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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-13-2007, 11:47 PM   #61
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

Surreal, a solution doesn't need to be 100% effective to be valuable.


Enough of this cicular debate. Let's watch the Democrats fix it now that they are in charge. I'm sure they will come to the rescue ...
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-14-2007, 12:06 AM   #62
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
sgeeee-- No, it is not a fair assessment--too many included absolutes.
1) The fighting in Iraq is not "keeping the war out of the US." I'd say it is "providing a location where the fanatics are choosing to fight us, and where it is more advantageous fo rus to fight them then it would be in the US."
I'm not sure I understand the difference between your statement and the one I though Bush supporters made earlier. You are saying that fighting is not "keeping the war out of the US" but that it is "providing a location where the fanatics are choosing to fight us, and where it is more advantageous for us to fight them then it would be in the US." Those sound the same to me. What am I missing?

Quote:
2) Is Germany an "occupied country" today (there are US troops there). I support continuing the effort to stabilize Iraq, but do not favor a US "occupation"--it would create precisely the type of animosity that many opponents of the present policy believe already exixts.
So you don't believe we will have to occupay Iraq like another poster suggested. How do you see our long-term relationship with them? Do you see Iraq becoming an independent democratic government like Germany because of our efforts over there? How long do you think that might take?

Quote:
I also don't believe Iraq shouldl "provide us with oil" at anything other than market rates. And, their government should be free to partner with non-US firms to do the development of the oilfields. Weapons: Iraq should be expect to live up to the agreements they have signed. We should insist that they do. As long as we are there in force, we can.
The last statement seems to imply occupation: "As long as we are there in force, we can." Do you mean this as a long term outcome of our fighting? If Iraq does become an independent democracy and chooses not to supply us with oil (at any cost) is that acceptable to you? Or would we be in a position to use those forces?






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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-14-2007, 08:42 AM   #63
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye
Good question, Brewer.

I'm not sure if all wars have provided this opportunity but it appears the Iraq war will take anyone who wants to go. There seems to be plenty of opportunities for any civilian who wants to participate and you'll even be well-compensated. There doesn't appear to be any excuse not to serve if you are in favor of what is going on over there.
The military doesn't want me, something about as long as I receive VA disability for a hiatal hernia I cannot go, and Haliburton said they did not need my skill set.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-14-2007, 09:16 AM   #64
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

Charles,
- I agree we're not producing new insights here. I'll respond to Sgeeee with a "short note" though.

Sgeeee,
- "Keeping the war out of the US" could be read to mean "our actions in Iraq are preventing the Jihadists from attacking us in the US, even if that is what they would prefer to do." My rewording makes it more clear that the present Iraqi conflct is one the jihadists are now drawn to participate in, perhaps in preference to coming to the US. The limited defense operations we have in place (everything from the TSA people to police efforts at all levels) are the only things "keeping them from coming to the US" and I think most folks agree that this is likely to be only marginally effective unless we create a police state.
- Occupation: I don't think the US can/should be the first line publc security entity in Iraq in the long term (we can't afford to have a US soldier on every corner, and even if we could, it would only breed resentment). Indigenous Iraqi police forces, under the control of an Iraqi government, needs to do that. Right now, the situation is so chaotic and the US support so tenuous (listen to the words of some legislators. Listen to the words of some leading presidential candidates) that it is an entirely rational response for the majority of Iraqis to throw their lot in with whatever militia thugs offer to protect their families and their homes (small price--"we'll need your son to come join us for a few weeks for a job killing/driving out the Sunnis/Shia in the next neighborhood"). Right now, many Iraqis know that these militias are the "big dogs", the Iraqi govt and the US have repeatedly cleared areas, then let the thugs return. Clearing an area and then establishing an effective permanent legitimate Iraqi govt presence in these neighborhoods (together with the goodies that come with that--relaible water and electricity, enforcemnt of laws, etc) will make a HUGE difference, if we can do it. Can anybodyargue that driving out militias and letting them come back is working? That's the only strategy available with the troop levels we have (if we also want to keep training the Iraqis, something that is just as important to long-term success). How long will it take? Years. If this works, the level of violence will escalate at first (as we take the fight to the militias/remaining Al Qaeda) and as they fight back. Then, violence will be reduced, but probably not much below the present levels. The turning point will come when the average Iraqi comes to believe his long-tern security interests are best served by the Iraq government, not by the militias. He'll come to this conclusion slowly, based on what happens on his street, and likley also on what he comes to believe about the US committment. In this regard, every statement from a congressman/presidential candidate calling for a US pullout lengthens the time we'll need to stay. (I am NOT arguing that these folks should be told to shut up--we need to have this open national discussion. But we also need to realize that the true cost of dissent often is not borne by the dissenter). When Abdul realizes the future of his family can best be secured by the Iraqi govt, that's when we'll get good information on who/where the bad guys are. These IEDS aren't planting themselves, and the man-in-the -street Iraqi is very aware of who is doing what in his neighborhod, which cars don't belong there, etc. When the tips start rolling in, the extremists will be on their way out. Hopefully, as progress is made, the US press will report it accurately and the US public will see reason to increasingly support the operation. Unfortunately, we now have just 2 years to reach this point before the next election, and I don't know if the US public will come to believe that they should elect a candidate who wants to win in Iraq given what they will hear in the next 18-24 months. With "failure in Iraq" seen as a road to electoral success by some candidates/organizations, I'm sure we can count on tons of negativity in the next two years--not a formula for gaining the confidence of the Iraqi populace or the US voter.
What is the goal of the terrorists conducting the attacks in Iraq? Foment ethnic hatred, discredit the Iraqi govt security services, and break the domestic will of the US to stay in the fight. Ask US troops whether they want to throw in the towel--my discussions with many indicate they do not. Some in the US who deep down want to quit te fight and cede Iraq to the thugs now couch their argument as "concern for the troops"-- I don't think they are being honest. The guys/gals in Iraq are in the military because they want to be, and they deserve to be respected as adults who have done something great for us all. If they want to see this fight through to a conclusion, that should carry some weight.

