Saturday, April 09, 2005

Some answers to some questions (comments).

ahmad

anonymous @ 4/8/2005 08:52:24 PM had answered you.
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anonymous @ 4/9/2005 01:39:08 AM

The UNICEF report you linked to, say
"Unexpectedly perhaps, the rural-urban division evaporates when it comes to malnutrition, with children no more malnourished in the countryside than in the towns and cities. Ready access to locally produced food and higher incidence of breastfeeding provide at least some protection for rural children who, according to the survey, lag behind in so many other areas."
And if remember what I have been said
"The amount of these foods sections are insufficient for ordinary person, but it supported the poor families, and it did prevent malnutrition in Iraq to an acceptable level."
The report above spoken about specific area ( The governorate of Mesan) in southern and central Iraq.
"So you're basically saying malnutrition was not a major problem during the "sanctions" period of 1991-2003?"
It is definitely a problem, specially when added to lack of other food stuffs not involved in the program of (oil-for-food and drugs), the lack for drugs, for sanitation specially in the rural areas, and other goods necessary for ordinary living.
That report also says:
"The MICS also reveals serious problems in rural areas, where only half the people have access to a water supply from a network, public tap or well, compared to 96 per cent of people living in towns and cities. Only 34 per cent have a sanitary type of latrine, compared to 97 per cent of the urban population. Immunization rates are some 10 to 15 per cent lower in rural areas and the survey found similar gaps in the proportion of rural children who have received Vitamin A supplements and on the numbers entering primary school."
But the level of vaccination was satisfactory:
"The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey does reveal some positive, as well as negative, trends. About half of all children surveyed had received at least one dose of Vitamin A, and immunization coverage remains adequate, with at least 80 per cent of children aged one to two years immunized against measles. The survey reveals no significant gender disparities between boys and girls in any of the areas examined. "
Thank you for the link to this report anon.
_______________________________

John

Thank you for supporting the TRUTH.
__________________________

Waldschrat

"You mention security as a problem. Did security in Mosul become worse after Falluja? "
Yes, it become worse, I guess, there were two reason for that;
First, the people here are very compassionate with the people of Falluja.
Second, some of the fighter of Falluja were escaped to Mosul after that massacre.
"Is is there any real improvement in security in Mosul recently? Are Iraqis in Mosul becoming more safe or less safe? And do you see any benefit to security from recent meetings of the elected assembly? Is the political situation becoming more acceptable or less acceptable to most people in Mosul?"
Yes there is a clear improvement in security during the last weeks, but from yesterday and this morning there are a lot of explosions and shots in our neighborhood. There was an explosion of bombed car less than 100 m from our house, thanks God we were out of the house at that time. We don't know the exact situation right now.
It too early to see any benefit to security from the elected assembly.
The political situation to the neutral Mosul citizen at present is described as ( wait and see).
We heard a promises and want to see the realities.
_______________________________

maddog

"Truth Teller, tell me the meaning of your words "the situation of vaccination in Iraq. It was perfect before the war." Do you really know of what you speak? That goes completely against what the world now knows and understands."
Read the above answers, I think it will satisfy your inquiry. The rest of your questions were answered by John, I think.
____________________

Anon. @
4/9/2005 09:39:58 AM


"Are you suggesting that your country was better off under the rule of Saddam? "
It is not fair to compare the condition right now with that under the rule of Saddam!!
The fair comparison should be made after the situation settled down.
Anyhow looking to the situation from every side. It was better under the rule of Saddam. I don't mean Saddam was a good guy, but he controlled the whole things in a secure way.
What concern the people now, is the security, which was much better at that time.

"But in my opinion if your country is so much worse now maybe they should free Saddam and let him get it back to the good life you all enjoyed!"
I will not comment on this phrase. Ask your government. Who asked for the occupation.
But when things happened, and hundred of thousands killed, all for mistake or a misunderstanding of CIA reports, or they were fooled about the WMDs because of "double agents, we prefer to have REAL democracy than the rule of a dictator. But the price we are paying is very expensive.
_________________________________________________

anon.@ 4/9/2005 10:04:54 AM

"I don't believe in the statements by Bush saying we are in Iraq to bring "freedom and democracy" any more than I believed the "Saddam has WMDs and is a threat to the USA" crap.

According to what Perle said the other day to the US Senate, they were fooled about the WMDs because of "double agents".... which means double agents are influencing and directing our federal government!

And no appologies from any damn one of them... to Americans or Iraqis! They don't give a rip who dies, as long as they make a bunch of money."
You said all what I have to say. But in better English than mine. Thank you.

224 comments:

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Albatroz said...

I am a Portuguese citizen and I lived under Salazar's rule - generally considered as a dictatorship. There was then a political police and some people were arrested for their opinions. There was also censorship and no political parties were allowed. In spite of this, 99% of the Portuguese people suffered no inconvenience and were no worse off than they would have been in a democracy. The other 1% were those people who had political ambitions and were prevented from fulfilling them, or were intelectuals who were prevented from freely expressing their views. All in all, the situation was good from a law and order point of view, and there was a lot less corruption. This doesn't mean that it is better to live under a dictatorship than under a democracy, but simply that for the average person things were pretty good. I guess that's what happened in Iraq under Saddam Hussein. Some people suffered a lot, most people had it pretty good. And if there had been no sanctions, probably a majority of Iraqis would have been quite satisfied. Unless one lives under extreme oppressive conditions, democracy or dictatorship makes very little difference to most people, as long as one can freely work, earn a proper living and live in reasonable security. That being so, I can even believe that for educated Iraqi women living in a secular state ran by Saddam Hussein would be a lot better than living in a sort of democracy where women are prevented, by a strict application of the sharia, from holding responsible positions in a firm. Unfortunately Americans seem to think that happiness is living the way they do, without regard for cultural differences. Which makes them ignore the fact that imposing their way of life may be a bigger tyranny than living under Saddam Hussein.

waldschrat said...

As an American I have to say I share your distrust of America's generosity and good intentions, although probably for different reasons. American policy is controlled by politicians, and cynicism is always the correct approach when judging the motivations of politicians. I strongly suspect that charitable words of support and aid to Iraq will be quickly forgotten by any politician when a voter in his/her home district says the money would be better spent on Americans. Any elected politician's first loyalty is to himself and then to the people who elected him, and then to people who might make him look good to the people who elected him.

If I were in Iraq, knowing what I know as an American and if what I understand of Iraq is correct, I would consider the US military as the best resource to help Iraq at this time. I realize this is not obvious to the average Iraqi, but be patient for a minute and consider my words.

Unlike American politicians, the U.S. military is a disciplined force which has been commanded to do "good" in Iraq. Believe what you like, I was a soldier in the US army from 1969 to 1971 and I KNOW how they are taught to behave. If they are told to attack they will attack. If someone attacks them, that person and anyone near him are in extreme danger. But if they are treated with kindness and courtesy they will almost certainly respond with the same behavior. They can not be bribed, they can not be corrupted, or if they can it will be enormously more difficult to do so than it would to bribe or corrupt the average soldier or civil servant in a middle eastern country, because the cultures are different. In the ideal case they can act as the "perfect policeman", a person dedicated to maintaining order who can not and will not cooperate with evil doers for his own profit. This may be useful if they can be used to train Iraqi forces to act the same way. Forgive me, but many reports suggest that in the middle east (and other places including Russia) corruption among civil servants and police is common and laws, particularly tax laws and laws against bribery, are viewed with enormous disrespect.

Anyway, what I am saying is the US military is not bad unless you fight it. It is honest and has been commanded to try to make Iraq better. The problem is that people in Iraq fight the US military (when they are not killing , kidnapping and robbing each other to make some obscure political or theological point or simply for criminal profit).

The best way for Iraqis to use the US military is not as a target but as a friend and a customer. The one thing the US media, the US politicians, and the US media want most is for Iraqis to make it appear that this stupid war has accomplished something useful, some peaceful, beneficial imporovement, and that Iraqis can be friends with the US. The enthusiastic demolition of Saddaam's statue in Baghdad was a dream come true to Americans. Pictures of US soldiers rebuilding the electrical generating system of Mosul (and Falluja and Baghdad, etc, etc), or helping to vaccinate children or other such constructive, helpful activities would be glorious. That kind of thing would be so beneficial to US politicians that they could even justify spending the money in Iraq instead of in their home districts where people vote for them, at least for a while.

Instead, the insurgents seem determined to keep the US military on the perpetual defensive. As long as every soldier, every policeman in Iraq has to perpetually fear for their lives they will not be able to play the part of benefactor. To the extent that honest people believe that it is the US and it's war that have brought the security problems the insurgents create, the insurgents will continue to achieve their objectives. Saddam, and any number of middle eastern nations and organizations who wish to portray America as the "great Satan", have ensured that the insurgents have plenty of explosives and guns and are paid for their murders and atrocities. When it will stop, IF it will stop I can not say.

I do believe that US politicians will be able to justify fighting insurgents in Iraq as long as there are insurgents to be fought. Justifying a war with bad intelligence is bad, losing the war to a disorganized band of thugs and murderers is worse.

Whether the experience of Falluja will be repeated in other Iraqi cities I can not say, but I sincerely hope Falluja will be the worst and that the worst is behind us.

In the ideal case I think the US military could be used by Iraq to Iraq's advantage. This is not an ideal world, but America has a reputation for making the countries is conquers rich.

I am sorry, this message has become too long and I am too sleepy to make good sense. I hope I have presented some useful ideas.

From California I send my best hopes for your family and your country.

It was very kind of you to answer the questions I asked previously, and I thank you. Are there any questions I can try to answer for you?

Albatroz said...

"Hell is full of well-meaning people", so they say. Waldschrat is certainly a well-meaning person who would very much like Americans to be loved all over the world. But it may be a tiny little bit unrealistic to expect to be able to bomb and destroy indescriminately and then end up by being loved by those you have just bombed. I may go along with the thought that most American soldiers kill innocent people not because they are evil, but because they are scared. But that is not very helpful to the families of those who have been wrongly killed. Iraqis are a proud and ancient people who do not accept being ruled by foreigners. It is to be expected that they will fight back. The only solution is for Americans to leave Iraq as soon as possible and let Iraqis sort out their own problems. It may be a bit messy to start with, but the end result will be much better. It would do the US a lot of good if Americans learned to be a bit humbler. You do not have all the answers, and your answers may not be that good for everybody.

Maddog said...

Truth Teller,

You say John "answered" all my other questions.

John said,

"My recommendation: Don't lose your sense of humour, seek therapy, perhaps professional intervention.."

And...

"If not, and you can't buy into TruthTellers BS, just leave, swear a little, become petulant, annoyed, kick the dirt, but after all is said and done, just leave, who really cares what you think, if you're offended, bye, bye, see you, oh well, later Maddog, don't be offended but after all no one really could give a shit care or really feel saddened by what your problem is, Iraqis have enough problems without dealing with your sad shit so just leave...whewww..thanks for listening!! "

Truth Teller, are you nuts (along with John)? Is THIS the way you answer questions critical of your postings?

You AND John are up for a "Coming to Jesus" party as we call it in the west. Iraq WILL have a working Democracy. John and the other pundits, perhaps including you said...

1) Iraqis don't WANT democracy
2) Kurds want their OWN country
3) Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds will only have civil war between them
4) Sunnis will NOT be a part of ANY democracy in Iraq
5) A Kurd will NEVER have a major part of an Iraq democracy.
6) Iraqis will NEVER vote as they are too scared
7) The vote is too early because the timing is not right
8) Arabs, in general, don't want, and never WILL want to be free
9) Iraqis will never work TOGETHER to have a democracy

Guess what, Truth Teller, the pundits were wrong on all counts. I DID notice that you didn't HAVE a purple finger, unlike other, more thinking members of your extended family.

Tells it all.

Sooner or later, you will be thanking Bush for your freedom, for without his, and ONLY HIS intervention, your daughters would not have their laptops, internet access, mobile phones, their freedom to say what they want.... AND their future to be free Iraqis.

You and John deserve each other.

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

You miss the most essential component. American troops will leave or stay when the Iraqi government asks them too. Bush V1 abandoned them and our country has a debt to repay. Kerry may have wished to abandon our debt and responsibility, but he was rejected by concensus amoung voters. The Iarqis now have a clear mechanism to determine which governemnt they want through the process of social contract and voting concensus. My discussions with self-proclaimed scholars (who seem to have frequent contact with Sistani's circle) have lead me to believe that Iraq will not abandon the concensus model of government. Quite the contrary, they seem to think that concensus government is some kind of religous duty.

Anyway, it is naive of you to think that Syria, Iran, Suadi, Baathists, pan-arabists, Omaree, Muslim Brotherhood, or Wahabi will sit idly by and let the process of government by consent bear any fruit. All of these peoples have built communities based upon a strong central authority that maintains control through the use of force. Government by willing consent of the governed is an outright threat to their community.

I doubt Iraqi leaders are as blind as you towards all of the hostile groups wishing for their failure. Consequently, I doubt they will ask US troops to leave until they feel safe within their borders. What you will probably see is IP and ING take over security and a partial US troop withdrawal. The government of Iraq will not request a full withdrawal until the Iraqi army is capable of repelling any attacks

So what does this mean? It means get used to American troops in Iraq. They will withdraw to bases in the north, south, east, and west. If Bagdhad is the only international airport in the country, then they will have a base near there as well (for logistical support). Once the Iraqi army is trained and equipped they can take over the bases and protect their own country. The worst case scenario is that the governemnt of Iraq tries to get a free ride and avoid paying for their own army.


Now regarding American arrogance. Europeans have a long and proud history of allowing others to suffer so long as it is not them. You are proud of this. I look upon it with disdain. You sat and watched Hitler take one tiny little country after another until there was almost nothing left. You never wanted to place yourself at risk in order to help another. Of course, when you needed help, then intervention suddenly became the right thing to do. We listened to you in Rwanda and we had to clean up your mess in Kosovo. Now you want the same in Sudan and Iraq. Screw you. The record of doing things your way sucks. At least we know that our way works when you throw enough people and money into it.

Korea. Now name a country Europe rebuilt without attempting to make it a "colony".

Japan. Name another.

West Germany. Name a third. Also name a country that took the European way of doing things and colonized East Germany into the ground.

Shall we discuss the treaty of versailles? Simple fact is that Europe sucks. It's a bunch little piss-ant countries that are so self-absorbed that they don't even realize that they are piss-ant countries. Why won't the EU ever work? Simple. Every little piss-ant European country is too self absorbed to ever make a sacrifice or take a risk for someone else. You got pretty buildings and good cooks. It pretty much ends at that.

I think maybe your real problem is fear. Fear that Europe won't be as important as China, India, or the US. Maybe soon not even as important as the mideast. Fear that your decline from empire to has-been is almost complete. Maybe even fear of Nostradamous. But you know what? I'm going to be very European about this. "I don't care. It's your problem."

strykeraunt said...

Truthteller, My impression when you first began your blog was that you wanted to have an open dialogue...this apparently is not the case. I wasn't going to respond to your support of John's truth. However, after reading Maddogs I felt that I should let you know that I agree with his (Maddog) comment 100%. If your truth is the same as John's (which is filled with beligerant remarks against anyone who doesn't agree with him 100%) then it is time for me to move on.

One suggestion before I leave. The next time your family decides to take a leisure drive, perhaps you may want to visit the rural areas that my nephew spoke with me about (I am referring to those where people are living in mud huts and no running water or sanitation). There living conditions are in sharp contrast to those in Mosul. You may think that these living conditions are fine for "them" (as long as your family has their new schools, laptops, and other comforts, but this "arrogant" American does not). If (by chance) you don't find their living conditions acceptable what have YOU done before or after the "evil occupiers" arrived in order to reduce THEIR suffering.

Ahmed, contrary to what John said, I think you are a friendly ghost:D However, as I suggested above, your comment is just too open minded for his logic to accept. Rather than carrying on civilized dialogue he chooses instead to respond with belligerence.

strykeraunt said...

One more thing before I completely bow out...RIGHT ON MORON99!!!

Maddog said...

stryeraunt said,

"One more thing before I completely bow out...RIGHT ON MORON99!!!"

I completely, totally, agree.

Thanks MORON99 for saying what many of us think.

I dare ANYONE to "fact-check" your thoughts.

I'd love that.

waldschrat said...

albatroz - You said "Waldschrat is certainly a well-meaning person who would very much like Americans to be loved all over the world. But it may be a tiny little bit unrealistic to expect to be able to bomb and destroy indescriminately and then end up by being loved by those you have just bombed."

I have tried to contribute what I could in the way of constructive comments, and I appreciate your favorable assessment of my intentions. As a practical matter, the "American go home" suggestion is unlikely to be heeded right away although I expect the Americans will leave eventually. While the American military is in Iraq I suggest that the very best strategy for Iraqis dealing with them is to avoid the company of people who might attack them and encourage other Iraqis to do the same. It is entirelly possible that if you invite them to build a school or a road or dig a well they will try to do so. On the other hand, if your neighbor attacks them that is an invitation for them to shoot back, and they are likely to be in such a hurry to kill your neighbor that they may accidentally kill you in the process. If insurgents were good people they would always try to stand far from innocent people and valuable real estate while they attacked American forces. If insurgents were smart people they would ask American forces to do something useful for Iraq instead of attacking them.

I know it seems like a simple minded strategy, but it beats shooting at tanks with a pea shooter from behind a human shield of your fellow citizens, or simply taking a short cut and killing your fellow citizens directly, or tolerating people who do such things. The use of force is NOT the only way to get rid of the so-called "occupation". Peaceful tactics, competition in words and positive deeds, is much more likely to successfully expel a superior military force than competition in combat, however determined and clever and cruel. A military force with nobody to fight is not economically justifiable. The presence of a plausible enemy is justification not only for military forces and activity but also for all manner of less savory political and industrial profit. Right now Iraq is the very best place on the planet to find and kill "terrorists", the US military-industrial complex is growing fat and happy on the booming business they've discovered, and the insurgents and whoever supports them are doing everything they can to keep the ball rolling.

Reasonable people should not contribute to the problem!

John said...

Truth Teller, as much as you must have grown tired and completely fed up with the Strykers showing up on your block on a regular basis, I can only sit back in amazement over your patience and ability to take it all in stride! Then come the relatives of the Strykers, Aunts, Uncles, Dads, Mothers, and again I sat back in amazement over your ability to humour them, accept their opinions, but never feel remorse if they should decide to walk away, I for one would consider that development cause for some celebration. Perhaps they'll all eventually redefine their own tribes and go back to whatever rituals serves their own purposes rather than imposing on your own! Peace my friend and may we all one day be spared the quasi-intellectual meanderings of the Moron 99's or the inexplicable confusion and insecurity of the Maddogs!

Solidarity with your struggle, and speaking of patience, I too am in the midst of living with a teenage daughter(s), now there's truly another occassion requiring patience and understanding!

Hurria said...

"I would consider the US military as the best resource to help Iraq at this time."

The best thing that would help Iraq at this time is for the US military to get out now, along with every other aspect of the US occupation including its "private security contractors", its mega-embassy, its "rebuilding" programs, its Bechtels, Halliburtons and every one else.

"I realize this is not obvious to the average Iraqi"

No, my dear, in fact the exact opposite is obvious to the majority of Iraqis.

"the U.S. military is a disciplined force which has been commanded to do "good" in Iraq."

I cannot reply to this with any level of civility, so I will not reply at all except to say that no one who has witnessed what the US military has done and continues to do in Iraq can possibly buy this pile of processed bull food. Since you appear to be sincere, I can only conclude that you have been very protected from the reality of your US military's activities in Iraq.

Hurria said...

"The only solution is for Americans to leave Iraq as soon as possible and let Iraqis sort out their own problems. It may be a bit messy to start with...

It cannot be any messier than it has been with the US there. In fact, it is likely to become significantly less messy with them gone.

1) The overwhelming majority and by far the greatest magnitude of violence has been perpetrated by the US military, and mainly for the sake of the US military. Once the US military is gone, therefore, the greatest amount and magnitude of violence will cease.

2) There is a legitimate resistance which is directly fighting the US presence. With the US gone their violence will cease.

3) Once the US is gone support for violence of any kind will disappear, and Iraqi security forces will be freed from their present primary occupation of acting as proxy forces for the occupation, so they will be able to deal more effectively with the criminal elements.

For those reasons and others we are more likely to see a decrease in messiness than an increase if the US got out now.

Moron99 said...

hurria,

according to recent opinion polls 63% of Iraqis favor continued US presence. The polls indicate that a majority of Iraqis think their new government needs the US to protect it. When the Iraqi governemnt decides that it no longer needs protection, they will ask the US to leave. It is their decision to make. If the recent selection of President and PM are any indication then they will make wise decisions.

