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Thread: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

  1. #126

    Default "Practicing for the surge"

    If what happened today on Haifa St. in Baghdad is any indication of the way the new "surge" of our troops is going to have to operate when they get to Baghdad, then I think we're wasting our time and money and the lives of our troops! I saw a live feed of some of the soldiers from the 3rd Stryker Brigade (based out of Ft. Lewis) this afternoon as they were pinned down in a building, shooting out of windows, not wearing much protective gear (no helmets or vests). There was no sound in the video, but I can imagine what the soldiers were yelling to each other.

    In a miniature version of the troop increase that the United States hopes will secure the city, American soldiers and armored vehicles raced onto Haifa Street before dawn to dislodge Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias who have been battling for a stretch of ragged slums and mostly abandoned high rises. But as the sun rose, many of the Iraqi Army units who were supposed to do the actual searches of the buildings did not arrive on time, forcing the Americans to start the job on their own.

    When the Iraqi units finally did show up, it was with the air of a class outing, cheering and laughing as the Americans blew locks off doors with shotguns. As the morning wore on and the troops came under fire from all directions, another apparent flaw in this strategy became clear as empty apartments became lairs for gunmen who flitted from window to window and killed at least one American soldier, with a shot to the head.

    Whether the gunfire was coming from Sunni or Shiite insurgents or militia fighters or some of the Iraqi soldiers who had disappeared into the Gotham-like cityscape, no one could say.
    Why are our troops being put in the middle of a conflict where they don't know who's firing at them, or why?

    Miulang

  2. #127

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    They need to declare marshall law. move everyone out of the city, clean it out and then start over. Almost like tenting your house for termites.

    I know it is easier said than done and it will never happen.

    Other than that it reminds me of trying to rid my house of roaches.

  3. #128

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Quote Originally Posted by speedtek View Post
    They need to declare marshall law. move everyone out of the city, clean it out and then start over. Almost like tenting your house for termites.

    I know it is easier said than done and it will never happen.

    Other than that it reminds me of trying to rid my house of roaches.
    I think they do declare martial law as they impose curfews, traffic restrictions during certain events, etc. The problem is, insurgents don't respect the law.

  4. #129

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Hot off the presses: a summary of the National Intelligence Estimate for the future stability of Iraq that was ordered by the Congress last year. If it looks like a civil war, and feels like a civil war, why can't the White House call the hostilities that are causing Sunnis to kill Shia, Shia to kill Shia, Sunni to kill Sunni and Shia and Sunnis both killing innocent civilians and US troops, a civil war?

    The Intelligence Community judges that the term “civil war” does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq, which includes extensive Shia-on-Shia violence, al-Qa’ida and Sunni insurgent attacks on Coalition forces, and widespread criminally motivated violence. Nonetheless, the term “civil war” accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict, including the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities, a sea change in the character of the violence, ethno-sectarian mobilization, and population displacements.
    Miulang

  5. #130
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    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang View Post
    Hot off the presses: a summary of the National Intelligence Estimate for the future stability of Iraq that was ordered by the Congress last year. If it looks like a civil war, and feels like a civil war, why can't the White House call the hostilities that are causing Sunnis to kill Shia, Shia to kill Shia, Sunni to kill Sunni and Shia and Sunnis both killing innocent civilians and US troops, a civil war?



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  6. #131

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Quote Originally Posted by alohabear View Post
    Could it be a race war?
    Wiki's definition of a "civil war":
    A civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power. Political scientists use two criteria: the warring groups must be from the same country and fighting for control of the political center, control over a separatist state or to force a major change in policy. The second criterion is that at least 1,000 people must have been killed in total, with at least 100 from each side.[1]
    It might also be called a "religious conflict", since the Shia and Sunni are both Muslim sects who have different interpretations of the Quran and Islam, but the differences have been described as not so much religious as political.

    Miulang

  7. #132

    Default Troops ill-prepared for battles

    I find it morally reprehensible and criminally negligent for the US government to send more of our young people into combat with insufficient training and equipment. We should not be sending more troops to Iraq until and unless they are prepared adequately to fight for their lives. To do otherwise makes ALL OF US complicit in the mass homicide of our own citizens.

    Some had only a few days to learn how to fire their new rifles before they deployed to Iraq -- for the third time -- last month. They had no access to the heavily armored vehicles they will be using in Iraq, so they trained on a handful of old military trucks instead. And some soldiers were assigned to the brigade so late that they had no time to train in the United States at all. Instead of the yearlong training recommended prior to deployment, they prepared for war during the two weeks they spent in Kuwait, en route to Anbar, Iraq's deadliest province.

