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Bush, wartime president

  1. Sep 1, 2004 #1

    Gza

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    I thought this was a powerful collage, created by the faces of the KIA of the war in Iraq.

    http://www.rightwinglies.com/Bush Lies/war prez.htm

    I found it interesting that Bush likes to refer to himself as a "wartime" president. That's a pretty easy feat seing how he created the war :rolleyes: .

    EDIT: When I said war, I meant the war in Iraq.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 1, 2004 #2

    He created 9/11? Or is this one of those "we didn't HAVE to respond with war" so it's the USA's fault sort of thing?
     
  4. Sep 1, 2004 #3
    Phatmonky, are you saying 9/11 had something to do with Bush invading Iraq? If so, what?
     
  5. Sep 1, 2004 #4
    No, I'm saying that even without Iraq, Bush would still be a wartime president. So the accusation that it's easy "seing how he created the war ", is to ignore that Afghanistan was a response (I hold my own opinions on Iraq, but Afghanistan, for this example, we can agree on , right?) It was a response! The planes flying into us, and the subsequent harboring by the Taliban created the war.

    Hence, at that point Bush was already a "wartime" President. Hardly easy IMO, hardly created by Bush.
     
  6. Sep 1, 2004 #5
    How was Afghanistan a response? The terrorists were from Saudi Arabia, funded by Saudi Arabia, and trained by America. And no, they didn't end up in Afghanistan either; they ended up in bits all over New York and a couple of other places.
     
  7. Sep 2, 2004 #6
    Adam, do you read your posts before hitting the Submit button?
     
  8. Sep 2, 2004 #7

    plover

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    And such a response! The warlords in effective control of the country are so much better than the Taliban that humanitarian aid organizations are pulling out of Afghanistan due to targeting of their workers. As a wartime president, he makes a good oil company executive.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2004
  9. Sep 2, 2004 #8
    Read the article. It appears that the Taliban are to blame for the violence. The government in the article is only accused of not doing enough to stop them. That may be true, but that doesn't mean that Afghan life was better under the Taliban, as your post suggests. Ask many of the women living in Afghanistan their opinions.
     
  10. Sep 2, 2004 #9

    kat

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    This is a ridiculous statement. Bush didn't create the attacks on 9-11 NOR did he create the war in Iraq. I know some don't like to acknowledge it but we've been at war with Iraq for the last 10 years, Bush didn't create that issue..Clinton did nothing to help it and in reality.....major action was simply put on hold.
     
  11. Sep 2, 2004 #10
    Usually. Your point?
     
  12. Sep 2, 2004 #11

    plover

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    Come on, you can read better than that. That particular article actually does not ascribe the death of the aid workers to the Taliban; the main complaint is, in fact, the failure of the government to investigate the deaths and uncover the responsible party. On the other hand, the Taliban are the most likely culprits, a Human Rights Watch report from two days after the killings states that the Taliban claimed responsibility for them, and that they had been linked to other killings of aid workers. The CNN article (published almost two months later), for whatever reason, only mentions Taliban threats against aid workers.

    What the CNN article does mention is the fact that the reason that aid workers have become targets is that actions by the U.S. led forces have caused the Taliban to question the neutrality of aid organizations.

    The real question is: why are the Taliban even in a position to mount effective attacks on anyone in Afghanistan?

    According to the Human Rights Watch World Report 2004, the world community has committed only 1/25 of the money, and 1/50 of the troops (both per capita) that were used to help secure and reconstruct Kosovo. This doesn't say much for Bush's leadership in creating an effective coalition.

    In 2002, Bush repeatedly invoked the Marshall Plan as the model he intended to pursue in reconstructing Afghanistan, but I guess the Afghanis aren't important enough to him that he felt it necessary to "stay the course" on that promise.
    While I wouldn't go so far as to say that this is an implausible reading of my wording, it is not the reading I intended. I am not castigating Bush for having carried out a campaign against the Taliban, which is the assumption that seems required to make your reading sensible. I'm asserting that the campaign was followed through with staggering incompetence and empty promises.

    The U.S. military is quite good at its job. Give it a well defined target, loose the leash, and chances are you've got a toasted target. And to the extent that Bush's campaigns have been reducible to these terms, they've been successful. Knock down the Taliban? Piece of cake, sir! Give Saddam the boot? No problemo! On the other hand, he hasn't been the kind of commander that could direct these attacks with any finesse, e.g. more Afghani civilians were killed during bombing than Americans were killed in the World Trade Center. Call it 'collateral damage' if you like, but the fact remains that these were human beings and, now they are dead, not liberated. I have seen no evidence to indicate why these should be considered 'acceptable losses'. If you're slaughtering innocents, even unintentionally, and don't alter your tactics, what shall we call you?

    So then, in the aftermath, we have grand promises of a 'Marshall plan', and what do we get? A pitifully small garrison of troops which is entirely insufficient to secure a country with the size and complexity of Afghanistan, thus allowing local thugs to set themselves up as warlords in a reassertion of the historical status quo, and providing a lax enough environment for the Taliban to re-establish themselves within the country. This is accompanied by the most pathetic trickle of aid money to be accorded to any country in a similar situation in recent memory, which has at times left the country at the brink of starvation, and on the edge of a complete breakdown in medical care. Now to top it all off, we find out that the U.S. tactics have made it nigh impossible for neutral aid organizations to operate in safety, further reducing the options available to a desperate population.

