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Passions in Poetry

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

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Huan Yi
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0 posted 02-07-2008 07:56 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

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“In reaction to McCain’s own surge and the Republican windfall, the conservative base went ballistic. Soon a Republican civil war broke out over how best to lose the election.

Despite McCain’s 82-percent career ranking by the American Conservative Union, and his support for balanced budgets, an end to pork-barrel spending and earmarks, strong support for the war, and expressed regret over once supporting the Bush illegal immigration reform package, McCain was branded by the conservative media as a sellout and a near liberal. Not to mention that he was supposedly too old and hot-tempered to be the Republican nominee. The more McCain was discovered not to be a perfect conservative, the more he was accused of not even being a good one.”

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http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NTdmMjNmYWViMjlhZTc1MDc0YzgyNjlhMmIxOGExNmU=

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I myself am astonished at what is being inflicted on McCain.

.

Taking the title of this post in a different context, both Democratic frontrunners
have made it pretty clear what they would do as regards Iraq.  What in your opinion
would be the consequences?

John

TomMark
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1 posted 02-07-2008 09:55 PM       View Profile for TomMark   Email TomMark   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for TomMark

McCain, Hillary and Obama, no much difference.
Mistletoe Angel
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2 posted 02-08-2008 02:59 AM       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

You have to hand it to McCain for stubbornly holding to an increasingly unpopular position regarding the war in Iraq (though on many other issues he has flip-flopped) during what can very well be a watershed election year.

McCain is counting on the "surge" to be the centerpiece of his campaign, where he has repeatedly mentioned that he is the only candidate to have vocally condemned the Rumsfeld strategy, arguing it wouldn't work, but believing the Petraeus strategy (devised by the White House) would work.

Certainly I won't argue that in terms of the "surge" itself, a majority of Americans do believe it has been moderately successful thus far. Nonetheless, the "surge" has NOT improved opinions of the war in Iraq and how it's being handled whatsoever and, in fact, opposition to the war has INCREASED despite the moderate signs of success many Americans perceive with the "surge" strategy.

And it doesn't surprise me whatsoever that a strong majority of Americans remain solid in their opinion on this war. Anyway, it was NOT the "surge" that resulted in the routing of al-Qaeda in Iraq; the routing of AQI in Iraq pre-dated the "surge" by months when many Sunni tribal leaders in the Anbar Province saw these brutal militants for who they really are; a bunch of hateful individuals who went too far with its extreme version of Islam and brutal tactics like suicide bombs targeting all who opposed them......and banded together in rebellion to retaliate against them in battle. al-Qaeda overplayed their hand in the region, and they got their comeuppance in result.

Besides that, al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) only represents a small fraction of the insurgent violence in Iraq. The U.S.-sponsored Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in March analyzed the online postings of eleven prominent Sunni insurgent groups, including AQI, tallying how many attacks each group claimed, and found that AQI took credit for 10% of attacks on Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias (43 out of 439 attacks) and less than 4 percent of attacks on U.S. troops (17 out of 357)

Secondly, military officials told the New York Times in August of last year that of the approximately 24,500 prisoners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq (nearly all of whom are Sunni) just 1,800 of them (about 7%) claim allegiance to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Thirdly, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR), often said to have the best track record for producing accurate intelligence assessments, estimated in 2006 that AQI's membership was in a range of "more than 1,000." They estimated that the total size of the insurgency was between 20,000 and 30,000 full-time fighters, thus putting AQI forces at around 5 percent.

Finally, foreign policy experts such as Malcolm Nance, the author of The Terrorists of Iraq and a longtime intelligence veteran and Arabic speaker, who has worked with military and intelligence units tracking al-Qaeda inside Iraq for twenty years, has said he believes AQI includes about 850 full-time fighters, comprising 2 percent to 5 percent of the Sunni insurgency, adding: "Al-Qaeda in Iraq is a microscopic terrorist organization."

This doesn't at all diminish how dangerous and real the threat of AQI is by any means, nor that the fact al-Qaeda in Iraq is being routed is an encouraging achievement. But the point is AQI is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the overall shape of insurgency violence in Iraq. In fact, General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker have recently agreed that while some Sunni insurgent violence has been on the decline, Shi'ite insurgent violence is on the rise, thus the anti-insurgency campaign is becoming ever more complex and unpredictable.

