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Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion?

Gary Hart, writing for the new Huffington Report, questions whether we have an exit strategy for Iraq or are planning on building an empire there. He posits a simple test to figure it out:

Are we, or are we not, building permanent military bases in Iraq? Yes or no? If we are withdrawing ALL troops, we do not need permanent bases. If we are building military bases, we do not intend to withdraw all our troops. Simple as that..

....If the goal of the Project for a New American Century, as it thereafter became the Bush administration, was to overthrow Saddam Hussein, install a friendly government in Baghdad, set up a permanent political and military presence in Iraq, and dominate the behavior of the region (including securing oil supplies), then you build permanent bases for some kind of permanent American military presence. If the goal was to spread democracy and freedom, then you don’t.

Hart says there is evidence we are building 12 to 14 permanent military bases in Iraq. I guess we now know the answer.

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    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#1)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    Equating permanent military bases with Empire-building seems silly. We have permanent bases in Germany, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Iceland, Japan, ... well, you already know the list is long. We don't tax, govern, or conscript the people from these places. So Imperial reign doesn't necessarily comes from permanent bases.
    If the goal of the Project for a New American Century, as it thereafter became the Bush administration, was to overthrow Saddam Hussein, install a friendly government in Baghdad, set up a permanent political and military presence in Iraq, and dominate the behavior of the region (including securing oil supplies), then you build permanent bases for some kind of permanent American military presence. If the goal was to spread democracy and freedom, then you donít.
    False dichotomy. If you go back and re-read Bush's old war-rallying speeches, he stated some elements of the first set of goals, in addition to spreading democracy and freedom.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#2)
    by Darryl Pearce on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    ...if it looks like an empire, and quacks like an empire... maybe it's an empire! I seem to remember the Phillippines kicking us out several years ago; but then, things change. Equating silliness with the bloody establishment of a neo-con proto-empire is just tragic. Jeez! The Cubans must be so pissed that the Iraqi's jumped to the front of the line like that!

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#3)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    et al - You don't need to have an exit strategy if you plan on winning. That is the strategy. I think it is as simple as Roy wrote. Bush's plan was to preempt anything going on by the bad guys, establish a military presence in the ME and by having a friendly, democratic government in Iraq, put pressure on all the countries. Results so far? Libya fess'd up and declared themselves one of the good guys. Syria has pulled out of Lebannon, Egypt claims they will have actual open elections, SA has grudingly made some reforms and Iraq has had actual elections. Perfection? No. But if you can hit .500 you will be a superstar in the big leagues.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Peaches on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    Equating permanent military bases with Empire-building seems silly.
    Silly?
    We have permanent bases in Germany, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Iceland, Japan, ... well, you already know the list is long.
    There you have it. Looks like an empire to me.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#5)
    by theologicus on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    Good for Gary Hart. He's exactly right. If we're not trying to dominate the region and control the oil, we don't need military bases. But 14 are planned for Iraq, and the Congressional Budget Office has indicated that as of now they're still expected to be built. Anyone who reads Chalmers Johnson, the distinguished East Asia expert, will know that there is an undoubted connection between a certain form of empire (i.e. the one we have) and military bases.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#6)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    This has been in the works since the invasion...who's surprised. Why else has the U.S. announced that it will begin drawing down forces in South Korea, Japan, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia? That's because Iraq is going to be America's new proxy in both the war on terror and in ensuring American dominance of the region... With that development, the other "troublesome" host countries are expendable... Makes perfect sense. Business as usual...

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jlvngstn on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    Libya gave up because of the sanctions, because they could not finance rice let alone fissures. Syria pulled out when the Lebanese demanded they do so after Hariri was executed. Egypt is Egypt. Why hasn't our iraq activities stopped what is going on in Darfur, Indonesia, Saudia Arabia, Afghanistan, Palestine, Israel, Krzgsztan, North Korea, Iran etc?

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    Uh, 'cause no one gives a sh#*t, that's why. The American government held up intervention in Rwanda by quibbling over the word "genocide," until it was all over...and now the same Americans blame the U.N. for not stopping Rwanda. Let's blame them for not stopping the Iraq war, either... Conservative politicians are only slighter smarter than the idiots who buy their crap every election year...either that or they're geniuses. Imagine robbing a bank and then applying for the job of security, blaming the previous company...that's America with the U.N...

