General Question

allen_o's avatar

Is there a plausable exit strategy for the Iraq war?

Asked by allen_o (1485 points ) March 20th, 2008 from iPhone

it seems to me like we can either abondon the Iraqis or stay there until the country is stable, such may never happen, its been 5 years now, is there a sensible solution to this problem which benefits both sides?

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63 Answers

oneye1's avatar

I beleive we will win the war in 2years or lease but we will have troops there for a long time we still have troops in Germany

luminous00's avatar

let’s ask jessica simpson!

tbw's avatar

we should never leave. It is good to have base there when we fight Iran & Syria

squirbel's avatar

@tbw:
There is no cause to fight Iran.

Even I could see through that farce when they first started printing that propaganda about Iran and its nuclear program. Lots of nations around the world are turning to nuclear energy to power their electricity, and to loosen the grip of oil on their country.

Who are we to tell any nation what they can and cannot do?

If we effing go to war with Iran…$&#%.

Geez.

WWIII.

oneye1's avatar

if they to get a nuke what should we do

squirbel's avatar

They aren’t building nukes.

And we have lots, we’re not indefensible.

More importantly, who are we to dictate what other countries can and cannot do?

oneye1's avatar

hang on I ask what should we do

squirbel's avatar

If they build a nuke, and the UN learns of it, they will be investigated and dealt with by the UN.

If they build a nuke, and bomb Israel or some enemy, WWIII will begin.

If they continue their nuclear energy program (and they have been investigated for the past decade and proven to not be building nukes), and we attack them, WWIII will begin, and worse yet – America will have no allies.

Already Russia, China, Japan (have stated they will not tolerate preemptive war from the US again), Venezuela, and a number of other powerful countries WILL NOT BE ON OUR SIDE.

Sorry for caps, emphasis and italics seemed inadequate.

jrpowell's avatar

Lets just face the facts. Every country will eventually have nukes. We can’t stop it. We need to put on our “Big Boy” pants and figure out how to get along.

oneye1's avatar

see if we stand back and let israel deal with it we do get ww3

squirbel's avatar

Thread hijack, sorry.

I think the most ethical thing to do is to withdraw completely and pay reparations in the form of relinquishing British and American control of their oil fields, and support them with food until they are producing.

jrpowell's avatar

40 acres and a camel?

I know.. Bad joke.

oneye1's avatar

they want us to stay

oneye1's avatar

and look up the facts the un was the one robbing them with the oil for food program

squirbel's avatar

I know the facts pretty well, the history and politics of oil. An entire wing of my family is Palestinian.

oneye1's avatar

if you know the facts why would you trust the un

oneye1's avatar

ya my family is from Alabama that does not make me a peanut farmer

allen_o's avatar

@oneye – “they want us to stay” have you been watching fox news or something? How misinformed are you?
@squirbel – that was the thought that I was having, the sooner we get out of there the better. And its not right for us to control their oil, the dilema is

allen_o's avatar

that if we do leave we have made a lot of new enemies, not just in Iraq but accross the Islamic states, who knows, it could lead to real terrorist attacks, not just the fake ones set up by George bush and tony Blair

PupnTaco's avatar

Admit that we screwed up, throw some cash at them, and get the hell out. Now.

oneye1's avatar

you are out of your mind

afghanmoose's avatar

we r damned if we do,damned if we don’t.there are too many private organizations that have a hand in Iraq,it is the richest country in the mid east,y,lots of oil,lots of natural resources,it isn’t mostly dessert,and there is a lot of history in Iraq which geologists andarchiologist r so ready to pay a butt load just to dig up

lozza's avatar

We made the mess so we stay and sort it out. Probably better by money than military force. What a complete balls-up.

afghanmoose's avatar

I bet u dubya’s chanting “hakuna-matata” when he feels guilty

hossman's avatar

Reparations? For ending a dictatorship that was slaughtering thousands?

British and American control of oil fields in Iraq? Where do you get this from?

Let the U.N. deal with Iran if they are developing nukes? Give me one example of a successful U.N. intervention.

squirbel's avatar

No, reparations for killing so many of their citizenry. We have done no better than Sadaam Hussein.

