Sponsor Message:
Non Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Iraq - Was It A War, And Is It Lost?  
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3212 times:

Exceptionally wide-ranging and well-written article from the British 'Observer' newspaper - pretty well spelling out the (insuperable?) problems that the USA and its coalition partners now face in Iraq.

"For when Vail and his soldiers return, it will be in the knowledge that the United States that they are going home to is not the one that they left. That in their year-long absence a seismic shift has occurred in support for the war in Iraq. And that the deaths that Colonel Vail must carry back with him to grieving families - deaths that once seemed to Americans to be a necessary cost - now seem to the majority a dreadful and pointless waste.

"It will also be in the knowledge that the battle that they began with such confidence barely four months ago, to secure and then rebuild some of the most dangerous areas of the Iraqi capital, like the campaigns before, has failed.

"With that failure the entire future of Iraq and the US and British-led occupation has been brought to a tipping point of enormous consequence not simply for Iraq and the region, but for the Bush and Blair administrations.

"For despite a massive campaign involving the troops of Vail's unit and others, backed by thousands of Iraqi troops, the US military leadership in Baghdad has been forced to admit that attacks during the holy month of Ramadan have increased by 22 per cent, and that the US death toll for October, standing at 74 at the weekend, will be one of the deadliest for US troops since the invasion in 2003.

"More worrying still is the assessment that both Sunni and Shia nationalist resistance movements have reached the level of being 'coordinated/consolidated' - able to reply to multinational offensives with their own 'push capability'."


http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1928616,00.html

In my own brief encounter with the armed services - training only, thankfully - an oft-repeated phrase was, "Get ON with it! Remember, every minute you're not winning, you're losing!" I must admit that. on the basis of what I know, with the limited resources available to them I don't see any way that our small peacetime armies can win from here. Especially because it is clearly much more a matter of 'hearts and minds' than of defeating an army in the field.

Maybe it's time to cut our losses? What does everyone else think?

[Edited 2006-10-22 17:23:21]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
96 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3191 times:

Well it was definitely a war, at least to start with (admittedly a little one-sided, but the point of a war is to win it quickly, I would think). After that it was a brief but baseless PR exercise (look, we won - Mission Accomplished). Then it became an occupation, and the shit really hit the fan.

Secondly, in terms of actual warfare, so far nobody has won and nobody has lost. In terms of the diplomatic struggle and the moral victory, I don't think it's too soon or too pessimistic to say that the U.S. has, despite valiant efforts by the people on the ground, lost - and lost badly. Best indications are that hostility to the U.S. and the West in general is increasing in the Middle East and across the Islamic world, the U.S. has managed to piss away all the huge outpouring of sympathy and solidarity arising from the 9/11 attacks, and alienate all but the most poodlish of allies, and even amongst the "Coalition of the Poodles", the vast majority of voters are now opposed to involvement in the war. Militant Islam is on the rise, Iran feels confident enough to defy the world on the issue of nuclear weapons, and the threat from Al Quaeda is not significantly diminished.

Meantime, America wallows in its fear, enacting measure after measure to erode the rule of law and the Bill of Rights, trying to regain some illusion of security in a big scary world but with each signature into law, handing another small victory to the terrorists, whose aim (we are informed) was to take away America's freedom. They don't even have to lift a finger - you're doing it all by yourselves.

The war certainly isn't won, it may not have been lost either, but it doesn't matter any more - and that's the saddest part of all.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3182 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
Maybe it's time to cut our losses? What does everyone else think?

Not sure how to answer if it is/was a war, but probably yes it was, but now I am not sure it is a war as much as the mixture that you can expect if the population you invade is not too happy you are there.

Leaving obviously leaves a mess, although it might be the case that someone would quickly appear who would sort it out - it might be Saddam II, but if the death rates are what science tells us they are, that might well be preferable.

The likes of Howard keep telling us that Jemaah Islamiyah (which he spent a day pronouncing as Jemaah Ismailia) would regard it as a win. This totally misses the point that Australia is on the nose with moderates in Indonesia and Malaysia just because it has occupying forces in Iraq. If Aus were not there, it might be possible to try to make up that negative.

As far as Muslim Nationalists in Indonesia are concerned, first we went after Timor, and then confirmed our spots by hoeing into Iraq. A withdrawal might allow fences to start to be mended. It is far more important to regain the middle ground that avoid giving JI fanatics a thrill. Our hope of snuffing out JI lies with moderate Indonesians doing it for us.

I am sure similar considerations would apply to the UK and Pakistanis. Certainly the US is irritating most of the Islamic world, but perhaps they have more to do to make up.

And what do you achieve if you stay, more Iraqi and military casualties, no more stability, and in due course a collapse of the much touted elected Government - only a question of time before one of the coalition of Iraqis pull out.

So nothing to gain by staying. Perhaps less to lose by going.