So while I'm sure every American is glad that Iraq has been much quieter sttack-wise in the past several months, I believe it is really because the nature of the insurgency is in a transitional stage where, as the Department of Defense is re-alligning with Sunni Arab states with the proposed $10 billion arms deal to confront Shi'ite warlords and increase pressure on Iran to halt their uranium-enrichment program, you're going to see a steadily increasing torrent of new attacks among radical Shi'ite factions, as well as renewed violence among Sunni tribal leaders, as they have been sympathizers of the insurgency even while they loathe al-Qaeda as well.

*

*

As much as I commend McCain for his brave service to our nation, and sympathize with the many atrocities of war and torture he has experienced and believe such events tend to heighten ones understanding of the nature of military conflicts in general.....I simply don't trust McCain whatsoever as a commander-in-chief, finding it unfortunate that he went from having a realist view on foreign policy that we ought only to get involved in overseas conflicts when our national interests are at stake and when we were threatened with  immense military force after getting out of Vietnam, to a reckless, neocon mindset on national security beginning in 1999, when he staunchly deified every word coming out of Ahmad Chalabi's mouth, pushed for conflict in the Balkans, to being so insistent on regime change in Iran that he had the gall to joke about it on camera, humming "Bomb. Bomb. Bomb Iran!" to the melody of a Beach Boys tune, where his campaign in the past decade has been undulated with those very neoconservative advisors who have been responsible in bogging us down in Iraq in the first place.....and I can bet that the day Giuliani flundered in the Florida primary he bet all his chips on, it was the neoconservatives who were at the time affliated with his campaign who chanted "Mac is back!" louder than most.

As long as McCain chooses to make this election about Iraq, he will inevitably lose the battle of public opinion. When it comes to the question if Americans think that removing Saddam Hussein from power was or was not worth the number of U.S. military casualties and the financial cost of the war, more Americans say it wasn't worth it now than they did when the "surge" was first announced, as well as believing that this war was "not worth fighting".

*

*

So, to finally answer your question, John, I believe the consequences of us pushing a phased withdrawal that will pull all our troops, minus a small coalition of them who will protect the U.S Embassy, translators, etc. would be far less damaging than the consequences of us staying there for another 100 years, as McCain has actually suggested on camera could be a possibility, where it will only foment deadlier violence like any foreign intervention would on another people's culture. I don't doubt that, potentially, terrible ethnic violence could occur, but I believe it would potentially happen no matter if we stay or go, and at the very least the sooner we go, the sooner we spare our own nation of higher national debt and foreign borrowing in result of a policy that is approaching perhaps $2 trillion when all is said and done.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

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

Mother Teresa

hush
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3 posted 02-08-2008 08:10 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

In general, I like McCain. I like the fact that he (generally) seems to believe in what he says and that he actually stands for soemthing, no matter how unpopular it is. (Just because I vehemently disagree with him doesn't change that). I'm suprised that he's emerged as the front-runner- just because he seems... a little... senile? I guess? The "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran" thing made him look just a tad bit loopy to me... but instead of being criticized for stunts like that, he's being criticized for... wait for it.. opposing tax cuts that will ultimately lead to an even further plunge into national debt? What a fool! Suggesting that we give illegal immigrants a path to citizenship? But... "they took our jobs!" (Sorry, couldn't resist). Because every American boy or girls dream is to be a migrant crop picker or a maid, right?

He's being lambasted by his own party for his "liberal" stances on things (things I actually agree with him on- big suprise right?) but basically escaping criticism for his stubbornness in military matters. Oh well, that will come when the primaries are over and the democrats and republicans fight against each other instead of among their own ranks.
Mistletoe Angel
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4 posted 02-10-2008 04:00 AM       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

As I've earlier re-stated constantly, I will not vote for McCain and, in the event Hillary Clinton becomes the Democratic Party's nominee, she won't get my vote either, and I will vote for a third-party candidate (if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, I can live with that and will support him)

My main beef with McCain is that he actually strikes me as being about as opportunistic as Clinton given flip-flops he has made I previously documented, and also believe he, as a commander-in-chief, would bog our nation further down in nation-building, interventionist escapades that would only further foment animosity towards us worldwide. I simply believe he doesn't understand the threat we face pragmatically, and leaving us in Iraq for as long as we've been in Korea would be a public-relations disaster.

