I Won't Stop WHINING Until Someone Answers My Question!

@anniepa (26629)
United States
July 20, 2008 8:46pm CST
Seriously, I've been asking this question here on myLot as well as many other places for years now but nobody has ever answered me, in fact nobody ever seems to acknowledged that the question was asked, so I'm going to try again. How do you define "victory" for the U.S.A. in Iraq? While I'm at it, how do you define "defeat"? We're no really "at war" with Iraq, in fact they now have a democratic government that we helped put in place, right? Some reports have said al Qaeda in Iraq, the terrorists who showed up there after we did, have been all but totally defeated so who are we actually fighting there now anyway? I've heard we couldn't leave as long as the violence was so bad but lately I've heard how the violence has decreased dramatically and now we can't leave for that reason. Contrary to popular opinion here as a Democrat I can assure you I'm not rooting for us to "lose" but I don't know how we'd even know if that happened. Please, can someone here help me out - what is the actual definition of this elusive "victory" we're always hearing and reading about and how will we know when it's been attained? Annie
8 people like this
17 responses
@baileycows (3669)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Well I am sorry I really don't think that I can answer you. Although I would love to. I feel the same way. I don't know if we know what we are still doing over there. And you made a good point about how we'd even know if we lost. Well I have to say that we have won in ways but we have lost in ways and if we keep staying over there we are losing. I don't know what they are trying to accomplish now. It has been 8 years and our military and military families need a break.
4 people like this
• United States
21 Jul 08
I do not know enough about the war to give you a good answer on this, and I don't think many people will feel that they do either. I'm sorry that no one wants to respond to your question, life is cruel. Haha, haha, jk.
4 people like this
@bbjwlsn (263)
• United States
21 Jul 08
annie - I do not have an answer for you. But, I did want to respond and let you know that someone is reading your post and thinking about it. As far as I'm concerned, we should never have gone there in the first place. My limited knowledge on the subject makes me feel that we have another Viet Nam (which also was not a war) on our hands. Somebody just has to say bring the troops home, we're done.
@xfahctor (14111)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
22 Jul 08
I will give my answer as straight forward as I can Annie in just a moment. But first, you and I have gone back and forth and butted heads on this for a long time now ( respectfully of course, lol). For the purpose of this particular thread, lets cast aside all the "we shouldn't have in the first place" or " we did it wrong", etc. All mute points now, there we are. Now how about getting out? I think we all agree we need to get out, EVERYONE thinks this including the administration you despise as well as Macain (no, he did NOT say we are staying there for 100 years, don't even go there in case you were thinking it). The issue is do we leave running in retreat with our tails between our legs? Or do we leave once a definable victory has been achieved? You CANNOT "end" a war, you either win it or lose it. Losing would be defined as us giving up after losing many lives and deciding we cannot win or achieve a stable Iraq and beating a retreat in defeat, leaving Iraq to the whims of the nations around it and the entities with in who would see our hard work AND the hard work of the Iraqi people undone. For every Iraqi who wants us out now, you have one who wants us to stay and finish. Sorry, this is a fact. BUT there isn't one Iraqi who doesn't want to see the day when eventually they have the reigns of their own nation entirely. Nor is there a politician in Washington or Baghdad who doesn't want the same thing. Now, as for victory. Victory would be achieving a set of defined goals. What are these goals? I believe they are as follows: A functioning central federal government that includes all ethnic representation. A drastic reduction in ethnic violence Regular local, provincial and national elections not plagued by terror A military that can stand completely on its own to defend Iraq from both outside threats as well as deal with radical elements and militia groups with in. Establishment of diplomatic relations and trade. The rebuilding of necessary public services and utilities or at least the ability of the local and provincial leaders to begin providing these things. Now there are a lot more details to all of this and we could go even further with goals but for the scope of this discussion I think this is far enough for now. Have we "won" yet? No. Are we winning? The answer is a very emphatic yes, its not pretty, but war is not a pretty thing.
2 people like this
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Anniepa I will give you my two cents worth. Victory in Iraq will come when the Iraq Army and the government can function independently. Like Germany, Japan, Korea we will probably keep a military presence there to continue to train and advise the military. As you know Annie from other discussions, I know soldiers who have been on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan. In their discussions with the soldiers and civilians they came in contact with all felt that the US should stay until they were strong enough to take care of themselves. It is starting to happen in Iraq as the Army is taking over more of the security and police work. In Afghanistan they are coming along more slowly. In my opinion the reason is that with the Taliban in charge you had a ruthless dictorial government and now when they have some freedom the old warlords are trying to get power back. It will take longer in Afghanistan because the terrain just putting more troops on the ground will not make them more effective. There is a need for specialized troops to operate in such an area. The other problem is the lack of a defined border with its neighbors. While the US tries to respect the border the enemy does not and uses it to their advantage. Just as they use our value for human life and just treatment of prisoners while they feel free to violate the teachings of Islam by abusing, torturing and killing prisoners.
