I notice Gunner just snipped that bit out :-) Point was, just killing people who don't want you about doesn't work if enough of them keep coming - unless you're prepared to do it en mass, and become what you're supposedly fighting against.
So far Iraq isn't shaping up well for you.
Oh yeah, I agree with you. I'm 100% certain the Kurds, for example, are delighted. What I see happening is fighting over who's next in the queue for Hussein's job and the sooner the foreigners are out of the way, the sooner the real civil war can kick off. Meanwhile most people, like people everywhere, just want to get on with their lives, raising children, socialising, etc.
That's my bet but I'd like to be wrong.
Yep. That's why I said you could control the countryside relatively simply. Interdicting supply shouldn't be a great problem and there are no 'Great Powers' with borders that you daren't attack if need be. The cities are the problem.
I reckon it'll take at least 1 before anything serious gets done. Maybe more than 1, if the first one isn't in the USA, its territories or a major US troop concentration. Mind you if the first one from Iran for example is on Tel Aviv, the USA won't need to launch. I'd be targeting every Shia holy place in the return strike if I was Israeli, and letting the Iran govt know it in advance.
Yeah, me too. Just stupid comments and failure to think things through pushed a button.
As for spring, yeah it is and in Tasmania the weather is varying from superb to a winter rerun. I've finished my small workshop, accumulated most of the timber for the big shop, got my 3 phase power and am about to install 6 cubic metres of machine tools I shipped down from my Sydney place. Only another 12 cubic metres of tooling to go!
Actually, you're wrong about that. In the first place, Saddam insisted on secular schools when he held power. He wanted engineers and scientists to bring Iraq into the 21st century militarily and economically. He needed competent administrators to run the country, and competent workers to make it all work. Now he wanted them all loyal to Saddam, of course, in that he differed not at all from the Soviet cult of personality model he tried to emulate, but he neither wanted nor needed mind numbed religious fanatics, loyal to some mullah rather than to the State.
Now, however, with the advent of "freedom", Islamist schools are springing up all over Iraq. Recitation of the Koran is replacing the study of mathematics, science, and business, even in the school buildings rebuilt with US money.
You're also wrong about the public health situation. Since the US destroyed them during the invasion, there are no operational sewage treatment plants in Iraq. Baghdad's raw sewage is being dumped directly into the Tigris river, which then flows as the main water supply through the most populous parts of Iraq. Drinking water has to be trucked into the cities of the alluvial plain because the water treatment plants haven't been rebuilt.
Electric power has been partially restored, but even in Baghdad, power is only on about 5 hours a day outside the Green Zone.
Since most of the hospitals were looted in the days following the invasion, competent medical care is in short supply too.
Unemployment in Iraq is currently in excess of 40%. Before the Gulf War, unemployment was under 5%.
By any educational, economic, or public health measure, the people of Iraq are much worse off than they were before the Gulf War.
Fine. But they had better hurry up because they're pretty thick and getting thicker there, apparently. Now, how come that didn't work in southeast asia - why not simply train the ARVN to win the war for us?
On Sat, 16 Oct 2004 08:14:05 GMT, Gunner calmly ranted:
Can you say "Mental conditioning"? I knew you could.
Iraq is a CF, not a "save the world" kind of thing. Our presence and actions there are inciting more terrorism than we had before 9/11. Why are we -actively- and -knowingly- creating people who hate us with the core of their being?
Can you say "Oil mentality"? I knew you could.
========================================================== CAUTION: Do not use remaining fingers as pushsticks! ==========================================================
On the human side of me, yes it does. On the side of me that uses reason, logic and understands that war is a nasty ugly business (been there, done that), no it does not, particularly.
This has been a rather bloodless war all things considered. The liberation of 50 million people, the removal of two governments who really really were evil, and the death toll on both sides is very tiny.
If you take a historical perspective on this, not an emotional one, you will note that it is indeed a relatively bloodless war so far. Asymmetrical warfare can be nasty, as history has shown us time and time again. I see no fire bombing of entire cities, no mass executions, no concentration camps, the usual horrors our fore bearers have handed down to us as vile examples of mans inhumanity to man..or the ravages of war.
Confronting Liberals with the facts of reality is very much akin to clubbing baby seals. It gets boring after a while, but because Liberals are so stupid it is easy work." Steven M. Barry
Here we agree 100%. You also agree with the author of the book I mentioned, "Imperial Hubris." You should read it. His thesis really is that the US cannot win a war in the middle east without a) committing huge numbers of troops on the ground, and b) employing tactics such as the firebombing of dresden, sherman's march to the sea, etc.
The book is shot though with quotes from W. T. Sherman, U. S. Grant, Bull Halsey, etc.
The author says that the general officers in the US army right now are moral cowards for pretending to win in the middle east, over the long run, by doing what they are doing right now.
He specifically exempts the Marine Corp from that accuastion, however.
How your mind jumps about. We weren't discussing support for him - and given that 90 percent of them are under the age of 20, and have been though basic training, I don't doubt your numbers. Indeed that is a pretty poor showing for the man, given the polled population!
The *real* issue at hand was long-term US foreign policy. I stand by my statement, that we are not deeply involved in a charlie foxtrot that will take *years* to extract from, and in the end (in a 100 years) historians will say, "well, vietnam was bad, but it really took bush2 to screw things up proper in the mideast."
Well it bothers me quite a bit. I think it is sometimes necessary to go invade a country, destroy its government & infrastructure, then occupy it with the consequent administrative puppetry- but was this last exercise really necessary?
You're confusing two wars- one necessary, the other wholly optional. And I think the term liberation is a bit presumptive at this point. Afganistan has had a good beginning. Iraq is hardly liberated, theres still a guerilla war going on as big if not bigger as ever and every likelihood of elections ending up effectively a travesty. Liberation will be when the US as an occupying power exits the countries with more or less working governments in place.
With a few exceptions, I think our military has done a good if not great job at not decending into brutality and trying to do the right thing in a more or less impossible situation. My issue is the leadership that put us over in Iraq either because they're fools or liars and possibly both.
It's pretty tough to denigrate the troops who are are abroad. Yes there have been some problems but on the whole I think the american servicemen and women are doing an amazingly good job under very trying circumstances. Like you Greg I think they are the jewels in the crown. The leadership however are the turds in the punchbowl.