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Posted: 3/1/2006 4:08:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2006 4:42:21 AM EDT by Hokie]
So Sunni militants bombed the Shiite's holy golden dome shrine in Iraq. National Intelligence Director, John Negraponte, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee today. Things in Iraq REALLY are bleak!

The issue is potential civil war between Shiite's and Sunni's. Shiite's and Sunni's are killing each other with increased frequency; even all day curfews haven't quelled the anger and violence. Negraponte said civil war would be a "serious setback" to the war on terrorism, and that if civil war happens, there is a strong likelihood it would spread beyond Iraq. Iran would side with Shiites, while Saudi Arabia and Jordan would side with Sunni's. Analysts are well aware that U.S. troops would be able to do nothing if civil war broke out, we'd essentially have to conduct a quick evacuation.

While a quick response might be, "good, let them kill each other off", that's an unacceptable answer. If we're fighting a war on terror, we'd be losing BIG TIME if Iraq went into anarchy and militants reigned supreme, and spread their terror network. Just a few days ago DICK Cheney was saying to the American Legion that we can't bail on Iraq, because terrorists have taken refuge there. Mind you, they weren't there before we went in! And a wider conflict in the Middle East would spell doom and gloom for economies around the world. WE would feel their civil war.

Meanwhile a similar gloom and doom picture was painted for Afghanistan. Violence from the Taliban has increased 20% over the past year, they're posing a greater threat to the Afghanistan government, and they'll be very active again this Spring. But Bush is there today....so all should be well now.....right???

Frankly, I see all of this fucking mess as mostly Bush's fault. Sad....but I can see how Iraq was piloted by anyone else. We would not be in that quagmire if it wasn't for Dubya's persistence. All signs pointed to the fact that keeping law, order, and an unbiased, democratic government in a post-Saddam Iraq would be close to impossible. But ....."You're either with us, or you're with the terrorists." We went for WMD's - none were found - then it was justified for the "war on terror" yet no terrorists were there - they were a threat to Saddam's power, he'd have killed them. We should have done Afghanistan right, and not bite into a war on Iraq. Alas, it's all shitty now.

Iraq this, Iran that, blah blah blah blah . . . . NORTH KOREA! Did you forget about them? Negraponte refused to guess how many nukes they have now, because he has no idea . . . grrrrrreeeeeaaaaaat. Even that witchy shithead Hillary Clinton is criticizing Bush for relying on his "six party talks" that have only turned into China talking to North Korea, with China hosting its own agenda.

A recent public opinion poll indicates ANOTHER all time low approval rating for Bush. 34% of Americans approve of the job he's doing. 62% said efforts to bring stability to Iraq are going badly. Responding to the recent polls (for whatever their worth), Bush said, "I'm not worried." WTF!? America thinks you suck! Who are you representing!? . . . anyway, he's makes me angry . . .

You know what Iraq really needs right now? An extreme and oppressive dictator to use unethical means to effectively control the government. Cause our way isn't working. All it takes is a satyrical cartoon poking fun at Allah, a spoon fed election, and a few Brits (justifiably) beating up some rock throwing shitheads to toss the country into civil war.

Meanwhile Negraponte testified that our good friend in Venezuela (sarcasm), Hugo Chavez, is using all of the country's big oil profits to beef up the Venezuelan military. He's gaining closer ties with Cuba, North Korea, and Iran. He's expressing great interest in selling Venezuelan oil to countries other than the U.S. (don't buy Citgo gas, it's 100% Venezuelan).

But anyway, on to something more cheerful - bird flu - lol. Besides being in Sweden now, get this - a cat in Germany was infected with bird flu and died. That's right, your friendly, purring, lovable cat "Mittens" that crawls up beside you to snuggle at night may soon be carrying the virus. Imagine if it goes human-to-human and the domesticated cat is carrying the disease . . . gawd, now THAT is a scary thought. Nevermind SHTF, that's a Doomsday scenario!

Fuck it, I'm boarding up all the windows on the house and I'm not coming out for 12 months. Buy a crank radio that doesn't require batteries. It'll be good to know what's going on "out in the world. The sky is falling, the end is near, death is imminent.

It's all Bush's fault. I helped vote him into office, and now I don't have enough supplies for my family to survive the impending storm of political bullshit that's crossing the Atlantic.

You think oil is expensive now? Wait till you need to put gas in your car in order to drive to the store....only to find brown paper bags over the gas pump handles when you get in line behind 7 vehicles that are thinking the same thing you are.

mmm......Wednesday.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 4:31:44 AM EDT
Hokie, I like you and everything bud, but you're making my head hurt.

I'm going to bed.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 4:40:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vanilla_gorilla:
Hokie, I like you and everything bud, but you're making my head hurt.

I'm going to bed.





Sorry bud....I didn't eat breakfast - my head hurts too as I've since had 3 cups of coffee. I didn't realize I had all this anti-Bush sentiment repressed.

Must be the caffeine!
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 4:49:16 AM EDT
So.....you're saying that we shouldnt have taken Saddam out of power?

What about the 3-5million+ people he's killed in 25years of power? What about their families? He's personally touched over 10million people through his torture and kidnappings and murders.


Lets go off on a tangent real quick about Hitler. If Hitler had never gone outside of Germany, but still killed and gassed all the Jews in Germany, the US/possibly the world would still have gone in and rescued the POW's.
Because that was the RIGHT thing to do. Today, it seems that no one cares about anyone else but themselves and they dont care what happens to others.


One thing that would help in Iraq is reducing troop levels. Quite a few local Iraqi's have told us that we need to keep American's on FOBs/bases because there are less killings by insurgents. Funny how they dont set off IED's when American's arent around.


We should have taken him out of power, but we should have setup a brutal and harsh regime in it's place. We need another Saddam but one that's for the people and wont necessarily hurt them but who is tough on the insurgency.
That's how you rule with these kind of people that are so family-oriented.
Hell, even the show "Over There" did an episode on how closely tied the families are to themselves when he forced an insurgent to give up info about some stolen Stinger missiles.


There's a good story down south that the Marines (I think it may have been Basra) had a 7pm curfew in effect and were kicking the ever-living shit out of people's doors everyday/night. There were ZERO ied's and suicide bombings.
Then the British came in and took it over and they were a lot more lax on things. They lifted the curfew and the British Commander even had his men take off their Kevlar's and Body Armor to give the people a "warm and fuzzy feeling".
Attacks rose 70% in the first few weeks/month when the Brits took over and ever since, they havent been able to regain control.

Not dissing the British or anything but how the fucking hell are you going to come in and completely change everything based on what "you think you know" vs. what a unit already knows and has been doing for months?
Oh wait, that's how EVERY unit is when they replace someone. Always making up new rules and changing things to how they WANT it, now how it NEEDS to be.


