Half a league, half a league...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by xsedrinam, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #1
    Once again the U.S. Commander and Chief is taking his orders from the warped and decorated lovers of war. I'm aware this reminder is no more than a firm grasp of the obvious, but hearing the fresh resolve and rekindled rhetoric from this administration today is nonetheless, incomprehensible and reprehensible, in the name of liberty yet seemingly unjust for all.

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/11/29/us.iraq/index.html

    Their's not to make reply,
    Their's not to reason why,
    Their's but to do and die:


    apologies to Tennyson http://eserver.org/poetry/light-brigade.html
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #2
    Well then, we'll be there for a very, very long time. A stable, democratic Iraq?
     
  3. Thanatoast macrumors 6502a

    Thanatoast

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    #3
    My mom, who is a pastor, told me that a group of church members who had pledged to tithe every month has officially withdrawn their pledge, because the bishop of our district released a letter saying he "regretted his silence" at the start of the war.

    This group just couldn't understand how the church could undercut our troops' mission and honor, despite the fact that my mom's church has held a number of prayer services and a Veteren's Day service honoring and praying for our soldiers.

    Some people are just stupid and greedy. Unfortunately, they're also the ones in charge.
     
  4. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Bush has an inability to see shades of grey, so this has become cast as an all or nothing debate. The US could achieve a lot by pulling out ground troops but still proving training, technical support, air support, vehicles, armor, etc. Assuming that Iraq could at least remain somewhat stable, it would be both a political and military victory. This is basically what we did in Afghanistan.
     
  5. Metatron macrumors 6502

    Metatron

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    #5

    Not seeing grey is a good thing. I hate it when people can not make a yes or no decision. make a decision, stick with it regardless.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    Even if your decision was a mistake?

    "Hey honey- I cheated on you last night. It was a mistake, but I stand by my decision and would do it again!" Great philosophy!
     
  7. xsedrinam thread starter macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #7
    And the colors of blood and oil?
     
  8. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Not seeing grey means that you're not seeing the whole picture because the world is shades of grey. Is Iraq a success? In some ways it is - Saddam's gone, Iraqis have a constitution and are getting some experience with elections, Kurds are safer, etc - and in some ways its definitely not - insurgents, more chaos and crime. If you don't see the shades of grey, you'll flip back and forth between "it's great" or "its a disaster" when the truth is somewhere in between.
     
  9. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #9
    no, that's just wrong.
     
  10. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    #10
    The thread title reminded me of the scene in The Falcon and the Snowman where Christopher (Timothy Hutton) is prodded by his father to recite the poem he remembered years ago in middle school. Great movie!
     
  11. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #11
    This New York Times editorial concerning Bush's speech at the Naval academy is worth the read. Here is the last few paragraphs.

    emphasis added
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    IOW, nothing new was said. I tried to listen to the speech this morning, I really did. I even managed to get about a half-hour into it when I realized that it wasn't going to much more than a rehash of every vague generality that Bush has uttered so many times before. It must be getting tougher and tougher for him to find an audience to cheer this stuff as though the Second Coming was being announced.
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #13
    i had just assumed his speech would be made this evening, not in the morning. why didn't the WH consider this a primetime event? were they afraid the big 4 might not air it in primetime?
     
  14. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #14
    Speculation I've heard ranges from the idea that a morning speech gives them more access to immediate help from spinners on the right (ie the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the the world) to they risked being refused the time on the networks with a speech that was basically a rehash of other speeches.
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #15
    I may have to revise my analysis a bit based on my reading in the newspaper this morning. Bush has actually moved his position on troop withdrawal closer to the views of the Pentagon. Apparently military leaders have been advising for some time that the Iraqi armed forces won't have any incentive to toddle off on their own if they've got a unlimited commitment of support from the U.S. military. I have heard this said by critics of the administration's Iraq military policy, but I didn't realize that it was also coming from the Pentagon. So in fact the president has changed his position on timetables for withdrawing -- but of course that won't stop him from lambasting his opponents for suggesting the very same thing.
     
  16. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Very good editorial. My favorite line:

    "Mr. Bush also offered the usual false choice between sticking to his policy and beating a hasty and cowardly retreat."

    The writer is exactly on target. It's hard to intelligently discuss an Iraq strategy if Bush and his other talking heads are saying "either you stay the course or cut and run... which one do you want"? We could still provide plenty of support to Iraq without our troops being in the direct line of fire.
     
