Talk:Iraq War/Archive 18

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Archive 17 Archive 18 Archive 19

Not an occupation

It is actually controversial and inaccuarate to call 2005-present day Iraq an occupation. From 2003 until January 2005, Iraq was occupied by the Coalition. However since January 2005, Iraq is no longer governed by the Coalition, but by a democratically elected government who has the legal authority to throw the US military out the country whenever it sees fit, just like the Saudis did in 2002. Coalition Forces in Iraq are guests of the Iraqi government and are subject to Iraqi law unless a status of forces agreement is met. Today US troops are subject to the laws and oversight of the host country laws. PM Malaki is even looking at having all foreign troops out of Iraq by 2010. Domestic decisions like that don't happen under an occupation. Reports from the theater have Iraqi troops conducting most of the defense of the country while Coalition troops are being scaled down into advisory and troops training roles. To call Iraq occupied is to technically label Kuwait, Germany, Korea and Japan as US occupied, which they are not. WWII-era Poland, 1990 Kuwait or Tibet would all be examples of occupied countries --Pennsylvania Penguin (talk) 19:48, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

I used to agree with your point, but while the reality may be that the Coalition forces are in Iraq at the pleasure of the Iraqi government--there certainly is the perception that Coalition forces are occupying Iraq. It certainly is not one of the main names used for the conflict, but it does appear to be one of the names used--especially in the Middle East.Publicus 22:40, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
Note that the quotes are from hostile Arab sources which are anti-democratic. I don't suppose we can use those adjectives? But why do anti-democratic (non-free) sources have equal claim with democratic ones? Student7 (talk) 11:36, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
The AFP, Lebanon Star, USA Today, Ali Allawi, etc. typically wouldn't be classified as "hostile Arab sources which are anti-democratic". Nonetheless, denoting it is a phrase from the Middle East or similar seems appropriate if others think there is room in the lead for it..--Nosfartu (talk) 01:53, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Evidently the Pennsylvania Penguin is unfamiliar with the concept of Puppet governments...GiollaUidir (talk) 18:49, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
GiollaUidir, how can a democratically-elected government that who voted on by the Iraqis via national and local elections (certified and recognized by the United Nations) be labeled as a puppet government? It's actually quite the opposite of a puppet regime. Even your link to the article on puppet governments pretty well states that only critics and insurgents in Iraq call the current Iraqi government a puppet state. I am a fair-minded person and I gave your comment (and viewpoint) a fair and honest observation, however I couldn't find one example of a puppet regime that existed (past or present) as a democracy. Puppet regimes are put into place by foreign governments. Iraq's government was fairly voted on by the Iraqis. Even many of the most committed anti-war individuals and academics agree with this. --Pennsylvania Penguin (talk) 14:27, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Bibliography, Wiki Link

A suggestion to include a weblink to this books wiki article (a book every American should read on the topic of the Iraq war and the current government) "The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder"

by famous and highly respected U.S. prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi —Preceding unsigned comment added by LegOpbyChr (talkcontribs) 23:20, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Best of all, you can tell by the title that it is WP:NPOV! Student7 (talk) 11:44, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Mislabeling of a Soldier

Down in the public opinion section, there is a picture captioned "A woman pleads to an Iraqi army soldier from 2nd Company, 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division to let a suspected insurgent free during a raid near Tafaria, Iraq" I suggest it is changed to "A woman pleads to an American soldier from 2nd Company, 5th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi Army Division to let a suspected insurgent free during a raid near Tafaria, Iraq". The man is not Iraqi nor is he in the Iraqi army —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:07, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I believe he's carrying an AK series weapon (and he has an Iraqi flag on his right shoulder), which would mean he's ISF. Unless you have a ref that says otherwise I think it's labeled correctly. Check the image link to see who uploaded it and ask them if it's properly labeled.Publicus 23:58, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Even if we didn't see the AK or the Iraqi flag patch, you can still tell by the camo pattern that he isn't an American troop. This camo pattern was abandoned by the US in the early 1990's, right after Desert Storm. The US has since turned it's material surplus over to Iraqi and other Middle-Eastern Coalition partners. So if you ever see a picture of a soldier w/ this pattern chances are, he's and Iraqi or an Afghan depending upon where the picture was shot. --Pennsylvania Penguin (talk) 12:39, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Past, present

I have tried to eliminate present tense where possible. This is often the cause of annoyance in articles. e.g. "The surge is working." instead of "Last week, General X said that the surge was working."(ref) Quite a bit of difference. The surge might not be working this very minute. Time will tell.

Even on refugee count, the number will change over time, maybe increase maybe diminish. I think it better to date all entries. They will need dating later and the editor who made the original entry, and had the information at his/her fingertips, may be gone. Student7 (talk) 13:49, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Infobox about occupation only?

The infobox at top right seems, in its chart of belligerents, only to show the balance in the counterinsurgency, and not in the original invasion. Obviously, it hasn't always been USA et al and Iraq on the same side, and perhaps there should be a split infobox or multiple sections. Despite the common use of the phrase "Iraq War", there really have been several different wars--one leading into another--since 3/19/03. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:36, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

An excellent point. The problem, of course, is to ensure no WP:OR which is difficult since its easier for the media to treat it as the same thing and therefore everyone else to blindly follows as they always do. Student7 (talk) 13:38, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
If the article is broken down so that each of the conflict's stages are listed with an infobox, that should be alright. Since Iraqi deaths in 2003 can be mainly attributed to allied forces and now Iraqi deaths are mostly contributed to foreign fighters, insurgents or terrorists. Since the conflict evolved from what it was in in 2003 (or even 2005) it should be broken down by (and not limited to) The 2003 Invasion, The Occupation of Iraq (2003-2005), The Iraqi Transitional Government (2005), The first elected government (2006), The Surge (2007-2008), Coalition Troop Drawdowns (2008-Present). Iraqis who fought in 2003 fought for the Baath regime, today they fight for their elected government. Its seems more fair, informational, and accurrate. --Pennsylvania Penguin (talk) 13:10, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Penguin, that kind of infobox breakdown would be pretty difficult to edit--WWII had a lot more phases and theatres and that article only has one infobox. So, I think we can work with the main infobox to reflect the different phases/combatants efficiently and clearly. The current infobox does have a kind of separation with just a line, but something clearer could probably be designed. Publicus 20:47, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes but the WWII article never deals with the insurgencies that took place in Japan and Germany after the war. Many American troops still died even after the Japanese surrendered due to insurgents. The same holds true with Germany, via the The Nazi Werwolves. Iraq is an unconventional war unlike WWII, meaning it focuses mostly on nation building and making sure Iraq is stable before declaring victory. Plus during each phase of the war, the combatants and generals are different. Which makes the war more confusing. That's why it's probably more accurate to use various infoboxes. --Pennsylvania Penguin (talk) 18:38, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Coalition Members

Poland has now pulled out of the country completely to my understanding. LA Times article. Perhaps we need to put a (2003-2008) next to them in the info box? (SSJPabs (talk) 23:19, 5 October 2008 (UTC))

George W. Bush on God

I note in this edit that the cause attributed to George W. Bush's beliefs in God has been removed. Why is such removal warranted? I didn't see any reason, so I replaced it along with one of the oil cause sources. Neut Nuttinbutter (talk) 04:23, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

4 paragraphs for the lead is fine, but some of the paragraphs seem awfully long. Debating the specifics of a quote seems like something that could be done further down in the article, perhaps in the lead the idea could be summarized. I just think it would be beneficial to trim about 10-20% of the lead in to the main article, and I'd welcome any trimmings you or others see.--Nosfartu (talk) 04:46, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
The theme you are discussing is mentioned more in these articles: [1] [2] [3] [4]
I really think it would be best to discuss these and the specific of the Bush quote under the rationale for war section, and to just briefly summarize the theme/idea in the lead. That being said, I would just like to make the lead slightly shorter.--Nosfartu (talk) 06:25, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

