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Old 02-07-2005, 09:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
can't help but laugh
 
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Location: dar al-harb
what did you expect?

when i watch and read news analysis concerning post-war iraq, the comments often end in someone saying something like...

"we should have a more developed exit strategy"
"it could have been handled much better"
"unseating saddam was the right thing to do, but we didn't have to use military force"
"the post-war strategy is going much worse than planned"

and infinite permutations of such things. the end of the conversation is always a nodding of heads, a kind of silent assent to the the assumed truth of such thought. i am surprised to see these statements go unchallenged.

now i'm not saying that we haven't made mistakes in our post-war strategy. however, did you really expect it to go much better?

to me, that's like saying the Patriots really didn't go about playing the Super Bowl the right way. sure, they won... but didn't you see them fumble? their running game was slow out of the gate! too many penalties!

while all those statements are true, they don't reflect the fact that a monumental achievement was made. the same is, i think, true for people's perceptions of iraq. sure, it has been hell for our soldiers there. sure, we've had things thrown at us that we weren't prepared for. but in the end, did you think it would or could have gone much better? i know i didn't.

let's face it: many of you out there predicted SEVERE doom and gloom. if i didn't have a life outside of TFP i'd love to compile a list of all the nay-sayers for our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq from the public debate and opinions given on this board. the new fetish seems to be to create (and by create, i mean completely imagine) inflated casualty figures in a sleazy attempt to add weight to an argument. instead of going to such lengths to justify the negative forecasts... why not rejoice in the fact that such predictions were wrong?

-if you did not predict that the iraqis would be holding successful elections in less than two years after the war... you were wrong. rejoice.

-if you thought the war would unstabilize the region and spiral into an uncontrollable regional conflict... you were wrong. rejoice.

-if you thought that it would cost 10,000 American lives... you were wrong. rejoice.

-if you thought that the result of insurgent destabilization would be an iraqi civil war... you were wrong. rejoice.

and I KNOW that many of you were in hysterics because you were SO SURE this was all going to happen. well, it hasn't... yet nothing but negativity is heard from many. it's unfair to judge such a dangerous operation on such untested ground a failure because there are obvious problems. rather, think of this operation and match it against all plausible outcomes... i see a strong case for labeling it a success.
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If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

~ Winston Churchill
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Old 02-07-2005, 10:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
when i watch and read news analysis concerning post-war iraq, the comments often end in someone saying something like...

"we should have a more developed exit strategy"
"it could have been handled much better"
"unseating saddam was the right thing to do, but we didn't have to use military force"
"the post-war strategy is going much worse than planned"

and infinite permutations of such things. the end of the conversation is always a nodding of heads, a kind of silent assent to the the assumed truth of such thought. i am surprised to see these statements go unchallenged.

now i'm not saying that we haven't made mistakes in our post-war strategy. however, did you really expect it to go much better?
There were plenty of people in 2001 and 2002 who said that invasion was the wrong course of action. There were plenty of people who said shock and awe was the wroung route. There were plenty of people who heard Bush say things like "You're either on our side, or you're on the terrorist's side." and knew something was wrong. There were plenty of people who questioned why we stopped chasing Ossama and started chasing Saddam. There were planty of people who asked what Iraq had to do with terrorism. There were plenty of people who asked why we were going against the UN. There were plenty of people who knew this was going to go very badly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
to me, that's like saying the Patriots really didn't go about playing the Super Bowl the right way. sure, they won... but didn't you see them fumble? their running game was slow out of the gate! too many penalties!
Not a super comparison. We lost a lot of good soldiers over there. There was little danger of death on the football field yesterday. Also, we didn't win. America did not beat terrorism by dethroning Saddam and killing and alienating so many Iraqi citizens. We heald elections, and that was a touchdown, but this game is far from over. I'd say we're losing right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
while all those statements are true, they don't reflect the fact that a monumental achievement was made. the same is, i think, true for people's perceptions of iraq. sure, it has been hell for our soldiers there. sure, we've had things thrown at us that we weren't prepared for. but in the end, did you think it would or could have gone much better? i know i didn't.
Why didn't you speak up if you knew so many soldiers were going to die and there would be so many rebels in Iraq against the "army of freedom"? Why not ask if there was a way that didn't cost so many lives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
let's face it: many of you out there predicted SEVERE doom and gloom. if i didn't have a life outside of TFP i'd love to compile a list of all the nay-sayers for our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq from the public debate and opinions given on this board. the new fetish seems to be to create (and by create, i mean completely imagine) inflated casualty figures in a sleazy attempt to add weight to an argument. instead of going to such lengths to justify the negative forecasts... why not rejoice in the fact that such predictions were wrong?

-if you did not predict that the iraqis would be holding successful elections in less than two years after the war... you were wrong. rejoice.

-if you thought the war would unstabilize the region and spiral into an uncontrollable regional conflict... you were wrong. rejoice.

-if you thought that it would cost 10,000 American lives... you were wrong. rejoice.

-if you thought that the result of insurgent destabilization would be an iraqi civil war... you were wrong. rejoice.

and I KNOW that many of you were in hysterics because you were SO SURE this was all going to happen. well, it hasn't... yet nothing but negativity is heard from many. it's unfair to judge such a dangerous operation on such untested ground a failure because there are obvious problems. rather, think of this operation and match it against all plausible outcomes... i see a strong case for labeling it a success.
You think the Middle East is stable? Eek.
You think that it's okay to lose 1447 American military officers just because some people said it'd be more? Big victory. I won't rejoice over that.
There could be a civil war if the American soldiers weren't fighting the rebels. There is a rebelion going on against the US invaders. Again, where's the victory?

I realize what you are trying to do, and I say you are noble for attempting it. I won't see the second Gulf War as a success until Iraq is ruled by a peaceful government and there economy is on the up and up and there is not one American soldier even thinking about Iraq and there is equality and the Iraqi government is working independant of foreign aid or assistance. Even then, I'll be saying there was a better way to go about helping them. Somehow leveling parts of the capitol with all our smart bombs didn't scream "liberation".
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Old 02-07-2005, 10:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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1000 or 10000. The mission isn't accomplished. The count is still rising. Iraqi death tolls are stunningly higher than that.

We don't have a stable iraq. Many of those things may still happen. You see progress...

I don't.
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Old 02-07-2005, 10:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
There were plenty of people in 2001 and 2002 who said that invasion was the wrong course of action. There were plenty of people who said shock and awe was the wroung route. There were plenty of people who heard Bush say things like "You're either on our side, or you're on the terrorist's side." and knew something was wrong. There were plenty of people who questioned why we stopped chasing Ossama and started chasing Saddam. There were planty of people who asked what Iraq had to do with terrorism. There were plenty of people who asked why we were going against the UN. There were plenty of people who knew this was going to go very badly.
i don't understand how this fits into the discussion.

Quote:
Not a super comparison. We lost a lot of good soldiers over there. There was little danger of death on the football field yesterday. Also, we didn't win. America did not beat terrorism by dethroning Saddam and killing and alienating so many Iraqi citizens. We heald elections, and that was a touchdown, but this game is far from over. I'd say we're losing right now.
you're evading the point. as a military operation: many said it was going to be a disaster. given what we know about what has happened since and the grave nature of our business... can you really say that?

Quote:
Why didn't you speak up if you knew so many soldiers were going to die and there would be so many rebels in Iraq against the "army of freedom"? Why not ask if there was a way that didn't cost so many lives?
it's like you didn't even read the first post. our losses have been less than i thought there would be and MUCH MUCH less than the predictions of many others. i'm saying that given the difficulty of the mission our military was tasked with, the casualties are acceptable. again, how many lives did you expect it would cost? less than the current numbers? if so, do you think that such expectations are justifiably realistic?