    As the Pentagon prepares to boost troop levels in Iraq by 21,500 people, such logistical and training hurdles are emblematic of the struggles besieging a military strained by unexpectedly long and grueling commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    "It's happening just about to all the units now," said Lawrence Korb, who oversaw military manpower and logistics as assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration. "No unit is completely combat ready."
    Miulang

    P.S. That 21,500 number that Pres. Bush so blithely uttered in his SOTU speech? If he really meant having 21,500 actual soldiers fighting, then he conveniently neglected to mention that each one of those soldiers requires 2-3 support people. So that number will escalate to at least double what most Americans believed unless the escalation is stopped in its tracks by Congress and the American voters.

  8. #133
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    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Muilang-If there is a solution...what is it?

  9. #134

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Quote Originally Posted by PoiBoy View Post
    Muilang-If there is a solution...what is it?
    Start redeploying the troops we currently have stationed in Iraq to the borders, to keep the Iranians and the Syrians from causing more pilikia. Leave Baghdad to the Sunnis and Shia to figure out how they're going to share power there. They've been fighting each other in one form or other for more than 1,400 years and I seriously doubt anyone in this country thinks we should keep our troops there for another 1,400 years to try to keep the peace!

    Over and over, what foreign policy experts and generals are saying is that we need to tell the Iraqi government that we did the hard job (getting rid of Saddam). Now it's up to them to figure out how to make their democracy work, in whatever form it evolves into. And our government and our people should respect the Iraqis enough to let them decide how best to run their country. We haven't had the best track record ourselves, so I really don't think we should be the ones to tell them how to keep their house clean.

    There's already a civil war in Baghdad and Anbar province. It's not our job to pick sides, because in the end, BOTH sides will pick on us (they already are...our troops don't really know who the "enemy" might be in any neighborhood they're patrolling).

    Then we should apologize to the innocent Iraqi citizens for the heartache they have endured for the last 4 years and really do a good job of spending our tax dollars wisely there (instead of just handing it over to war profiteers like Halliburton and Blackwater) and put more Iraqis to work. If they're busy rebuilding their country, they won't have time to take potshots at our troops. We should tell the Iraqi government that we will NOT have permanent bases in their country. We will let them decide how to manage their oil resources without having foreign oil companies coming in and taking over.

    You know, when Iraq went to war with Iran (and we were helping Saddam), once that conflict was over, the Iraqis didn't ask for financial or technical assistance from us; they rebuilt their critical infrastructure in 9 months, using their own people. This time, most of the professional class has fled Baghdad and the people who remain are the ones who didn't have the resources to leave. How much longer can the approximately 6 million Baghdadi citizens endure having over 100 of their family and friends killed daily by suicide bombers and snipers?

    Put yourself in their shoes...5 years ago, even though some of them were being oppressed, they had a wonderful culture: the site of ancient Babylon is in Iraq, but it's been thoroughly trashed, as have other relics of Islam. This time, rather than only taking months, it will take DECADES for them to rebuild.

    They went from a country that at least had constant sources of electricity and water to one today where such things are considered luxuries.

    And what about our troops? Because of better equipment, many soldiers who would have been killed in earlier conflicts are surviving...but what is their future quality of life going to be? How many additional billions of dollars will we have to shell out to help support these brave veterans? Vietnam was bad...even today you see lots of homeless Vietnam vets on the street...victims of PTSD, and even though the Pentagon and VA hospitals are trying to identify more potential victims of PTSD in this conflict, how many are slipping through the cracks to become alcoholics, drug addicts or murderers because of the things they saw and had to do while in combat?

    Report after report says that many of the soldiers and Marines don't know why they're over there fighting. They're obeying orders, but their chain of command hasn't really told them what they're fighting FOR (and in some cases, maybe their leaders don't know why they're over there). One poll taken a few months back indicated that the majority of Iraqis (I think it was like 60%) said that it was OK for the insurgents to shoot at our soldiers. HELLO? When Dick Cheney said things were going to be a "slam dunk" and that our men and women would be welcomed to Iraq by people handing them flowers, I really don't know what he was smoking at the time.

    Now if the US had been attacked and was under seige by the Iraqis or al Qaeda on US soil, I know the Marines and soldiers (and all of us civilians) would have no problem figuring out why we were fighting. But it's very hard to fight against an enemy who looks like the general civilian population and is in a country thousands of miles away from home.

