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The war against terror is the key..

Tetsuo

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to stripping away more and more of the western world's civil rights.
The boarders to the US, a country built on immigration, are now controlled tighter than ever before. There are draconian measures to make the people of the UK, a country that suffered terrorist attacks most weeks for the last three decades from Irish terrorists, so that they carry identity cards and have to report to the state about where they live.

Whilst we all must realise that there is a terrorist threat it is not a danger like we are led to believe. Al Queda is not a far ranging terrorist organisation but a way of thinking, the irony being that the translation "the base" a solid reliable place has become a metaphor for the extreme Muslim outlook. he base is not in the hills of Afghanistan but in the heads of those followers of Bin Laden. There is also no structure, Al Queda is made up of those who wish to be members of Al Queda, if a group of people adopt it's way of thinking and it's particular way of looking at the teachings of the Koran (or Quraine if you prefer). If I and 3 or 4 friends started going to a mosque and believing what Bin Laden believes we would be just as authentic a member of Al Queda as any of the terrorists who have killed in it's name. I find this more scary than any alleged WMDs in Iraq or anywhere else.

Those who would claim that there is a threat and it is growing will also normally be those people who are 100% behind the war in Iraq. These people have a right to this view but if you look at the amount of people taking up arms against the soldiers of the west (and the Iraqis who cooperate with them) you see that the more who are killed the more seem to appear. The majority of news networks seem to be making out that these "insurgents" are crawling out of the woodwork as though they have been to terrorist training camps and have been hell-bent of evil since long before the Iraq war, in truth these are people who will have had no beef with the west before the Iraq war but the deaths of their family, loved-ones, friends and fellow countrymen and led them to rise up and take action in much the same mindset that the French resistance had in WWII. The one problem the "Coalition of the willing" have is not conquering Iraq but pacifying its population.

So why did we go in to Iraq? As we speak Slobodan Milosovic is in a court in the Hague facing a war crimes tribunal for the atrocities that troops under his control committed in the former Yugoslavia, whatever they did was against international law if not the laws of the country they were in. Not many people will say they he doesn't deserve to be there and I think I speak for the majority when I say I hope he rots in whatever hell hole he is thrown in to. The "Coalition of the willing" went in to Iraq to rid it of weapons of mass destruction despite the evidence of there being was simply ridiculous. Colin Powell have a presentation to the Un that was so ridiculous that there was sniggering at the back. Tony Blair released a dossier of Iraq weapons that turned out to be a students university paper. No weapons turned up.
Soon we didn't go in for WMDs, oh no we freed the Iraqi people! How heady the free air must have tasted other then the smell of bullet cordite and burning civilian bodies.
Now here is the fun part, while George Bush was making the usual mushy speeches on the way to his re-election (some may argue with that) he had just invaded a country for regime change which is prohibited by international law. Slobodan also violated international law. Both had armies in countries they shouldn't, killing people they shouldn't.

In fighting the war against terror the west has managed to scare its own people, create 10 times as many "terrorists" as there were and plunged huge amounts of its reserves in to a war that the UN defines as illegal.
The question that I don't understand is are its leaders stupid or did they want it that way?
 

WKL815

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I'll admit. I didn't read your lengthy diatribe. And I'm sure you were a one-time (and obviously foreign) turd bomber so let this be a rebuttal for anyone who chooses to view this thread.

Your claim that we have somehow made more enemies doesn't pass the history test. Cases in point:

We did an awfully horrendous thing to the people of Japan several decades ago. And these were people who felt strongly enough about their cause to kamikaze. Do we now or did we ever have Japanese terrorists here?

We kicked the butt of the Axis of Evil on their own soil and saved France's too leaving a wake of carnage in their city streets. Do we have German, Russian, and French terrorists here?

Korea was another war we fought. Do we have Korean terrorists here?

We were in Vietnam for how long? Do we have North Vietnamese terrorists here?

Once we slap back those who wish to do us harm, they have always tended to sulk back to their respective corner of the world - and yes, some have chosen to continue their evil ways on their own people. The Middle East being among them.

And I acknowledge the Middle East war is different because we aren't fighting a country. We're fighting an ideology of hate and people who don't care if they live or die for their cause. That is why bringing the seeds of peace to the Middle East is so important to World Peace. Bush isn't just blowing smoke up your ass when he says free people will shun the violence the radical muslims thrive on.

When we can show the Iraqis that we want their success to happen and their country to be their own and their women to be important and their children to be cared for - they will begin the long process of making a culture where they will thrive.

History shows us that when women are valued in a culture, that culture thrives and the people feel much better off than before. The liberation of Iraq is the ultimate women's movement. We are trying to empower all the people. Using a point of psychology, just think if you grew up in an environment where your mother, the woman who cared for you, loved you, was your primary care giver and your world, was constantly devalued, mutilated and/or beaten? You'd grow up to be a pretty angry person just like the children of domestic violence do. It's all related. Not the sole reason, but damned near the top.

This is why we fight in Iraq. Not for oil. Not for glory. Not for ultimate power. But so that we can leave the country in the hands of people who will have the resources and the mindset to care for each other. Those people exist in Iraq, you know. Or do you not think Iraqis have the same desires and love that we do?

