T Nation

War In Iraq


ok people i think we need a good war topic.

now i just got back from iraq. and from what ive seen we will be there a very long time.

infact WWII lasted 1,347 days. we have been at war for 1,426 days since DESERT STORM kicked off january 17 1991. and it doesnt look like it will ever end.

now dont get me wrong. i am in the millitary and i will do what ever it takes to keep this country safe. but, I think the IRAQIE people should have a try at takeing care of there own problems.

but from what i can see. everytime they say that the country is ready to take care of its self something goes wrong.

the money that we spend on detainees is unreal. food,clothing,shelter,medical care, and ever smokes for the nice iraqie ensurgents.

then count for the troops that are overthere. samething. just no smokes for us. then add fuel and ammo,maintance cost. and contractor work.(who BTW are iraqie and they map our bases out so that the ensurgants can bomb us while we sleep.)

the war has become something that is just sucking money out of the US that we could use for other things.

now i dont know when this thing will be over but i think its time we worry about protecting ourselves here instead of over there.

we will always be faut and hated there by by the taliban & alkida(who are wahabi) that are and extrem groop of muslim who bleieve that all who dont beleive there way of life is wrong and hate all. even other iraqies that dont share their beliefes.

i spent 9m in detainee ops and see no hope in helping that type of person.

but, dont get me wronge there are the people that do appreciat what we are doing.

but now i think it is the new gov of iraqs turn to do somethig.

just what i think people.


Please, learn how to spell, and maybe you can get a smart response.


Thanks for being there, Goku. Your paragraph above captures, I think, why we need to remain vigilant in the middle east.

With a terrorism-supporting Iran struggling to become a nuclear power, and then brazenly announcing that they will share nuclear technology, it is imperative that we not turn a blind eye to the region. There is a hell of a lot more than some oil supply at stake here.

We've had so many threads in this forum about Iraq, and this is the one thing that the "we shouldn't be over there" crowd can't seem to understand. I researched a little, and it looks like we've spent almost 2 "Dr. Evil"s (WAN HAND-rid BEELEE-un dollars!) on Iraq already. Was it worth it? I think so.


Thank you for adding so much to the discussion. If he's a little too phonetic for you, go read another thread.


I agree that we have spent enought time in Iraq. The money we have spent in Iraq is astounding. Does that mean I dont think it is worth it? No. I just think that it is time for the Iraqi people to actually do something. Do you think all these "insurgents" would be allowed to operate in the US? Either now, or when we won our revolution? I dont believe so.

From what I have seen of the Iraqi people, most of them are lazy and lay blame on eveyrone but themselves. Its time for them to pull themselves up by their boot straps.

So, we need to be kicking them in ass and taking the gloves off. But, until they are competent, which they are not now, we have to stay in Iraq. No other choice. Too much at stake.


as i said about being hated by the wahabi. it will never end. im not saying to pull out completly. but we do need to scale back the forces that are there.

if you all go read the dont forget thread u will see where my heart really is.

but how long must we keep holding there hand.

are they ready to handle things. to a point they are. like abu gharab. there was talk of closeing it down and turning it over to IRAQ before i left. that they would give it up in DEC. was the last i heard. before that it was JULY. the US is scared of corrupt iraqie police in the detention facilitys. well that will probably always be there.

if we keep trying to give these people hand out after hand out and not have them do something for themselves we will never finish with anything over there.


Tought provoking.

Iraq and the Great Islamic Myths
by James Dunnigan
September 14, 2005

There?s growing agreement in the Pentagon that the key problem in the war on terror is poor leadership in the Arab world, in particular, and the Moslem world in general. You?re not going to hear an official announcement on this subject, but a quick look at the history of the Islamic world since World War II shows one constant; poor leadership. There are exceptions. Turkey, starting in the 1920s, sought to reform and modernize its governmental and cultural institutions, including a clear separation of church and state. Malaysia, after a chaotic beginning (in the 1950s), sorted itself out and created an efficient government (especially by Moslem standards) and adopted much of the English common law used when Britain was the colonial ruler of the area. This included a rather incorruptible, especially by local standards, judiciary. This gave Malaysia a big economic advantage, and led to rapid economic growth, despite some loud political squabbles. Islamic radicals never got a foothold in Malaysia, although some exist there. But Malaysians in general, and local counter-terrorism forces in particular, are not hospitable to Islamic terrorists.

