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Thread: Keeping the good times rolling

  1. #1
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    Keeping the good times rolling

    By Joseph Galloway

    [QUOTE]McClatchy-Tribune Information Service
    The war in Iraq grinds on without much regard for an American president's pipe dreams of victory, a congressional majority's impotent attempts to stop it and most of the American people's wish that it would just go away.

    We're now well into the fifth year of this war. All 30,000 of President Bush's surge reinforcements are on the ground, and we have more than 150,000 American soldiers and Marines in the caldron. The only surge in sight is an inevitable one in the numbers of those troops being killed and wounded.

    More than 3,500 Americans have now been killed in action and more than 29,000 wounded, along with an additional 25,000-plus injured in accidents. That's close to 60,000 American casualties to date, and God alone knows how many Iraqis have been killed and wounded in the war and the civil war -- certainly hundreds of thousands.

    The central focus of Bush's escalation was to make Baghdad more secure so that the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki could take control of its own capital. In truth, Baghdad seems no more secure now than it was -- only a more target-rich environment -- and even the president and his generals predict that things will get worse before they get better. If they get better.

    The Army and Marines scrape and scratch and scheme and pay big bucks and beguile high school dropouts, even those with criminal records, in their efforts to recruit enough young men and women to replace the casualties and those who are leaving the service.

    The administration doesn't want you to worry about any of this. It's summertime, shopping time, surf's up. Head for the beach and bury your heads in the sand.

    The planes loaded with flag-draped coffins soar over the Atlantic Coast sunbathers to land at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, the site of the military mortuary, unseen as they come home to a nation that barely noticed when they left so full of hope and dreams.

    Your government, your president, has banned cameras from Dover so those images won't intrude on your good times and good life.

    The planes loaded with the scores of wounded -- some of them double and triple amputees with bodies and brains shattered by the roadside bombs and mines that are responsible for two-thirds of our casualties -- fly over the beachfront bars and restaurants and land at Andrews Air Force Base outside the nation's capital in the dark of night. The administration doesn't want too many people noticing them, either.

    Both major political parties in this country, their eyes firmly fixed on November 2008 and a change in what passes for leadership these days, have so many self-deluded candidates for their presidential nominations that they may have to start sharing the microphone at debates.

    For those who ask whether there is no good news from the Iraq war zone, the answer is a qualified "yes."

    In Fallujah in the Sunni heartland of the Anbar province west of Baghdad, where American tanks and warplanes had to destroy the city in order to save it, the powerful tribal sheiks have turned away from the foreign jihadists and al Qaeda in Iraq operatives. Sick of the senseless slaughter and angered when it touched their own families and tribes, they've sent their young men to fight against the extremists they once sheltered.

    At home, there are some faint signs that Bush is paying some heed to more reasonable voices, such as those of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and less to those of Vice President Darth Cheney and the neoconservatives of the Dark Side.

    It's still a long way to high noon on Jan. 20, 2009, so don't throw away your anti-depressive medications just yet. [/QUOTE]

  2. #2
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    There are no simple solutions to the Middle East, in fact there may be none at all. If we pack up and leave we are screwed if we stay we are screwed.
    One thing I know for sure something must be done about Iran and it must be done real soon!

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    [QUOTE=MnJetFan]There are no simple solutions to the Middle East, in fact there may be none at all. If we pack up and leave we are screwed if we stay we are screwed.
    One thing I know for sure something must be done about Iran and it must be done real soon![/QUOTE]

    Just what must be done real soon and by whom?

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    [QUOTE=MnJetFan]One thing I know for sure something must be done about Iran and it must be done real soon![/QUOTE]


    Don't forget Indonesia. That collection of stone age islands is a haven for terrorists. If we don't get that seething hotbed of anti American sentiment put to bed we might be island hopping in the Pacific again... :(

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    [QUOTE=MnJetFan]There are no simple solutions to the Middle East, in fact there may be none at all. If we pack up and leave we are screwed if we stay we are screwed.
    One thing I know for sure something must be done about Iran and it must be done real soon![/QUOTE]

