Beyond speculation.... what next?

  1. Okay. I think we've all made it perfectly clear where we stand in terms of the war. I would like now to ask a few questions that look beyond the war, that regardless of your opinion we are indeed in.

    I will put forth several questions. I would like to see people's individual opinions rather than responses to anyone else's. The questions are as follows:

    1.) How should we go about building a new Iraq? More specifically, who should be involved, and who should decide?

    2.) Do you believe that we will see, or have seen a negative reaction in Arab opinion upon the U.S.? If so, how do you propose we deal with/improve it?

    3.) Do you believe that this war will reduce or increase the potential of terrorist attacks on the U.S.? Why?

    4.) Do you feel that we have isolated ourselves from our traditional allies? If so, how?

    5.) Do you feel we are justified in choosing to pursue a war outside of the realm of UN approval? Will it have a future impact upon the US or the UN?



    RULES OF THIS THREAD: You may answer the questions asked. You may NOT question anyone else's response to the questions. If you don't agree to these rules, go to another thread.


    I am curious to see how everyone feels, but for once I would like to see people spill out their own opinions without trying to prove someone else "wrong".
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   Q.
    1.) How should we go about building a new Iraq? More specifically, who should be involved, and who should decide?
    My belief is that the countries who are part of this coalition should be involved, each with a level of involvement relative to their level of involvement during the war. So yes, in my opinion, the United States should have the greatest piece of the pie, as we had the greater piece of the pie during the war. Yes, our level of involvement was our choice, as was the level of involvements of the other coalitions their choice as well.
    I view is as an investment of sorts. If I invest more money and time in an endeavor, I should participate and benefit from the aftereffects of that endeavor more than someone who didn't invest as much.

    2.) Do you believe that we will see, or have seen a negative reaction in Arab opinion upon the U.S.? If so, how do you propose we deal with/improve it?
    This I don't know. I think in our time, we will see negative reactions, but we've seen negative reactions from them all my life anyway. I think their opinion over time will change, but it may not be until my children are grown. But then again, that's why I was for this war to begin with - so my children wouldn't have to be dealing with the middle east.

    .) Do you believe that this war will reduce or increase the potential of terrorist attacks on the U.S.? Why?
    In all honesty, I expected a retaliatory terrorist attack on US soil already; afterall that was what was threatened the moment we stepped foot in Iraq. I think the fact we haven't speaks to two things:
    1. The effectivness of Homeland Security. While there are aspects of it I disagree with, clearly I think they have thwarted any attack on us as of late, namely by the arrests they HAVE made of key terrorist leaders.
    2. I strongly believe that a capable nation such as Iraq was spearheading and supporting most of it. I think that as a result of our at least putting a large hole in their leadership, we've in effect halted any worldwide, large coordinated effect of terrorism here.
    I think in the long run, terrorist attacks will decrease.

    .) Do you feel that we have isolated ourselves from our traditional allies? If so, how?
    I think we've discovered and are still in the process of discovering who are "traditional" allies really are. Did anyone really expect Japan to align with us - ever? Especially after WWII? My point is I guess that I think from this, new allies will be discovered and formed, and those "traditional" allies will be discovered for if we really should consider them an ally to begin with. If it behooves us to develop relationships with other countries (other than just the post WWII victors) then by all means that's to our benefit.

    5.) Do you feel we are justified in choosing to pursue a war outside of the realm of UN approval? Will it have a future impact upon the US or the UN?
    I feel we are justified. Some of the permanent members (France, Russia) I don't trust and in relation to my answer to your second last question above, not sure we should be trusting them. Secondly, the UN is archaic. Why are certain countries not included as permanent members, such as Germany and Japan? Perhaps the face of the UN should change as well. When the UN was formed things were different - perhaps it should be changed to reflect the change in times.
  4. by   molecule
    1.) How should we go about building a new Iraq? More specifically, who should be involved, and who should decide?
    the UN should be involved in a major way to give legitimacy to our claim this is not about empire. the UN could send peacekeepers. contracts should go to regional firms. Iraqi workers should be employed as much as possible.

    2.) Do you believe that we will see, or have seen a negative reaction in Arab opinion upon the U.S.? If so, how do you propose we deal with/improve it?
    Yes, there is already negative opinion as expressed from Morrocco to Indonesia and by leaders from Egypt to Malaysia. to improve the situation we need not set up a military occupation and must do the rebuilding with UN oversight. If we use 'to the victor's go the spoils' or 'we broke it, we bought it' actions it will prove a point we do not intend..