The situation is quite different in most other Islamic countries, especially the Arab ones. Corruption and inefficient government have been the norm for Islamic states since World War II (and long before that when they were ruled by the Turks). This has led to poor economic performance, and an unhappy population. The current world wide Islamic terrorist threat began, three decades ago, as a movement to clean up corrupt governments in Islamic nations. That proved impossible to do, except in Iran. There, the uncharacteristically well organized (by Moslem standards) religious establishment took advantage of the chaos created by an Iraqi invasion in 1980, and basically hijacked the government. The religions leadership elbowed aside the democrats, and replaced the aristocrats who had recently been overthrown.

In the rest of the Islamic world, the people in power know how to stay in power. While the details varied somewhat from country to country, the winning formula was a combination of propaganda and terror. Some rulers relied more on one, than the other. Saddam Hussein, for example, used a lot more terror, although he turned out the propaganda like a champ. On the other extreme you have nations like Saudi Arabia (a monarchy), which uses propaganda and cash to keep control. Egypt uses more persuasion and propaganda to keep ?president for life? Mubarak in office. Egyptian police were quick to move when Islamic terrorists did try to operate. The police operations were aided by a media campaign that painted the terrorists as evil men, worthy of any punishment they got.

One unfortunate side-effect of this approach is that these Islamic tyrants help keep themselves in power by promoting Islamic terrorism, as long as it takes place elsewhere. While most Islamic governments say, especially in English, that they are against Islamic terrorism, they tolerate popular support for it. This is particularly the case if the victims are Israelis. Political leadership in Islamic nations failed miserably in dealing with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948. Time after time, Moslem leaders shot themselves in the foot when it came to Israel. Meanwhile, they cranked up the propaganda machine to create more and more outrageous lies to explain away their incompetence. In effect, they painted themselves into a corner with their tacit, and often open, support of the Islamic terrorist goal of destroying Israel by any means available. For many Moslems, it was difficult to separate encouragement for terrorism against Israel, and preaching against using terrorism against other infidels (non-Moslems). And this often led some Moslems to believe that terrorism against their own corrupt rulers was justified.

This conundrum is at the core of the problem Moslem nations are having dealing with Islamic terrorism. When those terrorists act up locally, it?s easy enough to mobilize public support against them. But that anti-terrorist attitude is worn lightly, and fades as soon as the local terrorism is eliminated. Actually, Islamic terrorism helps keep all these Moslem tyrants in power. The antics of the terrorists distracts Moslems from the problems they are having in their own neighborhoods. That?s why the invasion of Iraq was so strenuously denounced by nearly every Moslem leader. Establishing a democracy in Iraq would make it clear to Moslem people throughout the Middle East that Arabs could handle democracy, and prosper without a strong man to ?maintain order.?

The Pentagon actually has an excellent record, going back over a century, in dealing with guerilla, terrorist and irregular warfare. It?s not been politically correct to dwell on that, but that?s another story. The problem with the current campaign against Islamic terrorism is that the cause of it all is within the Islamic community, and changing perceptions in the Moslem world takes time. The U.S. government know this, and knew it on September 11, 2001. It was stated back then that the war on terror would be a long one. Everyone nodded in agreement at the time, but the fact of the matter is that Americans tend to lose patience with any war effort (a custom going back to the American Civil War) after about three years.

The Islamic world has been screwed up for centuries, and you can?t expect to fix it very quickly. Attempts to improve the quality of Moslem government, and quality of life for Moslems began to grow in the 19th century. Out of the ashes of the Ottoman empire in the 1920s, there arose several vigorous attempts at reform. The Turks established a democracy. Iraq tried a constitutional monarchy. By the 1950s, all the Moslem nations were free of colonial rule, and independent. Most went with democracy, and most ended up with dictatorships. Democracy doesn?t really take hold unless everyone, especially the most powerful families (the potential warlords and tyrants) agree to play by the rules. This did not happen in most of these new Moslem nations.

After decades of falling for the ?our problems are caused by colonialism and imperialism? line, more and more Moslems are openly pointing out that, for most of the past thousand or so years, most Moslems were ruled by other Moslems, and the cause of their own problems. Moslem journalists and academics are now saying out loud, what many kept to themselves for a long time, that the problems in the Islamic world were created by internal, not external, forces. But the predominance of public opinion still clings to the ?it?s not our fault? model. Many Moslems will go to great lengths, and very twisted logic, to explain how Islamic terrorism cannot exist.

That fantasy has been severely damaged by what is going on in Iraq. Given a choice, the Iraqi people voted, literally, for democracy. In response, Islamic radicals openly declared democracy ?un-Islamic?, and unleashed a terror campaign against the Iraqi people. All this does not fit with the party-line Moslem dictators have been feeding their people for generations.

