Democrats & Liberals Archives

Iraq is Not the Big Problem

President Bush wants victory in Iraq. Most Democrats are looking for a way to get out of the mess. The trouble with almost all of us is that we are too focused on Iraq alone. Settling the Shi’ite-Sunni civil war in Iraq cannot be done without Iran. Settling affairs with Shi’ite Iran cannot be done without Sunni Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia will not be happy unless the Palestinians gain a homeland. And nobody in the Middle East can get anywhere without the consent of religious clerics.

It seems that no country in the Middle East is satisfied with the way things are and they all blame U.S. for their troubles. Whether we agree or not with their assessment, this is the way they perceive things. Here are a few of the ways they believe Americans have interfered with their affairs:

  • Attack and Occupation of Iraq
  • Interference in Iranian Affairs - U.S. installed the Shah who ruled until Ayatollah Komeini threw him out and began the revolution. Since then, Iran has faced American belligerence
  • Installing bases in Saudi Arabia - this is one reason Osama bin Laden started Al Qaeda. I think we have since removed bases from Saudi Arabia
  • Establishment of Israel - Arabs think of Israel as a surrogate to an imperial U.S. Though Palestinians attack Israelis with rockets and suicide bombers, they complain bitterly about Israeli retaliatory attacks
  • Syria's Loss of the Golan Heights - they believe that America is responsible for this
  • Lebanon's Tragedy because of Hezbollah-Israeli War - they claim U.S. sat and watched the slaughter
Because of these and other perceived hurts and slights, Arabs and Muslims in the Middle East hate the U.S. This makes it difficult to solve any one problem - such as the Iraq War. What's needed is a way to give all Middle East countries a way to vent their frustrations and also a way for America to explain itself. We need to find a way for all of us to talk through our problems.

We need to call a Middle East Conference. All countries mentioned above, plus the Palestinians, Jordanians, Egyptians and representatives of all the other Gulf states should participate. U.S and Iran should be the hosts; U.S., because Arabs perceive us as the bad guys; Iran, because it is the most powerful and most civilized Middle East country.

The Conference should last as long as needed. The purpose should not be to settle all problems. This is impossible. We should, however, try to solve the 2 big interrelated problems:

  • THE SHI'ITE-SUNNI CONFLICT IN IRAQ - We will need Shi'ite Iranians and Sunni Saudi Arabians to come to an agreement as to how to quell the conflict betwee their co-religionists in Iraq. It will require the Iranians and Saudi Arabians to acquire a certain level of tolerance, an achievement that would bode well for the entire area

  • THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT - Recently Saudi Arabia has become a little more eager for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It also appeared that Hamas would soon become less warlike. Then Iran inserted itself via Hezbollah and the conflict is full blast again. Negotiating with Iran seems to be the best way to cut the conflict. Again religious tolerance will be called for
Iraq is not the big problem. Personally, I believe that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a far bigger problem. At any rate these problems, as well as the huge terrorism problem, are related. We need a serious Middle East Conference so that we can make peace with the people in that part of the world.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 10, 2006 7:39 PM
Comments
Comment #194537

Paul, I pretty much agree with everything you said, but I think Syria should play a large role in this conference as well because Syria holds sway among Sunni Iraqis and provides a great deal of support to Hezbollah,

Posted by: Warren P at November 10, 2006 9:25 PM
Comment #194538

Paul, I think probably the biggest problem of all in that region is US partiality in the occupation of the palestinian territories. Isreal does not want a solution. It wants to annex the territories, and the US is effectively supporting them in that endeavour. The oppression of the Palestinian people is a scandal before the world and is a huge indictment of all so called civilised people. It is another holocaust, only perhaps less merciful, as it leaves it victims alive with no hope, only degradation and despair.

