Even Senator Lugar questioning Iraq strategy now

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And committee chairman Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., who voted for funding the Iraq operation, said to Rice, “Let’s say that the Iraqis, after all is said and done, really don’t want to have a united country…. Some Americans would say, ‘why are we there, if these folks not only don’t appreciate us, but they’re hashing the whole thing up, they literally don’t want to have the sort of Iraq that was envisioned by the British and French years ago?’”

Both Lugar and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., suggested to Rice that what she and Bush are trying to achieve — a unitary, multi-ethnic, democratic Iraq — may simply not be feasible.

I found this quote about Lugar on USAToday.com

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Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., agreed with the Bush administration’s stay-the-course approach but said there are legitimate questions to ask about the future.

I cannot imagine a good argument to the effect that we should just jump ship, and who in the gov’t thinks we should? But isn’t “staying the course” compatible with “having an exit strategy”?

Lugar’s wrong about a lot of things, but I recognize that he is a conservative with integrity. Good golly, it’s sort of weird saying that. How much the playing field has shifted. Or rather - how much the present admin has shifted things. I do hope that the Lugars and McCains and Powells can take back their party.

More of that internal split for ya, Mike:

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Senators Say Miers’ Answers Inadequate
AP - 2 hours, 10 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - The senators in charge of Harriet Miers’ confirmation are demanding more information from her before hearings begin, one describing the Supreme Court nominee’s answers so far as “incomplete to insulting.” Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and senior Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont agreed Wednesday to begin Miers’ hearings on Nov. 7, but also jointly sent a letter to the White House counsel asking her to more fully answer a questionnaire she turned in Tuesday.

The quote I cited is consistent with the USAToday quote, i.e., don’t go off on your liberal bias rant. Plus I actually provided what Lugar said.

Quote (Mr Soul @ Oct. 20 2005,02:15)
Both Lugar and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., suggested to Rice that what she and Bush are trying to achieve — a unitary, multi-ethnic, democratic Iraq — may simply not be feasible.[/quote]

Mike,
I rarely comment on political matters, particularly as I'm British and have lived in the Middle East for 8 years. However, the last statement is the closest you will get to the truth of the Iraqi situation. Iraq is a country of warring factions who are unlikely to be able to work together. When all of this blew up, a Palestinian working here in Dubai said to me " The only person who can hold Iraq together is a viscious, iron-fisted dictator called Saddam Hussein" That, I think, is the sad truth of the situation.
Unless the US is prepared to stay the course for a long time, what George Bush has given Iraq is more likely to be Anarchy than Democracy.
Sad but True!
Ian

Quote (Mr Soul @ Oct. 19 2005,18:47)
The quote I cited is consistent with the USAToday quote, i.e., don’t go off on your liberal bias rant. Plus I actually provided what Lugar said.

I’m not the one who rants around here. Your thread title didn’t give the whole picture. Lugar only seems to be questioning a hypothetical situation, not Bush’s entire strategy in Iraq. It would be helpful if you provided a source for your quote.

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I’m not the one who rants around here.

That’s a laugh.

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Your thread title didn’t give the whole picture. Lugar only seems to be questioning a hypothetical situation, not Bush’s entire strategy in Iraq.

Sure but that hypothetical situation was key to his questioning & arguments. He was definitely questioning Bush’s strategy - surely you can see that?

Ian - you’re dead on. History has shown us numerous times that the only thing holding warring factions together is a strong-arm ruler. Saddam was that ruler. You can’t just create a Democracy by holding an election & voting in a Consitution. Of course, that’s the first step, but it would have never happened if the US hadn’t forced it to happen.

The sacred US almost split apart during the Civil War. H*ll, it may have another one if things keep going they way they are right now.

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You can’t just create a Democracy by holding an election & voting in a Consitution.


Sure you can. We did it here about 230 years ago… we did not have factions basically warring against each other though. I think getting all those factions in Iraq to the table to talk was the idea. A democratic, free Iraq may or may not happen but at least they have been given the chance to try. Would Saddam have offered such? NO. He had a nasty habit of making groups of people he did not like disappear. He’s a nutcase and I hope he will get what he deserves.

TG
Quote (gtr4him @ Oct. 20 2005,12:09)
You can't just create a Democracy by holding an election & voting in a Consitution.


Sure you can. We did it here about 230 years ago... we did not have factions basically warring against each other though. I think getting all those factions in Iraq to the table to talk was the idea. A democratic, free Iraq may or may not happen but at least they have been given the chance to try. Would Saddam have offered such? NO. He had a nasty habit of making groups of people he did not like disappear. He's a nutcase and I hope he will get what he deserves.

TG
And we also accepted (and had reason to accept) the idea of a separation of church and state, and a split between the public and private spheres more generally.

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Sure you can. We did it here about 230 years ago…

That’s alittle simplistic don’t you think TG? There was a lot more to creating our democracy than just having an election.

Don’t get me wrong, I fully agree with you about Saddam, but that’s not the issue.

I suppose so. I like things to be simple. :)

Toms point kind of gets to the crux of the Iraq issue IMO. Four or five fanatical religious groups trying to get along and form a Democratic government? Eh, I dunno if that is even remotely possible. First, they are going to have to WANT it. Second, there will have to be compromises. Fanatics don’t like compromise…

Quite the conundrum eh?

TG

Sounds like they really need a dictator to straighten things out.

Quote (Mr Soul @ Oct. 20 2005,12:42)
Sure you can. We did it here about 230 years ago...

That's alittle simplistic don't you think TG? There was a lot more to creating our democracy than just having an election.

