Looking back, my opinion is changing.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Backtothemac, Jul 19, 2003.

  1. macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #1
    Well, I never thought this day would come. I personally think the action in Iraq was a bad idea. I don't mean this from an evidence standpoint, nor from world opinion. I mean it from the standpoint that we STILL DO NOT KNOW HOW TO NATION BUILD.

    Instead of having a policy that is removing us from being the worlds 911, it is expanding. WE HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DO NATION BUILDING ALONE!

    I hate to say it, but the UN needs to get into Iraq. We did the job, now let the world help stabilize that country.

    I personally want a policy of isolationism. I don't want us involved where we don't need to be. Why sacrifice our troops and taxpayer dollars for people that don't give a damn about our country, or whether we are helping them or not.

    I still like Bush, I just think that he has some very poor advice being given to him. Yes, I think we should have gone to Afghanistan and Iraq. But, I think we should get over whatever problems were with the UN and NATO, and let them finish the job now. Bring home the 3rd ID, and get that country stable.
     
  2. macrumors 68000

    pivo6

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    #2
    Thank you for admitting and posting that.

    Before this turns into a "I told you so" rant from eveyone, let's come up with some ideas and discussion and how to solve the problems now. I agree with your idea of getting the UN involved now and get the entire world helping make Iraq a better place to live now.
     
  3. macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #3
    Agreed. We just should have had the UN in on the reconstruction from the beginning. Now we have an antagonistic relationship with them and most of the Security Council. These were major reasons not to do what Dubya did when he did it. The cost of this war for one year will easily equal the money spent on the first gulf war, only this time the entire tab is likelly to be picked up be the American taxpayer. The same number of soldiers have died in combat so far as died in gulf war one, with no end in sight. What I am beginning to fear is that we may end up simply leaving Iraq, putting us and the region in greater jeopardy than before. Whoever is elected president next fall needs to realize that what is done is done. We must fulfill our obligations to both Afghanistan and Iraq; now that we have started the job of by militarily defeating them, me must finish rebuilding them. Unfortunately, it will largely be at US taxpayer expense.:(
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #4
    good for you for being open to other possibilities.

    the main problem i see is that the u.s. staunchly denounced the necessity of u.n. inclusion...choosing instead to wave the "coalition of the willing" flag( which included such broad military powers as Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Iceland, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Palau, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Uganda...). unfortunately the whole coalition's troop count is less than 4000 in total...not much help to be had there.

    i can definitely foresee a large " screw-you" salute from the other countries we ignored or insulted( those "old europe" counties...). this huge tactical blunder will cost the u.s. many many billions of dollars to enlist the help of those previously " un-needed" countries. not to mention the loss of respect the u.s. is facing on the world stage.


    here's a hypothetical: what do we do if we can't enlist the help of the u.n.?

    1)a vietnam-esque retreat?
    2)fight until our country is financially and mentally bankrupt?
    3)take the whole country over and expand our empire? ( i see this as the likeliest possibility...of course it will be called something different..."operation adopt an iraqi" or some such nonsenese)

    we are in deep doo-doo.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #5
    Well, I agree with the President that we had to go. I cannot imagine the number of lives that were saved by going in when we did. Still, the time has come to mend old wounds with the UN and the rest of the allies that are needed for the reconstruction. I personally think that a system such as the one after WWII would be good. Divide Iraq into zones. Bring in massive, and I mean friggin massive humanitarian aid. Get the peoples hearts and minds. Let the Iraqi's choose a government, and not make it a bunch of officials that we choose.

    Also, put a 500 million dollar bounty on Saddam. Not 25 million. Make it worth someones while to give up the bastard. I bet with 500 million on his head someone would give him up.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #6
    Any bounty on him is a bad idea. They've been saying he's probably dead, that he is irrelevant, and then the next day they put a bounty on his head. That tells the average Iraqi that he's probably still alive and that he might come back into power. Not a good thing to tell people who were terrified of him, see us as an unknown and possible threat, and also see us possibly leaving.

