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Iraq - What if's?

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Iraq - What if's?

Oz_Media
Well as Max seems to have posted in another thread and decided not to persue the discussion in a new thread, I am interested in raising a question he had asked in the "Iraq - For better or for worse" thread.

You can read his full comments here: http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=263133&messageID=2496411


To briefly reiterate:
Any discussion or debate on Iraq. . . . .
..... as it relates to a better or worse question, or a should we have or shouldn?t we have debate, must take into consideration what would have been had that not happened. Of course, it?s not possible to accurately play the what if game, but it?s entirely relevant.

I think he has a good point and a very valid question, one that in previous years would be hard to answer as the opposing focus was not to go to war to begin with. But now that it is happening and can't be reversed, what WOULD have been an alternative solution and how would it have been executed, where would we be now?

Where would terrorism on America be now?
What would have happaned regarding WMD?
What would have happened to the people of Iraq ?
How would Saddam be acting today?

Here's another thought; Would the coalition be aiding Saddam to rid Iraq of AlQaeda or other radical fundamentalists by now?
We have helped the Taliban, why not Saddam?
Would such actions have helped opened the oil gates, reducing gas costs by now too?

To Max, I'm sorry if I stole a thread you were carefully thinking out, but as I noted it is something worthy of individual discussion.

I think it is a great question and one that hasn't been asked in a long time. What would the alternative be?

Keep in mind, I am not referring to Afghanistan specifically or the terorism on the US on 911, but Iraq, Saddam, WMD's etc..

However feel free to link the two if need be for relative purposes, I just don't want to hear the same old justification for Iraq, as in stopping the terrorists who were accountable for 911, that wasn't Iraq.

Again Max, not trying to steal your thunder or speak on your behalf, I just think you had a good question and it would be intersting at this stage in the game to take another look back.
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    JamesRL

    I think where we might differ is our assessment of Saddam and his world pre invasion.

    Saddam in 1991 had a huge army and oil revenue to keep it happy. He lost part of that during the war.

    After 1991, he lost control of the northern part of the country, where the Kurds created an "autonomous region" They were protected in part by a No fly zone which prevented Saddam from using helicopters and planes against the Kurds. The Kurds were getting small arms from Iran (the enemey of my enemy...). Its this northern area where the only Al Qaeda cell pre Saddam's overthrow set up a small camp.

    The restructions placed on Saddam by the UN limited his ability to restore his army or his lands to what they were. Saddam could shake his fist in defiance of the west, but not take much action. He was no direct threat to a vigilant Kuwait, Iran or Saudi Arabia, at least through conventional means. Hence he did reach out to fellow Sunnis like Hezbollah, whose main target was Isreal.

    Saddam would be acting like he was prior to the invasion, harassing the UN inspectors, harassing the planes which flew over. But hoping they went away, and trying to subvert the restrictions of the oil for food program and throwing a little money at Hezbollah were about the only options open to him.

    James

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    CharlieSpencer

    "...what WOULD have been an alternative solution..."

    Before you can define solutions, it's always good to define the PROBLEM. Setting our clocks back to mid-September, 2001, what was the problem all this was supposed to solve? Terrorism? WMD? Since neither of these turned out to exist in Iraq, it's impossible to provide an alternative solution to two situations that were never problems at all.

    To speculate in answer to your questions:

    "Where would terrorism on America be now?"
    Probably about where it is now, an over exaggerated threat used by politicians for scare tactics. Best case - greatly reduced if we'd focused on Afghanistan and ignored Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with terrorist attacks on the U.S. in the first place. A case could be made that the invasion of Iraq has actually increase the threat of terrorism against the U.S.

    What would have happaned regarding WMD?
    Since it turns out Iraq had none, nothing would have happened.

    "What would have happened to the people of Iraq?"

    The Shi'ite majority would have continued to suffer under Saddam, the Sunni minority would continue in power, Iran wouldn't have a foothold in Iraq. A case could be made that fewer people on the whole suffered under Saddam than they do now; only time will tell if the short-term increased suffering will result in long-term stability. Personally I have my doubts about stability resulting from the current configuration of the country.

    "How would Saddam be acting today?"
    Just about the same as he was acting seven years ago.

    This is all retrospective speculation and difficult to back up with facts.

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    LOL

    Oz_Media

    While I actually agree with most of your post, I had to laugh (yes, it's MY turn to point out a typo).

    By saying Shite, I assume you mean shi'ite, but it's all the same isn't it? LOL, nice one!

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    CharlieSpencer

    I don't think I've ever seen the word spelled before. I get the majority of my news from the U.S. National Public Radio. It has a liberal bias, but I'm aware of it and can filter that out, and they cover stories in far more detail than any other U.S. new outlet. I actually use '****' as a mnemonic device to keep the sects straight in my mind; the shi'ites were dumped on under Saddam, the sunnis had it easy and 'sunny'.

    I've often wondered who determines the spelling of a word that uses a completely different alphabet from English speaking nations. In English an apostrophe usually indicates either possession or omitted letters in a contraction. In the case of ' shi'ite ', what purpose does the inserted apostrophe serve? Who decided it wouldn't be spelled 'sheehite' or 'sheiyte'? When did 'Peking' become 'Beijing'; did the name actually change or did Westerners just mistake the spelling and pronunciation for decades until we were eventually corrected? Why 'Iraq' and not 'Irak' or 'Irack'? 'Khadaffi' (why the 'h' and two 'f's?), 'Qadhafi' (no 'u'; why a 'q' and not 'k'?), or 'Ghadafi'; how exactly do you spell that sumbich's name?

    Speaking of the good Colonel, he was far more active in global terrorism and WMDs than Sodamn Insane ever was. We handled him with the occasional well-placed air strike; why was an invasion needed in Iraq, a country that posed less of a threat on either front?

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    Oz_Media

    Come and listen to a story about a man named Bush
    A poor business manager, who's habits were a rush.
    Then one day he was shootin at some dude,
    And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude.

    Oil that is, black gold, Haliburton's tea.

    Well the first thing you know ol' Bush's President,
    Kinfolk said Bush move away from there
    Said Washington is the place you ought to be
    So they loaded up the truck and moved to The House.

    The White House, that is.
    crack cocaine, porno stars.

    The Republican Party!

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    CharlieSpencer

    Well, now it's time to say 'Good-bye!' to George and all his rot,
    And he would like to thank the troops for kindly getting shot.
    They're be sent back for years to come to that locality,
    While W. stays home and ducks responsibility.

    Stay a spell,
    Keep your boots on;
    Y'all duck flak now, y'ah hear?

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    Oz_Media

    Loved it!

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    Forum Surfer

    I don't beleive that regarding terrorism. I think it's a bad attitude most people have devolped over a military action in Iraq that cannot be completed in just a matter of a year or two. Terrorism is something that isn't going away because no matter what we do, radicals will always despise our very existence. I find it amazing that in a post-911 war a good deal of people are adopting the pre-911 attitude that terroism is an over rated threat that can't hurt us. It does exist, operatives exist all over the world risking their lives over mere information to possible terrorist and the government has to keep a certain amount of vigilence.

    But in regards to what-if's...

    The solution would be to do nothing...if you assisnate Saadam another member of his party would have risen to power and made Saadam a martyr.

    Terrorists would hold safe havens in small but dangerously militant groups...the same groups that pose threats now in other regions.

    WMD's? Even if he used such it would more than likely be against Isreal and even then it would be failed attempts met with swift action from the rest of the free world.

    The people of Iraq would suffer, just as the suffer now from being caught in the cross fire.

    Saadam would still hate the US but not take hard line stands as he knew most nations would soundly trounce his army in battle.

    Just my 2 cents!

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    Oz_Media

    Well, I don't think anyone thought it would be a year or two but, even today, if it was completed in a decade or two, I think you'd be doing well.

    I don't know abotu doing NOTHING, but a full allie dcoalition should have remained in Afghanistan, whiel evidence was gathered to confirm the allegations in Iraq. At that time, perhaps Afghanistan would be in a better position to support its own, and perhaps the entire globally allied coalition would be in Iraq, which surely would make SOME difference, wouldn't it?

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    Forum Surfer

    Even still, I don't think it is a possibility. It would be hard to get sucha coalition to stay together unilatteraly. Which would leave you hoping someone like the UN would step in. The UN focuses to much on peace talks and treaties with countries that don't play by the rules...after which they stand by and do nothing. Personally I think someone neutered the UN not long after it was formed and it is more of a hinderence to progress than anything else.