So "How and why?" you ask, "are we letting innocent civilians die? The same people we are trying to save and empower?" Because we are fighting a war. And just like you fight a cancer by killing the tissue - some of it the surrounding good tissue - with radiation and chemicals, you know you have to do the job to come out better, nay alive in the end. It's ugly to go through and no one would willingly do it. But it has to be done because it will only get harder and the chances of success slimmer if you wait.

And "Why Iraq? Why not Iran or some other place?" Iraq - because we honest to goodness thought there were WMDs which acted as a catalyst for an even in history that needed to take place. Too bad for us we had bad intelligence but we sure as hell weren't wrong to go in. Look at a freakin' map and current social uprisings. We have access to Iraq - maybe not the access we wanted (Thanks for nothing, Turkey), but we could get in by ground. Also, the Iraqis were being slaughtered and neglected by their leader making them unable to overpower their own government - it wasn't going to happen on it's own. But it will in Iran - especially now that we've made an example out of Iraq. I hope it's a persuasive example, and I am only willing to concede to history that it wasn't. And the others like Russia and Syria and North Korea? Well, we haven't exhausted our diplomatic powers with them yet, and their own people still have a snowball's chance. Well, except for maybe Syria. And maybe Syria is next.

And there are people who understand this cause and are willing to sacrifice for it - not just their lives, but their time with their families, their daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. They're willing to endure the ridicule of those that just...don't...get it. These are the people who are true and complete heros. These are the people that I give thanks to when I tuck my daughter in at night and reflect on how safe she is and lay my head down at night with shallow worries, - all of these people - past, present and future. Thank you.
 

Tetsuo

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I am sure that that was a most salient response but as it defined me as a "turd bomber" at the start I too didn't bother doing anything more than skim it. It appears most apparent to this fellow that I am foreign! Is this because I did not at any point in my passage mention my love for moms apple pie? Maybe it is because he senses I do not chant "USA, USA" at sporting events or simply because I do not take the views of Rush Limbaugh to my heart.
From what I gather the points that are being driven at, no matter how well they are put, are defined from a western Christian way of thinking. The problem with America, both its government and its people, is the lack of an ability to see things from another persons perspective. Right wingers are the worst at this but all are guilty of it. The argument that "we kicked the worlds ass once and we can do it again" simply will not wash.
And in response to the comments about the oppression of women it is rich considering the good ol' US of A didn't have equal rights for black people until my grandfather's time and, according to Amnesty International, has "the quickest deteriorating human rights record of any country".
 

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Sir, I do understand that other people have different takes on how the world is; I also am smart enough to know that I can never fully understand any of those other viewpoints. The best I can do is allow them co-exist until a day comes when we can understand each other fully; however, there ARE people out there who present a global threat to the modern world, and we must respond to those in kind. On top of that, if this war in Iraq was so narrow-sighted and stupid of us, why are there 30 countries, including Britain, behind us?

I think that mose Americans feel that we as a country should always do the right thing, and as a country we usually do. I have a problem with someone who thinks that the Iraqi people would be better off under a dictatorship.

Lastly, I can't believe you would sit there and say that WE are the bad guys, and that George Bush is the next Hitler. Regardless of our reasons to go into Iraq (poor worldwide intelligence about WMD's), we must win it now. If we pull out now the terrorists will end up taking over the country, and the torture and rape rooms will re-open. After the January elections, and the elections will happen, that country will move toward freedom and security.

BTW, there were, and still are, other reasons for invading Iraq other than WMD's, such as the 17-some resolutions passed in the U.N. against Saddam.
 

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Tetsuo, I must admit - I expected your post to be a one timer and respect the fact that you did indeed come back and represent your opinion. :)

Albiet, I disagree with it and my position is very close to WKL815 and IronTongue.

I personally believe that we are attempting to be proactive rather than reactive. This is nothing new. Bush 41 started a scare tactic whey Sadam invaded another country and got a cease fire with a treaty. Clinton defined our position that Sadam will be removed from power. Bush 43 has taken all these different pieces of the pie and has a very valid reason for being in Iraq.
 

Tetsuo

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vauge said:
Tetsuo, I must admit - I expected your post to be a one timer and respect the fact that you did indeed come back and represent your opinion. :)

Albiet, I disagree with it and my position is very close to WKL815 and IronTongue.

I personally believe that we are attempting to be proactive rather than reactive. This is nothing new. Bush 41 started a scare tactic whey Sadam invaded another country and got a cease fire with a treaty. Clinton defined our position that Sadam will be removed from power. Bush 43 has taken all these different pieces of the pie and has a very valid reason for being in Iraq.
It is nice that people are not resorting to name calling on here, I like that as I feel I am in discussion with rational human beings unlike 98% of the internet.
I cannot however agree. It doesn't matter how many of the presidents before Bush Jr actually plotted to remove Saddam or how many UN resolutions were passed against Saddam none of them authorised force and it was apparent to half or Europe and a good sector of the press that invading Iraq had nothing to do with WMDs. As Bush himself said
"heck, he tried to kill my daddy". Couple that with the amount of oil that is now in the control of the American government and the fact that the most defiant world leader against the US has now gone and you are a lot more likely to see a real reason.
It has been documented that Rumsfeld was talking about using 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq on 9/12, hardly time to analize facts. Also if Bin Laden was really who the US was after then why did they not simply send in special forces to extract him from the caves that he was in. I realise his men were SAS trained and not your usual run of the mill fighters but this is hardly a reason to send in minimal ground troops and no special forces at all. Look at the amount of people that have been sent in to Iraq to overthrow Saddam compared to those who were sent after Bin Laden. Hardly the actions of a country trying to bring to justice the people were responsible for 9/11 is it?

