1. #51
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    Originally posted by VinnieB



    I am asking YOU for to support you claim of the US being an Imperial Nation....FACTS not conjecture.....

    Four more GI's killed in attacks.
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    Default Where did he say that?

    Originally posted by scfire86
    Bush is conceding that WMD's will never be found.
    I'm sorry I didn't see where in this article that Bush said WMD's will never be found.

    Also the article you posted isn't accurate.

    "central findings of chief US weapons hunter Charles Duelfer – that Saddam not only had no weapons of mass destruction and had not made any since 1991, but that he had no capability of making any either..."


    While the Duelfer report says that there was no solid evidence that WMD's existed, there are clear indications in that report that Iraq and Saddam had capability of producing large quantities of Chemical Weapons (CW) in three to six months.

    From the Duelfer report, http://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq_...y_Findings.pdf

    "Iraq at OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) probably had a capability to produce large quanitities of sulfur mustard within three to six months."

    The report also stated that Iraq could have had large scale production of nerve agents in two years.

    "A former nerve agent expert indicated that Iraq retained the capability to produce nerve agent in significant quanitities within two years."

    Stop drinking that cool-aid man!

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    Default Re: Where did he say that?

    Originally posted by glowpop

    "A former nerve agent expert indicated that Iraq retained the capability to produce nerve agent in significant quanitities within two years."

    Big deal. I have the ability to produce Ricin right now. Castor beans grow wild here in OC.

    Maybe I'm a threat.
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    Originally posted by scfire86


    Four more GI's killed in attacks.
    Again...as what Sharkie says..."vile"....

    WOW!?...people die in war?...I didn't know.......... You forgot to add how many innocents died today too.

    But I do not see how US troops being killed is a form of Imperialism?...I asked YOU...about why you think we are Imperialistic...I want YOUR views...not a reporters....
    Last edited by VinnieB; 10-13-2004 at 10:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Re: Where did he say that?

    Originally posted by scfire86


    Big deal. I have the ability to produce Ricin right now. Castor beans grow wild here in OC.

    Maybe I'm a threat.

    Sure...if you had a history of using them on your Neighbors....and you own family, then balking at every movement by the FDA....then yes you would be a threat.
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    Originally posted by VinnieB

    But I do not see how US troops being killed is a form of Imperialism?...I asked YOU...about why you think we are Imperialistic...I want YOUR views...not a reporters....
    We are viewed as being imperialistic by Iraqis for several reasons.

    First, we invaded a sovereign nation that did not and has not ever attacked us.

    Secondly, we have a history of meddling in their affairs in the past and installing puppet regimes. i.e. Saddam Hussein in 1969.

    Lastly, we are intending to establish a permanent military presence within the borders of the country.

    That is why we are perceived as being imperialistic.
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    Originally posted by scfire86


    We are viewed as being imperialistic by Iraqis for several reasons.

    First, we invaded a sovereign nation that did not and has not ever attacked us.

    Secondly, we have a history of meddling in their affairs in the past and installing puppet regimes. i.e. Saddam Hussein in 1969.

    Lastly, we are intending to establish a permanent military presence within the borders of the country.

    That is why we are perceived as being imperialistic.

    Weak....


    -Did we invade to colonize?

    -Puppet Regimes..Hmm..Ok..I'll give you that but with this arguement....I guess were the ONLY once to have ever done this....and how was Saddam a US puppet from 69-03?....I do remember a little thing called the Cold War and "land grabs" by both Western and Communist "regimes".

    -Your last one is a gem...."permanent military presence within borders of the country"...HOW IS THAT IMPERIALISM?....I guess Germany, Japan, the UK, and the rest of the world were we have bases....hmm...yeah I see...real Imperialistic....OH! except that we are not COLONIZING THEM AND INSTALLING A MILITARY GOVERNMENT.
    Last edited by VinnieB; 10-13-2004 at 11:18 AM.
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    Originally posted by VinnieB



    Weak....


    -Did we invade to colonize?

