Open-Ended Occupation?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by skunk, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #1
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/08/iraq.usa
    This should prove a vote-winner both in Iraq and the US.
     
  2. toontra macrumors 6502

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    #2
    It would appear that Petraeus (a politically appointed general) has been delegated the power to decide US foreign policy. No surprise then if he decides an ongoing military action is the answer to this (and probably every other) problem. Meanwhile Bush Co can shrug and say they are only following orders (sorry, I meant advice).
     
  3. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #3
    Is it me, or do these threads related to the Iraq war always seem a bit light on the content. Maybe it's because there's no one left to defend it and the rest of us really don't want to think about it. As for the topic, still not surprised in the least. Not much they could do to surprise me at this point with regards to Iraq. Caught pieces of the testimony by Petraeus and Crocker and it was just more of the same. Meanwhile, Bush is asking for more money, and he'll probably get it, and Congress will continue to wonder why they have such a low approval rating, but not even pretending to put up a fight. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #4
    why does everyone expext a 100% pull out of Iraq. That is not going to happen and never will.

    The US still has troops in Japan and Germany and those events that put them there happened over 60 years ago.
     
  5. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #5
    I must have missed the bit where "everyone" - or anyone - said that. :confused:
     
  6. Queso macrumors G4

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    #6
    Just be prepared that if that's the plan nobody in the West should cry when the next 9/11 happens. Continual occupation of an Arab country is akin to repeatedly hitting a wasps nest with a stick. Comeback will happen eventually.
     
  7. Azmordean macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Ok this is just so far off the mark its crazy. Who said anything about a continual occupation? Would you classify our troops in Germany and Japan as occupying forces? I would certainly hope not. Having some form of long term security arrangement with the Iraqi government is hardly an occupation. In fact, the situation on the ground now would be hard to classify as a true occupation. Iraqi forces are taking over more and more responsibility for day-to-day security, with American support should they need it. That's not occupation.

    Iraq is a complex situation. Yes, the Iraqi government would like for us to be able to remove the vast majority of our troops, but they know that isn't feasible yet, so they WANT us to stay there until it is. This agreement does not cretae a commitment for US Troops to stay. Instead, it is *authorization* from the Iraqi government for us to stay. That's why its open ended. There should be no question about the fact we are authorized to be there, lest the worthless UN start getting its panties in a wad.

    And Congress does NOT need to approve this agreement. Its not a treaty. The US isn't "giving" anything. IRAQ is the country giving something - its authorization for our continued presence there. This agreement does nothing to change the US side of things - it merely falls into place when the UN authorization expires. This whole argument stems purely from the Democrats desire to grandstand about things they don't have a clue about rather than actually ask real questions of Gen. Petraeus so they can gain a clue. They are relying on their ability to incite the general populace to "hate Bush" by not really talking about what the authorization's purpose is. Its purpose is solely to authorize us to continue, not to create any new obligations for US troops.
     
  8. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #8
    Many Iraqis would see it as such.
    It is if that Iraqi government owes its existence to the occupiers.
     
  9. Azmordean macrumors 6502

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    #9
    I'm not sure many Iraqis would see a few thousand US troops there as part of a security arrangement an occupation. Any long term commitment would be FAR smaller and FAR less visible than what we currently have. Does an average German or Japanese or South Korean person have much contact with American troops most of the time? Not really - aside from areas near where they are stationed, no one really even knows they are there. Now, if you mean they see the CURRENT situation as an occupation, then you are no doubt correct. And who could blame them. I'm not saying the average Iraqi loves the presence of over 100,000 foreign troops there. They want us out ASAP.. and frankly, WE want us out ASAP. But we can't just up and leave and let the place devolve into a civil war. That would spark a massive humanitarian crisis, and leave a power vacuum Iran would be more than happy to fill.

    As for the government - I don't think it matters that we helped establish it, namely by toppling Saddam. Modern German democracy wouldn't be around if we hadn't toppled Hitler, modern Japanese democracy wouldn't be around if we hadn't toppled the military regime there. The question is whether the average Iraqi see the government as legitimate - and I Think they do - they recognize these are people they elected. And they see it as more and more so as it is able to become more independent form the US and get more done.
     
