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World & Current Events > Iraq campaign. Who calls the shots?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 14900 comments According to NY times, 4500 Americans perished in the campaign, which cost more than a trillion USD. Whatever were the causes therefor and whether they were justified or not (a contentious topic per se), the results are even more devastating, as the country is currently dominated by ..... Iran. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/15/wo...
Not sure anyone looked into the long run consequences, beyond just toppling Saddam. But if someone did, surely the current state would be the worst case scenario.
How did that happen? Can it be attributed to a very different approach between Democrats and Republicans in foreign policy (Bush invading, Obama withdrawing)? Lack of longrun planning? What do you think?


message 2: by Michel (last edited Jan 02, 2018 06:02AM) (new)

Michel Poulin Lack of long run planning was the biggest problem, as always with the Americans. Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty in that aspect, as they proved along decades of foreign meddling (bungling?) around the World. Their second biggest problem is their apparent incapacity to understand and analyze properly the thought process and motivations of anyone with a mindset and culture different to that of their own. Part of that second biggest problem is the belief by most Americans that THEIR system and THEIR way of doing things is always superior to everybody (American exceptionalism anyone? God, I hate those two words!).

Right now, the World and the U.S.A. should finally recognize that Iraq is a failed state that never should have existed in the first place. We can thank the British for forming a totally artificial state out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire at the end of the First World War, with no regards whatsoever to the ethnic map of the region. Iraq should and probably will eventually be split up into three new, more realistic and representative states: Kurdistan for the Kurds in the North, a central western state for the Sunni and a southern state for the shia. Any more efforts and expenses spent in trying to perpetuate the present failed state will eventually prove wasted in the long run.

The Vietnam War was another excellent example of lack of long term planning and inability to understand other cultures by the Americans. Another example was the Korean War ('the Chinese will not dare intervene' they said!). In Central and South America, you have a long and varied history of American meddling, with numerous bloody dictators/repressive regimes bolstered by the U.S.A., all in the name of 'fighting the expansion of communism'. So we ended up with the Somosa Regime in Nicaragua, the Chile, Guatemala and Argentinian military dictatorships, to name only a few.

Right now, we have an American President with the power to start a nuclear war who could be said to make foreign policy via tweets made late at night or early in the morning, after he listens to Fox News or Breitbart, or reads some tweets from others on the net. Will the U.S.A. be more logical and advised in its future foreign moves than before? I don't think so!


message 3: by Nik (last edited Jan 03, 2018 01:53AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 14900 comments Michel wrote: "American exceptionalism anyone?..."

To a degree, similar stuff is being promoted in Russia with emphasis on pan-Slavic unique civilization/Russian world, uniqueness, etc..
Some nations and individuals gravitate towards hegemony, while some others are content with equality...
Faulty decisions and/or executions, sometimes overbearing approach - yes, as errare humanum est, but certainly US aren't the bad guys on the planet


message 4: by Michel (new)

Michel Poulin I didn't say that the Americans were the bad guys on the planet, at least not intentionally. What I did say was that their lack of long term thinking and inability to understand/analyze other cultures make them first class bunglers who caused tremendous damage because of their incompetence in foreign affairs. As they say: Hell is paved with good intentions. Right now, I suspect that Donald Trump's infrastructure project will be mostly repaving Hell.

As for Russia, Putin is definitely no good guy and is centered on keeping and expanding his personal power. Does Putin care about the plight of the average Russian? I doubt it.


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10681 comments I think part of the problem is that Americans tend to see the future as falling into what they think it should fall into if the place was populated by Americans. Thus in Iraq they seemed to base their policy on the thought that the Iraqis would be so pleased to see Saddam fall they would all form a marvelous democracy and live happily ever after. Like most fairy stories, this was false, and not helped by the US decision to make sure that Haliburton, etc, made huge bucks out of rebuilding Iraq. (They made the bucks - whether they rebuilt anything is more up for discussion.)

They imagine the world will be as they think it should be, not as it is, while they overlook that not everyone wants the Haliburtons and the private sector security forces..


message 6: by Mehreen (last edited Jan 05, 2018 12:48AM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Edward Said had said that the Iraq war was a mistake and the country would descend into this kind of mess that it is today. Sadly, the scholar passed away from cancer before the war was over.

USA wants the world to dance to its tune, obviously, so they can play their dirty politics everywhere, just as Europe did when they colonised.


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10681 comments I think one of the contributing features was the defence research spending. Rumsfeld had all these new toys and he was aching for an excuse to use them. The Head of the Joint Chiefs had warned that the US would need about 600,000 troops. Rumsfeld assured everybody that was nonsense, and the US could easily roll the Iraqi army, and that General was fired. (I have forgotten his name, sorry.) So Rumsfeld had is way and they rolled the troops and in a sense Rumsfeld was right - the Iraqi army had no show. However, the other General was also right - his argument was those troops were needed to occupy Iraq and pacify it. The Bush administration seemed to have this idea that once they had marched all over Iraq it would be all over. Well, we all know that was dreaming, although in fairness their own natural clumsiness in totally ignoring the local culture did not help.


message 8: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Ian wrote: "I think one of the contributing features was the defence research spending. Rumsfeld had all these new toys and he was aching for an excuse to use them. The Head of the Joint Chiefs had warned that..."

Yes, Donald Rumsfeld was one of the major key players, when he himself was friends with the ME leaders in his younger days. However, I would blame Condoleezza Rice too for justifying the war. This is what happens when a country has a dumb president.


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 10681 comments Mehreen, your comment "This is what happens when a country has a dumb president." spoils my day. Exactly what have they got now???


message 10: by Mehreen (last edited Jan 05, 2018 04:26PM) (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Ian wrote: "Mehreen, your comment "This is what happens when a country has a dumb president." spoils my day. Exactly what have they got now???"

sorry to have spoilt you day, Ian. However, against my better judgement, I must say, Trump may show more restraint than George Bush.


message 11: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5776 comments Well, he's shown restraint with N. Korea so far, as have the presidents before him, who allowed things to progress this far.


message 12: by Mehreen (new)

Mehreen Ahmed (mehreen2) | 1911 comments Scout wrote: "Well, he's shown restraint with N. Korea so far, as have the presidents before him, who allowed things to progress this far."

Destiny!


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