Having said that, I pray no one resorts to Swift Boat-style attacks on McCain, as I would and will flat-out condemn any attack on McCain like that which tries to denigrate his honor, just as I condemned such disgraceful attacks on Kerry in 2004. I'm very worried this will happen inevitably, and pray everyone restrains themselves from such, as a clear case can easily be made why McCain would not make a good president while keeping all his honor and dignity intact.

I will add, however, that being a prisoner of war ALSO doesn't mean you're suddenly an expert in the military or qualify you to be commander in chief, and I also am frustrated with how some use their status as a former POW and argue they're the arbiters of all military knowledge, and deserve special treatment of sorts and immunity to criticism, to dodge any question that he doesn't want to answer. I also find that inappropriate, as I believe a true leader would not need to lean on something like that.

I applaud McCain for his courage and resolve while he suffered tragically as a POW in Vietnam, and I thank God he escaped from that travesty of an experience safely. But inspirational stories like that are NOT what will influence my vote, but rather simply how principled the candidate is, what positive vision he/she has to offer America, and how clear or frail the candidate has in terms of a grasp on the issues that face us. And frankly, in considering that trifecta, McCain doesn't do it for me.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


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

Mother Teresa
Bob K
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5 posted 02-10-2008 07:41 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



    Mr. Eaton has built a fine case.  He makes a lot of sense, speaks well and has done his research.  I wish I were as articulate.

     I like Senator McCain for his humor and for those occasions when he has been able to work across the aisle.  Those are personal qualities I don't know how to evaluate in a more objective way.  But I do like them.  When the senator joined the "group of seven" to limit the potential use of filibuster in the republican congress, I remember him as sounding sincere.  I also don't remember him being willing to maintain his position when votes not so favorable to the republican majority came up.  That I don't like so well.

     Thank you Noah Eaton.
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6 posted 02-10-2008 08:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

opposing tax cuts that will ultimately lead to an even further plunge into national debt

Would you care to elaborate on that position, Hush?
jbouder
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7 posted 02-11-2008 07:32 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Mike:

Tax cuts do not automatically lead to increased government revenues.  They can (maybe), but it is a little more complicated than that.  In supply-side economics, cutting taxes only increases government revenue when the former tax rate is to the right of the peak rate on the Laffer curve.  In other words, supply-side economists posit that there is an ideal tax rate - not that tax cuts equal more revenue.  Hush's observations appear to be correct in this case.  Bush's income tax cuts do not appear to have increased government income tax revenue.

Jim
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8 posted 02-12-2008 12:24 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Thanks, Jim. I will have to check on that. From what I understand Bush's tax cuts have led to more spending which has generated more tax dollars than would have been generated without them. Actually, from what i've read, that has happened with every tax cut passed by any president....and it makes sense to me. You mention income tax revenue. That may be where the difference of opinion lies. No tax cut can increase income tax revenues. That's only common logic. I'm referring to moneys collected by the government in general, including the rise in sales tax revenues. Money going in is money going in, no?

I can understand anyone being anti-Bush if they like but I just can't find it believable that anyone would consider tax cuts, which allows more money left in the hands of the consumer to be a bad thing.
Ron
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So, uh, if we eliminated taxes altogether? That would be a good thing, Mike?
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10 posted 02-12-2008 09:17 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

So, if 200 grams of Vitamin C a day is healthy for us, Ron, then 20,000 grams would make us perfect?

Since you like to go to the extremes, Ron, I'll play.
Ron
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11 posted 02-12-2008 11:32 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Mike, I'll readily agree that more isn't always better.

Which is precisely why "more money left in the hands of the consumer" can, indeed, be considered a bad thing.


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12 posted 02-12-2008 01:13 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

In that case, we would have to differentiate between more and fair. We would also have to determine the main goal of such cuts. If it is to stimulate the economy, then I would think it's a given that more citizens with more money to spend would be a good way to go. As I said before, it appears to have worked every time it has been done, going back to JFK.

