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I used this as my source. It not only lists graphs of those killed in each month, but the names, ranks and often circumstances of their deaths.

 

Aah, now I understand. The discrepancy was not because you included allied troops, but because your statistic includes the 145 dead in Afghanistan and one on Guantanamo during the same period. My source left those out.

 

Whether they should be incorporated in the statistic is debatable. Arguably the diversion of Operation Iraqi Screwup has worsened the security situation in Afghanistan. But I think keeping them out is more clear-cut, especially when discussing trends for Iraq. And it doesn't change the point markedly.

 

Besides, I've always preferred x,y-scatter plots to histograms.

 

With regard to "anti-semite," I do understand that it is colloquially used to be synonomous with "anti-jew," but this is an ignorant term used by ignorant people.

 

Point taken. But i've seen too many Imams sqeam out of the spotlight after saying something asinine about jews and jewishness by pulling that one out of the hat. It took the Danish newsies just a tad too long to stop falling for it for my taste.

 

Your points above are all good ones. I think, though, if you read my posts here, you might see a more complete perspective on my position regarding the "oil" hypothesis.

 

Our views on that point are not mutually exclusive, of course. But it seems to me that they'd have shown a little less - well unmigitated amateurism is the only phrase I can think of that fits - if they had actually hoped to hang on to Iraq.

 

Has it failed to end a dictatorship?

 

No. Of course we've yet to see what'll replace it... And I'm not holding my breath waiting for a pro-west democracy.

 

Has it failed to at least help set up a constitution?

 

Weell, that's a lot more up in the air.

 

The only failure so far is that we aren't able to get out b/c of terrorist attacks.

 

First of all, I'll reiterate that the insurgents attacking US, allied, or Iraqi troops are not terrorists. Those who attack reporters, NGOs, and other civilians are, but they happen to be in the minority (and even with those, half of them seem to be little more than common mobsters out to make a quick buck from ransom - that sport was played in Italy too not terribly long ago).

 

The numbers are rarely a good thing to go on because:

 

1. They never mention objectives anywhere.

 

No, rccar argued what the objectives were. I wanted you to tell me how the number of coalition casualites were a bad measure of how well one particular objective was achieved, that objective being security. So I'll reiterate: Why does the number of dead soldiers not provide a fair measure of the security situation?

 

2. They don't measure progress.

 

What about 'broken down by month' do you fail to understand? Would you argue that a graph showing GDP broken down by year doesn't measure progress in the GDP?

 

3. They can be so f**** up and wrong that they are by no means "accurate" (Remember lies, damned lies, and statistics?)

 

Are you accusing my source (and Skin's - which was independent of mine) of lying? Or are you accusing me of presenting the data in a less than honest way? The latter is a serious accusation and one that I do not take lightly. If you imply the latter I invite you to share your own analysis of the data I used and prove that I was dishonest. But you damn well better make sure every "h" is crossed and every "p" is dotted, because I will not be subjected to false accusations of lack of academic integrity.

 

This may sound harsh, and I suppose it is, but first of all it's a pet pewee of mine: Statistics never lie. Politicians do. It's virtually impossible to manipulate statistics in a way that isn't blindingly obvious to any observer who knows his elbow from his anal edifice. In fact the only way I can think of off the top of my head is falsifying the data that goes into the statistic. Garbage in, garbage out is still true, when all is said and done.

 

Secondly, the kind of remarks you made is a denigration of science and statistics that politicians use to brush off inconvenient facts, and I'm fed up right up to my ears with stupid reporters who buy it because they are so damn clueless about statistics that they wouldn't know a cooked book if it danced naked in front of them!

 

But, OK, you did provide explanations, and I never stipulated that they had to be good ones, so I'll take a look at the civilian casualties and repeat my questions.

 

Unfortunately the only site I could find which had a breakdown by time used a miserable data format that I can't plot. If anyone here knows where to find the civilian body count for Iraq with a reasonable time resolution, please let me know.

 

Nonetheless, can you count the number of people a soldier saved when he said to Sadaam: "President Bush dends his regards", and captured him?

 

Irrelevant. rccar made a statement about the development in the security situation in postwar Iraq. He claimed that it was getting better. Stick to the topic, bitte, rather than dallying off on a rethorical tangent.

 

Security, i.e. kicking the enemy's @$$.

 

Funny, that. By your metric, the US won the war in Vietnam. Darn it, we'll need to rewrite the history books, I guess. Weren't you the one talking about numbers and their relevance to objectives just a few paragraphs ago?

 

Last time I checked security was not getting murdered on a random street for no good reason. Perhaps you'd care to explain how the - postulated - increase in the number of - alleged - insurgent casualties would cause a drop in the risk of being blown to high heaven by a suicide bomb or phosphor grenade?

 

OK, the proposal I agreed with at first: The Dem who proposed this said he wants to get out "at the earliest possible convenience". The Republicans twisted it, and they may have f***** up the numbers too, so they seemed worse than they wore. But that's just speculation, no proof. Don't quote me on it, it's just an idea.

 

The comment you reply to here wasn't directed at you. It was a request for rccar to back up his claim that the protocol is full of lies, which is patently false.

 

IIRC, The US had more than a few problems getting the govt. set up, and we still suffer the consequences of bad politicians. Give it a chance. In the meantime, it will meltdown if we let the terrorists do it.

 

You're right about that. Again, however, the comment was directed somewhere else. I replied to rccar's smug assertion that Operation Iraqi Screwup was an outstanding success.

 

Not to mention liberal sites are rarely bi-partisan. just look at MoveOn.org for a highly popular example of people who will skew any number to get their chance to bash Bush. One report from a liberal source (I'm trying to find it again, damn internet) said 100,000 Iraqis had been killed in Iraqi Freedom - or maybe it was 8,000. When I do find it I'll let you know.

 

You refer to a report by the Lancet, reported by the BBC. It didn't refer to direct casualties, but to the consequences Operation Iraqi Screwup had for public health. I agree that selling it as an estimate of how many lives the invasion has cost was a less-than-honest move on someone's part, but that, unfortunately, is how the newsies work. Link. Though, how the Lancet or the BBC mutated to become 'liberal' in your definition of terms, I fail to see.

 

I don't need to Google it, I watch the news.

 

So you do watch European news. That's something of a surprise to me. Maybe you should try some European broadcasters as well.

 

But we do need to stop terrorism, and a good start would be creating a government who supports our efforts.

 

An even better start would have been cleaning up Afghanistan before you made a mess of Iraq.

 

I am not 100% sure, but I think the Civil War has more casualties. I'm 95% sure on that, but I'll look it up.

 

I'm 100% sure WWI had more casualties. I'm less certain that it had more American casualties, but that, IIRC, wasn't the issue in question.

 

Quote:

From muggings? Because surely you don't mean from a terrorist attack? The risk of being murdered by a terrorist is still less in D.C. than in the Deep South - as this story shows - and it is far, far less than dying from lung cancer caused by exhaust fumes from unrestricted SUV driving.

 

 

9/11/01, anyone?

 

I'm willing to bet you money that since 2000 the risk of dying from mugging in the US has been bigger than the risk of dying from terrorism. How much can you afford to loose (note: Obviously this is a rethorical device, since LF rules don't allow commercial advertising)?

 

"No country or civilisation in history has been brought low by terrorism. Quite a few have, however, been brought low by their excessive reaction to terrorism."

 

Such as?

 

Hungary in 1909, Germany in 1933, Germany again in 1976

 

So, you are saying that homicide bombing which kills innocent civilians (there was one just this morning) is OK?

 

Calling them OK would be a stretch. But the point is that if they are targeted at occupation forces they are legitimate. There is a subtle difference. All too often legitimate wartime actions incur civilian cost. That is regrettable, but it doesn't make the actions any less legitimate. After all, isn't that what all the talking heads keep saying every time a 'smart' bomb turned out not to be so smart after all?

 

Are you saying that our troops that die so you can spout liberalism are incompetent?

 

No, I'm saying that the police that combats terrorism has to be competent. Since military and police are two different things, the adjective is not associated with the military, and I did not mean to imply that they are incompetent, something that I am in no position to judge.

 

I also take offence at your claim that I am sprouting liberalism. Liberalism is an economic principle (and one that I don't happen to subscribe to at that) - I fail to see how economy and police investigations have more than a peripherical relationship.

 

Could you do better on the front lines?

 

If you gave me a gun and put me in a uniform? Probably not. If you gave me a couple of years' worth of training, I think I could do just as well as the average American soldier in Iraq right now.

 

Or, are you saying that police are better equipped to handle terrorism?

 

That's exactly what I'm saying.

 

Our troops are training them, you know.

 

Excuse me, but... your troops are training them? I think someone in the Pentagon should bone up on the difference between police and military forces.

 

Quote:

Bush Sr. didn't move on Baghdad because, unlike his son, he could find his own ass with both hands without a control tower, a ground radar, a detailed flight plan, and a half-dozen nav beacons. If he had moved against Baghdad, his coalition would have fallen apart around him, and he'd have ended up in much the same situation now facing his son.

 

 

And your psychic powers tell you this... how?

 

My psychic powers don't tell me anything. But you don't exactly need a genius IQ to predict that.

 

You are going to hate me for saying this, but since when have I been accused of being Politically Correct? I say, get the civilians we can out, and let them have their civil war. The victor woruld emerge weak, and we can more easily quell terrorism, and get the gov't back in place. IF it means a temporary collapse of the gov't... well, it doesn't necessarily have to. They can do what we did.

 

Even if we - for a moment and only for the sake of the argument - completely abandon all morality and go on pure machiavellian machinations, do you seriously think that such a civil war would be a quick little thing? Do you seriously think that it wouldn't create a diaspora of disgruntled refugees, some of whom would - and not totally without justification - want to kick American ass? And what on Earth makes you think that the victor would be inclined to just roll over if you ever got around to invading again?

 

First off, edited just to see if it'll piss you off.

 

Oh, I'm not that petty. But you really shouldn't edit in quotes that way without marking it properly. It's both poor netiquette and miserable scholarship.

 

Second, do you really think we are not sending as many troops as we feasibly can? Anyone with half a brain will tell you we have to keep at least some troops here in case of - you guessed it - another 9/11.

 

Oh, really. What exactly do you propose a battalion of the National Guard can do to prevent people from blowing up a couple of buildings? I'm sure Skin can give you an idea of exactly how ludicous that thought is - and he'll probably be more - ah - eloquent about it than I am, too. As to where to get the troops... Well, you have the population base for it, so that's a matter of money and political will. Oh, it won't be possible anytime soon; the troops will need time to train and work up and get their logistics sorted out and all the other million-and-one things a military force needs. But then again, Iraq doesn't look like it'll sort itself out anytime soon either.

 

FYI, Palestine isn't on the map. It has no borders, and no constitution of any kind. It is a collaberation of Arabs who want Jerusalem, and the rest of Israel to go hang so they can have it.

 

FYI, the PLO is recognized by the UN as the legitimate government of Palestine, and the '63 border as the legitimate border of Palestine. For your further information there has just been elections in Palestine - and far more democratic elections than in Iraq, I might add.

 

Do you know he didn;t support them?

 

You are shifting the burden of proof and shifting the goalposts.

 

Pics courtesy of WinAce

 

You (or was it rccar) claimed he supported terrorism. Somebody else claimed the intel was flawed. I said that the intel was cooked. Now, all of a sudden, I have to prove that he didn't support terrorism. Nice try, but I'm not going to bite. You think he did, you provide sources to prove it.

 

Even if he didn't, he sure as hell applauded when the North Tower fell!

 

Your point? If you were going to invade every country in the world whose leader you think relished the sight of the US publicly humiliated on its own soil, you are going to be very, very busy.

 

He spat at our last chance we gave him, and even now at his trial he spits on the US and hates us with a passion not known by the Star Wars Sith! He is a heartless, arrogant bastar*, and deserves to die for what he did. Anyone who ways even one good thing about Hussein, I refuse to even read.

 

Hussein is a git. I'm sure we can agree on that much. I'm opposed to the death penalty, but be that as it may.

 

But that Hussein is a bad guy wasn't the reason for the war, was it now?

 

Quote:

Yet more importantly, perhaps, the US has a catastrophic trade deficit. In fact the only thing that keeps the dollar from collapsing - and I mean collapsing as in taking a nose dive through an event horizon, not just dropping a little - is... China. Only the fact that China keeps buying US bonds keeps the weels from coming off the US economy. China is, if you will, the single biggest shareholder in US inc. Suppose they decide to sell their shares. What would happen? The US economy would collapse, and there'd be diddly-squat the US could do about it.

 

If I can use your terminology, bull. Show your cards! (read sources)

 

China also has been in the news as traders speculate that Asia's No. 2 economy may pull the plug on dollar-denominated debt. Such a move by the second-biggest holder of U.S. Treasuries after Japan could send shockwaves through global markets.

 

Source

 

OK, me bad, It's only the second biggest. Still Bad News for the Dollar if they pull out.

 

Prove that it was ill-advised.

 

I don't need to do that. The Iraqis are making that point for me. Eloquently.

 

Prove that our government cooked this up.

 

Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.

 

And, if so, Prove that the leaders of the UK and Australia aren't more incompetent that John Kerry.

 

Nobody ever claimed they aren't...

