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Thread: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

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    Re: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Basing strategy off of a stubborn desire to view the situation as if it never happened or view it that we should only act based on what we should've done at the beginning regardless of the current situation is incredibly idiotic in my mind.

    Regardless of whether or not you think we should've been there in the first place, regardless of whether or not you think we should be nation building or not, one must look at the situation as it actually is NOW in reality.

    In reality, we have spent 7 years there.

    In reality, we have lost the lives of hundreds of Americans.

    In reality, we've had thousands of Americans injured.

    In reality, we've spent untold amounts of money, much of which we didn't have, on this at this point.

    In reality, we have begun and are in the midst of nation building. Building that is realistically argued as being unfinished.

    These are unquestionable truths. The following are my opinion but I think reasonable ones to suggest.

    In reality, what happens in other areas of the world affects us due to the international nature of much of our economy, our dependence on foriegn goods and resources, and our interaction with allies.

    In reality, Iraq does provide us with potential strategic advantages if as nothing else a trade partner if it remains a democratic society.

    Based on all this we need to weigh the legitimate pro's and con's regarding what we should be doing in relation to Iraq. What would and outright immediete pull out do to the country, to the infastructure we've already invested so much in, to the democracy we spent lives trying to help create, to the safety and security of the middle east, to the cost of oil and thus general goods and services, to our own national security, and onward. To determine whether or not acting simply based on principle of what we SHOULD have done 7 years ago is worth the risk and damage doing so now, with a disregard for the situation as it is realistically TODAY, could and would cause. To determine whether or not at this point it is actually more beneficial to the United States and the United States people to invest a bit more (and when it comes to 7 years of this, another 1 to 2 years is a bit) to actually have things occur with regards to Iraq that gives us some sort of positive return for our investment or if its impossible or far too costly (IE another 7 or 8 years) to get to a point where such a return is possible.

    To me, all of that is far, far, more important and would be far more persuasive then screaming "non-interventionism" and "we shouldn't have gone in the first place" and "no nation building" and other empty platitudes that ignore reality, don't deal with the situation as it is currently, and are nothing but principle based arguments founded in a hypothetical bubble within a complete vacuum scenario.
    I think this is all very logical. Though I would disagree on the premise that our government was not empowered to nation build. Nor are we even remotely good at it (which I think is a great thing, I don't like being all imperial). We can act in defense of our sovereignty, and in that regard I had originally agreed with the move against Afghanistan. However, we cannot neglect the expansion of government intervention and the consequences of it. There is a base of power that the government is given and we should always return to that to see if our actions are justified and authorized. We do not exist in a vacuum (and non-interventionist policies are not a vacuum policy, it understands the interaction on the global level), we will have to interact. This is normal. But the way we interact is important not only for the realistic consequences it can have; but also along the lines of what government has been empowered to do. We should pursue more non-interventionist policies as interventionist policies haven't panned out well for us. We shouldn't have gone there in the first place because we had no legitimate reason for doing so. We shouldn't engage in nation building because the government is not empowered to do so and it's not our problem.

    You can weigh legitimate pro's and con's for any situation, but the key word there is "legitimate". And arguments along the lines of "no nation building", "we shouldn't have been there in the first place", and "no interventionist policies" speak to that legitimacy. And that's the plain ol' simple facts of the matter.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    Re: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    You can weigh legitimate pro's and con's for any situation, but the key word there is "legitimate". And arguments along the lines of "no nation building", "we shouldn't have been there in the first place", and "no interventionist policies" speak to that legitimacy. And that's the plain ol' simple facts of the matter.
    Except for all three account nothing for the fact that we HAVE been nation building, we ARE there, and our entire foreign policy and economy is predicated off of active foreign action.

    Simply because you dislike these things don't mean they're not occurring.

    What you're suggesting is the equivalent of of having a die hard junky coming off everything he's on cold turkey because to hell with the detox, to hell with the high likelihood of death, by god its a legitimate and well principled notion to not be on drugs and therefore there is no harm in immediately pulling him off it.