Moslem dictators are afraid of Islamic terrorists, as well they should be. Al Qaeda has openly declared these tyrants are their main target. Going after the West is, for al Qaeda, an attempt to deprive Moslem tyrants of a strong ally. But how do Moslem dictators fight Islamic terrorists without seeming to admit that Western plots and intrigues are not the cause of Moslem woes. Well, the Moslem dictators are doing it. This leads to, by Western standards, some bizarre reporting and editorializing.

People have always been willing to die for what they believe in. They will do so even if what they believe in is false or illogical. In the last century, over a hundred million people have died because of bizarre fascist and communist beliefs. The Islamic radicals are not nearly as well organized, or as popular, as those two movements. But the Islamic terrorists are out to kill, and they will keep trying until they are destroyed, or deprived of popular support.



Well, there was a long, slow part in the middle. I hope the point is not to get in the Guiness Book of World Records for longest occupation of a sovereing nation.

You mean all those problems they now have because of your timely intervention? I don't remember them asking you over to lend a hand in the first place. In fact, a majority of the world didn't think it was a good idea either. Now that you're up to your necks in shit, you want them to "take care of their own problems?"

Almost as if they hadn't planned this thing very well. Or at all. I mean "Shock & Awe" was spectacularly executed. You beat Iraq in a matter of days. It's the current operation, what it is? "Eternal Quagmire?" that seems to be the problem.

Yeah, and that Club Med place, what was the name again? Ah, yes, Abu Ghraib. They even got nice Halloween costumes and free electricity. Those ungrateful bastards.

So the U.S. is letting "spies" map out their own bases? And come on, attacking you while you sleep is a sound military tactic. Are you going to fault the insurgents for being smarter than the U.S. Army?

I don't understand, though. The "Rumsfeld Doctrine" of sending too few troop had never failed before. And your Commander-In-Chief has many years of distinguished military service as a pretend pilot. How can such a crack team of military strategy experts do so lousy a job?

What could be more important than teaching some backward country how to live properly? Someone HAS to teach those savages some manners.

Wasn't the idea to fight them over there so you wouldn't have to fight them here? Although how troops in Iraq prevent sleeper cells in the U.S. never got to be explained.

At least now you're safe from Saddam's non-existing WMDs that he could've launched using his non-existing ICBMs.

And Katrina showed us that the U.S. is well prepared to deal with a national emergency within its own borders (as long as it hits rich people, of course.)

Iraq has always been an artificial nation held together by being ruled with an iron hand by a tyrant. Did you expect that by deposing that tyrant, all the warring religious tribes that make up the country would suddenly put aside their differences and decide to live a life of brotherly love?

I mean, someone in your current administration must've read something more than "Foreign Policy for Dummies" while planning this operation, right? Right?

Helping being defined as having them accept your way of life as being "the best?"

Halliburton shareholders and oil executives?

They are doing something. They're fighting over which kind of Islamic Republic they want. Now, if you'll kindly step out so that they can have a civil war and become another Iran, things will be hunky-dory.


Why don't you go and get stuck on a roof somewhere?


I wish people would stop using this stupid analogy. During your revolution, YOU were the insurgents, fighting for your freedom from the British Empire. It was also self-started, no one came over to tell you to revolt. You got a nice helping hand from France, but only after you'd already started the revolution.

In Iraq, you're the occupying nation. YOU are "the British Empire" and the insurgents are trying to get rid of you so that they can have the country they want. Not the one you want them to have.

And your founding fathers started out pretty much all on the same page and it took them many years to get your constitution right. You're now expecting former enemies to sit down and write one up in a matter of months?

The two situations have so little in common, I can't understand anyone comparing them as even remotely similar.


u know i think i feel this way about Iraq because i have spent 9m with the worst of the worst. the people that are killing our troops.

and you all can say what ever it is that makes u feel better about all this.

but untill u have been there and seen the things i have seen. u can only guess as to how things are going over there.

the media only tells u what they want u to know. all the things that get good publicity get on the news.

ive been there 5 times in my time in the millitary. and each time it seems to get worse.

and i really didnt feel this way untill the whole detainee ops thing.

just to be around 9000 people who would rather kill u than look at u makes u think that we are fighting a loseing war with the people of iraq.

i mean what happened to all the WMD that we where suppost to find.

ive looked for thoughs son of a bitches all over iraq. and still nothing. im 0 and 5 for weapons.

and as far as them asking for our help. i never offered my help.

i was told to help them.

i will put it to you as the detainees told me everyday.

if we came to america and started doing what u where doing to us. wouldnt you shoot at me and bomb me everyday to get me to leave your country.

and when i thought about it i damned sure would have.


