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Author Topic: The kind of thing more people should be outraged about
Abhi
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6277145.stm

It's shocking how low moralities have fallen... having set out to win the "War on Terror", we've become terrorists on foreign lands ourselves.

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Kwea
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Bullshit.
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Lyrhawn
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Yeah, I hear those terrorists are really good about policing themselves after they blow up markets and kill people in their homes.
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Euripides
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Get a dictionary and a sense of scope.
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JenniK
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It is something to be outraged about...and it happens here in the United States every day. It is something that has been happening throughout the ages. The problem with your statement, Abhi, is that you classify ALL of us as terrorists because of the actions of the few.

There are those who are depraved and commit atrocities in every country, in every society, but that does not make the society or the nation guilty of the same offense.

What would make them guilty of complicity is doing NOTHING to stop it from happening again, and NOTHING to punish the offenders for their crimes.

As the article you posted says, those who are accused ARE being held accountable for their actions. They ARE being punished for their crimes, which in itself can serve as a deterrent to similar crimes in the future.

Hussein's sons did this every day for over a decade and nothing was done. No one dared attempt holding them accountable for the numerous atrocities they committed against their own people - in fear of retribution. I am not saying it is acceptable that it happened, there is nothing that will ever make it acceptable, but at least these victims have someone to stand up for them and punish the ones who did this horrible thing.

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RunningBear
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I am too outraged at americans at home to be outraged at americans abroad.

Like reverend whatshisface who protests funerals and says IEDs are the wrath of god.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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These guys raped and murdered the girl, then buried the entire family. This is one of the reason our killers-- and yeah, that's what they are, and they are very good at it, best in the world, that's how we win wars-- shouldn't be occupying countries.

I don't know what kind of screening and ongoing training our peacekeepers are given, but as the job description changes, the characteristics of the bodies on the ground should change also. That the soldiers participating in the crime are being put away is good to know, but I can't help but hope that there is an ongoing investigation, preferably with civilian oversight/insight to make sure this doesn't ever happen again.

Sure, the system did what the system does, but I don't know if anyone can clap their hands and say that justice was served after such an atrocity.

[ January 19, 2007, 06:18 AM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Abhi
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quote:
Originally posted by JenniK:
It is something to be outraged about...and it happens here in the United States every day. It is something that has been happening throughout the ages. The problem with your statement, Abhi, is that you classify ALL of us as terrorists because of the actions of the few.

Jenni, I'm not claiming that all Americans are responsible for what's happening [just like I dont believe all Muslims are responsible for the actions of the few]. However, we seem to be losing the moral high ground if our troops go to Iraq and repeat what Hussain's brothers have been doing for the past decade...

How have we made Iraq a better place to live today than it was four years ago?

There is certainly some hypocrisy / duplicity in our invasion of Iraq to "liberate" the people from Saddam's atrocities and then doing the same when we have the same sort of power. We clearly don't have the people's mandate to be doing what we're doing over there...

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Lyrhawn
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Irami -

Well if we're going for that, I think the best move would be to end war anywhere, everywhere, by everyone, otherwise these sorts of things WILL happen, because out of a quarter million people, it only takes one or two to ruin it for everyone.

Abhi -

When we start gassing thousands of people, sending out death squads and mowing down civilians by the hundreds in broad daylight, we'll be like Saddam.

To both of you -

I'm not saying we're perfect, we aren't. I don't think we should be there, I don't think we should be occupying foreign countries, well, that's not a rule, but in general I don't think we should be.

It might not be good enough for you, but so long as the people who commit these acts are punished, we'll always be better than what they had. And everyhing that has happened over there is NOT our fault. It's not business as usual over there.

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Abhi
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Short of gassing thousands of people, the US has performed all the rest in Iraq.

There have been plenty of incidents where soldiers have just gone in and killed pre-selected targets without any sort of judicial process.

Mowing down civilians by the hundreds in broad daylight... yeah the beginning of the war and the apparently random bombardment of urban Iraq gauranteed that too.

Here's my question, is Iraq any better than it was four years ago? Sure some of the people committing atrocities are being punished under US Law... but why arent these criminals answerable to Iraqis? It 's hardly any consolation to a man whose family is murdered in cold blood in broad daylight to know that under the *new* administration, the guilty will be tried in courts that are more friendly to those criminals.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Here's my question, is Iraq any better than it was four years ago?
No, I don't really think it is. But you have to ask a question right after that: Whose fault is that?

I think some of it is ours, for mistakes made at the very beginning of the war, but the majority, the grand majority of it, is not our fault.