There does not seem to be a rationale for war section, there's just a chronology followed by troop deployments, etc. The reasons for the war are summarized in the intro. Is it fair to include some but exclude others? Neut Nuttinbutter (talk) 08:03, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Here is the tail end of what is currently footnote 64, the Washington Post article:
"This time there is a response: "We checked contemporaneous notes from the meeting with President Abbas and did not find a single reference to God," a senior administration official told us. "The closest thing we could find that the president said is: 'My government and I personally are committed to the vision of a Palestinian state.' "
Back in 2004, a White House spokesman told Mennonite Weekly columnist Brubaker that Bush "likely talked about his own faith," as he often does, but did not say God speaks through him.
Brubaker, in a follow-up column, said he checked with his source, an Amish reporter, who rechecked with attendees and had gotten different wording from several of them. "But Bush has said similar things on other occasions," Brubaker noted, citing Bob Woodward's "Plan of Attack," where Bush says he's "surely not going to justify the war based on God . . . Nevertheless . . . I pray I be as good a messenger of his will as possible."
" 'Messenger of his will [or] God speaks through me,' " Brubaker wrote. "The difference seems rather fine."
The question is, how is it that Bush so confuses groups as diverse as the Palestinians and the Amish? Is it the Andover-Texas accent?"
The article earlier says,"Substantially different, we felt. Moreover, this is Abbas's account in Arabic of what Bush said in English, written down by a note-taker in Arabic and then put back into English."
There's nothing wrong with reporting the "story" as weak as it is. It is unconscionable to report only part of the story. And WP:POV.Student7 (talk) 11:34, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
And what is this doing in the lead anyway?Student7 (talk) 11:35, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
The lead starts with the names and a brief description of the war, lists its officially-stated causes, and then closes with a paragraph on its effects and status. Is there a more informative structure for the intro than names-start-causes-effects-status? That seems fairly standard for lengthy current events articles. Inspiration from God is sourced as one of the officially stated causes. Neut Nuttinbutter (talk) 18:14, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Since this has been removed again, without discussion, here was the original text:

Palestinian leaders have claimed George Bush said "God would tell me, 'George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq,' and I did".(The Independent: "Bush: God told me to invade Iraq" by Rupert Cornwell, 7 October 2005.) Bush may have actually said, "God inspired me to hit al Qaeda, and so I hit it. And I had the inspiration to hit Saddam, and so I hit him."(Washington Post: "George W. Bush and the G-Word")

What exactly is the objection? Is divine inspiration one of the reasons for the war or not? Neut Nuttinbutter (talk) 15:29, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

The objection is that there is some rather substantial doubt as to whether Bush did, in fact, say what the article claims to have said. The Washington Post article at least makes clear that Bush may or may not have said this. It is not reporting that he did say this, contrary to the sentence in the article. Since the statement is completely unconfirmed, I believe it should be removed from the article entirely. Anyway, I have flagged it as {{failed verification}}, since the current wording suggests that the Post confirmed this statement, which is false. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 17:41, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Really? Then why was it moved to the "Criticisms" section? There are plenty of sources which indicate that Bush seeks answers from God, and acts when he believes he is inspired. Calling that a criticism is biased towards atheists and against divine-interventionists. Neut Nuttinbutter (talk) 20:23, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

I found this reference which discusses four different translations of the same phrase: by Nabil Shaath, Haaretz's translation of Mahmoud Abbas's recounting of Bush ("provided a translation of Bush's words into English that was remarkably similar"), Arabic speaker at The Washington Post (whose quote is in the article now), and Mahmoud Abbas's subsequent revision of his comments. Spring Back (talk) 22:57, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I have adjusted the attribution to be congruent with the first three quotes. Neut Nuttinbutter (talk) 20:37, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

This has stood for more than a week as Rationale for the Iraq War#Divine inspiration:

Nabil Shaath told the BBC that according to minutes of a conference with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Bush said, "God inspired me to hit al Qaeda, and so I hit it. And I had the inspiration to hit Saddam, and so I hit him." Haaretz provided a similar translation of the minutes. When an Arabist at the Washington Post translated the same transcript, Bush was said to have indicated that God inspired him to, "end the tyranny in Iraq," instead.[1]

But clearly that is too long for the intro paragraph which tries to list the entire rationale, so I am replacing it with this: "Bush said either that God inspired him to end the tyranny in Iraq, or to hit Saddam.(ref>Kessler, G. (October 9, 2005) 'Interpretation of Bush's Comments Reignites Debate Washington Post</ref>" Neut Nuttinbutter (talk) 02:24, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

The article currently states that G. Bush told the "Palestenians" that the Iraq war was inspired by God. I would bet that this is a distortion of his actual words. Most churches, including G. Bush's, were against the invasion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:30, 25 October 2008 (UTC)


Some sources with credibility claim that the number of orphans cannot be estimated. The UN appears to have no such reluctance. An editor has quoted a figure of 5 million. That is, 5 million underage children have lost both parents. While there is leeway here for abandoned children, children "effectively" orphaned, "around" 10 million dead parents does not square with the total number of dead, which is supposedly 1 million, and probably not right either. Remember that the 10 million does not include those who died whose children are adults or who had no children. There are around 29 million people in Iraq. So by this figure, 1/3 of everybody has died. This does not make sense. No matter how many "sources" say it, it does not compute. Student7 (talk) 01:34, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

Some families have multiple children and sometimes parents abandon their children. The sources are reliable, and I question a) whether you have read them and b) what sources you use to support your reasoning. Anyways, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is attributed verifiability, not truth. Just because the war was a failure, it doesn't mean the article should be whitewashed.-- (talk) 04:23, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
"Abeer Chalabi, head of the state orphanages section of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, estimates more than 4 million orphans and says the number may be exaggerated "but to have so many is a catastrophe." Iraqi orphanages have the capacity to look after no more than 26,000 children, but the government says it has only 700 children in its institutions. This is due mainly to the Iraqi tradition that obligates relatives to take in orphaned or abandoned children, but many of these families cannot afford to care for them and send them out during the day to beg or gather scrap metal"

That is in the orphans section. Where did you see 5 million? Were you the one that fixed that, or does it mention that number elsewhere in the article? Then it needs to be fixed. Either way, you were absolutley right student7., you seem to overinterpret the verifibility policy. It means that you can't add statements just because you know them to be true; they still have to be verified with a source. A source that mentions something that obviously isn't correct is in no way considered reliable. When verifying a statement, the source has to be reliable. Use common sense. Most people prefer an unsourced true statement to an sourced, false statement.

--Abusing (talk) 07:12, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

I concede that there were already orphans or children who had lost their father already as the result of the disastrous Iraq-Iran War. A cap on orphans can be made from those casualty figures I would assume. Student7 (talk) 13:21, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
If the number is 4 million instead of 5 million, this is fine as long as the information is attributed. This still wouldn't tally with your basic math which makes way too many simplistic assumptions.-- (talk) 15:13, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Let's say that all the 1 million estimated civilian deaths (same place as the "orphans" estimate?) were all parents. And putting aside murders by Saddam (I know - they never had it so good) and their war with Iran. 500,000 families. Each with ten children. Still seems like a lot to me. The problem is the figure doesn't stand up to any cursory analysis at all. It's a "top of the head" figure from somebody. Not based on any known population sampling or anything. Student7 (talk) 12:19, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Again, if you would actually read the articles which cite the statistic you would see that they are official governmental statistics from the Iraqi Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. If your "top of the head" arithmetic/analysis appears in a reliable source, then by all means add it. Otherwise you are leaving out many things such as runaways, abandoned children, families with multiple children, ...
Wikipedia is predicated on reliable sources, so it would be good if you searched for an outside expert who also wants to minimize the number of reported orphans.-- (talk) 03:41, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Not trying to minimize it. Trying to rationalize it. Whatever its faults, Arab society is known neither for runaways nor abandoned children. And the figures suggest wholesale something: abandonment? Runaways? The "ten children per family" remains. Not really likely, is it? I'm getting the same figure everyone else is, which has to be used. This is my first experience with obviously poor data that is properly sourced. Student7 (talk) 18:10, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
Hi there. It's of course a very high figure, but maybe we could try again to rationalize: The first assumption "That is, 5 million underage children have lost both parents" might be incorrect. According to my Collins, an 'orphan' is "a child, one or (more common) both of whose parents are dead". You assume here it must be both. According to my Arabic dictionary, and that's consistent with what I recall being used by Iraqis, a yatim (=orphan) is "a child whose father is dead". So all children who lost their father are called orphans. That could be a true figure: the first statistic I came across gives average fertility rate in Iraq as 5.3 children. Assume a million people have been killed - that's the figure Student7 said is given, even if it's also quite high, assume that most of those killed were men, not women - and you reach the number, or at least the 4.5 million, which seems to be more accurate. Any Iraqi there out who could confirm this use of the Arabic term orphan? If you agree I suggest we introduce a note into the section saying that "'orphans' may refer to children who lost their father or both parents" or something like this. --Ilyacadiz (talk) 21:22, 14 October 2008 (UTC
Now I've added the clarification in the text, sourcing to Muslim orphans and the shari’a.... By the way, it's not only shari'a but common Arabic use, but I couldn't find a dictionary to link to. Hope it's okay with all.--Ilyacadiz (talk) 19:21, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Opening statement about WMD Intelligence

