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View Full Version : Is the US losing its hold on Iraq?


Ugg
Jul 18, 2003, 12:40 PM
link (http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0718/p01s01-wogi.html)

link (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3076531.stm)

The first link from CSM says that the US is turning to the UN and may need to concede control of Iraq.

The second states that the US has a three month window of opportunity to get things under control in Iraq before chaos reigns.

Wolfowitz made a statement saying that there was no way to foresee the unrest that took place. Sorry, forgot where I read it, but he basically exonerates gw & co.

All the fingerpointing in the world doesn't do anyone any good. Iraq is a mess, the soldiers are tired, don't speak the language, fed up with continual extensions to their tour of duty with no end in sight. Even if the UN does get involved ( I can't wait to see gw have to suck up to Chirac and Schroeder!) France and Germany are already overextended with peacekeeping duties elsewhere. The UN would be able to provide administrative assisitance but not much in the line of peacekeepers.

For a whole passle of reasons the infrastructure of Iraq is a mess and there is no end in sight. Lack of food, water, medicine, gas, etc.

Who is going to win the struggle? The US along with the UN or the extremists?

Unless there is some major breakthrough in the next few months, Blair and Bush are out of office for sure and their successors will be left with the mess that is Iraq.

mactastic
Jul 18, 2003, 01:41 PM
The French and Germans and others who were snubbed in the build-up to war have little incentive to offer aid to the US now i'm afraid. What would be more enjoyable to them now than to have the US essentially beg publicy for help? And without international troops soon, where are we gonna get another 150,000 troops to relieve the ones who are there now over the next, say 12-24 months? And at $4billion a month, how long will we be able to afford this?

Sayhey
Jul 18, 2003, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by Ugg

...All the fingerpointing in the world doesn't do anyone any good. Iraq is a mess, the soldiers are tired, don't speak the language, fed up with continual extensions to their tour of duty with no end in sight. Even if the UN does get involved ( I can't wait to see gw have to suck up to Chirac and Schroeder!) France and Germany are already overextended with peacekeeping duties elsewhere. The UN would be able to provide administrative assisitance but not much in the line of peacekeepers.

For a whole passle of reasons the infrastructure of Iraq is a mess and there is no end in sight. Lack of food, water, medicine, gas, etc.

Who is going to win the struggle? The US along with the UN or the extremists?

Unless there is some major breakthrough in the next few months, Blair and Bush are out of office for sure and their successors will be left with the mess that is Iraq.

I hope there is going to be a greater role for the UN! The only chance for a stable secular Iraq lies in getting more and more international participation in a temporary administration of the country. Coupled with a real plan for economic investment along the lines of the Marshall plan there might be a possible outcome that could actually be helpful. Problem is this means Bush will have to go to the American people for funds on a scale that won't be politically popular. Same should be done in Afghanistan. The Iraqi war was wrong and a horrible precedent, but now we should try to committ the resources to make reconstruction a real possibility not just rhetoric. Ugg, I think you're right that it will likely be left to B & B's successors to sort out the mess.

macfan
Jul 18, 2003, 04:49 PM
The Iraq war was the right thing to do and a good precedent, and, yes, as much international support as possible should be gathered to go about the rebuilding of that country. There is already a positive outcome in Iraq, what remains is to build on that positive outcome.

Sayhey
Jul 18, 2003, 08:58 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The Iraq war was the right thing to do and a good precedent, and, yes, as much international support as possible should be gathered to go about the rebuilding of that country. There is already a positive outcome in Iraq, what remains is to build on that positive outcome.

The history of international law in the 20th century was to outlaw wars of aggression. GWB violated international law when he refused to follow the UN and lauched the war against Iraq. It is clear that there was not a reasonable concern of a Iraqi attack on the United States.

It is not enough to say Saddam was evil. He was. As I have said in other threads, he was just as bad when the Reagan-Bush administration decided he was their great friend and armed him during the Iran/Iraq war. Because we think we wear the "white hats" and have all the answers to the world's problems doesn't give us the right to do what we did.

The doctrine of preemptive warfare or the Bush doctrine destroys every basic notion of International relations at least since the founding of the United Nations. One only has to imagine what it would be like if China or Russia advanced the same idea what our response would be. If that is a "good thing" then we have very different goals in mind. There must be equality of nations in international law. No one nation or group of nations should be allowed to dictate to others the choices they can make.

The precedent Bush has made runs counter to that principle. For our nation to trumpet its right to trample those principles is a disaster for our relations with other countries and undermines our democratic traditions at home.

I don't care in the least what fate awaits a man like Saddam. I'm sure most of the people of Iraq were very, very happy to see him leave, regardless of what they think of us. Whatever death awaits him he richly deserves, but I tremble at the fate of our country in the hands of arrogant ideologues that now form government policy.