Surely you wouldn’t deny the conventional wisdom that British and American companies are drilling in those countries?

The US does not supercede the UN. That is the purpose – a global authority. If we, as America, see fault in their practices, we should make moves within the UN and push hard.

Hello hossman! It is nice to meet you, I’ve read other comments wondering where you’ve been, and realize you’re a pillar member. I arrived in your absence, and I’m pleased to meet you.

shockvalue's avatar

but… if we leave, then the terrorists win! and they hate our freedom.

afghanmoose's avatar

sadly there will always be someone to pick up where things left off

allen_o's avatar

@shockvalue – no they don’t, thats something bush used to say to justify the war of terror

oneye1's avatar

you should burn your michel morre CDs

allen_o's avatar

I don’t like michael moore, you should burn your narrow mind

oneye1's avatar

ya anyone that does not beleive like you is narrow minded

allen_o's avatar

so questioning something is narrow minded?

oneye1's avatar

I guess so when I questioned you you called me narrow minded

shockvalue's avatar

don’t feed the trolls. both of you please, this is juvenile

and for the record. i was joking

allen_o's avatar

no, I called you narrow minded because of your narrow minded responses to this thread, “we will win the war in 2 years”, “why would you trust the UN”, “if we let isreal deal with it then it will be world war 3”, “go and burn your michael Moore CDs” are you from the south by any chance?

shockvalue's avatar

allen o, really stop it.
That statement right there makes you sound prejudice, judgmental, narrow minded, and what’s more you are stereo-typing.

And for the record oneye1, Michael Moore usually releases DVD’s. They tend to play his movies much more efficiently than a regular compact disc. So if you are going to make inflammatory statements, at least get your facts straight.

oneye1's avatar

Ya I am from the south and proud of it I live in the twin cites now the smarts city in the USA

oneye1's avatar

and how is what I believe narrow minded because it’s not what you beleive

shockvalue's avatar

Hate to break it to ya, but Boulder, CO is the smartest city in the United states.

You’re not even on the list.

oneye1's avatar

I just saw 2and5 I keep looking I would find a first

yoyo's avatar

oneye should be called onebraincell, hahaha

squirbel's avatar

Fluther is not the place for insults.

oneye1's avatar

its ok I know who I am

afghanmoose's avatar

people,we r here to question this world and get OPINIONS from eachother,peace

DS's avatar

@afghanmoose Well spoken we are only here to discuss.

trainerboy's avatar

Squirbel,
With all due respect, the UN is a benign organization that does little mor ethan write letters to contries saying they are very very mad and if that country doesn’t change, they wil get another letter. The UN is a joke and should be kicked out of the USA. Let’s put the UN in Darfur and let all the UN countries send their delegations there.

afghanmoose's avatar

isn’t there a large fee to join the UN?

trainerboy's avatar

Yes, Some countries even pay it.

hossman's avatar

trainerboy: ouch. Penchant wit. But I’m sure someday the other countries will view our funding as a loan and pay us back.

squirbel: You cannot in good conscience compare our presence in Iraq to Hussein’s. Even if I were to accept the media’s numbers re “civilians” dying from U.S. action, those numbers are incomparable to Hussein’s atrocities. And there is no comparison between the tortures we have debated (some I would agree are torture, some I would not) and the widespread torture used by Hussein. Even the numbers re U.S. action and civilians are skewed, as a significant number of those reported deaths are not civilians, but rather unarmed terrorists, militia and insurgents, and a significant number of those reported deaths are from forces other than the U.S. but blamed on the U.S.

I WOULD deny the “conventional wisdom” the U.S. and Britain are drilling in those countries. Nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, U.S. and British law have placed oil companies from those countries at a huge disadvantage in dealing with Iraq. Despite the numerous accusations the war was about oil, the media knows full well, as does the oil industry, that most of Iraq’s oil contracts are going to France, Russia and China. Not to say the Western oil industry isn’t lobbying to get that business, but the U.S. actually has NOT taken advantage of our military presence in the region to influence Iraqi oil. The U.S. and Britain have NOT interfered with Iraq’s oil business with other countries, even though it could be argued they should at least receive an equal playing field, perhaps even concessions, rather than continuing to be shut out. All the screaming about Bush’s oil ties dominating our policy are pure crap. Just as Bush refused to cooperate with the CLINTON administration’s request to delay prosecuting ENRON (a Texas energy company, why wasn’t the Texas cowboy Bush helping THEM out?), Bush has refused to take advantage of the Iraq situation, we are not even charging for maintaining security of the oil fields for Iraq.

