Jump to content

Reprieve!


Walsingham

Recommended Posts

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6682597.stm

 

Nice to see Congress back off, even if it appears to be mainly motivated by a drive to tack on even more ridiculous riders to the bill. You chaps REALLY need to do something about that.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know, whatever they do in Iraq it seems doomed to failure. They have been talking about 'improving security' so all the other rebuilding plans could get under way for eons. The thing is, security isen't going to be improved on anything other than a temporary basis by any measure that the US can produce. There are forces in Iraq who are positively thrilled to have americans there to shoot at, in addition to the mounting sectarian violence.

 

More time no longer brings any promise of resolution.

 

Although, there are areas where the occupation have brought progress and stability, like the Kurdish controlled region for instance.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It kind of pisses me off that Congress lost their balls on this. I would much rather have them fight tooth and nail against the president all the way till he leaves office.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/6682597.stm

 

Nice to see Congress back off, even if it appears to be mainly motivated by a drive to tack on even more ridiculous riders to the bill. You chaps REALLY need to do something about that.

Heh, then nothing would EVER get done! Wait a min... that would be a GOOD thing!

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Dems who control Congress want all the blame for starting and losing the war to fall on the White House. Had they kept insisting on a withdrawal date, the GOP would've accused them of being responsible for America's defeat. Passing the withdrawal date once and forcing Bush to veto it was a sound political move-- it reassures their base they they're committed to ending the war, and it gets GOP incumbents in Congress on the record as voting to continue the war, which should help Democratic challengers in '08. I'm not a big fan of the unrelated riders on the supplimental appropriation (for one thing, it makes it a damn nuisance to actually find these laws when you're looking for them-- rather than having an independent Public Law number, these add-ons will be additional Titles on one big, honking piece of legislation), but the additional oversight on the conduct of the war and on the Iraqi government is probably a good thing.

 

That's the political strategy analysis. As for what is actually in the best interests of America, I frankly have no idea. I suspect that there simply are not, and never will be, enough troops in Iraq to really make the kind of victory the White House expected possible. The question then becomes what marginal improvements do the presence of U.S. troops make in the stability and viability of Iraq as a state? And do those improvements justify the cost in lives and dollars?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was talking to a civil construction chap who knows a small amount about these things and he said the big mistake was in giving the construction money to big American contractors for reconstruction. They have taken the money up front and then complain about a lack of security. Security which can only reliably come with reconstruction! The only reliable schemes would have been either military engineers frrom the get-go, or small loans of materials and cash to locals.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was talking to a civil construction chap who knows a small amount about these things and he said the big mistake was in giving the construction money to big American contractors for reconstruction. They have taken the money up front and then complain about a lack of security. Security which can only reliably come with reconstruction! The only reliable schemes would have been either military engineers frrom the get-go, or small loans of materials and cash to locals.

Well, I'll defend DOD to the extend that they really don't have the engineers, equipment, personnel, etc., to do all that stuff themselves. It's just not economical for the Department either to keep all those people on staff and all that equipment in inventory permanently, or to acquire them quickly enough for use in a particular deployment. And there are serious reliability problems in hiring locals. That the sort of stuff that contractors should be doing.

 

However, the way that these contracts have been awarded, written, and administered has been dreadful. Contract oversight, generally, is a big problem in the U.S. government, and particularly in DOD. The Government just doesn't have enough qualified personnel to oversee and administer all its contracts effectively (and the best people are usually lured away to the private sector where they can make three times the salary), and overworked or inexperienced contracting officers are often under huge pressure just to get fast results, which generally leads them to do whatever the big contractors want. It's a pretty un-sexy reform topic, too, so it never seems to make it very high on agency priorities.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, maybe if everyone worked towards a peaceful resolution of the Sunni/Shi'ite schism, we might see some progress. The US needs to create an image as a nation willing to help Islam grow and be stable, rather than that of interfering Christians. But hey, that's just my two cents on the whole war thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, maybe if everyone worked towards a peaceful resolution of the Sunni/Shi'ite schism, we might see some progress. The US needs to create an image as a nation willing to help Islam grow and be stable, rather than that of interfering Christians. But hey, that's just my two cents on the whole war thing.

 

I could agree to that.

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

 

- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

 

"I have also been slowly coming to the realisation that knowledge and happiness are not necessarily coincident, and quite often mutually exclusive" - meta

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, maybe if everyone worked towards a peaceful resolution of the Sunni/Shi'ite schism, we might see some progress. The US needs to create an image as a nation willing to help Islam grow and be stable, rather than that of interfering Christians. But hey, that's just my two cents on the whole war thing.

I happened to be in Saudi Arabia in 1991 while in the military. One of the Saudi air traffic controllers (British educated as it happens) once told me that if a Sunni and Shi'a were to meet on a road and Allah told each that the other was the last of his kind, they would fight to the death. How does one begin to make peace between them?

