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Old 08-23-2007, 08:09 AM   #21
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Default Re: "The War As We Saw It"

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Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
I think you missed the point.

Originally the New York Times article was posted as "proof" that even our soldiers disagree with the current assessment of where we stand in Iraq.
My point was ....#1) You dig deep enough, you will find those who agree with the "predominatly" liberal viewpoint that we should not be in Iraq...#2) This viewpoint is not the general opinion of our armed forces...AND if one is going to use the opinions of 7 soldiers as proof..they may want to consider the opinions of the armed forces as a whole.

I do agree with you that this war has moved from being about right/wrong and is now about political leverage and now all media information is filtered through a right or left wing filter. I also agree with you that the end result will be tragic. We just have to make a moral decision as to who should be put into harms way...Our professional well-equipped soldiers or a civilian populace that will either die... unarmed ...in a religious civil war, or live nightmare after nightmare every day because of our unwillingness to see this through

Dont get me wrong....I am increasingly frustrated by the lack of help from other countries and the obvious sluggish development of the Iraqi government....but as I have stated in other threads....Every "little" quality of life increase in the lives of the Iraqi people... seems, to them, to be sooooo much more than they have ever had and there is not an "end goal"...a concrete understanding of what democracy looks like.....And this is counter-productive to energizing the populace into throwing themselves into their own development.

In my opinion why do we need to see this through?:

10 IMPROVEMENTS IN THE LIVES OF IRAQI CHILDREN

10) Nearly 3,000 soccer balls were shipped on May 30 and another 60,000 balls on their way to Iraq through a private/public partnership and the U.S. soccer community...Kids who previously were focused on basic survival now have community leagues and after school programs.
Thanks for the thoughtful response.

I know you want to point out progress, but did we really go into Iraq so kids could play soccer?
I am not claiming raising the quality of life in Iraq is not a noble effort, but episodic illustrations of social welfare achievements are not exactly what most individuals regarded as the goals to be achieved by going to war, including the incumbent President who stated during the 2000 campaign that "nation building" shoudl not be the task of U.S. foreign policy.

The basis for the war (based on various theories that have not played out as well as the Administration hoped) was that Sadaam presented a strategic threat to the vital interests of the United States, not that his government needed to go because it did not promote democracy and the Iraqis quality of life needed to be raised - if that is the metric for going to war there are lots of future adversaries to take out, starting with our partners in freedom the Saudis.

"Seeing this through" is something everyone can wish for at the right price, but exactly how open ended is the commitment (we were in Germany for 40 yeas after WWII, with allies) and what is the measurement of when the mission will be accomplished? That target keeps getting redefined - if you doubt me on that match up what was supposed to constitute success for the surge last spring and what will be defined as success in September. At some point the benefits have to be balanced with the costs.
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:41 AM   #22
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Default Re: "The War As We Saw It"

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Originally Posted by lamberts-lost-tooth View Post
I think you missed the point.

Originally the New York Times article was posted as "proof" that even our soldiers disagree with the current assessment of where we stand in Iraq.
My point was ....#1) You dig deep enough, you will find those who agree with the "predominatly" liberal viewpoint that we should not be in Iraq...#2) This viewpoint is not the general opinion of our armed forces...AND if one is going to use the opinions of 7 soldiers as proof..they may want to consider the opinions of the armed forces as a whole.

I do agree with you that this war has moved from being about right/wrong and is now about political leverage and now all media information is filtered through a right or left wing filter. I also agree with you that the end result will be tragic. We just have to make a moral decision as to who should be put into harms way...Our professional well-equipped soldiers or a civilian populace that will either die... unarmed ...in a religious civil war, or live nightmare after nightmare every day because of our unwillingness to see this through

Dont get me wrong....I am increasingly frustrated by the lack of help from other countries and the obvious sluggish development of the Iraqi government....but as I have stated in other threads....Every "little" quality of life increase in the lives of the Iraqi people... seems, to them, to be sooooo much more than they have ever had and there is not an "end goal"...a concrete understanding of what democracy looks like.....And this is counter-productive to energizing the populace into throwing themselves into their own development.

