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Iraq-How do you feel after four years?

Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2007, at 5:24 PM

Ok…this is a topic I don't plan to talk about on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, this may be the only time I bring this up unless it just turns out really well.

I'm going to bring up…the war.

In March of 2003, when we invaded Iraq, I could not have been a bigger supporter. Still in the post-9/11 patriotic phase we all jumped into, I really felt like it was the right thing to do. As a matter of fact, I couldn't believe we had waited so long to go.

I had no doubt in my mind that WMDs were everywhere in Iraq and we were the saviors of the Middle East. An Iraq - Al-Qaeda tie seemed obvious and it was time to take care of business.

Now, four years later, I've had a bit of a change of heart. In retrospect, it's easy to see how quickly we jump to conclusions.

As time has passed, I just don't see the changes I felt like would come after we kicked them back a few centuries.

I don't believe you can ever "win" a war when you are fighting against a culture, religion or belief system. I don't necessarily believe we have made conditions worse for the Iragi's, but I don't believe we have improved them to the extent we had hoped, shy of ousting Saddam. Regardless of why we went, it was time that he was removed.

Despite that, I have changed course and I really believe it's time to come home. I don't see major changes and I don't believe we are going to stop car bombings and domestic terrorism within Iraq. Even Republican support seems to be dwindling. At the very least, our stake in the war needs to be re-evaluated.

Do you feel like the U.S. is less or more likely to suffer another terrorist attack now that more than 5 years have passed since 9/11.

At some point, we have to chalk it up to experience and move on.

I also want it known that I do support our troops, the ideas behind their mission and I wish their safe returns. I just don't see the mission as realistic. It's strange how a little time to reflect can so drastically change one's beliefs.

How do you feel about the war? Have your thoughts changed over the years or have you stood by your initial opinion? Is it possible to make the Middle East, and the U.S., safe from terrorism? Just some food for thought.


By the way, for those of you new to blogging, all of our previous blogs and topics remain active regardless of whether they are on the main page of the new site. If you still wish to comment on a prior topic you can find it by clicking on the "blogs" link near the top of the page,

Thanks for reading.


Comments
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Corey, be careful with why they don't like and want to kill us. It is a very, very touchy subject that can go in more than one direction.

Yes mam, that is where I came from. I guess I could have set there and blamed my country for the circumstance I was in. For some reason I was happy and believed in my country. I still do. It is a great place, compared to any other and I have seen a few of them. There are thousands of people out here with similar circumstances to mine. It is not that unique.

I got to see the Berlin wall come down. What a thrill that was. I was able to come and go as I please anywhere in the United States, even to Canada or Mexico, but those people would be killed trying to get over a wall that separated their country. A wall that was built to keep people in. Sounds like how we build prisons here doesn't it. I am glad that wasn't me. The appalachian mountains were a piece of cake. I love it there too.

I feel safe here, but I probably would not feel as safe near Wall Street or at an international airport or in Las Vegas, or near a power plant. I do have faith in our law enforcement agencies and military to do the best they can. I know they understand the problem and are trying. Counter terrorism is a very hard job, especially if an individual is willing to strap a bomb on themselves and push the button. That is almost impossible to stop.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 10:01 PM

Le Truth. I really wish that there were more stories like yours. What an inspiration! And so refreshing to hear the pride that you have in our military and our country!

So many people don't realize that we really have it pretty good in this country. People fought and died for the freedoms we have, and we have a lot of freedoms.

I'm tempted to tell every single person who thinks they have it so bad in America to go live in some of these other countries for a little while. I think it would give them a new found respect for the people who fought and died to make this country what it is.

Anyways, thanks for sharing that. Hats off to you.

-- Posted by vambfly on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 8:57 PM

E.B., I read your biographical information with amazement! You've always been honest with us (I think) on these blogs....Are you serious when you say that you were born in a cabin in Appalachia?

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 8:15 PM

Corey, you're doing an amazingly good job of controlling this very volatile discussion -- especially for a kid!!:)

You've mentioned several good ideas for future blogs, I think - the Patriotic Act and this last one on why do they hate us over there.

