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Oh Lord. Urban warfare.(63 posts)

Oh Lord. Urban warfare.OldEdScott
Mar 24, 2003 1:12 PM
In Nasiriya, Marines Find an Urban Fight They Didn't Want

ASIRIYA, Iraq, March 24 — American marines battled their way into the heart of this city today, but they appeared to be stepping into just the sort of urban imbroglio they had long been hoping to avoid.

Following heavy fighting here on Sunday, in which 10 American soldiers were killed in an ambush, the marines found themselves wading into a protracted street fight today that took them into the heart of a populated area.

Helicopter gunships fired rockets into the city, and residents of Nasiriya complained that the air raids had killed and injured scores of civilians.

The Marines countered that the Iraqis were using civilians as shields, pushing women and children into the streets to drive up the civilian body count. They also said Iraqi men were leaping out of the buses and taxis to shoot at them.

The fighting continued until sunset, with the Marines gaining control of much of the urban center but sustaining an unknown number of casualties.

Necessary as it may have been, today's battle was hardly the sort of warfare that American commanders had envisioned to persuade the Iraqi population of America's good intentions. For American commanders, winning the war means destroying the Baghdad government, but it also includes a concerted effort to avoid the kind of urban fighting that might enrage the Iraqi people.

"No Iraqi will support what the Americans are doing here," said a man at an American checkpoint at the city limits who gave his name as Nawaf. "If they want to go to Baghdad, that's one thing, but now they have come into our cities, and all Iraqis will fight them."

In interviews today, residents of Nasiriya, including Mr. Nawaf, said that American bombs dropped on the city this morning had killed 10 Iraqi civilians and injured as many as 200.

Some of the Iraqis conceded that loyalists to President Saddam Hussein had operated bases inside the city center. But many Nasiriya residents, including those who said they were opposed to Mr. Hussein, expressed outrage at the entrance of American troops into their first Iraqi city.

In the chaos of the fighting, it was impossible to verify the Iraqi claims of civilian deaths. An American commander said tonight that the fighting had taken them into the heart of the city, and he did not discount the possibility that Iraqi civilians could have been killed.

Col. Glenn Starnes, the commander of an artillery battalion firing on Nasirya, placed responsibility for any civilian deaths on the Iraqi soldiers who drew the Marines into the populated areas. "We will engage the enemy wherever he is," Col. Starnes said.

Nasiriya, a southern Iraqi city that spans the Euphrates River, is coveted by American commanders for a pair of bridges that could be used to help a Marine division move north toward Baghdad.

The battle began on Sunday when a group of American soldiers, trying to retrieve four wounded comrades, ran into heavy fire from a large group of Iraqi soldiers. The fighting left 10 marines dead, in addition to as many as 10 others who appeared to have been killed in an ambush earlier in the day.

Today, the Marines said they had begun to gain the upper hand, as the steady bombardment from artillery and airpower enabled them to move toward the north of the city.

Despite the progress, the battle appeared to be shaping up into a messy urban street battle. The Marines estimated that as many as 400 enemy fighters remained in the city, but that figure seemed sketchy at best, with marines complaining that they were having trouble distinguishing between civilians and combatants.

By deciding to pursue their enemy into the city center, the Americans appeared to have enraged many of the Iraqi civilians who live there, including those who said they were predisposed to support the American effort.

