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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by mactastic, Jan 5, 2005.
Wow. Where on earth are the 50,000 extra troops going to come from that you need to achieve any semblance of order in Iraq? And this "war" was meant to enhance your security? Sounds like dereliction of duty as well as gross incompetence and mismanagement to me.
Brave Leader never makes mistakes.
I guess at this stage the responsible thing to do would be to institute a limited draft.
Of course, this is near-political suicide for the Administration, but in order to adequately address the situation in Iraq and other potential problems that may need military attention (god forbid), it seems like a practical necessity.
Since neither Bush or Cheney need to be concerned with re-election in 2008, it is fairly easy for them to go back on their Campaign promise in this regard. The GOP Congress faces a tougher crisis of necessity vs political survival, but I do feel that the GOP is smart enough to phrase such an action in a way that paints them in the best possible light.
Arguments about mismanagement and incompetence aside, we are stuck with what we have, and I am am willing to entertain any policy, even one I disagree with like the draft, coming from either side.
I honestly think that most people, both politicians and citizens, regardless of party, would like a reasonable solution to the war and it's aftermath.
Besides, one of the few things I like about a draft is it's egalatarian nature, in that it brings together diverse groups of people, socially and economically, which fosters a greater unity and understanding among citenzenry who wouldn't normally associate with easch other.
Of course, this is all easy for me to say, as I am too old to be effected by all but the most emcompassing draft.
At this point I look towards the future, as an "I told you so" hardly gives me any satisfaction at this point.
I'm all for a draft...
As long as those who voted for Kerry are exempt. And rich kids (including children of politicians) have to go too. No Daddy's getting them into the National Guard. Better yet, send the ChickenHawks like Rush, O'Reily, and the lot. Hell, send Bush and Cheney, let them fight it out. They want to support a war, let them fight it (for once). Of course, they got out of Vietnam, I'm sure they'd find a way to get out of this.
If I do get drafted, I have no problem pretending I'm gay. Actually, I almost did join the Air Force under Clinton. Clinton had a pretty good military apparently. Luckily I changed my mind when I thought people like Bush could be in office someday, and get me killed over something like oil.
Some of my friends were not as lucky.
Calling all Patriots, time to walk the talk.
Time to walk the plank, I think...
MSNBC is reporting that the Army is looking to extend reservist time in Iraq even longer and calling up more reservist. How far back are they going to go? I would like to know where the regular Army is? They reinstate the Draft i think ill send my son to Canada. Not going to have anyone my family die over Bush's stupid stupid foreign policy. Reminds me of Vietnam, thousands being killed for what? sorry George you may be President but you should have listen to your Daddy.
The only responsible thing to do now, as it has always been, is to pull our troops out of Iraq.
We have no business being there, except to kill innocent Americans and Iraqis on a daily basis, and to protect the oil we're so dependent on.
Let's stop killing innocent people, destroying our economy by building up the deficit to absurd levels, and start concentrating on the thing that convinced the American people to support the war in the first place: national defense!
What happens if he tells them the truth?
we'll be privy to all his extra-marital affairs, allegations of homosexuality, and suspect tax returns.
You're absolutely right, of course.
"Weak areas in the command chain include: the Commander in Chief, for ordering the armed forces to "spread freedom" without giving any specific objectives or methods. The Secretary of Defense, for ensuring that more money, matriel and soldiers than he was willing to give were required to meet those amorphous "objectives". The current nominee for Attorney General, for endangering our soldiers and smearing our reputation by supporting heinous torture techniques as legitimate. The Secretary of State, for bowing like a supplicant to the President, rather than fighting for a reasonable, reality-based solution to the President's need to "spread freedom". The Republican leadership for backing the President to the hilt, despite the fact that he obviously lacks grounding in reality and moral rectitude."
I respectfully disagree.
While I agree that our reasons for going into Iraq were flimsy at best and that our handling of things during occupation had been deploreable and inept, we cannot just cut-and-run.
The violence and chaos in Iraq will not subside with the exit of our troops, and may very likely spread and/or destabilize neighboring countries in the Region. On a moral level, it is unacceptable to leave so many people with the fate we've made for them. On a political level, a rapid exit could effect our influence in the Region, notably with Saudi Arabia, whom we have influence with, in return for military protection. This is not in the interests of the US.