    The billions of dollars that are being diverted to Iraq and that has been frittered away by poor management and corruption could have been put to better use in this country: look at the people of New Orleans. Many people who had to flee New Orleans still can't return home. The lower 9th ward, which was the scene of so much death and misery, still hasn't been reclaimed. The levee system still is inadequate and will probably fail again if there's another hurricane the intensity of Hurricane Katrina and Rita.

    The No Child Left Behind Act had honorable intentions, but the feds didn't give the states any funding to hire more teachers to help raise test scores. Instead, each state is responsible for finding the money to comply. So that means you and I have to pay additional state tax dollars to fund a law that Congress approved with no plans to help the states.

    There are at least 45 MILLION uninsured people in this country and the number grows daily. These are not low lifes who don't want to get a job that has health care benefits: the majority are people like the workers at WalMart who can't earn enough to pay for health insurance. The rate of inflation for healthcare costs has been much higher than the general rate of inflation. Everyone has to contribute a little more out of their pockets every year. When a good portion of your citizens are one bad choice or paycheck away from bankruptcy, you gotta wonder who will be healthy enough to keep the country going. The healthcare system is broken and needs to be fixed in order for this country to continue to be strong.

    So to recap: we need to redeploy our troops to the borders. We need to figure out a way to withdraw completely within 2 years. We should not have permanent military bases anywhere in Iraq. We should let the Iraqis figure out how to manage their oil resources (i.e., nationalize it like Venezuela has). We should not ship any more troops over to Iraq unless and until they are adequately trained and equipped. Congress needs to exercise its duty of oversight and make sure any additional funding for the occupation is justified and can be accounted for.

    We need to pay more attention to the critical issues facing people in this country before we go off trying to help anyone else. If we don't first have a strong population that is well educated and healthy, how can we help anyone else?

    Miulang

  10. #135

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Redeploying troops to the borders of Iran and Syria may sound good on paper but in reality, would be a different story. We can't even keep our border with Mexico secured much less in someone else's country. Besides, our military in general may not have proper training as border agents. It's one thing to be trained to lay waste to the enemy, another to act as civilian gatekeepers.

    Problem is, an American military presence there is as much a liability as it is an asset to the stability of Iraq. I would push on with training Iraqi troops. And I would suggest looking into funding a UN force out there. I'm not talking about a mickey mouse, show of flag UN force, but something more serious. A UN force will help diffuse some of the politics going on, it would seem less of western imperialism.

    And another move should be for the American gov't to get into talks with Iran and Syria. You need to get them on board to stabilize the place.

  11. #136

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    Redeploying troops to the borders of Iran and Syria may sound good on paper but in reality, would be a different story. We can't even keep our border with Mexico secured much less in someone else's country. Besides, our military in general may not have proper training as border agents. It's one thing to be trained to lay waste to the enemy, another to act as civilian gatekeepers.

    Problem is, an American military presence there is as much a liability as it is an asset to the stability of Iraq. I would push on with training Iraqi troops. And I would suggest looking into funding a UN force out there. I'm not talking about a mickey mouse, show of flag UN force, but something more serious. A UN force will help diffuse some of the politics going on, it would seem less of western imperialism.

    And another move should be for the American gov't to get into talks with Iran and Syria. You need to get them on board to stabilize the place.
    The Prez has given the military the power to shoot or capture Iranian fighters who venture into Iraq, and I'm sure he would do the same for al Qaeda/Hezbollah agents trying to cross from Syria. Our soldiers could do more than the US Border Patrol can (for one thing, border guards at our southern border can't shoot illegal aliens who try to cross into our country.)

    So Syria and Iran should definitely not be called in to "help stablize" Iraq. If the Iraqis don't do it for themselves, then we will have the same situation as we're in now...foreign powers trying to change things. What Syria and Iran can do diplomatically is stop meddling in Iraq by allowing insurgents to leave their countries to fight in Iraq.

    Having UN forces in there wouldn't work because if you recall, there was sort of a UN force in there with us...remember the "Coalition of the Willing?" Well, by the end of this year, everyone but the US will have pulled up stakes and headed for the hills. UN Forces aren't able to do much in Lebanon, where there is a little less violence, so I have grave doubts about their being effective in a civil war in Iraq (they didn't do so hot in Kosovo, either, as I recall).

