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View Full Version : How do we win the war in Iraq?



Bill
07-25-2006, 11:02 PM
That's the big question of the day. The generals have totally messed thing up, it's vietnam all over again, we just don't seem to have the willpower to win this war.

What do we have to do to win? We need to produce some results.

How about dividing the country into three parts and making the sunnis, the shiis, and the kurds each govern their own part?

Kinky Jones
07-26-2006, 03:44 AM
yes the generals are to blame for everything :lmao2:

Bill
07-26-2006, 05:03 AM
Well, the President is always saying that he's listening to the men on the ground, isn't he? He's given them a job to do, it's their job to get it done.

If the officers we have can't handle the job, they should retire so we can get people in there that can kick ass and take names.

We've taught many countries how to fight guerilla irregulars around the world, we've trained armies around the world. We have to be able to apply that knowledge in Iraq.

If the officers in charge are dragging their feet, something should be done.

Kinky Jones
07-26-2006, 05:25 AM
i guess some people still believe anything that comes outta dubya's mouth :p

seriously though the only two options that would seem to work and leave the Iraqi people with a decent place to live is to either keep doing what we are doing and be there for awhile until they can defend themselves or we can double our troops and get the job done in a timely matter which will cost too much money so let's just stay the course :thumbsup:

of course if we left right away none of the "terrorists", "insurgents", and "extremists" would have anybody to fight :D

Tommy
07-26-2006, 09:53 AM
whats with training the Iraqi troops

they have been saying we are training the Iraqis for years now

if an americian kid joins up he gets 8 weeks of boot camp and anther 4 weeks of specizled training and then hes dumped in to combat

why is it taking so long to train the iraqis ???

docholly
07-26-2006, 10:28 AM
If the officers we have can't handle the job, they should retire so we can get people in there that can kick ass and take names.

Yes def the quality of leadership of those replacing the retirees is an improvement..after all they have been raised on "Call to Duty" and "Command and Conquer" and well we all know that true leadership is found in a PS2.

Mr. Blue
07-26-2006, 11:13 AM
It takes time. People often forget after WWII the U.S. had occupied Germany / Japan for numerous years after the close of the war. In Germany what was left of the SS didn't give up and they had an organization called Werewolf, that did pull off some terrorism against the new government / occupying forces. In Japan we were there somewhere like 10 years after the war closed.

The problem with Iraq, is the fact we're not just fighting Iraqis and it's not just a civil war going on. The U.S. should try and secure the borders especially against Syria, Iran, etc.

Bill
07-26-2006, 04:28 PM
I think the real problem started in Falluja, when they burned our men and hung them up on a bridge for the world to see.

And we did nothing.

Now, the Iraqis are more afraid of each other than they are of us.

We should have turned falluja into a smoking crater. These people are tribal savages who only understand one thing - the fear of punishment.

That's why Saddam was so successful - he understood his people, and they feared him.

The Iraqis have to fear democracy, before they will behave democratically and reach freedom.

This is a well known principle of fighting insurgency - there are only two ways to win against an insurgency. Fear, and effective modern policing. (which is another form of fear, because effective police work allows us to identify the members of the insurgency, and arrest them and their families).

The police of Iraq are all corrupt, and secretly part of the militias.

So, that leaves us with only fear to work with.

Moby
07-26-2006, 05:54 PM
How about dividing the country into three parts and making the sunnis, the shiis, and the kurds each govern their own part?
The British created Iraq when they defated the Turks way back when. Unfortunately, they didn't think about this. Now you can't really do it because you also have to split the oil.

Then of course after killing 40,000 to 100,000+ Iraqis you have new generations of people that hate you.

Not only would we have 3 separate countries fighting over the oil money but now you'd have 3 separate governments that want to support terrorists acts against you.

You ask a great question, unfortunately the question should have been answered years ago before we went into Iraq. Kicking ass and taking more names will only kill more people. How will that help install a pro-USA government?

Bill
07-27-2006, 03:42 PM
It will only kill people who are against Iraqi freedom and democracy, and their supporters.

Which means it will only kill islamofascists and terrorists.

The middle easterners are all "tribes with flags" - they like and respect power and toughness. Look at how all their countries are ruled - by strongmen with powerful secret police forces.

That's how they like to live.

We have to show them we are the strongest of all the strongmen - then they will respect our troops and settle down to rebuilding their economy and employing all their young men in rebuilding their infrastructure.

juggernaut
07-27-2006, 04:09 PM
whats with training the Iraqi troops

they have been saying we are training the Iraqis for years now

if an americian kid joins up he gets 8 weeks of boot camp and anther 4 weeks of specizled training and then hes dumped in to combat

why is it taking so long to train the iraqis ???It's a mental thing. Seriously, the people I know who trained them have told me they are so wrapped up with Alah they honestly think if they point the rifle an just pull the trigger that Alah will guide the bullet to it's path. That's why we have all seen the videos of mid-eastern soldiers just spraying and praying from around a corner. Problem is our soldiers have to stick to protocal and we are not allowed to explain to them that Alah will not guide a bullets path. We have to either wait for them to figure it out or have another Iraqi soldier who has figured it out tell them. If we say something about it then we are not "Sensitive" to their way of life. I know soldiers who have laughed when told "Alah will guide me in my fight" then quickly removed from the training regiment.

Linkster
07-27-2006, 08:20 PM
Tommy - unfortunately - most of what you hear about training soldiers is BS - if you listen to Bush - we have trained 100 brigades (which is way more than they had when we initially went to war in the first Gulf war)
If you listen to our generals over there they barely have one brigade that can act on its own - and one more that can be traffic cops sometimes if they show up for work - the guys Ive talked to coming back from their duty over there all say that what Bush is saying on TV is all BS

Kinky Jones
07-28-2006, 10:57 AM
we "might" be sending more troops over to Iraq

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14071617/

i think it should be alot more, what do you think?

