Let us not forget how this began...

  1. i'm sorry to post this here, but apparently i don't have enough posts since the beginning of my membership to be allowed to post in reply to someone's remark in the "general nursing forum". the remark made by someone (and i'm not attempting to blast any one person in particular here, because i am aware that a great deal of you have very strong feeling about the war in iraq. let me begin with the post (or part of it)...

    "this is the reality of war.
    we bomb. they suffer

    let me post my own.

    this is the reality of war. they fly planes into buildings, we suffer.


    let me also be clear here. i am not advocating everything that bush is doing. in fact, i think he could have handled things quite differently. for example, the day after we became aware of the terrorists responsible for taking thousands of lives, we should have given them fair warning. "pack up and get out now...because the united states is coming." i think he should have proceeded to level afghanistan. we should not have waited for two years for the majority of people to forget and become complacent, we should have acted quickly and precisely...and after doing so, i believe we should have turned to those countries who were rejoicing in our grief or condemning us for our actions and relayed the message..."if you have a problem with this, there's more where that came from."

    so forgive me if my sympathies don't lie entirely with the iraqi people and the "horrors" committed against them. i very vividly remember a great horror of our own. do you?

    and if bush had done nothing? well, let's see...the bush bashers would be saying "he didn't do anything! what kind of man is he?"...instead they're spewing "look what he's doing! what kind of man is he?"

    maybe the war in iraq is not justified (yeah, you heard me...i'm not a bush fanatic, nor do i find kerry remotely appealing), but maybe if we had responded in kind with the equal and justified violence that these monsters only seem to understand we wouldn't be where we are today.
  2. 82 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    I agree with much of your post. I am glad that an administration finally went after terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, as we know, terrorists had made several attacks on us prior to that and nothing was done about it. As far as leveling Afghanistan, many innocent people would have died while targeting Bin Ladin who was hiding in a cave probably. I'm sure he was still cheering about the success of planes hitting our buildings and the plane in Pa that crashed. I'm not so sure now if getting Bin Ladin will be the end all to his terrorist network. I do agree with Bush in that we must go after terrorists instead of sitting idly by while they attack us again.

    I think many of us have forgotten and have become complacent, ignoring the fact that Al qaeda continues to make threats upon the US as they did prior to 9/11. We ignored those threats and we lost over 3,000 people. I'm still angry about that and I think it would be dangerous to have someone in office who will appease terrorists and wave a white flag to them. I don't agree with everything Bush has done but I do support him in the war on terror and I believe we were right to liberate Iraqi's from a diabolical dictator.

    Thank you for reminding us of the "vivid horror of our own".
  4. by   mattsmom81
    Some folks can delude themselves into believing if we leave fanatical , hating,murderers alone they will leave us alone. 9/11 proved this is the wrong track, IMO. Nobody likes war, but it IS necessary sometimes. We have to shake the enemy up where they proliferate...but even more important we have to find them where they are hiding here in the US, and neighboring countries, sneaking across borders undetected. Having family serving in high level government positions means I am only too aware of the scary situation we are in today. If we can't get our government to find and expell terrorists from our midst, we will have many many more 9/11's. The amounts of threats and botched attacks daily are frightening. My relatives in Homeland Security are working 70 plus hrs a week, coordinating with FBI, CIA, other agencies... trying to keep us safe. They have nightmares during sleep they DO get. They tell me how supervisors are having nervous breakdowns as they get threats daily and try to thwart terrorists attempts to destroy us. If I knew the whole story I would be in panic mode I'm told.

    The election decision is simple for me. No Democratic candidate will take seriously these threats. They as a group tend to worry more what France thinks of us than in protecting our country.

    Bush has even more work to do, his job is just beginning, IMO. I will support him and ALL the men and women trying to keep us safe.
  5. by   ChrisA
    I certainly don't forget what happened on September 11th, 2001. I take issue with this notion that only a president "with the strength and character of George Bush" would have responded properly, for the simple reason that we've never before seen an attack of that magnitude. The truth is that we would have got behind any president in any crisis: at the start of any war, the president's approval ratings soar well above the number indicated by party affiliation. It's the way of things, and it's the right thing to do when dealing with a crisis.

