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Author Topic: Absolutely, totally DISGUSTED!!!  (Read 6059 times) Average Rating: 0
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TomS
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« on: August 13, 2004, 08:32:51 AM »

NAJAF, Aug. 13 -- U.S. forces ceased offensive operations in the embattled city of Najaf Friday morning, according to Marine and Army officers, barely 24 hours after launching a multi-pronged offensive against the Mahdi Army of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr. Commanders indicated the new cease-fire orders were designed to allow political negotiations to proceed between Sadr and the interim Iraqi government.

Well, not DEALING with the problem (again) --

....As the major spoke, a junior officer plotted reports of fresh incidents on an oversized plasma video screen. Pizzitola sent rueful word to a patrol that had spotted a machine gun nest that it could not fire on it until it fired on them.

How STUPID is THIS -- once these negotiations fial (and they will, this is a tactic that will just allow the insurgency to regroup) this EXACT machine gun will be used to try to KILL US troops! Because of COURSE, Sadr will be allowed to KEEP his malitia!!

...Another computer symbol marked a group of 200 or 300 Iraqis proceeding south down the main road into Najaf to support Sadr's forces. "Peaceful, no weapons," Pizzitola emphasized to a patrol that might run into them. A half hour later, however, junior officers scrambled to pass on a report that guns were being distributed among the marchers.

DUH!!!?Huh!! We ALLOWED a group of Iraqi men to just WALK into the site where the insurgents are because they were not ARMED?Huh!!! Wouldn’t the correct term for these men be "REINFORCEMENTS"!!!!??? And then we are SURPRISED when, lo and behold, they are given GUNS!!!! THIS IS INSANE!!!

If I had a son or daughter about to be shipped over there - I would tell them to go to Canada!! This is Vietnam all OVER again. You put the forces OVER there but then the POLITICIANS don’t allow them to do the JOB.

Look. we HAVE to begin dealing with this issue NOW BEFORE one of these fanatical groups gets a hold of a "dirty bomb" or some other type of WMD. It is ONLY a matter of time.

This is like Nazism in the early stages. Hitler was VERY clear from the get-go on what he wanted to accomplish - so are these fanatics.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2004, 11:55:02 AM by Tom+ú » Logged
ania
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2004, 09:47:10 AM »

BTW, They are thinking of reinstating the draft, with both men & women 16 to 26 years old eligible... I mean, I only have 3 years until I’d be ineligible, but my 16 year old brother will have to live with the fear for the next 10 years... uggg... gag me.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2004, 09:48:06 AM by ania » Logged

Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2004, 09:55:50 AM »

Tom,

While I agree that the events you're detailing demonstrate a great deal of absurdity (common sense would indicate those men were re-enforcements), the problem is that the United States abides by some pretty strict rules of engagement, which often give more "benefit of the doubt" than a healthy skepticism would ever allow.

Though there is a lot about the "war on terror" I find obnoxious and deceitful, the "rules of engagement" which the United States Armed Forces observe, imho, are an admirable indicator of just how (relatively speaking, mind you) benevolent a super/imperial (?) power the United States is.

As for the draft issue, I find this troubling (though I myself am not a citizen of the United States.)   However, this has a lot to do with my misgivings about this whole enterprise that America is currently involved in, and that any draft would be used in the service of it.

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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2004, 09:56:03 AM »

IMHO, I dont think there will be a draft. It would be political suicide for Bush to even entertain these thoughts.  When Kerry gets in he will bring the Iraqi war to a conclusion win or lose.  I dont think if Kerry gets in he will want to meddle in the affairs militarily as Bush has done.  I dont know if this is a good thing long term or not.

JoeS  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2004, 10:10:08 AM »

You never know...  There has been talk about it for a while now, though they say the only branch of the military that is lagging in recruitment is the army (hence extended tours, recalls, etc), everything else has enough people.
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Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2004, 11:53:37 AM »

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BTW, They are thinking of reinstating the draft, with both men & women 16 to 26 years old eligible

This is an internet myth started by the left for the current election season.  The US has never drafted 16 year olds (though some kids lied and doctored their papers so they could serve in WWI and WWII; in that case, the kid volunteered and wasn't drafted), and there is no reason to enact any kind of draft today.
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2004, 12:24:05 PM »

...it might have been 18, but I'm pretty sure 16 was said, & it's not an internet myth, considering it is being talked about on FOX & NBC & ABC & CBS news as recently as the begining of this week, as well as talk radio such as Sean Hennedy & Rush.  I don't really go into internet myths, but I do listen to & watch the news every day.
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Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
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« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2004, 02:09:40 AM »

Based on reviewing some newspaper articles on-line, the draft thing seems to come down to two basic sources:

(a) a pair of bills in congress sponsored by Democrats which are doomed to disappear into committee, and

(b) a lot of wild remors on the internet.

Everything else appears to stem from media reporting on these two things, amplified by misreporting of everyday occurences (e.g., filling SS board positions).
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« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2004, 09:44:22 AM »

Who got us all into this mess? And why? We know we were mislead and we know certain so-called 'neo-conservatives' long had armed intervention in Iraq as a high priority goal.

Who ends up in the firing line, well first and foremost Iraqi men, women and children who have never had any say in any of this. Their casualty figures are unknown and outstrip any other participants. Who else? Young men and women from the coalition powers. Often young men and women from low income families. I guess, and it is a guess there are not many if any from the families of those conviction politicians, the neo-conservatives. No their battles are fought in the corridors and back-rooms of power.

In both the US and UK reserve forces personnel are unhappy and I suspect it will be much harder to recruit volunteer reserve forces in the future. If you cannot get enough volunteers and you are stuck then you compel. US history clearly shows when this happens that the poor will bear an unfair burden and the children of the rich and powerful will be provided with exemptions.

My answer, regardless of age or infirmity, send the twits who thought this up to Najaf and let them sweat it out. If they, in reality had to do it once, it would never happen again, believe me............
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« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2004, 11:23:10 AM »

If I had a son or daughter about to be shipped over there - I would tell them to go to Canada!!

Huh...yeah, as a 24 year-old, this is where I'm glad I speak Spanish...I could live a long time down in Mexico....

If you cannot get enough volunteers and you are stuck then you compel. US history clearly shows when this happens that the poor will bear an unfair burden and the children of the rich and powerful will be provided with exemptions.

My answer, regardless of age or infirmity, send the twits who thought this up to Najaf and let them sweat it out. If they, in reality had to do it once, it would never happen again, believe me............

A good point, Etienne, and one that needs to be made more often...not that I'm blindly endorsing Michael Moore's movie (I think it's a mix of good questions and bad reporting), but one of the funniest parts was when he went to DC and went around to Congressmen and women who voted for the war in Iraq and, enlistment papers in hand, asked them if they would please sign their kids up to go to war, since they supported it so much.  Needless to say, that didn't happen.  From senators to Bill O'Reiley, the folks who stand in support of this Vietnam II (you're right, Tom) are content to let the sons and daughters of the poor fight this war.  Been like this since the beginning of time, but it doesn't make it any less infuriating.
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« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2004, 12:05:15 PM »

NAJAF, Iraq (CNN) -- Efforts to broker a peace agreement with rebel forces loyal to Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the embattled city of Najaf have failed, an Iraqi government official said Saturday.

Who would have thought that THIS would happen!!!???  Wink

A statement issued by Mouwaffaq al-Rubaie, Iraq's national security adviser, suggested that fighting soon would resume in the south-central city.

See my statement in the initial post referring to a certain MACHINE GUN that will now be put to use to kill coalition troops.  Angry

The news came as thousands of people headed to Najaf on Saturday to show their support for al-Sadr, whose militia has engaged U.S. and Iraqi forces in several cities across the country.

