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PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:51 pm 
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This topic has been split from the "Obama Phenomenon" thread. Please let me know if I missed any posts or moved anything that shoiuld not have been moved.

vison's initial post is in response to the following, part of a post by solicitr that I left in place because part of it was on topic:

solicitr wrote:
BTW, on 'hundreds of thousands of deaths:'
the World Health Organization report lately released concludes total Iraqi violent deaths since March 2003 (including military and insurgents, and from common crime) comes to 151,000- less than a quarter than the Johns-Hopkins/Lancet 'study' (which amounted to a poll of 1200 people) that the anti-war and anti-US crowd love to cite.

The WHO figure makes sense to me, given the tempo of military operations. For the Lancet numbers to be true, there would have to have been 5000 deaths per week- that's two Battles of Fallujah raging nonstop from 2003 onward.

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Last edited by Primula Baggins on Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:40 pm 
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Oh, well then. That's ok. Only 151,000!!!

Who could possibly object? :scratch:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:42 am 
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Oh, well then. That's ok. Only 151,000!!!

Who could possibly object?


No, it's not okay, and it's not my point (and I supect you know it).

In this debate (as with any debate on a deadly serious matter) we need to converse in facts, not fanciful hyperbole. Remember how Bush got us into this damn war in the first place? Why is it okay for the war's opponents to 'sex up' the data as they (rightly) castigate Bush for doing?

I would hope that the next C-in-C, whoever it is, is prepare to look facts in the face in Iraq, not expect reality to conform to ideology or spin. This mess was created by the latter fallacy, and it can easily be made worse if the next President blithely assumes that everything will be hunkey-dorey if we just run away. Sorry: the war was a blunder, but the blunder cannot be made never to have happened.

Colin Powell (as so often) was right: We broke it, we bought it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:03 am 
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Indeed.

At the beginning of this campaign, I leaned towards supporting Richardson, but he lost any chance of having my support when he stated unequivocally that he would pull all of the troops out of Iraq at once if he was elected. That sounds good, but it simply ignores reality. As much as I would like to end our involvement in Iraq as soon as possible, such an action would be irresponsible.

On the other side of the coin, I had the same reaction to McCain's statement in the lead up to the NH primary that he could see us being in Iraq for 100 years.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:32 am 
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However McCain was referring not to a century of combat but to something analagous to our decades-long presence in Germany, Japan and Korea- a peacetime deployment to deter or defend against external threats (none of those in Europe anymore, so we might as well bring those boys home and stop paying our 'allies' rent for the bases).


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:35 am 
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solicitr wrote:
Colin Powell (as so often) was right: We broke it, we bought it.

No, George Bush broke it but refused to buy it. He made a gift of the IOU to future generations. Other people will be paying for it in countless ways long after he and the rest of the geniuses responsible are dead.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:05 am 
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Quote:
solicitr wrote:
Colin Powell (as so often) was right: We broke it, we bought it.


No, George Bush broke it but refused to buy it. He made a gift of the IOU to future generations. Other people will be paying for it in countless ways long after he and the rest of the geniuses responsible are dead.


So you want to declare bankruptcy and walk out on the debt owed? Abandoning Iraq most definitely does not equal 'ending the war'- certainly not for the Iraqis.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:41 pm 
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I agree with soli. Regardless of how we got into this mess, we are in it. Recrimations may have some place (particularly in regards to avoiding making the same kind of mistake in the future), but that doesn't mean that we don't have to make hard choices in dealing with the situation.

soli, I mostly admire Colin Powell too, but that day five years ago next Wednesday he most definitely was not "right".

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:13 pm 
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I didn't address the issue of withdrawing from Iraq. I was correcting your misstatement. Bush didn't buy Iraq; he should have proposed tax increases to pay for his folly, but he left it for others to deal with after he goes on his merry way.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:24 pm 
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soli, I mostly admire Colin Powell too, but that day five years ago next Wednesday he most definitely was not "right"


Powell certainly isn't the Font of All Wisdom (he was dead wrong on gays in the military); but unless I encounter solid evidence to the contrary I'm prepared to accept that Powell believed the 'facts' he was given in preparing his UN speech.

Although I think Powell (and Blair) were wrong tactically in pushing the futile quest for a Second Resolution in the first place- asking the UN for its Simon Says and not getting it was worse than standing, legitimately, on UNSCR 687 and traditional international law.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:42 pm 
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It was reported that Colin Powell initially took that report and threw it in someone's face, saying he would not present 'this bullsh-t' at the UN. (I'm sorry I do not remember the details of who reported that.)


edit

Here is one link from a google search. The article is from The Guardian, but they reference US News and World Report for the bs quote.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,968581,00.html

Quote:
Fresh evidence emerged last night that Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, was so disturbed about questionable American intelligence on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction that he assembled a secret team to review the information he was given before he made a crucial speech to the UN security council on February 5.
Mr Powell conducted a full-dress rehearsal of the speech on the eve of the session at his suite in the Waldorf Astoria, his New York base when he is on UN business, according to the authoritative US News and World Report.

