Hey George, the women of Iraq "thank you"

From the Jul. 26, 2004 issue of TIME magazine

Stories like this are just sickening. Look, yeah, Saddam was a right royal bastard who deserved to hang in the desert by his toenails, but without a plan before invading and occupying Iraq, no wonder lawlessness is rampant. The women of Iraq are beginning to understand what the women of Afghanistan felt/feel like.

Btw, how are those “liberated” women doing now?

But…they will have democracy!!!

The men any way.

Yes, of course Bush is to blame for the actions of Iraqis. :rolleyes:

He obviously should have followed the lead of the Jordanian example and sent women’s rights advocates in for years to sensitize the people to the concerns of their female fellow citizens, and then taken action against Saddam.

Is Bush completely, 100% blameless in this happy, shiny fantasy world you guys live in?

Does he never do ANYTHING wrong?

According to the article, Bush claimed that women’s rights would be a centerpiece of the Iraq project.

Maybe the article is lying and Bush never cared about women’s rights, but if he did, then perhaps the growing religious conservatism and loss of freedom and life for women in Iraq is yet another sign of incompetent planning.
It’s not as though the shot in the arm for religious conservatism is a surprise, and it isn’t as though the resulting harm to women in Iraq is a surprise either.
Given that these are expected results of what we have done in Iraq, was it really honest for Bush to claim women’s rights were even a goal, let alone a centerpiece?
Or was he lying, because saying “taking out Saddam will have the unfortunate effect of increasing religious conservatism, increasing killings of women, and reducing freedom for women” would not be popular?

I’m not all that well-versed on the history, but it seems to me that we could have learned something from the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. They caused so much chaos that when they finally did leave, it opened the door for the Taliban and shut the door for women.

Have we become what we used to hate most?

I don’t think so. Not yet.

But we’re on the slippery slope. And partway down the hill to Hell.

Yep, pretty much. He undoubtedly realizes, as I do, that a period of turmoil, crime, injustice and cruelty are inevitable in the aftermath of war, particularly when the victor country is one such as ours where we try to give as much autonomy to the citizens of the defeated country as possible, and try to avoid a heavy-handed dictatorial rule such as that of Germany over France in WWII. In order to keep the kind of control that would prevent such things from happening, we have to rule over Iraq so tightly that you would be bitching to the high heavens about how we’re no better than the Nazis!

I’m sure he does; we all do. But he’s doing what he (and I) think is the right thing to do, given everything that comes to bear on the situation. He’s trying to protect the United States and its citizens from terrorist attack; he’s trying to manage the war in Iraq in such a manner as to give the Iraqis the most leeway possible to run their own country and not subject it to an authoritarian occupation; he’s trying to coordinate a global war on terrorism with many different countries having many different concerns and opinions on how to proceed; he’s trying to ride herd over security measures here at home and make sure they are functioning adequately; he’s trying to anticipate and head off all kinds of threats from known and unknown sources; and he’s also trying to fulfill the ordinary duties of the presidency which are widely acknowledged to be a 16 to 18 hour a day job. I certainly wouldn’t want to be in his shoes, and I’m damn glad you’re not.

You people are hopeless. Scary too. Nothing seems to get through your rah-rah skulls.

Me too, on both.

Starving Artist, are you concerned about the possibility of Iraq becoming an islamic fundamentalist state?
If so, how do you think we are planning to prevent this? What if the people of Iraq WANT such a leadership?
If not, how can you think we will be safer, given that terror attacks are much more likely to come from a fundamentalist state (such as Afghanistan was), than from a secular one?

Do you have any ideas about how Bush is going to fulfill his promise that women’s rights would be a centerpiece of his Iraq project? Or, by virtue of his presidency, is he allowed to just make promises like that, with full knowledge that not only will he not follow through, but he will be doing the opposite?

Starving Artist,

I think the point is that the administration really underestimated what they were getting into - our forces were supposed to be met with dancing in the streets and then there’d be a free vote and democracy would naturally take hold. It was quite forseeable that this was going to be a long, hard process and that a lot more planning and resources could have been put into it.

