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tbar220
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37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:26 am

Ok, since the other thread degenerated into pure stupidity, let's try this again. I'm going to pose some questions, and let's try and discuss this in a civil manner.

So today as well already know, 37 soldiers are dead in Iraq. This has been the deadliest day in the nearly two year long war.

Do you think this would have been any different had the soldiers died anywhere else, say a base in the U.S.?

Why are we fighting this war in Iraq?

First, I think that it is a major difference that these soldiers died in Iraq. True this helicopter crash could have happened anywhere, but the fact that they were in Iraq makes a difference. They were deployed in Iraq to fight the war there, so as far as I see it they are casualties of this war. The government/armed forces sent them there, so the setting of their deaths is quite different than if it were a training accident for example.

So that leads me to think, what did these soldiers die for? Originally we all know that we went in to find WMD and clean out Al-Qaida. Well now we know that there were no WMD and that when Sadaam was in power there was no Al-Qaida presence. I'm not talking about minimal individual cases where there might have been WMD's or a possible training camp. This major, imminent danger that we were told existed... well it didn't exist.

So now why are we fighting this war? Well its pretty obvious to me that we're fighting to stabilize the country. We're fighting insurgents and terrorists who entered the country and started fighting after we invaded.

I'm not saying Sadaam is an angel, but the country was a hell of a lot more stable when he was in power. There weren't daily terrorist attacks on Iraqis (shootings, car bombings, suicide bombings, etc.). Iraqis had jobs and the oil infrastructure was intact. I will even venture to say that far too many Iraqi civilians have died under our occupation in the last two years. Is this the price they have to pay for freedom and democracy?

The more I look at the news now, the more I think the elections will be a sham. The violence will make it damned near impossible for people to vote, and there are just too many parts of the country that are not under our control. I don't think that elections are the end all solution, as I don't see why violence would decrease after the elections.

So why are we fighting this war? I have no idea anymore. The solution? Get our boys out of there, bring them home. Too many of them have died for no reason. We have no WMD's. There is more terrorism in Iraq now than there was before. Oil prices haven't gone down because of this. We still haven't captured Osama Bin Laden or even Al-Zarqawi for that matter. So after the elections, bring our soldiers home. Admit we messed up, bring them home, and stop the death and destruction. Let the Iraqis run their country without us there after their "elections".

I'm tired of watching American soldiers die for nothing, I see no point to this anymore. I don't want to see our soldiers stuck in a war with no end in sight like in Vietnam. Get them out now while we still can.

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mNeo
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:36 am

This is a lose-lose situation for Bush. If he removes them from there that would mean that over 1000 soldiers died for no reason. Also anychance of IRAQ to help pay for the war thru oil is done. The most important reason is beacuse if the US pulls now Iraq will become waht afghanistan became 30 years ago. With so much oil if someone like OBL takes command there will be no stopping him.

On the other hand, yes people are ketting killed on a daliy basis. And yes the war is costing trillions of dollars.

Its not an easy desision to just pull out of the war.
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SlamClick
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:38 am

Okay, let's discuss it. Let us assume that you are completely correct about all of this.

Now, what is your plan for an orderly disengagement?

I ask because I truly have no idea how to go about it.

How do we disengage?
What is the future of Iraq when we do?
Is that our concern?
It is pretty clear that Iraq will be left in the hands of a group I can only think to call "the beheaders" because that is just about all they are known for. Is that okay?

most of all

Where is it written that the UN can't get involved? Why don't they step in and stabilize the destabilized Iraq? I can understand (whether or not I agree) that they did not want to invade a sovereign nation and remove Saddam Hussein, but that is not the situation now. That has been done, for whatever it is worth. So why does the UN not go in there to prevent countless murders that are to come, and stabilize Iraq?

I think those questions are at the very heart of your question.

If one has no purpose at all other than to criticise the Bush administration, then there is no reason to discuss these questions, but if one really wants to see the killing stopped then here is the way out.




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tbar220
Topic Author
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:39 am

Slamclick,

I have to take time to think of answers to your questions. Meanwhile, think of some yourself as well and post them.

Do we both agree at least that we need to disengage from Iraq somehow?
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pilot kaz
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:41 am

All I can say is that I send my condolences to the family of those lost.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:54 am

Do you think this would have been any different had the soldiers died anywhere else, say a base in the U.S

TBar220 - forgive me, I don't understand the context of this question.

