Talk:Iraq War/Archive 13

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"Mercenaries" again

To make a long story short, Blackwater employs Chileans who are considered mercenaries under international law, and Americans who are not.[1] They are popularly referred to as mercenaries but they carefully refer to themselves as private military contractors. They fit the dictionary definition. Do we call them mercenaries? ←BenB4 12:43, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't think they fit the definition at all. They are not "in" the military, whence the controversy and they are not solely motivated by monetary gain. So, no, I don't think they should be called mercenaries. --DHeyward 13:29, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid to ask what their other motivations are. ←BenB4 13:40, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Do they fit the definition of mercenaries?
Art 47. Mercenaries

A mercenary is any person who:
(a) is specially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight in an armed conflict;
(b) does, in fact, take a direct part in the hostilities;
(c) is motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain and, in fact, is promised, by or on behalf of a Party to the conflict, material compensation substantially in excess of that promised or paid to combatants of similar ranks and functions in the armed forces of that Party;
(d) is neither a national of a Party to the conflict nor a resident of territory controlled by a Party to the conflict;
(e) is not a member of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict; and
(f) has not been sent by a State which is not a Party to the conflict on official duty as a member of its armed forces.

  • (a) & (b): Around 12 months ago the Pentagon stated that some 50,000 contractors have combat roles so yes.
  • (c): We know they are paid much more. Motivated? Stop paying them and see how long they stay in Iraq. Another yes.
  • (d): This is the sticking point. Those contractors that are citizens of countries other than the coalition members still in Iraq definitely are mercenaries. If the Iraqi government is legitimate then American contractors are mercenaries but if the Iraqi government is only a puppet for the US then they are not. This one is a maybe.
  • (e) & (f): They are not members of the military so another yes. Wayne 18:06, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

I think we should just go with the technical term here rather than the slang term. The technical term for them is private military contractors--this is how the US Government is referring to them, both in terms of their legal standing (or lack thereof), their military standing, and in terms of their casualties from the Dept of Labour. While the term mercenary does fit on some levels, it has connotations that will most likely spark some unnecessary editing--so let's just keep them listed under their current technical term to avoid that issue. Also, keep in mind it is very difficult to determine who exactly would fall under a "mercenary" label vs who would fall under a "private military contractor" label. For example, a person who cooks for Coalition forces could certainly be labeled a "private military contractor" and not a "mercenary" since their primary activity doesn't involve armed conflict, falling more under the catering services label. However, that same person is operating in the traditional sense of a low-ranking military personnel (a private peeling potatoes) by indirectly supporting those who actually do engage in armed conflict, so they could also be labeled a mercenary on that score. So rather than confusing the issue, I think it would be much easier to just use the term "private military contractors" for the time being. Publicus 21:30, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

The term private military contractor is acceptable. I disagree with your assessment of each of the points, however.
  • a). No. They were not recruited to fight abroad. Security firms provide many security details not related to Iraq and the employees generally don't have a say. That is different from mercenaries.
  • b) Yes.
  • c) No. That has not been established as motivation. We couldn't stop paying regular army troops either so that argument is specious. They pass security clearances and vettings so they have a psychological makeup that exceeds money. For example, Blackwater outside of their security detail, has responded to distress calls from U.S. soldiers when they were attacked by insurgents. This is not required for them to do, and they don't get paid any more, yet their ties and loyalty form a motiviation that exceed money.
  • d) No. The U.S. is a party to the conflict. Blackwater employees are generally American.
  • e) Maybe. I think many of them are inactive reserves.
  • f) Yes.
  • --DHeyward 13:27, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

ADDED the most covered up topic.73000 troops dead and 1.6 disabled.its official!!!

the news has leaked http://www1.va.gov/rac-gwvi/docs/GWVIS_May2007.pdf

this is the official death toll. you cannot deny this. its from the veterans affairs and the join chief of staff!!!! manchurian candidate 14:14, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

It is for the FIRST Gulf War. I removed it from the article and corrected the casualty stats in the infobox. --Timeshifter 16:30, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

misleading text

I removed the recently added text:

"'The Congressional-run Select Committee on Intelligence in 2004 did not find any evidence that "Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities".[1] Similarly the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction concluded in 2005 that "The Intelligence Community did not make or change any analytic judgments in response to political pressure to reach a particular conclusion, but the pervasive conventional wisdom that Saddam retained WMD affected the analytic process" [2]"

because it is misleading. Although the text does not make this clear, it is referring to first part of the Senate_Report_of_Pre-war_Intelligence_on_Iraq. The investigation was actually done by a subset of the senate select committee on intelligence. A "compromise" was struck in which they would split the investigation in to two parts: the first part was to examine the quality of the intelligence, and was to conclude before the 2004 election. The second part was to examine how the intelligence was used in policy decisions, and was to be conducted after the election. The sub-commitee had a republican majority, and was led by a republican who was accused of strong-arming the investigation. After the election, the republicans did not continue to the second part of the investigation, as they had promised in their "compromise" with the democratics.

The first part of the investigation, which the text refers to, did not examine how the administration used the intelligence, so it is altogether quite unsurprising that they found no evidence, for something that they didn't investigate. Furhtermore, the text gives the reader the impression that the second part of the investigation was performed, when, in fact, it was not.

Furthermore, the report produced by the first part of the investigation (which the text is referring to), did not examine the central issue at hand: the "stovepipping" of intelligence and the Office of Special Plans, though the text gives the reader the impression either that it did examine this, or that this was not the central issue.

The text is misleading and multiple accounts, on matters of important substance. And no balance is provided. And no context is provided. Kevin Baastalk 00:38, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

You may insert sourced commentary on whether or not the investigation was valid, but to remove it entirely seems like censorship. Isaac Pankonin 10:16, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Splitting the investigation in to two pieces, avoiding the second part but reporting its conclusions from only the investigation of the first part seems more like censorship. ←BenB4 15:16, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Then somebody should put that in the article with sources that state that. The only reason not to include something is if there are no reliable sources. There clearly are reliable sources that state that the investigation took place, and it's clearly relevant. Isaac Pankonin 23:43, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

MediaLens info concerning casualties

User:Jc-S0CO keeps removing info from a reliable source, MediaLens, concerning casualties. See WP:RS. See last diff: [2]. The edit summary was "Removed partisan link per WP:RS. Seriously, just look at the "About Us" section on MediaLens's their web site."

Here is the info that was removed:

However, the IBC has been criticized for counting only a small percentage of the number of actual deaths because they only include deaths reported by respected media agencies.
Reference: "The Media Ignore Credible Poll Revealing 1.2 Million Violent Deaths In Iraq". Sept. 18, 2007. MediaLens.