One of those, Mustafa Mohammed A
I understand there angerKristin
Mar 24, 2003 1:29 PM
But I think that we are being rather good in trying our hardest to not kill any civillians. And in contrast, it seems like the Iraqi soldiers are setting traps to get thier own civillians killed. If Iraq were invading our soil, I doubt they would look for a uniform before firing. Its frustrating.
but trying is not enough whencolker
Mar 24, 2003 4:09 PM
children are being hit. i'm no pacifist and hate saddam hussein as much as i can but this war is a BIG mistake; except for companies like halliburton who will make billions "reconstructing" iraq.
don't understand how anyone buys the "liberation of the iraqui people" version. if there was a civil uprising then it would make sense to have troops giving militar support to an identified alternative to power but simply invading a country, getting into urban warfare, installing chaos, killing thousands of civilians... all in the name of democracy??? it's cynical. would you feel liberated if you were a poor iraqui in nasyria?
The hardest test might very well come afterward.sn69
Mar 24, 2003 1:47 PM
As horrific as this is going to continue to get (and it will, particularly given the Iraqi tactics), the more compelling part will be the rebuilding after the fact. This really worries me because we are going to have to keep the power vacuum from giving way to chaos, we are going to have to keep the grubby multi-nationals like Haliburton out, we are going to have to quell insurgents and terrorism-related malignancies, we are going to have to feed, shelter and treat a nation of three distinctly different ethnicities, and we are going to have be sensitive to cultural differences far removed from what we accomplished under the Marshall and MacArthur plans.


But, FWIW, on 14MAR the USS Gary, a frigate on station in the northern Arabian Gulf, came to the rescue of an Iraqi freighter that was foundering in heavy seas. Gary rescued the entire crew even as the frieghter capsized, and their medical needs were attended to before they were flown to Bahrain to be flown at the US's expense back to Iraq. There's a quality in that action that's subtle, telling and lost in the media frenzy of real-time reality television.
Halliburton, etc.gtx
Mar 24, 2003 2:09 PM
A wretched ordor is making its presence known already....sn69
Mar 25, 2003 12:36 PM

Halliburton has already been awarded the Iraqi oil-infrastructure repair/rebuilding contract per the Corps of Engineers.

While I recognize that Hall is a large, diversified company with many subsidiaries (like Brown and Root, who will do the actual work), it still seems to be in poor taste at best to allow the company to have the contract.

Upsetting? Yes. Surprising? Not particularly.

Having worked in the oil industry,TJeanloz
Mar 25, 2003 12:58 PM
Halliburton is politically very well connected, there's no denying that. They are also the very best at some of what they do. Just because their former CEO is the Vice-President shouldn't preclude us from allowing the best company to do the best work.
There is no "best work" exception for conflicts of interest. nmczardonic
Mar 25, 2003 1:17 PM
Is Greenpeace qualified? Who doesn't have a conflict? nmTJeanloz
Mar 25, 2003 1:18 PM
How about someone not formerly run by Cheney? nmczardonic
Mar 25, 2003 1:25 PM
How about Apple Computer -- Al Gore is on the boardTJeanloz
Mar 25, 2003 2:07 PM
And very qualified for the position too, as the inventer of the internet.
I think they make computers.czardonic
Mar 25, 2003 2:26 PM
But any excuse to repeat that myth about Al Gore, eh?
Any excuse at all...(nm)TJeanloz
Mar 26, 2003 8:25 AM
They sub-contracted fire-fighting to someone who is better nmPdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 2:56 PM
You're exactly right about the aftermath.OldEdScott
Mar 24, 2003 2:12 PM
This is clearly going to be a bloody, bloody business, given Iraqi tactics. But we may lose even more blood, a drop at a time, in an aftermath so complicated that I can't even see the end of it.

NOTE TO MOHAIR: I guess the first two sentences should be flagged as an opinion, albeit an informed one. The last sentence contains the qualifier 'may.' (The term 'qualifier' means this isn't stated as a bald fact, but an essay at a likely reality).
re: warfare.Fredrico
Mar 24, 2003 2:55 PM
Seems like as the Iraqis see that we're killing them, they're turning on us, not seeing us as liberators, but conquerors.

This is all a replay of the problems US troops had in South Vietnam. They could not distinguish between civilians and Viet Cong because they were one and the same. The most powerful military is ill-equipped to fight a guerilla war in a foreign country, in an alien culture. All the tanks and bombs only make you a hated target.