Al-Sadr supporters were trekking toward the Imam Ali Shrine in the center of Najaf, where they hope to protect the mosque, among the most sacred sites in the world to Shiites.


Ahhh..... MORE pilgrims (in reality reinforcements) that will be let in under the guise of "worshiping" at the shrine.   Tongue

Najaf Gov. Adnan al-Zurufi said the Iraqis are welcome to visit the shrine but no one will be allowed to bring a weapon.

Did this BOZO not pay any attention to what happened LAST WEEK???!! (see the original post for the referance)  Roll Eyes

In his speech, al-Sadr sounded like he was in no mood to extend an olive branch.

But..., but.... ISLAM is a religion of PEACE!  :-

TOAST THEM!!!!
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« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2004, 05:48:01 PM »

Keble:
Quote
(a) a pair of bills in congress sponsored by Democrats which are doomed to disappear into committee, and

I believe it was Charlie Rangel, Democrat Congressman from New York, who's pushing for the draft.  Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld has already stated they're not bringing back the draft because it isn't needed.

(It should be noted that it was Nixon who put an end to this form of human slavery.)

Etienne:
Quote
In both the US and UK reserve forces personnel are unhappy and I suspect it will be much harder to recruit volunteer reserve forces in the future.

They willingly sign themselves up to fight wherever their commanders send them.  If that makes them unhappy, they shouldn't have signed up in the first place.  Take a poll of most adults and you'll find they are unhappy in any job.

Quote
If you cannot get enough volunteers and you are stuck then you compel. US history clearly shows when this happens that the poor will bear an unfair burden and the children of the rich and powerful will be provided with exemptions.

Actually, studies came out earlier this year disproving this.  The burden is shared overwhelmingly by middle income Americans, not the poor.  This is because of the military's education and skill requirements (i.e. high school graduate who can read and write like a high school graduate).  If you implement a draft to "sock it to the rich", you'll be pulling in a higher percentage of poor as well.

Pedro:
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Huh...yeah, as a 24 year-old, this is where I'm glad I speak Spanish...I could live a long time down in Mexico....

I see a thriving business idea here.  You could start smuggling Americans across the border :-))))))  Wouldn't that be a hoot!

Quote
but one of the funniest parts was when he went to DC and went around to Congressmen and women who voted for the war in Iraq and, enlistment papers in hand, asked them if they would please sign their kids up to go to war, since they supported it so much.  Needless to say, that didn't happen.

As parents, we don't really send our children to war.  When they've reached the age of consent, they're free to choose their own paths.  So I don't think the guilt factor is really there.

I'd like to see a petition sent around to those who want to rescind the tax cuts for the wealthy; it would give them the option to send their tax refunds back to DC, solely to pay for more homeland security.  How many of those Senators would give the money back?  As a matter of fact, I believe in Massachussetts they've put such an option on tax forms (sending back money gained from Bush's tax cut).  According to his tax statements, Kerry kept his money.
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« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2004, 08:02:59 PM »

1) About 10,000 demonstrators from as far away as Baghdad arrived in Najaf on Saturday to show their solidarity with the militants and act as human shields to protect the city and the holy Imam Ali shrine, where fighters from al-Sadr's Mahdi Army have taken refuge since the fighting started Aug. 5.

2)Soon after the talks broke down, a massive Army and Marine force of tanks, Humvees and armored vehicles lined up inside a U.S. military base in Najaf for an assault on the militants, which Allawi reportedly called off.

"We were sitting here waiting for authorization to go clear the militia. We never got that authorization," said Marine Maj. David Holahan. "We'll continue operations as the prime minister ... sees fit."


We should just pull out of this country now -- we have lost it. When the Iraqi "government" (that's a JOKE) allows a THUG to control it -- it has lost all capability to govern.

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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2004, 02:38:12 AM »

Just for clarification, the age of the draft is all males 18-26, this can be verified on the selective service website.  

I think the draft debate will appear in early 2005.  No one presidential candidate is mentioning it because it would political suicide.  But after the elections, I believe this issue will get more steam and there may well be a draft.  The Army is having a hard time getting re-enlistments...many want to get out as they are burned out from being constantly deployed.  Where will the troops come from? Guess where.  I do not dismiss these rumors of a draft easily...it is easy to do when one is not draft and does not have any male children from 18-26.  There has been talk about expanding it to include women since we are now in the liberated era, whoever I don't think Americans will stand for it.  They would much rather send their sons to kill and die than their daughters.

I do not think Kerry is any better than Bush when it comes to foreign affairs.  From his speeches he has not said that he would leave Iraq.   I believe that Kerry will get us into more useless conflicts just like Bush will, depending on whoever is elected.  There is no real difference on foreign policy between the two major parties.....there is no antiwar voice...there was one in Howard Dean but now he has sold his soul to the political devil.
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2004, 10:02:54 AM »

Well, if it does get reinstated, I'm taking my brother on an extended vacation, preferably somewhere warm.
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Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2004, 11:31:22 AM »

...it might have been 18, but I'm pretty sure 16 was said, & it's not an internet myth, considering it is being talked about on FOX & NBC & ABC & CBS news as recently as the begining of this week, as well as talk radio such as Sean Hennedy & Rush.  I don't really go into internet myths, but I do listen to & watch the news every day.

Ania, Notsince the Civil War has the US drafted 16 year olds. Most 16 year olds are not  mentally or psychologiaclly capable of being an effective soldier.

No Draft will come about. The Democrats want to institute a draft to strengthen the anti-war movement.

The US Army right now could re-call 200,000+ prior-service people if they really needed people. The Army is the only service havingtrouble recruiting people, in large part it no longer trains its soldiers adequately to survive on the Battlefield. As a veteran of the US Army from '85-'92 who comes from a afamily where every able-bodied male has served in the Army since the BlackHawk War, I would not allow any of my children to join the Army since they institued this "no-stress" basic training.

Look at thge casulaties....one quickly learns that most US soldiers who are getting killed are not infantry but support troops. There are classified reports within the Army that state most US Army soldiers do not shoot back even when fired upon. The Infantry however is pretty much left alone and not targetted by the terrorists because they know the infantry can and does shoot back -- usually with great accuracy.

The Marine Corps has not lessened its training to prepare Marines for surviving the Battlefield. I would direct people interested in serving the Army away from the Army and into one of the other services.

I am just one of tens of thousands of Army vets who feel this way. The all-volunteer force relies a lot on family tradition for recruitment....and the old soldiers --- if they must see their children serve -- want them to have the best possible training to survive -- the Army does not do that anymore and that is one reason why it can not fill its quota.

If the Army would go back to what Basic Training used to be before the politically correct Clinton administration promoted generals took over -- we would eventually see a rise in recruitment.
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« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2004, 10:22:44 AM »

I think that the idea of having a volunteer army works better in peacetime than in wartime, ironically.  When a war happens, the folks who are the families of the volunteers think it is not fair that they are disproportionately impacted by a war that they may not support (while others, who may support the war, have no personal stake in it and don't feel its repurcussions in any way, really).  I realize that the counterpoint to this is that this is what being a volunteer soldier is about, but politically the reality is that many people are uneasy with the idea that the vast majority of Americans who supported the war made and are making no sacrifices at all relating to it.  I think it's that aspect of the issue that gives the draft some populist-type support ... my guess is not enough to actually get passed (at the margin, people think its worse for everyone to be forced into a war they don't like rather than just those who have volunteered).