    These days when countries grow a pair and take a stand they get criticized for being too militant. Meanwhile other nations are content to live in isolationism until something happens on their borders, which is a dangerous practice.

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    retro77

    I think we are only finishing up what we should have done during the first Gulf War. Not just liberate Kuwait, but also remove Saddam from power.

    I do think that we went in under false pretenses though. The whole WMD thing is what really turned this war sour in the American public. Before we didnt find anything, everyone was all for getting Saddam out of there. We were still realing on the high from the 9-11 attacks and looking to eliminate our enemies.

    Handle it differently? Meh. The US Government knows way more about stuff that goes on that is never told to the press. For all we know there was WMD found, but maybe the means that those were created came from US soil or allies.

    Also if you recall the dozen or so semi trucks that were leaving Baghdad the days and hours before US troops got there. It was being covered by CNN, live. Those went north to Syria. For all we know, Syria has them.

    From a military standpoint, war is needed sometimes. From a civilian standpoint, war is never needed. Me, coming from a military background, am all for the war.

    I also think that we need to eliminate all terrorists. Hunt these guys down, kill them, put a stop to the stupid IEDs, the suicide bombings and all that other horse ****. In my mind, terrorists are the worse [female cats] in the world. If they aren't man enough to fight real people that can defend themselves and fight back, then they deserve to die.

    //end rant.

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    Oz_Media

    That's fair, as a reason YOU support teh war in Iraq.

    The question is what if you HADN'T gone to Iraq, what if you had stayed the course in Afghanistan and waited, as your allies requested, for mroe proof of what was going on in Iraq. And no, your government did NOT have secret information that other allied nations did not, there's nothing to hide form the public there.

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    retro77

    If you don't think the gov has secret information then you are in the dark. If you have ever served, you would know that not even 1% of the information is released to the public.

    I would have still pressed on from Afghanistan into Iraq. Even if WMD didn't exist.

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    Oz_Media

    If you had attended school maybe you would have better comprehension, but its obviously too late now.

    at NO TIME have I said that the government doesn't have information that is not made public. The problem with governments is that they DON'T tell you what you NEED to know to make informed decisions, right from eth Election forward.

    MY point was that the US government doe sNOT have informtaion that the ALLIED COALITION, does not, which does include numerous governments other than the USA's.

    If they DO, then they are witholding impreative information that should be shared via thier obligations to allied nations.

    But when allies suggested the information provided was false and required confirmation and further investigation, Bush got scared that he'd lose his long time yearning to rid Iraq of Saddam, as if it would in turn give him free reign in Iraq (and access to the oil they have longed for for decades). He had no choice, if he didn't invade, he may not be able to later as it would have been proven he was acting on false premise. THEY knew, THEY warned others about it, but everyone refused ot believe it. Bush said he was a threat to the USA, even after gettign confirmation that Saddam HADN'T sought out nuclear technology, he went on air that same night saying that he HAD done so.

    Lies, deceit and complete bullspit. There are still many Americans, just like yourself, who even today listen to GWB and take his words as true.

    He has proven none of his rash allegations, all initial dissenters were proven correct, and yet he still has the ability to be believed?! Only by a completly diehard, nutbag I suppose.

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    jck

    one little thing:

    Saddam did seek out nuclear technology. He just never milled the enriched product. But, they did find that he had communicated with certain governments and other groups to determine if he could obtain everything needed.

    Of course, the guy in Iran is 10 times the hot-head of Saddam. At least Saddam was too busy lavishing himself with dozens of homes and palaces and women to start a nuclear program.

    As well having to do with information, the level of sharing of information with "allies" varies from country to country. We share much more intel and info with Britain than anyone else.

    In fact from what i know in my time of learning about such things, there are countries we consider ourselves "allies" with, and we share little strategic or counter-intel information with them. I won't, and can't, say who they are...or...well...i'll be considered a REALLY bad boy.

    Anyways...i agree with you though. Too many people don't put enough scrutiny or engage enough pressure on leadership nowadays. And when that happens, stupid events occur.

    Power corrupts...absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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    Oz_Media

    When he sought out nuclear technology it was proven that he did NOT try to seek out refinement to create nuclear arms, only nuclear power.

    When the CIS reported this to his speechwriter, his speechwriter was told not to define it as such and thus GWB was seen several hours later on TV stating thet Saddam had sought out nuclear technology and was a threat to the USA"

    THis was aired in an investigative news report as recounted by several CIA agents who were investigating the case in the Middle East at the time, as well as teh speechwriter himself.

    Now we all know that investigative reports need to be taken with a grain of salt, which is all too true, but there has to be some truth when multiple indepedant reports from inside sources ring the same bell. It certainly would make a lot of sense and should be deemed likely.

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    The Ref

    I can't accept this definition that suicide bombers are cowardly but flying in a billion dollar stealth fighter bombing the @#!$ out of someone while sitting in a comfy seat is brave.

    The real argument is that the targeting of civilians is cowardly. Just because they don?t have the money for multi million dollar smart bombs does not make them a coward. The terror bombings on planes, schools, busses or other civilian targets are undoubtedly cowardly acts, and should be stamped out mercilessly. But how do you "defend and fight back" against a tank if you only have a truck and a few sticks of dynamite? How could the Iraqi?s "defend themselves and fight back" against the "shock and awe" campaign?

    I agree with your assessment of terrorists, but the inclusion of suicide bombers in the ?terrorist? category needs clarification. While I seriously hope the fighting in the Middle East can stop quickly, the military treating everyone like a terrorist is never going to bring peace.

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    Hey

    retro77

    If you don't think suicide bombers are terrorists, thats your opinion.

    The Iraqis dont need to defend themselves from the shock and awe, we weren't there for civilians. We were there for the military and the people in power. Why do think the deck of cards was released.

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    Oz_Media

    "we weren't there for civilians. We were there for the military and the people in power"

    So because you aren't there to kill civillians, they aren't being killed?

    Perhaps a fw get caught in the crossfire? Is that what you are gettign at?

    BS. They shoot anything that moves and doesn't speak English with a Southern accent.
    have you not seen teh in field cameras and reporters? Certainly they sensationalize the battles and soldiers, but they can't fake it when civillians are shot either.

    Many citizens want to help, they don't want the fundamentalists there, AlQaeda is nto good. BUT, AlQaeda also watches them and kills them for making contact with US troops, watchign some field news of US sodeiers meeting with a local group of 'farmers' showed just how quickly teh AlQaeda operatives radio the US positions into the leaders as they go to meet with locals. After meetign locals, they found that three of teh men who'm they thought were there to work with teh Americans were AlQaeda spies, or locals that have now turne dot AlQaeda for funding and security.

    The Us can tos out all teh candy to kids that it wants, that doesn't equate to an armed terrorist telling you your family will be killed if you speak with the Americans. Innocents are then convinced to bury IED's etc. to help kill US soldiers, in order to stop them from being terrorized by AlQaeda.

    This all happens right in front of the US troops that are there to apprently protect them from this to begin with.
    Do you not see these reels? They are shown nup here via US, Canadian, British and Iraqi news networks.

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    Forum Surfer

    And I agree with alot of what you said...civilian casualties are absolutely 100% unavoidable. Smart bombs are great, but are often times the "big hammer" approach. Those situations call for top notch ground units, which will inevitibly lead to civilian casualties. You simply can't have a conflict without some innocent bystanders being killed. Put yourself in the soldier's boots...it would be understandable to get a little trigger happy when armed civilians are popping shots at you day in and day out. Like I said in other posts, civilians often carry ak's too so the only difference between an insurgent and a civilian is which one is pulling the trigger. Even assuming no weapon is present, in the heat of battle things get edgy quick and accidents happen.

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    Oz_Media

    I understand that there casualties of any war and that the only way to not have such horrors is to not go to war in the first place.

    I also agree with ground unit combat, in fact moreso than killing someone that can't see you and fight back from 20 miles, I know that they can't be 100% accurate, especially with so much anxiety trying to take them away from rational thought. That's the whole point of thier training, making sure they don't think or try to rationalize so much as simply act accordingly in any situation.

    As you say it is easy to get trigger happy, I couldn't agree more, especially when your best friend was just blown up or shot; my heart honestly goes out to all of the allied troops at war anwywhere. Even the terrorists aren't ALWAYS the terrible ones, some do so out of necessity, just as German troops did in the WW's. Many of these men who once fought and killed my ancestors have been great friends to me and now Germany, the UK and Canada are quite closely allied in many ways (off track: which is great because I absolutely LOVE Germany, beautiful place. It's really too bad so many irreplaceable structures are destroyed in wars, but I like that many can be saved as time pieces of history. The massive, ancient cathederals and halls are truly awe inspiring. In Canada they build them and knock them down to make room for something new and mro modern. Across the pond, they build them and they stay, often for hundreds of years.)

