Author Topic: Quiet Consensus on Iraq  (Read 6172 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« on: October 07, 2005, 11:02:24 »
http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200510070758.asp

Another great Victor Davis Hanson piece.

Offline Monsoon

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2005, 16:17:10 »
http://www.nationalreview.com/hanson/hanson200510070758.asp

Another great Victor Davis Hanson piece.
Summary: "We've done such a great job of sticking to our sunny story about the situation in Iraq that many people believe it's true.  If so many people believe it's true, it must be true.  Therefore, everything is great - stay the course, old boy!  QED."

Offline 48Highlander

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2005, 16:28:01 »
Summary: "We've done such a great job of sticking to our sunny story about the situation in Iraq that many people believe it's true.   If so many people believe it's true, it must be true.   Therefore, everything is great - stay the course, old boy!   QED."

Uh.  Are you sure you followed the correct link?

Offline paracowboy

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2005, 18:01:16 »
Uh.   Are you sure you followed the correct link?
forget it, man. Argue with the nearest wall. It'd do ya the same amount of good.
I'm just glad the troops in theatre say things are easier everywhere but the Sunni triangle.
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Offline muskrat89

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2005, 00:41:37 »
So powerful is Bush and Rummy's mesmerizing hold on people, so complete is their subtle, yet horribly effective brainwashing - that it has affected virtually every US serviceperson that I have heard speak on the matter. Amazing...   ::)  That they have been misled - even what they have seen with their own eyes has been erroneous. But some Naval Officer in the Great White North knows the truth - the real truth.....along with a select few - an Infantry Officer Cadet, here - a Member of Parliament there....   yeah... uh huh

I have talked, personally - to soldiers, Marines, and Guardsmen who have served in Iraq. I have seen/read/heard dozens if not hundreds more voicing opinions on TV, print media, and radio. Granted, this is in the Phoenix area. I'm talking about "regular" people. Main Street, USA. I'm sure we could all Google up some exceptions, but I'm not talking about those people. I'm talking about the ones that don't end up on Google, or talk shows, or the NY Times. Every single one has said basically the same thing. The vast majority of Iraqis that they have encountered have been greatful, thankful, and have expressed that they are glad the coalition is there. They are looking forward to a new type of government. In addition, almost every one of these soldiers has said that the picture the media paints at home is not accurate - not even close. They say it with such regularity that I think the neocons included that statement in the subliminal messages played over Armed Forces Radio...must have.. yup
« Last Edit: October 08, 2005, 00:49:44 by muskrat89 »
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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2005, 18:26:30 »
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The vast majority of Iraqis that they have encountered have been greatful, thankful, and have expressed that they are glad the coalition is there
100% true for 99% Iraqis in the Danish AOR! It's those Iranians, Syrians and Saudis we have to "take care of"!

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2005, 23:36:23 »
Thanks for that read tomahawk6 :salute:

IMHO, Islamist terrorism remains the focal point of the global war on terror. Since the 9/11 attacks, al Qaeda has become a relatively small, though important, component of an increasingly diffuse global terrorist movement. As some people have observed, al Qaeda has been replaced by " al Qaeda-ism ".

I have read that formulating a new strategy to defeat al Qaeda and it's cronies will not be easy(no crap!). The use of military force alone will not neutralize this more dispersed terrorist threat. Because of the increasingly devolved nature of the threat, the military component of the global counterterrorism campaign is more likely to resemble a war of attrition on multiple fronts than a limited number of surgical strikes against a single adversary.

Some critics will argue that the war has a been a boon for extremists, as your article did. Muslims consider Iraq, the seat of Islamic power for five centuries, sacred ground.(talk about centuries of belt-fed brainwashing...) The presence of foreign, non-Muslim occupiers/contractors there has become a magnet for militants hoping for an opportunity to cap a dirty infidel. It's hard to see how the US can turn the corner in the global war on terror, until Iraq is no longer a rallying cry for Islamic radicals.


Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2005, 10:20:32 »
Iraq is the rally point for islamic extremists because its easier to get to than the US or Europe. The terrorists do not further their cause by killing civilians. Attacks are down against US forces except in the areas near the border where we are conducting offensive operations. AQ like any other terror organization cannot operate without support of some segment of the general population. Once this support wanes they cannot exist. The radical preachers in the muslim world insure a steady source of cannon fodder for the islamic war against the west.

