War in Iraq - You've Got It All Wrong
July 2, 2004
The liberals like to say that Iraq is a failure. Some Conservatives
say that things aren’t going "as good as we had hoped." We can’t
expect liberals to look at the facts and form honest opinions, but the
view from some Conservatives is puzzling. I’ve grown tired of hearing
how terrible things are from the liberals, and I’ve grown equally
tired of the silence coming from Conservatives in response.
So I ask you, what is it that makes Iraq a failure? What makes Iraq
not as "good as we’d hoped?" What makes Iraq anything less than an
Surely one wouldn’t argue that Iraq is sub par on the basis of
accomplishments. Since the beginning of the war in March 2003, we’ve
vaccinated 3 million children, renovated 2,356 schools, printed and
distributed 8.7 million revised math and science textbooks, had
generated 4,518 MW of power by October 6 (surpassing the pre-war level
of 4,400 MW), put 4.62 trillion new Iraqi dinars into circulation,
Captured the former dictator who now stands trial, killed his two
sons, helped form and recently present a sovereign nation. Just to
name a few.
No, it can’t be the accomplishments that has everyone frowning.
Perhaps the military operation itself is the source of your disdain?
How so? It took eighteen days for our forces to capture the airport
and topple the leadership in Baghdad. Twenty three days later, on
April 28, some 300 prominent Iraqis met in Baghdad under US direction
to convene a national conference to create an interim government.
Three days later, on May 1, major combat operations were declared over
by President Bush. It’s worth noting that combat operations and being
attacked by terrorists while handing out food and rebuilding schools
are two different things. It is factually accurate to call the
military operations in Iraq the most successful in the history of the
That leaves one other issue. The casualties. Before we dive into the
issue of casualties, I’d like to say that I don’t wish to trivialize a
single military death. All of the men and women that have died during
their service to our country, no matter how their deaths came about,
are highly respected and honored.
During the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom there were 600
deaths. There were also 48 deaths during that same time period under
Operation Enduring Freedom. The total is then 648 total hostile and
no hostile casualties during the first year of combat. 648 sounds
like a great number, until you observe the past number of Military
deaths. I’ve made the following table to illustrate the number of
deaths caused by accidents or illnesses since 1992.
YEAR ACCIDENTS ILLNESSES TOTAL
1992 676 252 928
1993 632 221 853
1994 544 206 750
1995 538 174 712
1996 527 173 700
1997 433 170 603
1998 445 168 613
1999 436 149 585
2000 400 124 524
2001 422 175 597
2002 538 178 716
I made this table by using information obtained from the Department
of Defense. You can access this information and more here:
The average number of deaths by accident or illness over the above
10 years is 689 per year. During the first year of combat in Iraq
the number of deaths was 648. In short, you’re more likely to die
from an accident or an illness in the military than you are from a
"quagmire" in Iraq.
I’d like to know what I missed. Is there something else that makes you
feel like Iraq is anything less than an astounding success? If so, let
me know. If not, do the right thing and set the ignorant among us
"It's Morning in America and the Left curses the light,
and longs for an Age of Darkness" - Forum post
Now you've done it. This is only going to piss off the Bush bashers. Oh,
sure, it SOUNDS like good stuff, but where are the weapons of mass
destruction!! Huh? Huh? Sure Iraq is well on its way with its interim
government, but the neolibbies are going to focus only on that phrase
"under US direction" and claim it's merely a 'puppet government' no matter
what the truth is.
> War in Iraq - You've Got It All Wrong
> I'd like to know what I missed. Is there something else that makes
> you feel like Iraq is anything less than an astounding success?
Of course! Bush is in charge! He isn't allowed to have a success in the
eyes of the neolibbies.
> If so, let me know. If not, do the right thing and set the
> ignorant among us straight.
Sorry. You can lead a neolib to knowledge but you can't make him think.
Metaphors bewitch you
How the feelings of the world have changed towards Bush's America.
This was not an honorable war to be proud of.
It was built on Bush's lies and deception.
When I see a soldier in town, I don't look at him in the same way any more.
To me, he is one of Bush's Oil Raiders.
When I pass the Army Office, it seems to smell.
But I notice that there's no soldiers in there any more.
Any article that has the words "liberals like to say" or "conservatives like
to say" in the first sentence, is not going to be very objective. It points
out only successes while ignoring failures. It tries to make a case that
the war in Iraq is a success because of the humanitarian successes. If our
objective was to save lives, improve the standard of living, and bring
freedom to a country, we could have done that far easier and far cheaper in
any one of a dozen or more countries in Africa. But clearly our objective
was to address what was claimed to be a "clear and imminent danger" to the
people of the US. I was never convinced of this argument, even when members
of congress on both sides of the isle were supporting the Iraq invasion. As
it turns out, Saddam was not a "clear and imminent danger" to the US. So
you can't really claim victory when the basis for your war is false.
> Perhaps the military operation itself is the source of your disdain?
> How so? It took eighteen days for our forces to capture the airport
> and topple the leadership in Baghdad.
A year later, the airport still can't be used for ordinary flights due
to almost daily mortar attacks. Insurgents have hit planes on several
occasions, forcing them to land. This rarely gets reported.
Lots of luck getting those troops OUT. Air? Overland to Kuwait? The
insurgents will have a field day.
'The liberation of Baghdad is not far away'
By Alix de la Grange
Editor's note: Coordinated attacks and skirmishes in several Iraqi
on Thursday killed at least 66 people and wounded more than 250.
people were killed in a series of car bomb blasts in the northern city
Mosul and 216 wounded. Fighting in al-Anbar province, where there were
clashes in Fallujah and Ramadi, killed at least nine people and wounded
and fighting around Baquba killed 13 and wounded 15.