Even though I'm not capable of contributing comments, I really do enjoy reading what the others have written, and I feel that I'm learning a lot. I especially like how they can disagree so vehemently but still keep it under control.

Wow! It's democracy in action! And right here in little 'ole Dexter, Missouri!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 8:08 PM

Sounds right to me. Glad I am not the only one here who feels this way. I was beginning to think I was getting old and senile.

By the way, so everyone will understand why I feel the way I do I should be up front about myself. My wife and I have five children. Four are in the military or married to military members who are great and wonderful people. None of them owe Sallie Mae one cent. None of them have evil intentions. They are all level headed young men and women. My wife and I both served in the military also.

I was born in a log cabin in the head of a holler in the appalachian mountains with no doctor present. Only one in the whole county. I was told he did show up a couple weeks later to check me.

Everything I am and everything I have today I owe to my country for the opportunity it has given me and some great leaders that I met in the military. Great people who have dedicated their lives to this country and the freedoms we enjoy. I do have a couple degrees that I completed. That was from my own hard work, but I wouldn't have had the drive to go to college, while working and raising five children had I not been in the military and met those wonderful people who convinced me that I could do it.

I thought I should be up front and tell the truth about my background so everyone can understand my bias and never compromise attitude on what I think. Because of what I have personally seen and done. Not read about or heard on the news media.

I do feel safer today than I did after 911. At least I know, that everyone else knows that it can happen and I believe that we keep a lot of the people that would like to do that again busy in the Middle East. Maybe they will be successful again someday, because you can't stop them every time. They have been doing these things for a while. No they didn't come from Iraq to attack us, but they sure are showing up there now aren't they. Good a place as any to confront them. Pulling out of Iraq will not stop them from trying. Freedom is something they can not stand.

Sorry guys, I apologize. I do love my country and I know we are right. Telling you why I think they hate us would start a whole different blog which would cause an extremely heated discussion.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 6:35 PM
Corey Noles' response:
Why these people hate us is actually something I'm toying with for the future. I have a few ideas that I think will make for good conversation. So far everyone has stayed reasonably civil and I really appreciate that. It was a big concern before we started this project.

That being said, this blog is for all of us. If anyone has any ideas, tips or suggestions feel free to shoot me an email anytime at cnoles@dailystatesman.com

We may have a lot of work cut out for us, but if in the end it makes the entire world a better place for our future generations. Then all the costs, no matter how high they may be, were worth it!

-- Posted by Obadieh on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 1:06 PM

Not gonna change my mind and obviously I can have no impact on yours, but that is OK. I will die for your right to have that opinion, would you? We are lucky we can voice our opinion with a vote. Hopefully we elect public officials with the nerve to represent our beliefs. So far, so good. Over 200 years and going strong.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 11:35 AM

It is good that you don't take everything Fox says to heart. No one should trust anything that the media says without holding them accountable for the news they report. That puts a big burden on the people of America. Luckily, we have the internet now. Luckily, we can hold new sources accountable for their mistakes. For example, Dan Rather. Michael Moore has held the media honest as well. In fact, the Associated Press, USA Today, and I presume CNN before too long all retracted and apologized for reporting falsehoods about the correct statistics Moore presents in his new film. It hurts being wrong, but even Dan Rather, the big media, you, and me have to admit when we are. Even the government has to admit being wrong sometimes. Maybe that's why slowly everyone in our government who voted for invading to Iraq is quietly drawing up plans for withdrawal of our troops. That's right. Both sides of the aisle are at least currently withdrawing their support of the war. If we are in the business of building democracies, we have a lot of work ahead of us. If we are in the business of overthrowing dictatorships that trample human rights, we're facing an even larger job. That's the issue with Iraq. We were wrong about WMDs. We did take down a tyrannical leader, but at the same time we brought more even more instability and danger to these people. We've tried to rebuild and reestablish government there, but the Iraqi people have to take the reigns. Our timetable for being finished with Iraq is a thing of the past now. Now whenever anyone mentions the word timetable president Bush brings up the word loser. Americans don't want to lose, but we have to realize that we can't continue to force these people to do things are way. We've been in their country long enough, and now they are turning on us. If the Iraqis want democracy to work, they will make it work. If they don't, we can't make it work for them. Lest we forget what Dubya said our original reason for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was...

