A dainty little cherry on top of the sundae of Iraq
November 10, 2007 11:18 PM   Subscribe

Skip this one if you're sick of posts about Iraq or comment threads containing the word "Heckuva", but what would happen if Mosul's "Saddam Dam" ("Sadd Saddam" in Arabic) collapsed?
it could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths by drowning Mosul under 65 feet of water and parts of Baghdad under 15 feet
Good, because the US Army Corps of Engineers rates chances of collapse "exceptionally high". Top that, God.
posted by paul_smatatoes (88 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dam! This is one heckuva thread!
posted by stirfry at 11:29 PM on November 10, 2007


Heckuvan idea, building a dam on a water-soluble base.
posted by clevershark at 11:39 PM on November 10, 2007


At least they'll be able to send in the National Guard.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:40 PM on November 10, 2007 [18 favorites]


Speaking as someone who lived in Los Angeles during the LA Riots and fled New Orleans, and was recently just a few blocks from the I34W bridge in Minneapolis when it collapsed: The worst thing that can happen is precisely what you should expect.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:40 PM on November 10, 2007 [6 favorites]


The worst thing that can happen is precisely what you should expect.

If Astro Zomibe is living in your town, apparently. Any plans on a trip to Mosul AZ?
posted by three blind mice at 11:46 PM on November 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


it could lead to as many as 500,000 civilian deaths by drowning Mosul under 65 feet of water

Sad thing is, if this happened tomorrow, very few people in this country would even bat an eyelash. I'm not sure it's because we're a nation of sociopaths with zero sense of remorse or because we're simply innumerate.

If Stone Phillips came on the News tomorrow and said 87 billion Iraqis were killed in a train wreck, it would mean the same to the average American as 500,000 or even 5,000. "A large number of people that I don't care about" is what those numbers really mean.
posted by Avenger at 11:53 PM on November 10, 2007


Good?
posted by brautigan at 11:53 PM on November 10, 2007 [2 favorites]


Now we're getting outraged about hypothetically dead Iraqis? God damn.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 11:58 PM on November 10, 2007 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure what my stance on dams is.
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:59 PM on November 10, 2007


Speaking as someone who lived in Los Angeles during the LA Riots and fled New Orleans, and was recently just a few blocks from the I34W bridge in Minneapolis when it collapsed: The worst thing that can happen is precisely what you should expect.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:40 AM on November 11 [1 favorite +] [!]


I'm not trying to justify the post, but seriously, man, if you (or your other-wordly brothers) are trying to ever so hard to be edgy and win MeFi or whatever, get your shit straight.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:59 PM on November 10, 2007


outraged

WTF?
posted by wilful at 12:07 AM on November 11, 2007


Now we're discussing the possibility of disaster based on Army Corps of Engineers reports? God damn. By which I mean I'm so over this whole thing.
posted by paul_smatatoes at 12:08 AM on November 11, 2007


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America writes "Now we're getting outraged about hypothetically dead Iraqis? God damn."

How fortunate to have plenty of good Americans like you, who refuse to get outraged about anything.

(Well, except "libtards", "Commies in the State Department", "Islamo-fascists", and "Northern agitators".)
posted by orthogonality at 12:11 AM on November 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Heckuvan idea, building a dam on a water-soluble base.

Pretty much everything is water soluble, given enough time.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:11 AM on November 11, 2007


i hate bush as much as the next guy, but i fail to see how this is George Bush's fault. Saddam built the fucking thing.
posted by empath at 12:19 AM on November 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


Frankly my dear, I don't

Oh, fuck it.
posted by Reggie Digest at 12:20 AM on November 11, 2007


I'm not trying to justify the post, but seriously, man, if you (or your other-wordly brothers) are trying to ever so hard to be edgy and win MeFi or whatever, get your shit straight.

Seems a pretty damning response to a typo. Yes, you caught me. I'm trying to win Mefi. And I would have too, had it not been for your excellent Wikipedia-linking skills.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:21 AM on November 11, 2007 [10 favorites]


i fail to see how this is George Bush's fault. Saddam built the fucking thing.