 

If they are nearly as 'smart' as you, they'd see right through this, no? But, these people are not stupid, and they willingly went into Iraq, just like us.

 

You know, unlike dubya our domestic liars have actually been asked some extremely pointed questions about exactly that. Turns out that Tony ran roughshod over MI6 because he wanted to be buddy with W, our own PM had his head so far up Tony's butt that his vision was - ah - limited, and it looks like the Polish politicos actually bought the BS the White House was spewing. Probably because they wanted so badly to believe that the country that saved them from the USSR wasn't lying to their face. The Aussies? I don't know. I'm not sufficiently familiar with the internal dynamics of Aussie politics to make even an educated guess.

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The problem with mass bombings is it tends to kill more civilians than legitimate targets (refer to Hiroshima & Nagasaki).

Besides that, the goal of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings was to force the Japanese government into surrender, to save American lives...but also to save lives on both sides, as an invasion of the Japanese mainland would have brought many, many more deaths than the atomic bombs (the religious aspect of the Japanese government, combined with the fact that the Japanese were arming civilians to attack our soldiers in the event of an invasion, as we learned after the war).

 

The difference here is that we aren't fighting a government - the Iraqi government can't very well surrender because they're on our side. We're fighting pockets of terrorists, mainly hidden within the civilian population, most of whom support the regime change. I wish we could solve this with a precision bombing campaign - that'd make things so much easier...but that just isn't possible.

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Actually our army kinda sucks, it's mostly marine forces that get things done, the army is just grunts.

 

I'm fairly certain if England wanted to, they could kick our ass.

 

Actually, the Marines are usually sent in first, and the army is left to secure an area. 10th Mountain, Rangers, and Delta Force are just a few of the army elite groups, and are in no way slouches. In fact, the British SAS are put into Delta teams regularly, and vice versa. I seriously doubt the British could contend with our Naval and Air Forces alone. Much less our ground forces. Good thing for them we have no use for an island with ****ty weather.

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I'm fairly certain if England wanted to, they could kick our ass.

 

Not in any conventional war. They don't have the economy or population base to do that. In a conflict confined to spec-ops they'd tie you up in a bundle and gift-wrap you any day of the week, though.

 

I know, we need a target to bomb. But this is how war should be executed, IMO. You bomb them to hell, and break their will to fight.

 

That only works against a government. And the Iraqi govenment pretty much rolled over anyway once the Panzerblitz started rolling them up.

 

Hate I save for those who sought to bring our great nation to our knees.

 

Like W?

 

soldiers from the US, UK, and all other nations who are fighting to protect not only the freedom of the US, but the freedom of the world.

 

Oh, please. You can't even run a democratic election on your side of the Pond, how in hell do you expect to safeguard anyone's safety? - Even assuming that's the actual agenda, something I'm not prepared to grant.

 

For the good of every nation on Earth, we are going to fight for freedom until the bitter ends have come, when all who are fighting now have long been buried of old age, and, eventually, when there will finally... be... peace.

 

I'm pretty sure I've got a spiffy litterary reference somewhere in the back of my mind for that one, but I'll settle for "we can bring an end to this destructive conflict [...] and rule the galaxy as father and son!"

 

I know it's a cheap shot, but cheap points are still points.

 

Until such ends are reached, we cannot ignore the threat to all mankind* by these Islamo-Fascists.** My point is this: Who are we to allow these barbarians to determine our fate?

 

Looks to me like that's what you are doing.

 

Going to war for peace is like screwing for virginity.

 

Oh, the Romans managed that, actually. But they were a lot less amateurish about it too.

 

Just cos the japanese emperor surrendered when his cities were nuked doesn't mean bin laden would surrender if you nuked anything.

 

Which doesn't even consider what the hell you'd nuke to get Bin Laden. He hasn't got a country, he hasn't got any embassies, he hasn't even got any legit corporations...

 

Besides that, the goal of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings was to force the Japanese government into surrender,

 

Arguably they could have made their point by nuking something else (see that forest? Now you don't). But let's not open that particular can of worms.

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I seriously doubt the British could contend with our Naval and Air Forces alone. Much less our ground forces. Good thing for them we have no use for an island with ****ty weather.

 

However, Britain has both the Paras (a regiment of psychopathic madmen) and Scotland (a country of bayonet-charging madmen).

 

Can't think of any ground force wanting to come up against that. :p

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Damn, I hate it when User CP doesn't show a reply. =/

 

No. Of course we've yet to see what'll replace it... And I'm not holding my breath waiting for a pro-west democracy.

 

Weell, that's a lot more up in the air.

 

Fair enough. We'll see what happens.

 

 

First of all, I'll reiterate that the insurgents attacking US, allied, or Iraqi troops are not terrorists. Those who attack reporters, NGOs, and other civilians are, but they happen to be in the minority (and even with those, half of them seem to be little more than common mobsters out to make a quick buck from ransom - that sport was played in Italy too not terribly long ago).

 

I never said they were a majority - they are a memorable exception to the populace who may not want us there, but aren't going to argue with our tanks, infantry, air force, etc. currently stationed there.

 

 

 

No, rccar argued what the objectives were. I wanted you to tell me how the number of coalition casualites were a bad measure of how well one particular objective was achieved, that objective being security. So I'll reiterate: Why does the number of dead soldiers not provide a fair measure of the security situation?

 

Methinks you are deliberately misinterpreting what I have to say. Let me make in absolutely unmistakable. Objective = what we are trying to do = set up a democracy (or at least a republic, like the U.S. What, you thought the USA was truly a democracy?) The number of deaths on our side - though tragic - is (dare I say it) irrelevant compared to the fact that we are indeed getting that mission accomplished. It will take time; Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was Baghdad.

 

What about 'broken down by month' do you fail to understand? Would you argue that a graph showing GDP broken down by year doesn't measure progress in the GDP?

 

Again, you are trying to mistake what I am saying. Progress = how close we are to achieving our objective, which = [covered above]. You know what I mean; I'm tired, and don't want to have to micromanage my words. So stop the games.

 

 

Are you accusing my source (and Skin's - which was independent of mine) of lying? Or are you accusing me of presenting the data in a less than honest way? The latter is a serious accusation and one that I do not take lightly. If you imply the latter I invite you to share your own analysis of the data I used and prove that I was dishonest. But you damn well better make sure every "h" is crossed and every "p" is dotted, because I will not be subjected to false accusations of lack of academic integrity.

 

First off, I'm not accusing you or your source of anything. First you play games, then you put words in my mouth. John Kerry wasn't lying when he said the abortion rate was increasing - but his source came from another source which surveyed 11 states. So, he was wrong, can't fault him for that. And I don't fault your source. And I definitely don't intend to flame you. Take no offense from me, no matter how heated this gets. I try to keep this non-personal.

 

This may sound harsh, and I suppose it is, but first of all it's a pet pewee of mine: Statistics never lie. Politicians do. It's virtually impossible to manipulate statistics in a way that isn't blindingly obvious to any observer who knows his elbow from his anal edifice. In fact the only way I can think of off the top of my head is falsifying the data that goes into the statistic. Garbage in, garbage out is still true, when all is said and done.

 

Well, that certainly strikes a chord with what I just got done saying. Well, except for the fact that in my example... ah, well, said above.

 

Secondly, the kind of remarks you made is a denigration of science and statistics that politicians use to brush off inconvenient facts, and I'm fed up right up to my ears with stupid reporters who buy it because they are so damn clueless about statistics that they wouldn't know a cooked book if it danced naked in front of them!

 

Interesting. Unless I misinterperet - and I don't do that intentionally - we seem to pretty much agree. Yes, politicians do use statistics to brush of the facts. Yes, reporters are stupid for believing them. But, as you said...

 

In fact the only way I can think of off the top of my head is falsifying the data that goes into the statistic.

 

Couldn't have said it better myself.

 

But, OK, you did provide explanations, and I never stipulated that they had to be good ones, so I'll take a look at the civilian casualties and repeat my questions.

 

That I won't even bother to rebut. Since that can easily be taken to a childish flame war, I won't even bother.

 

Unfortunately the only site I could find which had a breakdown by time used a miserable data format that I can't plot. If anyone here knows where to find the civilian body count for Iraq with a reasonable time resolution, please let me know.

 

I'll let you know.

 

Funny, that. By your metric, the US won the war in Vietnam. Darn it, we'll need to rewrite the history books, I guess. Weren't you the one talking about numbers and their relevance to objectives just a few paragraphs ago?

 

What the hell? I didn't even mention numbers in that part of my post. And, as I said, I'll get back to you on the economy of Iraq. But right now my term paper consumes my free time.

 

Last time I checked security was not getting murdered on a random street for no good reason. Perhaps you'd care to explain how the - postulated - increase in the number of - alleged - insurgent casualties would cause a drop in the risk of being blown to high heaven by a suicide bomb or phosphor grenade?

 

I thought it would be easy to calculate a basic idea of war: The less enemies you have, the less people available who are trying to kill you. But as for the postulated and alleged stuff - please. That's why you find out who the enemies are first. That is the premise for not only this war, but every battle down to the last firefight. The US doesn't condone the intentional killing of civilians. You get the target, blow him to whatever god he believes in, and voila! One less 'tard who can make a bomb and blow it up in a crowd of unsuspecting bystanders.

 

The comment you reply to here wasn't directed at you. It was a request for rccar to back up his claim that the protocol is full of lies, which is patently false.

 

You're right about that. Again, however, the comment was directed somewhere else. I replied to rccar's smug assertion that Operation Iraqi Screwup was an outstanding success.

 

I see. All right, that's OK. Thanks for not blowing up ate me for mistaking who it was for. :)

 

 

You refer to a report by the Lancet, reported by the BBC. It didn't refer to direct casualties, but to the consequences Operation Iraqi Screwup had for public health. I agree that selling it as an estimate of how many lives the invasion has cost was a less-than-honest move on someone's part, but that, unfortunately, is how the newsies work. Link. Though, how the Lancet or the BBC mutated to become 'liberal' in your definition of terms, I fail to see.

 

Response to the bolded part: Indeed!

To the underlined part: I don't. I was am upset that the numbers were used that way, I really don't care who reports the numbers that way.

 

So you do watch European news. That's something of a surprise to me. Maybe you should try some European broadcasters as well.

 

If you mean I tune in to European stations, no, I can't on my cable plan. I saw the news of the bombings pasted all over the Fox News website. (The station may have unbalanced opinion shows, but the news is reported bi-partisanly, a stance I admire) A tragedy. I also saw Tony Blair's speech about how England "will not cower in the face of terrorism". Unless I am sadly mistaken, those were his exact words.

 

An even better start would have been cleaning up Afghanistan before you made a mess of Iraq.

 

I did nothing in Iraq. I agree, however: Afghanistan should have been finished first.

 

I'm 100% sure WWI had more casualties. I'm less certain that it had more American casualties, but that, IIRC, wasn't the issue in question.

 

Well, we are talking about American casualties in Iraq, so the analogy counts. Again, I'd back up these figures much more strongly if I wasn't on my rare break from a term paper.

 

I'm willing to bet you money that since 2000 the risk of dying from mugging in the US has been bigger than the risk of dying from terrorism. How much can you afford to lose (note: Obviously this is a rethorical device, since LF rules don't allow commercial advertising)? [Edited for spelling]

 

Without doubt. But we could have said the same thing on 9/10/01, I believe.

 

Hungary in 1909, Germany in 1933, Germany again in 1976

 

I stand corrected. *bows* But I suppose how much is an overreaction is up for debate.

 

Calling them OK would be a stretch. But the point is that if they are targeted at occupation forces they are legitimate. There is a subtle difference. All too often legitimate wartime actions incur civilian cost. That is regrettable, but it doesn't make the actions any less legitimate. After all, isn't that what all the talking heads keep saying every time a 'smart' bomb turned out not to be so smart after all?

 

Agreed. That doesn't mean I'm on their side, and neither should you be. If you are, this discussion is over.

 

No, I'm saying that the police that combats terrorism has to be competent. Since military and police are two different things, the adjective is not associated with the military, and I did not mean to imply that they are incompetent, something that I am in no position to judge.

 

Agreed.

 

I also take offence at your claim that I am sprouting liberalism. Liberalism is an economic principle (and one that I don't happen to subscribe to at that) - I fail to see how economy and police investigations have more than a peripherical relationship.

 

I apologize. Sort, and simple. As I said above, I do intend to keep this civil.

 

If you gave me a gun and put me in a uniform? Probably not. If you gave me a couple of years' worth of training, I think I could do just as well as the average American soldier in Iraq right now.

 

As could I.

 

Excuse me, but... your troops are training them? I think someone in the Pentagon should bone up on the difference between police and military forces.

 

Trust me, they know the difference. But who better to train police officers than those who are trained for more than that? And we are doing so, last time I checked. I mean, not soley us, but who else will do it besides the Coalition? The prez of Iraq can order it, but you need someone with the know-how.

 

My psychic powers don't tell me anything. But you don't exactly need a genius IQ to predict that.

 

Of course not. I don't believe in psychics, and was using that to ask how you knew that would happen.