It was never a place that the west should have tried to go. I must say, I thought they would be able to hold Baghdad, and assumed that the resistance would be outside Baghhad - so it is a lot worse than I thought it would be. But then I did not expect Bremer to dismiss the army without disarming them, and then irritate all the low level public servants by dismissing them for being Baath party members. Great start especially with Rummie telling us democracy is messy.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3180 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
The war certainly isn't won, it may not have been lost either, but it doesn't matter any more - and that's the saddest part of all.

 checkmark  One dissenting poodle


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3147 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
Meantime, America wallows in its fear, enacting measure after measure to erode the rule of law and the Bill of Rights, trying to regain some illusion of security in a big scary world but with each signature into law, handing another small victory to the terrorists, whose aim (we are informed) was to take away America's freedom. They don't even have to lift a finger - you're doing it all by yourselves.

With all due respect, when someone slams a loaded airliner into the middle of downtown Paris and kills 3,000 civilians going about their business, I suspect that what passes for civil liberties in la belle Republique would evaporate as fast as last night's frost on the windshield.

Don't presume to sit in judgment of us, sir. Civil liberties in France were not well respected during the Algerian war and the early 1960s, for similar reasons. Yet we did not judge you, but considered it an internal matter for Frenchmen to work out on their own.


User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1718 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3137 times:

Was it a war,...yes.

Is it still a war? That all depends on how you define war.

The first 30 days or so was a more or less traditional military-vs-military conflict. For me the definition is dependant on what the decisive factor is. During that period, success or failure was almost exclusively dependant on the application of military force. It was a war.

The time since is more poorly defined I think. Although military force is a component, other factors are now decisive. Politics, religion, economics, and other social-cultural factors are the decisive components that will determine the outcome. We cannot "win" the current conflict through the application of military force. In that sense, it's not a war.

Is it lost,... yes.

It is lost politically. It hasn't been a military defeat per se. The insurgents and militias cannot destroy our maneuver units on the field of battle. Nor can they seize and hold physical objectives. By the same standard, we cannot use military force to exert control over political and cultural factors. To suggest that we can is nonsense.



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3131 times:

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 4):
With all due respect, when someone slams a loaded airliner into the middle of downtown Paris and kills 3,000 civilians going about their business, I suspect that what passes for civil liberties in la belle Republique would evaporate as fast as last night's frost on the windshield.

And that would be wrong too. What is the point in fighting for freedom if the politicians back home are busy eroding them faster than the terrorists ever could.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 4):
Don't presume to sit in judgment of us, sir. Civil liberties in France were not well respected during the Algerian war and the early 1960s, for similar reasons. Yet we did not judge you, but considered it an internal matter for Frenchmen to work out on their own.

Fair point, but the trouble comes when you set yourself up as a paragon of human rights, and invade other countries on the pretext (second or third pretext, admittedly) that you are liberating them from a dictator, and then go and revoke Habeas Corpus in your own backyard. It excites comment.

Yes it is an internal American matter, but if the actions are denying fundamental justice to the citizens of other countries , then the issue becomes an international one. And please don't just counter by saying "they're terrorists, they don't deserve justice" - until you PROVE it in each and every individual case, they aren't anything, and by assuming their automatic guilt you just gives others the excuse to say "they're Americans, they don't deserve justice".


User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3125 times:

It most certainly was/is a war. It isn't an "Operation", as the Administration and, sadly, the media still call it. It is the Iraq War. When you invade another soverign nation, that is a war, there is no doubt about that.

Is it a war now? Yes, it is, but a different kind of war. It's the guerilla war that this Administration never even considered back in 2003, so sure were they that the road would be covered with flowers for the liberators.

It hasn't been lost, and it still can be won. Right now, the Bush Administration is FINALLY rethinking the strategy of this war. That should have been done in the fall of '03, but the stubbornness and tunnel-vision of this President, his VP and his SecDef didn't allow that. Now, with the '06 elections all but an assured disaster for his party, he can no longer ignore the reality.

Depending on what the re-evaluation bears out, the war can still be won. It may include going hat in hand, humbly, to the world community for assistance-not so much for the Americans, but for the people of Iraq. It may be a sharp increase in troops strength, before any draw-down begins. Those answers lie with the President, the SecDef, and his military commanders.

It can be won. The effort must be made, for that debt of honor I keep talking about-to the almost 3,000 Americans who have died, and to the Iraqi people, who's lives have been turned into a hell not even imagined under Saddam.

We must continue the effort. We can do no less. We started this mess, and we need to do what we can to make the best of it.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3121 times:

When Germany was confronted with terrorism in the 1970s, our government resisted the urge to cut down civil rights as the terrorists had hoped they would - and this resistance proved vital to defeating the terrorists.

Be tough on terrorism itself - but never abandon the values you're presumably defending in the process!

