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February 6, 2008 at 5:00 am #138980LoremasterParticipant
Alex and I were discussing this idea tonight, and we both agreed that it would be a bad, and undoable, idea. The U.S. and allied troops are the only stabilizing force in the Middle East right now, and if we left, Israel would take the brunt of it. Which, of course, would lead us right back into the situation, but weaker, as our local allies would be “greatly diminished” as Alex put it.
Aside from the fact that I have had about enough of the Clintons to last me till peanut butter season, I am worried that too many people in the U.S. have a knee-jerk reaction to the war, and do not see the long-term consequences of withdrawal. Which is what Hillary is counting on. Loads of emotional response to her carefully tailored speeches, and very little logical thought devoted to analyzing what she says.
I don’t know what Obama has planned in this regard, as I missed that part of the debate. I am watching Super Tuesday now and so far, he has not addressed the issue.
The views of this post are my own and are not intended to offend anyone here. But I do want to get the viewpoint of other Jedi, especially those in service and veterans, about how we go about withdrawing our troops in the middle east. If we do at all. How should we end this war?
LoremasterFebruary 6, 2008 at 5:19 am #148114JaxKeymaster
Actually, both candidates have said they would start to draw down in january of 2009. Hillary has said a goal of approximately 1 – 2 brigades a month, depending on logistics. Both of them have said they would take out combat troops, leaving behind a stabilization force which has a different mission from combat. Iraq would not simply be left unattended because everyone knows that would be a very bad idea.
That doesn’t mean I support these decisions. While I didn’t serve in combat myself, I have friends who have. Sometimes I even feel a tad of that guilt for not having served when they did. But that’s pretty normal for anyone who’s served in the military. Guilt isn’t quite the right word, but there is something that’s difficult to put into words. But I digress. We’re trained for combat. We know, going in, that we signed up for something possibly dangerous, yet we all joined anyway. Yet once in that situation, everyone handles it differently. Some are able to maintain the motivation to do their jobs, tour after tour. Others react differently. One thing that I know is that these 15 month deployments for the Army are getting out of hand. The Marine Corps has an average deployment of 7 months, which seems to be better for morale. But even so, the repeated deployments strains everyone, most often the families left behind. This is relevant because we have to find a way to balance the need to help Iraq stabilize and build it’s infrastructure while giving our troops the rest they need so their family infrastructure can be repaired.
Iraq needs to be given time to repair. but that has to come from within. This surge has worked because not only did we add troops, we got local leaders involved in their own security. However, that’s still precarious due to the ethnic divisions. Somehow, the major ethnic groups have to find a way to overcome their differences enough to coexist. This happens on a small scale, how can this also happen on a larger scale? I don’t know. But it has to. There will not be long term stability without it. And we can’t stay for 50 years. We don’t have the resources to do so.
I think it will take fresh ideas and a willingness to see the shades of gray in this situation. The Bush administration is very well known for black and white thinking, and that’s just not how the world works. I highly doubt we’ll have all troops out by 2010, not even all the combat troops. Politicians say what people want to hear on all sides. They aren’t lying, I’m sure they will pull out troops at first, but when that goes to hell they’ll change course, as they should. New data requires at the least a re-evaluation of direction.
So, how we end this war really depends on Iraq. There is another possibility, that as we start to pull out, Iraq will realize they have to step up and stop the ethnic divisions that still exist in politics. That would be quite miraculous, but why not?February 6, 2008 at 6:25 pm #148130MemnoichParticipant
Unfortunately, I have this feeling that it will be like Korea, we will end up with base’s there for quite a while, trying to stabilize the region. The problem is, after a while, and with the stupid Drive by media that we have, the local view in Iraq will change. Not immediately, but it will slowly become resentment and the Iraqi’s will start to push for us to withdraw. Currently, with the amount of attacks that are still happening, any type of withdrawal would be a slap in the face to all those who served over there. Iraq is not stable yet, they have a military force, and security force, but they aren’t ready to step up yet. Even leaving a Stabilization force, will not help. As you can see in Korea’s Stabilization force, that has been there for 50-60 years now, do you realize we are still at war with N. Korea? There has been no peace treaty signed, all that we have is an agreement to cease fire. I can see this happening in Iraq if we pull out before we get them stable. Jax is right, most of the candidates are playing on the heartstrings of the nation by pulling the “kids” over there into their agenda. The mis-information by the media mixed with the political goals of the candidates, has made it horrible. Do you realize that more people die each year to illegal immigrants then die over in Iraq? But thats not news worthy, The act that most Iraqis are grateful for us being over there, that because we are there they have started to see progress that they haven’t seen in several decades, all of this isn’t news worthy. The few that don’t want us there, the worst of what is happening over there, now that news worthy, and why? hardly anybody cares that things are getting better over there, it’s boring, but if you start talking about possible abuse of an Iraqi citizen by soldiers, now that is worth watching(sarcasm implied here).
I feel for my former comrades in arms that have been over there or are there now, but as Jax said, we all knew what we were getting into when we signed up, and though I have never been in combat, I have been in a combat zone, and everyone of us knew, that that day could be our last. I was in a spot where everyday I lived with the knowledge that there were long range weapons targeting the post I was at, that if It it the fan, I had a life expectancy of less then a minute. I understood it, and was willing to make that sacrifice, because my presence there ment that others could sleep in freedom at night. That thought allowed me to sleep at night.February 6, 2008 at 8:10 pm #148133Anonymous
I suspect Obama would withdraw troops before Clinton since she voted for the insurrection and Obama claims he was against it.
Either way – I hope one of the candidates is able to reach out for international support to fix the Bush legacy in Iraq… I suspect that change is the best thing that can happen for troops and civilians in Iraq.
International participation would definately alleviate many of the U.S. troubles – and make the UN viable again.
Bush :vader did so much harm that I think the world is waiting for a new U.S. leader to work-with.
Just my 2 cents.
– AstaFebruary 14, 2008 at 4:05 am #148253Beral KhanParticipant
Meet the new boss…
Same as the old boss.February 14, 2008 at 5:06 am #148256JaxKeymaster
I highly doubt that. Similar? Sure. But if you really think she’s going to just roll over and let Bill run things, you horribly underestimate her.February 14, 2008 at 12:29 pm #148262AslynParticipant
I don’t think anybody thinks that. I suspect, however, that she’s more inclined to be conservative than Obama, which means that she’ll be following a closer line to that of Bush than Obama will.February 14, 2008 at 1:52 pm #148263JaxKeymaster
lol, what?! Their platforms are virtually identical, as are their beliefs about what needs to change and how to change it. I don’t think there is any realistic comparison between either democratic candidate and Bush, in style or substance.February 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm #148264AslynParticipant
I disagree. If you watch the way they are playing with the media and, indeed, aiming for support, you must observe that Hilary is playing a card that is more akin to Republican conservatism (particularly in that she is playing on her ‘experience’ as the main reason for people to elect her), while Obama is utilising a more idealistic leadership approach – he’s moving to inspire people, which is more akin to Democratic Liberalism than Republican Conservatism. Moreover, your country needs that, not another dry politician. So I daresay Obama will win this one.February 14, 2008 at 3:00 pm #148265JaxKeymaster
lol, so experience makes one a republican? That’s simply how people are elected. If you have experience, you stress experience. If you have less experience, you stress the other things, like change. The only thing this has to do with is style. They are both quite idealistic if you look at their platform and what they’re stressing in speeches and debates.
But I would vote for either in a heartbeat, and hope to get to vote for both on a single ticket, no matter what order they go. I think the two would balance each others faults and enhance their strengths and go a long way toward restoring our country.
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