Tag Archives: Iraq

Iraq and Vietnam

An article by Joe Galloway places the Iraq/Vietnam wars in perspective. To me, Joe Galloway is believable as he reported the Vietnam War from the bush and not some comfortable hotel in Saigon. He was at the battle of Ia Drang, the basis for the movie We Were Soldiers Once, and Young and now he’s covering the present Iraqi situation as the head military correspondent and a sydicated columnist for Knight-Ridder Newspapers.

Streams, in Texas knows Galloway personally and I’m indebted to him for the link.

Galloway starts;

First, let’s examine the big differences.

They don’t fight to unify their homeland, but to regain a brutal minority’s power over an enslaved majority.

They have no Ho Chi Minh to put a kindly and photogenic visage on their campaign.

They don’t have a China or a Soviet Union to pump in weapons and ammunition and carry the ball for them in the United Nations and internationally

They don’t have the sanctuaries that afforded easy shelter and protection for the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. No Cambodia. No Laos.

It’s the similarities that make you sit up an notice.

Go read the article here. It’s not too long.


Letters in today’s press

Regardless of the issue of weapons of mass destruction, what a glorious moment in history to see some Iraqis welcome liberation and celebrate the downfall of another despot. What have the French, Simon Crean, Bob Brown and the mob who run Greenpeace got to say for themselves now?
Hugh Steele, Mt Barker, SA


Where is Senator Bob Brown? Where are the “millions” of dead Iraqi citizens he so confidentially predicted would eventuate? How does he explain the jubilation and gratification on the faces of the Iraqis for whom the age of tyranny and repression is coming to a close?

Nathan Gillespie Norman Park, Qld

This letter from RDM Cotgrove is worth quoting in full

Putting civilian deaths in context
REFERENCES to the war in Iraq frequently use terms such as “carnage”, “massacre” and “slaughter” to describe the number of civilian casualties.
Last Tuesday night’s SBS news bulletin quoted the official figure after 3 weeks of war as 600 civilian deaths. These casualty figures need to be put into perspective.
The authoritative 2000 World Development Indicators published by The World Bank compares demographic statistics for 1980 with 1998, the latest year for accurate figures.
The period spans the time after Saddam Hussein came to power in Iraq following a military coup in 1979. During the 1980-1998 period Iraq was one of a very few countries in the world where the infant mortality Rate (IMR), the proportion of infants who die before reaching their first birthday, and the crude death rate (CDR), the proportion of the total population dying during the year, actually increased.
For the world as a whole, IMR dropped from 80 per 1000 live births in 1980 to 54 per 1000 in 1998, and during the same period CDR dropped from 10 to 9 per 1000 population.
In Middle Eastern and North African countries (the Arab world) the rates dropped from 95 to 45 and from 12 to 7 respectively.
In 1980 Iraq, with a population of 13 million and a crude birth rate (CBR) of 41 per 1000 population, had rates of 80 and 9 respectively for the two indices. By 1998, when Iraq had a population of 22.3 million and a CBR of 32 per 1000, the rates had increased to 103 and 10 respectively.
Had Iraq, by 1998, been able to reduce its IMR and CDR to those of other Arab countries, ignoring the fact that in 1980 it outperformed them by considerable margins, infant deaths would have been about 32,100 and total deaths 156,100.
Instead, Iraq had the appalling statistics of 73,400 infant deaths and 223,000 total deaths.
The despotic reign of Hussein could therefore be said to be responsible for an extra 41,300 Iraqi infant deaths and an extra 66,900 total Iraqi deaths in 1998 alone, than would have occurred had the country performed as well as its fellow Arab states in these crucial indices.
And this, despite Iraq’s significantly better performance prior to Hussein’s grab for power. Against these statistics the civilian deaths of the current war, 600, pale into insignificance. Hyperbole gone mad? You betcha!

R.D.M. Cotgrove
University of Tasmania

This from Rosemary Neill in the Australian’

THIS week, a Sydney council rejected a development application for a Muslim prayer centre, partly because it was not “in accordance with the shared beliefs, customs and values of the local community”. On the eve of Christmas, it seems that praying is an affront to community values if your holy verses, your God, are not the same as those of the Christian majority.

Good One. Rosemary. Another way putting it is “On the eve of Christmas it appears it is an affront to murder thousands of innocent civilians because my god is better than yours”. Rosemary, it is an affront to think like Islamofacists and until we, as a nation, are convinced that the ordinary Muslims in Australia are definitely, 100%, dinky di, cross my heart against the terrorists then excuse us for being just a little concerned. Praying is not an affront to community values but inciting people to join the jihad is. Particularly when it comes from the pulpit of Muslim prayer centres here in Australia and in other countries populated by us hated infidels. Give us a break, Rosemary, the people are frightened and would gladly exchange your politically correct , warm and fuzzy, BA (Liberal Arts) writings for a little security.

Iraq War Dead

The latest deaths took to ‘X’ the number of soldiers killed by hostile fire since May 1, when Mr Bush announced an end to major combat operations. That is ‘Y’ more than were killed during the six week military campaign to oust Saddam Hussein.

