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Everything old is new again, Part II

One of the big memes among opponents of the war is to keep hyping the parallels between Iraq and Viet Nam. It doesn't matter how many times their arguments are refuted, Viet Nam is their model and they're going to MAKE Iraq if that, regardless of how many Procrustean "adjustments" they have to make.

Actually, I find that there is something to be drawn from the parallel -- but it's not the one that they are. They just cut out a few steps.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is often referred to as "their Viet Nam." It was the great cold war power fighting primitive natives -- and being defeated so thoroughly that their very power around the world was challenged.

Dafydd Ab Hugh (an excellent author, by the way, as well as an excellent blogger) has taken a fresh look at just how the Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan, and is applying the lessons of "the Soviet Viet Nam" to the current war in Iraq -- and is finding that once again what he is dubbing "the Afghanistan Effect" is, once again, threatening to bring down a great empire.

It's a hell of a piece. And like all the best pieces, he doesn't tell me anything I didn't already know -- he just puts them together and in a context that makes a brilliant pont that should have been blindingly obvious. Go and give it a read.


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Comments (58)

what is the reason the us c... (Below threshold)
Stan:

what is the reason the us can not defeat iraq after 3 years? how long does the military need to defeat a 3rd world country like iraq? apparently it is more than 3 years and a trillion dollars.

Hmmmm.1. The Sting... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

1. The Stinger missile is a man-portable anti-aircraft missile *not* an anti-tank missile.

2. America supplied a total of a couple hundred Stingers to the Afghans so it's not reasonable to think that Afghans used "hundreds" of Stingers on any particular column of tanks.

3. Stingers were almost exclusively used against Soviet helicopters as was intended. During the Afghanistan War the Soviet helicopters were the most powerful weapon against the Afghans. Primarily because Soviet-era tanks are incapable of elevating their cannons high enough to be useful in mountainous terrain and Soviet aircraft didn't have precision-guided bombs.

4. The Afghanistan War lasted for about 9 years and involved hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers throughout that period. And because the Soviet armies were all conscript based on a 4 year enlistment, many of those soldiers were new to that conflict. A similar system was used by America in Vietnam. A huge number of conscripts were cycled through a conflict giving rise to a very large mass of men with first hand experience in the matter at hand.

5. The Iraq War has lasted for 2 years, and perhaps a couple more, and does involve about 150,000 soldiers. However many of those are located outside of Iraq proper in a support or logistic role. Many of those inside Iraq are on a repeat tour with experience from previous tours. US Army and USMC retention rates for combat units is very high, which means that most such units are comprised largely of veterans with a relative few number of newbies.

What this does is reduce any such "Effect" because the total mass of soldiers subjected to this first-hand experience is far less than that of either the Afghanistan War or Vietnam. On the other hand there is the new technology of blogging. It's possible that blogging, if continued and given wider audience exposure, would magnify any such "Effect" beyond what the raw numbers would suggest.

But such an "Effect" might take considerable amounts of time to percolate through the body politic. The Afghanistan War lasted for 9 years and a majority of any such "Effect" didn't occur until very last portion of the war. Even then for any such "Effect" to be of worth, it has to have the ability to change minds.

And in this highly polarized political landscape, that's still very much in the air.

[email protected] Rip Van St... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

@ Rip Van Stan

what is the reason the us can not defeat iraq after 3 years?

You should get out more. The government of Iraq was defeated after a couple months.

what is the reason the u... (Below threshold)

what is the reason the us can not defeat iraq after 3 years?

Probably the same reason why you can't seem to use capitalization. Stupidity.

how long does the military need to defeat a 3rd world country like iraq?

Six weeks. Use Google and check for yourself.

apparently it is more than 3 years and a trillion dollars.

It's been less than three years and a hell of a lot less than a trillion dollars, but hey, who's counting?

Ask stupid questions, get stupid answers, Stan.

Some of the footage taken d... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Some of the footage taken during the Afghanistan war by the mujahideen shows TOW missiles being used against Soviet armor. The TOW missiles were sent to Iran to buy freedom for American hostages with the understanding that 20% would be sent to Afghanistan. The U.S. didn't want the openly supply weapons to the mujahideen, at least not early in the conflict. We wanted to do to the Soviets what they did to us in Vietnam.

One real difference between the Iraq war and the Vietnam and Afghanistan wars is that the opposing force is not being supplied with advanced weapons by another superpower. You can imagine the problems the U.S. would face if the insurgents had shoulder launched missiles capable of readily bringing down our aircraft.

Given the ready communications between solders in Iraq and their families at home, along with conservative main stream media presence in Iraq, the good news is getting out on a day to day basis, you just have to know were to look for it. Without the damming up of contrary information like there was with the Soviets in Afghanistan, there can be no massive flood of such information to sweep away the propagandists. The Afghanistan effect will be minimal if even noticeable.

Crud, I shoulda spelled it ... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Crud, I shoulda spelled it out a bit more clearly.

The "great empire" being threatened this time is the media, not the United States.

My apologies, Mac Lorry.

J.

I will weep no tears for th... (Below threshold)
Old Soldier:

I will weep no tears for the demise of the “great (media) empire”. I've had more than my fill of their elitist defeatist malarkey. They are too quick to blame the US first and patronize our enemy. Good riddance will be my mantra!

When I taught Air Force ROT... (Below threshold)
Bill M:

When I taught Air Force ROTC back in the very late 70s, I held long discussions with my students regarding the bias shown by the media during and after the war. I remember their looks of disbelief. Little did I realize that these same wonderful kids would face this same media onslaught within their careers. I hope they remember and, when given the opportunity, that they pass on what they have learned.

I hope they never forget that the MSM will stab them in the back at every opportunity. Just because they can. And the MSM takes it's lead from one of the major political parties in this country. I never made that connection for them -- it is one of those topics best left as an exercise for the student. But I am sure they were smart enough to make the connection.

[Sorry, brought back some sad memories of friends no longer here...]

Hmmm.... ... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

... problems the U.S. would face if the insurgents had shoulder launched missiles capable of readily bringing down our aircraft.

Actually insurgents in Iraq already have shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles and they've already tried using them on military and civilian aircraft.

They don't have access to more powerful missiles because they're larger, more difficult to hide and transport and require more technical knowledge to operate.

The Afghanistan effect will be minimal if even noticeable.

I agree for slightly different reasons but I think that's the correct analysis. In one way though I do disagree. I think the "Effect" will happen but not for several to many years. The "Effect" will take place when the veterans of Iraq take their place amongst the politicians and leaders of the country. When the veterans of Iraq start to seek public office and attain higher positions in corporate America, that's when we'll start seeing a real effect.

