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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:29 pm 
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Oh man while we're arrogant enough to think we can save a nation that isn't ours why don't we go fix Turkmenistan too?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:15 pm 
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I really wish I could leave this alone. It feels like picking at a scab.

Ozymandias wrote:
And they are ethnically homogenous, pretty close. Whereas the bits of Iraq that are tearing themselves apart aren't ethnically or religiously homogenous; the Sunnis and Shias are doing what they are doing all across the M.E, just with more violence, and the Kurds are simply staying out of the way. Basically the Sunnis and Shias hate each other with a passion and yet you keep saying they have to grow the fuck up and stop hatin'.... how about applying the same to everyone you hate? Maybe we should just stay at the discussion table with everyone and never go to war?


Sure I might hate some people, but I don't go out at night and kidnap/torture/kill people because of it.

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Agreed. But it can do something.

The army and police are doing everything they can right now. The problem is that due to the scale of violence occuring, most of the time all that they can do is react to incidents, as reliable intel is lacking for preemptive operations.

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Lack of training and backing (ie, there's not the whole forensic department that a policeforce has available to investigating soldiers in general). Police are therefore far better at it.

Oh, and personal responsibility? I take it America avoids that, then?


Considering the lack of training, I think that soldiers do pretty well as far as the police work goes. They do have something of a forensic department backing them in the form of their unit intel sections. Most of the time when something happens, pictures are taken of just about everything, and anything that might be evidence is collected and turned in to the unit intel shop. Nearby locals are also questioned by attached field intel guys for further information. No, there isn't as much of a capability to do things like fingerprint checks, ballistic tracking, etc, but that's because it would be quickly overwhelmed and also unnecessary. More often than not, upon capturing a confirmed bad guy, a great deal of evidence is found that will point in the direction of other bad guys; address books and the like.

I don't exactly see how Americans avoid personal responsibility. We aren't murdering each other and dumping bodies in rivers though, that's for sure.

The real threat lies with the foul, insidious camel spiders, the servants of the Great Old Ones. If someone could engineer a virus that would wipe them out, there would be far, far less problems.
Or maybe then the Great Old Ones would awaken sooner. Oh well, it's a chance we must take.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Save Iraq?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:48 pm 
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Slamlander wrote:
The protocol usually starts off with some sort of act of contrition. I don't see Bush Jr. acting contrite any time soon. Do you?


The question posed in this thread was what SHOULD be done. Saying that something is not likely to be done is a non-sequitur in a debate about what ought to be done.

I agree, it's highly unlikely that Bush, or any other American leader, will be turning to the U.N. or any other international body and saying "Sorry, we fucked up, but we want to fix it, and we're willing to do what you think is best to do so." Nevertheless, that is what ought to happen.

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Then there is the other part of the issue, there are no good answers. This is why nobody wanted to join the US in that tar-baby in the first place.


There's a difference between "good answers" in the sense of a miracle cure that will make everything better, and "good answers" in the sense of "of all the things that could be done here, which one is the best, or least bad?"

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That whole issue was taken off the table.


Are you confusing normative and descriptive again? Maybe nobody is WILLING to allow the Iraqi Kurds to mind their own business, and so it won't happen; but the question, again, is not one of what will or is likely to happen, but what ought to happen.

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Radical Kurds have their own set of problems, even if the Iraqi Kurds are relatively well-behaved. Making a new Kurdistan is neither easy, simple, or without huge risk.


I just want to be clear that I'm talking about Iraqi Kurdistan in particular here, not the entire "Kurdistan region", most of which is in Turkey. Yes, I would also argue that if some big chunk of what is presently Turkey doesn't want to be a part of Turkey, they ought to be allowed to secede; but that's orthagonal to the issue of whether or not to allow Iraq to break up into small parts if they so choose, and defend those peaceful parts from those who would like to violently conquer them. Allowing Iraqi Kurdistan to be free from the rest of what is presently Iraq has no *direct* implications on anything in Turkey.

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I understand the sentiment but this is too simplistic and it'll never work. Some of these guys are seriously not nice. They also lie, cheat, and steal for a living.


