Author Topic: War In Iraq Debate  (Read 25454 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Britney Spears

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • -170
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,308
Re: War in Iraq: Was it right to invade? Would it be right to leave now?
« Reply #100 on: December 20, 2004, 18:37:25 »
48thHighlander, iI don't think our viewpoints are quite as irreconcillable as you think, In an effort to keep the focus narrow, I've not bothered to outline my views on the big picture. Saddam Hussein was a big meanie, and deserves to be deposed. Most Iraqis probably would agree. I do not dispute this point.  However, if you claim, as Bush and company do, that the invasion of iraq was fueled by ana ltruistic concern for the lot of the Iraqi people, I must disagree. I must also disagree if you are claiming, with a straight face,  that the Iraqi insurgency continues not because of ar desire for national self determination, but because "They're jealous of our freedom." or "They hate our way of life."  or any other such nonsense, which betrays an underlying idea that the Iraqis are sub-human to the point that they are incapable of rational discourse.

If you are convinced of such ideas, then I'm afraid the gap is wider than I thought, and we shal just have to agree to disagree.
"I'd vote for you."
  -TCBF, whiskey601.

"Britney, if you wern't so young I would kiss you!"
  -a_majoor.

Offline 48Highlander

  • Banned
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *
  • -165
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,400
    • Applied Ballistics
Re: War in Iraq: Was it right to invade? Would it be right to leave now?
« Reply #101 on: December 20, 2004, 19:04:12 »
And you don't find it dificult to reconcile your idea that they're fighting for "national self determination" with the fact that large numbers of them aren't from Iraq?

I never said it had anything to do with them hating our freedom or our way of life, although opposition to our way of life certainly is one of the rallying points which many of these people use.  What it comes down to is that extremists, wether muslim, christian, jewish, or whatevever, all want control.  For example, the fanatic leader of the group at Wako  wasn't fighting for "self determination", he was fighting for the right to continue controling and abusing his followers.  Similarily, I very much doubt that Osama was fighting for "national self determination".  What the followers fight for varies from person to person, but regaurdless of the group it's almost always a combination of religion, ideological beliefs, or the same sort of desire for power and control.  In the end it's impossible to identify the beleifs or desires of every single person within a movement, and it doesn't help to generalize by saying they're fighting for "national self determination", or "against our way of life".

Offline Britney Spears

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • -170
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,308
Re: War in Iraq: Was it right to invade? Would it be right to leave now?
« Reply #102 on: December 20, 2004, 19:20:50 »
Quote
And you don't find it dificult to reconcile your idea that they're fighting for "national self determination" with the fact that large numbers of them aren't from Iraq?

Not until you provide some evidence that the majority of the insurgents are, in fact foreigners. Until then, Judging from fighters captured in Fallouja, all but about 5% are Iraqi, U.S. officials say.

"I'd vote for you."
  -TCBF, whiskey601.

"Britney, if you wern't so young I would kiss you!"
  -a_majoor.

Offline Infanteer

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 180,655
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 15,387
  • Honey Badger FTW!
Re: War in Iraq: Was it right to invade? Would it be right to leave now?
« Reply #103 on: December 20, 2004, 21:25:01 »
However, if you claim, as Bush and company do, that the invasion of iraq was fueled by ana ltruistic concern for the lot of the Iraqi people, I must disagree. I must also disagree if you are claiming, with a straight face,   that the Iraqi insurgency continues not because of ar desire for national self determination, but because "They're jealous of our freedom." or "They hate our way of life."   or any other such nonsense, which betrays an underlying idea that the Iraqis are sub-human to the point that they are incapable of rational discourse.

"Britney":

Re: Altruism - I agree with you.   If some Wilsonian conviction of spreading democracy to the Iraqi people was indeed included in the strategy, I believe it was on the bottom of the list.   Bush is not Wilsonian.

Re: Motivation of Iraqi insurgents - I agree with you as well.   I'm generally supportive of the viewpoint put forth by William Lind that the Iraq was has entered its Third Phase:
1) Phase 1: US and Coalition vs. Ba'ath regime
2) Phase 2: US and Coalition vs. Remnents of Fedayeen
3) Phase 3: General civil war as everybody realizes that Saddam is actually gone and races for the pie.