I don't want to offend anyone but I feel that the only thing that America is being proactive about is trying to safeguard its oil based economy and that 9/11 may have been a tragedy to the American people but it was an opportunity for the American government.
 

mixedmedia

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"Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception."
- Mark Twain, Chronicle of Young Satan

This was my signature, but I thought it was a little long and preachy so I took it off. It fits better here.

WKL815, I tuck my daughter in at night as well and I am happy that she is safe, but do you ever think about the mothers and fathers in Iraq who will never tuck their children in again? I do. I think about them all the time. When I lay my head down at night most of the time I fall right to sleep because I am totally exhausted, but when I can't sleep I do not have "shallow worries." My heart aches for the innocent dead and I feel angry at times that this war is being carried on in the name of my children. People are not a cancer to be removed by us at our discretion.

Maybe I just have a good imagination, but sometimes I wonder, if I were an Iraqi mother holding my dead child, would I ever be able to say: my child died for a good reason, the Americans just wanted to save us from Saddam Hussein? Somehow, I think not. And I think history is going to judge us harshly for this mistake.

I shouldn't have started this right now, 'cause I have to go and my thoughts are kind of jumbled and uncoordinated...it's quite early. I will pick this back up later. But basically, I think its pretty presumptuous of people who have never experienced war within their borders to believe that they know anything about what is right and just when waging them. We are too fortunate here in America to take the misfortunes of others so lightly. I think its a damned shame that in the 21st century we can think of no better way to accomplish good in the world than blowing up Iraq. I am sure that Mark Twain is cursing like a madman in his grave.
 

Pacridge

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mixedmedia said:
Maybe I just have a good imagination, but sometimes I wonder, if I were an Iraqi mother holding my dead child, would I ever be able to say: my child died for a good reason, the Americans just wanted to save us from Saddam Hussein? Somehow, I think not. And I think history is going to judge us harshly for this mistake.
I think you make a valid point. One of the problems with waging war is it isn't pretty. People die. In Iraq they're dying in large numbers. Lastest count is something like 100,000 civilians. There is a right wing based organization that has that number at some where around 15,000. But they're alone in that assessment and I truely believe the number is much closer to the 100,000 mark. I don't think we can realistically except the Iraqi's to be pleased about these deaths. Even if it were closer to the 15,000 number would that matter to you if one of those 15,000 were your mother, grandmother or daughter? I seriously doubt it. It seems to me that even for those Iraqi's who approved of our invasion once these civilian deaths started to mount the tide of public opinion would certainly shift. Many of these deaths are not our doing. The insurgents are killing people (maybe more so then us, really don't know haven't seen any numbers) but the main Iraqi opinion seems to be that it's our fault. This is probably due to the network Aljazeera. The Iraqi kicked them out of the country once but it had little effect since everyone there gets their TV via satellite.(Edit: According to the Aljazeera Web Site they are still not allowed to operate in Iraq, or seven other Arab nations for that matter) So we end up fighting two wars at once. The war on the ground and the war of public opinion. Which is one of the reasons why going into Iraq was such a completely misguided endeavor in the first place.

What I can't understand is why we can't seem to get the "spin" going in our direction. It seems to me that "spin" is one of this administrations finer abilities. I mean if Bush, a blue blood elitist, can convince over half a nation that he's really a hard working good ol'boy. How come we can't convince more of the Iraqi people that we're there to help them? Something that may actually be true. In the end I think you're right and history will judge us harshly.
 
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Pacridge

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Tetsuo said:
It has been documented that Rumsfeld was talking about using 9/11 as an excuse to invade Iraq on 9/12, hardly time to analize facts. Also if Bin Laden was really who the US was after then why did they not simply send in special forces to extract him from the caves that he was in. I realise his men were SAS trained and not your usual run of the mill fighters but this is hardly a reason to send in minimal ground troops and no special forces at all. Look at the amount of people that have been sent in to Iraq to overthrow Saddam compared to those who were sent after Bin Laden. Hardly the actions of a country trying to bring to justice the people were responsible for 9/11 is it?

I don't want to offend anyone but I feel that the only thing that America is being proactive about is trying to safeguard its oil based economy and that 9/11 may have been a tragedy to the American people but it was an opportunity for the American government.
Welcome to the site Tetsuo, I agree with you that "It is nice that people are not resorting to name calling on here."

The mere fact that they were trying to connect Iraq to 9/11 early on doesn't really prove that they didn't believe it, does it? I mean couldn't that have just been their "gut" reaction? What I can't understand is why when it's was pointed out that people were trying to tell this administration that Iraq had nothing to do with it, those are the people they're now pushing out the door. Wouldn't it make more sense to remove the people that made the mistakes? Rather than remove the people who tried to tell you you were making a mistake.

