Questions linger regarding Iraq conflict

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I am retired and subscribe to your paper, and read it daily, and I watch a news channel on television every day. I never claimed to be the most intelligent person in the world, and am probably going downhill in my later life.

That is why I am writing. I hope that you or some of your readers could help me with a couple of questions:

- I understand that in Iraq, Sunni insurgents are killing the Shias, and the Shiite death squads are killing the Sunnis. Recently I read Sen. Chuck Hagel's comments that the Sunnis also are killing al-Qaida operatives in Iraq. My understanding of our troops' mission is that they are supposed to kill Sunni insurgents, Shiite death squads and al-Qaida operatives. My question is: Why are we involved in this killing?

- About the leadership in Iraq: In the United States, candidates for president have no chance for election if they cannot raise millions of dollars for advertising and buying the endorsements that are required to win. How did Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki get elected? I know that millions of people voted, but how did they know whom to vote for? In the United States, we have excellent communications, and the candidates are still unsure if the electorate knows them or their opinions. In Iraq, this surely is not the case.

If your learned readers could answer these questions, I have more to ask.

Chuck Clark, Augusta

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JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/29/07 - 04:40 am
0
0
I can't give you a good

I can't give you a good answer to the 1st question, Mr Clark. President
Bush denied that there was a civil war taking place in Iraq for over 2
years after it was clear there was one because Bush had vowed not to
get our troops caught in the middle of any civil war. Recently, the
Pentagon declared that there is indeed a "civil war plus" in Iraq
meaning that there are many conflicts inside Iraq including a civil
(sectarian) war between Sunnis & Shias as well as insurgencies
against US & UK occupation troops, Al Qaeda terrorist operations,
and what the US terms "meddling" by outside forces including Iran. Iraq
is an intriguing place to say the least. This is a complex confict.
There are also strict formal definitions of what characterize "civil
war" similiar to what "the meaning of is is". About your 2nd question.
Iraq had many established political movements even during Saddam's
rule. He never completely eliminated Shia political parties. Most of
the candidates for electoral office used their established political
base to raise the necessary funds to run a campaign. That limited
serious candidates for Prime Minister to those with money & connections
and necessitated a coalition govt

patriciathomas
43
Points
patriciathomas 05/29/07 - 05:43 am
0
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Mr. Clark, don't pay any

Mr. Clark, don't pay any attention to anything JohnRandolphHardisonCane says. He's certifiably insane. With the declining intelligence you claim, you may be influenced by his convoluted reasoning and general blathering. The war in Iraq is an ongoing effort that has evolved over the past four years. There's not enough room to bring you up to date here, but suffice it to say that Iraq is part of the effort against Islamic terrorism. Chuck Hagel is trying to feather his inner-Beltway power by siding with the democrat party and will say pretty much anything to gain favors within the senate. He's not a very realistic source of information. As far as the second part of you letter goes, money is power in every country in the world.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/29/07 - 06:38 am
0
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Mr Clark, I suspect that you

Mr Clark, I suspect that you are anything but in mental decline, so I'll leave it up to you whether I am informed, accurate, informative, and better answer your questions or whether patriciathomas does. The United States military is in Iraq ostensibly to train Iraqi troops so they can and will "stand up" and defend the US-puppet government of Iraq. President Bush has said "when they stand up, we will stand down" and that US troops are in Iraq to ensure a stable government that can "defend itself, sustain itself, and govern itself". It is now more than 4 years & 2 months since United States effected "regime change" in Iraq. President Bush has NEVER foresworn permanent US military bases in Iraq. In fact, US military and government officials have spoken of a "decades long" US involvement in Iraq. So United States troops and special operations forces (see today's NY Times) are involved in killing ANYONE who opposes the US occupation of Iraq or threatens in any way the US-puppet government in Iraq. At least 85% of Iraqis want the US out of Iraq and 61% think it is legitimate to attack US & UK occupation troops to get them out. Bush invaded for oil, bases, Israel, & US regional hegemony.

