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Do you think the fighting in Fallujah will be over soon, or will it continue to be a problem in Iraq?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on November 14, 2004

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Photo of Shari Quick

“I think it will probably be a problem for weeks and months to come.”

Photo of Jake Vail

“I think it will continue whether it is in Fallujah or somewhere else.”

Photo of Mike Bidwell

“It’s going to be the status quo. They may win in the short term, but it will be a back-and-forth battle for a long time.”

Photo of Cindy Alexander

“I think it’s going to be a problem. It’s just going to go on and on. We’re not going to get out when we think we are.”

Comments

Richard Heckler 9 years, 9 months ago

There is no plan to leave Iraq. It is merely a stepping stone to Iran. We can only hope that legislators have the spine to say no to Iran. The U.S. does not have the entire free world supporting this action and we are financing the war on borrowed money. How much are americans willing to pay...a very appropriate question indeed? Rebuilding what we are destroying will place an enormous burden on the american taxpayer. We are talking trillions if China or someone else will continue to finance(LOAN) our questionable activity. Maybe the Iraq people wanted Saddam brought down but they were not prepared or we for occupation and the U.S. taking control of the oil(the unmentioned trophy). We have killed enough pregnant women,children,men of Iraq(over 100,000), american GI's(over 1200), injured GI's( over 17,000 many of which are disabled for life) and destroyed untold numbers of homes and businesses all against some country that was not a threat to us and had nothing to do with 9/11. Are americans ready to pay for this destruction?

Just think universal health insurance(jobs), public schools(jobs), an alternative fuel industry(jobs) and a clean environment could have been paid for with the money we are borrowing to destroy Iraq and many more innocent lives yet to come.

As one person put it recently going into Iran would have blood running thicker than oil...perhaps that's already the case?

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Hi_Jinks 9 years, 9 months ago

Well, once we get a gigantic 300,000 square foot Wal Mart set up over there, things will change in a hurry! Hostilities will cease once the average Fallujah Joe sees what America really has to offer! At an affordable price, too!

When Iraqi citizens fully realize just how far their hard earned Iraqi dollars will go in a typical Wal Mart store....Man! We'll have them eating out of the palm of our capitalistic American hands! You'll see!

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Punkin 9 years, 9 months ago

The Lancet Journal recently estimated that there have been 100,000 "excess deaths" in Iraq since the war began.

Fallujah is the latest in this series of massacres. If things calm down there, it will be because our soldiers have killed just about everyone in the city. I predict Mosul is the next target.

Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector who has long been critical of the US war on Iraq, recently said that trying to quell the insurgency in Iraq is like squeeze jello. It will just pop out somewhere else.

This war is not going to get better, not in Fallujah or anywhere else. More innocent Iraqi civilians will die and more American soldiers will been maimed or killed.

This war is a quagmire; a trap; a waste a of money; It is travesty in its disregard for human life.

This war was based on a lie and is being sustained on lies. We cannot win in Iraq. We will only make more enemies and kill more innocents.

Mourn the dead. Heal the wounded. End the War.

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Fangorn 9 years, 9 months ago

"Maybe the Iraq people wanted Saddam brought down"? And the Jews of Germany "maybe" wanted Hitler removed from power. You are completely disconnected from reality. Saddam Hussein killed millions of Iraqis, including "pregnant women, children, [and] men ". Many Iraqis may want us gone at the earliest possible convenience (some want us to stay), but almost universally they wanted Hussein out.

You mention the businesses and home destroyed in Iraq as the war continues to be fought. But do you even know about the thousands of schools rebuilt and now operating because of the American military. How about the production of electricity, which is about pre-war levels? And an independent Iraqi press is now thriving with hundreds of newspapers now being published across the country, many even critical of the US presence and the interim government. Take your blinders off and look at the whole picture.

As for your wish list of where the money could have been spent elsewhere: socialized (universal) health insurance was rejected early in the Clinton administration; federal spending on public education has gone up 50% under the Bush administration (and what, exactly, are we getting for all that money?); alternate fuels are being developed by private industry and will be used when their cost becomes comparable to hydrocarbon fuels. Finally, the environment is much cleaner than it was 30 years ago. And as technology improves, so does the environment. I think the Garden of Eden was the only "environment" clean enough for you. . . that is until Adam started breathing and producing carbon dioxide.