    Now, the situation shifts when things begin to solidify into a general foreign policy in the longer term. It is always right and appropriate to critique and analyze the President. This is why it's an elected office of only 2 terms (note that the term limit was introduced because a democrat president was elected over and over again -- during wartime) and not an autocracy. So let's drop this language about how people who question the administration are forgetting the horrors of September 11th. We're at war in Iraq right now, supposedly, to liberate the Iraqi people and bring them freedom and democracy after years of dictatorship. The justification for this current war in Iraq is entirely one of moral superiority, and we must continue to act with dignity and a sense of our own freedom and democracy. This means that it's perfectly possible to find horror in both the Sepember 11th attacks and the actions of our troops in the Abu Ghraib prison. It means that it's perfectly possible to support the use of military effort to root out terrorist units, while at the same time questioning the ethical and practical soundness of protracted conflict in a country that had nothing to do with al Qaeda in the first place, and is quickly getting sick of having us there. And since the world opinion that was on our side after September 11th has now eroded through our unilateral rejection of international processes, perhaps it's time to start listening to our friends again. And I don't think Bush is the man for that job.

    Hmm, can we get a three way presidency for Kerry (to handle domestic issues), Clark (for the military ones) and McCain (to keep the fiscal controls in place)?
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    I distinctly remember a full page ad in a major newspaper begging America for help in with the human rights abuses in Iraq. I've been searching for that particular plea for help without luck. But there are plenty of Iraqis who did and do still want our help. To say that no Iraqis wanted America or someone to intervene is untrue.

    There are differences of opinion about what happens now.



    What Iraqis Want

    April 15, 2004; Page A14

    The most ominous harbinger for the future of Iraq to emerge from the week of bloodshed that has engulfed parts of the country is the collapse of the indigenous Iraqi security structures put in place by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). Few of the police resisted Muqtada al-Sadr's activists while some joined his militia and many simply ran away. Half of the army mutinied. The intelligence service did not produce accurate or useful intelligence, and elements of the Iraqi Civil Defense Corps (ICDC), which is designed to be a national paramilitary force, also mutinied and may be implicated in the murder and mutilation of the four Americans which touched off the siege of Fallujah.

    While not all members of the police, army and ICDC failed to do their duty, enough did that the CPA must undertake an urgent review of its plan to stand up coherent Iraqi security forces before the handover of sovereignty on June 30. The CPA's policy of recruiting law enforcement officers and soldiers without allowing nominations or vetting from its allies within the Iraqi political system must be revised. If not, then the new Iraq will end up with security forces of dubious loyalty and little courage or motivation.

    The one bright spot among the Iraqi security forces has been the 36th Battalion of the ICDC. This special unit, which was formed from the hardened fighters of the anti-Saddam opposition, has performed admirably and bravely in Fallujah. The officers and men of this battalion were nominated by the main political parties of the struggle against Saddam, who are America's chief allies in Iraq today: the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Iraqi National Accord and the Iraqi National Congress. These parties and others are able to immediately field a cadre of loyal and motivated troops. Most importantly we can provide forces that have been vetted and vouched for.

    Reconstituting the old Iraqi army would be a grave mistake. The notion that CPA Administrator L. Paul Bremer's decision to disband Saddam's army contributed to the postwar violence in Iraq is simplistic and wrong. The army was overwhelmingly made up of conscripts, mostly from the Shia majority. They did not want to be there and they took the first chance they could to go home. They would have deeply resented any attempt to keep them in the army they hated. The officer corps was mainly from Saddam's minority community. Some were steadfast supporters of the Baath Party and many of those are leading the postwar terrorism. U.S. Marines have confirmed that ex-Republican Guard officers are among the organizers of the Fallujah insurgents. Others are guilty of crimes, human-rights abuses and corruption, and are not fit for duty. Mr. Bremer made the correct decision to wipe the slate clean and build a new professional Iraqi army which will have as its primary purpose the defense of the nation, not the oppression of the people.

    The CPA, the Iraqi Governing Council and the provisional government that will take power on June 30 must make greater efforts to bring the fruits of liberation to the lives of the mass of the Iraqi people. Sadr has attracted support because of growing discontent among the Shia. Dispossessed, abused and disenfranchised for so many years under the Baath, Iraq's Shia rejoiced at America's promises of liberation and democracy. Yet one year later liberation has become occupation, democracy is delayed, Baathists are returning to positions of influence, and while mass graves and torture centers have been revealed, the victims have yet to receive justice.

    The alienation of the Shia is fostered by increasing calls in Washington, backed by the Arab capitals, for scaling back de-Baathification and bringing about "national reconciliation" between Iraq's communities. Both of these are seen by the Shia as euphemisms for renewed Baathist domination and Shia disenfranchisement. Careless comments by American politicians such as Sens. Carl Levin and Jay Rockefeller, who recently criticized the de-Baathification process, are replayed with glee by the Arab media and serve only to heighten the anxieties of the Shia majority and propel them into the arms of Sadr.

