Iraq : three years on - it's now civil war



limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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March 18th 2003 saw the illegal invasion of Iraq by the US-led coalition.
The pretext for the invasion was
1.Iraq had WMD
2.Iraq played a role in the September 11th 2001 attacks on WTC.
3.Iraq had violated UN Security mandates.

No WMD were ever found in Iraq, since March 2003
No paperwork supporting a WMD project was found in Iraq since March 2003.
No evidence of any support for 9/11 has been found in Iraq since March 2003.

In the three years since, we have had Abu Ghuraib, the theft of oil from Iraq, the use of chemical weapons by the US-led coalition at Fallujah.
We have had the death of 100,000 Iraqi's from March 2003-September 2004
and an unquantified number of Iraqi deaths since September 2004 to now.

We have also had the regrouping of Al Qaeda in Iraq and their alliance with Iraq guerilla fighters.
In the meantime, the perpetrators of September 11th attack remain at liberty.

Iraq is now in a state of de-facto civil war.
No agreement has been reached on the formation of a goverment - no effective goverment exists in many of the provinces throughout Iraq.
Shia and Sunni death squads are engaged in atrocities throughout Iraq as the coalition troops remain hunkered in their barracks, unable (unwilling?) to stop the slide in to lawlessness.

"Hearts and minds", "shock and awe" are but soundbites in the cacophony of soundbites that replace solid accountable policies and accountability.
The lies that were perpetrated in the runup to this war - have been exposed for what they are.

Iraq has been a disaster for the coalition : so what.

More importantly, it's been a tragedy for a great nation which was once the cradle of civilisation.
Three years on.
 

MountainPro

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Aug 11, 2004
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email this guy:

[email protected]

i think he needs to know.




limerickman said:
March 18th 2003 saw the illegal invasion of Iraq by the US-led coalition.
The pretext for the invasion was
1.Iraq had WMD
2.Iraq played a role in the September 11th 2001 attacks on WTC.
3.Iraq had violated UN Security mandates.

No WMD were ever found in Iraq, since March 2003
No paperwork supporting a WMD project was found in Iraq since March 2003.
No evidence of any support for 9/11 has been found in Iraq since March 2003.

In the three years since, we have had Abu Ghuraib, the theft of oil from Iraq, the use of chemical weapons by the US-led coalition at Fallujah.
We have had the death of 100,000 Iraqi's from March 2003-September 2004
and an unquantified number of Iraqi deaths since September 2004 to now.

We have also had the regrouping of Al Qaeda in Iraq and their alliance with Iraq guerilla fighters.
In the meantime, the perpetrators of September 11th attack remain at liberty.

Iraq is now in a state of de-facto civil war.
No agreement has been reached on the formation of a goverment - no effective goverment exists in many of the provinces throughout Iraq.
Shia and Sunni death squads are engaged in atrocities throughout Iraq as the coalition troops remain hunkered in their barracks, unable (unwilling?) to stop the slide in to lawlessness.

"Hearts and minds", "shock and awe" are but soundbites in the cacophony of soundbites that replace solid accountable policies and accountability.
The lies that were perpetrated in the runup to this war - have been exposed for what they are.

Iraq has been a disaster for the coalition : so what.

More importantly, it's been a tragedy for a great nation which was once the cradle of civilisation.
Three years on.
 

