"Defeatocrats"

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Mariner, May 1, 2007.

  1. Mariner
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    Mariner Active Member

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    Avatar suggested on a different thread that any military bases we build in Iraq would be temporary and the keys would be handed to the Iraqis when we leave. In fact, building permanent bases was a major goal of the original neoconservative strategy for the invasion. The hope was that a democratic Iraq would become a beacon for the region, and a friendly place for us to base our forces there.

    I think the "war on terror" discussion page needs a rule: stop saying "they" and "them" when talking about various groups of Iraqi people. It's the source of so much confusion. Instead, let's specify who wins and loses:

    1. Al Qaeda and related groups. This is where Bush and the remaining Republicans on his side say that if we leave Iraq, we're surrendering, and I think that's sort of true. Al Qaeda will be able to say, "look, we kicked them out." And it's probably reasonable to argue that one reason we've had no further attacks in the U.S. is that we've created a war arena in Iraq where Al Qaeda can fight us. Let's not forget that they were not there before we arrived, and they had zilch to do with Saddam Hussein (per George Tenet's latest book). The latest estimate I've seen is that 3% of attacks in Iraq are due to Al Qaeda. Hence it's a major misdirection for Bush to say this is what we're doing there, fighting "terrorists."

    2. Sunnis. They were the big losers when we invaded, and it's making sure they're taken care of properly which will ensure a successful Iraq. The biggest news of recent days to me is not the increased U.S. casualties--it's the threatened withdrawal of a major Sunni block from the parliament, which follows al Sadr's withdrawal a while ago. This suggests the political process is running backwards not forwards. If the civil war expands, they are at risk of wholesale slaughter by Shi'ites. Hence they are running the insurgency which is killing most U.S. troops right now. It's not at all obvious that remaining there as targets for Sunnis is a smart move on our part.

    3. Shi'ites. They are the majority, and have elected a former death squad leader (Maliki) as their president. Not a good way to start a dialogue with the Sunnis, huh? Yet we're forced to support Maliki because he was elected by Iraqis with purple fingers. Iran was the giant winner in our invasion of Iraq. At the moment, Shi'ites can happily kill Sunnis in large numbers, since we are providing stability and preventing wholesale civil war. The Democratic idea is this: when we leave, Shi'ites will have to take a hard look at themselves and realize that if they continue to persecute Sunnis, their society is doomed. This idea is certainly no worse than Bush's obviously failed policy of trying to stabilize the country militarily.

    4. Iranians. They are the huge winners in our invasion. We're spending what will eventually total around $2 trillion (when you include $ for rehab and disability benefits) to knock down their old enemy, and give them major fodder for Islamist thinking: "Look at those imperialist Americans, attacking a Muslim country. We'll be next. So we'd better elect hard-liners and support terror to prevent it." If we hadn't invaded Iraq, Iran would likely have a much moderate leadership than it does now.

    5. Muslims everywhere. Along the same lines, the real war against "terror" is the war for the "hearts and minds" of Muslims around the world. Terrorists aren't born. They are made. They come into existence when there is asymmetrical military strength and a combination of desperation and humiliation. Our greatest ally in reducing the recruitment of terrorists is the good will of moderate Muslims--the relatives, neighbors, and friends of people who might want to become terrorists, and who can either dissuade them or encourage/finance them. Right after 9/11 we had a historic opportunity to earn and hold Muslim favor--we had a 90% approval rating in parts of the Muslim world. After the invasion, with Abu Ghraib, rendition, Guantanamo, etc., opinion in the country that used to like us the most--Indonesia--is now 15% favorable to the U.S. That is defeat in the arena that really counts, period. It means we're in for a generation of ongoing terrorism around the world.

    We need to acknowledge that there is simply NO purely military solution to Iraq. Look at the French experience in Algeria, where 1 million Algerians were killed in France's failed efforts to battle a tiny Islamic insurgency (this was the first one, and the Palestinians and Al Qaeda studied it well--while Bush and the neocons apparently never considered the dramatic parallels). That's why France never joined our coalition--they'd had this experience already, and knew the likely outcome. The second part of the proposed Democratic strategy is setting benchmarks for progress tied to troop withdrawal. The idea is to force Maliki and the gov't to show actual reconciliation and to take easily measured steps, like deciding how much oil revenue to share with Sunnis, in order to keep us there.

    We also need to acknowledge that we have created far more terrorists via Bush's strategies than were there before. This has been widely reported in Pentagon, defense dept, and other reports in the past year. Over 100 new terrorist groups have sprung up in Iraq. These people can lie low until after our surge, and then strike freely. In the meantime, they're reminding us of their potency via the various audacious attacks we've seen in the past 3 months.

    Terrorism around the world is UP, not down. Great Britain is no longer using the phrase "war on terror," because they rightly see that terror isn't an enemy--it's a technique used by people who are desperate. It's best addressed not by killing terrorists--each one become a martyr, and leads to moe--but by addressing the desperation. Ending our occupation is the fastest way to do that: there is clear evidence that occupations in general, e.g. the British occupation of northern Ireland, are the major root source of terrorism.

    After all, how would we like it if a Muslim country invaded us with the goal of improving our government, killed 30,000 or more of us in the process, and was still occupying us 4 years later? We'd hate it, and many of us would doubtless become deadly insurgents. Wouldn't it be smart of the invading country to leave?