This is why Bush can't use war as an instrument of regime change in Iraq. Only the Iraqis can do that, not a bunch of greenhorn kids from Tennessee.
re: warfare.Jon Billheimer
Mar 24, 2003 3:11 PM
From an internal Iraqi point of view and also from an American public relations point of view this is a horrible no-win situation. Now that we're so committed, the only realistic option is to win the damnable war. When it comes right down to it an American life is more important than an Iraqi life. To say that this kind of a situation sucks is an understatement. The American commanders are right in asserting that regardless of the immoral tactics of the Iraqi army in using civilians as shields, the enemy has to be engaged and defeated.

As Scott said, the aftermath of this war is unimaginable. That is the flaw, in my opinion, of the Wolfowitz/Cheney policy. As a matter of record, the U.S. has bombed and/or invaded 23 countries since 1945. However, none of these countries was democratized as a result.
None of these countries was democratized?TJeanloz
Mar 24, 2003 3:54 PM
History or Hyperbole?

Haiti 1994: US troops sent, country elects 1st democratic President.

Panama 1989-1990: US troops do a "regime change", oust Noriega, now it is a democracy.

Grenada 1983: US troops eliminate a Marxist regime, reinstall democratic government.

South Korea: Defense of democratic republic, 1950-1953. Outcome was that S. Korea remains a democracy.

Never say never.
17%. Do they give out F- 's? (nm)czardonic
Mar 24, 2003 4:05 PM
In fairness...Jon Billheimer
Mar 24, 2003 4:13 PM
Here's the list compiled by Prof. Paul Ehrlich of Stanford. His statement is that none of these countries was democratized with a government that is respectful of human rights as a direct result of military conflict. Three countries actually are repeated here, China, Guatemala, and Afghanistan. I would disagree with him with respect to South Korea: China - 1945-56;Korea - 1950 -53; China - 1950-53; Guatemala - 1954; Indonesia - 1958; Cuba - 1959-60; Guatemala - 1960; C ongo - 1064; Peru - 1965; Laos - 1964 - 73; Cambodia - 1969 - 70; Guatemala - 1967 - 69; Grenada - 1983; Libya - 1986; Nicaragua - 1980s; Panama - 1989; Iraq; 1991 - 2003; Sudan - 1998; Afghanistan - 1998; Yugoslavia - 1999; Afghanistan - 2001.
They always forget the Dominican RepublicMe Dot Org
Mar 24, 2003 4:46 PM
...and Erlich is at Stanford.

In '65, Johnson sent troops to the Dominican Republic:

It would also be fair to mention that the U.S. has participated in the overthrow of democratically elected leaders, and installed dictators:

1953 - Iran
1954 - Guatemala
1973 - Chile

I do think it's unfair to list "Iraq - 1991". I don't think we invaded Iraq then, we kicked them out of Kuwait (and no, I'm not equating the Emir with Thomas Jefferson, but his is preferable to Hussein) . Also I think it might be good to point out that, even with the current problems, the government of Serbia/Montenegro seems to be on the path to Democracy.
And Lebanonmohair_chair
Mar 24, 2003 5:03 PM
1958 and 1983
And Brazil in 1964colker
Mar 24, 2003 5:34 PM
it took 20yrs to get rid of the dictatorship cia helped to install but the major corruption network of this country, fueled and amplified by the military dictators is still here.,
the military regime, jailing political opositionists and criminals together, unwillingly created a big criminal organization with a leftist "ideology" that controls drug traficking and employs guerrilla tactics to confront the police.
nice job.
So, if these countries were not democratizedNo_sprint
Mar 25, 2003 9:55 AM
Do we automatically assume we have failed in something? I'd say those countries are the ones that failed. I think it's an oversimplification of complex issues to boil all those conflicts down to a win or lose decision made in hindsight over a single naive win or lose question. I don't recall that the U.S. had one single overwhelming goal in getting into any of these matters, that being simply to democratize nations. I think there were a lot of other issues.