This statement "This assessment was supported by the U.K. intelligence services, but not by other countries such as France, Russia and Germany." is contrary to what I have heard. Even Scott Ritter, who is very critical of US policy, has written: "the intelligence services of France, Russia, Germany, Great Britain and Israel were noting that Iraq had failed to properly account for the totality of its past proscribed weapons programs, and in doing so left open the possibility that Iraq might retain an undetermined amount of WMD." Ritter notes that this is less than what the bush Administration has claimed, but it is more (and more accurate) than the information in the article. The article might benefit if it used more information from the WMD commission Report. Gaintes (talk) 01:50, 26 October 2008 (UTC)


Pkk is a terrorist organization by Turkey,USA and European Unıon and other countrıes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:29, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

as far i know neither the pkk nor the turkish government are involved in this war the pkk has no connection to the war in iraq and has even supported the actions of the united states and stated several times that it wont attack us troops or positions the pkk and the turks fight their own war in turkey only in the border region thre is sometimes fighting but to link this up with the iraq war is plain wrong and i suppose politically motivitated to kill the kurdish question in turkey and to change the fact that there is a civil war in turkey —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:43, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi there. I wouldn't enter into political motivations, but I think that the PKK-Turkey conflict is not at the right place here, we could establish a separate entry. When I came across the PKK's flag at the header I was very much confused, because you expect to find there groups that fight for power in Iraq and connected with the USA-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. And that's not the case for the PKK, I think they had bases in Iraqi Kurdistan well before the 2003 Iraq war. Do you agree to move that part to a separate entry? Ilyacadiz (talk) 20:41, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

The PKK and Turkey are very involved in this war. Currently, there are Turkish military operations in Iraqi Kurdistan and the PKK is using Iraqi Kurdistan as a safe haven to attack Turkish forces across the border. Several hundred PKK and around 50 Turkish troops have been killed fighting in Iraq or on the border-that certainly qualifies as inclusion into the overall Iraq War. Publicus 20:35, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
There is no doubt about these facts. But I still doubt that that can be adscribed to the Iraq War. Very similar battles between Turkey and the PKK were going on in Iraq well before 2003: see [5] So that is a feature which has not very much to do with the 2003-until present war. It's misleading, at least in the header, to put Turkey on the US-side, as Turkey was not and is not part of the Coalition (even if it is of course a staunch US-Ally) and the PKK does definitely not fight on the side of the Insurgency, Baath Party, Mahdy Army or whoever is putting roadside bombs there. The PKK is quite close to the Kurdish peshmerga (Barzani etc.) (which are allied to the US); they do not fight each other and there is no evidence of US-soldiers fighting against PKK (even if the PKK is labelled s terrorist by the US). Let's give them a separate entry, of course linked here (and linked to Turkey–Kurdistan Workers Party conflict)--Ilyacadiz (talk) 21:40, 16 October 2008 (UTC).
Ilyacadiz, I do agree with you--the Turkish-PKK conflict is an older one that doesn't necessarily fit into a neat box on either side of this overall conflict. The main reason for putting PKK on the side of other insurgents, has to do with a couple of basic points: 1) the PKK is classified as a terrorist organization by both the U.S. and the E.U.; 2) Turkey is a member of NATO. I'm not trying to make a value judgment on the rights of Kurds or the sovereignty of Turkey, but with those two points in mind--it seems pretty clear to me which side to place the PKK and Turkey. Now, the point about whether to even mention the PKK-Turkey conflict at all is another difficult one. Basically, I'm going on the premise that any conflicts within the borders of Iraq, during the Iraq war, should be somehow covered in this article. As I'm sure you know, the Iraq war is a difficult war to place the various combatants--for instance, should the Mahdi Army be placed on the same side as the Sunni insurgents? Also, what about the Awakening Councils? A couple of years ago, many members of the Awakening councils were part of the greater Sunni insurgency, now they're listed as an important ally with the coalition forces. Technically, they are supporting the current coalition goal, but they are also not "allies" of the coalition--merely stabilizing forces who have agreed to stop fighting the coalition so they can fight other tribes, or al Qaeda, or Shia, etc. So you see it is a difficult conflict to determine which side to place the various combatants. I do agree that within the current info-box, the PKK-Turkey conflict is not clearly defined, but they do need to be included since Iraqi Kurdistan is a very important power within Iraq and these Kurdish issues are becoming more important all the time. Publicus 21:07, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Difficult indeed, it's all so mixed up in Iraq... Obviously, even different groups of the Insurgency might fight occasionally against each other, but at least for the moment being they share a common enemy and a common goal (to expulse the Coalition troops), so they can be listed on one side of the info-box. For the PKK I think it's different and I'm not convinced that your point 1 is too tight: the PKK is labelled as terrorist, but that does not mean it must be anti-US, nor is the Iranian PMOI. There is even a small Kurdish guerrilla, the PJAK, in the Iraqi mountains which is fighting against Iran in much the same way as the PKK fights Turkey. Essentially, they are a branch of the PKK (a friend of mine published recently a good report about that). But as Iran is an enemy of the USA, they are definitely pro-US... Now, of course I'm not suggesting to reverse the sides of Turkey and PKK in the info-box, that would be absurd, but I think putting them just in line with the rest is oversimplifying. I would just put a link telling: 'For the Turkey-PKK conflict, please see there' or something like that, because the article states clearly: "This article is about the war that began in 2003" and the PKK-conflict doesn't fit into that. Another option would be to put them into a kind of separate box (I'm not too good with these details). In the article itself there is a short and correct section about 'Tensions with Turkey' as there is also one about 'Tensions with Iran', both are necessary, but Iran is definitely not labelled as a belligerent in the info-box. Give it another thought... --Ilyacadiz (talk) 10:22, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Since the goal seems to be avoiding confusion, I'll play around with some formatting and search around wikipedia for any other examples we can copy/use for the PKK-Turkey issue. Also, I did have PJAK and Iran in the infobox awhile back, around the end of 2007 when they had their border skirmish--but too many people had issues with that and it was taken out, which had more to do with Iran's nuclear program than the PJAK-Iran conflict, which was my intention. Ah well. If you can think of suggestions on separating, let me know. Cheers. Publicus 21:34, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Take a look at my sandbox, I've tried to copy something I saw here, that may help. Thoughts welcome. Publicus
I think that looks almost great. Anyhow, as the conflict goes on and will surely become even more complicated than that Italian one you took the idea from :) we better start trying right away. I think we could introduce some white spaces to have all belligerents neatly opposite their enemies; to do that I've copied your design into my Sandbox, lines don't match exactly, but I don't know why, I fear it's the flags which probably aren't all the same heighth. Have a look, maybe you can improve it further. Thanks!Ilyacadiz (talk) 00:08, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I like it. Your version is a little cleaner. Let's try it and see how it does. Publicus 22:18, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Incredibly Biased Article

This article is so biased it is frankly laughable. Among the innumberable lies and distortions in the article, the part that is particularly amusing is how it goes right from talk about how the United States is doomed to failure to talk about the aftermath of the war, i.e. the drawdown of US troops. It completely fails to mention the US victory in 2007. This article is nothing more than ultraliberal propaganda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:28, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

If the US was victorious in 2007, then why is a gradual drawdown necessary? Is the US victory similar to the British victory?-- (talk) 20:21, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Because you usually drawdown your troops after you win unless your goal was to conquer, which in this case it wasn't? I could cite about 1,000 wars in which an Army went somewhere, won, and then left. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Hey, I live in the US and I must have missed the victory celebrations? I was here for all of 2007; when was the official victory? I can't believe I missed out on my Iraqi Freedom Party Whistle! csloat (talk) 21:23, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