Linkster
07-28-2006, 12:43 PM
Just an update on those brigades we've been training and arming - seems now the ones that support Hezbollah have left the brigades (with their US supplied weapons) and are headed to Lebanon as we speak to help out in the fight against Israel

As far as us sending more troops to Iraq - probably wont happen as it seems we have a new plan in Iraq that splits the country into three states - and will leave one of the states in the predicament of fighting Turkey as soon as this happens
Keep an ear out for a program called "Clean Break" - it is the plan that was developed by Wolfowitz and others back in the late 90s - and supported by Israels Netanyahu - it splits Iraq into three states of shia, sunni and Kurdistan as independant entities - the Shia supporting Iran, the Sunni playing puppet for the US and Kurdistan being demolished by Turkey

Moby
07-28-2006, 04:06 PM
As far as us sending more troops to Iraq - probably wont happen as it seems we have a new plan in Iraq that splits the country into three states - and will leave one of the states in the predicament of fighting Turkey as soon as this happens
Keep an ear out for a program called "Clean Break" - it is the plan that was developed by Wolfowitz and others back in the late 90s - and supported by Israels Netanyahu - it splits Iraq into three states of shia, sunni and Kurdistan as independant entities - the Shia supporting Iran, the Sunni playing puppet for the US and Kurdistan being demolished by Turkey
That does make sense. The US government announced that they're going to bid on many of Haliburton's contracts which means that they can now award some money to other governments that help take the oil.

Also you're very right about Turkey.


Yasar Yakis, the foreign minister, said he was examining treaties from the early 20th century to see whether Turkey had a claim to the oil fields of the Mosul and Kirkuk provinces, which the Turks ruled during Ottoman times. In comments published yesterday in the Hurriyet newspaper, Mr Yakis said: "If we do have such rights, we have to explain this to the international community and our partners in order to secure those rights."

Won't splitting Iraq make Iran even stronger then they are now? Since they seem to be the ones that are controlling the region, is this a wise move?

Maybe it's the for 2 for 1 idea. We basically take full control of 1 part, give another part to an ally and then give 1 part to an enemy. I could see them sitting around the Oval Office saying "Two parts good. One part bad." :)

Linkster
07-28-2006, 04:45 PM
Actually - since the overall plan is to get rid of Iran as well as the Shii with it - that shouldnt be a big problem.
To get an idea of what this plan encompassed - heres the UK Guardian from 2002 before the war even started talking about that plan that was written in 1996 - so some of the names have been promoted to higher key positions since then like Bolton etc.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4493638,00.html
Note that some of the recommendations are currently being played out with Israel doing their part in Lebanon (which was addressed in this plan)

The cliff notes of the plan are here - although they dont go into a lot of detail and I cant find the original text - just some of the talking points:
http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm

juggernaut
07-28-2006, 07:55 PM
i think it should be alot more, what do you think?Very easy to say when your not wearing a uniform. I just met with a few more of my friends today for the first time since they got back in Nov 05. A couple of them have PTSD and are now having issues with their families. One was telling me how he never in his wildest dreams though his going over there would have effected him as it did. He could not even watch Fireworks with his kids this last July cause the bursting of the works was pissing him off. Besides I think the curent Iraqi government has made it very clear that after Bush is out of office in 08 they are expecting dramatic troop withdrawls.

Bill
07-29-2006, 12:03 AM
It's probably true we need a much larger force there.

We should bite the bullet and restart the draft.

Moby
07-29-2006, 01:28 AM
It's probably true we need a much larger force there.

We should bite the bullet and restart the draft.
Never gonna happen. The man that got us into the war had no thought about actually winning and will simply force the next administration to fix his shit. The budget, the war and the taxes are all going to have to be fixed by the next admin.

Of course the recession that's coming about 2010 because of his economic policies won't be pretty either.

Kinky Jones
07-29-2006, 03:42 AM
Very easy to say when your not wearing a uniform. I just met with a few more of my friends today for the first time since they got back in Nov 05. A couple of them have PTSD and are now having issues with their families. One was telling me how he never in his wildest dreams though his going over there would have effected him as it did. He could not even watch Fireworks with his kids this last July cause the bursting of the works was pissing him off. Besides I think the curent Iraqi government has made it very clear that after Bush is out of office in 08 they are expecting dramatic troop withdrawls.

yeah Jugg it is hard for me to say I think we should send more of our men and women, boys and girls over there but the way things are going I don't think the current administration really wants it to end so soon :(

and I know all about our troops coming home and having trouble dealing with it all... my brother was a grunt and was part of "the tip of the spear" that went up the east side of Iraq... when he got out he got a silly little course on how to turn off being a killer and go back to being a civilian.... the class didn't work so well is an understatement and being a grunt he doesn't think he needs help even though me and my family have tried to get him some... he was almost arrested for attempted murder and almost put two butcher knives into my gut and awhile after was arrested for beating some kid alomost to death... so I have some pretty strong feelings that go deeper than the average American, i know you do as well

Bill
08-03-2006, 06:34 PM
I'm still interested in the question of what to do to win the war in Iraq.

Or, if it can't be won in the conventional sense, to conclude it in the best possible way.

Everybody knows, I imagine, that we are building a giant fortified embassy complex and big fortified bases there - we are acting as if we will be there for many, many years.

There are only two ways to fight against guerilla tactics - utter ruthlessness, or good policing.

And only one way to really win against it. You have to get the young men good jobs and wives.

Nothing else has ever stopped a guerilla campaign against an occupying force.

So, how can we win?

docholly
08-03-2006, 06:48 PM
And only one way to really win against it. You have to get the young men good jobs and wives.


Move the call centers from Madras and Bombay to Baghdad and import 100's of Romanian camgirls who are looking for husbands.

Seriously.. that is a way to "win" if they have jobs which = money..they will be happy and working and understanding what a "market based economy" is.

Kinky Jones
08-03-2006, 06:48 PM
geez Bill, haven't you heard?? "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"

they have most of OUR money, who cares how big the mess is that is left over


or I might start by providing all the outlandish stuff we americans expect at home... water, electricity, and enough security so that I can walk down the street and only worry about the local serial killer and not half of the country shooting me

Moby
08-03-2006, 07:11 PM
geez Bill get over it, haven't you heard?? "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!"

they have most of OUR money, who cares how big the mess is that is left over


or I might start by providing all the outlandish shit we americans expect at home... water, electricity, and enough security so that I can walk down the street and only worry about the local serial killer and not half of the country shooting me
Can't we be a little more constructive? :)

Moby
08-03-2006, 07:22 PM
There are only two ways to fight against guerilla tactics - utter ruthlessness, or good policing.

And only one way to really win against it. You have to get the young men good jobs and wives.

Actually we have no idea how to fight against these tactics because no one has ever really won against them.

You're still asking a good question and I wish we had the answer.

It was estimated 3 years ago that Iraq would need $50 to $60 billion to rebuild but even with the high oil prices they're oil bringing in about $2 billion over their budget for simply staying safe. Whatever the estimate a few years ago it's probably double that now.