And that ladies and gentlemen, is whats wrong in Iraq. Fix those things and then maybe we'll start to regain some ground.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 4:50:41 AM EDT
HTF did you know my cat was named "Mittens"?
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 4:53:15 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 4:57:39 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:02:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tyman:
So.....you're saying that we shouldnt have taken Saddam out of power?



I'm saying we should, but the timing was off. We had a job to do in Afghanistan. That, and our WMD intelligence wasn't only off, it was completely FALSE!!!! We had no thought out exit strategy, and clearly did not account for the possible scenarios we see over there today. We simply weren't prepared and now we're holding a hot potatoe.


What about the 3-5million+ people he's killed in 25years of power? What about their families? He's personally touched over 10million people through his torture and kidnappings and murders.


I hear ya, but that point gets muffled watching Sunnis & Shiites kill each other on CNN. I hear ya though, and that's a good point.



Lets go off on a tangent real quick about Hitler. If Hitler had never gone outside of Germany, but still killed and gassed all the Jews in Germany, the US/possibly the world would still have gone in and rescued the POW's.
Because that was the RIGHT thing to do. Today, it seems that no one cares about anyone else but themselves and they dont care what happens to others.



As the world gets smaller different ideologies, governments, and economies are forced to interact on a more level playing field. Conflict isn't just bound to happen, it's unavoidable. You again have a great point here, but there's more powering this game of twister than what OUR ideology, government, and economy views as ethical.



One thing that would help in Iraq is reducing troop levels. Quite a few local Iraqi's have told us that we need to keep American's on FOBs/bases because there are less killings by insurgents. Funny how they dont set off IED's when American's arent around.


I have no idea what to do here outside of a complete pull out and a few nukes from orbit.



We should have taken him out of power, but we should have setup a brutal and harsh regime in it's place. We need another Saddam but one that's for the people and wont necessarily hurt them but who is tough on the insurgency.


A Saddam Hussien with a little more love for the Shiites?


That's how you rule with these kind of people that are so family-oriented.
Hell, even the show "Over There" did an episode on how closely tied the families are to themselves when he forced an insurgent to give up info about some stolen Stinger missiles.







There's a good story down south that the Marines (I think it may have been Basra) had a 7pm curfew in effect and were kicking the ever-living shit out of people's doors everyday/night. There were ZERO ied's and suicide bombings.
Then the British came in and took it over and they were a lot more lax on things. They lifted the curfew and the British Commander even had his men take off their Kevlar's and Body Armor to give the people a "warm and fuzzy feeling".
Attacks rose 70% in the first few weeks/month when the Brits took over and ever since, they havent been able to regain control.

Not dissing the British or anything but how the fucking hell are you going to come in and completely change everything based on what "you think you know" vs. what a unit already knows and has been doing for months?
Oh wait, that's how EVERY unit is when they replace someone. Always making up new rules and changing things to how they WANT it, now how it NEEDS to be.



Brits use bullpups.....'nuff said


4rth cup.....
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:03:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By tyman:

There's a good story down south that the Marines (I think it may have been Basra) had a 7pm curfew in effect and were kicking the ever-living shit out of people's doors everyday/night. There were ZERO ied's and suicide bombings.
Then the British came in and took it over and they were a lot more lax on things. They lifted the curfew and the British Commander even had his men take off their Kevlar's and Body Armor to give the people a "warm and fuzzy feeling".
Attacks rose 70% in the first few weeks/month when the Brits took over and ever since, they havent been able to regain control.

Not dissing the British or anything but how the fucking hell are you going to come in and completely change everything based on what "you think you know" vs. what a unit already knows and has been doing for months?
Oh wait, that's how EVERY unit is when they replace someone. Always making up new rules and changing things to how they WANT it, now how it NEEDS to be.




Nice story but its 100% Bullshite! The US Marines did not take or occupy Basra.

USMC did not occupy any town down south, they fought through them in joint UK/US ops and carried on straight through north. Garrison duties were a British responsibility.

ANdy



That's correct.....For most of the US's run up north the Brits were hammering on
Basra, finally took it and have been there since.

The helmet and body armor thing was a cultural thing.

If you read "The March Up", about the 1st US MARDIV, the same thing was done
by the Marines shortly after Bagdahd fell.

The theory is that, to a militant Muslim, if you are armored up, you're afraid to die,
hence, encourageing violence.

If you go soft cover, it's like you don't care if you're shot and killed or not.

I dunno if that's true or not, but, that's what the book said.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:04:23 AM EDT
Wake up and get a load of MY POTUS..........

The whole liberal world can kiss my ass. He has brass ones, big shiny brass ones.





Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:06:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By tyman:

There's a good story down south that the Marines (I think it may have been Basra) had a 7pm curfew in effect and were kicking the ever-living shit out of people's doors everyday/night. There were ZERO ied's and suicide bombings.
Then the British came in and took it over and they were a lot more lax on things. They lifted the curfew and the British Commander even had his men take off their Kevlar's and Body Armor to give the people a "warm and fuzzy feeling".
Attacks rose 70% in the first few weeks/month when the Brits took over and ever since, they havent been able to regain control.

Not dissing the British or anything but how the fucking hell are you going to come in and completely change everything based on what "you think you know" vs. what a unit already knows and has been doing for months?
Oh wait, that's how EVERY unit is when they replace someone. Always making up new rules and changing things to how they WANT it, now how it NEEDS to be.




Nice story but its 100% Bullshite! The US Marines did not take or occupy Basra.

USMC did not occupy any town down south, they fought through them in joint UK/US ops and carried on straight through north. Garrison duties were a British responsibility.

ANdy



Like I said, I thought it was Basra and down south. Apparently not.

Anywho, the story is in fact true, I am just not aware of where it was located.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:07:04 AM EDT
Well, what do you expect from those particular players?

One thing I can say...how many thousands of militant scum have we killed since the begining? I am of the belief if we don't kill them there, someday we might have had to kill them here....

I'd rather see it there than here.....
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:07:40 AM EDT
You've gone and done it now, Hokie. Get ready for the inevitable incoming rounds from the Kool-Aid Brigade.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:10:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CavVet:
Wake up and get a load of MY POTUS..........

The whole liberal world can kiss my ass. He has brass ones, big shiny brass ones.








If serving turkey is grounds for a quality president, then I need to go buy an apron.

Also...Afghanistan....come on.....we gave that place 70%.....which is why Osama Bin Laden is now gnawing on goat dung and playing pictionary with his friends in Pakistan.

We should have skipped Iraq (for the time being) and put those exact same resources (quantity and quality) in Afghanistan right at the beginning.

