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Great piece on Iraq

All right, this is old by now, but I've been on vacation, so sue me. It's so worth reading I'm going to post it anyway. It's probably the best analysis of the war in Iraq that I've read in a long time, long on common sense and short on partisan posturing. Not surprisingly, it's from The Economist. I'd urge everyone to go read the whole thing, but I'll excerpt some of my favorite bits below.

It is not enough to say with the neocons that this was a good idea executed badly. Their own ideas are partly to blame. Too many people in Washington were fixated on proving an ideological point: that America's values were universal and would be digested effortlessly by people a world away. But plonking an American army in the heart of the Arab world was always a gamble. It demanded the highest seriousness and careful planning. Messrs Bush and Rumsfeld chose instead to send less than half the needed soldiers and gave no proper thought to the aftermath.

What a waste. Most Iraqis rejoiced in the toppling of Saddam. They trooped in their millions to vote. What would Iraq be like now if America had approached its perilous, monumentally controversial undertaking with humility, honesty and courage? Thanks to the almost criminal negligence of Mr Bush's administration nobody, now, will ever know.

If this article were more representative of current political discourse, perhaps we could actually have a constructive dialog about the whole debacle. I guess we're just not there yet. We don't seem able to progress beyond a shouting match between the administration's denial and a chorus of "BUSH LIED!!!"


I've never bought the "big footprint" argument that we didn't bring in enough troops. Half a million soldiers didn't work in Vietnam, why would 300,000 have made a difference in Iraq?

The monumental misunderstanding, IMHO, has been in thinking that the current civil conflict in Iraq is a sectarian dispute. The Sunnis and Shiites are not fighting over the heir to Mohammad any more than the Irish spent 80 years killing each other over transubstantiation. It just happens that one side is predominantly Sunni and the predominantly Shia.

Saddam's Iraq was an apartheid regime in which one group, the Sunni Arabs, ruled over a caste system that put Shiite Arabs and their Farsi brethren at the bottom of social barrel. What's going on now is a struggle over whether the old tyranny will be reestablish or not.

Like the Ku Klux Klan after the American Civil War, the Sunnis want to restore their dominance over the Shiite majority. Not surprisingly, the Shiites say no to that.

It doesn't matter how many troops the coalition brought in after the invasion, this conflict was bound to occur. And invasion or not, the day was bound to come when the Shiites would tolerate Jamal Crow no more.

Well, I think it's a sectarian dispute in that one side is Shia and the other Sunni, but I do agree that it's not necessarily a religious disagreement (omgg, I just agreed with wf). That said, and I do think some of this is trying to maintain control of the oil, what goal does our presence help reach?

That analysis sucks. It pretty much says that going into Iraq was the right thing to do and that the only problem was that not enough troops were sent. Wrong and misleading. Going into Iraq was simply WRONG and caused unnecessary deaths of hundreds of thousands. It is that simple.

>It pretty much says that going into Iraq was the right thing to do and that the only problem was that not enough troops were sent.

It doesn't say that at all.

Sure it does Barry. You just gotta kinda lean your head toward your left shoulder and close your right eye when you read it! ;D

"Sure it does Barry. You just gotta kinda lean your head toward your left shoulder and close your right eye when you read it! "

Nope. Wrong. You gotta lean your head towards your right shoulder and close you LEFT eye. Try again.

Going into Iraq to topple Saddam's regime WAS indeed the right thing to do.

Hussein's regime was a rogue state terror supporter and an enemy of America's since we, according to him, "stabbed him in the back" in 1990.

He had been a trusted ally throughout the Iran-Iraq war, but he was wrong to take offense at America's first refusing to get involved in the Kuwait/Iraq border dispute (Kuwait was slant-drilling across the Kuwait/Iraq border) and then turning around and attacking him over the "rape of Kuwait."

Yeah, the U.S. did react ambiguously over Iraq's border dipsute with Kuwait ("We don't get involved in such petty border disputes", James Baker), but that was no reason for Saddam Hussein to turn on America the way he did.