"to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction,to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people."

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/...

-- Posted by jabelson on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 10:05 AM

I like Fox, but I didn't say I take everything they say as gospel and sure don't use them as a reference. My reference is in my heart. For the troops and for what they give and I do believe Iraqi's may be a little better off. They have a freely elected government, that could ask us to leave at any time. We didn't destroy that country. It was already destroyed. Palaces and shacks and it is getting better.

In a shorter time period than it took us to establish democracy in our own country. A lot of people died doing that so you and I could have freedom. Man it turned out great.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 8:07 AM

oh yeah, and this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3...

-- Posted by jabelson on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 5:14 AM

We don't do body counts," Gen. Tommy Franks

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/con...

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,1019...

(WOW FOX NEWS!) I posted this to show what the White House propaganda machine was spitting out 4 years ago...read this. Look at what's happening today.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2...

http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/iraq/c...

-- Posted by jabelson on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 5:11 AM

I can't even believe what I'm reading.

Jabelson, you can't tell me you honestly believe that?

It's amazing to see so many people blindly following everything they see or hear. Next you'll be saying you believe that the US government was behind 9/11.

Well I am sure that there are some soldiers committing dishonorable acts, the majority of our boys there are doing everything they can to maintain order, not add to the chaos!

I get all fired up by these:

Armchair Generals who sit around punching buttons on their computers and saying how much better everything would be "if only..."

Well, war is hell son. There's no way around that. Not everything goes exactly as planned. I don't think we planned on it taking this long for the Iraqi government to get started, and their military forming. BUT we are helping to build a democracy where they only knew dictatorship!

Remember Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will Iraq be!

Jabelson, you said you were a big supporter of the war, and then changed your mind later when no WMD's were found, and you "heard" 100,000 civilians were killed while we were hunting down that boy Saddam. Well, here's something to think about. First, the fact that there were no WMD's in Iraq should make everyone extremely HAPPY, and glad that Saddam's regime was stopped before they got any! Secondly, there are always casualties of war, it's disheartening, but true. I know, as well as anyone would, that there have been civilian casualties in Iraq. Were they worth it to remove a murderous dictator from power? Hell yeah it was.

Too many people have become unsupportive of the war based on the number of soldiers killed, or the time they've been over there, but the cold hard truth is that there will always be wars. That's human nature. Most wars are based on power, or money, or land. This was is based on making the world a safer place for our children, and our children's children. If you're too ignorant to see that, I feel for you!

You say that North Korea and Iran are more serious targets?

Well, when we wrap up in Iraq we can worry about setting a reservation for Kim Jong Il, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the end of the executioner's rope.

I hope my strong comments didn't send you running to MSNBC or some other lame website for conformation of the propaganda you've been reading!

-- Posted by Obadieh on Sun, Jul 15, 2007, at 12:39 AM

Obadieh, you better get back in here. I think I am about to be over ran. It's apparent that I am going to need help to keep America safe and free. This MSNBC reference is too much for me. I am a FOX fan. Fair and balanced.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Sat, Jul 14, 2007, at 3:37 PM

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19760628/

-- Posted by jabelson on Sat, Jul 14, 2007, at 11:49 AM

Let's not forget that we captured Saddam

Hussein! We have helped free people of a horrible dictator. I for one am not sure what my feelings are on the war now. I think we have accomplished a lot simply by capturing, and executing a man that was responsible for the torture and deaths of his own people. We have captured several terrorists. People die in wars. It's sad, but true. Our young men knew the possibility of war when they signed on. It was their decision, and it was an informed one. The Navy and Army exist to defend our country. That is their purpose. I know that we can't just "quit", but when will we declare victory? What exactly is it that will put an end to the war?

Something else I will add, the troops need their countrymen and women to support them. Regardless of our personal opinions we need to show the men and women that we support them and pray for their safe return.

-- Posted by vambfly on Fri, Jul 13, 2007, at 8:24 PM
Corey Noles' response:
When you look at the numbers and years together, this has in all actuality been one of the least bloody battles we have faced. While over 3,000 soldiers in 4 years is a lot of dead soldiers, look at our history. We really couldn't ask for better numbers. Of course none would be great, but the fact is that in war, people die.

A lot of guys say a lot of things about what they did or didn't do or seen or didn't see in conflict. Most of it is what we called war stories, kind of like a fairy tale you know. The only difference is one starts with once upon a time and the other starts with this ain't no BS. There are extreme controls on our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I talk to guys who have been there almost every day. One of the main complaints is the restriction of the use of force. You go to jail for doing the things that were described above and let me tell you Leavenworth is no place that a GI wants to go. We don't bomb schools or hospitals or open air markets. We didn't kill a 100,000. Not even during shock and awe. I didn't see them laying in the streets during the news reports. Why do you think the military allowed the news reporters to accompany the troops. If that was happening I guarantee you there wouldn't be a reporter there. There is no reason to read propaganda. Some that is actually reported by the enemy. They are pretty good at it you know. They know that some people can be easily swayed and will repeat the propaganda because it fits their belief or agenda. Not believing you here buddy or the people you cited. Don't even know if they are real people. probably not. By the way, we assisted the Kuwait's because they asked us to and we have a mutual defense treaty with them. Very important thing to have, just like the ones we have with Canada and Mexico and England and Germany and France and Israel. Their country and government was overthrown and we helped them get it back. Is that understandable? Maybe not, but I tell you once and for all that our guys and gals are not over there shooting these puppies, let alone their babies. To say such a thing or even to repeat that someone else has said it is unacceptable and should cause one shame.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Fri, Jul 13, 2007, at 8:00 PM

In all reality, I don't think we should've engaged in the Persion Gulf War of '91. Radical Muslims hate us, and they are at war among themselves. We stepped into a hornet's nest!

That being said, I believe going into Afghanistan was the right thing to do, but we should've kept that our number 1 priority until we captured Bin Laden.

Our going into Iraq was based on poor information which was believed by both political parties going back to Clinton. It was also believed bu the UN. Where the wmds went we may never know. But once we captuered Saddam Hussein, we should've pulled out. Right now both political parties are politicizing the war, and that's why I support Ron Paul for president!

-- Posted by swift on Fri, Jul 13, 2007, at 12:03 PM
Corey Noles' response:
Just wanted to pass this along to everyone, since it's on subject here. We just received an interesting press release that I thought would spark some interesting discussion.

It came from Americans Against Escalation in Iraq and is titles Senators Bond & McCaskill: Stand with the majority and bring the troops home.

Bond is quoted as saying "The strategy we have is not the right strategy." It asks Bond and McCaskill to support the Levin/Reed amendment to the 2008 Defense Authorization Bill.

If approved the measure would begin reduction of troops no later than 120 after the enactment, would begin the reduction as part of a "comprehensive, diplomatic, political and economic strategy that includes engaging Iraq's neighbors and the international community, and complete the "transition of mission" and troop deployment by April 30, 2008.

Take from this what you wish. We get a lot of these things, but quite often they aren't about our senators.

One more link:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5057703/

-- Posted by jabelson on Fri, Jul 13, 2007, at 10:34 AM

Well, I suppose some clarification about September 11th needs to be made now. The United States DID NOT invade Iraq because of their part in the September 11th terrorist attacks, and NONE of the September 11th terrorists were from Iraq. I remember very well the lives lost on 9/11, but I do not remember President Bush telling the people of the United States that we must invade Iraq to avenge the deaths of those lost in the World Trade Center. Iraq did invade Kuwait, but lest we forget the arms transactions that took place between the United States and Iraq when both nations were still friends. While many deaths in Iraq are being caused by the current insurgency, many have been caused by U.S. military operations in Iraq. Please visit this website for more information: http://www.iraqbodycount.org/. Now then, the United States military is currently rebuilding this nation as quickly as possible, but we must remember that we caused a great deal of the destruction we are fixing. I think it is important to remember that the longer we are staying in Iraq, the more we are seeing the locals take part in the insurgency. Many oppressed people have been liberated in Iraq, but the quality of life that we are currently providing for these people is not one that we as Americans would tolerate at all whatsoever. I'll leave you with some quotes that have been gathered by a London based source called 'The Guardian.'