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 05/29/07 - 07:52 am
0
0
Just to help you decide "who

Just to help you decide "who to believe" here's a few things you should know. Mr. Cain believes that when Iraq fires AAA at our millitary aircraft, that these actions don't constitute an attack. Mr. Cain believes that both President Bush and President Clinton are guilty of War Crimes, but that only President Bush should be brought up on charges. Mr. Cain believes that sarin gas and the weapons to deliver them are not WMD.---Just a few titbits of info for you.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/29/07 - 08:13 am
0
0
You are putting your

You are putting your distorted words in my mouth, kpc. It is too late to impeach President Clinton. They tried & failed. I'm not sure about the statute of limitations on war crimes. IANAL, so I trust The World Court on that issue. President George W. Bush can still be impeached & should be IMO. He has used legal maneuvers to make himself and members of his "administration" immune from war crimes charges by the World Court body. AFAIC Bush should be impeached, tried, convicted, removed from office, exiled to Crawford, & banished from public life. Now, if you want to pursue your niggling arguments that firing on US planes somehow justies the US war in Iraq - be my quest. At least Clinton's efforts in Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, and Kosovo paid off & not one US peacekeeper has been killed by hostile fire in Bosnia or Kosovo AFAIK. Furthermore, if you want to ignore the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission & the findings of US Iraq Survey experts David Kay and Charles Duelfer that Saddam possessed no stockpiles of WMD - believe whatever crackpot theories you like. I'm arguing with facts & with conclusions reached by experts. Saddam Hussein was NEVER a threat to United States & Bush knew it

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 05/29/07 - 08:22 am
0
0
See what I mean. LOL

See what I mean. LOL

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 05/29/07 - 08:37 am
0
0
Interesting that Cain finds

Interesting that Cain finds that the firing of artillary at our millitary planes to be niggling or petty. I doubt the pilots felt the same. Not a surprising point of view from someone who holds nothing but contempt for the millitary. I guess your experts are better than my experts again....Again, no surprise from Cain.

bone
24
Points
bone 05/29/07 - 08:43 am
0
0
i have never understood the

i have never understood the lack of wmd's being reported by any official. i don't want to spread rumor, but my reliable source told me face-to-face that army records indicate large stockpiles of sarin found in many locations. no, there wasn't a convenient central depot; but the amounts found certainly indicated an attempt to stockpile this weapon. my source has served (and is currently serving another tour) in iraq and is one of the people responsible for handling army communications & data.

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 05/29/07 - 08:53 am
0
0
I guess the National Ground

I guess the National Ground Intelligence Center has no experts, since they reported that they have found over 500 canisters with degraded sarin. (degraded means not full strength, it doesn't mean useless)

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
13762
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 05/29/07 - 08:56 am
0
0
WMD's were there and they had

WMD's were there and they had more than adequate warning to hide it, just look in Syria.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/29/07 - 09:16 am
0
0
Again you put your twisted

Again you put your twisted words in my mouth, kpc. I said YOUR NIGGLING
ARGUMENT... I put the adjective before the noun I want to modify. I
think you are insane if you attempt to justify the U.S. war in Iraq (up
to $2 trillion in long-term costs and 3464 US lives to date) because
Saddam shot at US planes in the no-fly zone with either AAA or SAMS. It
just don't make no sense. I see the crackpots are out in force with
their "the WMD are in Syria" and other harebrained theories. I also
love the "a guy I know told me they found stockpiles of sarin gas".
That is called a testimonial. It is used to sell snake oil to suckers.
It does not constitute evidence or proof. A guy codenamed "Curveball" was the sole Iraqi informer who said Saddam had nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. He was the ONLY source AND German Intelligence warned the U.S. that Curveball was not reliable. We went to war on what that "guy" told somebody he had seen with his own eyes.

t of i
25
Points
t of i 05/29/07 - 09:45 am
0
0
From the NY Sun, May

From the NY Sun, May 29,2007:
Dave Gaubatz corroborates Gen. Sada
Reader comment on: Iraq's WMD Secreted in Syria, Sada Says
Submitted by M. A. Allen, May 22, 2007 18:59

Dave Gaubatz is another reliable source worth considering.

Between March and July 2003, he says, he was taken to four sites in southern Iraq — two within Nasariyah, one 20 miles south and one near Basra — which, he was told by numerous Iraqi sources, contained biological and chemical weapons, material for a nuclear programme and UN-proscribed missiles. He was, he says, in no doubt whatever that this was true.

This was, in the first place, because of the massive size of these sites and the extreme lengths to which the Iraqis had gone to conceal them. Three of them were bunkers buried 20 to 30 feet beneath the Euphrates. They had been constructed through building dams which were removed after the huge subterranean vaults had been excavated so that these were concealed beneath the river bed. The bunker walls were made of reinforced concrete five feet thick.

