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Who are we fighting in Iraq? Well the easy answer is Iraqies. The more complex answer is our own foriegn policy. We invaded a sovern nation that we now know had no ability to strike against us. We then disbanded the Iraqi Army and told them to keep their weapons. Now we are in charge of security and rebuilding that army. In the process of the invasion, we destroyed the infrastructure. Now we are in charge of rebuilding that infrastructure. The regular Iraqi citizen has seen services decline, security decline and his prospects for a bright future decline. He has picked up arms against the invader. Meanwhile, a civil war is brewing because we underestimated the animous between the religous sects.


"We have met the enemy and he is us"

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I want to believe that your posts are hyperbole but it doesn't appear so.


I'm not sure how to refute your statements. The fact that the morale of troops on both sides of a conflict matters greatly in achieving objectives is a basic tenet of military strategy. If you deny that is true or that dissent encourages the enemy while weakening the resolve of our own troops then I'm at a loss. I see no way to continue the discussion when faced with such ignorance.


You said: "As for our soldiers feelings about it? Well thats part of the job. I expect them to fight just as hard no matter what the public opinion is. That's part of being a soldier." Care packages considered, your cavalier attitude toward our troops and the effect that dissent may have on them borders on disgusting.



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Perhaps I didn't articulate my position to your satisfaction.

My point is I expect that our soldiers are trained to carry out their mission independent of public opinion. I expect every soldier to follow his orders without regard to polls or internet forum postings. That's the way it should be. I hope they are thick skinned enough to do things we may not agree with.

If they are not, then I think they are in the wrong profession.


Now their supreme commander should consider public opinion lest we become a dictatorship. My criticism is on the policy, not the execution of the policy.



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If the Great Master of all Scouts were granting wishes, here would be mine. That posters at Scouter.com would realize that posting here is a privilege and not a right. That the purpose of Scouter.com is to provide a way for Scouters to discuss scouting and that Terry created the Issues & Politics forum due to requests, but still expects the Oath and Law to be respected. My greatest wish is that somehow the system would only allow a user one post to the Issues and Politics forum for every five posts to the various scouting related forums. That is why we should all be here anyway. I've yet to understand those who come here to only post in the I & P forum. There are hundreds and hundreds of political forums of every stripe on the internet where you can be as nasty as you want to be. I don't think some of what has been presented here puts Scouters in the best light. Try posting some useful information in the scouting forums for a change. Just my two cents.

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You are so far out there, I'm not sure where to begin.

Yes, we were allies with the Russians in the war against Germany. 35 years later we were in an arms race with them. We were also trying to stop the spread of communism. Russia invaded Afghanistan and we chose to give aid to Osama, who was fighting the Russians. Was Russia justified in invading Afghanistan, in your book? Any surprise here? 20 years later, Osama attacks us.

#2, 3 and 4 make no sense to me. I can only assume you are of the Neville Chamberlin crowd, and think you can negotiate with dictators.


You write:

"You accept that Russia posed a threat to us and that they had to be stopped, or I should say your statement leads me to believe that you accept that Russia was a threat. That being the case is the reverse true? Do you think Russia saw us as a threat? A force which had to be stopped from spreading globally? If we are justified attempting to stop them are they justified in trying to stop us? Can you make those distinctions?"

So, we were to blame for Russia invading Afghanistan? How interesting. Where exactly were we "spreading globally" that the Russians had to stop us? This I got to hear!


You didn't know who Ward Churchill is?? That explains a lot.



Do you know who al-Zarqawi is? Maybe you should check out this letter. We might need to run this by packsaddle, to make sure this intelligence wasn't just cherry-picked.


Letter from al-Zawahiri to al-Zarqawi

October 11, 2005

ODNI News Release No. 2-05



Today the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a letter between two senior al Qa'ida leaders, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, that was obtained during counterterrorism operations in Iraq. This lengthy document provides a comprehensive view of al Qa'ida's strategy in Iraq and globally.


The letter from al-Zawahiri to al-Zarqawi is dated July 9, 2005. The contents were released only after assurances that no ongoing intelligence or military operations would be affected by making this document public.