Much of the initial information for Mr Powell's speech to the UN was provided by the Pentagon, where Paul Wolfowitz, the US deputy defence secretary, set up a special unit, the Office of Special Plans, to counter the uncertainty of the CIA's intelligence on Iraq.

Mr Powell's team removed dozens of pages of alleged evidence about Iraq's banned weapons and ties to terrorists from a draft of his speech, US News and World Report says today. At one point, he became so angry at the lack of adequate sourcing to intelligence claims that he declared: "I'm not reading this. This is bullshit," according to the magazine.

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Last edited by Cerin on Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 3:49 pm 
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solicitr wrote:
However McCain was referring not to a century of combat but to something analagous to our decades-long presence in Germany, Japan and Korea- a peacetime deployment to deter or defend against external threats (none of those in Europe anymore, so we might as well bring those boys home and stop paying our 'allies' rent for the bases).


When we do withdraw from Germany, it will have a much wider economic impact than merely loss of rent for the bases. When I was stationed there in the mid '80s, there were many people who rented housing "on the economy" rather than on base. We spent lots of money in off base in local stores and bought gas and food there too. I don't know how many US soldiers and their families live there now, but pulling them out will probably have significant negative economic impact on the country.

Unless it's done gradually, of course.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:48 pm 
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solicitr wrote:
Quote:
solicitr wrote:
Colin Powell (as so often) was right: We broke it, we bought it.


No, George Bush broke it but refused to buy it. He made a gift of the IOU to future generations. Other people will be paying for it in countless ways long after he and the rest of the geniuses responsible are dead.


So you want to declare bankruptcy and walk out on the debt owed? Abandoning Iraq most definitely does not equal 'ending the war'- certainly not for the Iraqis.


The USA has had a little practice on "abandoning" things. I remember being glued to the TV, watching as helicopters rose into the air with people clinging to them - I wonder where that would have been? :scratch: Another stupid adventure undertaken out of the usual lies and hubris.

The Iraqis are never going to be happy with an occupation army. Why should they be? Why compound the folly by staying? Let them do what they should have been left to do in the first place: find their own way.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:04 pm 
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The USA has had a little practice on "abandoning" things. I remember being glued to the TV, watching as helicopters rose into the air with people clinging to them - I wonder where that would have been?


Perhaps then you may also remember the TV footage of the Boat People, all two million of them- and just might remember the 're-education' camps, the show trials, and the mass executions that followed the fall of Saigon. Such were the fruits of the antiwar movement's "victory."

I hope they're proud of themselves.




That 'occupation army' is all that, for now, allows the Iraqis a chance to find their own way. An abrupt departure before they have the strength too look after themselves will lead not to self-determination, but to further and increased slaughter until whichever gang of thugs proves the most ruthless, eliminates its rivals and imposes itself by force on the populace: a replay of Afghanistan after the USSR bailed out. Some 'own way.'


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 12:06 am 
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solicitr wrote:
Quote:
The USA has had a little practice on "abandoning" things. I remember being glued to the TV, watching as helicopters rose into the air with people clinging to them - I wonder where that would have been?


Perhaps then you may also remember the TV footage of the Boat People, all two million of them- and just might remember the 're-education' camps, the show trials, and the mass executions that followed the fall of Saigon. Such were the fruits of the antiwar movement's "victory."

I hope they're proud of themselves.




That 'occupation army' is all that, for now, allows the Iraqis a chance to find their own way. An abrupt departure before they have the strength too look after themselves will lead not to self-determination, but to further and increased slaughter until whichever gang of thugs proves the most ruthless, eliminates its rivals and imposes itself by force on the populace: a replay of Afghanistan after the USSR bailed out. Some 'own way.'


Yes, of course it was the antiwar faction that "lost" the war in Vietnam. Sure it was.

The scenario you paint for Iraq has been going on nearly since Saddam was overthrown - and the ruthless thugs are in control in many places, thanks to the invasion.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:14 pm 
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Yes, of course it was the antiwar faction that "lost" the war in Vietnam. Sure it was.


In the case of that dismal footage of helicopters taking off from the embassy roof, yes.

Recall that over two years before the war had 'ended' with the Paris peace accords, in which the North Vietnamese promised never, ever to invade South Vietnam again, nosireebob, and Saigon (being understandably dubious) only signed on with the inclusion of US guarantees of logistical and air support should Hanoi tear up the treaty and attack.

