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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

    AP Photo Slideshow: Iraq

    Latest headlines: Two U.S. Contractors Killed in Iraq
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    Reuters - 24 minutes ago U.S. payments aimed at Iraqis' losses
    Chicago Tribune - 35 minutes ago Special Coverage

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    Knight Ridder Special Report (at philly.com)

    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

    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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    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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    Pre-tty, pre-tty good!! MWM's Avatar
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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 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 MWM
    Kim Jon Il says hi. Should we invade? Based on your reasoning, we haves lots and lots of invading to do.
    Nah, hes so "ronery"
    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
    I've read books about sparkling vampires who walk around in the daylight that were written better than a John Fay article.

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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 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 Phoenix
    Not following you FCB on why my post above is not logical... 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...
    Argumentum ad numerum

    This fallacy is closely related to the argumentum ad populum. It consists of asserting that the more people who support or believe a proposition, the more likely it is that that proposition is correct. For example:
    "The vast majority of people in this country believe that capital punishment has a noticeable deterrent effect. To suggest that it doesn't in the face of so much evidence is ridiculous."

    "All I'm saying is that thousands of people believe in pyramid power, so there must be something to it."
    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix
    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.
    This one could have been a couple of different fallacies, but I guess this one will do well enough:


    Non sequitur

    A non sequitur is an argument where the conclusion is drawn from premises which aren't logically connected with it. For example:
    "Since Egyptians did so much excavation to construct the pyramids, they were well versed in paleontology."
    (Non sequiturs are an important ingredient in a lot of humor. They're still fallacies, though.)
    or, for that matter
    Red herring

    This fallacy is committed when someone introduces irrelevant material to the issue being discussed, so that everyone's attention is diverted away from the points made, towards a different conclusion.
    "You may claim that the death penalty is an ineffective deterrent against crime -- but what about the victims of crime? How do you think surviving family members feel when they see the man who murdered their son kept in prison at their expense? Is it right that they should pay for their son's murderer to be fed and housed?"
    ***edited for crazy non-links showing up as links.

    fallacy definitions including the examples grabbed from:http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html
    Last edited by ochre; 03-13-2005 at 10:06 PM.
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    SERP Emeritus paintmered's Avatar
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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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    Re: Remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago

    Quote Originally Posted by paintmered
    Yup, It really looks ready to fly to the United States and attack us. Well, maybe with a little help from the tooth fairy and her/his magic fairy dust.


    I'm also sure while they are flying to attack us that the jets will be refueled by Iraq's fleet of KC-135 and KC-10's in flight.
    Last edited by RBA; 03-13-2005 at 07:09 PM.


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