Then taken the money spent in Iraq and used it overhauling the INS, CIA, DEA, Coast Guard, and used the rest in public speaking classes for George.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:11:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
You've gone and done it now, Hokie. Get ready for the inevitable incoming rounds from the Kool-Aid Brigade.



I welcome the confrontation. I'd like to be proven wrong....but I'm afraid no one can effectively argue my discontent with our president's handling of foreign policy post 9/11.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:12:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
Well, what do you expect from those particular players?

One thing I can say...how many thousands of militant scum have we killed since the begining? I am of the belief if we don't kill them there, someday we might have had to kill them here....

I'd rather see it there than here.....



I agree with that logic.....

But look at what we instigated over there. Meanwhile....in North Korea......
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:12:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2006 5:13:07 AM EDT by WeeBeastyKillr]
Here's a great perspective from Stratfor. There are a lot of things going on that the media and most of the public have no clue about that Bush is responsible for:

Of Mosques, Oil Fields and Ports
By George Friedman

Last week was dominated by three apparently discrete events. The al-Askariyah mosque -- a significant Shiite shrine in As Samarra, Iraq -- was bombed, triggering intensifying violence between Shiite and Sunni groups. A group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility for attacking a major oil facility in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia. And a furor broke out in the United States over the proposed purchase, by a government-owned United Arab Emirates (UAE) firm, of a British company that operates a number of important American ports. Apart from the fact that all of these incidents involve Muslims, the stories don't appear to be linked. They are.

All three stories are commentaries on three things. First, they are measures of the current state of the U.S.-jihadist war. Second, they are measures of the Bush administration's strategy of splitting the Islamic world against itself, along its natural fault lines, and using that split to contain and control the radical Islamist threat against the United States. And finally, they are the measure of U.S. President George W. Bush's ability to manage public perceptions of his plans and operations.

The Fault Lines in Iraq

Begin with the bombing of al-Askariyah, or "the Golden Mosque," in As Samarra.

After the failures of U.S. intelligence and operations in Iraq in spring 2003, the United States adopted a long-term strategy of using the natural split between the country's Shiite and Sunni populations to first stabilize its own position, and then improve it. During the first phase, Washington tilted heavily toward the Shia, doing everything possible to assure that there would be no Shiite rising to accompany that of the Sunnis. Since the Shia had no love for the Sunni minority, given their experiences under Saddam Hussein's anti-Shiite regime, this was not overly difficult. In addition, the Shia were able to take advantage of the U.S.-Sunni war to shape and dominate post-Hussein politics. The Shia and Americans suited each other.

In the second phase of this policy, the United States reached out to the Sunnis, trying to draw them into a Shiite-Kurdish government. Washington had two goals: One was a Sunni counterweight to the Shia. Whatever it had promised the Shia, Washington did not simply want to hand Iraq over to them, out of fear that the country would become an Iranian satellite state. The second goal was to exploit fault lines within the Sunni community itself, in order to manipulate the balance of power in favor of the United States.

By the time this phase of the policy was being implemented -- at the end of the first battle of Al Fallujah, in 2004 -- the U.S.-Sunni war had developed a new dimension, consisting of jihadists. These were Sunnis, but differed from the Iraqi Sunnis in a number of critical ways. First, many were foreigners who lacked roots in Iraq. Second, the Sunni community in Iraq was multidimensional; Sunnis had been the backbone of support for Hussein's regime, which had been far more secular than Islamist. The jihadists, of course, were radical Islamists. Thus, there was the potential for yet another rift; the stronger the jihadists grew, the greater the risk to the traditional leadership of Iraq's Sunnis. The jihadists might increase their influence within the community, marginalizing the old leadership.

The U.S. success in manipulating this split reached a high point in December 2005, with Iraq's national elections. The jihadists opposed Sunni participation in the election, but the Sunni leadership participated anyway. The jihadists threatened the leadership but could not strike; as foreigners, they depended on local Sunni communities to sustain and protect them. If they alienated the Sunni leadership without destroying them, the jihadists would in turn be destroyed.

Thus, after the disaster in December, the jihadists embarked on a different course. Rather than focusing on American forces or Shiite collaborators, the goal was to trigger a civil war between the Shia and Sunnis. The brilliantly timed attack on the Golden Mosque, much like the 9/11 attacks, was intended to ignite a war. There would be an event that the Shia could not ignore and to which they would respond with maximum violence, preferably against the Sunnis as a whole. In an all-out civil war, the Sunni leadership would not be able to dispense with the jihadists, or so the jihadists hoped. Their own position would be cemented and the Americans would be trapped in a country torn by civil war.

The Sunni leadership, of course, understands the situation. If the Sunnis protect the jihadists who carried out the attack -- and we are convinced they were jihadists -- they will be in a civil war they cannot win. Given their numbers compared to the Shiite majority, the Sunnis -- if they were to break with the Shia -- eventually would have to come back to the table and make some sort of a deal. The jihadists are betting that the terms the Shia would impose would be so harsh that the Sunnis would prefer civil war. The United States has an interest in limiting what terms the Shia can impose, and the Iraqi Shia themselves understand that if there is civil war, they will need Iran's help. Getting caught between the United States and Iran is not in their interest.

There is, interestingly, the possibility of what passes for peace in Iraq embedded in all of this. The jihadists, marginalized and desperate due to American maneuvers, have tossed up a "Hail Mary" in the hope of disrupting the works. It is certainly possible that the maneuver will work. But a more reasonable assumption is that the bombing of the Golden Mosque achieves merely a shift in the time frame the Sunnis thought they had for negotiations. What might have taken months now could take much less. Certainly, the Sunnis have been forced to a decision point.

Attempt at Strategic Attack

The al Qaeda attack against the Abqaiq facility has similar roots.

Prior to 2003, the Saudi position on al Qaeda was one of benign neglect. The Saudi regime tried to limit both its exposure to the American war against the jihadists, and to intelligence cooperation with the United States, out of fear of the consequences from al Qaeda. After the invasion of Iraq, however, and the realization that the United States was rampaging just to the north, the Saudis shifted their position, and significant intelligence cooperation began. There were two consequences of this shift: One, the United States was receiving Saudi intelligence and became much more effective than before in blocking al Qaeda attacks and disrupting their operations; and two, the jihadists went to war against the Saudi regime, launching a series of strikes and counterstrikes over the next two years. The United States had split the Saudi government off from the jihadists, and the Saudis absorbed the price of collaboration.

Al Qaeda has been relatively quiet in Saudi Arabia since June 2004. It had appeared to many observers that al Qaeda was finished in Saudi Arabia. Thus, just as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's faction in Iraq had to assert itself or be marginalized, the al Qaeda faction in Saudi Arabia had to demonstrate its continued capability to mount operations -- however dangerous and difficult that task might be. It was Hail Mary time in the kingdom as well. The result was the Feb. 24 attack against Abqaiq, a critical oil processing facility.

