About Sounds like Iraq is not going too bad.
|November 24th, 2005||#1|
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Sounds like Iraq is not going too bad. info
Iraq's a lost cause? Ask the real experts
WHEN IT COMES to the future of Iraq, there is a deep disconnect between those who have firsthand knowledge of the situation — Iraqis and U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq — and those whose impressions are shaped by doomsday press coverage and the imperatives of domestic politics.
A large majority of the American public is convinced that the liberation of Iraq was a mistake, while a smaller but growing number thinks that we are losing and that we need to pull out soon. Those sentiments are echoed by finger-in-the-wind politicians, including many — such as John Kerry, Harry Reid, John Edwards, John Murtha and Bill Clinton — who supported the invasion.
Yet in a survey last month from the U.S.-based International Republican Institute, 47% of Iraqis polled said their country was headed in the right direction, as opposed to 37% who said they thought that it was going in the wrong direction. And 56% thought things would be better in six months. Only 16% thought they would be worse.
American soldiers are also much more optimistic than American civilians. The Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations just released a survey of American elites that found that 64% of military officers are confident that we will succeed in establishing a stable democracy in Iraq. The comparable figures for journalists and academics are 33% and 27%, respectively. Even more impressive than the Pew poll is the evidence of how our service members are voting with their feet. Although both the Army and the Marine Corps are having trouble attracting fresh recruits — no surprise, given the state of public opinion regarding Iraq — reenlistment rates continue to exceed expectations. Veterans are expressing their confidence in the war effort by signing up to continue fighting.
Now, it could be that the Iraqi public and the U.S. armed forces are delusional. Maybe things really are on an irreversible downward slope. But before reaching such an apocalyptic conclusion, stop to consider why so many with firsthand experience have more hope than those without any.
FOR STARTERS, one can point to two successful elections this year, on Jan. 30 and Oct. 15, in which the majority of Iraqis braved insurgent threats to vote. The constitutional referendum in October was particularly significant because it marked the first wholesale engagement of Sunnis in the political process. Since then, Sunni political parties have made clear their determination to also participate in the Dec. 15 parliamentary election. This is big news. The most disaffected group in Iraq is starting to realize that it must achieve its objectives through ballots, not bullets.
There are also positive economic indicators that receive little or no coverage in the Western media. For all the insurgents' attempts to sabotage the Iraqi economy, the Brookings Institution reports that per capita income has doubled since 2003 and is now 30% higher than it was before the war. Thanks primarily to the increase in oil prices, the Iraqi economy is projected to grow at a whopping 16.8% next year. According to Brookings' Iraq index, there are five times more cars on the streets than in Saddam Hussein's day, five times more telephone subscribers and 32 times more Internet users.
The growth of the independent media — a prerequisite of liberal democracy — is even more inspiring. Before 2003 there was not a single independent media outlet in Iraq. Today, Brookings reports, there are 44 commercial TV stations, 72 radio stations and more than 100 newspapers.
But aren't bombs still going off at an alarming rate? Of course. It's almost impossible to stop a few thousand fanatics who are willing to commit suicide to slaughter others.
Yet there is hope on the security front. Since the Jan. 30 election, not a single Iraqi unit has crumbled in battle, according to Army Lt. Gen. David H. Petraeus, who until September was in charge of their training. Iraqi soldiers are showing impressive determination in fighting the terrorists, notwithstanding the terrible casualties they have taken. Their increasing success is evident on "Route Irish," from Baghdad International Airport. Once the most dangerous road in Iraq, it is now one of the safest. The last coalition fatality there that was a result of enemy action occurred in March.
This is not meant to suggest that everything is wonderful in Iraq. The situation remains grim in many respects. But the most disheartening indicator of all is simply the American public's loss of confidence in the war effort. Abu Musab Zarqawi may be losing on the Arab street (his own family has disowned him), but he's winning on Main Street. And, as the Vietnam War showed, defeatism on the home front can become self-fulfilling.
Do you guys tend to look at the good side or at the negative one? Why?
"Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it".
|November 24th, 2005||#2|
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To say we are losing in Iraq is to ignore the facts. The truth is that we are winning slowly but surely. Every day the Iraqi army gets stronger, every day the government gets more legitimate, and every day American troops kill more insurgents.
