6 months to the dayPosted by Sharon W on 10/09/03 at 16:56 (133210)
Today is 6 months to the day after Baghdad fell to U.S. forces. You remember all the celebrating?
Well, today a suicide car bonmber crashed a white Olds into a Baghdad police station in Iraq's biggest Shiite Muslim area, killing himself (of course) and 9 others, and wounding as many as 45 people. And, earlier today, some gunmen -- one of them dressed up as a Shiite cleric -- shot and kille a Spanish military attache.
A few days ago the US announced that Baghdad FINALLY has more power/energy resources than it did before the war. (FINALLY!)
Sure doesn't seem like very impressive progress to me... WHAT HAPPENED??
Re: 6 months to the dayJudyS on 10/09/03 at 17:03 (133216)
I'd noticed that anniversary also, Sharon. Like most I've observed here, I stay pretty current on most global affairs but I get seriously bogged down....I have my own standards and beliefs, of course, but I'm never sure how much of any given bit of information I should believe. Therefore I try to be objective and strike a balance between all of it. Do you have a favorite source of information?
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:04 (133217)
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/09/03 at 17:05 (133218)
Today 60 members of the 293rd returned home in our small town. They have two days before they go for debriefing. One young man said he was happy to be home but would go back if needed. His mom has a different plan she said she'd tie him to a tree if necessary to keep him home.
Re: 6 months to the dayEd Davis, DPM on 10/09/03 at 17:05 (133219)
There actually has been enormous progress in terms of reconstruction in Iraq and development of a new government and constitution. But, there is a lot of terrorism and terror makes much bigger headlines than the good stuff. Totalitarian dictatorships rule with an iron fist and have a much easier time suppressing terrorism. If we are trying to make Iraq a 'free' country, or something close to that, suppresing terror will be more difficult. In time, we will hunt down more of the leaders of terror, including, hopefully, Saddam himself. The extent to which other countries like Syria are contributing to the problem is not clear.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:08 (133220)
But I also watch TV, read the newspaper, whatever. I'm not really a news hound though... I just like variety. I figure it's good to get different viewpoints. I used to read many of Dr. Ed's cut-and-pastes, and the ones Julie posted from The Guardian, too. I don't know if I was the only one to do that, or not...
Re: 6 months to the dayEd Davis, DPM on 10/09/03 at 17:10 (133221)
The upside, is that we have a free press and that there are so many sources. Political information 'junkies' like myself can never read too many sources - time is the main limit. I have my political orientation but enjoy reading liberal publications like 'The Nation' and others.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:11 (133222)
I should add that it was actually an internet AP news article I had been reading about that in.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:17 (133226)
My friend Jan's daughter was deployed to Iraq just a couple of weeks ago. They're hoping to be back by February... but, who knows? I don't think anyone really knows HOW long all of this will take.
Those soldiers over there are STILL sacrificing a lot, and taking some really big risks, even though they are going on very few actual missions.
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/09/03 at 17:19 (133227)
I just started reading http//www.thetrumpet.com . It's a Christian publication.....I'm not that overly into this kind of religious publication but they have a variety of authors and opinions about international current events. I thought the summer issue in July was very good. It does give insight into the Israeli / Palestinian issue and uses biblical history to explain. It's free on line. So I check it out occasionally. I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed it and learned from it.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:23 (133231)
Thanks, Marie... I'll have to check it out! Is it part of your research for your round table discussion?
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:27 (133234)
I realize that is true -- terror is much more exciting than progress, and of course it is excitement and scandal that sell advertising space!
You and I and do concur about the overall bias of the press.
Still, I had hoped to see much better progress in Iraq by now...
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/09/03 at 17:29 (133236)
I'm not that far along with the political round table. I plan on sitting in first to see if it's something I like. I have been trying to research and understand more about the situation in the mideast. There was a good documentry on over the weekend. It was the history of Israel. Very interesting. Did anyone else catch it?
I just feel like I need to know more so that I can understand the issues and the culture invovled.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:31 (133237)
The middle east is fascinating but INCREDIBLY complex. I do not pretend to even begin to understand it.
I do wish that I had caught that documentary about the history of Israel. was it PBS?
