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Am I the only one Undecided?

Iraq Road to war Pros Vs. Cons

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#1 Rov Judicata

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 11:40 PM

Normally, I'm able to form opinions and stick by them.

The upcoming war with Iraq, however, has me conflicted.

Recognizing that war is coming, no matter what, I still don't see that either side of the debate has a decisive advantage.

Pros:
-- Saddam has the weapons; we all know that. He's not cooperating with the inspections, just playing mind games.
-- Even though it will be far from utopian, I would imagine the citizens of Iraq would be better off without Saddam or any other dictator. I do think that America and the world would do her best to make things better for the Iraqis' which is more than you can say for the current regime.
-- The war itself should be relatively easy, with little loss of life. That's cold comfort if your relatives is one of the fallen.

Cons:
-- There's just no link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The evidence is unconvincing; in fact, Bin Ladin's recent statement undermines the alleged connection.
-- Human rights can't become a reason for war. If they are, we'll be fighting at least half the world before this is over.
-- From where I sit, N. Korea is the bigger threat.

From where I sit, neither side has the decisive argument that clinches things.

Yet, everybody else seems to be on one side or the other.

So I guess my question is: Is anybody else out there fundamentally undecided on the issue?
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#2 Jacmac

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 11:47 PM

I'm afraid I have to join you on the undecided option even though it may be unpopular!  I can't see that war is the answer, but I can't see other alternatives working with him either.

It worries me that we seem to be rushing towards war willy nilly but what are the realistic alternatives?  We have to do something but please don't let it be war.

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#3 Josh

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 12:05 AM

You're not. I'm also undecided. I can see the pros and cons on both sides here.

And I think we have more important things to worry about than Iraq (um, terrorists anyone? Or North Korea).
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#4 iMel

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 12:22 AM

Nope, you're not.  I see the pros and the cons, but one doesn't seem to outweigh the other in my opinion.  I'm more concerned about terrorists operating independently than Iraq.  But this a subject I try not to think about since it doesn't accomplish anything other than making me worry more.
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#5 Godeskian

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 12:32 AM

i am undecided about the war

mainly becuase i don't believe it's the most effective way to garantuee a regime change

so shove over on that fence, i want a spot

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#6 Kosh

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 12:41 AM

I can see what both sides are pointing to to make their case.

I like Colin Powell, and the fact that he was willing to get up and make the case for war goes a long way with me, as he has been the one voice of reason in both 41's administration, and 43's.

I don't think there is a right or wrong side. There are reasons to go and reasons not to go.

I have a good friend that has been called up. He doesn't know where he's going, but the last e-mail said the training was almost complete, so Dean will be in the line of fire soon.


Quote

-- The war itself should be relatively easy, with little loss of life. That's cold comfort if your relatives is one of the fallen.

It wont be easy, cause while the military is working it's way through Iraq, things will be happening here too. I'm not stocking up on duct tape and plastic. I've lived next door to a chemical plant for over thirty years. You tend to ignore chemicals after a while. The alarm went off one day, and my Dad and Brother stood out in the yard and watched the cloud pass over, and discussed what it was. Insanity maybe, but that's the way you look at it after a while.

One thing I will have is plenty of shells, and a handy weapon. I don't think I'll ever need it, but I am within a few hours of DC, and a college within a 40 minute drive has a large arab population, or at least it did at one time.

Edited by Kosh, 22 February 2003 - 12:44 AM.

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#7 Kevin Street

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 01:33 AM

I'm not undecided ( :angel: ), but I admire those who can still remain objective on such an important issue. You guys are thinking about the issues, and not being swayed by the first persuasive argument, which is definitely a good thing.

But Rov, there is one thing you said that I'm not so sure about:

Quote

The war itself should be relatively easy, with little loss of life

It's impossible to say what will actually happen before the war begins (if it begins) but I suspect that this one will be quite a bit harder than the first Gulf War.

This is because Saddam probably won't fight out on open ground, where he decisively lost last time. It's more likely that his armies will withdraw into the cities, where the Americans and British will have to come get them, fighting street by street. The American Armed Forces have the advantage in areas like communications, control, and air superiority - but all those advantages would be minimized in urban combat. And there is still the question of whether or not Saddam would use those chemical weapons he's undoubtably hoarding.