In my opinion why do we need to see this through?:
this article was not published as "proof" of anything. it's just an op ed article where seven soldiers voice their opinions on the situation in iraq. much like the the op ed article by pollack/o?hanlon voicing their opinion that the war in iraq can be won. their opinions, nothing more, but many folk take it on as fact for some reason.

lamberts, is it your opinion that the majority of folks in the military support the policies in iraq? because, that is not a fact, it's an opinion. just like the two ny times op ed articles. there's no way to actually confirm or deny that opinion. as i stated earlier, the military would never allow the soldiers to vote on such matters.

the point i'm trying to make is this, two reporters, being escorted by the military, following itinerary the D.O.D. developed, are by no way as educated on the situation in iraq as seven soldiers fighting and dying in iraq. that's my opinion. i agree with some points on the escorted reporters article, but find the soldiers article much more comprehensive on the issues that need to be addressed and not simply thrown aside as "liberal" hogwash.
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Old 08-24-2007, 05:01 AM   #23
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Default Re: "The War As We Saw It"

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Originally Posted by j-dawg View Post
this article was not published as "proof" of anything. it's just an op ed article where seven soldiers voice their opinions on the situation in iraq. much like the the op ed article by pollack/o’hanlon voicing their opinion that the war in iraq can be won. their opinions, nothing more, but many folk take it on as fact for some reason.

lamberts, is it your opinion that the majority of folks in the military support the policies in iraq? because, that is not a fact, it's an opinion. just like the two ny times op ed articles. there's no way to actually confirm or deny that opinion. as i stated earlier, the military would never allow the soldiers to vote on such matters.

the point i'm trying to make is this, two reporters, being escorted by the military, following itinerary the D.O.D. developed, are by no way as educated on the situation in iraq as seven soldiers fighting and dying in iraq. that's my opinion. i agree with some points on the escorted reporters article, but find the soldiers article much more comprehensive on the issues that need to be addressed and not simply thrown aside as "liberal" hogwash.
I have to admit ..once I see "New York Times"...I automatically go into "spin" mode and have to ask how much of this op-ed was self initiated. The Times has a history of propping up "icons" of liberal causes.
What I have been told from a rather large group of friends that are still in the Iraqi theater ..or still in the service is that the VAST majority of our armed services members believe that there is a very strong outright attempt to downplay the improvements in Irag for "political" purposes. That is not my opinion but what I am being told from those who are serving.
Please take into consideration that I still bleed green from my years in service and I hope that I have some idea as to the mindset of our soldiers. Some of my closest friends in the world are still in the Army...and it would kill me to tell anyone in this forum a personal opinion based on my belifs alone or to purposfully give out ANYTHING other than what those friends believe to be true.
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Old 08-25-2007, 02:40 PM   #24
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Default Re: "The War As We Saw It"

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I asked you for your source on the "coast is clear" theory for the banner and you admitted it was just your own theory.

As for the coast being almost clear, what is your basis for that?

On Thursday, the administration is planning to make public parts of a sober new report by American intelligence agencies expressing deep doubts that the Maliki government can overcome sectarian differences. Government officials who have seen the report say it gives a bleak outlook on the chances Mr. Maliki can meet milestones intended to promote unity in Iraq.


http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/23/wa...policy.html?hp

And what "good ground intel" did Rummy fail to provide to W on Iraq?

In closing, thanks for trying to portray anyone who disagrees with you on "either side of the aisle" as not being worthy of a logical response.
A) It's not my theory. It's pretty widely recognized, and I've seen pretty much the same thing asserted in a bunch of articles and books I've read, with variations. The problem is that these are articles you find in magazines like "The Economist" or on breitbart.com, or in the book "Cobra II" that I read, and not in mainstream media (and I don't mean liberal or conservative, I mean ANY mainstream media outlets.) This stuff isn't sound bytes and 2 minutes politico cliffs notes. I understand that you want quotable quotes, but this doesn't work that way, and sometimes one must synthesize a bit of their own knowledge.
B) When I state that the coast is almost clear, I'm optimistically hoping that UN participation makes a difference. I don't care much for the UN, but they are still viewed as a stabilizing and fairly neutral force. Some UN troops sends a strong message to all but the most radical extremists that the World is getting involved.
C) There was great ground intel in Afghanistan. In fact, it was astoundingly good. That was ultimately why we were so successful. The problem became that the Bush Admin, almost exclusively under the auspices of Rumy, took everything the CIA said about Iraq at face value because of the success we had in Afghan. Problem was, we had no good assets in Iraq, and 25 year old assets in Afghan. The administration took the bad advice that we would be greeted as liberators, and failed to plan for any kind of alternate contingency. There WAS NO good ground intel in Iraq, but the CIA thought differently, and Rumy (i.e. the entire administration) bought into it to the detriment of all.
D) As for your last little comment, sorry, but you haven't done your homework. I'm criticizing BOTH sides of the aisle and you are still hung up buying into party spin. I'm past the whole GOP v. Democrat crap and want to talk about what really happened, is happening, and will happen. A great example? I read "State of Denial" and thought it was a great and insightful book, but it was pretty much straight reporting, and therefore didn't ever get into the "why?" of what was happening. So when I see the same ole "Bush sucks and is stupid" stuff, I can't get all that interested.
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Old 08-25-2007, 06:22 PM   #25
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Default Re: "The War As We Saw It"

