View Poll Results: A democratic Iraq means..........

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  • More people standing up against tyranny, like we're seeing in Iran

    8 33.33%
  • Democracy will not last, dictatorship will inevitably return

    9 37.50%
  • Democracy will take hold, but the results will not be favorable for the US

    3 12.50%
  • I'm a malodorous hippie who believes Dick Cheney and George Bush eat arab babies for fuel

    4 16.67%
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Thread: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

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    Re: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Why are you mentioning healthcare as though it has any relevance?

    The two are totally unrelated subjects, and the absurd amount of money spent on one does nothing to excuse the absurd amount of money spent on the other.

    Applying my logic equally means considering both of them to be astronomical wastes of taxpayer money.
    How do you get from it being an absurd amount of money to being an astronomical waste of taxpayer money. You said nothing about what makes it a waste...

    Which was actually the topic of the sentence you ignored which is that we are doing it for regional security and that is in our strategic interest. I.e. not a waste of money.

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    Re: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

    Quote Originally Posted by Libs_Luv_Weakness View Post

    "Sorry Iraqi people, we would love to continue with this whole getting rid of a genocidal dictator thing, but we don't want to seem hypocritical. It's more righteous to sit on the sidelines and be defined by our mistakes".
    .
    We have militarily occupied Iraq for 7 years and counting beyond when we overthrew Saddam's regime.
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    Re: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    It is not a charitable act, but action for the security of the region which is in our strategic interest. We are getting it done cheaply. Only $1 trillion dollars. Cheaper than healthcare.
    Strategic interest, aka foreign oil we are still dependent on 40 years after we stop producing as much as we consumed.

    Due to our lack of planning others must die. Hell of an energy policy!
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

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    Re: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

    Quote Originally Posted by Libs_Luv_Weakness View Post
    Fair enough, although the term wouldn't be misleading if people would educate themselves.
    The term is still confusing, and if one reads enough literature on neoconservatism, it would be apparent quickly.

    That being said, I am a cautious optimist with Iraq. Things are looking up for Iraq, which was something unheard of in 2005.

    Though there are some geopolitical analysts who are making a conservative case for making an alliance with Iran to serve the purposes of both the United States and Iran, which would be very interesting.
    Last edited by Fiddytree; 03-30-10 at 11:11 PM.
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    Re: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Dave View Post
    I love the term "mistake" do you think the Regan administration believed that Saddam was going to use the illegal chemical weapons legitimately? And this doesn't negate our ability 'do good' in the future, but what it does do is make it clear that these attempts to 'do good' will be interpreted as insincere and perhaps rightly. Before we start 'doing good' in the world maybe we should start with the more realistic target of 'screwing people over less'.
    Are you familiar at all with the US/Hussein regime relationship in the 80's? Those weapons were given for the purpose of use against Iran. Yes, it was a mistake. It's bad enough that you're implying that we gave them with the full knowledge that they would be used against innocent civilians. It's even worse that you act as if this is common knowledge. Ignorance on a subject is forgiveable, but the willful ignorance you're showing as a result of your bias against American power makes a debate on this subject nearly impossible.

    As to your second point, I find it mind numbing that you would place a greater importance on how our actions abroad are percieved rather than their actual implications. What would be a good starting point for "screwing people over less" in your eyes? I'm interested to know.
    Last edited by Libs_Luv_Weakness; 03-31-10 at 12:58 AM.

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    Re: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

    Quote Originally Posted by Libs_Luv_Weakness View Post
    Are you familiar at all with the US/Hussein regime relationship in the 80's? Those weapons were given for the purpose of use against Iran. Yes, it was a mistake. It's bad enough that you're implying that we gave them with the full knowledge that they would be used against innocent civilians. It's even worse that you act as if this is common knowledge. Ignorance on a subject is forgiveable, but the willful ignorance you're showing as a result of your bias against American power makes a debate on this subject nearly impossible.

    As to your second point, I find it mind numbing that you would place a greater importance on how our actions abroad are percieved rather than their actual implications. What would be a good starting point for "screwing people over less" in your eyes? I'm interested to know.
    How else could Saddam have possibly used illegal chemical weapons, designed for suffocating people en mass accept in a way that killed civilians?. Do you think he was trying to kill the moles in his back garden? Even if he used them on Iran, a country that he invaded, their use would not be legitimate, even if the target was merely soldiers (they were banned for a reason).

