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Also known as "when common sense kicked in".

Here's the question you should ask yourself: What happens if the US and the UK just bail, as so many anti-war activists want to see happen?

Well, the logical outflows of that are pretty easy to tell:

1) The Jihadists in the middle east will see that as a victory. This will embolden them in the future

2) Iraq will fall into civil war at best, or be carved up into zones of influence by Iran, Syria, and Turkey. Watch:

Syria push for a Baathist revival
Iran push for a Shia theocracy
Turkey decide that the northern Kurds need to be put down so as not to encourage Kurds within their own territory

That's all pretty easy to see as an outcome - if the US and UK leave. So given that, I suppose the logical question is - regardless of whether you were for or against the war in the first place - how can you possibly be in favor of withdrawal now?

And if your answer is something like "Let the UN do it" - well. I might ask you to look up the stats on where most UN peacekeeping troops for this kind of engagement would come from. Europe? Heck, Afghanistan had NATO (Article V) support, and the number of non-US troops there was (percentage wise) about the same as in Iraq. If that's the case, what makes you think that Americans would send troops back under foreign command?

The anti-war movement lives in a fantasy world, one where reality is an entirely different color.

I was arguing for bailing about 20,000 ruined lives, and $87B ago.

And I was right.

Sunk costs are irrelevant, and pro-war people should have learned this lesson from the tragedy of what happened in SEA 1969-1972.

Military force has its limits. Find another 'strategery'.

So your answer is that the cost is too high?

On that basis, then the US should have pulled out of WWII - the cost of D-Day and the Pacific campaigns were enormous

The Civil War should have been ended no later than 1862 for the same reason.

in the anti-war world, history doesn't exist, except for Vietnam.

"in the anti-war world, history doesn't exist, except for Vietnam."

Yeah, and even there it gets twisted to fit their ideology.

I'm against the war, but I'm not for pulling out our troops immediately. Not all anti-war folks want us out right this second. I would like to see some sort of international force go in and replace us slowly, and maybe bring some stability and peace to the region.

The more interesting numbers are what comes next with those upset with the way the war is being run. Should we pull out got 30% but send in more troops got 28%, which is the highest numbers yet for that position. As always, numbers don't tell the story (but they make for pretty graphics).

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-split19may19,1,1275380.story?coll=la-headlines-nation

Just because people are upset with the way the war is being fought doesn't necessarily mean they are against fighting it. With the exception of the fringe (who scream "No Prisoners" like Lawrence of Arabia attacking a Turkish column), I've actually noticed a lot of pro-war people extremely upset about the prisoner abuse scandal NOT because of the abuse and the moral questions involved, but because it has affected our ability to fight the war (strengthening the resolve of the opponent, magnifiying the political opposition). Go figure.

By the way Joi, that posting bug I mentioned earlier isn't really a bug. It's just that clicking post results in about a 20 second wait on my browser before the screen refreshes with my post.

To this:

"I would like to see some sort of international force go in and replace us slowly, and maybe bring some stability and peace to the region."

What international force? From what nations? Either the US and UK do the job, or it collapses. That's very clear based on the international reaction - and not just to this. In Gulf War I - hailed as great example of international cooperation - where did 80% of the troops come from? The US. So don't kid yourself with this talk of international troops - it's either the US, or no one.

Yes, simply the costs are too high.

Is a "free" Iraq (whatever that means) worth 400,000 US dead?
200,000?
50,000?
1,000?

My answer is no to all of the above, and has been for over a year now, just as a "free" Vietnam was not worth 50,000 US troops, nor a free S. Korea worth the same blood cost.

There was a war on in 1944; both the nazis and the japanese had declared war on us & stuff. Similar conditions wrt the Iraqis do not obtain.

I believe military force cannot stabilize the situation in the ME, it's up to the people there to determine their own forms of government and society.

I love arguing with freepers. So intellectually . . . stunted.