    -Puppet Regimes..Hmm..Ok..I'll give you that but with this arguement....I guess were the ONLY once to have ever done this....and how was Saddam a US puppet from 69-03?....I do remember a little thing called the Cold War and "land grabs" by both Western and Communist "regimes".

    -Your last one is a gem...."permanent military presence within borders of the country"...HOW IS THAT IMPERIALISM?....I guess Germany, Japan, the UK, and the rest of the world were we have bases....hmm...yeah I see...real Imperialistic....OH! except that we are not COLONIZING THEM AND INSTALLING A MILITARY GOVERNMENT.
    Motivation is irrelevant. Perception is what matters. Perception is what will cause continued guerilla actions against Americans.

    The rest of your comparisons are pretty ridiculous. I know you only threw them out there to tweak a response. Sorry not today.
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    Default YEAH it is a big deal

    Originally posted by scfire86


    Big deal. I have the ability to produce Ricin right now. Castor beans grow wild here in OC.

    Maybe I'm a threat.
    Yeah it is a big deal. Again, you the dems and Senator Kerry don't understand the threat that we are now involved with. Please see my prior post about terror organizations in Iraq. There are many who would like nothing better than to get their hands on a chemical, biological or nuclear weapon, and then use that on us here in the US.

    The Duelfer report also stated that the IIS (Iraqi Intelligence Services) had several non-declared labs that not only did R&D but had the capability to PRODUCE chemicals and poisons that could be used as CW, including mustard and nerve agents.

    And the point of my post is that your statement and the article that was posted is WRONG! Like many biased press agencies, they either don't report the truth or they don't print all of the truth.

    And oh by the way, the same IIS program was using humans as test subjects. Gee, where have we heard of that before?

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    Originally posted by scfire86


    Motivation is irrelevant. Perception is what matters. Perception is what will cause continued guerilla actions against Americans.

    The rest of your comparisons are pretty ridiculous. I know you only threw them out there to tweak a response. Sorry not today.
    It's about "perception"....and its all about thier Motivations and beliefs....read the Infata, Qu'an, and understand Islam...dude...you are clueless on the background....most of who we are fighting are forgieners...Al-Quada...and then there is the Mahdi milita and Sadar Militas...there are actually 3 different groups all bound by the same MOTIVATIONS of thier Perception of us. Motivation is NEVER irrelevant when dealing with a Guerrilla War. Motvation is the thread that keeps the insurgents together and focused. If they weren't motivated they would not be fighting today. Would you like to venture down the highway in a discussion about Guerrilla Wars?...I would....you brought it up lets yap about it.....

    I guess I'll just have to settle for you weak answer on US Imperialism. But I must ask about what is the insurgents "Perception" is of us and how that makes thier motivation irrelevant? I guess the little "blurb" in the Qu'an about al-Malhama al-Kubra is irrelavent too....????
    Last edited by VinnieB; 10-13-2004 at 12:31 PM.
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    So SCfire,

    I am still waiting for FACTS to substantiate your claim that the Iraqi people see us as an occupying force. You have still proctered nothing but your opinions and assumptions. You have not offered any article, study, report, or otherwise that states that the majority, or even a sustantial number of Iraqis view the US military as a occupying force.

    You continue to offer up views and opinions but rarely do you ever offer up substantiation.

    First, we invaded a sovereign nation that did not and has not ever attacked us.
    Wrong. Every time the Iraqi military lit up an aircraft in the former no fly zones, it constituted an attack. Every time they loosed a missile or fired AAA at an aircraft it became an act of war against a sovereign nation.

    In addition, you still have yet to completely point out how Iraq was in good standing of the cease fire they had signed in 1991. Note that this only halted hostilites, not stopped the action altogether.

    They may not have attcked the shores of the United States, but they attacked the military forces of the United States. Ergo, they did attack us.

    Secondly, we have a history of meddling in their affairs in the past and installing puppet regimes. i.e. Saddam Hussein in 1969.
    How did we install Hussein? You have offered up this line of thinking before and I have only heard it from you. Please clarify and substantiate it so that I may understand it.