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
A) It's not my theory. It's pretty widely recognized, and I've seen pretty much the same thing asserted in a bunch of articles and books I've read, with variations. The problem is that these are articles you find in magazines like "The Economist" or on breitbart.com, or in the book "Cobra II" that I read, and not in mainstream media (and I don't mean liberal or conservative, I mean ANY mainstream media outlets.) This stuff isn't sound bytes and 2 minutes politico cliffs notes. I understand that you want quotable quotes, but this doesn't work that way, and sometimes one must synthesize a bit of their own knowledge.
B) When I state that the coast is almost clear, I'm optimistically hoping that UN participation makes a difference. I don't care much for the UN, but they are still viewed as a stabilizing and fairly neutral force. Some UN troops sends a strong message to all but the most radical extremists that the World is getting involved.
C) There was great ground intel in Afghanistan. In fact, it was astoundingly good. That was ultimately why we were so successful. The problem became that the Bush Admin, almost exclusively under the auspices of Rumy, took everything the CIA said about Iraq at face value because of the success we had in Afghan. Problem was, we had no good assets in Iraq, and 25 year old assets in Afghan. The administration took the bad advice that we would be greeted as liberators, and failed to plan for any kind of alternate contingency. There WAS NO good ground intel in Iraq, but the CIA thought differently, and Rumy (i.e. the entire administration) bought into it to the detriment of all.
D) As for your last little comment, sorry, but you haven't done your homework. I'm criticizing BOTH sides of the aisle and you are still hung up buying into party spin. I'm past the whole GOP v. Democrat crap and want to talk about what really happened, is happening, and will happen. A great example? I read "State of Denial" and thought it was a great and insightful book, but it was pretty much straight reporting, and therefore didn't ever get into the "why?" of what was happening. So when I see the same ole "Bush sucks and is stupid" stuff, I can't get all that interested.
Thanks for more gratuitous shots about me not doing my homework and your ability to conclude that I am not nearly as well read as you on the subject of Iraq given our vast knowledge of each other from exchanging posts on a Steelers message board.

I gave you links to how "Mission Accomplished" was reported (as well as how the phrase was being used by W after the photo op on the Abraham Lincoln) and then linked to the summary of the National Intelligence Estimate (not written by a nest of Bush bashers ) to support my position that any conclusion the "coast is almost clear" is pretty much an outlier when it comes to current views on the situation in Iraq. I usually make a point of providing links to reputable sources I when assert a position rather than just request other posters to trust my powers of insight while contending anyone who disagrees with me is both illogical and not worthy of my interest..

If you have any links to support your "widely recognized" position that "Mission Accomplished" was actually intended to mean the coast is almost clear or that it currently is almost clear (other than Bill Kristol and The Weekly Standard) please provide them. If it is so recognized then presumably someone other than you has articulated your position.

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Old 08-25-2007, 10:14 PM   #26
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Default Re: "The War As We Saw It"

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So if you are against the war as it has been fought you are a "liberal"? I missed the parts of the article where the soldiers gave their opinions on universal health care and repeal of Sarbanes-Oxley.

Trying to fit everyone who is for the Iraq deployment as being on the "right" or "conservative" while everyone who questions the deployment as being on the "left" or as "liberal" is pretty meaningless. George Will and Robert Novak are nobody's definition of "liberals".

