So Much For Us Being Greeted As Liberators Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by EnoughAlready, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2007 at 1:34 pm
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Four of the five Americans killed when a U.S. security company's helicopter crashed in a dangerous Sunni neighborhood in central Baghdad were shot execution style in the back the head, Iraqi and U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2007 at 2:40 pm
And this is what we can expect to become the routine MO after the so called 'surge' is in place. The only thing uniting the various militias in this civil war is their hatred for the western occupier. Our troops will be killed by suicide bombers, ambushes and roadside bombs, in addition to the fact that urban warfare, the kind they are supposed to be involved in, is the bloodiest warfare of them all. American troops who will be captured will be executed on the spot just like those helicopter passengers. By the time the congress forces Bush to withraw our troops, it might be physically impossible to do it because the whole country will be one huge battlefield in which every militia blows up everything in sight. It will be like Lebanon during theeir wost period of civil war accept a million times worse.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2007 at 3:58 pm
Albert, sometime all the choices are bad, but some are worse. You can't cherry pick reality. When someone declares war on you, prudence suggests you acknowledge that declaration or forfeit your leadership role.
Posted by EnoughAlready, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2007 at 4:42 pm
C'mon Walter, we all know Bush's real strategy: Keep our troops their as high-profile sitting targets so the terrorists can go after them rather than try to come here and do something. Yes its working, but tell that to the parents of the five who died, along with all the others killed/maimed in this occupation (and no, Walt, it's NOT a war, just like the "war on drugs" is not a war - if it was a war, we'd had re-instituted the draft and send an overwhelming force in long, long ago).
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2007 at 4:59 pm
Wallis, please enlighten us-when exactly did Iraq declare war on us? 15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists were Saudi nationals and most of the others were Egyptians. Not even one was Iraqi. They didn't train in Iraq and even Bush admits now that Iraq had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. There were no Jihadist terrorists in Iraq before or after 9/11, they were sworn enemies of Saddam. Invading Iraq made as much sense as being attacked by country X and invading in retaliation country Z. All the terrorists who have infiltrating into Iraq Since 2003 did it because of our invasion, they weren't there before March 2003 and weren't allowed in by our former ally and Rumsfeld pal, Saddam Hussein. You keep pointing at those imaginary windmills of enemies in Iraq that supposedly declared war on us, but those who declared war on us are mostly in Pakistan and apparently still aided by elements of the Musharaf regime and possibly even by Musharaf himself.We know that the intelligene about Iraqi WMD was forged, cooked and distorted and that Bush made sure not to listen to those who were trying to tell him that Saddam didn't have WMD capacity and certainly was no serious threat. Again, you are incapable of explaining to anybody why we invaded Iraq.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Jan 24, 2007 at 5:40 pm
As usual, you all can't see the forest for the trees.
If this were 1944, you would be screaming that we shouldn't have attacked Germany since Japan attacked us.
We fought a fascist ideology then, we are fighting the same one now, only it wears the name "Islam".
If all of you, except Wallis, actually believe everything you just said, you haven't learned anything at all in the last 6 years. You put on your blinders the day Bush was declared President, and never looked back.
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2007 at 5:56 pm
Draw the Line, you said that 'We fought a fascist ideology then, we are fighting the same one now, only it wears the name "Islam". Actually, the fascist ideology we are fighting today in this country is the Bush and neocon crazy imperial fascist ideology of world hegemony and forcing 'democracy' on others using our once mighty military.We helped crate Islamic fascism by proping up extremely corrupt feudal regimes in the ME and by constantly meddling in other coutries affairs. We decide who rules and who isn't allowed to be in power. We condone or ignore the worst human right abuses by our 'friendly' rulers in those countries and then we are just 'shocked' at the hatred against us. Those who resent us can't fight us with armies so they are using terror. We helped the very same jihadists who attacked us on 9/11 back when they were fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan and we are 'shocked' that once they got rid of one colonial power that invaded a Muslem country they turned their weapons against the other.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 24, 2007 at 8:52 pm
Iran declared war on the United States when they invaded the American soil of our Embassy.
We went to war with Iraq based on a UN declaration of war after the Iraq invasion of Kuwait. There was no peace treaty in that war, only a truce subject to certain agreements by Saddam that he instantly and continuously violated, corrupting the UN and weapons inspectors on the way, and continuously trying to kill our pilots who were legally overflying their territory, The war resumed after a refusal to comply with terms of the truce. The resumption was authorized by the UN. We are not forcing anything on anyone, we are just retaliating for their attacks on us. Everyone arguing against me was aware of the facts I laid out here, but were blinded by their Bush hatred and their hatred of the US.
