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Subject: The Current State of Iraq rss

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Today the seeds of US foreign policy have come to fruition. More than a decade ago US forces destroyed the secular and stable government of Saddam Hussein. For the ensuing decade the people of Iraq faced war, sectarian violence and terrorism. And now the weak government of Nouri al-Maliki faces an existential threat at the hands of ISIS who have taken over a large segment of Iraq. The next time we consider going to war, I hope we put more thought into the consequences.
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It's clearly Obama's fault.

After all, he released those five terrorists to get back that deserter/turncoat Bergdahl. The timing is impeccable.

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frumpish wrote:
And now the weak government of Nouri al-Maliki faces an existential threat at the hands of ISIS who have taken over a large segment of Iraq.


I blame N/A
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frumpish wrote:
Today the seeds of US foreign policy have come to fruition. More than a decade ago US forces destroyed the secular and stable government of Saddam Hussein. For the ensuing decade the people of Iraq faced war, sectarian violence and terrorism. And now the weak government of Nouri al-Maliki faces an existential threat at the hands of ISIS who have taken over a large segment of Iraq. The next time we consider going to war, I hope we put more thought into the consequences.

Saddam was an evil and murderously brutal dictator who terrorized the population. The US put him in power and took him out of power. Neither action entirely helped the people of Iraq but certainly removing him was far better than putting him into place and keeping him there.
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whac3 wrote:
Saddam was an evil and murderously brutal dictator who terrorized the population. The US put him in power and took him out of power. Neither action entirely helped the people of Iraq but certainly removing him was far better than putting him into place and keeping him there.


More people died in the Iraq war, the sectarian violence that followed and the terrorism that followed than Hussein could have dreamt of.

Not to mention the collateral damage of a failed economy, education system, health system, destroyed infrastructure.

The people of Iraq were far better off with Hussein.


But the primary point is that the nature and crimes of Hussein have never been anything more than a whitewashing of the entire affair. A blatant attempt to come up with some justification for the war.
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frumpish wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Saddam was an evil and murderously brutal dictator who terrorized the population. The US put him in power and took him out of power. Neither action entirely helped the people of Iraq but certainly removing him was far better than putting him into place and keeping him there.


More people died in the Iraq war, the sectarian violence that followed and the terrorism that followed than Hussein could have dreamt of.

Not to mention the collateral damage of a failed economy, education system, health system, destroyed infrastructure.

The people of Iraq were far better off with Hussein.


But the primary point is that the nature and crimes of Hussein have never been anything more than a whitewashing of the entire affair. A blatant attempt to come up with some justification for the war.

Um, the idea the Iraqis were better off under the regime of a brutal dictator who gassed his own people and terrorized the rest into submission is simply asinine.
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Is it asinine?

Because you know what, the people of Afghanistan chose the Taliban over anarchy.

And there are Syrians who still support the government of Bashar al-Assad, and it's his government waging war against his own people.

I think you are greatly underestimating how much humans value stability.
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LeeDambis wrote:
whac3 wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Today the seeds of US foreign policy have come to fruition. More than a decade ago US forces destroyed the secular and stable government of Saddam Hussein. For the ensuing decade the people of Iraq faced war, sectarian violence and terrorism. And now the weak government of Nouri al-Maliki faces an existential threat at the hands of ISIS who have taken over a large segment of Iraq. The next time we consider going to war, I hope we put more thought into the consequences.

Saddam was an evil and murderously brutal dictator who terrorized the population. The US put him in power and took him out of power. Neither action entirely helped the people of Iraq but certainly removing him was far better than putting him into place and keeping him there.

As we're also finding in Egypt: better the secular dictatorship you know than the Muslim republic you don't.



Here's an idea. How about supporting the Egyptians, etc., who really want freedom and democracy without trying to impose anything on them? How about helping Egypt become safe for all Egyptians?

It is not the place of the US/EU/UN to impose on countries in this region what they want those countries to be. It won't work anyway. Help them stand up to the Muslim Brotherhood. Help them to make their streets safe but them them run their own country.
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frumpish wrote:
Is it asinine?

Because you know what, the people of Afghanistan chose the Taliban over anarchy.

