The legitimacy of the Iraq war

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  • #76
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Because they can; are you going to personally go out there and stop them. You can try however hard you want, if a country wants to go to war, war it will go to.
Well sure a country "can" go to war, I thought you meant that if a country just decides one day, "Hey, let's go to war with X nation," that they have every moral right to do so.

'Necessary evil to protect the freewill' 'imposing it's will on other states' Interesting. Do you actually understand what I said; you could have just asked for clarification.
You wrote that the purpose of war is a tool to impose your will onto other states. You think when France went against Nazi Germany in World War II, it was seeking to impose its own will on Germany? Imposing will is one purpose war can be used for.

Many nations view America as a bully towards the weaker, smaller, developing nations.
Many nations view America as the source of all the world's problems, doesn't make it so. I do not know of any "weak, small, developing nations" that the U.S. actively bullies. You want a bully, look to Russia and Eastern Europe.

The Americans of course do it in the name of democracy but do a lot of those people want to have democracy or do they just want to live in peace however it comes in their part of the world.
What peaceful, happy nations does America "bully" solely in the "name of democracy?"
 
  • #77
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The point is to keep the thread on TOPIC not to go off and start talking about Nazi's and gun owners and allowing such and such to develop WMDs and social welfare states and the might of the American military and the suckiness of the rest of the world military. It has absolutely nothing with what is going on. You can PM or you can start a new thread. It has nothing to do with you disagreeing with me, it has to do with the rules of the forums.
I understand your point, but I was responding to your words. And threads occasionally get sidelined.

The cap & trade thread gave birth to a stimulus spending thread, and the stimulus spending thread was moving in the direction of giving birth to a healthcare thread:smile:
 
  • #78
mheslep
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Sorry! said:
Anyways didn't America invade Iraq without the proper voting procedures? It needed 9 votes right? It only had 4 known votes at the time. America breaking UN regulations??? Should I call up the coalition forces to bomb Washington and kill thousands of American citizens.
This misses the point above. The US didn't need any more votes to invade Iraq. SC resolutions are the only thing that matter in that regard, not 'UN regulations' or parking violations.

Sorry! said:
I'm pretty sure even Kofi Annan himself stated that the invasion by UN charter was illegal...
So? Annan was guy with a beard, a microphone, NY office space courtesy of the US, and family members raking in oil for food money. What he said or didn't say means zip in this case.

Sorry! said:
Is this just a one way street? We must enforce resolutions on Iraq through military action but not uphold UN views when it is against America?
The US chose military action, the UN doesn't obligate the US do anything.
 
  • #79
turbo
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America only feels it needs to "police" the world in the sense that:

1) It is necessary for the security of the Western world, and(snip)
This thread is about the legitimacy of the Iraq War. Iraq did not attack the US, had no part in 9/11, and apart from foot-dragging on issues that they claimed related to their sovereignty, they weren't much of a threat to anybody. Bush and Cheney and their handlers used a host of false "reasons" to justify their war. OK, Saddam is gone - one less creep in the world. However, what do we have to show for that little improvement? An unstable region that will descend into civil war as soon as the US pulls out. A region (it probably cannot survive as a single country) in which theocratic regimes will destroy the rights of women and minority groups. A region in which the wealthiest and most capable (professionals, often) people fled in order to save their families and themselves from war and inter-sect terrorism. A region which will likely see no Christian population re-established, except perhaps in some areas controlled by the Kurds, who are a bit more tolerant than the Sunnis and Shiia. For this we have paid out countless hundreds of billions of dollars, stretched our military 'way too thin, lost too many American lives... Doesn't sound like much of a deal.

It's high time that we put aside our "policeman's" badge, and took care of our own security. The Iraq war was entirely unnecessary and ill-advised and the cost to our country is ruinous.
 
  • #80
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This thread is about the legitimacy of the Iraq War. Iraq did not attack the US, had no part in 9/11, and apart from foot-dragging on issues that they claimed related to their sovereignty, they weren't much of a threat to anybody. Bush and Cheney and their handlers used a host of false "reasons" to justify their war. OK, Saddam is gone - one less creep in the world. However, what do we have to show for that little improvement? An unstable region that will descend into civil war as soon as the US pulls out.
I never said that invading Iraq was a proper course of action in the U.S.'s policing of the world, or I didn't mean to give that impression if that is what you got. When I said the U.S. is the world's policeman, I didn't mean that justifies the Iraq War unto itself.

Not sure I agree the area will necessarily descend into civil war when the U.S. pulls out. It is a fragile, but functioning democracy, and if allowed to develop enough, could become a strong democratic ally in the region.