There weren't daily terrorist attacks on Iraqis

No, I suppose not in the sense you referred to above. But, I'd invite you to read history about the Kurds. Then I'd invite you to take a tour through one of Saddams prisons. I'd have to call this terrorism as well.

I will even venture to say that far too many Iraqi civilians have died under our occupation in the last two years

How many died under Saddam and are still buried in unfound mass graves - we've already found some - likely there are more.

I'm tired of watching American soldiers die

So am I . . . worry about my brothers (and when I say brothers I don't just mean my "Brothers in Arms', I mean my brothers . . .Earl and Dave) every day.

Ok, my thoughts . . . unfortunately, MNeo is correct. It's a lose, lose situation. If we got out of there as quickly as possible after the elections and left an unstable government with no police force, no sustainable infrastructure, etc, we'd be opening the door (even wider than it is now) for civil war. Anarchy would reign there, factions would take control of their individual little parcels of territory and the country would suffer on an even greater scale.

While I don't disagree that we must disengage as soon as possible, I also know that it will be 18-24 months before we can do that with any assurance that our efforts (and our soldier's lives) haven't been in vain.

I realize the tremendous cost fiscally as well. That said - again, unfortunately, we started this, it is incumbent upon us to see it to the finish.

I do not see the comparison between this action and Vietnam. We lost thousands of troops a month there and ti was clear early on we'd not have success there. We can have success in Iraq. We will have success in Afghanistan as well.

SlamClick: Where is it written that the UN can't get involved?

Not written anywhere. I hope they don't yet. I'd ask that they stay clear for now. The UN is just about useless. It's no secret I think the UN an outdated, obsolete organization with just about zero effectiveness. However, there are many examples - but how but one from recent memory - Oil for Food. Remember that - with Saddam's gold plated toilet seats and faucets, marble palaces - dozens of them, bars of gold in a water truck discovered by US Forces (I have a photo), billions of US dollars trying to be smuggled out of the country. Oh, and Kofi Anan's rugrat on the take. I certainly don't want to repeat that mistake again.

If and when the UN can prove itself of value in Iraq then by all means, let them go in. After the hostilities have wained and after the new government is in place, let them go in to etablish assistance centers then - not before. It would be a waste of time.








[Edited 2005-01-27 00:55:54]
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
SlamClick
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:56 am

Well, it would be pretty hard to argue in its defense. As a lifelong conservative I am still convinced that the real reason GWB wants to overhaul Social Security is so that he can somehow borrow against it to pay for this occupation.

However, I don't ever want to have to go nuclear in the war on terrorism, so the terrorists are going to have to back down. I am not at all convinced that our departure from Iraq would be seen by the terrorists as anything but a retreat like Russia from Afghanistan or the US from Somalia. (I'm talking about how they, no doubt, see it.) I am quite sure that because of those two departures they sit around the campfires at the terrorist training camps and talk about how they rout the infidel from one country after another. It is not just stubborn pridefulness on our part. It is extraordinarily dangerous to show any weakness to these savage and heartless people.

I'm nobody. But the UN exists just for this purpose. Where they hell are they with a peace-making proposal.

I'll tell you where I think they are. Sitting in New York at your expense laughing about this.





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Arrow
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:56 am

"Where is it written that the UN can't get involved?"

I think that's written in the White House.

If the UN gets involved (and I think it should) then I want to see the whole thing run by the UN. Bush would never agree to that, so it's a non-starter, and Iraq will remain a US/British mess.

Much as I dislike Bush intensely, and much as I think his Iraq adventure is a colossal and unforgiveable mistake, I'm actually glad he got re-elected so he will have to sort out the mess he's created and bear the full consequences of his decisions.

The tragedy, however, is that a lot more people are going to die -- Iraqis and Americans -- before this one plays itself out. I think Bush will eventually pull all the troops out of Iraq and leave it mired in civil war.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
MD-90
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:10 am

There have been 33 helicopter crashes in Iraq since the invasion. 20 of these were due to enemy fire. I presume that the other 13 were either mechanical failure, pilot error, or simple bad luck.