I find it interesting that some people who bemoan the fact that so many people cannot afford even the basics in life badmouth tax cuts which would allow these people to keep more to buy those basics.

...and i still don't see anything that would support hush's contention that allowing tax cuts would further plunge us into a deeper national debt.
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13 posted 02-12-2008 03:47 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Mike, have you Googled the Laffer Curve?  The graphs you are likely to find will illustrate the validity of Amy's contention well enough.  Even in supply-side economics, reducing taxes beyond a certain point reduces tax revenue.  The effectiveness of tax cuts in increasing revenue is limited by the influence the tax cut has on the economic behavior of beneficiaries of the tax cut.  If the cut is below the statistical peak tax rate (and therefore insufficient to beneficially change taxpayer economic behavior), an economist could anticipate less tax revenue.  If you do not cut spending in anticipation of matching lowered tax revenue, then you put yourself in a deficit position.  Budget deficits require financing of the shortfall (i.e., increasing debt).

I haven't seen any evidence that the Bush tax cuts have yielded similar results as (for the sake of argument) Kennedy's or Reagan's had.  I believe the difference might be in the original tax rates being much higher than they were for Kennedy and Reagan compared to tax rates during the G. W. Bush administration.

Jim
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14 posted 02-13-2008 06:46 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Yeah, Mike, because a whatever percentage tax cut is going to have a huge effect on someone who makes less than 10,000 a year. Oooh, yipee.. what, 5, 10, 20 more dollars per paycheck? That'll pull them out of poverty.

Other than that- yeah, what everyone else said.

The proof is in the pudding. Cutting taxes and increasing spending on our war (oh wait, wasn't that mission accomplished?) make that occupation of Iraq has led to a national debt of how many trillion now?
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TomMark
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quote:
So, uh, if we eliminated taxes altogether? That would be a good thing, Mike?

No. Bush would be out of job.
quote:
Which is precisely why "more money left in the hands of the consumer" can, indeed, be considered a bad thing.

Intentionally laughing at the wrong example that Sir Balladeer made for Tax-cutting. Otherwise, the commenter would give a good thoroughly explanation habitually.

quote:
...and i still don't see anything that would support hush's contention that allowing tax cuts would further plunge us into a deeper national debt.


Spending(on war) on borrowing. What else can you say about the national debt?  


Type your topic and search google image

You may argue what data they based on to make this chart. I don't know.
Mistletoe Angel
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17 posted 02-13-2008 11:12 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

Since the issue concerning tax cuts is the hot topic at the moment, I thought I'd share my two cents on this.

Look, there's no question that every American wants, and deserves, a break, and it should be offered reasonably whenever possible. Simply mouthing the two words "tax cut" out loud should understandably sound pleasing to anyone's ears in any rhetorical sense, as I can understand how everyone is concerned of having to fork over too much of their own hard-earned money every April.

Yet, I think most Americans also accept that taxes are a necessary burden for our society, as long as it's at a reasonable rate, for it is tax dollars that keep our infrastructure up-to-date, whether it is our bridges, highways, airport runways or sewers, as well as fund our hard-working police officers, firefighters and other public service institutions among other things. Thus, I think most Americans ultimately are thinking, in the end, that everything comes with a price, INCLUDING "tax cuts", and I think many of the most staunchest tax-cut proponents like Grover Norquist tend to ignore the simple fact that someone, somewhere, at some time will have to pay for these tax cuts, no matter how much they insist they won't need to be paid for.

And that's precisely why I think using the soundbyte of "making tax cuts permanent" is equally as irresponsible as the notion of having sky-high taxes here like in other countries worldwide: a strong, leveled economy is also a naturally fluctuating one, and sometimes I think most Americans would agree small tax hikes are necessary in the event you're in a recession, or are wrestling with a national disaster, but know that they won't take effect forever and they will be compensated later when the tax rate is reduced again, which is a fluctuating effect most accept I believe.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


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

Mother Teresa
oceanvu2
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18 posted 03-08-2008 03:40 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

"Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory" should have a question mark after it.

