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Bet now, We will win or lose the war in Iraq?(18 posts)

Bet now, We will win or lose the war in Iraq?Dwayne Barry
Aug 22, 2003 7:38 AM
I took a wait and see attitude prior, but I think I'm ready to lay it on the line. We will lose the war in Iraq, unless we're able to pawn it off on the UN, and then they will lose it.

While no one can contest our supremacy on the battle field, as Vietnam, Somalia, Afghanistan demonstrate winning a war is a political outcome not a military one. I fear we're headed for ultimate defeat in Iraq, as we pretty much have conceeded to in Afghanistan already.

The only reason I have some inkling of hope is that the Balkans do seem to be reasonably stable for the time-being.
Define "win" and "lose"TJeanloz
Aug 22, 2003 7:42 AM
It seems to me that "win" and "lose" both share characteristics. I define "win" as: have fewer troops based there, with what remain being a stabalizing force for the region (as our troops based in Germany are); have a long term ally and stable strategic trading partner in the region.

I think we will win. Iraq has too much going for it to digress into Somalia-type warlording.
Easy enough..Dwayne Barry
Aug 22, 2003 7:55 AM
without getting specific, winning is ultimately having a government in place that behaves more or less in-line with our policies.

Losing is ending up with a government and country that is opposed to our policies. I think the Baathists are pretty much out of the picture more likely islamic group(s) will be our problem.
I hope you're right, but warlording won't be theOldEdScott
Aug 22, 2003 7:58 AM
problem. I think/fear the radical Islamists have decided to make Iraq their chosen battleground for their war with the American infidel. Wouldn't you, if you were them? I believe that's what's unfolding. It's not a war I'm optimistic of 'winning,' because there will be nothing to 'defeat' but an idea, and the more we 'win,' the stronger that idea will be embedded in the minds of those on the business end of our guns.

Despite what Steam will undoubtedly believe, I hope I'm wrong on that. I fought a war against an idea several years ago, and it's a desperate, losing proposition.
Yes, that is what I foresee...Dwayne Barry
Aug 22, 2003 8:06 AM
it's not like Afghanistan where we can isolate ourselves in bases and pretty much let 90% of the country go back to the pre-war situation that led to our problems there in the first place (this could be a whole other thread!).

We are responsible for Iraq for the foreseeable future. That means our soilders out and about, driving past booby-traps, getting ambushed, etc., etc. It's got to be a rallying point for half of the world's muslim extremists. A chance to get at the Americans.

At some point the American stomach for this will turn.
Yes, that is what I foresee...Jon Billheimer
Aug 22, 2003 9:10 AM
Unfortunately, this was foreseeable and foreseen. But the ideologues in the Administration wouldn't listen to Powell, et al.

It was also fairly predictable that the Administration would shamelessly come back to the UN and ask the "international community" to bail it out, without however wanting to cede control of the process. "We want to have our hegemony and eat our cake too."
so basically, it becomes the israel-palestine conflictrufus
Aug 22, 2003 9:10 AM
only writ large.
Yes, in a sense....Dwayne Barry
Aug 22, 2003 9:20 AM
but of course we don't have the motivation of the Israeli's to stick it out.

But on a brighter note, there is at least some hope for an Iraqi government that the people see as legitimate, but can we pull it off?

A fundamental problem is that in the west we have had the de facto separation of church and state ever since Christianity became the dominant religion and Rome fell to the Germanic tribes. Just the opposite of islam, which has always been part and parcel of the eastern governments. At least, Saddam did go someway toward secularizing Iraq which should help us out. But getting a moderate Islamic government in place with all the radicals flooding into the country will be hard. Look at what the Palestian radicals do, whenever the moderates make progress.
but saddam held religion down at the point of a gunrufus
Aug 22, 2003 12:10 PM
can't see us having much success in that area without having to act like saddam did. which ultimately will lead to our defeat.