Exactly. I mean, it's not like there are any ties between Saddam and the Georges Bush.
posted by Reggie Digest at 12:21 AM on November 11, 2007


i fail to see how this is George Bush's fault

You're not looking hard enough.

Or, hang on, maybe you're looking too hard.

Dam confusing, that one.
posted by wilful at 12:22 AM on November 11, 2007


How fortunate to have plenty of good Americans like you, who refuse to get outraged about anything.

(Well, except "libtards", "Commies in the State Department", "Islamo-fascists", and "Northern agitators".)


I don't give a sweet fuck about any of those things.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:24 AM on November 11, 2007


If Stone Phillips came on the News tomorrow and said 87 billion Iraqis were killed in a train wreck, it would mean the same to the average American as 500,000 or even 5,000. "A large number of people that I don't care about" is what those numbers really mean.

Yes, and if 87 billion Americans, Mexicans, Canadians, Jamaicans, Hondurans or Guatamalans were killed in a train wreck, it would mean the same to the average Australian, Indonesian, Ukranian or Slovakian. What's your point?
posted by cmonkey at 1:00 AM on November 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


The connection to Bush is that his administration had a chance to shore up the dam, but because the Bush administration presence in Iraq is legendarily corrupt, much of the money went missing.
posted by breath at 1:10 AM on November 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


Yes, and if 87 billion Americans, Mexicans, Canadians, Jamaicans, Hondurans or Guatamalans were killed in a train wreck, it would mean the same to the average Australian, Indonesian, Ukranian or Slovakian.

That's really not true.
posted by stammer at 1:17 AM on November 11, 2007 [5 favorites]


Wait a minute... weren't the Army Corps of Engineers the people who said the levees in New Orleans would NOT collapse? So, if they're wrong this time, it's perfectly safe, right?
posted by wendell at 1:23 AM on November 11, 2007


i hate bush as much as the next guy, but i fail to see how this is George Bush's fault. Saddam built the fucking thing

Right, but when America invaded, and became an occupying power, they essentially assumed responsibility for such things as infrastructure. Now, it's plausible that they did not, in general, assume a responsibility to improve upon the existing infrastructure (for example, build new roads). But surely there was/is some responsibility to maintain the existing infrastructure, and, over and above that, fix any problems that might plausibly lead to the death of 500,000 people, if indeed those problems can be fixed.

Of course, given all the other ethical responsibilities that America has blown off during the war, it seems kind of, I dunno, small, to talk about duties regarding infrastructure maintenance. That is, until you realize that neglecting these relatively small duties could end up contributing to the deaths of 500,000 people, and that everything else that this war has done to the Iraqi people is much, much worse than this failure to fix a dam. Then it's just depressing. Damn.
posted by notswedish at 1:34 AM on November 11, 2007 [5 favorites]


notswedish writes "Right, but when America invaded, and became an occupying power, they essentially assumed responsibility for such things as infrastructure."

Only according to the Geneva Conventions. You're so quaint.
posted by orthogonality at 1:41 AM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Corruption? On no-bid contracts given out to war profiteers? I must sit down for this one.
posted by maxwelton at 1:41 AM on November 11, 2007


Only according to the Geneva Conventions. You're so quaint.

Cite this.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 1:52 AM on November 11, 2007


Cite this.

I don't have the cite, but I'm laughing at the mentality that would doubt that when you kill some country's government, you don't assume responsibility for cleaning up the mess you've made.

Seriously, teh lulz, sir, teh lulz.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:01 AM on November 11, 2007 [5 favorites]


I didn't express any doubt "that when you kill some country's government, you don't assume responsibility for cleaning up the mess you've made."

I expressed doubt that the Geneva convention contained any such language.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 2:06 AM on November 11, 2007


Excuse me, but can someone point out where the fuck anyone in the linked article or the comments was blaming Bush, until someone complained that it wasn't Bush's fault??
posted by wilful at 2:25 AM on November 11, 2007


Excuse me, but can someone point out where the fuck anyone in the linked article or the comments was blaming Bush, until someone complained that it wasn't Bush's fault??