My guess would be to get world support for propping up this country or creating three states that all share in the oil wealth. The only way to get world support is for the USA to look like we're supporting peace and freedom and currently the world doesn't believe that. It doesn't matter if we are or we're not, what the world sees is that Dubya promotes torture, that Iraq should have been left alone and that we're not supporting peace right now.

We need to change those appearances. We need to have strong statements about a cease fire in Lebanon. We can still send weapons but we need Condi to stay there and promote a cease fire now.

We also need to speak out against torture instead of having our leader document that he'll use it if he chooses.

We need to talk about making the world a better place and then invest a huge amount of money in Iraq. Once we start looking like humanitarians that promote human rights and peace then perhaps we can get the world's support again.

We have far more enemies today then we did just a few years ago. We need to start building allies again and then maybe we can help the Iraqi people. Only then will this war end.

Yes, it may mean having Condi and Dubya chatting with Iran the new major force in the Middle East.

Kinky Jones
08-03-2006, 07:32 PM
we need new leadership, the people in charge are either refusing to do what is needed to be done which means they have ulterior motives for being there or they really just don't have an idea of what in god's name they are doing... either way change is what is needed

Bill
08-04-2006, 04:42 PM
It seems to me that one thing that might help the most is really concentrating on fixing the crude oil system.

Because, no matter what, everything will have to be paid for (and it will be expensive).

Oil is still being pumped at a rate about a million barrels a day below pre-war levels, but experts suggest it could soon be pumped at a rate twice that of pre-war - if the oil infrastructure was repaired.

To a certain extent, fixing the oil infrastructure would mean abandoning Baghdad, because the oil is all in the north and the south, not in the center.

Are we wiling to let Baghdad go to a literal hell, in order to save the country by rebuilding the oil infrastructure and giving jobs back to the young Iraqi men?

Tommy
08-04-2006, 04:51 PM
Oil is still being pumped at a rate about a million barrels a day below pre-war levels, but experts suggest it could soon be pumped at a rate twice that of pre-war - if the oil infrastructure was repaired.

To a certain extent, fixing the oil infrastructure would mean abandoning Baghdad, because the oil is all in the north and the south, not in the center.

Are we wiling to let Baghdad go to a literal hell, in order to save the country by rebuilding the oil infrastructure and giving jobs back to the young Iraqi men?

why should we pay to repair the infrastructure
we have wasted enough money in that shithole
let them get some investors

that's hot shit use tax payer dollars to repair their pipelines and wells so they can sell us oil at 75 bucks a barrel :banghead:

Bill
08-04-2006, 05:30 PM
What we are doing now is basically standing around, forted up and policing our forted areas, while the country goes to hell.

If we want anything good to happen there, we are going to have to spend some money and lives, no matter what.

If we just pull out, not only will hundreds of thousands more Iraqs die as a vengence driven civil war sweeps over the country, not only will Iran, Syria, and Turkey split up the wealth of the country and keep it to wage future war against us, but America will look like idiots and incompetent cowards who never keep their word.

So, it's going to cost us billions, no matter what.

Just doing a pullout will cost us many billions also, and a pullout in a hostile population is a difficult military manuveur, one of the hardest.

And, if we fix the oil, it will drive oil prices down.

Kinky Jones
08-04-2006, 06:16 PM
I personally believe that the Iraqi gov't is gonna be the ones to kick us out sooner than we want to leave.... they know why we are there and they want us off their land and out of their lives, they want no part of being our long-term middle east base and they want to keep their own oil too silly as that sounds

Moby
08-04-2006, 06:21 PM
but America will look like idiots and incompetent cowards who never keep their word.
Have you spoken to many people outside of the country in the last few years?

Why do you think that extremely anti-American sentiment is such a growing force right now?

We have to secure Baghdad and make Iraq a better place then it was when Saddam was in charge. We also need to have election that at least look real and stop ALL human rights violations.

Until we do things we will look like the evil in the world and anti-American sentiment will continue to grow.

May of you points are spot on but look at things from an outsider's point view.

Moby
08-04-2006, 06:22 PM
why should we pay to repair the infrastructure
we have wasted enough money in that shithole
let them get some investors

that's hot shit use tax payer dollars to repair their pipelines and wells so they can sell us oil at 75 bucks a barrel :banghead:
Because until we fix the mess in Iraq anti-American forces will continue to grow until it's the USA, Great Britain and Japan agains the rest of the world. We'll loose that one.

Bill
08-04-2006, 06:39 PM
Until we do things we will look like the evil in the world and anti-American sentiment will continue to grow.

May of you points are spot on but look at things from an outsider's point view.

Well, that's what I'm trying to talk about - what can we do that will actually work, as opposed to the half-assed and strategically idiotic stuff that the generals and administrators in Iraq have been doing the last two years.

That's why I didn't say we should start with training a police force, or fixing the water and the electric. Those are all good enough ideas, but they are strategically weak. They all cost a lot, generate little to no profit, and are so easily sabatoged.

But, fixing the oil creates a profit pump that benefits everyone - the Iraqi people, young unemployed Iraqi men (the cannon fodder of a guerilla army, and an absolute necessity for a guerilla movement to succeed), and last but not least, the American people.

Fixing the oil means, however, staging military forces in forts along the oil lines and the oil equipment. Unless we start the draft and get a hundred thousand more soldiers, I don't see how we can fort up in Baghdad and protect the oil at the same time.

Are we willing to let Baghdad burn to save the rest of the country?

Kinky Jones
08-04-2006, 07:19 PM
part of the problem with fixing the oil infrastructure is that they REALLY REALLY think we are there to steal their oil and hence want to stop us from doing so by any means necessary, most Americans really don't see how bad the US looks in the rest of the world, they think we are all like dubya...

do you think that Iraq could be resolved peacefully if the US wasn't involved in the negotiations?

Bill
08-04-2006, 09:57 PM
why should we pay to repair the infrastructure
we have wasted enough money in that shithole
let them get some investors

that's hot shit use tax payer dollars to repair their pipelines and wells so they can sell us oil at 75 bucks a barrel :banghead:

Well, keep in mind that, as I understand it, the Iraqi government signed over huge amounts of rights to the oil, basically to us, the United States. So, it would basically be the US selling the oil to the US, and taking a percentage of all oil sales to cover costs of the war and reconstruction, and another percentage for the operations and brokering of the oil.