MediaLens is used as a reference in various wikipedia articles. Reference links can come from all sides. That is how WP:NPOV is met. By presenting all significant viewpoints. --Timeshifter 09:38, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. I had put it back, but it was deleted again. MediaLens may not be mainstream, but it is credible enough as a reference. SDas 14:15, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
So you're saying I can use NewsBusters and WorldNetDaily? Isaac Pankonin 23:09, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Surely there is a mainstream mention of that complaint. IBC themselves admits they undercount. From the horse's mouth via the BBC: "We've always said our work is an undercount, you can't possibly expect that a media-based analysis will get all the deaths."[3]BenB4 22:35, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the link. I have a quote from the IBC website too. It, and lots of other info and links, is at Casualties of the Iraq War. MediaLens is notable, and is covered by the BBC here:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/4951508.stm --Timeshifter 23:07, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
You should use that BBC source then, since it's available. Isaac Pankonin 23:28, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Quotes from policies:
  • "Surprising or apparently important reports of recent events not covered by reliable news media" WP:REDFLAG (This is for an earlier edit when I removed text that said the ORB was an "independent confirmation" of the Lancet poll)
  • "Disagreements over whether something is approached neutrally can usually be avoided through the practice of good and unbiased research, based upon the best and most reputable authoritative sources available." WP:NPOV Isaac Pankonin 23:26, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
I have added references to the BBC article on MediaLens, and to the MediaLens article. So these articles elucidate the criticisms. Both are notable sources. One doesn't have to agree with the criticisms. And the wikipedia article should not indicate agreement with any particular viewpoint. --Timeshifter 00:48, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
I suggest Isaac Pankonin read sources before reverting. One of the sources called ORB "independent confirmation" and another said "strong supportive evidence for the findings of ... Lancet" so which do you prefer to be used? If you extrapolate the Lancet study for the 14 months between the polls, the Lancet gives the same number of deaths as ORB. As they are not related polls they are (to use the correct English term) "independent confirmation" of each other no matter how you spin it. Wayne 04:29, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
CITATION NEEDED protestor.png
BTW.. Les Roberts (author of the Lancet study) said himself that the ORB study aligns with theirs and that the 14 months alone accounts for the difference.
As for the IBC, I found this in a report: "IBC only collects records of violent civilian deaths reported by two different (mainly Western) media sources operating in Iraq. Epidemiologists report that this type of study typically captures around 5 per cent of deaths during high levels of violence." No link to the Epidemiologists so it might pay to track a reference on it down so it can be included in the article. Wayne 04:43, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
What report was that? ←BenB4 06:04, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
http://www.medialens.org/alerts/07/070918_the_media_ignore.php --Timeshifter 13:17, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Some additional points often overlooked. The British government accepts the Lancet survey as accurate. Over 90% of those asked for proof of death for their family members in the Lancet survey provided a death certificate. That means 590,000 documented deaths (or 900,000 if extrapolated to Sept 2007). Over 80% of the recorded IBC deaths are in Baghdad. Is it feasible that almost no one is getting killed in other parts of Iraq? The Lancet survey methodology was identical to one they used in the Congo which is accepted by the US government as accurate. Wayne 18:37, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Wayne. You wrote: "Over 80% of the recorded IBC deaths are in Baghdad. Is it feasible that almost no one is getting killed in other parts of Iraq?" What is the source for that?--Timeshifter 15:38, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Couple of points:
  1. If 90% had a death certificate, wouldn't multiplying the number of death certificates issued (a known number) by 10/9 give a more accurate picture? No, there have not been 590,000 death certificates issued, not even now.
  2. You lied. The British government said it's inaccurate. Look at your own source. You're confusing the government's analysis of the method used and what it actually thinks of the study's results. That was very dishonest of you. I hope it wasn't intentional.
  3. IBC is by no means a "tool for the warmongers". Their whole reason for counting deaths is to influence policy by showing the human side of conflict.[4] So when they say a study is "extreme and improbable",[5] chances are they're they're motivated by a desire for the truth, not because they agree with George W. Bush. Quote: "Do the American people need to believe that 600,000 Iraqis have been killed before they can turn to their leaders and say 'enough is enough'? The number of certain civilian deaths that has been documented to a basic standard of corroboration by 'passive surveillance methods' surely already provides all the necessary evidence to deem this invasion and occupation an utter failure at all levels." Isaac Pankonin 08:43, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
How do we know that there have not been 590,000 death certificates issued? I doubt that that morgue workers call in to Baghdad Central Death Registry for a serial number, even if they are nominally supposed to. ←BenB4 15:18, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
According to IBC, if it was really true that "Half a million death certificates were received by families which were never officially recorded as having been issued" it would imply "incompetence and/or fraud on a truly massive scale by Iraqi officials in hospitals and ministries, on a local, regional and national level, perfectly coordinated from the moment the occupation began". Sounds like quite the conspiracy theory. Isaac Pankonin 23:36, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Are you implying that incompetence and/or fraud on a truly massive scale by Iraqi officials is not common? ←BenB4 07:42, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
No, but it would probably be pretty uncommon for it to be consistent throughout Iraq on a local, regional, and national level, and for it to persist for 4 years without the MSM or even bloggers in Iraq picking up on it. What happens to the 900 extra bodies that are supposed to accumulate every day? What happens to the supposed 90% of car bombs that never get discovered? Do they all just vanish into thin air? All the extra people that are supposed to be seriously wounded never seek hospital treatment. I don't think you realize the logistical problems with these results. Isaac Pankonin 23:00, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I gave the source Timeshifter, click the link. For the numbers from another source, the latest figures from the Iraqi health ministry (reported by AP on 11 October) found that of 6,599 people killed in Iraq during July/Aug, 5,106 (77%) were in Baghdad. They imply 31,390 were killed in Baghdad in the last 12 months. If we believe them then that is up to 150,000 killed in Baghdad alone since 2003 yet the IBC say 70,000 for all of Iraq in total. WLRoss 03:58, 27 September 2007 — continues after insertion below

You're assigning a view to me which I do not posess. I never said I thought IBC was the most accurate count available. Please be careful not to violate WP:TPG by misrepresenting others. Also, there are many links on this page. Which one are you talking about? Could you post it again? Isaac Pankonin 05:21, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

It is extremely interesting that the ministry of health in Iraq has recorded only 10% of the Iraqi deaths from natural causes (making Iraq the healthiest country in the world), so can we assume it is the same for violent deaths? Can Isaac Pankonin tell me why there is no record of those missing death certificates for natural causes? Or is that another conspiracy theory? WLRoss 03:58, 27 September 2007 — continues after insertion below

If you could provide a source to substantiate your claims, perhaps I would be able to respond. Isaac Pankonin 05:21, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I found mentions from Epidemiologists. Epidemiologist Ronald Waldman of Columbia University told the Washington Post that the (Lancet) survey used a method that was "tried and true" and that "this is the best estimate of mortality we have." Rebecca Goldin from George Mason University: "While the Lancet numbers are shocking, the study's methodology is not. The scientific community is in agreement over the statistical methods used to collect the data and the validity of the conclusions drawn by the researchers conducting the study." I found many sources disputing the Lancet survey but in every case it was people commenting outside their area of expertise. WLRoss 03:58, 27 September 2007 — continues after insertion below

Again, this is a comment on theoretical method, and I have never posted anything criticizing the method. That doesn't mean that there weren't problems with the study. Again, IBC, a group with probably more pragmatic experince counting bodies in Iraq than anybody, and a group that has political reasons to support the Lancet study, has come out critical of it.

Lancet estimates 150 people to have died from car bombs alone, on average, every day during June 2005-June 2006. IBC's database of deadly car bomb incidents shows they kill 7-8 people on average. Lancet's estimate corresponds to about 20 car bombs per day, all but one or two of which fail to be reported by the media. Yet car bombs fall well within the earlier-mentioned category of incidents which average 6 unique reports on them.

'Baghdad-weighting' of media reports, even if applicable to car bombs, is unlikely to account for this level of under-reporting, as half of the car bombs IBC has recorded have been outside Baghdad. The Pentagon, which has every reason to highlight the lethality of car bombs to Iraqis, records, on average, two to three car-bombings per day throughout Iraq, including those hitting only its own forces or causing no casualties, for the period in question.[6]

Isaac Pankonin 05:21, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

A couple of IBC quotes:
"We have always been quite explicit that our own total is certain to be an underestimate of the true position, because of gaps in reporting or recording."
"It is likely that many if not most civilian casualties will go unreported by the media."
"if George Bush has used our numbers... then he has misapplied them" —Preceding unsigned comment added by WLRoss (talkcontribs) 03:58, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I have nothing to say to these, only that I don't think by saying "many if not most" they really meant, "Multiply our number by 10 to get the real number." Isaac Pankonin 05:21, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
They probably do mean "Multiply our number by 10" if they are honest as I found two references to deaths reported by the media (how IBC count). One said "(The media) typically captures around 5 per cent of deaths during high levels of violence" and the other said "There have been no wars in history where the media have reported more than 10% of the casualties". I'll keep looking for a study on it rather than just a statement. Wayne 19:34, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Do they take the Internet and new communication technologies into account? What is their definition of "high levels of violence"? Isaac Pankonin 23:22, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
You are kidding right? They barely have electricity in many places. You really ought to read more before throwing around ideas and hoping they stick. This has all been covered in the sources linked from the relevant wikipedia articles on the Lancet surveys, ORB survey, etc.. People tire here on the talk page of this type of uninformed Freeper-style political discussion. Wikipedia talk pages are not a political forum. See WP:TALK. Nearly all these questions have been answered already with sourced info on these talk pages, and in the relevant wikipedia articles where it really matters. Many car bombs go unrecorded by the media. The numbers of deaths and wounded are often wrong for car bombs. Many wounded die later. Islamic custom requires rapid burial. Many examples of undercounting are detailed in the wikipedia articles. As for death certificates; why would Sunnis feel the need to report death certificates to a Shiite government ministry, and vice versa. Why would Sunnis want the true scale of Shiite deaths in their areas to be reported? And vice-versa. The U.S. military has also been exposed for covering up casualty numbers. As for the IBC; the IBC requires 2 media sources for every death it counts. There is no media in many places in Iraq. The bottom line is that 3 different national Iraq surveys recorded reported violent deaths among a significant percentage of surveyed households. That percentage has been increasing over time as more and more households have been touched by the war. The basic math is not that complicated. Just multiple the percentage times the total number of households in Iraq. Adjust for various factors. --Timeshifter 05:46, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
No I'm not kidding. All I'm saying is that maybe we shouldn't cite the study at face value, and I included a credible source with reasons as to why. WLRoss did not include sources, so I don't know how to take his statements. I have never said that IBC was the most accurate count. There is no debate that their number is the absolute minimum. I have never said the theory behind the Lancet survey was unsound. I have never even actually stated my opinion on the matter. I've only stated other people's opinions, properly cited. I. Pankonin (t/c) 00:45, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Georges Sada

Shouldn't there at least be a little info in the Weapons of Mass destruction section about the claims of the former Air Vice-Marshal of Iraq that a lot of WMD material was loaded onto planes and flown to Syria for hiding just before the invasion? When i get some free time I'll dig up the reliable sources and add the info. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elhector (talkcontribs) 21:48, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

That's covered in Iraq and weapons of mass destruction. It probably deserves a sentence or two here. I. Pankonin (t/c) 22:58, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
I guess it got moved to WMD theories in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq war. I. Pankonin (t/c) 23:42, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Header image discussion

Stop hand.svg Please discuss the lead picture here.