    Anyway....I gotta get my arse in gear and get to Hastings Park. It's hot and sunny, live racing starts in 2 hours, beer started legally flowing 22 minutes ago, I'M LATE!!!!. And they're off......! :)

    Have a great weekend

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    retro77

    If you didn't serve your country, then shut your damn mouth. By not serving, you don't have the right to insult the troops that did serve.

    I wish the admins would just close this **** up. It has nothing to do with the IT community.

    Semper Fi,
    Sgt Robert Gile, USMC [served 5 years, 1 was involuntary]

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    Oz_Media

    I do not think your troops are wrong, nobody is insulting them. These are facts coming straight from Iraq, it's not like one guy standing up and complaining about it, there are soldiers everywhere that see this problem, they simply do not know who is who and how to deal with it all. The insurgents waltz around in front of thier walls day in and day out, hiring/threatening Iraqi's into placing IED's, making them the eyes and ears of thier organizations, etc. US soldiers in the field sit there watching them and can't do anything about it.

    You either have to face the facts of get used to just muting them out, I have said time and time again that I do not oppose the troops who fight for the good of ANY country, but I certainly oppose the people that place them there, and THAT is the same freedom you have also fought for. (see the First Ammendment in the Constitution, we have something similar too.)
    "Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: ... freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication."

    Have a seat.


    EDIT: To address your comments about this not being part of the IT community. When you clicked on ALL forums or chose OFF-TOPIC as your threads of choice, you then indicated that you wanted to read topics on anything, IT related or not.

    To select your topic of choice, do so at the main forums page, click the tab that says BROWSE and select the IT related topic you wish to read about. By not replying to and taking up arms in a thread, you'll have a better chance at saying you are opposed to it or that it is inappropriate. Another idea, if you wish to seem disinterested in a political thread, is not to state your service time to foot your post; that would appear to be non-IT related as it is not really an IT cert. Now let your breath out before you pass out.


    You suggest you favour independance and less control by others, yet you expect an internationally focused website's staff to control what people are allowed to say to you in a public forum, even though you completely misread what you are complaining about?

    Look up hypocrisy.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    The IT community is not a community separate and distinct from the human community, it is a sub-community of the human community. Those in the field of IT have sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, friends, brothers and sisters fighting the various wars and skirmishes in which their respective nations are embroiled. War significantly impacts the human community as a whole, and impacts the IT sub-community as a part.

    If you do not wish to become embroiled in this Discussion, or riled by the contents thereof, don't read the d@mn thing.

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    $$$$$$$$$$

    Fine, run along and die, moron.

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    The Ref

    I didn?t say a blanket statement that suicide bombers were not terrorists; I said that there is a difference between targeting civilians (terrorist actions) and targeting a foreign force occupying your country (guerrillas).

    I don?t understand how missiles from a jet or shells from a tank are OK, but IED's are not. The US uses landmines and anti tank mines (apparently OK) but the locals who do not have access to these take apart unexploded ordinance to turn them into IED?s apparently are not OK. I?m sorry but I don?t understand how one method is fine and the other is a terrorist action. To clarify (as you didn?t seem to read my initial post properly) I am not talking about targeting civilians which is a despicable act and a clear act of terrorism.

    Your statement was ?If they aren't man enough to fight real people that can defend themselves and fight back, then they deserve to die.? So from an Iraqi perspective their weapons were removed from them, then jets fly in to bomb the buggery out of the place and are expected to sit by and let it happen!

    This war will never end while the local people are treated as terrorists. Treating the locals with respect and dignity, and providing safety to the locals from the terrorists is the only way the war can be won. Unfortunately I don?t currently see that happening.

    Just open your mind a little bit and think of it from the Iraqi civilian perspective for one minute and see how your words are equally applicable to them. I wrote about this in the post http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=263133&messageID=2496475. *Any* side takes the ?we are right so we?ll tell you what is good for you? without consultation involving the other side is doomed to fail. This holds true in any situation, not just military.

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    $$$$$$$$$$

    I also think that we need to eliminate all terrorists. Hunt these guys down, kill them, put a stop to the stupid IEDs, the suicide bombings and all that other horse ****. In my mind, terrorists are the worse [female cats] in the world. If they aren't man enough to fight real people that can defend themselves and fight back, then they deserve to die.

    And if we kill 100,000 innocent Iraqis in pursuit of Al Qaida, whose total global membership was estimated around 20,000 by the professionals whose job is to know that, then who has the moral high ground? Only dead people, bullets and other inanimate objects.

    I don't have to respect your ideas to respect your service to protecting my freedoms, which include putting you in your place when you mouth off without thinking first.

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    maxwell edison

    I wasn't planning on starting another thread. It was all I could do to read most of the 800+ in my recent global warming lunacy thread - and I think I only posted about 6 of them.

    I just wanted to comment on something that was missing from the Iraq debate. I'm not really up to another long and drawn-out discussion - especially on Iraq. But thanks for your disclaimers and concern.

    I will post a reply to this discussion, however, since you took the time yourself. Give me a day or so to gather my thoughts and get something down.

    P.S. I'll save the long drawn-out discussion for an evening over beers in B.C. one of these days. Now that could be lively!

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    Oz_Media

    Whether in Colorado, Oregon, Californy, or BC, wherever you may roam.

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    jck

    Where would terrorism on America be now?

    Probably...imho...about where we are today. It isn't the past that makes us inept at catching terrorism...it's our tactics.

    What would have happaned regarding WMD?

    Nothing different.

    What would have happened to the people of Iraq ?

    Saddam would be still ruling them with an iron fist...so...what's any different...they get terrorised by his personal goon squad...or Osama Bin Laden's?

    How would Saddam be acting today?

    Well if we bought things for him and buddied up to him like we did when they were fighting with Iran...just like we did with Bin Laden when he was a guerilla sect leader against the Russians in Afghanistan, or the rebel guerillas in Nicaragua...we'd probably have been able to get along with him.


    There's a lot that stinks about having gone in there...not only from the death toll of soldiers...not only from the death toll of innocents...not only because we marched in like we rule the world...

    But, it stinks because so many have profited from the death and destruction that has gone on and is still going on there daily.

    And truly...all we are really doing is irritating the situation by being there. Most Muslims want us out of Iraq.

    I say...let them sit there and kill each other and **** each other up. If they do that, then we can go in and make a mall or something.

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    LOL

    Oz_Media

    You could open a WalMart and save the earth too! The exploited labourers will be within walking distance of the main warehouse. Short trucking distances and get gasonline that costs pennies on the dollar because the US taxpayer is funding the difference.

    Hey I think you're on to something there, you could erect a large statue of GWB to replace the toppled Saddam icon, **** you could send GWB there to run the whole freakin' country; he loves to play war afterall!

    The only thing you said that I don't fully agree with is that the people were ruled with an iron fist. If you go to some of the websites from Iraq and speak with some of the people who work there, it really wasn't THAT bad for teh general public. In fact, women were far mroe repressed when the Taliban took over Afghanistan than when Saddam ruled Iraq.

    I'm not saying it was a free for all, but it wasn't as bad as many seem to feel. People went to college just like anyone here does, they studied sciences, biochemistry (yeah, yeah, it can be used to saves lives as well as make bombs), engineering etc. People in Iraq often went to school in the Americas or Europe and took valuable skills back and started businesses that conduct global business. I think far more focus should have been placed on afghanistan and the Taliban in that region. At one time, AlQaeda was getting pretty small, now they are bigger than before and operating in almost every country on the planet (including both of ours).

    Anyway, not gonna rant or flame you, that's not my goal here and I am quite surprised at your answers; I honestly thought you were a little more for the action than that.

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    nah

    jck

    Q: Was I for taking out Saddam?

    A: Yes. Anyone who will torture a citizen of their country for expressing a negative opinion of him...is a sick person...and needs to be eliminated.

    Q: Was I for the USA going in, in all essence, absolutely alone and without backing of most of our allies?

    A: **** no. We should have worked with the rest our allies, and put a social and economic crunch on Saddam's trouser nuggets like a bodybuilding stripper who just got shafted by a customer for the money for 20 lap dances

    Q: Do I think that Iraq would be better off now if Saddam was still alive running it?

