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View Full Version : Is Iraq going to be Bush's Vietnam?


pseudobrit
Jul 10, 2003, 05:15 PM
link (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=2&u=/ap/20030710/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_676)

US soldiers are dying at a rate of 2-3 a day. If the occupation continues for the 4 years the administration tells us it's expected to (without escalation) at the same uncontrollable pace (and I don't think this type of grassroots rebellion is suppressible), we'll see at least 3 or 4,000 dead US servicemen and servicewomen.

It's not Vietnam's 60,000 dead, but in this day and age, how many dead kids are the American people willing to put up with? And for what reasons are we still there? There are no WMD, Saddam is gone (or if he comes back we've shown how easy it'll be to get rid of him again) and the oilfields are safely under the care of Halliburton.

Of course it's worse for the civilians of Iraq, who are dying in much larger numbers -- about 7,000 at last count.

It's becoming clear that the anti-war were right about the whole thing -- the Iraqi people didn't like Saddam, but they absolutely hate us.

zimv20
Jul 10, 2003, 05:39 PM
in Vietnam, at least there was a local gov't supporting the US. at least in spirit. here, it seems that all the iraqi anger -- be it at hussein or otherwise -- is now being directed at the US troops. and that's not exactly fair, but that's the reality bush has to deal with.

it's a PR nightmare. i wonder, even if the reconstruction were going much much better (could it be worse?) if the problem would still persist.

i think the "go it alone" attitude was the wrong thing. the best thing to do now, which i believe the WH is considering, is to bring in the UN and/or NATO to make it more of a world effort.

what's it going to take to fix it? ABC News reports Tommy Franks said the troops would remain at current levels (150k) until at least the end of the year. they also reported it's costing the US taxpayers nearly $4 billion / month to have them there. (franks also said troops could be there for four years)

i'm not even sure that includes reconstruction costs. wouldn't that money have been better spent at home? pretty ironic if bush is building iraqi schools and hiring teachers, while in the US janitors and getting fired, schools crumble and teachers get overwhelmed.

IJ Reilly
Jul 10, 2003, 05:54 PM
Iraq is going to be Bush's Iraq; there's no point in looking for historical analogies -- it's going to be what it's going to be. If I do my arithmetic correctly, at the present casualty rate (about one ever other day), by the end of the year just about as many US military personnel will have been killed in Iraq during the peace as during the war. Should this occur, it will be increasingly difficult to explain to an American public who heard the President say the war was over.

mactastic
Jul 10, 2003, 07:01 PM
I've heard it refered to as 'Dubya Dubya II'

toontra
Jul 10, 2003, 07:35 PM
My theory posted here before the war - that the US couldn't allow the UN inspectors the few months they wanted to finish their work because the signs coming from intelligence were that no weapons existed (which would seriously undermine their case for invasion) - seems more probable every day.

I don't appreciate being misled and taken for a stooge by my government. I think this will be looked back on in years to come as one of the most shameful incidents in US/UK foreign policy in modern times.

If it turns into Bush's Vietnam, he won't be able to say he wasn't warned - millions around the world predicted the tragedy of unilateral action.

NavyIntel007
Jul 10, 2003, 11:10 PM
Pseudobrit, you're absolutely right.

I don't know about the falsified reports... It's hard to speculate but lets look at the facts...

We have an occupying force that is TOO SMALL. Because of international pressure, I believe, the occupying force was dumbed down so as not to look like an oppressor to the outside world. Unfortunately, that's exactly what we needed. In the states, people generally respect the authorities because they have guns and power.

Well in Iraq, they all have guns, even the 8 year olds and power means nothing to them anymore (their all powerful leader is now not so powerful). So what do we have... a guy with a gun... and a uniform with a US flag on it. They might as well wear a sign that says "Shoot me in the face" because that's exactly what's happening.

As far as power, because of International pressure and because any use of force will get Amnisty International's panties all in a twist basically every target (ur... soldier) has one hand tied behind their back because you can't shoot unless you're fired upon. Well that's all nobel and all... unless their aiming for your face. It's kinda hard to fire back when you're dead.

It wouldn't surprise me if Saddam is behind all of this. Saddam was not a stupid person. He's studied american war policy and tactics and he knows that if he runs a guerrilla war campaign against our troops and takes out enough men, Bush will get dumped for the guy who campaigns to remove our troops for Iraq and Afganistan. Saddam can just jump out of his hole and take power again. And honestly, who wouldn't elect a president that ran under the platform of "bringing our brave men and women home?"

