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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:52 am 
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Itterind wrote:
Iraq didn't really declare war on us in the first place, they occasionally supported terrorists but all they really did was to be the only government in the world that I've heard of applaud the 11/9.


You are confusing Iran and Iraq.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 6:52 am 
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I feel like the old men in the cafe in the book All Quiet on the Western Front.

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Slamlander wrote:
Itterind wrote:
Iraq didn't really declare war on us in the first place, they occasionally supported terrorists but all they really did was to be the only government in the world that I've heard of applaud the 11/9.


You are confusing Iran and Iraq.

One is headed by an evil religious nutjob who supplies terrorists and one was headed by an evil, largely secular nutjob who supplied different terrorists.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Save Iraq?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:27 am 
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Slamlander wrote:
Reality check:
Forrest wrote:
1) Surrender operations to an international body (the U.N., or some other coalition, preferably including other middle-eastern states either way).

Forget it. Bush screwed that option when he went unilateral. The EU, for one, is saying "we told you 'No' and we meant 'No'. Now you know why we said 'No'." Chirac(FR) and Schroeder(DE) both took a lot of shit from America for refusing to go along with the invasion. Do you remember the "Freedom Fries" thing? That wasn't the worst of it. American boycotts of EU business and tourism did a lot of economic damage over here.

I'm in Swiss Romande, Francophone country. While they have no great love for the French, they caught a bunch of the anti-French sentiment and the anti-french jokes too.

If you are thinking that Bush's last little junket healed things up over here, then you are delusional, as delusional as Bush is. The EU is fairly united in this, they don't like being called cowards because they refuse to be stupid.

In case you are wondering, the UK isn't really a part of Continental Europe, we just let them think they are. One sometimes humors the retarded :wink:

Forrest wrote:
2) Offer our full military backing for whatever their solution is.

That's not a convincer. For one thing, that requires trust and they don't quite trust the US anymore. Bush did a good job there as well.


So you're saying that the EU, UN, et al would not taking kindly to the U.S. saying "we fucked up and don't know how to fix it without being total dicks, what do you think we should do? Whatever you think is right, we'll do it." You think they'd all say "ha ha you fucked it up you figure out how to fix it"? Seems rather immature of them.

(Disclaimer: I just happen to live in America; I don't take sides on issues based on nationality or any sort of group identity. I'm just me. So, don't assume that me calling an international body [possibly] immature means I'm defending America's actions; I think going to war in Iraq was a stupid idea).

My general rule of thumb is that inter-group ethics are perfectly analogous to inter-personal ethics. If some person came and attacked some other person ostensibly for their own good - say, trying to stop a suicide attempt or something - and then didn't turn the issue over to the appropriate community to oversee the issue, we'd just call that assault and/or kidnapping. The US 'preemptively' invading Iraq *could* (under counterfactual circumstances) have been legitimate if it was, say, to aid an internal group of freedom fighters trying to free their country from tyranny. But even if that had been the case, if the US just invaded and handled the whole thing themselves and ignored the will of the international community (as they have been), that's just a plain old invasion if not outright conquest.

I'm just saying the US has been stupid and unethical so far in meddling in the affairs of another country without international backing, and that we should reverse that policy immediately; we broke it so we've got to fix it, but WHAT SHOULD WE DO TO FIX IT? Turn the answering of that question over to the international community, to make sure we don't just do something to make things even worse. The UN et al could still give us directives that make things worse, but at least we'd have checked with others beforehand so it's not just our own stupidity screwing things up more.

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Forrest wrote:
3) Suggest as a solution that we (the international community):

i) Allow the various Iraqi factions to form their own regional governments as they please (e.g. allow Kurdistan to secede if they like).

The Kurdistan issue will bring in Turkey so fast that it'll make your head spin. They will invade, period. They damned near did it anyway, while Bush was having his little tea party. Bush had to promise them that Iraq wouldn't be allowed to break up.


