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Old 05-04-2004, 12:28 PM   #1
Lurikeen
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Default Points of No Return

Points of No Return

The Bush administration’s decisions in the Middle East are as irreversible as they are disastrous. But being president means never having to say you’re sorry

WEB-EXCLUSIVE COMMENTARY

By Christopher Dickey
Newsweek

Updated: 2:52 p.m. ET April 28, 2004April 28 - Ever since it became clear toward the end of 2001 that the Bush administration was headed for war with Iraq, I’ve been thinking about John O’Hara’s classic 1934 novel “Appointment in Samarra.” Although the title refers to a town north of Baghdad,* the story is actually about a Cadillac dealer in Pennsylvania. After a few too many drinks one Christmas eve, he makes a fatally stupid gesture, and nothing he can do afterward will retrieve the moment or stop the tragic series of events it sets in motion.

This administration is a lot like that Cadillac dealer, I’m afraid. You can see it trying to reverse course, struggling to back away from one rash misjudgment after another in the Middle East. But it can’t even begin to set things straight, and at this point I’m not sure anybody can. Among students of the region—in government and in think tanks, in the United States and around the world—there’s a rapidly accumulating sense of doom, and I use the word advisedly.

The open letter that 52 “former British ambassadors, high commissioners, governors and senior international officials” sent to Prime Minister Tony Blair earlier this week echoes the general sentiment among experts. “The time has come to make our anxieties public,” they say, begging Blair to bring the Bush administration to its senses, or back away from “policies which are doomed to failure.”

It’s obvious that many U.S. officials, and possibly the president himself, now understand how badly we’ve screwed up. But they keep coming up with yesterday’s solutions today, and those won’t work anymore. “The history of post-Saddam Iraq is one of successive, short-lived attempts by the U.S. to mold a political reality to its liking,” says a just-released report from the Brussels-based International Crisis Group. “With each false start and failed plan, realistic options for a successful and stable political transition have become narrower and less attractive.”

You know, it’s pretty disheartening to read about this stuff, and to write about it, too. Worst of all is to live it. I promise this will be the last litany of disaster for a while. But sometimes you’ve just got to look these grim realities in the face.

“The options available today are few and bad,” says the ICG, “a measure of the staggering misjudgments that have plagued U.S. post-war management from the start, and there is no guarantee that even these steps can stem Iraq's descent toward instability and civil war.” The essence of the ICG recommendations: more United Nations involvement, a quick convening of a national assembly after June 30, and a say for the new interim government in major military decisions.

But who’s going to do the fighting? The Americans, mainly, and some retreads from the Saddam Hussein era. After defeating, dissolving—and dissing—the Iraqi army and security services last May, the Bush administration now suddenly wants to bring them back to serve the occupation that has humiliated them for more than a year. Is this wise? Probably not. Is there an alternative? Probably not. When fighting picked up in Fallujah and Najaf earlier this month, about 40 percent of the hand-picked “new” security forces walked off the job rather than battle insurgents, and about 10 percent joined the rebels. The United States needs Iraqis who know how to interrogate, intimidate and kill their fellow countrymen. Saddam’s old officers certainly had those skills. But let’s not try to convince ourselves these guys are going to be our friends. And let’s just put aside the fantasy that we’re nurturing democracy.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4854960/
I think the writer of the above commentary is dead on. Just look at the latest screw up. Has Bush publicly apologized for the actions of Americans in Iraq? While it isn't his fault, I think as the Commander in Chief he should apologize for the behaviors of those soldiers. That is just a single example of a large pattern of mistakes made by the Bush administration, there about face, with no apologies or even admitting that a mistake was made.

I think Bush could do a lot better if he tried to put a human face on the administration. The chimp face is just getting too tedious to look at.
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:38 PM   #2
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Having the President apologize for the mistreatment the prisoners endured would be overkill, I think. It is not his responsibility. I do think someone senior in the CoC needs to step up and do so, though.

No two ways about it...those folks were WRONG. What they did was reprehensible and counter-productive. They shall be punished for their crimes, too. What pisses me off the most is that it makes good soldiers look bad and makes our job in Iraq that much harder. The civilians have enough reason to hate us without free incentive.

I do agree there has been/are some serious problems in Iraq..."War is hell..."
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:43 PM   #3
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The writer of that commentary is full of shit. 'Nuff said!!!!
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:50 PM   #4
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Inmountains, you convinced me!