BAGHDAD - On the eve of the so-called transfer of sovereignty to the new
Iraqi caretaker government on June 30, former Saddam Hussein generals
turned members of the elite of the Iraqi resistance movement have
their clandestine positions for a while to explain their version of
and talk about their plans. According to these Ba'ath officials, "the
battle" in Iraq is yet to take place.
"The Americans have prepared the war, we have prepared the post-war. And
the transfer of power on June 30 will not change anything regarding our
objectives. This new provisional government appointed by the Americans
no legitimacy in our eyes. They are nothing but puppets."
Why have these former officers waited so long to come out of their
"Because today we are sure we're going to win."
Palestine Hotel, Tuesday, 3pm. One week after a formal request, the
prospect of talking with the resistance is getting slimmer. We reach a
series of dead ends - until a man we have never met before discreetly
approaches our table. "You still want to meet members of the
He speaks to my associate, a female Arab journalist who has been to Iraq
many times. Talk is brief. "We meet tomorrow morning at the Babel
the man says before disappearing. Against all expectations, this contact
seems to be more reliable than the ones we have previously tried.
Hotel Babel, Wednesday, 9am. At the entrance of the cybercafe, mobbed by
foreign mercenaries, the man we saw the day before lays it down:
10 o'clock, al-Saadoun Street, in front of the Palestine. Come without
We arrive at the meeting place on Thursday morning by taxi. The contact
there. After a brief "Salam Alekum" we get into his car. "Where are we
going?" No reply.
We drive for more than two hours. In Baghdad, even when traffic is not
totally blocked by military checkpoints, traffic jams are permanent. In
year, more than 300,000 vehicles have been smuggled into the country.
other car has no license plate and most drivers don't even know what
"driver's license" means.
"We'll be there soon. Do you know Baghdad?", asks our man. The answer is
clearly no. To get oriented in the sprawling city, one must circulate
freely, and on foot. With criminal behavior spreading like a virus, a
of kidnappings, the 50 or 60 daily attacks against the occupation forces
and the indiscriminate response of the American military, there's hardly
any incentive to do any walking.
The car stops in an alley, near a minibus with tinted windows. One of
doors opens. On board, there are three men and a driver carefully
scrutinizing all the streets and houses around us. If we don't know at
what we are confronted with, our interlocutors seem to know very well
they're talking to. "Before any discussions, we don't want any doubts on
your part about our identities," they say, while extracting some papers
from inside a dusty plastic bag: identity cards, military IDs and
photos showing them in uniform beside Saddam Hussein. They are two
and a colonel of the disbanded Iraqi army, now on the run for many
chased by the coalition's intelligence services.
"We would like to rectify some information now circulating in the
media, that's why we took the initiative of meeting you." Our discussion
lasts for more than three hours.
Back to the fall of Baghdad
"We knew that if the United States decided to attack Iraq, we would have
chance faced with their technological and military power. The war was
in advance, so we prepared the post-war. In other words: the resistance.
Contrary to what has been largely said, we did not desert after American
troops entered the center of Baghdad on April 5, 2003. We fought a few
for the honor of Iraq - not Saddam Hussein - then we received orders to
disperse." Baghdad fell on April 9: Saddam and his army where nowhere to
"As we have foreseen, strategic zones fell quickly under control of the
Americans and their allies. For our part, it was time to execute our
Opposition movements to the occupation were already organized. Our
was not improvised after the regime fell." This plan B, which seems to
totally eluded the Americans, was carefully organized, according to
officers, for months if not years before March 20, 2003, the beginning
Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The objective was "to liberate Iraq and expel the coalition. To recover
sovereignty and install a secular democracy, but not the one imposed by
Americans. Iraq has always been a progressive country, we don't want to
back to the past, we want to move forward. We have very competent
say the three tacticians. There will be of course no names as well as no
precise numbers concerning the clandestine network. "We have sufficient
numbers, one thing we don't lack is volunteers."
The lethal offensive of the American troops in Fallujah in March has
the turning point as far as the resistance is concerned. The
pillage by American soldiers during their search missions (according to
many witnesses) and the sexual humiliation inflicted to prisoners,
including Abu Ghraib in Baghdad, have only served to magnify the anger
by most Iraqis. "There's no more trust, it will be hard to regain it."
According to these resistance leaders, "We have reached the point of no
This is exactly the point of view of a Shi'ite woman we had met two days
earlier - a former undercover opposition militant against Saddam: "The
biggest mistake of the occupation forces was to despise our traditions
our culture. They are not satisfied with having bombed our
they tried to destroy our social system and our dignity. And this we
allow. The wounds are deep and the healing will take long. We prefer to
live under the terror of one of our own than under the humiliation of a
According to Saddam's generals, "more than a year after the beginning of
the war, insecurity and anarchy still dominate the country. Because of
their incapacity to control the situation and to maintain their
the Americans have antagonized the population as a whole. The resistance
not limited to a few thousand activists. Seventy-five percent of the
population supports us and helps us, directly and indirectly,
information, hiding combatants or weapons. And all this despite the fact
that many civilians are caught as collateral damage in operations
the coalition and collaborators."
Who do they regard as "collaborators"? "Every Iraqi or foreigner who
with the coalition is a target. Ministries, mercenaries, translators,
businessmen, cooks or maids, it doesn't matter the degree of
To sign a contract with the occupier is to sign your death certificate.
Iraqi or not, these are traitors. Don't forget that we are at war."