 

Even if we - for a moment and only for the sake of the argument - completely abandon all morality and go on pure machiavellian machinations, do you seriously think that such a civil war would be a quick little thing? Do you seriously think that it wouldn't create a diaspora of disgruntled refugees, some of whom would - and not totally without justification - want to kick American ass? And what on Earth makes you think that the victor would be inclined to just roll over if you ever got around to invading again?

 

Instead of "rolling over" as you said, I will justify my arguement. If there were absolutely no other way to end this, then do it. But I am NOT going to say that we should do it because it looks like fun. I know, my cedibility just dropped 20% for saying what I said in my previous post. But, if that were the only way, would you turn your back on it? And that's a huge IF. I don't think it will come to that, and I KNOW that you don't.

 

Oh, I'm not that petty. But you really shouldn't edit in quotes that way without marking it properly. It's both poor netiquette and miserable scholarship.

 

Another product of anger. As you can see above, it will be marked in the future.

 

Oh, really. What exactly do you propose a battalion of the National Guard can do to prevent people from blowing up a couple of buildings? I'm sure Skin can give you an idea of exactly how ludicous that thought is - and he'll probably be more - ah - eloquent about it than I am, too. As to where to get the troops... Well, you have the population base for it, so that's a matter of money and political will. Oh, it won't be possible anytime soon; the troops will need time to train and work up and get their logistics sorted out and all the other million-and-one things a military force needs. But then again, Iraq doesn't look like it'll sort itself out anytime soon either.

 

Of course not! We didn't exactly get time to prepare for such a brutal attack. Politicking is slowing us down even more than need be. A shame, too. If all people in the world got their opinions from rock-solid sources, that alone would bring an end to petty political games. But, that is impossible. So the best I can say is that we need time we don't have. The 'quagmire', as Dean fondly calls our war - is actually the product of a lack of preperation for a possible large scale war. We just might have ovedone the disarmament of weapons after the Cold War, just a tad... (I am not saying we should use nuclear weapons, BTW.)

 

FYI, the PLO is recognized by the UN as the legitimate government of Palestine, and the '63 border as the legitimate border of Palestine. For your further information there has just been elections in Palestine - and far more democratic elections than in Iraq, I might add.

 

The UN is not high up on my respect list, as you probably predicted. But personal feeling aside, the day I see the word PALESTINE on block letters on the most recent world Atlas, I will recognize it as a country. Until then, it is what Israel was - a band, a tribe.

 

 

You could have made your point without cute pictures that add nothing. Though they did make me chuckle. Just like the slippery slope pic. That was :lol: material. But, anyways...

 

You (or was it rccar) claimed he supported terrorism. Somebody else claimed the intel was flawed. I said that the intel was cooked. Now, all of a sudden, I have to prove that he didn't support terrorism. Nice try, but I'm not going to bite. You think he did, you provide sources to prove it.

 

Again, that one will take time considering a term paper, but I'll make that one Priority II just for you. But my last years of education will always take Priority I.

 

Your point? If you were going to invade every country in the world whose leader you think relished the sight of the US publicly humiliated on its own soil, you are going to be very, very busy.

 

*sigh* this is getting tiresome. The US should stop anybody who acts on that desire in a way that is destructive. Yes, we would be busy. Hell, we'd be invading the "blue" states.

 

Hussein is a git. I'm sure we can agree on that much. I'm opposed to the death penalty, but be that as it may.

 

But that Hussein is a bad guy wasn't the reason for the war, was it now?

 

I am not opposed to the death penalty, when it is appropriate. On Hussein is appropriate.

 

OK, me bad, It's only the second biggest. Still Bad News for the Dollar if they pull out.

 

As before, I am not afraid to be incorrect. Actually, I expected you to prove it, so... again: *bows*

 

I don't need to do that. The Iraqis are making that point for me. Eloquently.

 

The fact that the Iraqis don't approve does not mean that it was a bad idea to go in there in the first place. Even if it wasn't the original reason - We are human, are we not? We may be wrong - removing a dictator is not just one small step for man.

 

 

As I said, The US is a nation of humans. But, if he didn't have them since 1194, and uranium has a half-life of appx. 500 years... and other radioactive/chemical substances similar half-lives... the US govt. could easily have picked up traces of them, and suspected the worst.

 

Nobody ever claimed they aren't...

 

At the risk of sounding like someone who didn't get his wish from a genie... you knew what I meant. I meant, "prove that they are more incompetent than John Kerry". Of course, typing at 11:00 PM tends to goof up the logic process. It's 10:46 now...

 

You know, unlike dubya our domestic liars have actually been asked some extremely pointed questions about exactly that. Turns out that Tony ran roughshod over MI6 because he wanted to be buddy with W, our own PM had his head so far up Tony's butt that his vision was - ah - limited, and it looks like the Polish politicos actually bought the BS the White House was spewing. Probably because they wanted so badly to believe that the country that saved them from the USSR wasn't lying to their face. The Aussies? I don't know. I'm not sufficiently familiar with the internal dynamics of Aussie politics to make even an educated guess.

 

Most of that is pure speculation, taken at face value with the usual grain or two of salt. But you did say 'probably', so I cannot charge you for that.

 

That only works against a government. And the Iraqi govenment pretty much rolled over anyway once the Panzerblitz started rolling them up.

 

Er... I saw W give the 48-hour warning, which Sadaam spat on. And I saw the bombs fall on Iraq. If we had made that a little longer, we could have broken the will of the enemy, like we did Japan.

 

Like W?

Cute.

 

Oh, please. You can't even run a democratic election on your side of the Pond, how in hell do you expect to safeguard anyone's safety? - Even assuming that's the actual agenda, something I'm not prepared to grant.

 

Isn't my fault the politicians no longer represent the US populace. Would be nice, though.

 

I'm pretty sure I've got a spiffy litterary reference somewhere in the back of my mind for that one, but I'll settle for "we can bring an end to this destructive conflict [...] and rule the galaxy as father and son!"

 

I know it's a cheap shot, but cheap points are still points.

 

Well, I was asking for it, since I ripped a line from Sidious. And those ponts aren't cheap - they're free. And you get what you pay for.

 

Looks to me like that's what you are doing.

 

Again, I do nothing. I sit here in my bathrobe and say what I believe/know/speculate. But we are telling murderers who blow themselves up in crowds what to do. The rest of the world can run itself as they please. That's the way it will be after we (finally!) get a chance to get out of Iraq.

 

Well, that's it for your posts to me. toms, sorry, it's too late at night to get to you. But I've done enough for one night. See you in the morning.

 

-StaffSaberist

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From the resolution itself:

Whereas polls also indicate that 45 percent of the Iraqi people feel that the attacks on U.S. forces are justified

 

 

If that poll is accurate, and most polls have a ± 3% margin, this is an incredibly high number of people. Can you honestly say it's a good idea to pull out, knowing the terrorists may carry out their threat to "Make 9/11 look like a picnic"? I don't think so. If 45% of any country thinks we got what we deserve, we need to make sure that, at the very least, they aren't a threat to our land. And if we leave them alone, they should be closely monitored.

I don't think anyone has answered this, although I could be wrong. My answer to this is that this 45% are not refering to 9/11, but to the attacks on US forces in Iraq (the word forces gives this away). Just because they agree that the US deserves to be forced out of Iraq, they will attack you once you leave? Isn't it more likely that they will attack you for not doing what they want, rather than attacking you for doing what they want?

 

In my opinion, Iraq wasn't our problem, sure Saddam mistreated his people horrendously, but we should have minded our own bloody business. Now, however, Iraq is our business, and we have about as much right to pull out as we had to invade in the first place. Incidentally, I think that we (the British public) should be left out of this debate, as we didn't want to go to war in the first place. Going to war was never popular here, and although now many are opposed to pulling out, only a tiny minority were ever in favour of going to war in the first place.

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Methinks you are deliberately misinterpreting what I have to say. Let me make in absolutely unmistakable. Objective = what we are trying to do = set up a democracy

 

You're the one doing the misrepresentation here. rccar postulated that the security situation was improving. I showed you why this wasn't the case. And now you wander off talking about establishing democracy. Democracy is all well and good, but we were talking about the security situation, and you still haven't explained to me what makes you think the security situation is improving. You've seen this pic before and you'll undoubtedly see it again.

 

First off, I'm not accusing you or your source of anything.

 

OK. I'm cool with that.

 

Interesting. Unless I misinterperet - and I don't do that intentionally - we seem to pretty much agree. Yes, politicians do use statistics to brush of the facts. Yes, reporters are stupid for believing them. But, as you said...

 

That's not what I was saying. In fact I was saying the exact opposite: I said that politicians dismiss legitimate statistics out of hand when they are inconvenient because the newsies have bought into the lie that statistics can be easily twisted and falsified by their political opponents at need. And the reporters are too damn stupid to call them on it.

 

But of course you have a point as well. Certainly politicians do use manipulative statistics. What I call for is that people, when confronted with such tactics, point out where and how the books are cooked rather than resorting to glib, smartass oneliners about the uselessness of statistics.

 

What the hell? I didn't even mention numbers in that part of my post.

 

You argued that security means kicking the enemy's butt. Well, if butt-kicking is the best measure of success in a peacekeeping operation, then you did win in Vietnam. American casualites were minor compared to VK and NVA casualties.

 

I thought it would be easy to calculate a basic idea of war: The less enemies you have, the less people available who are trying to kill you.

 

Indeed. The question is whether you are succeeding in removing your enemies. Killing them off represents only one collumn on the balance sheet; if you want to use insurgent casualties to prove that you are reducing their numbers, you'll have to compare the casualty number to the number of recruits. Since their recruiting data isn't publicly available, you can't do that. Which brings us back to why the number of American dead is or isn't the best available measure of security.

 

But as for the postulated and alleged stuff - please. That's why you find out who the enemies are first. That is the premise for not only this war, but every battle down to the last firefight.

 

Funny that, I can think of ten or twenty newsies who are ready to argue differently. According to the Danish newsies there are several documented instances where coalition forces attacked virtually at random - including not a few where blue-on-blue fire was reported as having killed insurgents. So the postulated and alledged stuff stands.

 

Fox News website. (The station may have unbalanced opinion shows, but the news is reported bi-partisanly

 

Hmm... Try taping the next news broadcast. Find all the passages where the anchor is blatantly partisan, where the sources are blatantly partisan, or simply irrelevant.

 

I did nothing in Iraq. I agree, however: Afghanistan should have been finished first.

 

'You' as in 'America.'

 

Without doubt. But we could have said the same thing on 9/10/01, I believe.

 

Indeed, and we could have said the same thing on 9/11/01. Except that we couldn't, because the media frenzy would have torn anybody who did apart.

 

The risk of being murdered by terrorism is negligible. Even if they hit the city you live in - of which there is a chance of less than one in a hundred, there is less than one chance in thousand that you'll be among the affected. When taking a stroll in downtown New York on 9/11 you were in greater risk from air pollution than from airplanes.

 

Agreed. That doesn't mean I'm on their side, and neither should you be. If you are, this discussion is over.

 

I'm not on their 'side.' I just want people to be consistent in their standards and terminology.

 

Trust me, they know the difference. But who better to train police officers than those who are trained for more than that?

 

The problem is that they aren't trained for more. They are trained for something different. And if you're in any doubt on that point, try comparing and contrasting police and military approaches to crowd control.

 

Of course not. I don't believe in psychics, and was using that to ask how you knew that would happen.

 

I didn't. I was merely refering the virtually unanimous conclusion of every analyst on the planet. But I'll concede that I could have stated it more clearly and in a less inflammatory way.

 

But, if that were the only way, would you turn your back on it? And that's a huge IF. I don't think it will come to that, and I KNOW that you don't.

 

No. Not with that added qualifier. I must confess that part of me was trolling when I made that particular reply. I kinda figured you'd forgotten some sort of qualifier. But it was late and I was tired.

 

G2G. I'll be back to respond to the rest of your post. You make some excellent points that really make me think, although I may not always be suitably appreciative in my replies. But I happen to be fresh out of time.

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First off, the customary show of honor.

 

I'll be back to respond to the rest of your post. You make some excellent points that really make me think, although I may not always be suitably appreciative in my replies. But I happen to be fresh out of time.

 

As do you. I was at a loss for a minute or two on a few points, I'll confess. But I'll remember this, as this debate continues. This thread proves that, with a few exceptions, two entirely different people can have a debate, and keep it quite civil.

 

And now... *draws sword*

 

You're the one doing the misrepresentation here. rccar postulated that the security situation was improving. I showed you why this wasn't the case. And now you wander off talking about establishing democracy. Democracy is all well and good, but we were talking about the security situation, and you still haven't explained to me what makes you think the security situation is improving. You've seen this pic before and you'll undoubtedly see it again.

 

OK. This is a little off of an answer, but I found this while googling, you may find it interesting. It seems that we are drawing terrorists in from other nations. We've dug a hole, and the water that is terrorism is flowing in.

 

From the Boston Globe:

Study cites seeds of terror in Iraq

War radicalized most, probes find

By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff | July 17, 2005

 

WASHINGTON -- New investigations by the Saudi Arabian government and an Israeli think tank -- both of which painstakingly analyzed the backgrounds and motivations of hundreds of foreigners entering Iraq to fight the United States -- have found that the vast majority of these foreign fighters are not former terrorists and became radicalized by the war itself.

 

The studies, which together constitute the most detailed picture available of foreign fighters, cast serious doubt on President Bush's claim that those responsible for some of the worst violence are terrorists who seized on the opportunity to make Iraq the ''central front" in a battle against the United States.

 

''The terrorists know that the outcome [in Iraq] will leave them emboldened or defeated," Bush said in his nationally televised address on the war at Fort Bragg in North Carolina last month. ''So they are waging a campaign of murder and destruction." The US military is fighting the terrorists in Iraq, he repeated this month, ''so we do not have to face them here at home."

 

However, interrogations of nearly 300 Saudis captured while trying to sneak into Iraq and case studies of more than three dozen others who blew themselves up in suicide attacks show that most were heeding the calls from clerics and activists to drive infidels out of Arab land, according to a study by Saudi investigator Nawaf Obaid, a US-trained analyst who was commissioned by the Saudi government and given access to Saudi officials and intelligence.

 

A separate Israeli analysis of 154 foreign fighters compiled by a leading terrorism researcher found that despite the presence of some senior Al Qaeda operatives who are organizing the volunteers, ''the vast majority of [non-Iraqi] Arabs killed in Iraq have never taken part in any terrorist activity prior to their arrival in Iraq."

 

''Only a few were involved in past Islamic insurgencies in Afghanistan, Bosnia, or Chechnya," the Israeli study says. Out of the 154 fighters analyzed, only a handful had past associations with terrorism, including six who had fathers who fought the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, said the report, compiled by the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel.

 

American intelligence officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, and terrorism specialists paint a similar portrait of the suicide bombers wreaking havoc in Iraq: Prior to the Iraq war, they were not Islamic extremists seeking to attack the United States, as Al Qaeda did four years ago, but are part of a new generation of terrorists responding to calls to defend their fellow Muslims from ''crusaders" and ''infidels."

 

''The president is right that Iraq is a main front in the war on terrorism, but this is a front we created," said Peter Bergen, a terrorism specialist at the nonpartisan New America Foundation, a Washington think tank.

 

Foreign militants make up only a small percentage of the insurgents fighting in Iraq, as little as 10 percent, according to US military and intelligence officials. The top general in Iraq said late last month that about 600 foreign fighters have been captured or killed by coalition forces since the Jan. 30 Iraqi elections. The wider insurgency, numbering in the tens of thousands, is believed to consist of former Iraqi soldiers, Saddam Hussein loyalists, and members of Iraq's Sunni Muslim minority.

 

But the impact of the foreign fighters has been enormous. They are blamed for the almost daily suicide attacks against US and Iraqi forces and have killed thousands of civilians, mostly members of Iraq's Shia Muslim majority. Their exploits have been responsible for much of the headline-grabbing carnage recently, contributing to the slide in American public support for the war.

 

There have been nearly 500 car bombings since the US-led coalition handed over sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government one year ago, US military statistics indicate. In the last two months, car bombs and suicide attacks have killed nearly 1,400 people, according to the Associated Press.

 

Bush has cited foreign fighters as a reason for continued US military operations in Iraq. His argument, repeated often, is that ''the world's terrorists" have chosen to make their stand in Iraq.

 

''Some may disagree with my decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power, but all of us can agree that the world's terrorists have now made Iraq a central front in the war on terror," Bush said in a radio address last month.

 

Foreign fighters were found to be like Saud Bin Muhammad Bin Saud Al-Fuhaid, according to Obaid's research, to be published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington this summer. Described as in his early 20s, Fuhaid blew himself up March 24, three days after he entered Iraq from Syria, according to newspaper accounts and interviews with his family.

 

Obaid found little evidence Fuhaid was an extremist before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Like many of the young men from Saudi Arabia who make up the majority of the foreign fighters, the student at Imam University in western Riyadh was not initially a radical jihadist, according to information gleaned from Saudi newspaper accounts and intelligence operations. In fact, he apparently almost changed his mind.

 

Fuhaid is believed to have traveled through Syria to fight in Iraq, but once he arrived told his family he would be coming home instead, according to a death notice published in Saudi newspapers and posted on the Internet. ''However, during that time he met some friends of his who were going to Iraq and told him they were going to declare Jihad with their brothers in Iraq," the celebratory announcement said. ''It was at that moment that our martyr changed his mind and told them that he will go back to Iraq with them and called his parents to tell him he won't be going home."

 

Obaid said in an interview from London that his Saudi study found that ''the largest group is young kids who saw the images [of the war] on TV and are reading the stuff on the Internet. Or they see the name of a cousin on the list or a guy who belongs to their tribe, and they feel a responsibility to go."

 

Other fighters, who are coming to Iraq from across the Middle East and North Africa, are older, in their late 20s or 30s, and have families, according to the two investigations. ''The vast majority of them had nothing to do with Al Qaeda before Sept. 11th and have nothing to do with Al Qaeda today," said Reuven Paz, author of the Israeli study. ''I am not sure the American public is really aware of the enormous influence of the war in Iraq, not just on Islamists but the entire Arab world."

 

Case studies of foreign fighters indicated they considered the Iraq war an attack on the Muslim religion and Arab culture, Paz said.

 

For example, while the unprovoked attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, were largely condemned by clerics as violations of Muslim law, many religious leaders in Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations have promulgated fatwas, or religious edicts, saying that waging jihad in Iraq is justified by the Koran because it is defensive in nature. Last October, 26 clerics in Saudi Arabia said it was the duty of every Muslim to go and fight in Iraq.

 

''These are people who did not get training in Pakistan or Chechnya, [and they] ended up going to Iraq because they considered defending Iraq a must for every Muslim to go and fight," said Rita Katz, director of the Search for International Terrorist Entities Institute in Washington and an Iraq native.

 

One indication that a heightened degree of Arab solidarity is a leading factor is that they are almost entirely Arabs and not Muslims from other countries, such as those who volunteered to fight in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Chechnya. Another motivation, the studies and analysts contend, is the centuries-old struggle between the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam. All the foreign fighters are Sunnis, according to the analyses, and many of their targets are Iraq's majority Shia Muslims, who have gained political power in Baghdad for the first time in hundreds of years.

 

Ali Alyami, director of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, said he believes the deep-seated Sunni-Shia rift among the world's 1.2 billion Muslims -- about 1 billion of them Sunni -- best explains the foreign-fighter phenomenon. He noted in an interview that US policy makers do not seem to grasp the historic conflicts within Islam that are playing out in the war in Iraq.

 

''To say we must fight them in Baghdad so we don't have to fight them in Boston implies there is a finite number of people, and if you pen them up in Iraq you can kill them all," said Bergen. ''The truth is we increased the pool by what we did in Iraq."

 

Intelligence officials worry that some of ''Iraq alumni" will use the relationships they build on the battlefields of Iraq and return to their home countries as hardened Islamic terrorists.

 

The CIA's National Intelligence Council concluded in a report earlier this year that ''Iraq and other possible conflicts in the future could provide recruitment, training grounds, technical skills, and language proficiency for a new class of terrorists who are 'professionalized' and for whom political violence becomes an end in itself."

 

Bryan Bender can be reached at bender@globe.com.

 

Source

 

This article assists both of our arguments, in it's own special way. Indeed, the security can't be good like this, BUT... this is a good way to accomplish two goals at once: We can, as I've said, set up a govt. in Iraq, AND we can defeat a large number of new, and some old, insurgents (that's right, I dared to say it. In this case, they are rebelling against their govts.) that are coming in. Now, we need not pull out of Iraq, and go into another nation, one at a time. They are coming to us. Indeed, this is our fault now, but we got what we wanted, in a way: The chance to engage the Middle East's terrorists. Now, we are doing that.

 

I don't have a current body count of terrorists, but...

 

From the Washington Post:

In January [2005], Army Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. officer in Iraq, said U.S. and Iraqi forces had killed or captured 15,000 people last year. In May, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, mentioned the killing of 250 of insurgent leader Abu Musab Zarqawi's "closest lieutenants" as evidence of progress in Iraq.

 

That's the second page of the article I got the numbers from. I am still looking for an up-to-date number. I'll let you know.

 

OK. I'm cool with that.

 

Good. :) Civility makes for a good debate. And I love a good debate.

 

That's not what I was saying. In fact I was saying the exact opposite: I said that politicians dismiss legitimate statistics out of hand when they are inconvenient because the newsies have bought into the lie that statistics can be easily twisted and falsified by their political opponents at need. And the reporters are too damn stupid to call them on it.

 

Ah. That changes about 40%. Indeed, politicians dismiss truth in favor of good politicking. But the converse is occasionally true: Sometimes politicians are fed facts that lack the name "FACT", and they believe it. That was my point. Of course, that doesn't mean that politicians have clean hands, either.

 

But of course you have a point as well. Certainly politicians do use manipulative statistics. What I call for is that people, when confronted with such tactics, point out where and how the books are cooked rather than resorting to glib, smartass oneliners about the uselessness of statistics.

 

OK, I'm not going to comment on the one-liner thing. But indeed, their needs to be accountability. Was that last line directed at me? If so, I'll correct myself in the future.

 

You argued that security means kicking the enemy's butt. Well, if butt-kicking is the best measure of success in a peacekeeping operation, then you did win in Vietnam. American casualites were minor compared to VK and NVA casualties.

 

It isn't the best measure by any means. The best measure, IMO, is determining whether we achieved what we set out to do. We have not done so in Iraq, and the original issue was proven to be false. However, we cannot pull out of Iraq until it is safe for all parties to do so. Butt-kicking is a measure of the war, but far from the top. It is a good thing that the enemy is dying, though, no?

 

Indeed. The question is whether you are succeeding in removing your enemies. Killing them off represents only one collumn on the balance sheet; if you want to use insurgent casualties to prove that you are reducing their numbers, you'll have to compare the casualty number to the number of recruits. Since their recruiting data isn't publicly available, you can't do that. Which brings us back to why the number of American dead is or isn't the best available measure of security.

 

Indeed. We cannot know that, it's not like there is an al-queda.com site we can go to. Because of this, the only measure of progress we have is how much we do for our side. So we'd better do our best. We don't have the hand we'd like, but we have our aces in the hole, and we have no intention of folding and running until we have beaten down as many terrorists as we can.

 

Funny that, I can think of ten or twenty newsies who are ready to argue differently. According to the Danish newsies there are several documented instances where coalition forces attacked virtually at random - including not a few where blue-on-blue fire was reported as having killed insurgents. So the postulated and alledged stuff stands.

 

It is still preferred that you know who the target is. I am of course, not ruling out that sometimes you can't know until you act. That isn't in question; believe it or not, I am sane.

 

Hmm... Try taping the next news broadcast. Find all the passages where the anchor is blatantly partisan, where the sources are blatantly partisan, or simply irrelevant.

 

As I do everything, I take the Fox Stories with a grain of salt. Does that surprise you? It shouldn't. Admittedly, a few things I take with a few cups of salt, particularly evolutionary talk, but that's for another thread. I see a trend with these anchors:

 

1) They report the story, fair and balanced for the most part.

2) They question a reporter.

3) The questions get injected with bias.

 

I usually pay attention only to #1 - or get the story on my home page.

 

'You' as in 'America.'

 

I guess that negates the 'I sit here in my bathrobe...' comment I made. :lol:

 

Indeed, and we could have said the same thing on 9/11/01. Except that we couldn't, because the media frenzy would have torn anybody who did apart.

 

My point is that the unlikely does happen. Actually, it seems that it could have been predicted:

 

From Time Magazine:

By last summer, many of those in the know—the spooks, the buttoned-down bureaucrats, the law-enforcement professionals in a dozen countries—were almost frantic with worry that a major terrorist attack against American interests was imminent. It wasn't averted because 2001 saw a systematic collapse in the ability of Washington's national-security apparatus to handle the terrorist threat.

 

If you have a lot of time (no pun intended) on your hands, you can read the entire article here.

 

The risk of being murdered by terrorism is negligible. Even if they hit the city you live in - of which there is a chance of less than one in a hundred, there is less than one chance in thousand that you'll be among the affected. When taking a stroll in downtown New York on 9/11 you were in greater risk from air pollution than from airplanes.

 

Well, just to clarify, if my town were wiped off the face of the Earth, you would be the only one to notice, and only because I couldn't reply, being dead! Kidding, except that it is true that my town is only about 1,000 people tops. So the chance of attack in good ol' Amity is about nil.

 

As for the greater risk from air pollution - True, but it still happened. You can make predictions, but not all the time will they be true, and correct, regardless of the odds. However, if you read the Time article all the way through, well...

 

I'm not on their 'side.' I just want people to be consistent in their standards and terminology.

 

Fair enough. But it won't be often that I call the Islamo-Fascists insurgents. In the case that they truly are, fine.

 

The problem is that they aren't trained for more. They are trained for something different. And if you're in any doubt on that point, try comparing and contrasting police and military approaches to crowd control.

 

Indeed. But the police should be trained to do police work, the Army should do it's work, etc. And since there really isn't a stable Army of Iraqi's yet, the police of Iraq may need a little different training before they can go to normal police functions.

 

I didn't. I was merely refering the virtually unanimous conclusion of every analyst on the planet. But I'll concede that I could have stated it more clearly and in a less inflammatory way.

 

Concession accepted. And I happen to agree; I was incensed, however, and didn't want to agree with flame. But, yeah, you and the journalists I agree with.

