Mothering Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,789 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, this actually <b>is not</b> intended as a place to dump on the admin. What I'm really looking for here are talking points when I'm discussing the situation with my father. He watches and reads the news way more than I do (he's retired and has been a news junkie all his life). And to be clear, not just Fox.<br><br>
He keeps talking about the progress we're making in Iraq.<br><br>
One example he brought up last night is that they have finally figured out a decent way to divide the oil in the country, which I admit sounds like a <b>huge</b> diplomatic step, which are definitely the signs we should be looking for. I have no idea what he's talking about, though.<br><br>
He also completely dismissed the notion that Patreas has said that there is no military victory. He didn't deny it but he insisted that no-one thinks there's a military-only victory and no-one is suggesting there is and that we are making diplomatic and "societal" gains (like the one mentioned above) that lead him to believe we can "win".<br><br>
He also insists that fewer people are being killed now than under Hussein.<br><br>
Anyway, I was pretty frustrated last night after talking to him, mainly at my own ignorance and inability to defend my own positions. Any ideas?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,628 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">He also insists that fewer people are being killed now than under Hussein.</td>
</tr></table></div>
This is not true, unless you spin it by counting all of the people killed in Iraq under Hussein (including from his war with Iran) and then holding that up against the total number of people who have been killed since we took over. Hundreds of people were not dying every week in Iraq under Saddam.<br><br>
If an Iraq was discussion comes down to something like "Saddam used to do this or that, so if you don't support the war, you are supporting Saddam doing this or that," then yes, there is no easy way to talk about the war.<br><br>
But aside from this, the Iraqi Central Government does not work; the people lack basic security; the physical standard of living has fallen considerably for everyone; the war has made the US weaker internationally (and in the Mideast as well for that matter, poorer domestically, and less safe overall); and the country is now engaged in a civil war that the United States cannot influence very much, much less win.<br><br>
Your father's point about the oil is a bad sign, unless he thinks that partition is a good sign. I would ask him that. I think that partition is a bad sign and so does the rest of Iraq.<br><br>
Although I would agree with your father that there is no simple military solution, I am not sure what your father means about diplomatic and social gains. Bush has not let up the pressure on Syria and Iran and we are still hearing sabre rattling about Iran in particular. The Saudis just a week ago or so called us idiots. If he means internal diplomacy between the factions, there have been signs that the factions are becoming more organized and unified internally (some Sunni groups are weeding out Al Qaeda, for example), but this too could be an organization precursor for a wider civil war.<br><br>
I guess I would go back to him and say, in terms of the daily life of the people, how is the Central Government getting stronger? How is security improving? How is the standard of living rising? How is it getting safer for our troops? Where are the surrounding countries (much less the citizens of Iraq themselves) saying that we are playing any sort of a positive role in the region?<br><br>
The place is not improving. It's getting worse. And we made it that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,789 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Unagidon</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7948877"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But aside from this, the Iraqi Central Government does not work; the people lack basic security; the physical standard of living has fallen considerably for everyone;</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I'll pick this point because I have brought this up specifically with him. I have said this. He says that is not true, in fact the opposite is true. For the majority of people (he claims), the basic standard of living is higher. More people have power now than had it before. More people have access to schools, etc than had them before. He concedes that there are small areas in Baghdad where it is worse but that for most people in Iraq it's better.<br><br>
I have no hard data about this and neither does he, so it's a stalemate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,277 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SirPentor</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7948380"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">One example he brought up last night is that they have finally figured out a decent way to divide the oil in the country, which I admit sounds like a <b>huge</b> diplomatic step, which are definitely the signs we should be looking for. I have no idea what he's talking about, though.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Frankly, I'm not sure if your father does either (no offense).<br><br>
The oil plan is just that and it is not looking like smooth sailing in the Iraq parliment.<br><br>
For one, PM al-Maliki has little to no juice:<br><br>
"Legislators from several parties told USA TODAY that al-Maliki lacks the support in parliament to push through laws, s<b>uch as a plan to distribute oil revenues</b>, that could reduce tensions between Sunnis and Shiites. Iraq's parliament has <span style="text-decoration:underline;">failed to pass major legislation</span> since a U.S.-led security <span style="text-decoration:underline;">plan began on Feb. 14</span>.<br><br>
