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The Forum > General Discussion > If we can win in Iraq, should we?

If we can win in Iraq, should we?

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Now that there is a strong chance that we might win/prevail in Iraq I find it almost incomprehensible that Obama supporters are upset that he is backing away from his earlier statements regarding troop withdrawals from Iraq.

I just wonder whether these people are upset we might win. Or whether they truly believe Iraq would be better off without coalition troops, even though there are signs that they have defeated the insurgency. Or is it that they donít care that withdrawal would do significant harm to Iraq at a crucial stage in its evolution, revolution to democracy because they believe the war was wrong in the first place?

Does anyone truly disagree with the assessment that the insurgency is on the wane in Iraq and that this will give the coalition the breathing space to finish the reconstruction effort and cement the democratic institutions and the new Iraqi Army and Police Forces? In the end Iraq must stand on its own two feet and troop withdrawals are inevitable but shouldnít those withdrawals be directly linked to improvements in key performance indicators like reduced violence, better service delivery, stable democracy?

Please, I know about the casualties that the Iraqis have suffered so donít feel you need to educate me on this matter. But if we leave right when we are about to win, those deaths have been for nothing. Surely the best we can do for those who have died is leave behind a stable democratic Iraq, which is what we promised. And a stable democratic Iraq is much more likely to ensure future peace than the alternatives.

I understand that we have made Iran more powerful by some of our actions in Iraq. But surely we make them more powerful still if the country falls apart after we leave prematurely, because you can GAURUNTEE that Iran will be the one to step in and pick up the pieces.

By all means if you disagree that the coalition are actually winning let me know why you believe that. If you think we SHOULDN'T win let me know why as well?
Posted by Paul.L, Monday, 7 July 2008 3:17:24 PM
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There is no winning in Iraq, unless you occupy it for decades as a dictatorship. The USA should pay out for the damages and reparations and reconstruction then withdraw (most likely not going to happen though, because of the corporate and strategic objectives in Iraq-the Iraqi people and their rights count for nothing, make no mistake).

Your moral viewpoints on benchmarking "achievements" is leaving out the fact that those achievements are written by the occupiers and can be distorted or changed at will. Ie. Those achievements will not be beneficial to the Iraqi people, they will only be when the USA thinks it's national interests have been achieved..which again, will not be in the interests of the Iraqi people, but perhaps when the puppet regime is secure and has guaranteed US strategic deployments and becomes a US state.
Posted by Steel, Monday, 7 July 2008 5:07:35 PM
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We ought to become a US state (South Hawaii sounds nice).
Its the only way to protect ourselves from China.
Anyone got a better idea for a nation that is so pathetic that it hasnt even got a citizens home guard defence force against 200,000 Indonesian Islamic soldiers and over a million Chinese soldiers just a little bit further up the road?
Both Indonesia and China have been drooling over Australia for decades.
Indonesia calls us South Irian and China calls us both New China and New South China...or didnt I mention that?
Posted by Gibo, Monday, 7 July 2008 6:06:03 PM
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Did I miss something?

Where can I read about the "strong chance that we might win/prevail in Iraq"? I've had a quick look through my usual sources, and they all come up blank.

I did find this, though, from a couple of weeks ago.

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/06/strategic_reset.html?_kk=iraq%20war&_kt=2cf2bebe-707e-44f6-b4e1-0e24a98a710a

and this, although a tad biased

http://www.antiwar.com/casualties/

And this, which has a neat little counter that keeps track of the cost of the war. I particularly liked the statistic that last year, the amount expended, per Iraqi, was the equivalent of three times the per-capita GDP.

http://zfacts.com/p/447.html

I'd be very interested to understand better the definitions of "win" and "prevail" in this context.

In my view, the sooner the US leaves Iraq, the sooner the situation will stabilize. And the main reason for thinking this way is that I have yet to see any plans, or any ideas for plans, or any inkling that the US might have an idea how to formulate plans, that consist of stabilizing the situation through their presence in the country.

Unfortunately, I think that there may still be US politicians who think that "winning" is synonymous with "occupying", and that "leaving" is the same thing as "losing". With Obama, there is a small but real chance that he can persuade the American people that "leaving" is equivalent to "winning".
Posted by Pericles, Monday, 7 July 2008 6:38:09 PM
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Dear Paul,

I strongly recommend the following website:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2007/0703.dreyfuss.html

It's a feature article by Robert Dreyfuss, intitled,
"Apocalypse Not."

It will answer the questions you ask.

Dreyfuss tells us:

"Much of Washington assumes that leaving Iraq will lead to a bigger bloodbath. It's time to question that assumption..."

"The Bush administration famously based its argument for invading Iraq
on best-case assumptions: that we would be greeted as liberators: that a capable democratic government would quickly emerge; that our
military presence would be modest and temporary; and that Iraqi oil
revenues would pay for everything. All these assumptions, of course, turned out to be wrong."

The article is only seven pages in length, and if you have an open mind - please take the time to read it.

Dreyfuss sums up:

"What most Iraqis do seem to want, according to
numerous polls, is for American forces (and their allies)
to leave. Even within the current, skewed Iraqi political system,
a majority of Iraq's parliament supports a U.S., withdrawal.
If we add to the mix the powerful Sunni-led resitance,
including former Baathists, Sunni nationalists, and tribes,
an overwhelming majority wants to end the occupation.

This shared desire could be another crucial force in helping
maintain the integrity of Iraq. The catch-22 of Iraqi politics
is that any Itaqi government created or supported by the U.S.
is instantly suspect in Iraqi eyes.

By the same token, a nationalist government that succeeds in
ushering U.S. forces out of Iraq would have overwhelming support from
most Iraqis on most sides of the conflict."
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 7 July 2008 10:08:45 PM
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Like Pericles, I'd like to know on what basis Paul.L claims that "that there is a strong chance that we might win/prevail in Iraq".

Iraq is no more "winnable" than Vietnam was, or Afghanistan will be.
Posted by CJ Morgan, Monday, 7 July 2008 10:18:19 PM
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