The US could, if it so wished, bring about a fair, honourable and peaceful solution to this festering sore. It’s underwriting of Israel economically, militarily and politically, together with the EU, means that Israel could not dare to flout its wish to negotiate a fair solution, in accordance with 242. Israel would have us believe that the Arabs only want the destruction if Israel. But the evidence is there that with a fair solution to the territories, the Arabs would make their peace with Israel. The Saudis proposed a settlement along these lines, which was allowed to wither on the vine by both Israel and the US. But the neocons have a different agenda in the mid east. They do not want peace. It suits their purposes very well to have this ongoing festering wound constantly teased, distracting attention from their purpose of controlling this region of such vital economic importance. There will never be peace until this business is settled fairly.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 10, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #194568

Paul, while I like your idea it seems very impossible to me. There’s just so much water under the bridge - on both sides.

Christine

Posted by: Christine at November 11, 2006 2:30 AM
Comment #194576

Paul, I disagree with your primary premise. As long as America is losing American lives and limbs, and adding billions to the quarter trillion already being spent, Iraq is the Big Problem for America.

I am intrigued with your conference, and agree the solution to stablizing Iraq may not be found in a military approach withing Iraq, but, Iraq is our Big Problem because of our costs associated with it, and because of Iraq’s potential threat on our future security should terrorists benefit from Iraq’s oil revenues.

Insuring Iraq’s oil revenues do not fund terrorist organizations directly or indirectly, is the fundamental core issue for American concern in Iraq, while insuring the free flow of their oil onto the free marketplace, runs a close second.

Any approach to resolution of American involvement in Iraq must address those two core interest areas for America.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 11, 2006 3:22 AM
Comment #194579

Paul Siegel,

I tend to agree with Christine. The Arabs have plenty of reasons, some real and some imagined, to hate the US, but I very highly doubt that there can be any resolution. These divisions are literally milenia old.

Paul in Euroland,

Your post is patenlty false and offensive. The idea of comparing the Isrealis to the Nazis and the Palestinian conflict to the Holocaust is ridiculous. First, the so-called occupied territories were all occupied by Israel as the result of wars the Arabs waged against them without provocation. Furthermore, the Israelis have tried damned near everything. They occupy territory to act as a buffer against Arab aggression and they get terrorism. They unilaterally withdraw from these same territories and then have missles flying from them into their cities. The Palestinians have the power to stop the suicide bombers and briefly did so until Arafat decided he’d rather pressure the Israelis. The election of Hamas further proves the Palestinians don’t desire peace.

As for their permanent refugee status, the fault lies squarely at the feet of the other Arab states in the region. They all roll in oil money, but rather than fund investment into the Palestinian territories, they pay off the families of suicide bombers. And why not? They know they can’t take Israel in a conventional war, and the Palestinians, with no help and no hope, offer a ready made proxy militia to attack Israel while giving these cowards deniablilty. If anything, the Israelis are too gentle. Syria should’ve been bombed with Lebanon. Any attack on Israel should result in massive and economically crippling attacks on nations that sponsor terrorism. The Arab nations are not worthy of our support, they are barbarous and to compare Israel to them favorably is nonsense.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 11, 2006 4:06 AM
Comment #194583

Paul in uroland:
This is the problem with your statement.the land you state that isreal wants to annex was won after beligerant arab nations attacked them.Isreal should not have to give that back they should simply bring thier troops in with bulldozers and completly level every square foot then pave it and escort any remaining palistinians out of the country ,using new paved land as a security buffer.it truly amazes me that evan after losing thousands of americans to similar radical islamic suicide bombers many still try to blame isreal.virtually every arab nation if given the chance with no interference from the us would like to wipe isreal off the map.least you forget your heros the palistinians like to go into public areas and then kill inocent men women and children.however with the new members of the house and senate its taken only 3 days for them to begin calling for an immeadate withdrawal to be completed by june of 2007,if this occurs millions of iraqis who wanted freedom will be butchered and the us will be forced with in a few years to go back in and lose countless additional lives.listen to the terrorists statements of yesterday,for they are the democrats biggist fans as they know that most dems are anti war cowards who should never be allowed any power in this country.however now that they have it the next 2 years will be a blight on this nation that will take a generation to erase.after raising taxes ,stopping the NSA from listening in to terrorists and abanding iraq and afganistan watch the wave that occurs in 2008 .i believe it will effectivly end any chance the dems have of leading this country for the next 50 years.You may also see some of the conservative war veteren dems recently elected switch over to republican to attempt to stop vast majority of dem cowards from abanding our posts and leaving people who have risked thier lives in order to obtain freedom.Keep your eyes on this people as youll see over the next 2 years the democratic party self destruct,is a shame we the people will have to pay for thier behavior with multiple additional attacks that kill and maim many innocent americans.