    The only way I recall meddling in the affairs of Iraq was selling weapons to Iraq and the aforementioned no-fly zones. The sanctions were agreed to by Hussein and poorly implemented and monitored by the United Nations.

    Lastly, we are intending to establish a permanent military presence within the borders of the country.
    As far as I recall, this is still only to be done if the Iraqi government agrees to it. If not we move out, we have bases to use in Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait as well as others. This coupled with our plan to move large numbers of troops out of Germany into the former Easter Bloc will allow us to be in a position to honor our commitments.
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    Originally posted by DaSharkie

    How did we install Hussein? You have offered up this line of thinking before and I have only heard it from you. Please clarify and substantiate it so that I may understand it.
    Correct!...What I forgot to do in my post when I responded to this earlier was a big fat group of .....

    I to would like to know how we installed a "puppet" regime in Iraq in 1968....especially when Pro-West relations crumbeled after the US supported the Isrealis in the Six Days War in 1967? They shifted to a pro-communist support....hence all that Soviet Bloc gear they had.

    SCFIRE....you are totally lost when it comes to middle east issues....you have been wrong time and time again....when will you learn...."arguee with facts, not blind emotion"....You get another "F"...

    In the late 70's and through the 80's we did however "support" Iraq...that's becasue they were enemies of Iran.....and I hope I do not need to explain why we supported thier war with Iran....but remember that Khomeni was thrown out of Iraq by Hussein in 1979...along with the teachings of the Shi'ites....he then returned to Iran via France, then spread the words of Revolutionary Islam....in 1980 before Khomeni could truely organize himself and people...Iraq invaded in September 1980. Oh! and don't forget...our invovlment with Iraq dates back to pre-Saddam....SCFIRE...you mentioned Brit/Palestinian experiance...(but never elaborated, go figure )....Trumans Postition on the situation pretty much influenced the English involvement, Doctrine, and Policy...which brought Iraq into a war with Isreal....and that was in 1948...the days of King Faisal II.
    Last edited by VinnieB; 10-13-2004 at 01:29 PM.
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    Originally posted by DaSharkie
    How did we install Hussein? You have offered up this line of thinking before and I have only heard it from you. Please clarify and substantiate it so that I may understand it.
    Apparently I'm not the only one who needs a history lesson.

    ------------------

    Please, No More Made-in-the-USA Monsters
    By Col. David H. Hackworth USA (ret.)



    Hopefully, the looting and shooting across Iraq will soon subside, and peace will settle over the innocents of Iraq – a people who've suffered only bloodshed and repression ever since our CIA recruited Saddam Hussein more than 40 years ago.

    Blame it on the Cold War, when “Better dead than Red” became our national byword, and any useful cutthroats were automatically added to the team if they were against communism. We would have dealt with the devil if he had offered to shoot a commie for Uncle Sam.

    So when Iraqi Prime Minister Abd al-Karim Qasim started playing footsie with the Soviets, placing his Red pals in power positions in his government, all wasn't exactly copasetic in Washington. At the time, CIA Director Allen Dulles declared Iraq “the most dangerous spot in the world.”

    Enter Saddam, whose potential for violence suited us to the max.

    Whether it was the threat of Soviet missiles being set up in Iraq or the chance to secure all that black liquid gold as ours for the pumping, we hired Psycho Saddam as our hit man, set him up in an apartment across the street from the prime minister's Ministry of Defense and ordered Qasim taken out with “extreme prejudice.”

    But the Mustached One’s 1959 assassination attempt was a mess-up from the get-go, the botched mission a precursor to his subsequent eight-year war with Iran and later fights with Stormin’ Norman and Tommy Franks. The signs were all there right from the start – we just didn't take the time to read the tea leaves.