"We were approaching this one house... and we're approaching, and they had a family dog. And it was barking ferociously, cause it's doing its job. And my squad leader, just out of nowhere, just shoots it... So I see this dog - I'm a huge animal lover... this dog has, like, these eyes on it and he's running around spraying blood all over the place. And like, you know, what the hell is going on? The family is sitting right there, with three little children and a mom and a dad, horrified. And I'm at a loss for words."

Specialist Philip Chrystal, 23, of Reno, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Brigade. In Kirkuk and Hawija on 11-month tour beginning November 2004

"I'll tell you the point where I really turned... [there was] this little, you know, pudgy little two-year-old child with the cute little pudgy legs and she has a bullet through her leg... An IED [improvised explosive device] went off, the gun-happy soldiers just started shooting anywhere and the baby got hit. And this baby looked at me... like asking me why. You know, 'Why do I have a bullet in my leg?'... I was just like, 'This is, this is it. This is ridiculous'."

Specialist Michael Harmon, 24, of Brooklyn, 167th Armour Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. In Al-Rashidiya on 13-month tour beginning in April 2003

"Cover your own butt was the first rule of engagement. Someone could look at me the wrong way and I could claim my safety was in threat."

Lieutenant Brady Van Engelen, 26, of Washington DC, 1st Armoured Division. Eight-month tour of Baghdad beginning Sept 2003

"I guess while I was there, the general attitude was, 'A dead Iraqi is just another dead Iraqi... You know, so what?'... [Only when we got home] in... meeting other veterans, it seems like the guilt really takes place, takes root, then."

Specialist Jeff Englehart, 26, of Grand Junction, Colorado, 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry. In Baquba for a year beginning February 2004

"The car was approaching what was in my opinion a very poorly marked checkpoint... and probably didn't even see the soldiers... The guys got spooked and decided it was a possible threat, so they shot up the car. And they [the bodies] literally sat in the car for the next three days while we drove by them.

Sergeant Dustin Flatt, 33, of Denver, 18th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. One-year from February 2004

"The frustration that resulted from our inability to get back at those who were attacking us led to tactics that seemed designed simply to punish the local population..."

Sergeant Camilo Mej'a, 31, from Miami, National Guardsman, 1-124 Infantry Battalion, 53rd Infantry Brigade. Six-month tour beginning April 2003

"I just remember thinking, 'I just brought terror to someone under the American flag'."

Sergeant Timothy John Westphal, 31, of Denver, 18th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division. In Tikrit on year-long tour beginning February 2004

"A lot of guys really supported that whole concept that if they don't speak English and they have darker skin, they're not as human as us, so we can do what we want."

Specialist Josh Middleton, 23, of New York City, 2nd Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division. Four-month tour in Baghdad and Mosul beginning December 2004

-- Posted by jabelson on Fri, Jul 13, 2007, at 7:30 AM

Oh, my gosh! This is the most exciting conversation I've heard in a long time! You guys are terrific! I especially like what I.B. Le Truth just said! Talk about the Voice of Reason!