How incredibly sad that the US:

1. Invaded a country with leadership that was absolutely 100% certain that there were "illegal" WMDs to be found, only to find that Saddam Hussein is, on average, more honest than the President of the United States.

2. Destroyed a secular government that was surprisingly tolerant in the Middle East and has razed whole cities and annihilated a nation's infrastructure, to the grave detriment of its citizens

3. Has lost over 1100 of our noble soldiers "in a cause called glorious" and killed untold thousands of innocents.

4. Has alienated much of the world and likely inspired the creation of far more terrorists than could ever be lawfully killed.


But I have no easy solution to the absurd mess the US has clumsily wallowed into. We're like a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex, deadly, powerful, and yet sinking into quicksand--probably irrecoverably.
 
airplay
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:13 am

Bush invaded Iraq not only against the UN's position, but with extreme prejudice and contempt for the UN and it's other member states.

There are now 2 huge problems with UN interjection. First, as Arrow mentioned, Bush just wants to use the UN as a conduit for funding his disasterous occupation but I'm sure he would still insist on ultimate "control".

Second, if the UN relieves the US, it will set a precident. Other UN member states will be convinced that they can act unilaterally and just let the UN fix the mess afterwards.

Bush got into this mess against a great deal of opposition from other countries and UN member states, and now he and his fellow Americans need to fix it all by themselves.

The way it looks right now, the only option is to retreat and allow the region to plunge into civil war. Of course by then, the UN will need to get involved. Thanks Dubya....for nothing.

 
TGV
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:06 am

Tbar220:
Admit we messed up, bring them home, and stop the death and destruction.


Is it possible for Bush and his second term team, apparently the hawkish of the hawks, to admit this? Really I don’t think so.

Arrow
Much as I dislike Bush intensely, and much as I think his Iraq adventure is a colossal and unforgiveable mistake, I'm actually glad he got re-elected so he will have to sort out the mess he's created and bear the full consequences of his decisions.


So do I.

Airplay
Bush invaded Iraq not only against the UN's position, but with extreme prejudice and contempt for the UN and it's other member states.

Second, if the UN relieves the US, it will set a precident. Other UN member states will be convinced that they can act unilaterally and just let the UN fix the mess afterwards.

Bush got into this mess against a great deal of opposition from other countries and UN member states, and now he and his fellow Americans need to fix it all by themselves.


Now that is appears clearly that most of what Bush and his friends said before the war was false, and that the “bad countries” were right (hello France, Germany, Russia to a lesser extent), I guess that other “in-between” countries are not very likely to act to help Bush.
And, as mentioned this would set a very dangerous precedent for unilateralism without posterior responsibility. Another reason for other countries not to push for UN involvement.

The fact that the “coalition” has been quietly dismantled is also showing the lack of confidence from former friends for what Bush says or does.

And after all the “bad countries” bashing, especially mine, our American friends will please note that we are not saying a word about what is happening, and which is quite similar to what we predicted (especially for the mess “after” the war).

One thing I will never understand in this war is why the British, who knew first hand of Iraq and of the risks involved, have followed Bush as they did.
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SlamClick
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:19 am

"And after all the “bad countries” bashing, especially mine, our American friends will please note that we are not saying a word about what is happening, and which is quite similar to what we predicted (especially for the mess “after” the war)."

Not saying a word?
Right, not a word. That was 42 words in that paragraph alone.
If you want civil discussion, a little honesty is going to be required on both sides.

Your reference to "bad countries" is not exactly honest either. Just because it is not going well does not mean that France (for one example) was right in staying out of it, or that France stayed out of it for the right reasons.

Honesty all around, please.



[Edited 2005-01-27 02:20:14]
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air2gxs
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:20 am

The US went in looking for WMD's. There were none there, yet most of the intelligence agencies of the world believed there were. In fact, Iraq had used WMD's.

No WMD's were found. That does not mean they were not there. It just means they were not found. They may have been dismantled or moved in the lead-up to the war.

But, this as they say, is spilled milk. Now we have to find a way to clean up the milk. Pulling out the troops is not a viable option. The country would plunge into civil war and all the deaths, on both sides, would have been for naught. I have no doubt that a Taliban style government would arise because the extremists have the guns.

The best course of action is to stay the course. Conduct elections, root out the terrorists, encourage trade in the region and most importantly support the new government. I don't care if it takes 2,5,10 or 15 years, the US must stand behind its commitment to the Iraqi people.

