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Iraq Study Group Reaches Concensus

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the bring-them-home-but-when? dept.

United States 621

reporter writes to point us to a story in the Washington Post reporting that the Iraq Study Group has reached consensus and will issue its 100-page report on December 6: 'The Iraq Study Group, which wrapped up eight months of deliberations yesterday, has reached a consensus and will call for a major withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, shifting the U.S. role from combat to support and advising, according to a source familiar with the deliberations.' The Post mentions that first word of the panel's conclusions came from the New York Times yesterday. The Times points out that it is not clear how many U.S. troops would come home; some brigades might be withdrawn to Iraqi bases out of the line of fire from which they could provide protection for remaining U.S. operations.

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The Reverse Vietnam (5, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047740)

"shifting the U.S. role from combat to support and advising"

That's how we got into Vietnam.

Shhhhhhh (2, Insightful)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047834)

Don't tell anyone we can't win, we Americans hate the truth.

Re:Shhhhhhh (1)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047992)

we Americans hate the truth.
Actually, I think it's more accurate to say that Americans hate to lose (or admit defeat). This just goes to show once again that your greatest strength is also your biggest weakness.

Re:Shhhhhhh (-1, Troll)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048188)

Nonsense, Americans LOVE to lose. It's like a national pastime these days. They've been calling the war a "quagmire" since, what, week 2? Never mind that it's technically impossible for them to lose, even if you ignore that fact, the speed at which the opposition parties and the media raised the white flag is truly stunning. There's something in the American psyche these days that demands they leave every job half done.

Re:Shhhhhhh (5, Funny)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048324)

Never mind that it's technically impossible for them to lose,

Hmmm, never thought of that. I guess since we don't have any goals in Iraq then it's impossible to fail at those goals, ergo we cannot lose.

Good god man, you're a genius.

Call the white house.

Re:Shhhhhhh (0, Flamebait)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048424)

Are you being intentionally obtuse, or are you just naturally this way?

I suppose if your definition of "victory" is "turn Iraq into America Jr", then no, it's not happening. On the other hand, there's no reason why reasonable, and productive, goals cannot be met. Try ignoring the media and talking to your soldiers some time if you want a realistic picture of how things are going in Iraq.

Re:Shhhhhhh (4, Insightful)

syphax (189065) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048468)


There's something in the American psyche these days that demands they leave every job half done.

That's convenient.

There is/was something in the American Administration that demanded that it botch every single aspect of Iraq war planning, from the general idea (Al's a threat! Let's attack Iggy!), to the lack of a plan to keep the peace (as the Shinseki [wikipedia.org] episode so cleary demonstrates).

It may be hard for you to understand, but some people oppose the war, and did so from before the start, because it was a bad idea, poorly implemented.

Re:Shhhhhhh (3, Insightful)

replicant108 (690832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048486)

They've been calling the war a "quagmire" since, what, week 2?

The fact that this "war" was unwinnable was obvious to the majority of the world's population before it even started.

Re:Shhhhhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17048016)

Yes, your theory completely explains the crushing defeat Americans met in the Cold War.
Yay, losing!
Next week, we surrender to Mexico!
Woo hoo!
Coming soon: Sharia law!
pwn3d!
That'll teach those anti-Progressive Christianistologicalarian scum!

Re:Shhhhhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17048178)

Case in point

Re:The Reverse Vietnam (1)

4solarisinfo (941037) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047896)

What could go wrong? As long as we train a large group of individuals for combat before abandon their unstable country, they're bound to stay allies right? RIGHT? I mean didn't this work in several of the *stans?

Advice on reading The Washington Post (2, Informative)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047902)

When reading The Washington Post, always consider the diametric opposite position from whatever agenda the WaPo pushes.
Consider http://newsbusters.org/node/6863 [newsbusters.org]

Advice on reading fringe pro-bias sites. (4, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048006)

"When reading The Washington Post, always consider the diametric opposite position from whatever agenda the WaPo pushes. Consider http://newsbusters.org/node/6863 [newsbusters.org] [newsbusters.org]"

Reading Newsbusters is as valuable as reading FAIR.org. These so-called "watchdogs" are lapdogs of media that share their own fringe biases, and they bite the media just for not sharing their opinions and political bias.

Re:Advice on reading fringe pro-bias sites. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048066)

What you say is true: NewsBusters certainly parks itself in the right-hand ditch as a means of avoiding the one on the left.
However, did you read the letter printed on the linked page, or are you merely shooting the messenger?

Re:Advice on reading fringe pro-bias sites. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048186)

The letter is old, and not about this particular news item.

Re:Advice on reading fringe pro-bias sites. (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048334)

The title of my post pointed to the source of the particular news item, and questioned its bias.
If Iraq has taught anything, the lesson is to keep a weather eye on the sources.
Come to think of it, the last Lebanon brush-up taught that lesson, as well.
Does learning set in before death, one wonders?

Arrr matey (2, Informative)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048426)

"If Iraq has taught anything, the lesson is to keep a weather eye on the sources."

