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Thread: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

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    CELEBRATION TIME RBA's Avatar
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    Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Wed Mar 9, 5:03 PM ET




    By Joseph L. Galloway, Knight Ridder Newspapers

    WASHINGTON - Something about anniversaries prods us to pause and reflect on what's transpired in the intervening time. March 20 is the second anniversary of the invasion of Iraq (news - web sites), and it's a good time to consider what's happened since then.

    Syria gives U.N. a timetable for first phase of pullout Politics spins a wider Web of concerns Jury calls Nichols cold, fearsome U.S.: Checkpoint where Italian died was hastily arranged Cold-turkey hiring can go up in smoke

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    Do you recall our civilian leadership's rationale for a pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein (news - web sites)? President George Bush (news - web sites) and Vice President Dick Cheney (news - web sites) and, yes, former Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) told the world that the United States had no choice but to invade Iraq. They said Saddam was hiding chemical and biological weapons, and that his scientists would be able to produce a nuclear weapon in a few years.



    Do you remember those who predicted that the operation would be financed in large part by sales of Iraqi oil? It would be cheap, easy and, oh yes, so swift that civilian leaders in the Pentagon (news - web sites) ordered the military to plan to begin withdrawing from Iraq no later than the summer of 2003.



    There was no need for much post-war planning because there wasn't going to be any post-war. America would come, conquer and get out. If Iraq was broken, its new government headed by the neo-conservatives' favorite exile, Ahmad Chalabi, could fix it. There would be no need for American nation-building, just some modest humanitarian aid.



    Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's office had visions of a replay of the almost effortless destruction of Afghanistan (news - web sites)'s hated Taliban regime using precision-guided munitions, Special Operations forces with laser pointers and Afghan allies.



    In Iraq, as in Afghanistan, less would be more, lighter would be better and faster would be best of all. Any Third World regime could be taken down by a few special operators and some airplanes. The Army's heavy divisions were relics of the Cold War.



    When then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki reluctantly answered a senator's persistent questioning by suggesting that occupying and pacifying Iraq, an unruly nation the size of California with 25 million citizens, might require a force of "hundreds of thousands," he was mugged by Rumsfeld's minions.



    Under Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz hastened to the Hill the next day and told the legislators that Shinseki's estimate was "wildly off the mark," and that Iraq wouldn't be nearly as tough as Afghanistan had been because Iraq didn't have the sort of nasty ethnic divisions one found in Afghanistan.



    At that moment, in late February 2003, on the eve of the invasion, the U.S. invasion force of 278,000 American troops began to dwindle as someone tried to prove the job could be done with fewer than Shinseki's 200,000 troops. Call that the Shinseki Threshold.



    One division's tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles bobbed around at sea for weeks and arrived too late for the attack. A second division of tanks and Bradley armored vehicles slated for the follow-up to the invasion was canceled; a third division's deployment to Iraq was postponed for several months. Military Police units needed to secure a hundreds of miles of dangerous supply lines - and to establish law and order - disappeared from the war plan.



    A strike force that amounted to an Army division and a Marine Expeditionary Force, with Air Force and Navy fighters and bombers, took down Baghdad in three weeks.



    But as the invasion forces regrouped, the world witnessed an orgy of looting and burning of government ministry buildings, and even the power plants upon which a city of 11 million people depended. There was no one to prevent it.



    Birthing democracy, Rumsfeld allowed, can be "messy."



    After nearly 18 months, the Pentagon admitted that a team of nearly 1,000 intelligence officials and scientists had combed Iraq for evidence of chemical and biological weapons or any sign of an active nuclear weapons program. They found nothing.



    This war that was supposed to be a cakewalk has taken the lives of 1,510 American troops and sent thousands more home, maimed by improvised explosive devices that tear off arms and legs.



    American taxpayers have paid more than $200 billion in two years for a war we were told wouldn't cost much, if anything, and the cost in fiscal 2006 will be at least $70 billion more.