They promised us an Iraqi led government in June... It's July and our people are dying and not a single leader has been named. Pathetic.

zimv20
Jul 10, 2003, 11:13 PM
Originally posted by NavyIntel007

They promised us an Iraqi led government in June... It's July and our people are dying and not a single leader has been named. Pathetic.

i think the administration is finding out just how hard it is to make peace. war is the easy part.

mactastic
Jul 10, 2003, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i think the administration is finding out just how hard it is to make peace. war is the easy part.

Heck, the Romans found that out the hard way.

NavyIntel007
Jul 10, 2003, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
Heck, the Romans found that out the hard way.


So did the British... the French... the Germans...

mactastic
Jul 10, 2003, 11:18 PM
Originally posted by NavyIntel007
So did the British... the French... the Germans...

And for some reason, people tend to forget that in the preperation for wars.:(

pseudobrit
Jul 10, 2003, 11:20 PM
I think as this "war" (or occupation or whatever you want to call it) drags on, more and more people from both sides of the political spectrum will begin disapprove of it.

1) Our troops should not be target practice for 8 year olds, the problem is that...

2) The UN should have been ready to move in and take over from day one and it probably would have, if...

3) If the US had built a real coalition this wouldn't be a problem right now, but if...

4) The administration would have had to let diplomacy work and allow the inspections to find nothing and still convince enough Americans that war was a good idea, which...

5) probably wouldn't have happened because of the protests and the fact that "proof" about how dangerous Saddam was was being disproven as fast as the WH could spin it out , which brings me to a question...

Why the ******* are we in Iraq? Why the ******* did we go to Iraq?

There's not oil ready, the people are dying faster than they were under Saddam, there's lawlessness, there's no weapons of mass destruction, the region is further destabilised, the nation and regime of Iraq is and was never a threat to the US or the region, the people are suffering worse than they did under the tyrant and US troops are dying daily.

So why are we there? What's the reason? When are we leaving? I think the administration owes us some answers.

NavyIntel007
Jul 10, 2003, 11:37 PM
Saddam is a bastard. Unfortunately, the white devils were probably the worst ones to remove him from power. tsk...tsk.

zimv20
Jul 10, 2003, 11:43 PM
Originally posted by NavyIntel007
Saddam is a bastard. Unfortunately, the white devils were probably the worst ones to remove him from power. tsk...tsk.

we should try this:

"we're sorry, iraqi citizens, we messed up. we're leaving now, so you can have saddam back in power."

i wonder how many people would get real nice real quick.

NavyIntel007
Jul 10, 2003, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
we should try this:

"we're sorry, iraqi citizens, we messed up. we're leaving now, so you can have saddam back in power."

i wonder how many people would get real nice real quick.

Dude, that's a great idea... we made a mistake... carry on under saddam...

pseudobrit
Jul 10, 2003, 11:47 PM
At this point I don't think that would work though; Saddam's already a joke to too many Iraqis and would have as hard a time regaining power as we do establishing it.

Ugg
Jul 11, 2003, 12:08 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
i wonder how many people would get real nice real quick.

Probably not the ones doing the shooting, unfortunately.

I think gw was very stupid for not letting the UN take over afterwards.

1. It would have given the UN something to do and the world community wouldn't be bothering him.

2. The potential post war costs in Iraq will far exceed what American companies will ever be able to pull out it in profit. He could have ensured that a few major contracts were given to US companies, thereby ensuring a decent return on his investment. He does have an MBA doesn't he?

3. More attention could be focused on Afghanistan where Al Qaeda seems to be regaining strength. Osama in irons would ensure gw's reelction.

4. It would be the UN's problem if they didn't find WMD, not gw's.

5. A big returning military parade down Pennsylvania Avenue would have been priceless. As it is, there might never be a return and those who will be relieved at the end of the summer are POed that their tour kept on getting extended. They are not happy campers and that probably means that if they don't vote Democrat they might just stay at home and not vote.

6. Fewer American lives lost.

7. well, I'm sure I could go on forever, but politically he has committed suicide with his unilateralist policy and coalition of the billing.

IJ Reilly
Jul 11, 2003, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by Ugg
I think gw was very stupid for not letting the UN take over afterwards.

Bringing in the UN would only have made sense if the real, main objectives of the war had been curtailing WMD, removing Saddam and creating a democratic government in Iraq. In fact it is really about extending US influence and control in the Middle East. You have to remember that the people calling the shots on US foreign policy these days are not internationalists, they are unilateralists. They neither like nor trust the UN, if only because the UN, when all was said and done, could not have guaranteed a US-friendly government in Iraq.

macfan
Jul 11, 2003, 12:49 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
...the people are dying faster than they were under Saddam...

