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Old 12-20-2007, 05:03 PM   #41
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Well, I guess Murtha likes to have it both ways. An interesting question would be if Murtha read the latest NIE report on Iraq, from August 2007, which had the following to say about redeployment and withdrawal:



So are you still a supporter of withdrawal and redeployment now that the beloved NIE has essentially come out against those options?


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Old 12-20-2007, 05:09 PM   #42
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here's what the article has to say:

[q]The vast population upheaval resulting from Iraq's sectarian conflict has left the country with yet another looming crisis. At least one of every six Iraqis -- about 4.5 million people -- has left home, some for other parts of Iraq, others for neighboring nations.

Many have run out of money and options in Syria, Jordan and other Arab countries, all of which have recently intensified efforts to evict Iraqi refugees. Others have exhausted the patience and resources of family and friends. Lured by reports of security improvements and encouraged by a government eager to demonstrate normalcy, they have started to trickle back over the past two months.

The question of how to deal with them is posing a complex new challenge for Iraq's government, as well as for U.S. military commanders, diplomats and international aid workers here. U.S. and U.N. officials have been pushing Iraqi leaders to develop programs and policies aimed at addressing the vexing problems associated with returning refugees.

"It's very easy to say, 'Come home,' " said Guy Siri, the U.N. deputy humanitarian coordinator in Iraq. "But come home where, and how? It's much more complex than that. You have to look at the whole environment, how the community will accept them, whether it's economically viable. There's a whole lot of thinking on the government side to be done."

Kareem Sadi Haadi, 48, an engineer who now works in a shoe store in Baghdad's Karrada neighborhood, said he returned from Damascus last month with his wife and daughter only because his savings ran out and he was not allowed to work legally in Syria. He said he is trying to save enough money to flee Iraq again.

The Iraqi government should not be telling refugees that the country is secure or offering to ferry them back from Syria, Haadi said, adding, "They are misleading Iraqis 100 percent. Eighty percent of those who want to come back is because of residency complications in Syria."

The thorny issues were evident when the first and so far only group of families was bused back from Syria by the Iraqi government on Nov. 28. According to the United Nations, only about a third of the 30 families returned to their original homes. Most of the rest, finding a new sectarian makeup in their neighborhood or their property pillaged, moved in with already overburdened relatives in other parts of the Baghdad area.

For many Iraqis, the homes they left no longer exist. Houses have been looted, destroyed or occupied. Most Baghdad neighborhoods, where Shiites and Sunnis once lived side by side, have been transformed into religiously homogeneous bastions where members of the other sect dare not tread.

U.S. military commanders and diplomats here acknowledge that the recent decline in violence is the result, in part, of the city's segregation. There are now far fewer mixed neighborhoods where religious militias can target members of the other sect.

"There is an element of the violence being down because segregation has already happened," said Col. William E. Rapp, a senior aide to Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq. "The violence is still at the fault lines, and we're sitting on those fault lines."

Rapp said Iraqis have to ask themselves: "Do you even want to come back? Because that neighborhood is no longer Sunni, it's now Shia. Or it's no longer Shia, it's now Sunni."[/q]





but i suppose those are just liberal lies. after all, we got a sentence fragment from Rep. Murtha that acknowledges that there are some aspects of "the surge" that have been successful, and this means that Bush and Co. are thoroughly and totally vindicated and the United States is the best country ever and anyone who ever criticized anything ever should just shut up now because Iraq is now just like Bosnia.
The article does not say anything about Baghdad being ethnically cleansed. Some of us that have actually read about ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and other parts of the world would not define it that way. Srebrenica Bosnia is an example of a city that has been ethnically cleansed. One day Bosnian Serb military came into the city, ordered Dutch UN peacekeepers to the side, loaded all the non-Serb males of military age on to buses(over 8,000), and non-Serb women and childern on to other buses. The women and children were bused out of the city, and the men were all taking into the woods and shot, all in one day. There is no Croat section of Srebrenica, or Muslim section of Srebrenica, there is just one ethnic group, Serbs. That is what it means to be "ethnically cleansed" and that is not even remotely the situation in Baghdad.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:15 PM   #43
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yes, because there has only ever been one incident of ethnic cleansing ever that that's Srebrenica.