 

No. Not with that added qualifier. I must confess that part of me was trolling when I made that particular reply. I kinda figured you'd forgotten some sort of qualifier. But it was late and I was tired.

 

Reply to bolded part: Heh. Did you see the timestamp on my last post? It clearly reads "10:59 PM". So you aren't the only one.

 

Reply to the rest: Indeed, I forgot an important qualifier. But I can be forgiven for that, I suppose, my reasoning for that covered directly above.

 

*sheathes sword*

 

It's been an interesting match. I truly should have started using sources before. It would have saved much time. I have used sources wherever I can in this post. Until the reply to the rest of my posting... adieu, ShadowTemplar.

 

*spins 180º, draws sword again* Ah, Riceplant. I see I have another match to play. This should prove interesting.

 

I don't think anyone has answered this, although I could be wrong. My answer to this is that this 45% are not refering to 9/11, but to the attacks on US forces in Iraq (the word forces gives this away). Just because they agree that the US deserves to be forced out of Iraq, they will attack you once you leave? Isn't it more likely that they will attack you for not doing what they want, rather than attacking you for doing what they want?

 

Of course they will. At first, anyway. But, as my first source above stated, there are enemies trying to get into Iraq to perform their own part of a Jihad. If we leave as more come in, they will inflame hatred of the US in general, and will use Iraq and eventually neighboring countries to launch another attack. To justify my position, put yourself in the mind of a terrorist/insurgent:

 

The nation of Iraq is battered by a long, drawn-out war. The US has left the country prematurely, and the government is unstable. The Army is not yet developed enough to hold it's own, and the police capability is negligible, at best. The nation overall is weak. It is the perfect chance to take over, and use Iraq as a base to store weapons, people, supplies. After all, the US citizens didn't want to have the war continue; they certainly won't want to go back.

 

This would make the ideal situation for Al-Queda to do it's dirty work. So, I'm all for leaving - after the nation can protect itself.

 

In my opinion, Iraq wasn't our problem, sure Saddam mistreated his people horrendously, but we should have minded our own bloody business. Now, however, Iraq is our business, and we have about as much right to pull out as we had to invade in the first place. Incidentally, I think that we (the British public) should be left out of this debate, as we didn't want to go to war in the first place. Going to war was never popular here, and although now many are opposed to pulling out, only a tiny minority were ever in favour of going to war in the first place.

 

To bolded part: Agreed, we cannot pull out, for reasons stated above.

 

To the rest: I am not a citizen of the UK, and cannot comment on the general sentiment of it's people without sources of some kind. Heck, I can't even comment on the US without a source, unless it's general knowledge.

 

*sheathes sword for the second time*

 

This has been quite interesting thus far. I cannot wait to see the next arguements. Until then...

 

-StaffSaberist

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Until the reply to the rest of my posting... adieu, ShadowTemplar.

 

I actually had a response. But vBulletin decided to eat it. Fortunately I had it saved, but it was just a tad over 3 in the morning, local time, when I finished it (you're not the only one with a screwed sleep schedule), and I had a rather marked lack of patience with SNAFU servers.

 

So here goes. I'll get back to your last post sometime, but right now I'm mighty tired of reading off a screen, so I'll rest my eyes a while.

 

BTW, sorry for the crappy formatting. The text editor I copied it into decided it would be great fun to chop up the lines to match some hardcoded character limit.

 

Of course not! We didn't exactly get time to prepare for such a brutal attack.

 

But that's kinda the whole point, isn't it? You'll never get to

prepare for a terrorist attack, because if you know enough in advance

to make a meaningful deployment, you also know enough in advance to

apprehend the perpetrators in advance. And even if you do know enough

in advance to protect the target yet not apprehend the perps, he'll

simply shift target. It is in the nature of terrorism and gurillia

warfare that targets can be changed virtually at will.

 

Military force litterally cannot prepare you for or prevent an attack.

 

"The pinnacle of military deployment resembles the formless; if it

is formless, not even the deepest spy can percieve it, nor the wise

make plans against it."

 

- Sun Tzu, The Art of War

 

The 'quagmire', as Dean fondly calls our war - is actually the product of a lack of preperation for a possible large scale war.

 

Or a failure to realise what you were going into. You actually would probably have had the troops, if you'd cleared up Afghanistan and pulled out before going into Iraq and committed sufficient forces early enough. But by introducing them in dribs and drabs, W managed to provide the insurgents time to catch their breath and regroup.

 

We just might have ovedone the disarmament of weapons after the Cold War, just a tad...

 

To me it looks more like your admin's been funnelling defence spending into slush funds and pork barrel. Besides, no matter what, you couldn't have maintained the kind of armed forces you build up during the closing stages of the Cold War.

 

The UN is not high up on my respect list,

 

Oh? \raiseseyebrow

 

But personal feeling aside, the day I see the word PALESTINE on block letters on the most recent world Atlas, I will recognize it as a country.

 

Well, I'll grant you that 'country' might be a bit rich at the moment. Legally that's what it is, though.

 

You could have made your point without cute pictures that add nothing. Though they did make me chuckle. Just like the slippery slope pic. That was material. But, anyways...

 

Well, the point kinda was to inject a few smiles into the debate and make a point at the same time.

 

Again, that one will take time considering a term paper, but I'll make that one Priority II just for you. But my last years of education will always take Priority I.

 

I can certainly sympathize with that sentiment. What are you majoring in, BTW?

 

*sigh* this is getting tiresome. The US should stop anybody who acts on that desire in a way that is destructive.

 

Which, to the best of MI6's and CIA's knowledge prior to and after the commencement of hostilities, Hussein did not.

 

Yes, we would be busy. Hell, we'd be invading the "blue" states.

 

I take it you mean the states that vote democrat? Is this a joke, or are you really suggesting that the democrats hate their own country?

 

As before, I am not afraid to be incorrect. Actually, I expected you to prove it, so... again: *bows*

 

This time I think I'll take the time to acknowledge the fact that you have the backbone to admit that someone who doesn't agree with you can have his facts straight. It's good to see a neocon with intelligence and intellectual integrity.

 

The fact that the Iraqis don't approve does not mean that it was a bad idea to go in there in the first place.

 

Well, no. But when I was calling it an 'ill-advised military

adventure,' I meant that it was militarily ill-advised. Which,

as long as you still had a commitment in Afghanistan, it probably

was. Sorry for any confusion.

 

Even if it wasn't the original reason - We are human, are we not? We may be wrong - removing a dictator is not just one small step for man.

 

Well, yes and no. If it wasn't the original reason (and it wasn't), then either your current management lied to you, or they are lying to you now. Think about it: Either the management lied about what motivated it to go there in the first place, or it's lying now when it claims to be succeeding, because what they are really doing is painting bullseyes around the arrows. Arrows, I might add, which are still very much up in the air.

 

As I said, The US is a nation of humans. But, if he didn't have them since 1[9]94, and uranium has a half-life of appx. 500 years... and other radioactive/chemical substances similar half-lives... the US govt. could easily have picked up traces of them, and suspected the worst.

 

With the radioactives you might have had a point. Except that he didn't have those in '94. The chemical and biological weapons, however, have a significantly shorter shelf life. I'm not a chemist, but it seems reasonable to expect that degraded chemical weapons would give different test results from active ones.

 

At the risk of sounding like someone who didn't get his wish from a genie... you knew what I meant. I meant, "prove that they are more incompetent than John Kerry". Of course, typing at 11:00 PM tends to goof up the logic process. It's 10:46 now...

 

That would be kinda hard, since for Kerry I'd be extrapolating from a rather thin sample. The difference between Kerry and our leaders doesn't seem that big, and in the final calculation the result could go either way. What seems perfectly certain, however, is that Kerry is waaay above W's league.

 

Most of that is pure speculation, taken at face value with the usual grain or two of salt. But you did say 'probably', so I cannot charge you for that.

 

Actually, you could. But what I tried to give you was the executive summary of two years' worth of debate on the subject. That does tend to leave out a lot of the documentation. Quite apart from the fact that most of the documentation is in Danish, at least as far as our own PM is concerned.

 

Er... I saw W give the 48-hour warning, which Sadaam spat on. And I saw the bombs fall on Iraq. If we had made that a little longer, we could have broken the will of the enemy, like we did Japan.

 

Well, you did break their will to fight. Or rather you broke their will to fight a conventional war, just as you broke Japan. But the situations are different. In WWII the objective was to break the Japanese ability to project power. In Iraq the US is the one doing the projection. There is a vast difference between crippling a country's offensive capabilities and actually taking control of the country in question. And that doesn't even take into account the difference between Iraqi and Japanese culture and society.

 

Isn't my fault the politicians no longer represent the US populace. Would be nice, though.

 

The only way to ensure it is by voting. And if you don't see a candidate on the list that you can feel comfortable voting for, vote for Mickey Mouse instead. That way you'll have shown that you're not totally disinterested in the election but that the candidates available just don't cut the grade in your opinion. If that doesn't work, try joining an NGO or a political party. Heck, if you've got time to burn, you might even want to try your hand at starting a political party. The bottom line is that in a democracy it's always your fault if the politicians don't take you seriously.

 

Well, I was asking for it, since I ripped a line from Sidious. And those ponts aren't cheap - they're free. And you get what you pay for.

 

Free points are also points. Especially when your opponent is obliging

enough to give them to you :-)

 

But we are telling murderers who blow themselves up in crowds what to do.

 

Doesn't look that way to me. Terrorism, however tragic and however spectacular, is a minor risk factor in American society. And from an American perspective it's a minor risk factor in the world as a whole as well. Yet it seems to me that the US are realigning much of their internal politics and virtually all of their foreign politics, to the expense of focus on the real threats to global and American security. That's what I'd call letting terrorists and islamofascists run your lives. You are playing by their rules.

 

What you should do is pretty much ignore them. Oh, sure, when

they actually strike, you need to apprehend the immediately involved

(and even after suicide strikes there is still the network which

provided the immediate logistical and ideological support).

 

And when something suitably spectacularily happens - like 9-11 - you

go kick some butt somewhere like Afghanistan: It was actively

obstructing the investigation, it was documentably sheltering known

suspects, it was ruled by a fascist regime - which arguably would have

made it fair game anyway - and last but not least attacking it enforced the simple doctrine that if anyone harms a westerner, he's gonna get his butt kicked straight into next week, and preferably within 48 hours.

 

That's not a pretty principle, but it works and it makes the world a safer place. But the key point is not overdoing it. If the mafia in some banana republic somewhere in the world kidnaps or murders an American, nobody is going to complain very much if you send some spec-ops units to said banana republic and light a fire under the local mobsters. If somebody like al Qaida murders a couple of thousand Americans, nobody is going to complain very loudly that you kick the Taliban's butt.

 

But if you started invading the banana republic over 'only' two dead Americans, or if you start a worldwide campaign like the one you did after 9-11, the world will, rightly, question your sense of proportion.

 

And that message of moderation is probably the most important message

of the whole tragic Iraq debacle. If the US had just stopped after

Afghanistan, you'd have appeared the strong - morally as well as

militarily. Instead W overspent his political, moral, and military

capital and landed you in a situation where the US appears weak - both

morally and militarily.

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OK, I'm going to give you a chance to catch up with my posts. (I'm so nice... ;)) Anyhoo, I'm bored, so I will answer a few non-debate points:

 

Well, the point kinda was to inject a few smiles into the debate and make a point at the same time.

 

Which you did. Where do you get those, anyways? Google Image search for Shift The Goalposts, etc.?

 

I can certainly sympathize with that sentiment. What are you majoring in, BTW?

 

Politics. KIDDING, JUST KIDDING. It's Computer Programming. My very nice professor wants, well, not so much a term paper as a term program. I got a big-@$$ program to do that has about 15 different functions. AND I get to document why I do every f'kin block of code. Then, the prof rips apart my alpha...

 

Free points are also points. Especially when your opponent is obliging

enough to give them to you :-)

 

You're welcome. :-)

Anyway, I'll let you catch up. :)

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Which you did. Where do you get those, anyways? Google Image search for Shift The Goalposts, etc.?

 

Since I don't have the time today to do any real catching up on your posts, I'll answer this question instead: I got the link to WinAce's home page over at the Panda's Thumb. WinAce recently died, and someone who knew him posted at the Thumb, sharing his pics with the rest of the bloggosphere.

 

My very nice professor wants, well, not so much a term paper as a term program. I got a big-@$$ program to do that has about 15 different functions. AND I get to document why I do every f'kin block of code. Then, the prof rips apart my alpha...

 

Oh, that sounds very much like the freshman 'paper' our compsci people were subjected to until very recently. It's real simple: You get a totally blank computer, with only enough software to - barely - interface with something else. No OS, no drivers, I think they did get a BIOS, but I'm none too sure about that. Then they were supposed to make it work. And best of all, they had only 9 blank comps for - say - 25 three-man groups. Talk about raising the bar quickly.

 

Fortunately, being a physics major, I was never subjected to such barbarism.