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ms_canada 9 years, 9 months ago

it will no doubt turn out to be another vietnam. years will go by with so many dead and maimed. i weep to think of it. abortion is off the books in america and alive and well in iraq with pregnant women along with their babies succumbing to the bombs and bullets. killing babies in the belly is wrong, why is it not wrong in the streets of falluja. there has to be a better way. i am currently reading bob woodward's "plan of attack". interesting account of the days and months before the invasion began. but with all the to-ing and fro-ing of rumsfelt, franks and co. it seems they got it dreadfully wrong. in and out in a matter of months??? no way. remember the pictures of the toppling of the saddam statue. jubilation it was, but i wonder, now, how the majority of the iraqi people feel. it this a bad dream or a nightmare for them?? sorry to dump on your parade, but along with many, many others in my country and around the world, i am so against this invasion of iraq. as a previous poster said, it was and is built on lies. look to dick for the reasons behind it. i feel so bad for the young men and women in the forces. think about what happened to the vets when they returned from vietnam. go to the va hospitals and talk to them and ask what they think. how do they feel about it.
larry, do you know any older vets? you know some young fellows, i believe you said. see if you can find any vietnam vets. talk to them. i'll bet you get a different story. war is hell, no way around it. fangorn, i guess i have blinders on, all i see is the death of innocents. sorry. as i have mentioned before, i read a lot of history, and the futility of war is ever present and you know what, the worst of it is that it will ever be thus. from the dawn of time it has been so, beginning with cain and abel, the killing will go on, but i sure don't have to like it.

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remember_username 9 years, 9 months ago

Iraq will continue to be a problem, if not in Fallugah then in some other city in the country. Taking the blinders off and looking at the whole picture leads me to think that the only way to avoid continued conflict is to divide Iraq into three countrys along idealogical lines. Kurds in the north (sorry Turkey), Sunnis in the middle, and Shiites in the south. There is just no way I can see that these three groups are going to get along in a united Iraqi government without another Tyrant for a leader. If we stay and try to force a peace it will remain the mess it is now for a long time to come. In addition, for whatever reasons, the U.S. is the worst choice for enforcing a return to some better conditions. We are universally mistrusted thoughout the reqion and attempts to win hearts and minds will be attacked by those who hate us.

I really hope I am wrong - nothing would give me greater pleasure than to eat those gloomy words.

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remember_username 9 years, 9 months ago

ms_canada: If you ask older vets you will find that

1) their opinions about the current motivations for the Iraqi invasion vary as much as the rest of countries does.

2) it doesn't matter if you ask Vets from Korea, Vietnam, or WWII - war is always a dark place never to be visited, except...

3) when you are there nothing else matters but the guys in the hole with you - everyone else is a threat. You do your duty because of that bond not because of orders, right, or wrong.

Perhaps you ask about Vietnam Vets because what was different about that war - was not the war. But the way those at home percieved the war. I would hope that a young solder coming home from Iraqi will never be shunned by members of the opposite sex because he has a military haircut. Sorry for the male bias - I was in at a different time.

Please everybody, keep these things in mind, in your posts.

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Larry 9 years, 9 months ago

Well said Fangorn!

No one likes war. War is never an easy thing, nor is it something that we want to happen. Is it necessary? Consider where the world would be if Hitler would have been allowed to rampage through Europe, then Asia, etc without ever being questioned. Would the outcome of WW II have been different if our current liberal stance on war were around days after Normandy. Think of the number of soldiers that we lost in Normandy, yet Americans held strong. Is America bad? Is George W. Bush a bad person? Imagine this - put the United States military in Saddam Hussein's hands or Osama Bin Laden's hands or North Korea's hands. Now - who would you rather have in charge of this powerful military? The United States could wipe out most of this planet without even using nuclear weapons. It seems to me that President Bush has been more than patient. As for Vietnam - different war than our current war. Most guys from that war won't even admit that they were there. I know that I will find out years after befriending an individual that he served in Nam. It isn't something that most Nam vets like to discuss. As for this war - a persons attitude is continuant on whether or not they feel that Saddam was a threat to not only the United States, but the world. Regardless as to whether or not we found WMD, we still had reason to rid Iraq and the world of Saddam.