Jay, Your piece wa... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Jay,

Your piece was clear about the media being threatened. Apparently my comment was obscure to the point of confusing you into thinking I was confused by your piece. Hopefully that's not too confusing.

Ed,I don't disagre... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Ed,

I don't disagree with your statement that insurgents "already have shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles." That's why I qualified my statement with "capable of readily bringing down our aircraft." The point I was trying to make was that if insurgents had advanced weapons that could do real damage against our forces, then the news from Iraq and the reality would both be that were are losing. There would be no contradictions, so there could be no Afghanistan effect.

I agree that as Iraq war veterins return to civilian life and enter politics, as some always do, there will be some "lessons learned" effect that will alter future policy. However, I think technology is far more a threat to MSM that some reverse Afghanistan effect.

I don't want to see an end ... (Below threshold)
edmcgon:

I don't want to see an end to the MSM. I want to see an end to the LIBERAL MSM.

Mind you, I don't want a conservative MSM either. I want an OBJECTIVE MSM, beholden to no political parties or ideologies.

Too often, the media seem to forget their responsibility is to REPORT the news, not try to direct the thought processes of the American public.

Perhaps there are some simi... (Below threshold)
Brad:

Perhaps there are some similarities between Vietnam and the current hostilities that are being missed. The obvious is the desire of the MSM to defeat our troops, but possibly there is another. In Vietnam the regional charicter of the war was masked by liberals wishing to paint the "skirmish" as a civil war. This point of view limited our battlefield to such an extent that we nearly lost the battle before we lost the peace. Are we ready to do the same now?

The recient political firestorm over pulling our troops out could never have ended the Iraqi liberation but how much such political angst does it take to make future action against other regional bad guys political poison? If "faulty intelligence" led us into a war we shouldn't have started how much intelligence will we need to move against a nuclear Iran? A chemical Syria?

Just as the Ho Chi Mien trail through Laos and Cambodia provided arms and troups to So. Vietnam so to do modern day Syria and Iran provide men and material support to "insurgents" in Iraq.

Our will to win must surmount and humiliate the political pressure to find peace unilaterally and our drive to victory must ignore lines on a map when the principalities deliniated by those lines fail to police their borders (or worse, aid the enemy).

The point I was tr... (Below threshold)
Mark A. Flacy:
The point I was trying to make was that if insurgents had advanced weapons that could do real damage against our forces, then the news from Iraq and the reality would both be that were are losing.

Oh? We'd do nothing but roll over? We wouldn't do anything to counteract that?

That shows what you know, asshat.

The liberals are playing a ... (Below threshold)

The liberals are playing a little game we call "Six Degrees of Iraqui War." They use it to tie the war to everything inconsistent with their worldview in six steps or less. Bonus points if you can also tie the war to an increase in toe fungus and prove everything is the fault of the Bush Administration. (They got bored with the Kevin Bacon version of this game and needed a new meme...it's like Trivial Pursuit for the non-thinking set).

"Oh? We'd do nothing but... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

"Oh? We'd do nothing but roll over? We wouldn't do anything to counteract that?"

What the heck are you talking about? If some real military power supplied the insurgents in Iraq with shoulder launched missiles that could readily take down our aircraft like the U.S. did in Afghanistan against the soviets, then the effect would be similar to what was seen in that conflict. If the U.S. can’t even counteract crude roadside IED’s, how would they counteract such weapons other than to not fly close support missions.

Well asshat, what's your solution or are you just another blowhard.

Folks, the radical Islamic ... (Below threshold)
Old Soldier:

Folks, the radical Islamic terrorists in Iraq have SA-7 GRAIL MANPADS. They have downed several helicopters and fired at large transports. We counter their MANPADS through tactics, techniques and procedures - like avoid flying near their known MANPADS positions. MANPADS are worthless against ground targets unless it has a large infrared signature. Even then the warhead is only intended to take out an aircraft, not a tank.

Folks, the radical... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Folks, the radical Islamic terrorists in Iraq have SA-7 GRAIL MANPADS.

The SA-7 is a first generation Soviet man portable SAM that first entered service in 1968. It has vary limited range, speed, and altitude. As a relatively slow tail-chase heat seeking missile it's ineffective against fighter aircraft easily defeated with decoy flares. What success it has had in Iraq is the result of lucky shots similar to what we have seen with the downing of a Blackhawk by an RPG. The SA-7 is a far less effective missile than the Stingers the U.S. supplied to the mujahideen during the Afghanistan war. If the insurgents had a weapon that was as effective against our aircraft in Iraq as the Stinger was against the Soviet aircraft in Afghanistan, that would change the dynamics fundamentally. I'm not saying there is such a weapon system as that could only be shown in combat.

Classic the left does this ... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Classic the left does this and now the right is doing the same, when you losing the argument simply blame the media, I guess you ignorant fools are ignoring the interview that Iraq's former prime minister has given today to the British news paper The observer, which is Iraq is now in simular situation to when Saddam was in charge, with secret police and torture dungeons. Hooray democracy in action.

Saf,Apparently you... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

Apparently you subscribe to the augment that nothing should ever be done to defeat tyrants like Saddam because innocents will suffer in the chaotic process. It's a convenient argument for those who don't want to bloody their hands to help those who can't help themselves.

From your "ignorant fools" comment you no doubt feel you arrived at your position through superior education and intellect, but history shows your position is naïve at best. Thousands of years of history demonstrate a simple fact, which is that the price of freedom is blood. The U.S. has shed the blood of it's sons and daughters to make the first payment for the Iraqi people, but only Iraqi blood will secure Iraqi freedom. What fool thinks the entire process is rendered invalid because of the unjust acts of a few zealots?

Mac Lorry………Lolz…….it just ... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Mac Lorry………Lolz…….it just makes me laugh when your Americans go on about how your protecting freedom and how this is all about freedom, I have pointed these facts many times before and I will point them out to you again, first of all I would love it if America went round the world taking out all the dictators I would love that, but anyone with half a brain cell who has not been brainwashed by fox and co will know that this will never happen. Read the facts and lets see you come up with an argument to prove just one of them wrong:

First of all Saddam was an evil dictator but the vast majority of his killing was done whilst he was an ally of the west, did you hear about the Kurds being gassed when they were gassed or did you hear about it years later when he invaded oil rich Kuwait. In fact Rumsfield shook hands with Saddam several weeks after the gassing of Kurds.

As for spreading freedom, Egypt an evil dictatorship which tortures its own people is the second biggest recipient of American aid.

Jordan a dictatorship known for torturing its own people is a big recipient of American aid and a big American ally.

