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Old 12-09-2007, 08:11 PM   #141
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Originally posted by Irvine511




hi STING.

sorry, you're wrong.

the war is wildly unpopular due to incompetence and the fabrication of an "imminent" threat to US security.

Bush has tempered his approach with the much more moderate Gates because he had to fire Rumsfeld after the election -- it would have been far more politically smart to have fired him before the election, so you have no point.

Democrats have been unable to stop the war -- which is why their approval rating is so low, because the vast majority of the country wants out of Iraq -- but they have been able to shift it's course and they have been able to preven the administration from fabricating yet another crisis in regards to Tehran.

your grasp of politics in regards to what Congress can and can't do in regards to the creation of a war policy is so shallow that it's really not worth my time and effort to explain them to you here. and your understanding of the Bush cabinet is laughable as well. i don't even know where to begin, so i'll just let your own posts speak for themselves.
If that were the case George Bush would not have been re-elected. Nor would the Republican party of increased its majorities in the House and Senate, which for the incumbent Presidents party, had not been done in half a century. Opinion polls show that support for the war did not change until nearly a year after the 2004 election. Historical analysis shows that long nation building endovours that become costly naturally become unpopular over time.

Gates has engaged in policies at the defense department that are even more unpopular with Democrats than what Rumsfeld did. How exactly have the Democrats shifted US policy on Iraq when their chief goal in that regards was the withdrawal of all US combat troops by March 2008, 75 days from now? Its not necessarily about what congress is technically capable of doing, but what is politically possible, and the Democrats have discovered that they don't have the mandate or the ability to do what they planned to in January of 2007.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:09 PM   #142
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the reason why Reagan may have rattled some sabers in the direction of the USSR but no one ever actually believed he'd attack/invade is because of the fact of mutual assured destruction. both the US and the USSR had thousands of missiles, so a war between the two would have meant the end of the world (or at least 50m dead on both sides).

Iran has no such weapons. a strike against Tehran is entirely within the realm of possiblity, and the blowback would be in the form of opinion (which the Bush administration has made a point of not caring about) and further regional instability (which, again, they don't care about).

i think everyone agrees that military force should not be ruled out when dealing with Tehran, ever, but as the NIE has demonstrated much to the embarassment of the Bush administration and the country as a whole, Tehran is nowhere near becoming any sort of a threat that would justify anything other than active, engaged diplomacy. HRC's vote was wrong, and Obama's no-vote was just cowardly, and you can bet he's regretting it now in the face of the NIE.

i wish you'd spend more time worrying about "enhanced" interrogation techniques and our worn-out forces and the fact that "the surge" cannot be sustained beyond March of 2008.

There actually were many people who believed mistakenly that Reagan was going to take the country into a nuclear war back in the 1980s.

Bush has kept the prospect of military action against Iran on the table, but there is nothing to suggest that the option has ever been seriously considered. One can cherry pick statements from various speechs to make up what ever impression you want to, but there has never been any thing more concrete that would show that the administration was seriously considering going after Iran with some sort of military option. The talk and hysteria about it is really more of a political tool for the Democrats.

As Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates and General Petraeus have told Congress repeatedly, the Surge can be sustained through the call up of National Guard Brigades or the further extension of active duty combat brigades. The National Guard has 34 combat brigades and only 22 of them have actually been deployed to either Afghanistan or Iraq over the past 6 years and then only once. While the Active Duty Army has a deployed to home ratio often of around 1 to 1, the total number of Active Army combat brigades has increased from 33 in 2003 to 44 now at the end of 2007 and will eventually reach 48 by 2009.

Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates has rescended prior Department of Defense policy which allowed National Guard Brigades to only be deployed for only 18 months in a 5 year period. National Guard Brigades can now be activated for deployment at any time without the previous restrictions. This factor and the expansion of the Active Army will both reduce the strain that has overwhelmingly fallen on the Active Army and Active Marine Corp for the past 5 years. The Active Marine Corp is also being expanded as well.

The NIE far from being an embarassment is not in conflict with the Bush administrations statements. Iran is still moving forward to the capabability of developing a nuclear bomb. The hard part is not warhead design which the new NIE ESTIMATES that worked was stopped on in 2003, but making the fuel necessary for such a bomb, and that has not stopped. Iran claims that it is making the fuel for reactors to produce electricity. A problem with that claim is that Iran does not have any such reactors.