The Bush administration has unfortunately chosen to demonstrate how not to deal with terrorism, and the results are horrifying, but also instructive.


User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3117 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 7):
Depending on what the re-evaluation bears out, the war can still be won. It may include going hat in hand, humbly, to the world community for assistance-not so much for the Americans, but for the people of Iraq. It may be a sharp increase in troops strength, before any draw-down begins. Those answers lie with the President, the SecDef, and his military commanders.

It can be won. The effort must be made, for that debt of honor I keep talking about-to the almost 3,000 Americans who have died, and to the Iraqi people, who's lives have been turned into a hell not even imagined under Saddam.

We must continue the effort. We can do no less. We started this mess, and we need to do what we can to make the best of it.

Hard to see how it can be won, though. Despite all the military effort, and it has been considerable recently, the situation even in areas under nominal coalition control is getting worse. The insurgency is not being beaten back, and internecine killings are on the increase as well. The presence of coalition forces is now part of the problem, and not part of the solution, and there is no loss of honour in recognising this and just up and leaving.

If Iraq all this time was only an artificial construct held together first by British imperialism and afterwards by the Baathist regime, then so be it - if it must fly apart, self-determination is the inalienable right of every group, it will therefore happen. No point striving to keep Iraq together if Iraq doesn't want to stay together. It's a crying shame, because pre-Saddam Iraq looked like it could become a successful, forward-looking, multi-ethnic and secular society. But you can't force people to like each other, and you can't force them to live together. Look at former Yugoslavia - a strongman dictator held it together for 40 years, but it didn't hold after he was gone.


User currently offline9V From China, joined Aug 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3106 times:

It's interesting. There was a debate on the radio this moring on the BBC asking 'Is Iraq the new Vietnam?'

User currently offlineArtieFufkin From United States of America, joined May 2006, 704 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3101 times:

The war is very much lost. The Admin is now looking to talk with any party with the exception of Al Queda. James Baker is being brought in to craft a "measured pullback" (Commonly known as "cut and run" if a Democrat suggests it) Casualties rates so for this Month are the highest in nearly two years. Civilian death rates are skyrocketing. There is no political will in the US to support an escalation of the military fight.

Bush after Nov 7 will be politcally isolated. His own party is deserting him on this. The only question will be how soon? The Dems are not likely to cut off funding right away. They'll let him hang himself further on this.


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3093 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
Especially because it is clearly much more a matter of 'hearts and minds' than of defeating an army in the field.

The two go hand in hand. We've been treating these various resistances/terrorists with kid gloves, and that was a mistake from the beginning. The terrorists AND the local population saw our refusal to take drastic steps to put a stop to it as a weakness.

The first step in ending the war in 2003 should have been to make damned sure that the Iraqis know that they are completely and absolutely defeated. That means if anyone shoots at an American, you level the town. You make it known that resistance will not be tolerated, and you will pay if you are even suspected of colaborating with the resistance.

Once you the resistance is crushed (mainly by the locals who don't want to be made homeless in reprisal), THEN you can display your largess and generosity. This strategy worked in Germany and many other places. We thought we could finish the war in a civilized fashion, but war is not civilized, and efforts to pretend it is only results in the shitstorm we have today.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
And that would be wrong too. What is the point in fighting for freedom if the politicians back home are busy eroding them faster than the terrorists ever could.

That is one of my pet peeves. "Fighting for Freedom and Democracy" are overused slogans. We fight for our national interests, period. And our national interests at present include creating a self-sustaining democratic state in the middle east.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 8):
When Germany was confronted with terrorism in the 1970s, our government resisted the urge to cut down civil rights as the terrorists had hoped they would - and this resistance proved vital to defeating the terrorists.

I don't think you can compare the two. The terrorists in Germany were communists, motivated by an economic and political ideology. Discourage them enough, cut off their funding, (such as through the collapse of the soviet Empire), and they eventually give up after seeing that it simply won't work. Plus, Communists don't believe in an afterlife - they don't want to die.

The terrorists we face in the middle east are motivated by religion and tribalism, a motivation much, much more powerful and more difficult to dissuade. Some of them also don't mind sacrificing their lives uselessly, as long as they can take a few infidels with them, due to their religious motivation. Communists don't think like that.


User currently offlineArtieFufkin From United States of America, joined May 2006, 704 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3091 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 7):
It hasn't been lost, and it still can be won. Right now, the Bush Administration is FINALLY rethinking the strategy of this war. That should have been done in the fall of '03, but the stubbornness and tunnel-vision of this President, his VP and his SecDef didn't allow that. Now, with the '06 elections all but an assured disaster for his party, he can no longer ignore the reality.

Depending on what the re-evaluation bears out, the war can still be won. It may include going hat in hand, humbly, to the world community for assistance-not so much for the Americans, but for the people of Iraq. It may be a sharp increase in troops strength, before any draw-down begins. Those answers lie with the President, the SecDef, and his military commanders.