A region (it probably cannot survive as a single country) in which theocratic regimes will destroy the rights of women and minority groups. A region in which the wealthiest and most capable (professionals, often) people fled in order to save their families and themselves from war and inter-sect terrorism. A region which will likely see no Christian population re-established, except perhaps in areas controlled by the Kurds, who are a bit more tolerant than the Sunnis and Shiia. For this we have paid out countless hundreds of billions of dollars, stretched our military 'way too thin, lost too many American lives... Doesn't sound like much of a deal.
You could be right, or I could be right, time will tell. I think it would be bad to just leave the region and let it break down though. If political parties can be established that are not each specific to one religion each, this could be beneficial too.

It's high time that we put aside our "policeman's" badge, and took care of our own security.
Bush believed he was taking care of our security with Iraq. However, even if one says Iraq was wrong, this does not mean the U.S. is no longer the world's policeman. For example, Afghanistan, which for years now the Democrats have said was the central front in the War on Terror, the war that Bush should have concentrated on, and diverted resources waway from in order to fight the (in their opinion) wrong and unnecessary war in Iraq.

If Afghanistan is allowed to descend into chaos, it will likely lead to future 9/11s and could lead to Pakistan falling to radical Islamists, a very bad thing.

The Iraq war was entirely unnecessary and ill-advised and the cost to our country is ruinous.
Not ruinious, but costly. I would say things like this healthcare bill will be ruinous, but that's a separate topic.
 
  • #81
BobG
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America only feels it needs to "police" the world in the sense that:

1) It is necessary for the security of the Western world, and

2) There is no one else on the planet that can, or will, do it. You think the EU could front a 200,000 man force, move it halfway around the world, and then sustain continued operations for year after year?

Europe (EU), for one, couldn't do this, as they lack the ability. Most of the Euro nations put less than 2% of the NATO-mandated minimum of 2% of GDP into their militaries, and what they do spend is usually on the salaries and benefits of the soldiers, as opposed to on training and equipment.
Where have you been since the break up of the Soviet Union? With a decade of Bush 41 and Clinton reaping the "peace dividend", a war like Iraq is pretty much unsustainable for more than 6 months. (Using the term "unsustainable" liberally, since the idea that the Reserves and National Guard only fill in as an immediate, but temporary surge is pretty much an obsolete idea - now they've become a permanent supplement to active duty forces.)

None the less, the US military might barely be handling the load put on it by two simultaneous wars being tossed on top of its peace time duties protecting Asia from North Korea, etc.

When is the last time the US has fought a war this long and how much longer do you think the military will be able to support these wars?
 
  • #82
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Where have you been since the break up of the Soviet Union? With a decade of Bush 41 and Clinton reaping the "peace dividend", a war like Iraq is pretty much unsustainable for more than 6 months. (Using the term "unsustainable" liberally, since the idea that the Reserves and National Guard only fill in as an immediate, but temporary surge is pretty much an obsolete idea - now they've become a permanent supplement to active duty forces.)
The U.S. has been fighting in Iraq a lot longer than six months right now.

None the less, the US military might barely be handling the load put on it by two simultaneous wars being tossed on top of its peace time duties protecting Asia from North Korea, etc.

When is the last time the US has fought a war this long and how much longer do you think the military will be able to support these wars?
The length of the war as opposed to the damage being incurred aren't the same things remember. As for the military supporting these wars, I would think as long as the recruitment remains adequate, and the funding adequate, it can continue to fight them for quite a while.
 
  • #83
mheslep
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This thread is about the legitimacy of the Iraq War. Iraq did not attack the US, had no part in 9/11, and apart from foot-dragging on issues that they claimed related to their sovereignty, they weren't much of a threat to anybody.
In that sense, neither did the Afghanistan native peoples or the Taliban government attack the US, or have any part in 9/11. The Taliban had some general idea Bin Laden was up to something, but no specifics; they even sent a http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2242594.stm" [Broken] The US was to some degree in the same boat.

Yet 911 took place, launched from Afghanistan soil even though the Taliban had far less military capability than Hussein ever had on his worst day. Does all this mean the NATO invasion of Afghanistan was unwarranted? No. Just tragic.
 
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  • #84
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In that sense, neither did the Afghanistan native peoples or the Taliban government attack the US, or have any part in 9/11. The Taliban had some general idea Bin Laden was up to something, but no specifics; they even sent a http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2242594.stm" [Broken] The US was to some degree in the same boat.

Yet 911 took place, launched from Afghanistan soil even though the Taliban had far less military capability than Hussein ever had on his worst day. Does all this mean the NATO invasion of Afghanistan was unwarranted? No. Just tragic.
Well the Invasion of Afghanistan is somewhat different. We are not actively killing citizens for one thing (I guess that's since America hasn't really taken a large role in it yet... possibly:rofl:). As well we had gone in to Afghanistan with the intent of finding and capturing/killing Bin Laden. The taliban are of course fighting back against the occupation however AFAIK the Afghan people want coalition support to topple taliban strength so we continue to fight back now and help rebuild the country.
 
