This is a site for discussing roleplaying games. Have fun doing so, but there is one major rule: do not discuss political issues that aren't directly and uniquely related to the subject of the thread and about gaming. While this site is dedicated to free speech, the following will not be tolerated: devolving a thread into unrelated political discussion, sockpuppeting (using multiple and/or bogus accounts), disrupting topics without contributing to them, and posting images that could get someone fired in the workplace (an external link is OK, but clearly mark it as Not Safe For Work, or NSFW). If you receive a warning, please take it seriously and either move on to another topic or steer the discussion back to its original RPG-related theme.
The message boards have been upgraded. Please log in to your existing account by clicking here. It will ask twice, so that it can properly update your password and login information. If it has trouble recognizing your password, click the 'Forgot your password?' link to reset it with a new password sent to your email address on file.

Author Topic: Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity  (Read 4064 times)

Spike

  • Stroppy Pika of DOOM!!!!!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8056
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #135 on: December 09, 2006, 09:31:28 pm »
Chalkline:

I agree, we did stick our dicks in the blender, which is why I would suggest a less likely alternative to giving a democracy to people who don't care about it, and would view our appointed leaders as puppet governors anyway.

I don't think we should have gone, true enough. I don't like how we've handled it while we have been there... equally true. I just keep waiting to hear something grounded in practical solutions rather than pie in the sky idealism.
For you the day you found a minor error in a Post by Spike and forced him to admit it, it was the greatest day of your internet life.  For me it was... Tuesday.

For the curious: Apparently, in person, I sound exactly like the Youtube Character The Nostalgia Critic.   I have no words.

Mah Book

RPGObjects_chuck

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • R
  • Posts: 754
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #136 on: December 09, 2006, 10:14:47 pm »
Quote from: Spike
Chalkline:

I agree, we did stick our dicks in the blender, which is why I would suggest a less likely alternative to giving a democracy to people who don't care about it, and would view our appointed leaders as puppet governors anyway.

I don't think we should have gone, true enough. I don't like how we've handled it while we have been there... equally true. I just keep waiting to hear something grounded in practical solutions rather than pie in the sky idealism.


Well, there's a lot that we don't know.

But I think one thing that we DO know is that fewer American soldiers will die if we pull out.

And no, I don't believe we are "fighting them over there rather than fighting them here".

This country isn't that hard to get into, especially when you consider that if you can get into either Mexico or Canada you can get into the US even MORE easily.

If we went to get WMDs they either were never there or they're gone.

If we went to get Sadaam he's about to be executed.

Since those two missions were accomplished, we've been spinning reasons why we must stay in perpetuity. I think our continued presence has caused the violence to rise as well.

The insurgents know there's no good reason for us to still be there too... UNLESS we want permanent bases and/or oil.

Zalmoxis

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 595
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #137 on: December 09, 2006, 10:20:13 pm »
Quote from: RPGObjects_chuck
Well, there's a lot that we don't know.

But I think one thing that we DO know is that fewer American soldiers will die if we pull out.

And no, I don't believe we are "fighting them over there rather than fighting them here".

This country isn't that hard to get into, especially when you consider that if you can get into either Mexico or Canada you can get into the US even MORE easily.

If we went to get WMDs they either were never there or they're gone.

If we went to get Sadaam he's about to be executed.

Since those two missions were accomplished, we've been spinning reasons why we must stay in perpetuity. I think our continued presence has caused the violence to rise as well.

The insurgents know there's no good reason for us to still be there too... UNLESS we want permanent bases and/or oil.


I wholeheartedly agree.

James J Skach

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5007
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #138 on: December 10, 2006, 08:55:19 am »
Quote from: RPGObjects_chuck
Well, there's a lot that we don't know.

QFT

Quote from: RPGObjects_chuck
But I think one thing that we DO know is that fewer American soldiers will die if we pull out.

This is your thought.  I'm not so sure about that.  It all depends on the time-line and scope with which you bound that statement.  Will fewer die in Iraq in the next year?  Almost assuredly this is true. How about ten years in the Middle East? Will fewer or larger numbers of American (or British, or Australian, or Italian, or Polish, or...) soldiers die in the Middle East in the next ten years if we pull out now? How about world-wide over the next 20?

Quote from: RPGObjects_chuck
And no, I don't believe we are "fighting them over there rather than fighting them here".

This country isn't that hard to get into, especially when you consider that if you can get into either Mexico or Canada you can get into the US even MORE easily.

So I assuem you are all for a border fence/wall.