As for "I feel that the only thing that America is being proactive about is trying to safeguard its oil based economy." I sure hope you're wrong about this, you may not be, but I certainly hope you are. The American people , the one's who support this war certainly don't believe thats the reason we're there. The American people who do not support this war have many differing opinions as to why we're there. To me "why we did it" isn't nearly as important a question as is "what do we do now."
 

WKL815

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It's very empathetic of you to have heartbreak for those poor Iraqi's who lose loved ones. But, the success of humanity is dependent on more than just one person's experience.

I am so thankful we have a President and at least 60 million+ Americans who understand this.

I hear what you, the anti-war advocates are saying. But it is short sighted. You will never make the world a better place by seeking to safeguard and/or please each individual person. If you believe in God, then you'll have to admit, even God doesn't make that happen. There are horrors and pain in the World I wouldn't wish on anyone.

The best we can do is to create opportunities for good things to happen in great numbers to grow the number of good people in the World. And when we come up against those unspeakable horrors that present such an obstacle to making the World better, then people have to kill and people have to die to end it. And they do so for what is hopefully a good end and not in vain. It is the quintessential struggle of good vs. evil.

Before this election, I was an agnostic. Now, I am less so. But even if you are a die hard atheist or of some other non-deity driven spirituality, I would think you view your place in the world as a part of something that is bigger than just yourself - one person.

I look forward to someone articulating their anti-war position beyond the justification of "because it hurts people" and offer other options for debate.

And just so you know, I also look forward to the day when I too can be against war because other options work. But we just aren't there yet, although I believe when we successfully plant the seeds of empowering the oppressed Middle Eastern citizens - we'll be a great deal closer.
 
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WKL815

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Pacridge said:
There is a right wing based organization that has that number at some where around 15,000. But they're alone in that assessment and I truely believe the number is much closer to the 100,000 mark.
Um, Pacridge? Could you name the org you reference and please sight your evidence for its right-wingedness?

I have a sneaking suspicion you were referring to the iraqbodycount.net that I posted a few weeks back and I was wondering if you have any other reason to call it right-winged other than that fact.

:rofl

And to clarify: I didn't seek out a VRWC body count. I wanted to know so I did a search with numbers based on documentation. And I wasn't making a determination of value for any number of lives. I was reporting an unreported story. I was surprised to learn from my research that the 100,000 number bantered around is a probabilistic extrapolation of a survey done of less than 1000 or so homes in Iraq. I think you're wrong to call them a right winged group...if it was them you were referring to, I mean. Google "Iraq Body Count" and see what you find., and visit them. You may find the opposite is true.

http://www.iraqbodycount.net/press/
 

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The more you write WKL815, the more I like you. Your just right on the money.

One of the biggest issues about body count is that for some reason people are against the US until they are shot - suddenly they are civilians - even if they died with a gun in their hands. Go figure.

Alas, we are indeed after a good thing for the world as well as Iraq. Iran will wake up (it seems to be more so every day) and Korea will see it too. 20 years from now, we will celebrate in the streets of Iraq with them. They will have forgotten the brutal dictator [some already have] and realize they have a voice and the world will listen.

Meanwhile, our country is going to shit because of the ACLU, the feminisation of America, and the removal of Christianity in our society.
 

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I could be that "Iraq Body Count" is not run by right wing people, don't know- really don't care. Their numbers are being repeated on right wing shows all over the place to prove that there isn't as many civilian deaths as everyone else is saying. My point was and still is- I don't care if it's 100,000 or 15,000 and I'm sure the Iraqis families of the dead don't care either.
 

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Vague, I totally agree about the ACLU and the push against Christianity. What's enlightening for me, is that when I was younger (15 til these last few years), I was sincerely afraid of what organized religion could do and mask, and I didn't see the benefits outweighing those drawbacks. I didn't even get married in a church because I didn't want to be hypocritical of my senses. I didn't say "Bless you" when someone sneezed for the same reason. I sneered when someone said they were a Christian as though that was proof they were a "good person". (Now I just scoff)

But here I am now, after this election, and I'll be damned if I can't see the light. I've always appreciated the world through physical science and biology - especially neuroscience. Yet, this is the first time in my life I have true hope for the World's future and a sense of divine design.

I completely agree with you about "in 20 years." I may just take my aging butt over there myself and also stop at ground zero - shed some tears, smile at strangers, hug my family, remember and be thankful.
 

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Defining "Shallow Worries"

To me, a worry is shallow, if at morning's light, you're not acting in a way to address it - either because you want to or because you have to.

People who lay their heads down thinking, "I hope my child is warm enough. Its cold outside the tent," or "I hope we get through the night without gunfire," or "Where am I going to get my grocery money?" and get up in the morning and have to make a blanket and find means of keeping their shelter, or be on the look out for gang members, or find a job or head down to the social services department - these people have deep worries.

I, myself, wouldn't say that my "empathetic feelings" (which I do have) are of the same caliber of worry as those with the real problem. I acknowledge that I rarely have deep worries. I do have heavy thoughts, but I think them and then I have the luxury of moving on.

That's all I meant.
 