Next, that is not our goal in this current conflict either. The overwhelming reason is to remove a horrific maniac from power. The removal of a nut who tried to take over a neighbor, has attmpted it with another neighbor, lost, and as part of a negotiation for peace and stability in the area, agreed to many terms of which he is not complying with. It was long overdue that nations have finally had enough of this guy and are forcing him out.
Some issues with the list...TJeanloz
Mar 25, 2003 11:06 AM
It seems a little bit retarded to include wars that the United States lost in the count of those that were not democratized. It is at best a gross oversimplification. And coming from Paul Ehrlich, whose dire predictions of the end of the world still haven't materialized, it's boarderline ridiculous. Many people in the world would argue that there are no governments that are respectful of human rights -- so the caveat rings rather hollow. And 'democracy' itself cannot be held as a panacea; recall that Saddam Hussein was elected, winning 100% of the vote with 100% turnout.
ugly ugly uglysn69
Mar 24, 2003 7:45 PM
I've been telling my wife, my non-military friends, my family and anyone who will listen that the American public is hardly prepared for what lies ahead.

Go look at the two faces of the Apache pilots in captivity. I didn't sleep last night...I couldn't. All I could think of was seven people being tortured, as if the hundreds of thousands tortured and murdered by that pig and his pig sons weren't bad enough already. And I know things that you folks don't; I know aspects of this and the Al Qaeda war that would keep you all up at night too.

Dunno...if I allow myself to slip out of control (as I did shamefully with Czar last week), I can get really amped really fast. This is hardly a lost situation--we will win--but I'm appaled at the typical American culture paradigm of instant gratification. This is going to take a while and it's going to cost lives. War sucks.

Here's a goddamned clue, folks...we NEVER fully engaged the whole of the Republican Guard in GW1. Furthermore, we fought a war stricly on terms with an enemy full of hubris who was foolish enough to meet us face to face. We used tactics with close to 100% accuracy and we bombed without restraint. This is different--we're willingly placing our people at risk to save as many Iraqi civilians as possible.

The Iraqi Army? They are hardly good, but they did learn. And they know that we're already fighting one major regional conflict two countries to the east (DO YOU FRIGGIN REMEMBER THAT, AMERICA?!). They are using tactics that take advantage of their own populace and take advantage of the basic American ethos of sympathy.

Still, what really riles me is that our own citizenry doesn't understand that this is war. This is what it's about...bleeding and death and pain and captivity and rebuilding. The far left and the far right both disgust me in their wholesale dismissal and support of this without thought to the greater ramifications. This IS NOT Survivor/Fear Factor/Who Wants to Marry a Jacka@@. This is real. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Real people on both sides (coalition forces and Iraqi civilians...I couldn't give two squirts of p!ss for their Ba'ath party fascists or their Army--I'd kill them gladly without remorse) are suffering.

I know...I know I'm closer to this than a lot. I've got friends spread between three countries of the coalition and I'm sick with worry. It would be so much easier to be there with them. In any case, there are going to be a lot of sleepless nights in this house until. Until what, however, I'm not certain.

Sorry for the vent.
Good words, Scott (nm)sacheson
Mar 24, 2003 7:55 PM
No need to elaborateOldEdScott
Mar 25, 2003 5:24 AM
on what you said. Perfectly and truly put. I will just add that, more and more, I am reliving bad, bad memories of my own conflict long ago. An army in front of you -- you can deal with that. You're trained for that. You understand it. But when you cannot distinguish combatants from civilians, you have entered a soldier's nightmare realm, where you can stomach neither the things that happen nor the things that must be done.