    Bull****, we don't have do do anything about Iran. There a country without an Army or Navy. The don't have a nuke and if they get one, how the **** are they going to fire it? and if they give it to terrorists, how the **** are they gonna fire it? If they plan to bring it to this country they'll be caught 100 miles before they make it to our shores. What are people so scared about? North Korea has a nuke and they can't fire it, the Soviets had 40,000 and guess what, they didn't fire one and you know why? Because we have more nukes than anyone and if they even attempt to fire one we will wipe their country off the face of the Earth. You should not be scared of Iran, thats just what the media and the war machine that runs the media wants.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=jefethegreat]Bull****, we don't have do do anything about Iran. There a country without an Army or Navy. The don't have a nuke and if they get one, how the **** are they going to fire it? and if they give it to terrorists, how the **** are they gonna fire it? If they plan to bring it to this country they'll be caught 100 miles before they make it to our shores. What are people so scared about? North Korea has a nuke and they can't fire it, the Soviets had 40,000 and guess what, they didn't fire one and you know why? Because we have more nukes than anyone and if they even attempt to fire one we will wipe their country off the face of the Earth. You should not be scared of Iran, thats just what the media and the war machine that runs the media wants.[/QUOTE]

    Iran has missiles now and are developing missiles now and are buying missiles from Russia, China and NK now. They currently can reach Turkey and most of the ME oil reserves and Israel. There are conflicting reports that they have tested missiles that are capable of going 1800KM. They have paid armies currently operating in both Gaza and Lebanon and their Lebanese proxy army, Hezbollah, basically pushed the IDF to a stalemate just a year ago. They are clearly capable of arming, financing and supporting covert and overt attacks anywhere in the world.

    I'm not afraid of Iran because they don't have nukes.

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    The real threat to world peace is Eurasia. We just better hope Oceania gets its crap together and wins a decisive victory over those Eurasian pigs...

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    [QUOTE=Winstonbiggs]Iran has missiles now and are developing missiles now and are buying missiles from Russia, China and NK now. They currently can reach Turkey and most of the ME oil reserves and Israel. There are conflicting reports that they have tested missiles that are capable of going 1800KM. They have paid armies currently operating in both Gaza and Lebanon and their Lebanese proxy army, Hezbollah, basically pushed the IDF to a stalemate just a year ago. They are clearly capable of arming, financing and supporting covert and overt attacks anywhere in the world.

    I'm not afraid of Iran because they don't have nukes.[/QUOTE]

    And just how much does the USA spend on our military?

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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]Just what must be done real soon and by whom?[/QUOTE]

    We do not have to hit them militarily, we could crush their economy by cutting off their money flow. Shut down their oil exports, tie up their bank accounts and slowly bleed them dry!

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    [QUOTE=MnJetFan]We do not have to hit them militarily, we could crush their economy by cutting off their money flow. Shut down their oil exports, tie up their bank accounts and slowly bleed them dry![/QUOTE]

    Some good ideas there.

    The key thing to remember about Iran is that it is a secular state essentially being held hostage by religious loons.

    There is a lot of pro-democracy sentiment within the population --particularly the younger segment of the population-- and I really believe U.S. policy should be geared toward fostering that sentiment and trying to destabilize the government from within.

    The current regime is very unpopular due to its failure to deliver on its economic promises -- and some observers believe the recent rhetoric about eliminating Israel and denying the Holocaust and other nonsense is essentially an attempt to distract from its many failings.

    The U.S. and Israel need to be very careful in how they proceed, because Iran almost certainly wants to pick a fight with the West in order to rally its population behnd its current leadership. We should not take the bait.

    Nor should we allow them to develop nukes, but they're not clsoe to doing so and --as evidenced by the regime's taking 30 years to build an airport-- I don't think any breakthroughs there are imminent.

    Iran is a very complicated question, but I'm sure the answer is not our current administration's usual shoot first//ask questions later approach.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]And just how much does the USA spend on our military?[/QUOTE]


    We spend more than any country in the world and over the time we have spent more we have enjoyed over multiple generations the highest standard of living in the world with the largest and most diverse economy in the world. You could be on to something.

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    [QUOTE=Winstonbiggs]We spend more than any country in the world and over the time we have spent more we have enjoyed over multiple generations the highest standard of living in the world with the largest and most diverse economy in the world. You could be on to something.[/QUOTE]

    Just wondering if that (military spending) is what they consider 'democrazy'?

    We have to bomb them cause they want the same thing we have?

    Think that they want to attack us because of what we have had for decades?

