Social Issues - Patriotism - When Is It Patriotic To Quit?

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posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 12:33 PM
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Hint: When you cause more harm that the good you do.

The other day I heard that killing people because of religious differences is no longer much of a problem in the world, Darfur aside. There is no place today where a person will be killed because of what he thinks or believes about the Divinity. That was once a popular practice in Europe (and elsewhere) until the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 when they hit upon a solution. “The religion of the king was the religion of his people.” There is a Latin phrase for that, but it escapes me. Religio de Regnum? Except for a few instances, that ended the religious wars in Europe that started after 1517. What it meant was the Popes would stop contriving to have Protestants killed. And vice versa.

This person went on to say the reasons for the current civil war in Iraq is the re-ordering of power sharing. It’s not a religious war. Muslims no longer kill one another over who was the proper successor to the Holy Prophet. But which struggle in Iraq is directly related to the location of the oil fields. It is just coincidence religious labels more or less identify the groups and the oil. By brute force and excessive violence Saddam had imposed his own power sharing solution. In the north, the Kurds number slightly less than 20%, and in the central and west the Sunni, numbering slightly more than 20%, and in the east and south the Shia number about 60% of the population.

Those 3 disparate groups have never thought of themselves as Iraqi. (Iraq was created in 1922 by the UK.) They knew they lived in a place called Iraq - as defined by outsiders - but that did not make them or anyone an Iraqi. They were descended from different tribes. What today we call ethnicity. Culture, heritage, tradition all mixed with DNA. Commonality? Language and religion (not including the Kurds). Iraq was always a region inhabited by three different ethnic groups. After WW1, it was combined into one place for the administrative convenience of the United Kingdom. That did not unite the people.

Iran is the “natural” hegemonic power in its region. By natural I mean it is the largest by population, very large in area and replete with that natural resource over which we are arguing or bottom line, fighting, oil. Although Iranians say they are Persians, and speak Farsi, so as to be distinguished from Arabs, who speak Aramaic, the speaker said that is a local preference and is not supported anthropologically. DNA wise, Arabs and Persians are the same. And if you can read Farsi, you can read Aramaic. About 30% of the spoken words are close enough to make basic level communications possible. Like A Frenchman speaking to an Italian. And etc.

It is true that Iran is the current center of the Shia sect of Islam. (In Comparative Religion 101, Sunni more nearly resembles Protestantism, while Shia more nearly resembles Catholicism.) It is also true there is a competition for dominance of Islam between the Shia and the Sunni. OK, skip all that. It is an aside. It adds nothing to the problem we face in Iraq and in the region. They may kill each other, but not because of how one person views the Holy Prophet. Its more mundane than that.

Today’s news
says the Kurd president has taken down the Iraq flag and replaced it with the Kurdistan flag. Although the Kurds are playing along with the fiction they are still a part of Iraq - an autonomous region - it is not true on the ground. Kurds are Muslim, but I don’t now which sect. It is not important to the Kurds. By the by, I heard also that Kurdistan is a beautiful place much like the foothills of the Alps. The Kurd region hopes to become a tourist mecca and is in contact with Holiday Inns. Hmm? Maybe I should not through “Mecca” around too casually?

What have we learned since the Nine Eleven Event? It is universally agreed that Saddam had no truck with Osama. It is a simple fact there were no WMDs in Iraq. Up to March 18, 2003, Iraq was the only real counter-poise to Iran and its hegemonic aspirations. Each country had suffered grievously during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War. Ostensibly fought over the control of an island in the Persian Gulf, to which Iraq wanted access but which Iran denied, the war ended in a stalemate and nearly 900,000 total KIA. Ironically, the US surreptitiously supported Iran and openly supported Iraq, the aggressor.