America is in the middle of a civil war.   As I've said before, it appears that everyone killing Americans (and eachother) comes to the fray for numerous reasons:
- Shi'ite radicals bankrolled by Iran.
- Sunni radicals bankrolled from Saudi Arabia.
- Left over Ba'athists who have nothing better to do (Those Republican Guard guys had to go somewhere)
- Kurds who finally can give what they've been taking for so long.
- Terrorists who see Iraq as an opportunity to bloody the nose of America.
- People who are just pissed off because anyone of these parties (including Americans) has blown their mosque, their house, and their market down.

This is why I believe Iraq is a crapshoot right now.   It's almost like Bosnia in 94 or something - everybody is in it for their own reasons.

As such, I gave my own interpretation of events going on this viewpoint of the current status of the Iraq conflict.

"However, I am skeptical of mixing the strategy of behaviour modification with some sort of attempt at the short-term spread of democracy - I call it democracy on the end of a bayonet.   I do not believe that a strategy of evangelism (for lack of any better term) is suited to Western interests.   Trying to force some facade of a liberal democratic order is about as useless an expression of Wilsonian idealism as there is.   This is why I am not sure I support active intervention in the civil society of Iraq.   It was fractured from the artifice of the Ba'athist regime, conflict was a foregone conclusion - Iraq would need some time to sort out its new state identity.   With America putting its units in Saddam's palaces and having bureaucrats and tanks moving about during this is the equivalent of sticking your hand in a hornets nest right after you pounded it with a stick.   End result, you get drawn in and two-bit chumps like Moqtada al-Sadr all of the sudden gain real currency as players in the game (which undermines the efforts of guys like Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani, who are generally friendly to your cause).  

As well, getting tangled up in the populations of Iraq leads to another issue that I believe affects attitudes - the fact that American soldiers in Iraq do draw Jihadis out like a magnet.   However valid soem may feel the theory of engaging Jihadi forces in Iraq rather then in America is, I am sure that the citizens of Iraq do not appreciate the fact that their houses, markets, and mosques are being used as a battleground by US and Jihadi fighters.   Sticking combat soldiers in cities seems to be burning more bridges then their building.

I often wonder if a strategy of "sitting back" in the ensuing scrum would have been a more effective way to go about things.   Leave the Tigris and Euphrates floodplain and move to the uninhabited desert of the West.   Let Iraq iron out itself - they can come to their own conclusions on how to rule themselves.   Someone was keen to point out that the people of Iraq were an ancient and complex civilization while we Westerners were living in huts and worshipping trees.   Offer help if asked and don't pick sides and don't put your military forces in someone else's fight.   Use Special Operations Forces to make forays into any Jihadi elements that can be identified and wipe them out quietly and effectively.

Make it clear to the people of Iraq that the West is not their on an "evangelist" mission (YOU WILL BE A DEMOCRACY - VOTE!), but are in the Middle East to intervene against a faction that is unfriendly our interests.   As well, make it clear to whoever comes out on top of the scrum that they have to play ball with the international community.   Use diplomacy - the "carrot and the stick" - to show Iraq that the West will not tolerate replacing Saddam with another despot who thrives off of nepotism and acts as a destabilizing force in the region.   The fate of Saddam Hussein should be proof enough that the West means what it says.   There was a good article in a recent issue of Foreign Affairs that pointed out how Pax Romana and Pax Britannica were built and sustained by assetive and yet subtle diplomacy along with the force to back it up.   As Teddy Roosevelt said - "Walk Softly but Carry a Big Stick...."

The occupants of the Middle East are a tough and proud people; they will recognize and respect the strength of Western and American might and resolve to undermine the threat of terrorism at it's center of gravity - the unstable geopolitical region of the Middle East.   However, I do not believe they will respect us if we use the might and resolve to attempt to rebuild Iraq in our image."


PS: I'm getting slightly excited pretending I'm arguing politics with Britney Spears, could you use this as your Avatar please!


« Last Edit: December 20, 2004, 21:44:21 by Infanteer »
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Britney Spears

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • -170
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 1,308
Re: War in Iraq: Was it right to invade? Would it be right to leave now?
« Reply #104 on: December 20, 2004, 22:07:53 »
There's a bit of a parallel to Vietnam here. The hawks try the best to convince everyone that this is part of some global struggle against communism/radical islam, and 20 years later, we finally figure out that the Vietnamese/Iraqis really just don't want to live under the American heel, whcih, of course, they've been trying to tell us since Day 1.

Don't bother trying to poke holes in my comparison, I realize Vietnam and Iraq are different, spare me.