Quote:
You think the Middle East is stable? Eek.
a weak jab thrown knowingly without context.

Quote:
You think that it's okay to lose 1447 American military officers just because some people said it'd be more? Big victory. I won't rejoice over that.
i don't think it's "ok" to lose a single soldier (by the way, not every military serviceman is an officer). again, given the nature of their mission and their enemy... what did you expect? how can you judge it a failure if you given no criteria for what it would take to be measured a success (and provide accompanying rationale for why that is a realistic goal).


Quote:
There could be a civil war if the American soldiers weren't fighting the rebels. There is a rebelion going on against the US invaders. Again, where's the victory?
right, there COULD be a civil war if it weren't for the american soldiers. so... our objective to prevent a civil war has been SUCCESSFUL. of course there is a rebellion... it would only take a few hundred syrian imports to qualify as a "rebellion" on your nearest TV network. did you ever think at any point in time that there wouldn't be such a movement? i know i knew it would happen.
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If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

~ Winston Churchill

Last edited by irateplatypus; 02-07-2005 at 10:33 PM..
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Old 02-07-2005, 10:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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".. it would only take a few hundred syrian imports to qualify as a "rebellion" on your nearest TV network."


......just one, that's all they need.
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Old 02-07-2005, 10:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
you're evading the point. as a military operation: many said it was going to be a disaster. given what we know about what has happened since and the grave nature of our business... can you really say that?
It was a disaster. It was wrong going in. The plan was wrong, and I expected almost exactly what is happening. The domination buisness has a very bad nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
it's like you didn't even read the first post. our losses have been less than i thought there would be and MUCH MUCH less than the predictions of many others. i'm saying that given the difficulty of the mission our military was tasked with, the casualties are acceptable. again, how many lives did you expect it would cost? less than the current numbers? if so, do you think that such expectations are justifiably realistic?
It was a bad plan. There were better ways to go about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
a weak jab thrown knowingly without context.
In the Middle East, "stable" is relative. It's not a jab. The Middle East is not stable. Your "if you thought the war would unstabilize the region and spiral into an uncontrollable regional conflict... you were wrong. rejoice." didn't take into account the rebels, or the Syrians backing them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
i don't think it's "ok" to lose a single soldier (by the way, not every military serviceman is an officer). again, given the nature of their mission and their enemy... what did you expect? how can you judge it a failure if you given no criteria for what it would take to be measured a success (and provide accompanying rationale for why that is a realistic goal).
Well, we've lost 1447 servicepeople then. There was a better way to do this going in. We've screwed up so badly in the past there is no American example of war, victory, and reconstruction to compare to. That doesn't make this any better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
right, there COULD be a civil war if it weren't for the american soldiers. so... our objective to prevent a civil war has been SUCCESSFUL. of course there is a rebellion... it would only take a few hundred syrian imports to qualify as a "rebellion" on your nearest TV network. did you ever think at any point in time that there wouldn't be such a movement? i know i knew it would happen.
We caused the civil war we're trying to prevent. This particular rebelion has more than "a few hundred syrian imports", so you're mentioning that was
Quote:
a weak jab thrown knowingly without context.
My point is that it is okay to be very much dissapointed by the current situation. It's okay that people see the Iraqi war as being less than a success.

Last edited by Willravel; 02-07-2005 at 10:54 PM..
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Old 02-07-2005, 10:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Point One: "You're with us or against...." I do believe that the speech came after 9-11, the greatest terrorist attack ever, in the context of it's timing and it's nature, I couldn't agree more. If I'm wrong about the timing, show me to the promised land.

Point Two: "Mission Accomplished", true. The initial operation, the one the banner was to be taken into context of was true. We devastated the enemy and pulled off one of THE MOST SUCCESSFUL invasions ever as far as loss of life (on both sides) and land covered. Again in the proper context, that state was true. Bush had to say it so the next phase could begin, building the new Iraq.

Point Three: Where is this glorious stand, and who are these glorious "minute men" that so often get brought up here? I will again state the reality that the insurgency makes up LESS THEN ONE, 1, Uno percent of the TOTAL Iraqi population, and what's more, they aren't even all Iraqi!!! The fact of the matter is, you have an Al Qaeda element, former baathists, sunni's, and religious fundies trying to secure a theocracy, plus outside governments Iran and Syria meddling, and still the majority of Iraq is fine (the problem of this insurgency primarily lies in 3 of the 18 provinces).

Point Four: Nobody said this was going to be easy, nor immediate. I'm betting the long term effects will never been known, because that is the nature of the operation. The World is a better place with our presence in Iraq, Iraq is better with our presence, the Middle East will be better. There is nothing but limitless upside if people could just get over the fact that we are there, we're there to stay, and we aren't coming home until the job is done right.
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
whosoever
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Nobody said this was going to be easy, nor immediate.
Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld. C'mon, mojo. You know better than to claim this.
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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They under estimated the insurgency no doubt. Regardless I don't think they said it was going to be easy or immediate.
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Old 02-07-2005, 11:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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gah...

when i said "a few hundred syrian imports" i was clearly saying that was all that was needed to get a huge reaction from the media, not that that was an estimation of the current terrorist resistance.

ok... we all know you don't think the post-war situation has been a success. understood. given the difficulty of our mission: what did you expect? what realistic picture of the situation could you conjure that would be much better than what we've achieved? in this discussion, your opposition to the war's genesis is irrelevant. why do you insist that our operations since then have been disastrous? according to what criteria do you make this judgement?

i don't know will's individual forecast to the post-war scenario... but it seems that anyone who predicted doom and gloom (which was many of you) should at least be pleasantly surprised with the results so far. the world hasn't ended, as predicted by some... yet not much more than constant bitching is heard from people who predicted things would go much worse than they have.
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If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

~ Winston Churchill

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Old 02-07-2005, 11:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinguerre
Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld. C'mon, mojo. You know better than to claim this.
i can't find them, do you mind providing quotes that clearly identify any of those 3 saying it was going to be easy and immediate?
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If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

~ Winston Churchill
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:06 AM   #12 (permalink)
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All it takes is 100 syrians or other insurgents to kill thousands, or hunrreds of thousands. For a force that has so few people they sure are doing a lot of damage, killing a lot of people, and don't seem to be slowing down. How many people are in Iraq? Atleast 2 million. That means that that tiny 1% is 20,000 or more people fighting underground. That is NOT a tiny force. That is a force that can inflict serious damage against not only American soldiers, not only coallition soldiers, but the Iraqi people themselves. And they have been doing it with much skill and alacrity. And while that 1% may be how many of the insurgents are actually Iraqi, there are atleast that many that are not Iraqi that are also there killing. I would not trust and numbers you get on the amount of fighters we're facing because not even the US military knows. (see my next post)

There were more than just a few nay-sayers going in. The entire population of France and Germany come to mind, as well as the majority of spain and the UK. They went anyway, and Spain paid a big price for it.

What martinguerre is referring to is the part about being greeted by Iraqis throwing flowers. Instead they've been planting IEDs.

The very simple fact is, the sanctions WERE WORKING. Saddam HAD NOTHING. Saddam's military was a joke. Bush and Co. simply DID NOT WANT Saddam there anymore. Thats the only rason for this invasion. Maybe the sanctions were due to expire soon and they didnt want Saddam in power when they did. The sanction were only supposed to be for 10 years correct? I think we were on year 12 right? I may be wrong but that seems to be the case as to why we actually went into Iraq.
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...-2005Feb5.html

Quote:
CIA Studies Provide Glimpse of Insurgents in Iraq
Analysis Describes Groups of Fighters, Gives Clearer Picture of Their Operations

By Walter Pincus
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 6, 2005; Page A19

As reflected in CIA classified studies last month, U.S. military and intelligence officials are still trying to understand the various Iraqi insurgency groups that they expect will continue to fight, even after last week's election.