It may sound callous to say, but if that happens then it's Turkey fucking things up, not us, and they should be appropriately punished for it. This is another reason why to involve the international community; if the U.S. takes it upon itself to be the World Police without international backing, they just look like a big bully. But if the whole international community says that secession is OK, and some particular nation has an issue with some particular instance of secession, then that nation will have to consider in it's choice of actions that the whole rest of the world will back the right of whoever to secede.

This right of secession is a general ethical principle for me. It's never right to force one group to be beholden to the arbitrary rule of some other group. (And before you go "then why are you talking about international communities and such", there's a difference between a group being a good and responsible member of a larger group-of-groups, and a group being beholden to to another particular group. It's the same difference between being a good citizen and being someone else's slave).

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ii) Offer defense again all foreign powers (incl. other parts of the state formally known as Iraq) to any faction that manages to establish domestic peace within their region. ("Domestic peace" also including just governance, so we don't end up helping despotic tyrants).

That does not resolve the ethical problem. The US broke the Iraqi egg. It is the US's responsibility to either make a nice omelette or repair the egg. It's the old 'you broke it, you own it!' principle.

Forrest wrote:
iii) Encourage diplomatic and trade relations between the various factions / states, possibly leading toward eventual reunification; and if not, no big deal.

So you would abandon the Iraqi people after turning their world into shit? Nice guy you are. This is why Amrican reputation suffers so.


What ethical problem does this not solve? I think it solves the (apparent) ethical dilemma nicely. Our options at present appear to be "be evil tyrannical despots and whip all of Iraq into shape forcibly" and "pull out and let them all go to hell". My solution to the dilemma is "help anybody who asks for it".

Instead of trying to impose order top-down across a region that doesn't entirely like us in the first place, focus on helping those individual towns, etc, who *want* U.S. forces there. Let those towns ally with each other into larger groups, districts, and regions as they please. Iraq is already practically in a state of anarchy; so just call it anarchy and then let them (and help them) rebuild from the bottom up. If you wind up with a number of smaller states instead of one big state in the end, I don't see the problem there, so long as they're at peace in the end.

That's what I meant by "no big deal". Not that it doesn't matter whether or not things get resolved peacefully in Iraq - it certainly does - but that it doesn't matter if Iraq maintains some singular identity as "Iraq". If it turns out that the people in that region don't all want to be one country, then what's the problem with that? Maybe some people in one part of the country want other people to be part of that country, but if those others don't want to be a part, tough shit for the other guys.

EDIT: Whoops, broken quotes.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:38 pm 
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Labrat wrote:
One is headed by an evil religious nutjob who supplies terrorists and one was headed by an evil, largely secular nutjob who supplied different terrorists.

One, for religious reasons, didn't support terrorists who we were attacking, or to be more precise we claimed we were attacking, and the other one, for practical reasons, did not support said terrorists. Neither is a threat to the West, neither was a threat to the West. One is now chaos, the other has just elected the ex-President to the most powerful body in the nation, which chooses the Supreme Leader of Iran, presently the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The way to sort out the one, is to involve the other, because we have destabilised the region, and to restabilise it will mean involving presently stable nations such as Iran in stabilising unstable nations, ie Iraq.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:36 pm 
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The Iraqi people need to grow the fuck up and realize that killing each other all over the place isn't going to solve anything. Especially not the gang-style bullshit that's been going on for so long.

I really don't see how the US can affect things much; the issue is by this point mainly in the hands of the Iraqi people. We can't be out on patrol all the time babysitting them. We don't have the manpower, and furthermore it would be an absurd waste of resources.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 6:43 pm 
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Rupert The Guerilla Rat wrote:
The Iraqi people need to grow the fuck up and realize that killing each other all over the place isn't going to solve anything. Especially not the gang-style bullshit that's been going on for so long.

I really don't see how the US can affect things much; the issue is by this point mainly in the hands of the Iraqi people. We can't be out on patrol all the time babysitting them. We don't have the manpower, and furthermore it would be an absurd waste of resources.