It can be won. The effort must be made, for that debt of honor I keep talking about-to the almost 3,000 Americans who have died, and to the Iraqi people, who's lives have been turned into a hell not even imagined under Saddam.

We must continue the effort. We can do no less. We started this mess, and we need to do what we can to make the best of it.

What the heck? List one foreign policy/military expert that thinks this war can be won besides this small cabal within the Administration? How about a retired General that can speak frankly? Give me one Bush policy success that would allow you to put any kind of faith in their abilities? The US has no pull with other nations on this. It's gone. They screwed up. Smeared any Country that would not cooperate. Now it's their problem. Bush is roundly despised by majority's in most countries. Why would their politicians go out on a limb for him?


User currently offlineArtieFufkin From United States of America, joined May 2006, 704 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3080 times:

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
That means if anyone shoots at an American, you level the town. You make it known that resistance will not be tolerated, and you will pay if you are even suspected of colaborating with the resistance.

Ah so the answer is to commit war crimes in response to attacks? That's exactly what you are suggesting. Fortunately for us. Folks like you that started this war are polling 17% after the senselessness of this war sinks in. You just think we were not cruel enough. The "liberals" held you back....LOL


User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1718 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3068 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 7):
It may be a sharp increase in troops strength, before any draw-down begins.

What a bad idea. What specific mission are you going to assign those troops Falcon? How is a military response to what is a non-military problem going to lead to anything other than several thousand more casualties? We do not honor our dead soldiers by sending more soldiers to die in a futile attempt to accomplish a mission that is fundamentally not a military mission.

Iraq requires a political solution, not a military one. The only people who can accomplish that are the Iraqis. The Iraqi security forces number more than 400,000, and yet they are incapable of imposing a military solution. That is because there is no military solution.

We cannot force the Iraqis to be civilized and embrace the pluralism, non-violence, and representative government that we advocate. That is something only the Iraqis can decide. Apparently, they don't want to do that, and unfortunately we can't make them.

I believe we have reached the point where we have to ask ourselves if we are spending good money after bad. Is there evidence and a persuasive argument that suggests we are making progress and accomplishing our goals. I don't see it.

It's time to leave and let the Iraqis figure it out for themselves.



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineFalcon84 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3065 times:

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 15):
What a bad idea. What specific mission are you going to assign those troops Falcon?

A bad idea? Hell, it's what should have been done in the first place. We should have had at LEAST double the number of troops to start this war than we did. Plus, that good old boy, Paul Bremer, decapitated any security infrastructure that Iraq could have had, with the president's acession, no doubt, as a means of spite instead of good policy.

The first job would be to secure, without question, Baghdad, make it safe to truly rebuild that city, and then go from there. Until we control Baghdad, and then other major cities, it simply won't work.

I certainly don't want more troops there, but I think there's no other choice, in order to make this work.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3046 times:

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
The two go hand in hand. We've been treating these various resistances/terrorists with kid gloves, and that was a mistake from the beginning. The terrorists AND the local population saw our refusal to take drastic steps to put a stop to it as a weakness.

After Abu Ghraib, the Steven Green rape and murders and many other incidents, I don't think what the iraqi population needed most was to believe in the credible threat of american brutality.  yuck 

I'm sure that most troops in iraq do not see things your way - or at least I hope they don't!

The reason for it all going down to hell is primarily due to losing the peace by screwing up right from the start of the occupation - pretty much every single step on the way.

After that, any military power becomes next to meaningless - pretty much regardless which country you're occupying!

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
The first step in ending the war in 2003 should have been to make damned sure that the Iraqis know that they are completely and absolutely defeated. That means if anyone shoots at an American, you level the town. You make it known that resistance will not be tolerated, and you will pay if you are even suspected of colaborating with the resistance.

I see you're adopting the SS rulebook for occupation and crushing of any opposition.

Which country were you supposed to be from, again?  crazy 

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
I don't think you can compare the two. The terrorists in Germany were communists, motivated by an economic and political ideology. Discourage them enough, cut off their funding, (such as through the collapse of the soviet Empire), and they eventually give up after seeing that it simply won't work. Plus, Communists don't believe in an afterlife - they don't want to die.

Terrorist extremists are always ready to die, no matter their particular kind of madness.


User currently offlineArtieFufkin From United States of America, joined May 2006, 704 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3041 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 17):
I see you're adopting the SS rulebook for occupation and crushing of any opposition.

Not to mention Saddam's exact policy when dealing with the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs. You would think someone would be ashamed to suggest the Americans do this.

He must really love the USA.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 54
Reply 19, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3032 times:

Quoting ArtieFufkin (Reply 18):
Not to mention Saddam's exact policy when dealing with the Kurds and the Marsh Arabs.

Indeed! Some "liberation" that would be!  crazy 

Quoting ArtieFufkin (Reply 18):
You would think someone would be ashamed to suggest the Americans do this.