No I don’t think that the administration said “Let’s go whack Saddam and then screw things up so that there’s mad killers running loose in the streets and the populace is in fear of their lives” but they could have done a hell of a lot BETTER and so they do indeed bear some responsibility…as a matter of fact according to international law isn’t it incumbent upon us to maintain order (amongst other things) in a country that we invade? By taking that action we are assuming responsibility for the wellbeing of that country.

Equipoise, you seem to be blaming President Bush for the murders/rapes/honor killings in Iraq, which makes little sense. Why don’t you blame the individual barbaric criminals who commit such atrocities?

BTW, 2-3 people in Chicago are murdered per day. Do you blame Mayor Daley?

It’s a safe bet to say that in some convulted way, she blames Bush.

Oh, I’m sure that’s a given. Maybe the tax cuts are at fault. :rolleyes:

Halliburton does the murders here in Detroit, I hear.

Mafia will do it for 10 grand, Halliburton gets a million five.

Sorry, but I fail to see where this is any valid excuse to claim that the office of the President is beyond criticism. For fuck’s sake, whatever happened to ‘The Buck Stops Here?’

Whether or not the President has to worry about combatting terrorism, I see hardly anyone at this point, other than administration officials with face to save, seriously claiming that invading Iraq accomplished anything with regards to reducing terrorist threats against the United States. Thus the invasion, in the opinion of many, has ended up purely a sideshow that has siphoned vast resources from the self-declared ‘War on Terror’; for the Iraqis, and more seriously, it means that, thousands of innocent cilvians have died, and some continue to die, as a direct result of actions and policies put in motion by the US Administration based on what turned out to be erroneous reasoning. As the case for invasion was first and most vigorously put forward by office of the President, and no one else, the office of the President brought these things on itself and bears responsibility for at least some of whatever suffering goes in in Iraq today. I see plenty to criticise here, and I’ll continue to consider them, with or without the permission of some mook on a message board.

bush is evil and dum

Your point is well taken. I would agree that the administration probably underestimated what they were getting into. I don’t know that I agree with you that this was quite forseeable. War is an inexact science, and revisions to strategy and revisions toplans are a constant. It is quite possible that Bush was advised that it was going to be a long, hard process, and it’s also quite possible that he was advised simultaneously by other of his advisors that it would be relatively simple, as you describe. And let’s not forget that in regard to your description of what was supposed to happen, it pretty much is. There was dancing in the streets to a certain degree, and it would probably have been more widespread except for the fact that the Iraqi people were so fearful of Hussein and his sons and his henchmen that even with American soldiers patrolling the streets they couldn’t feel safe from retribution. And there is going to be a free vote, and hopefully democracy will take hold, but we’ll have to wait and see.

These are good points also. Unfortunately, we are in the position of having to try to dance on the head of a pin in trying not to be dictatorial or oppressive or disrespectful toward the Iraqi citizenry and its Muslim faith. It would be a lot easier to maintain order and assure the citizenry’s safety if we were to adopt a more strict, oppressive and dictatorial type of occupation, but we are trying to leave as light a footprint as possible so as to allow for Iraqi self-determination, while at the same time trying to not further alienate other countries in the region by appearing to be oppressors and disrespectful of the faith of Iraq’s Muslim citizenry.

It’s a conundrum, but that doesn’t mean no action should have been taken in the first place. As awful and reprehensible as these types of crimes are, there are still far fewer people suffering and dying in Iraq than there were under Hussein, and things will continue to get better as time goes by.

Well, since you preceeded these words with quotes of mine, I’m assuming your questions are aimed at me. Can you show me where I ever claimed the Office of the President, i.e. Bush, is beyond criticism? Did I not, before I explained myself in regard to my view of Bush and the job he’s doing, say that we all make mistakes and that I was sure he had as well?

This kind of thing is what I find most difficult and exasperating about discussing these things on this board. A person has to spend almost as much time denying things falsely attributed to him as he does trying to explain his position or why he thinks the way he does.

(This last part is not aimed at you specifically, Kabong. There are many other offenders as well.)