Where are we today? Iraq is effectively divided into 3 distinct zones. The north is held securely by the Kurds. The west is held not so securely by the Shia and the capital and east are in dispute. Before the US launched its pre-emptive strike on March 18, 2003, the US was widely respected not only for its good deeds, but for its superior military might. 10 super carriers and 2 more abuilding! But now, the US is shown to be incapable of subduing an estimated 30,000 insurgents from around the Islamic world. Our mighty army, with all the technology unlimited funds will buy, is unable to stop the killing in Iraq. Visitors to America’s headquarter are unable to leave the Green Zone. There have been assaults into that so-called secured perimeter. This sounds exactly like Saigon, 6,000 miles east and 40 years ago.

What’s our plan? Although we managed to capture Hussein and to kill Zarqawi (murdered IMO) the insurgency did not get “better” as Bush43 so promptly announced on the tv. It has gotten much worse. And despite Gen. Casey mimicking Rumsfeld and Cheney, there is no reason to think that after 18 more months, it will be resolved to our satisfaction. Sec Rice is strangely silent in this run up to November 7. I guess you’d say she is working behind the scenes.

We have broken an egg in Iraq, and we can’t reassemble it. We are making an omelet not to our own liking, but if you can concede we cannot make it better, then is it not better to give it up, and stop our own losses if we cannot stop the other killing around Iraq. If we can’t be winners, at lest let us be decent.



[edit on 9/2/2006 by donwhite]




posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 12:40 PM
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Patriotism aside, the issue here is commitment. To quit now would be the same mistake we made with Vietnam, which has convinced our enemies that the US does not have the will to see through any protracted effort in the defense of our interests or our allies. Quitting is the cowards tack.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 01:01 PM
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posted by GradyPhilpott

" . . the issue here is commitment. To quit now would be the same mistake we made with Vietnam, which has convinced our enemies that the US does not have the will to see through any protracted effort in the defense of our interests or our allies. Quitting is the cowards tack.



1) Commitment.
Hmm? The US “gave” 59,000 of our own, and killed 1,000,000 by our estimate and 3,000,000 by theirs. How much more commitment is there to give anywhere? Even if that cut and run in 1975 “proved” we lacked the will to see a protracted struggle through to conclusion, let us not confuse WW2 with the Korean War, Vietnam and Iraq. Some wars do not lend themselves to the kind of conclusion we are ever so sincerely attempting to script. Despite our unwillingness to confront it, we are not the only ones blessed with a proper vision of the future or of the world. We may think so, but it is obvious not everyone agrees.

2) Cowardice. I see nothing cowardly in admitting to a mistake. It fact it is just the opposite. It is courageous to admit error. Assuming we will never do that - we have not in Vietnam - then let us do what the anti-Vietnam people suggested, declare victory and begin coming home. Actually, the person I’m taking most of this from suggested we move up to Kurdistan - you know where I mean - and keep a modest force there for a variety of reasons. Otherwise, let us leave the southern 2/3rds of Iraq to the people who live there to work out as they will.


[edit on 9/2/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 01:06 PM
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I'm not trying to convince you of anything, don. I 'm just giving my opinion. The truth always prevails. Eventually, either ourselves or our progeny will understand clearly what the correct course was or should have been.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 01:13 PM
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No offense Grady and I respect your opinion.

I agree with a commitment in the region but no with the same reasons as many may think, while we may have been geared to believe that is for the good of the nation of Iraq to go into that nation and released from an evil regime, common sense dictates that is no . . . no only facts already been presented about the whole reason for invading Iraq but also the lies for getting into Iraq.

The commitment toward the liberation of the people in that country was not in the top priority in the present administration agenda; perhaps it was more like the security of their natural resources and then takes care of the population.

I do not agree that Iraq could be compare to Vietnam, because it a different reason for both wars.

While Vietnam was becoming a dangerous nation in the region, Iraq was a war under false pretenses.

While Vietnam population that fought against the US was linked by a common purpose, in Iraq we have different groups of people that do no hold loyalties to each other as one group.

donwhite

I believe that one of the main reasons for the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 was actually because the wars were costing to much money to the church and too many people were killed, but I think it was more about the financial issues.

While is not a religious war in Iraq the involvement of Israel in the issues of the region, as war in Iraq first with a hint of possible attacks on Iran by Israel could be seen as with religious connotations nerveless by the people of the area, specially when a very well know nation like the US been Christian and the region been targeted been Islamic.

