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Iraq

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Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


0 posted 03-21-2006 07:22 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Was Iraq right or wrong?

Was it right and done wrong?

Below are two excerpts from Kaplan and Hitchens revolving around the latter question. If you have time, please don't just read my quotes there's a lot of stuff to be talked about on multiple sides of the issue.
http://www.slate.com/id/2138351/nav/tap2/

quote:
Many of the Bush administration's top officials, not least the president himself, seemed to think that once Saddam Hussein was toppled and the Baathist regime deposed, freedom would gush forth like uncorked champagne. They didn't realize that centuries-old tensions between Sunnis and Shiites—suppressed  like everything else during Saddam's rule—would also reignite. If they had appreciated the depth of these tensions, they might have concluded that a new and democratic Iraq would not emerge automatically, that it would have to be carefully crafted; and they might therefore have understood the need to plan for postwar "stability operations." Instead, the Pentagon went into a war without any such plans because Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of U.S. Central Command, didn't think they would be necessary.

Some officials did know, but they seem not to have told the president. A story by George Packer in the New York Times Magazine of March 2, 2003 (a couple of weeks before the war began), recounted a January meeting in the Oval Office between President Bush and three Iraqi exiles. The exiles spent much of the meeting explaining to Bush the difference between Sunnis and Shiites; they were stunned that he seemed unaware of the two groups' existence. A story by David Sanger in the following day's Times quoted "an administration insider" saying, "Of course, in our internal discussions, we raise the Yugoslavia analogy"—the possibility that Iraq could fall apart in the wake of Saddam's ouster—"but this isn't the moment for the president to be talking about that risk." This was, in fact (and it should have been obvious), the best conceivable moment for the president to be discussing just that.

http://www.slate.com/id/2138332/nav/tap1/

quote:
So, now I come at last to my ideal war. Let us start with President Bush's speech to the United Nations on Sept. 12, 2002, which I recommend that you read. Contrary to innumerable sneers, he did not speak only about WMD and terrorism, important though those considerations were. He presented an argument for regime change and democracy in Iraq and said, in effect, that the international community had tolerated Saddam's deadly system for far too long. Who could disagree with that? Here's what should have happened. The other member states of the United Nations should have said: Mr. President, in principle you are correct. The list of flouted U.N. resolutions is disgracefully long. Law has been broken, genocide has been committed, other member-states have been invaded, and our own weapons inspectors insulted and coerced and cheated. Let us all collectively decide how to move long-suffering Iraq into the post-Saddam era. We shall need to consider how much to set aside to rebuild the Iraqi economy, how to sponsor free elections, how to recuperate the devastated areas of the marshes and Kurdistan, how to try the war criminals, and how many multinational forces to ready for this task. In the meantime—this is of special importance—all governments will make it unmistakably plain to Saddam Hussein that he can count on nobody to save him. All Iraqi diplomats outside the country, and all officers and officials within it, will receive the single message that it is time for them to switch sides or face the consequences. Then, when we are ready, we shall issue a unanimous ultimatum backed by the threat of overwhelming force. We call on all democratic forces in all countries to prepare to lend a hand to the Iraqi people and assist them in recovering from more than three decades of fascism and war.


If I can find the time, I'll try to get a succinct, anti-war position.
Mistletoe Angel
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1 posted 03-21-2006 08:01 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Don't forget, "Was it wrong and done wrong?".

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Balladeer
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2 posted 03-21-2006 08:56 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I couldn't agree more, Brad. That is EXACTLY what the UN should have said.
Mistletoe Angel
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3 posted 03-21-2006 10:26 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Anyway, I am just ashamed today, ashamed at how our President now says we may stay in Iraq until 2009.

You know what that's saying? That's saying, "Yes, I know I messed things up big time in Iraq, but why do I have to clean up? That's John McCain's responsibility, not mine!". He KNOWS things are looking grim down there, he KNOWS the country is on the precipice of a civil war, yet he reiterates the same lame excuses for the invasion, and even has the temerity to laugh when asked a question about the war.

On principle alone, I've believed we've lost this war from the beginning, for I believe in what Thomas Mann said, "War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace." I believe war is the greatest plague of humanity, which only afflicts and destroys faiths and families. Beyond my anti-war beliefs, I believe it's plain to see there's no plan for victory down there, after all the purple finger waving the violence continues, there are still death squad members in the interior ministry down there who keep perpetuating these innocent slaughters, the number of able Iraq military units can't control the sectarian violence down there, much of the money in redeveloping the country has fallen into the hands of those who literally play baseball with $100 bill bricks of it, there's more terrorist camps speckling the countryside.....I'd say if one important thing has been gained from this invasion, it's that the citizens now have freedom of expression; something that could have been done without all-out war that has cost tens of thousands of needless deaths.

