inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #26 of 146: Ron Levin (eclectic2) Sat 15 Nov 03 11:52
    
<It's interesting that just last week, former U.S. represenetative to
the UN Madeleine Albright publicly apologized to Iran  for America's
undemocratic CIA-imposition of the Shah 50 years ago. That's 
a good first step.>

Actually, I just posted that article last week.  She apologized in
2000, while serving as SOS.  
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #27 of 146: Jacques Delaguerre http://www.delaguerre.com/delaguerre/ (jax) Sat 15 Nov 03 12:20
    
Ms Albright is hardly creamed chipped beef on toast!
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #28 of 146: Berliner (captward) Sat 15 Nov 03 12:25
    
And I'm not positive of this, but I think I saw a tiny wire feed in
the IHT a couple of weeks ago saying Congress was moving on lifting
certain of the trade embargoes against Iran. Sorry I can't be more
specific. 
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #29 of 146: David Kline (dkline) Sat 15 Nov 03 12:29
    
Well, I've developed a bit of a crush on Albright because of that apology.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #30 of 146: John Zuill (klauposius) Sat 15 Nov 03 12:41
    
>Well, I've developed a bit of a crush on Albright because of that
apology.

I think she's kind of saucy. 

Mr. Kline, you were in Afganistan. Do you think Karzai has a chance?
Do you think he's any good?
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #31 of 146: David Kline (dkline) Sat 15 Nov 03 12:44
    
Seriously, in what state will Iraq be by June of 2004, when Bush washes 
his hands of the mess he created and turns nominal power over to Iraqis?

Does anyone else (besides me) think that it's possible that the only force
capable of maintaining order and confronting the Saddamist insurgents may
turn out to be the Shiite militias?
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #32 of 146: David Kline (dkline) Sat 15 Nov 03 12:55
    
To paraphrase Dude Crush in Finding Nemo, "Mr. Kline" was my father's name. 

I think that Karzai is genuinely interested in creating a democratic, 
tolerant, modern Islamic state in Afghanistan.

I also think he provides important political leadership and vision at a 
time when there's little of either in the country.

Beyond that, Karzai couldn't buy a bag of pistachios outside of Kabul 
without a platoon of U.S. soldiers by his side.

He would be well advised to quit waiting quietly for Washington to realize
the stakes in Afghanistan, and force the critical issues of security and
reconstruction onto the world stage.

It will not take much, I don't believe, to disarm or crush the worst of
the warlords in the countryside. These people breathe political vacumn
like we breathe air. As for those with genuine legitimacy and political
followings, such as Ishmael Khan in Herat (who should not rightly be
called a "warlord"), they need to be brought into the government.

If we can just kickstart the economy and support the disarmament of all
the warlords, Afghanistan will find its own way to the future.

But we'll still have to deal with Al Queda and the Taliban and Gulbuddin
Hekmatyar and the ISI over in Pakistan.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #33 of 146: Ron Levin (eclectic2) Sat 15 Nov 03 14:13
    
<Does anyone else (besides me) think that it's possible that the only
force capable of maintaining order and confronting the Saddamist
insurgents may turn out to be the Shiite militias?>

Maybe, but that could lead to civil war.  I'm hoping that if the
interim government is widely recognized as legitimate, they ask NATO or
the UN to provide some kind of security, perhaps in conjunction with a
core of American troops, while they build up their own army. 
Ultimately, if Iraq is to survive as a state (which is still
questionable), I think they'll have to have a military & police force
consisting of all three major Iraqi groups.  
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #34 of 146: John Zuill (klauposius) Sat 15 Nov 03 14:22
    
<Does anyone else (besides me) think that it's possible that the only
force capable of maintaining order and confronting the Saddamist
insurgents may turn out to be the Shiite militias?e

How about this. We divide the whole of Iraq into three separate
countries; shiite in the south, sunni in the north west and central,
and Kurdistan where it should be. Have Turkey in on the creation of
Kurdistan, maybe a water-rights or something. Crazy?
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #35 of 146: tambourine verde (barb-albq) Sat 15 Nov 03 14:30
    
slip. That sounds like a fairy tale to me. It's nice to think the 3
main groups (and the groups within them) will be able to cobble
together something that works, but it seems highly unlikely. I think
the Shia see this as their chance to rule, and that they have just been
sitting back while the US forces deal with the Shia's long-time Sunni
enemies. But they may well be ready to pounce. And if Iraqis get to
vote, the Shia are the clear majority. Think about it.

And as we very minimally train and recruit Iraqi security and military
forces, isn't there a real danger that entities will use this process
to get their people trained and equipped, and then use them for their
own missions rather than those the US would prefer? I think civil war
may be a real possibility if the "democracy" is rushed into being
without building up any institutions of democracy, or even any real
security, first.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #36 of 146: I'm on the Chet Atkins Diet. Pass the BBQ, please. (rik) Sat 15 Nov 03 14:36
    
"Have Turkey in on the creation of Kurdistan, maybe a water-rights or
 something. Crazy?"