"He is a weak prime minister," said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish legislator who supported al-Maliki until recently. "This government hasn't delivered and is not capable of doing the job. They should resign."<br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2007-04-24-maliki-iraq_N.htm" target="_blank">http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/i...iki-iraq_N.htm</a><br><br>
And the Kurds aren't really crazy about it....<br><br><b>Iraq's Kurds reject aspects of emerging oil</b><br><a href="http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/20070418/twl-uk-iraq-kurds-law-20a4dd5.html" target="_blank">http://uk.news.yahoo.com/rtrs/200704...w-20a4dd5.html</a><br><br>
and are making deals on their own....<br><br><b>Kurds Near Agreement with 15 Oil Companies</b><br><a href="http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/2064////" target="_blank">http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/2064////</a><br><br>
Recall that this oil agreement was finalized in the Iraqi cabinet back in February:<br><br><b>Iraqi cabinet agrees deal on sharing oil revenues</b><br><a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2022297,00.html" target="_blank">http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2022297,00.html</a><br><br>
But more than a month later the parliment has still not come to any agreement yet. And it is not like there hasn't been pressure for the last two years to come to some agreement on this dicey issue.<br><br>
In sum, not exactly a plum of an example on how swell Iraq has become since the invasion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,277 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SirPentor</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7949117"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'll pick this point because I have brought this up specifically with him. I have said this. He says that is not true, in fact the opposite is true. For the majority of people (he claims), the basic standard of living is higher. More people have power now than had it before. More people have access to schools, etc than had them before. He concedes that there are <b>small areas in Baghdad</b> where it is worse but that for most people in Iraq it's better.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
I am sorry, but it sounds like your father is making it up as he goes along. 'Small amounts of Baghdad'?! The point of the so-called Surge plan was to try to bring into control a very violent city!<br><br>
Furthermore, there was no refugee problem in Iraq on the scale that there is now:<br><br><b>Iraq refugee crisis: 40% of middle class believed to have fled crumbling nation</b><br><br>
"Iraq is in the throes of the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since the Palestinian exodus from Israel in 1948, a mass flight out of and within the country that is ravaging basic services and commerce, swamping neighboring nations with nearly 2 million refugees and building intense pressure for emigration to Europe and the United States, according to the United Nations and refugee experts."<br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/01/16/MNG2MNJBIS1.DTL" target="_blank">http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...NG2MNJBIS1.DTL</a><br><br><br><b>Chaos hastens Iraq brain-drain</b><br><br>
"Six months after the U.S. invasion, Esam Pasha, a 30-year-old Iraqi artist and writer, proudly painted a mural called "Resilience" over a giant portrait of Saddam Hussein on the wall of a government building.<br><br>
"Now he lives in the United States. Pasha is among hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been driven abroad since the war, many of them doctors, businessmen, academics and other professionals whose skills Iraq can ill-afford to lose."<br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/PAR930245.htm" target="_blank">http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/PAR930245.htm</a><br><br><br>
The standard of living?<br><br><b>Iraq needs extra $2-$2.5 bln a year for power</b><br><br>
"Power cuts are a daily occurrence, especially in the capital Baghdad, as a result of nearly three decades of war damage, poor maintenance because of sanctions and due to sabotage.<br><br>
"We rebuild and they destroy every day," Hasan said, referring to the sabotage attacks.<br><br>
"He said he was seeking to protect the country's power plants with security forces, including around 7,000 "power police," but added: "<span style="text-decoration:underline;">I can't secure the power transmission</span>."<br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L25722895.htm" target="_blank">http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L25722895.htm</a><br><br><br><b>Failing Infrastructure Causes Health Hazards</b><br><br>
"As violence continues to plague Iraq's capital, Baghdad, the city's infrastructure continues to deteriorate, causing more violence, health hazards and misery for its seven million inhabitants.<br><br>
"Our district hasn't had electricity for more than a year. Street lights have been long broken and not repaired, despite requests to the municipality," said Acram Rabia'a, a community leader in Dora, one of Baghdad's most populated districts.<br><br>
"Because of this , violence has increased. People are afraid to leave their houses in the evenings because of thieves and children who used to study at night have been forced to stop after some people tried to kill them," Rabia'a added.<br><br>
"In addition to darkness giving more cover for armed groups to operate, it makes it harder for municipal workers to carry out any work before sunrise or after sunset. And continual threats and murders by armed groups have driven many workers out of their jobs."<br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/2506/Failing_Infrastructure_Causes_Health_Hazards" target="_blank">http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php...Health_Hazards</a><br><br><br><b>Shortages in Doctors, Medicine and Facilities Plague Iraqi Health System</b><br><br>
"The violence engulfing Iraq is creating more patients than the country's strained health system can handle, and causing doctors to flee in fear of their lives.<br><br>