Looks as if you stirred up a Hornet's Nest, Corey!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Jul 13, 2007, at 7:21 AM

Take it easy guys, you know you have given your time and your life for people to be able to voice their opinion. Let them do that and be proud of what you have done, but don't be afraid to confront those opinions. You have earned the right to do that. The opinions though, not them. Part of the problem today is that most people who have a different opinion than what is being espoused by the anti military and anti war or anti american is that we will mostly keep quiet and not respond, but we must so that future generations will have the opportunity. Remember Al Queada can't stand those purple fingers and that is what is going on right now. They have to put a stop to this in order to establish their government and ideology. People given a free choice will not elect to be ruled like that.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 11:00 PM

hey jableson you said:

I definitely realize that we have had troops in Iraq for a long period of time. I also realize that we engaged in bombing Iraq for that same period of time. This still does not justify the current situation to me. Nor does it clarify our original invasion and overthrowing of their government. It is unfortunate that we have lost lives in Iraq, but it is maybe even sadder to realize how many lives have been taken away from the Iraqi people. Gulf War Syndrome has absolutely ravaged the Iraqis and their newborns, and I shudder to think about the affects of our most recent invasion and occupation.

Are you even American? or are you replyin from the middle east??

Did you shudder to think of the newborns of the people who died in 9/11?

Did you shudder to think of what happened to us on that day?

gulf war syndrome!?

How about 9/11 syndrome!?

I can't believe that even in our great country people can be allowed to speak as freely as you do?

Do you sympathize for the guys who actually flew the planes into our buildings?

-- Posted by Obadieh on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 10:28 PM

now i'm all fired up here!!

ya'll sound like a bunch o turncoats.

we in a war! when i fought we didn't just stop fighting. we fought till they said we stopped. we didn't question our orders, we obeyed. and we sure didn't have a bunch o sissy boys back home sayin' how we shouldn't be there!

who cares how much this war is costing us, i'd rather die a free poor man than be a millionaire with no freedoms.

i think ya'll are forgettin' all the souls buried that fought wars to give you the right to even speak the traitor talk that you are now!

don't dishonor their memories, and the memories of ours boys gettin kilt over there now by sayin' this war shouldn't be happening, and it's a waste or our money to have them there.

ya'll make me sick.

-- Posted by Obadieh on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 10:20 PM

You can not deny that Iraq invaded Kuwait and they were the aggressor. The Iraqi goverenment who had signed a peace treaty at the end of Desert Storm would not abide by the agreement and continued to fire at our personnel and aircraft and would not allow UN inspectors to conduct their inspections. The deaths that are occurring in Iraq are not being commmitted by us. Our troops are not building roadside bombs, spraying civilians with chemicals or lining them up against walls and shooting them. Our troops shoot at people who shot at them, not necceccerarily Iraqi's either. Our troops build schools and hospitals and conduct other community service projects. A lot of Iraqi's are dieing in Iraq for freedom and the right to govern themselves through an elected government and we are worried about dollars and finding excuses not to help. I will always rememeber the purple fingers, a purple finger that could get you killed. Whats a little green. My taxes are actually lower than they were before we invaded or liberated Iraq, depending on your view point, for at least another year or two anyway.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 7:44 PM

er...effects.

-- Posted by jabelson on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 6:08 PM

I definitely realize that we have had troops in Iraq for a long period of time. I also realize that we engaged in bombing Iraq for that same period of time. This still does not justify the current situation to me. Nor does it clarify our original invasion and overthrowing of their government. It is unfortunate that we have lost lives in Iraq, but it is maybe even sadder to realize how many lives have been taken away from the Iraqi people. Gulf War Syndrome has absolutely ravaged the Iraqis and their newborns, and I shudder to think about the affects of our most recent invasion and occupation.

-- Posted by jabelson on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 6:07 PM

Does anyone realize that we have had troops in the area and aircraft patrolling over the Southern portion of Iraq since the end of Desert Storm? Many personnel have been stationed in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia and many civilian contract personnel have been there since Desert Storm. Don't forget that planes were shot down over the area after Desert Storm. We still have one pilot unaccounted for. I don't think it is a waste of money. We waste a whole lot here. A large number of Senators and Congressmen bring a whole lot of pork home, well almost every one of them I guess and maybe the war is cutting into their pork.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 5:10 PM
Corey Noles' response:
That's a good point about how long we have actually been in Iraq. I was and am still glad to see Saddam gone. He was a sick individual who didn't deserve to walk the same Earth as "his" people. It was long past time that someone kicked his tail out of there. Realistically, it should have been done 10 years earlier.

