"Does that mean that 65% of the country is safe?"
No, it means that 35% of the Iraqi population life in those 4 unstable provinces.
"Is your glass always half empty? Is it not possible that the 35% not so safe to dangerous is made so by a small minority...
Oh, that certainly is possible, but that's not what Mr Allawi said. What he said was misleading as he did not mention that those 4 unstable provinces are the most dense populated, a tiny 'detail' which is
important in the whole discussion. It's like comparing NY state crime-rates with those of Alaska to someone who assumes both states have the same amount of inhabitants.
"...who is taking courage by your reaction to their tactics?
Excuse me, but I can't bury my head in the sand. When I see something, I call it by it's name. You might be used to that under the current Administration, but I am not and I am not planning to change that little "habit" of mine.
"His written conclusion is a politically motivated diatribe, an observation draws no conclusions.
An observation calls no conclusions as long as the 'operation' is still ongoing
. However, we've already seen several 'Iraqi chapters' being closed without a clear Bush Administration success (search for WMD's, 'Iraqis greeting the US liberators enthusiastically', Saddam's links with al-Qaeda, ...). I'd say that the posters' observations that Iraq is a failure so far
is much closer to reality than your observations, so far.
"Not that I am ignoring the contributions of our smaller allies, such as those you have mentioned
Your smaller allies, like the ones I mentioned, contributed very little: Azerbaijan: 151 troops, Latvia: 122, Tonga, 45 (1). They are theoretical
allies. They're only there the make the Allies List longer. Your 'real' allies are just a handfull: the UK, Australia, Italy, Poland, Ukraine and the Netherlands. The Whitehouse might gloat about the list of allies ("The Coalition includes nations from every continent on the globe." (2)), the reality is that most of these allies contribute very little if anything at all. It's a bit like Allawi stating 14 out of 18 Iraqi provinces 'are pretty damn safe'
"...who not incidently have a deep understanding of the difference between freedom and dictatorship...
Then how come the "Coalition of the Willing" includes countries known because of their Human Rights abuses by your own State Department's annual assessments (Albania, Azerbaijan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia and Uzbekistan, to name just of few of your 'allies')?
Don't you think its a bit ironic that some of your allies 'fighting to remove Saddam who tortured and killed his own people
' are doing exactly the same in their own countries?
Applying Mr Allawi's statistical logic, one can assess that 39% of the "Coalition of the Willing" tortures their population is the same way as Saddam did. And you complain about the press not informing 14 out of 18 Iraqi provinces are 'pretty damn safe'!(3)
"...(you must have forgotten the principle that the smallest of friends can be the greatest of allies)...
...specially when the smallest can gain from being/becoming/remaining a friend, like those that want to become a member of NATO (Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, and Slovakia)!
"...but I was more referring the the UK, Australia, Denmark, The Netherlands, Italy, The Ukraine and other countries of more than small size you chose to ignore in an attempt to discredit my point by mockery of our allies.
I am not ignoring these countries, I was rather pointing out that your little 'Coalition of the Willing' is not as large or 'peaceful' as you seem to believe, given their track-records on Human Rights, Democracy and total troops send to Iraq. What's the point in stating, over and over again, that Kazakhstan is an ally of the "Coalition of the Willing", when they only have 29 (TWENTY-NINE) troops in Iraq?
"3 yrs C/307EN ABN 82d ABN, 2 yrs H/122 IN (LRS)(ABN)
I fail to see how working 3 years for a Dutch bank equals to serving for your country
"More people in Iraq have electricity than when Saddaam was in charge.
That doesn't mean a thing. US/UK warplanes have been bombing electricity plants and similar in the US/UK imposed no-fly zones for more than a decade. When comparing, then please do so with 1990s levels.
"THe local economies are growing, and they even have a stock exchange in Baghdad that is growing at the rate of 5 IPO's per week.
Which is another empty statement. It doesn't say a thing as long as you don't compare it with a realistic pre-war, pre-bombing, pre-sanctions situation.
"The average Iraqi, when asked by a real, non-partisan pollster will say that while they do not want any foreign troops in Iraq, but wants us to stay until the job of transformation is finished.
How do you
know? Are you
a real, non-partisan pollster?
"They are growing very tired of the car bombs and terrorist acts.
You've forgotten about the insurgents...
"They want to live without fear of saying the worng thing about a cleric or govt official and ending up as fertilizer under a palace or flotsam in the Shatt-al-Arab.
Don't you think that they'd also like to be listened to? To be able to rule their own
country the way they
want without any foreign intervention?
"Refer to the latest press conference from Bush and Allawi. I realize you are dismissive of them, but Allawi is there, and was not Bush's 1st choice for the position.
No, Mr Ahmed Chalabi was the first choice, which says enough about the second choice!
"He was elected by the Iraqi members of the transitional authority and is the best source of information we have.
Best source of information as in Allawi saying: "Well, I assure you if Saddam was still there, terrorists will be hitting there again at Washington and New York, as they did in the murderous attack in September; they'll be hitting also on other places in Europe and the Middle East"
??? Allawi is still linking Saddam with 9/11, an accusation even the Bush Government has dropped time ago. (4)
"But, if you want better facts, I encourage you to interview people who are there now. Go to the bloggers who are posting from there. Go ask the soldiers returning and see what the majority of them are saying. I tell you what, go to Iraq and see for yourself.