  10. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #10
    Not the same at all, but yeah, what skunk said. No one is saying we need to immediately remove everyone from the entire area. If we had several hundred thousand troops and contractors going in and out the areas you mentioned, being constantly shot at and blown up, then yeah, I'd see what you meant.

    It's already a civil war, and the violence is going back up again, kinda part of the problem.
     
  11. Azmordean macrumors 6502

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    #11
    :rolleyes:

    Violence spiked due to the actions of Iraqi forces in Basra. I don't see that as a sustained increase in violence, but rather a temporary spike caused by a military action which "stirred the pot." The Shia militia will eventually have to be dealt with, probably with force, and the politics dictate that it'll have to be mostly Iraqi force. The Basra operation was ill conceived but was nonetheless a good first step. Anytime a major military operation occurs you should expect a spike in violence... that should be a given in my mind.
     
  12. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #12


    Big difference. The troops in Japan and Germany aren't fighting some other country's civil war. They're not in harmsway. Having troops there is a huge waste of money IMHO, but at least those guys aren't in any danger of being injured or killed.
     
  13. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #13
    But the violence is the thing that's been sustained. The temporary slowdown was just that. Temporary. None of the other goalposts were met. And violence was only slightly down and is going back up. I've posted about this in another thread (Awareness of the Iraq War, I believe), that Sadr left it up to the clerics, and they're telling the militias not to disband while the Iraqi troops are abandoning their posts. Do you really see any progress, because even Petraeus isn't and is asking for another 6 more months.
     
  14. Azmordean macrumors 6502

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    #14
    According to most, 12 of the 16 goals have been met.

    According to Petreaus, violence has dropped dramatically and real progress has been made. The gains are real but very fragile.

    Violence was down until the Basra operation - is that just a coincidence in your mind?

    Some 15,000 Iraqi troops I believe were sent to Basta. Something like 1000 deserted. Not good, but hardly the situation as you paint it. The vast majority of the Iraqi troops were willing to fight and did so capably, though, as I've mentioned, the pre-op planning was very poor.

    The fact is some people are against this war, and nothing will change their mind on that. People also seem to live in a dream world where Iran isn't a real threat and letting it be the dominant player in Iraq is okay. American casualties are a horrible thing - I have a Marine in my family so I'm not some callous hawk talking out of my ass. But I seriously wonder if this country would have the will to fight a war like WWII if the need arose. I think we've gotten more like Europe over the years - placate and ignore.
     
  15. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #15
    No point rolling your eyes: your facts are completely wrong. The increase in violence has been sustained, and began long before the Basra operation.
    Is that your line about the whole invasion and occupation, too, that it "was ill conceived but was nonetheless a good first step"? Impressive.
    :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  16. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #16
    Who is this "most" you speak of?

    Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?

    Untrue. See above.

    Up to 10% desertions and they were fought to a standstill. This is "capable"? I expect you think the insurgency is in its last throes, too.

    Iran was not a dominant player until George Bush and Co made it so through their illegal invasion and inept warmongering. You may not be a callous hawk, but you are certainly talking out of your ass.
    Apart from the idiotic snipe at Europe, which bore the brunt of the war and fought it for years longer than the USA, the way to make sure you can count on your people to fight a truly necessary war is to make sure that the only wars you fight are truly necessary.
     
  17. Azmordean macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Lets just agree to disagree. Neither of us is going to convince the other. I supported the war from the beginning and continue to do so. And yes, it was badly mismanaged by Rumsfeld and crew. Bush's loyalty to Rumsfeld and that strategy was a significant failing. If we had enough troops there to start with we may not be in the situation we are now in.

    And yes, I call the Iraqi army's effort "capable." The Mehdi Army is well armed and has been around a lot longer than the new Iraqi security forces. Despite a poor plan of action, said security forces forced the Mehdi Army to withdraw (though not to disarm). Not a total victory, but a fairly good showing in my mind.

    The 16 benchmarks were largely political and most have now been met. For example, laws have been passed regarding re-enfranchising Sunnis and ex-Baathists among other things. This was not the case as early as January of this year, but the last few months have been productive ones by the Iraqi government.