This was intended to be a strategic attack. A strategic attack differs from a tactical attack in several ways:

1. It shifts the political equation dramatically by demonstrating capabilities.

2. It involves a strike against a target or resource that, if destroyed, changes the economic or political scene definitively.

3. It requires a substantial commitment of resources.

The Sept. 11 strikes amounted to a strategic attack; a suicide bombing by jihadists in Iraq normally does not. The Abqaiq operation was an attempt at a strategic attack. It was designed to be a shocking demonstration of al Qaeda's continued capabilities -- and to massively affect world oil supplies. Such an operation would involve a great deal of planning and, we suspect, a substantial proportion of trained and available al Qaeda personnel in Saudi Arabia (as opposed to sympathizers).

But the strike was a fiasco. Rather than demonstrating al Qaeda's capabilities in Saudi Arabia, the attackers barely penetrated the first security cordon before they were gunned down by security forces. Certainly, they demonstrated that al Qaeda still has operatives who are willing to attempt a strategic attack, but they failed to demonstrate that they still have the ability to actually execute one. Special operations are always difficult, but it now appears that either the group had been penetrated by Saudi security from the beginning, or the cell was not trained in the arts that al Qaeda previously dominated. All three cars used in the strike appear to have been identified and destroyed before there was any possibility they could reach their targets inside the Abqaiq compound.

In Iraq, two divisions in the Muslim world revealed themselves and were manipulated. The first was the Sunni-Shiite split, the second was the rift between the jihadists and mainstream Sunnis. In Saudi Arabia, the split was between, on one side, the state apparatus and the leaders of the royal family -- who had lost their ability to remain neutral in the face of the Iraq invasion, U.S. bellicosity and the fear of a U.S.-Iranian entente over Iraq -- and an increasingly radicalized faction of the religious establishment that was supporting al Qaeda. Within the kingdom, the latter could not withstand the weight of the former, and the result showed itself last week, with a feeble al Qaeda effort that was followed by bombastic rhetoric.

The Debate on the Ports Deal

The third dimension in all of this became apparent with the ports issue. Washington has tried to draw a line between Muslim states that have cooperated with the United States in due course -- regardless of what their earlier behavior might have been like -- and those states that it still doesn't trust. It distinguishes in this way between, for example, Syria and Kuwait. The former has always been seen as hostile to the United States, the latter has been a mainstay of American strategy since its liberation by the United States in 1991. The rest of the Muslim world is distributed along a continuum between these poles.

Washington's only hope for something approaching a satisfactory outcome in Iraq was to work with factions it never would have spoken to prior to 2003. Its hope for a satisfactory outcome in the global war with the jihadists was in getting Saudi intelligence to work with the United States. That also required actions and compromises that would not have been made before 2003. Finally, in order to reshape the Muslim world, the United States needed to have relations with countries that did not have immaculate records but which, on the whole and for a variety of reasons, now found it in their interest to work with Washington.

For Saudi Arabia, the motivating factor was fear. For the UAE, it was greed. To be more fair, the UAE is something like a Switzerland: Its business is business, and it tilts its politics in such a way that business is likely to be good. The Islamic world is a complex place, and there are many players. If the United States is to be successful, it must divide, manipulate and conquer that world along the lines of its complexity. The Sunni-Shiite fault line is one axis, but the division between countries that are motivated by mercenary considerations, as opposed to those that have more complex motives, is another.

The UAE wants to do business, and it is good at it. One of its businesses is managing ports. Purchasing a British company in the same industry is a natural thing to do in business; the fact that the purchase in question would give the UAE company oversight of ports in the United States is another attraction of the deal. The attraction is not that the UAE could facilitate the movement of al Qaeda operatives into the United States; that is not what the UAE is after, since it would be bad for business. What it is after is the profits that come from doing the business.

Now, some argue that this business deal will make it easier for al Qaeda operatives to get into the United States. We find that doubtful. Al Qaeda operatives -- the real ones, not the wannabes -- if they are out there, will get into the United States just fine by a number of means. And if they try to slip a bomb into a container ship, it won't be one sent from a Muslim country -- the level of scrutiny there is too high. It would be from a place and under a flag that no one would suspect for a moment, like Denmark. At any rate, given what it means to "operate a port," the risk to the United States from having a British company manage its ports is about the same as that from the UAE: Has anyone noticed that holding a British passport these days is no guarantee of loyalty to Western ideals?

The Administration's Strategy

The point here is not to argue the merits of the Dubai ports deal, but rather to place the business deal in the context of the U.S. grand strategy. That strategy is, again, to split the Islamic world into its component parts, induce divisions by manipulating differences, and to create coalitions based on particular needs. This is, currently, about the only strategy the United States has going for it -- and if it can't use commercial relations as an inducement in the Muslim world, that is quite a weapon to lose.

The problem has become political, and stunningly so. One of the most recent opinion polls, by CBS, has placed Bush's approval rating at 34 percent -- a fairly shocking decline, and clearly attributable to the port issue. As we have noted in the past, each party has a core constituency of about 35-37 percent. When support falls significantly below this level, a president loses his ability to govern.

The Republican coalition consists of three parts: social conservatives, economic conservatives and business interests, and national security conservatives. The port deal has apparently hit the national security conservatives in Bush's coalition hard. They were already shaky over the administration's personnel policies in the military and the question of whether he had a clear strategy in Iraq, even as they supported the invasion.

Another part of the national security faction consists of those who believe that the Muslim world as a whole is, in the end, united against the United States, and that it poses a clear and present danger. Bush used to own this faction, but the debate over the ports has generated serious doubts among this faction about Bush's general policy. In their eyes, he appears inconsistent and potentially hypocritical. Economic conservatives might love the ports deal, and so might conservatives of the "realpolitik" variety, but those who buy into the view that there is a general danger of terrorism emanating from all Muslim countries are appalled -- and it is showing in the polls.

If Bush sinks much lower, he will breaks into territory from which it would be impossible for a presidency to recover. He is approaching this territory with three years left in his presidency. It is the second time that he has probed this region: The first was immediately after Hurricane Katrina. He is now down deeper in the polls, and it is cutting into his core constituency.

In effect, Bush's strategy and his domestic politics have intersected with potential fratricidal force. The fact is that the U.S. strategy of dividing the Muslim world and playing one part off against the other is a defensible and sophisticated strategy -- even if does not, in the end, turn out to be successful (and who can tell about that?) This is not the strategy the United States started with; the strategy emerged out of the failures in Iraq in 2003. But whatever its origins, it is the strategy that is being used, and it is not a foolish strategy.