And you have been where in the middle east doing what??? If you want, you can relieve me up here. I have been here for 10 months now, not sure when I am coming home. How about it???
If anything my wife would appreciate your selflishness.


Been there, done that. Best and worst 7 months of my life...Bottom line, we are helping a formerly oppressed people AND taking the war to the enemy. I'd much rather fight terrorists in Iraq than in my backyard. Ever think how much damage an IED would do to stopped rush hour traffic on the beltway, I-5, or any other major highway? Think about it, it's gonna happen one of these days real soon, and sooner if we stop fighting them in THEIR homeland.



I don't feel good at all about this. In fact, I find the way your Administration uses the army pretty sickening and disgraceful. An all-volunteer army of men and women who accept to serve because of their ideals and love of country should be treated with respect. The buffoons you've got in the White House seem to treat your like any other expendable, self-renewing ressource. Just another budget item to keep track of.

I'm quite aware of that. Reading news from around the world; especially from countries critical of U.S. Foreign Policy helps to put things in perspective.

Well, pulling out now leaves the place in a worst shape than it was in before, as fas as stability goes. Not to mention the blow to the U.S. image as a superpower.

WMDs were mostly a convenient excuse for the war. The basis for the "Big Lie" propaganda to drum up support for the war.

It started off being about getting Osama and those responsible for 9/11, remember? But eventually, by lying constantly and repeatedly, your administration convinced a lot of people that Saddam was behind it; that he was amassing a large arsenal, etc.

As I said previously, it is very sad that you and your fellow servicemen are the ones paying the prices for the foolishness and arrogance of your administration.

Of course. Americans aren't the only ones who love their country. And just because their way of life differs from ours doesn't mean that they want us to change it for them.


Please explain how troops in Iraq prevent sleeper cells from forming and operating in America?

It did nothing to prevent the recent attacks in London; the bombers there had no criminal records, they had valid ID papers (the UK "Bio Card"). They had no problems in pulling off their attacks.

The Iraq war is probably draining useful resources that could be applied here -- better intelligence, for example -- to fight terrorist groups that are already here. They operate as independent cells; they coordinate using the internet. They have no "homeland" or "base of operation" you can attack.

Stop accepting all the "talking points" from your administration as cold, hard objective facts; they're nothing of the sort. "Fighting them there, so we don't have to fight them here" is a cute slogan; but it's also total bullshit. Do you think all the local terrorists will fly abroad to lend a hand in Iraq? Come on.


Goku - Hell yeah, brother. I've spent my fair share in the sand box, and we will be there for a while. Keep safe and stay low.


Shut the hell up and show some respect, you fucking oxygen thief.




I feel sorry for our troops ,the govt. has put them in another bad situation,hopefully they'll get outa there before to many more boys get killed.My buddies son said even the little kids turn around and throw rocks at you after you give them candy and snacks.And if the kids of the country witch is the future dont like you ,your screwed.Pookie has some very good points just to many americans dont want to admit it.Those tribes over there will still be fightin long after were outa there.It aint gonna change,thats their life


i agree...i fully suported the invasion of Afghanistan, but didn't feel the US was prepared to fully invade Iraq. but the fact of the matter is that Iraq had been ignoring UN resolutions time and time again, and refused access to several suspected sites. that alone is reason enough for the invasion....but the UN should have been involved.

we are preventing terrosist attacking US cities by tying them up in Iraq. look how many terrorists flock there from Syria, the Sudan, etc!

i haven't been to Iraq (yet)...i will be there in a few months, which will be my third "visit" to the middle east. i'm sure i'll have some more opinions to add when i get back...


I would love to get in on this thread, but Pookie is beating me to all my points. We need more Canadians in this country...between him and Vroom they cover my ass.

Goku- stay safe man. My buddy is in Baghdad now, and he fucking hates it. I give you a lot of credit for questioning the motives of the war...many people think the soldiers dont understand what they are stuck in. Either way, even as a bleeding heart liberal, thanks man.


Why do all the pacifists think they know a better way to wage war then the warriors. Nobody likes war less then those that have seen it up close. When they (we) say the cause is worth it, take it to heart.

If we had "more canadians" Mr. Irish you would be be speaking German right now. If your attitude should ever take hold you may want to brush up on your Arabic.

It's basic strategy that any 2nd.Lt. understands. Why the psuedo-intellectuals don't understand it is a source of constant amusment to those who do.