Posted by: j at November 11, 2006 7:51 AM
Comment #194613

J,

So apparently you believe everything else that Al Qaeda preaches, as well. See you in the Califate.

Paul
Personally,I think our biggest problem is our lack of internally developed energy resources and trade deficits. Those are leading us into conflicts around the world.
I grant you that Iraq and the Middle East are our biggest military threats. The problem there is a power struggle that has gone on since time immemorial and the worldwide dependence on oil. Israel is only a recent player. Palestine is everybody’s convenient football.

Posted by: gergle at November 11, 2006 1:09 PM
Comment #194618

1LTB and j, there’s only one response possible to your posts. Sieg Heil!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 11, 2006 1:47 PM
Comment #194634

paul
I really wonder how you democrats can at times be normal amaericans yet when the chips are down and a people depends on the us to help ,(as in Iraq) your willing to simply run ) one of primary reasons bin laden hit us was he is convinced a few casualties and we’ll turn tail and run,listen to the last few terrorist messages ,they are over joyed the dems won election….WHY ….they know the true grade of most dems is to turn tail and run…did not used to be that way either.John F is probibly rolling in his grave listening to some of the members of your party.unlike in vietnam although even if they manage to turn tail and run the way they want ,,the US will still have a mojor problem,;Ie close to 100,000 million radical muslems world wide who want the utter destruction of this country.does any one on this line actually believe the terrorists will simply go away if we leave Iraq .?

Posted by: j at November 11, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #194635

gergle ;
this is how you dems won ,insult any who disagree with spout out right lies and hope it sticks ,actually it may be the only way a vast majority of americans will wake up and realize that the democratis party no longer represents most of america,however over next 2 years they will show all of america and the world what they really are ,and unlike 50 years ago this fight can not be run from.its sad to say but the us will probibly be hit and many thousands more die because of policys set in effect by dems this 2 year period how ever when it does happen america will be so outraged at dems any one who runs as a republican will be elected in 08,and that is not good for america.But it will happen .write it down and remeber this for in mid novemeber 2008 youll all be asking why you lost the house the senate and the whitehouse again in the largest defeat ever seen in american history.

Posted by: j at November 11, 2006 3:26 PM
Comment #194636

Paul,

You make some good points regarding Iraq and the Middle East situation in general. I must disagree with you, however. Iraq is a big problem for the US because our maniac president has put out troops in the middle of a multifaceted regional crisis (as you point out), and they have absolutely no business being there. That is the big problem with Iraq, and everyday there is loss of American life, volunteers, who pledge to protect and defend our country from legitmate threats. Let’s not lose sight of that fact when tossing around ideas and discussions on the larger international political strategies. The safty and well being of our troops in that regions out ways all other issues as far as I am concerned. Let’s get our troops home and end the mounting body count for American military personnel. After that is accomplished, hopefully then under the new congressional leadership thoughtful, intelligent, productive middle east policy making can be re-dressed without the overbearing and simply callous “neocon” (i.e. fascist) actions of the past 6 years.

Posted by: Kim-Sue at November 11, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #194642

Kim sue;
so defending america is now called facist ?i guess from what ive read here you dems solution is to negotiate with the terrorist,RIGHT?guess that means no gay marriage,no women wearing any thing but burkas and face masks who must be escorted by a brother or father where ever they go,if caught having an affair women will be stoned to death in the street.oh and as were making peace with these fanatics women will no longer be allowed to go to school so if your married dont worry about paying for your daughters to get an education.also any one who dares insult allah shall be killed in the public square as well.tell me kim do you have any idea what these wonderful people you like so much truly desire?they want our utter destruction.President bush and team so far have stopped them from succsefully attacking us again.how many attacks occured during the clinton adminastration while clinton and his team wrung there hands and said were gonna get ya for that.Guess thats what you want each new attack well simply try to give these islamic hoods more and more of our freedom.it truly amazes me at how foolish some of the lefts supporters are ,AND how truly uninformed.