Tetsuo

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WKL815 said:
It's very empathetic of you to have heartbreak for those poor Iraqi's who lose loved ones. But, the success of humanity is dependent on more than just one person's experience.

I am so thankful we have a President and at least 60 million+ Americans who understand this.

I hear what you, the anti-war advocates are saying. But it is short sighted. You will never make the world a better place by seeking to safeguard and/or please each individual person. If you believe in God, then you'll have to admit, even God doesn't make that happen. There are horrors and pain in the World I wouldn't wish on anyone.

The best we can do is to create opportunities for good things to happen in great numbers to grow the number of good people in the World. And when we come up against those unspeakable horrors that present such an obstacle to making the World better, then people have to kill and people have to die to end it. And they do so for what is hopefully a good end and not in vain. It is the quintessential struggle of good vs. evil.

Before this election, I was an agnostic. Now, I am less so. But even if you are a die hard atheist or of some other non-deity driven spirituality, I would think you view your place in the world as a part of something that is bigger than just yourself - one person.

I look forward to someone articulating their anti-war position beyond the justification of "because it hurts people" and offer other options for debate.

And just so you know, I also look forward to the day when I too can be against war because other options work. But we just aren't there yet, although I believe when we successfully plant the seeds of empowering the oppressed Middle Eastern citizens - we'll be a great deal closer.

All good points and eloquently put but the whole argument revolves around the notion of "good" which is an entirely subjective concept. Just because a person, people, nation or president think that one think is good does not mean that it is necessarily so on the other side of the world.

History is littered with examples of people who thought they were doing a good thing but the passing of time has judged otherwise. Stalin's 5 years plans were in his eyes for the good of the country and its people as was Hitler's "Final Solution". The terrorists that flew 2 planes in to the twin towers though they were doing good as they were indoctrinated in to thinking that the US was a "great Satan", in my own opinion most religions are whacko and having a man who is "born again" in the white house I find most disturbing, religion through history has been used as a self-justification to do REALLY bad things and keep a clean conscience.
The US sanctions against Cuba because it has politics that people in the US don't like means that hospitals in Cuba don't have x-ray machines, okay its an individual example but is it really fair that because people live under a political regime that is not to the taste of the worlds richest country that they should have to suffer inferior healthcare? It is if you are doing it for the good of the world tho!

My opposition to the war is not because it "hurts people" but because it kills people. Innocent people. People who would be living their lives quite happily (despite living under a repressive regime) People talk about the atrocities that Saddam committed and no one can refute those but when we look and see that the number of Kurds killed in his infamous gas attacks aided by Chemical Ali was 5,000 and that even the most conservative estimate of the innocent war dead from the coalition invading is 15,000 then I would choose the lesser of two evils.

Saddam's regime kept people oppressed by force and we see this as wrong but all populations are kept in line via some mechanism. The society I live in is kept in line by money, in India the cast system applies, for primitive tribes there is a tribal hierarchy. Who are the American people or the American "born again Christian" President to say what is right or wrong for the Iraqi people? Is it not a case of judge not lest ye be judged?
 

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Pacridge said:
The insurgents are killing people (maybe more so then us, really don't know haven't seen any numbers) but the main Iraqi opinion seems to be that it's our fault. This is probably due to the network Aljazeera. The Iraqi kicked them out of the country once but it had little effect since everyone there gets their TV via satellite.(Edit: According to the Aljazeera Web Site they are still not allowed to operate in Iraq, or seven other Arab nations for that matter) So we end up fighting two wars at once. The war on the ground and the war of public opinion. Which is one of the reasons why going into Iraq was such a completely misguided endeavor in the first place.

What I can't understand is why we can't seem to get the "spin" going in our direction. It seems to me that "spin" is one of this administrations finer abilities. I mean if Bush, a blue blood elitist, can convince over half a nation that he's really a hard working good ol'boy. How come we can't convince more of the Iraqi people that we're there to help them? Something that may actually be true. In the end I think you're right and history will judge us harshly.
Thanks, Pacridge, for being here.

Yes, I have also heard the toll of 100,000 Iraqi deaths (it doesn't sound like an outrageous number) and while I don't know how that number breaks up between coalition & insurgent causes, I personally think America carries the ultimate responsibility for both. As bad as things may have been in Iraq under Saddam Hussein, at least most Iraqis could expect a reasonable amount of safety on the streets in their everyday lives. Crime, not only terrorist assaults, has risen exponentially in Iraq as well because of the lack of security on the streets. Not to mention that most of Baghdad still only gets about 6 hours of power a day and hepatitis and other water-borne illnesses are rising, most especially among young children, all directly attributable to damage we caused during our initial strikes.

I think its difficult for most Iraqis to accept our spin because they are living in the chaos of war and its aftermath everyday without seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. We have mismanaged the "post-war" occupation so very badly. I can't imagine anyone living in Iraq having a favorable reaction to what is going on there. I know I wouldn't.
 

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mixedmedia said:
I think its difficult for most Iraqis to accept our spin because they are living in the chaos of war and its aftermath everyday without seeing any light at the end of the tunnel. We have mismanaged the "post-war" occupation so very badly. I can't imagine anyone living in Iraq having a favorable reaction to what is going on there. I know I wouldn't.
Thank you for being here, Mixedmedia.