    The importance of how these actions are perceived is A that people wont cooperate us even if we are sincere and B evidence would suggest that we are not.

    A few starting points would be an end to support to oppressive regimes, an end to convert opposition to democratic ones, a sincere attempt to limit civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Pakistan and an apology for the "mistakes" we made in the past.

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    Re: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

    Quote Originally Posted by Red_Dave View Post
    How else could Saddam have possibly used illegal chemical weapons, designed for suffocating people en mass accept in a way that killed civilians?. Do you think he was trying to kill the moles in his back garden? Even if he used them on Iran, a country that he invaded, their use would not be legitimate, even if the target was merely soldiers (they were banned for a reason).

    The importance of how these actions are perceived is A that people wont cooperate us even if we are sincere and B evidence would suggest that we are not.

    A few starting points would be an end to support to oppressive regimes, an end to convert opposition to democratic ones, a sincere attempt to limit civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Pakistan and an apology for the "mistakes" we made in the past.
    I'm not arguing that chemical weapons aren't hideous or that they aren't banned for a reason. I'm saying that it was a mistake to give them to Hussein to use against Iran. I do not believe that Reagan or Rumsfeld foresaw them being used against civilians.

    BTW, I don't think those Kurds got your memo. They have been a strong ally of America and had been begging us to help them dispose of Saddam for quite a while before the invasion. They were also instrumental in our victory.

    I suppose their perspective is a little different than yours. Apparently they don't want to reject the freedom they were given because of wrongs that were committed over 20 years ago.

    Once again, you've submitted an entire post devoted to America's past foreign policy. We are a country that is learning how to use it's power. We are very young and have become a superpower in a very short amount of time. All in all, I think we've done an outstanding job evolving as a nation that promotes human rights around the globe.

    I refuse to judge our ventures by the past. It's never too late to do the right thing. Your perspective on this matter is born of your own personal grudge, and you've yet to offer any substantive analysis of what a Democratic Iraq could mean for the Middle East as a whole. It's ok, though. I'm under no illusion that you would ever give America credit for anything, under any circumstances.
    Last edited by Libs_Luv_Weakness; 03-31-10 at 07:05 AM.

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    Re: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib View Post
    How do you get from it being an absurd amount of money to being an astronomical waste of taxpayer money. You said nothing about what makes it a waste...
    Actually I did, you just have ignored it. I believe it is an act of charity for the Iraqis, and as such, should be funded by private donors.

    If that absurd amount of money came from private donations, it wouldn't be an astronomical waste of taxpayer money.

    Which was actually the topic of the sentence you ignored which is that we are doing it for regional security and that is in our strategic interest. I.e. not a waste of money.
    What is our "strategic interest" the region?

    Simple repetition of the "strategic interests" mantra doesn't actually make an argument explaining what those strategic interests are and how we are benefiting them.

    If it is your contention that this venture is of strategic importance, you must back that up with some form of evidence. You must explain in detail exactly what our strategy in the ME is, why it is important to the US and why invading a sovereign and stable nation, destabilizing it and instituting a style government that is prone to upheaval every election cycle is beneficial to the US.

    You see, I'm not convinced that this approach is going to be beneficial to the US in the long-term, although it might provide short term gains.

    The reason I'm unconvinced is because I look at something like Operation Ajax in 1953 and I see that short term gains were used to justify something that has definitely caused long-term damage to our standing in the region.

    My stance is that weakly-justified interventionism typically causes more long-term damage than benefit.

    With Iraq, we had a stable, if unfriendly, regime. Now after the invasion, we have a friendly, yet unstable, regime in Iraq. My belief is that the strategic goals in Iraq were fairly short-term: Destabilize an area in the ME creating a target for Al Qaeda and Iran to draw the extremists away from the US itself, potentially destabilizing Iran in the process.

