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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-13-2007, 08:15 PM   #21
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Here is a letter to the editor I am working on. It is my attempt to answer the question.

Seven score and 4 years ago our nation was engaged in a great civil war, testing our national will. Much like today, a war of words was also waged between those who declared the war lost and demanded an immediate peace and those grimly determined to persevere in order to achieve victory for freedom.

The rhetoric of the 1864 Democratic platform, sounds at bit more elevated than "impeach Bush" and "bring the troops home now" but the sentiment is same.
Resolved, That this convention does explicitly declare, as the sense of the American people, that after four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war, during which, under the pretense of a military necessity of war-power higher than the Constitution, the Constitution itself has been disregarded in every part, and public liberty and private right alike trodden down, and the material prosperity of the country essentially impaired, justice, humanity, liberty, and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities, with a view of an ultimate convention of the States, or other peaceable means, to the end that, at the earliest practicable moment, peace may be restored on the basis of the Federal Union of the States.

The rest of the 1864 platform ( http://tinyurl.com/2t86ey ) could be nicely summarized as " support our troops but no more blood for blacks"

Sadly George W Bush is not Abraham Lincoln. However, if one looks at the catastrophic military blunders made by the North in the beginning of the Civil War and the vicious attacks on Lincoln by his opponents and the media they don't look so different.. Now some may protest that comparing the Iraq war to the Civil war is unfair. Still the US has 100+ year history of military intervention in other countries civil wars including in Russia, China, Latin America, the Middle East, and of course most recently, in Korea, Vietnam, and the Balkans. Unfortunately, we are not always successful in our intervention. However, when we fail (as in Vietnam) or fail to intervene (as in Darfur), the consequence are bad for America and catastrophic for the other country.

Our fathers and grandfathers war in Korea is good example of our intervention in a civil war. Korea, like Iraq was a war of choice, the stated reasons we went to war was prevent the spread of communism, but keeping the fledging South Korean democracy from being replaced by tyrannical regime was also important. Now with perfect hindsight Communism (like WMD) were probably not as big of threat to our security as we were lead to believe. So on one level the chant (pick your President) lied and people died is correct. However, what war protester of the American civil war, Korean, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq war turn a blind eye is that regimes we were/are fighting against are truly horrific. Slavery in the south, Vietnamese reeducation camps, Pol Pot's killing fields, Milosevic's ethnic cleansing, the Taliban's stonings in the soccer stadium, Saddam's raping and gassing, Kim Jong Il and his dad's concentration camps and state famine are all examples of the evil we are really fighting.. These victims are not counting by the thousands like our war dead but by the millions and tens of millions. Our success in unpopular wars, has prevented millions of more victims, our failures (and failures to act) have emboldens the regimes to commit unimaginable atrocities. One only has to look at the prosperity of South Korea, and the hellish conditions of North Korea, to get an idea of the good America can do in a civil war, and the consequence when we aren't totally victorious.

President Kennedy said "Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty." JFK, was wrong we will not pay any price for other people's liberty. For instance, In the cold war, we would not risk a full scale war with Russia or China to help a country they invaded. But just because we will not pay "ANY" price doesn't mean we should be willing to pay SOME price. The table below shows a couple examples of the burden America has being willing to bear for "liberty".


Total Deaths Deaths Per Millions Freed People Liberated
Million Americans per American Death
Civil War (Union) 350,000 15,975 3.9 11
Korean War 33,651 224 20.3 603
Iraq War 3384 11 26.8 7920

I am guessing few Civil War moms were willing to sacrifice their son's lives to free eleven slaves (Especially because few white people felt Negroes were capable of handling freedom and democracy' sound familiar?). However, looking back aren't we glad they did? Almost all American's understand that removing Saddam regime was a great victory for liberty, when Saddam was executed he took with the infamous title,of "World #1 living killer". We also know that Iraq in anarchy, or controlled by clerics close to Iran, or by Al-Qaeda are all bad for the US and even worse for the long suffering people of Iraq . Those who declare this war un-winnable are ignoring the long and generally successful role that the US and our British allies have had in gradually bring stability to unstable situations. Iraq is not a football game and we are not in the fourth quarter. It is more like climbing a mountain, after discovering our first trail has been closed due to a rock slide. We have the best mountain climbers in world in our armed services and a new and very capable guide. The generations before us have climbed higher mountains, and under far worse conditions, we need to keep going.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-13-2007, 08:40 PM   #22
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

clifp.
That's some great sentiment there, well put. Send that letter in!