    For openers, Saddam lost his nerve and triggered the ambush too soon. One member of this hit team that couldn't shoot straight had the wrong ammo; another, the grenade man, couldn’t fling that sucker because it got caught in his coat; and yet a third member missed the prime minister but somehow managed to shoot Saddam in the leg. Qasim escaped, and so did Saddam, limping off to Cairo, Egypt, where – even after all those blunders – the CIA propped him up in a safe house and kept his pockets lined with Yankee green while continuing his training in terrorism

    In 1963, after Qasim was knocked off in a second CIA black op, Saddam scurried home to slay his way up the power ladder and eventually become head of the dreaded al-Jihaz a-Khas, the feared intelligence apparatus of the Ba’ath party.

    From there, with a little more help from his CIA pals, he continued to plot, plunder and massacre his way to the head-beast slot, where we anointed him our newest very best friend. Not just because of the Cold War or Iraq's rich oil deposits, but also because he went after our former best friend and newest major enemy, Iran. We supported our fave new despot with the works: arms and munitions, precursors for chemical and biological weapons, and intelligence information gained from our ultra-secret intelligence intercepts of Iranian radio traffic and other hot skinny from our satellites showing up-to-the-minute Iranian battle dispositions.

    Even current SecDef Donald Rumsfeld rushed to Saddam's palace in 1983 to bow and scrape and assure the Bully of Baghdad he had a Ronald Reagan-signed blank check for almost any bombs and bullets in our arsenal. After which our generals and admirals taught him how to use them, completing his morph into a master of Military Miscalculation.
    Then, in 1990, Saddam did a Noriega and foolishly bit the hand that fed him – as has almost every U.S.-sponsored Cold War dictator from every dark corner of every continent. His ill-conceived blitzkrieg against one of our primary gas stations, Kuwait, only served to get him locked down in Iraq for 12 no-fly-zone years, with heavy sanctions and bombing raids.

    And when he still didn't get it, the pre-emptors decided to take him out for good.

    Now billions and perhaps trillions of our dollars and our best and brightest will be rebuilding Iraq to create a stable government – a beacon of democratic light in a dismally troubled region.

    But that's only if we don't empower yet another world-class serial killer, and then in a decade or two have to spend still more precious American lives making another regime change in a country that's already paid too hard a price.

    © 2003 David H. Hackworth.

    ------------------

    I'm sure the two of you will blow off Col. Hackworth as a liberal shill. It's all you have.
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    Col. Hackworth....eh?....Hmmm I guess we should all go find someone elses works in National Review or the Washington Post to counter and enlighten those points of his interests. The man had a very good, illustrious career...but his open wild critisisms of the government and the military are widley know...hmmm now what cable news station does he work for?

    If you read my post you will see that I completely understand the situation in post ww2 Iraq to today....the article you cut and pasted touch upon what I wrote.....but there is a void there...from 1968 to 1979.....I do not think that was elaborated on....gee wonder why?

    I still do not see how Iraq (now or then) is a puppet regime of the US?......The article does not really do a good job of making a case for your position. I believe the support for Saddam in the 50's and early 60's was more becasue of the Palastinian "thing" than becasue of Oil.....Remember that I mentioned that in regards to the Brits and King Faisal II? When hasen't the US or ANYOTHER nation not had "strange bedfellows"...Weren't we allied with the Soviet Union and supplied them with Weapons, Ammo, Armour, Ships, Planes..etc, etc...did we not support the Vietminh, Chinese, and Koreans against the Japanese.....we worked with the Panamanians, We fought 2 (actually 3) MAJOR wars against the British...then the Spanish..and 1.5 vs the French.....We trained Algerian, Lybian, and Moroccan Troops (MERCs) during the 40' and 50's. I do not know what kind of bubble you live in but...It's a really mean world and you do what it takes to survive. Your reaching here man...really reaching...your posts are very eratic...you jump from one thing to another....like an attempt to catch that perverbial life perserver....

