Iraq: Year to the day

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by scotscop, Apr 9, 2004.

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  1. The ends justify the means, a peaceful democratic Iraq will be worth it in the end

    0 vote(s)
  2. The WMD claim was a disgrace, however its to late and the allies must finish what they have started

    0 vote(s)
  3. Say hello to the new Vietnam...

    0 vote(s)
  4. This will never go away, the whole region has been de-stabilised and Islam set against the west

    0 vote(s)
  5. All those involved in beginning this campaign have blood on their hands, it will never be forgiven

    0 vote(s)
  1. Your opinions and responses please. The poll options dont come close to being able to truly represent any views but im sure the jist is understood.
  2. Given you poms don't even know where Vietnam is let alone have any experience of that war lets look at a simple difference: Vietnam is a long thin country covered with tall green trees or very wet paddy fields, Iraq is a fat sort of polygon like country covered with .... ..... .... nothing!

    Vietnam had a couple of good beaches - Iraq ... well it is a beach !!!!!

    The Marines in Fallujah have given the enemy a chance to save their population but to no avail - bullets are flying again.

    Kut has been re-taken and Al-Sadr has said he is willing to die resisting any U.S. attempt to capture him.

    We can only hope he will die soon.

    The hostage taking shows how desperate the enemy is and now those pictures of an 18 year old Japanese girl with a bayonet being thrust into her throat have circled the globe their hope for a broader Arab support is gone.

    Let us remember Vietnam was a war of last century - lessons can and have been learnt but their is no comparison with Iraq or Afghanistan - it's like saying Northern Ireland is the British Vietnam - pure bullshit.

    On another note:

    I'm sure many of you saw the video of a marine trying to climb out of the turret of a damaged Abrams and then slumping back into the vehicle with a head wound - he died ....

    As for the Ukranians, Poles and the rest of the Euro rabble, how safe do you feel with them in NATO?

    Let's face it there is only one real army in Europe - and you're in it!

    As for the Arabs/Muslims fcuk them all ...
  3. When i ask your opinion in a poll, it doesnt mean that is mine.
    Secondly the term "new vietnam" is being thrown about by the septics, whom im guessing know more about vietnam than yourself. Secondly when refering to the Iraqi situation as "Vietnem" - far some odd reason i think peope mean the style of warfare i.e one of attration not the geographic similarities.

    Thank you for your update on the Iraqi situation, as im sure your aware we dont have any capable news services, especially not the world service.... ah wait thats a lie.

    "As for the Ukranians, Poles and the rest of the Euro rabble, how safe do you feel with them in NATO?" How safe do you feel? Worked with any troops from those countires or are you just fairly biggoted?

    "Let's face it there is only one real army in Europe - and you're in it!" - I think you meant the World :D
  4. Bit touchy really... what did I do other than express an fcuking opinion?

    The septics moaning on about Vietnam are predictably DEMOCRATS like the sodden red nosed water taxi driver Kennedy and other supporters of John F Kerry the new white be medalled hope.

    As for septics knowing more about Vietnam than me - well what do you think the term `digger' refers to - a fcuking dohby wallah?

    The Vietnam War was fought under different game rules for a start - ever heard of the DMZ?

    No I've never had the pleasure - but I have worked with the French, Dutch, Germans (West), Yanks, Kiwis, Malaysians, Thais, Vietnamese, Poms, Qatarians (sic), Canadians, Singaporeans, Pakistanis, Indians, Samoans, Fijians, Papuans and oddly enough Australians!

    I think my comments were more related to their reported performance in Iraq during the last couple of days vis a vis the Yanks and Brits.

    Fortunately our small contingent has not been involved ... yet.
  5. Sorry forgot to reply to your last ...

    At least I'm comfy in the knowledge that we don't have an army anymore - just a brigade :(
  6. Good to see a Man from Down Under not beat around the bush. :D

    Aren't there a few of your guys still in Iraq?

    Any comms with them - how do they feel about the situation?
  7. Just to add a little bit to it, no the people referring to Iraq as the new Vietnam aren't just 'Democrats' which I'm sure isn't too much of an assumption that you mean people with a centre left political affiliation.

    The idea of it being a new Vietnam isn't the terrain, as point out by others, it's the far deeper prospects.