BS

The people of Afghanistan haven't been allowed to choose how to run their country since before the British invaded. The Taliban were thugs trained to fight the Soviets, and nobody in America cared what they did so long as they drove the Soviets out.
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More broadly, why is it the right of Americans to decide the people of Iraq would be better off in anarchy than under Hussein?

Should Americans decide the Russian would be better off without Putin and go to war in Russia, should the Americans decide that the North Koreans would be better off without Kim Jong Un and plunge North Korea into anarchy? Should Americans decide that Zimbabweans would be better off without Mugabe and plunge Zimbabwe into anarchy?

Your argument is silly.

And I'm quite familiar with the history of Afghanistan thank you. The Taliban was welcomed into much of the country. That is what I meant by chose.
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Well, I do think we bore some responsibility to the Iraqi people after the incredibly stupid end game of Desert Storm- especially encouraging the Shites to rise in revolt against Saddam and then doing NOTHING to help them- and even allowed Saddam to send helicopters in under the 'No Fly Zone' to massacre the nascent revolution in the bud.

But clearly, Gulf War II wasn't the way to do it.

We should have allowed the sanctions to continue, which were working, and then encouraged some Iraqi dissidents to overthrow Saddam. Maybe it would have worked, maybe it wouldn't- but it wouldn't have been the blood bath that O:IF and the resulting civil war have become.

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LeeDambis wrote:
whac3 wrote:
LeeDambis wrote:
whac3 wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Today the seeds of US foreign policy have come to fruition. More than a decade ago US forces destroyed the secular and stable government of Saddam Hussein. For the ensuing decade the people of Iraq faced war, sectarian violence and terrorism. And now the weak government of Nouri al-Maliki faces an existential threat at the hands of ISIS who have taken over a large segment of Iraq. The next time we consider going to war, I hope we put more thought into the consequences.

Saddam was an evil and murderously brutal dictator who terrorized the population. The US put him in power and took him out of power. Neither action entirely helped the people of Iraq but certainly removing him was far better than putting him into place and keeping him there.

As we're also finding in Egypt: better the secular dictatorship you know than the Muslim republic you don't.



Here's an idea. How about supporting the Egyptians, etc., who really want freedom and democracy without trying to impose anything on them? How about helping Egypt become safe for all Egyptians?

It is not the place of the US/EU/UN to impose on countries in this region what they want those countries to be. It won't work anyway. Help them stand up to the Muslim Brotherhood. Help them to make their streets safe but them them run their own country.

How does one "help them stand up to the Muslim Brotherhood" without choosing sides and therefore "imposing" on them? The Muslim Brotherhood won the elections. Their candidates represented the legitimate, democratically-elected government of Egypt; and yet, those whose candidates lost the election were almost immediately marginalized and persecuted as Morsi and his cronies set out to consolidate permanent power and establish Islamic law. When riots broke out again, the Egyptian army did what it always has done: re-established order by taking control of the country. It seems that the Egyptians decided their own fate without any imposition from the U.S. It's just that those making the decision were a small minority who were all wearing uniforms.

Pick your poison: democratically-elected theocrats or a military dictatorship. Not Good vs. Bad. Bad vs. Less Bad.



Simple shallow analysis and this is the problem.
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LeeDambis wrote:
whac3 wrote:
LeeDambis wrote:
whac3 wrote:
LeeDambis wrote:
whac3 wrote:
frumpish wrote:
Today the seeds of US foreign policy have come to fruition. More than a decade ago US forces destroyed the secular and stable government of Saddam Hussein. For the ensuing decade the people of Iraq faced war, sectarian violence and terrorism. And now the weak government of Nouri al-Maliki faces an existential threat at the hands of ISIS who have taken over a large segment of Iraq. The next time we consider going to war, I hope we put more thought into the consequences.

Saddam was an evil and murderously brutal dictator who terrorized the population. The US put him in power and took him out of power. Neither action entirely helped the people of Iraq but certainly removing him was far better than putting him into place and keeping him there.

As we're also finding in Egypt: better the secular dictatorship you know than the Muslim republic you don't.



Here's an idea. How about supporting the Egyptians, etc., who really want freedom and democracy without trying to impose anything on them? How about helping Egypt become safe for all Egyptians?