  17. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #17
    Yes, this is going to be a post-and-run:

    I'm curious how you all (and by "you all" I am referring to the lefties here) are able to reconcile the fact that while 2,100+ US servicemen (and women) have died in the Iraq conflict, your fellow Democrats in Congress seemed to have no problem whatsoever voting to go to war when the original death toll estimates were 10,000+:

    Typical Democrat Congresscritter (early 2003): "Sure, let's go to war. I realize that 10,000 or more American soldiers might die, but it's worth it to get rid of Saddam Hussein and his WMDs, which even ex-President Clinton said we needed to get rid of."

    The Same Democrat Congresscritter (late 2005): "I can't accept that over 2,000 American soldiers have died in a war that is being conducted as a personal vendetta by the President against a dictator who attempted to assassinate his Daddy."

    Talk about revisionism. Do you all plan to criticize your fellow Democrats in Congress for voting to go to war? We've had 80% LESS casualties than originally estimated, yet NO ONE on the left seems willing to concede that fact. They were OK with 10,000+ estimated dead, but are indignant about 2,000+ ACTUAL dead? What is the source of this disconnect?
     
  18. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Well, I hope you don't post & run, but the main issue at this point is about cherry picked intelligence. Democratic congressman and senators were not given access to the same type of intelligence that the White House was. Theirs was sanitized, which means that their vote was based on false information. Some would call it lies.

    The second issue is about general mismanagement. The vote gave Bush the authorization to go to war, but left the specifics about how he did it - building the coalition, managing the reconstruction, the exit strategy, etc - up to him. Obviously, the entire thing has been completely mismanaged. If Bush, Rumssfeld, Bremer, etc had done a good job at handling Iraq, then I don't think it would be an issue.

    By the way, people aren't thinking "only 2000 soldiers, that's good", they're thinking "how many more soldiers are going to die because we don't seem to be making any progress".

    What happened with the Iraq vote is that many democrats (not all, but many) gave GWB the benefit of the doubt on Iraq. That is a decision that they, and pretty much every one else regrets, given the administration's mismanagement, and even their attitude towards congress when it came to telling them the whole truth.
     
  19. xsedrinam thread starter macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #19
    I think that's a fair question, and yes, "Congresscritters" who have been wearing flip-flops while serving waffles have earned the right to be criticized. But informed decisions and assessments based on the metamorphosis of solid facts (2003 vs. 2005) are partly to blame, as well.
     
  20. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #20
    clay -- i've never heard this 10k figure. got a link?
     
  21. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

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    #21
    The former makes a lot of sense too, but it was probably the latter idea -- that the networks wouldn't give Bush time -- that was the reason.

    Flipping channels, I saw some Fox morning show promoting a "major policy speech" Bush was going to give. I knew, without looking, that it was going to be pretty much more of the same stuff he's been saying all along. He did this about a month ago, too, when his approval rating really started bottoming out, and Fox promoted it as a major policy speech then, too.
     
  22. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #22
    It took some digging... here's what I found:

    But I've also heard the 10,000 figure in other places... can't find a link.

    The point is that in the last couple of wars, the estimates of US dead have been very high... Congresscritters seem OK with voting for war even if there are large numbers of troop casualties predicted, but when it becomes politically expedient for them to do so, they begin bitching about the death of even ONE serviceman. And of course, the way politicians are now (ALL politicians), they conveniently ignore any recounting of facts that contradict their current position.

    The difference in this case, of course, is that most Republican Congresscritters are not bitching about the casualties in Iraq, while Democrats who voted for the war (Kerry, et al) have done a complete 180 on the subject. These politicians should be taken out and beaten with reeds.
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #23
    It was a post-and-run, so I don't suppose we can expect any backup for this claim.

    I've never heard this figure either. I do recall hearing some tall estimates of how many casualties could be expected in building-to-building urban combat, should that scenario have played out, but nothing on the order of 10,000 and certainly these are not the kind of numbers that were being bandied about during the congressional debate on the war resolution.

    EDIT: Here is a Sept 2002 article from Slate with an outside estimate of 5,000 and a more realistic one of 2,000.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2071530/
     
  24. tristan macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    I think casualty figures were all just wild speculation at that point - same with Afghanistan. I'm sure a zillion numbers were flying around.
     
  25. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

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    #25
    Yes, but the point is that they were not AT ALL squeamish about voting for a war when there was a realistic possibility of 10,000+ US troop deaths.

    This is why it's so confusing to hear the Democrats in Congress get all bent out of shape about 2,000+ deaths (which are, of course, regrettable). It's like if I tell you a new Mac is going to cost $10,000... when it finally comes out, the cost is more like $2,000 or so, but then you complain that it's even THAT much.

    Ideally, we wouldn't have to go to war, or if we did, we would keep our casualties to a minimum (or zero). But complaining that you came in "under budget" is bitchiness for its own sake.
     

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