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Is the tide turning about Iraq? (in US)

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http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3359764&page=1

 

A recent spat of Republican mind-changing regarding the situation in Iraq has the White House in "panic mode", according to ABC.

 

Do you feel like public opinion on the situation in Iraq is finally changing to the point that a drastic departure from past strategy is on the horizon, or will the "crack in the dike" among Republican opinion be patched up by more Tony Snowballing?

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The more we try, the more we die. This is about protecting encumbencies. Maybe we get to overpower a veto, but no impeachment. Too bad, so sad Ms. Sheehan. Protesting only gets you so far in life.

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Here's a New York Times article on the same story:

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/09/washington/09prexy.html?ei=5090&en=3f1d31aa3c783295&ex=1341633600&adxnnl=1&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1184040900-VwcJ7YNwMJrbEMWiVCKcJQ

 

And some excellent Tony Snowballing:

 

 

And let me say right here and now:

 

I agree with Dick Lugar. In my opinion the consequences remaining in Iraq outweigh the consequences of a withdrawal.

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Just imagine. The fury of several million Sunnis who have not only had their silver spoon yanked out of their mouth, but have been reduced to panhandling for 5 years.

 

Somebody needs to make a video game about the Iraqi government. Whoever gets the most oil profits wins. Oil profits equals more votes. At the back door, anything goes. Nobody has won yet. Nobody has agreed on anything yet ... because of those darned Sunnis/Shias/Al Qaeda/........... the Kurds just flip off the Turks, saying "Yeah, you see that. We got the U.S. in our corner. Haha. Try to pull that one off."

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The republicans are just ditching because of election season. The american sheeple have been told by CNN and company that we're losing in Iraq, so much so that now candidates have to pretend like the brainwashed pop culture mind numbed mainstream knows what they're talking about. Never mind what the military says, it's just their specialty... :rolleyes:

 

Let me just say right here...we're not losing in Iraq no matter how badly folks want us to. I know, it sucks to mount an anti-war campaign when you're not losing, but that's how it goes. I don't think we should be there either, but fantasizing about defeat is irresponsible. Our country just gets more and more shallow and disingenuous as we allow pandering repitition to define our positions.

 

Honesty is not an american value for either side...I hope it's not our undoing.

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Turning? It turned 4 years ago. The Iraqinam war was lost with the invasion and occupation. It's been a downward slide into the gutter for the USA ever since. Americans have tortured and killled tens if not hundreds of thousands.

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Turning? It turned 4 years ago. The Iraqinam war was lost with the invasion and occupation. It's been a downward slide into the gutter for the USA ever since. Americans have tortured and killled tens if not hundreds of thousands.

 

Perfect example of repititious propaganda regurgitation. Just say it over and over enough... Still waiting for your facts and evidence to support your claims...any of them.

 

You can be against the war without misrepresenting the facts. Just so you know...

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I fully supported the deposing of Saddam Hussein, the world is a better place without him. I am tiring of waiting for the Iraqi people to step up to the plate and take over their country. It's been 3 years since their sovereignty was returned. We cannot hold their hand or be their police force forever. They need to put their nose to the grindstone and get the job done.

 

OTOH, those that want to simply cut and run, because they think there has already been enough time, need to remember that the U.S. Constitution was not finished for more than 10 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed and it still took nearly another year for it to be ratified. A sound government does not happen overnight.

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The republicans are just ditching because of election season.

 

So you're saying that Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) is lying to the American people, and actually supports the war, but is just playing to his base to get reelected?

 

Let me just say right here...we're not losing in Iraq no matter how badly folks want us to.

 

It's not a war. It's a military occupation.

 

I know, it sucks to mount an anti-war campaign when you're not losing, but that's how it goes.

 

The benchmarks set by the administration to measure the effectiveness of the Surge are not being met. The strategy we've been attempting for the past 6 months is not working.

 

I don't think we should be there either, but fantasizing about defeat is irresponsible.

 

It's not "fantisizing about defeat", it's coming to the realization that the potential negative consequences of our continued presence in Iraq outweigh the potential negative consequences of a withdrawal.

 

Clearly you feel differently, but both are valid, defensible positions. Strawmanning the other position as an irresponsible fantasy, without providing any relevant details as to why is a classic example of how the other side likes to frame the debate. Who needs facts when you have fallacies?

