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  #1  
Old 05-15-2007, 09:18 PM
John Kilduff John Kilduff is offline
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Default Other Realities

I'm still digesting this, so I don't have comments to offer just yet. Sleeping on it might help coalesce my thoughts.

For an interesting metaphysical look at the policies and statements of the Administration, check this out:

Gregory Cochran
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  #2  
Old 05-16-2007, 12:06 AM
andyfox andyfox is offline
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Default Re: Other Realities

Good article. As I've repeatedly said, we should not be surprised when politicians lie, especially when a war is involved. SOP.
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  #3  
Old 05-16-2007, 02:54 AM
boracay boracay is offline
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Default Re: Other Realities

[ QUOTE ]
Good article. As I've repeatedly said, we should not be surprised when politicians lie, especially when a war is involved. SOP.

[/ QUOTE ]

"Governments constantly choose between telling lies and fighting wars, with the end result always being the same. One will always lead to the other."
- Thomas Jefferson

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. . . The People cannot be safe without information. When the press is free, and every man is able to read, all is safe."
- Thomas Jefferson

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."
- William Casey, CIA Director (first staff meeting, 1981)
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  #4  
Old 05-16-2007, 04:20 AM
adios adios is offline
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Default Re: Other Realities

The mission has changed as time has passed:

From March 22,2003
Operation Iraqi Freedom

And our mission is clear, to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.

Mission accomplished? No stockpiles of WMDs; Saddam eventually dead and gone; Iraq has a constitution and would eventually hold elections.

Rumsfeld in the 4/11/2003 DOD briefing indicates that freedom has been achieved for Iraqi people:

DoD News Briefing - Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers -- April 11, 2003

Q: Yes, but Mr. Secretary, I'm asking about what plan was there to restore law and order?

Rumsfeld: Well, let's just take a city. Take the port city, Umm Qasr -- what the plan was. Well, the British went in, they built a pipeline bringing water in from Kuwait; they cleared the mine of ports (sic); they brought ships in with food; they've been providing security. In fact, they've done such a lousy job, that the city has gone from 15,000 to 40,000. Now think of that. Why would people vote with their feet and go into this place that's so bad? The reason they're going in is because they're food, there's water, there's medicine and there's jobs. That's why. The British have done a fantastic job. They've done an excellent job.

And, does that mean you couldn't go in there and take a television camera or get a still photographer and take a picture of something that was imperfect, untidy? I could do that in any city in America. Think what's happened in our cities when we've had riots, and problems, and looting. Stuff happens! But in terms of what's going on in that country, it is a fundamental misunderstanding to see those images over, and over, and over again of some boy walking out with a vase and say, "Oh, my goodness, you didn't have a plan." That's nonsense. They know what they're doing, and they're doing a terrific job. And it's untidy, and freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things, and that's what's going to happen here.



Sovereignty Transferred to Post Saddam Government 6/28/2004

President Bush Discusses Early Transfer of Iraqi Sovereignty

PRESIDENT BUSH: Good afternoon. Earlier today, 15 months after the liberation of Iraq, and two days ahead of schedule, the world witnessed the arrival of a free and sovereign Iraqi government. Iraqi officials informed us that they are ready to assume power, and Prime Minister Allawi believes that making this transition now is best for his country. After decades of brutal rule by a terror regime, the Iraqi people have their country back.


The mission changes, it's now a mission to providing adequate "security measures" for Iraq. IMO this is where the administration started down a road that cost them dearly in political terms. This article highlights the issues with providing security:

We Need American Troops

From the article an acknowledgment by an Iraqi leader of the opportunity provided:

Without foreign intervention, the transition in Iraq would have been from Saddam's bloodstained hands to his psychopathic offspring. Instead, thanks to American leadership, Iraqis have been given an opportunity of peaceful, participatory politics.

