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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-22-2007, 09:15 PM   #21
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq


Well, it is tough to criticize the Brits on this one. Yes, it would be best if they shifted to where the security challenges are greater, but Tony Blair has paid a huge political price already for doing the right thing. The British have been good allies, and they have not announced any plans for a complete withdrawal.

Tony Blair gave an outstanding interview today on BBC (link below to the page with some of the quotes--the audio of the interview itself is also linked to that page). He was under intense, intelligent questioning by a none-too-friendly interviewer. Like him or not, Blair is an impressive communicator--his responses to these questions were more well-reasoned and clearer than the prepared speeches of many leaders (without naming names) . . .
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/6385647.stm
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-22-2007, 09:41 PM   #22
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

I'm imagining that the guy who signed up for the national guard thats about to take his third tour of duty feels very much in control and not at all helpless. Having also a very good recollection of my life, I was a boy who had very little idea as to what he was doing until I was 24 or so. Then I was no longer a boy.




whoops...oh yeah...this is sarcasm...
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-22-2007, 09:42 PM   #23
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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. . . Not that this sentiment would apply to Halliburton and et al in any qay.
Nah. That wouldn't happen.
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-22-2007, 09:50 PM   #24
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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Originally Posted by USK Coastie
I wouder how some members of this forum will react when their portfolios tank due to terroist activity within our borders? Will those same people who decry our involvement now demand something be done to protect the US?
Cheney? Is that you?!?

I have a sibling over there for tour #2. He's doing his duty - he did sign up for it, after all - but he thinks it's a crock of ****.

Any of the war hawks here want to take his place?

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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-22-2007, 11:13 PM   #25
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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Any of the war hawks here want to take his place?
Doonesbury from last year addressed this, start at http://www.doonesbury.com/strip/dail..._date=20061120 and go a couple of days
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 12:50 AM   #26
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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Originally Posted by USK Coastie

I wouder how some members of this forum will react when their portfolios tank due to terroist activity within our borders? Will those same people who decry our involvement now demand something be done to protect the US?
Oh good! Somebody finally found a shred of evidence that Iraq had something to do with terrorism! Care to share the evidence with us? Or is it just more tired BS? Or maybe you found the WMDs?

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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 01:03 AM   #27
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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Oh good! Somebody finally found a shred of evidence that Iraq had something to do with terrorism! Care to share the evidence with us? Or is it just more tired BS? Or maybe you found the WMDs?
WMD are passe. No one mentions finding Saddam anymore. And forget terrorism. The latest catchphrase is that we are helping build democracy in Iraq. I was told this by one of my cow-orkers. Iraq will become a bright shining beacon in the Middle East for all freedom loving peoples. It is just going to take a while.
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 07:27 AM   #28
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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Oh good! Somebody finally found a shred of evidence that Iraq had something to do with terrorism!
There's a lot of (deliberate?) blurring of the very important pre-invasion/post invasion terrorist situation. Pre-invasion: It is now evident (at least according to open press reports) that there was only limited support by Saddam for Sunni extremists. Post invasion: Iraq is a major battleground against Sunni extremists. They have come there to fight in the Jihad. Now, you can argue that maybe they wouldn't have joined the fight at all if there weren't an American presence there (umm, just like they pretty much left us alone before the invasion, except for that little 9/11 thing), but it is ludicrous to say there's no present connection between Iraq and terrorism. We're killing a lot of them there. And, if they want to engage us, I'd like them to do it there rather than here.

If you have a basement, it's nice to have a sump where all the water drains so it can be pumped out. It's less effective to go around the floor dabbing with a towel.
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 09:43 AM   #29
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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(umm, just like they pretty much left s alone before the invasion, except for that little 9/11 thing)
It was my understanding that the 9/11 thing had nothing to do with the Iraqi Sunnis, most of the people involved were Saudis. At the time, the Iraqi Sunnis were running the country, oppressing the Kurds and the Shiites. This is why we attacked Afghanistan first. Of course, the Muslim elements there had been supported by the CIA in their quest to kick the Soviets out of their country.
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 09:49 AM   #30
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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Cheney? Is that you?!?

I have a sibling over there for tour #2. He's doing his duty - he did sign up for it, after all - but he thinks it's a crock of ****.