"it's up to the people there to determine their own forms of government"

That's kinda naive, don't you think? If that was the case, why didn't they oust Saddam themselves?

Anyway, I'm NOT for the troops pulling out now, as has been said it will just de-stabilise the region. I was AGAINST them going in in the first place.

The process of change is a long one, unfortunately.

As to this:

"Is a "free" Iraq (whatever that means) worth 400,000 US dead?
200,000?
50,000?
1,000?

My answer is no to all of the above, and has been for over a year now, just as a "free" Vietnam was not worth 50,000 US troops, nor a free S. Korea worth the same blood cost."

At the current rate of casualties, it would take decades to get to 50,000 war dead - and that's assuming that things stay as they are now (which I don't think is the case). Now, I understand the sentiment above. However, look at the aftermath of the Vietnam pullout - 3 million dead in Cambodia, and hundreds of thousands (perhaps up to a million) dead in South Vietnam (the gulags that were set up). That was the result o fthe pullout; that's what we bought by leaving. Now look back at my first comment. Leaving isn't a free act - it will have costs. Can you rationalize them?

Seems like the US is stuck between the proverbial rock and its adjacent hard place. What is to be gained by staying in Iraq? What are the benefits of leaving? Neither path is easy to take.

Whatever happens, the US will be hated by the "Arab street" with or without good cause. Middle Eastern prejudices and biases are strong. Willingly, the culture allows these biases to reinforce each other via a feedback loop-- they tend only to read, watch, and listen to materials supporting their prejudices and they do this to a greater degree than people in other cultures do.
As the fires are stoked, we begin to see that in spite of its best intentions, logic is no match for the roiling storm of political histrionics in Southwest Asia.

Let the Iraqi people vote on whether or not the US should stay. Their response could get America off the hook, but then again most will just say the results were rigged. Can't win there either.

Who cares if the terrorists perceive a victory? This isn't a pissing contest. Let's see if this "you leave me alone, I'll leave you alone" strategy works. Probably won't. The US will still be harrased for it's involvement in Afghanistan and for its "support" of Israel.

It is possible, however, that after a withdrawl from Iraq, terrorists will not have an incentive to launch another major terrorist attack at the US. If they did, things would become less murky politically. The gloves would come off and the Americans would be quite open about their willingness to fight dirty.

Much responsibility lies with Middle Eastern thinkers and leaders. Constant blaming of America and Israel is a form of self-victimization and an alibi for a very unhappy and disfunctional society.

3,000 (mostly westerners) died on September 11th, 2001.

The terrorists are not going to stop trying until they are either all dead or that number has increased by a Million Fold.

And the so-called anti-war movement will be there to assist them in whatever way possible.

And what about the responsibility of the West? There, a thriving society develops. The standard of living is high and its technological reach is literally interplanetary. Shouldn't a culture like this strive for a strategy that takes the high road while still protecting its citizens?

In reply to:
[letting the Iraqi people determine their own form of government is] kinda naive, don't you think? If that was the case, why didn't they oust Saddam themselves?

1) What do you think democracy is all about if not people governing themselves?
2) Because they were oppressed by Saddam?!

Now that there's war in iraq already, something has to be done to re-stabilize the country.The US started the war - now naturally it's their job to do exactly that until the iraqis have had elections.
This job would be a lot easier if the US had the majority of the Iraqi people on their side. As long as people get treated like they currently are, the people will rather believe what the mullahs tell them, I fear.

In reply to:
"3,000 (mostly westerners) died on September 11th, 2001."
"The terrorists are not going to stop trying until they are either all dead or that number has increased by a Million Fold."

OT! I wonder what this has to do with the war in iraq? *puzzled*

Martin: Establishing a strong military presence (mainly strategic air bases in isolated parts) in Iraq was a main motivation behind toppling Saddam.

"Leaving isn't a free act - it will have costs. Can you rationalize them?"

