angie (coiro) Mon 12 Apr 04 18:27
A topic for war news and discussion.
angie (coiro) Mon 12 Apr 04 18:29
Do we or don't we need more troops in Iraq? Last week, the word out of Washington was yes, we do; then Bush said no, we don't; now the commander of US Forces in the Middle East says, yes, we do: <http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1079420281822&p=1012571727088>
angie (coiro) Mon 12 Apr 04 18:32
and ... Seven contractors from a Halliburton subsidiary are missing in Iraq: <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5668-2004Apr12.html>
My Pseud was sent to India (gerry) Mon 12 Apr 04 21:30
I think, as a gesture of good will, we should hand over Halliburton, lock, stock, & barrel, and all of their corporate officers, too, to the people of Iraq.
[the lack of coherence is intentional] (wellelp) Mon 12 Apr 04 21:51
You really must hate Iraq!
Erik (levant) Tue 13 Apr 04 04:48
Technically, there have never been enough Coalition troops in Iraq to garantuee a regulary occupation. That was clear from he start when after the fall of Bagdad, the US troops couldn't protect hospitals or museums. Nor garantuee safety on the street. And they aknowledged as much when they withdrawed their troops from the towns and put them in fortified compounds outside the cities. But it's not just more troops. The US needs more troops who understand Iraq or are willing to learn. And are trained in policing cities. The few US commanders who reach out to the local population and are aware of the local sensibilities are the exception. The Iraqis themselves point out how Basra has been relatively calm because the British there have historicals bands with their ex-colony, and learned community policing in Northern Ireland.
The wind will catch your feet and set you flying (ckridge) Tue 13 Apr 04 05:55
Suppose we just say "Whoops no WMD after all, sorry about all the dead people," agree to pay reparations, and go home?
Erik (levant) Tue 13 Apr 04 06:16
Or eat humble pie, and ask NATO and/or UN in to avoid a full-blown civil war. The "Iraqisation" has totaly failed.
Jett Rink (jettrinkjr) Tue 13 Apr 04 07:48
Don't let that word "Coalition" fool ya!
Cleave the general ear (ronks) Tue 13 Apr 04 09:22
From today's online BBC news: "Foreigners are urged to leave Iraq, as four Italians join a list of 40 hostages held by the US-led coalition's opponents." I imagine this does not include troops, alas.
the antithesis of snacky (judge) Tue 13 Apr 04 09:40
"We ain't no furriners! We're the OCCUPYING FORCE!"
Jett Rink (jettrinkjr) Tue 13 Apr 04 10:06
Surrounded though we may be!
angie (coiro) Tue 13 Apr 04 10:39
Wow. 9/10/2001: Ashcroft turns down appeal for more anti-terrorism funding! From Reuters: (The 9/11 commission) focused on a May 10 Justice Department document that set out priorities for that year. The top priorities cited were reducing gun violence and combating drug trafficking. It made no mention of counterterrorism. When Dale Watson, the head of the counterterrorism division, saw the report, he "almost fell out of his chair," the report said. "The FBI's new counterterrorism strategy was not a focus of the Justice Department in 2001," it added. Then-acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard said he appealed to Ashcroft for more money for counterterrorism but on Sept 10, 2001, one day before the hijacked airliner attacks, Ashcroft rejected the appeal.<< The whole story at: <http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=492624§ion=news>
angie (coiro) Tue 13 Apr 04 16:07
Four mutilated bodies found - not clear if they're some of the missing Halliburton employees: <http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/news/archive/2004/04/13/national1756EDT0789.DTL>
Mr Izzard's oeurvroruevree (woodman) Tue 13 Apr 04 16:55
The pre-9/11 actions of the Bush administration, interesting as they are, are a dog that won't hunt if you're looking to sway voters. The average citizen never gave a thought to terrorism before 9/11, and won't want to blame the admin for doing likewise. The stuff to concentrate on is the post-9/11 actions: the depletion of the Afghanistan forces in favor of Iraq, the lies about WMD, the lack of even one conviction out of all those people locked up at Guantanamo, etc.