It was in the post itself. The word "heckuva" doesn't appear in any of the linked articles and is apparently supposed to evoke Bush's "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" comment, which has been commonly quoted as "you're doing a heckuva job, Brownie."

Anyway, however you want to spell it, a random injection of "heckuva" is pretty clearly meant to evoke Bush.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 2:36 AM on November 11, 2007


Making a reference to the bungled handling of a recent disaster also involving the failure of something that was supposed to hold back water is not the same as blaming Bush.
posted by Nothing at 3:04 AM on November 11, 2007


From what i read, the dam may not be fixed, but the americans taxpayers already paid for it.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 4:21 AM on November 11, 2007


If you read the article, the US had a plan to temporarily fix up the dam. But, due to "incompetence and mismanagement", both by Americans and Iraqis, it hasn't happened. This is the same incompetence and mismanagement that has show up in several aspects of this war (WMDs, weapons going missing, billions of dollars going missing, etc., etc., etc.) This is why it is related to Bush, and the current oversight for all things Iraq.

"...[A] U.S. reconstruction project to help shore up the dam in northern Iraq has been marred by incompetence and mismanagement, according to Iraqi officials and a report by a U.S. oversight agency to be released Tuesday. The reconstruction project, worth at least $27 million, was not intended to be a permanent solution to the dam's deficiencies."

"The effort to prevent a failure of the dam has been complicated by behind-the-scenes wrangling between Iraqi and U.S. officials over the severity of the problem and how much money should be allocated to fix it. The Army Corps has recommended building a second dam downstream as a fail-safe measure, but Iraqi officials have rejected the proposal, arguing that it is unnecessary and too expensive."

posted by inigo2 at 5:49 AM on November 11, 2007


This reminds me of my favorite of the Katrina jokes we returned home to:

Q: What's the difference between New Orleans and Baghdad?

A: The Louisiana National Guard is protecting Baghdad.
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:53 AM on November 11, 2007 [8 favorites]


Sad thing is, if this happened tomorrow, very few people in this country would even bat an eyelash. I'm not sure it's because we're a nation of sociopaths with zero sense of remorse or because we're simply innumerate.

Yeah, nobody in American even heard of the tsunami in 2004!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:55 AM on November 11, 2007


An almost two week old news story? Really?

Oh, wait. The writer's strike. Go it.
posted by Cyrano at 6:56 AM on November 11, 2007


I'm not sure what my stance on dams is.

wide?
posted by quonsar at 6:57 AM on November 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


Right, but when America invaded, and became an occupying power, they essentially assumed responsibility for such things as infrastructure.

right, but when the king of england tried to tax tea sent to the colonies, they assumed responsibility for such things as the invasions a revolutionary colony might undertake. limey bastards killed all those not-dead iraqis.
posted by quonsar at 7:07 AM on November 11, 2007


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America & empath: I'm not blaming Bush for this one, but I figured someone would sooner or later in the comments, so I mentioned "heckuva" specifically with regard to the comments. But whatever you need to do to wall yourself off is fine.
posted by paul_smatatoes at 7:10 AM on November 11, 2007


Anyway, however you want to spell it, a random injection of "heckuva" is pretty clearly meant to evoke Bush.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America


So when anyone says "piece of shit, dumbass", they should assume they are invoking Bush, also?

Finally.
posted by Balisong at 7:24 AM on November 11, 2007


> > Only according to the Geneva Conventions. You're so quaint.

> Cite this.


Not Geneva, but Hague IV, article 43: "The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country."
posted by WCityMike at 7:50 AM on November 11, 2007 [4 favorites]


the 4th convention contains the following, which strongly put together the obligation of an occupier to see to the health and safety of civilians:

Article 56

To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics. Medical personnel of all categories shall be allowed to carry out their duties.

