U.S. Out of Iraqi Cities

U.S. Out of Iraqi Cities

Bob
Bob

June 30th, 2009, 12:18 pm #1

We all knew this would happen -- needed to happen -- eventually. Still, the recent rise in violence causes me concern that the "forces of evil" will move into high gear now that they have only the Iraqi security forces to deal with in the cities. Yes, U.S. forces remain in numbers and not too far that they couldn't be called to assist. But, I see the Obama Administration as committed to this withdraw of forces, and having to keep calling American soldiers in to back-up the Iraqis doesn't play well into that plan.

I would not be surprised to see Baghdad resemble Juarez, Mexico . . with the drug cartels fighting a bloody battle vs. the Mexican police and military. In Baghdad, it won't be drugs they are fighting over . . but in a way it is the same: Fighting for control of the city (and then from there, the country).

The average Iraqi just wants to live life in peace and not have to fear for their life or the lives of their loved ones. When someone is pointing a gun at your head, you probably don't care which side he is on, you just want to live (Perhaps similar to what I hear is the position of villagers in Afghanistan: They don't support the Taliban, but they don't support the Americans either -- they just want to be left alone to go about their lives). That leaves the bulk of the populace as the pawn between the Iraqi govt forces and the insurgent forces -- who will win?
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 30th, 2009, 2:47 pm #2

I always thought Iraq was Vietnam all over again. The similarities are so great- the US does the fighting until the native government is strong enough to take over and defend itself. The location has changed- the names have changed- but I'm afraid the ending will be the same.

Of course Al Qaeda is sitting back waiting until the US pulls out and then they will move in- and the new local government will fall just as Saigon did 34 years ago.

I always said Vietnam was this country's biggest foreign-policy blunder- now it's the second biggest. While we lost more men in Vietnam- the long term geopolitical consequences of a Iraq fall will be much greater.
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Bob
Bob

June 30th, 2009, 4:23 pm #3

It seems to me that if everyone in Iraq, including the insurgents, wanted U.S. out of there ASAP, then why did they keep fighting? U.S./Coalition forces only stayed this long because the country was destabilized by all the fighting. Had there been no fighting post-Saddam, the Bush Administration and every country that sent troops there would have been glad to have proclaimed "Mission Accomplished" and left. Then, with the Coalition forces largely gone, those intent upon toppling the fledgling government could have then started bombing, shooting, etc. U.S. and others could always return, but think of having to re-mobilize all the vehicles and equipment as well as the troops back into a place -- a lot more work, and maybe the countries wouldn't care to bother going back in. Am I missing something, or does it seem that the enemies of a free Iraq WANTED the U.S. and others to remain there?
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 30th, 2009, 5:15 pm #4

I guess Al Qaeda didn't think this way- they saw the US as occupiers- a enemy that had to be driven away. They didn't think we would leave on our own until we began talking about time-tables and withdrawal recently- then it seem Al Qaeda stopped fighting and began waiting- waiting to move in and take over when we leave.

And I suspect Obama even knows this- he just doesn't see an alternative- it's either that or us staying there forever. And I think this is whats driving his big push for "energy independence"- all these new laws about conversation and alternate energy- so we don't have to deal with Arab countries anymore. And this I agree with- let's get the hell out of there and let them fight among themselves instead of using us as their punching bag.
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Bob
Bob

June 30th, 2009, 6:19 pm #5

where there is a royal family or dictatorial leader, U.S. govt is heavily influenced by public perception. In Saddam's Iraq, or Iran now, demonstrators get shot and killed. In U.S., demonstrators (in large enough numbers) can influence media and public opinion against a war. So, I would think some insurgent leaders somewhere would know that if all is calm in Iraq, then the pressure would be on our govt to end the occupation and bring the troops home. Seems like that could have occurred much sooner had the insurgents allowed a false calm and peace and let the Americans and other coalition forces go home. Fighting kept us there this long (which, if their purpose was simply to keep Americans close enough to kill, would make some sense in that respect).
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

June 30th, 2009, 6:38 pm #6

Well terrorists are not known for being smart, Bob. They are filled with religious fanaticism and hatred- especially for the west. You know when people are willing to strap bombs on and go blow themselves up that they are nuts. This is why I think we should not even be dealing with such people. I would like to be able to tell them to take their oil and stuff it where the sun don't shine.
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Brandon
Brandon

July 2nd, 2009, 2:41 am #7

I always thought Iraq was Vietnam all over again. The similarities are so great- the US does the fighting until the native government is strong enough to take over and defend itself. The location has changed- the names have changed- but I'm afraid the ending will be the same.

Of course Al Qaeda is sitting back waiting until the US pulls out and then they will move in- and the new local government will fall just as Saigon did 34 years ago.

I always said Vietnam was this country's biggest foreign-policy blunder- now it's the second biggest. While we lost more men in Vietnam- the long term geopolitical consequences of a Iraq fall will be much greater.
I just don't see how the conflict in Iraq can be compared to Vietnam.

As you mentioned, we lost more men in Vietnam. 58, 159 compared to 4,318 in Iraq. Over 300,000 of our men were injured in Vietnam compared to 31,000 in Iraq. Those are significant differences.

The U.S. forces in Iraq consisted of volunteers. The average age of a soldier in Iraq is 30. In Vietnam, our forces were composed of men who were drafted and the average age of an American soldier serving in Vietnam was 19.

The Vietnam War tore the country apart in many ways with riots and protests. Many college campuses were in turmoil during the late 1960s especially in the Northeast and West Coast, but even in places like Ohio (Kent State).

You may be right about the long term foreign policy implications of Iraq, but I think the facts clearly show that the average American was impacted far more by the war in Vietnam than by the war in Iraq.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

July 2nd, 2009, 2:57 am #8

Valid points, Vietnam was a bigger war because it was a spread-out jungle war whereas Iraq was concentrated in urban areas so there were fewer men needed- and less losses- which reduced the public outrage.

But neither war was necessary IMHO- and the aftermath of Iraq will be much worse- being right in the middle of the Middle-East- it has enormous foreigh policy ramifications for years to come. For example- in the long run I think it will increase terrorism against the US because a whole new generation of young Arabs are growing up filled with hatred for the US.
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Marseil
Marseil

September 3rd, 2009, 5:36 pm #9

I just don't see how the conflict in Iraq can be compared to Vietnam.

As you mentioned, we lost more men in Vietnam. 58, 159 compared to 4,318 in Iraq. Over 300,000 of our men were injured in Vietnam compared to 31,000 in Iraq. Those are significant differences.

The U.S. forces in Iraq consisted of volunteers. The average age of a soldier in Iraq is 30. In Vietnam, our forces were composed of men who were drafted and the average age of an American soldier serving in Vietnam was 19.

The Vietnam War tore the country apart in many ways with riots and protests. Many college campuses were in turmoil during the late 1960s especially in the Northeast and West Coast, but even in places like Ohio (Kent State).

You may be right about the long term foreign policy implications of Iraq, but I think the facts clearly show that the average American was impacted far more by the war in Vietnam than by the war in Iraq.
Besides the US victims, it would be nice not to forget the victims in the other camp.

"According to the Vietnamese government, 1,100,000 Vietnam People's Army and National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam military personnel and 2,000,000 Vietnamese civilians on both sides died in the conflict." and "The Army of the Republic of Vietnam ARVN lost approximately 184,000 servicemen during the war,[2] with some estimates as high as a quarter of a million." (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War_casualties)

For Iraq, figures vary from: "Iraq Body Count: 92,489 100,971 violent civilian deaths as a result of the conflict." to "Opinion Research Business survey 1,033,000 violent deaths as a result of the conflict." (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War)

Brandon, isn't it in your religion that it is said that all people deserve equal compassion?

Marseil.
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Marseil
Marseil

September 3rd, 2009, 5:45 pm #10

I guess Al Qaeda didn't think this way- they saw the US as occupiers- a enemy that had to be driven away. They didn't think we would leave on our own until we began talking about time-tables and withdrawal recently- then it seem Al Qaeda stopped fighting and began waiting- waiting to move in and take over when we leave.

And I suspect Obama even knows this- he just doesn't see an alternative- it's either that or us staying there forever. And I think this is whats driving his big push for "energy independence"- all these new laws about conversation and alternate energy- so we don't have to deal with Arab countries anymore. And this I agree with- let's get the hell out of there and let them fight among themselves instead of using us as their punching bag.
To avoid stereotypes about Arabs, Middle East, US, etc..... let's consider another situation: China, first half of xxth century.

After the creation of the Republic of CHina in 1911, Mao's communist organization and Chiang Kai Shek Nationalist organization fought against each other for decades. What was at stake was the control of the whole country.

Everything changed after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931. From this time Mao's troops and Chiang's troop united against the common enemy: Japan. They had a double objective: struggle against Japanese occupation of CHinese territory, and for each of them establish enough influence, or directly enough power to ensure they would win the final struggle against the other CHinese faction. At the end, the Japanese surrendered to the nationalist army, but then Mao's Long March happened, along with WWII, and the final outcome was the proclamation of the People's REpublic of CHina in 1949 by Mao Tse Toung.

ISn't the same thing happening in Iraq: all factions unite against a common invader (it's always easy to use nationalistic feeling against a foreign invader), and every faction is trying to establish position to ensure the final domination of the country.

Marseil.
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