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Do you think Iraq is a central front in the war on terrorism?

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  • Do you think Iraq is a central front in the war on terrorism?

    Just a quick question that really interests me. If you don't mind, I'd like to hear why you chose your answer.

    Thanks,
    Brian
    33
    Yes.
    30.30%
    10
    No.
    69.70%
    23

  • #2
    I voted NO.

    Iraq is not a central front in the war on terrorism. It was not a front before March 2003, but the invasion of Iraq created that front. Now, there are terrorists in Iraq striking against US forces and civilians, as well as against Iraqis linked to the occupation forces (such as the assassinated leader of the Governing Council).

    So Iraq is now a front, but it is not a central one, and it would not have been a front if the invasion had not happened.

    The network of Al Qaeda and its affiliates around the world remains the real threat. It is a threat that can strike directly against Americans civilians on the US soil, or against civilians in other Western countries.

    Comment


    • #3
      Definately a challenging one.

      I would certainly say it has become a central focus. I don't know how well connected the terrorists spread around the world are connected to those in Iraq. Are the overseas terrorists getting more financial and moral assistance from their usual supporters or is it being funnelled into Iraq? If so is this good or bad? If we have taken the fight to the enemy on their 'home turf' will it help internationally.

      I think it will provide more support for the 'movement' as a whole so i do not think it is a good move. It would have been better to engage them on our own turf and show their barbarity to the rest of the islamic world and try to damage their financial support base. If the Iraq war gets more finances and physical support to overseas terrorits then we just f****d up!
      Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

      Comment


      • #4
        Answered No. Iraq shouldn't have been the central front although it probably is now.

        I think the "War on Terror" is more of a catchy slogan than a defeatable enemy, along the lines of 'wars' against drugs or crime or poverty etc. Terrorists can be fought but i think it has to be more of an internal police operation on a country by country basis. Groups, aims, grievances etc differ in most places that terrorism occurs, so i don't think sending an army into Iraq was ever going to defeat or 'strike a blow' against terrorism(Afghanistan was a different proposition however).

        Comment


        • #5
          Saddaam had already been disarmed & neutralized. He was our satrap in Iraq till he went rogue. He threaten the oil in the area so he was neutralized by '41', who wisely left it at that after Gulf 1. Clinton continued that very sucessful policy. Saddam only provided some financial support to the suicide bombers in Israel & that's it. Bin Laden loathed Saddam because he was a secular arab, that, to a fanatic like bin Laden is worse than the "GreatSatan".
          The war on terrorism is more properly the war on reactionary theocratic fascism.
          Bin laden was the main offshore threat in that regard. Gulf 2 was really fought for greed & so as to have a "splendid little war" for election time. And for whatever other Oedipal reasons on Bush's part.
          Unite your forces in space & time, split the enemy forces spatially & defeat them at different times - Rommel

          Comment


          • #6
            No.

            Iraq under Saddams control was never a supporter of international terrorism, the most you can say is that he indirectly supported the palestinians in their struggle with Israel but thats hardly international terrorism and the palestinian movement has no ties with AlQaeda. Also Iraq was never a safe haven for islamists, quite on the contrary, Saddam always saw radical islamists as a danger to his regime, and dont forget that Iraq fought many years against the islamistic Iran. No, the old Iraq was one of the terrorist unfriendliest arabic nations.

            That changed as soon as US forces set foot into Iraq, all of a sudden there are lots of terrorists popping up... but wait, these are not the type of terrorists who fly planes into american buildings or plant bombs in american streets, these are mostly Iraqis who fight against the US forces to get rid of the occupation or foreign fighters, who aren't organized in a terroristic manner as explained above but simply see a chance to fight against the hated USA. These men probably wouldn't have the energy or abilities to plan attacks in the USA but now all they have to do is grab their AK-47 and take a bus to Iraq to fight against the US.
            With your invasion you basically gave birth to these terrorists who would have otherwise never been of any danger to you. And with all ressources focused on military activities in Afganisthan and Iraq you maybe made it easier for AlQaeda to plan new attacks. Just imagine if the FBI or CIA had access to the budget of the Iraq war, what they could have achieved!
            I think you choose the wrong path, instead of wasting your strength in a useless war that did nothing to harm the terrorists you should have strengthened your investigational measures.
            "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

            Henry Alfred Kissinger

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes. It is now. I don't think it was before.
              "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

              – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

              Comment


              • #8
                I agree with Mike, it wasn't before but it is now.