This appears like it will be a lengthy and seperate discussion. Ursasapien (talk) 08:08, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

"Liberation of Iraq" as alternative title

"Liberation of Iraq" was recently added as an alternative title. I think it would be more appropriate for the 2003 invasion of Iraq article. The Liberation of Iraq page does not exist yet. Nor does Iraqi Liberation. Any thoughts? -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 09:23, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with you on that. Same goes for the "Occupation of Iraq," this is a term that would apply specifically to the occupation phase, not the entire war. ~Rangeley (talk) 12:37, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
From what I can tell, "Occupation of Iraq" is used to mean both the initial invasion and the ongoing presence much if not most of the time. I agree with I.Pankonin; in particular, while "Liberation of Iraq" gets several times as many Google hits as "Second Gulf War," it is always used to mean the invasion and not the ongoing occupation as far as I can tell. Using "liberation" for the less-than-successful nation building effort would be incongruous. 1of3 13:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I've made the change. Note that Liberation of Iraq was deleted in the past for being an NPOV redirect to a different article. I created it again because it fits the definition of liberation and has a good chance of being searched for. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 05:47, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I'll agree about the name, but I'm not so sure about the meaning. For women, at least, there is much less freedom now as there was before the invasion. Even for the men, is living under a dictatorship less freedom than living without reliable electricity, water, and gasoline, with a substantially reduced life expectancy? 1of3 18:21, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
I think you're confusing freedom with convenience, but let's not go off topic. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 23:01, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
"Liberation" is a western viewpoint. A majority of the world view it as "occupation" or "invasion". I would support a separate article on the Liberation of Iraq if you think it worthwhile but not for it to replace or rename the Occupation of Iraq or 2003 invasion of Iraq articles. Wayne 06:21, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
All we're talking about is using it as a redirect to one of the pages about Iraq. Somebody else put "Liberation of Iraq" as an alternative title to the Iraq War page,[7] and the result of the discussion was that it was moved to a different article.[8] -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 06:39, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
It is very convenient to remain alive, and allows for additional freedoms, as most conveniences do. 1of3 02:54, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I thought the discussion was on renaming the article...my bad. I have no problem with Liberation of Iraq redirecting to 2003 invasion of Iraq. Wayne 07:05, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

WMDs found in Iraq

Concerning the findings of WMDs in Iraq in the lead section: Ipankonin keeps deleting "however they were not in usable condition and were not part of the WMD development programs for which the U.S. invaded" and replacing it with "however they were probably old, possibly degraded, and were probably not part of the WMD development programs for which the U.S. invaded." (emphasis added by me) The source Ipankonin has supplied for this assertion quotes a DoD official as saying, in no uncertain terms, "that the chemical weapons were not in useable conditions" and that the weapons "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war."[9] It strikes me as extremely biased to put the condition of the munitions as well as their connection to the pre-war rationale in questionable terms when we have a senior DoD official clearly explaining that they were unusable and not part of the WMD weapons programs for which the U.S. justified the war.--Rise Above The Vile 23:43, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

"'The purity of the agents inside the munitions depends on many factors, including the manufacturing process, potential additives and environmental storage conditions. While agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal,' Santorum read from the document."
"The weapons are thought to be manufactured before 1991 so they would not be proof of an ongoing WMD program in the 1990s."
These quotes reflect uncertainty. I'll take the "possibly" away from degraded, though. You're right for that one. The "unusable" quote doesn't come from the document. It comes from some anonymous DoD official that might be a janitor for all we know. I. Pankonin (t/c) 00:01, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I take the janitor part back. It says he was a senior DoD official. Anonymous, however. I. Pankonin (t/c) 00:08, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
DoD officials almost always speak on a condition of anonymity. However, I do believe compromise is in order; "unusable" can be removed. I'm reordering your sentence from "probably old, degraded..." to "degraded, probably manufactured pre-1991..." as how it is currently written the probably can apply to both "old" and "degraded" and I don't feel that "old" gives a satisfactory explanation. Do you have any complaints with that?--Rise Above The Vile 00:19, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with the content. It might need some work to flow better, though. I. Pankonin (t/c) 00:25, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Hmm...I'm actually not much of a writer, but how about, "Hundreds of undeclared chemical weapons were found after the invasion, however they were not part of the WMD development programs for which the U.S. invaded; they were degraded and probably manufactured pre-1991." ?--Rise Above The Vile 00:38, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
"WMD devlopment programs" sounds awkward but I can't think of a good way to rephrase it.--Rise Above The Vile 00:41, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I read it again, and I don't have a problem with it. It can stay the way it is. If you want to change it, go ahead, and I'll let you know what I think. I. Pankonin (t/c) 00:45, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

I hardly think that FOX News is a better source than the Iraq Survey Group. More importantly, the paragraph starts out saying the reason for the invasion was that, "Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction." So, why are we talking about weapons that were most likely developed and produced before the 1991 invasion? The original statement that, "After the invasion, however, no evidence was found of such weapons," (emphasis added) is completely, 100% accurate because it refers to the paragraph's antecedent, weapons in development. I am replacing the original version. 1of3 04:43, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

It may be accurate, but it's misleading. The other version was 100% accurate, and it also didn't violate WP:NPOV, which can not be said of the current version. It explicitly said they're not the weapons America went to war for, so I don't see how you can complain.
As far as Fox News being a better source than the ISG, the answer in this case is yes. The Fox News story came 2 years after the Duelfer report, and it cites a Government document, members of Congress, and a senior DoD official. I. Pankonin (t/c) 05:50, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
If the rationale was that WMD's were in production, then changing the subject and talking about weapons that were so far out of production as to be degraded is deliberately misleading. Give me one reason to believe that your doing that isn't politically motivated POV-pushing. If anyone doubts it I recommend that they have a look at your user page. Acct4 06:23, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
It's proof that Hussein lied in his last WMD report and violated Resolution 1441, which is another rationale used to go to war. These weapons were not declared to the UN. All of his chemical weapons were supposedly destroyed. I. Pankonin (t/c) 06:48, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
This has come up a few weeks ago with User:Ipankonin trying to change it. As stated then, the WMD found were either tagged by the UN or in unusable condition. There were no undeclared operational weapons found. Ergo "no evidence found" is accurate. FOX can legally lie while Duefler can't so it must remain the RS for the subject. Wayne 06:32, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
"FOX can legally lie while Duefler can't"? - HUH? "No WMD's were found" is the lie. One has to go into more detail and since Wikipedia is not paper, we certainly can explain the presence of these weapons (as has been reported by a RS). Ursasapien (talk) 06:56, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
No whitewash as inoperable weapons did not need to be declared. When we talk of no weapons found it refers to WMD that the administration claimed Iraq had, not weapons that no longer functioned that in all likelyhood Saddam did not even know existed. Non functional = cannot be used as a weapon. This was the subject of an edit war by I. Pankonin some time ago and the current version is consensus and most accurate so any reverting must now be regarded as vandalism unless new information turns up. Wayne 07:18, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
That is actually not the way consensus works. I have never been involved in an edit war, I was not editing this article "some time ago", and the first time I've touched this sentence is about two days ago. This section is obviously under contention, and I'm sorry, but you'll have to go through the dispute resolution process all over again and come to a new consensus. I. Pankonin (t/c) 07:25, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
And I would really appreciate it if you could provide a source for your statement about WMD, per WP:TPG, which states that WP:V also applies to talk pages. I. Pankonin (t/c) 07:28, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I will have to look through the discussion to find this alledged consensus. Could you provide a link. The current version is inaccurate and, IMO, violates NPOV and RS. Stating that reverting to a more accurate version is vandalism does not make it so. I am willing to work with other editors on this, but I am not willing to let it drop. Undeclared weapons were found. "Saddam did not even know existed" is original research and very dubious at that. How can we include this information in an accurate manner? Ursasapien (talk) 07:30, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Maybe I confused when you were reverting it but your version was not accepted then and should not be now without proof the weapons are what the administration claimed Iraq had. The current version is still consensus and accurate and only 2 editors are challenging it. The FOX article gives the POV impression the WMD found are something new just found out when in fact they have been reported many times over the years. I give this quote from the FOX article itself: "Offering the official administration response to FOX News, a senior Defense Department official pointed out that the chemical weapons were not in useable conditions.. adding the munitions "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war."". This alone negates your reason for changing the intro. Wayne 07:39, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

You're skirting WP:OWN by not letting us have input on the article. I. Pankonin (t/c) 07:43, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
The lead currently contains this misleading text:
First, there is still debate regarding the "main" rationale. Second, I would dispute whether the rationale involved "developing weapons of mass destruction" versus "possessing and continuing to develop and seek weapons of mass destruction with the will and the motivation to use them." Finally, the quote you gave directly contradicts, "offered by U.S. President George W. Bush, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, and their domestic and foreign supporters." The idea that Saddam had, was continuing to develop, and was hiding his WMD program was nearly universally accepted by Bush/Blair supporters and detractors alike. To state any differently is simply revisionist history. How can we address these issues? Ursasapien (talk) 08:05, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I would like to see the word "undisputed" in that sentence. Something like, "the undisputed opinion that Iraq was in possession of and continuing to produce WMD". I. Pankonin (t/c) 08:55, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

It was not undisputed. It was obviously disputed at the time:

1. Do you believe that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction; for instance, chemical or biological weapons?