So, the end result is if the oil is sold to the US, we'll be getting it at a real price that's a lot less than $75 a barrel.

If we can get Iraq pumping 5 million barrels a day, which is what they said would happen when the war started, oil prices would be forced down for as long as the oil lasts.

Bill
08-04-2006, 10:01 PM
And of course it would be all american oil companies doing the work and making huge profits, so if you are part of the ownership society and own oil stocks or stocks in general, you will benefit directly.

Bill
08-04-2006, 10:09 PM
part of the problem with fixing the oil infrastructure is that they REALLY REALLY think we are there to steal their oil and hence want to stop us from doing so by any means necessary,

Yes, thats why we would have to move a large number of men to the oil infrastructure area, and build the worlds toughest, most secure oil system.

Unless we come up with a way to find a hundred thousand extra soldiers, it probably means giving up Baghdad. That's one of the reasons we haven't been able to do reconstruction - we've had to fort up and protect certain areas and populations near Baghdad, and fight insurgents, who are mostly around Baghdad and to the west and northwest - no oil there.

We're trapped protecting that city, and the government we installed there.

So, if we did what I said, and moved to develop a fortified oil system in the south, Baghdad would become the city of hell on this planet.

Of course, we could always start the draft, train a bunch of hippies to be soldiers, and try to do both. Both protect Baghdad and reconstruct the country.

Or wait, hoping the insurgency will run out of steam, which is what we seem to be doing now.

Tommy
08-04-2006, 10:24 PM
Ill tell ya the truth your probably right,

I dont like reading any news about middle east oil or big oil companys cause the whole mess pisses me off so much

I always supported the Iraq war
and I beleived it to be a very smart move, one of the smartest things Bush has ever done

maybe one of the smartest things any president in the last 50 years has done

but lately I just cant get behind this anymore

Moby
08-04-2006, 11:20 PM
I always supported the Iraq war
and I beleived it to be a very smart move, one of the smartest things Bush has ever done

maybe one of the smartest things any president in the last 50 years has done

but lately I just cant get behind this anymore
I think it was the stupidest thing that any President in the past 50 years (possibly our history) has done. By a long shot. Now Iran is the major power in the Middle East and we're the evil aggressor just like the USSR used to be.

The extremist started gaining momentum when we went into Iraq and they will keep gaining until we leave and stop committing acts of torture.

Securing income for Iraq is only half the battle. We have to show the world that we have a legitimate government that practices what it preaches and provide some humanitarian aid to Iraq. If we allow Baghdad to die then nothing else matters. The country will never be rich because the USA companies controlled by the administration own the oil and the world knows that.

We need legitimacy in the region. The only hope for that is for the administration to either be ousted or for them to denounce torture which ain't gonna happen.

Moby
08-04-2006, 11:21 PM
And of course it would be all american oil companies doing the work and making huge profits, so if you are part of the ownership society and own oil stocks or stocks in general, you will benefit directly.
And we will never have world support and that makes it easier to recruit those against us. That's what's been happening ever since we went into Iraq.

Bill
08-06-2006, 06:59 PM
But, it doesn't do us any good to be stuck with Baghdad and central Iraq. It's the most worthless part of the country.

We broke the country, therefore we own it, and the only parts worth owning are the north and the south.

The north is already mostly friendly to us, but their oil is most easily sold to europe.

It's the south that has the undeveloped oil resources and the access to deepwater ports for shipping oil to the US.

We should be moving soldiers to the south, to protect oil companies and fortify the oil fields.

We should garrison Baghdad like we do the DMZ in Korea, and let the Iraqis solve their own problems there.

Iraq is pretty much destroyed - it will probably seperate into three states. Our force there is too small to fight a relatively small and disorganized insurgency - it can't do much to stop a civil war.

It's time to acknowledge this and look to our long term strategic interests.

Moby
08-07-2006, 08:29 AM
I'm confused a bit here Bill. Are we talking about building a secure Iraq for Iraqi people are are we talking about getting the oil from Iraq to make a profit?

We agree that both goals require getting oil production in better shape.

I think what we're discussing are other factors that effect the safety and long term security of Iraq.

With oil production at prewar levels they're generating a GDP of about $100 billion (65% to 70% from oil). The government collects about $20 billion in revenue with current expenditures of $25 billion.

World Bank estimates from 3 years ago were about $55 billion to rebuild.

Next year they need $60 billion to pay for rebuilding themselves and cover the $5 billion deficit.

If 20% of the GDP ends up in the government revenue stream then that means they need to generate an additional $300 billion in oil revenue to get $60 billion. That means an increase of about 5 to 6 times prewar levels and I don't think that's possible.

We know that the USA can't pay for reconstruction because there was no over site. Many hospitals and schools are being abandoned and $billions have just disappeared. With The House, Senate and White House all the same party no one will really investigate (the same thing would happen in any country with any single party in control).

I think the country needs to be seen as stable and the government legitimate. The people need to see that and the world needs to see that. Give the people hope and get some foreign investment. As long as people are being slaughtered, tortured, humiliated and a foreign occupying force is present that's not going to happen.

I just don't see oil profits alone can build a strong Iraq. Sure it can make a lot of money for US and allied companies but that's not what the war was about. Or was it?

Bill
08-07-2006, 04:32 PM
The Iraqis clearly don't want to reconstruct their country.

So, I'm only talking about getting the oil.

We did our part. We got rid of Saddam. The Iraqis owe us $250 billion for that.

The Shia in the south should be happy to have us move there, develop their oilfields, and buy their oil.

Bill
08-07-2006, 04:35 PM
Don't get me wrong, I feel bad for the Iraqis, but they aren't even trying.

At some point, you have to say, if they won't help themselves, are we still obligated to hold their hands and protect them?

We have to get serious. They won't even try to build a police force. They won't even try to fix the water and the electric.

NobleSavage
08-07-2006, 08:25 PM
We did our part. We got rid of Saddam. The Iraqis owe us $250 billion for that.


I don't remember the Iraqis requesting that service.

Bill
08-08-2006, 12:04 AM
But, if you are an American, it was done in your name. The vast majority of Americans supported it. even if you were one of the few who didn't support it at the beginning, it was still done in your name.

Americans supported it because they knew it was about the oil. Anything else anybody says is rhetoric. Anybody who says different is either lying, or ignorant of their own motives. We all knew we were going to get the oil.

The issue now is how to how to finish the job in the best possible way.

If the Iraqis cared about their own country, they would fix the damn water and electric. Why should we care about them, if they don't care about themselves?