The problem is it has taken a lot longer than it really should have... but saying that we need to "pull out" because we're "losing" is just rediculous.
|November 24th, 2005||#3|
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"Its taken a lot longer than it should have"?? WD, surely you understand the dynamics of occupying a country a little better than that? To go into a country which has never known democratic rule and completely raze its institutions which have for better or worse kept three ideologically and ethnicly divided factions from having at each other is an open ended proposition at best. It lasts as long as you stay. Afghanistan and Chechnya are perfect examples. It is within the collective social conscience of the British Army as this had been there lot for 200 years until the middle of this century. I would daresay there were some British officers who might have had a bit of a chuckle knowing what the American Army was unkowingly heading into in Iraq.
As for how I look at things IG, it would depend on what kind of day I have had so far to be brutally honest with you sir. Today I am looking at things positively... but its still early.
"The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental." - John Steinbeck
|November 25th, 2005||#4|
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If it was done right this insurgentcy could have been nipped in the bud before it really started. The whole thing has been caused by a lack of sufficient levels of troops.
If you closed the boarders and kocked off some of these senior leadership guys in the first 12 months, sure there would be some tensions but not multiple explosions every day.
Insurgentcies are best fought before they begin and the Bush administration drank a little too much of its own kool-aid in thinking "oh, people love us, they just want to be free!"
|November 25th, 2005||#5|
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but facts is facts... these statistics needs to be shown and told to the US people and all their allies (DK too yes).
My Way Of Supporting!
Terrorists, the best days of my life!, is every single day that U die!!.
|November 25th, 2005||#6|
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Increase American troop levels and deploy them, move a sizeable amount of those already in-country to secure the Iranian-Iraqi and Syrian-Iraqi borders, and use joint Iraqi-Coalition troops as well as local police and militia to secure the interior of the country. Shift forces around when needed, but I stress only when needed. Those borders are the lifeline of the insurgency and Islamofascist offensive operations against Iraqi infrastructure and Coalition efforts.
The fact is more troops are needed before withdrawl is reasonable.
|November 26th, 2005||#7|
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You guys are talking like locking down an entire country is like a walk in the park. Every group of insurgents know their area like the back of their hand and are quite ingenious when it comes to border passage.
Of course more troops make it much harder, but more troops are not the only variable in this equation. So is this the only silution or are there more?
(Besides the obvious of killing as many of them as possible...)
A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.
Sir Winston Churchill
|November 26th, 2005||#9|
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Inestead of a park, think of it like a neighborhood plagued by gang violence. If you live in that neighborhood and call the cops, they're going to come in and get the one gang member. But when the cops leave, the gang is still there. Same deal in the boarder region. If you're a farmer and want to tell us where the al-Quaida cell is hiding we'll be able to kill them very quickly. However, there arn't enough troops so we can't stay, but the insurgents will always be there and they'll be angry at the poor farmer who helped the Americans.
That's why more troops is the answer. Because as we get Iraqis up there then we'll have the manpower to keep permanent army bases in every good-sized town to protect the populace from the insurgents.
|September 21st, 2006||#10|
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More troops would definetly help the situation but it would not 'lock the borders down'. If you look at the amount of people that patrol/protect the US and Mexico border and realize it is not totally secure. People sneak into the US and for what? A job, a better life for their kids? Both of those are strong motivating factors but not as motivating as the reasons insurgents have for going into Iraq. They are coming because they child was kidnapped and if they don't perform a terrorist act their child will be killed, or because they are waging a holy war, or becuase their strong religious beliefs are instructing them to do so. More troops might slow some of them down but it wouldn't stop insurgent attacks. I spent a year in Iraq as a contracted security guy and seen many things over there to form my own opinion. The two things that will change the course of that nation IMO is the Iraqi people beleiving in themselves and taking a vested intrest in rooting out insurgents and TIME. We cannot change a nation fast it will all take time which is what the world feels we do not have when dealing with Iraq.
"You don't hurt 'em if you don't hit 'em."
- Lieutenant-General Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller