Posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 18, 2007 at 11:18 am
Follow the advice of the late Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, regarding the Viet Nam War: "Declare victory and get out."
Given the fabrications that Bush, Cheney, et al concocted to start and continue this debacle--weapons of mass destruction, Sadam's collusion with Osama Bin Laden, Iraq being a center from which the global terrorists were operating, measurable progress being made, we would be welcomed with open arms as liberators, etc., etc.--it seems perfectly within their capacity to follow Morse's suggestion and lie about winning, too.
I wouldn't believe them on that either, but at least we could get the troops home and let the Iraqi's sort out the mess for themselves.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 18, 2007 at 11:55 am
Thanks for your respectful post to Kate anon! You must be very young, or very ..umm
So, your plan is to leave and allow the death of millions, like we did to the Vietnamese, allow the insertion of a dictator, and confirm the belief that America doesn't have the stomach for the long haul and deserts its promises.
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 18, 2007 at 11:55 am
My plan for victory is get the troops out as fast as logistically possible. Iraq will not start to get its acts together as long as a US occupation force is there. Once we are out, the government will actually have to start functioning, while now they are considered by 99 percent of the population as a puppet government of despicable collaborators. The excuse for the foreign insurgents to be there will be gone. Things may not get much better for a while, but one thing is certain: as long as we are there, Iraq will continue to exlplode, we will continue to take casualties and we will continue to borrow hundreds of billions fro the Chinese in order to finance this madness.As a Vietnam vet I have experienced first hand a criminal and pointless war and I don't wish my fellow soldiers and my country to repeat that horrible mistake.
Posted by The Cohen brother, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2007 at 8:36 am
When you consider the events of the last week in Iraq there is no reason any sane Iraqi, Sunni or Shia, would have any confidence in the Petraeus plan. Petraeus and U.S forcecs are in trouble. Desperate trouble. Despite White House flacks and politicians like McCain insisting that things are improving in Baghdad, the continued mass casualty bombings, the stacks of bodies left on the streets, the destruction of key infrastructure (like the Sarafiya bridge), and the bombing of the Iraqi parliament is reality and cannot be casually dismissed as the crazy ravings of a news media intent on reporting bad news. The surge is just another disaster on top of many others.
Posted by Sillaw_E_Retlaw, a resident of another community, on Apr 21, 2007 at 11:10 am
If Patraeus had implemented this plan with 100,000 more troops immediately after the fall of Bagdad, it might have worked. But it's too late now. The window is closed. Even if the Iraqis negotiate a power and oil revenue sharing agreement between the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, the politicians in the parliment can't make the agreement hold on the streets and neighborhoods. The Militias are in charge now and a political settlement is meaningless. It is a sad situation but probably the best course is to let them settle it. In the end we will probably have a Islamic dictatorship replacing a secular dictatorship, maybe with multiple states.
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2007 at 11:27 am
Exactlty, any government in Baghdad will have no control over the countryside. In reality, Iraq has already split into many mini-states, and remember, it has always been an artificial state created by colonial Britain in order to punish the Shi'a. Our presence there is just a magnet for outsiders to infiltrate in, hook up with the various local sectarian groups, shed our soldiers blood and complicate an already incredibly complicated sistuation. The Shi'a hate and distrust us as much as the Sunni and the most likely outcome is a Shi'a theocracy. Maliki's days are numbered and even now he's despised by just about everybody. There's nothing we can do to prevent this and every drop of American blood in Iraq is unnecessary and on Bush's head.
Posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2007 at 12:19 pm
And yet the Bush Administration is "holding accountable" the Maliki regime to improve things. Fatuous on a number of levels, starting with the reality that US forces are the only entity with the resources to change things, but as an occupying army, the locals and the resistance movements are committing hostilities to get the US out, and for a variety of reasons, will not take matters into their own hands while a huge foreign presence is in the country.
Bush's rhetoric also reminds me of a nasty collection agent going after a hapless shopkeeper who is behind on his payments. Even if the shop keeper wants to pay his debts, he needs time to do it, and an "artificial" timetable doesn't help. Ironic, since Bush does not like artificial timetables imposed on him (the one thing on which I think he has some valid argument) but doesn't seem to want to work things out with Maliki, just issue ultimatums. Which will not be met--what happens when the debt is called?
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2007 at 12:28 pm
It's all based wishful thinking and fantasy. Maliki has no abilty, credibility and probaly not any real will to deliver. The people will end up doing what they want anyway, along sectarian lines. It's all rather like building sand castles during high tide. If U.S soldiers weren't sacrified daily, it would actually be an hilarious spectacle called: The Glorification of Stupidty.
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 21, 2007 at 5:49 pm
Saddam, a very bad man was actually our best friend in the ME in Machiavillian terms. He kept the Iranians in check and was the enemy of the jihadists who hated and distruted him. After getting kicked out of Kuwait he wasn't a problem for anybody except his own people, the Iranians and the jihadists. Now the Iranians are aligning themselves with the ruling Shi'a, the jihadists have infiltrated into Iraq, Iraqis are killed every day and we are bleeding troops and money which we are borrowing from the Chinese. What we did was really killing the mongoose and finding out that the cobras are crawling all over us. And comparing a smalltime regional dictator whose army hardly even existed anymore to Hitler is the most ridiculous hyperbole of them all. It's an insult to everybody's intelligence. Even most rednecks in the red states are not buying it anymore and that's why the opposition to this ridiculous war is so vast.
Posted by Sillaw_E_Retlaw, a resident of another community, on Apr 21, 2007 at 8:20 pm
It's sad that so much of the discourse here reverts to churlish name calling. I honestly believe that most people love their country and they argue about its course because they believe they are trying to persuade others to their beliefs. I don't call them Bushies or Bushlovers or Brownshirts.
There isn't any shortage of bad governments or tyrannical despots. Demonizing Saddam does him too much credit. He's wasn't any different than Ida Amin, Mugabe, Pol Pot, etc. But Iraq sits in a critical strategic area of the world and so the U.S. has strategic interests at stake. Lots of countries try and do kill Americans. This does make them mortal enemies.
- Remember Godwin's Law: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2007 at 7:20 am
I never accepted the self-proclaimed right of the US to decide who should have nuclear weapons and who shouldn't. I haven't accepted our right to determine whereIraqi jets can fly in their own air space.Pinichett was murderous dictator yet we didn't forbid him from flying his planes over any part of Chile I wouldn't accept other countries telling us that we couldn't fly our planes over parts of our own teritory. We just don't have any right to meddle in other countries affairs and we certainly don't have a right to invade and occupy other countries. Any people ruled by a dictator should overthrow him if they are unhappy with him without expecting US troops to do it for them. We should amend the Constitution to prohibit a US president from invading other countries accept under exraordinary circumstances(WW2), and only with a congressional approval.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Apr 22, 2007 at 9:11 am
Umm, this one was with nearly unanimous congressional approval.
I DO reserve the obligation to protect innocent people. The fact is that 5,000 - 7,000 people per month were dying under Saddam from starvation, poor medical care and murder by his regime. At the same time, the Kurds were using their Oil for Food allocations to increase their daily caloric intake, build health care, and infrastructure so that their lives improved.
So, under Saddam, that would have been, in the last 4 years, at least 240,000 dead Iraqis. I am not going to argue sources here, but even the Iraqi Body Count site, ( www.iraqbodycount.org/database) one which nobody can claim is "conservative" cites the most dead at 68,000. And, when they used to post ages, ( I see they don't anymore, probably because they were usually young men between the ages of 18 and 24) you learned that the vast majority are young men of "fighting" age in areas of "fighting". Not likely innocent civilians and children starved, or swept off the street and brought places to be ..well, no need to go into it.
There are a lot more Iraqis alive now than would have been, and the vast majority who are alive who would not otherwise have been are innocent humans. If I had to choose which era I would prefer to live in if I were in Iraq, it would be anytime since April of 2003, and no time before.
On a scale of right and wrong, I measure saved lives as a good thing. I am proud we were and are part of saving lives and bringing hope to the Iraqis, where there was none before.
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2007 at 9:27 am
First, as a matter of principle, we were not given, nor do we have the right to intervene in the affairs of other countries. Nor do we have the right to decide who can have WMD and who can't. The congress voted for the Iraq invasion based on forged and doctored intelligence given to them by a criminal administration, so that vote is null and void. We have supported over the years some of the worst dictators in history, but that was fine, because they were toeing the American line. No other nation intervened when we committed genocide on the Native American population not that long ago. When we decided that Saddam was our ally, we sold him chemical components for his chemical weapons program. Most of those Iraqis you mentioned died because of the embargo we slapped on Iraq. Tell those piles of dead Iraqis from last week how better off they are now. We are not crusaders and we don't have the right to send our troops to other countries.
Posted by Kate, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2007 at 9:54 am
When the affairs of other countries includes genocide and other human rights violations then we not only have the right to intervene, we have a moral obligation to do so.
All members of Congress reviewed and discussed the same evidence that was presented to the President of the U.S. and came to the same well-reasoned conclusions. Hindsight is 20/20 and it's now very easy, politically advantageous and cowardly to throw rocks at the President.
As for weapons of mass destruction....we have an absolute obligation to prevent some countries from acquiring them. I don't want to leave my kids in a world where, for example, the unpredictable Iranian or North Korean leaders would have nuclear weapons in their arsenal of options to use against the United States.