Maclarny
Jul 18, 2003, 09:37 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
The French and Germans and others who were snubbed in the build-up to war have little incentive to offer aid to the US now i'm afraid. What would be more enjoyable to them now than to have the US essentially beg publicy for help? And without international troops soon, where are we gonna get another 150,000 troops to relieve the ones who are there now over the next, say 12-24 months? And at $4billion a month, how long will we be able to afford this?

We already can't afford it.

mcrain
Jul 18, 2003, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The Iraq war was the right thing to do and a good precedent, and, yes, as much international support as possible should be gathered to go about the rebuilding of that country. There is already a positive outcome in Iraq, what remains is to build on that positive outcome.

Positive outcome? Sure, let's create a situation where our soldiers are killed on a daily basis, where the locals hate us, and where we can bleed the country dry of whatever assets it has. Great. Let's build on that! Yippie!

mactastic
Jul 18, 2003, 10:31 PM
The situation we are in now sounds like the low-grade war I heard being complained about as a reason to go to the "high-grade war".

pseudobrit
Jul 18, 2003, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by Maclarny
We already can't afford it.

Yup. We were already loading up the First Bank of Future Generations credit card to the limit.

And then we went and splurged on a war spree.

macfan
Jul 18, 2003, 11:56 PM
Originally posted by mcrain
Positive outcome? Sure, let's create a situation where our soldiers are killed on a daily basis, where the locals hate us, and where we can bleed the country dry of whatever assets it has. Great. Let's build on that! Yippie!

mcrain, we shouldn't just accept everything we read in the papers or see on television about things being as bad as they are said to be. The news that we don't see splashed across the headlines is better than the news that we do see. Just remember that a couple of months ago, it was said we would be fighting house to house and lose about 2,000-3,000 in Saddam's last stand in Baghdad. Rebuilding Iraq is not an easy task, but it is something that can be done.

Also, it was a positive outcome. Saddam is gone. Yes, there are problems and difficulties, but the Iraqi people, the region, and the world are much better off for his being gone.

pseudobrit
Jul 19, 2003, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by macfan
mcrain, we shouldn't just accept everything we read in the papers or see on television about things being as bad as they are said to be.

Ditto for what the White House tells us.

mactastic
Jul 19, 2003, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by macfan
mcrain, we shouldn't just accept everything we read in the papers or see on television about things being as bad as they are said to be. The news that we don't see splashed across the headlines is better than the news that we do see. Just remember that a couple of months ago, it was said we would be fighting house to house and lose about 2,000-3,000 in Saddam's last stand in Baghdad. Rebuilding Iraq is not an easy task, but it is something that can be done.

Also, it was a positive outcome. Saddam is gone. Yes, there are problems and difficulties, but the Iraqi people, the region, and the world are much better off for his being gone.

I think we were also told we would be fighting a chem/bio war too. I suppose you think we should not believe those reports either? Or how about the stories in the news saying we knew Saddam had chem/bio weapons, and further that we knew where the were? Weren't you arguing your position from those very news reports? Now, I will agree with you that the media has a tendency to put the most shocking/bloody/tantilizing stories on the news, but that didn't stop you from believing them then. Why the change now?

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 11:36 AM
We did know from news reports that Saddam had chemical and biological weapons. The news reports based this in large part on the weapons inspections. Given that Saddam was under sanctions because of his failure to comply, it also stands to reason that he was buying something for the 150 billion in oil revenues that he was losing. Saddam may have been bluffing. We do know from Iraqi statements that he sought to give the impression that he would use chemical weapons. So, my support for removing him by force wasn't based only on news reports that he had weapons. (For me personally, the nature of Saddam himself was always the more compelling reason to remove him, and that has been confirmed even more in the aftermath).

We also saw news reports that the war was "bogged down" and the troops were stretched too thin, they were going to starve on the outskirts of Baghdad etc. etc. We were told that the battle plan had fallen apart. These turned out to be less than accurate. We are now being told that Iraq descending into chaos. All I am saying is that we shouldn't accept these reports as being the whole truth. Iraq now has an executive council. People in Iraq are almost universally pleased that Saddam is gone (according to Tom Brokaw's reporting from Bagdhad). People are not starving in Iraq. There are not massive numbers of internal and external refugees. Political parties are springing up overnight. Is fixing Iraq going to be easy? No. Can it be done? Yes.

mactastic
Jul 19, 2003, 11:47 AM
So just which news reports should we be taking with a grain of salt? The ones that say Saddam was a bad guy? The ones that said he had weapons on a 45 min trigger? Or the ones that are pointing toward a Bush misstatement?

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 12:01 PM
The ones that say that Iraq is spinning out of control.

mactastic
Jul 19, 2003, 12:28 PM
But how do you know if those news reports are any more or less accurate than the other ones?

IJ Reilly
Jul 19, 2003, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The ones that say that Iraq is spinning out of control.