Moby
08-08-2006, 12:35 AM
Bill, if we just want the oil then we need to call Iran and Turkey. We'll give them the top and west of Iraq while we take the bottom.

Let's not act like we did the Iraqis any favors. It's possible that Saddam was a stronger stabilizing force then we care to admit. After all, would Iran have a nuclear program if Saddam still had his tanks?

NobleSavage
08-08-2006, 12:39 AM
But, if you are an American, it was done in your name. The vast majority of Americans supported it. even if you were one of the few who didn't support it at the beginning, it was still done in your name.

Americans supported it because they knew it was about the oil. Anything else anybody says is rhetoric. Anybody who says different is either lying, or ignorant of their own motives. We all knew we were going to get the oil.

I'd say it had more to do with the US trying to get a geopolitical advantage in the ME as outlined by PNAC quite a while ago and the oil played a smaller part. Whatever the case, I don't think the Iraqis "owe" us anything.


The issue now is how to how to finish the job in the best possible way.

I don't think we can. The more we try, the more it will get fucked up.



If the Iraqis cared about their own country, they would fix the damn water and electric. Why should we care about them, if they don't care about themselves?

Probably because "Iraqis" in general don't really consider themselves Iraqis first and foremost. After WWI Iraq was formed out of three former Ottoman regions: Mosul, Baghdad and Basra. You have different religions and cultures which were forced together. The West has been drawing invisible lines on maps for a long time thinking things would be just peachy. I don't know why anyone is surprised that all hell is breaking loose.

RawAlex
08-12-2006, 01:48 PM
I have a bit of a weird but wonderful way to win the war:

LEAVE.

Create a new country, Oilstan. Take only the areas that have the oil fields and whatnot, and put as many troops in there as needed (including the UN and whatnot) and take it over. Make an agreement with whatever Iraqi government exists to pay a tax or lease fee for the region, and leave Iraq proper and retreat to Oilstan. Pump the oil (which is the only reason the US went to Iraq to start with) and let the warring factions in Iraqi work each other over until they get tired and give it up.

End of problem.

;)

(can anyone tell I am kidding? I am, right?)

UKLefty
08-13-2006, 08:36 PM
Whoh, whoh. Hang on. What is all this talk of winning the war??? We did. You win a war by defeating the enemy. We did that, easily. saddams gone. Theres a new government in place. We are done arent we?
But now we talk of seeing it through and getting the job done still as if theres some kind of clear objective to what we are now doing. But what is that, seriously? We invaded a country that never should have existed (the straight lines all over the mid east and africa reflect a somewhat haphazard approach to nation building in the past) took away an arsehole who was never the less responsible for keeping the disparate parts of a fictional nation together for 25 yrs or so, let loose repressed sections of a society unfamilar with liberal democracy and provided them with a handy target for their not alltogether irrational distaste for the colonial west. I hate to say we told you so but we did. Millions of us. This isnt a war, its an exercise in futility motivated by an american govts desire to seem tough in the wake of 9/11 in order to boost its own popularity, increase its own legitimacy post the election fraud, try and secure oil access and massage a half arsed christian fundamentalist idea of a new crusade. It was never a war. It was a poorly thought through colonisation.

Bill
08-13-2006, 10:54 PM
That's rhetoric and polemic, and ultimately says nothing.

How do we win the occupation and colonization, then?

What Rawalex said is pretty much what should be done - build a fortified oil infrastructure in the south, and something similar but less elaborate in the north.

Then we just wait and see if the Iraqis will decide to get off their lazy asses and govern their country.

If they don't choose too, hey, we tried, we gave them the chance, it's their fault if they won't stand up and do what's right, if they'd rather slaughter each other in the name of their false 'religion' than join the civilized world.

Kinky Jones
12-15-2006, 06:30 PM
well the government is finally getting around to doing what we were doing here months ago: trying to figure out what to do in Iraq... what do you think we should do now? leave? more troops? split the country in three? split the country in three then nuke em all? don't stay the course but really still stay the course?

my opinion is changing from "we broke it we need to fix it" to "we are too stupid to fix it and should let them fix it themselves, they can't do any worse than we did"

Bill
12-15-2006, 06:55 PM
I still think "We broke it we need to fix it" is the ethically and morally correct approach, and the most likely to acheive the real goals of the country, which I'll sumarize as maintaining our position as world leader and the worlds wealthiest and most successful country.

But it's clear that the people we have in charge of it now are too stupid and incompetent to manage the job.

And they may have ruined the possibility of bringing anything good out of this.

I think the political will of the country is going to be "Pull out and try to cover our ass and avoid responsibility.".

I think we should pull back slightly and patrol less, completely replace the current management team (probably not possible until pres election), fortify the oil infrastructure, and really commit to helping Iraq develop infrastructure over a twenty year period.

Basically, stop providing police services except in limited ways, and focus on ways to make jobs reappear, while we guard the oil and keep other countries out.

But, it IS NOT POSSIBLE for a conventional army to beat a guerilla army with popular support, and we should stop trying to do it.

Linkster
12-15-2006, 07:28 PM
Interestingly I was watching a show last night that had an author who had spend a little time(about a year as the Washington Posts reporter) in the green zone (Emerald City) named Rajiv Chandrasekaran. He made a very interesting point comparing the recovery Germany made after the "wall came down" to the recovery the US is attempting
The Germans brought in 8000 contractors/repairmen to work the infrastructure - so far the US has brought in 3 people.
He also pointed out that the way to get a job over there involved an interview process that included your views on Roe vs Wade and whether you supported the current administration during the elections - he pointed out that the person responsible for rebuilding the Interior Department in Iraq had to apply for a passport having never been out of the US - and was previously employed as an ice-cream truck driver with no college degree and no background whatsoever (of course I guess being 21 yrs old it was a little early to expect a resume) :)

You can read an excerpt from the book at http://mediabistro.com/articles/cache/a8798.asp

Jesse Hemingway
12-22-2006, 05:20 PM
I thought bush, cheney, and, the neocons had their Iraq victory party in May of 2003 if this fine group have already had the war victory party then the war must be over. If the planners of this war have already celebrated their victory remember how simple it was going to be in the planners own words, itís a cake walk, slam dunk and the troops will be greeted with flowers and candy. Again in their words to how long the war was going to last "the war not going to last any longer then 6 days, maybe 6 weeks, I dout 6 months." Any reasonable person that evaluates what the bush administration has done in Iraq and said about Iraq you would pretty much come to a conclusion that bush really never had any plan for Iraq. So how many more people will bush get killed by his incompetence? Now it becomes our problem. The only choice is to leave Iraq as soon as possible and put all the blame on bush and his republican supporters at all the failures since Saudi Arabia attacked the United States on 9/11/2001. All the options have been exhausted in Iraq it has now become an out of control killing field.

exarmyranger
12-22-2006, 05:47 PM
Kind of ironic that Iraq is the reputed site of The Garden of Eden.Yeah I know,so who gives a shit!Trivia buff's may(give a shit)do'nt ya think...or do'nt you.LOL,ex

Moby
12-22-2006, 08:37 PM
They're sending in more troops. The only reason I can think for doing that is to give it one last shot. Dubya keeps talking about the history books and he's going to send more troops now. I think he's hoping the history books will say that he wanted to send 2,000,000 troops but the dems would only allow him to send 40,000.