Aye cap'n, keep a weather-eye out. "The source", the Washington Post, is not near as bad as some claim. Their bullpen of commentators includes strong conservatives as Krauthammer and ol' George Will, and even examples of the rare species known as the moderate (David Broder). The Post also produced a landmark excellent article on the details [washingtonpost.com] of Chavez' fascist dictatorship in Venezuela (something a hard-left paper would not do, since the hard-left loves this dictator).

Hopefully, you aren't one of those who holds up the Washington Times as an example of a better paper.

Re:Advice on reading The Washington Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17048046)

Um your article is from Aug 6th I don't really see the connection. I suppose the agenda that the WaPo pushes is the truth. Are you really so disturbed as to not see what a total F-up the whole thing has been since "the end of major combat activities"?

Re:Advice on reading The Washington Post (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048112)

so disturbed as to not see what a total F-up the whole thing has been
Your balanced analysis is helpful, sir.

Re:Advice on reading The Washington Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17048316)

It would be far more honest to say, "when reading any news source, always consider the diametric opposite position from whatever agenda the reporter pushes."

Re:Advice on reading The Washington Post (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048402)

Excellent point: there is bias at every point in the transmission, including the reader. One hopes the noise cancels.

Re:The Reverse Vietnam (4, Funny)

xoyoyo (949672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047944)

You've spotted the Chimp's cunning plan. If this thing goes like Vietnam in reverse then the step after "military advisors" is handing it over to the French.

Perfect. The French save face too! (4, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048060)

" If this thing goes like Vietnam in reverse then the step after "military advisors" is handing it over to the French."

It's a perfect plan. The French get a lot out of it too: since it is running backwards, the typical French retreat ends up looking like the French charging into victory. "Cheese-vomiting conquest monkeys" indeed!

Re:The Reverse Vietnam (1)

diersing (679767) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048042)

And by doing the opposite, we'll surely get a different set of results. Logic trumps all.

Concensus (1)

the_duke_of_hazzard (603473) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048158)

I don't know where Concensus is. Don't tell me we're going to invade there as well?

The Middle East is the new Southeast Asia (2, Funny)

hoy74 (1005419) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047754)

There are no winners. Only losers. No Correct solution to the problem. Personally I wish we (the US and its allies) would formulate a common long term plan (good or bad) and just stick to it.

Re:The Middle East is the new Southeast Asia (5, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047794)

"Personally I wish we (the US and its allies) would formulate a common long term plan (good or bad) and just stick to it."

Personally, I'd rather they not stick to any bad plan. Why would anyone possibly want that? What has "sticking to the same plan no matter what" brought us for the lasdt 3 or so years?

I have a plan! (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047862)

It's a simple one step process we can follow to its finish:

Step one: Leave Iraq.

Taadaa!!! Problems solved.

Re:I have a plan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17048028)

Step one: Leave Iraq.

Step two: Fight in Afghanistan
Step three: Leave Afghanistan
Step four: Enter Lebanon
Step five: Fight in Israel
Step six: Leave Israel

The error was Step Zero: Enter Iraq.
Only a nuts will believe the will be heros invading another country,

Re:The Middle East is the new Southeast Asia (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17047998)

"Personally I wish we (the US and its allies) would formulate a common long term plan (good or bad) and just stick to it."

Personally, I'd rather they not stick to any bad plan. Why would anyone possibly want that? What has "sticking to the same plan no matter what" brought us for the lasdt 3 or so years?


I was in the army for quite some time, and there was something that I heard over and over and over and over:

A poor plan aggresively executed is better than a great plan poorly executed


In my experience, turned out to be pretty true. If you want to do something, make a plan, once the plan is done then stick the fucking good idea fairy in a bottle and execute it. If you let that bitch second guess you all the time, you will get your ass kicked every time.

Said one lemming to the other.... (1, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048036)

"A poor plan aggresively executed is better than a great plan poorly executed"

I can't disagree more.

Re:Said one lemming to the other.... (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048268)

Mainly because you lack the relevant experience.

Re:Said one lemming to the other.... (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048332)

"Mainly because you lack the relevant experience"

What sort of experience would validate doing the wrong thing as long as you do it "with gusto"?

Re:Said one lemming to the other.... (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048390)

Nobody said anything about doing the wrong thing. He said "a poor plan", not "a counterproductive plan".

Re:Said one lemming to the other.... (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048452)

There's a certain large amount of overlap between the concept of a "poor plan" and a "counterproductive" one.

Re:Said one lemming to the other.... (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048480)

Good point, but we're talking about Iraq. The only plans available besides withdrawal are counterproductive.

Re:The Middle East is the new Southeast Asia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17047828)

Too bad the US doesn't have allies ( it has a few stooges ).

Re:The Middle East is the new Southeast Asia (1)

cytg.net (912690) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047946)

and in time, with our evernever ending rising popularity in the region, what will such a 'sticking it out'-plan amount to ? you're thinking; we're going to have that conflict anyway, why not have it now ? before they all got nukes ? I see your point!

Re:The Middle East is the new Southeast Asia (1)

herve_masson (104332) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048086)

Personally I wish we (the US and its allies) would formulate a common long term plan (good or bad) and just stick to it.

