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May 27, 2006

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erphschwester

auch ich bin der meinung, dass die sicherheit im irak nicht mit bush und blair zu haben ist.

www.blogigo.de/erphschwester/entry/249423

www.blogigo.de/erphschwester/entry/249918

Joerg

Ach ja? Und wer soll das sonst tun?
Welches Land ist denn bereit, Truppen in den Irak zu schicken?

Oder liegen deine hoffnungen nicht auf einem anderen Land, sondern auf anderen amerik. und brit. Regierungschefs? Dass also die USA und GB im Irak bleiben, aber eine andere brit. und amerik. Regierung eine besssere Politik fährt?

Dr. Dean

@Joerg
That's my hope:

Volksabstimmung in Iraq - Let democracy prevail! A Volksabstimmung about the procedure of the withdrawal of American troops.

Additionally: Spending of 30 Mrd US $/year for the people of democratic Iraq. Free decision what to do with the money! This is much cheaper* than war! And more effective.

*Degressive spending: first year 30, second 20, third 14, fourth 10 and so on.

erphschwester

@joerg:
ich weiss gar nicht, woher die aberwitzige vorstellung kommt, dass einzig die laender der westlichen welt dem nahen osten helfen koennen. was dort bisher angerichtet wurde - mit den einheimischen und den eigenen soldaten - ist schlimm genug. muss man immer noch weitermachen? wie kann man sich anmassen, den richtigen weg fuer ein anderes land, fuer eine andere kultur wissen zu wollen?
ich stimme Dr.Dekan zu: es ist zeit fuer wiedergutmachung und rueckzug.

und sowieso haben die usa noch nie einen krieg wirklich gewonnen. warum versuchen sie es dann immer wieder?

David

I also like Dr. Dean's proposal very much. What we really need is a Marshall Plan for the entire region. $30 billion is "peanuts" when the total cost of the war so far has been over $1 trillion.

Dr. Dean

I believe Iraq people are able to make much out of the money if they can freely choose the use. A population of 25 million people and 30 billion $ mean 1200,-$ per head - this is quite a lot of money there.

Olaf Petersen

Ein Abzug würde die Interessen des Iran im Südirak ungemein stärken. Die USA haben bereits eine von Schiiten dominierte Hiwi-Armee und Polizei aufgestellt. Die Zeit läuft für Teheran und Bush weiss das. Ich frage mich, wie lange es noch dauert, bis die amerikanischen Konservativen begreifen, in welch eine groteske Situation sie ausgerechnet Bush manövriert hat. Er hat die USA abhängig von den friedlichen Absichten des Iran gemacht, wie nie zuvor.

Joerg

"ich weiss gar nicht, woher die aberwitzige vorstellung kommt, dass einzig die laender der westlichen welt dem nahen osten helfen koennen."

Sie kommt aus deinem wirren Kopf! Ich habe nichts von westlicher Welt erzählt, sondern gefragt, wie Du Dir die Herstellung von Sicherheit vorstellst.

"und sowieso haben die usa noch nie einen krieg wirklich gewonnen."

Das sagt alles über Deine Bildung.

Joerg

"What we really need is a Marshall Plan for the entire region. $30 billion is "peanuts" when the total cost of the war so far has been over $1 trillion."

Money is not the problem! There are many oil-rich states in the region, who don't need a Marshall plan.
Western governments just don't know how to spend it wisely in those other poor Arab countries and they don't want to lift agricultural tariffs and all kinds of other non-tarriff barriers for other other products from the region.
Besides there is so much corruption in the region and inefficient buraucracy etc.

Joerg

@ Dean

"Spending of 30 Mrd US $/year for the people of democratic Iraq. Free decision what to do with the money!"

Sounds like a foreign aid expert is speaking....
Are you saying the US should just give the government that money and pray that they will use it wisely, unlike most of the third world countries who have not used unconditional aid wisely?

Or are you saying US planes should fly all over Iraq and drop that money in $50 bills out of the sky? That would have a real trickle down effect.