Posted by Albert, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2007 at 7:21 am
Wallis..[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] [I]n your latest comment, you claim that:' The resumption was authorized by the UN'. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. The 'resumption'as you call it, could have been authorized only by the UN security council, and the US never brought the issue up for a vote there, since a number of permanent members were going to veto it. After years of being told that we invaded because "iraq had WMD", the evidence(forged) was 'a alam dunk', suddenly the loony right comes up with a new one, even weirder than the previous.
Posted by A Boomer, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2007 at 11:19 am
Here's a polemic I cannot answer to my satisfaction:
Bush more or less repeated in the SoU speech the other night that the terrorists want to impose their ideology on the US and other parts of the world, and destroy our way of life.
On the first part of my paraphrasing, I cannot fathom any group of people who would allow themselves to be subjected to this so-called ideology, nor do I think that the terrorists ("monolithic" as they are) ever will be capable of imposing such an ideology. Even the crazy Iranians are run by a government and a religious hierarchy, not terrorists, and the Tehran regime is unpopular with the general populace there. Sorry W, I don't buy the premise.
As far as destroying our way of life, they are a bunch of rogues and thugs, but how are they any different from their kind that has preceded them? The IRA? Tim McVeigh? Brigante Rosa (Italy 1970's), even the PLO a number of years ago? From what I can see, they are doing an admirable job of destroying our way of life because they sucked the Bush Administration into spending hundreds of billions of dollars to try to fight them, thereby crippling our country's financial health, and our influence in the world. So yeah, our way of life is getting destroyed because this fanatical faction duped us into destroying ourselves. Not by flying airplanes into buildings, as terrible as that was, but by our government taking irresponsible and mis-guided actions in response to those acts which will take us down of our own dead weight.
Posted by 4444, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jan 25, 2007 at 9:38 pm
I'll assume you are talking about resolution 1441 of November 2002
Please explain how only one member of the Security Council can unilaterally determine if there has beem a material breach. Only the Security Council could have determined if Iraq was in material breach of 1441. It never did. Therefore the US and Britain never had UN authorization to invade Iraq in 2003. The US could not have acting under the authority of much earlier resolutions, or 1441 would have been meaningless.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2007 at 8:40 am
The preconditions of a breach had been spelled out and met. Saddam was in breach of almost all the conditions, and in addition Saddam was trying his best to kill our pilots, a war like act if ever there was. It ain't a Simon Sez world.
The "one member" of the Security Council had been carying the burden, and so for armchair admirals to call in the plays was presumptous.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Jan 26, 2007 at 11:52 am
Dear Mr. Wallis:
If I never understood the expression "do not throw pearls before swine", now I do.
Only nowadays they are called trolls, or anti-Iraq war regardless of the consequences.
Please stop beating your head against the wall. It is painful to watch you waste your time.
These folks will not take their blinders off, are furious because the Dem leaders know better than to defund this surge, and are scared into desperation because they see that Iraq, and by extension we, will actually win and end up mortifying people like Murtha, Kennedy, Kerry, Pelosi, Jag and Robin, who all desperately want us to lose...
They fear that they will be seen for who they are. Not the self-righteous moralistic "all war is wrong" people only trying to help us see the light, but the Bush/Republican/Lieberman/anybody-who-supports-Iraq-is-evil defeatists who want America brought to her knees just to "justify" their resistance over the last 5 years.
They have backed themselves into a corner, so they want this, even though it would mean the destruction of the Middle East, and, by extension, much more danger to us and Europe.
They really fear America being seen in a good light. Really, how can you talk to people who actually wonder why we went into the world wars? There is no hope for them. But, that is ok, we ignore people who deny the holocaust, and we ignore people who deny we landed on the moon.
Robin, Jag etc..have you considered moving to a country that you like better? Check it out guys. You would feel a lot less frustrated. Frankly, if we go too far to the left, I will move to Australia, which has been there and done that, and swung back in frustration at the failure of the left ideology.
Posted by Rod Lee, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2007 at 12:44 pm
I'm sorry. Why do we care what happens to 4 or 5 American mercenaries ? Yes, they are MERCENARIES. Why do we even call them Security consultants or contractors ? Call them for what they are -- Hired Guns.
There's an old saying "You Live by the sword You Die by the sword. Who gives a damn about these mercenaries. They deserve what they get. In fact, why is taxpayer money paying for these very expensive mercenaries ?