EoinC

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Feb 9, 2004
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It is an absolute disgrace - and before everyone start's jumping up and down about the sacrifices that have been made, I am writing about the disgraceful actions of the politicians who have brought about the sequence of events, requiring ongoing bloodletting on their behalf. I am not speaking about those who are there doing their respective jobs.
There was never any requirement for invading Iraq. Hussein was a despot who was placed in power by a bunch of would-be World Engineers and reached a stage where those same Engineers who had gained political kudos in putting him there could gain further political kudos in removing him.
Hussein was a single, relatively unsupported, individual. How many Iraqi and Coalition personnel have had to give their lives in order to put him behind bars?
Now that he is behind bars (one of the premises of the first Gulf War that nearly saw me have a cap popped in my **** as a Honky in Afghanistan at the time), has it stopped people on both sides of the fence dying? No! And if any of you think it is just, get yourselves on the next Iraqi express to shore up those words of valour. Talk really is cheap (including mine).
Iraq was, surprising to some, a functioning Country before all this. I have / had very good friends from Iraq who were / are refugees from Hussein's Iraq, but none of them wished to see their Nation destroyed to 'save itself'.
Most of the people I know who tell me about the righteousness of it all have never been a target during a firefight, and have never seen children who have
lost limbs because adults in foreign Countries want to play at being God for a day.
All of our wonderful Western Nations (I come from one) ought to have our noses rubbed in it every now and then to remember at what cost we got where we are. We really are a lot of pretentious Barbie Dolls when we try to tell the rest of the World how to live. The West has never had a monopoly on 'goodness'.
No matter what the rest of you think, people, throughout the World, are...people. All those people you watched getting 'bunkered' on CNN in Gulf War I were...people! All they want is food, a roof over their collective heads and that their children grow up to have a better life than they did. It'd be kinda nice if y'all stopped blowin' shite out of the ordinary man during your hunt for Bed Linen. I f you want to go and assinate an ******** for the good of mankind, do that, but don't do more and claim that it is all the same thing.
To put it in perspective, the next time you hear of some villager getting blown away in foreign fields, try imagining, just for a second, that it is someone you hold dear, and ask yourself whether it is truly what you want.
Rant over...
 

ptlwp

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Oct 6, 2005
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Yes, under Bush, we have blasted a soverign nation to smithereens, we have lied and cheated our way into a war of no return.

We have made our "Volunteer Army" worse than fodder, but some like to be warriors, I suppose".

9/11
hurricanes
Katrina
Enron
Ken Lay et al.
Unbalanced Power
secret wiretapping
dumping the geneva convention
going on's at Gitmo.
Goings on at Abu Gharib
Bin Laden
"Insurgency"
WMD
Rove, Cheney and Bushie

Well, I guess the USA got the government it deserved?

Only the half that voted for these babooons.......and they aren't saying a word.
 

ptlwp

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Oct 6, 2005
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DiabloScott said:
I think he needs a blowjob so we can impeach him.
If only it were possible. I think his drug and alcohlol and cocaine addled body can't get it up anymore, anyway.

But it is a good idea.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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I might add that the execution of American peace activist Tom Fox last weekend is another tragedy in what is a terrible, terrible situation.

Although I didn't know Mr Fox - he appeared to be a principled man who's work for peace brought him to Iraq.

R.I.P.
 

jhuskey

Moderator
Oct 6, 2003
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limerickman said:
I might add that the execution of American peace activist Tom Fox last weekend is another tragedy in what is a terrible, terrible situation.

Although I didn't know Mr Fox - he appeared to be a principled man who's work for peace brought him to Iraq.

R.I.P.


I hear he was a quiet person,non smoker,non,drinker. He was from East Tennessee a couple of hours travel from where I am located, but I didn't know him.
He had also been opposed to Vietnam.
Below is a picture of him from the 60's.
His dream of peace seems a long way from reality,doesn' it.
 

roadhog

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Feb 13, 2005
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How quickly things can turn into a "Bush and the U.S. stink at everything" thread. While I concede the former seems to be less debatable all the time, the analysis is a little too easy to apply to the situation to be legit.

EoinC: good, thoughtful post by the way (as usual). I enjoyed it and your life experiences always seem very interesting (and credibility enhancing).

L-man: For sure, many of your statements hint at well-deserved critiques. It would be hard to argue at this point that egregious errors have not been made and a criminal lack of accountability exists on certain issues. But like I have said in another thread on this topic lately, let's not oversimplify the situation. I believe a couple of your comments tend to do so. Example:

limerickman said:
Shia and Sunni death squads are engaged in atrocities throughout Iraq as the coalition troops remain hunkered in their barracks, unable (unwilling?) to stop the slide in to lawlessness.
What am I to take as the meaning of this? Like I've said before, to argue that our troops should leave immediately simply because we should never have invaded in the first place is a shallow argument and insufficient. More analysis must be applied to respect the complexity of the situation. Do you honestly think our troops and their command desire a "slide into lawlessness"? If so, you don't understand the mindset of our troops nor the complexity of their current task. Do you think they are hunkering in barracks? True, they are trying to increase the visibility of the Iraqi forces. Do you not see the value in that?

I'm not being trite. I understand the merits of a couple major arguments here. I acknowledge that I don't personally know the best solution. But I respect the complexity of the situation. Rep. Murtha has made strides to bring about debate to address the complexity, and God bless him for doing so. I don't even agree with him on many things, but I love to hear him speak out because he is the *only* prominent person in our gov't willing to address reality and try to come up with solutions. Everyone else is worried about elections and legacies and party loyalty, etc.

Also, I hesistate to address the following comment because it could go off-topic but I must because it is a pet peeve of mine. Here goes.
limerickman said:
the use of chemical weapons by the US-led coalition at Fallujah
It has become popular to characterize the use of white phosphorous (WP) by U.S. forces against personnel as the illegal employment of a banned chemical weapon. While I concede that the military has earned a degree of skepticism from the public over the inexcusable torture developments, I disagree strongly with the characterization described.

For many decades and for several wars, U.S. forces have employed WP against enemy personnel. For perspective, one can visit the Army’s official archives for Medal of Honor citations (http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/Moh1.htm). There you will quickly find multiple citations from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam which include descriptions of the recipients’ use of WP against enemy personnel. Such citations are particularly prevalent in WWII actions against German troops in violent house to house urban fighting – the exact tactical conditions in which our troops fought in Fallujah. This history does not in itself provide legality. Principles of ethics and legality certainly evolve over time, but on this issue our nation has been quite consistent both in action and on paper.

Protocol III of the Chemical Weapons Convention describes proposed restrictions on the use of WP. In 1980, the U.S. (and other nations) did not agree to Protocol III and did not sign it. Through this, we announced internationally that we still view the use of WP against enemy combatants as acceptable. There is no surprise.

Nothing I have argued condones the employment of any weapon indiscriminately against civilians. Like with any weapon, the use of WP is subject to the principle of proportionality in the laws of land warfare and appropriate discretion must be applied to each particular use. One can commit war crimes with bullets just as easily as with WP. The use of any weapon indiscriminately against civilians should of course be aggressively prosecuted.

My point is that, in the general sense, the U.S. has long viewed the use of WP against enemy combatants as legal, has made this view clear to the international community, and has employed it consistent with this view since its invention. To describe the violent nature of WP or the chemical reactions involved is not to argue that it is illegal. One can offer surprisingly violent affects from many of our conventional weapons and most kinetic weapons involve chemical reactions.

It is a healthy attitude to abhor many aspects of warfare. Wise soldiers do the same. It is fine to disagree with the war. It is even understandable to suggest that the U.S., as a nation, should perhaps re-examine the use of WP given current ethical standards. But it is not factual to characterize our military as suddenly using illegal chemical weapons. In fact they continue to apply due restraint in this area – and rightly so.

And now I step down off that particular soapbox.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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roadhog said:
How quickly things can turn into a "Bush and the U.S. stink at everything" thread. While I concede the former seems to be less debatable all the time, the analysis is a little too easy to apply to the situation to be legit.

EoinC: good, thoughtful post by the way (as usual). I enjoyed it and your life experiences always seem very interesting (and credibility enhancing).

L-man: For sure, many of your statements hint at well-deserved critiques. It would be hard to argue at this point that egregious errors have not been made and a criminal lack of accountability exists on certain issues. But like I have said in another thread on this topic lately, let's not oversimplify the situation. I believe a couple of your comments tend to do so. Example:

What am I to take as the meaning of this? Like I've said before, to argue that our troops should leave immediately simply because we should never have invaded in the first place is a shallow argument and insufficient. More analysis must be applied to respect the complexity of the situation. Do you honestly think our troops and their command desire a "slide into lawlessness"? If so, you don't understand the mindset of our troops nor the complexity of their current task. Do you think they are hunkering in barracks? True, they are trying to increase the visibility of the Iraqi forces. Do you not see the value in that?

I'm not being trite. I understand the merits of a couple major arguments here. I acknowledge that I don't personally know the best solution. But I respect the complexity of the situation. Rep. Murtha has made strides to bring about debate to address the complexity, and God bless him for doing so. I don't even agree with him on many things, but I love to hear him speak out because he is the *only* prominent person in our gov't willing to address reality and try to come up with solutions. Everyone else is worried about elections and legacies and party loyalty, etc.

Also, I hesistate to address the following comment because it could go off-topic but I must because it is a pet peeve of mine. Here goes.
It has become popular to characterize the use of white phosphorous (WP) by U.S. forces against personnel as the illegal employment of a banned chemical weapon. While I concede that the military has earned a degree of skepticism from the public over the inexcusable torture developments, I disagree strongly with the characterization described.