    One word that you should be familiar with is Quagmire. The idea that whatever action is taken it will simply deepen the involvement within the situation.

    This was very true in Johnson's term during Vietnam and is now the situation facing Bush in Iraq. If in response to these attacks he involves the military in further actions within Iraq it could deepen the involvement. They could sink deeper into a cycle of action and reaction from the rebels and extremists currently causing problems. Not to mention the civilian population.

    It is a very expensive war, with mounting costs, much like Vietnam. It's a country that any Government that is set up will be US backed, like Vietnam.

    There are idealistic motivations behind the factions, like vietnam. It was Communism back then. There are religious factors now, a very real problem with Iran next door.

    So to sum up the idea of Iraq being a new Vietnam isn't so much referring to the type of warfare being faught, although there are some comparisons to be made on that front, but more of the situation and political/economic realities of it.
  8. Well, if we are going to go along with this Vietnam comparison, Tet offensive ring any bells?
  9. We can only hope the current unpleasantness is to Al Sadr and the Sunniis what Tet was to the VC ...
  10. We have around 850 political footballs in the area. I don't know any of them they are far too young ... :(

    However if they are like any of the guys I served with they will be thirsty.

    Here is the `official' description of our contingent:

    The ADF continues to participate in Coalition efforts to develop a secure environment in Iraq, assist national recovery programs and facilitate the transition to Iraqi self-government.

    Operation Catalyst comprises about 850 personnel, including:

    An Australian Joint Task Force Headquarters for national command of maritime, land and air elements deployed in the Middle East. The headquarters is currently commanded by Commodore Campbell Darby, Royal Australian Navy, and is responsible for Operation Catalyst and Operation Slipper, Australia's contribution to the war against terrorism.

    A naval component of about 175 personnel, comprising HMAS Stuart as part of the coalition maritime force conducting maritime interception operations in the northern Persian Gulf and a Logistic Support Element.

    A RAAF C-130 Hercules detachment of about 150 personnel providing intra-theatre air lift and sustainment support in the Middle East, with two transport aircraft, ground crew and other support elements.

    An Air Traffic Control detachment and support personnel at Baghdad International Airport providing air traffic control services, and Combined Air Operations Staff of about 65 personnel.

    A security detachment of about 90 personnel including Australian Light Armoured Vehicles and an explosive ordnance detachment to provide protection and escort for Australian Government personnel working in our Representative Office in Baghdad.

    Up to 15 analysts and technical experts to support the Iraq Survey Group.

    An Australian contribution to coalition headquarters and units, combined logistics and communications elements comprising about 90 personnel.

    A temporary military liaison officer with the Australian Mission in Baghdad.

    A military adviser to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General

    ADF representatives to the Coalition Provisional Authority.

    A RAAF AP-3C Orion detachment of about 160 personnel conducting maritime patrol operations, with two aircraft and associated command and support elements supporting both the rehabilitation operation in Iraq and the coalition operation against terrorism.

    A RAN training team (12 sailors) to train Iraqi sailors in patrol boat and small vessel operations for the Iraqi Coastal Defence Force.

    An Army training team comprising 53 soldiers to assist with the training of the Iraqi armed forces, specifically, three Iraqi army battalions and a brigade headquarters staff.

    In addition, an Australian officer, Major General Jim Molan AO, has been appointed Deputy for Operations within the Multinational Force Coalition headquarters in Baghdad.

    ADF personnel serving on Operation Catalyst receive a comprehensive package of support and benefits as part of their conditions of service.

    ADF members deployed inside Iraq receive a daily allowance of $150 in recognition of their service in war-like conditions and the current heightened threat situation in Iraq.

    Other ADF personnel deployed elsewhere in the Middle East Area of Operations receive a $125 per day allowance. In addition, ADF members on warlike service in the Middle East remain entitled to:

    tax exempt ADF salary and allowances,

    additional War Service Leave,

    full coverage under the Veterans' Entitlements Act and the Safety Rehabilitation and Compensation Act,

    travel to Australia to reunite with their loved ones during a six-month or longer deployment.

    the awarding of the Australian Active Service Medal, [/list]

    some members will also be eligible for enhanced home loan assistance and help for family members to be relocated closer to their extended family for support during the deployment.
  11. For Democrats don't read "centre left political" read opportunist political opposition to the war regardless of their flavour.