    But I still await YOUR outlook on a few previous questions....I believe they were about how Motivation is irrelavent in guerilla wars.....
    Last edited by VinnieB; 10-14-2004 at 12:14 AM.
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    Originally posted by VinnieB
    Col. Hackworth....eh?....Hmmm I guess we should all go find someone elses works in National Review or the Washington Post to counter and enlighten those points of his interests. The man had a very good career...but his open critisisms of the government and the military are widley know...hmmm now what cable news station does he work for?
    Yeah. I'm sure he does it just for air time. If you have read any of his columns over the years you would know just how ridiculous your statement sounds. Here's another perspective on the imperial perception from another liberal.



    May 12, 2004

    A Time for Truth

    by Patrick J. Buchanan

    With pictures of the sadistic sexual abuse of Iraqis in Abu Ghraib prison still spilling out onto the front pages, it is not too early to draw some conclusions.

    The neoconservative hour is over. All the blather about "empire," our "unipolar moment," "Pax Americana" and "benevolent global hegemony" will be quietly put on a shelf and forgotten as infantile prattle.

    America is not going to fight a five- or 10-year war in Iraq. Nor will we be launching any new invasions soon. The retreat of American empire, begun at Fallujah, is underway.

    With a $500 billion deficit, we do not have the money for new wars. With an Army of 480,000 stretched thin, we do not have the troops. With April-May costing us a battalion of dead and wounded, we are not going to pay the price. With the squalid photos from Abu Ghraib, we no longer have the moral authority to impose our "values" on Iraq.

    Bush's "world democratic revolution" is history.

    Given the hatred of the United States and Bush in the Arab world, as attested to by Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, it is almost delusional to think Arab peoples are going to follow America's lead.

    It is a time for truth. In any guerrilla war we fight, there is going to be a steady stream of U.S. dead and wounded. There is going to be collateral damage – i.e., women and children slain and maimed. There will be prisoners abused. And inevitably, there will be outrages by U.S. troops enraged at the killing of comrades and the jeering of hostile populations. If you would have an empire, this goes with the territory. And if you are unprepared to pay the price, give it up.

    The administration's shock and paralysis at publication of the S&M photos from Abu Ghraib tell us we are not up to it. For what is taking place in Iraq is child's play compared to what we did in the Philippines a century ago. Only there, they did not have digital cameras, videocams and the Internet.

    Iraq was an unnecessary war that may become one of the great blunders in U.S. history. That the invasion was brilliantly conceived and executed by Gen. Franks, that our fighting men were among the finest we ever sent to war, that they have done good deeds and brave acts, is undeniable. Yet, if recent surveys are accurate, the Iraqis no longer want us there.

    Outside the Kurdish areas, over 80 percent of Sunnis and Shias view us as occupiers. Over 50 percent believe there are occasions when U.S. soldiers deserve killing. The rejoicing around every destroyed military vehicle where U.S. soldiers have died should tell us that the battle for hearts and minds is being lost.

    Why are we so hated in the Middle East? Three fundamental reasons:

    Our invasion of Iraq is seen as a premeditated and unjust war to crush a weak Arab nation that had not threatened or attacked us, to seize its oil.
    We are seen as an arrogant imperial superpower that dictates to Arab peoples and sustains regimes that oppress them.
    We are seen as the financier and armorer of an Israel that oppresses and robs Palestinians of their land and denies them rights we hypocritically preach to the world.
    Until we address these perceptions and causes of the conflict between us, we will not persuade the Arab world to follow us.

    What should Bush do now? He should declare that the United States has no intention of establishing permanent bases in Iraq, and that we intend to withdraw all U.S. troops after elections, if the Iraqis tell us to leave. Then we should schedule elections at the earliest possible date this year.

    The Iraqi peoples should then be told that U.S. soldiers are not going to fight and die indefinitely for their freedom. If they do not want to be ruled by Sheik Moqtada al-Sadr or some future Saddam, they will have to fight themselves. Otherwise, they will have to live with them, even as they lived with Saddam. For in the last analysis, it is their country, not ours.