It is not the place of the US/EU/UN to impose on countries in this region what they want those countries to be. It won't work anyway. Help them stand up to the Muslim Brotherhood. Help them to make their streets safe but them them run their own country.

How does one "help them stand up to the Muslim Brotherhood" without choosing sides and therefore "imposing" on them? The Muslim Brotherhood won the elections. Their candidates represented the legitimate, democratically-elected government of Egypt; and yet, those whose candidates lost the election were almost immediately marginalized and persecuted as Morsi and his cronies set out to consolidate permanent power and establish Islamic law. When riots broke out again, the Egyptian army did what it always has done: re-established order by taking control of the country. It seems that the Egyptians decided their own fate without any imposition from the U.S. It's just that those making the decision were a small minority who were all wearing uniforms.

Pick your poison: democratically-elected theocrats or a military dictatorship. Not Good vs. Bad. Bad vs. Less Bad.



Simple shallow analysis and this is the problem.

Well then, make a suggestion that doesn't involve bromides like "help them stand up to the Muslim Brotherhood." This means everything and nothing at the same time. What, specifically, are you suggesting the U.S. should have done during the period from the first riots through the fall of Mubarak through the rise and subsequent fall of Morsi?

The U.S. did very little other than offer tentative encouragement counterbalanced by warnings about the future of foreign aid. You complain that we want to run the show and impose our will and at the same time criticize us for not doing enough to help Egyptians "stand up" to the democratically-elected government, which would be classified as fomenting rebellion by most people.



Because, Lee, I have neither the time nor inclination to go pint by point about how bizarre your notion of what is going on in this region of the world is simply wrong, Egypt not the least. Your gov't is clueless about how to help even were it so inclined. I'm sorry but its not about wich thug you push into power or prop up.

I'm advocating helping the people in Egypt for example make their own choices. That's not a bromide; that is practical advice. How to go into specifics requires a common language to talk about the problems.
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frumpish wrote:
Today the seeds of US foreign policy have come to fruition. More than a decade ago US forces destroyed the secular and stable government of Saddam Hussein. For the ensuing decade the people of Iraq faced war, sectarian violence and terrorism. And now the weak government of Nouri al-Maliki faces an existential threat at the hands of ISIS who have taken over a large segment of Iraq. The next time we consider going to war, I hope we put more thought into the consequences.


US fails... Left wins! Got it.
 
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Yes, the US/EU/UN policies have failed again and again. The problem is the approach, not Left or Right. Real solutions to social and economic ills can only work if the actual people involved actively participate and make real guiding decisions for themselves. Outsiders can urge and support change but they cannot realize it for themselves.
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Support the Kurds and let the rest of Iraq fall. If they are too cowardly to defend themselves then why the fuck is it our responsibility to help them?
 
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sfox wrote:
Support the Kurds and let the rest of Iraq fall. If they are too cowardly to defend themselves then why the fuck is it our responsibility to help them?
Because if you break it you fix it.

As to Saddam being good or bad for Iraq, lets be frank, fuck Iraq. The job of our military is to protect out interests. It is hard to judge the disaster that has been Iraq as anything other then damaging to the national interests of the UK and USA. A secular (if nasty) dictator) is far more in our interests then a fundamentalist (and nasty) theocracy (i woudl also add the same applies to Israel, who also helped arm Saddam, in the interests of opposing the rise of far more extreme anti-Semite regimes).
 
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sfox wrote:
Support the Kurds and let the rest of Iraq fall. If they are too cowardly to defend themselves then why the fuck is it our responsibility to help them?

See my first post or either this or that other thread oon the subject, the one about the problems with the US/EU/UN approaches.
 
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So pleased to see that it simply impossibly to talk about the situation on the ground without viewing it through the lens of US politics. gulp

Aaaanyway. Short term, I'm with Lee. Semi usefull and stable dictators are preferable over chaos an extremists.