However this is not enough, "sufficient" training of Iraqis was added:

Inevitably, there have been stresses and strains. In Iraq these have been amplified by the terrorism of the remnants of the fascist Baathist dictatorship and our interfering neighbors. To contain these tensions, and to defend our young democracy, requires the support of American and other troops. Foreign forces are needed to train and equip the new Iraqi armed forces and to give Iraq its own counterterrorism capability. Only the United States and its closest allies are able to provide such assistance.

Is the idea of benchmarks that far fetched?

The administration now re-defines what victory in Iraq means.

National Strategy for Victory in Iraq -- November 30, 2005

Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages

Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.

Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.

Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.


A drastic and comprehensive change to the mission without building a political consensus is and was a prescription for much trouble on many fronts. IMO this was a major political error by the president. Why would a Democrat ever want Karl Rove to be fired is a mystery to me.
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2007, 07:48 AM
top13 top13 is offline
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Default Re: Other Realities

Ten Appalling Lies We Were Told About Iraq
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2007, 08:53 AM
whiskeytown whiskeytown is offline
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Default Re: Other Realities

and this still goes on - lies are repeated on a daily basis as if to try to interject them into the national debate -

Cheney still tries to interject WMD's into Iraq as recently as last month on Meet the Press - Hannity throws out undocumented and worthless conjecture that WMD's were moved to Syria prior to the invasion, and they get reported on in in Right Wing publications like Washington Times and the Fox News site as fact from qualified pundits who statements have about as much basis in factual truth as their flatuence coming out of the other orfice in their bodies.

The Conservatives will be doing everything they can to desert the sinking ship that GWB has created, and they're forced to invoke Ronald Reagan's legacy as their gold standard cause any later would remind people of George Bush, who the majority of the World's population consider a total and complete failure as a leader of morality and character. Best of all, he even betrayed Conservative principles in his incompetence, and now he has no one left but the Religious Right vote, who he now calls into the office to sell his pitch on Iranian policy. [img]/images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img]

But in this fast track revisionism, Conservatives are unable to wash the blood from their own hands completely. Just like George Tenet, they seek now to absolve themselves by saying they were a voice of dissention when the self-serving lunatics were running the asylum, but absolution comes with honest confession at the time of the realization, not 3 years later after they have participated in the crime and now been found to have shared in the spilling of blood and the destruction of civil liberties.

good article.

rb
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  #7  
Old 05-17-2007, 05:21 PM
John Kilduff John Kilduff is offline
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Default Re: Other Realities

[ QUOTE ]
The mission has changed as time has passed:

From March 22,2003
Operation Iraqi Freedom

And our mission is clear, to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.

Mission accomplished? No stockpiles of WMDs; Saddam eventually dead and gone; Iraq has a constitution and would eventually hold elections.

Rumsfeld in the 4/11/2003 DOD briefing indicates that freedom has been achieved for Iraqi people:

DoD News Briefing - Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Myers -- April 11, 2003

Q: Yes, but Mr. Secretary, I'm asking about what plan was there to restore law and order?

Rumsfeld: Well, let's just take a city. Take the port city, Umm Qasr -- what the plan was. Well, the British went in, they built a pipeline bringing water in from Kuwait; they cleared the mine of ports (sic); they brought ships in with food; they've been providing security. In fact, they've done such a lousy job, that the city has gone from 15,000 to 40,000. Now think of that. Why would people vote with their feet and go into this place that's so bad? The reason they're going in is because they're food, there's water, there's medicine and there's jobs. That's why. The British have done a fantastic job. They've done an excellent job.

And, does that mean you couldn't go in there and take a television camera or get a still photographer and take a picture of something that was imperfect, untidy? I could do that in any city in America. Think what's happened in our cities when we've had riots, and problems, and looting. Stuff happens! But in terms of what's going on in that country, it is a fundamental misunderstanding to see those images over, and over, and over again of some boy walking out with a vase and say, "Oh, my goodness, you didn't have a plan." That's nonsense. They know what they're doing, and they're doing a terrific job. And it's untidy, and freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things, and that's what's going to happen here.