Iraq continues to do business with France and Russia. THAT is why they opposed the Iraq war. It is all about oil for THEM. From American Public Media’s Marketplace of February 11, 2008:

“There was an interesting oil-related quid pro quo between Russia and Iraq today. First, Russia agreed to forgive Iraq’s $13 billion debt for military equipment that was delivered back in Soviet days. In return, Iraq will revive oil contracts the two countries signed before Saddam Hussein was deposed, and the Russian oil conglomerate Lukoil will pump $4 billion into Iraq’s underperforming oil fields.

ADAM SIEMINSKI: Things are starting to get a little bit better from a business standpoint in Iraq now. Hey, McCain was right, the surge worked.

That’s Deutsche Bank oil analyst Adam Sieminski. He says the Russian agreement will make oil more plentiful, and that’s good news for global markets. Russia doesn’t need the oil, so it will sell Iraq’s oil to international customers. Waiting in the wings is another deal the war put on hold, this one with the French oil giant Total, and since Iraq is sitting on some of the world’s biggest known oil reserves, Sieminski anticipates more contracts in the near future.

SIEMINSKI: Getting deals like this is something that will progress as the violence in Iraq subsides and the government moves along on determining exactly how they are going to interact with the international oil companies. So the U.S., French, British, Russian and Chinese oil companies will probably all be doing something in Iraq.”

You have fallen prey to a complete fabrication of the left.

As far as the U.N., let’s not forget two things: 1) They have never been effective anywhere; and 2) children died in Iraq while the Secretary General’s son pocketed millions of dollars of Iraq oil money that was supposed to go to food and medical care. The U.N. can’t be trusted.

squirbel's avatar

I can, and do compare our presence with Sadaam Hussein’s. Our soldiers are slaughtering civilians.

hossman's avatar

Really. A very harsh choice of words. One of the reasons we are there is to prevent civilians from slaughtering civilians. More Iraqis have been killed by other Iraqis than by our troops. Many Iraqis have been killed by civilians from other Muslim countries.

Perhaps you can cite just one credible source of an atrocity comparing to persuading people with Down Syndrome to carry suicide bombs? Because THAT is the kind of thing Iraqis are doing to Iraqis and we are trying to prevent.

Squirbel, you try so hard to be politically correct and regurgitate all sorts of things you have heard others say. Try providing some accurate information, based on real sources, for a change.

Some real facts: “Hussein’s regime killed, tortured, raped and terrorized the Iraqi people and its neighbors for over two decades.H undreds of thousands of people died as a result of Saddam’s actions. Saddam had approximately 40 of his own relatives murdered.
1980–88: Iran-Iraq war left 150,000 to 340,000 Iraqis and 450,000 to 730,000 Iranians dead.
1983–1988: Documented chemical attacks by Iraqi regime caused some 30,000 Iraqi and Iranian deaths.
1988: Chemical attack on Kurdish village of Halabja killed approximately 5,000 people.
1987–1988: Iraqi regime used chemical agents in attacks against at least 40 Kurdish villages.
1990–91: 1,000 Kuwaitis were killed in Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
1991: Bloody suppression of Kurdish and Shi’a uprisings in northern and southern Iraq killed at least 30,000 to 60,000. At least 2,000 Kurdish villages were destroyed during the campaign of terror.
2001: Amnesty International report: “Victims of torture in Iraq are subjected to a wide range of forms of torture, including the gouging out of eyes, severe beatings and electric shocks… some victims have died as a result and many have been left with permanent physical and psychological damage.”
Human Rights Watch: Saddam’s 1987–1988 campaign of terror against the Kurds killed at least 50,000 and possibly as many as 100,000 Kurds.
Refugees International: “Oppressive government policies have led to the internal displacement of 900,000 Iraqis.”

