Iraqi veterans deserve much respect

Don’t know if any of you good folks have had the chance to see the audio/visual slideshow about a returning Iraqi veteran on msn but please check it out if you have not. This fine young man, B.J. Jackson, lost his legs and suffered from burns durning his time in Iraq. Now that he is back home, he is doing his best to raise two daughters and be a good husband.
After watching Jackson’s story, I have nothing but the utmost respect for this man who has lost so much yet has not given up on life.

The war in Iraq is a mistake. I honestly believe that. I also know that Bush is the worst U. S. leader of all time. Yet, the men and women who put their lives on the line fighting and dying deserve all the love and respect we can give them. Let’s all hope and pray that all the troops in Iraq, along with all the innocent Iraqis, are able to find some peace quickly during the coming year.

So, what you’re saying is you’ll stand on the limbs of this poor guy and spout off at Bush for making him do the job he volunteered for? Hmm.

And it’s odd how you BELIEVE the war is wrong and yet KNOW Bush is the worst President of all time, over Wilson?? Over Carter? Over NIXON??Nothing like exaggeration.

How about this? 9/11 happened on Clinton’s watch, he immediately runs to Europe and asks them what to do. Spain says, “Apologize.” France says, “Agree to their terms and get on with you lives.” Germany needs the foreign laborors so say nothing. England goes to war and the US joins after a nuke goes off in Isreal.

Hmm, I can write nonesense too. :slight_smile:

Bush isn’t worse than Nixon was, true. I’ll give you that. Nixon was demonic. Bush is just stupid.

stupid like a fox? oh wait, that doesn’t work. :slight_smile:

back to the topic at hand. it’s very easy to seperate the 2 camps of anti-war people. those who actually do support the troops and those who pretend to support the troops because it helps their argument. one great recent example is the commercial with the us troops during the superbowl. i posted the link in the “$ for wounded troops” thread. you should have seen the whining on some of the democratic message boards when that was brought up. i even saw a few mentions of “baby killers” throw in there. i saw another thread where a woman posted that even though she was completely against the war, she put pro-troops stickers on her car. predictably, she was attacked by other members of the board because a pro-troops sticker could be interpreted as a pro-war sticker.

the right didn’t co-opt the flag and patriotism, the left abandoned it.

I think that many people use the word “stupid” very loosely when speaking of Bush. And because Bush Happened to follow Clinton, a very bright guy IMHO, and when the world is so intensely focused on the US and its policies overseas, Bush indeed looks somewhat mentally diminuitive.

However, looks can be deceiving. I happen to think that BECAUSE the world is so focused on the US, BUsh is the better man for the job. The message he puts out, about democracy, freedom, a free market, and self determination are exactly what the unfree world needs to see right now. What Bush is doing IS changing the world…changing it towards more democratic market system is good for the world.

As we know, democratic nations rarely go to war with each other. Why do some see this a some horrible, less than honorable goal?

I believe in freedom and democracy and the freemarket. And I do also believe that self determination is the best alternative for the long haul. At the begining it may be painful, but it does pay off.

Oh BTW here’s a little bit of news that may be directly attributed to Bush and his policies. And it doesn’t seem stupid to me.

npr.org/templates/story/stor … Id=4488482
Middle East
Saudis Set for Historical Local Elections
by Jennifer Ludden

All Things Considered, February 6, 2005

President Bush isn’t stupid. He’s a true believer and that leads an otherwise intelligent man to do and believe foolish things because there are whole areas of reality he refuses to acknowledge because they contradict his beliefs.

So ‘willfully ignorant’ rather than stupid is a better diagnosis.

The last two years has seen a whole cottage industry of denial arise among his supporters trying to explain away the many contradictions between his actions and reality because he has so resolutely insisted on “staying the course” of willfull ignorance.

The latest fantasy of course is this notion that true democracy in the Middle East comes out of the barrel of an M-16 – rather than out of the hearts and minds of the people in the Middle East themselves. You’d have to willfully ignore the reality for example that for most of 2003 and 2004 the Bush Administration relentlessly fought against the idea of a freely elected national assembly in Iraq but planned to create one instead via a system of caucuses it controlled.

You’d also have to ignore the reality that, like Iraqi citizens tossing rose petals gratefully at American tanks, odds are very low that any freely elected Iraqi government is going to be any more pro-American than Saddam Hussein was once it gets firmly on its feet.

The mother of all true beliefs though is that any free, democratic nation has any justification at all for invading another country which never attacked or invaded it in the first place.

Spook, one wold also have to be willfully ignorant to assume the US is EVER going to leave Iraq. :slight_smile:

Military may get smaller, and as it does, US businesses will move it. I see the same thing happeneing to Iraq that happened to Germany and Japan.