    Again, I am no fan of Iran. They held Marines hostage for 444 days. Another unreasonable attack by this admin is just what we need. Gen Pace was against attacking Iran.

    Good thing they got rid of him, the first Marine JCS...

    Don't worry, those who call for the attacks (but won't join the military) on these lesser countries though Hillary will attack Iran for you...

    No Marines No Freedom
    Know Marines, Know Freedom

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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]
    Again, I am no fan of Iran. [B]They held Marines hostage for 444 days[/B]. Another unreasonable attack by this admin is just what we need. Gen Pace was against attacking Iran.

    [/QUOTE]
    But who cares about the civilians they held, right, Dawgg. They had it coming, didn't they.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]Just wondering if that (military spending) is what they consider 'democrazy'?

    We have to bomb them cause they want the same thing we have?

    Think that they want to attack us because of what we have had for decades?

    Again, I am no fan of Iran. They held Marines hostage for 444 days. Another unreasonable attack by this admin is just what we need. Gen Pace was against attacking Iran.

    Good thing they got rid of him, the first Marine JCS...

    Don't worry, those who call for the attacks (but won't join the military) on these lesser countries though Hillary will attack Iran for you...

    No Marines No Freedom
    Know Marines, Know Freedom[/QUOTE]

    Just a question Dawg, did you condem or applaud Israel for taking out the Nuclear power plant France was building in Iraq for Sadam?

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    [QUOTE=Winstonbiggs]Just a question Dawg, did you condem or applaud Israel for taking out the Nuclear power plant France was building in Iraq for Sadam?[/QUOTE]

    We are not Israel. Israel is next door neighbors of these people. Something that directly affects there national security does not affect ours.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]Some good ideas there.

    The key thing to remember about Iran is that it is a secular state essentially being held hostage by religious loons.

    There is a lot of pro-democracy sentiment within the population --particularly the younger segment of the population-- and I really believe U.S. policy should be geared toward fostering that sentiment and trying to destabilize the government from within.

    The current regime is very unpopular due to its failure to deliver on its economic promises -- and some observers believe the recent rhetoric about eliminating Israel and denying the Holocaust and other nonsense is essentially an attempt to distract from its many failings.

    The U.S. and Israel need to be very careful in how they proceed, because Iran almost certainly wants to pick a fight with the West in order to rally its population behnd its current leadership. We should not take the bait.

    Nor should we allow them to develop nukes, but they're not clsoe to doing so and --as evidenced by the regime's taking 30 years to build an airport-- I don't think any breakthroughs there are imminent.

    Iran is a very complicated question, but I'm sure the answer is not our current administration's usual shoot first//ask questions later approach.[/QUOTE]

    I have listened to a number of news broadcast and one really shocked me they said even the Ayatollah Khomeini lived in fear of this regime coming into power meaning the present Iranian regime!.

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    [QUOTE=jefethegreat]We are not Israel. Israel is next door neighbors of these people. Something that directly affects there national security does not affect ours.[/QUOTE]


    The oil in the ME coming under control of a hostile country or worse pipelines destroyed fields destroyed, etc. has a direct impact on not only our national security by the national security and the way of life for a good portion of the world.

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    [QUOTE=MnJetFan]I have listened to a number of news broadcast and one really shocked me they said even the Ayatollah Khomeini lived in fear of this regime coming into power meaning the present Iranian regime!.[/QUOTE]

    It is an enormously complex political climate there.

    People forget that the last president (Khatani) was a liberal (not in the U.S. politics sense) modernizer, and that Iran helped us oust the Taliban from Afghanistan after 9/11.

    It's also very different from most Middle Eastern states, because most of its people are persian, not Arab, and have a different cultural perspective on things.

    I'm not nearly smart enough (or arrogant enough) to say I know how we should proceed, I just know that we should do it carefully.

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    [QUOTE=jefethegreat]We are not Israel. Israel is next door neighbors of these people. Something that directly affects there national security does not affect ours.[/QUOTE]


    We have enormous economic interests in the region, because our economy is oil based and that's where most of it comes from. Any turn of events that resulted in a significant percentage loss of oil from the Middle East would be disastrous to our economy.

    It's the main reason why we put up with so much B.S. from the Saudis. They have us over a barrel, literally.

  20. #20
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    i thought this was going to be about legalizing marijuana...what a let down...

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