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Running from Iraq

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by patsfan13, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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  2. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This is a long article but a very good read, not real partisan. So I'm gonna bump it.
     
  3. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That's an interesting article. I think I have said this before, but was one of the few people I know (certainly amongst liberals) who was pro-war. I have a number of issues which, if I am absolutely honest, I can not resolve in my own head. Firstly, should we have left Saddam in power? I don't know- I'm being completely honest and not making political points here. I am reading a book, by a liberal, who reminds us that Saddam was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, not including the Iran-Iraq war.
    Secondly, we backed him against the Iranians. Was this a bad thing? Arguably, the Iranians could be even worse for the Middle East. That said, HE started the war, not the Iranians. Perhaps we need to stay clear in future of backing the "least bad option". That's easy to say with the Cold War behind us, but we need to be thinking longer-term. Should we withdraw from Iraq? There are two things to ponder here and they both matter.
    One is pragmatic and it is cost. The US and UK have no long-term interest in running ourselves into the ground for the sake of a democratic Iraq. . I pay enough taxes and would need someone to convince me that our security and economic interests are well-served by extra money spent on this war.
    The second is democracy. I think one of the things we need to do is hand more power to the people. One of the big ways that we lose support in the Middle East is making democracy something that is imposed by us. People see it as yet another thing that the West is trying to impose. They also note that it comes with strings attached. We might want a country to be democratic when it suits us, e.g. Iraq, but are happy to turn a blind eye when it suits us, e.g. Iraq under Saddam and Sudan.
    Imagine how that plays with your average Arab, who notes that Palestine and Lebanon, non-oil producing countries, don't warrant IUS and UK intervention. See it from their point of view and then you'll see why we are regarded with so much scepticism. They see political scandals, corruption, massive gaps between rich and poor, high rates of violent crime, moral values that they hate and wonder what is so great about the West.
    They don't see the freedom we have, the opportunity for growth, women's rights, equal rights for minority groups and so on. I think we would benefit from diplomacy that is much more humble. The "greatest nation in the world stuff" is arguably true, but comes across abroad as incredibly arrogant and dismissive. Western diplomacy desperately needs to rediscover the ability to see the world from the other person's point of view or it will fail. I would address the whole WMD thing here, but that has been done to death.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2006
  4. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You do not want partisan sniping, but you post a partisan thread.. on its merits it is one person's view.. and interestingly there is criticism on both sides of the aisle, although is very right leaning, when I read it I was mindful of Viet Nam, when the generals were concerned as the war was fought by those in DC and not by those who were well versed in millitary strategy or by those with boots on the ground. The same seems to be happening here, what I find very interesting are these comments..

    "The war and its most tangible result--the empowerment of the Iraqi Shia and Kurds--have galvanized a Sunni jihadist cause in Mesopotamia. The Sunni will to power is a ferocious thing. Neither this magazine nor CIA and State Department analysts foresaw either the amplitude of this sentiment or the spread of fundamentalism among the Sunni community, widely deemed the bedrock of secularism inside Iraq. And the war has certainly provided riveting imagery and stories for Sunni holy warriors globally. It's reasonable to assume that the conflict has helped anti-American Sunni jihadists multiply their numbers"

    Over and over I have read that we misread Iraq and what happened when we invaded and how we cannot understand divisions that have existed for many years. Last week there was a post that only 33 out of 12K FBI agents could speak the language, that is pretty sad.. bad intelligence led us into Iraq, we did not understand the divisions within the country, did not understand the ramifications of the invasion and we are in a quagmire. What are we doing better to prepare for the future??
     
  5. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    To gomexcat: The author does a good job of identifing the inherent conflicts that exist there, they are not easy to resolve. I was struck by his perceptionof how our open society (especially the emphasis fo equality for women) spurs their fear and paranoia. The very act of America being a free and open society is a spur for the Islamist extremeist.
     
  6. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The problem from my POV is if we didn't act what were the long term alternatives, The author make a strong case that the Islamist hatred of America is rooted in their perception of us as a free and open society. The Islamist view our society as heretical and in opposition to the will of God as they see it. They (correctly) view our open society as a deadly threat to their worldview.

    IOW the existance of our society is intolerable to them. Some say that ie if we didn't support Israel the Islamist would leave us alone and wouldn't be in conflict with the West culturally. If you look at teh civil unrest in France, the Netherlands, Belgum, Great Britian you would see that this view is incorrect. The French have been hostile towards Israel for well ovee 40 years yet there is a virtual civil war between the Islamist and the French, that they are beginning to wake up to, the same can be seen in Belgum.
     

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