The resistance's means of dissuasion led to an ever-shrinking list of
candidates to key government posts proposed by the coalition, and this
country ravaged by 13 years of embargo and two wars where unemployment
been a crucial problem. The ambient chaos is not the only reason
people from resuming professional activity. If the Americans, quickly
overwhelmed by the whole situation, had to take the decision to
former Ba'athists (policemen, secret service agents, military, officials
the oil ministry), this does not apply to everybody. The majority of
victims of administrator L Paul Bremer's decree of May 16, 2003 applying
the de-Ba'athification of Iraq is still clandestine.
Essentially composed by Ba'athists (Sunni and Shi'ite), the resistance
currently regroups "all movements of national struggle against the
occupation, without confessional, ethnic or political distinction.
to what you imagine in the West, there is no fratricide war in Iraq. We
have a united front against the enemy. From Fallujah to Ramadi, and
including Najaf, Karbala and the Shi'ite suburbs of Baghdad, combatants
speak with a single voice. As to the young Shi'ite leader Muqtada
he is, like ourselves, in favor of the unity of the Iraqi people,
multiconfessional and Arab. We support him from a tactical and
Every Iraqi region has its own combatants and each faction is free to
choose its targets and its modus operandi. But as time goes by, their
actions are increasingly coordinated. Saddam's generals insist there is
rivalry among these different organizations, except on one point: which
will eliminate the largest number of Americans.
Weapons of choice
"The attacks are meticulously prepared. They must not last longer than
minutes and we operate preferably at night or very early in the morning
limit the risks of hitting Iraqi civilians." They anticipate our next
question: "No, we don't have weapons of mass destruction. On the other
hand, we have more than 50 million conventional weapons." By the
of Saddam, a real arsenal was concealed all over Iraq way before the
beginning of the war. No heavy artillery, no tanks, no helicopters, but
Katyushas, mortars (which the Iraqis call haoun), anti-tank mines,
propelled grenade launchers and other Russian-made rocket launchers,
missiles, AK 47s and substantial reserves of all sorts of ammunition.
the list is far from being extensive.
But the most efficient weapon remains the Kamikazes. A special unit,
composed of 90% Iraqis and 10% foreign fighters, with more than 5,000
solidly-trained men and women, they need no more than a verbal order to
drive a vehicle loaded with explosives.
What if the weapons' reserves dwindle? "No worries, for some time we
been making our own weapons." That's all they are willing to disclose.
"Yes, we have executed the four American mercenaries in Fallujah last
March. On the other hand, the Americans soldiers waited for four hours
before removing the bodies, while they usually do it in less than 20
minutes. Two days earlier, a young married woman had been arbitrarily
arrested. For the population of Fallujah, this was the last straw, so
expressed their full rage against the four cadavers. The Americans, they
did much worse to living Iraqi prisoners."
The suicide attack which provoked the death of Akila al-Hashimi, a
and member of the Iraqi Governing Council on September 22, 2003, was
perpetrated by the resistance, as well as the car bomb which killed the
president of the Iraqi executive body Ezzedin Salim in May 17 this year
the entrance of the Green Zone (which Iraqis call the Red Zone, due to
number of resistance offensives).
They are also responsible for the kidnapping of foreigners. "We are
that the kidnapping of foreign nationals blemishes our image, but try to
understand the situation. We are forced to control the identity of
circulating in our territory. If we have proof that they are
or journalists we release them. If they are spies, mercenaries or
collaborators we execute them. On this matter, let's be clear, we are
responsible for the death of Nick Berg, the American who was beheaded."
As to the attack against the UN headquarters in Baghdad on August 20,
"We have never issued an order to attack the UN and we had a lot of
towards the Brazilian Sergio Vieira de Mello [special UN representative
died in the attack], but it's not impossible that the authors of this
suicide attack come from another resistance group. As we have explained,
don't control everything. And we must not forget that the UN is
for the 13 years of embargo we have endured."
What about the October 27, 2003 attack against the Red Cross in Baghdad?
"This had nothing to do with us, we always had a lot of respect for this
organization and the people who work for them. What would be our
to attack one of the few institutions which has been helping the Iraq
population for years? We know that people from Fallujah have claimed
attack, but we can assure you they are not part of the resistance. And
also add: for political and economic reasons, there are many who have an
interest in discrediting us."
After June 30
"Resolution 1546 adopted on June 8 is nothing but one more web of lies
the eyes of many Iraqis. First, because it officially ends the
by foreign troops while authorizing the presence of a multinational
under American command, without stipulating the date of their removal.
Second, because the Iraqi right to veto important military operations,
demanded by France, Russia and China, was rejected. Washington has
only a vague notion of partnership with the Iraqi authority and did not
think of anything in case of disagreement. Iraqis are not fools, the
maintenance of American troops in Iraq after June 30 and the aid money
will get from the American Congress leave no doubt over the identity of
will really rule the country."
What about a possible role for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
(NATO)? "If NATO intervenes, it's not to help our people, but to help
Americans leave this quagmire. If they wanted our well-being, they would
have made a move before," say the three officers while looking at their
watches. It's late and we have largely exceeded our allotted time.
"What American troops cannot do today, NATO troops won't be able to do
later on. Everyone must know: Western troops will be regarded by Iraqis
occupiers. This is something that George W Bush and his faithful ally
Blair will do well to think about. If they have won a battle, they have
won the war yet. The great battle is still to begin. The liberation of
Baghdad is not far away."
Project Iraq put in jeopardy as Western companies wait for the smoke to
The country was supposed to provide rich pickings, with billions of
dollars' worth of contracts up for grabs. But as kidnappings and
killings undermine security still further, Tim Webb and Clayton Hirst
ask if the reconstruction effort is about to unravel
Businessmen representing the largest energy and construction companies
in the world will gather next weekend at a secret location in central
London. Their mission: to put pen to paper for billions of dollars of
contracts for the rebuilding of Iraq. The event was sold out over a
month ago, say the organisers, the Arab-British Chambers of Commerce.