The CIA studies included a detailed look at an at-large Iraqi fighter who is motivated to fight because the United States is occupying his country, a senior intelligence official said.

"This person, with a tribal background, has a mix of motives including a family grievance, someone was hurt by coalition forces," said the official, who asked not to be identified because the reports are still classified. "There is also [in this Iraqi insurgent] religion and nationalism that results in a view he must fight on to get non-Muslims out of Muslim territory."

In looking in depth at one insurgent, the agency was able to describe the group to which the fighter belongs and how it operates, the official said.

The CIA last month also updated its analysis of the breadth of the Iraqi insurgency, including Iraqis that are not only former Baathists, "dead enders," but also newly radicalized Sunni Iraqis, nationalists offended by the occupying force and others disenchanted by the economic turmoil and destruction caused by the fighting.

Foreign fighters associated with Abu Musab Zarqawi and his al Qaeda-affiliated insurgent group, who once were seen as the prime opponents along with tens of thousands of criminals freed by Saddam Hussein before the war began in 2003, are now described as lesser elements but still a source of danger.

Michael Scheuer, the former CIA analyst who ran the agency's Osama bin Laden section in the 1990s, said yesterday, "The administration doesn't seem to have thought through the continuing danger from foreign fighters."

He said countries such as Saudi Arabia and Algeria in the 1980s released imprisoned Islamic radicals to go fight the Soviets in Afghanistan "hoping they would die in the process." Now, Scheuer said, "Iraq is a more attractive fight for those radicals, and the Saudis currently want to unload the firebrands they have at home." The Sunni government in Riyadh is also unhappy with the prospect of a Shiite state on the border, he added, "so they think it is a great thing for their people to do."

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said last week on CNN's "Larry King Live" that the insurgency "has clearly been . . . more intense than had been anticipated." He said that "in many instances, the ones . . . that are fomenting this insurgency" were members of the Sunni Iraqi army division in the north that were not captured or killed because U.S. troops could not invade through Turkey.

But Rumsfeld added that the future level of fighting could depend on this question: "To what extent do Iran and Syria not cooperate and make the insurgency worse?"

Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who disclosed the existence of the CIA reports during testimony last Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, could not say how many insurgents there are.

"We know the elements of the threat very well," Myers said, but "to come up with accurate estimates is just very, very difficult in this type of insurgency."

Members, however, focused on the numbers because, as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) put it: "I don't know how you defeat an insurgency unless you have some handle on the number of people that you are facing."

Sen. Carl M. Levin (Mich.), ranking Democrat on the panel, said Gen. George W. Casey Jr., head of the Multinational Force Iraq, reported during a closed hearing two weeks ago that the coalition forces killed or captured 15,000 suspected insurgents last year, a number far larger than earlier U.S. estimates of 6,000 to 9,000.

McCain raised the question of the reliability of any figures the administration offered. "We went from a few dead enders to killing or capturing 15,000 in the period of a year, and that's why there's a certain credibility problem here as to what the size and nature of the enemy we face."

Myers said that there are classified estimates, but that it is difficult to get accurate numbers because "there are so many fence-sitters."
So they went through 15,000 just last year (about twice as many as estimated) and the violence doesn't seem to be slowing down at all. Don't forget all the fighters that got out of Falluja before we went in. We were sitting outside that city for so long waiting to go in they had plenty of time to just pick up and leave. Every single day there are new reports about bombs going off.. dozens of people being killed.. EVERY DAY. Every day dozens of people are getting killed. But it only matters if they're American soldiers though, right? Well they're getting killed too. Only the deaths realy make the news, but dont forget the tens of thousands that were wounded. The thousands that have no more legs, or a missing arm, or who saw their buddy's head splattered across their uniform.

Also don't forget. The more bombing runs we miss, the more we'll see more insurgents. With each civilian killed by a stray US bullet, the more "insurgents" we'll see. With every Iraqi child maimed by "collateral damage", the higher the chance one of our boys will be blown up by an IED.

If you think this war is going well you must not be paying attention.

Even if the Iraqis do get their government off the ground we will ALWAYS be there. Just ask Germany and Japan. If a US military boot touches the soil of your country you'd better make that soldier up a bed, he's gonna be there for a long time.
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ObieX
The very simple fact is, the sanctions WERE WORKING. Saddam HAD NOTHING. Saddam's military was a joke. Bush and Co. simply DID NOT WANT Saddam there anymore. Thats the only rason for this invasion. Maybe the sanctions were due to expire soon and they didnt want Saddam in power when they did. The sanction were only supposed to be for 10 years correct? I think we were on year 12 right? I may be wrong but that seems to be the case as to why we actually went into Iraq.
This thread is a symptom of, and a prime example of the psychological disorder
that has overtaken America. I am fascinated by the inability of contributors to
this forum to persuade "the other side" of anything that would signifigantly
lessen the distance between our points of view. This isn't new. The thing that is newer, is
using the internet to discuss issues and opinions. We now have a luxury
of offering links to sources of information on other websites that did not exist during other major national periods of division that I have
experienced in my adult lifetime. Two major divides that I recall are the
Vietnam war and the Carter "malaise".

Since I can find no rational basis for the signifigant numbers of people
offering unwavering and almost unquestioning support for Bush and his policies,
especially regarding his pronouncements and actions leading up to the invasion and continuing through today, I am starting a thread topic that
will examine the irrationality of the phenomena. Here's an example:

