General discussion


The War Is In Iraq.

By jardinier ·
When a discussion has passed the 150 postings mark, I think it might be a good idea to start a fresh one to get back to the original topic.

The way things are going, we might end up discussing the Civil War or the War of Independence.

Mallard's discussion: "Time To Pay The Piper" has certainly proved to be an excellent vehicle for the exchange of views, experiences and general information.

Good one, Duck!

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British Marines thrashed in Iraq

by Oldefar In reply to The War Is In Iraq.

In light of the beating given the Royal Marines by Iraq, has the Australian perspective changed at all? I mean really, 7-3 is a bit lopsided a score. See artical at
Of course, the Royal Marines were not expecting a local club in full kit to meet them on the pitch.

Perhaps the Australians could send them some Fosters to fortify them for a rematch.

In other news, the Royal Marines appear to be doing an excellent job againt Saddam's forces, and a commendable performance on winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqis they have liberated. My sincere sympathy for those lost to friendly fire, and deepest gratitude for Great Britain's participation.

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Loved the article

by road-dog In reply to British Marines thrashed ...

This is truly "Winning Hearts and Minds". There is nothing that binds us all more than sports.

This story reminds me of a statement made about the US Marines, "No better friend; no worse enemy".

The fact that the Iraqis fielded a team for a good natured sporting event shows that this nation is not so different from us, and is ready to show it's best face to the world also.

It always amazes me; the humanity that arises amid the horrors of war.

I'd like to second Oldfar's sentiments regarding "friendly fire". It is a tragic aspect of war and scars the mates of the victims as well as the unfortunates who pull the trigger.

As we used to say when I wore a lot of green, "friendly fire isn't, recoilless rifles aren't".

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Road Dog as promised

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Loved the article

Here's the location of the Australian Study on Gulf War Syndrome its just been realeased on the Australian Gov web site

The other one a bit harder to find as it's been out a couple of years and like most Government Departments they place it in full public view in the most unlikely place. Like down the concreated over stair well where the lifts don't go and the light bulb is blown in the 4,000,000 th Locked Filing cabnit.

Ok I'mjust doing a bit of Government Bashing.

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I read the executive summary

by road-dog In reply to Road Dog as promised

but conventional wisdom is that the devil is in the details. On the surface, the study shows a solid effort to identify and isolate GWS as a discrete set of symptoms that can be directly attributed to service, using a similar contrast group with similar backgrounds without Gulf War service.

The test methodology appears sound.

So, how does this back up your assertions that these vets are being treated as expendable? I reiterate my previous point that such studies indicate a pattern of acknowledgement of GWS, although absent of conclusive cause and effect data.

Your original posting on this was sharply critical of the various governments involved. You must admit that such studies require time and testing to reach usable (valid) conclusions.

Lack of results does not equal lack of effort.

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I tend to agree

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to I read the executive summ ...

About the bit that the devils in the detail the sumary was what the Government Department produced after the report was handed in it only took them about 6 weeks. While it shows an attempt to actually try to isolate the so called GWS from people whowhere actually involved as suffers of GWS this report was set up in such a manner that no real outcome could be concluded they dilebertly removed people from the test group. If you have the time to waste the full report makes for some interesting reading but it only supports what the Government wanted to hear and not what actually has happened. The previous bit was from a group of Gulf War Vetrans and is not my assursertions so please don't hold me responsible for them.

Lack of results doesn't equal lack of effort but when that effort is directed at disproving that something actually exists then the whole process comes into question. Now exactly what was it that Samual Clements said "Theres Lies, Lies and Bloody??????"

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Strangely enough.

by jardinier In reply to British Marines thrashed ...

In view of the context (the football match) I don't know whether your question is flippant or serious. So I'll take it as serious and give you an update of what is happening in Australia.

As I have no doubt mentioned in some other posting, I livein the mostly strongly Liberal area in Australia. And yet everyone I talk to is totally against Australia's involvement in the war. (The PM of course belonging to the Liberal Party).

In Australia Liberals cannot attract enough votes to win power,so they have long relied on a coalition with the National Party (formerly the Country Party, until they realised it was much more profitable to support the mining of minerals rather than farmers and graziers.)

So the current Coalition Government would be the equivalent of your Republican Party, while the Labor Opposition would be the equivalent of your Democratic Party.

However the acid test will come at the next Federal Election, which could be called at any time up to the end of 2004.
I am totally confident that all Australians will give our troops a hero's welcome on their return, whichever way the pendulum swings.

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Thanks for the links

by admin In reply to Strangely enough.

to the press down under :) I have been watching them too.

I had one question though. At times I have seen CNN and MSNBC run repeated text that the Australians are going home right after the war as if this is significant, but have not explained this that I have seen. I could make some assumptions about why, but I really don't know and wondered if you could enlighten us on this subject :)


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Uncertain at this time.

by jardinier In reply to Thanks for the links

Prime Minister John Howard is a cagey devil. Right up until the day that the attack commenced, even though ships and troops had already arrived in the Gulf, he refused to make a definite statement as to whether Australia would actually participate in the war. He is being equally non-committal as to the situation when the war ends.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has had talks with George Bush I believe, both in regard to a UN based interim administration, and allowing Australian companies to tender for work in the rebuilding.

The Federal Labor Opposition has spoken against Australian involvement in the war right from the beginning, and still expresses that view. The Senate, which has a non-Government majority, has also spoken out firmly against Australian involvement and continues to do so.

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interim administration

by john_wills In reply to Uncertain at this time.

There is no need for much of an interim administartion in Iraq. Iraq is a pseudodemocracy with all the administrtive apparatus for elections, so as soon as any political unit is captured the capturers should call elections for that unit for 6 weeks in the future - not six months, not six years. When the Iraqis have elected a parliament democratically for the whole country, that parliament can decide who gets the contracts for cleaning up and rebuilding, whether the 18 provinces should be coalesced into 4 lands, whether the oil industry should be privatized and if so how, etc. There is no need for the gallant liberators to get involved in these essentially local details: the point of liberation is precisely to let the Iraqis choose their own way. This would also save the liberators from much ill will about such decisions.

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I Disagree

by road-dog In reply to interim administration

To simply call for elections and expect the existing apparatus to work is an unrealistic expectation.

The existing political infrastructure is so tainted with terrorism that the people would have no confidence in the result. There are also otheroutside factions that will undoubtedly begin immediately to fill the power vacuum created by toppling Saddam. The Baath party, although decimated by fratricide in Saddam's singleminded pursuit of control has other would be dictators in their ranks. There are radical Islamic elements who would also attempt to create a government alon the same lines as the economic disaster across the border in Iran.

The Kurds have expressed intent to exist as a politically influential body as part of a unified Iraq. If either of the above two options come to pass, they will secede. They have the political will and the arms to do so. If so, posession of the northern oil fields will be hotly disputed and possibly cause ethnic war.

To call for a 6 week election is not a viable option. This new political apparatus must be protected until it has assumed central control of the country. We would be inviting a socioeconomic disaster if we fail to give a true democracy to take root.

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