The US and its allies would probably still win, but this time the Iraqis have the benefit of experience, and the war will probably be a lot harder fought.
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#8 Enmar

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 02:29 AM

Javert Rovinski, on Feb 21 2003, 10:42 PM, said:

So I guess my question is: Is anybody else out there fundamentally undecided on the issue?
How about something worse? Iím an Israeli and Iím not sure what my opinion is :eek:

I agree with you that the war seems inevitable. I have a personal interest in it, because itís my address painted on some of those missiles and I canít think of any scenario in which they will cease to exist without a war. If there wonít be a war now, the world will forget about them for another few years. Maybe Sadam will fire them at us in the meantime, maybe in a few years the war will come, your guess is as good as mine. But I can guess thereís a little chance for a revolution in Iraq and disarmament without a war.

Iím deeply troubled by the way this crisis is developing. Everyone seems to have an opinion, and itís all black and white. I donít get it. This is a complicated situation, with so many details, so many interests involved, so many lives to consider, so many lies and deceiving, perhaps on both sides. In the information era, when you finally have the option to try and figure out for yourself, to look dipper into things instead of automatically siding with your ďkingĒ, I have the feeling that most people are scared from that responsibility. It sounds like fashion. Sometimes itís fashionable to be an anti-war hippie, sometimes itís fashionable to fearlessly fight the terrorists.

And the worst thing is that the media is serving those trends. Have you seen the covers of British newspapers in the last days? Some of them seem to declare war on France instead of Iraq. Everyone who doesnít agree with you is the enemy or its secret servant and damn the international rules or the UN if they donít say what the US would like them to say. And the other ďsideĒ, is just as bad. We oppose the war because itís ugly and we have no intention to offer any practical alternative.

I have more to say, but I really have to go now. Promise Iíll be back with the rest, OK?
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#9 Aurelius

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 02:41 AM

Javert Rovinski, on Feb 21 2003, 08:42 PM, said:

Normally, I'm able to form opinions and stick by them.

The upcoming war with Iraq, however, has me conflicted.

Recognizing that war is coming, no matter what, I still don't see that either side of the debate has a decisive advantage.

Pros:
-- Saddam has the weapons; we all know that. He's not cooperating with the inspections, just playing mind games.
-- Even though it will be far from utopian, I would imagine the citizens of Iraq would be better off without Saddam or any other dictator. I do think that America and the world would do her best to make things better for the Iraqis' which is more than you can say for the current regime.
-- The war itself should be relatively easy, with little loss of life. That's cold comfort if your relatives is one of the fallen.

Cons:
-- There's just no link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. The evidence is unconvincing; in fact, Bin Ladin's recent statement undermines the alleged connection.
-- Human rights can't become a reason for war. If they are, we'll be fighting at least half the world before this is over.
-- From where I sit, N. Korea is the bigger threat.

From where I sit, neither side has the decisive argument that clinches things.

Yet, everybody else seems to be on one side or the other.

So I guess my question is: Is anybody else out there fundamentally undecided on the issue?
I'm not sure where I stand. I don't want war and I think Bush's administration is far too militaristic, but on the other hand Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator who is destroying Iraq (Well, so is Robert Mugabe I suppose, but we're not proposing war on him)

I definitely think that there should be no war without UN backing. What's the point of the US being part of the UN if it's going to ignore it and follow its own wishes. Also, the fact that so many people across the world have demonstrated against war has to be taken into account.

Rov, I have to disagree with you on one point. I don't in any way think that there will be relatively little loss of life. In fact I've a great fear that there'll be tremendous loss of life. I've no doubt at all that Saddam has WMD and if he sees that his position is seriously in danger, I'd say that he'll have absolutely no qualms about using them. And not just on the invading troops. His own people are going to take a lot of punishment.

Also the American/British forces et al are going to cause a lot of collateral damage and casualties. No matter how good the precision guided weapons are, there will be mistakes and innocent people will die because of it.

My only fear after that is...once George Bush is done with Iraq...who's next?? North Korea? And after that?? This, how ever you look at it, can only end badly

God help us. :(  :eek:

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#10 the 'Hawk

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 03:22 AM

Enmar, on Feb 21 2003, 06:31 PM, said:

How about something worse? Iím an Israeli and Iím not sure what my opinion is
I noted this a while back; your custom title of "Sabra" was no DROM ref....

The next time something blows up there, dear, you know I'm going to think of you.

Which I think is one of the important reasons why I'm undecided about this war in Iraq.