Care to provide the numbers, or did you just make that up?

zimv20
Jul 11, 2003, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
...the people are dying faster than they were under Saddam.

Originally posted by macfan
Care to provide the numbers, or did you just make that up?


it's because hussein tortured them slowly.

:-)

Ugg
Jul 11, 2003, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Care to provide the numbers, or did you just make that up?

It's a bit difficult since the US is still not releasing any figures on Iraqi deaths. Isn't the US responsible now for all govt. functions?

News out of Iraq is still pretty sketchy when it comes to what people really think but the common refrain that has been repeated in numerous newspapers is: At least under Saddam we had jobs, water, food, electricity and women could walk the streets safely.

One can only assume the lack of water food and security isn't extending the lives of Iraqis.



www.iraqbodycount.net is reporting 6058 to 7711 civilian deaths attributable to coalition military action. They have a very extensive faq including methodology, sources, etc.

pseudobrit
Jul 11, 2003, 01:12 AM
Iraqbodycount.net is reporting as many as 7700 civilian deaths. Coupled with soldier deaths, it's safe to say they've lost 10,000 lives in four months. That's about 2,500 people a month. We don't have any data on the frequency of Saddam's political executions, but I can't imagine they'd be much higher than that; that's a lot of killin'

Wait until we try to start a government and leave and civil war breaks out.

Congratulations, Bush! You've just given the US its own personal Palestine!!

zimv20
Jul 11, 2003, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Iraqbodycount.net is reporting as many as 7700 civilian deaths. Coupled with soldier deaths, it's safe to say they've lost 10,000 lives in four months. That's about 2,500 people a month.

iraqometer (http://www.iraqometer.com/) has iraqi soldier deaths at 10,200.

a note about iraqbodycount -- i'm pretty sure that's civilian deaths since jan 1, not the start of the war. so if we call it an even 17,000 since jan 1, that's over 2800 iraqi deaths a month.

also, the count at iraqbodycount is based on reported deaths. the true count, i imagine, is much higher.

pseudobrit
Jul 11, 2003, 01:26 AM
Only 83 years left and we'll have wiped out all 28 million of them!

Inu
Jul 11, 2003, 02:27 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Only 83 years left and we'll have wiped out all 28 million of them!

Given they stop breeding. On the other hand, if they do, it wont take 83 Years, because the life expectancy (sp?) isnt that great down there...

macfan
Jul 11, 2003, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Iraqbodycount.net is reporting as many as 7700 civilian deaths. Coupled with soldier deaths, it's safe to say they've lost 10,000 lives in four months. That's about 2,500 people a month. We don't have any data on the frequency of Saddam's political executions, but I can't imagine they'd be much higher than that; that's a lot of killin'

Wait until we try to start a government and leave and civil war breaks out.

Congratulations, Bush! You've just given the US its own personal Palestine!!

So, you basically just made it up. You have no figures for how many people are dying in Iraq today, and you have no figures for how many people were dying under Saddam. You just have some estimates on casualties during the major combat. I seem to recall the prewar claims that that 500,000 Iraqis would be killed in the combat operations. Does that represent a deliberate lie or merely an intelligence failure on the part of the anti war types?

Note: last time I checked, there is not massive starvation, or even minor starvation, in Iraq today. What's this talk about Iraqis not having food?

macfan
Jul 11, 2003, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by zimv20


it's because hussein tortured them slowly.

:-)

LOL. Good one.

pseudobrit
Jul 11, 2003, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by macfan
So, you basically just made it up.

No, I was citing British intel, so they made it up.

You have no figures for how many people are dying in Iraq today

Yes we do.

and you have no figures for how many people were dying under Saddam.

Amnesty International reports "scores" of executions. It seems as if torture was more prevalent than executions, really. A first offense of "treason" was usually dealt with by chopping off a limb.

You just have some estimates on casualties during the major combat.

Iraqbodycount.net is not an estimate; it's based on reported casualties.

I seem to recall the prewar claims that that 500,000 Iraqis would be killed in the combat operations. Does that represent a deliberate lie or merely an intelligence failure on the part of the anti war types?

I seem to recall the prewar claims that the WoMD were so abundant that we'd be tripping over them as soon as we got to Baghdad. The difference is that this exaggerated claim came from the White House, not a protester's sign.

macfan
Jul 11, 2003, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit

Iraqbodycount.net is not an estimate; it's based on reported casualties.


Of course it's an estimate. No one says it's an accurate count. In any event, you don't have any numbers for the numbers of Iraqis dying today, and you don't have any numbers for the numbers of Iraqi who were dying under Saddam.