    The troops that we have in Iraq today have not been trained to be instructors anyway. So their mission would have to be totally changed and they all would need more training. If anyone can pull that part off, it would be the current head of our forces in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, because he's been called "the thinking man's general". The guy has been in charge of training soldiers in the past, so at least he understands the logistical and practical things involved in that job. He also helped write the current counterinsurgency manual, which is what they will use to train the Iraqi forces. But even he has admitted that he has a daunting task.

    If I had my druthers, I druther have all our troops home asap, but that's not practical, either. So if they have to stay there, let's get more of them out of harm's way (i.e., Baghdad and Anbar province) and keep other countries from sending their fighters in to muddy the issue. Most of the countries surrounding Iraq are Sunni countries, so while the current Iraqi government is Shia dominated, it's kinda outnumbered.

    Miulang

  12. #137

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    I think you're missing my point. Getting Syria and Iran on board doesn't mean asking them to send soldiers in. It means to get them to keep their borders in check to prevent foreign fighters from flowing into Iraq much like how Pakistan helped us by watching their border with Afghanistan. It may not be the most ideal scenario but it's better than constantly butting heads with Syria and Iran. All that will do is encourage them to look the other way at the borders.

    Coalition of the Willing is not the UN. Pretending to make it look multi-national is not the same as UN. And I mentioned funding a stronger UN force. With the budget planned for our military in Iraq, better to use that to fund a stronger UN force. Why? Again, the presence of American troops is as much a problem as a solution. How do you expect to resolve the issue when your mere presence is an underlying cause of the problem? So you need different troops under a different flag to have a calming effect. Not unless you got insurgents declaring war on the UN too. But it is so easy for them to recruit right now by inciting violence against the hated Americans. Remove that and that's less fuel to the fire.

    So you have your UN force and you couple it with the continued training of Iraqi troops. And like you mentioned, training is done by instructors.

    Like you said, just bringing our troops home won't resolve the issue. But neither is just having them there. The surge may produce some short term gains but long term, there needs to be a policing force that isn't waving the American flag. Not to say a UN force combined with an Iraqi force will solve the issue but it does remove a sore point, us being there and annoying them.

  13. #138

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    I think you're missing my point. Getting Syria and Iran on board doesn't mean asking them to send soldiers in. It means to get them to keep their borders in check to prevent foreign fighters from flowing into Iraq much like how Pakistan helped us by watching their border with Afghanistan. It may not be the most ideal scenario but it's better than constantly butting heads with Syria and Iran. All that will do is encourage them to look the other way at the borders.

    Coalition of the Willing is not the UN. Pretending to make it look multi-national is not the same as UN. And I mentioned funding a stronger UN force. With the budget planned for our military in Iraq, better to use that to fund a stronger UN force. Why? Again, the presence of American troops is as much a problem as a solution. How do you expect to resolve the issue when your mere presence is an underlying cause of the problem? So you need different troops under a different flag to have a calming effect. Not unless you got insurgents declaring war on the UN too. But it is so easy for them to recruit right now by inciting violence against the hated Americans. Remove that and that's less fuel to the fire.

    So you have your UN force and you couple it with the continued training of Iraqi troops. And like you mentioned, training is done by instructors.

    Like you said, just bringing our troops home won't resolve the issue. But neither is just having them there. The surge may produce some short term gains but long term, there needs to be a policing force that isn't waving the American flag. Not to say a UN force combined with an Iraqi force will solve the issue but it does remove a sore point, us being there and annoying them.
    You wanna bet the UN would get very few other countries to get involved in a UN peacekeeping force? NOBODY wants to be in the middle of a civil war, because you end up getting shot at by both sides. I'm sorry, as much as I'd like to believe that the UN used to have clout, now it's just a place for countries to talk about sanctions that countries like Iran choose to ignore. Or more cynically, we could just hire more mercenaries. They know how to kill and they don't have any allegiance to any country.

    Miulang

    P.S. If Pakistan really was our friend, they would have delivered OBL to us by now. If Pakistan really was our friend, they wouldn't let people in their government sell nuclear materials to "enemies" of ours. Musharraf is a crass opportunist and will help the highest bidder for his services. In case you have forgotten, most al Qaeda fighters have gotten their training in Pakistan.
    Last edited by Miulang; February 5th, 2007 at 08:43 PM.

  14. #139

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang View Post
    You wanna bet the UN would get very few other countries to get involved in a UN peacekeeping force? NOBODY wants to be in the middle of a civil war, because you end up getting shot at by both sides. I'm sorry, as much as I'd like to believe that the UN used to have clout, now it's just a place for countries to talk about sanctions that countries like Iran choose to ignore. Or more cynically, we could just hire more mercenaries. They know how to kill and they don't have any allegiance to any country.