Quote from: RPGObjects_chuck
If we went to get WMDs they either were never there or they're gone.

One of the justifications for invading Iraq was to ensure that WMD of the Saddam regime were not distributed to terrorists who would then use them against the United States or its allies. Whether or not this was successful will not be known for a few years.  To date it has been.

Quote from: RPGObjects_chuck
If we went to get Sadaam he's about to be executed.

This would be a good signal to use to get out.  When he and his first tier cronies are gone, there's no chance they will return to power. Regime Change can be checked off the list.

Quote from: RPGObjects_chuck
Since those two missions were accomplished, we've been spinning reasons why we must stay in perpetuity. I think our continued presence has caused the violence to rise as well.

I would argue that our lack of overwhelming presence has caused violence to rise. This is my shit-or-get-off-the-pot theory.  Either put another 100,000-200,000 troops in now for at least the next two years, or get out over the next two years.  Do one or the other. I believe the US media has use the pentagon references of Go Big and Go Home as the options.  I think Go Long, the other option, is a mistake.

Quote from: RPGObjects_chuck
The insurgents know there's no good reason for us to still be there too...

To which insurgents are you referring? The radical Iranian-influenced Shia would now like us gone so they can carry out the pogrom.  The moderate Shia would still like us there to help keep the lid on.  The moderate Sunni, no matter how few, want us there to protect them against the coming storm of radical Iranian-influenced Shia.  The radical Sunni, no matter how few, can't decide if they a) want us there for protection, b) want us there as a target/recruiting source, or c) want us gone so they can try and overthrow the Shia. Meanwhile, Al-Qaeda operative run around whispering in everyone's ear, slide money across the table, manufacture/supply weapons, and otherwise stir the pot to make America (and its allies) look weak an ineffectual. So it all depends on who you ask.

Quote from: RPGObjects_chuck
...UNLESS we want permanent bases and/or oil.

Permanent bases, at this point, whether the US was overwhelming successful or not, would be a bad idea.  I think that’s why the US Administration has been denying wanting that outcome.  Besides, the US has bases all over that region. We will have to find a place for all those who were in Saudi Arabia before OIF; one of the reasons, btw, that Al Qaeda claimed a grievance against the US.

The US doesn’t want their oil as in take it.  The US wants easy access without those petrodollars going to support terrorism. The US wants guilt-free accessible oil. It makes sense if the global economy is petroleum based.
The rules are my slave, not my master. - Old Geezer

The RPG Haven - Talking About RPGs

Akrasia

  • Old One
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3353
    • View Profile
    • http://akraticwizardry.blogspot.com/
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #139 on: December 10, 2006, 09:17:16 am »
Good post, James.

Also, my thoughts:

If U.S. forces were to withdraw wholesale in the immediate future, there would be a horrible bloodbath in Iraq -- one far worse than the quasi-civil war that we see now -- as the Sunni and Shiites militants would make a no-holds-barred push for power.  The current government (which, despite all its faults, does include members of all three ethnic/religious groups, and was elected) would surely collapse.  An explosion of such violence would likely increase anti-U.S. sentiment in the region.  The U.S. has a choice of 'lesser evils' right now, and simply pulling out is almost assuredly the greater evil.

In the long-run, I see no alternative to some kind of partitioning of Iraq (whether into legally distinct countries, or de facto autonomous 'regions') with Baghdad as a special, heavily policed 'special administrative region'.  The Shiite and Sunni Iraqis just hate each other too much for a unified government to work.  The U.S. should encourage this partition, focus its troops on making and keeping Baghdad reasonably secure and safe, and ensure that any final arrangement guarantees the Sunnis an adequate share of oil revenues.  Some kind of international (ideally) or U.S. (far more likely) force is going to have to stay in Baghdad for years.

It's also worth mentioning that the Kurds of Northern Iraq would be grateful for a long-term U.S. base in their part of the country.  They are pro-American (so U.S. forces would not be under regular attack there), and would be grateful for the security against both their fellow countrymen to the south, and Turkey to the north.  

The U.S., after overseeing the partition of Iraq into Sunni and Shiite regions (the Kurdish region is already effectively self-governing and separate), could then withdraw some of its troops, leaving the rest focused on Baghdad to help maintain order there, and a Kurdish base to deal with any truly dire situations in the south that might threaten the partition.

Well, that's the 'least bad' alternative, as far as I can see.