If you want the US to lose the Iraq War, then I can see one having the POV which follows this bunk that the 2007 troop surge was ineffective---(incorrect by all responsible estimates). There will be plenty of “media articles” (and “studies”) published for years to support the view that ’07 was unsuccessful though . There was not a "Victory Party" for the Korean war, but the Korean war WAS a huge success, in preventing Communist China and North Korea from doing whatever they wanted (taking S. Korea and who knows what else). Like, Iraq, the Korea situation is an ongoing work -- without a finite victory day. Anyone denying that the US Troop Surge of 2007 was effective is believing brainwash from the left, or the spineless BBC (which is the same thing) rather than the voice of reason. The troop surge had a huge impact on the war. It was surprisingly effective in making the insurgent’s business less effective, and in making the Iraq War “winnable” (something that many contributors to this article do NOT want – A Coalition victory in Iraq). Also Spineless; the American people, with little or zero interest, or concern that the US and coalition turned the tide of a very unpopular war. The general public does not want to hear it (even more so outside US borders). This article will always be garbage, a ugly , terrible piece of junk - vandalized by POV Warriors who are out to prove we are losing this war, when in fact we are winning it. Bwebb00 (talk) 04:14, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

While I strongly agree with this opinion, this line of discussion (as yet) is not conducive to improving the article. We need to focus on what specifically is wrong with the article, and work to set the record straight one section at a time. On that note, where do you think would be a good place to start off? ~ S0CO(talk|contribs) 04:51, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
The average U.S. taxpayer has spent $1930.00 so far to finance the war (enough to pay the salary of every Iraqi for three years), and the U.S has almost lost 5,000 of its soldiers. Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction are no longer a threat to the United States homeland anymore. The U.S. was victorious in its mission, and the Iraqi people and government are now asking us to leave their country. How much more money and how many more lives do we need to spend, and what would be spending them for now? If the American people are "spineless", then why don't you finance and fight the war yourself?-- (talk) 17:19, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
Again, Wikipedia is not a forum for expressing your opinions or reciting your talking points. The purpose of this talk page is to discuss changes to the article. ~ S0CO(talk|contribs) 22:41, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
In that case, I would like to compliment the cost of the war section and suggest that more could be added about the impending US withdrawal.-- (talk) 00:40, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Why is the Center for Public Integrity even mentioned in a supposed unbaised article? Most of the financial contributers to this organization are poltically-driven far-left figures (i.e. George Soros, Bill Moyers etc...)? Therefore this is an uncredible group who should not be cited in this work without a balanced reponse from a opposing second source. --Pennsylvania Penguin (talk) 19:00, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

This article does read like it was written by the "anti-war", I use that term loosely, left, rather than offering unbiased information. The irony of the democrats' talking points is that for a year Iraq has been moving toward self-sufficiency, and the counter insurgency strategy was a success. But Afghanistan and the "good war" is a stalemate with little future. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:07, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Since the mainstream media focuses on the criticisms of the war, I came here looking to find a fair comparison of the problems with the war as well as the positive effects. I was surprised to see this article also is biased towards the criticisms. Surely some good has, is, or is expected to come from the war, and yet that seems to be completely lacking in this article. Just as a basic example, this article talks about the costs of the war, and yet has no discussion about the economic effects of the influx of some of that money into the private sector, creating jobs for example. Googling for positive outcomes of the war finds discussions such as this: - obviously this would all need to be researched and sourced, but surely some of these would be appropriate for inclusion in this article. Benjam47 (talk) 08:59, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Iraqi unemployment rate: 18% to 30% (2006 est.), [Source: CIA World Factbook]. It looks as if the war has created more job loss in Iraq than it has created job creation.-- (talk) 11:46, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
A report by Iraq's central office for statistics cited by NGO Coordination Committee for Iraq (NCCI) suggests a 70 percent rate of inflation from July 2005 to July 2006. Nearly 5.6 millions Iraqis are living below the poverty line, and at least 40 percent of this number is living in absolute and desperate deteriorated conditions. The World Food Programme released a report entitled 'Food Security and Vulnerability in Iraq' which warned that if the situation in Iraq was not controlled, a further 8.3 million people [31 percent of Iraq's population] would be rendered 'food insecure' if they were not provided with Public Distribution System (PDS) rations. Mounir Zeid, 32, says he likes to remember the good old days before the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.(IRIN: Unemployment and violence increase poverty) The Red Cross further says about 40 percent of Iraq's total population, mainly in the countryside and suburbs, are still living in households not connected to a water network.(XinhuaNet: Millions of Iraqis at risk from polluted water)
Planning Minister Ali Baban has said "there will be no improvement in the economy or probably even a decline". The way Iraqi government spending is allocated serves to disguise the underlying weakness of the economy.(AFP: Iraq's cash pile won't protect it from weak oil prices) At least former insurgents are employed by the U.S. and Iraqi governments.(AlJazeera: Baghdad to pay Sunni groups)
-- (talk) 04:22, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Date of the start and end of the conflict

If nobody minds I will put in the date section of the article in the infobox three distinct periods just like it is in the article Second Chechen War:

Active battle phase: March 20, 2003 — April 30, 2003 Insurgency: May 1, 2003 - May 11, 2008 Sporadic fighting: May 12, 2008 - Present

I think everybody understands the date of May 1, 2003 (the day Bush famously said Mission accomplished) as for May 11, 2008, that's the day a cease-fire was signed with the Mahdi army, after that there were no more large-scale battles between the Insurgents and the Coalition. If the war flares up again we will revert it to just March 20, 2003 - ongoing. Hope nobody has a problem with this. (talk) 12:55, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

The reasoning presented is understandable, however it could be stated better and may be overly simplistic. More importantly, it would need to be well-sourced.-- (talk) 17:50, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
This timeline isn't supported by any reliable source, so it might as well be completely made up. It doesn't belong in the article.-- (talk) 12:08, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't see anyting unreliable. Made up? Where have you been man for the last five years? Bush ended mayor combat operations (the invasion) on May 1, 2003 and the Mahdi Army declared their last and final cease-fire on May 11, 2008. After that they disarmed. By this point the Sadam loyalists had already switched sides to become the Awakening councils and Al Qaida was degraded beyond the point of no return. It's only sporadic fighting now initiated by the last hard-core fighters who are still continuing to fight. If the fighting flares up again to the pre-May 11th levels we will remove the timeline like you say. But I doubt it at this point. The focus has now shifted to Afghanistan. The first reference is a CNN source, I can find some other if CNN is unreliable by you. And as for the second one. I am sure there are other numerous news sources that reported on the cease-fire agreement. (talk) 06:40, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Turkey is still fighting PKK rebels, Sunni insurgents and Al-Qaeda are still active, and Iran is still allegedly using special groups in Iraq. There has been a reduction in violence because of the cease-fire and because of some insurgents' support being bought off, but violence levels are still near 2004 levels and the Department of Defense has said even these gains are reversible. This is why the U.S. has kept its troops level stable and has been arguing for indefinite time horizons in the SOFA.
Anyways, our analyses doesn't really matter. The sources are reliable, but they don't identify stages of the war. WP:RS is very clear: "Sources should directly support the information as it is presented in an article and should be appropriate to the claims made". These sources don't do that. Wikipedia does not publish original research.--Nosfartu (talk) 14:23, 5 November 2008 (UTC)


I semi-protected this. On a cursory examination, it seems to have far too much anon junk for comfort.