The problem is that the political coalition has eroded to the point that Bush needs all of his factions, and this policy -- particularly because of the visceral nature of the ports issue -- is cutting into the heart of his coalition. The general problem is this: The administration has provided no framework for understanding the connection between a destroyed mosque dome in As Samarra, an attack against a crucial oil facility in Saudi Arabia, and the UAE buyout of a British ports-management firm. Rather than being discussed in the light of a single, integrated strategy, these appear to be random, disparate and uncoordinated events. The reality of the administration's strategy and the reality of its politics are colliding. Bush will backtrack on the ports issue, and the UAE will probably drop the matter. But what is not clear is whether the damage done to the strategy and the politics can be undone. The numbers are just getting very low.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:13:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tyman:

What about the 3-5million+ people he's killed in 25years of power? What about their families? He's personally touched over 10million people through his torture and kidnappings and murders.




I suspect that once this civil war gets cooking, those numbers are going to look pretty mild.

If full-on civil war does break out, we're going to have own up to the fact that we're the ones that destabilized the country. Not looking forward to that.

And IF WMDs exist somewhere in Iraq, you can bet that one of the factions will use it against the other. And that will be really bad.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:14:46 AM EDT
How Bush ever thought he could try and turn a bunch of savages into a functioning society is beyond me.

Personally,I don't think one US soldiers life is worth trying to turn that shithole into something that resembles humanity.

Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:15:02 AM EDT
I certainly don't disagree, IMHO Bush is fucking things up way bad....the southern border, North Korea, poor management of Iraq...

Regardless, when I think of the alternative, I shudder.

The most unfortunate thing is the whole thing is setting us up for a dem in the whitehouse come 2008, an exceedingly scary thought....
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:15:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:

Originally Posted By tyman:
What about the 3-5million+ people he's killed in 25years of power? What about their families? He's personally touched over 10million people through his torture and kidnappings and murders.


I suspect that once this civil war gets cooking, those numbers are going to look pretty mild.

If full-on civil war does break out, we're going to have own up to the fact that we're the ones that destabilized the country. Not looking forward to that.

And IF WMDs exist somewhere in Iraq, you can bet that one of the factions will use it against the other. And that will be really bad.


Cha-CHING.

+1.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:19:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By tyman:
So.....you're saying that we shouldnt have taken Saddam out of power?



I'm saying we should, but the timing was off. We had a job to do in Afghanistan. That, and our WMD intelligence wasn't only off, it was completely FALSE!!!! We had no thought out exit strategy, and clearly did not account for the possible scenarios we see over there today. We simply weren't prepared and now we're holding a hot potatoe.

The job in Iraq will be finished before the job in Afghanistan. There is NO WAY we can cover every square inch of mountain along Pakistan.


What about the 3-5million+ people he's killed in 25years of power? What about their families? He's personally touched over 10million people through his torture and kidnappings and murders.


I hear ya, but that point gets muffled watching Sunnis & Shiites kill each other on CNN. I hear ya though, and that's a good point.

I'm glad we agree on that at least.


Lets go off on a tangent real quick about Hitler. If Hitler had never gone outside of Germany, but still killed and gassed all the Jews in Germany, the US/possibly the world would still have gone in and rescued the POW's.
Because that was the RIGHT thing to do. Today, it seems that no one cares about anyone else but themselves and they dont care what happens to others.



As the world gets smaller different ideologies, governments, and economies are forced to interact on a more level playing field. Conflict isn't just bound to happen, it's unavoidable. You again have a great point here, but there's more powering this game of twister than what OUR ideology, government, and economy views as ethical.

Yes but genocide/mass murder is unethical to humans as a whole.



One thing that would help in Iraq is reducing troop levels. Quite a few local Iraqi's have told us that we need to keep American's on FOBs/bases because there are less killings by insurgents. Funny how they dont set off IED's when American's arent around.


I have no idea what to do here outside of a complete pull out and a few nukes from orbit.

I've outlined what we need to do. Strict curfews, resident's help, harsh punishment and elping reduce troop levels.


We should have taken him out of power, but we should have setup a brutal and harsh regime in it's place. We need another Saddam but one that's for the people and wont necessarily hurt them but who is tough on the insurgency.


A Saddam Hussien with a little more love for the Shiites?

More like a George Bush the Governor on Death Row inmates.


That's how you rule with these kind of people that are so family-oriented.
Hell, even the show "Over There" did an episode on how closely tied the families are to themselves when he forced an insurgent to give up info about some stolen Stinger missiles.





An insurgent's sister was threatened to be released to the Pakistani's for "interrogation" unless the insurgent told the SF guy where the stolen stinger missiles were.
Yes, it's a pretty unrealistic show and its a TV show, but they pretty much nailed it on the head. If you threaten a family member, they are extremely agitated by this. Their whole culture revolves around their family and then their tribe.



There's a good story down south that the Marines (I think it may have been Basra) had a 7pm curfew in effect and were kicking the ever-living shit out of people's doors everyday/night. There were ZERO ied's and suicide bombings.
Then the British came in and took it over and they were a lot more lax on things. They lifted the curfew and the British Commander even had his men take off their Kevlar's and Body Armor to give the people a "warm and fuzzy feeling".
Attacks rose 70% in the first few weeks/month when the Brits took over and ever since, they havent been able to regain control.

Not dissing the British or anything but how the fucking hell are you going to come in and completely change everything based on what "you think you know" vs. what a unit already knows and has been doing for months?
Oh wait, that's how EVERY unit is when they replace someone. Always making up new rules and changing things to how they WANT it, now how it NEEDS to be.



Brits use bullpups.....'nuff said


4rth cup.....



Touche!
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:20:30 AM EDT

WeeBeastyKillr, good read
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:24:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
Well, what do you expect from those particular players?

One thing I can say...how many thousands of militant scum have we killed since the begining? I am of the belief if we don't kill them there, someday we might have had to kill them here....

I'd rather see it there than here.....




You think insurgents from Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, and whereever else give a crap about you or your wife in Bumpdunkin, Iowa?

9/11 was most likely an isolated event.


We've flushed out alot of the major players in that organization. By going into Iraq, we've flushed up a big hornet's nest of activity. Bringing on possibly, more terroristic attacks on the world. Madrid, Spain? They would have never attacked the train if we werent in Iraq.

And we've already killed "them there". Now you have to worry about a foreign insurgency killing you there. Just because we're at war "there", doesnt mean they wont come "here" and bring the fight here.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:25:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
You've gone and done it now, Hokie. Get ready for the inevitable incoming rounds from the Kool-Aid Brigade.



I welcome the confrontation. I'd like to be proven wrong....but I'm afraid no one can effectively argue my discontent with our president's handling of foreign policy post 9/11.



I'm actually with you mostly, Hokie.