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BlueWizard
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Abhi said:
Here's my question, is Iraq any better than it was four years ago?

I agree with Lyrhawn, NO Iraq is not better off, but again, whose fault is that. It is the fault of the people of Iraq. They have a chance to band together and form 'one nation under God, with Libery and Justice for all', but they have chosen not to do that. They have chosen to go against the clear will of God, and engage in petty in fighting and power grabbing.

The Insergents are not chasing us out of Iraq, they are the very thing that is keeping us there. If the people of Iraq were not actively or passively supporting the insurgents, then they would already have the country back. Instead of pouring billions of dollars into a pointless political war between 'childen', we would be pouring that money into rebuilding that country and insuring peace, stability, and prosperity for the people of Iraq.

But the internal warring parties don't want peace. They want instability and chaos, because as long as they create misery, they can distract from the fact that they are the true Infidels, who are only interested in power and money.

Yes, crimes are commited during war, but the crimes of the USA pale in comparison to the overal immoral un-Godly behavior of radical Islamic Infidels.

You heard it here first.

Steve/BlueWizard

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Euripides
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quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:

I agree with Lyrhawn, NO Iraq is not better off, but again, whose fault is that. It is the fault of the people of Iraq.

So it's irrelevant that the United States invaded their country?
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Euripides
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To clarify what I found objectionable in the OP, it read like this; 'Oh no, some of our soldiers are committing heinous crimes. We have no morals/We're the same as the terrorists.' (who 'we' includes is not entirely clear)

So, to make my position on the matter clear: I think the US had no business invading Iraq, that Iraqi infighting is exacerbating the situation, that the lack of clear direction in US policy in Iraq is also exacerbating the situation, that rape and murder are heinous crimes which occur anywhere, and especially in warzones.

[ January 19, 2007, 03:41 AM: Message edited by: Euripides ]

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Lyrhawn
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Wasn't there a case recenlt in Iran where a girl was sentenced to death for fighting off men who were trying to rape her? I know it happened, I just can't remember if it was recent or not. My point being, that we're a nation that punishes those who commit crimes. We're fighting against people that not only don't punish them, they punish the people the crimes are committed against. And yes I think it's fair to equate our opponents with Iran.

I wouldn't go quite as far with my rhetoric as BlueWizard did, but they don't even know what they want for a country, not collectively. They're fracturing into sectarian violence, and that ISN'T our fault. Saddam's brutal repression was the only thing keeping those groups all in line, and when we removed that cruel oppression, they went crazy on each other. I don't think we ever should have gone in to begin with, but we did, and they are making the situation as bad as possible.

When you look at the history of peaceful nations, crime happens. Rape happens. It happens every day in America, as do murders. These things happen in the Middle East, where rape happens as in might higher percentages than it does here due to the repression of women. BEATING women over there is fair game. I don't defend what those soldiers did, but they were punished for it, and so far, heavily punished.

But this is WAR. These same sorts of things happen all the time during peace, they happen much more often during war. Especially in a war where people smile and wave at you, then shoot you as soon as you turn around. Where 12 year olds who you'd think you should be giving chocolate bars to are the ones wearing suicide bomber belts. I can't fathom the emotional stress those soldiers are under, and I'm not surprised that some of them are cracking under the pressure.

To call the US terrorists, and no better than Saddam for what is going on over there is dishonest, insulting, ignorant, and while I rarely say this, I think it's stupid. Get some perspective.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:

It might not be good enough for you, but so long as the people who commit these acts are punished, we'll always be better than what they had. And everything that has happened over there is NOT our fault. It's not business as usual over there.

You may have to ask the dead family buried in their own backyard about that. Everything that happens over there isn't our fault, but the US soldiers raping and murdering, doing jobs they didn't sign up for(police work), that's something forethought could have pre-empted.

Lyrhawn, Saddam Hussein was a dictator. I don't hold him as a standard for any class of political conduct.

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
You may have to ask the dead family buried in their own backyard about that. Everything that happens over there isn't our fault, but the US soldiers raping and murdering, doing jobs they didn't sign up for(police work), that's something forethought could have pre-empted.
We're not pillaging their towns and villages. By and large we're doing our best to make sure their next door neighbors don't burst into their houses at 2am in the morning and disappear them. Your image of the entire military as one giant raping, murderous mob is ridiculous, especially against the backdrop of the thousands dying monthly at the hands of other Iraqis.

That country is falling apart. They will continue to fall apart. What we're doing there right now is ensuring there's no genocide in the process of their fracture. I don't excuse the actions of the extreme minority who screw up, but we're paying a price too.