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« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2004, 08:46:48 PM »

//ania


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You never know...  There has been talk about it for a while now, though they say the only branch of the military that is lagging in recruitment is the army (hence extended tours, recalls, etc), everything else has enough people. //

Yes, it is talk and thats what it will remain, just talk.   Bush is closing bases in Europe and South Korea and this will supplement the troops now needed to rotate those who are over extended in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Please dont worry about the draft.  IT WONT HAPPEN IN THIS TERM.  

JoeS   Cool
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« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2004, 09:30:37 AM »

For the Sake of a Shrine
Tuesday, August 24, 2004

By Neil Cavuto

I just want to see if I've got this straight: We're being very careful in Najaf not to damage a shrine being used by gunmen trying to kill us?

Last time I checked, shrines were for praying, meditating and maybe even mulling. But not once, to my knowledge, for murdering.


For months now, the revered Imam Ali Shrine has become a fortress: a Koran-bless Alamo. Only the Alamo wasn't a church. Just like this place is no longer a shrine.

It stopped being a shrine when they replaced the prayer books with A-K 47s and swapped hymns for the whirr of rocket propelled grenades.

It stopped being a shrine when they stopped praying, and started killing.

Yes, it's a grand, old structure. And we've done our best not to harm it. But the guys in there are harming us and their fellow Iraqis.

Under the cover of a dome meant to promote peace, they promote bloodshed. We condone it. Would that they be so considerate.

Are we the only ones who value these shrines? Or are they the only ones who know we are the only ones who do?

We are so careful not to offend. So much so, that we allow some of our guys to die for the sake of a holy shrine now used for the most unholy of purposes.

I don't know about you, but I'd rather save a Marine than a piece of marble. But that's just me.

It's one thing to honor a building whose purpose was all good. It's quite another to lose sight of the bastards inside it whose purpose is clearly all evil.

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« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2004, 10:23:14 AM »

Lessons learned from the American Civil War ----- Excerpt from an Op-Ed in the Washington Post:

---

Not long ago, preparing for a history workshop, I found myself rereading U.S. Grant's "Personal Memoirs," widely regarded as among the finest such recollections ever penned by a professional soldier. Reviewing his account of his army's operations in Tennessee and Mississippi, I was struck by the change they gradually wrought in Grant's attitude and that of his troops.

General and soldiers alike were products of the mid-19th century, with a view of war shaped by the formalistic conflicts of the recent past. Grant himself at the outset of the war expected it to end with a few decisive battles. The issues in dispute having been tried on the battlefield, the loser would accept the verdict and make peace.

In the West, however, the war didn't go that way. Instead, enflamed by widespread popular resistance in the areas occupied by Federal troops, it took on a character few on either side had foreseen. It became what it had to be if the rebellion was to be defeated: a war against Southern society, not just its soldiers.

Not all leaders on either side recognized and accepted the change. Grant did. "He had no liking at all for the cruel weight which modern warfare puts on the civilian," wrote one of his biographers, "but he could order the weight applied without the slightest hesitation when it seemed to him to be necessary." Fortunately, in Abraham Lincoln, he had a president who not only shared his commitment to victory but also accepted the moral cost of achieving it.


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« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2004, 10:40:33 AM »

Quote
Fortunately, in Abraham Lincoln, he had a president who not only shared his commitment to victory but also accepted the moral cost of achieving it.


IOW, Lincoln and Grant were monsters. Lincoln certainly was.
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« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2004, 11:30:51 AM »

IOW, Lincoln and Grant were monsters.

You need monsters to win wars.

Now, go iron your skirt  Grin (kidding!)
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« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2004, 12:37:24 PM »

Is there any proof that gunmen are firing from the Imam Ali mosque, in Najaf, on Iraqi Government or American forces?

The insurgents or lawless gunmen were reported as using the densely populated 'old' quarter adjacent as firing points and shelter from coalition forces who would incurr heavy casualties and the increasing risk of damage to the mosque, according to some reports. Both Iraqi and the Coalition would be reluctant to act in a way that might alienate non-involved Iraqi Shias and further fueling the conflict, surely.

A problem not satisfactorily addressed is the troubling role of Iran in all of this. Jack Straw's (UK foreign secretary) long term policy of engagement with the Iranian government appears to have massively failed. Presumably because the theocratic dictatorship probably regards diplomatic engagement as a indicator of weakness.
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« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2004, 03:07:16 PM »

I'm in the Army, and I'm pretty sure that US policy is that a religious structure ceases to be just that once it becomes a bunker or a base.  This war is going further into hell every day because people who don't know the first thing about it are calling the shots.
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« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2004, 03:30:31 PM »

It's being run by the politicians -- just like Korea, Vietnam, and the Gullf War. Every war since WWII has been nothing but political maneuvers.

You either decide to win a war TOTALLY and REMOVE the PROBLEM COMPLETELY - or just don't bother!
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« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2004, 06:23:33 PM »

Neither J or TomS have answered the question, is there any evidence that the Imam Ali mosque is being used as a firing point by these repugnant insurgents? Or are they using placements within the shadow of the mosque? Yes, apply your military principle if you establish that mosque is being misused but the consequences will not be some Iraqi Government forces and American casualties, it will be a turning by those Shia who are not currently involved on the Coalition and others who will feed on the ensuing chaos. If Muqtada al Sadr is being tactically clever then the greatest power on earth needs to be cleverer still.

Presently I feel I am coming  across two phenomena; first fudge the facts and the second something that might be 'apoplectic christianity'. The second is medically very dangerous as it may lead to a CVA!

Don't get me wrong folks I ain't keen on Muqtada al Sadr and his so-called milita, or any of the other clods with a murderous intent to use the abundant weapons on Coalition forces or poor Iraqis who just want a normal life.

Of course, if some ****** in the coalition had not decided to summarily dismiss the Iraqi forces following taking Iraq many of these weapons and munitions might have been safely under lock and key from the off.

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« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2004, 10:03:18 PM »

I'd like to know why we're not gassing the mosque, and then sending in the Iraqis to mop up.  No brick broken, no political gain for the Islamic fascists.
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« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2004, 10:30:16 PM »

Neither J or TomS have answered the question, is there any evidence that the Imam Ali mosque is being used as a firing point by these repugnant insurgents? Or are they using placements within the shadow of the mosque?

They are definitely using it to store weapons and to congregate. There was a news reporter who went into it sometime last week and filmed some of it.
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« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2004, 06:41:48 AM »

Yes, conscript all those neo-con politicians and put them in the front line.

For myself I am disgusted that the blood trail left by those guys is phenomenal. But I get the feeling that the only casualties that matter to 'apopletic christians' are American ones? America had a choice whether to be there or not. In any number of places the locals don't.

Imagine a gang are active across the US and they are murderous and more, killing some here, moving on and killing more there. The FBI are subsequently called in and in addressing the gang begin to clock more and more so-called 'collateral' damage until the numbers eclipse those inflicted by the gang. Even though the FBI might be taking casualties there would be uproar. Why? because the 'collateral' damage are Americans and American property.

You guys are just 4% of the world's population, you consume some 25% of its resources. You proclaim you went in to Iraq to unseat a monster. So currently feed one in Uzbekhistan. He boils dissidents alive. But that's okay folks 'cos he's our monster in the fight against terrorism.

When terrorists were giving the Brits and peacable folk hell, their hands were tied again and again by ......... Americans. When Israel goes in an exceeds anything the Brits did America keeps silent and more than silent, it funds Israeli excess and it defends it from accountability.

And my point. I hate seeing young American men and women hurt and killed, and their families bereaved. I hate it. But your administration got all of us into this mess. If it needed to be done, and that could be debated, it could and should have been done more honestly and better. Some fool for example just dismissed what Iraqi infrastructure survived 'shock and awe'. Why? Did they have a comprehensive alternative and resources to replace ready? No.