I prefer the second option. It is much better than all the huge amounts of foreign aid the Arab region received in the past.

However, this would not make Iraq any more free, stable or peaceful.

"I believe Iraq people are able to make much out of the money if they can freely choose the use."

Lack of money isn't the problem in Iraq.

The US Congress has granted tons of money for reconstruction in Iraq, but they don't know how to spend it due to the security situation.

Some $5 billion, I believe, have been lost in 2003. Completely vanished. This corruptino is much worse than the UN's oil for food scandal.

David is in favor immediate withdrawal. You guys seem to agree. My question is: What's then going to happen?
I think there will be more chaos and violence, but you don't seem to care about the Iraqi people.

You don't mention or link to any serious plan to help the Iraqi people after an immediate withdrawal of US troops. How to prevent all out civil war, theocracy, anarchy, and a safe haven for terrorists like Afghanistan has become after the Soviet withdrawal. The master mind or inspiration of the next 9/11 could have his residence in Iraq.

You just make some superficial suggestions about spending money to help Iraqis. It's not so simple...

RayD

Exactly. Look at Vietnam and Cambodia since 1974. Both nations are shining democracies free of the mass murder of millions and imprisonment and exile of millions more. The past thirty years have been golden for those nations, RIGHT?

Hey David: Why can't we learn from history? Leaving Vietnam was one of the worst disasters in history. The Communist regimes that took over in Southeast Asia murdered millions and have kept that region in darkness for three decades. You can see the very stark differences on the Korean peninsula as well. Where the US stayed there is prosperity and democracy. Where the Communists prevailed there is darkness, mass starvation, mass oppression and hopelessness.

The fact is that US troops have committed crimes in every war, including in Germany. That doesn't make it right. But it doesn't mean that the overall objective was wrong or that the government supported such actions. In fact, the US government is prosecuting and punishing troops who have engaged in crimes as we speak.

Leaving Iraq now would leave the country at the mercy of Iran and fanatical Sunni extremists. It would turn a low-intensity conflict into a massive civil war. The problem is that you haven't really thought much about the real consequences of US withdrawal for the region and the world. What will the people who eventually take power do with all of the money they get from Iraqi oil?

Stupid, blind defeatism just isn't the answer. Military experts have been telling us from the beginning that insurgencies last 9-12 years. That means we have a long way to go. The fact is, however, that US forces can and do prevent far greater violence (inspired by Iran and Syria) and need to continue to work for stability in that nation. Cut-and-run is nothing more than an easy, short-term way out that is certain to lead to far greater long-term pain for everyone.

Assistant Village Idiot

From the Washington Post:
"Attorneys for the Marines -- including Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, the most senior noncommissioned officer at the scene of the shootings -- have said repeatedly that their clients followed the appropriate rules of engagement and killed the civilians as they were hunting insurgents responsible both for the roadside bombing and for a volley of shots from what the Marines believed were AK-47 assault rifles.

"They responded the way they were trained," said Jack B. Zimmerman, an attorney for Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, 25, who officials believe was one of the Marines who fired shots. "Anytime you're involved in house-to-house urban warfare in an inhabited area, there's going to be the risk that civilians will be in harm's way. It's very unfortunate that women and children died, but the issue here is what was going through these guys' minds when they were taking fire, and did they respond the way they were trained to?"

Marine Corps officials have declined to comment about the case, as a nine-month investigation rests in the hands of prosecutors who have not yet decided on charges. A high-level review of whether commanders did not appropriately investigate the Haditha incident was completed in Iraq in July and the results are with commanders there, though Pentagon officials have so far declined to release the findings.

Wuterich, through his attorneys, has outlined a scenario that portrays the Marines reacting in a clinical way, noting that the squad was taking fire from the houses and attacked them, "clearing" rooms with grenades and gunfire.

In a separate account, recently obtained by The Washington Post, other Marines in the squad reported seeing, hearing and feeling gunshots flying over their heads in short bursts immediately before they entered the houses. The scenes inside, according to the account, were chaotic, as Marines threw fragmentation grenades and then fired shots through the dust and smoke.