I wish the US and the rest of the world would formulate a *good* common long term plan and just stick to it. US has done enough sticking with bad plans, don't you think ?

Iraqi's are slow (4, Interesting)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047812)

Didn't most of the U.S. (government aside) reach this consensus in like 2003?

Re:Correction (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047852)

the Iraqi study group is slow. but that doesn't change the fact that the rest of the population had this idea in like 2003.

Re:Iraqi's are slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17047880)

You mean "Mission accomplished"?
Oh, wait... Bush now says they won't pull out till the mission is accomplished. Flip flop anyone?

It's a Civil war (4, Insightful)

tentimestwenty (693290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048350)

The Iraqis may be slow but the problem is that the whole country was used to a dictator and it took someone that strong and tyrannical to overcome the religious and ethnic differences between the people. Take away the order of the dictator and nobody knows what to do or to expect. You'd be moving slowly too if you'd never experienced democracy and lacked the overwhelming government infrastructure required to make it work. All we have now is lawlessness, and no clear roles for people or groups. Naturally all the thugs and zealots are struggling to get whatever power they can and it has turned into a civil war. In my opinion, the Iraqis are not going to pull it together by themselves because 1.) they have no experience 2.) the disruptive forces are much bigger than the calming forces and 3.) there's no help from their neighbours or anyone in the world. The only way to avoid a 100 year civil war is to have the UN go in with 50,000 peace keepers along with a coalition of middle east leaders (honest ones) and work for 5-10 years on setting up a functioning government and infrastructure. The chances of that happening are next to zero. Bush wrecked the country

cutting out too soon? (0, Troll)

metalcup (897029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047858)

I wonder if this will, in anyway, help stabilise Iraq as it is now. I hope the final report has something on the lines of -"..before we remove a significant fraction of the soldiers from Iraq, we will plan and implement a self-standing, well trained Iraqi police/armed force..".

Arguing about whether it was right for the US to invade Iraq is rather academic now - however, if the US quits now, you can expect it to be spun as a huge victory for radical Islam. It will also destroy what little credibility the US has left.

/optimist: Maybe (unlikely) the US will admit it screwed up, request a UN mandate, and allow an international peace keeping force to step in and help administer Iraq till it can get back on its feet? :/optimist

Re:cutting out too soon? (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047922)

Arguing about whether it was right for the US to invade Iraq is rather academic now - however, if the US quits now, you can expect it to be spun as a huge victory for radical Islam. It will also destroy what little credibility the US has left.

Man, what world do you live in? Credibility, the US? I think that was gone a while ago. As for "the terrorists winning", nonsense, the US is not going to win in Iraq and the only people whom do not already see that the insurgents there have defeated the US are the "optimists" like you.

P.S. sorry to be so harsh, but when optimism consists of hoping the UN will help out there isn't much hope left.

Re:cutting out too soon? (1)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048304)

the insurgents there have defeated the US are the "optimists" like you.

Insurgents have defeated us? Somehow, I don't see any victory parades... Nor any territory held by them. Nor any of their leaders in public.

May all of our enemies' "victories" be such...

Re:cutting out too soon? (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048398)

Really?

Then why are we going to quit the al-Anbar province [go.com]

Quote:In a recent intelligence assessment, senior Marine Intelligence Officer in al-Anbar, Col. Peter Devlin, concluded that without a massive infusement of more troops, the battle in al-Anbar is unwinnable.


That sounds like defeat to me, but feel free to pretend otherwise.

Re:cutting out too soon? (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048458)

"Somehow, I don't see any victory parades... Nor any territory held by them."

Insurgents don't win by 'holding territory', they win by forcing invaders to cower in their 'Green Zone' because they're too scared to come out and play, until they finally decide it would be a good idea to leave.

The whole problem in Iraq is that America thought they could win a 21st century war with 20th century tactics.

Re:cutting out too soon? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048312)

Whatever you're smoking, it must be DAMN good. Vietnam vintage, eh?

Next you'll be telling us that a wastebasket fire defeated your local fire department.

Re:cutting out too soon? (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047940)

"..before we remove a significant fraction of the soldiers from Iraq, we will plan and implement a self-standing, well trained Iraqi police/armed force.."

Why would Iraqis want to fight for Americans against their own people? If you want them to get serious about running their own country, there's only one way to do so: tell them you're leaving in a few months and then they're on their own.

"It will also destroy what little credibility the US has left."

Bush has already destroyed most of America's credibility, and attempting to continue an occupation that's already lost will only destroy the rest. If you wanted to maintain some credibility in the world, you shouldn't have invaded a third-rate country that posed no threat to you, but did have a population who'd be eager to fight against an invader for as long as it took to kick them out.

So yes, American 'military power' will be a joke after you've been tossed out of both Iraq and Afghanistan by locals with AK-47s, but so what?

Re:cutting out too soon? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17047982)

Maybe (unlikely) the US will admit it screwed up, request a UN mandate, and allow an international peace keeping force to step in and help administer Iraq till it can get back on its feet?