Further, I agree with you on the bolded part of your quote.

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pooka
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quote:
This is one of the reason our killers-- and yeah, that's what they are, and they are very good at it, best in the world, that's how we win wars-- shouldn't be occupying countries.
So why didn't you go? Be part of the change you wish to see and all that?

That this incident causes outrage is indication that most of our military is not blood-thirsty lunatics.

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TL
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quote:
They have a chance to band together and form 'one nation under God, with Libery and Justice for all', but they have chosen not to do that. They have chosen to go against the clear will of God
Sarcasm? Irony? Ironic sarcasm? Help me out here.
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Euripides
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quote:
Originally posted by pooka:
quote:
This is one of the reason our killers-- and yeah, that's what they are, and they are very good at it, best in the world, that's how we win wars-- shouldn't be occupying countries.
So why didn't you go? Be part of the change you wish to see and all that?

That this incident causes outrage is indication that most of our military is not blood-thirsty lunatics.

Please refrain from character attacks. 'You can't talk because you aren't over in Iraq' is a character attack.

Irami said that the primary function of a soldier is the kill the enemy, not that the US Army is a mob of blood-thirsty lunatics. He could have put it more delicately, but it's true that armies tend not to be suited for occupying and policing foreign countries.

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Lyrhawn
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Euripides:

quote:
Originally Posted by Irami:
but the US soldiers raping and murdering, doing jobs they didn't sign up for(police work)

Police work is something they do every day, and he said it in the same breath as murdering and raping, which leads me to believe that he does view the US Army as a mob of blood thirsty rapists. If he could more clearly state his position, that would make this easier, but right now it looks like he is claiming the majority, rather than an extreme minority of US troops are committing atrocities left and right all over the country.
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Euripides
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I'm pretty sure Irami was referring to the fact that some of these crimes committed by the small minority of soldiers could have been prevented. But okay, that sentence could use a qualifier.
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Rakeesh
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Abhi,

The thing you seem to be missing (deliberately omitting, really) is that these sorts of things were the rule rather than the exception under Saddam Hussein.

So no, we ain't like Saddam. And while it'd be just peachy if we could serve an arrest warrant to murderous insurgents within Iraq and have a nice, American-style trial for them, most of us live in the real world where we realize that when you're at war with someone, such as murderous insurgents, you deal with them in another way.

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Rakeesh
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Irami,

quote:
This is one of the reason our killers-- and yeah, that's what they are, and they are very good at it, best in the world, that's how we win wars-- shouldn't be occupying countries.
Are you even casually aware of what some of the most common missions our military performs worldwide prior, when we aren't at war? Somehow, I doubt it, but given your frequently-expressed disdain for American servicepeople, that's not surprising.
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JenniK
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quote:
Originally posted by Abhi:
yeah the beginning of the war and the apparently random bombardment of urban Iraq gauranteed that too.


You have no clue at all, do you?


There have been fewer civilian deaths due to bombing in this war compared to any other conflict where bombing was used. By far.


Every death is a shame, and a horrible thing....but to claim the bombings were random when in reality the military has spent billions of dollars to limit collateral damage in an unprecedented way shows how great your ignorance of the situation really is.


They are killing each other at a far greater rate than we are killing them, but somehow ALL the deaths go against our tally.


Go figure.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Originally posted by Abhi:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6277145.stm

It's shocking how low moralities have fallen... having set out to win the "War on Terror", we've become terrorists on foreign lands ourselves.

Abhi, who isn't outraged about this? I've heard lots of coverage on it and these men are being tried and prosecuted.

quote:
the US soldiers raping and murdering, doing jobs they didn't sign up for(police work), that's something forethought could have pre-empted.
Really? There's a perfect test for predicting who's going to rape and murder? Absent that, how would "forethought" have pre-empted this?
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Troubadour
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Lyrhawn - you're right about that case. Sort of. She was initially sentenced to death, but that ruling was just last week overturned.
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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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I don't know if it's a human hard-headedness, or a particularly American strain that's expressed in our military, but the one lesson I think we should have taken from Abu Ghraib is that, despite all of the propaganda otherwise, our military does not do everything equally well, and the extent to which they are called on to do jobs for which they are not suited, the leaders should be held responsible.