Well, having dismantled their army and police force, you could attempt to reverse the resulting absolte lack of law enforcement; you could withdraw a little and stop shooting everything that moves; and you could maybe take a shot at gluing back together the vase you smashed into a thousand, thousand fragments...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:57 pm 
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They have an Army. They have a police force. Even so, they can't be everywhere at once. It's up to the Iraqi people as a whole to fix things, not just pointing fingers and spraying Kalashnikovs at people over percieved differences.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:15 pm 
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And what's funny is that we actually sit around and debate this. Even if one of us came up with a brilliant and perfect plan, we couldn't do a damn thing about it.

I'm with Band: nuke 'em.

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Rupert The Guerilla Rat wrote:
They have an Army. They have a police force. Even so, they can't be everywhere at once. It's up to the Iraqi people as a whole to fix things, not just pointing fingers and spraying Kalashnikovs at people over percieved differences.

No, they don't. They have the beginnings of each of them, but they aren't trained yet and so on, and can't impose order, and the Coalition troops... well, its actually the American troops, the others seem to have calmed their areas down pretty well by not being trigger happy. Hm. Lesson there?

If America, or Britain, or any other nation had all its infrastructure stripped away in one day for 3, even more, years, we'd be in chaos; and if it was America, the situation would be very similar to the Iraqi one, with the militias trying to impose order. And that's without an invading force that is reviled...

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 7:44 am 
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Yes, the army and police were more or less disbanded after the initial invasion, but that's something that nobody here has any control over. Besides, the title of the thread is "How to save Iraq", not "How to nitpick the decisions of US policymakers, even if they were totally retarded."

The new army and police have been in existence for well over a year, and they're far from not being trained, but the quality of troops varies from unit to unit. But really, how do you want them to learn if they can just run to daddy coalition whenever they stub their toe?

As far as US troops being trigger happy? Targets hardly ever present themselves. Most of the time on patrols, nothing happens but shaking hands and talking to locals, buying some falaffels at a marketplace, and rolling back in. It's only occasionally that something violent happens, and even then, the US troops usually get there after the fact and get stuck doing police work on the scene. More and more lately, the terrorists have been targeting their fellow Iraqis, and making not as much of an effort against coalition troops.

Like I first stated, it's up to the Iraqi people as a whole to decide to stop all of this bullshit. Even if you get a competent army and police, even if coalition troops remain committed, there's still a 1:500 ratio, at least, of troops to civilian population.

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 Post subject: Re: How Do We Save Iraq?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:00 am 
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Forrest wrote:
Slamlander wrote:
Reality check:
Forrest wrote:
1) Surrender operations to an international body (the U.N., or some other coalition, preferably including other middle-eastern states either way).

Forget it. Bush screwed that option when he went unilateral. The EU, for one, is saying "we told you 'No' and we meant 'No'. Now you know why we said 'No'." Chirac(FR) and Schroeder(DE) both took a lot of shit from America for refusing to go along with the invasion. Do you remember the "Freedom Fries" thing? That wasn't the worst of it. American boycotts of EU business and tourism did a lot of economic damage over here.

I'm in Swiss Romande, Francophone country. While they have no great love for the French, they caught a bunch of the anti-French sentiment and the anti-french jokes too.

If you are thinking that Bush's last little junket healed things up over here, then you are delusional, as delusional as Bush is. The EU is fairly united in this, they don't like being called cowards because they refuse to be stupid.

In case you are wondering, the UK isn't really a part of Continental Europe, we just let them think they are. One sometimes humors the retarded :wink:

Forrest wrote:
2) Offer our full military backing for whatever their solution is.

That's not a convincer. For one thing, that requires trust and they don't quite trust the US anymore. Bush did a good job there as well.


So you're saying that the EU, UN, et al would not taking kindly to the U.S. saying "we fucked up and don't know how to fix it without being total dicks, what do you think we should do? Whatever you think is right, we'll do it." You think they'd all say "ha ha you fucked it up you figure out how to fix it"? Seems rather immature of them.

(Disclaimer: I just happen to live in America; I don't take sides on issues based on nationality or any sort of group identity. I'm just me. So, don't assume that me calling an international body [possibly] immature means I'm defending America's actions; I think going to war in Iraq was a stupid idea).