One Marine who was in the convoy that day said that no one overreacted to the death of their friend, Cpl. Miguel "TJ" Terrazas, and that the troops focused on the mission. Answering written questions under the condition of anonymity, the Marine said no one seemed to be out for revenge. Instead, he said, the men wanted to make sure comrades came out from the ambush alive."

That said, it remains possible that marines will be charged. One expects the attorney for one side to present a one-sided argument, after all.

But I would caution against coming to conclusions before all the data is in.

David

The slaughter that the US unleashed with its violent invasion is now beyond a civil war. The stories become more and more monstrous with each day. I can only agree with this LTE in today's NYTimes:

"Both conservatives and liberals familiar with just-war theory have argued that justification for the American invasion of Iraq failed on a majority of criteria. One of those is the actual conduct of the war.

The mounting Iraqi civilian death toll makes clear that the United States, in removing Saddam Hussein, cut off the Hydra’s head, allowing a thousand more to grow.

Now many are saying that while our entry into the war may have been unjust, we cannot leave the country in chaos. That is a denial of reality. The country is in chaos, and further conduct of war has increased the chaos. The numbers of the dead do not lie. The war has now become monstrously unjust.

The just option is for the United States to declare an immediate cease-fire and put all its effort into a negotiated settlement among all parties, Syria and Iran included. "

RayD

@ David,

The US should declare a cease-fire? And what will that change? The bulk of the fighting is going on between Sunni and Shiite militias who are being supported by outside actors including Iran, Syria and Al-Qaeda. The US has been trying very hard to stop them from killing one another. You wrongly imply that the US is the cause of the violence. The violence that we see today is a continuation of the sectarian violence that has been a part of Iraqi history for centuries and was far worse under Saddam Hussein (who oppressed, imprisoned, exiled and killed millions of Kurds and Shiites so that a Sunni minority could run things and reap the benefits.)

You, like many others on the far left, seem to be arguing that the situation in Iraq is so terrible that it could not possibly get worse. Not only is that a total denial of reality, it is also motivated by a political desire to destroy your political opponents through a prophecy of defeatism that is by no means inevitable. You are clearly still stuck in the Vietnam era intellectually when the situation in Iraq is very different from Vietnam in so many ways.

If you think the situation now is (one thousands times) worse than Saddam Hussein's regime, that is just another sign that you are suffering from cognitive dissonance. The killing could get much MUCH worse should the United States leave the country at the mercy of Iran, Syria and Al-Qaeda supported factions battling it out for control of the country. The chaos (which you wrongly claim has taken over the entire country) is now limited primarily to a 30 mile zone around Baghdad and to say that the entire country is in chaos (when large swaths of Kurdistan and the south are quite placid) is yet more denial of reality. Should we leave, what we see happening today in Baghdad and Anbar would almost certainly explode through the entire country and region.

If you want to irresponsibly support a policy whose consequences you clearly have not given much thought to, that is your good right. But don't expect others to go along with a suicidal plan that could only make the situation exponentially worse for Iraq and the rest of the world (except Iran, Syria and possibly Al-Qaeda).

Joerg

"in removing Saddam Hussein, cut off the Hydra’s head, allowing a thousand more to grow."

I agree.
No, I am not saying that the thousand new heads are as strong as the Saddam head.

Just an example: Documentary about death squads:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2672821173995817383&q=death+squads

Sounds just like Saddam...

I disagree with the LTE. And I agree with Ray on these issues: Declaring a cease-fire would not make any difference.

"The violence that we see today is a continuation of the sectarian violence that has been a part of Iraqi history for centuries and was far worse under Saddam Hussein (who oppressed, imprisoned, exiled and killed millions of Kurds and Shiites so that a Sunni minority could run things and reap the benefits.)"

I agree, if you look at Saddam entire career, but I am not sure if it is true if you look at the 90s.

Has anybody seen some analysis of how brutal Saddam was in the 90s? How many Shiites did he kill?