Ironically, the NIE estimate that Iran stopped Warhead design in 2003 suggest that their decision to do so may have been impacted by the Bush administration invasion of Iraq in 2003. Regardless Iran is still making progress toward a bomb and the new NIE did not significantly differ(from the 2005 NIE) in its Estimate of the earliest date at which Iran would obtain a bomb, that being late 2009.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:15 PM   #143
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wow, it's like it's 2004 in here. kind of how we like to believe on Wednesday what we believed on Monday, no matter what happened on Tuesday.

i'm not even going to bother.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:20 PM   #144
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Sure, which is why Bill Clinton struck Iraq multiple times during his administration.


okay, i'll bite here, but that's it.

this was a policy called CONTAINMENT. it was what was applied to Iraq throughout the 1990s. why? because, yes, Saddam's Iraq was a threat, but it wasn't an IMMINENT THREAT to anyone. if Iraq had stepped back into Kuwait, tossed some more Scuds at Tel Aviv or Tehran, then, yes, you might have had a situation that would have required some sort of foreign invasion.

but as it stood throughout the 1990s, Iraq was CONTAINED. this was Bill Clinton's policy, as well as pursuing regime change, but doing that through working with internal iraqi opposition forces, not through pursuing a strategy of a unilateral invasion.

Bush did not continue the CONTAINMENT policy. he radically changed the policy, make a catastrophic mistake, and has been eating crow ever since, and paid for it in the 2006 elections after barely squeaking out a 2004 electoral win that was due mostly to internal domestic issues and the ruthless Republican manipulation of Terror Alerts and 9-11.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:50 PM   #145
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Welcome back, Sting. Nice to see you haven't removed the blinders.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:57 PM   #146
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Originally posted by Irvine511



okay, i'll bite here, but that's it.

this was a policy called CONTAINMENT. it was what was applied to Iraq throughout the 1990s. why? because, yes, Saddam's Iraq was a threat, but it wasn't an IMMINENT THREAT to anyone. if Iraq had stepped back into Kuwait, tossed some more Scuds at Tel Aviv or Tehran, then, yes, you might have had a situation that would have required some sort of foreign invasion.

but as it stood throughout the 1990s, Iraq was CONTAINED. this was Bill Clinton's policy, as well as pursuing regime change, but doing that through working with internal iraqi opposition forces, not through pursuing a strategy of a unilateral invasion.

Bush did not continue the CONTAINMENT policy. he radically changed the policy, make a catastrophic mistake, and has been eating crow ever since, and paid for it in the 2006 elections after barely squeaking out a 2004 electoral win that was due mostly to internal domestic issues and the ruthless Republican manipulation of Terror Alerts and 9-11.
The contention of whether Iraq was an imminent threat to this or that country was not the relevant factor. Preventing Saddam from returning to the capability he had in of August 1990 was the goal and the line in the sand in regards to decisive military action. At any time Iraq could have invaded any of the country's that it bordered or sent artillery, shorter range ballistic missiles, aircraft etc. into other countries. In fact, the CIA even caculated in 1995 that Saddam still had the capability to overrun Kuwait, at least temporarily. This coupled with the break down of sanctions and the weapons embargo by the year 2000 created the possiblity that Saddam could quickly reconstitute many of his prior capabilities. The failure of UN inspections to insure disarmament after 7 years was a serious problem that could only be solved through regime change.

The use of internal opposition to Saddam to bring about regime change was a total failure, and never had any real chance of success.

Kenneth Pollack who was the Clinton Administrations leading expert on Iraq came out strongly for regime change through invasion after Iraq prevented inspectors from coming back into the country in 1999, and most of the rest of the sanctions and weapons embargo fell apart.

Bill Clinton himself supported the Bush administrations build up against Iraq in 2002, and the March 2003 invasion as did his wife Hillary Clinton. He viewed it as the unfortunate but necessary action given the failure of previous methods to achieve disarmament, and the lack of any true moderation in Saddam's behavior.

Bill Clinton never viewed Operation Iraqi Freedom as some radical change in policy and still stated his support for the invasion in the summer of 2004, over a year after the invasion itself. The only way to insure that Saddam was disarmed and would never threaten the region again as he did in 1991 was through regime changed, as every other method that had been tried had failed.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:58 PM   #147
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Welcome back, Sting. Nice to see you haven't removed the blinders.
HA HA HA.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:07 PM   #148
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Originally posted by Irvine511
wow, it's like it's 2004 in here. kind of how we like to believe on Wednesday what we believed on Monday, no matter what happened on Tuesday.

i'm not even going to bother.
The cost of the occupation and the mistakes made during the occupation do not change the fact that Saddam had to be removed.

Its understandable that the cost of the the current occupation has gradually led to the majority of the US population turning against the war, at least for now.

But that would have been the case in Bosnia, Kosovo, and even potentially Afghanistan if the US military had experienced casualties similar to Iraq.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:07 PM   #149
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He wasn't an imminent threat, though. What was the problem with containing Saddam?
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:26 PM   #150
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He wasn't an imminent threat, though. What was the problem with containing Saddam?
Well, that depends how you define imninent threat, and thats also not actually the guiding factor in taking decisive military action in this particular case.