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#9)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    "Imagine robbing a bank and then applying for the job of security, blaming the previous company...that's America with the U.N..." Now that is a brilliant analogy.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#10)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    Don't forget how the Bush Family actually backed the Nazi Party and caused Hitler to rule Germany. Seriously, for folks who believe every possible conspiracy theory, pawning Libya and Lebanon off as coincidences must really be taxing.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    Ed, if you're going to turn your nose up, why don't you deny that the U.S. blocked U.N. involvement in Rwanda? Deny as well that neo-cons now point to the U.N.'s failure in Rwanda as an example of why the U.N. is useless. Go ahead, we're all waiting...

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Mreddieb on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    I wonder where the MSM is on this issue? Why is this question not being asked of the administration? I don't think PPj,ED or Roy offer anything more than their own personal excuses for bushbag. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    The US was useless in Rwanda. No real argument there. The UN did nothing. What this has to do with neocons is beyond me. Would the UN have done anything with or without the United States? No. What it has to do with the argument started on this thread. No idea.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    Ed, the U.S. BLOCKED U.N. military action in Rwanda with their veto. Canadian U.N. commander Romeo Delaire wrote a book about it called "Shake Hands With the Devil..." He stood by and watched the slaughter while screaming on the phone to the U.N....but the U.S. said, "Wait, we don't really know if it's a genocide..." So the answer is that yes, the U.N. was prepared to act, but the U.S. veto blocked it. Are you ashamed now? Every human should be...

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    A two minute google of Dallaire offers up several columns he wrote basically blaming everyone. No one at the UN, particularly the five permanent members, was exonerated. I see nothing in his IHT or NYT columns or other writings on the web where the UN was raring to go. In any event, do you want the Rwanda failure to serve as our benchmark. As a further question, what does it have to do with Bush?

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Kevin Hayden on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    Roy: In how many of the nations that you mention did we build 12-14 bases? Or even more than 2? A critical point, if you ask me.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    It has to do with another Bush lie about why they're in Iraq...if they have any intention of leaving, why are they building permanent bases? And it goes to show how blatantly Bush and his cronies will lie about it... And if you dismiss Delaire so easily, who do you think he's gonna blame after seeing that horror? The AMERICANS blame the U.N. for Rwanda...you still haven't denied that...do you need a link to the Republican statments on that? The AMERICANS blocked U.N. action in Rwanda...do you need links to those too? Or did you only mention Googling Delaire because you think it helps your case? How about googling the other two points you won't deny? Go ahead....Blaghdaddy's got the links waiting for you, make his day...

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#18)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    Kevin Hayden,
    In how many of the nations that you mention did we build 12-14 bases? Or even more than 2?
    Good question, but let's make sure we compare apples to apples. Are the 12-14 bases in Iraq small unnamed firebases and depots, or major strategic facilities? Since the author doesn't bother to link or cite his sources, I can't do a good comparison. But the "more than 2" is easy. This page lists 3 bases in Germany, 6 in Japan, and 3 in Italy. Spot-checking with Google backs up the numbers. I'd also point out that building a few concrete and steel temporary structures might make good sense since tents and latrines don't stop RPGs, so I have an unsubstantiated hunch that the 12-14 "permanent" bases number is inflated.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    So is Roy on the record saying he doesn't think there'll be American troops in Iraq in, say, five years? Ten? Fifteen? What makes a permanent base a permanent one? When the gov't admits it? Like the "legal" outposts on the West Bank...leave'em there long enough and everyone kinda goes away....