If any of the regulars care to disagree, please let me know William M. Connolley (talk) 10:07, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Small thing

Add a link to "Denmark" next to the Danish flag, under the list of belligerents. Just for good sense and order. Mollecht (talk) 00:13, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Western World

The article states the US believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which posed threat to "Western National Security". "Western" is not a nation. It should say "The National Security of the United States". Saying "Western" implies that Western countries (such as all of North America, or the Western Hemisphere, or even European nations) were threatened. This is not the case, and most "Western" nations did not support the invasion and subsequent occoupation of Iraq. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:24, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Insurgents section: "On February 23, 2005"

The section entitled "Insurgents" ends with a date. What happened to that paragraph? (talk) 02:16, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

SOFA ratified by Parliament

I know what I'm thankful for.[6][7][8] Southern Command Stooge (talk) 15:42, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

It should hopefully be a step in the right direction..-- (talk) 16:21, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Lets get it right this time instead of trying to follow imaginary psyops-on-the-homeland rules, ok? Southern Command Stooge (talk) 16:49, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Not sure what you are getting at. It's just troubling that they cling to perceived loopholes that they wouldn't share with the Iraqi parliament or public. If the U.S. is going to try to enforce something one way, it seems like it should share that instead of burying it in legal jargon.-- (talk) 16:49, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll believe that when I hear it from someone who (a) is authorized to speak with the media, and (b) didn't just blow a trillion dollars on a few hundred Arabists and a whole lot of nothing contracts. Southern Command Stooge (talk) 17:05, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Noting they are anonymous is completely fine, but they said it whether anyone in the government likes it or not.-- (talk) 17:11, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Good, so let's talk about what they said:
  • "Iraqi legal jurisdiction over U.S. troops...."
That part is already correctly summarized in both interpretations with the existing "off-duty and off-base" subjection to local law. That's standard. The idea that it's controversial is false.
  • "A provision that bars the U.S. from launching military operations into neighboring countries from Iraqi territory. Administration officials argue they could circumvent that in some cases, such as pursuing groups that launch strikes on U.S. targets from Syria or Iran, by citing another provision that allows each party to retain the right of self-defense. One official expressed concern that 'if Iran gets wind that we think there's a loophole there,' Tehran might renew its opposition to the agreement."
Again, not a controversy. Iran knows that we will defend the hell out of any incursion which looks like it might threaten us, and so does Syria and the Afghani-Pak opium runners.
  • "A provision that appears to require the U.S. to notify Iraqi officials in advance of any planned military operations and to seek Iraqi approval for them, which some U.S. military officials find especially troubling, although Robert Gates, the secretary of defense, Army Gen. David Petraeus, the head of the U.S. Central Command, and Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, all have endorsed it."
Again, this might not be the way that the U.S. ended VietNam or Korea, but it has been the standard way we ended all of the occupations which worked out well. I suggest that there's a damn good reason so. The only controversy about this one is how many Oxycontin parties Rove, Cheney, and Limbaugh get to enjoy in the Bermudas on the Halliburton tab before they kick off. Southern Command Stooge (talk) 17:22, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
For the first one, the idea was that the U.S. would drag its feet with any prosecution that was launched nullifying the effect. Anyways, the idea is that we are quoting the sources and that the US may try to circumvent or interpret things different than Iraqis. If you see a better way to paraphrase the sources, propose away.-- (talk) 17:31, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I got the idea. I propose you stop trying to stuff anonymous sources in an article which is already too long. Southern Command Stooge (talk) 17:35, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
The threshhold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not fact. And you can't censor material just because it doesn't agree with your viewpoint.-- (talk) 17:43, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I see the viewpoint of wanting to stir up trouble all right. Some days, some places, it's a perfectly valid viewpoint. This is neither the time nor the place, and if you want to try to verify that these so-called anonymous sources unauthorized to speak with the media were really worried about these points or just trying to stir up some shit, be my guest. In the mean time, I suggest you take a hard look at WP:SUMMARY if you plan to be introducing garbage sources into the article. Southern Command Stooge (talk) 17:48, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
I am curious what makes you classify McClatchy and the OmanTribune as garbage sources, as they are used in many other places throughout Wikipedia. The material is well-sourced and more sources can be provided if this is your issue.-- (talk) 17:53, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm talking about the sources of the article, requesting anonymity on the grounds that they were unauthorized to talk to the media. If they were really worried about the agreement, they would be requesting anonymity for fear of retribution from their evil conspirator civilian masters. Southern Command Stooge (talk) 18:02, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia trusts the reliability of the source which is being cited, which is in this case two different newspapers. Attributing the officials an anonymous seems perfectly valid, but this is being done.-- (talk) 18:05, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
That is bull shit and you know it. A source is only as good as its underlying sources. You want to argue otherwise? Southern Command Stooge (talk) 18:15, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

[from right] "Whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true" is indeed the policy for inclusion. Attribution seems perfectly warranted, and I again invite you to attribute them as anonymous or what have you.-- (talk) 18:24, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Have you forgotten that this article is overlength? What gives you the right to claim you are being censored because I don't like the fact you are insisting on newspaper articles which use anonymous sources who claim they need to be anonymous because they're not trusted enough to talk to the media in the first place -- in an article this long? Why don't you take it to the Status of Forces Agreement article if you are feeling so censored? Southern Command Stooge (talk) 18:27, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
An appropriate overview should provide balanced information. If you think there is a better way to attribute the sources, I invite you to mention it.-- (talk) 18:31, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
And just for reference, the articles say the sources are anonymous because the English translation of the SOFA test was sensitive but unclassified (at least at the time of the articles' publications).-- (talk) 18:38, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
You have provided no reasons why anyone should trust the anonymous sources you have been intent on including, and no reasons why anyone should want to read reports of effigy burnings in the introduction of a 206 kilobyte article. Would you please explain exactly what your goals are in editing this article? Southern Command Stooge (talk) 18:47, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
I feel like you are attacking me for citing newspapers and I'm not sure what the problem is. Because of the level of the rhetoric, I think it might be better if we both temporarily stepped back. Happy Thanksgiving!-- (talk) 18:51, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
We can't leave information off Wikipedia simply because it makes some people uncomfortable. The reports of the effigy are widely reported in Arab and other foreign media. Google the effigy and you will see there are numerous non-'Anonymous' sources corroborating the story. It has also made American media on FOX News, the AP and the LA times. (see,2933,455948,00.html) As such, I have reverted the edit that removed the information and citation. (talk) 21:21, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
That's not the reason I reverted. The version you like is full of inaccuracies about the details of the agreement. The version I like has fewer inaccuracies, but it still has some, which I am correcting. (talk) 21:31, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
The Text of the Status of Forces Agreement is a matter of public record now. Would you please revert yourself? Southern Command Stooge (talk) 18:57, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
It wasn't when the articles were published, which is why it said the sources remained anonymous. The yelling has discouraged my motivation for conversation temporarily, but I look forward to discussing it with you after Thanksgiving.-- (talk) 18:59, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
That is an outright lie, as I have already explained on Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Iraq War / Status of Forces Agreement: the reasons stated by the so-called officials request for anonymity are, "because he was not authorized to speak to the media," and, "because he wasn't authorized to speak to reporters." Their reasons for refusing to speak on the record may have been because they didn't have a translation, but that was not their reason for requesting anonymity. Translations have been available since shortly after the debate in Parliament began. Your edits have shown a very disappointing lack of respect for the reliability of sources and a lack of common decency with regard to what is appropriate for the introductions of long articles. Southern Command Stooge (talk) 19:31, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
With all due respect, I might encourage you to actually read the article.-- (talk) 19:38, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it is appropriate to trumpet the protests over this agreement; not today. (talk) 20:55, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Second Gulf War? Third Gulf War?

What's about these denominations?-- (talk) 19:42, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Moved from SOFA section

Per the passage of the SOFA, the following information is no longer pertinent to this main article, although it may be of historical interest or useful in a different article so I am moving it here:

The U.S. is pushing for an agreement that allows the continued presence of the U.S. military along with several supporting bases. The Maliki government is considering the agreement, but required the U.S. to provide a timetable for the withdrawal of its military from Iraq.[2] Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani suggested to Maliki that the issue be either voted on by the Iraqi Parliament or through a referendum. As the negotiations have progressed, one issue was resolved, civilian contractors will no longer receive immunity from Iraqi prosecution.[3] Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pushed for a complete U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq by 2011.[4]
On June 13, 2008, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said that negotiations with the United States on a long-term security pact were deadlocked because of concern the deal infringes Iraqi sovereignty. "We have reached an impasse because when we opened these negotiations we did not realize that the US demands would so deeply affect Iraqi sovereignty and this is something we can never accept," he said in Amman, Jordan. "We cannot allow US forces to have the right to jail Iraqis or assume, alone, the responsibility of fighting against terrorism," Maliki told Jordanian newspaper editors, according to a journalist present at the meeting.[5] However, on June 15, 2008, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that US-Iraqi negotiations for a long-term security pact were not dead and that despite difficulties, a deal would be signed "by the end of July. . . these talks are ongoing. They're not dead," Zebari said of negotiations to decide the future of the US military presence in Iraq after the current UN mandate expires in December 2008.[6]
On July 1, 2008, Zebari said he briefed members of the Iraqi Parliament that US contractors would no longer have immunity from Iraqi prosecution under negotiated terms of the long-term security pact. US State Department officials could not be immediately reached for comment, but Iraqi member of parliament Mahmoud Othman said he attended the meeting and that Iraqi representatives were very pleased with the immunity agreement.[7]
On July 8, 2008, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani rejected the proposed agreement on the basis that it violates Iraqi sovereignty, following a meeting with Iraq National Security Advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie.[8] Rubaie, clarifying remarks by Maliki on July 7 that Iraq would accept a memorandum of understanding in lieu of a SOFA, stated "We will not accept any memorandum of understanding if it does not give a specific date for a complete withdrawal of foreign troops."[9] Deputy speaker Khaled al-Attiyah also said on July 8 that the Iraqi parliament would insist on vetting any agreement with the U.S. and would likely veto the agreement if American troops were immune from Iraqi law: "Without doubt, if the two sides reach an agreement, this is between two countries, and according to the Iraqi constitution a national agreement must be agreed by parliament by a majority of two thirds."[10]
On October 16, 2008, after several more months of negotiations, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice briefed senior U.S. lawmakers on the draft SOFA, and Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki prepared to circulate it with Iraq's Political National Security Council before going on to the Council of Ministers and the Iraqi parliament. Despite a compromise on the issue of jurisdiction over off-duty U.S. troops who commit crimes under Iraqi law, issues related to the timeline for U.S. withdrawal and Iraqi insistence on "absolute sovereignty" remain.[11]

At least the article is under 200 kB again. GetLinkPrimitiveParams (talk) 02:06, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Al-Sadr ratcheted down from threatening militia attacks before SOFA passage to three days of peaceful protests involving closed offices and black banners. (talk) 19:46, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Crystal Clear action edit add.png Added GetLinkPrimitiveParams (talk) 21:24, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

NC Grave Picture is unneccessary

That is not a memorial - it is a protest against the war in Iraq. That could be included in a section as protest against the war in Iraq but should not be titled memorial. The number and quick cross display is for effect but it should not be here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JanTervel (talkcontribs) 22:17, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Did you miss that it is under a critcism section?-- (talk) 01:16, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Lancet survey

I would like to discuss that the Lancet survey number of 655,000+ killed in the war by June 2006 be REMOVED from the infobox, mention it in the casualties section but remove it because it has been verified on numereous occations that the survey was flawed:
- a survey conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine , commisioned by the World Health Organisation, made in January 2008 (a year and a half after the Lancet) had an estimate of 151,000+ killed since the war started, that's more than 500,000 less than the Lancet survey 18 months earlier [9]
- not even the Iraqi government belives the study: “This figure, which in reality has no basis, is exaggerated,” said Iraqi government spokesman Ali Debbagh.[10]
- US President George W. Bush called the survey "not credible".[11]
- the Iraq government stated that 30,000 Iraq were killed as the result of the war in 2006 alone, so that would mean according to the Lancet that 640,000+ died in 2003, 2004 and 2005, not even that many people were killed in the wars in the Balkans over a five-year-period (I think somewhere around 100,000 but not more)
- some have stated that the survey was politically biased [12]
In any case the number has been disputed by a wide number of governments and analists, including the government of Iraq itself. That should make enough of a case to remove the number at least from the infobox because there is enough evidance to make the claim unreliable and Wikipedia only accepts credible claims which are not disputed. But, like I said before, do not remove the number compleatly, make a whole section for it in the article about it, but it has no place in the infobox. The number has been discredited and debunked time and again and if somebody doesn't belive google it. 655,000 killed in three years. 1,000,000 were killed in the Congo civil war during five years and there we had the factor of rampant genocide, here if you would like to talk about genocide something like that probably only started after the Samarrah mosque bombing in February 2006, four months before the survey. Now, who supports the removal of the number from the infobox and placeing it somewhere else in the article? We can replace the number with the current number from Iraq Body Countr group, which has been cited as more verifiable. (talk) 23:30, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Your reasoning is garbage. Outgoing Bush and the Iraqi administration are politicians advancing an ideological position, not statisticians neutrally reporting their observations. The WHO and Lancet reports had different methodologies and definitions, so they obviously obtained different results. IBC states itself that it underreportts. You also completely skip over the ORB survey as well..-- (talk) 02:47, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
It's not just Bush and the Iraqi administration but a number of other political analists have come out saying that the survey is flawed. Also, don't get me started on ORB, one million dead? That's even a worst survey than Lancet, Lancet made an assesment of 1 in 40 dead, according to ORB it would mean 1 in 29 dead in Iraq. THERE HADN'T BEEN THAT MANY DEAD IN FIVE YEARS IN THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR AND THAT WAS A WAR IN THE STYLE OF WORLD WAR ONE. According to those surveys 2,000 Iraqis had been killed per day. 2,000? C'mon people! (talk) 03:19, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Politicians and political analysts have expertise in political ideology and in social institutions, not in statisical studies. While a sitting politician may provide the view of an ideology or institution, this doesn't necessitate that the view is correct.
For example, the U.S. and other Western governments asserted that Iraq had weapons but this later turned out not to be the case.-- (talk) 19:45, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with that, this is common sense I am talking about. And what they are talking about is a statistical impropability. Also,they included people that died in accidents that had nothing to do with the war, do we have to now include every last person which has died of old age or something? (talk) 17:03, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Statistics has a liberal bias!-- (talk) 07:07, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

This argument against the Lancet's 655,000 figure would be a whole hell of a lot more convincing if the ORB survey (which went around with far more surveyors, asking for death certificates) hadn't come up with a million violent deaths. Southern Command Stooge (talk) 15:05, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Guys surveys and polls aren't the way to estimate the number of casualties. We should limit the estimation in the inbox to that of human rights groups. Grey Fox (talk) 15:28, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

All these numbers inherently underreport and have their own issues. Why not just say the only good tally is the official (and nonexistent) U.S. tally?
If a survey isn't reliable, one is curious how it is published in a peer-reviewed medical journal and why it is published by subject matter experts. The methodology is available, so readers can judge for themselves. Calling it unreliable because we don't like its conclusions is silly.-- (talk) 16:03, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
"All these numbers inherently underreport and have their own issues", ah so you believe there's a conspiracy to silence them. Grey Fox (talk) 17:11, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
The existence or non-existence of some alleged conspiracy is completely irrelevant. Just report reliably sourced statistics and let readers draw their own conclusions. It is hard to see any controversy in this.-- (talk) 20:23, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed on the reliably sourced statistics. Grey Fox (talk) 20:58, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Article too big; splitting and merging request

This article is way too big standing at 200 kb, it should actually be about 100 kb according to the wiki guidelines, which means half of it should somehow be incorporated into other articles if we ever want to reach a good article status. Reasons on why the article is too big is because way too many aspects and phases of this conflict or dealt with on a single page. This article has a huge amount of coverage on the 2003 invasion, even though the invasion is, relatively speaking, only a small part of the total conflict. Then the civil war as we know it is covered extensively as well, and not too long ago other conflicts have started pouring in too, such as the Turkish operations in northern Iraq.

So I’ve been thinking on a solution to this problem. What I noticed is also that there’s way too many articles covering war in Iraq with the same content as this one, most notably 2003 invasion of Iraq (177kb), and Civil war in Iraq (35kb) which all often contradict each other as well.

My idea is to merge this article with both of these for a number of reasons. Currently this article says on top that this conflict is also known as the second gulf war. To be precise the name second gulf war only applies to the Invasion of Iraq, and after the toppling of Saddam’s government a civil war broke out which is currently still ongoing.

Allow me to quote the economist: With the fall of Tikrit, once considered Saddam Hussein's most likely Alamo, the second Gulf war ended in effect after just three-and-a-half weeks. And this document: [13] "The Second Gulf War ended in 2003. Conflict since the fall of the Ba’athist regime is counted as Iraq Civil War"

After possible merging, the article Invasion of Iraq (“Titled: 2003 Invasion of Iraq - also known as the second gulf war”) will deal with the entire invasion up until May 2003, and the article Civil war in Iraq (Titled: Civil war in Iraq (2003 – Present)) will deal with everything after that, and this article’s content will be largely incorporated into both of them. This will allow more detailed sections to be created, as the size of the article will be smaller, allowing us to incorporate many of the other articles' detailed content.

