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US losing the war in Iraq

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posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 06:03 AM
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With all the fuss about Lebanon and the chimera of WMD in Iran, we're forgetting that Iraq even exists.

Supposedly, the war in Iraq is the main front of the War on Terror.

I don't believe that: I think it's an attempt to restructure the ME in order to a) benefit Israel and b) ensure that the US controls as much of the globe's remaining oil resources as possible... with a side benefit of asset-stripping Iraq for the benefit of US based corporations.

However, the war in Iraq is NOT going well, and whether you agree with me or labour under the delusion that the US is bringing democracy to Iraq, it's instructive to catch up a little with what's been going on there recently.

Losing Control Of Iraq

Where to start? Well, the US seems to be losing control over one of the largest provinces of Iraq, according to this report. I can't reproduce the whole article, which gives a picture of severe breakdown, but this little segment may give an idea of how bad things are in Al-Anbar province:


Eyewitnesses in Ramadi say many of the attacks are taking place within their city. They say that the U.S. military recently asked citizens in al-Anbar to stop targeting them, and promised to withdraw to their bases in Haditha and Habaniyah (near Fallujah) soon, leaving the cities for Iraqi security forces to patrol.

"I do not think that is possible," retired Iraqi police Brigadier-General Kahtan al-Dulaimi from Ramadi told IPS. "I believe no local unit could stand the severe resistance of al-Anbar, and it will be the last province to be handed over to Iraqi security forces."

According to the group Iraq Coalition Casualty Count, 964 coalition soldiers have been killed in al-Anbar, more than in any other Iraqi province.. Baghdad is second, with 665 coalition deaths.


Fallujah, despite - or, perhaps, because of - repeated US heavy-handed attacks, including the use of chemical weapons, is still proving difficult to subdue. There are attacks on US forces almost every day there, according to the above-quoted article.

It's also relevant that


According to the new Pentagon quarterly report on Measuring Security and Stability in Iraq, Iraqi casualties rose 51 percent in recent months. The report says Sunni-based insurgency is "potent and viable."

The report says that in a period since the establishment of the new Iraqi government, between May 20 and Aug. 11 this year, the average number of weekly attacks rose to nearly 800, almost double the number of the attacks in early 2004.


According to the NYT,

The Pentagon distributed the report on a Friday afternoon before a long weekend, a common time for government officials to put out bad news. A Pentagon officials denied that this was the intent and said the report was issued when it completed.


Well, they would say that, wouldn't they?

And this comes hard on the heels of the British abandoning one of their bases due to constant mortar fire, as revealed in
this article. And it raises the spectre of...

The State of Iraqi Security Forces


Don Rumsfeld is fond of historical analogies when pontificating about Iraq; he particularly favors comparisons to the Nazi era and the Allied occupation of Germany after World War II. Unfortunately, any historian will tell you that Rummy's parallels are invariably false, even ludicrous. So we thought we'd give the beleaguered Pentagon warlord a more accurate and telling analogy to chew on.

Try this one, Don. Imagine that British occupation troops in, say, Hanover, had been forced to abandon a major base, under fire, and retreat into guerrilla operations in the Black Forest - in 1948, three years after the fall of the Nazi regime. And that as soon as the Brits made their undignified bug-out, the base had been devoured by looters while the local, Allies-backed authorities simply melted away and an extremist, virulently anti-Western militia moved into the power vacuum.


And according to this article, there's a new Intelligence Estimate report coming, the results of which have been foreshadowed


in a recent series of closed-door briefings given to Congress by the Defense Intelligence Agency. The Pentagon's intelligence arm painted a scenario in which Iraq could dissolve into civil war if Iraqi security forces don't soon get their act together.


Well... it doesn't look like they're going to be ready to do that, either.

The Slide Towards Civil War

And this raises the possibility of civil war. Now, this may have been an option all along - it would allow the US to concentrate on keeping the oil-rich areas under control and abandoning the trouble spots completely. That might have been the (rather unrealistic, IMO) idea all along. Certainly it seems as if civil war is getting closer according to this article:


The most influential moderate Shia leader in Iraq has abandoned attempts to restrain his followers, admitting that there is nothing he can do to prevent the country sliding towards civil war.