Lastly, we live in a different world from the one that existed during World War II. Wars of that nature are not what we face now or in the future. Islamic extremist will eventually force even someone with your outlook on war to accept the fact that good people must take a stand and that now is the time to take that stand for the good of future generations.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2007 at 3:34 pm
When a nation has been at war with the United States it is reasonable to suggest accomodations by that nation to aleviate the need for us to make the legitimate defensive move of bombing them into the stone age. When the leaders of a nation openly advocate killing us, prudence would suggest that we at least pay attention.
When you look back you see dark spots in the history of our nation, but with luck the sun keeps smiling through, to the extent that there are almost no one but US academics who would rather be elsewhere, and they are held here by that old supper dish.
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 22, 2007 at 5:30 pm
Kate and Wallis, I totally agree that people who pose grave and imminent danger to our country shouldn't be allowed access to nuclear weapons. Since the most dangerous person to our country and her security is Dubya Bush, I hope that you'll join me and most of the public in demanding that he is prohibited from having any access to nuclear weapons.
Posted by Kate, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2007 at 10:11 am
Sarlat - We just disagree on who the "most dangerous" custodian of nuclear weapons would be. To suggest that Iran and North Korea would be better custodians of weapons of mass destruction than the United States lacks credibility. In your world, obvious hatred of President Bush trumps common sense and a fair review of the facts.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2007 at 11:30 am
Iraq was no longer a sovereign nation when they attacked a neighboring nation and were defeated. They were on parole subject to surrender terms which included no fly zones. Any starvation was the fault of the diversion of food and medicine funds to Saddam weapons programs with the complicity of France, Russia and Germany. "Oil for Food" was really supposed to be for food.
Posted by Veritas, a resident of the The Greenhouse neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2007 at 2:35 pm
Are you absolutely certain people around the world aren't grateful USA's War on Muslims has given the world a bankrupted US economy, a crushed US military, a crushed National Guard, an international reputation soiled for decades, and best of all: a shredded US Constitution.
Posted by Kate, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2007 at 3:10 pm
Our economy is strong and robust right now. Where did you get the idea that we're bankrupt? As for the U.S. military...it's the best in the world and always will be. Our National Guard is strong with men and women willing to fight for your rights and the rights of peaceful Muslims. The international community has not liked the U.S. since I can remember. It's called envy. The only shredding of the Constitution is being done by members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. As for the "U.S.A.'s War on Muslims" that you refer to in your post, I find it hard to even respond because it is so removed from reality. Place the blame where it belongs, on the Islamic extremist. They purposefully target peaceful Muslims causing death and destruction on an almost daily basis. Why aren't you condemning their behavior instead of focusing your hatred at the U.S.
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2007 at 4:37 pm
Yes, Kate, we are bankrupt. Bush has run an astronomically huge deficit we'll never be able to pay off at this rate of decreasing revenues and increased borrowing.. Everything the federal government does right now, including the war in Iraq is financed by money borrowed from the Chinese, Japanese and Indian goverments and in that order. The trade deficit is huge. More and more good paying jobs are going abroad. Our industrial base is disappearing. Individual debt is at an all time high and savings at an all time low. The public has been encouraged by this administration to spend ans spend and spend and not to save. The economy is robust for corporations who keep ousourcing and send jobs abroad and the very rich and extremely non-robust for most people. Just as the baby boomers are retiring, we owe trillions of dollars to foreign investors. Some robust economy.
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2007 at 4:53 pm
Actually, it is now clear that the surge has made the situation worse. The Shi'a militias have melted away for the time being,wisely not taking us head on and re-supplying. As a result, the Sunni militias have increased their murderous activity against the Shi'a which made the Maliki government lose any credibility it had with the Shi'a population. Notice how Maliki ordered today a halt to the comstuction of the seperation wall the US military started building, embarrassing the US embassador, who received a call from Maliki to halt the consruction while giving a speech justifying it. Embassador Crocker wasn't very far from getting blown up himself by a car bomb today. Total failure.
Posted by Veritas, a resident of the The Greenhouse neighborhood, on Apr 23, 2007 at 10:34 pm
I think it would be unfair not to mention that the same anti-Muslim cabal that lied and lied and lied us into the War on Muslims, is linked to the same people who have used their power to flood our economy with dollars, thus devalueing our currency and fueling inflation.
Once known as "M3", our money aggregate equals the total amount of US dollars in circulation. About 4 years ago, our brave anti-Muslim leaders made the decision to cease computing M3.
The M3 metric no longer exists.
Someone has decided it's best if Americans are kept in the dark regarding how many dollars are in circulation.