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#20)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    et al - I have given you the strategy. Now, if you disagree with the strategy, how about telling us what you would do to stablize the ME and pressure the terrorists. Blagh and Ed B - I am especially interested in your strategies. JL - I did not claim perfection, just a good average. For some reason I left out Afghanistan which may not be perfect but is much better. What you are seeing is a belief in Lebannon and Egypt, among other places, that democracy is good, and that they should have it. Our work in Iraq1 has acted as a crucible of freedom.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#21)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    So is Roy on the record saying he doesn't think there'll be American troops in Iraq in, say, five years?
    Huh? I think there still be American troops in Iraq in 5 years. I don't think that's a bad thing, if we transition from providing the country's security to just having a strategic presence. If we're fortunate enough to see Iraq's reconstruction go very well, we will still have troops there in 50 years, as we do in Germany and Japan.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    You can call it an empire if you like. But, as Lincoln said--something like--you can call a cow a dog but that don't make it one. No conceivable stretch of the First, nor the most sadistic torquing of a thesaurus will make you correct. Now that we have that out of the way, perhaps we could suggest we'll be out of Iraq in about as long as it takes us to get out of the Balkans. Camp Eagle and Camp Bondsteel are permanent. Calling them "camp" doesn't mean pup tents and C-rats in the mud. Since the axis of trouble seems to be in the Middle East, it would be prudent to keep some troops on hand. You know, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" takes you guys into some weird places. Do you ever get uncomfortable with your comrades when you look around you? Ref Rwanda. It wasn't "the US". It was Clinton. Seems a bit different when we name the administration by the president, doesn't it? It was also Kofi Annan, then in charge of finding and stopping genocide, who spiked officials' messages that genocide was about to happen. There was a report that twelve Belge paras got hacked to death at the airport trying to protect one pol or another because their orders from the UN said not to shoot. No glory for anybody. I live near enough to Canada that I get the CBC on cable. During the earlier part of the Balkans difficulties, the ex-UN commander, General Mackenzie, had a few things to say about his highers at the UN, none approving. And it was Clinton who forbade his staff to use the g-word. The US at this time is not forbidding anything in Sudan. In fact, the US has provided some lift and logistics for whomever wants to help out. No more unilateral stuff, nossir. Only in consultation with our allies. You got a problem with that, you'd better ring up our allies and tell them to get on the stick.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    Posted by roy: "Equating permanent military bases with Empire-building seems silly. We have permanent bases in..." Germany -- result of German declaration of war Panama -- by illegal accession Saudi Arabia -- protection service for Saud royals Iceland -- result of Cold War Japan -- result of Japanese attack on US This is another case of illegal accession, and as such it violates something TR didn't have to deal with, namely the UN Charter, which is LAW under our system of government. Bush and the USPNAC schemers have violated the UN Charter -- their claimed reason for invading a ZERO, and their actual reason for invading TREASON for the lie. Saying we were going in hot pursuit and attacking a disarmed country that did not attack us -- that's just the TR trick, rehashed. But even if they think they are doing the world a favor, IT IS ILLEGAL, start to finish. The terminology is not the issue, Richard, and you know it. Invasions of sovereign countries to install airbases is EXACTLY what our signing the UN Charter bound us not to do. No wonder you lot want to bust the UN with Bolton. It's all the attempt to hide from the crime committed, under the ACTUAL law, instead of the justifications for illegality, none of which would stand Constitutional review by a fair Court.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    Paul. You may be aware that some folks hereabouts are complaining that we didn't invade Rwanda--which had not attacked us. Talk to them when you have a moment, will you? Kindly point out where in the Constituation it says we have to obey the UN.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#25)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    Richard: Article VI, paragraph II: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#26)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    "Exit Strategy"? "We don' need no steenken eggzit strategee"

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#27)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    ginger yellow-the best I can say is read that clause carefully.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#28)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    PIL, get real on the bases. All any of these countries would have to do is say go, and we would go. You know that as well as everyone else does. In Germany and Japan's case they didn't want us there initally, later did for protection, and now for the dollars. The other NATO countries wanted us for protection from the Soviets, now they want the dollar. We want the bases for staging areas into the northern portion of the ME. (It's called war planning.) SA does want us there for protection of the royals, which we do for stability, and hopefully, cultural change. That is one of the reason we invaded Iraq. Kinda like slapping Johnny to get Bob's attention. Having spent some quality (not) time in Iceland I would happily watch the island sink, but hey, I'm a grumpy old man. I won't go over the exit strategy again. Essentially, the strategy is to win. But the timeline on leaving is years and years away. That doesn't mean we won't reduce forces, just that we aren't planning to leave. You had better hope we don't, because that would mean total failure, and in the long run, a very real, very big war in the ME. And that would mean we would probably have a draft, and you would wind up marching, or in jail. Next time around service avoidance won't be ignored.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#29)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    If the strategy is to "win," you might wanna tell the generals in Iraq, PPJ...looks like they're just looking for a way out...come hell or high water... Isn't it nice when someone can jump into a cab, stink it up with a beautiful ripper and then hop out and say "See ya!" The U.S. in Iraq...