The document has not been edited in any way and is released in its entirety in both the Arabic and English translated forms. The United States Government has the highest confidence in the letter's authenticity.


Al-Zawahiri's letter offers a strategic vision for al Qa'ida's direction for Iraq and beyond, and portrays al Qa'ida's senior leadership's isolation and dependence.


Among the letter's highlights are discussions indicating:


The centrality of the war in Iraq for the global jihad.


From al Qa'ida's point of view, the war does not end with an American departure.


An acknowledgment of the appeal of democracy to the Iraqis.


The strategic vision of inevitable conflict, with a tacit recognition of current political dynamics in Iraq; with a call by al-Zawahiri for political action equal to military action.


The need to maintain popular support at least until jihadist rule has been established.


Admission that more than half the struggle is taking place "in the battlefield of the media."


See that Gern - battlefield of the media. Still think they don't know what is printed here in the states?? Our MSM is helping them win the war.


Now from CNN:

"Insurgent attacks in the last six months have killed more than 8,000 Iraqi civilians, police and troops, according to Iraq's interior minister.


In an interview with CNN, Iraqi Interior Minister Baqir Jabbur said "terrorists" had killed 8,175 people and wounded another 12,000 since January 2005."


Who are these terrorists? Who is killing the Iraqi police and troops? (Hint - not the USA) Is it possible to convince you and LH and packsaddle that we are fighting Al Qaida in Iraq? Al Qaida certainly seems to think they are fighting us in Iraq.

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Let me try and respond to what I believe was a reasoned post adn unfortunately you are probably correct, some of the dissent here in the US probably does aid the enemy. However, while Gern's post may have appeared cavalier, it is none the less true. Being in the armed services of a free democracy means having to fight at times when segments of the public will be allowed to voice their opinion, that at times, may give aid and comfort to the enemy. We have not yet suspended our constitution. The right to speak freely is one of our most cherished liberties and those who disagree with the war and it's reasons have every right to express that opinion. They might argue they are the true patriots, voicing their dissatisfaction with the cavalier sacrifice of our volunteer armed services personnel for a conflict of our leaders choosing based on faulty intelligence at best and at worst based on deliberate manipulation of information to support a policy they had already decided upon. If those that dissent are denied that right and are not allowed to express that opinion, those fighting truely are wasting their time.


There could be no greater insult to those that volunteer to protect our way of life or greater support and comfort to our enemies than to allow those freedoms so many have fought and died for to be lost.


from Oliver Wendell Holmes: "If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought - not free thought for those who agree with us, but freedom for the thought that we hate."






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I'm pretty sure that I never said that Dern doesn't have the right to say what he pleases, I'm saying he is wrong to do it. Morally, not legally.


Having the right to do something does not make it right. People had the right to hurl insults such as "baby killer" at Vietnam vets as they returned home - that did not make it right. People have the right to burn a USA flag - that doesn't make it right. I'm not putting anyone here in that same category, just using examples of rights that are wrong. So, your statement doesn't apply to anything that I've said.





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Morally wrong to question our foriegn policy? Wow.


I suppose when you get on a bus, its wrong to talk to the driver. The driver takes a wrong turn and ignores the bridge out sign. But when the driver is heading over the cliff, you should just keep your trap shut and go for the ride.

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FYI, I've been called 'babykiller' on numerous occasions. No big deal. I would, however, very much take it to heart if I actually WAS a babykiller.


Gern, YH, While I am openly critical of many policies at all levels of government, my agreement or disagreement with someone is not relevant to the principle in question here.

I think it is sufficient to say that while YH personally chooses not to openly criticize policy, Gern does, and both of you feel morally justified. While I think it is obvious that many of us think there is an absolute morality, that belief by itself does not automatically make ours the one that is absolute, at least outside our own lives. A person may think our personal moral code IS the absolute one, but the uncertainty exists. Therefore, we should accept that we are fallible the same as our opponents.


If someone dismisses another with name-calling, it is clear that their ideas are not themselves sufficient to prevail over opposing ideas. That speaks for itself. And in questions of morality, you must both know that neither will prevail over the other. In this particular case (Iraq policy criticism), the fact is that open criticism of policy IS going to continue, name-calling notwithstanding. Therefore, and pragmatically, the discussion should focus on that policy (the ideas) and not morality (personal opinion). It is a better opportunity to find common ground.


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Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree with you. To set the stage, I consider myself a conservative independent and I'll call a spade a spade on either side of the fence. The "no criticism while troops are in harm's way" is a ploy of right wing pundits to silence the opposition. These same people had no problem critcising Clinton when he engaged troops. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. bin Laden attacked America on 9/11. The was hiding in Afghanistan and being protected by the Taliban. They refused to give him up. I was in full support when Bush sent the military in. I just wish we would have finished the job there.


There are those of us (again, conservative) who questioned going in to Iraq from the get go. Things just did not add up. We had crippled their military in the first war. We had them under sanctions that kept them from rebuilding it. We owned their airspace. At least 85% of their WMD's had been accounted for and destroyed under the weapons inspection teams. Other than the rantings of an impotent mad man, they had not seriously threatened us and didn't have the means even if they wanted to.


The Bush admin cooked up a variety of "reasons" for war and shopped them to other nations and the US public. Many of us dissented. Bush was determined to have this war. He got it. I love the troops. I respect the troops. I expect the troops to be used in the defense of this great nation. That is their purpose. Toppling Saddam and "bringing democracy" to Iraq is not defending this nation. It is forcing a foreign policy thru the use of troops. It is because I love this nation, our constitution and our troops that I WILL speak out when their blood is spilt for another nation other than the US. I will not be silent. I can not. To do so would be immoral for me.

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such a complicated issue. I was for the war at the outset and we may never know if we prevented a large scale terrorist attack on American soil, thats the problem with pre-emptive strikes, by definition you never know if they worked. Although in 10 years time it could be found the WMD was taken to Syria during the troop buildup phase, or perhaps nothing will be found.


I thought the idea was to take out the Iraqi army, restore the country, install democracy and go home. The restoring and governmental installing isnt as smooth as I thought, then that is what I get for placing mid-western American thought processes and expecting middle eastern cultures to understand them. The war went great, the follow-up did not. In the period immediately after the war there wasnt near the build up of infrastructure as there had been military equipment. The Iraqi war was going to work only one way, we win, we fix what we broke and we leave. It took us far to long to fix what we broke. The post war plan was not nearly as well developed as the war plan and that I blame on the administraton and I voted for W twice. Had we tackled the rebuilding with the same energy we showed in the war, we wouldnt have these issues now. I thought we were better at rebuilding, I was wrong. I look back over my voting record since I was first eligible to vote. I voted for Richard M Nixon, that didnt work out as well as I hoped. I voted for Jimmy Carter, who proved you cant send an honest man to Washington because they will eat him up and spit out his bones, and then Jimmy turned on me, well at least why I thought he was good. I never did like Reagan, talk about arragant but some people loved him and I voted for Clinton, I beleived him when he said I didnt have sex with her and now I see maybe I shouldnt have beleived W.


Who do I turn to? Which party do I accept? We are the best country going, but holy cow guys, that sure dosnt say much for the rest of the globe, does it?

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"We had them under sanctions that kept them from rebuilding it."

Too bad France and Russia violated those sanctions, providing plenty of cash to Saddam.


"At least 85% of their WMD's had been accounted for and destroyed under the weapons inspection teams."



"The Bush admin cooked up a variety of "reasons" for war and shopped them to other nations and the US public."

Actually, the UN had issued a dozen empty-threat resolutions against Iraq. We just decided to enforce them.


We are fighting Al Qaida in Iraq. Too bad your partisan glasses won't allow you to see that.


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"Yes, we were allies with the Russians in the war against Germany. 35 years later we were in an arms race with them." What about the intervening 35 years? The # 2,3 &4 make no sense because you seem to have blocked out 35 years of history. I got news for you we were in an arms race with Russia in 1947. McCarthyism began in 1950. You say We were also trying to stop the spread of communism. Im asking you a simple yes or no question If we are justified in trying to stop the spread of Communism was Russia justified in trying to stop the spread of Western Economics? You do realize that Communism is an economic reference and not a form of political government, dont you? By that I mean Democracy is not the opposite of Communism, you realize that dont you? Russia invaded Afghanistan History has a different take on that one too, the established government of Afghanistan at the time requested Russian support to hold off a coup by anti-government insurgents. I realize that the established government of Afghanistan at that time was Marxist so the US backed the insurgents but they were still insurgents and you have been very clear on how you feel about anyone finding fault with the established government. The thought of taking any disagreement with established policy to the point of armed insurrection should be abhorrent to you. Do you consider the people we were backing in that fight to be Anti-Afghanis? I realize that asking you to brush up on World History is asking a lot but at least get up to speed on the things you are trying to talk about. You fault me for following Ward Churchill and then fault me for not knowing who he is. You cry Monday morning quarterback but then fault Neville Chamberlin because Hitler violated the Munich Accord. If Chamberlin should have known better why not us with Bin Laden?What were Bin Ladens credentials when we picked him? All American nice guy? I find little justification for Chamberlins trust in Hitler's word but thats because Ive looked at the data and track records of the people in question. I'm in a position now to play monday morning quarterback.  Chamberlin was not alone, and what would you be saying if Hitler hadn't invaded Poland in 1939 and WWII had been avoided? As for dealing with dictators first look up the word then the word tyrant then apply those definitions to the royal families in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Arab Emirates. Do some background on the Shah of Iran, an old friend of ours, and then talk to me about dealing with dictators. You paint history as you need to justify your positions which are reached with no more justification than because others agree with you. You have any original thoughts of these subjects?


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"You do realize that Communism is an economic reference and not a form of political government, dont you? By that I mean Democracy is not the opposite of Communism, you realize that dont you?"


You are kidding, right?? Communism is just economics?? Where is the world were you educated? Do you have a dictionary? If so, where is it from? Name? Please provide the definitions of communism and democracy in your dictionary. I'm very interested to see what they are.

Free market vs. party control; private property rights vs. state control?

Yes, they are the opposite!

Now the big questions - do you think that communism is a bad thing? Would you mind living in a communist country? Is it better than democracy?

If you are that far out in left field, then I don't see how we will ever find common ground.

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You know Brent, your poor manners and unscoutlike attitude are getting old. What is it with you and personal attacks? Can you just not help yourself? Partisan? I qualified that I am a conservative independent. I'll match my stand on conservative and liberal issues with you any day. Open your eyes man! There are many well known and highly respected conservatives who have spoken out against this war. Of course, they are relegated to the nut case category by all of the unqualified, ratings hungry, anything for a buck talking heads that far too many people get their "news" and views from.


"Too bad France and Russia violated those sanctions, providing plenty of cash to Saddam." Cash he obviously spent on lavish living and not WMD's. He was still impotent militarily as was proved when we rolled over his nation in a matter of days.


"Documentation??" Use google or your memory from all of the reports the weapons inspectors gave. It was reported by all aspects of the media over 12 years.


"Actually, the UN had issued a dozen empty-threat resolutions against Iraq. We just decided to enforce them." So you wouldn't mind me enforcing your rules and spanking your children? Since when were we the UN. We are the US.


"We are fighting Al Qaida in Iraq. Too bad your partisan glasses won't allow you to see that." Actually, I don't have partisan glasses. I seek a variety of information from numerous sources. I don't use talking points. Al Queda only makes up a portion of the insurgency. Do a little research and you will find it isn't black and white, US military vs Al Queda. There are so many factions of Iraqis and some foreign fighters that it is difficult to know who is who. But they are not all Al Queda and we wouldn't be fighting them in Dunwoody, Ga. if we were not fighting them there.


Let me ask you a question. Why did we go to Iraq? Was it to liberate the people and bring democracy? Or was it to turn the country into a terrorist magnet like some claim so we could fight terrorists there instead of in our backyard? Gee, with friends like that, who needs enemies? One stated goal is in direct opposition to the other, yet there are those who make both of these claims out of different sides of their mouths. I wouldn't appreciate a country drawing terrorists to the US to fight a war while all I want is to make a living and raise a family. Would you?

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