How "easy" do you want this war to be?

It seems so surreal, that we are engaged in a war, and so many people I encounter seem to view it almost as a videogame or sporting contest. And people seem dismayed ate every casualty report, as tho we should be able to defeat a sovereign nation with no loss of manpower.

I truly do not wish harm upon any individual in the US/coalition military. But a part of me does not want victory to come too easily - at only the cost of considerable amounts of US dollars.

While part of me hoped the initial raid would be successful in decapitating Iraqi leadership, another part of me feared the consequences if we were able to topple a foreign nation so easily. Might make it all the more attractive for certain parties to try to repeat their “success.”

I feel it is almost desirable that we incur some sizeable casualties - in order for the public to be forced to acknowledge the enormity of this undertaking, and to prevent the administration that initiated it from deflecting justified criticism in the popular glow following a fast, relatively painless victory.

We should not have done this to begin with. Now that we have, I wish to see as few casualties on either side as possible. If anyone should pay a personal price for having launched this adventure, it should be the leaders on both sides who brought us to this point. Removal from office would be satisfactory, although I wouldn’t say no to the possibility of criminal charges for top members of the US and British, as well as Iraqi leadership.

Preacher, meet choir.

If we gave you the power who would you wish death upon specifically? The poor support troops Saddam’s thugs just captured? What will be accomplished if Saddam manages to kill thousands with bioweapons? What will that prove? Too many questions, sorry.

That last one is rhetorical. It will prove that we should have not permitted Saddam to stay in power after the first Gulf War. Or, that Clinton should have taken Saddam out in 1998. I don’t think that is the acknowledgement you were looking for, but my opinions in that regard have been firming up recently.

Well to some degree, the war is a video game. Cruise missiles and “smart bombs” (I’ll never figure that one out) operate in a “point and click” fashion (I am aware I’m oversimplifying) and we get reports on successful hits.

This technology, while heralded for it’s protection of manpower, takes the human touch out of combat. What happens when a push of buttons is all that is needed? Without soldiers dying in battles, without armed forces being awestruck by the destruction they caused, without individuals being haunted by the atrocities they have witnessed and possibly been a party to, there ceases to be anything tangible to war.

The briefings we get look more like statistics than anything else: “2000 sorties were executed yesterday with 955 being strikes. All were successful”. For the love of humanity people died in those strikes.

As inhumane as war is, I do not want the humanity taken out of any conflict.

My perspective is that they really didn’t realise how tough the fight would be.

Either they thought the Iraqis would all surrender (I really hope they weren’t deluded enough to think translated broadcasts of Bush’s speech would bring that about though), or they thought they would have had less resolve/firepower or something.

My own extremely unqualified guess was that the war would be quicker and easier, but that Saddam would have prepared some very nasty surprises for Israel first, as well as a few other places. I’m surprised and relieved that that (so far) hasn’t happened.

What I hope that is now they have gone in, they will at least do the job properly. Half measures would be the cruellest thing of all. If they pull out now, all the places where people surrendered, all the villages that welcomed troops and tore down posters of Saddam, will just be slaughtered and decimated.

They made their bed, now they have to lie on it, IMO. And that means taking down Saddam, at whatever extra cost to life than they bargained for.

Be careful making statements like this. It could be interpreted that you are willing to sacrifice lives so you can smugly point the finger and say “I told you so”.

I would rather have a quick and easy victory. I haven’t seen anything in the history books to indicate massive bloodshed has ever been any kind of deterrent to war.

The war is going extremely well. We are within 50 miles of Baghdad, after only 5 days of ground operations. Our air supremacy is total. Nobody but the hacks on television (and those who beleive them) thought this would be easy, least of all those actually in the fight. This is not Gulf War I.

That being said, I hope for as painless a victory for us as is possible.

stupid post-eating hamsters!

For me, the priority is to minimize loss of human life, during and after the war. I do not prioritize minimizing the loss of American life, although I’ll put a slight priority on minimizing the loss of civilian lives and conscripted soldier lives: folks who willingly put themselves in harm’s way accept a greater degree of risk than those who do not. A corrollary is that I want to minimize the destruction of Iraqi infrastructure, inasmuch as a civilization’s infrastructure literally means the difference between life and death for its citizens.

Although I’d love for the war to be over quickly, for my own peace of mind, that’s not an ethical stance. We could end the war immediately if we were willing to use WMDs; we are not, of course, willing. And that’s as it should be. Preserving life, rather than hurrying up, ought to be the priority.

Because I think the war is cynical, unethical, ill-advised, and probably illegal, I want history to remember it as such. For that reason (in addition to hoping for the protection of human lives), I very much hope that no evidence of usable WMDs in Iraq surfaces. Such evidence will serve to obscure the evil process that led to war, and I want that remembered.