Yup.  Turkey, Iraq, and Iran all own pieces of what the Kurds consider
kurdistan, and neither Turkey nor Iran will allow a Kurdistan to happen for
fear of losing territory of their own.   And we will not let Iraq fragment
for fear of losing a counterbalance to Iran, which is actually a threat to
us, unlike Iraq.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #37 of 146: John Zuill (klauposius) Sat 15 Nov 03 15:05
    
 >And we will not let Iraq fragment
for fear of losing a counterbalance to Iran, which is actually a
threat to
us, unlike Iraq.

All this may be true, except the part about Iran. i think we cooked
that enemy in our own kitchen. I really don't see a workable larger
Iraq. Bets on when the full scale civil war begins.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #38 of 146: tambourine verde (barb-albq) Sat 15 Nov 03 15:10
    
July?
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #39 of 146: Ron Levin (eclectic2) Sat 15 Nov 03 15:58
    
I think such predictions are pointless & offensive.  This isn't a
game.  A civil war would be incredibly bloody & destructive, it could
have dramatic ramifications beyond the borders, and I certainly don't
see it as inevitable.  It depends on how willing the US - and the world
- is in living up to its responsibility to prevent it.  
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #40 of 146: I'm on the Chet Atkins Diet. Pass the BBQ, please. (rik) Sat 15 Nov 03 16:22
    
The world has NO responsibility, although it may have interests.   We broke
it, and it's OUR responsibility.   But don't look for BushCo to either take
responsibilty, or live up to it.    They are going to cut and run the
instant it's politically feasible.   Halliburton's already gotten their
money's worth.    Forgive me if my prediction offends you.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #41 of 146: John Zuill (klauposius) Sat 15 Nov 03 16:49
    
Yes Civil War is serious. But one has to see the absurdity of it as
well. The world is George's mini-golf course. Did you see the cover of
newsweek? If the fourth branch of Government is the press, George's
manuvering room is shrinking. A George with total freedom may be
scarey; A George who doesn't know how to use what little he has is
worse. In the next six months he has to be clever and he may not be.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #42 of 146: Ron Levin (eclectic2) Sat 15 Nov 03 17:48
    
<The world has NO responsibility, although it may have interests.>

I believe the world always has a responsibility to prevent wars &
genocide wherever possible.  

<They are going to cut and run the instant it's politically feasible.>

And when will that be?

<Halliburton's already gotten their money's worth.    Forgive me if my
prediction offends you.>

With true believers on the one hand & hopeless cynics on the other,
it's no wonder US foreign policy is in the shape it's in.  
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #43 of 146: I'm on the Chet Atkins Diet. Pass the BBQ, please. (rik) Sat 15 Nov 03 17:59
    
"I believe the world always has a responsibility to prevent wars &
 genocide wherever possible."

Based on what?  Its track record?




"<They are going to cut and run the instant it's politically feasible.>

 And when will that be?"

I believe that answer is in the sentence you pulled to nitpick.





"With true believers on the one hand & hopeless cynics on the other,
 it's no wonder US foreign policy is in the shape it's in."



You left yourself out of the equation, Pollyanna.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #44 of 146: Ron Levin (eclectic2) Sat 15 Nov 03 18:08
    
<Based on what?>

Ever hear of morality?
  
<Its track record?>

Since when does a "track record" dictate responsibility?

<I believe that answer is in the sentence you pulled to nitpick.>

What sentence did I supposedly "pull to nitpick?"

<You left yourself out of the equation, Pollyanna.>

Yes, it's "Pollyanish" to expect the world to behave responsibly. What
a world you must live in.  
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #45 of 146: David Kline (dkline) Sat 15 Nov 03 18:32
    
Human beings are imperfect. So is politics. But since the days when our 
species lived in caves, we have followed a solid trend line towards 
greater individual freedom and a more humanistic world order.

The world will probably not stand by for genocide, nor for the breakup
into chaos of Iraq. Bush broke it, it is true -- an unwarranted and
illegal invasion. But too many lives, and too many national interests are
at stake for the world to willfully turn a blind eye to anarchy in Iraq.

Ron is right. The world may not be able to stop an inevitable slide from 
Bush's invasion of Iraq into utter disaster. 

But without a doubt, the world will at least try to intervene to stop it.

Because the truth is, we no longer live in caves.

And the sentiments of everyone in this discussion is the proof of that.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #46 of 146: Ron Levin (eclectic2) Sat 15 Nov 03 20:31
    
U.N. Diplomats Are Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop
By KIRK SEMPLE

UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 15 - When United Nations officials speak of Iraq
these days, any impulse to gloat is quickly supplanted by frustration
over the harsh realities of the situation in Iraq and sadness over the
loss of 19 colleagues who died in a bombing in August. 

