Again, let me warn all of you that this will be a VERY LONG post, so again please bear with me.
Although I am thoroughly enjoying this debate, I fear we are starting to get away from the original subject of the thread. This if you recall, was
about the positive outcomes and aspects of the war, as opposed to the negatives, namely the human cost. Not only that, but this discourse between us
could go on indefinitely, and neither of us would change our mind.
So, this will be my last post to this thread. I'm sure you will want to respond
to the points I put forth here, and honestly I would be disappointed in you if you didn't. And now with that out of the way, let's begin...
Now then, as to the 500,000 children's deaths you attributed to the U.N. Oil for Food program. While the articles you link to at
www.globalsecurity.org were interesting, after reading them, I've found nothing in them that contradicts my assertion that Saddam and his actions
were directly responsible for those deaths. To alone blame the United States, one of many nations that voted to punish Saddam by enacting and
continuing the sanctions laid out in U.N. resolutions 660 and
, is a prima facie case of absurdity. To suggest that the U.S. should have conceded to lifting the sanctions is akin to suggesting that a
state should not force a guilty parent to pay restitution in a criminal case, because the lack of funds would hurt their children.
Not only that, but even if your argument had merit, it is completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand. The argument, as I stated earlier, was only
to the veracity of the positive things the U.S. has done for the Iraqi people in regards to the war. It was not a discussion of prior American policy
regarding Iraq. Statements such as that, and the following,
Originally posted by Jakomo
And yet, there's Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand in 1983. There's the US doing mounds of business with Iraq, while thousands of people are rotting
in Iraqi jails. He was the better of two evils when compared to Iran? As long as he was a good boy to the US he was free to murder and terrorize
his own population as much as he wanted?
when taken out of their historical context, are purely prejudicial, add nothing to the discussion, and are disingenuous at best. If you would care to
debate a previous Administration's policies regarding Iraq, I will be more than glad to. Start a thread, and we will get into it there.
We're comparing the deaths that occured under Saddam since he came into power and the deaths of Iraqis in the last year.
Again this is a rather ironic statement coming from someone who cited a half million deaths from the 12 years prior to the invasion to support their
position. You are correct though, in that we are comparing just that. At least in so far as to how those deaths then relate to the positive aspects
and outcomes of the Invasion. To that end, you then argue:
How many civilians have died every day in Iraq? Let's compare a bit.
You claim: "Coldly taken as a daily average for the 24 years of Saddam's reign, these numbers give us a horrifying picture of between 70 and 125
civilian deaths per day for every one of Saddam's 8,000-odd days in power...
But you really can't lump the 500,000 killed in the Iran-Iraq war, because Saddam didn't kill them, the Iranians did.
I agree that you can't "lump in" the 500,000 Iraqis killed in the Iran - Iraq war. That is why if you'll re-read my post, you will see that that
was only included in a quote from an outside source. I notice that you make no note of the fact that I didn't include those deaths in my figures, and
still managed to prove that Iraqi citizens are at least marginally safer now than before the invasion.
As for the US, with 10,000 civilian deaths in 365 days, that's 27 a day, though they're unreported for the most part. A high price for
freedom, I would say. And also not exactly keeping with the "we care about civilian casualties". Look at how many died in Fallujah alone...The US
Occupation Authority doesn't give a rat's azz about civilian deaths, and what do you think that says to your average Joe. Or average
Jakomo, while I understand your thinking, again your logic is flawed. Do you realize that in WWII almost 3 million German and Japanese civilians were
killed alone. That doesn't include the number of French, Dutch, Russian and other nationalities that perished from Allied weaponry. Does that go to
say that the Allies didn't care about the civilians in those countries? No of course not. Just looking at the reconstruction efforts after WWII
proves that to us. The point is, it's a war zone! Unfortunately civilian casualties are unavoidable. You say "a high price for freedom", but then
what is your freedom worth. I know I would rather fight and possibly die for a chance to live in freedom, than to live under tyranny. Wouldn't you?
Didn't the Shiite and Kurd fighters who died in rebellions against Saddam, believe that as well? In fact, isn't it true, that every time an Iraqi
citizen signs up with the CPA security forces or police that they are making that same choice? Why even those who take up arms against the Coalition
forces are saying that death is not too "high a price" for freedom. Their ideals and idea of freedom are different from ours but they desire it for
themselves with no less conviction.
