Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

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RF
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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by RF » Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:29 pm

iankw,

To answer your question directly the world was a dangerous place before Saddam Hussein became a problem. In Britain the Provisional IRA was and had been a threat for nearly seventy years, with actual and indiscriminate bombings in England itself (not just Northern Ireland) going back as far as the 1920's, a bigger problem then than Al Qaeda poses to Britain today. I don't think we are any safer today than in any other period, and the second invasion of Iraq may be used as an excuse for ''Islamic'' terrorist activity but that threat is there anyway because the West is populated largely (to muslim ''fundamentalists'') by what the Pope in the sixteenth century would describe as ''heathens and heretics.'' There are many ''British'' muslims who live here and want Britain to become an Islamic state and it appears that calls for non-believers to be killed is, in the eyes of the police and Home Office neither racist or an incitement to breach the law. Only one arrest has been made, that was for incitement to kill Jews, by a person wanted by the FBI who is awaiting deportation to the USA.
So yes, we are not safe. But with no invasions of Iraq the terrorist threat is still there.
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RF
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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by RF » Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:37 pm

iankw wrote:"On what basis would it take the pressure off Al Qaeda? "

By taking resources away from the war on terror for one.

Ian
The invasion of Iraq was or is part of the war on terror is it not?

And as I say there is a great deal we are not being told - such as the full extent of Al Qaeda activity in Iraq prior to invasion, what happened to the Iraqi air force which simply disappeared, or what happened to the so-called WMD which were seized by US special forces from the US regular troops who found them and journalists on site who were told to effectively clear off out of the area and keep your mouths shut.

Nothing in this scenario can be taken at face value.
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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by lwd » Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:40 pm

It didn't take resources away from the war on terror. While Iraq and Al Quada didn't cooperate much previous to the invasion it was the equivalant to slapping them in the face with a guantlet. They ended up poreing a huge amount of resources into Iraq and loosing most of it. In addition thier actions there resulted in them loosing most of their support in the muslim world. Many governments that were friendly or neutral have become hostile to them again primarily due to their own actions but ones that they probably wouldn't have taken were it not for the war in Iraq. Finally Iraq is arguably less a center for international terrorism now than it was under Sadam. There are many arguments about the war in Iraq and it's potential outcomes but clearly it has been a major defeat for Al Quada.

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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by lwd » Thu Aug 21, 2008 2:46 pm

RF wrote: ...
The invasion of Iraq was or is part of the war on terror is it not?
Yes :) It has played a part in it and at that was used as the rational (as opposed to the reasons) for the invasion.

And as I say there is a great deal we are not being told - such as the full extent of Al Qaeda activity in Iraq prior to invasion,
what happened to the Iraqi air force which simply disappeared,
That was pretty well reported at the time. Much of it was destroyed and a lot of what remains flew to Iran where it was appropriated for their use.
or what happened to the so-called WMD which were seized by US special forces from the US regular troops who found them and journalists on site who were told to effectively clear off out of the area and keep your mouths shut.
Hand't heard about this one. Any details?
Nothing in this scenario can be taken at face value.
I usually don't like unequivacale statments but I pretty much agree with that one.

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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by Karl Heidenreich » Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:18 pm

I agree with Bgile:
The war in Iraq has nearly destroyed the US economy and left us with no strategic reserve at all.
The war on Irak has destroyed the US credibility and international support when it is most needed for rational actions against a REAL enemy: Iran. Many has peceived this weakness and acted accordinly: like Russia in Georgia. Just see what happended at NATO summit where the europeans failed to act with the proper strenght because they feared Russia and didn´t feel the US as the necesary back up.

On the other hand the US Army can be the most advanced and the only with power projection capability but it´s rather small: just 10 combat divisions and some three or four brigades are to be ready by the turn of 2010 (it seems that the US Army will be brigade based instead of division based). Hence in case of multiple commitments there is no capability to attend various fronts. Which is bad because there is a chance to face multiple fronts simultaneosly.

What of China tries some adventure in Taiwan or the Spratleys? Or what if Russia thinks Latvia to be a good lunch? And Iran decides to test it´s Bomb against Israel? OK: there is the Navy, but that doesn´t mean US can manage to oversee all those options.

And still there is Al Quaeda vermin which has a very wide and big support from islamic people or bases around middle east and in european based muslims.

It´s time for a stronger and more bigger army and time to pre emptive action against potential enemies in order to abort simultaneous actions. Iran to be the first one. And it must be done quick, before Barack Obama reaches the Oval Office.

My feelings...
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
Sir Winston Churchill

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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by iankw » Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:07 am

I guess we are going to have to agree to differ about Iraq. My feelings are that, whilst Saddam was a very unpleasant leader towards his own people, he was not an international threat. The attack on Iraq was floated as a part of the war on terror (and who can disagree with waging that war?), but in actuality was not, since Al Qaeda was not present in the country. Resources were thus diverted away from the war on terror, which allowed Al Qaeda to regroup, leading to the increase in their activity following on from the invasion. Purely opinion.