    Personally, I think such an idea is idiotic.

    We have invested significant resources, both in gold and blood, in the reconstruction of Iraq. It is irresponsible to those that died, those that have been injured, and those of us that have helped finance this to basically flush it in the toilet without any kind of credence given to what has already been spent and how best to make the most of that situation. If we examine this and find that immediate pull out IS the most effective way, because the opposite choice will more than double what we've already invested thus making it best to cut our losses, no problem. But what I would not want, nor do I think is logical, to simply end it based on principles of what we THINK should've happened 7 years ago that are made without any comprehension or care for the present nor for what's occured in the past 7 years.

    If I purchase a house that is way more than I should have paid for one, and I've been scratching by and going into debt in other ways for the past 7 years I would be idiotic to simply stop and go "You know what, I shouldn't have bought this house in the first place. Screw it, I'm just abandoning it". All that does is cement that I have no return at all, in any tangible way, with the 7 years I've scraped by trying to maintain that house. Now, if I look into it and have a reasonable belief that its going to take me another 7 years to get close to financial stable with this house which would likely end up not working and nearly ruining me, yes, absolutely, then I'd abandon it. However, if I look into it and find out that another year or two of scratching by and I will actually have it paid off, which won't remove the debt that I've gotten myself into but will at least now give me a place that I can live without having to make payments thus freeing up resources to pay off said debt...then I'd be a fool to abandon it simply on the principle that I shouldn't have paid for it in the first place.

    Which is why I absolutely see what we're doing right now as the right thing to do in Iraq NOW, today, in THIS reality that we are actually existing in and living in for the past 7 years. Take this next year and a half to continually, slowly, draw down our forces...first our major combat forces, then slowly with the support forces. Continue to give aid and support to the Iraqi government to attempt to maintain a key diplomatic ally in an important international locale while hoping that our support will reduce the chance of the state failing and causing a hotbed to be created that could severely impact our national security. Look into possibly establishing a base there, while counter acting the cost by looking for bases to close in locations of the world where the strategic advantage of having a base and thus air space is not as great. Beyond said base, remove our forces by the start of 2012 and let the dice fall. By that point it is realistic that we have our BEST shot at both cutting ties AND having successful gains (even if its gains that keep us in the negative in your mind, its still more than what we'd possibly have from a direct immediate pull out) as we allow for a reasonable steady transition as we ramp down and Iraq ramps up.

    Would I prefer we have not performed such nation building in the first place? Without question. Do I think going forward that should be our standard policy? Absolutely. Do I think those two things dictate that we should just immediately throw down all we've done in Iraq and run high tailing out of there without a care for it in the world based on nothing but "principle". Not a bloody chance.

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    Re: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Except for all three account nothing for the fact that we HAVE been nation building, we ARE there, and our entire foreign policy and economy is predicated off of active foreign action.

    Simply because you dislike these things don't mean they're not occurring.

    What you're suggesting is the equivalent of of having a die hard junky coming off everything he's on cold turkey because to hell with the detox, to hell with the high likelihood of death, by god its a legitimate and well principled notion to not be on drugs and therefore there is no harm in immediately pulling him off it.

    Personally, I think such an idea is idiotic.

    We have invested significant resources, both in gold and blood, in the reconstruction of Iraq. It is irresponsible to those that died, those that have been injured, and those of us that have helped finance this to basically flush it in the toilet without any kind of credence given to what has already been spent and how best to make the most of that situation. If we examine this and find that immediate pull out IS the most effective way, because the opposite choice will more than double what we've already invested thus making it best to cut our losses, no problem. But what I would not want, nor do I think is logical, to simply end it based on principles of what we THINK should've happened 7 years ago that are made without any comprehension or care for the present nor for what's occured in the past 7 years.