    A: Yes. I think Saddam kept the renegade guerilla types in check with that iron fist, as well as any detractor he thought worthy of his vengeance.

    But, you didn't see daily bombings and sniper attacks when he was leader. He had moles, spies, informants, snitches, etc., who he rewarded for being loyal.

    And like I said...5 years ago, Saddam was terrorizing the people of Iraq...now terrorists are. What's the difference?

    Answer: None.

    BTW...Wal-Mart is already doing well exploiting China for cheap labor, and also doing well making sure American vendors have cheap manufacturing facilities.

    The easiest way to kill Wal-Mart?

    Put a huge tariff on anything from a country that doesn't pay their work the same as an American doing the same job. Say...400%.

    Wal-Mart would sink within months, cause a lot of their suppliers couldn't ramp up American facilities fast enough to keep product on the shelves.

    Of course, that will never happen. Wal-Mart would find out if it was in the works, then pay off a few choice committee members in congress...and that bill would die a quick, quiet death.

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    highlander718

    let's remember that Saddam kicked out the ONU inspectors from his country. Let's remember that the food for oil program did not help the population too much, that is to say the Saddam regime was making the millions out of it. Let's remember that we are talking about a tyranic regime, a unpredictable regime.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have no doubt that the overthrow of Saddam was a good thing. I think the price ended up to be higher than expected and wished. Nobody could've known these things (a few might've "luckily guessed").

    That being said, in the improbable case that Saddam would've been alive and at power, we irakis would still live in fear and poverty, on the other hand the number of the dead would be smaller and we would've not have the allied military casualties. Maybe the reverse would be that things in Afganistan would've ben under control by know as the allies would've haved more resources available there.

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    Oz_Media

    That the US Embassy's report to congress was posted on the White House website and showed that the "US" inspection agents were not allowing a proper flow of goods into Iraq, it was all under US control, any problems with that is the US governments fault. They kept shipments awaiting inspection for over 9 months, until medical and food supplies had long expired, until they were finally released to Iraq.

    This was not the original intent of the program at all, but was a little kick in the nuts from the US to Iraq.

    Lets not also forget that at the time that GWB decided to remove inspectors to make way for an invasion, that they WERE completing inspections and had stated a timeline of r4-6 weeks to finish, as of yet finding NOTHING of any threat, some unused, antiquated warheads incapable of intercontinental attack but nothing for the US to fear.

    As GWB was convinced that WMD were there (the US government still had the reciept from selling them to begin with, they were sure they were there)he removed inspectors and went ahead with the invasion, despite his obligations to only use force in order to complete inspections if needed. Saddam did not kick them out this time, they were quickly removed and silenced by the US goverment instead.

    As for the Oil For Food program being breached by Saddam and other smaller countries, again the US Embassy's report to congress shows that the US was as much to blame as anyone.

    Note: The US was happily trading with smaller countries for Iraq's oil, which they they couldn't buy direct. The US upped that oil demand continuously, the old supply and demand scenario, ya know.

    Smaller companies jumped at the opportunity to line their pockets with Petrodollars and traded what was needed. So the onus is not all upon the guys that traded with Iraq as they were filling US damands for Iraqi oil at the lowest prices.

    Those trades DID include SOME dual purpose goods, however that is a very loosely used term. The definitions and restrictions can be Googled if you are interested in looking into it. Many such goods were not bombs per se, but simple household cleaners and medical supplies that COULD be used to make an explosive, just like most of the stuff under your own kitchen counter.

    As for the price being higher than expected and only a few may have made such a "lucky guess", most Allied nations had already warned explicitly that this war could not be resolved in short time, it would be far mroe complicated, require a lot more intelligence and planning and that more effort was needed towards planning and executing a change of government in Iraq. It's not a 'lucky guess' but carefully planned and collected intelligence. This did not fit Bush's agenda, he couldn't even wait the 406 weeks for inspections to finish, in other words it was a rash decision without the required intelligence, not exactly what you would want from a country's leader.

    Of course that was ignored by Bush, he removed inspectors and invaded the country while swigning his lasso to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy. Declaring "Mission Complete" as he joined his troops leaving Afghanistan to preach the New World Order.

    The focus should have remained in Afghanistan until inspections were completed, they found no WMD and then could decide on proper course of action to change the government in Iraq, AFTER finishing up in securing Afghanistan, but not instead.

    bottom line, bush screwed up BIG TIME, he invaded a country withotu just cause, he went against his own promises and promises he made to the people of American. Despite proven intelligance, he just outright lied to the people of America about Saddams seekign nuclear arms (according to the man who was instructed to write that speech), he lied about WMD, he lied about weapons inspectors, he lied and lied some more, but that doesn't matter now because he got his way. And there are even Americans who seem to blindly support that action today.

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    AV .

    If we didn't go to war in Iraq when we did, we would probably be more focused in Afghanistan. Saddam would still be living under sanctions and the Iraqi people would be living in oppression under his rule. I think the Iraq war was more about protecting our oil interests in that region than WMD. Saddam would have continued to seek control of the Strait of Hormuz. If he did that, he would have great power over the oil market. That would have been the ultimate bargaining chip in a world hungry for oil.

    One of Saddam's evil sons, Uday or Cusay, would assume power in Iraq. Probably Cusay. How scary is that? Cusay would continue the pursuit of control of the Strait of Hormuz and power through oil. Sanctions would slowly be lifted because of Iraq's oil and power. Countries around the world would enrich Iraq for its control of oil in the region. Then Iraq would further pursue WMDs, a project put on hold for years because of sanctions.

    The terrorists would still be there either way for the US. We're fighting them in Iraq now because Saddam's absence has allowed Al-Qaida to set up shop there. If Saddam was still in power, we would be fighting Al-Qaida in Afganistan. Saddam was not a supporter of Al-Qaida. He probably would have helped us. Terrorists have a multitude of reasons to hate the US, but Al-Qaida hates us mostly because we are not Islamic and because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    We would be aiding Saddam at this point because of oil. He would be the go to person in the Middle East for oil and the extinction of Al-Qaida. The only problem would be that he is a ruthless dictator with two demented sons soon to take his place. Pretty dismal. I don't like that scenario either.

    AV

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    Oz_Media

    Excellent answer, whether I agree or not, that's exactly what this thread is about.

    %@^$*&# inquiry witheld, winner dropped to 8th place. Was definitely a foul on the first turn causing the 5 to check though. Damn.... back to posting now.

    The thing I think you didn't include or maybe don't believe, is the Allied coalition. If inspectors were allowe dto finish, and found nothing, who's to say that the Saddam issue wouldn't be raised by now anyway? Perhaps an allied coalition would be in Iraq now, had everyone stayed the course full on in Afghanistan.

    Hard to say but thanks for a straight up post all the same.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    thoroughbreds?

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    Oz_Media

    What a crock of #%^&#. It was an obvious foul, saw it as it happened and groaned, waiting for the light and long delay.

    Way too obvious, he was knocked from 1st to 8th (DQ'd in a field of 7), there's no way teh 5 would have been in there though.
    Here's a direct link to the replay via WMP.
    http://s163788920.onlinehome.us/replays/hastings/2008_05_18/dsl_04.wmv

    The 4 makes the 5 check hard in the beginning of the first turn. Without the cut, he could have hung 5' off the rail and still won, but the check screwed the 4 up too and only just won. Mario's a **** though and whines when he loses fair and square, always an inquiry with that guy.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    to put a couple bucks to win on Boxcars in the 8th?

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    Oz_Media

    Would have lost but hey, it's gambling afterall.

    Actually Francisco won that one, Francisco is this years name. He's been winning (great day yesterday) so he renamed himself. He used ot go by Frank, nicknamed Frank the Tank for his afressive riding style.

    Hastings is a jockey's park, if you know the local jockeys and owners/stables you can pick up good odds, especially when they are running newcomers from CalX, Woodbine and Emerald Downs.

    I'll always think of you when Boxcars is running now, you will be a beer garden comment from now on I think. In a nice way of course. :)

    Here's the free replay for you anyway, GO BOXCARS!! Definitely looking better, maybe worth a bet across the board next time, triactor material for sure.

    http://s163788920.onlinehome.us/replays/hastings/2008_05_18/dsl_08.wmv

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Boxcars ran 4th. Looked at Romanced in the 6th, but a horse named Lifelong Romance got me married 18 years ago so I got leery!

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    Oz_Media

    That they had avid racing fans in Noobyoobywabba. LOL

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    that runs Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky. Likely because I have a retirement home in Hot Springs, AR. But your original comment dumped horse racing into my brain, so I had to check into things.