    3.) Do you believe that this war will reduce or increase the potential of terrorist attacks on the U.S.? Why?
    Increase due to increase in radicalized enemies. Terrorism does not need a nation behind it. there are plenty of WMD floating loose around the old USSR[including in Muslim areas] which could be bought. also terrorism can be very small scale.

    4.) Do you feel that we have isolated ourselves from our traditional allies? If so, how?
    we went to the UN while at the same time proclaiming we didn't really need them. then we insulted them,[ forgetting the US economy depends on a half trillion dollars of foreign investment a year.] vital to further relations would be our finding a large cache of chemical/biological weapons.

    5.) Do you feel we are justified in choosing to pursue a war outside of the realm of UN approval? Will it have a future impact upon the US or the UN?
    many in the US have wanted to get out of the UN for years and we have picked and choosed our involvement. certainly we broke the UN charter with a pre-emptive war. the future impact depends on how we go about postwar Iraq.
  5. by   Mkue
    1.) How should we go about building a new Iraq? More specifically, who should be involved, and who should decide?

    I also agree with Susy that the US should have a bigger piece of the pie, as we have taken the bigger risk in this war, along with the other coalition.
    ___________________________________

    2.) Do you believe that we will see, or have seen a negative reaction in Arab opinion upon the U.S.? If so, how do you propose we deal with/improve it?

    The US is typically critisized so I'm not overly concerned about their opinion, I think it will improve in time.
    ___________________________________

    3.) Do you believe that this war will reduce or increase the potential of terrorist attacks on the U.S.? Why?

    I don't foresee more terrorist attacks, I think in part d/t our increased Homeland Security since 9/11. I think we will always be aware that it is a possibility.
    ____________________________________

    4.) Do you feel that we have isolated ourselves from our traditional allies? If so, how?

    No, everything changes in time, sometimes change is for the best, we will see.
    ____________________________________

    5.) Do you feel we are justified in choosing to pursue a war outside of the realm of UN approval? Will it have a future impact upon the US or the UN?

    Yes, we are justified. Future impact on the UN in that hopefully it will become a stronger body.
  6. by   Elenaster
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by eddy
    [

    1.) How should we go about building a new Iraq? More specifically, who should be involved, and who should decide?

    2.) Do you believe that we will see, or have seen a negative reaction in Arab opinion upon the U.S.? If so, how do you propose we deal with/improve it?

    3.) Do you believe that this war will reduce or increase the potential of terrorist attacks on the U.S.? Why?

    4.) Do you feel that we have isolated ourselves from our traditional allies? If so, how?

    5.) Do you feel we are justified in choosing to pursue a war outside of the realm of UN approval? Will it have a future impact upon the US or the UN?



    1.) The US and Britain need to bear a good deal of the financial burden for the rebuilding of Iraq, as they chose to invade and destroy the infrastructure of Iraq. However GWB has stated repeatedly that he does not want US taxpayers to bear that burden. Where will the money come from? Revenue from Iraqi oil, of course. However who will control oil revenue and dedicate it to the purpose of rebuilding Iraq?

    If the Bush administration is truly dedicated to liberating the Iraqi people and setting up a viable democracy in post-war Iraq, a good first step would be to allow the UN security council to administer oil revenues. The council has experience delivering oil revenues in the form of humanitarian aid as evidenced by the Oil-for-Food program. This would also serve to improve damaged US-UN relations.

    Unfortunately, I have little hope that the US will do this due to the fact that I have serious doubts that the purpose of this war was liberate Iraq. Secondly, the idea of post-Saddam democracy is practically a joke. US military rule of Iraq is not democracy, and the US has neither the stamina nor the track record to successfully acccomplish that goal.

    2. Undoubtedly, the Arab opinion of the US is negative. As the people of the Arab nations watch the civilain casualties rise in Iraq, I have no doubt that they will become increasingly united in their opposition of the US-lead invasion. This war is perpetuating a negative opinion of the US as an imperialist nation.

    I think many arabic people feel that SH is detestable tyrant, but at the same time they want respect and consideration for their religous beliefs and way of life. They feel threatened and disrespected by the western "our way or the highway" attitude. In my opinion, we have done nothing as westerners to earn the support of the Arab people. We preach and value sovereignty for ourselves, but have completely ignored it in the case of Iraq.

    In order to improve the way we are viewed in the Arab world, we need to first and foremost show respect for Islamic people and show consistency in dealing with the goverments of all nations.