Edited by Guard Dog

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How does one begin to make peace between them?

 

 

You can't. All you can do is get out of the way and let the two groups fight and kill each other till they are sick of fighting and killing.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, maybe if everyone worked towards a peaceful resolution of the Sunni/Shi'ite schism, we might see some progress. The US needs to create an image as a nation willing to help Islam grow and be stable, rather than that of interfering Christians. But hey, that's just my two cents on the whole war thing.

I happened to be in Saudi Arabia in 1991 while in the military. One of the Saudi air traffic controllers (British educated as it happens) once told me that if a Sunni and Shi'a were to meet on a road and Allah told each that the other was the last of his kind, they would fight to the death. How does one begin to make peace between them?

 

I'm pretty sure you could have told that same story a few hundred years ago with a protestant and a catholic. The first step is identifying with the problem and realizing that Christianity is really not all that different. If we look back at the past, we might be able to find some keys to unlocking a more peaceful future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, maybe if everyone worked towards a peaceful resolution of the Sunni/Shi'ite schism, we might see some progress. The US needs to create an image as a nation willing to help Islam grow and be stable, rather than that of interfering Christians. But hey, that's just my two cents on the whole war thing.

I happened to be in Saudi Arabia in 1991 while in the military. One of the Saudi air traffic controllers (British educated as it happens) once told me that if a Sunni and Shi'a were to meet on a road and Allah told each that the other was the last of his kind, they would fight to the death. How does one begin to make peace between them?

 

I'm pretty sure you could have told that same story a few hundred years ago with a protestant and a catholic. The first step is identifying with the problem and realizing that Christianity is really not all that different. If we look back at the past, we might be able to find some keys to unlocking a more peaceful future.

The difference is, no third party convinced the Protestants and Catholics to forget their enmity.

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not to go OT Meta, but did you know Islamophobia is actually a word in the english language now. Who would have thought.

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How does one begin to make peace between them?

 

 

You can't. All you can do is get out of the way and let the two groups fight and kill each other till they are sick of fighting and killing.

 

Have you any idea what genocide is like, or are you just sitting comfortably and sterilely consigning millions of weak vulnerable and innocent people to be caught up in your asinine grand tutorial?

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think they are lesser people, meta. Human is human.

 

Human beings are a violent race up to the point in which the violence is too much for them to handle. May it be on the individual scale or that of nations. Some remarkable individuals have moved past inherit violence within ourselves. As well as equally remarkable people, though in a negative manner, have embraced it.

 

I am just saying that a third party cannot help those who who do not seek help. We cannot force peace to those who do not want peace. The choice is up to the Sunnis and the Shiites if they want peace or not. The moderates who do not want to be part of the fighting would be best served by getting them out of the way, as would we all. Those who are so determined to kill cannot be persuaded by words or deed, unless that deed is to put them down six feet under.

Murphy's Law of Computer Gaming: The listed minimum specifications written on the box by the publisher are not the minimum specifications of the game set by the developer.

 

@\NightandtheShape/@ - "Because you're a bizzare strange deranged human?"

Walsingham- "Sand - always rushing around, stirring up apathy."

Joseph Bulock - "Another headache, courtesy of Sand"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I happened to be in Saudi Arabia in 1991 while in the military. One of the Saudi air traffic controllers (British educated as it happens) once told me that if a Sunni and Shi'a were to meet on a road and Allah told each that the other was the last of his kind, they would fight to the death. How does one begin to make peace between them?

Shia and Sunni co-exist peacefully in most Gulf States at least. There are increased tensions between them now because each feels their co-religionists are under attack from the other in Iraq. The solution is not to stir up a bloody civil war in Iraq, but of course no-one saw that coming when the US invaded, except oops actually yes they did.

 

Is this decision a reprieve? I can see how for tactical reasons you might not want to announce in advance your exit date, so perhaps the Democrats' proposal wasn't ideal, but the coalition needs to get out of Iraq and quickly. Of course no-one can be sure of what will happen afterwards - but then, no-one's sure what will happen next anyway. I wonder if the US' greatest fear in leaving Iraq isn't the loss of the sense of control, however illusory that sense is. What exactly is it that coalition troops are currently doing in Iraq that its cessation upon their withdrawal will lead to disaster?

 

Once the coalition goes, however, my own view is that there won't be a massive bloodbath, because there are too many actors within and outside Iraq who have an interest in preventing it. What's more likely is endless rounds of negotiations and peace talks, sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and whoever else feels like it - the insurgents will feel flattered to be invited, they'll continue with low-grade violence just to keep themselves important but won't escalate. That's my prediction, for what it's worth.