                Along the lines of what Kraut was saying... The chaos in the country and amount of available explosives and weapons allows terror operations to occur on a unheard of level. In my opinion Iraq has a great deal of appeal to the most radical Islamic terrorists, probably the young eager ones because it offers a opportunity for them to directly engage and kill Americans in an enviroment that they can blend into. The patient terrorists, the planners, are probably not there, they are in safer operating areas planning bigger operations closer to the homelands of the United States or Western Europe.

                Kraut

                With your invasion you basically gave birth to these terrorists who would have otherwise never been of any danger to you. And with all ressources focused on military activities in Afganisthan and Iraq you maybe made it easier for AlQaeda to plan new attacks. Just imagine if the FBI or CIA had access to the budget of the Iraq war, what they could have achieved!

                As far as the criticisms of the whole invasion of Iraq, we are there, right or wrong...that is the situation the has to be dealt with. Sorry Kraut it's not even like I disagree with you I'm just really tired of the Monday morning quarterbacking, politicians and the media are making me not want turn on the TV or radio or...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Redstorm

                  As far as the criticisms of the whole invasion of Iraq, we are there, right or wrong...that is the situation the has to be dealt with. Sorry Kraut it's not even like I disagree with you I'm just really tired of the Monday morning quarterbacking, politicians and the media are making me not want turn on the TV or radio or...
                  Thats right we are there we have to deal with it, i think your comments about monday morning quarterbacking are off the mark, it was easy to see this was going to happen in the first place before the invasion started. So its probasbly more like friday arvo quarterbacking, maybe we should have come up with a better strategy on tuesday i think.
                  Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Redstorm
                    As far as the criticisms of the whole invasion of Iraq, we are there, right or wrong...that is the situation the has to be dealt with.
                    I agree. The Plan may have been ****-house but it's got to be salvaged and the troops have to be supported.


                    I'm just really tired of the Monday morning quarterbacking, politicians and the media are making me not want turn on the TV or radio or...
                    Me Too. No one at WHQ seems to want to talk about anything except America and Iraq...and the media is in the money making business. They're not a Public Service, so if the ratings are there, then thats what you'll keep getting dished up to ya. Stop buying their product or maybe create a distraction yourself

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Sharpe
                      I agree. The Plan may have been ****-house but it's got to be salvaged and the troops have to be supported.




                      Me Too. No one at WHQ seems to want to talk about anything except America and Iraq...and the media is in the money making business. They're not a Public Service, so if the ratings are there, then thats what you'll keep getting dished up to ya. Stop buying their product or maybe create a distraction yourself
                      WHQ stands for Warfare HQ, what else is there to talk about? im sure we wouldnt be here if it didnt interest us, you dont always have a war playing out in front of you and involving your own troops, well Australia anyway
                      Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I said no becasue I don't think that you can find one central front for the war in terror. Yes Iraq is a front on the war on terror but so is Afganastan and any other country that is fighting terror within its self. The war on terror IMHO is a global conflict that can't be narrowed to one central fronts. Yes some areas are infested more with the terroist scum than others but all must be eliminated. So basically I woulds say that there is just one giant front on the war on terror that encompases the globe.

                        Thanks for looking!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also no...

                          We need to create a word for psychosomatic terrorism.
                          Even Jesus will never forgive what you do - Bob Dylan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the responses. Just to throw my 2 cents in since I asked the question:

                            1. I agree that Iraq was not the central front in the "war on terror" (I agree it's more a catchy phrase) and until we (the US and our allies) decided to make it the central front.
                            2. I also somewhat agree that short term, the Iraq war will not necessarily help eliminate terrorism. Though I don't think it's hurting either.
                            3. I believe that long term, invading Iraq (you could pick any middle eastern country as far as I'm concerned, Iraq just made it easier on us in terms of an excuse) is not only the central front, but the key to "winning" the war on terrorism.

                            The reason I believe this and the reason I support what we're doing so strongly is that there is only one way to eliminate terrorism -- that's to eliminate the reason for it. The economic, cultural and political environment in the Middle East is the sole reason for terrorism. You can certainly blame the US along with every other nation for contributing to the situation by standing by for convenience sake, however, the reality is that terrorism will remain a major threat until the people of the middle east have hope.

                            There are two ways to make the change happen (I apologize for repeating my arguments in another thread, but here they are). First, we can ask the leaders of Middle Eastern countries to change their systems and make the more open and democratic. Second, we can try to force the change ourselves by helping create a stable, democratic nation. We've tried the first option for years and it hasn't worked. So in my mind the second option is our only choice.