Sponsors - including Shell, Volvo, ChevronTexaco, Pfizer and Kodak -
have not been put off by the recent upsurge in violence in Iraq, they
The organisers are flying in BBC world affairs editor John Simpson from
Iraq to entertain the delegates at the gala dinner, accompanied by a
jazz quartet. Delegates will also include Iraqi ministers and leading
families owning the biggest businesses in the country.
Some of the companies attending had declined to go to a conference
organised by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) for the oil
industry, scheduled for today in the southern Iraqi city of Basra. With
40 foreigners, mostly civilians, being taken hostage by rebels last
week, you can't blame them. The conference has now been cancelled.
There weren't many takers either for the ambitiously named Baghdad Expo,
due to take place at the end of the month. It has been moved to the
northern town of Sulaymania. One Iraqi official explains: "It is much
safer there. It is in a Kurdish area."
Relying on the Kurds for protection was not part of the plan when
American and British forces invaded Iraq this time last year. The recent
spate of kidnappings of foreign civilian contractors working in Iraq
marks a worrying new tactic against the coalition. Germany and France
issued official advice to their citizens last week to leave Iraq. And
Russia's largest contractor in the country, the power station builder
Technopromexport, announced it was pulling out its 370 employees after
eight Russia workers were kidnapped in Baghdad.
So is the reconstruction of Iraq about to unravel?
Most firms that are well established in Iraq are staying put - for now.
They refuse to reveal exactly how many staff they have working in the
country, but it is thought there are around 1,000 Britons, excluding
security staff. Of the 50 UK companies there, Amec has the largest share
of the reconstruction work. With its US partner, Fluor, it won a $1.1bn
(£617m) deal last month to help restore Iraq's water system. But it has
yet to receive the detailed task orders on its contract from the CPA.
When it does, in the next few weeks, the company will have to decide
whether to risk flying out more staff to start work on the project, or
delay it. Other British companies, such as the engineering groups
Halcrow and Foster Wheeler, which also have staff in Iraq, refuse to
discuss their plans in the light of the worsening security problems.
Nick Day, the chief operating officer of Diligence Information &
Security (DI&S), a security firm, says: "Commercial contractors are
considering their positions in Iraq. They are either partially
withdrawing their expatriates or keeping a low profile to see how the
situation pans out." One thing is certain; security firms are not short
of work. DI&S has added 20 people to its 350 staff in Iraq in the last
One chief executive of a big UK company working in Iraq underlines the
dilemmas faced by many companies already on the ground: "When things are
going wrong, the first thing you are told is to stay where you are. You
get hurt when you move." But his company is lucky because it is attached
to the US military. "We took a decision early on that we would only do
work where our people are protected by the military," he says. "I wake
up each morning and thank God that this is the case, as we are in some
pretty hairy places."
Companies that have yet to go into Iraq are weighing their options.
Colin Adams, the chairman of the British Consultants and Construction
Bureau (BCCB), says: "The companies which are well established have not
shown any indication of pulling out. The more difficult decisions must
be made for those who are thinking of going into Iraq."
The Foreign Office is advising UK firms that have won reconstruction
work to postpone their travel plans. "We advise against all but the most
essential travel to Iraq," is its official line, updated on Wednesday. A
diplomat at the British Office in Baghdad confirms that this guidance
includes companies that have recently won contracts. "They should wait
until the situation calms down," he says.
But some British companies have complained about a lack of support from
the British Government. One security expert says: "The Department of
Trade and Industry has no idea what is happening on the ground. We get a
lot more support from the US."
Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that many companies
decided some time ago that Iraq was not worth the risk. The chief
executive of WS Atkins, Keith Clarke, has said that because he would not
want to send his son or daughter to the country, he could not justify
sending any employees there. The engineering group does not have happy
memories of Iraq anyway; its employees were in Kuwait shortly before it
was invaded in 1990.
Balfour Beatty decided last summer it was too dangerous to work in Iraq.
A spokesman for the construction group says: "We don't regret the
Like the war in Iraq, the reconstruction of the country is proving to be
more complex than the planners had envisaged. A handful of American
officials in Washington dreamed up the reconstruction project before the
first US soldier had even set foot on Iraqi soil. Everything in the
country - its infrastructure, schools, hospitals, even its political
system - was to be rebuilt, initially under the auspices of the American
overseas development agency USAaid. The first wave of contracts, worth
$2bn, all went to US firms, with no competitive tendering. Companies
with close links to the Bush administration, such as Halliburton, the
oil services company formerly run by vice-president Dick Cheney, cleaned
Responding to criticism that the process was not transparent enough,
retired rear admiral David Nash, heading the US reconstruction effort,
promised in November to put $18bn of contracts for the second stage of
reconstruction out to open and competitive tender. But companies from
countries that had opposed the war, such as France and Germany, were
barred from bidding, prompting further criticism that the US was seeking
to profit from the war.
Admiral Nash said at the time that under the "accelerated" process, the
24 new contracts would be awarded by 1 February. Procurement processes
for such large contracts usually take six months to complete. "To me,
it's not impossible," he said. "It does make people wonder. But I think
No one believed him, least of all companies that knew the situation on
the ground. Within weeks, Admiral Nash had abandoned the unrealistic
time- table, and since then, only a handful of contracts have been
awarded in the second phase.
The World Bank has also got in on the act, belatedly. Late last year, it
identified $55bn worth of work needed to rebuild the country over the
next four years. Of that, the international community pledged $33bn of
funding at the Madrid donors' conference in October. But ominously, the
World Bank has noted, that in its experience, "constraints to
reconstruction are not often due to a lack of funds".