Jesse Hemingway
12-22-2006, 11:02 PM
Funny thing is Hezbollah can train the insurgents very quickly in Iraq yet for some reason the United States training does not work or take hold. If the Iraqis will fight for Hezbollah and not the American troops game over this misadventure is totally lost even if you put in 5,000,000 more U.S. troops. The United States is the enemy in their eyes itís over perception is reality.

Kinky Jones
12-23-2006, 07:22 PM
They're sending in more troops. The only reason I can think for doing that is to give it one last shot. Dubya keeps talking about the history books and he's going to send more troops now. I think he's hoping the history books will say that he wanted to send 2,000,000 troops but the dems would only allow him to send 40,000.

yeah It seems like he is going against all common sense to try and salvage his place in the history books... or maybe Dick needs a new gold-plated olympic sized swimming pool at his new ranch somewhere outside the country :D


I think we might start getting bigger and bigger body counts if we send more troops, it is just more targets for snipers and IEDs and it is really, really, really gonna piss the entire Iraqi population off to put more troops over there... you don't here anything about what the Iraqi people want on the US news coverage but most want us gone in a year or less from what all the different polls say

Moby
12-23-2006, 11:13 PM
I think we might start getting bigger and bigger body counts if we send more troops, it is just more targets for snipers and IEDs and it is really, really, really gonna piss the entire Iraqi population off to put more troops over there... you don't here anything about what the Iraqi people want on the US news coverage but most want us gone in a year or less from what all the different polls say
I don't think the body counts will change much. They'll just put medevac units in place and not have doctors look at the dead until they're out of Iraq. Then they can say that they weren't killed in Iraq

Bill
12-24-2006, 02:42 PM
I've been watching these old movies about the british empires fight against the muslims, mostly in india.

In the movies, they keep threatening the muslims with pigskins and pigfat.

If you're contaminated with pig, you can't get your virgins when you die.

So, I think the solution is pigbombs.

We just pack our bombers with pigs, and shove em out the bomb-bay doors.

Pig guts everywhere = No virgins = no war.

So I say we pigbomb the suckers.

exarmyranger
12-24-2006, 04:23 PM
I've been watching these old movies about the british empires fight against the muslims, mostly in india.

In the movies, they keep threatening the muslims with pigskins and pigfat.

If you're contaminated with pig, you can't get your virgins when you die.

So, I think the solution is pigbombs.

We just pack our bombers with pigs, and shove em out the bomb-bay doors.

Pig guts everywhere = No virgins = no war.

So I say we pigbomb the suckers.Yo Bill,how do we get this past the Animal Right's Activist's group's?I think it's time to try a new,and may I say novel aproach to the problem's of winning a war against a country with a millitary force of religeous extremist's.Pigbomb's...That's "Too Cool",Hey,you don't think it would offend Israel do ya?I don't think pork is kosher,is it?

Moby
12-24-2006, 04:46 PM
So, I think the solution is pigbombs.

We just pack our bombers with pigs, and shove em out the bomb-bay doors.

I just had a flashback to WKRP In Cincinnati when Arthur Carlson has 100 turkeys dropped from a helicopter on Thanksgiving because he thought they could fly.

Bill
12-24-2006, 05:32 PM
Yo Bill,how do we get this past the Animal Right's Activist's group's?

I figure we just offer to trade with them. We say, "Look, for every pig we drop, we'll save a polar bear, or a crocodile, or some other man-eating carnivore. That makes it fair - we drop a pig, some eskimo get's eaten.".

Everything in life is a trade-off - win the war in Iraq with pigbombs, lose the eskimos. ;-}

But think about it - we drop about a thousand 500 pound pigs on Sadr City from 30,000 feet, and everybody quiets down. Not a single young male will be willing to pull the trigger, cuz he knows he's touched some pig molecules somnewhere, and he gets no virgin slaves to rape in paradise.

Kinky Jones
12-24-2006, 06:22 PM
only a thousand pigs Bill? I say we employ a strategic carpet-pigbombing strategy all across the middle east, let's end the whole mess ASAP :D

Abnormalia
12-24-2006, 08:13 PM
*squeeeee*

*thump*
*thump*
*thump*

Why am I laughing?

Kinky Jones
12-30-2006, 03:01 AM
why is it that not one fucking person who supported this war has a plan to win/finish it? not even the fucks who planned it :( dubya needs to sit in his ranch in texas longer to figure out what to do? wtf have him and his people been doing for the last 3 years? and he repeatadly says the he never talks to his father about political decisions, isn't that the most idiotic statement ever made? his dad was in politics for decades and whether you liked him or not he has some insight.... especially about Iraq... if dubya woulda asked "hey pops should I invade Iraq?" the answer woulda been the same as when numero uno first screwed the Iraqi people: it would cost too much money and too many lives to occupy Baghdad and rebuild the country, and we cannot tell how long it will take to do, we might face a heavy insurgency of anti-coalition (bush 1 had the best coalition of the willing in history) fighters that could drag it on for years and years, and it just isn't worth it...

exarmyranger
12-30-2006, 04:57 PM
First let's look at what has'nt worked;conventional bombing,{no guidence system's}so saturation of target area(s) is needed to insure maximum desired effect...which increase's collateral damage,and supports the enemy's propoganda.Control of electrical ,water supply's...,after restored,no positive result's.attempted manipulation of media,via censorship...nope.The removal of political regime,and installation of new (democratic based)government.not this time...So how can we win?I do'nt believe we can,with-out exterminating 90% of the population!ex

Moby
12-30-2006, 06:08 PM
We can't rebuild Iraq because we've already spent US$ Billions and since the Republican congress refused to provide any over site it was all wasted money. Even if we did I think the entire premise is not winnable.