President Chirac: Well, I don’t know. I have no evidence to support that… It seems that there are no nuclear weapons - no nuclear weapons program. That is something that the inspectors seem to be sure of. As for weapons of mass destruction, bacteriological, biological, chemical, we don’t know. And that is precisely what the inspectors’ mandate is all about. But rushing into war, rushing into battle today is clearly a disproportionate response. Interview with CBS 16th March 2003

2. A British intelligence source said the best intelligence on Saddam was held by the French who had agents in Iraq. 'French intelligence was telling us that there was effectively no real evidence of a WMD program. That's why France wanted a longer extension on the weapons inspections. The French, the Germans and the Russians all knew there were no weapons there -- and so did Blair and Bush as that's what the French told them directly. Blair ignored what the French told us and instead listened to the Americans.' Published on Sunday, June 1, 2003 by The Sunday Herald

3. French intelligence services did not come up with the same alarming assessment of Iraq and WMD as did the Britain and the United States. "According to secret agents at the DGSE, Saddam's Iraq does not represent any kind of nuclear threat at this time…It [the French assessment] contradicts the CIA's analysis…" French spies said that the Iraqi nuclear threat claimed by the United States was a "phony threat." Institute for Science and International Security

4. Russia was not convinced by either the September 24, 2002 British dossier or the October 4, 2002 CIA report. Lacking sufficient evidence, Russia dismissed the claims as a part of a "propaganda furor."Specifically targeting the CIA report, Putin said, "Fears are one thing, hard facts are another." He goes on to say, "Russia does not have in its possession any trustworthy data that supports the existence of nuclear weapons or any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we have not received any such information from our partners yet. This fact has also been supported by the information sent by the CIA to the US Congress." However, Putin was apprehensive about the possibility that Iraq may have WMDs and he therefore supported inspections. The Russian ambassador to London thought that the dossier was a document of concern. "It is impressive, but not always…convincing." Institute for Science and International Security.

"When I left Iraq in 1998... the infrastructure and facilities had been 100% eliminated. There's no doubt about that. All of their instruments and facilities had been destroyed. The weapons design facility had been destroyed. The production equipment had been hunted down and destroyed. And we had in place means to monitor - both from vehicles and from the air - the gamma rays that accompany attempts to enrich uranium or plutonium. We never found anything." (Scott Ritter and William Rivers Pitt, ‘War On Iraq’ Profile Books, 2002 p.26)

Further to this, quoting from "Recent Intelligence Lessons/ Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction Capability" (Chapter 3 of "Report of the Inquiry into Australian Intelligence Agencies" http://www.pmc.gov.au/publications/intelligence_inquiry/index.htm ):

"Notwithstanding the "very considerable obstacles" placed in UNSCOM's way, UNSCOM assessed that a great deal had been achieved in removing or rendering harmless "substantial portions" of Iraq's WMD capability. But despite the years of extensive work, the impact of Iraq's incomplete disclosures, unilateral destruction and concerted concealment practices had made it impossible for UNSCOM "to verify, fully, Iraq's statements with respect to the nature and magnitude of its proscribed weapons programmes and their current disposition". Significant discrepancies in accounting for all of the programmes covered by UNSCOM's mandate thus remained. While accurate totals are difficult to establish, according to UNSCOM reporting these included:

   * more than 20,000 chemical warfare munitions
   * 1.5 tonnes of bulk chemical warfare agent
   * more than 80 tonnes of chemical precursors
   * nearly 2,000 kilograms of biological warfare growth media.

"It is important to note that the 'discrepancies' listed by UNSCOM did not represent a known residual capability or stockpile. They were discrepancies in accounting which had not been satisfactorily resolved. In some cases, the baseline figures used to calculate the discrepancies were provided by Iraq and could not be independently verified.

"In March 1999, a senior UN panel appointed by the Security Council judged that "although important elements still have to be resolved, the bulk of Iraq's proscribed weapons have been eliminated"." (my emphasis)

It was also disputed by Hans Blix in September 2002: ‘If I had solid evidence that Iraq retained weapons of mass destruction or were constructing such weapons I would take it to the Security Council.’ (Quoted in The Independent, September 11th 2002) Dwtray2007 23:43, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

convenience break 2

When the first of the chemical weapons were found the newspapers said that the Iraqi government would not have known of their existance as they had been inoperable for more than 10 years before the invasion. These things can not be made to work once they degrade so are only junk. To say they are proof supporting the invasion is POV at best. You can have all the input you like but you must prove your case before reverting again, especially considering the article you cite does not support the change. Wayne 07:47, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm not reading anything more you write about WMD unless you provide a source. Burden of proof is on you. Also, regarding consensus, WP:CCC states, "A small group of editors can reach a consensual decision, but when the article gains wider attention, others may then disagree. The original group should not block further change on grounds that they already have made a decision." I. Pankonin (t/c) 07:50, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
The FOX source you gave yourself is proof of the current version. "are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war". You need to prove they are in order to support a change. I also argue that "the chemical weapons were not in useable conditions" means they are not WMD. They were before the first Gulf War but ceased to be when they became inoperable. This is not OR but common sense. Wayne 08:09, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
The thing is, this is stated explicitly in my version. I. Pankonin (t/c) 08:13, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
When I said "this", I meant "they were not part of the weapons programs for which the U.S. invaded", which is a direct quote from my version. I really don't see what the dispute is. I. Pankonin (t/c) 09:05, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
And actually, calling them not WMD is definately OR, because the article states that they are WMD. The Fox article quoted a congressman reading from an official government document that the weapons, while degraded, are dangerous and still pose a threat. I'm still waiting for a source that says they were "tagged by the UN", as you have previously stated. I. Pankonin (t/c) 08:49, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

