They call this an Improvement?

Now here's something to get steamed up about.
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They call this an Improvement?

Post by Arcanum Owl » Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:34 pm

Go here: http://www.thenation.com/doc/20070730/hedges

I started reading this and found myself glued to the whole 11 pages of it, not for the faint of heart. I feel sorry for everyone involved in this so called War, be it civilian, soldier or terrorist.
"Project what you are and what you feel, not what you think!" - quoted from yours trully.

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Post by Dark Waters » Fri Aug 10, 2007 3:05 pm

I would honestly take this article with a grain of salt.

For the "in-depth investigation", The Nation selected a mere 50 of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers that have been over there. And of that hand-picked group they say that "many of whom have come to oppose the occupation ..." And then out of "thousands of pages of transcript" they sliced it down to less than a dozen through massive editting.

Golly Gee Sarge! I have to wonder why such a one sided group was chosen and such extensive editting done. Could it be to bias the story and put a certain slant on the efforts over there?

Both authors are out of and politically active in New York the lead writer spending many years with the NY Times. This tells me they are pretty firmly in the Dem camp.


With all that said. Has this war been mishandled - HELL YEAH! From the get go high level politicians micro managed the efforts instead of letting the generals who know what is going on and what to do and are out there make decisions. Was inadequate planning on rebuilding done? Of course. There are problems aplenty and they all need to be addressed. But will the Dem plan of tucking tail make it all better - HELL NO! Better to spend more time and make sure the country we leave is standing on it's own than go through another Vietnam where after we left the communist regime just waltzed through and took over the whole damn country.
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Post by Arcanum Owl » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:08 pm

Oh course it is bias.

Can you honestly say any article in the world is not so? But I think the events described in this article is proof enough, you can't simply underwrite an experienced Iraq posted soldier viewpoint and story by exclaiming protests at the quantity of the sample media.
Did the events described happen? Yes.
From their viewpoint are these events likely to re-happen? Yes.
As a blogger am I experienced in Iraq occupation, what may and may not be happening over along with the effects on the population of Iraq? No.

Vietnam? I'm surprised you have compared this war to Vietnam. The only thing these two wars have in common will be the end result. In particular soldiers that were deployed by "our" governments (I'm referring to more than just the US here) will return, the country they have just left will show no overall increase in stability since when they got there, the popular at home viewpoint becomes that the war was a mistake and the soldiers who thought they were out fighting for their country and helping people, come back to open ridicule and resentment. They are represented as the country's mistake when all they did was go over to place they have never been to through the orders of their superiors.

A little off field, but try and tell me that this won't happen again. And for the record no Capitalist nation went to Vietnam to "save the ppl" they were only there because of their stupid Domino Theory. Hell Australia instituted conscription. Do you have any idea what a threat Australia must be in for conscription to be even allowed to be mentioned in Parliament. How can a communist "majority" in Vietnam could have put the Australian mainland under "threat"? Funny they are still communist and we don't appear to be concerned now!

Well I'm off gotta go to work.
"Project what you are and what you feel, not what you think!" - quoted from yours trully.

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Post by Dark Waters » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:25 am

As a blogger you are "experienced" as to what is going on over there.


As a former soldier that was over there the first time, I think I might have the slight advantage in experience.



You say you know it was biased yet you seem to have been so influenced by it that you "feel sorry for involved in this so called War, be it civilian, soldier or terrorist." ?!?

I merely pointed out that they took nowhere near an adequate sampling and the ones the did take in no way represented a proper cross section of the people over there. IOW they did a propaganda piece and tried to wrap it in a cloak of journalism.

I still have relations in the military, and I know several people that have been over there, are over there right now or might go over there. And I can tell you that the opinions listed in that "article" do not represent a general concensus of our nation's military.