[ January 20, 2007, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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Dagonee
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This is not a case of doing a job particularly well. There are other cases where suitability to task is a legitimate concern. For example, deaths of civillians caused by the military trying to fulfill its objectives lead to rational questioning as to whether the military is the right entity to obtain that objective. Here, however, a bunch of thugs planned a horrednous crime and executed it. The whole outing was about them committing this crime.
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Jim-Me
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And by saying that Rape is the result of military forces being used as police, you basically are saying that the entire military is trained and conditioned to seize and abuse power, which is an insult to an enormous number of very fine people.

And Euripides, I think it was, needs to do some serious work on his definition of "personal attack."

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Tresopax
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quote:
They are killing each other at a far greater rate than we are killing them, but somehow ALL the deaths go against our tally.
They are all counted against "our tally" because we started the war, and these deaths would not be happening if we had not invaded. It was clear beforehand that the Iraqis would not get along well after Saddam was removed. It was predictable beforehand that there would be a great deal of violence between Sunnis and Shiites after we invaded. That we invaded anyway shows either that our leadership did so without realizing the consequences of their actions, or that our leadership did so thinking these deaths would be justified by removing Saddam. Either way, we share responsibility for all the fighting amongst Iraqis that our invasion instigated. Our "tally" includes all deaths that would not have occurred had we not invaded.

Of course, this needs to be weighted against Saddam's tally - the deaths and violence that we believe would have occurred if Saddam had stayed in power. The trouble is, it is entirely possible that in order to restore order to Iraq, the Iraqis will eventually turn to someone else like Saddam, or someone worse. There are often reasons why dictators come to power, and I think ending those reasons often entails more than just removing the dictator.

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Abhi
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I don't understand how we can claim we are not to blame. There was a country Iraq [and please don't talk about Iran because that's a DIFFERENT country], that was relatively stable [at least compared to what's going on right now].

We decided to invade them because they had stockpiles of WMDs ready to attack us.

Rumsfield said the war would last 6 months at the most, and that we'd be welcomed as liberators.

They [our Gov] clearly had no idea what the hell they were doing. To say that Iraqis went against the "clear will" of God is just ridiculous. As a nation whose invasion has triggered a civil war, and [some of] whose soldiers are active participants in these atrocities, we certainly have to take some moral responsibility for what's going on.

Do we really believe that we only went in there to improve their lot? Clearly, if that was our "primary objective", we have failed horribly, and we must at least take responsibility for that.

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Mig
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If you can condemn the US military and America as a terrorist org for the actions of one rapist, then I guess it is far game to condemn the United Nations and its peacekeepers as a terrosit organizations for their rape and abuse of Sudanese children. Using your logic Abhi, should we withdraw from the organization of rapists and child abusers that is the UN?

See story: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=CIQIZKNGKHK5PQFIQMFSFFOAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2007/01/03/wsudan03.xml

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Abhi:

As a nation whose invasion has triggered a civil war, and [some of] whose soldiers are active participants in these atrocities, we certainly have to take some moral responsibility for what's going on.

Do we really believe that we only went in there to improve their lot? Clearly, if that was our "primary objective", we have failed horribly, and we must at least take responsibility for that.

On that, I completely agree with you. And in case we're not clear on how badly we've failed, Iraqis are dying at the rate of (roughly) 100 a day. Last October The Lancet estimated that 650,000 had died as a result of this war. UN figures 34,000 last year - not counting policemen.
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Abhi
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quote:
Originally posted by Mig:
I guess it is far game to condemn the United Nations and its peacekeepers as a terrosit organizations for their rape and abuse of Sudanese children. Using your logic Abhi, should we withdraw from the organization of rapists and child abusers that is the UN?

Certainly we should condemn the UN for failing to keep it's peacekeepers in line. They are in Sudan to prevent exactly the kind of thing they are doing themselves.

Should we withdraw from the UN? No. I never suggested we should all leave the US and live somewhere else either. What I said was, however, that we must accept responsibility for what's happening.

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TheGrimace
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should I accept responsibility for every american who commits a crime on US soil? No one is denying that this is horrible, but this isn't even the kind of thing you can really blame on the military not being right for peacekeeping.

If you want to blame some excess of civilian death (i.e. soldiers shooting a civilian during a fire-fight, or blowing up an innocent's house because it would have made a good ambush spot for insurgents) then you probably have a point. Other than that, if you want to pass blame then maybe you can assert it on the families of those involved, friends, communities who formed those individuals... If rape and murder were condoned in the US or even within the armed forces, then you could potentially start including the rest of us, but since they are vehemently punished, I don't think you can do that with any credibility.