The manipulation of civilian deaths caused by the U.S. is widespread. As an example, Iraqbodycount.org includes ALL violent Iraqi civilian deaths since our invasion. “The Iraq Body Count (IBC) figure of 80,419 to 87,834 civilian deaths reported in English-language media (including Arabic media translated into English) up to 10 January 2008 includes civilian deaths due to coalition and insurgent military action, sectarian violence and increased criminal violence.” Thus, their current figure of 82,000–90,000 includes Shiites killed by Sunnis and vice versa (which has been happening for centuries, and wasn’t caused by us), Iraqis killed by terrorists from Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Egypt and elsewhere (certainly not caused by us), AND EVEN IRAQIS KILLED IN DOMESTIC DISPUTES AND ORDINARY STREET CRIME. Yup, that’s an unbiased source.

Many of the other sources rely on polls. POLLS. Not actual dead bodies, but they go up to Iraqi buildings (many not even confirming the occupants are Iraqis) and ASK how many of their family members have died violently. First, there would OF COURSE be overlap as Bob’s death is counted by both Grandma and Cousin Mabel. Second, SOMETIMES PEOPLE LIE. Especially since some of those people may very well be actively anti-U.S. forces, including insurgents and terrorists. Hmmm, let’s see, yes, 32 of my children were killed last week by one U.S. Marine.

Many of the “civilian” deaths weren’t civilians at all. They are UN-UNIFORMED armed combatants, being counted as civilians, either by people with an agenda, or because somebody picked up the weapons before the bean counters got there. And nobody is going to admit that was an al-Qaeda or insurgent that was shot in their living room.

And what you are completely ignoring is that while we are there, THERE IS A WAR ON. Hussein was killing his own citizens during peacetime. There is no comparison. You should be ashamed to suggest there is. Other than a few exceptions (and there are criminals and psychos in every bunch, including our military), there has been no “slaughter” of civilians.

Using such a charged word as “slaughter” is offensive. You do a disservice to our armed forces, who are doing the best job possible to avoid civilian casualties. You would be far better to criticize something like our blanket bombing of the German populace during WWII.

It isn’t “slaughter” when troops fire back when taking fire. It isn’t “slaughter” by us when a Sunni militiaman kills a Shiite militiaman. It isn’t “slaughter” by us when an Iraqi bombmaker uses Iranian training and Chinese materials to assemble a bomb, then gives it to a teenage girl with Down Syndrome and asks her to deliver the “cake” to a restaurant and kills other Iraqis. You should use words more carefully.

There is NO comparison. I’d like to see if you would have the nerve to tell our soldiers, who are your and my neighbors, relatives, and businessmen, that they are “slaughtering” civilians. These soldiers are US. You know them. They are not committing atrocities, with a very few exceptions. You should be ashamed to suggest they are.

hossman's avatar

Wow. I’m testier than I thought. I released some grades today, and there are a number of students who ignored me when I repeatedly said “If you don’t start turning in homework/reading the novel/taking notes/WRITE THIS DOWN IT WILL BE ON THE TEST TOMORROW, I’M SERIOUS, YOU KNOW I DON’T BLUFF, WOULD YOU PLEASE PUT THAT PEN IN YOUR HAND AND MOVE IT AROUND ON THE PAPER” who are now shocked, shocked, I tell you, that they are flunking and will have to go to summer school. They further find it to be an atrocity that I am sticking with my policy, printed in huge letters on my syllabus and repeated frequently, that I never, ever give extra credit.

Thus, I retract my comments re squirbel should be ashamed. I still disagree, and I find the use of the word slaughter has unwarranted connotations of atrocities, but shame is entirely up to him/her. I would edit them out if I could get back in.

trainerboy's avatar

I agree with Hossman. To say US soldiers are slaughtering civilians reminds me of the Viet Nam era when our soldiers were labeled as baby killers. I am sure you can cite some statistics that show it happened, but I know some vets who in no way would slaughter anyone, both in Viet Nam and Iraq.
Whether one agrees with our presence in Iraq or not, to make statements like that painting soldiers with such a wide brush is careless to say the least. You do have the right to your opinion.

squirbel's avatar

I am not saying every one of our soldiers is killing civilians. By now, anyone who reads generalizations into my statements is doing just that – reading them in.