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#30)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    what a terrific analogy. The cab that was Iraq was in such lovely shape prior to our intervention. Your disconnect from reality is amazing. It ranks up there with the fantasy of the UN raring to go spouted yesterday.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#32)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    Ginger Yellow- I believe it is well settled, as reviewed by the SCOTUS, that treaties are law for the purposes of US domestic affairs whereas their international function is simply diplomacy and not legally binding. You may have noticed nations chose, at whim, to adhere , or not, or simply withdraw from any given treaty. The US is no exception.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#33)
    by roy on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    Blaghdaddy, I'm confused.
    ...if they have any intention of leaving, why are they building permanent bases?
    ...
    Isn't it nice when someone can jump into a cab, stink it up with a beautiful ripper and then hop out and say "See ya!"
    Are you upset because U.S. forces will stay long-term, or because they'll leave while Iraq is a mess?

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#34)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:57 PM EST
    Blagh writes "you might wanna tell the generals in Iraq, PPJ...looks like they're just looking for a way out..." That is your opinion. And opinons are like noses, we all have one. Some are more correct than others. Your snarky comment about the cab and why we are in Iraq reveals a huge lack of understanding. I again invite you to tell us how you would have responded to the terrorists and their escaluating attacks that ended with 9/11. I mean, since you are so critical, you must know a better way. DA - See the comment above.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Sure, PPJ, Blaghdaddy'll bite. Since your thesis has an alternate post-9/11 scenario, Blaghdaddy would have: 1. Toppled the Taliban (give the admin points for the obvious), 2. STAYED in Afghanistan IN FORCE (not with a token force while everything else was diverted to the phony war in Iraq), until all Taliban elements were rooted out (yeah, that's hard work, but would have been easier than stopping the current insurgency in Iraq), 3. Enforced the roadmap on Israel if they wanted another dime of American aid (meaning, STOP all settlement activity, begin negotiations with the P.A. and stop the wall), instead of letting Sharon thumb his nose and further enrage the Arab world, 4. Not gone into Iraq, 5. NOT GONE INTO IRAQ, So, at the end of perhaps 2003, 2004, the Afghan gov't would be established as now, but without the Taliban insurgents regaining strength with the U.S. distracted, Iraq would still be bottled up in its "no-fly" zone, Osama MIGHT have been captured by now, especially since America would have had divisions in Tora Bora instead of Afghan stooges, there would be 1,500 (give or take with casualties in Afghanistan by staying there) U.S. soldiers would still be alive, and Abu Graib would never have happened, Al-Zarqawi would have been taken out in the north either with U.S. Special Forces or a cruise missile strike as Bush had the opportunity before Iraq (but didn't so he could point to him and say "Terrorists in Iraq!!)....a few American civilians would still have their heads....America would still have its dignity and the compassion it received from around the world after 9/11 BEFORE Iraq...no one would be talking about John Bolton....Colin Powell might actually have been of use on the international stage... Anyone think this would have been a better scenario than where America is now?

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Oh, and most importantly: Blaghdaddy would have dealt with the treacherous Saudis by asking them to explain the 15 cremated Saudis now gracing the Trade Center and Pentagon, asked them what the deal was with Wahibi'ism, asked them if they really, really wanted the U.S. to pull its troops (and leave them naked before their own oppressed people), and watched them get their act in f*#king gear cleaning up their terrorist cesspool, BUT FAST....

