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MrDoolittle

Winning Hearts & Minds Pt.371

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EDIT

 

I want nothing more to do with this.

 

Mike, I am sorry if I have offended you. I didn't mean anything by it.

Edited by marylou

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It's not rhetoric you twit. Those men that were killed were my friends and in ten days I'll be back in Iraq.

 

If you don't like what these threads have to say than stay over in your corner of the web (pub club) and I'll stay in mine. Your whole post reads like a sad sack response because you are in over your head with the big kid rules over here.

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Interesting thread read in some parts. Responses to other people's opinions is quite junior, and that is why I don't bother with the "spray" section....but this topic kind of caught me off guard because of Tele's actual working environment. Be safe Tele_nut. Believe in what you do.

 

I expect more actions like what happened to continue to happen. This type of "revengeful" unlawfullness seems to happen in many communities around the world. Does anybody remember the Hutus and Tutsis? It is a common theme when there is no justice system--and a human emotion to take revenge when something negative happens to you as a result of another person's actions. I wonder if some U.S. soldiers are harassing residents by constant raids, giving them disrespect.....I don't know and never will know due to the tight media restrictions they are currently giving.

 

The actions by a few people do not represent the whole. There are some bad apples in Fallujah. There are some bad apples in the U.S. military.

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Interesting thread read in some parts. Responses to other people's opinions is quite junior, and that is why I don't bother with the "spray" section....but this topic kind of caught me off guard because of Tele's actual working environment. Be safe Tele_nut. Believe in what you do.

 

I expect more actions like what happened to continue to happen. This type of "revengeful" unlawfullness seems to happen in many communities around the world. Does anybody remember the Hutus and Tutsis? It is a common theme when there is no justice system--and a human emotion to take revenge when something negative happens to you as a result of another person's actions. I wonder if some U.S. soldiers are harassing residents by constant raids, giving them disrespect.....I don't know and never will know due to the tight media restrictions they are currently giving.

 

The actions by a few people do not represent the whole. There are some bad apples in Fallujah. There are some bad apples in the U.S. military.

thumbs_up.gif yep

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Sorry but I thought this was a good read and the registration process at the LA TImes is a pain.

 

EDIT: Rubin is fluent in both Arabic and Farsi.

 

 

LA Times , April 4, 2004

 

 

By Michael Rubin, Michael Rubin is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and was a governance team advisor for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

 

 

WASHINGTON — Last summer, as Iraqis sweltered outside, the Coalition Provisional Authority met in the marbled corridors and air-conditioned offices of one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces to hash out how to fund political parties. The State Department was adamant, insisting that the CPA should maintain "an even playing field" and should not favor one party over another. Parties affiliated with the Iraqi Governing Council's militant Islamists and liberal secularists should receive the same treatment. There should be no special consideration given to groups seeking to unite Iraqis rather than dividing them by ethnicity or sectarian affiliations.

 

This may sound like the way to ensure fair elections. But while the CPA has maintained its neutrality, our adversaries have shown no such compunction.

 

Until recently, I worked for the CPA, living in a nondescript house outside Baghdad's Green Zone. I traveled the country with Iraqi friends, paying spot checks on borders, political parties, shrines and markets. Because I was not in a convoy or traveling with heavily armed guards, Iraqis could easily approach me. Professionals, politicians and religious figures telephoned at all hours for meetings, knowing they would not have to wait at the fortified gates of the palace complex. I quickly learned that most political business in Iraq happens not at Governing Council sessions, but in private homes between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

 

One February evening, a governor from a southern province asked to see me. We met after dark at a friend's house. After pleasantries and tea, he got down to business. "The Iranians are flooding the city and countryside with money," he said. "Last month, they sent a truckload of silk carpets across the border for the tribal sheikhs. Whomever they can't buy, they threaten." The following week, I headed south to investigate. A number of Iraqis said the Iranians had channeled money through the offices of the Dawa Party, an Islamist political party, led by Governing Council member Ibrahim Jafari. On separate occasions in Baghdad and the southern city of Nasiriya, I watched ordinary Iraqis line up for handouts of money and supplies at Dawa offices. The largess seems to be having an effect: Polls indicate that Jafari is Iraq's most popular politician, enjoying a favorable rating by more than 50% of the electorate.

 

The CPA's evenhandedness may be well-intentioned, but to a society weaned on conspiracy theories, the United States' failure to support liberals and democrats signals support for the Islamists. Equal opportunity may exist in Washington, but not in Baghdad. Why, Iraqis ask, would the CPA ignore the influx of Iranian arms and money into southern Iraq if it had not struck some secret deal with Tehran or did not desire the resulting increase in militancy? Why would the Iranian border be largely unguarded a year after liberation?