Only one answer to that: FUCK YOU! You have been arrogant and disgusting with your campaign against those who said invading Iraq was a terrible idea, ruining the career of individuals (those CIA agents who warned there were no WMD in Iraq) or making fun of whole populations (Germans and especially the French), so that nobody wants to help you anymore. Now shut the fuck up or accept publicly you have done a mess, impeach Bush and put him on trial. This is the only way to show you have more than one neuron in your brain that voted twice for the chimp that is in the White House.

Re:cutting out too soon? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048068)

More to the point, most of the world _wants_ America to fail so they can rub your nose in it; they'd laugh at any suggestion that they should send their soldiers in to die in order clear up your mess.

In any case, the only way the mess is likely to be cleared up is by imposing another Saddam Hussein-like dictator on the country, making a mockery of Bush's 'freedom and democracy' crap; either way he ends up a laughing stock.

Re: cutting out too soon? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048222)

> In any case, the only way the mess is likely to be cleared up is by imposing another Saddam Hussein-like dictator on the country

And the sad thing is, some of us predicted that before the invasion.

> making a mockery of Bush's 'freedom and democracy' crap

He doesn't care. That was just a retcon rationalization for consumption by a public that was starting to figure out that the original justification was a pack of lies.

> either way he ends up a laughing stock.

Ends up? He was a laughing stock before he ever took office.

Re:cutting out too soon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17047984)

/optimist: Maybe (unlikely) the US will admit it screwed up, request a UN mandate, and allow an international peace keeping force to step in and help administer Iraq till it can get back on its feet? :/optimist

Peace keeping forces are not deployed in the middle of a civil war. There's probably at this point no cure but to let the war run its course (perhaps dropping a UN-mandated smart bomb once in a while when one of the faction leaders gets to cocky and reveals his location).

All this civil war and human suffering was probably bound to happen after Saddam died of natural or unnatural causes, but I still hold the neocons responsible for triggering the event now by starting a hobby war without a proper plan.

Re: cutting out too soon? (2, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048138)

> Arguing about whether it was right for the US to invade Iraq is rather academic now - however, if the US quits now, you can expect it to be spun as a huge victory for radical Islam.

It's already a huge victory for radical Islam and general anti-US sentiment in the Middle East and elsewhere. Staying there for a few more years of killing and dying aren't going to help that in the least.

> It will also destroy what little credibility the US has left.

Tell us more about this credibility the US has left.

> Maybe (unlikely) the US will admit it screwed up, request a UN mandate, and allow an international peace keeping force to step in and help administer Iraq till it can get back on its feet?

There's not any peace to be kept. The peace-keeping force will be needed after the three major factions have self-organized the new division of power, and only minor skirmishing over local details remains.

The plots at the bottom of this page give a good feel for how much progress we've made in the past 3-1/2 years. "Stay the course" is just a strategy of trading lives indefinitely in order to avoid admitting to a world-class screw-up.

How many times in the past 3-1/2 years have we been told that "the next six months will be critical"? How many times have people cheered when an election or a high-profile capture gave the illusion of progress?

Is there the slightest reason to believe that the next six months, or 3-1/2 years, will be any different?

Frankly, I think Bush's strategy is to leave the problem for the next President, and then claim in his memoirs that we would have won if his successor hadn't cut and run. The neocons are already taking time out from their clamoring for a similar fuckup in Iran, to figure out who they can blame for the failure of their grandiose vision for Iraq.

Ooopsie (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048184)

> The plots at the bottom of this page give a good feel for how much progress we've made in the past 3-1/2 years.

Here [globalsecurity.org] is the link.

Re:cutting out too soon? (2, Insightful)

xoyoyo (949672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048292)

Actually the US has a UN mandate to be in Iraq. What it didn't have was a UN mandate to go in in the first place, unless you regard resolution 1441 as sufficient.

As far as spinning it as a victory for radical Islam: the US's presence is a victory for radical Islamists, providing endless streams of propaganda and recruits. US withdrawal might embolden the jihadists; but the damage has already been done. Withdrawal might also cause the Jihadi's backers to lose interest in them, much as the US lost interest int he mujahedeen after the AFghan war.

Concensus. Opposite of a census? (2, Funny)

aitsu (592587) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047866)

In light of the dreadful mortality rate in that country, I guess it wouldn't be so absurd if the word actually existed.

Re:Concensus. Opposite of a census? (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048102)

Dreadful mortality rate brought to you courtesy of Islamofascism via generous donations from Syria and Iran.

Re:Concensus. Opposite of a census? (2, Funny)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048272)

Stupidity on Slashdot brought to you by NeoFascist trolls via generous donations of talking points from the retard right.

Go team, go!

And the conSensus is ... (-1, Offtopic)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047872)

... that Slashdot editors can't spell

Re:And the conSensus is ... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048234)

... that Slashdot editors can't spell
Ummm. We didn't need a study group to figure that out.

If I had to predict the consensus, it would be something along the lines of:
      (wait for it)

      Somebody ought to do something.

Or maybe, "There otta be a law."

The phrase you're looking for is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17047876)

... vietnamization. That worked SO well...

Guess in 10-20 years Schonberg and Boublil will do Miss Baghdad?

You break it you buy it. (2, Insightful)

Guerilla* Napalm (762317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047894)

The US and their Allies went into Iraq, without any proof. They messed up the country (and profited from it) now they have to sort it out.