    Mariner.

    P.S. The latest thing that makes Bush's team look like idiots to Muslims is the guy who coined the phrase "Shock and Awe," who has now been named by the "D.C. Madam" as one of her clients. That's the hearts and minds war that Bush has thrown away in his incorrect focus on military victory. It's why withdrawing is probably the better bet overall, though no one can know for sure. Algeria had a terrible civil war after the French left. Iraq may be due for the same, whether we stay or go.
     
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  2. Superlative
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    Superlative Senior Member

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    Good post.
     
  3. maineman
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    maineman BANNED

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    very well reasoned. good job!
     
  4. onedomino
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    onedomino SCE to AUX

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    Cite your evidence for the highly dubious claim that the US occupation is the major root cause of terror in Iraq. Do you mean that Al Qaeda is not the major cause of indiscriminate terror in Iraq? Do you mean that Sunni bombings of Shia markets and holy places is not a major cause of terror in Iraq? Do you mean that Shia murder squad reprisals against Sunnis is not a major cause of terror in Iraq? If US troops left Iraq, why would not sectarian violence increase rather than decrease? Unrestrained, why would not the roving bands of murder squads be free to do their work? Why would not Saudi Arabia and other Sunni countries rush to support the Sunnis in Iraq against Irainian supported Shia, thereby blowing up the situation into regional war? Why would not Al Qaeda, who despise the Shia, continue their homicide bombings? Why would not all the murderers who seek to rip up the Iraqi constitution (including Syrian and Iranian backed killers) attack the government and bring it down?

    I noticed in your post that you did not mention the 12 million Iraqis who voted for the current government and ratified the constitution. What about them? Your run away suggestion (i.e., “Wouldn’t it be smart of the invading country to leave?”) would leave them defenseless as the ethnic violence rages around and through them. And Al Qaeda dispatches human bombs against the government. A more dishonorable course I cannot imagine.

    And please spare us an example from the inglorious history of France as any indication of how people should behave. The short list: Nazi collaboration, sending French Jews to German death camps, running from SE Asia after they created the mess with colonialism, French war crimes in Algeria, bribes to Saddam Hussein, mobilizing countries against the coalition (not merely failing to participate in the ouster of the maniac running Iraq, but threatening vetoes in the UNSC), and the list goes on...
     
  5. Vintij
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    Vintij Senior Member

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    Perfect post, you hit it right on the money. Hopefully some will learn from this, that our military can not win over iraq. Nor can our democracy, the only people who can win iraq, are iraqis....and they rarely think for themselves.
     
  6. maineman
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    sunnis and shiites are going to spill each other's blood until they both get a bellyful, regardless of our presence there or not....the only difference will be in OUR body count.

    AQ is NOT a major presence in Iraq... and it appears that the Iraqis are taking care of that issue themselves as well as we could. The AQ leader killed yesterday was killed by sunni insurgents...not Americans.

    Bottom line: we were not attacked by any Iraqis, we should stop killing them and get on with the task of fighting and winning the war against the folks who did attack us.
     
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  7. Vintij
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    Vintij Senior Member

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    Perfect POST mariner. Hopefully some will learn from this.


    And onedomino, from what I understand...your are telling everyone that all violence in Iraq, is due to terrosists? What kind of claim is that? Your saying that all ethnically divided and/or religion divided groups are terrorists? Are you saying that all of the violence is Al Quada related? You need to read a little more on reports of iraqi infastructure and the "progress" being made. Relious violence in the middle east is not terrorism. And Democracy in the middle east is not what the election was for, it was a shiite controlled election to elect a shitte president to conduct shiite political buisness and to further divide all ethnic groups the same as Sudam did. Civil war, is not terrorism nor is it Al Quada related.
     
  8. onedomino
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    onedomino SCE to AUX

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    We are killing people who participate in murder squads. We are killing people who create and want to become human bombs. We are killing people who indiscriminately murder the innocent and want to rip up the Iraqi constitution that 12 million people voted for. Do you not understand that?
     
  9. wiggles
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    wiggles Active Member

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    And the longer we're there the more of those people there are. The insurgency has only gotten bigger and bigger and bigger....
    Do you not understand that?
     
  10. Vintij
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    Vintij Senior Member

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    "adopt a manner to fairly distribute wealth and give equal opportunity to all.
    We the people of Iraq, newly arisen from our disasters and looking with confidence to the future through a democratic, federal, republican system, are determined — men and women, old and young — to respect the rule of law, reject the policy of aggression, pay attention to women and their rights, the elderly and their cares, the children and their affairs, spread the culture of diversity and defuse terrorism."

    Thats part of the iraqi consitution, yet there own bible (the Quran) or at least there interpretation of it, forces them to strip all rights from women in general, and to allow agressive behavior when converting muslims. How can the new consitution change the mind of thousands of years of religious opression? This consitution directly contradicts many islamic morals. Which is why democracy is impossible.


    Also look at this part

    "Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation:
    (a) No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam."

    That means that no law can be passed that contradicts Islamic Faith

    then again

    "The constitution is the highest law of the land. No law may be passed that contradicts the constitution"

    This is weird, they have two laws in there that say neither can contradict eachother, yet they both clearly do.

    Which law is the most high? The constitution, or Islam?

    They contradict eachother clearly.

    Thats why democracy, and this constitution will not bring peace and unity to iraq.
     

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