 

I suggest you watch the Richard Lugar video. He discusses the current situation within the context of benchmarks put forward by Congress which are not being met:

 

 

And also note how Tony Snow flat out lies about Lugar's position to downplay a shift in Republican opinion.

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So you're saying that Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) is lying to the American people, and actually supports the war, but is just playing to his base to get reelected?

 

No, I think Lugar believes what he's saying. I just don't think "the republicans" are in a shift because they share Lugar's concerns, but rather because of the swing vote. Everyone is going to distance themselves from Bush to get elected - even Cheney would if he could. "Stay the course" has become a Bush-ism, and no one is going to win elections like that - even if it's the right thing to do. Politicians have no shame.

 

It's not a war. It's a military occupation.

 

I agree. And the occupation is successful in terms of holding the country, but unsuccessful in terms of appropriate law and order for a respectable society.

 

The benchmarks set by the administration to measure the effectiveness of the Surge are not being met. The strategy we've been attempting for the past 6 months is not working.

 

Apparently so. I'm also curious about the actual intent of the surge - Tony and Dick seem to disagree as to it's purpose to begin with, let alone the effectiveness of said purpose.

 

It's not "fantisizing about defeat", it's coming to the realization that the potential negative consequences of our continued presence in Iraq outweigh the potential negative consequences of a withdrawal.

 

It is when the only defeat realized is that created in the news. That's fantasy, not reality. We may not be getting anywhere, or progressing, but that's not losing and that's not hopelessness - that's a stalemate and the grim reality of occupation.

 

Here's another truth: The only way an occupation would look like "winning", would be if we slaughtered anyone who poked their head out of a door. There's no such thing as an occupation in the middle east, west, Europe, that wouldn't involve the people fighting back against the occupational force. Period.

 

You already know that going into it. To then point and cry "defeat" is defeatist fantasy.

 

I'm a little skeptical of the "lies" in the clip since there's no time stamp to know when Tony made his comments compared to when Lugar made his. In any case, it's clear they don't agree and Tony appears to be clueless as to the level of disagreement between them.

 

Clearly you feel differently, but both are valid, defensible positions. Strawmanning the other position as an irresponsible fantasy, without providing any relevant details as to why is a classic example of how the other side likes to frame the debate. Who needs facts when you have fallacies?

 

I've provided facts, and included the links. We control the country - fact. We have lost about 3,560 per DoD and they have lost over 66,000 per http://www.iraqbodycount.net - fact. Now the Iraqis may not be doing much, but WE are not "losing" anything.

 

This is an occupation. If you expected them to bake us brownies and welcome our gun wielding soldiers into their homes then that's fantasy. If you expect no one to fight back, that's fanstasy. If you expect neighboring THIRD WORLD countries with gigantuan histories of conquest, enslavement and war to not take advantage of our occupation then that is fantasy.

 

I just think the occupation is going as should have been expected. What did they think was going to happen? If this is losing, then we've sure given ourselves an unwinnable goal.

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The USA defeated the Japanese and helped to defeat the German Reich in less time than it has taken the USA to secure the road from the airport in Baghdad to the 'Green zone'.

 

Pathetic. a pathetic impotent bully. :P

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_prisoner_abuse

 

The world is a much safer place now that the majority of americans, record numbers today, think the Iraq war is a mistake and americans should stop killing Iraqis. A good day.

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Looks like they are finally getting around to trying to pass a bill about the oil profit sharing. Getting this oil program going should really be a big factor in appeasing the population in general. I wonder how much people's actual hunger derives from the lack of this market and the resources that it will provide. I wonder how up and running their system actually is.

 

The Kurds (53 out of 275 seats in parliament) could oppose it since they supposedly have not even seen the bill being drawn up. 13 out of 37 cabinet seats are held by people that are "loyal to the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front and the Shiite bloc loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr", who are both boycotting the entire process.

 

If they can get something working out of this new oil program, I think this will really make a difference in how fast we can leave. Right now, everybody is surely just really hungry, in many ways. Not everyone can be a policeman. Must be a lot of hungry, jealous people to always be bombing the lucky ones who get to be police.

 

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003773927_iraq04.html?syndication=rss

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No, I think Lugar believes what he's saying. I just don't think "the republicans" are in a shift because they share Lugar's concerns, but rather because of the swing vote. Everyone is going to distance themselves from Bush to get elected - even Cheney would if he could. "Stay the course" has become a Bush-ism, and no one is going to win elections like that - even if it's the right thing to do. Politicians have no shame.