In all fairness, whether it was the prime reason or not, the Bush administration repeatedly invoked the WMD's as rationale to invade Iraq. Second, as we all know, no evidence of their existence has been provided so far. Even the administration acknowledged that it is unlikely they will ever be found (how can that be?). With that in mind I think it is more than unreasonable to ignore the discrepancy between the original claims and current facts on the ground. Also, I don't think undisputed accurately describes the allegations regarding the WMD's, i.e. IAEA and yellowcake forgery. Nomen NescioGnothi seauton 17:32, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Doesn't it sound a little POV to write in the lead what the administration claimed about WMD then say they were found but were not really the ones mentioned? If you want to use that FOX article somewhere I suggest Rationale for the Iraq War as that page already has an entire section on the WMD found since the invasion. I'll try and assume good faith but to include it here seems nothing more than an attempt to provide justification for the invasion through an unrelated association. Wayne 04:02, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
It sounds a lot better than "no evidence of any". It's an outright lie, and using the Duelfer Report as your source for that won't work either, because the ISG found uranium centrifuge components and biological starter kits as well.[10] I'm sorry, but your version is just not going to work. I suggest you try to compromise, because you're just digging yourself a hole. I. Pankonin (t/c) 04:49, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
It does not say "no evidence of any". It says "no evidence was found of any such weapons", an important distinction which is entirely correct and factual as it refers to the WMD mentioned in the article. Having read the link you provided I notice it is a POV publication and not a RS as the claims it makes have since been proved largely incorrect. Please go to Rationale for the Iraq War and read it. Wayne 05:05, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
If MediaLens is allowed, then so is WND. I'll get to the Rationale article later. I'm focusing on correcting this one right now. Besides the fact that Bush also said possessed WMD, and the article here only says developing, as was pointed out above, the sentence makes it sound like there are no WMD in Iraq, which is completely false. I. Pankonin (t/c) 05:30, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I suggest (in fact insist) you read that article before "focusing on correcting this one" as everything you are bringing up here is already there in much more detail and updated far beyond what you want to use here. Wayne 18:25, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Just thought I should point out that the source you give to support that "the ISG found uranium centrifuge components and biological starter kits as well" was written by Insight Magazine, which is notorious for printing flagrantly false articles. That claim is completely bogus; uranium centrifuge components and biological starter kits were never found by the ISG.--Rise Above The Vile 05:31, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Here you go, nice liberal Guardian newspaper story for confirmation. "Documents and equipment hidden in a scientist's home that would have been useful in resuming uranium enrichment."[11] I. Pankonin (t/c) 05:43, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
There is a huge difference between finding uranium centrifuge components and finding documents in a scientist's home that would be useful in resuming uranium enrichment. The document you're referencing is a progress report from David Kay, who states in the beginning that it "is a snapshot, in the context of an ongoing investigation;" it is not the final report and does not conclusively determine anything. All credible evidence was compiled into the Duelfer Report; this document is the final say on what the ISG did and did not find.--Rise Above The Vile 05:54, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Just one question though. Did you read it, or are you relying on second-hand accounts from the media? I. Pankonin (t/c) 06:07, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
And as far as WP:RS goes, this source is valid unless you can find a source repudiating it. I. Pankonin (t/c) 06:08, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I have read it. As you obviously have not, I shall include here a brief summary of the findings:
Concerning Iraq's weapons delivery systems
  • "Iraq failed in its efforts to acquire longer-range delivery systems to replace inventory exhausted in the Iran/Iraq war."
  • "Desert Storm and subsequent UN resolutions and inspections brought many of Iraq’s delivery system programs to a halt. While much of Iraq’s long-range missile inventory and production infrastructure was eliminated, Iraq until late 1991 kept some items hidden to assist future reconstitution of the force."
  • "Given Iraq’s investments in technology and infrastructure improvements, an effective procurement network, skilled scientists, and designs already on the books for longer range missiles, ISG assesses that Saddam clearly intended to reconstitute long-range delivery systems and that the systems potentially were for WMD."
Concerning Iraq's Nuclear WMD development
  • "Iraq Survey Group (ISG) discovered further evidence of the maturity and significance of the pre-1991 Iraqi Nuclear Program but found that Iraq’s ability to reconstitute a nuclear weapons program progressively decayed after that date...Nevertheless, after 1991, Saddam did express his intent to retain the intellectual capital developed during the Iraqi Nuclear Program."
  • "ISG, for example, uncovered two specific instances in which scientists involved in uranium enrichment kept documents and technology. Although apparently acting on their own, they did so with the belief and anticipation of resuming uranium enrichment efforts in the future."
  • "Specific projects, with significant development, such as the efforts to build a rail gun and a copper vapor laser could have been useful in a future effort to restart a nuclear weapons program, but ISG found no indications of such purpose."
Concerning Iraq's Chemical WMD development
  • "Saddam never abandoned his intentions to resume a CW effort when sanctions were lifted and conditions were judged favorable."
  • "While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991."
  • "ISG did not discover chemical process or production units configured to produce key precursors or CW agents. However, site visits and debriefs revealed that Iraq maintained its ability for reconfiguring and ‘making-do’ with available equipment as substitutes for sanctioned items."
  • "ISG uncovered information that the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) maintained throughout 1991 to 2003 a set of undeclared covert laboratories to research and test various chemicals and poisons, primarily for intelligence operations. The network of laboratories could have provided an ideal, compartmented platform from which to continue CW agent R&D or small-scale production efforts, but we have no indications this was planned."
Concerning Iraq's Biological WMD development
  • "ISG judges that Iraq’s actions between 1991 and 1996 demonstrate that the state intended to preserve its BW capability and return to a steady, methodical progress toward a mature BW program when and if the opportunity arose."
  • "In practical terms, with the destruction of the Al Hakam facility, Iraq abandoned its ambition to obtain advanced BW weapons quickly. ISG found no direct evidence that Iraq, after 1996, had plans for a new BW program or was conducting BW-specific work for military purposes."
This repudiates Kay's initial report, reprinted in the Guardian. As for Insight magazine, it has proven itself, time and again, to be unreliable and therefore does not comply with WP:RS.--Rise Above The Vile 12:01, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
"ISG, for example, uncovered two specific instances in which scientists involved in uranium enrichment kept documents and technology." Sounds like uranium centrifuge parts if you ask me. This doesn't change the fact that to say that no weapons have been found is misleading, when you haven't presented a source that says the weapons reported in the Fox News article don't actually exist, especially since I agreed to the phrase "they were not part of the weapons programs for which the U.S. invaded". I still can't see what the dispute is. I. Pankonin (t/c) 21:15, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I'm confused by your post - I never argued against the Fox news source; you and I came to an agreement over the text it was used as a source for. As far as I'm concerned, that agreement still stands. My dispute is that you were claiming uranium centrifuge parts and biological starter kits were found by the ISG. According to the ISG that not true. As for claiming "technology" = "uranium centrifuge parts", that is WP:OR. The only source you can find that says uranium centrifuge parts were found is not reliable. All reliable sources say that in two instances, scientists kept documents and technology; there is no mention of those parts.--Rise Above The Vile 22:38, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I apologize for getting into an argument with you over this. It doesn't even matter in the context of the sentence that we're talking about. I don't think it'll hurt the article if we disagree whether "uranium enrichment technology" has anything to do with a centrifuge or not. I entirely regret going off on this tangent. I. Pankonin (t/c) 05:04, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

convenience break 3

The following was copied from User_talk:WLRoss -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 00:01, 7 October 2007 (UTC):

I think it's clear that you don't want any statements in any article that would go against your view of the world. I want to make it clear that I am going to take steps to include the other side. There have been a few occasions when I saw a source supplied that gives both sides of an argument, and the article only includes the side that you like. The extent of this on the Iraq War articles is frankly ridiculous. I insist on neutrality, and I refuse to engage in edit wars. I will go as far up the dispute resolution process as necessary. I. Pankonin (t/c) 07:57, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Please do so. The article is the product of many hundreds of editors and has taken a long time to get to where it is now through consensus. Let's keep in mind that I was not the only one reverting you. It is disingenious to include information in the lead not relevant to the specific topic to bolster discredited claims by association and then justify it by saying you added a mention that it was not what was claimed. If it is not what was claimed it has no place there supporting the claim. As I pointed out, the Rationale artical covers what you wanted to add in detail and the sources there are not only more recent than yours but rebutt most of your sources claims anyway making it even less of a RS. Wayne 16:21, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong. Is your position that the weapons they found are not WMD? Could you provide a source to back that up? You should also keep in mind that I'm not the only one that accepted the change. The change you first reverted was made by Rise Above the Vile. He recently said that he still accepts the change.[12] Ursasapien also reverted to the version Vile and I agreed to.[13] I argue that it is disingenuous to disclude this information. In the cited speech by President Bush, he said, "Eleven years ago, as a condition for ending the Persian Gulf War, the Iraqi regime was required to destroy its weapons of mass destruction". Obviously, if some of them still exist, he didn't destroy all of them. I would accept "no weapons programs were found", but not "no weapons or programs were found". I would accept a large amount of bias, but it must be technically true. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 05:43, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
While technically WMD all the RS are in agreement that they are pre 1991, degraded and no longer dangerous (if used as a weapon) and that it is probable the Iraqi government did not know they existed. This means that the article is 100% correct when it says none of the alleged WMD were found and Saddam effectively destroyed all WMD. You can't claim he didn't on the basis of some he missed that no one knew about. The unbiased sources accept this view and even Bush has admitted it. The only result achieved by mentioning them in the lead is that the ignorant will read it and say "Bush was right, they had WMD" a totally false statement. These are not what he told us about and they are rightly mentioned in the article on the reasons for the invasion. Wayne 13:06, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
The point of an encyclopedia is to present facts, not to convince people to hold one belief or another. I asked you to provide a reliable source. You didn't, either because it's impossible because it doesn't exist, or because you don't want to bother. I'm not taking a side on the issue. All I'm saying is that since I have provided a source that explicitly calls them WMD, it would not be reasonable to ignore them and say that no WMD have been found. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 00:04, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
The same one you provided supports my position: [14] Wayne 04:49, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
Let's see how many times it states whether or not they count as WMD:
  • Paragraph 1: "hundreds of chemical weapons"
  • Paragraph 2: "500 munitions with mustard or sarin agents"
  • Paragraph 8: "They are weapons of mass destruction."
  • Last paragraph: "There is no evidence that insurgents have found the chemical munitions."
It never states that they're not chemical weapons or don't count as WMD. All it says is that they're degraded. The sentence, "It is less toxic than most things that Americans have under their kitchen sink at this point," simply means that they're not as dangerous as they used to be. Kay never said they're not chemical weapons. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 06:12, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

You are overlooking the most important facts. They are not the WMD mentioned in the lead, Iraq did not know they existed and they are reletively harmless due to age. To mention them in the lead of Iraq War gives the implication that the main rationale for the Iraq War was proven correct. As such it is very POV to include it there. If you dont think the mention of them in the article Rationale for the Iraq War is adequate then improve on it there. Wayne 06:32, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm not necessarily advocating mentioning them in the lead. All I'm saying, and pretty much all I've ever said, is that the lead shouldn't have any untrue statements. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 06:47, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
As it stands the lead is entirely factual and true. You are trying to replace a true statement with an implication. Wayne 07:05, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
You have not supplied a source that says the WMD they found are not WMD. I'm getting tired of this. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 23:44, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

The preceding was copied from User_talk:WLRoss -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 00:01, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

Collage

I like the idea of a collage, but tearing down Saddam's statue has precious little to do with the war, and a lot to do with propaganda. The other three scenes depict events that repeat every day in Iraq. All four should. 1of3 17:13, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

In the interests of keeping the discussion coherent, could you add your comments to the header image discussion page? Thanks Publicus 20:30, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Lead NPOV?