Victory over what? Victory over whom?  Whose "Victory" for that matter.

Are any of these thoughts valid?:

1.  The second invasion of Iraq was based on false or manipulated data.  There were no weapons of mass destruction.

2.  Al Queda operatives were not present in Iraq until after the invasion.  Al Queda sympathisers were/are probably in Iraq.  Al Queda sympathizers were/are probably in Chicago.  Do we invade Chicago?

3.  Saddam Hussein was a despot who ruled for his own gain, railed against the US for political reasons, and murdered a lot of his own people.  "We" already gained a "victory" over Hussein.  He's dead.  The world is full of despots who are currently doing the same.  Do we need "victories" over them, too?

4.  Is "Victory" a euphism for world domination.  That seemed to be at least one major factor among combatants in WWII.

5.  Are the Iraqi people better off post invasion than they were pre-invasion?  Is their economy better?  Does the infractructure work better.  Do the Iraqi's feel on the verge of a "Victory?"

6.  Is long term occupation of Iraq necessary to maintain a victorious state of mind?  Will occupation by our democratic nation lead to an appreciation of democracy in Iraq?


"Taking the title of this post in a different context, both Democratic frontrunners have made it pretty clear what they would do as regards Iraq.  What in your opinion would be the consequences?"

My OPINIONS on the consequences of withdrawal:

1.  It would lead to fewer deaths of military personnel and civilians in Iraq.

2.  It would not compromise US and worldwide security any further than US and worldwide security is already compromised by the predictable inability to deal effectively with terrorists, home grown or foreign based.  

3.  Withdrawal from Iraq would permit allocation of more military and humanitarian aide to the majority of non-Taliban-extremist Afghans.  It might also permit more diplomatic focus on India/Pakistan/China/Israel/Russia which do have weapons of mass destruction and are capable of wreaking havoc on an enormous scale.

4.  Withdrawal from Iraq would free enormous sums of money for re-distribution and/or paying down the national debt.  Certainly, we can't eliminate funding for the military, but some of the military dollars directly related to maintaining a presence in Iraq might be used for some straightforward programs like improving our hospital and health care access systems, or filling the "potholes" in our own deteriorating infrastructure.

5.  Withdrawal may well lead to greater political considerations of what the US might do internationally to foster respect as opposed to antagonism.  Non-violent "victories" over diseases and endemic poverty, and starvation might go further toward ending terrorism than invasion and occupation.

6.  In short, withdrawal from Iraq would hardly represent "defeat."  It represents a "victorious" opportunity for the re-examination of National priorities.  

Ever the optomist, Jimbeaux     

  
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19 posted 03-08-2008 04:38 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

What are the consequences for Iraq if America admits defeat and pulls out?

America has removed the regime that was keeping a lid on the factional hatred and probable civil unrest that has existed for decades in that region, granted that lid was kept in place by ruthless and sometimes despicable acts but it was nonetheless kept in place.

At present America is the lid holding back the Jinn, if they pull out the likelihood is that civil war would erupt between Sunni and Shia factions. If that were to happen Iran would most definitely support  the Iraqi Shia population in an attempt to seize power and create a unified anti-American alliance in the middle-east. Even if Iran stayed it’s hand the likelihood is that a despot at least as despicable as Saddam, and possibly more of a threat to the US, would emerge from the ensuing carnage.

America could try to hand over the job to the UN of course, but the UN is unlikely to take on that task without massive assurances of continued American involvement, in cash, men and equipment, that’s if they don’t just shrug their shoulders and say “you broke it you own it”.

The way I see it the US is stuck with Iraq and has little option but to plough money and men into that country for a considerable number of years.
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20 posted 03-08-2008 06:13 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Grinch:

RE:  "The way I see it the US is stuck with Iraq and has little option but to plough money and men into that country for a considerable number of years."

This might have been the kind of thinking behind Nixon's unconscionable "plan" to end the war in Viet Nam -- keep it going through three more years of peace talks.  In the end, the US declared victory, told the South Vietnamese that they were ready to govern, and split.  Carnage ensued.