I'll agree its a crapshoot now, and I'm not sure how the invasion and occupation could have been handled differently, but one thing I am damn sure of. We, the west, are much, much, worse off than before, especially in respect to TWAT. All the unity, rapport and goodwill that we (not just the US, all of us in the west, even Russia and China) gained in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 has been squandered, the coalition against the extremist terrorists, the true threat , has been destroyed, its members are now back at loggerheads with each other, and more moderate Arabs flock to the banner of OBL evey day.  Whatver the original intentions of the invasion were, I doubt it was worth all this.

Quote
PS: I'm getting slightly excited pretending I'm arguing politics with Britney Spears,

We could go back to complaning about the Tac Vest for a while, that was more fun and not as depressing.
"I'd vote for you."
  -TCBF, whiskey601.

"Britney, if you wern't so young I would kiss you!"
  -a_majoor.

Offline Thucydides

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 196,510
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,771
  • Freespeecher
Re: War in Iraq: Was it right to invade? Would it be right to leave now?
« Reply #105 on: December 20, 2004, 22:45:56 »
It seems people are finally getting it: Global Terrorism and the fighting in Iraq are about grabbing for power, not about "humiliation from the crusades" or any other nonsense. WW IV is the Western counter response, and as Victor Davis Hanson has expressed in many essays, we are reliving some of the early days of WW II, when our ability to respond to the threats of Fascist Europe and Imperial Japan were limited by lack of men and equipment, limited experience in training, organizing and planning, and lack of understanding of our enemies. To people who lived then, the first three years of the war must have seemed like everything was unravelling, and the British Empire was on the verge of being defeated.

Armchair Generals can always find something to criticise about particular battles, operations and even strategies, since the Military Arts are something like Economics: a descriptive science. You might be able to make general predictions if you have the correct model to work from, but even "hard core" classical economists cannot make accurate predictions at the micro level, and only broad predictions at the macro level.

Since we are talking about school rather than the war (there are multiple threads for that), I will use economics to illustrate what I find wrong with Universities. My economics courses were "Keynesian" with a dash of Marxist economics thrown in, and I laboured under the Phillips Curve and the IS/LM model. However, since I was (a) a mature student at the time, and (b) had lived through the late 1970s "stagflation" and the miraculous revival of the Western economy under the"Reagan revolution", I had clear historical evidence that these economic models DID NOT describe the real world, and in fact, could not explain what had happened even at the Macro level. My professors had lived through the same time period (and I am sure the senior faculty might even have been around when the Kennedy administration tax cuts kicked off the "swinging sixties"), yet whenever I tried to question them about this, they would evade the question, and more pointedly, give me grief if I argued the point in economic class papers.

I doubt this "mind set" has changed, and judging from some of the posts on this forum, many students have also been infected as well. In terms of Economics, I had the pleasure of being taught by the one classical economist on the faculty, so I have a firm grasp of Classical economics, which does describe the real world much more closely than the Keynesian or the Marxist models. Without this professor, I would have had a head full of concepts which did not correspond to what I had and could observe around me. The resulting "cognitave dissonance" would have at a minimum paralyzed my thinking, or caused me to undertake making my own theories to attempt to describe what is happening around me. A young person caught in that trap might either find it easier to parrot what everyone else on Campus is saying, or come up with strange and wonderful conspiracy theories to explain the world.

The damage done to the minds of young people is incalculable, and Universities have a lot to answer for.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Infanteer

  • Directing Staff
  • Army.ca Myth
  • *
  • 180,655
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 15,387
  • Honey Badger FTW!
Re: War in Iraq: Was it right to invade? Would it be right to leave now?
« Reply #106 on: December 21, 2004, 15:02:53 »
There's a bit of a parallel to Vietnam here. The hawks try the best to convince everyone that this is part of some global struggle against communism/radical islam, and 20 years later, we finally figure out that the Vietnamese/Iraqis really just don't want to live under the American heel, whcih, of course, they've been trying to tell us since Day 1.

Don't bother trying to poke holes in my comparison, I realize Vietnam and Iraq are different, spare me.

I'm going to poke a hole anyways.   It's hard to draw a comparison between the mentality of the Vietnamese and the Iraqis.   The Vietnamese were fighting a nationalist war to liberate their land from foreign rulers - whether it be Japanese, French, or the American-backed regime in Saigon.   I believe the Iraqi situation is far more complex; as I stated above, nationalism, radicalism, Shi'ite, Sunni, Kurd, foreign presence, Saddam, and the GWOT all combine to make Iraq so much more complex.