Aides say Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is angry and disappointed that Shias are ignoring his calls for calm and are switching their allegiance in their thousands to more militant groups which promise protection from Sunni violence and revenge for attacks.


US Forces' Morale

It seems there's also some morale problems developing within US forces: or, to put it another way, some soldiers are developing a conscience about what is going on and waking up to the fact that they're taking part in what might be described as a cluster****. In this video, Marine Corporal Grant Collins describes his reactions to giving orders that resulted in the deaths of civilians. He now thinks it's his duty to speak out rather than going back and killing more Iraqis. This comes at a time of falling recruitment and increasing numbers of soldiers going AWOL.

It's been a long post, and I haven't even considered the rising death toll, or the increased sectarian violence... but rest assured, even though it may have been knocked out of the headlines by the ludicrous propaganda drive towards another war, possibly involving a US nuclear first strike, these things have not gone away. And there are people in the US military who want even more bloodshed!

Future Policy?

In an article in the Armed Forces Journal, early retired Major Ralph Peters suggests a plan for redrawing the borders in the Middle East. In a breathtaking display of wilful blindness to US interference, he blames all the trouble throughout the region and in Africa on Europe's previous imperial incursions and border-drawing. I'm not saying that these things don't have an influence that echoes down to today, but to imply that the US bears no guilt for its own adventures in pursuit of access to resources is a stunning display of hypocrisy.

But I think that he gives the game away somewhat when he says...

Oh, and one other dirty little secret from 5,000 years of history: Ethnic cleansing works.


It's a nasty little piece, and its author wholly unaware of his own arrogance and how it mirrors that of the very imperial powers he criticises, who drew up the boundaries according to their own best ideas of the time. And we can see what a mess that's led to. But oh, no, this guy knows better. That this kind of thinking can even be contemplated, much less published as if it were within the realms of acceptable policy, is truly a mark of an empire that has become drunk on power.




posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 07:14 AM
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Well, he is right. Creating and maintaining the mockery that is the country of Iraq is a big opart of the problem. Iraq should have never been created. Like Yugoslavia, which was also made up of many warring enemy ethnic groups, the only way peace could be maintained was through a heavy handed ruthless dictator.

The main crime of the US here is going into Iraq and removing the dictatorship: Saddam was the glue that did keep these warring groups from killing each other. Like it or not, it is the only way stability will be returned. The religous and ethnic groups in Iraq are like really bad children, and I do not believe the coalition forces should have been brought in to babysit them.



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 08:42 AM
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Originally posted by Skadi_the_Evil_Elf
Well, he is right.


Is he right about the ethnic cleansing too? Does the US have the right to go around redrawing the boundaries of other nations? Does might make right in this instance?

As far as Yugoslavia goes, I don't recall Tito as being a "heavy handed ruthless dictator". He was kind of on the fence between the Soviet Bloc and the West and was far from heavy-handed in his dealings with the people.

If you look at the post, you'll see that I'm not denying the fact that the drawing of national boundaries in the region is to be laid at the door of European nations, particularly the UK. HOWEVER, it would be the sheerest arrogance to assume that we can "just have another go... we'll get it right this time". Using the US military to accomplish that objective would be ludicrous... and it's not as if we can trust the US to intervene without making sure that it benefits in some way... and that would invariably be at the expense of the locals.

It's all just another excuse for the extension of the American Empire.


The main crime of the US here is going into Iraq and removing the dictatorship:


If only it were that simple. If only the US hadn't asset-stripped Iraq; if only they themselves were allowed to rebuild using their own oil profits, rather than create one of the biggest slush funds in history to line the pockets of profiteers; if only Iraqi joblessness and inflation weren't running at record levels.... if only DU munitions weren't causing massive increases in cancers and hideous birth defects...

And no, Saddam was no longer the glue that kept these warring groups apart. That might have been true many years ago, but covert actions by the US and the UK have successfully reignited the flames of sectarian violence. The Iraqi girl "riverbend", in her blog, describes how, in polite conversation when she was a child, it was never of particular interest which religious group you belonged to, and her own family was thoroughly intermarried.