As for people publishing statistics and whatnot on body-counts during the war etc, I think you need to keep this in mind:
1) Any counts need to be compared to what was the case under Sadaam. i.e. if 100/day are dying now, were 1000/day dying during his reign?
2) Is this a short term spike that will be followed by a long period of relative peace? i.e. if 1000 people die now, but over the next 30 years 1 million are saved versus what would have happened under sadaam is it really so bad?

I'm not saying that we really have a right to be there, and I'm not saying that our present course of action will definately lead to a stable/safe Iraq. What I am saying is that you do have to weigh it all against the possible alternatives.

If you look at the deathcount of WW2 it is horrendous, but would you argue that we would have been better off not fighting it and letting europe, africa, china etc be overrun while millions were being exterminated?

and like I say, I'm far from certain that we're entirely within the right here and that the outcome will be good, and even that today's situation is better than what it would have been, but you do have to take those things into account.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by TheGrimace:

As for people publishing statistics and whatnot on body-counts during the war etc, I think you need to keep this in mind:
1) Any counts need to be compared to what was the case under Sadaam. i.e. if 100/day are dying now, were 1000/day dying during his reign?

I should have been more clear. The Lancet report indicates that 650,000 more people died than likely would have died without the invasion. About four times the death rate before the invasion. Even taking the deaths due to the sanctions into consideration.
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TheGrimace
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k then, that's relevant, though point 2 still MAY hold water. I'm certainly not accusing everyone of misusing statistics, but it just needs to be clear that especially in situations like this it's easy to abuse the numbers to make them seem to say things they don't.
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kmbboots
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There are differing reports. Some report more, some fewer. All of them are pretty ghastly.

How do you see "relative peace" coming from this?

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BlackBlade
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I don't believe that conjecturing the number of Iraqis who died under Saddam's regime and then comparing it with how many have died in this conflict does anybody any good.

For one, we have no idea what Saddam WOULD have done if we had just left him alone, he certainly had a history of inhuman treatment of the populace as demonstrated by his cruel treatment and execution of thousands of Iraqis.

For another, is death truly the only apparatus we have to calculate how good an action was? What about suffering? There are things much worse then death IMO. I for one would consider true oppression worse then death, and I would die opposing it, rather then live with it.

Can we really say, "Well at least there was stability under Saddam Hussein." I seriously get the exact same vibe when I hear, "At least fascism made the trains run on time."

And a word about, "False pretenses that lead to war." Our own American revolution was fought under false pretenses. Events like the Boston Massacre were used to disingenuously fan the flames of anti British sentiment. We screamed about taxes that were all repealed, and simultaneously destroyed British property and abused its civil servants. The continental congress was initially and publicly established as a mechanism for reconciling America with Great Britain and eventually it decided to declare us independent, even though it was not invested with the power to do so.

The fringe patriots saw that we could become something more then what the majority of Americans wanted, and they did EVERYTHING they could think of to make it happen, and we adore them for it.

Who gives a damn about weapons of mass destruction and Saddam being erroneously linked to Al Qaeda? Mistakes were made, and those who screwed up should take responsibility and be disciplined appropriately. We do not condemn people in America for being wrong, we recognize there is a difference between lies and misunderstandings. Incompetence is judged on how obvious the mistake was, not on how disastrous the results are.

So we find ourselves in the middle of chaos in Iraq. For better or worse we are there, and we are obligated to do the right thing since we are there, regardless of what brought us there.

Iraq is not so bad, the vast majority of the fighting is in Baghdad and its suburbs, its not the like the entire country has descended into mob rule. If the reports are accurate and 650,000 Iraqis have died in this conflict that is rightly regrettable. 970,000 Americans died in our own civil war, was that cost too great to restore our union?

If 5 million (purely made up number) Iraqis die so that over the next century and beyond, untold millions can live with basic freedoms, is that an unjustified trade?

If Iraq fails, I honestly believe it won't be for our lack of trying. It will be the Iraqi people's defeat, not ours. If Iraq succeeds, and mankind willing, it can, an incredible good will be accomplished and with how terrible Iraq has been treated by others, and their government, this century, they surely deserve reprieve.

At what point is it enough and America should just withdraw? I confess I don't have a numerical answer. But I am unconvinced that the majority of Iraqi people want us gone, or that the majority of our leaders in Iraq believe the situation is impossible to overcome.

[ January 19, 2007, 05:23 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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TheGrimace
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Blackblade you're actually getting at the heart of my main point. However you want to make the comparison, the comparison has to be made between what is now in Iraq and what would have been...