    The president should also offer to withdraw U.S. forces from any Arab country that wishes us to leave. We have already pulled out of Saudi Arabia. Let us pull out of the rest unless they ask that we remain. Our military presence in these Arab and Islamic countries, it would seem, does less to prevent terror attacks upon us than to incite them.

    A presidential election is where the great foreign policy debate should take place over whether to maintain U.S. troops all over the world, or bring them home and let other nations determine their own destiny. Unfortunately, we have two candidates and two parties that agree on our present foreign policy that is conspicuously failing.
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    Originally posted by scfire86

    I'm sure the two of you will blow off Col. Hackworth as a liberal shill. It's all you have.

    Uhh...that's because he is a liberal.....
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    Originally posted by VinnieB



    Uhh...that's because he is a liberal.....
    Read his columns at www.sftt.org. You'll know what an assinine comment you are making. Even though you can't help it.

    And read his book About Face.

    I'll take his perspective on war and policy any day over the current group of chickenhawks currently getting our soldiers killed.
    Last edited by scfire86; 10-14-2004 at 12:22 AM.
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    PAT BUCHANAN??????!!!!!! No.....You are ridiculous!....This guy is so far off his rocker its not even worth mentioning......You really are a Kerry Fan....reading your posts are like watching tennis...from one end to another just to try and make a point........Please do me a favor...next post something by the Rev. Jesse or the Rev. Al...hey you can really suprise me a post something by Mike Savage.....Or try posting either FACTS or YOUR OWN educated points....Not OPINIONs out of the Politcal Editorial Colums.....Anyone can cut and past Opinions out of a Magazine....heck I have a National Review Mag on my desk that RIPS apart Buchanan's article you pasted.....as is does to other "benevolent global hegemonyer"....Sharkie and I asked for your postion supported by FACTS not OPINIONS........and I am still waiting for my answers....or are you unable to find an opinion article about Guerilla War and Motivation......I am also awaiting to know your views on the Qu'an and about the al-Malhama al-Kubra?.....Please answer the questions with supporting facts....not extreame Left or Right wing Opinions.....You can call me a Right Wing nut..but I am far from that.....I am a moderate...I like to look at everything before I decided...I call it situational awarness....You would probablly be quite suprised to know were I stand on many issues....I definatley am NO RIGHT WING or LEFT WING nut.....I use the gray mush between my air deflector doors...not my heart on desicions. Mission Accomplishment....Troop Welfare......I happen to think that our National Security is the most important thing facing us today....and Kerry does not have the credentials to support his case....well NO ONE has ever heard is "plan" anyway....But one thing is sure about Bush....His mind is the same on Monday as it was on Friday....he has said what he has done....and the "GLOBAL TEST" and the UN dicating to us on how and when we protect ourselves...well "F" that......
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    Originally posted by scfire86

    I'll take his perspective on war and policy any day over the current group of chickenhawks currently getting our soldiers killed.
    Yeah...said just like every other liberal ****** bag...
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    Originally posted by scfire86


    Read his columns at www.sftt.org. You'll know what an assinine comment you are making. Even though you can't help it.
    It is know the Col. is a liberal....doesn't make him a bad person...he still has his foundations...I am familiar with his site...I have been there frequently.....just because he has a site for vets by vets...doesn't neccesarally make him "untouchable"
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    Like I said before...just like tennis...now your on the Col. Issue...but yet you avoid to answer the pressing questions.....I guess you're just going to cut and past another opinion article or web site.......Why do you dance around the questions?...Oh forget that last question...I don't want to overload you...you'll just end up posting 4 more time on that.....just stick to the original issue at hand..
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    Originally posted by VinnieB
    Like I said before...just like tennis...now your on the Col. Issue...but yet you avoid to answer the pressing questions.....I guess you're just going to cut and past another opinion article or web site.......Why do you dance around the questions?...Oh forget that last question...I don't want to overload you...you'll just end up posting 4 more time on that.....just stick to the original issue at hand..
    You are truly daft. But your allowed.

    You asked for something subtantive on how the US installed Hussein. I provided it.

