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Old 12-28-2010, 05:02 PM   #1
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Default Iraqi Prime Minister: U.S. Troops Must Leave In 2011

Wow. What a sigh of relief !

BAGHDAD — The last U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of 2011, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says.

LINK: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40829338...deastn_africa/
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Old 12-28-2010, 06:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: Iraqi Prime Minister: U.S. Troops Must Leave In 2011

great...just make sure they bring the check book with them.

here's something the republisheep don't like to talk about when assigning blame for our exploding deficit....

The true cost of the Iraq war: $3 trillion and beyond


Writing in these pages in early 2008, we put the total cost to the United States of the Iraq war at $3 trillion. This price tag dwarfed previous estimates, including the Bush administration's 2003 projections of a $50 billion to $60 billion war.
But today, as the United States ends combat in Iraq, it appears that our $3 trillion estimate (which accounted for both government expenses and the war's broader impact on the U.S. economy) was, if anything, too low. For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected.
Moreover, two years on, it has become clear to us that our estimate did not capture what may have been the conflict's most sobering expenses: those in the category of "might have beens," or what economists call opportunity costs. For instance, many have wondered aloud whether, absent the Iraq invasion, we would still be stuck in Afghanistan. And this is not the only "what if" worth contemplating. We might also ask: If not for the war in Iraq, would oil prices have risen so rapidly? Would the federal debt be so high? Would the economic crisis have been so severe?

The answer to all four of these questions is probably no. The central lesson of economics is that resources -- including both money and attention -- are scarce. What was devoted to one theater, Iraq, was not available elsewhere.
Afghanistan

The Iraq invasion diverted our attention from the Afghan war, now entering its 10th year. While "success" in Afghanistan might always have been elusive, we would probably have been able to assert more control over the Taliban, and suffered fewer casualties, if we had not been sidetracked. In 2003 -- the year we invaded Iraq -- the United States cut spending in Afghanistan to $14.7 billion (down from more than $20 billion in 2002), while we poured $53 billion into Iraq. In 2004, 2005 and 2006, we spent at least four times as much money in Iraq as in Afghanistan.
It is hard to believe that we would be embroiled in a bloody conflict in Afghanistan today if we had devoted the resources there that we instead deployed in Iraq. A troop surge in 2003 -- before the warlords and the Taliban reestablished control -- would have been much more effective than a surge in 2010.
Oil

When the United States went to war in Iraq, the price of oil was less than $25 a barrel, and futures markets expected it to remain around that level. With the war, prices started to soar, reaching $140 a barrel by 2008. We believe that the war and its impact on the Middle East, the largest supplier of oil in the world, were major factors. Not only was Iraqi production interrupted, but the instability the war brought to the Middle East dampened investment in the region.
In calculating our $3 trillion estimate two years ago, we blamed the war for a $5-per-barrel oil price increase. We now believe that a more realistic (if still conservative) estimate of the war's impact on prices works out to at least $10 per barrel. That would add at least $250 billion in direct costs to our original assessment of the war's price tag. But the cost of this increase doesn't stop there: Higher oil prices had a devastating effect on the economy.

Federal debt

There is no question that the Iraq war added substantially to the federal debt. This was the first time in American history that the government cut taxes as it went to war. The result: a war completely funded by borrowing. U.S. debt soared from $6.4 trillion in March 2003 to $10 trillion in 2008 (before the financial crisis); at least a quarter of that increase is directly attributable to the war. And that doesn't include future health care and disability payments for veterans, which will add another half-trillion dollars to the debt.
As a result of two costly wars funded by debt, our fiscal house was in dismal shape even before the financial crisis -- and those fiscal woes compounded the downturn.
The financial crisis

The global financial crisis was due, at least in part, to the war. Higher oil prices meant that money spent buying oil abroad was money not being spent at home. Meanwhile, war spending provided less of an economic boost than other forms of spending would have. Paying foreign contractors working in Iraq was neither an effective short-term stimulus (not compared with spending on education, infrastructure or technology) nor a basis for long-term growth.
Instead, loose monetary policy and lax regulations kept the economy going -- right up until the housing bubble burst, bringing on the economic freefall.
Saying what might have been is always difficult, especially with something as complex as the global financial crisis, which had many contributing factors. Perhaps the crisis would have happened in any case. But almost surely, with more spending at home, and without the need for such low interest rates and such soft regulation to keep the economy going in its absence, the bubble would have been smaller, and the consequences of its breaking therefore less severe. To put it more bluntly: The war contributed indirectly to disastrous monetary policy and regulations.
The Iraq war didn't just contribute to the severity of the financial crisis, though; it also kept us from responding to it effectively. Increased indebtedness meant that the government had far less room to maneuver than it otherwise would have had. More specifically, worries about the (war-inflated) debt and deficit constrained the size of the stimulus, and they continue to hamper our ability to respond to the recession. With the unemployment rate remaining stubbornly high, the country needs a second stimulus. But mounting government debt means support for this is low. The result is that the recession will be longer, output lower, unemployment higher and deficits larger than they would have been absent the war.
* * *
Reimagining history is a perilous exercise. Nonetheless, it seems clear that without this war, not only would America's standing in the world be higher, our economy would be stronger. The question today is: Can we learn from this costly mistake?







http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...090302200.html
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Iraqi Prime Minister: U.S. Troops Must Leave In 2011

"For example, the cost of diagnosing, treating and compensating disabled veterans has proved higher than we expected."