mathjak,
The US is not a democracy either, thank goodness. The founding fathers were too smart for that.
Turkey is the best exampe we can hope for of a nation with a majority Muslim population that respects individual rights and has a secular government. To make this happen, Ataturk had to trample on popular sentiment. Even today, Muslims there have less freedom to bring religion into the public life than they do in America (for example, it is illegal in Turkey for woment o wear head scarves into government buildings). This sounds incredible to us in the US, but if these "over-the-top" measures had not been put into place by Ataturk, Turkey would be as backward today as Saudi Arabia is.
In sum, if Turkey had been established as a "pure" democracy (which always fail inpractice), the people would have voted in a Muslim cleric as their leader and as their legislators--and the laws they would have put into place would have assured Turkey was not a democracy anymore.



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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-13-2007, 08:48 PM   #23
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Nope...in fact there are NO "true" democracy's in the world.

The US is in essence an imperial republic.

Anything even close to a "true" democracy would probably fly apart or be invaded in about 3 minutes.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-13-2007, 08:54 PM   #24
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

I think what galls us it that the Iraq war is a case of bait and switch.

If we hadn't been told the truth I don't think we would have gone to war. Americans don't like liars.

Second, the administration didn't execute the mission. A fiasco.

A liar, an incompetent, or both.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-13-2007, 08:58 PM   #25
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Yeah, used to be the republicans were scumbags but had good execution. The dems were nice folks with lousy execution of good ideas.

Now its tough to pick out whats what.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-13-2007, 09:01 PM   #26
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Yup, and I bet both are going to promise to lower our taxes again during the next presidential run.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-13-2007, 09:20 PM   #27
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Beside Turkey, several other Muslim countries in the region have had periods where they actually had real elections and real elected leaders. Lebanon before 1975 and just recently, Egypt during some of Sadat's rule, Pakistan, even Kuwait has a reasonably powerful legislative body. (Ironically, the Kuwait Parliament voted to over turn the Amir decree giving woman the right to vote). Indonesia, the most populus Muslim country is also democratic.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-13-2007, 09:27 PM   #28
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp
Here is a letter to the editor I am working on. It is my attempt to answer the question.

"liberty".


Total Deaths Deaths Per Millions Freed People Liberated
Million Americans per American Death
Civil War (Union) 350,000 15,975 3.9 11
Korean War 33,651 224 20.3 603
Iraq War 3384 11 26.8 7920


Sorry, but something about your scoreboard turns me off.
You might want to be careful where you spin that stuff.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-13-2007, 10:28 PM   #29
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

per cnn

http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2003/ira...es/casualties/


There have been 3,658 coalition deaths -- 3,385 Americans, two Australians, 148 Britons, 13 Bulgarians, six Danes, two Dutch, two Estonians, one Fijian, one Hungarian, 32 Italians, one Kazakh, three Latvian, 19 Poles, two Romanians, five Salvadoran, four Slovaks, 11 Spaniards, two Thai and 18 Ukrainians -- in the war in Iraq as of May 11, 2007, according to a CNN count

try to tell one of these parents or spouses that their loved ones death was worth it. If you can do that also post it here. I am curious.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 01:08 AM   #30
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

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Originally Posted by savedapile
try to tell one of these parents or spouses that their loved ones death was worth it. If you can do that also post it here. I am curious.
What sort of letter would the platoon leader or the CO be expected to write? One that kvetched about being little bitty cogs of the machine, or one that said their loved one died while pursuing a goal that they deemed worthwhile? The instructors don't hand out the boilerplate CDs at infantry officer's school.