When I speak, exceptions are automatic. I never put entire categories of people into one box. It is completely against my philosophy of life.

Unlike you, I have a snide distrust for statistics. Rather than calling me a “regurgitator”, look at your own actions. I feel bad for all those kids who did so poorly because they didn’t regurgitate all you taught them back onto their exam papers. If they were in, say, the Netherlands – their teacher might have taught them actual concepts. yeah, I am mad.

My statement is based on a broad array of accounts. There have been numerous personal accounts from American soldiers for all of our recent wars – WWII, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and now this one. Each account describes the heartbreak each of our warriors suffered in having to kill civilians. They were only following orders. America has a track record – a pattern in war. It’s what we do. These stories have been surfacing for this war as well – and friends have gone AWOL from the war… And fled out of the country. Our boys don’t want to be murderers.

There have been so many controversies about the validity of the statistics coming out of the war, any intelligent person can’t help but set a HUGE grain of salt nearby – just to be on the safe side. I’m not saying the stats are complete garbage, only that they are defintely not a quotable or definitive source. If you were to make a Venn Diagram and place statistics in one area, news reports in another, and soldier personal testimonies in another – the huge overlapping area points to some serious non-American civilian death tolls.

So, again. I am not some hippie who hates the war. I am not some wannabe-politico who spouts stats and opinions from blogs/tv. I am shannamarie – and I analyze all my sources to form my own opinion.

I don’t mind being wrong – but saying I regurgitate is a high insult.

hossman's avatar

You didn’t say “kill” civilians, squirbel, you said “slaughter.” Two very different words. It is a soldier’s job to kill, when required. Slaughter is something else entirely. I return to my prior position. You should be ashamed to suggest that your neighbors are committing atrocities. I suggest you apologize here.

Oh, you get automatic exceptions when you speak? You can just self-absolve yourself of all liability for your word choices? Don’t be coming here and thinking you can use charged language, which is provably false, not back it up with anything, no sources, not even statistics, and get away with it. You are intellectually and academically dishonest. Further, you are wrong, and you know you are wrong.

Hmmm. . . one might suggest I should be insulted by your comments about my teaching, but since you have no idea about my teaching, I will let it go as a feeble attempt to attack me rather than restore your own credibility. I am attacking what you say, not you. Learn the difference. I suggest, squirbel, you examine my body of posts here objectively. My students gain the benefit of thoughful, reasoned, AND FACTUALLY SUPPORTED argument. You are just repeating what you have been told is politically correct. I point you to my response to you on another thread, where you blindly asserted as “conventional wisdom” a statement that is upon the slightest due diligence, OR BY JUST BEING CURRENT WITH REAL NEWS SOURCES, provably false. You obviously are a creature of whatever pundit currently has your ear. I suggest you learn to look up primary sources yourself, rather than relying on what some news outlet is saying.

Perhaps you missed many of the stories about soldiers being accused of atrocities that were later dismissed because on investigation they were untrue. You may have missed them because the accusations are on page 1, the dismissals on page 30.

Squirbel, you still have no facts. Here and elsewhere, you rely on “conventional wisdom,” whereas I have bothered to find credible sources. I will rely on the other users as to which posts have greater credibility, but you DON’T get to claim an automatic exemption. Talk about weak rhetoric. You wouldn’t survive my classroom with that.

Perhaps most offensive about your post is that you still, although grudgingly stating “I don’t mind being wrong,” STILL slander our military service. You still use phrases like “each of our warriors suffered in having to kill civilians.” Either you are completely careless in how you use words (which I suspect, because you evidently need an “automatic exception”) or you STILL are trying to leave an untrue perception in the minds of readers.

You are right, America DOES have a track record in war. You are completely wrong about what it is. We do NOT commit atrocities as part of our routine actions, as opposed to, say, Chinese, Soviet and Japanese armed forces have done. We investigate complaints, and when we determine a soldier has committed atrocities, they are severely punished. Our media constantly monitors our conduct, our society has free and open debate. Generals are fired, soldiers do life sentences.