 

This is true. It happens when there is a congressional election, and even in 2004 some of the other republicans did their best to distance themselves from Bush. It seems like they really have the art of subterfuge and diversion down. What's really sad is that it still works.

 

I agree. And the occupation is successful in terms of holding the country, but unsuccessful in terms of appropriate law and order for a respectable society.

Then what was the point? Taking away a slight risk of harm (Saddam) and replacing it with an almost certain prospect of harm and a diminishing society? Is the world really safer? When was the last time Iraq attacked the U.S.? Much more blood has been spilled in Iraq after we "liberated" them from their ruler and way of life than when Saddam was in charge. Perhaps a coalition of the willing should be trying to knock our ruler out of power. I think the world truly would be safer then.

 

 

It is when the only defeat realized is that created in the news. That's fantasy, not reality. We may not be getting anywhere, or progressing, but that's not losing and that's not hopelessness - that's a stalemate and the grim reality of occupation.

 

A grim reality of a sensless occupation. In this country we have the right to oppose the injustice our government inflicts on the world in our names. I would like to travel over seas one day. What is the point of crushing their society and then just digging in and holding a position there? Do you really care if Haliburton gets to make another billion or two that much? I don't.

 

Here's another truth: The only way an occupation would look like "winning", would be if we slaughtered anyone who poked their head out of a door. There's no such thing as an occupation in the middle east, west, Europe, that wouldn't involve the people fighting back against the occupational force. Period.

True. If we are going to fight, then that's exactly what we should have done; fight to win. But we have some BS hippie agenda of spreading "freedom" which is obscuring our true goals. The sooner most of America admits that they don't really care about the Iraqis, or if they are oppressed or whatever, the sooner we can do what we should have done to begin with: let them solve their own problems. If your freedom is given to you, then you are not truly free.

 

 

I've provided facts, and included the links. We control the country - fact. We have lost about 3,560 per DoD and they have lost over 66,000 per http://www.iraqbodycount.net - fact. Now the Iraqis may not be doing much, but WE are not "losing" anything.

And how many Iraqis did Saddam kill which sparked this whole humanitarian effort? We crushed a nation, ruined a government and put Saddam to death over 148 Iraqis who were killed by Saddam BEFORE the gulf war. The U.S. has killed 446 times more Iraqis in this war alone. If our goal was to avenge 148 people, we sure did a great job, and we left problems for unforeseeable generations to come.

 

This is an occupation. If you expected them to bake us brownies and welcome our gun wielding soldiers into their homes then that's fantasy. If you expect no one to fight back, that's fanstasy. If you expect neighboring THIRD WORLD countries with gigantuan histories of conquest, enslavement and war to not take advantage of our occupation then that is fantasy.

 

I just think the occupation is going as should have been expected. What did they think was going to happen? If this is losing, then we've sure given ourselves an unwinnable goal.

Exactly! It is unwinable. Just like a war on drugs, the war on terror is doomed to failure. You can't fight an idea. That's like having a war on jealousy. There will never be a point where we can sit back and say "well that was the last one...terrorism is dead". It is just a giant political toilet to flush your money down. It also gives us liscense to imperialistically invade any nation we wish under the guise of fighting terror, when actually we are creating it.

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Another story that is not exactly a headline grabber

 

While there is around 160,000 troops in Iraq at the moment, there is another 180,000 contractors there as well. This is another thing that is keeping us there. Of course, all of these contracts are just civil law, so we shouldn't have much problem exercising executive privilege over this stuff in order to bring everybody home.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dina-rasor/its-official-the-war-se_b_55206.html

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Another story that is not exactly a headline grabber

 

While there is around 160,000 troops in Iraq at the moment, there is another 180,000 contractors there as well.

 

While we're talking big numbers and headlines there are currently about 140,000 Turkish troops massed on the border because of the Kurdistan Workers Party in northern Iraq that launches attacks on Turkish forces...

