a Iraq could produce a monthly death rate of 100,000 a month.

So the talk of success in Iraq is not at all in contradiction to the fact that the Iraq conflict is going to continue to be difficult and will take years to resolve.


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I hear the argument that things in Iraq are now so fragile that we can't just pull out tomorrow (I think every presidential candidate knows it too),
All the Democratic Presidential candidates have supported bills to withdraw all US combat troops by March 31, 2008 or even earlier. The success of the surge has caused them over the past 3 months to flip flop and squirm on the issue, but the early party primaries have brought them back to some of their original stances on withdrawal in order to gain approval of the party base needed to secure the nomination.


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People would feel very differently about the "worthiness" of the effort in Iraq if the 9/11 terrorists had been trained and launched from Iraq or if we'd found huge hidden caches of weapons of mass destruction. Neither of those things are true and as a result most people will continue to believe that Iraq was--and is--a mistake regardless of how "similar" it is to Afghanistan or Bosnia or anywhere else.
Here in lies the problem with those beliefs. Whether or not to stay in Afghanistan or Iraq is independent of the reasons for needing to invade both. The United States had to invade Afghanistan because it had a government protecting and supporting Al Quada's global HQ. Now that both have been removed the United States has to stay to insure the country and new government are developed and rebuilt in order to prevent a return of the situation that necessited the invasion in the first place.

The United States had to invade Iraq because of Saddam's failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD, his violation of 17 UN Security Council resolutions, the collapse of the containment regime and the intolerable threat that all three of those conditions posed to the planets current energy supply. Now that Saddam and the threat he posed has been removed, the United States has to stay to insure the country and new government are developed and rebult in order to prevent a return of the situation that necessited the invasion, as well as the situation that necessited the invasion of Afghanistan.



In 2008, the United States is not fighting to remove a major Al Quada base protected by a hostile Taliban government in Afghanistan like it was in 2001. In Iraq in 2008, the United States is not fighting to remove Saddam and insure that the country is disarmed of any WMD like it was in 2003. Those initial conflicts are over, and the reasons for staying in both countries is to develop the government, economy and military in both to the point that they can provide for their own security, do not threaten their neighbors and will not collapse and end up a potential base for Al Quada.

But, of the two countries Iraq and Afghanistan, Iraq is actually the country over the long run that is more important to US and global security given its substantial natural resources and geographic proximity to much of the planets energy supply. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq is important for many reasons independent of it being a potential base for Al Quada.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:11 PM   #143
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Your argument makes a number of incorrect assumptions:

1. Your reasoning as to why people are against the Iraq war is atrociously under-estimated. It's not just the casualty levels and the length of time. It's the fact that Saddam wasn't nearly as big a threat as he was made out to be. It's the fact that we should have been focusing on Afghanistan. It's the fact that we ignored the rest of the world and the UN. It's the fact that this war never had anything to do with occupation until there were no WMDs.

2. Your reasoning that removing Saddam was necessary. There was no definitive proof that Saddam had WMDs, or, you know, there would have been WMDs. The entire world was completely focused on Iraq at the time. What was Saddam going to do with the eye of the UN constantly on it? The weapons inspectors were there.

Was Saddam a bad person? Absolutely. Was he terrible to his own people? Absolutely. Was he an immediate threat to the USA? No.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:14 PM   #144
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Originally posted by Strongbow


The reasons for invading both and the threat posed by the regimes that ruled both prior to the invasions is indeed different. But what is similar, is the post-invasion or occupation phases of each conflict. The goals and problems of each occupation are fundamentally similar.



The only reason there is currently a majority opposed to the Iraq war in the USA is the length + casualties levels and the political attempts by many to de-legitimize the Iraq war that previously had majority support of the US population until the summer of 2005 according to the Gallup poll and the re-election of George Bush in November 2004.
As you yourself have pointed out, the situtaion on the ground is similar in both countries. Clearly many Americans feel that the situation is worth the trouble in Afghanistan but not Iraq. And the "political attempts to deligitamzie the Iraq war" might also be described as the "legitimate opposition to war we shouldn't have gotten into." Your argument seems to be "Never mind why we went in to Iraq--the important thing is now it's just like Afghanistan so we need to stay there just like we're staying in Afghanistan. " It's not the most compelling argument in the world.



Quote:
Originally posted by Strongbow

There have been serious mistakes in the Iraq war, I've never denied that. But that does not change the fact that removing Saddam was a necessity, and that in doing so, Iraq had to be rebuilt and stabilized to prevent Al Quada from gaining a base there, as well as preventing other countries from exploiting the power vacuum while Iraq is rebuilt and insuring that a future Iraq is not a threat to Persian Gulf energy like Saddam was.
There are many who don't agree that removing Saddam was a "necessity." I for one doubt that Al Quaeda would have gained a base in Iraq with Saddam in power. I do have to appreciate your willingness to be frank about Iraq's oil being a big part of the motivation for our involvement in Iraq. Not too many people supporting the war will admit to that.