I agree that you can certainly find many articulate current and former members of the uniformed military who support the effort and others who do not. I dare say the soldiers in the NYT Op-Ed have a lot more credibility than what we heard from Rumsfeld, Cheney, Tenet & others over the last 5 years.

But of course given that pesky civilian control of the military under the Constitution, it is not the uniformed military's call whether the U.S. stays or goes - going to war is a political decision (see, e.g., Clausewitz) and it is a lot more than "left wingers" in this country who think we should cut our losses on this one.

Is the U.S.military the finest fighting force in the world today? - absolutely

Does that mean it can indefinitely hang around Iraq to referee a civil war while the "government" of Iraq is collapsing -probably not.

But hope springs eternal for some that this is all just a PR issue - the latest bright idea that support for the war is going to be turned around by an ad campaign would be laughable if the subject was not so tragic.


Exactly Atlanta Dan.
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Old 08-26-2007, 05:26 PM   #27
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Default Re: "The War As We Saw It"

FYI is a lengthy article in today's New York Times Magazine on the divergent opinions in the uniformed military regarding operations in the Iraq-Afghanistan theater.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/26/ma...gewanted=print
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Old 08-26-2007, 06:46 PM   #28
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Default Re: "The War As We Saw It"

I’m clearly not making myself heard here. I could care less “how it was reported”, or how it was pontificated on by the talking heads or the op/ed columnists, or what John Stewart had to say about it. But I care a great deal as to what exactly the thinking was behind it. I’m not getting anything new here from you other than the same stuff anyone can find on CNN.com. I’m sorry if you feel like I’m attacking you (I’m not), but I’m frustrated here. Nobody seems to want to hear anything that doesn’t fit into their already determined position. As for sources “Cobra II”, written by Michael Gordon and General Bernard Trainor is one of the sources behind the “Mission Accomplished” speech and banner as hallmark to Arab Allies and the UN that they were welcome to join the fold. It’s also interesting to note that Bush gave this same speech in Qatar and a few other Arab nations after the war.

Ultimately, “Mission Accomplished” is nothing more than political satirist’s fodder now, anyway, because it was subsequent events after that day that actually resulted in the mess we have now in Iraq. I’m sure we can both agree that event was the disbanding of the Iraqi military, and there is plenty of blame to go around. On May 9th, 2003 General McKiernan and a few of his top officers meet with Faris Naima, a former Iraqi officer and commander of the al-Bakr Military College where Iraq’s officers were trained. Naima was Iraq’s ambassador to Austria when Qusay Hussein ordered him to return to Iraq. Fearing for his life, he stayed abroad, but approached the US about providing assistance after the War.

Naima was a man in the know, and he was prepared to give the US a list of officers they could trust in order to get the Iraqi military involved in post-war security. His idea was to start at the top and work down, and to establish 3 Iraqi divisions in the North, Central and Southern parts of Iraq. The Iraqi military was still loosely banded together, and if the US could pay them, there could be a pretty smooth transition. And these troops were pretty much counted upon in ALL the early post-war planning to hold the country together. McKiernan was impressed and wanted to move forward. Jay Garner was also thinking along the same lines and hired a DC consulting company to start screening Iraqi military officers for post-war security and the like.

Enter the jackass Paul Bremer. Bremer decided that the Iraqi military was too baathist (it wasn’t. Only 8,000 of Iraq’s 140,000 officers and NCO’s were believed to be serious baathists) to keep, so he convinced Rumy to entirely disband the Iraq Army. When Order No. 2, “The Dissolution of Entities” went into effect, Iraq became what we have today. The new replacement force, The New Iraq Corps, or “NIC” was to be a ground up restoring of the Iraq military. There are two interesting footnotes to this. One is that “NIC”, when pronounced in Arabic, sounds a lot like their version of “f*ck”, which provides a great example as to how little we understood the culture of Iraq. We also decided to go ahead and pay many of the Iraqi soldiers who had been disbanded, effectively pissing them off then paying them to join the insurgency.