For some people, saving the face of this particular administration is clearly more important than anything else - their country, their own troops, the iraqis and the whole world can go to hell if just their ideology is preserved!  hypnotized 

Charles has so far been an unfortunate but always reliable example of this kind of attitude.

Quoting ArtieFufkin (Reply 18):
He must really love the USA.

No, I think he is just really, really scared!


User currently offline11Bravo From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1718 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3024 times:

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 16):
A bad idea? Hell, it's what should have been done in the first place. We should have had at LEAST double the number of troops to start this war than we did.

There was an opportunity to do that three years ago, I'll agree with you on that. My problem here is that I just don't think we can put that particular cat back in the bag at this point.

There's too many munitions floating around because we didn't secure that shit when we went in, and three years of killings and counter-killings to fuel a rage and hatred that will last for decades.

In your view is there a point at which the cost of this conflict out weighs the benefit? If we have to stay 10 years and suffer 10,000 KIA are you okay with that? What about 20 years?

Is it reasonable to expect some progressive measure of success, or is it reason enough to simply say that we cannot leave until we "win" whatever that means?

Should we continue to advocate "staying the course" when the ship's Captain and his various navigators are plainly incompetent and have produced nothing but failure? That seems to me to be a little like keeping a quarterback in the game after he's thrown ten interceptions. It's just plain stupid.



WhaleJets Rule!
User currently offlineHalls120 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2998 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
Well it was definitely a war, at least to start with (admittedly a little one-sided, but the point of a war is to win it quickly, I would think). After that it was a brief but baseless PR exercise (look, we won - Mission Accomplished). Then it became an occupation, and the shit really hit the fan.

The "war" part was resolved quickly, and a success. We did remove Saddam and his dictatorship.

The occupation hasn't been a success, and is becoming a failure, because we haven't been able to stop the slow slide into a full blown civil war.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
Secondly, in terms of actual warfare, so far nobody has won and nobody has lost. In terms of the diplomatic struggle and the moral victory, I don't think it's too soon or too pessimistic to say that the U.S. has, despite valiant efforts by the people on the ground, lost - and lost badly.

Diplomatically, I'd agree. Although I'd qualify the lost "badly" comment. I know it is popular among liberals in this country to say that this conflict has irreparably set back US relations with our allies, but that just isn't true. I work frequently on law enforcement matters with colleagues from a wide range of nations, and I can tell you that there has been virtually NO blowback from Iraq on law enforcement cooperation. Despite what you read in the "liberal" media.

Morally, I'm not so sure I'd assign this to the "loss" category for the US. Most of the violence has been Iraqi on Iraqi, and if anybody in this debacle deserves one in the loss column on the moral scoreboard, it's the Iraqi people. And let's not forget the fact that we are having a very hard time getting the same countries who bitch about Guantanamo to take back their nationals that are currently being held.

You don't like us holding them, but you sure aren't in any hurry to take them back.....

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 1):
Meantime, America wallows in its fear, enacting measure after measure to erode the rule of law and the Bill of Rights, trying to regain some illusion of security in a big scary world but with each signature into law, handing another small victory to the terrorists, whose aim (we are informed) was to take away America's freedom.

 rotfl  Every time I read comments like this, I can't help but laugh. There has been no erosion of the Bill of Rights or the rule of law - but by all means keep swallowing the leftist line.

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
Yes it is an internal American matter, but if the actions are denying fundamental justice to the citizens of other countries , then the issue becomes an international one.

Given that our Supreme Court has affirmed the right of the Gitmo detainees to fundamental justice, just how are we denying this right?

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 12):
The two go hand in hand. We've been treating these various resistances/terrorists with kid gloves, and that was a mistake from the beginning. The terrorists AND the local population saw our refusal to take drastic steps to put a stop to it as a weakness.

The first step in ending the war in 2003 should have been to make damned sure that the Iraqis know that they are completely and absolutely defeated. That means if anyone shoots at an American, you level the town. You make it known that resistance will not be tolerated, and you will pay if you are even suspected of colaborating with the resistance.

Once you the resistance is crushed (mainly by the locals who don't want to be made homeless in reprisal), THEN you can display your largess and generosity. This strategy worked in Germany and many other places. We thought we could finish the war in a civilized fashion, but war is not civilized, and efforts to pretend it is only results in the shitstorm we have today.

Mistake # 1 was the inane idea to disarm the Iraqi army. Years from now this will likely be taught in warfare classes as the best example of how to fu*k up an occupation following a military campaign.

I agree that your suggestion to have dealt with the Iraqi population more harshly would have been effective. Problem is, that is a strategy that can no longer be utilized in the day of 7/24 media and embedded reporters. Look at the first gulf war - if there had been no media coverage of how decisively we were hammering the Iraqi army, we'd have occupied Baghdad then. What worked in WWII worked in part because the tactics we employed were virtually invisible to the rest of the world.