    At the same time there must be greater efforts to empower the leaders in the Sunni community who are opposed to Saddam and Baathism and will support democracy in the new Iraq. There are many such leaders but they lack resources, organizational skills and, most importantly, the confidence to speak out. Iraqis must understand that democracy is not a zero-sum game where one community will triumph at the expense of others.

    A year after Saddam was deposed, the Iraqi people are grateful for liberation but tired of occupation and delayed promises. Only sovereignty, democracy and justice will satisfy us now.

    Mr. Chalabi, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council, is founder of the Iraqi National Congress.
  7. by   rollingstone
    Let's not forget that some of our future politicians will now be combat-hardened veterans.
  8. by   elkpark
    What Iraqis Want

    April 15, 2004; Page A14
    We're supposed to take seriously anything that Chalabi says? He's been completely discredited (y'know, except for those who live in "Bushworld" and believe anything the administration tells them ...) From Slate magazine:

    Egomania, INC
    Ahmad Chalabi is loyal to just one cause: his own ambition.
    By Fred Kaplan
    Posted Monday, March 8, 2004, at 3:44 PM PT

    Chalabi has found religion.

    What is going on with Ahmad Chalabi? The Iraqi exile, MIT-trained mathematician, and wealthy businessman who plotted with high-level U.S. officials to return to Baghdad and grab the reins in a post-Saddam government--to bring to his homeland the virtues of modernization and Western-style democracy--has now joined forces with Iraq's most prominent anti-American theocrats.

    His is a mysterious saga and an instructive one to any future American politicians who might feel tempted to believe that overthrowing a rogue regime is easy, as long as an eager expat rides along to do our bidding in the aftermath. Even the most compliant quislings sometimes go native.

    Chalabi, as is by now well-known, was all set to play the part. As president of the Iraqi National Congress, an exile group set up in 1992 (in part with CIA money), Chalabi pushed persistently for an armed overthrow of Saddam, especially after George W. Bush was elected and some of Chalabi's chief sympathizers--most notably Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle--gained high posts in the Pentagon.

    As the Bush officials stoked the war flames, for several convergent reasons, Chalabi played a key role. He found defectors who affirmed suspicions that Saddam was building weapons of mass destruction. He assured Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney that the Iraqi people would greet American liberators with flowers; that his militia, the Free Iraqi Fighters, would restore order; and that, after a few months, the vast majority of U.S. troops could go home, leaving behind a small, inconspicuous force--25,000 to 50,000 soldiers--at bases to be set up well outside the cities. The new Chalabi government would then be a vehicle for economic modernization, Western-style democracy, and--by the force of its example--the transformation of the entire Middle East.

    Of course, it didn't turn out that way. The only surprise is that people in positions of vast responsibility thought it would. And now some of those people profess surprise at the turn that Chalabi himself has taken.

    Last week, Chalabi was among the five Shiites on Iraq's Governing Council who refused to sign the interim constitution, which the council had hammered out with the mediation of Paul Bremer, the administrator of the U.S. occupation authority.

    A few days earlier, Chalabi's nephew, at his behest, had been one of seven Shiites who walked out of a session, in protest, after several women persuaded the council to drop a provision of the constitution that would have imposed religious rulings on family life.

    Chalabi and the others took this obstructionist action at the directive of the Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Husaini Sistani, the country's most powerful--and utterly unsecular--Shiite authority.

    The contrast with Chalabi's earlier behavior could not be more glaring.

    Last June, at an interview conducted by Tom Brokaw at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Chalabi spoke of Iraq's Shiites as if he were an observer, not a member of the tribe. Speaking of a post-Saddam regime, Chalabi said its leaders must have "a strategy to deal with the Shias," adding, "After all, the Shias of Iraq are at least 65 percent of the population, and they are not in the main fundamentalists." (Italics added.) Note the pronoun that he used to refer to the Shiites: not "we," but "they."

    During the same interview, he said that a new Iraqi constitution must "safeguard minority rights," especially for the Kurds but also for such smaller ethnic groups as the Turkmen and Assyrians. He advocated a federated state organized along geographic lines--which, though he didn't say so explicitly, would allow a certain degree of autonomy to the Kurds, who are concentrated in northern Iraq. (It is worth noting that, in the 1990s, Chalabi visited Kurdish leaders in Iraq's northern enclave and expressed solidarity with their opposition to Saddam.)