It's all well and good to say "home by Easter!" and march off and kick his ass.

It's different when you know someone on the front lines. Someone who's been there and seen it.

I don't. And I refuse to talk in grand, idealistic kids about stuff that someone else's kids will have to go out, fight, bleed, and die, in order to achieve.

That's why I'm undecided. I agree with the principles of kicking Saddam's ass. I just don't want to be the one wearing the boot.

And you'd better believe I have the same trepidations about the North Koreans.

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#11 shambalayogi

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 05:49 AM

I have sympathies for going and not going to war about Iraq.

If we're just going to occupy another country and have to stay there until a regime change takes, I'm not crazy about it. But that's really what we'd have to do.  

I wonder how much more antiAmerican feeling this will cause in the world especially in the Arab/Muslim world. Although, I traveled overseas from the USA when we were in Vietnam and that was truly unpopular everywhere and nothing happened to me because of it.

I think a major reason Bush is so hot to do this is because his father's presidency didn't do it during the Persian Gulf war.  I like some thngs about Bush but I don't like a lot of other things about his presidency.

And I wonder that we have to go to war or bomb a country into the stone age--which we did to Iraq in the Persian Gulf war--to change the leadership instead of finding someone to do away with theleader of the country.  I know, that's assassination, and I don't really believe in that either... <sigh>

I don't know if there are any connections between terrorist groups and Iraq because I simply don't know enough about the whole thing.

I'd rather see us go in with more support even if only verbal from other countries in the world.

There are so many troops in the area now I don't see how we can avoid it all.

Edited by shambalayogi, 22 February 2003 - 05:51 AM.

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#12 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 07:15 AM

Quote

Javert Rovinski: -- From where I sit, N. Korea is the bigger threat.

North Korea is a bugger though.  I think this time they are largely threatening us to get the economic and resources they need to keep their regime propped up.  As for dealing with them militarily they are all ready a nuclear power with long-range missiles.  The level of damage they can inflict on the US and our allies is far beyond that which Saddam can hope to do now.  

Best bet is to try to keep them complacent until they collapse in on themselves and just be ready to act militarily if they latch out.  Unlike Saddam Kimís regime is running on borrowed time with the country slowly sputtering out.  Most importantly keep your fingers crossedÖ    

Quote

Kevin Street: The American Armed Forces have the advantage in areas like communications, control, and air superiority - but all those advantages would be minimized in urban combat.

Street by street fighting is also my major concern in a conflict.  The military has been working on it since the Battle of the Black Sea and even prior to that.  They seem to have a few new tricks up their sleeve for urban warfare but how they play out is yet to be seen.  
  

Quote

Kevin Street: The US and its allies would probably still win, but this time the Iraqis have the benefit of experience, and the war will probably be a lot harder fought.

The battle hardened and experienced Iraqi Military was supposed to have been the meat grinder of US forces prior to the Gulf War.  This time around it looks like if anything the Iraqi conscripts moral are at an all time low according to defectors.  The Republican Guard is the ones that are going to be fighting to the very end but even then they were shot up pretty bad in the Gulf War. The other thing is materially Saddam hasnít had a chance to replace the equipment destroyed the first time while US equipment has improved.
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#13 Kevin Street

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 08:23 AM

Quote

CJ AEGIS: North Korea is a bugger though. I think this time they are largely threatening us to get the economic and resources they need to keep their regime propped up.

Yeah, it's mostly about oil, I think. (Funny how everything is about oil when you get down to it.) Specifically, President Bush's decision to cease oil shipments to North Korea until it stops building nuclear weapons. P'yongyang is trying to exort concessions from everyone, but their luck seems to running out.
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#14 Enmar

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 06:51 PM

Information era

The whole thing is a mess. Theoretically, we can judge for ourselves. Technically, the amount of information we need to process to do this and the questionable reliability of some of the information makes it almost impossible. Ironically, weíre back where we started Ė we are trying to form an opinion without all the required data. Maybe even worse Ė because we know that the data we see is a part of the mind game.

Quote

Kosh: I like Colin Powell, and the fact that he was willing to get up and make the case for war goes a long way with me, as he has been the one voice of reason in both 41's administration, and 43's.

Thereís more to this sentence than Powell. Thatís a choice youíre making which translates IMHO, to :Ē I do not have all the information, so I pick from those who do have it the person I respect enough to trust his judgment.Ē In many ways, this seems to me the best way those days. The only problem is that more and more of our leaders are PR products, so even making this choice is becoming hard.