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Ouch. That hurts. Makes me feel like a whiner... *compiles for the 10th time* But you know, it's a lot easier than my BLACK memories, way back when in Jr. High... *finds a POS logic error telling me 4 X 2 = 54* God, did I hate my teachers... *kicks comp, nearly has to reboot* *whips out AR-15* And when I say he rips it apart... well, vB ate my more lengthy post, but he looks at the code, looks at me like my IQ is in the negatives, points to a spot I had trouble with for about 3 days and says, "What's this? Why'd you do blah blah blah, why not just do yada yada, and use half the coding?"

 

At that point, I want to do bodily damage to my good ol' prof... but anyways, I'll relax today and give you time. I'll wait until you reply to the bulk posts I did. :D

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Doesn't look that way to me. Terrorism, however tragic and however spectacular, is a minor risk factor in American society. And from an American perspective it's a minor risk factor in the world as a whole as well. Yet it seems to me that the US are realigning much of their internal politics and virtually all of their foreign politics, to the expense of focus on the real threats to global and American security. That's what I'd call letting terrorists and islamofascists run your lives. You are playing by their rules.

 

What you should do is pretty much ignore them. Oh, sure, when

they actually strike, you need to apprehend the immediately involved

(and even after suicide strikes there is still the network which

provided the immediate logistical and ideological support).

 

Exactly. But as many have said, bith sides benefit from feeding people's fears of the other. Al Quaida would have a much harder time getting support without US overreactions, and visa versa. But if you look at the figures Terrorism is about as much of a risk as toasters... but toaster's don't get as much publicity. Mind you, toasters don't want the publicity. Al Qauida DO, and they are being given exactly what they want.

 

I watched an interesting documentary at the weekend with an arabic BBC journalist who traveled all around pakistan talking to wide ranges of different groups (politicians, army, police, local leaders, tribal leaders, religious teachers and students, public, everything from moderates to extreme hardliners) and, apart from a few pro US politicians, all of them thought the "war on terror" was a smokescreen for a wider war on islam

 

Now the point isn't whether that is true, its that the war on terror is percieved in a totally different way by billions of people to the way it is percieved by us. They see it as unfair, overreacting, untargetted, and most of all a way to try and keep their religion and culture in its place and break up any parts of that religion that manage to gain any significant power, following or control over assets.

 

now you can argue they are ALL wrong, but that doesn't matter either way. That is a public relations disaster, and that many people, from that many varied backgrounds, all pissed off at the US and UK is exactly what al quaida must have prayed for.

 

On a different note:

New 'torture jail' found in Iraq

 

Iraqi and US officials have found a packed interior ministry prison in Baghdad, where 625 inmates were being held in "very overcrowded" conditions.

 

Thirteen of the prisoners needed hospital treatment amid torture claims.

 

An Iraqi official speaking anonymously said 12 of the 13 men in hospital had suffered torture, including electric shocks and the loss of finger nails.

 

The conditions were found in the first inspection since some 170 detainees were found in another jail in November.

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New 'torture jail' found in Iraq

 

Iraqi and US officials have found a packed interior ministry prison in Baghdad, where 625 inmates were being held in "very overcrowded" conditions.

 

Thirteen of the prisoners needed hospital treatment amid torture claims.

 

An Iraqi official speaking anonymously said 12 of the 13 men in hospital had suffered torture, including electric shocks and the loss of finger nails.

 

The conditions were found in the first inspection since some 170 detainees were found in another jail in November.

 

That sounds exactly like what a witness in Saddam's trial was claiming happened to her under his regime.

 

Wow, it's sure a good thing we stopped that torture going on in Iraq... oh wait... :confused:

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In my opinion, Iraq wasn't our problem, sure Saddam mistreated his people horrendously, but we should have minded our own bloody business. Now, however, Iraq is our business, and we have about as much right to pull out as we had to invade in the first place. Incidentally, I think that we (the British public) should be left out of this debate, as we didn't want to go to war in the first place. Going to war was never popular here, and although now many are opposed to pulling out, only a tiny minority were ever in favour of going to war in the first place.

 

To bolded part: Agreed, we cannot pull out, for reasons stated above.

Just wondering, do you agree with the whole of the bolded bit, including that it wasn't our business, or just that we shouldn't pull out yet? Just curious.

 

Well, *draws own sword*

Of course they will. At first, anyway. But, as my first source above stated, there are enemies trying to get into Iraq to perform their own part of a Jihad. If we leave as more come in, they will inflame hatred of the US in general, and will use Iraq and eventually neighboring countries to launch another attack. To justify my position, put yourself in the mind of a terrorist/insurgent:

 

The nation of Iraq is battered by a long, drawn-out war. The US has left the country prematurely, and the government is unstable. The Army is not yet developed enough to hold it's own, and the police capability is negligible, at best. The nation overall is weak. It is the perfect chance to take over, and use Iraq as a base to store weapons, people, supplies. After all, the US citizens didn't want to have the war continue; they certainly won't want to go back.

 

This would make the ideal situation for Al-Queda to do it's dirty work. So, I'm all for leaving - after the nation can protect itself.

Point, but conjecture. Most of those entering the country aren't interested in stirring up trouble for the US at home, but are very interested in the US leaving Iraq. Iraq is an important focussing point for the Jihad, and I conjecture that if you were to withdraw, then the inflow of militants would greatly decrease, giving Iraq the chance to build up itself with a reduced - possibly greatly reduced - number of attacks. However, I am unable to ascertain where the point lies where Iraq would be able to resist a takeover by Al-Qaeda.

 

*sheathes sword*

 

This is really quite interesting, as we in fact agree that we should pull out of Iraq, yet are still managing to debate the topic.

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First off, I agree that we should pull out. The problem is that if we do, chaos will ensue. The govt. is not set up completely and without bloodshed. Of course, we managed to agree that we can't just let them have a cicil war if there is no choice.

 

I cannot answer all posts until Wednesday at least, Saturday at most. I'm not sure how, but I managed to FRY TO HELL my eMachines CPU. I'm on a public comp. right now on limited time. I'm sorry. :(

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First off, I agree that we should pull out. The problem is that if we do, chaos will ensue. The govt. is not set up completely and without bloodshed. Of course, we managed to agree that we can't just let them have a cicil war if there is no choice.

I think that the important thing is that it's been the plan from the beginning that we will eventually pull out of Iraq...after enough Iraqi forces have been trained to keep someone like, say, Iran from coming in and taking control and turning Iraq into another Islamo-fascist, anti-American dictatorship.

 

And on top of that, I think it's a bit unrealistic to expect Iraq to go on without a civil war - after all, the US was set up with ideas such as equality and freedom in mind, and we happened to have our own civil war, after all...but if civil war can be avoided by training troops and raising a democratic Iraq (which is happening with great success, as was evidenced by yesterday's election turnout), then so much the better.

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I have a few minutes, so let me answer this real quick:

 

This is really quite interesting, as we in fact agree that we should pull out of Iraq, yet are still managing to debate the topic.

 

Indeed. We should pull out, and it wasn't our business. But, we made it our business, and we must get out when we can. But, as you said, we have as much a right to leave as we did to go in in the first place. I don't like to repeat myself; I believe I said that pulling out now would cause a terrible civil war before. So...

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First off, the customary show of honor.

 

And a salute to you too.

 

*bows and unsheathes sword*

 

OK. This is a little off of an answer, but I found this while googling, you may find it interesting.

 

Indeed I did, though I suspect I focus on somewhat different passages than you do (you would, BTW, do well to remember only to post snips of articles and then link to them - leaving aside the issue of copyright violation, it makes for shorter loading times (and long quote blocks are an eyesore)).

 

Anyway, here's the impression that I get from the article:

 

However, interrogations of nearly 300 Saudis captured while trying to sneak into Iraq and case studies of more than three dozen others who blew themselves up in suicide attacks show that most were heeding the calls from clerics and activists to drive infidels out of Arab land,

 

[...]

 

A separate Israeli analysis of 154 foreign fighters compiled by a leading terrorism researcher found that despite the presence of some senior Al Qaeda operatives who are organizing the volunteers, ''the vast majority of [non-Iraqi] Arabs killed in Iraq have never taken part in any terrorist activity prior to their arrival in Iraq."

 

Foreign militants make up only a small percentage of the insurgents fighting in Iraq, as little as 10 percent, according to US military and intelligence officials.

 

What these two bits combine to tell me is that both in Iraq and abroad the invasion has generated massive resentment and hostility and that the number of recruits that resentment generates far outmatches the resources already existing terrorist organisations have put into Iraq. So even if the US manages to mousetrap every foreign fighter operating in Iraq, it seems likely that Operation Iraqi Screwup has made a positive net contribution to the number of people who are an immediate or future threat to the US.

 

Now, we need not pull out of Iraq, and go into another nation, one at a time. They are coming to us.

 

That assumes that a significant portion of the new insurgents would have become threats over time. I haven't seen the slightest evidence of that, and frankly it seems unlikely.

 

I don't have a current body count of terrorists, but...

 

Well, I'd personally be more interested in a breakdown by time. The sum total doesn't tell us much about the trendlines in the developments.

 

Sometimes politicians are fed facts that lack the name "FACT", and they believe it.

 

If politicians believe fiction dressed up like statistics, then they shouldn't be in office. And in any properly run universe the newsies would make damn sure they weren't, either. Of course in any properly run universe, the newsies wouldn't believe fiction dressed up like statistics either.

 

OK, I'm not going to comment on the one-liner thing. But indeed, their needs to be accountability. Was that last line directed at me?

 

Partially, since you did precisely that. But most of the - ah - force was caused by my own pent-up frustration with stupid newsies who let politicians get away with such tactics.

 

The best measure, IMO, is determining whether we achieved what we set out to do.

 

I still don't understand how the best measure of the security situation. I agree with you that in the greater scheme of things the establishment of a stable government is the primary objective. But this particular line of our discussion has focused exclusively on the security situation.

 

I claim that it's going steadily to hell. You claimed that it was improving. I cited the increasing number of dead US soldiers in support of my claim. You cited the elections and new constitution in support of your claim.

 

Now's the question: What's the connection between security and dead soldiers? And what's the connection between security and elections?

 

I'd claim that the former connection is rather strong. Bad security means many dead soldiers. Good security means few dead soldiers.

 

The connection between elections and security, OTOH, is weak. First, the insurgents have targetted mainly American and government assets and personnel, which means that elections should not be the most heavily affected parts of Iraqi society.

 

Secondly, as the IRA/Sein Fein proves, here is nothing to prevent insurgents and terrorists from seeking political power through legitimate channels as well as the illegitimate ones. In fact the Iraqis who support the insurgence often express the opinion that elections are also a tool they can use to gain power. In which case it would be a pretty stupid move to blow up the elections.

 

It is a good thing that the enemy is dying, though, no?

 

Only if killing them doesn't make you more enemies.

 

it's not like there is an al-queda.com site we can go to. Because of this, the only measure of progress we have is [how many we kill or capture].

 

Well, I'd say that the best measure of progress is how many American soldiers get hurt, because that directly translates into how many and how competent you opposition is. As for the best means towards progress, I am at a loss to see any in the situation the US has placed itself in. I see only bad options. But I think that a little more - ah - restraint in the methods employed might be the least bad option.

 

It is still preferred that you know who the target is.

 

I'm not arguing that. I was arguing that it doesn't bode well for the accuracy and credibility of the body counts that newsies - who aren't even allowed to move freely - report that blue-on-blue fire is covered up (well, attempted covered up at least) as killing insurgents. Blue-on-blue happens, but attempting to dress it up as something else speaks volumes about the competence or honesty of those feeding the newsies false information.

 

As I do everything, I take the Fox Stories with a grain of salt. Does that surprise you? It shouldn't.

 

It doesn't. Anymore - I should probably say, since I must confess that I had initially pegged you for 'just another redneck'. As it turned out, I was wrong.

 

Admittedly, a few things I take with a few cups of salt, particularly evolutionary talk, but that's for another thread.

 

Indeed it is.

 

I see a trend with these anchors:

 

1) They report the story, fair and balanced for the most part.

2) They question a reporter.

3) The questions get injected with bias.

 

I don't know how well they do the reporting part. I've mainly seen their excuses for analysis and debate programs. But even if - and I seriously doubt that - they manage to not outright lie in their reports, their bias still shows. It always does. If nowhere else, then in what they decide not to report.

 

My point is that the unlikely does happen. Actually, it seems that it could have been predicted:

 

Well, yes and yes. But the other sides of the coin are 1) whether it can be prevented and 2) how much harm the attempts to prevent it do.

 

Personally, I think the US - and parts of Europe - is both busy overestimating the risk and their capability to prevent attacks. And I know that a lot of people are seriously underestimating the damages to our societies - both long- and short-term - that excessive terrorism-prevention programs can do.

 

To boil it down to a single snappy punchline, I suppose you could say that terrorism is a text book example of the cure being worse than the disease.

 

As for the greater risk from air pollution - True, but it still happened. You can make predictions, but not all the time will they be true, and correct, regardless of the odds.

 

The point was that if the odds multiplied by the damage is less than the cost of preventing it, then attempting to prevent is a Bad Idea.

 

And since there really isn't a stable Army of Iraqi's yet, the police of Iraq may need a little different training before they can go to normal police functions.

 

True. My point was mainly that it is extremely important to teach them how to perform police functions properly. And even more important to teach them to distinguish between police and military functions.