    Yet last week, Chalabi's main objection to the interim constitution was its provision stating that a two-thirds majority in any three of Iraq's 18 provinces could veto a national law. (The Kurdish enclave consists of three provinces.) This objection was in keeping with Sistani's demand for strict majority rule--the majority being Shiites. (Chalabi and the other four assented to the wishes of the rest of the Governing Council today and participated in the signing of the interim constitution. But he emphasized that their objections still stand and might be raised again when a permanent constitution is discussed.)

    An example of Chalabi's contrary behavior in the much more recent past: Just last November he supported the Bush administration's plan to hold caucus-style elections for a new Iraqi parliament, to which the United States would transfer sovereignty. Sistani objected to this plan, calling instead for direct elections. Chalabi voted, in effect, against Sistani's wishes.

    Juan Cole, a professor of Middle Eastern studies at the University of Michigan and an invaluable blogger on Iraqi politics, speculates that a turning point came this past Jan. 19, when 100,000 Shiites turned out on the streets of Baghdad to protest the U.S. plan for elections. Iraq had never seen a street protest of anything like this magnitude, and it had happened entirely because Sistani called for it. Just as important, a few days later, some Shiites started rallying for a second protest, but Sistani issued a statement against a sequel--and, as a result, nobody turned out on the streets. "Not only could he turn it on," Cole said in a telephone interview today, "he could also turn it off."

    At that point, the Bush administration realized no political plan could go forth without Sistani's approval. And Chalabi realized none of his political ambitions could be fulfilled without deferring to Sistani.

    Public opinion polls taken by the occupation authority were indicating that, of the 25 members of the Governing Council, Chalabi was by far the least popular. He had been airlifted into Iraq by a U.S. military plane and was seen as a tool of U.S. interests. If he was to gain power, his tune would have to change. And so it has.

    Chalabi has amassed a fair amount of power he would like to preserve. In Newsweek, Christopher Dickey reports the staggering array of positions that Chalabi has come to control within the Governing Council. He is head of the economics and finance committees, which oversee the ministries of oil, finance, and trade, as well as the central bank and several private banks. He also runs the De-Baathification Commission, and thus--if he manages to hang on to the post--holds potentially vast control over the flow of personnel into, or out of, any future Iraqi government.

    A conclusion is becoming clear: Whether massaging Wolfowitz or bowing to Sistani, Ahmad Chalabi has consistently been serving one cause--that of Ahmad Chalabi.

    Only now are we beginning to understand Chalabi's full role in the campaign to convince the "coalition" that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. His cadre of dubious defectors, willing to say whatever their listeners wanted to hear about WMD, has long been documented. Last week, the indefatigable Walter Pincus provided another piece of evidence in the Washington Post. It turns out that allegations about Saddam's "mobile bio-weapons labs"--which have since been dismissed within the intelligence community (and were seriously doubted all along)--were made by a defector who never spoke to anyone in the U.S. government. Moreover, Pincus reveals, the defector was related to a senior official in Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress. And the one defector who did speak to U.S. analysts, and who confirmed the report about mobile biolabs, was made available by the INC--and was, for that reason, believed, even though the Defense Intelligence Agency "red-tagged" the defector as a known dissembler.

    Last month, Britain's Daily Telegraph asked Chalabi about the recent reports, especially by David Kay, that Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction--which Chalabi and his boys had been heralding--after all. His reply was, or should have been, instructive:

    We are heroes in error. As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful. That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important. The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords if he wants.

    Whose sword is Chalabi swishing now? Sistani's? His own? Or possibly (could our guys be this clever?) still America's? The thing about eager exiles is that nobody really knows.

    Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate.
  9. by   fergus51
    I would ask the same thing to Bush. Does he remember 9/11 clearly? Does he remember that the highjackers were from Saudi Arabia and Egypt? Does he remember the head of AlQaeda is Saudi (Bin Laden who?) and his second in command is Egyptian? Does he remember that it was Pakistan (our new best friends) that helped the Taliban to power so they could help OBL?