"While the figures in the assessment reflect the best estimates of the
likely needs for the immediate and medium term, the actual disbursement
- that is, the expenditure - of funds is much harder to predict, because
it depends on the security situation, the capacity of Iraqi institutions
to plan and imple- ment projects, and the state of infrastructure and
The World Bank is reluctant to send officials to Iraq while the security
situation in the country is unstable, causing further delays.
Oil was supposed to bankroll the reconstruction effort but the expected
bonanza has yet to materialise. Iraqi oil production is approaching its
pre-war levels of 2.5 million barrels per day, thanks to an injection of
$1bn of US money. However, Iraq cannot exploit the second-largest known
reserves in the world without the investment of Western oil firms. These
companies are not prepared to pay the billions of dollars needed upfront
until they are confident that the long-term contracts they sign with the
current administration won't be ripped up by a new Iraqi government six
months later. A spokesman for French oil company Total says: "Until
there is a legitimate government, there is nothing to negotiate. We need
long-term contracts to recoup the very large initial outlay. Also we
need security and a proper infrastructure in place before we invest." BP
echoes these sentiments: "We are waiting for a stable government to be
established. There is too much risk otherwise."
The Bush administration is scheduled to hand over power to an Iraqi
administration on 30 June, but no one is quite sure what form this will
take. It will not be democratically elected, and it is unlikely to have
the popular backing of the Iraqi people. Whatever the Bush government
may say, the oil industry is not impressed and will carry on waiting,
depriving Iraq of more revenue to fund further reconstruction.
Many other companies are also sitting on the fence. Serco has just
completed work on a contract to manage airport services in Baghdad and
Basra. A spokesman for the British group says: "We will monitor the
security situation before bidding [for any more contracts]." Mowlem,
which, in partnership with America's Kellogg Brown & Root, missed out on
winning three water deals earlier this year, is also keeping tabs on
security. A spokeswoman says that a full risk assessment will be carried
out before bidding for new contracts.
For those companies waiting to see if the security situation stabilises,
the outlook, in the short term at least, does not look good. Mr Day from
DI&S says: "The US is poised to take action in the south, and there are
concerns over the repercussions from that. There is talk of the trouble
getting worse at the end of April as people try to destabilise the
country before the next month's handover."
For companies that have taken the plunge, insurance is becoming more
expensive, making Iraq an even less attractive prospect. Brokers in
London say that in the past 10 days, premiums have doubled. Anne
Williams, a director at insurance broker Heath Lambert, quotes a premium
of 6 per cent to insure higher-risk professions such as journalists or
security guards. With the cover paying out up to $250,000 in case of
death or injury (for more senior staff, the maximum can rise to
$500,000), such a policy would cost $15,000. This makes it 12 times more
expensive than, for example, the average policy in Afghanistan (where
premiums are typically 0.5 per cent) or 24 times more expensive than in
Saudi Arabia (0.25 per cent). But despite the higher prices, demand is
still there. "There is a lot of business to chase," says Ms Williams.
Companies have asked the British Government for help with the insurance.
But the request has been refused. Mr Wilson says: "The companies have to
deal with their own insurers."
A spokesman for UKTI adds: "If the companies want to work in Iraq then
that is something that they have to sort out. Insurance is an issue for
them; there is nothing we can do about it."
Mr Adams from the BCCB is pressing USAID and the World Bank to separate
the cost of security and insurance from the bidding price. "We don't
want companies trying to undercut each other on something as important
as security. The cost should be separate and reimbursed by the
Since the end of the war, Iraq has constantly been dangerous. Despite
the recent escalation of violence and apparent targeting of civilian
contractors, companies already in the country with contracts to complete
are toughing it out for the moment. But the reconstruction effort cannot
go beyond the initial stage - dredging ports, repairing the electricity
grid - while contractors are being kidnapped and murdered. The oil
industry and the banks will not go in under these circumstances.
Where are you getting your news from? Al-Jazeera? Troops are being
rotated constantly using military air transport.
Did it ever occur to you that many joined the military with
just the desire to serve their country. (I know, to libshits
that is a character flaw) The grunts don't get to vote
on where they will go. Whether or not the war they fight
in is to your liking or not, they are still putting their lives
on the line so people like you can put them down for it.
At the tail end of 'Nam, there were still a few who would
spit at us when we were in uniform. So we started spitting
back. We earned the right to do that. They didn't.
The American Heritage® Dictionary
of the English Language - Fourth Edition
PRONUNCIATION: AUDIO: dky-mnt-r
ADJECTIVE: 1. Consisting of, concerning,
or based on documents.
2. Presenting facts objectively without editorializing
or inserting fictional matter, as in a book or film.
Moore described Fahrenheit 9/11 as "an op-ed piece. It's my opinion
about the last four years of the Bush administration. And that's what
I call it. I'm not trying to pretend that this is some sort of, you
know, fair and balanced work of journalism. "
Sure, you were spitting, and Rumsfeld knew where the WMD
were. The only people who ever cared about the troops
are their families and the 10,000,000 who marched telling
Bush not to start this war crime in Iraq.
Do you see 24x7 coverage of the troops anymore? Fox and CNN
can hardly be bothered to tell you the names of the dead.
In military terms, it can hardly be deemed a surprise that the most powerful
nation on Earth managed to make short order of a nation hobbled by twelve
years of punitive sanctions. No-one doubted the result before the was
started, so the term "astounding victory" seems excessive. It's a bit like a
grown man attacking a 5 year old and then suggesting we should be surprised
and pleased with his success.
What makes Iraq a failure is that it was a war fought on false pretences.
Nothing predicted beforehand has come to fruition. No crowds waving at the
"liberators" - instead we have vicious insurgency. No war paying for itself
through Iraqi oil - the war has cost $122 billion. No WMD - the primary
excuse to justify invasion - have come to light.