Uzbekistan an evil dictatorship which is known to have boiled its own people to death as well as machine gunning a protesting crowd was a big recipient of American aid which I believe may have stopped in the last few months and no not because of its human rights abuses it was stopped because they asked America to vacate their military base.

Saudi Arabia an evil dictatorship is a big American ally.


Now like I said simple fact I would love it if America went round and took out all the evil regimes but we know that’s not how it work it is all about self interest, you might turn round and say well hold on its one regime at a time to which I will say well ok that’s fine but why are they still actually propping up some of these evil regimes with Aid it doesn’t take much to stop that.. So please do not make me laugh about this crap about Iraqi freedom

No I have not arrived at my position through superior education I am sure your just as educated difference is I am not blinded by party loyalties like you guys seem to be over there be it Republican or Democrat.

Mac Lorry, ... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Mac Lorry,
By the way those few Zealots you were talking about are the new Iraqi police

Saf,Out of one sid... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

Out of one side of your mouth you claim that you would like the U.S. to take out all the dictators, but out of the other side you protest any move the U.S. takes to do just that. It's weak-kneed countries like yours that create the environment that allows tyrants like Saddam to stay in power and that puts the blood of innocents on your hands. That environment is typified by the paralysis seen in the U.N. in dealing with Saddam for 12 years. Even with clear violation of the ceasefire agreement and numerous resolutions, the U.N. was unwilling to act because of the corrupt and cowardice governments like yours that make up the majority of it's membership.

Apart from military action, the U.S. has just two alternatives, either ignore countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, or gain influence with them by engaging them with trade and support, and then ask them to change. U.S. presidents have been doing that with China for over 25 years and while the people of China are not yet free, many are far better off because of U.S. engagement. In fact, Bush just asked China to do more. When such diplomacy fails then military action becomes an option of last resort, but buffoons like you then view our earlier diplomatic efforts with such regimes as hypocrisy. You have to be purposely stupid to not understand that diplomacy comes first, but if that fails then sometimes military action is needed. That's not hypocritical, that's reality.

By the way those f... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
By the way those few Zealots you were talking about are the new Iraqi police

Saf,

If you're up to date on your news than you know the U.S. military raided the ministry that was mistreating prisoners and is now looking to prosecute the perpetrators. It takes time and effort to change a culture like Iraq's, but the U.S. has the integrity and courage to do just that. Cowards like to claim any injustices justifies their position of non-involvement so that they can feel good about themselves. The rest of us see through their self-delusion and know them for what they really are.

Reading your comments I alw... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Reading your comments I always ask how can you get such brainwashed people in such a sophisticated and educated country like USA. My point to ignorant brainwashed fools like yourself is this, that the war has nothing to do with freeing a nation, history has shown countries always fight for a national interest be it self defence or be it economical but most of the western populations today will not accept their governments going round the world killing people for economical interest, that’s why the political leadership has to come up with bollocks like, WMD, terrorist training camps, and now finally for the real stupid spreading democracy and American political leadership is real lucky because of willing idiots like you who will believe everything that is fed to them.

Are you really that stupid, that you think America dealing with Egypt and Saudi is to do with diplomacy and nothing to do with self interest, I am sure your diplomacy was appreciated when the Uzbekistan government was boiling its people to death, and whilst our Ambassador to Uzbekistan spoke out against the abuse his reward was being sacked by Blair for doing so, this happened whilst in Iraq we are fighting under the flag of spreading freedom…What a joke….The only reasons tyrants managed to stay in power for so long is continues support to prop up regimes given to them from the west, under what possible circumstance can you justify fighting for freedom and at the same time given millions of dollars in Aid to the most ruthless dictatorships like Uzbekistan, do you not at least feel embarrassed about these facts.

Saf,The way you ca... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

The way you carry on about the "west" and the supposed injustice of the Iraq war no one could guess you were a Brit. I apologize for my unknowing comments about your country as it has be a bulwark against oppression and has done it's share in Iraq. However, like any free nation, it has buffoons like yourself who, from the shelter of a brave nation, promote timidity in the face of tyrants like Saddam.

Peace and stability are in the interest of the U.S. and history shows the best guarantee of that is through democratization of nations. The U.S and Britain were able to bring democracy to Germany and Japan after WWII and by doing so establish as enduring peace with these nations. If you weren't blinded by your own leftist propaganda you would see that that's what is going on in Iraq. The tyrant regimes in the area see it and that's why they fight so hard to destabilize Iraq, and of course they can count on the support of buffoons like yourself.

If the U.S. doesn't have a significant relationship with a nation like Uzbekistan it's only option to bring about change is saber rattling and then military action, the very thing buffoons like yourself complain loudly about, and in so doing, support the tyrants you protest about. Without that support there would be far fewer tyrants in the world, so the blood of innocents is on your hands.

Mac LorryWow how b... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Mac Lorry

Wow how brainwashed are you, my point to you is the US does not give a shit about democracy it cares about its own interest. When the Uzbekistan government cracked down on a protest buy firing on protestors go back and check the condemnation from the other countries round the world and then look at the US state departments response, the only thing they could bring about themselves to say was “we are concerned”. Do you actually understand the crap that you are writing, first of all you think you have saved the blood of millions by invading and then you seem to advocate being diplomatic with dictators. So in that case you’re responsible for all the blood in Saudi, Egypt, Uzbekistan etc etc

I think your really having difficulty understanding the point I am making which is America does not give a shit about spreading democracy its only bothered about its own interest (oil and other political objectives in this case) this is proven by the fact whilst on the one hand the claim to spread democracy on the other hand they are supporting dictators with money. Try to understand the point although I do understand brainwashing may well have had effects on the little brain you do have.

I won’t go as far and say you got blood on your hand its not your fault that you little brain can be so easily manipulated by stories of baddies and goodies

Saf,So what part o... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

So what part of your little brain can't understand that democratization of rogue nations IS in the interest of the U.S? What benefit has the U.S. gotten out of bringing down Saddam other than the prospects for piece and stability? Do you think the oil that the U.S. will buy from a stable and free Iraq for the going market price somehow offsets the cost of the war?

If your opinion of the U.S. was correct, we could have gotten all the oil we wanted from Saddam by supporting him against Kuwait. All the U.S. would have had to do would be to let the U.N. lead. Saddam would have then taken out Saudi Arabia and finally when the U.N. was shown impotent, the U.S. could have gone in and become the self appointed protectorate of the oil rich region. The fact that that's not what happened demonstrates the buffoonery of your argument.