    It is also my contention that the strategic importance of Iraq to Al Qaeda and Iran was to try and increase anti-American sentiment in the region in general, and Iraq specifically. The goal wasn't to cause an outright US failure, but to prolong the process and increase body counts in Iraq for the purposes of planting the seeds of anti-Americanism that will, if the strategy proves effective for them, lead to an eventual unfriendly democratic regime in Iraq as well as a foundation for their respective causes elsewhere in the ME.

    Essentially, I think their strategies are more likely to be achieved, especially if a democratic regime is in place.

    Again, the fact that Operation Ajax has definitely been more damaging to US "interests" in the ME over the long-term is used as the foundation for my assessment. It shows how the seeds of an anti-American sentiment in a country can flourish under certain conditions and spread throughout the region altogether.

    I consider most interventionist approaches poorly thought out.

    This is especially true for Iraq. Even though some military strategists and political figures here in the US were clearly in favor of something like the surge from the get go (McCain immediately springs to mind, since he was extremely critical of the lack of boots on the ground way back in 2003) Bush et. al decided to go into the situation with fewer troops than what was needed.

    IMO, the war was really lost at that point, because this tactical error prolonged the war and gave Iran and Al Qaeda the perfect opportunity to come in and lay their strategy down. I believe the strategists involved severely underestimated the strategic importance in simply delaying the outcome of the war for Iran and Al Qaeda.

    Part of the reason I preferred McCain to Obama in the last election was based on the simple fact that he was one of the first outspoken critics of this tactical error, before most people even realized it was a tactical error. Even though I disagreed with the interventionist approach, if it is going to be taken, I am of the belief that it must be implemented in a very thought out manner.

    To me, it is appallingly obvious that this was not the case with Iraq. They underestimated the insurgency. They underestimated the strategic importance to our enemies in the region to prolonging the campaign.

    This convinces me that their "strategy" that is used as the basis for the "strategic importance" argument is flawed in the extreme. We won't know the full ramifications for about 20-30 years. My belief is that the full ramifications will turn out very negatively for the US based on the lack of foresight shown by the strategists involved in the process.

    I hope that I'm wrong, though. Truth be told, nothing would be better than for Bush to go down in history as the person who initiated a lasting peace in the Middle East.

    Unfortunately, my fear is that he made an Eisenhower-esque **** up in the Middle East. That this war will only exacerbate the long-term problems in the Middle East just as Operation Ajax did.

    Again, I hope I'm wrong, because I think it's too late to fix it if I'm not.
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    Re: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

    Quote Originally Posted by Libs_Luv_Weakness View Post
    I do not believe that Reagan or Rumsfeld foresaw them being used against civilians.
    This is why I have no confidence in the long-term Iraq strategy. I believe Rumsfeld lacked foresight and had too much of a hand in the strategy.
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    Re: The Implications of a Democratic Iraq on the Middle East

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Actually I did, you just have ignored it. I believe it is an act of charity for the Iraqis, and as such, should be funded by private donors.

    If that absurd amount of money came from private donations, it wouldn't be an astronomical waste of taxpayer money.
    We are talking in circles. I addressed this with my comment below. It was not charity, it was in our strategic interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by reefedjib
    Which was actually the topic of the sentence you ignored which is that we are doing it for regional security and that is in our strategic interest. I.e. not a waste of money.
    What is our "strategic interest" the region?

    Simple repetition of the "strategic interests" mantra doesn't actually make an argument explaining what those strategic interests are and how we are benefiting them.

    If it is your contention that this venture is of strategic importance, you must back that up with some form of evidence.
    I would say that the following are what makes it in the strategic interest:
    • oil reserves - the world relies on stable oil prices and the ME has the most proven reserves. This makes the region strategically important.
    • soft war between autocrats and islamists. The autocrats are restricting the populations. The populations are responding with radical Islamism. In some cases the autocrats are encouraging this - KSA. The way out of this is democratization.
    • Iraq had 17 resolutions against it. Easy pickings.
    • Saddam subjugated his people. Humanitarian crisis.
    • Iraq is centrally located along fault lines: Kurdistan, Sunni v Shiite, Arab v Persian.
    • Iraq's people are educated and capable of democracy.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tucker Case View Post
    You must explain in detail exactly what our strategy in the ME is, why it is important to the US and why invading a sovereign and stable nation, destabilizing it and instituting a style government that is prone to upheaval every election cycle is beneficial to the US.
    There is a fundamental difference between identifying somewhere as strategically important and our strategy for dealing with it. I clarified why I think the ME and Iraq is strategically important above. Democracy has political upheavals, but is more stable than an autocracy. We invaded because of the justification of humanitarian intervention, IMHO - not WMDs.