Several decades ago, around the time of the Iranian revolution, when US embassies were closing around the ME, a single group of embassy diplomats kept their embassy open in Ridyah, while the French were whispering to the King to kick out the Americans and deal with them instead. Our continued presence saved our relationship with the Saudis, and cemented the economic/military partnership we currently have.
If we were to rapididly leave the ME, the destabilization and negative public sentiment in the ME towards our actions could permanently damage important diplomatic relationships with SA and other significant regional players. We may find ourselves replaced with someone like France once again, or more likely perhaps, China.
As amoral as much of our interests are in the ME, they are important priorities to the US, both as a large energy user and as geopolitical strategy. As such, it is important for the US to remain in the region and hopefully engage the Region to bring stability to the mess it has created.
This will need much larger troop levels, allowing for increased security and infrastructure rebuilding. This will take several years to accomplish, even in best case scenarios. A draft will be needed.
Ironically, if a draft is re-established, you may very well see your wish sooner than later, as it will pique and galvanize public interest in the War, making it susceptible to public opinion about the manner and length of it's continuation.
As far as the deficit is concerned, the Bush tax-cuts are a bigger factor than our War spending. Bush is the only president I can remember who did not raise taxes during war-time. A rescinding of the tax-cuts would go a fair way in addressing our deficit situation, though of course I am not holding my breath...which would allow for more flexibility on spending, including National Defense.
What makes you think it will be any different if you stay?
The interests of the US be damned. Your influence in the region has already been irrevocably damaged. Why should the US decide what's right for anyone over there? Self-determination is what they're always banging on about when it suits them to see some other country destabilized. The Saudi regime should be allowed to stand or fall on its own: if it's so inept and corrupt itself that it can't maintain the support of its own population, is it either useful or moral for the US to prop it up?
What are you on about? You don't need a relationship with the Saudi regime. They are murdering, theocratic bastards who don't give a toss about anybody. Leave them to the French: they'd probably get on like a house on fire - as the House of Saud probably will be.
What is there to recommend these "important diplomatic relationships with SA and other significant regional players"? Most of them are vile outfits who are only in power because the US supports their repressive rule in exchange for some intangible and unnecessary "geopolitical advantage". How does the rest of the world manage without? Whoever has the oil will sell it to whoever has the money. Let it go already. You don't need to get into bed with every two-bit gang of thugs to have influence or support your excessive consumption: you just need to put your hand in your pocket.
(a) See above.
(b) Dream on.
It ain't gonna happen. This is piling unreality upon unreality, which is just what the Mal-administration has been doing up till now.
By avoiding the obvious necessity of putting in another 100,000 troops, and treating everyone else so badly that they wouldn't contribute anything, Bush & Co have painted themselves, and us, and you, into a corner. There are no neat solutions now, where everybody can save face and walk away. The thing is already broken, and the best thing you - and we - can do is tell the world (in the form of the UN) that you can't hack it, and leave before we do any more damage. You did it in Vietnam, you can do it again. And let it serve as a lesson to all. Much better to suffer the trauma of a failure now than to allow any future administration to believe it can get away with this kind of gangsterism again.
Well, fine Skunk.
Look I am not privy to the compexities of geopolitics, only to an opinion. Some say the US has a responsibility to exercise it's power as a powerful nation, and while my personal opinion is not yet decided on the viability of such a policy, I must say that our influence is often more benign than others who might choose to take our place.
I am somewhat perturbed of your moral stance on supporting reprehensibe regimes, as the US is hardly the only one engaging in such behavior, and the reasons so many do must at least be looked at, if only for their ubiquity. It is true that the Saudi Regime, and many others are certainly despotic in nature, but as Iraq has shown, the destabilization of such regimes can make an even more catastrophic scenario.
Look, we are in agreement that the US, through pursuance of a neoconservative ideology in foreign policy, which fails to take into account reality, have created a horrible mess. At this point, however, I do feel that the US needs to up troop levels and try to create a modicum of stability.
Is this wishful thinking, in both the chance it will happen and that it will help? Could be. Nevertheless, what do you think would come out of a withdrawl? Unlike Vietnam, there is no Communism to come in and fill the vacuum.
It is a difficult situation, with no easy answers. Your seemingly inflexible moral stance, while laudatory, hardly addresses any pragmatic solution.
The US has not yet had to negotiate it's fall from pre-eminent power, something the UK was able to do with an uncommon grace and wisdom, in part brought upon by circumstance and the ascension of the US.