Finally, the article in the NYT is not the first I’ve seen of this. There is definitely a problem in the US military. I mention General McKiernan all the time because I believe he was almost certainly the best general we had in Iraq, but no one has even heard of him. The man stood his ground (to no avail) and I firmly believe that had McKiernan been listened to, we would have saved billions of dollars and thousands of troops. And you won't ever read that in the NYT.
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Old 08-26-2007, 10:59 PM   #29
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Default Re: "The War As We Saw It"

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I’m clearly not making myself heard here. I could care less “how it was reported”, or how it was pontificated on by the talking heads or the op/ed columnists, or what John Stewart had to say about it. But I care a great deal as to what exactly the thinking was behind it. I’m not getting anything new here from you other than the same stuff anyone can find on CNN.com. I’m sorry if you feel like I’m attacking you (I’m not), but I’m frustrated here. Nobody seems to want to hear anything that doesn’t fit into their already determined position. As for sources “Cobra II”, written by Michael Gordon and General Bernard Trainor is one of the sources behind the “Mission Accomplished” speech and banner as hallmark to Arab Allies and the UN that they were welcome to join the fold. It’s also interesting to note that Bush gave this same speech in Qatar and a few other Arab nations after the war.

Ultimately, “Mission Accomplished” is nothing more than political satirist’s fodder now, anyway, because it was subsequent events after that day that actually resulted in the mess we have now in Iraq. I’m sure we can both agree that event was the disbanding of the Iraqi military, and there is plenty of blame to go around. On May 9th, 2003 General McKiernan and a few of his top officers meet with Faris Naima, a former Iraqi officer and commander of the al-Bakr Military College where Iraq’s officers were trained. Naima was Iraq’s ambassador to Austria when Qusay Hussein ordered him to return to Iraq. Fearing for his life, he stayed abroad, but approached the US about providing assistance after the War.

Naima was a man in the know, and he was prepared to give the US a list of officers they could trust in order to get the Iraqi military involved in post-war security. His idea was to start at the top and work down, and to establish 3 Iraqi divisions in the North, Central and Southern parts of Iraq. The Iraqi military was still loosely banded together, and if the US could pay them, there could be a pretty smooth transition. And these troops were pretty much counted upon in ALL the early post-war planning to hold the country together. McKiernan was impressed and wanted to move forward. Jay Garner was also thinking along the same lines and hired a DC consulting company to start screening Iraqi military officers for post-war security and the like.

Enter the jackass Paul Bremer. Bremer decided that the Iraqi military was too baathist (it wasn’t. Only 8,000 of Iraq’s 140,000 officers and NCO’s were believed to be serious baathists) to keep, so he convinced Rumy to entirely disband the Iraq Army. When Order No. 2, “The Dissolution of Entities” went into effect, Iraq became what we have today. The new replacement force, The New Iraq Corps, or “NIC” was to be a ground up restoring of the Iraq military. There are two interesting footnotes to this. One is that “NIC”, when pronounced in Arabic, sounds a lot like their version of “f*ck”, which provides a great example as to how little we understood the culture of Iraq. We also decided to go ahead and pay many of the Iraqi soldiers who had been disbanded, effectively pissing them off then paying them to join the insurgency.

Finally, the article in the NYT is not the first I’ve seen of this. There is definitely a problem in the US military. I mention General McKiernan all the time because I believe he was almost certainly the best general we had in Iraq, but no one has even heard of him. The man stood his ground (to no avail) and I firmly believe that had McKiernan been listened to, we would have saved billions of dollars and thousands of troops. And you won't ever read that in the NYT.
I promise to quit responding to your future posts and will defer to you whether you will quit responding to mine.

Since you are going on my ignore list (only Seahawks and Bengals fans, together with the banned hardwork, have made it until now - congratulations) I assume that any danger of you being bored by my failure to meet your high standards of intellectual discourse can be avoided in the future..

Last edited by Atlanta Dan; 08-26-2007 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:17 AM   #30
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Default Re: "The War As We Saw It"

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C) There was great ground intel in Afghanistan. In fact, it was astoundingly good. That was ultimately why we were so successful. The problem became that the Bush Admin, almost exclusively under the auspices of Rumy, took everything the CIA said about Iraq at face value because of the success we had in Afghan. Problem was, we had no good assets in Iraq, and 25 year old assets in Afghan. The administration took the bad advice that we would be greeted as liberators, and failed to plan for any kind of alternate contingency. There WAS NO good ground intel in Iraq, but the CIA thought differently, and Rumy (i.e. the entire administration) bought into it to the detriment of all.
For some reason...

This assessment has a very strong ring of truth. probably because it is devoid of any political slogans from either the left or the right.
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