Obviously we can't know what would have happened exactly or what Sadaam's long-term plans were in terms of oppressing his people (or not) but you can make some reasonable assumptions like:
1) the number of people killed/<insert time> over the last X years likely would have continued.
2) X basic freedoms were denied to the general populus.
3) etc (and you can include whatever positives in here there may have been)
4) you may even be able to factor in long-term issues like: if sadaam massacred the Kurds every 5 years for the last 30 that trend would likely continue...

basically we need to make sure we're not comparing the current Iraq to the current Ohio (or the like), saying oh it's so much worse there than X first-world nation with an established government and peaceful society.

And kmbboots, I'm fully admitting that your point is quite possibly/probably valid and that you've seemed to at least partly/fully compared the options. Though the problem always comes in "how do you weigh freedom against other sacrifices" but that being said, you can argue whether or not the general populus has much in the way of freedom at the moment (or more than they used to).

As for how this could come out positively, who knows... perhaps an independant Kurdish nation, perhaps a unified Iraq that is tolerant of tribal/religious factional differences etc... and there's certainly any number of negative outcomes possible. the problem is that we won't know until it happens.

30-50 years from now what was once the current Iraq may look back on these few years and say that the turmoil and sacrifice of the present was well worth the peace and prosperity it currently (in the future) enjoys. However, it's at least as likely that 30-50 years from now the region will still be fraught with strife and cursing the US for just another episode of pain and loss in a long history of the same.

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Sterling
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So... My brother-in-law just came back from Iraq. He's a Specialist in the Army, a mental health counselor.

When he spoke of Iraq, he said that he was beginning to feel, in essence, that the Iraqi people weren't worth saving. That they were "lacking in basic human virtue." They were given food by troops, and would tear at one another, try to steal from one another, not to get what they needed but just to get everything for themselves. That "calls to prayer" were being used to announce the positions of vulnerable military targets to insurgents. That the positions of criminals and insurgents were often well known, but in places like mosques where the U.S. military could not go because of their rules of engagement and the Iraqis simply wouldn't.

He half-jokingly suggested that calling up every member of every military to go into Iraq might do the trick, if they were given no rules of engagement at all. But that they'd probably kill most of the people in Iraq.

Or sending in L.A. street gangs to do the job.

Or just pulling out, leaving a nuclear device in the middle of Iraq with a button that says "do not push" and waiting for the inevitable.

I want to defend the people of Iraq, to say that I know there are good and decent people there who deserve our protection. But I haven't been there, and from everything I've read the impression I'm getting is that what Iraqis need protection from most is each other.

My brother-in-law is a good guy. Really. He's bright, level-headed, a churchgoer; he's hoping to get out so he can start a family with his wife and settle down. It scares me that the attitude he's starting to get towards the Iraqi people is apparently one that's becoming extremely pervasive among active duty troops.

And that may be a real reason to pull out. Because if that becomes the status quo among the active duty military, while rape and murder may not become common, the people who are there to prevent it may cease to care.

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BlackBlade
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Sterling: I was a missionary in Taiwan and believe me trying to convince somebody that a religion that started around 1820 is more correct then some of their traditions that are over 6000 years old is nothing short of daunting.

Even though I myself had plenty of success, I cannot tell you how many missionaries expressed dismay that any Chinese person could truly be a Christian. Sometimes their despair turned into anger and madness and they expressed sentiments like, "This whole damned country should just be left to burn on judgment day." or "There is nothing of value in this culture at all, these people clearly like being ignorant."

My days in Taiwan were a surreal experience. I could knock on one door and have a positively wonderful time getting to know a beautiful family. The next door I could have a man brandishing a knife and threatening to kill me.

Your brother in law is CERTAINLY more qualified to tell me how things are in Iraq.

My point is that people can appear SO obtuse and evil, and yet, their humanity is still intact just waiting to be stimulated. A man who wants you dead one day, can come to you the next weeping for your forgiveness, and if you give it, he will become the best friend you could hope for.

I have no doubt there are degenerate people in Iraq. That there are people who genuinely desire evil to be accomplished there. But I am equally certain that there are good people there seeking to stamp out ignorance and promote education, understanding, and peace. If there are those who would support evil, we can do no less then they in supporting good.

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lem
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quote:

I have no doubt there are degenerate people in Iraq. That there are people who genuinely desire evil to be accomplished there. But I am equally certain that there are good people there seeking to stamp out ignorance and promote education, understanding, and peace. If there are those who would support evil, we can do no less then they in supporting good.

BlackBlade, before I respond to my initial reaction to your post,I wanted to say your conclusion was beautiful. Well said.