Is any one else getting sick and tired of this template? Fill in the figures to denigrate the soldiers service or to make Bush/Howard/The Great Satan etc look bad.

How about:

So far in the war against terror, in the Iraq theatre alone, 288 Coalition soldiers have paid the supreme sacrifice so journalists and editors are free to use their deaths to take cheap shots at Bush/Howard/The Great Satan.

Update: From reader Kev Metcalf;

Alternatively –

“So far in the war against terror, in the Iraq theatre alone, 288 Coalition soldiers have paid the supreme sacrifice so that, on averge, x number (currently 33450) of Iraqis, could not only live, but live in relative peace and freedom”.

God I hate this. Just

God I hate this. Just as the the demands to release all asylum seekers into the community have started to wane another bloody boat load appears. There will be weeks of verbosity from people populating a parrallel universe demanding we do it all again. It does beg the question though, how did they get so close.

Last year I visited the North-West coast and sailed from Port Headland to the Monte Bello Islands. While there, waiting for the weather to clear, we were visited each day by a Coast Watch plane calling up on the radio for details of our last port, our next port, registration details of the yacht and people on board. I was actually impressed by this, as well as reassured. There is a fishing fleet operating out of Port Headland and yachts galore and it is not the cyclone season so what were they doing? Frightening!

WMDs are still missing according

WMDs are still missing according to the Left. They are there, they just haven’t all been located yet. I received this link from a news service I subscribe to that lays it all out fairly logically. The article is by Richard Spertzel who was head of the biological-weapons section of UNSCOM from 1994 to 1999. I’m prepared to believe he is simply reporting the facts as he knows them as different from some left-wing journalists who present the facts very selectively so as to promote their particular ideology.

Iraq museum saga

The opinions in this letter to the Editor of the Australian go a long way to explain what is wrong with the world

Barbarians at the museum gates

THERE is much that is macabre and indisputably obscene in the spectacle of beautiful Baghdad, citadel of Islam’s Arabic civilisation and treasure trove of antiquity, its people now without water, food supplies and electrical power, all distraught under the precision bombing by air and panzer divisions of the colossus of world capitalism and globalisation, the United States.

Surely every person of art, education and culture across the planet will weep at this horrifying rape of Baghdad, capital city of Iraq, formerly Mesopotamia, cradle of human history. What now of its community centres of Islamic art, its rare libraries and museums, its three great universities, its market places and recreation sites, its many gorgeous mosques – 95 per cent of Iraq’s people are Muslims – under the jackboots of US crusaders, the Christian soldiers, as they dance in jubilation upon the ruins?

OK. I get your first point. Panzer Divisions and jackboots is fairly obvious. US = Nazi Germany.

Second point. Use emotive language to set the scene further. Citadel of Arabic civilization; no food, no water, no electricity. Owen, if you got your news from sources other than the ABC you might have noticed that your hated US panzer divisions are still getting shot at. No one likes the aftermath of a war of liberation but for Gods sake give them a day or two to ensure the war is over before they take steps to help Iraqi’s secure their country.

Surely every person of art, education and culture across the planet will weep at this horrifying rape of Baghdad meaning everyone who isn’t of art, education and culture will not have the intelligence, education or sensitivity to understand my superior intellect and it’s conclusions.

Owen Campbell Mortimer, your a wanker. It must have been very trying during World War 2 for you to have to live and relate to the ordinary uncultured men of the RAAF.

That this defeat of an innocent and sovereign people under the weapons of mass destruction of the US is “in Australia’s national interest” is untrue, false, an appalling lie. Justify it if you can, Prime Minister Howard and Commander-in-Chief Governor-General Very Reverend Hollingworth.

Easy, Owen. Saddam’s regime supported terrorism of the kind that we saw at the WTC and Bali. Until regime’s of that ilk are destroyed and democratized the problem exists world wide. They will try and kill us just because we are what we are, free societies that don’t slavishly follow the Koran. Definitely “in Australia’s interests”

I speak in despair, now retired from the workforce, a US-trained teacher of school, college and university, a specialist in communication skills and theatre arts, and once (from 1941 to 1945) in time of a just world war against Nazi Germany and imperialist Japan, Flight Lieutenant Air Observer-Navigator, a proud officer of the Royal Australian Air Force. But now, indeed, “with rue my heart is laden”.

Owen Campbell Mortimer
Wangaratta, Vic

You may think your abbreviated Curriculum Vitae adds weight to your opinion, but most people would say, ” Well he would say that, wouldn’t he?” I mean outside or World War 2 it would appear your whole life has been spent closeted from the realities of life. Why face them now?

In real life, and for the immediate future, the lives and human rights of the Iraqi’s must take a higher priority than art. I too am saddened at the possible loss of history and culture but I know that the US and Iraqis are working at gaining control of law and order issues as they come to grips with having gained control of freedom for the people. A point to note here is that Iraq has no equivalent of our police forces. The police in Iraq were only traffic cops. The law and order issues were handled by the Secret Police. You know, one mistake and your underground with electrodes dropping power surges through your genitals. Give peace a chance!

How quaint – “with rue my heart is laden” and could I add “and with emotive language and inability to see the whole picture, my brain is dulled”

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