Re:You break it you buy it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17048152)

right. the country of Iraq was tops prior to the UK and US going in. crime and poverty were not heard of until the invasion, not to mention the high marks for civil rights, and the value of human life.

wanker.

Re:You break it you buy it. (1)

Guerilla* Napalm (762317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048344)

Iraq was in deep crap no doubt - but let's not pretend like the US or Allies actually offered proof that Iraq was involved with 911. The blatant profiteering alone should prove what dodgy reasons was behind the war. The Carlisle Groups' (Bush Sr, Cheney, etc etc) capital since 911 has gone from $11 - to $44 billion.

Re:You break it you buy it. (1, Troll)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048236)

Yes there was proof. Violations of 19 UN resolutions, breaking the no-fly zone, photographic evidence of torture and genocide. What more would you need?

By way, profited HOW? This is costing us, not making us money. The Oil for Food fiasco was profit motivated, not the deposizing of Saddam.

Re:You break it you buy it. (1)

Guerilla* Napalm (762317) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048434)

Of course there was genocide, and torture - hell the US put Saddam in power and provided him with weapons and training, despite knowing that he was using it on his own people. Yes Saddam broke UN resolutions,and he deserve to hang, but the reasons for going in (Iraq's alleged involvement in 911) has not been proven. Osama is still laying on a beach, drinking cocktails, and chasing young girls in short grass skirts.

Re:You break it you buy it. (2, Insightful)

bahwi (43111) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048440)

"By way, profited HOW? This is costing us, not making us money. The Oil for Food fiasco was profit motivated, not the deposizing of Saddam."

You mean, profited WHO. You misspelled who. I mean, c'mon, $25 and up hammers? I'm a more well informed buyer than the whole of the US Gov't? Are you kidding me? No, it didn't make the US any money, but tanks, armor, hammers, and other stuff, are not free. And in a no-bid situation, you're just throwing money away.

Who knows, Halliburton may have been the best one to go with, but since they had no incentive to cut any prices, as well as the other suppliers for this whole thing, because of the no-bid, there was no reason to cut prices.

Re: You break it you buy it. (2, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048330)

> The US and their Allies went into Iraq, without any proof. They messed up the country (and profited from it) now they have to sort it out.

I like that principle, but what do you do when you can' fix what you broke?

In other words (4, Informative)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047898)

what the study group is recommending is "cut and run" or possibly, "cut and walk".


Not that it really matters since Bush is already planning to ignore what the study group says [washingtonpost.com] . He'll just continue to "Stay the course".

Re:In other words (4, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048174)

what the study group is recommending is "cut and run" or possibly, "cut and walk".

Not that it really matters since Bush is already planning to ignore what the study group says. He'll just continue to "Stay the course".


You are correct. Bush will ignore what the panel recommends and force the next president to do it.

I considered myself to be pretty much a "yellow dog Republican" prior to this election. For you non-USAers, the short explanation of this term means that you would vote for anyone, even a yellow dog, as long as they run under a particular party's banner. I have to give the Republicans credit that whoever invented the "cut and run" statement was able with 3 words to stop all rational discussion of the issue by turning it into a debate on cowardness. All anyone has to do is say "cut and run" and rational debate is over because it's now been shifted into an emotional issue. What finally did it for me and made me vote Democrat a few weeks ago was that I concluded that Henry Kissinger is right that Iraq is not winnable in a conventional sense. More troops won't shore up the porous borders around Iraq that allow the non-stop flow of weapons that are fueling the Shiite-Sunni civil war. The Republicans try to fear monger that the second we leave, Al Queda will come in, but I finally concluded that we aren't stopping Al Queda right now anyway, so why are we still there?

Unfortunately I didn't realize this until after the 2004 elections where I foolishly voted for Bush, but I finally figured out last year exactly why he does what he does. There is a small subset of people who see the world in black and white. He is one of those people. Most people don't see the world in black and white, so they don't know what it is like to deal with these people because there aren't a lot of them. People who see the world in black and white don't agonize over any decisions. They make their minds up very quickly and rarely change them. If they do change them, they go completely to the other side. Ever heard of former smokers who now compaign non-stop to stop everyone, everywhere from smoking? That's kind of how these people are when they change their minds. The biggest problem with these people who see everything in black and white is that they are completely unable to see the viewpoint of anyone who disagrees with them. It's because to them, everything is crystal clear and it's so clear that if you don't see it that way, you must be crazy. Any dissenting words are just "crazy talk" and their minds are completely closed. This is why Bush says things like "If you aren't with us, you're against us." He sees everything in black and white. Once Chaney and Rumsfield and a few others convinced him that Iraq had to be invaded, it was game over. He'll never back down because to him, it's all crystal clear that he was right to go to Iraq and to leave is wrong. I'm amazed that more people don't understand this about Bush. Once you grasp how he sees the world, it's not difficult to understand what he'll do. It explains why he refuses to talk to North Korea except in those bogus "6 party talks". He's made up his mind that the 6 party talks are the only way to resolve it and he can't conceive of a one-on-one approach because that's "crazy talk". Bush is never going to remove troops from Iraq because to him, the issue is clear cut. He's right, his opponents are wrong, end of story.

a documentary about the Iraqi civil war.. (2, Informative)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047916)

Was produced a few years ago by Al-Jazeera, well, technically it's not about Iraq but Lebanon.

http://fineartfilm.com/index.php?main_page=product _info&products_id=59 [fineartfilm.com]

(or watch it on google video)
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=war+of+leban on [google.com]

There are 15 episodes, about 12 hours long with english subtitles.. so sit back and enjoy how history repeats itself.. the stage moved to the left, a bit, but it's the same story happening all over again. Iraqi society descending into chaos, neighbourhoods dividing along sectarian lines, intervening regional powers, oh and lots of blood.