Posted by: j at November 11, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #194664

j,

You’ve already written it for us. You also repeated this, but you didn’t reply to my question.

Unlike you, j, I don’t have a crystal ball for 08.

You said the Democrats lied. What did they lie about? Would you please elaborate? I thought it was Bush and Cheney who lied about WMD.

Posted by: gergle at November 11, 2006 9:33 PM
Comment #194685

gergle;
Perhaps if you anwser any of my questions we could have a dialog however thats not the way with you’ll dems you simply out shout and spread lies.you state no weapons of mass distruction?and that bush and cheney lied …yikes may 2004 chemical binary 155 howitzer shells were used as ieds against our troops part of the inventoried amount located and counted by the weapons inspectors,now lets look at this and some of the statements made by john kerry ,hillary clinton ,bill clinton and a vast majority of elected officials prior to the invasion as well as every major intelligence service of virtually the entire free world prior to the invasion.you dems seem to think your party can say one thing prior to the invasion then the exact opposite after the invasion and no one will remember.so tell me what is the dems plan for iraq ?what is there olan for Iran ?what is ther plan for north korea ? Its been 3 days since the election and now were hearing how were going to have all kinds of investagations spending millions of our taxpayers money so that dems can get evan with the republicans ,what a farce.you can not and will not discuss ways to protect america because the dems dont want to protect us they want to persacute bush and his admin,and you all think no one can see this …?huge tax increases ,cowardice in the face of a determined and deadly enemy and by 2008 voters will end the dems run for at least another 12 to 15 years.write it down as it will occur.

Posted by: J at November 11, 2006 11:33 PM
Comment #194715

j, your attribution to Democrats in general as cowards, needs to be made specific to Democrat politicians which is permitted by our rules, or abandoned, as it violates our rules for participation when written in a manner which includes our visitors and participants. Please heed this warning.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at November 12, 2006 4:46 AM
Comment #194739

Boy, is it shilly in here or what? I’ve never seen someone with such a considerable vocabulary who seems incapable of spelling or grammar.

I do find it rather offensive that instead of answering 1 LT B’s post intelligently, he or she was effectively branded a Nazi with the Sieg Heil comment. I’m inclined to agree with everything 1 LT B said…does that make me the first Nazi to be both gay and Jewish?

Posted by: Jacob in SC at November 12, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #194743

Jacob in SC,

That last post of mine got me into some hot water with the managing editor. He politely explained to me how I was out of line, I agreed, and I’d just as soon put that one behind me. As far as being the first Nazi to be both gay and Jewish, I do not know. You’re defintely not the first Nazi to be gay, I hope this doesn’t come as too hard of a blow. All joking aside, the lack of any cogent response suggests something about Paul in Euroland, just as my response to him said something about me. Upon reflection, I don’t much like what that said about me. I wonder if Paul in Euroland will think the same.

Posted by: 1LT B at November 12, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #194745