My general rule of thumb is that inter-group ethics are perfectly analogous to inter-personal ethics. If some person came and attacked some other person ostensibly for their own good - say, trying to stop a suicide attempt or something - and then didn't turn the issue over to the appropriate community to oversee the issue, we'd just call that assault and/or kidnapping. The US 'preemptively' invading Iraq *could* (under counterfactual circumstances) have been legitimate if it was, say, to aid an internal group of freedom fighters trying to free their country from tyranny. But even if that had been the case, if the US just invaded and handled the whole thing themselves and ignored the will of the international community (as they have been), that's just a plain old invasion if not outright conquest.

I'm just saying the US has been stupid and unethical so far in meddling in the affairs of another country without international backing, and that we should reverse that policy immediately; we broke it so we've got to fix it, but WHAT SHOULD WE DO TO FIX IT? Turn the answering of that question over to the international community, to make sure we don't just do something to make things even worse. The UN et al could still give us directives that make things worse, but at least we'd have checked with others beforehand so it's not just our own stupidity screwing things up more.

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?

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.

Forrest wrote:
Quote:
Forrest wrote:
3) Suggest as a solution that we (the international community):

i) Allow the various Iraqi factions to form their own regional governments as they please (e.g. allow Kurdistan to secede if they like).

The Kurdistan issue will bring in Turkey so fast that it'll make your head spin. They will invade, period. They damned near did it anyway, while Bush was having his little tea party. Bush had to promise them that Iraq wouldn't be allowed to break up.


It may sound callous to say, but if that happens then it's Turkey fucking things up, not us, and they should be appropriately punished for it. This is another reason why to involve the international community; if the U.S. takes it upon itself to be the World Police without international backing, they just look like a big bully. But if the whole international community says that secession is OK, and some particular nation has an issue with some particular instance of secession, then that nation will have to consider in it's choice of actions that the whole rest of the world will back the right of whoever to secede.

This right of secession is a general ethical principle for me. It's never right to force one group to be beholden to the arbitrary rule of some other group. (And before you go "then why are you talking about international communities and such", there's a difference between a group being a good and responsible member of a larger group-of-groups, and a group being beholden to to another particular group. It's the same difference between being a good citizen and being someone else's slave).

That whole issue was taken off the table. 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.

Forrest wrote:
Quote:
Forrest wrote:
ii) Offer defense again all foreign powers (incl. other parts of the state formally known as Iraq) to any faction that manages to establish domestic peace within their region. ("Domestic peace" also including just governance, so we don't end up helping despotic tyrants).

That does not resolve the ethical problem. The US broke the Iraqi egg. It is the US's responsibility to either make a nice omelette or repair the egg. It's the old 'you broke it, you own it!' principle.

Forrest wrote:
iii) Encourage diplomatic and trade relations between the various factions / states, possibly leading toward eventual reunification; and if not, no big deal.

So you would abandon the Iraqi people after turning their world into shit? Nice guy you are. This is why Amrican reputation suffers so.


What ethical problem does this not solve? I think it solves the (apparent) ethical dilemma nicely. Our options at present appear to be "be evil tyrannical despots and whip all of Iraq into shape forcibly" and "pull out and let them all go to hell". My solution to the dilemma is "help anybody who asks for it".

Instead of trying to impose order top-down across a region that doesn't entirely like us in the first place, focus on helping those individual towns, etc, who *want* U.S. forces there. Let those towns ally with each other into larger groups, districts, and regions as they please. Iraq is already practically in a state of anarchy; so just call it anarchy and then let them (and help them) rebuild from the bottom up. If you wind up with a number of smaller states instead of one big state in the end, I don't see the problem there, so long as they're at peace in the end.

That's what I meant by "no big deal". Not that it doesn't matter whether or not things get resolved peacefully in Iraq - it certainly does - but that it doesn't matter if Iraq maintains some singular identity as "Iraq". If it turns out that the people in that region don't all want to be one country, then what's the problem with that? Maybe some people in one part of the country want other people to be part of that country, but if those others don't want to be a part, tough shit for the other guys.