US is never going to win anything in the Middle East because the different groups in the Middle East are not ready for any changes yet.

Right now they are concentrated on been angry at the western power than anything else because what they hold in their lands that they see as the western trying to get hold of it.

Now we have the war on terror that will ensure US present in the Iraq without having to explain as why it can not leave the region.

When Is It Patriotic To Quit?

Well I am afraid that we as the people of our nation no longer had the right question anymore.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 06:44 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
I do not agree that Iraq could be compare to Vietnam, because it a different reason for both wars.

While Vietnam was becoming a dangerous nation in the region, Iraq was a war under false pretenses.

While Vietnam population that fought against the US was linked by a common purpose, in Iraq we have different groups of people that do no hold loyalties to each other as one group.


I see it a little differently. I think there are several important similarities between Vietnam and Iraq. Firstly, some would argue that Iraq had become a dangerous nation. This isn't how I see it but some would argue that. There were also many Americans back in Vietnam days who didn't think it was a dangerous place, they didn't buy into the Communist scare tactics.

Also, it's an endless war. TheVietnamese themselves disagreed, some thought it should become Communist, others didn't. Also, and perhaps most importantly, the Vietnamese and the Iraqis have used guerilla tactics. The Vietnamese were so superior at their guerilla strategies that that is a big reason why we left. When the govt finally understood that no matter what they did, they wouldn't be able to beat the Vietcong, they pulled out, especially when they realized the public was near revolt. The American people and soldiers saw this and it's also a big reason why they protested. It was their protest that put an end to that war. The Iraqis are equally nationalistic, they are fighting for their lives just as the Vietnamese were.

The Vietnamese guerilla tactics were so incredible that they are still studied at the War College. I'm sure that will also happen with Hezbollah's defeat of Israel, their tactics will be studied for decades. Those are some of the similarities I see between the 2 wars.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 07:26 PM
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posted by forestlady

(1) I see it differently. There are important similarities between Vietnam and Iraq. First, some argue that Iraq had become a dangerous nation. This isn't how I see it but some argue that. There were many Americans back in Vietnam days who didn't think it was a dangerous place, they didn't buy into the Communist scare tactics.

(2) It's an endless war. The Vietnamese themselves disagreed, some thought it should become Communist, others didn't. Perhaps most importantly, the Vietnamese and the Iraqis have used guerilla tactics. The Vietnamese were superior at their guerilla strategies; that is a big reason why we left.

(3) When the US govt finally understood that no matter what it did, they wouldn't be able to beat the Viet Cong, they pulled out, especially when they realized the US public was near revolt. The American people and soldiers saw this. It's a big reason why they protested. It was their protest that put an end to that war.

(4) The Vietnamese guerilla tactics were incredible. They are still studied at the War College. I'm sure that will also happen with Hezbollah's defeat of Israel. Their tactics will be studied for decades. Those are some of the similarities I see between the 2 wars. [Edited by Don W]



1) Right. Vietnam was seen by our Administration as a leader in the spreading of the Communist philosophy in the region. We were wrong both that the Commie way would spread, and that the Vietnamese were interested in propagating it in the neighborhood.
2) Yes. We have included so many enemies in the War on Terror that it will last until Jesus comes and sets up his 1,000 years reign. That’s too long, too indefinite for us ordinary taxpayers.
3) As pointed out, it is time to go when the harm we cause is more than the good we do. Weigh it on a scale. That’s a simple formula. We cracked Iraq into 2 or 3 pieces. That was comparatively easy. It will prove impossible to put it back together. You cannot build national institutions - an Iraqi Army - when there is no nation.
4) when the local populace shields the guerilla or insurgent, the uniformed services cannot apprehend or end his type. When the cause is popular there will always be another young man or woman waiting to take the place of the ones we have martyred (killed).

When you finally have your eureka moment and see and understand you have snafu’d in the worst possible way, wisdom says to end it peacefully and quietly. And quickly.