The American people have no idea ...
The American people that have an idea what it takes.....bnlkid
Mar 25, 2003 8:22 AM
are speaking out and getting ridiculed. Those that understand what it's going to take to liberate Iraq have been speaking out for months, but everyone wanted to call them non-patriots. Now that we are at the point of no return, we need to finish the job right and as quickly as possible. Those people stuck on the instant gratification will soon change their tune when more American soldiers die, more Iraqi civilians die, and more reporters die. I think Americans will learn that war should always be the last option, not the easiest.
In defense of the American peopleNo_sprint
Mar 25, 2003 10:12 AM
War is the last resort. For 12 years we've talk talked with a lunatic. It is the last resort, or do we have to wait 20 years to make it a *last resort*? 30? 40? What's the rule? 18 resolutions? why not just one and one year?

The vast majority of us have no inherent prediction powers of foresight and do actively and daily work in the Defense department, therefore, we have no idea exactly what will happen. That said, I don't even think Gen. Franks has those types of powers or capabilities.

We elect the lesser of all evils to take responsibilities of running our great nation. We demand out of them they surround themselves with those who know lots about individual sectors of areas of our lives we find important such as protection, business, etc. We can't all be all knowing.

To think we know more than those who are updated hourly or even more, have access to sensitive information is ridiculous.

Some of what I hear is sounding eerily like the *we need dead bodies* argument to get something done. Well my friends, we have them, thousands. Remember Sept. 11? Perhaps we need to walk away from Iraq and wait til he uses the chemical weapons *he doesn't have* on us again, maybe killing a few millions before we do anything as resoundingly *wrong* as enforcing the will of the entire United Nations?

Yes, it's ugly, more than unfortunate and I trust wholeheartedly that this decision is 12 years tough in the making and not the *easiest way out*. That's absurd. I fully support a proactive attack on terrorism, getting those involved in it, those who harbor them, just as much as I supported it in the three months after our soil was attacked. I know that much of the American public has lost their vigor about the issue. Not me.
Defense from what? The truth?czardonic
Mar 25, 2003 11:00 AM
"Remember Sept. 11? Perhaps we need to walk away from Iraq and wait til he uses the chemical weapons *he doesn't have* on us again, maybe killing a few millions before we do anything as resoundingly *wrong* as enforcing the will of the entire United Nations?"

  • Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.
  • Iraq has never used chemical weapons on us.
  • While the United Nations supported action against Iraq in the past, that support has since been withdrawn.
  • Your wrong.No_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:08 AM
    I will automatically believe verified news reports that contradict your simple posting. Not that I don't believe you, however, those reports carry more weight in my opinion.

    Nothing to do with 9/11? I've read reports that Saddam houses Al Qaeda factions. So, you're wrong. I never said Iraq did use chemical weapons on us, though I've also read read reports and many troops have complained about side effects from having had chemical weapons used upon them. So, once again, you're wrong. Your right about the UN and this has proven that it's a meaningless political association. It is entirely not necessary in my opinion. To flip flop from their decisions of 12 years is absolutely stupid.

    What's your point?

    If you dislike this place so much, I say leave.
    <i>You're</i> wrong.czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:15 AM
    If you've read these reports about Saddam and Al Queda, maybe you should forward them to the CIA, adn copy Osama Bin Laden. They thing you're wrong too.

    You reffered to the possibility of Saddam using chemical weapons on us "again", which implies he did it once before. Complaints and side effects notwithstanding, if he had used them, why would the US Government keep quiet about it for 12 years.

    My point, your ignorant assertions are hardly a defense of the American people, unless your point is that they are too feeble minded to be expected to make rational decisions.
    Mar 25, 2003 11:25 AM
    There are no ingnorant assertions in that posting. Show me one.

    I didn't assert that we are going to war because of 9/11. I never have. I've been perfectly clear that we are going in to take out a maniacal mass murderer for his lack of ability to uphold his agreement.
    Perfectly clear?czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:29 AM
    Didn't assert that 9/11 had anything to do with it? I guess you fooled me.