‘There was no doubt, with so much effort having gone into hiding these constructions, that something very important was buried there', says Mr Gaubatz. By speaking to a wide range of Iraqis, some of whom risked their lives by talking to him and whose accounts were provided in ignorance of each other, he built up a picture of the nuclear, chemical and biological materials they said were buried underground.

‘They explained in detail why WMDs were in these areas and asked the US to remove them,' says Mr Gaubatz. ‘Much of this material had been buried in the concrete bunkers and in the sewage pipe system. There were also missile imprints in the area and signs of chemical activity — gas masks, decontamination kits, atropine needles. The Iraqis and my team had no doubt at all that WMDs were hidden there.'

There was yet another significant piece of circumstantial corroboration. The medical records of Mr Gaubatz and his team showed that at these sites they had been exposed to high levels of radiation.

JohnRandolphHardisonCain
576
Points
JohnRandolphHardisonCain 05/29/07 - 10:08 am
0
0
From Wikipedia: Stoll has

From Wikipedia: Stoll has characterized the NY Sun's political orientation
as "right-of-center," and an associate of Conrad Black predicted in
2002 that the paper would be "certainly neoconservative in its views."
Editor-in-chief Lipsky describes the agenda of the paper's prominent
op-ed page as "limited government, individual liberty, constitutional
fundamentals, equality under the law, economic growth ... standards in
literature and culture, education." The NY Sun's roster of columnists
includes many prominent conservative writers, including William F.
Buckley, Jr., Michael Barone, Daniel Pipes, and Mark Steyn. // The NY Sun
is "known for its pugnacious coverage of Jewish-related issues"; in
particular, it is "a strong proponent of Israel's right to defend
itself." It has published articles by pro-Israel reporter Aaron Klein.
// The paper courted controversy in 2003 with an unsigned February 6
editorial arguing that protestors against the Iraq war should be
prosecuted for treason.

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 05/29/07 - 10:20 am
0
0
t of i: Most likely Cain will

t of i: Most likely Cain will find no credibility in any story from the NY Sun as it is likely that it is only the NY Times he believes. You know "All the News That is Fit To Print" (when it suits them). It's an incredible story and, if true, why has it been four years since anyone has heard about this? An MSM cover-up of mass proportions? Even I would find that hard to believe.

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 05/29/07 - 10:22 am
0
0
Well, I guess I was right.

Well, I guess I was right.

t of i
25
Points
t of i 05/29/07 - 10:26 am
0
0
It doesn't take a rocket

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the Sun is considerably to the right of center. I'm more interested in the veracity of what they printed. Is it a lie re WMD and Saddam?

t of i
25
Points
t of i 05/29/07 - 10:29 am
0
0
By the way, I found the

By the way, I found the article in a quick 5 minute search for Saddam and weapons of mass distruction on dogpile.com. Today was the first time I have ever read anything from the NY Sun.

bone
24
Points
bone 05/29/07 - 10:31 am
0
0
sorry i can't be more

sorry i can't be more specific about my crackpot source, cain. i am uncomfortable enough revealing that he is currently on his second tour in iraq. he was on patrol several times when stockpiles were found and, in his role as a comm. officer, monitored many other such findings. would you like me to give you his name? not sure what good it would do you anyway since your sources are much more credible than mine. i always believe what i read from media outlets (not).

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 05/29/07 - 10:37 am
0
0
When edotor-in-chief Lipsky

When edotor-in-chief Lipsky promotes all the values that the NY Sun believes in as stated in Cain's missive of 11:08, then I want to shake his hand and say thank you. Imagine the gall of Israel wanting the right to defend itself..... Funny thing too, I read everything Buckley, Barone and Steyn writes, I even subscribe to Daniel Pipes newsletter. i

johnsmith
9
Points
johnsmith 05/29/07 - 10:45 am
0
0
Per the United Nations

Per the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection
Commission report of 28 May 2004 (
http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/new/documents/quarterly_reports/s-2004-4...),
the IAEA found proscribed Iraqi missiles with the UN inspection tags
still on them, in a scrap yard in the Netherlands. The tags were on
these missiles prior to March 2003 (the report does not specify when)
and indicate that, in spite of Hussein's efforts to hide them, kick out
inspectors, etc., etc., he had proscribed weapons that far exceeded in
range and destructive power what the UN (not the US, not Bush, but Kofi
Anan & Co.) agreed to. The fact that they were found intact in the
Netherlands indicates to anyone who believes in _real_ reality (not
theoretical reality, which is so much more comfy) that Hussein did not
destroy those missiles. The missile fields outside of Baghdad show up
on satellite photos from mere days before the invasion; UN border
checkpoints were not permitted to _inspect_ cargo leaving Iraq during
the invasion--they only weighed the trucks. It's not unreasonable to
assume that he got rid of them b/c he feared tough questions after the
invasion.

