Hey George, the women of Iraq "thank you"


I don’t know how we’re planning to prevent it, if we even are…although it’s reasonable to assume we are. My own feeling is that if the Iraqi people truly want such a leadership, rather than having it foist upon them and then finding themselves unable to shed it, ala Iran, I would have to say it would be a legitimate type of government for them to have.

I don’t necessarily think we will be safer, but Hussein and his regime presented a unique and singular set of problems and threats unlike those posed anywhere else I’m aware of. I don’t know that I would view a fundamentalist state in Iraq as being any more of a threat than Iran. But I certainly wouldn’t view it, even in the somewhat unlikely event such a government would be freely voted in, as more of a threat than Hussein, or a future regime run by his sons, would have posed.

No. I, nor anyone else not intimately connected to Bush, knows how he intends to fulfill this promise (or, more likely, goal. I don’t recall him “promising” it, but I’ll concede the point for now.)

You’re asking my opinion, right? Then no, he has no such free pass by virtue of his presidency or anything else. But doesn’t your question presume that someone has said it does? If so, that person certainly wasn’t me. Secondarily, neither you nor anyone else knows that he ever said such a thing while knowing full well he would not follow through, much less that he would knowingly be doing the opposite. (And does this last indicate you think he knew fully well that he would not only not make women’s rights a central issue, but that he would deliberately do the opposite, i.e. cause them to have fewer rights and freedom than they had under Hussein?)

I do blame them, but a lot of people are dead, injured, and terrorized because of us.

Daley didn’t lie about how he was doing it for some bogus reason, invade the city, bomb the hell out of it and its citizens, drop in troops to conduct search and destroy missions, terrorizing the citizens, let the museums be looted, keep the power and water off, throw innocents in jail and torture them (not that that couldn’t happen in Chicago, though the prisoners would be much better treated in general), install a puppet government, walk away and declare victory and use it as a political ploy.

Our murders are mostly due to the “War On Drugs” not the “War On Terrorism Even Though It’s The Wrong Damn Country And We Stopped Caring About The Guy Who Masterminded 9/11”

Cites? I assume you’re not talking about when the statue of Saddam was toppled in Firdos Square, because of course, that was staged.


That was quoting from an LA Times article that’s no longer on the net.

There are some pictures here.

(Btw, I don’t blame Bush directly for this, but the media for going along with this bullshit and then criticizing protesters.)

I don’t even have the will or strength to refute something like this, that you’ll reject no matter what.

It must be nice to live in La La Land.

When you make a mistake, you get a parking ticket. When The Office of the President makes a mistake, innocents die.

Excuse us for holding the Office of the Prez to a higehr standard. Especially seeing as it is made up of (one assumes) well-educated, informed, thoughtful and diplomatic individuals, as opposed to one, uh, starving artist.

I can’t believe anyone fell for this one, considering he’s not too keen on women’s rights here in the US.

Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything Bush could do. The inevitable consequence of attacking Iraq was destablization. You cannot impose a form of government on a people whose very religion and culture are by nature opposed to the concept. It is doomed to failure, plain and simple. The much-vaunted Iraqi Constitution isn’t worth the paper its printed on, and never will be. A constitution is only as powerful as the dertimination of the citizens to be bound by its dictated. If the citizens are completely opposed to the ideas it espouses, it will stand only until a leader powerful enough to throw out the shaky foundation upon which it rests emerges-- and that will happen sooner than later.

I predict that within 20 years, we will see a hard-nose dictator in that region, possible genocide, and that we’ll have to go back in there to prevent the entire Middle East from exploding. I just pray that this time the “Hitler” doesn’t get his hands on The Bomb, or we’re all fucked. All of the “ingredients” for such a thing are there: turmoil, poverty, confusion, ethnic hatred, and identifiable and blame-able enemy, and a certain longing for fundamentalist ways.

I don’t think there is a solution to this problem, either. We don’t have the money, will, or patience it would take to fully modernize and secularize Iraq to the point where the danger would be negligible.

I only asked one question and that one was purely rhetorical, but since you brought it up I think it’s pretty clear the statement is there by implication. If I ever happen to see you acknowledge a specific criticism of the Administration as valid, or post anything other than apologetics for Bush in these threads, perhaps I’ll think otherwise.

What does any of that have to do with the scenario you quoted in your OP?

Either his family is extremely dysfunctional, or he’s off his rocker, or both. President Bush and the war has what do with this? Seeing as the sister is four, the dysfunction/delusions precede the Bush administration, let alone the war.