    Now the administration tells us that we had to attack not because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaeda, but because he wasn't a democrat. Sadly, however, the costs of trying to make Iraq a democracy probably would have been lower, and the chances of succeeding better, if we hadn't gone to war with flimsy evidence and wishful thinking.



    ---

    ABOUT THE WRITER

    Joseph L. Galloway is the senior military correspondent for Knight Ridder Newspapers and co-author of the national best-seller "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young." Readers may write to him at: Knight Ridder Washington Bureau, 700 12th St. N.W., Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20005-3994. http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...n_wa&printer=1

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    And I still support the war. Some will only look at the negative. Never mind that a brutal, violent dictator has come down who did have WMD and used them on a neighbor and his own people. The same dictator who did not live up to his commitments post gulf-war and illegally profited from the UN oil-for-food program. Thanks to Bush and Blair for taking him on, taking him out and sending a strong message to other like-minded dictators such as Kadafi.

    "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

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    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Some will only look at the negative. Never mind that a brutal, violent dictator has come down who did have WMD and used them on a neighbor and his own people.

    And some will follow their leader no matter how much positive spin he puts on an awful, messy situation. Never mind that the entire reason for invading the country has now been disproved. Bush told Hussein that if he disarmed, then we would not invade. Think about that statement. It does not matter what Bill Clinton thought, what Colin Powell thought, or what John Kerry or Tony Blair thought. Bush was the man who made the final decision, and he was dead wrong.

    If you want to invade countries based on what they did years ago, then maybe we should invade Vietnam. Maybe we can go down to the Barbary Coast, you know, the pirates down there attacked our merchant ships under the Jefferson administration.

    "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
    What was Hussein going to triumph over? I wasn't worried about him for the same reason we defeated him in about an hour. He had nothing, and he proved it when he ran away. I mean, the guy didn't even have an air force, and we are pulling out quotes about "evil" and triumphing over good...

    For someone who has never read a page of Orwell, Bush has his language down pretty well.
    Last edited by Dom Heffner; 03-13-2005 at 12:56 PM.
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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Some would have done nothing about Saddam Hussein. Thankfully the results of the last election showed that the majority of Americans chose to return Bush to the Presidency for another four years. Apparently the "rush to war" and "lying to go to war" arguments were rejected. You think most would have learned from history that you don't want to wait until the evil, and yes Saddam Hussein was E-V-I-L, is powerful enough to cause ever-increasing death and destruction before taking action.

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Most Americans don't like to admit that "our" "chosen" leaders failed us. Americans and the the rest of the human race don't like to admit mistakes.

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix
    Some would have done nothing about Saddam Hussein. Thankfully the results of the last election showed that the majority of Americans chose to return Bush to the Presidency for another four years. Apparently the "rush to war" and "lying to go to war" arguments were rejected. You think most would have learned from history that you don't want to wait until the evil, and yes Saddam Hussein was E-V-I-L, is powerful enough to cause ever-increasing death and destruction before taking action.
    Think about that logic for a second. Really. Pick it apart.

    It must have been right because "we asked" for a second helping.

    Yeah, that's a bit like saying, "'Diary of a Mad Black Woman' must be a quality movie because it was number one at the box office."

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    FCB- describe the illogical part.

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    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Phoenix, Bush won by 100,000 votes in Ohio. Hardly an overwhelming majority.

    As well, your argument is based on a few assumptions. One, that the war was the only thing people voted on and two, that just because the majority thinks something is true, then it necessarily is.

    There are more people in the world that believe in religions other than Christianity, so are all Christians wrong because a majority of people belive in something else?