    Miulang

    P.S. If Pakistan really was our friend, they would have delivered OBL to us by now. If Pakistan really was our friend, they wouldn't let people in their government sell nuclear materials to "enemies" of ours. Musharraf is a crass opportunist and will help the highest bidder for his services. In case you have forgotten, most al Qaeda fighters have gotten their training in Pakistan.
    I'm sure the UN can get contributing nations if the US is funding it. Money talks. And yes, it's basically hiring mercenaries but it be mercenaries under a different flag. I thought about using NATO instead. But NATO is mostly a western alliance so it may still convey western imperialism. Or perhaps if you can get some crazy worldwide taskforce together like NATO, SCO, and AU. We basically opened Pandora's Box and now we can't close it.

    Yes, I'm aware of Pakistan's questionable friendship. But since when has diplomacy been clean cut, black and white? Don't forget, OBL participated as a Mujahadeen back in the day in Afghanistan and the US backed the Mujahadeen. We also backed Saddam Hussein. We also backed Ho Chi Minh. Politics is a very dirty game.

  15. #140

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    Yes, I'm aware of Pakistan's questionable friendship. But since when has diplomacy been clean cut, black and white? Don't forget, OBL participated as a Mujahadeen back in the day in Afghanistan and the US backed the Mujahadeen. We also backed Saddam Hussein. We also backed Ho Chi Minh. Politics is a very dirty game.
    We backed the Shah of Iran. We backed Fidel Castro. We backed Agosto Pinochet. We're backing the current repressive Saudi government. We always seem to pick as friends the very people who end up biting us in the butts down the road and who we later have to try to eliminate. Now why is that?

    Miulang

  16. #141

    Default A day in the life of our troops in Baghdad...

    ...soldiers in a task force from the 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, who have patrolled Baghdad for months, say that trying to gain cooperation from Iraqi civilians is a thankless struggle. They say they feel powerless to prevent the city's slide into wider war and that Iraqis seldom open up to them with detailed intelligence. Since the task force of more than 800 soldiers arrived in August, 15 of them have been killed.

    Although their commanders argue otherwise, the extent of the challenge led some soldiers to express doubt in interviews that the additional 17,500 American troops slated for Baghdad can make a lasting difference.
    Our troops trying to win the hearts and minds of the civilians in Baghdad, are having a very difficult time, which is causing frustration.

    Miulang

  17. #142

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Miulang View Post
    We backed the Shah of Iran. We backed Fidel Castro. We backed Agosto Pinochet. We're backing the current repressive Saudi government. We always seem to pick as friends the very people who end up biting us in the butts down the road and who we later have to try to eliminate. Now why is that?

    Miulang
    Because we choose our friends for the wrong reasons. We base our friends on the needs of corporate America and special interests. More often than not, the people we support don't bring "democracy" to the respective country.

  18. #143

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Quote Originally Posted by joshuatree View Post
    Because we choose our friends for the wrong reasons. We base our friends on the needs of corporate America and special interests. More often than not, the people we support don't bring "democracy" to the respective country.
    And that's because America is always trying to "force" or use "the spread of democracy" as a lying justification for anything and everything. America has absolutely NO right forcing this on other countries (haven't we already gone through this lesson?), just as other countries have no right telling us how to run our country. Americans have the nerve ...

  19. #144

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    I would rather spend $100 billion to help repair the shattered bodies and minds of the brave soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan than use that money to send another 21,500 soldiers into a place where a good percentage of them will also return from as shattered individuals.

    Here is the sad story of one soldier who returned from Iraq with PTSD and who could not get help in time. He was suicidal, the VA Hospital knew he was suicidal, but apparently didn't do enough to get him into a mental hospital to keep him from killing himself.

    The pricetag that all of us will pay to help these veterans will eventually total in the billions because more soldiers are surviving their injuries but are damaged enough to require treatment.

    It's time for this country to change its priorities toward our troops. If we send them to fight for us, we'd better be prepared to take care of them when they come home, too. It's our obligation as a nation and their right as men and women who sacrificed their bodies for us.

    Miulang
    Last edited by Miulang; February 12th, 2007 at 10:47 PM.