On the other hand, we should care about all the naive 18-year olds who volunteer for the so called "all volunteer" armed forces.
Bring them all home. This "war" didn't feel right 3 years ago. It still doesn't feel right right now.
Posted by Anon, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2007 at 3:02 pm
Let's apply the War in Iraq to say Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.
What if a group of gangsters led by a guy with initials OBL who lived in Sunnyvale came over to Palo Alto and bombed the Fidelity building on University Avenue killing 10 people. What should the city of Palo Alto do? Have the PA police raid the entire city of Sunnyvale to take it over to enact Palo Alto's policies? Or go after the gangsters? If Palo Alto unilaterally attacked all of Sunnyvale, how do you think the residents of Sunnyvale would feel about Palo Alto?
We all live together in the world. There is no other place in universe we can live - the moon, Mars? We all need to get along.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 26, 2007 at 9:41 pm
How about all the naive 18 year olds who enlist in the hate America crowd? There are some really naive sorts. The military is, in spite of the scare quotes, all volunteer, and the kids are filtered out quick.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Jan 27, 2007 at 10:15 am
If you truly believe that Iraq was "relatively peaceful", then you should have lived there. You might have avoided being one of the 800,000,000 dead from the 2 wars Saddam started, and you might have avoided being one of the 300,000-700,000 ( everyone agrees to the leser number, most to 500,000) massacred. And you might have avoided being one of the many thousands who are today just missing a finger or an eye or a tongue. And, if you aren't a woman, you would have avoided being taken by "the government" to rape rooms then fed to the dogs.
So yes, if you were one of the lucky ones, it was a relatively peaceful nation.
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2007 at 11:23 am
Draw the Line, the police here exist to protect the population and of course cops will not do it for free. In Iraq however, the hired guns do it for greed and to help make Haliburton and Cheney make billions of dollars. They are civilians involved in a highly illegal and criminal adventure forced on us by the criminal Bush/Cheney regime. They are accessories to the crimes. Under the geneva convention, it's strictly forbidden for an occupying army to make any changes to the occupied country civil and administrative structure and to bring settlers and civiian mercnaries into the occupied country, both of which the criminal Bush/Cheney regime has done. It is a disgrace you compare those mercenaries to police men and women. The mercenaries willingly put themselves in a position to be harmed through their greed and criminal proclivity, and no one should feel sorry for them.
Posted by Rod Lee, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2007 at 12:19 pm
Sarlat, I'm sure the cops won't actually do their work for free because they still have to pay their mortgages, and the private schools if they live up in SF. I'm off on a tangent ;-)
The bottom line is when did mercs become consultants and contractors. These are the same guys as the Hessians, the French Foreign Legion, and the Gurkhas. These guys kill for the sole purpose of greed. People, pls stop sugar coating the useless deaths of these merchants of deaths. These mercs deserve what they get under the payroll of Bechtel and Haliburton. The 18-year-old-filtered-out-mostly-low-income volunteer soldiers do not.
The war didn't feel right 3 years ago, and it sure feels damn wrong today. Saddam or no Saddam (a creature of our own making back in the 80s - ref. pictures of Rumsfeld shaking hands w/ Saddam).
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2007 at 1:16 pm
I agree. Of course cops don't do it for free. it's a legitimate profession. However, it's a profession within the parameters of a regular, civil society. Mercenaries are part of a violent, illegal, often criminal structure and do it for greed only. They do their work, such as it is, in the employ of greedy corporation that exploit wars, aggression, violence and mayhem to make huge profits. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to state that the mercenaries road to their bank when depositing their blood money is paved with dead bodies. Feeling sorry for them is absurd.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2007 at 1:45 pm
The right of self defense in inherent in the right to exist. To bad mouth the folk who provide that defense is at the least patronizing. To further declare that the deaths in the line of their duty is irrelevant is subhuman.
Posted by Ron, a resident of another community, on Jan 27, 2007 at 1:57 pm
If both sides in this thread could get beyond morality and idealism, we could just move forward, as a nation.
Yes, Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people. His sons raped many women. He produced snuff films. He gassed many of his own people. He tried to arm with WMD. So what? Is that our problem? If you say it is, then let me hear what you want to do about it. If it involves me of my kids, forget it. I am in this life for myself, period.
There are so many examples that have hurt my life in America. Why did we fight Germany, both in WWI and WWII? Korea? Vietnam? Bosnia? Gulf War? Iraq? Afghanistan (OK, some context there)? Apartheid in S. Africa/Isreal? The only conflict that we had a right to enter was against Japan.