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  • #85
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Well the Invasion of Afghanistan is somewhat different. We are not actively killing citizens for one thing (I guess that's since America hasn't really taken a large role in it yet... possibly:rofl:).
Since when does America go around actively killing civilians/citizens? You think the U.S. military just goes into an area and shoots anything that moves? Do you have any idea how U.S. soldiers are trained or the Rules of Engagement?

One of the main priorities for example in the Fallujah battle was to fight the terrorists without hurting civilians, and one of the accomplishments of that was winning that battle without hurting a lot of civilians that otherwise would have gotten caught in the crossfire.

If there is one military one can state that takes very active steps not to harm civilians, it is the U.S. military.

The U.S. Navy even takes steps not to harm ocean life, like whales.
 
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  • #86
BobG
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The U.S. has been fighting in Iraq a lot longer than six months right now.
Hence the disclaimer about the traditional definitions of the role of the active duty component and the Reserve and National Guard components. We've never used the Reserves and National Guard so heavily, for such a long time before.

At the end of the cold war, the active duty military had 1.8 million members. By 2001, that was down to 1.38 million (a 23% decrease). Seven years after 9/11 active duty military strength has been increased by about 35,000. This has been a war fought on the cheap, relying on the "temps" in spite of the fact that Reserves and National Guard don't have either the member support or the family support that exists at active duty military bases. They're cheaper to use than active duty, so we're willing to burn through them hoping the war ends before retention and recruiting plummet.



The length of the war as opposed to the damage being incurred aren't the same things remember. As for the military supporting these wars, I would think as long as the recruitment remains adequate, and the funding adequate, it can continue to fight them for quite a while.
2009 was the first year the military met recruiting goals in years. It turns out a high unemployment rate does carry a silver lining.

Retention is more important, anyway (and high unemployment improves retention, as well). In a modern military, you want training and experience. Increasing recruitment to cover decreased retention is a losing proposition.
 
  • #87
mheslep
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Well the Invasion of Afghanistan is somewhat different. We are not actively killing citizens for one thing
That's false, the US/NATO are killing Afghans, and vice versa.

(I guess that's since America hasn't really taken a large role in it yet... possibly:rofl:).
And that's grotesquely offensive, also known as trolling on internet forums.
 
  • #88
turbo
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Hence the disclaimer about the traditional definitions of the role of the active duty component and the Reserve and National Guard components. We've never used the Reserves and National Guard so heavily, for such a long time before.
And something that rarely if ever gets mentioned is that these non-active-duty personnel often end up losing their jobs because of the repeated deployments, and many of them own (or used to own) their own businesses and have no way to keep them afloat and retain clients while they are gone overseas.

These people and their families are paying heavy prices for their patriotism and willingness to serve.
 
  • #89
BobG
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In that sense, neither did the Afghanistan native peoples or the Taliban government attack the US, or have any part in 9/11. The Taliban had some general idea Bin Laden was up to something, but no specifics; they even sent a http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2242594.stm" [Broken] The US was to some degree in the same boat.

Yet 911 took place, launched from Afghanistan soil even though the Taliban had far less military capability than Hussein ever had on his worst day. Does all this mean the NATO invasion of Afghanistan was unwarranted? No. Just tragic.
If you're referring to the Taliban's knowledge of the 9/11 attack specifically, then yes you're right. However, the Taliban should have been knowledgeable of bin Laden's and al-Qaeda's terrorist activities in general, since UN sanctions had been in place for sheltering bin Laden since 10/15/1999 (http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N99/300/44/PDF/N9930044.pdf?OpenElement [Broken]). The sanctions consisted of freezing all Taliban assets (bank accounts in foreign countries, etc) and in not allowing any of the planes from a Taliban owned airline to land or take off in neighboring countries. (Note that the UN had deep concerns about discrimination against women and girls and about opium production, but only the terrorist training camps and bin Laden were addressed in the Chapter VII portion of the resolution. Irrelevant, but there is a specific way to read the resolutions.)
 
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  • #90
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That's false, the US/NATO are killing Afghans, and vice versa.

And that's grotesquely offensive, also known as trolling on internet forums.
Sorry for being offensive.

It is however known to me through reporting and through close family members and friends that have served in Iraq that this is occuring there.

I come from Canada so I have a lot more family who are serving in Afghanistan and they do of course speak of the things that occur to citizens there however most of it is just clear accidental. No bombing of cities where insurgents are not located just because; no shooting at people because they happened to be walking on the side of the road they were driving down; and no shooting at people because they had gone to the middle of a road to see something/play with something that was left in the middle of the road (by American soldiers).
 