  20. #145

    Default The wrong reasons to go to war

    The only right reason to go to war is if you or your country have been attacked on your own soil. The wrong reason to volunteer to go to war is because it will bring you a hefty signing bonus, or help scratch that itch you might have to want to blow somebody to smithereens. The wrong reason is because you've been brainwashed and told not to question, just do.

    How many of the troops who have been to Iraq and Afghanistan, are unstable enough to use the killing skills they learned, on us, somewhere down the road? If they can call innocent Iraqi civilians "collateral damage" instead of acknowledging them as fellow human beings---give these people faces and families who mourn their deaths---what will they do to any of us if they have fits of rage and go on a rampage?

    Miulang

  21. #146

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Every single one of my military friends joined because of the money and benefits. I heard it straight from the horse's mouth. Most of them are already on their third and fourth tours. I've had one acquaintance return home missing part of the back of his head--he walks around in a daze, has trouble speaking clearly, and doesn't remember a lot of his friends.

    I have yet to meet anyone in my circle of friends who says he/she is doing it to protect our country.

    And I agree w/Miulang--the ONLY reason to go to war is if you've been attacked on your own soil.

  22. #147
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    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    here is another sad story...great way to support the troops.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17160574/

  23. #148

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    Where do the young men and women who are dying for us in Iraq come from? Increasingly, from the small towns that dot rural America.

    Across the nation, small towns are quietly bearing a disproportionate burden of war. Nearly half of the more than 3,100 U.S. military fatalities in Iraq have come from towns like McKeesport, where fewer than 25,000 people live, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. One in five hailed from hometowns of less than 5,000.

    Many of the hometowns of the war dead aren't just small, they're poor. The AP analysis found that nearly three quarters of those killed in Iraq came from towns where the per capita income was below the national average. More than half came from towns where the percentage of people living in poverty topped the national average.

    ...On a per capita basis, states with mostly rural populations have suffered the highest casualties in Iraq. Vermont, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Delaware, Montana, Louisiana and Oregon top the list, the AP found.

    ...Diminished opportunities are one factor in higher military enlistment rates in rural areas. From 1997 to 2003, 1.5 million rural workers lost their jobs due to changes in industries like manufacturing that have traditionally employed rural workers, according to the Carsey Institute.

    ...Entrepreneurs in many small communities have lost their businesses after deploying in the Guard and Reserves, said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. More federal dollars also are needed to ensure that returning troops have easy access to veterans health centers, he said.'

    ..."You don't see anyone who has money putting their children into the military," she said. "I'm all for our soldiers. Without them our country wouldn't be where we are today, but this war just doesn't seem right. Like the Vietnam one. It's not right."
    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like.” --Mark Twain

  24. #149

    Default Who says its not about oil?

    A new Iraqi oil policy is very quietly flying under the radar of the American media and, to a great extent, the Iraqi government.

    The legislation was drafted with the encouragement
    and assistance of the White House and its surrogates. One
    of those surrogates was U.S. consulting firm Bearing Point
    Inc., which was contracted by the administration of George
    W. Bush over a year ago to aid the Iraq Oil Ministry—the
    one ministry that U.S. forces did guard during the looting
    that ensued after the fall of Baghdad. The Independent newspaper
    obtained a copy of a draft of the oil law circulated to
    oil companies in July 2006 and reported on its details on
    January 7, 2007.

    The law as detailed in that draft is highly unusual for the
    Middle East, where other countries outlaw granting foreign
    companies direct interest in oil production. Under this
    draft hydrocarbon law, major Western oil companies would
    be granted Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) for up
    to thirty years and, in at least the first few years, would reap
    up to 75 percent of the profits from both developed and
    undeveloped oil fields. Key to these PSAs is that they would
    be “locked in” regardless of the government in power
    .
    The fact that erstwhile BearingPoint (the same guys that messed up Hawaiian Telecom's transition) had a hand in drafting the policy says a lot... and a lot say that the real reason why we even went to Iraq was to ensure that we had access to Iraqi oil.

    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like.” --Mark Twain

  25. #150

    Default Re: The Iraq War - Chapter 5

    There are now more than 120,000 civilian contractors working in Iraq (hired by defense subcontractors like Halliburton and Blackwater), compared to 135,000 US troops. A civilian contractor earns 6x what an Army private earns to do the same job. What's wrong with that picture? We've outsourced our occupation in Iraq, and we are and will pay for it in more than one way.

    Miulang
    "Americans believe in three freedoms. Freedom of speech; freedom of religion; and the freedom to deny the other two to folks they don`t like.” --Mark Twain

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