Article 59

If the whole or part of the population of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the said population, and shall facilitate them by all the means at its disposal.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:00 AM on November 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America: "Only according to the Geneva Conventions. You're so quaint.

Cite this."

"the 4th convention contains the following, which strongly put together the obligation of an occupier to see to the health and safety of civilians:"

Ooh....Burn!

Personally, as a resident of New Orleans, I have full faith in any damn operation the CoE is involved in.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 8:19 AM on November 11, 2007


Gotta' love this headline: Mosul Threatened with Biblical Flood.
posted by ericb at 8:47 AM on November 11, 2007


Google Fight: Mosul Dam vs. Aqua Dots.

And the winner is...
posted by ericb at 9:00 AM on November 11, 2007


weren't the Army Corps of Engineers the people who said the levees in New Orleans would NOT collapse? So, if they're wrong this time, it's perfectly safe, right?

Actually, the Army Corps of Engineers did issue reports warnings that the levees of New Orleans would collapse in the event of a sufficiently strong hurricane. They just weren't given the resources to do anything about it. That unpleasantness in the Middle East soaking up all the resources yadda yadda yadda...
posted by jonp72 at 9:09 AM on November 11, 2007


Right, but when America invaded, and became an occupying power, they essentially assumed responsibility for such things as infrastructure. Now, it's plausible that they did not, in general, assume a responsibility to improve upon the existing infrastructure (for example, build new roads). But surely there was/is some responsibility to maintain the existing infrastructure, and, over and above that, fix any problems that might plausibly lead to the death of 500,000 people, if indeed those problems can be fixed.

Seeing as how Rudy Giuliani blamed Bill Clinton this morning for the military being overstretched in Iraq right now, I'm gonna go ahead and say good luck with all that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:36 AM on November 11, 2007


We'd better fix this, and all the rest of their infrastructure so long as we're stuck there. We messed up so much of their infrastructure during the first Gulf War, and a lot of that never got fixed.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:42 AM on November 11, 2007


Not Geneva, but Hague IV, article 43: "The authority of the legitimate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country."

the 4th convention contains the following, which strongly put together the obligation of an occupier to see to the health and safety of civilians:

Article 56

To the fullest extent of the means available to it, the Occupying Power has the duty of ensuring and maintaining, with the cooperation of national and local authorities, the medical and hospital establishments and services, public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics. Medical personnel of all categories shall be allowed to carry out their duties.

Article 59

If the whole or part of the population of an occupied territory is inadequately supplied, the Occupying Power shall agree to relief schemes on behalf of the said population, and shall facilitate them by all the means at its disposal.


Who enforces this?
posted by C17H19NO3 at 9:52 AM on November 11, 2007


Who enforces this?

Theoretically, we do. When the war criminals run the show, however...
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:01 AM on November 11, 2007


There's a dam in Iraq that, if destroyed, will kill 500,000 people? Forget fixing the dam, let's relocate the people. We can fix that thing all day, but it's a virtual guarantee some militant is going to get it into his head to blow it up eventually.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:23 AM on November 11, 2007


Yes, and if 87 billion Americans, Mexicans, Canadians, Jamaicans, Hondurans or Guatamalans were killed in a train wreck, it would mean the same to the average Australian, Indonesian, Ukranian or Slovakian.

That's really not true.


No, it's not. Some of my friends in other countries get more worked up about things that happen in America than the average person who lives here. A lot of them are more aware of our current events and history than most people who were born American. It kind of amazes me sometimes, actually.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:27 AM on November 11, 2007


miss lynnster: No, it's not. Some of my friends in other countries get more worked up about things that happen in America than the average person who lives here. A lot of them are more aware of our current events and history than most people who were born American. It kind of amazes me sometimes, actually.

Of course, I bet there's some selection bias there, since you're more likely to be friends with nice people who care about others rather than the standard-issue person who's out for themselves.