    3. I think we will absolutely see a rise in terrorism secondary to this war. The so-called "war on terrorism" is counterproductive simply because it calls out terrorist groups and ignites their hatred and contempt of the United States even further. I don't think we're even paying attention to sources of terrorism outside of the middle east, including domestic terrorists. I strongly believe that this war is going to do more harm than good in protecting the US from further acts of terrorism.

    4. Aside from Britain, the US has absolutely isolated itself from traditional allies as well as countries with which we have only mediocre relations. Every time I turn on the TV, I hear some references to the French being limp-wristed cowards that only want to reap the benefits of this war. Russia, Germany, and Syria are all portrayed as US-hating Saddam Hussein supporters that only want to protect their interests in Iraq. The Bush administration has made sure that they will not receive one red cent, even though these countries currently have business interests that are being destroyed. It's the old American "your either with us (or have something that we want) or against us (or have nothing we want)" mentality that continues to isolate us from the rest of the world. The greater danger here is worsening already strained relations with countries like China, who could easily align themselves with North Korea.

    I feel that many of the countries that do not support the US in this war simply believe that we are in it for the wrong reasons. Additionally, the US defiance of the UN has strained international relations and discounted the influence of other countries with differing opinions on how to handle Iraq. Furthermore, even the aforementioned Brits, who are fighting along side us in Iraq are shocked by US soldiers' treatment of Iraqi citizens. As one member of the Royal Marines stated: "The Americans are acting like invaders, not liberators. They behave as if they hate these people." The combination of these and many other factors will, in my opinion, continue to isolate the US from the rest of the world.

    5. Absolutely not. The UN, as the best authority to determine the legitimacy of the US-lead invasion of Iraq, did not find sufficient evidence to support action. By UN criteria, the good consequences must outweigh the bad for the war to be justifiable, and no matter how narrow the margin, the UN did not find this to be true. In my opinion, as this war continues, the bad consequences are going to outweigh the good, particularly in the eyes of the world. Not that the US cares, as this is not the first time the US has shown defiance towards the UN (remember that "little" debt we refused to pay??).

    Do to their actions in Iraq, I feel that the weight of improving relations with the UN lies on the shoulders of the US. As I said in my response to question #1, the US should allow the security council to assume responsibility for Iraqi oil revenues in order to allow the UN to regain influence. I sincerely doubt the Bush administration will allow this, and there are numerous political, diplomatic and economic issues at stake.
  7. by   molecule
    http://www.reuters.com/financeNewsAr...toryID=2514041

    Iraqi exiles and American officals agreed today in London major international oil companies will take a leading role. the contracts will most likely be Production Sharing Agreements, favored by oil companies to guarantee healthy profits even when oil prices are low. US officials declined comment "this is a highly sensitive issue and we do not want any publicity."
    American companies will compete with Anglo-Dutch, British, French, Russian and Chinese companies. Iraq would remain in OPEC but without limits on oil production.
  8. by   curious
    1.) How should we go about building a new Iraq? More specifically, who should be involved, and who should decide?

    2.) Do you believe that we will see, or have seen a negative reaction in Arab opinion upon the U.S.? If so, how do you propose we deal with/improve it?

    3.) Do you believe that this war will reduce or increase the potential of terrorist attacks on the U.S.? Why?

    4.) Do you feel that we have isolated ourselves from our traditional allies? If so, how?

    5.) Do you feel we are justified in choosing to pursue a war outside of the realm of UN approval? Will it have a future impact upon the US or the UN?



    First of all, thanks for making this a "state opinion" rather than argue thread- very refreshing. I've enjoyed reading the perspectives stated thus far.

    1) With regards to building a new Iraq, I feel that the US must mitigate as much as possible the strains in the international community, especially around the middle east region. That, in my opinion, would best be done by having an open bidding process for reconstruction and having the new gov't of iraq be involved as much as possible in this process. Although I understand the US concerns about losing $$ (although I think they put themselves in that position) I think it will be more cost effective to reduce the amount of time needed to stabilize Iraq. Greater stability will happen when the international community is more involved and the perception exists that Iraq is making the decisions.

    2) Yes, to be very honest I am extremely concerned about the current Arab opinion. I am going to say middle eastern opinion becuase there are two big players, Turkey and Iran, who are not arab. Although there have always been tensions between the Arab world and the US, this is inflaming them to dangerous levels. I am concerned about risks of coups in countries where the population is overwhelmingly against the war (such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia). The way this is going about, this can easily be viewed as an occupation of Iraq in the surrounding area, especially given historical concerns. I am not just concerned about arab opinion however, which leads me to number 3.