Say what you will, but some of us have a much harder time averting our eyes from the unpleasant facts of the matter. I would suggest that you read the article I linked in another thread, "Stumbling Towards Peace." I think you will find that the post-war planning was simply inadequate to the task, and that even anticipated problems were not sufficiently taken into account in the planning stages -- which, on the non-military side, were far too brief. Even people close to the administration are beginning to admit as much.

mcrain
Jul 19, 2003, 01:11 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The ones that say that Iraq is spinning out of control.

I WANT YOU TO TELL THE FAMILIES OF AMERICAN SOLDIERS WHO ARE DYING EVERY DAY THAT IRAQ IS UNDER COMPLETE CONTROL, and that the news reports that the situation in Iraq is less than stable and getting worse should be taken with a grain of salt.

3rdpath
Jul 19, 2003, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The ones that say that Iraq is spinning out of control.

so you're saying iraq is under our control? this implies that our post-war strategies are going as planned or our goals are attainable...somehow i don't see this.

unless the plan is to lose control to the point that a total occupational take-over is the only solution.

mcrain
Jul 19, 2003, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by 3rdpath

unless the plan is to lose control to the point that a total occupational take-over is the only solution.

I wouldn't say that too lightly. The Bush Jr. administration seems hell-bent on spending every penny possible so that the government gets into a huge hole, so they can propose even more tax cuts and spending cuts across the board (which will allow them to cut programs they could never cut if proposed by themselves).

3rdpath
Jul 19, 2003, 01:44 PM
Originally posted by mcrain
I wouldn't say that too lightly.

nothing light about it. people get away with arson all the time...what's the difference if you burn down the government( or another country) so it can be rebuilt the way you want it. it's faster, seems like an accident and there's no other choice.

everyone has the genetics to think about it...all it takes is a person who also has the genetic capacity to actually do it....and there's no reason that person couldn't be a politician or an advisor.

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
so you're saying iraq is under our control? this implies that our post-war strategies are going as planned or our goals are attainable...somehow i don't see this.

unless the plan is to lose control to the point that a total occupational take-over is the only solution.

I am saying that large parts of Iraq are under control. We just don't see excessive coverage of places where things are going well. While no post war plans ever go exactly according to plan, the goals are attainable. The US post war goals for Germany, for example, didn't come together as we would have liked.

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 03:47 PM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
nothing light about it. people get away with arson all the time...what's the difference if you burn down the government( or another country) so it can be rebuilt the way you want it. it's faster, seems like an accident and there's no other choice.

everyone has the genetics to think about it...all it takes is a person who also has the genetic capacity to actually do it....and there's no reason that person couldn't be a politician or an advisor.

3rdpath,
Bush is not a small government conservative. He is not trying to burn down the federal government.

mcrain
Jul 19, 2003, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by macfan
3rdpath,
Bush is not a small government conservative. He is not trying to burn down the federal government.

Yeah, he's a big government conservative. As for him trying to "burn down the government," only time will tell.

I personally don't think he's trying to "burn the government down," but I do believe he has as an ulterior motive to huge spending the desire to do across the board spending cuts which will allow he and his conservative pals to cut programs like social security, medicare, medicaid, welfare, etc... without looking like they are attacking those programs.

I can see it now, "We're cutting all spending across the board, not just those specific programs you keep referring to."

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 06:43 PM
I've heard some conservatives make that argument, but I doubt if it's true. And, yeah, Bush is a big government conservative.

pseudobrit
Jul 19, 2003, 08:12 PM
Just like Stalin.

3rdpath
Jul 19, 2003, 09:28 PM
Originally posted by macfan
3rdpath,
Bush is not a small government conservative. He is not trying to burn down the federal government.

i've always said that bush is far too much of a simpleton to be devious. but it is painfully obvious from his campaign thru his SOTU that he will read( and believe) anything put in front of him by his advisors. put the right spin on it and whomever has his ear could do just about anything.

now rove, wolfowitz or rummy...they'd do it in a second. these guys are not to be trusted( imho). the end justifies the means and if things get dire enough, you can bet your bippy they'd torch iraq in order to save the lives of troops...and use nagasaki/hiroshima as justification and precedent.

bush truly believes he's making the world a better place...he's the perfect person for a ghost agenda.

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 11:22 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Just like Stalin.

pseudobrit,
That's pathetic.

3rdpath,
There is no "ghost" agenda. The agenda is laid out in the open for all to see, and Bush is smarter than you think.

zimv20
Jul 19, 2003, 11:40 PM
Originally posted by macfan

There is no "ghost" agenda. The agenda is laid out in the open for all to see, and Bush is smarter than you think.

i agree. it's very clear to me that the neocons want to kill social programs by running huge deficits and starving the programs.

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i agree. it's very clear to me that the neocons want to kill social programs by running huge deficits and starving the programs.

What social programs are you talking about? In any event, I was talking specifically about a "ghost" agenda with foreign policy and Iraq.