Yes , I compared it to Vietnam and with good reason. We have an entrenched enemy over there, supported by an gov't unfriendly to us, who know they can not defeat us on a battle field so they use guerilla tactics, try to demoralize us, attempt to tear down what we build, subvert public opinion, and in essence want to make us staying there very costly - so costly that we essentially throw up our collective hands and leave. And once we do, they move in and easily push over the weakened gov't left behind. It does not matter if it the VC {supported by China} of the Vietnam war or the Insurgent {supported by Syria and Al Q} of this one. The tactics are the same and if we don't stand firm, the results will be the same.



But as I said before there have been mistakes aplenty of information, planning and implementation. But to just walk away ... IMO would be the biggest mistake yet.
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Post by morgana » Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:36 am

Yes but I suppose the question then becomes, how many of our men and women have to die before it WOULD be appropriate to pull out of Iraq? That was the same question during Vietnam. So many people were dying that they instituted a draft. Then THOSE people started dying before they decided to pull out. The same thing is happening again, the only difference being that Bush is trying to avoid the draft because he knows that to institute a draft will mean his political annhiliation.

The reasons we went over there weren't noble. We couldn't find Bin Ladin, so Bush decides to sidetrack us with Iraq, thinking maybe he can get some oil while he's over there destroying a country that for all intents and purposes ran rather smoothly until we came along and killed their leader. Do I think Houssein was a good guy? No, but he kept better order in his country than WE have so far. Honestly I don't believe that we ever WILL be able to establish order over there, no matter how long we stay, and no matter how many people die. It's just a completely different world that we Americans (I won't speak for any other countries here) know almost nothing about. I don't think we should have gone in the first place, and I don't think people should have to stay there, dying for Bush's BS cause.
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Post by Dark Waters » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:18 am

Morgana,

First let me state that most of the deaths are not of American troops, in fact usually US forces are more often than not collateral damage nowadays when the various groups attempt to kill each other. You can see this when you look at headlines that say 50 shoppers and 2 American soldiers dead. We are not defending ourselves now, but working to stabilize the country and defending them.

We will never know the full extent of the reasons for chosing that timing to go into Iraq. We do not have access to ALL the intelligence and information the administration had at the time. But there were reasons aplenty even discounting any possible WMDs actually built.

As I said I was serving over there during Operation Desert Storm. We should have finished it then, but we allowed ourselves to be swayed by the UN. We had tanks outside Bagdad, and his units were surrendering left and right. But we didn't and left ourselves open to 13 years of headache and heartache because we walked away before the job was done.

For 13 years Saddam violated every convention levied against him, flew his planes where they were forbidden to go, took potshots at allied forces time and again, played 3 card monty with the weapons inspectors, actively sought material to illegally rebuild his weapons programs. No one talks about these reasons anymore, they focus on the one flub caused by bad intel, never mind all the good intel that contributed to the decisions.

Did he have WMDs? Probably not, but there is a possibility as there is evidence that some unknown stuff was moved to Syria. But there is a ton of evidence that he was trying to get the material to build it and he was happy to let everyone think they were complete or near complete.

In his twisted mind he thought that if he did have them, that no one would attempt to bother him especially as we were busy with Afghanistan, the Taliban and Al Queda at the time. IMO it was far past time to "spank" him hard and since we had assets there anyway ...


But if you think Saddam kept better order in his country, perhaps you also think we should adopt his methodology, human shredders and all? Perhaps we should institute it here as well since we, as a country, lack such "order"? Right now we are mainly dealing with religious infighting between Sunni, Shi'ite and other minor sects. This wasn't something we planned for, but in a war surprises are the norm.

However we also know that Al Q and other anti-American forces are using that infighting as a cover to commit more atrocities against the "infidels". They are using old fueds as an excuse to push their way back into power and set up the situation so they can install another Taliban like regime in Iraq by making us leave before the country is stable.


I've used Vietnam as a comparison to what would likely happen if we walked away hastily before they were stable. But I also see that this can turn into another Korea as well. The Korean War never ended. We are still in a state of "Cease fire". There are still lots of troops over there and I personally have served two tours. We fought to a stand still and we didn't walk away.