    The fact you think Petraeus is not trustworthy is interesting to me. I think he's been quite honest about the situation. He's not a political shill for Bush, he was appointed because he's an expert in counter-insurgency operations. If you prefer to believe reports published by Democratic politicians who care about nothing beyond obtaining the white house and left-wing nonprofits over those of the military commander on the ground in Iraq, more power to you. I am free to disagree with that choice however.

    Finally, as for Europe (and by that, I mean continental Europe), I realize they bore the brunt of WWII. But the policy of appeasement, especially by continental European powers bares at least a little responsibility. And in any case, I was primarily referring to the modern world. Europe is full of mostly soft nations who have no interest in defending themselves. And, Europe has an interest in opposing US Foreign policy every chance they get - anyone who doesn't recognize that is blind. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, Europe will continue to be an important ally of the US, but on individual issues, it is politically expedient for Eurpoean nations to attempt to thwart US policy wherever possible.

    In conclusion, I am not saying I am satisfied with the progress in Iraq (I'm not). I am not saying all is well (It isn't). I AM saying that I have seen enough to convince me that this is a situation where a *relatively* stable Iraq is a possible outcome, and I believe that outcome is worth pursuing.
     
  18. Queso macrumors G4

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    #18
    Absolute twaddle of the highest order. Europe, having actually been destroyed by war during living memory, prefers to seek diplomatic solutions rather than using any potential conflict as a chance to test the latest overspend on the defence budget. As for Europe opposing US foreign policy on individual issues, can you explain to me exactly why Europe should follow a gung-ho president such as Bush into a situation that everybody not crying out for 9/11 revenge could see was going to be a damn sight harder than a couple of months in the desert? Out of loyalty? Hah!

    "Soft" European nations such as France will defend themselves every time they are genuinely threatened. The trouble with the US attitude is that it equates any nation exerting its own national interest as a threat, something France does not do.
     
  19. atszyman macrumors 68020

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    #19
    It's not an occupation, but neither is the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, yet that managed to piss off OBL enough even though we had the Saudi government's permission. Having troops there is going to manage to piss off some of them no matter how few troops and who's permission we have.

    I'm not saying we need to pull out 100% but we need to be aware that even with the government's permission a small number of troops will cause some friction with some people there.
     
  20. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #20
    You might want to brush up on your history regarding pre-World War II Europe. Chamberlain's miscalculation didn't lead to war, rather there was a series of historical events, starting in 1856 and leading through World War I and the Treaty of Versailles, that caused World War II. This should include, of course, Hitler's own rise to power, the economic trouble in Europe (and the United States), and a host of other events.
    Appeasement was a mistake, but it didn't cause the war in any reasonable reading of the situation.
     
  21. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #21
    While this is probably true, they (islamofascists) would find something else to be pissed with even if we pulled every last soldier out.
     
  22. atszyman macrumors 68020

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    #22
    I realize that, which is why I wasn't necessarily advocating a 100% pullout from the region. Some would find a reason to hate us anyway, but hopefully we can somehow limit the liabilities and opposition to our presence, if it were going to be handled by this administration I would have my doubts given their past success at predicting what would happen there. Hopefully the next administration isn't quite so delusional.
     
  23. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #23
    Which of the various reasons for the illegal invasion did you support, as a matter of interest?

    I did not say I thought he was untrustworthy, I simply pointed out that he is naturally going to put the best possible spin on the results of the policy which he himself was the architect of. Not rocket science, nor such a crude, partisan assessment as your own comments about Democrats.

    Arrant nonsense, as pointed out above. Europe is full of mostly reasonable nations who have no interest in going to war in support of America's dogma.
    Your paranoia is palpable, if not laughable.

    At what cost, and in which century will that be achieved?
     
  24. skunk thread starter macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #24
    Just imagine for a moment that an overwhelming force of troops from an Islamic state was in occupation of Jerusalem, Washington or the Vatican - with the best possible intentions, of course. Would you be in favour of resisting them and/or attacking them by whatever means possible? Would you be too fussy about your methods or the collateral damage? Would you attack those who you saw collaborating with them? Would you regard yourself as a fascist for doing so?

    These characterisations are all too glib, and really do not move the discussion in any useful direction.
     
  25. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    #25
    We are in Saudi Arabia at the request and permission of the government. We are not there as an occupying force.
     

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