Offline Monsoon

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2005, 00:27:25 »
Summary: Someone has to open his eyes and stop regurgitating today's popular anti-american gibberish he hears from his friends.
Yeah, I need to open my eyes:
"Iraq on verge of civil war - Arab League" - http://www.almendhar.com/english_6811/news.aspx
Looks like everything's hunky-dory!  Just ask the US Army Reserve corporals on the ground - they've got the big picture.  The leaders of the Arab world can't possibly know anything they don't.

Oh, and there's a difference between so-called "anti-americanism" and recognizing that a worthy cause is dissolving into a shower of crap and expecting the media machine to build support for it instead of pretending it's not happening.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2005, 01:06:27 »
I wonder if the Arab League is entirely the best and most impartial judge of the situation in Iraq.

Democracy and popular representation don't appear to be their forte.
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Offline ArmyVern

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2005, 04:16:50 »
I wonder if the Arab League is entirely the best and most impartial judge of the situation in Iraq.

Democracy and popular representation don't appear to be their forte.

Agreed. Wasn't a picture posted on another thread in this forum of an Arab League publication where they actually airbrushed in Chadors onto the women in the crowd who weren't wearing them? It had the original picture beside it. I could be wrong here but after serving a few times in the mid-east/asia and getting and watching all 3 major networks there, CNN Europe, CNN North America and Al Jazeera, I find it absolutely interesting how I could be watching the exact same event occur, and have 3 totally different spins on what had "actually happened" all of which could pick out the 'evidence' in the video clip to back up their view.

Let's face the facts, no matter where you get your info from, the resulting spin you receive is going to be with whichever slant appeals to that particular media/organizations following (hence the shareholder value). The spin you choose to believe is going to be the one which appeals to your own sense of values and morals. Plain and simple. That's why remaining impartial on the ground (even if you're not) and not spouting rhetoric becomes an essential part of that winning the hearts and minds theme. Some nations are better at accomplishing this than others. If you need to go in, you need to remember that it is the locals homeland, treat them well, respect their customs, and work with them to ensure a better quality of life without all the hubba bubba about how damn good and better it is where you come from, especially when they've been hearing the opposite spin their whole lives. By spouting...you just re-inforce their views. By doing, remaining impartial, not preaching your own spun views, you allow them to learn from your example that a better QOL is possible and that they don't have to be a christian democracy to have it.
Take everything you read, see and hear throw it all in a circle, sort through the obvious BS...and the truth then...still lies somewhere in between. Even if you and another guy are IN the video clip being shown...you'll even have a different story amongst the two of you.
When those members of the silent majority thank you, say a simple your welcome, I hope life for you and your family improves now. Deep down that it what appeals to the 99% of the population anyway, not religious beliefs, whether your country is better than theirs, whether their democracy in the making is up to your country's standards, just the thought that there is hope in their family's future.
IMHO.
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Offline Monsoon

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2005, 09:20:59 »
I wonder if the Arab League is entirely the best and most impartial judge of the situation in Iraq.
Having been attacked by RPGs while visiting Iraq may have coloured their judgement: http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=71497&d=11&m=10&y=2005

But seriously, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait all have a great deal at stake in Iraq's stability - if they're saying things aren't going well, it's not for lack of wishing it were.

Offline old fart

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2005, 09:36:18 »
That may be so, but the opposite is true of Syria and Iran....particularly Iran....ask a Brit....they are in a fight with Iranian and Iranian trained Iraqi insurgents on a daily basis these days.

This is one to follow..... I just hope that no other coalition soldiers are murdered by these cowards as this runs it's course.

Watch and shoot the proverbial brownstuff may hit the fan....
 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2005/08/15/wirq115.xml

http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,12858,1588166,00.html

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7374-1788585,00.html
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Offline paracowboy

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2005, 10:50:31 »
But seriously, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait all have a great deal at stake in Iraq's stability - if they're saying things aren't going well, it's not for lack of wishing it were.
the royal family of Saudi do not want a functioning democracy in the Middle East. They are already on seriously shaky ground as it is. Jordan is walking a tightrope: they had supported Saddam's regime during the 12 year debacle run by the League of Nations, but also want to be seen by the US as friends. Kuwait is scared to death that the continuous attacks by AQ and co. will continue in their country if they don't speak out against the US once in a while. At the same time, they can't afford to be too strident, as they owe a huge debt to America.

I have no faith whatsoever in the word of dictators, theocratic extremists, or corrupt 'royalaty'. Or despotic autocracies in general. I do believe the people on the ground who want nothing more than to stop fighting and get home as soon as possible, but only by successfully completing their mission.
...time to cull the herd.