 

*sheathes sword*

 

I'm looking forward to seeing you in the new Evo thread (I have a feeling that I'm going to sooo regret saying that. After all I, too, have exams sometimes :-) ).

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I've been very ill as of late. Only today am I well enough to post. You must understand that when when my family gets it, we get it bad. So, now...

 

And a salute to you too.

 

*bows and unsheathes sword*

 

Say, did you see the Indiana Jones scene where this Arab pulls out a sword, and twirls it around like crazy, only to have Indy shoot him? :lol:

 

But I don't have a gun, as of yet, so...

 

*whipcracks sword, attacking as the sword is drawn*

 

Indeed I did, though I suspect I focus on somewhat different passages than you do (you would, BTW, do well to remember only to post snips of articles and then link to them - leaving aside the issue of copyright violation, it makes for shorter loading times (and long quote blocks are an eyesore)).

 

My apologies. I'll break them up from now on. :)

 

Oh, and as for copyright, I wasn't copying it. I was quoting it. I took no credit at all for the article; I was just showing what I happened to find on the net. It's, if you don't mind a small religious reference, like cracking open your Bible/Queran/other holy book to a random page and just reading what's there. You never know what you will find.

 

What these two bits combine to tell me is that both in Iraq and abroad the invasion has generated massive resentment and hostility and that the number of recruits that resentment generates far outmatches the resources already existing terrorist organisations have put into Iraq. So even if the US manages to mousetrap every foreign fighter operating in Iraq, it seems likely that Operation Iraqi Screwup has made a positive net contribution to the number of people who are an immediate or future threat to the US.

 

Iraq is not the target. We are. Had we just invested all force in Afghanistan, as we should have, who's to say that those same terrorists wouldn't go to us there instead? The reason that they picked Iraq instead of Afghanistan is beyond me. But it seems that the clerics inspired people to go blow themselves up. You need not have a past history to commit an atrocity. Many US home-grown nuts who commit murders commit only once, even if they are never caught.

 

That assumes that a significant portion of the new insurgents would have become threats over time. I haven't seen the slightest evidence of that, and frankly it seems unlikely.

 

Well, as the report says, indeed we are facing a new wave. But if they try to kill us and civilians, I really don't give a rat's tail end how long they have been terrorists.

 

Well, I'd personally be more interested in a breakdown by time. The sum total doesn't tell us much about the trendlines in the developments.

 

Don't believe I haven't been looking. It's been difficult to find.

 

I'm not arguing that. I was arguing that it doesn't bode well for the accuracy and credibility of the body counts that newsies - who aren't even allowed to move freely - report that blue-on-blue fire is covered up (well, attempted covered up at least) as killing insurgents. Blue-on-blue happens, but attempting to dress it up as something else speaks volumes about the competence or honesty of those feeding the newsies false information.

 

No surprise. In WW II, the media never reported it and spread propaganda in favor of the allies. Reports of civilian casualties were forbidden. I wasn't there, but my grandfather was. (And he had newspaper articles too. He was a wonderful person.) Of course, I would like to be informed, but the over-emphasis on blue-on-blue is sickening.

 

It doesn't. Anymore - I should probably say, since I must confess that I had initially pegged you for 'just another redneck'. As it turned out, I was wrong.

 

Heh. Don't let Jeff Foxworthy hear that. :D But thank you. It's nice to know that we can disagree like two brawlers but still hold good opinions of one another.

 

Indeed it is. [Regarding the evo thread]

 

Oh, good Lord. I didn't intend to start another swordfighting arena. But I have no proof of evo or creationism in my hands, since I have not looked for it yet. But I will look for multiple sites. I cannot prove that such sites are unbiased, so I will get as many sites as possible. They can't all be in league, so if I can find facts on the same stuff from different sites... so it'll be a bit.

 

I don't know how well they do the reporting part. I've mainly seen their excuses for analysis and debate programs. But even if - and I seriously doubt that - they manage to not outright lie in their reports, their bias still shows. It always does. If nowhere else, then in what they decide not to report.

 

I don't watch the TV FOX as much as I get their sources and other news on my MSN account. I get MSNBC, AP, NY Times, Reuters, and I have a link to the Washington Post. So I can get a few stories - including this MSNBC story you may be interested in. Troops may be slightly reduced in Iraq. So, it seems that Operation Iraqi Freedom is drawing to a close.

 

Well, yes and yes. But the other sides of the coin are 1) whether it can be prevented and 2) how much harm the attempts to prevent it do.

 

Personally, I think the US - and parts of Europe - is both busy overestimating the risk and their capability to prevent attacks. And I know that a lot of people are seriously underestimating the damages to our societies - both long- and short-term - that excessive terrorism-prevention programs can do.

 

To boil it down to a single snappy punchline, I suppose you could say that terrorism is a text book example of the cure being worse than the disease.

 

The point was that if the odds multiplied by the damage is less than the cost of preventing it, then attempting to prevent is a Bad Idea.

 

Well, we were attacked by airplane. The security we have in place - well, since we put it in place, we haven't been attacked here - hasn't caused more harm than a large nuisance. And that nuisance is being lifted, a little at a time. And this cure isn't killing people and destroying landmark buildings.

 

I'm looking forward to seeing you in the new Evo thread (I have a feeling that I'm going to sooo regret saying that. After all I, too, have exams sometimes :-) ).

 

As I said, I'll be there. But I need to take the infamous 3-hour nap that people with major colds need. Odd, it isn't even cold season...

 

EDIT: I just remembered. My grandfather had been looking for proof of this sort for years. He had all those links... if only he wasn't... wasn't...

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I've been very ill as of late. Only today am I well enough to post. You must understand that when when my family gets it, we get it bad.

 

I am genuinely sorry to hear that. I just figured you were off celebrating the Yuletide. Nice to see you reasonably up and running again.

 

Say, did you see the Indiana Jones scene where this Arab pulls out a sword, and twirls it around like crazy, only to have Indy shoot him? :lol:

 

Yep.

 

But I don't have a gun, as of yet, so...

 

Such constant threats of violence...

 

*whipcracks sword, attacking as the sword is drawn*

 

*Ouch*

 

*Runs away*

 

Actually, I'll reply to some of rccar's points and then get back to you.

 

1. Your graph shows nothing (nothing usefull, anyway). Our success in the war in Iraq cannot be measured in terms of fatalities...

 

I have been down this road with Saber already. You claimed that senator wazzname was lying when he said that the security situation was going steadily to hell. The security situation. Nothing more, nothing less. Even if, as I'm not prepared to grant, the overall strategy is succeeding on average, you have still to present convincing proof that the security aspect is succeeding. Which you claimed it was.

 

but if you're going to go that route, according to this article, approximately 1,100 insurgents were killed only in the incidents described [...]. That's more than half of the number of US soldiers who have died.

 

I've also covered this, as you'll see if you read my responses to Saber, but I'll go over it again - albeit in an abbreviated version - so new readers can catch up.

 

There are several main reasons why the number of dead insurgents are a bad measure of the security situation. The first and most obvious is that if there were no insurgence at all, there would be no dead insurgents, while if the insurgence was completely out of control, there would be virtually no dead insurgents either. So the interpretation of the data has to account for (at least) two different effects pulling in different directions.

 

The second is that the rate of loss without the corresponding rate of gain says little about the net gain in insurgents. And while the rate of gain is certainly bigger than it were before Operation Iraqi Screwup, it is all but impossible to quantify.

 

Lowball estimates on the number of Iraqi insurgents killed are around 5,000. However, it is extremely difficult to know the total number of insurgents killed by US forces, as the US military, unlike US liberals and the MSM, isn't getting into the death toll game.

 

Probably because the best they could do anyway would be ballpark figures, and there'd inevitably be pointed questions as to whether the dead were in fact insurgents or just... 'collateral damage'.

 

2. According to a poll taken of Iraqi citizens, conducted by ABC News, Time magazine, the BBC, the Japanese television network NHK and the German magazine Der Spiegel, a majority of Iraqis say that their living conditions are good,

 

OK. Sounds more or less convincing. Would be nice enough if you could link to the original report, though, since anything that comes out of a neo-con news service is automatically suspect.

 

3. I don’t ever remember saying that stable security and an improving economy weren’t essential for establishing democracy in Iraq. What I said is that coalition forces have been and are being successful in stabilizing Iraq’s security and in helping their economy to improve.

 

Well, yes, that question was contingent upon a negative response to either or both of the first two. Should probably have made that clearer.

 

4. Because it’s happening right now.

 

That seems to be the central point under dispute. So far I've seen nothing more than hand-waving to back up your statement.

 

Besides that, saturating Iraq with US soldiers won’t accomplish anything.

 

OK, that might be a valid point... Still, if the alternative is a civil war...

 

5. I didn’t know that I had (and I read over my posts just to make sure that I hadn’t, especially in light of the fact that I know we’ve spent tons of money on the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns). No one (myself included), that I know of, has ever denied that this is going to be a long and expensive war. Frankly, I don’t know where this question is coming from (besides left field), because I never said any such thing.

 

You said that sen. wazzname's agenda (which, as it turned out, wasn't quite his agenda anyway) rehearsed - and I quote from memory - "all the lies the MSM have been spouting about Iraq." I wanted you to defend that claim whereever you could and clearly and publicly concede the point where you couldn't.

 

6. It isn’t a lie to say that 2,158 of our soldiers have died in Iraq. The lie is that that number is somehow indicative of a failure…

 

Which sen. wazzname didn't say in the first place.

 

7. US forces have been targeted by the insurgents/terrorists from the beginning of this war.

 

Thank you, that's what I wanted to hear you admit.

 

So, out of sen. wazzname's six 'lies' we disagree on the correctness of #1, agree that #2 is indeed, as you claimed, false, #3 is impossible to argue one way or the other until #1 is resolved, and #4,5, and 6 are all true.

 

Doesn't look like a rehearsal of lies to me.

 

However, one of the things that has lent itself to our ongoing success is the fact that as Iraqi forces take more control, insurgents are more and more often attacking Iraqis are turning in the insurgents (as indicated by this article, which also includes other positive news, as told by troops who served in Iraq, and this AFIS article,

 

But still American deaths go up... How was that an indicator of an improving security situation again?

 

And now for Saber:

 

My apologies. I'll break them up from now on. :)

 

Oh, and as for copyright, I wasn't copying it. I was quoting it. I took no credit at all for the article; I was just showing what I happened to find on the net.

 

I realise that. But I've known lawyers who take a less - ah - laid-back approach. Anyway, I never was much of a stickler for copyright - I care more about academic integrity and proper attribution than whether or not actually reproducing (properly credited of course) work is technically legal. It's just that some places on the 'net are a wee bit more sensitive to those issues than LF.

 

Iraq is not the target. We are. Had we just invested all force in Afghanistan, as we should have, who's to say that those same terrorists wouldn't go to us there instead?

 

While this will never be more than WAGs and speculation, I'd say that the discrepancy between the strenght of the insurgence in Iraq and Afghanistan supports my claim that they wouldn't have come to you in Afghanistan.

 

If the foreign fighters in Iraq are part of an overarching strategy against the US, it would make a lot more sense for them to whack you at home. Or at least disperse themselves between Afghanistan and Iraq. And Afghanistan would probably draw most of them given the terrain advantage and logistical support available from northern Pakistan.

 

And then there's the fact that the minority of insurgents in Iraq are in fact foreign fighters. The vast majority is Iraqis who are pissed at you. They might be initially inclined to forgive and forget when they see the last of you, but as the occupation drags on, many of them are going to become professional troublemakers and/or semi-militant mobsters. They just might decide that stirring up a little trouble across the Pond might be worth their while.

 

The reason that they picked Iraq instead of Afghanistan is beyond me.

 

I could think of several reasons. The most obvious one is that they are pissed at seing more Americans on the Arabian Penninsula. If this is, in fact, the primary motivating factor (and I happen to subscribe to the idea that it is) then they never would have taken up arms against the US if you hadn't launched Operation Iraqi Screwup.

 

But it seems that the clerics inspired people to go blow themselves up. You need not have a past history to commit an atrocity. Many US home-grown nuts who commit murders commit only once, even if they are never caught.

 

We agree that nutters are going to be around whatever you or I might do. But even if that is correct, Operation Iraqi Screwup has given these nutters a focus and a Cause to rally their nutdom around.

 

Well, as the report says, indeed we are facing a new wave. But if they try to kill us and civilians, I really don't give a rat's tail end how long they have been terrorists.

 

I don't think you're quite getting my point. Would they have become terrorists/insurgents if not for Operation Iraqi Screwup? Or would they just have gone peacefully about their lives until they died peacefully at a ripe old age (or less peacefully at a less ripe old age, but still without murdering anybody)?

 

Don't believe I haven't been looking. It's been difficult to find.

 

Yeah. Curious, really. I mean for an NGO with some manhours to burn it would have been trivially easy to come up with ballpark figures by combing through the media reports of shooting incidents. For that matter, some of those sites with the totals obviously have been up and running since D-day. It would have been even easier for them to simply go through their backups and publish the figures.

 

No surprise. In WW II, the media never reported it and spread propaganda in favor of the allies. Reports of civilian casualties were forbidden. I wasn't there, but my grandfather was. (And he had newspaper articles too. He was a wonderful person.) Of course, I would like to be informed, but the over-emphasis on blue-on-blue is sickening.