As for the rest, well I certainly feel that western culture is under attack, and from the very people who seem to enjoy it's benefits (I have been told that the Aden bombers wanted to be tried under western law NOT Islamic - how strange!!). I am not sure what an appropriate response is, just as I was not sure how to deal with the IRA appropriately. I cannot disagree that we don't know anything like the whole story behind this whole sorry mess. I take some comfort from a very intelligent Irish drama teacher at my last school (he could talk the hind legs off of a donkey BUT made incredible sense). He pointed out that historically when two different cultures try to live side by side the friction generated leads to a) one culture destroys the other (maybe by dilution, not necessarily by violence eg the Romans in Britain), or b) one moves away. Despite how it might appear on the media Britain is still, by a large majority, non-muslim. Why were we discussing this at all? Well I used to live and work in Bradford. My sister-in-law lost an eye to a brick in one of the riots there, and I taught kids who thought 9/11 was a good thing (they were also taught that the sun orbits the Earth!). Nevertheless I think we need to be careful in our actions, and take them for the right reasons.

regards

Ian

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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by lwd » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:40 am

iankw wrote:... whilst Saddam was a very unpleasant leader towards his own people, he was not an international threat.
I doubt Iran, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia would agree with that. Oh I forgot to add Israel as well.
The attack on Iraq was floated as a part of the war on terror (and who can disagree with waging that war?), but in actuality was not, since Al Qaeda was not present in the country. Resources were thus diverted away from the war on terror, which allowed Al Qaeda to regroup, leading to the increase in their activity following on from the invasion. Purely opinion.
It was sold as part of the war on terror whether the intent to make it so was there or not is open to debate. In any case it became part of it and far from taking pressure off Al Qaeda it put a great deal on them. In theory they may not have had to respond but there was a great deal of pressure on them to do so and indeed they probably would have lost a lot of stature and support if they didn't. As it was they did committing vast amounts of cash and quite a few personnel. The net result is they lost a lot of people, a lot of cash, and a lot of support in almost if not all Muslim countries.

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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by RF » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:23 am

iankw wrote:... whilst Saddam was a very unpleasant leader towards his own people, he was not an international threat.
Ian
Kuwait?
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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by RF » Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:28 am

lwd wrote:
RF wrote: ...
or what happened to the so-called WMD which were seized by US special forces from the US regular troops who found them and journalists on site who were told to effectively clear off out of the area and keep your mouths shut.
Hand't heard about this one. Any details?
This was a very curious episode. The BBC reported that about 130 drums of chemicals had been found at a site by US regular troops, saying they were believed to be chemical or biological weapons. US special forces sealed the site and cleared out all the news media.
Nothing further was heard or reported on this matter whatsoever. Why? If they were not WMD the media would have probed and found out and reported it. But no the whole incident was airbrushed completely. So what were these drums?
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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by Bgile » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:37 pm

The invasion of Iraq had little to do with Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. You are confusing it with the first gulf war, which started because the US ambassador to Iraq gave Sadam the idea that we wouldn't do anything if he grabbed Kuwait. Until then he was a US ally against Iran, and he hated Al Quaeda. We managed to turn an erstwhile ally against us and ended up with the world hating our leaders for the most part.

In the meantime, the real war was in Afganistan, which we have screwed up totally and allowed the Taliban to rebuild. We made commitments to the Afghans which we were unable to deliver on because of the Iraq quagmire. Now Musharraf is gone and the Russians have humiliated Georgia and threatened more. Nationalism in Russia is surging, and they think of Georgia as payback for the Balkan debacle.

Fortunately Gen Petraeus seems to have pulled Bush's chestnuts out of the fire and given us enough breathing room to escape from Iran. What the future holds once we leave is uncertain, but we are apparently leaving in any case. Mr. "No Timetable" has now agreed to one at the insistence of the Iraqi leadership. It seems to me more could have been accomplished with some of those troops in Afghanistan, fighting AQ and the Taliban.

We killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and made Iran and China more powerful, and now we have to deal with a resurgent "soviet" Russia. The Taliban is also resurgent and has a safe haven in our erstwhile ally Pakistan's lawless NW region. Our military is struggling with a very high operational tempo and has been fighting significantly longer than they did in WWII, with no real relief in sight for them and their families. In WWII they were mostly citizen soldiers and could see the end coming with the defeat of the axis. These guys are professionals (except for the National guard some units of which have been called up more than once) and they are suffering. The repeated NG callups have cost many their jobs.

I don't understand how the invasion of Iraq made the world safer. Yes, we removed a bad guy, but at what cost? He was once our bad guy. There are lots of bad guys left, and one of them is sitting in the Kremlin, where he pretends not to be leader for life. I wonder exactly what we could do if the Russians invaded Ukraine? Our Nato allies have pretty much dismantled their armies in favor of social safety nets for their people. They aren't for the most part even willing to send a few thousand men to fight in Afghanistan. The German attitude is interesting. They sent some troops, but only as long as they don't go somewhere that someone might shoot at them.

