Talking points for Thursday 20 March

Good morning, as anyone who’s listened, watched or read any news today will know, it’s the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. There’s no shortage of coverage on the BBC and elsewhere and we’ll probably join in this evening. But what question would you like us to ask?

It’s been five years so here are five questions. Please add your own.

1. Is the war worth the cost? (President Bush says yes.)

2. Is the world safer since Saddam Hussein was overthrown? (President Bush says America is, and the world is better.)

3. What will the war mean for November’s presidential election in the US?

4. After five years, has the war faded into the background where you live? (The Economist argues it has in Britain.) Did you take part in any events tied to the anniversary?

5. How will Iraq look in another five years?

6 Responses to “Talking points for Thursday 20 March”

  1. 1 Brett
    March 20, 2008 at 11:25

    1. No

    2. No

    3. It will mean McCain is going to have a tough time.

    4. The war has certainly not faded to the background. I attended an Anti-War vigil last night at City Hall. I have a few pictures to share with the BBC if they would like.

    5. That is a tough call to make. Certainly it will still be war torn, or at least look that way.

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  2. March 20, 2008 at 12:18

    Hi Peter. Today I acknowledged the 5th anniversary by eating too much food ( banana, ice cream and chocolates :). 1stly may be it’s worth mentioning that overthrowing Saddam’s regime was an excellent thing. He was a brutal dictator and an evil criminal and thank God that he’s gone. But everything that followed Saddam’s departure wasn’t good at all. Everyone has let Iraq down (The US occupation forces-the coalition governments-the whole international community-and more importantly Iraqis themselves). Nobody can deny that the security situation on the ground in Baghdad at the moment is much better than it used to be before. But the problem nobody at all can tell whether this improvement is temporary or perminant. The security situation in Baghdad is so fluctuating and so unpredictable. So you really don’t know what to expect for Iraq’s future. But what I know for sure is that the US occupation forces must stay in my Iraq until they clean up the mess they’ve taken part in creating. I have an ultimate faith that our dawn will come soon, INSHALLAH. With my love. Yours forever, Lubna.

  3. 3 George USA
    March 20, 2008 at 14:34

    1. No

    2. No, and not only no but increased terrorism, and increased abuses of intelligence agencies inside the USA to pursue an agenda contrary to every value and norm of any worth or value by any standard.

    3. Clinton has already been appointed by those who appointed Bush. The election process is now a sham. BUT there is always a chance their plans will not be completed.

    If Clinton grabs power, the Iraq war will continue- business as usual.
    If McCain is elected business as usual.
    If Obama is elected he will try to get the US out, but it will be slower going than he would like today.

    4. Only 3% of news covered the war in the last month according to the IAVA vetrans group.

    The country has moved on to the fiasco of doom rolling at us economically due to racketeering in lending institutions, the drain of the war, and lawlessness in the highest offices of government.

    I follow the war daily both in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am an exception, not the rule, and have tried to go and serve from 911 on to today, also an exception, not the rule.

    My frustrated yet plodding attempts to serve have zero to do with the administration: when the USA fields an Army, I want to go physically in support of the troops (I am support services-medical, so I have something to offer our troops).

    The individual troop stepped up to the plate, the least I can do is the same, in body, mind and spirit, not rhetoric. And I could not care less what anyone thinks about it.

    5. Iraq is rich, they just have not tapped it yet due to the fight over who gets what.
    In five years Iraq could be sky rocketing into the sublime with prosperity from the oil they stand on.

    The shifting out of those who want power, and do not care how they get it, is the issue at hand.

    With any form of moderate government that actually allows petro dollars to prosper the country Iraq is going to be one of the wealthiest and most enjoyable countries on earth.

    If a dictator emerges to grab power, the dictator, as Iraq experienced with Saddam, gets it all and pays his henchmen well.

    The potential for spectacular prosperity is in the ground: who runs the country and how that wealth is distributed is what determines the future of Iraq and the people who survive the power struggle.

  4. 4 eric aka eks321
    March 20, 2008 at 15:32

    why has the world completely forgotten the fact that the us government gave saddam the option of taking asylum in saudi arabia, which would have made the war completely unnecessary?

    why has the world media not analyzed the impact the pre-war anti-war rallies had on saddam’s decision not to take asylum?

    why has the world media continued to spread the lie that the us government is stealing oil revenue from iraq?

    why have the media in the middle-east distorted the us position in iraq and the general support that most iraqi citizens give to the us presence?

  5. 5 Nick Coulter
    March 20, 2008 at 15:48

    At this time, we all understand that we need to change the “hearts and minds” of the people in Iraq and its neighbors. I want to know how we are measuring this change and what the results are. Is there some sort of survey happening? I’ve seen several videos, which show town meetings in afghanistan where soldiers interact with locals. The situation in these videos seems to always be the same… one of the locals is shouting and accusing the soldiers of doing something to someone or to someone’s property. I’ve also heard loads of pundits claim that the people in Iraq are happy or unhappy (depending on the television station’s political affiliation), since Saddam was overthrown. I’m wondering if there is anyone, aside from US soldiers, who is asking the people in Iraq how they feel. Is it possible to answer a question honestly when the person asking it has a fully automatic rifle? Why is it so difficult to get real facts out of Iraq?

  6. 6 Nick Coulter
    March 20, 2008 at 16:00

    eric aka eks321, how do you know that Iraqis generally support the US presence? I have yet to see any evidence of this. There are several facts, such as the surge in terror activity after Saddam was overthrown, which would lead me to believe the contrary. However, I’m not willing to make any claims about the support of the Iraqis because I’ve yet to see any objective study about this.

    Also, I don’t think the media is claiming that the USA is stealing revenue, I think they’re claiming that the USA is attempting to have more control on middle eastern oil.

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