    This argument could go on forever ... it appears every conflict post Vietnam is `another' Vietnam.

    From the first Gulf War to Bosnia, Kosovo, second Gulf War, and even our own small involvements in East Timor and the Solomons all criticised as "this will be another Vietnam" by those who oppose their or another other country's involvement.

    However to suggest Iraq is another Vietnam is a false analogy.

    Vietnam was essentially a civil war between the two parts of a partitioned state; Iraq is more a case of tribalism asserting itself after decades of suppression, more Balkan than Vietnam. There are very few parallels and the political strategic situations are dramatically different.

    In Iraq one tribal group, the Sunni who profited under Saddam, have continued to support the `insurgents' who have been most successful attacking US forces. The city of Fallujah provided many of these `fighters' with a secure base from which they could launch their daily attacks.

    The Sunni were the privileged class under Saddam Hussein and they don't want to let go of the BMWs, the mansions and the other perks.

    However they don't have the sanctuaries that afforded easy shelter and protection for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. No Cambodia. No Laos. And although Iraq's borders are long and porous, not even Iran among its neighbors wants to be caught providing sanctuary for these people.

    On the other hand, Sadr the leader of the Mahdi Army, is merely a murderer trying to evade arrest for ordering a rival clerics death.

    So why all the fighting now ...

    It can be argued that US commanders have replaced the lightly armed and armoured units that previously had responsibility for Fallujah and deployed heavily armed and armoured Marines with their well integrated combat fire power to deliberately enter the city to flush out and kill the enemy.

    They will be quite happy the Sunni insurgents have decided to take them on street by street as the Sunni have only prevailed by adopting hit and run tactics and roadside bombs but they have now been forced to stand and fight and are being battered from all sides.

    The Marines have captured large quantities of stockpiled explosives, bomb belts and small arms and are squeezing the enemy into a corner.

    So rather than endure daily attacks against canvas sided humvees the US is using real muscle to surround and destroy the Sunni insurgents who now have no where to run.

    In the south the so-called `Mahdi Army' is headed by a discredited pretender Muqtada Sadr, a minor cleric whose main claim to fame is his father, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr, a famous ayatollah, who was killed in 1999 by Saddam, together with Sadr's two older brothers.

    Though Sadr is not an ayatollah, or top cleric, he has a following inherited from his father but ever ambitious he's murdered several rival clerics as part of his struggle to depose Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani the prime marja, or spiritual reference, for Shias everywhere.

    The ayatollah represents the conservative mainstream of Iraqi Shias, He is one of only five living grand ayatollahs, the most senior Shia cleric in Iraq and a voracious critic of Sadr who he views as an un-qualified upstart.

    Sistani though extremely critical of the US has a vision of Iraq as a moderate Islamic democracy which is totally at odds with Sadr's vision of a militant, fundamentalist regime with him at the head.

    Sadr demanded Sistani grant him the title of marja so he could claim the right to interpret the Koran and when he was refused sent scores of his Mahdi army thugs to force Sistani to change his mind.

    Sistani was rescued by other Shia clerics and their private armies and a stand off between Sadr and the ayatollahs who represent the vast bulk of Iraqi Shia's has festered for months.

    The perceived temporary weakening of US forces during their current re-deployments and the sanctuary against US military intervention provided by the festival of al-Arbaeen gave Sadr the opportunity to attempt to seize control of the Imam Ali mosque in Najaf.

    Sadr sent his militia into the streets to try to evade arrest for his part in the murder of Abdel Majid al-Khoi where his followers knifed the liberal, humane Khoei, a descendent of the Prophet Mohammed, in Najaf’s Imam Ali mosque before dragging him 500 meters through the streets of the city and finishing him off with a bullet in the head.

    Many Shia's believe Sadr ordered the murder as he coveted the right to conduct Friday prayers at the Imam Ali Mosque and Khoei spoke for Sistani opposing Sadr.

    The recent decline in attendance at his Friday prayers in Kufa after the car bomb that killed Ayatollah Mohammed Bakr Hakim, another Shiite rival, suggests that many Shiites see ­and reject ­ him as a man of violence who cannot help their community find its rightful place in the new Iraq.