But my biggest point. Is an American life worth more than that of a non-American? Just as an Israeli life seems to be worth far more than a non-Israeli life. Because if that is the case this view is incompatible with Christian teaching. I say none of this in a spirit of what is all too common these days, something we might call anti-Americanism. Because that too is incompatible with Christianity and I believe at a purely secular level is nonsensical and unjust.
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« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2004, 08:50:40 AM »

You guys are just 4% of the world's population, you consume some 25% of its resources....

Is it OUR fault that the rest of the world are a buch of losers? Watch it pal -- your pathetic country may be next! (Braa-haaa-haaa)  Grin

But my biggest point. Is an American life worth more than that of a non-American?

If that non-American life is wanting to kill Americans - you're damn right it is!
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« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2004, 03:39:34 PM »

On a serious note the good news is Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani appears to have secured a cease-fire. I pray that it is what it appears to be and that many lives may be saved as a consequence.

Of course, as a diversion reasonable men can throw brick-bats at each other. At least it is a non-lethal form of boys and their toys

 Roll Eyes
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« Reply #31 on: August 26, 2004, 04:03:25 PM »

Is it OUR fault that the rest of the world are a buch of losers? Watch it pal -- your pathetic country may be next! (Braa-haaa-haaa)

Please explain to me how that comment promotes the values of our country, Tom...
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« Reply #32 on: August 26, 2004, 04:12:47 PM »

Is it OUR fault that the rest of the world are a buch of losers? Watch it pal -- your pathetic country may be next! (Braa-haaa-haaa)

Please explain to me how that comment promotes the values of our country, Tom...

What? I thought Empire were our values?
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« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2004, 05:53:39 PM »

US history clearly shows when this happens that the poor will bear an unfair burden and the children of the rich and powerful will be provided with exemptions.

Not entirely true...Viet Nam and the Civil War were two wars that prove this point, but all the other wars do not.

In WWII all social economic classes served.

In Korea it was usually the WWII vets who were "recalled" first.

in WWI there were no exemptions...in fact manyyoung educated men left college and promising careers togo kill the kaiser

During the SPanish American War, there was no need of a draft....they had more volunteers than what was needed, including some very wealthy and famous notables.

DO not lump the Viet Nam draft experince in with all "US history" it was in fact quite different from all the other wars in that regard.
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« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2004, 06:05:42 PM »


But my biggest point. Is an American life worth more than that of a non-American?

No....But is an Iraqi life worth less than a Western life?

How many hundreds of thousands more Iraqis would have had to have been tortured and killed by Saddam before the rest of the world would have joined the US, Britain, Poland, ROmania and other coalition forces?

The simple fact remains:

Germany and France were doing business Saddam and did not want to upset their deals. Russia was in no position to help and it too was doing business with Saddam...while at the same time providing the US with intelligence on Saddam -- intelligence that directly affected our decision to invade...and it was a US decision. The invasion was voted on and approved by the US elected represtantives twice. A defacto declaration of war to continue the hostilities first begun in the Gulf War...after Saddam failed to abide by that agreement...and ignored more than 14 Un resolutions during 12 years.

SOmebody had to do what needed doing...we looked around and very few were willing to help. But so many are willing to criticize!
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« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2004, 06:57:34 PM »

Quote
How many hundreds of thousands more Iraqis would have had to have been tortured and killed by Saddam before the rest of the world would have joined the US, Britain, Poland, ROmania and other coalition forces?

The simple fact remains:

Germany and France were doing business Saddam and did not want to upset their deals. Russia was in no position to help and it too was doing business with Saddam...while at the same time providing the US with intelligence on Saddam -- intelligence that directly affected our decision to invade...and it was a US decision. The invasion was voted on and approved by the US elected represtantives twice. A defacto declaration of war to continue the hostilities first begun in the Gulf War...after Saddam failed to abide by that agreement...and ignored more than 14 Un resolutions during 12 years.

SOmebody had to do what needed doing...we looked around and very few were willing to help. But so many are willing to criticize!

Spartacus, you are making too much sense!!!! The truth obvious too some of us compared to most basing judgements off emotions.

The truth of the matter is the war never ended in Iraq, thier was a cease fire in place with the condition that Sadam would cooperate. We stationed thousands of military personal on the Kuwait border since gulf war 1 for this reason. He broke numerous resolutions that reinstating the fact he was in violation of the cease fire agreement. Our broad coalition of many nations had the right to go into Iraq because of these broken resolutions.

The kool aid drinkers will continue to beleive the "big lie" that we went into Iraq pre -emptively which is the furthest thing from the truth & a distortion of the facts. This lie is of course purpetuated by the mainstream media & those on the left looking for political points at the expense of our Country & honoring U.N. resolutions.
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« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2004, 06:59:21 PM »

I really do not want to get into a contest about the relative merits of this or that country, nor what someone  else referred to as a 'knockabout' session. My critizism is one of the US foreign policy and not the implementors of the that policy, the soldier in the field.

Spartacus asks a question which merits reflection. If saving those lives were the principle why no intervention in a number of other places including central Africa? So others sat on their hands, which of the leading western powers has not and which one has not equipped, and done business with this or that horrendous regimes. Even friend Rumsfeld has previously done business with Saddam Hussein and he was no angel then. So how long has humanitarian concerns been a major plank of US foreign policy? Or anyone elses? I and a number of others outside the US have been reading for years, yes, years neo-conservative propoganda which has ear-marked Iraq. Humanitarian reasons were not as I recall particular a strong reason. It seemed more to do with 'American interests". Uzbekhistan has an appalling record and I state again people boiled alive, but it doesn't stop the US being heavily involved there. The only person with a clear conscience there is the Brit ambassador, who alone seems to speak out, and is very, very unpopular with the US administration as a consequence. (I don't think his bosses love him too much either).

Yes, I am glad Saddam Hussein has been deposed but if the greatest power on earth cannot intervene and have a credible strategy for handling the period following the 'invasion' it beggars belief. That merits the description, pathetic. Somebody at the Department of Defense deserves the sack for that alone.

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« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2004, 07:22:55 PM »

Yes, I am glad Saddam Hussein has been deposed but if the greatest power on earth cannot intervene and have a credible strategy for handling the period following the 'invasion' it beggars belief. That merits the description, pathetic. Somebody at the Department of Defense deserves the sack for that alone.
Actually much of the blame for the naive and unrealistic handling of the war's aftermath can be blamed on incompetence within the State Dept.  The military effectively did what they were supposed to, which is to kill people and break things in order to achieve an objective.  Much of the aftermath was a result of poor planning and guidance from bureaucrats in the State Dept. which had unrealistic assumptions about how to deal with Iraq.  The fact that militias were able to be formed under the noses of the US military was not due to the Defense Dept. as much as it was due to the occupation government of Paul Bremer which didn't want to "offend" the poor Shiites.
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« Reply #38 on: August 27, 2004, 09:12:52 AM »

Thank you, Theodore, for your response. May I ask, for purposes of clarifying your point, who decided to disband the Iraqi army and the Iraqi administrative infrastructure? I ask because it seems to me these actions have a great deal to do with what then followed. Your attribution of responsibility to the State Department disappoints me in that Colin Powell, a former and respected soldier, heads up State.

(I am not asking to get into some sort of 'silly' brickbat throwing that sadly seems all too common in these forums).
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« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2004, 11:54:07 AM »

Yes, I am glad Saddam Hussein has been deposed but if the greatest power on earth cannot intervene and have a credible strategy for handling the period following the 'invasion' it beggars belief.

