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

Progress in Iraq?

  1. Feb 11, 2008 #1
    I heard an interesting interview with Gen Petraeus on Hannity the other day. That and a few news articles I've read suggest things are turning around over there. Most of the Iraqi people are rejecting Al Queada now as opposed to being indifferent or supporting them. Their new government is gaining a foothold. The media in general has been pretty quiet about it all anymore. Will history show this to be a turning point for civilization in Iraq? Will Bush actually have some positive notes in the books 50 yrs down the road? Or is at all right-wing propaganda and Iraq will crumble to being what it used to be?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2008 #2
    I think we need to avoid making any quick decisions that will hurt us either way. That's why I think a quick pullout needs to be avoided, unless the place is really stable. I don't want to see footage of mass carnage as we pull out as we had in Vietnam.
     
  4. Feb 11, 2008 #3
    As much as I enjoy watching FoxNews for it's entertainment value, they definately have an agenda no matter how many sprinkles of balance they throw in to seem credible. When was the last time FoxNews talked about how Afghanistan is back to being a disaster.
     
  5. Feb 11, 2008 #4

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Its not a disaster in any meaningful comparison to the Taliban or Soviet days.
     
  6. Feb 11, 2008 #5

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    It is if you're the Pakistani ambassador...

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23111407/
     
  7. Feb 11, 2008 #6

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    The relative lull in violence in Iraq is due in large part because formerly integrated neighborhoods and towns have been purged of many of their minority inhabitants either by militia killings or evacuations. (There are millions of Iraqis displaced in Iraq, and millions more displaced to neighboring countries.) Fewer enemies to kill = fewer killings. Add to that the fact that Muqtada al-Sadr ordered the Mahdi army to stand down for 6 months starting last August, taking another group of militants out of the conflict, at least in part. Still, suicide bombings and car bombings seem to be a daily occurrence and Gates and Petreaus are both talking about interrupting a planned draw-down despite objections from Army and Marine brass who are concerned about the degradation of their fighting forces.
     
  8. Feb 11, 2008 #7

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    We won a decisive military victory in 1690 over a place with a population with the same religion divided into two rival sects - we still have troops there now.

    When you a reporting a slow down in the increasing rate of bombings as a sucess - it's time to think of a way out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  9. Feb 11, 2008 #8

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Source?
    Why do you believe al-Sadr did so after all this time?
    Compared to when and what previous levels of occurence?
    Source?
     
  10. Feb 11, 2008 #9
    I think that the only two honorable courses of action in Iraq are to either escalate U.S. troop levels until they can really stabilize the country like McCain proposes, or if we pull out we need to explicitly hand the country over to Iran or Syria so that they can put it in shape. Yeah, that would be a political loss for us but that's the ride we bought a ticket for. Other options would completely screw over the Iraqi people and we've screwed them over enough.

    Unfortunately the guy who got us into this mess, who is the one who should be taking responsibility for going down one of those two roads and should be spending his own political capital and risking his own political legacy to do it, is languishing in the White House waiting for a limo to come and take him home.
     
  11. Feb 11, 2008 #10

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    There are the two standard British techniques (we have a lot more experience with getting into little native wars than you chaps)
    1, Rename the place and hope everyone forgets about it.
    2, Split it into two states along religous/trible grounds and let them fight it out among themselves for the next couple of centuries.
     
  12. Feb 11, 2008 #11

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    How much reduction in violence is due to the success of ethnic cleansing? There have been MANY articles written about this, but they don't often hit the mainstream press or the right-leaning outlets that want to treat any reduction in ethnic killings as a direct result of the troop surge. Remember these are the same people that accept with a straight face that if the victim was shot in the heart, it's just murder, but if he or she was shot in the back of the head, the killing was then considered a killing due to sectarian violence. Dead is dead, and the perpetrators rarely hang around to explain their motives. How to show that sectarian violence is slowing? Apart from the perfectly understandable reduction in ethnic violence as regions are purged of minority groups, the military has chosen to "reduce" incidents of sectarian violence further by only counting people shot execution-style.
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-iraq12nov12,0,5276194.story?coll=la-opinion-leftrail
    Return of internally-displaced Iraqis could result in an upsurge in ethnic violence.
    http://www.globaldashboard.org/conflict-and-security/iraqi-refugee-return-return-to-violence/

    Displaced Iraqis
    http://www.refugeesinternational.org/content/article/detail/9679

    If you want to know if car bombings and suicide bombings are still a daily occurrence, just pop up Yahoo! News on any given day. If you want a very incomplete but still chilling summary, look here.
    http://www.icasualties.org/oif/IraqiDeaths.aspx

