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Iraq: A bloody mess

"A year ago the supposed handover of power by the US occupation authority to an Iraqi interim government led by Iyad Allawi was billed as a turning point in the violent history of post-Saddam Iraq.

It has turned out to be no such thing. Most of Iraq is today a bloody no-man's land beset by ruthless insurgents, savage bandit gangs, trigger-happy US patrols and marauding government forces.

On 28 June 2004 Mr Allawi was all smiles. "In a few days, Iraq will radiate with stability and security," he promised at the handover ceremony. That mood of optimism did not last long.

On Sunday the American Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, told a US news programme that the ongoing insurgency could last "five, six, eight, ten, twelve years"."

I found this article interesting.

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That's like

Judging the US on the basis of how many traffic fatalities there are.

Lots of real proigfress has been made. Only those who don't want to see it because of their political prejudices are blind to it.

''It has turned out to be no such thing. Most of Iraq is today a bloody no-man's land beset by ruthless insurgents, savage bandit gangs, trigger-happy US patrols and marauding government forces.''

Shameless propaganda.

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(NT) (NT) Yep, Sadam had a "BLOODY MESS".
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(NT) (NT) Read
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Lots of lies in there, or otherwise misleading details

First..."most of Iraq"
Violence is limited to the central region around Baghdad.

Iraqi civilians killed
Pre-war March 2003: n/a
So the tens of thousands killed by Saddam don't count? I'm sure their families are comforted by that.

Average daily attacks by insurgents
Pre-war March 2003: 0
Handover June 2004: 45
Now: 70
Analysis: Figures should be viewed with caution because US military often does not record attacks if there are no American casualties.
Yeah, the insurgents were more occupied attacking us in the US or otherwise outside Iraq.

Pre-war March 2003: 833,000 (landlines only)
Handover June 2004: 1.2m (includes mobiles)
Now: 3.1m
Analysis:Landlines are extremely unreliable and mobile phone system could be improved.
They all probably got a better 2-year contract than I did.

Primary school access
Pre-war March 2003: 3.6m
Handover June 2004: 4.3m
Now: n/a
83 per cent of boys and 79 per cent of girls in primary schools. But figures mask declining literacy and failure rate.
Its not like they just had a war or anything... Plus, more students in schools would probably cause rates to drop because students are getting access to education who haven't had any before.

Electricity supply (megawatts generated)
Pre-war March 2003: 3,958
Handover June 2004: 4,293
Now: 4,035
Analysis: Coalition is way behind its goal of providing 6,000 megawatts by July 2004. Most Iraqis do not have a reliable electricity supply.
Yet more have it now than before, and it's getting better. But, may as well quit, right? Just because we were a bit too optomistic.

Oil production (barrels a day)
Pre-war March 2003: 2.5m
Handover June 2004: 2.29m
Now: 2.20m
Analysis: Sustainability of Iraqi oilfields has been jeopardised to boost output. Oil facilities regularly targeted by insurgents.
So, we've lost access to oil because of our actions. Doesn't that refute the argument the war was fought over oil? -OR- Those pesky insurgents, we'd rather have them TP the barracks instead.

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The author ...

.... assumes the us colonials do not know the conditions in Iraq. We do. Not only from our media, but from the military who have returned from tours there.

I am used to some of the British press being critical of the US, as it has for decades, regardless of the administration in power. And I defend their right to an opinion, as they also live in a free society.

However, I resent {B]trigger-happy US patrols. He apparently has had no military experience other than observing. There are many media correspondents on the ground there from mamny countries. This is the first time such a comment has been made.

Mr. Cockburn may be an award-winner. But in his view he ignores some facts. For example, Sadam's regime did nothing to upgrade and maintain services such as electricity for 30 years. Though we, yes we, did some damage to them, that which was undamaged was in such a poor state that it could not be repaired, so has to be rebuilt. While the threat of being shot is real.

You are free to oppose the war. But I recommend restraint while in SE. Some here have kids and other family on the ground there. They are young people. Please consider their feelings. All here support the troops, whether or not they supported the war. We are there.

