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Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby Leroy Gates » Sat Mar 23, 2013 12:57 am

If you think the world would be a better place if Saddam was still running Iraq then you are hateful and stupid.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby kurt_w » Sat Mar 23, 2013 5:10 am

Leroy Gates wrote:If you think the world would be a better place if Saddam was still running Iraq then you are hateful and stupid.


Oh, can we evaluate all policy decisions now by considering only the benefits and not the costs? Or is it only Republican policies that are evaluated that way?

By all means, though, please do continue trying to convince people that the war wasn't a mistake. It just emphasizes the degree to which your political party is out of touch with reality.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby gargantua » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:13 am

Leroy Gates wrote:If you think the world would be a better place if Saddam was still running Iraq then you are hateful and stupid.


Please point out who said that specific thing.

The world is such a fine place now. Just ask the people who are blown up in Iraq every day. Or ask the Syrians, or maybe Egyptian moderates. The fact is that no one knows what the world would be like if we had chosen not to invade Iraq 10 years ago.

I suspect that Saddam would still be isolated, Iran's ambitions would be curtailed, and we would have had a better chance to get out of Afghanistan sooner and left it in better shape had we not been distracted by imaginary WMD's. But I don't claim to know that. It just makes sense.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby kurt_w » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:16 pm

Even if the war had magically turned Iraq into a land of rainbows and unicorns, that wouldn't mean that it was an appropriate use of trillions of dollars and all the lives lost or maimed along the way.

But the fact is that for many people, Iraq now is clearly worse than it was before. For example, around 75% to 90% of Iraq's two million Christians have been forced to flee the country:

'People turned on Christians': Persecuted Iraqi minority reflects on life after Saddam

Yes, that's right. Despite Leroy's claim that only a "hateful and stupid" person would say things were better before the war, Iraqi Christians say exactly that. They may not have liked Saddam, but they were able to live peacefully with their Muslim neighbors. Now the war (that Flanders hilariously describes as a successful "beachhead" in the struggle against Islamism) has put Islamist parties in power and led to a sort of religious civil war that is well on its way to eradicating the country's Christian population.

Rana stepped out of church in Baghdad in December 2006 to find an envelope wedged against her car windshield. Inside was a bullet -- a message that meant she and her family were next on an assassin’s list.

They fled the city the next day, leaving behind a business, a home -- everything. [...]

"I didn't like Saddam Hussein, but he didn't bother the Christians," said Rana, 29 [...]

Rana isn’t alone: Bombings, kidnappings and generalized violence unleashed by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that toppled Hussein caused hundreds of thousands of Christians to flee their homeland.

While there is no centralized source of information on the number of Christians who have left Iraq, it is estimated that there were 2 million there in the 1990s. That number has fallen to between 200,000 to 500,000 today, according to church leaders.

Rana, who like others interviewed would not give her last name because of fear for the safety of relatives still in Iraq [...]

In a pew near Rana sat Wasseem, a 26-year-old who arrived in the U.K. five months ago. The murder of his friend Rariq haunts him, Wasseem said through a translator. Rariq, also a Christian, was a driver for American forces in Baghdad and was kidnapped on his way to meet Wasseem. Rariq’s dismembered body was returned to his family five days later. [...]

Extremists haven't targeted only individual Christians and their families. On Oct. 31, 2010, gunmen stormed Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad during Sunday Mass, taking more than a hundred hostages. When security forces tried to free those held, the attackers detonated explosives. At least 58 people were killed, including two priests. [...]

Warina, who also attends Mass at Holy Trinity, is more downbeat. Like many of her fellow worshipers, she said life for Christians was better under Saddam Hussein.

"Our neighbors were Muslims. Our relations were friendly. We would visit them," said the dentist who fled Iraq in 2007. "Now it is just fighting. There are lots of churches and monasteries and places to worship in Baghdad -- but they are all empty."

[...]

"We love Iraq. It's our country, the origin of Christianity. But it is not safe," she added. [...]

"After Saddam's death, people turned on Christians because they think the Christians encouraged the Americans to come to Iraq. Month after month, more and more are killed," she said.


We created that. George Bush created that.

Yeah, there were some good outcomes from the war ... but there were a heck of a lot of bad outcomes, some of which are only starting to play out. Only a fool would claim that because the war accomplished one good thing (getting rid of Hussein), then only someone "hateful and stupid" could suggest that it might not have been worth it.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby Stella_Guru » Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:57 am

kurt_w wrote:Yeah, there were some good outcomes from the war ... but there were a heck of a lot of bad outcomes, some of which are only starting to play out.


Good outcome; the war has led to the Empire putting on a new face who claims to oppose "dumb wars". Bad outcome; he resumes the same game under cosmetically new circumstances.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby kurt_w » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:11 am

Large majorities of non-Kurdish Iraqis (both Shia and Sunni) say that Iraq is worse off than before the invasion on many dimensions.

The last poll of Iraqis I've seen was taken 18 months ago (source, commentary). I doubt the numbers have changed radically in that time. Here are the responses of Shia + Sunni Arab Iraqis when asked whether things are better now:


Image

Image

According to most Shia and Sunni Iraqis, political freedom in Iraq is worse now than before the invasion. Economic conditions are worse now than before the invasion. Personal safety is much, much worse now than before the invasion. Overall, less than one-third of Shia and one-fifth of Sunnis say Iraq is a better place than it was before the invasion.