I do think it's true to some degree, though. I blame the media - I know with me, at least, I pretty much had to stop caring about the atrocities that went on in the rest of the world before they drove me insane. You can only stare into the void for so long, I think. Most of the people here that would have cared have already done it as long as they can stand and are burned out by approximately the time they leave college.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:36 AM on November 11, 2007


Threads summarized!

Well, this is a fuckuva thing. I guess we're gonna fix it or not, huh?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:36 AM on November 11, 2007


the 4th convention contains the following, which strongly put together the obligation of an occupier to see to the health and safety of civilians:

There's two problems with what you quoted. First, it's difficult to read an obligation to maintain dams into a section that's primarily about hospitals and the like. There is some broad language in there, but you generally can't read these things assuming that a duty regarding one thing was created in a few words buried in a section primarily about something else. Second, it's not clear the US is an occupying power any longer. In 2003, sure, but today? There's a permanent Iraqi government in place.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:38 AM on November 11, 2007


Well, there's a bunch of US troops occupying Iraq, I think that might qualify as an occupation, loosely defined...
posted by mek at 10:42 AM on November 11, 2007


Second, it's not clear the US is an occupying power any longer.

what

In 2003, sure, but today? There's a permanent impotent Iraqi government puppet-state in place.

Fixed, and so on.
posted by Avenger at 10:45 AM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Embassy officials have refused to discuss the details of safety studies -- so as not to frighten Iraqi citizens."

I don't understand this logic. Shouldn't they be frightened?

"Don't panic everybody! There's absolutely nothing to be afraid of!" (hears distant rumble) "Um, on second thought I could be wrong about that... EVERYBODY PANIC!"
posted by eye of newt at 10:48 AM on November 11, 2007


Second, it's not clear the US is an occupying power any longer.

Ha.
Ha.
Ha.
posted by ladd at 10:52 AM on November 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

On preview, I see that ladd had much the same reaction.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 10:58 AM on November 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


it's difficult to read an obligation to maintain dams into a section that's primarily about hospitals and the like

*Tries it*

Huh. Not difficult at all.
posted by mediareport at 10:59 AM on November 11, 2007


Flooded with plays on dam, sad, Sadd, Saddam, Sadd Saddam, damn, it's a damn shame, it's a dam shame, it's a Saddam shame, damn dam shame, it's a Sadd Saddam damn dam shame, it's Saddam's sad Sadd shame...

Keeling over and going to LOLCATS to get my mind back...
posted by nickyskye at 11:06 AM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


First, it's difficult to read an obligation to maintain dams into a section that's primarily about hospitals and the like.

SURE THE COLLAPSE OF THE DAM WILL KILL HALF A MILLION PEOPLE BUT THAT'S NOTHING LIKE PROVIDING HOSPITAL SERVICES GUYS REALLY I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN GUYS
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:17 AM on November 11, 2007 [5 favorites]


No, it's not. Some of my friends in other countries get more worked up about things that happen in America than the average person who lives here. A lot of them are more aware of our current events and history than most people who were born American. It kind of amazes me sometimes, actually.

That's great, but Americans still don't own a monopoly on an inability to deeply connect with tragedies in foreign countries. Most people, regardless of what borders they live between, primarily give a shit about what happens close to home. That doesn't make them sociopaths, it makes them human.
posted by cmonkey at 12:04 PM on November 11, 2007


SURE THE COLLAPSE OF THE DAM WILL KILL HALF A MILLION PEOPLE BUT THAT'S NOTHING LIKE PROVIDING HOSPITAL SERVICES GUYS REALLY I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU MEAN GUYS

I don't think that a legal obligation to provide hospitals creates a legal obligation to undertake public works projects that (might) keep people out of hospitals. I think it's simply too large of an obligation to hang on a couple of words taken somewhat out of context.

If the Geneva convention really contemplated damn upkeep, I don't think the obligation would've been created in the hospital and medical care section.

Also, while the U.S. certainly became an occupying power when it invaded Iraq, I don't think it's clear that it remains an occupying power. Occupying power status doesn't persist until all troops are removed, or the U.S. would still be occupying Japan and Germany.