Man, I was just thinking the same thing. SA tends to speak pretty politely, so if anyone ever gets a little too vehement in their disagreement with him, a flock of apologists swoops in to say, “Hey, be nice to SA; he may be conservative, but he always has well reasoned arguments for his position.”

Bullshit. You, SA, are highly skilled at swirling the syllables around a little nugget of bullshit so that it sounds like your argument is reasonable, but all you’re doing is starting with a conclusion–Bush can do no wrong–and back-justifying from there. I got very good at the same thing in highschool debate class, when I had to argue positions I didn’t agree with, so I know how easy it is.

I just wish someone of your obvious intelligence and skill would actually consider some of these points from a perspective of openminded reasoning, and quit all this bullshit backward justification.

He talks kinda purty, but he thinks pretty dirty. (Hey! I’m a rapper!)

Anyway, the math is there for anyone who can add: the conditions laid out in the OP are a direct result of the chaos that resulted from the US invasion and subsequent lack of planning for the aftermath.

[QUOTE=Starving Artist]
I don’t know how we’re planning to prevent it, if we even are…although it’s reasonable to assume we are. My own feeling is that if the Iraqi people truly want such a leadership, rather than having it foist upon them and then finding themselves unable to shed it, ala Iran, I would have to say it would be a legitimate type of government for them to have.

I don’t necessarily think we will be safer, but Hussein and his regime presented a unique and singular set of problems and threats unlike those posed anywhere else I’m aware of. I don’t know that I would view a fundamentalist state in Iraq as being any more of a threat than Iran.[/quote)
This is less than reassuring, considering there is now evidence that, unlike Iraq, Iran WAS involved with 9/11.

Not to mention that, if Iraq does indeed become a fundamentalist state, it will be one in which the people have personal reasons to despise the US, in addition to their ideological and theological reasons. If Iran was involved in 9/11, and offered to help Al Qaeda (assuming the reports of this are true), how much more dangerous would Iraq be, given the very personal tortures and humiliations we have gone through with on innocent Iraqis? How many of them have tales of family members killed, tortured, or abused?

In short, we will be creating the “perfect storm” of terrorism.
I don’t see how anyone could fail to recognize the enormous increase in danger for the US should this come to pass.

Yet there do not seem to be any plans in place to prevent this, nor can I myself think of any way to prevent it, now that we have so unthinkingly blundered down this road.

Strictly on the women’s rights issue, I tend to agree that there is not much Bush could have done, outside of sending in more troops to increase security (something which he failed to do despite it being recommended by all the experts). Our troops in Iraq are not equipped to keep the peace, and thus the resulting chaos is expected.

Given this, it was wrong for him to suggest (by saying so) that women’s rights were a centerpiece of the Iraq project. I have never been one who thinks Bush is stupid. Instead, I see him as a man who feigns surprise whenever things don’t go as he supposedly thought they would, when in fact what happened was entirely predictable.

One of his basic strategies is to promise something he never intends to provide(such as women’s rights in Iraq), and then to pretend to be surprised when his actions do not meet the stated goals, and finally to pretend to be too stupid to realize that his plans were never even remotely adequate in meeting those goals. By any standard, this is an ingenious plan, as it reduces his opponents to pathetic jabs at his intelligence. It is amazing the havok that can be wreaked by intelligent men.

Equipoise has it right: it makes perfect sense to blame Bush but not Daley.

In evaluating a decision-maker’s actions, one must view the predictable actions of others more or less like natural phenomena. If someone decides to shoot cannon off in an avalanche-prone area, and sure enough the avalanche comes and crushes a bunch of people, do you blame the rocks or snow? Of course not. You blame the guy who decided to shoot the cannon, even though the cannon didn’t actually kill anyone - because the risks of shooting the cannon were foreseeable.

That post-invasion Iraq would run the risk of a breakdown in civil order was quite predictable. Hell, I predicted it was a significant risk, and I’m just this guy, you know? I’m no expert in Middle Eastern affairs, but I’ve been reading about failed states (not in those words, but grokking the idea) since the mid-1990s, and I couldn’t see what was going to stop Iraq from turning into one of those. (Gotta admit I didn’t expect it so fast; by last fall, according to the CPA, “retrieving a simple bank statement from the Central Bank of Iraq, or a meeting with Ministry of Oil officials, presented significant security issues, as these facilities required a security detail of at least six persons.” But the Bushies didn’t tell us that then, did they? Nah, they didn’t tell us that until they needed a justification for the unauditable state of the CPA’s books. But I digress.)