We removed the Sunnis from power and made the Shiias and Kurds stronger. The Shiias will never have close ties to the west and instead turn to Iran for guidance so unless we put the Sunnis back in control we can only make Iran's position stronger and our position weaker. The Kurds will become part of Turkey and since the Pope keeps bashing them and no one wants to allow Turkey into the EU because they're a Muslim country they will never become allies with the west.

Basically if we want peace and order in Iraq we need to install a heavy handed Sunni dictator that is the enemy of Bin Laden and Iran. Unfortunately they just killed that guy this morning.

Kinky Jones
12-31-2006, 03:52 PM
so nobody here thinks that dubys pipe dream of a mini US democracy that is a staunch ally in the war on terror is gonna happen in Iraq?

Moby
12-31-2006, 05:30 PM
so nobody here thinks that dubys pipe dream of a mini US democracy that is a staunch ally in the war on terror is gonna happen in Iraq?
Before Dubya there was a strong dictator in Iraq that was enemies of Iran and Osama Bin Laden that was trying to open lines of communication with us. Today there's no ruler in Iraq, OBL is free and Iran is developing nukes.

I think history will show that invading Iraq was one of the worst mistakes ever made by the USA.

Tommy
12-31-2006, 06:21 PM
do you guys really think we should just pull out

the iraqi civillians would be slaughtered
there could be hundreds of thousands dead maybe millions dead

I am not pro war but we did stir up this shit storm

I think we have an obligation to see it through

exarmyranger
12-31-2006, 07:19 PM
so nobody here thinks that dubys pipe dream of a mini US democracy that is a staunch ally in the war on terror is gonna happen in Iraq? It sure as hell looks that way.And here I thought I was part of the minority...goes to show ya never can tell.ex

exarmyranger
12-31-2006, 07:44 PM
do you guys really think we should just pull out

the iraqi civillians would be slaughtered
there could be hundreds of thousands dead maybe millions dead

I am not pro war but we did stir up this shit storm

I think we have an obligation to see it throughI think so to Tommy,but I promised myself I would never volunteer for anything again.your heart is in the right place though.t/c ex

Tommy
01-01-2007, 11:24 AM
its a little ironic cause Bush is in a bad no win situation in the middle east


just like Carter was

Moby
01-01-2007, 02:17 PM
its a little ironic cause Bush is in a bad no win situation in the middle east

just like Carter was
I think there's a big difference between the two situations. Dubya caused the situation in Iraq. He then has continued to mismanage the situation making a bad situation even worse. Not only that but his friends have also made billions US$ from the death of 3,000 Americans and countless Iraqis.

It's one thing to start a bad situation.
It's another thing to create a bad situation and make it worse.
Then to profit from something like this is disgusting.

Kinky Jones
11-11-2007, 04:18 AM
(circa 2006 just to date the last "surge") They're sending in more troops. The only reason I can think for doing that is to give it one last shot. Dubya keeps talking about the history books and he's going to send more troops now. I think he's hoping the history books will say that he wanted to send 2,000,000 troops but the dems would only allow him to send 40,000.

surge numero uno went well back in the day, i just couldnt resist bumping this thread for old timesake after reading thru it a bit :) (plus Bill's pig bombing strategy actually seems like the best option at this point!!!!!!) but that could be the mexican valium and bud light typing and not Kinky

so, how do we "win" now? what does a win include? getting the oil? giving them their country? stopping Kinky from drinking out of boredom?? taking out Iran in one single swoop just like we did in Iraq? getting out troops out of harms way so that the Iraqis can bicker and fight their own way into forming a country? letting the "surge number 3" run it's course and hope for the best??

moonman
11-11-2007, 04:31 AM
That's the big question of the day. The generals have totally messed thing up, it's vietnam all over again, we just don't seem to have the willpower to win this war.

What do we have to do to win? We need to produce some results.

How about dividing the country into three parts and making the sunnis, the shiis, and the kurds each govern their own part?

One of the problems is that nobody, including Bill and all of Washington, seem to be asking the right questions. The question isn't about winning the war in Iraq, rather, it is how do we secure the peace?

While it is painfully obvious the Iraqi's won't step up to the plate and we can hardly blame them given our history of using and abandonning them. I'm skeptical that we can even secure the peace.

General Shinseki and many others estimated it would take at least 500,000 million troops to secure the peace in Iraq. Bush retired him. Bush retired every general who disagreed with Rumsfeld. So blaming the generals is obscene under the circumstances.

I don't claim to know how to go about securing the peace in Iraq but I do claim expertise in bs such that I know it when it's front of me. Bush is so full of it, he could make a skunk gasp.

Kinky Jones
11-11-2007, 04:35 AM
One of the problems is that nobody, including Bill and all of Washington, seem to be asking the right questions. The question isn't about winning the war in Iraq, rather, it is how do we secure the peace?

While it is painfully obvious the Iraqi's won't step up to the plate and we can hardly blame them given our history of using and abandonning them. I'm skeptical that we can even secure the peace.

General Shinseki and many others estimated it would take at least 500,000 million troops to secure the peace in Iraq. Bush retired him. Bush retired every general who disagreed with Rumsfeld. So blaming the generals is obscene under the circumstances.

I don't claim to know how to go about securing the peace in Iraq but I do claim expertise in bs such that I know it when it's front of me. Bush is so full of it, he could make a skunk gasp.

well these questins were being asked around here 12+ months or so ago, it's an old thread and things have changed now, i just always liked this thread, the discussion in it was good, and it still applies today but i'm interested in the current stance on a "win" :)

and hindsight being 20/20 Bill might have been on to something, Gates and Patreaus, while still towing party lines, have changed the strategy and things are getting mildly better in places, the death rate of our military climbing this year was to be expected when we put more troops out in the field instead of just making sure the green zone was bunkered down and safe, but a month or two doesn't make the current "surge" an end all be all and i'm hoping beyond hope that the lull isn't a precursor to a tet-offesnive like change that drives everything into a bigger mess than what we have seen yet ans somethig that we won't be able to handle (and which will give the dubs a reason to go after Iran, simply to blame somebody else)

Little Red Dog
11-11-2007, 10:55 AM
...General Shinseki and many others estimated it would take at least 500,000 million troops to secure the peace in Iraq. ...