Offline muskrat89

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2005, 10:55:23 »
Quote
Just ask the US Army Reserve corporals on the ground - they've got the big picture

They don't, but you do....... boy, that's not arrogant  ::)
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2005, 11:53:49 »
Isn't it a fair observation that the Arab League represents the wishes of Arabs and that Arabs are ulitimately the nomadic traders and herders of the desert?

The Arabs felt oppressed by the Ottoman Turks and regularly rebelled against Turkish rule.   The revolt in the Hejaz of 1916 (Lawrence etc.) was just the most recent and ultimately the most successful.   They came out on top.

Ultimately though the Arabs have two existential problems.   Nomadic life is not compatible with national borders and the world is divided by borders.   This is not just a western construct.   Arab families like the Saudis or the Hashemites are as quick to proclaim their own borders when it suits them.

The other problem is that the fruits of modern life demand an urbanized existence.   The very life style they have been shunning for 5000 years.   Now that they have finally realized it all the best town-sites are occupied by other folks that came to that understanding a few millenia ago.

To catch up they have to either build new cities from scratch in unpromising places - possible in places like Riyadh and Dubai but only with massive amounts of petro-dollars - or else take them from the other folks.

The ultimate interests of the Arab League is a vast area of borderless land where nomadic tribal life can continue but which contains modern cities for them to visit and trade with and which will supply them lots of dollars for little work so that they can continue their generally unproductive life.

Egyptians aren't Arabs.   Palestinians aren't Arabs.   Syrians aren't Arabs.   Iraqi's aren't Arabs.   Neither are Algerians, Moroccans or Libyans.   However there are Arabs in all those countries.      Countries are extensions of cities - they are functions of settled populations - the Arabs have only started settling down in the last 100 years, arguably since the 1930s.

Nasser's Arab League was their best hope of establishing dominance across their traditional region.   It is that hope that is being rolled back when they see the people of the cities and the mountains, people like the Basrans, the Kurds, the Baghdadis,reclaiming their turf and ultimately threatening the Arabs by pushing them out of the cities, back to the desert and away from the oil money.

For the Arab League it is an existential struggle. Once Iraq was "invaded/liberated" and the Americans decided that they needed to promote democracy, even if it was just for show as some of you believe, for the Arab League there were no good options.   The Arabs were going to have to give ground to the popular will of their people - many of whom are non-Arab - or else face internal revolts.   Neither of which was going to be pleasant or would maintain Arab ascendancy.   In the words of Amr Moussa, as far as the Arabs are concerned "the gates of he*l are open".

All Arabs have a stake in seeing Iraq fail.   It is in their interest to keep all their malcontents heading to Iraq to both get rid of them and also to prolong the impression of disorder.   The longer they can maintain a vision of heck as the necessary corollary to democracy, or at least change, the more likely it is that they can convince their population to accept the old order as the lesser of evils.   If they can prolong the agony long enough then they will diffuse the impulse for change domestically.

The best antidote to this is for the Iraqis to demonstrate that they are willing to pay the price of change and that they can create a successful country.

Like every other war this is ultimately not about weapons or soldiers or dollars.   It is ultimately a contest of wills and principally between two ancient enemies - the nomads of the desert and the city dwellers.

Just recently an Iraqi minister responded to a criticism of Iraq by a Saudi minister with the following line: "A Bedouin on a camel cannot teach us democracy and human rights..." http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/ (Article of October 3 - "God Curse your mustache you Bedouin on a camel".     A westerner might have translated the line as the politically incorrect "Camel Jockey".

To understand this conflict it does no good to look at religion, ideology or country. It has to be seen at the level of community, whether settled and urban or tribal and nomadic.   It also has to be seen at the personal level.   It ultimately is a battle for the hearts and minds of the leaders of many small communities.

News departments do a lousy job of reporting on those trends because it is expensive and unexciting.

They do a great job of parroting and reacting to propaganda from all sides because the reporters get to live in comfortable homes and hotels while the cameras only need to be maintained in a few dozen places.

As much the US has a stake in fighting and winning the propaganda wars so does the Arab League, the Brits, the French, Russians, Chinese, the UN and for that matter Canada, the Liberals, Conservatives, NDP and Hells Angels.   The media serves as a forum for those wars.

Reality is someplace else.



« Last Edit: October 12, 2005, 11:58:08 by Kirkhill »
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Offline Monsoon

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2005, 12:00:04 »
the royal family of Saudi do not want a functioning democracy in the Middle East. They are already on seriously shaky ground as it is. Jordan is walking a tightrope: they had supported Saddam's regime during the 12 year debacle run by the League of Nations, but also want to be seen by the US as friends. Kuwait is scared to death that the continuous attacks by AQ and co. will continue in their country if they don't speak out against the US once in a while. At the same time, they can't afford to be too strident, as they owe a huge debt to America.