Anyhow, there were serious risks, in our intervention, with respect to how Iraq would ultimately turn out. To say that Bush downplayed these before the invasion is an understatement. Find me once, prior to 3/19/03, where he said that if we weren’t careful in how we handled the occupation, Iraq might turn into a failed state, or an Arab version of Iran, or wind up with a Saddam-lite strongman. Hell, he only talked about the occupation phase at all in response to a great deal of public prodding.

So yeah, if Iraq turns out worse after Saddam than it was with Saddam, or if the improvements, such as they are, hardly justify our losses in lives, treasure, and opportunity costs (that is, the loss of what we could have been doing instead with our military and diplomatic capacity - tracking down al-Qaeda? keeping Iran from going nuclear?), I’m gonna blame Bush. He’s the guy who decided to upset the applecart, and how he convinced us to go along was by claiming, among other things, that Iraq would be a swell place afterwards.

It’s not, and there’s no reason to think it’s going to be anytime soon.

We’re here to fight ignorance. Remember Jay Garner, Paul Bremer’s brief predecessor as Iraqi proconsul? He was quickly sacked, and he believes it was because he wanted Iraqis to hold municipal elections ASAP - like June 2003. When Bremer left from the Baghdad Embassy rooftop on June 28, 2004, Iraqis, with few exceptions, still didn’t have elected local governments.

So you’re using the word ‘autonomy’ in some sense that most of us have no familiarity with. Iraqis have had no autonomy at all until June 28 of this year, and I’ll avoid for now the argument about how much they’ve had since.

Anyhow, supposing Bush realizes those things - how come he didn’t tell the rest of us ahead of time? And why wasn’t Europe like this after WWI or WWII, how come Kuwait wasn’t like this after the Gulf War, how come Grenada, Panama…you get the idea.

At any rate, I think lissener has you tagged.

Pfft. Nah, you’re just a RTFirefly. I just heard you now come in sixpacks.

[post=5091253]You talkin’ to me, man?[/post] :smiley: If you’ll note, in that post (and others) where I’ve spoken up for SA, I concur that the arguments he makes seem “reality-challenged, if not outright delusional”; I admit that “I regularly cast about for a sturdy wall to forcibly apply my pate to when reading posts by my pal Starving Artist”; and I point out that “he’s arguing from a particular worldview that (to many of us) irreparably distorts his perceptions and hence deductions”.

But I keep in mind that SA [post=5088587]believes in the “liberal bias” of the media[/post] and takes his worldview from Fox and its brethren. Rather than use up my rolleyes allotment for the month on one of his posts, I filter what he says through that knowledge. Why, then, do I jump into threads to speak up for him? Because he’s not a one-trick-pony attackbot, unlike some (not all, not by a long shot) of the right-wingers on the SDMB. Because I hate to see him get goaded into yet another screaming match (and have whacked him about the head and shoulders not to let himself get seduced into slugfests). Because, once in a while, the more civil of his opponents are able to drag him, however reluctantly, to perceive and admit error, while frontal assaults on his intelligence and integrity merely make him dig his trenches ever deeper.

None of which is any reason to hold back from telling him what you think of what he posts, of course. I’m merely pointing out that certain tactics work (marginally) better than others. If you’ve written SA off as a right-wing tool not worth trying to persuade, then ignore me (assuming you’ve even got this far) and have at him. I just hate to see SA take the bait and fling himself into yet another trainwreck, since, aside from politics, he’s actually a nice guy.

I totally agree with the third paragraph of your post, lissener – I really wish we could open SA’s mind. Even as I know he wishes the same about us. :wink:

As you point out, RTFirefly, we’re here at the SDMB to fight ignorance. When you and others debate with Starving Artist, you’re educating me and, I believe, a lot of other people reading the thread. Your post here, dissecting the Daley/Bush analogy, for example: I learned things I hadn’t known, considered certain aspects from a new perspective, decreased my own ignorance. Thank you.

There’s no denying, arguing with SA can be frustrating. But look beyond him to the people you DO reach, and know that your efforts are far from wasted.

SA, before we invaded Iraq, women held 1/3 of the civil service positions. As it’s already been stated, the Bush Administration proclaimed that women’s rights would be a centerpiece of its project to make Iraq a democratic model for the rest of the Arab world." If the Bush Administration has failed to deliver on a promise and instead the situation for women is growing worse, why shouldn’t the Bush Administration be held accountable?