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Another story that is not exactly a headline grabber

 

While there is around 160,000 troops in Iraq at the moment, there is another 180,000 contractors there as well. This is another thing that is keeping us there. Of course, all of these contracts are just civil law, so we shouldn't have much problem exercising executive privilege over this stuff in order to bring everybody home.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dina-rasor/its-official-the-war-se_b_55206.html

 

Many of those contractors are used in security positions. More bizarre some are used to protect Iraq ministries. Think about it. Private foreign security forces used to protect the vital interests of the country instead of Iraqi security forces. As has been pointed out this is a microcosm hiliting how the 'trained' Iraqi forces can not be trusted by the Iraqi puppet government. Imagine the Secretary of State in the USA being guarded by private Peruvian forces...that's exactly what's happening in Iraq.

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I just think the occupation is going as should have been expected. What did they think was going to happen? If this is losing, then we've sure given ourselves an unwinnable goal.

 

Those espousing the position of Senator Lugar see the goal as being unwinnable for all intents and purposes, or one that can only be achieved after thousands of sacrificed lives, decades of invested time, and hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars spent.

 

By all accounts the situation has progressively worsened since the war began. International terrorism has increased. Iraq has continuously tended towards civil war. Civilian deaths have fluctuated but more or less continued a downward decline.

 

The situation is not improving.

 

Senator Lugar's suggestion is to call for an international summit between the Iraqi government and the surrounding nations in order to propose the withdrawal of US troops.

 

The goal would be to find a regional solution to the problem of the Iraqi insurgency, one which does not require Western involvement which is just as likely precipitating the situation as resolving it. Clearly any change such as a troop withdrawal will have immediate negative consequences. However, the goal of Senator Lugar and others like him isn't to mitigate immediate consequences, but rather find a sustainable, long-term solution.

 

In the words of T.E. Lawrence, Arabia for the Arabs.

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OTOH, those that want to simply cut and run, because they think there has already been enough time, need to remember that the U.S. Constitution was not finished for more than 10 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed and it still took nearly another year for it to be ratified. A sound government does not happen overnight.

 

Yeah, I'm sure if the British had stayed over with us to help, we would have ratified that thing far sooner.

 

Paranoia is correct, we did not lose the war. We are losing the nation building, because it is not ours to build. Keeping the peace and building security forces are not goals of war.

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Then what was the point? Taking away a slight risk of harm (Saddam) and replacing it with an almost certain prospect of harm and a diminishing society? Is the world really safer? When was the last time Iraq attacked the U.S.? Much more blood has been spilled in Iraq after we "liberated" them from their ruler and way of life than when Saddam was in charge.

 

My sentiments exactly. I think their intention was to focus and inflame terrorism over there, with this occupation. This is another reason why I struggle to understand why folks would think we're "losing" something here. It just seems to me they expected it.

 

Don't mistake this analysis for my being for it. I'd rather spread freedom with persuasion, not force. And I don't believe the middle east, or at least a handful of particular countries in that region, are rational enough, nor mature enough to interface with. They should be ignored.

 

We crushed a nation, ruined a government and put Saddam to death over 148 Iraqis who were killed by Saddam BEFORE the gulf war. The U.S. has killed 446 times more Iraqis in this war alone. If our goal was to avenge 148 people, we sure did a great job, and we left problems for unforeseeable generations to come.

 

We didn't crush a nation, ruin a government and put its leader to death over 148 people, we did it because we believed they had WMD's and it worked well with our ideas of fighting the war on terror, while putting a piece of the project for a new american century in motion. Bush ran on the Iraq issue, and I'm convinced the neocons had their minds on this before 9/11 and used it to further that end.

 

Exactly! It is unwinable. Just like a war on drugs, the war on terror is doomed to failure. You can't fight an idea.

 

Actually, you can't fight an idea with the military. It's winable, but not with force. Winning hearts and minds is the most effective. Leading by example seems basic. And then there's always propaganda and the disinformation game.

 

I'm just not sure these people are really worth dealing with at this point. We've got the guys responsible for 9/11, we're on our way to kicking out the neocons, so I'd prefer to just pull out, concentrate on our own borders and trade with nations that are mature enough to deal with.

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Senator Lugar's suggestion is to call for an international summit between the Iraqi government and the surrounding nations in order to propose the withdrawal of US troops.

 

In the words of T.E. Lawrence, Arabia for the Arabs.

