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If we had not liberated Iraq, what then?

Old 10-09-04, 12:09 PM
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If we had not liberated Iraq, what then?

Serious question for what everyone feels would have happened if we did not liberate Iraq through our military efforts. I am especially interested in what those supporting Mr. Kerry think would have taken place. I will leave out my feelings for now, but I will kindly ask everybody to remain consistent in their views.
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Old 10-09-04, 12:41 PM
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France, Russia, and Germany as well as the UN would have lobbied to end the sanctions on Iraq on behalf of the long suffering Iraqi people. Many people in the US would have then viewed those countries as humanitarian saints. They and Saddam meanwhile would continue to get rich from Iraqi oil. Saddam would continue his murderous regime.

A few months after the sanctions were lifted, the Iraqi scientist who had buried the centrifuge for enriching uranium in his back yard would have gotten a call from Qusay Hussain telling him to dig the centrifuge out.
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Old 10-09-04, 12:45 PM
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A hardcore liberal friend of mine said the key is "containment".

The US has success so far with these countries. Eventually, Saddam will probably take the same path as Libya.

N. Korea
Iran
Libya
Cuba
former USSR
China
Syria
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Old 10-09-04, 12:47 PM
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Does this even matter anymore? I believe everyone on this forum has debated this point over and over again. I'm surprised that you don't already know the answer. Regardless, the real point is what do we do now? We can't roll back the clock. We have a much larger situation to deal with in Iraq than quibbling over who had better policy before the war.
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Old 10-09-04, 01:01 PM
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In a nutshell, inspectors would have found nothing, after time sanctions would have been lifted and Saddam would have started up his weapons programs again giving him the ability to develop his nuclear capabilities and also give him the ability to "attack" America and it's allies by providing terrorists with money, training, and weapons--all without actually having to get his hands dirty and attack us directly.

now, i fully understand that there are some who don't believe this scenario would have taken place and that is fine because, while there is plenty of evidence and facts to support it, there isn't anything concrete enough to say it was inevitable. however, the alternative to invasion/liberation, the "let the inspectors do their work" scenario, puts too much faith in the intentions of a murderous dictator. to look at this situation, after years of deception and non compliance and corruption, and come to the conclusion that this man was not a threat to us is foolhardy IMO.

that being said, i think it is fair to criticize the post war plan because, despite all the good that is being done, there is alot of chaos, uncertainty and unnecessary casualties. i don't think the problem is with the "plan" itself however, but a failure to dynamically adjust planning to the unpredictable and constantly changing situation on the ground.

now, while i tend to place less of the blame in regards to planning failure on Bush and more on the military command, i think Kerry's strongest and most valid critique of Bush is on the planning of the war. i'm somewhat with him in that. however, Kerry loses me when he says "this is the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time" and that "we should be focusing on Osama Bin Laden." To me, that is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the war on terror really is. the war is bigger then 9/11 and Osama. while he may have triggered it, Osama is largely irrelevant at this point, if nothing more than a symbol or face to which we can direct our anger. this war is about disrupting and destroying ALL terror networks, not just al qaeda, and eliminating from the planet any haven for these terrorists, as well as their supporters and those who fund them. Saddam and many others fall into the latter categories. now this is where the philosophy of pre-emption and legality comes into play. sure, there are many other threats to our safety in this world, as well as many other horrible dictators. however, Saddam was unique in that his history of non compliance with UN resolutions in addition to the agreements made at the end of the first gulf war was our mandate in a way to apply force legally in a way we really cannot do in respect to other countries.

also, when our endgames in Afghanistan and Iraq begin (hopefully) to materialize, meaning fully functioning democracies, it really positions us politically, psychologically and militarily in the Middle East where we can foster actual change in a way that was just not possible if a diplomatic route instead of a liberation one was not followed.

Last edited by tonytapez; 10-09-04 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 10-09-04, 01:03 PM
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Re: If we had not liberated Iraq, what then?

Originally posted by Pharoh
Serious question for what everyone feels would have happened if we did not liberate Iraq through our military efforts.
We would have continued to focus our fight on the Islamists in Afghanistan.
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Old 10-09-04, 01:09 PM
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We would have continued to focus our fight on the Islamists in Afghanistan.
And perhaps one day, hold an election there...
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Old 10-09-04, 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
And perhaps one day, hold an election there...
Just because they held an election doesn't mean the job is done. We pulled out a lot of troops and sent them to Iraq when there was still plenty to do in the "-stans".
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Old 10-09-04, 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
And perhaps one day, hold an election there...
haven't you heard? its a quagmire over there! we really dropped the ball by diverting our attention to Iraq. they'll never have peaceful elections.

oh...wait.

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Old 10-09-04, 01:18 PM
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We pulled out a lot of troops and sent them to Iraq when there was still plenty to do in the "-stans".
Tommy Franks disagrees with you on the pulling out of troops needed in Afghanistan and did so on Fox News after the first debate.
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Old 10-09-04, 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
Tommy Franks disagrees with you on the pulling out of troops needed in Afghanistan and did so on Fox News after the first debate.
Good, I'm glad the general can think for himself. IIRC, he also disagrees w/ a few things the administration has done in Iraq, too.
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Old 10-09-04, 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by Captain Pike
Does this even matter anymore? I believe everyone on this forum has debated this point over and over again. I'm surprised that you don't already know the answer. Regardless, the real point is what do we do now? We can't roll back the clock. We have a much larger situation to deal with in Iraq than quibbling over who had better policy before the war.

No, honestly I don't know. And since Mr. Kerry very well might be elected on the platform that we should not have gone to war with Iraq when we did, I think it is a very pertinent question, not only to ascertain what would have happened there, which should be the ultimate determinant of whether the liberation of Iraq was worth the price paid or not, but also to ascertain how Mr. Kerry will react in a similar situation should one arise.