For many decades and for several wars, U.S. forces have employed WP against enemy personnel. For perspective, one can visit the Army’s official archives for Medal of Honor citations (http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/Moh1.htm). There you will quickly find multiple citations from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam which include descriptions of the recipients’ use of WP against enemy personnel. Such citations are particularly prevalent in WWII actions against German troops in violent house to house urban fighting – the exact tactical conditions in which our troops fought in Fallujah. This history does not in itself provide legality. Principles of ethics and legality certainly evolve over time, but on this issue our nation has been quite consistent both in action and on paper.

Protocol III of the Chemical Weapons Convention describes proposed restrictions on the use of WP. In 1980, the U.S. (and other nations) did not agree to Protocol III and did not sign it. Through this, we announced internationally that we still view the use of WP against enemy combatants as acceptable. There is no surprise.

Nothing I have argued condones the employment of any weapon indiscriminately against civilians. Like with any weapon, the use of WP is subject to the principle of proportionality in the laws of land warfare and appropriate discretion must be applied to each particular use. One can commit war crimes with bullets just as easily as with WP. The use of any weapon indiscriminately against civilians should of course be aggressively prosecuted.

My point is that, in the general sense, the U.S. has long viewed the use of WP against enemy combatants as legal, has made this view clear to the international community, and has employed it consistent with this view since its invention. To describe the violent nature of WP or the chemical reactions involved is not to argue that it is illegal. One can offer surprisingly violent affects from many of our conventional weapons and most kinetic weapons involve chemical reactions.

It is a healthy attitude to abhor many aspects of warfare. Wise soldiers do the same. It is fine to disagree with the war. It is even understandable to suggest that the U.S., as a nation, should perhaps re-examine the use of WP given current ethical standards. But it is not factual to characterize our military as suddenly using illegal chemical weapons. In fact they continue to apply due restraint in this area – and rightly so.

And now I step down off that particular soapbox.


WP is a chemical weapon.
Whether a nation does or doesn't subscribe to a protocol - doesn't mitigate the ethical issue involved when deployng the use of chemical weapons.
Using that line of thinking - one could excuse the use of nuclear weapons, no?

Regarding the analysis of the three year occupation of Iraq - my concern is not for the US-led coalition.
They've been occuying Iraq illegally since 2003.

Of course, the politicians would prefer us to "forget" the reasons given for the
invasion and instead want us to concentrate on why the vacuum created by the invasion, has been filled with Al Qaeda and other gureilla forces.
It's called retrospective justification.

Of course in your position, you have no option but to obey the orders given by the politicians.
 

EoinC

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roadhog said:
...I'm not being trite. I understand the merits of a couple major arguments here. I acknowledge that I don't personally know the best solution. But I respect the complexity of the situation. Rep. Murtha has made strides to bring about debate to address the complexity, and God bless him for doing so. I don't even agree with him on many things, but I love to hear him speak out because he is the *only* prominent person in our gov't willing to address reality and try to come up with solutions. Everyone else is worried about elections and legacies and party loyalty, etc...
Another informative post, RH. My own preference would be to see a multinational peacekeeping force (do I hear some collective groans?) take over the position of the multinational Coalition forces. One of the problems with having the Coalition present is that, rightly or wrongly, they (meaning the respective Governments who put them there) are seen by many as having an agenda, over and above that of bringing peace and security to the Nation of Iraq. As long as they are there, this view will prevail in many sectors inside and outside of Iraq.
Having a peacekeeping force, made up initially of personnel from Countries other than those who have signed up to the Coalition, would send as clear a message as is likely to be possible at this time. It would behest those Nations who have spoken out against the Coalition to put their money where their respective mouths are, and would help to stop promulgating the link, real or otherwise, between the Coalition invasion and the various companies who are profiting from the destruction that has occurred. It would also help young Iraqi's identify the difference between freedom-fighting and thuggery.
Such a move may not initially be effectual, but I think that it stands a better long-term chance as it would force the Nations involved to seek solutions, which is more than what current efforts indicate is happening.
I wouldn't see anything wrong with current Coalition Governments helping to fund such a programme, but I would like to see them taking a back seat when it comes to direct involvement, at least in the early days.
A friend of mine is a Ranger and is awaiting deployment to either Iraq or Afghanistan. I admire him a lot. He is smart, considerate and well-disciplined. Whilst I do not doubt that he will make every effort to effect peace and security at the coal-face, I feel that, on a grander scale, his very presence in either Country will help prolong the conflict. I know that he will do a fine job and I hope that he makes it back to his family safely. I don't question the quality of (most of) the people who are carrying out their jobs over there - I just question whether the advertisment gave the right job description.
 