What would you have the U.S. do in Uzbekistan where we have no real leverage, threaten them with regime change?. If we did, every leftist buffoon would be crying about the U.S. throwing it's military weight around. Sometimes the U.S. sits back and gives the U.N. a chance to live up to it's charter. The hope is to teach other nations the hard lessons of history that tyrants only respect strength. The problem is all the leftist buffoons that render any U.N. response impotent so that all it can ever do without U.S. muscle is protest. Nations like Uzbekistan laugh at the fools and continue their deplorable practices.

Strong medicine often has unpleasant side effects. Buffoons look only at the side effects and throw out the medicine.

Mac lorrySo what p... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Mac lorry

So what part of your little brain can't understand that democratization of rogue nations IS in the interest of the U.S?

Well I tell you it’s the part of my brain which is aware that history has shown that throughout the Muslim world America has got its way by supporting dictators, for example Turkey the most liberal of Islamic nations is a democracy however they did not allow the US to use their bases for the invasion of Iraq because the Turkish population would not allow it and being a democracy the politicians had no choice even though they lost billions of dollars in Aid.

On the other hand Kuwait, UAE, Qatar and finally Saudi Arabia all which are extremely conservative Arab Islamic nations all provided some sort of support such as the use of bases and air space because dictators could do what they wanted and not listen to their population. Now let me tell you one thing if any of these nations had genuine democracy they would pick extreme Islamic parties I can assure you of that and also these governments would definitely not be pro American. Just look at history in your own back yard in Latin America how dictators were supported over elected governments on the pretence of fighting communism.

As far as Iraqi oil is concerned just answer one question why was it that after the invasion was complete the first thing the Americans did was warn the Syrians that the oil pipeline carrying oil to Syria will be turned off unless Syria changes it behavior, that may not be stealing oil but it is certainly using Iraqi oil to achieve an American political objective.

As far as the UN is concerned I hope the UN is abolished at least it will stop America using the term the international community whenever committing aggression. As far as the Uzbekistan is converned tell me why did they not stop the aid when the torture was going on, strange way to punish a nation answer is simple they needed the uzbekistan base for operations in Afghanistan.

Reading your crap looks like your one of the 90% of americans who never seen anything beyond your own back yard yet you think your some sort of expert on the world.

What a pin head you are Saf... (Below threshold)
DavidB:

What a pin head you are Saf.

The only extremist islamic government in that area of the world stays in power through rigged "elections." If there were truly free elections in Iran, the Imams would be out on their collective asses. The same would hold true for any other area, such as Afghanistan. When people have a choice, they choose freedom, not enslavement.

Oh, and you could use a little more education on Latin American Politics and whom supported what. Crawl back into your little dark cave now.

Saf,Most of the su... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

Most of the support the U.S. gives to Arabic nations goes to Egypt and Jordan, both of which have made real progress toward piece in the reign. I couldn't even find Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, and Qatar on the list. As for Turkey we gave them noting in 2001 and then in 2004 we gave them 0.15 billion, so your premise that we punished Turkey for not allowing the U.S. to base our aircraft there is provably false. We don't give much to Turkey because as a nation ready to join the EU, it shouldn't need U.S. aid anymore other than for natural disasters.

As far as Iraqi oil is concerned just answer one question why was it that after the invasion was complete the first thing the Americans did was warn the Syrians that the oil pipeline carrying oil to Syria will be turned off unless Syria changes it behavior, that may not be stealing oil but it is certainly using Iraqi oil to achieve an American political objective.

Between 2001 and March 2003, Iraq and Syria utilized the Banias oil pipeline in violation of U.N. sanctions. In March 2003, flows on the pipeline were halted, but not by the U.S. With insurgents blowing up pipelines it would make no sense to pump oil through the vary nation many of the insurgents are coming through.

As far as the Uzbekistan is converned tell me why did they not stop the aid when the torture was going on, strange way to punish a nation answer is simple they needed the uzbekistan base for operations in Afghanistan.

Whatever torture was going on in Uzbekistan was going on long before the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. So you want the world to be perfect all at once and if it's not, then do nothing. Is that your philosophy? Are you really that dumb or are you just using every excuse you can find to cling to your holier than thou image of yourself?

The U.S. goal is to democratize nations to achieve piece and stability in the region. The U.S. prefers to do that through patient diplomatic means. If that involves support of a benign dictator like the king of Jordan, that's far better than allowing radical Islamic fundamentalist to take control. Being you oppose that U.S. policy as well as the use of military action to impose a democracy, it's apparent you support the takeover of such countries by radical Islamic fundamentalist like the Taliban, in Afghanistan. Why do you hate the Arabic people so much that you would support such tyrants?

Reading your crap looks like your one of the 90% of americans who never seen anything beyond your own back yard yet you think your some sort of expert on the world.

This just proves my initial argument that you think your opinions are the result of superior education and intellect. It's a delusion most leftists buffoons suffer from.

Er, this presumptious "Afgh... (Below threshold)
My dog is smarter than you:

Er, this presumptious "Afghan effect" was so patently obvious (at least to me) from a sociological pov, I'm surprised it needed explaining. Not trying to be snobbish, just continually amazed at what passes for intelligence among certain groups.

It's not the whole story either, as Saf and Mac can testify. Pistols at dawn, boys!

Mac LorryOnce agai... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Mac Lorry

Once again you have failed to understand the point, which is how the hell on the one hand you claim to support freedom and that you are fighting to spread democracy and then on the other hand you think its ok to support certain dictators, you with your comments have just proved the point the rest of the world calls this hypocrisy. Well I’m sure the thousands who have been tortured and killed by the Egyptian and Jordanian Regimes will appreciate your comment, but of course these regimes are making real progress in your eyes for one simple reason because they are American Friends.

If Uzbekistan is torturing people before the invasion of Afghanistan don’t you think the west should have at the very least been condemning that actions of the government, I mean if you love freedom so much and you are willing to fight for it how hard is it in that case to simply put out a statement condemning the Uzbek regime but instead the United States starts giving Aid to government and Britain started selling weapons to them. Amazing. The only message dictators around the world get at the moment is that it doesn’t matter how you treat your people as long as you good to America you will be fine and that is surely the wrong message to send out.

About Turkey checks the facts they were promised $32 billion in Aid and loans if they allowed their bases to be used for the invasion of Iraq.

Saf,Once ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

Once again you have failed to understand the point, which is how the hell on the one hand you claim to support freedom and that you are fighting to spread democracy and then on the other hand you think its ok to support certain dictators...