It's not a question of the coalition forces "babysitting" bad children. Covert actions have fostered a sectarian schism that is now tearing the country apart. Do you remember the UK soldiers who had to be rescued after they were arrested riding around disguised as locals in a car with explosives in the boot? What were they up to, do you think? That's just one instance, there are many others.



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 02:44 PM
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One other aspect of life in Iraq which will fuel unrest: inflation.

In this article we see\it's almost 70%.


Fuel and electricity prices saw the highest increase, standing at 374 percent higher this July from the same month last year, Baban said. The transport and communications sector saw a 218 percent rise, while goods and services prices increased by 37.3 percent.

Last year, inflation stood at 30 percent as mismanagement, lawlessness and attacks against refineries and supply lines drove up fuel and electricity prices and pushed overall prices and insurance rates higher.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 12:20 AM
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Oh and you forgot Iraqis have over 8 million cell phone users from basically zero. Yep bad USA from bringing cell phones to Iraq....


Too bad Iran can't stop help supplying IEDs, so losers can blow innocent civilians up in market places. I guess if you are muslim then it is ok.

I know many US military personel. The US military is not losing any war. Politicians are messing around when generals should be making the field decisons.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 02:25 AM
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Originally posted by sbob
Oh and you forgot Iraqis have over 8 million cell phone users from basically zero. Yep bad USA from bringing cell phones to Iraq....


Too bad Iran can't stop help supplying IEDs, so losers can blow innocent civilians up in market places. I guess if you are muslim then it is ok.

I know many US military personel. The US military is not losing any war. Politicians are messing around when generals should be making the field decisons.


Ah... a message from that strange mirror world the "rightwingoverse". What about all the freshly painted schools?

I love that "from basically zero". Yeah, they were in the stone age before we came along to help them... except that the Americans, about two weeks into the occupation, shut down a company from, I think, Qatar, or one of the other neighbouring states, because they'd restored mobile phone signals to the country but the Coalition Provisional Authority wanted a US firm to be the cellphone provider.

And the horrifying irony is that cellphones are used to report on US troop activity and to set off IEDs. Great examply you chose there.

Yup. The military's not losing. You just didn't read beyond the title there, did you?



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 02:56 AM
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If you wanna get technical, we already won the war. We bombed, we invaded, we took their leader and instated a new government. American wins, FATALITY!

But the people making the decisions haven't figured it out yet, so we're still there losing a few boots a day. Iraq is in a civil war, no doubt.

[edit on 7-9-2006 by Astygia]



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 03:35 AM
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Wow... I'd expect you to be trivialising Iraqi civilian deaths, but not those of your own servicemen. "Losing a few boots a day".... you really support your troops, don't you?

And yes, you may have toppled Saddam, but you have installed anarchy, and the government you're so proud of can't control the country or provide the basic services for its citizens, like security.

Just because your beloved leader declared "Mission Accomplished" doesn't mean it's a reality outside his mind.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 06:29 AM
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plenty of radical muslims are dead. looks like a winner to me.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 06:30 AM
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I agree Rich in terms of the objective set out before the invasion the mission has been an absolute failure.

It's just the latest in a long line of actions where the original objectives have been quietly 'finessed' and victory declared despite incontravertable evidence to the contrary - Afghanistan, Vietnam etc.

US military has a very poor record fighting guerilla actions and this is just another example

Everyone apart from cheney, rumsfeld, bush etc knows it's been a failure but they don't care as they only have (had) an 8-year view of the problem anyway.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Astygia - who 'wins'??

AFAIK it was an allied force that invaded - perhaps you know otherwise?



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 07:25 AM
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Originally posted by nephyx
plenty of radical muslims are dead. looks like a winner to me.


And what about the thousands of civilians? Does that make it worth it?

That kind of cynical comment might be funny to you, but I think it shows a truly inhuman detachment



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 07:36 AM
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yes i am detatched from the Muslims who die. does it make me happy that civilians are dying? no, of course not. But its not like i started the war.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 08:42 AM
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Originally posted by nephyx
But its not like i started the war.


So who started the war?, just a question.
You know that most of the population in the middle east including Innocent civilians in Iraq are Muslin



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 10:45 AM
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Originally posted by rich23
Wow... I'd expect you to be trivialising Iraqi civilian deaths, but not those of your own servicemen. "Losing a few boots a day".... you really support your troops, don't you?