FredC

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Oct 22, 2004
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limerickman said:
I might add that the execution of American peace activist Tom Fox last weekend is another tragedy in what is a terrible, terrible situation.

Although I didn't know Mr Fox - he appeared to be a principled man who's work for peace brought him to Iraq.

R.I.P.
I don't them for killing him as they did. It's all quite simple really. Drive him around and point out the destruction the US Military has caused to their country.
They, like him were only there to 'help'. Bollocks that won't wash with me.
 

roadhog

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Feb 13, 2005
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limerickman said:
Whether a nation does or doesn't subscribe to a protocol - doesn't mitigate the ethical issue involved when deployng the use of chemical weapons.
Which was exactly one of my points. One can commit war crimes with bullets just as easily as WP. Ethical issues are involved with all weapons.

limerickman said:
Regarding the analysis of the three year occupation of Iraq - my concern is not for the US-led coalition.
They've been occuying Iraq illegally since 2003.
The two entities are tied together of course at this point. I was not suggesting you are concerned for coalition forces. You can't pretend there is not a cause and effect relationship between our presence (or lack thereof) and the welfare of the good Iraqis just because you say we are there illegally. Legal or illegal, the relationship exists for sure.


limerickman said:
Of course, the politicians would prefer us to "forget" the reasons given for the
invasion and instead want us to concentrate on why the vacuum created by the invasion, has been filled with Al Qaeda and other gureilla forces.
It's called retrospective justification.
I understand frustration with retrospective justification - believe me. But that is not the point as we try to address the current situation. Once again, to argue that we should proceed in any given direction at this point simply because we shouldn't be there in the first place is not sufficient. We are there.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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I disagree with your point that it is pointless to discuss the reasons as to what caused the invasion of Iraq.
In fact I would suggest that that discussion and that analysis goes to the very heart of why Iraq has disintegrated since March 2003.

By putting forward the premise that we're there now and that's it - compounds the not only the lie to justify the initial invasion, it also compounds the ongoing disintegration of that country.

I and others here stated from the outset (Jan 2004) that this invasion was illegal.
We also stated that this invasion would ultimately lead to the destruction of Iraq through civil war.

We had several sorts of apologists for here trying to justify the invasion in 2003.
They rolled out the lies about WMD, Iraqi involvement in Sept 11 2001, Iraqi storage of WMD under the sand, Iraqi support for Al Qaeda.

Unfortunately for the Iraqi people, it appears that what people on my side of the discussion stated at the time, has proven to be correct.

You state :
"One can commit war crimes with bullets just as easily as WP. Ethical issues are involved with all weapons."
Who invaded whom?
Your country invaded Iraq - what did you expect the Iraqi's to do?
Welcome you in to their country?
I haven't seen this sort of revisionism since September 2005 in this forum.
 

roadhog

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Feb 13, 2005
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limerickman said:
You state :
"One can commit war crimes with bullets just as easily as WP. Ethical issues are involved with all weapons."
Who invaded whom?
Your country invaded Iraq - what did you expect the Iraqi's to do?
Welcome you in to their country?
I haven't seen this sort of revisionism since September 2005 in this forum.
What are you talking about? I'm confused. What revisionist theories have I put out? Seriously, I want to know specifically what revisionist theory I support on this topic. You are well known on here for demanding people back up their accusations. Your turn.

Not that this is even the topic at hand - but since you bring it up I'll mention that the Iraqis *did* welcome me into their country. You are the one revising history on that point repeatedly. Aside from the few regular army units that stayed together and the Fedayeen Sadaam forces, the Iraqis absolutely welcomed us. Stop telling me otherwise. I was there. Before you accuse me of claiming that justifies anything or whatever - read this post of mine for the context of that statement. I completely understand the reality of that whole phenomenon and don't feel like re-hasing it again when you have already read this post of mine:
http://www.cyclingforums.com/showpost.php?p=2581737&postcount=13