                            Why Iraq and not Iran or Afghanistan? I don't know enough about each country in the middle east to speak intelligently on the differences (some would say I can't speak intelligently on anything ) but my opinion is that Iraq offered the best hope for success. First, a majority of the people didn't like Saddam, so theoretically, it should've been fairly easy to start rebuilding. Second, there is sigificant wealth in the country that will help rebuild the infrastructure and jump start the economy. Third, the military was weak. Fourth, Iraq gave us a never ending list of reasons to invade. Fifth, I think the fact that Iraq was a "secular" nation was an advantage as well. We were not toppling a religious leader.

                            So there you have it. One man's thoughts on why the Iraq war is the right place for us to be. I believe success in Iraq will change the Middle East for the better. And that, in my mind, is the reason it is the central front in the war.

                            Thanks again for your posts.

                            Take care,
                            Brian

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Scully
                              The reason I believe this and the reason I support what we're doing so strongly is that there is only one way to eliminate terrorism -- that's to eliminate the reason for it. The economic, cultural and political environment in the Middle East is the sole reason for terrorism. You can certainly blame the US along with every other nation for contributing to the situation by standing by for convenience sake, however, the reality is that terrorism will remain a major threat until the people of the middle east have hope.
                              You can't eliminate terrorism... there are always going to be at least a handful of people who are highly ideological. We have them here in N. America too. Canada had fun with political extremists (FLQ) and the US has their Timothy McVeighs and so on. But for the bulk of the would-be terrorists, I think you're right that there are reasons - reasons that can be addressed... unlike say ideological extremists like Bin Laden.

                              First, we can ask the leaders of Middle Eastern countries to change their systems and make the more open and democratic.
                              I don't think they necessarily want democracy. Many Russians prefer the old authoritarian society (which is reflected in how popular Putin is, despite the fact that he's rapidly becoming a dictator).

                              I see it more of an economic issue than anything. The bulk of the people in these Middle Eastern oil wells live in abject poverty... even though their leaders are fabulously wealthy. Look at the Saud regime. ****, how arrogant does one have to be to name a country after yourself, nevermind hoarding all the oil wealth?

                              Then you take a gander at Kuwait, which is a monarchy - again not democratic. When was the last time you heard of a Kuwaiti terrorist? I think I've maybe heard of one and he was one of those fundie ideological extremists, not the angry-at-the-world-because-I-live-like-**** extremists. The Kuwaiti regime, while still fabulously wealthy themselves, share enough of the wealth to ensure its citizens live comfortably (and in many ways, more comfortably than in the West) - and sure enough the regime in Kuwait does not have a terrorism problem. They do not have domestic unrest. The Kuwaiti people are religious, but moderate. Coincidence? No, I don't think so.

                              As you pointed out, terrorism was never a big thing in Iraq, even with the rather religious Shiite majority. I don't think it's a coincidence that Iraq was one of the most advanced Muslim countries in the world, with a highly educated population (at least, what used to be... the past decade and a half has been a major blow for them) and a wealthy middle class (again, in the past).

                              Second, we can try to force the change ourselves by helping create a stable, democratic nation. We've tried the first option for years and it hasn't worked. So in my mind the second option is our only choice.
                              I disagree, but it'd be a huge response and would be rehash of many a threads past here on WHQ, but I'll just say I don't disagree with regime change - just _who_ is doing it and _how_ it's brought about because invading Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, whatever - to bring democracy is not free. There are prices to pay on so many levels that it's reckless and dangerous, in my view.

                              There are also domestic credibility problems when an exernal power is the main driving force behind that regime change. Especially an external power with a rather uh... complicated history in the region and an insatiable need for stable and cheap oil supplies to drive the "Shop and Awe" economic strategy of the Whitehouse. Made worse of course when the Whitehouse decided it was going to invade Iraq to force regime change under very suspect circumstances (A constant, desperate desire by the Whitehouse to find _any_ excuse, no matter how pathetic to inavde, reasoning that changed a good 3 or 4 times during the run up to the war, etc - talk about flipflopping *smirk*). Biggest PR fiasco in a long time, easily eclipsing the hilarity that ensued when Clenis tried to say getting a blowjob wasn't encompassed in "sexual relations".

                              And, I know you didn't maket his claim, but Bush has said that "a demoocracy in Iraq will democratize the rest of the region" and so on. But that begs the question why Turkey has not had that effect. It's nextdoor and has been democratic for almost a century. I don't believe it works that way. I think it's simply a question of poverty. Democracy can be one way to alleviate the corrupt nature of many of these regimes sitting on oil patches and hoarding the money, but it's certainly not the only way.

                              In non-Muslim nations, where religion doesn't provide an easy outlet for personal grievances, would-be terrorists join criminal gangs, which are basically terrorists themselves. They do all the same things terrorists do, they just do it to their own people.
                              "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

                              – Associate Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Olmstead vs. United States.

                              Comment

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