The US has become more hated worldwide and has lost all of it's credibility
regarding it's use of and ability to gather reliable intelligence. What
country would come to your side if intelligence pointed out the need to
invade, say, Iran? Very few populations would back their government if they
decided they had to join you. So how is any of this a success in US terms?
The US has swatted a fly it didn't need to swat and lost all it's crediblity
in the process.
> Surely one wouldnâ€™t argue that Iraq is sub par on the basis of
> accomplishments. Since the beginning of the war in March 2003, weâ€™ve
> vaccinated 3 million children, renovated 2,356 schools, printed and
> distributed 8.7 million revised math and science textbooks, had
> generated 4,518 MW of power by October 6 (surpassing the pre-war level
> of 4,400 MW), put 4.62 trillion new Iraqi dinars into circulation,
> Captured the former dictator who now stands trial, killed his two
> sons, helped form and recently present a sovereign nation. Just to
> name a few.
We used Iraqis oil revenue to appear human. Billions of Iraq oil
revenue after 2003 war was missing or unaccounted for. Hundred
billions of Iraq money vested in US was confiscated by Bush & co (We
used this to rebuild Iraq, Bush said)
$$$ spent on Iraq was rewarded to Halliburton and other American
companies which charge 10x as much as it would cost by Iraq companies.
Contracts are not for Iraqis companies.
Bush came to loot oil is the final truth. Probably the $$$ spent to
build the largest embassy in the world in Bagdad came from Iraqis oil
Bush gave Iraqis his puppet gov is an action of "hit and run", fled on
scene to leave his messes behind for other to clean up.
Fundamentally, this war (the only one in US history) is all wrong,
built of lies, based on deceits, mean to fail.
Can we have trust from any with Bush at the helm?
> Did it ever occur to you that many joined the military with
> just the desire to serve their country. (I know, to libshits
> that is a character flaw) The grunts don't get to vote
> on where they will go. Whether or not the war they fight
> in is to your liking or not, they are still putting their lives
> on the line so people like you can put them down for it.
> At the tail end of 'Nam, there were still a few who would
> spit at us when we were in uniform. So we started spitting
> back. We earned the right to do that. They didn't.
I recall that era very well. It was the war-backers who spat on the
returning vets for having let them down. They had no relatives or
friends over there, they got deferments or cushy posts stateside (like
pres you know who) while demanding the rest of us do our fighting for
them. We didn't spit on the returning vets; they were our brothers and
cousins and friends and schoolmates. They were us.
So while we're on the subject, how many of Bush's Mean Girls and the
War Pigs in the Congress and Senate have a loved one in Iraq?
"The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth there will be the
greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity
cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world on the day of
that great revolution." Federico Garcia Lorca
Sharing the world’s food and resources more equally is the way to
justice and peace. More than 80% of the world’s food and resources is
used and wasted by only 20% of the world’s population — mainly those
in the developed world. This inequality forms the basis of violence,
environmental degradation, crime, and social unrest. The greed of a
few has placed the entire planet at risk.
Living together as one human family Humanity is one family, and the
earth’s food, raw materials, energy, and technological resources
belong to everyone equally, not just to those individuals who can
afford to buy these resources, and those nations who control the
For the survival of present and future generations, we must call for a
just redistribution of the world’s resources, so that all may have the
basic necessities of life: food, shelter, health care and education.
We are not alone in our efforts
Throughout history, especially at times of crisis, great spiritual
teachers have emerged to show humanity the next step forward. We know
some of them as Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Christ, and Mohammed.
According to futurist Benjamin Creme, a group of such spiritual
teachers is now living in the modern world. At their head is Maitreya,
the World Teacher. Maitreya and his group are here, not as religious
leaders, but to inspire all people, religious and non-religious alike,
to create a civilization based on sharing, justice, and peace.
"Without sharing there can be no justice; without justice there can be
no peace; without peace there can be no future." The World Teacher
It's the single most important fact of our time. Check it out and keep
an open mind, so that you won't be taken by surprise!
"Peace will be the result of understanding and sharing, and not the
origin of them..." Djwahl Khul
"A world of glaring inequality is never going to be a fully safe
world. For millions of people, the threat of terrorism, or of weapons
of mass destruction, is remote compared to the daily threat of
poverty, hunger, unsafe water, environmental degradation and disease.
We have come to a decisive moment in history." Kofi Annan
“The developed nations of the world cannot remain secure islands of
prosperity in a seething sea of poverty. The storm is rising against
the privileged minority of the earth, from which there is no shelter
in isolation and armament. The storm will not abate until a just
distribution of the fruits of the earth enables men everywhere to live
in dignity and human decency.” - Martin Luther King, Jr
"We cannot move on if we are entrapped in structures of economic or
cultural privilege. Sharing, especially in a world where most live at
or below the edge of misery, is as important and relevant as
disarmament; in fact, sharing the resources of the earth is
inseparable from the renunciation of war and violence. On such an
ethical/religious ground, the architecture of a new world order based
on human unity will be easy to conceive and enact."
Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice.
Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against
love." Martin Luther King
"Almost anything you do [for the good of mankind] will seem
insignificant, but it's very important that you do it."
>Ending Poverty Will End Terrorism
I disagree, but ending Islam will damned sure put a dent in it.
"Ah yes, we must mollify angry fanatics who seek our destruction
because otherwise .. they might get mad and seek our destruction."
- Ann Coulter 9/26/2002
Only to the degree that ending Christianity would do the same, ArK.
Are there a lot of 'Christian Terrorist' atrocities, genius?
To qualify, the atrocities would have to be done in
christ's name, of course.
Feel free to list them..