Well first off when it comes to the spin; we're loosing that battle in part because of Aljazeera. They miss no opportunity to make us look bad. Thankfully, for them, we seem to miss no opportunity to supply them with fresh incidents to exploit. Second, for the most part, here in the US you have people who want to believe we're doing the "right" thing. Over there the attitude is completely different. People want to believe we're evil, by and large many have been told that since they were children. So turning the tide of public opinion's going to be a hugh task. Of course if you watch Fox, they already do love us and the average Iraqi is damn glad we're there.

As far as mismanaging the occupation: What other then over throwing Saddam has gone to plan? I can't think of one thing that this Administration has planned for in regards to Iraq that has worked out the way they planned. On top of that it seems to me they have failed to plans on some very basic issues. Take this recent lack of armor issue. Rumsfeld seemed to think that a lighter quicker army would be needed so no need to bring in additional armored vehicles. While in the process of taking out Saddam this proved to basically true, it stopped being true once we were in an occupation situation. Well we've been in an occupation sitaution for over a year now. Still don't have the needed armor. His answer "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you'd like to have" I could have bought into that answer a year ago, six months ago. But now a year later? It's just another lame excuss. I also liked his answer of "you can have all the armor you want and still get blown up." Yeah, Okay sometimes armor doesn't save you, therefore no need to armor anything. What kind of logic is that? Bet that made the troops feel better.
 
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Quotes from WKL815
It's very empathetic of you to have heartbreak for those poor Iraqi's who lose loved ones. But, the success of humanity is dependent on more than just one person's experience.

You know, that wasn't the best way to begin this post. "Those poor Iraqi's" sounds pretty insensitive. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt though, because you seem like a kind person. But, who is saying anything about one person? I am talking about the lives of many people....many more than we lost on September 11th. And there was certainly no shortage of public acknowledgment of the deaths of individuals after that tragedy...nor should there have been. Of course individuals matter, it is one of the basic tenets of a humane worldview. To use your sentiment it would seem that the mindset of the terrorists who attacked us was, from their perspective, the right one to have: that killing civilians is acceptable to achieve the greater good. Right or wrong that's what they believe. I'm sorry, but I have a big problem with that kind of sentiment.

I hear what you, the anti-war advocates are saying. But it is short sighted. You will never make the world a better place by seeking to safeguard and/or please each individual person. If you believe in God, then you'll have to admit, even God doesn't make that happen. There are horrors and pain in the World I wouldn't wish on anyone.

I do not believe in God. I am not a deist or a non-deist (I have applied no definition to myself as such), but I am most closely aligned spiritually with the Eastern religions. Call me a Taoist by nature, if need be. No pun intended. Thus, I believe that the horrors and pain in the world are caused by man. Which in turn are caused by poverty, desperation and fear. Which to my knowledge, war is not and has never proved to be successful in combatting and in fact, sows the seeds of more man-made destruction and suffering. I don't understand how that belief is short-sighted. If anything I think war is a short-sighted way of jerry-rigging the world's problems.

The best we can do is to create opportunities for good things to happen in great numbers to grow the number of good people in the World. And when we come up against those unspeakable horrors that present such an obstacle to making the World better, then people have to kill and people have to die to end it. And they do so for what is hopefully a good end and not in vain. It is the quintessential struggle of good vs. evil.

I agree wholeheartedly with the first part of your statement above...and then not so much. I do not understand how you fight unspeakable horror with more unspeakable horror. I guess it may come down to what you feel are the differences between good and evil - and whether the two are mutually exclusive. But to me, the question doesn't apply to the Iraq war anyway. We didn't go to Iraq to end the suffering of the Iraqi people. We went there to protect ourselves, as ridiculous as it sounds now. The "helping the Iraqi people" argument didn't gather full steam until after it became obvious Iraq had no WMD.

Before this election, I was an agnostic. Now, I am less so. But even if you are a die hard atheist or of some other non-deity driven spirituality, I would think you view your place in the world as a part of something that is bigger than just yourself - one person.

Well, yes, I view my place as a very small part of an immensely complex world - yet a world full of people that are connected to each other in a vital way. Even though I am not religious, I view the other inhabitants of this world, regardless of their views, religion, ethnicity or even if they hate me because I am American, to be my brothers and sisters. I don't understand where you make the connection that I am speaking only for myself.

I look forward to someone articulating their anti-war position beyond the justification of "because it hurts people" and offer other options for debate.

How about making real strides to improve the lives of ordinary people in the very places where they hate us most. How about humbling ourselves by admitting that while we have prospered and consumed and bickered over how much taxes we pay, we as the leaders of the free world (right?) have allowed our fellow man to suffer and die (and hate!) from totally preventable causes. Why is there so much cynicism among the supporters of this war towards any other way of resolving conflict? We need to lead the world, not militarily, because we will never win the hearts and minds of anyone that way. We need to make concerted and aggressive efforts to improve education, health and employment in the world's most hopeless places, even if it means giving up alot of our own good fortune. That is the only way a young person growing up destitute in the Middle East or Africa or Asia, anywhere, is going to see us as the beacon of hope and opportunity that we like to see ourselves as. And I don't think it is naive or unrealistic to think this way. Just untried.