Quote:
<a href="http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Pres_Election_04/Press10_21_04.pdf">http://www.pipa.org/OnlineReports/Pres_Election_04/Press10_21_04.pdf</a>
THE PIPA/KNOWLEDGE NETWORKS POLL.
THE AMERICAN PUBLIC ON INTERNATIONAL ISSUES
--Media Release--
Bush Supporters Still Believe Iraq Had WMD or Major Program,
Supported al Qaeda
Agree with Kerry Supporters Bush Administration Still Saying This is the Case
Agree US Should Not Have Gone to War if No WMD or Support for al Qaeda
Bush Supporters Misperceive World Public as Not Opposed to Iraq War,
Favoring Bush Reelection
For Release: Thursday October 21, 2004, 9 am Contact: Steven Kull (202) 232-7500
College Park, MD: Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not
have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual
WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most
experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had
at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points.
Similarly, 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al
Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. Sixty percent of Bush
supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this
was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have
exactly opposite perceptions.
These are some of the findings of a new study of the differing perceptions of Bush and Kerry supporters,
conducted by the Program on International Policy Attitudes and Knowledge Networks, based on polls
conducted in September and October.
Steven Kull, director of PIPA, comments, “One of the reasons that Bush supporters have these beliefs is
that they perceive the Bush administration confirming them. Interestingly, this is one point on which
Bush and Kerry supporters agree.” Eighty-two percent of Bush supporters perceive the Bush
administration as saying that Iraq had WMD (63%) or that Iraq had a major WMD program (19%).
Likewise, 75% say that the Bush administration is saying Iraq was providing substantial support to al
Qaeda. Equally large majorities of Kerry supporters hear the Bush administration expressing these
views—73% say the Bush administration is saying Iraq had WMD (11% a major program) and 74% that
Iraq was substantially supporting al Qaeda.
Steven Kull adds, “Another reason that Bush supporters may hold to these beliefs is that they have not
accepted the idea that it does not matter whether Iraq had WMD or supported al Qaeda. Here too they
are in agreement with Kerry supporters.” Asked whether the US should have gone to war with Iraq if
-over-
US intelligence had concluded that Iraq was not making WMD or providing support to al Qaeda, 58% of
Bush supporters said the US should not have, and 61% assume that in this case the President would not
have. Kull continues, “To support the president and to accept that he took the US to war based on
mistaken assumptions likely creates substantial cognitive dissonance, and leads Bush supporters to
suppress awareness of unsettling information about prewar Iraq.”
This tendency of Bush supporters to ignore dissonant information extends to other realms as well.
Despite an abundance of evidence—including polls conducted by Gallup International in 38 countries,
and more recently by a consortium of leading newspapers in 10 major countries--only 31% of Bush
supporters recognize that the majority of people in the world oppose the US having gone to war with
Iraq. Forty-two percent assume that views are evenly divided, and 26% assume that the majority
approves. Among Kerry supporters, 74% assume that the majority of the world is opposed.
Similarly, 57% of Bush supporters assume that the majority of people in the world would favor Bush’s
reelection; 33% assumed that views are evenly divided and only 9% assumed that Kerry would be
preferred. A recent poll by GlobeScan and PIPA of 35 of the major countries around the world found
that in 30, a majority or plurality favored Kerry, while in just 3 Bush was favored. On average, Kerry
was preferred more than two to one.
Bush supporters also have numerous misperceptions about Bush’s international policy positions.
Majorities incorrectly assume that Bush supports multilateral approaches to various international
issues—the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (69%), the treaty banning land mines (72%)—and for
addressing the problem of global warming: 51% incorrectly assume he favors US participation in the
Kyoto treaty. After he denounced the International Criminal Court in the debates, the perception that he
favored it dropped from 66%, but still 53% continue to believe that he favors it. An overwhelming 74%
incorrectly assumes that he favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements. In
all these cases, majorities of Bush supporters favor the positions they impute to Bush. Kerry supporters
are much more accurate in their perceptions of his positions on these issues.
“The roots of the Bush supporters’ resistance to information,” according to Steven Kull, “very likely lie
in the traumatic experience of 9/11 and equally in the near pitch-perfect leadership that President Bush
showed in its immediate wake. This appears to have created a powerful bond between Bush and his
supporters--and an idealized image of the President that makes it difficult for his supporters to imagine
that he could have made incorrect judgments before the war, that world public opinion could be critical
of his policies or that the President could hold foreign policy positions that are at odds with his
supporters.”
The polls were conducted October 12-18 and September 3-7 and 8-12 with samples of 968, 798 and 959
respondents, respectively. Margins of error were 3.2 to 4% in the first and third surveys and 3.5% on
September 3-7. The poll was fielded by Knowledge Networks using its nationwide panel, which is
randomly selected from the entire adult population and subsequently provided internet access. For more
information about this methodology, go to www.knowledgenetworks.com/ganp.
Less than a month ago, Bush apparently cut Powell loose when he did not
hear the "correct" answer from his secretary of state. The motivation for
this thread seems to be for validation of Bush's disasterous policies through
claims that "things are going better" in Iraq, now! There is no reaction to
the loss of a comparatively level head in a top administration position,
I doubt that Bush's supporters perceive what is obvious to many of us.
1400 Americans and possibly many more have died fighting to facilitate the
formation of a fundamentalist Islamic republic in Iraq, a country that was
formerly a secular dictatorship with a highly educated population where
women enjoyed societal equality perhaps second only to that of women in
Israel.

I see nothing to indicate that the October Poll opinions of Bush supporters
have changed. They are as curiously (to me) uncoupled from reality as they
were four months ago.
Quote:
<a href="http://www.furl.net/item.jsp?id=1713205">http://www.furl.net/item.jsp?id=1713205</a>
According to Chas Freeman, former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia and head of the independent Middle East Policy Council, Mr Bush recently asked Mr Powell for his view on the progress of the war. "We're losing," Mr Powell was quoted as saying. Mr Freeman said Mr Bush then asked the secretary of state to leave.
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Old 02-08-2005, 07:19 AM   #15 (permalink)
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obiex got it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfowitz
March 11, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars: "The Iraqi people understand what this crisis is about. Like the people of France in the 1940s, they view us as their hoped-for liberator."
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheney
my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. ... I think it will go relatively quickly, ... (in) weeks rather than months." He predicted that regular Iraqi soldiers would not "put up such a struggle" and that even "significant elements of the Republican Guard ... are likely to step aside.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/i...now-usat_x.htm

Aside from the majors...a whole lot of adminstration hangers on, and "indepentant" advisors spewed even more "easy war" rhetoric for which Bush can have plausible deniability.

Point is...this hasn't been an easy war. It wasn't sold to the people as a "multi-year low level war with continuing insurgency." It wasn't hailed to Americans as their chance to involve themselves in "continung ethnic and religious strife, including but not limited to minor rebellions by charismatic leaders." Nor were we told it would be "the beginning of a long commitment of US troops, not paid for by oil revenues, but by large and expanding sums of additional allocations to the pentagon of our tax dollars."

Nobody would have supported that...
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:16 AM   #16 (permalink)
 
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i was thinking along the same lines as host, but the above is more elegant than i would have managed, so i'll simply cheer him on.
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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. . . And Host proves his quality.

It really is an inherent flaw in humans to believe what they want over what is true. Not to mention that the average American is gladly spoon-fed information without question.
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:32 AM   #18 (permalink)
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What did I expect....as sad as it sounds, Pretty much what we have now. I did however hope it would not last quite this long. I disagreed with the invasion of Iraq when it was first planned, but understood that my Government had access to information I did not. Thus I was relatively accepting of the "Need" to destroy a threat, but I still did not agree.
It is now quite obvious to me that I was mislead, and fooled into accepting the reasoning behind this Invasion . That said, I expected from the onset, resistance and death. I am rather suprised at the number of American deaths though, as I expected somewhat more from our Military Machine.

I will say this. When Bush made his "End of Major Hostilities" speech, I actually laughed out loud at him, Now I weep for everyone else.
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:50 AM   #19 (permalink)
can't help but laugh
 
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thank you tecoyah for somewhat ending the drought of posts relevant to the topic.

note to EVERYONE: what you think about the events leading up to the war is inconsequential to the topic. what your neighbor thinks about the war is inconsequential to the topic. there are MANY threads that contain your opinions stated and restated again. don't bring it in here.

how have the results so far compared with your expectations?
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Old 02-08-2005, 09:56 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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why not actually respond to host's critique, irate?
why settle for applauding another that lets you off the hook?

what if there are premise-level problems with your position on the iraq war?
i wonder if you would be willing to take them on--from the above, it would appear not. but it'd be a shame to see you reduce yourself to just another conservative who is either unwilling or unable to address a basic flaw.
how do you accomodate the possibility that your position is informed by wishful thinking, which itself drags across from your support of this war up front?
hell, folk who opposed the war have had to deal with this kind of relation repeatedly--often prompted to do it by folk like yourself.
so why does the same standard not hold for conservatives?
are there special rules for the right?
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:08 AM   #21 (permalink)
can't help but laugh
 
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roachboy, host, c4... whoever else that doesn't get it yet. answer the following questions to remain on topic.

what did you think would happen with the events in iraq prior to the invasion?

how do the results you perceive since then compare to your prediction?

if the results are better than you expected (and there were many who expected catastrophic developments), from what vantage point do you continue to label the operation an abject failure if it has exceeded your expectations? i think the zeal to discredit Bush has clouded your perception of post-war iraq. some point to problems and love to assume that the presence of problems indicates a systemic failure rather than allow our operation the time necessary to combat them and judge the effort on its end result.