Quoting 11Bravo (Reply 15):
Iraq requires a political solution, not a military one. The only people who can accomplish that are the Iraqis. The Iraqi security forces number more than 400,000, and yet they are incapable of imposing a military solution. That is because there is no military solution.

Right now, I don't believe there is political will in Iraq for any outcome except for a civil war and partition. The Sunnis hate the Shia who hate the Kurds who hate the Sunnis.

Quoting ArtieFufkin (Reply 11):
Bush after Nov 7 will be politcally isolated. His own party is deserting him on this. The only question will be how soon? The Dems are not likely to cut off funding right away. They'll let him hang himself further on this.

While you may be right that Bush will be isolated, I can't believe you are validating the oft heard charges that the democrats would prefer a US defeat because it would advance their own political aims.

At least you are being honest, I guess.


User currently offline9V From China, joined Aug 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2998 times:

Check out this video.

http://hosted.ap.org/specials/intera...raq_hospital/index.html?SITE=NYELM


User currently offlineCfalk From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2992 times:

Quoting Klaus (Reply 17):
I see you're adopting the SS rulebook for occupation and crushing of any opposition.

It was also the American method used in Germany at the end of WWII. You have no idea of the horrors that went on at the end in order to rein in the rogue SS units that continued to snipe and sabotage right up until 1948. But in the end, we put a stop to it by making the Germans themselves turn the bastards in because they were more afraid of what the allies would do than the Nazis.

Of course TV is a whole new element. Back then we had censorship. Today, the bleeding hearts would think that this was something new, and demand that it be stopped.

War is ugly, and the way to end it is by making the other side scream for mercy. There is no such thing as a civilized war, and the delusion that it can be civilized only ensures that it will not be won.

Quoting ArtieFufkin (Reply 18):
He must really love the USA.

I do, but not in the overt way you think. I don't have US flag bumper stickers and a flag on my door.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
For some people, saving the face of this particular administration is clearly more important than anything else - their country, their own troops, the iraqis and the whole world can go to hell if just their ideology is preserved!

I am the least ideological person you could meet. You guys are certainly more idealogical than I (or at least idealistic). I am practical and logical. Define your mission which benefits the country, and do what you need to get the job done. No (or very few) restrictions.


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2975 times:

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 6):
Fair point, but the trouble comes when you set yourself up as a paragon of human rights, and invade other countries on the pretext (second or third pretext, admittedly) that you are liberating them from a dictator, and then go and revoke Habeas Corpus in your own backyard. It excites comment.

Habeas corpus has not been revoked. Your information is incorrect. I doubt a Frenchman even knows what the writ of habeas corpus is, and I doubt whether it even exists in French law. So don't presume to lecture us about things of which you know little except what you're read on google news.


Ordinarily I might be tempted to agree with you, but as long as we're injecting irrelevant material into this debate why don't you start by explaining France's role in the Rainbow Warrior??? That excites comment too, y'know.


