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-   -   War may be criminal - GOP Sen Smith (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=147311)

 Ivan Seeking Dec8-06 07:16 PM

War may be criminal - GOP Sen Smith

Quote:
 WASHINGTON - Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith, a Republican who voted in favor of the Iraq war in 2002 and has supported it ever since, now says the current U.S. war effort is "absurd" and "may even be criminal." In an emotional speech on the Senate floor Thursday night, Smith called for changes in U.S. policy that could include rapid pullouts of U.S. troops from Iraq. He said he never would have voted for the conflict if he had known the intelligence that President Bush gave the American people was inaccurate. "I for one am at the end of my rope...[continued]
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...q/16197847.htm

...just another reason I love Oregon!

If he keeps talking like that, I might vote for him again. I hope this is just the first of many GOP leaders to come out given cover by the Iraq panel's report. In spite of the damage to this nation that impeachment and prosecution of Bush and Rummy would bring, I believe this to be imperative to the U.S. political system's survival. This long and relentless assault by Bush on the constitution and on the trust of the American people and its leaders, cannot go unaswered.

 Skyhunter Dec9-06 12:28 AM

Quote:
 Quote by Ivan Seeking (Post 1183661) http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercu...q/16197847.htm ...just another reason I love Oregon! If he keeps talking like that, I might vote for him again. I hope this is just the first of many GOP leaders to come out given cover by the Iraq panel's report. In spite of the damage to this nation that impeachment and prosecution of Bush and Rummy would bring, I believe this to be imperative to the U.S. political system's survival. This long and relentless assault by Bush on the constitution, and on the trust of the American people and its leaders, cannot go unaswered.
The first quarter of 2007 should prove very interesting.

My guess is that by Easter there will be plenty of incumbent R's ready to throw what will be left of this administration under a bus. As the investigations begin, the few rats left after the midterm "thumping" will be jumping from the burning ship.

The signs are clear that the administration hasn't a clue about what to do. The Bush administration is in it's "last throes, if you will".

 MeJennifer Dec9-06 01:00 AM

All this is a played drama IMHO. :smile:

The objective of the US invasion in Iraq was to bring the country back a few decades and make it harmless.

Now that that has been accomplished there is no need for the US to stay in, so now it is prime time for the opportunistic politicians to benefit from the inevitable pullout.

 Ivan Seeking Dec9-06 04:17 AM

If that was the case we could have left in April 2003.

Of course at $2+ billion per week [war machine] and nearly 3000 [US] dead and 20,000 wounded, what the hell. When we leave, we leave. No rush.  turbo Dec9-06 10:23 AM So far, we have been fighting to prevent another 9/11, to take away Iraq's WMDs, to prevent them from refining yellowcake from Niger, to hit the terrorists on their home turf so we don't have to fight them here, to spread democracy, etc, etc. All lies. This administration lied us into a war to enrich their sponsors and the Baker commission is trying to finish the job with its "all or nothing" solution. Very few people seem to have noticed that one of the conditions in that report is the privatization of Iraq's oil industry - a thing very near and dear to the Bushies.  Astronuc Dec9-06 03:02 PM Quote:  Quote by MeJennifer (Post 1183840) The objective of the US invasion in Iraq was to bring the country back a few decades and make it harmless. I don't understand the 'bring the country back a few decades'. The sanctions during the 90's and early 00's certainly reduced the quality of life and the deterioration of infrastructure was significant. Rather than harmless, Iraq has more terrorists now than it did before the US invasion. And the diversion of US military from Afghanistan to Iraq enabled bin Laden, al Qaida and Taliban to escape and recover in Pakistan! Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, with some help from Tenet and others in the Bush administration have done so much to undermine the security of the US its not funny. It is a tragedy/catastrophe. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are seemingly guilty of criminal negligence, if not deliberate criminal acts. It would not surprise if Cheney and Rumsfeld have managed to siphon off US tax money into personal offshore accounts, and I think they should be investigated with regard to their deliberate acts of corruption.  devil-fire Dec9-06 03:15 PM Quote:  Quote by Ivan Seeking (Post 1183919) Of course at$2+ billion per week [war machine] and nearly 3000 [US] dead and 20,000 wounded, what the hell.
those numbers refer to only soldiers, not american citizens on private contract. i expect there are more dead and wounded among the american contracters aswell

 Skyhunter Dec9-06 03:56 PM

Quote:
 Quote by devil-fire (Post 1184243) those numbers refer to only soldiers, not american citizens on private contract. i expect there are more dead and wounded among the american contracters aswell
The real tragedy is dead Iraqis. Those numbers are staggering. Just like with Vietnam however, the focus is always on Americans killed, which seems to always be the lower number by orders of magnitude.

Iraq
American soldiers killed 3000

Iraqis killed 400,000 - 800,000

Vietnam

Americans soldiers killed 60,000

Vietnamese killed 3 million

As tragic as the American deaths are, the real tragedy is what is happening to the people who live in Iraq. And now the whole region could become completely destabilized because of the narcissistic arrogance of this administration!

 Skyhunter Dec9-06 04:23 PM

Here is a video of Senator Smiths press conference.

 Astronuc Dec9-06 04:43 PM

I've been reading James Risen's book "State of War" in which he mentions that the US military has been ignoring the booming opium and heroin trade in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has apparently become a major narco-state - under the noses of the Bush administration. This is especially significant since it appears that money from the sale of the drug trade may be going to support Taliban and al Qaida.

This certainly raises questions about the Bush administration's so-called 'War on Terror'.

Afghanistan Opium Crop Sets Record

Quote:
 Opium production in Afghanistan, which provides more than 90 percent of the world's heroin, broke all records in 2006, reaching a historic high despite ongoing U.S.-sponsored eradication efforts, the Bush administration reported yesterday. In addition to a 26 percent production increase over past year -- for a total of 5,644 metric tons -- the amount of land under cultivation in opium poppies grew by 61 percent. Cultivation in the two main production provinces, Helmand in the southwest and Oruzgan in central Afghanistan, was up by 132 percent. . . . . The administration has cited resurgent Taliban forces as the main impediment to stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, and the U.S. military investment has far exceeded anti-narcotic and development programs. But U.S. military and intelligence officials have increasingly described the drug trade as a problem that rivals and in some ways exceeds the Taliban, threatening to derail other aspects of U.S. policy.
Just another failure by the Bush administration.

 Futobingoro Dec9-06 09:44 PM

Quote:
 Quote by Astronuc Just another failure by the Bush administration.
I don't mean to come across as a cynic, but you omitted some very important information.

Here's what you didn't quote:
Quote:
 Any disruption of the drug trade has enormous implications for Afghanistan's economic and political stability. Although its relative strength in the overall economy has diminished as other sectors have expanded in recent years, narcotics is a \$2.6 billion-a-year industry that this year provided more than a third of the country's gross domestic product. Farmers who cultivate opium poppies receive only a small percentage of the profits, but U.S. officials estimate the crop provides up to 12 times as much income per acre as conventional farming, and there is violent local resistance to eradication. "It's almost the devil's own problem," CIA Director Michael V. Hayden told Congress last month. "Right now the issue is stability. . . . Going in there in itself and attacking the drug trade actually feeds the instability that you want to overcome." "Attacking the problem directly in terms of the drug trade . . . would undermine the attempt to gain popular support in the region," agreed Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. "There's a real conflict, I think."
You painted a picture of an Afghanistan where a resurgent opium trade somehow demonstrates a failure of the Bush administration. Within the same article you quoted, however, is information (above) that suggests the opium trade is the lesser of two evils. You also said that the funneling of drug money to al Qaida and the Taliban "raises questions" about the War on Terror. Again, there is a sentence from the same article that contradicts alarmist rhetoric about the Taliban:
Quote:
 Although the drug trade is believed to provide some financing to the Taliban, most experts believe it is largely an organized criminal enterprise.

 BobG Dec10-06 12:01 AM

Quote:
 Quote by Astronuc (Post 1184320) I've been reading James Risen's book "State of War" in which he mentions that the US military has been ignoring the booming opium and heroin trade in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has apparently become a major narco-state - under the noses of the Bush administration. This is especially significant since it appears that money from the sale of the drug trade may be going to support Taliban and al Qaida. This certainly raises questions about the Bush administration's so-called 'War on Terror'.
Suggesting it has become a major narco-state under the noses of the Bush administration is a little misleading. Afghanistan has been a major narco-state for a long time.

It is another failure by the Bush administration, but expecting success was naive, at best, and maybe kind of stupid. Surely, our past experience in South America doesn't supply much reason for optimism about our efforts in curbing the Afghanistan drug problem.

 Ivan Seeking Dec10-06 12:13 AM

Quote:
 Quote by Futobingoro (Post 1184519) Within the same article you quoted, however, is information (above) that suggests the opium trade is the lesser of two evils.
Real tough; so we buy them off. The entire yearly revenues for the drug trade are what we spend in a week in Iraq. The fact that this obvious solution is not implemented raises serious questions about motive.

Something else about Smith's comments: He could have used many words other than "criminal" and still played the politics. Politically speaking, there is no reason why he needed to say "criminal".

 Ivan Seeking Dec10-06 12:27 AM

Quote:
 Quote by BobG (Post 1184615) Suggesting it has become a major narco-state under the noses of the Bush administration is a little misleading. Afghanistan has been a major narco-state for a long time.
However, Afghanistan is allegedly under US control now.

 loseyourname Dec10-06 02:33 AM

Quote:
 Quote by Ivan Seeking (Post 1184629) However, Afghanistan is allegedly under US control now.
Well, according to the CIA factbook, one of the world's major producers of marijuana, methamphetamine, hallucinogens, and one of the major money-laundering centers, has been under US control since 1776.

 Astronuc Dec10-06 09:34 AM

Quote:
 "Going in there in itself and attacking the drug trade actually feeds the instability that you want to overcome."
Kind of like the US military invasion and occupation of Iraq feeds the instability there. :rolleyes:

Quote:
 Any disruption of the drug trade has enormous implications for Afghanistan's economic and political stability.
Only because it has been allowed to become a problem.

Well - its certainly not a simple matter. There were those in the US Dept of State who were adamant about not supporting the drug trade - but there were those in the Bush administration who see it as necessary in order to provide stability - i.e. the US has to work with organized crime to preserve stability. In the end, this is self-defeating as history has demonstrated and will demonstrate.

 Ivan Seeking Dec10-06 02:04 PM

Quote:
 Quote by loseyourname (Post 1184694) Well, according to the CIA factbook, one of the world's major producers of marijuana, methamphetamine, hallucinogens, and one of the major money-laundering centers, has been under US control since 1776.
First of all, of those, only marijauna requires large, open, sunny fields that are easily destroyed.
Next:
Afghanistan
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Texas

Population:
31,056,997

Technological state:
Post stone-age

Under US military control.

 Futobingoro Dec10-06 02:09 PM

Quote:
 Quote by Astronuc Only because it has been allowed to become a problem.
Exactly how do you convince farmers to abandon a crop which is 12 times as profitable as the alternatives?
Quote:
 Quote by Ivan Seeking Real tough; so we buy them off. The entire yearly revenues for the drug trade are what we spend in a week in Iraq. The fact that this obvious solution is not implemented raises serious questions about motive.
"Buying off" opium farmers does not render opium farming unprofitable.

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