To create a thorough, nation-building strategy before going to war would not only beggar belief, it would probably be the first time in history such a strategy was created.  There was no nation-building plan before WWII, or any war we've engaged in.  It took almost a decade after defeating Germany before they had a viable and working government (at least in the western part).

Personally, I think it gets a bit silly playing armchair army strategist when the only thing you have to go on are second hand reports from biased media outlets.  First we were "bogged down" in Afghanistan, then after the Taliban regime collapsed we were moving "too fast."  Then we were bogged down in Iraq because of sandstorms which our military planners supposedly didn't take into account, then after Hussein fell they said we moved too fast again.  In both countries they were crying we didn't have enough boots on the ground, now they are wanting us to have a massive pullout of troops within six months.

The truth is that these town crier types are forming their opinions of the day solely on emotion and with little regard to reason and facts.
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« Reply #40 on: August 27, 2004, 04:27:07 PM »

If saving those lives [in Iraq] were the principle why no intervention in a number of other places including central Africa?...So how long has humanitarian concerns been a major plank of US foreign policy? Or anyone elses? I and a number of others outside the US have been reading for years, yes, years neo-conservative propoganda which has ear-marked Iraq. Humanitarian reasons were not as I recall particular a strong reason. It seemed more to do with 'American interests". Uzbekhistan has an appalling record and I state again people boiled alive, but it doesn't stop the US being heavily involved there. The only person with a clear conscience there is the Brit ambassador, who alone seems to speak out, and is very, very unpopular with the US administration as a consequence. (I don't think his bosses love him too much either).

gphadraig, you're the one making too much sense.  It's interesting how we chide Saddam for ignoring UN resolutions for twelve years while we conveniently ignored his abuses of human rights for twenty-plus!  You hit the nail on the head with 'American interests,' as criminals like Kim Jong Il will go unnoticed by this administration because they're -- apparently! -- no immediate threat to our economy.

Strelets, your idea that "these town crier types are forming their opinions...with little regard to reason and facts" has me scratching my head: we supposedly went over there for weapons we had no proof of and the threat they (didn't really) pose to our nation, only to flip-flop and use this idea of Saddam's abusive ways...who is it, exactly, who has little regard for reason and facts?
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« Reply #41 on: August 27, 2004, 04:33:41 PM »

Stretlets,

I believe your assertion to be incorrect, having regard to both Nazi Germany and MacArthur's briliance in dealing with a defeated Japanese Empire. A major military consideration is always to ensure that one does not win the war and lose the peace, surely?

As to the other theatres of conflict you bring in, I haven't commented on them so will not take responsibility for any adverse comments relating to them. Are you perhaps too an armchair strategist? For myself I draw on my own military experience and that of a military family for a number of generations. So I don't need to draw solely on media reporting.

The British Army has a lovely rejoiner to military planners, P*ss poor planning leads to poor performance. I guess they just get hung up with running around borrowing the equipment to carry it out.

However, I will come back on your response. The conflicts we all face now are asymertrical ones. The war against terrorism recognises no front lines and our enemies were no uniform, indeed they respond to no single command and control structure. Therefore everyone is potentially a target and everyone a 'stakeholder'; so I respectfully suggest, Sir, that unless you are in orbit there are no armchair strategists (except those good folks the politicians who live in an insulated 'bubble' and set policies, strategies and resource levels while leaving poor 'grunts' and the rest of us to face the challenge head on - ask the folks who used the Madrid rail network).

Interestingly, regarding Najaf the bellicose armchair strategists did not have their way and an elderly sick man left his hospital bed in London, England, and went to Najaf and we now see a withdrawal by Mr Sadr and his Madhi militia. I hope that the intelligence guys have been studying those media pictures and will pick up of some these insurgents little by little. Denting their strength without handing them and those who manipulate from behind the scenes a propaganda coup.
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« Reply #42 on: August 27, 2004, 04:47:34 PM »

I hope that the intelligence guys have been studying those media pictures and will pick up of some these insurgents little by little.

No doubt they will Cool
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« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2004, 06:58:39 PM »

Thank you to those who have understood the points I have tried to make.

My thoughts are with the casualties, combatant and non-combatant, and their families who have suffered so much in all of this; and for those who continue to face danger.

This conflicts, like all conflicts, evokes strong feelings in many if not all of us. Regretfully, strong feelings are just that, they change nothing except possibly harden our hearts...........
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« Reply #44 on: August 27, 2004, 11:21:24 PM »

A quick note...  my comments should not be construed as unequivocal support for any political party or candidate.  I've been sandbagged by others from both sides of the political spectrum for supporting a range of Orthodox social values, whether they be the rights of the unborn, the end of the death penalty, or providing assistance to the poor and the weak in society.

It's interesting how we chide Saddam for ignoring UN resolutions for twelve years while we conveniently ignored his abuses of human rights for twenty-plus!  You hit the nail on the head with 'American interests,' as criminals like Kim Jong Il will go unnoticed by this administration because they're -- apparently! -- no immediate threat to our economy.

Regarding your first point... were there UN sanctions against Hussein before his invasion of Kuwait?  Isn't the central pillar in the argument against the Iraq war today that there was no UN support for it?  On your second point, the problem is that the N. Koreans now have nuclear weapons.  Again, is the UN, particularly France and Germany, pushing for a war resolution against N. Korea?  Why bring this up now, rather than six or seven years ago when military action would have prevented the current mess on the Korean peninsula?

Strelets, your idea that "these town crier types are forming their opinions...with little regard to reason and facts" has me scratching my head: we supposedly went over there for weapons we had no proof of and the threat they (didn't really) pose to our nation, only to flip-flop and use this idea of Saddam's abusive ways...who is it, exactly, who has little regard for reason and facts?

The known facts before the war, according to the UN, French-British-Russian-American intelligence services, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, John Edwards, and Tom Daschle, are that Iraq possessed the WMD's.  Facts don't change upon a change in political parties in the White House, at least they shouldn't.  The UN had a list of unaccounted chemicals and biological materials, a list verified by the Iraqi government after Gulf War I.  Now these items supposedly disappeared.  Where did they go?  Are you denying their existence?  Bear in mind Germany possessed an arsenal of large super-guns which were supposed to have been turned over by mandate of the Versailles Treaty after WWI.  To this day, they haven't been found.  What this proves is that if someone buries their weapons, chances of finding them are almost nil.

I believe your assertion to be incorrect, having regard to both Nazi Germany and MacArthur's briliance in dealing with a defeated Japanese Empire. A major military consideration is always to ensure that one does not win the war and lose the peace, surely?

If my assertion is incorrect, why don't you tell us what nation-building plan was put together before we went to war against Germany and Japan?  Until then, my assertion remains correct.

As to the other theatres of conflict you bring in, I haven't commented on them so will not take responsibility for any adverse comments relating to them.

I didn't bring in other theatres of conflict.

Are you perhaps too an armchair strategist? For myself I draw on my own military experience and that of a military family for a number of generations. So I don't need to draw solely on media reporting.

With all due respect, that's exactly what you draw on.  You can watch Wes Clark and a host of other retired generals on CNN give a critical analysis of the war, and you can watch another group of retired generals on Fox News giving the opposite views, and it doesn't amount to a hill of beans.  You and I are not getting real time intelligence feeds, nor are we currently members of the Joint Chiefs who really know what's going on, politically and militarily, on the ground.  Until these guys all retire and write the books about what really happened in the planning and what confidential info they were working from, playing armchair army strategist and complaining about inadequate troop levels or the speed of military successes or supposed lack of planning behind the scenes is at best frivolous guesswork.

The British Army has a lovely rejoiner to military planners, P*ss poor planning leads to poor performance. I guess they just get hung up with running around borrowing the equipment to carry it out.

Military planning and nation-building are two different activities.  I know of no previous war where a serious nation-building plan was concocted before the war began.  That's a distant second objective to the first objective - winning the military campaign.  No one can say objectively that both Iraq wars and the Afghan war were poorly planned military blunders.  It's a joke.  No previous wars were carried out with such speed and low loss of life as these conflicts.  The only reason we are subjected to the current hysteria is because we're in the middle of an election year.  This will all blow over afterwards.

However, I will come back on your response. The conflicts we all face now are asymertrical ones. The war against terrorism recognises no front lines and our enemies were no uniform, indeed they respond to no single command and control structure.

They are asymmetrical and symmetrical.  The terrorists are being funded and trained by client states, which can and should be dealt with through symmetrical means, which is what we did in Afghanistan and Iraq.  It's mighty dangerous to only look at the war on terrorism as a police problem against criminals, without taking into account the rogue state problem financing it.  It's even more dangerous to reject the use of police measures against the asymmetrical problems, as many civil libertarians advocate.

Therefore everyone is potentially a target and everyone a 'stakeholder'; so I respectfully suggest, Sir, that unless you are in orbit there are no armchair strategists (except those good folks the politicians who live in an insulated 'bubble' and set policies, strategies and resource levels while leaving poor 'grunts' and the rest of us to face the challenge head on - ask the folks who used the Madrid rail network).

Being the victim of a house fire doesn't qualify one as a fire inspector.  Having a car stolen doesn't make one an expert in law enforcement.  Furthermore, watching other people die on tv at the hands of terrorists doesn't make one a military expert.  If you really believe you know something more about the facts on the ground in Iraq than "insulated" politicians who receive real-time intelligence and military feeds, then I'd say you've got the blinkers on... big time.  The good folks on the ground were hired to risk their lives at the command of those insulated politicians, just as poor folks are asked everyday by us to risk their lives putting out our house fires and taking bullets to protect us from society's criminals.

These are all bogus arguments that essentially refute taking military action under any scenario, as someone is always going to be killed, and many of them poor and innocent.  Every one of these arguments is a excuse for the world to be living under Nazism or Communism today.

All the best.
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« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2004, 11:14:28 AM »

Stretlets,

You have a point in regard to the war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Neither the British or Americans were at all prepared for the world scale conflict in any sense whatsoever. Both were not the starters of the relevant conflict but once the war was turned from one of a fight for survival to one of offence, planning began in some depth for the aftermath commenced. Indeed one success of the military government there was the resurrection of Volkswagen by a British military officer. Hence I feel I can and will make a contrast between those conflicts and this elective intervention by an administration determined to have its way.  Even President Bush has of yesterday acknowledged there were shortcomings, but his acknowledge is a very qualified one. The intelligence story, analysis and use and misuse of intelligence together with the frightening lack of human intelligence is a tale on its own which others have already reported on elsewhere.

You take Pedro to task and refer to the U.N. This administration used a considerable amount of bullying and armtwisting to get its way. It refused to allow the arms inspectors time to carry out their work which may be both indicated pointers for what was to come and given time to more comprehensively prepare. But no, theirs was one of indecent haste. And here I write as one who is less than a fan of the U.N. Iraq is only one country to fail to comply with U.N. resolutions. One other has a longer list to its discredit and is shielded from any effective consequences by........................... the U.S.

(Sorry, I am unable to access the rest of your most recent post for some reason).

However, I will and do assert I have every right, ability and access to information as other posters here and will do so. My points about U.S. allies boiling their citizens alive while American forces heavily use their countries for its operations are quietly ignored. As to WMD I suggest Iraqi 'expats' who knew the what the U.S. wanted to hear and had deep pockets fed their 'masters' with what they thought they wanted to hear!

Politicians are not merely briefed by conscientious public servants, the public servants depend on the politicians for their budgets, jobs and agencies very existence. I would not be the first informed observer to suggest that in the relationship between politicians and intelligence something was 'rotten in the state of Denmark'. This concern has been variously expressed in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, the three prinicipal Coalition partners.

The greatest power, measured in every sense, took on a third world country suffering from decades of decay under a twisted dictator. It was surprised by the speed of the Iraqi collapse. Why? This speed is the defence for the subsequent muddle, a muddle which has cost countless lives and destruction.

If anyone wants to cite Orthodox social values I am not sure were one could even begin to argue a case in support of the present administration and I am what is regarded as almost a 'fundamentalist' by many. Bullying by the large and powerful is not a characteristic of Orthodox social values, although it might be that of a secular imperialist power, to say nought of the indefensible activities of Guantanamo. But perhaps thats something for another thread.

What is directly contrary to Orthodox social values - whatever they are, are some of the aggressive and abrasive not to say gingoistic posts on this website.  Once again my apologies for not answering more comprehensively, but I am only accessing three lines of your lengthy post as I write.

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« Reply #46 on: August 28, 2004, 12:10:19 PM »

First, to gphadraig,

You have answered some of my post for me!  You did so very well, though, so thank you.  

A quick note...  my comments should not be construed as unequivocal support for any political party or candidate.  I've been sandbagged by others from both sides of the political spectrum for supporting a range of Orthodox social values...

As have I.  Don't worry; you seem to me to be much too intelligent and thoughtful to blindly support one party or person.

Quote
Regarding your first point... were there UN sanctions against Hussein before his invasion of Kuwait?  Isn't the central pillar in the argument against the Iraq war today that there was no UN support for it?

No, and no, which is my point.  As gphadraig said, we were more than happy to be chummy with Saddam before Kuwait, even though he was murdering his people.  There were no UN sanctions before Kuwait precisely because America felt no threat before then; afterwards, however, we went over, did our thing, and the UN cooperated with us (there had been a direct threat to a sovreign nation by another sovreign nation, after all) and issued resolutions which, yes, were ignored.  Yet I maintain that UN resolutions, along with human rights organizations' statements, should have been showered down on Iraq back in the 80s when they were our friends.

Is the primary reason cited by those against the war lack of UN backing?  No, as I said.  It is a reason, as Blix et al found no evidence of weapons in any shape to do any harm.  Yes, there were WMDs.  No one denies that Saddam used them in the past.  The reasoning against going over there was, plainly and simply, becuase doing so before we were attacked by the sovreign nation of Iraq was contrary to our policy of war.  Pre-emptive war before proof positive or direct attack is dangerous and tantamount to facism.  Plus, our reasons for invading changed as we went along!  At first, the American public heard that "Saddam posseses WMDs that pose a direct threat to our national security."  No proof of this, people were uncomfortable, we go to war anyway.  Afterwards, when the WMDs aren't found, we hear, "Well, he was a dictator anyway; he just had to go anyway."

The fact remains that Iraq did not attack us; Al-Q did.  Saddam is not Bin Laden; though there were Al-Q camps in Iraq, there were so many more in Iran, Saudi Arabia (but an invasion of the latter will never happen!), and of course, Afghanistan.  Yet Iraq is the country we invade.

Which is really my beef with being in Iraq in the first place.  We're attacked by Al-Q, so we go to Afgh., where the Al-Q HQ is.  Logical and reasonable, no one has any problem with it.  Then it's almost as though America gets distracted with Iraq!  We were on a good track hunting down Bin Laden, when all of a sudden, we choose to spend the majority of our resources in Iraq (of all places), a place which, as a sovreign nation, had never been the aggressor against us, nor had they threatened us.

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On your second point, the problem is that the N. Koreans now have nuclear weapons.  Again, is the UN, particularly France and Germany, pushing for a war resolution against N. Korea?  Why bring this up now, rather than six or seven years ago when military action would have prevented the current mess on the Korean peninsula?

You misunderstand.  My point is that Bush will not do anything re: N. Korea.  Herein lies the inconsistency.  He goes off and overthrows Iraq, a country that's never threatened us with force, yet doggedly sticks to diplomacy with N. Korea, who has bragged about their ability to reach us with nukes.  That is a country I would love to see us invade, now that they're talking like this!

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What this proves is that if someone buries their weapons, chances of finding them are almost nil.

It also could be that they hurridly dismantled them and sold them for scrap...we don't know either way.

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No one can say objectively that both Iraq wars and the Afghan war were poorly planned military blunders.  It's a joke.  No previous wars were carried out with such speed and low loss of life as these conflicts.

As gphadraig said, these recent campaigns were hardly  contests of equals...which WWI and WWII were not either, strictly speaking, but the forces meeting in the fields during the WWs were on more level ground weapons-wise. Of course there would be more casualties and longer campaigns.

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The only reason we are subjected to the current hysteria is because we're in the middle of an election year.  This will all blow over afterwards.

Wrong.  The protests started in '03.  Concern started in '02.  

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The terrorists are being funded and trained by client states, which can and should be dealt with through symmetrical means, which is what we did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And which we should (but won't) do to Saudi Arabia.  To go back to my point, though, first you go after the main cells (Afgh.), then you deal with the states, using diplomacy, then force.

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It's mighty dangerous to only look at the war on terrorism as a police problem against criminals, without taking into account the rogue state problem financing it.  It's even more dangerous to reject the use of police measures against the asymmetrical problems, as many civil libertarians advocate.

I agree.  This is complex, involving both sovreign states and international-yet-countryless organizations.

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These are all bogus arguments that essentially refute taking military action under any scenario, as someone is always going to be killed, and many of them poor and innocent.  Every one of these arguments is a excuse for the world to be living under Nazism or Communism today.

I strongly disagree with this!  I am all for increased military action in Afghanistan to (finally) root out Bin Laden.  I would support military survailance of N. Korea's weapons programs.  Nazism stopped because the Axis attacked us, and we were thus justified in taking military action; no pre-emptive stuff here!  Communism stopped (largely) because of Reagan's role in the Cold War; there was a nation threatening to "bury us," so we took the necessary actions.  Again, a justified response to a direct threat made against us by another sovreign nation.

Paz,

Pedro
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« Reply #47 on: August 28, 2004, 03:38:49 PM »

Thanks for your input, Pedro.  I'm still new around here, but I've enjoyed your posts in the threads I've went back and read Smiley

Stretlets,
This administration used a considerable amount of bullying and armtwisting to get its way.

This administration?  Come now.  Who was bullying whom when we attacked Serbia twice?  When we invaded Haiti?  When we launched missiles against a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant based on faulty intelligence?  Where were the UN sanctions and resolutions authorizing those conflicts?  Please save the partisan talking points, as if we never did battle against other countries before 2001.

Stretlets,It refused to allow the arms inspectors time to carry out their work which may be both indicated pointers for what was to come and given time to more comprehensively prepare. But no, theirs was one of indecent haste.

It's Strelets, by the way.  The US doesn't "allow" arms inspectors to carry out their work.  This was up to Iraq.  The only reason they were let back in was through the credible and impending use of force.  To say that holding Iraq accountable to the peace terms of the 1991 peace treaty, and putting an end to twelve years of blocked arms inspections is indecent haste is a joke.  Perhaps after another twelve years of games and subterfuge, going to war would only be defined as haste, rather than indecent haste.

My points about U.S. allies boiling their citizens alive while American forces heavily use their countries for its operations are quietly ignored. As to WMD I suggest Iraqi 'expats' who knew the what the U.S. wanted to hear and had deep pockets fed their 'masters' with what they thought they wanted to hear!

I take it you believe our military's purpose is to protect the citizens of every country from human rights abuses?  Hussein's torturing of his people was not the primary goal of the war, only a supporting one.  The Iraqi expats had convinced the French, British, and Russian intelligence services, not to mention Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and the UN.  The idea that the current presidential administration was the only one who believed WMD's existed in Iraq has been refuted successfully, which makes the supposed armchair intelligence experts look ridiculous to keep repeating it.

Bullying by the large and powerful is not a characteristic of Orthodox social values, although it might be that of a secular imperialist power, to say nought of the indefensible activities of Guantanamo. But perhaps thats something for another thread.

Defining our action in Iraq and Afghanistan as bullying is the moral equivalency, not to mention intellectual dishonesty, that I and many others criticize.  The folks who say we have bullied Iraq, and our current president is a bigger terrorist than bin Laden, have zippo credibility, especially when assaulting Serbia, Haiti, and Sudan never gets labelled as bullying and the president carrying out those attacks is never called a Nazi.

As far as Orthodox values are concerned, the Fathers didn't regard every military action as bullying, nor were they absolute pacifists.  The writings are a mix of opinions, while many sought to show that circumstances had to be taken into account instead of making sweeping moral judgements.  St. Basil wrote in his first Canonical Letter to Amphilochius that "Our fathers have not, in fact, held the homicides committed in warfare to be murders, thus pardoning, it seems to me, those who have taken up the defence of justice and of religion. However, it would be good to advise them to abstain from communion for three years since their hands are not pure."  St. Athanasius' Epistle to Amun refers to killing in war: "...thus it is not right to commit murder, but to kill enemies in war is lawful and praiseworthy."  St. Ambrose wrote, "And that course which either protects the homeland against barbarians, in war, or defends the weak at home, or saves ones comrades from brigands, is full of righteousness."  About taking orders to kill in battle, St. Clement of Alexandria said, "Has knowledge of God taken hold of you while engaged in military service? Listen to the commander, who orders what is right." (Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. II, p. 200.)  And St. Augustine wrote a letter to a Roman commander (Boniface) who contemplated laying down his command because he was a Christian.  Augustine wrote, "Do not think that no one can please God who serves with arms..." and "yet everyone ... has his own gift from God... Others, therefore, fight against unseen foes by praying for you, and you work for them by fighting against the visible barbarians."

Let's not get into the business of trashing other Orthodox Christians on this board by claiming they aren't Orthodox for supporting the Iraq war, for reasons they believe to have legitimate support from the Fathers, unless you'd like to put under the microscope those who support pro-choice politicians or pro-war politicians of an opposing party (which would include Kerry, who said he would have still sent troops into Iraq even knowing ahead of time the WMD's weren't there, a move even I wouldn't support because its implicit premise is that we should fight wars solely to fix social problems in other countries).
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« Reply #48 on: August 29, 2004, 01:59:22 AM »

Thanks for your input, Pedro.  I'm still new around here, but I've enjoyed your posts in the threads I've went back and read Smiley

Thanks!
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« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2004, 03:33:46 PM »

First, my apologies Strelets, for re-naming. Age related eyesight impairment!

Second, I have visitors and so my duties as host do not premit a leisured response to your post. Forgive me.

Third, I am unhappy on your ready attributing, on little evidence, of partisanship. You make your points and express your view, and I mine. As a point of information, I strenuously protested about previous administrations foreign policy follies, including the attack political, diplomatic and military on Yugoslavia. However this present debacle is the responsibility of Bush, Jr.

And it not just I that accuse the United States of bullying but others including the oldest bishop of the Church of Greece, a man who previously has stood up to the Gestapo in occupied Greece.