    So Sadr may have local support in his stronghold in Sadr City and Kufa but he cannot claim to be leading a widespread resistance supported by the majority of Iraqis.

    Even though many Iraqis would like to see the US out they don’t want to trade their freedom from Saddam’s dictatorship for a new one under Sadr.

    So back to Vietnam ...

    Vietnam became a `quagmire' essentially because North Vietnam was supported by China and the Soviet Union.

    That is not the case in Iraq, not withstanding the fact that a few countries are sympathetic to some of the groups opposing the coalition.

    The Americans fought in Vietnam with `one arm tied behind their back' in that they did not send troops into North Vietnam however they have the freedom to operate across the whole length and breadth of Iraq.

    In Vietnam the US operated from large and small bases surrounded by a VC infiltrated population, in Iraq it is the enemy who is surrounded.

    Johnson presided over a war in which he could not attack the North, because of the fear China would become involved as they did in Korea - there are no such constraints on Bush.

    One should remember how involved both China and the Soviet Union were in Vietnam.

    The NVAF was supplied and flown by Russians and the impressive NV air defence was also planned and supplied by the Soviets. As well, the vast armoury of the NVA and VC was shipped directly over the border from China.

    The Iraqi insurgents have no such support nor will they get it, the cold war is over, the Soviet Union no longer exists and it's a long way to push a bicycle from China.

    The US stands over the whole region, watching all of Iraq's neighbours whose leaders are not likely to risk Saddam's fate to support Sadr or the Sunni insurgents.

    That Iraq is a very expensive war is also not grounds for a valid comparison with Vietnam, which war isn't expensive?

    Was the Falklands campaign expensive? I think so in both men and materiel, is it considered to be Thatcher's Vietnam? No!

    To compare the sad excuse of a government in SVN in the 60s to the proposed model in Iraq is also disingenuous. Iraq will have an open and transparent opportunity to attempt the transition from a cobbled together colonial territory and subsequent military dictatorship to the first real multi-ethnic democracy in the Middle East apart from Israel.

    If it succeeds Iraq will be a model for the region that in time will assist other Arab nations to rise out of there self imposed poverty and join the rest of the modern world.

    Yes a successful transition will be backed by the US, but isn't that the case with post war Germany and Japan? Are they mere puppets of the US hegemony? No!

    And the really big difference between Iraq and Vietnam – yup, still the jungle!

    Though spicy pork noodles rather than mutton falafels can also stand as a point of difference!
  12. Kel

    Kel Old-Salt

    You're confusing us with the yanks who realy can't find there own country on a map of the world far less any foriegn country.

    It's not just the Sunni's who are fighting coalition troops now, the Shiite's have hopped on the Omnibus as well.
  13. I think it may be a case of wait and see, if the US goes past it's own deadlines (something that I'm pretty sure they will) for leaving Iraq then theirs a chance it might continue on for a lot longer.

    I wouldn't compare Bosnia to Vietnam, as there are no comparisons to be made... except for the fact we're still there.

    However I would say if you look at it there are comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam but as you say it could go on forever. Like a large proportion of debate/arguments viewpoints are rarely changed. I know, i can be a stubborn SOB. :D

    On a final note, Olddigger, kudos on that post... longest thing i've read ona forum for ages. :D
  14. I don't think they have made any firm deadlines to 'leave' Iraq, but a deadline to hand over nominal control to an Iraqi council.

    True, I know some Aussies can go on a bit when they've got a point to put across, but you can tell Olddigger is retired can't you. :wink:
  15. Iraq eh. Seems that an illegal and immoral invasion of a soverign country has yet again led to arrogant and, to an extent, ignorant western powers becoming embroiled in a conflict they cannot win. Seeing pictures of Fallujah today, they were remarkably similar to those that come out of the Palestinian territories and previously from the Lebanon.

    When will we all see that security cannot ever be achieved through force of arms and that it is through social, political and economic development that democracy and security is nurtured.

    If it requires all "coalition" troops to pull out then so be it. If this leads to an Iraqi civil war then on our heads be it. But let us not compound our error by further destabilising this historic, cultural and wonderful region by creating an environment that demands polarisation of actions when we should be seeking harmony.

    Confucious said: "Do not be distressed at not being understood (by others), rather be distressed at not being understanding".

    We are not in any way being understanding of the people of Iraq.