Sovereignty Transferred to Post Saddam Government 6/28/2004

President Bush Discusses Early Transfer of Iraqi Sovereignty

PRESIDENT BUSH: Good afternoon. Earlier today, 15 months after the liberation of Iraq, and two days ahead of schedule, the world witnessed the arrival of a free and sovereign Iraqi government. Iraqi officials informed us that they are ready to assume power, and Prime Minister Allawi believes that making this transition now is best for his country. After decades of brutal rule by a terror regime, the Iraqi people have their country back.


The mission changes, it's now a mission to providing adequate "security measures" for Iraq. IMO this is where the administration started down a road that cost them dearly in political terms. This article highlights the issues with providing security:

We Need American Troops

From the article an acknowledgment by an Iraqi leader of the opportunity provided:

Without foreign intervention, the transition in Iraq would have been from Saddam's bloodstained hands to his psychopathic offspring. Instead, thanks to American leadership, Iraqis have been given an opportunity of peaceful, participatory politics.

However this is not enough, "sufficient" training of Iraqis was added:

Inevitably, there have been stresses and strains. In Iraq these have been amplified by the terrorism of the remnants of the fascist Baathist dictatorship and our interfering neighbors. To contain these tensions, and to defend our young democracy, requires the support of American and other troops. Foreign forces are needed to train and equip the new Iraqi armed forces and to give Iraq its own counterterrorism capability. Only the United States and its closest allies are able to provide such assistance.

Is the idea of benchmarks that far fetched?

The administration now re-defines what victory in Iraq means.

National Strategy for Victory in Iraq -- November 30, 2005

Victory in Iraq is Defined in Stages

Short term, Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.

Medium term, Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.

Longer term, Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.


A drastic and comprehensive change to the mission without building a political consensus is and was a prescription for much trouble on many fronts. IMO this was a major political error by the president. Why would a Democrat ever want Karl Rove to be fired is a mystery to me.

[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks for a thoughtful post, and one which covers a lot of ground. Apologies if I do not have the time to respond fully in kind at the moment.

I agree that benchmarks can evolve, but I see mostly in the Iraq War a series of evolving benchmarks of failure.

The Constitution and democracy are not of the desirable type, but rather appear to be another case of "Middle-Eastern-style-democracy" which instead of protecting minority rights will likely instead end up giving greater power and voice to those who favor the marriage of politics and religion (the Iraqi Constitution may well end up empowering Shari'a Law if the Shi'ite majority predominates, especially with Iran's backing). Will this turn out to be what American lives and fortune have been sacrificed for, another theocracy in the Middle East?

The violence in Iraq continues to rise, and the "surge" is a failure thus far. The murder rate and number of bodies dumped by death squads rose sharply during the first 11 days of the month, from 137 to 234 during the same period of the last month:

GuardianUK

I see no reason for optimism that stability will come to Iraq any time in the foreseeable future. General Mixon states that he does not have enough troops to quell the increasing violence in Diyala Province:

http://voanews.com/english/2007-05-11-voa42.cfm

I also see little reason to expect that Iraqi nationalism will triumph over sectarian rift and violence.

I agree that part of the problem for the administration has been the public relations component, but except for the initial stages of the war, I see much failure and little success in Iraq, and increasingly dark prospects. I do not share the Neo-Con optimism towards the whole affair (though I admit that initially they presented a palatable case), and feel that overall results in Iraq are very discouraging.

I have come to the conclusion that the Neo-Con view (and plans) for Iraq hinged more on a blind faith of sorts than on any realistic plans or expectations for security and success. I think their faith that the people of the Middle East positively hungered for liberal democracy, led the Neo-Cons down the garden path, a path that turned out to be filled with briars and brambles after the initial success of the military steamroller. The Neo-Cons in turn led the American people and military down that garden path.

Can you point to any examples of genuine success after the initial phases? I can't. The closest thing might be the elections but those are deeply marred by the inherently flawed Constitution and the various examples of top Iraqi politicians using their power not for the benefit of Iraq as a whole but rather for promotion of their sectarian agendas - even cooperating with the death squads.