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.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:06 am 
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Rupert The Guerilla Rat wrote:
Yes, the army and police were more or less disbanded after the initial invasion, but that's something that nobody here has any control over. Besides, the title of the thread is "How to save Iraq", not "How to nitpick the decisions of US policymakers, even if they were totally retarded."

The new army and police have been in existence for well over a year, and they're far from not being trained, but the quality of troops varies from unit to unit. But really, how do you want them to learn if they can just run to daddy coalition whenever they stub their toe?

As far as US troops being trigger happy? Targets hardly ever present themselves. Most of the time on patrols, nothing happens but shaking hands and talking to locals, buying some falaffels at a marketplace, and rolling back in. It's only occasionally that something violent happens, and even then, the US troops usually get there after the fact and get stuck doing police work on the scene. More and more lately, the terrorists have been targeting their fellow Iraqis, and making not as much of an effort against coalition troops.

Like I first stated, it's up to the Iraqi people as a whole to decide to stop all of this bullshit. Even if you get a competent army and police, even if coalition troops remain committed, there's still a 1:500 ratio, at least, of troops to civilian population.


You are being quite naive. Police forces operate on tradition and esprit d'corps. It take years to build either one. In the meanwhile, what we have is a bunch of troopers to maintain the peace and soldiers are singularly unequiped and untrained for that function. What we really needed to do was to bring in about 120,000 professional cops, at all levels. Soldiers make lousy investigators like cops make lousy assault troopers.

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Yes, because certainly any country has a large resevre of police just waiting to be sent abroad to fight crime in other countries.

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People seem to be ignoring my main point and just nitpicking.

Again, to reiterate for the third goddamn time, the Iraqi people need to grow the fuck up and stop killing each other everywhere. Look at how the Kurds have it up in Dohuk and other cities that they control. They don't even look like Iraq. They're clean, controlled, and seem more like a part of Turkey than third-world Iraq.

A police force can only do so much when the populace is tearing itself apart.

As far as soldiers being lousy investigators, I take that as something of an insult.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:40 am 
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Rupert The Guerilla Rat wrote:
People seem to be ignoring my main point and just nitpicking.


Sorry Rupert, they are ignoring it because:

1)It makes to much sense
2)I already mentioned it way back
3)and then they would have to actually acknowledge that personal responsibility means something.

When you have all that going against you... well... you will see.


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Honestly, I don't even know why I bothered trying to argue this issue over the internet. Talk about futile.

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Rupert The Guerilla Rat wrote:
People seem to be ignoring my main point and just nitpicking.

Again, to reiterate for the third goddamn time, the Iraqi people need to grow the fuck up and stop killing each other everywhere. Look at how the Kurds have it up in Dohuk and other cities that they control. They don't even look like Iraq. They're clean, controlled, and seem more like a part of Turkey than third-world Iraq.

A police force can only do so much when the populace is tearing itself apart.


For what it's worth (which is probably not much), I completely agree with you; though with the qualification of "and help those who are helping themselves".

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Rupert The Guerilla Rat wrote:
Again, to reiterate for the third goddamn time, the Iraqi people need to grow the fuck up and stop killing each other everywhere. Look at how the Kurds have it up in Dohuk and other cities that they control. They don't even look like Iraq. They're clean, controlled, and seem more like a part of Turkey than third-world Iraq.

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?
Quote:
A police force can only do so much when the populace is tearing itself apart.

Agreed. But it can do something.
Quote:
As far as soldiers being lousy investigators, I take that as something of an insult.

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?

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BandMan2K wrote:
I have the perfect solution - Launch many good ol' nukes that we haven't been using for a long ass time and need to be used before they become defunct. Turn the entire stretch into the World's biggest Mirror, look into the mirror and say, "Damn, I look good in this mirror."

We'll have peace for many decades because then the rest of the world will know we're still as psycho and gun-crazy as we were when we dropped The bombs on Japan.

As fucked up as it may sound, I honestly think it would be the best thing to do. There's so much back-stabbing, infighting, Cult of Martyrdom and hatred that they're gonna do it anyways so why not expedite the timetable?


BandMan 2008!

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