And yes, you may have toppled Saddam, but you have installed anarchy, and the government you're so proud of can't control the country or provide the basic services for its citizens, like security.

Just because your beloved leader declared "Mission Accomplished" doesn't mean it's a reality outside his mind.


"Boots" is slang for other soldiers. I spend over 2 years in Iraq, smart guy. I'm not trivializing; we are losing a few people per day because we're still there when we shouldn't be.

Bush isn't my beloved leader. You just have no grasp of military conflict beyond what you read on the internet and hear on CNN. That's not your fault, but you should think about this stuff before you start talking.

As to the mess Iraq is in, I don't trivialise the death of their civilians; I just pointed out the fact that in terms of military objectives, it was overkill. Now the administration needs to stop thumbing itself and pull out. Should I grieve for their civilians? Why? Would they grieve for me? I don't wish them any ill will, but I don't lose any sleep over it.

Chemical weapons is Fallujah? You spew a lot of crap, rich.
Let's not make this personal; differences of opinion notwithstanding, you've got a lot of animosity in your posts, and you're making incorrect assumptions (like Bush being my hero). Address facts with facts, not with smug superiority, especially when you got no idea what you're talking about.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 11:51 AM
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Originally posted by Astygia
"Boots" is slang for other soldiers.


I worked that one out for myself, thanks.

I spend over 2 years in Iraq, smart guy. I'm not trivializing; we are losing a few people per day because we're still there when we shouldn't be.

But you shouldn't have been there in the first place. All the justifications for the war have proven groundless. The real, unstated, point of the war (or one of them, at least) is to asset-strip Iraq and make it safe for international investment. To accomplish that, the country has to be pacified.


Bush isn't my beloved leader.


I'd never have guessed from your triumphalism.


You just have no grasp of military conflict beyond what you read on the internet and hear on CNN.


I have never been in a war. I don't watch CNN, unless I want a laugh. I have, however, watched wars being waged for many years now and patterns emerge.


That's not your fault, but you should think about this stuff before you start talking.


And you should concentrate on actually rebutting the points I make with either logic or evidence. So far you've presented the assertion that the war was won. You agreed with "your" Dear Leader in that respect, which is why I thought you liked him. You might have been to Iraq, but, no surprise, your view of the political reasons behind the war seems a little shallow.

If the sole objective of the war was to topple Saddam, then well done! Pity it's at the cost of messing life up for the entire country (bar a small Kurdish enclave) and condemning their population to DU-induced fetal deformities for the foreseeable future. It seems like a heavy price to pay for getting rid of one guy. But don't labour under the misapprehension that you installed any kind of meaningful democracy or a government that can actually run the country.


As to the mess Iraq is in, I don't trivialise the death of their civilians;


Could have fooled me, when you use phrases like


American wins, FATALITY!



I just pointed out the fact that in terms of military objectives, it was overkill.


Is that what you were doing? That's not how it came across.


Chemical weapons is Fallujah? You spew a lot of crap, rich.


Nice rebuttal! And how would you class White Phosphorous if not as a chemical weapon?


Let's not make this personal; differences of opinion notwithstanding, you've got a lot of animosity in your posts, and you're making incorrect assumptions (like Bush being my hero). Address facts with facts, not with smug superiority, especially when you got no idea what you're talking about.


I may not have been right about Bush being your hero, but you certainly seem to believe that the US has the right to invade countries at whim. I guess you were just doing your job. There's a lot of people who've said that, through history.

As for addressing facts with facts, I haven't seen any of that in your post.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 01:20 PM
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As a soldier, it wasn't my place to say "I don't believe we should invade Iraq". You do what you're ordered to do, or you go AWOL and become a deserter. You can't expect thousands of active-duty soldiers to desert. At the time, like others I was totally supportive of the war, I wanted revenge for our dead and believed that was where we were going.

Until recently, I haven't had the spare time to research the details of everything happening; this is partly due to military obligations that I am now through with, and partly my own fault for jealously guarding my private time and choosing to spend it with family rather than looking into things that don't seem quite right. I am now coming to see that Iraq was a "guess", as the administration now admits, and I'm not taking that well. Perhaps in a few weeks or months, when I've learned more, you and I will agree on some of these things. Perhaps not. We'll see, I guess.

