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Iraq - What if's?

By Oz_Media ·
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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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My thoughts

by JamesRL In reply to Iraq - What if's?

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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Solution to what problem?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Iraq - What if's?

"...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

by Oz_Media In reply to Solution to what problem?

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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Corrected.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to LOL

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 'sh!t' 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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Why?

by Oz_Media In reply to Corrected.

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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And the closing vers

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Why?

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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Well done!

by Oz_Media In reply to And the closing vers
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"over exaggerated threat "

by Forum Surfer In reply to Solution to what problem?

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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cannot be completed in just a matter of a year or two.

by Oz_Media In reply to "over exaggerated threat ...

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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I agree totally on that

by Forum Surfer In reply to cannot be completed in ju ...

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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