RB, i can't make it more clear. MY position isn't what i want to discuss. it is each individual's position that i'm inquiring about. how did YOUR expectation match your perceived level of progress? were your expectations justifiably realistic? again, your distaste of all things Bush couldn't be farther removed from relevancy.
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:13 AM   #22 (permalink)
 
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"doesnt get it?"
please, irate: dont patronize those of us who opposed the war.
you might start by actually trying to answer the questions above.
if you think that it is simple to seperate your position on the war up front from your assessment of what is going on now, you are fooling yourself:
and by using the threadstarter position to act as though these considerations are irrelevant for your own position, you are being disengenuous.


but maybe there are special rules for conservatives:
maybe these special people dont have to think too hard about their own positions.
interesting.
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:15 AM   #23 (permalink)
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To answer the main thread directly, i really don't see much reason to label it a success up to this point. It has been one mistake after another. From keeping the military on a political leash leading to unnesessary deaths on all sides, to the pushing of an early election that lead to many people not being able to vote due to polling centers not opening and the lack of enough ballots.

I'd have to agree with tecoyah up to a point, i expected pretty much what we're seeing except i really didnt expect the government to mess up so much in so many ways as to make it look like there isn't anyone running the show over there. It's like no one's driving the bus. Every once in a while a bone will be thrown thats all dressed up to make it look pretty and meaningful. In the mean time people continue to die and no one seems to care. Well thats not really true, some people care, but every time someone raises a voice they're shot down and labeled a Bush basher or an unpatriotic troop-hater.
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:21 AM   #24 (permalink)
 
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actually, irate, i think your position is at play here.
and i find it funny that you, the first to object when you think an argument runs through messageboard space and into your 3-d life, would assume that my position is a simple-minded as you do.

what i call bushworld is a style of argument.

one of the main features of that style of argument is an inability to process dissonant information. the whole premise of your thread recapitulates that tendency. you position yourself in a state of transparency--you understand better than those who opposed the war what is now happening on the ground--you want to start from that basis to pose a series of "reasonable" questions about expectations.

you are still recapitulating this main feature in your responses above.
you act as though bushworld (see above for a definition) is not itself a problem.

no wonder you cant answer host.


but what the hell, give it a try....why not address the linkages that you see between your assessment of the situation in iraq and your support for the war?
or do you really think that support for the war was so obviously correct that it is not up for debate, that the logic which connects it to assessments of outcomes is transcendent--so that it is only the positions of those who opposed the war which are problematic? because there you see a particular linkage: where in yours, there are no linkages?

one of the funniest things conservatives can do is claim to be empiricists.
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:25 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
what did you think would happen with the events in iraq prior to the invasion?
I thought they wouldn't find any WMD. Definitely no nuclear weapons.
Quote:
how do the results you perceive since then compare to your prediction?
I was right.
Quote:
if the results are better than you expected
N.A.
Quote:
from what vantage point do you continue to label the operation an abject failure if it has exceeded your expectations?
1400+ lives lost on false and dubious pretenses is a failure.
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:33 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus

what did you think would happen with the events in iraq prior to the invasion?

how do the results you perceive since then compare to your prediction?
I thought it would be a disaster based on the following things:
  • I expected to find no WMD.
  • I expected it wouldn't be quick and easy (see the found Wolfie/Cheney quotes above).
  • I expected it to stir up hatred in the Middle East to America.
  • I expected us to build permanent military bases and stay there for a looooong time.
  • I DID NOT expect to see elections happen this soon.
  • I DID NOT expect to see Bush get re-elected based on demonstrably shifting justifications for war, and it's lack of connection to 9-11.
  • I expected those on the right to continue to deny all of the above, just not for as long as they have.

I was wrong about the speed of the elections, and am certainly pleased that they happened with as little strife as they did. Good on 'em.

My first four points are why I think this is a disaster. As those bases clearly aren't leaving, I see the cost of lives continuing with no end.

The thread starting post demonstrates my last point, far far better than anything I feared. Because we had elections, everything is fine?
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:37 AM   #27 (permalink)
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This thread topic is amazing in just how perfectly it demonstrates the chasm that seperates those who support this war and those who do not. It seems fairly clear that there will never be a middle ground.

And then we get into semantics:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
They under estimated the insurgency no doubt. Regardless I don't think they said it was going to be easy or immediate.
Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
i can't find them, do you mind providing quotes that clearly identify any of those 3 saying it was going to be easy and immediate?
MR. RUSSERT: If your analysis is not correct, and we’re not treated as liberators, but as conquerors, and the Iraqis begin to resist, particularly in Baghdad, do you think the American people are prepared for a long, costly, and bloody battle with significant American casualties?

VICE PRES. CHENEY: Well, I don’t think it’s likely to unfold that way, Tim, because I really do believe that we will be greeted as liberators.

"Like the people of France in the 1940s, the Iraqi people view us as their hoped for liberators."
Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary of Defense

And here's Michelle Malkin talking about how easy the whole Iraq War was, on the day of the staged Saddam statue removal:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=32002

And more quotes from administration officials about how easy and quick the war would be:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...nguage=printer
Just up to the actual moment that war was launched - at which point Bush hedges his bets and claims it "might" be long and costly.
Quote:
Vice President Cheney, for example, predicted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's troops would "step aside" and that the conflict would be "weeks rather than months," a phrase repeated by other top officials. Others in advisory roles in the administration predicted Iraqi soldiers would "throw in the towel"

Last edited by Manx; 02-08-2005 at 10:40 AM..
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Old 02-08-2005, 10:47 AM   #28 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by host
This thread is a symptom of, and a prime example of the psychological disorder that has overtaken America.
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon which refers to the discomfort felt at a discrepancy between what you*already know or believe, and new information or interpretation. It therefore occurs when there is a need to accommodate new ideas, and it may be necessary for it to develop so that we become "open" to them. If someone is called upon to learn something which contradicts what they already think they know — particularly if they are committed to that prior knowledge*— they are likely to resist the new learning. If learning something has been difficult, uncomfortable, or even humiliating enough, people are not likely to admit that the content of what has been learned is not valuable. To do so would be to admit that one has been "had", or "conned". It's a social disorder on a pandemic scale.

The last post put the information together quite nicely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by raveneye
1400+ lives lost on false and dubious pretenses is a failure.
This war is currently a failure. I reccomend not glazing over host's post above, as it contains a wonderful example of how public opinion does not reflect reality. We were so hurt by 9/11 and we were so ready to lash out in response. We struck out at a government with no ties to 9/11 and we killed many civilians there, not to mention losing many loyal and honorable servicepeople. Iraq, as it was before we invaded them, was not a threat to the United States of America.

People read posts like ManX's above in which it clearly points out that Cheny predicted that the Iraqi troops would step aside. They did not openly predict that this would be difficult and would cost so many American lives. They did not predict a rebellion. They did not predict so many casualties on our side. These are truths. Accept them, or deny reality.

Last edited by Willravel; 02-08-2005 at 10:57 AM..
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Old 02-08-2005, 11:50 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
I reccomend not glazing over host's post above, as it contains a wonderful example of how public opinion does not reflect reality
.

In my opinion, at the time of the invasion, about 90% of people in general would have been opposed to the war if they knew what the cost was going to be and if they knew that we wouldn't find WMD. That includes conservatives and liberals alike.

On that subject, there were several nationwide polls just prior to the invasion. Maybe somebody can find a link, I don't have the time right now. Gallup maybe, or Zogby.

The upshot: if there were only going to be a few casualties then most Americans were in favor of the invasion. If there were going to be more than about 1000 casualties then most Americans were opposed to the invasion, both conservatives and liberals.

And that's not deaths, that's casualties.
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:05 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
-if you thought that it would cost 10,000 American lives... you were wrong. rejoice.
Interestingly enough, a massive source of reduced loss of American life is the improved injury survival rate in this war, caused by chest body armor and better medical logistics.