 

Iraqi liberals are especially sensitive to signs of support for Shiite politician Abdelaziz Hakim, leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, whose visit official Washington welcomed in January. Students affiliated with the Badr Corps, Hakim's militia, roam Basra University, forcing women to wear the veil. Signs proclaiming the supremacy of Hakim are affixed to doors across the university, and professors say they are afraid to remove them. In Nasiriya and Karbala, Iraqis lament they can no longer speak openly, lest they become the subject of retaliation by Iranian-funded gangs.

 

While Sens. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts and Carl Levin of Michigan demand yet another government audit of the Iraqi National Congress (previous audits have found no wrongdoing), radical clerics find their pockets full, their Iranian sponsors more interested in mission than political cannibalism. Last month, I visited a gathering of urban professionals in Najaf. They repeatedly asked why the CPA stood by while followers of firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtader Sadr invaded homes, smashed satellite dishes and meted out punishment in ad hoc Islamic courts. We may dismiss Sadr as a grass-roots populist, but his rise was not arbitrary. Rather, his network is based upon ample funding he receives through Iran-based cleric Ayatollah Kazem al Haeri, a close associate of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

 

In signing the bill authorizing $87.5 billion for reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan in November, President Bush called the massive campaign to rebuild both nations "the greatest commitment of its kind since the Marshall Plan." There is daily progress. Shops have opened. Roads are repaved. But, the CPA remains hampered by a strategic communications strategy geared more toward Washington than Iraq. American newspapers may report our $5.6 billion investment in Iraq's electrical infrastructure, but what Iraqis see are signs such as a billboard of Hakim, the radical politician, affixed to a newly refurbished Ministry of Electricity office in Baghdad.

 

On March 26, a team of United Nations election specialists arrived in Baghdad to prepare the country for elections following the scheduled June 30 transfer of sovereignty. Iraqis may welcome elections, but it would be an abdication of American leadership if we do not support our allies, especially as Iraq's neighbors fund proxy groups and radicals with goals inimical to democracy.

 

We should not be more willing to help our adversaries than our friends. Democracy is about not only elections, but also about tolerance, compromise and liberty. Twenty-five years ago, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, declared "the first day of God's government." In a rushed referendum supervised by armed vigilantes, Iranians voted for theocracy. For a quarter century, they have struggled to undo their mistake. It would be a betrayal of Bush's vision as well as 24 million Iraqis if we replicate it in Iraq.

Edited by Peter_Puget

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It seems to be a give and take environment from what I've seen.

 

In some cases it is difficult for soldiers and Iraqi's to interact, but in most there is quite a bit of reciporocal curiosity. I have had the honest good fortune to work with some Iraqi's on various projects, and I find them to be in most cases hard working, intelligent, and honest in their dealings. The majority of them hated Saddam, but Saddam understood the Arab mentality. They understand and respect strength and power. Anything less and you are viewed as weak and untrustworthy. It was exactly the reasons that we toppled him, and will try him for crimes, that allowed him to stay in power. They feared him, and thus they respected him enough to stay in check. Now we come in and try to be even handed letting our good works speak for us rather than the guns we carry as a protective measure. Because of this they now target us, and everyday there are incidents involving violence against Americans that go largely unanswered. The more they see this the more it becomes the de facto standard for them to voice themselves. It is merely what they understand. We on the other hand sit at the mercy of media opinion, and the world's scrutiny. With a fine tooth comb they condemn us, while every day our soldiers and civilians die bringing food, water, and other resources to salvage their humanity which they scarcely recognize.

 

Sure, some misunderstandings occur, and there is sometimes trepidation on both sides. There is anger and resentment on both sides too. Maybe we bombed a building in the first war and killed an innocent and there is still strong feelings towards that act. Perhaps the person that dropped that bomb or ordered that strike is thousands of miles away now, but the American soldier represents to whomever that event. That innocent soldier becomes a target of opportunity for an act of revenge. Once that act occurs there is then anger and resentment on our side too. I have also worked with Americans, besides myself, who have had to deal with the loss of a comrade in arms. Even if you didn't particularly care for that person there is still the bond of nationalism, and shared heritage. A loss for one is a loss for all. I have often found myself perusing the various websites to look at the faces of the men and women who were killed during the weeks prior. It somehow connects me to them, and reminds me that I should be alert, vigilant, and wary of everyone in that environment. The more attacks that happen the less trusting we can be of them. The more we crack down to protect ourselves from the few who are propogating these attacks the more vulnerable we become as we alienate those who we came to free. It is a viscious cycle and a good portion of the reason we are so adament about returning sovereign rulership.