watch blog editor;
in no way was my intent to implie all of your posters are cowards nor did i say that i implied the democratic politicians are engaging a policy of cowardice in the the face of a determined enemy.
If i offended any one you have my apoligy,however it still does not answer any of the questions i put forth here.please explain if you will why is it that any who critize the democratic plan of abanding millions of Iraqis who have put thier very lifes on the line to obtain freedom and have a working democracy ,are then threatened with exclusion?it seems to be the way the dem party works if they dont like your view point they will discredit and attempt to silence any and all critics.I am a veteren who served my country and has many friends who are currently serving in Iraq ,tell me what do we tell thier families, who have lost a loved one in Iraq that their sacrifice was worthless as we are now going to pull out and abandon all those (Iraqi & american ) who have paid for thier freedom with thier lifes ?does any one realisticly believe that bringing all of our troops home and abanding iraq will provide the american people with security ?so by leaving i guess bin laden and associates will declare victory and no longer attack the us or britian or any other allies ?What would have happened to the US if durung the battle of the Bulge we americans had said thier were to many causualties and pulled out of Europe ?The Us governments # 1 Job is to protect and defend we the people ,and if the dems go thier current way and retreat and pull all troops from Iraq what will the message be that Islamic terrorist’s recieve ?That were strong and not afraid to take the fight to them ?Or that were weak and if they can generate enough casualties that we will leave and give them the run of the country ?I am amazzed that when confronted on thier basic stands the dems and many of your posters here then campare us to nazis ….if we the people can no longer simply discuss the issues and try to find a result that will protect the american people while assisting those who have bet thier lifes on the us helping them,then our nation truly is in trouble.I ask any on this line to answer the following.
1.what is the best way to fix the Iraq problem,with out creating a massacre of all who helped us and them selfs .Or creating a safe haven for terrorists.?
2.Iran what is the best method to stop this radical regime from obtaining nuclear weapons ?
3.North Korea how best to disarm and bring the north korean people into the 21st century eliminating the systemic starvation of an entire race of people.
4.Al Quada how to defeat and eliminate thier radical beliefs and actions.?
5.Energy policy ,do we finally drill in all availble areas to try to reduce the amount of oil we obtain from radical regimes ,like Venezuala ,or again is nothing done .
6.How do we get the house and senate to provide legislation that will help we the people ,versus never ending investigations of old news .?
7.Do we call a complete halt to the NSA listening into to potential terrorist calls .?

Posted by: j at November 12, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #194747

j,

Your responses are nearly unreadable without punctuation and give the appearance they are the result of fuming anger being poured into the keyboard.

Please take a breath and consider a little more time composing. I want to engage you, but you make it rather difficult.

As to Democratic plans for Iraq, Iran and N Korea, I think most candidatesw have made their positions clear. Is the Republican plan stay the course in Iraq, confront without diplomacy Iran and N Korea? That idea hasn’t worked to well for them in Iraq has it? What exactly is their plan? Suicide?

As to your claim of a Chemical WMD used against troops in May 2004, could you please site your source? I don’t recall a chemical attack on our troops. In fact one memory I have of the invasion of Bagdhad was a reporter asking a general why the troops were charging into Bagdhad without using Chemical protection suits. His reply was that they weren’t concerned about it.

As to Kerry and Clinton and others being pro invasion, I believe their decisions were based on US intelligence which has been shown to have been unreliable and possibly tweaked.

Greg Palast and Salon had articles pre invasion about the false intelligence. The Major media ran stories about the phoney intelligence about the Aluminum tubes supposed to be for enrichment which groups like the IAEA laughed at.

Of course that didn’t dissuade Condi from talking about a Mushroom Cloud did it?

Everybody did assume Sadam had Chemical Weapons and scuds. How was this a threat to the US?


Posted by: gergle at November 12, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #194751

gergle:
Perhaps ive missed the plans the democratic politicians have outlined other than a fancy spin of no more Stay the course policy.
Do you honestly believe the bush admin has not changed the way they deal with events on the ground in iraq on a regular basis ?
As to North korea many dems have called for one on one talks with north korea while condeming the admin for not including enough other nations while dealing with Iraq,if we give in and talk with north korea on a one to one basis it rewards them for violating the agreed framework from 1994 and enables them to blame the Us for future failures on thier part to live up to any kind of aggreement.
As to the chemical attack insurgents used a binary chemical weapon and exploded it as a roadside bomb ,however because a binary weapon requires the mixing of the 2 agents by the spin generated when being fired from an artilliary piece they did not mix properly however they announced this on all major news networks when it occurred.Point of this was that this was one shell of 795 inventoried by un weapons teams prior to the war ,what pray tell do you think happened to the rest of those shells?
Do you believe it was the only one insurgents located ? or are they sitting on hundreds of the reverse enginering them to find a way to mix then use them correctly?