    "Some of what I hear is sounding eerily like the *we need dead bodies* argument to get something done. Well my friends, we have them, thousands. Remember Sept. 11?"
    Yes, crystalNo_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:33 AM
    If we take him out, we further our cause to prevent a similar 9/11 type of action against us.
    Baseless assertion. But I guess if it comforts you. . . .(nm)czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:35 AM
    Widely believed that his tiesNo_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:41 AM
    with terrorists are close, that he actively supports terrorist groups and if capable, would commit terrorist acts against us and other countries, in addition to trying to take over his neighbors and gas millions of his own people.
    He could have done any one of those things already. . .czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:45 AM
    . . .if he wanted to. What was stopping him?
    He has done some of those things alreadyNo_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:55 AM
    hopefully he won't be able to any more. What stopped him from doing any more? I don't know. I'd say inability. Should he have been fully able to take over his neighbor Kuwait I'm sure he would have.
    Mar 25, 2003 11:13 AM
    I was against us going to war with Iraq for those very reasons, but somehow many Americans believe Iraq has everything to do with 9/11.

    One of the theories I heard about not taking Saddam out in '91 was we didn't want to destabilize the area and allow other contries to take control of Iraq.(e.g. Iran). What has changed?

    I waver on this issue everyday. This isn't a black and white issue. The only certainties with this conflict is that people are going to die. Is that a good outcome? However, now that we are there, we need to finish the job with as little loss of life as possible. When June rolls around and we are still in a conflict with the soldiers in Baghdad, how much support are Americans going to have when they see body counts rise, cost of war rise, and more global turmoil?
    Exactly wrongNo_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:22 AM
    We are taking a lead role and working with upwards of 45 nations in some shape or form to remove a manical mass murderer from power. We all are doing such because for 12 years he has deceived and not upheld his part of a bargain he made with the entire world. The bargain that allowed him to remain in power and keep things relatively stable in the area, and sort of as punishment for trying to take over his neighbors.
    Educate thyself.czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:27 AM

    "I think it's a little disingenuous to compare the number of countries willing to send soldiers into battle in 1991 with the number of countries who are willing to put their names on a list in 2003," a retired senior military officer who served in Operation Desert Storm told Salon, declining to be named. Some 32 countries provided troops in 1991, compared with three this time around.
    You misread once againNo_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:31 AM
    I said in some shape or form. Not that 45 sent troops. I am thoroughly educated.
    Thourougly decieved, I'd say. (nm)czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:34 AM
    Thourougly a brilliant realist, I'd say.No_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:37 AM
    If you dislike this place so much, then leave.
    And who could be more qualifed to make that call? (nm)czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:39 AM
    further defense of the American peopleNo_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:43 AM
    It was reported today on an FM station in my area that 75% of the people of this great nation support what we're doing.

    I know Czardonic will try to spin this in some kind of *what if* or any other way. No need. We know what your responses are before they're typed.
    I'm one of them, genius. (nm)czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:45 AM
    you going to continue name calling?No_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:51 AM
    Sorry I reduce to your level of personal attacks.
    So you're not a genius.? My mistake. (nm)czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:54 AM
    FWIW IQ test was borderline in that area.No_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:59 AM
    Mine was taken in the 4th grade I think and lives with all the other report cards and school pictures and films and pottery projects my folks keep. My degrees never came easy. Some people breezed through law school. I struggled. I'm no book worm. I did however, work full time when only 5% of my class was working full time and only 25% working in some fashion at all. Tough goin.
    What, exactly am I wrong about?bnlkid
    Mar 25, 2003 11:36 AM
    I have already stated this is a difficult situation. Am I wrong about the number of casualties that are going to occur?

    What nations around Iraq support our position. Turkey? Iran? Suadi Arabia? Jordan? Syria? If they felt Saddam was an immediate threat, they would have us using their air bases, facilities, etc.