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#37)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    The strategy is simple. We are trying to privatize their industries and a lot of the Iraqi workers are dead set against that. We brand them terrorists and have the military hunt them down and kill them. This process could take many years.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#38)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    PPJ wrote: Bush's plan was to preempt anything going on by the bad guys, establish a military presence in the ME and by having a friendly, democratic government in Iraq, put pressure on all the countries. Thirty five years ago that would have read: Johnson/Nixon's plan was to preempt anything going on by the bad guys, establish a military presence in SE Asia and by having a friendly, democratic government in South Vietnam, put pressure on all the countries. The strategy was a disaster back then and we have forgotten the lesson, so it repeats.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#39)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Blag - Hmmm, let's see. First, you have no way of knowing, even with increased troop strength, that we could have completely gotten rid of the terrorists in Afghanistan, and what the cost in US lives would have been. Remember, Afghanistan has many places helicopters can't operate in, so the battle would have to have been fought on the ground, with limited mobility and support. i.e. With several of our advantages neturalized. The way we have done it is to do what we wanted to, scatter and kill Taliban/al-Qaida, get the Afghans started and hopefully watch them succeed. We can, if necessary, always go back. Problem is, Israel thinks they decide about the future of their country. So you would have forced them and tried to control the PA. Not doable without a full up war, which probably brought in Syria and maybe Iran. You would have ignored all of your intelligenced people's warnings about Iraq and WMD's. That's a nice gamble with the citizens of the US lives. And, by now, Saddam should have been able to get a few of his WMD programs started (see Kay Report) and be selling/giving weapons to the terrorists. As for SA, we probably did ask. And we are putting pressure on. Problem is, any attack on SA would be seen as an attack on Islam, the holy places, etc. That would bring in the whole ME, against us. Not to smart. Blagh, your forte is complaining, not strategy. Ernesto - What you fail to understand is that Vietnam was one battle in a 50 cold war. In addittion the technologies have changed, the geography is different, etc., etc. BTW - I am still waiting for you to tell us the reason why it was okay for OBL to attack us on 9/11.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    You're wrong there, PPJ... There was no credible intelligence on Iraq having WMD's...that's what you people keep saying, when you know that it was cooked up, and any intelligence suggesting the truth was suppressed...where have you been, man? Wilson said there was no attempt to buy yellowcake, remember? The mobile germ trailers and flying germ sprayers were Dubya's wet dream, remember? Never based on fact and totally repudiated... There was lots of intelligence proving that Saddam was a toothless tiger...but you would have had to take "old Europe's" word for it...don't you wish you had? No Iraq, no dead American soldiers...and tell Blaghdaddy, PPJ, exactly HOW MANY Americans died at Iraqi hands before war? HOW MANY? HOW MANY? NONE!!!!! So YOU justify 1,600 wasted lives with hypotheticals...the truth you refuse to face is that the govt was WRONG on Iraq's WMD's, WRONG on how long they'd be there, WRONG on how much it would cost, WRONG that they'd be greeted with rose showers, WRONG WRONG WRONG....and you wanna 2nd guess Blaghdaddy's theories? His never killed anyone...how about YOURS?

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    PPJ misses the point- when a surgeon screws up and kills someone, he doesn't get to ask to review panel "Well, how would YOU have done it?" before they bounce his a#*... You screw up, you're history...and this bunch has screwed up enough, doesn't everyone think? How many people have to die while the cons are demanding to know "how anyone else would do it?" Well, if you don't know, get the f*#k out...and if you do know, then f*#king do it and stop wasting our time...asking others how they'd do it sounds so.....idiotic....the blind insisting on leading and asking for directions....

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#42)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    I can't resist. Weren't the Kurds poison gassed? Hasn't Joe Wilson been shown to be a complete liar and fraud by now? Just the same, I would still rather Saddam be gone. As to the Israel/PLO question, who would we be invading? The jews enrage the Arab world by breathing-what could we do to rectify that.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#43)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    The Kurds were gassed, yes, 20 years before...you gonna start prosecuting 20 year crimes now? And the Iraqi's got the gas technology from (GUESS WHO) the U.S., so they'd gas the nasty Iranians. So let's go back and get the ones who gave Iraq the technol- wait a minute!! It was Rumsfeld!! And Reagan!! And Bush I!!!! You gonna arrest them for giving the crook the gun? Or just the crook? American law would say whoever gave the crook the gun is an accessory. What do you think, Ed?

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Yawn. If he gassed them, better late than never. It never ceases to amaze me that no one is bad/evil on their own rights. It has to have american roots. Much like holding our European friends out as a moral force for the good in Iraq when, in fact, they were favorable to the regime for their business interests.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Blaghdaddy... There was no credible intelligence on Iraq having WMD's... Dude...I'd love to see the link for that statement! Every intelligence agency in the world said he had them....and those of us not sleepwalking through life definately remember Saddam gassing tens of thousands of his own people (I'd call that mass destruction....don't you?) So I think you better go look again. Even your boy Kerry agreed we had to go get them out of Saddam's hands. Are all the people on the left suffering from selective memory loss or what? You screw up, you're history...and this bunch has screwed up enough, doesn't everyone think? Apperently not... GW got re-elected didn't he?

