T Nation

Iraq the Vote

[quote]Limbic wrote:
I saw Palestine, or Iraq?

The power of money and its results.

I saw pretention as a sole requisite for membership, or a will to forget.[/quote]

Are you trying to be artsie-fartsy?

Logic has beaten you down to the point that you’ve taken up writing as a mystic?

Whatever it is, dude - your not making any sense. Sober up, or something.

I’m happy to see that maybe some good has come out of this but I really don’t think there’s any cause for pride. Brnging freedom was not the intention of our nations when we went to war so lets not pretend that it was for a nobel cause or something.

Saddam was bad and it’s good that he’s gone. But lets not forget who put him there.

The time to be rid of him was years and years ago…but then oil does fetch a fair old price in the west.

I’m with vroom and the guy who talks in riddles. It was, at the end of the day, an illegal war that our governments instigated and the only reason that we got away with it is that there isn’t anyone to stop us. In particular, America is a very powerful nation indeed: I do not believe that gives the justification to break the law (fossil fuels anyone?)

Perhaps it might help to try and think from the perspective of others: for example there are many terroroists in today’s world commiting many horrific acts, but they probably believe themselves to be fighting for freedom.

I think the world might be a nicer place if everyone took the time to understand each other, although I realise that it’s a lot harder than it sounds.

And for the record, putting up a memorial to Bush as a symbol of Freedom is just about the dumbest thing I’ve heard of in quite a while.

KK

rainjack:

Actuallly I was inviting TheMage to share parody of each other’s contributions. He seems insincere.

As to yourself, you present yourself as a rehabilitated Vietnam Vet, yes? One who has outgrown his experiences of youth?
Tell me about the Vietnam War.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1107189411102.3circlethumb.gif

Don’t disrespect the crystal ball.

Vroom: Thanks for the no help in Iraq. Your country makes its first independent foreign policy decision and listens to the Quebecois. Unsurprisingly, you ended up on the wrong side of history. In the bargain, you managed to piss off the people that guard your borders so you don’t have to pay for a military, and you can bang your chest about your “great” social systems.

Now you must hope that Americans go back to not thinking about our 51st state again.

Kamikarn – There is lots of good information on this forum about politics. Don’t throw up cliches like that unless you want to get hammered.

Also, thanks for the no help on Iraq.

kamikarn? What do you expect from a guy who wastes his first post on the finest muscle building site on the net, telling us that President Bush is wrong about Iraq. Especially after over 60% of the Iraqi people turned out (under the threat of terrorists) to vote!

Honestly, anyone trying to rain on this parade is either not playing with a full deck, or is so liberal that Ted Kennedy is to their right!

Hey kamikarn…go lift some weights…

Simply a superb column by the great Canadian columnist Mark Steyn:

http://www.suntimes.com/output/steyn/cst-edt-steyn30.html

Iraq is going to be just fine

January 30, 2005

BY MARK STEYN SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

In Europe, the wise old foreign-policy ‘‘realists’’ scoff at today’s elections in Iraq – Islam and democracy are completely incompatible, old boy; everybody knows that, except these naive blundering Yanks who just don’t have our experience, frankly.

If that’s true, it’s a problem not for Iraq this weekend but, given current demographic trends, for France and Belgium and Holland a year or two down the line.

But, as it happens, it’s not true. The Afghan election worked so well that, there being insufficient bad news out of it, the doom-mongers in the Western media pretended it never happened. They’ll have a harder job doing that with Iraq, so instead they’ll have to play up every roadside bomb and every dead poll worker. But it won’t alter the basic reality: that today’s election will be imperfect but more than good enough. OK, that’s a bit vague by the standards of my usual psephological predictions, so how about this? Turnout in the Kurdish north and Shia south will be higher than in the last American, British or Canadian elections. Legitimate enough for ya?

But look beyond the numbers. When you consider the behavior of the Shia and Kurdish parties, they’ve been remarkably shrewd, restrained and responsible. They don’t want to blow their big rendezvous with history and rejoin the rest of the Middle East in the fetid swamp of stable despotism. The naysayers in the Democratic Party and the U.S. media are so obsessed with Rumsfeld getting this wrong and Condi getting that wrong and Bush getting everything wrong that they’ve failed to notice just how surefooted both the Kurds and Shiites have been – which in the end is far more important. The latter, for example, have adopted a moderate secular pitch entirely different from their co-religionist mullahs over the border. In fact, as partisan pols go, they sound a lot less loopy than, say, Barbara Boxer. Even on the Sunni side of the street, there are signs the smarter fellows understand their plans to destroy the election have flopped and it’s time to cut themselves into the picture. The IMF noted in November that the Iraqi economy is already outperforming all its Arab neighbors.