Also, what is a “true” democracy. Who has one o’ those? I think there are only situationally specific democracies. What is developing in Iraq is what kind of democracy they need and can handle at the same time.

If the U.S. wanted to pull out of Iraq now it couldn’t because it’s created a power vacuum there that nothing even remotely acceptable to the Bush Administration could fill.

That will be the case far into the future.

Post-war Japan and Germany aren’t good analogies because both countries circa 1947 looked much different and were on different trend lines than Iraq is now. If Islamic fundamentalism and neo-conservative fundamentalism weren’t in the mix than they could well be analogous but – like post-colonial Viet Nam with its Marxist-Leninist element – the fundamentals are much different.

[quote=“spook”]If the U.S. wanted to pull out of Iraq now it couldn’t because it’s created a power vacuum there that nothing even remotely acceptable to the Bush Administration could fill.

That will be the case far into the future.

Post-war Japan and Germany aren’t good analogies because both countries circa 1947 looked much different and were on different trend lines than Iraq is now. If Islamic fundamentalism and neo-conservative fundamentalism weren’t in the mix than they could well be analogous but – like post-colonial Viet Nam with its Marxist-Leninist element – the fundamentals are much different.[/quote]

The first point, that the lack of power will neccesitate the US being there as a guiding/forceful hand is one of the good things about the occupation. As long as the US is there, the chances of the insurgents turning the tide are slim, and the chances that Syria or Iran or even Suadi Arabia will turn Iraq into a Lebanon puppet state are even slimmer.

The second point that if you take out Islamic fundementalism and what you call neo-conservative fundementalism, then honestly you have taken out the cause and effect of the entire situation.

My analogy is only of the long term effects on Germany (the strongest economy in Europe) and Japan ( the strongest economy in Asia) BECAUSE OF the US occupation and reconstructing support may just well have the same long term effect on Iraq, making it the strongest economy in the Middle East. And that will benefit the entire region, as Germany and Japan’s successful transitions to non-aggressive states benefitted their neighbors.

I believe that far too people have a positive long term view of what is possible in Iraq. They get caught up in the rights and wrongs of the now (and I’m sure this will be characterized as my own willful ignorance) and feel that because things are bad now, they will only get worse.

Maybe this is the main difference between pessimistic short-sighted neo-liberals and overly optimistic willfully ignorant long-sighted neo-conservatives.

[quote=“spook”]
The latest fantasy of course is this notion that true democracy in the Middle East comes out of the barrel of an M-16 – rather than out of the hearts and minds of the people in the Middle East themselves. You’d have to willfully ignore the reality for example that for most of 2003 and 2004 the Bush Administration relentlessly fought against the idea of a freely elected national assembly in Iraq but planned to create one instead via a system of caucuses it controlled. [/quote]

and are you willfully ignoring that every single major anti-war politician proclaimed that even january elections were undoable? i find this line of argument extremely intellectually dishonest. every major critic of the war was predicting disaster for the elections as far back as the changeover last year. their main concern was that elections be postponed until better security could be guaranteed. and now that successful elections have been held, you’re criticizing bush for not holding them sooner!

we are closer today to planting the seeds of democracy in the middle east than at any time in my lifetime. when i saw the pictures from election day, it sure looked like the hearts and minds of iraqis were set on democracy.

you speak of true democracy in one sentence and then denounce true democracy because it might deliver a shiite majority in another. you have to decide whether you truely want “true democracy” or if it’s just a convenient rhetorical device you can use to delegitimize what’s going on in iraq.

wait, so do you believe in true democracy or are you a realist who doesn’t want a true democracy because it would produce an anti-us government?

[quote]
The mother of all true beliefs though is that any free, democratic nation has any justification at all for invading another country which never attacked or invaded it in the first place.[/quote]

when the chinese invade taiwan, i would love to see you on here posting about how the us should butt out because china never attacked or invaded the us.

what is this neo-conservative fundamentalism you speak of? the fundamental belief that democracy is a basic right for everyone around the world and our foreign policy should reflect that? or was this term just made up to discredit the ideas behind neo-conservatism by associating it with islamic fundamentalism?

was this term just made up to discredit the ideas behind neo-conservatism by associating it with islamic fundamentalism?[/quote]

yup.

Did liberal U.S. politicians largely proclaim the Iraqi elections undoable? Yes.

I think it’s clear now though that liberal democrats in the U.S. are largely irrelevant.

I think the elections in Iraq were a true expression of the will of the Iraqi people and I support them. The Bush Administration and U.S. military did a great job in making sure they came off but it’s dishonest to pretend they were the idea of the U.S. government in the first place.