    And you are still saying I haven't proved my point? That's your prerogative also.

    Could it be the question you are asking doesn't have an empirical answer and therefore cannot be proven in your eyes? That is it of course.

    But more proof of how we are being welcomed as liberators?

    This should help. It's less than two hours old.

    Six GI's die in suicide bomb attack

    And I'm also old enough to remember the Vietnam War. It started out the same way.

    And the insurgent method of warfare was used quite successfully against both the French and British during their respective colonial periods.

    And while you may believe we have no intention of being colonial, the Iraqis on the street apparently believe otherwise.

    I could find a link to a Gallup poll that shows this. But you'd just blow if off as being wrong or inconsequential.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Here's another perspective from the liberal WSJ. It's just a journalist on the ground. What does he know compared to your being a Marine and all. This is probably where you'll post another threat to have Ollie North kick my ***. Ooooohhhhh very scary.


    WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2004
    WSJ reporter Fassihi's email to friends

    9/29/2004 2:58:10 PM

    From: [Wall Street Journal reporter] Farnaz Fassihi
    Subject: From Baghdad

    Being a foreign correspondent in Baghdad these days is like being under virtual house arrest. Forget about the reasons that lured me to this job: a chance to see the world, explore the exotic, meet new people in far away lands, discover their ways and tell stories that could make a difference.

    Little by little, day-by-day, being based in Iraq has defied all those reasons. I am house bound. I leave when I have a very good reason to and a scheduled interview. I avoid going to people's homes and never walk in the streets. I can't go grocery shopping any more, can't eat in restaurants, can't strike a conversation with strangers, can't look for stories, can't drive in any thing but a full armored car, can't go to scenes of breaking news stories, can't be stuck in traffic, can't speak English outside, can't take a road trip, can't say I'm an American, can't linger at checkpoints, can't be curious about what people are saying, doing, feeling. And can't and can't. There has been one too many close calls, including a car bomb so near our house that it blew out all the windows. So now my most pressing concern every day is not to write a kick-*** story but to stay alive and make sure our Iraqi employees stay alive. In Baghdad I am a security personnel first, a reporter second.

    It's hard to pinpoint when the 'turning point' exactly began. Was it April when the Fallujah fell out of the grasp of the Americans? Was it when Moqtada and Jish Mahdi declared war on the U.S. military? Was it when Sadr City, home to ten percent of Iraq's population, became a nightly battlefield for the Americans? Or was it when the insurgency began spreading from isolated pockets in the Sunni triangle to include most of Iraq? Despite President Bush's rosy assessments, Iraq remains a disaster. If under Saddam it was a 'potential' threat, under the Americans it has been transformed to 'imminent and active threat,' a foreign policy failure bound to haunt the United States for decades to come.

    Iraqis like to call this mess 'the situation.' When asked 'how are thing?' they reply: 'the situation is very bad."

    What they mean by situation is this: the Iraqi government doesn't control most Iraqi cities, there are several car bombs going off each day around the country killing and injuring scores of innocent people, the country's roads are becoming impassable and littered by hundreds of landmines and explosive devices aimed to kill American soldiers, there are assassinations, kidnappings and beheadings. The situation, basically, means a raging barbaric guerilla war. In four days, 110 people died and over 300 got injured in Baghdad alone. The numbers are so shocking that the ministry of health -- which was attempting an exercise of public transparency by releasing the numbers -- has now stopped disclosing them.

    Insurgents now attack Americans 87 times a day.

    A friend drove thru the Shiite slum of Sadr City yesterday. He said young men were openly placing improvised explosive devices into the ground. They melt a shallow hole into the asphalt, dig the explosive, cover it with dirt and put an old tire or plastic can over it to signal to the locals this is booby-trapped. He said on the main roads of Sadr City, there were a dozen landmines per every ten yards. His car snaked and swirled to avoid driving over them. Behind the walls sits an angry Iraqi ready to detonate them as soon as an American convoy gets near. This is in Shiite land, the population that was supposed to love America for liberating Iraq.