If for some reason we can't afford to do the right thing (because it will involve us in other wars or whatnot that we can't handle) then we should just back the fuck off and stay out of it. But if you want to say that we're already in it, and can't back out now, and you want to know what the right thing to do is... I've already given you my opinion there. It's not likely that people will do the right thing because it's rarely an easy thing to do; nevertheless it's the right thing to do. And just saying "well it's not gonna happen" doesn't negate that; it just means that people are, sadly, going to do the wrong thing instead - either [A] pull out entirely and let the whole place go to hell until either the Iraqi people sort it out themselves, which may be never, or someone eles conquers them; or [B] conquer the whole fucking place and institute full martial law with 24/7 global surveillance, tight border control, and massive prisons and/or many executions; or [C] dick around like we presently are until people get sick of it all and resort to A or B.

If I had to wager on what's the most *likely* outcome, I'd bet on C-then-A, because it postpones the hard decision until someone else is in term and then goes with the outcome that's cheapest for the U.S. But that's not what I think the *right* outcome should be.

The dilemma seems to be between "do nothing" and "do too much". The present solution we're doing is "half-ass it" (no offense to the soldiers in Iraq, only to the people giving them orders). We can't dick around and try to sort-of police the whole place indefinitely; but what it would take to bring the whole place forcibly under control would make us evil bad guys, and pulling out entirely would make us quitters and thus also in the wrong.

I'm just saying that we should try a different compromise: pull our full, concentrated efforts in wherever they will actually do some good (in places that are trying to maintain peace and want U.S. help in doing so), and ignore those places where they do no good (where people don't want our forces there, or where the locals aren't even trying to establish peace). And if that results in a fragmented Iraq, that's not a problem, so long as it results in a *peaceful* Iraq.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 4:02 pm 
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How does a fragmented Iraq result in a peaceful Iraq exactly?

I'm not sure if I get what you mean exactly and I'm certainly not sure if you actually grasp the situation in any sort of greater context. A destablised or, as you have suggested it under your 'full' approach, militarily dominated Iraq is only going to weaken or exacerserbate the situation outside of Iraq and by this I mean "in the middle east".

That's why Iraq is such a problem. Pull out and risk leaving Iraq to falll under the domination of an American 'target' located somewhere in the Axis of Evil and therefore potentially extend the breeding ground for fundamentalist Muslism dissent and therefore terrorists. Stay and impose martial law on a society already occupied, as some see it, by an agressive invading force after an illegal war. By doing that you build on already bad feelings and hatred within and without the country. You therefore face the problem of exascerbation of 'fundamentalist thought' and geuinely run the risk of turning more pro-American countries towards and less positive and supportive stance.

EAny way this is solved is going to cause problems and it will certainly not be ideal but at this point the main task should be damage limitation.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 6:06 pm 
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onion wrote:
How does a fragmented Iraq result in a peaceful Iraq exactly?


The same way that a divorce may result in more peaceful family life than sticking together when both spouses hate each other. I'm not advocating *that* Iraq be broken up, as though that would magically bring peace: merely that if some parts of it could be at peace if only other parts would leave them alone, then those parts should be left alone. By the divorce analogy, I'm not arguing that everybody should get divorced; just that divorce should be legal, since neither spouse owns the other and forcing them to stick together if either wants out is unethical and not conductive to resolving the conflict between them.

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I'm not sure if I get what you mean exactly and I'm certainly not sure if you actually grasp the situation in any sort of greater context. A destablised or, as you have suggested it under your 'full' approach, militarily dominated Iraq is only going to weaken or exacerserbate the situation outside of Iraq and by this I mean "in the middle east".

That's why Iraq is such a problem. Pull out and risk leaving Iraq to falll under the domination of an American 'target' located somewhere in the Axis of Evil and therefore potentially extend the breeding ground for fundamentalist Muslism dissent and therefore terrorists. Stay and impose martial law on a society already occupied, as some see it, by an agressive invading force after an illegal war. By doing that you build on already bad feelings and hatred within and without the country. You therefore face the problem of exascerbation of 'fundamentalist thought' and geuinely run the risk of turning more pro-American countries towards and less positive and supportive stance.

EAny way this is solved is going to cause problems and it will certainly not be ideal but at this point the main task should be damage limitation.


That's precisely the point I'm trying to make. People are seeing this as a dilemma: that if we go in and force them to behave, we're bad guys, and if we just run away, we're bad guys. I agree that both of those are bad approaches - damned if you do and damned if you don't.