There is a permanent Iraqi government, and one can argue that it's merely a puppet state and the U.S. remains an occupying power, but that's also less than clear.

Basically, it's not absurd to claim that the Geneva convention requires the U.S. to perform upkeep on this damn, but the argument has serious flaws. Shouting down or mocking anyone who points out these flaws does not make your position stronger. A better approach would be to address the specific objections and show how they can be overcome.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 12:05 PM on November 11, 2007


("Sadd Saddam" in Arabic)
Sadd? Sounds more like Saddam's Last Laugh to me. It must be noted that if we had not invaded, he probably wouldn't have done diddly to shore up the dam himself (in his later years in power, his only infrastructure interest was his own palaces - which is one of the reasons his army was defeated so quickly), but if neither We Amahricans nor the New Improved Iraqi Government don't do something before the dam breaks, then it's a point in favor of the "no better than Saddam" argument. Of course, if the dam doesn't burst until after January 2009, the neocons and Bushites will happily blame it on the New President.
posted by wendell at 12:10 PM on November 11, 2007


Well, when USA soldiers have the right to wander around a country's streets and kill anyone that looks at them funny I think that qualifies as occupying. I haven't heard of too many children getting shot to death by US soldiers in Japan or Germany lately.
posted by Iax at 12:15 PM on November 11, 2007


Also, while the U.S. certainly became an occupying power when it invaded Iraq, I don't think it's clear that it remains an occupying power. Occupying power status doesn't persist until all troops are removed, or the U.S. would still be occupying Japan and Germany.

With 4.2 million refugees and 1 million dead, we've successfully lowered the population of Iraq by 20% since 2003. With 168 000 of the invasion force of 250 000 American troops still stationed in Iraq, the American military population has decreased 33% since 2003. I'd say we're not occupying but rather still in the process of invading. Regardless, the numbers don't give a damn how you feel like classifying it today, Mr. America.
posted by mek at 12:34 PM on November 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Basically, it's not absurd to claim that the Geneva convention requires the U.S. to perform upkeep on this damn, but the argument has serious flaws.

Considering that the army corps was committed to surveying the dam, and US monies were spent to perform upkeep on the dam, the United States of America apparently disagreed with you and agreed with the Convention here.

But the companies it hired to perform the work apparently didn't. I'm sure you could work for their legal team, but it looks like they may not need you.

Would you argue with the premise of the laws, that the party that chooses aggression and invades must bear some responsibility for the costs of the invasion?
posted by eustatic at 12:38 PM on November 11, 2007


Mr. President Dr. Steve, a majority of said permanent government seems to want us gone, and we haven't. Is that occupying enough for you?

How about the opinion of one of those lawmakers, then?

"But no one can accept the occupation of his country." --Bahaa al-Araji
posted by stevis23 at 4:37 PM on November 11, 2007


Why do you people still argue with him?
posted by inigo2 at 5:14 PM on November 11, 2007


Why do you people still argue with him?
posted by inigo2


Because if you are unwilling or unable to counter stupid statements by people you disagree with, you might as well be living in Pakistan, Iraq, Afganistan, Iran, N. Korea, China...
posted by Balisong at 6:20 PM on November 11, 2007


it's not clear the US is an occupying power any longer.

LOLs!
posted by Artw at 6:48 PM on November 11, 2007


Steve: I think that you're correct, and that it is a bit of a stretch. Those sections (and the ones around them) aren't just about hospitals though; the safety of the water and food supply are "public health and hygiene in the occupied territory, with particular reference to the adoption and application of the prophylactic and preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics." If the water supply fails in a densely populated area (because it's flooded) you will see major outbreaks of cholera and other diarrheal diseases. These diseases are historically (including at the time of the conventions) major killers in warfare. In many places, more than violence. Of course the US is trying to fulfill this common-sense obligation (the occupier takes on the basic roles of government, including hygiene) by fixing the dam. It's not working out well, but not for lack of trying. Maybe we should get the brits to do it.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:23 PM on November 11, 2007


Maybe we should get the brits to do it.