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/09/03 at 17:32 (133239)
Yes it was on PBS. Maybe they'll run it again.
Re: 6 months to the dayJohn H on 10/09/03 at 17:40 (133240)
Arafat was reported today as having stomach cancer. Do not know the valadity of this but it could change the dynamics of the middle east problems.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:45 (133243)
It will when he DIES... Thanks, John, I hadn't heard about that.
Re: 6 months to the dayDorothy on 10/09/03 at 17:46 (133244)
Do you ever read 'Mother Jones'? Generally considered - by journalists - the last truly INVESTIGATIVE news source of a legitimate type around. It is inexpensive. It should get YOUR goat, Ed, from time to time but if you can keep an open mind, you might find things of interest there.
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/09/03 at 17:46 (133245)
I would hope it will end some of the violence but I just don't know that taking one man out of the picture will really change anything.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:48 (133246)
I never thought it was all about that one man, anyway. He was just a symbo.... and these days, I'm not sure he is really even THAT.
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/09/03 at 17:48 (133247)
For some reason the other link didn't work. Oh well here is a new one if anyone wants it.
Re: OOPSSharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:49 (133248)
Make that 'symbol'
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/09/03 at 17:49 (133249)
Re: 6 months to the dayEd Davis, DPM on 10/09/03 at 17:50 (133250)
We could have used more help and still need more help from other countries including allies. I realize that opens a whole pandora's box of debate. But placing our relationships with allies aside for a moment, how about any compassion that may exist among nations for the welfare of the Iraqi people?
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:51 (133251)
They would argue, of course, that that is EXACTLY what they are concerned about...
Re: 6 months to the dayEd Davis, DPM on 10/09/03 at 17:53 (133253)
Keep in mind that it took much, much longer to rebuild and reconsitute a government in Germany after WW2. Are we, perhaps, expecting too much too soon? It has only been a few months.
Re: 6 months to the dayJohn H on 10/09/03 at 17:53 (133254)
Some of the Democrats coming back from Iraq report good progress. Bagdad was reported in this morning's USA Today to have electricity back to prewar levels. That was not very good even then but we are proceeding to raise the output twofold. Saddam often cut off power to certain areas as punishment. Listening to some of he soldier on TV tonight report things are proceeding much better than reported by media. They indicate 'most' Iraqis treat them very well and glad they are there. They indicate there are pockets of resistance that are getting all the press. We are only six months postwar and from the many on scene reports things are indeed progressing. Things of this magnitude take more than months. Not only are we changing or rebuilding the infrastructre we are putting in place a government of self rule to include groups that previously wared among themselves. It seems we are getting better control over border crossing from neighboring countries who are sending in terriorist to disrupt progress. Things that were not permitted for many years are now occurring. Everyone can have a TV. Radio broadcast are not controlled. Self government is on the way. Saddam used all the oil money to build Palaces and use for his personal bank. When the oil starts flowing and all this comes together I think Iraq will be a much better place to live. We do not expect or should we expect it to be a Democracy like the U.S. but it will not be a country ruled by a madman who mass murders his own people. The price of freedom does not come cheap and without loss of life.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:54 (133256)
Perhaps. But we are up against a terrorist threat that will only get worse and worse, the longer we remain there...
Re: Oops againSharon W on 10/09/03 at 17:56 (133257)
OOps, I think I posted the one above in the wrong place...
Re: 6 months to the dayEd Davis, DPM on 10/09/03 at 17:57 (133258)
I actually got a free trial subscription to it for a while. I used to subscribe to the 'Hightower Report' and that is how I got on that list.
Re: 6 months to the dayDorothy on 10/09/03 at 18:00 (133260)
Good man, Jim Hightower. Lone voice in the wilderness.
Re: Oops againDorothy on 10/09/03 at 18:00 (133261)
It's ok with ME, Sharon. I feel like I'm posting all over the place and they're all wrong!
Re: 6 months to the dayEd Davis, DPM on 10/09/03 at 18:02 (133262)
Some of the terrorism is coming from remnants of Saddams government. At this juncture, I can't see doing anything less than continuing the hunt.