    As for the UN, I would be surprised if the other countries we snubbed looked at us and said, "sorry, you made your bed, now lie in it." (Ha, lie in it... that is sort of punny considering some of the stuff coming out of the Bush administration).

    I think freeing the Iraqis was a good thing, but I think the premise behind the war was totally bogus... so, I guess we've both rethought some things.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #7
    Yea, I almost wish that they would have said that "he is killing his people, and is a tyrant, thief, and must be removed from power".

    That would have been beter don't you think?
     
  8. macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #8
    Better, yes. Honest, yes. Valid justification for unilaterally going to war, I don't know, and will never know, because they unfortunately did not do that.

    By the way, BTTM, I like the new G5 tar.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #9
    I agree. I am really starting to have my doubts over the way we went in. Although I am sure there are a lot of people in Iraq that are happy we went in when we did.

    Still, more support would have been nice, but would France, Germany and Russia have ever supported it? Probably not. Thus, the "coalition of the willing" was the best that we could do. I really do believe that the links to terror in the middle east would have been the best avenue to go with. That and the human rights violations.

    Thanks for the tar comment. Made it myself ;)
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #10
    bounties only work for money motivated people. the iraqi's ( and afghans) are not of that culture. they don't get it. i watched an interview with an afghan villager about the bounty on osama...after the villager was described the millions of $$ offered he asked " will this be enough to purchase a cow"?

    it's sadly poignant of the lack of cultural understanding we have of these countries and their people. and it's sadly telling of our motivations here.

    money only makes our world go around...
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #11
    Not totally true. Remember, someone gave up what's his face. The guy that looked like he had been dragged out of bed. His name escapes me right now. A low level Al-Queada member gave hime up for the cash. The guy now lives in the US and is a multi-millionaire.
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    3rdpath

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    #12
    there are always exceptions..by and large it hasn't been a successful tactic.

    i can bowl a strike once every 10 frames...does that make me a good bowler?
     
  13. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #13
    Re: Looking back, my opinion is changing.

    i applaud you for:
    1. having an open mind
    2. being honest enough to post what you did

    i'm reading a book called "war is a force that gives us meaning," by chris hedges. i've only just started it, but the first part is this enlightening section called "the myth of war."

    that's what people buy into -- the patriotism and the goodness of the cause. later, the reality sets in and the myth erodes. it sounds like you're making that transition.
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #14
    Re: Re: Looking back, my opinion is changing.

    Sort of like the paradox of soldiering.

    Every soldier spends his peacetime duty dreaming of combat; when a soldier is in combat, he spends the whole fight wishing he was back in peacetime duty.
     
  15. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #15
    Re: Re: Re: Looking back, my opinion is changing.

    yeah, hedges (who has spent decades as a combat reporter and became addicted to the action) said that soldiers make the transition _very_ early.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #16
    Re: Re: Looking back, my opinion is changing.

    Well, let me clairfy, that I was for the war, and I am glad that we did it. I am just not 100% positive about the way we did it, and the aftermath. I think that we need more international involvement.

    I think that was is a means to settle political dispute. Nothing more. When it is forced on you, then it is a nobel patriotic act. However, when you go looking for it is not. I do not think we went looking for it. I believe that we had no choice to go into Iraq, but the aftermath is not good. Still, we have lost nearly 200 people in the conflict. Vietnam was over 55,000.
     
  17. macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #17
    BTTM, I respect your change of opinion.

    This is not an I-told-you-so, but you've seen just one of the downsides everyone who was against the war was predicting would happen. War is too sloppy for an outcome like this not to have happened, and nation-building is impossible (empire-building is not though, and I fear that's what we're doing).

    I would ask if Iraq is really better off without Saddam. Just because we'd rather be dead than subjects to a dictator doesn't mean we get to make that choice for others. I mean, did removing him the way we did really save more lives? Do we have the numbers to say that?