Well - with the U.K. expected to withdraw half of their 5,000 troops next spring with the remaining 2,500 soldiers to head home by the end of 2008 we shouldn't count on them.

Who else is left amongst the "coalition-of-the-willing?" Hmmm. How about:
South Korea: 1,200 current
Romania: 405 current
El Salvador: 300 current
Czech Republic: 99 current
Denmark: 55 current
Albania: 70 current
Latvia: 2 current
But, what's this? U.S. troop deployment in Iraq (09/07) -- 168,000.

BTW/FYI -- 2007 Is Deadliest Year for U.S. Troops in Iraq.
posted by ericb at 8:25 PM on November 11, 2007


In related news:

Poll: Iraq war opposition at all-time high. New CNN poll released today finds:
Support for the war in Iraq has dropped to 31 percent and the 68 percent who oppose the war is a new record.

Despite the drop in violence in Iraq, only one quarter of Americans believes the U.S. is winning the war. There has been virtually no change in the past month in the number of Americans who believe that things are going badly for the U.S. in the war in Iraq.

The public also opposes U.S. military action against Iran. Sixty-three percent oppose air strikes on Iran, while 73 percent oppose using ground troops as well as air strikes in that country.

Overall, 56 percent, of Americans are dissatisfied with progress in the war on terrorism.
Heckuva a job, Bushie!
posted by ericb at 8:35 PM on November 11, 2007


BTW/FYI -- 2007 Is Deadliest Year for U.S. Troops in Iraq.

Also Deadliest year for U.S. in Afghanistan.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:41 PM on November 11, 2007


it's not clear the US is an occupying power any longer.

Occupying, definitely. But less and less of a power as time goes by.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:05 AM on November 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sad thing is, if this happened tomorrow, very few people in this country would even bat an eyelash.

Behold the awesome power of the Monkeysphere.
posted by davelog at 5:55 AM on November 12, 2007


Sad thing is, if this happened tomorrow, very few people in this country would even bat an eyelash.

Not exactly unique to Americans. More like human nature.

Adam Smith, hundreds of years ago, wrote:

"Let us suppose that the great empire of China, with all its myriads of inhabitants, was suddenly swallowed up by an earthquake, and let us consider how a man of humanity in Europe, who had no sort of connection with that part of the world, would be affected upon receiving intelligence of this dreadful calamity. He would, I imagine, first of all, express very strongly his sorrow for the misfortune of that unhappy people, he would make many melancholy reflections upon the precariousness of human life, and the vanity of all the labours of man, which could thus be annihilated in a moment. He would too, perhaps, if he was a man of speculation, enter into many reasonings concerning the effects which this disaster might produce upon the commerce of Europe, and the trade and business of the world in general. And when all this fine philosophy was over, when all these humane sentiments had been once fairly expressed, he would pursue his business or his pleasure, take his repose or his diversion, with the same ease and tranquillity, as if no such accident had happened. The most frivolous disaster which could befall himself would occasion a more real disturbance. If he was to lose his little finger to-morrow, he would not sleep to-night; but, provided he never saw them, he will snore with the most profound security over the ruin of a hundred millions of his brethren, and the destruction of that immense multitude seems plainly an object less interesting to him, than this paltry misfortune of his own."
posted by shivohum at 11:37 AM on November 12, 2007


Of course Europe doesn't own China, then (well, not all of it) or now, nor have a role in earthquake creation.
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on November 12, 2007


Of course if the Chinese jumped up and down at the same time...
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on November 12, 2007


ericb writes "Who else is left amongst the 'coalition-of-the-willing?' Hmmm. How about:
"Latvia: 2 current"


Two people?!? How much man power back home is being consumed to support just two people I wonder.
posted by Mitheral at 11:37 PM on November 12, 2007






U.S. Building Base on Top of Iraq Oil Platform

How fitting.
posted by homunculus at 1:06 PM on November 17, 2007


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