Now to my initial reaction. BlackBlade, your post reminds me why I am so grateful I left the church. Maybe I was too close to the church, but I found your post (not you...probably not even your post..certainly the sentiment found in Mormon culture) distasteful.

quote:
Sterling: I was a missionary in Taiwan and believe me trying to convince somebody that a religion that started around 1820 is more correct then some of their traditions that are over 6000 years old is nothing short of daunting.
This is a matter of opinion and does not offend me, but I do think it is silly that I tried to convince people...sorry, that the spirit tried to convince people with me as a tool that my religion is more correct. To each there own.

quote:
Sometimes their despair turned into anger and madness and they expressed sentiments like, "This whole damned country should just be left to burn on judgment day." or "There is nothing of value in this culture at all, these people clearly like being ignorant."
Ick ick ick. So, people's value is determined by if they accept the restored gospel? Their value is only found in conversion? I know most people don't really believe this, but EVERYONE I know and love who has left the church has encountered this sentiment. I am convinced it is part of the fruit that lies close to the tree.

If you leave the church or never join your status as a human is diminished in the church's eyes. I find that a very solid foundation for racism.

Of course I got to give credit that your church teachings and experiences were good enough to lead to your post's conclusion. I just wanted to let you know how the beginning of your post read to me.

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kmbboots
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repsonse to BlackBlade:

That's lovely - that "give me liberty or give me death" thing. That you would choose death over oppresion is very brave, But not everyone would choose that, though. We choose it for them. And for their children. how do you feel about "give me liberty and kill and maim my children"?

Trains that run on time is a different order of magnitude than electricity, hospitals, water, and not getting blown up.

Regarding your lack of concern about how we were misled going into this war. Seriously? That is about as obnoxious an "ends jusitfy the means" argument as I've heard. What kind of a democracy do we live in when it is okay for our leaders to give us information that is false to justify what they want to do?

"Who gives a damn about weapons of mass destruction and Saddaam being erroneously linked to Al Qaeda" you ask.

This country was in a frenzy of outrage over a President lying about his personal life - but we get "who gives a damn" about an administration frightening us into war with visions of mushroom clouds? Or having us take out our revenge for 9/11 on the wrong country?

Yes. We do, in this country, condemn people who should be right for being wrong. Especially when they are willfully wrong. Plenty of people knew that this was a mistake, the administration refused to listen to any of them.

Roughly 620,000 died in the US Civil War.

Again, who are we to make that trade for them?

As I recall, the last poll showed about 70% of Iraqis wanted us to leave.


Response to Grimace: When I ask "how it will end positively" I don't mean "how will it look when it is better" I mean "how is this going to get to better".

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BlackBlade
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kmbboots:

quote:

That's lovely - that "give me liberty or give me death" thing. That you would choose death over oppresion is very brave, But not everyone would choose that, though. We choose it for them. And for their children. how do you feel about "give me liberty and kill and maim my children"?

We will have to disagree then. I believe that typically speaking people would rather die free then live in bondage. You don't have to agree with me. And we didn't choose it for them, when George H. W. Bush said, "Rise up against Saddam and we will support you!" many rose up and we sold them out, clearly there is a strong desire to be free, or perhaps they were all executed by Saddam and now only the sissies remain, who can tell?

quote:

rains that run on time is a different order of magnitude than electricity, hospitals, water, and not getting blown up.

Yes, and was Saddam providing electricity, hospitals, water, and preventing people from being blown up?

quote:

Regarding your lack of concern about how we were misled going into this war. Seriously? That is about as obnoxious an "ends jusitfy the means" argument as I've heard. What kind of a democracy do we live in when it is okay for our leaders to give us information that is false to justify what they want to do?

"Who gives a damn about weapons of mass destruction and Saddaam being erroneously linked to Al Qaeda" you ask.

This country was in a frenzy of outrage over a President lying about his personal life - but we get "who gives a damn" about an administration frightening us into war with visions of mushroom clouds? Or having us take out our revenge for 9/11 on the wrong country?

Yes. We do, in this country, condemn people who should be right for being wrong. Especially when they are willfully wrong. Plenty of people knew that this was a mistake, the administration refused to listen to any of them.

You've got me all wrong. "Mistakes were made, and those who screwed up should take responsibility and be disciplined appropriately...incompetence is judged on how obvious the mistake was, not on how disastrous the results are." I am far from unconcerned about the mistakes that led us to Iraq. But when I hear politicians spouting off, "There were no weapons of mass destruction lets just get the hell out of Iraq now!" To me thats makes us twice as guilty. We rolled into Iraq and blew things up however precisely and now we are just going to ride out on the horse we rode in on and leave a note of apology? We accomplish NO good by leaving Iraq to the dogs. It most likely will erupt into civil war and a military dictatorship will probably rise from the ashes with a severe penchant for hurting Americans.