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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by lwd » Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:28 pm

Bgile wrote:The invasion of Iraq had little to do with Kuwait or Saudi Arabia. You are confusing it with the first gulf war, ..
No. I was resoponding to the comment about Sadam not being a danger to those external to Iraq. Clearly he was....
We killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis ...
Documentation please.
and made Iran and China more powerful, ...
Again that's debateable. Iran's economy is a basket case they are also struggling with a number of their own internal demons. Not at all clear whether they would be in better or worse shape if we weren't in Iraq. As for China again not at all clear how our presence in Iraq has made them more powerful.
I don't understand how the invasion of Iraq made the world safer. ...
Clearly it has reduced Al Quada to a shadow of its former self. Sadam and his people are gone. That's two ways. Now if you mean in general I think it's going to be decades before a good case can be made either way on that one.

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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by Bgile » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:02 pm

lwd wrote: No. I was resoponding to the comment about Sadam not being a danger to those external to Iraq. Clearly he was....
Not clear to me. He was under the thumb of the embargo and his military was a shadow of it's former self. More to the point, he had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack.
We killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis ...
lwd wrote: Documentation please.
This is a very conservative estimate because it only includes official documentation: http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/

I don't have the time to do much more searching right now, but clearly 80,000+ as a result of our being there is not good. Anyone who cares to look can find lots of documentation of the plight of the average Iraqi and how much worse it is now compared to when Sadam was in power.
lwd wrote: Again that's debateable. Iran's economy is a basket case they are also struggling with a number of their own internal demons. Not at all clear whether they would be in better or worse shape if we weren't in Iraq. As for China again not at all clear how our presence in Iraq has made them more powerful.
Iran is more powerful because they don't have Iraq as a countervailing power in the region anymore. In fact, they have become quite influential in the Iraqi Shiite community because of our presence.

China is more powerful because the damage to the us economy has permitted them to buy up dollars. They have also been able to make inroads in Africa while the US plays the world bad guy. They have more and more influence in Iran because of our notoriety and their ability to play "nice guy". If everyone weren't so upset by US actions, China would be closer to the spotlight.
lwd wrote: Clearly it has reduced Al Quada to a shadow of its former self. Sadam and his people are gone. That's two ways. Now if you mean in general I think it's going to be decades before a good case can be made either way on that one.
Sadam had nothing to do with AQ. Nothing. Any damage done to them in Iraq could have been accomplished more efficiently in Afghanistan. If you want to hurt AQ, invading a country so they will come fight you there is not the way to do it. You need to go after them where they live.

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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by lwd » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:51 am

Bgile wrote:... More to the point, he had nothing to do with the 9/11 attack.
On the contrary that's completely irrelevant.
We killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis ...
lwd wrote: Documentation please.
This is a very conservative estimate because it only includes official documentation: http://www.iraqbodycount.org/database/
Actually it's a badly flawed estimate. I'll try to link to some threads discussing it. But as far as your comment is concerned PLS note that it's 80,000 deaths by violence. Only a small fraction of that number would have been due to US actions and some of them are likely to have been from places other than Iraq.
.. Anyone who cares to look can find lots of documentation of the plight of the average Iraqi and how much worse it is now compared to when Sadam was in power.
And you can document the opposite. I tend to believe the latter.
lwd wrote: Again that's debateable. Iran's economy is a basket case they are also struggling with a number of their own internal demons. Not at all clear whether they would be in better or worse shape if we weren't in Iraq. As for China again not at all clear how our presence in Iraq has made them more powerful.
Iran is more powerful because they don't have Iraq as a countervailing power in the region anymore. In fact, they have become quite influential in the Iraqi Shiite community because of our presence.
They were gaining influence for a while. Recently they've been loosing it. There military and economy are both in ruins now.
China is more powerful because the damage to the us economy has permitted them to buy up dollars. They have also been able to make inroads in Africa while the US plays the world bad guy.
buying up dollars is a two edged sword. It also means that the their economy is tied closer to that of the US. I can't see how the US going into Iraq made much difference in what they are doing in Africa. Indeed if it hadn't presented Libia with a golden opportunity to change directions you might see a very strong Chinese presence there.
lwd wrote: Clearly it has reduced Al Quada to a shadow of its former self. Sadam and his people are gone. That's two ways. Now if you mean in general I think it's going to be decades before a good case can be made either way on that one.
Sadam had nothing to do with AQ. Nothing. Any damage done to them in Iraq could have been accomplished more efficiently in Afghanistan. If you want to hurt AQ, invading a country so they will come fight you there is not the way to do it. You need to go after them where they live.
Say rather Sadam had little to do with AQ. And Afghanistan was not Iraq. They could to a large extent ignore Afghanistan they couldn't ignore Iraq. To a large extent we couldn't hit them where they lived. We could take out Sadam. Now it's not clear to me that it was planned that AQ get drawn into Iraq but that's what happened.

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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by Bgile » Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:27 am

Well, clearly I'm not going to change your opinion about this. I'm probably in the minority here and it's an emotional issue - it is for me anyway, so I'm not going to pursue it further.

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Re: Russian (Soviet?) war on Georgia

Post by iankw » Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:22 pm

ditto that.

Ian

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