 

Well, I can certainly agree with you that dragging every accident into the limelight is... distasteful. However that doesn't distract from the simple fact that we can't trust the insurgent body count the newsies give us. It is almost certainly high.

 

So, it seems that Operation Iraqi Freedom is drawing to a close.

 

Hmmm... I've figured they'd cut their losses and run like hell for some time now. In fact, I've been moderately surprised they didn't bug out sooner. Well, at least their army will never get in shape to mess up somewhere else on dubya's shift.

 

Well, we were attacked by airplane. The security we have in place - well, since we put it in place, we haven't been attacked here - hasn't caused more harm than a large nuisance. And that nuisance is being lifted, a little at a time. And this cure isn't killing people and destroying landmark buildings.

 

I don't think you're listening to me. Oh, I've no doubt that you're hearing (well, reading) everything I say, and that you give it a lot of thought.

 

But on the bottom line, you have to balance the number of people you can save by preventing terrorism with the number of people you can save using the same funds and efforts to curtail pollution or investigate crime or fund proper health care or fund proper public schools.

 

And when you run throught the numbers - even using the most pessimistic WAGs about the terrorists' capabilities - fighting terrorism ends up pretty close to rock bottom on the list of Things To Do To Prevent The Untimely Deaths Of Your Country's Citizens.

 

Essentially, by committing yourself to fighting terrorism despite the fact that it is a minor problem - in both relative and absolute terms - you are channeling funds from where they can do the most good to a place where they can do less good. The fact that fighting terrorism entails some other seriously unpleasant consequences for your society is also a fact that bears thinking on.

 

As for the fact that the tightened security has been merely a 'nuisance' I somehow doubt that the people who have been permanently barred from obtaining US visa because they share a surname with someone who happens to be on a list of suspect people would agree with you. Nor, I think, would those who have been barred from entering the US because they posted on a fairly innocious message board on the 'net, or because they gave money to the PLO twenty years ago.

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I am genuinely sorry to hear that. I just figured you were off celebrating the Yuletide. Nice to see you reasonably up and running again.

 

Oh, no. ask my friends, if you will... I never give up a chance to argue.

 

Such constant threats of violence...

 

*Ouch*

 

*Runs away*

 

Heh. I'm such a bad person. *DARK SIDE POINTS EARNED*

 

I realize that. But I've known lawyers who take a less - ah - laid-back approach. Anyway, I never was much of a stickler for copyright - I care more about academic integrity and proper attribution than whether or not actually reproducing (properly credited of course) work is technically legal. It's just that some places on the 'net are a wee bit more sensitive to those issues than LF. [Edited, spelling]

 

You'd think that they would applaud someone using their facts/story to debate. But, I do provide links to my sources when I can, and I do try to say where it is from when I can't. And since this is LF, I believe I can safely quote people who have been at their jobs way too long.

 

While this will never be more than WAGs and speculation, I'd say that the discrepancy between the strenght of the insurgence in Iraq and Afghanistan supports my claim that they wouldn't have come to you in Afghanistan.

 

Was this before or after the War in Iraq started? At first, 100% of attacks were in the one place they could reach us. Now, (this answers my own question, no doubt) we are in a nation attackable from many fronts.

 

If the foreign fighters in Iraq are part of an overarching strategy against the US, it would make a lot more sense for them to whack you at home. Or at least disperse themselves between Afghanistan and Iraq. And Afghanistan would probably draw most of them given the terrain advantage and logistical support available from northern Pakistan.

 

As you said, though: Most terrorists these days are new, inspired by calls to Jihad. That mentality won't last long; these people are no soldiers. They are fundies created by speeches. How long has a speech, even one you strongly agreed with, inspired you? It wears off. They would naturally go for the closest target: Iraq. Again, I answered my own question. I suppose this means I am 100% well again.

 

And then there's the fact that the minority of insurgents in Iraq are in fact foreign fighters. The vast majority is Iraqis who are pissed at you. They might be initially inclined to forgive and forget when they see the last of you, but as the occupation drags on, many of them are going to become professional troublemakers and/or semi-militant mobsters. They just might decide that stirring up a little trouble across the Pond might be worth their while.

 

Our executives have figured that out. We are withdrawing as quickly as is prudent. It will be slow: We can all agree that civil war must be averted if possible.

 

I could think of several reasons. The most obvious one is that they are pissed at seing more Americans on the Arabian Penninsula. If this is, in fact, the primary motivating factor (and I happen to subscribe to the idea that it is) then they never would have taken up arms against the US if you hadn't launched Operation Iraqi Screwup.

 

Of course, I managed to answer my own question. Figures.

 

We agree that nutters are going to be around whatever you or I might do. But even if that is correct, Operation Iraqi Screwup has given these nutters a focus and a Cause to rally their nutdom around.

 

Well, it certainly haa it's bad effects, to be sure. OK, we've done what we need to do. With a successful election, all we need do is make sure that chaos will not destroy all that we have worked for. We are a target, correct. But I am willing to wait long enough to see the end done.

 

"When have I been hasty or unwary, all these many years?"

"Never. Do not then stumble at the end of the path."

 

I don't think you're quite getting my point. Would they have become terrorists/insurgents if not for Operation Iraqi Screwup?

 

No. But that wasn't entirely our doing; the clerics who called for a Jihad are at least 80% responsible for the deaths. You can thank them. We'd be facing substantially less resistance were it not for them, and Operation Iraqi Freedom would be over in a matter of weeks.

 

Yeah. Curious, really. I mean for an NGO with some manhours to burn it would have been trivially easy to come up with ballpark figures by combing through the media reports of shooting incidents. For that matter, some of those sites with the totals obviously have been up and running since D-day. It would have been even easier for them to simply go through their backups and publish the figures.

 

Again, all I can say is... if I see it, you'll be the second to see it...

 

Well, I can certainly agree with you that dragging every accident into the limelight is... distasteful. However that doesn't distract from the simple fact that we can't trust the insurgent body count the newsies give us. It is almost certainly high.

 

I believe we can both agree that the media is skewed, and not in our government's favor. And I don't trust the body count. That's why I am looking.

 

Speaking of which...

 

Odd that I have yet to see this on TV. It seems the one with the fastest Internet always wins in news.

 

Hmmm... I've figured they'd cut their losses and run like hell for some time now. In fact, I've been moderately surprised they didn't bug out sooner. Well, at least their army will never get in shape to mess up somewhere else on dubya's shift.

 

More like we've done what we can. It's not enough. Too bad, it's the end. The Iraqi's will have to take it from here. I wish them the absolute best in their endeavours.

 

I don't think you're listening to me. Oh, I've no doubt that you're hearing (well, reading) everything I say, and that you give it a lot of thought.

 

But on the bottom line, you have to balance the number of people you can save by preventing terrorism with the number of people you can save using the same funds and efforts to curtail pollution or investigate crime or fund proper health care or fund proper public schools.

 

And when you run throught the numbers - even using the most pessimistic WAGs about the terrorists' capabilities - fighting terrorism ends up pretty close to rock bottom on the list of Things To Do To Prevent The Untimely Deaths Of Your Country's Citizens.

 

Essentially, by committing yourself to fighting terrorism despite the fact that it is a minor problem - in both relative and absolute terms - you are channeling funds from where they can do the most good to a place where they can do less good. The fact that fighting terrorism entails some other seriously unpleasant consequences for your society is also a fact that bears thinking on.

 

As for the fact that the tightened security has been merely a 'nuisance' I somehow doubt that the people who have been permanently barred from obtaining US visa because they share a surname with someone who happens to be on a list of suspect people would agree with you. Nor, I think, would those who have been barred from entering the US because they posted on a fairly innocious message board on the 'net, or because they gave money to the PLO twenty years ago.

 

And such things are slowly being lifted. But, you are right, there are better things to do with our money. We could kill two birds with one stone by tightening our borders with Mexico and Canada, to keep illegals from getting across (based on trying to sneak in, not name). We could do all sorts of interesting activities that would help secure us as well as save money. We aren't doing the best of work. But at least the government has gotten enough of their thumbs out of their @$$es that they are capable of trying. It's like rewarding a baby for saying "goo" for the first time. Eventually, they will get it. But, like I said, at LEAST they are trying.

 

Oh, and before I forget, there is a balance issue with the Iraqi forces. I really don't mind an inbalance, and I thought I caught the tinge of whining in the article, but here you go.

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Oh, Saber, when you correct my spelling (and by all means feel free to do so), plz point out where. Not that I doubt your correction, but I like to learn from my mistakes and that's a lot easier when my mistakes are pointed out.

 

Was this before or after the War in Iraq started? At first, 100% of attacks were in the one place they could reach us.

 

I was thinking about the situation both before and after the start of Operation Iraqi Screwup. Both situations undermine your belief that the majority of those who take up arms against you would have done so anyway. If in fact the majority of those attacking you in Iraq are terrorists who just want to attack American interests anywhere in the world, it seems more than mildly curious that

 

1) They didn't show up until after the invasion of Iraq. Afghanistan would have been an equally easy target for people simply after American soldiers and investment.

 

2) The discrepancy between the force levels in Iraq and Afghanistan. Afghanistan's borders are leaking like a sieve, after all, and the Taliban fascists have had rather greater - ah - survivability than your average Iraqi insurgent. If I were a fedayeen out to hurt the evil, imperialist infidels of the Great Satan, then I'd do so in Afghanistan. Better logistics situation, better terrain, better chance of actually accomplishing something worthwhile before you get shot. If, on the other hand, I were an Iraqi or Arab nationalist who detested American busybodyness on Arab lands, I'd go for Iraq, since Afghanistan would be - litterally - a quarter of a planet away from my primary sphere of interest.

 

These two oberservations seem to me to suggest that the people who gun for your troops in Iraq are insurgents who would never have been a threat if not for Operation Iraqi Screwup. Which means that, in terms of fighting terrorism at least, the invasion of Iraq has been counterproductive.

 

As you said, though: Most terrorists these days are new, inspired by calls to Jihad. That mentality won't last long; these people are no soldiers. They are fundies created by speeches.

 

The crusades were organised on basis of 'fundies created by speeches'...

 

How long has a speech, even one you strongly agreed with, inspired you?

 

Several years and counting, actually.

 

They would naturally go for the closest target: Iraq.

 

Except that those speeches were also being given in the mosques before Iraq. Heck, they were being given before 9/11. Back when the closest target was Saudi Arabia. So, obviously, something happened around the activation of Operation Iraqi Screwup. Something more than simply moving closer to the heat, because American troops have been close to the heat for quite some time now.

 

OK, we've done what we need to do.

 

I frankly don't see how you could ever need to go into Iraq. It posed no realistic security risk, it didn't harbor, aid, or abet terrorists, it wasn't even that deep into the drug trade - in short it was a paragon of pro-west friendlyness compared to its neighbours.

 

We are a target, correct. But I am willing to wait long enough to see the end done.

 

Problem is, dubya doesn't seem to be.

 

No. But that wasn't entirely our doing; the clerics who called for a Jihad are at least 80% responsible for the deaths. You can thank them. We'd be facing substantially less resistance were it not for them,

 

Indeed, I spend the odd minute here and there contemplating how wonderful the world would be without lunatic clerics like Ratzinger, Pat(wa) Robertson, and their Islamic equivalents. But that doesn't change the fact that the Islamic versions of Pat(wa) Robertson have been around for a long time. It seems to me that the main effect of the invasion of Iraq is to prove them right in the eyes of their own congregations. Just as the main effect of 9/11 was proving extremists like Dick 'Enron' Cheney right in the eyes of their constituents.

 

and Operation Iraqi Freedom would be over in a matter of weeks.

 

As Dracula said to the virgin: Don't count on it.

 

There's a lot of different motives in play in the Iraqi insurgence. Labelling everyone involved as a fedayeen would be far too simplistic.

 

I believe we can both agree that the media is skewed, and not in our government's favor.

 

Actually, we can't. I'll grant you that the media is incompetent, myopic, unprofessional, sensationalist, shallow, unethical, and - yes - skewed. But most definitely skewed in the current American government's favor.

 

Odd that I have yet to see this on TV. It seems the one with the fastest Internet always wins in news.

 

Yet another example of how the American media are skewed in favor of the current regime. Such spectacular SNAFUs right after el Prezidenté has announced that the elections were a success would almost have to hurt his credibility.

 

More like we've done what we can. It's not enough. Too bad, it's the end. The Iraqi's will have to take it from here. I wish them the absolute best in their endeavours.

 

Whether or not you can in fact do more, I am in no position to comment on. But I too wish the Iraqis best of luck from here. They're gonna need it.

 

And such things are slowly being lifted. But, you are right, there are better things to do with our money. We could kill two birds with one stone by tightening our borders with Mexico and Canada, to keep illegals from getting across (based on trying to sneak in, not name).

 

Three, actually, since worthwhile border security also puts a crimp into smuggling.

 

We could do all sorts of interesting activities that would help secure us as well as save money. We aren't doing the best of work. But at least the government has gotten enough of their thumbs out of their @$$es that they are capable of trying. It's like rewarding a baby for saying "goo" for the first time. Eventually, they will get it. But, like I said, at LEAST they are trying.

 

'Cept that what they are actually trying is to shift power to the executive, not protect the citizens.

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