Posted by: j at November 12, 2006 2:49 PM
Comment #194783

Let’s consider some of the consequences for our Iraqi withdrawal:

1. Darfur - President Bush was the first leader to call Darfur a Genocide. The Bush Administration was pushing for UN resolutions as well.

Because of the Democrats pushing for us to get out of Iraq. To withdraw troops regardless of finishing the job will have major negative consequences.

The British and Australians for one will hesitate now before joining us on any future operations. They will most likely refuse to join us in Darfur if the decision is ever made, because of our habit of leaving before the job is done.

Oh, wait I forgot. Iraq was unilateral. Those troops from England and Britain don’t really exist.

We talk about being internationalists, but we don’t consider the impacts to our allies if we pack up and leave.


2. Our enemies will view this as a victory. Al-Qaeda just issued a press release to that effect.


3. Watch North Korea try to use Iraq against us. This will embolden North Korea to defy us as in their view there wont be any negative consequences to defying the free world.

4. Iran and Syria will view this as an opportunity to increase their activities against Iraq. More weapons and insurgent smuggling will occur. More suicide bombings will occur as the enemies think that their approach is working.

5. This could also inflame the Balkans. There is still unrest in Kosovo, and Bosnia and the Islamic terrorists sent there will be encouraged to increase their violence as they view the US and now their allies as not willing to do what it takes to stop them.

Posted by: RedStapler at November 12, 2006 7:51 PM
Comment #194789

J,

Thanks for the clearer composition.

I think there are multiple plans from Democratic candidates.

No, I don’t think Bush has listened to many who have stated that too few troops were deployed from the begining and he seems to have been stuck by Rumsfeld’s adherence to the idea that more troops were not needed. I think it is quite clear that Bush was supportive of Rumsfeld despite clear failures in Iraq. That is now going to change, but only after clear political failure. Had the Democrats not pressed Bush, I think it is probable that more would have died in this political position of an unwillingness to admit mistakes.

I believe we are now in a position of unlikely success in Iraq. There is no political will to massively increase troop strength or “stay the course” for a generation. Bush alone is responsible for this losing strategy. We will withdraw and leave it to the Iraqi’s, no matter what Bush is saying publicly now, and you cannot responsibly blame the Democrats for that.

I stated that most people believe that Sadam had Chemical weapons. However, that did not pose a threat to the US until after the invasion of Iraq.
It is doubtfull given the amount of time that has passed, that there are large stashes of such. Why do you think they would wait this long? Incompetence? Civility? Not likely.

As to Bush’s position on N. Korea he has allowed China to handle the threat. I think that would have been the result regardless of whether one on one discussions were held or not. It is in the interest of locals to deal with a local threat. Discussions do not require consessions. I think the argument most Democrats made were that Bush had shown a practice of failing to use diplomatic channels, just threats. I don’t know that Bush has failed here, although some have argued that he may have missed opportunity in the early part of his administration to divert N. Korea’s development of a bomb. I personally think that this is doubtful.

Your notion that a Democratic administration would have handled these situations worse is merely hypothetical, and could be easily argued the other way. Either way is mere supposition. Blaming Democrats for Bush’s failures is mere political tomato tossing.

N. Korea was a failure when Pakistan was allowed to supply them with technology. That is both a Democratic and Republican failure. That being said, nuclear technology will spread irregardless of American policy. The knowledge is out there. It only takes money and time, for a state to develop it. Iraq is owned solely by Bush, as Powell stated in his Pottery Barn advice.

Posted by: gergle at November 12, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #195547

If so many nations want something done for there to be peace than maybe Bush can occupy the rest of the middle east. I mean they all blame Bush and the American troops for their problems maybe Bush needs to pull out the troops and let the middle east settle their problems for themselves. They all deal with one major problem and that the fact that they all believe in different religions maybe they should learn from the US that for someone to get along they don’t have to be of the same religion or race. Maybe these nations could come to a consensus and agree to create a lueage of nations between the Middle East and try to solve their problems if they don’t want the US probing into them.

Posted by: Angiet at November 18, 2006 1:27 AM
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