Ever wonder what kept the Civil War's Confederate troops going during Pickett's charge? There's not enough testosterone in the world to account for such an apparently useless and ultimately futile gesture. It wasn't their desire to assert their state's rights or to preserve the plantation way of life or their profitable share of the cotton market. It wasn't to oppress the enslaved or to avenge the Union's atrocities, either. The troops certainly didn't have Lee or Longstreet's overall view of the battle strategy and their tactical execution of that part of it. In fact they were missing quite a few crucial elements of the big picture.

A number of historians claim that what kept them going was family & camaraderie. They were marching alongside their brothers or their cousins or their uncles or other kin. They were thinking of how their families would feel about their upholding the family's reputation & honor, or they were thinking about watching their buddy's back.

But essentially they thought it was their job to put themselves in harm's way to take care of someone else, and ultimately to protect their own families.

Nearly 144 years later, I don't think much has changed.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 01:09 AM   #31
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107
in order to be a true muslim you must follow the koran. from what i have had read to me from the koran, democracy can't exist following what is written. there is more to democracy than elections. human rights, tolerance of others, womens rights etc it all goes against whats written. . these things make up a true democracy.

since we're into uneducated prejudice, how about

In order to be a true christian, you must follow the bible. from what i have had read to me from the bible, democracy can't exist following what is written. there is more to democracy than (rigged) elections. human rights (as in not torturing), tolerance of others, women's rights etc. it all goes against whats written. these things make up a true democracy.

having read both the bible and the koran (and believing neither), I find them similar, especially the old testament and the koran. Anybody that believes word for word, in either of those books, is going to have trouble with democracy. But literal interpretation isn't necessary, and both Christians and Muslims are capable of establishing and maintaining democratic institutions.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 01:15 AM   #32
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

and as for the original question about why we're in Iraq, the best explanation I've heard is that is was to secure the oil as a resource denial ploy against China. US doesn't need the oil, but wants to make sure China doesn't get it. I first heard this theory from the Stratfor company but it makes sense.

Why we obviously AREN'T there is WMDs, democracy, and just about any other lie that came out of Bush's mouth.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 03:13 AM   #33
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
Turkey is the best exampe we can hope for of a nation with a majority Muslim population that respects individual rights and has a secular government.
Except for the military coups once a decade, it's a shining beacon of Democracy in action.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 03:21 AM   #34
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp
Here is a letter to the editor I am working on. It is my attempt to answer the question.

Seven score and 4 years ago our nation was engaged in a great civil war, testing our national will. Much like today, a war of words was also waged between those who declared the war lost and demanded an immediate peace and those grimly determined to persevere in order to achieve victory for freedom.
You're comparing the United States Civil War to the Iraq war? This is a joke, right?
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 06:16 AM   #35
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

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You're comparing the United States Civil War to the Iraq war? This is a joke, right?

I am comparing the sacrifice American have made to free the slaves to those we have made to liberate Iraq. Now obviously there are many differences. But the Civil war like the majority of the US war had national security component (secession) and moral component (abolishing slavery) The opinion of almost all whites of the day (even Lincoln himself according to Goodwin latest book Team of Rivals) that blacks were capable of handling freedom and democracy, was about on par with the "Muslim countries can't have a democracy" elitist crap I'm reading here.

There existed a huge anti-war movement, complete with draft riots, President Lincoln was extraordinarily unpopular, and considered by many even in his own cabinet, to be an unsophisticated monkey. (No I am not comparing Lincoln to Bush, just pointing out the passion generated.)

I certainly do think it is valid to compare situation to places where have intervened in Post WWII civil wars like Korea, Lebannon (twice), Vietnam, and Kosovo.
Why do you think it is joke?

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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 06:23 AM   #36
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Quote:
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Except for the military coups once a decade, it's a shining beacon of Democracy in action.
If you eliminate any country that has experienced a coup from being a democracy, I think you are pretty much down to the US, Britain, Canada and few commonwealth countries, Switzerland, Sweden and few others, you certainly eliminate France, Germany, Japan and anybody in South America..

