I needed a break from working for a few minutes... <br><br>I was reading these (one, two, three) Reuter's reports and I began to wonder what possible optimism is left for Iraq? I've never supported the Iraq invasion, but if it really turns out to be better for the country of Iraq in the long run then at least there is a silver lining in what is certainly going to be remembered as a blunder. <br><br>Sometimes I'll switch over to Foxnews.com to see how they write things to make them sound more optimistic. Today they only seem to be running the second story, originally from the NYT, and it is indeed glum, to say the least. I don't think liberal media bias is at work here.<br><br>This sucks, because no matter who is president next year we are left with this horrible mess to clean up and I can't see an upside anymore. The three justifications for invasion I've heard are:<br><br>1. WMD were stockpiled and could be used on the U.S. and allies. This is no longer even worth mentioning. It was never true, and whether you blame the CIA or the White House it was a big mistake and the president no longer even uses that as a reason for invasion. Every now and then they say things like Saddam was "trying" to get WMDs, but that is bullsh!t because so is Korea, Iran and probably every two-bit terrorist organization on the planet, and there is no way we are going to spend $200 billion invading everybody.<br><br>2. A connection between Saddam and the 9/11 attacks. This seems to have also gone by the wayside now that nonpartisan investigations have pretty much squashed that connection. <br><br>3. Iraqi citizens will be safer and happier without Saddam, and they will enjoy the freedom of a democratic government. This is the one that is now used by the administration most often and is most open to debate. The intelligence report (the one also reported at Fox) for the White House sounds terrible. The research was even from July and so it doesn't include the spiral of unrest that has been occurring over the last two months. <br><br>Is it better for the Iraqi people than when Saddam was in power? His iron fist 'mafia style' violence has been replaced by daily explosions of city buildings, organized rebels taking control of entire cities, destruction of holy sites, oil fires and environmental disasters, Abu Ghraib torture and rape, occupation by a western nation and the constant threat of a three way civil war. Its becoming a difficult case to make.<br><br>I think the usual optimism is that the pessimists are not allowing enough time for the rebuilding to occur, but one of the other articles from today talks about how billions of dollars allotted for rebuilding are now being funneled over to security. That might be the worst omen of all. That plus the intelligence report makes me wonder whether this whole thing is even possible anymore, even with the all the American tax money being poured into it?<br><br>There are now only a couple things I am certain of: taxes will suck in future years, and I am so glad I am not president Bush OR John Kerry. The next presidential term is going to be tough. <br><br>
I don't know what to think either. I've heard alot of talk about how the attacks will be ramping up as elections get closer. It seems many of the insergents don't want to see free elections. These guys want another Taliban style government there. <br><br><br>Salus populi suprema lex
Salus populi suprema lex
Loc: United States
The silver lining will always be that we're not staying there forever, and hopefully once the anti-American excuse isn't there anymore, the citizens can concentrate on rebuilding Iraq instead of blowing up our convoys...<br><br>[color:red]C'mon...you know me.</font color=red>
The administration, while remaining optimistic about progress Iraq, has always maintained that as Iraq nears elections, terrorist attacks will increase. We're seeing that now.<br><br>But you're right, no matter who is in the Oval, it's going to be tough going.<br><br>****************<br><br>[color:blue]VOTE</font color=blue>[color:red] for President George W. Bush on November 2, 2004</font color=red>
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Not really offering specific comment on your post which is thought provoking but I'll just point you to some "alternate" reading that may help to get a fuller different picture (good and bad) of what is happining in Iraq.<br><br>I'll start with one from the good side...<br>Good News from Iraq, Part 10<br><br>Then try...<br>Healing Iraq<br>Hammorabi<br>Iraq at a Glance<br>Iraq the Model<br>Mesopotamian<br>Iraq & Iraqis<br><br><br>Dean Davis<br><br>-----<br>"I think it was the right decision to disarm Saddam Hussein. And when the president made the decision, I supported him, and I support the fact that we did disarm him." -- John Kerry (D) - May 3, 2003
Hey the bloggers are still optimistic! <br><br>Part of my post was that I was surprised that the typical "alternate" reading (Fox news ) didn't even seem optimistic, and that is damn rare. I really like this site that Yoyo first posted. I read a few optimistic stories from real soldiers and that carries a lot more creditability than big media and bloggers (for me, anyway).<br><br>
Loc: Yuba City, California
One thing Saddam did for the region was to keep the religious factions at bay. Granted he used brutality to do it but, nonetheless they obeyed. Unfortunately for everyone concerned this Administration didn't pay enough attention to the religious component of this war and from this point forward they'll wish they had.<br><br>The Sunni's who enjoyed an elevated status while Saddam was in power have now been lowered and they're not adjusting well, and while they may have been a source of tension early on in the aftermath of the war, the Shia's are the one's in the news lately but, only because they are the majority and one of their own, who isn't even a legitimate spiritual leader, Muqtada al-sadr has been promoting revolution.<br><br>On november 4th or shortly thereafter Bush will give the green light for the Marines to mount an all out assault on those simpathetic to al-Sadr. He and his followers have proven to be fierce opponents but, only because they're willing to die for al-sadr and his beliefs. His following are the poorest of the shia population and their number is estimated at around 3-4 million. As we speak al-Sadr is gathering strength and building his communications network but he's foolish to think he can last another couple of months. Martyr or no, he will be put down with extreme prejudice.<br><br>Early on, you may remember, al-Sadr gained notarity by confronting the americans and it wasn't until grand ayatollah ali al-sistani was brought in to quiet al-sadr that american forces achieved the cease fire. al-sistani by the way, if you're familiar with catholicism, is the islamic equivalent of the pope. However he is 75 years old and sickly.<br><br>If any of you are religious, pray for al-sistani, he and his followers are the way. Quietists though they may be the alternative is waiting in Qom, which is in Iran and is now the seat of power for the Shia religion, and their belief follows a more militant brand of ruling power. Najaf, which is al-sistani's home turf used to be but the seat was moved to Qom under Saddams rule.<br><br>My point is is that this will become a religious war as time goes on, just as there were no terrorists in Iraq until we put boots on the ground, there are now, and in a big way. The religious factor will now take center stage only because the Pentagon refused to deal with it in the beginning. Even when they sought to bring in an exiled shia leader whose name was Ayatolloah abdul majid al-khoei to quell the disturbance being caused by al-sadr, he was murdered when he showed up for the meeting. That was too fscking sad!!!!!!!<br><br>I'm not suggesting that there is any connection between the terrorists and al-sadr because there isn't, but I am saying the US will be fighting this war on two fronts from now on. We will succeed on one but not the other.<br><br>
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