25 Halls120 : Habeas Corpus is alive and well in the US, despite what the media would like you to believe.
26 JGPH1A : Effectively, it has. All the state has to do is declare a person an enemy combatant or as having their status as illegal combatant under review, and
27 Cfalk : Only for foreigners, not for American citizens. The US is not the guarantor of the rights of foreigners. If the subject is, say, a Pakistani citizen,
28 Post contains images JGPH1A : Oh well THAT'S all right then. Damn foreigners - don't deserve human rights.
29 Cfalk : Not our problem.
30 Halls120 : you are presuming that enemy aliens had habeas corpus rights in the first place. As Hamdi v. Rumsfeld reconfirmed, US citizens have a right to habeas
31 JGPH1A : I thought the thing said "We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal" I see no mention of "all US Citizens are created e
32 Cfalk : Are you suggesting that residents of Somalia, France or China be subject to US law, benefit from US welfare checks, or that the US should protect the
33 Halls120 : You don't see it because the phrase you've cited is from the declaration of independence, not the Constitution. And Habeas Corpus is largely a statut
34 JGPH1A : I know it's part of the declaration of independence, but it's a good principle nonetheless, and not to be lightly thrown away. If you are planning to
35 Halls120 : Come to the United States as a friend through entry on business or pleasure, you will enjoy the same rights as a citizen. Take up arms against the Un
36 Post contains links Cairo : This worked so well when the Nazis tried it in WW2 - all resistance was stopped, people just went along with what the Nazis said, and the Nazis ended
37 Post contains images Halls120 : Drop me a note once the Supreme Court strikes down any of the post 9/11 legislation on the grounds that it violates the BoR and we'll talk. Just how
38 AGM100 : Their are only 2 options now. 1. Pull out and let the peace loving citizens oppressed by the US kill themselves. 2. Reinforce with everything availabl
39 Post contains images Dougloid : You don't know jack shit about your own laws and you presume to lecture us about ours? Then for Christs's sake stop bitching until you know enough ab
40 Dougloid : United States Constitution Article 1, Section 9(5). Drag out your pocket constitutions everyone. That's as far from statute as you are likely to get.
41 Dougloid : A presumptuous statement. Please, sir, when you've finished lecturing the rest of the world will you tell me your source for this most interesting re
42 Baroque : Which rather misses the point, an invasion cannot be a success if the follow up is an unmitigated disaster. And you are going to provide a reference
43 Post contains images ANCFlyer : Yes, it IS a war. No, it is NOT lost. Cut our losses, no. Manage the situation better, yes. Get Rumsfeld outta there and get someone in the DoD that
44 Post contains links AndesSMF : Yes, let's do that. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061023/...p_on_go_ca_st_pe/surveying_iraq_10 Poll: Iraq Arab youth want U.S. to leave "The poll has
45 JGPH1A : That's a tad defensive, don't you think ? The exercise here is not to compare the laws in the U.S. and in France or Egypt, it is to discuss the recen
46 Baroque : Totally UNsurprising, but the Kurds however admirable they may be are NOT a majority in Iraq. It is not all that clear if the Shia areas were surveye
47 11Bravo : "Lt. Talyor move 1st Platoon to the right over there. Establish an overwatch position on the objective and provide suppressive fires on that enemy re
48 ANCFlyer : Very well done. And I see the point here. It's not the US or the military that will solve the problem of the Religious Zealotry there . . . tis only
49 Halls120 : I'm well aware of the Constitutional origins of habeas corpus, which I noted in an earlier post. The fact is, the majority of habeas litigation in fe
50 NAV20 : Beautifully put, 11Bravo. 'Armies don't do politics.' You know a lot more about the military facts of life than I'll ever nkow, ANCFlyer. But even I
51 NAV20 : Have to enquire, Halls120, how do you KNOW that they are 'enemy combatants'? The whole point is that they have never been charged with anything and n
52 Halls120 : No one has been found guilty by WH press releases. I am confident that if the administration ever gets around to holding a tribunal, it will be prope
53 NAV20 : i'm confused now, Halls120. Please explain, in simple terms suitable for a legal novice like me, how not 'getting around to holding a tribunal' diffe
54 ANCFlyer : Thank you very much Bush 1 and Clinton . . . . you've shortsheeted the US Military yet again . . . War on two major fronts my ass.
55 Halls120 : It very well might be the case that we imprison some people indefinitely, but I can live with that. UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh says it best.
56 NAV20 : On that basis, Halls120, what are we offering the Iraqis that is any different from the way Saddam used to run the place?
57 Halls120 : Did you even read what I posted? Apparently not. While I can live with indefinite detention of an enemy combatant, my preference is that the administ
58 NAV20 : I DID read what 'UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh' wrote. And concluded that it was a load of crap. Please stop sitting on the fence - you're running
59 Post contains images Dougloid : Absolutely. I'm tired of self appointed experts presuming to be experts on everything there is to know about all things concerning the legal system i
60 Post contains images Halls120 : Your opinion, of course. I could easily conclude that your opinion is similarly related to dung, couldn't I? So - we should just let our enemies out
61 Baroque : Holy heck, this is the point, there is NO justice in the method of determining that a prisoner was an enemy combatant. A tribunal that apparently can
62 NAV20 : Why easy for me? Am I at any less risk than you are? No wish to quarrel with you, Halls120. But I long ago concluded that the freedoms that people li
63 Halls120 : Easy answer - we made our bed, and will have to lie in it. Which is why the Judge Advocates General of all the services were adamantly opposed to the