The article can be considered inflammatory. I think you know that.

Speakeasy Moderator
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I disagree

With this statement:

All here support the troops, whether or not they supported the war.

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You can disagree all you want, but you're wrong

at least as far as I'm aware -- I can't recall anyone saying that (s)he doesn't, which is quite different from the situation during the VietNam War. We've unfortunately had the opportunity to get better over time at separating misguided wars from those unfortunate enough to be fighting them. Too bad that doesn't generally extend extend to both sides -- an awful lot of innocent Iraqi draftees were killed fighting for their country and its evil leaders (that's clearly not the case for the Republican Guard troops, who generally came from the favored Sunni few). Nonetheless, those deaths evinced glee in many here.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
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The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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No, I am not wrong

First of all. the chances that everyone in any particular group will feel the same about any subject is vanishingly small. I would say it's nigh on impossible that EVERYONE here supports the troops.

There have been many comments over the months indicating that our troops have acted in varioue disgusting ways; that they are trigger-happy, etc. If that's supporting the troops then the definition of "support" has been distorted beyond recognition.

If someone does not support the troops that is fine by me. They are entitled to their point of view and I would defend that right. But I see no value in putting forth a sugar-coated fiction. Call a thing what it is.

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Eds, 'supporting the troops' does NOT mean

suporting those who violate International Law and human rights. There have already been American soldiers convicted of such violations -- if the Army doesn't support their actions, why should we? Sound like you want the same sort of blind unreasoning ipso facto support for the actions of everyone wearing an American uniform that you want for our country just because it's ours ("my country right or wrong.") If that's your standard of "supporting the troops," then no I don't -- because to do so would be to abrogate my moral values and responsibility, and violate my higher duty to God and humanity. Don't forget, Eds, even the Boy Scout motto is "for God and Country," not the reverse -- and once in a while, there's unfortunately a conflict between those two duties.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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No, DK....supporting our troops doesn't mean

contributing to a 'care package' anonymously......

If you have no problem putting them down publicly in this forum, in order to criticize things you find disturbing or wrong, then why is it so difficult for you to find 'encouraging' words to say as well? THAT'S supporting the troops in my opinion. When all they would read publicly from you is outrage and criticism, where is the support for any GOOD that they are doing...not just in Iraq but all over the globe?


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It's pretty clear that some here woll automatically assume the worst about the soldiers by default. The Sgrena affair proves it. The Newsweek article flap proves it. We see it often enough to recoginize it for what it is.

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No he is not wrong!

There are several examples in this forum of persons who pay LIP SERVICE to "supporting" the troops but whose constant commentary and negativism indicate that they do NOT in fact offer any such support.

Calling a spade a spade, YOU Dave have not offered support beyond lip service and the vast majority of your posts referencing the military are nothing if not NON SUPPORTIVE!

Pray tell us ONE THING that YOU have done in the way of any support of and for the troops. That is a challenge that I suspect you will simply blow off because truth to tell you have done nothing to support the troops.

Your (and others) negative comments based on an appaling ignorance of the military might just possibly have been used to degrade morale however and that is criminal.

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Already mentioned contributing to a 'care package'

program, Ed. And my wife (whose politics are very similar to mine) spent several hours preparing for and helping run a bake sale with proceeds going to Avon's Support Our Troops program.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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I guess everything that is critical to the USA is inflammatory in that case.

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You're such a compassionant person, especially...

...towards the Moms, Dads, Brothers, and Sisters that have young family over in Iraq.

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(NT) (NT) I didn't want them to go in the first place, Jack.
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so make it worse for them

keep on screaming how wrong to help them aceave the freedom you have.
wtg tibbs be proud

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Phrases like the "trigger-happy US patrols" is akin to "baby killers" re: Vietnam. They accuse the US military of wanton murder.

FYI, patrols are the ones who go in first to an area to scout it. On foot.

The "insurgents" look like the populace. The only difference is that they aim rifles, grenade launchers, roadside and body bombs indiscriminately at us and Iraqis. They execute Iraqi police and recruits. They assassinate elected officials.