    You see, I'm not convinced that this approach is going to be beneficial to the US in the long-term, although it might provide short term gains.
    Anything to break the stasis of the ME is an improvement.

    The reason I'm unconvinced is because I look at something like Operation Ajax in 1953 and I see that short term gains were used to justify something that has definitely caused long-term damage to our standing in the region.

    My stance is that weakly-justified interventionism typically causes more long-term damage than benefit.

    With Iraq, we had a stable, if unfriendly, regime. Now after the invasion, we have a friendly, yet unstable, regime in Iraq. My belief is that the strategic goals in Iraq were fairly short-term: Destabilize an area in the ME creating a target for Al Qaeda and Iran to draw the extremists away from the US itself, potentially destabilizing Iran in the process.

    It is also my contention that the strategic importance of Iraq to Al Qaeda and Iran was to try and increase anti-American sentiment in the region in general, and Iraq specifically. The goal wasn't to cause an outright US failure, but to prolong the process and increase body counts in Iraq for the purposes of planting the seeds of anti-Americanism that will, if the strategy proves effective for them, lead to an eventual unfriendly democratic regime in Iraq as well as a foundation for their respective causes elsewhere in the ME.

    Essentially, I think their strategies are more likely to be achieved, especially if a democratic regime is in place.
    I don't think Al Qaeda's goal was to increase anti-americanism. It was to establish a caliphate. Iran will change as much as Iraq over time.


    Again, the fact that Operation Ajax has definitely been more damaging to US "interests" in the ME over the long-term is used as the foundation for my assessment. It shows how the seeds of an anti-American sentiment in a country can flourish under certain conditions and spread throughout the region altogether.

    I consider most interventionist approaches poorly thought out.

    This is especially true for Iraq. Even though some military strategists and political figures here in the US were clearly in favor of something like the surge from the get go (McCain immediately springs to mind, since he was extremely critical of the lack of boots on the ground way back in 2003) Bush et. al decided to go into the situation with fewer troops than what was needed.

    IMO, the war was really lost at that point, because this tactical error prolonged the war and gave Iran and Al Qaeda the perfect opportunity to come in and lay their strategy down. I believe the strategists involved severely underestimated the strategic importance in simply delaying the outcome of the war for Iran and Al Qaeda.
    Iran and Al Qaeda have lost this war.

    Part of the reason I preferred McCain to Obama in the last election was based on the simple fact that he was one of the first outspoken critics of this tactical error, before most people even realized it was a tactical error. Even though I disagreed with the interventionist approach, if it is going to be taken, I am of the belief that it must be implemented in a very thought out manner.

    To me, it is appallingly obvious that this was not the case with Iraq. They underestimated the insurgency. They underestimated the strategic importance to our enemies in the region to prolonging the campaign.

    This convinces me that their "strategy" that is used as the basis for the "strategic importance" argument is flawed in the extreme. We won't know the full ramifications for about 20-30 years. My belief is that the full ramifications will turn out very negatively for the US based on the lack of foresight shown by the strategists involved in the process.

    I hope that I'm wrong, though. Truth be told, nothing would be better than for Bush to go down in history as the person who initiated a lasting peace in the Middle East.

    Unfortunately, my fear is that he made an Eisenhower-esque **** up in the Middle East. That this war will only exacerbate the long-term problems in the Middle East just as Operation Ajax did.
    No one could predict the actions of the enemy. I think the insurgency was predictable, and the whole time Rumsfeld was saying no insurgency. Perhaps it was part of the plan, to create a honey pot. Bush was slow to go COIN, because of Rumsfeld I think, but once he did we went for it and it was a success.


    Again, I hope I'm wrong, because I think it's too late to fix it if I'm not.
    It is in the Iraqis hands.

    Thanks for the long message. I hope I addressed your points.

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