Admittedly, I am coming from a pro-war perspective. Nevertheless, the lead seems like it could use some work to achieve neutrality. It asserts that, "The main rationale for the Iraq War offered by U.S. President George W. Bush, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and their domestic and foreign supporters was that Iraq was developing weapons of mass destruction." I think this is debateable. There were many rationales given and I do not remember anyone saying "the main reason is ..."

A whole series of alternative rationales/excuses for the war were provided after the weapons of mass-destruction were not found. The last and most desperate being 'at least its better than under Saddam' - since proved untrue. Colin4C 19:25, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Second, it states, "After the invasion, however, no evidence was found of such weapons." This statement is misleading, as this is further evidence that Saddam and his government had not complied with the U.N. and had hidden/transferred his WMD's. The world knows he had WMD's, there has never been any evidence that these were destroyed, so they must be hidden/transferred.

The statement is correct. There is no evidence. Your suggestion is just your own speculation. Colin4C 19:24, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Third, the lead reads, "To support the war, some U.S. officials cited claims of a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. No substantial evidence of any such connection has been found." This seems like weasel-wording to me. "No substantial evidence" - what does that mean.

Maybe this is a case of 'imprecise wording' rather than 'weasel-wording'. Probably be better as 'no evidence of any substantial connection'. Colin4C 19:24, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the lead for any article is really important. I think a lead for a controversial article is even more important. If we can not maintain a NPOV in the lead, is there any hope for the article itsself? Ursasapien (talk) 11:03, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Well I think it is neutral POV because WMDs was the leading reason presented for the war, the rationale presented only 'changed' later so to speak, this is best detailed in a different article however because we don't want this article cluttered with various theories about what George Bush, et al., said or meant. Saying 'so they must be hidden/transferred' that's drawing a conclusion from original research and should not be allowed on any article, don't forget that US weapons inspectors did not come to that conclusion Bleh999 08:02, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

The lead for this article is pretty unstable. I want to encourage people to be bold in improving it, but there are a few things people can do to the lead that I and others will revert:

  • Adding statements that are not supported by a Wikipedia:Reliable source;
  • Adding statements that don't summarize some part of the article;
  • Removing mention of major controversies;
  • Removing summaries of major events which have been in the summary for a long time; and
  • Bias

See WP:LEAD. Frankly, there are plenty of primary, secondary, and tertiary sources cited which say WMDs were the main reason, and the other rationales came later; while NRO bloggers might be thing to argue otherwise, they aren't considered reliable. Same with Saddam having "hidden/transferred his WMD's" -- if there was a shred of evidence of that, we would constantly be bombarded with it. "No substantial evidence" means that an Al Qaida guy was living in Baghdad for a while, but there's no indication that he ever talked to Saddam's government, and lots of parties deny it. I think "substantial" is being very charitable to the point of undue weight, but it's a compromise. ←BenB4 23:41, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Actually, that is slightly incorrect. There was additional rationale presented originally, though WMD was indeed the main rationale. After the failure to find WMD, the US government focus shifted to its secondary reasoning. ~Rangeley (talk) 14:59, 1 September 2007 (UTC)
I.e. they made new sh&t up. And after that, failed, they changed it again. And after that failed too, they changed it yet again. And after that failed, they changed it yet again. And on and on and on. Yeah, we all know. We all witnessed it. I think we're on something like the 10th reasoning now, which goes something like "It was a success, because we did not find any WMD.", i.e. we went to war in order to NOT find WMD. They certainly get more creative as you go along! Kevin Baastalk 13:44, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Of course, if you are biased and driven by your vitriolic hatred of Bush, you might think that "BUSH LIED!" and the rush to war was all about WMD's (because that is what Move On tells you to think). However, in the cold light of reality, Rangeley is quite correct. There have been, since the beginning, a number of reasons why Bush and others thought we ought to topple Saddam. The reason that caused the most urgency, and the justification that most Democratic legislators gave us for their support, was that Saddam was developing/producing WMD's. The nearly universal support for this proposition and the absolute certainty of its veracity by Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, among many others is not given proper weight in the lead. Ursasapien (talk) 00:17, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I thought I'd expand on this and actually provide a source. There's a White House press release dated 12 September 2002 about all the reasons to invade Iraq. The truth is there were a lot of reasons to take Hussein out of power. That's why you've been hearing a lot of reasons. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 23:17, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Petraeus and Crocker

Well, the dog and pony show is over. What should we say about it?

  1. don't know about safer
  2. another six months again
  3. hard pressed to recommend same thing if in a year it's the same thing
  4. drawdown would have happened anyway
  5. Anbar can't be replicated
  6. pentagon wants out
  7. let someone else deal with it
  8. experts call bullshit on stats -- and so does the pentagon
  9. nobody could have forecast Anbar (but I did)

Which topics should go in and which should stay out? ←BenB4 21:12, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

I would just start with a new section stating that they gave their report. I'm sure people will fill in the rest. Publicus 13:05, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't know if it merits mention - Patraues himself admitted, albeit eupehemsitcaly, that not a single word of his report had been vetted by anyone in the intelligence community. If it is presented, it shouldn't be treated as something academic or official, but the unvetted opinon/POV of one person. And, as, such, it should be attributed, and accompanied by balancing POV's -especially POVs of people in the intelligence community. Also, I thin we have a responsibility to mention the fact, as Patraues himself did in giving his report, that his report was not been peer-reviewed, and the information he presented had not been vetted by the intelligence community - lest the reader confuse it with reliable, balanced information, which they no doubt expect from a person in his position.
On a side note - that certainly is an odd way of doing things. It remains me of what I've read about how the reports from generals in vietnam were construcuted - and those turned out to be highly inaccurate. And he said he gave the same unvetted report to his chain of command?! I certainly would expect - and hope for - a much higher bar than that! Is this really what we had been waiting for so long? An unvetted essay of opinion? I could have done that! What a disappointment. Kevin Baastalk 13:30, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Give me a break. Gen. Petraeus is the commander of Coalition forces in Iraq and can be expected to know what he's talking about regardless of whether he shared his report with colleagues first (which he did not to allay fears that it would be written by the White House). The fact that people try to sling dirt on him when he says something contrary to their completely uninformed opinion on the progress of the war in Iraq is sickening and unacceptable and their crackpot opinions do not belong in this encyclopedia. Kensai Max 14:08, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Are you saying that none of the issues linked to above should be included in the article? ←BenB4 14:41, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Numbers 2, 3, 4, 6, and 8 are all worthy and directly pertinent to the war. The others, not so much. Acct4 13:30, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree. 1of3 20:07, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

About oil

For most of the first half of this year we had a sentence, which with several minor variations over the time it was included, was to the effect of:

Other reasons for the invasion offered by U.S. officials include concerns about terrorism, spreading democracy, Iraqi government human rights abuse, and the economic importance of Iraq's oil supply.[3][4]

That is a very well-sourced statement, and no matter what you think about the validity of the reasons, each one of them was articulated in detail before the invasion, and existing text in the article supports that fact.

The Wolfowitz statement was apparently controversial for some reason I don't understand, so it was eventually replaced by this Washington Post article, which quotes unnamed "senior Bush administration officials," named retired officials, and the infamous group theorist, oil minister, and (according to the sources in his article) suspected Iranian double-agent Ahmed Chalabi.

Alan Greenspan said the war was about oil a month ago, but the citation to that effect was summarily removed: "Greenspan is not an expert on foreign policy." He is, however, an expert on the economic concerns of the nation and in particular inflation which is heavily influenced by the price of oil, and was privy to the decision-makers and their reasons, meeting with Bush on a weekly basis.