Now, the reality of the subject matter on this board is something that's fairly obvious to a new person like me. None of us are really coming up with anything original; we're parroting what we've learned from our respective sources, whether it's insider info, the media, or the internet or whatever. Militarily, the war was truly won as soon as Saddam got taken. Everything following was political crap. By saying this, I am not saying the ends justify the means, because they don't.


Nice rebuttal! And how would you class White Phosphorous if not as a chemical weapon?


As an incendiary agent, because that's what it does. It burns. Good for lighting up a target or smoke screening.

I don't believe the US has the right to invade on a whim. As I said before, the administration now admits it was a guess, but at the time they said they were certain. Retrospect is not the same as foresight.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 07:57 PM
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Originally posted by Astygia
As a soldier, it wasn't my place to say "I don't believe we should invade Iraq". You do what you're ordered to do, or you go AWOL and become a deserter. You can't expect thousands of active-duty soldiers to desert. At the time, like others I was totally supportive of the war, I wanted revenge for our dead and believed that was where we were going.


So, at the time you believed you were getting revenge for 9/11?


I am now coming to see that Iraq was a "guess", as the administration now admits, and I'm not taking that well.


Actually, I think if you look into the background of the people who took the US to war, you'll see that invading Iraq was the first step in a plan that goes back to a position paper entitled "A Clean Break: Securing the Realm" which was prepared for the Israeli government by pretty much the same group of people who formed the Project for the New American Century and then went on to form Bush's cabinet. It really wasn't a guess. They just wanted an excuse to go into Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11.

One of the things that scares me most about the US is the efficiency of its propaganda machine and the willingness of its people to believe the myths they are fed.


None of us are really coming up with anything original; we're parroting what we've learned from our respective sources, whether it's insider info, the media, or the internet or whatever.


All we can do is take pieces of information, assign them plausibility ratings, and put them together into a picture. The usefulness of any of these pictures, or stories that we might tell ourselves, depends partly on their predictive qualities. Does this model of what's going on allow me to predict what's going on, or does it at least give me the ability to figure out what the relevant variables are? Further, does it allow me to satisfy my own need to make moral judgements about what seems to be occurring?

Occasionally, shuffling the pieces, a poster here can come up with rational and independent thought, or make a useful prediction. I see it not infrequently. Debate is also useful, with some people.


Militarily, the war was truly won as soon as Saddam got taken. Everything following was political crap. By saying this, I am not saying the ends justify the means, because they don't.


Hmmm. I do see your point. You're separating the military aspect from the political. I think this is not, in practical terms, a terribly useful distinction. Wars are fought for an end, and if that purpose is not accomplished, then the war was pointless. The reasons stated for the war kept changing. WMDs, regime change, bring democracy... regime change has been accomplished... except that the new regime is unable to govern the country. Part of the reason for this is that they're seen by the populace as a puppet government there to serve the interests of the US. These interests are both political and economic, and therefore retaining control of the country is a vital part of the success of the military enterprise. And that control is slipping away. Retaining control of a country like Iraq was never more than a pipedream of the PNAC guys. And it's not happening.



Nice rebuttal! And how would you class White Phosphorous if not as a chemical weapon?


As an incendiary agent, because that's what it does. It burns. Good for lighting up a target or smoke screening.


There seems to be real evidence that WP was used as a weapon at Fallujah: some news agencies posted pictures of casualties that had burns down to the bone which is said to be characteristic of WP. If all that was happening was lighting up a target or smoke screening, how did these people get such injuries? The pictures I saw included women and children.


As I said before, the administration now admits it was a guess, but at the time they said they were certain. Retrospect is not the same as foresight.


One of the useful predictive characteristics of my model of the world is based on the idea that governments lie to people, and the US government more than most. It might sound trite, but everyone now seems to believe that Iran is a threat. It's the same old nonsense they were putting out about Saddam. I can remember hearing on the News at Ten that "Saddam Hussein has weapons that could strike British troops within 45 minutes" - this was long before war seemed like a credible option - and thinking, you must be joking! They're under sanctions, they're being bombed every week... somebody's having a laugh here. Only it's not funny.

