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Postby Cleveland Steamers » Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:25 pm

What would allow the U.S. to claim victory in Iraq? Bush continually says that the Democrats don't know how to "win" a war but how do you win a war that isn't winnable? Everything we set out to do has been done. Currently Iraq is in a civil war. This is a war that has American's dying daily but why? Why are we still there when no one understands why we're there in the first place? What are we really doing in Iraq that has cause for us staying and spending billions of dollars (more debt attributed to the U.S. in Bush's time than in any other President's history, even acccouting for inflation) and having soldiers lose lives daily? What can we accomplish? We have removed the immediate threat of Saddam, set up a democracy, held an election (3 really), and brought millions of Iraqis to the polls. Why dont they vote on our occupation of Iraq? If the Iraqis want us there and think we are actually helping the situation then ok but I'm 99% sure that the Iraqi civilians want the U.S. out, and I agree.
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Postby Madison » Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:54 pm

AcidRock23 wrote:Again, if the WMD and other 'stories' were 'needed' to get people on board the invasion, that is still not really the sort of leadership we should expect in a president.

WHY wouldn't they just give us the real reason?


It's exactly the sort of leadership this country needs right now. Too many people do not understand how things work. It's shown that Osama Bin Laden is responsible for the attack on us, so we start ramping up the military to go get him, and what happens? Screams of outcry, protests, people saying we shouldn't go to war. Are you kidding me? 8-o This guy took civilian lives on our own soil and we shouldn't use whatever means necessary to go get him? 8-o Those people won though, and Bush started the whole mess by playing the political game and firing a toy pop gun at Afghanistan, and not getting Bin Laden. Even just with firing a toy gun, there was outcry that what he was doing was wrong. It's quite shocking, saddening, sickening, and amazing how weak some people in this country have become.

With that said, obviously the government couldn't flat out give the real reason for going into Iraq. Think of it as dealing with children. Sometimes as a parent, you have to make an unpopular decision that's in the best interest of the child, even if the child whines, cries, and disagrees with that decision because they don't understand the full picture. Well, not adults in America have enough brains or guts to make those decisions on their own either, and the president along with his advisors, have to make those decisions.

Bush dropped the ball with Osama, tried to stem the bleeding by going after Saddam, got Saddam, but still dropped the ball again, and here we are. All because Bush didn't just make the decision and go get Osama at all costs. Makes me sick to my stomach. :-t

Acidrock23 wrote:We can continue to maintain any fortified position in Iraq against anyone in the world but we can't ram our kind of democracy down their throats.


This I agree with. ;-D

Cleveland Steamers wrote:What would allow the U.S. to claim victory in Iraq?


Good question. Not sure at this point anything could be claimed as a victory, even if all the goals were met (setting up a stable government, stable military to protect themselves, etc.).
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Postby AcidRock23 » Sat Nov 04, 2006 8:37 pm

I don't think that it is the government's job to lie to 'us kids' who are paying taxes in the US. Their job should be to manage our collective income effectively and spend it to ensure growth to support our population as it grows. Selling bonds to China to fund a war in Iraq does neither.

It's the 'in Iraq' part that doesn't actually work. After WWI, Britain wanted the parts of the Ottoman Empire w/ oil in them, in the north of what is now Iraq, and some way to get the oil out, the coast in southern Iraq. The people in Iraq were Sunnis, like the Syrians, Jordanians, Palestinians and Saudis and Shi'ites, like the Persians but no one bothered to ask them. The Saudis were taken care of and Palestine and Syria also were split up.

Like Bush, Saddam Hussein used 'tough guy' nationalism as a means of securing power and held things together effectively for a while. At the same time, the people have never been consulted. I suspect that many of them would prefer some type of arrangement which would allow their 'management' to be handled by their co-religionists and that if we were to enter into talks along those lines, we might make some progress.
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Postby Coppermine » Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:19 pm

I think the mistake we made, in our own arrogance and I think we can agree on this, was that we assumed that democracy solves all problems and introducing it to an autocratic theocracy would "eliminate terrorism." This of course got a good slap in the face when the Palestinian state democratically elected Hamas.
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Postby Madison » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:22 am

AcidRock23 wrote:I don't think that it is the government's job to lie to 'us kids' who are paying taxes in the US.


A few things here. First, I hope you don't think I was suggesting you would fall into the "kid" catagory. It was an example of some American people, nothing more ;-) .

I mean any kid that's gone through puberty can go have sex and wind up having to deal with a pregnancy. Does that automatically qualify them with the intelligence and ability to be a parent or mother/father? Of course not. Paying taxes doesn't automatically increase anyone's mental capacity or level of thinking, so if something is totally over their head, best to dumb it down, or give them something they can understand. In this case, shift the gears away from the fact that we needed to fix the problem those weak stomached people originally caused. True, Bush is at fault for bending to those wimps and playing the game instead of getting Bin Laden, but had those people supported the country, and the need to show the world what happens when you mess with us, this wouldn't be the problem it is now. Those are the people he was selling the WMD story to, not everyone else. We all saw through to the true reasoning of why he was going in.

As to telling a lie, it wasn't a lie he told. There were reports from the intelligence office that said Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. So it was one of the reasons he went in. Not "the" reason, but it was enough to sell to those who's stomaches couldn't handle the fact that Bush needed to re-establish that we don't get pushed around. I'll state again that he dropped the ball though.