64 Post contains images NAV20 : To even things up, Halls120, DC (and Northern Virginia, including Quantico of all places) is the part of the USA I visit most frequently. On top of t
65 Baroque : Well the odds are that even should that happen we will still be bugged by yr posts. Just keep an eye open for ar Arabic looking gent, with white hair
66 Post contains images Halls120 : I live down near Quantico. Wave at me when you pass exit 152 on I95. Look - I never intended to suggest that Australia writ large wasn't at risk. I w
67 Bushpilot : Yes it was a war, yes it is still a war, but a civil war. Is it lost? I dont have a good answer for that. I dont think we can cut and run on this one.
68 Dougloid : It doesn't much matter now what the pretext for invading Iraq was. It's a done thing, and getting rid of the Saddam dictatorship was a good thing. Th
69 Post contains links NAV20 : The things you say there bring us a lot closer together, Halls120. Couple of points though. Firstly, when you refer to 'them' I expect that you mean
70 Baroque : Nav writes, correctly, about disbelief but there, Bushpilot, you have an awful truth. What indeed would one do faced by the dilemma donated to the Ir
71 JGPH1A : Of course - how DARE an unqualified non-lawyer PRESUME to criticize the legal system ! Of all the nerve ! I don't need a legal education to know when
72 Halls120 : Agree completely. If the local population supports terrorists, no military solution short of absolute devastation will succeed - and the "success" of
73 NAV20 : In my opinion that's a bit unfair, ANCFlyer. Bush Senior at least had the sense to take Powell's advice and not go on to Baghdad. And Clinton took th
74 ANCFlyer : Nav, I'm not talking about any wartime issue, Desert Storm or Iraqi Freedom. I'm talking about the drastic and blood sucking destruction of the US Mi
75 Halls120 : In retrospect, you can make the argument that stopping short of Baghdad the first time around was a huge mistake - tactically speaking. We had the tr
76 Post contains images Halls120 : Sad but VERY true.
77 Baroque : Which leads me to ask have you ever tried to assess this from OBLs point of view Halls. First dramatic effect on the WTO, so a plus, then not much ef
78 Halls120 : While ignoring OBL might be an effective long term strategy for diminishing OBL's impact around the world - if I am understanding your point correctl
79 Dougloid : With all due respect, would you presume to lecture a mechanic about the inner workings of an automatic transmission, never having opened one up yours
80 JGPH1A : It most certainly is a huge double standard - my objection is to trotting out Saddam's human rights abuses as grounds for a pointless war, after havi
81 NAV20 : Exceptionally well said IMO. We should all count ourselves lucky that, in our lives so far, the 'judge and jury' have not so far consisted of a coupl
82 Dougloid : With all due respect, sir, your opinion is uninformed-it's painfully obvious. You might as well say you've never experienced sex but you've heard it'
83 JGPH1A : So that's a "nolo contendere" then, is it ? This is not a legal argument, it is a moral one. Have previously existing rights been removed, or have th
84 Post contains links Baroque : There were a couple of favourable things in 91 not present later. One Saddam got a bigger shock, by this century he had figured out what would happen
85 Post contains links Halls120 : You keep saying that enemy combatants have "no right" to challenge that designation. That is simply incorrect. See http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Ju
86 Post contains images Dougloid : With all due respect, sir, it is you who ought to be getting over yourself, and that will be done when you stop babbling about vague and diffuse noti
87 JGPH1A : You must be a very good lawyer - you wrote 4 paragraphs, and didn't actually say anything. Just humor me, OK ? Rather than banging on about how littl
88 Post contains images Halls120 : Well, that's better than continuing to repeat inaccuracies. Like saying that enemy combatants have "no right" to challenge that designation. what a l
89 JGPH1A : I'm merely asking a question of a self-proclaimed expert on the subject - not only about the facts of the matter, but his opinion, which seems obviou
90 Dougloid : Sir, I am not and never was an expert self proclaimed or otherwise, specifically on the reach and scope of any legislation, in particular the Militar
91 JGPH1A : OK - I did. It says that according to the Military Commissions Act 2006: "Based on his findings, the judge may introduce hearsay evidence [10 U.S.C.
92 Dougloid : Yes. Yes Yes.
93 Baroque : well I was going to ask you to let us poor benighted furriners, whose only "blessing" is being able to read English, know how this happens. Then of c
94 Halls120 : Did you read the link I provided? It clearly lays out the process established by the Pentagon for which every detainee may challenge their designatui
95 Post contains images Baroque : There always was a process. Slightly different now. Are they fair - I will take Major Mori's word on that. Good enough for me. PS I think Kangaroo co
96 Post contains links Cairo : Sure, it doesn't matter for those who blindly defend the president and/or America. For the rest of humanity and all of Americans who think it is of t
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Iran: A Bigger Threat Than Iraq Was Before War? posted Sat Feb 4 2006 20:48:57 by Virgin744
Why Did The USA Invade Iraq And Was It Worth It posted Mon Mar 6 2006 23:30:34 by Highpeaklad
Who Leads Us To War And Who Questions It posted Tue Oct 5 2004 19:11:34 by TWFirst
Your 2002 Resolution: Was It Sucessful? And 2003? posted Sat Dec 14 2002 21:57:07 by KLM672
Was It Dubya Or Was It Kirkie's Latest Eloping? posted Mon Feb 21 2005 00:03:25 by WhiteHatter
The Iraq War And Current US Government Policies posted Sun Jul 20 2003 06:31:56 by Flyf15
Stealing SafetyCards Was Worth It, Wasn't It? =)~ posted Sat Nov 25 2000 14:12:38 by Zanadou
I Was Wrong.....The Flamegate Is Now Open On Me posted Wed Nov 8 2006 21:41:15 by Speedbird747BA
Who Plays (and Is Addicted To) Trackmania? posted Thu Mar 2 2006 10:43:40 by UTA_flyinghigh
Iraq Was An "Imminent Threat" posted Fri Jul 9 2004 07:36:27 by B757300