Re:a documentary about the Iraqi civil war.. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047980)

"Was produced a few years ago by Al-Jazeera, well, technically it's not about Iraq but Lebanon"

Which makes all the difference in the world.

Re:a documentary about the Iraqi civil war.. (1)

gump59 (174359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048280)

Enjoy your all expenses paid vacation in scenic Cuba after watching the video.

My plan for Iraq (2, Funny)

RevMike (632002) | more than 7 years ago | (#17047964)

I've been a hawk since day one, and don't regret that. I do think that the aftermath of the military victory was handled poorly. I think that completely dismissing the Army and police and starting over new was a bad idea, and helped the insurgency get hold.

That being said, at this point I don't think we have the ability to stop Iraq from descending into civil war. The chaos and widespread murder is unacceptable, and I don't how we can stop it and preserve Iraq as a single entity.

The RevMike Plan

Divide Iraq into three regions. Kurdistan in the north, which would include the border areas around Mosul, the northern oil fields, etc. A central/western Sunni Arab area, and a southern/eastern Shiite Arab area, including the southern oil fields. There might be a treaty that says that the governments of all three areas split the oil revenue by some formula.

The establishment of a Kurdistan is really going to piss off Iran. Good. It will also piss off Turkey. Sucks to be them. Maybe they should have let us invade through the north too, a couple of years ago.

I'm not as worried about the Shiite dominated area. I think that, in the long run, Arab/Persian tension will keep them from being dominated by Iran. It would be nice to have alternative leadership for the Shiite world.

As for the Sunni area? They basically become irrelevant, especially since Baghdad will become Shiite. The Saudis will likely step in and offer some sort of support to stabilize this area.

As part of the deal, anyone who want to move will be given the chance. At the end of it, the two Arab regions should be fairly homogeneous, and the whole religious/ethnic issue will be gone. The Kurd dominated area is already fairly secure, and likely would remain so. The Arabs, Turkmen, and Christians in this are fairly well integrated minorities.

Re:My plan for Iraq (5, Insightful)

AoT (107216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048078)

I'm not as worried about the Shiite dominated area. I think that, in the long run, Arab/Persian tension will keep them from being dominated by Iran. It would be nice to have alternative leadership for the Shiite world.

You should be worried, of course given your apparent dearth of knowledge about the region it is no surprise you see it that way. But here's the problem: Saudi Arabia also has Shi'a areas. And, surprise, surprise, those area have oil. You separate the Shi'a in Iraq and they get a base of operations to foment resistance to the Saudi regime.

As for the Sunni area? They basically become irrelevant, especially since Baghdad will become Shiite. The Saudis will likely step in and offer some sort of support to stabilize this area.

Wow, tacit approval of ethnic cleansing, nice.

All in all you seem to miss the point, the US in reality has no say on whether Iraq splits or not, there is and will continue to be a civil war which will decide these matters.

Re:My plan for Iraq (1)

Peeteriz (821290) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048098)

Such plan was considered in the very beginning, because even when the war was in process, the Kurds already had secured/liberated much of their territory - however, this was considered politically impossible because Turkey - NATO main ally in the region, from whose bases the war logistics were supplied - is completely opposed to an independent Kurd country. And so USA won't do this even now (although the Kurd movement rightfully can feel betrayed by this).

Word of advice from old British Empire... (5, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048148)

"Divide Iraq into three regions"

Word of advice from the British Empire: things get really sticky later on down the line when outsiders draw lines on maps and tell locals how it's going to be.

Re: Word of advice from old British Empire... (1)

gidds (56397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048276)

Oh, I dunno, division seemed to go pretty well as a strategy.

Except for Ireland, obviously.

And Cyprus.

And India was a bit dodgy.

And Palestine, of course...

(Though to be fair, in at least the first of those cases, the boundary was self-selected AIUI, not imposed.)

Re:My plan for Iraq (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048190)


As part of the deal, anyone who want to move will be given the chance.

Yep. That solution went smooth as goose shit when the Brits pulled out of India.

What's sad is that a long running India/Pakistan type scenario is looking pretty attractive, in relative terms.

Re: My plan for Iraq (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048274)

IOW, your "plan" is to hope for something similar to what the civil war is ultimately going to produce.