You might not have gained that impression from watching CNN or reading the Los Angeles Times. The Western press are all holed up in the same part of Baghdad, and the insurgents very conveniently set off bombs visible from their hotel windows in perfect synchronization with the U.S. TV news cycle. But, if they could look beyond the plumes of smoke, they’d see that Iraq’s going to be better than OK, that it will be the economic powerhouse of the region, and that the various small nods toward democracy going on in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere suggest that the Arab world has figured out what the foreign policy ‘‘realists’’ haven’t: that the trend is in the Bush direction. When Amr Moussa, secretary-general of the Arab League, warned that the U.S. invasion of Iraq would ‘‘destabilize’’ the entire region, he was right. That’s why it was such a great idea.

The ‘‘realpolitik’’ types spent so long worshipping at the altar of stability they were unable to see it was a cult for psychos. The geopolitical scene is never stable, it’s always dynamic. If the Western world decides in 2005 that it can ‘‘contain’’ President Sy Kottik of Wackistan indefinitely, that doesn’t mean the relationship between the two parties is set in aspic. Wackistan has a higher birth rate than the West, so after 40 years of ‘‘stability’’ there are a lot more Wackistanis and a lot fewer Frenchmen. And Wackistan has immense oil reserves, and President Kottik has used the wealth of those oil reserves to fund radical schools and mosques in hitherto moderate parts of the Muslim world. And cheap air travel and the Internet and ATM machines that take every bank card on the planet and the freelancing of nuclear technology mean that Wackistan’s problems are no longer confined to Wackistan. For a few hundred bucks, they can be outside the Empire State Building within seven hours. Nothing stands still. ‘‘Stability’’ is a fancy term to dignify laziness and complacency as sophistication.

If you want a good example of excessive deference to the established order, look no further than Iraq. I’m often asked about the scale of the insurgency and doesn’t this prove we armchair warriors vastly underestimated things, etc. I usually reply that, if you rummage through the archives, you’ll find that I wanted the liberation of Iraq to occur before the end of August 2002. The bulk of the military were already in place, sitting in the Kuwaiti desert twiddling their thumbs. But Bush was prevailed upon to go ‘‘the extra mile’’ at the United Nations mainly for the sake of Tony Blair, and thanks to the machinations of Chirac, Schroeder and Co., the extra mile wound up being the scenic route through six months of diplomatic gridlock while Washington gamely auditioned any casus belli that might win the favor of the president of Guinea’s witch doctor. As we know, all that happened during that period was that the hitherto fringe ‘‘peace’’ movement vastly expanded and annexed most of the Democratic Party.

Given all that went on in America, Britain, France, etc., during the interminable ‘‘extra mile,’’ it would be idiotic to assume that, with an almighty invasion force squatting on his borders for six months, Saddam just sat there listening to his Sinatra LPs. He was very busy, as were the Islamists, and Iran, and Syria.

The result is not only an insurgency far more virulent than it would have been had Washington followed my advice rather than Tony’s and gone in in August 2002, but also a broader range of enemies that learned a lot about how ‘‘world’’ – i.e., European – opinion could be played off against Washington.

I don’t believe Bush would make that mistake again. Which means he wouldn’t have spoken quite so loudly if the big stick weren’t already in place – if plans weren’t well advanced for dealing with Iran and some of the low-hanging fruit elsewhere in the region. Bush won’t abolish all global tyranny by 2008 – that might have to wait till Condi’s second term – but he will abolish some of it, and today’s elections are as important in that struggle as any military victory.

[quote]Limbic wrote:
rainjack:

Actuallly I was inviting TheMage to share parody of each other’s contributions. He seems insincere.

As to yourself, you present yourself as a rehabilitated Vietnam Vet, yes? One who has outgrown his experiences of youth?
Tell me about the Vietnam War.