And that's for decades to come. It'll probably end up being well over $3 trillion. America will be paying for this stupid war as far as the eye can see............


"The question today is: Can we learn from this costly mistake?"

Not if Republicans get their way. We'll be fighting another war with "brown people" real soon. They want to whine and complain about govt. spending now, but an $11 trillion debt didn't bother them. Starting an unpaid for war didn't bother them. A $1.4 trillion deficit didn't bother them. A $700 billion bailout pushed by their god Bush and Paulson didn't bother them. Medicare part D unpaid for didn't bother them. We didn't hear a peep from them for 8 years. When Ron Paul was telling them not to do these things, they tuned him out. Didn't want to hear anything he had to say.

But I guess as long as your President is a Christian with a southern accent and talks to God, drinks beer, and watches NASCAR, it's all good. His actual policy contradicting your "fiscal conservative" views doesn't matter.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: Iraqi Prime Minister: U.S. Troops Must Leave In 2011

the only ones that are going to benefit from bush's multi trillion dollar project is iran.


Quote:
Cleric who fought US returns to Iraq from exile


NAJAF, Iraq – Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, a fierce opponent of the [COLOR=#366388 ! important][COLOR=#366388 ! important]United [COLOR=#366388 ! important]States[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR] and head of Iraq's most feared militia, came home Wednesday after nearly four years in self-imposed exile in Iran, welcomed by hundreds of cheering supporters in a return that solidifies the rise of his movement.
Al-Sadr's presence in Iraq ensures he will be a powerful voice in Iraqi politics as U.S. forces leave the country. He left Iraq in 2007 somewhat as a renegade, a firebrand populist whose militiamen battled American troops and Iraqi forces. He returns a more legitimized figure, leading an organized political movement that is a vital partner in the new government of [COLOR=#366388 ! important][COLOR=#366388 ! important]Prime [COLOR=#366388 ! important]Minister [/COLOR][COLOR=#366388 ! important]Nouri [/COLOR][COLOR=#366388 ! important]al-Maliki[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR].
Al-Sadr can wield a bully pulpit to put strong pressure on al-Maliki — and is likely to demand that no American troops remain beyond their scheduled final withdrawal date at the end of this year. His return caused trepidation among many Iraqis, particularly Sunnis who remember vividly the sectarian killings carried out by his militia, the [COLOR=#366388 ! important][COLOR=#366388 ! important]Mahdi [COLOR=#366388 ! important]Army[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR], and believe he is a tool of Iran.
But his supporters were jubilant.
"He is our hero. We sacrificed for him. He said 'No' to the Americans and fought the Americans, and he is brave," said [COLOR=#366388 ! important][COLOR=#366388 ! important]Mohammed [COLOR=#366388 ! important]Ali[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR], among the crowds who turned out to greet al-Sadr in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, south of Baghdad.
Al-Sadr visited the holy shrine of Imam Ali, revered among the country's Shiite majority, wearing a black turban distinguishing him as one of the descendants of Islam's [COLOR=#366388 ! important][COLOR=#366388 ! important]Prophet [COLOR=#366388 ! important]Muhammad[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR], and surrounded by a phalanx of bodyguards who attempted to hold back a throng of supporters.
He also visited the grave of his father, who was assassinated during Saddam Hussein's rule, before heading to his house. Dozens of black-clad Mahdi Army members spread out through the neighborhood surrounding his home.
The fiery preacher has legions of followers among Iraq's poorer classes who see him as a champion of their rights against both the Sunnis who dominated Iraq under Saddam and other Shiite political parties such as al-Maliki's Dawa party, which represents more of the Shiite middle class.
Al-Sadr has not been seen publicly in Iraq since 2007 when he left to study Islam in Qom, the seat of Shiite education, as a way to burnish his religious credentials. He also faced an arrest warrant for his alleged role in assassinating a rival Shiite cleric.
The arrest warrant appeared to be in effect as recently as last March but the chances it would be enforced appear highly unlikely considering the alliance between al-Maliki and al-Sadr. The public nature of al-Sadr's return — his first appearance in Iraq since leaving for Iran — suggested he had little to fear.
The cleric and his followers have parlayed their street credentials earned from battling U.S. forces and a savvy political organizing ability into 40 seats in the 325-member parliament during last March's election. Their grudging support for al-Maliki secured him a second term.
"The American occupation was always a useful rallying point but his objective is power in Iraq," said Joost Hiltermann from the [COLOR=#366388 ! important][COLOR=#366388 ! important]International [COLOR=#366388 ! important]Crisis [/COLOR][COLOR=#366388 ! important]Group[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR].
For many Iraqis, especially the minority Sunnis, al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army will always be synonymous with the vicious sectarian killings that they are blamed for carrying out during the worst of the sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007.
In the Azamiyah neighborhood that used to be a favorite target of the Mahdi Army death squads, residents watched his return with concern. Ahmed al-Azami, a 43-year-old lawyer, said people fear his militia will once again become active and described al-Sadr as little more than a tool of Iran.
Al-Sadr's return came on the same day that the Iranian foreign minister made his first visit to Iraq. During a visit to Najaf, the Iranian ambassador, Hassan Danaie, praised al-Sadr.
"His presence will serve stability in Iraq," the ambassador said.
An official from the Sadrist office in Najaf said al-Sadr's return was permanent. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, and al-Sadr made no public comments.
Enmity between al-Sadr and al-Maliki runs deep.
Al-Maliki in 2008 launched an offensive against al-Sadr's followers in Baghdad and the southern city of Basra. The show of force infuriated many of his Shiite allies but also demonstrated al-Maliki's willingness to go after all militias, even those representing his own sect.
But al-Sadr eventually backed al-Maliki for a second term after protracted negotiations following the March elections, likely owing to intense pressure from Iran and in return for concessions. Iraqi officials have said that hundreds of his followers have been released from jail, a key Sadrist demand.
Iraqis in many southern provinces and parts of eastern Baghdad where the Sadrists dominate have reported intimidation by Sadrist members, who are feeling bolder in light of their newfound political power. They have tried to enforce their strict Islamic restrictions in areas they traditionally controlled, cracking down on the sale of alcohol or cafes where people smoke water pipes.
Iraqi political analyst Hadi Jalo told The Associated Press that al-Sadr's return underscores the U.S.'s waning political influence in Iraq as U.S. troops prepare to leave the country entirely by the end of this year.
"Now, the anti-U.S. political figures, whether Shiite or Sunnis, are feeling that they are more confident now and their role in shaping Iraq's future is expanding. The Iraqi government is ready more than ever to accept and include figures known for their anti-U.S. stances," he said. "The Sadrists now are politically stronger than ever and they are aware of their importance in Iraq's political life."
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Iraqi Prime Minister: U.S. Troops Must Leave In 2011