Quote:
our losses have been less than i thought there would be and MUCH MUCH less than the predictions of many others.
I personally estimated higher casualties, based off the use of large amounts of WMD, which the US government swore they had proof Iraq had. That is, before Colin showed the proof...

Quote:
Point One: "You're with us or against...." I do believe that the speech came after 9-11, the greatest terrorist attack ever, in the context of it's timing and it's nature, I couldn't agree more. If I'm wrong about the timing, show me to the promised land.
Quote:
Point Four: Nobody said this was going to be easy, nor immediate. I'm betting the long term effects will never been known, because that is the nature of the operation. The World is a better place with our presence in Iraq, Iraq is better with our presence, the Middle East will be better. There is nothing but limitless upside if people could just get over the fact that we are there, we're there to stay, and we aren't coming home until the job is done right.
You are claiming there is no downside to being in Iraq?

Quote:
ok... we all know you don't think the post-war situation has been a success. understood. given the difficulty of our mission: what did you expect? what realistic picture of the situation could you conjure that would be much better than what we've achieved? in this discussion, your opposition to the war's genesis is irrelevant. why do you insist that our operations since then have been disastrous? according to what criteria do you make this judgement?
I could have sworn the Iraqi's would be standing on the side of the road, showering their liberators with flowers, grateful for their freedom?

Oh wait, that was the polmil plan for the invasion.

Quote:
how have the results so far compared with your expectations?
Which expectations?

A while before the war:
I expected to find WMD (Chem+Bio) -- I didn't expect Bush to lie about having convincing evidence of WMD. [worse]
I expected US soldiers to have to fight against chemical and biological weapons, due to the above point. [better]
I feared Iraq would get a missile off at Isreal, containing biological weapons or worse. [better]
I feared Isreal would return fire, destabalizing the region. [better]
I expected the US to face mainly foreign insurgents, as Iraq was a secular society in which the majority didn't like Saddam. [worse]

Shortly before the war:
I expected there to be no WMD. [right] I had a fear that I might be wrong, and US troops would take serious casualties. [better]
My confidence in US popularity in Iraq after the war fell. Researching what the US did after the first war made me think that the locals might .. resent .. the US. [worse]
I expected significant sabotauge by the Iraqi government of things like oil wells. [better]
I expected the main fight to take longer, with Iraqi forces scattered throughout the cities, resulting in large amounts of collateral damage. [better]
I expected the US had insufficient plans to rebuild Iraq afterwards. [accurate]

In my case, the insurgency is far worse than I'd expected it would be. The fact that Bush lied about his evidence for WMD meant that the worst-case scenarioes evaporated.

Quote:
if the results are better than you expected (and there were many who expected catastrophic developments), from what vantage point do you continue to label the operation an abject failure if it has exceeded your expectations?
One's expectations and one's standard for success need not be the same.

If one's standards for success are 'saving more lives than would be lost in the status quo, over the next 5 years', and you examine a solution (nuke the world), where your expectations 'billions of lives lost' do not pass your standards, this does not move your standards of success.

You are holding up a straw man, and claiming he is flimsy.

If someone predicted exactly what happened, would that make the war a success, even if they opposed the war to start?

Quote:
RB, i can't make it more clear. MY position isn't what i want to discuss.
Mr Goose, meet Mrs Gander. Answer your own question. =p
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Old 02-08-2005, 12:24 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
now i'm not saying that we haven't made mistakes in our post-war strategy. however, did you really expect it to go much better?

to me, that's like saying the Patriots really didn't go about playing the Super Bowl the right way. sure, they won... but didn't you see them fumble? their running game was slow out of the gate! too many penalties!

while all those statements are true, they don't reflect the fact that a monumental achievement was made. the same is, i think, true for people's perceptions of iraq. sure, it has been hell for our soldiers there. sure, we've had things thrown at us that we weren't prepared for. but in the end, did you think it would or could have gone much better? i know i didn't.

let's face it: many of you out there predicted SEVERE doom and gloom. if i didn't have a life outside of TFP i'd love to compile a list of all the nay-sayers for our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq from the public debate and opinions given on this board. the new fetish seems to be to create (and by create, i mean completely imagine) inflated casualty figures in a sleazy attempt to add weight to an argument. instead of going to such lengths to justify the negative forecasts... why not rejoice in the fact that such predictions were wrong?

-if you did not predict that the iraqis would be holding successful elections in less than two years after the war... you were wrong. rejoice.

-if you thought the war would unstabilize the region and spiral into an uncontrollable regional conflict... you were wrong. rejoice.

-if you thought that it would cost 10,000 American lives... you were wrong. rejoice.

-if you thought that the result of insurgent destabilization would be an iraqi civil war... you were wrong. rejoice.

and I KNOW that many of you were in hysterics because you were SO SURE this was all going to happen. well, it hasn't... yet nothing but negativity is heard from many. it's unfair to judge such a dangerous operation on such untested ground a failure because there are obvious problems. rather, think of this operation and match it against all plausible outcomes... i see a strong case for labeling it a success.
"A monumental achievement was made" ??? Where ?
By whom ? Here is today's news. It is what it is:

1.)The U.S. force, 150,000 strong, is still unable or unwilling
to provide SECURITY for it's best hope of relief for itself in
Iraq; an Iraqi defense force that is large enough in size,
skill, and resolve to provide internal security and protect Iraq's
borders from foreign military and insurgent incursion. The
U.S. military, despite it's unique resources has been unable
to accomplish these things itself.

2.)U.S. troops continue to take casualties and have amassed
1400 dead and 10,000 wounded to facilitate what is described
in the bottom of today's AP story;<b>"a Kurdish ticket had moved into second place behind a coalition of Shiite religious parties, relegating a faction led by U.S.-backed interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi to third place."</b>



Quote:
Suicide bomber kills 21 Iraqis at army recruiting center in Baghdad

By Jason Keyser, Associated Press, 2/8/2005 12:07

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of Iraqis outside an army recruitment center Tuesday, killing 21 other people and injuring 27 more, the U.S. military said. It was the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital since last week's election.

There were conflicting reports about the attack, which occurred at an Iraqi National Guard headquarters at the Muthana airfield. Iraqi officials blamed the explosion on mortar fire and officials at Baghdad's Yarmouk Hospital said they had received 16 bodies from the scene, all of them army recruits.

But witnesses reported only one explosion, and the U.S. military said the blast was caused by a suicide bomber.

The al-Qaida in Iraq terror group, led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claimed responsibility for the attack in an Internet statement.

''This is the beginning of the escalation we promised you,'' said the statement posted on an Islamic Web site. The claim's authenticity couldn't be verified.

Elsewhere, three police officers were killed in clashes in Baghdad's western Ghazaliya neighborhood, scene of numerous clashes and assassinations over the past six months.

Also Tuesday, assailants sprayed a politician's car with gunfire, killing two of the man's sons, an Interior Ministry official said. The politician, Mithal al-Alusi, who heads the Nation party, escaped unhurt.

He gained notoriety last year after he was expelled from the Iraqi National Congress party for attending a terrorism conference in Israel. Al-Alusi is one of the candidates who ran in Iraq's landmark Jan. 30 elections.

On Monday, gunmen killed an Iraqi chef employed by U.S. forces at Baghdad International Airport, hospital officials said Tuesday. In Mosul, two Kurdish politicians were also gunned down Monday, said an official from the Kurdistan Democratic Party.

The violence is picking up again in the Iraqi capital following the elections, when a massive security crackdown prevented insurgents from launching major attacks. Iraqis chose a 275-member National Assembly and provincial councils, as well as a regional parliament in the Kurdish-controlled north.