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  • #91
mheslep
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If you're referring to the Taliban's knowledge of the 9/11 attack specifically, then yes you're right.
Yes I am, to tie the point back to the thread topic - the Iraq war - and to draw scrutiny to what constitutes a "threat". In particular I'd like to apply whatever standards are used for labeling Bin Laden and AQ a threat are also applied to the Hussein and Iraq.

BobG said:
However, the Taliban should have been knowledgeable of bin Laden's and al-Qaeda's terrorist activities in general, since UN sanctions had been in place for sheltering bin Laden since 10/15/1999 (http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N99/300/44/PDF/N9930044.pdf?OpenElement [Broken]). The sanctions consisted of freezing all Taliban assets (bank accounts in foreign countries, etc) and in not allowing any of the planes from a Taliban owned airline to land or take off in neighboring countries. (Note that the UN had deep concerns about discrimination against women and girls and about opium production, but only the terrorist training camps and bin Laden were addressed in the Chapter VII portion of the resolution. Irrelevant, but there is a specific way to read the resolutions.)
I agree, they were generally knowledgeable but somewhat schizophrenic about Bin Laden. When Bin Laden arrived from the Sudan, Omar told him no terrorist actions, partly under pressure from the Saudis (according to Wright's Looming Towers). Yet they visibly didn't kick him out after the pre 911 attacks (USS Cole, others) and apparently close ranks with Bin Laden rather than moving away. Bin Laden's ordering of the assassination of the famous Afghan northern alliance leader Massoud, a Taliban opponent, probably helped with that.

On the other hand, Hussein was sponsored third party terror attacks by paying bounties to Palestinian suicide bombers, fired almost daily on No Fly patrols, and he certainly had a better chance of eventually obtaining WMD than did Bin Laden in his mountain camp.
 
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  • #92
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Hence the disclaimer about the traditional definitions of the role of the active duty component and the Reserve and National Guard components. We've never used the Reserves and National Guard so heavily, for such a long time before.
We aren't maintaining a Cold War-sized Active Duty force.

At the end of the cold war, the active duty military had 1.8 million members. By 2001, that was down to 1.38 million (a 23% decrease). Seven years after 9/11 active duty military strength has been increased by about 35,000. This has been a war fought on the cheap, relying on the "temps" in spite of the fact that Reserves and National Guard don't have either the member support or the family support that exists at active duty military bases. They're cheaper to use than active duty, so we're willing to burn through them hoping the war ends before retention and recruiting plummet.
I don't think National Guard and Reserves are not sent to fight the war themselves, they are integrated in with the Active-Duty.

2009 was the first year the military met recruiting goals in years. It turns out a high unemployment rate does carry a silver lining.
Yes, historically, bad economic times are good for military recruitment.

Retention is more important, anyway (and high unemployment improves retention, as well). In a modern military, you want training and experience. Increasing recruitment to cover decreased retention is a losing proposition.
I agree.
 
  • #93
mheslep
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Sorry for being offensive....
Appreciated, moving on...
 
  • #94
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And something that rarely if ever gets mentioned is that these non-active-duty personnel often end up losing their jobs because of the repeated deployments, and many of them own (or used to own) their own businesses and have no way to keep them afloat and retain clients while they are gone overseas.

These people and their families are paying heavy prices for their patriotism and willingness to serve.
Although this isn't a good thing, they should not join then. No one forces anyone to join the military. When you join, you know that you may be sent to fight a war. And when you join the Active-Duty military, you are in for at least eight years technically. Whatever is not spent in Active-Duty is spent in either National Guard, Reserves, or the Inactive Ready Reserve (which means you basically are a civilian, but the military can still recall you to duty if necessary).
 
  • #95
DrClapeyron
The only people to be convinced going to war is appropriate are the people going to war. That's why no one (American) cared what the UN thought.

Legitimacy is a noble truth for historians to debate. Winning hearts and minds is a necessity for leaders to act.
 
  • #96
kyleb
It seems to me that the only legitimate reason to enter into a war is to end it, while starting a war is always done for immoral reasons disguised with claims of noble ones.
 
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  • #97
drizzle
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It seems to me that the only legitimate reason to enter into a war is to end it, while starting a war is always done for immoral reasons disguised with claims of noble ones.
:rofl:

Still not obvious enough though :(
 
  • #98
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They both have to face war crime for their this act.
No they don't. In my opinion even if they knew that Iraq had no WMDs they should not be lablelled as war criminals. Of course some of the actions that soldiers and officers have taken might be questoinable as war crimes but I'm certain they will be punished by their respective countries.
 
  • #99
Integral
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This discussion is going nowhere. Lets call it good.
 

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