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Old 05-04-2004, 01:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Felessan
Having the President apologize for the mistreatment the prisoners endured would be overkill, I think. It is not his responsibility.
Perhaps. I was using that only as an example. My point was that the administration has made a series of large mistakes, reversed course, and haven't explained to the American people why they were wrong to begin with, and when such reversals happen repeatedly with little to no explanation, then that sort of pattern is worriesome. Can't the Bush administration publicly accept responsibility for their mistakes?
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:04 PM   #6
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Point taken, Lurikeen.

As far as your question...who knows what "they" are thinking. IMO its still a bit early to admit defeat.
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:14 PM   #7
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I am not worried. If he is re-elected, we can still impeach him.
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Old 05-04-2004, 04:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Chiteng
we can still impeach him.
/derail

Like clinton yaay!

/derail off

J.

Edit: Impeachment is the process of charges being levied by congress EVEN IF he wasn't booted from office, he was still impeached. Some people don't know that.
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:14 PM   #9
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Oh no. Its the end of the world. RUN in circles everyone.
Whatever sells papers. At least there's a market
for liberal bs. Isn't America great?





God Bless America
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Old 05-04-2004, 05:26 PM   #10
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oped is fact
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:05 PM   #11
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Well, from what I understand, senators and reps are demanding the Pentagon answer before a panel and called this a "..horrible example of lack of discipline"

~ I don't honestly blame the admin for this... I am, however waiting to see wat will be done, althoughI also think the soldiers are being charged.
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by chukzombi
oped is fact
I clearly stated that the article was "commentary". Reading clearly should be a fact.
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:58 PM   #13
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Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.
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Old 05-04-2004, 08:49 PM   #14
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I have one
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Old 05-04-2004, 09:35 PM   #15
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You are one.
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Old 05-05-2004, 04:49 AM   #16
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Might as well check all the news sites, no?

http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:09 AM   #17
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Horm, I am not going to convince you, just as you are not going to convince me. So we just take turns taking pot shots at each other, calling each other names, trying to out do one another, etc..

To me, liberals will always be lazy, never have a back bone, never believe in absolutes, there is always a gray area in everything, be so open minded their brain leaks out, and generally expect the government to babysit them.

Us Conservatives want the government out of our lives as much as possible, believe in absolutes (ie. abortion is murder, plain and simple), belive in hard work and the rewards that hard work returns, and that there is GOOD and EVIL in the world, and that EVIL prevails when GOOD men do nothing.

Although there is one thing we do agree on Horm, SMOKING IS STUPID!!!!
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Old 05-05-2004, 06:46 AM   #18
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Political Op-Eds are the debil.

And opinions are like assholes...everyone has one..only difference is this guy has clout to get his published.
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:05 AM   #19
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I published my asshole once, but I was young and needed the money
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:07 AM   #20
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Heh..I think I've seen that website Horm...wasn't by chance...goatse was it?
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:07 AM   #21
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Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one.
And yet all of you think they don't stink.....
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:14 AM   #22
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I haven't met an asshole yet that didn't stink.

..then again..I don't spend a lot of time sniffing them..

not too big on the "Dirty Sanchez" myself...
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:35 AM   #23
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Bush is supposed to apologize on Middle Eastern radio today. You can't blame him for what a handful of soldiers viewed as entertainment.

Bush will be fine once he apologizes for those soldiers and lets the people know that he is outraged as well. Hopefully, he'll convince the majority of the Iraqi's that our military and our country should not be viewed in a negative manner because of a few bad eggs.
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Old 05-05-2004, 07:42 AM   #24
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He's already let the people know he's outraged. The quotes stated in the CNN article I linked, I heard him say on the news the other day. He was at a press conference on the White House lawn, I think after one of the 9/11 inquisitions when he commented about the incidents.

Edit: Well, they changed the link on me. The story I'd linked to was one they had this morning, before he appeared on Iraqi television, which quoted some statements Bush made about the tapes. Mainly what he said is that he was appalled and that these actions were not representative of what the US Military stood for, nor how they conducted themselves. Anyway, you get the gist.
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Old 05-05-2004, 09:05 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Caelie123
Bush is supposed to apologize on Middle Eastern radio today. You can't blame him for what a handful of soldiers viewed as entertainment.
Bush didn't apologize. You also missed where I wrote of a "pattern", I was using the treatment of the Iraqi prisoners as but one example.
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