2 people like this
@shamsta19 (3232)
• United States
21 Jul 08
Great question and the fact is there is no "victory." We are in a dispute over oil profits and the general population is gaining nothing from this war. Our gas prices are out of control. Our youth is dying overseas and for what? So a few politicians can line there pockets and we still suffer? The fact that we are even in Iraq is bogus as was our invasion of Afghanistan. Who's is next? Iran now?Our president has declared a war on "terror" where there are no defined enemies, no boundaries to abide by and he is responsible for more acts of terror than any of these nations combined. I suppose our "victory" would be to eliminate those in power in the middle east and siphon all oil production profits into Bush's pocket. We however will still lose in the end...
2 people like this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
22 Jul 08
Oil... right. We sure are lining our pockets now aren't we? If this war is over oil, why haven't we just rigged a nice big hose to funnel that oil into our country already? By your reckoning Bush was able to fabricate 9-11, so funneling oil directly into our country should be easy right? We're not making money off Iraq. We're losing a lot of money. We also lost money when we helped broker a deal to get all the yellowcake uranium we found out of Iraq and sold to Canada. Of course, I'm sure you'll say that never happened either. The liberal media doesn't want you to know that we found uranium in Iraq because that could be considered proof that they were attempting to build WMDs.
• United States
21 Jul 08
I don't think we will ever have "victory" in the Middle East because most of us don't even know who our enemy is. You're right, we are not at war with Iraq. We are at war against Islamism, which is a war I don't believe will ever be won. People are far from religion which is fine if that's what they choose however being out of touch with religion keeps them ignorant to the fact that Islamism plans to take over the world. Here is an article that helped clear a lot up for me. http://www.danielpipes.org/article/5629
2 people like this
• United States
21 Jul 08
Another good article by the wise Daniel Pipes. http://www.danielpipes.org/article/4782
@Rosekitty (19500)
• San Marcos, Texas
21 Jul 08
Annie..i'm answering this from an email so don't know what others have said, but i do know that actually the war isn't in Iraq as much as its in Afghanistan..thats where the Al Qaeda are able to cross into and thats where are soldiers aren't able to get them at cause they are being sneeky and having better hiding spots..and more than likely thats where Osama is being kept from us. Iraq is pretty much under control to a point and to the higher ups that means victory to them.
2 people like this
@anniepa (26629)
• United States
21 Jul 08
I agree, Afghanistan is where our focus should have been kept all these years but now the Taliban is back stronger than ever before and we need many more troops there. If the higher-ups consider Iraq to be enough under control to be a victory, why are we still there with no real end in sight, although Bush did budge a bit by agreeing to a time horizon, whatever that new buzzword is supposed to mean. Annie
1 person likes this
@xParanoiax (7005)
• United States
21 Jul 08
You can't win a war that doesn't exist. We're not "technically" at war, so you can't win or lose there...not really. I mean what do we want from Iraq? What does our government want? Why are we still there if we've "won"? It's become this crazy conundrum really. Iraq's wanting us to leave soon...so does that mean we've won or does that just mean that the fact that winning and losing cannot be applied to this thing?
2 people like this
@anniepa (26629)
• United States
21 Jul 08
You seem to share my confusion! Apparently we can't have already won since the supporters of the war are saying if we want to leave that means we want to lose. Obviously, I'm missing something but I have no idea what! Annie
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jul 08
It all depends on your reason for being there. If you wanted the U.S. there to "free" the Iraqis from Hussiem, then there is a victory now. but if you wanted the U.S. there to control the oil in that region , then it was failure from the beginning.I guess a true failure is when we finally leave, there are so many more people that hate , hate us that we made things worse and we are less safe.
2 people like this
• Philippines
21 Jul 08
Good day... I'm not an american so I can't give you a direct answer whether america won or lost the war, however I can give you a my definition of victory and defeat. If the majority of the american people thinks that the outcome of Iraq today would equate or weigh more than the lost of lives, resources, pain and trauma then you've got a victory if not you've got defeat. It's not who's the last man standing but who gains the most at the end of a conflict. A draw is consider a defeat for the greater country and consider a victory for the lesser one.
• United States
21 Jul 08
Victory will be when the whole Middle East had Democracy, but that will never happen, now will it? Honestly, the U.S.A. is going to be at war with Iraq until the end of time it seems. I do not like it, but I know how U.S. Government thinks, and they are not ready to get out of there until that whole part of the world is under a stable Democracy. If I were living in the Middle East, sadly, I would just give up and conform to Democracy before everything gets worse.