In summer 1975 they did just that, and the antiwar faction in congress led by Ted Kennedy prohibited Ford from honoring our solemn treaty commitment: a craven betrayal.

(One reason Hanoi came pack to the Paris talks was the thrashing their Easter Offensive took at the hands of the ARVN, with US logistical and air support.)

Quote:
The scenario you paint for Iraq has been going on nearly since Saddam was overthrown - and the ruthless thugs are in control in many places, thanks to the invasion.


And would rapidly get orders of magnitude worse were we to run away. We did get rid of Saddam, we did start this mess- and therefore we are duty-bound to try to fix it.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:46 pm 
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solicitr wrote:
Quote:
Yes, of course it was the antiwar faction that "lost" the war in Vietnam. Sure it was.


In the case of that dismal footage of helicopters taking off from the embassy roof, yes.

Recall that over two years before the war had 'ended' with the Paris peace accords, in which the North Vietnamese promised never, ever to invade South Vietnam again, nosireebob, and Saigon (being understandably dubious) only signed on with the inclusion of US guarantees of logistical and air support should Hanoi tear up the treaty and attack.

In summer 1975 they did just that, and the antiwar faction in congress led by Ted Kennedy prohibited Ford from honoring our solemn treaty commitment: a craven betrayal.

(One reason Hanoi came pack to the Paris talks was the thrashing their Easter Offensive took at the hands of the ARVN, with US logistical and air support.)

Quote:
The scenario you paint for Iraq has been going on nearly since Saddam was overthrown - and the ruthless thugs are in control in many places, thanks to the invasion.


And would rapidly get orders of magnitude worse were we to run away. We did get rid of Saddam, we did start this mess- and therefore we are duty-bound to try to fix it.


Always dealing a stupid mess created by stupid men doing stupid things. History is so full of stupid examples you would think even the stupidest man would have caught on by now.

Blame the antiwar people for losing a war that shouldn't have been started? The war was lost from the getgo.

As for Iraq, you can't clean up the mess. The USA is a bull in that china shop and no one will be able to clean up anything until the bull is chased out. People will die? Of course people will die. They've been dying all along. Somehow it's better if they die while the US army is in Iraq, than if it wasn't?

Then, someone, somewhere, get a pair of Burdizzos.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:52 pm 
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People will die? Of course people will die. They've been dying all along. Somehow it's better if they die while the US army is in Iraq, than if it wasn't?


The point is that vastly, vastly more people will die if the US Army is gone. But apparently to you it doesn't matter how many brown prople die so long as Westerners aren't involved.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:02 pm 
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Just a general reminder (not aimed at any one poster) that one thing that tips discussions over into rancor very fast is recharacterizing things that other people say, or assigning motivations to what they say. Please, let's keep the conversation on the level of responding to what is actually being said.

I will also look at splitting the Irag discussion into its own thread, if I can do so without maiming the on-topic discussion. This is merely for topic maintenance and at the request of the threadstarter (Voronwë), who is not here this weekend to do it himself.

—Prim, for the Marshals

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:44 pm 
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solicitr wrote:
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People will die? Of course people will die. They've been dying all along. Somehow it's better if they die while the US army is in Iraq, than if it wasn't?


The point is that vastly, vastly more people will die if the US Army is gone. But apparently to you it doesn't matter how many brown prople die so long as Westerners aren't involved.


Of course it matters to me. Which is why I was opposed to the bloody war in the first place. Don't try offloading guilt onto me. "So long as Westerners aren't involved"? What a crock of bullshit. Who involved "Westerners"? Was it my idea? It will not be because of me or any other opponent of the war that people will die. It is because of the Bush administration and the lunatic notion that somehow it was up to the USA to "create a democracy" in Iraq.

First, that's not why the US invaded Iraq. Second, even if it was, it is NOT the business of the USA to go about the world fixing things, or imposing American ideas on the poor, benighted, helpless "brown" people of the world. Poor, stupid, backward brown people, can't do nothin' for themselves. The Iraqi people did not deserve to be made the subject of yet another imperial adventure - they had problems enough before that.

And kindly do not bring up how nasty Saddam Hussein was. We all know how nasty he was. But the world is full of nasty tyrants and butchering monsters: if he was bad, there are worse. But the "worse" ones don't sit on a big puddle of oil.

The Iraqi people should have been left alone to deal with Hussein. They are not better off, at least as many people have been killed since he was overthrown as he was known to have killed in a similar timespan, the country is in much worse shape, the secular society of Iraq is rapidly becoming an Islamic state complete with honour killings, the tribal factions have cut the nation up like a pie, thanks to the USA, hundreds if thousands of people have fled Iraq. . .

Fix it, my aunt Fanny.

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