The last coup in Turkey was 1980, but I guess your definition of a decade is a flexible.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 09:52 AM   #37
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp

I am comparing the sacrifice American have made to free the slaves to those we have made to liberate Iraq. Now obviously there are many differences. But the Civil war like the majority of the US war had national security component (secession) and moral component (abolishing slavery) The opinion of almost all whites of the day (even Lincoln himself according to Goodwin latest book Team of Rivals) that blacks were capable of handling freedom and democracy, was about on par with the "Muslim countries can't have a democracy" elitist crap I'm reading here.


Why do you think it is joke?

puleeze!! The US Civil war, at least according to the history I was taught, was not fought to free slaves. It was fought over the balance of power between slave and non-slave states. Ultimately, it was fought over whether or not a state had the right to secede. Nobody was going to kill millions of whites in the 1860s to free a bunch of slaves. It wasn't what the war was about, and the war could never have been sold to the public on that basis.

I find this ironic--a nation that ballyhoos 'freedom' left and right (is there anything--anything at all that the US can't reduce to a marketing slogan?) killing millions to maintain a mafioso princicple of "once you're in, you're in for life." After the carnage, revisionists rewrote the history books to make it a war to 'free the slaves.' In fact, the emancipation proclamation was made as an attempt to strike an economic blow against the south.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp
If you eliminate any country that has experienced a coup from being a democracy, I think you are pretty much down to the US, Britain, Canada and few commonwealth countries, Switzerland, Sweden and few others, you certainly eliminate France, Germany, Japan and anybody in South America..
in the US, you have to go clear back to 1963 for a coup....

The Iraq War, on the other hand, is a resource grab and act of unmitigated imperialism.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 10:22 AM   #38
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Quote:
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The Iraq War, on the other hand, is a resource grab and act of unmitigated imperialism.
I think that you give W and Company too much credit. If it was a resource grab, you would think that they would have arranged it so gas would be below a dollar a gallon.
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 10:23 AM   #39
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
since we're into uneducated prejudice, how about


Is there any other kind?
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?
Old 05-14-2007, 10:33 AM   #40
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Re: Can someone remind me why we're in Iraq?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bssc
If it was a resource grab, you would think that they would have arranged it so gas would be below a dollar a gallon.
Heres the thing.

Who exactly would that benefit?

Nobody except the average josephine. On the other hand a lot of people are making some pretty good money in the oil biz these days. And a whole lot of people from this administration will be working for them in a couple of years, if they arent already.

Not that theres anything wrong with that.

In any case, in answer to cube rats original question (and how they heck can a young babe have a son old enough to be a soldier?)...

The primary concern is the proximity of radical nutjobs to the greater middle easts oil supply and Israel. Saddam was a fine buffer, disallowing radical religion and terrorists in general within his sphere of influence. Due to a number of issues, including his invasion of kuwait, and the politics thereafter...he wasnt really able to defend his own country.

In his absence, and without institution of a better buffer, its plausible that radical religious elements would seize much of the regions oil supply, lean on saudi arabia to fall in line, and start pushing the israeli's into the ocean. In that scenario, we end up going to war, its a much larger one, with possibility of nuclear exchange since the nutjobs dont have as much restraint as the soviets or chinese have. In fact, they'd like to die, en masse, and take us with them.

So the decision was made to insert US troops early, prop up iraq until such time as they can once again stand alone in a manner compatible with our meddling influence and hopefully avert a larger regional affair of likely greater consequences.

Unfortunately, the administration didnt want to tell the public "we're going in there to prop up our oil interests and political interests because we fracked around with saddam so long he cant hold up his own country anymore", so they made up a bunch of BS 9/11 stuff and WMD stuff, which let them get their foot in the door.

All that having been said, we walk away now and we've essentially accomplished nothing. In fact, we may easily accelerate the very process we wanted to avoid.

But theres no public sentiment to do otherwise.

I know this viewpoint is oft pooh-poohed. I suppose we'll know in time. Within 5 years either Iraq will work things out and resume their buffer role, the nutcases will take over but we'll successfully negotiate a reasonable peace, or we'll be engaged in world war III with tens or hundreds of thousands of casualties.

We'll see.
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