Any of the war hawks here want to take his place?
I would be there in a hot second, but the military says I can't do the job I was trained for because I have heartburn. Yes, I did fight the system going to the extent of writing Congress critters while the military was have difficulty recruiting enough members. The part that really pi$$es me off is just before I got out I had passed a physical to go to flight training. I did require a waiver, but I was medically cleared to go to the training. Now I can't even pass the less stringent physical to go back in the reserves. Oh yea the contractors over there decided they did not need my expertise, either, I did apply.

Modified to add: All of this occured the spring of 2003.
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 10:23 AM   #31
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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Originally Posted by samclem
There's a lot of (deliberate?) blurring of the very important pre-invasion/post invasion terrorist situation. Pre-invasion: It is now evident (at least according to open press reports) that there was only limited support by Saddam for Sunni extremists. Post invasion: Iraq is a major battleground against Sunni extremists. They have come there to fight in the Jihad. Now, you can argue that maybe they wouldn't have joined the fight at all if there weren't an American presence there (umm, just like they pretty much left us alone before the invasion, except for that little 9/11 thing), but it is ludicrous to say there's no present connection between Iraq and terrorism. We're killing a lot of them there. And, if they want to engage us, I'd like them to do it there rather than here.

If you have a basement, it's nice to have a sump where all the water drains so it can be pumped out. It's less effective to go around the floor dabbing with a towel.
This is one of the most absurd arguments and it gets repeated a lot. "If we don't fight them there, they'll come here."

The flaw in this argument is that it implicitly ignores that American adventures overseas radicalize and therefore create extremists. Every person killed has brothers, cousins, friends. America is creating the people she then needs to kill. I'm not saying there weren't terrorists before. But there are a lot more know. Bush is the best recruitment tool they've ever had. Samclem, you are intelligent enough to know that Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, so why throw out that red herring?

To show the absurdity of this argument, consider the other side using it. It was necessary for them to attack the twin towers to "bring the fight to the infidels." Otherwise their attacks on Afghanistan would have been even more brutal. The evidence shows that Bush already had plans to attack Iraq. After all, Saddam "tried to kill his daddy."

If I were Islamic, the most rational explanation to me would be that it is just another round of the Crusades. It does, in large part, seem to be religiously motivated. Personally, I wish religious zealots of all stripes would stick to killing each other and leave the rest of us out of it.
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 10:42 AM   #32
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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It was my understanding that the 9/11 thing had nothing to do with the Iraqi Sunnis, most of the people involved were Saudis. At the time, the Iraqi Sunnis were running the country, oppressing the Kurds and the Shiites. This is why we attacked Afghanistan first. Of course, the Muslim elements there had been supported by the CIA in their quest to kick the Soviets out of their country.
bssc,
Right, that's about as I'd characterize the situation as it existed before 9/11 and before the US invasion of Iraq. Today in Iraq we have, (according to what I read in the press) basically two wars going on, though they are not entirely separate.
-- One "war" is a struggle between Sunni militias (including some elements of the former Iraqi Army and security aparatus) and the Shia militias. These groups are fighting for control of the country. They are performing "ethnic cleansing in the mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad to establish relatively "pure" enclaves from which they can expand their control of the city and it's environs. These groups are largely killing each other's innocent citizens. The goal of the legitimate, elected Iraqi government is to reign these groups in (partially through direct conftrontation, but more fundamentally by undrmining ther support among the people). This is what the increase in US troops is meant to accomplish--to help the Iraqi security forces clear and hold neighborhoods so the thugs cant re-establish themselves. By increasing the troops count, we can contine with other important mssions (esp training the Iraqi Army and security elements, prviding security for the infrastructure rebuilding, etc)
-- War two is being fought primarily by foreign jihadists against the western presence in Iraq. They come there to fight and be martyrs. I think it is reasonable assume that many of the fighters going to Iraq would instead be coming to to the US if the higher profile Jihad in Iraq were not going on. The US shares the goal of helping them attain martyrdom--and I think we are sending a lot to their final reward. These foreign fighters have also attacked Iraqi government forces and facilities--they do not want to see the establishment of an effective government that respects individual rights. They want a theocracy. They are overwhelmingly Sunnis, and the violence and unrest they cause actually helps both parties in "Shia/Sunni" war by tying up the US/Iraqi government forces and thereby reducing their abilty to quell "war one."

Yes, it is complicated and doesn't fit well on a bumper sticker. Still, compared to the scale of other problems the US and allies have successfully solved, it is entirely do-able. Unless we quit and decide to leave the problem for our kids.

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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 10:53 AM   #33
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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Personally, I wish religious zealots of all stripes would stick to killing each other and leave the rest of us out of it.
Hear, Hear!! Something we agree on 100%.

