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  • Iraq war: then & now

    I was only about six or seven when Desert Storm happened, so I don't really remember anything about it. So I wanted to set up this topic so people could compare and contrast the Iraq war of the 90's and the one going on right now.

    Some questions to think about:
    1) What were our reasons for going over there?
    2) How high was support, from the government and citizens, for the first Iraq war?
    3) Did we know how evil Saddam was?
    4) If we did know, why didn't we get him the first time we were over there?

  • #2
    1) Saddam, apparently thinking he had the OK from the U.S., invaded Kuwait. In a true world-wide coalition, Iraq was ousted from Kuwait.

    Oh yeah, despite the defeat of the Iraqi military, Saddam never used any WMDs or chemical weapons (which he did have then because the U.S. had provided them in the prior decade).

    2) Support was very high around the world.

    3) Yes, we knew how evil he was then.

    4) Because he was much less evil (if you weren't a Kurd) than our other friends in the Middle East (whom we continue to adore). Under Saddam, Iraqis tended to have many more human rights than in other surrounding nations. Bush Senior also knew that getting rid of Saddam would likely unleash a bloody civil war so why do a stupid think like knock him out of power. The no-fly zones protected the Kurds and Shiites while maintaining a stable Iraq.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by simonsebs:
      I was only about six or seven when Desert Storm happened, so I don't really remember anything about it. So I wanted to set up this topic so people could compare and contrast the Iraq war of the 90's and the one going on right now.

      Some questions to think about:
      1) What were our reasons for going over there?
      2) How high was support, from the government and citizens, for the first Iraq war?
      3) Did we know how evil Saddam was?
      4) If we did know, why didn't we get him the first time we were over there?
      Yep, everything that man above said.

      But, there is no U. S. war in Iraq. Not now. We won the war. Quicker than a cocaine heartbeat, the war was won and over. But, for some reason we just keep hanging around like an awkward guest at a party that doesn't know how to just say goodbye.

      Now we're stuck in an occupation of a country at war with itself. That is a major difference between then and now, the occupation.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by hm0504:
        Bush Senior also knew that getting rid of Saddam would likely unleash a bloody civil war so why do a stupid think like knock him out of power.
        If that's the case, why did Bush II turn right around and do that very thing in Iraq pt. 2.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by simonsebs:
          quote:
          Originally posted by hm0504:
          Bush Senior also knew that getting rid of Saddam would likely unleash a bloody civil war so why do a stupid think like knock him out of power.
          If that's the case, why did Bush II turn right around and do that very thing in Iraq pt. 2.


          The only rational answer one can give to that is that he is a dry-drunk sociopath, surrounded by deep-forest hobgoblins, river trolls, mendiants, thieves, liars, and other nefarious societal misfits and listens only to the voices that come to him in the night from the mother ship.

          A better question is; how did we as a people reach the point that we are so disengaged from reality that we allowed these people to take us into a preemptory war of invasion and occupation without national debate and dialogue and examination of the justifications for such a war?

          I don't think a complicit cheer leader media and post 9/11 hysteria entirely suffice as explanations. They played a part, sure. But, we the people, allowed them to play a part. We shirked our responsibilities as citizens, and are paying a horribly dreadful price.

          We are failing our republic through pursuit of pleasure and entertainment combined with mental, moral and spiritual laziness, and mindless idealogy and cultural skirmishes. Our instituitons failed us, and we failed ourselves.

          And, we may have passed the tipping point to becoming a facist (Corporate-Military-Government) right-wing, psuedo-democracy. The situation is dire, and the 2008 elections will determine if We The People are going to have a fighting chance at restoring our democracy.

          Comment


          • #6
            We are failing our republic through pursuit of pleasure and entertainment combined with mental, moral and spiritual laziness, and mindless idealogy and cultural skirmishes. Our instituitons failed us, and we failed ourselves.
            This may be true but this is also not the 1960's. In the '60's there were many movements and protests as people were much more involved in social issues. Many youth from university campuses took the time to get involved. The cost of living was also much lower then and allowed many individuals the luxury of taking time off to protest.

            In today's world, the ever increasing cost of living along with outrageous taxes work wonders to control people by forcing them to keep working to be able to keep food on their tables and a roof over their heads. The youth of today are not stupid. They know fully well that the only thing that really matters in this country is money. Make lots of money and you will live a happy life. Be poor and life won't be so much fun. This is the message that each and every student understands only too well. Gone are the 1960's along with the age of dreaming and idealization.

            Today's world will be known as the age of apathy as the vast majority of people are not interested in protests or personal sacrifice or change. At best they will complain and expect others to do the work for them. Yes indeed, the 1960's are gone for good and we are not going to see any major social upheavals as occured during that period of time. It's long past time for the hippies to hang up their tye dyed tee shirts and love beads and get back to work making money. That's the conclusion that most reached long ago even though others would call it a 'major cop out'. A groovy situation that we all dig? Definitely not!

            Blame Bush and Co for anything and everything wrong in the world today? Stop complaining and start voting, protesting, and making personal efforts to advance positive change in this world! Do SOMETHING......contribute SOMETHING other then only complaining about the government.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by simonsebs:
              quote:
              Originally posted by hm0504:
              Bush Senior also knew that getting rid of Saddam would likely unleash a bloody civil war so why do a stupid think like knock him out of power.
              If that's the case, why did Bush II turn right around and do that very thing in Iraq pt. 2.


              My guess is that with Bush Jr., neocons under Grand Wizard Cheney were able to exercise influence to a much stronger degree than under Bush Sr. under whom some amount of sanity and level-headedness had still remained.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sans, apparently history was not one of your favorite subjects in school. If you think that in the "60's" (and 70's)the "vast majority" were radical protesters think again. In fact the "silent" majority were... oh never mind.

                I'd like to be able to quit complaining and start voting but my options are a bit limited in that regard until Feb. (thanks Arnie).

                And, if you think idealism is dead you need a better web brouser.

                I was happily wrong about my prediction of bloody riots during the last election cycle. I remain pessimistic about the next.

                b.l.

                Comment


                • #9
                  One must not forget that during the tenure of the first shrub is that the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue was controlled by the "other" political party which kept him from letting loose as he wanted to do.
                  Also, the ruling junta of the shrub's party had not been totally perverted as of yet -- as it was they who foisted that great boner of a figurehead ronny raygun on this once proud nation because they viewed the first shrub as "too " hawkish and feared he would get the nation involved in a war before he left office -- one mustn't forget that the first shrub was the out and out front runner and candidate of their party until they went into that perverbial "smoky back room" and pulled raygun out of their arses in 1980.
                  As it turns out they were correct, yet the circumstances were that we extricated ourselves from it without falling into the rat-hole ... something the second shrub didn't do either -- he plunged head first down into the rat-hole and as a result the entire world is being screwed.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sans, apparently history was not one of your favorite subjects in school. If you think that in the "60's" (and 70's)the "vast majority" were radical protesters think again. In fact the "silent" majority were... oh never mind.
                    Well, actually history was a favorite subject of mine. Let's take a look at what I said:

                    In the '60's there were many movements and protests as people were much more involved in social issues. Many youth from university campuses took the time to get involved. The cost of living was also much lower then and allowed many individuals the luxury of taking time off to protest.

                    What in the above posting is incorrect? Were there not many movements and more people more aggressively active in social issues? Were there not active antiwar demonstrations on campus colleges in the 1960's?

                    From Wikepedia:

                    Opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War began slowly and in small numbers in 1964 on various college campuses in the United States. This happened during a time of unprecedented student activism reinforced in numbers by the demographically significant baby boomers, but grew to include a wide and varied cross-section of Americans from all walks of life. The growing opposition to the Vietnam War was also partly attributed to greater access to uncensored information compared with previous wars and extensive television media coverage of what, ultimately, became America's longest combat war. Likewise, a system of conscription that provided exemptions and deferments more easily claimed by middle and upper class registrants - and thus inducted disproportionate numbers of poor, working-class, and minority registrants - drove much of the protest. By the end of 1967, as the war ground on with no end in sight, public opinion polls showed a majority of Americans opposed the war.

                    The point that I thought I made clearly was that in the 1960's there were many more visually active people who were involved in a variety of movements. Today, by comparison more people are apathetic and not involved to the extent that people in the 1960's were. This is not to say that there are NO protestors today. Maybe where you live there are more active protestors. Around here, people have other concerns such as how to pay bills and don't have time for other acitivities. On the university campuses that I have been on, there are no mentions of any protests. Students seem to have other interests today.

                    This is not the 1960's. Times have changed.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Ok, having been there during the Sixties and a Vietnam veteran, let's set a few things straight ...

                      1) The varied 'movements' and 'protests' were NOT as large and involved as they are protrayed to have been.

                      2) The 'silent majority' was not as silent as we are led to believe either.

                      3) Support for the war in Vietnam was NEVER as strong as we are led to believe as well.

                      4) We were entered into the "war" in Vietnam by Eisenhower as a 'favor' to his buddies the French in much the same way the shrub entered into the "war" with Iraq as a 'favor' to his buddies the Saudis.

                      5) Opposition to the war was vocal and strident and en masse from the beginning, polling of those in opposition to the war began in ernest after the visible "protests", but scattered polls prior to the visible "protests showed and marked opposition.

                      6) Yes there were a disportional number of the poor dafted into the military especially minority poor.

                      7) Most of the "Movements" and "Protesting" were by those of middle and upper income that were exempted and/or deferred from the draft.

                      8) The cost of living was in actuallity far more than it is today in proportion to average income so taking time off was a severe and arduous burden not to be taken lightly, therefore should be of more importance to today's world.

                      9) Today there ARE MORE "Movements" and "Protesters" than there were during the "Sixties". There are more avenues available for such and they are being used and they are world wide instantly whereas during the "Sixties", "Movements" and "Protests" sometimes were not known about until they were over for weeks if not months despite the "state of the art communications" of the time. This internet thingy we are typing on here is to thank for that.

                      10) The biggest reason that the "Movements" and "Protests" against the war in Vietnam became front page news was the involvement of veterans of that war coming home and joining in the chorus, which oddly enough occured along about 1965 or so, right when the "hippies" began to protest, now isn't that strange?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The process has not changed.

                        An activist and organizer must first Educate, then Organize, and then Mobilize. It was done effectively in key states and districts in 2006 and will be done even more effectively in 2008.

                        The challenge now is that people have been dumbed down, dispirited, disenfranchised and beaten down, are addicted to pursuit of pleasure and entertainment, disengaged from community and neighbors, and have become intellectually, morally and spritually lazy.

                        The failure of the 60s was intelligentsia's failure to find bridges to labor and the proletariat. That mistake is not being repeated, as right now labor is actively seeking connections to community based activist groups for their mutual strength and benefit in the 2008 elections and forward.

                        There was a lot of that in '06, and there will be even more in '08.

                        As to the Occuaption of Iraq, support is diminishing on a daily basis. In a perverse way, and in a way that no one should take any pleasure or satisfaction from; the war and occupation has been the most powerful single-thing to stymie the Bush domestic agenda.

                        The best thing the GOP could do is to figure a way to extricate themselves from their mindless "stay the course", "be patient", "don't cut and run" rhetoric. They've painted themselves into a loose-loose corner with that, bless their dirty black souls.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Lets analyze this from a slightly different perspective and draw from actual references rather then personal opinions:

                          What is protesting?

                          From Wikepedia:

                          Protest expresses relatively overt reaction to events or situations: sometimes in favor, though more often opposed. Protesters may organize a protest as a way of publicly and forcefully making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy, or may undertake direct action to attempt to directly enact desired changes themselves.

                          , in practice or in appearance, be restricted by governental policy, economic circumstances, religious orthodoxy, social structures, or media monopoly. When such restrictions happen, grumbles or interior opposition may spill over into other areas such as culture, the streets or emigration.

                          A protest can itself sometimes be the subject of a counter-protest. In such a case, counter-protesters demonstrate their support for the person, policy, action, etc. that is the subject of the original protest.

                          What are the recognized forms of protesting?

                          From Wikipedia:

                          Recognized forms of protest include:


                          Public demonstration or political rally
                          Some forms of direct action listed in this article are also public demonstrations or rallies.

                          Protest march
                          Picketing
                          Street protesters
                          Die-in
                          Protest song
                          Silent protest
                          Radical cheerleading

                          Written demonstration
                          Written evidence of political or economic power, or democratic justification may also be a way of protesting.

                          Petitions
                          Letters (to show political power by the volume of letters): For example, some letter writing campaigns especially with signed form letter

                          Civil disobedience demonstrations
                          Any protest could be civil disobedience if a “ruling authority” says so, but the following are usually civil disobedience demonstrations:

                          Public nudity or topfree (to protest indecency laws or as a publicity stunt for another protest such as a war protest)
                          Sit-in
                          Raasta roko (people blocking auto traffic with their bodies)
                          Some other publicity stunts

                          As a residence
                          Peace camp
                          Formation of a tent city

                          Destructive
                          Riot - Protests or attempts to end protests sometimes lead to rioting.
                          Self-immolation

                          General direct action
                          Nonviolent resistance for example Satyagraha
                          Occupation

                          Protesting a government
                          Tax resistance
                          Conscientious objector
                          Flag desecration

                          By government employees
                          Bully pulpit
                          Judicial activism

                          Job action
                          Strike action
                          Sitdown strike
                          Walkout
                          work-in

                          By management
                          Lockout

                          By tenants
                          Rent strike

                          By consumers
                          Boycott

                          Information
                          Informative letters: thought provoking letter writing campaigns, letters to the editor especially those that the editor appreciates
                          Teach-in
                          Zine
                          Soapboxing

                          Civil disobedience to censorship
                          Samizdat (distributing censored materials)
                          Protest Graffiti

                          Literature, art, culture
                          The 13th century Spanish tale "The Emperor Has No Clothes"
                          Culture jamming

                          Religious
                          Recusancy

                          Major 1960's Protests and Movements:

                          Civil Rights Movement
                          Vietnam War Protests
                          Women's Rights Protests


                          Focusing on Vietnam War Protests:

                          From Wikipedia:

                          A mass movement began rising in opposition to the Vietnam War, ending in the massive Moratorium protests in 1969, and also the movement of resistance to conscription (“the Draft”) for the war. The antiwar movement was initially based on the older 1950s Peace movement heavily influenced by the Communist Party USA, but by the mid-1960s it outgrew this and became a broad-based mass movement centered on the universities and churches: one kind of protest was called a "sit-in." Other terms included Draft lottery, draft dodger, conscientious objector, and Vietnam vet. Voter age-limits were challenged by the phrase: "If you're old enough to die for your country, you're old enough to vote."

                          Stimulated by this movement, but growing beyond it, were large numbers of student-age youth, beginning with the Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley in 1964, peaking in the riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and reaching a climax with the shootings at Kent State University in 1970, which some claimed as proof that "police brutality" was rampant. The terms were: "The Establishment" referring to traditional management/government, and "fascist pigs" referring to police using excessive force.

                          As the above states, the war protests were university and church based. Universities were populated by young people and not middle aged or old people. Many young people were concerned about being drafted into the war after graduation. Older folks were considered to represent or support the 'establishment'.

                          Now lets compare some costs to get a feeling for cost of living comparisons:

                          From the people history:

                          How Much things cost in 1964 Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.28% UK 3.5% Average Cost of new house $13,050.00
                          Average Income per year $6,000.00
                          Gas per Gallon 30 cents
                          Average Cost of a new car $3,500.00
                          Loaf of bread 21 cents
                          United States Postage Stamp 5 cents
                          Average Monthly Rent $115.00
                          Ticket to the movies $1.25

                          From the latest information ie 1999:

                          To provide an estimate of inflation we have given a guide to the value of $100 US Dollars for the first year in the decade to the equivalent in todays money

                          The Dow Jones Industrial Average goes from under 5,000 to over 11,000 in one decade If you have $100 Converted from 1990 to 2005 it would be equivalent to $153.76 today
                          In 1990 a new house cost $123,000.00 and by 1999 was $131,700.00
                          In 1990 the average income per year was $28,970.00 and by 1999 was $40,810.00
                          In 1990 a gallon of gas was $1.34 and by 1999 was $1.22
                          In 1990 the average cost of new car was $16,000.00 and by 1999 was $21,100.00

                          For 2007, the average price of gas is $2.55.
                          The average house price is $255,000

                          To have any real meaningful comparisons, one has to consider the overall average tax burden in 1964 and then compare it today. One also has to consider such individual factors as college tuition in 1964 versus today as many protestors were college students. Another factor to consider is health care costs in 1964 versus today. Additionally, average incomes and costs do not indicate how wealth is spread throughout society. IS wealth today concentrated at higher levels today then in 1964? Was there more of a middle class in 1964 then today? In 1964, were families able to live comfortable with one wage earner? Is this still true today?
                          If we take into consideration the complete cost of living in 1964 including transportation costs, health care costs, tuition costs, and compare them today we will see that the actual cost of living is higher today then it was in 1964. The middle class enjoyed a higher standard of living in the 1960's as compared to today.

                          Most of the protestors and activists in the 1960's were not from the middle and upper classes. If we consider all of the movements including the civil rights movements, then certainly the majority of African Americans were not wealthy or even middle class. From KASD.org: " On August 28, 1963 more than 200,000 people, mostly Negroes but about a quarter of them were whites, marched to Washington to demand freedom and jobs". This was accurately reported and was EXACTLY as large as it was portrayed to be. In the 1960's, women did not have equal rights for employment and were not paid the same wages as their male counterparts. This was one major reason for the Women's Equal Rights movement.
                          As for Vietnam protests, as I have stated above from wikipedia reference, most of the antiwar protestors were college students who would be draft eligible after graduation. Today's students will not be drafted for Iraq and thus do not have the same motivation for Iraq War protest.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            More Factual Information on Vietnam War Protests:

                            From Vietnam War.com:

                            On the evening of April 30, 1970, in a televised address to the nation, Richard M. Nixon, the thirty-seventh President of the United States (see Figures 1 and 2), announced an imminent attack against "major enemy sanctuaries on the Cambodian-Vietnam border (WGBH, 1997)."

                            Commonly referred to as the 'Cambodian Invasion', the incursion was deemed necessary to destroy Communist bases and supply lines supporting the war in Vietnam, to protect American servicemen and women, and to guarantee the successful withdrawal of America from Vietnam.

                            campuses across the United States, and elsewhere, gathered and called for mass meetings to plan to protest an action considered by many as an escalation of an increasingly unpopular war.

                            "People on the campuses who opposed the Vietnam War felt that the President had deceived them, that the hated war, instead of being wound down, was to be expanded" (Peterson & Bilorusky, 1971, p. 2). "Princeton, Rutgers, and Oberlin mounted demonstrations that very night. Within three days, calls for massive nationwide demonstrations came from Yale May Day spokesmen, the National Student Association, the Student Mobilization Committee, and the then recently disbanded Vietnam Moratorium Committee. A National Student Strike Information Center was set up at Brandeis University, which by May 5 was reporting that 135 colleges had closed" (Peterson & Bilorusky, 1971, p. 2).

                            "Expressions of protest across the country took every conceivable form and were carried out under every conceivable banner, slogan and cry (see Figure 4). There were strikes, boycotts, and shutdowns; there were marches, rallies, and campuswide convocations; there were flag-lowerings, black armbands, memorial services, vigils, and symbolic funerals; there were special seminars, teach-ins, workshops, and research projects. There were students talking to residents in their homes and where they worked, and there were invitations to the public to come to the campus to talk" Peterson & Bilorusky, 1971, p. 4).

                            "For hundreds of thousands, even millions, of students, faculty, and staff at more than half of the nations colleges, 'business-as-usual became unthinkable. It was a mass uprising, embracing many more moderate than radical students; in consequence, the protests were overwhelmingly peaceful and legal, though by no means invariably so" (Peterson & Bilorusky, 1971, p. 1).

                            Iowa State students, "usually considered as conservative and apathetic," were among the many worldwide to react to the invasion (Bomb, 1971, p. 42).

                            The above factual and referenced information demonstrates an example of the massive uprisings on college campuses over the Vietnam War. Do we have such massive college campus based uprisings today concerning the Iraq War? On the numerous college and university campuses that I have visited the answer is a resounding NO!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Anyone relying on 'wikipedia' for "factual evidence and information" is sorely misquided.

                              I know of entries that state the sky is composed of gases emitted by faries when they digest mushrooms as "factual" and that the moon is made up of swiss cheese, also as "factual" and both have the evidence and numbers to back them up.

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