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The Iraq open thread

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Replies

  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 6,022 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    Too bad Bush and Obama didn't take Ed seriously.

    LMAO. I am still scratching my head how oil is not better than an energy credit.
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 6,022 Senior Member
    George K wrote: »
    I said then and still believe it is wrong to refuse visas to those Iraqis who worked for or with us.

    We can't do this right now, we are to busy letting in the illegal immigrants to worry about the Iraqis.
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    jbilly wrote: »
    We can't do this right now, we are to busy letting in the illegal immigrants to worry about the Iraqis.

    Hope there's a bit of sarcasm hiding here. First of all we are not TOO busy letting in illegals, secondly, these kids coming in are all being stopped and collected at the border. The big issue is what to do about them, not chasing them around the southwest. Ironic that Cubans are free once they touch shore but kids fleeing violence in central America are illegals.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 49,774 Senior Member
    SET, Jbilly, SET!
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 49,774 Senior Member
    “I have more of a chance of hacking off my loyal listeners and audience by saying this, but so be it: Not one more life. Not one more life. Not one more dollar, not one more airplane, not one more bullet, not one more Marine, not one more arm or leg or eye. Not one more.” --Glenn Beck.

    I had a professor at the university, a distinguished ancient history professor. He loved to talk about Sparta and Athens. The problem with Sparta, he would say, is that they could win the war, but, owing to their lack of political sophistication, they could never win the peace. And that's the situation we are faced with. Its not a question of military prowess but rather cultural competence. In America it's difficult to see the power of culture. Cultural diversity (the real kind, not the fake ****) means that people are willing to kill over what seem to us to be minor differences. Culture's power in America is weak, severely degraded by the rule of law, the cosmopolitanism that follows advanced market economies, the diffuse nature of political power, and of course immigration and assimilation. As a result I think we are ill equipped to deal with the realities of the world beyond our borders. The Straussians who influenced the Bush administration **** well should have known that. They've read Machiavelli. Rather than assuming Saddam was a sociopath, they might have thought about how Saddam would justify his brutality, at least in his own mind.
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 49,774 Senior Member
    http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/the-gonzo-option-20140618

    So this is an interview with former Montana governor Brian Schweitzer. He's a little crazy. His comments about Iraq war vets are heartbreaking.

    Warning: long read (but amusing).
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,585 Senior Member
    Sherb,

    This is a serious, non-loaded question. I'm asking for your thoughts.

    Should we have left Saddam in power? Is that what you refer to with your next to last post?
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 49,774 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »

    Should we have left Saddam in power? Is that what you refer to with your next to last post?

    Its very difficult to assess what we should have done, given what we did do. The simple fact is, no one knows. He was a brutal dictator, responsible for at least a million deaths. Humanity is certainly better off without him. Iraq? I don't know.

    The point I'm trying to make is that no policymaker gave serious thought to what would happen without Saddam (or his party infrastructure) running the country. If they did, they certainly kept quiet about it. Its an ancient conservative maxim: the devil you know is preferable to the one you don't. Unfortunately the flip side of that is that the devil you know may be pretty terrible, indeed. And Saddamn was one of the worst. No question. Being a conservative means living with a certain amount of evil and injustice in the world, because attempting to ameliorate the injustice creates pretty horrible and unforseen consequences, the outcome of which can never be known ahead of time.
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 26,564 Senior Member
    I think there were some people that disagreed strongly with Bremer's decision to eliminate the Baathists and disband the military.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 49,774 Senior Member
    I think there were some people that disagreed strongly with Bremer's decision to eliminate the Baathists and disband the military.

    Yeah, Jay Garner, the first interim civilian head of government, who was replaced by Bremer, very much disagreed with it. But the administration pressed forward.
  • JulietJuliet Posts: 49,774 Senior Member
    https://medium.com/war-is-boring/wow-iraqs-military-is-sad-1609cdf7a87

    The headline is provocative, but it looks like the tide might be turning.

    The wrinkle right now is Kurdistan. Its possible they may use a weakened Iraqi government as an excuse to bolt.
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 26,564 Senior Member
    As far as whether or not Iraq is better off, I think it is pretty much a wash if not a bit better because there is at least potential.

