Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Have we become detached from Iraq

  1. Oct 4, 2006 #1
    20 soldiers have been killed in Iraq in the past 5 days, yet it barely made the news.

    The secular violence continues in Iraq, yet it barely makes the news.

    For political reasons only, the Bush administration repeatedly proclaims that Iraq is the epicenter for terrorists who could kill innocent Americans. Yet the Taliban has been retaken power in Afghanistan.

    What is going on in the real Iraq? What is happening outside of the green zone in Baghdad?

    Below is a link to a British documentary on the unseen Iraq, and the news media in Iraq Do not watch it if you can't stand the sight of blood. It shows what is cut from the clips that we do see. The F word is used in the first half in a given situation

    Most of the last half is relatively bloodless and the slider at the bottom of the screen can be moved to the halfway point. (or any other point in the video)


    And this is how it all began:
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I've been dettached from Iraq ever since the first week or two of 'shock and awe'.
  4. Oct 4, 2006 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Well, for many of us, our personal contacts with soldiers keep Iraq in our daily thoughts. One of my best friends at work has had his young Marine son in Iraq twice now, and he is just now going feet dry stateside. He has a wife and baby waiting at the airport to meet him, and this will be the first time he has seen the baby. The whole family is heading out to meet him, and I'm sure it will be a very emotional homecoming. Thank you for your service, RaulO! We owe you a lot.

    And my ERT Field Training Officer (FTO) Colonel Steve just shipped out for another year-long tour with his Special Forces unit, with Iraq as one of the world-wide destinations. Godspeed, Colonel. You have taught me so much.

    Thank you to all of our men and women in uniform. -MikeB-
  5. Oct 5, 2006 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Well - just like the Vietnam war, I can't ignore it. Bush got us in there with the tacit approval of congress. :grumpy:

    I don't believe that Taliban have regained what they lost, but they are stronger than the were months ago. I suspect that they are moving back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan, so it would be hard to defeat them. The people of Afghanistan cannot afford to let the Taliban regain control. Women there already have it bad enough.

    In Iraq, watch Charlie Rose's interview with Bob Woodward. Cyrus posted a link. The Iraqi insurgency is attacking on the average, one attack per hour.

    A local community has just lost its third member in Iraq. He was three months in Iraq and just shy of his 22nd b-day. What a waste! :mad:

    Like berkeman said - thanks to those in uniform.

    It's the folks in Washington who I hold responsible. :mad:
  6. Oct 5, 2006 #5


    User Avatar

    Detached from Afghanistan...

    Detached from Iraq...

    They'll need a new distraction soon.
  7. Oct 5, 2006 #6
    How about a sex scandal? Oh wai...
  8. Oct 5, 2006 #7
    Take these articles for what they are, nothing more:


    The first article is from a real reporter, which is important in the context of the article. I could not track down the original location of the article, but the linked-to website appears to have reposted the original verbatim.

    These are about a year old, but I think they still offer some valid viewpoints.

    If you can read only one, read the first one. It is worth your time.
  9. Oct 5, 2006 #8
    I used the term "detached" from the war in Iraq because that was the term used in the documentary. Complacent, would have been a better choice. We are on information overload and even that information is not the full story.

    The point that the video made was that Americans and Brits only see a small sinppit of the real video coming out of Iraq. Most of that Video is taken by Iraqi reporters because the Americans seldom leave the green zone. The rest of the world does see the whole story.

    As of September 2006 there were only 9 reporters embedded with the military to cover all of Iraq. Even the soldiers who filmed The War Tapes have complained about a lack of real press coverage.


    After watching the original UK documentary in my OP I came to the conclusion that Americans only see the and hear about the politics of the war. We hear and see about how we are fighting the terrorist who were not there when we invaded.

    At one point in the OP video, High ranking American officers and officials addmitted to the reporter that they had not been out of the Green zone in over 9 months.:rolleyes: Yet these are the so called commanders on the ground who are supposed to keep Bush informed.

    As for what is happening in Iraq, and what the American soldiers and Iraqi people are enduring, we are not well informed at all. The military recently signed a $30 million contract with a PR firm to clean up and sanitize the impressions we have assumed over what little we have seen.
  10. Oct 5, 2006 #9
    I don't trust the premises of these documentaries. If you had read this article you would realize that no matter how graphic or realistic the coverage may seem, it is still subject to the concept of the blind men and the elephant (as described in the article). I am not saying these documentaries are useless, but one should be wary of replacing one narrative of Iraq with some new and intriguing alternate narrative. There is, in fact, no one narrative at all, but thousands. I don't think we are very well served by preferring two or three narratives over one. Both options barely scratch the surface. It is a good start, but so too then is the second pebble tossed in a stream.
  11. Oct 5, 2006 #10
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2006
  12. Oct 5, 2006 #11
    I have read the link and appreciate the possibility of confusion. Pamela Hess who was the source of the original information gave an accurate account using the blind men and elephant comparison.

    However her information is now over one year old and there is very little updating because few reporters are now outside the green zone. We do know that the situation in Iraq has worsened since she made her commentary. We also know that there is an abundance of questionable film footage. Yet we must base our judgement on something and since the reporters in the documentary were, for the most part, employed by Reuters News Agency I would tend to believe it to be credible.