    If I purchase a house that is way more than I should have paid for one, and I've been scratching by and going into debt in other ways for the past 7 years I would be idiotic to simply stop and go "You know what, I shouldn't have bought this house in the first place. Screw it, I'm just abandoning it". All that does is cement that I have no return at all, in any tangible way, with the 7 years I've scraped by trying to maintain that house. Now, if I look into it and have a reasonable belief that its going to take me another 7 years to get close to financial stable with this house which would likely end up not working and nearly ruining me, yes, absolutely, then I'd abandon it. However, if I look into it and find out that another year or two of scratching by and I will actually have it paid off, which won't remove the debt that I've gotten myself into but will at least now give me a place that I can live without having to make payments thus freeing up resources to pay off said debt...then I'd be a fool to abandon it simply on the principle that I shouldn't have paid for it in the first place.

    Which is why I absolutely see what we're doing right now as the right thing to do in Iraq NOW, today, in THIS reality that we are actually existing in and living in for the past 7 years. Take this next year and a half to continually, slowly, draw down our forces...first our major combat forces, then slowly with the support forces. Continue to give aid and support to the Iraqi government to attempt to maintain a key diplomatic ally in an important international locale while hoping that our support will reduce the chance of the state failing and causing a hotbed to be created that could severely impact our national security. Look into possibly establishing a base there, while counter acting the cost by looking for bases to close in locations of the world where the strategic advantage of having a base and thus air space is not as great. Beyond said base, remove our forces by the start of 2012 and let the dice fall. By that point it is realistic that we have our BEST shot at both cutting ties AND having successful gains (even if its gains that keep us in the negative in your mind, its still more than what we'd possibly have from a direct immediate pull out) as we allow for a reasonable steady transition as we ramp down and Iraq ramps up.

    Would I prefer we have not performed such nation building in the first place? Without question. Do I think going forward that should be our standard policy? Absolutely. Do I think those two things dictate that we should just immediately throw down all we've done in Iraq and run high tailing out of there without a care for it in the world based on nothing but "principle". Not a bloody chance.
    The junky analogy is excellent, though for different reasons. We are there because our economy is addicted to war--not because of WMD or any other such threat. As with heroin, the idea that we'll likely die from withdrawal is a myth. Add in the fact that we're murdering people to support our habit while dismissing principled objections to our behavior as airy-fairy idealism, and you have a pretty good picture of how delusional and self-destructive we really are.

    Of course, the non-interventionist argument isn't based only on abstract principles. It's also based on the down-to-earth understanding that we can't afford to keep feeding the addiction and we're doing more damage to ourselves and others the longer we try.
    Last edited by Winston Smith; 08-05-10 at 07:21 AM.

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    Re: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Except for all three account nothing for the fact that we HAVE been nation building, we ARE there, and our entire foreign policy and economy is predicated off of active foreign action.

    Simply because you dislike these things don't mean they're not occurring.

    What you're suggesting is the equivalent of of having a die hard junky coming off everything he's on cold turkey because to hell with the detox, to hell with the high likelihood of death, by god its a legitimate and well principled notion to not be on drugs and therefore there is no harm in immediately pulling him off it.

    Personally, I think such an idea is idiotic.
    No, that's just sorta what you want to believe it is. We're there, we have been there, and there are measured results. Those measurements aren't encouraging. We've wasted time, money, and lives. Not just our own mind you. If you look at the big picture then and say what are we going to do? Well the fact of the matter is that this skirmish highlights exactly why we shouldn't pursue such aggressive, "proactive", interventionist policies and nation building. Nor was there reason to be there. That junkie may have it tough going cold turkey, but that's also not my problem. He made the decision to shoot up in the first place, he can face the consequences. I should not have to sit there and coddle him and clean up his puke and hold his hand and tell him it's alright. He ****ed up. He pays the price. (Which is why that junkie analogy isn't really good for this case).