To sidetrack a little, a major probem is that Islam (even moderate Islam) is fairly clear on the requirement for Muslims to do everything possibe, including the expected use of the government, to enforce Islamic law for everyone who lives in the society. Thus, a secular government with freedom for all to worship (or not) as they please is a very hard sell (though it has been achieved to varying degrees in some Islamc countries). Christian doctrine, as it is practiced in the West, allows for this separation of government functions and religious ones. This was the great gift of the Enlightenment (together with the recognition of the supreme value of reason/scientific method rather than divine revelation in discerning facts about the universe). As many have pointed out, Islam has not had their Enlightenment, maybe they never will.
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 11:22 AM   #34
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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To show the absurdity of this argument, consider the other side using it. It was necessary for them to attack the twin towers to "bring the fight to the infidels." Otherwise their attacks on Afghanistan would have been even more brutal. The evidence shows that Bush already had plans to attack Iraq. After all, Saddam "tried to kill his daddy."
One small problem with this logic is Al Qaeda attacked us first. Iraq attacked Kuwait first. If it wasn't for those attacks we would not have done anything. We attacked Afghanistan after Al Qaeda attacked us, because it was allowing bin Laden to live freely within it's borders and train future terrorists.

As far as the evidence for the invasion plan goes, well duh, we were at war with them. We have invasion plans for most countries, even our allies. Not that we have any desire to invade our allies, but if they are invaded by some currently unseen enemy we need to be able to assist. As is trained to almost any new ground defender, figure out how to attack an area and you will be able to defend it much more easily.
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 06:43 PM   #35
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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This is one of the most absurd arguments and it gets repeated a lot. "If we don't fight them there, they'll come here."
You know that because we didn't win in Vietnam, that the Communists took over Colorado. I saw it in the movie "Red Dawn."
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 07:20 PM   #36
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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One small problem with this logic is Al Qaeda attacked us first. Iraq attacked Kuwait first. If it wasn't for those attacks we would not have done anything. We attacked Afghanistan after Al Qaeda attacked us, because it was allowing bin Laden to live freely within it's borders and train future terrorists.

As far as the evidence for the invasion plan goes, well duh, we were at war with them. We have invasion plans for most countries, even our allies. Not that we have any desire to invade our allies, but if they are invaded by some currently unseen enemy we need to be able to assist. As is trained to almost any new ground defender, figure out how to attack an area and you will be able to defend it much more easily.
I have no problem with the invasion of Afghanistan (although the lack of follow-up is troubling). But let's remember who made Bin Laden who he is today. He was trained as a junkyard dog to bite the Russians in the butt. Oops--then he turned on his former masters.

None of which had anything to do with Iraq, invasion plans or not. Again, what has happened in Iraq has been a huge recruitment tool for fanatics.
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 07:28 PM   #37
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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You know that because we didn't win in Vietnam, that the Communists took over Colorado. I saw it in the movie "Red Dawn."
Does this have anything to do with why Brewer is considering moving to Denver? Brewer, are you a communist
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 07:31 PM   #38
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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Hear, Hear!! Something we agree on 100%.

To sidetrack a little, a major probem is that Islam (even moderate Islam) is fairly clear on the requirement for Muslims to do everything possibe, including the expected use of the government, to enforce Islamic law for everyone who lives in the society. Thus, a secular government with freedom for all to worship (or not) as they please is a very hard sell (though it has been achieved to varying degrees in some Islamc countries). Christian doctrine, as it is practiced in the West, allows for this separation of government functions and religious ones. This was the great gift of the Enlightenment (together with the recognition of the supreme value of reason/scientific method rather than divine revelation in discerning facts about the universe). As many have pointed out, Islam has not had their Enlightenment, maybe they never will.
Yes, we do seem to have a major point of agreement.

Islam is much like Christianity. You can find what you want in the Koran just as there is lots of absurd nonsense in the Bible interspersed with the incredible stories and wisdom. The trick is to sort it out. Quite a trick, IMO. As for Christian doctrine allowing separation of values--yes, doctrine allows it. Unfortunately, this separation seems to be practiced less and less, at least in the US. Faith-based programs, all the God-talk during campaigns, proposed constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage on religious grounds. There is not a lot of tolerance in this society. Certainly more than in Islamic, but less than I'd like to see. When's the last time you heard a political candidate profess to be an atheist? If there were truly separation in the hearts and mind of the public, such an admission wouldn't be the kiss of death to a candidate.