None of those sources were particularly satisfactory, and given the often visceral emotional reaction to suggesting that the war is "about oil" the statement was removed from the introduction. But now comes retired CENTCOM Commander General John Abizaid, who said on Saturday:

"Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that. We’ve treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations. Our message to them is: Guys, keep your pumps open, prices low, be nice to the Israelis and you can do whatever you want out back. Osama and 9/11 is the distilled essence that represents everything going on out back."

I am replacing the statement. I am also correcting the misdirection surrounding the "urgent threat" claims. 1of3 11:27, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

If I remember correctly the statement was moved to the body of the article because the administration was very clear that while they were concerns they had nothing to do with the invasion or rationale. They only assumed that role after no WMD were found. Wayne 12:11, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

The 2002 Bush speech we cite in the lead includes, "[Iraq] has given shelter and support to terrorism, and practices terror against its own people." When the time allotted allowed, the proponents for the war usually took the opportunity to rattle off the laundry list. The Wolfowitz cite we have from May 30, 2003, lists all of the reasons except "spreading democracy," and was soon enough after the invasion that there could have been no backpeadaling going on at that point.
As for spreading democracy, Bush said, "The world has a clear interest in the spread of democratic values, because stable and free nations do not breed the ideologies of murder. They encourage the peaceful pursuit of a better life. ... A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region." on 2/26/03 -- before the invasion 1of3 13:26, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Diplomats' belief and SOTU

I removed these two sentences from the intro:

Diplomats from countries on the U.N. Security Council that opposed the war made statements that supported this belief.[5][6] (that Iraq had WMDs)

and:

In the 2003 State of the Union Address, Bush claimed that the U.S. could not wait until the threat from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein became imminent.[7][8]

Because, as the 2nd paragraph said months ago, and now says again, the primary rationale (always mentioned first in the laundry lists if not alone) was not simply that Iraq had or was developing WMDs, but that there was an "imminent," "urgent," and "immediate threat," as the cited source demonstrates.

It doesn't matter that diplomats from some nations that opposed the war thought Saddam had WMDs, because they didn't think he posed much of a threat.

It doesn't matter than Bush said the U.S. can't wait until the threat became imminent in one particular speech, because he and his spokespeople are on record making much more serious statements before and after. 1of3 14:39, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

This erroneous claim needs to be deleted from the lead section, and anywhere else it appears. Here's why:

  • "Russia does not have in its possession any trustworthy data that supports the existence of nuclear weapons or any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and we have not received any such information from our partners as yet." — Vladimir Putin, October 2002
  • "If countries have persuasive proof that Iraq continues its WMD programme then this proof should be presented." — Sergey Lavrov, January 2003
  • "We would like to see undeniable proof. We have not seen any reason so far to undercut the inspection process." — Sergey Lavrov, January 2003
  • "I have no evidence that these weapons exist in Iraq." — Jacques Chirac, February 2003
  • "In this democracy my generation has learnt, you have to make the case, and to make the case in a democracy you have to be convinced yourself, and excuse me, I am not convinced. This is my problem and I cannot go to the public and say, 'well, let's go to war because there are reasons and so on,' and I don't believe in [them]." — Joschka Fischer, February 2003
  • "As far as France is concerned, we are ready to envisage everything that can be done under UNSCR 1441. [...] But I repeat that every possibility offered by the present resolution must be explored, that there are a lot of them and they still leave us with a lot of leeway when it comes to ways of achieving the objective of eliminating any weapons of mass destruction which may exist in Iraq. I'd like nevertheless to note that, as things stand at the moment, I have, to my knowledge, no indisputable proof in this sphere." — President Jacques Chirac, Paris, February 10, 2003

The aforementioned sentence has now been falsified. It should be removed forthwith. smb 22:38, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

I have amended the offending sentence to reflect reality. smb 02:01, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

No mention of US bill condemning Armenian genocide?

Recently, a bill was passed through a congressional committee labeling the slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during WWI as a genocide, causing a serious crisis in relations between the US and Turkey, a key US ally in the region. The Turkish ambassador was recalled from the US as a result, and now the Turkish military is massing on the border of the northern Kurdish region of Iraq and seriously looking like they plan to invade. The Turkey-PKK conflict is briefly mentioned in this article, but there is no mention of the congressional action which (in part) sparked this off. Shouldn't this merit some mention? ~ S0CO(talk|contribs) 05:07, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

It probably does. I was thinking about adding it earlier, but it hadn't affected the war in a material way. I think that's changed now, like you said. -- I. Pankonin (t/c) 07:23, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
The resolution on Armenian genocide is not really related to the Iraq war, as say the PKK attacks from Iraqi Kurdistan. While certainly important to overall US-Turkish relations, I don't really think it deserves a mention here. I'll add a link to the "Tensions with Turkey" section to cover the resolution, tho. Publicus 14:39, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Medical Casualties

The info box says: "Coalition injured, diseased, or other medical:** 28,645 US". I was checking statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder in Iraqi veterans and found that the VA has 50,000 combat veterans currently being treated for PTSD. Further the VA has 100,580 veterans being treated for all forms of mental disability. Surprisingly almost half are new cases since June 30, 2006. The VA doesn't separate Iraqi from Afghanistan veterans but the majority must be from Iraq and it must be easy to estimate percentage split. Having checked the 3 sources given for the infobox data it appears they are all military. Why do we not use the documented VA stats? Surely an estimation of the true number of casualties will be more accurate than what is there now. Wayne 02:28, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

The problem with adding people with PTSD to the list of "coalition injured" is the lack of similarity between those who were injured in some way during their stint in Iraq versus those who suffer PTSD at some later point. So to include the PTSD people in the info box list of casualties might be confusing the overall casualty number. If we look at the Vietnam war, or other historical wars, usually the best practice has been to list only those who were wounded in combat or as a result of being in a combat zone. We've already expanded that traditional definition of wounded by including the coalition wounded/injured/medvaced/etc in the info box and I think it may be too much of a stretch to add the PTSD sufferers as well. Especially since many of these people may not exhibit signs of PTSD until months and years later. However, PTSD is an important aspect of this war and deserves a mention in the article. A possible edit might be mentioning this PTSD issue and supporting research in the Iraq war article as a part of the "casualties" section, with a wiki link to a broader explanation of the issue in the Casualties of the Iraq War article. In the "Casualties" article there is already a brief section discussing PTSD, perhaps this should be expanded. Publicus 14:23, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Removed Part of 2001–2003: Iraq disarmament crisis and pre-war intelligence

This is quite a broad statement that needs to have some references, certainly for the last part.

The original U.S. justification for the Iraq War was Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program and Saddam Hussein's alleged collaboration with the Al-Qaeda terrorist group. However, the intelligence on both these claims has been criticized and largely discredited post-invasion, with the Bush administration accused of falsely portraying the available intelligence. Cronos2546 19:33, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

What's wrong with it specifically? I would say it is completely accurate, and I'd have little or no difficulty finding references for it. smb 20:16, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with it, just that I think it needs some references, because it was such a big part of the growing anti-war movement. I mean, if we have 2 references for the "Failed States" Index, then we should probably have at least one for the discredition of the Bush Administration. Cronos2546 02:58, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

A suggestion on how to address a hot political topic

First off, I am American and conservative Repulican. That being said, like many in my party this subject has been the cause of much gritting of the teeth. I and many like me didn't want the war in the 1st place and now we are in a mess without a clear way out. Now all that is nice but ''None of that has any business in this article This is supposed to be an article about the event not the political views of the editors. I am not sure who was doing all the strike outs of other's views here but that can lead to a quick ban. As to how I would approach this article:

  • Keep the style to just the facts. WMD was one of the major reasons for the war, State it source it and let it be. WMD were found but it was an old stock pile that seemed to be forgotten and of no military use, source, cite, and be done.
  • I have found as long as we don't wander into intentions (where we have to guess what is going on) and keep it to the facts we are left with what is verifiable and citable. If we can't prove it leave it be.
  • This page has degenerated into a squable of political views, this isn't an acceptable use of a talk page. I don't care if you are pro-Bush or anti-Bush, but leave it off the talk page. Were we (America) lied to? Probably yes but leave it that useable WMD wasn't found and any WMD program seemed non-functional at best. There is enough proof that this was the case and the larger view of who was lying is up to the reader and not the editors.
  • Strike outs of other editor's comments... completely unacceptable. I've put this page on my watch list and if I see anyone doing this I'll follow up with a complaint to the admins for a possible ban.
  • Just keep to the facts, believe me they speak to the truth far better than anything else we could or should say.