Re:My plan for Iraq (1)

tjl2015 (673427) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048376)

Logically, I think that's probably the best option. Iraq is completely artificial. There is really no logical reason to try so hard to preserve it as a unified nation. This is a problem in a lot of the developing world, and has been the cause of most of the African civil wars and conflicts of the post-colonial era. What it boils down to is that if you go and ask some random person on the street what they are, if they were to honestly reply, they would not say 'Iraqi.' They would say 'a Sunni living in a Iraq' or 'a Kurd living in Iraq.'


Logically, if we were trying to do what's best for Iraq, we should divide the country, try to minimize the violence and arrange some sort of orderly migration process, wish them the best, and get the hell out as fast as we can.

However, I don't think our leaders want to do this. They want to maintain a large, active military presence in the region. They want to be able to massively bomb Tehran on a few hours notice. They want to go to all negotiations involving the Middle East while carrying the metaphorical giant club. Iraq is only one piece in a much larger puzzle. The neocons really didn't like the way Saddam acted in the 90s, firing at our planes while we patrolled the no-fly zone. They would ideally like to maintain this occupation indefinately, or until the oil runs out.

Re:My plan for Iraq (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048394)

I've been a hawk since day one, and don't regret that

That's one good sign of mental illness.

News just in from Fox News (5, Funny)

pubjames (468013) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048072)

Speaking from the Whitehouse lawn, President George Bush made a surprise statement today.

"Today's report from the Iraq Study Group has highlighted something that has been on my mind for sometime - my Iraq strategy has failed. I think the right thing for me to do is to apologise to all those people who, during the build-up to our invasion, warned me both publicly and privately that my strategy was unsound and the basis for it wrong. Members of the U.N. weapons inspectors - Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, I would like to apologise to you for deliberately undermining you. Jacques Chirac - Jacques, you were right, and I'm sorry that my adminstration went out of their way to mock you. My good friend Tony Blair, who chose to stand by me even when I acted like a bully and knew you had deep reservations about my decisions. To all of you, I hope you accept my sincere apology."

Re: News just in from Fox News (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048302)

"And as for all of you dead people, your nearest surviving kin (if any) can accept the apology for you by proxy."

Legality of sources? (2, Interesting)

jbarr (2233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048106)

While I certainly respect and uphold the /. notion of us controlling government instead of government controlling us, I question why media outlets like the New York Times and others continually print "leaked" memos and information without any consequence? The only explanation is that this "leaked" information, much of which is reportedly classified, is intentionally leaked. When is it considered a security breach, and when is it considered propaganda? Every time I hear someone question the legality of this (on talk radio and such), the respondents never actually address the fact that the information was leaked, only commenting about the leaked information. Shouldn't media outlets be accountable to and responsible for what they publish? I am absolutely for protecting freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but those freedoms are not always without consequence.

Re:Legality of sources? (1)

drewzhrodague (606182) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048218)

People are willing to *die* in order to release information. Of course, people are willing to kill to keep it quiet.

Surefire method for stabilizing a house of cards (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048144)

let it become a pile of cards.

Why we are really there. (5, Insightful)

tjl2015 (673427) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048164)

I supported the conflict initially, but have since come to realize how foolish this little adventure was. Ultimately, we were duped into believing we could do the impossible. The main problem is that Iraq is an artificial state, with little real unifying history, religion, or any common identity. It was created by the European powers at the end of World War I, following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. It was created arbitrarily, for the sole convenience of the Western powers, with complete disregard to ethnicity and religion. THAT's the problem with Iraq. This is a problem at the very root of society. You can't drop some troops in there, and expect a vibrant, healthy democracy to just magically spring out of the Euphrates.

I think occupations can create democracies, by holding a diverse group of people together long enough to develop a common identity. It was done by some European powers, take India for example. The problem is that this sort of colonialism takes a large-scale occupation, much larger than we have now, for a time span of MULTIPLE DECADES. This is economically, strategically, and politically impossible in the modern era.

In order to hold this unstable country together, you either have to be a brutal dictator like Sadam or act like the freaking Romans. I suspect if every time a US soldier was killed we rounded up and killed 500 random people, the resistance would end quite quickly. However, any nation created this way will only last as long as that threat of force is present.

Ultimately, I think the people in charge of this whole charade knew this was going to happen all along. In the minds of the neocons who started this whole thing, the people of Iraq are just one piece in a puzzle. You'll notice lately that US troop casualties have been falling while Iraqi casualties have been rising. This is because our troops have been retreating to fewer, larger bases, performing fewer daily patrols, and patrol in more heavily armored convoys. The insurgents have gone for easier targets, Iraqi army members, and mainly, innocent civilians. Sunnis fight Shiia, Shiia fight Sunnis, the Kurds just want out entirely, and everyone wants a piece of the non-uniformly distributed oil resources.

I think the military is really content to sit back and watch as Iraq destroys itself, while the US troops serve their purpose, guarding the valuable oil pipelines. For the people in charge, as long as the crude is flowing, the whole country might as well just drop dead. Also, the troops presence serves a second important function. By having a large troop presence in the center of the Middle East, the pentagon intends to keep Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and all the major powers in line. While our boys on the ground fight for their lives trying to help the Iraqi people, the people at the top are looking at grand strategic goals.