Final results of the election are expected this week. The latest partial returns released Tuesday showed a Kurdish ticket had moved into second place behind a coalition of Shiite religious parties, relegating a faction led by U.S.-backed interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi to third place
Irate, I did respond to your thread topic and it's questions
in my last post:
Quote:
.............Since I can find no rational basis for the signifigant numbers of people
offering unwavering and almost unquestioning support for Bush and his policies, ...............
.......I doubt that Bush's supporters perceive what is obvious to many of us.
1400 Americans and possibly many more have died fighting to facilitate the
formation of a fundamentalist Islamic republic in Iraq, a country that was
formerly a secular dictatorship with a highly educated population where
women enjoyed societal equality perhaps second only to that of women in
Israel.
I am looking for answers as to why you post statements and
opinions that are uncoupled from reality. America apparently
voted for an administration that does the same thing.

You suppose that this confirms that Bush has said things
and taken actions in his war on terror that are mostly correct.
The facts don't support that. Put yourself in my place. If
you believed that the president and his supporters practiced
military and political policies that were uncoupled from reality
and caused these casualties to American troops and innocent
Iraqis, wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and strengthened
the fundamentalist Islamic movement, instead of weakening
it, how would you view the motivation for a thread like this
and the irrational comments in the first post? It may seem
partisan or antagonistic, but you owe it to yourself to face
and process details presented on here and from sources like
the AP.
Quote:
<a href="http://www.psychohistory.com/reagan/rp36x50.htm">http://www.psychohistory.com/reagan/rp36x50.htm</a>
This typical incident illustrates one of the problems with using politics as a way of solving internal problems. For those who externalize their own anxieties, action is more often taken to solve current personal problems than to deal with actual situations in the real world. A vast gulf separates the anti-communist crusade of Reagan and others and rational actions taken to reduce real threats by communists and others. The crusading anti-communist sees dangers when his or her own feelings are about to get out of control rather than when reality is actually becoming dangerous. Orgies at student dances could hardly be considered one of the major dangers to the State of California in 1966. Reagan's political actions are far more likely to stem from current dangers in his own inner life than from dangers in the real world. Because of his severe personal problems-ones which he shares with many Americans-he is likely to overlook reality conditions which need attention in favor of situations which represent wishes of his own which are giving him problems.
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Old 02-08-2005, 01:16 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
-if you thought that it would cost 10,000 American lives... you were wrong. rejoice.
I can't imagine a measure of a war's success being touted as "at least fewer people died than we thought would."

1,000 or 10,000- people died for this war. I hope the future history books will show the war's results that those people who gave their lives were more important than a worst-case number-crunch.

And that's all i've got to say about that.
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Old 02-08-2005, 02:12 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by analog
I can't imagine a measure of a war's success being touted as "at least fewer people died than we thought would."
it's obvious i wasn't implying that. it is however a good thing when casualties are much lower than predicted. such feelings can be sincerely had without speaking to the overall success of a war.

to those clamoring for a response to the questions posed in host's first post in this thread... i'd like for them to search for an actual question mark in his text. in fact, there were no questions posed... only survey results that have absolutely nothing to do with the thread. i read the post in its entirety. perceptions of voters have NOTHING to do with our military operation and its success or failure.

there are perhaps two reasons for the confusion in this thread. firstly, perhaps i have not done very well in communicating the thrust of this thread to begin with. secondly, i believe that the tendency to bring hate of the President into every discussion clouds nearly everything about political discussion on this forum.

the title of the thread is "what did you expect?" the good lord knows that horse has been beaten to death. it wasn't about voter perception or whether you thought the war was just. the question is about the way you perceive a war to have been prosecuted regardless of your thoughts on its genesis (an assertion i feel i've had to beat to death). it was about your prediction if you cannot respond with what your expectations were of its success and how the results have compared with your forecast... you have nothing to contribute to this thread. anyone, regardless of their political persuasion is equally capable of answering these questions as it relates to their own person.
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~ Winston Churchill

Last edited by irateplatypus; 02-08-2005 at 02:17 PM..
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Old 02-08-2005, 02:25 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm completely ignorant, but the impression I got from the administration was this war was going to be quick and easy, with very low casualties. Of coarse I thought how can war go that smoothly, but I trusted that the administration knew what it was doing, and that I probably didn't know the technology the Military had. I expected extremely low casualties, 50-100 maybe. I did not expect such a big insurgancy, and I did not expect close to 1500 U.S soldiers to die in this war. This War has gone far worse then I every expected it to be.

Edit: btw I'm talking about strictly us military casualties, not iraqi casualties.
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Old 02-08-2005, 02:49 PM   #35 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
Willravel's Avatar
 
The conclusions in your original post were based on incorect information and assumptions. While many people have pointed out these incorrect conclusions, you have basically ignored them. I'll try to summerize.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
when i watch and read news analysis concerning post-war iraq, the comments often end in someone saying something like...

"we should have a more developed exit strategy"
"it could have been handled much better"
"unseating saddam was the right thing to do, but we didn't have to use military force"
"the post-war strategy is going much worse than planned"

and infinite permutations of such things. the end of the conversation is always a nodding of heads, a kind of silent assent to the the assumed truth of such thought. i am surprised to see these statements go unchallenged.
There are very good reasons behind each of those quotes. “We should have had a better exit strategy” is based on what we are seeing now. A correct exit strategy would have taken less time than the one in place, and would have saved many lives of the servicepeople who died. The Invasions on Iraq started as a bombing mission, followed by a ground invasion, followed by deconstructing and arresting the government. Our mission was to “free Iraq” (actually it was to protect America from ficticious WMDs and false al Qaeda 9/11 links, but who’s counting?), but what about leaving? Rice is still not commenting on an exit strategy (http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...q_050201232127). This is a problem because Americans have been pleading for the government to get the soldiers home as soon as possible. While officials are often quoted saying “We’ll bring our soldiers home (applause)”, they have still not shared this plan with the public. It is a valid request to ask when our servicepeople will be coming home.

"it could have been handled much better"
There were no WMDs and there were no Iraq-9/11 links. The invasion claiming lives and injuring so many was clearly unnecessary.

"unseating saddam was the right thing to do, but we didn't have to use military force"
We did not have to lose 1447 lives to remove one man from power. Agree or disagree?

"the post-war strategy is going much worse than planned"
I don’t suppose you read ManX’s post, did you?
Quote:
Vice President Cheney, for example, predicted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's troops would "step aside" and that the conflict would be "weeks rather than months," a phrase repeated by other top officials. Others in advisory roles in the administration predicted Iraqi soldiers would "throw in the towel"
The post war strategy IS going much worse than planned. That is obvious to everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
now i'm not saying that we haven't made mistakes in our post-war strategy. however, did you really expect it to go much better?
No! I didn’t expect it to go better! The problem is that Bushco was constantly telling us how it would be fine before the invasion. We were bombarded with soundbites telling us about how the Iraqis would be treated as liberators, not conquorers. This is incorrect, and they had no reason at the time to believe this. They constantly told us about how easy this would be. They were wrong.
Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
to me, that's like saying the Patriots really didn't go about playing the Super Bowl the right way. sure, they won... but didn't you see them fumble? their running game was slow out of the gate! too many penalties!
We didn’t win. We might not have lost completly, but we didn’t win. Like I said, that analogy couldn’t be more wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
while all those statements are true, they don't reflect the fact that a monumental achievement was made. the same is, i think, true for people's perceptions of iraq. sure, it has been hell for our soldiers there. sure, we've had things thrown at us that we weren't prepared for. but in the end, did you think it would or could have gone much better? i know i didn't.
The singular acheivment of removing Saddam isn’t something to be proud of. The singlular acheivment of holding electiosn doesn’t balance out. Not by a long shot. Those are only 2 victories out of this whole mess.

l
Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
et's face it: many of you out there predicted SEVERE doom and gloom. if i didn't have a life outside of TFP i'd love to compile a list of all the nay-sayers for our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq from the public debate and opinions given on this board. the new fetish seems to be to create (and by create, i mean completely imagine) inflated casualty figures in a sleazy attempt to add weight to an argument. instead of going to such lengths to justify the negative forecasts... why not rejoice in the fact that such predictions were wrong?