And just so you know, I also look forward to the day when I too can be against war because other options work. But we just aren't there yet, although I believe when we successfully plant the seeds of empowering the oppressed Middle Eastern citizens - we'll be a great deal closer.

I do hope you are right. But somehow, because of the rather regressive way we have approached this problem, I think that day is farther off than it could have been. I do still have hope though. I am an optimist at heart, even with George Bush as my president....doh! Sorry, couldn't be helped...
 

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Pacridge said:
Thank you for being here, Mixedmedia.

Well first off when it comes to the spin; we're loosing that battle in part because of Aljazeera. They miss no opportunity to make us look bad. Thankfully, for them, we seem to miss no opportunity to supply them with fresh incidents to exploit. Second, for the most part, here in the US you have people who want to believe we're doing the "right" thing. Over there the attitude is completely different. People want to believe we're evil, by and large many have been told that since they were children. So turning the tide of public opinion's going to be a hugh task. Of course if you watch Fox, they already do love us and the average Iraqi is damn glad we're there.

As far as mismanaging the occupation: What other then over throwing Saddam has gone to plan? I can't think of one thing that this Administration has planned for in regards to Iraq that has worked out the way they planned. On top of that it seems to me they have failed to plans on some very basic issues. Take this recent lack of armor issue. Rumsfeld seemed to think that a lighter quicker army would be needed so no need to bring in additional armored vehicles. While in the process of taking out Saddam this proved to basically true, it stopped being true once we were in an occupation situation. Well we've been in an occupation sitaution for over a year now. Still don't have the needed armor. His answer "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you'd like to have" I could have bought into that answer a year ago, six months ago. But now a year later? It's just another lame excuss. I also liked his answer of "you can have all the armor you want and still get blown up." Yeah, Okay sometimes armor doesn't save you, therefore no need to armor anything. What kind of logic is that? Bet that made the troops feel better.
I am a little hesitant to blame Al Jazeera outright for the larger perception of America in Iraq. After all, these perceptions existed long before Al Jazeera hit the airwaves just a few years ago. Plus, while I don't have access to their news broadcasts, I have visited their website and they do not seem to be as viciously anti-American as the Bush administration would like us to believe. The coverage I saw there seemed fair; maybe because I don't expect them to have the same perspective as American news and because I know that there is news out there that would reflect badly on us - news that is simply not being covered here in America (hmmm, I wonder why?). In relation they are certainly not any more unfair or unbalanced than FOX. If you haven't seen it, you should check out the documentary, The Control Room, about Al Jazeera. It was made by, an Iraqi ex-pat from Britain (or perhaps she is from another Arab country, I'm not so sure now). It will give you a fresh perspective on Al Jazeera and their news coverage.

Yes, I can't imagine our occupation of Iraq being much more disastrous. What's more, our leaders have such a strong distaste for admitting they are wrong, they make us look like a country full of cocky b*****ds. Not only do they not admit to their glaring miscalculations and outright failures, they seem to not have the capacity to even believe they have committed any. Which frankly blows my mind. Thus, officials such as Rumsfeld and Rice are retained and promoted rather than officially held accountable. Unbelievable.

And yes, I was pretty outraged at Rumsfeld's replies to the concerns of our soldiers in Iraq, as well, but was I surprised? No. It typified how out of touch with the facts this administration has kept itself. Or rather, how out of touch they have striven to keep the American public. In this day and age of information overload, their reality bubble cannot stand against the facts for long. That is my hope anyway.
 

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Tetsuo

My opposition to the war is not because it "hurts people" but because it kills people. Innocent people. People who would be living their lives quite happily (despite living under a repressive regime) People talk about the atrocities that Saddam committed and no one can refute those but when we look and see that the number of Kurds killed in his infamous gas attacks aided by Chemical Ali was 5,000 and that even the most conservative estimate of the innocent war dead from the coalition invading is 15,000 then I would choose the lesser of two evils
What I'm getting out of this is that you believe the Iraqi citizens would be happier with Saddam in power. Am I correct or did I read that wrong?
If I am correct then I have no idea were your coming from. I saw with my own eyes the Iraqis tearing down the statues of Saddam.

I love how all of us that are not there or have not been there like to discuss how the Iraqis feel about the situation. Well I have not been there however my Brother-in-Law has been on 2 tours not as a soldier but as a contractor setting up phone networks for the Iraqis paid for with US Tax dollars. He went summer 2003 as well as summer 2004. He spent time in the Baghdad green zone as well as in some small towns throughout Iraq. When he was out of the green zone he did not have US military escorts and He talked with and hired quite a few average Iraqi citizens and he said of the people he talked with that they were all very greatful for the USA. He said most of them were pissed that they had to endure another 10 years after the first gulf war. That they had been waiting for us to rescue them from the bastard since the gulf war. So I prefer to take my perceptions of how the average Iraqi feels about my great country from someone who has actualy been to their country and talked to them face to face.