 

I agree with Pat Buchanan's assessment. The only solution that 'might' bring about stability is to involve the Iranians and Syrians. Issue there is that the USA has to have detailed and structured talks with the Iranians. Those talks in a structured environment would take away the military card against Iran. The USA can't talk to the Iranians in the morning and bomb them in the afternoon. Iran would likely play Bush like a fish on the line and tease him with tidbits of co-operation.

 

Bush will not tolerate a nuclear armed Iran but attacking Iran while sitting at the table with that regime would make the USA even more of a pariah in the Muslim world than it already is. If the USA doesn't act then Israel will and the Muslim world doesn't differentiate between Israel and the USA. Radical regimes would come to power in Pakistan, possibly Egypt and even after some turmoil in Saudi Arabia.

 

As Pat Buchanan ( a 'real' conservative) adds 'the Bush presidency is a wrecking ball destroying the foreign policy of the United States'.

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I agree with Pat Buchanan's assessment. The only solution that 'might' bring about stability is to involve the Iranians and Syrians. Issue there is that the USA has to have detailed and structured talks with the Iranians. Those talks in a structured environment would take away the military card against Iran. The USA can't talk to the Iranians in the morning and bomb them in the afternoon. Iran would likely play Bush like a fish on the line and tease him with tidbits of co-operation.

 

Logistically, I don't even think us Americans can afford the resources to invade Iran in any case because all the American troops are tied up in Iraq and in Afghanistan. This is why Iran is willing to take more chances with us, for example remember the British Sailors that were detained without any hesitation. And this is why we are more interesting in talking with Iran, rather than bombing them. Plus, invading Iran will only make the terrorism a lot worse because that government is already anti-American.

 

Bush will not tolerate a nuclear armed Iran but attacking Iran while sitting at the table with that regime would make the USA even more of a pariah in the Muslim world than it already is. If the USA doesn't act then Israel will and the Muslim world doesn't differentiate between Israel and the USA. Radical regimes would come to power in Pakistan, possibly Egypt and even after some turmoil in Saudi Arabia.

 

Bush also doesn't tolerate a nuclear armed North Korea and yet there really isn't being much done about it. They already have tested short range ICBM's (The issue of whether or not they are nuclear is a matter of debate, but they have already developed the means of delivering those payloads).

 

And, obviously there are political issues with attacking Iran, but we really don't have the necessary resources or man power.

 

The reason the Muslim world doesn't really differentiate between Israel and USA is mainly because the USA openly supports Israel by giving them arms and helps them suppress the Palestinians, the majority of which are Muslims. Also, keep in mind that they supported Israel during its conflict with Lebanon, even though they were targeting civilian areas. This is of course no big secret to them, and adds fuel to the fire in the Middle East.

 

As Pat Buchanan ( a 'real' conservative) adds 'the Bush presidency is a wrecking ball destroying the foreign policy of the United States'.

 

Yup. One could argue though that it was already on the way there since we started to really get involved in affairs over there.

 

Pretty much, if we withdraw, we will screw up the Middle East even more and they will probably blame us for problems anyway. But if we stay, the result is the same. It is a very tough choice, and quite a hole that we Americans have dug ourselves in :doh:.

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Keeping the peace and building security forces are not goals of war.

 

Preventing a new base camp replacement for Al Qaeda should be considered though since we robbed them of Afghanistan....

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I agree with Pat Buchanan's assessment. The only solution that 'might' bring about stability is to involve the Iranians and Syrians. Issue there is that the USA has to have detailed and structured talks with the Iranians. Those talks in a structured environment would take away the military card against Iran.

 

I don't know that it takes away the military card as much as it validates them. This policy of chasing down countries pursuing nuclear weapons seems absolutely futile. Kind of like that Wack A Mole game. We need to concentrate on anti-missle defense and similar because that's a technology most of these rogue states don't have the capacity to compete in - unlike nuclear weapons.

 

As Pat Buchanan ( a 'real' conservative) adds 'the Bush presidency is a wrecking ball destroying the foreign policy of the United States'.

 

Yeah, that's an excellent statement. I still resent the preemptive strike. I realize there are some technicalities in the past that might qualify as attacking countries that didn't attack us - like Germany in WWII - but the american way was never to attack first. That's a stain we'll never get rid of.

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How will we know when we have won ie what will be the state afterwards?

Are we getting measurably closer to that state?

If we are not doing so then are we at a stalemate?

Does a stalemate that keeps killing our troops count as anything other than losing slowly?

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