Shinseki is right. The only way (for a foreign power) to secure the peace in Iraq is to blanket the place in troops.

Iraq, like other areas of the Middle East, has a long history of sectarian antipathy and violence. The FIRST thing the Iraquis have to learn to do if THEY are going to "secure the peace" is, they have to learn to get along.

And they show a noticiable disinterest in doing so. Just look at the dysfunctional every-man-for-himself government they've got. Their politicans flat out refuse to work together to save their own country. If their leaders refuse to cooperate with each other, why should we be surprised that the ordinary citizen acts likewise?

Saddam knew this. Hence he ruled with an iron fist. Shinseki knows this, hence his recommendation that 500,000 troops are necessary.

Iraq as a democratic nation-state will never be a reality until all their groups agree to live together peacably and to work toghether for the good of all Iraq, not just their particular sect.

That's why I'm in favor of a pull-out. Unless the U.S. is prepared to be a fully occupying army - and visibly so - it is ultimately a waste of American lives for us to be there. Or unless the Iraqui government snaps to their senses and stops acting like a bunch of schoolyard cliques. Whichever.

Smurf-Herder
11-11-2007, 11:15 AM
One of the problems is that nobody, including Bill and all of Washington, seem to be asking the right questions. The question isn't about winning the war in Iraq, rather, it is how do we secure the peace?

While it is painfully obvious the Iraqi's won't step up to the plate and we can hardly blame them given our history of using and abandonning them. I'm skeptical that we can even secure the peace.

General Shinseki and many others estimated it would take at least 500,000 million troops to secure the peace in Iraq. Bush retired him. Bush retired every general who disagreed with Rumsfeld. So blaming the generals is obscene under the circumstances.

I don't claim to know how to go about securing the peace in Iraq but I do claim expertise in bs such that I know it when it's front of me. Bush is so full of it, he could make a skunk gasp.

Not having read much in this thread, I just have to break in here.

The Iraqis are stepping up to the plate. I posted a few threads on that. Between their stronger military role, to reconciliation moves, from the local to the national level.

And there now are approx. 500,000 troops, if you include all the coalition and Iraqi forces working together.

Things have changed much since Gates and Petraeus.

Peregrine
11-11-2007, 11:40 AM
*squeeeee*

*thump*
*thump*
*thump*

Why am I laughing?

Believe me, I am laughing with all of you...Bill you should be a comedian!!!! I can't stop laughing...such a simple solution...why didn't someone think of this much sooner????:D

Little Red Dog
11-11-2007, 11:41 AM
The main problem Smurf, is that Iraquis have not accepted the basic concept of democracy - that everybody works together for the good of the country as a whole. The sectarian issues have not gone away. It will take at least a generation or two for democratic principles to be fully integrated into the national Iraqui psyche.

And they have to start with their leaders. The only thing stopping a full on civil war, is the American presence. And the only thing stopping some other guy from "doing a Saddam" is the American presence. The American presence should not be a solution the the Iraqui problem.

Unless the U.S. is prepared to be an occupying army for the next two generations, I cannot be anything but pessimistic about the ultimate outcome of this war.

Anything else is merely a band-aid on a gangrenous sore, IMHO.

Little Red Dog
11-11-2007, 11:44 AM
Of course, we haven't tried pig bombing... :lmao2:

Jesse Hemingway
11-11-2007, 12:15 PM
That's the big question of the day. The generals have totally messed thing up, it's vietnam all over again, we just don't seem to have the willpower to win this war.

What do we have to do to win? We need to produce some results.

How about dividing the country into three parts and making the sunnis, the shiis, and the kurds each govern their own part?

I just saw the movie Lions for Lambs:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: the movie puts this entire bush disaster into about 75 minute format, even the weak minded among us should be able to understand (I think).

disrupter
11-11-2007, 12:20 PM
There is nothing for us to 'win' there.

This is no prize & no game.

We retrieve our sanity, inform the Iraqis, & leave.

It is absurd to talk in such infantile language.

Moby
11-11-2007, 12:20 PM
Just look at the dysfunctional every-man-for-himself government they've got. Their politicans flat out refuse to work together to save their own country. If their leaders refuse to cooperate with each other, why should we be surprised that the ordinary citizen acts likewise?
When reading that paragraph by itself it's hard to determine if you're speaking about the USA or Iraq.

Little Red Dog
11-11-2007, 12:37 PM
Touche. And quite right, too. :D

Bill
11-12-2007, 01:48 AM
We ARE going to be patrolling and basing in Iraq for 30 years.

We have to have their oil, without it, our economy collapses.

Fortifying the oil infrastructure is our next strategic step.

The ethnic cleansing worked, the sects are divided by the Tigris, our puppet government will pass the oil law, and our troops will protect the international oil workers.

But, if we draw down the troops, the puppet government gets overthrown and the oil law get's reversed, and Iran and China get the cheap ultra-high-grade oil. So, we can't, and won't, be leaving, untill the oil is all pumped.

The ethnic cleansing was really a brilliant plan. Almost Roman in it's efficiency.

Little Red Dog
11-12-2007, 02:16 AM
We ARE going to be patrolling and basing in Iraq for 30 years.

We have to have their oil, without it, our economy collapses.

Fortifying the oil infrastructure is our next strategic step.

... if we draw down the troops, the puppet government gets overthrown and the oil law get's reversed, and Iran and China get the cheap ultra-high-grade oil. So, we can't, and won't, be leaving, untill the oil is all pumped.



Well yes. But you'll never hear THAT plan from Washington. "Fight them there not here stand up stand down yada yada". THAT you'll hear.

Operation Enduring Fuckup.

moonman
11-12-2007, 04:20 AM
Not having read much in this thread, I just have to break in here.

The Iraqis are stepping up to the plate. I posted a few threads on that. Between their stronger military role, to reconciliation moves, from the local to the national level.

And there now are approx. 500,000 troops, if you include all the coalition and Iraqi forces working together.

Things have changed much since Gates and Petraeus.

According to Gates & Patreaus that's true. Iraq still hasn't come up with a plan to share oil revenues among the Sunni, Shia & Kurds. If, as Gates & Patreaus claim that deaths are down, why aren't there more infrastructure improvements? Why aren't new businesses opening and the economy improving? People who can are still leaving Iraq in droves. Obviously people don't feel safe.

This administration has had 5 years to get it right in Iraq and it hasn't. It's time for Congress to admit that Bush/Cheney have failed and stop the funding.