Quote
I'll agree its a crapshoot now, and I'm not sure how the invasion and occupation could have been handled differently, but one thing I am damn sure of. We, the west, are much, much, worse off than before, especially in respect to TWAT. All the unity, rapport and goodwill that we (not just the US, all of us in the west, even Russia and China) gained in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 has been squandered, the coalition against the extremist terrorists, the true threat , has been destroyed, its members are now back at loggerheads with each other, and more moderate Arabs flock to the banner of OBL evey day.   Whatver the original intentions of the invasion were, I doubt it was worth all this.

I am not sure if I believe that America and the West are any worse off.   Like I said earlier, we could play "what-ifs" forever.
Perhaps a good analogy would be the Pacific Campaign.   Just as in Midway, the Coalition has turned aside the immediate threat - replacing IJN carrier fleet with AQ center in Afghanistan.   Now, we're involved in a Guadalcanal like situation - a counteroffensive aimed to knock the enemy off stride.   The aptly named Operation Shoestring was in doubt for quite some time, just as Iraq is today - but success may break the back of the enemy and ensure a march to victory.  As well, Allied opinion on the American offensive in the South Pacific was split, with many feeling that the Americans were ignoring the real threat of the Germans in Europe.

Of course, this is a loose analogy, and analogies are alway suspect - feel free to poke holes through it ;).   However, no matter what opinion we all may hold on the present situation in Iraq, there is no denying that American is now, more then ever, decisively engaged in the Middle East.   As I've argued, its a good thing if played right - I think it's far more effective then diddling around on the periphery of the enemies moral center-of-gravity.   Others may see it differently.   Only time will tell who is right.

Quote
We could go back to complaning about the Tac Vest for a while, that was more fun and not as depressing.

Lets just return to the topic of bashing universities - A Majoor has done a good job of leading us back...
The damage done to the minds of young people is incalculable, and Universities have a lot to answer for.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2004, 15:07:16 by Infanteer »
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Carcharodon Carcharias

  • Drawing the crabs from Downunder :) WTF is TWL?
  • Banned
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 28,880
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 5,232
Re: War In Iraq Debate
« Reply #107 on: December 27, 2004, 00:43:28 »
What I believe is more troops must be sent in before they all can come home. Stop pusssyfoot'n around and get the job done. Turn up the heat on the enemy.

Pisss off the media (short term) and establish media exclusion zones. Too many leftist shyte disturbers out there which cause too many problems, twisting the truth to suit sensational anti-US mobs mentality, and thus creating more anti-US feelings.

My view anyways.

Wes
"You've never lived until you've almost died; as for our freedom, for those of us who have fought for it, life has a flavour the protected will never know." - Anonymous

Offline Slim

  • Just sliding along...
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 255
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,170
  • Daylight in the swamp
    • Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
Re: War In Iraq Debate
« Reply #108 on: December 27, 2004, 03:07:28 »
Hey all.

Quote
What I believe is more troops must be sent in before they all can come home. Stop pusssyfoot'n around and get the job done. Turn up the heat on the enemy.

Hey Wes

I don't know about that...I had actually entertained the thought of less troops, more specialists and better applications.( of course since I'm such a great armchair colonel-general is far too lofty a title for me-everything I say is not the gospel by any means!) Is there not some way to evolve the military response to something that the insurgents would not be able to strike at as easily? More SF involvement (again just ideas) targeting the insurgents, perhaps trying to draw them out and deal with them on their own terms?

Why not set up an ambush in a police station since the bad guys seem to like to attack them so much...?

just my thoughts guys...

Slim

"The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

Edmond Burke

Offline Carcharodon Carcharias

  • Drawing the crabs from Downunder :) WTF is TWL?
  • Banned
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 28,880
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 5,232
Re: War In Iraq Debate
« Reply #109 on: December 27, 2004, 05:03:58 »
Well, as i just finsihed a nice bottle of Hunter Valley Aussie wine with a Gillies Italian Pizza (bacon, double cheese) of Cronulla Beach, I thought I'd get on here before Crossing Jordan comes on the telly, and while Nancy is doing the dishes   ;D. We have gale force winds here right now. The temp dropped from 32C to 20C in a few hrs, so now its cold. The swell on the beach is dangerous as we were down there earlier. Not one surfer, not one swimmer in the 8ft swell.

I fully respect your point Slim, but I feel the enemy must be hoplessly beaten into oblivion, and the media kept out so the job gets done without hinderance and being PC. I am not saying wholesale slaughter, but just to get the job right, quick and precise. Handovers and invlove the Iraqi NG, giving them more responsibility as required.