    A lot of Iraqis who died wouldn't have if Saddam was left in power pending a more peaceful, practical, world-supported solution to remove him. No Americans would have died if he was left alone until diplomacy ran its course.
     
  18. macrumors member

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    #18
    backtothemac,
    I agree that we need as much positive international involvement in Iraq as possible (UN or NATO or some other stablization force). The US doesn't need to bear the burden of nation building alone, most of our troops aren't trained for it (although some are) and our troops present a more tempting target than those of some other nations. Having said that, I do think we did the right thing, although not at the right time. It should have been done much sooner, by Clinton or Bush 41.
     
  19. macrumors member

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    #19
    The large majority of the Iraqi people are better off, and are happy Saddam is gone.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

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    #20
    Just look at it this way. There won't be mass graves of innocent people, and prisons with children in them any longer. But you are right. Nation building is not possible.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    mcrain

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    #21
    Bush Jr. said in his campaign speeches and debates that the US would not nation build, but now that he's in Iraq, his tune has changed dramatically.

    I hope we don't get stuck there for too long. The longer we are there, the worse we will be in their eyes.
     
  22. macrumors member

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    #22
    Bush did scoff at nation building during the campaign, but the events of 9/11 led him to adopt a more proactive policy. In Iraq, the climate is better for nation building. There is some degree of Iraqi identity among the people. They have had a thriving, educated culture in the past, and they can have it again. Neither the US nor any other outside power can force nation building, but in places where the potential and tradition already exists, as it does in Iraq, it can be successfully helped along.
     
  23. macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #23
    link

    i can't find it now, but i read an article about kids/teenagers being held in this prison, alongside adults. since its reopening, i mean.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #24
    macfan, if we follow this logic, should we now invade Saudi Arabia? Libya? or the many other authoritarian regimes in the world? I agree with your estimate of how bad Saddam was, but what gives us the right to make this decision for the Iraqi people? There is a tremendous difference in trying to spread democratic traditions through peaceful means and sending troops into a sovereign nation to bring about "regime change." Perhaps our committment to democratic traditions should lead us to different methods.
     
  25. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    He did more then scoff at it, he stated his determined opposition to the entire concept during the election. And let us not forget why: it was to show his opposition to the Clinton foreign policy in places like Kosovo, which came under a lot of fire from Republicans at the time, who attacked the wisdom of putting American soldiers "in harm's way" for the purpose of "nation building," and asking a lot of pointed questions about "exit strategies." So it might be a good moment to ask who was right and who was wrong about whether the U.S. had a national interest in seeing turmoil extinguished in some of the world's most dangerous places (deathbed conversions, notwithstanding).

    I also don't buy the story about 9-11 "changing everything." There's a whole raft of problems with this theory, not the least of which is that 9-11 really changed very little, except the perception of the threat of international terrorism on U.S. soil -- it's a reality that clearly had existed for years beforehand. Looked at in this way, it's arguable that the decidedly more detached/isolationist Bush policy (as he articulated it before the election and to some extent carried it out afterwards), was further from the mark in dealing with the realities of international terrorism then was the Clinton policy.

    Also, there's evidence that the Bush administration had been making plans to "do" Iraq before 9-11, and used 9-11 to add urgency to the matter by attempting to connect, in dubious fashion, Saddam and al Qaeda.

    As far as the UN is concerned, this was a bridge the Bush administration burned before they even crossed it. This has been the crux of my criticism of the administration from day one. But again, it's important to remind ourselves why this occurred: it is because the people running the administration's foreign policy do not believe in the UN. They believe in the United States using its military power, unilaterally if necessary, to advance its interests in the world. This is also not a new theory -- it's been preached by a certain contingent with the Republican party for over ten years. Until recently, it had been flatly rejected by the people at the top.

    So very little of this happened by chance. It occurred as a deliberate exercise of foreign policy. It's now time to ask whether the evidence points to this policy being right or wrong; in our national interests, or against them.
     

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