"More than $500 million of U.S. reconstruction funds have been spent on the health system, but shortages of medicine and equipped facilities persist as the security situation worsens.<br><br>
"Medical professionals have become easy targets for violence because of their good salaries and public positions. More than 2,000 doctors have been kidnapped or murdered since 2003 and 12,000 doctors have fled the country, according to the Brookings Institute Iraq Index."<br><br>
From:<br><a href="http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_coverage/middle_east/iraq/jan-june07/infrastructure_02-02.html" target="_blank">http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_...ure_02-02.html</a><br><br><br>
Seriously, are you sure your father is talking about Iraq?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,789 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks RD! If I get some sources from him I'll post them here and you can rip them apart<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,628 Posts
I'll add to RowansDad's the following:<br><br>
The basic infrastructure of Iraq was heavily damaged both in its war with Iran and with our war with Iraq in 1991. Due to the subesquent sanctions, it never recovered and it was in a deteriorated condition when we invaded them the last time (and smashed the power and communications grid once again).<br><br>
Starting from this low point, there are things that are pointed to that might create the impression that the standard of living has gone up since the invasion. One thing that has gone up are (certain kinds of) salaries, and you won't have to Google too far to find someone talking about how they made $2a month under Saddam and are making $200 a month now under Ibn Bush. But this does not take into account the fact that unemployment is very high, that prices are very high, and that under Saddam, things like food, energy, and housing were heavily subsidized by the state (as they are in any socialist country). The value of these things would have to be taken into account as well.<br><br>
You might ask your father to check out this article:<br><br><a href="http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/Iraq.pdf" target="_blank">http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/Iraq.pdf</a><br><br>
It's a Library of Congress profile of Iraq for the Congress. Lest your father think that this article is Democratic propoganda from the current Congress, you can reassure him that this is the pure and unbiased truth from the last (and I mean hopefully the last) Republican Congress, done in August of 2006.<br><br>
Here's a quote about the oil situation:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">However, since 2003 oil pipelines and installations have been sabotaged persistently, and in mid-2006 output had not regained pre-2003 levels.</td>
</tr></table></div>
Here's a quote about the energy situation:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">In 2006 Iraq had an estimated 5,000 megawatts of usable power-generating capacity, compared with 8,000 megawatts of demand. This discrepancy led to regular power outages, particularly in Baghdad, and to the importation of power from Iran and Syria. Although 98 percent of houses were connected to the power grid in 2005, for most customers electricity supply was extremely unreliable, and in 2006 factories received only 20 percent of the power needed to operate at full capacity. In 2005 plans called for the construction of several new power plants and restoration of existing plants and transmission lines to ease the blackouts and economic hardship caused by this shortfall, but sabotage and looting slowed expansion.</td>
</tr></table></div>
My point here (and it could be your point as well) is that whatever good is going on in Iraq, without security, none of it means jack. And over time, the Central Government has been less and less able to offer security. We have been less and less able to do this either. Until that happens, we can plan and spend (and brag) all we want. Someone could be living in the Cinderella suite in the Castle at Disney World, and if the grounds are held by guerillas and militias, you can't talk about a high standard of living.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,277 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Unagidon</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7949578"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My point here (and it could be your point as well) is that whatever good is going on in Iraq, without security, none of it means jack.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
A-freakin'-men.<br><br>
Be sure to check out this report on <i>60 Minutes</i> by CBS' Baghdad correspondent Lara Logan:<br><br>
"When Mahmud al Wadi <span style="text-decoration:underline;">gets ready to take his kids to school</span>, he says, "The first thing I prepare them, <i><b>I prepare my weapon of course</b></i>."<br><br>
"There couldn’t be a better metaphor for what it’s like living in Baghdad today: without his gun, Mahmud won’t even attempt the drive.<br><br>
"He calls ahead to friends and neighbors to make sure the roads are clear of danger. And he tells Logan he never goes the same way, changing his route every day.<br><br>
It's just a short drive, but he can never know how long it will take to get there. He cracks the window so he can hear if there's gunfire or mortars nearby. The day 60 Minutes went with him, they never made it to school – they didn’t even make it out of their neighborhood, because the military had blocked all the roads."<br><br>
More here:<br><a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/04/20/60minutes/main2710021.shtml" target="_blank">http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/...n2710021.shtml</a>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,800 Posts
You can read what the Iraqi people think about the situation (or at least what they did in 04) in great detail at <a href="http://www.iq.undp.org/ILCS/overview.htm" target="_blank">http://www.iq.undp.org/ILCS/overview.htm</a>
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top