My point is that this occupation is a total disaster. Take those 27 dead civilians a day, multiply it by 5 (for the Iraqi people who know the
dead person and are angry at the death) and you have the amount of Iraqis who are now more than willing to kill US troops daily.
That argument goes both ways. I could just as easily say that for every Iraqi person who has been helped by an American that there are 3-5 people who
know them and are therefore thankful we came. There are plenty of people whose lives are better now, even with the current occupation. In
fact, a poll taken by ABC
from February 9
through the 28 shows that among Iraqis "Fifty-six percent say their lives are better now than before the war, compared with 19 percent who say things
are worse." So without some form of proof, your assertion is just an assumption, and you know it. As the motto says, Deny Ignorance, and use some
So where do we stand now? Oh yeah, your claim that the Iraqis couldn't have risen up against Saddam, because "He only started allowing his
population to be armed once he knew the US was going to invade." Please! What about the Shiite and Kurdish insurrections? Onwar.com has a page
where you can read all about them. They evidently took place before Saddam
supposedly handed out rifles to anyone who wanted them.
So now any people who are the citizens of a country under a military dictatorship are themselves culpable for the crimes their leader commits?
Should all Germans in 1946 have had to be tried at the Hague? All Russians under Stalin were responsible for his slaughtering of miliions of their
countrymen? I've never really heard anyone blame the Iraqis themselves for Saddam's crimes.
Jakomo, this is at least the third or forth time you have altered my original premise to fit your view. I clearly wrote
, that the Iraqi
citizens were "at least somewhat culpable
" for the fact that we had to invade. I neither stated nor implied that the people were responsible
for Saddam's crimes
. To use your example though, while no-one would suggest that all Germans were responsible for the Nazi's war crimes,
Europe still holds an immense amount of hostility towards the German people for their part in WWII. It is obviously abating now that the generation
responsible for allowing Hitler and the Nazi party to come to power is dying, but it is still evident.
As for the issue of the police forces in Iraq being reconstituted, I will concede that things aren't going as well as some would have us believe.
However, they are not going as badly as you would have us believe either. You assert that the occupation is a "total disaster", but your own link
, states "But counting only those fully trained and on duty, the total (of Iraqis in the
various security forces) was 114,789" Is that enough, no. But it is not a "total disaster" either. Considering that we and the world continue to
train Iraqis as police and soldiers on a daily basis, they will someday soon be fully capable of protecting themselves. To again use your own
example, the Iraqi police are now back
in Fallujah, patrolling the street in place of American forces. To have expected them to stay on the
streets in the face of major insurgent opposition is ludicrous. They rightfully left that up to the superior force projection of the Americans.
So, after all that, we finally get to the end. Please bear with me for a few more seconds as we're almost done.
First off I'd like to respond to this:
Yeah yeah, I know. The motto of the Occupation is : "Hey we're not as bad as Saddam was, so relax".
Jakomo, that's the second time you used that, and it's just as untrue as the first time. A more accurate motto would probably be something like,
"We know things aren't perfect yet, but they are a whole lot better than before we got here, and getting better everyday!" Remember, this is an
Occupation, not a farcical U.N. peace keeping mission. By the nature of a military occupation, people can not have full freedom. However, things ARE
better than before we invaded. And if the Iraqis work to help themselves, things will get even better more quickly.
Second of all, the Taliban is not back as the national government. They may be back to some small degree as a fighting force, and to an even smaller
degree as a political party, but that is the exception to the rule. You are correct that Hamid Karzai only rules in Kabul. However, if you understand
the current and historic, political situation there, it is unreasonable to expect them to unite under one government immediately. It is going to take
time for a true leader and a national government to emerge from the infighting among the warlords and clans. Personally I feel that one of their best
chances for a true popular leader died at the hands of Al-Queda in the September 8th 2001, assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud.
So, that's one State government that no longer supports terrorism. Number two would be Iraq as you yourself admitted. And number three would be good
old Libya, who if reports are correct, decided to give up his WMDs and normalize relations with the west as a direct result of the invasion of
You said it yourself,
Yep, some good has definitely come about DESPITE the illegal invasion of Iraq.
You know, even though you will probably never believe
completely that the war was justified, I think if you honestly weigh all the facts, you will have to admit that things may just not be as bad as you
I'm an optimist. I don't believe that we are victims of fate or the actions of others. I believe that all of us make our own destiny, and that the
Iraqis have been suddenly given a huge opportunity. Let's hope they make the most of it.
[Edited on 14-5-2004 by Cypher]
[Edited on 14-5-2004 by Cypher]