    Funny thing is Kurdistan is more of the pluralistic society we had hoped for in the rest of Iraq.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • FishTXFishTX Super Moderator Posts: 9,003 Senior Member
    sherb wrote: »
    Being a conservative means living with a certain amount of evil and injustice in the world, because attempting to ameliorate the injustice creates pretty horrible and unforseen consequences, the outcome of which can never be known ahead of time.
    Yes, but then you go to your grave not knowing if jumping in would have had a positive effect. Which is worse, living with the injustice, or trying to do what you believe to be right and failing?
    "We have to find someone who can not only fly this plane, but who didn't have fish for dinner."

    Crooow:This music would work better with women in bikinis shaking all over the place. I guess that's true of any music really.
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Sherb,

    This is a serious, non-loaded question. I'm asking for your thoughts.

    Should we have left Saddam in power?

    This is the stuff of Alternative History.....lots of people write in that field. However, on a quantitative basis only, I'm pretty sure fewer Iraqis ( and a hell of a lot fewer Americans) would have died over the last 12 years if Saddam had been left alone or dealt with in some other less shock and awe way. Did his behavior justify the deaths that the invasion produced? In hindsight No.
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    From Salon today.
    As Iraq was unraveling last week and the possible outlines of the first jihadist state in modern history were coming into view, I remembered this nugget from the summer of 2002. At the time, journalist Ron Suskind had a meeting with “a senior advisor” to President George W. Bush (later identified as Karl Rove). Here’s how he described part of their conversation:

    “The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.’”

    As events unfold increasingly chaotically across the region that officials of the Bush years liked to call the Greater Middle East, consider the eerie accuracy of that statement. The president, his vice president **** Cheney, his defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and his national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, among others, were indeed “history’s actors.” They did create “new realities” and, just as Rove suggested, the rest of us are now left to “study” what they did.

    http://www.salon.com/2014/06/20/the_years_of_imperial_thinking_george_w_bush_and_the_birth_of_a_nightmare_partner/
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 7,027 Senior Member
    Dryflie,
    If that qoute is accurate it is indeed extraordinary and so, so frightening, even in hindsight.


    Sent from my ObamaPhone using Tapatalk
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 26,564 Senior Member
    FishTX wrote: »
    Yes, but then you go to your grave not knowing if jumping in would have had a positive effect. Which is worse, living with the injustice, or trying to do what you believe to be right and failing?

    Well the third alternative is to provide support for those within that country that desire a change. If the people themselves choose their destiny, that would be preferable.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 11,684 Senior Member
    sherb wrote: »
    “I have more of a chance of hacking off my loyal listeners and audience by saying this, but so be it: Not one more life. Not one more life. Not one more dollar, not one more airplane, not one more bullet, not one more Marine, not one more arm or leg or eye. Not one more.” --Glenn Beck.

    I had a professor at the university, a distinguished ancient history professor. He loved to talk about Sparta and Athens. The problem with Sparta, he would say, is that they could win the war, but, owing to their lack of political sophistication, they could never win the peace. And that's the situation we are faced with. Its not a question of military prowess but rather cultural competence. In America it's difficult to see the power of culture. Cultural diversity (the real kind, not the fake ****) means that people are willing to kill over what seem to us to be minor differences. Culture's power in America is weak, severely degraded by the rule of law, the cosmopolitanism that follows advanced market economies, the diffuse nature of political power, and of course immigration and assimilation. As a result I think we are ill equipped to deal with the realities of the world beyond our borders. The Straussians who influenced the Bush administration **** well should have known that. They've read Machiavelli. Rather than assuming Saddam was a sociopath, they might have thought about how Saddam would justify his brutality, at least in his own mind.

    Good post, Sherb. The only thing I'd disagree with is culture in the United States. Ethnic and regional cultures are strong, and often clash. We are better than the Muslim world, and tribal societies in general, at keeping it civil most of the time, especially since the civil rights era. Most of these cultures readily coexist with the homogenized dollar culture, witness "gentrification", our version of "ethnic cleansing" for one example.
    The GOP big tent now is the size of a pup tent, its floor splattered with guano.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 11,684 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    I don't think we owe the Iraqi government either.

    I was referring to "Once the lid-keeper is gone there is no one to keep the lid on a pot full of woe."

    Saddam and Qadaffi were bad guys, but they kept the lid on. Where's the line at which responsibility to protect outweighs keeping the lid on?