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Punkin 9 years, 9 months ago

The reconstruction of Iraq is also a lie.

Much of the money poured into Iraq has been skimmed off by no-bid contractors such as Halliburton.

So-called "reconstruction" monies are being spent, primarily, for securing and repairing oil production facilities, not rebuilding the decimated communities that were victims of our "shock and awe" campaign.

Of the $18.4 billion allocated for reconstruction last fall, only $600 million has been put to use. (At the time of the handover, authorities had spent a paltry $366 million.)

The Bush administration wants us to believe that everything is fine. I, for one, don't buy it.

Iraq never attacked the United States. To wage war in such a pre-emptive manner, in the name of human rights, will be judged accordingly in the history books.

This war is wrong.

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Fangorn 9 years, 9 months ago

remember_username makes a good point. The ethnic tensions within Iraq will make it hard to govern in any case. Look at the former Yugoslavia, now divided into five independent nations (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, and Macedonia). The only way these disparate groups functioned as a single nation was under a dictatorship. Maybe three separate nations isn't such a bad idea.

ms_canada, war is never "good" but it is sometimes necessary. Nobody likes war, least of all those who have to fight them. I have talked with many service members returning from Iraq. They know why we are there. They are focused and their morale is good. The media will always find the few soldiers who are vehemently opposed to our presence there, but they do not represent the majority opinion among troops, or even a sizeable minority. The vile way returning Vietnam vets were treated is not being repeated. Canada and the US share the longest undefended border in the world. Our nations have always been good neighbors, but I think it will be hard for us to find some common ground on this issue.

goatdog, "war criminal" is an ill-defined and legally dubious word. This is one of the reasons Bush wisely kept us out of the ICC farce. Your hopes will be unrealized.

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mrcairo 9 years, 9 months ago

The Iraqi People do NOT want Democracy. They are cowards and not willing to fight and die for it. Therefore Democracy will never take hold in Iraq or any other Middle Eastern country.

The terrorists will find refuge and a haven in Iraq now that the U.S. has totally screwed up the situation. We won the war, but not the peace. The people there were better off under Sodomy for sure.

There were no terrorists in Iraq until the U.S. opened the gates of hell and let them pour in. They would have been shot on sight under the control of Sodomy.

Now don't get me wrong, I believe Sodomy was a bad man who should have been removed, but there should have been some form of government in place to take over right away.

The fighting will continue for centuries.

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ms_canada 9 years, 9 months ago

yes, fangorn, i may have blinders on but i don't have my head in the sand. i fully realize that sometimes war is the only way to bring about peace, strange as that sounds. i am learning a lot from your posts, all of you. i am pleased to learn that the soldiers now are not treated as the nam vets were. i think i can understand the feelings of camaraderie that all fighting men must experience. it is sometimes necessary to their survival, true? i wish to take absolutely nothing away from their bravery. i do, however, feel that so many things have been mishandled in this 'war'. it is not possible to ennumerate them all in this short space. dividing this small country into three sections for the three ethnic factions would not be a solution simply because there are more than three factions. the tribal factions are numerous as they are in afganistan. and should we not take a lesson from what happened when the league of nations tried to divide israel/palestine between two factions. how long ago was that? 56 years ago, was it? i think that the long term effect of an invasion on the country was not well thought out or well planned in a few weeks we will, no doubt, learn that al Zarqawi has moved on and lives to fight another day in another city. i sincerely hope that i am wrong on that.

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kataboom 9 years, 9 months ago

why does vietnam always get mentioned during the iraq issue? they are not even close to being in the same ballpark mainly because its an all volunteer force in iraq which was not the case in vietnam.

how far did conscripts get any military leader in any country at any time? not far at all & vietnam is more like the soviet side of ww2 than the iraq matter.

even if 'vietnam' was a valid argument - what about lessons like the congo(1908), south africa(1906), cambodia(1979), nazi germany(1945), etc etc?

in 1000's of world atrocities such as these, if we knew what was going on prior to it having taken place i guarentee everyone would be all for pre-emptive action. the key word is pre-emptive.

