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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just thought I'd post a thread about something which intermittantly makes an appearance in all the talk about the current Iraq/Middle east situation.
How many times over the last 2 1/2 years has the word "Crusade" been mentioned by Polititians and media people when they refer to any foreign policy actions in the middle east? Now - lets go back to the days of yore when good old King Richard the 1st went galloping off into the holy land to fight his particular "crusade" - erm - a very long time ago. Correct me if I'm wrong - but even my laymans knowledge of the military history of the time tells me that the weapons of choice didn't involve projectiles that could go bang (sometimes very loudly) and kill or hospitalise potentially hundreds of non-combatants at a time. Not sure they had things that could induce all sorts of latent illnesses through exposure to a whole ****tail of combatant chemicals either. I don't think the sword, lance, longbow or pointy stick thing had the capacity to render whole areas uninhabitable for years, and has anyone read about recorded cases of 'Medieval crusade syndrome'? No - and in the industrialised 20th/21st century, War can do damage to people and environments on an industrial scale that takes years to reverse, so I sometimes thing the term "Cruasade" is at best a quaint anachronism, and at worst a potentially dangerous propaganda tool that can appeal to some fairly biggotted instincts at the extremes on both sides, and looking at the events unfolding before us by the hour - not very helpful at all!

Bringing the whole notion of war up to technohistoric date, war isn't a video game where you can put a couple more coins in when the action stops.
 

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So what precisely are you saying my fellow Brit?

You must have read Alberts posts? Mine? etc?

What should Britain do now the situation in Iraq seems to be getting out of hand?

What about our Home Secretary's sweepng statement yesterday? Do you think he is attempting to save face/ Not to do another Robin :D

Regards - Oldie :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What I'm saying dear chap is that any use of the "Crusade" word is going to have prevocative resonance with the people whom we are probably in open conflict with right now. People who might be seen as 'radical' - but if the jargon used in the preamble to this whole unfortunate state of affairs hadn't included something reminiscent of an historical Christian/Moslem conflict - may have stayed onside, or at least been open to persuasion along more diplomatic lines. It's telling that Ayatolla Sistani points the finger of blame at both the Americans and Sadr for the current debacle. The latter has responded in violent revolt - but can you justifiably raise an age old saying that there's no smoke without fire, meaning when in the timeline leading up to this did someone somewhere put a rather big foot in it? Also, I'm not an Iraqi, I don't live in Baghdad, Basra, Fallujah or any of the other places made famous recently for unfortunate reasons, but when you find out that the first buildings with security cordons put around after the fall of Saddam were the Oil ministry and ministry for the interior you do start to ask whether there might be some substance to all those conspracy theories bandied about during the Yay or Nay arguements before it all started. What happened to securing the health infrastructure (crucial surely in a country just out of a war?), the cultural and historical identity (ie the Museums and Libraries - ransacked beyond replacement) All stuff a functioning democracy needs in a modern world, so couple this with what I suppose more radical moslems might interpret as a bit of Christian sabre rattling, and what we're seeing now is the result. Do they see the Coalition as a force for liberation or one of subtle subjogation with some seriously suspect alterior motives?
 

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I wouldn't disagree in any way with banning the use of the word "crusade" lighthouse, (and much of the rest of your posts). However factions amongst our US allies might have a thing to say about it ;)! Sensitivity to others interpretations and impressions, and their cultural and historical identity, is not too high on the list it appears.

We'll just go ahead and secure what we understand the best, the financial structures and institutions, so that they can take their rightful place in the modern world community, (for their sakes of course). ;)
 

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Lighthouse - I too cannot disagree with any of what you say in post 3. As for security cordons placed around the oil ministry, surely this was done in order to protect this valuable resource ... for the future benefit of the Iraqi peoples :eek:

Oldie
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess the way events panned out over the last year just seem to have played into the hands of critics on all sides - but then, anything that involves going to war in the 2nd largest oil economy in the region is liable to provoke arguement from just about everywhere. There has been a lot of criticism aimed at the Americans in particular over the last week or so that they're going about it all in a 'Ham fisted' way - and I think some of it might be justified. I suppose the biggest misconception right from the start was that the coalition was going to be greeted like the allies were after June 6th 1944. This was always going to be different as we haven't gone in to liberate a western european country (sharing similar cultural aspirations) from an outside occupying force, and the thing that constantly reoccurrs is how the people didn't want Saddam, (the insurgents included), but they also don't want the coalition, so anything that might cause problems probably will, and any attempt to avoid those situations should be avoided by all means. It must be extremely difficult for any armed force not to play into a sort of 'Shoot first - ask questions later' stereotype, and that's one the Americans in particular have had to endure for most of the Vietnam/post Vietnam years. There just seem to be things happening that either justify the 'no war' in Iraq arguements before it all started, and criticism about how the war is run while it goes on. No one likes the 'I told you so' attitude very much when it involves something as serious as this, because it always seems rather glib, but sometimes events seem to stray into the ITYS domain as well. The decision makers might have thought about all this stuff anyway (so you could ask why they do some of what they do), but if they haven't, the discussions going on amongst their electorates might help them see some things that may have been overlooked...... or ignored.
 
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