So, Leroy. Are all those ungrateful people we "liberated" just "hateful and stupid"?

Or, maybe, they have a better idea of what the war meant for their lives than you do?
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby Bland » Sun Mar 24, 2013 10:29 am

kurt_w wrote:Are all those ungrateful people we "liberated" just "hateful and stupid"?
I think it's pretty obvious that they are lying because they hate America and freedom. Perhaps we should invade again. That'll learn'em.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby kurt_w » Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:14 am

I'm not particularly surprised that so many (non-Kurd) Iraqis would say that things are worse overall. But I have to admit it boggles my mind a bit that a majority would say that even just on the dimension of "political freedom", things are worse now than they were under Saddam Hussein. How is that freakin' possible?

I suppose maybe some people who were just royally pissed off at the US over all the other bad things that happened after we invaded would just say that everything was better before the war, out of general exasperation and a desire to communicate how strongly they felt about the way Iraq has gone to hell in a handbasket.

But that doesn't really help Leroy/Flanders. It still says that for huge numbers of people in Iraq, life is so much worse in so many ways that they'll actually tell pollsters that they had more political freedom under a brutal dictator than they do in the aftermath of the US invasion.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby Steve Vokers » Sun Mar 24, 2013 1:27 pm

kurt_w wrote:According to most Shia and Sunni Iraqis, political freedom in Iraq is worse now than before the invasion. Economic conditions are worse now than before the invasion. Personal safety is much, much worse now than before the invasion. Overall, less than one-third of Shia and one-fifth of Sunnis say Iraq is a better place than it was before the invasion.


Image
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby DCB » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:47 pm

kurt_w wrote:I'm not particularly surprised that so many (non-Kurd) Iraqis would say that things are worse overall. But I have to admit it boggles my mind a bit that a majority would say that even just on the dimension of "political freedom", things are worse now than they were under Saddam Hussein. How is that freakin' possible?

Kurt, I don't know why you're surprised. Improving political freedom for the Iraqis was never (really) a goal.
The stated goal was eliminating WMDs, but we know that explanation was bullshit. Also, some vague connections to al-Quaeda, also bullshit.
There was some fuzzy talk about bringing democracy to the country, but that would have required planning on the scale of the Marshall Plan. Never happened, so that was bullshit too.

We know that the neocons wanted to remove Hussein from day one, for their own political or economic purposes, but it obviously had nothing to do with the well-being of the Iraqis.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby Uncle Fester » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:52 am

DCB wrote:We know that the neocons wanted to remove Hussein from day one, for their own political or economic purposes, but it obviously had nothing to do with the well-being of the Iraqis.


So Bill Clinton and company were neocons?

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
--President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
--Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
-- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
-- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
-- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force -- if necessary -- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members ... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
-- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
-- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."
-- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003



etc.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby kurt_w » Mon Mar 25, 2013 6:33 am

Uncle Fester wrote:
DCB wrote:We know that the neocons wanted to remove Hussein from day one, for their own political or economic purposes, but it obviously had nothing to do with the well-being of the Iraqis.


So Bill Clinton and company were neocons?


Logic fail.

    1. My aunt Martha likes barbecue.

    2. Uncle Fester likes barbecue.

    3. Therefore, Uncle Fester is my aunt Martha.
Here's a better example of conditional logic:

    1. If Fester believed the Iraq War was a brilliant success, then he'd be giving all credit for the war to his own party.

    2. Fester is trying to blame the opposing party for the war.

    3. Therefore, ...
I think most people can figure out the conclusion there.

Flanders posted all the same quotes from Clinton, Kerry, etc. over and over again, back in 2005 when it was already obvious that the war was a stupid mistake. If it weren't such a serious subject, it would be hilarious watching these guys try to simultaneously argue that (a) the war isn't a failure DAMMIT!, and (b) it's somebody else's fault anyway.

Poor George Bush. Mean ol' Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright and John Kerry made him invade Iraq. It wasn't his fault!
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby Stella_Guru » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:03 am

DCB wrote:
The stated goal was eliminating WMDs, but we know that explanation was bullshit. Also, some vague connections to al-Quaeda, also bullshit.
There was some fuzzy talk about bringing democracy to the country, but that would have required planning on the scale of the Marshall Plan. Never happened, so that was bullshit too.

General Electric and Microsoft's biggest customer at the time was Donald Rumsfeld, and they didn't tolerate dissent.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby Stella_Guru » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:06 am

Uncle Fester wrote:So Bill Clinton and company were neocons?

Yes. They still are.
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Re: Tenth anniversary of the Iraq War

Postby DCB » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:03 am

kurt_w wrote:Poor George Bush. Mean ol' Bill Clinton and Madeline Albright and John Kerry made him invade Iraq. It wasn't his fault!

Obviously Bush and his Merry Band of War Profiteers are the ones who should take full responsibility for their actions. They're the ones who manipulated CIA intelligence, they're the ones who sent Powell to that ridiculous UN meeting. The commander in chief pushed for a war based on bullshit. They should be on trial for war crimes instead of hanging out at think tanks or painting puppies.

But plenty of Democrats went along with it. They made the same stupid statements about fears about WMDs, when they knew full well they should have trusted the actual weapons inspectors. Not the scumbags leftover from the Nixon administration.
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