Revolutions are supposed to make things better, not worse. There will be no democracy in Iraq if it is for men only and women continue to lose ground.

EddyTeddyFreddy, apparently a flock of two of us have overwhelmed Lessener with our attempts to get people to reason with Starving Artist rather than just resort to mindless name-calling.

Wouldn’t you know it? Time is short tonight and yet it would take hours to be able to respond to everything that has been posted either to or about me since I was here last.

But I want my good friend EddyTeddyFreddy (if she has forgiven me for that silly elucidator business :p), and Zoe and Yosemite (there are actually three of you good people, Zoe, who have spoken up on my behalf) to know that I have seen and appreciate very much the things you’ve posted in my defense. If everyone here were as open-minded, forgiving, and live-and-let-live in their responses and attitudes toward those they don’t agree with, we would all get along much better and friendships would flourish rather than animosities. It’s ironic that the closest friends I’ve made on this board are liberals, but that’s the case.

One thing that puzzles me, though, is the number of people in this thread and on this board in general who seem to feel that by not giving in and admitting the correctness of their point of view and renouncing my own, that I am somehow being close-minded and rigid in sticking to my own.

It has never been my belief that in expressing my views to those who vehemently oppose them that I would bring those people around to my way of thinking. Similarly, it has never occurred to me until recently that the people I’m debating or arguing with think they should be able to bring me around to their point of view.

In my mind, we are all expressing our opinions and explaining why we feel the way we do about whatever issue is being discussed (barring accusations of asshattery, etc.) And I’ve found that to the degree this can be done civilly and respectfully, each side is more likely to at least see the other point of view for what it really happens to be rather than demonizing those on the other side and condemning them as stupid or evil, or by simply dismissing them out of hand.

It’s easy for some to call Bush a evil, lying, cunning, devious, child-killing asshole, and it’s easy for others who disagree with him to buy into it. When I describe my impression of what Bush is trying to do, and what I think he may have in mind in regard to some particular issue, and what his day-to-day struggles are like, I’m trying to show that this is a man who, rightly or wrongly, is doing the best he can to do what he thinks is right.

He is not perfect, but no one is. He does not have all the answers, he can’t predict the future, and he can’t foretell exactly what will occur given the ebb and flow of events in war any more than he can foretell on a day-to-day basis what the economy will do. He tries to set things in motion to acheive certain goals that he thinks are best for the country. He doesn’t (and can’t) micro manage things down to every little detail. Regarding whatever mistakes he may have made, I’m confident that Roosevelt made mistakes in WWII, Truman (or Eisenhower, I forget which :D) made mistakes regarding Korea, and Kennedy and Johnson made mistakes in Vietnam. Making mistakes is an inescapable part of the human condition. Lawyers make mistakes, doctors make mistakes, airline pilots make mistakes, and presidents make mistakes.

What I’m trying to do is show how I can still support very strongly the efforts of President Bush to protect this country and do what he thinks is right. It’s been suggested to me by one poster that people here need to know the conservative viewpoint and to understand how those of us on the right truly think about things, and I was flat-out asked by Coldfire to explain just how I could feel the way I do. (I never got a response from him, by the way, despite the fact I spent quite a bit of time and effort composing my response. But that’s okay, Coldie, I know you’re busy. :slight_smile: )

But I digress. The point is, just like ETF said, things can be learned by those who read the things posted in these threads. Some will be influenced by the liberal point of view, some by the conservative. But I don’t expect to convert any of those who are adamantly opposed to my point of view, and they shouldn’t expect to convert me. This doesn’t mean we’re close-minded, it means the philosophical foundations of our beliefs don’t allow us to adopt the other way of thinking. For example, many people are just flat-out opposed to the death penalty and will offer all sorts of reasons why it’s a bad idea. If I were able to refute one, they’d come up with another. If I could refute that, they’d come up with another, etc. The points being debated are really just justifications for what the person already believes deep down inside, and that belief rarely changes just because someone else poses what they believe to be a valid argument as to why that belief is wrong. So just like with the upcoming election, the battle is for the minds of the undecided, and I’ve come to feel the conservative point of view is grievously underrepresented here, and that’s why I post to these threads.

Anyway, thank you ETF and Zoe (and Yosemite, if you should happen upon this post). I admire you all, and I always look forward to what you have to say.

And Zoe, is there some way we could communicate directly? I’d really like to hear about your recent trip to France.

Cheers to all,