    But let's take this argument for what it really is, the wars in the ME. There's a lot to consider, yes. And in those considerations we also have to ask whether or not we are authorized to actually have performed this action (and if not, then we need investigations and charges towards those who went against the Constitution and started the war). We need to consider our actual effect, how well have we done this nation building. Not well. We've never been good at it. Like it our not, our military are ****ty policemen. Additionally, since we shouldn't have been there and we suck at nation building; the effects of our interventionist policies are clear. We've had a war we've sunk trillions of dollars into, lost thousands more of our own lives. wasted 7+ years trying to do with no end in sight and no competent plan. That's where we're at. That's a measured result. So what's the solution? To continue on the same path? We should still try to nation build there? I mean, have you not seen the data? No nation building means no nation building. It means that we should stop because we've demonstrated a complete inability to do it. There's no point in trying to save face or whatever because we cannot nation build. You want to continue with these aggressive, interventionist policies? Have you not seen the data? It only gets us into deeper trouble. Hell even when we black-op it, it usually bites us in the rear. Measured results.

    These questions and statements are thus valid because the speak to the legitimacy of what we are doing, and they are derived from physical data from our past and current actions. You want to dismiss them, say they're useless. But you are weighing options for continuing aggressive interventionist policies with nation building goals. Maybe you should look at the historical data on that one. Even the current one. Would it suck to just leave? Yes. Would Iraq be in danger of collapse? Probably, but I'm sure you could force the UN to do something about it. But time and time again we've pursued these policies, and time and time again it's bitten us on the ass. It's time to stop. We're great at breaking ****, not so great at putting it back together.

    And quite honestly, Iraqi freedom and government is not worth American lives.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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    Re: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    We're there, we have been there, and there are measured results. Those measurements aren't encouraging.
    What measurements aren't encuraging?

    We've wasted time, money, and lives. Not just our own mind you.
    Your use of the term "wasted" is not objective. We have accomplished much of what we set out to.

    If you look at the big picture then and say what are we going to do? Well the fact of the matter is that this skirmish highlights exactly why we shouldn't pursue such aggressive, "proactive", interventionist policies and nation building. Nor was there reason to be there.
    Why not? Why shouldn't we pursue such aggressive, "proactive", interventionist policies and nation building?

    You claim we aren't good at it yet we are the world's expert in doing so and not for imperial reasons. Aside from some bumps in the road (wrong strategy ignoring population protection when civil war broke out), we have recovered well and stabilized the security situation thus allowing the political process room to move forward.

    we also have to ask whether or not we are authorized to actually have performed this action (and if not, then we need investigations and charges towards those who went against the Constitution and started the war).
    We had authorization from congress. It was sold as anti-WMD incorrectly. It should have been sold as what it was: an humanitarian intervention.

    We need to consider our actual effect, how well have we done this nation building. Not well. We've never been good at it. Like it our not, our military are ****ty policemen.
    Bull****. We are fantastic at it. Germany, Japan, Phillipines, South Korea, Iraq. It isn't something we do every decade. We don't do it for countries that aren't in our strategic interest. The melding of security, intelligence, force building, infrastructure development, economic development, political cohesion and development are all complicated and intertwinned aspects of nation building. We are fantastic at it.

    It sounds to me that your criticism of it fits your political agenda. You hack.

    So what's the solution? To continue on the same path? We should still try to nation build there? I mean, have you not seen the data?
    Yes, I have seen the data. Lowest casualty rate in any war. Lowest deceased rate in any war. $95 billion/year; pretty cheap. 21 million people saved. Advancing political and economic situation. Large voter turnout. They get democracy. They will change the region.

    The solution is to evolve out force as the situation in Iraq evolves. We are now drawing down combat forces. This does not mean we don't have forces available or that we disengage from the political process - we do not.

    No nation building means no nation building. It means that we should stop because we've demonstrated a complete inability to do it.
    Bull****. You are completely wrong on this statement. It doesn't matter how many times you repeat yourself, you are still wrong.

    You want to continue with these aggressive, interventionist policies?
    Absolutely! We are the superpower and we are a force for good in the world. How many democracies as compared to 1910?