I don't at all think that the pretext for invasion and the controversy surrounding it are irrelevant. They are completely relevant and its important to "run it to ground" and hold people accountable of course. But, we must also focus on the present to try to correct the current mess that exists in the best way possible. It is incredibly easy to stop your analysis of the whole situation at the finding that we arrived there illegally. You of course have no obligation to even be involved in the debate or contribute to anything, but if you are going to continue to critique every little shred of thing that happens in this mess you must address the complexity of the current situation as well, not simply repeat your mantra of the illegal invasion.
 

roadhog

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EoinC said:
Another informative post, RH. My own preference would be to see a multinational peacekeeping force (do I hear some collective groans?) take over the position of the multinational Coalition forces.....(snip)
I agree with your beliefs about the merits of an international force, but I also know that it will *never* happen for several reasons. As has become a cliche saying, "you break it, you own it." We broke it. Now we own it, and we can't expect anyone else to jump at the chance to share ownership. Too many people are genuinely enjoying watching the US squirm right now and are happy to let it continue. Don't get me wrong - I don't mean that in a derogatory way. I understand their mindset and I can't blame some for feeling that way. This applies specifically to nations who did not support it from the start. Still other nations have the luxury of having a small enough role in the thing, though supporting it and even participating in it from the start, that they can kind of slink off with their tail between their legs without too many people noticing (and perhaps I do mean that to be slightly derogatory). The U.S. may also be forced to slink off at some point but it will be the defining moment of the thing, not an overlooked news story. The British and the U.S. and perhaps the Aussies are the ones who have bought in enough to own all the problems. The burden is ours, and we've earned it.

NATO has really stepped to the plate in Afghanistan. We will never see the same thing in Iraq. My guess (and I've been wrong plenty of times before) is that the West will let the whole thing turn into mass chaotic violence before there will be an international peacekeeping force in there to replace Americans and Brits. And the problem with an Arab force is that there would be waaaay too many competing motivations involved. While it seems attractive, I just can't see it working out. They do have much more at stake than the West because this mess is in their own backyard, but I think they will more likely be involved by trying to fill the power vacuum that would result from any chaos that occurs rather than helping to solidify the hold of an Iraqi gov't. Too many conflicting motivations.
 

limerickman

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Jan 5, 2004
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roadhog said:
What are you talking about? I'm confused. What revisionist theories have I put out? Seriously, I want to know specifically what revisionist theory I support on this topic. You are well known on here for demanding people back up their accusations. Your turn.

I am talking about your point earlier equating the use of people firing shots at you, to the use of WP at Fallujah.
You did make that point - if unintentionally.
The people firing shots at you - native Iraqi's - are entitled to fight back against people who have invaded their country.

Hopefully this will clarify my point.
There are two distinct forces opposing the coalition.
1. is the native Iraqi population who opposed the invasion (and were/are presumably Saddam supporters)
2. foreign forces allied to Al Qaeda who have migrated to Iraq to fight the coalition forces.

Group 1 opposed the presence of coalition forces from day one and are, within their rights, to fight for their country.

Group 2 are using Iraq to try to engage with the coalition.

Attacks on places like Fallujah re-enforce both groups 1 and 2 and are a recruitment sponsor.

To attempt to equate the use of WP with the right of any Iraqi to fight the presence of invading forces is revisionist.


roadhog said:
Not that this is even the topic at hand - but since you bring it up I'll mention that the Iraqis *did* welcome me into their country. You are the one revising history on that point repeatedly. Aside from the few regular army units that stayed together and the Fedayeen Sadaam forces, the Iraqis absolutely welcomed us. Stop telling me otherwise. I was there.

And you were welcomed presumably in mid-2003 or thereabouts.

It's now approaching mid-2006 : three years later.
Are you trying to tell us that you're as welcome now as you were back then?


roadhog said:
I don't at all think that the pretext for invasion and the controversy surrounding it are irrelevant. They are completely relevant and its important to "run it to ground" and hold people accountable of course. But, we must also focus on the present to try to correct the current mess that exists in the best way possible. It is incredibly easy to stop your analysis of the whole situation at the finding that we arrived there illegally. You of course have no obligation to even be involved in the debate or contribute to anything, but if you are going to continue to critique every little shred of thing that happens in this mess you must address the complexity of the current situation as well, not simply repeat your mantra of the illegal invasion.

I agree - the coalition must operate in the present.

However, it must be remembered that the past dictates the present and as more information becomes available the policies that have led you to the present not only compromise the politicians - they compromise you on the ground trying to do you job.