 

It is true that there are going to be many in certain positions who will try to usurp that leadership via whatever medium they may have at their disposal. The Muslim clerics are wise to this strategy and there are precedents for this type of power grab. Iran was once a close ally of ours, and now they are one of our most belligerent enemies. Losing control of the situation is going to exacerbate the entire strategy.

 

Many of our best generals and many senators and congressmen have publically stated that we need more soldiers on the ground in Iraq and they are absolutely right. Another 100,000 troops to firmly establish our right to protect ourselves and convince them that we are in fact the ones in charge as they stumble and struggle to meet the world on a stage they don't even understand yet. Another 100,000 to go out and police up all the bombs that are still laying unguarded at abandoned Iraqi air bases. Bombs that insurgents and rebels use everyday to kill Americans who answered the call to arms for their own reasons.

 

War is a difficult thing. Not only in the physical struggle, but in terms of the psychology and restraint that seems to be so neccessary in the act. Kill an enemy soldier and you have done your job. Kill an innocent civilian and you are a criminal. There are many books and many movies that cover this subject with eloquence. There are no more pure wars where soldiers fight soldiers and civilians scamper for cover. They have been and continue to be a deterrant to absolution and complete unadulterated victory. If we retaliate as some might have wanted us to do, such as dropping the MOAB (Mother Of All Bombs) on Fallujah we have committed a grave atrocity. If we do nothing, then we sacrifice more innocent soldiers who want to do their jobs and come home safe.

 

I believe now, as I believed previously that what the insurgency would like to see happen is that the entire country of Iraq become a modern day Lebanon where internicine warfare exists. We have opened the box and now it rests on our shoulders to shut it. The only way to close it is by force, because when things of this nature spill out they are loath to cease on their own accord. I believe that we must be firm in all of our responses. We must escalate to a level where no lawlessness can be allowed to go unanswered, and that response must swift and firm.

 

There is no going back now. Another political war like Vietnam must never be allowed to sift the lives of this generation through the meat grinder. We owe it to them to find the best solution, and finally with resolve close the lid on this war in Iraq. Calling it anything other than a war is timid and meak.

 

It is painfully obvious that we may have done a bad thing, but I believe more in the people who are over there, than I do in the scurvy motivations behind the act. We cannot allow soldiers over there to suffer and fade as we turn away or become hollow to the news coming from their everyday. It is every citizens responsibility to stand up for what they believe in, and notify their elected leaders of their opinions. This does not mean that you have to support the war, and you should realize that being proactive means more than marching in a rally or idolizing FoxNews for their vervant support of any actions that seem to be right wing. It does not mean that you should be ashamed if you support the war either. Some wars are fought for good purposes. Do not allow politics to sway what could be in the end a positive.

 

Finally, send a letter to a young person over there. Let them know you are thinking of them. Ask them what they think. Let them be your guides as well. We are NOT the ones over there murdering Iraqis and Americans alike. We are the ones who have to hide in our body armor, drive our suburbans at 100MPH thru traffic to keep from getting blown up, who lie awake at night thinking of wives and children left behind. Give them the strength and support to do their jobs. Forget Kerry and Bush. They are nothing more than vapid figureheads, neither of whom represent me or what I believe. Believe in the Americans who are trusting you to bring them home safe and the sooner the better. Allow them to come home with honor and with the pride that they did their jobs with the best intentions at heart.

 

Tele

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tele,

 

thank you for sharing your mind. that was beyond eliquint, well spoken. thank you.

 

muffy

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Thanks for your opinion, and for taking a good discussion down a few notches. How about commenting with some positive influence on the subject instead of showing your true ignorance?

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An attack by hundreds of Iraqi militia members on the U.S. government's headquarters in Najaf on Sunday was repulsed not by the U.S. military, but by eight commandos from a private security firm, according to sources familiar with the incident.

 

Before U.S. reinforcements could arrive, the firm, Blackwater Security Consulting, sent in its own helicopters amid an intense firefight to resupply its commandos with ammunition and to ferry out a wounded Marine, the sources said.

 

The role of Blackwater's commandos in Sunday's fighting in Najaf illuminates the gray zone between their formal role as bodyguards and the realities of operating in an active war zone. Thousands of armed private security contractors are operating in Iraq in a wide variety of missions and exchanging fire with Iraqis every day, according to informal after-action reports from several companies.

 

During the defense of the authority headquarters, thousands of rounds were fired and hundreds of 40mm grenades shot. Sources who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of Blackwater's work in Iraq reported an unspecified number of casualties among Iraqis.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54125-2004Apr6.html

 

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Impressive. I am surprised and encouraged by the fact that Blackwater has their own choppers to support their forces and that they were able to not only keep them supplied with ammo and ordinance, but also able to extract our wounded Marine. Kudos to Blackwater.