"Amnesty International reports "scores" of executions."

And various mass graves show thousands of bodies.

The figure of 500,000 was a casualty figure projected by the WHO. It was not taken off of some protestor's sign. Of course, anti war type took it and claimed that it meant that many would be killed, but even the estimates of deaths were grossly overstated.

pseudobrit
Jul 11, 2003, 02:12 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Of course it's an estimate. No one says it's an accurate count.

Okay, everything's an estimate then. Even the Vietnam body counts, documented as they are (~59,000 US), are an estimate. Some are better than others. This one's pretty accurate, which is what counts.

In any event, you don't have any numbers for the numbers of Iraqis dying today

Yes we do. You just don't like the fact that they're not 100% spot on. Or maybe it's not that you don't like the fact that they're not spot on and you just come here to argue for the sake of argument, because that's what it seems like you're doing.

and you don't have any numbers for the numbers of Iraqi who were dying under Saddam. And various mass graves show thousands of bodies.

From the Iraq-Iran conflict.

The figure of 500,000 was a casualty figure projected by the WHO. It was not taken off of some protestor's sign.

Give it time. That figure is an accurate casualty number for the 10 years of bombing and first Gulf War.

This war is not over. Perhaps it never will be. Which is the original point of this thread.

Ugg
Jul 11, 2003, 02:12 PM
The dictator is gone, his prisons are closed, yet people are still dying as a result of being "freed" by the US. This (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7374-739722,00.html) article takes a look at the rampant human rights violations occuring on a daily basis in Iraq.

Remarkably, the Americans have also set up another detention camp in the grounds of the notorious Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad. Many thousands of Iraqis were taken there during the Saddam years and never seen again.

Every day, relatives scuff their way along the dirt track to reach the razor wire barricades surrounding Abu Ghraib, where they plead in vain for information about the whereabouts of the missing.

The response from impassive American sentries is to point to a sign, scrawled in red felt-tip pen on a piece of cardboard hanging on the barbed wire, which says: ?No visits are allowed, no information will be given and you must leave.?

One of the most disturbing incidents concerns Sufiyan Abd al-Ghani, 11, who was with his uncle in a car that was stopped near his home in Hay al-Jihad at just after 10pm on May 27. The boy?s father heard a commotion and rushed outside to see him sprawled face down on the road with a rifle muzzle pressed against his neck and US officers shouting that someone in the car had shot at them.

Sufiyan was made to stay on the ground for three hours, while more than 100 soldiers poured into the neighbourhood, searching houses and cars. Eventually he was taken away with his hands trussed behind his back and a hood draped over his head. No weapon had been found. The boy said that soldiers dug rifle butts into his neck and back and that the first night he was handcuffed and left alone in a tiny room open to the sky.

The following day he was moved to the airport, where he said for eight days he shared a tent with 22 adults, sleeping on the dirt, with no water to wash or change his clothes.

Sufiyan said that he was pulled from the tent one morning, hooded and manacled again, and driven to Sarhiyeh prison, to be kept in a room with 20 other youths aged 15 or 16 ? regarded as minors by the Geneva Convention.

A woman inmate took his name and details and when she was released she alerted Sufiyan?s family. On June 21, the family obtained an injunction from a judge ordering the boy?s release, but they were told at the prison that the signature of an Iraqi judge no longer had legal authority. Even when an American military lawyer demanded his freedom, US troops refused to release him until the lawyer appeared at the prison. Privately US military lawyers say that they are appalled at how some of the arrests are being carried out.

Pretty scary when the US is willing to hold 11 year olds and to deny all detainees even the most basic of rights. If this continues, it could well turn into another Vietnam-like mess.

Ugg
Jul 11, 2003, 03:08 PM
Iraq's near term success is tied to its oil production and this article takes a look at the future of that production. It is very long but worth a read in that it explores a lot of issues. One of the most significant is the need for massive investment in the industry. From drilling to storage to pipelines to port facilities. No private company is willing to invest in Iraq until there is a legitimate Iraqi elected government in place.

link (http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_s.asp?StoryId=23195)

Frohickey
Jul 11, 2003, 07:25 PM
I don't think it will.

In Vietnam, we tried to prop up a corrupt and unwanted government, starting from Kennedy, all the way to Nixon.

In Iraq, we got rid of a oppressive tyranny. What needs to be done is Iraqis should be helped to start policing their own. But how to start? Do you just give badges to the people that were cops when Saddam was in power? Or do you start fresh and train new ones, that are hopefully, honest and fair?