Meanwhile, our country is going to shit because of the ACLU, the feminisation of America, and the removal of Christianity in our society
Vauge couldn't agree with you more brother. However does my pink tutu count as the feminisation of America. I'd hate to give that up but if its causing the country to go to shit I will. :eek:
 

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Prehaps I'm being overly critical of the Aljazerra Network, don't know. I'll go check out this "Control Room" film. I will say though that I'm a little more than a little hesitant to believe much from films of this nature. What I've been finding out about "documentary" films latey is depending on who made it and what their agenda is; what they "document" can be completely different from accurate. Case in point: if you watch the film "Stolen Honor" by the Swift Boat Vets then John Kerry is a lying sack of crap who probably should be shot. If you watch "Going up River, the Long War of John Kerry." Well then he's a national hero. But I will find and watch the movie you suggest.

In my opinion we're all being lied to all the time. And depending on what lies you want to believe, that ends up being your personal "truth." Sifting through the rubble of "facts" out there has become increasingly difficult.

And even if the Aljazeera Network is fairly honest, they're sure making us look bad. And that isn't helping in our efforts. My concern is and has always been for the troops. I think they've been given an impossible situation and told to make it possible. Let's hope I'm wrong.
 

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WKL815 said:
Defining "Shallow Worries"

To me, a worry is shallow, if at morning's light, you're not acting in a way to address it - either because you want to or because you have to.

People who lay their heads down thinking, "I hope my child is warm enough. Its cold outside the tent," or "I hope we get through the night without gunfire," or "Where am I going to get my grocery money?" and get up in the morning and have to make a blanket and find means of keeping their shelter, or be on the look out for gang members, or find a job or head down to the social services department - these people have deep worries.

I, myself, wouldn't say that my "empathetic feelings" (which I do have) are of the same caliber of worry as those with the real problem. I acknowledge that I rarely have deep worries. I do have heavy thoughts, but I think them and then I have the luxury of moving on.

That's all I meant.
I understand, but that doesn't mean my empathetic feelings are shallow. It means I cannot sit by and watch empathetically anymore. Yes I am restricted as far as what I can do to help. I have three children of my own and am not well off by any stretch. In fact, I have experienced personally more than one of the thoughts you surmised as deep worries in your paragraph above. But I do have a voice and, thanks to Mr. Bush and the frightening implications of his presidency, the motivation to make sure it is heard. I, for one, don't intend to sit by and watch as the fabric of my country is re-woven and we establish ourselves as the arrogant bullies of democracy in the world. I have kids and it worries me a great deal. What's more I know I am far from alone - I share these concerns with many other Americans. Let's not forget that very close to half the country said no to George Bush and his policies.
 

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CSA_TX said:
Tetsuo


What I'm getting out of this is that you believe the Iraqi citizens would be happier with Saddam in power. Am I correct or did I read that wrong?
If I am correct then I have no idea were your coming from. I saw with my own eyes the Iraqis tearing down the statues of Saddam.

I love how all of us that are not there or have not been there like to discuss how the Iraqis feel about the situation. Well I have not been there however my Brother-in-Law has been on 2 tours not as a soldier but as a contractor setting up phone networks for the Iraqis paid for with US Tax dollars. He went summer 2003 as well as summer 2004. He spent time in the Baghdad green zone as well as in some small towns throughout Iraq. When he was out of the green zone he did not have US military escorts and He talked with and hired quite a few average Iraqi citizens and he said of the people he talked with that they were all very greatful for the USA. He said most of them were pissed that they had to endure another 10 years after the first gulf war. That they had been waiting for us to rescue them from the bastard since the gulf war. So I prefer to take my perceptions of how the average Iraqi feels about my great country from someone who has actualy been to their country and talked to them face to face.


Vauge couldn't agree with you more brother. However does my pink tutu count as the feminisation of America. I'd hate to give that up but if its causing the country to go to shit I will. :eek:
I think a lot of what you're saying here is accurate. I have no doubt there are Iraqi's who are happy we're doing what we're doing. But just the same there are those over there who are not happy about it. I spent Saturday with a group of guys who just got back. They're from all over Oregon and the northwest but are here for a funeral for a member of their unit, Army Sgt. David A. Mitts. Services will be tomorrow. I'll be going. In speaking with this group I was told they we're "tried of trying to help people who basically just shit on us." Their words not mine. They also spoke about the problems of not having equipment. Many said their families had sent them bullet proof vests, binoculars and two-way radios. So yes, there are those who support our efforts but many do not. And the ones that don't are out planting roadside bombs. And I don't understand, at all, why a year and half into this we can't get our guys the basic equipment they need to complete their mission.
 
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And I don't understand, at all, why a year and half into this we can't get our guys the basic equipment they need to complete their mission
Pacridge I couldn't agree with you more. That is one thing I do not understand. However I don't believe it would be any better with a different comander in cheif. Unfortinatly since the end of the cold war the government has figgured that cutting the military is in the best intrest now that we are the only "super power". And sadley has effected our troops and the equiptment they are being deployed with. However I have to wonder if all of a sudden DOD signed a no bid contract with the manufacturer of armour to get what was needed ASAP. Would that be tied to Dicks fortune also. Instead of doing what is needed unfortinatly politics come first in DC.. Also unfortinate is that most voters do not pay attention to the vote records of there representitives or hold them accountable.
 
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