[/quote]

I still don’t have a clue what you talking about. I was 9 when the Viet Nam War ended.

I’m sure you can find out plenty of information on it if you just try.

What does Viet Nam have to do with Iraq anyways?

Frankly I don’t see how the Iraqis could have responded differently at the polls than they did.
They’ve literally been starved to death for over ten years, and terrorized for decades before that.
The Ba’ath party criminals were offering them more of the same: their vote was the ONLY sensible thing they could have done. Other than civil war.

Zarqawi’s lieutenants should have been arrested far sooner. There would have been far less civilian deaths, and U.S. soldier deaths.
Instead it’s intelligence games and strategic strikes at advantageous times for media coverage.

Widows of soldiers, Marines, and the Shias of the first Iraqi war can tell you about “rained-out parades”. Fill your deck.

Vietnam was presented as a humanitarian war, wasn’t it?

I think you need to look at the vote like this: it simply happened. Now we’ll see what REALLY happens. Murphy and his law will be around, boys.

[quote]Kamikarn wrote:
I’m happy to see that maybe some good has come out of this but I really don’t think there’s any cause for pride. Brnging freedom was not the intention of our nations when we went to war so lets not pretend that it was for a nobel cause or something. [/quote]

No, that was a side benefit, and an important one. We took out a threat, and we didn’t know how much of a threat he was until we found his programs that the inspectors never found.

Yes, those damn Americans cause everything. We put Hitler into power, we killed the dinosaurs, everything is our fault. I love this myth.

Oh yeas, I love all the proof you are supplying. This is exactly what I was talking about. Conspiracy theories without a shred of proof. Again the illuminati are controlling everything.

But we should have dealt with him years ago. It is a mistake not to, and not to support those who wanted to overthrow him years ago.

Again here is a big form of ignorance. He violated he cease fire agreement, and that is all we needed to have to go to war. What law is this anyway? We do not have a world government yet. Kofi Annan is not the president of Earth. And you should thank god about that.

So you are supporting the terrorists now? You do know the Nazi?s thought they were eliminating a terrible threat by killing the Jews don?t you? And you do know that these terrorists have repeatedly said they supported what Hitler did. Please do not justify such acts.

Yes, sunshine and lollypops. I am sorry but the world is not the place of peace and love you think it is. And I do understand these people. Some are vying for power, using whatever they can to manipulate others, and others are ignorant to the point they think they will go to heaven if they blow themselves up, and take a few Jews or infidels with them.

[quote]And for the record, putting up a memorial to Bush as a symbol of Freedom is just about the dumbest thing I’ve heard of in quite a while.

KK

[/quote]

Just wait 50 years, there will be a statue of Bush. He has become an historical figure. You do know how many people hated Lincoln don?t you?
Please use logic in this discussion, not innuendo, conspiracy theory, or schoolgirl gossip.

Kamikarn, Cream,

You are both mistaken about what I wrote. I said that there is varied opinion about the road to war, but I purposely avoided getting into what the varied viewpoints may be.

If you didn’t notice, I was praising the current situation and talking about the structure or authority of the US with respect to war in general… thinking about forward looking situations.

On another note, the funny thing is, Canada doesn’t have a large number of enemies pounding on our borders nor does it have a need to exert a lot of influence on a world wide scale. If that need were to develop, I’m sure we would address it.

Our military is very able to exert influence on our own borders with respect to the threats we face – basically foreign fishing fleets in our waters. Hooboy, that’s a tough one.

Thank you for you concern. Now grow up and stop believing all the silly soundbytes you hear on Fox news already.

However, if you weren’t being so melodramatic, I’d point out that I have previously stated the Canadian military does need to have its spending boosted and its role adjusted to support modern realities.

Back to the topic at hand – I’ve been reading the so called “liberal” media and the stories of Iraqi citizens and their determination to vote is very moving. I’d have thought the liberal media would downplay the significance of such an event, but it certainly hasn’t. Imagine that.

Make sure they get their kudos too.

The Mage said:
“Again the illuminati are controlling everything.”
I honestly believe the “illumination” you could receive at the hands of the illuminati would be so world-shattering you wouldn’t survive the experience. The remaining possiblity is that you are in their employ, hence the seeming insincerity.

As for Adolph Hitler, he received nods from a number of quarters.