    I would hope that you would find the war either to be just or unjust based on your own conclusions rather than what most people think.
    If you're watchin' a parade, make sure you stand in one spot, don't follow it, it never changes. And if the parade is boring, run in the opposite direction, you will fast-foward the parade. --Mitch Hedberg

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner
    I would hope that you would find the war either to be just or unjust based on your own conclusions rather than what most people think.
    No matter how hard, no Republican I've ever met or chatted with online will EVER admit that the decision was wrong to go to war on the basis of weapons of mass destruction. I've never heard it uttered. Once. I've given up that tack.

    Black is white. Night is day. Peace is war.

    Phoenix, the logical fallacy you're committing is called "bandwagoning." In bandwagoning, the conclusion ""Rush to war' argument is wrong" is reached not by any logical antecedent such as, for instance "Saddam had missiles pointed at Germany and Italy in January 2003," but by a posteriori unrelated appeals to mass opinion, "majority of Americans returned Bush to power."

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix
    Some would have done nothing about Saddam Hussein. Thankfully the results of the last election showed that the majority of Americans chose to return Bush to the Presidency for another four years. Apparently the "rush to war" and "lying to go to war" arguments were rejected. You think most would have learned from history that you don't want to wait until the evil, and yes Saddam Hussein was E-V-I-L, is powerful enough to cause ever-increasing death and destruction before taking action.
    Not following you FCB on why my post above is not logical. In the first sentence I make a point I doubt few would argue with. Then I write that the majority of Americans looked past a few of the more common arguments against Bush and returned him to the Presidency. I expressed thankfulness that the majority did so. My final thought harkins back to the adage that those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. When a dictator has proven to be a menace to the world you ought not wait for him to continually strengthen himself before taking action. I suppose the most obvious example would have been appeasing Hitler in the late 30's. My point is that you are better to take action sooner rather than later. So please pick that post a part and show how it is illogical.

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix
    When a dictator has proven to be a menace to the world you ought not wait for him to continually strengthen himself before taking action.
    Kim Jon Il says hi. Should we invade? Based on your reasoning, we haves lots and lots of invading to do.
    Grape works as a soda. Sort of as a gum. I wonder why it doesn't work as a pie. Grape pie? There's no grape pie. - Larry David

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix
    Not following you FCB on why my post above is not logical. In the first sentence I make a point I doubt few would argue with. Then I write that the majority of Americans looked past a few of the more common arguments against Bush and returned him to the Presidency. I expressed thankfulness that the majority did so. My final thought harkins back to the adage that those who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. When a dictator has proven to be a menace to the world you ought not wait for him to continually strengthen himself before taking action. I suppose the most obvious example would have been appeasing Hitler in the late 30's. My point is that you are better to take action sooner rather than later. So please pick that post a part and show how it is illogical.

    If your contention is that you're following lockstep in the Republican party line, I can't argue. You're spouting all the right rhetoric.

    Trouble is, it doesn't save you from not understanding logic. I don't have the time to brush you up on logical fallacies. Grab a logic primer, a book on symbolic logic, or any number of books on debate, and get back to me.

    Well, Hitler DID invade Poland before we jumped into the fray. So that example is completely refuted and shut down. And see MWM's post to see how absurd your contention is that we should invade every nation with a despot.

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Quote Originally Posted by MWM
    Kim Jon Il says hi. Should we invade? Based on your reasoning, we haves lots and lots of invading to do.
    Looks like we waited too long. Not we can just pray.

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer
    If your contention is that you're following lockstep in the Republican party line, I can't argue. You're spouting all the right rhetoric.

    Trouble is, it doesn't save you from not understanding logic. I don't have the time to brush you up on logical fallacies. Grab a logic primer, a book on symbolic logic, or any number of books on debate, and get back to me.

    Well, Hitler DID invade Poland before we jumped into the fray. So that example is completely refuted and shut down. And see MWM's post to see how absurd your contention is that we should invade every nation with a despot.
    Perhaps you don't understand what logic is. Looks like you're reduced to petty insults. I'm not impressed.

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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner
    I mean, the guy didn't even have an air force

    What if this wasn't a rhetorical question?

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