If the UN wants to get involved, they can, but they should be under US command. Why? Because, the US will have the greatest presence in the area and the US leadership will see that Iraqi goals (and to an extent, US goals) are pursued and not the goals of the collective nations involved. These are the Iraqi people we're talking about.

A US pull-out would be the most immoral thing the US could do. Especially after the inaugural speech where Bush basically told the world that US would support democracy where ever it attempts to grow.

So to answer your question, 37 Americans died yesterday, so that the Iraqis have a chance at democracy. Not in a search for WMD's, not hunting terrorists, not re-building schools, not securing a border, not guarding an oil facility, not on patrol, but helping the Iraqis find democracy.

We'll see in 4 days (3 now, I guess), how hard that task will be.
 
EGGD
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:22 am

Where is it written that the UN can't get involved? Why don't they step in and stabilize the destabilized Iraq? I can understand (whether or not I agree) that they did not want to invade a sovereign nation and remove Saddam Hussein, but that is not the situation now. That has been done, for whatever it is worth. So why does the UN not go in there to prevent countless murders that are to come, and stabilize Iraq?


Why in the world should the UN now march into Iraq and clear up the mess that the US Government has made? The fact is, the US went on this pointless tirade without the backing of the UN or the support of other governments (apart from the obvious) and they now have to face the consequences. Many people in the US wanted this war, now they have it. US citizens are dying, every day. They're dying needlessly, we all know this. We all know that they will keep dying, but they have to stick it because once you've started a job you've got to finish it. Do you think the US should pull out all forces now that Iraq's 'tyrinnical regime' has been displaced and they've found there aren't any Weapons of Mass destruction? The point is this war shouldn't have happened, many people in Europe could see this coming a mile off, but Bush went on in there anyway.
 
Schoenorama
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:55 am

SlamClick:

"But the UN exists just for this purpose. Where they hell are they with a peace-making proposal."

For that to happen, Bush would have to allow the UN in and allow them to practically start running the place. That hasn't happened yet and it isn't very likely that it will happen, for two different reasons. First of all, it is extremely unlikely that the Bush Administration will go back to the UN as that would be tantamount to admitting that side-lining the UN in the first place wasn't such a good idea.

Secondly, the actual situation in Iraq is precisely what so many UN Member Nations predicted before the invasion started and, possibly, one of the main reasons why they did not back the US at the UN nor later with the 'Coalition of the Willing'.

The position of neither of these two parties, the US which stubbornly doesn't want to admit it made 'a misstake' and the opposing UN nations with their 'we told you so'-attitude, will certainly not help in resolving the whole iraqi conflict. It must be noted however that although this Bush Administration on a number of ocasions has asked more UN support, until now it has denied turning over any factual control of Iraq over to UN organizations. The UN Weapons Inspectors are still not allowed into Iraq by the U.S., despite the numerous indications and warnings this organization has given regarding WMD components falling into the hands of terrorists. (UNMOVIC's nineteenth quarterly report to the Security Council http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/new/documents/quarterly_reports/s-2004-924.pdf)

Basically, what the Bush Administration is doing is asking the side-lined UN member nations, including those that initially predicted the actual chaos in Iraq, to simply deliver their nationals working for the UN and their material to help them sort out the mess in Iraq, and not to ask any annoying questions about who or what created this mess in the first place. It is precisely this attitude which stands in the way of other nations getting involved in Iraq. As long as the Bush Administration stubbornly continues to act as if it has never ever committed a misstake, the U.S. will remain alone in this whole conflict.

Unfortunately, the longer the U.S. remains practically alone in Iraq, the longer it will take to fully stabilise Iraq.

The only viable solution I see to this whole situation is when this Bush Administration, in some way or another, agrees with the UN a much larger role for the latter. But I am affraid that will never happen as I do not believe this Administration started this war over WMD's or alleged links with al-Qaeda. I sincerely believe this war is small but important step to gain long term access to this economically important region. It is not the oil-prices of today which are important; it's the prices within a decade which are important. And if one has access to oil, prices are low. And if one hasn't got access and demand for oil grows while availabity drops, one has a problem, specially when one aims to maintain the role of super-power.
Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
 
TGV
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:57 am

Not saying a word?
Right, not a word. That was 42 words in that paragraph alone.
If you want civil discussion, a little honesty is going to be required on both sides.