This can be done with sheer strength and power, along with winning hearts, minds and trust of teh people. I am truly a media hater, as we all know the damage then can cause. Only one agenda, and thats ratings, not schools and power being returned, not fresh water. Its all about a BC, helll and mayhem. This I fell is wrong.

Then we can do it the way you suggest, with without destroying the EN we will only prolong the fight, dragging it on. We all know it is an unpopular war. lets just get it over with, and get everyone home.

I have friends there right now ( in two armies), and I hear from some often.


Cheers,

Wes
"You've never lived until you've almost died; as for our freedom, for those of us who have fought for it, life has a flavour the protected will never know." - Anonymous

Offline Slim

  • Just sliding along...
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 255
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,170
  • Daylight in the swamp
    • Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
Re: War In Iraq Debate
« Reply #110 on: December 27, 2004, 06:06:36 »

I fully respect your point Slim, but I feel the enemy must be hopelessly beaten into oblivion, and the media kept out so the job gets done without hindrance and being PC.

Wes

Believe me when I say that I agree with you 100% on both of the above points, especially the media, which cannot be trusted to give unbiased reports on something that they know nothing about (despite being on the ground since the whole thing started!) and, from the sounds of it, refuse to learn. My above point just being that there must be a way to "bring the war to the insurgents" so to speak and make the US forces less available to them in terms of being a target...

Quote
This can be done with sheer strength and power, along with winning hearts, minds and trust of the people.

My thoughts are to try and and somehow lure the insurgents out into the open by providing them with something so juicy that they can't ignore it and are ambushed, or some other simile idea that would take the war to the AQ instead of letting them set the pace...

Sealing the border with Syria, I realize is easier said than done yet there must be a way to step into these types of ops more aggressively...?

Quote
Then we can do it the way you suggest, with without destroying the EN we will only prolong the fight, dragging it on.

I believe that the fight should be taken directly to the enemy and they not given a chance to blow up police stations and schools and the like...

Quote
I have friends there right now ( in two armies), and I hear from some often.

Tell them to stay safe and to keep their heads down and come home in one piece!!!


Cheers,

Slim :salute:
"The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

Edmond Burke

Offline Thucydides

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 196,510
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 13,771
  • Freespeecher
Re: War In Iraq Debate
« Reply #111 on: December 27, 2004, 20:58:56 »
The more I think about it, the more I believe we need to go back to the British approach in Malaysia or Kenya, or the US Marine "Civic Action Program" (CAP) from the Viet Nam war. In those wars, small units of Western soldiers (often a section or platoon) would bunk down in a villiage to work and train with a local unit (platoon or company sized). The level of trust and cooperation usually lead to the locals transferring their allegiance to the security forces and turning against the "insurgent" forces.

Given modern communications and mobility, there should be little fear these units would be snapped up and defeated in detail by the terrorists, since there will still be mechanized or airmobile battalions lurking nearby. This will also help develop information about the terrorist cells, allowing focused action by the SF to target them directly, without huge Fallujia type battles. ("Say, Ahmed had a car accident last night." "Funny, his friend fell down the stairs last night too...")

A ring of towns and villiages surrounding the Tikrit Triangle would contain the insurgents, and as each villiage became pacified, the force would step in to the next villiage, closing the loop.

The major military force would be reorganized towards expeditionary actions against Syria and Iran, since it seems clearer every day they are heavily involved in formenting the unrest and keeping the war going at such a high level.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Slim

  • Just sliding along...
  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 255
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,170
  • Daylight in the swamp
    • Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary
Re: War In Iraq Debate
« Reply #112 on: December 28, 2004, 00:11:46 »
Quote
Given modern communications and mobility, there should be little fear these units would be snapped up and defeated in detail by the terrorists, since there will still be mechanized or airmobile battalions lurking nearby. This will also help develop information about the terrorist cells, allowing focused action by the SF to target them directly, without huge Fallujia type battles. ("Say, Ahmed had a car accident last night." "Funny, his friend fell down the stairs last night too...")

This is exactly the idea that I was getting at...Finding the BEST way to employ the force on the ground, rather than this trying to swat flies with revolvers...and generally doing a bad job because the flies hold the initiative! The US army needs to take the that away from the AQ, while at the same time, bring the fight to their doorstep.

And, simultaneously seal the borders to Syria...and Iran , both of whom appear to be hell-bent on returning Iraq to a medieval state.

Which makes me wonder what those two countries have to loose if Iraq ever does manage to "grow up?"

Slim
"The only thing required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

Edmond Burke