Recognitions:
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## What to do about Iraq

There was a very interesting documentary on the History channel last week. It was titled Saddam and The Third Reich. It shows how the Baath party closely followed the Nazi party philosophy.

Ironically the USA supported the Baath party when the Iraqi government became influenced by the communists.

A DVD is available online. The entire documentary is on youtube in ten minute segments. It was a great history lesson for me, others may not need one. The first segment is below.

 i remember watching meet the press when dick cheney first appeared spouting off about centrifuges and refinement :/ and because of that disinformation and everyones passive paranoia you now have the real problem of people not forgetting getting invaded, crapped on and most likely left hanging. honestly i expect another world trade center type event to happen, you'll find not many willing to go back to the middle east to fight the same war again. it'll be a waiting game and the US will lose unless they fix the situation, it takes a long time for people to forget and they'll raise their children with hidden hatred that you won't see but you'll feel.

What Went Wrong with the Rebuilding of Iraq?
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=10204557

 There is little to show for the tens of billions of dollars spent over the last four years to rebuild Iraq. Plans that began with high hopes and were aimed at improving everything from Iraq's dilapidated infrastructure to its health care and education systems have instead become mired in corruption, waste and mismanagement. Shortly after Baghdad fell in 2003, huge contracts were awarded to several U.S. companies. Some were no-bid, such as the $1.4 billion contract handed to Halliburton to rebuild Iraq's oil industry. For other contracts, there was limited competition. "Basically, these were contracts that said to a contractor, 'I'm going to have hundreds of projects all over the country. I'm not quite sure what those projects are going to look like,' " said Steve Schooner, the co-director of the government procurement law program at George Washington University Law School. The idea was for the contractors to get into Iraq quickly and then await further orders, Schooner said. The speed with which the reconstruction contracts were awarded inevitably led to some mistakes, said Earnie Robbins, a senior vice president with Parsons Corp., a California-based construction firm that was awarded a roughly$1 billion contract for projects in Iraq. "They actually issued us a site to build a facility that, when we went to the GPS coordinates provided — or when we tried to — it was discovered that that site was actually not in Iraq; it was in Iran," said Robbins. . . . .
The Bush administration at work - or not. Well their supporters did make a lot of money at taxpayers expense. Perhaps this is the success that Bush referred to.

Never before have so few made so much for doing so little.

One has to wonder how many new millionsaires there are because of the war.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus A good debate between Dodd and Gingrich on the first half of Meet The Press this morning. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032608/

U.S. Spy Agencies Warned of Iraqi Sects, Panel Says
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=10451407
 All Things Considered, May 25, 2007 · U.S. spy agencies' predictions about post-war Iraq were mostly accurate, according to a new Senate Intelligence Committee report. But several Republican senators object to conclusions in the report on pre-war intelligence assessments. Senators and their staff considered a number of documents and previous investigations. But they relied most heavily on two papers from the National Intelligence Council — both of them previously classified — dated January 2003. The papers looked at what the main challenges would be in a post-Saddam Iraq, and at the regional consequences of a war. Their judgments were mostly on the mark: The authors warned about the danger of sectarian violence and said al-Qaida and Iran would try to exploit the situation. The report was approved by a vote of 10-5, with two Republicans — Olympia Snowe of Maine and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska — crossing over to vote with the Democrats. The five Republicans who voted against the report have a number of issues with it.
It would seem the experts were ignored! That would seem to be dereliction of duty.

It also occurred to me that Bush and his administration have been careful to remove dissent, or anyone who disagreed with their views/intents to wage war in Iraq.
 Recognitions: Gold Member Science Advisor Staff Emeritus This is a terribly difficult situation. I can listen to either side of the debate and see that each makes great points, but with no definitive way to make a judgement. At least now they are starting to talk about either leaving, or sending in 300,000 more troops like we should have done in the first place. Of course the number originally suggested and tossed out by Bush and Rummy was 500,000 troops. Again and again I have to ask, if this "war on terror" that we are allegedly fighting in Iraq is REALLY such a great threat to the U.S., then why don't we get serious and call for a draft? I have a very hard time understanding how so much could be at stake, yet we don't even flip the war switch and act like it's serious.

Recognitions:
Gold Member
This doesn't really surprise me but when I read the article on page 4 of my local paper I thought that it was more newsworthy than, "Paris Hilton Goes To Jail", which was on page 1.

 In the first 4 1/2 months of 2007, American aircraft dropped 237 bombs and missiles in support of ground forces in Iraq, already surpassing the 229 expended in all of 2006, according to U.S. Air Force figures obtained by The Associated Press. "Air operations over Iraq have ratcheted up significantly, in the number of sorties, the number of hours [in the air]," said Col. Joe Guastella, Air Force operations chief for the region. "It has a lot to do with increased pressure on the enemy by MNC-I" - the Multinational Corps-Iraq - "combined with more carriers."
http://www.theeagle.com/stories/0606...0070606025.php

Joint Chiefs Shuffle: Gen. Pace Out; Adm. Mullen In
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=10876225
by Robert Siegel and Guy Raz

 All Things Considered, June 8, 2007 · The Bush administration has announced plans to replace Gen. Peter Pace as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Rather than risk a Senate confirmation struggle by reappointing Pace, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he would recommend Adm. Mike Mullen to replace him.
Gen. Pace to Step Down as Chairman of Joint Chiefs
 Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he will recommend Adm. Mike Mullen, currently the chief of naval operations, to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mullen would replace Marine Gen. Peter Pace, who has held the post since 2005. If formally appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate, Mullen would replace Pace as the nation's top military officer. Gates, speaking at a Pentagon news conference, said that Mullen has the "vision, strategic insight and integrity to lead America's armed forces."
Speaking of the JCS, why does president Bush need a War Czar or advisor on military (war?) matters. I mean we already have a SecDef and JCS - but we need yet another position (person + staff) to counsel the president, who afterall is CinC??!?!!?

Pentagon Report Shows Violence in Iraq at a High
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=11043078
by Renee Montagne and Guy Raz
 Morning Edition, June 14, 2007 · The Pentagon's quarterly report on Iraq shows overall situation, as measured by U.S., Iraqi and civilian casualties, violence hit a three-year high between February and May.
It's not working!

I would very much like Petreaus to succeed, but he needs an effective Iraqi government, and I seriously wonder if that is possible given the sectarian conflict.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=11086554
by Rachel Martin
 All Things Considered, June 14, 2007 · A senior U.S. diplomat visits Ramadi, capital of Anbar province, once the most dangerous place in Iraq for U.S. troops but now the scene of an alliance with Sunni tribal leaders bent on destroying al-Qaida in Iraq.
Interesting development.

Some Mosques Attacked, but Iraq Relatively Calm
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...oryId=11067921
 NPR.org, June 14, 2007 · Several Sunni mosques have been attacked in apparent retaliation for the bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra. At least four people were killed in the most recent violence, but increased security and a curfew kept most of Iraq calm. Police in Basra said six people were also wounded when the Kawaz, Othman, al-Abayshi and Basra Grand mosques were hit by rocket-propelled grenades shortly after Wednesday's bombing in Samarra. Four Sunni mosques near Baghdad were also attacked several hours after the two minarets at the Askariya Shiite shrine were toppled. Sunni insurgents were blamed for Wednesday's attack on the shrine, one of Iraq's most holy sites for Shiite Muslims. A bombing of the same mosque last year resulted in a bloody, sectarian confrontation between Shiites and Sunnis that left hundreds dead. Immediately after the shrine was bombed, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki put Baghdad and Samarra under an indefinite curfew in hopes of heading off a wave of violence. He also restricted vehicular traffic through Baghdad, a measure that is expected to remain in place until Saturday.
They need to stop with the destroying mosques.

And some people need to stop preaching violence.
 I heard ppl talk about the US govt arming sunni militia , does this make any sense at all?

 Quote by kaos I heard ppl talk about the US govt arming sunni militia , does this make any sense at all?
Apparently that is so. Various Iraqi Sunni groups are fighting al Qaida now, most of whom maybe foreigners (i.e. non-Iraqis).

U.S. Arming Sunnis in Iraq to Battle Old Qaeda Allies
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/11/wo...st/11iraq.html

 BAGHDAD, June 10 — With the four-month-old increase in American troops showing only modest success in curbing insurgent attacks, American commanders are turning to another strategy that they acknowledge is fraught with risk: arming Sunni Arab groups that have promised to fight militants linked with Al Qaeda who have been their allies in the past. American commanders say they have successfully tested the strategy in Anbar Province west of Baghdad and have held talks with Sunni groups in at least four areas of central and north-central Iraq where the insurgency has been strong. In some cases, the American commanders say, the Sunni groups are suspected of involvement in past attacks on American troops or of having links to such groups. Some of these groups, they say, have been provided, usually through Iraqi military units allied with the Americans, with arms, ammunition, cash, fuel and supplies. American officers who have engaged in what they call outreach to the Sunni groups say many of them have had past links to Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia but grew disillusioned with the Islamic militants’ extremist tactics, particularly suicide bombings that have killed thousands of Iraqi civilians. In exchange for American backing, these officials say, the Sunni groups have agreed to fight Al Qaeda and halt attacks on American units. Commanders who have undertaken these negotiations say that in some cases, Sunni groups have agreed to alert American troops to the location of roadside bombs and other lethal booby traps. . . . .
 Recognitions: Gold Member While this sounds like a strategy with some merit, as presented, it is an official capitulation to the desires of the Saudis, who have been financing Sunnis and have been pressuring the US to force the Iraqi government to give Sunnis a larger role in the government. The Saudis are throttling oil production to drive up the prices (and their profits) and are now maneuvering this administration into financing the same groups that have been responsible for the killing of many, many US troops. Follow the money.
 Admin And the Saudis, or those who support the royal family and the status, are opposed to al Qaida.