May 2008

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

« Good Eatin’ | Main | It’s Like Reality, Without the Screaming »

Comments

super hero

i did not read all the comments (ok, sue me) so i dont know if anybody else has already written about this, but here is a little correction for you to perceive things better.

Kurds dont have to try to avoid war with Turkey, because Turkey is definitely not looking for one. Turkey is only after a terrorist group called PKK and they are mainly based in Northern Iraq, and yes, they are Kurdish. Turkey has been repeteadly asking from both Iraq and USA to prevent such attacks but the situtaion has never improved even though the promises always got bigger.

The situation might turn into a war only if Kurds provoke it that way, and from the window im looking at, the situation seems more likely that.

Oli

Creating a none biased view of an argument is incredibly hard to do, but arguing both points always helps.

In my opinion the wars are to do with the currency oil is sold in. George bush is trying to stop the USA from having another economic crash. There is and was too much information available at the time from teh experts saying that they did not think iraq was creating WMD's, they also seemed unsure as to why GWB was going after Afghanistan when there was no real evidence saying that osma bin laden was there.

http://ramblingsofanofficeworker.blogspot.com

Mike

Wobber said "Reasoned debate seems to have become very unpopular. Too much passion and not enough thought. It seems reasonably common to meet an American with a VERY strongly held opinion but almost no credible reason for holding that view. Stephen Colbert is a very funny exageration of the mindset."

As is Michael Moore.

Robert Harber

The problem with the war in Iraq was that we needed to fight it from a military perspective and not a political one. 12 prior resolutions from the U.N. dating 1992 to 2001 sealed Iraq's fate. 300 pages of missing weapons reports from the original weapons inspection list that the U.N. requested from Iraq failed to appear. This also doomed Iraq. Going to war with Iraq was the right move, carried out completely wrong just like the Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, Bosnia/Somalia, Kosovo, and the first Gulf War. Since World War II America has forgotten how to fight and win a war. War is fought between soldiers, and in the current scenario soldiers and terrorists. War is not fought with politicians. However in the previous conflicts listed Politics have dictated the war efforts. In order to win in Iraq and do it quickly we needed to do it full scale and lock the country down on all borders. No one gets in, and no one gets out. Then house by house and town by town you clear the country. As each house is entered you gather the occupants up and move them to a central location and care for them. Then you ensure that no weopons are available in the area. Once you do that you can let that town go about it's business and move to the next town. You make sure no one moves between towns by posting guards and road blocks. My point of view since I am a soldier is that someone running through a crowd or in a speeding vehicle gets one warning before being shot. No warning shots, a loud voice yelling stop in the native language or a sign posted stating slow down or be fired upon is all I would give. This seems cruel to the current generation but back in WW II this is how it went. We broke the hearts and minds of those we fought with bombs and fear and then we won them back by showing compassion to the locals who did not fight. Another thing we did wrong was to give time tables for soldiers to be overseas. In WW II you stayed there until you were done, wounded so bad they sent you home, or you were killed. Todays soldiers are smart, well trained and the best military in the world but they can also be the weakest group with their mindset. We can sit here in the US and debate whether the war is right or wrong. But everytime the war debate is broadcast on television, the web, or in newspapers our enemies read this and it tells them that America is weak, and will eventually quit and go home. Winning is the only option now because if we quit our enemies will continue to try and destroy us. If you ask the soldiers you will inevitably find one that speaks out against the war because he/she signed up for the college money and did not expect to go to war. If you talk to soldiers that signed up for the military because they wanted to serve their country you will find that they support the president and the decision to go to war. That is a decision not made lightly and few people have the courage to even consider it.

The decision to attack Iraq was not only the President's decision but a decision made by Congress. Congress had access to the same information and to hear Congressional members say the President lied to them is a joke. They either did or did not read the reports. If they did and voted for war, no one lied to them. If they did not read the report and they voted for war then they failed their constituents because they voted without being informed. It is time our Nation and it's politicians stand up for themselves and take responsiblity for their actions and stop blaming others when things don't go smoothly.