    This is where the problem lies. For those who rely on the network news, Americans have only one narrative and it is very narrow in scope.

    In addition the average American does not realize that many older problems were never solved. The lack of equipment is a good example. We don't hear an outcry from the now detached American public that we did several years ago about a lack of equipment.

    From a recent Pamela Hess report. Notice this report was made on August 21 2006.

    Last edited: Oct 5, 2006
  13. Oct 5, 2006 #12
    That first one is dated a year ago.

    Very good video Edward.
  14. Oct 6, 2006 #13


    User Avatar

    As far as in an earlier post, not trusting the premise of video - this media propaganda, either way, has been at the forefront of the invasion.

    From the absurd, "Shock and Awe" Hollywood rubbish to the toppling of Saddam's statue: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2842.htm
  15. Oct 6, 2006 #14


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    October 6, 2006
    http://wordforword.publicradio.org/programs/ - look for Martha Raddatz's program aired on October 6, 2006 (recorded October 5) after today.

    http://www.publicradio.org/tools/media/player/wordforword/2006/10/06 Real Media audio.

    Startling revelations about Afghanistan and Iraq. The Taliban is regaining strength and many in the US military concede that Iraq is slipping into civil war (well Iraq has been in civil war for months - it's just that Bush et al are in denial - since day one of the Bush administration its been denial and deceipt).
  16. Oct 7, 2006 #15


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Politics & Society
    U.S. Spends Billions on Iraq, Afghan Conflicts

    Gen.: Afghanistan Victory Hangs on Rebuilding Effort
    In the last paragraph - for these reasons, the Taliban cannot be allowed to regain power.


    Afghan Political Perspective
  17. Oct 7, 2006 #16


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

  18. Oct 8, 2006 #17


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    True enough.

    It doesn't really put things in their proper perspective, though. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban aren't the same thing. The Taliban is very undesirable as the rulers of a country, but the primary reason for the US having a problem with them was that they were in the way of our pursuit of Al-Qaeda.

    Without the mutual support between Taliban and Al-Qaeda, the Taliban is about equal in strength to the other tribal groups in Afghanistan. The most powerful group at any given time may grab power, but once in power, they're not strong enough to fight off any alliance of opposing groups.

    In other words, without some external support, the Taliban would be unlikely to hold any sort of control, regardless of NATO presence.

    Of course, the on going problem is that no other group is likely to hold any sort of control - it's more likely to have decades of conflict between rival warlords. I don't think Afghanistan's problems are critical to the US, but the post Taliban conditions did seem to be the best opportunity for a stable government that's likely to emerge for a long time. Even if not a major strategic concern, failure in Afghanistan would seem like a missed opportunity, even if success wasn't all that likely.

    Eventually, two or three of these groups need to form some sort of permanent alliance if any government is going to be strong enough to provide long term stability.
  19. Oct 8, 2006 #18


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Al Qaida doesn't thrive in Pakistan (and Afghanistan) without support of Taliban, and neither thrives without support from within Pakistan, and private support from Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf oil nations.

    Read the interviews in - https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=1105825&postcount=16 - things could and might get a lot worse for the US. The intelligence communities are absolutely right that Bush's policies and actions have increased the threat of terrorism against the US - and at this point it is more simple retaliation for US aggression - Bush's aggression. I had suspicions things were bad, but I didn't realize how bad until I went through the details in the Frontline interview. There are a few things that are missing from the Frontline information - some key details that tie some of the parties together even more intimately than is evident from the Frontline report.

    What happens in Afghanistan and Pakistan is a major problem for the US. That is where the insurgents and terrorists are evolving - and where they have sanctuary and safe haven.

    What would happen if Pakistan's nuclear weapons get in the hands of al Qaida?

    At the moment, Bush is outflanked.
  20. Oct 8, 2006 #19
    Seldom seen in American news sources, but widely seen on a global basis is the connection to, and support of the Taliban by the Pakistani ISI. (Inter service Intelligence)


    If India is worried we should be worried. The football is in Pakistan and our players are in Iraq.
  21. Oct 8, 2006 #20
    There has been a vigorous effort made from the biginning to "detach" us from the war. Starting with the prohibition against photographing the coffins of American soldiers.

    After the Afghan invasion America could have had the worlds support to rebuild Afghanistan and perhaps create an environment where a peaceful and democratic government could emerge. Pakistan would have handed over the Taliban and al-qaeda fighters, allowed coalition forces to go get them, or America would have been able to take them out as well, nukes or no nukes, Pakistan would lose that fight.

    Instead Bushco made half baked deals with Musharif and Afghan warlords, and pulled American military assets out of Afghanistan to prepare for the invasion of Iraq.

    Now there is chaos in both countries and elevated extremism and hatred directed at America, due to our presence there. The Taliban is gaining power in Afghanistan and in Iraq there is about one attack per hour.

    It appears to me that we made deals with our true enemies in the "war on terror" so that we could invade and occupy Iraq. It boggles my mind that anyone could still say that invading Iraq was a good idea.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Have we become detached from Iraq
  1. Photos from Iraq (Replies: 30)