[edit on 9/2/2006 by donwhite]



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 07:30 PM
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Originally posted by forestlady
I see it a little differently. I think there are several important similarities between Vietnam and Iraq.


Yes in that point and in the scale of the invasion of Iraq we can make a comparison.

But the same type of fighting coming from the opposing forces is a different matter, in Iraq is many groups of fighters all on their own agenda and not war plan but to cause as much damage as they can, while in Vietnam it was a common purpose.



Firstly, some would argue that Iraq had become a dangerous nation. This isn't how I see it but some would argue that.


Yes I will not argue about that you are right, but it has become dangerous after invasion while before invasion was better and easily controlled, no only by the Saddam's own dictatorial regime but by the US monitoring their comings and goings.

Now is no only tribal rivalries that has taken 40 years to settler but also insurgency, terrorist and anybody that under Saddam could no do any despicable actions because of control.

Yes it has become a very dangerous place for the people that haven't settler their issues yet and the insurgency and terrorist that hate the western policies but also for our soldiers that have to deal with all that.

While having trouble distinguishing who is the enemy and who is the foe.



There were also many Americans back in Vietnam days who didn't think it was a dangerous place, they didn't buy into the Communist scare tactics.


Actually is many Americans including me that believe that Iraq is very dangerous place today.

We have change the war against communism in the Vietnam era for a war on terror in the middle east today, communism can be controlled because is at a government level, but in the war on terror is not, because religion and ideologies are the base of it governments under this type of conditions are harder to control.

Vietnam changed the way we fight now a days and that is a plus for modern warfare, but in Iraq is not even one organized group fighting but many rag tag groups that their agenda is to kill as many as they can on whatever endeavor they are engaged.

Yes Vietnam has been scrutinized very much and is much that our nation has learned from that war, but now we have an ideology war that is a totally different issue with an enemy that is not organized at all in comparison to our military trained body.

I disagree that Israel lost to Hezbollah actually Israel got what it wanted a big UN force to take care of the border with Israel.

To finish Hezbollah will be the same as finishing every Muslin citizen in the middle east because they will never turn upon their own in a war that they see as an invasion of their way of life.

Funny.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 09:06 PM
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When is it patriotic to quit?
Patriotism covers such attitudes as: pride in its achievements and culture, the desire to preserve its character, and identification with other members of the nation.

If by patriotic you mean identifying with a GOP’s policies that got elected 51 to 49%. I will say is a difficult question.

If someone was for the war from the beginning I don’t see why they will change their mind. Since lots of Americans believe that the current administration will look out for the nation best interest. Regardless if the best interest of our country conflicts with the interest of most other nations. Ideally on a situation like this the UN will have the final say, avoiding costly wars and lost of innocent’s lives by trying to get to a consensus. If the UN, on a consensus does not approve our nation’s policies then our options are limited. Unless, there is no nation that can mach our military. In that case you can consider acting on your country best interest amid an international consensus. That course of action will create a very strong international sentiment against our nation.

Talking about Iraq it is evident that people who support the war for whatever reasons, consider it is part of a soldiers job to die or get wounded. Even if the soldier is a close family member, people consider their service to the nation was an honorable thing. The same people consider that 100 Iraqis killed a day is not reason enough to call it civil war.
It is obvious to me and this may just be my opinion

Most people in the US don’t really care what their GOP does with their tax money and on the name of their Nation. This lack of interest or involvement on the GOP’s actions is what is causing this mess. As always the ones less involved in the political process will be the ones to pay the concequences. The underclass (KATRINA) and the soldiers who have very little say on what the GOP does. The rest of the country’s patriotism is not with the flag it is with the dollar and what it can get you.

Until the people of US start feeling the financial cost of this war they will support it with their silence, or with their ignorance.

.



posted on Sep, 2 2006 @ 09:10 PM
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it will never be 'patriotic' to quit because patriotism was created FROM war... to be patriotic meant to FIGHT for self-importance... patriotism is self-importance.. people need not be so self-important.. have a bit of humor.. accept yourself as the fool and the intelligent.

[edit on 2/9/06 by dnero6911]





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