While you're typing them up, here are a few muslim atrocities..
1968 Robert Kennedy assassinated
1972 Munich Olympics Sep-5,1972 (Black September)
1976 Entebbe Hostage Crisis, June 27, 1976
1979 Iran Hostage Crisis, Nov. 4, 1979 444 days
1979 Grand Mosque Seizure, Nov 20,1979
1981 Assassination of Egyptian President, Oct 6,1981
1982 Assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister, Sept 14, 1982
1983 Bombing of US Embassy in Beirut6, April 18,1983
1983 Bombing of Maring Barricks, Beruit, Oct 23,1983
1984 Hizballah Restaurant Bombing, April 12,1984
1985 Egyptian Airliner Hijacking, Nov 23,1985
1985 Rome Airport murders
1985 TWA Flight 847 hijacked, U.S. Navy diver murdered
1985 Achille Lauro hijacking, Homacidal maniac lived in saddams Iraq
1986 Aircraft Bombing in Greece, March 30, 1986
1988 Pan Am 747 Flight 103 Bombing, Lockerbie, 100's murdered
1988 Berlin Discoteque Bombing, Dec 21,1988
1992 Bombing in Israeli Embassy in Argentina, March 17,1992
1993 Attempted Assassination of Pres. Bush Sr., April 14,1993
1993 First World Trade Center bombing, February 26th, 7 Killed, Hundreds injured, Billions
1994 Air France Hijacking, Dec 24,1994
1995 Attack on US Diplomats in Pakistan, Mar 8,1995
1995 Saudi Military Installation Attack, Nov 13, 1995
1995 Kashmiri Hostage taking, July 4,1995
1996 Khobar Towers attack
1996 Sudanese Missionarys Kidnapping, Aug 17,1996
1996 Paris Subway Explosion, Dec 3,1996
1997 Israeli Shopping Mall Bombing, Sept 4, 1997
1997 Yemeni Kidnappings, Oct 30,1997
1998 Somali Hostage taking crisis, April 15,1998
1998 U.S. Embassy Bombing in Peru, Jan 15, 1998
1998 U.S. Kenya Embassy blown up, 100's murdered
1998 U.S. Tanzania Embassy blown up, 100's murdered
1999 Plot to blow up Space Needle (thwarted)
2000 USS Cole attacked, many U.S. Navy sailors murdered
2000-2003 Intifada against Israel - 100's dead and injured
2000 Manila Bombing, Dec 30,2000
2001 4 Commercial airliners hijacked, 250+ murdered
2001 World Trade Center attacked, 2800+ murdered
2001 Flight 93 murders
2001 Pentagon attacked, 180+ murdered
2002 Reporter Daniel Pearl, kidnapped and murdered
2002 Philippines American missionary, Filipino nurse killed
2002 July 4, El Al attack Los Angeles LAX, several murdered
2002 Bali bombing - 200 dead, 300 injured
2002 Yemen, French Oil Tanker attacked
2002 Marines attacked / murdered in Kuwait
2002 Washington D.C. sniper
2002 Russian Theater attacked, 100+ dead
2002 Nigerian riots against Miss World Pageant, 200 dead, dozens injured
2002 Mombasa Hotel Attacked, 12 dead, dozens injured
2002 Israeli Boeing 757 attacked by missiles, fortunately no one injured
2002 August Hotel bombing in Jakarta, Indonesia. 12 dead, dozens injured.
2003 Rusian concert bombing
2003 Phillipines airport and market bombing
2003 Foiled SAM plot in the USA
2003 UN Baghdad HQ Bombing
on and on and on and on it goes .........
I guess when the war backers used terms like baby killers and the like,
I got a little confused.
> So while we're on the subject, how many of Bush's Mean Girls and the
> War Pigs in the Congress and Senate have a loved one in Iraq?
That sounds like a Moore-induced question.
Find your answer here....
The American Heritage® Dictionary
of the English Language - Fourth Edition
PRONUNCIATION: AUDIO: dky-mnt-r
Do you have a problem with American companies getting contracts? After
all, it is American dollars paying the bill. And what Iraqi companies?
<<Bush came to loot oil is the final truth. Probably the $$$ spent to
build the largest embassy in the world in Bagdad came from Iraqis oil
Well, if what you say is true, I wish he would get on with it. Gasoline
was pretty high a week or so ago. So, where is the OIL?
<<Bush gave Iraqis his puppet gov is an action of "hit and run", fled on
scene to leave his messes behind for other to clean up. >>
I thought we were still in Iraq. <confused>
<<Fundamentally, this war (the only one in US history) is all wrong,
built of lies, based on deceits, mean to fail. >>
What lies? WMD? You know, they keep popping up. And golly gee whiz,
all the intelligence agencies in the western world was fooled by that
<<Can we have trust from any with Bush at the helm?>>
ArchAngel to Ares
October 2001 Taliban supreme leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar: "The
situation where we are now, there are two things: either death or
victory. To those who are fighting and bombarding us, they should
understand the Afghan man is a fighter willing to die for jihad."
June 1944 General George S. Patton: "I want you to remember that no
bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the
other poor dumb bastard die for his country..."
Oh, then you should send the details of your spat-upon experience to
Jerry Lembcke, Vietnam Vet and associate professor of sociology at
Holy Cross and a Vietnam combat veteran, who wrote "The Spitting
Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam" (New York University
Press, 1998), wherein he tries to track down all the spitting antiwar
stories and find no evidence that any such ever happened, not even
vague stories in the contemporary press. Or any protesters calling
them baby killers. Although Rambo does complain about it in the movie,
doesn't he? Maybe they should have interviewed him.