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I apologize for being late to this post but being a subject near and dear to me I cant resist. To say the least some of these posts disgust me. I completely respect and even sometimes agree with many of the anti war and critical posts but I cannot believe that there are people here who can make such ignorant and hateful comments about the loss of life that has happened in Iraq. Please debate even argue, come up with something productive and do what you can to make it work but dont attack the people who stand on the point of the spear and carry out a dirty job that they truly believe is protecting you and your right to "spray". I doubt more than a handful here have experienced the horror of war and what it can do to you. How it can haunt you and at times destroy you. All I ask is that you recognize and respect their sacrifice.

 

Stay safe tele nut pm me and address and I'll smuggle you a pint.

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sorry gerg w next time i'll get you a spoon so you can eat my ass

 

Good, then I'll have a tool with which to carve out your esophagus and shit down your neckhole.

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sorry gerg w next time i'll get you a spoon so you can eat my ass

 

Good, then I'll have a tool with which to carve out your esophagus and shit down your neckhole.

 

Sweet! Sounds like fun!

 

Oh, and by the way, how are things going this fine day in IRAQ? Seems like things are REALLY starting to hit the fan, and all over the country. But I'd REALLY, REALLY like to say: Told you so.

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sorry gerg w next time i'll get you a spoon so you can eat my ass

 

Good, then I'll have a tool with which to carve out your esophagus and shit down your neckhole.

 

Sweet! Sounds like fun!

 

Oh, and by the way, how are things gong this fine day in IRAQ? Seems like things are REALLY starting to hit the fan, and all over the country. But I'd REALLY, REALLY like to say: Told you so.

 

THanks for the daily reminder that you're a fucking idiot. thumbs_up.gif

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sorry gerg w next time i'll get you a spoon so you can eat my ass

 

Good, then I'll have a tool with which to carve out your esophagus and shit down your neckhole.

 

Sweet! Sounds like fun!

 

Oh, and by the way, how are things gong this fine day in IRAQ? Seems like things are REALLY starting to hit the fan, and all over the country. But I'd REALLY, REALLY like to say: Told you so.

 

THanks for the daily reminder that you're a fucking idiot. thumbs_up.gif

 

That the best you can do? thumbs_down.gif

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The world would be a better place if Saddam were still in power. And how do you think the Muslim world is going to respond to the US bombing a mosque yesterday?

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Look, let's all try to just calm down a little and see if we can reach some common ground.

 

All loss of life IS regrettable.

 

Saddam WAS a scumbag.

 

And we should just change the name of the country to IraqNam.

Edited by markinore

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The world would be a better place if Saddam were still in power. And how do you think the Muslim world is going to respond to the US bombing a mosque yesterday?

 

This is an interesting question. Is Iraq a better place? What is freedom worth to THEM? I do not claim to know the answer. Perhaps its fair to say 1000 deaths is worth the price of freedom and democracy. 10000 deaths? 10 years of occupation? how about 100000 deaths? Perhaps a 5 year civil war that break the country into 3 parts? At what point do we say it wasn't worth it?

 

Is this a valid question to those that support the was and its democratizing ideas? I think it should be. What if we nuke the place and re-poputate it with former Irqai nationals currently living in the US? Is this price too high to pay for freedom?

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What better way to teach a country about democracry than to occupy it, close down newspapers, arrest "insurgents", and target political leaders!

 

And to hear The Shrub talk about it makes me want to HURL!!! That guy is the biggest simpleton! "These people are poeple that hate freedom and hate our way of life. They are terrorists and murder bombers, but we will stay the course. They will test our resolve, but our resolve is firm, and freedom will win." Does he actually think before he speaks? I'd say that people fighting a foreign invader to try and maintain their way of life is the best example of "freedom" going.

 

It's a mess, because we went in like cowboys to get Saddam, and now we're FUCKED. Vietraq. And did you here Rumsfeld yesterday saying (obtusely, of course) that we are going to keep the 1st Cav over there, despite the fact that they've been there for a year???? Morale==>toilet.

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What better way to teach a country about democracry than to occupy it, close down newspapers, arrest "insurgents", and target political leaders!

 

 

Rest assured, Dolittle, that if a newspaper in this country published lead stories/editorials calling for the assasination of political opponents and police officers, it would be shut down. The Iraqi newspaper in question clearly stepped outside what is protected speech...even in the USA. I think you're a bit confused about press freedoms... in this country.

 

You really sound like a hysterical little girl...or like chicken little. Get a grip on your emotions...and then sprinkle a little 'grow powder' on your shriveled sack and hope some of it soaks through to your underdeveloped testicles.. moon.gif

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