Don't get me wrong, I fully agree with you about Saddam, but that's not the issue.
To add to the point, our democracy was challenged by civil war within 100 years of its formation, not to mention the federal government asserting a policy of oppression against internal warring factions (American Indian tribes). How many American lives have been lost on native soil in domestic conflict to get our way of life to where it is today??

Alot, but my comment about the Civil War wasn’t meant that I was comparing our CW to the situation in Iraq. My comment about the Civil War was meant to point out that even our system almost ruptured apart.

We created a Democracy in the US because alot of factors were ripe for it & alot of things came together at the right time.

IMO - it’s a lofty goal to create Democracies all over the world, but I’m skeptical that we can do it in Iraq. If it happens great, but how much are we willing to pay for it? Will we be any safer if Iraq becomes a Democracy? Unlikely, because Iraq wasn’t really a threat & the whole Middle East must follow suit for us to really be safe.

Quote (Mr Soul @ Oct. 20 2005,14:18)
Alot, but my comment about the Civil War wasn’t meant that I was comparing our CW to the situation in Iraq. My comment about the Civil War was meant to point out that even our system almost ruptured apart.

Notice I wasn’t directly replying to your comment about the civil war, but making my own point. The establishment and growth of this country required tremendous difficulty and losses of life.

Quote (Mr Soul @ Oct. 20 2005,14:18)
We created a Democracy in the US because alot of factors were ripe for it & alot of things came together at the right time.

Some things came together, but other factors were excluded from the society at large, such as slaves and Native Americans. A price was paid later.

Quote (Mr Soul @ Oct. 20 2005,14:18)
IMO - it’s a lofty goal to create Democracies all over the world, but I’m skeptical that we can do it in Iraq. If it happens great, but how much are we willing to pay for it? Will we be any safer if Iraq becomes a Democracy? Unlikely, because Iraq wasn’t really a threat & the whole Middle East must follow suit for us to really be safe.

There was a time not so long ago when it was doubtful that capitalism or democracy could be introduced into Russia or China, but slowly changes have emerged. With a little patience, some good things could happen in Iraq to help reduce the volatility of the entire region. The progress so far has been extremely remarkable. Initially, there was really no reason to believe that Saddam would have even been removed from power by now, much less for Iraq to politically be where it is at today.

Point taken ex Bat-dude. The key to where I was headed with this the fact that we WANTED a Democracy. Sure there were problems. The history of the US is full of stuff I’m not too proud of myself… the way whites treated the Native Indians, slavery, the Civil War etc…

I really ain’t too proud of our current state of affairs as well but I ain’t stupid enough to run around yelling that it’s all Dubyah’s fault or DOWN with Republicans or… you get the idea.

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The progress so far has been extremely remarkable. Initially, there was really no reason to believe that Saddam would have even been removed from power by now, much less for Iraq to politically be where it is at today.


I agree… I just hope we hang in there with them and help them through this THEN get the heck out. We have plenty of problems at home.

TG

The Civil War changed American way of life. Hmmm, maybe we need to fight it again!

Don’t know if you’ve noticed how our society shuns the poor people of our own nation. Children and elderly are the biggest minority in the States. Can anyone name a good thing our society has given us since Civil War? Don’t say stopped slavery cause that is just a big hoax. It hasn’t stopped, take a look around yourself. Open your eyes to see how slavery in the States still goes on in todays most excellant society. We tried to obliterate the true Americans, the Native Americans! Yes we are such a great society. Whens the last time ya stopped and bought a meal for a starving American? Not donate to some charity that has mega employees salaries and CEO’s ripping of your donated dollars. Actually stopping and one on one helping someone out?
Nah, we’re too interested in Dems and Repubs to notice the real problems with American society! :angry:

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Toms point kind of gets to the crux of the Iraq issue IMO. Four or five fanatical religious groups trying to get along and form a Democratic government? Eh, I dunno if that is even remotely possible.


Do you think your use of the word “fanatical” is really justifed there Tim?

Or is it just that the word “devout” only applies to one’s own religion, but “fanatical” applies to that of others? :)

But I know what you mean there Ian. Look at northern Ireland; Catholics and Protestants slaughtering each other for generations, and this is in a so called “enlightened western democracy”.

And not only is the Shiite and Sunni division as big as the Catholic/Protestant one, but you’ve also got the racial and cultural divisions too.

But isn’t bigotry a wonderful thing?

I remember the late 50’s and the first coloured family came to town, from India it was.

They bought a small grocery shop, but no one would shop there. No would speak to them or even acknowledge their existence.

But they were talked about, continually.

It was known that they were Hindus, but the big unknown was, "were they Catholic Hindus or Protestant Hindus?"

Back then and there, you were either a Catholic or a Protestant, no other option. My mother was a total atheist all her life, but she was a Protestant atheist! LOL

It governed every aspect of everyone’s life. It determined which school you went to, who your friends were, who you dated, (god forbid you marry someone of the other religion!). It determined which football team you supported, where you worked, who you socialised with. Everything. And I suppose, on those rare occasions you went to church, it determined that too. But religion was nothing to do with god, it was about culture, politics, history, “us and them”.

There wasn’t much hostility between the two groups. Yeah, the kids fought each other occasionally, but women would chat politely to each other while shopping and men would exchange chat in the pub, but that’s about as far as it went.

So, throughout the summer the town waited with baited breath.

Then, come autumn and the start of the autumn school term, the family’s kids appeared at the state school (i.e., the “Protestant” school).

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The family’s place in the town was now known; who they were was now clear.

That poor family. They must have spent the summer thinking they were being ostracised because of their colour. And then all of sudden, half of the town is treating them with cool but respectful politeness, and the other half is treating them as if they were long lost cousins! LOL

God bless religion! :D