At this point I feel the administration used way too much spin and way too much faith in going to war. The cynical view is turning out to be supported.

The Middle East has many deep issues to resolve, and sadly I don't think America will be able to do much to help them resolve those issues.

edit:

Among the hidden costs of the Iraq war are the costs of damaged, destroyed and worn-out gear: 17$ billion per year worth, much piled up at depots awaiting repairs.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/16047588

Also, insurgents are getting more sophisticated with cheap roadside bombs and can now easily take out Strykers ($4 million each) and have even developed bombs that can take out the M1A1Abrams tank:

AP Story

For how long and to what extent will America continue to let itself be punished financially by the assymetrical warfare being waged by enemies and insurgents?

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  #8  
Old 05-18-2007, 12:04 AM
adios adios is offline
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Default Re: Other Realities

[ QUOTE ]
I have come to the conclusion that the Neo-Con view (and plans) for Iraq hinged more on a blind faith of sorts than on any realistic plans or expectations for security and success. I think their faith that the people of the Middle East positively hungered for liberal democracy, led the Neo-Cons down the garden path, a path that turned out to be filled with briars and brambles after the initial success of the military steamroller. The Neo-Cons in turn led the American people and military down that garden path.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah this was the extent of the committment that was made by many/most U.S. citizens. When the administration wanted to change that commitment, they did not seek a consensus and thus opposition to the changed commitment materialized. It was inevitable and certainly understandable.

[ QUOTE ]
Can you point to any examples of genuine success after the initial phases? I can't. The closest thing might be the elections but those are deeply marred by the inherently flawed Constitution and the various examples of top Iraqi politicians using their power not for the benefit of Iraq as a whole but rather for promotion of their sectarian agendas - even cooperating with the death squads.

At this point I feel the administration used way too much spin and way too much faith in going to war. The cynical view is turning out to be supported.

[/ QUOTE ]

Here's a linky that outlines the accomplishments in Iraq from one point of view:

USAID - Assistance for Iraq

Might find it interesting.
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  #9  
Old 05-20-2007, 01:35 PM
John Kilduff John Kilduff is offline
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Default Re: Other Realities

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
I have come to the conclusion that the Neo-Con view (and plans) for Iraq hinged more on a blind faith of sorts than on any realistic plans or expectations for security and success. I think their faith that the people of the Middle East positively hungered for liberal democracy, led the Neo-Cons down the garden path, a path that turned out to be filled with briars and brambles after the initial success of the military steamroller. The Neo-Cons in turn led the American people and military down that garden path.

[/ QUOTE ]

Yeah this was the extent of the committment that was made by many/most U.S. citizens. When the administration wanted to change that commitment, they did not seek a consensus and thus opposition to the changed commitment materialized. It was inevitable and certainly understandable.

[ QUOTE ]
Can you point to any examples of genuine success after the initial phases? I can't. The closest thing might be the elections but those are deeply marred by the inherently flawed Constitution and the various examples of top Iraqi politicians using their power not for the benefit of Iraq as a whole but rather for promotion of their sectarian agendas - even cooperating with the death squads.

At this point I feel the administration used way too much spin and way too much faith in going to war. The cynical view is turning out to be supported.

[/ QUOTE ]

Here's a linky that outlines the accomplishments in Iraq from one point of view:

USAID - Assistance for Iraq

Might find it interesting.

[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks for the good and informative link. It's quite a positive actually, and nice to know that such efforts are being undertaken (along with some actual accomplishments). I did not even know that that organization was in existence. Unfortunately, I still doubt that such will be sufficient to overcome the factional strains and violence that are tearing Iraq apart. It's good to see some positives; I just think the larger picture is too darkly clouded to hope that Iraq will unify and become stable before a lot more violence transpires. I would guess the most likely scenario at some point in the future will be a Shiite-dominated Iran-supported state of Iraq incorporating a significant theocratic element (not a full theocracy but heavily influenced and guided).
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