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Originally posted by Strongbow

Its impossible to rebuild a country like Iraq in two years which it seems many Democrats curiously expect.
Well, it wasn't the Democrats who dragged out the "Mission Accomplished" banner. I defy you to show me how the Bush administration advised our country as we entered into this conflict that this would be a long and bloody struggle that would consume years and years of time and billions and billions of dollars.

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Originally posted by Strongbow

All the Democratic Presidential candidates have supported bills to withdraw all US combat troops by March 31, 2008 or even earlier.
Yeah, and that was dishonest of all of them. (And yes that includes Obama. I mentiioned another thread that Obama has disappointed me at times since he began his campaign. This is one of the things I was talking about). Electioneering at it's worst.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:28 PM   #145
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FOr fuck's sake this thread is about why republicans will win. Can we get away from the UN resolution debate for once?
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:38 PM   #146
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FOr fuck's sake this thread is about why republicans will win. Can we get away from the UN resolution debate for once?
Granted, it's gotten a bit excessive for the past few pages (and as childish as it may sound, let me just say: I didn't start it!), but like it or not, a big part of whether the Republicans win or lose will be about our perception of how the war has been handled, is being handled and will be currently handled.

I'm doing my best to keep this in the context of the current campaign, thank you.
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:54 PM   #147
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My first post was about the war. I realize that and NH results are indicating that the #2 issue is the war in both the democrativc and republican primaries.

I am so sick to death of debating UN resolutions. It is NEVER going to be the central idea of the campaign. America(for the most part) did not care if we were in line with the UN or not from the get go.

Is it too much to ask to have a thread without this taking us off track?
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:15 PM   #148
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Your argument makes a number of incorrect assumptions:

1. Your reasoning as to why people are against the Iraq war is atrociously under-estimated. It's not just the casualty levels and the length of time. It's the fact that Saddam wasn't nearly as big a threat as he was made out to be. It's the fact that we should have been focusing on Afghanistan. It's the fact that we ignored the rest of the world and the UN. It's the fact that this war never had anything to do with occupation until there were no WMDs.

2. Your reasoning that removing Saddam was necessary. There was no definitive proof that Saddam had WMDs, or, you know, there would have been WMDs. The entire world was completely focused on Iraq at the time. What was Saddam going to do with the eye of the UN constantly on it? The weapons inspectors were there.

Was Saddam a bad person? Absolutely. Was he terrible to his own people? Absolutely. Was he an immediate threat to the USA? No.

1. Everyone was aware of what Saddam's government had or did not have by the election of 2004 over 18 months after the invasion. The American public at that time voted for George Bush and gave him the first majority in the popular vote that any president had ever received in nearly 20 years. The Gallup polls on the issue show that the public generally continued to support the war until the summer of 2005. Given that the public had already listened and heard the debate about the initial invasion and the results, the only thing that could have turned public opinion against the war was the length and cost of the conflict.

2. There NEVER had to be ANY definitive proof that Saddam had any WMD. It was incumbent upon Saddam per the terms of the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire agreement to prove through the process of verifiable disarmament that he did not have WMD. Saddam never completed that task. The UN inspectors continue to have a list of 500 pounds of nerve gas, 500 pounds of mustard gas, a thousand liters of Anthrax, over 20,000 bio/chem capable artillery shells that Saddam never accounted for.

The weapons inspectors are there to verify and destroy WMD, they have little to no power to hunt throughout the country and do that themselves independent of cooperation from Saddam. The only way to insure that Saddam was disarmed because of his failure to comply, was to remove him from power. While many of the unaccounted for WMDs as well as new ones were not found, multiple independent programs related to the production of WMD and outlawed by the UN Ceacefire agreement for the 1991 Gulf War were found. If Saddam was really intent on disarming, he could have shown these programs to the UN inspectors but he did not. Even if this was the only thing that Saddam had going at the time, it was a violation of the ceacefire terms and clearly showed his intentions for the future. The missing WMD may have been destroyed at an earlier time or it may be buried somewhere unknown and may never be found. It would be rather easy to conceal such things since in their total volume would only occupy a small area, a few garages maybe.

Saddam had been a threat to the United States since 1990. The United States fought a huge war against Saddam in 1991 involving the largest deployment of US troops since World War II. While the containment regime established after the war initially worked, it fell apart leaving regime change as the only option, given Saddam's behavior and non-compliance
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:17 PM   #149
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Is it too much to ask to have a thread without this taking us off track?
Apparently not.
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Old 01-08-2008, 09:22 PM   #150
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Per Dread's request--since this is his thread, and the topic is the current Presidential campaign--could we please move away from historical analysis of/justifications for the war in Iraq (threat posed by Saddam, UN resolutions, WMDs, alliance participation etc.) and limit Iraq discussion to the present situation there and the various Republican candidates' plans for addressing it.

Thanks.
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