Why should I read what soldiers tell when I can read polls of Iraqi people, when I can watch the BBC and other media? I gave you the results of a poll and all you do is 'shoot the messenger'. You know something, you won't see those poll results in the pro-Bush/pro-War media because it simply doesn't suit their political agenda. They, and you, prefer to ignore reality
and stick your heads in the sands of the Iraqi desert deeper and deeper.
"I tell you what, go to Iraq and see for yourself. It seems that you are inclined to dismiss anyone who disagrees with you so perhaps you should lay your own eyes and ears on the subject.
So I can't have an honest and good opinion because I haven't been there? Then what about you?
"Pick and choose quotes and polls that suit you.
Those polls and quotes don't suit
me! I'm merely reading them, finding out about them. Rather then those quotes and polls suiting me, they don't
suit you! You and your Bush Administration prefer to stick your heads in the sand and ignore those 'highly unsuitable quotes and polls'.
"Look at the overall picture and suggest a better means to proactively combat terrorism and its supporters.
Openly admitting that the War on Iraq for the reasons given (terrorism, WMD's) was an error might be a good start. Look, I am not a pro-terrorist as you probably believe. All I think, and many with me, is that the invasion of Iraq for the reasons given, the actual situation in Iraq right now and the current stance of the Bush Administration regarding its long time allies, is not helpfull at all and even completely counterproductive in the War on Terrorism. Terrorism needs to be fought, but not by invading a nation which had absolutely nothing to do with terrorism nor 9/11!!!
Saddam was a terrible dictator who needed to be removed but not because of the reasons given by Bush. It is very good Saddam is gone, but the false reasons given has enraged many people in the region. That's not something you want when fighting terrorism! In fact, it's the worst thing that could happen when fighting terrorism.
"I already addressed the issue of polling and pollsters. You can frame every answer with the question and the way it is phrased.
If you think that happened with the poll(s) I mentioned, then please indicate exactly where and in which question. I get the impression you not only tend to 'shoot the messenger' when the info doesn't suit you, you also question the pollsters' professionalism when the outcome is negative. By the way, the poll which stated that only 2% of Iraqis see the US as "Liberators" was requested by the Coalition Provisional Authority
"I'll bet the Germans (your country?) looked at us as occupiers too. We sure brought them real democracy such as they had never known. It seemed to have a good effect on the surrounding nations.
Like East-Germany, Poland ...? Your little 'domino-effect' theory is complete madness! The US, together with other real
allies sure liberated Europe allright, but don't make me believe 'democracy suddenly poored into the region' after the liberation because it didn't. Asssuming this will happen in the Middle East is nothing more than wishfull thinking, another form of sticking your head in the sand.
"We did not create Osama, we used him certainly, but his training came at the hands of the Madrassas...
Osama fought the Soviets in Afghanistan through his group the MAK (Maktab al-Khidamar) which received extensive aide from the Pakistan security services (ISI) which, in return, 'was the CIA
’s primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow’s occupation' as MSNBC's International Editor Michael Moran wrote. (6)
"Most Islamics looked at the Godless invader of Afghanistan as an enemy of God.
Most Afghans simply didn't like their country invaded by Soviets, regardless of their religion.
"Not suggesting that thoughts be moderated or controlled.
Yes you where, even in your reply # 17 you did it.
Again, I cannot stop myself from thinking the things I think. It comes natural. It's something by which Human Beings differentiate themselves from animals (like ostriches).
"BTW Comparing me to Hitler is a personal attack of the most despicable kind that you are using to attempt to distract people away from the merits of my points.
You were saying that having a "different opinion"
is not only wishful idiocy, but "also makes the enemy more stronger and us more endangered." You do not want
me nor anyone else to have a different opinion
than yours. You don't want people to dissent
. In that, you are comparable to Hitler, whether you like it or not!
"You have adopted the ways of Hitler by throwing outrageous accusations...
I wasn't accusing you of being a Nazi, dude. I was stating Hitler would have been proud of you given your opposition to other peoples opinions, particularly when these are different than yours.
"... hoping that others who are sympathetic to you will paint me with the same brush.
I don't give a sh!t what others, sympathetic to me or not, paint you with. I do care however that others can express their opinions freely
, something you want to undermine.
"I encourage you to find another way of expressing yourself. I would respond in a manner that would make me feel better, but I would not like the ensuing banning and you would not have the personal courage to physically stand up for your words anyway.
How can I find another way to express myself when everytime I say something you don't like, you state I encourage the enemy? My family died too during WWII
and one of the greatest lessons that my generation has learned from that terrible episode is that any form of radicalism starts with people's opinions being addressed as dissent
"They also knew that open dissent was impossible in Nazi Germany, especially after the start of World War II. Most Germans took the traditional position, that once war breaks out, it is the duty of the citizen to support the troops by supporting the government. But Hans and Sophie Scholl believed differently. They believed that it was the duty of a citizen, even in times of war, to stand up against an evil regime, especially when it is sending hundreds of thousands of its citizens to their deaths."
The White Rose: A Lesson in Dissent by Jacob G. Hornberger (7)
You were, and still are, stating that my opinions encourage the enemy. You want to limit or stop my dissent, in the same way as Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Idi Amin did.
: (1) http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/iraq_orbat_coalition.htm