Sure it would have been better 4 years ago had the U.S. decided to focus on Al Qaida and Afghanistan instead of embarking on this Iraq endeavour.  But time machines don't exist yet, and given the current situation, simply packing up and leaving doesn't seem like an acceptable alternative.
RPG Blog: Akratic Wizardry (covering Cthulhu Mythos RPGs, TSR/OSR D&D, Mythras (RuneQuest 6), Crypts & Things, etc., as well as fantasy fiction, films, and the like).
Contributor to: Crypts & Things (old school 'swords & sorcery'), Knockspell, and Fight On!

RPGObjects_chuck

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • R
  • Posts: 754
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #140 on: December 10, 2006, 02:16:29 pm »
Quote from: James J Skach
I would argue that our lack of overwhelming presence has caused violence to rise. This is my shit-or-get-off-the-pot theory.  Either put another 100,000-200,000 troops in now for at least the next two years, or get out over the next two years.  Do one or the other. I believe the US media has use the pentagon references of Go Big and Go Home as the options.  I think Go Long, the other option, is a mistake.


If we had another 100,000 - 200,000 troops lounging about to SEND, I might consider that alternative.

Given that the only way for us to raise a force of that size would be to either A) institute a draft or B) raise incentives/lower standards (probably both) drastically to swell the pool of volunteers.

I don't see either option as likely, or desirable.

In other words, "go big" isn't a viable option. We can either go long, a stand which has already been repudiated by the American people, or we can come home.

I agree the come home option sucks for the Middle East, just like our pullout sucked for the Vietnamese who had allied with us in VietNam. But, the first duty of American foreign policy should be to look after American interests.

Our army needs a break. Equipment and men are wearing down. We need an influx of fresh bodies and options for getting them have been allowed to wear thin.

Bad policies tend to reduce options, while good policies increase options.

We're down to two options here.

Chuck

T-Willard

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #141 on: December 10, 2006, 02:39:04 pm »
Quote from: Yamo
I almost feel bad here. A guy should have to do more to win an argument with you than just sit back and let you talk.

That's my point of view from on the ground observations.

At least I realize that my point of view has been skewed more than other peoples, and I can realize that it's a nasty little part of me that I struggle to get rid of.

But I suppose personal observation and interaction is always trumped by internet theory.
I am becoming more and more hollow, and am not sure how much of the man I was remains.

Werekoala

  • I\'m Toxic and I know It
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4373
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #142 on: December 10, 2006, 02:41:27 pm »
I still dispute this "we're stretched to the breaking point at 130,000" argument. With a standing military of 4 million (admittedly, many Navy/Airforce/etc) - if we can only put 130k pairs of boots on the ground, there's something SERIOUSLY wrong with our military. Seriously. Especially considering this is the exacty type of conflict we'll be fighting for the next 50+ years. If nothing else ,the Islamists have shown everyone else how to fight us.

Drop the ultra-tech fighters. Forget next-gen attacks subs. Screw all that. Invest in bullets and bayonets, and make sure everyone knows how to use them.

Where's David Hackworth when we need him...
Lan Astaslem


"It's rpg.net The population there would call the Second Coming of Jesus Christ a hate crime." - thedungeondelver

"They don't fucking think for even a second about what they're doing because they're blinded by their ideology....Idiots." -  Sacrosanct

RPGObjects_chuck

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • R
  • Posts: 754
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #143 on: December 10, 2006, 07:57:50 pm »
Check this out:

http://www.strategypage.com/fyeo/howtomakewar/databases/wherearethedivisions.asp

I don't really see a whole lot of give there. Basically every division on that list is either in Iraq, recovering from service, training/undergoing equipment upgrades or in a spot where they must remain for national defense reasons.

T-Willard

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #144 on: December 10, 2006, 08:12:42 pm »
One thing to remember is that many units are badly unstrength, and many national guard units, and even active duty units, have reported almost zero critical maintenance to systems due to a lack of funds.

I personally know two BN level commanders whose units were forced to deploy with over half of their crew served weaponry deadlined.

Training has been lackluster at best due to budget crunches.

The situation has been artificially inflated by many of the civilian analysts in order to jibe with the administrations "military vision."
I am becoming more and more hollow, and am not sure how much of the man I was remains.

Dominus Nox

  • BANNED
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • D
  • Posts: 1696
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #145 on: December 10, 2006, 09:49:52 pm »
Well, come on guys. W got to manage several businesses due to his family connections, he drove them all into the ground. He owned a sports team, it went into a losing streak. His bro managed the silverado S&L, it went into multi billion dollar bankruptcy.

Was anyone really stupid enough to believe W could lead a war without it becoming a disaster for america?