Quote

Aurelius: My only fear after that is...once George Bush is done with Iraq...who's next?? North Korea? And after that?? This, how ever you look at it, can only end badly

The 1,000,000 $ question is : And how will it end if we do nothing about it? Maybe, in time, in a peaceful way. Are you willing to take the chance that some maniac will lead N.Korea into war with the US? When taking risks you have to consider not only the small possibility it will happen, you have to multiply it by the harm it will cause. I have no idea how they intend to pull this off, I am under the impression that Iraq is just the first step and I sincerely hope that great minds are working on the plans and not bullies.

Quote

Shambalayogi: I wonder how much more antiAmerican feeling this will cause in the world especially in the Arab/Muslim world.

A lot. And that may cause difficulties in raising support for US actions in the future, which may turn out to be a bigger danger than Sadam. Iím with  Aurelius on this one (maybe for a different reason) : The US shouldnít go to war without the UN, even if other countries will do nothing but speak.

Quote

Kevin Street: Funny how everything is about oil when you get down to it.
Call me naÔve, but for me itís not about oil. Itís about important questions of international community, the right to tell other countries and people whatís good for them (or to ignore when they violate the basic human rights?), the future of this planet and how conflicts will be solved. I donít even care if for Bush it is all about oil.


Quote

the 'Hawk: I noted this a while back; your custom title of "Sabra" was no DROM ref....

When I joined SSBBS there was ďlocationĒ so I wrote ďSabra home worldĒ, I guess itís half a DROM ref ;)
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#15 Jid

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 08:56 PM

I'm semi-undecided, but really, I'm more of a defeatist in the sense that regardless of what happens, Bush seems determined to march the US into war.

Some have estimated that the war would cost $200 billion.  From that stance, say hello to an improved economy with the boost from government expenditure.

But, I can't help but get the nagging feeling you could probably fund an internally done regime change with far less than half that figure.  But in light of what I was hearing on the news last night, there's a reason that won't be an option.

That bit of news was that someone in some position of power (I was listening to the radio while doing other stuff so I don't remember who, but some muckymuck in a high place) suggested that the US would likely set up an American controlled state in Iraq, slowly ceding power back to the Iraqis over the course of 2 years or so.

Yep, that's right, they'd put an American civilian in charge of Iraq for two years.  Seems like a bad idea to me, but that's just me.

Just my two cents.
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#16 Anna

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 11:00 PM

Jid, on Feb 22 2003, 10:58 AM, said:

But, I can't help but get the nagging feeling you could probably fund an internally done regime change with far less than half that figure.  But in light of what I was hearing on the news last night, there's a reason that won't be an option.

That bit of news was that someone in some position of power (I was listening to the radio while doing other stuff so I don't remember who, but some muckymuck in a high place) suggested that the US would likely set up an American controlled state in Iraq, slowly ceding power back to the Iraqis over the course of 2 years or so.

Yep, that's right, they'd put an American civilian in charge of Iraq for two years.  Seems like a bad idea to me, but that's just me.
I'm not sure how you'd fund a regime change without a war. Saddam won't go unless he's forced, by force. IMHO. Unless the exile rumors come to fruition...

And they're talking about putting a military person in charge of Iraq, not a civilian. A General who's name I can't remember.

I'm not undecided about Iraq, but this part of the plan I don't like one bit. The US military is trained to run one thing: the military. Running a country, in charge of civilians, is not their thing. And then to put them in charge of a country who's culture we don't understand very well... It's got "Bad Idea" written all over it. We need to find a way to get the exiled Iraqi National Congress in power very fast, and use the might of the US military to back them up, to keep the Saddam holdouts at bay.

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#17 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 23 February 2003 - 03:46 AM

Quote

RPITA:  The US military is trained to run one thing: the military. Running a country, in charge of civilians, is not their thing. And then to put them in charge of a country who's culture we don't understand very well... It's got "Bad Idea" written all over it.

Seems like the United States Military did an excellent job following World War II in Germany and Japan.  Germany is even a happy democracy that has no qualms about being a thorn in the side of the US government right now.  McArthur for being a complete egotist successfully carried out an occupation of Japan. That was a culture that Americans at the time didnít understand at the time and had a deep loathing for.
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