"Oil-yes, WMD-no: Despite the unfortuate shorthand of the present debate, there is absolutely no doubt that Iraq has had WMDs in the past. Saddam dumped hundreds of tons of chemical weapons (nerve agents, blood agents, blister agents) on the Iranians and his own people (the Kurds). Open press reports have repeatedly indicated the Iraqis developed biological weapons. Saddam had an ambitious program to develop nuclear weapons and delivery systems http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/iraq/nuke/program.htm. It is clear that much of this WMD-related work was dismantled/put into mothball status prior to 2003, but there is no doubt Iraq has, in the past, had the technical and financial resources needed to build these weapons. The US needs to work with the Iraqi government to ensure the programs don't re-emerge. This becomes much more difficult as Iran goes nuclear--a US security gaurantee for Iraq may be the only practical way to prevent the Iraqis from renewing their WMD program. This secuity gaurantee may require US troop presence (as it did for NATO during the Cold War). That's not an occupaton.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-14-2007, 10:11 AM   #65
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

samclem, so well put.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-14-2007, 10:34 AM   #66
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

Two comments:

- U.S. armed forces "occupying" other countries. Does anyone know how many countries are hosting U.S. troops year-round for training or treaties or other agreements? I'm not talking liberty calls but rather "You are ordered to xx country for further duty with..." I was able to come up with a dozen in just a minute. As far as I can tell we'll never be completely out of those other countries-- or out of Iraq.

- I think that Saddam Hussein was at least as surprised as Colin Powell that no WMDs could be found in Iraq...
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-14-2007, 11:52 AM   #67
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

I think the problem is that a lot of the current thinking on both "sides" of the "fence" is tactical at best.

If we leave, the bad guys will leave
If we leave, the bad guys will just stay there and kill each other
If we leave, after some considerable mess the country will stabilize and all will be well
We'll just negotiate with Iran

Two pieces of data, none having to do with Saddam, WMD's, whose fault it is or how many people have to die in what manner.

- Our economy flies straight into the ground at mach 2 without oil; most of the oil we need to operate our economy comes from rock throwing distance of iraqs borders, with a bunch more from Venezuela (who really loves us right now) and a bit from canada and mexico. As much as the libs all waved excitedly for 3 years that we only went to iraq for oil, I think that sentiment was and is true, but now isnt the time to put that argument down. We're there primarily for oil, we need it, we have no viable and implementable options, and leaving that region leaves our economy at risk. At this time the best armed military forces in the region are the people killing our troops in iraq, the iranian armed forces, and several other not particularly friendly nations. Also in the area is US friendly Saudi Arabia. Who will not remain so friendly.

- Israel; see above. Same folks that will turn off our oil spigot or raise the cost to $300/barrel are having a conference right now about whether the holocaust ever happened. Does it sound like they're up for a little light negotiations?

To say that we walk away and it all comes out great seems sweet. Not gonna happen.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-14-2007, 12:40 PM   #68
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute 'n Fuzzy Bunny
To say that we walk away and it all comes out great seems sweet. Not gonna happen.
What happens if Texas turns off the oil to California?
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-14-2007, 01:00 PM   #69
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

I dont like california that much. I'd move to mexico. I hear you get to wear really cool gigantic hats all day.

Plus if you get bored you could run across the border and work a menial job all day for peanuts.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-14-2007, 11:38 PM   #70
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

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Originally Posted by Cute 'n Fuzzy Bunny
. . .To say that we walk away and it all comes out great seems sweet. Not gonna happen.
to say that staying and doing more of the same will lead to a sweet conclusion is simply moronic. Not gonna happen.