The middle road we're presently trying to walk is to halfheartedly 'do' all over Iraq; we've got military forces in there trying to keep the peace, so we're not abandoning them, but we're not really cracking down as hard as we'd need to to completely settle the whole place down. (Which, as you say, would be no better than abandoning them in the end).

What I'm suggesting is a *different* middle road: crack down hard in the parts of Iraq where it will do good, where you've got local governments supported by the local people who want really bad to enforce the peace, but just don't have the manpower, organization, etc to do it. Then ignore the places where the very presence of U.S. troops is largely unwelcomed and may only incite more violence.

Basically, go in full force wherever people ask for our help, so we're really getting something done in those parts, but not being evil foreign invaders, since those people asked us to be there; and then, let those places that don't want our help go fuck themselves if they like, so long as they're not messing with our peaceful allied regions. This piecemeal approach is why I'm saying Iraq may end up fragmented in the end, but it doesn't matter; if you can manage to secure peace in, say, two of the three major regions, but the third region is still causing you trouble, then that's better than wasting resources trying to pacify the third region at the expense of securing victory in the other two. Of course once you have established domestic peace in some regions, to the point that they can function without your aid, you can turn to dealing with the still-troublesome regions, if there's anything at all you could do there.

I guess you might phrase this all up in two principles: (1) Only fight those battles you could possibly win, and (2) Don't treat all of Iraq as one battle. Work to secure peace where our intervention will actually help, and stay out of those places where our very presence is unwelcome.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 1:46 am 
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Briareos wrote:
The only way for the situation in Iraq to turn out well by American standards is for the citizens of Iraq to grow up and take some responsibility for their country.The sad thing is that the region is so factionalized that that will never happen.

About four years ago when we (Israel) were fighting the palastenians, a friend of mine suggested the following: "Give them their state and pull back. They don't have the infrastructure (economically or politically) to survive on their own."
It took a few years, but now that they HAVE a state, not only that they are in total ruin, but they're also in the middle of a civil war.

I think that the situation would be similiar in Iraq.

I also thank God that it's not Israel's problem.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:43 am 
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Guess I'll throw my two cents in as well. Personally, I agree with most of what Devant and Rupe said. Iraq can improve but they are the ones who are going to have to start stepping up and end this gang warfare.

The problem I see with that though is just how much violence is ingrained in these people. Years of dictatorship have pretty much taught them that the best way to deal with the other guy is violence, violence and maybe some violence if the violence doesn't work.


That said though I was surprised to discover that Iraq had some Christians who apparently nobody bothers. Bet thats a great place to go carolling.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:06 pm 
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Barghest wrote:
Guess I'll throw my two cents in as well. Personally, I agree with most of what Devant and Rupe said. Iraq can improve but they are the ones who are going to have to start stepping up and end this gang warfare.

The problem I see with that though is just how much violence is ingrained in these people. Years of dictatorship have pretty much taught them that the best way to deal with the other guy is violence, violence and maybe some violence if the violence doesn't work.


That said though I was surprised to discover that Iraq had some Christians who apparently nobody bothers. Bet thats a great place to go carolling.


They aren't bothered because, for the most part, they have more guns than the Muslims.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:58 pm 
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Having more guns doesn't deter people too well when your completly and utterly outnumbered in a nation where they are about 10 guns per person anyways. From what I've heard people just don't mind the christians because they pose no threat at all.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:56 pm 
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Barghest wrote:
Having more guns doesn't deter people too well when your completly and utterly outnumbered in a nation where they are about 10 guns per person anyways. From what I've heard people just don't mind the christians because they pose no threat at all.

One can extend that argument. Contrary to what the simplistic reporter sound-bites might have it, these people have not been savagely biting and clawing at each other for centuries, any more than the Serbs and Croats have. The Christian enclaves have been there since Roman times. The pre-Christian animists, Jewish, and ethnic enclaves have been there even longer, and the Sunnis and Shia have lived together in the cities for a thousand years. They get along reasonably well when government fails and demogoges use the visible divides as tools for political purposes.