The problem with containing Saddam were the requirements of containment. 1. UN inspections and Saddam's cooperation with those inspections. 2. Sanctions. 3. Weapons Embargo 4. The bordering countries willingness to enforce sanctions and the embargo. 5. The greater international communities willingness to support sanctions and the weapons embargo. 6. Arab governments tolerance of limited and inconclusive US military action launched from bases on their land.

By the year 2000, nearly all these essential elements of containment were gone, with much of the sanctions and embargo only existing on paper and not in reality. In fact by then, the entire Syrian border was open for any type of trade, and Saddam was making Billions of dollars from it.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:30 PM   #151
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Well, that depends how you define imninent threat, and thats also not actually the guiding factor in taking decisive military action in this particular case.
It wasn't just the guiding factor, it was pretty much the only factor until they realized there were no WMDs. Then they suddenly changed the gameplan.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:37 PM   #152
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It wasn't just the guiding factor, it was pretty much the only factor until they realized there were no WMDs. Then they suddenly changed the gameplan.
The guiding factor was preventing Saddam from reconstituting the capabilities he had, both conventional and non-conventional military assets, that he had in August of 1990. The only way to insure that proved to be regime change, given the failure of the containment regime. Once the regime was removed from power, the above objective had been achieved, and the focus obviously turned to the necessary rebuilding of the country after 24 years of Saddam.
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:23 AM   #153
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Originally posted by Strongbow
You can read almost anything you want to when it comes to language. Did Jimmy's Carters statement that he was willing to use Nuclear Weapons to defend the Persian Gulf after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 mean that Jimmy Carter wanted to nuke the Soviet Union? Did Reagans comments during his administration mean he wanted to Nuke the Soviet Union? There were certainly politicians back then that attempted to make that arguement, but there was really no basis for it.
Was not alive during Carter's presidency, was just a toddler during the second term of Reagan's, so I cannot comment on those. I'd have to read up on/watch statements of theirs from those time periods to judge exactly what they said and how they said, figuring in the situation at the time as well.

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Originally posted by Strongbow
The vast majority of countries in the world do not have Nuclear Weapons and most countries are not active sponsers of terrorist organizations like Iran is, so the concern over Iran's movement towards a nuclear weapon is warrented and countries like China, the Soviet Union, Germany, France, the United States and the United Kingdom all agree on that point.
Whether the amount of countries that have nuclear weapons is a minority or a majority, the fact is that there are some countries out there, again, the U.S. included, that have them. Forgive Iran for being a bit confused as to why it's wrong for them to have the same weapons other countries are allowed to have. The U.S. has no room to be talking about who should and shouldn't be owning weapons. As for the terrorist thing, ya know, given that we're buddies with Saudi Arabia, again, we really should shut up and stop making ourselves look so hypocritical.

Quote:
Originally posted by Strongbow
I've not seen where Obama has ruled out using military force against Iran, and he even wrote a speech a while back that got the support of some people in the Neo-Conservative community.
I'd be interested to see that speech if possible. But from the stuff I've watched with him on TV, he seems to be pushing much more towards diplomacy. If he does happen to support military force, it's as an absolute LAST RESORT. But he's much more willing to try the diplomatic route first, unlike Bush, or unlike a lot of the Republican candidates out now.

Quote:
Originally posted by Strongbow
In addition, while Hillary voted to name the Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, Obama while he did not vote for the measure, did not vote against it either.
That doesn't prove what his stance is, though. Maybe he wanted to learn more about them before determining whether or not to vote them as a terrorist organization, or maybe he didn't see a point in voting on something like that.

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Originally posted by Strongbow
The Iraq conflict occupy's much of the US military's active US Army and US Marine Corp, but the US Navy and US Air Force have more than enough assets to strike Iran and a few other places as well, given that Iraq is now overwhelmingly a ground operation. In addition, the US Guard and Reserve is not fully mobilized and could be if there was a war with Iran. So it is not necessarily so, that the Bush administration or the next administration has no military options while the United States is involved in Iraq.
Don't forget, though, that we are also low on money and funding for supplies. So even if we did happen to have enough troops for Iran, they won't be properly protected, and we can't afford to send them there to begin with. Which is why it'd be really wise if we just sat this one out, at least in the military sense (in the diplomatic sense we can get involved), and cleaned up the mess in Iraq instead.

Angela
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Old 12-10-2007, 02:32 AM   #154
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It all makes sense now...
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:24 PM   #155
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Was not alive during Carter's presidency, was just a toddler during the second term of Reagan's, so I cannot comment on those. I'd have to read up on/watch statements of theirs from those time periods to judge exactly what they said and how they said, figuring in the situation at the time as well.