Yes, America has a track record. Despite our soldiers being repeatedly tortured by the Japanese as a routine matter, we rebuilt Japan and protect it today. We rebuilt Germany. We permitted the countries we liberated in WWII to determine their own governance, the Soviets did not. Perhaps the fastest way to develop a country’s infrastructure is to lose to our military, because we rebuild what we have destroyed. We now try harder than any other military in history to reduce collateral damage, spending additional millions of dollars and risking our lives to avoid civilian deaths whenever possible.

You have a completely erroneous view of slaughter if you think that is what we are doing in Iraq. It is within our power, and would have been easier, to simply level the country and install a puppet government. We have not done that. As you know, because I provided you the information, we are permitting countries that opposed the deposing of Hussein to get valuable oil business at the expense of our own country’s businesses, because we have not exerted undue influence on Iraqi business.

Our country has been as careful as possible in this war. You can disagree about why we’re there, or how long we should stay, but to accuse our soldiers of slaughter is shameful. You are correct, our boys don’t want to be murderers, and they are not. You appear to prefer a very few anecdotes about atrocities. Perhaps you have failed to see where several of these “soldier’s accounts” have been proven to be complete fabrications.

Perhaps you failed to notice many of these “anecdotes” you evidently rely upon are outright lies. Even some of the most vehement anti-Iraq War organizations, ONCE THEY HAVE BEEN CONFRONTED WITH THE TRUTH, have had to admit they are relying upon false statements. PEOPLE LIE. Just one example of these anecdotes you relish because they support what you WANT to believe:
http://michellemalkin.com/2007/05/18/breaking-anti-war-fraudster-jesse-macbeth-arrestedupdated-with-statement-from-va-whistleblower/

Yes, indeed, some people want to believe something so badly, want to accuse our soldiers of atrocities so badly, that they will commit a felony by forging documents. And as we know from the Bush AWOL forgeries, the media will go ahead and report based on documents that are obvious forgeries. You state “Unlike you, I have a snide distrust for statistics.” Unlike me? I spent most of my prior post attacking the civilian body count in Iraq. Clearly I distrust statistics as well. Unlike YOU, I look for the facts underlying the statistics.

I really doubt, squirbel, you analyze anything. You certainly don’t bother to provide any of your sources here. You say “My statement is based on a broad array of accounts,” but can’t seem to come up with them. You want to reserve “automatic exceptions” for yourself. You have zero credibility. To use a sports analogy, don’t be bringing that trash talk unless you got game.

squirbel's avatar

I will not apologize. I also withdraw from this argument. I prefer peace; I will only say “you are right” and leave you happy.

hossman's avatar

Don’t apologize for me. Apologize for the people who are risking their lives to preserve your freedom to insult them with false accusations. I won’t be happy with you until you do. Being right doesn’t make me happy, I knew I was right already. A sincere apology for accusing the people who have disrupted and risked their lives for you and for Iraqis of “slaughter,” would be the moral and courteous thing to do. Your refusal to apologize is simply cowardice and poor manners.

hossman's avatar

And may I point out, squirbel, that painting honorable people as murderers, then when challenged to support your position, running for the hills, is not “peace,” except as defined by the U.N. But to return to the original question, the problem with any war is that what is a plausible exit strategy today will be implausible in a few months. Further, war is always a net loss situation. There is NO solution that would equitably benefit both sides, only solutions that may equitably divide the loss to both sides.

Actually, this would be a lot easier if there were only two sides, but there is us, the Sunnis, the Shiites, the Kurds, the Yazidis, numerous subgroups, Islam in general. . .

shockvalue's avatar

Wow hossman, way to hold on to a fight. I think squirbel has stated her opinion firmly and graciously and has very diplomatically conceded that this “discussion” is going nowhere. It’s time to accept that you have a difference of opinion. Demanding apologies is nothing short of antagonistic and fails to further the collective. Cut your losses and move on.

hossman's avatar

Fine, I withdraw completely, goodbye all.

allen_o's avatar

your still wrong hossman

zachs08's avatar

i didnt understand the question? lol

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