The pork issue is no joke at all. It absolutely disgusts me the way items are pushed through and votes are bought by tacking these things on to bills. It's common on both sides of the aisle and considered acceptable by those who run the country.

The Cost of Iraq War calculator is set to reach $456 billion September 30, 2007, the end of fiscal year 2007. The Cost of Iraq War calculator is occasionally reset based on new information and new allocations of funding. The numbers include military and non-military spending, such as reconstruction. Spending only includes incremental costs, additional funds that are expended due to the war. For example, soldiers' regular pay is not included, but combat pay is included. Potential future costs, such as future medical care for soldiers and veterans wounded in the war, are not included. It is also not clear whether the current funding will cover all military wear and tear. It also does not account for the Iraq War being deficit-financed and that taxpayers will need to make additional interest payments on the national debt due to those deficits.

The media (and others) sometimes cite a figure that is in excess of our estimate. However, the number cited by the media may include not just the Iraq War, but the Afghanistan War and for enhanced security abroad. Our figure is only covering the cost of the Iraq War as it relates to the U.S. federal budget (and does not include costs to others or other countries or any economic impact costs to Americans).

This number is based on an analysis of the legislation in which Congress has allocated money for war so far and research by the Congressional Research Service (latest report) which has access to Department of Defense financial reports. An article offered by the Strauss Military Reform Project of the Center for Defense Information offers greater insight into the problems of truly knowing how much has been spent on the Iraq War or other military operations. Other NPP information on the cost of the Iraq War includes the NPP Database Trade-offs Page; a discussion of the most recent administration request not yet passed by Congress; and the Local Costs of the Iraq War which includes the total cost allocated to date for numerous towns and counties across the country. This list is also more regularly updated with new locations than the list of the Cost of Iraq War calculator. See also the NPP Charts page which offers comparative cost and casualty information on wars.

This is from the above website (http://costofwar.com/) and I think it explains the calculation of the estimated cost of the war fairly well. It is dangerous to not find biased numbers on the internet, but this website seems to be legitimate.

-- Posted by jabelson on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 1:30 PM

I would also suggest that everyone visit this website.

http://costofwar.com/

I think that this is a really great way to put the amount of money spent on this war into perspective for all Americans.

-- Posted by jabelson on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 9:54 AM
Corey Noles' response:
Thanks for posting the site. I would be curious to know how much they can be trusted. Quite often those partisan thinktanks twist things a lot. However, If they are even remotely close to being right, then that's unreal.

It said $36 million for Cape Girardeau alone.