Carnage will probably ensue in Iraq if US forces leave.  It might even be greater than the carnage between religious and ethnic Iraqi factions which is going on right now.  Occupation certainly hasn't seemed to dampen the murderous ardor that plagues Iraq and many other countries.  

Saying that Hussein kept a lid on factional warfare might not sit well with dead Kurds. Is this a little like saying "At least Mussolini kept the trains running." Or, "At least Hitler jump started the German economy."  Or, "Stalin may have murdered his own troops, caused massive starvation among his own peoples, and imprisoned legions of citizens, a least he maintained a central government?"  Were these fair trade-offs?

The Sunni and Shia, and disparate factions within the Sunni and Shia, will probably continue to murder each other and their brothers.  Mullah's can direct militia, a unifying strong man can control the military, but I don't see anyone other that a reborn Kamal Attaturk keeping it all together.  And, in Iraq, voices for unification of factions face the troublesome prospect of being shot.

Muslims have been dealing with religious factionalism ever since some of Mohammed's desendants took a left turn in the desert.  The Christian sects have gone through much the same thing.  

For example, depending on who was in power, one could get shot, hung, beheaded, imprisoned or exiled in England for being a Protestant, Catholic, or Dissenter of one sort or another.  

Similarly, the English occupation of Ireland did little to keep various Irish factions from hating and killing each other, along with the English occupiers.  Things didn't work out so well during and after the Raj, either.

There seems to be a question of how much time it will take, and whether the will exists among the Iraqis to cobble a unified nation created by fiat, under a central government.  It took the United States about one hundred years and a Civil War to start to get it together, and we're not necessarily finished.

So what can the US expect to accomplish by staying the course?

Best, Jimbeaux  

[This message has been edited by oceanvu2 (03-08-2008 11:23 PM).]

Huan Yi
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21 posted 03-08-2008 11:32 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


Charles Lindbergh and the America First movement would have been
very comfortable with some of the sentiments here.

Has anyone else read John McCain’s: “Faith of My Fathers”
and/or “Why Courage Matters”*?


*In the latter he relates the story of and quotes the poem:  “Blessed is the match . . .
by Hannah Szenes.


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


.


[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (03-09-2008 12:07 AM).]

oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


22 posted 03-08-2008 11:52 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Any one else read Dalton Trumbo's "Johnny Got His Gun," Frances Fitzgerald's "Fire in the Lake," or Phillip Caputo's "Rumors of War?"

Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


23 posted 03-09-2008 12:03 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


I’ve read  Johnny Got His Gun and if the point is nothing is worth being
turned into a mute blind limbless hunk of flesh then we disagree.  I’d willingly
accept that as a price to avoid the world my parents experienced under Hitler.

I also read Rumors of War and having been a Marine there my opinion
is Phillip was at best dishonorable; he winked his enlisted  men who trusted
him into what turned out to be a murder for which he was brought up on charges
and offered the immorality of the war as his defense.  Don’t expect any
tears for him.

.
Grinch
Member Elite
since 12-31-2005
Posts 2710
Whoville


24 posted 03-09-2008 06:35 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Were these fair trade-offs?


I don’t know, what were the alternative possibilities? Could they perhaps have been even worse than what happened?

Would it be preferable if Hitler had remained a timid corporal and a leader with more political acumen, more military prowess and an even greater tendency towards inhumane acts had emerged? Would you take the trade-off of having Hitler and winning the war or the choose the replacement and lose the war?

Supposing the Kurds were not crushed and Turkey, bolstered by Iraqi inaction, invaded the northern territory they’ve laid claim to for years, would that spark Iran to similar action to occupy the territory they claim as theirs? Land  that they fought Iraq for so furiously for eight years but ultimately lost.

I’ve no reason to believe that someone even worse than Hitler would have taken power in Germany. There is perhaps more chance of the Turkey\Iran\Iraq scenario but there can’t be any certainty that those consequences would have played out as I’ve described, but both are possibilities. That isn’t an excuse for inaction though, there are good possibilities just as plausible as the bad, maybe even more plausible. Taking action to improve things by giving the good possibilities a chance is admirable, taking action when the possible outcomes all look bad or without insuring against the bad consequences could be considered somewhat foolhardy.

 
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