the worst thing about this is now that bush has got us in there, we have to stay. whether he gets replaced in the coming election, or in 2008, either we're committed to see this operation through, and establish a stable workable government, or else we leave iraq in far worse condition than it was when we went in, a breeding ground for islamic terrorism, and an increased perception that the united states is weak and vulnerable, and unwilling to stand up to islamic terrorism.

and sadly, it seems as if that's going to be a long, bloody, and possibly unreachable goal.
Agree and disagree.Spoke Wrench
Aug 23, 2003 6:09 AM
I'd agree with your definition of win and lose. I'm less optomistic we will achieve your definition of winning. here's why:

You mentioned "Iraq has too much going for it" like Iraq was one person. I don't think that's true. It looks to me like there are at least three or four major groups in Iraq all of whom distrust one another. This lack of unity is preventing the restoration of order today. Sadam basically held the whole thing together through fear and violence, but that's an option that I don't think we want to use.

We in the United States are fortunate to have a tradition of bickering among ourselves but ultimately working together so that, over a long period of time, we always get it right. They don't have that tradition in Iraq and I don't see a Thomas Jefferson or Abe Lincoln emerging over there to make it work.

We don't want to impose a totalitarian government on them from without.
They don't seem to have the kind of leader necessary to do it themselves from within.
lose to whom?mohair_chair
Aug 22, 2003 7:51 AM
You are so confident that we will lose, but to whom? There is no organized resistance that is trying to implement their own government. There's just a bunch of terrorists and thugs who get off on killing Americans and causing chaos.

In Vietnam there were the North Vietnamese. In Somalia there were the warlords and their fiefdoms. In Afghanistan, rule has always been heavily tribal. What is it in Iraq? Is it realistic to think that Saddam, if still alive, could regain power?

If the US Army wanted to surrender in Iraq today, who would they surrender to?
Who did the American Army surrender to...Dwayne Barry
Aug 22, 2003 8:23 AM
in Vietnam, Somalia, or Afghanistan?
I don't think they didmohair_chair
Aug 22, 2003 8:33 AM
Read my post again and try to understand it.

I never said or implied that the American Army surrendered to anyone at any time.

I did suggest, that if we are to lose the war, it would be a lot more convenient to lose to someone or something tangible. Which led to my question, that if the American Army did surrender in Iraq (which to my knowledge, has not happened and is not happening), who would accept the sword?

My point, which you obviously missed, is that in other places where the US has "lost," there was organized opposition that had political goals and aspirations. In Iraq, the game is merely to kill Americans and cause chaos. If the US pulled out right now, no one would take charge.
It's going to take some time...Dwayne Barry
Aug 22, 2003 8:43 AM
but I'll predict in a year or two we will know the name of some cleric in the south of Iraq leading the fight for an islamic state.

How many folks do you think knew Adid's (sp) name when he ran us out of Somalia? The conditions are ripe in Iraq for us to lose for two reasons; Iraqi nationalism and islamic extremism.

BTW, I wasn't in anyway implying that losing the war is impending.
probably not surrender.rufus
Aug 22, 2003 9:13 AM
just no longer wish to fight. and slink slowly away.
I think we have lostDougSloan
Aug 24, 2003 1:58 PM
We have lost. We have sought to free a people who do not value or understand freedom. I think they prefer religious or secular despots. That's all they know. We erred in thinking that they would appreciate their liberation. (Makes me wonder about France, too.)

In hindsight, I'd say we should have just bombed the hell out of every potential military target and never set foot in the country.

I think more time is needed to determineLive Steam
Aug 24, 2003 7:04 PM
win or lose. Maybe ten years or so. Maybe more. If in the next 5 to 10 years Iraq forms a stable government where individual liberties are protected and they can enter into international business deals in a civil manner, this will be viewed as a success. This is not a one hour made for TV movie where everything falls into place in the last five minutes. The types of change that are expected will take time. Maybe even decades, but they never would have had a chance to occur with Saddam and his sons still in the picture for the next umteen decades.
good pointDougSloan
Aug 25, 2003 6:17 AM
But we need someone who wants that to happen to make it happen. Revolutions like that can be good, but usually take place from the inside. Maybe we should turn the country over to Turkey?