    3) I believe this action has dramatically increased the risk of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Saddam had not been a popular figure in the arab world (especially with Iran), nor with Al Queda particularly (Iraq is a secular not Muslim regime). However this is now a rallying call for Muslims around the world to join terrorist groups to fight the war against the "occupying forces". One of my biggest concerns is Pakistan, where extremism is rampant. Although their current leader is siding with the US, that could change in the future. Pakistan has nuclear capabilities. Invading them would not be easy.

    Terrorism has no boundaries. Terrorists can cross between country lines easily, shifting alligances and financial backing. Furthermore, fundamentalists do not necessarily have to "look Arab" (Chechnya, anyone?).

    4) Yes, I do believe we have isolated ourselves from traditional allies. Not just "old Europe" but allies like Mexico, Canada and Turkey. More worrisome, I feel this is a dangerous rift in countries that have not been our allies, such as Russia and China.

    5) I've been doing a lot of reading on both sides lately about this. I'm still of the opinion that invading Iraq was probably inevitable, but we should have done it with UN approval. I feel the US tried to strong arm the rest of the world in too short of a time. Yes, I know it has been twelve years. However, I feel like getting international backing, even if it had taken another year, would have 1) made Iraq not fight as hard, both now and after the war (guerilla warfare) because the changes of them changing world opinion is smaller. Iraqis also have distrust from the first gulf war. 2) reduced the perception of a colonial land grab (like it or not, that is what is being percieved in much of the world) .

    I think this has had an enormous impact on the UN. The UN has basically been made irrelevant, and the effects on policies and alliences it is too easy to tell. One huge concern is that this has just trashed any hope of nations to not develop nuclear and/or biological weapons. I think nations are going to be working as hard as they can to develop or acquire them, increasing the chances of nuclear war if they get into the wrong hands.
  9. by   Stargazer
    Any attempt to answer the questions on my part will end up being rephrasing of Elenaster's and curious's posts, so I'll simply refer you to theirs for my opinion.
  10. by   Glad2behere
    Hi Eddy, Good idea here.



    Iraq should be rebuilt to organize those factions that may coexist as a country with equal representation from those factions. That means the Kurds become their own independent nation, protected from Iraq and Turkey. The factions start out having a council type goverment with no head of state...no incentive to assasinate HOS. A representive govt, with representatives elected, and say 6 to 8 council members to act as one unit as head of state. After a declared probationary period, say 25 years, a single HOS can be elected. This should be installed by Britain and the US, with veto power by these two countries of any elected candidate, whereas 75% vote of the respecttive population can still install that candidate.


    #2
    Arab opinion will remain negative, but less so with Iraq than with our alliance with Israel. That is where the ongoing velcro in the underwear is.

    #3
    The war will increase the DESIRE for terrorism, but I am not so sure about the acts themselves. First, it will be more difficult to feasibly organize for it, financially and infrastructurally. Secondly, history has proven that a desisive defeat of them and a no nonsense approach does have positive impact on their psyche. Submitted are Khadafi (haven't heard from him lately), the Suez War, and the release of the Iran hostages in 79. All of these countries have been relatively cooperative in minimizing distress since the conflicts.

    #4
    Our traditional allies and us have learned something from this. They now know what is expected of them and we know what we cannot expect. We have learned we don't need them, they hope they don't need us...as long as we are around they will never have to find out. They know we will help them but may not smile about it. The survival of one of our allies is still of utmost important to us, but we will be more aloof of what they think.


    #5
    I think we were entirely justified in this war. The UN was a concept that the US had hoped would diminsh the ideas other countries had of it as being imperialistic. A tool created to advance noble ideas based somewhat on a democratic government. However, democracy does have its faults too, and indecisiveness is one of them. The UN constantly exacerbates this fault. I think one of two things will happen to the UN as a result of this war, and I think they will take time to be realized.
    First either the UN will have lost all credibility and will continue to fragment, or countries will realize that whoever does direct more resources should have more voting power. Frankly, I have always thought it a joke that the US had no more voting power than Portugal or any smaller country with obviously much less impact than the US, Britain, or any country that is willing to take risks.
  11. by   semstr
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    Any attempt to answer the questions on my part will end up being rephrasing of Elenaster's and curious's posts, so I'll simply refer you to theirs for my opinion.
    Ditto here!
  12. by   eddy
    Thanks for everyone's contributions. It's nice to see everyone putting in their "two cents" without a huge fight.

    Thanks again!
    eddy

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