Some of it may be coming from Al Queda and countries that support terror. It has been suggested that our presence there is a magnet for such elements but that we are drawing the conflict away from our shores, something that may be, in part, intentional. I think it will take more time before we can make a better judgement.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 18:05 (133263)
I think a lot of the terrorism is coming from Syria, itself... whether it is Al Queda or not, I don't know. Probably some of it is.
Some of it, however, is homegrown Iraqi terrorism. They clearly see us as an 'occupying enemy' and the world has encouraged that perception. We do need to get out of there.
Re: For MarieSharon W on 10/09/03 at 18:14 (133267)
This is way off-topic and I don't know if you're even still reading this thread, but I wanted to say that I really enjoyed your colored pencil sketch of the horse and colt. It's beautiful!
Re: 6 months to the dayJohn H on 10/09/03 at 18:47 (133285)
Sharon I think we are up against a terriorist threat for the remainder of our lifetime and beyond. We face enemys who do not treasure life like we do and who have no problem with blowing themselves up or crashing planes into buildings. These are not necessarily stupid people. The woman who just blew her self up in Hafi and killed both Jews and Palestinans was a Lawyer. When you face a people with such attitudes we must be vigliant and do what is necessary to insure they do not get hold of an atomic weapon or cache of nerve gas. They would have no problem at all using them and killing as many as possible. Remember how the movies of Bin Laden and his staff were overjoyed at the site of 9/11. They were laughing and at the time thought they had killed more than was killed. Hitler killed millions, Stalin killed millions, Pol Pot killed millions. These current killers will stop at nothing and perhaps even more frightening is they will do it in the name of their God. We either have to face them over there or we will surely suffer the consequences here. Maybe not in your lifetime but maybe in your childrens. Let us not say we did not do our part when we had the chance
Re: For Mariemarie on 10/09/03 at 18:49 (133286)
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/09/03 at 18:58 (133291)
This may be a bit off topic but my understanding is that the oil wells are in poor shape as well as the electrical grids. Sanctions prevented many replacement parts and new equipment from entering the country. Many of the wells are barely functioning. I believe I remember that it is going to cost $40 billion to get the oil wells up and running. This was a terrible misunderstanding on our part. Our administration had no idea about the poor condition of the wells or the electrical grid.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 18:59 (133292)
They are unseen enemies, and both their nationalities and motives are variable. IN fact, they could be anywhere in the world, any color, any nationality, any profession, any religion... They might have explosives in a van, a briefcase, in their shoes... or, as in 9/11, they might use our own technology against us. They might shoot off a dirty bomb, from somthing just offshore... Or they might just release a thimbleful of disease organisms into the air!
The enemy known as terrorism is really just hatred of Americans. That's all it really is. And it is growing, all around the world.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 19:00 (133293)
INteresting, I hadn't heard about that.
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/09/03 at 19:11 (133296)
If the oil wells were up to snuff....believe me we wouldn't need 87 billion dollars. A while back I posted a report on sanctions. It's long I know but very thorough. It explained the oil for food program and it's trivial effect on the population of Iraq. it also explained how the transactions worked. Saddam recieved no money for oil. He may have however made money from smuggling it to Syria. It is interesting to note that sanctions have been banned because of Iraq. One could have all the money in the world but it is no good if you cannot buy the goods you need most. Sanctions are meant to be temporary. It was hoped that the people would rise up and rid themselves of the dictatator in power. all sanctions did was hurt the innocent people of Iraq. We all know Saddam didn't suffer a bit. The world community has banned sanctions as a use to overthrow a government. We will never see sanctions used again as a tool to force people to overthrow a tyrant.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/09/03 at 19:17 (133299)
Well, the sanctions obviously didn't work to get rid of Saddam... And yet we DID keep hearing them used as a justification for why not to take more aggressive measures to remove Saddam from power. ...'Give the sanctions more time to work.' or 'Give the inspectors more time to do their job.' or 'Saddam's own people will rise up against him, they won't put up with his tyranny forever.' Etc. NONE of it worked.
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/09/03 at 19:42 (133301)
It's truely a mess. I have never understood our haste into this war....and we are still engaging in battle. I do hope that our troops are safe and find their way home. The sooner the better.
I only wish the Iraqi people the best. I hope those that are unhappy with our presence can some day forgive and enjoy their freedom.
Well there is a Democratic debate going on so I'm off to the TV.
