Have we set our course with Iraq?

Technetium

Diabloii.Net Member
Have we set our course with Iraq?

I was thinking today about the current state of things in Iraq. We can argue (and have already) all we want about whether or not the war was justified. But even if Bush was wrong about it, it doesn't change the fact that we are where we are now.

Two things really struck me recently. On the one hand, it seems that there actually are going to be elections in Iraq. On the other hand, terrorists are now killing Muslims instead of just trying to focus on foreign soldiers. The attack yesterday was specifically against Shiite Muslims and killed over 200 people. In response to it, Al Qaeda said that Shiites are "infidels." Obviously it is quite complicated. In addition, reports I've heard on the news seem pretty clear now that terrorists are entering Iraq from neighboring countries.

So my question is, have we bound ourselves, rightfully or not, to a course that we can't afford to waver from? It is going to be very hard to establish the new Iraqi government with more terrorist attacks like this. If we back out completely from Iraq (as some on the liberal side seem to want), they don't stand a chance. The easiest way to make sure that the war was truly for nothing would be to do that and let the seeds of democracy burn up in terrorism.

The only solution I can really see is that we might have no choice but to continue with what we started in Iraq and Afghanistan, and take out terrorism in the other Middle-Eastern countries where it still flourishes. As long as the camps in places like Syria and Iran continue to run unfettered, I see no way that we can stop the terrorists from flowing into Iraq.

There should be obvious reasons why I don't like this solution. For one thing, it does give me one reason at least to consider Bush for reelection, as he would be the sort to actually go and do all of that, while Kerry would probably end up trying to keep the damage to a minimum (which would be similar to what things are like now) and not deal with enlarging the campaign against terrorism.
 

Munch

Diabloii.Net Member
If we back out completely from Iraq (as some on the liberal side seem to want),
I specifically remember several conservatives posters on this board declare that the US policy should be to pull our troops completely out, since their job of liberation was complete. So don't say "some on the liberal side" without telling the whole story.
 

Technetium

Diabloii.Net Member
Munch said:
I specifically remember several conservatives posters on this board declare that the US policy should be to pull our troops completely out, since their job of liberation was complete. So don't say "some on the liberal side" without telling the whole story.
Oh, I didn't mean when the job is complete. I meant immediately, even if the job isn't complete.
 

Technetium

Diabloii.Net Member
Alright, I'll take back the comment about liberals trying to get us to pull out ahead of time. It wasn't the point of my post anyways. The point is that I want to see suggestions of where we can realistically expect to go from here on.
 

Carnage-DVS

Diabloii.Net Member
Damascus said:
Isn't the "liberation" kinda complete?
I expect that if America pulls out without helping rebuild the country in anyway, the international outroar will be far greater than when it actually attacked Iraq. Or I could be wrong.
 

Damascus

Diabloii.Net Member
Carnage-DVS said:
I expect that if America pulls out without helping rebuild the country in anyway, the international outroar will be far greater than when it actually attacked Iraq. Or I could be wrong.
That's not the point. The liberation aspect is over, now it's rebuilding. There is no one left to "liberate"
 

Suicidal Zebra

Diabloii.Net Member
Technetium said:
I was thinking today about the current state of things in Iraq. We can argue (and have already) all we want about whether or not the war was justified. But even if Bush was wrong about it, it doesn't change the fact that we are where we are now.
Indeed, something that I have been saying for months now... *sigh*

Two things really struck me recently. On the one hand, it seems that there actually are going to be elections in Iraq. On the other hand, terrorists are now killing Muslims instead of just trying to focus on foreign soldiers. The attack yesterday was specifically against Shiite Muslims and killed over 200 people. In response to it, Al Qaeda said that Shiites are "infidels." Obviously it is quite complicated. In addition, reports I've heard on the news seem pretty clear now that terrorists are entering Iraq from neighboring countries.
Personally, I feel that elections were always likely in Iraq at some stage. However, until recently a timetable had never been obvious, with vague references to a June power handover but continued presence for some time, and elections as and when. Sure, we all knew that it wasn't going to be quick, but some indication that there was preparation for the eventuality and a plan to put into place would have been nice. The hushed whispers of moves towards a constitution and elections are nice, but I am not holding my breath just yet.

And then there are the bombings... and it is quite difficult to say this but in some ways it may be a good sign. It possibly indicates a lessening in grass-roots support for Al-Queda, but then again there are other explanations maybe more likely. We shall have to wait and see on that, whilst trying to reduce the number of deaths in Iraq, which I believe we now have a duty to do.

So my question is, have we bound ourselves, rightfully or not, to a course that we can't afford to waver from? It is going to be very hard to establish the new Iraqi government with more terrorist attacks like this. If we back out completely from Iraq (as some on the liberal side seem to want), they don't stand a chance. The easiest way to make sure that the war was truly for nothing would be to do that and let the seeds of democracy burn up in terrorism.
Simply, yes, I feel we have to say the course and allow a stable government
to form. I would like the UN to be the overseers personally, but the Allies are better than no-one at all considering the state of the nation at present.