Long term, however, Moshe is right, if the region is ever to achieve long term stability it needs a system of government that can count on grassroots support. The problem, at least in part, is that we treat the countries as nations (duh!) European style. But they are not. Iraq doesn't have enough of a national identity to really function. Instead you have shiites, sunnis and kurds. In Syria you have sunnis, shiites, alawites and christians. These identities and affiliations trump any loyalty to a nation state, unless one is forcibly imposed. Alas, the only foreseeable banner the under which 'the people' could unite in seriousness is a religious one, as far as I can see. A Caliphate.
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Venga2 wrote:
So pleased to see that it simply impossibly to talk about the situation on the ground without viewing it through the lens of US politics. :gulp:

Aaaanyway. Short term, I'm with Lee. Semi usefull and stable dictators are preferable over chaos an extremists.

Long term, however, Moshe is right, if the region is ever to achieve long term stability it needs a system of government that can count on grassroots initiative. The problem, at least in part, is that we treat the countries as nations *duh?) European style. But they are not. Iraq doesn't have enough of a national identity to really function. Instead you have shiites, sunnis and kurds. In Syria you have sunnis, shiites, alawites and christians. These identities and affiliations trump any loyalty to a nation state, unless one is forcibly imposed. Alas, the only foreseeable banner the under which 'the people' could unite in seriousness is a religious one, as far as I can see. A Caliphate.
Except that many of those groups are mutually antagonistic religions.
 
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slatersteven wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
So pleased to see that it simply impossibly to talk about the situation on the ground without viewing it through the lens of US politics. gulp

Aaaanyway. Short term, I'm with Lee. Semi usefull and stable dictators are preferable over chaos an extremists.

Long term, however, Moshe is right, if the region is ever to achieve long term stability it needs a system of government that can count on grassroots initiative. The problem, at least in part, is that we treat the countries as nations *duh?) European style. But they are not. Iraq doesn't have enough of a national identity to really function. Instead you have shiites, sunnis and kurds. In Syria you have sunnis, shiites, alawites and christians. These identities and affiliations trump any loyalty to a nation state, unless one is forcibly imposed. Alas, the only foreseeable banner the under which 'the people' could unite in seriousness is a religious one, as far as I can see. A Caliphate.
Except that many of those groups are mutually antagonistic religions.

Help and encourage them to work together anyway instead of exacerbating the differences.
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whac3 wrote:
slatersteven wrote:
Venga2 wrote:
So pleased to see that it simply impossibly to talk about the situation on the ground without viewing it through the lens of US politics. :gulp:

Aaaanyway. Short term, I'm with Lee. Semi usefull and stable dictators are preferable over chaos an extremists.

Long term, however, Moshe is right, if the region is ever to achieve long term stability it needs a system of government that can count on grassroots initiative. The problem, at least in part, is that we treat the countries as nations *duh?) European style. But they are not. Iraq doesn't have enough of a national identity to really function. Instead you have shiites, sunnis and kurds. In Syria you have sunnis, shiites, alawites and christians. These identities and affiliations trump any loyalty to a nation state, unless one is forcibly imposed. Alas, the only foreseeable banner the under which 'the people' could unite in seriousness is a religious one, as far as I can see. A Caliphate.
Except that many of those groups are mutually antagonistic religions.

Help and encourage them to work together anyway instead of exacerbating the differences.
When I see the west willing to work with organizations it brands terrorists I will believe that is possible.
 
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whac3 wrote:
Help and encourage them to work together anyway instead of exacerbating the differences.

What exactly does that mean? What strategies would encourage working together, and which would not exacerbate differences? What kind of help can anyone outside offer that will not subsequently be criticized for interference and ignorance if/when the situation does not go as idealized?
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xilan wrote:
whac3 wrote:
Help and encourage them to work together anyway instead of exacerbating the differences.

What exactly does that mean? What strategies would encourage working together, and which would not exacerbate differences? What kind of help can anyone outside offer that will not subsequently be criticized for interference and ignorance if/when the situation does not go as idealized?
Certainly, if your aim is not to be criticized, better to do nothing. Which will in turn be criticized of course. Catch 22. Better still not to be too worried about criticism and rather to enjoy and value the discussion. You know, like we do here in RSP.

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Seems like everyone bagging on the US seems to have some much better way to do things that is 'too complex' to explain but is infinitely better and more understanding than those dumb Americans could ever even comprehend.
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