BTW, if you wanted to starve social programs, tax increases rather than tax cuts would be the "conservative" apporach to take. Higher taxes, a slower ecomony, the system cracks under it's own weight. Kind of like what's happening to Germany right now!

zimv20
Jul 20, 2003, 12:31 AM
Originally posted by macfan
What social programs are you talking about?


principally medicare/medicaid and social security.


In any event, I was talking specifically about a "ghost" agenda with foreign policy and Iraq.


the wolfowitz doctrine clearly spells out a plan for transforming the middle east. i believe that 9/11 gave him (and rumsfeld, cheney, perle, armitage, et. al.) exactly the political cover they needed to enact it.

your positions are exactly the ones the administration wants you to take.

3rdpath
Jul 20, 2003, 12:42 AM
Originally posted by macfan
3rdpath,
There is no "ghost" agenda. The agenda is laid out in the open for all to see, and Bush is smarter than you think.

modest doubt is call'd
the beacon of the wise.....shakespeare

pseudobrit
Jul 20, 2003, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by macfan
pseudobrit,
That's pathetic.

How so?

Stalin was a big government conservative.

professor
Jul 20, 2003, 01:24 AM
Originally posted by macfan
[...]The US post war goals for Germany, for example, didn't come together as we would have liked.

So what would you have preferred to see in terms of German post war outcome?

mactastic
Jul 20, 2003, 08:14 AM
I've actually heard conservative activist-types make the argument that we can spend our way into such a big hole that many of the social programs they detest as part of the welfare state (like SS, medicare; although I'm sure they didn't mean CORPORATE welfare) would have to be eliminated. I thought they were just blowing smoke, but maybe they are for real.

zimv20
Jul 20, 2003, 08:39 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
I've actually heard conservative activist-types make the argument that we can spend our way into such a big hole that many of the social programs they detest as part of the welfare state (like SS, medicare; although I'm sure they didn't mean CORPORATE welfare) would have to be eliminated. I thought they were just blowing smoke, but maybe they are for real.

it's the only reasonable way to accomplish that goal. any congressman who writes legislation to kill SS is going to be punished by his constituency. the GOP knows this -- they're not dumb.

macfan
Jul 20, 2003, 10:48 AM
Originally posted by professor
So what would you have preferred to see in terms of German post war outcome?

I would have preferred to see a united Germany under US and British control in 1945, then a democratic and prosperous Germany as the Marsahall Plan kicked in. Instead we had a divided Germany where the East was under the Soviet and communist boot for 40+ years and even now hasn't recovered economically in that Germany is still having to deal with the effects. What would you have preferred?

professor
Jul 21, 2003, 02:29 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I would have preferred to see a united Germany under US and British control in 1945, then a democratic and prosperous Germany as the Marsahall Plan kicked in. Instead we had a divided Germany where the East was under the Soviet and communist boot for 40+ years and even now hasn't recovered economically in that Germany is still having to deal with the effects. What would you have preferred?

This time we both agree. I would have preferred that, too. There was quite bad a time here (the seventies) with Pershings and Migs pointing at each other, Germany being the projected next battle field. I'm happy that's over now, finally. Whatever our financial cost and ecomomic strain rigth now, it was worth it.
The good thing about what happened in 1989 is that it showed a wrong government can be disposed of peacefully. What if we had had a war instead? They just showed the East Germans our BMW's and Bali travel ads, and they wanted that so badly that they ran Honecker out of the country. It took a bunch of smart guys like Gorbachev and, gee, even Reagan, to do the job, and they did it without bombs! That would have been my preferred way to deal with teh Saddams and yong ils (whatever) of the world.

groovebuster
Jul 22, 2003, 04:55 AM
Originally posted by macfan
I would have preferred to see a united Germany under US and British control in 1945, then a democratic and prosperous Germany as the Marsahall Plan kicked in. Instead we had a divided Germany where the East was under the Soviet and communist boot for 40+ years and even now hasn't recovered economically in that Germany is still having to deal with the effects. What would you have preferred?

Maybe I have to remind you that this is your vision from your point of view based on todays knowledge of things, but it was never what the western countries wanted to do with Germany right after the war.

The first thing they wanted to do with Germany was the Morgenthau Plan. I am sure you know what that one was about. The Marshall Plan only kicked in after the US realized that the SU would use the eastern part of Germany as a strategic base for their military (gate to western Europe) and to promote communism. Maybe you do also remember that Germany lost about 40% of it's territory as result of the war. Poland was "relocated" a few hundred kms to the west. The main region for food production (Silesia) was lost to Poland and Czechoslaovakia. The SU never would have had any chance to establish a "GDR" if the US and UK wouldn't have agreed to give them more territory to put Berlin under shared control by the allies. The SU army was just as far as Berlin. All the rest they got "for free", not to mention the territory they got as a goody in their west.

So I want to come back to your original statement that the outcome is sometimes not what you expect. Regarding Germany the original expected outcome was the Morgenthau Plan. Everthing after that was an adaption to the national interests of the US... A unified Germany under self-control right from the beginning would never have been accepted by the other european countries. Maybe the outcome could have been a little bit smarter if the US would have forgotten their cowboy mentality for a while, but some things just never change, as recent history is confirming once again... ;)

Of course I would have liked to see a "one" Germany as an aftermath of WWII in the borders before the war. But that was never the plan of the allies, at least not for the first 40 years... Just the fact that Germany lost so much of it's territory is outrageous, considering that it is just 60 yeary ago.

groovebuster

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 07:18 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
Unless there is some major breakthrough in the next few months, Blair and Bush are out of office for sure and their successors will be left with the mess that is Iraq.

The main mess in Iraq consists of the remaining Saddam loyalists that continually attack our troops. If we could take them out, a large part of the "mess" would be cleaned up.

As for breakthroughs, we had one today with Uday and Qusay being killed. That should provide a major momentum shift as well as extreme psychological problems for the bad guys.

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by raschild
The main mess in Iraq consists of the remaining Saddam loyalists that continually attack our troops. If we could take them out, a large part of the "mess" would be cleaned up.

The main mess is that the attackers aren't all Saddam loyalists.

That should provide a major momentum shift as well as extreme psychological problems for the bad guys.

Bad guys? Oh, you mean the ones fighting in their homeland? Are they all by default Saddam loyalists?

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Bad guys? Oh, you mean the ones fighting in their homeland? Are they all by default Saddam loyalists?

You forget that most Iraqis welcomed the American troops and the fall of the Hussein regime. Why change and start attacking them now? So yeah, I'd say the attackers are Saddam loyalists and their friends.

Ugg
Jul 22, 2003, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by raschild
The main mess in Iraq consists of the remaining Saddam loyalists that continually attack our troops. If we could take them out, a large part of the "mess" would be cleaned up.


I do not concur. Water, food, electricity and the lack of security, or the lack thereof are the biggest portions of the mess. These are a direct result of the US failing to prepare a postwar plan.

The US also should have been prepared for the guerilla warfare that is occurring. The assumption that the US would be greeted with open arms by everyone is false like so many other assumptions made by gw & co. To blame the problems on a handful of guerillas is to ignore the true problems.

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by Ugg
I do not concur. Water, food, electricity and the lack of security, or the lack thereof are the biggest portions of the mess. These are a direct result of the US failing to prepare a postwar plan.

The US also should have been prepared for the guerilla warfare that is occurring. The assumption that the US would be greeted with open arms by everyone is false like so many other assumptions made by gw & co. To blame the problems on a handful of guerillas is to ignore the true problems.

I don't deny that the things you mentioned are huge problems, but these guerilla attacks are a major distraction. Both for the administrators over there, and for the American public over here.

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 07:42 PM
Originally posted by raschild
You forget that most Iraqis welcomed the American troops and the fall of the Hussein regime. Why change and start attacking them now? So yeah, I'd say the attackers are Saddam loyalists and their friends.

I recall the sentiment being more like "thank you, thank you, you've saved us from Saddam, now get out."

One man was recently saying "just take the oil and leave us alone!"

The troops are sick of being shot at. They are not over there for target practice.

"Bring 'em on!" from Bush and Rummy didn't help.

Moore was right: "War is fun when you know you won't die."

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 07:44 PM
Originally posted by raschild
I don't deny that the things you mentioned are huge problems, but these guerilla attacks are a major distraction. Both for the administrators over there, and for the American public over here.

And they're going to get worse, not better, as more and more disillusioned Iraqis get sick of our troops occupying their land while their infrastructure still decays.

macfan
Jul 23, 2003, 12:37 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
And they're going to get worse, not better, as more and more disillusioned Iraqis get sick of our troops occupying their land while their infrastructure still decays.

Except that their infrastructure is not decaying, but is, rather, being revitalized. Services are returning to pre war levels and better in much of the country.

bond003
Jul 23, 2003, 01:03 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
And they're going to get worse, not better, as more and more disillusioned Iraqis get sick of our troops occupying their land while their infrastructure still decays.

You are probably right. However the issue is time. If in 6 months the people see the troops you refer as occupiers actually improving their lives, then the difficulties of today will be forgotten.

If I were a Saddam loyalist I would do everything in my power to make life for the troops and the population a living hell. With each improvement in the water system or electrical grid the Americans made, I would try to do the opposite, cut lines or destroy pumping stations. Killing the troops would be easy as long the as the people were too scared to report my actions before and after each attack. It does not take much to place a bomb by the road or shoot a RPG at a jeep and then run in a neighborhood.

What is the result of my actions? The people of Iraq continue to suffer and have little hope of a better future even with the US troops there. With each attack I see Bush’s popularity decline while the poll numbers of his opponent increase. Dean only benefits as long as Americans die in Iraq. There are those now not afraid of talking about taking the troops out. The left in America is my only hope of kicking out the occupiers of my country.

caveman_uk
Jul 23, 2003, 06:15 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Except that their infrastructure is not decaying, but is, rather, being revitalized. Services are returning to pre war levels and better in much of the country.
It was only decaying because it was bombed to crap and sanctions didn't let them fix it. Admittedly Saddam made sure he was alright but what did we realistically expect him to do? 'No don't build me that other palace. Fix that hospital first'. If the guy was as big a bastard as everyone agrees he is then he'd choose the palace everytime. So what did we achieve with sanctions...the improverishment of the people of Iraq. Maybe that's why they may not entirely trust us?
Revitalised - Interesting use of the word. I've looked in the thesaurus and it's not down as an alternative for 'dire'

IJ Reilly
Jul 23, 2003, 11:48 AM
Originally posted by caveman_uk
It was only decaying because it was bombed to crap and sanctions didn't let them fix it. Admittedly Saddam made sure he was alright but what did we realistically expect him to do? 'No don't build me that other palace. Fix that hospital first'. If the guy was as big a bastard as everyone agrees he is then he'd choose the palace everytime. So what did we achieve with sanctions...the improverishment of the people of Iraq. Maybe that's why they may not entirely trust us?
Revitalised - Interesting use of the word. I've looked in the thesaurus and it's not down as an alternative for 'dire'

It is still possible to read the article I posted here last week, Preparing for War, Stumbling to Peace (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/complete/la-na-postwar18jul18,1,7035725.story?coll=la-home-headlines) from the Los Angeles Times. I'd suggest (once again) that anyone who's interested in knowing how the situation in post-War Iraq came to be what it is, read it.

macfan
Jul 23, 2003, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
It is still possible to read the article I posted here last week, Preparing for War, Stumbling to Peace (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/complete/la-na-postwar18jul18,1,7035725.story?coll=la-home-headlines) from the Los Angeles Times. I'd suggest (once again) that anyone who's interested in knowing how the situation in post-War Iraq came to be what it is, read it.

I would respectfully suggest that the Los Angeles Times is not the sole arbiter of what's going on in Iraq. They have been known to be quite wrong in the past, and may well prove to be wrong again.

caveman_uk,
They may not entirely trust us because when they rose up to throw off Saddam's yoke the last time, we left them high and dry.

caveman_uk
Jul 23, 2003, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by macfan
caveman_uk,
They may not entirely trust us because when they rose up to throw off Saddam's yoke the last time, we left them high and dry.
That is also true.

IJ Reilly
Jul 23, 2003, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I would respectfully suggest that the Los Angeles Times is not the sole arbiter of what's going on in Iraq. They have been known to be quite wrong in the past, and may well prove to be wrong again.

Sole arbiter? Nice effort at evasion, but it won't work.

I would respectfully suggest that you tend to be automatically dismissive all sources of information that do not confirm what you already believe. I also have to wonder if you actually read the article, because it contains some extensive quoting from people who were right on top of the situation as it was, and still is, happening.

macfan
Jul 23, 2003, 02:31 PM
I'm not automatically dimissive of the source. However, we have seen that the source hasn't always been credible in the past. Are there problems in Iraq? Of course? Is the situation improving? Yes. Will it take more to get the job done? Yes. Can it be done? Yes.

IJ Reilly
Jul 23, 2003, 06:52 PM
Originally posted by ;
I'm not automatically dimissive of the source. However, we have seen that the source hasn't always been credible in the past. Are there problems in Iraq? Of course? Is the situation improving? Yes. Will it take more to get the job done? Yes. Can it be done? Yes.

You claim not to be automatically dismissive of the source, then you go right ahead and dismiss it -- automatically! How convenient -- now you don't have to address the actual content of the article, or so you imagine, presumably. Just don't kid yourself into thinking that nobody notices these evasions.

Ugg
Jul 23, 2003, 07:03 PM
All media sources are suspect at one time or another so it's the degree of suspicion that counts. The LA Times is no better or worse than any of the other major regional newspapers if anything it is slightly right leaning IMO. News articles are not gospel, rather a mix of opinion and fact.

To dismiss all media because they occasionally come out with an article that is later viewed as false or in error would be to dismiss all news gathering organizations and we would only be left with government propaganda.

macfan
Jul 23, 2003, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
You claim not to be automatically dismissive of the source, then you go right ahead and dismiss it -- automatically! How convenient -- now you don't have to address the actual content of the article, or so you imagine, presumably. Just don't kid yourself into thinking that nobody notices these evasions.

No, not automatically, but after looking at it. The story is incomplete and unbalanced in that it does not go into the positive aspects of the reconstruction, but only focuses on shortcomings of pre war plans. That is par for the course for the LA Times, but at least they didn't palgiarize it like the NYT!