I know my view of the world is very conservative, and I believe that sometimes you have to do things that make you unpopular to get the job done. Not many share my belief that we did not hit Iraq hard enough in the beginning. Most people also think I am wrong when I said that the events at Abu Ghraib were not wrong. I believe that you do what it takes to gain info. The only mistake was someone took pictures and video. This make me the bad guy. Oh well. I know that if I am captured by the enemy that my fate will be much worse than being stripped naked and stacked on top of other naked men. My fate would probably be gurgling on my own blood as my head is removed. This is the fate I am prepared for as a soldier. I am happy to put my life on the line for what I believe in and to die for the right for our freedoms such as the one that gives Scott Adams the right to create a genius comic such as Dilbert and to have a blog.

With Veterans Day coming up let us put aside our debate on the war and remember to thank the men and women who have served, are serving, and who paid the ultimate sacrifice for us and our country.

God Bless

DanteZCO

Just one thing about that ending, though: we're not talking about venture companies going out of business. We're talking about lives. It's like comparing an airplane crash with a xerox-machine mistake, if you know what I mean.

kl

"Violence in Iraq is trending down."
Um, not really: http://www.data360.org/dataset.aspx?Data_Set_Id=10605

Dan

Iraq contains at least $30,000,000,000,000.00 (30 Trillion) dollars of oil and other natural resources. Even if it costs us $10,000,000,000,000.00 (10 Trillion) dollars to control those resources, we're still way ahead.

pay attention

Well, I was convinced Iraq had or was working on WMDs.

First, not only Bush said so, but all the Democrats as well, going back to long before Bush was president and could have cooked the books. They were looking at the same intel. Though, based on the cold war, politicians should always be cautious about accwepting what the CIA says.

Second, I figured that Bush must know there were WMDs, because if they turned out to not be there, he'd lose the 2004 election for sure. Who knew the Dems would nominate John Kerry and get a Viet Vet like me off the fence and campaigning for Bush, though I didn't vote for him in 2000?

People talking about the war on both sides mix up three different points, and jump between them as they think it will bolster their arguments.

1. Was it morally right to bring down Saddam? If you think we should have minded our own business in 1941 in Europe, because Hiler didn't attack us, then, no. But it's a pretty hard case to make that he should have been allowed to go on gassing & murdering his citizens, and his sons ordering up Shi'a school girls to rape on order.

2. Was it strategically in our interests. Example. It would have been as morally right to kick China out of Tibet as kicking Saddam out of Kuwait, but strategically not very wise to try. As Scott points out, the result of this was strategically hasn't been decided yet. If we suffer a defeat and have to run, allowing tens of thousands to be slaughtered, as we did by abandoning South Vietnam in 1975, then, clearly no.

3. Was it tactically right? That is, did we do it well? The first part, clearly yes. Saddam fell faster than France in 1940. But the planning and execution of the aftermath was clearly flawed.

Try to stick to which point you are talking about. They really are different.

My take? Buy a burka for your granddaughter. She is going to need it.

Gabriel

Just wait one month and you'll believe it. :D

Craig Taylor

One thing I would like to point out is that
a) The United States was already fighting a war in Afghanistan that had the the support of the U.N. to take the battle to the home turf of terrorist factions
b) When the United States proposed invading Iraq, the reasons for doing so varied. (Fight the terrorists, find the WMD, free the people of Iraq.) The U.N. said they would not support an invasion of Iraq. When France used its power of veto on the U.N. Security Council, Americans cried foul and said that France was turning its cowardly backside to its allies. Even Canada said it would not assist in the operation. Tony Blair committed his country to the operation. Now Blair has resigned due largely to the failure in Iraq and Britain is withdrawing troops from Southern Iraq which is essentially a military blindspot for the Coalition forces now.

My point is:
You don't know really why you need to fight in Iraq. Why go to war?
History shows us what happens to countries that launch two front wars. Why go to war?
Your allies criticized your reasons for going to war. Why go to war?

JEB

it's too late to discuss this.....
i wish we were really the United States like we claim to be

Kevin Kunreuther

To answer my own questions:
2a.)Why didn't we invade North Korea?
N.Korea doesn't have resources we want or already have (i.e.,energy, potential cartoon animators)

2b.)Why shouldn't we invade North Korea?
It's easier to buy them off.

2c.)If China can't keep its "client" state in line, why shouldn't we threaten China to butt out of our "intervention" in North Korea?
The possibility of lead contaminated products notwithstanding, Wal-Mart would go ballistic if we imposed economic sanctions, trade embargo, or pointed missiles at its number one slave state.
There is also the possibility China would let us intervene anyway,and put on a puppet show of "strongly objecting to US actions and presence", and gravely warning us of "the consequences if we did not withdraw", while chortling under its breath, "Suckers!".