I understand your point, but the real world is complex and requires pragmatic choices. There's few more oppressive regimes than those run by Islamic fundamentalists, so it's better to give aid to Egypt and Jordan who are making strides towards democracy than to allow Islamic fundamentalists to take control. What would you have the U.S. do; overthrow the current governments militarily, or stand by and do nothing?

...I mean if you love freedom so much and you are willing to fight for it how hard is it in that case to simply put out a statement condemning the Uzbek regime...

I was wondering what your method of helping desperate people in other nations was and you have now answered my question. You would issue statements. Countries willing to abuse their own people laugh at your feeble words and keep on doing as they please. It's far more effective to offers such regimes incentives to change, but you condemn that action as well as any military action. Your method is cheap, ineffective and naive, but it satisfies your self-image of being "enlightened" and above the fray.

About Turkey checks the facts they were promised $32 billion in Aid and loans if they allowed their bases to be used for the invasion of Iraq.

I did check the facts and they are exactly as I stated. We gave no aid to Turkey before the Iraq war, but we then gave them 0.15 billion in 2004. When the U.S. asked Turkey to allow basing of aircraft and ground troops as well, we didn't expect them to do it for nothing and offered fair compensation. It was always Turkey's choice to accept or refuse. I don't know how you twist that into something damming of the U.S. Shouldn't we have offered Turkey reimbursement, or are you saying we should have paid the money even though the offer was rejected?

Your comments lead me to believe that you support Islamic fundamentalists taking control of middle east countries. If not, what actions, not just words, would you take to prevent that and instead move the region to stable democracies? All you have done so far is criticize every action taken by the U.S. and Britain, so here's your chance to put up or shut up.

understand your point, b... (Below threshold)
Saf:

understand your point, but the real world is complex and requires pragmatic choices. There's few more oppressive regimes than those run by Islamic fundamentalists, so it's better to give aid to Egypt and Jordan who are making strides towards democracy than to allow Islamic fundamentalists to take control. What would you have the U.S. do; overthrow the current governments militarily, or stand by and do nothing?

You have answered my point that the world is complex and the US does not go round fighting for freedom that’s just the bullshit it feeds to idiots like you to keep your gobs shut and you are only too willing to swallow it every time. Please do not insult my intelligence by implying these( Egypt and Jordon) countries are making strides towards democracy because that is a total Joke. The problem with countries like Egypt and Jordon is that if they had free and fair elections then Islamic fundamentalist would win, now would America accept the choice of the population if that was the choice they made because every indication is that they would choose very Islamic leaning governments, as has been the case in Iraq.


So you pounce on me for saying why couldn’t America at least condemn the actions of the Uzbek regime, look at the words at least I have underlined them for you because that was my point never mind military action, never mind isolation or arms embargo you freedom loving country could not even bring it self to simply use the word condemn against a regime which has killed and tortured thousands. That is the point its total hypocrisy.

As for Turkey I said exactly what your saying which is that the US offered them a large sum of money to allow their bases to be used as a launch pad for the invasion, my point here was being a democracy Turkey could not accept the offer due to the wishes of the population, however other Islamic dictatorships would have not such problems getting such an offer through because they do not give a shit about their populations. So is it really in the interest of the US to have a democratic Saudi Arabia, Democratic Egypt, UAE, Qatar etc etc

Saf,All this time ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

All this time I though you were just a leftist buffoon, but we now see your true colors. You're an Islamic fundamentalist or at least a supporter of Islamic fundamentalists. It's not that you care one bit about people being tortured and killed, it's just you don't like who's currently doing it.

Even if people in Egypt and Jordan were dumb enough to vote in Islamic fundamentalists, history shows it wouldn't be a democracy for long. Islamic fundamentalists have said that democracy is evil. You only have to look at Iran to see what Islamic fundamentalists call a democracy.

Yes, the U.S. oppresses Islamic fundamentalists wanting to come to power and I'm proud of it. When you fight for freedom you got to be fighting someone who's against freedom and Islamic fundamentalists are the most anti-freedom people on the planet. Even communist countries give their people more freedom than Iran and Afghanistan under the Taliban. This is practically true for women, but it's obvious you care nothing about that half of the population.

Now that I know your true colors I understand were your perverted view of the world comes from and it's certainly not enlightenment.

Their is one big parallel t... (Below threshold)
Tunder:

Their is one big parallel to Vietnam and every other war. Troops are dieing because of decisions their leaders are making. Regardless of whether they have right/left or moderate political leanings, life and death is their reality. It's not philosophical, it's reality. I believe when you pick a place to make a stand for democracy, you need to have had the forethought of those dieing troops in mind. It makes it easier to travel around the world for freedom when you know others are dieing for it.

Mac Lorry,Haha me ... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Mac Lorry,

Haha me an Islamic fundamentalist, well I am Muslim I wont deny that to you but the last time I went to mosques was several years ago so if I am a fundamentalist I’m not a very good one am I now, but unlike you I have traveled the world I have been to the middle east lived there in several different countries due to work and believe you me living in Saudi Arabia was the hardest thing ever I lasted two weeks so no I don’t think I qualify as an Islamic fundamentalist. All I am saying is I have lived in these parts of the world and if there were elections I can guarantee you which way the voting will go.

So your proud of America standing up to the Islamic parties well what about in Iraq why are they kissing sistanis ass so much, you know Iraq is heading in the same direction as Iran, mark my words it is going to spilt into two possibly three states and at least one of them states will be ruled by hardline shia clerics.

So you believe its ok for your country to go to foreign lands and decide who can fight elections and who cannot which party is allowed and which is not may be that’s the exact reasons they use to justify the terrorist attacks against your country which I condem.

Saf,Haha ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

Haha me an Islamic fundamentalist, well I am Muslim I wont deny that to you but the last time I went to mosques was several years ago so if I am a fundamentalist I’m not a very good one am I now

I said "You're an Islamic fundamentalist or at least a supporter of Islamic fundamentalists." We now know which.

All I am saying is I have lived in these parts of the world and if there were elections I can guarantee you which way the voting will go.

No one can guarantee the outcome of a free election, but aside from that, the establishment of a democracy is needed before there can be any election. First, women need to be liberated from Islamic fundamentalist propaganda and educated before there can be a truly free and informed election, and this all takes time.

As was demonstrated in the Philippians a decade ago, there's no surer way to send the U.S. packing than to vote us out. Islamic fundamentalists know that, but they also know they would lose any free and informed election, if for no other reason than most women don't want to be treated as property and even many men want the kind of prosperity and freedom they see in western countries. We saw that in Afghanistan when as soon as the Taliban were driven from power the satellite TV dishes started pooping up on roof tops. Islamic fundamentalists just murdered other Muslims in Jordan because they didn’t like the freedoms the Jordanians were partaking of.