And that is why we went there in the first place. Not WMDs, not democracy, not anything else. Our troops are there to stabilize Iraq's oil flow, and to keep the whole region in line, stabilizing the larger oil supply. The Iraqi people are meaningless. Our troops will be behind high walls and thick armor, while the rest of the country degenerates into pure chaos.

Re:Why we are really there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17048284)

you think, captain obvious?

Re:Why we are really there. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048310)

"I think occupations can create democracies, by holding a diverse group of people together long enough to develop a common identity."

We can't even 'create a common identity' in Northern Ireland, which Britain has occupied for centuries.

"It was done by some European powers, take India for example."

You mean the India we had to split up into two different countries when we pulled out, where perhaps a million or more people died in the violence before it stabilised (so many that no-one has accurate figures), and where the parts we created are now pointing nuclear missiles at each other?

Or were you talking about a different India that I wasn't previously aware of?

Re:Why we are really there. (2, Insightful)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048384)

I'm glad to see that some people are capable of changing their minds, can I ask what made you support the war in the first place ?

Re:Why we are really there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17048432)

I suspect if every time a US soldier was killed we rounded up and
killed 500 random people the resistance would end quite quickly.


Certainly works for Israel!

Fighting invasion -- Iraqi style (1)

mi (197448) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048240)

We'll be killing each other, until the invaders are humiliated and withdraw in shame.

We Did It! (1)

organgtool (966989) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048338)

To all of you naysayers out there who said that the war was hopeless and our leaders' plans lacked foresight, you should be kicking yourselves. The U.S. clearly achieved all of its objectives and can happily retreat^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hwithdraw. This just proves that you should not question your leaders because they know what they are doing. I bet the president's approval rating is going to skyrocket when word gets out about our victory!

Typo? (1)

scottennis (225462) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048342)

FTA

"The administration does not want to be in the position of having to adapt all of the Iraq Study Group report's recommendations, U.S. officials say, and its own review will provide an opportunity to pick and choose options."

Shouldn't that be "adopt" instead of "adapt"? Big difference.

Someone at the Washington Post is relying too much on spell checker instead of actually reading their own work.

meh (1, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048400)

I'll wait until I actually read the report.

Considering the source (NYT), I am highly skeptical of their 'summary' of such a report.

If this report said something on the order of:
1. rebuild Iraqi army
2. rebuild Iraqi police force
3. stabilize civil situation
4. exterminate/disarm Shia/Sunni factions.
(...)
88. Paint the house
89. Walk the dog
90. Reduce American force deployments in Iraq

the NYT would summarise as "Bush is a poopyhead; Iraq Study Group agrees with NYT that US forces in Iraq should be REDUCED immediately!"

Remember, this is the 'newspaper of record' that somehow failed to publicize that the Congressional committee on prewar intel found that the original claims of the administration were widely held at the time to be accurate & that Robert Wilson (you know, Mr Valerie Plame) was a self-aggrandizing liar.

Guerilla warfare (1)

andphi (899406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048406)

From TFSummary: "out of the line of fire"

Which would be where, exactly? Bahrain? Qatar?

I'm sorry, but when they're blowing up fricking supply trucks, there is no "line of fire". It's a field of fire, and it accounts for large portions of where our soldiers would have to be anyway. Such is guerilla warfare. It's not the Battle of Waterloo, or even Gettysburg, or even Vietnam. It's a different war with its own rules - the b(l)ogosphere and instant mass punditry being among them.

this should be interesting (4, Insightful)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 7 years ago | (#17048482)

After being entertained for years by the notion that to leave Iraq, or pull back, or draw down, or really anything other than what Bush was doing would be "cutting and running" and "emboldening the terrorists," I'm curious to see how Bush pulling troops back will be called something other than cutting and running. My guess is that they'll (they being neoconservatives) declare victory and trumpet Bush's genius, then lament the incompetence of the new Congress in letting Iraq descend into civil war.

Since we never really had an objective, it would be easy to declare victory no matter the outcome. Disarm Saddam of his WMD? Done--before we even arrived! Regime change? Done. Would've been done sooner, if we hadn't armed and financed him, but let's not dwell on fine points. Pay him back for his support of Al Queida and his role in 9-11? Er, okay, bad example.

But PR can do anything. All they have to do is say "We won! Bush is a great leader!" and trumpet it over and over and over and over, while acting indignant that anyone would ever suggest that Bush, Cheney, and the neoconservatives bear any responsibility at all for anything bad that happened in Iraq (though we can credit them for every flower that bloomed, it seems) and eventually people will come around. If there is ethnic cleansing and tens or hundreds of thousands killed in internecine war, it's not as if the US population is going to sit down and say, "well hell, our President is responsible for that." People consider themselves and the government they voted for responsible for the noble things they meant to do, not what they did. A school opened and a child got a puppy? That's because of George Bush, God bless him. That kid gets killed later that day by a rocket? Not us, Bub. This isn't new--how many Americans felt responsible for the Khmer Rouge? How many Americans care that American financiers helped Hitler? There won't be a reckoning, because there never is. It's too easy to pat ourselves on the back for our nobler motives, and ignore what our decisions actually resulted in.

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