On the other hand, there are brave Iraqi men and women who continue to work to write a constitution, prepare for the next election, and include the different sects in the future of their country.

Thus I found the article blaming the troops on the ground. It ignores the fact that much of that country is now much safer for the residents, both from Sadam's regime and the war. It assumes that all public services were hunky-dory in the 30 years of Sadam's reign. It ignores the fact that some "friendly" countries ignored the sanctions set after the Gulf War, thus giving permission to the Sadam regime to ignore them.

There is a difference between constructive and unconstructive criticism. In the former, possible solutions are presented. In the latter, the focus is on every negative, to the point of "rubbing our noses" in what may or may not have been a mistake or error in judgment. This is especially true as no government world-wide has been free of them---ever.

Our troops would rather not be there, either. They would rather be with their loved ones. But they go where they are sent, perform their mission, and have pride in the good they accomplish - all without knowing what lies around the next corner, behind the next door, or what will come out of the sky. For those who continually focus on that they should not be there serves no useful purpose.

Sure- I would love to have them home yesterday. But I am veryproud of them!!!

Due to political issues we could not go into Baghdad in the Gulf War, so some think we left the good people of Iraqi high and dry. We won't, and should not, do that this time.

Note that we could have destroyed the Republican Guard as they were fleeing from Kuwait on that highway all the way to Baghdad. They had been warned not to take their armaments and tanks with them But, we stopped after an x number of miles. We avoid killing helpless people as best we can.

To not complete the mission would signal that those in the coalition who died did so in vain. And those who were maimed suffer for naught. Though some think those troops were "hoodwinked", they do not, and are dedicated to their mission. They are the ones who see the situation first-hand.

They are being shot at enough without having to take such pot shots as being "trigger happy".

Speakeasy Moderator
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Angeline i think wait i know i love you

you said what i couldnt put into words

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The other thing a failure to finish the job will do is get

more Americans killed. That's one of the prices of Vietnam that we are still paying. The Saddams and Osamas of the world have seen us cut and run leaving our erstwhile allies to face the music alone. Thus, they are encouraged to attack and kill knowing that we do not have the will to stay the course. Each time we run, their boldness will grow. As our losses grow, their willingness to take casualties will increase so that the critics at home will win the war for them.

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very true kid, some see it that way and then theres the pc

crowd of talk to them make them see the light.
as if you can talk to scum

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Also, what young man or woman would want

to join up, knowing that we quit. In effect, thats saying that the lives of those who died or were injured, do not count, that they were just thrown away along with many Iraqis who depended on us. What country would ever trust us, again?

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and just think what the cost of freedom is

what have you given to help?

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(NT) (NT) And you?
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i served and fought in my war

wasnt an armchair warrior like some here.

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wasnt an armchair warrior

But you are now.

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but i served and fought

can the whiners here all say that , like dk, dan, rob, josh?

i doubt it.
so till you serve in a war you can never know what its like.

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A question

You seem to have a problem with people that ''didn't serve''.

I mentioned it before about your sons and serving in the military.

Your response was that they weren't in the military but if the did go in you would support them.

Since they aren't in the military do you ''support them'' or do you question daily them about why they don't go in the military?

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You seem to have a problem with people that .... and did serve. Can you say "sanctimonious" or maybe "forked tongued".

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How pompous.......

Have you ever served your country in any capacity other than sitting back and criticizing a military from ANOTHER country? Do you write your government officials daily to tell them how you feel about them being even slightly involved in Iraq and give them your experienced opinion?

My first husband was Navy during Vietnam and died shortly after returning home. My oldest daughter was Navy, and now my son is Navy. My two other daughters made other career choices, and I supported all four of them for their decisions.

I have to say loudly that I am proud of the fact that none of my children or my late husband ever fought for YOUR liberties; however, if the day ever comes when you need your pompous butt covered, be assured that we WOULD be there, and we wouldn't be criticizing YOUR government's inadequate military. And that choice would be made gladly because of the REST of your populace who would be worth that effort and sacrifice.


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