You are wrong regarding the arms inspectors. Mr Hussein did ensure the arms inspectors task was made difficult to impossible over a very long period, but he ordered the increase of cooperation in later times. This came, no doubt, as he saw the determination of the present administration and the array of arms bearing down on him. But the plugged was pulled basically by George W Bush. Hans Blix and others have written extensively on this and the matter is one of public record.

Your arguements over the use of force are interesting but again I prefer the view of an old, wise and very strict Orthodox bishop who despite presiding over a remote diocese has a very broad view of the world and those in it, past and present.

No, I do not expect the U.S. military to act as policeman to the world, whether on human rights or on any other matter. The military are an instrument of state policy, they do not set state policy. The American government has not only been complicit by remaining silent and supporting monsters - including the present ruler of Uzbekhistan - but have actively sought to discredit one who did expose them - destroying his own career in the process. They then helped destroy his reputation. This conduct has happened before. U.S. personnel even train these creatures own security forces if such is deemed in the American interest. My accusation, Sir, stands.

I am a pacifist. No, I have in mind that the Gentile who made the greatest impression on Our Saviour during his earthly sojourn was a soldier. No less an officer of the occupying army. I too recall the late Metropolitan Philaret's teaching on this. Being a soldier and servings ones country is an honourable role. My own family have been soldiers for generations with some effect.

You have put forward your views, Strelets, and I and others do not agree. You sight this and that to support the same. There are many, veterans, serving and retired seniours, members of the services and the guard as well as politicians and ordinary men and women who ask the question, why are we there? And they have as much information as you or I.

As to your closing remarks I am totally at a loss. Orthodox people are Orthodox people. Whether they agree on this or that point or attribute an Orthdox viewpoint to something where it doesn't exist has nothing to do with their Orthodoxy. I query the notion some have of Orthodox social values, something you brought up if I recall correctly.

Anyway, I am off for a fortnight. Folks to entertain and all.......
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« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2004, 11:09:53 PM »

gphadraig,

That said, I'll let your final comments rest the debate, at least with me.  Perhaps others will find greater enjoyment in playing tug of war over the rotting carcass of national politics.  As for myself, I'm going on a self-imposed fast from political discussions online.  There are religious values that inform my politics, derived from my growing faith in Orthodoxy, and not vice versa.  My past voting habits are consistent and my leanings toward a candidate in the upcoming election are rapidly solidifying.  Therefore, I don't feel I can argue the Iraq war or other hot topics without my increasing bias creeping in and finding myself writing things of an uncharitable nature towards my Christian brothers and sisters.

I bid you adieu in this discussion, and hopefully we'll meet in another, more hospitable thread.  Forgive me for any offense I may have caused.

Richard.
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« Reply #51 on: August 30, 2004, 12:42:24 AM »

Quote
It's Strelets, by the way.  The US doesn't "allow" arms inspectors to carry out their work.  This was up to Iraq.  The only reason they were let back in was through the credible and impending use of force.  To say that holding Iraq accountable to the peace terms of the 1991 peace treaty, and putting an end to twelve years of blocked arms inspections is indecent haste is a joke.  Perhaps after another twelve years of games and subterfuge, going to war would only be defined as haste, rather than indecent haste.

Stelets, thanks for your common sense approach to this issue.  I am a big supporter of this war due to the merits of why we are there in the first place. It seems everyone in here still doesn't understand that the first gulf war never ended, there was just a cease fire agreement in place as agreed upon with the U.N. & Sadam Hussein that he would cooperate with the resolutions in place, which he kept breaking.  We had the right to go in anytime we wanted to due to the resolutions being broken. We strategically placed thousands of military personal on the Kuwait border for this reason after gulf war 1.  There was no pre - emption on our part, we held up our end of the bargain that we would go in again as the first resolution stated if Sadam did not cooperate.  The President still spent the better part of 1 year working with a broad coalition of nations & giving Sadam plenty of warning ahead of time stating our intentions if he didn't cooperate.

Quote
I take it you believe our military's purpose is to protect the citizens of every country from human rights abuses?  Hussein's torturing of his people was not the primary goal of the war, only a supporting one.  The Iraqi expats had convinced the French, British, and Russian intelligence services, not to mention Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and the UN.  The idea that the current presidential administration was the only one who believed WMD's existed in Iraq has been refuted successfully, which makes the supposed armchair intelligence experts look ridiculous to keep repeating it.

Good points. Kerry & the others are like monday night quaterbacks. They all made the same claims, but once it didn't go down like they thought it would they came up with some big "nuances" , along with bashing the President for political points.

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Defining our action in Iraq and Afghanistan as bullying is the moral equivalency, not to mention intellectual dishonesty, that I and many others criticize.  The folks who say we have bullied Iraq, and our current president is a bigger terrorist than bin Laden, have zippo credibility, especially when assaulting Serbia, Haiti, and Sudan never gets labelled as bullying and the president carrying out those attacks is never called a Nazi.

Ditto. We are the one's being honest to the letter of the U.N. resolutions that gave us the right to go in due to Sadam's noncompliance.  We were true on our end of the deal via the 17 U.N. resolutions, the rest that were against us are just acting on emotions or thier own interest.



Quote
Let's not get into the business of trashing other Orthodox Christians on this board by claiming they aren't Orthodox for supporting the Iraq war, for reasons they believe to have legitimate support from the Fathers, unless you'd like to put under the microscope those who support pro-choice politicians or pro-war politicians of an opposing party (which would include Kerry, who said he would have still sent troops into Iraq even knowing ahead of time the WMD's weren't there, a move even I wouldn't support because its implicit premise is that we should fight wars solely to fix social problems in other countries).

I agree. I never understood the pro-choice candidate supporters in so many christian churches. Your point about the monday night quaterbacking by those politicians that have flip flopped on the war also rings true.



Quote
Is the primary reason cited by those against the war lack of UN backing?  No, as I said.  It is a reason, as Blix et al found no evidence of weapons in any shape to do any harm.  Yes, there were WMDs.  No one denies that Saddam used them in the past.  The reasoning against going over there was, plainly and simply, becuase doing so before we were attacked   by the sovreign nation of Iraq was contrary to our policy of war.  Pre-emptive war before proof positive or direct attack is dangerous and tantamount to facism.  Plus, our reasons for invading changed as we went along!  At first, the American public heard that "Saddam posseses WMDs that pose a direct threat to our national security."  No proof of this, people were uncomfortable, we go to war anyway.  Afterwards, when the WMDs aren't found, we hear, "Well, he was a dictator anyway; he just had to go anyway."

How hard would it be to put some WMD's in some Diesel trucks & move them across the border to Syria??? Just because we havn't found the weapons he used on numerous occasions against his enemies doesn't mean they now don't exist. There was also no pre - emption on our part. Sadam invaded Kuwait & we responded. The U.N. passed a cease fire agreement in the first resolution stating that Sadam had to cooperate with the international community which he didn't. The resolution gave us the right to go back in & disarm Iraq if he didn't comply. For this reason, we strategically left thousands of troops on the Kuwait border and added to our postions in Saudi Arabia. Bush didn't even have to go back to the U.N. for yet another resolution reinstating the others. After 17 broken resolutions, how much longer were we going to wait & twitle our thumbs???
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« Reply #52 on: August 30, 2004, 04:53:00 PM »

Strelets,

Just dropped in quickly. Thank you for your response. Yes, and John Howard too now faces an election. So politics will be much in the air.

Between us there are fundamental disagreements over the Iraq situation. As you say that does not mean we cannot find other areas were our views are closer. That I look forward to finding. With warm best wishes and my congratulations on your prinicipled stance.

Pedro,

Thank you too, fella. We will meet again on one thread or another but not for ten days or so. Be seeing you...........

Keep the faith both
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