Will the Bush Administration continue to support Iraqi democracy if it demands that the U.S. withdraw its troops from Iraq and takes on overtones of Islamic theocracy?

That’s a fair question and will be the real test as to how genuine the support of the Bush Administration and its supporters are of democracy in Iraq. I suspect we’ll start getting ‘null and void’ talk though once the Iraqi people start getting uppity if the past is any guide.

Why the term ‘neo-conservative fundamentalism?’ To me any fundamentalism is at its heart true-belief and the neo-conservative rallying cry to ‘stay the course’ is in my mind merely a call to maintain single-minded true belief in the face of bad news – unpleasant reality.

[quote=“spook”]Did liberal U.S. politicians largely proclaim the Iraqi elections undoable? Yes.

I think it’s clear now though that liberal democrats in the U.S. are largely irrelevant.

I think the elections in Iraq were a true expression of the will of the Iraqi people and I support them. The Bush Administration and U.S. military did a great job in making sure they came off but it’s dishonest to pretend they were the idea of the U.S. government in the first place.

Will the Bush Administration continue to support Iraqi democracy if it demands that the U.S. withdraw its troops from Iraq and takes on overtones of Islamic theocracy? .[/quote]

Point one: the Bush administration did NOT push for elections? Really? When the US said wait, and Kerry said wait, and the EU said wait. Bush said, NOPE they’re gonna happen, at this time, and they did.

Point two: I would think yes, the Bush administration and the any future US administration will support Iraqi democracy. And I think any regime in Iraq will recognize that they will be fresh meat to any hungry neighbor if the US leaves. Won’t happen. Noop.

[color=blue]Unpleasant Reality 101:[/color]

"It may be easily forgotten in the post-election spin that Sunday’s vote was not the Bush administration’s idea

Not to make it seem like I’m defending Bush and his mistakes, but, installing a exiled ruler/leadership was a bad idea, but it was a practical idea. When it didn’t work, the next steps were taken to set up the Iraqi council.

And that Sistani WANTED elections only goes to show you that he thought the people would vote for an Iran-type of religious state.

And having support from the Ayatolla FOR democratic elections…you don’t see something wrong with THEM and not with the Bush Administration?

Ask the Iranians how much they want democratic elections now and how much the ruling party does NOT.

The cool thing is that Saddam secularized Iraq long ago…and maybe that will be the turning point in all this. That maybe when the election results are known, a secular ruler will be chosen, and not a religious guy who will be happy to accept the democratic will of the people, only to then deny them the right to vote ever again: One man, one vote, one time.

i’m confused about your stance regarding sistani. his slate won big during the elections thereby fueling your fears of an iran-style theocracy. but wait, now you’re criticizing bush for not giving sistani even EARLIER elections.

you can’t have it both ways, spook. you can’t criticize bush for not giving in to sistani earlier and then in the next breath argue that sistani’s win just makes an iran-style theocracy more likely. well, i guess you could argue both points at the same time, you just wouldn’t make much sense.

interestingly i don’t remember ANYONE on this board ever advocating elections EARLIER than january.

[quote=“Flipper”]I’m confused about your stance regarding sistani. his slate won big during the elections thereby fueling your fears of an Iran-style theocracy. but wait, now you’re criticizing Bush for not giving sistani even EARLIER elections.

you can’t have it both ways, spook. you can’t criticize Bush for not giving in to sistani earlier and then in the next breath argue that sistani’s win just makes an Iran-style theocracy more likely. well, I guess you could argue both points at the same time, you just wouldn’t make much sense.

interestingly I don’t remember ANYONE on this board ever advocating elections EARLIER than january.[/quote]

I have no fear of an Islamic theocracy in Iraq, not being an Islamophobe. I’m merely pointing out that’s the likely outcome as far as I can tell and pose the question whether the Coalition of the Dwindling would let it go – or get us in deeper if that is the direction the Iraqi people choose to take their country in.

I haven’t questioned the timing of the elections. The only thing I’ve questioned is who can legitimately claim primary credit for fostering them.

Mr Spook -
It does appear to this casual observer that uou are clinging at straws in order to fulfill your desires of a Coalition (USA/President Bush) failure.
The free election has happened. Iraq is slowly shedding the shackles of the Saddam years/decades.
You are reminding me of those who lamented the demise of the Soviet Union. Those people decided that because the Soviets had lived under such close control for so many years they were now unable to chart their own destiny and thus would suffer with their freedom.
This wish is contrary to human endeavour.

I hope you’re right and my instincts are wrong.