Sure. Your limited understanding of eg. the 3,000,000 dead in Cambodia is simply indicative of a reality-challenged world view. I see opportunity costs and daily costs to both this nation and the Iraqis by our continued military occupation of their country.

As for Cambodia, Pol Pot came to power some time after Nixon had destabilized the (neutralist) Kingdom of Cambodia with the coup that brought the dictator Lon Nol. The Reagan admin supported and rearmed Pol Pot after he was pushed back into the jungle by the evil N Vietnamese where he belonged.

The N Vietnamese were no boy scouts, but I take it as a very strong lesson that nationalists will always win over our lackeys in the long run. Absent of a rational plan of full Iraq sovereignity, I'm for honoring the will of the Iraqi people (exc. the Kurds) and getting the fuck out of their country. We've killed enough of them, time to go home.

Has anyone noticed that support for the war actually went DOWN after Baghdad fell, and after Saddam Hussein was captured? It went UP after Hans Blix criticised the US and UK, and when the WMD intelligence was questioned.

That's the opposite of what one would expect.

*********

"in the anti-war world, history doesn't exist, except for Vietnam."

I'll present a list of some places the US has gone to war since 1945 - in reverse chronological order to help those with short memories.

2001 Afghanistan.
1998-2001 Iraq (bombing of anti aircraft defences and Iraqi industrial facilities thought to be able to create WMDs.)
1999 NATO led war on Yugoslavia in defence of Kosovo.
1998 Airstrikes on Afghanistan and Sudan (against bin Laden, believed to be responsible for embassy bombings.)
1995 NATO Airstrikes on the Bosnian Serb Army to protect UN safe havens.
1995 Somalia.
1993 Iraq. Bombing of anti-aircraft sites, and cruise missile attack of Iraqi Intelligence service headquarters.
1993 Somalia (Black Hawk Down)
1991 Invasion of Iraq
1989-1990 Panama (to safeguard the canal, US lives, property and interest in the area)
1986 Air, naval bombardment of Libya
1980 Unsuccessful hostage rescue from Iran.
1964-1975 Vietnam (incl. Cambodia,)
1962-1975 Support of anti-communists in Laos
1950-1953 Korean War (UN Security council approved)

This is a list of places where (as far as I could tell) actual combat by US troops took place. It doesn't include situations where the CIA has given arms or money to one side or another.

I think it's worthwhile to examine each entry and contemplate whether worthwhile results were acheived or not.

For example, I can recall an interview with a soldier who returned to South Korea in 2003, who said that seeing South Korea today, he thought that fighting the war was worthwhile. I imagine most reflections on action in WWII would be the same.

On the other hand, I wonder if many former soldiers thought fighting in Vietnam, Somalia, Laos, or the previous war in Iraq was worthwhile.

"Whatever happens, the US will be hated by the "Arab street" with or without good cause. Middle Eastern prejudices and biases are strong. Willingly, the culture allows these biases to reinforce each other via a feedback loop-- they tend only to read, watch, and listen to materials supporting their prejudices and they do this to a greater degree than people in other cultures do. "

Mike B, if you swap US and Arab around in this text, it makes equal sense.

Dave Roylance:
Easy.
"Yay Baghdad fell! We should go home now!"
"Yay Saddam captured! we should go home now!"

Hans Blix critiques? WMD intel questioned? Bush admin kicks media machine into high gear! "Pull that public opinion back up pronto!!"

Only thing that broke it was the leaks.

Also, tho whet:
http://bopuc.levendis.com/bopuc/archives/-2003/02/25/important_to_note.php

Jimmy -

(wink) ;)

Thanks,
Mike

Do we want another group of people telling us what to think, what to wear, what faith to have? Fundamentalism in any form is dangerous and even more when it spreads outside its own boundaries. When you have a radical fundamentalist that considers you a non-life entity and is actively trying to destroy life itself then active short and long term self-defense is required.