    For journalists the significant turning point came with the wave of abduction and kidnappings. Only two weeks ago we felt safe around Baghdad because foreigners were being abducted on the roads and highways between towns. Then came a frantic phone call from a journalist female friend at 11 p.m. telling me two Italian women had been abducted from their homes in broad daylight. Then the two Americans, who got beheaded this week and the Brit, were abducted from their homes in a residential neighborhood. They were supplying the entire block with round the clock electricity from their generator to win friends. The abductors grabbed one of them at 6 a.m. when he came out to switch on the generator; his beheaded body was thrown back near the neighborhoods

    The insurgency, we are told, is rampant with no signs of calming down. If any thing, it is growing stronger, organized and more sophisticated every day. The various elements within it-baathists, criminals, nationalists and Al Qaeda-are cooperating and coordinating.

    I went to an emergency meeting for foreign correspondents with the military and embassy to discuss the kidnappings. We were somberly told our fate would largely depend on where we were in the kidnapping chain once it was determined we were missing. Here is how it goes: criminal gangs grab you and sell you up to Baathists in Fallujah, who will in turn sell you to Al Qaeda. In turn, cash and weapons flow the other way from Al Qaeda to the Baathisst to the criminals. My friend Georges, the French journalist snatched on the road to Najaf, has been missing for a month with no word on release or whether he is still alive.

    America's last hope for a quick exit? The Iraqi police and National Guard units we are spending billions of dollars to train. The cops are being murdered by the dozens every day-over 700 to date -- and the insurgents are infiltrating their ranks. The problem is so serious that the U.S. military has allocated $6 million dollars to buy out 30,000 cops they just trained to get rid of them quietly.

    As for reconstruction: firstly it's so unsafe for foreigners to operate that almost all projects have come to a halt. After two years, of the $18 billion Congress appropriated for Iraq reconstruction only about $1 billion or so has been spent and a chuck has now been reallocated for improving security, a sign of just how bad things are going here.

    Oil dreams? Insurgents disrupt oil flow routinely as a result of sabotage and oil prices have hit record high of $49 a barrel. Who did this war exactly benefit? Was it worth it? Are we safer because Saddam is holed up and Al Qaeda is running around in Iraq?

    Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity. Guess what? They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler.

    I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote. This is truly sad.

    Then I went to see an Iraqi scholar this week to talk to him about
    elections here. He has been trying to educate the public on the importance of voting. He said, "President Bush wanted to turn Iraq into a democracy that would be an example for the Middle East. Forget about democracy, forget about being a model for the region, we have to salvage Iraq before all is lost."

    One could argue that Iraq is already lost beyond salvation. For those of us on the ground it's hard to imagine what if any thing could salvage it from its violent downward spiral. The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result of American mistakes and it can't be put back into a bottle.

    The Iraqi government is talking about having elections in three months while half of the country remains a 'no go zone'-out of the hands of the government and the Americans and out of reach of journalists. In the other half, the disenchanted population is too terrified to show up at polling stations. The Sunnis have already said they'd boycott elections, leaving the stage open for polarized government of Kurds and Shiites that will not be deemed as legitimate and will most certainly lead to civil war.

    I asked a 28-year-old engineer if he and his family would participate in the Iraqi elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degree elect a leadership. His response summed it all: "Go and vote and risk being blown into pieces or followed by the insurgents and murdered for cooperating with the Americans? For what? To practice democracy? Are you joking?"

    -Farnaz
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Originally posted by scfire86


    You are truly daft. But your allowed.

    You asked for something subtantive on how the US installed Hussein. I provided it.

    And you are still saying I haven't proved my point? That's your prerogative also.

    You have not proven anything....you have provided opinions....you need to re-read your post...All you do is dodge the origianl questions....and yes its just like tennis.
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    SCFIRE...I can post other peoples work too....especially to suppport my side.....Look at these pics....They all look pretty scared eh?...especially the guy that half asleep w/ his turtle off....












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