johnsmith
9
Points
johnsmith 05/29/07 - 10:52 am
0
0
That URL doesn't all fit...it

That URL doesn't all fit...it ends in "quarterly_reports/s-2004-435.pdf" Re: the war was for oil. Prior to the invasion of Kuwait, Hussein was a US ally against Iran. Iraq (then as now) supplied almost no oil to the US, Japan being a major market. If our only interest were the oil, Bush Sr. could've clapped Hussein on the back, congratulated him on moving up in the world, and encouraged US oil co's to sign big new contracts with Hussein. If oil were the issue, George W. could have let things go on in Iraq as they had been going, let Kofi Anan lie about his own committees' reports, let the Democrats "win one" and declared Iraq in compliance with UN directives. Once again, folks: the entire Iraq enconomy was worth about $25bn/year prior to the first Gulf War. Those who claim that Republicans are all about big business have to ask themselves how long the republicans would _last_ in business if they make it habit to spend $400bn+ to get $25bn per year... It's about not subjecting the world to crazy, violent people with big bank accounts, folks.

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 05/29/07 - 11:07 am
0
0
Cain's MO will never change.

Cain's MO will never change. His sources are good, and yours are bad. He says that the NY Sun isn't reliable in the same post that he cites Wickipedia....a source that anyone with a computer can make entries into. So my argument is niggling, But for Cain to day after day accuse the President of lieing is not? When the president makes it to the end of his term with no impeachment, do you expect he will leave him alone? Doubtful. But what can you expect from someone who thinks that daily shooting at our millitary craft is not a cause for war. Do they have to actually kill the pilots first? Check yesterday's Memorial Day posts by Cain if you want to see how he holds the millitary in contempt.

jack234
857
Points
jack234 05/29/07 - 11:24 am
0
0
I have asked on several

I have asked on several occassions for some-one to please tell me what conservative republican principes Bush, Mcain, senators from Ga, Graham, et al have abandoned? No one has answered-I guess I have to go to CAIN to get an answer. Are there no conservative republicans out there who can answer this?

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 05/29/07 - 11:41 am
0
0
jack....perhaps if you ask

jack....perhaps if you ask whoever said that they abandoned the conservative republican principles. I've seen all 3 of them make decisions that I feel are a little "outside of the lines" but nothing that takes them from the core. I could be alone here, but I don't have an answere for you.

ruleoflaw
260
Points
ruleoflaw 05/29/07 - 11:50 am
0
0
JRHC, I just had to chime

JRHC,

I just had to chime in.......You said "It is too late to impeach President Clinton. They tried & failed." I would like to know where you get your info, because Clinton was impeached! He and Johnson share the distinction. It is these kind of statements which cause us to laugh at your arguments. Please share with us your bounty of knowledge on why Clinton was not impeached.

t of i
25
Points
t of i 05/29/07 - 11:54 am
0
0
Cain is awfully quiet.

Cain is awfully quiet. Perhaps the NY Sun has sent him scrambling for rebuttal.

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 05/29/07 - 11:54 am
0
0
Here comes the backpedaling.

Here comes the backpedaling.

_kpc_
22
Points
_kpc_ 05/29/07 - 11:56 am
0
0
t of i....I'll save you the

t of i....I'll save you the wait. "My blog is right, your's is wrong! My information comes from experts!"

ruleoflaw
260
Points
ruleoflaw 05/29/07 - 11:59 am
0
0
Jack234, Amnesty and failure

Jack234,
Amnesty and failure to protect our borders is one recent example of Bush, Isaakson, and Chambliss leaving conservative principles. Gross overspending, circumventing privacy laws with the Patriot Act are a few more. Most, if not all Republicans are not conservative of the kind 50 years ago. The biggest difference between Repubs and Demos recently is the issue of taxes and how they are collected. There is definitely room for a third party of the conservative ilk. Repubs are the new moderate party.

t of i
25
Points
t of i 05/29/07 - 12:14 pm
0
0
kcp, he will never be that

kcp, he will never be that succinct.

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