If we are to elect our president primarily on the notion that our military action was not worth it, shouldn't we know if that is actually true?
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Old 10-09-04, 01:38 PM
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Originally posted by Myster X
A hardcore liberal friend of mine said the key is "containment".

The US has success so far with these countries. Eventually, Saddam will probably take the same path as Libya.

N. Korea
Iran
Libya
Cuba
former USSR
China
Syria
At least your hardcore liberal friend should be whining that North Korea and Iran aren't contained. And the truth is they are either not contained or not contained very well as both seem on the verge of significant nuclear capability, and seem irresponsible enough that they can't be trusted to have such weapons.

Lets be honest. What happened to Saddam scared Libya into changing their position.
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Old 10-09-04, 01:44 PM
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Re: Re: If we had not liberated Iraq, what then?

Originally posted by B.A.
We would have continued to focus our fight on the Islamists in Afghanistan.


While I don't necessarily agree that this would have happened, it is a valid point. You may very well be correct.

What about Iraq though?
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Old 10-09-04, 01:46 PM
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Re: Re: Re: If we had not liberated Iraq, what then?

Originally posted by Pharoh
While I don't necessarily agree that this would have happened, it is a valid point. You may very well be correct.
I think we could have just ignored Saddam like we do w/ Castro. Iraq is just one country - there are hundreds of other countries the U.S. can have relations with.
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Old 10-09-04, 01:53 PM
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Re: If we had not liberated Iraq, what then?

Originally posted by Pharoh
Serious question for what everyone feels would have happened if we did not liberate Iraq through our military efforts. I am especially interested in what those supporting Mr. Kerry think would have taken place. I will leave out my feelings for now, but I will kindly ask everybody to remain consistent in their views.
If you want to ask a serious question, you should first ask a question which isn't already tainted by bias - your use of the word "liberate".

Furthermore, I have no idea how to answer your question. It sounds to me like you're fishing for a specific answer to argue. I can tell you what WOULDN'T have happened. We wouldn't be stuck in Iraq in a dead-end situation.
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Old 10-09-04, 01:56 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: If we had not liberated Iraq, what then?

Originally posted by B.A.
I think we could have just ignored Saddam like we do w/ Castro. Iraq is just one country - there are hundreds of other countries the U.S. can have relations with.

Okay.


You make a reasonable and consistent argument.
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Old 10-09-04, 01:58 PM
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If we had not liberated Iraq, what then?
fixed:

If we had not decimated, invaded and occupied Iraq, what then?
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Old 10-09-04, 02:00 PM
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Re: Re: If we had not liberated Iraq, what then?

Originally posted by hahn
If you want to ask a serious question, you should first ask a question which isn't already tainted by bias - your use of the word "liberate".

Furthermore, I have no idea how to answer your question. It sounds to me like you're fishing for a specific answer to argue. I can tell you what WOULDN'T have happened. We wouldn't be stuck in Iraq in a dead-end situation.

Somebody forced you to respond?
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Old 10-09-04, 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by bhk
And perhaps one day, hold an election there...
Elections in our country did not stop slavery. How do you reconcile this?

History is filled with examples of countries that have elections but have slavery and other countries that don't have elections but don't have slavery.

You, like many others, seem to have fallen into the trap of thinking that elections = freedom.
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Old 10-09-04, 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by B.A.
I think we could have just ignored Saddam like we do w/ Castro. Iraq is just one country - there are hundreds of other countries the U.S. can have relations with.
I think that's the basic answer to be honest Pharoh. Nothing would have happened for the most part. They would have found nothing, because there is nothing to find, and he would have continued to be contained and remain the punchless eunuch he was before the war.

And maybe, just maybe, some actual progress elsewhere in the world might have been made in the realm of battling Terrorism....but alas that remains a pipedream.
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Old 10-09-04, 02:03 PM
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Re: Re: Re: If we had not liberated Iraq, what then?

Originally posted by Pharoh
Somebody forced you to respond?
No, I'm just pointing out that your question is biased and unanswerable. In addition, I view it as being loaded.
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Old 10-09-04, 02:06 PM
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Originally posted by chess
fixed:

Fine again, but what would have happened? As somebody who proudly supports Mr. Kerry, I would think you would have an answer. Your candidate tells us that it is not true that saddam the butcher would still be in power if it were up to him. Is that the case? Would sanctions have continued to contain him, even though no weapons of mass destruction would have been found? Remember, the inspectors were clueless as to Iraq's intentions to restart their illicit programs. Would an unfettered Iraq been a danger to anybody?
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Old 10-09-04, 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by brizz
I think that's the basic answer to be honest Pharoh. Nothing would have happened for the most part. They would have found nothing, because there is nothing to find, and he would have continued to be contained and remain the punchless eunuch he was before the war.

And maybe, just maybe, some actual progress elsewhere in the world might have been made in the realm of battling Terrorism....but alas that remains a pipedream.

I accept this view completely. We don't agree on this, but that is just the way it is. I would like to know though, do you really feel that he would have continued to be contained after it was proven that he did not possess any weapons of mass destruction?
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Old 10-09-04, 02:12 PM
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Originally posted by Pharoh
Fine again, but what would have happened? As somebody who proudly supports Mr. Kerry, I would think you would have an answer. Your candidate tells us that it is not true that saddam the butcher would still be in power if it were up to him. Is that the case? Would sanctions have continued to contain him, even though no weapons of mass destruction would have been found? Remember, the inspectors were clueless as to Iraq's intentions to restart their illicit programs. Would an unfettered Iraq been a danger to anybody?
As I said before, I don't know what would have happened. But I don't think Kerry would have gone against the U.N. and I don't think Kerry would have launched an invasion of Iraq. To me, that's enough.
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