Let's not forget who preserved western knowledge, libraries etc. through the dark ages--Islamic culture. Were it not for Islamic universities and libraries, the Renaissance, much less the Enlightenment, would have never happened.

Irrationality in beliefs scares me in any form once it's elevated to governmental or policy level. On a personal level--well, we all have it.
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-23-2007, 07:54 PM   #39
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

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Right, that's about as I'd characterize the situation as it existed before 9/11 and before the US invasion of Iraq. Today in Iraq we have, (according to what I read in the press) basically two wars going on, though they are not entirely separate.
I can't disagree with you there, by toppling Saddam and disbanding the army, the US created a power vacuum that many contenders are trying to fill.

Quote:
-- One "war" is a struggle between Sunni militias (including some elements of the former Iraqi Army and security aparatus) and the Shia militias. These groups are fighting for control of the country. They are performing "ethnic cleansing in the mixed neighborhoods in Baghdad to establish relatively "pure" enclaves from which they can expand their control of the city and it's environs. These groups are largely killing each other's innocent citizens.
No argument here. The place is beginning to look a lot like the former Yugoslavia.

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The goal of the legitimate, elected Iraqi government is to reign these groups in (partially through direct conftrontation, but more fundamentally by undrmining ther support among the people).
While that is the official line, many of the Sunnis do not see the Maliki government as being legitimate. Of course, this view was not helped by the death of the Sunni student leader Salahaddin who protested the elections nor Maliki's recent comments calling the Shiite policemen accused of raping Sunni women were falsely accused and should be honored. Both the Sunni and the Kurds see the reigning in of their power just another step on the road to Shiite dominance and genocide, especially since Maliki has shown no interest in reigning in the al-Sadr militias, who are his political supporters.

Quote:
This is what the increase in US troops is meant to accomplish--to help the Iraqi security forces clear and hold neighborhoods so the thugs cant re-establish themselves. By increasing the troops count, we can contine with other important mssions (esp training the Iraqi Army and security elements, prviding security for the infrastructure rebuilding, etc)
It will be interesting to see if the Iraqi army can ever fight on their own without US troops. From what I have read, a lot of the thugs that the US Army is trying to fight are in the Iraqi army.

Quote:
-- War two is being fought primarily by foreign jihadists against the western presence in Iraq. They come there to fight and be martyrs. I think it is reasonable assume that many of the fighters going to Iraq would instead be coming to to the US if the higher profile Jihad in Iraq were not going on.
I would have to disagree on that point. With the exception of the WTC, most of al-Qaeda's attacks have been on local targets such as the US Embassies as well as US shipping. There are also a lot of al Qaeda activity in Kashmir, Chechnya and Somalia, areas where there is a strong fundamentalist population for them to hide amongst.

I think that the biggest consequence of attacking Iraq was that it allowed Osama bin-Laden to get away. If those 120,000 troops were in Afghanistan in addition to the 27,000 already there, I believe that we would have caught him, along with Mohammed Omar. I would have no objection if those 120,000 troops in Iraq were pulled out and sent to Afghanistan to finish the job. No one seems to remember that they were the ones behind 9/11, not Saddam.

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Yes, it is complicated and doesn't fit well on a bumper sticker. Still, compared to the scale of other problems the US and allies have successfully solved, it is entirely do-able. Unless we quit and decide to leave the problem for our kids.
I don't think that we have solved too many problems. Iraqis are longing for the good old days of Saddam where there was at least cheap oil. Reporters and congress entities no longer venture outside the Green Zone without armed escorts. Rajiv Chandrasekaran noted that many of the sources for his book Imperial Life in the Emerald City were Bush loyalist disillusioned with the reality of Iraq.

I think that we can quit since we are the problem. We definitely are not part of the solution. Chandrasekaran noted the Shiite see the US Army as a "useful tool to whack Sunnis while they settle differences within the Shiite community and consolidate their hold on the country. " Ideally, Iraq will split into three countries or federated states. But given history as a guide, the US is only postponing the inevitable.

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Re: British pulling out of Iraq
Old 02-24-2007, 10:04 AM   #40
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Re: British pulling out of Iraq

heard an interesting analysis on PBS last night--Shields and Brooks

British forces are not required in Basra anymore because there is no civil unrest there. It's all Shiite. It's not a battleground like Baghdad.

Having troops there is like sending the national guard into Fargo, North Dakota during the civil rights unrest. They weren't needed because it was all-white.
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