Yes, our troops are still there, and in occasional skirmishes they still die. And North of the DMZ is another madman who has made it a mission statement that he wants to destroy the US and take over the pennisula. But we have always stood firm, and the South Koreans have stayed free and prospered.


Do I think this was handled the best way? Not really. Do I think they handled it the best they could? Possibly. Do I think I could "armchair quarterback" it better? Of course. But I am also aware that I never had all the intel they did or all the pressure they did. I will conclude with some advice that I give anyone who criticizes the elected leaders of our country. If you think you can do it better, run for office yourself. Who knows, if I like your platform I might even vote for you.
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Post by morgana » Thu Aug 16, 2007 9:26 am

Well the sad thing is, if I did run no one would vote for me. If you hadn't noticed, you have to have money, or at least be willing to accept bribes from lobbyists. Also you have to be of a certain age. Somewhere in your 40s I believe. So, shucks there goes that idea.

As for Houssein, yes I DID say he kept his country in better order than we are. Do I think we should adopt his methods? NO absolutely not. There you were putting words in my mouth. Like I said, the Middle Eastern countries are a completely different world, and while I think that Houssein was cruel, yes he DID keep some form of order. No matter how cruel or inhumane the methods, there was an order there that no longer exists at all now that we've killed him and tried to force democracy down their throats.

It is my honest opinion that political freedom is something that a country of people must fight for in order for it to be successful. If another country just comes in and bombs the crap out of your country, then says "Here, now we will install OUR form of government and you will LIKE it" then how are we any better than the dictator who we just killed? I mean sure we don't have the human shredders and whatnot, but we certainly do have guns and bombs. Also, if the people fight for it, then it will be that much more certain to stay the way they want it, take our country as an example. Nobody came flying in to "free" us from oppressive British government, our ancestors fought for their freedom and won it. To this day we are still an independant country.

As for the Americans dying, you're right. There aren't as many dying as did in Vietnam, but there are quite a few going home with permanent disfigurements. In the end it seems everyone pays the toll of going to war whether it's in death or in living with the physical and emotional scars long after the war is over. To me, going to war is not something to be done lightly or hastily, especially when you are already at war with another country. It has seemed from day one that it was a decision made hastily, to detract from the horrible failure of Afghanistan.

Also, as far as criticizing the leaders of this country, that is our right as Americans. This is why we have the power to vote. If we don't like what one person is doing, in 4 years we can kick him out and try again, or we can vote against legislation he is trying to pass. Hell, we can even impeach him and get him out faster. I was not able to vote the first time Bush was running, but you can be sure I wouldn't have voted for him. The second time I could vote and I STILL refused to vote for him. So you can say "if you don't like the way they're doing things then vote or run yourself," but I can respond back with I DO vote, and unfortunately I am not of the age to run for president as of yet, and I probably wouldn't even if I could. It requires you to be too corrupt and filled with greed and frankly, I try NOT to have either of those qualities.
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Post by Dark Waters » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:10 am

As per running - start local and earn a reputation, that is nearly as valuable as money in a campaign. The rules for the President are 35 years old, and a US citizen - some others but those are the key points.


I didn't mean to put words in your mouth but the cost of the kind of "order" Hussein kept was far too steep for my tastes. And the people who suffered under him had other than kindly views of his kind of order. The only order he really kept was to keep problems out of the public eye and take care of them in brutal and secret ways.

And they are fighting for their freedom now, we are witnessing the birth of that creation, and like most births it is a bloody, messy business. We simply gave them the opportunity to do so by removing a dictator and now the only thing we are trying to do is trying to ensure that outside influences like Syria, Al Q, KSA and others don't interfere with that fight. In fact we haven't "forced democracy down their throat" as the form of gov't they have set up out of their own desires more resembles the Parliment of England rather than outright representation of the US.

They got to choose what form of government they wanted, and did so before the interfaith attacks began, so we aren't forcing them to do it OUR way so we are not as bad as the dictator we removed. The fighting is for control of that gov't.