``There may be a temptation to rub one's hands together and say, `Ha,
ha! It's not working out the way Bush thought - we told you so!''' a
senior United Nations administrator said this week. ``But, frankly,
it's not good for anyone if the U.S. is defeated in Iraq.'' 
 
The Bush administration's decision this week to speed up the transfer
of power to the Iraqis won evenhanded, public praise from Secretary
General Kofi Annan, who had long championed a quicker restoration of
Iraqi sovereignty. 

But officials and diplomats here, while welcoming the policy change,
warned privately against a rapid reduction of American military forces
and said they feared that the United States would dump Iraq into the
hands of the United Nations. 

``We in the international community are waiting for the tablets to
come down from Washington,'' a foreign diplomat said nervously. ``Who
knows what sort of face-saving formula they're going to come up with.''


More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/16/international/middleeast/16WEB-NATI.html?hp
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #47 of 146: John Zuill (klauposius) Sat 15 Nov 03 21:08
    
Hm. I don't know if they will be able to stick to a dead line. I think
the UN is giving George a way out.

>But since the days when our 
species lived in caves, we have followed a solid trend line towards 
greater individual freedom and a more humanistic world order.

I just don't buy that. People have always felt that they were the best
(the best of times the worst of times) . I know there are lengthy
arguements for and against, some of them beautiful to listen, others
boring. We probably shouldn't get in to it. I just see history as far
more treacherous and not even handed. Rome was a better place to be
than 800s France. And China is much harder to track that way than the
west.    I'm the grouch and I won't let such blatant optimism pass.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #48 of 146: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Sat 15 Nov 03 23:47
    
David, re: "the very concept of even living next to people who think
or believe differently is utterly alien. The idea of *civil* or
*secular* society is unknown in many Muslim countries.:"

Could you explain what you mean by this?  Don't people watch
television just about everywhere?
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #49 of 146: Christian De Leon-Horton (echodog) Sun 16 Nov 03 00:56
    
Hi, I'm Christian. Just so you all know, I was invited to this topic
primarily for my technical knowledge of the situation in Iraq. I have been
in the Army for the past nine years, and I currently serve as an
intelligence officer. Having said that, I also have a personal stake in
what's happening in Iraq right now--friends of mine are already there, and I
may be there myself in a few months.

For the record, let me state that what we are seeing in Iraq is a textbook
example of asymmetric warfare. The anti-US forces are finding ways to negate
the technologic advantage of US and other coalition forces. Anti-US forces
have a lot of advantages right now. They are on home turf. Even if some of
the anti-US forces come from outside Iraq's borders, those fighters most
certainly have a better understanding of the language and culture than
almost all US soldiers. The anti-US forces are carrying out their operations
on what the US Army calls "complex terrain"--those areas which are not
easily suited to maneuver warfare, and which allow insurgents plenty of
terrain to carry out ambushes and other hit-and-run tactics. The anti-US
forces are certainly not short of weapons. Small arms such as automatic
rifles and RPGs are quite common there, and explosives from various sources
are also easy to come by. The Iraqis also may have access to more advanced
man-portable rockets, such as the SA-7 missile. (A missile of this type may
have been used to shoot down a Chinook helicopter.) Anti-US forces do not
have tanks, aircraft, and night-vision devices--but then, they don't need
them. They are doing pretty well with rifles, RPGS, IEDs, and mortars.

The US Army is not new to this type of warfare. There is in fact a well-
developed doctrine on asymmetric warfare, which all intelligence offcers
study and which the Army is increasingly attempting to train for at major
training centers. One factor which must be present in order for US forces to
win this war is intelligence. US forces must be able to clearly target those
who are carrying out attacks without causing collateral damage to innocent
Iraqis. More firepower simply isn't going to do it, unless it's directed in
the right place at the right time. The specific type of intelligence that is
most required is human intelligence, or HUMINT--tips, rumors, and hard
evidence brought in by the Iraqi people themselves. This is a challenge for
US forces, due to the language and cultural barriers, and also due to the
fact that many Iraqis are somewhat ambivalent (or even hostile) to US
forces. Convincing the Iraqis to help us out means convincing them we are
doing what is in their own best interest, and that can be a tough sell.

Winning, for the anti-US forces, is much easier by contrast. All they really
need to do is survive until US forces leave.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #50 of 146: John Zuill (klauposius) Sun 16 Nov 03 07:13
    
Thankyou Christian De Leon-Horton.


This is not the first time the US has been frustrated by this kind of
warfare. Intellegence is crucial. What chances do we have when we have
few arab speakers and little ability to pass for Iraqi?
  

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