I really don't care what side of the current war de jour you are on. If you argue that the U.S. should be on the side of the oppressed, like the several hundred thousand dead people under Saddam, or the several millions of Jews under Hitler or the tens of millions of innocents under Stalin/Mao/Pol Pot, then you are buying into the trap of delusional morality. Why is it our problem? Europe finally figured it out - let the U.S. fight the battles, while it hid under its own snotty warm blanket. If Europe was forced to confront the Yugoslavia breakup on its own, it might now be seriously arming itself for the future wars that face it. Instead, we are still providing mothers milk to those wimps.
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2007 at 4:09 pm
Our presence in Iraq is totally and absolutely unrelated to our self defense or national security. It occured beause of the total corruption, criminality and hubris of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and the rest of that snake pit. Voltures like Bechtel and Haliburton have used it make billions in no-bid contracts, and the mercenaries they sent over to occupied Iraq went there because they smelled an opprtunity to make money. Those hired guns are as much protector of our national security as gang members from south-Central.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2007 at 6:14 pm
Kuwait, UN mandates, violating cease fire, shooting at our airplanes. There are no "No bid" contracts by Haliburton or any one else. Private security guards and truck drivers go there because they receive hazardous duty pay, and earn it. Keep drinking that cool-aid.
Posted by Ron, a resident of another community, on Jan 27, 2007 at 6:57 pm
Sarlat...Just to make sure I understand what you are saying, can you expand your reasoning past the Iraq conflict? You seem to be caught up in the specific details of the current episode in Iraq, but can you synthsize a general principle? I have provided a generic context: U.S. moralism (misplaced or not).
What is your larger view, Sarlat? For instance, do you support U.S. intervention in Darfur? Do you think we should have intervened in Rwanda? Should we have entered WWII against Germany? Should we have bombed Serbia in order to 'save' Kosovo? Should we have gone into Cambodia to save the innocents from Pol Pot? Do international womens' liberation matter to you (if so should the U.S. get involved with our blood or treasure?)?
For all you moralists, exactly where do you draw the line? Please explain why I should sacrifice my kids for your cause.
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 27, 2007 at 7:31 pm
Ron, I think understand your point. You are an isolationist and perhaps a libertarian. You probably believe that each person is in this life for himself and shouldn't expect other to help him, ever. If your wife is attacked by a hoodlum, raped and murdered you wouldn't expect anybody to risk his life helping her, since you wouldn't risk your life helping another man's wife. I am not as detached and insulated. Some situation deserve intervention, I believe that we as people are in it together, we aren't isolated islands. Your world seems to be very cold and alienated and I'm not sure I like it, but wallis's world is even worse, it's a stupid, ultra chauvinist fascist world. We can't intervene everywhere, every time. I'm not sure about Darfur because I remember what a disaster Somalia had been. The case of Iraq is unique because there was no reason at all to invade, the alterantive was just as bad or worst than Saddam, after all we considered him an ally once. The administration forged, deceived and conned the nation and congress and broke the international conventions and laws that maintain some order in this world. The Bush administration behaved like a driver who violates every traffic law and regulations-just imagine what a nightmare driving would be if many drivers completely ignored and violated the rules that govern our driving. Every situation is different-of course we should have entered WW2, I'm not sure about Rwanda because we don't understand Africa at all and it didn't threaten world peace. I don't have any causes for which I want you to sacrify your kids, but my guess is that if your kid were about to be murdered and I had a chance to save him/her, you would want me to do it, just a hunch.
Posted by Ron, a resident of another community, on Jan 27, 2007 at 8:01 pm
Sarlat...If you or your kids are U.S. citizens, I would be willing to sacrfice my life and my kids lives to save you and your kids lives, as long as you are willing to do the same for me. I am an American nationalist...and an isolationist.
You say that there are certain situations, outside of our borders, that deserve intervention. You say we should have gone to war against Hitler. I surmise that you also think that we should have allied with Stalin to get the job done. Am I mistaken? If not, please explain why you support our huge sacrifice of American kids in Europe. Japan attacked us, not Germany or Italy.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2007 at 2:36 pm
Chauvan was a Frenchman. While I once served with the French Army, I am not.
If it is stupid and fascist for me to desire a world where nations respect each other and their own people, and where we answer a blow with two, then so be it. Amazing how soon the arguements against my opinions degenerate so quickly to personal vilification, and how insensitive to that vilification the censors are.