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#46)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    ďAnd the Iraqi's got the gas technology from (GUESS WHO) the U.S., so they'd gas the nasty Iranians.Ē This is an often repeated but entirely inaccurate an unsubstantiated accusation. What is clear is that US intelligence agencies, i.e. the CIA, were actively engaged in identifying Iranian targets and assisting the Iraqi army in tactical planning. Additionally, so-called dual use items were sold to Saddamís regime during the Iran/Iraq war. Dual use items are a tricky business; many well-meaning aid groups have chided the US for itís recent unwillingness to sell items that can be used for healthcare, university research, and agriculture. However, there is no evidence for a technology transfer. Numerous samples of Iraqi chemical weapons have been analyzed, including those used in the Kurdish attack referred to, and none have indicated the use of US manufacturing techniques, or any other country for that matter. If I recall correctly the Mustard Gas generated by Saddamís scientists most closely resembled the kind manufactured by the Dutch; each manufacturing process essentially fingerprints the product. Coincidentally a Dutch man is now on trial for genocide accused of supplying (as the chief supplier) chemicals used against Iranian troops and Iraqi Kurds.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#47)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Dual use? What junk. The US continued to sell Hussein chemical (and possibly biological) WEAPONS until 1992. Reagan/Bush blocked UN sanctions on such sales after the ANFAL was known to the outside world. Rumsfeld shook his hand after the ANFAL, and US funding of Hussein went up, not down. As for Hallabja, 'US manufacturing' is not something that can be determined by chemical residues at a genocide weeks later. The only speculation the CIA did was that Iran had done it because the victim's had purple extremities, a sign of cyanide poisoning. That's the extent of any possible analysis. So you are blowing smoke, pigwiggle [insult deleted.]

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#48)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Oh, and the evidence strongly opposed this CIA LIE. Hussein committed the genocide at Hallabja. His chemical weapons degrade into cyanide, something the CIA conveniently failed to note.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#49)
    by Che's Lounge on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Yawn. If he gassed them, better late than never Wow. That is one messed up perception.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Ernesto Del Mundo on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    PPJ...the parallels between Iraq and Vietnam seem pretty obvious. The only difference is so far there isn't a draft so the uproar against the war here at home has been pretty tame. But as far as strategy and results...I dont see any significant differences. The 50 year cold war? Wasn't it the U.S. that went and made business overtures to communist Vietnam in the 1990s? Looks like we lost the Cold War according to you. Technology, geography? A lot good that has done...We are still sitting ducks. Sheeit, it took a year or two to get armored humvees. This is a low tech war and we suck at low tech! LOL @ your OBL question. To repeat my answer from another thread; Go rent the movie "Natural Born Killers"...

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#51)
    by pigwiggle on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Paul In LA- [insult deleted] 1)Mustard Gas does not degrade into cyanide; no cyanide was detected. There is speculation that the CIA tried to pin the deaths on cyanide, a weapon Iran had previously used, to cast Iraq favorably. Subsequent heath problems in the Kurdish population pointed to the use of MG, Tabun, and VX; all weapons Iraq had used in the Iran/Iraq war ,as documented by the UN. 2) The UN had obtained chemical munitions [unexploded ordinance] that were used in the Iran/Iraq war, the very same munitions believed to have been used on the Kurdish population bordering Iran. The manufacturing of these particular chemical weapons, MG included, has been characterized. The US and British MG manufacturing process imparts polysulphides; the so-called Levinstein process. This particular Ďbrandí of MG was principally suspect due to the large stockpiles the British had kept in the region for a number of years. The UN has ruled out this manufacturing process.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#52)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    "No Iraq, no dead American soldiers...and tell Blaghdaddy, PPJ, exactly HOW MANY Americans died at Iraqi hands before war? HOW MANY? HOW MANY? NONE!!!!!" How terrible. So many killed in Iraq, and for no other reason than because of which party occupied the White House.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#53)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    glanton - So what? Bush's strategy was clearly stated in various speeches, but really well defined in the 2003 SOTU speech. He declared that he would not wait for Saddam to do something, and we could not afford to wait for imminent situations, so preemptive action was called for. So why ask the question? The answer is, it doesn't matter. The war`was not fought based on direct attacks on US civilians by Saddam, but on a belief that he had WMD's, and would use them. Per the Kay report he didn't, but he did have missiles that exceeded the range he had agreed to, and he was trying to get back into the WMD business. Now you may not like the strategy, but there it is. And 52% of Americans understood and approved. Ernesto - The Cold War was pretty well over in the 90's. Didn't you know that? And again. How about telling us why it was okay for OBL to attack us? And no, the excuse that we gave bad people weapons is not an excuse for their actions. So what is the excuse? Blagh - My point was there is no screw up. You are the one complaining, but your strategy is a joke, which is why I asked you for one. Try some serious thinking. As for "There was no credible intelligence on Iraq having WMD's..." Here is what the leaders of the Demos had to say, and note the dates. "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power." - Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002 "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction." - Sen.Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002 ""In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members .. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." - Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002 Want more? I've got'em by Waxman, Kerry, Gore, etc. Just let me know. So a lot of people on both sides thought Iraq had WMD's. But you, with 20-20 hindsight would have done nothing, trusting that when he actually had nukes we could keep them out of terrorist's hands. Duhhhh. As for yellocake, the Brits still think he tried to buy more. I'll take their word over a FSO who spent a few days asking questions. Of course he had about two tons that we have found, so whether or not he was getting more is of no particular importance.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#55)
    by Richard Aubrey on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Illuminating, or depressing. I suggest you search for "The Three Conjectures". You will probably find it at the Belmont Club, with which some of you may be familiar. I am aware that lefties, when faced with an argument they can't handle on the facts, smear the arguer. When they can't handle the reports of facts, they smear the reporter. Since reading "The Three Conjectures" is a private matter, you will be able to forego the otherwise requisite arm-waving and spittle-spewing and if you don't tell anybody, nobody will know. If you think the WOT should be limited to some kind of revenge for 9-11, or taking out OBL, or something like that, for those of you who are of a hawkish dispositon, or if you think we should merely accept our casualties as they happen, you need your view expanded. "The Three Conjectures" tells you how Islam depends on us winning the WOT. Among others.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#56)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    "Posted by Ed: "Yawn. If he gassed them, better late than never." That comment should get you kicked off this blog. You disgusting pig. Posted by pigwiggle: "1)Mustard Gas does not degrade into cyanide; no cyanide was detected." You are talking about Hallabja? The whole basis of the CIA/Army War College report was that the blue extemities of the dead victims is a clear sign of cyanide poisoning. "There is speculation that the CIA tried to pin the deaths on cyanide, a weapon Iran had previously used, to cast Iraq favorably." Nope, you have that wrong. Everyone agrees that cyanide-compounds were used. The Iranians had used cyanide weapons on invading Iraqi troops -- but Tabun produces cyanide residues: "This interpretation has also been supported by the Jean Pascal Zanders, Project Leader of the Stockholm International Peace Research Instituteís Chemical and Biological Warfare Project, who conducted interviews with victims of Halabja brought to Brussels for treatment. Zanders argues that direct use of hydrogen cyanide at Halabja was unlikely. Hydrogen cyanide is itself highly volatile. It must be delivered on the target in huge quantities to be effective and its effects are gone in a matter of seconds. The heat in Halabja would have rendered this even more problematic. Furthermore, the flashpoint of hydrogen cyanide is very low which means that it easily explodes. So at least some bombs or containers with the agent, if that was the method of delivery, would have exploded upon impact. There are no reports of any such explosions (unlike the many accounts of French drums filled with hydrogen cyanide exploding in mid-air or upon impact when lobbed towards the German trenches in WWI)." (--Glen Rangwala) You wrote further: "2) The UN had obtained chemical munitions [unexploded ordinance] that were used in the Iran/Iraq war, the very same munitions believed to have been used on the Kurdish population bordering Iran." So these were not 'dual-use' anything -- these were WEAPONS. Where did Hussein buy the VX, Sarin, Tabun, and mustard gas he used? We know that the US supplied him the precursor for the mustard gas, and the VX, and probably the Sarin. Reagan/Bush also supplied biological arms to Hussein.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#57)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:58 PM EST
    Oops, correction: You wrote: ""cyanide, a weapon Iran had previously used, to cast Iraq favorably." I wrote: "The Iranians had used cyanide weapons on invading Iraqi troops" There is apparently no good evidence that Iran used hydrogen cyanide.

    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#59)
    by ppjakajim on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:59 PM EST
    Re: Iraq Exit Strategy: Just an Illusion? (none / 0) (#60)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:58:59 PM EST
    Sorry it is so difficult for you folks to understand. When gassing is mentioned, your first thought is "Bush did it" (quite a while before his presidency, but what are a few years) rather than what a bad guy Saddam is. The gassing end doesn't really matter to you that much, does it. I am glad Saddam is out of power. I expect most here are not/could care less.