...mark my words it is going to spilt into two possibly three states and at least one of them states will be ruled by hardline shia clerics.

You could be right. As I said many posts ago, only Iraqi blood can purchase Iraqi freedom. The U.S. has made the first down payment with the blood of over 2,000 of it's sons and daughters. If Iraq's people let freedom slip away from them now they may not have another chance for a long long time.

Mac Lorry,So I gue... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Mac Lorry,

So I guess the women need to be liberated from Islamic fundamentalist propaganda and educated by American propaganda your arrogance is amazing. I can guarantee you if they had free and fair elections in that part of the world it will be the extreme Islamic parties that would win, the mindset of the people there is very different too ours in the west, just look at what happened in Algeria free fair elections won by Islamic fundamentalist which then resulted in the Army backed by the French launching a military coup. Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood was about to score a landslide when the election was cancelled, Hizbolla in Lebanon, Hamas in Palastinian lands.
Believe you me I am no fan of these Islamic parties I’m just stating the realties on the ground, but your comment about the freedoms being enjoyed in Jordon is crazy what freedom, so I guess these fundamentalist are also blowing up Saudis in Saudi Arabia because of the freedom they are enjoying.
Like I said to you before I am no Islamic fundamentalist and I am no leftie in fact I would love it if the west went and took out any evil regimes but what I cannot stand is when they take one regime out because its evil ( and has the second highest oil reserves in the world) and on the other hand provide funding to other evil regimes which proves the point that countries will only fight wars to serve their own national interest.

Saf,So you think i... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

So you think it's American propaganda that women are not property, that they don't need to wear sacks over their heads in public, that they have equality under the law. That's not American propaganda, that's the norm of civilized nations in the 21st century.

Like I said, you can’t have a truly free election until woman have been educated out of the 12 th century propaganda they are still subjected to by Islamic fundamentalists all their lives. That takes time and without that time you get the results you cited when there are elections, but they are not free elections.

If Islamic fundamentalists figure they can win anything close to a free election in Iraq, then going along with the political process would be the quickest way to get the U.S. out. The fact that they are fighting tooth and nail to prevent elections shows that the Islamic fundamentalists don't think they could win. Either they are wrong our you are wrong.

As for the freedoms the Jordanian Muslims were enjoying, it was alcoholic beverages, woman not wearing sacks, music, movies, and other "western" activities. At least that's what the murders were claiming, and that's the type of people you support.

Well i think what you will ... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Well i think what you will find not all women use the headscarf becuase they are forced in fact many do it through choice, come to the UK and Europe and you will see exactly that educated women who decided to ware headscarfs, not something i am particulalry fund of, Your making everyone laugh here in the office by accusing me of being a fundamentlist, because these same people here who work with me are the ones who usually see me indulging in not so islamic activities such as drinking, clubbing and dare i say it enjoying the compnay of women.

The people murdering in Iraq are murdering becuuse they dont want to see the shia in power and yes of course they would lose an election, the shia fundamentlist would win that, once again you have failed to grasp the realities on the ground.

Why are you in continus denial

Maybe you should brush up o... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Maybe you should brush up on your English. I never said you were an Islamic Fundamentalist. I said you were either that OR a supporter of Islamic Fundamentalists. Do you know what being a supporter means? Maybe your offices mates are laughing at you.

As for educated women who decided to wear headscarfs, that's the point. They decide for themselves rather than having it imposed by law. Freedom means you get to decide, rather than having it decided for you.

I was talking about the people who were murdered in Jordan, not Iraq. Islamic Fundamentalists from Iraq came to Jordan and blew up a wedding ceremony in a hotel. Don't you get the news where you are at?

Do you know what the hell I... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Do you know what the hell Islamic fundamentalist means, or a Christian fundamentalist means go and check what the term religious fundamentalist means, its simple someone who supports the traditional form of the religion as how it was in its earlier form when it was first started. So being a supporter of Islamic fundamentalist and being an Islamic fundamentalist is exactly the same thing because in both cases you are supporting a goal to live the religion the way it was lived hundreds of years ago, and this is something I definitely do not support or agree with otherwise I would not have found life in Saudi Arabia so difficult, I would not have gave up a very lucrative paid contract after two weeks if I was a supporter of such a life style in fact I hated living in them kind of conditions and could not cope with it. In fact I cannot stand some of the Arab regimes because they use religion to suppress their population while the practice the freedoms themselves such as alcohol etc etc.

My office colleagues were laughing at you not me the whole world is laughing at you guys with your wild fantasies of good guys and bad guys. Finally I think you were right what you said in the early part of this thread I have now started to believe that I am superior to you in education and intellect, you’re a totally brainwashed.

Saf,A supporter of... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

A supporter of something is not the same as being that something. Check the dictionary. A supporter of a labor union may not even belong to that union. A supporter of gay rights may not be gay. A supporter of women's rights may not be a woman. A supporter of a sports team is not the same as being on the team. A supporter of Islamic fundamentalists doesn't mean they are an Islamic fundamentalists and that's why I said you were either an Islamic fundamentalist OR a supporter of Islamic fundamentalists. My mates are certainly laughing at your foolish ideas.

I'm all for free and informed elections in Islamic countries, but they have to allow woman to participate and be guaranteed the same rights under the law as men, otherwise there's no way an election can be free. The U.S. will withdraw from any place where the people in a free and informed election decide they don't want us there. You claim Islamic fundamentalists would win an election in Iraq. Why then do they fight and die to prevent the vary thing that would rid the area of the U.S. military in the quickest way?

You claim Islamic fundam... (Below threshold)
Saf:

You claim Islamic fundamentalists would win an election in Iraq. Why then do they fight and die to prevent the vary thing that would rid the area of the U.S. military in the quickest way?

Do you actually know anything about who is fighting in Iraq, well let me explain to you. It is Arab nationalist, Ex Baathist and Islamic groups who follow the wahbi section of Sunnism (of which only 10% are foreign fighters this is an estimate from US Military).

None of these groups would win an election and I have never ever said they would, because Iraq has a Shia/ Sunni spilt whereas the Shia who are the majority would win the election. In Iraq the Islamic parties actually won the last election the Shia Islamic parties and they will win the next one too, these groups are not I repeat not rebelling because they will walk any elections these are the SHIA ISLAMIC PARTIES.

Now is that clear for you. These parties are just as good at taking women’s rights away they have already done it in Basra southern Iraq that’s why the British forces have taken so much criticism for this because they have allowed these parties and their militias take over certain intuitions like the police etc, don’t take my word for it go and research it an American journalist was killed by these parties for trying to expose this. University students were beaten for having mixed sex picnics again don’t take my word go and research it yourself.

Now let me explain the issue with Islamic fundamentalist term, here you are talking about an Ideology, it is used to to describe people who support a certain Ideology and it is a term simply invented by ourselves as in the west, so people who support certain ideas about Islam we call them Islamic fundamentalist just like people who support certain set of ideas of Christianity we call them Christian Fundamentalist. There is no group or party called Islamic fundamentalist so to be an Islamic fundamentalist you have to be a supporter of those ideas in which case being a supporter and being an Islamic fundamentalist is exactly the same thing. Apply your term to Christianity and you’ll see how silly you sound, how someone can support christen fundamentalist ideas yet not be a Christian fundamentalist. Just like a supporter of socialism is a socialist, a supporter of communism is a communist and supporter of democracy is a democrat ( not the party of course.).

Saf,A few posts... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

A few posts back you said...

I can guarantee you if they had free and fair elections in that part of the world it will be the extreme Islamic parties that would win, the mindset of the people there is very different too ours in the west, just look at what happened in Algeria free fair elections won by Islamic fundamentalist

Now you say...

None of these groups would win an election and I have never ever said they would

So, were you lying then or are you lying now?

You also use the terms "extreme Islamic parties" and "Islamic fundamentalist" interchangeably in the first quote. Are you now saying that groups who follow the wahbi section of Sunnism are neither "extreme Islamic parties" or "Islamic fundamentalist?"

You claim you don't support Islamic fundamentalists, so do you condemn their actions such as the murder of other Muslims? How about when they murder non-Muslims; do you condemn that?

Do you actually know anythi... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Do you actually know anything about that part of the world? Do you actually know who won the last Iraqi election? Go and check it out and come back and tell me which group of parties won the biggest share of votes in the last election just go and check it out and come back and then tell me. Just in case your too embarrassed to come back and point it out the biggest block of parties in the election was the group of shia Islamic parties, including SCRI and do you want to know what that stands for well here it is for you Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, do you know which party the current Iraqi Prime Minister is from, it’s the Islamic Dawa party of Iraq, these are just two examples, the anti American Mahdi army also won a lot of seats and was part of the block.

What all these parties have in common is that they are extreme Shia Islamic Parties, but of course they are not going to come out and say “We are extreme Islamic Parties” I mean even Al Quaida have never come and said they are extremist now have they but we all know they are, that’s how these parties are all known to be extremist and their titles should really give you a clue and in the case of SCRI their goal is to achieve an Islamic state like Iran.

There is no point in cutting part of my words and trying to twist them I am presenting you with facts, I mean any dumb ass can tell you that a Sunni extremist Islamic party will not win an election in Iraq or Iran or that Shia Islamic party will not win in the rest of the middle east apart from may be Oman, I mean is that concept really that hard for you to grasp. But it does not make no difference be it Shia or Sunni extreme Islamic parties will implement the same type of law with very limited rights for women.

Now let me try once more I shouldn’t have to break this into an idiots guide but I will and I am going to list it for you:

I say extreme Islamic parties will win elections in that part of the world even if not extreme they will be very Islamic leaning be they Shia or Sunni.

In Iraq extreme Islamic leaning parties will win but these will be shia Islamic parties I shouldn’t to have to point this out to you because it already happened in January, so there is no point in asking why are they fighting the US because the Shia parties are not fighting the US. Now do you actually understand that, is that clear to you.

As far as condemning is concerned I condemn all attacks on innocent civilians be it Muslim or non Muslim, beheadings, shootings, bombs I condemn them all.

What I don’t condemn is attacks on American military targets when you are an occupying force hated by the majority of population that is exactly what you should expect.

You claim to be able to gua... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

You claim to be able to guarantee some specific election outcome and in the same paragraph you equated extreme Islamic parties with Islamic fundamentalist, so I'm not cutting apart your words.

Now you say the groups fighting in Iraq are neither extreme Islamic parties or Islamic fundamentalist and you try to sidestep your prior words by saying such groups don't call themselves extremists or fundamentalists. It doesn't matter what they call themselves, they are not the ones posting messages. If there's confusion it's because you shift the use of your terms.

I really don't care what group wins an election in Iraq nor do I care if they hate us. We liberated them from Saddam and we are giving them a chance to have whatever kind of nation they want just as long as it doesn't threaten U.S. security. If the people of Iraq want to live in piece and prosperity, they will have an ally in the U.S. If they allow terrorists to prosper and spread their hate around the world, then the U.S. will be back. It's really just that simple.

Are you actually reading a ... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Are you actually reading a word of what I am writing, I know it might be a lot to take in and its not as simple as Fox news to understand but I really did think I had made it idiot proof, here it is again for you.

In Iraq extreme Islamic leaning parties will win but these will be shia Islamic parties I shouldn’t to have to point this out to you because it already happened in January, so there is no point in asking why are they fighting the US because the Shia parties are not fighting the US. Now do you actually understand that, is that clear to you.

It is the Sunni extreme Islamic parties which are forming part of the insurgency

Have a look at the words carefully I aint being funny but you seem to act as you know something about the Middle East yet it looks like you don’t even know that there is a difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims, Shia extreme Islamic parties can win the elections and have already won an election there, Sunni extreme Islamic parties can not win in Iraq and they do form one element of the Insurgency.

I have finally realized the problem here you don’t even seem to know the huge difference between Shia and Sunni and that’s why you keep getting confused, let me just point another fact out to you for future reference, Shia extremist and Sunni extremist hate each other more than anything else, in fact they regard each other as infidels, so for example Sunni Muslim extremist regard the Shia as infidels same as a non believing white westerner, and the Shia extremist feel the same way about Sunnis.

Believe you me once the Americans pull out it is going to get very very messy and the country will spilt, you may think in that case I should be supporting the Americans staying there but the way I feel is that it is going to get messy no matter what and the Americans staying is simply delaying the inevitable.

Saf, I wrote...... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

I wrote...

Even if people in Egypt and Jordan were dumb enough to vote in Islamic fundamentalists, history shows it wouldn't be a democracy for long. Islamic fundamentalists have said that democracy is evil. You only have to look at Iran to see what Islamic fundamentalists call a democracy.

Then Saf wrote...

So your proud of America standing up to the Islamic parties well what about in Iraq why are they kissing sistanis ass so much, you know Iraq is heading in the same direction as Iran, mark my words it is going to spilt into two possibly three states and at least one of them states will be ruled by hardline shia clerics.

As I showed before, you used the terms "extreme Islamic parties" and "Islamic fundamentalist" interchangeably in the same paragraph and have never retracted that equivalence.