    The biggest unfortunate outcome that could occur is if Saddam using chemical weapons against our troops. That would truly be a tragic way to proof that he has them.
    you say that most americans believe Irag hadNo_sprint
    Mar 25, 2003 11:38 AM
    something to do with 9/11. I said you're wrong.
    Close call. Some polls have it at 45-50% (nm)czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:46 AM
    Who was it that posted the poll question ...sacheson
    Mar 25, 2003 2:46 PM
    ... regarding the differences in poll results based on the question asked.

    Their example was comparing the questions "Do you support a balanced budget?" that would yield a high favorability compared to "Do you support increased income taxes and decreased government spending to implement a successful balanced budget" which would yield a relatively low favorability.

    It would be interesting to read the questions that provided the 90% and 50% support results.

    In my opinion, most polls are a crock where most data can be manipulated to support any side.
    But there is a big difference between. . .czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 2:52 PM
    . . .those two questions and something as straightforward as how many of the 9/11 hijackers the respondent believed were Iraqi.

    Plus, there is really no "side" being supported here.
    True ...sacheson
    Mar 26, 2003 7:35 AM
    ... but, did the same question yield both results?

    My point is that arguing poll results is rather trivial since the results can be skewed in any direction.

    Run with me here czardonic, I'm siding with you.
    Funny how polls persist though. . .czardonic
    Mar 26, 2003 11:41 AM
    . . .someone always cries foul when the results don't go their way, and there really is no defense to the charge that the results can be skewed by manipulating the questions.

    I doubt the two budget questions would yeild the same results, but note that both questions ask for a subjective.
    Taking out Saddam is a worthy goal.czardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:23 AM
    But people need to wake up and realize that this war won't bring us a single step closer to avenging 9/11 or ending terrorism. The irony here is that most of the Americans who claim support for Iraqi Liberty wouldn't support the sacrifice of our troops if they realized that Iraqi Liberty was the only upside.
    Hey, that wasn't sardondic, that was cynical. What gives?128
    Mar 25, 2003 11:38 AM
    You may be right, but we all need a good rally now and again to re-affirm our commitment of love, the tree of liberty and industry.

    But seriously, I think it was an early administration mis-step to tie the Towers to Iraq. While there might be a connection (and I'll grant there is for now, if tenuous), the diplomatic angle could have been far better exploited just referencing Sadm (as George the 1st said it)and that the 1st war never ended (just a cease fire), sanctions violations, oil (yeah, been express about the oil part) and helping out the locals...etc. Point though, we really leaned on the attacks too hard too early for justification: tough sell on the world stage. And then we lost the high ground, of our truly sacred loss...soab.
    I'm aiming for more well rounded approach. ; Þczardonic
    Mar 25, 2003 11:44 AM
    I think it is completely outrageous the way that the current administration has exploited 9/11 and used it to push through all kinds of pre-existing but formerly un-achievable policy goals.

    We do need a good rally. but, I give this country enough credit to believe that we don't need fabricated pretexts to rally around.
    Before the Civil War...Me Dot Org
    Mar 25, 2003 10:26 AM
    The general feeling was that it would be a very quick conflict. There was one Southern politician who predicted you would be able to wipe up all of the blood spilled with a pocket hankerchief. William Tecumseh Sherman was one of the few who thought it would be a long and bloody war, as a result people thought he was crazy.

    I don't think this war will be 4 years, but it has its own particular nightmares. The civil war had Matthew Brady, we have satellite phones to transmit the war instantaneously to the world. Al Jazeera transmits pictures to a Muslim world that is predisposed to see out action as an invasion and occupation. The clock is ticking, in terms of world opinion. From the U.S. point of view, doing what ensures the safety of our troops in not necessarily what is in the best interest of the civilians trapped in the cities. The Iraqi leadership is very aware of this, and is perfectly willing to trade the suffering of its own people for its survival.

    In the short term, I think its very important to get humanitarian aid into Basra and other southern cities. The U.S. needs a PR victory.

    This war is being fought in differnt theaters. The military theater is only one.