If you don't want to stop digging the hole we're in, you are dooming us to failure witnessed by the whole world -- especially our enemies. Want to scare the bejeesus out of them? Show them you are smart enough to change strategies when the first one fails.

We will not defeat the ideas of the Islamic fundamentalists by killing Iraqis. That is a ludicrous position. So far, the more we kill, the larger their numbers grow. This is a case where our armies can win every battle and still lose the war. It may not appeal to the US redneck mentality, but sometimes a different approach than fighting-to-the-death is required.

We are not going to fight the Islam world into submission. (Have any of you done an accounting of their numbers around the world recently?) We are not going to convert them to Christianity and Democracy, but if we stop shooting them for long enough, we might be able to communicate and build a level of respect and trust. It won't be easy. It won't be without pain and setbacks. It will take time and courage and focus and, unfortunately, probably bloodshed. There will be times when we might be forced to swallow our pride -- times when we may have to turn the other cheek. It may be more difficult and more challenging than simply continuing to shoot rifles at them, but it has a better chance of working. Centuries of human experience show us this is true. It will require that the nation support our leaders who attempt this. Those who create unrest and want to fire shots at the first setback will comprimise this approach and put us all at risk.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-15-2007, 06:53 AM   #71
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

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Originally Posted by sgeeeee
Those who create unrest and want to fire shots at the first setback will comprimise this approach and put us all at risk.
Insert "give up" in place of "fire shots" and we'll be in agreement. We're at setback number one in Iraq now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
We will not defeat the ideas of the Islamic fundamentalists by killing Iraqis. That is a ludicrous position.
I agree, it is a ludicrous position, and that may be why almost nobody takes it. Again, "killing Iraqis" (i.e. improving the security for 95% of Iraqis by apprehending/killing the small number who are launching attacks against them) must be one component of a comprehensive strategy which includes working with moderate elements, economic development, etc, etc.

Example: Would anyone agree with this: "Denying individuals the freedom to live with their famlies is essential to a free society"? It sounds ludicrous. Yet, almost everyone agrees that apprehending and locking up criminals is essential to mainatining the rule of law, which is essential to a free society. So, yes, as part of a much larger framework, "denying (some) individuals the freedom to live wth their families is essential to a free society" is a true statement. Does it create more criminals--("you'll never get them all!") Yes, it undoubtedly creates criminals in the resulting broken homes. We still do it because, on balance, t works. I agree there are other elements at work in the struggle of Islamist-authoritarian vs Secular-democratic mindsets, and that's why we'll need the nonmilitary tools.

Our disgreement is fairly simple, I think. You believe that taking strong security measure in Iraq (including apprehending/killing Iraqis and other radicals who have come there) degrades the effectiveness of the other tools at our disposal (negotiaton, economic development, etc). I believe the strong security measures strengthen our ability to use the other tools.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-15-2007, 08:02 AM   #72
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

So when do we fight the Iranians?

They will use the nuke they are building we are told. Right??

They will fire it at Israel when they get it Right? They said so Right?

Then we will destroy Iran Right?

It all makes no sense.

So what we have is crazy muslims?? That thinking makes us look nuts NO?

Is Iran nothing more than a big suicide bomber??

Again it makes no sense.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-15-2007, 10:05 AM   #73
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgeeeee
to say that staying and doing more of the same will lead to a sweet conclusion is simply moronic. Not gonna happen.

Didnt take long for the name calling to start.

Sorry, I dont remember saying we should stay forever, kill iraqi's or beat the muslim world into submission.

I think I said we should have a reasonable exit strategy rather than just walk away from a country with no effective police force or army while they're literally surrounded by question mark countries who could have a fundamental effect on our economy and our politics.

We broke something that was more or less working (with obvious issues). There are serious matters at stake and we need to at least stick it out until a reasonable police force and army are in place and the issue of the iranians is settled. Maybe the focus should be less on saber rattling (or sheathing) and more on how to make our presence moot?

Call me funny, but I think its more likely that the orderly formation of indigenous peace keepers and negotiations with the iranians happens a little more smoothly with a few hundred thousand soldiers hanging around the area.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-15-2007, 10:15 AM   #74
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
Again, "killing Iraqis" (i.e. improving the security for 95% of Iraqis by apprehending/killing the small number who are launching attacks against them) must be one component of a comprehensive strategy which includes working with moderate elements, economic development, etc, etc.

You seem to be forgetting an important concept. Iraquis have pride and nationalism. It deeply disturbs them--virtually ALL of them--to see foreign troops marching in their streets. Believe me, it is far more than 5% of Iraquis that want the US out. Maybe most of them aren't taking action, but many or most would like to. Also bear in mind that the rate of gun ownership in Iraq is very high, at least under Hussein.