Hello,
Did you ever live in State College Pennsylvania?

Friends, I don’t know if you all realize this, but the good Lord has given us the technology to kill folks without destroying His precious oil fields. And that’s important, when you consider the fact that those turban-wearing, moon-worshipping, dirt people have the second largest supply of oil in the world. I see from your faces that some of you petrochemical folks in the Gold Tither pews know where I am going with this! With a reason for the war on the table, we could have flattened Babylon and been looking at a long, steaming summer full of cheap gas instead of unseemly court martials, which are just like catnip to America-hating pansies.

First off, I’d like to say that this is not defined as an absence of war. It is the presence of liberty, stability, and prosperity. In the face of the enemy. Don't buy into the pessimism and apathy that says, ""It's hopeless,"" ""They hate us too much,"" ""That part of the men and women serving here in Iraq the enemy wherever you are.

You are a mighty force for good, because truth is on your side. Together we will ultimately fail. That is why I am asking for your support. Become a voice of truth in your community. Wherever you are fight the lies of the men and women serving here in Iraq the enemy wherever you are.

You are the soldiers at home fighting the war of perception with the media and American people. Our enemy has learned that the people in the highest regard. We love to criticize ourselves almost to an endless degree, because we care what others think.

Our enemies see this as a weakness and are trying to exploit it. When we ask ourselves questions like, ""Why do the Japanese hate us so much?"" or ""How can we change ourselves so that they won't do that again?""

Here in Iraq would be a goldmine. When our so-called ""trusted"" American media takes a quote from an Iraqi doctor as the gospel truth over that of the horrendous tyranny of the world will let us!

If the American Revolution was all about. Have we forgotten? Freedom is not peace. The peace that so-called ""peace advocates"" support can only be brought to Iraq through the military. And we are making the whole world safer.

Your efforts at home and abroad. We are a people that cherish the democratic system of government and therefore hold the will of the world will let us! If the American people believe we are playing into our enemies' hands. Our natural tendency to question ourselves is being used against us to undermine our effort to do good in the world. How far would we have to remember is that peace is not peace.

The peace that so-called ""peace advocates"" support can only be brought to Iraq through the military. And we are doing a tremendous amount of good. Spread the word. No one is poised to make such an amazing contribution to the detriment of our brave heroes fighting for liberty and peace.

What we have to remember is that peace is not free and ""peace"" without principle is not peace. The peace that so-called ""peace advocates"" support can only be brought to Iraq through the military.

And we are failing, even if we are making the whole world safer. Your efforts at home and abroad.

We are a people that cherish the democratic system of government and therefore hold the will of the enemy is trying very hard to portray our efforts over here, you can refute them by knowing that we are failing, even if we are making the whole world safer.

Your efforts at home are directly tied to our success. You are the soldiers at home and abroad.

We are a people that cherish the democratic system of government and therefore hold the will of the people back home will lose the will of the enemy.

Don't buy into the pessimism and apathy that says, ""It's hopeless,"" ""They hate us so much?"" or

""How can we change ourselves so that they won't do that again?""

Semper Fi,
1st Lt. Mark V. Shaney USMC
Baghdad, Iraq

Lt. Shaney

I hope that you're fibbing about being an officer. There have been a couple of enlisted guys that posted to this blog and thier opinions on the war seemed to be founded in serious and thoughtful contemplation, whereas yours is expressed as a series of platitudes.

Our natural tendency to question ourselves is being used against us to undermine our effort to do good in the world. How far would we have to remember is that peace is not peace.

Questioning ourselves is a good thing. If our enemies think it's a sign that our resolve is weakening, let them talk. They will find out the hard truth eventually if they stay in the business of being our enemies.

Good luck in Iraq.

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This is an excellent example of what Sid Meyer's games call "War Weariness". The more free a culture is, the faster they are to become weary of war. Perhaps the people that shifted so far in their beliefs will, in the future, check their jingoism at ... Read More

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