Posted by Wolf, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Jan 28, 2007 at 3:55 pm
Sarlat wrote that "wallis's world is even worse, it's a stupid, ultra chauvinist fascist world." This speaks more about him than about you. Do like I do with Robin -- try to ignore her. Not too difficult given the level of the posts.
Censors are by definitions morons. Expecting them to help you seems foolish, and it provides them with a moral justification for their existence.
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Jan 29, 2007 at 7:31 am
At least, Ron, you are intellectually honest and consistent. I respect that, though I am not at all an isolationist, and therefore completely disagree with your premise. I like the idea of like-minded democratic countries banding together and helping each other fight in areas that help each other. I believe we are interlocked and interdependant.
However, you and I absolutely agree to a point on one thing.
I, myself, am fed up with paying with lives and money to help countries that spit on us. I want us OUT of any area which spits on us, literally, NOW. Let them wake up and realize they are on their own, and start spending their own lives and money to build their own defense system.
Europe is no longer ravaged by WW2, which is how we ended up being there to defend them as they recovered.
I would have a party to celebrate if we pulled out. No more spitting on my family, who are there to protect Europe and get back spit.
I would rather put our resources to countries that want to be MUTUAL friends.
Frankly, though I have European roots and family there, I would just sadly watch them go down when they are overtaken again. They believe Bush is as dangerous as Ahmadinijad. Fine, have fun with him.
And, I believe they will be, the moment we get out. I believe they know that they are in danger, which is why the new set of political leaders coming in now and in the next year are distinctly less Anti-American. They know they have gone too far.
Too late for this formerly proud European-heritage American.
Posted by Ron, a resident of another community, on Jan 29, 2007 at 12:33 pm
Draw the Line...Your frustration with Europe, which I share, is a result of our (U.S.) meddling in European affairs. We did not need to go to war against Germany (WWI or WWII). In fact, Hitler was willing to make a deal with the U.S. Instead, we jumped in on the side of the British Empire and Stalin. I am not against providing war materials to our allies, as long as our allies are willing to die to protect themselves. We Americans should save our own dying for our own direct protection.
Europe has accepted and celebratd its own decay. In fact, it is disappearing, due to low birth rates. Why should we send our kids over there to protect them?
Posted by Draw the Line, a resident of Stanford, on Jan 29, 2007 at 5:04 pm
Ron: If you accept the isolationist model, then you are right. I disagree, and support the idea of our fighting fascism in the form of the Emporer, Mussolini or Hitler at the time, if nothing else for the fact that to prevent all of Europe and England from becoming fascist was good for us in the long run. Fascists don't have good economies to trade with us, democracies do. Democracies, ( and don't tell me Hitler was democratically elected, he was no more democratically elected than Chavez was in Venezuela) don't go to war against each other, they have too much self-interest to do so.
So, I submit that we prevented much bigger problems by beating back fascsism in Europe then. We stopped in exhaustion, and possibly because they were so far away, at fighting back communism under Stalin, and in China.
And, I should be honest here, many of us, including me, who immigrated here over the last 60 years would still be stuck in fascist Europe, many of our family dead. So, I am a little biased, not to mention eternally grateful that America saved us, and the hundreds of millions still there, from a horrible life.
But, I digress. Yes, Europe is sliding rapidly toward self-destruct...and, on this point we agree, ..I am willing to stop standing in their way. Let them learn. I speak to my family often, and they are completely lost in how they think. They actually believe Ahmadinijad, a guy who thinks he is the lost Imam of the Shias and believes that it is his job to start the next big world war to speed his way into that position, ..they think he is of the same danger tot them as Bush.
I say, let them be go be friends with Ahmadinijad.
Posted by Ron, a resident of another community, on Jan 29, 2007 at 5:40 pm
To take on the fascists during WWII or currently is, essentially, a moral decision. Same for the fight against the communists. Millions of lives are always on the line, but if we can become amoral as a nation, we can ignore that fact, and just focus on our own needs. We wouldn't be in Iraq now, except for the moralistic argument...it was not blood for oil, it was blood for justice (whatever that means). Saddam could have been left in place to chew up his internal and external enemies.
From both the left and the right, there is still a lot of moralism. For instance, some of the Bush bashers (leftists) want us to intervene in Africa (pick a place). We should let Africa (and Europe) die.
America has a huge internal market, and we don't need foreign trade, if it forces us to come to the defense of our trading partners.
I sleep very well at night, because I don't care about people in other countries...at least not enough to sacrifice my own kids to 'save' them. Let them save themselves. If they are not willing to die to save themselves, why should we do it for them?