Them’s my priorities.
Daniel

Regardless of whether military action against Saddam is a good idea or not, I don’t feel that the American and UK governments have acted in good faith and in accordance with UN law.

As such, while I would hope that as few people are killed in this war as possible, I’m forced to face the fact that if the war goes well, those in power will reap political benefits. If the war goes poorly, those who began it will probably be removed from office, and travesties such as the protective war strategy won’t be attempted again in the near future.

Therefore, I find myself obligated to hope that the war goes badly.

Apologies if you’re whooshing me, but isn’t this just a little high-handed of you?

I mean, if you’re one of the human shields in Iraq, that’s one thing: you can say this. But if you’re sitting in a nice office building somewhere killing time by hoping for the war to go badly (i.e., for lots of people to lose their brothers, sisters, fathers, daughters, best friends, spouses to grenades, rockets, bullets, disease) – well, that’s pretty hideous.

For political reasons, I hope the war goes badly. But that’s far, far outweighed by humanitarian reasons. I want the war to end with a minimum of bloodshed. God, how I wish that the initial strike against Hussein had killed him, such that the rest of the war had been unnecessary: though it would have been a political coup for Bush, it would be monstrous to begrudge him that victory at the cost of thousands of lives.

Daniel

If the war goes well, and this strategy becomes the avowed doctrine of the US, then many more people will eventually die.

I agree that humanitarian concerns are paramount, but short-term good often leads to long-term suffering. Sacrificing tomorrow to salve your conscience today is irrational.

No matter what happens, there will be a great loss of life. Since this loss cannot be avoided, we must accept that it will occur, and consider carefully how it can be minimized.

In time, the hindrance of this invasion may well prove to be the lesser of two unavoidable evils.

Am I the only one who is confused?

If the war goes “easy”, doesn’t this mean that Iraq wasn’t a big nasty scary threat in the first place? If we aren’t met with big nasty scary weapons, doesn’t that mean the war really wasn’t warranted?

To me, it’s a lose/lose situation. Easy war means we were a big bad bully beating up on a wimp. Bad war means we messed with the wrong country and we should have listened to the UN. Of course, if I had my choice it would be the former. But I would still be pissed.

Daniel:

For that reason (in addition to hoping for the protection of human lives), I very much hope that no evidence of usable WMDs in Iraq surfaces"

I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but it almost sounds like you wish that no evidence arises even if there ARE such weapons. Please tell me I’m wrong about that.

Wishing there were no war, and wishing the war goes badly for the US are two very different things. Aside from NK, I don’t see even “war monger Bush” having any ambitions for the US military after Iraq.

First of all, let me express my utter disgust at those who are hoping the war goes badly, for whatever reasons.

War goes well = Saddam is removed from power, and the Iraqi people are released from the clutches of someone who is, by the most favorable accounts, an insidiously evil person.

War goes badly = all of the above, plus a bunch of extra people die. Bush maybe looks kinda bad.

War goes really badly = Saddam isn’t removed from power, lots and lots of people dead, Saddam goes on killing people. But Bush looks really bad, and the anti-war folks get to say I told you so. And next time there’s a threat in the world that needs removing, we ignore it, until it gets so bad that nothing can be done about it. See: North Korea. Did I mention Bush looks bad?
The fact that people are actively rooting for anything other than Option 1 is really frightening.
Jeff

We do not fight wars because they would be an easy or hard win. We fight them because some battles need to be fought.

Seeing Saddam and his 500 closest advisors dead will be fine with me.

And if Iraq continues to look like a punk-ass wimp, doesn’t that mean the “battle” is unnecessary? Aren’t we fighting them because they pose a substantial risk to our security?

A preemptive strike against an inferior army does not make sense to me.

And what kind of military doesn’t consider the probability of winning or losing when going into a battle? I mean, if this was the case, soldiers would never surrender to superior armies.

[ul]:mad: [sup]Give em hell, Jeff.[/sup][/ul]

Well, the thing is, we still don’t seem to know either way. The CIA thinks they hit him, though they could easily be wrong. Reports of Saddam being carried out on a strecher could be wishful thinking.

We have no proof he’s dead or injured, but at the same times, the videos released aren’t helping the “Saddam is Alive” case either. If he is alive, he’s out of touch, it would appear.

That or the tapes are part of some incredibly brillant plan on the part of the iraqis to make us think he’s dead or out of control.

What we want will have absolutely no influence on how this war goes.

I do not think any war is easy. It is easy to think that since the U.S. is so well-equipped, well-trained, and generally superior, that this will come easily. Young men, women, and children will die and are dying, As I type these words, people are dying.
I want it to go easily. What I want does not matter.