My contention, even at the time was that we needed
to whack Iraq on the pee pee very very hard after they
continuously engaged in acts of war such as fireing at our aircraft.

It was also annoying to spend 5 good months out of my life on the Kuwait/Iraq
border because of that dummy, Sadam in '96.

That said, I always felt the real fight on terror was in Afganistan.

We should have dudes climbing all over those damn mountains like ants,
rooting out the Taliban and, secureing that place, rather than in Iraq.

The whole situation was and has been badly handled.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:25:51 AM EDT
Bush reminds me of the President on 24 more and more each day. He's not as bad...yet...but I no respect for the man anymore and he has failed miserably since getting re-elected.

Has Bush done anything right on Iraq? He had the 17 UN violations and warnings but instead of trying to make the UN force Saddam to finally comply like they said they would he went off on the tangent of WMD and that is why the US and UN must go. That flopped in his face so he went at it with very little support. Then it turned out there were no WMD. Once Iraq fell Bush said everyone would be dancing it the street, as we can still see today the only thing they are doing in the street is killing each other. Then when a General came out saying a much larger troop count was going to be needed to handle Iraq he was fired. Turns out he was right. Bush did that famous "mission accomplished" stunt yet he has had to increase the number of US troops in Iraq since then. If the main mission was over then the troop count should have been in constant decline. IEDs are still a major problem. There are still ZERO Iraqi units that can operate independent of the US although they have 53 units that can operate with US help. Bush at first promised the American people that he would spread "democrocy" to Iraq now we find out that their whatever type of jumbled mess they have that they call government is actually based off of Islam although the people do elect them...but Saddam was elected too remember. Now we see the whole country might fall into civil war.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:27:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:

Originally Posted By tyman:

What about the 3-5million+ people he's killed in 25years of power? What about their families? He's personally touched over 10million people through his torture and kidnappings and murders.




I suspect that once this civil war gets cooking, those numbers are going to look pretty mild.

If full-on civil war does break out, we're going to have own up to the fact that we're the ones that destabilized the country. Not looking forward to that.

And IF WMDs exist somewhere in Iraq, you can bet that one of the factions will use it against the other. And that will be really bad.



I dont think so really.

What you guys fail to understand is that this war is being fought by foreign Islamic insurgents. There is maybe 2% of the population of insurgents that are actually Iraqi's. A majority of the Iraqi population is like you or me, they dont want war. They would rather get on with their lives. Many of them arent going to get involved in a "civil war". Shiites and Sunni's generally want nothing to do with each other.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:29:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Goonboss:

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:
You've gone and done it now, Hokie. Get ready for the inevitable incoming rounds from the Kool-Aid Brigade.



I welcome the confrontation. I'd like to be proven wrong....but I'm afraid no one can effectively argue my discontent with our president's handling of foreign policy post 9/11.



I'm actually with you mostly, Hokie.

My contention, even at the time was that we needed
to whack Iraq on the pee pee very very hard after they
continuously engaged in acts of war such as fireing at our aircraft.

It was also annoying to spend 5 good months out of my life on the Kuwait/Iraq
border because of that dummy, Sadam in '96.

That said, I always felt the real fight on terror was in Afganistan.

We should have dudes climbing all over those damn mountains like ants,
rooting out the Taliban and, secureing that place, rather than in Iraq.

The whole situation was and has been badly handled.



I'm with you 100% on Afghanistan....
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:29:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SWIRE:
Bush reminds me of the President on 24 more and more each day. He's not as bad...yet...but I no respect for the man anymore and he has failed miserably since getting re-elected.

Has Bush done anything right on Iraq? He had the 17 UN violations and warnings but instead of trying to make the UN force Saddam to finally comply like they said they would he went off on the tangent of WMD and that is why the US and UN must go. That flopped in his face so he went at it with very little support. Then it turned out there were no WMD. Once Iraq fell Bush said everyone would be dancing it the street, as we can still see today the only thing they are doing in the street is killing each other. Then when a General came out saying a much larger troop count was going to be needed to handle Iraq he was fired. Turns out he was right. Bush did that famous "mission accomplished" stunt yet he has had to increase the number of US troops in Iraq since then. If the main mission was over then the troop count should have been in constant decline. IEDs are still a major problem. There are still ZERO Iraqi units that can operate independent of the US although they have 53 units that can operate with US help. Bush at first promised the American people that he would spread "democrocy" to Iraq now we find out that their whatever type of jumbled mess they have that they call government is actually based off of Islam although the people do elect them...but Saddam was elected too remember. Now we see the whole country might fall into civil war.



Can't argue with that either....

damn guys....I was hoping this would make me feel BETTER about George W. Bush!!!!
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:30:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2006 5:31:28 AM EDT by Hokie]

Originally Posted By tyman:
Shiites and Sunni's generally want nothing to do with each other.



True....but.....(you knew I'd be countering!)

Add a power vaccuum to that recipe, and you've got a civil war!
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:31:56 AM EDT
I think regardless of whether we took Saddam out or he died of natural causes while still in power, there was going to be an Iraqi civil war. Look at the region, there has always been turmoil and war for as long as the fertile crescent has been populated. This was bound to happen where people are capable of hating and murdering each other based on the teachings of the supposed ROP. It's just that Saddam physically suppressed the war between Sunnis and Shiites. It's almost like those people in Iraq need to be ruled with an iron fist to be at peace.

I think before Bush has anymore great ideas about taking down another country like Iran, he needs to take care of our oil problem first. That way, when the resulting war destroys the Middle Eastern oil industry, we will still be okay.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:32:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By CavVet:
Wake up and get a load of MY POTUS..........

The whole liberal world can kiss my ass. He has brass ones, big shiny brass ones.








If serving turkey is grounds for a quality president, then I need to go buy an apron.

Also...Afghanistan....come on.....we gave that place 70%.....which is why Osama Bin Laden is now gnawing on goat dung and playing pictionary with his friends in Pakistan.

We should have skipped Iraq (for the time being) and put those exact same resources (quantity and quality) in Afghanistan right at the beginning.

Then taken the money spent in Iraq and used it overhauling the INS, CIA, DEA, Coast Guard, and used the rest in public speaking classes for George.



+1

I agree too...but we didnt, and now we're in the situation we are.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:34:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thirsty:
I think regardless of whether we took Saddam out or he died of natural causes while still in power, there was going to be an Iraqi civil war. Look at the region, there has always been turmoil and war for as long as the fertile crescent has been populated. This was bound to happen where people are capable of hating and murdering each other based on the teachings of the supposed ROP. It's just that Saddam physically suppressed the war between Sunnis and Shiites. It's almost like those people in Iraq need to be ruled with an iron fist to be at peace.

I think before Bush has anymore great ideas about taking down another country like Iran, he needs to take care of our oil problem first. That way, when the resulting war destroys the Middle Eastern oil industry, we will still be okay.