Once upon a time, the UK created much of the lingering problems in the ME, by allowing the creation of Iraq by the likes of Gertrude Bell, the splitting up of Greater Syria and the creation of Lebanon, all in part rewards to the leaders of the Arab Revolt against the Sultanate. You guys also promised Palestine twice over to the Jews and the Palestinians, and failed to honor an agreement for an independent Kurdistan promised post WWI.
So might you get off your high-horse a little bit, and entertain a discussion about solutions to problems that you guys created and we merely exarcerbated, huh? Unfortunately, their is no clear-cut solution out there that does not involve repugnant components. Just do level criticism at the US for doing what the UK did a Century ago for the same reasons, is not enough.
I am the last person to apologize for the insanely inept handling of the situation in Iraq by the US by Bush, but now that it has been done, I am honestly looking at what I feel to be the best option for mitigating the mess. I certainly don't have all the answers, but would be interested in what you might have in mind and why.
BTW, nice avatar there Mate...
First of all, I know that we share many opinions on Iraq and Bush. I'm not having a go at you or your politics, and I'm not trying to blame the US alone for something that both our nations (in your case, I suppose, both your nations!) are historically responsible for: I just think that it's time to face a few unpalatable realities.
The US has a responsibility to exercise power responsibly, which may in some circumstances mean not exercising its power at all. The benignity of US power over the last several decades is certainly open to question.
How do we know? There is a strong whiff of control-freakery about these unsavoury alliances, which merely serve to defer the inevitable explosion, not avert it. Meanwhile, repression, hatred and further outrages make the situation ever less tenable.
Perhaps the only way out is to institute the draft, increase troop levels dramatically, say by 150,000 men, so that at least you/we - yes, I know our damned fool of a PM has dragged us into it too - can provide the security which is (y)our obligation to provide under the GC or any other criterion of international justice. But this promised election is not likely going to provide an exit point either: I believe we have to say: "OK, we have the manpower in place, we have six months to stabilize the country, hold elections, in whatever form is possible, and then immediately hand over control without preconditions to the newly-constituted government. And in future we'll work with the UN to resolve international problems. And we're really sorry." And then get the f**k out.
Who knows? A withdrawal (your version sounds too slow and languorous ) would leave a state in danger of partition, for sure. That's tough, but so what? Any other route, and we continue to own the problem for the foreseeable future, to nobody's long-term benefit. I don't believe your economy could stand it, nor ours. It's not like war ever produces anything for the investment.
You're damned right there. Actually, we all are....
I know, I know. (Actually it's more laudable, I hope, than laudatory)
Now might be a good time to start practising. It took us a while - and a couple of World Wars. May your decline be less costly.
Yup. But that chapter of history has been written: no chance to rewrite it now. You had an object-lesson from the masters, but would you listen? Would you ****!
Have I made myself any clearer? Probably not, but I feel that far too much wishful thinking, lies, violence and distortion have been applied to date. We should all be REALLY ANGRY, and show it. A responsible and thoughtful foreign policy would have avoided this situation, and it won't end until the goons who led us to this pass have paid the political price for their wretched machinations. It's time to ditch the assumption that, whatever happens, it's best that it happens on our terms.
Skunk, simply said, you are taking matters to the other logical extreme.
And why not?
Thanks. Hadn't noticed your edit. He or she (I don't know how to sex a frog!) adopted our garden pond some time ago...
I'm not fond of logical extremes, as they are generally wrong.
Anything specifically wrong with this one?
It's certainly logical, but is it extreme?
I think so. For one thing, most alliances are "unsavory" on some level. They are born of common interests, whatever they may be -- geopolitical, philosophical, economic, and just plain pragmatic. The binary approach to these matters that you seem to be suggesting is not much less likely to lead to military results than the confrontational approach being pursued by our governments presently. And ironically, on a basic level both are similar, as they assume the possession of ultimate moral rightness.
Whew! That's quite a broad brush you're using there, IJ!
But are they really? I certainly hope we don't share a philosophical interest with Saudi Arabia. The economic interest is just money: you don't have to get into bed with them to buy their oil. It's clearly not very pragmatic. And geopolitics is so twentieth century: it's only of importance to power-freaks and empire-builders.
Probably not. C'est la vie.
Possession by whom? I'm saying that we should stop thinking everything would be fine if only everybody thought like us. I mean, look at us!
(It's past 3am here now. I'll be back on the case in the morning. 'Night all!)