Apart from fixing the size problems and the problem of having too many articles, there’s also other reasons on why I think this is necessary:

  • The insurgent groups since the outbreak of the civil war never really fought on the side of Saddam Hussein (except for a small minority), the two phases of war in Iraq have two different warring sides which makes them two different conflicts.
  • Since Barack Obama is eager to withdraw troops, sooner or later the civil war might be ongoing without the presence of foreign troops. It would be very confusing if an article covering the events of the conflict then is mostly about the US’ 2003 invasion.

Any arguments against this? Cheers. Grey Fox (talk) 14:35, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

The splitting is a good idea. It seems the portion of the war where U.S. troops were in the country (2003-around 2009-2011) is deserving of its own article though, whatever article name this might appear under (Second U.S. troop presence in Iraq, Occupation of Iraq, U.S.-Iraq War, etc). The civil war could start when or around U.S. troops invaded, but it shouldn't describe U.S. troops as main belligerents in the conflict for obvious reasons.--Nosfartu (talk) 15:17, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. US troops have always been in the country from starts on. Civil war could not have started right away, because at first the war was simply between two countries, Iraq and the USA. Only after the poorly motivated Iraqi war was defeated (this lasted a month), a civil war broke out. This time it was the new Iraqi army together with the USA against various Suni and Shia insurgent groups (primarily), and these sunni/shia groups also fought against each other. The stand-alone article covering may 2003 - present would be the civil war article, with Iraq and the US being the main belligerents on one side (Iraq the biggest). The infobox could possibly look like what's there currently on the Civil war in Iraq; three columns of belligerents. Grey Fox (talk) 15:43, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Concur, it is WAY too big for one article. A number of the subsections of the article lend themselves to being broken out farily easily. Sections 1-3 and 13-16 in particular look like good canidates to me (Your citation of the initial invasion article is spot on). Ndunruh (talk) 19:19, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I'd second the nomintation of these sections.--Nosfartu (talk) 03:40, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad there's room for change. I think the best order in which these changes should be made is by first transforming the Invasion of Iraq article, and then afterwards adjust this article. Unfortunately I won't be able to do much work on these improvements because I'll be on vacation for a month, so I'll wait until after. Grey Fox (talk) 11:58, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

U.S. officials on oil

This line from the introduction: "Other reasons for the invasion stated by U.S. officials included Iraq's" was followed by a set of flawed sources. I pointed this out but User:Nosfartu has reinserted the sources, and not only that but added a couple of others.

So let me analyse them:

  • [14] Bloomberg is not a U.S. official (and not even a U.K. official).
  • [15] Alan Greenspan wasn't a U.S. official when he made this comment. He became an opposition figure after leaving the Bush administration, that means his words don't represent that of the U.S. anymore.
  • [16] At what point did Vladimir Putin become a U.S. official? (this one just made me laugh)
  • [17] Brendan Nelson is not a U.S. official, but was an Australian official. He doesn't mention the invasion and was not around the time of the invasion.
  • [18] Who is supposed to be the U.S. official here? Robert Woolsey? If so, he wasn't in the U.S. goverment since 1993, long before the Iraq war
  • [19] As you can see an error was made in this report, the stanford daily corrected this, stating right at the top that they accidently attributed a comment a journalist, and not the U.S. Army General.
  • [20] This is the same source as the second.

All in all, in none of the sources any U.S. official claims that they invaded Iraq "because of oil". So this exceptional claim can go. Grey Fox (talk) 01:43, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

There indeed was an attribution problem. The debate clearly belongs in the lead nonetheless. If there are still problems with the text, it would be better to edit to match the sources or propose a version here on talk rather than just deleting it.--Nosfartu (talk) 01:53, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I have no problems with theories like that to be discussed somewhere in the article, or even in a seperate page, but it doesn't belong in the lead at all. There's several policies against that too. Grey Fox (talk) 02:03, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, WP:LEAD says:

The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any notable controversies that may exist.

The debate seems notable since it is being conducted by an aide to Tony Blair, a former chair of the Federal Reserve, a former President of Russia, an Australian Minister of Defense, etc.
If you could cite the policies you are speaking of, that would be helpful.--Nosfartu (talk) 02:08, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

If you could clarify how WP:LEAD and WP:BLP apply, this would be useful. Also, WP:REDFLAG and WP:FRINGE would not seem to apply to high level government officials and newspapers. For clarity, the currently cited sources are:

  • Bloomberg quoting Sir Jonathan Porritt, head of the Sustainable Development Commission, which advises Blair's government on ecological issues, as saying the prospect of winning access to Iraqi oil was a very large factor in the allies' decision to attack Iraq in March."
  • The Times Online quoting Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, as saying "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."
  • The Seattle Times quoting Vladimir Putin, former President of Russia, as saying "I believe one of the goals is to establish control of the country's oil reserves."
  • The Washington Post editorializing in an article by Dan Morgan and David B. Ottaway that "a U.S.-led ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein could open a bonanza for American oil companies long banished from Iraq".
  • The Stanford Daily quoting Thomas Friedman, a Pulitzer Prize winning op-ed contributor to The New York Times, as saying “Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that.”

--Nosfartu (talk) 02:26, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Since when do the wild allegations of an undemocratic president make a "controversy"? Should we also add what Robert Mugabe has to say? And as I said already, Australia did not make the decision to invade Iraq, and neither did the U.K. (they instead assisted the invasion). So all we have to make a controversy is the words of government critics and/or independent journalists. The theory that the US invaded a country just for oil is a fringe theory. If it should be discussed or not is one thing, I don't mind a seperate section for that, but it should not belong in the lead section. Grey Fox (talk) 02:28, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
An example I can give you is the article on George W. Bush. His introduction does not contain anything about him invading Iraq "for oil". This is limited to the Criticism of George W. Bush page. The same should happen here, these allegations belong to the Criticism of the Iraq War section/page. Grey Fox (talk) 02:32, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
It is a notable and well-sourced controversy which has been in the article for a fairly long amount of time. The George W. Bush article is really its own article with its own precedents. High level government officials and newspapers aren't the source of fringe theories though.
That being said, you might request the input of other editors via Wikipedia:Third opinion or Wikipedia:Requests for comment. Other editors will also naturally share their opinion over a little bit of time. This has been a part of the stable article for a while though, so there should be discussion before it can be removed. Others will read and share their thoughts.--Nosfartu (talk) 02:40, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
It has also been part of this "stable" article for a while how "according to U.S. officials" they invaded Iraq "for oil", and this exceptional claim turned out to be falsely sourced. I don't have much experience with third opinions so I don't know if they usually solve a dispute. We're most certainly dealing with a fringe theory because it contradicts not only most other high level government officials and newspapers, but also because the theory makes little sense. The allegation that the US invaded a country for oil means they invaded a country for money, and the costs of this war are far greater than whatever money oil would return to them. Grey Fox (talk) 02:48, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Small note, Greenspan meant something different then what most initially thought [21][22] Grey Fox (talk) 03:47, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Whether we think or whether the U.S. did invade Iraq for oil is irrelevant, because WP:V says the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. The debate has been well documented above, and has also been captured in multiple polls of multiple countries:

  • BBC: When a poll by the BBC asked why Britain and America wanted to attack Iraq, the most popular response was: "To secure oil supplies"
  • UPI: A total of 32.7 percent of the 6,909 U.S. respondents to a Jan. 16-18 Zogby interactive poll said Iraq's oil was a "major" concern and 23.7 percent said it was not a factor
  • Washington Post: Forty-three percent of Baghdad's residents said they believed that U.S. and British forces invaded in March primarily "to rob Iraq's oil" while only 5 percent of those polled said they believed the United States invaded Iraq "to assist the Iraqi people."