Whether the amount of countries that have nuclear weapons is a minority or a majority, the fact is that there are some countries out there, again, the U.S. included, that have them. Forgive Iran for being a bit confused as to why it's wrong for them to have the same weapons other countries are allowed to have. The U.S. has no room to be talking about who should and shouldn't be owning weapons. As for the terrorist thing, ya know, given that we're buddies with Saudi Arabia, again, we really should shut up and stop making ourselves look so hypocritical.



I'd be interested to see that speech if possible. But from the stuff I've watched with him on TV, he seems to be pushing much more towards diplomacy. If he does happen to support military force, it's as an absolute LAST RESORT. But he's much more willing to try the diplomatic route first, unlike Bush, or unlike a lot of the Republican candidates out now.



That doesn't prove what his stance is, though. Maybe he wanted to learn more about them before determining whether or not to vote them as a terrorist organization, or maybe he didn't see a point in voting on something like that.



Don't forget, though, that we are also low on money and funding for supplies. So even if we did happen to have enough troops for Iran, they won't be properly protected, and we can't afford to send them there to begin with. Which is why it'd be really wise if we just sat this one out, at least in the military sense (in the diplomatic sense we can get involved), and cleaned up the mess in Iraq instead.

Angela

Well, Iran did sign onto the NPT treaty and the United States as a permanent member of the Security Council has worked very hard to stop the spread of Nuclear Weapons as well as reducing its own Cold War stockpiles. Letting Iran develop nuclear weapons will only force countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey to consider doing the same. If your interested in stopping the spread of Nuclear Weapons around the world, then you should be very interested in trying to prevent rogue countries from trying to develop such weapons not simply because of the risk from such weapons in their hands, but because it forces other countries in the region to consider going the nuclear route as well.

There are 9 countries in the world today with Nuclear Weapons. The United States, France, United Kingdom, China, Russia, Pakistan, India, North Korea, and Israel(undeclared). That leaves 183 countries that have not developed nuclear weapons and in order to keep it that way, the effort must be made to keep Iran from having such weapons and as well as getting North Korea to disarm.



Here are the statements by Obama that clearly show he is not ruling out using military force against Iran:


Quote:
Throughout the Middle East, we must harness American power to reinvigorate American diplomacy. Tough-minded diplomacy, backed by the whole range of instruments of American power -- political, economic, and military -- could bring success even when dealing with long-standing adversaries such as Iran and Syria. Our policy of issuing threats and relying on intermediaries to curb Iran's nuclear program, sponsorship of terrorism, and regional aggression is failing.Although we must not rule out using military force , we should not hesitate to talk directly to Iran.

Quote:
Finally, we must develop a strong international coalition to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and eliminate North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Iran and North Korea could trigger regional arms races, creating dangerous nuclear flashpoints in the Middle East and East Asia. In confronting these threats, I will not take the military option off the table. But our first measure must be sustained, direct, and aggressive diplomacy -- the kind that the Bush administration has been unable and unwilling to use.
Here is the entire essay from Foreign Affairs whe the quotes come from:

http://www.foreignaffairs.org/200707...eadership.html

Dennis Kucinich is your man if you want someone who is completely against the use of military force in regards to Iran.


In terms of funding for the military, this is being increased, but its still only amounts to 4.5% of annual GDP. During the peacetime of the 1980s, the United States was spending 6% of its GDP on the military, so the United States could be spending a lot more on defense before it would start to show signs of serious strain. While the United States is behind in funding and replacing equipment for many military units, this can be fixed and the leading Republican and Democratic candidates have all pledged to increase defense spending in order to do this as quickly as possible. As to the situation right now, while the United States may not be able to send all of its active and reserve ground combat brigades over seas, it could still send the vast majority of them if the situation required it.
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Old 12-12-2007, 01:47 PM   #156
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Making a guarantee that military force will not be used isn't smart: you don't know what events will transpire. But Obama is not like Giuliani, considering it a viable option RIGHT NOW.
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Old 12-12-2007, 02:07 PM   #157
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Making a guarantee that military force will not be used isn't smart: you don't know what events will transpire. But Obama is not like Giuliani, considering it a viable option RIGHT NOW.

will you stop!

your nuances blur the ability to obfuscate the issue.
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:54 PM   #158
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Making a guarantee that military force will not be used isn't smart: you don't know what events will transpire. But Obama is not like Giuliani, considering it a viable option RIGHT NOW.
Obama has never said that military force should be taken off the table right now, or during the next administration. The no military force option belongs to Kucinich and Gravel.
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:56 PM   #159
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I never said he was taking it off the table...
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Old 12-12-2007, 03:59 PM   #160
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I never said he was taking it off the table...
You implied that he did not consider it a viable option "RIGHT NOW" and that is not the case. It is an option, although both he and the Bush administration prefer to use economic and diplomatic options at the current time.
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