The only solution I can really see is that we might have no choice but to continue with what we started in Iraq and Afghanistan, and take out terrorism in the other Middle-Eastern countries where it still flourishes. As long as the camps in places like Syria and Iran continue to run unfettered, I see no way that we can stop the terrorists from flowing into Iraq.
I very much disagree with this however. I feel that we have no right to invade another soverign nation at this stage of our knowledge of the activities of those nations, same as I feel that we didn't have the right to invade Iraq based on the information presented to us and the case initially made. Also, if we invade now, where will it end. The terrorists just become displaced, and we will have to control everywhere to eradicate them entirely. Not fiesable I think you would agree.

Plus, Iran is in the process of going through huge political upheaval to a more reformist bent, and a US led invasion could disrupt that and put the conservatives back on top in the popularity stakes in Iran. Invading them would be foolish IMO.

And maybe we should look at some of our other allies in the region aswell, those that we have some influence over, before we start fighting more battles. Turkey, Kazahkstan and Kirgistan to name but a few. Their current practices are none too pretty either.
 

Technetium

Diabloii.Net Member
Suicidal Zebra said:
I very much disagree with this however. I feel that we have no right to invade another soverign nation at this stage of our knowledge of the activities of those nations, same as I feel that we didn't have the right to invade Iraq based on the information presented to us and the case initially made. Also, if we invade now, where will it end. The terrorists just become displaced, and we will have to control everywhere to eradicate them entirely. Not fiesable I think you would agree.
Well, taking out the terrorist camps in those countries doesn't necessarily mean that we need to attack the countries themselves. Perhaps we could offer something to these countries in return for permission to take out the terrorist camps (which the governments of these countries may currently find a daunting task to take upon themselves). But if it becomes clear that some of the countries are protecting terrorism training camps, then what?

I would like to agree with your entire reply... that is, to agree with everything I said except for the last part. But if we don't hit the terrorists where they are, then how can we expect them to stop crossing the border into Iraq where they can blow themselves up in crowded Baghdad streets? This isn't a rhetorical question; I'm not forming an opinion as a question to make my point more stylish. I really want to find an alternate answer to this problem because military conflict goes so much against my general philosophy.
 

Damascus

Diabloii.Net Member
Technetium said:
But if we don't hit the terrorists where they are, then how can we expect them to stop crossing the border into Iraq where they can blow themselves up in crowded Baghdad streets? This isn't a rhetorical question; I'm not forming an opinion as a question to make my point more stylish. I really want to find an alternate answer to this problem because military conflict goes so much against my general philosophy.
Get rid of the reasons they come over to blow themselves up
 

Suicidal Zebra

Diabloii.Net Member
Technetium said:
Well, taking out the terrorist camps in those countries doesn't necessarily mean that we need to attack the countries themselves. Perhaps we could offer something to these countries in return for permission to take out the terrorist camps (which the governments of these countries may currently find a daunting task to take upon themselves). But if it becomes clear that some of the countries are protecting terrorism training camps, then what?

I would like to agree with your entire reply... that is, to agree with everything I said except for the last part. But if we don't hit the terrorists where they are, then how can we expect them to stop crossing the border into Iraq where they can blow themselves up in crowded Baghdad streets? This isn't a rhetorical question; I'm not forming an opinion as a question to make my point more stylish. I really want to find an alternate answer to this problem because military conflict goes so much against my general philosophy.
I would love to have a real answer for you, but I don't. I could go on about getting the people in said nations to respect the US once again through its good works rather than continuous 'Shock and Awe' tactics. Or how relieving hardships for the poor may go a long way. Or that the West should stop supporting all corrupt regiemes, not matter what it politically expedient at the time.

However, that is all anecdotal in the end. I know probabaly as much about international politics as you, and am not privvy to special knowledge, and so I cannot offer anything really new when it comes down to it. That said, I really cannot believe that the use of military force is the only effective option as many people would have us believe. And until I see all the evidence for myself I will be pressing for a more inclusive decision making process, critically IMO, getting more nations involved.
 

Technetium

Diabloii.Net Member
Damascus said:
Get rid of the reasons they come over to blow themselves up
Like what? They are going after Shiite Muslims at the moment, not the US soldiers. While denying responsibility for it, Al Qaeda has responded by calling the Shia "infidels", as if to imply that that is reason enough. How do you get rid of that reason?
 

Damascus

Diabloii.Net Member
Technetium said:
Like what? They are going after Shiite Muslims at the moment, not the US soldiers. While denying responsibility for it, Al Qaeda has responded by calling the Shia "infidels", as if to imply that that is reason enough. How do you get rid of that reason?
They're going after Shiite Muslims instead because they're easier to attack. They don't want a stable democracy, make a stable democracy. It takes time. Simply chasing down the country next to them just pisses off the country next to them etc etc. Once we start either overthrowing or bullying other nations into what we want, what exactly does that make us?

I'd rather us not spend the next decade rebuilding every arab nation. There is not just one solution: invade.
 

Steve_Kow

Banned
Tech said:
Al Qaeda has responded by calling the Shia "infidels", as if to imply that that is reason enough. How do you get rid of that reason?

I think A.Q is working on that, one crowded marketplace at a time.
 
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