    On suspension of draw-down - it's all over the news outlets today.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080211/ts_nm/iraq_dc;_ylt=AlaFufl6Ua28WzJ1MkCm6ZCs0NUE
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/11/gates-pause-in-troop-cut_n_85970.html
     
  13. Feb 11, 2008 #12

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Of course not.
    Yes this is terrible but it's not what I asked. I asked about what's changing, as thats how I care to judge a plan for going forward. I note from that same site that January Iraqi deaths are less than 1/3 from Jan '07, and have declined every month except one since Petraeus and Crocker took the wheel. They are going in the right direction.
    suspend in July? Thats always been the plan.
    This is simply incorrect, there was no plan to draw-down past pre-surge levels, and though the surge levels certainly strained the US military, there's no objection extant to this summer's coming pause from the 'brass'. This has been the plan since last September when Petraeus was before Congress: Draw down ~5k/mo to pre-surge until this summer, then pause and see what happens.
    Sept 10, 2007
    or see Petraeus: Upcoming Troop Reduction Plans ‘On Track’

    No response on al-Sadr? I have one. He greatly overstepped when his army violently intervened near Najaf (holy city) and it was broadcast on national TV. Now, the posture of the coalition forces during the Najaf attack is critical. A couple years ago under guys like Gen Sanchez when commanders were running around like cowboys, shooting up the place, mass interning people and then leaving the area, al-Sadr would have gotten a pass by the population as a guy necessary to thwart the coalition. Today Petraeus has these same commanders delivering air conditioners instead, and they stay and hold in the neighborhoods they once abandoned - providing security under which people can live. Under these conditions al-Sadr shooting up Najaf becomes unforgivable to the population. This is text book counter insurgency (Petraeus wrote the book). Al-Sadr had to 'cease-fire.'

    Gen. Mccafrey was a harsh critic of the early war; his report delivered in December:
    After Action Report—General Barry R McCaffrey USA
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  14. Feb 11, 2008 #13
    This link leads to Soldier of Fortune Magazine?? And it looks to be a bit overly optomistic.

    Nothing is on track in Iraq. The latest news is that the late summer troop draw down may not be a sure thing.


    http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-gates,0,4124324.story

    We are not yet in absolute control of anything in Iraq.
    http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/02/11/africa/ME-GEN-Iraq-Pipeline-Explosion.php

    The only realistic plan is that we will have to keep changing plans.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  15. Feb 11, 2008 #14

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It's not working for the women in Iraq - or perhaps some of them.

    Violations of 'Islamic teachings' take deadly toll on Iraqi women
    • Crimes against women in Iraq's south have included killings and amputations
    • Police chief: "Two women were killed in front of their kids"
    • Not wearing headscarves, other violations of "Islamic teachings" bring crimes
    • Woman tells CNN "fear is always there," but "we don't know who to be afraid of"

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/02/08/iraq.women/
    Gates is rethinking the drawdown.
     
  16. Feb 11, 2008 #15
    There is nothing unusual resulting from this war. It's not as if millions of civilians have been bombed or half the country set on fire.
     
  17. Feb 11, 2008 #16
  18. Feb 11, 2008 #17

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Implying anything after this summer was ever promised as a 'sure thing' is at the least, uninformed.

    This draw down plan as announced by Patraeus to Congress on Sept 10th is very much on track.
    Petraeus testified on the Hill on 9/10:
    Petraeus also in the same testimony:
    Then four months later on January 28th on CNN Gen. P confirmed his plan from September:
    And as to what Gates actually said in January:
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2008
  19. Feb 11, 2008 #18

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    That shows pipeline attacks went to nil in September and have stayed there. Thats amazing.
     
  20. Feb 11, 2008 #19

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    CNN also said:
    Given that fact, I'd like to hear Sen. Obama explain how he thinks his two brigades/mo plan is the best thing for the Iraq and the US.
     
  21. Feb 11, 2008 #20

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Instead of drawing new material into this discussion, you have repeatedly engaged in unsubstantiated nay-saying and misdirection. Would you like to discuss the facts (as we can know them) or would your your prefer to continue to flog right-wing talking-points with little or no factual back-up?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Progress in Iraq?
  1. Iraq and Vietnam (Replies: 7)

  2. A year in Iraq (Replies: 0)

  3. Iraq's government (Replies: 22)

  4. Theocratic Iraq (Replies: 45)

  5. Iraq WMDs (Replies: 11)

Loading...