 

As a matter of interest, I read in the paper today that the US government is toying with the idea of changing tack in Iraq to treat it like a civil war - with the US trying to broker deals between the factions rather than simply siding with the Iraqi government. I'm glad they're coming to accept that it's a civil war, especially after they were so rude and dismissive about those of us who've been calling it a civil war for a while now. However, the coalition needs to understand that they are not, and cannot for a long time be, regarded as honest brokers in the Middle East. Their clout may still be such that their approval for deals needs to be sought, but honest brokers? Not this half-century.

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I happened to be in Saudi Arabia in 1991 while in the military. One of the Saudi air traffic controllers (British educated as it happens) once told me that if a Sunni and Shi'a were to meet on a road and Allah told each that the other was the last of his kind, they would fight to the death. How does one begin to make peace between them?

Shia and Sunni co-exist peacefully in most Gulf States at least. There are increased tensions between them now because each feels their co-religionists are under attack from the other in Iraq. The solution is not to stir up a bloody civil war in Iraq, but of course no-one saw that coming when the US invaded, except oops actually yes they did.

 

Is this decision a reprieve? I can see how for tactical reasons you might not want to announce in advance your exit date, so perhaps the Democrats' proposal wasn't ideal, but the coalition needs to get out of Iraq and quickly. Of course no-one can be sure of what will happen afterwards - but then, no-one's sure what will happen next anyway. I wonder if the US' greatest fear in leaving Iraq isn't the loss of the sense of control, however illusory that sense is. What exactly is it that coalition troops are currently doing in Iraq that its cessation upon their withdrawal will lead to disaster?

 

Once the coalition goes, however, my own view is that there won't be a massive bloodbath, because there are too many actors within and outside Iraq who have an interest in preventing it. What's more likely is endless rounds of negotiations and peace talks, sponsored by Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and whoever else feels like it - the insurgents will feel flattered to be invited, they'll continue with low-grade violence just to keep themselves important but won't escalate. That's my prediction, for what it's worth.

 

As a matter of interest, I read in the paper today that the US government is toying with the idea of changing tack in Iraq to treat it like a civil war - with the US trying to broker deals between the factions rather than simply siding with the Iraqi government. I'm glad they're coming to accept that it's a civil war, especially after they were so rude and dismissive about those of us who've been calling it a civil war for a while now. However, the coalition needs to understand that they are not, and cannot for a long time be, regarded as honest brokers in the Middle East. Their clout may still be such that their approval for deals needs to be sought, but honest brokers? Not this half-century.

Correct me if I'm wrong Steve. My expertise in the ME is a little outdated and limited only to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (and then only to small remote parts) but in most gulf states the overwhelming majority of any population is one sect or the other. Iraq was unusual because the minority sect held all the power for so many years. Plus ,as I understand it, Sunnis and Shi'as self segregate as a rule and in their day to day lives seldom interact with each other. Of the Saudi officers I worked with in 91 few were very friendly but the ones I did talk to really were not that into religion (imo) so it never really came up.

"While it is true you learn with age, the down side is what you often learn is what a damn fool you were before"

Thomas Sowell

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if you're wrong. I have heard, and this is purely anecdotal and I have no evidence to back this up, but I've heard other ex-pats say that governments tend to fiddle the statistics so the minority, whatever it is, is fewer in number on paper than it really is. Apparently 5% of Saudi Arabia in Shia in the official statistics, but colleagues who've worked in the east of the country don't believe it. But yes, Bahrain's the other region state with a majority Shia population and a ruling Sunni family, but in most countries governments are dominated by the majority religion. My experience of Shias and Sunnis is limited because I tend to avoid controversy in the classroom, but I've had Shia and Sunni students together in class without a problem, and I know they work together in major corportaions without problem. I don't know if they mix socially, perhaps not. But they do seem to co-exist peacefully, even if there is the potential for conflict to develop. That said, my exposure is to the relatively well-educated middle class, so how representative they are is unclear.

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To perhaps answer both Steve and Sand I think you give too little credit to the job the troops are doing. Every day in live fire contacts and in small tasks of reconstruction and assurance they are providing fleeting contributions towards civilisation. It is also a mistake to perceive the entire country as bound up in destruction all the time. Quite simply it is coalition forces that are presently the only serious barrier to armed gangs pushing aside the _elected_ representatives of the people.

 

As to Sand's contention that peace can only come about through getting bored of war I think you give war too little credit for its qualities of diversion. Afghanistan has been more or less at war constantly for the last 600 years. They are to be sure growing tired of it, but not so tired that anyone wants to be the first to quit in the face of their longstanding opponents. Some wars, but especially fueding wars are very slow burning. They are like underground coal fires that provide their own oxygen.

 

I often find it instructive to refer to friends who have studied older British history. We did not ascend into civilisation because we got bored of savagery. We were pacified with either force or the threat of force. Once in a restless state of peace we were gradually tamed by careful social engineering and meat pies. I can't overemphasise the pies.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...