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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Talking about "victory" in Iraq is like talking about "victory" in NY or Los Angeles or DC. Right now the US forces are the cops on the beat keeping the lid on until the Iraqi cops are ready to take over the job. The people they are fighting are criminals, not soldiers, and there will never be an end to criminals.
I don't know why so many people have trouble understanding this.
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--John
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I agree with you here, but the Iraqi's and other Middle Eastern cultures have different value sets than we do. Honor, family honor, and religious and tribal affiliation are over there (often) much more important than values like fairness etc which we regard higher than family. This is a very important concept to deal with for us and for them. Are we really so presumptious to value our value set higher than theirs, or is it vice versa?

I think that religious and tribal fanatics might be a better way to "classify" them than calling them criminals. Again, it is a question of value set in the context of a different culture.

I wish that it was so simple ...
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Han
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Han, IMO, they are thugs, creeps and worse. If what they do is not criminal in their own minds, it is consensually criminal in the minds of the civilized world. While their values may be different, mine aren't. I apply the same standards to them I did to the IRA: thugs, creeps and criminals. Religious fanaticism is not an excuse for torture and murder, nor is tribalism (for that matter, neither is patriotism, probably the second most quoted rationale after religion). They are often the most evident of the reasons, but they cannot whitewash the deeds in the minds of people who come close to being civilized.
The onus, though, truly falls on the powerful who lead the ignorant. There is a plethora of each kind in Iraq, and throughout the Middle East, and has been for as long as the area has existed. To think we were going to change that was possibly the ultimate in hubris.
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<snip previous>

I truly agree with you Charlie! But we did enter their world with the Iraq invasion, under the flimsiest pretenses, probably falsified at that, and with the poorest strategy of almost any war we (the US) have ever entered into, and possibly now the longest war ever as well. Entering their world should mean taking their values into account, and they do not have to conflict all that much with our values, if we are true, and don't shift alliances as easily as they do. (Easier said than done).

well. Granting, as Congress in their stupidity did, war powers to the President still does not give him carte blanche to twist the truth and the facts.
We as a nation are now saddled not only with a war that will not end soon, but also with the deaths and trauma that have and will result. To me it seems that the greatest tragedy is the physical and mental trauma to the soldiers, their families and communities resulting from the war. The wounded (physically or otherwise) still have some 60 years of lifetime to look forward to. During that time they, their families and communities will need care, both physically and mentally, and it will be very costly, both financially and (I can't find the right word) mentally.
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Han
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The odd thing about such accusations is the administration said nothing appreciably different than the previous administration, who frankly would rather talk about regime change instead of doing regime change. During the 1998 4 day Baghdad punishment bombing the rhetoric from the DEMS was pretty extreme. One as well would be very hard pressed to find any international support for Saddam, any defenders of Saddam or anyone appreciably sorry that Saddam is and was no longer. His clear violations of the 1991 cease fire were well known, as were his atrocities against his own people and neighboring countries. No one seemed to think that we should have stopped the multi-billion dollar Saddam containment effort with thousands of nearby troops, enforced no fly zones and Navy enforced embargoes. The apparent false albeit believed WMD fears were less a argument to topple his regime but rather a argument for now instead of later. Rod
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However, it was a clear danger signal that the Iraqi exiles couldn't agree on a government structure. In addition, the refusal of the Turkey government to have the "allies" use Turkish territory for the planned 2- prong attack was an indication of the volatility of the strife between the rather diverse groups of people in Iraq and neighboring countries. Combine that with the disastrous decisions not to guard ammunition dumps, civil infrastructure (including much of the oil industry), and last but certainly not least, the decisions to disband the security services inside Iraq when there was no effective government (thank you Mr. Bremer!), and you have the recipe indeed for the crrent situation. Oh yeah, I forgot, there was a war ongoing in Afhanistan wherein it was already being shown to be very difficult to contain Al Quaeda and its operatives. Now you are going to assist lawlessness in a country used to internecine strife?
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Han
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At the very least, that multi-billion containment policy cost was borne by others, as well as the U.S.
Regardless of the lack of esteem for Saddam around the world, the fact is, he had no hand in the Towers massacre. Most of the participants were Saudi, in fact, which should have left GWB leaning against a very badly mortared brick will at the outset. Being the artful dodger that he is, Rove had a plan for that, and it worked for a bit. Unfortunately, the total lack of any sort of longer planning, beyond Bush's moronic "Mission Accomplaished" nonsense, was totally lacking. Instead of "Slam, bang, thank you ma'am" this became an extension of a holy war that the advisers should have seen sitting there waiting.
"Now instead of later" doesn't wash, either. The substance simply was NOT there.
Bush and his crew are, IMO, criminally responsible for the deaths of nearly 4,000 U.S. service men and women, and God alone knows how many Iraqis. The toll increases daily and the exit cannot be seen...maybe we need someone to find the "light at the end of the tunnel" for us, as William Westmoreland was unable to do in 'Nam.
In the process of his political and power ploy bullshit, Bush and his underlings have, for the second time in three decades (though, of course, not on his watch in the '60s and '70s), taken the finest military outfits in the world, and proceeded to do his best to grind them up.
If we face a true emergency, a threat from any country much more powerful than Haiti, we're very close to being screwed, blued and tattoed.
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And that is what the rest of the people on this planet see and talk about. One member of a forum i attend, has tossed out an interesting possibility: Bush can't pardon himself, but can pardon Cheney, then step down and have Cheney pardon him. I, however, think Bush is arrogant to the extent that he is sure nobody will try to convict him.
Personally, I am a firm believer in 'what goes around comes around' and Bush will get his.
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wrote:

And that is what the rest of the people on this planet see and talk about. One member of a forum i attend, has tossed out an interesting possibility: Bush can't pardon himself, but can pardon Cheney, then step down and have Cheney pardon him. I, however, think Bush is arrogant to the extent that he is sure nobody will try to convict him.
Personally, I am a firm believer in 'what goes around comes around' and Bush will get his.
Bush is an idiot and I cannot give him [not the] least bit of credit for any of the [presidential] decisions made since [all the way back to] his first inauguration. Shitfuck, most states won't even execute a murderer with an IQ as low as Bush's. Christ, he has to be scripted in order to appear presidential. And when he's not, I have a 365 day calendar of some of those times when he wasn't. He was delectable because he locked in the right-wing religious rednecks who saw the return of prayer in school, the ten commandments on every courthouse square, and, of course, the grand prize, overturning Roe v. Wade. And that still didn't give him a majority of the popular vote. I don't think I'm alone when I say that he won by one vote, 5-4.
Dave in Houston
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You're not alone. There are all kinds of left-wing nutjobs who feel the same way about SCOTUS stopping an illegal recount that violated the equal protection clause (by a 7-2 margin). And here's a free history lesson. Bill Clinton did not receive a majority of the popular vote in either 1992 or 1996. Bush did win a majority in 2004, however. I'm not sure I'm prepared for the whining when the Dems lose the next presidential election.
todd
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Not that unlikely. But depends a lot on McCains running mate. Could be the Liebermann Whisperer....
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That's at the very least disingenuous. Clinton got more votes than anyone in '92 and '96. As did Gore in 2000.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781450.html
Your remarks are a very sad spin on history.
--
LRod

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History is a funny thing. The operative word is 'perspective'.
When you're a Palestinian, trying to build a house on a parcel of land which is deeded to be yours... THAT is a challenge. When some Israeli stops your growth because he rapes your sister. THAT is a challenge. When you learn to pretend it never happens, THAT makes you an American.
It is time you own up to being a man who stands for truth and integrity. A man who refuses to send your children to die for what the Israelis want.
I am losing friends by weapons and ignorance.
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And you got that information where...Hamas?
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It's fairly common knowledge throughout the rest of the world.
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Ahh, the typical "here's my opinion that everybody else shares so it must be the truth".
In other words, you don't have any specific sources to quote.
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It is not an opinion.
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Then there are sources. Where?
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THEN ask yourself the following question: What would you do if somebody walked up your drive and told you to get the fuck out because the property now belongs to another country.
We do the same thing, just that we back it up in the name of infrastructure. Don't know how familiar you are with Toronto, but I can remember some time ago when the city expropriated a number of houses to run the Spadina expressway from Eglinton to downtown in Toronto. Sad part of the who process was that they took the houses and properties from many, many people but never did finish building the expressway.
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Upscale wrote:

In the US it's called "eminent domain":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_domain
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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