TIMING TIMING TIMING!!!!

All are good fights but holy shit Bush...one at a time! Great post Thirsty!
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:35:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By tyman:
Shiites and Sunni's generally want nothing to do with each other.



True....but.....(you knew I'd be countering!)

Add a power vaccuum to that recipe, and you've got a civil war!




Yes, however, read the rest of the response.

Most people do not want to fight. Many of them dont want to die and leave their families.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:35:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2006 5:36:43 AM EDT by Hokie]

Originally Posted By tyman:

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By tyman:
Shiites and Sunni's generally want nothing to do with each other.



True....but.....(you knew I'd be countering!)

Add a power vaccuum to that recipe, and you've got a civil war!




Yes, however, read the rest of the response.

Most people do not want to fight. Many of them dont want to die and leave their families.



I hear ya, but quiet people don't drive government! Those passive types all have opinions on the matter.....opinions that won't and don't amount to shiite.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:36:09 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:36:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tyman:

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
Well, what do you expect from those particular players?

One thing I can say...how many thousands of militant scum have we killed since the begining? I am of the belief if we don't kill them there, someday we might have had to kill them here....

I'd rather see it there than here.....




You think insurgents from Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, and whereever else give a crap about you or your wife in Bumpdunkin, Iowa?

9/11 was most likely an isolated event.

We've flushed out alot of the major players in that organization. By going into Iraq, we've flushed up a big hornet's nest of activity. Bringing on possibly, more terroristic attacks on the world. Madrid, Spain? They would have never attacked the train if we werent in Iraq.

And we've already killed "them there". Now you have to worry about a foreign insurgency killing you there. Just because we're at war "there", doesnt mean they wont come "here" and bring the fight here.



I'm sorry, but if you really believe that, I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn for sale....

Fundamentalist islam wants us destroyed, they will do what it takes. The fact that we are stirring a hornets nest doesn't take away the fact that there IS a hornets nest. Personally I think the best way to destroy a hornets nest is to grab it up in a big canvas sack, and saturate it with hornet killer, but thats not the course we chose...

These hornets are not the type to live and let live unfortunately, they will attack whether provoked or not, just because they don't like the way you think....

I firmly believe we will see many more bad things happen here in the future, its the nature of the conflict....
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:38:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2006 5:39:05 AM EDT by Hokie]

Originally Posted By vito113:

Originally Posted By Hokie:
Originally Posted By tyman:


Brits use bullpups.....'nuff said


4rth cup.....



Not all of them....

i2.tinypic.com/ot0rkh.jpg



Well now I've seen everything!

cup 5....I'm starting to get jittery
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:54:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2006 5:56:44 AM EDT by powers]
I have been a Bush supporter and a conservative since day one but, do I think that he screwed up, Hell yes.

I believe that he took chances and made the jump into Iraq too early. I believe that he should of wrapped up things in A'stan first and got Bin Laden while he had a chance.

WMDs, we know Sadam had them, he used them in the past and we are likely the ones who gave them to him originally. I do believe that he hustled them out of the country while we were posturing for the invasion. I haven't heard anything about all of the underground facilities that were so widely discussed in the buildup to the invasion. We can't or WON"T secure our own borders so I guess that it is not imaginable to think that he would of been able to seal off Iraq's borders. I am sure that Syria and Iran are very proud of their new toys. In effect, we up-armed our enemies. I do believe that Sadam would of gladly put these weapons into Al Quaida's hands eventually.

Primary mistake. We tried to deal with these people in a PC way. They understand and respect brutality and negotiations are considered a sign of weakness. During Netanyahu's(no idea how that should be spelled) term,when Israel found a known terrorist they would put a rocket in the passenger seat of his car or in his living room during dinner. We have to fight on their terms and in their back yards to make this work. When they launch an attack we need to strike back in such a way as to make it intollerable for them to consider it again.

It will take a domestic attack on US soil with alot more Americans dying to bring us to that point.
People seem to forget the thousands of people who died on 9/11 and what that meant to all of the ROP people around the world.

I know this sounds like I am a horrible person but, our current strategy isn't working.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 5:54:54 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:04:17 AM EDT
It pretty much boils down to those of us in the USA being a hostage to oil.

Did we enter the Iraq War due to ideals or because of oil (Iraq switching to the Euro for oil instead of the dollar)? A little of both?

Iran is developing "nuclear power", are we against it becuase of the threat of nuclear weapons or because Iran is going to switch to the euro for oil?

Do we have the manpower or are we spread thin? Technology only goes so far. When it comes down to it, it will still be the US Citizen-soldier that is needed.

Why does the President scream about the WOT and how Americans need to give up rights for safety, yet both borders are left wide open, 15000 more student visas are being given out yearly to Saudi Arabia and who knows how many more to other Middle Eastern countries, and the DHS is a joke? Seems like it is a WOB (War on the Boogeyman).
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:04:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pzjgr:

Originally Posted By tyman:

Originally Posted By pzjgr:
Well, what do you expect from those particular players?

One thing I can say...how many thousands of militant scum have we killed since the begining? I am of the belief if we don't kill them there, someday we might have had to kill them here....

I'd rather see it there than here.....




You think insurgents from Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Egypt, and whereever else give a crap about you or your wife in Bumpdunkin, Iowa?

9/11 was most likely an isolated event.

We've flushed out alot of the major players in that organization. By going into Iraq, we've flushed up a big hornet's nest of activity. Bringing on possibly, more terroristic attacks on the world. Madrid, Spain? They would have never attacked the train if we werent in Iraq.

And we've already killed "them there". Now you have to worry about a foreign insurgency killing you there. Just because we're at war "there", doesnt mean they wont come "here" and bring the fight here.



I'm sorry, but if you really believe that, I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn for sale....

Fundamentalist islam wants us destroyed, they will do what it takes. The fact that we are stirring a hornets nest doesn't take away the fact that there IS a hornets nest. Personally I think the best way to destroy a hornets nest is to grab it up in a big canvas sack, and saturate it with hornet killer, but thats not the course we chose...

These hornets are not the type to live and let live unfortunately, they will attack whether provoked or not, just because they don't like the way you think....

I firmly believe we will see many more bad things happen here in the future, its the nature of the conflict....




I dont have enough to buy a bridge.

Yeah, I know how extremist muslims are. One of our guys in our Battalion found out the hard way a week ago.