Tirronan 14:49, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Good points Tirronan. I agree. My own method on editing this article(and wikipedia in general) has evolved from early edits with a distinct anti-war(or ideological) bias to my current method of striving to create an accurate and referenced historical record. As far as people squabbling on the talk page over various political views, I really don't have a problem with that so long as it's healthy debate--I feel it helps allow editors to blow off a little steam on a particular issue or event. We should cut editors a little slack on this since most of them are highly motivated individuals who feel so strongly about a particular issue that they are willing to anonymously edit a virtual encyclopedia without payment.;) Publicus 19:16, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't mind the blowing a bit of steam, hell this subject gets me on edge too as I considered it a waste of National time and resources and it turned out to be everything I hoped would never happen. The strike outs however really bother me. I hope that it was the same editor reducting his statements and not someone else. I've edited Battle of Waterloo and you'd think a battle 200 years old wouldn't generate much heat but lord you should have seen the hell raised. However it is bleeding over into the article as well, the *Insurgent all-stars* comment was really crawling out on a limb. Tirronan 22:25, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Other Combatants

Just a general query really, wondered if maybe Poland should be on the combatant list, i think i read somewhere they are contributing the fourth largest army to the Iraq War, i think it was Poland and Denmark ??? (Neostinker 21:36, 2 December 2007 (UTC))

"Human rights abuse" section and POV

Wow. That's all I can say. This section makes so many claims, most of which are not cited. If they aren't cited, I'm going to remove them for being uncited. And unless cites can be provided they should not be added back.

Plus, there was a lot of POV with the image captions which i have worked on. I know this is a very controversial topic, but I've only spent about a half hour on this page and can already see it is extremely biased against the US and coalition forces. Happyme22 (talk) 22:00, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

I've removed much of the uncited and added {{cn}} tags for the others that are known but aren't cited. Plus, it seems as if this page focuses way to much on how bad the US is, giving special attention to the Abu-Ghrahib incident and "human rights abuses." May I remind everyone that the terrorists are the ones killing the incident civilians? And yes, there are small groups of soldiers that have violated the "code" if you will, and enaged in poor acts that reflect badly on the United States. But, let's not let those acts (Abu-Ghrahib, rape) speak for the total US presence in the region. I'm going to say 97% of soldiers are doing great work and fighting for our country, compared to 3% estimate that aren't. Again, this article cannot allow the poor acts of a minor group of people to represent the entire group and the entire mission.

It seems few users have risen up to the challenge of removing all the POV in this article, so I am taking it upon myself. This is making my blood boil. --Happyme22 (talk) 22:12, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Let's start with facts. Terrorists are not the ones killing the civilians. Much of it is sectarian violence and the humanitarian problems. Are you seriously suggesting these deaths would have still occured without the invasion? While I support some of your edits some are too POV and doing so many edits in such a short time is not allowing them to be easily reviewed or reverted. Also do not delete claims due to no cites unless you have a cite refuting them. Tag it and leave the community to decide if they stay or not. Wayne 01:58, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
No I'm not suggesting at all that would have occured without the invasion - that's completely false. I do however feel that this article is biased and will attempt to reverse much of that slander. I'm sorry if you feel that some of my edits were too POV; I will try to keep it more NPOV. And I will tag the uncited work in the "human rights" section.
Furthermore, I'd like to clarify that I am not insane: What the small section of US troops did to those poor Iraqis in Abu Ghraib was viscious, toturous, and definetely morally repugnant. For sure, I'm not supporting their actions in any way. What I am saying is that this article cannot blame all US troops for this one incident. What those few people did does not reflect the views and morals of all our troops. I know four marines that have fought in Iraq. All four say Abu Ghraib is disgusting, but all four agree that the mission must go on and that people, both Iraqi and American, should not judge the war by that incident, nor the incidents of rape or allegations of other murderous deeds. Now do they deserve mention? Of course, as that would be keeping with NPOV (with cites). But the successes of the operation also need to be mentioned, including the removal of Saddam and the now present democracy in the region. Yes, it is a weak democaracy with much controversy, but it's there and that deserves to be highlighted just as well as the failures. That would completely NPOV.
I got the feeling just from reading the image captions that the article seemed to be biased against the United States and coalition forces (examples: "Iraqi soldier killed in April 2003 by US Marines"; "American medic tends to some minor injuries after two car bombs exploded Nov. 18, 2005 near a residential area in Baghdad." ; "An Iraqi woman looks on as U.S. soldiers search the courtyard of her house during a cordon and search in Ameriyah, Iraq. House searches by U.S. soldiers are a common occurrence in the Iraq war.")
The first one I listed there seems to be typical of the page: Americans killing people. I changed it to "Iraqi soldier killed in April 2003 while defending a bridge; US marines can be seen in the background" which I feel is much more NPOV. The second one I gave was somewhat-POV but not entirely. It says that an American is treating someone. What it fails to mention is that that American is a soldier, so I changed it to read: "A US soldier-paramedic tends to some injuries after two car bombs exploded November 18, 2005 near a residential area in Baghdad". It seems to eliminate POV, but is a little structurally akward. Thirdly, a very POV statement is given. I changed it to: "An Iraqi woman looks on as U.S. soldiers search the courtyard of her house during a cordon and search in Ameriyah, Iraq. House searches are a common occurrence in the Iraq war as militants take cover in houses." User:smb reverted it and I'm curious to know why (I dropped him a message on his talk page). This is basically what it implies: US soldiers are raiding her house and have kicked her out (because she's sitting on the side of the road). Now in my alteration, it shows that the soldiers aren't just invading her home for no reason except to have her sitting in the streets, but they are searching for any militants that could be hiding in there (as this article can back up). Plus, it's not just the US that searches possible terrorist strongholds (see here).
Also, many of the section headings themselves seem to be negative: "worsening humanitarian crisis" ; "human rights abuses" - these can all be combined into a "criticism" section which should be moved into the "opinions" section. Again, I am willing help with much of this. Thanks everyone, and I look forward to working with you all. Best, Happyme22 (talk) 04:02, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
You seem to be going too far. For the second picture it is obvious it is a soldier (or are you editing for blind people?) and it is right that we were told he is american and a medic. US soldier-paramedic says exactly the same thing but it does not flow grammatically. I can't see how it could be biased against the US as it shows the US in a good light (helping). The third picture caption was correct as it was. Everyone already know militants take cover in houses so it is unwieldy and irrelevant to say that. You are reading your own views into the captions. I oppose merging the sections strongly. They are in separate sections because they are notable in their own right. The failures by far overshadow the successes so it is not POV to reflect that. It is POV to trivialise the failures. I feel that if the invasion had been legal then the coalition would have been treated more kindly. Criticism has to fall somewhere and it rightly falls on the invasion (as a whole) itself... who do you suggest? Wayne 15:03, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
The point I was trying to make is that we were not just kicking her out: we had a reason for doing so which I think needs to be said. Yes, some of my changes might seem radical as they are coming from somone who largely is for the war. Nice crack with the blind people, but I was serious there. But I'm going to reiterate a point: not everyone knows that the soliders were searching her house for militants. Yes, most people in the US probably do, but not in other parts of the world because Wikipedia is open to everyone. And heres your POV: stating that the mission is not legal. While it's ok to question the legality, nothing as far as I know, has been proven to state that it is not legal. And I frankly have no idea who to blame for all the chaos. It's crazy over there, and things have not been going well, but according to the top general the death rate are declining and things are starting to turn around. That deserves mention, as well as all the negatives that have resulted. I did not remove all the negatives as a whole. I simply categorized them all under the criticism section. They were all negative, some people do'nt like them, therefore they are criticisms by people who have found flaws. Happyme22 (talk) 15:16, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
After the latest edit to the page which undid my work, and if everything I do to try and remove some of the very apparent and hurtful POV in this article is undone, than I don't even want to continue on a page that seems to be very protected by editors who are not open to fair styles of writing. I might return later, but I'm not up for an argument right now, so goodbye. Happyme22 (talk) 23:00, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

The main problem is that you are doing a lot of large edits in a short time and it is far easier to revert all than work through them to decide what goes or stays. Most editors do small edits over time to give them a chance. The "top general" is welcome to his views but there are other opposing views. The humanitarian crisis may be getting worse (as shown by the increase in cholera) and the reduction in violence seems linked more to less coalition presence than things getting better (as shown by the british pullout being directly responsible for a 90% reduction in violence and US forces shifting from "search and destroy" tactics to what they call "search and avoid"). Legality of the war is largely now semantics. Even some members of the Bush administration have admitted it's illegality (ie Wolfawitz and Perle). Don't give up so easily. Try to edit without preconvieved ideas of what NPOV is. Read both and pro and con articles and work from there as both contain facts that the other ignores. If your edits are legitimately NPOV then many will be accepted (some may not be but then find better sources for them). This is a controversial article so it is only natural it will take time and effort to edit with many dissapointments along the way. Wayne 03:51, 4 December 2007 (UTC)