Most of these people are, historically, used to living in regions/cities with a mix of religions and ethnic groups. However, in [any society, when the rule of law breaks down, terrible things happen. Riots, bigotry, looting, rapine, murder for a dozen useless reasons.

When Colin Powell told President Bush "If you break it, you own it," various pundits had a field day making stupid, petty jokes and nitpicks about the origin of the metaphor. Powell was, however, making an important moral statement dating back to the dawn of civilization. If you destroy a government, anarchy, death, fear, and suffering on a grand scale will result. If you claim to be civilized, you take responsibility for replacing that government and restoring order. If you don't, you are a barbarian swine and history will condemn you along with other rampaging, merciless murderers and their hordes.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:34 pm 
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Sorry to say it but the IA is worthless. The ones who aren't complete cowards are JAM members. There is no faith from the civilians or the US millitary in the IA. The best part is we keep giving ever growing control to them. About half of Baghdad is their AO.

Dear Sunni,
We are in ur army Running ur country
Shi'ite's for the win!

More to follow.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 4:51 am 
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For those saying we should be handing control over to the new Iraqi police who we can trust...
Quote:
Hundreds of British troops backed by tanks have seized seven Iraqi police officers suspected of corruption and leading a death squad in Basra.

The dawn operation formed the first stage of moves to disrupt and disband the southern city's Serious Crime Unit.
[...]
British forces in Basra say some commanders were using the unit as a cover for death squads and criminal activities which they controlled.

A military spokesman told the BBC that rather than solving serious crimes, the unit was carrying them out.

"The Iraqi police force has been infiltrated by rogue elements of militias, by criminal gangs, by people who want to jostle for political gain and criminal gain," Maj Charles Burbridge said.

"And the Serious Crimes Unit is the centre of all of that."

They suspect the unit may have been complicit in the killing of 17 police academy employees six weeks ago.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle ... 203727.stm

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 9:18 am 
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Oh man I am arrogant

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 1:14 pm 
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I don't think anyone is advocating handing Iraq over to the new IPs and IA. I was just stating that they do in fact exist, since you were so adamant that they don't.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 2:28 pm 
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Rupert The Guerilla Rat wrote:
I don't think anyone is advocating handing Iraq over to the new IPs and IA. I was just stating that they do in fact exist, since you were so adamant that they don't.

No, I never sid they didn't exist. I said they didn't exist in any form we could hand over to in any way whatsoever.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 4:04 pm 
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Briareos wrote:
onion wrote:
Oh man I am a 4th year MA Political Science and International Relations Student

Oh man I am an insufferable ass who can't read the rules of a board and bring personal arguments into a debate when it's been stated over and over aagin that that is bad juju and I can't seem to learn that no matter how long I claim to have been here for.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 11:21 pm 
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Back on track and looking to the future, several things are clear.

1. IA suck.

2. Police suck.

Now just having one up and running and actually doing their jobs would be great and would go a long way toward something resembling peace. But instead like Devant said they are mostly filled with cowards and guys whose loyalties lie with others. My opinion is that the underlying issue is that iraqis arn't seeing themselves as iraqis first anymore. Instead they associate themselves with their ethnic group in place of that. What we have to do is to try and change that view. Make them see themselves as Iraqi first and their sect second. I'd say a good first step would be crushing their militas and not just pushing them to surrender but to make sure they don't organize again. Just out of the blue, no warning, no demands for disarming, just like a man getting mugged in a meadow. If anything it would make both sides think about the US more instead of each other.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 12:05 pm 
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The US has a responsibility to the people of Iraq. If the people want the US to stay then they should stay, if they Iraqi people want the US to leave then they should leave, and it's pretty obvious they want the US to leave.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:17 pm 
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Of course, there's the distinct possibility that our primary goal isn't saving Iraq at all. You know, maybe we're just after the millions and millions and millions of potential barrels of oil sitting under Iraqi sands.

How they expect to get that when the country is in all-out civil war i do not understand, but they sure as hell don't seem too bothered about it. Unless, you know, people are getting all uppity about how the whole thing is an insane death march. Then it's all "Hey, let's do something utterly useless and prematurely declare victory again!"

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 3:51 am 
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After delving into this thread's previous three pages of expository dialogue, I'm gonna have to stick with my previous position -> Nuke 'em all and enjoy the use of the World's Largest Mirror.

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