Thats the gamble here. Maybe the way to do it is both, but do intensive interviews of the old ones to see if they were in cahoots with Saddam, or if they were fair and honest. Might be able to have the new ones do some of the interviewing, as well as some concerned local Iraqi citizens.

How many Americans were being killed after WW2 by Japanese soldiers that didn't know about the unconditional surrender of Japan?

macfan
Jul 11, 2003, 07:29 PM
Originally posted by Frohickey
How many Americans were being killed after WW2 by Japanese soldiers that didn't know about the unconditional surrender of Japan?

Not sure, but there was an amazing story about how the surrender of Japan went down, with an attempted coup that only failed due to the courage of some in the Japanese government. Had it been successful, there would likely have been a longer war without a clear ending.

Ugg
Jul 11, 2003, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by Frohickey
What needs to be done is Iraqis should be helped to start policing their own. But how to start? Do you just give badges to the people that were cops when Saddam was in power? Or do you start fresh and train new ones, that are hopefully, honest and fair?

Thats the gamble here. Maybe the way to do it is both, but do intensive interviews of the old ones to see if they were in cahoots with Saddam, or if they were fair and honest. Might be able to have the new ones do some of the interviewing, as well as some concerned local Iraqi citizens.


You bring up some good questions and they ultimately underline the fact that gw & co. had no post-war plan. No sensible govt. would have just one either, rather a main plan and then a number of back up plans or alternatives. The first guy in charge obviously was their first best bet, what a fiasco that was. Bremer seems to be a better administrator but it's more or less been admitted that he's been steering without a map.

All this points to the fact that the Pentagon wass in control and the state dept. was forced to take a back seat at the expense of the Iraqi people. They are now venting their frustration and whether or not this turns into another Vietnam will depend upon how well that frustration is handled. It doesn't look very good.

Frohickey
Jul 11, 2003, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
You bring up some good questions and they ultimately underline the fact that gw & co. had no post-war plan. No sensible govt. would have just one either, rather a main plan and then a number of back up plans or alternatives.

Agreed. There were a lot of braincells used in figuring out how to break the eggs... but not enough to figure out how to make a cheese omelet out of it. :p

I'm sure that they are thinking about it now, and will figure out a way that gets the Iraqis back on their feet. Happened in Japan in WW2... and they are #2 in world economy.

Hmm... Iraq could be #3, and with them sitting on the 2nd largest oil deposits, they could topple Japan from #2. They just need to figure out where they want to be tomorrow.

Gah... I sound like a Microsoft commercial! yuk.

Ugg
Jul 11, 2003, 09:20 PM
Originally posted by Frohickey
Happened in Japan in WW2... and they are #2 in world economy.

Hmm... Iraq could be #3, and with them sitting on the 2nd largest oil deposits, they could topple Japan from #2. They just need to figure out where they want to be tomorrow.



I've never thought about it in those terms before and you make a good point.

Japan and Germany did not become world powers overnight and it took massive investment from the US in order for them to become the powerhouses that they are today. The difference though is that both countries were relatively homogenous before the war whereas Iraq is not.

The secular vs religious and Kurdish issues will be major stumbling blocks when it comes to creating a government. I just can't imagine the coalition type govts. in Japan and Germany would survive in Iraq. The strongest political power in Iraq seems to based upon fundamentalist Islam and Pakistan and Iran have had a lot of problems with extreme power struggles.

Conservative estimates indicate that it will be ten years at least before Iraq is able to exceed its prewar oil output. Oil is Iraq's only significant source of revenue and the entire business infrastructure needs to built from scratch. Then, there's the matter of security both short term and long term. Nobody wants to do business in a country where they might be shot or might have their assets nationalized.

Even if I'm being overly negative, it is still going to be a decade at least before Iraq is stabilized.

IJ Reilly
Jul 12, 2003, 11:15 AM
Originally posted by Frohickey
Hmm... Iraq could be #3, and with them sitting on the 2nd largest oil deposits, they could topple Japan from #2. They just need to figure out where they want to be tomorrow.

If you're suggesting that Iraq can rely on their oil supplies for a bright future, you might want to reevaluate. Iraq already has huge international debt obligations, the largest of which I believe it to Russia. For some reason the debt-holding nations are not keen on forgiving Iraq those debts. Another specter is the proposal recently advance by the Bush administration to borrow reconstruction funds against future oil revenues. If that plan is implemented, Iraq will find itself deep in debt well into the future. Curiously, the reconstruction plans in Germany and Japan after WWII did not saddle those nations with huge debts, but the peace treaty after WWI did.