    Show me where Hussein has a link to 9/11. Even Bush has admitted that there were no links, so I don't see why 9/11 is a justification for a war in Iraq.
  10. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from mkue
    I am glad that an administration finally went after terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, as we know, terrorists had made several attacks on us prior to that and nothing was done about it.
    So exactly when did we go to war against Saudi Arabia (friends of Bush)? I missed that in the news.....must be that biased press again.
  11. by   ChrisA
    Quote from rollingstone
    Let's not forget that some of our future politicians will now be combat-hardened veterans.
    That'll be nice, since the current president weaseled his way out of combat duty.
  12. by   elkpark
    I am glad that an administration finally went after terrorists who attacked us on 9/11, as we know, terrorists had made several attacks on us prior to that and nothing was done about it. As far as leveling Afghanistan, many innocent people would have died while targeting Bin Ladin who was hiding in a cave probably. I'm sure he was still cheering about the success of planes hitting our buildings and the plane in Pa that crashed. I'm not so sure now if getting Bin Ladin will be the end all to his terrorist network. I do agree with Bush in that we must go after terrorists instead of sitting idly by while they attack us again.
    "Finally" does seem to be the operative word here. NBC is now reporting that the Shrub administration knew where to find Zarqawi, the guy who is believed to have killed Nicholas Berg (and ~700 others) since June of 2002, but refused to authorize the Pentagon plans to attack his camp because it would interfere with their rationale for the big invasion of Iraq. ????? So much for going after the terrorists before they attack again ...


    Avoiding attacking suspected terrorist mastermind Abu Musab Zarqawi blamed for more than 700 killings in Iraq
    By Jim Miklaszewski
    NBC News
    Updated: 6:37 p.m. ET May 17, 2004

    With Tuesday’s attacks, Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian militant with ties to al-Qaida, is now blamed for more than 700 terrorist killings in Iraq.

    But NBC News has learned that long before the war the Bush administration had several chances to wipe out his terrorist operation and perhaps kill Zarqawi himself — but never pulled the trigger.

    In June 2002, U.S. officials say intelligence had revealed that Zarqawi and members of al-Qaida had set up a weapons lab at Kirma, in northern Iraq, producing deadly ricin and cyanide.

    The Pentagon quickly drafted plans to attack the camp with cruise missiles and airstrikes and sent it to the White House, where, according to U.S. government sources, the plan was debated to death in the National Security Council.

    “Here we had targets, we had opportunities, we had a country willing to support casualties, or risk casualties after 9/11 and we still didn’t do it,” said Michael O’Hanlon, military analyst with the Brookings Institution.

    Four months later, intelligence showed Zarqawi was planning to use ricin in terrorist attacks in Europe. The Pentagon drew up a second strike plan, and the White House again killed it. By then the administration had set its course for war with Iraq.

    “People were more obsessed with developing the coalition to overthrow Saddam than to execute the president’s policy of preemption against terrorists,” according to terrorism expert and former National Security Council member Roger Cressey.

    In January 2003, the threat turned real. Police in London arrested six terror suspects and discovered a ricin lab connected to the camp in Iraq.
    The Pentagon drew up still another attack plan, and for the third time, the National Security Council killed it.

    Military officials insist their case for attacking Zarqawi’s operation was airtight, but the administration feared destroying the terrorist camp in Iraq could undercut its case for war against Saddam.

    The United States did attack the camp at Kirma at the beginning of the war, but it was too late — Zarqawi and many of his followers were gone. “Here’s a case where they waited, they waited too long and now we’re suffering as a result inside Iraq,” Cressey added.

    And despite the Bush administration’s tough talk about hitting the terrorists before they strike, Zarqawi’s killing streak continues today.
    2004 MSNBC Interactive
  13. by   ChrisA
    You have to remember, though, elkpark, that most Americans are unaware that Saddan Hussein and the Iraqi leadership had nothing to do with al Qaeda, and that they were in fact at odds with each other. To most Americans, they're all just Muslims who hate America. American foreign policy seems to operate on a monolithic "friends vs. enemies" basis, where everyone who doesn't ally with the US must be in cahoots.

    Meanwhile, I see that the US government is halting their monthly payments to the Iraqi National Congress, headed by Chalabi, of $335,000. Wonder what that's all about?
  14. by   elkpark
    Meanwhile, I see that the US government is halting their monthly payments to the Iraqi National Congress, headed by Chalabi, of $335,000. Wonder what that's all about?
    It's about d***** time -- every penny we've given them has been a penny down the toilet (of course, the same is true of Halliburton -- did you see, in the last couple days, that the Pentagon is cutting off payments to them again while it investigates how badly they've ripped us off?) I can't believe Shrub and the boys have paid the INC as long as they have -- what a pathetic joke!