    Nice to see another fan about the place.

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    AV .

    Saddam had been an issue for many years prior to GWB and would have become a major obstacle in the future. Regardless of what the inspectors found, I don't think the Coalition would ever opt to remove Saddam unless there was an absolute threat.

    AV

    edit: added "an" to the last sentence.

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    jdclyde

    STOP, or I shall say stop again!

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    AV .

    Any allies of the US would have to confront a rogue Saddam regime eventually, but would never agree to go to war under any circumstances, except an absolute threat.

    No one wants war, but you have to be willing to wage one if rogue nations won't cooperate. The stakes are high for all of us. WMDs and oil.

    If Saddam was still in power, our Allies might have had to choose to remove him. Could you imagine the Saddam regime in power now with the current oil crisis? It would have been a great opportunity for him and his demented sons.

    I have a new appreciation of why we went to war in Iraq.

    AV

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    JamesRL

    I think where we might differ is our assessment of Saddam and his world pre invasion.

    Saddam in 1991 had a huge army and oil revenue to keep it happy. He lost part of that during the war.

    After 1991, he lost control of the northern part of the country, where the Kurds created an "autonomous region" They were protected in part by a No fly zone which prevented Saddam from using helicopters and planes against the Kurds. The Kurds were getting small arms from Iran (the enemey of my enemy...). Its this northern area where the only Al Qaeda cell pre Saddam's overthrow set up a small camp.

    The restructions placed on Saddam by the UN limited his ability to restore his army or his lands to what they were. Saddam could shake his fist in defiance of the west, but not take much action. He was no direct threat to a vigilant Kuwait, Iran or Saudi Arabia, at least through conventional means. Hence he did reach out to fellow Sunnis like Hezbollah, whose main target was Isreal.

    Saddam would be acting like he was prior to the invasion, harassing the UN inspectors, harassing the planes which flew over. But hoping they went away, and trying to subvert the restrictions of the oil for food program and throwing a little money at Hezbollah were about the only options open to him.

    James

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    CharlieSpencer

    "...what WOULD have been an alternative solution..."

    Before you can define solutions, it's always good to define the PROBLEM. Setting our clocks back to mid-September, 2001, what was the problem all this was supposed to solve? Terrorism? WMD? Since neither of these turned out to exist in Iraq, it's impossible to provide an alternative solution to two situations that were never problems at all.

    To speculate in answer to your questions:

    "Where would terrorism on America be now?"
    Probably about where it is now, an over exaggerated threat used by politicians for scare tactics. Best case - greatly reduced if we'd focused on Afghanistan and ignored Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with terrorist attacks on the U.S. in the first place. A case could be made that the invasion of Iraq has actually increase the threat of terrorism against the U.S.

    What would have happaned regarding WMD?
    Since it turns out Iraq had none, nothing would have happened.

    "What would have happened to the people of Iraq?"

    The Shi'ite majority would have continued to suffer under Saddam, the Sunni minority would continue in power, Iran wouldn't have a foothold in Iraq. A case could be made that fewer people on the whole suffered under Saddam than they do now; only time will tell if the short-term increased suffering will result in long-term stability. Personally I have my doubts about stability resulting from the current configuration of the country.

    "How would Saddam be acting today?"
    Just about the same as he was acting seven years ago.

    This is all retrospective speculation and difficult to back up with facts.

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    LOL

    Oz_Media

    While I actually agree with most of your post, I had to laugh (yes, it's MY turn to point out a typo).

    By saying Shite, I assume you mean shi'ite, but it's all the same isn't it? LOL, nice one!

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    CharlieSpencer

    I don't think I've ever seen the word spelled before. I get the majority of my news from the U.S. National Public Radio. It has a liberal bias, but I'm aware of it and can filter that out, and they cover stories in far more detail than any other U.S. new outlet. I actually use '****' as a mnemonic device to keep the sects straight in my mind; the shi'ites were dumped on under Saddam, the sunnis had it easy and 'sunny'.

    I've often wondered who determines the spelling of a word that uses a completely different alphabet from English speaking nations. In English an apostrophe usually indicates either possession or omitted letters in a contraction. In the case of ' shi'ite ', what purpose does the inserted apostrophe serve? Who decided it wouldn't be spelled 'sheehite' or 'sheiyte'? When did 'Peking' become 'Beijing'; did the name actually change or did Westerners just mistake the spelling and pronunciation for decades until we were eventually corrected? Why 'Iraq' and not 'Irak' or 'Irack'? 'Khadaffi' (why the 'h' and two 'f's?), 'Qadhafi' (no 'u'; why a 'q' and not 'k'?), or 'Ghadafi'; how exactly do you spell that sumbich's name?

    Speaking of the good Colonel, he was far more active in global terrorism and WMDs than Sodamn Insane ever was. We handled him with the occasional well-placed air strike; why was an invasion needed in Iraq, a country that posed less of a threat on either front?

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    Oz_Media

    Come and listen to a story about a man named Bush
    A poor business manager, who's habits were a rush.
    Then one day he was shootin at some dude,
    And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude.

    Oil that is, black gold, Haliburton's tea.

    Well the first thing you know ol' Bush's President,
    Kinfolk said Bush move away from there
    Said Washington is the place you ought to be
    So they loaded up the truck and moved to The House.

    The White House, that is.
    crack cocaine, porno stars.

    The Republican Party!

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    CharlieSpencer

    Well, now it's time to say 'Good-bye!' to George and all his rot,
    And he would like to thank the troops for kindly getting shot.
    They're be sent back for years to come to that locality,
    While W. stays home and ducks responsibility.

    Stay a spell,
    Keep your boots on;
    Y'all duck flak now, y'ah hear?

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    Oz_Media

    Loved it!

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    Forum Surfer

    I don't beleive that regarding terrorism. I think it's a bad attitude most people have devolped over a military action in Iraq that cannot be completed in just a matter of a year or two. Terrorism is something that isn't going away because no matter what we do, radicals will always despise our very existence. I find it amazing that in a post-911 war a good deal of people are adopting the pre-911 attitude that terroism is an over rated threat that can't hurt us. It does exist, operatives exist all over the world risking their lives over mere information to possible terrorist and the government has to keep a certain amount of vigilence.

    But in regards to what-if's...

    The solution would be to do nothing...if you assisnate Saadam another member of his party would have risen to power and made Saadam a martyr.

    Terrorists would hold safe havens in small but dangerously militant groups...the same groups that pose threats now in other regions.

    WMD's? Even if he used such it would more than likely be against Isreal and even then it would be failed attempts met with swift action from the rest of the free world.

    The people of Iraq would suffer, just as the suffer now from being caught in the cross fire.

    Saadam would still hate the US but not take hard line stands as he knew most nations would soundly trounce his army in battle.

    Just my 2 cents!

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    Oz_Media

    Well, I don't think anyone thought it would be a year or two but, even today, if it was completed in a decade or two, I think you'd be doing well.

    I don't know abotu doing NOTHING, but a full allie dcoalition should have remained in Afghanistan, whiel evidence was gathered to confirm the allegations in Iraq. At that time, perhaps Afghanistan would be in a better position to support its own, and perhaps the entire globally allied coalition would be in Iraq, which surely would make SOME difference, wouldn't it?

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    Forum Surfer

    Even still, I don't think it is a possibility. It would be hard to get sucha coalition to stay together unilatteraly. Which would leave you hoping someone like the UN would step in. The UN focuses to much on peace talks and treaties with countries that don't play by the rules...after which they stand by and do nothing. Personally I think someone neutered the UN not long after it was formed and it is more of a hinderence to progress than anything else.

    These days when countries grow a pair and take a stand they get criticized for being too militant. Meanwhile other nations are content to live in isolationism until something happens on their borders, which is a dangerous practice.

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    retro77

    I think we are only finishing up what we should have done during the first Gulf War. Not just liberate Kuwait, but also remove Saddam from power.

    I do think that we went in under false pretenses though. The whole WMD thing is what really turned this war sour in the American public. Before we didnt find anything, everyone was all for getting Saddam out of there. We were still realing on the high from the 9-11 attacks and looking to eliminate our enemies.

    Handle it differently? Meh. The US Government knows way more about stuff that goes on that is never told to the press. For all we know there was WMD found, but maybe the means that those were created came from US soil or allies.

    Also if you recall the dozen or so semi trucks that were leaving Baghdad the days and hours before US troops got there. It was being covered by CNN, live. Those went north to Syria. For all we know, Syria has them.