You want me to address the content of the article? They could have planned better, but things are going fairly well.

IJ Reilly
Jul 23, 2003, 08:07 PM
Originally posted by macfan
No, not automatically, but after looking at it. The story is incomplete and unbalanced in that it does not go into the positive aspects of the reconstruction, but only focuses on shortcomings of pre war plans. That is par for the course for the LA Times, but at least they didn't palgiarize it like the NYT!

You want me to address the content of the article? They could have planned better, but things are going fairly well.

The article was about the sources of the problems currently being encountered in the reconstruction efforts, and what could have been done to plan for them. Unless you want to make the fantastical case that the reconstruction efforts are not encountering significant problems, then your answer is essentially a non-starter on all counts.

One other question: are you a daily reader of the LA Times?

macfan
Jul 23, 2003, 09:01 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
The article was about the sources of the problems currently being encountered in the reconstruction efforts, and what could have been done to plan for them. Unless you want to make the fantastical case that the reconstruction efforts are not encountering significant problems, then your answer is essentially a non-starter on all counts.

One other question: are you a daily reader of the LA Times?

Did I say there were not problems? No. Unless you want to claim that the LA Times is a balanced and unbiased news source, then your complaint about my response is a non starter.

Here's a quote from someone who should know--LA Times editor John Carroll (emphasis added):

"Our paper is perceived because of some things in the past as being politically correct and having a liberal bias, and we are moving heaven and Earth to play the facts and truth right down the middle, We're really trying to get that in the past."

They're trying, but they aren't always successful. Furthermore, it is the nature of the news generally, never mind the "political atmosphere that is suffused with liberal values" at the Times, that things going well (and there are a number of things going fairly well).

And, yes, I do read the Times on a regular basis.

pseudobrit
Jul 23, 2003, 09:21 PM
I'd like to know where macfan gets his fair and balanced news and if any of the sources include the fair and balanced world of AM radio.

macfan
Jul 23, 2003, 09:33 PM
My news sources include, among others, CNN, Fox, various newspapers, and various radio stations, including some AM stations and NPR on FM.

I wonder if pseudobrit gets his news from the fair and balanced world of Pacifica Radio.

pseudobrit
Jul 23, 2003, 09:50 PM
Originally posted by macfan
My news sources include, among others, CNN, Fox, various newspapers, and various radio stations, including some AM stations and NPR on FM.

I wonder if pseudobrit gets his news from the fair and balanced world of Pacifica Radio.

I don't listen to FOX, CNN, or radio (other than the occasional NPR in the car) for my news. I've never even heard of Pacifica Radio.

macfan
Jul 23, 2003, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
I don't listen to FOX, CNN, or radio (other than the occasional NPR in the car) for my news. I've never even heard of Pacifica Radio.

You need to look it up. It's right up your alley.

pseudobrit
Jul 23, 2003, 10:13 PM
Well, since it's kind of hard to read a radio station, I'll have to pass.

Sayhey
Jul 24, 2003, 03:01 AM
Originally posted by macfan
You need to look it up. It's right up your alley.

macfan,
I've seen a lot of red-baiting and race-baiting and even liberal-baiting (Papa Bush's remark about "card-carrying member of the ACLU" springs to mind) but I don't think I've every seen or heard "Pacifica baiting" before. For those of you not priviliged to live in San Francisco, LA, or New York; Pacifica is a listener sponsored radio network that provides programming that would be considered "new left." It can get pretty out there at times, but I always thought it was the truthfulness of your sources that mattered. Obviously, it's not one of pseudobrit's sources, nor mine, macfan - haven't listened in many, many years.

IJ Reilly
Jul 24, 2003, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by macfan
And, yes, I do read the Times on a regular basis.

I did not ask you if you read it on a "regular basis," but whether you read it on a "daily basis." Clearly you do not, but profess to be an expert in their orientation in any case. What's more, you continue to play the game of dismissing all sources of information that don't echo what you already believe. For my money, this is a far more serious intellectual issue then whether a news source can be consider totally "unbiased." Your tactics are pure, unmitigated deconstructionism. Ironically, this theory was invented by the academic left decades ago for the very purposes you put it to now -- to pick and choose what information to believe, based on the source, rather then the content.

So, once again, I have to point out that your argument consists entirely of discounting the source of the information, and zero percent on refuting any of the information provided by that source.

mactastic
Jul 24, 2003, 02:56 PM
What are unbiased news sources? I didn't think there were any, just some organizations that are more credible than others. As far as I know the LA Times hasn't done anything that The Weekly Standard, OpinionJournal.com, WorldNetDaily, FoxNewsCorp, and others have done on the conservative side. Everyone's sources are biased and so are all of us! No one is a truly unbiased person either, no matter how hard we wish we were. It's all a matter of coming to your own conclusions after reviewing all sides of the arguement/issue at hand. To dismiss the LA Times is silly; yes they are a left-leaning news source, but they also have a reputation for good investigative journalism as well. Now if they were reporting outright lies I'd be concerned, but as far as I know the LA Times does not do that.