Saf wrote...

...Shia extreme Islamic parties can win the elections and have already won an election there, Sunni extreme Islamic parties can not win in Iraq and they do form one element of the Insurgency.

I wrote...

If Islamic fundamentalists figure they can win anything close to a free election in Iraq, then going along with the political process would be the quickest way to get the U.S. out.

Being that you have used the terms "extreme Islamic parties" and "Islamic fundamentalist" interchangeably, what I wrote above is correct.

As you can see I'm using the term "Islamic fundamentalists" as those groups fighting against elections in Iraq.

I understand your point that there are more than one group of Islamic fundamentalists, and that they hate each other. Hate of other people seems to be something all Islamic fundamentalists have in common, but aside from that, you would think the Sunni and Shia could put aside their hate of each other long enough to have elections and vote the U.S. out of Iraq. Then they can blow each other up to their hearts content as long as they keep it within their boarders. I only feel bad for the good people in Iraq who what to live in peace and prosperity, but are surrounded by such hate. What's the solution?

As you can see I'm using... (Below threshold)
Saf:

As you can see I'm using the term "Islamic fundamentalists" as those groups fighting against elections in Iraq.

That’s the point Islamic fundamentalist are not just those fighting the US, the ones fighting the US are the ones who know they cannot win an election, the ones waiting it out are the Shia fundamentalist because they know they can win the election.

As for the solution well I am beginning to think may be it will be best for the country to split after all it was an artificial entity created by the British empire, because if there is a civil war it will be real messy because although the Shia are a majority in Iraq the Sunni are the overwhelming majority in the Muslim world and the middle east and they by far will have the most financial backing so any civil war will be long and drawn out and will involve Iran and Saudi fighting each other through proxies.

Finally hate of other people is not simply restricted to Islamic extremist it also applies to Christian or Jewish extremist it’s simply a case of they are right and everyone else is wrong

Christians have had hateful... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Christians have had hateful relations with other Christians, mostly during the reformation in the 16th century, yet in all of Christendom there's no equivalent for "infidel" the way it's used in Islam. Nor is there an equivalent for a general "holy war" in Christendom. The violence and war documented in the Biblical old testament is for a specific time, place and reason; to establish the nation of Israel. There is a sense of a "just war" in western cultures, but it's not necessarily related to religion and is usually seen as a war of self-defense or the defense of others rather than a war of aggression.

There would be no easy way to divide Iraq up among the various groups. The oil, water resources, and infrastructure are not distributed uniformly, so there is always going to be inequities. If what the U.S. is attempting to do in Iraq is rejected, then it seems the killing will go on until someone like Saddam arises and imposes order by means far worse in kind and scale than anything done by the U.S.

The real fun starts when Iran finally has an atomic bomb. Will they quickly mature like Pakistan and India did, or will they be irresponsible? You see how the U.S. reacted to less then 3000 dead civilians on 9/11, so can you imagine what our response would be to an atomic bomb attack? There's just no place in the modern world for nations ruled by 12th century ideas. That's what drives the U.S. to have influence in so many parts of the world, be it through economic or military power. There are those who say that the U.S. policy of engagement causes the problem, but as you have indicated, there are many groups who will fight each other for their own reasons. Many in the U.S. would just as soon let them fight, but with the global economy and 21st century weapons, that's often not a viable option.

Well i aint no expert on re... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Well i aint no expert on religion but as far as i knew the term the term infidel is simply means a non believer or in arabic its known as kuffar which is simply means a non beliver. What on earth makes you think Iran will attack America with a nuclear bomb, even if they do get a nuclear bomb how many years will that be down the line and then how many years after that will they achieve a sucesful delivery method never mind one that reaches all the way to the United states.

And even having achieved the bomb and a delivery method do you really think they would be that crazy to attack another nuclear country knowing they would get nuked back. Only thing they will achieve is a detterent to stop an agressive invasion may be thats what worries the west.

Saf,Yes, the dicti... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

Yes, the dictionary definition of "infidel" is simply "non-believer". Of course the dictionary definition of "cool" is much different than how it's used. The way infidel it used in Islam nowadays is much more negative than the dictionary definition.

I'm not concerned about Iran firing a nuclear tipped missile at the U.S. They are not that stupid, but they do like to use terrorists to do their dirty work for them, and they may think they could get away with letting some terrorists explode such a weapon in the U.S. Then there's Israel only a short distance away from Iran. Once again Iran wouldn't use a nuclear weapon openly, but they might make such weapons available to terrorists. One of the problems with terrorists is that you can't always control them. This is why the "west" doesn't want Iran to develop nuclear weapons and this could be a bigger problem than Iraq. Nobody would come out ahead in the event of a nuclear exchange.

so an infidel means non bel... (Below threshold)
Saf:

so an infidel means non believer if certain people take that to such an extreme extent then dont blame that on the religion, anyways with regards to Iran i think the type of bomb you are talking about is what is known as a dirty bomb, well i aint no expert on radioactivity but from what i have heard that this really is not as dangerous as some of the scare stories, in fact a recent documentary claimed that if such a device was set off more people would actually die from panic than the actual effects of the bomb or radioactivity.

Now i know that this sounds silly thats just what i heard on a documentary i dont know if its true or not if you want to find out research it, but it did sound like a serious documentary.

Saf,You are right ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Saf,

You are right about a dirty bomb not being much more of a threat than the bomb part. However, that's not what Iran is working on. If they were, then there is no need to pursue the difficult task of uranium enrichment. Lots of isotopes are radioactive by only a few are fissionable, and of the ones that are, only uranium 235 has a viable natural source. The difficulty is in separating it from uranium 238, which makes up 98+ percent of natural uranium ore. U235 and U238 have the exact same chemical characteristics, so they can only be separated based on their slightly different atomic weights. Once U235 has been separated from U238, the process of making an atomic bomb with it is quite simple. Even if Iran didn't intend to use it themselves, a terrorist group that got its hands on less than 30 KG of U235 could construct an atomic bomb using readily available industrial components. It might have only a 5 kiloton yield, but terrorists could burn the center out of a major city with it.

On a side note, U238, the stuff that's not fissionable, is called depleted uranium once the U235 has been removed, and it's used as armor in U.S. tanks and also in armor piercing projectiles. That tells you something about how much U235 the U.S. has extracted over the years.

Well you obviously seem to ... (Below threshold)
Saf:

Well you obviously seem to know a lot more in the subject than I do so I cannot really comment, hopefully by that time the politcs would have changed so much in the area that it wont be as dangerous for example as has happened in Libya




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