I NEVER believed that crap. And I'm astonished that anyone else did. We in the UK were rather more suspicious, I have to say. Around 3 million people demonstrated before the war... that's about 5% of the population. One person in every twenty felt so strongly that it was BS that they got off their asses and got out in the streets. A few more and we might have persuaded Blair that the consequences to his government would have been unacceptable.

[edit on 7-9-2006 by rich23]



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 08:07 PM
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US is not losing the war in Iraq.

US had already lost the war in Iraq.

It is now just dragging its feet.


Iraqis proved to be a lot tougher than Bush ever imagined.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by rich23
So, at the time you believed you were getting revenge for 9/11?


Yes, we believed that it was due revenge, justified morally due to alleged connections with AQ, and legally due to the WMD hype. Remember, even though we now know it to be a big farce, at the time we supposedly had the intel of several countries and Iraqi insiders backing our own. The fact that the UN wasn't with us didn't make a difference; since when did the UN really do anything useful other than officially "condemn" something, honestly? Rwanda? Hezbollah (before this most recent conflict)? Surely most can agree on this.

I'm sure people like yourself had their suspicions of the administration, but three years ago few could have known the extent of the BS we were being fed. Now the admin blows it off like nothing, I'm not dealing with that too well.


...One of the things that scares me most about the US is the efficiency of its propaganda machine and the willingness of its people to believe the myths they are fed.


On this we agree. I'll have to read up on those documents.


All we can do is take pieces of information, assign them plausibility ratings, and...


I'm not questioning your process, guess I came off that way.


Hmmm. I do see your point. You're separating the military aspect from the political. I think this is not, in practical terms, a terribly useful distinction...


I guess I did that unconsciously, and your point is taken.


There seems to be real evidence that WP was used as a weapon at Fallujah: some news agencies posted pictures of casualties that had burns down to the bone which is said to be characteristic of WP. If all that was happening was lighting up a target or smoke screening, how did these people get such injuries? The pictures I saw included women and children.


Ok, I understand what you're saying. WP has its uses, and there's no denying that people in target zones get scorched. Two important things to realize here, from a purely military/strategic (not political) standpoint:

1. WP is officially classified by the US as a chemical weapon because it contains phosphurus. But its effects are not typical of actual chemical weapons; it doesn't spread toxins or poisons. The smoke from WP doesn't kill or maim you, though it can make you cough a bunch. This is why WP isn't resctricted by the chemical weapons convention in '96.

I am aware of the arguments ongoing on whether or not it should be allowed under a diferent ban or not, but that hasn't lead anywhere. I'm also now aware that WP was considered as one of Saddam's WMD and a reason to invade, which is hypocritical but doesn't change the natue of WP.

2. WP will not be used as a primary strike weapon, because that would be a waste. We have much more accurate and lethal means. If we are lighting up a target for an air or artillery strike, then WP burns are the least of those people's worries; also, use of WP in this way is not banned.

As to the civilians getting hit with WP, I have no doubt that they were, but I do doubt that it was intentional. Again, WP is often used to light a target or create a smokescreen for friendly troops, and it's sad that civilians were in the target area. And I'm not dismissing them when I say that war is brutal, no matter who's fighting. The only difference between war now and war years ago is more reporters are around to allow the country witness to the brutality.



...It's the same old nonsense they were putting out about Saddam...


My friend, for people like myself (there are many), this is hindsight that we wish could have been foresight. Saddam was no angel, and neither was the taliban, but I'm not the only ex-soldier (or current soldier) that realizes we were a tool, and that's a disgusting feeling.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by Astygia
If you wanna get technical, we already won the war. We bombed, we invaded, we took their leader and instated a new government. American wins, FATALITY!

But the people making the decisions haven't figured it out yet, so we're still there losing a few boots a day. Iraq is in a civil war, no doubt.

[edit on 7-9-2006 by Astygia]


100% correct, the only way out of this humiliation is to officially recognize the new country of Kurdistan establish a military presence there and watch as the Sunni and Shia fight for control of the rest of what was Iraq.



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