The Illuminatists of Personal Gain.

Vroom:

Why exactly do you think Canada has no threats on its borders? If you think that it’s because you are such nice guys and that your post-Coldwar Swiss foreign policy is the reason, guess again. Abdicating any responsibility to help the world or to defend yourselves is a choice, and you’re welcome for all my tax money spent subsidizing that choice.

It’s also a choice made possible because the gorilla in your basement regards you as a friend, and will protect you from the monsters outside.

[quote]vroom wrote:
Kamikarn, Cream,

You are both mistaken about what I wrote. I said that there is varied opinion about the road to war, but I purposely avoided getting into what the varied viewpoints may be.

If you didn’t notice, I was praising the current situation and talking about the structure or authority of the US with respect to war in general… thinking about forward looking situations.

On another note, the funny thing is, Canada doesn’t have a large number of enemies pounding on our borders nor does it have a need to exert a lot of influence on a world wide scale. If that need were to develop, I’m sure we would address it.

Our military is very able to exert influence on our own borders with respect to the threats we face – basically foreign fishing fleets in our waters. Hooboy, that’s a tough one.

Thank you for you concern. Now grow up and stop believing all the silly soundbytes you hear on Fox news already.

However, if you weren’t being so melodramatic, I’d point out that I have previously stated the Canadian military does need to have its spending boosted and its role adjusted to support modern realities.

Back to the topic at hand – I’ve been reading the so called “liberal” media and the stories of Iraqi citizens and their determination to vote is very moving. I’d have thought the liberal media would downplay the significance of such an event, but it certainly hasn’t. Imagine that.

Make sure they get their kudos too.[/quote]

vroom:

The liberal media is reporting it because there is no choice! Just like the Monica Lewinski affair. When a story gets to a certain proportion the liberal media has no choice but to report it or look foolish.

[quote]Limbic wrote:
Vietnam was presented as a humanitarian war, wasn’t it?

I think you need to look at the vote like this: it simply happened. Now we’ll see what REALLY happens. Murphy and his law will be around, boys.

[/quote]

“The vote simply happened.” Um…I think we had something to do with that happening. You demean the troops who are over there risking their lives, and the ones who have already given their lives with statements like that! Nothing “simply happens” of that magnatude without a whole lot of risk and sacrifice.

While you may not have meant it, it seems that you are wishing ill on our troops and our cause with statements like this: “Now we’ll see what REALLY happens. Murphy and his law will be around boys.”

The insinutation being that many things will go wrong and that we (the USA) will fail, and more troops will be killed. Perhaps you did not mean it this way, but it comes off as very nasty!

Now I will leave this topic on a thoroughly positive note:

From all I’ve read on the Iraqis and Shias, if there’s one thing they do understand, it’s how to party. I believe the Shias are most like Americans in spirit, and have the most potential to be our friends. That is one of the reasons I say we fucked up badly in Iran.
So I say since a party it is, party hearty!
We can only make the most of it.

I know, I know…but I just had to do it. That aside, I think both sides on this thread are pretty much right. This was a HUGE step forward, but we still have a lot of work to do and this by no means marks victory for the entire operation.

Also, some people in this forum believe that the actions of the administration leading up to and during this war were and continue to be questionable. Those concerns are held by people that both support and oppose the decision to invade and are legitimate whether you agree with them or not. This election does not at all “prove them wrong.” It does however contradict the smaller set that believed the elections couldn’t possibly be held at all.

I am very impressed with the lack of violence on election day.

Perhaps Iraq and hopefully the rest of the arab world realizes the true nature of these terrorists.

They even used a kid with down’s syndrome as a suicide bomber.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/16278831

I think everything now depends on how the shia choose to run things if they go for revenge on the sunni it will be a bloodbath. If not we could see a huge spread of freedoms in the middle east.

soco

This is from a blog written by an Iraqi in Iraq. Scroll down to yesterday’s entry to see the quote.

But this is what the blogger had to say about casting his vote.

I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and then headed to the box, where I wanted to stand as long as I could, then I moved to mark my finger with ink, I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world’s tyrants.
I put the paper in the box and with it, there were tears that I couldn’t hold; I was trembling with joy and I felt like I wanted to hug the box but the supervisor smiled at me and said “brother, would you please move ahead, the people are waiting for their turn”.