Imagine, for a moment, that a president took control. He shredded the consitution. He detained and tortured people (I know, it would never happen....). A friendly country (say the French...) helped us out, kicked his butt, deposed him, and liberated us from his clutches. 3 years later, they were still marching around in our streets.

so....you would be grateful to those nice French troops that were looking out for your security? Or you would be plinking at them any chance you got? Or, you'd be resentful, wish the chaos would stop, and blame them for the chaos?

The American view of Iraq tends to be so....egotistical. There are other places in the world that are proud of who they are, even if they aren't Yanks. sigh
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-15-2007, 11:38 AM   #75
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

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You seem to be forgetting an important concept. Iraquis have pride and nationalism.
Actually, things would be better if they had MORE nationalism. Right now, the problem is that many/most Iraqis think of themselves as members of their clans first; Sunnis, Shia, or Kurds second: and as citizens of Iraq somewhere way down the list.

The Kurds do not want want us to leave. If/when the US pullout looks imminent, Sunni leaders will beg us to stay if they haven't lined up another way to fend off the Shia (e.g. inviting Syria to come in).

For a preview of coming attractions, google "khmer rouge."
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-15-2007, 11:52 AM   #76
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

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Originally Posted by samclem
Insert "give up" in place of "fire shots" and we'll be in agreement. We're at setback number one in Iraq now. . .
Number 1? Some of us have counted well beyond that by now.

The main point is that the current approach has not worked and is not working. Iraq has not become more stable. Terrorists have moved into Iraq to fight US troops rather than disperse and disapear. Both Iraqi and US deaths continue unabated. Oil supplies from Iraq are not more reliable. We are losing allies rather than gaining them . . . Is there anything positive that our current approach is accomplishing?

The people who developed and directed this approach have been telling us for the past several years that no additional forces are needed. They have been telling us that their views about the Iraq invasion are not flawed, we simply need to continue to back them. Now we know that they were wrong about WMDs and about our reception in Iraq and about the cost of the effort. They were wrong about using Iraq oil to fund the effort. Now they tell us they were wrong about not needing more troops. They are saying that their view of the Iraq invasion is still correct and all we need to do is trust them and send more troops.

It occurs to me that maybe their views about Iraq that led to this approach are not an accurate view of the situation? Maybe we need to re-examine the assumptions that led to this costly and unsuccessful invasion.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-16-2007, 10:16 AM   #77
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

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Originally Posted by samclem
Actually, things would be better if they had MORE nationalism. Right now, the problem is that many/most Iraqis think of themselves as members of their clans first; Sunnis, Shia, or Kurds second: and as citizens of Iraq somewhere way down the list.
they may hate each other's clans, but they hate invading Yanks more. It's probably about the only thing they agree on.
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-16-2007, 01:03 PM   #78
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

Quote:
Originally Posted by bosco
they may hate each other's clans, but they hate invading Yanks more.
That's not my impression. Maybe a year ago, but right now I gather that the
miltants are far more interested in harming their Sunni or Shiite enemies than
in harming US troops. (Partially that may be because it's a lot more dangerous
to attack US troops). So we are essentially baby-sitting a religious civil war.
And, according to the argument that it'd be a huge mistake to leave, we are
keeping a lid on that civil war.

The other argument, espoused to me by a air-travel seat-mate, back from a tour
lcoating and defusing IEDs in Baghdad, is that the Iraqis simply aren't going to
get their sh*t together until we force them to by withdrawing. He suggests
an ultimatum that we're gonna be gone by Jan 2008. (He said that a sizable
fraction, but by no means a majority, of his fellows would agree with him, the
remainder being mostly "rah rah USA" types).

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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-16-2007, 01:22 PM   #79
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

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As much as the libs all waved excitedly for 3 years that we only went to iraq for oil, I think that sentiment was and is true, but now isnt the time to put that argument down. We're there primarily for oil, we need it, we have no viable and implementable options, and leaving that region leaves our economy at risk.
Super -- we are a nation of thieves and murderers who will take anything we want any time we want it.

And we wonder why they're pissed...

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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush
Old 01-16-2007, 10:33 PM   #80
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Re: The speech - "The New Way Forward "--by President Bush

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Originally Posted by Cute 'n Fuzzy Bunny
- Our economy flies straight into the ground at mach 2 without oil; most of the oil we need to operate our economy comes from rock throwing distance of iraqs borders,
Well, a *lot* of the oil we use comes from the mid-east, but not most of it:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/pgulf.html



Yes, 20% would be a big, big deal. But, with a little planning from both parties over the past 20 years, we certainly could have conserved that much, or found alternate sources.

EDIT: That is ~ 20% of the *imported oil*. Only about 12% of our total oil usage.

Quote:
Overall, the Persian Gulf accounted for about 22% of U.S. net oil imports, and 12% of U.S. oil demand, in 2003.
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