Andrew Denny

A couple of points your devil's advocate didn't mention:

1: It was a warning lesson to the rest of America's enemies that when American flexes its biceps, even the biggest bugs can get crushed in the folds, and that America licking its wounds (to mix metaphors) is still dangerous to them, so they should be careful in the future. This might not make Bin Laden respectful, but it will impress the rest of the world.

2: Saddam (and his sons, because in the Middle East they don't alternate their royal families, unlike Amrika!) was still a potential rallying point, a sort of secular Mahdi. What was the outcome of doing nothing?

3: The problem wasn't in actually INVADING Iraq (250 US dead), but in trying to sort things out afterwards (3,000 US dead). Perhaps Amrika should simply have said said to the Arab world, in Terminator style: "Sort it out yourselves; if you don't, we'll be back!"

The Iraqis and the Arab World would have fouled it up, of course. But they'd have been more cautious. And Bin Laden would have been fighting Iraq instead of fighting Amrika.

Jonathan

To take the venture capitalist analogy further. His strategy for funding companies in which there was a 2/10 chance of succeeding would only be a good choice if he had enough funding for 10 companies.

In the case of the United States, I'm not sure the same could be said of invading country after country. No matter how optimistically you look at it, even in 2003, the invasion of country like Iraq, and keeping it, looked to be astronomical.

This isn't anything new. During the Civil War, the North knew that they didn't have the military power to actually conquer the South. Their only hope was a surrender. That's why even a defeated enemy doesn't have to accept unconditional surrender. Because even if your military is outmatched, the cost to your enemy of actually taking and controlling a region without the consent of its local government is many folds larger than the force it took to defeat your military.

I can accept that there was a fair amount of arrogance and blood-lust among the American populous about the strength and ability of its military. I can't imagine that the strategic experts available to advise the Administration had the same delusion though.

The problem with Iraq isn't that it was a bad idea in isolation. If Iraq was the only country in the world that might supply terrorists with nukes, then it would've made perfect sense to go in, remove its government and setup a costly occupation. The problem is, it wasn't. In fact, it was one of the least likely countries to assist Al Qaida. Well behind countries like Saudi Arabia.

With all of those countries out there that might have elements inside of it that might provide Al Qaida with nuclear material, it is impractical to think that the military can invade and occupy (and secure) all of them.

A more realistic goal would be to develop better border-patrol. That $1 trillion would have made one of hell of a national security agency. Hell, give it to the CIA and set them loose. I can bet you that with $1 trillion and autonomy to do anything they want, we'd know the date and time bin Laden went to take a dump.

Less Americans and less Iraqis would've died.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Here's what Valerie Plame Wilson wrote in her recent book, 'Fair Game':

------------quote-------------
Iraq under its cruel dictator Saddam Husein, was clearly a rogue nation that flouted international treaties and norms in its quest for regional superiority. The U.S. intelligence community was not the only actor that found Iraq's provocations alarming. The Center for Nonproliferation Studies...was also concerned. Here's what some of their research revealed about the state of Iraq's WMD programs in 2001:

Nuclear

With sufficient black-market uranium or plutonium, Iraq probably could fabricate a nuclear weapon

...could produce weapons-grade fissile material within several years.

Engaged in clandestine procurement of special nuclear weapon-related equipment.

Retains large and experienced pool of nuclear scientists and technicians.

Retains nuclear weapons design, and may retain related components and software.
------------endquote----------

Presumably Bush knew this too, and acted accordingly.

Big Dan

A lot of people say we are fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here. Well, if we fought them over here we'd have home field advantage!

dedhed52

Richard:
Actually, it IS not ONLY disputable, but PROVEN that (A) Iraq did NOT have nuclear weapons, and (2), Saddam had given up on trying to GET nuclear (nucular??) weapons.

After Operation Desert Fox (1998), Iraq's infrastructure for WMD development was essentially destroyed. After Saddam's son-in-law (who defected temporarily) returned to Iraq, Saddam went kinda nuts any time someone even MENTIONED nukes. Seems he was afraid of what sonny-boy told the nasty ol' CIA spooks. It has since been shown that when people in Saddam's government talked about buying nukes from somewhere (China, I think), they were executed.