It's not all W's fault, tho. Anyone who voted for him in 2004 is a moron who helped get america into this mess. Yes, I literally blame the people who voted for bush for a lot of this. America has a habit of blaming the politicians, but not blaming the people who vote for them. I'm changing that.
RPGPundit is a fucking fascist asshole and a hypocritial megadouche.

ChalkLine

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • C
  • Posts: 54
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #146 on: December 11, 2006, 01:29:47 am »
Well, we've all heard the pragmatic view, here's a voice for rational idealism.

We have commited a great crime, and made a bad situation far worse.

Like it or not, the world sees the USA/UK/Aus bloc as warmongering incompetents who put self interest before international law and custom. Currently the USA maintains bases in over a hundred countries, stations powerful fleets off the coasts of other nations and vetoes anything that it doesn't particularly like in the UN. The UK and Aus support this wholeheartedly.

We have to act now to turn this trend around, before we find that we are the pariah states.

12 years ago, the Australian foreign policy was dedicated to being 'A Good Global Citizen'. Other nations came to us to arbitrate international conflicts, our peacekeepers were welcomed by both sides and we maintained a regional and friendly relationship with other nations. Inside of a decade, we are now viewed as an extension to US Imperialism. Australia has done nothing to prove the lie to this perception.

We have to stop throwing our weight around. We have to accept in a global democracy we won't always get our way. We have to play fair, and by fair I don't mean 'a level playing field' so beloved by the powerful, but we have to restrain ourselves from victimising nations weaker than us economically, culturally and/or militarily.

In Iraq, we have an opportunity to prove we've learned our lesson, and are prepared to change. Instead of foisting our companies on their resources, we should build theirs up. We should go hard and disarm the country - our reason for invading and so much bloodshed - and foster the peaceful groups. We should allow the people there to create their own sort of equality based society. We should suffer the consequences of our stupidity and fix things.

Otherwise, we will continue to be reviled as the blundering child-giant that needs coalitions formed against it, that needs terrorists recruited against it, that needs stopping.
I don't believe in Forge Game Theory

Spike

  • Stroppy Pika of DOOM!!!!!
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8056
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #147 on: December 11, 2006, 05:59:09 am »
David Hackworth is dead, man.

But the fact is, the US COULD send forward more troops. They'd have to drop the one year rotation thing out the window, which would be a hardship on the troops, but less than you might expect. After 6-8 months or so, you stop noticing the time so much, you get acclimatized, in the groove... After one year, the next isn't so bad.  

Precedent: WWII, troops fought for three to four years non-stop, with only occasional passes and leaves for R&R.

But yes, an ungodly percentage of the military budget goes to the Navy and the Air Force, despite conventionaly military wisdom that such megabudget projects don't ever earn their money back.  

Because traditional (rather than conventional) military wisdom is stuck 50 years in the past AND is in bed with politics and big business. Billion dollar building projects are huge political bene's for everyone but the troops.  The population prospers in the form of Jobs, the military prospers in the form of huge bugetary allotments, the businesses get richer, and the politicians get reelected.  Hell, the generals who never have to go to war get cushy retirement jobs from teh people they pass contracts too.

You do the math.
For you the day you found a minor error in a Post by Spike and forced him to admit it, it was the greatest day of your internet life.  For me it was... Tuesday.

For the curious: Apparently, in person, I sound exactly like the Youtube Character The Nostalgia Critic.   I have no words.

Mah Book

Hastur T. Fannon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • H
  • Posts: 919
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #148 on: December 11, 2006, 08:52:53 am »
Quote from: T-Willard
I personally know two BN level commanders whose units were forced to deploy with over half of their crew served weaponry deadlined.

Training has been lackluster at best due to budget crunches.


Fuck, fuck, fuuuuuck.  I can't locate it right now, but there's a footnote in Gibbons "Decline and Fall" where he links the fall of Rome as a military power to their reliance on mercenaries and siege engines, resulting in budget cuts, leading to undermanning of the legions and lack of maintenance and training
 

Werekoala

  • I\'m Toxic and I know It
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4373
    • View Profile
Iraq: We should close our hearts to pity
« Reply #149 on: December 11, 2006, 10:21:31 am »
Quote from: Spike
David Hackworth is dead, man.



I know - it was a rhetorical question.
Lan Astaslem


"It's rpg.net The population there would call the Second Coming of Jesus Christ a hate crime." - thedungeondelver

"They don't fucking think for even a second about what they're doing because they're blinded by their ideology....Idiots." -  Sacrosanct