    From a military standpoint, war is needed sometimes. From a civilian standpoint, war is never needed. Me, coming from a military background, am all for the war.

    I also think that we need to eliminate all terrorists. Hunt these guys down, kill them, put a stop to the stupid IEDs, the suicide bombings and all that other horse ****. In my mind, terrorists are the worse [female cats] in the world. If they aren't man enough to fight real people that can defend themselves and fight back, then they deserve to die.

    //end rant.

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    Oz_Media

    That's fair, as a reason YOU support teh war in Iraq.

    The question is what if you HADN'T gone to Iraq, what if you had stayed the course in Afghanistan and waited, as your allies requested, for mroe proof of what was going on in Iraq. And no, your government did NOT have secret information that other allied nations did not, there's nothing to hide form the public there.

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    retro77

    If you don't think the gov has secret information then you are in the dark. If you have ever served, you would know that not even 1% of the information is released to the public.

    I would have still pressed on from Afghanistan into Iraq. Even if WMD didn't exist.

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    Oz_Media

    If you had attended school maybe you would have better comprehension, but its obviously too late now.

    at NO TIME have I said that the government doesn't have information that is not made public. The problem with governments is that they DON'T tell you what you NEED to know to make informed decisions, right from eth Election forward.

    MY point was that the US government doe sNOT have informtaion that the ALLIED COALITION, does not, which does include numerous governments other than the USA's.

    If they DO, then they are witholding impreative information that should be shared via thier obligations to allied nations.

    But when allies suggested the information provided was false and required confirmation and further investigation, Bush got scared that he'd lose his long time yearning to rid Iraq of Saddam, as if it would in turn give him free reign in Iraq (and access to the oil they have longed for for decades). He had no choice, if he didn't invade, he may not be able to later as it would have been proven he was acting on false premise. THEY knew, THEY warned others about it, but everyone refused ot believe it. Bush said he was a threat to the USA, even after gettign confirmation that Saddam HADN'T sought out nuclear technology, he went on air that same night saying that he HAD done so.

    Lies, deceit and complete bullspit. There are still many Americans, just like yourself, who even today listen to GWB and take his words as true.

    He has proven none of his rash allegations, all initial dissenters were proven correct, and yet he still has the ability to be believed?! Only by a completly diehard, nutbag I suppose.

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    jck

    one little thing:

    Saddam did seek out nuclear technology. He just never milled the enriched product. But, they did find that he had communicated with certain governments and other groups to determine if he could obtain everything needed.

    Of course, the guy in Iran is 10 times the hot-head of Saddam. At least Saddam was too busy lavishing himself with dozens of homes and palaces and women to start a nuclear program.

    As well having to do with information, the level of sharing of information with "allies" varies from country to country. We share much more intel and info with Britain than anyone else.

    In fact from what i know in my time of learning about such things, there are countries we consider ourselves "allies" with, and we share little strategic or counter-intel information with them. I won't, and can't, say who they are...or...well...i'll be considered a REALLY bad boy.

    Anyways...i agree with you though. Too many people don't put enough scrutiny or engage enough pressure on leadership nowadays. And when that happens, stupid events occur.

    Power corrupts...absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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    Oz_Media

    When he sought out nuclear technology it was proven that he did NOT try to seek out refinement to create nuclear arms, only nuclear power.

    When the CIS reported this to his speechwriter, his speechwriter was told not to define it as such and thus GWB was seen several hours later on TV stating thet Saddam had sought out nuclear technology and was a threat to the USA"

    THis was aired in an investigative news report as recounted by several CIA agents who were investigating the case in the Middle East at the time, as well as teh speechwriter himself.

    Now we all know that investigative reports need to be taken with a grain of salt, which is all too true, but there has to be some truth when multiple indepedant reports from inside sources ring the same bell. It certainly would make a lot of sense and should be deemed likely.

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    The Ref

    I can't accept this definition that suicide bombers are cowardly but flying in a billion dollar stealth fighter bombing the @#!$ out of someone while sitting in a comfy seat is brave.

    The real argument is that the targeting of civilians is cowardly. Just because they don?t have the money for multi million dollar smart bombs does not make them a coward. The terror bombings on planes, schools, busses or other civilian targets are undoubtedly cowardly acts, and should be stamped out mercilessly. But how do you "defend and fight back" against a tank if you only have a truck and a few sticks of dynamite? How could the Iraqi?s "defend themselves and fight back" against the "shock and awe" campaign?

    I agree with your assessment of terrorists, but the inclusion of suicide bombers in the ?terrorist? category needs clarification. While I seriously hope the fighting in the Middle East can stop quickly, the military treating everyone like a terrorist is never going to bring peace.

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    Hey

    retro77

    If you don't think suicide bombers are terrorists, thats your opinion.

    The Iraqis dont need to defend themselves from the shock and awe, we weren't there for civilians. We were there for the military and the people in power. Why do think the deck of cards was released.

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    Oz_Media

    "we weren't there for civilians. We were there for the military and the people in power"

    So because you aren't there to kill civillians, they aren't being killed?

    Perhaps a fw get caught in the crossfire? Is that what you are gettign at?

    BS. They shoot anything that moves and doesn't speak English with a Southern accent.
    have you not seen teh in field cameras and reporters? Certainly they sensationalize the battles and soldiers, but they can't fake it when civillians are shot either.

    Many citizens want to help, they don't want the fundamentalists there, AlQaeda is nto good. BUT, AlQaeda also watches them and kills them for making contact with US troops, watchign some field news of US sodeiers meeting with a local group of 'farmers' showed just how quickly teh AlQaeda operatives radio the US positions into the leaders as they go to meet with locals. After meetign locals, they found that three of teh men who'm they thought were there to work with teh Americans were AlQaeda spies, or locals that have now turne dot AlQaeda for funding and security.

    The Us can tos out all teh candy to kids that it wants, that doesn't equate to an armed terrorist telling you your family will be killed if you speak with the Americans. Innocents are then convinced to bury IED's etc. to help kill US soldiers, in order to stop them from being terrorized by AlQaeda.

    This all happens right in front of the US troops that are there to apprently protect them from this to begin with.
    Do you not see these reels? They are shown nup here via US, Canadian, British and Iraqi news networks.

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    Forum Surfer

    And I agree with alot of what you said...civilian casualties are absolutely 100% unavoidable. Smart bombs are great, but are often times the "big hammer" approach. Those situations call for top notch ground units, which will inevitibly lead to civilian casualties. You simply can't have a conflict without some innocent bystanders being killed. Put yourself in the soldier's boots...it would be understandable to get a little trigger happy when armed civilians are popping shots at you day in and day out. Like I said in other posts, civilians often carry ak's too so the only difference between an insurgent and a civilian is which one is pulling the trigger. Even assuming no weapon is present, in the heat of battle things get edgy quick and accidents happen.

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    Oz_Media

    I understand that there casualties of any war and that the only way to not have such horrors is to not go to war in the first place.

    I also agree with ground unit combat, in fact moreso than killing someone that can't see you and fight back from 20 miles, I know that they can't be 100% accurate, especially with so much anxiety trying to take them away from rational thought. That's the whole point of thier training, making sure they don't think or try to rationalize so much as simply act accordingly in any situation.

    As you say it is easy to get trigger happy, I couldn't agree more, especially when your best friend was just blown up or shot; my heart honestly goes out to all of the allied troops at war anwywhere. Even the terrorists aren't ALWAYS the terrible ones, some do so out of necessity, just as German troops did in the WW's. Many of these men who once fought and killed my ancestors have been great friends to me and now Germany, the UK and Canada are quite closely allied in many ways (off track: which is great because I absolutely LOVE Germany, beautiful place. It's really too bad so many irreplaceable structures are destroyed in wars, but I like that many can be saved as time pieces of history. The massive, ancient cathederals and halls are truly awe inspiring. In Canada they build them and knock them down to make room for something new and mro modern. Across the pond, they build them and they stay, often for hundreds of years.)

    Anyway....I gotta get my arse in gear and get to Hastings Park. It's hot and sunny, live racing starts in 2 hours, beer started legally flowing 22 minutes ago, I'M LATE!!!!. And they're off......! :)

    Have a great weekend

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    retro77

    If you didn't serve your country, then shut your damn mouth. By not serving, you don't have the right to insult the troops that did serve.

    I wish the admins would just close this **** up. It has nothing to do with the IT community.