    Would it suck to just leave? Yes. Would Iraq be in danger of collapse? Probably, but I'm sure you could force the UN to do something about it. But time and time again we've pursued these policies, and time and time again it's bitten us on the ass. It's time to stop. We're great at breaking ****, not so great at putting it back together.
    We aren't so great at putting it back together when we leave prematurely, you are right. When we stick with it we are very good at fixing what's broken.

    You have a mighty generous soul to leave the Iraqis to the beasts, shrug your shoulders and say it is their responsibility. Have you seen the trouble caused by Iran in Lebanon? Do you fathom the animosity between Saudi Arabia and Iran? The kurds would be toast. Nice compassion.

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    Re: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

    Who the hell put Saddam's party in place originally? That was us. I'm not the one throwing them to the beasts. How many coups ended in failure, how many funding and training of revolutionary armies came back on us? Hell even the Contras were selling drugs on the side. Korea was a mess that got nowhere, same with Vietnam, poor diplomatic relations on our part contributed to the first Gulf War (though beating Iraq isn't that tough). Compassion is great, but our government is not authorized to act on compassion. It is not authorized to act on "humanitarian" causes. We do not go to war to save others. We go to war only when our sovereignty has been attacked. All this "they will get democracy, they will change the region" is just delusion of grandeur. It's not based on anything other than wishful thinking. We've not made a stable government in 7 years. We have created an atmosphere of hostility and proliferated the anti-American attitudes of the region. How many more civilians are dead because of us? When do they have a stable government? How many more American lives does it take for Iraqi "freedom"?

    We ****ed up, and we ****ed up good on this one. Staying is only going to be another trillion+ dollars, more dead Americans, more conflict, and little gain. We still have no plans on how to fix the problem, no coherent argument about what it will take, what end game is, and how to get there. I don't endorse any action without a plan. And if we're there another 7 years, spend another couple trillion, spend thousands more of American lives; then what? Still stick it out? When do we call it quits?

    Fact of the matter is that it's not our country. We are not the governed, we have no rightful say in their government, its style, or its laws. And the more we interject, the more we **** it up.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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    Re: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

    We did not put Saddam in power.

    South Korea is a HUGE success. North Korea isn't due to 1 million chinese soldiers.

    Our support for revolutionary armies met with mixed success. None of them were occupations by our military to develop democracies. They were all black ops during the cold war.

    We can act for humanitarian causes where the defense of our nation is in jeopardy. Oil is a strategic resource and it's protection of sources is in our national defense. Congress can vote for our action and did.

    I do not expect Iraq to resolve all the ethnic and religous problems in 7 years. They are only 2 years removed from civil war. It takes time to reconciliate.

    We will not spend thousands of US lives in the years to come. Already we are at an extreme low in casualties:

    ICasualties.org

    I expect we will be there as long as we have been in Germany, another success story.

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    Re: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    We did not put Saddam in power.
    We helped put that party in power. Germany was the last officially declared war and there were real goals and plans for that. All these other things you say are done on your own assumptions. Well not Congress having voted for the wars. Yet Congress and other branches often do things not in the Constitution. Korea wasn't a huge success, it was a stalemate. In fact we're still dealing with it.
    Last edited by Ikari; 08-05-10 at 03:40 PM.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
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    Re: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    We helped put that party in power. Germany was the last officially declared war and there were real goals and plans for that. All these other things you say are done on your own assumptions. Well not Congress having voted for the wars. Yet Congress and other branches often do things not in the Constitution. Korea wasn't a huge success, it was a stalemate. In fact we're still dealing with it.
    Sucks to be the superpower, huh? Still, it beats some silly notion of non-interventionism.

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    Re: US combat mission in Iraq to end on schedule Aug 31: Obama

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    Sucks to be the superpower, huh? Still, it beats some silly notion of non-interventionism.
    Nice false dichotomy. You can be a super power without ****ing everyone else over though. That's perhaps at least worthy of investigation.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

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