As to paying taxes, that doesn't grant anything significant to the taxpayers. Most people get taxes taken out of their checks. I've written a tax check to the government every quarter of the year for over a decade. They don't take tax from me, I pay tax, but that does not give me any additional rights or anything. I cannot go into the White House and audit their books for example. What they tell us is what they tell us. In this case, most people knew exactly why Bush went into Iraq. They didn't need it spelled out for them. At least the majority of the people I talked to were well aware of the real reason "why", and we all pretty much agreed it was stupid that Bush had to play a game for those without the courage or ability to understand just how weak dropping the ball with Osama made us look.

AcidRock23 wrote:Their job should be to manage our collective income effectively and spend it to ensure growth to support our population as it grows. .


Disagree, but that's a whole new can of worms, so I'll keep it short and simple. They are currently doing a very poor job of it, but their main function is to make sure we as a country are safe, and to maintain law and order on our own soil. If they fail at that, nothing else matters, as our way of life will be gone, and we'll be under the rule of whatever country takes us over.
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Postby Cleveland Steamers » Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:39 am

This is a very interesting conversation. I have quite a few opinions on what is said but plan on following the thread. If someone is able to answer any of the questions I have previously asked in a way that seems useful,I will defintely be impressed. I love these conversations.

Madison, I think your opinions are great and well articulated. Whether I agree with you on all of your statements is unimportant. People who are intelligent, understand the political system, and participate in political discussions are respectable and you have my respect whether we agree or disagree.
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Postby Madison » Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:38 am

Cleveland Steamers wrote:This is a very interesting conversation. I have quite a few opinions on what is said but plan on following the thread. If someone is able to answer any of the questions I have previously asked in a way that seems useful,I will defintely be impressed. I love these conversations.

Madison, I think your opinions are great and well articulated. Whether I agree with you on all of your statements is unimportant. People who are intelligent, understand the political system, and participate in political discussions are respectable and you have my respect whether we agree or disagree.


I enjoy solid conversation as well :-) . If only I had more time for them. Ah well.

If everyone agreed on everything though, this would be a very boring world, so I do appreciate hearing and being able to discuss various thoughts, opinions, and situations. Even if I don't necessarily agree with them either ;-) . I thank you for this discussion and the way you handled yourself during it. You have my respect as well, and I hope we'll get to have more solid discussions in the future. ;-D
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Yes doctor, there will be a war.
Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
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Postby AcidRock23 » Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:17 am

We need some snifters of hooch and cigars to make the dignified ambiance complete!!!

Re the 'we [US citizens] knew why we went into Iraq' issue. That may be pretty close to the difference between the two sides. I totally agree that Hussein appears likely to get what he deserves and is a creep, etc. I am not following however how there is a large difference between the US saying 'Hussein is bad so we are going to invade Iraq' and the Japanese saying 'we can't exist w/ this embargo and must take decisive action. Climb Mount Niitaka!!' in 1941. The Japanese didn't lie to anyone to launch their attack. I can't see how the government has the right to make stuff up to secure the abililty to make war. That is not something that the US would likely support in anyone else and this has largely squandered what good will we received on 911, making that tragedy one that has been wasted. This failure is one of leadership.

The only difference, which is entirely subjective and is widely discounted in the rest of the world is that we are 'good guys' and can take out any 'bad guys' that we identify, without any resort to any other opinion from anyone. That may sound good from our perspective but, if we continue to exercise this sort of unilateral decision making process, there will be long term costs to our ability to operate on the global scale that our economy has become accustomed to.

By saying that the government has the obligation to manage our growth effectively, I am not saying that they need to buy us chickens or anything like that. The military industrial complex was formed after WWII and has served as an effective instrument to project our power and be, on occasion, the 'good guys'. The flip side of that however is that however powerful our army is, we have limitations to what they can accomplish and I am not seeing how our role in Iraq is turning out much different from Vietnam the way things have proceeded so far. I think that there ARE options in the Middle East but we have to be willing to cede some role to the other powers in the area to succeed.

At this point, it appears that in Iraq we are very limited to a 'hedgehog' type of strategy where we can fortify a number of bases securely. Pacifying the country so that a government of our choosing can operate does not seem likely at all. That does not seem to be of much use for us in terms of having a partner to project our power into the Middle East. We need to identify something we CAN do for those people and try to do it.

If it means installing a contentious Sunni regime which may be likely to attack the Shi'ites and invite Iranian protection of their coreligionists, I can't help but think that I'd rather see the Iranians catching car bombs than our own forces. And, of course, if the new Sunni administration happened to receive some intelligence as to the location and defenses of the Iranian nuclear program, that might kill a couple of birds with one stone...
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Postby Lofunzo » Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:26 am

Acid.......If I understand correctly, I think that I agree with your main point. I am an American and love living in this country. That said, I find it somewhat laughable how we need to be the police of the world and put our beliefs all over the place. I agree that Iraq is much better off with a Democratic system but I also think "Who are we to tell them what to do?". Kind of like with North Korea's nukes. Obviously, we are better off if they don't have or produce them but it's funny how we can produce them like packs of gum if we want to yet no one else can. Ultimately, this could catch up to us.
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Postby AcidRock23 » Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:56 am

here's an interesting blurb from CNN:

"War simulation in 1999 pointed out Iraq invasion problems"

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- A series of secret U.S. war games in 1999 showed that an invasion and post-war administration of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, nearly three times the number there now."

link to article, which has more details
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