    To my mind, there are great arguments supporting both - which is probably why we seem to be continually lurching between the two.

    For me the line is fairly clear. Are our and our allies' interests better served by overlooking the lid-keeper's nastier side or not?

    In the case of Saddam, I think he was less abhorrent than Assad in Syria, but that removing either one of them did/does not serve our interests - namely regional stability. But, Assad is doing many of the things we falsely accused Saddam of, such as using gas against his own people. But, so are the rebels, many of whom would not be an improvement over Assad either for us for Syrians. So we really have no good options vis-à-vis Syria, and probably never did.
    The GOP big tent now is the size of a pup tent, its floor splattered with guano.
  • FishTXFishTX Super Moderator Posts: 9,003 Senior Member
    Well the third alternative is to provide support for those within that country that desire a change. If the people themselves choose their destiny, that would be preferable.
    Your 3rd alternative is my 2nd alternative. I didn't specify what action to take. I implied doing what you believe to be right and failing (not necessarily your own fault) might be better than accepting some evils, because you can't solve all problems and might make some situations worse.
    "We have to find someone who can not only fly this plane, but who didn't have fish for dinner."

    Crooow:This music would work better with women in bikinis shaking all over the place. I guess that's true of any music really.
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,585 Senior Member
    George K wrote: »
    For me the line is fairly clear. Are our and our allies' interests better served by overlooking the lid-keeper's nastier side or not?

    In the case of Saddam, I think he was less abhorrent than Assad in Syria, but that removing either one of them did/does not serve our interests - namely regional stability. But, Assad is doing many of the things we falsely accused Saddam of, such as using gas against his own people. But, so are the rebels, many of whom would not be an improvement over Assad either for us for Syrians. So we really have no good options vis-à-vis Syria, and probably never did.
    Saddam didn't gas the Kurds?
  • BufordBuford Senior Member Posts: 3,119 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Saddam didn't gas the Kurds?

    Apparently those people were just sleeping in the streets and on the sidewalks. They must have been dead tired or just posing for a picture.
    Just look at the flowers Lizzie just look at the flowers.
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Saddam didn't gas the Kurds?

    Who gave him the gas?
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 11,684 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    Saddam didn't gas the Kurds?

    You're right. He did. I should have noted that I was writing about after he was chastened by the first Gulf War.

    He was a monster, but ask yourself how well removing him in the second Gulf war has worked out?
    The GOP big tent now is the size of a pup tent, its floor splattered with guano.
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 26,564 Senior Member
    Ask the Iraqi soccer team.

    I think from an Iraqi perspective, they are probably slightly better off.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,585 Senior Member
    dryflie wrote: »
    Who gave him the gas?
    that wasn't the question and has no bearing on the dead women and children.
  • dryfliedryflie Senior Member Posts: 1,442 Senior Member
    Buffco wrote: »
    that wasn't the question and has no bearing on the dead women and children.

    It has every bearing on dead women and children. For cripes sake what do you think poison gas is for? Killing groundhogs?
    “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith
  • fishingcomicfishingcomic Senior Member Posts: 26,564 Senior Member
    In fact the Reagan administration tried to downplay it at the time.
    'I've spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.'" Ronald Reagan
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 3,099 Senior Member
    Where's the condemnation of the perpetrators of the criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq? This thread seems to be a debate about whether it should have been done better or differently and the U.S. would have succeeded. There was no mistake, the neocons and the Bush administration planned and executed their plan by lying to the American people about WMD, uranium yellow cake, aluminum tubes, chemical labs etc. This was a criminal act and they should be prosecuted for it.

    In my opinion, the people who where fooled by the government into supporting that fiasco should be admitting that they were wrong and demanding that the government stop their continuing criminal foreign policy, instead of debating why the disaster went wrong. You were told by myself, Emerger, and a few others that it was not possible to control the tribal culture of the region and that our stupid invasion for the control of the natural resources there would never work. You all argued and ridiculed us for saying that, so man up and admit you were wrong.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 11,684 Senior Member
    Only a few here drank the Bush/Cheney Kool-Aid, fewer still as the reality of the war became known. You may be thinking of another fly fishing board where most probably still defend it.

    p.s. Check your IMs.
    The GOP big tent now is the size of a pup tent, its floor splattered with guano.

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