IJ Reilly
Jul 24, 2003, 03:20 PM
I'm a daily reader of the LA Times, and I can't see any reason to call it a "left-leaning news source." Certainly the paper has its faults, not the least of which are an overly chatty style and the tendency to fawn over the entertainment business (LA is after all a company town), but overall the paper is really fairly bland in the way most papers are today. (In fact one of the most incendiary regular features in the paper are the consistently GOP-friendly political cartoons of Michael Ramirez.)

In any event, if I were to find fault with any bit of reporting, I'd feel obligated to point out what was actually wrong with it, not play the "consider the source" game. If I hoped to have my criticism taken seriously, that is.

macfan
Jul 24, 2003, 04:29 PM
IJ Reilly,
I did point out what was wrong for those who were not able to see it for themselves. The story focused only on alleged shortcomings in the planning, but didn't point to any of the successful aspects of reconstruction. It paints a picture that is incomplete. In writing a story, one should seek to provide balance if there is balance to be provided. In this instance, there is, but none was provided. That provides a distorted picture of what's going on in Iraq.

The "political atmosphere that is suffused with liberal values" does influence the selection and framing of news stories. It is something that the editor says he fights against, but that bias does seep through. You posted the link to the story, and I said the story is incomplete. I am not dismissing the content of the story. I am saying that the content of the story is incomplete and therefore a distortion, and that is a large part of what is wrong with the story. While you claim I am simply dismissing the source, that is not the case. I am pointing out where the source has fallen short of providing good journalism because that failure has a bearing on the conclusions one would draw about the situation in Iraq both now and in the future.

I do not read the Times when I am out of town, so I would not say that I read it every day. Do you ever not read the Times on a given day? Ever been sick, too busy, out of town and missed it? I am not being evasive, I am being precise.

pseudobrit,
Thanks to the web, you can read a radio station! http://www.pacifica.org/

sayhey,
I'm not posting Pacifica as an insult. I think pseudobrit will like it since they express views similar to his from time to time.

zimv20
Jul 24, 2003, 05:00 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The story focused only on alleged shortcomings in the planning, but didn't point to any of the successful aspects of reconstruction.


if that's the angle they're going for, then what's the issue? every story has an angle.

here's the subhead:

U.S. is paying the price for missteps made on Iraq.


they announce the angle before the first sentence. in effect, you've taken the perfectly-acceptable angle of one story and used it to dismiss the entire publication. methinks you're reaching.

macfan
Jul 24, 2003, 05:31 PM
There's another world for what you call a "perfectly acceptable angle," and that word is a "distortion." It's exactly the point that they have an angle, and that angle does a disservice to their readers because it gives the impression that there is not progress in Iraq with that is, in fact, not the case.

BTW, I am not dismissing the entire publication, just pointing out the distortion that often shows up in the Times and did with this particular story.

pseudobrit
Jul 24, 2003, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by macfan
There's another world for what you call a "perfectly acceptable angle," and that word is a "distortion." It's exactly the point that they have an angle, and that angle does a disservice to their readers because it gives the impression that there is not progress in Iraq with that is, in fact, not the case.

BTW, I am not dismissing the entire publication, just pointing out the distortion that often shows up in the Times and did with this particular story.

Of course you can say a reporter has spun a particular story. I can say the reporter spun the purple polar bear story, too, because they have. If news is filtered through a human being, it'll be presented in a slanted view.

Any writing is one part nonfiction and one part prose. Even with tedious technical literature, someone will find a slant.

IJ Reilly
Jul 24, 2003, 06:59 PM
A newspaper story is not "incomplete" or "unbalanced" or "distorted" because it does not address all possible aspects of any given story. It's a newspaper story, not the Encyclopedia Britannica. This particular story happened to be about the problems encountered in the reconstruction efforts, and how they came to be problems. So once again, unless you are making the extravagant claim that the reconstruction efforts have not encountered problems, then your criticism is off base.

A couple of days after this story ran, the LA Times ran two other stories, side-by-side, about the reconstruction efforts in the Kurdish north and the Sunni south, suggesting overall that these areas might provide a model for a Iraq's future. So maybe those stories were also "unbalanced" and "distorted" because they didn't also address a whole variety of other issues.

toontra
Jul 24, 2003, 07:14 PM
macfan
If news is filtered through a human being, it'll be presented in a slanted view.

Any writing is one part nonfiction and one part prose. Even with tedious technical literature, someone will find a slant.

I think we all know this!! We're all (fairly) grown up here. That being the case, what's your point?. Maybe you want every news story written by a committee of hundreds then checked by successive committees, until nothing of interest (certainly nothing critical of the Bush administration) remains.

If you are not suggesting this, then what exactly are you suggesting and, more to the point, why?