-if you did not predict that the iraqis would be holding successful elections in less than two years after the war... you were wrong. rejoice.
l
Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
How many lives will it cots in the long run? You can rejoice to that, but I won’t be joining you.
That’s a wonderful way to trivialize the lives of the 1447 servicepeople who died for a government who said that this would be easy. Remember when Bush said “Breing them on”? Well they brough it on, and it cost us dearly. That is a wonderful way to trivialize the deaths of so many innocent Iraqi civilians who did nothing to warrent death. They lived under a dictator and were killed by an army that was supposed to save them.

l
Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
-if you thought the war would unstabilize the region and spiral into an uncontrollable regional conflict... you were wrong. rejoice.
Tell me that in 2 years, it’s too early to call that one yet.

l
Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
-if you thought that it would cost 10,000 American lives... you were wrong. rejoice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by analog
1,000 or 10,000- people died for this war. I hope the future history books will show the war's results that those people who gave their lives were more important than a worst-case number-crunch.
Insurgents aren’t just killing American servicepeople. They are also killing the Iraqis working with the Americans. What do you think will happen if we ever pull out?

l
Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
and I KNOW that many of you were in hysterics because you were SO SURE this was all going to happen. well, it hasn't... yet nothing but negativity is heard from many. it's unfair to judge such a dangerous operation on such untested ground a failure because there are obvious problems. rather, think of this operation and match it against all plausible outcomes... i see a strong case for labeling it a success.
It was wrong to attack them. It was wrong to kill and to be killed over a false threat. It was wrong for our government to have told us this would be easy. It was wrong for lies to lead us to war. It was wrong to go to war. We are seeing the consequences every day as we open our newspapers and reading about how a helicopter crashed or a bomb went off or a smart bomb hit a hospital. We are seeing the death tole rise every day. We still don’t even have an exit strategy.

Mission: falied.
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Old 02-08-2005, 03:16 PM   #36 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: Troy, NY
Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
what did you think would happen with the events in iraq prior to the invasion?

how do the results you perceive since then compare to your prediction?
Hey, it's your thread, man... Take it where you want and I'll answer your questions.

1) I didn't have any expectations. I really was fairly indifferent to the whole deal on the onset and, while figuring that our military power would heavily outweigh theirs, had no idea what else was going to happen. It gets hard to predict after that time, and there's a lot of different factors that could have come into play.

2) Well, since I didn't have any expectations, I guess you could say that my "non-predictions" were neutral. I think it went terribly. ...I'm sure I don't need to repeat everything that went wrong.
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Old 02-08-2005, 05:31 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Location: Chicago
First, my concession.

I expected far more American fatalities than I've seen. I expected a much larger number of Iraqis to be fighting against us. So, to this point, yes, I'm grateful that there haven't been more. I'm not rejoicing, but I'm grateful.

Sadly, that's my only concession.

Anyone who followed this dog and pony show since its inception knew where we were going and where we're going next (Iran, Syria). Anyone aware of the desires of the neoconservative movement knew this was coming, with or without 9/11. I never believed the WMD argument, not because I was privy to any information, but because I am that cynical in my feelings about this administration.

What boggles me to this point are those calling this operation a general success, even while most of those knowledgable enough to speak as an expert on this topic freely concede that we're looking at another 3-5 years, if things go smoothly.

The notion of considering this operation a success due to the events so far is akin to watching a horse race, and before the jockey's even reach the first turn, claiming victory for whoever is in the lead.
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Old 02-08-2005, 06:22 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
respond with what your expectations were of [the war's] success and how the results have compared with your forecast
"Success" implies a goal. If you don't achieve the goal, then you have not succeeded. The goal was finding WMDs. No find, no goal, no success.

You seem to want to redefine "success" with your own terms. Sorry, I'm not game, any other terms than those above is just semantic dithering in my opinion.
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Old 02-08-2005, 06:56 PM   #39 (permalink)
Tone.
 
shakran's Avatar
 
ooooh! Fun thread!

Quote:
to me, that's like saying the Patriots really didn't go about playing the Super Bowl the right way. sure, they won... but didn't you see them fumble? their running game was slow out of the gate! too many penalties!
OK look I could spend the next 2 hours typing up a thread attacking everythign you wrote, but I lack the motivation. I'm just gonna go after this one.

Anyone remember those old Goofus and Gallant strips in the Highlights magazine? Your statement rather put me in mind of them. . ..


1) The patriots had a firm exit strategy. They'd play the game for a few hours, then they'd go to the locker room and either curse or curse while pouring champagne all over each other, then they'd go home. Pretty good exit strategy. Even allowed for a variable depending on the outcome of the game.

The Bushites had one goal. Topple Saddam. Screw what happens after that, we'll worry about that when we come to it. One good idea: Let's declare victory long before the country's secure, that way maybe people won't notice the hundreds of soldiers that die after the "war is over."



2) The Patriots were honest with their fans about why they went to the game. They said "we're going to the game because we want to win it." They did not say "if we win the game, cancer will be cured so you guys should support us in going."

The Bushites didn't really worry about being honest about the reasons to go to war. WMDs? Sure it's bullshit, say it anyway, the sheeple will support us, then we'll claim we never said it and the sheeple will believe that too.

3) The patriots could afford the trip and the effort they put forward to achieve their goal.

The Bushites are borrowing left and right, driving the debt and deficit to higher-than-Reagan levels, and generally behave as though they grew up never having to know how to save money. Oh, wait...That IS how they grew up.

4) No one got killed when the Patriots went to the superbowl. Not even the refs.

5) The patriots actually won, and one year from now their victory will not be taken from them.

The Bushites are declaring a second early victory after the elections even though there is no evidence that the elections will be successful, nor is there evidence that this fledgling "democracy" will still be around this time next year.


Are you getting my point here? You're taking an unjust war that has killed well over a thousand Americans, countless others, and was waged for reasons that later turned out to have been a lie, and you're comparing it to a football game. Do you really expect us to take you seriously?
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Old 02-08-2005, 08:13 PM   #40 (permalink)
can't help but laugh
 
irateplatypus's Avatar
 
Location: dar al-harb
you all do realize that when employing an analogy that the two thing are said to be like eachother in a particular respect while dissimilar in all others... right?

analogy: Similarity in some respects between things that are otherwise dissimilar.

taking the analogy farther than its initial employment is to make an argument null.


Quote:
Originally Posted by raveneye
"Success" implies a goal. If you don't achieve the goal, then you have not succeeded. The goal was finding WMDs. No find, no goal, no success.

You seem to want to redefine "success" with your own terms. Sorry, I'm not game, any other terms than those above is just semantic dithering in my opinion.
nope. i'm not using my own criteria and i'm sure as hell not using yours. i'll stick with the official list thank you very much.

Quote:
1) End the regime of Saddam Hussein.
2) Eliminate Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.
3) Capture or drive out terrorists.
4) Collect intelligence on terrorist networks.
5) Collect intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction activity.
6) Secure Iraq’s oil fields.
7) Deliver humanitarian relief and end sanctions.
8) Help Iraq achieve representative self-government and insure its territorial integrity.

this list was compiled from the secretary of defense's official statement on 21 March 2003 which can be found here
according to our objectives... we have clear success in five of them, two are unabled to be measured by we on TFP (#'s 3 and 4), one was a failure.
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If you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.

~ Winston Churchill

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