the article states, explicitly, as does everyone else, that a MAJOR factor for the decrease in violence in Baghdad -- the decrease that's being desperately promoted by McCain and others as some sort of vindication -- is because neighborhoods that were once ETHNICALLY MIXED are now no longer mixed. these neighborhoods have been CLEANSED of either Sunnis or Shiites. 4.5 million fled, hundreds of thousands have been killed.

but, no, i guess it's not Srebrenica, so it doesn't count.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:18 PM   #44
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and anyone who thinks that Patraeus has had more impact on the world than Putin is towing a politicized GOP line -- one that McCain, who's entire candidacy is going to rest on the perception of Iraq -- where they want to keep touting the "successes" of "the surge" in order to score whatever points they can.

the two are not even comparable.
Well, perhaps you could explain how Putin has impacted Iraq, the middle east, and US politics to a greater degree than Patraeus in 2007? Has Russian obstruction to Kosovo independence or refusal for a new round of sanctions on Iran really been the main story of 2007? Beyond politics inside Russia, how has Putin impacted global events and global politics to a greater degree than Patraeus in 2007?
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:20 PM   #45
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Why are Iraq, the Middle East, and US politics the only "global events and politics" that matter?
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:25 PM   #46
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yes, because there has only ever been one incident of ethnic cleansing ever that that's Srebrenica.

the article states, explicitly, as does everyone else, that a MAJOR factor for the decrease in violence in Baghdad -- the decrease that's being desperately promoted by McCain and others as some sort of vindication -- is because neighborhoods that were once ETHNICALLY MIXED are now no longer mixed. these neighborhoods have been CLEANSED of either Sunnis or Shiites. 4.5 million fled, hundreds of thousands have been killed.

but, no, i guess it's not Srebrenica, so it doesn't count.
You said Baghdad was ethnically cleansed. It is not, not even close. Srebrenica, and multiple towns in the Serb section of Bosnia are examples of that. Baghdad still has multiple ethnic groups within the city, Srebrenica and other cities like it do not. What don't you understand?

What the article does not tell you is that the walled neighborhoods and seperation of ethnicities within the city to the degree that they are today had already happened MONTHS prior to the Surge and there for do not explain the decrease in violence in the city. The Surge did not cause sectarian violence, it reduced it.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:28 PM   #47
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Why are Iraq, the Middle East, and US politics the only "global events and politics" that matter?
Their not the only events and politics that matter, but they are definitely toward the top of the list, and anyone that is having such a heavy impact on all of them should indeed be considered for person of the year.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:30 PM   #48
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Their not the only events and politics that matter, but they are definitely toward the top of the list, and anyone that is having such a heavy impact on all of them should indeed be considered for person of the year.
US Politics is specific to the US, not the world.

And the Middle East is an issue, absolutely, and an important one, but it is just one issue. Petraeus has had effect on one world issue. That's it.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:35 PM   #49
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US Politics is specific to the US, not the world.

And the Middle East is an issue, absolutely, and an important one, but it is just one issue. Petraeus has had effect on one world issue. That's it.
US politics impacts the world in a larger way than any other single country on the planet which is why everyone is watching the US presidential race. Petraeus has impacted the situation in Iraq, the situation in the region, and the political situation in the United States. I think he is definitely ahead of Putin on the list for 2007, but this is TIME magazine and they would never put anyone so connected to administration policy on the cover.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:37 PM   #50
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I think you underestimate the influence of Putin then.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:38 PM   #51
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US politics impacts the world in a larger way than any other single country on the planet which is why everyone is watching the US presidential race. Petraeus has impacted the situation in Iraq, the situation in the region, and the political situation in the United States. I think he is definitely ahead of Putin on the list for 2007, but this is TIME magazine and they would never put anyone so connected to administration policy on the cover.
I agree with your posts and most of this one. However, TIME has put some decent (IMO) people as Person Of The Year- Bush twice, Giuliani, the American Soldier, so I'll give them a pass on Putin, I suppose. I don't read TIME regularly, but I don't believe it's an ultra-liberal publication.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:38 PM   #52
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it's the person who's had the most influence on world events. Stalin has been Time's person of the year. it's not an endorsement. it's a statement of fact.
Uh no, its the opinion of TIME magazine.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:39 PM   #53
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but this is TIME magazine and they would never put anyone so connected to administration policy on the cover.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:45 PM   #54
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How's that crow taste, sting?