And if you remember history, we were helped by the Spanish, Dutch and French to secure our independance from the British. No, they didn't come "flying in" but without them we would have failed. Cornwallis surrendered because he was pinned by a combined force on land and foreign ships at sea. Sound familiar.

I didn't compare the American dying now to Vietnam, there are less Americans dying or even being targeted as there were at the start of the war, this war. Instead because of media the terrorists know it is better to demoralize us at home and we'll do their job for them and get the troops out. Bombs target civilians in outlying areas. The Iraqi police academy is bombed, not US bases.

Only one US soldier dies for every hundred civilians or so. And the people that would kill these innocents in order to cause dissent here in the US, these are the ones that are waiting to take over by force when we leave. Is that what you would like, to turn over a country to these fanatics before we make sure it can stand firm on its own?

Yes it is your right to critize the leaders of the country, Free Speech, Free Press and all that. But to do so from an emotional standpoint, without facts, makes such criticism worthless. Do you have all the info, a better plan, a way to make an opposition congress agree and follow through. Or is it like the "armchair quarterback" who claims if they just listen to him, the team would be champions solely on the power of his opinions.

By all means vote, in fact do so as often as possible. Even if there is nothing you want to vote for, there is certainly something you want to vote against. But take this advice from someone who has been voting for 20 years now. Never vote based on emotion, media or party affiliation. Vote based on research, observation and personal beliefs.

It was one of the reasons I didn't vote for a democratic canidate last time. {I'm a registered Independant} I didn't like much of how Bush handled matters, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt because the first term had a plethora of problems that were unimaginable to the common person when you are in the position of top dog. I was really hoping that the Dems might put forth a canidate with strong views and a solid plan. Instead they ran their campaign on the premesis of "Anybody But Bush" and I was looking for "Somebody Better Than Bush" and weak spined Kerry never convinced me he was. So I went with the old adage of stick with the Daemon you know, especially in times of strife.
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My Path shines by the Moon's fragile light,
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Post by Dark Waters » Thu Aug 16, 2007 10:23 am

Now to take this back to a religious theme more in tune with the forum,

It is my personal opinion that there is a far better way to win this fight that the method we have been using. And that is to use the enemy's weapons against him and to use the more effectively.

No, I'm not talking about truck bombs and IEDs. I am refering to faith and belief.

Most of the killing are between the Sunnis and Shi'ites and other sects. Even on a larger scale Al Q and the Taliban get their power by making people believe in their twisted version of Islam. With these as the motivations bullets and bureaucrats have little effectiveness.

What we need to do is plant our own Imans and Clerics, who preach a form of the faith more reasonable and favorable to peace. With our support and aid, and demonstrable evidence that we are not targeting Islam, just the nutjobs who would twist it, would be more effective than divisions of infantry. If done right it could even make us into "Defenders of the True Faith" against the devils that would pervert it.

Teach them that to be holy doesn't require killing yourself to take out 50 innocents of another faith. Teach cooperation between the different Islamic faiths will make them strong like the cooperation between the different Protestant faiths helped make the US strong. Teach them a better way to express that faith and how that faith can make a better life for all.

These are my thoughts on the matter, and the way I feel a religious war should be fought.
I'm living in the Shadows and the Night,
Wrapped in warm darkness, safe and sure.
My Path shines by the Moon's fragile light,
It frees my Mind and keeps my Heart pure.

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Post by lucas » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:26 pm

You guys really should confine your comments to only being related to Paganism, or the powers that be will, in their infinite wisdom, lock the topic.
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S. Thompson

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Post by lucas » Fri Aug 17, 2007 10:28 pm

Either that, or they will suggest an impatience for school to resume session...
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S. Thompson

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Post by white_harmony » Sat Aug 18, 2007 3:57 pm

Considering this is coming from someone I would expect to jump on the political discussion bandwagon ... and hasn't yet ... Consider it locked.

You're all going around in circles, like the world has been going around in circles about this for years. Enough is enough.
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