I have no faith whatsoever in the word of dictators, theocratic extremists, or corrupt 'royalaty'. Or despotic autocracies in general. I do believe the people on the ground who want nothing more than to stop fighting and get home as soon as possible, but only by successfully completing their mission.
Look, I'm not going to defend any Middle East government, but you do have to respect that they may know a thing or two about the Middle East situation.  This isn't about pro-war/anti-war - that's all moot now.  The US has invaded and it now owes Iraq a reconstruction.  Is the way to build support for that to deny that it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade or more, or to pretend that it may not kill thousands of US soldiers if the fragile situation goes bad?  To do that only provides future fuel to those who claim that one lost life is too many.

Quote
Posted by: muskrat89
They don't, but you do....... boy, that's not arrogant  Roll Eyes
We have the luxury of reviewing multiple sources of information (unless you doggedly stick to only those sources that tell you what you want to hear) - soldiers in theatre can only rely on what they see immediately around them.  That's the nature of being on the ground - it's not "arrogant", it's a fact.

Offline muskrat89

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2005, 12:16:19 »
Many of the people to which I referred developed their perspective from "being here, going there, and returning home to civilian life". Hardly as isolated as you imply. Besides you don't think soldiers, sailors and airmen in-theatre have access to the same information that we do, generally speaking??

Sorry.... I'm not buying your argument.
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Offline Monsoon

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2005, 12:33:03 »
Many of the people to which I referred developed their perspective from "being here, going there, and returning home to civilian life". Hardly as isolated as you imply. Besides you don't think soldiers, sailors and airmen in-theatre have access to the same information that we do, generally speaking??
Not at all - my experience suggests just the opposite, in fact.  When I'm at sea, I can tell you a hell of a lot about what's going on with HMCS GOOSE BAY, and I more or less know what's up with the ships in company.  But I'm not privvy to any inside information about what's going on in the fleet in general and I probably know less than the average person about the affairs of the world at large.  I find being "on the ground" means having your perspective narrowed a great deal.

Offline paracowboy

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2005, 13:23:43 »
Not at all - my experience suggests just the opposite, in fact.   When I'm at sea, I can tell you a heck of a lot about what's going on with HMCS GOOSE BAY, and I more or less know what's up with the ships in company.   But I'm not privvy to any inside information about what's going on in the fleet in general and I probably know less than the average person about the affairs of the world at large.   I find being "on the ground" means having your perspective narrowed a great deal.
I can't speak for being at sea, obviously, but in theatre, I have full access to a myriad of newspapers, TV news channels, radio news, and teh internet. I stayed just as informed while in Kabul or Bosnia, as I did at home. More so, actually, because I didn't spend any time on watching sitcoms, or surfing for monkey jokes.

And as for what the Middle Eastern governments know about their situations, and what they want their populaces to know, (not to mention what they want everyone else to know), well those are two entirely different animals. The only focus of the entire lives are to maintain power at all costs. Murder is not even a consideration, so how do you believe that lying would factor into their consideration?
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Offline ArmyVern

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2005, 16:41:29 »
Not at all - my experience suggests just the opposite, in fact.   When I'm at sea, I can tell you a heck of a lot about what's going on with HMCS GOOSE BAY, and I more or less know what's up with the ships in company.   But I'm not privvy to any inside information about what's going on in the fleet in general and I probably know less than the average person about the affairs of the world at large.   I find being "on the ground" means having your perspective narrowed a great deal.

I refer you to my earlier post reference news media that I have been privy to...including while in Egypt, Syria, Israel, Jordan, the Gulf etc etc. Apparently this doesn't happen for HM ships...
Needless, I'll post some of my Syria pictures, where every little dung hut that I saw during my 6 months came equiped with a huge family, sheeps goats and a satellite dish.

I also had no problem obtaining North American print media.
Nor local print media in Aramic or English.
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Offline Daidalous

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Re: Quiet Consensus on Iraq
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2005, 16:31:09 »
I don't think you can ever expect to get the whole picture  no matter how many   news channels you watch, new papers  you read or people you talk to.   Just do what you normally do the rest of the time,  take in as much information as possible and make a reasonable  decision on the facts and your personal views.    And if other people dont agree with it, thats there right.

Flame On    errrr  Game on
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