And we have dealt a back-breaking blow to them, thats why its most likely an isolated incident. Dont you think there's a reason why it was nearly 10 years between attacks on mainland US from foreign terrorists?
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:09:43 AM EDT
We needed to go to Afghanistan. Bush went to Iraq to get even with Saddam for trying to kill Papa.
If he wanted to attack a terrorist nation that was a true danger, it would have been Iran and a lot of the young Iranians would have supported us. Revenge for trying to kill his dad is a poor excuse to get American soldiers killed. And I voted for him twice.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:11:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By alaman:
We needed to go to Afghanistan. Bush went to Iraq to get even with Saddam for trying to kill Papa.
If he wanted to attack a terrorist nation that was a true danger, it would have been Iran and a lot of the young Iranians would have supported us. Revenge for trying to kill his dad is a poor excuse to get American soldiers killed. And I voted for him twice.



I'm sure Bush Sr. was a large player in W's motivation, but that can't be the primary reason. I too, voted for him twice.

Still beats what Kerry would have done....
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:12:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By tyman:
So.....you're saying that we shouldnt have taken Saddam out of power?



I'm saying we should, but the timing was off. We had a job to do in Afghanistan. That, and our WMD intelligence wasn't only off, it was completely FALSE!!!! We had no thought out exit strategy, and clearly did not account for the possible scenarios we see over there today. We simply weren't prepared and now we're holding a hot potatoe.


Incorrect. We have found radioactive material and chemical weapons in Iraq. Just not in the quantity we originally thought.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:21:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2006 6:24:22 AM EDT by Hokie]

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By tyman:
So.....you're saying that we shouldnt have taken Saddam out of power?



I'm saying we should, but the timing was off. We had a job to do in Afghanistan. That, and our WMD intelligence wasn't only off, it was completely FALSE!!!! We had no thought out exit strategy, and clearly did not account for the possible scenarios we see over there today. We simply weren't prepared and now we're holding a hot potatoe.


Incorrect. We have found radioactive material and chemical weapons in Iraq. Just not in the quantity we originally thought.



Not even remotely close to what we originally thought. Not enough in fact, to justify the invasion on Iraq. Thus, we went in to liberate the populace without UN approval, etc etc etc.

To say I'm incorrect by pointing out a couple mason jars full of chemical or radioactive nastiness doesn't counter the obvious error. Heck I could find the ingredients to chemical weapons at Wal Mart.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:25:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tyman:


I dont have enough to buy a bridge.

Yeah, I know how extremist muslims are. One of our guys in our Battalion found out the hard way a week ago.


And we have dealt a back-breaking blow to them, thats why its most likely an isolated incident. Dont you think there's a reason why it was nearly 10 years between attacks on mainland US from foreign terrorists?



Don't worry, I'll sell it to you cheap!

I see what you are talking about in your sig....Sorry for your guys loss.

Well, IMHO, what I am worried about most here...is the terrorists who are already on our soil. You know there has to be sleepers and hard core fundamentalists all over, and I don't believe they will sleep forever...I think if they can start seeing scales tip slightly in their favor, you will see activity...

And as fucked up as things there are, I still think bagging that nut job Saddahm was a good thing. My best friend hooked up with a private contractor after a tour in Iraq (he loves the work), and has been doing personal protective detail....when I talked to him a few weeks ago, he told me that not too long before they were detailed to some UN chickies leading a team who were digging up more mass graves in the north....

In any case, again, as I said, I think Bush has messed up, but Hanoi John....I shudder to think how and what he would be doing to the country. I think all you guys are doing a great job, and important work. Wish I was still in, and doing more than sitting on the sidelines too...

Stay Safe Man!
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:27:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By Hokie:

Originally Posted By tyman:
So.....you're saying that we shouldnt have taken Saddam out of power?



I'm saying we should, but the timing was off. We had a job to do in Afghanistan. That, and our WMD intelligence wasn't only off, it was completely FALSE!!!! We had no thought out exit strategy, and clearly did not account for the possible scenarios we see over there today. We simply weren't prepared and now we're holding a hot potatoe.


Incorrect. We have found radioactive material and chemical weapons in Iraq. Just not in the quantity we originally thought.



Not even remotely close to what we originally thought. Not enough in fact, to justify the invasion on Iraq. Thus, we went in to liberate the populace without UN approval, etc etc etc.

To say I'm incorrect by pointing out a couple mason jars full of chemical or radioactive nastiness doesn't counter the obvious error. Heck I could find the ingredients to chemical weapons at Wal Mart.



Well, maybe my tinfoil is showing but I am a believer in the theory most of the WMD type stuff went to Syria before the invasion....there was way too much smoke with the whole UN weps inspection not to be some fire there....
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:29:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2006 6:33:57 AM EDT by _DR]

Originally Posted By tyman:
So.....you're saying that we shouldnt have taken Saddam out of power?

What about the 3-5million+ people he's killed in 25years of power? What about their families? He's personally touched over 10million people through his torture and kidnappings and murders.



What about the hundreds of thousands who are victims of genocide, mass rape, ethic cleansing, even as we post here in Darfur Sudan? We don't give a shit because they have nothing to offer, just dirt poor refugees. No oil, no strategic terrirtory, nothing. It's not about humanitarian action, never has been. That is a bullshit smoke screen they had to use when all the other smoke screens feel through.
There are almost as many tortures goinf on under the new Shia dominated interior ministry as under the Saddam regime. With our tacit approval apparently.

We are doing nothing but siiting on our hands for Darfur, as we did with Rwanda. Saddam was just another petty dictator who we supported, then abandoned. We didn't give a shit about his crimes in the '80s. Hell we GAVE HIM chemical weapons at that point to fight Iran with. this is well documented. Ever seen the pics of Dick Cheney shaking Saddam's hand in the 1980s? He was our "Boy". Our foreign policy has created 90% of the monsters we are facing today, INCLUDING Osama Bin Laden.

Do you realize we paid that asshat and the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan on the order of a million dollars a month to to fight the evil Russain invaders? Yeah he was our buddy back then. All those caves we had to clear? Yep, many built by the CIA with US taxpayer money.

We are our own worst enemy, as always. The current administration, while the lesser of two evils, is still a bunch of money grabbing asshats with an agenda that does not have the American middle class at heart.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:31:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hokie:
A recent public opinion poll indicates ANOTHER all time low approval rating for Bush. 34% of Americans approve of the job he's doing. 62% said efforts to bring stability to Iraq are going badly. Responding to the recent polls (for whatever their worth), Bush said, "I'm not worried." WTF!? America thinks you suck! Who are you representing!? . . . anyway, he's makes me angry . . .



That recent CBS poll was proven to be wickedly skewed, you know. I would have thought that people would be bright enough to not just accept whatever poll is being touted at the moment, but I guess not.

Link.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:33:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TrijiCog:
How Bush ever thought he could try and turn a bunch of savages into a functioning society is beyond me.


+1.

I said from the start Iraq would be near impossible to tame without brute force. The kind of brute force that held the country together before we got there.

Not saying it's right, but it's reality for Iraq.
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