    Semper Fi,
    Sgt Robert Gile, USMC [served 5 years, 1 was involuntary]

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    Oz_Media

    I do not think your troops are wrong, nobody is insulting them. These are facts coming straight from Iraq, it's not like one guy standing up and complaining about it, there are soldiers everywhere that see this problem, they simply do not know who is who and how to deal with it all. The insurgents waltz around in front of thier walls day in and day out, hiring/threatening Iraqi's into placing IED's, making them the eyes and ears of thier organizations, etc. US soldiers in the field sit there watching them and can't do anything about it.

    You either have to face the facts of get used to just muting them out, I have said time and time again that I do not oppose the troops who fight for the good of ANY country, but I certainly oppose the people that place them there, and THAT is the same freedom you have also fought for. (see the First Ammendment in the Constitution, we have something similar too.)
    "Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: ... freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication."

    Have a seat.


    EDIT: To address your comments about this not being part of the IT community. When you clicked on ALL forums or chose OFF-TOPIC as your threads of choice, you then indicated that you wanted to read topics on anything, IT related or not.

    To select your topic of choice, do so at the main forums page, click the tab that says BROWSE and select the IT related topic you wish to read about. By not replying to and taking up arms in a thread, you'll have a better chance at saying you are opposed to it or that it is inappropriate. Another idea, if you wish to seem disinterested in a political thread, is not to state your service time to foot your post; that would appear to be non-IT related as it is not really an IT cert. Now let your breath out before you pass out.


    You suggest you favour independance and less control by others, yet you expect an internationally focused website's staff to control what people are allowed to say to you in a public forum, even though you completely misread what you are complaining about?

    Look up hypocrisy.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    The IT community is not a community separate and distinct from the human community, it is a sub-community of the human community. Those in the field of IT have sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, friends, brothers and sisters fighting the various wars and skirmishes in which their respective nations are embroiled. War significantly impacts the human community as a whole, and impacts the IT sub-community as a part.

    If you do not wish to become embroiled in this Discussion, or riled by the contents thereof, don't read the d@mn thing.

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    $$$$$$$$$$

    Fine, run along and die, moron.

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    The Ref

    I didn?t say a blanket statement that suicide bombers were not terrorists; I said that there is a difference between targeting civilians (terrorist actions) and targeting a foreign force occupying your country (guerrillas).

    I don?t understand how missiles from a jet or shells from a tank are OK, but IED's are not. The US uses landmines and anti tank mines (apparently OK) but the locals who do not have access to these take apart unexploded ordinance to turn them into IED?s apparently are not OK. I?m sorry but I don?t understand how one method is fine and the other is a terrorist action. To clarify (as you didn?t seem to read my initial post properly) I am not talking about targeting civilians which is a despicable act and a clear act of terrorism.

    Your statement was ?If they aren't man enough to fight real people that can defend themselves and fight back, then they deserve to die.? So from an Iraqi perspective their weapons were removed from them, then jets fly in to bomb the buggery out of the place and are expected to sit by and let it happen!

    This war will never end while the local people are treated as terrorists. Treating the locals with respect and dignity, and providing safety to the locals from the terrorists is the only way the war can be won. Unfortunately I don?t currently see that happening.

    Just open your mind a little bit and think of it from the Iraqi civilian perspective for one minute and see how your words are equally applicable to them. I wrote about this in the post http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=263133&messageID=2496475. *Any* side takes the ?we are right so we?ll tell you what is good for you? without consultation involving the other side is doomed to fail. This holds true in any situation, not just military.

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    $$$$$$$$$$

    I also think that we need to eliminate all terrorists. Hunt these guys down, kill them, put a stop to the stupid IEDs, the suicide bombings and all that other horse ****. In my mind, terrorists are the worse [female cats] in the world. If they aren't man enough to fight real people that can defend themselves and fight back, then they deserve to die.

    And if we kill 100,000 innocent Iraqis in pursuit of Al Qaida, whose total global membership was estimated around 20,000 by the professionals whose job is to know that, then who has the moral high ground? Only dead people, bullets and other inanimate objects.

    I don't have to respect your ideas to respect your service to protecting my freedoms, which include putting you in your place when you mouth off without thinking first.

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    maxwell edison

    I wasn't planning on starting another thread. It was all I could do to read most of the 800+ in my recent global warming lunacy thread - and I think I only posted about 6 of them.

    I just wanted to comment on something that was missing from the Iraq debate. I'm not really up to another long and drawn-out discussion - especially on Iraq. But thanks for your disclaimers and concern.

    I will post a reply to this discussion, however, since you took the time yourself. Give me a day or so to gather my thoughts and get something down.

    P.S. I'll save the long drawn-out discussion for an evening over beers in B.C. one of these days. Now that could be lively!

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    Oz_Media

    Whether in Colorado, Oregon, Californy, or BC, wherever you may roam.

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    jck

    Where would terrorism on America be now?

    Probably...imho...about where we are today. It isn't the past that makes us inept at catching terrorism...it's our tactics.

    What would have happaned regarding WMD?

    Nothing different.

    What would have happened to the people of Iraq ?

    Saddam would be still ruling them with an iron fist...so...what's any different...they get terrorised by his personal goon squad...or Osama Bin Laden's?

    How would Saddam be acting today?

    Well if we bought things for him and buddied up to him like we did when they were fighting with Iran...just like we did with Bin Laden when he was a guerilla sect leader against the Russians in Afghanistan, or the rebel guerillas in Nicaragua...we'd probably have been able to get along with him.


    There's a lot that stinks about having gone in there...not only from the death toll of soldiers...not only from the death toll of innocents...not only because we marched in like we rule the world...

    But, it stinks because so many have profited from the death and destruction that has gone on and is still going on there daily.

    And truly...all we are really doing is irritating the situation by being there. Most Muslims want us out of Iraq.

    I say...let them sit there and kill each other and **** each other up. If they do that, then we can go in and make a mall or something.

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    LOL

    Oz_Media

    You could open a WalMart and save the earth too! The exploited labourers will be within walking distance of the main warehouse. Short trucking distances and get gasonline that costs pennies on the dollar because the US taxpayer is funding the difference.

    Hey I think you're on to something there, you could erect a large statue of GWB to replace the toppled Saddam icon, **** you could send GWB there to run the whole freakin' country; he loves to play war afterall!

    The only thing you said that I don't fully agree with is that the people were ruled with an iron fist. If you go to some of the websites from Iraq and speak with some of the people who work there, it really wasn't THAT bad for teh general public. In fact, women were far mroe repressed when the Taliban took over Afghanistan than when Saddam ruled Iraq.

    I'm not saying it was a free for all, but it wasn't as bad as many seem to feel. People went to college just like anyone here does, they studied sciences, biochemistry (yeah, yeah, it can be used to saves lives as well as make bombs), engineering etc. People in Iraq often went to school in the Americas or Europe and took valuable skills back and started businesses that conduct global business. I think far more focus should have been placed on afghanistan and the Taliban in that region. At one time, AlQaeda was getting pretty small, now they are bigger than before and operating in almost every country on the planet (including both of ours).

    Anyway, not gonna rant or flame you, that's not my goal here and I am quite surprised at your answers; I honestly thought you were a little more for the action than that.

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    nah

    jck

    Q: Was I for taking out Saddam?

    A: Yes. Anyone who will torture a citizen of their country for expressing a negative opinion of him...is a sick person...and needs to be eliminated.

    Q: Was I for the USA going in, in all essence, absolutely alone and without backing of most of our allies?

    A: **** no. We should have worked with the rest our allies, and put a social and economic crunch on Saddam's trouser nuggets like a bodybuilding stripper who just got shafted by a customer for the money for 20 lap dances

    Q: Do I think that Iraq would be better off now if Saddam was still alive running it?

    A: Yes. I think Saddam kept the renegade guerilla types in check with that iron fist, as well as any detractor he thought worthy of his vengeance.

    But, you didn't see daily bombings and sniper attacks when he was leader. He had moles, spies, informants, snitches, etc., who he rewarded for being loyal.

    And like I said...5 years ago, Saddam was terrorizing the people of Iraq...now terrorists are. What's the difference?

    Answer: None.

    BTW...Wal-Mart is already doing well exploiting China for cheap labor, and also doing well making sure American vendors have cheap manufacturing facilities.

    The easiest way to kill Wal-Mart?

    Put a huge tariff on anything from a country that doesn't pay their work the same as an American doing the same job. Say...400%.

    Wal-Mart would sink within months, cause a lot of their suppliers couldn't ramp up American facilities fast enough to keep product on the shelves.

    Of course, that will never happen. Wal-Mart would find out if it was in the works, then pay off a few choice committee members in congress...and that bill would die a quick, quiet death.