remember the good ol days under the previous SF regime when you guys would be branded heretics for posting such gross untruths?

"Bush was great! Bush was God! And Sarah is His Son. Thou shalt worship at thine altar or BE BURNED!"

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Old 01-06-2011, 12:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Iraqi Prime Minister: U.S. Troops Must Leave In 2011

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
remember the good ol days under the previous SF regime when you guys would be branded heretics for posting such gross untruths?

"Bush was great! Bush was God! And Sarah is His Son. Thou shalt worship at thine altar or BE BURNED!"

bush , cheney , and rumsfeldt , should have been swinging from the gallows along with saddam for theft , fraud , and treason
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Iraqi Prime Minister: U.S. Troops Must Leave In 2011

I'll remind you guys that the new regime has been installed, and we're still in both wars, with an undeclared third war in Pakistan. We're no better off under Obama. All of these people are monsters. I'm pretty sure there's some sort of Monster Litmus Test they give prospective candidates for national office. I don't know... make them kill and eat a small child or something. And since Obama's really a Muslim, and Muslims are such evil people, it must have been even easier for him to pass the test than it was for good Christians like Bush and Cheney.
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Old 01-06-2011, 02:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: Iraqi Prime Minister: U.S. Troops Must Leave In 2011

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Originally Posted by ricardisimo View Post
I'll remind you guys that the new regime has been installed, and we're still in both wars, with an undeclared third war in Pakistan. We're no better off under Obama. All of these people are monsters. I'm pretty sure there's some sort of Monster Litmus Test they give prospective candidates for national office. I don't know... make them kill and eat a small child or something. And since Obama's really a Muslim, and Muslims are such evil people, it must have been even easier for him to pass the test than it was for good Christians like Bush and Cheney.
your right ric. there is a test . its givin by the bilderberg group to see who'll be their puppet . here is 2 video's i recommend every american in the country should take a few hours out of their lives and watch. some will dismiss it as conspiracy theory , but to me it just makes to much damn sense. these video's , to me anyway, just answers all those, scratch your head , thinking wtf , moments you have for the moves our government makes that you know is gonna screw the country up even more.

Invisible Empire: A New World Order Defined

http://10starmovies.com/Watch-Movies..._Defined_2010/

The Obama Deception

http://10starmovies.com/Watch-Movies...eception_2009/
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“If tyranny and oppression come to this land it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” ― James Madison

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." -Thomas Jefferson

"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers." - Thomas Jefferson

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Old 01-06-2011, 10:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: Iraqi Prime Minister: U.S. Troops Must Leave In 2011

is anyone gonna watch the video's ?
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"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." - Thomas Jefferson

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Old 01-06-2011, 10:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Iraqi Prime Minister: U.S. Troops Must Leave In 2011

I guess as a republican, I am now the outcast on this site huh, lol
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