Albatroz said...

Waldschrat,
What you are saying to the Iraqis is: "Surrender and we will let you live". It wouldn't appeal to me, if I were Iraqi, so I suppose it doesn't appeal to them either. Nobody (not even the UN) asked you to go to Iraq, so the polite thing to do would be to leave immediately. For an example of a different and successful intervention, please refer to East Timor. The Good Lord knows what would have happened if the intervening forces had been American...

moron99

Opinion polls in present day's conditions? Were they taken inside the Green zone?

And yes, Europeans are arrogant too. But they are not killing anybody, presently. We had our proper share of killing, in the past, and we graduated to a more civilized way of doing things. Rather than despising us for that you might want to look at Guantanamo and think whether your ways are all that appealing. The use of torture - which doesn't seem to have been all that incidental - doesn't bother you? Is Al Qaeda winning by forcing you to adopt their ways?

strykeraunt,
There are certainly people in Iraq who "are living in mud huts and no running water or sanitation". But I remember the last time I walked through the streets of the Bronx - an unwise thing to do - and looked, in a near state of shock, at the incredible amount of dirt on the streets, the poverty, the derelict buildings. Don't you think that the American troops could do something to improve the situation at home, rather than faking the good Samaritan in Iraq? Don't you ever run out of silly excuses to justify your imperialistic impulses? Why don't you come clear and say what we all know: "It's all about oil!"

waldschrat said...

albatroz - You said "What you are saying to the Iraqis is: 'Surrender and we will let you live'."

No, I'm saying I'm thousands of miles from Iraq and in no position to stop the war and/or occupation. All I can do is give advice. The very best practical advice I can give ANYBODY faced with armed troops to not provoke them. Confronting them head on is suicidal, it doesn't matter whether they are US troops, Russian, Saudi, or whatever. Stay the hell out of their way, deny them a plausible enemy, and they will become economically unjustifiable. Attack them, or tolerate neighbors who do, and you invite attack in kind. If you can subvert their purpose and divert their efforts to useful tasks, do so. It's called non-violence, albatroz. It works, it keeps people alive in dangerous situations, and it's very very practical. Take a deep breath, let that hot portugese temper simmer down, and think about it. You might decide it makes sense.

Moron99 said...

waldschrat,

what you say does not make sense to people who operate from the assumption that the US wishes to colonize Iraq. If you look at history, how many times has a powerful nation conquered another and then NOT sought to colonize it? If you look even more specifically at the history between Europe and the Mideast, you see each trying to conquer and subjugate the other since pre-history.

From this context of perpetual invasion and conquest it is difficult for them to see any purpose for a military other than seizing new lands.

What they fail to realize is that the US has learnt from the mistakes of Europe. Europe roamed the globe plundering for gold, sugar, cotton, tea, or anything else that suited her fancy. In their wake they left a trail of broken and destroyed cultures and a series of increasingly destructive wars. The US has learned that making a strong friend pays greater long-term dividends than raping a defenseless enemy. The self-proclaimed "more civilized" cultures don't seem to comprehend this - and, as such, your suggestion of cooperation only fits into their world-view as a form of surrender.

Albatroz said...

moron99,
For a moment I thought you really believed all that crap. May I remind you of the way you treated (treat?) American Indians? May I remind you of your actions in Vietnam? May I remind you of the millions of gallons of napalm thrown on Korean villages? May I remind you of over 40 years boycott against Cuba? May I remind you of how you prevented medicines from being sent to Iraq during Saddam Hussein's rule, and of what that did to Iraqi children? May I remind you - once more - of what you are doing presently in Guantanamo? May I remind you of your present intervention in Haiti? May I remind you of your assistance to Pinochet? May I remind you of your help to criminal forces in Nicaragua and San Salvador?

If you are so willing to help other peoples out of their miseríes, why can't you end poverty and misery in your own country? If you are so willing to build schools for the Iraqi children - it would have helped not to destroy those they had, in the first place - why not build good schools in America's slums? Seeing that there is yet so much to do in the US, why spend billions of dollars to wage war against people who were no threat to you? Maybe your kind of propaganda will work in the backwoods of the US, but you certainly are wasting your time here. Instead of trying to defend what cannot be defended, why don't you join those Americans who are trying to stop your government's aggression in Iraq? And if you do not know how to find them, I can give you some internet addresses...

Albatroz said...

Waldschrat,
I am not insensitive to non-violence, but I am not sure non-violence works against American aggressions. If, as I believe, the US intervention in Iraq was meant to guarantee a supply of oil for a few more years, and the denial of that oil to others, non-violence will only guarantee the continuous rape of Iraq and the continuous theft of their ressources. Have you asked yourself why the US government is so vocal against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela? Could it be because Hugo Chavez cannot be manipulated and the US risks loosing an important oil supplier? The US was quite willing to accept the Venezuelan coup d'etat against a democratically elected government, to get rid of someone who refuses to serve American interests. Would you advise Venezuelans to submit to the American threats and blackmail? Or would hope they would fight back and resist economical aggression? Non-violence may sometimes be the right strategy. But not always. In Vietnam it paid to resist. The cost was very high, but you should not undervalue dignity. The Vietnamese are free by their own efforts. They may be poor but they are certainly proud of themselves. I hope Iraqis will someday take pride on a freedom conquered by their own efforts, having defeated an attempt at turning them into a client state of the United States.

Hurria said...

"according to recent opinion polls 63% of Iraqis favor continued US presence."

What polls would those be? Can you refer to them specifically? Can you provide a link or a url so that I might look at these polls and evaluate them?

"The polls indicate that a majority of Iraqis think their new government needs the US to protect it."

Again, please give me some specifics. Otherwise all I have is your word for it.

What a lovely "democracy" where the "government" needs a foreign invader to protect it from the people. (And by the way, there is no "government" yet. After 70 days we are still waiting for that miracle to happen.)

Maddog said...

albotraz said,

"May I remind you of how you prevented medicines from being sent to Iraq during Saddam Hussein's rule"

An old saying... "An Idiot is born every day".

Such a joke. You are buying into the UN "WE ARE THE WORLD". If you haven't, you should read about how much money Saddam diverted from the "Oil for Food" (OFF) program to support his palaces and arms programs thanks to UN corruption. The UN, who now uses Oil for Food money to investigate itself. That's a good one.

I can only imagine being an Iraqi and knowing this.

The UN, the MOST corrupted organization in the world, with NO checks. Oh, I'm sorry, the most "neutral" organization in the world. How many states are on the "Human Rights Council" that don't belong there. Just asking (I know the answer BTW).

Are there many MORE individuals who haven't a clue? I think so.

Jeez.

Why are the anti-Iraq war campaigners so stupid?

Why do they consistently want Iraq to fail as a democracy?

Iraqis seem to WANT a democracy. Just a guess.

There has to be a reason. Just look at all the purple fingers. These guys/girls are no dummys.

Anonymous said...

Why do they consistently want Iraq to fail as a democracy?

Because they don't care about Iraq. It's all about giving George Bush a black eye, the Iraqis be damned.

Hurria said...

waldschrat, what you are suggesting for Iraqis is the equivalent of advising a rape victim to "lie back and enjoy it". And in the case of Iraq you are also advising the victim to quietly allow the rapist to move into the house permanently, to have whatever he wants from her, to cheerfully carry the resulting pregnancies to term, and raise the children borne of that violation of her humanity with gratitude, joy and love.

Your advice is also the equivalent of telling someone that when a gang of murderers, robbers, and kidnappers breaks down their door, to invite them in, serve them tea. allow them to roam freely in the house, kill whomever they decide to kill, take away whatever and whomever they want, and before they leave thank them, and give them a key to the house so they won't have to trouble themselves to break down the door next time.

waldschrat, for what purpose do you suppose the Bush administration bombed and blasted their way into Iraq, and why have they clung with such determination to the place, in the face of a clear message that their presence is not welcome, and even in the face of plummeting approval ratings at home? We know it wasn't WMD and never was. That was just a convenient excuse. If it had been, you would be gone by now, since it is quite clear there are none. We know it wasn't that Saddam Hussein was a threat - that one never could pass the giggle test for anyone with even a modicum of knowledge.

We know it wasn't "to liberate the Iraqi people, and bring them the glories of democracy and freedom". Iraqis are less free now than they have been at any time in memory, and the country has not seen such chaos and devastation since the Mongol invasion (the Mongols also destroyed the great libraries, by the way). But most telling is the measures the Bush occupation has taken to deny over and over again Iraqis' desires to choose their own leaders, even at the local level. It was not until Sayyid Sistani, with impeccable timing and discipline, clearly displayed his enormous power over the Shi`i majority that the US was forced to accede to demands for the elections they had struggled to avoid.

Even then, the Bush administration set out to design a process that suited their interests and desires more than those of the Iraqi people, and that was very open to manipulation and tampering by the occupation and its "Iraqi" agents. The TAL is designed to allow them and their agents to obstruct every process and to defeat the will of the majority.

Hurria said...

There are a few things you must understand about the "election" that took place in January:

1) Despite all of George Bush's incessant crowing like the rooster that thinks he brought the dawn, that election happened not because of him, but in spite of him. From the beginning of the occupation the US has done everything in its power to thwart Iraqis' attempts at any kind of democratic process at every level. Some occupation officials have made very clear statements that they would not allow even local elections because they knew the "wrong" people would win. Wrong for whom? Certainly not for the Iraqis who would elect these leaders, but for the U.S., of course!

It was not until Sayyid Sistani was handed his golden opportunity when Bremer provoked an armed confrontation with Muqtada As Sadr and his followers that the Bush administration, faced with a threat of widespread Shi`a revolt, were dragged kicking and screaming into allowing elections. Bush made it very clear that he was none to happy about it, too.

2) The "election" process, and the process for choosing the "government" was designed by the occupying power for the benefit of the occupying power. The Iraqis had no real input.

The so-called "Independent Election Commission" was anything but independent. Its members were carefully hand-picked and appointed by Bremer's U.S. Occupation Authority, with the assistance of his hand-picked appointed "interim government". It was entirely dependent on the occupying power for everything, and could not make a decision without the approval of the occupation.

3) The "election" itself was not merely "flawed", it did not meet even the minimum standards for a free, fair, democratic election.

4) There are a number of clear cases of manipulation and tampering during the election itself. The denial by the Kurdish parties of Assyrians' right to vote is one documented example, the demographic manipulations by the Kurdish parties in Kirkuk is another. There are also highly justified suspicions of tampering by the occupation and its agents in the handling and counting of the ballots, and the final results.

5) The post-election process of selecting the "government", is designed by the occupying power for its benefit, and is undemocratic, and rife with opportunities for manipulation.

Maddog said...

Hurria said:

"There are a few things you must understand about the "election" that took place in January:"

Then proceeded to proclaim that, once again, everything was not WANTED by Iraqis.

Anyone buying this BS?

Where DO these guys come from? Can they be SO stupid as to not see the forest for the trees?

Once again... "An idiot is born every day".

I'm amazed, totally amazed at how incredibly STUPID some of our fellow human beings can be (thank you John and Hurria for re-inforcing my thoughts).

John, Hurria... Take a bow.

Truth Teller, I, and everyone else hopes desparately to prove you have a common mind like the rest of us and you will distance yourself from these idiots. We're so hopeful that you are normal.

If not.... only the looney left will read your blog. That's not good.

Sorry.

Albatroz said...

I will bet that if good old Bush is forced to bring back the draft, all these "patriotic" Americans will suddenly go silent... Unless they are over 40 years of age and know they will not risk being drafted...

Maddog said...

albatroz said...

"I will bet that if good old Bush is forced to bring back the draft, all these "patriotic" Americans will suddenly go silent... "

Take that bet and double it. You have NO sense of history. I wouldn't bet against our military for a second. You'd take that bet?

Double/Triple Loser. Anti-war/"support the troops" loser.

"Support the troops"... yeah, of course.

Loser. Period.

How about a game of cards? (nah.. wouldn't want to take advantage of a lame duck).

Albatroz said...

maddog,
Are you old enough to remember the rioting in the US about the war in Vietnam? It was all about young Americans not wanting to go to Vietnam to be killed. Are you sure present day youngsters are more willing to be stupidly slaughtered than their fathers?...

Hurria said...

Maddog, thank you for your very respectful and well-though-out response. It is a very good thing when people with differing views can discuss them in a thoughtful, civil, and mature manner. I hope I can maintain at least the same high level in my responses to you.

"Then proceeded to proclaim that, once again, everything was not WANTED by Iraqis."

I am so sorry, Maddog. It seems I failed completely to be clear in what I was saying. What I was trying to say was actually the exact opposite of what I seem to have conveyed to you. After rereading what I wrote I still cannot see where or how I led you so astray, and I would be very grateful if you would help me to improve my English communication skills. Would you do me the kindness of pointing out to me what I said that appeared to be a proclamation that "everything", by which I think you mean to be allowed to choose their own leaders, was "not wanted by the Iraqis"? If it is not too much trouble, would you please tell me how I can reword it in proper, clear English so that it will not mislead readers?

"Where DO these guys come from?"

Maddog, I don't know where anyone else comes from, but I come from Iraq.

Where do you come from? And where did you learn so much about Iraq and Iraqis?

Moron99 said...

albatroz,

there are two types of political discussion. One is where you try to understand the other person's point of view so that you may deepen your own understanding. The other is where you seek to tear down the oppossing point of view in order to prove that yours is the only correct one.

You are a very strong type 2 person.

Moron99 said...

Hurria,

i will try to find the poll for you. It was done about 3 weeks ago. It did not cover areas with poor security or Kurdistan.

In the meantime, either Hammorabi or Mesopotamian has a pretty good treatment of the subject on their blog.

Hurria said...

Thank you, moron99. I am sorry, but I just don't have time to go through volumes of blogs looking for something, so I would appreciate if you would find it for me so I can make an informed response.

waldschrat said...

albatroz and hurria - Regarding the best way to attack US forces and policies in Iraq (assuming you reject non-violence) I have previously suggested that if insurgents were good people they would attack US military forces while standing as far as possible from their fellow Iraqi citizens and valuable real estate. I urge both of you to be good people.

As an alternative to violent resistance I suggest verbal, visual or musical protest, applied as loud and vigorously and enthusiastically and often as possible. When I ws drafted back in 69 they taight US troops not to fire into crowds (or, IF they must fire into a crowd for self-preservation, to dispatch a sniper to eliminate armed individuals selectively). What this means is you can get in the face of the US military bigtime with a mass demonstration and they will not kill you unless you are armed or they fear serious injury.

Right now I have the following tune playing in my earphones at high volume on auto-repeat:

http://tinpan.fortunecity.com/vanishing/958/sound/midi/CSNY/crosby_stills_nash-ohio.mid

It's an angry old protest song, like I'm an angry old pacifist. If I was an Iraqi I would download the damn thing and play it out of a boombox as loud as possible every time I saw the US military to remind them of past errors.

Never believe there are not viable alternatives to violence!

However, if you are in Iraq and you are committed to violence, I urge you to do as I have suggested above. Carry non-combstible identification papers and leave your last will and testament with your friends. I will remember your contribution to the improvement of the gene pool with respect.

Moron99 said...

Hurria - I can't find the poll. I was sure that it was on the internet, but 30 minutes of googling has produced nothing. However, Iraquna did a poll in Bagdhad a few weeks ago. Not the same poll, but the results are probably similar.

Sorry. I'm just not going to spend any more time trying to find a link. If I run across a poll that is published on the internet in the next few days, I'll come back here and post a link for you.

Albatroz said...

Waldschrat,
I find you a much more pleasant person to talk to than some of your more aggressive fellow countrymen, but your brand of radical pacifism frightens me almost as much as their brainless violence. While I would absolutely refuse to participate in any aggressive war, I would do my utmost to destroy anyone trying to violate my home or my country. I guess Iraqis feel the same.

Hurria said...

Waldschrat, first, may I respectfully advise you that I am not your inferior, and do not appreciate being talked to as such. Perhaps you are not aware that you are talking down, but unmistakeably, you are, so please adjust your tone, and I will appreciate it very much.

I am not in the least opposed to nonviolent actions against occupation. In fact, I consider it preferable to violence wherever possible, and an important element in any liberation effort. Unfortunately, when faced with a massively violent, deadly, destructive occupying power that is determined to impose its will no matter what, non-violence alone has never been enough, as every nation that has come under occupation has learned. Further, every being has an absolute right of self defense, and non-violence is virtually never an effective form of self-defense against violent attack. In fact, non-violence in response to a violent attack is virtually guaranteed to get you killed or at least seriously wounded.

"you can get in the face of the US military bigtime with a mass demonstration and they will not kill you unless you are armed or they fear serious injury."

Forgive me if I seem impolite, but what you have repeated is a naive fantasy that in no way fits with reality.

I suggest you take your information to the families, friends, and neighbors of the hundreds of Iraqis who have been killed and maimed, or arrested, beaten up, detained and tortured by your "disciplined" U.S. military while they were attempting to exercise their New Found Freedom™ of non-violent protest. Tell it especially to those who trusted the U.S. enough to think it was safe for their children to learn about these freedoms only to see them killed when American troops fired randomly, wildly and massively at unarmed demonstrators.

There have been enough reported incidents, some of them very well documented, to show a clear pattern on the part of U.S. troops of utter disregard for the lives and safety of unarmed protesters.

"If I was an Iraqi I would download the damn thing and play it out of a boombox as loud as possible every time I saw the US military to remind them of past errors."

Now I DO like this idea, partly because it does not require making oneself a target by gathering in a group in a particular place at a particular time, or making any physical move that might make one a target. But while it certainly will make at least some of the occupying forces annoyed and uncomfortable, it is hardly likely to convince the Bush administration or even the people of the U.S. to end the occupation. :)

Albatroz said...

moron99,
Sorry if I sounded a bit aggressive in my previous post. But you were trying to project an image of the American armed forces and of the US government's good intentions that is in no way supported by past actions. The lack of concern by the US government about democracy in so many countries in the world (South and Central America, Southeast Asia) makes it very difficult to believe that democracy is your goal in Iraq. Specially after a number of years supporting Saddam Hussein against Iran. Why is it so difficult for you to even consider that oil is the real issue? We all know that oil production has probably reached its peak. We all know that China and India will require more and more oil, and that therefore they will be competing with all of us for a dwindling resource. Studies have been made showing that around 2031, when China's GDP per capita will equal ours (2004), if their oil consumption is similar to ours, they alone would need 99 million barrels of oil per day, when total oil production, today, is 79 million barrels. Is it so surprising that the US will want to guarantee oil supplies for their economy for as long as possible? Iraq has the second largest oil reserves in the world. If the US could control that oil source, their problems would not be over but could be posponed. And you keep saying that Americans went into Iraq for the sake of democracy? Do you really believe that?

Hurria said...

albatroz,

I must respectfully disagree with you. The Bush administration invasion and takeover of Iraq is about something far bigger than oil. Oil is one part of it, but by far not the primary goal at all.

Moron99 said...

Why don't you do the math and show us why your argument is valid? Set whatever parameters you want and try to massage the oil argument into profitable venture.

Put the results here. My mathematics IQ is quite high and I will be able to follow your arguments. Don't be bashful. State your case. Support your argument.

However, when you do your math, don't forget to include recurring expenses beyond the initial $500 billion over three years.

Albatroz said...

moron99,
Actually the math is pretty straightforward. The Chinese will need 99 million barrels of oil and production will peak at around 80/90 million. The US needs oil. Costs are no problem, you can always print some more dollar bills. But oil cannot be invented. You will spend whatever it takes to guarantee a regular oil supply. You are thinking about profits. I am talking about survival. Question is: will the Chinese let you have all that oil?

Albatroz said...

Hurria,
Would you care to be more specific?

Moron99 said...

albatroz,

That's is sooo stupid.

Iraq produces 2.5mbpd.

Now, let us be unrealistically favorable towards your point of view. First, we will triple the price of oil with respect to the invasion and value it at $100 per barrel. Next we will assume that
that the indigenous population will accept only half of the gross revenue without revolting. And finally we will assume that the annual costs will be reduced by 90% after the first three years.

Annual revenue = $100/B x 2.5MB/D x 365D/Y
Annual gross revenue = $91.25B /Year

Net Annual Profit = 0.50 x gross revenue
Net Profit / Y = $45.6B/Y

Breakeven is when profit equals cost.