Re: 6 months to the dayJohn H on 10/09/03 at 21:50 (133312)
Actually there was a pipline of trucks rolling from other countries into Iraq with goods. Saddam was selective as to he let the goods get to. He did not build all those arms himself. This week the UN Inspectors uncovered missiles manufactured in France in the late 90's they also found some various viles of Botuliusm. The chief U.N. Inspector noted in his report to the U.N this week or last of the list of weapons he had uncovered all in violation of the U.N. sanctions. Are we better off with Saddam gone with his regime? Would be better off to have just left him contine as he was? I know my thoughts but recognize some may differ. Few in our government if any Democrats or Republicans, Liberal or Conservatives would suggest we just pull up and leave. This is not an option. We have to see this through or our credability around the world would be totally lost and the middle east would be in deep trouble. Iran,Syra or someone else would move in immediately and take over and reestablish another brutal regime. Our crediabilty suffers from the first gulf war because we left Saddam in power to murder hundreds of thousands of his own people and the distrust of our resolve is still questioned in the area.
Re: 6 months to the dayJohn H on 10/09/03 at 22:03 (133313)
Certainly we are the prime target Sharon but Israel is still number one. We do have religious fanitics who hate not only Americans but all infidels and some of the groups have stated their goals as to see us all dead. Period. Terriorism takes place in nearly all the countries of the world on a regular basis and has for a long time. It is just reaching our shores. France,Germany,Japan,India,Russsia, Indonesia experience terriorism on a regular basis. We just not pay much attention until 9/11. Clinton made an effort once to get Bin Laden with a missle but was a little late. I think they had a chance to get him dead certain but for whatever reason passed when he was in Liberia. He has been plotting against us for over a decade and how to bring the killing to our shores. Some say it is because of our support for Israel. What should we do if several nations in the mideast attacked Israel? I think the answer is clear among 99.9% of all of our leaders in the Congress. We would defend Israel. We have our regular disputes with England but we are joined at the hip by history and culture. If anyone attacked England you can count on the U.S. responding with all we have. Same with Canada.
Re: 6 months to the daySharon W on 10/10/03 at 07:21 (133357)
I think (I HOPE!) we are still a country that would honorably go to war to defend ANY of our sworn allies if they are actually attacked on our own soil, the way Kwait was. And that includes France... although I really wonder if the reverse would be true, in that case.
Re: 6 months to the dayBevN. on 10/11/03 at 18:42 (133656)
Thanks for posting the new one, I could not get the other one to work . This looks like an interesting site . Bev
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/12/03 at 10:26 (133719)
Oh no not all Democrats believe we should pull out of Iraq. Dean made it clear in the last debate that he intends to finish the job in Iraq if elected. It would be an injustice to the Iraqi people if we did that. Most Democrats embrace this. There are of course some that want to pull out now but they are NOT the majority.
Bush has lost respect in the international world...He will not be able to reverse the past. A different president may open those relations again so that we can get more help to build a democratic government in Iraq.
While our troops are building new schools in Iraq....Republicans CUT military education funds....hmmmm.
And yes there was a great deal of smuggling that went on in Iraq during the 11 years of sanctions. Saddam felt no pain during that time. It was the people who suffered. Did you read the 6 chapter report on sanctions that I posted? It very maticulously goes through everything with links to specific UN resolutions and notes. It does discuss Clinton's part as well. It was a very comprehensive report. A good read for both conservative and liberals.
Re: 6 months to the dayjohn h on 10/12/03 at 12:38 (133735)
I do not think any but a few Democrats or Republicans would suggest pulling out of Iraq at theis point. This would be a total disaster for the Middle East and Amercican credability for generations. I do not even think the Germans or French would want us to just walk away anymore than we did in Kosovo. The argument should be about bringing in other nations and just how much control they should have. The Turks are ready to lend troop support but many Iraqu's are suppicious of the Turks. Many nations are afraid to committ troop support because of casualities. I do not care which pary is in office I think we are there for the long haul as ultimately it is in our national security and the stabilization of the area.
Re: 6 months to the daymarie on 10/12/03 at 17:39 (133763)
I do see your point on that...I would think that most feel this way. We need help if we are going to finish the job in a timely manner.