You had better check your facts - and check them somewhere OTHER than Fox News. Read "Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq" by Thomas Ricks. You just might learn the truth.

Jay

Is there something to a concept of "national insanity"? It seems every time a dictator gets thrown over, a period of anarchy sets in, where the rule of the day is "If it moves, shoot/bomb/kill it."

We saw it happen in Serbia after Tito died and Communism collapsed. We've seen it in China when the Emperor got overthrown way back when. We have it in Iraq now.

National insanity doesn't always happen, but in Yugoslavia and Iraq we had dissimilar ethnicities living together, with peace enforced by the government. Once the government was out of the mix, all hell broke loose.

Iraq will eventually become peaceful. Billy Sherman said, "War is all hell, and the worse it is, the sooner it'll be over." It seems the Iraqis are starting to take that to heart. The only question that remains is, have they paid enough blood yet?

Jay

Wow, so many leaps of logic, where to begin?

If it looks like somebody has a reasonable chance of developing a nuke, we should hit them? Iran's going there, based on the fact that Bush doesn't believe Ahmadinejad's protests to the contrary, and what Bahrain says. You just provided a rationale for bombing Iran and starting another shooting match.

>

Sensible to you maybe, but eventually the rest of the world takes exception to it. I think a guy named Hitler tried this, at least that was his claim to the Germans. "It was in self-defense..."

I live by "Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate."

At the very least, the attack was good because we don't have Saddam thumbing his nose at us every other week.

Diana W

Another plus of the war was that it has served to remind us that war can be complicated, deadly and costly. The quick 'successes' of Afghanistan and the first Gulf War had started to make Americans think that the quagmire of Vietnam was a fluke. This war was a healthy reminder that it wasn't. Going with the idea of supporting theories opposite of your own, I chose to believe that Bush knowingly set himself up to become the most unpopular president in history in order to serve as a cautionary tale to furture leaders.

Sanjay

Everything you said + My VP happens to be an ex-CEO of an oil company and IRAQ has tons of crude + my friends friend is the head of blackwater(rorists) and he could make billions from the tax payers money will shift the balance heavily.

S

David MacMillan

"In other words, be the bully and pick on the little ones coz the ones that are your size might just hit you back."

Iraq and North Korea? Please. Try "in other words, shoot the angry drunk guy who is trying to pull his gun out rather than shooting the apathetic sober guy who already has his finger on the trigger."

It is hardly bullying to bomb a regime that has been shooting at you for the past twelve years and appears to have nuclear capability. If someone shoots at you, that's an act of war. I'm not saying we've done everything right, but something had to be done about Saddam's regime.

HALiverpool

All along I had the nagging feeling that the inspectors in Iraq weren't a bunch of incompetent boobs; that no matter how many games Saddam played the inspectors would have found some evidence of WMD if they existed.

It's a fascinating exercize that you have done, trying to argue the other side. I think you would still lose the debate. Your new ideas are almost as lame as the Bush administration's old ones. That's probably why you don't belive it either.

-HAL

Mark

[Did anyone else see the video of the UN weapons inspectors where the inspectors were demanding to be let into a suspected weapons factory while tanker trucks were being hastily loaded and sent away?

Posted by: Sing]


The UN inspectors wanted the powers to be able to enter any signatories' installations at no notice. However, the UN were prevented in allowing this by... the US. Security veto.

Why? At the time (before they wanted to invade Iraq), the US had to stop it because the UN inspectors could have gone in to **US** company buildings and check for chemical weapons development. This could not be allowed, to have the sanctity of US companies be broken.

I suspect the US tried to get an exemption clause in there but if they did, it failed. So they stopped the UN inspectors getting the powers that they needed to get in to Iraqi installations.

And somehow, this became the UN inspectors fault.

Richard

By the way - people saying that the US supplied arms/WMDs to Iraq.

Get your facts straight. You are just repeating lies you have heard. It was in fact the anti-war countries (Russia and China for conventional forces and WMD technology, France and Germany for assistance in producing WMDs). Remember the Germans built Saddam a chemical weapons factory and the French built him a nuclear reactor. Nothing to do with the US, which supplied well under 1% of conventional weapons.

So why were those countries against the war? Didn't want to lose future business?

The comments to this entry are closed.