He killed a lot right after the Shiite uprising, which the US encouraged after the first Iraq war. He reestablished his credentials as a brutal dictator and that was it, right? Wrong?

The Kurds were de facto independent from Iraq in the 90s, thanks to the now fly zones etc.
They were just fighting each other. Thus I am not sure, if US brought sooo many positive changes to the Kurds after 2003. Many yes, but not sooo many.

Anyway, how many Iraqis got murdered, tortured, mutilated etc by Saddam's police in the last ten years before the latest Iraq war?
That's not a rhetorical question. I just don't know.

My point is just that we should not compare today with Saddam's rule in the 80s, but with what he was still capable to do in the 90s, because many folks think that containment worked.

Then again, we have to consider the victims of the sanctions, for which Saddam is primarily to blame.

I agree with Ray: "The killing could get much MUCH worse should the United States leave the country at the mercy of Iran, Syria and Al-Qaeda supported factions battling it out for control of the country."

Everything can get worse anytime.
Re Syria and Iran and Al Qaeda: I am not so sure. I think the Iraqis kill each other for their own interests.

If the Shiites win the civil war and managed to defeat the Sunnis, they will brutally go after all Sunnis and eliminate Al Qaeda in Iraq.

Syria and Iran might help the Shiites in doing so.

Remember how Assad has leveled the Syrian city of Hama in the 80s?
Extremely brutal. Tens of thousands of victims. Afterwards the Muslim Brotherhood did not dare to do anything. He has set an example. He avoided a civil war like in Lebanon with this brutality.

The US could not use such brutality in Iraq. The Iraqi Shiites, supported by Iran and Syria, could do that. This could bring peace and stability to Iran.

Of course, this is not an outcome we would like to see, but it is a cold hearted, realistic, machiavellian possibility.

In the early 90s, Bush senior was against going to Bagdad. Then came the soft 90s with Seinfeld, The End of History, the start up Bubble, Latte Machiato, Neocon wishful thinking of democracy promotion. Therefore, Bush junior went to Bagdad in 2003.
The startups bubble exploded. Iraq exploded. Soon the cold-hearted, machiavellian thinking that dominated earlier will have a revival.

More and more Americans appreciate Bush senior.

(Bush senior was pretty popular in Germany, I think. We don't dislike all Republican presidents.)

Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of machivallian thinking. In fact, I am very much in favor of democracy promotion etc. I just think the Neocons screwed up and gave democracy promotion a bad name. And the return to machiavelly is a sad thing.

"The chaos (which you wrongly claim has taken over the entire country) is now limited primarily to a 30 mile zone around Baghdad"

So why does the United States need 150,000 troops?
Why can't this huge number of troops not secure this 30 mile zone?

Michael Moore writes today: "Tomorrow marks the day that we will have been in Iraq longer than we were in all of World War II.
That's right. We were able to defeat all of Nazi Germany, Mussolini, and the entire Japanese empire in LESS time than it's taken the world's only superpower to secure the road from the airport to downtown Baghdad."

David

@RayD,

My position is mainstream American, as evidenced by the last election. Everyone realizes this war was a colossal mistake - brought about by delusional neocon chickenhawks.

Joerg

Similar comment in LA Times:

"Restoring the expectation of order in Iraq will take some kind of large-scale psychological shock. The Iraqi elections were expected to offer that shock, but they didn't. The return of Saddam Hussein — a man every Iraqi knows, and whom many of them fear — would do the trick. The disadvantages of reinstalling Hussein are obvious, but consider some of the upside. He would not allow the country to be dominated by Iran, which is the United States' major regional enemy, a sponsor of terrorism and an instigator of warfare between Lebanon and Israel. Hussein was extremely difficult to deal with before the war, in large part because he apparently believed that he could defeat any U.S. invasion if it came to that. Now he knows he can't. And he'd probably be amenable because his alternative is death by hanging. I know why restoring a brutal tyrant to power is a bad idea. Somebody explain to me why it's worse than all the others."
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-chait26nov26,0,991459.column?coll=la-util-opinion-commentary

Bill

Da nu Nahm

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