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    highlander718

    let's remember that Saddam kicked out the ONU inspectors from his country. Let's remember that the food for oil program did not help the population too much, that is to say the Saddam regime was making the millions out of it. Let's remember that we are talking about a tyranic regime, a unpredictable regime.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have no doubt that the overthrow of Saddam was a good thing. I think the price ended up to be higher than expected and wished. Nobody could've known these things (a few might've "luckily guessed").

    That being said, in the improbable case that Saddam would've been alive and at power, we irakis would still live in fear and poverty, on the other hand the number of the dead would be smaller and we would've not have the allied military casualties. Maybe the reverse would be that things in Afganistan would've ben under control by know as the allies would've haved more resources available there.

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    Oz_Media

    That the US Embassy's report to congress was posted on the White House website and showed that the "US" inspection agents were not allowing a proper flow of goods into Iraq, it was all under US control, any problems with that is the US governments fault. They kept shipments awaiting inspection for over 9 months, until medical and food supplies had long expired, until they were finally released to Iraq.

    This was not the original intent of the program at all, but was a little kick in the nuts from the US to Iraq.

    Lets not also forget that at the time that GWB decided to remove inspectors to make way for an invasion, that they WERE completing inspections and had stated a timeline of r4-6 weeks to finish, as of yet finding NOTHING of any threat, some unused, antiquated warheads incapable of intercontinental attack but nothing for the US to fear.

    As GWB was convinced that WMD were there (the US government still had the reciept from selling them to begin with, they were sure they were there)he removed inspectors and went ahead with the invasion, despite his obligations to only use force in order to complete inspections if needed. Saddam did not kick them out this time, they were quickly removed and silenced by the US goverment instead.

    As for the Oil For Food program being breached by Saddam and other smaller countries, again the US Embassy's report to congress shows that the US was as much to blame as anyone.

    Note: The US was happily trading with smaller countries for Iraq's oil, which they they couldn't buy direct. The US upped that oil demand continuously, the old supply and demand scenario, ya know.

    Smaller companies jumped at the opportunity to line their pockets with Petrodollars and traded what was needed. So the onus is not all upon the guys that traded with Iraq as they were filling US damands for Iraqi oil at the lowest prices.

    Those trades DID include SOME dual purpose goods, however that is a very loosely used term. The definitions and restrictions can be Googled if you are interested in looking into it. Many such goods were not bombs per se, but simple household cleaners and medical supplies that COULD be used to make an explosive, just like most of the stuff under your own kitchen counter.

    As for the price being higher than expected and only a few may have made such a "lucky guess", most Allied nations had already warned explicitly that this war could not be resolved in short time, it would be far mroe complicated, require a lot more intelligence and planning and that more effort was needed towards planning and executing a change of government in Iraq. It's not a 'lucky guess' but carefully planned and collected intelligence. This did not fit Bush's agenda, he couldn't even wait the 406 weeks for inspections to finish, in other words it was a rash decision without the required intelligence, not exactly what you would want from a country's leader.

    Of course that was ignored by Bush, he removed inspectors and invaded the country while swigning his lasso to the tune of Yankee Doodle Dandy. Declaring "Mission Complete" as he joined his troops leaving Afghanistan to preach the New World Order.

    The focus should have remained in Afghanistan until inspections were completed, they found no WMD and then could decide on proper course of action to change the government in Iraq, AFTER finishing up in securing Afghanistan, but not instead.

    bottom line, bush screwed up BIG TIME, he invaded a country withotu just cause, he went against his own promises and promises he made to the people of American. Despite proven intelligance, he just outright lied to the people of America about Saddams seekign nuclear arms (according to the man who was instructed to write that speech), he lied about WMD, he lied about weapons inspectors, he lied and lied some more, but that doesn't matter now because he got his way. And there are even Americans who seem to blindly support that action today.

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    AV .

    If we didn't go to war in Iraq when we did, we would probably be more focused in Afghanistan. Saddam would still be living under sanctions and the Iraqi people would be living in oppression under his rule. I think the Iraq war was more about protecting our oil interests in that region than WMD. Saddam would have continued to seek control of the Strait of Hormuz. If he did that, he would have great power over the oil market. That would have been the ultimate bargaining chip in a world hungry for oil.

    One of Saddam's evil sons, Uday or Cusay, would assume power in Iraq. Probably Cusay. How scary is that? Cusay would continue the pursuit of control of the Strait of Hormuz and power through oil. Sanctions would slowly be lifted because of Iraq's oil and power. Countries around the world would enrich Iraq for its control of oil in the region. Then Iraq would further pursue WMDs, a project put on hold for years because of sanctions.

    The terrorists would still be there either way for the US. We're fighting them in Iraq now because Saddam's absence has allowed Al-Qaida to set up shop there. If Saddam was still in power, we would be fighting Al-Qaida in Afganistan. Saddam was not a supporter of Al-Qaida. He probably would have helped us. Terrorists have a multitude of reasons to hate the US, but Al-Qaida hates us mostly because we are not Islamic and because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    We would be aiding Saddam at this point because of oil. He would be the go to person in the Middle East for oil and the extinction of Al-Qaida. The only problem would be that he is a ruthless dictator with two demented sons soon to take his place. Pretty dismal. I don't like that scenario either.

    AV

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    Oz_Media

    Excellent answer, whether I agree or not, that's exactly what this thread is about.

    %@^$*&# inquiry witheld, winner dropped to 8th place. Was definitely a foul on the first turn causing the 5 to check though. Damn.... back to posting now.

    The thing I think you didn't include or maybe don't believe, is the Allied coalition. If inspectors were allowe dto finish, and found nothing, who's to say that the Saddam issue wouldn't be raised by now anyway? Perhaps an allied coalition would be in Iraq now, had everyone stayed the course full on in Afghanistan.

    Hard to say but thanks for a straight up post all the same.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    thoroughbreds?

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    Oz_Media

    What a crock of #%^&#. It was an obvious foul, saw it as it happened and groaned, waiting for the light and long delay.

    Way too obvious, he was knocked from 1st to 8th (DQ'd in a field of 7), there's no way teh 5 would have been in there though.
    Here's a direct link to the replay via WMP.
    http://s163788920.onlinehome.us/replays/hastings/2008_05_18/dsl_04.wmv

    The 4 makes the 5 check hard in the beginning of the first turn. Without the cut, he could have hung 5' off the rail and still won, but the check screwed the 4 up too and only just won. Mario's a **** though and whines when he loses fair and square, always an inquiry with that guy.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    to put a couple bucks to win on Boxcars in the 8th?

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    Oz_Media

    Would have lost but hey, it's gambling afterall.

    Actually Francisco won that one, Francisco is this years name. He's been winning (great day yesterday) so he renamed himself. He used ot go by Frank, nicknamed Frank the Tank for his afressive riding style.

    Hastings is a jockey's park, if you know the local jockeys and owners/stables you can pick up good odds, especially when they are running newcomers from CalX, Woodbine and Emerald Downs.

    I'll always think of you when Boxcars is running now, you will be a beer garden comment from now on I think. In a nice way of course. :)

    Here's the free replay for you anyway, GO BOXCARS!! Definitely looking better, maybe worth a bet across the board next time, triactor material for sure.

    http://s163788920.onlinehome.us/replays/hastings/2008_05_18/dsl_08.wmv

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Boxcars ran 4th. Looked at Romanced in the 6th, but a horse named Lifelong Romance got me married 18 years ago so I got leery!

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    Oz_Media

    That they had avid racing fans in Noobyoobywabba. LOL

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    that runs Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky. Likely because I have a retirement home in Hot Springs, AR. But your original comment dumped horse racing into my brain, so I had to check into things.

    Nice to see another fan about the place.

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    AV .

    Saddam had been an issue for many years prior to GWB and would have become a major obstacle in the future. Regardless of what the inspectors found, I don't think the Coalition would ever opt to remove Saddam unless there was an absolute threat.

    AV

    edit: added "an" to the last sentence.

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    jdclyde

    STOP, or I shall say stop again!

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    AV .

    Any allies of the US would have to confront a rogue Saddam regime eventually, but would never agree to go to war under any circumstances, except an absolute threat.

    No one wants war, but you have to be willing to wage one if rogue nations won't cooperate. The stakes are high for all of us. WMDs and oil.

    If Saddam was still in power, our Allies might have had to choose to remove him. Could you imagine the Saddam regime in power now with the current oil crisis? It would have been a great opportunity for him and his demented sons.

    I have a new appreciation of why we went to war in Iraq.

    AV