Cost = $500B + $16.7B/Y
"X" is the number of years until breakeven

X($45.6)= $500 + (X-3)$16.7
X = 15.6 years

So even with unrealistically favorable assumptions, your argument takes 15.6 years. (If you use real world numbers, it takes just over 30 years)

Now do you sincerely believe that the US will be in Iraq stealing all their oil for the next 15 years? And if they do, do you sincerely believe that the military cost will only be 10%? and don't forget that we tripled the price of oil.

Bottom line is that anyone who buys the war for oil argument is dumb as a bag of rocks.

dancewater said...

moron99:

if it is not about oil, what is it about?

There are no WMDs, and Rice and Powell said so in early 2001.

Saddam was not even a threat to neighboring countries, and again Rice and Powell said so in early 2001.

It certainly had noting to do with 9/11, unless the goal was to make some more 9/11s by encouraging people to become suicide bombers.

It sure has NOTHING to do with bringing freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people. If the Bush administration cared about the Iraqi people, they would make a sincere effort to count the dead.

So what is it, if it is not about controlling the area and the resources (oil)?

Hurria said...

moron99,

While I do not agree at all that oil was the primary reason for invading Iraq, your analysis overlooks several critical factors. The assumption that the Bush administration did not do any planning or preparation for after the invasion, is not correct. In fact, they did lots of planning and lots of preparation. They just forget to consider the fact that there are 26 million or so people in Iraq, and that they might not be so happy to go along with their plans (one of the hazards of trying to take over a country without bothering to know a bloody damned thing about it).

They made the absurdly ignorant and arrogant assumption that Iraqis would love foreign occupation, would be pleased as can be with Chalabi et al. as their new rulers, and would eagerly embrace their version of Extreme Makeover, State Edition. They thought once Chalabi and his entourage were in place, they'd be able to set up their mega-embassy, and their permanent military bases, and in a few months, move most of the troops back home and start planning for their next liberation. In an out and on to the next project in 3-6 months - cheap, quick and easy. In short, they did not for even a moment anticipate what actually happened.

And then there were their plans for the oil production. Not for a moment did they expect that one of the effects of invading Iraq was that oil production would actually drop! In fact, they planned to increase oil production in Iraq, eventually getting it up to five million bpd.

As for how long they planned/plan to stay, indefinitely would be the most accurate word.

Hurria said...

albatroz,

CC: Dancewater

If you want to understand what the Iraq project is all about, learn about the Project for the New American Century. You will notice some familiar names there, I am sure.

In brief, the reason for invading Iraq was to overthrow Saddam Hussein, replace him with a puppet government headed by Chalabi, deconstruct Iraq's government, economy, and civil society and transform the country into a dependent client state for use as a base of political, economic, and military operations in the region.

The ultimate goal of the neocons of PNAC is to make the United States the undisputed world hegemon. Iraq was to be the first step in achieving dominance over the Middle East.

But don't take my word for it, go to their website and check it out in their own words.

Moron99 said...

hurria,

did you actually read the PNAC site? Your conclusions are not consistent with PNAC content or action. In fact, the only way you could have reached your conclusions was to skim a some talking points and fill in the blanks with your own assumptions. If you go back and read the "Iraq" section, you will find that your assertions are in direct contradiction to their reccommended strategy and goals.

Personally, I'm not a fan of PNAC. I think the UN has become a spineless beauracracy and the US should spearhead an effort to establish of league of nations built around global trade and basic human rights ... dictators, tyrants, and oppressive regimes need not apply. I think would accomplish PNAC goals in a more positive way with a clearer message to the NK's of the world.

Moron99 said...

The point - clear and simple was to get rid of Saddam and install a peaceful government that respected human rights. But the organizational structure of the world is such that a dictator can slaughter his own people in perpetuity and declare war after war after war on his neighbors. There is no legal recourse to stop him or displace him unless the UN labels his actions as genocide or if he is in violation of WMD treaties.

Hmmm..... 2+2=4

Hurria said...

moron99,

I think it is you who are unaware of PNAC's goals, but we can let others read and decide for themselves. I recommend they start with the document titled Rebuilding America's Defenses.

It is hearwarming, though, to see that there are still a few people left who are clinging to the Bush administration's stories about the REAL reasons they launched a war of aggression against a country that posed no threat whatsoever to anyone, and had not for well over a decade. :)

Moron99 said...

hurria,

you misunderstand. I didn't believe the WMD story even before they invaded. The US needed legal justification to take action. Saddam had been playing the system for decades. He would hide behind technicalties, play shell games with the inspectors, and counted on their unwillingness to face him directly. He used the inspections to confuse his neighbors into thinking he had something that he did not. He played the system. Hey, Bush just played the system right back at him.


Now - remember - don't take your eye off the target. It's basic, it's simple. The target is terrorists. They are the guys who slammed jetliners into cities. The long term goal in Iraq is the same today as it was two years ago. To end the creation and recruiting of militant radicals in the mideast. It is a complex issue, but the bottom line is that freedom and prosperity breeds tolerance and tolerance kills terrorism. So the goal in Iraq is a peaceful, prosperous nation that respects human rights. It doesn't matter whether it is puppet or not-puppet, secular or not-secular, democracy or theocracy. The only things that matters is the end result. Peace, prosperity, and tolerance poisons the well of terrrorism.

Albatroz said...

Moron99 is a frightening accountant who deals with people as if they were part of some special ledger, subject to some bottomline to be assessed only in terms of advantage to Americans. The words colateral damage are never used, but they are implied everywhere. That's why he made such a nice effort at calculating the profit and loss of oil being stolen from Iraq, forgetting what I said earlier: the US does not care how much oil will cost - in terms of military occupation - as long as it keeps reaching the American economy. Simply soon there will not be enough oil for all industrialized countries (including fast developping China and India), at the present rate of consumption. Survival - and power - in the next decades will depend on having oil and on preventing your rivals from having it. Stupid is not understanding this simple equation. But Moron99 is so happy fiddling with figures that he forgets the real issues. If Iraqis don't keep making the costs of war too high - in terms of bodybags going back to the States - soon we will see another war against the next big oil producer (Iran), and the economic occupation of Central Asia oil producers. We are already seeing the preparation of another WMD bogus in relation to Iran. War will come next. Meanwhile Moron99 will do the accounts - but not in terms of human suffering. Pity his IQ is not matched by some ethics...

waldschrat said...

hurria - you said "There have been enough reported incidents, some of them very well documented, to show a clear pattern on the part of U.S. troops of utter disregard for the lives and safety of unarmed protesters."

This concerns me deeply. All I can tell you with certainty is that when I was drafted into the US military in 1969 they taught us in basic training to avoid firing into crowds if at all possible and to use snipers if necessary against armed individuals mingling with an un-armed crowd. I assume this is still routine.

I have not seen reports here in the US of American troops firing indiscriminatly at unarmed Iraqi protestors. I did see one report of Iraqi guard troops firing on protesters. I have also seen pictures of Iraqi individuals carrying weapons in a crowd. One report from Aljazeera mentioned "protesters" who threw grenades, suggesting that they don't quite understand there at Aljazeera the usual use of the word "protester" here in the USA. A group armed with guns or grenades, or a mob apparently intent on ripping people apart with their bare hands, is a different thing from a group of people carrying signs and chanting slogans or insults but not equipped for or intent on violence.

Beyond this, armies are stupid and mistakes happen. The protest song I posted a link to previously is about Kent State University in Ohio, where in fact US troops fired into a crowd of angry protesters, killing four people and claiming the crowd fired first (no evidence of that was ever found, if I recall). This was an exception to the rule. It should not have happened, but it did. In and of itself it does not constitute a "pattern".

As I said, I am not aware of a clear pattern of US troops firing on unarmed Iraqi protesters. I certainly would not condone such a thing, and it concerns me deeply. You said some reports are "well documented". If you can provide me with links to such reports I'd really appreciate it. I don't think the average American citizen would be prepared to accept or condone any such "clear pattern" if they were aware of it. If there is such a pattern, I damn well want to know more about it. What can you tell me?

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

your response is a tacit acknwoledgement that your oil hypothesis fails to make any logical sense. However, your defense mechanisms do not allow you to admit this. Since the core component of your position is indefensible, you respond by attempting to discredit the opposing point of view. Unfortunately, you are so far down the path of illogical assumptions that even your attempts to discredit require further false assumption. It is a scary prospect that you might actually be a teacher who is in a position to influence young minds.

Anonymous said...

You all need to understand that the US did not go into Iraq to make a bunch of money. There was never any intent to make money there. Liberating Iraq was always going to be an expensive alternative for the US. No one thought otherwise. I can find no reference from anyone in the US Administration who thought otherwise.

As far as the 100,000 innocent civilian deaths, that number is bogus. It comes from a scientifically debunked article from an English magazine and should not be repeated. It does not help the discussion.

Also, I doubt that much depleted uranium was used in shells in Fallujah. Depleted uranium shells are to distroy tanks, they are not used to blow up buildings that house people shooting at you.

Having said that, I think a wait and see attitude is wise at this time. I wish you all well.

Moron99 said...

waldschrat,

It is rumor without reality. IMO, the really significant event surrounding the protests went unnoticed in the media. The position of the Sadrists was not the only group present. Yet there was no violence. The small factions that were "protesting the protest" did not get beaten or shot. The crowd respected their right to have a different opinion. That is a very, very positive sign for the future of Iraq.

Albatroz said...

Moron99,

"Logical sense" to you means profits, hard cash. Logical sense to me means that if you desperately need something you will go and get it, no matter how much it costs. The US government knows that the US economy will be desperate for oil within one or two decades. Since other people will be equally desperate (ourselves in Europe, China and India, at least), the objective is to control as many sources of oil as possible, preferably with your troops on the spot. By coincidence this is exactly what the US is doing right now. You may choose to play dumb - actually I do not think that you fail to see my point - but that's the real issue in Iraq. Soon enough we will have all the proof we need of this scheme. Why would the US be upset at the oil deals being signed between Iran and China, Japan and Russia? Because those deals strenghten Iran, or because any oil going to China, Japan or Russia, will not go to the US? Why is the US government trying to topple Hugo Chavez in Venezuela? Nothing to do with oil? Please, use your high IQ for something else than dumb figures...

Moron99 said...

albatroz,

Your perspective on the world is distinctly European. To you, everything revolves around colonizing other nations and plundering their resources. Has it ever crossed your mind that there are other non-European ways of thinking?

Albatroz said...

Moron99,

Let me tell you a story not known by many people. A few years ago Angola's UNITA leader, Jonas Savimbi, went to Abidjan in the Ivory Coast to meet with the then US Secretary of State. The idea was to discuss future relations, in case UNITA conquered power, as it then seemed quite probable. During that discussion Savimbi was asked to guarantee American interests in Angola (oil!!!), and had the incredible naivete of saying that his first duty was to the Angolan people but that, if American interests did not conflict with Angolan interests he would be more than happy to assist. After that meeting Americans switched all their help to the competing MPLA movement, and UNITA was ultimately defeated. This was told me by one of UNITA participants in that meeting, after Savimbi had been killed in Angola and the war had come to an end.

As you see, Americans are quite different from us, despicable Europeans. Their choice of allies, in Angola, was a matter of principle, and the idea of profitting from Angola's ressources didn't even come to their minds. Had Savimbi promised all the help Americans needed to continue plundering Angola's oil, and he would very probably be alive and sitting in the presidential palace in Luanda.

Did you get it?...

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

UNITA stuck with their marxist ideology whereas the competing faction (MPLA) rejected marxism and proposed democracy.

Gee, how surprising. The Americans took the side of democracy over the side of dictatorship. Like you said, we americans are quite different from you europeans.

Albatroz said...

Moron99,

Sorry, but it was the other way around. MPLA were the marxists - they were at a time helped by Cuban troops - UNITA were the pro-western ones, getting for some time help from South Africa. What is your argument now?...

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

The US did not support MPLA until after they embraced democracy and lost Cuban support. This was at the same time that the US withdrew all support for UNITA because they intended to install an authoritarian government. The historic facts are readily available. I am perplexed why you prefer to believe rumor over verifiable historic facts with a consistent timeline. No, I take that back. I'm not perplexed at all. It is your modus operandi.

Bill said...

Thank God..whats really going on today in Iraq can be read at Chrenkoff's blog http://chrenkoff.blogspot.com/2005/04/good-news-from-iraq-part-25.html


Our conscience takes no notice of pain inflicted on others until it reaches a point where it gives pain to us. In all cases without exception we are absolutely indifferent to another person's pain until his sufferings make us uncomfortable.
- Mark Twain

Hurria said...

It is simply astonishing that what someone like Chrenkoff, who has never set foot in Iraq, knows nothing whatsoever about its history, politics, social structure or culture, and does not speak a word of any of its languages - in other words, is as abysmally ignorant of the place as the gang who launched this unholy war - is touted as the final word on what is REALLY going on there. Somehow, from half a world away, with no knowledge of the place, and no ability to access Arabic information sources, he manages to know things about Iraq that no one who is actually in Iraq has ever seen - and it's all so glowingly good.

What a shame that Iraqis are not experiencing anything like what he describes.

Hurria said...

PS I really do have to hand it to Bill for having the chutzpah to come onto the website of an Iraqi who is actually living in the middle of it all and tell him what is REALLY going on where he is.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Took me an hour to read all the posts. I read lots of passionate arguments and premises, few cross-referenced facts.

Go make love to a woman! This is a war of words appears to give no satisfaction.
Bottom line: Love those who love you. Kill those who don't.
There is 2 sides to every coin and no matter how right you think you are someone else considers you wrong or worse. Truthteller's blog has come a long way since I first started reading and commenting in August. Live long and prosper!!

-Rich

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is if all the Americans left Mosul tomorrow, what would happen? Would peace come or anarchy?

John said...

Hurria, I totally agree, Chrenkoff, is a very sad excuse for a propogandist. I'm sure that anyone would consider his credibility and understanding of Iraq totally without substance and unworthy of any serious consideration. Bill on the other hand, I'm sure, was exercising sarcasm here by stating something so obviously absurd when you consider the disinformation Chrenkoffs Blog spreads everyday. Chrenkoffs unquestioned endorsement by ITM says enough about the credibility of his "Good News From Iraq" updates!

Interesting question posed by Anon. "Would peace come to Mosul/Iraq, if an invading foreign military occupier, who has agressively attempted to wipe out everyone actively fighting against or assumed to be opposed to their prescence, suddenly get up and leave? Thats similar to the musings about Vietnam, which implied that Vietnam would dissolve into a state of complete anarchy and mass murder, should the Americans, who were actively engaged in mass murder every day, saturation and defoliation bombing, chemical warfare with napalm and agent orange, the entire elimination of villages and forests, Ever Leave! Similar to their tyranny in Iraq with massive bombing attacks in Fallujah and the elimination of all potential "insurgent" hideouts, Iraqis might try to get on with their lives subject to massive reparation payments owed by the americans due to their illegal war and complete with the necessary trials brought against American political and military leaders for war crimes. Its one thing to excuse yourself and apologise for waging war to eliminate a dictator but quite another when your act of war assumes the face of and presents itself with the same murderous image and acts of the dictator you're attempting to eliminate. The credibility of this war effort no longer has substance or value, assuming it ever did, and is at best Criminal and hypocritical, the ethical or moral argument long ago lost in the countless thousands killed at the hands of a wreckless occupier!

Anonymous said...

John,
You have a lot of hyperbole in your answer, but didn't really answer the question clearly.

What would life be like if the Americans left Mosul today. If all would be peaceful, then why stay? If needed to help the Iraqis keep the peace then stay.

I am worried about the innocent civilians, rather than to make a political point here. Let's leave politics to the debating societies.

John said...

sorry about the hyperbole Anon, I guess the point of your question is, Do Iraqis need a foreign military to protect themselves from each other. Does America killing Iraqis represent a better alternative than Iraqis killing Iraqis. Of course I would most likely feel inclined to fall on the side of self determination for Iraq. Similar to how America wanted to define their own country and government! America has yet to define or exhibit a successful track record of creating utopian governments. They generally go out of their way to support governments which initially express any pro-American tendencies (Such as Noriega in Panama) or being a credible mentor of world order or of being able to shape model societies in their own image. so my answer would be, yes of course Iraq would be far better off if they left tomorrow! On one level, Iraqis don't hold they same destructive weaponry as America, so there wouldn't be as strong a likelihood of cities being entirely destroyed. Political factions might aspire to a common ground rather than focus on an entirely normal response to being occupied!

If anything, successive U.S. administrations have worked hard to subvert constitutional and popularly accepted governments that pursued policies of social reform favorable to the downtrodden and working poor. Thus the U.S. was instrumental in the overthrow of popular reformist leaders such as Arbenz in Guatemala, Jagan in Guyana, Bosch in the Dominican Republic, Sukarno in Indonesia, Goulart in Brazil, and Allende in Chile. And let us not forget how the United States assisted the militarists in overthrowing democratic governments in Uruguay, Bolivia, Thailand, and Turkey. Given this record, it is hard to believe that the CIA trained, armed, and financed an expeditionary force of Somocista thugs and mercenaries out of another democratic concern for Western style electoral politics in Nicaragua.

Again sorry about the hyperbole Anon, but yes my answer would be leave Iraq now!!

Albatroz said...

Moron99,
I lived in Angola and was familiar with leaders of both UNITA and MPLA. You have no idea of what you are talking about. MPLA is about as democratic as Saddam Hussein, with a President who was never elected and whose term of office has been extended indefinitely. You are so eager to defend every single act of rape by the US that you definitely stopped being interested by any facts that might show your government for what it is: a bunch of old time imperialists. No wonder the US has refused to accept the International Court of Justice jurisdiction. Otherwise Bush would now be sitting next to Milosevic... As far as I am concerned our discussion ends here and now.

Anonymous said...

John said: "Again sorry about the hyperbole Anon, but yes my answer would be leave Iraq now!! "

And if the US left, what would happen in Mosul?

My guess is the Baathists would take over. If not, the organized crime most definately would. I really don't think that is for the best for the individual Iraqi citizen.

They came out in mass for democracy. Even though you hate America, at least, right now, America is defending democracy in Iraq. Let's let them have democracy, please.

Bill said...

According to Hurria, if you don't live in the country you are talking about, you have no right to comment.

Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
-Winston Churchill

Hurria said...

"According to Hurria, if you don't live in the country you are talking about, you have no right to comment."

Bill, I do apologize. It seems once again on this page I have failed to make myself clear. This is certainly not the message I intended to convey at all. I wish my language skills were better, I really do.

Hurria said...

Anonymous, I will be happy to answer your question if you will give me a couple of hours, as there are some things I must do before I can take the time.

Anonymous said...

"Now - remember - don't take your eye off the target. It's basic, it's simple. The target is terrorists. They are the guys who slammed jetliners into cities. The long term goal in Iraq is the same today as it was two years ago. To end the creation and recruiting of militant radicals in the mideast."

In case you haven't noticed, terrorism is increasing in Iraq every day. They are not using jetliners, they are using car bombs and IEDs and such. Of course, most is directed against IRaqis, but *Same idea*.

Anonymous said...

"It is a complex issue, but the bottom line is that freedom and prosperity breeds tolerance and tolerance kills terrorism. So the goal in Iraq is a peaceful, prosperous nation that respects human rights."

Americans sure are not setting a very good example, are they? Detentions for months without trials, torture, killing wounded, check point shootings, dropping bombs on a country that did not hurt the US or even threaten it....

When all is said and done, I wonder if we won't make Saddam look good!

Anonymous said...

"It doesn't matter whether it is puppet or not-puppet, secular or not-secular, democracy or theocracy. The only things that matters is the end result."

I'm just guessing here, but I'll bet it matters to the Iraqi people... but what do they know? It's only THEIR COUNTRY, WHO ARE THEY TO TELL THE USA HOW IT SHOULD BE RUN???

"Peace, prosperity, and tolerance poisons the well of terrrorism."

And I think we can conclude that bombing, torture, sexual assult,night time house raids, killing, lack of basic services like electricity and water, unemployment rate of 50% or better will lead to what we have on the ground in Iraq today..... which is a significant amount of terrorism, happening on a daily basis.

I'm only guessing again, but I'll bet Americans would act pretty much the same way under such horrible circumstances.

Anonymous said...

nybody out there who does not believe they are doing war to make money?

go google "Uncle Bucky"

Moron99 said...

Don't look now, but the Iarqis are already running the show. America wanted a series of referendums and the Iraqi's wanted a general election on Jan 30. The Americans were fond of Allawi but list 169 won. It is an odd puppet that always gets what it wants.

Anonymous said...

moron99,

Yep, the Iraqis are in charge. They have a Republic, let's hope they can keep it.

Hurria said...

"the Iarqis are already running the show"

Pure rubbish. Iraqis are still living under occupation. The U.S. designed the format of the "election", and the very undemocratic process of selecting the "government". The U.S. runs the show from its mega-embassya (aka command and control center), enforced by 150,000 troops plus their proxies known as the "Iraqi security forces" who act only under their orders. The "government" operates from the green zone, the headquarters of the occupation. It is completely dependent on the occupying power for everything, and is therefore beholden to the U.S.

The Iraqis will not be running the show until they succeed in forcing the U.S. out completely - military, mega-embassy, "reconstruction" programs and all.

Hurria said...

"the Iraqis are in charge. They have a Republic"

What on earth are you talking about? Iraqis have ahd a republic since 1958.

Anonymous said...

Hurria,
Are you saying Saddam had a Republic? I wouldn't call it that.

By the way, right now the Iraqis have a Republic. There is very little control being placed by the Americans. You could call it a colonial rule, but it would be a very loose one.

US troops are in 'peace keeping' mode in the country and would love to leave if they could.

But I guess you will only be convinced when they are gone. And I really can't blame you for that.

So, Iraqis need to establish a sound security force, the citizens need to turn in the terrorists and the US should leave.

In the mean time the Iraqis need to set down their own Constitution and get busy and run their own governmental agencies (which they have had for a while now).

Anonymous said...

By the way, country wide, attacks are down by 1/2 since the elections.

waldschrat said...

hurria - You said "The Iraqis will not be running the show until they succeed in forcing the U.S. out completely - military, mega-embassy, "reconstruction" programs and all."

That doesn't sound like a very productive program. What you're apparently saying is that you support sabotage, mayhem and revolution regardless of whether the majority of our fellow citizens think that way or not. That kind of thinking and the actions it encourages are a large part of the reason Truth Teller and other Iraqis have poor security, poor electical service, and all manner of other inconveniences. It seems like a bombs-instead-of-brains psychology, a fanatic's futile ravings. What have you actually done to make the situation in Iraq BETTER lately? And what in the world do you have against "reconstruction programs"?

Hurria said...

"Are you saying Saddam had a Republic?"

Iraq has been a republic since the 1958 revolution. .

"I wouldn't call it that."

Whatever you would or would not call it, its name is الجمهورية العراقية The Republic of Iraq. And it was indeed a republic, according to the definition of the word - until it became an occupied country, that is.

"right now the Iraqis have a Republic."

No, the Iraqis HAD a republic. Right now we have a country under foreign occupation.

"There is very little control being placed by the Americans."

Where do you hear these things? To the best of my knowledge even the Bush administration is not making claims like this. The Americans are, of course, controlling everything. Iraq does not even have a government at this time.

"US troops are in 'peace keeping' mode in the country..."

Please! US troops have never been in "peace keeping" mode in Iraq, and they are not in "peace keeping" mode now. Thanks to US troops, in fact, there has not been any peace to keep since March 19, 2003.

"and would love to leave if they could."

I have no doubt at all that most of the US troops would love to leave. It is surely no picnic for them (though as bad as it is for them, it is far, far worse for Iraqis). The problem is that the Bush administration has very big and very long-term plans in Iraq, and they have not yet given them up, so they will keep the troops there until they are forced by Iraqis and by the US public to remove them.

"But I guess you will only be convinced when they are gone."

Look, if the Bush administration has its way they will never be gone. They have already spent hundreds of millions building permanent military bases there, and millions on permanent infrastructure for a fiber optic communication network between the bases. They are spending more tens of millions setting up the largest embassy in the world. This is not the behaviour of someone who plans to leave any time soon.

"So, Iraqis need to establish a sound security force, the citizens need to turn in the terrorists..."

Yes, yes, we know. That is the constant mantra we have heard for over a year now.

"and the US should leave."

You have the order wrong. The U.S. leaves first - not just the troops, but the whole lot of them, including the "reconstruction" contractors (aka war profiteers). After that the Iraqi people will work things out without the interference of an outside power following its own agenda.

"In the mean time the Iraqis need to set down their own Constitutiona and get busy and run their own governmental agencies (which they have had for a while now)."

1) Iraqis know what we need to do. We do not need outsiders most of whom could not find our country on an unlabeled map, and who know absolutely nothing about Iraq, its history, its politics, or its people, yet who are sure they know better than wae do what we need.

2) Again, I wonder where you get your information, but Iraqis have not run their own government agencies for over two years. Each ministry and each government agency is run by a gang of American "advisors" who make the decisions. The ministers, all of whom are appointed by the occupying power, are, just like the so-called "governing council", and the so-called "interim governmet", are nothing more than the Iraqi facade on the occupation.

Hurria said...

"country wide, attacks are down by 1/2 since the elections. "

Umm - no, they're not. Again, where are you getting your information? Virtually all of it is simply false.

Moron99 said...

Who are the real occupiers?

The Americans will leave. maybe not today, but they will leave. What about the arhabis? When will they leave? If they lose an election, will they peacefully accept the results? Or will they continue to bomb funerals, assasinate police, and slash off heads until they have the money and power that they desire? How long until they stop inviting suiciders from Jordan, Syria, and Suadi? How long before they stop sabatauging electricity and water?

If you ask me, the dangerous occupiers are the pan-arabs and the arhabis who see Iraq as belonging to them instead of to the people of Iraq. They ignore the Shia and do not consider the Kurds to be equally human. It is they who wish to enslave Iraq and crush the will of her people.

Hurria said...

"What you're apparently saying is that you support sabotage, mayhem and revolution regardless of whether the majority of our fellow citizens think that way or not."

1) Please! It is getting very tiresome having words put into my moutha. I know I have not said anything about supporting sabotage or mayhem. As for "revolution", I have no idea what you mean by that, but I have never used that word or any synonym for it here, and I rarely use it in any context at all.

2) What do you mean by "our" fellow citizens? You are clearly not Iraqi, and I could not possibly care less what your fellow American citizens want when it comes to Iraq, unless and until they start to demand immediate and unconditional withdrawal.

Hurria said...

"The Americans will leave."

Is that why they have already spend a few hundreds of millions to build permanent military bases that resemble "little Americas" complete with all the comforts of home like Burger Kings? Is that why they are spending millions on permanent infrastructure for a fibre-optic communication system between those bases? Is that why they are spending tens of millions on the largest "embassy" in the world for a country the size of one of their states? Strange behaviour indeed for someone who intends to leave.

"What about the arhabis?"

It's irhabi الإرهابي.

And which arhabis (sic) are you referring to? The 150,000 arhabis (sic) who terrorize Iraqis day and night with their bombs, tanks and heavy machine guns? The 150,000 arhabis (sic) who break down doors at 3 AM and rampage through families' homes, terrorizing them, trashing their houses and belongings, stealing - excuse me, "confiscating" jewelry, money and other valuables, and dragging the men off to who knows where for who knows how long? The 150,000 arhabis (sic) who have no compunctions about taking elderly mothers, wives and children of "wanted" men hostage? The 150,000 arhabis (sic) who drop one ton bombs on residential neighborhoods, sometimes killing entire families, destroy entire cities, and run off the road or blow away anyone who does not show proper deference on the road? The 150,000 arhabis (sic) who find arbitrary arrest, indefinite imprisonment and torture quite compatible with the word liberation? Those arhabis (sic)?

Surely you don't mean the few thousands of petty criminals and religious extremists who were nonexistent in Iraq until the U.S. liberated them to run rampant in the country.

"If you ask me, the dangerous occupiers are the pan-arabs and the arhabis"

It's irhabi الإرهابي. You clearly don't know a thing about "pan-Arabs". As for the arhabis (sic), we have the U.S. to thank for their presence and for their continued ability to operate. The U.S. not only made it possible for them to operate in Iraq, and done nothing to control them, it has facilitated their activities.

"who see Iraq as belonging to them instead of to the people of Iraq."

And now you can read their minds?

"They ignore the Shia"

You are clearly making assumptions without any knowledge of what you are talking about. They do not ignore the Shi`a. Quite the opposite, in fact. Unless, of course, you are talking about the Shi`a extremists who are freely terrorizing women, barbers, Christians, and anyone else who does not live up to their religious standards.

"and do not consider the Kurds to be equally human."

Again, you are making assumptions based on no real knowledge. One of the main arhabi(sic) groups reputed to be operating freely in Iraq thanks to the U.S. is, in fact, a Kurdish group.

waldschrat said...

When I was a kid we studied a piece of literature in school called "The War Prayer". Mark Twain wrote it. I'm posting it here for the benefit of all patriots, hawks, holy warriors and would-be heros on both sides.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
(Twain apparently dictated "The War Prayer" around 1904-05; it
was found after his death among his unpublished manuscripts.
The actual prayer is also sometimes seen in poem form.)

The War Prayer

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The
country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned
the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands
playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing
and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and
fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of
flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched
down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the
proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering
them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by;
nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot
oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and
which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of
applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the
churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and
invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause
in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener.
It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash
spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt
upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry
warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank
out of sight and offended no more in that way.

Sunday morning came--next day the battalions would
leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were
there, their young faces alight with martial dreams--visions of the
stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the
flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping
smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the
war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden
seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud,
happy, and envied by the neighbors and fiends who had no sons
and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for
the flag, or , failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The
service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was
read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst
that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose,
with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that
tremendous invocation

*God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest!
Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!*

Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of
it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language.
The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and
benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young
soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic
work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour
of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and
confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the
foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable
honor and glory--

An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and
noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister,
his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head
bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his
shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to
ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he
made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the
preacher's side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the
preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his
moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in
fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord
our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"

The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step
aside--which the startled minister did--and took his place.
During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with
solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep
voice he said:

"I come from the Throne--bearing a message from
Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the
stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the
prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such
shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained
to you its import--that is to say, its full import. For it is like
unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than
he who utters it is aware of--except he pause and think.

"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he
paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two--one
uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who
heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder
this--keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon
yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a
neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain
upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly
praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not
need rain and can be injured by it.

"You have heard your servant's prayer--the uttered part
of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other
part of it--that part which the pastor--and also you in your hearts-
-fervently prayed silently. And ignorantlyy and unthinkingly?
God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the
victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the *whole* of
the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words.
Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for
victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which
follow victory--*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it.
Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of
the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!

"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our
hearts, go forth to battle--be Thou near them! With them--in
spirit--we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved
firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their
soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their
smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us
to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their
wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble
homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of
their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn
them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the
wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst,
sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter,
broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge
of the grave and denied it--for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord,
blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter
pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their
tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!
We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of
Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that
are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts.
Amen.

(*After a pause.*) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire
it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"

It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic,
because there was no sense in what he said.

Truth teller said...

hurria
Thank you so much for your posts.You said what I can't do because of my poor english.. I support you all the way.

Moron99 said...

Hurria,

My question for you is - what long term future do you want for Iraq?

The "occupiers" I am specifically talking about are the Saddamees and the Wahabis combined with the support of Syria and Jordan. It is good to have national pride and the Iraqi people have certainly impressed the world with their pride, honor, resourcefullness, and courage. But sometimes pride and distrust can lead to bad results. Such is the current case with in Iraq and those who fight solely for nationalist reasons.

Frankly, neither the current government of Iraq nor the common citizens are strong enough to withstand either the Batthist, Wahabi, or Sadrists if they are allowed to operate freely. The Sadirists lack the organizational hierarchy to survive for long and would probably be defeated by the Saddamees. US soldiers found tractor trailer trucks loaded with money. I wonder how many of these trucks made it across the border and are now waiting for the US to leave? Iranian backing may strengthen the Sadrist hand, but I doubt it would be insufficient to overcome the funding and organizational skills of the Saddamees.

The most likely short term outcome of a US withdrawal is civil war with the heavy hand of Syria, Jordan, and Iran. The Kurdish peshmerga is strong enough to secure Kurdistan and they would probably use the civil war as an opportunity to reclaim lost territory and northern oilfields.

The most probable long term result is the splitting of Iraq into two states (north and south) and the re-instatement of a new Saddam. The second most probable outcome is an Iranian style theocracy. Less likely is a continuation of governemnt by concensus. It is unlikely that the Kurds would not secede and use their existing Peshmerga to establish the borders of their choice.

So, again, my question is - what long term future do you desire and what is the best way to accomplish it? Please don't rant about US troops. I'm asking you about Iraq. What do you want Iraq to be in 20 years? What kind of country do you want to give to your children?

richsanter said...

Moron99 --

Your oil calculations are becoming a little more realistic, now. Even though you really haven’t thought about increased Iraqi oil production.

There are, however, further factors for your consideration.

Factor #1 lies in the ‘soft power’ afforded by the control of oil. I have said this repeatedly, but people seem to turn deaf on it. Yet it is possibly (outside of lining oil honcho’s pockets) the most important reason to control the oil flow. Factor in the BILLIONS that the US can potentially save in military action per year, if it controls the oil spigot.

China getting uppity? Take a nice spike in the oil price. Oops, damn, did your economy have a dip? Well, next time, toe the line or it’ll be worse.

Forget about your in-the-box calculations on this one. In the coming energy crisis, oil IS guns. Oil IS tanks and planes. Oil IS an aircraft carrier. Oil IS weapons. THAT is the coming reality. Controlling the primary source of energy the world has access to will be of INCALCULABLE value to maintaining American primacy, especially if you have the option of kick-starting your own economy with cheap energy should it falter, and the ability to puncture other economies if they get too strong.

Now, it hardly takes a genius to figure this out – but – why am I am constantly surrounded by people who are unable to grasp this basic concept? Is this stupidity willful? Are all Americans just acting dumb until the ‘evil master plan’ is complete, at which point they will yell “GOTCHA!”?

(“No, no, we REALLY want to spend a fortune in spreading “democracy” because, like, we’re SO GOOD,” I hear the masses yelling back at me. Riiiight … )

Factor #2 is your (and other Americans) misguided assumption that Bush, Cheney and all these other oil company big wigs will have YOUR interests at heart when they dole out the oil.

Gee, I’m sure that they wouldn’t, say, try to play the middleman and rip the US consumer off when setting prices. I mean, companies like Halliburton would NEVER indulge in profiteering, would they? Let me put it plainly for you. If you are selling oil, a high oil price is GOOD for your bottom line.

Let us turn that question around on Iraq, that question where you assumed that 50% profits would be the minimum that Iraqis would accept without rioting. Tell me, what is the HIGHEST petrol / heating oil / electrical prices that the US consumer would accept without rioting? Well, that’s what you’ll be paying.

For the hard nosed Capitalists that Americans are reputed to be, I find that sometimes you are *shockingly* naïve at times. Can you spell “vested interest”?

I can foresee your reply: low energy prices are good for the US economy yadda yadda, so why would Bush make Americans pay more? But it won’t be just Americans paying more. It will be everybody. And … if the US pays even a little less than others, your economy will still perform the best under worldwide difficult conditions. The question is, for how much will the big oil corporations be able to rape us for while avoiding revolution?

(Oh, btw, your assumption on a 50% share being the minimum before revolution is wrong. Iran *wanted* a simple 50-50 oil share back in the 50’s , yet this was deemed outrageous by the US/ Brits, who overthrew their democratic government and installed the brutal Shah instead, all in the name of profit. We have seen this before.

And RIGHT NOW, the US controls ALL Iraqi oil revenues, and has been spending them as its own, paying American companies to ‘reconstruct’ US-caused war damage. The US will completely control these revenues through the Development Fund For Iraq until 2007. At least. That is why the ‘democracy’ is just a façade.)


On Angola:

You are damaging what little credibility you still possess by pushing the issue. I live in South Africa, and well remember the South African government helping Savimbi because they saw him as a bulwark against Communist infiltration southwards. I don’t dispute that he was a thug. But see Albatroz’s comments for the reality of the MPLA government. Furthermore, given that the friggin Cubans HELPED the MPLA, (you know, those evil commy types near Miami) that says something, does it not?

In short: You are wrong.


On this dumb statement:

“Now - remember - don't take your eye off the target. It's basic, it's simple. The target is terrorists. They are the guys who slammed jetliners into cities. The long term goal in Iraq is the same today as it was two years ago.”

Aaah, that’s right, Baathist radicals slammed jetliners into cities. Man, how can we forget? Or was it Al Qaeda, their sworn enemies? Ah, who cares, they’re all brown, Muslim, and speak Arabic. Same thing. Let’s get ‘em all!

Seriously, Moron99, statements such as these rapidly erode whatever sense you do speak. May I humbly suggest that you re-check what you have written BEFORE you press the ‘publish’ button?


Waldschrat –

With respect to your experience and your training, US soldiers firing at civilians and at crowds of civilians has been well documented. The Fallujah massacre, where about 16 protesters were killed, which led to the violence that we saw wrack the city, was perpetrated by your very own USMC. The Marines claimed that the crowd had shot at them. Yet, there were no casualties, never mind deaths amongst the Marines. Not even a bullet hole that they could point to. The US military has a shoot-first attitude that has seen thousands of civilians get shot up.

Now, I understand that soldiers are entitled to defend themselves, and that a guerilla war is fraught with ambiguity. BUT. The key word is DEFEND. If they are being used as instruments for an unjust war and an evil policy of aggressive occupation, then IMO they lose a lot of the legitimacy of the “I was protecting myself” excuse.

(Actually, a case could be made that the instigators of the war should be the ones to carry the blame for soldier’s actions, given that they PUT them in that situation. Yes, that means Rummy, Bush and the rest of that rotten bunch. They should be in the dock with their ex-chum Saddam.)

Fallujah is but one example. The chopper firing missiles and chain guns into a crowd on Haifa street is another. I have seen footage of a laser guided bomb slam into a crowd of about 40 people sauntering down a street in Fallujah. Footage of bombs hitting weddings. There have been furthermore widespread reports of troops firing 360’ if they are attacked, shooting at everything in sight. The bloh Free Iraq has another report (they would be monotonous if they were not so tragic) of a bunch of civilians tailing a convoy (at a safe distance) being shot dead.

That’s the reality.

Moron99 said...

Bruno,

There was no consideration for the time value of money ($500 billion invested global financial markets would grow to $2-$3 trillion in 15 years). The projected numbers have always been unrealistically favorable to avoid arriving at the conclusion of infinity. Only now, they are blatantly unrealistic.

The thing that the oil-heads don't understand is that oil is not the most valuable thing in the world. Oil greases the machinery of industrialization but it does not perform any tasks, it is not the only option, and it makes no significant contribution to the economic health of a nation.


As a more concrete example -
Lets us say that Iraq becomes an industialized nation and develops the capacity to maufacture Automobiles.

Every car driving on an Iraqi road would represent $30,000 to the Iraq manufacturing companies and 10 weeks of employment to an Iraqi citizen. 10 weeks of employment by an Iraqi citizens represents potential customers to the stores in Bagdhad. And customers to the storeowner represents enough money to buy a car. And the money keeps circulating.

That same car without a diversified economy represents $4,000 to Iraqi oil companies and a few hours of employment to the citizens. The money is put into a bank and the citizens are issued food rations. The monoy never benefits the people. It only benefits the dictators and kings. (gee - I wonder if there is any coorelation between countries that have oil and countries that have dictators?)


That is why oil-rich countries are actually poor. And oil-poor countries (like Japan) end up being rich. The government gets fat, the people get unemployed, and nothing gets built except new oil wells.

Moron99 said...

The US had no good choices to make with Angola. Savimbi was another Saddam in waiting (How many of his senoir officers did he execute?). After he lost an election that international observers dubbed as fair and free, what did he do? He went back to war. At least MPLA promised to respect democracy. In hindsight it was a false promise. But even then, what better option was on the table? At the time MPLA was promising to honor democracy, had rejected Marxism, and had lost support of the Stalinist states. The US is not so powerful that they automatically know the future.

Anonymous said...

Hurria,

I get a lot of my news from the Associated Press

"Guerrilla attacks are down across most of Iraq" - Associated Press 4/12/05

The Baathists had a fascist state under Saddam. Whether the name "Republic" was in the title or the country or not. That is very clear to an objective observer or historian.

What is also very clear is that many of those who want America to leave Iraq now would like the Baathist state to return. For whatever personal reason they have they do not wish for the current path Iraq is on to continue towards a true Republic. They just want America out of the way so that things will return to the way they were under Saddam.

Moron99 said...

You know, I see the common thread here amoung the oil-heads. Hmmm ... okay ... let's see how to put this ....

To a nation, the value of oil is miniscule in comparison to the value of a diversified economy. A diversified economy makes the people strong and prosperous and generates national wealth measured in trillions of dollars.

To a dictator, the value of oil is immense. It allows him to fund an army without needing to tax the people. He can keep the people weak while keeping himself strong and becoming one of the wealthiest people in the world.

To make oil a nationalized asset is not sufficient. There are plenty of thugs in the world and sooner or later one of them will ascend to power. There are only two options to keep an oil-rich country from deteriorating into either a dictatorship or a perpetual battle between warlords. One is to institute a system that absolutely prevents the government from realizing oil revenue. The other is to build a diversified economy such that oil revenues offer inadequate funds when compared to the wealth of the citizenry.

The oil-heads never visualize a society where oil is not the primary source of money. To them, oil is power. In reality, money is power.

Anonymous said...

"You have the order wrong. The U.S. leaves first - not just the troops, but the whole lot of them, including the "reconstruction" contractors (aka war profiteers). After that the Iraqi people will work things out without the interference of an outside power following its own agenda."

I understand that to mean, "America get out of our way so the Baathists can take over again".

Hurria said...

Earlier Moron99 wrote:

"the Iraqis need to set down their own Constitution"

Sorry for overlooking this before because it is a very important statement.

For your information, moron99, the Iraqis had quite a good constitution that was in some ways more progressive than your own U.S. constitution. One of the many unequivocally illegal actions of your Bush administration was to rescind that constitution. So, when you so patronizingly state that "Iraqis need to set down their own constitution", you are ignoring the fact that Iraqis already have their own very satisfactory constitution.

Hurria said...

"hurria
Thank you so much for your posts...I support you all the way.
"

Thank you, akhi. And I support you. Thank you for having the courage to speak out and to provide this space for me to speak as well.

Moron99 said...

Hurria,

you always avoid the question.

What do you want the Iraqi government to be and how would you propose getting there?

It leads me to believe that you don't want anyone to know your true agenda.

Moron99 said...

"For your information, moron99, the Iraqis had quite a good constitution that was in some ways more progressive than your own U.S. constitution. One of the many unequivocally illegal actions of your Bush administration was to rescind that constitution. So, when you so patronizingly state that "Iraqis need to set down their own constitution", you are ignoring the fact that Iraqis already have their own very satisfactory constitution."

That is up to the people of Iraq to decide. A constitution is a binding contract between the people and the government. In a few months, there will be a nationwide vote to accept or reject whatever contract your government offers. If the old one is that good, then you may fully expect to see large portions of it offerred in the new contract. In the new Iraq, whether you like it or not, one Iraqi equals one vote. Whichever idea gets the most votes is the one that will be followed. If Iraqi's wish to rescind this power and give the government authority to act without their approval, then all they need to do is vote for it.

So what is your vision of the future government?

Anonymous said...

Hurria seems to be pro-Saddam

waldschrat said...

anon - hurria sounds more like she's echoing the Al Zarkawi propaganda line to me, but who knows, maybe she's a disgruntled teenager in Dallas having a little fun. Her writing in English is typically free of errors and quite elloquent, suggesting she's either quite brilliant or a native speaker of the language.

Anonymous said...

I know this will probably go to deaf ears in this discussion group, but the US President again today reminded the US troops:

"In my liberation message to the Iraqi people, I made them a solemn promise: "The government of Iraq, and the future of your country, will soon belong to you." I went on to say: "We will help you build a peaceful and representative government that protects the rights of all citizens. And then our military forces will leave."

From the beginning, our goal in Iraq has been to promote Iraqi independence -- by helping the Iraqi people establish a free country that can sustain itself, rule itself, and defend itself."

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/04/20050412.html

Moron99 said...

waldschrat,

I'd vote for a Riverbend type. An educated urban dweller who was adept at working the old system and has lost both stature and security. Someone who never got to see Saddam's mass atrocities in the outlying regions because of the strict information controls. For them, Saddam was tolerable and profitable.

Hurria said...

moron99, I know quite well what kind of "democratic" process your government has imposed on Iraq, so you don't need to inform me of it as if I am an ignorant. But you appear to have completely missed my point, so I will repeat it with elaboration.

1) Iraq already had a constitution that was quite good (and in some ways more progressive than your own U.S. constitution).

2) The U.S. scrapped Iraq's constitution (along with all the other governmental and civil institutions). In doing so it violated Geneva IV (that quaint, out of date document to which the U.S. is a signatory). Violating Geneva IV again, the U.S. then tried to impose on Iraq a constitution written by and for the benefit of the occupying power (i.e. the U.S.). When that didn't work out, the U.S. violated Geneva IV yet again by imposing the "TAL" which was written by and for the benefit of the occupying power (i.e. the U.S.).

3) The U.S., after refusing, despite clear and repeated demands from the Iraqi people, to permit any form of democratic process, including local elections (and overturning the democratic results when iraqis held them anyway), was finally backed into a corner by Sistani and given little choice but to permit a national election.

4) The U.S. devised and imposed on Iraq its choice of a format for the "election" and for a very undemocratic process for selecting a "government" and writing a "constitution".

That process is designed with deadlines that would be unrealistic under any circumstances. It was also designed to make it very difficult to meet those deadlines.

Further, it was designed to give the Kurds, the only U.S. ally in Iraq, the power to veto anything the U.S. does not want to see passed.

7) In the TAL the U.S. has imposed on Iraqis that it will not grant "sovereignty" to any Iraqi government until the constitution is written and approved.

6) Most constitutions are written and ratified not in a matter of weeks, but in a matter of years. Some countries, recognized as democracies, such as Israel and Britain do not even have constitutions.

Hurria said...

Anonymous, have you still not figured out that your president is a bloody liar? I thought most Americans realized that by now, even if some don't care.

Albatroz said...

It's when Moron99 writes about Angola that his ignorance and bad faith appears (to me, who lived in Angola and have many Angolan friends) most clearly. Savimbi was no democrat (according to our standards) but he did not loose the presidential elections in Angola. No candidate obtained the required 50% plus one of the vote, so that a second round was necessary between Savimbi and Eduardo dos Santos. That never took place, following the slaughter of high UNITA officials in Luanda, at the hands of MPLA forces. It was that slaughter that forced Savimbi to go back to his guerrilla war. The US supported MPLA because they agreed to Americans continuing plundering their oil, something Savimbi was unwilling to accept. I am writing here about FACTS that anyone could check. Moron99 is happy enough with brainless propaganda, which makes me doubt his alleged high IQ. Unless he is paid to repeat here that crude propaganda. In which case he may be very intelligent but would be as corrupt as those he is defending. Now, if he is that wrong about anything he writes about Angola, why would we believe that his opinions on Iraq are any better? He could, like so many of his fellowcountrymen, fight for justice and for an early end to this imoral occupation of Iraq. But he prefers, for reasons we can only guess at, to side with the plunderers and torturers and rapists. Too bad...

Hurria said...

Oh, this is good! Who is this Hurria person?

Oh, sounds like one of those Saddam supporter/Ba`thist bitter ender types.

Oh, seems to be spouting Zarqawi rhetoric, must be one of them arhabi jeehadists (or is it jeehadist arhabis).

No, no, a disgruntled, but very eloquent teenager in Dallas with perfect English.

Wait, no, I've got it! Obviously a - horror of horrors! - Sunni* (pronounced Soony) who clearly benefitted and profitted from Saddam's rule, was totally ignorant of the fact that he was not god's gift to Iraq and the world, and hates the U.S. for taking away all the lovely privileges of being a Soony.

One of the things I love about Americans is that their compulsion to categorize people. That is, I believe, part of the same syndrome as their penchant for binary thinking. Nuanced thinking seems utterly beyond them, and they appear to be terrified of simply listening to a person without putting that person into some sort of a box. What an unfortunate, limited way of dealing with the world!

Moron99 said...

albatroz,

you distort history. How about some real facts. Quantitative facts that don't speculate about the motives of others?

UNITA was an authoritarian organization with Savimbi at the top. Like Saddam, Savimbi would kill any officers within his organization that threatened his power. The US supported Savimbi for as long as the only other option was a group backed by stalinist countries. At one point, MPLA flipped and decided to embrace democracy as it's political calling card. US support immediately switched from Savimbi to MPLA.

Now, when you read the above. Notice the subtle difference. There are no assumptions about motivations or conspiracy theories. It is cold, hard verfiable facts. The intelligent reader made draw his own conclusions. I am not so insecure in my support for dictators that I have to spin webs of conspiracy and decpetion. What you post are not facts. They are hypothesis.

Moron99 said...

shall we talk about the elections?

are you willing to stick to facts?

Savimbi would have needed to win over 80% of the undecided votes to win the runoff. Very unlikely considering that his opponnent very nearly achieved majority in the general election (I think it was 48.5%, but let's just say "over 47%").

Moron99 said...

hurria,

you may love the categorizations, but you just tipped your hand.

Saddam isn't coming back. Have you even figured out who the next dictator should be? Last man standing?

Albatroz said...

"At one point, MPLA flipped and decided to embrace democracy as it's political calling card. US support immediately switched from Savimbi to MPLA".

Good grief, Moron99! "MPLA decided to embrace democracy"! The "President for life" type of democracy, no doubt. Presumably the same type of democracy Americans are trying to impose in Iraq. That sort of democracy that enables the US to plunder other nations' oil. Can you really believe all that crap?

By the way, you - and everybody else - might want to look into the following:

http://www.fff.org/comment/com0504c.asp

P.S. - José Eduardo dos Santos had gotten his fill of votes. Short of 50%. Supporters of other candidates would more likely vote for Savimbi than for dos Santos, seeing that MPLA was the power everybody wanted to defeat. Do you think that the attack on UNITA's top officials had been necessary if MPLA was confident of winning? Do you know anything of Africa or Angola, besides what you can read on the CIA site?

Anonymous said...

Hurria,

Instead of yelling at us, tell us you are against Saddam and the Baathists, that will solve the issue once and for all.

Otherwise your hyperbole is simply hot air. It might have worked in Saddam's day to calm the crowds, it doesn't impress us.

Anonymous said...

Hurria,

Saddam isn't coming back and neither are the Baathists.

Best go find a good, Sunni slate of candidates to support.

Truth teller,

Best you vote next time.

Moron99 said...

Speaking of political affiliations, it is pretty clear that Albatross supports a strong central authority with the power to act autonomously from the wishes of the people. He probably also supports the use of force against a domestic population if the central government deems it neccessary to maintain control and power. Hmmm.... so, albatros - what do you think about gassing the Kurds? Was it justified?

Hurria said...

"I get a lot of my news from the Associated Press"

And where does the Associated Press get its information about Iraq? Why, in the "green zone" from the daily press briefings held by occupation officials and military spokespersons, of course. And we all know that everything they say is absolutely factual, truthful, accurate, and complete, don't we?

Anonymous said...

hurria,
Stop trying to deflect the points made. Saddam is not coming back, and neither are the Baathists. You need to find another cause.

Albatroz said...

Moron99,
I found a nice article specially writen for you:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/GD13Ak01.html

"so, albatros - what do you think about gassing the Kurds?"

The same I would think of gassing Americans or Iraqis. The same I think of shooting, bombing and killing innocent people all over the world. But I guess you would think it alright, if it was done in the name of democracy... by American troops...against baathists...

Anonymous said...

I have a good question for Albatroz and Moron, what do you think of the new Iraqi President? I understand he is against the death penalty.

Moron99 said...

Albatros,

You defelcted the point and never stated your opinion. This probably means that you think it is okay for a government to have secret police and take whatever action is neccessary to maintain power.

I do not think that either is okay. Government should be enslaved to the people whom it governs. Governemnt is a servant, not a master.


Let's see.

We got a guy who grew up in a European dictatorship of a dwindling colonial empire that had raped and ravaged countries from Asia to the America's and was the leading source of slave trade in Africa. This individual traveled to the last colony of the empire which provided the motherland with oil reserves equaling 10% of her wealth. During his stay there, the political figures he supported were defeated both militarily and politically.

Angola leadership profiles


A supporter of authoritarian government, he realizes that oil revenues allow a dictator to become strong without having to strengthen the underlying economy or appease the citizens. Not surprisingly, this individual now views the world as a collection of potential colonies whose only significant value is oil.

Hurria said...

Dear moron99,

CC: Anonymous

1) Please try to understand that I am not obligated to prove myself to you or to anyone else in any way.

2) Please look carefully through all my posts here, and find everything I have said about Saddam and Ba`thists. Then try to figure out how can justify coming to the conclusion you have come to.

Anonymous said...

just a simple statement would clear the entire matter up. Are you pro-Baathist or not?

Moron99 said...

I think it was a very wise choice. This new Iraq continues to impress. Who would have possibly believed that in two years Iraq would have 8 million voters, peaceful demonstrations, an elected government, and a cleric contending for the nobel peace prize. IMO, it's pretty clear that Iraq is positioned to become the intelectual and financial hub of the mideast.

But - back to the prez. ... When you read Kurdish opinion polls the answers are astounding. The Kurds are a deeply traumatized people. Put bluntly, Saddam did something truly horrible to them. They do not trust Arabs and they will not leave themselves vulnerable to Arab domination under any circumstance. A Kurdish president - Saddam's arch enemy at that - is a really nice way to start building a dialougue of trust.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that Hurria is in England.

Moron99 said...

Hurria,

Why? I wish defeat upon those that want to install a new dictator. Dictators are the worst system of governemnt in the world and lead to nothing but human sufferring and tragedy. A pox upon dictators!

If you are not aware of how you tipped your hand, then why should I tell you? So that you may learn to better disguise your true agenda in the future?

Anonymous said...

"The previous "realpolitik," when the United States cozied up to some unsavory authoritarians in order to thwart Soviet hegemony, is at an end. Franco, the Shah, Pinochet, Somoza, Papa Doc, and others were artifacts of the Cold War, when the aberrant condition of 7,000 nuclear missiles pointed at our cities reduced and warped our options. If it was once hypocritical for the land of Jefferson and Madison to support dictators, then it is surely right to walk away from those earlier wrongs now that the Sword of Damocles has been removed.

And while promoting democracy is idealistic, it does not necessarily follow that it is naive. What, after all, prevents wars? Hardly the U.N.; and not just aircraft carriers either. The last half-century of peace in Europe and Japan, and the end of our old enmity of Russia, attest that the widest spread of democratic rule is the best guarantee against international aggression. Ballots substitute for bullets in venting internal frustrations."
This is a quote from an evil neocon. Victor David Hanson. Funny though, it rings true. If interested, the entire article is here:

http://taemag.com/issues/articleid.18473/article_detail.asp

Hurria said...

moron99,

CC: Anonymous

"If you are not aware of how you tipped your hand..."

I have tipped absolutely nothing because there is absolutely nothing to tip. Fascinating how you people are so desperate to find some way to dismiss what people have to say that you will invent reasons out of thin air.

So many Americans - it appears to be the majority - have such a primitive way of thinking and viewing the world. You are either for good, or for evil. You are either with us or with the terrorists. If you are not thrilled with what the Americans are doing in Iraq, then you are anti-democracy. If you are opposed to the U.S. presence you must be a pro-Ba`thist who is longing for the return of Saddam. Anything more complex or, heaven forbid, nuanced, is simply beyond their ability to perceive or even imagine. As for ambivalence - well, I believe that concept does not exist in their culture.

Now, let me tell you something about your insistence that "the Ba`thists are not coming back". If you really knew anything at all about what your government has been doing in Iraq, and the they kinds of people they have been appointing and hiring for us, you would know that the Ba`thists bloody well ARE back, and have been for over a year. They are back because your government brought them back.

They started by actively recruiting members of Saddam's bloody and vicious mukhabarat and filling the "security forces" (aka proxy occupation forces) and "intelligence forces" with them. They appointed them to positions at every level of the "government", including their "prime minister". (Oh yes, we know, `Allawi was part of the "opposition in exile", aka the rolex-wearing, silk-suited opportunists who sat out the bad years in safety and luxury. While while Iraq bled, they jockied for positions of favour with the future conqueror, and waited for their opportunity to ride to glory on the backs of the invading tanks). We also know that `Allawi was, is and will always be a thug whose hands are covered in Iraqi blood, and that he has been one of the primary supporters of bringing back the Ba`thists. And we know that a hyena does not change his spots, or his foul odor simply because he starts running with a different pack.

So, before you start lecturing US about what is really going on in Iraq, and telling us that if we are not falling at Bush's feet in gratitude, we must prefer the Ba`thists. We know a hell of a lot more about what is going on than you do, and it is YOUR GOVERNMENT, not us, that wanted them back so badly.

Hurria said...

"the United States cozied up to some unsavory authoritarians in order to thwart Soviet hegemony, is at an end. Franco, the Shah, Pinochet, Somoza, Papa Doc..."

You forgot one. You forgot Saddam Hussein.

Anonymous said...

Hurria,

We are all cowboys and Boy Scouts, don't you know?

you said: "Ba`thists bloody well ARE back"

I say: yep, from England like I thought!

Allawi is not in power anymore, get over it. Anyway, why do you care? Your in England. Let the Iraqis vote in whom they want (and I assume it isn't Allawi).

Moron99 said...

Hurria,

ah, but you did tip your hand.

The future you wish will never happen. The viscousness and barbarism that your forces would have use is even greater now than it was before. Too many people have tasted freedom and the sweetness will linger in their memory. Your dream can only be accomplished if you are allowed to commit the wholesale slaughter of Iraqis that oppose you. It won't happen. The Americans are in the way and the new governemnt knows what you want.

Saddam is gone. There will be no new dictators. The weak masses are becoming strong. Learn to live with it.

Anonymous said...

And socialism/communism is not in the cards either. Not in Iraq

Albatroz said...

Moron99,
I am not ashamed of my past or my country's past. It is true we did some unpleasant things in various parts of the world, but we are not in the same league with you in that respect. For instance, we were one of the first countries in the world (in the 19th century) to abolish the death penalty, an act of civilization which the US has not yet copied. It is true we traded in slaves, mostly for your benefit, but we abolished differences based on race or colour much before you even start thinking about it. As for myself I was a reserve officer in Angola, for two years, and I never shot at anyone during all that time, although I was in a so-called operational area. My troops were African and they were responsible for most of my education on Africa and Africans. I fell in love with Angola, lived and worked there for sometime and did all I could to contribute to a peaceful society there.

My abhorrance of war comes from my own experience, although I never participated in any acts of violence. I learned that white and black could work together as equals, and that we were in no way superior to them. I learned to respect different cultures and not to try and impose on others my own values. That's why I so deeply dislike your actions in Iraq. You are ignorant and violent, you despise those who are different from you. You try to impose on them your views and your ways of life. You try to force them to serve your selfish interests. But I suppose you can't understand any of this...

Moron99 said...

Well, well, well.

Albatroz and I finally agree on something. All men are equal (women too).

But, explain this to me because I absolutely fail to see your reasoning. And - please - put aside your oil-centric dictator/colony/empire mentality and just answer the question.

How it is imposing our views upon another culture to say that every person should have a voice and that every voice should count equally? Is this some peculiarity of American culture that goes against the laws of god? How is America forcing their views upon Iraq when the American veiw is to accept whatever the majority of Iraqis vote for? By definition, the prevailing view of a culture is the one embraced by the majority of its citizens.

Explain to me how "majority rules" is an imposition of American values upon Iraq.

John said...

Moron have you ever taken an occasion to stand back and take a look at what you say. Your self expressed authority and impostion of expertise and illusionary truisms that you pretend is a revelation to people that live in the countries you proclaim yourself to be an expert on. Your self profession of clinical analysis and insistence on logical and rational expression which you contradict on an ongoing basis. Moron your really are a bit of a joke aren't you! A bit of a blow hard that derives pleasure from consistently portraying yourself in such an entirely absurd stupid fashion of misguided superiority. I would even agree with Jeffrey at this point when he called you out on Raeds Blog as being somewhat impaired gramatically and intellectually. At this point who really cares what you think, you're just repeating the same old tiresome demagogary, over and over again! You're a bit worn out Moron, I don't care anymore, I'm sure everyone else has grown wearisome over your twelve posts a day attempts at enlightening everyone. Maybe try to think about your political analysis over the course of a few days, run it by your friends, seek feedback and then post it! And even then consider is this really the Moronic image I want to attach my name too!

Thanks for listening!

Moron99 said...

if it offends you John, I am deeply pleased. I have read quite a few of your posts and know that you have no respect for human rights except when it serves your needs.

John said...

well Moron that pleases me as well, at least there is some hint you might follow my advice. Gosh, darn I know you seem to be bristling with energy over all this pent up bravado about your country and all you've done to eliminate terrorism in the world. How you've brought freedom to Iraq and all. Maybe for the first time in its political history, Moron might want to lay claim on America's behalf to some success story. While he's prepared to allow for missteps, as any good apologist would, or rational debator, laying the groundwork for the creation of a new world order is never easy.

Might be Abu Ghraib was a tad embarressing, or the murder charges brought against some of your troops regrettable or even the atrocities in Fallujah. But by and large, moron cosiders this to be a clinical and basically fairy tale type of happy ending for liberating Iraqi's from a tyrannical dictator. But hang on maybe they're not quite there yet. Seems like Saddam was eliminated from the process many moons ago yet those damn Iraqis still won't embrace our liberating forces. Wait a second, probably Baathists or sadarists or other disfunctional unappreciative groups. Where are our allies in Iraq, most likely the Shiites who spent the majority of the last ten years living in Iran! Wait a second, that was just the newly elected Prime Minister, check out the candidate for the interior ministry, now theres a Rumsfeld likeness if I ever saw one. Trust America to fuck everything up all over again. Regime change has never been their forte. After propping up Noriega, they ended up bringing him to Florida under drug and murder charges, their hand picked democratic leader. Whoops, bit of a mistake there, hang on but this is Iraq, after all America always learns from their mistakes. Yeah but what about Indonesia, Chile, Guatemala, Greece, brazil,or whatever other country you might consider mentioning within a third world context, not much of a democratic track record there either. Might say America is pretty much a fraud when it comes to improving the world, pretty much like Moron when he attempts to lend some form of expression and forced wisdom to that improvment!

waldschrat said...

hurria - FYI, I will respect you because Truth Teller respects you. I reserve the right to disagree with your beliefs about American intentions and with any statements you may make that seem to advocate violence.

BTW, I notice that anti-American demonstrations were reported in Baghdad today but the American press omitted any report of US troops spraying the demonstrations with machine gun fire. Is it possible you may have overstated the facts in portraying a pattern of US attacks on peaceful demonstrations? Are US troops just getting lazy or perhaps running out of ammunition? Or is the US press simply lying again?

But seriously, here is an honest question for you or Truth Teller: who is providing the most security for Iraqi citizens in Mosul right now, US troops or Iraqi police? I certainly agree that Iraqi forces might be best suited to the job, but I wonder if they are capable of it at this point. Does one see more US troops in Mosul or more Iraqi police and security forces?

Albatroz said...

Moron99,
"How it is imposing our views upon another culture to say that every person should have a voice and that every voice should count equally?"

The principle is universally valid. But who appointed you guardians of that principle? It is patronizing to assume that others are incapable of putting that principle in practice without your assistance. Or, worse, without your imposing it on them at gunpoint. It is up to the Iraqi people to find the best ways to achieve that degree of tolerance. They are a much older people than you. They may be economically less developed, but they certainly do not need your guidance. They knew how to read and write while we all were still living in caves. You have absolutely no respect for their intelects. According to you only you - with your guns - can create the right conditions for Iraq to achieve freedom and democracy. That's an incredible show of arrogance which no civilized person can accept. But you are so sure of your superiority - although you just wrote that "All men are equal (women too)" - that you fail to see how barbaric your whole attitude is. You treat Iraqis as if they were children who must be punished to learn manners. Please, grow up.

richsanter said...

Moron99 --

I cannot help but feel that you are trying to avoid challenging the conclusions that I have drawn on the Oil Issue. The primary value of geostrategic control of petroleum sources is, again, not the monetary value (although that certainly factors in the equation) but the economic leverage that it gives the controller.

[moron99] ” … oil is not the most valuable thing in the world. Oil greases the machinery of industrialization but it does not perform any tasks …”

Wrong.

Again, for your benefit:

Petroleum and petroleum derivates are used as fuel in transportation – sea land, and air. They are burned to make electricity. They are used to make dyes and paints. They are used as critical lubricants in almost every imaginable industrial application. They are used as cleaning agents, and as solvents. They are used as heating in the form of paraffin, oils and gas. As the raw materials from which to synthesise countless products which are essential to modern life, such as rubbers, waxes and plastics. As fibres and textiles, in the form of Rayon, nylon and similar synthetic materials. As explosives for mining and other operations.

Really, need I go on?

You are very obviously unaware of the immense value and use of petroleum and its derivates. If America controls the primary petroleum sources, it has control and leverage over the availability and price of all these other spinoffs.

Now, given the US history of trying to control oil flow, and Middle Eastern oil in particular, and the stated goal of your current rulers ‘to preserve US preeminence’ the position of oil in their plans is painfully obvious to any observer with a pinch of common sense.

I don’t dispute that a diversified economy is far better for a country, and generally agree with your conclusions there. However, the large amount of space you have wasted typing about these irrelevant economic aspects of an economy tells me that you are avoiding the key issue, that being (a) the US intent to control these resources, and (b) the value of them.

Obfuscating the argument like this does you no favours.

(Small aside: [m99] “To them, oil is power. In reality, money is power.”
Yes. But. Money only has value as long as we agree it has value. Generally the value of money is underwritten by some tangible commodity such as gold, or … oil. Is it any surprise that the US dollar is the currency with which oil is traded? Could there be a link between Saddam deciding to trade oil in Euros and his accelerated demise? We’ll probably know the answer in about 50 years or so, when it’s no longer relevant.)


On Angola:

Gee, you really do have a hard head, huh? Why do you persist in pursuing an argument in which you are so obviously wrong? Stick to economics, at least you make more sense there.

A while back I seem to recall you arguing about intent and reality with regards to the Iraqi elections, and basically saying that whatever the US may have initially *intended* for Iraq, the fact that there are ‘free and fair elections’ NOW, shows what your country *really* thinks.

Can I now adopt your (flawed, btw) logic and state that the current *reality* of the sad state of affairs in Angola was what the US intended, given that it supported the MPLA? Can we assume that by your logic, the US supports brutal dictatorships?

(Moron99’s answer: “No! We Americans are so naïve and innocent, we REALLY thought that the MPLA thugs had truly turned a new leaf and completely rejected their old ways. Wow, who would have imagined that things would have turned out like this! Reality does not imply intent! Or does it? Wait, in Iraq, it does, in Angola not! They are two different dimensions, you see.” )


Waldschrat –

“hurria sounds more like she's echoing the Al Zarkawi propaganda line to me […] Her writing in English is typically free of errors and quite elloquent, suggesting she's either quite brilliant or a native speaker of the language.”

Tell us, what IS the Zarqawi propaganda line? You do know, don’t you? How does this relate to what Hurria is saying? What advantage would Zarqawi gain if the US left Iraq right now? What advantage does he gain if the US stays in Iraq?

I’m assuming that you know the answer to these sorts of questions.

I mean, it’s not as if you want to sound merely like another ignorant propaganda spouting American wingnut, now, do you?

(And, btw, it is a rich irony that one repeatedly finds the best English in these forums written by Iraqis. When I compare the best English written by Iraqis to the best English written by, say, Americans, the Iraqis give you carrots virtually every time. Odd, huh?)


Hurria --

[hurria] “2) Please look carefully through all my posts here, and find everything I have said about Saddam and Ba`thists. Then try to figure out how [you] can justify coming to the conclusion you have come to.”

Aw, come on! You’re asking them to do research and analysis, as opposed to idle speculation. That’s unfair ...

What is more interesting is this question: “Are you pro-Baathist or not?” I’d really like to know how many of these people are well informed about Ba’athist philosophy. Which one do they mean? The original pan Arab views or the Saddamite version? Do they agree or disagree with it? On what basis? Could it work? Why, or why not?

Reality: their thought processes are :

“Saddam was a Baathist. Saddam killed lots of people. America is good. America freed a lot of people from Saddam. Ergo, if you are against America in Iraq, you must necessarily be (a) evil and (b) a Ba’athist.”

This is what you are dealing with. No thoughts of Saddam was whatever he needed to be (Ba’athist, Islamist etc.) to retain personal power, or that America may just possibly have been less that altruistic in its motives for invading Iraq.

Anonymous –

“… attest that the widest spread of democratic rule is the best guarantee against international aggression.”

Sadly this is not true unless one excludes democratic America as an international aggressor. Oh, and democratic Israel. Mh. And democratic India / Pakistan. And democratic Turkey. And, even Hitler rose to power through democratic institutions, and enjoyed widespread popularity in the German population.

This “democracies are peaceful” is unfortunately a much repeated fallacious argument. I could make the same case about Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman and so forth being peaceful dictatorships that obviously prove that dictatorships are inherently peaceful and superior.

And yet that is wrong as well.

Rethink your premises, please. Neocon articles are NOT a good source, unless you stand for a “America rules the world” scenario.

Moron99 said...

Bruno,

Well, at least you have finally realized that the "war for oil" argument can never be financially justified. Here's some food for thought.

The primary consumer of oil is the Internal Combustion engine. Without the consumption of IC engines, the world has far more oil than it needs. The lifespan for inventions like the internal combustion engine is historically 100 years. Like the airplane, the automobile, and the internal combustion engine itself the development period for new technology is about 25 years. Do some internet searching and you will see that the process has already begun.

The world burns oil because it is the cheapest fuel available. It is not destined to be the cheapest for much longer.

Moron99 said...

Bruno,

what do you do when the only two choices are between two groups of thugs? Before you answer, realize that Santos has promised not run in 2006 elections and then look at the history of Savimbi and ask yourself - "would he do the same? Which of the two appears to have been the lesser of two evils?"

Hurria said...

"I notice that anti-American demonstrations were reported in Baghdad today but the American press omitted any report of US troops spraying the demonstrations with machine gun fire."

Waldschrat:

Did I say that US troops "spray" every demonstration with machine gun fire? According to YOUR logic is that what is necessary for there to be a pattern?

Moron99 said...

hey hurria,

When do think Sistani will go back to England for a heart check-up? The new PM is already chomping at the bit to go all midevil on the baathists. If you missed his interview, I'll post some quotes here for you.

Also, did you catch the show where an insurgent leader and a sadrist leader were both guests at the same time? At first they were all friendly and agreeing "america get out". By the end, they were each accussing the other of only wanting the Americans out so that they could sieze power.

Moron99 said...

(oops, sorry. The new PM is not out to get baathists in general. Just the violent ones who aren't willing to live in a peaceful democracy.)

Truth teller said...

waldschrat.
Thank you for trusting me. I really appreciate your attitudes.

"who is providing the most security for Iraqi citizens in Mosul right now, US troops or Iraqi police?"

Security ? for Iraqi citizen ...? Up to my knowledge, there are no security for Iraqi citizen in Mosul!.
The American troops are as dangerous as the terrorists, the same is true for the Iraqi police but to a lesser extend.

(1) Aya (my grand daughter), her grandfather, has been shot dead by the American while he was going back home walking, and there were American stryker in his way home. There were a fire exchange at the neighborhood at that time. but the American prevent any body from helping him, he died from profuse bleeding from a thigh injury.

(2) My next door neighbor expose to Americans fire in his car but he get out safe in some thing like a miracle, the bullets penetrate the front seat back and the head rest of his seat. A women was in the back seat, get injured badly.

(3) a close friend of mine was in his old car (toyota, corona, 1980) when an American convoy pass him, the last car shot him, they broke his left Ankle joint, and he is almost cripple now.

(4) When the iraqi police come near to an intersection, they shot fire in the air, to open the road infront of them. They follow the nonstop rule.
So, when we will have security, I will answer your question.

waldschrat said...

hurria - what I expect of US troops is that they should according to their training tolerate peaceful(!) demonstrations although they may according to that training (as I understand it) defend themselves if necessary. What I understood you to assert is that they routinely do not adhere to this standard. When a single apparent failure of this policy occurred at Kent State University in the US it created a nationwide incident. It did not create a "pattern".

Several factors could make it more likely that US troops might fire on an Iraqi crowd than a crowd of US citizens: (1) Iraq is awash in guns and explosives, to the extent that children sometimes have appeared in crowds carrying pistols and been photographed, and people have demonstrated a willingness to attack and kill US troops. This could make it more likely that US troops might act in perceived self defense, rightly or wrongly. Beyond this, any crowd or demonstration can become a riot subject to mob psychology regardless of the original intentions of the organizers and participants - demonstrations are potentially volatile situations. Further, there is a language barrier which may mask warnings issued by US troops and the intentions of an Iraqi crowd in any confrontation.

Despite these risk factors, the news I have heard suggests that organized demonstrations are generally respected and that US troops either avoid confrontation or hold their fire.

Directing heavy weapons or massed rifle fire against a crowd would have horrible effects, similar to the worst car bombings which have occurred. I have heard no reports of such behavior. I have read occaisional reports of US action against groups of Iraqis, generally portrayed as self defense against a violent mob with limited casualties.

As I have said previously, your report of a "pattern" of US action against peaceful protestors does not match my understanding of events. An apparent pattern of mistaken US attacks against vehicles full of civilians I acknowledge, noting that the first step in killing someone with a car bomb is to drive toward them and there IS a language barrier. But a pattern of attacks against organized peaceful protests does not seem to be apparent. If you believe it is, I can only surmise that you have been mislead by propaganda or are overstating the facts or (and I consider this unlikely) that a systematic effort to conceal the facts from US citizens has succeeded.

hurria, two governments have fallen to peaceful mass protests in the last year. Any mass protest can be a volatile and dangerous thing if it gets out of control, but if the will of the participants is in fact peaceful and determined, such things are a powerful, viable form of political expression. I suggest that they are far preferable to blowing up one's fellow citizens, sabotaging the utility infrastructure of one's nation, and waging a largely suicidal guerrilla war against a heavily armed military force. Beyond this, they provide valuable practical experience in democratic action. Ballots and picket signs are better than bullets and gravestone epitaphs in my opinion.

Truth teller said...

bruno
When I started this blog, my goal was to communnicate with peole from different parts of the world tolearn what is going on there, and to let them know what is going on here in Iraq. The media, the western, the arabic, or any media, all are biased and not telling the truth.
I learned a lot from those comments, specially of yours. I really found a good teacher, who understand the politics better than me and I can learn from him. please keep on posting, I like to read your comments, and so all my friends.

waldschrat
You are the sound of wisdom in this blog. when it got hot, you cool it.

albatroz
I enjoy reading your comments, they open a field of knoledge in front of me, I was very ignorant about. It fulfil the goal of this blog (to know the others,and let the others know you).

moron99
Although I don't share the same opinions with you in most of your comments, but I guess we can agree most of the time, if you could manage to live in Mosul for a while as an ordinary Mosuli citizen.

hurria
where ever you are now. No doubt you are an honest Iraqi, have the same feelings of most honest Iraqis.
I agree with you in every ward you said. I wish I have a good english as yours so I can declare my thoughts in better way.

CURTIS said...

I can’t believe some of the comments that have been made on this blog. Although I didn’t support the USA going into Iraq, now that we are there it would be irresponsible to leave, until there is a stable government. I believe that the future of Iraq will depend on the Iraqi only, if Hurria and Truth Teller are typical citizen of Iraq, it will be a dark future. Few things in life are black and white. One of the reasons for the USA going into Iraq was definitely oil, but it wasn’t the only reason. Another reason was that a stable democratic Iraq is in the best interest of the USA, as well as citizen of Iraq. Since I don’t endorse or believe the comments by Hurria, John, Albatros, and Bruno I will be attack for being unrealistic, confuse, illogical, insure, naïve, or some other nonsense. Some of the comments are so outrageous that I have to response.

Iraqis are less free now than they have been at any time in memory, and the country has not seen such chaos and devastation since the Mongol invasion

Really? I am no expert but I don’t recall all that much freedom under Saddam and I’m sure there are many Iraqi that would agree with me. The discussion on this blog could not have occurred under Saddam.

hundreds of Iraqis who have been killed and maimed, or arrested, beaten up, detained and tortured by your "disciplined" U.S. military while they were attempting to exercise their New Found Freedom™ of non-violent protest

Other than the 16 that were shot in protest (non-violent?) in Fallajah, I don’t know of any other incidents and the writer provided none.

In Vietnam, American who were actively engaged in mass murder every day

I was against Viet Nam also, but we were not engaged in mass murder.

The few thousands of petty criminals and religious extremists who were nonexistent in Iraq until the U.S. liberated them to run rampant in the country.
Wow, it must have been a real utopia before the American got there.

its name is الجمهورية العراقية The Republic of Iraq. And it was indeed a republic, according to the definition of the word

Republic
(1) : a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government b (1) : a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law (2) : a political unit (as a nation) having such a form of government c : a usually specified republican government of a political unit
I guess it was a republic since everyone was free to vote for Saddam.

One of the best comments was about American categorizing people, than the writer continues to categorize American, with traits that sound more like the writer’s.

One of the things I love about Americans is that their compulsion to categorize people. That is, I believe, part of the same syndrome as their penchant for binary thinking. Nuanced thinking seems utterly beyond them, and they appear to be terrified of simply listening to a person without putting that person into some sort of a box. What an unfortunate, limited way of dealing with the world!
Truth Teller, I wished you the best. You have a smart and intelligent family and I hope that they get a chance to grow up in a free and open Iraq. Try and get a balance view of the news. I read everything from Aljazeera on the web to watching Fox TV. I consider both a bit bias, but in opposite direction. Articles like the one you posted recently was to far out for any major new source, although it may support what you would like to believe, doesn’t make it true. Remember the future of Iraq depends on you and others like you.

Moron99 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Moron99 said...

Truth,

I got a giggle from your comment. If I lived in Mosul, the first thing I would do is move my family to Najaf and enroll in Islamic study. I would want my children to grow up in the shadow of their scholars.

Actually, there is something you said that has perplexed me since the day you said it. Like you, I am an engineer (my particular field of study was pole/zero manipulation in complex systems, fourier transforms, and filter theory). The engineering school I went to was saturated in logic and the student body was like one big walking calculator that questioned everything. I have this belief that the logic of a good engineer is uncorruptable and relentless.

Which leads me to my mental conundrum. You are an engineer. How is it possible for an engineer to think that Saddam only killed a few thousand Kurds? I have tried to imagine many roads but none of them can logically take me to that place. How? By what means can logic arrive at that conclusion?

Albatroz said...

Moron99,
You seem to have forgotten to react to my arguments on my previous post (4/13/2005 11:47:13 AM), which was meant to answer your previous challenge. Experiencing some engineering problems?...

I have noticed that we have a clear situation here: everyone who isn't American is against the US occupation of Iraq. Maybe because of that, every American has been feeling compelled to defend the outrageous actions of their government. Is that how democracy is supposed to work? You defend your government's actions, no matter how criminal they may be? Or are you supposed to be critical of such actions, even if they are performed by your government? Maybe we should not be so surprised anymore at the fact that civilized and cultured Germans seemed to have supported Hitler's rule. The non-critical attitude of Americans on this blog makes it easier to understand that apparent aberration.

waldschrat said...

Truth Teller - your words warm my heart. "Wisdom" is not something I ever hoped to claim.

I can understand your anger and frustration at the presence of armed foreign troops in Mosul and horrible disasters like Falluja. To a medical doctor whose work is preservation of life and health, all the death and chaos must seem even worse. Other commenters should perhaps consider this!

Never be ashamed of your English skills, Truth Teller. Your writing is perfectly understandable and better than that of many Americans. Relatively few Americans can claim to speak a foreign language with such skill. I certainly can not.

Moron99 said...

albatroz,

i missed it, please feel free to restate them.

What's going on is that we have people who do not recognize the current government as representing the majority of Iraqi's. They wish the Americans to leave immediately while the government is still to weak to defend itself against a well funded and well organized minority. Whenever they are asked to describe their vision of the future, they deflect the subject. Which is ironic. If their vision actually represented the majority, then why would they want to hide it?

What I really wish is for these people to accept their Shia and Kurdish brothers as equals and recognize their right to have power in proportion to their numbers. It is better to share than die.


"The choice of peace or war lies not with the Iraqis who ignored terrorism and intimidation to vote in their millions, the Iraqis to whom I am accountable. No, that decision lies with the terrorist minority that despises freedom and spurns every offered opportunity to enter the political process. The attacks on election officials, the suicide bombings of voters, and the cowardly attacks on brave Iraqis waiting in line to join our fledgling security forces are not the tactics of "resistance" or "freedom fighters" but of murderers and criminals. Nor are the terrorists by any stretch of the imagination the repressed or the disadvantaged. They chose violence despite consistent exhortations to contribute to the new Iraq. They are, for the most part, representatives of the old regime, Baathists who gorged themselves on their compatriots' riches. They are not the dispossessed of the earth but those who have been deprived of their palaces."


Pres. Jalal Talabani

Bill said...

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in
waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnat tihng is taht
the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae.

The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm.
Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but
the wrod as a wlohe.

Truth teller said...

moron99

I am not an engineer, many members of my family are engineers, but i am not. I am a physician.

"How is it possible for an engineer to think that Saddam only killed a few thousand Kurds?"

Saddam was not against certain ethnic or religious group. He was a president of Iraq. To keep the securit of Iraq was his first intention. The Kurds were part of the Iraqi population, there were no discrimination against them. BUT there were some political movements in between the Kurds calling for separation. They had a militias to fight against the Iraqi government, not against Saddam. The fight was the same as what the insurgents doing now. Attacking the military bases, killing the government emploees, and planting mines every where in the land of Kurdistan. They were terrorists in the viewpoint of the government. They got arms and military help from different sources, the most important of which are; Iran, previou USSR, and Israel. It was a guerilla war, in the mountains. Any number of causalities exceed 10 is regarded as very high.
BTW the land of Kurdistan is mainly mountainous, and very difficult for the ordinary army to progress there in the same way they could in a flat areas. Few militants can stop a whole army for long time, or even for ever from progress in that land. That is why Saddam or the other rulers of Iraq uses the warplanes in these battles, although their enemy are small in number.
The majority of the Kurds were satisfied with the living with other Iraqis as united nation. And many of the Kurdish tribes were volunteered to fight beside the government troops against the Kurdish insurgents.
It was the business of the media to view the case in the most attractive manner.

BTw , I am not trying to defend Saddam, but you asked me a question, and I am telling you the truth as I know it.

Moron99 said...

Truth,

There is a site that catalogs statistics on wars and atrocites. They do not favor any point of view. They simply gather statistics from all points of views and catalogue them. You should check it out. They also have statistics about US atrocities which you might find particularly interesting.

Secondary Wars and Atrocities of the Twentieth Century


857 cartons of files kept by the Iraqi secret police have been found and detail much of the killing. I do not blame Saddam. I blame a corrupt system of governance that required fear and murder in order to maintain security. It does not have to be that way. The people that you are agreeing with - such as Hurria, John, and Bruno - wish to bring back that system of fear and murder. As a person who saves lives, are those the types of friends that you wish to keep?

Truth teller said...

moron99

Sorry, the link doesn't work with me.
Could you send the URL

Moron99 said...

Main index
http://users.erols.com/mwhite28

Kurdish entry (#33)
http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat3.htm#Kurdistan2

Do you really even need to check? In your life, when the police knocked upon your door - did you feel fear? When you filled out a job application and it asked all those political questions, were you afraid of saying the wrong thing? When you had small children were you afraid to say something that they might repeat?

Government is like a parent to the people. It can either beat their children into obedience or it can offer nothing but love and support. The family built on love is stronger than the family built on fear. You will get security either way. I can promise you that the path of love works because I live in such a world. Smart families such as yours will still lead society and become the most successful. As my father used to tell me "cream always rises to the top".

Albatroz said...

It's good Moron99 never had to deal with Senator Joseph McCarthy... It might have shattered his American peace and love dream...

It still beats me how someone of at least moderate intelligence can be so completely fooled by a fantasy. The America Moron99 dreams of does not exist. When will he wake up to that reality?...

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

You support the dictatorial model of governance but ignore the reality of bad people. Bad leaders will happen regardless of what system you choose. The system that you advocate has no means of removing a bad leader from power. Are you aware that the president of Iraq was just demoted to vice-president? How much blood was spilt in order for this to happen? (None)

Your dictatorial model can never achieve this simple thing that democracy takes for granted.

Hurria said...

"The system that you advocate has no means of removing a bad leader from power."

Obviously the American-Style "democratic" system does not remove bad leaders also. After all, last year the American people voted to keep in power one of the worst and most corrupt governments - if not THE worst and most corrupt - the USA has ever known.

richsanter said...

Truth Teller --

Shukran for your kind words. In reality I have learned a great deal from Iraqis, so it is a pleasure for me to be of service to one of you.

And please, never be ashamed of your English. It is an achievement already that you are fluent in a second language; most posters here probably only speak English.


Curtis --

[curtis] “Since I don’t endorse or believe the comments by Hurria, John, Albatros, and Bruno I will be attack for being unrealistic, confuse, illogical, insure, naïve, or some other nonsense.”

LOL! You said it. But actually that’s a bit harsh. This statement:

[curtis] “I read everything from Aljazeera on the web to watching Fox TV. I consider both a bit bias, but in opposite direction.”

… is already all I ask for. You are already streets ahead of most of your compatriots.

While I agree that yes, removing Saddam was a good thing, there is also the question of whether this current chaos is any better. Common sense suggests not. Common sense also suggests that trusting the very people who facilitated his rise and grip on power might also be a little stupid.


Albatroz --

[albatroz] “Maybe because of that, every American has been feeling compelled to defend the outrageous actions of their government.”

I’d just like to say that to be fair, there is quite a sizable segment of the American population that does indeed recognize the US actions for what they are.

And yet they are still proud of the ideals that their country is *supposed* to stand for, and would like to guide it back onto the right path. In this, I fully support them. I could even put up with the constant “America is the greatest!” mantra, IF the US actually reflected in any way the rhetoric it spouts. In fact, IF the US was what it claims to be, I’d be singing it with them.


Moron99 --

On Oil and calculations:

“Well, at least you have finally realized that the "war for oil" argument can never be financially justified.”

Um, not to burst your bubble, or anything, but WHERE did I claim that financial gain was the ONLY angle on the ‘war for oil’ issue? I do believe that it was a large part of it, but certainly not the only, or the primary issue.

Other factors in the calculations you have made hinge upon the intent of the people driving this war. You have claimed a sum of, what, 300-500 billion dollars, plus recurring costs that would have to be recouped from profits from the sale of Iraqi oil. That is correct.

HOWEVER, at the time the decision was made to embark on this war, those figures were NEVER dreamed of, not for a moment.

Think back.

The neocon types were betting on something like 80 billion being the top end of the costs for the war. They were betting on a quick war, quick installation of Chalabi with a suitably pliant government, and a quick ramping up of oil production to 5 – 8 million barrels a day. There were to be no recurring costs for replacing hardware, combat bonuses, and high troop levels. Friendly Iraqi proxy forces would have borne the brunt of peacekeeping, paid by the Iraqi government. Additionally, much of the outlay ‘lost’ in paying for the war is indirectly funneled back to the US via salaries and moneys paid to supporting US companies like Halliburton. It’s not as if they were going to pour all that cash down a hole or something.

THOSE were the figures that they went to war with, and within those parameters there are profits to be made even if one works with a pure “oil theft” motive for invasion. (Which I do not, btw.)

The second aspect to the ‘war for cash’ argument is the indirect ‘stealing’ of Iraqi oil through the ‘legitimate’ process of reconstruction and development. Big AMERICAN companies are being paid huge sums of money (mostly Iraqi money) to rebuild US caused war damage. If the neocon plan had rolled smoothly, Iraq would have been transformed into a nice US client state, which would, on top of any oil extraction revenues for the US, buy almost exclusively from the US economic sphere.

Think about that for a second.

The French, Russians, Germans, and Slavs all displaced in favour of American interests. Is it ANY surprise that all the big no bid contracts were to US companies? Is it ANY surprise that the US wants to do away with the Iraqi debt incurred under Saddam – debt mainly owed to economic competitors like Russia, France and Germany? How can Iraq pay the US when it is paying everybody else?

At the moment America looks like a losing gambler, who has lost a big sum of money, and is trying to win it back, only to fall further behind. Sooner or later that gambler must cut his losses.

Really, Moron99, although I disagree with a lot of what you say, I think that you probably are quite a clever guy. You need to sit down and seriously think through all economic aspects of the US occupation of Iraq. Think of who is paying for what, and where those funds are going and coming from. Check out stuff like Executive Order 13303, and the implications thereof. Also think about whether Bush, Cheney and the other big wigs maybe put their own private interests before America’s. Draw a mind-map or something.

I suspect that you will through necessity come to the same conclusions I have.


On Angola:

Heheheh! I gotta admire your persistence, if nothing else.

From where I’m standing, the choice of ‘the two evils’ is moot. There can be an argument made for either side. However, now we come back to what Albatroz stated in his very first post on this subject: that the US chose the side that would guarantee it the greatest profits – that being the MPLA.

Albatroz said...

Moron99,

"You support the dictatorial model of governance..."

Where in heavens have you found that out? I have been for days fighting here the authoritarian, aggressive, undemocratic policies of the US on Iraq, in the name of Iraqis' right to self determination. How can you construct that as "support" for any dictatorial model of governance? You are the one who wants to impose a certain model of governance upon Iraq. In my dictionary, that's what "dictatorial" means. To "dictate" something to someone. I guess you are getting increasingly confused, maybe because you do not seem to be able to convince anyone around here. You seem to be the only person here who fails to see the American government for what it is. I can almost sympathize with your "patriotism", misguided as it may be. But it is difficult to sympathize with the systematic oppression of the Iraqi people. I hope the precarious situation of the US economy will soon put an end to this folly, no matter how much you would like to keep Iraqi oil for yourselves.

waldschrat said...

hurria - I don't know about "corruption" in the Bush administration, but I have to say I also find it hard to appreciate Bush as a leader. One thing is that the guy is so totally incompetent as a speaker! It seems he and his father both have a hard time with words, either some sort of genetic problem in the family or a fondness for the same drugs or something. If his thoughts are as confused as his words often are, then it is very worrisome indeed. One thing I notice about the guy is that he is much better at speaking from a prepared script than when he must find words to express himself. Frequently he seems to search for words that simply do not come to him.

The result is that Americans (and the world) must wonder if their leader is mentally competent. The fact that the invasion of Iraq was justified at least in part on an apparently false premise, that Saddam had "weapons of mass destruction" he was concealing, is particularly tragic. I personally believe there were other reasons that may have been more valid and secretly given more weight, although much of what I suspect is totally unverified and substantially less morally justifiable.

To the extent that America faces a threat from the Arab world it seems to be related to radical fanatics linked to Saudi-financed and inspired activity. Most of the terrorists which flew into the World Trade Center in New York were Saudis, Osama is a Saudi, the whole thing stinks of Saudi connections. The Saudi connection persists and is now apparently part of Iraq's problems. One link is the Al Zarkawi operation, apparently tied to the same support base as Osama. Another link is the report that the Jordanian suicide bomber whose glorification in Jordan inspired Iraqis to raise hell at the Jordanian embassy a while back traveled first to Saudi-land for training before going to Iraq, according to the reported words of his family.

So, why DID the US really invade Iraq? Clearly, attacking Saddam was the most popular choice if a military force was to be inserted into Arab territory outside Afghanistan. NOBODY liked Saddam.

It seems Saddam had no WMD's. The most that's been found according to reports is a few aging left-over artillery rounds that were apparently overlooked when the Saddam regime secretly(!!!) disposed of chemical weapons supplies it had decided were a liability and not an asset. Somebody had some potent ANTHRAX because they mailed it to various recipients in the US government and press, but no link to Saddam has ever been reported.

One claim was that Saddam's regime was likely to be inclined to support terrorism. At the time no Al Qaida activity in Iraq outside a small operation in Kurdish territory was known. The most pro-terrorist thing Saddam actually did outside Iraq was support the Palestinian cause (at least in word). However, it seems that now terrorist behavior is being sponsored at least in part by elements of the former Saddam regime (not to mention the fact that the suitcases full of money Saddam had when captured were undoubtedly useful for such purposes). It seems that now Al Quada has Al Zarkawi's operation well established on Iraqi soil. Terrorism and hell raising has taken firm root in Iraqi soil. Surely this can not really be a surprise to anyone familiar with the history of events in Chechnya, regardless of how incompetent American intelligence agencies may or may not have been in assessing the WMD inventory of Saddam's regime.

The end result is that American forces are in Iraq, waging war against terrorists linked at least in part to Saudi support, on territory which is a LOT closer to Saudi-land than Manhattan. The Saudis (and other nations in the neighborhood) have not failed to notice this. Iraq is a battleground, Falluja is in ruins, and honest citizens in Mosul cringe at explosions and hesitate to enjoy a spring outing because of the security situation.

I would be disappointed in US intelligence agencies if they did not forsee much of this. I suspect they did forsee it, at least as a possible result of invading Iraq, long before the first tank crossed the border. It is, of course, an outcome MUCH harder to justify morally than suppressing a dictator believed to be hiding chemical and biological weapons.

On the plus side Saddam is gone, Iraq has a chance for a fresh start, and those who might choose to wage war against America for whatever benighted reason have a shorter commute and a practical example of the consequences of such decisions.

Or perhaps Bush actually believed Saddam had weapons of mass destruction.

Moron99 said...

"Where in heavens have you found that out? I have been for days fighting here the authoritarian, aggressive, undemocratic policies of the US on Iraq, in the name of Iraqis' right to self determination. How can you construct that as "support" for any dictatorial model of governance? You are the one who wants to impose a certain model of governance upon Iraq. In my dictionary, that's what "dictatorial" means. To "dictate" something to someone. I guess you are getting increasingly confused, maybe because you do not seem to be able to convince anyone around here. You seem to be the only person here who fails to see the American government for what it is. I can almost sympathize with your "patriotism", misguided as it may be. But it is difficult to sympathize with the systematic oppression of the Iraqi people. I hope the precarious situation of the US economy will soon put an end to this folly, no matter how much you would like to keep Iraqi oil for yourselves. "

You don't seem to realize something basic. The US is politically trapped into doing whatever the new Iraqi government wants. The people you call puppets are the ones that control the strings. The best way to get the Americans to leave is through the existing political process.

"The choice of peace or war lies not with the Iraqis who ignored terrorism and intimidation to vote in their millions, the Iraqis to whom I am accountable. No, that decision lies with the terrorist minority that despises freedom and spurns every offered opportunity to enter the political process. The attacks on election officials, the suicide bombings of voters, and the cowardly attacks on brave Iraqis waiting in line to join our fledgling security forces are not the tactics of "resistance" or "freedom fighters" but of murderers and criminals. Nor are the terrorists by any stretch of the imagination the repressed or the disadvantaged. They chose violence despite consistent exhortations to contribute to the new Iraq. They are, for the most part, representatives of the old regime, Baathists who gorged themselves on their compatriots' riches. They are not the dispossessed of the earth but those who have been deprived of their palaces."

Pres. Jalal Talabani

Anonymous said...

I don't know about "corruption" in the Bush administration, but I have to say I also find it hard to appreciate Bush as a leader. One thing is that the guy is so totally incompetent as a speaker!

Well, I know a lot of public speakers who are terrible leaders and I know a lot of outstanding leaders who are terrible public speakers. You don't need to be a good public speaker to be a good leader. Even though it is frustrating for the media who are always looking for good entertainment to put on the television.

CURTIS said...

Bruno

Calling me a “little stupid” is exactly the response that I expected. I was hoping for some rational thinking based on facts, but I knew not to expect it.
As to the question of “whether this current chaos is any better”, I don’t think we will know for many, many years. Saddam government is completely gone and a new one is slowly being built based on the rule of the majority, which by it very nature is more chaotic than a dictatorship. The form of this new government will depend on the citizen of Iraq. I guess if you don’t put a high value on freedom and are satisfied avoiding being a victim of a Saddam, your common sense might prefer less chaos. If by “chaos” you are referring to the bombings and killings going on everyday, than we don’t really have a comparison, because we will never know how many were killed under Saddam.
I don’t know what to make of the following statement referring to Saddam, “trusting the very people who facilitated his rise and grip on power”. I can under assume that you are referring to the US government, but other than giving some support during the Iran / Iraq war, I know of no other support.

waldschrat said...

I have developed the habit of searching the news for reports of events in Mosul. Here is a link to one recent story describing a competition of words.

http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050414/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_war_of_words_1

Competition with words is beter than competition with weapons. Competition with peaceful words is better than competition with threatening words.

Albatroz said...

I would like to have Moron99's comment on the April 15 post ("Judicial review hasn’t been controversial for 200 years") on the following blog:

http://www.thecarpetbaggerreport.com/archives/3983.html

Could it be that his beloved US of A is becoming something of a Saddam's Iraq? Shouldn't Americans start getting more concerned about the situation back home than on whether Iraq is or not going to be a democracy?

waldschrat said...

albatroz - I will comment because it is a subject which interests me and my attitude may be of interest to others.

Currently there is an unusual situation in the US - the Republican party has control of both the Presidency and Congress. This means ideas and proposals of the President can be enacted into law more easily and with less opposition than if the President were of one party and the congressonal majority were of another. The loyalties of and motivations of "party members" are not perfectly uniform, however, so there is always some opposition to any idea, even now. It has been more common to have a President from one party and a Congress from another and quite rare for BOTH houses of Congress to be controlled in majority by the President's party. The current situation is probably largely unprecedented since the Roosevelt years when I believe the Democrats held both the Presidency and Congress. Those were the years of the great depression and World War II, they were crisis years.

Judicial review of laws enacted by Congress is in fact very important to the history of the US. It is the very basis of the mechanism which holds the Congress and the President, the entire government, to our Constitution. If anyone has doubts of this country's reverence for it's constitution they need only consider the oath of military service which soldiers take. Soldiers are sworn to defend the Constitution, not the government. "Marbury vs Madison", mentioned in the article you linked to, is discussed in history lessons taught to every school child. The court system is commonly consiered non-political, judges are approved in elections but generally do not run with the support of any party nor do political partys present opposing candidates for judges offices.

The policies of the current government are very responsive to the philosophy of the Republican party. They might be characterized as supporting lower taxes, less charity to the poor, lower government expenditures, greater respect for individual rights and beliefs, and a more nationalistic attitude. For the most part, differenecs between Democrat and Republican party philosophies are a matter of degree rather than black and white - our political partys necessarily respect the common things on which most Americans agree. They are different only because they draw votes from somewhat different parts of the population and cater to those voters. Democrats tend to support labor unions, racial minorities and charity to the poor more than Republicans. Republicans draw vots from religious groups, people opposed to taxation, groups supporting individual rights, and groups favoring American nationalism and pride. With control of both the Presidency and Congress these Republican loyalties tend to be translated into action with less argument. Some Republican ideas seem to have been carried to extremes, particularly the reduction of taxes without a corresponding reducton of governmental expenditures.

The debate in the article you linked to is closely linked to Republican support for certain religious opinions and issues than anything else, specifically the recent Terry Schiavo "Right to Die" court case in Florida and such issues as use of the words "under God" in the pledge of allegience to the flag recited by school children. The right of women to have an abortion may also be involved. To continue to receive votes from certain people, Republicans must appear(!) to support certain religious philosophies. They are trying to present such an appearance. In fact, these philosophies are contrary to the majority opinion of American voters and are held only by a highly vocal minority which votes Republican. The Republicans know this, and will not risk alienating the majority. Further, they will not really risk the rtaditional right of courts to pass judgement on laws because this safeguards BOTH the Democrats and Republicans and would strike so close to the principles of the Constitution that the Democrats could use it as a wonderful tool to sweep Republicans from office.

In other words, albatroz, I think you over-estimate the importance of that issue.

I am more concerned about a recurring theme of Nationalism in US politics and elsewhere. The theme of "us against them" is a wondrous tool for gathering political support and has been used repeatedly in recent years. A would-be dictator can gain support by convincing citizens there is an evil enemy which must be opposed by strong, unified effort. This is the kind of nonsense that earns terrorists charitable contribitions from Saudi backers, that brought on the conflicts in Kosovo and Bosnia, that brought Hitler to power. Muslim-against-Infidel, German-against-Jew, Iraq-against-Iran, Arab-against-Israel, Catholic-against-Heretic", over and over "us-against-them". Paint a clear and convincing picture of an enemy who eats babies and challenges your religion, your nation and your way of life and you neighbors will assist you in any number of horrific acts, give you as much power as you need to defeat that terrible enemy. It is a powerful, seductive argument. Has anyone you know used it lately? Beware!!!!!!!!!

Moron99 said...

As always, Waldschrat gives a well thought out and well detailed response that is bot informative and accurate.

However, Albatroz, my response is much simpler. This is an Iraqi blog run by an individual who is part of Iraq's intellectual elite. My sole reason for participation is a concern for the Iraqi people and a steadfsat desire for the Iraqi people to control their own destiny. As I review your posts I see that you are here for different reasons. You have expressed great concern for Iraqi oil but little or no concern for the Iraqi people. You have spent tremendous effort criticizing America but no effort discussing the issues facing Iraq.

We will never agree because we have two differnet interests. My central interest is genuine concern for the people of Iraq. Your central interest is preventing healthy relations between America and the mideast in order to protect European oil.

This is an Iraqi blog. I think you should take your "enlightened" thirst for oil to a European blog.

waldschrat said...

Some information whch might interest Truth Teller and others.

Islam and folks from the Arab culture have been established in Sacramento, California for many years, but it seems more common in recent years to encounter someone in traditional Arab dress. Yesterday I saw a father and several children at Home Depot (which sells tools and building materials) and all were wearing hats somewhat similr to the one in the drawing of Truth Teller's grandfather and one-piece, long-sleeved garments similar to a long "shirt". The kids were all smiling. There were so many of them I suspect they were from several families and involved in some sort of cooperative educational project.

There is also a large building a few miles from me identified as the "Masjid Annur" which I understand to be an Islamic community center and school. They have a web site here:
http://www.masjidannur.com/

The building has been converted to it's current use only in recent years. I sometimes see people outside reading when I pass by.

A couple miles north of where I live there is a small market where folks leave early for prayers on Friday and they sell arab spices and foods. I think they are not from the middle east but from some Pacific island. I forget the island, it is not important, some of the food is delicious and they are nice people.

My best wishes to Truth Teller and all his family.

Moron99 said...

Same where I live Waldschrat. The local Muslim community even pulled in international charity to help after hurricane Charley struck (Charley was THE BIG ONE. Sustained winds over 190KPH turned every tree into a missile. When it was over, half the trees were gone along with large pieces of almost everyone's roof.)

We have lots of cultural variety in SW Florida. Cuban, Carribean, south american, Seminole, mexican, black, caucasian, suburban, ubanite, rural, surfer-dude, pop, gay, christian, jewish, muslim, migrant farm workers ... way too many to name them all. Almost everything but Asian. I miss the asian culture. It is so intricately simple. It is my favorite. The Muslim community, like every other, is a valuable thread in the tapestry of my community (which is about 4,000KM from Waldschrat's).

Albatroz said...

Moron99,
I don't think I am going to let you expel me from here... Nor will you be able to silence me with your pharisaic love for Iraq... My concern for Iraqis translates itself in a simple phrase: I want them to be free of American occupation, so that they will be able to organize themselves in freedom and in accordance with their traditions and desires. My love for them does not involve shooting some of them, raping someothers, and plundering all of them. My respect of Iraqis involves accepting the risk that they may make some mistakes. But it will be their mistakes. My concern with oil is simply my desire that Iraq - not the US - may enjoy the benefits of their wealth. I may come from an old colonialist country, but you are the one who defends colonial wars and colonial (by proxy) rule. We are experts on colonial adventures, so we easily recognize them when we see them...

Albatroz said...

Waldschrat,
I thank you for your comments. You seem a lot less concerned about this "conservative/radical" approach to politics than some of the commentators on the original blog. You may be right and not them. But I can't help being a bit worried at the apparent support someone like Bush is getting in the US. As the recent elections have shown, better educated and more cosmopolitan Americans have voted against Bush, but they seem to be in a minority. Support for the Iraqi adventure is much higher than it should be, maybe because many Americans are being denied objective information on what is going on. That, plus late night arrivals of injured soldiers, plus no fotos of coffins, may contribute to that "patriotic" attitude by so many Americans, who have not yet been conftonted with the death or severe injury of a relative or friend, and who have seen no fotos of, for instance, Fallujah. That's maybe why those radical conservatives are trying to tie the judiciary's hands.

Moron99 said...

albatroz,

8 million people voted. That represents the majority. Doing what the elected government of Iraq wishes is the best way to empower the Iraqi people. An element still exists that wishes to deny the Iraqi's of an elected government. Even today, they kidnap eighty people in Mada'en and threaten to kill them if they are not granted control of the town.

And I will here and now call you a liar. Your concern for oil is based upon Europe's need for mideast oil. If push came to shove, America could fulfill her oil needs with sources on this side of the Atlantic. Europe has no such option. Your pre-occupation with oil is because you realize that if America establishes strong friendship in the gulf, then your dream of a powerful EU will never happen. Europe has been able to make friends and alliances with the dictators and tyrants while deflecting Arab anger towards America. When the dust settles, the people of the Gulf will realize that Europe is the one propping up the ayatollahs and Assads of the region and paying Saddam the money to build palaces while his people starved.

Europeans do not care about other people. It has been that way throughout history. To them, other people are an inconvenience that stands between them and the resources they wish to plunder. You do not care about the Iraqi people beyond their capacity to benefit your homeland. It is clear from your posts and the topics that you choose to discuss. You are sooo European.

Moron99 said...

Sandmonkey has a great post today.

http://egyptiansandmonkey.blogspot.com/

Albatroz said...

Moron99

"If push came to shove, America could fulfill her oil needs with sources on this side of the Atlantic."

I suppose that's why you are trying to get rid of Hugo Chavez, just like you did with Saddam Hussein... How will it be done? Having him killed by some "patriotic" Venezuelans?... Ousted by another "democratic" coup?... I'm sure your CIA has enough experience of such "legitimate" uprisings to guarantee you all that oil on your side of the Atlantic...

Albatroz said...

Moron99 likes to say that my views on the American intervention in Iraq are the product of my European envy and greed, my colonial past, my love for dictators, etc. I wonder what his opinion will be of the text found on the following site, writen by a full-blooded American, a bishop and a former officer in Vietnam:

http://www.natcath.com/NCR_Online/archives/100298/100298l.htm

Could it be that I am right and Moron99 is wrong, unlikely as that may be?...

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

This is about people. Iraqi people to be specific. America is the puppet and the new Iraqi government is its master. They have been empowered by free elctions. Any American politician who defies them will lose the next election. America is the puppet. If you have a gripe, take it up with the elected government of Iraq.

Albatroz said...

Moron99

"America is the puppet and the new Iraqi government is its master. They have been empowered by free elections. Any American politician who defies them will lose the next election. America is the puppet."

That's a joke! In a very poor taste, if I may add...

Hurria said...

"They have been empowered by free elections."

The "election" did not meet even the minimal requirements to qualify as free.

waldschrat said...

albatroz - Regarding whether the US would or would not depart promptly if the Iraqi government requested it to do so, I think there is no simple answer. I don't think the Iraqi government is fully functional yet, and certainly the plan seems to be to formalize a constitution and consider the government formed under that constitution legitimate. To the extent possible it is a government chosen by Iraqis. The byzantine negotiations associated with the national assembly selection of officers suggest (to me , anyway) that it behaves the way I expect Iraqis to behave. However, members of the government are nominally members of a temporary government in a country where an active insurgency targets such people for assassination. I would expect people in such a situation to have a realistic fear for their lives. Currently the most reliable force protecting them may be the US Military. I would therefore expect that the probability of them telling the US military to leave would probably be approximately zero.

What that seems to mean is that the question of whether the US would leave if told to do so is moot, at least in the next year and as long as Iraqi politicians' lives depend on a US presence.

Consider as a practical matter what will happen when the US does leave. If there is a strong, active insurgency it may quickly overcome government forces and deliver Iraq into anarchy, chaos and the "rule of the gun", protracted tribal and religious conflicts, civil war, or all of the above. Alternatively, severe measures might be taken by the government for it's own protection, involving results comparable to the destruction in Falluja and tactics comparable to the worst of Saddam's behavior. In this later case the insurgency might be crished at the cost of huge disruption and the central government might become self-defensive and tyranical.

Maybe I am being too pessimistic. It does seem, though, that when US troops have retreated from places like Najaf and Falluja to avoid escalating violent confrontations things have quickly descended into lawlessness and violent anarchy. I would not expect the insurgency to vanish if the US military simply and suddenly left.

Alternatively, the insurgency may eventually fade away. Events which might accelerate this might include popular success of the government formation process, improved economic conditions, decreasing Iraqi sympathy for insurgents, and pesuasion of insurgents by words or force to abandon the way of violence.

I really don't know what the future will bring. However, I think it is unreasonable to portray America as a colonial power occupying Iraq for commercial reasons. Economic considerations are no doubt part of US policy, but they are largely secondary to security considerations in decisions regarding military action I believe. A distinction should be drawn between the US government and US corporations.

BTW, I'm a also a little irritated with the repeated use of the word "rape" in diatribes against the US. If I climed that people who accuse US troops of widespread rape eat their own children and drink their own bathwater, I believe the accusations on both sides would be about as true. In every group of people there are a few criminals. Rape happens. It is a crime. I suspect it is a less common crime among US troops in Iraq than among Iraqi citizens. Certainly I have read reports that US troops are officially cautioned against any association with Iraqi women to avoid angering Iraqis. I consider all reports and accusations of widespread rape by US forces to be pure lies and propaganda of the most implausible sort.

Albatroz said...

Waldschrat,
Although your description of Iraqi difficulties seems to be pretty accurate, we cannot forget that they were caused by the American invasion and occupation. Until then we had a dictatorial but secular regime in Iraq, where most problems were the consequences of an economical boycott enforced by the US. I believe that most peoples have the governments they wish or that they deserve. If Saddam Hussein was able to keep power in Iraq was because, on the one hand, many Iraqis were at least moderately satisfied with his rule and, on the other hand, those who were against his rule could not muster enough support to overthrow him. It is practically impossible for any government to prevail against the will of the people, unless such government is supported by an outside power. If Iraqis could not overthrow Saddam Hussein it could only be because they did not want to achieve that. At least not bad enough. And those who did want to get rid of him were very probably a minority. With the exception of North Korea I know no country where people could not change their rulers, if they really wanted it. By invading Iraq the US created chaos, and set the stage for a religious regime to take over. A future Iraq risks being no more democratic than Saddam's Iraq, and a lot more unpleasant for the Iraqis themselves if fundamentalists get the upper hand. It is extremely arrogant from Americans to think that they can dictate the type of government another people should have. A democracy based on political parties is a western phenomenon that may have no legitimate basis in other societies with different values. In such countries political parties are usually corrupt and no more than a means to allow minority groups to plunder their countries' riches. To export such a system may be a great disservice to those peoples. If the American government is well-meaning - something I very much doubt - than it is, at best, misguided.

Moron99 said...

There are 26 million people in Iraq. Out of that 26 million perhaps as many as 11 million are adults. Out of that 11 million, 8 million of them braved death threats in order to vote. The majority of Iraq has already expressed their opinion and the new government carries the legitimacy of their numbers.

Shall we talk about the future? Are you familiar with the phrase "witch hunt". There's one brewing in Iraq. The only thing standing between Iraq and national "kill a baathist month" is Sistani. What if the day comes when he can't keep the masses calm? If the so called insurgents keep killing Iraqis, it is only a matter of time.

Albatroz said...

Moron99 assumes that insurgents are baathists; assumes that Iraqis in general want to kill baathists; if that was the case, he assumes that Sistani would be able to prevent that killing. And he assumes, although he didn't say it this time, that only the American troops can save the Iraqis from themselves. Moron99 must be an expert on Iraq either living in Iraq or having extremely reliable sources of information. Shouldn't we ask real Iraqis about their opinions on all this? Or would Moron99 assume they would be baathist if they dared not to agree with his views?

richsanter said...

Moron99 --

Your attempts to divert the attention away from the fact that the US thirst for oil and the control thereof was one of the key factors in invading Iraq are laughable. Not least because you are trying to accuse Europe of oil grabbing and ulterior motives. Really, could you not have thought of something more original?

Simple question. How many troops does Europe have in the Middle East? How many does the US have in the Middle East? The answer to who is the real imperialist force lies in the simple comparison of those totals.

[m99] “The US is politically trapped into doing whatever the new Iraqi government wants. The people you call puppets are the ones that control the strings.”

Oh, *yawn*, not this hoary old chestnut again.

You mean despite having the only viable security apparatus in Iraq, despite controlling all the money at the disposal of Iraq, despite having influenced and massaged the process every step of the way, despite unilaterally deciding what Iraqis want rebuilt and which companies will do it and at what cost … the US is a puppet of the all-powerful new Iraqi ‘government’.

This argument is risible.

You are saying that the country that invaded against the majority of the will of the world is now subordinate to the will of a bunch of Arabs ? You mean that there have never been excuses thought out as to how the US might stay in Iraq even if the Iraqis told them to scram? You mean Rumsfeld has never warned the new ‘government’ against purging its ranks of carefully placed CPA and US hired appointees? You mean the US will not try to manipulate Iraq’s direction through the withholding of funds?

Not only does commonsense tell us that this argument is whacked, but the reality of the situation. Do you know that an Iraqi cannot take a US soldier who kills one of his relatives to an Iraqi (or any other) court? Whereas an American who has a relative killed in Iraq can, (and has) seeked punishment for the act via the Iraqi court system? What sort of ‘freedom’ and ‘independence’ is this? Do you realize Iraqi Ministers have been roughed up by common US soldiers?

Who is the real master in Iraq?

Not Iraqis.

It’s time to pack it in, Moron99, now you are starting to embarrass yourself.



Albatroz --

You forgot to mention that the US has been involved extensively in Columbia as well, in aiding paramilitary forces there in securing the oil flow. Not to mention the “School of the Americas” where the CIA taught all the cutting edge torture techniques as well as suppression tactics to every two bit right wing paramilitary it thought might help it further its aims in the region. Gee, I wonder why the gringos are so popular there.

Moron99 said...

Bruno,

The purging Rumsfeld was warning against is the purging of baathists from the IP and ING. Many of your countrymen are dangerously close to assumming that "the only good baathist is a dead baathist". Rumsfeld should have kept his mouth shut. Its not his decision to make and he has no right to publicly project his desires onto Iraqi leadership.

Regarding the puppet versus master:
All you have to do is look look at the events in Mada'en. Although mostly rumor, examining the responses will tell you who is in charge. I think the relationship between the US and the new Iraqi government was best summed up by Iraq's National Security Minister. He said that "multinational forces will be involved becuase we need their armored vehicles".

If you are unable to decipher the meaning, then just simply read the news. US wanted one interim PM but got Allawi instead. US got comfortable with Allawi and wanted him to continue being PM. Allawi is not and it did not take an invasion to displace him. The new government wants to have a baathist clensing (read president Talabani if you think otherwise). So just keep watching. Regardless of what the US wants, the new Iraqi government is in charge now.

Personally, I'm torn on the baathist clensing. Ethnic clensing is almost always part of a revolution and the baathist's actions have made it clear that Iraq will never find peace until they are eliminated. But even baathist militants are people too. There should be a way to get this minority to accept equality instead of having to kill them all. But, alas, the part of Iraq represented by 8 million votes is growing tired of the blood sucking leeches and their attempts to prevent Iraq from moving forward. I think the most likely scenario is a cultural purging of batthist and baathist supporters. The Iraqi people grow more confident and strong while the so called insurgency grows weaker and more desperate. All it takes is one tipping event and the sharks will be triggered into a frenzy. It must suck to be a baathist.

Albatroz said...

"Ethnic clensing is almost always part of a revolution and the baathist's actions have made it clear that Iraq will never find peace until they are eliminated."

Americans have always been so fond of Mr. Lynch's law. First the indians, then the blacks, and now the Iraqis... Of course moron99 would rather not have all those baathists killed - after all even they are people!!! - but if there isn't any other solution, so be it... This is getting really disgusting and I am starting to regret moron99 didn't work in the top floors of the Twin Towers... I hope decent Americans will prevail, otherwise we are going to have a very bleak future indeed.
As a matter of hygiene I am going to ignore Moron's comments from now on.

Moron99 said...

Albatroz,

It was actually you who endorsed the jungle law credo. You do so because you are convinced that the baathists have the most guns and money. But they don't and the disparity grows larger with every passing day. What you have failed to consider is the growing confidence of the peasant class Iraqi. At some point, their confidence will lead them into action and the baathist guns and money won't be enough.

I would strongly prefer that the baathists stop killing people they label as "collaborators", stop sabatauging the public utilities, stop killing policemen, and stop bombing Shia gatherings. But they probably won't until they are dead. As President Talabani has noted, they have been denied their palaces. It's their choice whether to become a peasant or die trying to rebuild their palaces. There will be no other outcomes allowed by the 8 million voters and the government that they empowered.

American Imperialist said...

Please, support the war on terror, adopt a sniper on http://americansnipers.org/index.html

Thank you.

Hurria said...

"There are 26 million people in Iraq. Out of that 26 million perhaps as many as 11 million are adults."

That is false. In reality Adults comprise around 55-60% of the population of Iraq. That puts their numbers between 14.3-15.6 million, not 11 million. Taking 15 million as a nice, round figure approximating the mid-point of that range, we have 15 million eligible voters in the country - just the number cited by the electoral commission. We then add to that the 1.2 million "expat" eligible voters, the number cited by the International Organization for Migration, giving us a total of 16.2 eligible voters. 8 million out of 16.2 million is not a majority. Even taking the low point of the range, 14.3 million, you barely get a majority.

Even if Moron99's numbers were not clearly false, his apparent beliefs regarding what the number of voters signify have no basis in reality.

Hurria said...

"There are 26 million people in Iraq. Out of that 26 million perhaps as many as 11 million are adults."

That is false. In reality Adults comprise around 55-60% of the population of Iraq. That puts their numbers between 14.3-15.6 million, not 11 million. Taking 15 million as a nice, round figure approximating the mid-point of that range, we have 15 million eligible voters in the country - just the number cited by the electoral commission. We then add to that the 1.2 million "expat" eligible voters, the number cited by the International Organization for Migration, giving us a total of 16.2 eligible voters. 8 million out of 16.2 million is not a majority. Even taking the low point of the range, 14.3 million, you barely get a majority.

Even if Moron99's numbers were not clearly false, his apparent beliefs regarding what the number of voters signify have no basis in reality.

waldschrat said...

hurria - by that logic it seems many elections in the USA might be invalid since low election turnout (for whatever reason) is not uncommon here. By our own logic, though, the percentage that counts is the percentage of the votes cast, not the percentage of elegible voters. Nobody in the USA imagines that staying home from the polls is a reasonable or useful way of expressing dis-satisfaction with the system. For that reason, the decision of some leaders in Iraq to advocate such a strategy seems totally confusing to most Americans, at least to me.

Hurria said...

Waldschrat,

Please point out to me where I stated or even suggested that it is voter turnout that makes an election valid or invalid, legitimate or illegitimate, free or unfree?

On the contrary it appears it is not I but moron who finds voter turnout the key issue, since it is he and not I who is claiming phoney numbers which, by mere coincidence, I am sure, make the turnout of Iraqis look much higher than it actually was.

waldschrat said...

hurria - I'm sorry for not reading more carefully. I did not intend to misrepresent your words.

You did say in one post "The 'election' itself was not merely 'flawed', it did not meet even the minimum standards for a free, fair, democratic election."

The principle complaints I have heard about the election were (1) It was unsafe for some voters to go to the polls and (2) Some people (including an association of religious "scholars" and Vladimir Putin) contended a fair election was impossible in an "occupied" country. I certainly concede that conditions were not perfect! Still, my impression is that under the circumstances it was the best that could be done. The greatest cloud I see on the election is the low Sunni vote count. Security seems to be worse in Sunni areas and I suppose this may be part of the reason, but I also suppose the boycott urged by many was at least partally responsible.

Please describe the important defects of the elction as you perceive the facts. I do not wish to debate you, there has been far too much heated debate in this long train of comments all ready. I would simply like to understand your views and opinions better. You hae a right to believe what you want regardless of whether people agree with it. What was wrong with the election?

Moron99 said...

Hurria,

I will accept your numbers. Mine were just guestimates based on a society with large families, a median age around 30 years old, and the establishment of adulthood at the age of 18. It was nothing more than a statistical guesstimate.

However, meaningful evaluation requires one additional question beyond what you present. Of the 8.2 million that did not vote, how many of them would prefer the re-establishment of baathism over the new government? And based upon this answer, how is it possible to construe that the majority of Iraq would prefer to pursue the long term goals of the insurgency?

Moron99 said...

On a positive note, an Iraqi discussion forum that I frequently visit has been discussing the Ninawa province. The conclusion amoung them is that security in Mosul has improved significantly, that security continues to improve, and that anti-resitance sentiment is significantly stronger than pro-resistance in the province. (The other concensus amoung them is that Mosul is a truly beautiful city.) All of which means that Mosul is headed down the road to recovery and Truth's family should see significant improvement and rebuilding by summer. I hope it is true.

Hurria said...

"I will accept your numbers. Mine were just guestimates..."

The numbers I provided are readily obtainable from several different sources.

"Of the 8.2 million that did not vote, how many of them would prefer the re-establishment of baathism over the new government?"

For the record, I don't know anyone who wishes to see the "Ba`thist" government re established. However, your question is irrelevant, and is more illustrative of American obsession and binary thinking than any Iraqi reality.

"And based upon this answer, how is it possible to construe that the majority of Iraq would prefer to pursue the long term goals of the insurgency?"

And exactly what ARE the long term goals of this "insurgency" you speak of as if it were a single entity with a single set of goals and methods?

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