2 people like this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
21 Jul 08
It's difficult to define because war isn't what it used to be. To put it crudely, war in the old days involved killing and killing and killing until you either killed everyone in the nation or they gave up and became your slaves. Now war has evolved over time in different ways, but the late 20th century is when everything got really fuzzy. Suddenly you weren't at war with a nation, you were at war with a dictator, and yet you loved every civilian in the nation and didn't want to hurt anyone that wasn't specifically military. Obviously not everyone wages war this way which is why terrorists still do it the old fashion way and kill civilians in shopping malls in Israel. They still play by the everyone is an enemy rules. By some criteria, Bush was right when he said we won the war years ago. Sadaam was defeated. Iraq was an occupied nation. And we more or less ruled the place. Of course that wasn't enough for most people. People wanted to see our soldiers come home. Some think that this war won't be over until every soldier comes home. Many think that as long as there are soldiers in Iraq we are still at war. That's why McCain got so much heat when he said we should expect to have soldiers in Iraq for up to 100 years. If that meant war then people could say we are still at war with Germany, Japan, and Korea. If you want my opinion. Total victory would be that Iraq was a stable nation, with a government friendly towards the US. While the war is over, the stabilization is still underway. Violence has dropped considerably which tells me that things are going in the right direction. There's just no way to be sure exactly how long it will take for a full transition of security from the US to Iraqi security forces. That's why I think any timetables are a bit presumptuous and will likely disappoint people if we can't stick to them.
1 person likes this
• Australia
25 Sep 08
There is a theory among political scientists and analysts of world affairs that the Iraqi invasion and the whole rhetoric about "rogue states" is a direct response to the fall of the Soviet Union. Klare (1995 Rogue Staes and Nuclear Outlaws: America's Search for a New Foreign Policy) gives a reasonable summary of the theory: the collapse of the Cold War removed the sole enemy capable of providing justification for the maintenance of America's military-industrial complex, and it became more and more difficult for the American military to get Congressional support for their supply bills. The military was forced to find alternative threats as justification for not spending the military budget on silly things like civilian infrastructure and welfare, so they came up with "rogue States" theory, of which Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Liobya, and Syria were supposedly the most dangerous five (North Korea as the biggest threat.) The Iraq war, the later possibly more justified campaign in Afghanistan, the posturing over Iran's supposed nuclear weapon program (sound familiar?) and North Kore's program (which probably does exist and is of some concern) are the direct result of that search. The War on Terror has certainly given them a boost. Now this may sound a cynical theory, but I don't think we can ignore it. Oil probably had some influence on the Iraq invasion, and all the other mooted "hidden" motives, but economics usually has a major impact on every war. Even the first set of anti-Muslim Crusades had strong economic motives behind it - Islam was far and away the most advanced and civilised culture of the time, and was economically far stronger than Christian Europe. So, what is victory? In this theory, it is the continued and even increased funding for America's war machine, and on events to date, the Penatgon has a victory. But to remain a victory it must continue to get its funding, which means finding and attacking more threats. Look out Iran and North Korea. Lash
1 person likes this
@us2owls (1681)
• United States
21 Jul 08
The way I would define victory in Iraq is that we helped rid the country of a murderous dictator and a lot of his henchmen - Saddam Hussein and company. I think that in itself says a lot. Now they have a democratic government but there are still many problems there - we have not been able to totally rid the country of Saddam supporters - if we don't then that could be somwhat classed as defeat.
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
21 Jul 08
I would suppose victory is when the democratic government is in for good. It has not happened yet. Just because it is elected, does not mean it is in Iraq to stay. The US government has helped to bring in democracy in other countries where they do not have a tradition of democracy, but soon after they left, the prime minister or whoever it was decided to go back to the old ways and started acting as a strong man or another strong man took over and guess who got the blame for that, yes, the United States government. So supposing they withdrew now, and the democratic government got overthrown, or the prime minister started acting like a dictator, arresting his opponents, would you blame the United States president who happened to be Bush or the successor if it did not happen until his reign and would it depend on whether he is a republican or a democrat?
1 person likes this
@chrislotz (8207)
• Canada
8 Sep 08
I'm not really sure either other than I guess it will be a victory when the soldiers all get to come home for good. I am not sure why they are still over there either other than they are supposed to be there to keep peace. I guess that isn't working, keeping peace, or they wouldn't be still getting killed. I am not sure who they are fighting anymore either. I just wish it was all over and the guys get to come home to their families and that this war thing would just end. I understand they had to go over there in the first place since 9/11 happened and it had to be stopped before they do anything like that again, but what are they accomplishing now, I am not so sure.
@jend80 (2068)
25 Sep 08
except Iraq had no involvement in 9/11, despite whatever was claimed about Sadam and Bin Laden being the same person.