Before that, in 1995, University of California sociologist Thomas
Beamish analyzed all (495) antiwar movement stories from the New York
Times, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle between
1965-1971, and found not one mention of spitting or taunting returned
troops by antiwar people; indeed, they found very few mentions of any
negative demonstrations involving returning troops, or even of simple
expressions of disapproval of returning soldiers by antiwar movement
You're probably confusing it with the experience of Ron Kovic (you
know, Tom Cruise in the movie "Born on the 4th of July.") After Ron
had joined Veterans Against the War and tried to attend the Republican
National Convention, he and his companions actually were spat upon by
Republicans because of their opposition to the war. Apparently, having
lost both legs in Vietnam in combat didn't cut any ice with those
brave armchair generals.
Also you might want to talk to Dr. Robert Lifton, who came up with the
diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress after seeing similar symptoms in so
many returned Vietnam Vets he was treating. Dr. Lifton reports that
not one vet he treated reported being spat upon or otherwise shunned
by antiwar people. On the other hand, many did report a lot of pain
over being abused by VFW members who, rather than giving them any
comforting fellowhip or understanding of what they had been through,
instead treated them with disgust for 'losing their war'.
I know I shouldn't bother posting this over a simple typo or spelling
error, and if this is true then it deserves to be publicized, but I
thought it was funny:
"His name is Andrew Ashcroft, and he serves in the Persian Gulf aboard
a navel destroyer"
Then Lembcke didn't look very hard, or he was a very hard sell.
This occurred in Balboa Park in San Diego, around May of
74. They were punk kids that probably didn't even know about
the war five years before, and quite possibly weren't aware of
just what they were saying. And I didn't say we were spat on,
just at. These clowns weren't dumb enough to spit on a group
of Marines. But whatever their motivation or age, it did happen.
And it happened several years before either Stallone or Cruise
did it on screen.
> Before that, in 1995, University of California sociologist Thomas
> Beamish analyzed all (495) antiwar movement stories from the New York
> Times, Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle between
> 1965-1971, and found not one mention of spitting or taunting returned
> troops by antiwar people; indeed, they found very few mentions of any
> negative demonstrations involving returning troops, or even of simple
> expressions of disapproval of returning soldiers by antiwar movement
I can't address anybody else's experiences. For the most part, I
didn't experience any problems either. My two duty stations,
San Diego and Quantico were full of military personnel, so most
folk were used to us. Maybe these researchers didn't want
stories about punks who were most likely saying and doing
just for the effect.
> You're probably confusing it with the experience of Ron Kovic (you
> know, Tom Cruise in the movie "Born on the 4th of July.") After Ron
> had joined Veterans Against the War and tried to attend the Republican
> National Convention, he and his companions actually were spat upon by
> Republicans because of their opposition to the war. Apparently, having
> lost both legs in Vietnam in combat didn't cut any ice with those
> brave armchair generals.
I didn't know Ron while I was in the service.
> Also you might want to talk to Dr. Robert Lifton, who came up with the
> diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress after seeing similar symptoms in so
> many returned Vietnam Vets he was treating. Dr. Lifton reports that
> not one vet he treated reported being spat upon or otherwise shunned
> by antiwar people. On the other hand, many did report a lot of pain
> over being abused by VFW members who, rather than giving them any
> comforting fellowhip or understanding of what they had been through,
> instead treated them with disgust for 'losing their war'.
I also didn't know anybody with PTS syndrome. This is just my
personal observation, but I don't think it was as prevailent as we were
lead to believe. Some suffered, physically and/or mentally, but I
think most didn't.
On the other hand, I didn't hear of too many stories about experiences
like ours, either.
The American Heritage® Dictionary
of the English Language - Fourth Edition
PRONUNCIATION: AUDIO: dky-mnt-r
ADJECTIVE: 1. Consisting of, concerning,
Actually, I don't think that is a typo. The guy has a real problem
The American Heritage® Dictionary
of the English Language - Fourth Edition
PRONUNCIATION: AUDIO: dky-mnt-r
ADJECTIVE: 1. Consisting of, concerning,
Saddam had every opprotunity to show the world what his 'army' was
made of in Desert Storm. Too bad for him the numbers amounted to
150,000 of his guys dead next to 350 of our guys dead. Desert Storm
was not a war, it was a slaughter.
Saddam at his worst was never a threat to America. But out of 150,000
men with families and friends, one ought believe that many many
lasting enemies of US were created. Much more times than was needed
to accomplish 9/11.
The US deposing Saddam AFTER it had committed this slaughter of Iraqis
could never be seen as a positive thing by Iraqis.
Bush and Cheney are deplorable liars and criminals. Not quite on the
level of Saddam Hussein, but up there.
"ArKLyte_" <ArkL...@Now.Net> wrote in message
Well, it's all clear now. Destroying the oranges of the Gulf in order
to reduce competition for oranges from Jeb Bush's state!
The reason liberals are anti-Bush and anti-Iraq can be summed up in
Liberals and conservatives have a different view of morality.
Conservatives tend to define morality within the narrow limits of
their religion and even then, they often disregard the teachings of
their religious leaders and provide their own definitions. In fact,
many (if not most) conservatives think of the word as being synonymous
with sexual misbehavor and abortion and little else.
Desmond Tutu, for example, recently said the Iraq war was an "immoral
mistake". I would imagine that most conservatives responded to his
declaration with complete befuddlement, thinking "How can the war be
immoral when there's no sex involved". Liberals on the otherhand, knew
exactly what he meant.
This simple difference between liberals and conservatives will
probably never be resolved. Liberals and conservatives can argue into
eternity about the war in Iraq. They can argue facts and fallacies and
religion and philosophy and minutiae forever and never get anywhere
because the bottom line is that liberals think the war is IMMORAL and