He was foolish to think that America (under Bush Sr, or anyone else) would ever treat him as an equal - BECAUSE he wasn't an equal!

Saddam Hussein never should've done what he did - forge alliances with al Qaeda (al Qaeda's Ansar al Islam camps in northern Iraq waged "Saddam's war" against the Kurds in that region) and harbor and support international terrorists.

Way before the 2003 invasion of Iraq...waaaay before 9/11/01 America had no chance of ever verbally negotiating any form of meaningful peace between the West and the increasingly radicalized Sharia-Islamist world.

Those who think that our military negotiations in the Mideast are an "over-reaction" either don't understand the inevitable confrontation between us and radicalized Sharia-based Islam, or they refuse to accept that inevitability.

I firmly believe that military negotiation (negotiation by force) has a far better chance of ultimately "changing hearts and minds," than does any kind of verbal negotiation.

Lying to the American people and murdering countless people in a war concocted to enrich your friends and corporate backers was NOT the right thing to do, even if scumbag Saddam got what he deserved.

This war was used by Chimp to expand his presidential powers far beyond anything remotely legal or constitutional, and to scare fools into giving up the rights that many a true patriot died for.

Now that Patriot Act abuses have been well established, you can save the "Yeah, it's unconstitutional and illegal, but they never abused it!" line of argument.

Bush hates America. He is a traitor. The world would be better off if he had been hanged instead of Saddam.

WoW! On every single point you're wrong Barely. OK, not that surprising, just par for the course.

There were no "lies" that led to the invasion of Iraq.

The NY Times (of all sources) documented that even Saddam's own Generals believed Iraq had huge stockpiles of WMDs to repel an invasion, which is why virtually EVERY intelligence agency in the world believed the very same thing. So there were no "lies" over WMDs.



There are a lot of things that can be criticized about how post-Saddam Iraq has been mishandled, but the initial "war" (over in 3 weeks) and the lead up to it (Saddam's Iraq blatant refusal to cooperate with 1441 and the fact that both Saddam's own Generals and virtually every Intel Agency believed Iraq had stockpiles of WMDs) are not among them.

The Patriot Act has (1) stood up to numerous legal challenges (that means the courts approve) and (2) there have as yet been no proven allegations of abuse of the Patriot Act by police.

As of 1/2007 the H1-B Visa limits have expired and to date, no H-1B's have been given out in 2007, leaving tech companies as small as Navigator and Greenwich Technologies and as large as Cisco and MS screaming for relief. They are joined by people in the financial services field who also rely on skilled foreign labor to deal with the problem of "structural unemployment."

I agree with those in Cisco and MS who claim that 65,000 H-1B's are "not nearly enough," that cap probably should be raised back to 95,000/year.

Again, wrong on H-1B's and wrong on both Iraq & the Patriot Act too.

it all comes down to this - war sucks - and there is no panacea for it. What if W followed the suggestions to the letter and there were WMDs and we still lost 3,000+ troops?

also, what should we do now, esp. the Dems, since they have a greater chance of winning the Presidency next year? It seems that everyone is so willing to complain but no one is willing to come up with a solution other than abandon (yes, abandon) Iraq

Funny JMK, but no matter how much you lie, everyone can look at the window and see the truth around them.

Microsoft OFFSHORED hundreeds of thousands of jobs in the last few years, and yet they still want to IMPORT cheap foreign labor too!

Computer jobs have not exploded, and IT wages are down. Hmmm, could it be that Microsoft and those other companies are just fucking lying? Could it be that they just want cheaper labor? If they are "screaming for relief", why don't they hire the programmers who are still unemployed? Why, when I talk to them, do they offer me FAR LESS than I made ten years ago???

Why JMK? Take a look at realilty, not what Rush Limbaugh says, and answer me why.

Pick up a newspaper, take a look around. How many companies are "screaming for relief" for IT workers?

The Patriot Act abuses are now WELL DOCUMENTED and the courts have now RULED AGAINST at least some of the unconsitutinal portions of this fascist power grab.

No lies about Iraq? LOL!

Hell, I'll just let that go, you make yourself sound so dumb. What more could I add?

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