There is a debate and it is well-sourced.--Nosfartu (talk) 04:07, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

There's also a number of other theories on "why the us invaded Iraq", such as 1) It's all about the Israel lobby 2) Bush was trying to avenge his dad 3) Because God told Bush. You wouldn't want to add all those either would you? No, because these are fringe theories and speculations without evidence. No poll result changes that. I've also seen polls that said many believe the 9/11 attacks were an 'inside-job', but it's still considered a fringe theory on wikipedia. WP:V does not apply here, because I'm not debating the inclusion of the material here, but only the inclusion of the material in the lead section. Grey Fox (talk) 04:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
So multiple public polls, government officials, and newspapers are all pushing a fringe theory together in some elaborate get together? How is fringe theory and speculation without evidence defined again?--Nosfartu (talk) 04:17, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

No they didn't attempt to push any theory, the job of those news agencies is simply to poll the war's popularity. It's unknown if opinion polls are reliable for this. Let me just quote another set of polls:

"Do you think Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq was directly involved in planning, financing, or carrying out the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001?"

  • September 2003 responses: 47% Yes, 37% No, 16% not sure.
  • January 2004 responses: 49% Yes, 39% No, 12% not sure.
  • September 2004 responses: 42% Yes, 44% No, 14% not sure.
  • October 2004 responses: 36% Yes, 51% No, 13% not sure.
  • June 2007 responses: 41% Yes, 50% No, 9% not sure.

Even stronger results in favour of unproven theories. Yet, what's shown in this introudction is "Some U.S. officials also accused Saddam Hussein of harboring and supporting Al-Qaeda, but no evidence of any collaborative relationship was ever found.". So why not the same for the "oil theory"? "Some critics also accused the US governement that the main reason for the invasion were Iraq's oil reserves, but not evidence of this has ever been found." Indeed, this oil theory has been widely disputed as well, a few simple google hits led me to the a number of writers and experts stating how impossible this theory is: Gwynne Dyer [23], Jonah Goldberg [24], Brendan O'Neill [25] Ismael Hossein-Zadeh [26] Jerry Taylor [27] and this could go on and on. Grey Fox (talk) 09:46, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

More sources that it is a reliably sourced debate, and not a fringe theory. Multiple polls, newspapers, and officials are not working together to advance a fringe theory and I am curious what evidence, if any, you have to support your claim.--Nosfartu (talk) 17:02, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
"Multiple officials" from completely different countries don't have much say when it comes to alleged "secret motives" from US officials. Newspapers don't make these allegations, only several journalists writing for the newspapers (which are considered editorials). And as I already showed above wikipedia should not be written based on poll results. As for the proof you're asking for; that's impossible to "prove" Nosfartu, unless you can record brain waves. If you've read the sources you'll have noticed that the writers are not impressed by these allegations. Here's more, oil experts describe this "war for oil" theory as an "arab conspiracy theory"[28] and here another respected economist, Gideon Rachman, describing the oil theory as a fringe theory: [29] He also says that "it is an unprovable thesis." And indeed. It's impossible to know any hidden motives from US officials unless you were able to read their minds. Therefore it's undoubtly a fringe theory. Sure there's speculations and wild allegations from respected journalists, since yes respected journalist can also oppose military invasions and make their own guesses, but their arguments have also been countered and as such it's an unproven theory. All of this should be neutraly presented on pages like Criticism of the Iraq War and Rationale for the Iraq War, but not in the lead section of the Iraq War page. Grey Fox (talk) 18:06, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Being an official from a different country doesn't make your view part of a fringe theory. Multiple journalists writing in newspapers don't write about fringe theories. You should look up what a fringe theory is.--Nosfartu (talk) 18:29, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually they do. All the time. There's millions of journalists around, you can always find those that do. If you want I can provide you with the editorials of multiple journalists that state that Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were best friends. So why don't we put that in the lead? It currently quotes only US officials, but not others. Same goes for journalists who believe that Saddam did possess WMD's, but that he transported them quickly to Russia or another nation. Why don't we put that in the lead? If you're allowed to put "war for oil" allegations in the lead, then I'm also allowed to put those allegations in the lead section.
As for me having to "look up what a fringe theory is". I already did, and let me quote for you. Examples include conspiracy theories and ideas which purport to be scientific theories but have not gained scientific consensus.' This can apply here as well. Grey Fox (talk) 19:39, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

This wouldn't really classify as a scientific theory. For Wikipedia, a fringe theory would usually be a "surprising or apparently important claims not covered by mainstream sources", which would not seem to apply here. Even if this meets the definition of a fringe theory, which it does not appear to, WP has the following policy about fringe theories:

Fringe theory in a nutshell:

In order to be notable enough to appear in Wikipedia, a fringe idea should be referenced extensively, and in a serious manner, in at least one major publication, or by a notable group or individual that is independent of the theory.

Even debunking or disparaging references are adequate, as they establish the notability of the theory outside of its group of adherents.

The idea has been published by major publications, discussed by notable individuals, and has also been mentioned in some "disparaging" references which you have provided. This is really irrelevant anyways given that it is not a "surprising or apparently important claims not covered by mainstream sources". Numerous mainstream sources have been provided. I have started a discussion here to get input from others as well, and I would encourage you to add your thoughts.--Nosfartu (talk) 19:55, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

It may as well classify as a scientific theory, in the way that it alleges to know hidden motivations of individuals. Yes they say that a fringe theory is notable enough to appear in Wikipedia, but that doesn't mean it has to appear in the lead section, that's just absurd. Anyway what would you rather have; an introduction full of allegations from journalists and so-called experts not only about "war for oil" but also about "saddam-al qaeda links" as well as "saddam and wmd links", including those that dispute these allegations again, and so forth? Or just a plain introudction that sites fact, not theory, and leave the discussion for the body of the article in appropriate sections? Grey Fox (talk) 20:16, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I'd refer your comments to here where others are providing their input as well.--Nosfartu (talk) 20:26, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. I've done that. To skip that for now, I recently removed part of the image down below in this article that says "An oil power plant in Iraq, which has world's second largest proven oil reserves." It said something like "some claim that oil was one of the reasons for the war" followed by three sources. I removed it with the intention to re-add it, but more neutraly with the addition of something like "but disputed by others". In the meantime you had changed the content though, to an infamous quote from greenspan. I think the version as it now is against the simple core policies WP:NPOV and WP:UNDUE, because it only shows one side of the debate, and with the addition of the image it almost looks like an old-school propaganda poster. Also given the fact that Greenspan has eleborated further on his comments with arguments against this oil theory, are you fine with making it blank again, or changing it back to the way it was before that? Grey Fox (talk) 22:07, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
You had left the image in and simply removed the Greenspan quote. I readded a Greenspan quote from one of the articles you found, so I did not think this would be controversial. If there is still an issue, I hope you can clarify.--Nosfartu (talk) 22:09, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
The original image said An oil power plant in Iraq, which has world's second largest proven oil reserves.[282][283] Some analysts have argued that the implementation of the Carter Doctrine and the Reagan Corollary played a role in the outbreak of the Iraq War.[284][285][286][283]. I removed the second section because I believe the text was too large and an excess amount of sources were cited which looks bad in imagebox'. I wasn't ready yet however, I wanted to change the text to something like Some have alleged that oil played a role in the Iraq war, but this is disputed by others.
However the image now says something completely different; it uses a cherry picked quote from greenspan. This isn't neutral however. Images can be used for propaganda purposes this way. For example why not use a quote from a US official denying any oil-link? Or instead a quote from greenspan in which he says that the bush administration was not at all motivated by oil? The way it is now violates the WP:UNDUE policy of WP:NPOV, which says "Neutrality requires that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each. and This applies not only to article text, but to images, wikilinks, external links, categories, and all other material as well. So, that's why I propose to change it to the following: An oil power plant in Iraq, which has world's second largest oil reserves. Some critics alleged that oil may have played a part in the outbreak of the Iraq war, but this has been disputed by others.. Grey Fox (talk) 23:14, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Attributing a quote to someone with a source you provided didn't seem controversial to me, but the wording you proposed is fine too.--Nosfartu (talk) 02:52, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

The correction at the top of [30] seems to refer to a quote about gas stations, and does not retract this part:

“Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that,” Abizaid said of the Iraq campaign early on in the talk.

Where is the correct place to re-add that source? (talk) 06:36, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Under Iraq's WMD controversy I think a paragraph could be added about other rationales for the war, including alleged Al-Qaeda connections, alleged spreading of democracy, alleged energy resources, etc.. It would be good to use all of the previous sources..-- (talk) 21:01, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Based on this observation, I've replaced the discussion of all the minor reasons for the war. When you remove sources because of retractions, please make sure you are reading them correctly. GetLinkPrimitiveParams (talk) 07:47, 1 January 2009 (UTC)