Of course I was referring to what France says “officially”, I am far from being anybody important in France!

And I will try to stay as civil as I can, at least more than Foxnews et al before the war (and this will not be difficult!). But, excuse me, the "Freedom fries" and all the hysterical French bashing can not be easily forgotten.

Anyway I will not say a word more on the subject, I don't want to hijack this interesting post.
I will never fly again 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y
 
Falcon84
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:06 pm

Do you think this would have been any different had the soldiers died anywhere else, say a base in the U.S.?

It shouldn't, on the level of giving comfort to the grieving families. That's the #1 thing. But it weighs a little heavier on the mind that it happened in Iraq, where 1400 have died in this war.

I think a better question would have been if it would have been different as HOW they died. By that I mean if it had been an attack vs. what it seems to be, which is weather.

Why are we fighting this war in Iraq?

I honestly don't know why we are there. I was never convinced-myself-that Iraq had all these weapons. Knowing that nut that ran that nation, I think he would have used them, not sat on them all that time. That's more his m/o.

We certainly didn't start the war to make Iraq a democracy, or to light the way for democracy, that's for sure. That was a convenient afterthought in the wake of the speech of the Abe Lincoln on 5/1/03.

But now that we're there, the war HAS to be to make the lives of the Iraqi people better, all the way around, then they've known from the time that the Ba'ath party took over years ago, up to this very moment. We owe it to them, and we owe it to those Americans who have died. It's imperative we see it through.

Now, what is your plan for an orderly disengagement?

I ask because I truly have no idea how to go about it.


The $80 billion question, SlamClick. I don't know what the answer is, and I don't think anyone in the adminstration knows what the answer is. I'm certainly open to ideas, my man.

As a lifelong conservative I am still convinced that the real reason GWB wants to overhaul Social Security is so that he can somehow borrow against it to pay for this occupation.

God, that's an astounding thought, and not one, even as a detractor of Mr. Bush, that I can say I'm ready to accept. Interesting.

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Alessandro
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:05 pm

MD90, is the Polish helo crash included?
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rlwynn
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:20 pm

I think in this case it is a bit of a stretch to blame a helicopter crash due to bad weather on Bush or the war.
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iakobos
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RE: 37 Dead Americans, Lets Discuss Civilly

Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:37 pm

Who says the UN is not in Iraq ? if you oblige, have a look at the following website, it is very informative. (eg. Fallujah report Jan 2005)
http://www.uniraq.org/

You might realize that the main obtacle in any kind of humanitarian or purposeful public work in Iraq is (your guess).

As far as "law enforcement" is concerned, the UN, in the hypothesis it was an autonomous organization capable of taking any decision on its own (which would make SlamClick happy), has no view on putting anything wearing an helmet and a rifle in Iraq. Though, beret wearing UN personel do participate in training Iraqi Police and specialized services.

If one counts on the UN to take over even part of the "military and security duties", I ask you: which country will send troops ?

Even the French government (yes you read well, from France) last spring (2004) studied (and acknowledged) the eventuality of sending troops to Iraq.
In September they came to the conclusion that it will happen, just it does not fit in the present context, nor does it suit Washington.

Everything would be so simple if it was but black and white...and like POTUS says it is.

Air2gxs
No WMD's were found. That does not mean they were not there. It just means they were not found. They may have been dismantled or moved in the lead-up to the war.
It is about time you fix your misconceptions.
1/ WMD are nothing without material means and human resources to deliver them. Iraq did not have them.
Read the US final report on WMDs, it clearly says "had Iraq had the means it would have taken them at least 10 years to build anything". Your Senate and your House did understand, why dont you ?
2/ while US intelligence capacity was not only questioned but found deficient in the USA (and only there), for the purpose of an excuse, US intelligence capabilities are nowhere near poor or deficient in reality.
Keeping alive the hypothesis of "they were hidden - they were moved - etc..." is nothing else than a blatant attempt to leave an uncertainty in the US public mind. Get over it, there is not a single camel that can move an inch without being monitored, let alone the dozens of special trucks that would be needed to move anything of substance. Even underground facilities are perfectly detectable, whatever their depth.

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