In short, I am just as angry that we were misled into Iraq, but I would be just as angry if we did not do our best to salvage some good from this mess.

quote:

Plenty of people knew that this was a mistake, the administration refused to listen to any of them.

Based on what I have learned I am convinced the administration went into Iraq based on bad inteligence and was acting in good faith. I could be wrong, but that is my current opinion, you are welcome to provide data that the administration was overwhelmingly aware that there was no compelling cause to go to Iraq.

quote:

Roughly 620,000 died in the US Civil War.

I know its nit picky but that was just soldier deaths. There were civilian casualties you are ignoring, around 300,000.

quote:

As I recall, the last poll showed about 70% of Iraqis wanted us to leave.

And when was this poll taken? I've never seen it. Please link it if possible.
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Dagonee
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quote:
As I recall, the last poll showed about 70% of Iraqis wanted us to leave.
And, yet, the democratically elected government of Iraq wants us to stay.
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Abhi
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With all due respect [and I do respect the army... my father has fought several wars], I dont believe a person who says:

quote:
Originally posted by Sterling:
the Iraqi people weren't worth saving. That they were "lacking in basic human virtue."

Or just pulling out, leaving a nuclear device in the middle of Iraq with a button that says "do not push" and waiting for the inevitable.

has empathized much with the people of Iraq.

Here's the problem I see in much of the argument that has been lately developing...

The Iraqis, "oppressed" as they may have been, did not ask us to liberate them. They did not agree to the human sacrifices for "liberty" and "end of Saddam". We made the decision for them.

When were they made a part of the decision making process?

When was the US Government given the mandate to decide who values their families lives less than their freedom?

Can we blame the Bush administration for what's going on over there? How can we not? They made their decisions unilaterally, offered blatantly false information to the congress to make people agree with them, told Americans that Iraq was well on it's way to sending WMDs to America, invaded Iraq against the UN's advise without any real exit-strategy, and have left us in the middle of nowhere.

Why are young americans losing their lives in Iraq in the first place? Was it ever their war to fight? Or was it the Iraqis? Neither the soldiers, nor the Iraqis [the only to casualties] had much of a say in the beginning of the war.

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Abhi
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
quote:
As I recall, the last poll showed about 70% of Iraqis wanted us to leave.
And, yet, the democratically elected government of Iraq wants us to stay.
I think the current government there is as democratically elected as Saddam was when we more-or-less installed him there to counter Iran.

Isn't this also like the 70% of Americans view the Iraq war as a failure, while our "democratically elected government" saw Mission Accomplished three years ago?

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BlackBlade
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Iem: And I can see how Mormonism appears to be arrogant when you approach it with the belief that "There is more then one way to skin a cat."

I am glad that you feel you have found a better way in your pluralistic approach. Believe me my post was not intended to show Mormonism as the living embodiment of all that is good in the world. Though indeed Mormons as supposed to seek after ALL that is good or praise worthy or of good report, they don't know everything.

My point was merely that it is quite possible to perceive a group of people as being so far gone as to be irredeemable, but I honestly believe that more often then not is not the case.

quote:

If you leave the church or never join your status as a human is diminished in the church's eyes. I find that a very solid foundation for racism.

But approach it from a members perspective. I agree that its wrong to treat somebody who decides not to join or leaves the church as a lesser human being. But at the same time when somebody leaves do I not also have less in common with them? I have had friends leave the church and it seems like they spent a significant amount of their time trying to see if they could offend me so that they could in turn be offended at me and the religion I believe in.

I'd go out to eat with them and they'd order a beer even though I knew for a fact they didn't drink. Conversations would always turn into some sort of theological argument, and it was always them bringing it up. They declare decisions they had made just to observe my response.

It can be quite frustrating because many of those who leave the church decide to declare war on us who choose to remain. Good people don't TRY to make enemies out of their friends.

I can see the logic behind your statement, "To each their own." And I respect it. Now *I* am telling you that I honestly believe that there are eternal truths that do not change, and I earnestly believe I have come across some of them. I believe them to be true and so live my life according to them. Its not as if I created them, or declared them to be thus. So try not to see me as arrogant. I am pursuing a course I believe to be right, and attempting to treat others as I would have them treat me.

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