Again, as I've said before, I can forgive anyone who initially supported the war in Iraq, and though I'm opposed to all war, thus was opposed to this one from the beginning, every American would truly like to put all our trust into the president and be assured and re-assured that there is nothing but the best intentions in protecting this country, and OF COURSE you went and supported the president. OF COURSE you trusted that he was doing nothing but getting to the source of those who caused the chaos of 9/11. Sadly, our president has exploited 9/11 tirelessly, he has exploited that very trust of millions of Americans.

There is always room in a faithful heart to forgive anyone in time. There's room for me to forgive this president. But the bottom line is, forgiveness is a natural process, and in order for forgiveness to be genuine and pure, the one yearning for forgiveness must understand the truths to forgiveness.

First of all, forgiveness is not forgetting. You musn't let the experiences dwell on the future, nonetheless you must understand what it is you're asking forgiveness for and seek resolve. Bush must take responsibility for the wrongs of hthis invasion and admit these faults, and make right of it without any further procrastination, denial or incompetence.

Secondly, forgiveness isn't avoidance. It should always be about revival. Forgiveness is designed to restore whatever relationship or harmony that was afflicted, and that is exactly what makes forgiveness such a powerful thing. He, among other administration officials, continue using this same polarizing "Either you're with us or against us!" rhetoric, the "those that oppose the war are advocating a cause that appeases terrorists and makes the U.S weaker" mindset. I feel he doesn't deserve forgiveness until he works to unite this country again rather than resorting to the same war politics.

Finally, forgiveness does not come wrapped in excuses. Denial and the lack of closure for where we've wronged only subtracts our dignity as humans, for it is taking responsibility that is the learning experience that help us grow into better, more appreciative people. Bush just doesn't seem to want to take responsibility for anything right now, and until he does, there's just no substance, no dignity, to the forgiveness process.

The golden truth and dogmatic aim of forgiveness is the ability to observe ourselves and others more compassionately, to make wiser, and more conscious choices with respect to any unsatisfying emotional and belief patterns. Forgiveness is valuable because it helps us balance the energies of both love and will in our hearts, and use both of these lifeforces with greater skill, to become both nurturing and strong at the same time. And, finally, forgiveness grants us the gift of making better contact with their Higher Self, the very source of love, strength, wisdom and creativity within each of us, which is the intrinsic motivation to increase the ability to love unconditionally both self and others.

As a Christian, I pray that he can understand what is wrong here and I pray for him as well. But I have no sympathy for him now, when he's literally endangering the lives of our young men and women in uniform, leaving them alienated and fighting often just to stay alive, without providing them any feeling of achievement or closure in their mission, and in the process stretching our own security forces thinner and thinner by the week. This saddens my heart deeply, and I feel Bush just doesn't get what's happening, he's oblivious.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa

Grinch
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Whoville


4 posted 03-22-2006 06:47 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


I think it was wrong on all counts.
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


5 posted 03-22-2006 07:57 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

The basic idea around the two quotes posted was to try to grapple with scenarios that would have changed people's minds on the war in Iraq.

Whether or not the UN should have done that or not, had they done that, the opposition to the war would have been significantly diminished (and my estimation of Bush would have jumped leaps and bounds).

Had we spent more time thinking about the real time considerations of history and tribalism, at the very least we might have come up with a better plan to deal with what we're dealing with now.  Arguing that we should have done that is not hindsight, it's common sense -- at least to me.

But there's lot more.

If possible, can those who had a principled stand on the war, look for reasons that made the war impractical, not on principle, but on situational situations, "This is bad because it's Iraq and it's now."

hush
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Ohio, USA


6 posted 03-23-2006 03:06 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Brad- why is your estimation of Bush based on what the UN did or didn't say? Is it because the UN did not sanction the war, and Bush went ahead anyway even with massive resistance and protest?
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


7 posted 03-23-2006 03:28 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Politics.
jbouder
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since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


8 posted 03-23-2006 03:44 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Brad, I think people are more uncomfortable when they are in a position of uncertainty.  Before we went into Iraq, 9/11 was still very fresh in everyone's mind and Iraq had shown itself to be an aggressive (and careless) nation in the past.  It doesn't surprise me that, given the fear of what we didn't know, that there would be a much higher level of support during the early days of the war.

Now, for most people, Iraq is no longer an immediate threat to the United States.  Soldiers are dying and violence in the country is part of virtually every news alert.  Without fear to motivate action (or support for action), support for the war has decreased a great deal.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't be there.  It only means more people feel as though we shouldn't be there.

To be honest with you, I'm so tired of listening to both sides argue this issue that I'm teetering close to ambivalence.  Just out of curiosity, how would you strive to end fascism?

Jim
Brad
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Jejudo, South Korea


9 posted 03-23-2006 05:04 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
Just out of curiosity, how would you strive to end fascism?


Trade, diplomatic ties, diplomatic pressure, and policies designed to ensure the growth of an educated middle class.

Admittedly, this takes a long time, but it seems to work. Chile and South Korea are two examples.

 
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