It seems as though I had a dream that was relevant to this topic. I remember seeing a Texan on a boat, and I think he said something about a mission being accomplished. Of course, that was a long time ago when the 'war was over.' Nevertheless, anyone who knows me would definitely confirm that I was one of the biggest supporters for the war in Iraq, President Bush and his administration, and the Republican Party after September 11th, 2001. However, that was a long time ago. I remember being told of many weapons of mass destruction that were threatening the people of the United States. Suddenly we needed to take a preemptive measure to stop Saddam Hussein from taking more American lives. Of course, many lives and years later, it seems the reasons for attacking the sovereign nation of Iraq have changed. So to talk about being on the offensive is a pretty poor defense for the United States' occupation of Iraq. I find it ironic that fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian, yet we still allow their money to control roughly one third of our economy. To say that Iraq was a threat to our nation seems to be yet another weak reason for this war, as North Korea and Iran are two nations that have been far more aggressive and defiant towards the United States and the United Nations. Granted Saddam Hussein was a criminal, but we must remember who his former allies were. The United States did manage to kill him and many more like him along with an estimated 100,000 civilians living in Iraq. I find this to be completely unjustifiable. The amount of money and lives that have been utterly thrown away for reasons that have been distorted over the past few years is despicable. To combat the American people from wavering in their support of the President's foreign policy, George H.W. Bush created a catchy public relations campaign. During the first Gulf War, H.W. began throwing around the phrase 'Support our Troops.' Noam Chomsky has written some nice evaluations of this type of propaganda, dating back to the Wilson administration's 1919 use of photographs of Belgian babies that had been decimated by the Nazis. This was done to rouse an isolation America into joining the First World War. Nowadays, thanks to the Bush family catchphrase 'Support Our Troops,' it is perfectly reasonable to label anyone who questions our countries occupation of Iraq as 'unpatriotic.' Noam Chomsky uses the phrase 'I don't NOT support our troops,' to try to communicate his views on this war. I know many veterans of the Iraqi war personally, and I know all of them are proud of their efforts. I do not think any Americans would disagree that the service of these men and women was anything short of honorable. However, just because I do not agree with the ruling bodies that direct the actions of these men and women does not mean that I do not support the actual soldiers themselves. Anyone serving our nation now or in the past is admirable, but the government's justifications for an unfounded and meaningless loss of life are not. Sadly, as more and more soldiers and citizens become disenfranchised with the problems that are festering in Iraq, the government pushes even harder to discredit their loyalty to this country as well as their patriotism. More damage is being done to the United States and her citizens each day that Iraq is occupied. I say that if our elected officials are going to continue to keep our soldiers in Iraq, then they should have their own children who are serving in the military on the ground fighting as well. The world's views on our country have plummeted so dramatically that it may be impossible to ever gain any respect from the rest of the world. The U.S has mainly contributed the troops and money that make up the coalition that is fighting this war. Before too long America will be the only country left in Iraq, and I suspect that will lead to far more danger than the United States has ever known.

-- Posted by jabelson on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 9:53 AM

I hate to give a re-response here, but I have to. When it comes to Saudi Arabia don't expect to hear about actions they have or have not taken. They don't really operate that way. That is a totally closed society. They don't have freedom of the press. You and I could probably be punished there for having this conversation. A lot of things could be happening to support us, but you and I will never know.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Thu, Jul 12, 2007, at 7:31 AM
Corey Noles' response:
I hope that's the case and it's quite possible that it is.

I have no doubt we would be punished for this conversation over there. That sad part is that those Middle Eastern countries will never move out of that mindset. I don't think things in that part of the world will be any different 1,000 years from now. No amount of wars or political uprisings is going to change that.

No castle, walled city or country that I am aware of has ever survived that placed their military in a pure defensive mode. You have to be on the offense. If you look at a world map and view where we have personnel deployed and where we have semi-allies you will see that Syria and Iran are basically under seige or surrounded, not us. This may be about more than just Iraq. It's a pretty basic plan. A big maybe, because we aren't privy to the entire plan are we, but it sure appears to be that way to me and I do feel the country is safer. Being a retired military member I know that you can't say you support the troops and not the mission. If you were an army grunt on the ground you would understand. They believe in what they are doing. They are offering their life for it and when I hear people say they support the troops, but not the war it really appears disingenious or a misunderstanding of what support is and requires.

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Wed, Jul 11, 2007, at 11:18 PM
Corey Noles' response:
I have to agree that I have wondered, especially in the last 12-18 months, if a large portion of why we are still there has to do with being a good staging area for somewhere like Iran or Syria. To be honest, I really feel if we wanted to fight terrorism, we needed to be in either Saudi or Iran in the first place. I think our "friends" the Saudis have already proven back in 2001 that they aren't serious about terrorism. That's where the majority of the 9/11 hijackers originated and I haven't heard of any major arrests or operations there.

Why is that?

By not believing in the mission, I did not mean that I hope for failure. I sincerely hope they can win this, I just have a hard time seeing it happen. I hope each and every one of them makes it home safely to be with their families and I do appreciate their sacrifices.

Hard to be taken seriously when you have a user name like "goat lady," but I'll give it a shot.

I don't think we should be in the business of nation-building. True, Saddam was bad, but look what the Shiites have done to the Sunnis now that they're the ones in control? It just seems like those people are never going to get along with each other, no matter what we do to "help" them.

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Jul 11, 2007, at 10:32 PM


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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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