And back on topic, fine, congratulations, you're right. Ethnically cleansed is not the right term to describe Baghdad. However, I dare say that ethnically segregated is, and could you now at least respond to the content of the article rather than the term being used?
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:49 PM   #55
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I think you underestimate the influence of Putin then.
Well, then, discuss how Putin has impacted world events beyond the borders of Russia for the year 2007? Remember, Putin is not the reason that energy prices are up and Russian oil and natural gas companies are raking in the money. I agree that Kosovo is an important issue, but its not at this point on the level of Iraq, the Middle East, or even the US presidential election. The Russians may now be against a new round of sanctions against Iran, but that has far more to do with US politics in the latest NIE on Iran than Putin.

Putin's consolidation of power within Russia, his popularity within Russia, and the fact that the next President of Russia may just be a figurehead with Prime Minister Putin pulling all the strings is impressive. But I would still vote for Petraeus over him for impacting significant events or situations in the world specifically in 2007.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:59 PM   #56
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How's that crow taste, sting?

And back on topic, fine, congratulations, you're right. Ethnically cleansed is not the right term to describe Baghdad. However, I dare say that ethnically segregated is, and could you now at least respond to the content of the article rather than the term being used?
Probably not as good as the crow their entire staff had to eat after November 2004. No wonder that put him on the cover that year.

I didn't have a problem with the article. The issue I had was this idea that Baghdad was ethnically cleansed and that the segregated nature within the city is a cause for the sudden reduction in violence, when in fact the segregated nature within the city existed long before the start of the surge and had no impact on the level of violence.
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:59 PM   #57
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US politics impacts the world in a larger way than any other single country on the planet which is why everyone is watching the US presidential race.
Just as an aside, I don't think (in our media here anyway) any US presidential race has received so much attention so early. At this stage it's normally only still a very small story, the media doesn't really start paying major attention until you have your two nominated candidates, and even then, it's only right at the end that it becomes a 'big' story. This time though, check in on any Australian media sites and daily you'll see stories about it - especially (and mostly) the Clinton/Obama race.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:02 PM   #58
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Hahaha.... (a) they don't understand the premise of this 'award', (b) they want to be President?
I'm afraid a and b combined.


I would then weigh in that the American homeowner should be Person of the Year.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:04 PM   #59
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So basically, Petraeus has lowered the death rate in Iraq and made things more secure than before the surge. As Murtha said, it's pretty much a no brainer that if you pour more troops into the area that security will most likely increase.

But you consistently ignore the elephant in the room, which is an utter failure of the Iraqi government to... govern. To take the increased security and make some real progress. And without a functioning government the increased security ultimately means little. Which you yourself pointed out with your reference to the NIE stating that restructuring our troops and/or mission would have negative effects on security. If that's true, it's only true because the surge has failed to produce political process.

So we are at impasse. Either we wait around until the Iraqi government gets itself together and actually governs (which at current rates puts us there...oh, I don't know...forever), or we withdraw and the security dissolves (or chaos breaks out as soon as we bring one troop back according to the right). Neither one is an appealing option, but sooner or later you're going to have to face reality.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:05 PM   #60
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Just as an aside, I don't think (in our media here anyway) any US presidential race has received so much attention so early. At this stage it's normally only still a very small story, the media doesn't really start paying major attention until you have your two nominated candidates, and even then, it's only right at the end that it becomes a 'big' story. This time though, check in on any Australian media sites and daily you'll see stories about it - especially (and mostly) the Clinton/Obama race.
Interesting. I'm sure I'll get asked about it or see it discussed in Ireland this week then, although it is the holidays and not Iowa.
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