Cleave the general ear (ronks) Tue 13 Apr 04 17:04
> The average citizen never gave a thought to terrorism before 9/11, > and won't want to blame the admin for doing likewise I'm not sure that's true; I can easily imagine someone faulting the administration for failing to anticipate and address the problem before it burst onto the public consciousness. It's plausible both psychologically (people don't always excuse others for making the same mistakes they themselves made) and materially because, well they're supposed to be looking out for threats more acutely than the average citizen does.
Mr Izzard's oeurvroruevree (woodman) Tue 13 Apr 04 17:24
I'm presupposing a voter who hasn't long since concluded that the current administration is a moron's breakfast -- IOW, somebody predisposed to excuse and support this administration.
angie (coiro) Tue 13 Apr 04 18:29
Funny, I was wondering just minutes ago how such an audience (predisposed to excuse and accept) were reacting to his transparent dodging of questions at his press conference. In the little I heard, he fielded three questions, and answered none of them. The two I recall: is the characterization of you as a man who won't take responsibilty for his mistakes fair, and do you feel the administration should take its cue from Richard Clarke, and apologize for errors that led to death. He didn't even pretend to link his answers to the original question - just talked about Osama and Clinton's administration. So, I wondered how that would set with someone who supports him. Frankly, I can't think of anyone to ask.
angie (coiro) Tue 13 Apr 04 23:21
Early returns on the prez. speech are pretty darn lukewarm. From Tom Shales in the WashPost: >>"When I say something, I mean it," George W. Bush said decisively near the end of last night's prime-time presidential news conference. Nobody called out, "When will you say something?" -- the White House press corps is too mannerly for that -- but some reporters, and some viewers, must have been thinking it ... >>Although the short speech was well-written, especially toward the end, Bush looked upon it as an address in which all sentences were created equal. He never stressed any particular point or added any emphasis. He might as well have been reading letters off an eye chart. ... >>Indeed, most of the questions seemed to go unanswered. A reporter asked, twice, why Bush and Vice President Cheney insisted on appearing together when they testify before the 9/11 commission. Bush ignored the question both times, uttering familiar generalities instead. >> In contrast to the emotionless delivery of his prepared remarks, during the Q&A Bush appeared passionate at times, answering journalists' questions with an almost religious fervor. Bush said that freedom was given to Americans by "the Almighty" and encouraging freedom throughout the world is "what we have been called to do." Later he said, "It's a conviction that's deep in my soul." Isn't the mixing of earthly political concerns with religious beliefs one of the things that thwarts and frustrates the United States and its allies in the Middle East? And from the BBC: >> For those in the US who have questions about the country's direction - and polls show an increasing number of Americans do - President Bush did not give them any new answers .
Chuck Charlton (chuck) Tue 13 Apr 04 23:31
We Americans don't get real news any more. We have reason to question, but we don't have data from which to question. Unless, of course, we read foreign news sources.
angie (coiro) Thu 22 Apr 04 09:12
Well, at least the barrier to seeing the dead arrive has been broken, and it's causing quite a stink. A woman and her husband have been fired for taking these pictures - she took the pics, the reason for the husband's firing is being kept private: <http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/04/22/1082616268111.html>
Authentic Frontier Gibberish (gerry) Thu 22 Apr 04 21:02
Wow, that's disturbing. Thanks, Angie. The truth must be told, and it must be known.