99.9% of the american soldiers in iraq are in agreement with the objectives so please dont invent a voice for them. they have their own voice you know.

iraq never attacked the united states? thats a joke right? how does a coward attack? in secret & in the shadows. its simple schoolyard basics.

i dont think japan has any complaints of the government retooling the united states did for them in the 1940's but everyone seems to forget that lesson as well.

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Fangorn 9 years, 9 months ago

Democracy is a broad term. Canada's parlimentary system is quite different from our own version, but both are "democratic" in nature (to be precise, the US is a republic). Whatever the exact form of the new Iraqi government, the Iraqi people want some form of self-determination. Democracy already has a foothold in the Middle East, if only in Israel. The Iraqi people are not cowards. Many have joined their military despite the obvious threat to their lives. Don't judge them too quickly. It is hard for a nation to find its strength when it has been crushed under the heel of a brutal dictator for 30 years.

Abu Nidal was in Iraq before the war. In fact he had been a guest there for some time. He wasn't the only one. And the terrorists who couldn't travel to Iraq certainly had a friend there, as the families of Palestinian homocide bombers can attest. They got a nice stipend from ol' Uncle Saddam when one of their children blew up a school bus or a pizza parlor. Terrorists are moving to Iraq because they understand what is at stake: a stable, democratic, Muslim nation in the Middle East will undermine their cause. We can't reasonably expect to keep foreign terrorists out. We can't even keep illegal immigrants from Mexico out of our own country. Following WWII, the fighting continued well after V-E Day. The "werewolves" kept Allied forces busy for years. Iraq will be no different.

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Adam 9 years, 9 months ago

Q. What's the difference between Iraq and Vietnam??

A. Bush had a plan to get out of Vietnam.

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Punkin 9 years, 9 months ago

The following are excerpts from an lndependent/UK article written by Kim Sengupta in Camp Dogwood, Iraq.


Fallujah Situation 'Disastrous', Charity Says

Civilians trapped in Fallujah face a humanitarian disaster unless Iraqi and American authorities allow food, water and medicine into the besieged city, aid agencies warned last night.

Fardous al-Ubaidi, head of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, said her organization had asked permission from the Iraqi government to deliver aid supplies to people in the city but the request was turned down.

"There is no water, no food, no medicine, no electricity and no fuel and when we asked for permission, we were only allowed to approach the Fallujah outskirts but had no access to Fallujah itself," Ms al-Ubaidi said.

Meanwhile, British soldiers from the Black Watch were involved in a series of running battles with insurgents yesterday after going to the support of American forces in the city.

Inside Fallujah, intense fighting erupted in the north-west of the city, just as US commanders were declaring that they had trapped resistance fighters in the southern end and were about to launch a final assault to take control.

The American forces insisted that attacks by rebels on a narrow strip of south Fallujah were isolated. Roy Meek, a Marines spokesman, said: "They can't go north because that's where we are. They can't go west because of the Euphrates river and they can't go east because we have a huge presence there. So they are cornered in the south."

A little later the American headquarters inside Fallujah came under repeated fire, leading to US tanks and armored cars heading back into areas which US forces had claimed to be firmly under control.

Rasoul Ibrahim, a father of three, fled Fallujah on foot, arriving with his wife and children yesterday in Habbaniya, 12 miles to the west. He said families left inside Fallujah were in desperate need. "There's no water," he said. "People are drinking dirty water. Children are dying. People are eating flour because there's no food." Around 10,000 people have taken shelter in Habbaniya.

Meanwhile, violence continued to spread, with US aircraft carrying out air strikes in Mosul and militants attacking US patrols near the center of Baghdad with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The interim government extended the curfew imposed on the capital to the Shia holy city of Najaf.

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Zeke 9 years, 9 months ago

Noam Chomsky: Hegemony or Survival

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