## Gates Makes Sense

 Quote by nismaratwork It was a search for non-existent WMD... we could have killed Saddam if we'd been willing to kill a few hundred (or thousands) innocent people. That may sound harsh, but it's beats the hundreds of thousands dead now, don't you think? Iraq isn't a war, it's a failed colonial adventure.
I think that's oversimplifying it. If we had killed Hussein with a few thousand dead alongside, we'd still have had the same problem, with terrorists trying to take control and fighting. And the objective was never to colonize Iraq. If that was the goal, we'd have set up a permanent puppet government and given access to the Iraqi oil solely to American companies.

 We NEEDED that dictator, which is why we armed him so well. Iraq was a secular buffer between Iran and Israel... it is no longer. If you see prosperity in Iraq's future, you're going to have to find more than hope to back THAT up.
He was an incredibly brutal and oppressive dictator though. He wasn't a more benign dictator like Mubarak. That said, again I am not saying wanting to establish a liberal democracy in Iraq was reason enough on its own to invade, I just mean it is a nice thing to get in the end.

As for prosperity, I don't know, time will tell.

 Stalin then proceeded to killl... was it 21 million Russians? I think so. Anyway, the Nazi genocidal effort was not war either, it was systematic murder. Firebombing Dresden, Tokyo, and nuclear bombs in two cities... that is war.
It might have been genocidal, but they were also at war with the Soviet Union. It was a "killy everybody" mentality they had, and I was just pointing out that that doesn't always work in war.

Even in the bombings of Germany, it didn't necessarilly work. Today some view it that we could have forgone bombing the major German cities because it just turned the German people against us more and also did not work to stop the German war production (in fact, German war production increased despite the bombings). What stopped the German military was when we attacked the oil refineries, which they could not operate once bombed.

 We tired to make friends with people we'd strangled with sanctions; people we left for dead and worse after the first Gulf War. War isn't about making friends; if it is, you're not fighting a war, you're dicking around.
War is about many things IMO.

 That is not clear at all, and while I'm sure we could debate that ad infinitum, the lack of clarity stinks of "Gulf of Tonkin" episodes. There is a lot of evidence, and testimony including Rumsfeld, and Powell... and now with this psy-ops on our own politicians?! If you really want to assert this as fact, you need to back it up in ways that I don't think anyone can.
I think you can argue that the Bush administration was not thorough enough in its intelligence-gathering, or was overzealous, but the administration all thought Hussein had WMDs. This had been thought of as far back as the 1990s under Bill Clinton as well. One of the arguments given by Democrats on why not to invade Iraq was that Hussein would likely use said WMDs on U.S. soldiers.

 Quote by CAC1001 I think that's oversimplifying it. If we had killed Hussein with a few thousand dead alongside, we'd still have had the same problem, with terrorists trying to take control and fighting. And the objective was never to colonize Iraq. If that was the goal, we'd have set up a permanent puppet government and given access to the Iraqi oil solely to American companies.
Right, we tried, and failed at that. See Haliburton's pullout.

 Quote by CAC1001 He was an incredibly brutal and oppressive dictator though. He wasn't a more benign dictator like Mubarak. That said, again I am not saying wanting to establish a liberal democracy in Iraq was reason enough on its own to invade, I just mean it is a nice thing to get in the end.
Mubarak was not benign. In addition, there are tons of brutal and oppressive dictators... why him?

 Quote by CAC1001 As for prosperity, I don't know, time will tell.
So does history.

 Quote by CAC1001 It might have been genocidal, but they were also at war with the Soviet Union. It was a "killy everybody" mentality they had, and I was just pointing out that that doesn't always work in war.
**** might, it was. I'd add, it very nearly DID work, and it certainly worked for the allied powers. I think you need to become more familiar with the history of warfare.

 Quote by CAC1001 Even in the bombings of Germany, it didn't necessarilly work. Today some view it that we could have forgone bombing the major German cities because it just turned the German people against us more and also did not work to stop the German war production (in fact, German war production increased despite the bombings). What stopped the German military was when we attacked the oil refineries, which they could not operate once bombed.
Again, history may judge, but the results speak for themselves.

 Quote by CAC1001 War is about many things IMO.
Yes, but there are only a few ways to conduct a war if you want to win. If your "win" is a police action or adventure, it's not a war.

 Quote by CAC1001 I think you can argue that the Bush administration was not thorough enough in its intelligence-gathering, or was overzealous, but the administration all thought Hussein had WMDs. This had been thought of as far back as the 1990s under Bill Clinton as well. One of the arguments given by Democrats on why not to invade Iraq was that Hussein would likely use said WMDs on U.S. soldiers.
I'd argue for deception, but we'll have to wait for history on that.

 Quote by nismaratwork Right, we tried, and failed at that. See Haliburton's pullout.
The goal from the get-go was to turn Iraq into a democracy.

 Mubarak was not benign. In addition, there are tons of brutal and oppressive dictators... why him?
Mubarak wasn't any Hussein though, or Ghadaffi. And I said that just because Hussein was a dictator was not at all justification enough to have invaded Iraq, for the reasons you cited (there are plenty of other dictators).

 So does history.
History shows quite a few nations to have become successful democracies with prosperous economies, many others have failed at the attempt. Chile is an example of a success.

 **** might, it was. I'd add, it very nearly DID work, and it certainly worked for the allied powers. I think you need to become more familiar with the history of warfare.
From my understanding of it, part of the reason the Nazis lost to the Soviets was Hitler's infringing on the operations and messing things up, if that is the case, you're right, but then one could reason that the Nazis could have beaten the Soviets a lot easier by making friends with the Soviet peoples.

 Again, history may judge, but the results speak for themselves.
Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

 Quote by CAC1001 The goal from the get-go was to turn Iraq into a democracy.
Really? That wasn't the case that was made to the international community, or rather, not the primary case. It's also not a legal reason to invade even a dictator's country.

 Quote by CAC1001 Mubarak wasn't any Hussein though, or Ghadaffi. And I said that just because Hussein was a dictator was not at all justification enough to have invaded Iraq, for the reasons you cited (there are plenty of other dictators).
No, he was sane, but you said "benign" which is very different. Lets keep those goal posts firmly planted, OK?

 Quote by CAC1001 History shows quite a few nations to have become successful democracies with prosperous economies, many others have failed at the attempt. Chile is an example of a success.
It's an intersting case, but hardly the norm, and it wasn't the result of a war.

 Quote by CAC1001 From my understanding of it, part of the reason the Nazis lost to the Soviets was Hitler's infringing on the operations and messing things up, if that is the case, you're right, but then one could reason that the Nazis could have beaten the Soviets a lot easier by making friends with the Soviet peoples.
They shoud have left the Soviets alone... making friends would not have been likely given Stalin. I suspect it would have just delayed the inevitable. They also could have won if they had a concept of the weather and terrain, but that's also not the point.

 Quote by CAC1001 Post hoc ergo propter hoc.
No, I'm saying that I BELIEVE there was deception, but I recognize that I am not an impartial judge, and that history makes the calls. That is not a fallacy, it's admitting humanity. In addition, there is evidence of deception, and an attempt to quash dissent (Plame, Powell...). In a better world, Bush W. would have been removed before sending us into the "graveyard of empires", and Iraq... IMO.

 Quote by nismaratwork Really? That wasn't the case that was made to the international community, or rather, not the primary case. It's also not a legal reason to invade even a dictator's country.
It wasn't the primary cases, but it was one of the goals upon overturning Hussein for the WMDs.

 No, he was sane, but you said "benign" which is very different. Lets keep those goal posts firmly planted, OK?
Mubarak didn't slaughter his own people or oppress them in the way Hussein did or Ghadaffi.

 It's an intersting case, but hardly the norm, and it wasn't the result of a war.
Japan, South Korea, and West Germany (now Germany) were successes that were the result of war though.

 They shoud have left the Soviets alone... making friends would not have been likely given Stalin. I suspect it would have just delayed the inevitable. They also could have won if they had a concept of the weather and terrain, but that's also not the point.
Making friends with the Soviet peoples would have made it a lot easier to fight against Stalin as the people would not have been fighting against them.

 No, I'm saying that I BELIEVE there was deception, but I recognize that I am not an impartial judge, and that history makes the calls. That is not a fallacy, it's admitting humanity. In addition, there is evidence of deception, and an attempt to quash dissent (Plame, Powell...). In a better world, Bush W. would have been removed before sending us into the "graveyard of empires", and Iraq... IMO.
You are misunderstanding me. You said:

 Again, history may judge, but the results speak for themselves.
in response to my saying the bombings of the big German cities didn't stop the German war machine.

To this, I said, post hoc ergo propter hoc, in other words, just because we bombed the cities and then Germany lost doesn't mean it was the bombing of the German cities that made them lose the war.

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 Quote by CAC1001 How did the U.S. fail in Iraq? While I wouldn't call Iraq a rollicking success, I wouldn't call it a failure either.
What do you call it when a task billed at $100B ends up costing an order of magnitude more than that? Remember, the Bush admin fired economist Lawrence Lindsey, when he said that the war might cost as much as$200B, rather than the $100B estimate that was publicized by Rummy, Cheney, et al. Where are we now, somewhere near the$1T mark? More, if you include indirect costs, like healthcare for vets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_B._Lindsey

 On September 15, 2002, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Lindsey estimated the high limit on the cost of the Bush administration's plan in 2002 of invasion and regime change in Iraq to be 1-2% of GNP, or about $100–$200 billion. Mitch Daniels, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, subsequently discounted this estimate as "very, very high" and stated that the costs would be between $50–$60 billion. This lower figure was endorsed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who called Lindsey's estimate "baloney".

 Quote by Gokul43201 What do you call it when a task billed at $100B ends up costing an order of magnitude more than that? Remember, the Bush admin fired economist Lawrence Lindsey, when he said that the war might cost as much as$200B, rather than the $100B estimate that was publicized by Rummy, Cheney, et al. Where are we now, somewhere near the$1T mark? More, if you include indirect costs, like healthcare for vets. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_B._Lindsey
Just because something costs a lot more than expected doesn't mean it is a failure. Medicare has ended up costing a lot more than expected too, but I wouldn't say it is a failure of a program, just that it has ended up costing far more than was estimated. Just because the war has ended up costing far more than was anticipated doesn't make it a "failure," it means it was a lot more expensive than was initially thought.
 CAC... you've gone beyond logic, moved so many goalposts I'm losing track (Mubarak is benign -> he's no Hussein... no kidding, few are), and frankly seem only interested in the echo of your views. If you think Iraq was an honest war with a successful outcome, we must live in different universes.

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 Quote by CAC1001 Just because something costs a lot more than expected doesn't mean it is a failure. Medicare has ended up costing a lot more than expected too, but I wouldn't say it is a failure of a program, just that it has ended up costing far more than was estimated. Just because the war has ended up costing far more than was anticipated doesn't make it a "failure," it means it was a lot more expensive than was initially thought.
The administration fired someone who said the war might cost up to $200B. They didn't think the citizenry would consider the results (deposing Saddam, instilling democracy in the ME, securing the WMDs, reducing the terrorist thread to the US, and inflicting payback for September 11) worth$200B. If all of that is not worth $200B, I don't see how the argument can be made that some of that is worth$1T. And if it can't, then I don't see how one can call it a success.

It's not a question of expectations, or poor calculations, but one of justification. If the $200B estimate was going to be hard to justify, how do you justify a ten-fold bigger cost, with no additional benefits?  Quote by nismaratwork and frankly seem only interested in the echo of your views. You would be mistaken.  If you think Iraq was an honest war with a successful outcome, we must live in different universes. I never said it had a successful outcome, I just do not see it as a failure either. I really think it is too soon to tell at the moment.  Quote by Gokul43201 The administration fired someone who said the war might cost up to$200B. They didn't think the citizenry would consider the results (deposing Saddam, instilling democracy in the ME, securing the WMDs, reducing the terrorist thread to the US, and inflicting payback for September 11) worth $200B. If all of that is not worth$200B, I don't see how some of that is worth \$1T. And if it isn't then I don't see how you can call it a success.
I don't judge the success of it based solely on the financial cost, but as said, I do not declare it a success, I just don't see it as a failure. I think whether it was a success or not will take more time to determine.

 Quote by CAC1001 You would be mistaken.
Prove it... once.

 Quote by CAC1001 I never said it had a successful outcome, I just do not see it as a failure either. I really think it is too soon to tell at the moment.
War is a win, or a lose... see previous quote from a rather respected general.

 Quote by talk2glenn As to "choice", if you can find me a single instance in the modern era (say, 1800 onwards) of a western country believing - as evidenced by the proclamations of its leaders and/or government - it chose to go to war rather than being forced to it after the exhaustion of "diplomacy by all other means", I'll concede the point.
We've been repeatedly and sometimes painfully reminded that it's a mistake to take the proclamations of politicians as evidence of the truth.

The invasion of Iraq was a preemptive attack on a sovereign nation that posed no threat to the US. The Bush administration's desire to invade Iraq no matter what and the propaganda campaign leading up to the invasion have been well enough demonstated.

Countering weapons of mass destruction was not the reason. Dismantling a despotic regime in order to spread freedom and democracy was not the reason. (The US government has and will, it seems, continue to support oppressive regimes whenever it's deemed 'in the national interest' to do so.)

 Quote by nismaratwork The reality is that we failed in Iraq, we're failing in Afghanistan.
 Quote by talk2glenn I'm curious how you'd define success? Iraq has a stable government, a functional self defense force ...
Didn't Iraq have these before the invasion?
 Quote by talk2glenn ... and no credible, substantial threat to its sovereignty.
You mean aside from the US?

Is the US going to maintain any permanent military base(s) in Iraq? I don't know. But iff that's the case, then maybe the propaganda and the invasion and the subsequent effort might be considered necessary and the cost justifiable.

Still, hundreds of thousands of killed and injured Iraqis. Millions of displaced Iraqis and ruined lives. Thousands of killed and injured Americans. A devastated Iraq infrastructure.

That's a lot of collateral damage.

Whether or not Gates' statement makes sense depends on who's evaluating it. Some players benefitted from the Iraq 'war' and will benefit from future deployments of big American land armies. Others (most people, I would guess) won't.

In any case, I think that American Secretaries of State and Presidents should have their heads examined regularly.

 Quote by ThomasT We've been repeatedly and sometimes painfully reminded that it's a mistake to take the proclamations of politicians as evidence of the truth. The invasion of Iraq was a preemptive attack on a sovereign nation that posed no threat to the US. The Bush administration's desire to invade Iraq no matter what and the propaganda campaign leading up to the invasion have been well enough demonstated. Countering weapons of mass destruction was not the reason. Dismantling a despotic regime in order to spread freedom and democracy was not the reason. (The US government has and will, it seems, continue to support oppressive regimes whenever it's deemed 'in the national interest' to do so.) Didn't Iraq have these before the invasion? You mean aside from the US? Is the US going to maintain any permanent military base(s) in Iraq? I don't know. But iff that's the case, then maybe the propaganda and the invasion and the subsequent effort might be considered necessary and the cost justifiable. Still, hundreds of thousands of killed and injured Iraqis. Millions of displaced Iraqis and ruined lives. Thousands of killed and injured Americans. A devastated Iraq infrastructure. That's a lot of collateral damage. Whether or not Gates' statement makes sense depends on who's evaluating it. Some players benefitted from the Iraq 'war' and will benefit from future deployments of big American land armies. Others (most people, I would guess) won't. In any case, I think that American Secretaries of State and Presidents should have their heads examined regularly.
VERY well said, and factually correct. A fine turn of affairs that I can only assume will be appreciated by most, and ignored by some.

I give it:

 Quote by nismaratwork Prove it... once.
Prove that I'm not only interested "in the echo of my own views?" Now you've lost me. You seem to have a problem with a person disagreeing with your POV. A person disagreeing with you doesn't mean they are only interested in their own way of seeing something.

 War is a win, or a lose... see previous quote from a rather respected general.
It can take time to determine whether certain wars have been won or lost.

 Quote by ThomasT The invasion of Iraq was a preemptive attack on a sovereign nation that posed no threat to the US. The Bush administration's desire to invade Iraq no matter what and the propaganda campaign leading up to the invasion have been well enough demonstated.
I would disagree a propaganda campaign was demonstrated, what was demonstrated was that a lot of the information presented on why Iraq was a threat turned out not to be true. There's a difference.

 Countering weapons of mass destruction was not the reason. Dismantling a despotic regime in order to spread freedom and democracy was not the reason. (The US government has and will, it seems, continue to support oppressive regimes whenever it's deemed 'in the national interest' to do so.)
The U.S. government has supported oppressive regimes when it was the lesser of the available evils. If you have the choice between a liberal democracy (and when I say "liberal" democracy, I don't mean the modern American definition of liberal that means a leftwing mindset, I mean the term liberal as in respecting human rights, freedoms, etc...) being established or an oppressive regime, you go for the liberal democracy.

What too many people don't realize is that democracy itself is not a panacea. Democracy is a necessary component for freedom, but in and of itself, will not result in freedom. Democracy in its pure form is just two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. What you can end up with in these Middle Eastern nations is a democracy that votes into power an incredibly oppressive (to women and anyone who disagrees with it), incredibly anti-Western government.

Germany voting in Adolf Hitler and then voting to give him dictatorial powers is one of the most infamous examples of this (albeit in Europe).

Establishing a liberal democratic government is a tough thing to do, and oftentimes as a result, you end up having to support a dictator who is friendly to you. This may mean overturning a democratically-elected government in the process, but only if said democratically-elected government would be worse than the dictator.

Mubarak was an example of such a regime. The fear was his being thrown out of power could result in the Egyptians putting into power a very oppressive, extremist government. He was a dictator, but he was not the kind of dictator Hussein was or Ghadaffi is/was.

 You mean aside from the US?
How is the U.S. a substantial threat to Iraq's sovereignty?

 Quote by CAC1001 Prove that I'm not only interested "in the echo of my own views?" Now you've lost me. You seem to have a problem with a person disagreeing with your POV. A person disagreeing with you doesn't mean they are only interested in their own way of seeing something.
That's patently untrue, and something I can prove through my postingh history. Disagreemet based purely on ideology isn't just that, it's propoganda.

 Quote by CAC1001 It can take time to determine whether certain wars have been won or lost.
That must be why I kept mentioning history! Gosh!

Yeah... time's passed, we lost. In the end it's a bunch of civilians who are toppling the regimes we've armed and funded buying their oil. So... you tell me where we won; respond substantively to the points raised by Gokul, and more than just rhetoric with ThomasT. Until then, you just appear to be selling something that only a fool would buy.