    And I'm supposed to take this situation as evidence of Bush's leadership abilities?

    I have no reason to believe the U.S. attack on Afghanistan was unwarranted. The removal of the Taliban is a fine, fine thing. Just don't ask me to believe that the overall result is even close to what a U.S. campaign led with any real creativity and foresight could have accomplished for Afghanistan.

    In recent months, there have apparently been a few victories in providing health care for Afghani children. These accomplishments were projects of the UN and the WHO. One of them, a program to deal with the skin disease leishmaniasis, was funded by Belgium. The other which treated over 4 million Afghani children for intestinal worms for less than US$500,000, got its greatest share of funding from Canada. The U.S. is not mentioned in these reports.
    As noted before: the removal of Taliban repression is a positive step. The expanded role granted to women in the interim government has been important, and the thought put into women's issues in the new Afghan constitution is obvious.

    However, the consequences of the failure to adequately secure Afghanistan have fallen the most heavily on women. From the most recent Human Rights Watch overview report for Afghanistan (January 2004):
    Women and girls bear some of the worst effects of Afghanistan's insecurity. Conditions are generally are better than under the Taliban, but women and girls continue to face severe governmental and social discrimination. Those who organize protests or criticize local rulers face threats and violence. Soldiers and police routinely harass women and girls, even in Kabul city. Many women and girls are afraid to remove the burqa. Because soldiers are targeting women and girls, many are staying indoors, especially in rural areas, making it impossible for them to attend school, go to work, or actively participate in the country's reconstruction. The majority of school-age girls in Afghanistan are still not enrolled in school.

    Over thirty-five schools in the south and southeast, mostly for girls, have been rocketed or burned [by Taliban groups] since August 2002.

    Outside of Kabul, [warlord forces] are implicated in extortion, intimidation of political dissidents, rape of women and girls, rape of boys, murder, illegal detention and forced displacement, as well as specific abuses against women and children, including trafficking, sexual violence, and forced marriage.​
    Add to this the fact women are forced to deal with continuing malnutrition and lack of health care for their children.

    I succeeded in finding a series of statistics for one measure of women's health: childbirth mortality. A 1997 estimate put the rate at about 820/100,000 (with a large margin of error). This was quoted in a 2002 study by Physicians for Human Rights which found the rate in the region they studied (Herat) to be in the neighborhood of 600/100,000. A more recent UNICEF study put the rate at 1,600/100,000, though UNICEF also reports that significant steps have taken to improve this.

    So the fate of Afghani women since the fall of the Taliban has been fairly mixed, but for the most part the positive aspects seem to have little or nothing to do with the U.S. and, some of the most negative bits can be reasonably attributed to Bush's lack of follow through. I expect better of my president.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2004
  13. Sep 2, 2004 #12

    Gza

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    Why do you guys keep bringing up 9-11 as if it had something to do with Iraq? I'm talking about the War In Iraq©. Unless you have some resources you can show me with a connection between the two, please stop discussing it so we can stick to what's relevant.
     
  14. Sep 2, 2004 #13
    You made a blanket statement about Bush creating 'the war', while discussing him being a wartime president. Not our fault you made an open generalized statement.
     
  15. Sep 2, 2004 #14

    Gza

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    I think my edit to the statement should have cleared up what I was talking about. If that still didn't clear it up for you, perhaps it is your mindset that is confusing disparate events such as 9-11 or the war in Iraq.
     
  16. Sep 2, 2004 #15

    BobG

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    I would think just about everyone could agree on the need to go into Afghanistan to break up Al-quaeda operations, regardless of who was in the way.

    As for the aftermath of the war, the problem was with Bush's comments about building a new Afganistan. You can't build a new nation from the outside. It's ultimately going to come down to the Afghanis rebuilding their country out of their own will.

    The Afghanis have it rough, to be sure. They're a fragmented country with no true dominant group and have been for many years. The Soviets couldn't bring stability and they were right next door. The Taliban were only the group that happened to be in power at the time and in a position to deal with Al-quaeda to strengthen their own position within the country. They were sure to be temporary, in any event. With little hope for success for a long, long time and little impact on the world, it's not surprising that the world community would invest too much time and effort on them.

    Cold hearted view, maybe, but it's the Afghanis' country, not the US's or Europe's.
     
  17. Sep 2, 2004 #16

    russ_watters

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    Do you have the context to Bush's quote to show that he is only talking about the war in Iraq?
     
  18. Sep 2, 2004 #17
    I seriously doubt that the "the war never officially ended" is a good argument, but I never cared enough to look into it. It is irrelevant. The fact is that we did not have any troops in Iraq. There was no sustained violence between the USA and Iraq since 1991. There was no war. Then jr. came along.
     
  19. Sep 2, 2004 #18

    GENIERE

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    Not only is Iraq relevant, Iran, Syria, Chechnya, North Korea, Sudan and many other countries are relevant. “Rules of Evidence” required by GZA to predicate pre-emptive action is akin to finding the last digit in an infinite series.
     
  20. Sep 2, 2004 #19

    russ_watters

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    No troops, but aircraft patrols that were fired at on a virtually daily basis in violation of the agreement made in 1991.
     
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