Gail Williams (gail) Mon 10 May 04 16:26
I find this persuasive: <http://www.sf-frontlines.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=475> It's Howard Zinn on withddrawal from Iraq, Excerpts: ... The only rational argument for continuing on the present course is that things will be worse if we leave. There will be chaos, there will be civil war, we are told. In Vietnam, supporters of the war promised a bloodbath if U.S. troops withdrew. That did not happen. ... Truth is, no one knows what will happen if the United States withdraws. We face a choice between the certainty of mayhem if we stay and the uncertainty of what will follow. There is a possibility of reducing that uncertainty by replacing a U.S. military presence with an international nonmilitary presence. It is conceivable that the United Nations should arrange, as U.S. forces leave, for a multinational team of peacekeepers and negotiators, including, importantly, people from the Arab countries. Such a group might bring together Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds, and work out a solution for self- governance, which would give all three groups a share in political power. Simultaneously, the U.N. should arrange for shipments of food and medicine, from the U.S. and other countries, as well as a corps of engineers to begin the reconstruction of the country. ... To those who worry about what will happen in Iraq after our troops leave, they should consider the effect of having foreign troops: continued, escalating bloodshed, continued insecurity, increased hatred for the United States in the entire Muslim world of over a billion people, and increased hostility everywhere. The effect of that will be the exact opposite of what our political leaders--of both parties--claim they intend to achieve, a "victory" over terrorism. When you inflame the anger of an entire population, you have enlarged the breeding ground for terrorism. What of the other long-term effects of continued occupation? I'm thinking of the poisoning of the moral fiber of our soldiers--being forced to kill, maim, imprison innocent people, becoming the pawns of an imperial power after they were deceived into believing they were fighting for freedom, democracy, against tyranny. I'm thinking of the irony that those very things we said our soldiers were dying for--giving their eyes, their limbs for--are being lost at home by this brutal war. Our freedom of speech is diminished, our electoral system corrupted, Congressional and judicial checks on executive power nonexistent. And the costs of the war--the $400 billion military budget (which Kerry, shockingly, refuses to consider lowering)--make it inevitable that people in this country will suffer from lack of health care, a deteriorating school system, dirtier air and water. Corporate power is unregulated and running wild. ... <http://www.sf-frontlines.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=475>
Doesn't everybody sniff it first? (plettner) Mon 10 May 04 16:51
Gene Burns on KGO AM Radio, who claims to know quite a bit about the middle east, thinks we should withdraw. (His politics are Libertarian, btw.) His belief is that we could stay there 100 years, and the minute we leave, there would be civil war. The divisions that create the conflict there are not new ones, and merely occupying the country for some number of years isn't going to do anything about that. I've wondered why we shouldn't just break the country up into its natural parts (but also wonder how the northern parts would survive without the oil of the south, if I'm remembering the resource distribution in that country.) Molly Ivins yesterday, however, quoted from another person whose name I can't remember in saying that the country should become a federation, broken into states, with a presidency that rotates through the three states on a regular basis.
angie (coiro) Wed 12 May 04 12:21
Ari Shapiro did a fine piece today on Morning Edition. Nick Berg's teachers, family, and life-long friends paint a picture of a guy who once moved to Africa to help the villagers learn new brick-making technology, and went to Iraq with the same open heart - didn't plan to make money, wanted to help disadvantaged people. It's not an easy listen, but a worthwhile one. The audio link is near the top of this page: <http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=1893459>
angie (coiro) Sun 23 May 04 12:54
Tough words: >>(CBS) Accusing top Pentagon officials of "dereliction of duty," retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni says staying the course in Iraq isn't a reasonable option. "The course is headed over Niagara Falls. I think it's time to change course a little bit or at least hold somebody responsible for putting you on this course," he tells CBS News Correspondent Steve Kroft in an interview to be broadcast on 60 Minutes, Sunday, May 23, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. The current situation in Iraq was destined to happen, says Zinni, because planning for the war and its aftermath has been flawed all along. "There has been poor strategic thinking in this...poor operational planning and execution on the ground," says Zinni, who served as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Central Command from 1997 to 2000. Zinni blames the poor planning on the civilian policymakers in the administration, known as neo-conservatives, who saw the invasion as a way to stabilize the region and support Israel. He believes these people, who include Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense, have hijacked U.S. foreign policy. "They promoted it and pushed [the war]... even to the point of creating their own intelligence to match their needs. Then they should bear the responsibility," Zinni tells Kroft.<< More: <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/21/60minutes/main618896.shtml>