My issue is - what steps have been taken in the present to win "hearts and minds" of Iraqi's?
I would wager that the fact that you and your collegues presence in Iraq three years after the initial invasion has created the perception of occupier,
not liberator.
Could the coalition be viewed as a liberator, given it's three year occupancy?

The logical issue would have been to ask the assistance of the Iranians.
But if you were Iranian would you be willing to deal with Bush?
 

roadhog

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Feb 13, 2005
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limerickman said:
I am talking about your point earlier equating the use of people firing shots at you, to the use of WP at Fallujah.
You did make that point - if unintentionally.
The people firing shots at you - native Iraqi's - are entitled to fight back against people who have invaded their country.
Perhaps we are simply misunderstanding each other's writing then. I think you misunderstood my comments about one committing war crimes with bullets. My overall post about WP was not even specifically about Fallujah. My points were made in the general sense (as I stated) of the use of WP against enemy combatants in certain tactical situation in warfare. I was not in Fallujah at the time. I can't speak intelligently about exactly what did or did not in fact happen there. My point is that if war crimes occured there against civilians, then it happened because weapons were used against civilians. Whether those weapons be bullets or WP or knives or whatever, a crime is a crime. That was my point about bullets - not to accuse any Iraqi who has taken up arms of war crimes - as it seems you are suggesting that I suggest (wow, that was a silly sentence structure). The potential story out of Fallujah is how civilians were treated, *not* the fact that US forces used WP against the enemy.

Of course I expected people to shoot at me as part of an invasion force. They were doing their job. And they all missed thankfully. :)

limerickman said:
To attempt to equate the use of WP with the right of any Iraqi to fight the presence of invading forces is revisionist.
Again, I made no attempt to relate these two occurences. I have not accused Iraqis of anything. Of course they can shoot at their enemies. My intent was to provide a side of the "WP against enemy combatants" argument that most people are not aware of. I never expected you and I to agree on the issue of WP against enemy combatants.

limerickman said:
And you were welcomed presumably in mid-2003 or thereabouts.
Absolutely.

limerickman said:
It's now approaching mid-2006 : three years later.
Are you trying to tell us that you're as welcome now as you were back then?
Absolutely not. I have never even come close to making such a claim. The welcoming was short-lived for sure - and the population has certainly *never* been 100% in agreement on this issue at any given time.

limerickman said:
My issue is - what steps have been taken in the present to win "hearts and minds" of Iraqi's?
I would wager that the fact that you and your collegues presence in Iraq three years after the initial invasion has created the perception of occupier,
not liberator.
Could the coalition be viewed as a liberator, given it's three year occupancy?
Of course we are perceived as occupiers. Been that way for a long time. Not sure how else anybody could describe it. Motivations for the occupation are more debatable than whether or not it is an occupation.

What steps have we taken? We've tried all sorts of things. There is no exact formula of presence or actions to build a nation out of the chaos resulting from the invasion. The fact that we have an incredibly strong military force means nothing in this task. Our strong military was not made to build nations. We were made to fight and win our nation's wars. No organization in the world is manned or equipped to do what our military has been tasked with. Those are just more reasons why decisions to go to war must be given more thought than some people tend to give. Unfortunately some of these people find themselves in the leadership of nations at various times through history. But we have certainly tried many different tactics (diplomatically, politically, and militarily) to resolve things. Even different regions of the country demand different strategies from the military standpoint. The Brits were pretty successful in the Basrah region for a time with certain tactics. Those same tactics were also applied at one time to Ramadi and Fallujah and they failed miserably. So then we went on to try something else. Mistakes have been made in the process. The fact is that nobody knows the exact solution. If they say they do they are lying or politcally grand-standing. That applies to Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, etc, as well as all their many critics - who also pretend to be singularly knowledgeable.
 

roadhog

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Feb 13, 2005
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If you are interested in evidence that we have shifting and varying strategies to win the "hearts and minds" as you say, read this letter from the mayor of Tal Afar recently. The letter is authentic, and corroborated by multiple sources if you want to skip the web research. Of course this doesn't mean we're "winning" or even that things are going "very, very well" as someone recently said. But it is evidence that we're trying to do good, which you seem to be skeptical of.

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful


To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.

The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom. Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.

Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.

NAJIM ABDULLAH ABID AL-JIBOURI
Mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq